Saturday, April 29, 2017

Australia Plans to Limit LNG Exports

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Australia's conservative government unveiled a radical plan on Thursday to restrict exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) at times when domestic shortages push up local prices, aiming to ease soaring energy costs for local manufacturers. The plan would allow Australia's resources minister…

Op/Ed: Trump Signals New Day for Offshore Energy

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National Ocean Industries Association president Randall Luthi weighs in on President Trump’s Executive Order on offshore energy. It’s a new day and a new attitude for American energy. The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) applauds President Donald Trump’s Executive Order recognizing…

Saipem Teams Up with Italy Railways in Russia Project Bid

Saipem has teamed up with Italy's state railways to bid for work on a Russian high-speed train project as the Italian oil engineering and contracting firm seeks new business to offset an ongoing slump in the energy industry. Oil service groups like Saipem have been hit by a sharp fall in…

Semco Maritime Revenue Dips 8% in 2016

Photo courtesy of Semco Maritime

Semco Maritime said the low oil and gas prices in 2016 did not encourage new industry activity or investments its customers. The low demand entailed a decline in Semco Maritime’s revenue to DKK 1,598 million compared to DKK 1,744 million in 2015. The revenue decline of 8 percent in 2016 was smaller than the decline in 2015…

Total Expects Decision on First Libra FPSO by Summer

A decision on the first floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels on the giant Libra project in Brazil will be made by the summer, Total's head of exploration and production said on Thursday. "We are actively working actively on Libra to have the first FPSO decided before summer," Arnaud Breuillac told an oil summit in Paris.

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

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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.

Uruguay to Tender 17 Offshore Blocks for Exploration

Uruguayan state oil company Ancap said on Tuesday it will tender 17 off-shore blocks for exploration in areas up to 3,000 meters deep, with offers to be presented in April 2019. The tender, called Uruguay Round III, will be launched in Houston in September. "Ancap is working with the ministry of industry and energy in the preparation of the model contract…

Venezuelan Crude Sales to the US Down in March

Venezuelan crude oil sales to the United States declined in March for the third month in a row this year to 651,710 barrels per day due to falling exports of main grade Merey, according to Thomson Reuters trade flows data. Venezuela's crude output fell in 2016 to its lowest level in 23 years.

Norway Expects Record Arctic Drilling in 2017

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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…

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)…

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 ...

New Executive Orders Loom on Environment, Energy

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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…

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

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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…

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.

Statoil Confident About Offshore Brazil Deal

File Image: a typical Statoil offshore installation (CREDIT: Statoil)

Norway's Statoil is confident that its deal with Petróleo Brasileiro SA to acquire a stake in exploration block BM-S-8 offshore Brazil will eventually go ahead despite a court suspension, a spokesman said on Tuesday. "We are confident that he deal will go ahead... We are considering various legal options…

Premier Oil CEO Pay Rises as Company Recovers

Photo: Premier Oil

The head of North Sea oil producer Premier Oil saw his final pay package rise by a third last year to 1.4 million pounds ($1.7 million) as a reward for his work to cut costs amid weak oil prices, the company said in its annual report. London-listed Premier Oil, which had been struggling with high debt before agreeing a restructuring deal in February…

Eni, Shell Deny Illicit Payments in Nigeria

Oil majors Royal Dutch Shell and Eni reiterated on Monday that neither they nor their personnel had been involved in any wrongdoing in Nigeria, including improper payments to Nigerian officials. The comments follow media reports alleging how hundreds of millions of dollars from the two companies were used for illicit payments.

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.

US Oil Rig Count Rises for 12th Straight Week

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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…

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…

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.

Brazil Aims to Raise $7.7 bln in Oil, Gas Auctions

Brazil's government expects to raise at least 24 billion reais ($7.7 billion) in oil and gas auctions through 2019, Energy Ministry Executive Secretary Paulo Pedrosa said on Monday. The auctions, which include presalt exploration areas, should raise at least 8.5 billion reais in 2017, Pedrosa said.

Cobalt Threatens Arbitration over Angolan Assets

U.S. oil firm Cobalt said it would seek arbitration if Angola's state-run Sonangol failed to extend licence deadlines on two deepwater blocks, a move the U.S. company said was needed to help it sell the assets. Cobalt said its efforts to find a buyer for its 40 percent stakes in Blocks 20…

US Drillers Add Most Oil Rigs in a Quarter since 2011

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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…

Repsol Strikes Onshore Deal with Energean Oil

Spain's Repsol has entered a so-called farm-in agreement with Energean Oil & Gas for a 60 percent stake in two onshore blocks in western Greece, Energean Oil said on Friday. Under a farm-in agreement, an oil and gas company acquires an interest in a lease owned by another group. Repsol will…

CGG GeoConsulting Awarded Geoscience Study by KGOC

CGG has announced that it has been awarded a multi-year integrated geoscience study by Kuwait Gulf Oil Company (KGOC) to identify resource growth potential in the onshore Partitioned Zone (PZ). The geoscience study will be conducted by CGG GeoConsulting and, importantly, involve KGOC geoscience experts embedded in the project team.

