Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Norway's Labour Calls for Debate on Oil Tax Regime

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Norway should review its generous tax regime on oil drilling because of climate change, the opposition Labour party said on Monday, three weeks before a parliamentary election which opinion polls suggest it is on course to win. Labour's Marianne Marthinsen, a member of parliament's Finance Committee…

Brazil Extends Oil Industry 'Perks' Through 2040

Brazil on Friday extended through 2040 a preferential customs regime for the oil and gas industry called Repetro, which was set to expire in 2019, as it seeks to entice investment ahead of key auctions later this year. The move was accompanied by another decree creating a special tax regime to bolster local suppliers for the oil and gas sector.

U.S. Drillers Cut Rigs for Second Week in Three

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U.S. energy firms cut oil rigs for a second week in three, data showed on Friday, with drillers cutting spending plans in reaction to declining crude prices. Drillers cut five oil rigs in the week to Aug. 18, bringing the total count down to 763, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its report on Friday.

VA Governor urges Trump to drop VA Offshore Drilling Plan

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe urged the Trump administration to exclude his state from a federal offshore oil and gas drilling plan, citing concerns about revenue sharing and environmental issues, in a letter that his office revealed on Thursday. McAuliffe, a Democrat, had previously…

Latest Gulf of Mexico Auction Signals Offshore Return

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Major oil producers pushed up high bids at a Gulf of Mexico offshore auction to $121 million on Wednesday, a nearly seven-fold increase from a year ago, as their return to deep water exploration gained momentum. This compared with $18 million in high bids at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management's (BOEM) Outer Continental Shelf auction last summer.

Saudi Aramco Mulls Bids to Expand Gas Plant

Saudi Aramco has received bids from international engineering firms to expand the Hawiyah gas plant, industry sources said on Wednesday as the state oil giant continues spending to expand its core business. The companies that submitted their proposals on Sunday are: South Korean Samsung Engineering…

Pullback in Fracking Sand Use Pressures Producers

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

U.S. shale oil companies are pulling back on the amount of sand they use to hydraulically fracture new wells, responding to rising prices of the material that are driving up costs. Investors worry a slowdown in sand use, combined with new mining capacity coming online, could lead to a glut of the material and bring down prices.

Drilling Ship Leaves Vietnam Block after China Row

The drilling ship at the centre of a row between Vietnam and China over oil prospecting in disputed waters in the South China Sea has arrived in waters off the Malaysian port of Labuan, shipping data in Thomson Reuters Eikon showed on Monday. Drilling by the Deepsea Metro I ship was suspended in Vietnam's Block 136/3 last month after pressure from China…

US Drillers Add Oil Rigs for Second Week in Three

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U.S. energy companies added oil rigs for a second time in the last three weeks, extending a 15-month drilling recovery, but the pace of additions has slowed in recent months as firms cut spending plans in reaction to declining crude prices. Drillers added 3 oil rigs in the week to Aug. 11 bringing the total count up to 768, the most since April 2015.

Distillates to Boost US Refiners' Bottom Line

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U.S. refiners such as PBF Energy and Valero Energy are heading into the winter season on their best footing in years, as months of surprisingly robust distillate demand has eaten away at stubbornly high inventories and boosted margins. Inventories of diesel, heating oil and jet fuel are approaching their lowest seasonal levels in three years…

Tullow Launches Oil, Gas Exploration in Zambia

British company Tullow Oil on Friday started exploring for oil and gas in Zambia, Africa's No.2 copper producer, as the country pushes to diversify its economy and reduce its reliance on the industrial metal. Copper mining earns Zambia more than 70 percent of its foreign exchange but the…

Pemex Seeks Oil Projects in Americas

Mexico's Pemex is looking for oil projects in the United States, Brazil, Colombia and Argentina to keep up output after an energy reform that means it is sharing more domestic production, a top executive from the state-run oil company said on Wednesday. Exploration chief Jose Antonio Escalera…

Baker Hughes Clinches Contract for PNG Gas Field

Baker Hughes, now part of General Electric, has won a major contract to provide a wide range of services to develop Papua New Guinea's first offshore gas field which is sees as a new model to help producers adapt to a world of low oil prices. GE Oil and Gas completed its merger with Baker…

Addax Shuts Offices after Swiss Bribery Case

Chinese-owned oil firm Addax Petroleum is shutting its offices in Geneva, Houston and Aberdeen, it said on Monday, a month after it agreed to pay 31 million Swiss francs ($31.85 million)to settle charges of suspected bribery of foreign officials. Confirming a report in the Tribune de Geneve newspaper…

Statoil Set to Drill Its Biggest Arctic Hope

File photo: Jamie Baikie / Statoil

Norway's Statoil will soon start drilling this season's most promising Arctic prospect, Korpfjell, after several disappointing wells in the Barents Sea, the company said on Monday. The majority state-owned company has stepped up drilling in the Barents Sea this year as the government seeks…

TWMA Wins North Sea Contract with Azinor Catalyst

(Photo: TWMA)

TWMA, a provider of drill cuttings and slop handling, management and treatment solutions, said it has been awarded a contract estimated to be worth around £1 million with UKCS-focused E&P company, Azinor Catalyst Limited. The project, which commences in August 2017, will see TWMA provide…

