Thursday, December 14, 2017

Aker Solutions Secures Subsea Services Work for Statoil

Photo: Aker Solutions

Aker Solutions said it has secured a framework agreement to provide subsea services for Statoil-operated oil and gas fields offshore Norway. The contract has a fixed period of five years, starting in the first quarter of 2018, and contains five four-year extension options. Its value depends on the amount of work ordered by Statoil under the agreement. This is currently estimated at about NOK 3 billion ($361,000) for the fixed period and will be booked in fourth-quarter orders. The agreement provides work for Aker Solutions' services bases in Ågotnes on the west coast of Norway and Hammerfest, located on the country's northern tip.

EIC Appoints Two New Board Members

Left to RIght New EIC Board Members Duncan Reed and Louise Ledgard with EIC CEO Stuart Broadley (Photo: EIC)

The Energy Industries Council (EIC), a leading trade association for companies that supply goods and services to the energy industries worldwide, has announced the appointments of BMT’s Director of Business Development Louise Ledgard and Duncan Reed, Director Project Development with the Dresser-Rand business, part of Siemens Power and Gas, to its Board of Directors. Louise Ledgard has been at BMT, a leading international design, engineering, science and risk management consultancy, since 2011, where she leads the business and development team responsible for oil and gas, renewables and critical infrastructure markets.

Unafraid Investors Pour Cash into U.S. Shale

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

Financiers keep pouring cash into the shale oil sector, providing producers with a path to keep U.S. output rising through the middle of the next decade. The United States is on track to deliver up to 80 percent of the world's oil production gains through 2025, the International Energy Agency estimates, increases fueled in part by easy access to capital. Rising U.S. production is undermining OPEC's attempts to curb global supply and boost prices, forcing the oil cartel to continue restraining output through the end of 2018. Hedge funds and…

Brent Eases, Traders Sanguine About Pipeline Outage

Brent futures for delivery in the first months of next year have given up much of their premium since the announcement on Monday that the Forties pipeline system would be shut for emergency repairs. The Forties pipeline system, which carries around 450,000 barrels per day and handles nearly a quarter of North Sea output, is likely to be shut for several weeks, according to owner Ineos. But traders have become much more sanguine about the impact on benchmark North Sea oil prices as well as the wider oil market (http://tmsnrt.rs/2kqSkar). Futures…

Bibby Offshore Completes Maersk Oil UK Contract

Barry Macleod, UKCS managing director at Bibby Offshore (Photo: Bibby Offshore)

 Subsea services provider Bibby Offshore said it has completed a multimillion dollar contract with Maersk Oil UK, providing subsea structure and pipeline inspection support in the UKCS.    The four-week campaign, completed in October this year, saw Bibby Offshore’s subsea support and construction vessel Olympic Bibby operate across Maersk Oil’s Gryphon and Dumbarton fields. The work scope was also supported by Bibby Offshore’s project management team based in Westhill, Aberdeen.   

Seadrill Receiving Rival Bids for Debt Restructuring

(Photo: Seadrill)

Drilling rig firm Seadrill confirmed on Wednesday it had received two rival bids for its debt restructuring from unsecured bondholders. The company, which filed for Chapter 11 restructuring in a U.S. court on Sept. 12, has sought alternative proposals for the plan put forward by its main owner, Norwegian-born billionaire John Fredriksen and a group of hedge funds. "We have received two alternative bids from unsecured bondholders ... We are evaluating these bids and are in active dialogue with the bidders," the company said in an emailed statement.

Sonatrach Plans Closer Ties with Total on Energy Projects

Algerian state energy firm Sonatrach and Total are planning to work more closely together on offshore, petrochemical, solar energy and shale exploration projects, Sonatrach's CEO said on Wednesday. The CEO's comments signal a new chapter for the companies' efforts to cooperate on energy projects and show they have put behind them past disputes, including one in the mid-2000s over profit-sharing on oil and gas contracts. "Our relation with Total is good now. We will do a lot together including in shale, solar and offshore. We are also into petrochemicals," Sonatrach CEO Ould Kaddour told reporters.

