Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Naftogaz asks for China Energy Loan Extension

Ukrainian state energy company Naftogaz has asked a Chinese state bank to extend the deadline by which Naftogaz must submit project proposals to qualify for a loan worth $3.5 billion, the chief executive of a Naftogaz subsidiary said on Monday. It is the latest twist in a long-running saga over a loan agreement that Ukraine, under a previous president, had signed with the China Development Bank (CDB) in 2012. According to previous interviews with officials, squabbles between ministries and Naftogaz have held up the proposals. Ukraine was supposed to submit plans for how it would use the money by June 25 but has asked for an extension until Aug.

Hurricane Dora Forms Off Mexico's Pacific Coast

Image: U.S. National Hurricane Center

Hurricane Dora formed off the western coast of Mexico in the Pacific Ocean on Monday, but it was expected to slow and remain offshore, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. Dora, the first hurricane to form in the Pacific so far this year, was carrying maximum sustained winds of about 80 miles per hour (130 km per hour) as it whirled about 170 miles (275 km) south-southwest of the port of Manzanillo, the center said. Dora was slowing and was likely to see some strengthening on Monday before weakening on Tuesday, the NHC said. The storm was expected to drop 1 to 2 inches (25 to 50 mm) of rain on the coasts of the Mexican states of Guerrero and Michoacan.

Aker Solutions to Supply Umbilicals for Coral South FLNG

Photo: Aker Solutions

Aker Solutions was awarded a contract to deliver three umbilicals and associated equipment at ENI's Coral South project, Mozambique's first offshore field development. The work scope includes three steel tube umbilicals that will total more than 19 kilometers in length and connect the Coral South floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility to the field's subsea production system. The umbilicals will be manufactured at Aker Solutions' plant in Moss, Norway, and are scheduled for delivery at the end of 2019. Discovered in 2012, the Coral…

Statoil Decision on Castberg Field in late 2017

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) ggw)

* Expected to come on stream in 2022, the Castberg field will be operating for 30 years. * Statoil will invest around NOK 1.15 billion ($135.73 million) per year in operation of the field, amounting to around 1,700 man-years nationally, of which around 500 will be performed in northern Norway.

Oil Edges up Again, but U.S. Supplies Worry

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) mikesjc)

U.S. drilling activity continues to rise; OPEC's supply cuts undermined by higher U.S. output. Oil edged up for a third straight session on Monday, climbing off last week's seven-month lows but with gains capped by the relentless rise in U.S. supply and bloated global inventories. Investors in U.S. crude futures and options increased their bets against a further rise in prices, as the number of U.S. oil rigs in operation hit its highest in over three years. U.S. shale oil output is up around 10 percent since last year, while places like Brazil have also hiked output.

YPF Says Technology Lowering Its Shale Costs

Longer horizontal wells and technology improvements will help Argentine state-run oil company YPF SA lower costs at its most productive shale field, but better infrastructure is still needed in the remote Vaca Muerta play, an executive said. The breakeven price at the Loma Campana field is $43 per barrel and falling while development costs are $12.90 per barrel and expected to fall to $10 next year, said Pablo Bizzotto, executive manager at YPF's unconventional resources unit. "Ten dollars is world-class compared with the Permian" shale field in Texas…

US Oil Rig Count Climbs for 23rd Week

© zorandim75 / Adobe Stock

U.S. energy firms added oil rigs for a record 23rd week in a row, extending a year-long drilling recovery as producers boost spending on expectations crude prices will rise in future months despite this week's decline to a 10-month low. Drillers added 11 oil rigs in the week to June 23, bringing the total count up to 758, the most since April 2015, energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc said in its closely followed report on Friday. That is more than double the same week a year ago when there were only 330 active oil rigs. Drillers have added rigs in 52 of the past 56 weeks since the start of June 2016. U.S.

