Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Activists Protest near Oil Rig in Norway's Arctic Sea Area

Environmental activists protested on Friday near an offshore rig contracted by Statoil in the remote Norwegian Arctic, where the firm is looking for oil and gas deposits. The Nordic country wants to open up northern areas for exploration to offset declining production in the south. Oil and gas production is Norway's leading industry…

Mexico Sets Next Deep-water Oil, Gas Tenders

Mexico's oil regulator, the National Hydrocarbons Commission, set Jan. 31 as the date for the next round of auctions for deep-water oil and gas tenders in the Gulf of Mexico. The so-called 2.4 auctions will offer 30 areas, of which 10 are in the Cordilleras Mexicanas deepwater basin, 10 others in the Salina Basin…

U.S. Uncompleted Well Backlog Looms over Market

U.S. oil and gas exploration and production companies are drilling new wells faster than they can be fractured and hooked up to gathering systems, creating a growing backlog of drilled but uncompleted oil and gas wells. By June, the number of drilled but uncompleted oil and gas wells across the seven largest shale plays had topped 6…

Lundin Extends Contract for Ocean Rig

Image: Ocean Rig

Ocean Rig UDW, contractor of offshore deepwater drilling services, has announced that Lundin Norway AS, has declared their third option to extend the existing contract of the Leiv Eiriksson. In addition, Ocean Rig has granted Lundin 2 additional options to drill further wells in the future.

Statoil: Norwegian Arctic Gas Find Disappoints

File Image: an offshore Statoil Installation (CREDIT: Statoil)

Statoil has made a smaller-than-expected gas find in the Barents Sea near its Snoehvit gas field, the company said on Monday. The find at the Blaamann well is estimated to hold up to 3 billion standard cubic metres of recoverable gas. No oil was found. "We were exploring for oil and this is not the result we were hoping for…

Trump Administration Reduces Royalty Rates for GoM Leases

© Mike Mareen / Adobe Stock

The Trump administration on Thursday announced its first offshore oil and gas lease sale, offering 76 million acres (30 million hectares) in the Gulf of Mexico and reduced royalty rates for shallow-water leases to encourage drilling at a time of low oil prices. U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said the sale on Aug.

Xodus wins Subsurface Contract with Cairn Oil and Gas in India

Xodus Group CEO, Wim van der Zande

Xodus Group won a contract with Cairn Oil and Gas of Vedanta Ltd. to conduct exploration and appraisal work on its Rajasthan block in north-west India over the next two years. The first stage of the work will focus on delivering new drilling prospects and an exploration drilling plan, in partnership with Cairn Oil and Gas’ in-house team.

Suriname Signs Offshore Oil Deals with Exxon, Hess and Statoil

Suriname's state oil company Staatsolie said on Thursday it signed production sharing contracts involving Exxon Mobil Corp, Hess Corp and Statoil ASA for two blocks off the coast of the South American nation. The thirty-year exploration and production agreements involve the areas known as Block 59…

Trump Administration Approves Eni Plan to Drill Offshore Alaska

Image of sea ice in the Beaufort Sea, acquired on 3 June 2017 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument, on board the Aqua satellite. (Photo: NASA)

Eni US will become the first energy company allowed to explore for oil in federal waters off Alaska since 2015 after the Trump administration this week approved a drilling plan on leases the company has been sitting on for 10 years. The approval is conditional on Eni getting other state and federal permits…

Turkish Navy Monitoring Drilling Vessel near Cyprus

Turkey has sent two ships and a submarine to monitor a drilling vessel in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, the military said on Thursday, in a move likely to increase tension with Cyprus after reunification talks failed last week. The drilling work, a contractual obligation between Cyprus and France's Total…

Premier Oil: North Sea Exploration No Longer Attractive

Shares at three-month high after Zama oil discovery. Premier Oil, which produces more than half its oil in the British North Sea, said on Thursday that exploring for resources in the basin was no longer attractive, a day after it announced a major discovery off Mexico. The company's shares…

Australian Group to Raise Money for Israel Shale Oil Project

Israel's REM Energy partnership issued a prospectus on Wednesday for an offering on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange to raise 25 million shekels ($7.1 million) to advance the country's largest shale oil project. The partnership, controlled by Northwood Exploration Israel, plans to build a plant in southern Israel to produce oil and electricity from oil shale.

