Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Norway's Labour Calls for Debate on Oil Tax Regime

© thierry / Adobe Stock

Norway should review its generous tax regime on oil drilling because of climate change, the opposition Labour party said on Monday, three weeks before a parliamentary election which opinion polls suggest it is on course to win. Labour's Marianne Marthinsen, a member of parliament's Finance Committee, told daily Aftenposten that Western Europe's top oil producer should look at changing rules that allow oil firms to reclaim costs of "failed exploration campaigns". She later told Reuters that Labour did not have "any intentions of making changes in the oil taxation regime in the next parliament's term"…

Ghana, Equatorial Guinea to Sign LNG Deal

Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo plans to sign an agreement to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Equatorial Guinea during his three-day visit to the Gulf of Guinea petroleum producer due to begin on Monday, his office said. Though an oil and gas producer in its own right since its flagship Jubilee field came on stream in 2010, Ghana has in the past struggled to ensure reliable power production for a growing domestic market. Equatorial Guinea, meanwhile, is exploring the possibility of selling a portion of its LNG cargos to its African neighbours.

Offshore Threat Detection Prevents Operational Downtime

Photo: Synectics

Offshore threat detection cannot simply be about security; it also has to focus on identifying and mitigating the risk of operational downtime. This market-led reality is reflected in Synectics’ focus at this year’s Offshore Europe exhibition in Aberdeen, September 5-8. An expert in delivering end-to-end surveillance systems for the world’s most demanding environments, Synectics has been at the forefront of oil and gas safety and security for decades. During the event, Synectics will showcase advances in both radar integration technology – to aid threat detection and response – and radiometric camera capabilities for predictive maintenance and rapid fault detection.

Oil Dips as Rally Encourages Profit-Taking

Oil prices fell on Monday as a rally at the end of last week prompted investors to close positions at a higher price, against a backdrop of signs the global market is starting to rebalance. Benchmark Brent crude futures were down 15 cents at $52.57 a barrel at 1214 GMT, after surging more than 3 percent in the previous session. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures traded at $48.50 a barrel, down 1 cent. The contract had also risen 3 percent in the previous session. "We are currently seeing some profit-taking after Friday's strong rally ahead of this week's inventory data," said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro. U.S.

Petrobras, Brazil Dispute Transfer of Rights Worth $30 bln

Brazil's government and state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro are locked in a dispute over the value of offshore oil blocks involving an estimated $30 billion, newspaper Valor Econômico reported on Friday. The dispute, which has previously been reported, centers on a 2010 contract in which Petrobras paid the government for the transfer of exploratory rights over some oil areas off the coast. Oil prices were much higher at the time the original contract was signed, at around $90 per barrel. According to the report, Petrobras estimates it is owed $30 billion while the Planning and Finance Ministries conclude the government is owed that same amount.

Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam Completes the Refit of Petrojarl 1

Photo: Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam

On the August  18, 2017, Damen Shiprepair Rotterdam (DSR) has delivered the FPSO Petrojarl 1 to Teekay Offshore following a complete redeployment project taking place over the past 2 ½ years. The Petrojarl 1 has been operated by Teekay for 28 years in the North Sea and is now destined for the Atlanta Field in Brazil. After extensive engineering (over 450,000 engineering hours), more than 50% of the process equipment was removed and replaced by new and additional equipment, required to treat heavy oil at the new location in accordance with the most stringent specifications and Brazilian compliance requirements.

VA Governor urges Trump to drop VA Offshore Drilling Plan

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe urged the Trump administration to exclude his state from a federal offshore oil and gas drilling plan, citing concerns about revenue sharing and environmental issues, in a letter that his office revealed on Thursday. McAuliffe, a Democrat, had previously said that any federal drilling plan that includes his state must include a revenue-sharing program. In the letter, dated Aug. 11 and sent to Kelly Hammerle, national program manager of the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), McAuliffe said he could not trust President Donald Trump…

Topaz Financial Results Ending June 2017

Topaz Energy and Marine has announced its results for the six months ended June 30, 2017. Overall core fleet utilization at 62%, while we continue to demonstrate resilience in Azerbaijan with utilization at 95%. Robust EBITDA margin of 50%, despite utilization and rate pressure in Africa and MENA. Resolute focus on cost control across the organization has resulted in savings of US$14m for H1 2017 compared to the same period last year. Fully compliant with financial covenants: reset successfully during the period enabling Topaz to borrow to fund its growth strategy. Credit Ratings by S&P and Moody’s reaffirmed and remain stable. Safety continues to be Topaz’s top priority.

