Monday, October 15, 2018

Energy Industry News

As Mexico Oil Sector Sputters, Crime and Violence Rattle Industry Towns

Until recently, Edgar Barrera enjoyed a life many Mexicans could only hope for. In a few short years, the 36-year-old bookkeeper rose from handyman to white-collar worker at what seemed to be one of the most stable companies in Latin America: state-owned oil firm Pemex. Thanks to Pemex, Barrera met his wife, vacationed on the Mayan Riviera and envisaged a rewarding career without leaving his hometown in Tabasco, a rural state at the southern hook of the Gulf of Mexico where more than half the population lives on less than roughly $92 a month. Then everything changed. Oil prices plummeted, forcing Pemex to cut his and thousands of other jobs across Mexico.

Proserv Unveils New Facility in Great Yarmouth

Photo courtesy of Proserv

Energy services company Proserv officially opened its new purpose-built Center of Excellence today within Great Yarmouth’s Beacon Park.Developer, Great Yarmouth Borough Council, together with New Anglia LEP and key stakeholders, joined Proserv at the 65,000 sq ft ‘Artemis House’ – named after the site’s ‘Artemis 2G’ (A2G) subsea control system technology - to mark the occasion with a ribbon cutting ceremony.Artemis House is the largest site within Beacon Park, featuring modern offices, 25 percent additional manufacturing space and a yard area.

US Oil Pipeline Companies, Producers Seek Relief from Steel Tariffs

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Major U.S. energy companies including Plains All American Pipeline, Hess Corp and Kinder Morgan Inc are among many seeking exemptions from steel-import tariffs as the United States ratchets up trade tensions with exporters including China, Canada and Mexico.There have been nearly 21,000 requests overall for exclusions submitted to the U.S. Commerce Department since the Trump administration imposed levies this year. Of those, more than 500 petitions involve pipes and related materials.Initial decisions are expected this month, offering the first clues as to how the administration will balance an agenda favoring oil and gas exports while also supporting the U.S.

Signs of Recovery in the US Gulf of Mexico

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Today's U.S. auction of Gulf of Mexico exploration leases drew tepid response from oil companies, but marked notable progress for an industry still in a state of recovery.“While not a barn burner, Lease Sale 251 tops the previous Gulf sale in terms of increased participation, increased competition for offerings, and bid amounts,” said Randall Luthi, president of the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA). “In addition, bidding activity demonstrates both continued interest in deepwater tracts and renewed interest in shallow water tracts.”Luthi continued, “The operating environment in the U.S.

Excelerate, TGS Join for Argentina LNG Export Study

Image: Excelerate Energy

Excelerate Energy and Transportadora de Gas del Sur (TGS) have provisionally agreed to jointly assess the viability of an LNG liquefaction and export project at Bahia Blanca in Argentina.Argentina currently imports liquefied natural gas (LNG) through two floating import terminals, particularly during the country's peak winter consumption.The successful development of Argentina's shale gas reserves resulted in a potential excess of natural gas during the summer months. The project aims at studying the technical and commercial viability of liquefying and exporting natural gas during the summer season…

PLAT-I: Renewable Energy for Canada

PLAT-I and the 15m Meercat workboat “Venetia” prior to disconnection from the mooring system during the demobilisation operation. Photo: ©SCHOTTEL HYDRO

Sustainable Marine Energy is preparing to ship the PLAT-I tidal energy platform from Connel in Western Scotland to Grand Passage in Nova Scotia. Sustainable Marine Energy’s (SME) PLAT-I tidal energy platform hosting four SCHOTTEL HYDRO SIT 250 turbines has  completed the first phase of its testing program at Connel, on the West coast of Scotland. The Company is now preparing to ship the platform to Nova Scotia and install it for a second phase of testing. Having proven the installation, operation and performance aspects of the platform, this second…

OPITO Appoints Cullens as Director of Strategic Development

Mark Cullens (Photo: OPITO)

