Thursday, April 26, 2018

Eni Staying in Cyprus Despite Island's Standoff with Turkey

Italy's Eni will not relinquish its interests in Cyprus, its CEO said on Wednesday, as an uneasy standoff between Turkey and the Mediterranean island lingered over offshore hydrocarbons resources.The Italian state-controlled energy giant had to abandon a scheduled drill for oil and gas south of Cyprus in February because of Turkish military exercises. The broader region has yielded some of the largest natural gas finds worldwide in recent years."I just want to remind (sic) that so far we have invested about 700 million euros in Cyprus.

Sembcorp Marine Outlook Subdued on Q1 Profit Slump

(File photo: Sembcorp Marine)

Singaporean rig builder Sembcorp Marine Ltd said on Wednesday first-quarter profit fell 86 percent, and signaled a subdued outlook for orders and business volumes.Sembcorp Marine said profit came in at S$5.3 million ($4 million) for the three-month period ended March, compared with S$37 million in the same period a year ago.The year-ago profit was boosted by an one-off gain from the disposal of Sembcorp Marine's stake in Cosco Shipyard Co.Overall business volume has remained significantly below peak levels, resulting in operating losses in the latest quarter…

Lebanon Prepares for Second Offshore Oil and Gas Licensing Round

Weatherford Launches Two New Divestiture Processes

Weatherford International on Tuesday said a divestiture of its land drilling rigs was 'taking longer than expected'The company said the delay was due to increased interest in a geographic subset of the business, which has made the divestiture process more complex.Weatherford said it has also initiated two divestitures in addition to the land drilling rigs. Those divestitures are expected to generate $500 million by year end.Weatherford's chief executive, Mark McCollum, on Tuesday said short-cycle investments would drive oil and gas activity in 2018.Reporting by Liz Hampton

Borr Drilling Cuts Jobs in Texas

Photo: Borr Drilling

Offshore rig operator Borr Drilling cut 66 jobs in Texas at the end of March, according to a state regulatory notice, as the company prepared to close on its purchase of Paragon Offshore.The filing with the Texas Workforce Commission did not provide a reason for the layoffs.A Borr representative was not immediately available for comment.Borr, based in Oslo, Norway, offered to buy rival Paragon Offshore for $232.5 million in February and Paragon shareholders approved the deal on March 27. Borr's chief executive officer left the company last month, citing the acquisition of Paragon.Reporting by Liz Hampton

Hedge Fund Oil Bulls on Rampage as Bears Vanish

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Kasto)

Hedge fund managers have never seemed so convinced that oil prices are set to rise rather than fall in the near term, according to the latest positioning data published by regulators and exchanges. Fund managers remain super-bullish even though benchmark Brent prices have almost tripled over the last two years and are now trading at the highest level since November 2014. Hedge funds and other money managers raised their net bullish position in the six most important futures and options contracts linked to the price of crude and fuels by 45 million barrels in the week to April 20.

Oil Dips as Rising U.S. Yields Steer Bulls

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Gear STD)

U.S. rig count rises to 820, highest since March 2015; but strong demand, OPEC cuts still support prices overall. Oil prices were little changed at around $74 a barrel on Monday on rising U.S. borrowing costs and the prospect of further output rises after another increase in the weekly rig count, although the overall picture for crude remained bullish. Brent crude futures were down 1 cent at $74.05 a barrel by 1145 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 11 cents at $68.29 a barrel. Prices were supported by nervousness over the decision President Donald Trump must take by May 12 on whether to restore U.S.

US Drillers Add Oil Rigs for Third Consecutive Week

© FerrezFrames / Adobe Stock

U.S. energy companies added oil rigs for a third week in a row as energy firms follow through on plans to spend more on drilling this year with crude prices near three-year highs.Drillers added five oil rigs in the week to April 20, bringing the total count to 820, the highest level since March 2015, General Electric Co's        Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday.More than half the total oil rigs are in the Permian basin in west Texas and eastern New Mexico. Active units there increased by eight this week to 453, the most since January 2015.The U.S.

