Wednesday, August 21, 2019

NOV Cuts Staff for Second Time This Year

© bomboman / Adobe Stock

Oilfield equipment and service provider National Oilwell Varco has begun trimming its workforce for the second time this year, two people familiar with the matter said this week, as oil producers cut spending budgets.The Houston, Texas-based company last quarter rolled out a voluntary early retirement program and said it was reorganizing operations to reduce costs as part of a broader restructuring plan. The latest cuts, which are already underway, are in addition to those job reductions, the people said.Newer staffing cuts are aimed at eliminating redundant functions within the company, such as marketing or recruitment, one person said.

Empyrean Energy to Spud Well in Indonesia

Image: Empyrean Energy

Australia's Empyrean Energy provided an operational update in relation to the upcoming drilling campaign in the Duyung PSC in the West Natuna basin, offshore Indonesia, in which Empyrean holds an 8.5% interest.The oil and gas development company with interests in China, Indonesia and the United States, said that  campaign will comprise of two wells, an exploration well designed to test the Tambak prospect beneath the central area of the Mako gas field, and an appraisal well designed to primarily appraise the intra-Muda sandstone reservoir in the southern area of the Mako field…

Gazprom Oil Touch 100mln Barrels at Badra

Badra field. Wasit Province, Eastern Iraq. Pic: Gazprom Neft

Russian oil producer Gazprom Neft said that its subsidiary Gazpromneft-Badra has now produced 13.5 million tonnes — or 100 million barrels — of oil in Iraqi oil field.Cumulative production at the Badra field in the five years since this asset went into commercial operation has reached 100 million barrels — the first shipment of liquid hydrocarbons having taken place in 2014. Oil production at the field stands at more than 1.8 million tonnes (13.5 million barrels) since the start of 2019.Twenty-two operating wells, each running to an average depth of 4,500 meters, have been drilled by Gazpromneft-Badra since discovering this asset.

US Drillers Add Oil Rigs

© FerrizFrames / Adobe Stock

U.S. energy firms this week increased the number of oil rigs operating for the first time in seven weeks despite plans by most producers to cut spending on new drilling this year.Companies added six oil rigs in the week to Aug. 16, the biggest increase since April, bringing the total count to 770, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday.In the same week a year ago, there were 869 active rigs.The oil rig count, an early indicator of future output, has declined over…

Woodside Begins Greater Enfield Project

Image: Woodside

Australian energy giant Woodside has announced in a press release that it will produce first oil from its Greater Enfield project located offshore Australia this month."We expect first oil from the Greater Enfield reservoirs in August 2019. The delivery of the Greater Enfield Project, on schedule and under budgeted cost, is a further demonstration of our capacity to execute our growth plans, Woodside CEO Peter Coleman said.The Ngujima-Yin floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) facility being offline for refurbishment in Singapore ahead of its restart at Greater Enfield…

Total Extends Pacific Santa Ana Gig

Image: Pacific Drilling

Offshore drilling contractor Pacific Drilling has been awarded a one-well extension for its drillship working for French oil major Total in Offshore Mauritania.Pacific Santa Ana is expected to run from this month to September, said offshore ultra-deepwater drilling company."We added backlog for our fleet as an option was exercised for Pacific Santa Ana. The increase in revenue in second-quarter 2019 resulted primarily from the Pacific Santa Ana commencing operations with Total in Senegal,” said CEO Bernie Wolford.Accordingly…

Chinese Ship Returns to Vietnam's EEZ

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

Anadarko Shareholders Go for Cash in Oxy Buyout

(Photo: Anadarko)

Shareholders of Anadarko Petroleum Corp on Thursday voted overwhelmingly to sell the company for $38 billion to rival Occidental Petroleum Corp, ending a short-lived contest that pitted two of the most storied names in the oil industry against one another.Occidental in May beat out Chevron Corp to grab a major oil industry prize: Anadarko's nearly quarter million acres in the Permian Basin, the top U.S. shale field, where low-cost output has helped turn the United States into the world’s top oil producer at more than 12 million…

EOG Bags Offshore Ireland Licence

Image: Europa Oil & Gas

United Kingdom-based exploration and production company Europa Oil & Gas  (EOG) has been awarded a 15-year frontier exploration licence for an area in the Slyne Basin, offshore Ireland.The area includes Europa’s flagship Inishkea prospect, which lies immediately to the north-west of the producing Corrib gas field in the Corrib Field Petroleum Lease Area.The Inishkea prospect has estimated gross mean un-risked prospective gas resources of 1.5 trillion cubic feet (TCF) and has been assigned a one in three chance of success.The next steps for the Licence…

