Monday, July 13, 2020

Oil And Gas Exploration News

China to Boost Energy Reserve Capacity, Support Unconventional Gas Exploration

Illustratin; Image by xmentoys - AdobeStock

China said on Friday it will bolster the capacity of the country's energy reserves and offer lower gas and electricity charges to key industries, as it looks to ensure energy supply and offset the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.In energy announcements on the first day of the parliament, known as the National People's Congress (NPC), authorities also pledged to boost the country's oil and gas network and continue to support exploration for unconventional gas reserves.The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement it would push forward construction of crude oil reserves.The coronavirus pandemic has led to a slump in demand for crude oil…

Wintershall Dea Earnings Drop

Image Credit: Wintershall Dea

German oil and gas company Wintershall Dea reported a sharp drop in earnings in the first quarter of 2020, prompting it to cut costs and reduce oil and gas exploration.Production amounted to 626,000 barrel of oil equivalent per day (mboe/d) in Jan-March, unchanged from the same 2019 period, the company said in a statement on Wednesday.Due to a weaker price environment for commodities, earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortization, and exploration expenses (EBITDAX) fell by 42% to 481 million euros ($526.36 million).Wintershall reported a loss of 78 million euros in adjusted net income after 320 million euros in the prior year.A previous plan to float Wintershall DEA…

New Offshore Acreage Licensing to Drop 60% in 2020, Rystad says

An offshore drilling rig - Image by Namthip - AdobeStock

Newly licensed offshore oil and gas exploration acreage is likely to fall by about 60% and onshore acreage by 30% compared with 2019 levels, Rystad Energy has said, as the Norwegian energy market analytics company expects more than half of the world’s planned licensing rounds to be canceled this year due to the combined effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and the low oil prices."This year was slated to be another remarkable year for exploration with about 45 countries launching at least 52 lease rounds, about 60% of them in offshore areas. The decline in the expected number of lease rounds compared to last year’s 69 was not a sign of fewer countries offering new licenses…

USA Ups BOEM Offshore Wind Budget

Image: BOEM

The Trump Administration has proposed a $189m fiscal year 2021 budget for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), designating just under $27m for offshore wind.The FY 2021 budget includes approximately $26.5 million to advance offshore renewable energy development.In recognition of the role renewable energy can play in securing the Nation’s energy independence and supporting economic growth, BOEM continues to advance renewable energy through its leasing program and streamlining its permitting and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) processes.In addition…

China Opens Up to Foreign E&P Firms

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For the first time, China will this year allow foreign companies to explore for and produce oil and gas in the country, opening up the industry to firms other than state-run energy giants, as Beijing looks to boost domestic energy supplies.The long-awaited opening accompanies a reshuffle of the so-called "midstream" pipeline business, but experts say it may not excite immediate interest from global drillers because of the poor overall asset quality of China's hydrocarbon resources.From May 1, foreign firms registered in China with net assets of 300 million yuan ($43 million) will be allowed to take part in oil and gas exploration and production, the ministry of natural resources an

Energean, DEPA Pact for EastMed Pipeline

Image: Energean

UK-based international oil and gas exploration and production company Energean Oil & Gas and the Public Gas Corporation of Greece (DEPA) have agreed to cooperate to further support the EastMed Pipeline Project.The have signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) for the potential sale and purchase of 2 BCM natural gas per annum from Energean’s gas fields offshore Israel, where Energean is investing $1.7 billion for the development of the Karish & Tanin fields through the FPSO “Energean Power”.DEPA, as a 50% shareholder of the IGI Poseidon – a Joint Venture with…

Beach Energy Eyes Offshore New Zealand

Map of the Great South and Canterbury basins showing the location of PEP50119 and the Tawhaki prospect relative to the Beach-operated PEP38264 permit and the Wherry and Gondola prospects. Map: Beach Energy Limited