Newbuild Kreuz Challenger Mobilized for Brunei Shell Contract

Photo: Kreuz Subsea

Subsea services company Kreuz Subsea has mobilized the recently delivered newbuild dive support vessel, Kreuz Challenger, as part of its seven-year contract with Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn. Bhd. (BSP).The contract, which runs until 2022, includes supporting BSP with inspection, repair and maintenance services to be carried out on offshore oil and gas structures in Negara Brunei Darussalam's territorial waters.Typically located in water depths of up to 80 meters, these include drilling platforms, production stations…

Odfjell Drilling to Expand Fleet

(Photo: Odfjell Drilling)

Offshore rig firm Odfjell Drilling plans to expand its floating rig fleet to between six and 10 from four now, it said on Friday, the latest sign of recovery in the energy industry.After cuts in exploration spending following an oil price plunge that began in 2014, energy firms are now hiring rigs as crude prices have recovered some ground.Odfjell raised $175 million via a new share issue on Thursday to help buy semi-submersible Stena Midmax Rig from Samsung Heavy Industries for $505 million. The new issue sent the Norwegian firm's shares down 10 percent.Akastor…

Schlumberger Profit Surges on Higher Oil Prices

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © xmentoys)

Oilfield services provider Schlumberger NV reported an 88 percent rise in quarterly profit on Friday as rising crude oil prices encouraged its North American clients to ramp up spending. The company's revenue from North America jumped nearly 52 percent to $2.84 billion. Schlumberger is a bellwether for the oilfield services and drilling industries. U.S crude oil prices rose 7.5 percent in the first quarter, supported by a strengthening global economy and an OPEC-led supply cut that helped ease oversupply of crude. Net profit attributable to Schlumberger rose to $525 million…

Trump Administration Mulls Opening Alaska Refuge to Drilling

(File photo: USFWS)

The Trump administration this week will begin the environmental review process for oil and gas drilling on a section of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, a region in northern Alaska rich in crude but prized by conservationists.In a notice from the U.S. Department of the Interior seen by Reuters, which the agency will post on Friday, it says it will hold meetings in five Alaskan towns where the public can speak about drilling in the refuge. It is the first step in the review process, which will consider proposed seismic testing…

To Frack or Not to Frack? Australia's NatGas Dilemma

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Shamtor)

The decision by the government of Australia's Northern Territory government to allow the resumption of fracking for natural gas will do little to immediately solve the country's energy woes, but will likely sharpen political battle lines. The territory's government said on April 17 that it has lifted a near two-year moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, accepting the recommendations of its own commission of inquiry into the practice. Northern Territory is a vast, sparsely-populated 1.4 million square kilometre (540,000 square mile) part of central and northern Australia, and home to two potentially rich basins of natural gas.

Eni has no plans to pull out of Rosneft deal after sanctions

Claudio Descalzi (Photo: Eni)

US Court Approves Seadrill's Bankruptcy Exit Plan

(Photo: Seadrill)

A U.S. judge said on Tuesday he would approve Seadrill Ltd's plan to exit its Chapter 11 bankruptcy, in which the global offshore oil and gas drilling company would shed billions of dollars of debt and raise $1 billion in new investment. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge David Jones in Houston overruled two minor objections to the reorganization plan during a 90-minute hearing. The plan extends maturities on more than $5 billion of bank loans and converts about $2.3 billion in bond debt into equity in a reorganized Seadrill. In addition…

Under Military Rule, PDVSA Workers Quit in Stampede

Chauffeured around in a sleek black pick-up, the head of Venezuela's oil industry, Major General Manuel Quevedo, last month toured a joint venture with U.S. major Chevron. Flanked by other trucks carrying security guards, Quevedo passed a handful of workers waiting by an oil well cluster. They wanted a word with the OPEC nation's oil minister and president of its state-run oil firm, PDVSA, about the sorry state of the company. Quevedo and his caravan drove on by. "He didn't get out to ask workers about what is going on," said Jesus Tabata, a union leader who works on a rig in the oil-rich Orinoco Belt.

