Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Gulf Marine CEO Quits in wake of Profit Warning

A Gulf Marine Services Jack Up unit (CREDIT: GMS)

Gulf Marine Services said on Wednesday Chief Executive Officer Duncan Anderson has resigned as the oilfield industry contractor warned a reassessment of its ships and contracts showed profit would fall this year, kicking its shares 12% down.The Abu Dhabi-based offshore services specialist said a review by new finance chief Stephen Kersley of its large E-class vessels operating in Northwest Europe and the Middle East pointed to 2019 core earnings of between $45 million and $48 million…

Chinese Ship Returns to Vietnam's EEZ

A Chinese survey ship returned to Vietnam's exclusive economic zone off its coast on Tuesday, ship tracking data showed, less than a week after it left the area where vessels from the two countries were locked in a month-long standoff.The Haiyang Dizhi 8 first entered the zone under Chinese coast guard escort in July and appeared to conduct a seismic survey of waters that are a potential global flashpoint as the United States challenges China's maritime claims.The survey ship…

U.S. Crude Exports Reach a Record of 3.16 mln bpd

File image: A crude vessel alongside and loading at the U.S. port of Corpus Christi, Texas

U.S. crude oil exports surged 260,000 barrels per day (bpd) in June to a monthly record of 3.16 million bpd as South Korea bought record volumes and China resumed purchases, data from the U.S. Census Bureau showed on Friday.South Korea surpassed Canada to become the biggest purchaser of U.S. crude at about 605,000 bpd. China purchased about 292,000 bpd, the most since June last year and was the third-largest buyer of U.S. crude in June, the data showed.China, once the top buyer of U.S.

KY Gasline Erupts in Flames, One Dead

File Image: AdobeStock / © Hanmaomin

A natural gas line erupted in a ball of flames that could be seen for miles over a residential community in rural Kentucky on Thursday, killing one person and setting several houses on fire, a local sheriff said.The blast, in Moreland, a community about 40 miles (65 km) south of Lexington, was the second so far this year on Canadian energy company Enbridge Inc's Texas Eastern natural gas pipeline following an incident…

Oil slumps 7% as More Tariffs Loom

AdobeStock / © Kasto

Oil prices plummeted more than 7% on Thursday, with the U.S. benchmark posting its worst day in more than four years, after President Donald Trump said he would impose additional tariffs Chinese imports starting Sept. 1.The drop in Brent crude was the steepest in more than three years, undoing a fragile oil rally built on steady drawdowns in U.S. inventories even as global demand looked shaky due to the U.S.-China trade…

Kinder Morgan: Bankrupt Refiner Owes $1.5 mln

Adobestock / © mikesjc

Kinder Morgan Liquids Terminals LLC says Philadelphia Energy Solutions failed to make payments for fuel storage and other services totaling nearly $1.5 million since December, roughly seven months before the Pennsylvania refiner filed for bankruptcy.In a Wednesday filing, Kinder asked the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware to allow it to sell fuel stored by PES at its Carteret, New Jersey, facility to pay itself back for the missed payments.PES…

Exxon Faces Local Lawsuit over Refinery Fire

AdobeStock / © Renaschild

Exxon Mobil Corp was hit with a lawsuit on Thursday over pollution from a fire at the company's Baytown Olefins Plant, according to an attorney for Harris County, Texas, which filed the suit.The fire was being investigated by federal and state agencies. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) were at the scene to determine the cause of a blaze…

TC Energy: Order Blocking Keystone XL Pipeline Lifted

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Diter)

TC Energy Corp's long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline took a small step forward this week, after a U.S. court overturned an injunction that barred certain work on the project, the company said.The company, which also reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday, has been working for more than a decade to build the controversy-ridden 830,000 barrel per day (bpd) pipeline.KXL would run from an oil hub at Hardisty…

Chevron Cleared to Stay in Venezuela

© Jim Barber / Adobe Stock

The Trump administration said on Friday it has renewed Chevron Corp's license to drill for oil and gas in Venezuela despite sanctions, signaling it sees value in having the U.S. oil producer operate in a country on the verge of economic and political collapse.The Treasury Department said it renewed the license for three months for Chevron, the last U.S. oil company operating in Venezuela, a member of the OPEC producer group. The license runs through Oct.

Nigerians Pursue Shell Spill Case in the UK

© chris2766 / Adobe Stock

The Supreme Court in London will hear an appeal by Nigerian farmers and fishermen to pursue claims in England against oil major Shell over oil spills in the Niger Delta, lawyers for the two affected communities said on Wednesday.The decision to hear the appeal re-opens the possibility for British multinationals to be held liable at home for their subsidiaries' actions abroad.