Australian oil and gas exploration and production company Beach Energy Limited has signed an agreement with OMV GSB Oil Exploration to acquire a 30% participating interest in exploration permit (EP) PEP50119 in the Great South Basin, offshore New Zealand.Under the agreement, Beach will acquire a 30% participating interest in the permit in exchange for funding a 30% share of the Tawhaki-1 well cost and the associated work program and budget. The estimated capital exposure is approximately $25 million net to Beach.The transaction is subject to New Zealand government and regulator approval…

China to Launch State Pipeline Group

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China plans to launch its long-awaited national oil and gas pipeline company on Monday, part of a sector-wide reform aimed at providing fair market access to infrastructure and boost investment in oil and gas production.Most of the country's pipeline infrastructure is controlled by energy giant PetroChina, CNPC's listed arm, and small, non state-owned oil and gas producers and distributors often don't have access to the pipelines at competitive rates, analysts have said.This also hinders companies from investing in oil and gas exploration as they are concerned about access to the pipelines.Beijing started considering reforming the sector nearly a decade ago to improve access but on

Energean Targets Net Zero Carbon Output by 2050

(Photo: Energean)

Mediterranean-focused oil and gas producer Energean has joined a U.N.-backed initiative and committed to reducing its net carbon emissions to zero by 2050, its chief executive said on Monday.Oil and gas producers have come under heavy pressure in recent years to tackle greenhouse gas emissions as the world battles climate change.Energean's pledge came as the 25th annual United Nations Climate Change Conference — also known as COP 25 — begins in Madrid.The company said in a statement it was the first London-listed oil and gas exploration and production company to commit to the UN's efforts to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels."We're doing this b

Providence to Operate Avalon as Total Exits

Image: Providence Resources

As Total E&P Ireland, a subsidiary of the French multinational oil giant, has withdrawn, Providence Resources has taken over operatorship of the Frontier Exploration Licence (FEL) 2/19, which contains the Avalon prospect, located offshore Ireland.FEL 2/19 is located in the southern Porcupine Basin, offshore Ireland and contains the undrilled Paleocene “Avalon” exploration prospect. FEL2/19 lies adjacent to FEL3/04 in which Providence also has an interest.Total had agreed a farm-out with the Irish oil and gas exploration company in 2017, with the French group taking a 50%  increase in the prospect.

ConocoPhillips targets $50 bln free cash flow over next decade

(Photo: ConocoPhillips)

ConocoPhillips unveiled a long-term plan on Tuesday to boost oil and gas production by about 3% per year, restrain annual spending to about $7 billion and return $50 billion to shareholders over the next decade.The announcement comes as investors, frustrated by weak commodity prices for 5 years, have been pressuring oil and gas companies to cut back on drilling and shore up cash to return to shareholders.The Houston-based company's shares were up a fraction at $57.15 in afternoon trading.ConocoPhillips has been one of the better-performing energy stocks…

Big Oil Stuns Brazil in Back-to-back Auction Flops

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Major global oil firms snubbed a second Brazilian oil auction in a row on Thursday, passing up offshore blocks and forcing officials to reconsider a bidding system that gives a privileged position to state-run Petroleo Brasileiro SA.The only block awarded in Thursday's bidding went to Petrobras, as the Brazilian state-run firm is known, and Chinese state firm CNODC, a unit of China National Petroleum Corp, which offered the minimum bid. Four other blocks received no bids.The result, following a lack of foreign interest in an even bigger Wednesday round…

Norway Sovereign Fund to Divest E&P Firms

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Norway's $1.1 trillion sovereign fund will divest companies solely dedicated to oil and gas exploration and production in a bid to shield itself from a long-term fall in oil prices, the finance ministry said late on Tuesday.The move will partly shift the world's largest sovereign wealth fund away from oil and gas, as called for by the central bank, which had originally sought to remove all petroleum producers to protect the country if oil prices fell.The fund will continue to maintain stakes in refiners and other downstream firms.An earlier decision to maintain investments in so-called integrated oil firms…