Borr Drilling Wins Premium Jack-up Deal

File Image: Borr Drilling Limited

The international drilling contractor to the oil and gas industry Borr Drilling has been awarded an additional jackup rig contract by Mexico’s Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex).Borr currently has two jackup rigs about to commence work with Pemex, who have now contracted a third rig.The first rig, the "Grid", has arrived on site and is currently commencing its contract, while the second rig, the "Gersemi", is expected to commence shortly thereafter.The Bermuda-based company is also pleased to announce that it has received an award from Pemex for an additional contract…

Investments in Exploration Drilling to Double

Image: Rystad Energy

Rystad Energy sees investments both in offshore and onshore exploration drilling doubling in the next five years, compared to the last five years. Conventional onshore demand will be driven by Asia, Africa and South America.Europe on the other hand, will be a hot spot for offshore exploration, led by investments on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, the energy research and business intelligence company said.In the past few years conventional exploration drilling has been on a rocky road, dropping from 3000 exploration wells drilled…

Seadrill Ivory Coast Contract Terminated

West Vencedor. Image: Seadrill Partners

Seadrill Partners, the deep-water drilling contractor for the petroleum industry, has received an early termination notice from an unnamed operator for the West Vencedor rig contract offshore Ivory Coast.The contract was expected to start in 3Q 2019. In January, the rig received a six-well contract with three option wells.The West Vencedor unit had recently completed its work in Myanmar and will now stay in Southeast Asia to be marketed for additional opportunities.Seadrill Partners is expected to receive a lump sum early termination…

Baker Hughes: U.S. Cuts Rigs for Fifth Straight Week

file Image: an offshore oil installation (CREDIT: DNV-GL)

U.S. energy firms this week reduced the number of oil rigs operating for a fifth week in a row as most independent producers cut spending even though majors were still pushing ahead with investments in new drilling.Drillers cut six oil rigs in the week to Aug. 2, bringing the total count down to 770, the lowest since February 2018, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday. <RIG-OL-USA-BHI>That is the most weekly declines in a row since March when drillers cut rigs for six consecutive weeks.During the same week a year ago there were 859 active rigs.The rig count…

Oxy Q2 Earnings Dip

© Pongpob / Adobe Stock

Occidental Petroleum Corp , which is battling activist investor Carl Icahn over its $38 billion purchase of Anadarko Petroleum, reported a 14% drop in quarterly profit on Wednesday, as costs related to the deal and weaker chemical earnings hit its bottom line.Still, the results topped Wall Street estimates for the period and Occidental's operating cash flow rebounded from last quarter to $2.96 billion, up 7% from the same quarter a year ago. Investors closely watch operating cash flow as a sign of a company's ability to cover shareholder payouts and operating expenses.Core income fell to $729 million…

MDL Wins Equatorial Guinea Pipelay Work

Pic: Maritime Developments

Maritime Developments (MDL), a provider of back-deck equipment for the subsea sector of oil and gas industry, has been awarded a contract to supply a complete pipelay spread and personnel for a flexible installation offshore Equatorial Guinea.The award comes from a new client, whose work scope covers the launch of a number of new wells in an existing network of drill centres in the West African basin, MDL said.The MDL spread will consist of the MDL Horizontal Lay System (HLS), delivered with a 4-track pipelay tensioner; an…

Hess Corp Posts Smaller Quarterly Loss

(Photo: Hess Corp)

Hess Corp reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss on Wednesday, helped by lower exploration costs and a surge in output in its Bakken shale and Gulf of Mexico assets that also prompted the company to raise its 2019 production forecast.The company also cut its full-year spending plans by $100 million to $2.8 billion against the backdrop of increased investor pressure to boost shareholder returns.Hess' shares rose 6.3%, the second-biggest percentage gainer on the S&P 500 Energy Index.Oil output in the United States has soared in recent years…