Tanzania State Oil Company Chief Reinstated

© md3d / Adobe Stock

The former head of Tanzania's state company oil is being reinstated by Tanzanian President John Magufuli, after the executive was suspended in 2016 over claims of abuse of office, the presidency said.James Mataragio, who was the managing director of the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC), was suspended by the company's board from his post in August 2016.The statement by the president's office, seen by Reuters on Tuesday, gave no reason for his reinstatement.

TRIG Acquires French Wind Farms

Pic: Watson Farley & Williams LLP

UK-based investment fund  The Renewables Infrastructure Group (TRIG) has acquired stakes in four French onshore windfarms, with a total capacity of 107.8 MW. InfraRed’s listed renewables vehicle did not disclose financial details of acquisitions. Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) has advised British investment fund.WFW assisted TRIG on the acquisition, from their operations manager Renewable Energy Systems (RES), and financing…

Vietnam: Chinese Vessel Violated its Sovereignty

Vietnam on Friday accused a Chinese oil survey vessel and its escorts of violating its sovereignty and demanded that China remove the ships from Vietnamese waters.Vietnam and China have for years long been embroiled in a dispute over the potentially energy-rich stretch of waters in the South China Sea.On Wednesday, two U.S.-based think tanks reported that Chinese and Vietnamese vessels had engaged in a standoff lasting several weeks near an oil block in Vietnam's exclusive economic zone.

Eni CEO Sues Lawyer for Defamation

Eni Chief Executive Claudio Descalzi (Photo: Eni)

The head of Italian oil group Eni has sued a former legal adviser to the company for defamation after excerpts of the lawyer's written testimony relating to a Nigerian corruption case were published in several newspapers on Wednesday.Eni said Chief Executive Claudio Descalzi had taken the legal action after newspapers quoted from the testimony, which was given by Piero Amara in an investigation into allegations of obstruction…

SPARK Joins OSC for $450mln Biz Incubator

Photo: Saudi Arabian Oil Co.

Saudi Aramco's King Salman Energy Park (SPARK) and Dubai-based Oilfields Supply Center Ltd. (OSC) signed an agreement to establish OSC as an anchor tenant at SPARK.OSC will develop a business incubator called the Common User Supply Base (CUSB) in collaboration with Saudi Aramco, to support the oil and gas industry in the Kingdom and the region, as well as help accelerate the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the energy sector.OSC plans to invest around USD 450 million over the next two years…

EU Threatens Turkey with Sanctions over Cyprus Drilling

Turkey's Energy Minister Fatih Donmez speaks at a drilling launch event in late 2018. Donmez said the country would continue its offshore drilling exploration activities as part of Turkey's aim to be energy independent. (Photo: Turkey Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources)

The European Union is set to curb contacts and funding for Ankara in retaliation for what it calls Turkey's "illegal" drilling for gas and oil off Cyprus and stands ready to ramp up sanctions further, a draft statement seen by Reuters shows.In trying to take Ankara to task over what the EU sees as Turkish interference with Cyprus' exclusive economic zone, the bloc is walking a thin line, careful not to antagonize an important partner."Despite our best intentions to keep good neighborly relations with Turkey…

Maersk Firm to Buy Wind Turbine Supplier

file Image: an offshore wind farm (CREDIT Seimens)

A.P. Moller Holding, which controls Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk will acquire Danish wind turbine supplier KK Group, it said on Wednesday, in a first step into the renewable energy industry.The acquisition marks a new direction for the family-owned company, which has built its business on the shipping and oil industry.The parties declined to disclose the price of the deal. A.P. Moller Holding will buy KK Group…

Petrobras to Sell Natural Gas Assets

Brazilian state-owned oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA has reached an agreement with anti-trust regulator Cade to sell off a series of natural gas transportation and distribution assets, the company said in an exchange filing on Monday.Petrobras, as the company is commonly known, said it had pledged to sell stakes in pipeline networks including a 10% stake in Nova Transportadora do Sudeste (NTS) SA, 10% in Transportadora Associada de Gas (TAG) SA and 51% in Transportadora Brasileira Gasoduto Bolivia-Brasil (TBG) SA.It wo

Wärtsilä Forms New Biofuel Arm

Wärtsilä Biogas Solutions combines biogas upgrading with liquefaction to offer a full service for advanced biofuel production. Copyright: Biokraft

Finnish shipping technology group Wartsila has merged its Puregas Solutions and biogas liquefaction teams to form a new Biogas Solutions unit that will offer its customers a ‘one-stop-shop service’ for advanced biofuel production.Wärtsilä Biogas Solutions, a unit with expert capabilities in liquefying upgraded biogas for end-customer use, offers products for biogas upgrading to biomethane, and the liquefaction of biomethane into bioLNG."Currently…