Premier Oil Discovers Oil off Mexico Coast

Premier Oil Plc said it had discovered oil off the coast of Mexico at its Zama-1 exploration well in Block 7. Premier, which holds a 25 percent interest in the block, said estimates for the Zama-1 well were in excess of 1 billion barrels, which could extend into a neighbouring block. The project is jointly owned by Talos Energy…

Drilling in Disputed South China Sea may Resume

Drilling for oil and natural gas on the Reed Bank in the South China Sea may resume before the end of the year, a Philippine energy official said on Wednesday, as the government prepares to offer new blocks to investors in bidding in December. The Philippines suspended exploration at the Reed Bank…

Marsol Signs Two-Year OOCEP Contract

Photo: Marsol International

Marsol International, a UAE-based global marine solutions provider focused on the offshore oil terminal market and related infrastructure, has signed a two years contract with Oman Oil Company Exploration & Production LLC (OOCEP) for the provision and management of the marine and offshore activities related to the tanker loading…

OSV Companies Running Out of Options -Study

© corlaffra / Adobe Stock

As oil continues to sell below $50 per barrel, 2017 could be one of the toughest years in decades for Offshore Supply Vessel (OSV) companies, according to a study of 44 companies in the industry by AlixPartners. The firm’s analysis highlights these companies’ rising debt burdens, making it increasingly unlikely that most of them can maintain solvency.

Statoil Completes Two-well Exploration Drilling Campaign Off Newfoundland

The Seadrill West Aquarius drilling rig. (Photo: Seadrill)

Statoil, along with its partner, Husky Energy, has finalized a two-well exploration drilling program in the Flemish Pass Basin offshore Newfoundland. Both wells were drilled safely and efficiently by the Seadrill West Aquarius in the Flemish Pass Basin, located approximately 500 kilometres east of St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

US to Speed Approval for O&G Exploration on Federal Land

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Thursday signed an order to hold more lease sales and to speed up approving permits to explore for oil and gas on federal land, a process he said got bogged down under former President Barack Obama. The order is the latest move by the administration of…

Gazprom Neft to Create Joint Venture with Repsol

Russia's oil producer Gazprom Neft said on Monday it would create a joint venture with Spanish energy company Repsol in Russia. Gazprom Neft acquired a 25.02 percent stake with the right to increase it to 50 percent in Evrotek-Yugra, which is owned by Spain's Repsol and holds exploration and production rights to seven license blocks in West Siberia…

Low Oil Price Hurts Norway's Case for Arctic Exploration

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

Low oil prices mean drilling for oil and gas in an offshore zone between Russia and Norway will not bring the economic benefits Oslo had predicted, according to a report commissioned by two green groups that are suing the Norwegian state over its plans. The Nordic country wants to open up…

Petrobras Operations Normal Despite Brazil Strike

Exploration and production, refining and logistics activities at Brazilian state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro are normal on Friday amid a nationwide strike, executives said. Activity at deep sea platforms operated by Petrobras has suffered no disruptions, while the stoppage had some impact at several refineries…

Rosneft Sells 20% Stake in VChNG to Beijing Gas

Russia's largest oil producer Rosneft said on Thursday it had completed a deal to sell 20 percent in its subsidiary Verkhnechyonskneftegaz (VChNG) to Beijing Gas for $1.1 billion. The Kremlin-controlled company also said the deal could allow it to gain access to China's domestic gas market and end-users via swap deals.

BP Takes $750m Hit in Angola Exploration Write-off

BP said on Thursday it will incur a $750 million write off in its second quarter 2017 results over exploration blocks it relinquished in Angola. "As part of the ongoing portfolio evaluation, BP has decided to relinquish its 50 percent interest in Block 24/11 offshore southern Angola. Katambi…

US Oil Rig Count Climbs for 23rd Week

© zorandim75 / Adobe Stock

U.S. energy firms added oil rigs for a record 23rd week in a row, extending a year-long drilling recovery as producers boost spending on expectations crude prices will rise in future months despite this week's decline to a 10-month low. Drillers added 11 oil rigs in the week to June 23, bringing the total count up to 758…

Greece Approves Trio of Drillers for Offshore Contracts

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

Greece approved applications submitted by a consortium of Total, ExxonMobil and Hellenic Petroleum for oil and gas exploration and drilling off the island of Crete, its energy ministry said on Friday. The ministry also approved an application submitted by Greece's sole oil producer Energean Oil for offshore drilling in western Greece, the ministry said.

