Thursday, September 24, 2020

Equinor Axing Jobs in US, Canada and UK

Equinor's Houston office (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland, Equinor)

Norwegian oil and gas firm Equinor is set to cut jobs significantly in the United States, Canada and Britain to adjust to a fall in oil prices, a company spokesman said on Wednesday.The group plans to cut employee numbers in those countries by about 20% and contractor numbers by around half to ensure profitability at lower oil prices, the spokesman told Reuters, adding that the targets were communicated internally on Tuesday.Equinor will also not drill any new unconventional wells this year in the United States, where it has acreage in the Bakken and Marcellus shale formations…

Robotics: Autobots Transform in the Offshore Energy Sector

BladeBUG is a blade walking inspection robot, focusing on leading edge erosion inspection. Images from ORE Catapult.

Robots and robotics have slowly been entering our lives, in various shapes and forms (and fictional characters), from self-driving household vacuum cleaners to highly automated manufacturing systems. Now they’re heading for the offshore world – in just as many shapes and forms.There could be a lot to gain from robotics, but platforms and offshore wind turbine structures are also very challenging places to put them on. For oil and gas, key drivers are around safety and cost . For the offshore wind sector, the sheer volume of structures being installed is driving a push for robotic systems to do inspection…

Opedal Tapped for Top Spot at Equinor

Anders Opedal, next CEO of Equinor. (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland)

The Equinor Board of Directors appointed Anders Opedal as its new president and CEO starting November 2, 2020. Eldar Sætre will retire after six years as CEO and more than 40 years in the company.Opedal ascends to the top spot coming from the position as Executive Vice President Technology, Projects and Drilling. He joined Equinor as a petroleum engineer in 1997, spent many years in Drilling and Well and served as Chief Procurement Officer. In 2011, he was chosen to lead Equinor’s approximately NOK 300 billion project portfolio.

Indonesia's Pertamina Expects up to 180,000 bpd from Rokan Block when It Takes Over from Chevron

Rotan block - Credit: Chevron

Indonesian state oil company PT Pertamina expects to produce 170,000-180,000 barrels per day (bpd) at the Rokan block when it takes over in August next year, the chief executive of Pertamina Hulu Energi, Budiman Parhusip, said on Wednesday.The government decided in 2018 that the operation of Rokan, Indonesia's second-biggest crude oil producing block, would be transferred to Pertamina when Chevron Pacific Indonesia's contract expires in August 2021.Pertamina previously estimated that the block's output would drop to 140,000 bpd in 2021 if it did not drill ahead of schedule."We hope production could be maintained at 170…

Wave of N. American Oil and Gas Bankruptcies to Continue at $40 Oil

© Mike Mareen / Adobe Stock

A wave of oil and gas bankruptcies in North America is likely to continue this year as oil prices remain depressed and a new surge of COVID-19 cases threaten to stall any recovery in fuel demand, law firm Haynes and Boone said in a report released this week.Bankruptcies surged in the second quarter, including from major shale independents Chesapeake Energy and Whiting Petroleum, as oil prices collapsed due to the pandemic and a brief, unexpected price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.There were 18 producer bankruptcies in the second quarter…

Safety Product: Magnetic Fall Protection System

Rotterdam-based McNetiq launched a new line of magnetic anchors for fall protection when working at height.

Rotterdam-based McNetiq launched a new line of magnetic anchors for fall protection when working at height.The first product in this series from McNetiq is the workplace safety device McNetiq Fall Restraint, intended for workplaces constructed of steel without edge protection.The operator is connected to this anchor with a measured working line so that the worker can never get past the unsecured edge. Areas of application are: loading and unloading work on ship decks, construction and demolition work on drilling platforms, shipbuilding and maintenance, and working on cranes and windmills.This new application is based on Controlock technology.

