Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Trump to Reverse Many Obama-era Climate Policies

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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

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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.

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

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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.

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…

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.

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…

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.

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

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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".

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

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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.

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

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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.

OPEC's Hope for Goldilocks Price Fade: Kemp

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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.

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.

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.

Oil Industry Costs Will Rise as Focus Shifts to Growth

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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.

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…

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.

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…

OMV Eyes Further Cooperation with Gazprom

\OMV sees scope for further cooperation with Gazprom, the Austrian oil and gas group's exploration and production head said on Monday, hours after agreeing to buy into a Gazprom-majority owned gas field for $1.85 billion. OMV is also working on swapping a stake in its Norwegian holding for a stake in another Siberian field with Gazprom. "You view this the right way.

BHP Billiton, Pemex sign Trion Contract

Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, Mexican Minister of Energy,  Enrique Peña Nieto, President of Mexico, Andrew Mackenzie, BHP Billiton CEO and José Antonio González Anaya, CEO of PEMEX. Photo: BHP Billiton

BHP Billiton has advanced its exploration and production interests in the Gulf of Mexico by executing a contract with PEMEX Exploration & Production Mexico (Pemex) to complete work on the significant Trion discovery in Mexico. In December 2016, BHP Billiton successfully bid on the resource that, once fully appraised, is expected to be in the top 10 fields discovered in the Gulf of Mexico in the last decade. The agreement includes a commitment to deliver a Minimum Work Program, which consists of drilling one appraisal well, one exploration well and the acquisition of additional seismic data.

US Oil Rig Count Grows for 7th Week Straight

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U.S. drillers added oil rigs for a seventh week in a row, extending a recovery into a tenth month as energy companies, including Exxon Mobil Corp, boost spending plans to take advantage of a crude price recovery. Drillers added seven oil rigs in the week to March 3, bringing the total count up to 609, the most since October 2015, energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc said on Friday. During the same week a year ago, there were 392 active oil rigs. Since crude prices first topped $50 a barrel in May after recovering from 13-year lows in February 2016…

U.S. Shale Renews Challenge to OPEC

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U.S. crude oil production appears to be rising strongly thanks to increased shale drilling as well as rising offshore output from the Gulf of Mexico. Production averaged almost 9 million barrels per day (bpd) in the four weeks to Feb. 24, according to the latest weekly estimates published by the Energy Information Administration. Production has been on an upward trend since hitting a cyclical low of 8.5 million bpd in September ("Weekly Petroleum Status Report", EIA, March 1). Weekly production numbers are estimates based on…

Eni, Sonatrach Agree to Explore Offshore Algeria

Eni has signed a deal with Algerian state-run oil company Sonatrach to explore the North African country's offshore for new oil and gas resources, the Italian company's chief executive said on Tuesday. "Recently, Sonatrach gave us the opportunity to participate also in the offshore," Eni Chief Executive Officer Claudio Descalzi told reporters in London. "We signed (an agreement) a few days ago," he said, adding that Exxon Mobil was also involved in the deal. Earlier this week, Reuters reported that Sonatrach wants to start offshore oil drilling and has begun discussions with Exxon Mobil, Anadarko as well as Eni.   (Reporting by Ron Bousso)

Trump's Interior Pick Expected to be Confirmed

President Donald Trump's pick to head the Interior Department is expected to be confirmed easily by the U.S. Senate on Wednesday morning as the White House seeks to increase fossil fuel production from federal lands. U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke said in his confirmation hearing last month he would consider an expansion of energy drilling and mining on federal lands but would ensure that sensitive areas were protected. The former Navy SEAL commander is an avid angler who is popular with many outdoor enthusiasts, including Trump's son Donald Jr. However, many environmentalists are concerned about his zeal for exploiting coal and other fossil fuels.

North Sea Producers Benefit as Leasing Costs Plummet

Oil and gas operators in the North Sea will benefit this year from another 10 percent drop in leasing costs for equipment such as drilling rigs and subsea kit as oversupply continues to drag down rates, analysts at consultancy Wood Mackenzie said. The downturn in the oil market has crippled drilling activity in the North Sea, where costs are some of the highest in the world due to the basin's maturity. As a result, suppliers of oil and gas equipment have been forced to significantly lower the prices they charge. "Rates are coming down further in the UK North Sea because drilling activity is flat and there remains a huge oversupply in rigs…

Seadrill Could Be Heading for Bankruptcy

Photo: Seadrill Limited

The oil rig owner SeaDrill could be forced into bankruptcy protection soon, if it fails to reach a restructuring agreement with its lenders, reports Reuters. The rig firm, controlled by John Fredriksen, is battling with $14 billion in debt and liabilities. "In the event a consensual restructuring agreement is not concluded or an agreement to an extension is not reached, we are also preparing various contingency plans, including potential schemes of arrangement or chapter 11 proceedings," the company warns. SeaDrill has been…