Syria to Start Offshore Energy Exploration in 2019

Syrian offshore gas exploration will begin in early 2019, the country's oil minister has said, Syrian newspaper al-Watan reported on Wednesday. Oil and Mineral Resources Minister Ali Ghanem said contracts for five offshore blocks had been signed with "friendly countries". The report did not say which countries or companies were involved. He also said Syria has an estimated 1,250 billion cubic metres of offshore gas reserves. The report did not say when or how the Syrian government had appraised the reserves. In 2013 Russian energy firm Soyuzneftegaz signed the first offshore exploration contract with Syria for block number 2.

US Invests $18.5 Mln in Offshore Wind Research

© Björn Wylezich / Adobe Stock

U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry announced $18.5 million in new Department of Energy (DOE) funding for a consortium that will conduct research aimed at reducing the cost of offshore wind in the U.S. As it seeks to capitalize on momentum in the offshore wind market, the U.S. still faces several challenges, such as deep water requiring floating foundations, the need for models predicting how Atlantic hurricanes will impact offshore turbines, and supply chain and operations and maintenance solutions to address the challenges of building and maintaining turbines at sea.

Seadrill Bondholders Propose Alternative Debt Restructuring

(Photo: Seadrill)

An unofficial committee of Seadrill's unsecured bondholders has submitted a binding alternative proposal for the company's restructuring, two sources familiar with the proposal told Reuters on Tuesday. Norwegian-born billionaire John Fredriksen and a group of hedge funds proposed on Sept. 12 to invest $1.06 billion via new equity and secured debt to restructure indebted Seadrill, once the largest drilling rig operator by market value. "Total investments (in the alternative plan) are on par with the official restructuring proposal, but it's not a copy paste. It's an improvement for unsecured bondholders," one source said, declining to elaborate.

Norway Open to Offshore Floating Wind Power

Norway plans to open one or two offshore regions for construction of floating wind turbines, the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy said in a statement on Wednesday.   "The government wishes to accommodate offshore wind power, in particular with demonstrations of floating wind turbines in mind," it said, adding that this should happen "as soon as possible." Norway is western Europe's top producer of oil and natural gas, and has so far lagged Nordic neighbours Denmark and Sweden in wind power developments. Reporting by Terje Solsvik

Trump to Open Oil Drilling off US East Coast

President Donald Trump (Official White House photo)

The Trump administration is preparing a plan that would open up oil drilling off the U.S. East Coast, Bloomberg reported. President Trump ordered the Interior Department to create the draft proposal as part of his “America-First Offshore Energy Strategy” executive order in April.  The new plan, which could be unveiled as soon as this week, would allow the U.S. to auction oil and gas drilling rights in Atlantic waters previously blocked under the Obama administration. The new proposal would span the years 2019 to 2024, replacing the Obama plan, which runs through 2022.

IEA Says Monitoring Forties Crude Pipeline Outage

The International Energy Agency said it is monitoring the closure of the Forties crude pipeline that has sent oil prices to 2-1/2 year highs, but said it saw no immediate need to act as the market remains well supplied. The pipeline, which can handle around 450,000 barrels per day of Forties crude oil and carries around a third of UK gas produced offshore, closed down on Monday and may remain shut for a number of weeks, after its operator Ineos detected a minor leak last week. "We are monitoring the situation closely, and stand ready to act…

Lundin Cuts Output From Edvard Grieg Field

Production at the Edvard Grieg field off Norway had to be temporarily reduced following the Forties pipeline shutdown, the field's operator, Lundin Petroleum, said on Tuesday. "Following the Forties pipeline shutdown, Lundin Petroleum has had to temporarily reduce production from Edvard Grieg due to a lack of capability at the St Fergus terminal to process our produced gas," it said in an emailed statement to Reuters. "We are initiating a process at Edvard Grieg to inject the gas which will allow us to resume full production within a few days," it added.

Eni Raises Mexico Estimates as Drilling Campaign Ends

Italian energy group Eni said on Tuesday it had raised its estimates for oil and gas in its Area 1 prospect in Mexico to 2 billion barrels from a previous 1.4 billion after completing its drilling campaign.   The state-controlled major said around 90 percent of the resources in place were oil.   The development plan for Area 1 will shortly be submitted to local authorities for approval, with production startup planned in the first half of 2019.   Eni is counting on Mexico to help rebalance its resource portfolio which is skewed to gas after major discoveries in Egypt and Mozambique. (Reporting by Stephen Jewkes 

Britain's Biggest Oil pipeline Shut "for weeks"

File Image: a typical offshore North Sea installation (Credit: Craig International)

Britain's largest oil pipeline could shut down for weeks for unscheduled repair work, sending the price of crude to new two-year highs and triggering a steep rally in natural gas prices, just as a cold snap sweeps the country. The Forties Pipeline System, which carries around 450,000 barrels per day of Forties crude from the North Sea to the Kinneil processing terminal in Scotland, had been operating at reduced capacity since December 7 when a routine inspection revealed a small leak. Ineos, a privately owned Anglo-Swiss chemicals company, owns the pipeline and said it had taken the decision to close the system completely.

