Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Ocean RIG Files for Bankruptcy Protection in US

Photo: Ocean RIG

Rig contractor Ocean RIG UDW Inc filed for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection in a U.S. court amid a deep and prolonged downturn in the industry. Shares of the company plunged 36.4 percent to 46 cents in early trading on Tuesday. The Cyprus-based company, which had $3.25 billion in debt as of Dec. 31, filed for bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for Southern District of New York on Monday. Under U.S. bankruptcy laws, Chapter 15 grants a foreign company protection from creditors looking to seize its assets in the country. The company…

C-Job to Provide Basic Design for DEME’s Orion

Photo courtesy of C-Job Naval Architects

Having recently supplied the concept design for DEME Group’s new offshore installation vessel Orion, C-Job Naval Architects said it will now provide COSCO OFFSHORE CO. Ltd (Qidong) with the vessel’s basic design package. Orion will be built at COSCO SHIPPING HEAVY INDUSTRY in China for delivery in 2019. The technical specs of the vessel, to be operated by DEME subsidiary GeoSea, will service offshore wind installation, oil and gas and decommissioning activities. While working on this next phase of ship design, C-Job’s dedicated Orion project team will be able to draw on the knowledge that they have built up from the concept design period.

Trump to Reverse Many Obama-era Climate Policies

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock)

U.S. President Donald Trump will sign an executive order on Tuesday to undo a slew of Obama-era climate change regulations, a move meant to bolster domestic energy production and create jobs, but environmentalists say the order is dangerous and vow to challenge it in court. The decree's main target is former President Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan, requiring states to slash carbon emissions from power plants - a critical element in helping the United States meet its commitments to a global climate change accord reached by nearly 200 countries in Paris in December 2015.

Goldman Takes on Brent Spreads: Kemp

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock)

Progress towards oil-market rebalancing and the need for an extension of production cuts by OPEC and non-OPEC countries has become the most contentious issue in the oil market. "We believe that the rebalancing of the oil market is in fact making progress despite the record high U.S. crude inventories," Goldman Sachs analysts said in a note to clients on Sunday. Goldman expects oil stocks in the OECD to fall to the five-year average in terms of demand cover by the end of 2017, even if OPEC brings production back on line in the second half.

Statoil's Offshore Norway Project to give 248 mln boe

File Image: a typical offshore North Sea installation (Credit: Statoil)

Statoil submits plans (PDO) for Njord extension, Bauge field; Total $2.4 bln investments, recoverable resources 248 mln boe. * Statoil's project manager Torger Roed says "we are working hard to make more decisions on new projects. Two of them are Johan Castberg and the Snorre expansion.

BP Awards Gulf of Mexico Work to Subsea 7

Subsea 7 said it was awarded a contract by BP as part of the deepwater Mad Dog 2 development, located approximately 190 miles south of New Orleans. The contract scope covers engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) of the subsea umbilicals, risers and flowlines (SURF) and associated subsea architecture. Subsea 7 has worked closely with BP to deliver a lump sum integrated solution from design through to supply, installation and commissioning. Furthermore, by collaborating with OneSubsea, a Schlumberger company, our Subsea Integration Alliance partner that has been awarded the Subsea Production Systems (SPS) contract…

Halliburton Warns of Q1 Profit Miss as Costs Rise

Halliburton Co, the world's No. 2 oilfield services provider, warned that its first-quarter profit would likely miss analysts' expectations due to higher costs and weak demand in markets outside North America. Shares of the company, which forecast higher revenue from its U.S. land operations, were up about 1 percent in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange. The company expects its earnings per share to be in low-single digits in the quarter ending March, Chief Executive David Lesar said on a conference call on Friday. Analysts on average expect earnings of 13 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

All Drill, No Frack: US Shale Leaves Thousands of Wells Unfinished

© Jon Mullen / Adobe Stock

U.S. shale producers are drilling at the highest rate in 18 months but have left a record number of wells unfinished in the largest oilfield in the country – a sign that output may not rise as swiftly as drilling activity would indicate. Rising U.S. shale output has rattled OPEC's most influential exporter Saudi Arabia and pushed oil prices to a near four-month low on Wednesday. U.S. production gains are frustrating Saudi-led attempts by the world's top oil exporters to cut supply, drain record-high inventories and lift prices. Investors watch data on the number of rigs deployed in North American oil and gas fields as a leading indicator for output.