GMG Secures Cable Contract for Rampion Offshore Wind Farm

CS Recorder – a dynamically positioned, cable installation vessel, capable of simultaneous lay and burial utilizing plough systems and the Q1000 jet trenching ROV.(Photo courtesy of GMG)

Global Marine Group (GMG) announced that it has been awarded a contract from E.ON to install a fibre optic cable at the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm, under construction 13km off the coast of Sussex, UK. Upon completion the cable will run from the shore to an offshore substation, providing a vital communications link for this major wind farm. The installation is expected to be completed later this month. CWind, which is part of the GMG and is responsible for delivering the Company’s power capabilities, will execute the contract and will utilize the Group’s capable assets and project engineering team.

Latest Gulf of Mexico Auction Signals Offshore Return

© Mike Mareen / Adobe Stock

Major oil producers pushed up high bids at a Gulf of Mexico offshore auction to $121 million on Wednesday, a nearly seven-fold increase from a year ago, as their return to deep water exploration gained momentum. This compared with $18 million in high bids at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's (BOEM) Outer Continental Shelf auction last summer. Winners will be announced after a 90-day review. Some producers have signaled that they expect Gulf of Mexico projects to become more profitable now that they have trimmed operations to adapt to low oil prices. Offshore drilling typically requires higher prices for producers to break even.

KBA Europe, Batok Offshore Partner in West Africa

KB Associates Europe Limited KBA(E) has announced a new partnership with the local representative – Batok Offshore and Oil Services Nigeria Limited for the arrangement of KBA(E)’s specialist training courses in country; such as Client Worksite Representative, Combined Diving System Assurance and FMECA Awareness, and Intensive FMECA courses, to be delivered in Lagos – Nigeria. The partnership aims to facilitate local training and consultancy provision to West African Consultants, Dive Contractors and Operators to improve the skill sets, knowledge and associated competence of local content within a strictly controlled and documented progression framework.

Pullback in Fracking Sand Use Pressures Producers

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

U.S. shale oil companies are pulling back on the amount of sand they use to hydraulically fracture new wells, responding to rising prices of the material that are driving up costs. Investors worry a slowdown in sand use, combined with new mining capacity coming online, could lead to a glut of the material and bring down prices. The worries have pressured shares of sand companies. Sand prices soared in the last year as oil companies ramped up shale drilling and production. But with crude prices below where they started the year, oil producers…

Transocean to Buy Songa Offshore

(File photo: Songa Offshore)

About 77 pct of Songa shareholders have so far accepted deal. Transocean, one of the world's biggest drilling rig operators, has agreed a deal to buy Norwegian competitor Songa Offshore for 9.1 billion Norwegian crowns ($1.1 bln), the two companies said on Tuesday. The deal, which would be mostly paid for in shares and convertible bonds, would strengthen Transocean's position in offshore drilling as Songa is Norwegian oil major Statoil's largest drilling service provider. The offer values Songa shares at 47.50 Norwegian crowns each, a 39.7 percent premium over Monday's closing price.

Cheniere Energy to Open China Office

File Image: a large LNG carrier at sea. (CREDIT: QGTC)

U.S. natural gas exporter Cheniere Energy Inc is setting up an office in Beijing to help it clinch long-term supply deals with Chinese buyers, four industry sources said. Cheniere, which held extensive talks with China earlier this year, will be the first operator of a U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facility to establish a presence in the country. The move follows an agreement in May between the U.S and China to boost trade under the so-called 100-day trade talks that will allow Chinese buyers to purchase long-term supplies from the U.S. directly.

Gazprom Expects No Changes to Key Projects from New US Sanctions

Gazprom said on Monday that new U.S. sanctions against Moscow would not result in the Russian gas exporter having to make changes to key projects, although they could cause delays. Several provisions of the sanctions law signed by U.S. President Donald Trump earlier this month target Russia's energy sector, which produces much of its foreign income, with new limits on U.S. investment in Russian companies. Last month Gazprom said the sanctions might delay some giant gas projects, including Nord Stream 2, Turkish Stream gas pipelines and deepwater, Arctic offshore or shale projects.

