Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Drilling News

US Energy Firm Payouts to Oil Investors Top Exploration Spending for First Time

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Top U.S. energy companies last year paid out more of their earnings to shareholders than they invested in new oil and gas fields for the first time, according to a report released on Tuesday.The outlook for stronger energy prices has not changed the focus on investor returns from the U.S. industry, according to the report's authors, Ernst & Young LLP. U.S. energy companies have been focused on regaining favor with investors after years of overspending on production growth hurt returns and put them in the doghouse.The returns focus has lifted the energy sector to about 4.5% of the S&P 500's market valuation…

OMV Petrom Makes Largest Crude Oil Discovery in Decades

Romanian oil and gas group OMV Petrom, majority-controlled by Austria's OMV, said on Tuesday it discovered new crude oil and natural gas deposits equal to about three quarters of its overall 2022 production.The deposits are the largest crude oil discovery OMV Petrom has made in decades, it said, and were found in southern Romania holding over 30 million barrerls of oil equivalent (boe) of recoverable resources."The new discoveries will contribute to reducing the decline of our production and to the continuity of the supply of essential products for the economy…

Equinor Finds New Oil Near North Sea Fram Field

Location of the field. Map courtesy Equinor

Equinor and partner Wellesley report discovering oil in the Troll and Fram area in exploration wells 35/10-7 S and 35/10-7 A in the Toppand prospect. Preliminary calculations of the expected size indicate between 3.3 and 5.2 million standard cubic meters of recoverable oil equivalent, or around 21–33 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent.“Our exploration activity is central for our ambitions at the Norwegian continental shelf. We are pleased to see that our success in the Troll- and Fram area continues. We also regard this discovery to be commercially viable and will consider tying it to the Troll B or Troll C platform.

Williams Inks Deal for Whale Deepwater Transport Services

Williams (NYSE: WMB) reached an agreement with Shell Offshore Inc. and Chevron U.S.A. Inc. to provide offshore natural gas gathering and crude oil transportation services as well as onshore natural gas processing services for the Whale development located approximately 10 miles from the Shell-operated Perdido host facility.Williams plans to expand its existing Gulf of Mexico offshore infrastructure via a 25-mile gas lateral pipeline build from the Whale platform to the existing Perdido gas pipeline and a new 125-mile oil pipeline to the existing Williams-owned GA-A244 junction platform.

Buyers Reportedly Line-up for a Crack at Seadrill

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Noble Corp and a consortium that includes Transocean Ltd and Dolphin Drilling are competing to acquire the assets of Seadrill Ltd, the bankrupt offshore oil driller controlled by Norwegian-born tycoon John Fredriksen, people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday.Seadrill is trying to emerge from its second U.S. Chapter 11 bankruptcy in four years: like many in the industry, it expanded its drilling rigs too aggressively in the mid-2010s to withstand a subsequent plunge in energy prices and rig hire rates. It is negotiating a deal to restructure its more than $7 billion debt pile in exchange for handing company control to its creditors.U.S.

WTI-Brent Spread Narrows as Oil Market Tightens

(Photo: BP)

The price gap between the world's two most actively traded oil contracts narrowed to its lowest in more than seven months, demonstrating that U.S. oil output is still in the COVID-19 doldrums with the market likely to remain undersupplied.North Sea Brent futures traded at a premium of $1.89 to U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) on Friday, its narrowest since November 11."We believe that the recent narrowing of the WTI-Brent price spread ... is noteworthy, with North America taking the mantle from Chinese demand or OPEC cuts and disruptions in tightening the global oil market…

Oil Drillers, Bitcoin Miners Bond over Natural Gas

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On U.S. oil patches stretching along the Rockies and Great Plains, trailers hitched to trucks back up toward well pads to capture natural gas and convert it on the spot into electricity.The trailers - carrying pipes, generators and computers - are called “mining rigs.” But their owners aren’t there to drill for oil. They are using stray natural gas unwanted by oil companies to power their search for another treasure: cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.Cryptocurrencies are virtual coins exchanged without middlemen, such as central banks, to purchase goods and services. Extracting the currency from cyberspace, however, requires vast amounts of often expensive electricity.

