Saturday, April 29, 2017

US Drillers Add Oil Rigs for 15th Week

© Natalia Bratslavsky / Adobe Stocl

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

Clean Power Plan Lawsuit Put on Hold

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

Kongsberg Maritime, SES Form Strategic Alliance

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

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

Trump to Order Review of Offshore Drilling Bans

File Image: Credit James Fisher

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

Anadarko Shares Dive as Wells Close

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

Keppel FloaTEC Secures Contract for TLWP in Vietnam

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

Trump Executive Order Requires Review of National Monuments

© Vince Bradley / Adobe Stock

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

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

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

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

Trump to Order Review of Federal Land Use

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

Norway Expects Record Arctic Drilling in 2017

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

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

Norway Doubles Barents Sea Oil & Gas Estimates

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

Oil Slips as Investors Fret About Rising US Drilling

© Volodymyr Shevchuk / Adobe Stock

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

Statoil Downplays Risks Ahead of Arctic Drilling

File photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland / Statoil

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

New Executive Orders Loom on Environment, Energy

© Stojanovic Milos / Adobe Stock

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

Oil Inches Back Up, OPEC Promises Support

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

Halliburton Gains from North American Drilling Surge

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

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

US Will Not Issue Drilling Waivers to Russia Sanctions

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

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

© Steve Boyko  / Adobe Stock

U.S. drillers added oil rigs for a 14th week in a row, extending an 11-month recovery that is expected to boost U.S. shale production in May in the biggest monthly increase in more than two years. Drillers added five oil rigs in the week to April 21, bringing the total count up to 688, the most since April 2015, energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc said on Friday. That is more than double the same week a year ago when there were only 343 active oil rigs. U.S. crude futures dropped below $50 a barrel on Friday, for the first time in two weeks and putting it on track for its biggest weekly loss in six weeks…

Schlumberger Sees Improved Pricing but Margins Still Slim

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

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

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

Photo: Rolls-Royce

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

Keppel's Q1 Profit up 23 pct

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

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

ConocoPhillips: Slow & Steady Wins the Race

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

ConocoPhillips has beaten its 2017 asset sales target less than four months into the year, after shedding $30.8 billion worth of energy assets in six years. But instead of a chorus of cheers on Wall Street, Chief Executive Ryan Lance is facing investor skepticism that the company can deliver growth from remaining oil and gas fields. ConocoPhillips' most recent sales of Canadian oil-sands properties and U.S. natural gas wells for a combined $16 billion will part with nearly 30 percent of its proved reserves in order to deliver near-term shareholder payouts and pare debt.

Norway OKs Statoil’s Trestakk Plan

Image: Statoil

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

Shell Receives Bids For Downstream Assets in Argentina

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

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

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

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

Leaking Alaskan Well under Control -BP

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

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

© Ghost / Adobe Stock

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

New US Pipelines to Drive Natural Gas Boom as Exports Surge

© Yauheni Chazlou / Adobe Stock

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

As Texas Output Surges, Cash Discounts Soar

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / Edelweiss)

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

House - Bill Introduced to Ban Drilling off Florida

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / SunnyS)

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

Oil Surplus or Scarcity? Shale Makes it Hard to Predict

File Image: AdobeStock (Edel Weiss)

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

US Oil Rig Count Rises for 12th Straight Week

© bagraphix / Adobe Stock

U.S. drillers added oil rigs for a 12th week in a row, extending the recovery into an 11th month as energy companies boost spending on new production to take advantage of a recovery in crude prices. Drillers added 10 oil rigs in the week to April 7, bringing the total count up to 672, the most since August 2015, energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc said on Friday. During the same week a year ago, there were 354 active oil rigs. More than half of the rigs added since the recovery started in June after crude prices first topped $50 a barrel, were in the Permian basin, the nation's biggest shale oil formation located in west Texas and eastern New Mexico.

Hurricane Energy Triples North Sea Recoverables Estimate

Hurricane Energy, listed on London's Alternative Investment Market (AIM), has tripled its estimate of recoverable oil from its Lancaster field in the North Sea, the company said on Friday. The statement comes just over a week after the company announced an oil discovery in the Halifax well in the West Shetlands region, which it thinks could be Britain's largest undeveloped oil find. As part of a day of presentations to analysts and investors, Hurricane said it had upgraded its recoverable resource estimate for the Lancaster field to 593 million barrels from 200 million in a 2013 assessment.

Chevron Boosts Permian Shale Output

File Image: A typical shale oil project (AdobeStock)

Nearly a century after Chevron Corp amassed the No. 2 stake in America's largest oilfield, Chief Executive John Watson is hitting the accelerator on developing the company's vast Permian Basin holdings. In an interview, Watson made clear his desire to put the West Texas to New Mexico expanse in the ranks of Chevron's biggest ventures. That is a stark change from just five years ago, when Chevron executives rarely mentioned the shale basin. But with low oil prices, the company is now spending more than it makes to cover its prized dividend and find new reserves. Now, those 2 million Permian acres have emerged as to way to help fund both goals.

