Saturday, October 21, 2017

Chevron Auspends Drilling Activity in Kurdistan

Chevron has temporarily suspended oil and gas drilling activity in Iraqi Kurdistan, the company said on Thursday, in the latest setback to the region following recent unrest. "Chevron has decided to temporarily suspend its operations," a company spokeswoman said in a statement. In September…

Mexico Expects to Hold a Third O&G Auction in 2018

Mexico's oil regulator will likely add another oil auction in 2018 featuring conventional onshore oil and gas blocks, a senior official said on Thursday, potentially teeing up a third tender in an election year. The bid terms will be announced this year or in early 2018 while contracts will likely be awarded by the summer…

CEFC Eyes Big League with Rosneft Oil Offtake Deal

As part of its recent $9.1 billion investment in Russian oil giant Rosneft, little-known CEFC China Energy will have access to up to 260,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Russian oil - giving it the sort of market clout to potentially challenge dominant Western oil traders like Vitol. For China…

Bids Close on Lebanon Offshore Energy Blocks

Lebanon's energy minister Cesar Abi Khalil on Thursday said a tender had closed on a first round of offshore energy blocks, without saying how many companies had bid. It will take years for revenue from any of the blocks to start flowing to the country, he said in a televised news conference. "The first licensing round for oil exploration closed," he said.

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

© h368k742 / Adobe Stock

Norway remains among the top 10 places to find oil worlwide, with the Arctic region still having much potential despite recent disappointing exploration results, consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie said on Thursday. Earlier this week Norway's Statoil reported yet another dry well in the Barents sea, some 100 kilometres northwest of the Johan Castberg discovery.

BP, SOCAR to Ink Caspian Sea Exploration Deal

Azeri state energy company SOCAR plans to sign a production-sharing agreement with BP to jointly explore prospects in a new block, D-230, in the North Absheron basin of the Caspian Sea before the end of 2017, a source at SOCAR said on Thursday. BP and SOCAR signed a memorandum of understanding…

Total Reinforces its Exploration in West Africa

Map: Total

Total and the National Office of Petroleum of Guinea (ONAP) signed a Technical Evaluation Agreement to study deep and ultra deep offshore areas located off the coast of Guinea Conakry, covering approximately 55,000 square kilometers. “By taking this position on a new under-explored area,…

Op/Ed: ASTRO Act Shoots For the Stars

Randall Luthi (Photo: NOIA)

National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) president Randall Luthi weighs in after the House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on offshore development and introduced the Accessing Strategy Resources Offshore (ASTRO) Act. Today’s hearing was a slam dunk by the House Natural Resources Committee.

New HT/HP Subsea Valve Coating Developed and Deployed

Photo: Hardide Coatings

An international collaboration between Hardide Coatings and Master Flo Valve Inc (MFV) has developed a new solution to protect high temperature, high pressure (HT/HP) subsea choke valves. The valves are the first of their kind to feature the Hardide-T coating, which can be applied to choke…

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

Cairn Oil and Gas, part of Vedanta Ltd, will invest 300 billion rupees ($4.6 billion) in exploration projects off India's east coast and in the onshore fields of Barmer in the west, its acting CEO said. The company expects approvals to be in place by the end of October, Sudhir Mathur told Reuters on the sidelines of the India Energy Forum in New Delhi…

Statoil to Drill in Arctic Despite Previous Disappointments

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

Statoil's exploration campaign in the Barents Sea was disappointing this year, but the company has firm plans to drill another five wells there in 2018, a spokesman said on Monday. Statoil's last Barents well of 2017, at Koigen Central some 100 kilometres northwest of the Johan Castberg discovery…

Statoil: UK Exploration Wells Disappoint

Statoil's exploration campaign off Britain yielded one discovery, one dry well and one non-commercial discovery this year, the company said on Monday. Results of the Mariner Segment 9 and Jock Scott wells were disappointing, while the third, a sidetrack to Statoil's Verbier well in the outer Moray Firth, proved at least 25 million barrels of oil.

Chevron Starts LNG Output at Wheatstone Project

Wheatstone Project in Western Australia. Photo: Chevron Corporation.