ConocoPhillips' Alaskan Venture a Success

The polar adventure-valdez alaska Photo courtesy ConocoPhillips

ConocoPhillips announced it has concluded its 2018 winter exploration and appraisal program in Alaska. The company’s original plan was to drill five wells on the Western North Slope comprising two appraisal wells of the Willow Discovery announced in January 2017, plus three exploration wells. Due to improved drilling efficiencies, the company was able to drill a total of six wells, including an additional Willow appraisal well. All six wells plus a sidetrack encountered oil and verified the potential of the play. The three…

Schlumberger Fights to Boost Patent Damages at US Supreme Court

© sframe / Adobe Stock

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday appeared divided over whether to make it easier for companies to recoup profits lost due to the unauthorized use of their patented technology overseas in a dispute involving Schlumberger NV, the world's largest oilfield services provider.The nine justices heard about an hour of arguments that will resolve the amount of money that rival ION Geophysical Corp must pay for infringing Schlumberger technology that helps search for oil and gas beneath the ocean floor. Both companies are based in Houston.Some justices…

Chevron Greenlights Gorgon LNG Expansion

(File photo: Chevron)

Chevron Corp will proceed with the second stage of its giant Gorgon liquefied natural gas (LNG) export plant off the northwest coast of Western Australia, the company said on Saturday.Chevron and its joint venture partners plan to sink 11 new wells in the Gorgon and Jansz-Io fields and build offshore pipelines and subsea structures to pipe the gas to the nearby 15.6 million tonne a year LNG plant on Barrow Island.The $54 billion Gorgon project came on stream in March 2016 but suffered numerous unplanned shutdowns in its early stages.Chevron declined to put a cost on stage two of the project…

Statoil Eyes Future Projects with Pemex

Norway's Statoil will evaluate new offshore projects in Mexico, including potential tie-ups with state oil company Pemex, the firm's top executive said, adding that a first deepwater well in an existing Gulf project will likely be drilled next year. Statoil is focused mostly on future deepwater opportunities in Mexico but does not rule out others, CEO Eldar Saetre said in an interview late on Thursday. The executive, visiting Mexico City with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, said he met with both finance ministry and Pemex officials.

Fieldwood Hungry for US Offshore Output

© eaumstocker / Adobe Stock

The Chief Executive of offshore oil and gas driller Fieldwood Energy LLC, Matt McCarroll, says he is not scared of the hurricanes, geological risks and costs that keep some oil companies out of the Gulf of Mexico. Instead, he is doubling down. The private equity-backed company - already the largest operator on the U.S. outer continental shelf - announced on Thursday it is closing a $480 million acquisition of Noble Energy’s assets in the Gulf of Mexico that will add 25,000 barrels per day (bpd) to its current net production of 72,000 bpd of oil equivalent.

Maersk Establishes Decomissioning Company

(Photo courtesy Maersk Supply Service)

A 50/50 joint venture (JV) between Maersk Drilling and Maersk Supply Service will provide decommissioning services to oil and gas operators. After decades of production, an increasing amount of offshore oil and gas fields are approaching the end of their economic life. In the North Sea alone, more than 400 fields are expected to cease production by 2026 at an estimated cost of $56 billion. Globally, more than 700 fields are expected to require decommissioning. The JV will initially offer bundled solutions for up to 80 percent of the oil field decommissioning process…

Norway's DOF: OSV Market Improving

An offshore OSV underway (CREDIT: BSM)

The cost of renting offshore supply vessels (OSVs), servicing oil and gas firms, will continue to rise as many ships that were mothballed up during the downturn will not return to the market, the chief executive of Norway's DOF said on Wednesday. A number of offshore vessel companies went bankrupt after oil prices plunged between 2014 and 2016, or were forced to merge with competitors to survive as oil companies cut spending for exploration and new developments. But the rates for hiring specialized vessels, which include platform supply (PSV), diving support (DSV) and anchor-handling vessels (AHTS), have increased in the last year.

McDermott Completes Phase 1 of QGEP Atlanta EPS

Photo: McDermott International

McDermott International, Inc. has announced it completed the first phase of the deep-water Atlanta Early Production System (EPS), located approximately 115 miles (185 kilometers) offshore southeast of Rio de Janeiro, for independent Brazilian Exploration and Production company Queiroz Galvão Exploração e Produção S.A. (QGEP). McDermott successfully performed the project management, engineering and offshore installation of all subsea hardware, including flexible pipes, umbilicals, umbilical termination assemblies, and associated equipment for the subsea umbilicals, risers and flowlines (SURF) project.