Bluestream Secures Annual IRM Contract of Total E&P Netherlands

Photo: BlueStream

Following a tendering process, Den Helder-based Bluestream has been awarded the 2017 Inspect Repair and Maintenance contract with Total E&P Nederland B.V. for 36 offshore sites. The contract is part of a long term frame agreement and is a continuation of the long-standing relationship between Bluestream and Total EP that has been in place since 2009. The work scope covers the subsea inspection of 29 platform structures and seven free standing domes on the North Sea Dutch Continental Shelf. Additionally an experienced Bluestream rope access team will inspect structures of the topsides which are at locations difficult to access with standard equipment.

Gas Starts Flowing from BP's New Offshore Fields

BP has started producing gas from two new projects offshore Trinidad and Tobago and Australia, the company said on Monday, further boosting output that is helping the company to turn a corner after a bruising market downturn. Gas has started flowing via BP's $2 billion Juniper gas platform offshore Trinidad and Tobago that is expected to produce around 590 million cubic feet a day (mmcfd) from the Corallita and Lantana fields, BP said. Offshore Australia, gas started flowing from the Persephone field, a project developed by Woodside Energy and of which BP owns nearly 17 percent. The field is set to contribute around 48 mmcfd net to BP, the company said.

Drilling Ship Leaves Vietnam Block after China Row

The drilling ship at the centre of a row between Vietnam and China over oil prospecting in disputed waters in the South China Sea has arrived in waters off the Malaysian port of Labuan, shipping data in Thomson Reuters Eikon showed on Monday. Drilling by the Deepsea Metro I ship was suspended in Vietnam's Block 136/3 last month after pressure from China, which says the concession operated by Spain's Repsol overlaps the vast majority of the waterway that it claims as its own. The ship, used by Norway's Odfjell Drilling Ltd., was reported to be in Labuan at 9.17 a.m. (0117 GMT), according to shipping data in Thomson Reuters Eikon.

Oil Slips on Chinese Demand, Rising U.S. Activity

Oil prices fell on Monday as a slowdown in Chinese refining raised concerns about demand in the world's second-biggest consumer, while an increase in U.S. drilling capacity could deepen a global supply glut. Chinese refineries processed 10.71 million barrels per day (bpd) in July, National Bureau of Statistics data showed, down around 500,000 bpd from June and the lowest rate since September 2016. Analysts said the drop was steeper than expected, exacerbating concerns that a glut of refined fuel products could weaken Chinese demand for oil. Global benchmark Brent crude futures were at $51.74 a barrel at 1134 GMT, down 36 cents from Friday's close.

Wison Granted AIP for Its Innovative Floating LNG Storage

Photo provided by Wison Group Holding Limited

Wison Offshore & Marine announced that it has received Approval in Principle (AIP) from Bureau Veritas  for its newly-developed large-scale Floating LNG Storage and Regasification Terminal. Featuring scalable storage capacity up to equivalent size of a Q-Max, this is the first large-scale FSRU barge design that has been granted AIP by a classification society. It also marks that Wison is now capable of providing comprehensive range of FSRU solutions catering LNG import markets with various scales of demand. This full-size floating LNG terminal…

North Dakota Oil Production Slips about 1% in June

North Dakota's daily oil production slipped about 1 percent in June amidst tepid crude prices , according to state data released on Friday. The state pumped 1.03 million barrels of oil per day (bpd) in June, down from 1.04 million bpd in May, according to the North Dakota Department of Mineral Resources, which reports on a two-month lag. Natural gas production dipped slightly to 1.85 million cubic feet per day. The state's oil well count hit 13,915 during the month, an all-time high. North Dakota's drilling rig count, a closely watched barometer of the state's oil industry's health, has been steadily rising.

US Drillers Add Oil Rigs for Second Week in Three

© Aania / Adobe Stock

U.S. energy companies added oil rigs for a second time in the last three weeks, extending a 15-month drilling recovery, but the pace of additions has slowed in recent months as firms cut spending plans in reaction to declining crude prices. Drillers added 3 oil rigs in the week to Aug. 11 bringing the total count up to 768, the most since April 2015. General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday. That compares with 396 active oil rigs during the same week a year ago. Drillers have added rigs in 56 of the past 63 weeks since the start of June 2016. The rig count is an early indicator of future output. U.S.