Greece Approves Trio of Drillers for Offshore Contracts

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) xmentoys)

Greece approved applications submitted by a consortium of Total, ExxonMobil and Hellenic Petroleum for oil and gas exploration and drilling off the island of Crete, its energy ministry said on Friday.   The ministry also approved an application submitted by Greece's sole oil producer Energean Oil for offshore drilling in western Greece, the ministry said.   Greece's oil and gas resources management company will launch a tender for licences to drill in the respective blocs by the end of next month, aiming to conclude the procedure by the end of the year.   Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou 

Big Oil turns to Big Data for Drilling Economies

In today's U.S. shale fields, tiny sensors attached to production gear harvest data on everything from pumping pressure to the heat and rotational speed of drill bits boring into the rocky earth. The sensors are leading Big Oil's mining of so-called big data, with some firms envisioning billions of dollars in savings over time by avoiding outages, managing supplies and identifying safety hazards. The industry has long used sophisticated technologies to find oil and gas. But only recently have oil firms pooled data from across the company for wider operating efficiencies - one of many cost-cutting efforts spurred by the two-year downturn in crude oil prices.

Oil Market Flashes Warning About Stock Levels in 2018

Oil traders have become increasingly doubtful that OPEC will manage to cut crude stocks down to the five-year average in 2018 and keep them there. Calendar spreads for Brent futures throughout the rest of 2017 and 2018 have weakened significantly since OPEC agreed to roll over its production allocations at the end of May. Calendar spreads (price differences between futures contracts for delivery in different months) are closely linked to the expected level of oil inventories. Physical traders and refiners use spreads to hedge oil stored at tank farms and refineries as well as onboard ships in transit or acting as floating storage.

Statoil Cleared to Use Cap-X Drilling Technology – for Now

Polar Pioneer in the Barents Sea - Statoil - Photo Harald Pettersen

A ban on Norway's Statoil using a pioneering drilling technology in the Barents Sea was lifted after a plaintiff failed to post security in a patent dispute, a lawyer said on Thursday. A Stavanger court earlier in June upheld an injunction on the technology's use, pending payment of a 20 million Norwegian crown ($2.35 million) security by privately owned NeoDrill. NeoDrill was unable to post the security due to its "very limited economic position". But it was open to finding a commercial solution with Statoil, Kyrre Tangen Andersen, a lawyer representing NeoDrill, told Reuters in an email. The decision meant there was no formal ban on Statoil using the technology.

ATR Opens Facilities in Kazakhstan

Photo courtesy of Centurion

ATR, a Centurion company, has opened a new base in Kazakhstan as the company looks to capitalize on recent business growth in the region. The business will initially employ 12 new personnel, 10 of which are local content, with plans to double the team over the next 12 months. The purpose-built facilities at Aktau include offices, workshops and a yard area with the location selected to enable the company to support clients operating in the Caspian region. The decision to increase its presence in the country comes after ATR secured business…

UK Mulls Revisiting Oldest North Sea Blocks

File Image: A North Sea Offshore Oil Platform (CREDIT:Craig International)

Britain wants oil and gas drillers to recover pockets of gas that are more difficult to reach in a part of the North Sea where drilling for fossil fuels started over 50 years ago. Britain's oil regulator, the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), said on Thursday that some 3.8 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of tight gas remain in the southern North Sea, one of the world's oldest offshore gas extraction areas that has produced more than 40 tcf. Drilling activity in Britain's North Sea has been at a record low for two years as weak oil prices make projects less attractive.

SBM Offshore Awarded Liza FPSO Contract

SBM Offshore said it has secured contracts from ExxonMobil to construct, install, lease and operate a floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) for the next phase of the Liza project in Guyana. The contracts follow completion of front-end engineering studies and the final investment decision on the project by ExxonMobil. The Liza field is located in the Stabroek block, which covers almost 27,000 square kilometers, circa 200 kilometers offshore Guyana. Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited is the operator and holds a 45 percent interest in the Stabroek block. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd.

DNV GL Bags Maersk Oil's Tyra Verification Service Contract

Photo: Maersk

DNV GL has won a major contract to provide independent verification services for the Maersk Oil redevelopment of the Tyra field, offshore Denmark. The Tyra field in the Danish North Sea has been at the centre of Denmark’s national energy infrastructure since 1984, providing 90% of the country’s gas production. The contract will be coordinated by DNV GL in Denmark, with teams of experts from multiple DNV GL offices supporting the construction in fabrication yards across the world over the next five years. DNV GL’s contract scope includes independent verification and support services and ultimately the certification of all greenfield activities.