Aquaterra Energy Installs First CSP Platform for Offshore Trinidad and Tobago

Photo: Aquaterra

Aquaterra Energy, a global offshore engineering solutions provider, has announced it has completed the delivery of a Sea Swift conductor supported platform (CSP) for DeNovo Energy in the Gulf of Paria, offshore Trinidad and Tobago. This is the first platform of its kind to be installed in the country, and was completed in just ten months. Located in the Iguana field, the Sea Swift was installed from a jack-up rig in 27 meters water depth, accommodating up to four wells and includes local power generation, manifolds and a control system.

Exxon, Qatar Mull U.S. Shale Deal - WSJ

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Shamtor)

Exxon Mobil is in talks with Qatar over a possible deal that could see the country investing in the company's U.S. gas resources, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter. The deal could take the shape of a joint venture in which Qatar, through state-owned Qatar Petroleum, could partner or invest in future wells with Exxon's unit XTO Energy, the paper said. Exxon already partners Qatar Petroleum to explore oil and gas off the coast of Cyprus and for drilling rights in Brazil. WSJ said the talks could still fall apart and that no deal had been reached yet.

Oil Edges Up But U.S.-China Trade Tensions Weigh

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Kasto)

Trade dispute between U.S./China unsettles markets as U.S. drillers add 11 rigs drilling for new oil. Oil markets stabilised on Monday after having lost around 2 percent last Friday as concerns grew over the impact on global growth from an intensifying trade dispute between the United States and China, as well as increased U.S. drilling activity. Markets were also eyeing the situation in Syria after reports - denied by the Pentagon - that U.S. forces had struck a major air base there. Brent crude futures were up 39 cents on the day at $67.50 a barrel by 0912 GMT. The price approached its lowest in three weeks last week. U.S.

BP to develop Oman’s Khazzangas Field

Khazzan Phase 2 Image BP

BP today announced that, together with its partner the Oman Oil Company Exploration & Production, it has approved the development of Ghazeer, the second phase of the giant Khazzan gas field in Oman. The final investment decision (FID) for Ghazeer follows the successful start-up of Khazzan’s first phase of development in September 2017. This project, which started production ahead of schedule and under budget, is now producing at design capacity of around 1 billion cubic feet of gas a day (bcf/d) and around 35,000 barrels a day of condensate.

US Interior Secretary Sees Little Demand for New Offshore Drilling

© Mike Mareen / Adobe Stock

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said on Friday that he sees little demand from oil and gas companies for new offshore drilling leases, which could pose problems for his plan to ramp up output from federal waters.The comments come just three months after Zinke had proposed opening nearly all U.S. ocean coastlines to drilling, in a bid to raise domestic oil and gas production. The plan sparked immediate protests from coastal states, environmentalists and the tourism industry.Zinke said a record-sized U.S. auction of offshore oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico…

Texas Drilling Permits Fell in March, Completions Rise

© Natalia Bratslavsky / Adobe Stock

Texas's energy regulator issued fewer new drilling permits in March than a year ago, but well completions rose, according to data released on Friday by the state.A total of 1,220 original permits were issued last month, down about 7 percent from the same time last year. Roughly half of the permits were for oil and gas wells in the Midland area, home to the country's most active shale area, the Permian Basin.The number of completions processed by the Railroad Commission, which regulates the state's oil and gas industry, climbed sharply this year…

Askeladden Seeking its Fortune on Gullfaks

Photo:  Statoil ASA

The new Cat J jackup rig Askeladden started drilling on the Gullfaks field on 26 March, with the goal of providing new production from old wells and exploring to create new value. Askeladden has been bought by the Gullfaks licence to carry out production and exploration drilling on Gullfaks Satellites. For several months the rig had to wait on weather, both on its way from the yard in South Korea and when it met the Norwegian winter weather. It arrived at the field on February 19th and on 5 March the legs were firmly placed on the seabed at its final location by the subsea template.

MHWirth Bags Drilling Equipment Contract

Photo: MHWirth

MHWirth AS, a company owned by Akastor ASA, has entered into a contract with Keppel FELS for delivery of the drilling equipment package for a new semisubmersible drilling rig for harsh environment use, with options for further three packages. The rig will be built for Awilco Drilling PLC (through its fully owned subsidiary Awilco Rig 1 Pte. Ltd) by Keppel FELS Limited of Singapore. Delivery is planned for late Q1 2021. The rig will be equipped and certified for drilling on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, including in the Barents Sea, in water depths up to 5,000ft.