US Shale Output Poised to Keep Rising Despite Investor Concerns

© Matt / Adobe Stock

Shale production in the largest U.S. oilfield should rise by as much as 300,000 barrels per day by December, according to updated forecasts following the industry's latest quarterly results. The higher outlooks, amid worries the recent breakneck pace of gains may not be sustained, come on the heels of one high-profile Permian Basin producer's oil output miss last quarter and decisions by several other energy companies to trim annual budgets. Oil production from the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico is closely watched because its low…

Distillates to Boost US Refiners' Bottom Line

©  Francis Bonami / Adobe Stock

U.S. refiners such as PBF Energy and Valero Energy are heading into the winter season on their best footing in years, as months of surprisingly robust distillate demand has eaten away at stubbornly high inventories and boosted margins. Inventories of diesel, heating oil and jet fuel are approaching their lowest seasonal levels in three years, fueling expectations among refining executives, traders and analysts that strong margins will help the bottom line for refiners through year-end. "With the distillate inventory correction at a somewhat speedier pace than gasoline…

U.S. Senators Against Blockade of Venezuela Oil Cargoes

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

Four U.S. Senate Republicans from oil refining states urged the Trump administration on Thursday to not block oil shipments from Venezuela as part of U.S. sanctions against the country, saying it could raise costs for U.S. fuel consumers. The United States sanctioned President Nicolas Maduro and other Venezuelan officials after Maduro established a constituent assembly run by his Socialist Party loyalists and cracked down on widespread opposition. It has not placed sanctions on the OPEC member's oil industry. Senators John Cornyn of Texas…

GranInvestimentos and Royal IHC Join Forces

Brazilian company GranInvestimentos and Dutch company Royal IHC are joining forces to deliver integrated life cycle solutions to customers in the oil and gas sector. Through this partnership, both companies are set to increase their operational and service activities, and expand their presence in Latin America. The association came into effect when IHC acquired a 50 percent share of GranEnergia – a subsidiary of GranInvestimentos that is active in the oil and gas market. The new partnership will be named GranIHC Services. It will provide integrated services to customers in the oil and gas industry in the fields of offshore maintenance and repair…

Dogger Bank Ownership Structure Announced

SSE and Statoil will take three of the 1.2 GW Dogger Bank projects while innogy will have one 1.2GW project. (Photo: Forewind)

The ownership arrangements for the four consented Dogger Bank offshore wind projects have been agreed and signed by the three Forewind shareholders, innogy, SSE and Statoil. Offshore wind consortium Forewind was awarded consents for 4.8 gigawatt (GW) of offshore wind development at Dogger Bank in the North Sea in 2015. The consents comprised four individual 1.2GW projects. SSE and Statoil together will each own 50 percent of the three projects: Dogger Bank Creyke Beck A, Dogger Bank Creyke Beck B and Dogger Bank Teesside A. The remaining project, Dogger Bank Teesside B will be owned 100 percent by innogy.

Salardi to Lead Xodus’ Decom Division

Enrico Salardi (Photo: Xodus Group)

Xodus Group said it has appointed Enrico Salardi as its decommissioning director to lead the company’s ‘decom division’ which was formed in 2015. Salardi brings to the role more than 20 years’ experience in the management of oil and gas assets, joining Xodus from operator Quadrant Energy where he was senior project manager for a number of decommissioning programs in Australia. Throughout his career, Salardi has managed many projects in various phases of their lifecycle around the world, including Italy, Nigeria, Norway, Libya, Croatia, Egypt and Australia.

Peterhead Port Secures Offshore Wind Contract

(Photo: Peterhead Port Authority)

Peterhead Port Authority is set to support the start of offshore construction work for the European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre (EOWDC) after signing an agreement to harbor the suction bucket jacket foundations for the 11-turbine scheme. The contract will see the port moor one of the world’s largest floating cranes, with a maximum lifting capacity of 5,000 metric tons, and up to six barges that will transport the 11 foundations - the heaviest of which weighs around 1,800 metric tons and is about 77 meters high. Peterhead Port Authority…