DNV GL, Goldwind in Wind Power Pact

Photo: DNV GL

Goldwind International and DNV GL has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for optimizing offshore and onshore wind projects. DNV GL to be preferred independent third-party advisor for performance optimization of offshore and onshore wind projects. DNV GL, the world’s largest resource of independent energy experts and certification body,  said in a statement that it has signed MoU with Goldwind International during the Norway-China Partnership for Low Carbon Energy Transition seminar organized by the Beijing Energy Club. The MoU was signed by Mathias Steck…

GoM Rigs Evacuated ahead of Storm Cindy

Image: NOAA National Hurricane Center

Facing incoming Tropical Storm Cindy, offshore oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico have begun evacuating platforms and rigs as the storm moves north-westward toward the U.S. Gulf Coast. Data from offshore operator reports submitted to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) as of 11:30 CDT today indicate that personnel have been evacuated from a total of 40 production platforms, or 5.43 percent of the 737 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Personnel have been evacuated from one rig non-dynamically positioned (DP) rig, equivalent to 6.67 percent of the 15 rigs of this type currently operating in the Gulf.

Faroe Islands Looks to Restart Hunt for Oil and Gas

Oil companies are interested in restarting the hunt for oil and gas in the scarcely explored seas off the Faroe Islands neighbouring the more mature UK North Sea, the head of the Faroese Geological Survey said. No economically viable discoveries have been made on the Faroese shelf but the tiny nation hopes to entice energy firms to restart exploration as it shows them new geological data in London on Wednesday. "Oil firms have in many ways shown interest. We are having meetings, they buy data from us, visit us on the Faroe Islands ... So there is an interest and they are looking at the possibilities," survey director Niels Christian Nolsoe said.

Cenovus Facing Tough Market for Critical Asset Sales

Photo: Cenovus Energy

Cenovus Energy Inc's efforts to sell C$5 billion ($3.8 billion) of energy assets, already facing a rocky road because weak oil prices are depressing the appetite for deals, has become complicated by the surprise departure of its chief executive officer, fund managers said. Brian Ferguson's announcement on Tuesday that he will step down as CEO in October is the latest sign of tumult within Canada's oil sands industry, which has seen international oil majors dump $22.5 billion in assets this year alone. It follows Cenovus' unpopular, debt-fueled $13.3 billion purchase of ConocoPhillips' oil sands and natural gas assets in March…

Tropical Storm Cindy Rolls in on US Gulf Coast

Image: NOAA National Hurricane Center

Tropical Storm Cindy is likely to hit the Gulf Coast near the Texas-Louisiana border on Wednesday night, threatening to bring flash floods from Texas to Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center. Cindy was located about 165 miles (265 km) south of Morgan City, Louisiana, early on Wednesday with maximum sustained winds of 60 miles (95 km) per hour, the NHC said. The storm was moving northwest at nearly 8 miles (13 km) per hour, and forecasters said they expected this motion to continue until it hits the coast. Cindy was projected to produce 6 to 9 inches (15-23 cm) of rain that could reach up to 12 inches in parts of Louisiana…

John Crane Signs Three-year North Sea Contract

John Crane Asset Management Solutions will provide condition based maintenance services to a major operator in the UK North Sea. (Photo: John Crane)

John Crane Asset Management Solutions has secured a three-year £3 million ($3.8 million) contract to provide condition based maintenance services with a major operator in the U.K. North Sea. The work covers rotating equipment across 12 assets and infrastructure sites and includes deployment of a specialist engineer to the operator’s U.K. offices to support reliability improvement. The agreement, which follows a competitive re-tender, extends the contract which John Crane Asset Management Solutions has held for the past eight years. In October 2015, John Crane announced it had acquired XPD8 Solutions, an Aberdeen independent asset management business.

Norway Offers Record Number of Arctic Exploration Blocks

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) ggw)

Norway offered a record number of blocks for oil and gas exploration in the Arctic Barents Sea on Wednesday, brushing off concerns about the risks of drilling in the remote, icy environment. The oil ministry proposed 102 blocks, comprising 93 in the Barents Sea and nine in the Norwegian Sea, despite calls from the Norway's Environment Agency to remove about 20 blocks near Bear Island, an important nesting site for Arctic birds. The application deadline for Norway's 24th Arctic licensing round is Nov. 30 and the aim is to announce awards during the first half of 2018, the ministry said.