Shale Pioneer Chesapeake Energy Files for Bankruptcy

Image Credit: Nightman1965 / AdobeStock

Chesapeake Energy Corp filed for Chapter 11 on Sunday, becoming the largest U.S. oil and gas producer to seek bankruptcy protection in recent years as it bowed to heavy debts and the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on energy markets.The filing marks an end of an era for the Oklahoma City-based shale pioneer, and comes after months of negotiations with creditors. Reuters first reported in March the company had retained debt advisers.Chesapeake was co-founded by Aubrey McClendon, an early and high profile advocate of shale drilling who died in 2016 in a fiery one-car crash in Oklahoma while facing a federal probe into bid rigging.

Melbana Gets More Time for Find Beehive Drilling Partner

Image Credit: Melbana

Australian oil and gas company Melbana Energy has been given more time to work on its Beehive offshore prospect in the Bonaparte Basin off W. Australia.The company said Friday that the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator had approved Melbana's application for a 12-month suspension of the work program conditions in respect of Permit Year 3 (with a corresponding extension of the permit term) for the WA-488-P block containing the Beehive prospect.As a result, Permit Year 3 now ends on 21 December 2021 and the permit…

Norway: OMV Gets NPD Nod for Hades Drilling

Island Innovator rig - Image by Hans Hausman - MarineTraffic

Austrian oil and gas firm OMV has been granted a permit for the drilling of the offshore well 6506/11-12 S in the Norwegian Sea.The company's Norwegian subsidiary OMV Norge will use the Island Innovator semi-submersible to drill the appraisal well at the prospect named Hades in the production license 644.OMV Norge is the operator with an ownership interest of 30 percent. The other licensees are Equinor (40 percent), DNO (20 percent), and Spirit Energy (10 percent).The well will be drilled about 4 kilometers west of the Morvin field.

Fugro IOVTEC Wins Survey Work at Hai Long Wind Farm Sites

Fugro Voyager - Credit: Fugro

Fugro IOVTEC, a JV between Dutch Fugro and Taiwan's IOVTEC, has secured an offshore geotechnical site investigation project in Taiwan for the Hai Long 2 and Hai Long 3 offshore wind farms. The Hai Long offshore wind farms are being co-developed by Northland Power Inc, Yushan Energy, and Mitsui & Co. Under the newly awarded contract, Fugro IOVTEC will acquire Geo-data at 32 wind turbine locations and the site investigation will be carried out in two phases: seabed and downhole. The seabed phase will be performed using Fugro’s SEACALF continuous drive system. The Fugro Voyager geotechnical drilling vessel will be deployed for the downhole phase.

NOIA: U.S. Offshore Drilling Ban Would Crush Jobs, Govt Revenues

Offshore drilling rigs - Image by wildnerdpix / AdobeStock

A U.S. ban on new offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, which presidential hopeful Joe Biden promised to enact if elected, would lead to hundreds of thousands of job losses and billions in lost government revenue over 20 years, an offshore drilling industry group said on Tuesday.The report by the Washington-based National Ocean Industries Association comes as Biden and other Democrats hoping to unseat Republican President Donald Trump in November's election have vowed to shift the country away from planet-warming fossil…

Gas Output to Resume at Israel's Leviathan After Brief Halt

File photo: Noble Energy

Production at Israel's offshore Leviathan natural gas field will resume in the coming hours after an emergency shutdown on Saturday, the project's operator Noble Energy said [on Saturday].The platform's flare system had been activated to burn off excess gas, generating a flame visible from shore, in what Israel's Energy Ministry called an "emergency closure."Noble initially referred to it as an "operational event" but updated later it had been a false alarm caused by a gas detector failure."All the safety systems on the rig are working properly and natural gas production from Leviathan is expected to resume in the coming hours…

US Grants Royalty Relief to Hard-hit Drillers

© Steve Oehlenschlager / Adobe Stock

The Trump administration has granted royalty relief to several drilling companies producing oil and gas on federal lands in recent weeks, according to a government database, as the industry seeks help weathering low energy prices.The move shows drillers are taking the government up on its offer to consider royalty cuts on a case-by-case basis after the Interior Department rejected industry calls for blanket relief covering all federal leases.The U.S. Bureau of Land Management approved royalty rate cuts on at least 76 federal drilling leases in the state of Utah in recent weeks, according to the database.