Statoil Wins Licences Off UK, 'Resets' Exploration Off U.S.

Norway's Statoil was the second top bidder for 13 oil exploration leases in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and won six licences offshore Britain, it said on Thursday, in a sign it may be looking to boost reserves after slashing costs. Statoil bid a total of $44.5 million for 13 licences in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, coming second only to Shell and ahead of Hess Corp, Chevron and Exxon, the latest auction results showed. The company said in a separate statement it had won five new operated licences in the northern North Sea and one in the frontier area west of Scotland, committing to drill at least three wells. Statoil said its bids for licences in the U.S.

Britain Awards 25 Oil Exploration Licences in Frontier Tender

Britain has awarded 25 licences for oil and gas exploration in previously untapped waters and announced a new licensing round for mature areas to be held in late May or June, the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) said on Thursday. Seventeen companies received exploration licences in a tender that closed in October. The tender attracted the lowest interest in 14 years as appetite for finding new oil in the North Sea has waned because of high costs and weak oil prices. In a bid to boost interest the OGA had cut rental fees by up to 90 percent. Oil majors Royal Dutch Shell and Statoil, mainly in partnership with BP, received most licences.

Top LNG Buyers Form Alliance to Push for Flexible Contracts

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The world's biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) buyers are clubbing together to secure more flexible supply contracts in a move that further shifts power to buyers rather than producers. Japan, China and South Korea are the world's biggest LNG importers, accounting for about 55 percent of global purchases, according to data from energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie. The countries' biggest respective buyers are joining together to extract concessions from producers that would give them supply flexibility such as having the right to re-sell imports to third parties, something they are not allowed to do under so-called destination restrictions.

CNOOC Reports Worst Result Since At Least 2011

File photo: CNOOC

China's offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC Ltd reported its worst annual result since at least 2011, with revenue from its core oil and gas business tumbling 17 percent last year, but it expects to raise output 2017 as oil prices rebound. CNOOC reported a net profit of 637 million yuan ($92.5 million) in 2016, down nearly 97 percent from 20.2 billion yuan in profit in 2015. Total revenue from oil and gas fell to 121 billion yuan from 147 billion yuan in 2015. "CNOOC managed to eke out a tiny profit thanks to cost efficiencies and the oil price rebound during 4Q," said analyst Gordon Kwan of Nomura Research.

As Trump Targets Energy Rules, Oil Companies Downplay their Impact

President Donald Trump (Official White House photo)

President Donald Trump’s White House has said his plans to slash environmental regulations will trigger a new energy boom and help the United States drill its way to independence from foreign oil. But the top U.S. oil and gas companies have been telling their shareholders that regulations have little impact on their business, according to a Reuters review of U.S. securities filings from the top producers. In annual reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, 13 of the 15 biggest U.S. oil and gas producers said that compliance with current regulations is not impacting their operations or their financial condition.

Cyprus to Move Forward with More Oil Drilling Licensing

Cyprus will move ahead with further licensing for oil drilling after analyzing the results of its most recent exploration, the country's energy minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said on Wednesday. Cyprus announced the completion of a third round of licensing for well drilling in which Exxon Mobil, Italy’s ENI and France’s Total won additional blocks offshore. The contracts will be signed on April 5 and 6, but it has not yet been determined which blocks off Cyprus' coast the companies will drill, Lakkotrypis said. The minister said that while the country's current priority is "exploration, exploration, exploration," he expected much more for Cyprus on the energy front.

RigNet Names Jabbia VP, N. American Sales

RigNet, Inc., has appointed Trent J. Jabbia as Vice President of North America Sales. Jabbia brings over 18 years of professional experience with companies in the upstream oilfield services sector. During Trent’s 12-year tenure at RigNet, he has held positions as a Field Engineer, Sales Executive, Offshore Sales Team Lead, and a Global Sales Executive. Prior to joining RigNet in 2005, Jabbia worked as a Senior Technical Professional for Halliburton, where he led a crew of service operator technicians in conducting highly technical downhole acquisition services at remote well sites on land and in the Gulf of Mexico.