Traders Hunt for Shale's Pain Threshold: Kemp

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Shamtor)

Crude prices are likely to remain under pressure until there are signs the number of rigs drilling for oil in the United States is stabilising or reversing lower. U.S. exploration and production firms have hired 530 extra drilling rigs since the end of May 2016 - 431 to target oil and 99 to focus on gas - according to oilfield services firm Baker Hughes. As a result, U.S. crude and natural gas liquids production is forecast to increase by 780,000 barrels per day (bpd) in 2017 and by more than 1 million bpd in 2018, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). U.S.

Oil Faces Worst H1 Since 1997

Oil steadied on Wednesday, paring earlier losses, but was set for its largest price slide in the first half of any year for the past two decades, as investors discounted evidence of strong compliance by major producers with a deal to cut global output. August Brent crude futures were flat at $46.02 a barrel by 1107 GMT, having fallen earlier to seven-month lows. U.S. crude futures for August delivery were up 4 cents at $43.55, having hit their lowest since September on Tuesday. So far this year, oil has lost 20 percent in value, its worst performance for the first six months of the year since 1997.

Oil Traders Brace for US Gulf Coast Storm

Oil traders from Texas to Louisiana braced on Tuesday for supply disruptions as Tropical Storm Cindy, formed in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, threatened to hit refining and production centers with wind and rain later this week. Cindy was located about 265 miles (430 km) south of Morgan City, Louisiana with maximum sustained winds of 45 miles (75 km) per hour. It is expected to approach the coast of southwest Louisiana late Wednesday or Wednesday night, and move inland over western Louisiana and eastern Texas on Thursday, the NHC said. The Louisiana Offshore Oil Port…

Ex-chief of Bolivian State Oil Firm Detained for Questioning

The former president of Bolivian state oil company Yacimientos Petroliferos Fiscales Bolivianos was detained for questioning by prosecutors in La Paz, days after he was sacked by the government over allegations around a flawed contract process. He is being investigated for "anti-economic conduct," contracts that were harmful to the state, undue use of influence, concealment, and failure to comply with duties, said Castellon. "I am innocent. I have not committed any irregularity," Acha told reporters before his arrest. He is due to attend a hearing as soon as Tuesday.

Offshore Gas Safety atop the Agenda for Martek Marine

Gas Sampling System (Photo: Martek Marine)

Maritime industry technology specialists Martek Marine say it is setting the bar high when it comes to offshore gas safety. The company has developed a first-of-its-kind gas sampling system for a new moored floating production unit, which forms part of the Jangkrik Complex gas fields development in Indonesia. The system has been developed to dramatically improve offshore crew safety through the use of advanced gas sampling technology. The worst offshore disaster in history, the Piper disaster on July 6, 1988, involved a series of gas explosions which destroyed the Piper Alpha oil platform in the North Sea, killing 167 men.

Innovators Toil to Revive Canada Oil Sands

In the boreal forests and on the remote prairies of Alberta, a handful of firms are running pilot projects they hope will end a two-decade drought in innovation and stem the exodus of top global energy firms from Canada's oil sands. They are searching for a breakthrough that will cut the cost of pumping the tar-like oil from the country's vast underground bitumen reservoirs and better compete with the booming shale industry in the United States. If they fail, a bigger chunk of the world's third-largest oil reserves will stay in the ground.

Oil Prices at Seven-month Lows as Supplies Weigh

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Gear STD)

OPEC supply jumps in May as Libya, Nigeria output recover; U.S. production also feeds glut. Oil prices fell to seven-month lows on Tuesday after news of increases in supply by several key producers, a trend which has undermined attempts by OPEC and other producers to support the market through reduced output. Benchmark Brent dropped $1.29 to a low of $45.62 a barrel, its weakest since Nov. 15, two weeks before OPEC and other producers agreed to cut output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) for six months from January. Brent was trading around $46.76, down $1.15, by 1205 GMT. The U.S.

OPEC Should Heed Achnacarry Lessons: Kemp

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Shamtor)

OPEC members are struggling to protect their revenues in the face of renewed competition from U.S. shale producers and other suppliers outside the organisation. OPEC's revenues from petroleum exports have fallen to just $446 billion in 2016 from $1.2 trillion in 2012 ("Annual Statistical Bulletin", OPEC, 2017). But past experience strongly suggests OPEC's effort to stabilise oil inventories and prices while protecting its market share will fail. Since the beginning of the modern petroleum industry, periods of high prices and concern about supplies running out have alternated with episodes of low prices and oversupply.

