Saturday, April 29, 2017

US Drillers Add Oil Rigs for 15th Week

© Natalia Bratslavsky / Adobe Stocl

U.S. drillers added oil rigs for a 15th week in a row, but the pace of those additions slowed in April to the lowest in five months as crude prices fell below $50 a barrel on doubts OPEC will continue to cut production enough to reduce the global glut. Drillers added nine oil rigs in the week to April 28, bringing the total count up to 697, the most since April 2015, energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc said on Friday. While that is more than double the same week a year ago when there were only 332 active oil rigs, the pace of additions has declined in April with 35 rigs deployed, the lowest since November when 33 rigs were added.

Op/Ed: Trump Signals New Day for Offshore Energy

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National Ocean Industries Association president Randall Luthi weighs in on President Trump’s Executive Order on offshore energy. It’s a new day and a new attitude for American energy. The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) applauds President Donald Trump’s Executive Order recognizing the vital role of offshore energy in an overall national energy policy. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that in the year 2040, traditional forms of energy, particularly fossil fuels, will provide almost 80 percent of our energy needs.

Clean Power Plan Lawsuit Put on Hold

A U.S. appeals court on Friday granted a Trump administration request to put on hold a legal challenge by industry and a group of states to former President Barack Obama's regulations aimed at curbing greenhouse emissions mainly from coal-fired power plants, rules that the Republican president is moving to undo. A 10-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit granted the request to put the litigation involving the regulations known as the Clean Power Plan in abeyance for at least 60 days while the administration plans its next steps.

Semco Maritime Revenue Dips 8% in 2016

Photo courtesy of Semco Maritime

Semco Maritime said the low oil and gas prices in 2016 did not encourage new industry activity or investments its customers. The low demand entailed a decline in Semco Maritime’s revenue to DKK 1,598 million compared to DKK 1,744 million in 2015. The revenue decline of 8 percent in 2016 was smaller than the decline in 2015, Semco Maritime noted, adding that positive developments within offshore wind and renewables contributed to accommodating the negative impact from the oil and gas markets. Earnings were lower as a consequence of the revenue…

Kongsberg Maritime, SES Form Strategic Alliance

Kongsberg Maritime and Stress Engineering Services form strategic alliance to serve customers within offshore drilling and floating production systems (Photo: Kongsberg Maritime)

Kongsberg Maritime Inc., the North American division of Norway headquartered marine and offshore technology company Kongsberg Maritime, and Houston headquartered Stress Engineering Services (SES) have formed a strategic alliance to better serve existing and new clients with cost effective engineering services and fully integrated technical solutions within offshore drilling and floating production systems. By combining Stress Engineering Services’ wide-ranging engineering expertise within all aspects of offshore drilling with the extensive…

BOURBON to Install Mooring for Floating Wind Turbine

French offshore marine services company BOURBON said it has been awarded a contract for the mooring installation of the first floating wind turbine in France at the experimental test site of SEM-REV managed by Ecole Centrale de Nantes (ECN), in the context of European project FLOATGEN. The mooring installation will take place during summer 2017 based on a method jointly established by BOURBON and Ideol’s engineering teams in collaboration with the Ecole Centrale de Nantes. The wind turbine will be installed at the SEM-REV site near Le Croisic, France, by the end of the year.

Trump to Order Review of Offshore Drilling Bans

File Image: Credit James Fisher

U.S. President Donald Trump will today order a review of offshore areas currently off limits to oil and gas drilling to determine which might be reopened, in his administration's latest move to expand domestic energy production. The order could lead to a reversal of bans on drilling across swathes of the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans and the Gulf of Mexico that former President Barack Obama's administration sought to protect from development. "It is better to produce energy here than be held hostage by foreign entities," Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told reporters on Thursday in a briefing about the executive order…

Louisiana OKs Use of Grants for DP Assessments

Aaron Smith (Photo: OSVDPA)

The Louisiana Workforce Commission (LWC) has approved use of Incumbent Worker Training Program (IWTP) grants to cover the cost of Offshore Service Vessel Dynamic Positioning Authority, Inc. (OSVDPA) Phase 4 Assessments. “It’s great to see the Louisiana Workforce Commission recognize the OSVDPA’s assessments as an important part of the professional development of mariners,” said OSVDPA Executive Director, Aaron Smith. In addition to two classroom courses and two periods of on board experience gathering, the OSVDPA requires every mariner, regardless of his or her experience or prior certifications…

