Saturday, October 21, 2017

Alaska Eyes Foreign Capital to Jump-start Energy Projects

Alaska is pursuing foreign investors for its oil and gas industry, hoping to advance recent discoveries while struggling to compete with lower-cost shale projects and reverse a decades-long output decline. Sovereign wealth funds, banks and state-owned energy companies have met with Alaskan officials, John Hendrix, chief energy adviser to Alaska Governor Bill Walker said in an interview. China Investment Corp (CIC) and state-owned Chinese energy company Sinopec held talks with state officials last month, he said. Alaskan crude production has fallen by three-quarters since 1988…

Chevron Approves New Tech in North Sea

File Image: A typical North Sea installation (CREDIT: Craig Int'l)

U.S. oil major Chevron has approved an investment to increase output from its Captain oilfield by using a new water-injection technology for the first time in the North Sea, the company said on Friday. Six long-reach horizontal wells will be drilled in the 20-year-old field, around 90 miles northeast of Aberdeen. They are expected to raise the recovery rate 5 to 7 percent. Polymerised water will be injected into the field's oil reservoir, a new technique to tap oil reserves that are hard to reach with conventional drilling methods. It will be the first time the technology has been applied on this scale in the North Sea.

Schlumberger, Baker Hughes Warn of N. America Slowdown

Schlumberger Ltd and Baker Hughes, the world's top two oilfield services firms, warned on Friday of a slowdown in North America and a challenging year ahead as crude oil prices stay volatile. Schlumberger said investments in North America were moderating as energy companies increasingly shied away from chasing higher production at the cost of financial returns. "Oil prices remain volatile and, as a result, our customers remain cautious," Baker Hughes Chief Executive Lorenzo Simonelli said. The company, in its first report to include GE Co's oil and gas business since their merger…

Chevron Auspends Drilling Activity in Kurdistan

Chevron has temporarily suspended oil and gas drilling activity in Iraqi Kurdistan, the company said on Thursday, in the latest setback to the region following recent unrest.   "Chevron has decided to temporarily suspend its operations," a company spokeswoman said in a statement.   In September, Chevron drilled its first exploration well in Iraqi Kurdistan after a two-year break.   "We remain in regular contact with the Kurdistan Regional Government. We look forward to resuming our operations as soon as conditions permit." (Reporting by Dmitry Zhdannikov and Ron Bousso; Editing by Mark Potter)

ARO Drilling Commences Operations

ARO Drilling, a 50/50 joint venture between Rowan Companies plc and the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco), commenced operations on October 17, 2017. As part of the initial startup of ARO Drilling, Rowan and Saudi Aramco contributed equal amounts of cash into the joint venture. Following these contributions, Rowan sold three of its jack-up drilling rigs to ARO Drilling, including the J.P. Bussell, which was previously idle, and Saudi Aramco sold one of its jack-up drilling rigs to ARO Drilling. Following the purchase of these drilling rigs…

Oil Rises as Kirkuk-Iraqi Fighting Escalates

Iraq forces move into oil-rich, Kurdish-held Kirkuk. Oil markets jumped on Monday as Iraqi forces entered the oil city of Kirkuk, taking territory from Kurdish fighters and raising concerns over exports from OPEC's second-largest producer. Iraq launched the operation in the multi-ethnic region on Sunday as the crisis between Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) escalated. Tensions have been building since the KRG voted for independence in a Sept. 25 referendum. Brent crude futures were at $58.10 per barrel at 1053 GMT, up 93 cents from the previous close. U.S. WTI crude was at $52.14 per barrel, up 69 cents.

$800mln Gas Pipeline Proposed as Argentina Preps for Shale Boom

Gas transporter TGS, controlled by Pampa Energía, has proposed an $800 million pipeline and gas treatment plant in Argentina's Vaca Muerta shale fields, a company source said, aiming to address a key barrier to increasing production. The project, subject to approval by the government of Neuquen province, could be built in a year and a half and would transport gas produced by companies including state-run YPF SA , Tecpetrol, Dow Argentina and Exxon Mobil Corp , the source said. Argentina's President Mauricio Macri has made attracting investment to ramp up natural gas production a priority of his government…

Norway Remains Among World's Top 10 Places to Discover Oil

© h368k742 / Adobe Stock

Norway remains among the top 10 places to find oil worlwide, with the Arctic region still having much potential despite recent disappointing exploration results, consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie said on Thursday. Earlier this week Norway's Statoil reported yet another dry well in the Barents sea, some 100 kilometres northwest of the Johan Castberg discovery. However, the firm said it would continue its exploration campaign in the area next year. "Exploration has been very disappointing over the few past years, the Barents hasn't lived up to expectations.