U.S. Shale Breakeven Price Pegged at $50

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

U.S. shale producers need a WTI oil price around $50 per barrel to break even, according to an analysis of financial statements for the second quarter. Fifteen of the largest shale oil and gas producers reported total net losses of $470 million for the three months between April and June when benchmark WTI prices averaged $48. Total losses were down from $3.7 billion in the first three months of the year and $7.4 billion in the same period in 2016, according to earnings statements published in the last week (http://tmsnrt.rs/2ftmgnd). Nine of the companies in the sample reported positive net income in the second quarter…

DONG Energy Beats Forecasts

File Image (CREDIT: Siemens)

Denmark's DONG Energy beat second-quarter profit forecasts on Thursday and said the start-up of more projects and a fall in construction costs would generate more cash, possibly making way for higher shareholder returns in coming years. DONG, the world's largest owner of offshore wind power, has a strategy of farming down, or selling off, large stakes in wind farms in order to invest the capital into new projects. In the next couple of years more projects will start producing, raising revenue and making it less reliant on such stake sales. DONG is looking to almost double its capacity to 6.7 GW in 2020.

Energean Bags Gas Sales Contracts for Israel Offshore Project

Greek oil producer Energean has exceeded its target for gas sales contracts needed before it goes ahead with plans to tap two gas fields off Israel's coast, market sources said on Wednesday. Energean bought the Karish and Tanin fields, located in deep waters around 100 kilometres off Israel's coast, last August for $148 million from U.S.-Israeli partners Delek Group and Noble Energy. It plans to lease its own floating production, storage and offloading vessel and build a separate pipeline to Israel at a cost of up to $1.5 billion. Energean…

SBM Offshore Raises Outlook Buoyed by Deepwater Spending

File photo: SBM Offshore

SBM Offshore, a Dutch provider of floating oil and gas production vessels, raised its core earnings guidance on Wednesday citing clients slowly spending more on deepsea projects. "Deepwater is becoming attractive again. It's on a par from an economic standpoint with shale oil," said Chief Executive Bruno Chabas, in reference to a recovery in spending which fell after a sharp drop in oil prices in 2014. Due to low production costs, the shale oil market has attracted huge investments, especially in the United States, and outperformed investor interest elsewhere in the oil market.

US Shale Breakeven Price Revealed

© Jon Mullen / Adobe Stock

U.S. shale producers need a WTI oil price around $50 per barrel to break even, according to an analysis of financial statements for the second quarter. Fifteen of the largest shale oil and gas producers reported total net losses of $470 million for the three months between April and June when benchmark WTI prices averaged $48. Total losses were down from $3.7 billion in the first three months of the year and $7.4 billion in the same period in 2016, according to earnings statements published in the last week. Nine of the companies in the sample reported positive net income in the second quarter…

Remote Surveillance for Subsea Equipment Manufacturing

Remote surveillance test setup at DNV GL offices (Photo: DNV GL)

The oil price collapse of 2014 triggered a wave of cost reduction among upstream businesses that saw global oil and gas companies slash capital expenditures by about 40 percent between 2014 and 2016. For DNV GL, the message was clear: everyone in the supply chain must advance cost reduction strategies for the offshore industry to remain competitive. With innovation and cost savings in mind, DNV GL developed a solution for remote surveillance service for subsea equipment manufacturing. The primary goal of this new alternative was based on cost savings…

Forland Inspector Time Chartered

(Photo: Forland Subsea)

Forland Subsea AS said it has entered a time charter contract for the multipurpose offshore vessel Forland Inspector. The vessel, formerly known as Lewek Inspector, will be used for subsea operations, including remotely operated vehicle (ROV) support and crane work. The charter has commenced, and is for nine months firm plus three months options.

Baker Hughes Clinches Contract for PNG Gas Field

Baker Hughes, now part of General Electric, has won a major contract to provide a wide range of services to develop Papua New Guinea's first offshore gas field which is sees as a new model to help producers adapt to a world of low oil prices. GE Oil and Gas completed its merger with Baker Hughes last month to become the world's second largest oilfield services company, bringing together traditional drilling and pumping gear with technology such as software, sensors and three-dimensional printing. The contract in Papua New Guinea (PNG), worth several hundred million dollars…

Oil Prices Slip Despite News of Lower Saudi Supply

Oil prices fell on Tuesday on increasing exports from key OPEC producers despite news of lower crude shipments from Saudi Arabia. Production from Libya's 270,000 bpd Sharara field is returning to normal after a disruption when protesters broke into a control room, the National Oil Corp said. Libya is exempt from limits on production agreed by most other members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries designed to bolster oil prices that have been depressed for more than three years by a global glut. Oil production remains high in many parts of the world and fuel prices are around half the level seen in 2011-2014.