Biden to Target Drilling, Fossil Fuel Subsidies in New Climate Orders

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President Joe Biden was set on Wednesday to sign executive actions to combat climate change, including pausing new oil and gas leases on federal land and cutting fossil fuel subsidies as he pursues green policies in stark contrast to those of his predecessor Donald Trump.The orders map out the direction for the Democratic president's climate change and environmental agenda and mark a reversal from Trump, a Republican businessman-turned-politician who sought to maximize U.S. oil, gas and coal output by removing regulations and easing environmental reviews.Biden's focus on climate change has cheered international partners and environmental advocates…

US Oil Rig Count Rises for First Week Since March

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U.S. energy firms cut the number of oil and natural gas rigs operating to a record low for a 12th week in a row, although they added one oil rig in the first weekly increase since March as a recovery in crude prices tempt some producers back to the well pad. The U.S. oil and gas rig count, an early indicator of future output, fell by two to an all-time low of 251 in the week to July 24, according to data on Friday from energy services firm Baker Hughes Co going back to 1940.That was 695 rigs, or 73%, below this time last year.U.S. oil rigs rose to 181, while gas rigs fell three to 68, their lowest on record according to Baker Hughes data going back to 1987.Even though U.S.

Shale Pioneer Chesapeake Energy Files for Bankruptcy

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Chesapeake Energy Corp filed for Chapter 11 on Sunday, becoming the largest U.S. oil and gas producer to seek bankruptcy protection in recent years as it bowed to heavy debts and the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on energy markets.The filing marks an end of an era for the Oklahoma City-based shale pioneer, and comes after months of negotiations with creditors. Reuters first reported in March the company had retained debt advisers.Chesapeake was co-founded by Aubrey McClendon, an early and high profile advocate of shale drilling who died in 2016 in a fiery one-car crash in Oklahoma while facing a federal probe into bid rigging.

Norway Oil Companies Slash Investment Plans

Offshore rigs in Norway - Credit: BjrnKristian/AdobeStock

Norwegian oil and gas investment, a key economic driver, is expected to decline sharply in 2021 after rising less than previously anticipated this year, an industry survey by the national statistics agency (SSB) showed on Thursday.The biggest drop will come in the exploration for new reserves and in spending on development plans, while ongoing oilfield construction work continues largely as expected, the data showed.The closely watched forecasts, based on data from oil companies, show 2020 investment plans have been cut to 180.3 billion Norwegian crowns ($19 billion) from 185.4 billion seen in February…

Nigeria Launches Licensing Round for Marginal Oilfields

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Nigeria has launched its first licensing round for marginal oilfields in nearly 20 years, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) said on Monday, despite court rulings last week that barred some of the fields from being auctioned.Marginal fields are smaller oil blocks that are typically developed by indigenous companies. The new licensing round is the first marginal field round since 2002, which the country hopes will boost oil output and bring in much-needed revenues from fees associated with the licenses."A total of 57 fields located on land, swamp and shallow offshore terrains are on offer…

Melbana Gets More Time to Find Beehive Drilling Partner

Image Credit: Melbana

Australian oil and gas company Melbana Energy has been given more time to work on its Beehive offshore prospect in the Bonaparte Basin off W. Australia.The company said Friday that the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator had approved Melbana's application for a 12-month suspension of the work program conditions in respect of Permit Year 3 (with a corresponding extension of the permit term) for the WA-488-P block containing the Beehive prospect.As a result, Permit Year 3 now ends on 21 December 2021 and the permit term will end on 21 December…