Aker BP Wins Approval for Gas Lift at Tambar

Norway's oil and gas watchdog has approved Aker BP's plans to modify facilities at the Tambar oilfield to support North Sea oil production it said on Thursday. The approved modification includes installation of a gas lift module to inject natural gas into wells to help to produce oil from the reservoir. "The gas lift is being installed because the reservoir pressure at Tambar is no longer sufficient to ensure satisfactory production," Norway's Petroleum safety authority said in a statement. In March, the Tambar licence partners agreed to invest about 1.7 billion Norwegian crowns ($215 million) to extend the field's lifetime by 10 years until 2028.

Op/Ed: ASTRO Act Shoots For the Stars

Randall Luthi (Photo: NOIA)

National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) president Randall Luthi weighs in after the House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on offshore development and introduced the Accessing Strategy Resources Offshore (ASTRO) Act. Today’s hearing was a slam dunk by the House Natural Resources Committee. Not only did the Committee bring in experts and stakeholders with their own unique offshore perspectives to the hearing, the Committee took a bold step in introducing the forward thinking ASTRO Act. By opening up the potential…

Most US Oil Execs See Prices below $60/Barrel through 2018

Nearly two-thirds of U.S. oil executives see crude oil prices remaining below $60 per barrel through 2018 and not hitting $70 until at least the next decade, according to a survey published on Wednesday by consultancy Deloitte Services LP. The survey, based on a poll of 250 executives at companies that produce, transport and refine oil and natural gas, reflects a shift from last year when many respondents forecast commodity prices would rise and capital spending budgets grow. U.S. oil prices fell slightly on Wednesday to $50.79 per barrel.

Turkey to Drill for Oil and Gas in Mediterranean

Turkey will carry out its first hydrocarbon drilling in the Mediterranean later this year and its first deep drilling in 2018, Energy Minister Berat Albayrak said on Wednesday.   Albayrak said Turkey aimed to open wells in Turkish and Cypriot waters, and drilling would also take place in the Black Sea.   Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu 

Feast or Famine? Oil Market in 2018

© jdoms / Adobe Stock

In the Bible, Joseph was interpreting Pharaoh’s dream of seven fat and seven thin cows, but he might have been talking about the oil market (“Genesis”, chapter 41, verses 29-30). Just as Pharaoh’s kingdom experienced a cycle of feast and famine, depending on the Nile inundation, the oil market swings between periods of undersupply and oversupply. “The problem of oil is that there is always too much or too little,” as Myron Watkins, professor of economics at New York University, wrote 80 years ago (“Oil: stabilization or conservation?” Watkins, 1937).

Cairn Oil and Gas to Invest $4.6 bln in New Exploration

Cairn Oil and Gas, part of Vedanta Ltd, will invest 300 billion rupees ($4.6 billion) in exploration projects off India's east coast and in the onshore fields of Barmer in the west, its acting CEO said. The company expects approvals to be in place by the end of October, Sudhir Mathur told Reuters on the sidelines of the India Energy Forum in New Delhi, as Cairn undertakes a fresh investment plan after the extension of its production contract until 2030. No debt will be raised for the investment, Mathur said, adding that the money will be spent over a period of three to four years.

Borr Drilling Deal Could Lead to Mexico Contracts

Borr Drilling's acquisition of nine jack-up rigs from Singapore's PPL shipyard could provide it a competitive edge in seeking contracts off Mexico, Danske Bank analysts said. The company has successfully raised $650 million to partly finance the $1.3 billion deal with Sembcorp Marine Ltd , a unit of PPL Shipyard Pte, by issuing 162.5 million new shares via private placement, the company said on Monday. He added the company will consider acquiring more rigs, "if the price is good", but had no immediate plans to do so.