Oil Gains on Forties Pipeline Shutdown, New York Blast

Oil prices rose Monday, reversing earlier declines, after a North Sea pipeline shut for repairs and investors focused on commodities following an explosion in New York. Brent crude futures were up $1.20, or nearly 2 percent, at $64.60 by 12:22 p.m. EST (1722 GMT). U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $57.87 a barrel, 51 cents or 0.9 percent above their last settlement. The difference between the two benchmarks <WTCLc1-LCOc1> was the largest since late October, as Brent rallied after the shutdown of the pipeline that carries the largest grade of North Sea crude oil.

Sparrows Group Acquires Alpha Offshore Service

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

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

Oil Under Pressure as U.S. Adds Rigs

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

U.S. rig count hits 751, highest since September, as U.S. Oil prices edged lower on Monday as rising U.S. drilling activity pointed to a further increase in American production, countering OPEC-led output cuts. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were 10 cents lower at $63.30 a barrel by 1115 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $57.10 a barrel, down 26 cents from their last settlement. Brent and WTI settled more than 1 percent higher on Friday, and oil prices have gained well over a third from 2017 lows. "It's time for a breather," said Warren Patterson, commodities strategist with ING.

FERC Seeks Delay of Coal, Nuclear Rule

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) carolyn franks)

The new chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission late on Thursday requested a 30-day delay on a decision on a plan promoted by Energy Secretary Rick Perry to subsidize aging nuclear and coal-fired power plants. Kevin McIntyre, a Republican, wrote a letter to Perry proposing to extend the deadline for a decision on the so-called Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule. Perry in September had issued FERC a directive to consider the rule and decide on it by Dec. 11. The plan would allow plants that maintain at least 90 days of fuel supply on site to recover their full costs through regulated power pricing.

Maersk Drilling: One Dead After Tambar Oilfield Accident

File Image: An Aker BP offshore installation at the Tambar Field. (CREDIT: Aker BP)

Maersk Drilling said on Friday that an employee, a Norwegian citizen, has died following an accident on a drilling rig at Aker BP's Tambar oilfield off Norway on Thursday.   Another person was injured and is receiving medical treatment but his condition is not critical, said Maersk Drilling, which is owned by A.P. Moller-Maersk.   The field's production has been shut, Aker BP said in a separate announcement.   Reporting by Teis Jensen 

Norway Gives Approval to Restart Arctic Goliat oilfield

File Image: an offshore Norway oil iunstallation. CREDIT: Statoil)

Italian oil firm Eni has received permission to restart production at its Goliat oilfield in the Arctic Barents Sea following a shutdown lasting more than two months, Norway's Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) said on Friday.   The PSA ordered the company to shut the 100,000 barrels-per-day field on Oct. 6 due to problems with the Goliat platform's explosion-proof electric motors.   Eni, the operator, has 65 percent, and Norway's Statoil holds the remaining 35 percent stake in the world's northernmost offshore oilfield, which started production in 2016.   Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis 

SBM Offshore Wins Johan Castberg Turret Mooring System Contract

SBM Offshore said it was awarded the contract and received the corresponding notice from Statoil to proceed with the engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) work scope for a large-scale turret mooring system for its Johan Castberg development. The contract award results from delivery of the front-end engineering and design (FEED) scope for the mooring system delivered in cooperation between Statoil and SBM Offshore teams. The turret is planned to be delivered in modules in early 2020, will be moored in c. 370 meter water depth and will have a capacity to accommodate 21 risers.

Excelerate Buys EXMAR’s Share in Four FSRUs

(Photo: EXMAR)

Excelerate Energy has acquired the full 50 percent shares held by EXMAR in four companies, Excelerate NV, Explorer NV, Express NV and Excelsior BVBA, each owners of the respective Floating Storage and Regasification Units (FSRU) registered under the same names, and all four of which are under a long-term time charter to Excelerate Energy. The sale of the first three companies has been completed, while the sale of EXMAR’s shares in the fourth company, Excelsior BVBA, remains subject to approval by JV partner Teekay LNG and company lenders. George B.

