Monday, June 24, 2019

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

© Donatas Dabravolskas / Adobe Stock

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

© sumikos / Adobe Stock

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

© Alan Smillie / Adobe Stock

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…

Petrobras Receives Unfavorable Tax Ruling

© Celso Pupo / Adobe Stock

Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) has received an unfavorable ruling from a tax court in a 1.7 billion reais ($445.70 million) dispute involving corporate tax charged in 2012 on overseas companies it controlled, the Brazilian state-run oil company said in a securities filing on Wednesday.Petrobras said it will appeal the decision.($1 = 3.8142 reais)(Reporting by Ana Mano; editing by Jason Neely)

Government Shutdown: Atlantic Seismic Permitting Blocked by Judge

© DedMityay/AdobeStock

A federal court judge on Friday ruled that the federal government cannot process seismic testing permits for offshore oil drilling during the ongoing government shutdown, dealing a blow Trump administration's energy agenda.Judge Richard Gergel of the U.S. District Court in South Carolina issued the decision in response to a motion filed by a range of conservation and business groups and coastal cities opposed to the adminstration's efforts to expand U.S.

Alaska Officials Probe BP's Prudhoe Bay Wells After Spill

BP Alaska's Prudhoe Bay operations (Photo: BP)

Regulators in the U.S. state of Alaska will investigate all of the oil and natural gas wells operated by BP Plc at its Prudhoe Bay oil field after the release of a small amount of crude oil and gas from a well that had earlier been shut.The Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (AOGCC) has scheduled a Feb. 7 hearing “to assess the mechanical integrity of Prudhoe Bay wells operated by BP Exploration (Alaska), Inc.…

Norway Supreme Court Hears Snow Crab Case with Implication for Oil

© Andrey Cherlat / Adobe Stock

Norway's Supreme Court began hearing arguments on Tuesday on whether EU ships can fish for snow crab off Arctic islands north of Norway without permission from Oslo, a case that could decide who has the right to explore for oil in the region.At stake is whether the snow crab - whose meat is considered a delicacy by gourmets in Japan and South Korea - is a sedentary species living on the seabed or a fish stock that moves around - and who gets to decide about it.If it is seen as a sedentary species…

Shell Joins Dutch Pension Fund to Bid for Eneco

Pic: Eneco

British-Dutch oil and gas company Royal Dutch Shell and Dutch pension fund manager PGGM are considering a joint bid for Dutch producer and supplier of natural gas Eneco, which is heavily invested in sustainable energy projects and worth an estimated USD 3.4 bln.This consortium is impressed with Eneco’s achievements in transforming the Dutch energy system through investments in sustainability and renewable energy. PGGM and Shell combine the knowledge…

Exxon Ships Have Not Returned to Disputed Area off Guyana

© Zerophoto / Adobe Stock

Seismic research vessels hired by Exxon Mobil to explore for oil off Guyana's coast have not returned to the site of a December incident with Venezuela's navy, but they may in the future, Guyana's foreign minister said on Thursday.Guyana, with no history of oil production, has become the focus of intense interest since Exxon announced the discovery of over 5 billion barrels of oil and gas off its shores. That has reignited a century-old territorial dispute with neighboring Venezuela.

US Working on Arctic Oil Leases Despite Shutdown

(Image: Alaska BLM)

Even as a partial shutdown halts the functions of many U.S. government departments, forcing the Department of the Interior to close national parks, the Trump administration is continuing to push for the expansion of oil drilling on sensitive, federally owned lands in Arctic Alaska.The Alaska Bureau of Land Management (BLM), part of the Interior Department, was scheduled to hold a meeting on Wednesday night in Wainwright…

Iran Will Not Comply with 'Illegal' US Sanctions -Oil Minister

© gt29 / Adobe Stock

Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said on Thursday U.S. sanctions against his country were "fully illegal" and Tehran would not comply with them.Zanganeh, speaking at a joint news conference in Baghdad with Iraqi Oil Minister Thamer al-Ghadhban, said Iran would not discuss the volume or destination of its oil exports while it remained under U.S. sanctions.Ghadhban said Iraq had not yet reached an agreement with Iran to develop joint oilfields.