Island Innovator Has Left Hanøytangen

Island Innovator (Photo: Semco Maritime)

Semco Maritime, Norway has completed the upgrade project on the rig Island Innovator. The rig left the Semco Maritime yard at Hanøytangen on Friday, February 24th. It has been in the yard since September 2016. After various modification and service work the rig will now mobilize to the Edvard Grieg field in the Norwegian part of the North Sea to work for Lundin Petroleum, drilling for 16/1-27 appraisal well for 30 to 35 days. During the yard stay the 5-year SPS (Special Periodic Survey) classification has been performed on the rig. Besides that an extensive airgap project has been carried out, including blinding of 64 windows and watertight doors.

Transocean's Stock Could Surge with $60 Oil -Barron's

Photo: Transocean

Shares of Transocean Ltd could rise more than 35 percent in the next year or two if oil prices top $60 a barrel, Barron's said in an article on Sunday. The Switzerland-based deepwater drilling company has been hit over the last decade by the financial crisis, the Deepwater Horizon disaster and lower oil prices, Barron's noted. But the recent increase in the price of crude could mean the worst is over for Transocean, Barron's said. The stock could hit $19 or even $30, according to analysts and fund managers; it currently trades around $14. As of Friday, Brent crude oil LCOc1 traded at $55.99 a barrel and U.S.

US Drillers Add Oil Rigs for 6th Week in a Row

U.S. drillers added oil rigs for a sixth consecutive week, extending a nine-month recovery as shale producers ramp up spending to take advantage of a recovery in oil prices. Drillers added five oil rigs in the week to Feb. 24, bringing the total count up to 602, the most rigs since October 2015, energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc said on Friday. During the same week a year ago, there were 400 active oil rigs. Since crude prices first topped $50 a barrel in May after recovering from 13-year lows last February, drillers have added a total of 286 oil rigs in 35 of the past 39 weeks…

Japan Pays Dearly for U.S. Shale Cargoes

File Image (CREDIT: GAC)

Japan in January paid nearly twice as much for liquefied natural gas (LNG) derived from U.S. shale gas as it did for its cheapest imports, official trade data showed on Friday. Shale gas from the United States had been touted as a panacea to Japan's energy crisis after the Fukushima nuclear disaster nearly six years ago. The first supplies arrived in Japan last month to much fanfare but the revelation of its higher cost would seem to undermine the initial euphoria. Japan, the world's biggest importer of LNG, received 211,237 tonnes of U.S.

Oil Prices Fall as U.S. Inventories Rise

U.S. crude stocks rose by 564,000 barrels last week -EIA. Oil prices fell on Friday after U.S. crude inventories rose for a seventh week, showing that the market is still struggling to ease oversupply despite many producers' efforts to rein in production. U.S. crude stocks rose by 564,000 barrels in the week to Feb. 17, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) said, though the increase was less than the 3.5 million barrels expected by analysts. The continued rise in U.S. inventories comes as members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers have cut output.

Norway Oil Firms Raise 2017 CapEx Forecasts

Norway's oil companies have increased their 2017 investment plans in the last three months, signalling a smaller-than-expected contraction for the industry, a survey by the statistics office showed on Thursday. Investments in oil and gas extraction and pipeline transport were still expected to fall for the third year in a row as companies cut the spending after oil prices fell by more than 50 percent over the last two-and-a-half years. The country's oil companies now plan to invest 149.4 billion crowns ($17.87 billion) next year in oil and gas extraction and pipeline transport…

Oil Rises after Drop in U.S. Inventories

Industry data shows U.S. crude inventories fell last week; crude oil prices near top of $4 trading ranges. Oil prices rose on Thursday after U.S. data showed a surprise decline in inventories, suggesting that a global glut may be ending after moves by OPEC to cut production. Benchmark Brent crude oil was up 70 cents a barrel at $56.54 by 1025 GMT, recovering from a drop of 82 cents on Wednesday. U.S. light crude was 70 cents higher at $54.29 a barrel. Both benchmarks are near the top of relatively narrow $4 ranges that have contained trade so far this year…

Higher profits for Transocean

Courtesy Transocean

Transocean Ltd. reported their Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2016 Results. * Operating and maintenance expense was $314 million, including $30 million in favorable items associated with litigation matters. * Adjusted net income was $239 million, $0.63 per diluted share, excluding $13 million of net unfavorable items. * Contract backlog was $11.3 billion as of the February 2017 Fleet Status Report. ZUG, SWITZERLAND-February 23, 2017-Transocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG) today reported net income attributable to controlling interest of $226 million, $0.60 per diluted share, for the three months ended December 31, 2016.