Gangway Innovation Allows Safer Transfer at Offshore Wind Farms

Photo: Ampelmann

Ampelmann has created, in cooperation with Seaway Heavy Lifting, an industry first innovation allowing workers safe and efficient access to install the jackets for 84 wind turbines on the Beatrice Offshore Windfarm Limited project in the Outer Moray Firth. Global offshore contractor Seaway Heavy Lifting awarded the EPCI contract to Ampelmann to design and create an Angular Boom Tip. This will allow secure connection at difficult angles for safe gangway transfer between the 5,000 tonne heavy lift vessel (HLV) Oleg Strashnov and the 2,500 tonne HLV Stanislav Yudin to install 84 individual wind turbines.

Two Injured on Rig at Aker BP Oilfield

File Image: a Tambar offshore oil installation (CREDIT: Aker BP Photography)

Two people were injured on a Maersk-owned drilling rig at Aker BP's Tambar oilfield off Norway on Thursday, Aker BP said. One of the two individuals fell into the sea and was picked up by a ship that was on standby at the field, Aker BP said. It did not provide details of how the second person was injured. Both individuals were working for Maersk Drilling. The company declined to comment on any impact on output at the North Sea Tambar field. "Aker BP confirms that a serious incident has been reported at 1210 (1110 GMT) today at the Tambar field," the company said in a statement. It did not give additional information on the extent of the injuries.

US Interior Dept Pushes Drilling, Expedited ANWR Permits

The Department of the Interior, the U.S. government's second largest revenue generator behind the IRS, is trying to be a better business partner to oil companies to curb falling revenues, Vincent DeVito, energy advisory to the Secretary of the Interior, said on Thursday.   The department plans to expedite permitting on drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska, DeVito said at the S&P Global Platts Energy outlook in New York. Expediting the process would not be at the expense of environmental stewardship, he said.   Reporting by Jessica Resnick-Ault 

Alaskan Lease Sale Draws Tepid Response

File Image: the Trans alaska Pipeline. (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Roger Asbury)

An oil-and-gas lease sale that raised concerns with environmentalists due to the vast amount of acres offered in Arctic Alaska drew few bids on Wednesday, government officials said. Seven bids were received, covering about 80,000 acres - or less than 1 percent of the 10.3 million acres offered in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska by the Trump administration. It was, by far, more territory than ever offered in any of the previous 12 NPR-A lease sales held since 1999. The sale was the latest move by the administration of President Donald Trump…

V.Ships Wins Contract with Pertamina

FSO Pertamina Abherka (Photo: V.Ships)

V.Ships Offshore, part of V.Group, has been awarded the contract to provide operations and full technical management of the floating storage and offloading (FSO) vessel – Pertamina Abherka in Indonesia. This is the second vessel owned by Pertamina International Shipping to be managed by V.Ships Offshore. The FSO, currently operating at Poleng Marine Terminal, offshore west of Madura Island, also acts as an accommodation facility with a potential capacity of 250 including 21 crew members. The vessel will be managed by the V.Ships Offshore office in Singapore with a local support team based in Indonesia.

Saudi Aramco Awards General Dynamics Offshore Security Contract

Saudi Aramco has awarded a contract to the local subsidiary of U.S. company General Dynamics as the state oil giant aims to increase security at its offshore facilities, Saudi Aramco said on Wednesday. Industry sources told Reuters in July the contract involves installing long-range integrated security systems at nine offshore sites in the Gulf. Apart from General Dynamics, Aramco received bids from other defence firms, including Raytheon Co of the United States, Germany's Rheinmetall AG, Leonardo's Selex ES Saudi Arabia. No value was provided but sources told Reuters that General Dynamics will work with Saudi Binladin Group.

US Senate Pushes Alaska Wildlife Refuge, But Drillers Look Elsewhere

© George Burba / Adobe Stock

Even as the U.S. Senate moves to allow oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), the real action is 150 miles (241 km) west, where industry proponents hope a coming sale of 10 million acres of land will revitalize the state's sagging crude production. The Trump administration, through the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, will auction off 10 million acres on Wednesday in the National Petroleum Reserve (NPR-A), a hotbed of oil exploration and development in the western part of Alaska's North Slope. The planned sale has encouraged the oil industry while angering environmental groups.