Petrobras CEO: Pre-salt Oil Extraction Costs $8 Per Barrel

Oil extraction in Brazil's promising pre-salt offshore wells costs about $8 per barrel, Petroleo Brasileiro SA Chief Executive Officer Pedro Parente said at an event on Tuesday. Parente also said the state-controlled company's new fuel pricing policy will reduce the chance of prices reaching below international parity.     (Reporting by Jose Roberto Gomes)

US to Relax Rules Protecting Sage Grouse, a Win for Oil

© Bertran de Born /  Adobe Stock

The U.S. Interior Department on Monday launched an overhaul to an Obama-era plan to protect sage grouse that it says aims to both preserve the species of bird while expanding opportunities for oil development in western states where they live. The move is a win for the drilling industry which had long argued that the plan developed by former President Barack Obama was too restrictive, but a setback for conservation groups concerned the Interior Department under President Donald Trump is watering down wildlife protections. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke in a memo on Monday directed his deputy David Bernhardt to make nine broad changes to the program.

New Player Enters the Decommissioning Market

Executive Director of Well-Safe Solutions, Mark Patterson (Photo: Well-Safe Solutions)

A new entrant to North Sea decommissioning, Well-Safe Solutions was established by a group of oil industry stalwarts Alasdair Locke, Mark Patterson and Paul Warwick, setting out to provide a new approach to the safe and cost-efficient decommissioning of subsea wells. The new start company, which aims to attract £200 million ($260 million) in investment and create 400 new jobs, will offer a specialist well abandonment service. Well-Safe has secured funding from Scottish Enterprise, including investment from the Scottish Investment Bank and a regional selective assistance grant…

Sentinel Marine Secures Two New Contracts

(Photo: Sentinel Marine)

Sentinel Marine said it has secured two new contracts bringing the Aberdeen-headquartered firm’s contract wins to a total of £26.4 million ($34.4 million) since January this year. The latest contract wins will provide continued employment for 72 seafarers in the North Sea. Sentinel Marine’s contract with Statoil UK Limited will see the provision of an emergency response and rescue vessel (ERRV) Portland Sentinel in the energy producer’s Mariner field from the beginning of August. The Portland Sentinel will join Mariner Sentinel, the latest vessel to join the Sentinel Marine fleet.

Statoil Set to Drill Its Biggest Arctic Hope

File photo: Jamie Baikie / Statoil

Norway's Statoil will soon start drilling this season's most promising Arctic prospect, Korpfjell, after several disappointing wells in the Barents Sea, the company said on Monday. The majority state-owned company has stepped up drilling in the Barents Sea this year as the government seeks to attract more explorers to its Arctic waters to make up for declining North Sea output. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said on Monday Statoil's latest well in the Barents Sea, Gemini North, had found only minor volumes of gas and oil. "The well was drilled with the ambition of proving up additional oil resources in the vicinity of the Wisting discovery…

TWMA Wins North Sea Contract with Azinor Catalyst

(Photo: TWMA)

TWMA, a provider of drill cuttings and slop handling, management and treatment solutions, said it has been awarded a contract estimated to be worth around £1 million with UKCS-focused E&P company, Azinor Catalyst Limited. The project, which commences in August 2017, will see TWMA provide drill cuttings containment and processing services on the Ocean Guardian rig in the Central North Sea. Azinor Catalyst has contracted the semi-submersible rig for the drilling of two wells in 2017. Anticipated spud of the Partridge exploration well is in August, followed by the spud of the Agar appraisal well in September.

CGG Begins Seismic Survey off SE Australia

(Image: CGG)

CGG said it has begun its Gippsland ReGeneration 3D reprocessing project in Australia’s premier Gippsland Basin, in South-East Australia. Historically, imaging the Gippsland Basin’s shelf break and numerous submarine channels has proven extremely challenging, but with the application of CGG’s latest high-end technology and workflows, including advanced de-multiple and high-frequency FWI, the Gippsland ReGeneration project will deliver significant reservoir imaging improvements, reveal new potential deep reservoir targets and extensively improve understanding of the basin, CGG said.