OPITO, a global, not-for-profit skills body for the energy industry, has appointed Mark Cullens to the new role of director of strategic development.Cullens, who joins from Petrofac Training Services where he was director of business development Eastern Hemisphere, will support OPITO as it extends its skills and workforce development remit internationally.With a 20 year career in training and education, Cullens will be based in Aberdeen and spend time supporting the other regional operations centers across the Middle East and Africa, Asia Pacific and the Americas.Cullens spent five years with Petrofac…

NOIA's Tim Charters Lands VP Promotion

Tim Charters (Photo: NOIA)

Tim Charters has been promoted to Vice President of Governmental and Political Affairs at the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA). Charters joined NOIA as a Senior Director in June of 2017, after serving as Vice President of Governmental and Regulatory Affairs at the National Stripper Well Association. “Tim’s extensive Congressional and industry experience in energy and natural resources issues serves NOIA well, as evidenced by his diligent work this past year on diverse issues facing our member companies in both the offshore oil and gas and wind sectors.

Oil at 2014 Highs on Iran Sanctions, NAFTA Deal

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Oil futures extended their rally on Monday, hitting their highest levels since November 2014, as U.S. sanctions on Iran come into force and a North American trade deal fosters growth.The United States and Canada forged a deal on Sunday to salvage the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) as a trilateral pact with Mexico, rescuing a three-country, $1.2 trillion open-trade zone that had been about to collapse."I think the NAFTA 2.0 deal helps prices - it takes away from some of the concerns that the trade war was going to impact growth," said Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

Shell CEO: "foolhardy" to Set Carbon Reduction Targets

BP CEO Bob Dudley (CREDIT BP PLC)

CEO says a target will expose Shell to lawsuits; BP has also taken cautious approach on targets. Royal Dutch Shell's boss said it would be "foolhardy" for the oil and gas producer to set hard targets to reduce carbon emissions as it risked exposing the energy giant to legal challenges. The energy industry has struggled in recent years to find a clear path to secure its role as the world shifts from fossil fuels in order to meet the 2015 Paris climate agreement goals. Shell Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden last year set out ambitions last year to halve its carbon emissions by 2050, far exceeding rivals.

​​​​Alpha Offshore Bags Offshore Wind Blade Repair Contract

Photo: Alpha Offshore Services

Alpha Offshore Service A/S has been awarded a contract with NoordzeeWind, a Joint Venture between utility company Nuon and Shell, for blade repair on the Offshore Windfarm Egmond aan Zee (OWEZ).The first large windfarm built in the Dutch sector of the North Sea, OWEZ consists of 36 3MW turbines and sits approximately six miles off the coast from the village of Egmond aan Zee.Alpha Offshore will be providing experienced personnel with specialist knowledge of the 44 meter Vestas V90 turbines to undertake independent blade repair of around 80 blades.

Gas to Become World's Primary Energy Source by 2035

Image: DNV GL

Oil and gas will be crucial components of the world’s energy future, according to DNV GL’s forecast of the energy transition. While renewable energy will grow its share of the energy mix, oil and gas will account for 44% of world energy supply in 2050, compared to 53% today.Gas will become the largest single source of energy from 2034.DNV GL’s Energy Transition Outlook (ETO), a forecast that spans the global energy mix to 2050, predicts that global demand for energy will flatten in 2030, then steadily decline over the next two decades, thanks to step-changes in energy efficiency.