Wison, CCS Partner on China’s FSRU Standards

Photo: Wison

Wison Offshore & Marine announced it will collaborate with China Classification Society (CCS) Wuhan Rules & Research Institute on various fronts of floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) storage and re-gasification facility (FSRU) developments in China under a strategic cooperation agreement. Pursuant to the agreement, both parties will embark on a wide range of joint efforts in development and optimization of FSRU products, formulation of relevant technical standards, design and review, joint research of new technologies, exchange of know-how and talent development for the industry.

Oil Falls After U.S. Drilling Picks Up

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

Oil prices still near highest since mid-2015 on OPEC deal. Oil fell on Monday after U.S. shale drillers last week added more rigs but prices still held close to their highest since mid-2015, supported by an extension to output cuts agreed last week by OPEC and other producers. Drillers in the United States added two oil rigs in the week to Dec. 1, bringing the total count to 749, the highest since September, energy services company Baker Hughes said in its closely followed report late on Friday. February Brent crude futures were down 62 cents at $63.11 a barrel by 1230 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate was down 63 cents at $57.73.

MEG Energy Expects to Produce More Oil in 2018

Photo: MEG Energy

Canadian oil sands producer MEG Energy Corp said on Friday it expects higher production in 2018, compared to its 2017 forecast. The company expects to produce 85,000 to 88,000 barrels per day (bpd) next year, compared to its 2017 forecast of 80,000 to 82,000 bpd. MEG Energy expects capital expenses of C$510 million ($396.02 million) next year, the majority of which will be used to drill new oil wells. The company said it plans to spend C$120 million next year on thermal technology at its Christina Lake oil sands project in northern Alberta, which involves adding gas to steam injected underground to liquefy and extract tarry oil sands bitumen.

Oil Prices Rise After OPEC Extends Output Curbs

Oil edged up on Friday after OPEC and other major producers agreed to continue reining in output until the end of next year to try to reduce the global oil glut and boost prices. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and some non-OPEC producers led by Russia agreed on Thursday to keep current limits on output in place until the end of next year, although they signalled a possible early exit from the deal should the market overheat and prices rise too far. Brent was trading at $63.17 by 1351 GMT, up 54 cents on the day. U.S. light crude was up 43 cents at $57.82.

Fugro Wins Work at US Offshore Wind Sites

Fugro said it has been awarded contracts by Ørsted to undertake geotechnical investigations at two large-scale offshore wind development sites in the U.S. Ørsted is pursuing the development of the two new projects: Bay State Wind, located 15 miles off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard, Mass. and Ocean Wind, 10 miles off the New Jersey coast – to bring wind energy to American consumers and businesses. The marine site characterization at both sites involves specialized sampling and in situ testing which Fugro will perform from its DP2 geotechnical drillship, Fugro Explorer. For laboratory testing and reporting services Fugro will draw on its expertise from Norfolk, Va.

Chevron to Study Mexican Oil Block

U.S. oil major Chevron Corp will focus on studying the geology of its block in Mexico's deepwater Gulf during the first four-year phase of its contract, rather than drilling new wells, a senior executive said on Thursday. The company, which leads a consortium that includes Mexican state oil firm Pemex and Japan's Inpex, won the rights to deepwater Block 3 at auction late last year. The auction was part of a sweeping 2013-14 energy reform that ended Pemex's decades-long monopoly, as the government sought to reverse a decade of declining oil and gas production.

UK Fraud Office Charges Two More in Unaoil Investigation

British prosecutors have charged two more people in an investigation into alleged bribery and corruption at privately-held Unaoil, a Monaco-based oil and gas services company. The Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said on Thursday it had charged Paul Bond, 65, and Stephen Whiteley, 62, with conspiracy to make corrupt payments to secure Iraqi contracts for an Unaoil client, SBM Offshore, between June 2005 and August 2011. Scotland-based Whiteley was a former vice president with SBM and Unaoil's general territories manager for Iraq, Kazakhstan and Angola. Bond was a former senior sales manager with SBM and lives in France, the SFO said.