Weatherford Files Bankruptcy Plan

(File image: Weatherford)

Oilfield services firm Weatherford International on Friday filed a prepackaged restructuring plan with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, according to a regulatory filing.The company, which has struggled under a heavy debt burden and years of losses, warned in May that it expected to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection after failing to obtain new financing and after the loss of key employees.Holders of roughly 79% of its outstanding notes have agreed to the restructuring…

DP World buys Topaz Energy for $1 bln

Port operator DP World Plc will buy Topaz Energy and Marine Limited for $1 billion from Standard Chartered and Renaissance Services, DP World said on Monday.Topaz is a provider of marine logistics to the global energy industry. The deal is the latest in Asia-focused lender StanChart's efforts to sell its private equity business as part of a broader shift away from direct investing.Reporting By Lawrence White

US Extends Offshore Wind Tax Credit

Image: Government Europa

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) issued a statement in support of two bills introduced in the U.S. Senate this week, which would both extend the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for offshore wind energy.The legislation comes at a critical time for offshore wind in America, as energy developers prepare to start construction on the first wave of large-scale projects.The Offshore Wind Incentives for New Development Act introduced by Senators Markey (D-MA)…

Michigan Sues to Shut Down Enbridge Oil Pipeline in Great Lakes

The U.S. state of Michigan has filed a lawsuit asking for an Enbridge Inc oil pipeline that runs under the Straits of Mackinac in the Great Lakes to be decommissioned, a statement from Michigan's attorney general said on Thursday.The lawsuit says Enbridge's continued operation of the underwater portion of Line 5 under an easement granted in 1953 violates the public trust doctrine, is a common law public nuisance, and…

EnVen Co-founder Exits, Sues Company

© burdun / Adobe Stock

An EnVen Energy Corp co-founder claims the chief executive of the offshore oil and gas producer provided misleading production and financial data to the board and forced him out as president, according to a lawsuit in a Texas court.David Dunwoody alleges CEO Steve Weyel and other company employees inflated production forecasts presented to its board of directors to influence 2018 and 2019 budgets, according to the lawsuit filed this month and made public on Wednesday.EnVen declined to comment on pending litigation.

U.S. Court to Decide Who Will Control Citgo

AdobeStock / © Renaschild

A U.S. court will decide whether a board of directors appointed by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro or one backed by his rival, opposition leader Juan Guaido, runs the eighth-largest U.S. refiner, Citgo Petroleum Corp.A lawsuit filed by Maduro's representatives on Tuesday in Delaware Chancery Court seeks to reassert control over Citgo , along with other U.S. subsidiaries of PDVSA , the Venezuelan state-run oil company.Citgo, Venezuela's most important foreign asset, has been caught in a tug-of-war as U.S.

Vestas, GE Settle U.S. Patent Dispute

Image: Vestas

Vestas Wind Systems A/S and GE Renewable Energy have settled all disputes related to multiple claims of patent infringement, said a joint announcement."The settlement of all disputes related to multiple patent infringement claims in the U.S., result in the discontinuation of the case pending in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California as well as all other pending proceedings related to the patents-in-suit…

Senegal President's Brother Resigns After Energy Fraud Claims

© Pictures news / Adobe Stock

The brother of Senegal's President Macky Sall has resigned from his government post after allegations of fraud relating to natural gas contracts, he said on Monday.An investigation by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) this month alleged that a company run by Aliou Sall received a secret payment of $250,000 in 2014 from Frank Timis, a businessman whose company, Timis Corporation, that year secured licences to two major offshore gas blocks.The affair has dominated the airwaves in Senegal…

Pavilion Acquires LNG assets of Iberdrola

(L to R) Mr Frédéric H. Barnaud, Group CEO of Pavilion Energy and Mr Aitor Moso, CEO of Liberalised Business, Iberdrola. Photo: Pavilion Energy

Singapore-based LNG company Pavilion Energy said its wholly owned subsidiary Pavilion Energy Trading & Supply has agreed to buy Spanish energy company Iberdrola's portfolio of liquefied natural gas (LNG) assets.The portfolio comprises about 4 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of Iberdrola's long-term LNG sale and supply contracts.It also includes long-term regasification of approximately 2 mtpa at the Grain LNG terminal (UK)…

BP Rig Arrives On Site Despite Protests

(Photo: Greenpeace)

A BP drilling rig reached its destination in the North Sea on Wednesday after 11 days of delays due to Greenpeace protests over climate change, the activist group said.The 40,000-metric-ton Paul Loyd JNR left Cromarty Firth, north of Inverness, Scotland last Friday, after being held for six days by activists who had climbed and camped out on one of its legs.Once at sea, the rig and its support vessels were forced to turn…