Libyan Oil Output Rises after Port Fighting Ends

Libya's oil production has reached 700,000 barrels per day (bpd), the National Oil Corporation (NOC) said on Wednesday, recovering from a drop earlier this month caused by fighting at two key oil ports. "We are working very hard to reach 800,000 barrels by the end of April 2017, and, God willing, we will reach 1.1 million barrels next August," NOC Chairman Mustafa Sanalla was quoted as saying in a statement. The NOC said in a separate statement it hoped to produce 55,000 bpd in the coming weeks from the Abu Attifel and Rimal fields, which are currently closed for maintenance. The fields are operated by Mellitah Oil and Gas, a joint venture between the NOC and Italy's ENI.

US to Offer 48 Mln Acres in Next Gulf Lease Sale

The U.S. Department of Interior and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will conduct a lease sale on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, offering 48 million acres in federal waters offshore Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama for oil and gas exploration and development. Lease Sale 247, which includes all unleased and non-protected areas in the Central Gulf of Mexico Planning Area, will be livestreamed to the public via the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management website. Lease Sale 247, the 12th offshore sale under the Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-2017 (Five Year Program)…

James Fisher Acquires Wind Turbine Specialists Rotos 360

Photo courtesy of James Fisher

James Fisher and Sons plc has announced the acquisition of Rotos 360, a specialist wind turbine inspection, repair and installation company. The acquisition further enhances James Fisher’s existing offshore renewables capabilities, Rotos 360’s innovative and uniquely efficient blade curing repair techniques have been proven to significantly reduce wind turbine downtime. The expanded service offering from James Fisher enables customers to achieve further supply chain optimisations and reduce contractual interface risks. The combination of assets and resource will support renewables projects around the UK, helping to deliver improved responsiveness and reduce costs.

Trican to Buy Canyon Services as Shale Drilling Ramps Up

Canadian oilfield services provider Trican Well Service Ltd said on Wednesday it would buy smaller rival Canyon Services Group Inc in a C$637 million deal, as it seeks to strengthen pricing power amid a revival in shale drilling in North America. A more than 50 percent fall in global crude prices since 2014 has triggered a wave of consolidation in the oilfield services industry, which has been battered by a sharp drop in service prices. Firms that supply frac crews, technological expertise and other services are now attempting to take back discounts extended during the slump, encouraged by a ramp up in shale drilling amid a crude oil recovery.

BV Acquires MAC

Bureau Veritas (BV) acquired Maritime Assurance & Consulting (MAC). Based in Aberdeen, MAC was established in 2010 and now has 30 employees as well as more than 40 associates. This transaction is in line with BV’s recent developments in the North Sea offshore sector, where it has reaffirmed ambition to strengthen its local presence and increase its service provision capabilities for clients in spite of challenging market conditions. MAC’s capabilities will be a great enabler to further develop Maritime Assurance services for BV clients worldwide, in particular in the offshore sector.

Johan Sverdrup Development Enters Phase 2

Illustration of the Johan Sverdrup field center (Photo: Statoil)

The Johan Sverdrup partnership has now decided to proceed with (DG2) Phase 2 of the Johan Sverdrup development, awarding FEED contracts to Aker Solutions, Kværner and Siemens. Phase 1 of Johan Sverdrup is under development, with first oil scheduled for late 2019. The partners will now proceed with maturing Phase 2 for the investment decision and submission of the plan for development and operation (PDO) in the second half of 2018. Phase 2 is scheduled to come on stream in 2022. “We must take a generational perspective on the Johan Sverdrup development.

Oil Falls As Investors Cut Bullish Bets On Worries Over US Output

Oil fell on Monday as investors continued to unwind bets on higher prices after record cuts last week because of concerns that growing U.S. oil output could hamper an OPEC-led deal on production reductions. Benchmark Brent crude futures were down 31 cents at $51.45 a barrel by 1409 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell by 52 cents to $48.26. "Speculative investors have thrown in the towel, it seems. We've got record selling in the week ending March 14 and the bleeding has not stopped yet," said Carsten Fritsch, senior commodities analyst at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.

Borr Drilling Scoops up Transocean Rigs for $1.4 Bln

Borr Drilling, founded by former executives of financially troubled Seadrill, has snapped up Transocean's fleet of shallow-water drilling rigs for $1.35 billion. The rig market deal is Borr's biggest since it was set up last year by Tor Olav Troeim and other executives who had left Seadrill, once the jewel in the crown of Norwegian-born shipping tycoon John Fredriksen but now battling with $14 billion in debt and liabilities. After years at Fredriksen's side, Troeim split with him in 2014. Since then Troeim has re-established himself as an independent player in the global shipping market with a high profile and a reputation for successful capital raising.