Statoil Inks LOI for Johan Sverdrup Phase 2

Statoil signs letters of intent for Johan Sverdrup phase 2 with Aibel and Aker Solutions-Kværner joint venture Image Statoil

Statoil, on behalf of the Johan Sverdrup partnership, signed a letter of intent with Aibel for the construction of the processing platform topside for phase 2 of the project. A letter of intent for field center modifications is also issued to a joint venture of Aker Solutions and Kværner. Total value is estimated at more than NOK 11 billion ($1.4 billion). Phase 1 of the Johan Sverdrup development is well underway with planned startup in late 2019. To promote synergies, continuity and a holistic development of the entire field the Johan Sverdrup partnership is issuing letters of intent for the development of phase 2 of the project.

Genoil to Develop Russia's Velikoye Oil Field

Genoil has signed an agreement to attract finances and evaluate technologies to develop oil and gas fields in the Astrakhan Region of Russia. This agreement is with the license holder of this property; JSC Petroleumgas Company commonly known as "AFB". AFB's licenses encompass 700 square kilometers where the Velikoye oil field was discovered. To date, AFB has conducted geological exploration of the Velikoye oil field that has included high-resolution 2D seismic, vertical seismic profile as well as offset vertical seismic profiling, interpretation of all archived seismic data etc. AFB has also drilled two prospecting wells.

Vryhof Bags Anchoring Contract with Cooper Energy

Photo: DSM

Deep Sea Mooring (DSM) and Vryhof Anchors, both Vryhof businesses, have secured a contract to provide full-scale mooring and anchoring services to Australian energy company Cooper Energy. The announcement also sees Vryhof businesses secure contracts in Cooper’s main target drilling area - offshore Victoria, Australia - for the first time. The contract will result in full-scale engineering, pre-lay mooring design and analysis from Deep Sea Mooring that will be provided to Diamond Offshore’s semi-submersible drilling unit - the Ocean Monarch.

Askeladden seeking its fortune on Gullfaks

Gunnar NakkenGunnar Nakken(Photo: Arne Reidar Mortensen

The new Cat J jackup rig Askeladden started drilling on the Gullfaks field on 26 March, with the goal of providing new production from old wells and exploring to create new value. Askeladden has been bought by the Gullfaks licence to carry out production and exploration drilling on Gullfaks Satellites. For several months the rig had to wait on weather, both on its way from the yard in South Korea and when it met the Norwegian winter weather. It arrived at the field on February 19 and on March 5 the legs were firmly placed on the seabed at its final location by the subsea template.

Bahrain: New Field has 80 bln Barrels of Reserves

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

Bahrain's oil minister said on Wednesday that the estimated oil reserves in a newly discovered field, the kingdom's largest ever, is at least 80 billion barrels of tight oil. Bahrain said on Sunday it had discovered the tight oil and deep gas resources located off the west coast of the kingdom. "DeGolyer and MacNaughton’s and Haliburton’s independent appraisals have confirmed NOGA’s (Bahrain’s National Oil and Gas Authority) find of highly significant quantities of oil in-place for the Khalij Al Bahrain, with tight oil amounting to at least 80 billion barrels…

Fugro Returns to Hollandse Kust Wind Farm

Fugro Synergy (Photo: Fugro)

Fugro is set to commence a site characterization program at the Hollandse Kust (noord) Wind Farm zone. Carried out under a further contract for the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (, part of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, the geotechnical workscope comprises seabed investigations and borehole drilling at two lots. Other deliverables include standard and advanced laboratory testing and an integrated geological/geotechnical soil model which will be used by future developers of the wind farm to prepare their bids.