Big Oil turns to Big Data for Drilling Economies

In today's U.S. shale fields, tiny sensors attached to production gear harvest data on everything from pumping pressure to the heat and rotational speed of drill bits boring into the rocky earth. The sensors are leading Big Oil's mining of so-called big data, with some firms envisioning billions of dollars in savings over time by avoiding outages…

Statoil Cleared to Use Cap-X Drilling Technology – for Now

Polar Pioneer in the Barents Sea - Statoil - Photo Harald Pettersen

A ban on Norway's Statoil using a pioneering drilling technology in the Barents Sea was lifted after a plaintiff failed to post security in a patent dispute, a lawyer said on Thursday. A Stavanger court earlier in June upheld an injunction on the technology's use, pending payment of a 20…

SBM Offshore Awarded Liza FPSO Contract

SBM Offshore said it has secured contracts from ExxonMobil to construct, install, lease and operate a floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO) for the next phase of the Liza project in Guyana. The contracts follow completion of front-end engineering studies and the final investment decision on the project by ExxonMobil.

Faroe Islands Looks to Restart Hunt for Oil and Gas

Oil companies are interested in restarting the hunt for oil and gas in the scarcely explored seas off the Faroe Islands neighbouring the more mature UK North Sea, the head of the Faroese Geological Survey said. No economically viable discoveries have been made on the Faroese shelf but the…

Nipco Launches $16 mln Offer for Mobil Oil Shares

Nipco Plc has launched a 4.84 billion naira ($16 mln) offer for the shares it needs to take its stake in Mobil Oil to 70 percent to comply with Nigerian takeover rules, its advisers said on Wednesday. Nipco's investment subsidiary bought 60 percent of Mobil Oil Nigeria from Exxon Mobil Corp. in October, when the U.S.

Norway Offers Record Number of Arctic Exploration Blocks

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

Norway offered a record number of blocks for oil and gas exploration in the Arctic Barents Sea on Wednesday, brushing off concerns about the risks of drilling in the remote, icy environment. The oil ministry proposed 102 blocks, comprising 93 in the Barents Sea and nine in the Norwegian Sea…

Traders Hunt for Shale's Pain Threshold: Kemp

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

Crude prices are likely to remain under pressure until there are signs the number of rigs drilling for oil in the United States is stabilising or reversing lower. U.S. exploration and production firms have hired 530 extra drilling rigs since the end of May 2016 - 431 to target oil and 99 to focus on gas - according to oilfield services firm Baker Hughes.

Offshore Gas Safety atop the Agenda for Martek Marine

Gas Sampling System (Photo: Martek Marine)

Maritime industry technology specialists Martek Marine say it is setting the bar high when it comes to offshore gas safety. The company has developed a first-of-its-kind gas sampling system for a new moored floating production unit, which forms part of the Jangkrik Complex gas fields development in Indonesia.

OPEC Should Heed Achnacarry Lessons: Kemp

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

OPEC members are struggling to protect their revenues in the face of renewed competition from U.S. shale producers and other suppliers outside the organisation. OPEC's revenues from petroleum exports have fallen to just $446 billion in 2016 from $1.2 trillion in 2012 ("Annual Statistical Bulletin", OPEC, 2017).