The World's First Offshore Wind Farm is Retiring

Photo: DONG Energy A/S

DONG Energy has decided to retire “Vindeby”, the world’s first offshore wind farm, which 25 years ago marked the birth of the offshore wind industry. Today, offshore wind is a recognised and proven renewable energy technology, and the offshore wind turbines harvest the energy from the wind, transforming it into green power for millions of households. But it is actually only some 25 years ago that the world's first offshore wind farm was constructed close to shore in the low waters off Vindeby near Lolland in the south east of Denmark. Vindeby Offshore Wind Farm, consisting of 11 offshore wind turbines, was connected to the grid in 1991.

Cyprus Approves Eni, Total, Exxon Offshore Block Deals

Cyprus's cabinet on Friday approved contracts with France's Total, Italy's Eni , Exxon Mobil and Qatar Petroleum to explore for oil and gas in offshore areas south of the island, officials said. Exploring the Mediterranean's Levant Basin has become more attractive since Eni discovered Egypt's offshore Zohr field in 2015, the biggest gas field in the Mediterranean and estimated to contain 850 billion cubic metres of gas. The Cypriot concessions cover exploration rights for three offshore blocks off the south and southwestern coast and contracts would be signed on April 5 and 6, Energy Minister Georgios Lakkotrypis said.

Aker Solutions Secures Work for Njord A Upgrade

Photo: Thomas Sola / Statoil

Aker Solutions will provide design engineering for the upgrading of the semi-submersible Njord A platform in Norway. The company will as a subcontractor of Kvaerner take part in upgrading the platform after operator Statoil exercised an option in an agreement awarded in April 2016. The option is for work in the engineering, procurement and construction phase of the project. Aker Solutions' share of the work is valued at about NOK 1 billion and will be booked in the company's first-quarter orders. "This is the largest offshore platform in Norway to have been brought to shore for a total upgrade," said Luis Araujo, chief executive officer of Aker Solutions.

Eley to Take over as Polarcus CEO

Duncan Eley (Photo: Polarcus)

Duncan Eley has been appointed chief executive officer of Oslo listed offshore geophysical services company Polarcus Limited, replacing Rod Starr, who has resigned following a two year reorganization period. Eley has been promoted to the CEO role from his current position as chief operating officer, succeeding Starr effective immediately. Starr will continue to work with the executive management team and Polarcus' Board of Directors for a transition period during the second quarter of 2017. For the near term, Polarcus will eliminate the COO position “to better align with current market conditions,” the company said.

Statkraft Eyes Distressed Assets After Offshore Wind Exit This Year

* Says still sees high interest for renewable energy in California and other state of the U.S. and willingness to continue putting up investment schemes, despite lack of clarify from the new U.S.

Greece, Total-led Venture to Sign Offshore Gas Deal Friday

Greece and a consortium led by France's Total will sign a deal on Friday for deep sea gas exploration in one block in western Greece, an energy ministry official said on Thursday. In October, Greece named a consortium of Total, Greece's biggest oil refiner Hellenic Petroleum, and Italy's Edison as the preferred bidder for the offshore gas drilling block in the Ionian Sea. The Total-led consortium has bid for one block in the Ionian. Hellenic Petroleum has bid independently for two other blocks in the same region. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said talks with Hellenic Petroleum for those blocks would begin in the immediate future.

EU Lawmakers Reject Call for Ban on Arctic Oil Exploration

© ggw / Adobe stock

The European Parliament rejected a call to ban Arctic oil and gas exploration on Thursday, in a symbolic vote seen as a barometer for future moves by Brussels to regulate to protect the region. Lawmakers who back the ban, which had drawn the ire of Norway, say the European Union needs a strategy for future developments in a region being transformed by climate change. Lawmakers voted 414-180 to reject the non-binding motion calling for the European Commission and member states to work with international forums towards "a future total ban on the extraction of Arctic oil and gas".

Semco Maritime, Maersk O&G Sign North Sea Contract

Photo: Semco Maritime

Maersk Oil and Gas and Semco Maritime signed a contract for manpower to the operations in the North Sea. The contract, which has a duration of five years, include both blue collared and white collared employees. The agreement means that Semco Maritime will increase the number of offshore employees in the coming years.