IKM Subsea Secures PTTEP Drilling Contract

Photo: IKM Subsea

IKM Subsea Singapore signed a contract with PTTEPI for their appraisal campaign offshore in Myanmar. IKM Subsea will be providing a Merlin WR200 electrical propulsion system together with a BOP intervention tool and an IKM Technology designed and built diamond wire cutter for this project onboard the rig. This marks as IKM’s second deepest dive in South East Asia as the water depth ranges from 200mtrs to 2000mtrs. “This award definitely boosts IKM’s ROV utilization for 2018/19. With ongoing projects with SolstadFarstad, the IKM designed…

Statoil Awards $1.5 bln Drilling Contracts, Favours Archer

File Image: The Johan Sverdrup offshore installation (CREDIT: Statoil)

Statoil has awarded 12 billion Norwegian crowns ($1.53 billion) worth of new platform drilling contracts to Archer, KCA Deutag and Odfjell Drilling , the Norwegian oil company said on Friday. The new four-year contracts covering 18 fixed platforms on Norway's continental shelf were part of Statoil's efforts to increase cooperation between various service providers to further boost drilling efficiency, a spokesman said. "We are also in the market to sign new contracts with providers of oil services to create integrated drilling services as we have done at Johan Sverdrup and Mariner fields," the spokesman added.

Statoil Awards $1.5 Bln Drilling Contracts

View from the Gullfaks C platform in the North Sea. (Photo Harald Pettersen)

Statoil has awarded drilling contracts to Archer, KCA Deutag and Odfjell Drilling for drilling, completion, intervention services, plugging, maintenance and modifications on 18 of Statoil’s fixed platforms. The contracts take effect from October 1, 2018, initially for a period of four years. The total value is estimated at more than NOK 12 billion ($1.5 billion). The contracts include three two-year extension options. The work will employ around 2,000 people per year. “Safe and efficient operations are our number one priority.

OSV Market Poised for Growth -Report

© J Gray / Adobe Stock

The global offshore support vessel (OSV) market is expected to grow from an estimated $20.06 billion in 2018 to $25.66 billion by 2023, according to a recent report published by MarketsandMarkets. Ongoing offshore activities across the U.S., China, Brazil and the North Sea will help the market to expand at a CAGR of 5.04 percent during the forecast period, according to the report. Offshore exploration and production investments in the Middle East and the Asia Pacific regions are also expected to play a role in the forecasted growth.

Oil Falls to $69 as Earlier Rally Fizzles

© Danial / Adobe Stock

Oil fell to around $69 a barrel on Monday, reversing an earlier rally, as a rise in Russian production and concern about a U.S.-China trade spat offset a drop in U.S. drilling activity. U.S. drillers cut seven oil rigs in the week to March 29, bringing the total down to 797, the first decline in three weeks. The rig count is closely watched as an indicator of future U.S. oil output. Brent crude, the international benchmark, fell 56 cents to $68.78 a barrel by 1358 GMT, having rallied to $70.04 earlier. U.S. crude slipped 75 cents to $64.19. "Investors took their cue from falling U.S. drilling counts," said Wang Xiao of Guotai Junan Futures.

BV to support North Sea drilling operation

Paul Shrieve, Regional CEO, North Sea Offshore Operations,Photo courtesy NEWSLINE MEDIA LIMITED Bureau Veritas

Bureau Veritas has been awarded a six-figure contract to support drilling operations in the North Sea. The long-term frame agreementwill see Bureau Veritas provide inspection and verification services for nine rigs,with the project co-ordinated out of Bureau Veritas’s Aberdeen base. The contract follows a successful 2017 for Bureau Veritas’s North Sea Offshore Operations, after it secured contracts worth more than £10 million. Paul Shrieve, Regional CEO, North Sea Offshore Operations, said: “Bureau Veritas has always been committed to the North Sea region…

Oil Inches Nearer to $70 on Lower U.S. drilling, Iran Worries

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Jose Gill)

U.S. drillers cut rigs for first time in three weeks; concerns of U.S. sanctions against Iran also support crude. Oil rose towards $70 a barrel on Monday, lifted by a drop in drilling activity in the United States and concerns that Washington could reintroduce sanctions against Iran. U.S. drillers cut seven oil rigs in the week to March 29, bringing the total down to 797, the first decline in three weeks. The rig count is closely watched as an indicator of future U.S. oil output. Brent crude, the international benchmark, rose 58 cents to $69.92 a barrel at 0850 GMT. It was still below its 2018 high of $71.28 reached on Jan. 25. U.S.