Anadarko Shares Dive as Wells Close

Shares of Anadarko Petroleum Corp plunged on Thursday after the oil and natural gas producer said it would temporarily close more than 3,000 wells in Colorado in the wake of an explosion that killed two. The company's stock fell more than 5 percent to $56.69 in Wednesday afternoon trading, touching six-month lows. A recently built home in Firestone, roughly 30 miles (48 km) north of Denver, exploded on April 17. Local media reported that two men were killed while repairing a water heater when the explosion took place. A women and boy were injured but were treated and released from a nearby hospital. The cause of the explosion has not been determined.

Keppel FloaTEC Secures Contract for TLWP in Vietnam

Keppel FloaTEC LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M), has secured a contract worth about $40 million from PTSC Mechanical & Construction (PTSC M&C) to provide engineering, technology and construction management support services for the Repsol Ca Rong Do Tension Leg Wellhead Platform (TLWP) to be built in Vietnam. PTSC M&C, the service arm of Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam), is the main engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contractor for the TLWP. It will be the first TLWP in Vietnam and, when installed, the first three-column TLWP in the offshore oil and gas industry.

MPA Honors ABS

Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Transport Josephine Teo presented the Offshore & Marine Engineering Award to ABS Regional Vice President Thomas Tan. Photo: ABS

ABS has been awarded the Offshore & Marine Engineering Award by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA). This award recognizes organizations that have made significant contributions toward the development of Singapore’s offshore and marine engineering sector. “ABS is honored to receive this award recognizing our leading role in Singapore’s marine and offshore industries,” says ABS Chairman, President and CEO Christopher J. Wiernicki. The MPA award recognizes ABS for its breakthrough work in the areas of innovation, safety, and environmental…

Trump Executive Order Requires Review of National Monuments

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U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday requiring a review of national monuments which he said was aimed at ending an "egregious abuse of federal power."   At a ceremony at the Department of the Interior, Trump said people's ability to access and utilize land must be protected, and that the previous administration had put hundreds of millions of acres under federal control through monument designation.   The order is part of a push to open up more federal lands to drilling, mining and other development - cheered by industry but opposed by conservationists. (Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe; Writing by Washington Newsroom)

Vestas Contemplates End to Green Power Subsidies

A typical land-based wind turbine. File Image: Credit Vestas

Electricity generation from wind turbines could become profitable even without government subsidies in the next decade if more large-scale developments are allowed, the world's top turbine maker Vestas said on Wednesday. In Denmark, the company's home country, the minister of climate and energy earlier this week outlined plans to end its green subsidies before 2030. "Our ambition is very well in line with the minister's" Vestas' spokeswoman Gry Moger Poulsen told Reuters, adding that allowing large project developments to take place would be key for power producers to operate without state funding.

Drilling Costs Rise Along with U.S. Oil & Gas Activity

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

U.S. oil and gas drilling costs have started to rise in response to a surge in activity and are set to increase further as the slack in the rig market declines. Drilling costs increased by 7 percent between November 2016 and March 2017, according to preliminary data on producer prices from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The increase has offset only a small part of the 34 percent slump between March 2014 and November 2016 (http://tmsnrt.rs/2q6RNzc). But it is the first sustained gain in three years for drilling prices, which are now rising year-on-year for the first time since November 2014.

Trump to Order Review of Federal Land Use

U.S. President Donald Trump will sign an executive order on Wednesday to identify national monuments that can be rescinded or resized - part of a push to open up more federal lands to drilling, mining and other development. The move comes as Trump seeks to reverse a slew of environmental protections ushered in by former President Barack Obama that he said were hobbling economic growth - an agenda that is cheering industry but enraging conservationists. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told reporters late Tuesday that Trump's order would require him to conduct the review of around 30 national monuments created over the past two decades…

Stream Marine Training Secures OPITO Approval

Stream Marine Training CEO Martin White (Photo: SMT)

Glasgow-based Stream Marine Training (SMT) said it has secured approval from an oil and gas accreditation body to deliver specialist maritime training for the North Sea and international offshore sector. The safety training company has been named an OPITO (Offshore Petroleum Industry Training Board) approved training center achieving certification for its Offshore Emergency Response Team Member course. OPITO is a global leader in standards, competence and skills for the oil and gas industry. It has been setting standards for the oil and gas industry since 1991 to improve workforce safety and competency.