Bourbon BoD to Analyze Restructuring Proposals

File Image: CREDIT Bourbon

Following the submission of financial restructuring proposals subject to conditions precedent, the Board of Directors of BOURBON Corporation reviewed today the two proposals which are considered relevant to the interests of the group, its employees, its partners and its shareholders.In particular, the Board relied on the review done by an ad hoc committee of four Directors (two of whom are independent) entrusted since…

Greek PM May Seek Sanctions Against Turkey in Gas Row

© twixx / Adobe Stock

Greece and Cyprus will push their EU partners to penalize Turkey, including the possible option of sanctions, if Ankara is verified to have started drilling for gas west of Cyprus, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Sunday.The discovery of lucrative energy reserves in the eastern Mediterranean has drawn into sharper focus long-standing tensions between Turkey and the Greek Cypriot government.A Turkish drill ship has been anchored west of Cyprus since May.

Cyprus Issues Arrest Warrants for Turkey Drill Ship Crew

Cyprus has issued arrest warrants for the crew of a Turkish drill ship anchored close to its coast for allegedly infringing territory over which the island has rights to explore for oil and gas, a foreign ministry official said on Thursday."We can confirm that warrants were issued. It's a double digit number," the Cypriot official said, declining further comment.Turkey said on June 10 that reports of the arrest warrants…

Damen to Showcase Capabilities for US Offshore Wind Sector

Photo: Damen

Damen Shipyards Group will be present at the fourth annual US Offshore Wind 2019 Conference and Exhibition on June 10-11, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. Damen’s attendance reflects the company’s belief in the enormous potential of offshore wind in North America.Damen has been an active player in the European offshore wind industry since its beginnings around a decade ago. Since then the company has built up a diverse…

OMSA Announces Formation of Wind Committee

OMSA President Aaron Smith

Open to all OMSA Members, the Committee Seeks to Further the Domestic Offshore Wind Industry and the Jones Act.New Orleans, LA – Today, the Offshore Marine Service Association (OMSA) announced the formation of the OMSA Wind Committee and announced that membership on the Committee is now open to all OMSA members.OMSA President, Aaron Smith said, “Over the past 46 years, OMSA has done a tremendous job in promoting public policy that benefits the vessels…

First ANS Cargo in One Year on Way to China

the Sonangol Cabinda (CREDIT MarineTraffic.com / © V. Tonic)

One million barrels of Alaskan crude is due in China next week, the first such shipment in almost a year, according to data from Refinitiv Eikon and vessel-tracking firm Kpler.China's imports of U.S. crude have fallen amid the two countries' trade dispute to 41,600 barrels per day (bpd) in the six months ended February, from 377,000 bpd in the first half of 2018, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.Tanker…

Icahn Sues Oxy Over 'Misguided' Anadarko Deal

© sebra / Adobe Stock

Occidental Petroleum Corp 's activist investor Carl Icahn has filed a lawsuit against the company over what it called its "misguided" pact to buy Anadarko Petroleum Corp, and may seek a special meeting to remove and replace board members.The lawsuit, filed on Thursday in Delaware by a group of Icahn companies, calls Occidental's recent agreement to purchase Anadarko for $38 billion "fundamentally misguided and hugely overpriced…

Mexico Punishes Former Pemex CEO

Emilio Lozoya (Photo: Petroleromx, CC BY-SA 4.0)

Mexico's government has punished the former chief executive of state oil firm Petroleos Mexicanos for misuse of public funds in the purchase of fertilizer business Fertinal, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.The Public Administration Ministry announced on Wednesday that it had sanctioned two senior executives at the firm, known as Pemex, from the previous administration, without identifying the executives.

Nord Stream 2 Launch Facing Delays

© Nord Stream 2 / Axel Schmidt

Russia's Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project to Germany may launch in 2020, rather than the end of 2019, due to delays in obtaining permits from Denmark, Interfax news agency on Friday quoted Nord Stream 2 AG as saying.The Russian-led company has two pending route applications with Danish authorities, the first of which was submitted more than two years ago, but it was asked in March to assess a third route option in Danish…

Weatherford to File for Bankruptcy

Image: Weatherford International

Irish-domiciled multinational oil and natural gas service company Weatherford International has entered into an agreement with its top creditors that will allow the company to file for a "prepackaged" Chapter 11 bankruptcy - after more than four years without making a profit.Weatherford expects to implement the Restructuring Agreement through a "pre-packaged" Chapter 11 process and expects to file U.S. chapter 11 and Irish examinership proceedings.