Statoil Discovers Oil in Verbier Sidetrack

The Transocean Spitsbergen drilling rig. (Photo: Kenneth Engelsvold)

Statoil and partners have made an oil discovery in the Verbier sidetrack well in the outer Moray Firth on the UK Continental Shelf, proving a minimum of 25 million recoverable barrels of oil in the immediate vicinity of the wellbore. The preliminary results suggest the discovery could range anywhere between 25 and 130 million barrels of oil. The partnership will continue to assess the data and plan further appraisal to determine the exact size of the discovery. The partnership will also seek to determine the commerciality of the discovery in addition to maturing additional opportunities within the P2170 licence.

Statoil to Drill in Arctic Despite Previous Disappointments

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

Statoil's exploration campaign in the Barents Sea was disappointing this year, but the company has firm plans to drill another five wells there in 2018, a spokesman said on Monday. Statoil's last Barents well of 2017, at Koigen Central some 100 kilometres northwest of the Johan Castberg discovery, failed to find hydrocarbons, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said earlier. In five exploration wells drilled by Statoil in the Barents Sea this year, the company made only one small oil discovery. "This year's campaign didn't give the results we have hoped for in terms of having new standalone developments…

Statoil: UK Exploration Wells Disappoint

Statoil's exploration campaign off Britain yielded one discovery, one dry well and one non-commercial discovery this year, the company said on Monday. Results of the Mariner Segment 9 and Jock Scott wells were disappointing, while the third, a sidetrack to Statoil's Verbier well in the outer Moray Firth, proved at least 25 million barrels of oil. "Whilst the results of the other two exploration wells were disappointing, we are convinced of the remaining, high-value potential on the UK continental shelf," Jenny Morris, Statoil's vice president for UK exploration, said in a statement.

Borr Drilling in USD 1.3bln Sembcorp Deal

Photo: Sembcorp Marine Ltd

Singapore-based Sembcorp Marine said its wholly-owned subsidiary PPL Shipyard (PPLS) has agreed to sell nine Pacific Class 400 jackup drilling rigs to Borr Drilling and its subsidiaries for a total of US$1.3 billion. It will also be entitled to a market-based fee, based on an uplift in value of the rigs sold. Under the terms of the Agreements, which is subject to conditions precedent being met by both parties, Borr Drilling will take delivery of the nine jackup rigs progressively over a 14-month period, from 4Q 2017 to 1Q 2019. Borr Drilling will make an upfront down payment of about US$500 million.

Ensco Completes Acquisition of Atwood Oceanics

Photo: Ensco

Ensco plc announced today that Ensco shareholders voted to approve the allotment and issuance of Ensco Class A ordinary shares to shareholders of Atwood Oceanics in connection with the all-stock acquisition of Atwood at the Company’s general meeting of shareholders on 5 October 2017. The final results of the general meeting of shareholders held today indicate that 65% of the shares cast at the meeting voted in favor of this proposal. Carl Trowell, Ensco’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are extremely pleased that Ensco shareholders recognized the strategic and financial merits of our combination with Atwood.

Ecuador to Offer Oil Block Terms in January

Ecuador will offer oil exploration and production blocks in January under new contract terms that it expects will attract more interest and allow the OPEC-member country to compete with its neighbors for foreign investment, the oil minister said. The new terms will allow producers to be paid in oil and enable them to export or sell the barrels to local refineries, said Carlos Perez at a conference at Rice University in Houston on Friday. "Ecuador needs to be able to compete now that Brazil and Colombia have changed their contract terms to encourage foreign investment," he said.

U.S. Oil Drillers Cut Rigs for 4th Week in Five

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

The U.S. oil rig count fell for a fourth time in the last five weeks as a 14-month drilling recovery stalled as energy firms reduced spending plans in response to recent crude price declines. The oil rig count fell by two to 748 in the week to Oct. 6, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday. The rig count, an early indicator of future output, is much higher than a year ago when only 428 rigs were active after energy companies boosted spending plans earlier in the year in anticipation of higher crude prices in coming months. U.S.