Chevron Corporation announced it has started producing liquefied natural gas (LNG) at the Wheatstone Project in Western Australia. The first cargo is on track to be shipped in the coming weeks. “First LNG production is a significant milestone and is a credit to our partners, contractors and…

Ecuador to Offer Oil Block Terms in January

Ecuador will offer oil exploration and production blocks in January under new contract terms that it expects will attract more interest and allow the OPEC-member country to compete with its neighbors for foreign investment, the oil minister said. The new terms will allow producers to be paid…

NOIA Appoints Four to BoD

Martin Stauble

National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) Chairman David Welch has appointed four new members to the association’s Board of Directors. The appointments were announced today during NOIA’s fall meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where the association is commemorating 45 years of commitment to America’s offshore energy industry.

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

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

The U.S. oil rig count fell for a fourth time in the last five weeks as a 14-month drilling recovery stalled as energy firms reduced spending plans in response to recent crude price declines. The oil rig count fell by two to 748 in the week to Oct. 6, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday.

Offshore Rig Firms See End to Historic Downturn

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

Demand for offshore rig rental globally is starting to recover from its worst ever downturn, led by oil firms' growing demand for harsh-environment exploration and triggering multi-billion dollar tie-ups among drillers hoping to profit, executives said. While the 2014-2016 oil price crash caused firms to cut exploration budgets…

Petrobras Kicks off Non-binding Stage of Oil Fields Sale

Brazilian state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA has sent additional information on several shallow water oil fields to interested parties as it kickstarts the non-binding stage of the asset-sale process, according to a securities filing on Wednesday. Petrobras, as the company is known…

Brazil Oil Regulator Clears Four More Companies

Brazil's oil regulator ANP authorized four more companies to bid in auctions for exploration and production rights in the presalt region off the Brazilian coast this month, the regulator said on Tuesday. A local unit of U.S.-based Chevron Corp was cleared to bid in the second and third presalt rounds to be held on Oct. 27.

Want to Bet on $100 oil? Some Already Have

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

Open interest trebles in December 2018 $100 calls. When crude prices crashed in early 2016 to $27 per barrel, most industry executives said the world had seen the last of oil at $100. Almost two years later, as a global crude glut shows signs of receding, the oil options market has seen a spike in activity at $100 a barrel…

Sonangol Names New Leadership

Angola's Sonangol has appointed three new board members to help restructure the state oil company, the same week President Joao Lourenco was sworn into office after 38 years of rule by Jose Eduardo dos Santos. The former president's daughter Isabel dos Santos remains the head of Sonangol.

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

Exxon Mobil Corp's big bet on Brazil's offshore Campos basin shows its willingness to pay up to replenish its reserves and may pave the way for hefty bids in October auctions in the country's rich pre-salt areas, analysts said. Marking a return to Brazilian exploration after a five-year absence…

Philippines, China to Explore for Oil & Gas Near Disputed Waters

The Philippines said on Thursday it was pursuing a long-delayed oil and gas exploration project with Chinese state-owned entity CNOOC Ltd and a Canada-listed company in an area near disputed waters in the South China Sea. Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi said the Philippine government was also…

Total Dips Toes into Exxon's Offshore Guyana Play

France's Total has agreed to pay $1 million for an option to buy a 25 percent stake in an oil exploration block offshore Guyana, its first foray into an area close to where ExxonMobil made one of the largest discoveries of the last decade. Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas, a small Canadian exploration…

Total, Chevron Team up in Gulf of Mexico Oil Exploration

Photo: Total

Total announced that its subsidiary, TOTAL E&P USA, INC., has entered into an agreement to capture seven prospects operated by CHEVRON U.S.A. INC. in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The agreement covers 16 blocks. The associated prospects are located in two promising plays and areas of the GoM: Wilcox in Central GoM next to the Anchor discovery…

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

U.S. firm Chevron drilled its first exploration well this month in Iraqi Kurdistan after a two-year break, industry sources said, signalling its confidence in the area despite an international row over region's independence referendum plan. Chevron, the second largest U.S. oil and gas company…