US Proposal Would Allow Oil and Gas Drillers to Delay Royalty Payments

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The U.S. Department of Interior has proposed allowing oil and gas companies to delay royalty payments due to the impacts of the new coronavirus pandemic.According to the web site of the White House Office of Management and Budget, Interior's Office of Natural Resources Revenue on May 20 sent a proposed rule titled "ONRR Reporting and Royalty Payment Delay Related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)." Details of the proposal were not available.Interior Department officials were not immediately available for comment.(Reporting by Nichola Groom, Editing by Franklin Paul)

Norway: OMV Gets NPD Nod for Hades Drilling

Austrian oil and gas firm OMV has been granted a permit for the drilling of the offshore well 6506/11-12 S in the Norwegian Sea.The company's Norwegian subsidiary OMV Norge will use the Island Innovator semi-submersible to drill the appraisal well at the prospect named Hades in the production license 644.OMV Norge is the operator with an ownership interest of 30 percent. The other licensees are Equinor (40 percent), DNO (20 percent), and Spirit Energy (10 percent).The well will be drilled about 4 kilometers west of the Morvin field. This is the second exploration well to be drilled in the license.The drilling permit…

Petrofac Starts Rubie and Renee P&A Work

WilPhoenix semi-submersible drilling rig - Image by Joe deSousa - Flickr, Shared under CC0 license

UK oilfield services firm Petrofac has kicked off the plugging and abandonment work on the Rubie and Renee fields in the North Sea using Awilco's WilPhoenix rig.Petrofac won the Rubie and Renee P&A contract with Hess in August 2019.Over the next three months, Petrofac will provide Well Operator, Well Engineering, and Project Management services to decommission four wells within the Rubie and Renee fields, 200km northeast of Aberdeen.Petrofac is responsible for detailed planning, direct procurement, and management of all sub-contracted services, including the provision of a semi-submersible rig…

NOIA: U.S. Offshore Drilling Ban Would Crush Jobs, Govt Revenues

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A U.S. ban on new offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, which presidential hopeful Joe Biden promised to enact if elected, would lead to hundreds of thousands of job losses and billions in lost government revenue over 20 years, an offshore drilling industry group said on Tuesday.The report by the Washington-based National Ocean Industries Association comes as Biden and other Democrats hoping to unseat Republican President Donald Trump in November's election have vowed to shift the country away from planet-warming fossil fuels to help avert the worst impacts of climate change."It's important for the public and policymakers to understand the ramifications…

China to Boost Energy Reserve Capacity, Support Unconventional Gas Exploration

Illustratin; Image by xmentoys - AdobeStock

China said on Friday it will bolster the capacity of the country's energy reserves and offer lower gas and electricity charges to key industries, as it looks to ensure energy supply and offset the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.In energy announcements on the first day of the parliament, known as the National People's Congress (NPC), authorities also pledged to boost the country's oil and gas network and continue to support exploration for unconventional gas reserves.The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement it would push forward construction of crude oil reserves.The coronavirus pandemic has led to a slump in demand for crude oil…

US Grants Royalty Relief to Hard-hit Drillers

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The Trump administration has granted royalty relief to several drilling companies producing oil and gas on federal lands in recent weeks, according to a government database, as the industry seeks help weathering low energy prices.The move shows drillers are taking the government up on its offer to consider royalty cuts on a case-by-case basis after the Interior Department rejected industry calls for blanket relief covering all federal leases.The U.S. Bureau of Land Management approved royalty rate cuts on at least 76 federal drilling leases in the state of Utah in recent weeks, according to the database.

Rystad: Oilfield Services Firms' Market Cap Halved. Offshore Drillers Have it Worst

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Oilfield services companies have collectively lost almost half of their market capitalization, hit by the combination of the coronavirus pandemic and low oil prices, with offshore drillers, in particular, the most affected, Norway's Rystad Energy has said in its analysis released on Friday."It is widely acknowledged that the oilfield services sector (OFS) is the energy world’s worst-hit market from the Covid-19 pandemic. What is staggering is the extent that the capitalization of listed OFS companies has fallen," Rystad said.Analyzing a representative group of 116 listed OFS companies…