Producers Gain Breathing Room to Borrow Amid Oil's Uptick

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

U.S. oil and gas producers have gained more flexibility to borrow money as crude prices have modestly rebounded, according to a survey of the companies, lenders and others released on Friday. Greater room to borrow means energy producers are under less immediate pressure to cut costs or output. Only 26 percent of energy producers with loans are likely to see a decrease this fall in their borrowing bases, according to the survey by Dallas-based law firm Haynes and Boone. Borrowing base redeterminations are a measure that lenders use to determine available credit according to property value.

Saudi Aramco to Boost Turnkey Drilling Contracts

Saudi Aramco plans to increase turnkey drilling contracts as part of a strategy to boost collaboration with major oilfield service providers, four industry sources said. Aramco floated two tenders to renew work at the South Ghawar field; work that used to be conducted by Halliburton and in Udhailiyah for gas, work that was performed by Schlumberger . A third tender for a lump-sump turnkey contract (LSTK) is expected to be floated later for work at Abu Hadriya, Fadhili and Khursaniyah fields. "This is the new way of doing business…

Offshore Rig Firms See End to Historic Downturn

Aker BP recently awarded a contract worth up to $68 million to Odfjell Drilling for the lease of the semi-submersible drilling rig Deepsea Stavanger in the Norwegian Sea and the Barnts Sea (Photo: Aker BP)

Demand for offshore rig rental globally is starting to recover from its worst ever downturn, led by oil firms' growing demand for harsh-environment exploration and triggering multi-billion dollar tie-ups among drillers hoping to profit, executives said. While the 2014-2016 oil price crash caused firms to cut exploration budgets, ending a boom in rig demand and bankrupting many owners, energy companies are now seeking to replenish their hydrocarbon reserves. The nascent demand for harsh-environment rigs, particularly for North Sea drilling…

New MD Set to Scale Up Operations for ClearWELL

Alasdair Fergusson (Photo: ClearWELL Oilfield Solutions)

Flow assurance and production optimization specialist, ClearWELL Oilfield Solutions, has appointed a managing director as the company looks to increase its international footprint. Alasdair Fergusson brings more than 25 years of oilfield management and marketing experience to ClearWELL, having worked for major service companies in Europe and the Middle East. Most recently he held the Paris-based position of Business Manager Europe and Africa, Production Technologies at Schlumberger’s M-I SWACO, where he led and grew business capability in new markets.

Oil Prices Ease as Speculators Grow Impatient

Oil eased on Tuesday, as speculators took profits on some large positions that have built up in the last couple of weeks, but the prospect of gradually ebbing oversupply lent support. December Brent crude futures were down 27 cents at $55.85 a barrel at 1315 GMT, having lost almost 2.5 percent on Monday. U.S. crude futures fell 24 cents to $50.34. Brent notched up a third-quarter gain of about 20 percent, the biggest increase for that quarter since 2004, and traded as high as $59.49 last week, but has since fallen about 6 percent.

New Solution Simplifies Relief Well Operations

(Image: Add Energy)

Energy consultancy provider Add Energy and subsea solutions provider Trendsetter Engineering have teamed up to develop the Relief Well Injection Spool (RWIS) Lite, designed to reduce the complexity of relief well operations on a global scale, when coupled with the original RWIS product. RWIS Lite is an exact structural replica of the original RWIS, which allows for duplicity in shared components. The original RWIS increases the flow capacity of a single relief well, which is a safer and less challenging option to drilling multiple relief wells during a subsea well blowout.

Who is Responsible for WTI Weakness?

© Ded Pixto / Adobe Stock

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) is distorting oil prices by being far too optimistic in its forecasts for U.S. production, according to Harold Hamm, the chief executive of Continental Resources. Hamm, who also chairs the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance (DEPA), a lobbying group, blames EIA for both the outright decline in U.S. oil prices and their underperformance compared with Brent since June. Hamm faults EIA for being too optimistic about U.S. production, creating an impression there will be surplus of crude and depressing futures prices for West Texas Intermediate (WTI). EIA currently forecasts U.S.

Texas American Elevates Eagle Ford IPs

Austin, Texas based Texas American Resources announces Eagleville Field – Eagle Ford Shale discovery in Atascosa County (RRC Dist. 1), Texas. The recently completed Bowman West 141H flowed 1.285 Mbbl of 36-degree-gravity crude, 615 Mcf of gas and 1.795 Mbbl of water from fracture stimulated perforations from 8,255' to 15,884'. The well is on a 6,274 acre lease in Section 1736, I&GN RR Co Survey, A-459, and was tested on a 30/64 choke with flowing tubing pressure of 1,040 psi. The well was drilled to 15,932' with a true vertical depth of 8,290'.