Uruguay to Tender 17 Offshore Blocks for Exploration

Uruguayan state oil company Ancap said on Tuesday it will tender 17 off-shore blocks for exploration in areas up to 3,000 meters deep, with offers to be presented in April 2019. The tender, called Uruguay Round III, will be launched in Houston in September. "Ancap is working with the ministry of industry and energy in the preparation of the model contract," the company's General Manager Ignacio Horvath said during an oil industry conference in Uruguayan resort town Punta del Este on the Atlantic coast. Uruguay is a net oil importer. In 2009 and 2012 it held Rounds I and II respectively, signing exploration contracts with companies including BP and YPF.

DP Conference: Call for Papers

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As the offshore oil and gas industry continues to rebound, so will the demand for dynamic positioning technology and services. The annual Dynamic Positioning Conference provides an annual forum for discussion and for exchange of knowledge, experience, new technology and technical know-how associated with the use, evolving technology and application of dynamic positioning. Each year, the conference continues to attract DP professionals from around the world as well as DP manufacturers and service companies who will be exhibiting their products and services.

Gaylin / Rigmarine Offer William Hackett Subsea Lever Hoist

Photo: Gaylin Group

Gaylin International Pte Ltd and Rigmarine, part of its group of companies, will stock the William Hackett second-generation SS-L5 subsea lever hoist, available in capacities from 800kg to 20t, from 10 global locations. Further, they will support the product offering with training and after-sales service. Singapore-headquartered Gaylin, a specialist supplier of lifting, rigging and marine equipment primarily to the oil and gas industry, also has facilities in Korea, Malaysia, Vietnam, China and Indonesia. Rigmarine hubs, meanwhile, can be found at its most recently opened site in Aberdeen, in addition to Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and the UAE.

China to Lead Rising Wind Power Growth

© 孤飞的鹤 / Adobe Stock

China will lead growth in global wind power capacity of almost 65 percent over the next five years, with other Asian countries also developing more renewable energy, the Global Wind Energy Council said on Tuesday. Cumulative wind energy capacity was 487 gigawatts (GW) at the end of 2016, a 12.6 percent rise from the year before and should grow by almost 65 percent to 800 GW by the end of 2021, the GWEC said in its annual report on the industry. While China will continue to lead the global market, other countries such as India, which set a record for new wind installations last year in an effort to meet ambitious government targets, will also play a part.

Norway Expects Record Arctic Drilling in 2017

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

Norway expects 15 exploration wells to be drilled in the Barents Sea this year, two more than in the record year 2014, the head of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said on Tuesday.   Of these, Norway's Statoil is planning to drill five or six wells, including one in the formerly disputed border area with Russia, where the probability of making a discovery was the greatest, Bente Nyland added.   Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis

Norway Doubles Barents Sea Oil & Gas Estimates

Norway on Tuesday doubled its estimate of undiscovered oil and gas resources in its region of the Arctic Barents Sea as a formerly disputed area bordering Russia was included for the first time, the country's oil regulator said. The new forecast by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) predicted about 2.8 billion standard cubic meters of oil equivalent (17.6 billion barrels) could yet be found in the Barents, up from 1.4 billion seen earlier. "This figure is naturally associated with some uncertainty. It could turn out to be lower or it could be much higher," NPD Director General Bente Nyland said in a statement.

Total E&P UK, Survitec Ink Lifesaving Equipment Deal

Survitec Group has announced a five-year contract award with Total E&P UK Ltd for the provision of lifesaving equipment maintenance services.    The contract, which adds to an existing contract for lifeboat maintenance services, covers the offshore Alwyn/Dunbar and Elgin/Franklin fields and sees Survitec providing a full range of life saving apparatus, including new lifejackets, immersion suits and liferafts. As part of the agreement, the areas of coverage will be fully supported with associated maintenance routines as part of the Survitec after-sales care package.   