Lebanon Passes Oil Tax Law

Lebanon made progress in its efforts to develop a hydrocarbons industry on Tuesday when lawmakers passed a petroleum tax law, as companies prepare to bid on a first round of offshore exploration licences next month. Earlier this month, Energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil extended by four weeks…

US Drillers Cut Most Oil Rigs since January

© arinahabich / Adobe Stock

U.S. energy firms cut the most oil rigs in a week since January as a 14-month drilling recovery stalled due to weak crude prices. Drillers cut seven oil rigs in the week to Sept. 15, bringing the total count down to 749, the least since June, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday.

Xodus Wins Two ESIA Contracts in Senegal

Wim van der Zande (Photo: Xodus Group)

Xodus Group sai dit has been awarded two Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) contracts for projects in the Rufisque Offshore, Sangomar Offshore and Sangomar Deep Offshore (RSSD) blocks in Senegal, West Africa. Xodus’ environmental team undertake the study for drilling activities in the Sangomar and Rufisque blocks for Capricorn Senegal Limited…

CNOOC Ends Feasibility Study for Western Canadian LNG Terminal

China's CNOOC Ltd said on Thursday it will end the feasibility study for its (LNG) export terminal on British Columbia's coast due to low global commodity prices, in the latest setback for Canada's energy industry. Nexen Energy, a unit of CNOOC, said in a statement the current macro-economic…

Brazil: 17 Firms Registered to Bid for Pre-salt Oil Exploration

A total of 17 companies have registered to take part in two rounds of bidding for licenses to explore pre-salt oil areas in Brazil, Oil and Gas Secretary Marcio Felix said on Thursday. The auctions next month include some of the most promising oil blocks in the world. Pre-salt oil, referring to reserves found beneath a deep layer of undersea salt…

Eni Inks Cooperation Deal with CNPC

Eni signed a cooperation agreement with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) on Wednesday in a move that could give the Italian oil major greater access to the Chinese market. Eni said in a statement it had agreed to work with state-owned CNPC in the fields of exploration and production…

Aker BP to Drill 6-8 Wells in 2018

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

Aker BP plans to drill between six and eight exploration wells off Norway next year, including four in the Barents Sea, the Norwegian oil firm's chief executive told Reuters. One of these will target a prospect in the southeast Barents on the maritime border with Russia and could contain significant new resources.

Fred. Olsen Energy: Market to Bottom in 2017

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

Dover Mulls Upstream Energy Unit Sale

U.S. industrial conglomerate Dover Corp said on Monday it was exploring strategic alternatives, including a sale, for its upstream energy unit. The company said the options also include a tax-free spinoff of the unit. The upstream energy unit is part of Dover's overall energy business, which…

Lebanon Extends Offshore Oil Bid Deadline

Lebanon's energy ministry has extended a deadline for bids in its first licensing round for offshore oil and gas exploration by four weeks to Oct. 12, the state-run National News Agency (NNA) reported on Friday. Lebanon relaunched the licensing round in January after a three-year delay due to political paralysis at home.

Total Expects Approvals for Offshore Greece Exploration

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

Total expects approval from the Greek parliament by the end of the year to explore for oil off the western coast of Greece, the French company's chief executive told a Greek newspaper. Greece and a consortium made up of Total, Italy's Edison and Hellenic Petroleum have signed a lease agreement to search for oil and gas in the Ionian Sea.

France to End Oil & Gas Production by 2040

France plans to pass legislation by the end of 2017 to phase out all oil and gas exploration and production on its mainland and overseas territories by 2040, becoming the first country to do so, according to a draft bill presented on Wednesday. President Emmanuel Macron wants to make France…

Norway's Latest Offshore Licensing Round Attracts 39 Bids

A total of 39 oil companies asked for exploration acreage offshore Norway in the so-called predefined areas (APA) licensing round by the Sept. 1 deadline, the country's energy minister told TV2 News on Wednesday. When announcing the round in May, the government expanded the pre-defined areas…

BP, Shell Double Down on North Sea

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

BP, Shell plan around 10 exploration wells, even though both companies have sold many North Sea assets. Two of the most veteran oil and gas producers in the UK North Sea, Royal Dutch Shell and BP, still tie their future to the ageing offshore basin despite a broad retreat in recent years.