ConocoPhillips: Oil Sands Reserves Revised Down

ConocoPhillips has revised down over a billion barrels of oil sands reserves because of low global crude prices, a company filing showed on Tuesday, the latest sign that some of Canada's vast hydrocarbon potential may be left untapped. The U.S. oil major said developed and undeveloped reserves of bitumen - the heavy viscous oil found in northern Alberta's remote oil sands - totalled 1.2 billion barrels at the end of 2016, down from 2.4 billion barrels at the end of 2015. The oil sands have some of the highest full-cycle breakeven costs in the world, with new thermal projects needing U.S. crude prices around $60 a barrel.

Oil-Starved India to Expedite Exploration Auction

India plans to auction some oil exploration blocks by June and will allow bidders to carve out areas where they want to drill in order to attract greater interest, a government official told Reuters on Wednesday. The move is part of a drive by New Delhi to quickly generate income from its oil and gas reserves. India overhauled its exploration licensing last year with a shift to a revenue sharing model, while also allowing pricing and marketing freedom to the operators. The planned auction will be India's first major exploration licensing round since 2010, although the energy-starved nation recently awarded 31 small fields to mainly local firms.

Oil Slips on Dollar's Strength but OPEC Provides Balance

OPEC secretary general optimistic on output cuts. Global oil prices slipped on Wednesday as the U.S. dollar, in which payments for crude are made, rose but they traded broadly at multi-week highs after OPEC signalled optimism over its deal with other producers to curb output. The U.S. West Texas Intermediate April crude contract , the new front-month future, was down 37 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $53.96 a barrel at 1310 GMT. Brent crude was down 35 cents, or 0.6 percent, at $56.83, having touched its highest since Feb. 2 at $56.31 in the previous session.

Sembcorp Marine Swings to Q4 Profit

Annual revenue lowest since 2006. Singapore's Sembcorp Marine Ltd (SembMarine) swung to profit in the fourth quarter of 2016 after provisions pulled the rig builder into a loss the year earlier, but a downturn in oil prices pushed annual revenue to its lowest in a decade. SembMarine and compatriot Keppel Corp Ltd have been suffering from an oversupply of offshore oil drilling rigs, with customers delaying contracts and refraining from placing orders while oil hovers at about half its 2014 peak. "While prospects for the oil…

iSURVEY Bags rig positioning, surveying contract with Shell

Andrew McMurtrie, managing director Photo iSURVEY

iSURVEY has secured a non exclusive call-off contract with Shell UK Ltd, Shell NAM, Norske Shell and Shell E&P Ireland for the provision of rig positioning and surveying services. With an effective date of 1 January 2017, the three year contract, which has the option of up to two, one year extensions, will see iSURVEY provide non exclusive rig and surface positioning services, subsurface positioning and dimensional control and platform surveys to Shell’s mobile offshore drilling units. Andrew McMurtrie, managing director of iSURVEY Offshore Limited said: “This is a significant win for iSURVEY in what has been a challenging time for the entire market.

Sound Energy Commences Drilling at TE-8 Tendrara

Courtesy Sound Energy

Sound Energy, the African and European focused upstream gas company confirmed the commencement of drilling at the third Tendrara well, onshore Morocco. Following the recent success at the Company's first two Tendrara wells (TE-6 and TE-7), the Company's third well (TE-8)  was spud on 19 February 2017. The TE-8 well is a step out appraisal well some 12 kilometres to the Northeast of TE-7 with the objective of proving up significant additional volumes in the TAGI (Trias Argilo-Gréseux Inférieur) reservoir whilst also, for the first time, drilling deeper into the Paleozoic formation.

US Drillers Add Oil Rigs for rth Straight Week

U.S. energy companies added oil rigs for a fifth straight week, extending a nine-month recovery as drillers take advantage of crude prices that have held mostly over $50 a barrel since OPEC agreed to cut supplies in late November. Drillers added six oil rigs in the week to Feb. 17, bringing the total count up to 597, the most rigs since October 2015, energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc said on Friday. During the same week a year ago, there were 413 active oil rigs. Since crude prices first topped $50 a barrel in May after recovering from 13-year lows last February…

Senate Set to Approve Trump's EPA Pick

The U.S. Senate is expected to approve President Donald Trump's pick to run the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday over the objections of Democrats and green groups worried he will gut the agency, as the administration readies executive orders to ease regulation on drillers and miners. Trump's nominee, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, is likely to pass the vote scheduled for midday with the support of nearly all the Republicans in the Republican-controlled Senate. The vote could take place earlier in the day.

Pioneer Energy's Posts Smaller Q4 Loss

Pioneer Energy Services Corp, which provides contract land drilling services, posted a smaller quarterly loss, helped by a rise in demand.   The company said its net loss narrowed to $36.1 million, or 53 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, from $48.3 million, or 75 cents per share, a year earlier.   Total revenue fell nearly 32 percent to $71.5 million in the quarter ended Dec. 31.   Reporting by Muvija M