Oil Slips as Investors Fret About Rising US Drilling

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Oil prices dipped on Monday, reversing earlier gains as concerns about a pick up in U.S. drilling activity trumped expectations that OPEC will extend output cuts till the end of 2017. "It's a still game of very narrow trading ranges between these mixed drivers," said ABN AMRO's senior energy economist Hans van Cleef. Brent crude futures fell 41 cents by 1447 GMT to $51.71 per barrel after hitting a session high of $52.57 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures lost 46 cents to reach $49.16 a barrel, after reaching a high of $50.22 a barrel earlier in the day.

Statoil Downplays Risks Ahead of Arctic Drilling

File photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland / Statoil

Norway's Statoil on Monday played down concerns that drilling in the Arctic is risky, days before it kickstarts its drilling campaign in the Barents Sea, where the country believes around half of its remaining resources could be located. "We will start drilling the first well, Blaamann, during May ... followed by Kayak, Gemini (Nord), Korpfjell and Koigen (Central)," said a Statoil spokesman, adding each might take about a month to drill. All the wells are in areas free of sea ice thanks to the warm Gulf Stream, with sea and wind conditions similar to the North Sea…

Japan Steelmakers Scramble for Coking Coal

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Lukasc Z) )

Japanese steelmakers have bought coking coal from the United States, Canada and China to replace supply lost after a cyclone closed rail links in Australia, their biggest supplier, industry and trader sources said. Still, the Japanese buyers are paying nearly double the $150 a tonnes price that they were discussing with sellers for second-quarter supply before the supply disruption. The supply talks are now on hold and prices will likely stay high until full volumes start flowing again. In 2016, Japan bought about 71 percent of the 59.9 million tonnes of coking coal it consumed from Australia.

New Executive Orders Loom on Environment, Energy

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U.S. President Donald Trump this week will sign new executive orders before he completes his first 100 days in office, including two on energy and the environment, which would make it easier for the United States to develop energy on and offshore, a White House official said on Sunday. "This builds on previous executive actions that have cleared the way for job-creating pipelines, innovations in energy production, and reduced unnecessary burden on energy producers," the official said on condition of anonymity. On Wednesday, Trump is expected to sign an executive order related to the 1906 Antiquities Act…

Oil Inches Back Up, OPEC Promises Support

OPEC looks set to extend output cuts through 2017; but rise in U.S. drilling undermines group's efforts. Oil prices recovered some lost ground on Monday after big losses last week, driven by expectations that OPEC will extend output cuts till the end of 2017, although a rise in U.S. drilling capped gains. Brent crude futures rose 38 cents by 1148 GMT to $52.34 per barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil futures added 41 cents to reach $50.03 a barrel. Prices fell steeply last week on the back of stubbornly high crude supplies…

Halliburton Gains from North American Drilling Surge

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

Halliburton Co said on Monday that oil producers are completing nearly as many wells as they are drilling, a major reversal from when companies left wells unfinished in anticipation of higher oil prices. Increased demand for Halliburton's pressure pumping and well-construction services helped the world's No.2 oilfield services provider report slightly better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue. Halliburton's shares were up more than 1 percent at $47.72 in morning trade on Monday. "There's no doubt that the pace of completions activity is catching up with the rig count…

US Will Not Issue Drilling Waivers to Russia Sanctions

The United States will not make an exception for American companies, including oil major Exxon Mobil Corp, seeking to drill in areas prohibited by U.S. sanctions on Russia, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Friday. "In consultation with President Donald J. Trump, the Treasury Department will not be issuing waivers to U.S. companies, including Exxon, authorizing drilling prohibited by current Russian sanctions," Mnuchin said in a statement. Exxon spokesman Alan Jeffers had no immediate comment on the statement. The company this week declined to comment on a Wall Street Journal report that it is seeking permission from the U.S.