BP Appoints Heads of production, Drilling

BP has reshuffled its exploration and production division as the oil company readies for the biggest jump in output in its history. The British firm is launching a record number of projects this year and plans steep growth in production through 2021. The chief of the production, exploration and development unit or upstream division, Bernard Looney, has appointed several executives including a new head of production and a new head of drilling, BP told Reuters. Gordon Birrell, who previously headed BP in Azerbaijan, will become chief operating officer for production, transformation and carbon in the BP upstream segment, reporting to Looney.

Montenegro Inks 30-year Oil Licensing Deal with Greek Producer

Montenegro awarded Greece's sole oil producer Energean Oil & Gas a 30-year oil and gas exploration licences in two offshore blocks in the Adriatic sea on Wednesday. The contract for the blocks covering 338 square km was awarded in line with the terms of a 2014 tender. The Balkan country produces no oil but initial data indicates it could have enough resources to cover its oil and gas needs. Vladan Dubljevic, the head of Montenegro's Hydrocarbons Directorate, told Reuters borehole drilling would begin as soon as the Greek company completed the project design, environmental impact assessment and seismic screening.

Semco Enters Rig Cooperation with Skipavika Terminal

Semco Maritime and Skipavika signing (Photo: Semco Maritime)

Semco Maritime and Skipavika enter into strategic agreement on service preparedness for all rigs at the port facility Skipavika Terminal near Bergen. The agreement also comprises an intention to develop the submarine base Olavsvern near Tromsø as a rig service center. Semco Maritime and Skipavika have entered into a strategic agreement about a service preparedness for rigs located at the port facility Skipavika Terminal near Bergen. The cooperation consists in Skipavika providing facilities and Semco Maritime establishing its “Shipyard-in-the-Box” solution at Skipavika Terminal’s area to have all necessary equipment…

Australia in Talks With Gas Majors to Avert Local Shortage

File Image: CREDIT AdobeStock Fotmart

Australian PM in crisis talks with gas majors; Australia faces gas shortage despite exports soaring. Australia's top gas producers, led by ExxonMobil Corp and Royal Dutch Shell, agreed to boost supply to the country's domestic market to help avert an energy shortage following crisis talks with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Australia is on track to become the world's largest exporter of liquified natural gas (LNG), yet its energy market operator has warned of a domestic gas crunch from 2019 that could trigger industry supply cuts and broad power outages. "We are a massive gas exporter.

GustoMSC Debuts Self-propelled Cantilever Jack-up

Image: GustoMSC

The NG-5500X-LD is the latest design in GustoMSC’s series of self-propelled jack-up designs, the NG series. Based on the NG-2500X and NG-1800X designs, the NG-5500X-LD is a solution for light drilling and well intervention in a large number of mature fields in the Southern North Sea, Middle East and South East Asia. The conditions of these fields are characterized by water depths of up to 50 to 80 meters pending the region, traditionally the domain of classic drilling jack-ups and tender barges. With the light drilling cantilever, the NG-5500X-LD aims to bridge the gap between the shallow to midwater service units and the full-fledged drilling rigs.

Wärtsilä to Optimize Performance for Songa Offshore Drill Rigs

Photo: Wärtsilä

The technology group Wärtsilä has signed a five-year technical management and services agreement with Songa Offshore for four Cat-D type semi-submersible drilling rigs operating in the North Sea. Through the partnership with Wärtsilä, Songa Offshore ensures optimal performance and maximum availability of the Wärtsilä engines and thrusters on board the drilling rigs, which operate in extremely harsh conditions. This is possible with real-time knowledge of the actual condition of the equipment, provided by Wärtsilä's digital offering. Under the agreement…

Consolidation – A Path to Subsea Vessel Sustainability

Graphics: Subsea Vessel Operations expenditure by Sector – 2017-2021. Source: Douglas-Westwood, World Subsea Hardware & Vessel Operations Market Forecast

In recent years, the speed with which newbuild vessels have entered the market has amplified the subsea vessel demand/supply imbalance, says a report by Douglas-Westwood London. This has been further exacerbated by sustained low oil prices, as operators defer the sanctioning of new offshore projects which could have supported vessel utilisation. As a result, the average vessel dayrates declined by an average of 35% between 2014 and 2016. The weak market conditions have meant that many low specification vessels have struggled to hold on to existing charter rates, whilst some contracts were cancelled entirely.