Shell Acquires 26% Stake in Hazira LNG

File Image: Hazira LNG and Port

Royal Dutch Shell announced that it has completed the acquisition of French oil major Total SA's 26 percent stake in the company that operates 5 million tonnes per annum-Hazira LNG terminal in Gujarat, India."Shell Gas, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc, acquired 26% equity interest in the Hazira LNG and  Port Ventures from French energy major Total Gaz Electricité Holdings, to complete the acquisition," said a press…

BP Energy Partners Acquires Cryopeak LNG Solutions

Image: Cryopeak

The private equity firm focused on the energy industry BP Energy Partners (BPEP), LLC announced it has purchased a controlling interest in Cryopeak LNG Solutions Corp, a customer-centric liquified natural gas (LNG) solutions company.Cryopeak will become a portfolio company in BPEP's second private equity fund, BP Natural Gas Opportunity Partners II, LP. In addition to the controlling interest acquisition, BPEP will also…

U.S. Supreme Court Rejects Exxon in Climate Change Document Fight

File Image / CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Renaschild

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday cleared the way for the attorney general of Massachusetts to obtain records from Exxon Mobil Corp to probe whether the oil company for decades concealed its knowledge of the role fossil fuels play in climate change.The justices declined to hear Exxon's appeal of a ruling by the top court in Massachusetts holding that Attorney General Maura Healey, a Democrat, had jurisdiction to seek records…

Shutdown Risks Delays to US Energy Initiatives

© Lukasz Z / Adobe Stock

The partial government shutdown is increasing the chances of delays in U.S. energy initiatives from the release of President Donald Trump's proposed offshore drilling plan to allowing higher levels of ethanol in gasoline during summer months, energy industry groups said on Friday.The U.S. Department of Interior had been expected to release its highly anticipated 2019 to 2024 offshore oil and gas drilling plan in early January.The Trump administration has made opening up greater areas to offshore drilling…

Bourbon Advises of General Waiver Renewal with Lenders

A bourbon offshore support vessel underway (CREDIT: Bourbon)

Bourbon has announced the renewal of the general waiver with its leasers and debt holders representing the majority of the group’s debt, thus allowing it to suspend the payments of its loans and debt.According to Bourbon, the waiver allows it to stay focused on its operational priorities, while pursuing its search for all solutions capable of adapting its financing to its performance, in a secured framework.In a prepared statement…

Exxon Continues Drilling Offshore Guyana

(Image: ExxonMobil)

Exxon Mobil Corp said on Wednesday its oil drilling and development activities offshore Guyana were unaffected despite neighboring Venezuela's navy stopping two seismic survey vessels the company had hired.The closest of 10 oil finds Exxon has made off Guyana's coast is 110 km (68 miles) away from the northwest part of the Stabroek block, where the navy halted seismic data collection on Saturday, the company said. Each…

Maurel & Prom Buys Shell's Stake in Venezuela

Image: Shell Global

Paris-based Maurel & Prom announced that it has acquired Shell Exploration and Production Investments' 40% interest as Shareholder B in Petroregional del Lago Mixed Company, which operates the Urdaneta West field in Lake Maracaibo, Venezuela.Maurel & Prom said further that all condition precedents have been satisfied and that the acquisition has been completed.The total consideration for the acquisition of Shell's shares in the Mixed Company is EUR70 million…

SEACOR Marine to Acquire Brazil's UP Offshore

Image: SEACOR Marine

SEACOR Marine Holdings, the provider of marine and support transportation services to offshore oil, has announced the acquisition of UP Offshore (Bahamas)  by a new joint venture company that is 49% owned by a subsidiary of SEACOR Marine and 51% owned by a subsidiary of Proyectos Globales de Energía y Servicios CME.UP Offshore is a leading provider of offshore support vessel services to the energy industry in Brazil, the largest regional market in Latin America…

Three60 Acquires North Sea Construction and Commissioning

Walter Thain, Group CEO. Photo: Three60 Energy

Australian energy services group Three60 Energy  has acquired Aberdeen-based North Sea Construction and Commissioning (NSCC) for an undisclosed sum. This is now the fourth company to be added to the fast-developing energy services group which now employs over 320 people.Established in 2017, NSCC specialises in the provision of construction, mechanical completion and commissioning support services for the offshore and onshore oil and gas industry…

Sovcomflot completes USD 900 mln in Foreign Investment

Nikolay Kolesnikov, Senior Executive Vice-President and CFO of Sovcomflot (sitting in the centre) together with the signees from KfW IPEX-Bank, Credit Agricole, ING Bank, Societe Generale, Citibank, UniCredit, and DVB Bank (sitting, from left to right). Photo: Sovcomflot