Oil Falls Below $56 on Signs of Higher Output

Oil fell more than $1 a barrel to below $56 on Monday as a rise in U.S. drilling and higher OPEC output put the brakes on a rally that helped prices to register their biggest third-quarter gain in 13 years. U.S. energy companies added oil rigs for the first week in seven and Iraq announced its exports rose slightly in September while OPEC overall boosted output, a Reuters survey showed. Brent crude, the global benchmark, was down $1.02 at $55.77 a barrel at 1310 GMT. It notched a third-quarter gain of about 20 percent, the biggest third-quarter increase since 2004 and traded as high as $59.49 last week.

Energy Industry Says 'No Thanks' to Trump Offer of Marine Sanctuaries

The National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (Photo: NOAA)

In a bid to boost energy development, U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is considering shrinking or eliminating 11 marine sanctuaries designed to protect 425 million acres of coral reefs, marine mammal habitats and pristine beaches. The review is part of a broader strategy to open new areas to oil and gas drilling and “put the energy needs of American families and businesses first,” according to the order Trump signed in April that triggered it. But interviews with energy industry representatives signal the effort will likely miss its target.

Exxon's Big Bet on Brazil Oil Could Signal Major Pre-salt Role

Exxon Mobil Corp's big bet on Brazil's offshore Campos basin shows its willingness to pay up to replenish its reserves and may pave the way for hefty bids in October auctions in the country's rich pre-salt areas, analysts said. Marking a return to Brazilian exploration after a five-year absence, Exxon took eight blocks in the coveted basin, one of Brazil's most productive, at an auction on Wednesday. Six were taken in partnership with state-run Petroleo Brasileiro (Petrobras). The auction's record take included an Exxon bid of 2.24 billion reais ($704 million) for one block, Brazil's highest-ever such bid.

New Offshore Oil Investments Needed to Avoid Shortages -Hess

(File photo: Hess)

Higher investments in offshore oil production are critical to avoiding a supply squeeze by 2020, as expanding shale output will not match projected demand increases in the next few years, U.S. oil producer Hess Corp said on Thursday. The past four years of low oil prices have major producers pulling back on needed offshore investment, and the gap between supply and demand should help prices rebound, Hess Chief Operating Officer Greg Hill said at an energy conference at Rice University's Baker Institute. "The world is going to have to invest in more than shale…

Wison Launches Buoyant Tower Solutions with Storage

The overall effect diagram of New Buoyant Tower solution with storage (Photo: Wison)

Wison Offshore & Marine has developed a new Buoyant Tower solution with condensate or oil storage, adopting Wison’s proprietary Buoyant Tower technology. This floating concept provides a new economic and reliable option for the oil and gas development in the shallow to medium-depth waters. Originally invented by Ed Horton and Lyle Finn, the Buoyant Tower technology was first applied to BPZ CX-15 project offshore Peru when both Ed and Lyle worked for Horton Wison Deepwater Inc. (HWD), now renamed as Wison Offshore Technology Inc. with 130+ patents originated by Ed Horton and his fellows transferred from HWD.

Private Equity Firm Energy Ventures Rebrands

L to R – EV Private Equity senior partner Greg Herrera and investment director Tomas Hvamb. (Photo: Energy Ventures)

A continuing low oil price has led to a re-focus of the investment strategy and a recent rebranding for independent private equity firm Energy Ventures. The company, which is headquartered in Stavanger and has offices in Houston and Aberdeen, has changed its name to EV Private Equity. EV is interested in the companies in the oil and gas services sector which require $10-25million of investment, where the focus is on provision of capital and competence to enable growth, debt deleveraging, succession planning, buy-outs and buy and build cases where there is a compelling opportunity to grow attractive niche business.