First Turbine Installed at Rampion

Photo: E.ON

The construction of Rampion Offshore Wind Farm has entered into its final phase, as the first of 116 wind turbines was installed for the project based in the English Channel off the coast of Sussex. For the installation each tower with a length of 80 meters, weighing approximately 200 metric tons, is positioned and bolted onto each turbine foundation. Next the nacelle, which houses the generator and gearbox, is fitted onto the tower, and finally the three blades, each measuring 55m in length, are hoisted and connected one at a time. During spring, offshore cabling work will continue.

Oil Touches Three-Month Lows

U.S. oil rig counts rise to most since September 2015. Oil hovered around three-month lows on Monday, as rising U.S. inventories and drilling activity offset optimism over OPEC's efforts to restrict crude output. Brent crude was down 7 cents on the day, at $51.30 a barrel by 1202 GMT, having hit a session trough of $50.85, its lowest level since Nov. 30. U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude (WTI) fell 15 cents to $48.34 a barrel. The price has fallen by more than 8 percent since last Monday, its biggest week-on-week drop in four months, and analysts said the slide may not have much further to run. "The market is bearish because sentiment has turned.

Singapore’s Survivability

New business: Keppel has begun building dredgers like the Cristobal Colon, seen hear outside Rio de Janeiro. (Photo: copyright Jan de Nul Offshore)

Singapore’s shipyards are looking to recent investments in capacity, design and newly acquired technology to combat order declines after a decades-long offshore buildup. Sembcorp and peer Keppel are making the most of partnerships in FLNG and showing signs they’ll be okay through the downturn, helped by their gas-hungry Australasian backyard and renewed ties with old charterer parties and suppliers. With drilling contractors unable to pay for the offshore rigs they’ve ordered, Singapore’s heavyweight yards have had to defer deliveries and become defacto rig owners.

US Oil Rig Count Highest Since Sept. 2015 -Baker Hughes

© chirnoagarazvan / Adobe Stock

U.S. drillers added oil rigs for an eighth week in a row to the most since September 2015, extending a ten-month recovery as energy companies boost spending to take advantage of a recovery in crude prices since OPEC agreed to cut production late last year. Drillers added eight oil rigs in the week to March 10, bringing the total count up to 617, versus 386 rigs a year ago, energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc said on Friday. The increase came despite a collapse in crude futures this week to a three-month low because the rigs activated this week were based on decisions made a couple of month ago when oil prices were higher. U.S.

Offshore Wind: BOEM Fields Pair of Unsolicited Bids

Map of the unsolicited offshore New York bid. (Source: BOEM)

BOEM has received unsolicited lease requests from two companies seeking to develop offshore wind energy on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). These requests are for areas located offshore New York and Massachusetts and are not in response to a formal call for interest. BOEM has finished its review of the unsolicited lease requests and deemed the requests complete. Moreover, BOEM has reviewed the applicants' qualification materials and determined that the applicants are legally, technically, and financially qualified to pursue offshore wind energy leases. Please see details regarding each request below. Offshore New York. PNE Wind USA, Inc.

OPEC's Hope for Goldilocks Price Fade: Kemp

File Image: CREDIT GearSTD AdobeStock

CERAWeek has exposed all the contradictions at the heart of OPEC’s attempt to rebalance the oil market without rekindling the shale boom or conceding too much market share to rivals. The oil industry conference in Houston started with a celebration of higher prices, progress towards drawing down global stockpiles, and optimism about the outlook for shale producers. But it ends with the biggest daily fall in prices for more than a year, fears that stocks are not declining as planned, and warnings that shale producers could cause a renewed slump if they increase output too fast.

Oil Industry Renews Deepwater Quest

File Image: The Harvey Deepsea, operated by Harvey Gulf International, a firm focused on servicing the offshore oil industry. (CREDIT: Harvey Gulf)

Oil price recovery, low service cost boost offshore exploration; firms slash costs of deepwater projects by 50 pct. Deepwater oil drilling can be expensive, time-consuming and a hard sell to investors. But the world's top energy firms are restarting their search for giant oilfields under the ocean after a two-year lull. A recovery in oil prices to about $50 a barrel from a 12-year low in 2016 is reviving oil majors' appetite for risk. Reductions in offshore production costs mean that some projects may be able to compete with North American shale fields, executives said at an energy conference in Houston this week.