Repsol Given Green Light to Use Maersk Inspirer at Yme

Maersk Inspirer - Credit: Maersk Drilling

Spanish oil company Repsol has been given a green light to use the Maersk Inspirer jack-up rig at the Yme field, in the North Sea, offshore Norway.The consent, granted by the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway, to connection, completion, and start-up preparations in conjunction with previously installed fixed facilities on the Yme field.The Yme is a field in the southeastern part of the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, 130 kilometers northeast of the Ula field. The water depth is 77-93 meters. The field was discovered in 1987. Production started in 1996 and ceased in 2001.

Petronas Farms Out Part of Suriname Offshore Block to Exxon

Image Credit: Zerophoto - ADobeStock

Malaysian oil and gas company Petronas has completed the farm-down of a 50% stake in an offshore Suriname block to a subsidiary of ExxonMobil.The offshore block, known as Block 52, is located north of the coast of Paramaribo, Suriname’s capital city, and is situated in the prospective Suriname-Guyana basin where several major hydrocarbon discoveries were made recently. Block 52 covers an area of 4,749 km² with water depths ranging from 50 to 1,100 meters.Following the farm-down, Petronas will remain the operator of Block 52 with a 50% stake, while ExxonMobil will the remaining 50 percent.

Rystad: Oilfield Services Firms' Market Cap Halved. Offshore Drillers Have it Worst

For Illustration - Image by Ranimiro - AdobeStock

Oilfield services companies have collectively lost almost half of their market capitalization, hit by the combination of the coronavirus pandemic and low oil prices, with offshore drillers, in particular, the most affected, Norway's Rystad Energy has said in its analysis released on Friday."It is widely acknowledged that the oilfield services sector (OFS) is the energy world’s worst-hit market from the Covid-19 pandemic. What is staggering is the extent that the capitalization of listed OFS companies has fallen," Rystad said.Analyzing a representative group of 116 listed OFS companies…

Transocean Disposing Of Two Semi-Submersibles

GSF Development Driller II - U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Barry Bena

Offshore drilling contractor Transocean is disposing of a pair of floating drilling units, the ultra-deepwater semi-submersible drilling rig GSF Development Driller II, and the midwater semi-sub Transocean 712.The 2005-built GSF Development Driller has been stacked since 2016.According to the company's recent fleet status report, the 1983-built Transocean 712 was stacked in April 2020, having worked for Chrysaor. The rig's contract will Chyrsaor will be substituted with either the Paul B. Loyd or the Transocean Leader rig."The…

Serica Hires WilPhoenix Offshore Rig for Rhum Well

WilPhoenix drilling rig - Image by MustangJoe/Flickr, shared under CC0 license

Serica Energy has hired Awilco Drilling's WilPhoenix semi-submersible drilling rig for the intervention work on the Rhum-3 ("R3") well in the UK North Sea.The 3rd-Generation, Enhanced Pacesetter, harsh-environment, mid-water, semi-submersible drilling rig will start operations in the fourth quarter of 2020 and last approximately 70 days. The contract follows a letter of intent the two companies signed in February.The work program will involve recovering debris left in the well by the previous operator and removing an obstruction that is believed to be in place across parts of the downhole completion.