Thailand Amends Law to Give More Energy Exploration Options

Thailand's military-appointed assembly approved an amendment to a petroleum law on Thursday which will give companies more options for exploration and production operations. Currently, oil and gas companies must get a concession to operate in a Thai field. The proposed amendment will add…

Pemex Delves Deep into UK Subsea Sector

Photo courtesy of Subsea UK

Senior figures from Mexico’s national oil company, Pemex, have been discovering the secrets of the UK subsea sector’s success and how it has revolutionized the way in which hydrocarbons have been extracted from beneath the seabed during a fact-finding visit to Aberdeen. Organized in partnership with the Department of International Trade (DIT)…

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.

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.

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…

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.

US to Offer 48 Mln Acres in Next Gulf Lease Sale

The U.S. Department of Interior and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will conduct a lease sale on Wednesday, March 22, 2017, offering 48 million acres in federal waters offshore Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama for oil and gas exploration and development. Lease Sale 247, which includes…

Petrobras Raises Asset Sale Goal for 2017-2018

Petróleo Brasileiro SA raised on Wednesday a goal for asset divestitures and partnerships for this and next year to $21 billion from $19.5 billion previously, a sign Brazil's state-controlled oil company plans to expand ventures with peers in segments from refining to oil exploration. In a presentation detailing fourth-quarter results…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

Will LNG Remain a Key Energy Source?

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Japan imported 8.3 million metric tons of LNG in January, an increase of 1.06 million metric tons compared to the previous year. The data, released by the Japanese Ministry of Finance, also reveals that the amount the country pays for LNG imports had increased by 6.7 percent since 2015. Japan…

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…

Australia in Talks With Gas Majors to Avert Local Shortage

File Image: CREDIT AdobeStock Fotmart

Australian PM in crisis talks with gas majors; Australia faces gas shortage despite exports soaring. Australia's top gas producers, led by ExxonMobil Corp and Royal Dutch Shell, agreed to boost supply to the country's domestic market to help avert an energy shortage following crisis talks with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

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.

Exxon to Buy Offshore Mozambique Gas Stake

Exxon Mobil Corp said on Thursday it would buy a 25 percent stake in a natural gas-rich block, offshore Mozambique, from Italy's Eni for $2.8 billion in cash. The offshore gas reserves discovered by Eni in Mozambique are large enough to need a giant liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant.

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…

Shell Nigeria Shuts Bonga Oil Field For At Least A Month

Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company (SNEPCo) halted production at Nigeria's Bonga oil field on March 4 for maintenance that will last at least a month. SNEPCo said in a statement that Bonga, which has capacity to produce 225,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil and 150 million standard cubic feet (scf) of gas…

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.

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…

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…

U.S. Shale Renews Challenge to OPEC

File Image: CREDIT Edelweiss AdobeStock

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.

Op/Ed: Offshore Energy Can Power US Growth

Randall Luthi  (Photo: NOIA)

Following President Trump’s address to the joint session of Congress, National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) president Randall Luthi weighs in on  shifting U.S. policy and its effects on offshore energy and the American economy. As President Trump begins work on his ambitious agenda…

Maersk, Danish State Agree on North Sea Taxes

File Image: An offshore Maersk oil installation (CREDIT: Maersk)

A.P. Moller-Maersk has agreed with the Danish state on terms for a new framework agreement regarding exploration and production of oil and gas in the North Sea, Berlingske daily reported on Wednesday, citing anonymous sources. Maersk Oil had asked authorities for tax relief in order to proceed with an upgrade of the maturing Tyra field…

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…

Gabon: Total sells interests in mature fields to Perenco

Transaction summary

Total has signed an agreement for the sale of stakes and the transfer of operatorship in various mature assets in Gabon to Perenco. The transaction is subject to approval by the authorities. This agreement includes the sale of the Group’s 100%-owned affiliate Total Participations Petrolières Gabon, which holds interests in 10 fields.

Hathon is Director Exploration, Cairn

Simon Thomson, Chief Executive Photo Cairn

Cairn announced the appointment of Eric Hathon as Director of Exploration. Dr Hathon, who has more than 25 years experience in the international oil and gas industry, will join Cairn from Marathon Oil Corporation where he held the position of Director Conventional Exploration, based at the company’s Headquarters in Houston, USA.

Somali President Appoints Oil Firm Executive as PM

Somalia's newly elected president on Thursday appointed the country director of British firm Soma Oil and Gas as the new prime minister, raising questions about possible conflicts of interest in the Horn of Africa country. President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, known as "Farmajo", named Hassan Ali Khaire as prime minister…

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.

Pipeline Fight Moves from Dakotas to Louisiana

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When Hope Rosinski's father gave her a six-acre plot in Louisiana more than a decade ago, she was surprised to find oil and gas pipelines crisscrossing the property. Pipeline companies later secured her permission for two more lines, one of which has since caused flooding and consistently leaves her land saturated. Now she's had enough.

Fugro Awarded Seeps Survey Offshore Kenya

Photo: Fugro

Fugro has been awarded a contract by Shell/BG Kenya for the execution of a seabed survey to detect natural leakages of hydrocarbons. The seeps survey complements a seismic exploration program that was completed recently offshore Kenya. Undertaking a four-week campaign of multibeam data acquisition and precise sampling…

Ecopetrol: Proven Reserves Plunge 14 pct in 2016

Colombian state-run oil company Ecopetrol said on Tuesday its proven oil and gas reserves fell 14 percent in 2016 to 1.60 billion barrels equivalent because of a decline in exploration caused by low crude prices. The reserves were equivalent to 6.8 years of output, down from 7.4 years in 2015, the company said in a statement.