Siemens Exits Power, Gas, Renewable Biz

Pic: Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy

German conglomerate Siemens AG said it will spin off and give up its majority stake in its energy division and merge it with separately listed wind turbine supplier Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy (SGRE), creating a new multi-technology global energy powerhouse. The company’s supervisory board announced the spinoff on May 7 as part of its Vision 2020+ strategy concept. The board said the move would help Germany-based…

Occidental Agrees to Sell Anadarko Assets to Total

Image: Anadarko Petroleum

Texas-headquartered Occidental Petroleum has reached an agreement to sell Anadarko Petroleum's oil and gas assets in Africa to French oil major Total for $8.8 billion.The binding agreement with Occidental to acquire Anadarko’s assets in Africa (Algeria, Ghana, Mozambique, South Africa) is contingent on a successful completion of Occidental’s ongoing bid for Anadarko.Wood Mackenzie research director Nicholas Browne says the move would make Total the second largest international oil company (IOC) LNG seller after Shell…

Wintershall, DEA Complete Merger

Image: Wintershall Dea

The merger between oil and gas firms Wintershall Holding GmbH and Deutsche Erdoel AG (DEA) has been completed, creating the largest independent exploration and production company in Europe.Wintershall DEA will be headquartered in Hamburg, with activities across Europe, Latin America, North Africa and the Middle East. Regulatory approvals have been granted by nine countries including Germany, Norway, the UK and Russia.“We are a European champion and are making an important contribution to Europe’s energy security…

Teekay Sells Offshore Stake to Brookfield

Image: Teekay Offshore

The provider of international crude oil and gas marine transportation, Teekay Corporation announced  an agreement to sell to Brookfield Business Partners all of the Company’s remaining interests in Teekay Offshore Partners for total proceeds of $100 million in cash.The interests includes the Company’s 49% general partner interest, common units, warrants, and an outstanding $25 million loan from the Company to Teekay Offshore.The…

Activists End Occupation of Arctic Drill Rig

(Photo: Greenpeace)

Greenpeace activists climbed down from a Seadrill drilling rig in Norway on Tuesday and are no longer occupying it, the environmental group told Reuters.The rig, which was boarded by four activists on Monday, will be used next month by Equinor to explore for oil and gas in the Arctic.(Reporting by Gwladys Fouche, Writing by Terje Solsvik, Editing by Paul Tait)

Foreign Oil Workers Kidnapped in Nigeria

Gunman kidnapped two foreign workers from an oil rig in Nigeria's Delta region on Saturday, the military said - the second abduction there in less than a week.The attackers raided the rig owned by Niger Delta Petroleum Resources at around 8 a.m. (0700 GMT), the spokesman for the area's military operations, Major Ibrahim Abubakar, said.Troops were searching surrounding swamps, he added.The Niger Delta produces the bulk of Nigeria's crude.

Novatek Sell 20% Stake in Arctic LNG 2 to China

Image: Novatek

Russian gas producer Novatek said on  that it had signed agreements with two Chinese companies to sell a combined 20 percent stake in its new liquefied natural gas project, Arctic LNG 2.Under the agreement, the Chinese firms -CNOOC and CNODC - will become shareholders in the Arctic LNG project with 10 percent each. Novatek gave no financial details in a statement announcing the agreements.According to a press release…

Trump Administration Sidelines Offshore Drilling Plan

© Denys / Adobe Stock

The Trump administration will hold off on issuing its plan to expand offshore drilling as it weighs what to do after a March court ruling that blocked drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt told The Wall Street Journal.The newly confirmed secretary said the agency's five year plan for oil and gas drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf would be sidelined indefinitely as it waits for the case to go through the appeals process.“By the time the court rules, that may be discombobulating to o

Saipem Settles South Stream Dispute

Image: South Stream Transport B.V.

South Stream Transport, which is responsible for the construction and operation of the TurkStream Offshore Pipeline, and the Italian oil and gas industry contractor Saipem have settled the arbitration concerning the South Stream offshore pipeline installation contract entered into on March 14, 2014.The subsidiary of Italian energy company Eni said in a release that the companies have positively ended their negotiations signing an agreement to amicably settle the arbitration.In December 2014…

Aramco Buys Shell's Stake in Saudi JV

Pic: Saudi Aramco

The Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) is  planning to buy oil major Shell's 50% stake in Saudi Aramco Shell Refining Co (SASREF), a Saudi refining complex developed as a joint venture between the two oil companies,  for $631 million.Abdulaziz Al-Judaimi, Saudi Aramco‘s Senior Vice President of Downstream, said: “The partnership with Shell has led to a strong record of performance and delivery of refined products.