Oil Edges Off 3-month Low but Glut Persists

U.S. crude oil dropped below $50 on Thursday; sell-off triggered by record U.S. crude oil stocks. Oil prices recovered a little on Friday after dropping to their lowest in more than three months, pressured by heavy oversupply despite OPEC-led production cuts. Brent crude oil was up 30 cents at $52.49 a barrel by 1200 GMT, after falling 1.7 percent on Thursday and 5 percent the day before in its biggest percentage decline in a year. U.S. crude was up 30 cents at $49.58 a barrel. It fell below $50 on Thursday for the first time since December. U.S. crude is on track for a drop of more than 7 percent this week, its biggest weekly fall for five months.

Bibby Offshore Names Nairn Diving Director

Allan Nairn (Photo: Bibby Offshore)

Subsea services provider to the oil and gas industry Bibby Offshore has promoted Allan Nairn to Director of Diving. Nairn joined Bibby Diving Services in 2010 as Offshore Project Manager with over 30 years’ experience in the subsea sector. In his new role, Nairn will be responsible for leading all diving related activity within the business. He will ensure day to day diving operations are executed safely, efficiently and continue to meet the high standards Bibby Offshore is known for. “To date, I have worked on operations throughout the company’s South East Asia and Houston bases, as well as its headquarters in Aberdeen,” Nairn said.

U.S. oil production forecasts revised higher: Kemp

U.S. oil production forecasts for 2017 and 2018 have been boosted significantly as a result of rising prices as well as improved modelling techniques for predicting output down to the well level. Crude production is expected to reach 9.53 million barrels per day (bpd) in December 2017, according to the latest forecasts from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Forecast output for December 2017 has been revised up from 8.29 million bpd when the agency prepared its predictions in March last year (http://tmsnrt.rs/2moZoqc). The forecasts are contained in the "Short-Term Energy Outlook" EIA publishes every month.

Exxon to Buy Offshore Mozambique Gas Stake

Exxon Mobil Corp said on Thursday it would buy a 25 percent stake in a natural gas-rich block, offshore Mozambique, from Italy's Eni for $2.8 billion in cash. The offshore gas reserves discovered by Eni in Mozambique are large enough to need a giant liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant. The east African nation's proximity to Asian and Middle Eastern growth markets could make it a highly lucrative project. Eni will continue to lead a floating LNG project and all exploration and production in the block, Area 4, while Exxon will lead the construction and operation of natural gas liquefaction facilities onshore.

BOURBON Reaches Deal to Reorganize Its Debt

File photo: Bourbon

French offshore vessel operator BOURBON said it has signed an agreement with its financial partners providing for the rescheduling of the maturities of a large part of its financial debt. Out of long- and medium-term debt totaling €692 million, €365 million of repayments due between 2016 and 2018 have been rescheduled and reduced to an amount of €63 million not repayable until 2018. The remainder of the debt, i.e. €629 million, will henceforth be repaid progressively between 2019 and 2025; the weighted average of the spreads applicable to these facilities will initially represent approximately 2.1 percent from October 1…

McDermott to Construct Offshore Production Solutions in Saudi Arabia

McDermott International, Inc. announced plans to construct offshore production solutions in Saudi Arabia. McDermott signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Aramco for a long-term land lease at the new maritime facility at Ras Al Khair in Saudi Arabia, currently being developed by Saudi Aramco. With a long-term phased approach, McDermott plans to build a new fabrication and marine complex expected to use state-of-the-art facilities, increased automation and an optimized layout to increase McDermott’s abilities to service its growing Middle East and Caspian markets.

Proserv Seals Subsea Contract with Premier Oil

Photo: Proserv

Energy services company Proserv said it has been awarded a multimillion dollar contract with Premier Oil for subsea work in Asia Pacific. Proserv will supply a subsea control system and associated equipment for the BIGP (Bison, Iguana & Gajah Puteri) development project, located in the Natuna Sea, Indonesia. The scope of supply is a three well subsea control system, which includes the company’s award winning Artemis 2G subsea electronics module, tied back to two platforms, Naga and Pelikan, in approximately 90m water depth. Bison and Iguana will tie back to the Pelikan platform and Gajah Puteri will tie back from a controls perspective to the Naga platform.