GSP Offshore, Trident Black Sea Bid in Ukraine

Image: Upetrom Group

GSP Holding company GSP Offshore SRL is the preferred drilling and engineering services provider of Trident Black Sea, in its bid for the right to negotiate a production sharing agreement (PSA) with the Ukrainian government for the offshore Dolphin block in the northwestern part of the Black Sea.According to a press release from the Romanian company providing offshore integrated services for oil and gas industry said that Trident Black Sea will be the operator of the project, in the event of a winning bid.Other partners of Trident for this project are San Leon Energy for non-operating technical assistance…

UK Plans to Boost Drilling

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), UK has published for the first time a Wells Strategy which provides a framework of how the OGA and industry will work together to deliver increased activity and improve performance.The OGA’s Wells Insights Report sets out three key areas of focus covering business processes to increase well activity, well performance and regulatory compliance and provides an outline of how these objectives will be delivered.The OGA, working with industry, is committed to maximizing the well value cycle on the UKCS (without detriment to safety or the environment) through effective regulation…

Neptune Acquires German Oil & Gas Fields

Image: Neptune Energy

UK-based Neptune Energy has agreed to acquire interests from Wintershall Dea in certain oil and gas fields in the Emsland and Grafschaft Bentheim regions in Germany.With this agreement, Neptune will increase its existing interest in the Bramberge, Meppen and Annaveen oil fields of the Emsland region, as well as various gas fields in the Grafschaft Bentheim region.Approximately 600 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) of daily net production will added to Neptune’s production in Germany – an increase of around five per cent.Neptune…

KNOC Aims to Sell Stake in Dana Petroleum

(Photo: Dana Petroleum)

State-run Korea National Oil Corp (KNOC) is considering upping the stake it is planning to sell in its British unit Dana Petroleum after failing to lure a buyer for the 30% previously on offer, banking and industry sources said.KNOC had hired Canada's Scotia Bank to help with selling part of the oil and gas producer, but the minority stake was not seen as attractive for energy companies already operating in the region, which are mostly backed by U.S. and European private equity funds, the sources said.These investors have proved unwilling to take on a minority shareholding in a firm that is majority state-owned.This has forced KNOC…

ConocoPhillips Profit Slides

(Photo: ConocoPhillips)

ConocoPhillips missed Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit on Tuesday as it spent more than expected and took a hit from lower crude prices due to fears of a slowing global economy.The OPEC and Russia have put a lid on production, but that has not translated into higher prices due to surging shale oil output from the United States.Shares of Conoco fell 2% as the Houston, Texas-based company reported $1.73 billion in capital expenditure during the quarter, above average estimates of $1.53 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.The company also raised its capital spending for 2019 by $200 million to $6.3 billion…

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…

Neptune Acquires Interests in Offshore Indonesia

Image: Eni

Neptune Energy East Sepinggan, subsidiary of the European exploration and production company Neptune Energy has agreed to acquire interests from the Eni East Sepinggan Limited, a unit of Eni in the Kutei basin production sharing contracts (PSC) offshore Indonesia.According to a press release from the Italian multinational oil and gas company, it  will continue to be the Operator of the area which is located in the East Sepinggan area, offshore East Kalimantan in Indonesia, and includes Merakes development and Merakes East discovery.

Chevron Cleared to Stay in Venezuela

© Jim Barber / Adobe Stock

The Trump administration said on Friday it has renewed Chevron Corp's license to drill for oil and gas in Venezuela despite sanctions, signaling it sees value in having the U.S. oil producer operate in a country on the verge of economic and political collapse.The Treasury Department said it renewed the license for three months for Chevron, the last U.S. oil company operating in Venezuela, a member of the OPEC producer group. The license runs through Oct. 25, 2019."Our operations in Venezuela continue in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations…

Tullow Decides $33 Mln Interim Payout

(Photo: Tullow Oil)

The board of British oil producer Tullow will pay an interim dividend of 2.35 cents per share, representing a payout of about $33 million, the company said on Wednesday, in line with plans to disburse at least $100 million a year.The dividend follows a first half in which Africa-focused Tullow doubled post-tax profit to $103 million, and a payout of around $67 million earlier in the year.