Payne Named Chevron HS&E VP

Chevron Corporation named David Payne corporate vice president of Health, Environment and Safety, effective May 1, 2018. Payne is currently vice president of Chevron’s Drilling and Completions organization. He succeeds Wes Lohec who has elected to retire from Chevron after 37 years of distinguished service on June 1, 2018. In his new role, Payne, 58, will be responsible for leading Chevron’s Health, Environment and Safety function, including strategic planning and issues management, compliance assurance, and emergency response.

Coretrax pumps $1.5 Mi into S.E Asian market

John Fraser Coretrax global business development director Photo courtesy Coretrax

Coretrax announced its expansion into South East Asia with a $1.5 million investment across three bases in the region. In conjunction with the firm’s technical partner, OLIO Group, a team of 15 people work in Malaysia from its facilities in Kemaman, Labuan and Kuala Lumpur with this number is expected to grow in coming months. Coretrax was established in 2008 and provides field-proven wellbore and abandonment solutions for global operators. It has eight bases globally, including Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. This latest investment is key to Coretrax’s ambitious plans to penetrate the region.

Sapura JV Secures Block 30 in Gulf of Mexico

Photo courtesy Sapura Energy Berhad

Sapura Exploration & Production (Sapura E&P), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sapura Energy Berhad (“the Group”, formerly known as SapuraKencana Petroleum Berhad), together with its joint venture partners DEA Deutsche Erdoel Mexico and Premier Oil have been awarded Block 30 in Sureste Basin, a proven and prolific hydrocarbon province in the Gulf of Mexico. “This is a formidable partnership of like-minded companies with significant worldwide experience, which augurs well for future success in Mexico,” said Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Shahril Shamsuddin, President and Group Chief Executive Officer, Sapura Energy Berhad.

Mexico's Pemex to Operate Two Shallow Water Projects With Partners

© think4photop / Adobe Stock

Mexican national oil company Pemex plans to operate at least two new blocks it won with partners in a shallow water auction on Tuesday, the company's exploration chief said in an interview. Pemex expects to invests as much as $300 million overall in a four-year exploration phase for the seven contracts it won, more than any other company, said longtime head of exploration, Jose Antonio Escalera. Petroleos Mexicanos, as the state-owned company is formally known, grabbed seven of the 35 blocks on offer, either as an individual bidder or in consortia.

Concho to buy RSP Permian for $8 bln

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

Oil and gas producer Concho Resources Inc said on Wednesday it would buy smaller rival RSP Permian Inc in an all-stock deal valued at about $8 billion to expand its presence in the Permian Basin. RSP shareholders will get 0.320 of Concho shares for each stock held, worth about $50.24 per share - a premium of nearly 29 percent to RSP's close on Tuesday. The company said including debt the value of the deal is $9.5 billion. The equity value of the deal was calculated based on 155.53 million outstanding shares of RSP. The deal will add about 92,000 net acres to Concho's existing oil fields in the Permian Basin, increasing its total acreage to 640,000.

ProPetro Holding Profit Misses, Shares Fall

Photo: ProPetro Holding

Shares of ProPetro Holding Corp fell by as much as 12.9 percent on Tuesday after the U.S. pressure pumper reported a lower than expected quarterly profit on weather-related delays and a higher mix of lower-margin services. The Midland, Texas, company posted earnings per share of 12 cents in the fourth quarter, below analysts' expectations of 35 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Fourth-quarter revenue of $313.7 million was roughly in line with expectations of $311.7 million. Pressure pumping has been a bright spot in the oilfield services sector, which was hit hard by a brutal three-year downturn in prices that began in 2014.

Archer Launches New Acoustic Listening Platform

Photo: Archer

Archer, a global oil services company and well integrity specialist, has launched the VIVIDTM acoustic listening platform —  a patented, highly sensitive, acoustic technology that detects, investigates and locates leaks in real-time, verifies cement barrier seals and characterizes downhole events with unparalleled precision. The announcement was made at the SPE/ICoTA Coiled Tubing and Well Intervention Conference and Exhibition taking place in Houston this week. The VIVID platform consists of full-spectrum acoustic sensors…