CGG Completes Perdido Subsalt Survey for Pemex

CGG has completed ahead of schedule an 11,500 sq km wide-azimuth (WAZ) survey on behalf of Pemex in the deepwater Perdido area. This new survey has been acquired perpendicularly to existing WAZ data and the combined Imaging of this first large-scale orthogonal WAZ data set is expected to provide significantly enhanced subsalt imaging results. A fast-track TTI RTM image for the first block of approximately 5,200 sq. km was delivered earlier than planned, helping to guide the client’s drilling operations. This landmark survey…

Jenkins Joins Well-Safe

Matt Jenkins (Photo: Well-Safe Solutions)

Well-Safe Solutions has appointed a director of well abandonment to its growing list of decommissioning experts, bringing the senior team to nine since launching this summer. Matt Jenkins has joined Well-Safe from Conoco where he led its UK P&A (plug and abandonment) Engineering and Strategy and was pivotal in the Southern North Sea Decommissioning project. As director of well abandonment at Well-Safe, Jenkins will lead the technical team to design safe and efficient well P&A operations for clients, ensuring the best possible solutions are implemented to mitigate risk.

Total Dips Toes into Exxon's Offshore Guyana Play

France's Total has agreed to pay $1 million for an option to buy a 25 percent stake in an oil exploration block offshore Guyana, its first foray into an area close to where ExxonMobil made one of the largest discoveries of the last decade. Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas, a small Canadian exploration company which earlier this year listed on London's junior AIM market, said on Tuesday Total now had the option to acquire the stake in the Orinduik Block for another $12.5 million following the analysis of recently collected 3D seismic data.

Statoil, Partners to Boost Capacity at Troll Field

File Image: Statoil's offshore Troll B facility (CREDIT: Statoil)

Aker Solutions awarded contract to boost output capacity; Troll is Norway's largest gas field. Norway's Statoil and partners are working to increase the output capacity of Troll, the country's largest gas field, a move traders say would enable the firms to produce more flexibly and cover production shortages at other fields due to outages. The Troll field accounts for 40 percent of Norway's gas resources and is a crucial energy source for many European states. Operator Statoil has awarded a front-end engineering and design…

Oil Hits Eight-Month High as Inventories Drop

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

Brent hits highest since January; major producers confirm global inventories falling. Oil prices rose on Monday to their highest in eight months after major producers said at a meeting in Vienna the global market was well on its way towards rebalancing. The November Brent crude futures contract was up 79 cents at $57.65 a barrel by 1134 GMT, its highest since January 3. U.S. crude for November delivery was up 41 cents at $51.07 a barrel, close to recent four-month highs. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries…

Transocean Retires Six Floaters

Photo: Transocean

Transocean announced its intent to retire the ultra-deepwater floaters GSF Jack Ryan, Sedco Energy, Sedco Express, Cajun Express, and Deepwater Pathfinder, and the deepwater floater Transocean Marianas. The rigs will be classified as held for sale and will be recycled in an environmentally responsible manner. All six rigs were previously cold stacked. The company will recognize an impairment charge of approximately $1.4 billion during the third quarter of 2017 associated with these actions. “We continue to enhance the quality of our fleet through the addition of new…

Total Working with Brazil Agency to Clear Amazonas Drilling

Oil major Total is working with Brazil's environmental agency Ibama to resolve the last questions regarding the process to obtain a license to drill at Foz do Amazonas area, Maxime Rabilloud, head of Total's Brazil unit, said on Wednesday.   Reporting by Alexandra Alper; Writing by Marcelo Teixeira

Chevron Drills Oil Well in Iraqi Kurdish Area after Two-year Gap

U.S. firm Chevron drilled its first exploration well this month in Iraqi Kurdistan after a two-year break, industry sources said, signalling its confidence in the area despite an international row over region's independence referendum plan. Chevron, the second largest U.S. oil and gas company, drilled the well in Sarta block, north of the regional capital Erbil, the first such well since the second half of 2015, two industry sources told Reuters. "Chevron continues its exploration activities in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq," a Chevron spokeswoman said, without elaborating.

Lebanon Passes Oil Tax Law

Lebanon made progress in its efforts to develop a hydrocarbons industry on Tuesday when lawmakers passed a petroleum tax law, as companies prepare to bid on a first round of offshore exploration licences next month. Earlier this month, Energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil extended by four weeks the deadline for companies to submit bids for exploration and production. Bidding will be held for offshore blocks 1, 4, 8, 9 and 10. The government has pre-qualified more than 50 companies to bid for the licences. The energy ministry said it extended the deadline to allow time for ratifying the law, and based on requests from some companies.