World's Largest Modularized Cracking Furnace to be Built

Wison Offshore & Marine has announced that the company has been awarded a contract to fabricate modules for 9 sets of 200,000t/y ethylene cracking furnaces for an integrated refining and petrochemical complex of Zhejiang Petrochemical Co. Ltd. in Zhejiang Province, China. The cracking furnaces will become the world's largest single cracking furnace that will be modularized and transported in its entirety. It is also the largest cracking furnace equipment in terms of production capacity in China to date. Wison Offshore & Marine will complete the fabrication work at its yard in Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province, China.

Mexico Awaits Next Oil Round with Cautious Optimism

Mexico is looking forward to its next round of offshore oil auctions on Monday with guarded optimism thanks to robust interest from oil majors for the shallow-water tenders. On Monday, Mexico auctions 15 oil and gas blocks along the southern coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico in the next stage of the country's historic opening of the industry following a 2013-14 energy reform. In December 2013 Congress changed the constitution to end a 75-year production and exploration monopoly enjoyed by state oil company Pemex in a bid to reverse years of declining output.

Exxon, Partners Set $4.4 Bln for Oil Project Offshore Guyana

Exxon Mobil Corp said on Friday it and partners would spend $4.4 billion to develop part of the Liza oilfield off the coast of Guyana, approving a megaproject at a time when the oil industry has grown obsessed with lower-cost shale. Exxon's decision shows that oil companies remain interested in large projects, especially offshore, even in an era of belt-tightening after two years of low crude prices. The Guyana announcement from Exxon and partners Hess Corp and CNOOC was the fifth deepwater project to gain approvals this year. BP Plc and Reliance Industries said on Thursday they would spend $6 billion to develop natural gas reserves off the Indian coast.

US Oil Rig Count Continues to Rise

© arinahabich / Adobe Stock

U.S. energy firms added oil rigs for a record 22nd week in a row in a year-long drilling recovery but the pace of those additions has slowed in recent months as crude prices dropped to 2017 lows  despite OPEC-led efforts to end a global supply glut. Drillers added six oil rigs in the week to June 16, bringing the total count up to 747, the most since April 2015, energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc said on Friday. That compares with 337 rigs in the same week a year ago. The pace of those additions, however, has slowed over the past two months with the decline in crude prices. U.S.

Oil Bounces Back but Remains Near 2017 Lows

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) scanrail)

Despite pledge, OPEC and Russian oil supplies remain high. Oil prices edged up from 2017 lows on Friday but remained on track for a fourth consecutive week of losses because of excess supplies, despite OPEC-led production cuts. Brent crude futures were up 57 cents at $47.49 per barrel by 1224 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $44.85 per barrel, up 39 cents. "The market took a breather yesterday and is trying to recover somewhat this morning. It is by no means bullish," said Tamas Varga, analyst at brokerage PVM Oil Associates.

Exxon to Develop Liza Field Offshore Guyana

Exxon Mobil Corp, the world's largest publicly traded oil company, said on Friday it would proceed with the development of the Liza oil field, located offshore Guyana.   Production from the field, one of the largest oil discoveries of the past decade, is expected to begin by 2020, Exxon said. (Reporting by Ahmed Farhatha in Bengaluru; Editing by Sai Sachin Ravikumar)

Funds Pull Back from Permian as U.S. Shale Heats Up

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Shamtor)

Cash, people and equipment are pouring into the prolific Permian shale basin in Texas as business booms in the largest U.S. oilfield. But one group of investors is heading the other way - concerned that shale may become a victim of its own success. The speed of the recovery in the U.S. shale industry in the past year has surprised oil investors after a global supply glut led to a two-year crude price slump and bankrupted many shale firms. Eight prominent hedge funds have reduced the size of their positions in ten of the top shale firms by over $400 million…

Mercuria, PetroChina Selling Offshore Stored Fuel Oil

File Image: CREDIT BMT

Three to four tankers storing fuel oil, down from eight or nine. Independent trading house Mercuria and Chinese state oil giant PetroChina are selling fuel oil stored in vessels off Singapore and southern Malaysia on strong demand from the shipping and power sector, several trade sources said on Friday. The number of vessels storing fuel oil has halved from a month ago as Mercuria and PetroChina may have resold cargoes purchased over March to May, the sources said. Geneva-based Mercuria and PetroChina bought over 6 million tonnes of fuel oil over those months in oil pricing agency S&P Global Platts' trading period known as market-on-close (MOC).