Swiss, Brazil Try to Unravel Petrobras Affair

© Celso Pupo / Adobe Stock

Crimefighters in Switzerland and Brazil pledged to intensify cooperation to resolve the sprawling corruption case linked to state oil firm Petrobras in which around 700 million Swiss francs ($701 million) remain frozen in Switzerland.Switzerland has so far returned roughly 365 million Swiss francs ($365.6 million) to Brazil related to Petrobras and construction firm Odebrecht, the Swiss Office of the Attorney General (OAG) said on Tuesday…

Eni Slander Probe Could Prompt Management Changes

(Photo: Eni)

Italy's Eni has carried out internal audits in a slander case relating in part to a Nigeria corruption scandal, and a source with knowledge of the matter said the review could prompt some management changes at the oil major.Eni and its Anglo-Dutch peer Royal Dutch Shell are on trial for allegedly paying $1.1 billion in bribes to buy Nigeria's OPL 245 offshore oilfield in 2011, one of the oil industry's biggest graft cases.Both companies deny any wrongdoing.Milan prosecutors opened in 2018 a separate case involving alleg

Brazil, Petrobras Paving Way for Giant Tender

(Photo: Petrobras)

Brazil's government will announce "within days" a deal with state-run oil company Petrobras to settle a multi-billion-dollar contract dispute and clear the way to auction billions of barrels of oil off of the Brazilian coast, a minister said on Monday.Economy Minister Paulo Guedes told journalists that his team sat down recently with officials at the Mines and Energy Ministry, and that "the deal is done."Reuters reported earlier on Monday that Petroleo Brasileiro SA…

Nord Stream 2 Expecting Denmark Approval

© Nord Stream 2 / Axel Schmidt

The Russian-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline company expects to receive approval from Danish authorities for a 180-km stretch of the pipeline under the Baltic Sea in time to finish the pipeline by the end of 2019 as planned, a spokesman said on Monday.Nord Stream 2 spokesman Jens Mueller said there was "good reason" to believe Danish authorities would process a second proposal submitted by the project in August 2018 within eight to 12 months…

Norway Oil Exploration Refunds Are Not State Aid -ESA

© Lotharingia / Adobe Stock

Norway's regulations allowing oil and gas companies to claim refunds for exploration spending do not constitute state aid, the European Free Trade Association Surveillance Authority (ESA) said on Wednesday."Having scrutinized it on the basis of a comprehensive complaint, ESA is satisfied that this tax rule does not entail state aid," ESA President Bente Angell-Hansen said in an emailed statement.The case was brought to ESA by Bellona…

Brazil Likely to Pay Petrobras $10 Bln

(Photo: Petrobras)

The Brazilian government is likely to pay around $10 billion to state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA to settle the so-called 'transfer-of-rights' dispute, newspaper Valor Economico reported on Tuesday, though the parties have not agreed on final terms.The financial daily, citing a source with knowledge of the matter, said the payment was a reduction from a previous proposal of $14 billion. Valor in January had reported that the government had agreed on the higher figure…

Orsted Seeks Ways to Avoid Brexit Tariffs

(Photo: Orsted)

Denmark's Orsted is looking at ways to avoid potential tariffs on imports of components for its multi-billion pound British offshore wind farms in the event of a disorderly Brexit, the company's UK chief told Reuters.With only 16 days before Britain is due to leave the European Union, there is still no ratified divorce deal, leading business to fear a "no-deal" exit that could see World Trade Organisation (WTO) tariffs…

Ven's Blackout Halts Oil Exports From Primary Port

An idled PDVSA tanker (CREDIT: © MarineTraffic.com / Leslie Brug

Venezuela's state-run oil firm PDVSA has been unable to resume crude exports from its primary port since last week's massive power outage, essentially crippling the OPEC nation's principal industry, people familiar with the matter said on Monday.Power remained patchy in most of the country after a blackout on Thursday that the government of President Nicolas Maduro claimed was a U.S.-backed act of "sabotage" on the country's…

NOIA Applauds Wheeler’s Confirmation

Andrew Wheeler (Photo: EPA)

NOIA President Randall Luthi released the following statement after the Senate voted to confirm Andrew Wheeler as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator:“NOIA congratulates Andrew Wheeler and applauds the Senate following his confirmation as EPA Administrator. Mr. Wheeler has shown his ability to successfully navigate through tough issues, tough interest groups and a tough confirmation process with his knowledge, demeanor and a well-conceived plan for the future of the agency.