ETP: U.S. Approves Drilling Along Rover Gas Pipeline

File Image: A typical gas pipeline header (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Hanmaomin)

Oil and gas pipeline company Energy Transfer Partners LP said on Tuesday it received approval from U.S. energy regulators to resume drilling along its $4.2 billion Rover pipeline project. The Rover project from Pennsylvania to Ontario is the biggest gas pipeline under construction in the United States. ETP said operations on nine locations for horizontal directional drilling approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) are expected to begin within the week. The FERC had banned ETP from starting new horizontal directional drilling under waterways and roads following the release of some 2 million gallons of drilling fluid…

Oil Nears Five-Month Highs

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

Saudi crude exports fell to three-year low in July, as U.S. shale output seen rising for 10th month in October. Oil prices traded close to five-month highs on Tuesday after key Middle Eastern producers showed they continued to comply with output cuts under an OPEC-led deal that Iraq's oil minister said could be extended or deepened. A weaker U.S. dollar also lent support to dollar-denominated commodities such as oil, traders said. Benchmark Brent crude futures were up 20 cents at $55.68 a barrel by 1200 GMT, not far off a five-month high of $55.99. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 35 cents at $50.26.

U.S. Interior Chief Seeks Changes at U.S. Monuments

The head of the U.S. Department of the Interior urged President Donald Trump to lift restrictions on activities such as logging and mining in or to shrink the footprints of 10 national monuments, according to the Washington Post. The Post, citing a copy of the recommendations, said late on Sunday that U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke had recommended reducing boundaries for Utah’s Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante, Nevada’s Gold Butte and Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou. Zinke also called for relaxing current restrictions within some of the national monuments' boundaries for activities such as grazing…

Oil Slips But Hovers Near Recent Highs

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

Gulf refineries restarting after Hurricane Harvey as U.S. U.S. crude oil prices slipped below $50 per barrel on Monday but stayed close to multi-month highs amid a drop in shale drilling and as refineries continued to restart after Hurricane Harvey. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 27 cents at $49.62 at 1115 GMT, but still close to Thursday's near-four month high of $50.50. Brent crude futures were 33 cents lower at $55.29 a barrel, near an almost five-month high of $55.99 touched on Thursday. "Demand forecasts from OPEC and IEA ... continued to improve sentiment in the market.

US Drillers Cut Most Oil Rigs since January

© arinahabich / Adobe Stock

U.S. energy firms cut the most oil rigs in a week since January as a 14-month drilling recovery stalled due to weak crude prices. Drillers cut seven oil rigs in the week to Sept. 15, bringing the total count down to 749, the least since June, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday. Drillers have not added any rigs since the week of Aug. 11. The rig count, an early indicator of future output, is still higher than the 416 active oil rigs a year ago as energy companies had mapped out ambitious spending programs for 2017 when they expected U.S.

Oil/Chemical Spills from Harvey Are Big, but Dwarfed by Katrina

More than 22,000 barrels of oil, refined fuels and chemicals spilled at sites across Texas in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, along with millions of cubic feet of natural gas and hundreds of tons of other toxic substances, a Reuters review of company reports to the U.S. Coast Guard shows. The spills, clustered around the heart of the U.S. oil industry, together rank among the worst environmental mishaps in the country in years, but fall far short of the roughly 190,000 barrels spilled in Louisiana in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina - the last major storm to take dead aim at the U.S. Gulf Coast. Harvey slammed ashore in Texas on Aug.