Beach Energy to Boost Drilling Spend

(Photo: Beach Energy)

Beach Energy, Australia's third-largest independent oil and gas producer, ended the 2019 financial year more cashed up than expected and plans to step up spending on drilling while keeping an eye out for acquisitions, its boss said on Wednesday.Beach paid off debt on its A$1.6 billion ($1.1 billion) acquisition of Lattice Energy within just 18 months, two years earlier than originally planned, with the help of an asset sale and strong cash flow from its expanded portfolio.The company ended the year to June 30 with net cash of A$172 million…

Lukoil Hits Milestone at Caspian Offshore

Image: Lukoil

Russian oil company Lukoil has exceeded 15 million metric tons of cumulative output from its Vladimir Filanovsky field in the Caspian Sea.Moscow-headquartered multinational energy corporation said that full-scale commercial operation of the project started in the fall of 2016, i.e. eleven years after the field's discovery. The third-stage of infrastructure development is under way now. Lukoil has mounted the wellhead platform topside (mini-platform) on the bearing units in the Caspian Sea. The total weight of the structure exceeds 2.8 thousand metric tons.A self-elevating floating drill rig will drill wells from the wellhead platform.

Schlumberger Names New CEO, Tops Revenue

Schlumberger COO Olivier Le Peuch will take over as CEO effective August 1 (Photo: Schlumberger)

Schlumberger NV said on Friday Chief Operating Officer Olivier Le Peuch will replace longtime Chief Executive Officer Paal Kibsgaard, as the company looks to shore up its position as a leader in drilling technology.The world's largest oilfield services provider also reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue, as demand in international markets countered weakness in North America, sending its shares up more than 1% before the bell.The change of guard comes when the oilfield services industry is buffeted by moderating demand…

Sparrows Secures Vendor Approval from Aramco

Sparrows local Kingdom of Saudi Arabia operations assistant Sultan Ghamdi, and regional accountant Mariam Aleid (Photo: Sparrows Group)

Aberdeen-based equipment and integrated engineering services company Sparrows Group said it has bolstered its position in Saudi Arabia after securing vendor approval status from national oil company Saudi Aramco.The approval allows recently formed local entity, Sparrows Saudi Arabia LLC, to deliver its full portfolio of services to Saudi Aramco including drilling and lifting equipment examination and overhaul, specialist inspection, Dropped Objects Prevention Scheme (DROPS) surveys, mechanical handling and engineering support…

Block Energy Acquires West Rustavi Asset

Image: Block Energy

The oil and gas company in Georgia,  Block Energy said its working interest in the West Rustavi licence, in Georgia, has increased to 100%.The increase, from 71.5% and originally from 25%, follows an agreement made with Georgian Oil & Gas Ltd in late February.With immediate effect, Block will benefit from a 100% economic interest in the contractor's share of oil revenue and have greater control over the development plan to realize West Rustavi's full potential.Block is implementing a fully-funded back-to-back drilling program…

KCA Deutag Wins $168mln Russian Gig

Image: KCA Deutag

Global drilling and engineering contractor KCA Deutag (KCAD) announced that its land drilling operation has won three new contracts in Russia worth approximately $168m.These contracts are for eight high performance land rigs, seven of which were previously built by Bentec, KCAD's rig and oilfield equipment manufacturer. The first contract is with an existing client for five of those rigs to carry out drilling operations in two fields in Eastern Siberia. Each rig is expected to drill for varying periods of between three and four years.

Hurricane Energy Spuds Lincoln Crestal

Image: Hurricane Energy

UK-based oil exploration and production company Hurricane Energy said it has spudded the second of three wells on the Greater Warwick Area in the UK North Sea.Well 205/26b-B well, or Lincoln Crestal, was was spudded – the start of the drilling process – using the Transocean Leader rig, which recently completed work to plug and abandon the Warwick Deep well.An update will come once drilling and testing has been completed, said a press note.Lincoln Crestal is the second in a three-well program designed to further test Hurricane’s assets in the Greater Warwick Area…

DOF Bags 2 Platform Supply Contracts

Image: DOF ASA

Norwegian supply shipping company DOF has been awarded short-term contracts for two of its platform supply vessels (PSVs).Premier UK has hired the 4,135-dwt Skandi Caledonia (built 2003) for around four months from this quarter. The PSV will perform supply duties for two firm wells, plus another optional well.DOF (UK) Limited has been awarded a drilling support contract for the Skandi Barra by an undisclosed client. Commencement is planned for July.2005-built Skandi Barra is an MT 6000 MK II design PSV. The vessel has mainly been working in the North Sea since it joined DOF’s fleet.DOF ASA operates 74 offshore vessels.