Oil rises 5% in second weekly gain on output cuts, demand hopes

© Pavel Ignatov / Adobe Stock

Oil prices settled 5% higher on Friday in their second consecutive week of gains as U.S. producers cut production with the number of drilling rigs falling to a record low, and as more states moved ahead with plans to relax lockdowns intended to halt the coronavirus pandemic.The number of operating oil and natural gas rigs fell by 34 to an all-time low of 374 this week - reflecting data going back 80 years - as the energy industry slashes output and spending to deal with the coronavirus-led crash in fuel demand.North American…

New Round of Layoffs at Maersk Drilling

A Maersk Drilling rig - Image Credit: Maersk Drilling

Offshore drilling company Maersk Drilling has announced a new wave of layoffs and has revised its financial guidance for 2020, citing oil and gas companies' budget cuts and delays and cancellations in offshore drilling tenders.As previously reported, Maersk Drilling in April said it would lay off around 250-300 people in its North Sea crew pool, and mothball several drilling rigs due to the effects of low oil price on offshore drilling activities.The Danish offshore driller on Thursday announced a new round of cuts, this time onshore."...the need for onshore support is expected to be adversely impacted by the reduced offshore activity.

Halliburton Lays Off 1,000 Employees at Houston HQ

Image Credit: Halliburton

Oilfield services firm Halliburton has laid off roughly 1,000 employees, or 22% of staff, at its corporate headquarters in Houston, a company spokeswoman said on Wednesday, as oil prices collapse.The cuts by one of the biggest names in oilfield services come with oil prices having plunged to around $24 a barrel, far below production costs for many firms, prompting oil and gas explorers to slam the brakes on drilling. Companies that provide drilling equipment and services have been among the hardest hit.Halliburton, which had roughly 4…

Aker BP Cuts Dividend by Two-thirds on Oil Price Slump

Image Credut: Aker BP

Aker BP will cut its quarterly dividend payments by two-thirds due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the plunge in crude prices, the Norwegian oil firm said on Wednesday after reporting a better-than-expected first-quarter core profit.Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) came in at $666 million, compared with $539 million a year ago, outperforming a $617 million forecast in a Refinitiv poll of analysts."The board has decided to retract the current dividend plan in order to retain financial flexibility and position the company for future value accretive organic and inorganic growth opportunities…

Chevron Cuts Spending, Says Asset Sales Lift Profits

© Andrei / Adobe Stock

Chevron Corp on Friday slashed its capital spending plans by another $2 billion as the coronavirus pandemic guts demand for oil and gas, while delivering a year-over-year 38% increase in profits.Global fuel demand has crashed by a third while many people shelter at home for an indefinite period. Major oil companies have largely reported losses as an oil glut and a shortage of storage space sends prices to historic lows.Earnings at Chevron beat Wall Street expectations and were $3.6 billion in the first quarter, up from $2.6…

Equinor's Helleneset Offshore Well Comes Up Dry

The West Hercules drilling rig in the Barents Sea. (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland/Equinor)

Norwegian oil and gas company Equinor has completed drilling of the offshore exploration well Helleneset, formally known as well 30/6-31 S, without finding hydrocarbons.The well was using the West Hercules semi-submersible drilling rig drilled about 7 kilometers southeast of the Oseberg C platform in the North Sea and 140 kilometers west of Bergen.The objective of the well was to prove petroleum in Middle Jurassic reservoir rocks (Intra Heather Formation sandstones).According to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the well…

Diamond Offshore Files for Bankruptcy

Diamond Offshore's Ocean Onyx semi-submersible drilling rig. Image by Stephen Walter Sr. / MarineTraffic

Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc filed for bankruptcy protection in Texas on Sunday, after the company recently skipped making an interest payment and said it had retained restructuring advisers.The Houston-based contract drilling company's filing, one of 15 of its group companies seeking protection under Chapter 11, said day rates and demand for its services had "worsened precipitously" this year amid a "price war" between OPEC and Russia and the steep drop in oil demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.The company has significant operations in the Gulf of Mexico.The filing comes as the five biggest U.S.

