Sunday, June 24, 2018

Energy Industry News

Douglas Westwood: Obama’s Legacy

As President Obama leaves the Oval Office on Friday, he leaves a legacy of mixed fortunes for the energy industry. While many in the business have been vocal critics of the 44th President and some of his more controversial legislations, there have been a number of positive aspects that occurred under the current administration. When Obama took office in January of 2009, domestic crude production was just 5.1 mmbbl/d, exports of crude oil were not permitted, and the US was importing over 9.8 mmbbl/d of crude. As President-Elect Trump takes office…

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…

Eni Will Deepen Involvement in Nigeria's Energy Industry

Italy's Eni plans to deepen its involvement in Nigeria's energy industry, increasing oil and gas exploration and helping to restore one of the country's ailing refineries, the company said in a statement on Monday. Chief Executive Claudio Descalzi and Nigeria's Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Emmanuele Ibe Kachikwu, met in Rome this week to sign several memorandums of understanding (MOU) to "further strengthen" Eni's involvement in Nigeria. Eni said it will "intensify" oil and gas exploration, onshore and offshore, including deepwater sites.

House Repeals Obama Rule on Methane Emissions on Federal Lands

The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday repealed a rule put forth in the final days of the Obama administration that limited emissions of the potent greenhouse gas methane from oil and gas drilling on federal lands, in the latest move by Republican lawmakers to overturn regulation on the energy industry. The Senate is expected to vote next on repealing the rule, which was part of former President Barack Obama's efforts to curb climate change. Congress this week repealed pollution and anti-corruption rules on energy companies. (Reporting by Timothy Gardner)

Rio Tinto Recruits Three to BoD

Simon Henry, Sam Laidlaw, David Constable named as non-execs. Rio Tinto has appointed three former senior managers from the energy industry to its board as non-executive directors, including Shell's departing CFO Simon Henry, the mining company said on Friday. Henry, who is stepping down as Chief Financial Officer at Shell after seven years on March 9, will join Rio Tinto on July 1. Former Centrica chief executive Sam Laidlaw and ex-Sasol CEO David Constable will take up their non-executive posts immediately, Rio Tinto said. "With diverse expertise across successful international engineering…

Op/Ed: Offshore Energy Can Power US Growth

Randall Luthi  (Photo: NOIA)

Following President Trump’s address to the joint session of Congress, National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) president Randall Luthi weighs in on  shifting U.S. policy and its effects on offshore energy and the American economy. As President Trump begins work on his ambitious agenda, it appears that efficiency and cost cutting are major themes throughout much of the federal government. Those of us in the energy producing industries say welcome to our world. While low commodity prices and overly burdensome regulations devastated job growth in the energy sector during the last two years…

Energy Industry Funds Tropical Cyclone Research

Global energy companies have joined forces to fund new research aimed at advancing tropical cyclone forecasting in Northern Australia to further improve offshore safety and mitigate costly disruptions to operations. Results from the industry-driven research are expected to enhance tropical cyclone response planning and public weather forecasting services for the wider community. The Industry Technology Facilitator (ITF) has led the collaboration to secure funding for the two-year AU$3.2 million project, which will be carried out by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. This project builds on the Bureau’s research into tropical cyclone forecast and warning services.

Gulf Oil Appoints New President and CEO

Gulf Oil has appointed Eric Johnson as its new president and chief executive officer, succeeding Jerry Ashcroft who stepped down from the post earlier this month.   Johnson, a 26-year energy industry veteran with executive leadership experience throughout the refined product value chain, has held several leadership roles in operations and logistics.   Ashcroft resigned from his position as Gulf president and CEO on June 10.

Offshore Wind Delivers Success for Montrose Port

Nik Scott-Gray, chief executive at Montrose Port Authority (Photo: Montrose Port Authority)

Montrose Port Authority said it has supported its first project within the offshore renewable sector, heralding a new era of capabilities for the energy industry support and service hub. In association with NorSea Group (UK) Ltd, a subsidiary of Norwegian logistics company NorSea Group AS, the port is participating in the Hywind Scotland offshore wind project. The four-week campaign consisted of five port calls for anchor handling tug supply vessel, the Normand Prosper. After loading chain and mooring equipment to the vessel, it then delivered the mooring systems designed to support Statoil’s floating wind farm project in the North Sea.

Sir Clive Woodward: Energy World Can Learn from Sports

The global energy industry can learn from training techniques used in the professional sports arena, according to rugby World Cup winning coach Sir Clive Woodward. Leading energy industry training provider, Mintra Group, hosted Sir Clive at its Aberdeen training facility on Carden Place for the company’s Raising the Bar event during Offshore Europe on Wednesday, September 6. Sir Clive, whose theories and techniques helped conquer the rugby world in 2003 and drive Team GB to their greatest success to date at the London 2012 Olympics, addressed more than 100 guests about what makes a champion and how to create a winning culture.