US Drillers Add Oil Rigs for 14th Week in a Row

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U.S. drillers added oil rigs for a 14th week in a row, extending an 11-month recovery that is expected to boost U.S. shale production in May in the biggest monthly increase in more than two years. Drillers added five oil rigs in the week to April 21, bringing the total count up to 688, 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 343 active oil rigs. U.S. crude futures dropped below $50 a barrel on Friday, for the first time in two weeks and putting it on track for its biggest weekly loss in six weeks…

ConocoPhillips looks to Aussie Transcontinental LNG Pipeline

File Image: A typical natural gas pipeline arrangement (CREDIT AdobeStock / (c) pisotckii)

ConocoPhillips will consider diverting natural gas from fields in northern Australia along a proposed transcontinental pipeline that would link directly to markets in the southeast, a senior executive told Reuters on Thursday. The U.S. oil major is also leaning towards developing the Barossa gas field offshore northern Australia, with a final decision due in early 2019, Kayleen Ewin, the company's vice president for sustainability, communications and external affairs, said in an interview. Ewin said the proposed transcontinental pipe would open Australia's domestic market for northern producers.

Schlumberger Sees Improved Pricing but Margins Still Slim

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

Schlumberger NV said on Friday a ramp up in drilling activity in North America boosted pricing for its oilfield services, but the cost of reactivating equipment idled during the oil price downturn dragged down margins. The U.S. rig count rose more than 25 percent in the first three months of the year, according to data from Baker Hughes Inc. "In the first quarter, the North America land market continued to strengthen in terms of both activity and pricing, leading us to begin accelerating deployment of idle capacity for multiple product lines," Chief Executive Paal Kibsgaard said.

Total, Heriot-Watt University Sign Research Deal

Left to Right, Dr Lorraine Boak, Research Fellow, FAST Lab, Heriot Watt; First Minister Nicola Sturgeon; Elisabeth Proust, Managing Director, Total E&P UK; Dr Gillian Murray, Deputy Principal, Business and Enterprise, Heriot-Watt University. Photo supplied by Heriot-Watt University

Energy giant Total and Heriot-Watt University have signed  five-year partnership agreement worth a minimum of GBP 2.5 million to boost research and education. Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon visited the Edinburgh Campus of Heriot-Watt University yesterday (Thursday 20 April) to mark the signing of the deal between Total and the University’s Institute of Petroleum Engineering. The agreement was signed by Elisabeth Proust, managing director, Total E&P UK, and Dr Gillian Murray, deputy principal, Business and Enterprise, at Heriot-Watt University.

Prysmian Bolsters Offshore Cable Production

Responding to an increased demand for European offshore wind farms, energy and telecom cable systems manufacturer Prysmian Group has expanded capability at its U.K. production facility in Wrexham to manufacture both 33 kV and 66 kV submarine cable cores used for the inter-array cable connections in offshore wind farms. The new product line will enable the linking and collecting of power produced by offshore wind turbines before onward transmission to the onshore grid. Llyr Roberts, CEO Prysmian UK comments “Our Wrexham factory has been manufacturing…

Weak Gasoline Prices Prompts US-bound Tanker to Alter Course

A tanker of gasoline en route to New York Harbor from Europe has been diverted to a Caribbean storage hub because a narrow window of opportunity for shipping profitably to the U.S. East Coast appears to have shut, traders said. At least 16 tankers carrying some 600,000 tonnes of gasoline blending components were booked early in April to send fuel from Europe to the East Coast. Since, a Long-Range 2 (LR2) vessel AMOREA, floating offshore carrying summer-grade RBOB gasoline, known as F2-grade, set sail to New York. An LR2 going to New York was uncommon to begin with…

Ampelmann Unveils the Icemann

Photo: Ampelmann

Ampelmann, provider of offshore access to the energy industry, has unveiled its latest walk to work system which has been specially designed for operation in extreme cold conditions. The N-type, nicknamed Icemann, was officially launched in front of 200 guests on Thursday, April 20, in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Designed to safely and efficiently transfer crew in extreme icing and temperatures as low as -28C (-18F), the fully enclosed and insulated system is operational in sea states up to 3.5 meters significant wave height and comprises active motion compensation.

Rolls-Royce to Provide Mooring System for Statoil's Njord A

Photo: Rolls-Royce

Rolls-Royce has been chosen by Norway-based engineering and construction services firm Kvaerner to provide a mooring system for Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil’s oil platform, Njord A. Njord A is being upgraded by Kvaerner and Rolls-Royce has been chosen to provide an upgrade to its mooring system. The contract has a value of about £15 million ($19 mln). Njord A is a semisubmersible floating steel platform, with an integrated deck with drilling and processing facilities, as well as living quarters. It is normally located in the Njord oilfield, around 130 km northwest of the city Kristiansund and 30 km west of the Draugen field.