Russia’s maritime shipping company Sovcomflot has announced that it has entered into a new USD 264 million six-year revolving credit facility with a consortium of five leading international banks.The completion of this credit facility marks the successful finalisation of SCF’s 2018 financing plan, with total new debt capital raised this year amounting to circa USD 900 million, said Nikolay Kolesnikov, Senior Executive Vice-President…

Dutch SBM Offshore Leniency Deal Approved by Brazilian Court

Photo courtesy of SBM Offshore

A leniency deal between Brazilian prosecutors and Dutch-based SBM Offshore has been approved by a judge, opening the way for the marine engineering group to bid for new contracts in its largest market.As a result of its role in a major corruption scandal involving state-owned oil company Petrobras, SBM had agreed to pay a total of 1.4 billion reais ($359.2 million) in fines and compensation.The company was accused of paying bribes to secure contracts with Petrobras and had been barred from taking on new business.

Qatar Buys Eni's Mexican Oil Stakes

Photo: Qatar Petroleum

Qatar Petroleum (QP) signed an agreement with Italy’s Eni SpA to acquire a 35% stake in three offshore oil Fields in Mexico.The agreement cover the Amoca, Mizton, and Tecoalli offshore oil fields, which lie in Area 1 in Mexico’s Campeche Bay, said a press statement from the Arab country's government-owned energy company.The agreement is subject to customary regulatory approvals by the government of Mexico. Following such approval…

Nigeria Sues Shell, Eni Over Oil Deal

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Lawyers for the Nigerian government said they had filed a $1.1 billion lawsuit against Royal Dutch Shell and Eni in a commercial court in London on Thursday in relation to a 2011 oilfield deal.The OPL 245 oilfield is also at the heart of an ongoing corruption trial in Milan in which former and current Shell and Eni officials are on the bench."It is alleged that purchase monies purportedly paid to the Federal Republic of Nigeria were in fact immediately paid through to a company controlled by Dan Etete…

Faroe Criticizes DNO's Takeover Bid as 'Opportunistic'

Image: Faroe Petroleum

The oil and gas company with focus in Norway and the U.K. Faroe Petroleum has reaffirmed that Norwegian oil giant DNO ASA's GBP608mln ($761.65 million) unsolicited takeover offer for the AIM-listed firm is "opportunistic" and "substantially" undervalues it.Aberdeen-headquartered Faroe accused DNO of trying to exploit the recent drop in oil prices to acquire the company “on the cheap”.In a statement on Wednesday, Faroe…

NOIA Calls for Offshore Wind Territories Act

Image: BOEM

National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) said that U.S. territories need the Offshore Wind for Territories Act.The U.S. has five permanently inhabited 'Territories' in the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean: American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands which are directly overseen by the United States Federal Government.NOIA President Randall Luthi issued this statement: “The House passage of H.R. 6665 is welcome news for many Americans this holiday season.

Parker Drilling Files for Bankruptcy Protection

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Parker Drilling files for pre-arranged Chapter 11 reorganizationOilfield services provider Parker Drilling Co said it filed for bankruptcy protection on Wednesday under an agreement with a group of debtors that will allow it to quickly restructure.The plan, which is subject to court approval, will reduce its funded debt by two-thirds and inject $95 million of equity capital through a backstopped rights offering, the company said.

Venezuela's Deals to Shield Citgo from Creditors in Doubt

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Venezuela is facing the possible unraveling of a pair of billion-dollar settlements aimed at protecting the cash-strapped country's U.S.-based Citgo Petroleum Corp from seizure by creditors.A lawyer for Canadian mining company Crystallex International Corp said on Tuesday Venezuela had breached the $1.4 billion November agreement that resolved a long-running fight over an expropriated gold mine.Separately, Venezuela's $1.3 billion settlement in October with Rusoro Mining of Vancouver…

Brazil Reaches Deal with Petrobras Over Transfer of Rights Area

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The Brazilian government has reached an agreement with state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA over the so-called transfer of rights area, Finance Minister Eduardo Guardia said on Wednesday.Guardia declined to disclose values nor who is owed what under the terms of the agreement.

BP Targeted with First Shareholder Resolution on Climate Goals

(Photo: BP)

Pressure on oil companies to tackle climate change is growing after an activist group for the first time filed a shareholder resolution urging BP to set hard targets for reducing overall carbon emissions.Follow this, a Dutch organization that spearheaded a number of climate shareholder resolutions at Royal Dutch Shell's AGMs over the past three years said it also filed one with the Anglo-Dutch company for 2019.It also plans to file a resolution with U.S.