Xodus Wins Two ESIA Contracts in Senegal

Wim van der Zande (Photo: Xodus Group)

Xodus Group sai dit has been awarded two Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) contracts for projects in the Rufisque Offshore, Sangomar Offshore and Sangomar Deep Offshore (RSSD) blocks in Senegal, West Africa. Xodus’ environmental team undertake the study for drilling activities in the Sangomar and Rufisque blocks for Capricorn Senegal Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cairn Energy PLC, Operator of the RSSD blocks. Xodus will also perform an ESIA for the Phase 1 Development, comprising a FPSO, over the SNE deepwater oil field located in the Sangomar Deep Offshore block for Woodside Energy (Senegal) B.V.…

US Shale Sector at Critical Price Threshold: Kemp

© bizoo_n / Adobe Stock

Forward U.S. oil prices for 2018 have climbed back above $50 per barrel, a level that should be high enough to stabilise drilling activity over the next two months. But if prices continue their current upward trend, shale firms will almost certainly interpret that as a sign to increase output and begin ramping up their drilling programmes again. Shale drilling has proved very sensitive to changes in the value of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude, especially the forward prices shale firms rely on to hedge production and reduce their risks.

Premier Oil Seeks North Sea Gas Field Buyer

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

Premier selling 23.5 stake in Babbage gas field; CEO says bidding process yet to be launched. Premier Oil is seeking to sell half of its stake in the Babbage gas field in the North Sea, according to a document seen by Reuters, as it tries to pay down a heavy debt pile it accrued during the oil market downturn. The London-listed oil and gas producer completed a financial restructuring earlier this year and is counting on revenue from disposals and the start-up of its new Catcher field to help it reduce debt that reached $2.74 billion by the end of June.

Aker BP to Drill 6-8 Wells in 2018

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

Aker BP plans to drill between six and eight exploration wells off Norway next year, including four in the Barents Sea, the Norwegian oil firm's chief executive told Reuters. One of these will target a prospect in the southeast Barents on the maritime border with Russia and could contain significant new resources. "Yes, it can, but it also (has) quite a bit of risk," Chief Executive Karl Johnny Hersvik said in an interview at Aker BP's office near Oslo. Aker BP, which is 40 percent owned by Aker Capital and 30 percent by BP, operates the licence with partners including Russia's Lukoil and Norway's Statoil .

North Atlantic Drilling: No Recovery for Current Shareholders

Rig firm North Atlantic Drilling said in a statement:   North Atlantic Drilling Ltd., a majority owned subsidiary of Seadrill Limited, announced holders of it common stock will receive no recovery in Chapter 11 process Seadrill earlier announced it had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and expects current Seadrill shareholders to receive 2 pct of the post-restructured equity Related stories:Seadrill files for chapter 11 bankruptcy Sevan Drilling: No recovery for current shareholders under chapter 11 cases   Reporting by Ole Petter Skonnord 

Fred. Olsen Energy: Market to Bottom in 2017

Rig firm Fred. A total increase in exploration and production spending of approx. A further decline of approx.

Final Turbine Installed at Dudgeon Wind Farm

The 67 turbines on the Dudgeon field can provide 410,000 U.K. homes with electricity. (Photos: Ole Jørgen Bratland)

This week saw the last of the 67 wind turbines being installed on the Dudgeon field and all of them are now producing electricity. During October, the wind farm will provide 410,000 homes in England with electricity. Thirty-two kilometers off the coast of Norfolk in England the wind farm has grown gradually since the first turbine was installed at the beginning of the year. The wind farm was completed at the agreed time and below the budget of GBP 1.5 billion that was set when the investment decision was made in 2014. Ever since the first households received electricity already at the beginning of February…

Statoil: Rosneft Oilfield Deal Complies with Sanctions

Norway's Statoil said on Thursday its cooperation with Russia's Rosneft in developing the onshore North Komsomolskoye oilfield was compliant with European Union and U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia over the conflict in Ukraine. Statoil confirmed plans to take a 33 percent stake in the northwest Siberian field under an agreement signed with Rosneft in 2013, a year before sanctions on cooperation in oil production were imposed. "We continue to be transparent about all our activities and we make sure they are compliant with all relevant sanctions…

Total Expects Approvals for Offshore Greece Exploration

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Total expects approval from the Greek parliament by the end of the year to explore for oil off the western coast of Greece, the French company's chief executive told a Greek newspaper. Greece and a consortium made up of Total, Italy's Edison and Hellenic Petroleum have signed a lease agreement to search for oil and gas in the Ionian Sea. "We expect ratification of the agreement by Greece's parliament by the end of the year to start work," Chief Executive Officer Patrick Pouyanne told Ta New newspaper. Total and other French business leaders will be travelling with French President Emmanuel Macron to Athens on Thursday for a two-day trip.