Keppel's Q1 Profit up 23 pct

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

Singapore's Keppel Corp on Thursday reported a 23 percent rise in its first-quarter profit as improved earnings from the infrastructure and investments divisions helped offset weakness in its offshore and marine business. Keppel reported a net profit of S$260 million ($186.17 million) for the quarter ended March, versus S$211 million a year ago. Total revenue fell 28.4 percent to S$1.25 billion. This comes after Keppel posted its smallest annual profit in a decade in 2016. The conglomerate and its rival Sembcorp Marine Ltd have been suffering from an oversupply of offshore oil drilling rigs…

PLSV Skandi Búzios Begins Work off Brazil

Skandi Búzios (Photo: TechnipFMC)

Skandi Búzios, a pipelay support vessel (PLSV) owned 50/50 by a joint venture formed between TechnipFMC and DOF Subsea, has commenced an eight-year charter contract with Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras), as scheduled on April 13, 2017. Skandi Búzios is the sister ship of the Skandi Açu, which started its charter contract on August 13, 2016. These two vessels each have 650 tons flexible pipelay tension capacity, enabling the installation of large diameter flexible pipes in the ultra-deepwater Brazilian pre-salt area. Under the joint venture agreement…

WIN WIN: Wind Powered Oil Recovery Concept Progresses

The WIN WIN Concept. (Image: DNV GL)

The DNV GL-led joint industry project, WIN WIN (WINd powered Water INjection), has completed its first phase and determined that wind power could be used to power offshore water injection. The project is currently moving into its second phase, which includes refining and testing the electrical systems, and investigating possibilities for broader applications. The project consists of four partners: DNV GL, ExxonMobil and ENI Norge – all part of the first phase – and the Norwegian Research Council – a new participant for this second phase. The first phase of the project determined the concept is technically feasible…

Norway OKs Statoil’s Trestakk Plan

Image: Statoil

Norwegian authorities have approved the Plan for Development and Operation (PDO) of the Trestakk discovery on the Halten Bank in the Norwegian Sea. Investments are calculated at NOK 5.5 billion ($646 million), almost half of the original estimate. Trestakk was discovered in 1986, and expected recoverable volumes are 76 million barrels of oil equivalent, mainly oil. Tied into the Åsgard A production vessel, Trestakk is expected to come on stream in 2019. On behalf of the license owners, Statoil submitted the PDO to the minister of petroleum and energy, on November 1, 2016.

Shell Receives Bids For Downstream Assets in Argentina

Royal Dutch Shell last week received bids for its downstream assets in Argentina, where the Anglo-Dutch super-major intends to focus on shale development. The company declined to name which firms were looking to buy its oil refinery and network of service stations, though local media said state-run YPF was a contender. Another firm rumoured to be in the running is Pluspetrol, a local oil producer that would use the acquisition to expand into the downstream business. Shell has said it wants to sell the downstream assets for up to US$1 billion, part of a wider divestment plan to sell off US$30 billion in assets worldwide to cover its purchase of BG Group.

Oil at 11-day Low on U.S. Shale Projections

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

U.S. shale production set to rise to 5.19 mln bpd in May; OPEC to meet May 25 to consider output cut extension. Oil prices hit their lowest in 11 days on Tuesday on news that U.S. shale oil output in May is expected to post the biggest monthly increase in more than two years, fuelling concerns that U.S. production growth is undermining efforts to cut oversupply. U.S. government drilling data showed shale production next month was set to rise to 5.19 million barrels per day (bpd), with output from the Permian play, the largest U.S. shale region, expected to reach a record 2.36 million bpd.

Statoil Confident About Offshore Brazil Deal

File Image: a typical Statoil offshore installation (CREDIT: Statoil)

Norway's Statoil is confident that its deal with Petróleo Brasileiro SA to acquire a stake in exploration block BM-S-8 offshore Brazil will eventually go ahead despite a court suspension, a spokesman said on Tuesday.   "We are confident that he deal will go ahead... We are considering various legal options, but we are confident that we have a strong case," Statoil's spokesman Erik Haaland said.   A Brazilian court has ordered the state-controlled company, known as Petrobras, to suspend the sale of its stake in the block to Statoil after a union argued there should have been an open bidding process.   Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis 

Leaking Alaskan Well under Control -BP

BP Plc said workers on Alaska's North Slope had brought under control a company-operated well that spewed oil and gas over the weekend. The leak was discovered on Friday and a team from BP, the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and local government was brought in to coordinate efforts. The team halted the well leaks overnight, BP said in a statement on Monday. The volume of the leak was not disclosed. A BP spokesman said details of what caused the loss of control were not available. The oil producer had retained Halliburton Co's well control specialists to kill the well, the spokesman said.