Anadarko Shareholders to Vote on Oxy Deal

(Photo: Anadarko)

Anadarko Petroleum Corp shareholders will vote Aug. 8 on the oil and gas producer's planned $38 billion sale to Occidental Petroleum Corp - the biggest oil and gas deal of the year.Occidental avoided its own shareholder vote on the deal by securing a controversial $10 billion financing agreement with Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, which allowed it to raise the cash portion of its offer.While an Anadarko holders' vote for the proposed deal is very likely, the price has angered several Occidental investors, including billionaire activist Carl Icahn…

Deepwater Leads in Discovered Oil and Gas

© alexpolo / Adobe Stock

Half of the 6.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) new conventional oil and gas discoveries in the first half of 2019 were deepwater finds, signalling a return for explorers to high-risk frontier deepwater plays, said analyst Rystad Energy.Year-to-date average monthly discovered volumes above 1.1 billion boe reflect an uptick of approximate 35% compared to the 827 million boe seen in 2018, according to Rystad's mid-year review. It said so far 2019 has been a year of gas discoveries, which hold a majority (63%) share compared to liquids…

EU Threatens Turkey with Sanctions over Cyprus Drilling

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

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

EU: Turkey's Drilling off Cyprus Coast of "Grave Concern"

© keki / Adobe Stock

The European Union on Monday said Turkey's plan to drill for oil and gas off Cyprus was of grave concern and an unacceptable escalation of tensions surrounding the Mediterranean island."Turkey's declared intention to illegally conduct a new drilling operation northeast of Cyprus is of grave concern," the EU foreign policy branch said in a statement."This second planned drilling operation, two months after the start of the ongoing drilling operations west of Cyprus, is a further unacceptable escalation which violates the sovereignty of Cyprus." (Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel)

DTEK to Develop the Zinkivska Block

(File photo: DTEK Oil&Gas)

DTEK Oil&Gas and its subsidiaries have been selected as winners in a competition for the largest Product Sharing Agreement (PSA) in Ukrainian history. Subsequent to signing the PSA, the company will invest over $37 million into the development of Zinkivska block.DTEK Oil&Gas plans to reanalyze previously attained data from dynamic gas studies, 3D wide-azimuth seismic studies as well as drill three prospecting wells. The aim is start production within two years of the start of the project.The PSA competition, which included nine oil and gas blocks with a total area of 11…

Shelf Drilling Bags Gulf of Thailand Gig

Chevron Project in Gulf of Thailand. Image: Chevron

Dubai-headquartered offshore drilling contractor Shelf Drilling has secured a contract for the Shelf Drilling Scepter jack-up rig with Chevron Thailand Exploration and Production for operations in the Gulf of Thailand.The contract for the  2008-built  rig is expected to commence in Q1 2020 and run until Q2 2022 and includes a one-year option.David Mullen, Chief Executive Officer, Shelf Drilling, said: “We are pleased to continue our long-standing partnership with Chevron through this award for the Shelf Drilling Scepter. The high specification jack-up rig has been a significant enhancement to our fleet…

The Fundamentals of AI in Oil and Gas

© Busakorn / Adobe Stock

The oil and gas industry has cutting-edge technology when it comes to the processes of drilling for oil, but when it comes to invoicing and scheduling crews and equipment, the technology is rather basic. On top of the antiquated technology for administration work, the oil and gas industry faces challenges of working in unconnected environments and complex pricing of their products and services.When taking into consideration these challenges, artificial intelligence (AI) innovation is not the first thought for the oil and gas industry.

Guyana Boosts Gov't Royalties for Future Oil Licenses

© Mark Rubens / Adobe Stock

Guyana is preparing to raise the take of the government in future oil licences, the director of the South American country's Department of Energy said on Wednesday.U.S. energy giant Exxon, French group Total and Britain's Tullow Oil are drilling wells offshore Guyana, where Exxon has discovered over 4 billion barrels of oil, a major global find."Royalties will all have to be examined. We expect them to be higher than they currently are," Mark Bynoe told Reuters on the sidelines of an industry conference in London.Guyana is preparing a licensing round for acreage in both shallow and deep water for the third quarter of 2020.

Aker BP Discovers Oil at Frosk

Image: Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD)

Aker BP ASA, operator of production license 340, has finalized the results after drilling wildcat well 24/9-15 S (Froskelår Nordøst) and appraisal well 24/9-15 A.According to a press note from the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), the wells, which are also pilot wells for test production, were drilled diagonally and horizontally, 2 and 3 kilometers northeast and north respectively, from the subsea template on the Bøyla field in the central part of the North Sea, and 225 kilometers west of Stavanger.The 24/9-12 S (Frosk) oil discovery was proven in reservoir rocks (injectites) in the Eocene (the Intra Hordaland group) in the winter of 2018.