US Energy Regulator Wants More Disclosure of Cyber Attacks

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The U.S. government on Thursday asked power generators to disclose more information about cyber attacks amid growing concern that foreign hackers could disrupt the electric grid.The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), an energy industry regulator, called for the power industry's regulating body, the North American Electric Reliability Corp, to expand rules that require reporting of cyber security incidents to include attempts that might facilitate future efforts to disrupt the grid.FERC requested the increased disclosure after the administration…

Smarter Energy Policy Will Broaden Offshore Recovery

For the past few years, depressed commodity prices, stricter regulatory requirements and competition from onshore development at home and from other countries offering attractive offshore lease and royalty terms have had severe impacts on new exploration in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Thankfully, the tide appears to finally be turning.In August, Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 251 drew increased competition for offerings and $178 million in high bids, $53 million more than previous sale held in March. The results of the August sale reaffirm the paradoxical state of an offshore energy industry in slow recovery mode…

Mexico's Obrador Pledges More Than $11 Bln for Refineries

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Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday his administration will invest more than $11 billion to boost refining capacity in order to curb growing fuel imports.Lopez Obrador, who will take office on Dec. 1, told reporters his government plans to invest $2.6 billion to modernize existing domestic refineries owned and operated by national oil company Pemex, and spend another $8.4 billion to build a new one within three years.The $8.4-billion figure is higher than a $6 billion estimate provided by a key energy advisor during the campaign.Lopez Obrador…

Gasum acquires Enegia's power market services

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Finland's state-owned gas firm and transmission system operator Gasum acquired the customer base of power broker Enegia, a company that handles the trading of about a quarter of the country's electricity use, the firm said on Friday.The transaction, the value of which was not disclosed, involves Enegia's portfolio services, electricity trading customer base and a small number of staff."The acquisition will strengthen Gasum's Nordic strategy by enabling service expansion in the energy wholesale market and creating a platform for expanded product offering to its customers," Gasum said in a statement.Enegia's customer base includes over half of the 100 largest Finnish firms, it a

India's Small Renewables Firms Fighting Consolidation Wave

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Small to mid-sized renewable energy companies in India are starting to look like attractive takeover targets as lenders and investors withhold funds, worried by the stiff competition, weak bond markets, low tariffs and high debt besetting the sector.The small companies' difficulty in raising cash is keeping them away from government power project auctions, restricting their growth and crippling their ability to refinance loans, said a consultant from a top global consultancy firm.With many smaller operators being gobbled up or offering themselves for sale…

In U-turn, Exxon, Chevron to Join Rivals in Climate Initiative

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Exxon Mobil, Chevron and Occidental Petroleum are joining a group of international oil and gas giants in an initiative aimed at curbing carbon emissions in the sector, they said in a statement on Thursday.The move marks a U-turn for Exxon Mobil and Chevron, the top two U.S. oil and gas producers which had resisted joining the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) after its launch in 2016.The OGCI currently comprises 10 firms including BP, Royal Dutch Shell, France's Total as well as national oil companies of China, Mexico, Brazil and Saudi Arabia. Together with the new U.S.

Equinor Announced Partnership with Microsoft

(Photo: Equinor)

Equinor partners with Microsoft for cloud services delivered from new cloud data centers in NorwayAs part of a strategic partnership agreement, Equinor will provide industry knowledge and business needs to support Microsoft in developing new solutions for our industry. Microsoft will provide expertise to accelerate Equinor’s IT development and establish new data center regions in Stavanger and in Oslo.The strategic partnership is a seven-year consumption and development agreement in the hundreds of millions of dollars (USD).Equinor said its partnership with Microsoft enables it to shape and accelerate the development of fit for purpose IT services for the energy industry…

PDi Celebrates a Decade in Decommissioning

Photo: PDi

This year, Project Development International (PDi) Ltd., part of the Tattva Group, celebrates a decade of activity within the decommissioning sector. As a provider of multi-disciplined engineering, project management and project services to the international energy industry, PDi has worked with multiple clients since 2008, successfully completing more than twenty decommissioning workscopes.Recently shortlisted as finalists in the Excellence in Collaboration category at Decom North Sea’s inaugural decommissioning awards, key projects for PDi have included:Providing ongoing support to both Maersk Oil UK a Company of Total and Maersk Supply Service (MSS) on the Janice…