Mexico Auctions Two-thirds of Blocks in Shallow Water Oil Tender

Mexico on Monday auctioned two-thirds of the shallow water oil and gas blocks up for grabs in the latest round of its energy market opening, surpassing the cautious estimates of officials last week. Italy's Eni, Colombia's Ecopetrol and Capricorn Energy, a unit of Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy…

Mexico Awaits Next Oil Round with Cautious Optimism

Mexico is looking forward to its next round of offshore oil auctions on Monday with guarded optimism thanks to robust interest from oil majors for the shallow-water tenders. On Monday, Mexico auctions 15 oil and gas blocks along the southern coastal waters of the Gulf of Mexico in the next…

Uganda to Finalize Oil Exploration Deal with Nigerian Firm

Uganda is set to sign on Thursday two oil production sharing agreements with a Nigerian firm, enabling the company to begin exploration work, the government said on Wednesday. The firm, Oranto Petroleum International, was among a number of companies that bid in the country's first competitive oil exploration licensing round last year…

Crew Energy Suspends Production at Montney Facility

Canadian exploration and production company Crew Energy said it would temporarily suspend production at its Montney facility after Alliance Pipeline Ltd Partnership detected slope movement near a pipeline close to the Wapiti River. The suspension will result in all of Crew's Montney production being shut-in…

Statoil Denies Patent Infringement, Keeps Drilling in the Barents Sea

Barents Sea (Image: Statoil)

Norway's Statoil said on Monday it would keep drilling exploration wells in the Barents Sea using what it called "regular equipment" after a court upheld an injunction in a patent dispute over specialised drilling technology. Statoil said the Stavanger court had lifted an injunction on the use of its Cap-X technology in the Blaaman well…

US Drillers Continue to Add Oil Rigs

© zorandim75 / Adobe Stock

U.S. energy firms added oil rigs for a record 21st week in a row, extending a year-long drilling recovery as producers boost spending on expectations crude prices will rise in future months. Drillers added 8 oil rigs in the week to June 9, bringing the total count up to 741, the most since April 2015, energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc said on Friday.

Craig Joins Teekay Offshore Board

Teekay Offshore Partners L.P. announced that Ian Craig has accepted an invitation to join Teekay Offshore's Board of Directors, effective June 6, 2017. Craig has served in various executive positions in Shell, most recently in Nigeria where he was Executive Vice President for Sub-Saharan Africa…

Colombia Oil Industry Threatened by Local Opposition

Colombia's oil industry is threatened by a growing number of public referendums that seek to ban crude production, the country's oil association said on Monday, as the mining sector faced similar votes. The warning from the Colombian Petroleum Association (ACP), which represents private producers in the Andean country…

Genel's Rothschild Quits as Turkey Gas Focus Grows

Departure follows that of Chairman Tony Hayward; Company now focused on Turkish gas market. Genel Energy co-founder Nathaniel Rothschild quit on Monday in the latest high-profile departure from the loss-making Iraqi Kurdistan oil producer, which is switching its focus to the Turkish gas market.

BP, Rosneft Agree to Cooperate in Gas Business

Rosneft and BP have signed an agreement on strategic cooperation in gas and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in respect to the sale and purchase of natural gas in Europe. The two companies agreed to develop integrated cooperation in gas and aim to jointly implement gas projects in Russia and abroad focused on gas exploration and production…

Norway Unions in Wage Deal with Drillers

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

Norwegian drilling rig operators have reached a wage deal with all three trade unions representing workers, averting the risk of a strike that could have hit exploration, the companies and the unions said on Friday. One of the three unions announced on Thursday afternoon it reached an agreement, while the two others followed later.

BP to Develop Gas Project offshore Trinidad

BP announces two major discoveries in Trinidad and Tobago; new project to offset BP's declining production in country. BP has given the go-ahead for its $500 million Angelin offshore gas field development in Trinidad and Tobago to help offset declining production in one of the company's main hubs.

Exxon Lobbies Shareholders on Climate-Report Vote

Exxon Mobil Corp has stepped up efforts to persuade investors to vote against climate-related proposals at Wednesday's annual meeting with a campaign of calling, writing and lobbying shareholders in person. The world's largest publicly traded oil company opposes a proposal requiring it to…

U.S. Rig Count to Peak Unless WTI Rallies

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

U.S. exploration and production companies have hired an extra 400 rigs to target oil-bearing formations since the end of May 2016, according to oilfield services company Baker Hughes. The number of active oil-directed rigs has more than doubled over the last year, from 316 to 722, in one of the most remarkable recoveries on record…

US Drillers Add Oil Rigs in a Record Streak but Pace Slows

© Natalia Bratslavsky / Adobe Stock

U.S. energy firms added oil rigs for a record 19 weeks in a row as expectations of higher crude prices after an OPEC-led decision to extend current output curbs motivate producers to boost spending on new drilling. The pace of those additions, however, has slowed with the total added so far in May falling to the lowest since October due to soft oil prices.