Oil Slides From 9-week Highs as Market Looks to OPEC

Oil prices edged down from nine-week highs on Monday, pressured by worries over high production from OPEC and the United States. Global benchmark Brent crude futures were down 67 cents, or 1.28 percent, at $51.75 a barrel at 1344 GMT. They traded as low as $51.56 a barrel earlier in the day. U.S. crude futures were down 67 cents, or 1.35 percent, at $48.91 per barrel, but up from the day's low of $48.78 a barrel. Both contracts stood more than $1 below the levels hit last week, which marked their highest since late May, when oil producers…

ADNOC to Spplit Huge Oil Concession, in Talks with Potential Partners

State-owned energy giant Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (Adnoc) said on Monday that it would split its ADMA-OPCO offshore oil concession into two or more areas with new terms to unlock greater value and increase opportunities for partnerships. Adnoc is in advanced talks with more than a dozen potential partners, the company said. The current operating licence for the concession will expire next March. The potential partners are a mix of existing concession holders in Adnoc's offshore oilfields and new participants, Adnoc said without identifying them. Adnoc will retain a 60 percent shareholding in the new concession areas.

UK Greenlights 1.2 GW Offshore Wind Farm

ScottishPower Renewables, part of Spanish utility Iberdrola, has received planning approval from the British government for a 1.2-gigawatt offshore wind farm off the coast of Norfolk, the firm said on Monday. The so-called East Anglia THREE offshore wind farm will need 172 wind turbines and deliver enough power to meet the annual demand of almost one million homes, the company said. Britain's regulatory framework requires that offshore wind developers enter qualified projects into a renewable support scheme, called contracts-for-difference (CfD), where qualifying projects are guaranteed a minimum price at which they can sell electricity.

Greece Launches New Offshore Oil and Gas Tenders

Greece launched two tenders on Monday for offshore oil and gas exploration and exploitation in the west and south of the country, the energy ministry said. The move follows expressions of interest by a consortium of Total, Exxon Mobil and Hellenic Petroleum for exploration in two sites off the island of Crete, and by Greece's Energean for a block in the Ionian Sea in western Greece. Investors will have 90 days to submit offers to the Hellenic Hydrocarbons Resources Management (HHRM) from when the announcement is published in the European Union's official gazette.

Big MHI Vestas Test Wind Turbine on Fire

A test version of MHI Vestas' V164, the world's most powerful windturbine, has caught fire at a test centre in the west of Denmark.   "Our technicians and experts will look into what has caused the fire," a Vestas spokesman told Reuters, declining to comment further.   The V164 model is MHI Vestas' top model designed to challenge Siemens Gamesa, the market leader in the growing offshore market.   MHI Vestas is a joint venture of Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Denmark's Vestas. (Reporting by Teis Jensen; Editing by Richard Balmforth)

US Oil Drillers Cut Rigs for 2nd Week in Three

© Sonia / Adobe Stock

U.S. energy firms cut the number of oil rigs for the second in three weeks, slowing the pace of a 15-month drilling recovery, amid plans to spend less in reaction to declines in crude prices over the past several months. Drillers cut one oil rig in the week to August 4, bringing the total count down to 765, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its report on Friday. There were 381 active oil rigs during the same week a year ago. Drillers have added rigs in 55 of the past 62 weeks since the start of June 2016. The rig count is an early indicator of future output. U.S.

Borr Drilling Aims to List in Q3, May Buy More Rigs

Norwegian drilling star-up Borr Drilling plans to list on the Oslo exchange this quarter and is considering buying more assets to position itself for a market upturn, Chief Financial Officer Rune Magnus Lundetrae said on Friday. The world's biggest oilfield service provider Schlumberger took a 20 percent stake via a private placement in the company managed by former Seadrill executives in March. "It's not about raising the capital. We will register the existing shares," Lundetrae told Reuters. It plans to list 315 million shares which on Friday were valued at around 9.2 billion Norwegian crowns ($1.16 billion), he said.

