Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Keith Weir News

Total Rejects Force Majeure Notice From Chinese LNG Buyer

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French oil major Total has rejected a force majeure notice from a buyer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in China, a Total executive said during the company's full-year results presentation on Thursday."Some Chinese customers, at least one, are trying to use the coronavirus to say I have force majeure," said Philippe Sauquet, head of Total's gas, renewables and power segment."We have received one force majeure that we have rejected."A Chinese international trade promotion agency said last week it would…

BP CEO Dudley Planning to Step Down

BP Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley (Photo: BP)

BP Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley is drawing up plans to step down next year, ending a tumultuous decade at the helm of the oil and gas company that swung from near collapse in 2010 to rapid growth today, sources close to the company said on Monday.BP's first American CEO has indicated several times in closed discussions in recent years that he would like to retire at the age of 65, taking him into 2020.His retirement plans were discussed at BP's board meeting in the United States last week, but no final date has been decided…

Total Cuts 200 Jobs in Denmark

The Tyra West platform in Denmark (Photo: ROUSSEL Marc, Total)

French oil major Total SA said on Thursday it would cut 200 jobs in Denmark as part of the redevelopment of the Tyra gas fields in the North Sea.Total, which bought A.P. Moller-Maersk's oil and gas business in 2017, will shut production at the Tyra gas fields at the end of 2019 as part of a major redevelopment."Unfortunately, the changes mean that a number of valued colleagues will leave us," Patrick Gilly, managing director for Total's Danish North Sea operations said in a statement.When the field comes back on stream in 2022…

Environmental Activists Block BP London HQ

Activists blockade entrances to the BP headquarters in London, demanding an end to new oil and gas exploration. The campaigners arrived at 3 a.m. on Monday and encased themselves in heavy containers before the oil company’s annual general meeting on Tuesday. Other activists are also climbing the building to hang signs from the windows. (© Chris J Ratcliffe / Greenpeace)

Greenpeace activists blocked the entrance to BP's London headquarters on Monday, demanding one of the world's biggest energy companies ends all new oil and gas exploration or goes out of business.Greenpeace activists arrived at the building in St James' Square in central London at 0200 GMT and encased themselves in specially designed containers to block all of the main entrances.A team of activists abseiled from the top of the building and placed huge letters over the windows reading 'CLIMATE EMERGENCY'."BP is fuelling a climate emergency that threatens millions of lives and the future of the living world…

Repsol Net Profit Up 7.5%

(Photo: Repsol)

Spanish oil and gas firm Repsol beat forecasts with a 7.5 percent increase in fourth-quarter adjusted net profit on Thursday, boosted by higher oil and gas prices and increased production, and said its strategic plan was on track.Repsol started new projects in Algeria, Trinidad and Tobago, Britain, Peru and Malaysia during 2018, and benefited in October-December from an annual rise in prices and lower exploration costs.The company said it was on track to deliver its 2018-2020 strategic objectives, which include 15 billion euros ($17.1 billion) in spending, cutting debt and investing in renewables.In the fourth quarter

ADNOC Seals $5.8 bln Refining and Trading Deal with ENI, OMV

(Photo: ADNOC)

Italy's Eni and Austria's OMV have agreed to pay a combined $5.8 billion to take a stake in Abu Dhabi National Oil Company's (ADNOC) refining business and establish a new trading operation owned by the three partners.The transaction, which expands ADNOC's access to European markets, furthers Eni's diversification away from Africa and gives OMV a downstream oil business outside Europe. It was hailed as a "one of a kind" deal by ADNOC's Chief Executive Sultan al-Jaber."The whole oil and gas industry hasn't seen a transaction of this size and sophistication…

Petrobras to Resume Building Its Own Platforms

(Photo: Petrobras)

Brazil's Petroleo Brasileiro SA will build its own oil platforms again from 2023, regardless of who wins the presidential election next month, an executive at the state-run oil company said.Petrobras' 2019-2023 business plan, set to be released in December, should include a resumption of platform construction thanks to the company's improving finances, Petrobras' director for production and technology development Hugo Repsold said."We will build platforms independently of who is president," Repsold told Reuters on Wednesday night…

Total Makes Major Offshore UK Gas Discovery

(Image: Total)

French oil and energy group Total said on Monday it had made a major gas discovery on the Glendronach prospect, located off the coast of the Shetland islands in the North Sea.Total said preliminary tests on the new gas discovery confirmed good reservoir quality, permeability and well production deliverability, with recoverable resources estimated at about one trillion cubic feet (1 tcf).It said Glendronach, located near its Edradour field, will be tied back to the existing infrastructure and developed…

Lukoil Gets Approval for LPG Supplies to Ukraine

Russia's No.2 oil producer Lukoil has obtained approval from a Russian export control regulator on supplies of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) such as propane and butane to Ukraine, traders said on Friday.LPG and diesel were listed as goods of dual purposes, meaning they can be used both for civil and military aims, amid Moscow's tensions with Ukraine.Only Kremlin-controlled Rosneft has the rights to export LPG to Ukraine, to the tune of around 40,000 tonnes per month. The fuel can be used in cars…

Maersk to Spin off Drilling, Hand Total Shares to Investors

(Photo: Maersk)

A.P. Moller-Maersk said on Friday it would spin off its offshore drilling operation and list it in Copenhagen next year, the latest move by the Danish shipping company to focus entirely on transport and logistics.Maersk, which cut its full-year profit outlook this month, sold Maersk Oil to French oil major Total last year in a $7.5 billion deal as part of a restructuring under Soren Skou, who became chief executive in 2016.Skou used to head Maersk's container business and is a long-time veteran of the Danish firm whose mainstay industry is emerging from a fierce price war as too many ships chased too little business…