GulfSlope Energy Forms JV for GoM

Image courtesy: GulfSlope Energy

GulfSlope Energy, an independent oil and natural gas exploration company, has signed a letter of intent to enter a joint venture (JV) for drilling of shallow water depth prospects in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM).The oil and natural gas company focused on exploring offshore U.S. GoM said in a press release that it will retain and deploy a supra salt evaluation team consisting of three geoscientists and a manager to identify, evaluate and recommend targets for lease acquisition, farm-in and drilling.GulfSlope didn't reveal the identity…

Sapura Energy Bags Multiple Contracts

Image: Sapura Energy

Malaysia’s oilfield services player Sapura Energy said it has has clinched contracts worth a total of MYR 1 billion ($242 million) for several new oil patch deals and one – the company’s first – offshore wind contract.The 10 new contracts are for its engineering and construction and drilling segments across Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan and Australia, said a press release from the company.In addition, the company has been selected for a frame agreement with Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) for fixed offshore structure works, the company said in a statement today.Regarding the first offshore wind farm contract…

US Drillers Add Rigs

© Alexey Zakirov / Adobe STock

U.S. energy firms this week increased the number of oil rigs operating for a second week in a row with oil futures up about 12% over the past couple of weeks despite plans by most producers to cut spending on new drilling this year.The rig count, however, was still down 92, or 10%, since the start of the year.Companies added four oil rigs in the week to June 28, bringing the total count to 793, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday.That compares with 858 rigs operating during the same week a year ago.For the month, drillers cut seven rigs, their seventh consecutive cut.

US Rig Count Climbs

© ronniechua / adobe Stock

U.S. energy firms increased the number of oil rigs operating for the first time in the past three weeks as U.S. crude futures soared around 10% this week.Big energy price declines over the prior couple of months, however, prompted one analyst to cut rig count forecasts for 2019 and 2020.Companies added one oil rig in the week to June 21, bringing the total count to 789, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday.That compares with 862 rigs operating during the same week a year ago.The rig count…

Pemex Steering Clear of Deepwater

© Denys / Adobe Stock

Petroleos Mexicanos will focus on shallow water projects and onshore plays, and avoid investing in its deepwater riches for now, as the ailing Mexican state-run oil company seeks to turn around a 14-year slide in crude production, a top official said on Thursday.Chief Financial Officer Alberto Velazquez outlined the approach the state-owned oil company known as Pemex will take at a conference in the colonial city of Leon on Thursday.He emphasized that Pemex has no plans to invest in costly and technologically complex deepwater projects in the Gulf of Mexico…

Turkey to Drill Near Cyprus for Three Months

© olgavolodina / Adobe Stock

Turkey launched a second drilling ship on Thursday which will conduct natural gas operations off the northeast coast of Cyprus for three months, a move which risks aggravating a conflict with Cyprus over jurisdiction rights for oil and gas exploration.Turkey and the internationally recognised Cypriot government have overlapping claims in that part of the Mediterranean, an area thought to be rich in natural gas.Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said at the launch of the vessel, Yavuz, it would operate in a borehole near Cyprus' Karpas peninsula…

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 away three times after Greenpeace's Arctic Sunrise ship prevented it from reaching the Vorlich oilfield to start its drilling campaign.The rig finally reached its destination on Wednesday afternoon, Greenpeace said.

Total Launches New Supercomputer

(Photo: Total)

Energy major Total said its new supercomputer - which has propelled it to a world ranking as the most powerful computer in the sector - will enable its geologists to find oil faster, cheaper and with a better success rate.The Pangea III computer build by IBM will help process complex seismic data in the search for hydrocarbons 10 times faster that before, Total said on Tuesday.The computing power of the company has been increased to 31.7 so-called 'petaflops' from 6.7 petaflops in 2016, and from 2.3 petaflops in 2013, Total said…

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 and Greece say the vessel is encroaching into Cyprus's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) - an area which Cyprus can use for commercial exploitation.