Brazil Oil Regulator Sees Total Winning License in Amazonas

The head of Brazilian oil regulator ANP on Thursday expressed confidence that French oil company Total SA would win an environmental license for an exploration venture in the Amazon river basin. Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of an event in Rio de Janeiro, Décio Oddone also said he…

Harvey Hurts Crude Rebalancing, Also Creates 'Opportunity'

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

Crude oil's flirtation with backwardation has been hit by the market dislocations caused by Hurricane Harvey, the massive storm that is disrupting the U.S. crude oil import, export and refining hubs along the Gulf of Mexico coast. Two weeks ago the Brent crude futures curve was backwardated…

Saudi Aramco Re-explores Vast Empty Energy Quarter

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

Oil giant Saudi Aramco is using new technology to re-explore areas of the vast Arabian desert known as the Empty Quarter, which could help to bolster its proven reserves of oil and gas before the company offers its shares to the public. A team of about 900 people is using advanced seismic technology developed over the last few years to explore 15…

Brazil Regulator Rejects Total Study on Drilling at Amazon River Basin

Brazil's environmental regulator Ibama said on Tuesday it has rejected Total SA's environmental study on drilling in the Foz do Amazonas basin, warning it needs more information or it will suspend the French oil firm's license application. Ibama's repeated refusals to accept Total's environmental…

Exxon Mobil Vietnam Gas Project Could Start in November

Exxon Mobil Corp's Blue Whale gas project, Vietnam's biggest, could start in November, Vietnam Television (VTV) reported on Tuesday. The Blue Whale field has an estimated 150 billion cubic metres of reserves. Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc told Exxon Mobil on Tuesday he hoped to have the…

Statoil Comes Up Dry in Arctic

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

Oil major Statoil's highly anticipated Korpfjell prospect in the Arctic Barents Sea contained only non-commercial quantities of natural gas, and no oil, the company announced on Tuesday. Korpfjell was the first exploration well drilled in the Norwegian section of a formerly disputed area between Norway and Russia…

Egypt Inks Oil & Gas Exploration Deals

Egyptian Oil Minister Tarek El Molla has signed three oil and gas exploration deals for 16 new fields in the Western Desert worth at least $81.4 million in total with Royal Dutch Shell and the U.S.-based Apex International Energy. The Petroleum Ministry said in a statement that the first deal would see Shell invest $35.5 million…

Sinopec Half-year Profit Rises 41%

China Petroleum and Chemical Corp , known as Sinopec, reported its best six-month profit since the second half of 2014 on Sunday, the latest Chinese state oil major to report a surge in results due to a big recovery in crude prices from last year. The country's largest refiner reported a…

China to Penalize Refineries for Crude Reselling, Unauthorized Expansion

© TTstudio / Adobe Stock

Chinese refineries newly allowed to import crude oil will be penalized for reselling crude oil or expanding capacities without approvals, according to a policy document issued by the National Development & Reform Commission (NDRC) on Monday. Qualifications will be stripped and trade permits…

Statoil to Explore for Shale Oil, Gas in Argentina

Norway's Statoil has signed a deal with Argentina's leading energy company YPF to jointly explore for onshore shale oil and gas resources in the Vaca Muerta formation, the company said on Friday. Statoil and YPF will each hold 50 percent in the Bajo del Toro exploration block, it said. Statoil…

BP's Africa Partner Kosmos Reports Positive Gas Drill Test

Oil and gas producer Kosmos Energy , which along with oil major BP Plc plans to produce gas off Mauritania coast, said a test drill showed that a key field would produce about 60 million cubic feet of gas per day. Kosmos, which was admitted to trading on the London Stock Exchange's main market on Tuesday…

Norway's Labour Calls for Debate on Oil Tax Regime

© thierry / Adobe Stock

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

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

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

© Mike Mareen / Adobe Stock

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

© Aania / Adobe Stock

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.