Energy Industry Says 'No Thanks' to Trump Offer of Marine Sanctuaries

The National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa (Photo: NOAA)

In a bid to boost energy development, U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration is considering shrinking or eliminating 11 marine sanctuaries designed to protect 425 million acres of coral reefs, marine mammal habitats and pristine beaches. The review is part of a broader strategy to open new areas to oil and gas drilling and “put the energy needs of American families and businesses first,” according to the order Trump signed in April that triggered it. But interviews with energy industry representatives signal the effort will likely miss its target.

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. Today, the oil and gas industry, long centered in the Gulf of Mexico, produces 17% of America’s domestic oil and 5% of our domestic natural gas, while off the coast of Rhode Island, America’s first offshore wind farm is providing energy to residents and businesses on Block Island. “The offshore energy industry has come a long way in the last 45 years.

Plan to Support Coal, Nuclear Divides U.S. Energy Industry

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Carolyn Franks)

U.S. industries that rarely agree - gas drillers and renewable energy producers - urged a federal agency on Monday to dump a government directive to prop up ageing nuclear and coal plants, saying the electricity grid was already reliable. The split in the energy industry showed that a Trump administration push to make the country energy "dominant" by boosting output from every part of the sector may face hurdles. A group of 20 organizations including the Independent Petroleum Association of America and the Solar Energy Industries Association submitted comments to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission as it considered a regulation proposed late last month by U.S.

North Dakota Daily Oil Production Drops 2% in June

North Dakota's daily oil production fell 2 percent in June, the victim of low crude prices weighing on the energy industry.   Daily output fell to 1.03 million barrels of oil per day, according to the state's Department of Mineral Resources, which reports on a two-month lag.     (Reporting by Ernest Scheyder; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Sparrows Group Acquires Alpha Offshore Service

L-R - Stewart Mitchell, Sparrows Group and Mikkel Lund, Alpha Offshore

Sparrows Group has cemented its position in the renewables sector with the acquisition of Danish wind energy specialist Alpha Offshore Service A/S. Already a supplier of capital equipment to the wind energy industry, the deal significantly strengthens the group’s operations and maintenance capabilities in the sector. Alpha Offshore provides engineering personnel and inspection services to the energy industry, specialising in the delivery of operations and maintenance, and supervisory and commissioning services to onshore and offshore wind developments.

U.S. Tax Overhaul Could Spur Refining, Pipeline CapEx

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Berkut 34)

U.S. refiners and pipeline companies are likely to embark on a capital spending spree in the next year, fueled by a provision in the recently-passed U.S. tax bill that rewards investment in new projects, said energy industry lobbyists and analysts. On Wednesday, Congress gave final approval to the biggest overhaul of the U.S. tax code in 30 years, the first major legislative victory for President Donald Trump since he took office. The bill contains a bonus depreciation provision that allows all companies to immediately write off the full costs of capital improvements, instead of depreciating the new asset over time.

Winter Storm Threatens U.S. East Coast Energy Industry

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

The U.S. energy industry braced for a major test to refineries and power plants as an intense winter storm roared up the Atlantic Coast, bringing heavy snowfall and high winds to a region already beset with several days of extreme cold. The storm is the product of a rapid and rare sharp drop in barometric pressure known as bombogenesis, or bomb cyclone. Heavy snow pounded the East Coast along a front stretching from Maine as far south as North Carolina early on Thursday, knocking out power, icing over roadways and closing hundreds of schools. Prices for heating oil <HO-NYH> <HO-DIFF-NYH> and natural gas in the U.S.

U.S. Refining Industry Group Chief says Trump Should Rethink Tariffs

© tomas / Adobe Stock

The head of a leading refining and chemical industry association said on Monday that President Donald Trump should not impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports due to the effect it would have on consumers and companies that use those materials. Chet Thompson, president and CEO of the American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, speaking at his association's conference in New Orleans, said such tariffs "would be bad for consumers," and "diminish our ability to build infrastructure." Trump's proposed tariffs have met with criticism from many in the energy industry, which relies on heavy imports to build pipelines and other facilities. Reporting By Devika Krishna Kumar

Big Oil Revels in Trump Triumph

The U.S. energy industry on Wednesday reveled in Republican Donald Trump's presidential victory, expecting him to be a strong advocate for more oil and gas output and to cut red tape that has held back billions of dollars of investment in new projects. The world's largest energy market saw a boom in oil and gas output under Democratic President Barack Obama's administration, as improved technology led to the development of shale energy reserves that had previously been too expensive to produce. Even during the good times, the energy industry bemoaned environmental regulations that hindered further development. Now, they expect Trump to roll much of that back.

SPE Aberdeen Invests £ 0.2 mi to support Next Generation

Winners of the SPEICoTA Energy Apprentice competition, another initiative supported by SPE Aberdeen Photo SPE

With almost daily reports highlighting the skills gap in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects in the UK, the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ (SPE) Aberdeen Section has reported investing almost £200,000 over the last five years to support initiatives designed around these subjects. SPE Aberdeen’s Schools and Careers Guidance Committee plays a significant role in encouraging young people to study STEM subjects, which are fundamental to the energy industry’s future workforce. Activities such as workshops at the Techfest Festival of Science…