DNV GL's Tørstad Talks Energy Trends

Elisabeth Tørstad (Photo: DNV GL)

When Elisabeth Tørstad took the helm as CEO of DNV GL - Oil & Gas in late 2013, the price of a barrel of NYMEX (WTI) crude oil was more than $100. Today, that price has been halved, and the 40-month period between her ascension to the top post and our meeting with her in Houston in May 2017 has been arguably the most tumultuous in the oil industry’s history. Tørstad shares with Maritime Reporter & Engineering News her insights on the market going forward. With the energy slump entering its fourth year, Elisabeth Tørstad succinctly summarizes this latest trough: “The downturn was steeper than we were prepared for…

Ichthys LNG Output Expected to Start by Year-end

Japan's biggest oil and gas explorer Inpex Corp expects gas production from the seabed for its offshore Ichthys liquefied natural gas (LNG) project to start from around the end of the year, a senior company executive said on Friday. Inpex in late April delayed the Ichthys start to the first quarter of next year, citing delays in the installation of offshore production facilities. The floating production, storage and offloading unit for the project finally set sail last month to the Ichthys gas-condensate field from Okpo, South Korea, and there is no further delay, Inpex's Senior Managing Executive Officer Masahiro Murayama said.

Macroeconomic Risks for the Oil Industry

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The global oil industry now appears to be in the early stages of a cyclical expansion which is likely to see prices rise over the next few years, slowly at first but then accelerating later. Deep and long cycles in oil prices have been the defining characteristic of the industry since the 1860s ("Crude volatility: the history and the future of boom-bust oil prices", McNally, 2017). The boom-bust cycle which started in late 1998, with prices briefly below $10 per barrel, and was only briefly interrupted by the recession of 2008/09, ended in January 2016, with prices briefly below $28.

TGS Shares Fall after Q2 Sales Disappoint

Shares of the world's leading provider of geoscience data to oil companies TGS fell by more than 6 percent on Thursday, after disappointing sales in the second quarter. TGS reported $108 million in quarterly revenues, 6 percent below consensus, and compared with $114 million in the second-quarter a year ago. "Part of the problem was that TGS failed to sell more in Brazil, where PGS and CGG did well, or in Mexico, where it had data in the wrong place or it was simply too expensive," Iver Baatvik at ABN-AMRO bank said. The so-called late sales of seismic data were down to $79 million from $84 million a year ago.

DNV GL Performs Offshore Drone Survey

(Photo: DNV GL)

Classification society DNV GL said its surveyors have carried the group’s first offshore drone survey on the semisubmersible vessel Safe Scandinavia in the North Sea. The 25,383 GT tender support vessel (TSV) Safe Scandinavia is owned and operated by Prosafe, supporting Statoil’s drilling operations off the coast of Norway. Using camera-equipped drones, DNV GL’s drone pilots checked the TSV’s fairleads and their connection with the vessel’s two columns as part of the intermediate survey. “We chose to try the drone survey, as it helped us optimize our survey requirements and allowed us to save significant amounts of time and money…

GMG Completes Cable Burial Work off the Netherlands

CS Recorder (Photo: Global Marine Group)

Global Marine Group (GMG), a provider of offshore engineering services to the renewables, telecommunications and oil and gas industries, said it has completed a remedial cable burial project for Prinses Amaliawindpark (PAWP), a wind farm off the Netherlands’ West Coast. PAWP covers an area of around 14km2 and comprises of 60 wind turbines that are connected by eight in-field cable strings that converge at the central offshore high voltage station. The project, operated by Eneco, an energy company responsible for generating and supplying sustainable energy originating from wind…

Chesapeake Energy Beats Street, Plans Rig Cuts

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U.S. natural gas producer Chesapeake Energy Corp reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday and said it expects production to rise for the rest of the year even as the company plans to operate fewer rigs. Shares of the company were up 4 percent in premarket trading. Oil and gas producers in North America are actively trying to cut back on expenses as they try to save money as oil hovers around $50 per barrel. Last month, oilfield services provider Halliburton Co warned growth in North American rig count was "showing signs of plateauing". Chesapeake said it would operate 14 rigs by the end of 2017 down from the 18 rigs its currently runs.

Oil Steady as Tighter U.S. Market Balances OPEC Supply

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U.S. reports record gasoline demand, falling crude stocks. Oil prices rose steadied on Thursday, supported by signs of a tightening U.S. market but weighed down by ample supplies from OPEC producers. Benchmark Brent crude was up 5 cents at $52.41 a barrel by 1145 GMT. U.S. light crude was 5 cents higher at $49.64. Strong demand in the United States has been supporting prices. The U.S. That's below levels seen this time last year, an indication of a tightening U.S. market. But traders say high production by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries is capping prices.