Arctic Drilling Hits Speed Bumps in U.S. Tax Bill

© Terje / Adobe Stock

A quest by Republicans to open Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Reserve was slowed after a nonpartisan Senate official ruled late on Wednesday that the exploration was subject to environmental assessments by the Interior Department. Senator Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska and the head of the Senate energy panel, has been pushing a measure in the U.S. tax bill that would open a portion of the refuge on the coastal plain to two lease sales in 10 years for drilling. But the nonpartisan senate official took issue with the energy committee measure as it did not fully consider requirements under a national environmental law.

Russian Oil Industry Pipe Maker TMK Prepares for U.S. Spin-off

Photo: TMK IPSCO

TMK, Russia's largest maker of steel pipes for the oil and gas industry, is preparing its U.S. subsidiary IPSCO Tubulars for an initial public offering (IPO) of shares. The announcement comes amid concerns among some Russian officials about a potential expansion of U.S. sanctions against Moscow and as Russia itself has pledged to cut its oil output by 300,000 barrels per day as a part of the global deal. OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers look poised to agree at a meeting on Thursday to extend output cuts until the end of 2018, four OPEC sources said as the group seeks to clear a global glut of crude and avoid another price crash.

First Oil and Contract Start-up for Libra FPSO

(Photo: Teekay)

Teekay Offshore Partners L.P. announced that its jointly owned floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) unit, the FPSO Pioneiro de Libra (Libra), has achieved first oil and commenced its 12-year charter contract with a group of international oil companies, including Petrobras, Total, Shell, CNPC and CNOOC Limited, on the Libra oil field where it will perform early well tests. The Libra FPSO unit is the first unit to produce oil on the giant Libra block, which covers more than 1,500 square kilometers in the Santos Basin. The Libra FPSO is owned and operated by Teekay Offshore and Odebrecht Oil and Gas (OOG) through a 50/50 joint venture.

Yinson to Take Over Layang FPSO from THHE

 Photo: Yinson Holdings Berhad

Malaysia’s Yinson Energy Sdn Bhd plans to take over the Layang floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) project from TH Heavy Engineering Bhd (THHE)  Edge Markets reported. THEE, which has the Layang FPSO contract with Japan’s JX Nippon. has applied to Kuala Lumpur High Court, Malaysia to allow it novate the contract and deliver the vessel to Yinson. Yinson has confirmed this in the Bursa Malaysia filing on Wednesday, saying it has no objection to the THHE application. The charter contract — which is for EPCIC and leasing of a floating production storage and offloading facility to be deployed at the Layang field in Block SK10…

SBM Offshore to Pay $238 Mln in US Bribery Case

SBM Offshore NV, a Netherlands-based maker of offshore oil drilling equipment, and its U.S. subsidiary, SBM Offshore USA Inc, agreed to settle criminal charges of bribing officials in five countries and pay a $238 million penalty, the U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday. The companies agreed to settle charges related to schemes lasting more than a decade involving bribery of foreign officials in Brazil, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan and Iraq, in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the Justice Department said in a statement. SBM Offshore USA pleaded guilty on Wednesday in the U.S.

Exxon Nears Deal to Explore for O&G Offshore Mauritania

Photo: Exxon Mobil

Exxon Mobil is close to signing a deal to explore for oil and gas offshore Mauritania, its first foray into the West African country, Mauritania's oil, energy and mines director said on Wednesday. An Exxon Mobil spokeswoman declined to comment on the deal, but said the Texas-based company does not yet have drilling activities in Mauritania. Interest has surged in oil and gas fields offshore of Mauritania and neighbour Senegal since big discoveries by Cairn Energy and Kosmos Energy, the latter now partnered with BP, in separate projects over the last three years. Both are expected to start production early next decade.

German Regulator Allows Higher Prices at 2018 Onshore Wind Auctions

© jorisvo / Adobe Stock

Germany's energy regulator said on Wednesday it had set higher maximum prices for auctions next year to build 2,800 megawatts of onshore wind parks and avert the risk that low auction results could discourage sufficient building. The agency, the Bundesnetzagentur (BnetzA), has powers to fix flaws in changes enacted to the renewable feed-in law in 2017. These were aimed at cutting future income for new renewable power installations to relieve the burden on consumers, but it was recognised that tariffs may fall too sharply for the desired expansion of fossil-free energy to be viable.