Norway Wants Oil Companies to Use Technology to Boost Output

Norway wants oil companies to look into using specialised technology to pump more crude and natural gas, the country's petroleum regulator said on Thursday, potentially producing billions of extra barrels as well as tax revenues. Enhanced oil recovery (EOR), such as injection of polymers or carbon dioxide into reservoirs, could help to produce an additional 320-860 million cubic metres (2-5.4 billion barrels) of oil equivalents from the 27 largest fields offshore Norway, industry regulator NPD said. "We will try to use all the instruments we have to convince the companies to test (EOR) and to do pilot projects…

Greece, Israel, Cyprus to Speed up Mediterranean Pipeline Efforts

Greece, Israel and Cyprus said on Thursday they would speed up plans for the development of a pipeline channelling gas to Europe from newly discovered east Mediterranean reserves. European governments and Israel agreed in April to move forward with a Mediterranean pipeline project to carry natural gas from Israel to Europe, setting a target date of 2025 for completion. Europe is keen to diversify its energy supplies, and Greece wants to promote itself as a hub for the transit of gas from the eastern Mediterranean to the continent. "We agreed…

BP, Reliance to Invest $6 Bln More in Offshore Gasfield

BP and India's Reliance Industries Ltd will invest a further $6 billion in their jointly owned KG D6 gas field off India's eastern coast, the heads of the two companies said on Thursday.   BP Chief Executive Bob Dudley, appearing alongside Reliance Chairman Mukesh Ambani at a news event in New Delhi, told reporters the additional investment signalled its confidence in India.   Reliance holds a 60 percent stake in a gas block in the Krishna Godavari (KG) basin, BP owns 30 percent while Calgary-based Niko Resources Ltd holds the rest. (Reporting by Krishna N. Das and Nidhi Verma; Writing by Tommy Wilkes; Editing by Douglas Busvine)

TechnipFMC & the Future of 'Super-profit Oil'

TechnipFMC is revolutionizing the subsea industry from concept to delivery and beyond. (Image: TechnipFMC)

TechnipFMC’s Andersen discusses the way forward now that “super-profit oil” is over. Ann Kristen Andersen heads up oilfield projects as offshore services and equipment supplier TechnipFMC’s managing director for Norway and Russia. She started her job on the first day of February 2017, a month after a merger that changed the company and has already partly changed an industry beginning to ramp up activity with the oil price buoyant at $55 per barrel. How has the merger that created TechnipFMC — which answered calls for lower offshore costs in tough times — changed the way you do things? The merger is going to change our offering dramatically.

Egina FPSO to Arrive in Nigeria

 The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside. (Image: NIMASA)

On a recent visit to South Korea to inspect the Egina FPSO project, and FPSO scheduled to arrive in Nigeria in August 2017, Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside said the ongoing construction of the multi-billion dollar Egina Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) project will increase the knowledge base of NIMASA as a safety administration and enhance its regulatory capacity. He made the statement during a meeting with the Samsung Executive Vice President Younsang Won…

OPEC and US Shale Drillers Are on a Collision Course

© Polina Petrenko / Adobe Stock

The oil market is on an unsustainable course with output from U.S. shale and other non-OPEC sources increasing rapidly, while OPEC and its allies trim production to reduce inventories and prop up prices. The International Energy Agency (IEA) projects non-OPEC output will increase by 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2018 (“Oil Market Report”, IEA, June 2017). If that proves correct, non-OPEC suppliers will capture all the increase in demand next year, because the IEA predicts consumption will increase by only 1.4 million bpd. In effect, OPEC will be restricting its own output only to see rival producers step in to meet growing demand from refiners.