Nigeria Bill Aims to Break Up NNPC

The long-awaited oil governance bill passed by Nigeria's upper chamber of parliament proposes breaking up the state oil company into three commercial entities supported by a regulatory body and a fund to oversee the distribution of money. The Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, passed on Thursday by the Senate…

Petrobras Will Not Bid for all Eight Pre-salt Areas

Petróleo Brasileiro SA does not have the means to bid for all eight pre-salt exploration areas as well as the 14th round of oil rights auctions, Chief Executive Pedro Parente said on Thursday. Petrobras, as the company is known, had announced earlier in the day it would exercise priority rights in two offshore pre-salt auctions scheduled for this year.

Petrobras to Use 'Priority Rights' in Brazil Oil Auctions

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

Brazil's state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA will exercise its preferential rights in two offshore pre-salt oil auctions scheduled for this year, the company said in a statement on Thursday. Petrobras, as the company is known, said it will exercise its rights to explore an area adjacent to the Sapinhoá field…

CGG Launched Multi-Physics Imaging Group

Multi-Physics Imaging routinely provides geologically consistent Earth models, such as this Magnetotelluric conductivity inversion integrated with drilling data to define a hydrocarbon prospect. (Image: CGG)

CGG’s Multi-Physics business line has launched its Multi-Physics Imaging group, consolidating its recognized expertise in multi-physics data processing and interpretation, trusted technical consulting services and specialized commercial software development into a single global team. As a complement to CGG’s seismic Subsurface Imaging capabilities…

OMV Says It's Owed $148 Mln from Iran

The National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) still owes Austrian oil and gas group OMV $148 million, OMV's exploration and production chief Johann Pleininger told a meeting of shareholders on Wednesday. "We are in intensive negotiations to complete the relevant contracts to settle the claims," Pleininger said.

DONG to Sell O&G Business to Ineos for $1.3 Bln

File photo: DONG Energy

Danish utility and offshore wind farm developer DONG Energy has agreed to sell its oil and gas business to petrochemicals firm Ineos for $1.3 billion, it said on Wednesday, the latest in a string of North Sea deals. The sale is a blow to shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk , which had sought…

Seadrill Names Dibowitz CEO

Photo: Seadrill

Oslo-listed rig firm Seadrill named a new chief executive from within its own ranks on Wednesday and said its talks to restructure $14 billion of debt and liabilities had reached an advanced stage. Once the world's most valuable rig firm, Seadrill's business was hard hit when oil companies…

Mexico Oil Regulator OKs New Gulf Area for Pemex

Mexico's oil regulator on Tuesday approved a promising new deep water block to state oil company Pemex, but conditioned the allotment on the firm developing the area with a partner that would eventually operate it. The new Chachiquin area, adjacent to Pemex's Nobilis-Maximino block, could produce 80…

OPEC Set to Prolong Oil Cuts

© SLDigi / Adobe Stock

OPEC will likely agree to extend production cuts for another nine months, delegates said on Tuesday as the oil producer group meets this week to debate how to tackle a global glut of crude. OPEC's de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, favours extending the output curbs by nine months rather than the initially planned six months…

PTT Exploration and Production Plans Asia Investment

Thailand's largest oil and gas explorer PTT Exploration and Production Pcl (PTTEP) is planning new investments or an extension of its operations in fields in Thailand, Malaysia and Myanmar, it said on Tuesday. In Thailand, state-owned PTTEP would bid to extend its concession to operate the Bongkot gas field beyond the existing expiry date of 2023…

Angelle Named BSEE Director

Scott Angelle (Photo: BSEE)

Former Louisiana state official Scott A. Angelle will head-up the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). Angelle, who most recently served as Vice Chairman of the Louisiana Public Service Commission, will assume his new position May 23. “Scott Angelle brings a wealth of experience to BSEE…