Norway Oil Workers, Employers Reach Deal to End Strike

© Inge / Adobe Stock

Norwegian drilling rigs workers will end their industrial action after the union representing 1,600 striking employees reached a deal with the group acting for their employers, the parties said on Thursday.The strike began on July 10 after the Safe union and the Norwegian Shipowners' Association could not come to an agreement over wages and pension conditions. The industrial action led to the shutdown of one Shell-operated field."The strike is over ... All workers will go back to work today," the lead negotiator for the Safe union told Reuters.The action had limited impact on output from Norway…

Top Shallow Water Driller Raises $225 Mln in Oslo IPO

Shelf Drilling, a Dubai-based contractor for shallow water rigs, raised about $225 million by issuing new shares priced at 65.35 Norwegian crowns ($8.09) per share, the company said on Friday, the latest drilling firm to list in Oslo to raise capital.Its initial public offering comes four years after the company scrapped plans to list in London just as the oil market's downturn started.Demand for shallow water or jack-up rigs has been steadily growing through 2017 after hitting a bottom at the end of 2016. Brent crude is trading at almost $74 a barrel, up from $27 a barrel in Jan.

UK Regulator Probes SSE, Npower Merger

British regulators have launched an in-depth investigation into the tie-up between the retail power unit of SSE Plc and Npower, owned by Germany's Innogy, saying it may reduce competition and increase prices for some households.The merger would create Britain's second-largest retail power provider and reduce the "Big Six" dominating the market to five companies when they are already facing political scrutiny for their tariffs and pressure from smaller rivals.It also comes as German energy giants RWE and E.ON plan to carve up Innogy. The deal would make E.ON, another of the "Big Six", the parent company of Npower.

BP invests $5 mln in FreeWire in electric vehicle move

(Photo: FreeWire)

BP Plc said it had invested $5 million in U.S. mobile electric vehicle charging company FreeWire, helping it provide rapid charging at its retail sites in Britain and Europe, as demand for cleaner vehicles is expected to soar. BP joins rival Royal Dutch Shell, which last year agreed to buy Dutch-based NewMotion, the owner of one of Europe's largest electric vehicle charging networks, marking the company's first deal in electric mobility. The expected rapid growth in the use of electric vehicles in…

China's Giant Floating Solar Plant Goes Live

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China's Three Gorges Group started producing power from a 150-megawatt floating solar plant in east China, the largest of its kind in the world, official Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday. The solar power project in Huainan in Anhui province, developed by the new energy unit of state-run Three Gorges Group, is expected to be in full operation in May next year, the report said. The one-billion-yuan Huainan project is a new experiment aimed at cutting the cost of constructing and operating solar power plants, Lu Chun, chairman of Three Gorges Group was cited as saying.

SBM Offshore: The Cost of Corruption Rises

Image: © niroworld / AdobeStock

Marine engineering group SBM Offshore said a Brazilian investigation into its role in corruption cases had not been resolved and set aside an additional $238 million provision on Monday to cover costs from an unexpected U.S. inquiry. The Dutch company has also been forced to suspend its involvement in tenders with Brazilian oil company Petrobras , a major customer. Shares fell 10 percent to 13.96 euros at 0930 GMT, wiping out gains made this year when investors believed the builder of floating oil and gas platforms had settled the issue.

TMK Reviews Options for US Assets

TMK, Russia's largest maker of steel pipes for the oil and gas industry, is considering different options for its U.S. subsidiary IPSCO but intends to keep a controlling stake in the firm, it said on Tuesday. On Monday, TMK IPSCO told Reuters that it did not plan to sell any assets and would be ready to consider alliances with the "global metal market players" in future. "While no decision regarding any specific action related to TMK IPSCO has been made, our previously disclosed exploration of strategic alternatives remains ongoing," TMK, controlled by Russian businessman Dmitry Pumpyansky, told Reuters on Tuesday.

Seadrill Names Dibowitz CEO

Photo: Seadrill

Oslo-listed rig firm Seadrill named a new chief executive from within its own ranks on Wednesday and said its talks to restructure $14 billion of debt and liabilities had reached an advanced stage. Once the world's most valuable rig firm, Seadrill's business was hard hit when oil companies sharply cut investments and exploration in the wake of a 2014 crash in oil prices. Anton Dibowitz, current chief commercial officer, will take the top job from July 1, succeeding Per Wullf who will remain a board director, the company said. Dibowitz, a U.S. citizen, joined the company 10 years ago.

Russian private oil companies swing behind output cuts

Russia's private oil producers are ditching their scepticism and lining up behind an extension of a global deal to cut output after previous oil price increases compensated for lost income. Oil prices have risen since November when the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) reached its first deal to lower output since 2008, with some non-OPEC producers, including Russia, joining the move. A decision on whether Russia backs an extension will ultimately be taken in the Kremlin, and the private oil companies have limited say.

Investors Welcome Signals Siemens CEO Will Stay On

Joe Kaeser (Photo: Siemens)

Siemens Chief Executive Joe Kaeser has signaled he wants to renew his contract when it runs out in 2018, a move welcomed by investors who have grown to trust the 59-year-old company veteran. Kaeser ousted his predecessor Peter Loescher in a boardroom coup in July 2013 when he was finance chief. Since then he has streamlined the German group to focus on its strengths in industrial engineering, raised profitability and seen the share price respond this year. There is still work to be done but investors believe Kaeser deserves a new contract.