Uganda, Tanzania Constructing $3.5 Bln Oil Pipeline

The leaders of Tanzania and Uganda laid a foundation stone on Saturday for the construction of a $3.55 billion-crude export pipeline that would pump Ugandan oil for international markets. The 1,445 km-project - set for completion by 2020 - will stretch from landlocked Uganda's western region…

Greece Launches New Offshore Oil and Gas Tenders

Greece launched two tenders on Monday for offshore oil and gas exploration and exploitation in the west and south of the country, the energy ministry said. The move follows expressions of interest by a consortium of Total, Exxon Mobil and Hellenic Petroleum for exploration in two sites off the island of Crete…

US Oil Drillers Cut Rigs for 2nd Week in Three

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U.S. energy firms cut the number of oil rigs for the second in three weeks, slowing the pace of a 15-month drilling recovery, amid plans to spend less in reaction to declines in crude prices over the past several months. Drillers cut one oil rig in the week to August 4, bringing the total count down to 765…

Petrofac JV Wins $2 Bln Refinery Contract in Oman

Petrofac Ltd said Oman's Duqm Refinery and Petrochemical Industries awarded a $2 billion contract to the British oilfield services company's 50:50 joint venture with Samsung Engineering, sending its shares up as much as 9.5 percent. The 47-month project includes engineering, procurement, construction…

TGS Shares Fall after Q2 Sales Disappoint

Shares of the world's leading provider of geoscience data to oil companies TGS fell by more than 6 percent on Thursday, after disappointing sales in the second quarter. TGS reported $108 million in quarterly revenues, 6 percent below consensus, and compared with $114 million in the second-quarter a year ago.

PXP Energy Eager to Resume South China Sea Drilling

Philippine oil and gas firm PXP Energy Corp expressed eagerness on Thursday to resume exploration in the disputed South China Sea and said any joint venture development would likely involve a Chinese company. Chairman Manuel Pangilinan told reporters he was looking to discuss plans to resume…

Repsol Suspends Drilling on Vietnam Oil Block Disputed by China

Spain's Repsol said it had suspended oil drilling in a block off Vietnam, where the prospecting in South China Sea waters claimed by China had infuriated Beijing and brought Chinese pressure on Vietnam to stop. Tension has been growing between Vietnam and China over energy development in the waterway…

Scientists Turn to Big Data in Hunt for Minerals, Oil and Gas

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Scientists searching for everything from oil and gas to copper and gold are adopting techniques used by companies such as Netflix or Amazon to sift through vast amounts of data, a study showed on Tuesday. The method has already helped to discover 10 carbon-bearing minerals and could be widely applied to exploration…

Brazil Pre-salt Output Surpasses other Production in June

Brazil oil production rose 0.8 percent in June from May to an average of 2.675 million barrels per day, as output from pre-salt offshore wells surpassed the combined volumes from all other fields in the country for the first time. The production from the pre-salt oil areas jumped to 1.353 million barrels per day on average in June…

Eni Confident of Dividend Even with Lower Oil Prices

Italian oil major Eni said on Friday its dividend was safe even at lower oil prices thanks to a string of major discoveries underpinning output growth and cash generation for the years to come. Eni, the most active of the foreign oil majors in Africa, has one of the best discovery records in the industry, with large gas fields in Mozambique and Egypt.

African LNG Exports to Get Boost from Offshore Projects

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Cameroon plans to begin exporting liquefied natural gas later this year using a newly designed offshore plant that analysts say could slash production costs and unlock African reserves not previously considered economically viable. West and Central Africa's Gulf of Guinea has seen a wave of new oil and gas exploration…

Statoil Scales Down 2017 Exploration Plans

File Image: A typical offshore Statoil operation (CREDIT: Statoil)

Norway's Statoil has reduced its exploration ambitions for 2017 and will drill around 30 wells, down from previous plans for as many as 35, its chief financial officer said on Thursday. The company has revised its exploration spending guidance for 2017 to $1.3 billion from $1.5 billion, citing…

W. Africa Crude-Nigerian Crude Trading Briskly

Trade of West African crude was brisk on Wednesday driven by strong refining margins, particularly for middle distillates in Europe and Asia. About 10 cargoes remain from the September loading programme. Total was said to have sold its cargo of CLOV that it had been showing at dated Brent plus 60 cents a barrel earlier this week.

Petronas Scraps $29 bln Canada LNG Project

Decision widely expected after long delay, weak prices. Malaysian oil company Petronas has scrapped a proposed C$36 billion ($29 billion) liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in western Canada due to weak prices, in a blow to both its global ambitions and Canada's hopes of becoming a major LNG player.

Canada Court Throws Out Permits for Seismic Testing in North

Canada's top court handed aboriginals a partial victory on Wednesday, ruling there was not adequate consultation on plans to conduct seismic testing for oil and gas in the north of the country, but dismissing a separate attempt to quash permits for changes to an Enbridge Inc pipeline. In the two separate but related decisions…

Hess Losses Grow as Production Dives

Oil producer Hess Corp reported a bigger loss in the second quarter as the company produced fewer barrels of oil due to a cutback in drilling. The company said losses in the exploration and production (E&P) unit - its biggest - climbed to $354 million in the second quarter ended June 30, from $328 million a year earlier.

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

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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

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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

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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

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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.