Oilfield Services Firms Keane, C&J Merge

© Michael Potts / Adobe Stock

Oilfield services company Keane Group Inc said on Monday it will merge with rival C&J Energy Services in a $745.7 million all-stock deal, as it looks for scale amid spending cuts by crude producers.The oil service sector has been battling lower demand and pricing pressure as U.S. producers hold off drilling new wells on investor demand that cash be used for dividends and buybacks rather than growth.The deal is expected to add to cash flow immediately, the companies said in a statement, adding they see annualized run-rate cost savings of $100 million within 12 months after closing.The combined company…

US Leads World Oil Reserves

Graph: Rystad Energy

The United States has a world-leading 293 billion barrels of recoverable oil resources, which is 20Bbbl more than Saudi Arabia and 100Bbbl more than Russia, with the Permian Basin leading that charge.Rystad Energy’s estimate of US recoverable oil is also five times more than officially reported proven reserves as published in the BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2019.Tight oil plays in the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico now hold 100 billion barrels of recoverable oil resources, according to Rystad Energy’s analysis.

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 -- which had at that point not been confirmed by Nicosia -- "crossed the line".The two countries have been at odds since the 1974 ethnic conflict that split the island between its Greek and Turkish Cypriot populations…

Infinity, Medserv Form Services JV

Aberdeen-based Infinity Oilfield Services and Malta-based Medserv have formed a new joint venture named InMedCo, to provide a broader portfolio of highly specialized technical services to the oil and gas market.The InMedCo joint venture combines Infinity’s technical and engineering expertise with Medserv’s integrated logistics capability and quayside facilities in Malta and Cyprus.The company provides inspection, repair, upgrade and refurbishment of topside and drilling equipment for platforms, floating production, storage and offloading units (FPSO)…

Book Review: Getting Down to It; 50 Years of Subsea Success in Norway

Co-author Arnfinn Nergaard.

The Norwegian Continental Shelf’s journey from the very first basic marinized subsea trees to today’s complex and sophisticated subsea processing equipment has been a rapid, at times turbulent, but always remarkable.There are many engineers who have seen through that journey, from the first exploration wells using Norwegian rigs in the mid-1970s to today. One has now written the history of subsea technology in Norway and this year’s Underwater Technology Conference (UTC) has been chosen for its launch, as the event itself marks its 25th anniversary.Getting Down to It…

KCA Deutag Names Elkhoury CEO

Image: KCA Deutag

Drilling and engineering contractor KCA Deutag has appointed a new chief executive Joseph Elkhoury, as ­current boss Norrie McKay prepares to retire. McKay will remain with the group in an advisory capacity until December 31, 2019, working closely with Joseph to ensure a smooth transition. Elkhoury brings to the role 26 years of experience in various operational and leadership roles in the oilfield services industry. Most notably he spent 21 years with Schlumberger, originally joining the group in 1993 as a Wireline Field Engineer in Abu Dhabi.

ExxonMobil to Redevelop Angola Block 15

Image: ExxonMobil offshore vessel

American multinational oil and gas corporation ExxonMobil and its partners said that they will further invest in Block 15 offshore Angola to increase production as part of an agreement with Angola’s recently established National Agency for Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels.As part of the agreement, Sonangol, Angola’s state oil company, will receive a 10% equity interest, said a press release from Texas-based energy major.“This renewed collaboration will enable Angola to optimize recovery and add production from mature fields,” said Hunter Farris…

W&T Strikes Oil in US Gulf of Mexico

Image: Kosmos Energy

Oil and natural gas producer W&T Offshore has discovered oil at the Gladden Deep prospect in Mississippi Canyon block 800 in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.W&T is operator of the well, which is one of 14 planned for the drilling program under the Monza JV. The company owns a 17.25% interest in the discovery.Gladden Deep is located in approximately 3,000 feet of water and was drilled to a total measured depth of 18,324 feet and encountered 201 feet of net oil pay. This single-well completion is expected to be brought online through…

Hurricane Achieves First Oil at Lancaster

(Photo: Hurricane Energy)

Hurricane Energy has announced first oil at its Lancaster field off Scotland, the first such success for so-called fractured basement reservoirs in Britain and a major milestone for the company within its guided schedule.Hurricane specializes in recovering oil from fractures in hard and brittle rock known as fractured basement reservoirs, which some see as a risky way to obtain crude."Lancaster is the UK's first producing fractured basement field and the fact that Hurricane has delivered this industry milestone on time and within budget is an incredible achievement…