Oil Industry Costs Will Rise as Focus Shifts to Growth

© Gino Santa Maria / Adobe Stock

Oil industry costs are notoriously pro-cyclical, which is one of the main reasons for the pattern of boom and bust that has afflicted in the industry from the beginning. The cost of everything from skilled and unskilled labour to engineering contracts, field services, raw materials, equipment, spare parts and rig hire tends to rise and fall with price of oil. During a boom, prices for labour and equipment escalate rapidly, pushing up the breakeven cost of finding and developing new deposits, and driving the market-clearing price of oil even higher.

IKM Subsea Singapore Inks ROV Contract with Solstad

Merlin WR 200 Work class ROV

Solstad Offshore in Singapore has recently awarded IKM Subsea Singapore a service contract to provide ROV services onboard on the DLB Norce Endeavour for construction support projects offshore in Thailand (hat-trick award from 2015). The barge will be mobilized in Singapore and will be working in the Gulf of Thailand for various clients. IKM Subsea will provide the Merlin WR 200 Work class ROV together with the required tooling’s to execute the project which consist of numerous platform and Pipelines installation coupled with dive support for Subsea tie-in and commissioning.

Oil Prices Firm, Stay in Tight Range as Stocks Data Awaited

Oil prices firmed on Tuesday but stayed in a tight range, with investors seeking a clearer direction from inventory data and comments from oil officials as rising U.S. shale output offset OPEC production cuts. Brent crude was up 54 cents at $56.55 a barrel by 1420 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude was up 53 cents at $53.73. Both benchmarks had traded in negative and positive territory since the start of the day's Asian session. Oil prices have been stuck in a $3 band since February, failing to take off after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries implemented, to a surprisingly high degree, the first production cut in eight years.

Subsea 7 Awarded Subsea Work Off Australia

Subsea 7 S.A. said it has been awarded a “sizeable” contract by Cooper Energy Ltd for the Sole Development Project, offshore Australia. Subsea 7 defines a sizeable contract as being between $50 million and $150 million. The Sole gas field is located in the eastern part of the Gippsland Basin, approximately 40km offshore Victoria, Australia. The contract scope consists of the subsea tie-back of the Sole well to the Orbost Gas Plant, including the fabrication and installation of 64km of pipeline, spool and manifold, along with installation of a 64km umbilical and the commissioning of the system.

Oil Prices Fall on Doubts over Russian Output Curbs

Oil prices slipped in Asian trade on Monday, wiping out some of the gains of the previous session amid ongoing concern over Russia's compliance with a global deal to cut oil output. Figures released last week showed Russia's February oil output was unchanged from January at 11.11 million barrels per day (bpd), energy ministry data showed, casting doubt on Russia's moves to rein in output as part of a pact with oil producers last year. U.S. crude futures, also known as West Texas Intermediate (WTI), fell 19 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $53.14 a barrel as of 0109 GMT after closing the previous session up 1.4 percent.

FLNG Production Bows out as US Exports Roil Market

File photo : Shell

Once considered the future of gas production, floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) projects have been firmly relegated to the backburner as global gas producers seek cheaper ways to compete with a surge in U.S. shale supplies and slumping prices. FLNG projects - mega tankers fitted with gas extraction and liquefaction facilities - allow producers to tap offshore gas wells and ship LNG without having to build costly pipelines to onshore plants. Owners can move the vessels to new fields when production at an old one ends, slashing asset end-of-life costs.

Russia-China Fund, Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Eyeing Stake in Eurasia Drilling

The Russia-China Investment Fund (RCIF) and Mubadala, Abu Dhabi's state fund, are considering buying a minority stake in Eurasia Drilling Company, Russia's largest drilling company by metres drilled, three sources close to the talks told Reuters. In 2015, Eurasia Drilling Company (EDC) delisted its shares from the London Stock Exchange after a deal for the world's leading oilfield services provider Schlumberger NV to buy a stake in it collapsed. One of the sources said that RCIF -- which was set up by two Russian government-backed investment vehicles…

Titans of Oil World Meet in Houston After 2-yr Price War

The biggest names in the oil world come together this week for the largest industry gathering since the end of a two-year price war that pitted Middle East exporters against the firms that drove the shale energy revolution in the United States. When OPEC in November joined with several non-OPEC producers to agree to a historic cut in output, the group called time on a fight for market share that drove oil prices to a 12-year low and many shale producers to the wall. Oil prices are about 70 percent higher than they were the last time oil ministers and the chief executives of Big Oil met in Houston a year ago at CERAWeek, the largest annual industry meet in the Americas.