FairfieldNodal, Ikon Science Team Up

FairfieldNodal has announced an exclusive alliance with Ikon Science, an industry leader in geoprediction software sales and services, to offer complete reservoir services to the oil and gas industry. For nearly four decades, FairfieldNodal has been a trusted industry resource for multi-client seismic, data acquisition and data processing services. With this strategic alliance, the company can offer its customers an expanded technology portfolio that includes data acquisition, data processing and, now, reservoir services. To meet today’s challenging economic environment…

France's Total Extends British Shale Gas Involvement

French oil major Total has extended an option with British shale gas developer Egdon Resources to buy a stake in one of Egdon's shale gas licences, the companies said on Tuesday. Egdon said in a statement Total had agreed on an option to farm in to its PEDL209 exploration licence in Lincolnshire by Dec. 31, 2018, which would earn it a 36 percent interest. Total's previous option on the licence had lapsed. In exchange, Total has agreed to then pay Egdon's expenses of an exploration programme worth up to 13.47 million pounds ($17 million), including the drilling of a well.

iSURVEY Awarded Contract with Maersk Oil

Andrew McMurtrie (Photo: iSURVEY)

Following an eight-year relationship with Maersk Oil, iSURVEY has been awarded a survey and positioning contract with the international oil and gas company. Commencing in March 2017, the four-year contract, which has the option to extend by one 12-month period, sees iSURVEY named as the nominated first caller contractor for survey and positioning services. iSURVEY will specifically support Maersk Oil Danish Business Unit with rig move operations in the Danish sector of the North Sea. The contract may also involve the mobilisation and demobilisation of a rig outside the Danish Sector, as well as potential rig positioning services over a subsea well.

Norway's Seadrill Warns of Share, Bond Wipe-Out

Drill rig operator Seadrill warned investors that its shares will lose almost all of their value and its bonds will be hit as the Norwegian company prepares for potential bankruptcy proceedings to restructure $14 billion in debt and liabilities. Shares in Seadrill, once the crown jewel in shipping tycoon John Fredriksen's empire, fell as much as 46 percent on Tuesday to a record low. The company has been hit by low oil prices, which have forced oil companies to cut costs, hammering rig rates. Seadrill, which first warned in February that Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection was a risk…

US Drillers Add Most Oil Rigs in a Quarter since 2011

© Calin Tatu / Adobe Stock

U.S. drillers added oil rigs for an 11th week in a row in the best quarter for boosting the rig count since the second quarter of 2011, as a ten-month recovery gathers pace with energy companies boosting spending on new production. Drillers added 10 oil rigs in the week to March 31, bringing the total count up to 662, the most since September 2015, energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc said on Friday. During the same week a year ago, there were 362 active oil rigs. The 137 rigs added in the first quarter is the biggest boost in a quarter since the drillers activated a record 152 rigs in the second quarter in 2011…

Oil set to Become Worst-Performing Q1 Asset

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / GearSTD)

Brent futures set for biggest monthly loss since July 2016. Oil prices fell on Friday after a three-day rally ran out of steam due to a stronger dollar, promising to notch up the oil market's worst-performing quarter since 2015 as investors fret that growing U.S. supplies are undermining OPEC-led cuts. Brent crude futures have made the biggest losses across global asset classes this quarter. In March, the contracts posted the biggest monthly losses since July as growing U.S. crude inventories and drilling activity counterbalanced production cuts elsewhere in the world. Brent futures were down 53 cents at $52.43 a barrel at 1023 GMT.

U.S. to Review Energy Royalty Rates

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock)

The U.S. Interior Department said on Wednesday that it would form a new committee to review royalty rates collected from oil and gas drilling, coal mining and renewable energy production on federal lands to ensure taxpayers receive their full value. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said the committee would advise him on whether the government is getting a fair price from companies that lease public land for energy and natural resource development. The committee will replace the process put in place by former Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to review and overhaul the federal coal leasing program.

North Dakota Output to Rise as DAPL Opens

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock)

North Dakota oil production will get a shot in the arm next month as a pipeline comes online despite opposition by environmental groups and Native Americans, allowing the energy industry to save at least $540 million in annual shipping costs. The Dakota Access Pipeline gives the state's producers cheaper access to refineries and other customers on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Market players said they expect this will hasten a revival of output from the Bakken region which fell sharply along with global oil prices during the past two years. "We're back to growth in the Bakken," Hess Corp Chief Executive Officer John Hess said in a recent interview.

New Drill Ship Equipped with AHC Drilling Platform

Photo courtesy of MacArtney

Newly launched multipurpose drill ship FREJA integrates a high-performance active heave compensated drilling platform manufactured by MacArtney. The drilling setup on board the vessel has been designed to provide enhanced drilling conditions even in rough seas. A customized, motion-compensated working platform of 10 times seven meters is situated amidships. This means that the working deck remains stationary while the vessel follows the movements of the waves. The platform design includes a roll function compensating for the vessel rolls by +/- 7 degrees.

Eni CEO says Mexico Oil Find Likely Bigger

Italy's Eni said on Wednesday it expected that its recent discovery off the coast of Mexico would hold more than the 800 million barrels of oil it originally estimated. "This is an important find and we've found new layers of good light oil that make us think there's more," Chief Executive Claudio Descalzi said at an oil and gas conference. Eni said earlier this month it had found "meaningful" reserves of oil off the coast of Mexico after becoming the first international oil company to drill a well in the country after a 2013 reform opening up the sector to investors.

Eni: 800 mln bbls in Offshore Mexico find

The head of Italian oil and gas group Eni said on Wednesday there could be more than 800 million barrels of oil in place in its recent discovery off the coast of Mexico. "Our aim is to do what we did in Zohr in Egypt," Claudio Descalzi said at an oil and gas conference, referring to the group's strategy of using infrastructure already in place in different geographies to speed up time to market. Earlier this month the major said it had found "meaningful" reserves of oil offshore Mexico after becoming the first international oil company to drill a well in the country following a 2013 reform to open up the sector to investors.

Trump Signs Order Sweeping away Obama-era Climate Policies

Donald Trump (Official White House photo)

U.S. President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday to undo a slew of Obama-era climate change regulations that his administration says is hobbling oil drillers and coal miners, a move environmental groups have vowed to take to court. The decree's main target is former President Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan that required 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 2015.

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.

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.

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.