Statkraft to Sell its Stakes in Two UK Wind Farms

Norway's power firm Statkraft will launch the sale of its entire stakes in two wind farms offshore Britain, Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon, in coming weeks, a spokesman for the company said on Tuesday. The state-owned company aims to conclude the sale of its 40 percent and 30 percent stakes in the Statoil-operated wind farms before the end of 2017, and potentially to close in the beginning of 2018, he added.   (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis)

BV Approvals Help Propel Floating Offshore Wind Sector

Floating Offshore Wind Turbines © DCNS Energies - GE

Bureau Veritas has issued a Preliminary Design Approval for a Floating Offshore Wind Turbine (FOWT) foundation designed by DCNS Energies. The floating foundation is based on a semi-submersible floater, designed to be competitive, adapted to mass production, easily towable, connectable and dis-connectable, and adaptable to site conditions and local industrial environments. This approval was provided as part of the General Electric (ex-Alstom) and DCNS Energies Sea Reed project, a FOWT product development initiative supported by ADEME, the French Environment and Energy Management Agency.

World First: Commercial Onshore Remote WROV Ops

Picture from the dual control room at Bryne, Stavanger in Norway. This can easily be duplicated worldwide. (Photo: IKM Subsea)

Norwegian ingenuity in the subsea space strikes again, as IKM Subsea, based in Bryne, Norway, has opened what it believes is the world’s first commercial onshore controlled ROV operations. In the near future up to three Work class ROVs and one Observation ROV on Statoil’s Snorre B and Visund installations will be controlled from IKM Subsea’s onshore control center. One of the Work Class ROVs (RROV) has been designed and engineered to be permanently based on the seabed and will only be brought to surface for periodic maintenance. The Company…

WPX forms JV to Develop Permian Assets

File Image: a typical natural gas pipeline header. (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Pisotsckii)

U.S. oil and gas producer WPX Energy Inc said it had agreed to form a joint venture with privately held Howard Energy Partners to develop oil gathering and natural gas processing infrastructure in the Permian basin. The joint venture will complete the construction of a pipeline, already started by WPX, and develop a new natural gas processing plant, the company said. The pipeline is designed to move about 125,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd), while the natural gas plant will have an initial capacity of 400 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d). WPX said it would receive $300 million upfront in cash from Howard Energy.

U.S. Shale Exposed to Falling Prices as Hedges Expire

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Shamtor)

Cash-strapped U.S. shale firms scaled back their hedging programs in the first quarter, leaving them more vulnerable to tumbling spot market prices just after OPEC reached a landmark deal to curb global supply. The pullback in hedging was driven by rising service costs and expectations that prices would continue to rally after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries extended those cuts in May, analysts said. However, rising U.S. production has stymied OPEC's efforts to rebalance markets. Crude oil futures have lost 15 percent of their value since February, raising the risk that unhedged companies are more exposed to market weakness.

Tampnet Awarded Johan Sverdrup Contract

(Image: Tampnet)

Tampnet, provider of high-capacity, low-latency based telecommunication infrastructure and services for the offshore oil and gas industry, was awarded a contract by Statoil for connecting the Johan Sverdrup field to their existing 2,500km subsea fiber infrastructure in the North Sea. This contract and turn-key project will optimize and strengthen the telecommunication infrastructure for this modern and digitalized field development. Tampnet said its offshore network is built with continuous improvement and expansion in mind. Hence, throughout the North Sea the company has a number of potential connection points available for future field developments.

Statoil Denies Patent Infringement, Keeps Drilling in the Barents Sea

Barents Sea (Image: Statoil)

Norway's Statoil said on Monday it would keep drilling exploration wells in the Barents Sea using what it called "regular equipment" after a court upheld an injunction in a patent dispute over specialised drilling technology. Statoil said the Stavanger court had lifted an injunction on the use of its Cap-X technology in the Blaaman well, where drilling was suspended earlier, but had upheld a ban on the four other Arctic wells planned to be drilled this year. When presenting Cap-X last year, Statoil said it would help reduce drilling costs.

Oil Rises as Investors Buy into US Crude

Oil rose on Monday to break a three-day losing streak, after futures traders increased their bets on a renewed price upswing even though rising U.S. drilling helped keep physical markets bloated. Brent crude futures were up by 63 cents at $48.78 a barrel by 1405 GMT, having hit a session high of $49.15. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 61 cents to $46.44, having peaked at $46.69. Traders and analysts said the bounce looked technical in nature, after WTI rallied and encouraged a similar move in the Brent market. But they said the move might prove fleeting.