US Drillers Add Oil Rigs for 13th Week in a Row

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U.S. drillers added oil rigs for a 13th week in a row, with the number of active rigs rising to near a two-year high, as energy companies boost spending on new production to take advantage of a recovery in crude prices. Drillers added 11 oil rigs in the week to April 13, bringing the total count to 683, the highest since April 2015, energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc said on Thursday. At this time a year ago, there were 351 active oil rigs. Much of the weekly gain can be attributed to Texas's Permian basin, which added eight rigs on the week. There are 339 active rigs in the Permian, located largely in the western part of Texas, 200 more than at this time last year.

Siemens Expands Logistics Deal with Peterson

Photo: Peterson Chemicals

Peterson Chemicals has secured a second logistics contract with original equipment manufacturer Siemens. The new contract for the Veja Mate wind farm in Germany, includes the supply of Jet A1 aviation fuel in offshore transport fuel tanks which is similar to the first contract awarded in August 2016. Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy has also extended the original one year frame agreement for the Netherlands Gemini wind farm to three years. The transport department based at Peterson’s supply base in Den Helder, will arrange for the tanks to be transported to the Siemens service base facility in Eemshaven.

Mitsui Innovation: noah-FPSO Hull Gets AIP from BV

(Image: Mitsui)

Mitsui Engineering & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. (MES) obtained Bureau Veritas Approval in Principle (AIP) for the noah-FPSO Hull and associated design and construction methods following American Bureau of Shipping. This AIP provides assurance of the feasibility and reliability of the noah-FPSO Hull design. The noah-FPSO Hull is a next generation FPSO – Floating Production, Storage and Offloading – platform, and “noah” stands for New Offshore Adapted Hull. The hallmark of the noah-FPSO Hull is that it allows a flexible approach to design and construction of the hull reflecting production requirements, rather than adjusting the production facilities to the hull’s design.

Shell Lobbies Dutch Government for More Wind Projects

file Image: a typical offshore wind farm (CREDIT: Siemens)

Anglo-Dutch oil major Royal Dutch Shell said it has urged the Dutch government to come up with bolder offshore wind targets and quadruple the goal for installed capacity to 20 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. Europe's biggest oil company, which has traditionally invested little in green energy sources, is ramping up renewable energy investments to $1 billion a year by the end of the decade after pressure from shareholders to do so and as it sees governments turning to less carbon intensive and more flexible fuels. Some of its recent activities in renewable energy include winning a contract…

New US Pipelines to Drive Natural Gas Boom as Exports Surge

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U.S. energy firms are scrambling to finish a slew of pipelines that will unleash rich reserves of shale gas in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio as the nation prepares to become one of the world’s top natural gas exporters. The pipelines are expected to boost output from shale fields in the three states by giving producers access to new domestic and international markets. Those states could supply about a third of all U.S. natural gas once the pipeline expansion is complete, up from about 25 percent now, according to projections from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

PDVSA Readies Armada of Fuel Imports

About a dozen tankers are sailing to Venezuela or waiting offshore to discharge cargoes after state-run oil company PDVSA ramped up tenders to buy gasoline and other fuels to offset its weak refining output, according to traders and Thomson Reuters data. Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA) recently awarded BP , Castleton Commodities, Rosneft and CT Energia contracts to buy more than 15 cargoes of gasoline blend stock, diesel, vacuum gasoil, catalytic naphtha and cutter stock for delivery from April through May. The total volume expected for the coming weeks surpasses 4 million barrels, according to traders and tender documents circulated by PDVSA.