Total, Zhejiang Energy Establish Bunkering JV

French oil and gas company Total has signed a deal with Chinese state-owned Zhejiang Energy Group (ZEG) to create a joint venture company to supply and delivery marine fuels in the Chinese region of Zhoushan.Total China Investment (TCI)  will hold a 49% share in the new company while Zhejiang Zheneng Petroleum New Energy (ZZPNE) will hold the remaining.Zhoushan region covers both Ningbo and Shanghai ports, the busiest shipping hub in the world in terms of cargo tonnage.By combining ZEG’s historical anchoring in the energy business in the region and Total’s longstanding expertise in the trading and marketing of international bunkers…

South Sudan to Offer Oil Blocks for 2020

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South Sudan plans to offer 14 oil blocks to exploration companies in a licensing round by the first quarter 2020, its oil minister said on Tuesday, switching from its previous method of direct negotiations with explorers.The country gets almost all its revenue from oil and has boosted output, now at 180,000 barrels per day, as it struggles to rebuild its shattered economy after a five-year civil war."We are inviting all our investors that wanted to invest in South Sudan to come and move onto those blocks," Awow Daniel Chuang, told an Africa Oil and…

India Gets 8 Bids for 7 Onshore Blocks

India has received 8 bids for 7 onshore oil and gas exploration blocks under the latest auction, a government statement said.State-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp has submitted bids for all 8 blocks.State-run Oil India has put in a bid for 1 block.(Reporting by Nidhi Verma; editing by David Evans)

Shell Aims to Operate Egypt Concessions in 2020

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Royal Dutch Shell is aiming to start operating in its concession areas in Egypt in the second half of 2020, a senior executive said.Shell won three oil and two gas concessions in Egypt in February.Eni, BP and ExxonMobil also won some of a total of 12 tenders as Egypt looks to sustain an investment upswing spurred by major discoveries.Shell has also applied to take part in a bidding round in Egypt for oil and gas drilling in the Red Sea, Gerald Schotman, executive vice president upstream JVs at Shell, told Reuters.The company would be also interested in any bidding for oil and gas drilling in the Mediterranean Sea should it open as Shell wanted to expand in Egypt…

Lekoil Acquires Interest in Niger Delta Basin

Image: Lekoil

Nigeria and West Africa-focused oil and gas exploration and development company Lekoil has agreed to acquire, subject to the receipt of the required consents, a 45% participating interest in the production sharing contract (PSC) in relation to the oil prospecting licence (OPL) 276.The PSC is acquired by Lekoil 276 Limited, which is a 100 per cent. owned subsidiary of Lekoil Nigeria, covers a territory located onshore in the eastern Niger Delta basin.The agreed acquisition, from Newcross Petroleum, is for a total staged consideration of US$5million.

China, Philippines: 'Bigger Step' Possible Offshore

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Chinese President Xi Jinping said China and the Philippines could take a "bigger step" in the joint development of oil and gas resources in the South China Sea if they can "properly" handle their dispute over sovereignty.Xi made the remarks on Thursday in a meeting in Beijing with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, who has positioned himself as a friend of Beijing but has come under growing pressure at home to push back against China's maritime assertiveness.The visit comes amid a recent rise in tension on multiple fronts, with Chinese vessels challenging energy assets and sea boundaries of Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines, prompting the United States to accuse China of "co

Ocean Monarch Mobilises to Otway

Map: Cooper Energy Limited

Australian upstream oil and gas exploration and production company Cooper Energy  announced the semi-submersible drilling rig Ocean Monarch, operated by Diamond Offshore, has commenced mobilisation from the Gippsland Basin to the Otway Basin where it is to drill 2 offshore gas exploration wells.According to a press release, the wells, Annie-1 and Elanora-1, will be the first offshore gas exploration wells drilled in the Otway Basin in seven years.Cooper Energy (Operator and 50% interest holder) and Mitsui E&P Australia (50% interest) are drilling the wells to identify new sources of gas supply for south-east Australia…