Oil Above $70 as Geopolitics Outweigh Supplies

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

Concerns remain that U.S. may bring back sanctions against Iran while surging U.S. output looms over otherwise bullish market. Oil rose on Tuesday, holding above $70 a barrel for a third day, supported by concerns that tensions in the Middle East could lead to supply disruptions, although with global output rising fast, investors remained cautious. Brent crude futures were up 28 cents on the day at$70.40 a barrel by 0848 GMT, while West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 19 cents at $65.74 a barrel. The oil price has risen by more than 7 percent so far this month and by 5.3 percent in the first three months of the year…

UK North Sea Output Could Resume its Decline

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

North Sea production has recovered slightly since 2015 as new fields, more drilling helped reverse declines. The UK North Sea is set to resume a two-decade decline in oil production next year, snapping a brief period of growth since 2015, consultancy Bernstein said in a report on Monday. Production in the North Sea, home to the Brent global crude benchmark, peaked in 1999 at 2.6 million barrels per day (bpd) and had steadily slipped until 2014, when it hit around 800,000 bpd. In the past four years, output has stabilised or even recovered.

Vietnam Scraps South China Sea Oil Drilling Project

Vietnam's state oil firm PetroVietnam has ordered Spanish energy firm Repsol to suspend its "Red Emperor" project off the country's southeastern coast following pressure from China, the BBC reported on Friday. It would be the second time in less than a year that Vietnam has had to cancel a major oil development in the South China Sea under pressure from China. The move comes as Repsol was making final preparations for commercial drilling. A rig, the Ensco 8504, was scheduled to depart from Singapore for the drill site on Thursday, the report said, citing an unnamed energy industry source.

New Addition to DNV GL’s Veracity Platform

Photo: DNV GL

DNV GL will add a new third party software solution to Veracity, its open industry data platform, that is based on cleaned data collected from 80 000 oil and gas wells. AGR, the leading well design and drilling project management firm, has agreed to host its iQx software on the platform, which contains information that is vital to companies selecting locations of wells. Users, such as drilling engineers, can access information on numerous metrics including geology and bit performance, enabling them to make smarter and more efficient operational decisions.

DNV GL’s Veracity Platform Expanded with iQx Software

Photo: DNV GL

DNV GL will add a new third party software solution to Veracity, its open industry data platform, that is based on cleaned data collected from 80,000 oil and gas wells. AGR, a well design and drilling project management firm, has agreed to host its iQx software on the platform, which contains information that is vital to companies selecting locations of wells. Users, such as drilling engineers, can access information on numerous metrics including geology and bit performance, enabling them to make smarter and more efficient operational decisions.

Chrysaor buys North Sea Fields from Spirit Energy

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

Chrysaor to own 100 pct of Armada, Maria, Seymour oilfields. Chrysaor, which bought a portfolio of Royal Dutch Shell assets last year, said on Thursday it would acquire stakes in three ageing North Sea fields from Spirit Energy. "The acquisition is part of Chrysaor's strategy to prolong asset life, maximise recovery and deliver value from the UK North Sea," Chief Executive Officer Phil Kirk said in a statement. The company will soon begin surveys in preparation of drilling new wells in the fields, he said. Private equity-backed Chrysaor will become the sole owner of the Armada, Maria and Seymour fields, it said.

Greenpeace Boards Statoil Rig

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

Greenpeace activists have boarded a rig that was due to sail to the Arctic to drill prospects on behalf of oil firm Statoil, the environmental group said on Thursday. "We have two people on board and 10 on the water to ensure the rig does not leave port. Our activity started at 8am (0700 GMT) this morning," Truls Gulowsen, the head of Greenpeace in Norway, told Reuters. "We are prepared to stay as long as necessary," he added. The action took place at the Skipavik yard on Norway's west coast, where the drilling unit was being prepared for the upcoming work.

Statoil Awards Askeladd Development Contracts

The LNG plant at Melkøya. (Photo Ole Jørgen Bratland Statoil)

Statoil is awarding a contract for pipelaying to Subsea 7 and for marine operations to Ocean Installer in the Askeladd field development. "The Askeladd project is being developed in a period of several key milestones for Statoil in North Norway. The Aasta Hansteen field in the Norwegian Sea will come on stream at the end of the year. The Johan Castberg development began in earnest after it was recently sanctioned. In addition, Statoil’s drilling campaign in the Barents Sea is being pursued this year," says Torger Rød, Statoil’s senior vice president for project development.