As Texas Output Surges, Cash Discounts Soar

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / Edelweiss)

Surging West Texas oil production has pushed the value of the region's spot crude to its lowest discount to the U.S. oil benchmark in nearly two years, as an exuberant shale industry pumps more to take advantage of higher prices and demand from refiners who have seen supplies cut by top global producers. OPEC and non-OPEC suppliers are working toward cuts of 1.8 million barrels per day, around 2 percent of the 92 million bpd global market, as they try to bring down record oil inventories and raise prices. But supply cuts by exporters worldwide have given an incentive and opportunity to U.S. shale producers to do the opposite.

Shell Knew Payments Would Go to Nigeria's Malabu

Royal Dutch Shell has said it knew that some of the payments it made to Nigeria for the rights to an oilfield would go to Malabu Oil and Gas, a company associated with a former Nigerian oil minister and convicted money launderer. Shell spokesman Andy Norman said the group had known the Nigerian government "would compensate Malabu to settle its claim on the block". Shell previously had said only that its payments from the 2011 deal went to the Nigerian government. In an email to Reuters, Norman said that while Shell knew that former oil minister Dan Etete was "involved" with Malabu, it had not confirmed that he controlled the company.

Putin Awards Medals to Buyers of Rosneft Stake

Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded state medals to executives with the Qatari investment fund, Swiss-based commodities trading firm Glencore and Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo, according to a decree published on Monday. The Qatar Investment Authority and Glencore bought a 19.5 stake in Russian oil giant Rosneft for more than 10 billion euros in December, and Intesa bank was involved in organising the deal. The executives were awarded the medals for their "contribution to strengthening cooperation with Russia," according to the text of the decree. The Rosneft stake sale was the biggest privatisation deal in Russia since the 1990s.

LR to Perform Armada Olombendo FPSO Risk Inspection

Lloyd's Register has won an inspection contract with Bumi Armada Berhad for its Armada Olombendo FPSO. The contract agreement provides Bumi Armada with access to Lloyd’s Register’s risk-based inspection services and technical software which will help to develop quantifiable risk profiles. These profiles will give critical knowledge and insight for Bumi Armada Berhad’s management team on how best to approach short and long term CAPEX/OPEX decisions. The built-in risk inspection strategies used in the contract with Lloyd’s Register also provides…

LNG Innovation: Wison's LNG Distributor

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The Wison-LNG-Distributor (LNGD) is a new multi-functional carrier with scalable capacity between 5000 to 20,000 cu. m. Wison-LNGD integrates the functions of LNG loading, bunkering and container delivery, which could make regional LNG redistribution more affordable and efficient. Wison’s LNG Distributor has been purposely designed to distribute partial loads to coastal areas in regions such as Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and Northern Europe. Being designed to operate at a shallow draft of 4.5m, the LNGD can deliver cargoes in areas where LNG carriers with similar capacity cannot access.

House - Bill Introduced to Ban Drilling off Florida

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Representative Castor (D-FL) introduced a bill (H.R. 2002) to amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to prohibit oil and gas preleasing, leasing, and related activities in certain areas of the Outer Continental Shelf off the coast of Florida, and for other purposes.   Official text of the bill is not yet available.   (*) Source: Dennis Bryant  

Eni, Shell Deny Illicit Payments in Nigeria

Oil majors Royal Dutch Shell and Eni reiterated on Monday that neither they nor their personnel had been involved in any wrongdoing in Nigeria, including improper payments to Nigerian officials. The comments follow media reports alleging how hundreds of millions of dollars from the two companies were used for illicit payments. A joint investigation by BuzzFeed News and Italian newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore on Sunday claims to show transactions worth $1.3 billion made in 2010-2011 that Shell and Eni paid to acquire an exploration licence for an offshore oil block known as OPL 245.

Oil Surplus or Scarcity? Shale Makes it Hard to Predict

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Goldman Sachs sees large oil surplus in two years, but the forecast is at odds with most predictions of looming shortage. The shale oil boom has transformed the U.S. and global energy sector to such an extent that it has upended traditional supply dynamics and made forecasts far more polarised. Investment banks, many of which finance new projects, along with oil majors such as Total and Eni, have warned that huge spending cuts caused by a plunge in oil prices since 2014 would lead to a supply crunch in the next two years. Yet Goldman Sachs, the only bank to make more than $1 billion a year from commodities trading, believes a looming recovery in U.S.