Tuesday, June 27, 2017

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

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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

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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…

US Drillers Add Oil Rigs for 18th Week in a Row

©  Stojanovic Milos / Adobe Stock

U.S. energy companies added oil rigs for an 18th week in a row, the second-longest such streak on record, as expectations of higher crude prices have motivated drillers to boost monthly shale production to its highest level since mid-2015. Drillers added eight oil rigs in the week to May 19…

China Threatened War If Philippines Drills for Oil -Duterte

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday Chinese counterpart China Xi Jinping had warned him there would be war if Manila tried to enforce an arbitration ruling and drill for oil in a disputed part of the South China Sea. In remarks that could infuriate China, Duterte hit back…

Indonesia Offers 15 Oil Blocks amid Thin Industry Interest

Indonesia is offering 15 conventional and unconventional oil and gas blocks to potential bidders, government officials said on Friday, hoping more flexible terms will help reverse flagging interest in the sector after lacklustre performance in 2016. This year the government is applying new…

Colombia Oil Reserves Down 16.8% in 2016

Colombia said on Thursday its oil reserves were down 16.8 percent to 1.66 billion barrels at the end of last year, but that exploration was recovering after the global fall in crude prices. At 2016 production levels the reserves are equivalent to 5.1 years of output, the energy ministry said in a statement.

The New Offshore Reality

(Photo: Oyvind Hagen, Statoil)

Swedbank’s chief economist, Harald Andreassen, isn’t “too hopeful” about the long-term prospects for the oil price, but then again, “I’m less certain of this than I’ve ever been as an economist,” he told a floating production conference in Oslo. After two-and-half years of oil-price collapse followed by layoffs in the thousands…

Output Spike Brightens North Sea's Twilight Years

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New oil projects over the next two years in the North Sea will have combined capacity to produce 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd), offsetting a slide in output from the oldest deepwater basin that produces the world's benchmark crude. The projects stretch from the West Shetlands to the icy fringes of the Arctic Ocean, Reuters research shows.

Elliott Presses BHP to Shed Petroleum

BHP petroleum business has value of more than $20 billion. Activist investor Elliott Management raised the pressure for strategic changes at BHP on Tuesday, calling for an independent review of the mining giant's petroleum business. Elliott, which has built up a 4.1 percent stake in BHP's London-listed arm and is urging changes to boost shareholder value…

Industry Funding to Boost UK Offshore O&G Research

John Underhill (Photo: Heriot-Watt University)

A major funding package for the Institute of Petroleum Engineering (IPE) at Heriot-Watt University will directly support research and training for the future of the industry in U.K. offshore waters. Heriot-Watt’s Chief Scientist, Professor John Underhill, has secured funding of £416,000 (approximately $537…

South Africa Mulls First Shale Gas Exploration Licences

South Africa's government may award its first shale gas exploration licences by the end of September, after environmental objections delayed the process, a senior government official said on Monday. The five licence applications under review are for exploration in the semi-arid Karoo basin.

Chevron Reports Outage at Gorgon LNG Plant

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

Chevron Corp has shut the first production line at its giant Gorgon liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant in Australia and expects the outage to last about a month in order to replace a faulty device, a spokesman said on Monday. "Production on Gorgon Train 1 was stopped on May 12 due to a failure of a flow measurement device…

Total Expands Oil Search Offshore West Africa

Total has signed a deal to explore for oil and gas offshore Mauritania, the French company said on Friday, expanding the scope of its search for new fields in the deep waters off West Africa's Atlantic coast. Under an agreement with Mauritania's state-run oil company SMHPM, Total will take a 90 percent operating stake in Block C7…

Total: Brazil Drilling No Risk to Amazon Reef

A French oil firm on Thursday rejected concerns that exploration off Brazil could damage a unique coral reef at the mouth of the Amazon river as it awaits final approval to start drilling. "Drilling activity will not impact the reef system," a spokeswoman for Total told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

BP, Kosmos Announce 'major' gas find Offshore Senegal

BP and joint venture partner Kosmos Energy revealed a major gas discovery off Senegal on Monday, adding to other recent finds off the West African coast. Oil majors including BP and Total are investing in the waters of Senegal and Mauritania in the hope of repeating the recent exploration success of smaller players.

CFD Simulation of a Fully Featured Offshore Platform Model

(Photo: Hydrocean)

CFD simulations of offshore oil and gas platforms are used to predict the maximum wind loads acting on the structure of the platform topsides (the upper half of the platform, above sea level and outside the splash zone, including the oil production plant, the accommodation block and any drilling equipment).

ECO Affiliates Ink 5-Year Deal with Shell for IMR Vessel

Island Enforcer (Photo: ECO)

Two affiliates of Louisiana-based Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO) have signed a five-year contract with Shell Brazil for light subsea construction, and inspection, maintenance and repair (IMR) services from the M/V Island Enforcer, a 402-ft. subsea installation and construction vessel. According to ECO…

US Drillers Add Oil Rigs for 16th Week

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U.S. energy firms added oil rigs for a 16th week in a row, extending a drilling recovery into a 12th month even as the pace of those additions has slowed in recent weeks as crude prices have held below $50 a barrel. Drillers added six oil rigs in the week to May 5, bringing the total count up to 703…

Pemex Seeks Refinery Investors, but Who's Buying?

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Sharrif Che'Lah)

Sweeping energy reforms have turned Mexico into one of the world's most attractive offshore prospects, but one segment is getting no love from U.S. investors: the nation's aging refineries. Efforts by Mexico's state-owned oil company Pemex to attract about $5 billion in capital to help modernize its two largest refineries so far have proved futile…

Marathon Oil Posts Bigger Quarterly Loss

U.S. shale exploration company Marathon Oil Corp reported a bigger quarterly loss on Thursday, due to a nearly $5 billion impairment charge related to the sale of its Canadian oil sands business. The company's net loss widened to $4.96 billion, or $5.84 per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from $407 million, or 56 cents per share, a year earlier.

Brazil Pre-salt AuctionRules Rile Oil Firms

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

The Brazilian government has approved terms for another auction of exploration rights to high potential oil prospects, in the so called pre-salt layer, but oil firms are not totally happy with the rules. Brazil's Energy Ministry said on Thursday in the official gazette that it has cleared the round…

African Petroleum Holds Senegal Oil Block Claimed by Total

African Petroleum, an oil firm founded by Romanian-Australian businessman Frank Timis, said in a statement it still owns a licence to explore an oil block off the coast of Senegal that French oil major Total said it bought this week. The claim could set up a battle over potentially lucrative…

DONG Energy Settles Platform Dispute

DONG Energy said it has reached a settlement with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and Technip over who bears responsibility for construction errors concerning an offshore platform for the idled Hejre field. The settlement clears a major hurdle for the Danish company's plans to divest…

Statoil Profit Jumps on International Ops Growth

File Image: A typical Statoil offshore installation.

First-quarter operating profit $3.3 bln is firm's first international profit since third-quarter of 2014. Statoil reported a far bigger jump in first-quarter operating profit than expected on Thursday, helped by the first profit from the Norwegian company's international operations since 2014 and higher oil prices.

Slumping Oilfield Services Sector bets on Offshore Tech

File Image: CREDIT Global Marine Systems

The oil industry's top equipment and services suppliers this week are hawking vastly cheaper ways of designing and equipping subsea wells, aiming to slash the cost of offshore projects to compete with the faster-moving shale industry. At the Offshore Technology Conference, the industry's annual gathering of floating rig and subsea well suppliers…