Dutch Prosecutors Target Shell Over Nigeria Oil Deal

(Photo: Shell)

Dutch prosecutors are preparing criminal charges against Royal Dutch Shell over the $1.3 billion acquisition of an Nigerian offshore oilfield, ramping up pressure on the energy firm that already faces bribery charges in Italy over the case.Within hours of Friday's announcement on the Nigerian case, the Dutch prosecution said the oil and gas giant would also be charged in two domestic cases relating to an explosion at a petrochemical facility and emissions.Although the cases are unrelated…

NOPEC Bills: Leverage for White House

File Image / CREDIT: AdobeStock / © sunnyS

For a proposed statute still at the first stage of the legislative process, with only a handful of sponsors in the U.S. Congress, the “No Oil Producing and Exporting Countries Act of 2019” (NOPEC) is generating a lot of comment.The amount of attention being paid to the proposed legislation is out of all proportion to its probability of being enacted into law - unless oil prices spike higher at some point during the remainder…

DOE Chief Perry: OPEC Bill Could Spike Oil Prices

U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry (CREDIT: US DOE)

The United States needs to be cautious about pending legislation that would allow the Justice Department to sue OPEC and other oil producers over supply cuts because it could result in higher prices in the long term, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick Perry said on Thursday."We need to be really careful before we pass legislation that may have an impact that goes way past its intended consequences," Perry said at a news conference.The bill could curtail supply management by oil producers in global markets…

Senate Confirms Wheeler to lead EPA

The U.S. Senate on Thursday confirmed President Donald Trump's candidate, a former coal lobbyist, to lead the nation's top environmental regulator, infuriating Democrats and conservation groups who said his policies were endangering public health.Environmental Protection Agency Acting Administrator Andrew Wheeler, a Washington insider with years of experience working as a congressional staffer, was nominated by Trump in January to permanently replace Scott Pruitt…

Citgo Loans Price in Potential Regime Change

The bank debt of oil refiner Citgo Petroleum Corp, US subsidiary of Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA), has been volatile in recent days as Venezuela’s political crisis deepens and the market prices in a potential regime change in the South American nation.The company’s US$650m term loan B jumped in secondary trading this week, according to a trader monitoring the debt, after the Houston-headquartered company last Friday…

Saudi Aramco adds Goldman Sachs as Bond Bookrunner

Saudi Aramco has added Goldman Sachs as a bookrunner for a planned bond which will help finance its purchase of a stake in Saudi Arabian Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.The U.S. investment bank flew out a team of senior executives including partner Dina Powell, a veteran of the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, to pitch for the deal, the sources said.Saudi Aramco did not respond to queries for immediate comment.

CITGO Formally Cuts Ties with PDVSA

U.S. refiner Citgo Petroleum Corp is formally cutting ties with its parent, state-run oil firm Petroleos de Venezuela SA, to meet U.S. sanctions imposed on the OPEC country, two people close to the decision told Reuters on Tuesday.Executives at the Houston-based firm set a Feb. 26 deadline to end relationships with PDVSA following sanctions designed to curb oil revenues to socialist President Nicolas Maduro and support the nation's transition government formed by Venezuelan congress head Juan Guaido.The United States…

Mexico President Seeks Answers for Pemex Losses

Mexico's president said on Tuesday his government would push for an investigation into the hundreds of millions of dollars squandered by state oil company Pemex after its purchase of two struggling fertilizer plants during the previous administration.A report by the Federal Audit Office last week said that Pemex burned through $665 million at its fertilizer unit in 2017 after purchasing the plants in 2013 and 2016 that…

Workers at Total's North Sea Platforms to Strike

file Image: CREDIT AdobeStock / © xmentoys

Workers at three of Total's North Sea oil and gas platforms will hold a series of strikes between March 11 and May 8, Britain's Unite union said on Tuesday.Unite members on the Elgin Franklin, North Alwyn and Dunbar platforms will take part in a continuous ban on overtime on March 11, the union said in a statement.Discontinuous strike action consisting of a series of 24-hour stoppages on the platforms will take place on March 11, March 27 and April 12, it said.The Union said 24-hour stoppages will also take place at the

Shell: Nigeria Tax Claim May Delay Offshore Field

A Shell FLNG underway offshore (CREDIT: Shell)

Shell upstream boss Brown sees 'no merit' in tax claim. Separately, Shell to fast track Whale development in Gulf of Mexico.Royal Dutch Shell said on Tuesday that Nigeria's claims that it was owed billions in taxes could delay the development of a major oil field off the coast of the West African nation.Nigeria ordered several major foreign oil and gas companies to pay nearly $20 billion in taxes it says are owed to local states…