Israel's Delek Group Posts Record Q3 Profit

Tamar Platform (Photo: Delek)

Israeli energy conglomerate Delek Group reported a record profit in the third quarter boosted by the sale of a stake in the Tamar natural gas field. Delek said on Wednesday it earned 1.02 billion shekels ($291 million) for the quarter, up from 85 million a year earlier. Delek sold a 9.25 percent stake in the Tamar project, which alone resulted in a profit of 873 million shekels. Delek, through its subsidiary Delek Drilling, still has a 22 percent share of the Tamar field, which it said it has committed to sell off by the end of 2021. Revenue for the quarter rose to 1.78 billion shekels from 1.55 billion.

ExxonMobil's Canada Offshore Project Produces First Oil

Photo: ExxonMobil Canada

The Hebron oil project off the coast of eastern Canada has produced its first oil, operator Exxon Mobil said on Tuesday, in a boost to Atlantic Canada's output after years of weak crude prices. At its peak Hebron will produce up to 150,000 barrels per day (bpd), Exxon said. It will help Atlantic Canada offshore production climb 44 percent to 307,000 bpd by 2024, according to estimates from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. The platform is located 200 miles (350 kilometres) off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador in depths of 300 feet (92 metres) and the oil field…

Statoil to Drill 5-6 Wells in Arctic Barents Sea in 2018

© Ivan Kurmyshov / Adobe Stock

Norway's Statoil will continue to drill for oil in the Arctic Barents Sea next year even though its 2017 campaign was mostly disappointing, the company's head of exploration told Reuters on Tuesday. Statoil plans to drill between 25 and 30 wells in Norwegian waters in 2018, of which five or six are expected in the Barents and the rest will be split between the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea, which are both located further south. "We have tested a lot of potential there (in 2017), and that potential is gone, but we still believe in the overall potential of the Barents Sea," exploration chief Tim Dodson told Reuters on the sidelines of a Statoil conference.

Vattenfall Orders Offshore Wind Turbines from Siemens Gamesa

Sweden's state-owned Vattenfall has sealed an offshore wind turbine deal with Siemens Gamesa involving 113 turbines to be delivered for installation at three Danish projects with a total power capacity of 950 megawatt (MW), it said on Tuesday. The order had recently been agreed and marked one of the single largest investments in renewable energy made by Vattenfall, it said. Vattenfall said the overall investment into the three projects totalled 1.7 billion euros ($2.0 billion) but did not specify the cost of the Siemens Gamesa order alone. The three wind parks are expected to be coming on stream by 2022.

Pressured for Profit, Oil Majors Bet Big on Shale Technology

(File photo: ConocoPhillips)

Shale oil engineer Oscar Portillo spends his days drilling as many as five wells at once - without ever setting foot on a rig. Part of a team working to cut the cost of drilling a new shale well by a third, Portillo works from a Royal Dutch Shell Plc office in suburban Houston, his eyes darting among 13 monitors flashing data on speed, temperature and other metrics as he helps control rigs more than 500 miles (805 km) away in the Permian Basin, the largest U.S. oilfield. For the last decade, smaller oil companies have led the way in shale technology…

Oil Falls On US Drilling

© Tomasz Zajda / Adobe Stock

Oil prices fell on Monday, with U.S. crude easing from two-year highs on prospects of higher output, but losses were limited before an OPEC meeting that is expected to extend output limits. Brent crude oil was down 10 cents at $63.76 a barrel by 1430 GMT. U.S. light crude was 70 cents lower at $58.25. U.S. crude oil production <C-OUT-T-EIA> has risen by 15 percent since mid-2016 to 9.66 million barrels per day (bpd), not far from top producers Russia and Saudi Arabia. Rising drilling activity means output is likely to grow further. U.S. energy firms added oil rigs last week.

Decom North Sea Issues Environmental Guidelines

Tom Leeson (Photo: Decom North Sea)

Guidelines providing practical advice on the environmental issues surrounding the development of decommissioning programs have been launched, by Decom North Sea. As the only membership organization dedicated to the oil and gas late life and decommissioning sector, Decom North Sea identifies and has oversight of a number of projects which are intended to add value, improve efficiency and reduce costs both to its members and the wider decommissioning sector. Produced in conjunction with environmental consultants, Ramboll Environ and supported by Amec Foster Wheeler…

BP North Sea Field to Test U.S. Iran Policy

Serica acquires Rhum field from BP, co-owned by Iran; seeks U.S. licence to operate in Rhum field. A small gas field on the edge of the British North Sea could become a litmus test for U.S. policy towards Iran. London-based BP this week agreed to sell to North Sea producer Serica Energy three fields in the ageing offshore basin, including the Rhum field which is co-owned by a subsidiary of Iran's national oil company. For Serica, the $400 million deal will increase its production sevenfold. It nevertheless hinges on the British company receiving a licence from U.S.