Statoil Aims to More than Triple Brazil Output

Norwegian oil and gas firm Statoil aims to more than triple its production in Brazil and will seek to become operator for the entire Carcara discovery, among the world's biggest in recent years, the firm's country manager said. Statoil has invested more than $10 billion in Brazil, making it the country's largest foreign offshore operator, and the Peregrino heavy oil field 85 kilometres off the coast of Rio de Janeiro is the biggest it operates outside Norway. With Peregrino producing 80,000-90,000 barrels of oil equivalents per day, Statoil's 60 percent equity stake in the field currently leaves the company with 48…

Hedge Funds Remain Cautious On Oil

Hedge funds remain cautious on the outlook for oil prices despite confident statements from Saudi Arabia that global oil inventories will decline substantially in the next few months. Asset managers cut their combined net long position in the three main futures and options contracts linked to Brent and WTI by 39 million barrels in the week ending June 6. The net position had been increased by a total of 114 million barrels over the previous three weeks, analysis of data published by regulators and exchanges showed. The earlier increase, however…

Burst in Investor Confidence Propels Oil Prices

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Financial traders pour cash into long positions even as U.S. drilling rises for record 21 weeks. Oil rose on Monday to break a three-day losing streak, after futures traders increased their bets on a renewed price upswing even though rising U.S. drilling helped keep physical markets bloated. Brent crude futures were up by 85 cents at $49.00 per barrel by 1150 GMT, after hitting a session high of $49.15. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 74 cents to $46.58 per barrel, shy of the day's high of $46.69. Traders and analysts said the bounce looked technical in nature, after WTI rallied and encouraged a similar move in the Brent market.

US Drillers Continue to Add Oil Rigs

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U.S. energy firms added oil rigs for a record 21st week in a row, extending a year-long drilling recovery as producers boost spending on expectations crude prices will rise in future months. Drillers added 8 oil rigs in the week to June 9, bringing the total count up to 741, the most since April 2015, energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc said on Friday. That is more than double the same week a year ago when there were only 328 active oil rigs. The pace of those additions has slowed with a decline in crude prices over the past two months, with the average total added over the past four weeks falling to just 7. U.S.

Petrobras Reports Explosion on Drill Ship

File photo: Odebrecht

Brazil's state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA on Friday reported an explosion on the NS 32 drill ship, which is operated by Odebrecht Óleo e Gás, a unit of Odebrecht SA, according to a statement. The explosion wounded four people, three of them with burns and one with mild injuries, according to the statement. There was no subsequent fire after the blast in the Marlim field, Campos basin, and the drill ship is in safe condition, said Petrobras, adding it will investigate the causes of the accident.   (Reporting by Marta Nogueira; Writing by Ana Mano)

EU Seeks Mandate for Talks with Russia Over Nord Stream 2

The European Union's executive on Friday asked 28 governments in the bloc to give it the authority to negotiate with Russia to ensure its laws are respected in building the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, a project that has divided EU states. Poland, the Baltic states and others say Nord Stream 2 would increase EU dependence on Russia's Gazprom, which already supplies about a third of the bloc's gas. Backers such as Germany say it will offer the EU cheaper supplies. The bloc wants to diversify EU gas supplies and the Commission has said the pipeline could let "a single supplier" - Russia - strengthen its position in the EU market.

New BSEE Rule Allows More Development Time

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A final regulation by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) doubles the amount of time offshore oil and gas operators will have to coordinate development operations and retain their leases in federal waters of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). “This rulemaking extends the time from 180 days to one year between production, drilling or well-reworking operations on a lease,” said BSEE Director Scott Angelle. Congress directed BSEE to make this amendment in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2017, Public Law No. 115-31. In response, BSEE amended sections 250.171 and 250.180 of title 30, Code of Federal Regulations.

Oil Production Stages Unlikely Comeback in Congo Republic

As low oil prices hit economies across Africa, one unlikely country is boosting output and attracting major investment that could make it one of the continent's largest producers by next year. Congo Republic, whose oil sector was ravaged by a dip in prices and production since 2014, has been rejuvenated by new projects scheduled to boost output by 25 percent to 350,000 barrels per day (bpd) next year and help an ailing economy hobbled by huge debt, civil unrest and deep-rooted corruption. The former French colony, ruled by President Denis Sassou Nguesso for all but five years since 1979…