RockRose Energy Acquires Marathon Oil

Andrew Austin. Photo: RockRose Energy

U.K.-based oil and gas firm RockRose Energy has signed a share purchase agreement to acquire 100% of Marathon Oil UK (MOUK), and 100% of Marathon Oil West of Shetland (MOWOS), from subsidiaries of Marathon Oil Corporation.London-headquartered RockRose will pay $140 million (subject to customary adjustments) for the assets, while also taking on the decommissioning liabilities.MOUK holds a 37-40% operated interest in fields in the Greater Brae Area…

Fitch places CITGO, parent PDVSA on Rating Watch Negative

Former Enron CEO Jeffrey Skilling Released

Jeffrey Skilling, the onetime chief of Enron Corp who was sentenced to 24 years in prison for his conviction on charges stemming from the company’s spectacular collapse, has been released from federal custody, the Houston Chronicle reported on Thursday.A spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Prisons confirmed to Reuters that Thursday was the date scheduled for Skilling's release but declined to provide further details, citing privacy issues.Skilling…

Bad Choices cost Pemex $1 bln

Mexico's state-oil company Pemex burned through $665 million at its fertilizer unit, ignored consultants and made high-risk investments with no discernible business strategy, according to a devastating government audit of its 2017 operations.The report, published late on Wednesday, offers insight into how Pemex ended up creaking under $106 billion of debt during the six-year term of former President Enrique Pena Nieto.Mexico's…

Bids for Small Refinery Waivers Flood into EPA

A midwest Ethanol plant (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Jason Lee

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has received 37 applications for small refinery waivers for 2018 from the U.S.

Citgo's New Board Arrives, to Hold First Meeting

A board of directors appointed this month by Venezuela's opposition-controlled congress to run state-owned oil firm PDVSA's U.S. unit Citgo Petroleum on Thursday was arranging its first meeting at the company's headquarters, according with two people familiar with the matter.Venezuela's National Assembly, led by opposition leader and self-proclaimed president Juan Guaido, last week appointed new boards for PDVSA and subsidiaries PDV Holding…

Top Citgo Executives Removed as PDVSA Chaos Continues

File Image: the idled Aruba refinery (AdobeStock / © Hans

Citgo Petroleum Corp has removed at least three top executives close to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, people familiar with the matter said on Monday, in a move to cement management control under a new board of directors.The U.S. refining arm of Venezuelan state-run oil company PDVSA has been thrust in recent weeks into the center of a political battle between an opposition leader and self-declared president backed by many Western nations…

Petrobras Will Pay to End Whale Park Dispute

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Brazil state-run oil firm Petroleo Brasileiro SA said on Thursday it had concluded a long-running dispute with the country's ANP petroleum regulator, agreeing to pay 3.5 billion reais ($940 million) to end an oil-royalty spat.Dating back to 2014, the dispute over the so-called Whale Park offshore oilfields arose after the ANP decided to unify the Jubarte, Cachalote, Caxaréu, Baleia Franca, Baleia Anã, Baleia Azul and Pirambú Fields, requiring Petrobras, as the company is known, to pay more in special participations, a l

Norway's Snow Crab Ruling Boosts Oil Claim

© Suvorov Aleksey / Adobe Stock

A court delivered a painful nip to European Union fishermen on Thursday by tightening Norway's grip on snow crab catches in the Arctic, a ruling that may also let Oslo claw more control of oil and gas from other nations.Fishermen from the European Union must ask permission from Oslo to catch snow crab — whose meat is a delicacy for gourmets from Canada to Japan — in Arctic waters north of Norway, the Norwegian Supreme…

Seismic Surveys Delayed in US Arctic

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There will be no seismic exploration this winter on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the Interior Department said on Friday, after the company seeking permission to conduct the tests ran out of time to get the required permit."We can confirm that seismic surveys will not take place until December 2019," said Alex Hinson, U.S. Department of the Interior spokesman, in an email.The company applying for the permits…

Lundin Buys Stakes in Rolvsnes, Goddo

 Image: Lundin Petroleum

Lundin Petroleum, Europe's independent oil and gas exploration and production company with operations focused on Norway, has increased its stake in the major Rolvsnes oil discovery in the Norwegian North Sea, flagging a potential tieback eventually to its operated Edvard Grieg oil field.A press statement from the Swedish oil and gas company said: "Lundin has entered into an agreement with Lime Petroleum, a subsidiary of Rex International Holding Limited…

UK Decommissioning Tax Relief Estimate in Question

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Britain's public spending watchdog on Friday questioned a government estimate of 24 billion pounds ($31 billion) as the cost of tax relief to decommission oil and gas infrastructure.As one of the oldest and most mature oil basins, Britain's North Sea represents the world's biggest decommissioning project, with the Oil and Gas Authority estimating operators will need to spend around 60 billion pounds.The government has…