U.S. Shale Producers Challenge OPEC Strategy

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

U.S. shale producers have started adding more drilling rigs in response to rising oil prices and improving confidence about the outlook for 2018. Experience shows changes in the number of rigs drilling for oil in the United States tends to follow changes in WTI prices with a lag of about 16 to 20 weeks. The active rig count peaked in mid-August and then declined through September and October, in response to the earlier peak and fall in prices between February and mid-June. But WTI prices hit a recent low around June 21 and have been on an upward trend for 22 weeks so it was expected the rig count would start to rise.

U.S. Drilling Balances OPEC Cuts

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

OPEC and other producers expected to keep output limits. Oil prices fell on Monday, with U.S. crude easing from two-year highs on prospects of higher output, but losses were limited before an OPEC meeting that is expected to extend output limits. Brent crude oil was down 30 cents at $63.56 a barrel by 1310 GMT. U.S. light crude was 65 cents lower at $58.30. U.S. crude oil production <C-OUT-T-EIA> has risen by 15 percent since mid-2016 to 9.66 million barrels per day (bpd), not far from top producers Russia and Saudi Arabia. Rising drilling activity means output is likely to grow further. U.S. energy firms added oil rigs last week.

Catcher FPSO to Add about $200 mln in EBITDA/year

BW Catcher FPSO (Photo: BW Offshore)

BW Offshore CEO Carl Arnet in FPSO (floating production, storage and offloading) firm BW Offshore Ltd says the Catcher field project in the British North Sea will add about $200 mln in annual EBITDA to its results when it comes on stream in December 2017. ** BW is also developing Dussafu field in Gabon.

A BP North Sea field to test U.S. policy on Iran

A small gas field on the edge of the British North Sea could become a litmus test for U.S. policy towards Iran. London-based BP this week agreed to sell to North Sea producer Serica Energy three fields in the ageing offshore basin, including the Rhum field which is co-owned by a subsidiary of Iran's national oil company. For Serica, the $400 million deal will increase its production sevenfold. It nevertheless hinges on the British company receiving a licence from U.S. sanctions enforcement authorities at a time when President Donald Trump is flexing his muscles against Tehran.

Big Gas Exporter Nations Blast Unilateral Sanctions in US Dig

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Representatives from a group of major energy-exporting nations on Friday said they oppose the use of unilateral sanctions on any of their members - an apparent dig at the United States for its moves against Russia, Iran and Venezuela. The Gas Exporting Countries Forum, which also includes members like Libya, Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria, expressed their "profound concern" about sanctions affecting the gas sector that are not authorized by the United Nations, according to a communique signed by GECF's 12 members after the group's summit in Bolivia this week. The U.S.

With Keystone Pipeline Shut, US Oil Prices Near 2-year High

U.S. oil prices remained near two-year highs on Monday on the back of the ongoing closure of the Keystone pipeline connecting Canada and the United States, while expectations of extended OPEC-led supply cuts also supported markets. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $58.91 a barrel at 0029 GMT, 4 cents below their last settlement but still close to two-year highs of $59.05 reached on Friday. Brent crude futures were at $63.84 a barrel, virtually unchanged from their last close. The closure of the 590,000 barrels per day (bpd) Keystone pipeline following a spill has helped drive up U.S. crude as it reduces stocks. "WTI prices ...

Talos, Stone Energy Plan $2.5 Bln Merger

Talos Energy LLC and Stone Energy Corp, two U.S. exploration and production companies focused on the Gulf of Mexico, announced on Tuesday plans to merge and create a new company valued around $2.5 billion including debt, sending Stone's shares down nearly 13 percent. "The idea of a reverse merger works very well for us, as we get a lot of talented people into the company and also use a structure which gets us to the public equity markets", said Timothy Duncan, chief executive of Talos, who will retain the title under the combined company, to be named Talos Energy Inc.