NOIA Elects Cobb, McCarroll to Board Leadership Roles

The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) Board of Directors has elected Galen Cobb, Vice President of Industry Relations of Halliburton, as Chairman and Matt McCarroll, President & CEO of Fieldwood Energy, as Vice Chairman for the 2020-21 term. Cobb and McCarroll were confirmed in their positions during a virtual Board Meeting today.NOIA President Erik Milito said, “As the offshore industry continues to navigate unprecedented energy uncertainty, Galen and Matt’s leadership will be a steadying factor.“The American offshore industry provides incredible benefits…

Huisman, Yeager in Geothermal Collab

Image Credit: Huisman

Dutch company Huisman Geo has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with geothermal energy operating company Yeager Energy  to collaborate in Yeager Energy’s development plans in the Nissewaard license area in the Netherlands. Huisman said the goal was to make a significant contribution to the energy transition by efficiently developing and operating geothermal wells and innovative smart grid district heating, and cooling networks on a large scale.Huisman Geo focuses on the geothermal energy market in the Netherlands and neighboring countries. Huisman Geo will operate with Huisman manufactured drilling rigs.

US Crude Futures Plunge to Lowest on Record

© Grispb / Adobe Stock

U.S. crude oil futures collapsed below $0 on Monday for the first time in history, amid a coronavirus-induced supply glut, ending the day at a stunning minus $37.63 a barrel as desperate traders paid to get rid of oil.Brent crude, the international benchmark, also slumped, but that contract was nowhere near as weak because more storage is available worldwide.While U.S. oil prices are trading in negative territory for the first time ever, it is unclear whether that will trickle down to consumers, who typically see lower oil…

Geoquip Wraps Geotechnical Survey at Oriel Wind Farm Location

Geoquip's Geotechnical vessel - Image by Parkwind

Offshore geotechnical firm Geoquip has completed a month-long geotechnical survey at the Oriel wind farm location offshore Ireland.This work complements last year’s geophysical survey campaign completed during August 2019 by Irish company Alpha Marine. "The data collected during these surveys is essential as it not only contributes to the foundation design but also to the future wind farm layout," offshore wind farm developer Parkwind said.The Oriel offshore wind farm is in the development stage and is located approximately 22km off the coast of Dundalk.Peter Caluwaerts…

Maersk Drilling Loses Two Offshore Rig Deals

Image by Maersk Drilling

Danish offshore drilling company Maersk Drilling has said it has received early contract termination notices for two of its drilling rigs.Maersk Drilling said Friday that Shell had the contract for the semi-submersible Mærsk Developer "with immediate effect." The original end of the contract for the Maersk Developer was expected to be in August 2020.Further, Aker BP has terminated the contract for the jack-up rig Maersk Reacher. The jack-up rig was hired for accommodation services on the Valhall field, offshore Norway, with effect from end-April 2020.

Schlumberger Posts Loss on $8.5 Bln Charge as Customers Accelerate Cuts

© Alexey Novikov / Adobe Stock

Schlumberger NV, the world's largest oilfield services firm, on Friday reported a first-quarter loss due to $8.5 billion in charges, as customers accelerated spending cuts amid the continuing decline in oil prices.Crude prices plunged 60% in March after Saudi Arabia and Russia vowed to pump full bore and the spread of the novel coronavirus crushed global fuel demand. On Friday, international Brent crude futures were trading around $28 a barrel, well below the cost of production for many big producers.The decline has caused big customers such as Exxon Mobil to cut spending at least 30% and halt some drilling.

Fred. Olsen Offshore Liftboat to Support Thor Wind Farm Seabed Tests

Fred. Olsen Windcarrier's liftboat Jill - Image Credit: Fred. Olsen Windcarrier (The photo has been cropped)

Fred. Olsen Windcarrier has signed a contract with the Danish firm Geo to supply an offshore liftboat for the preliminary geotechnical investigations for the Thor offshore wind project in the Danish North Sea. Fred. Olsen Windcarrier's liftboat Jill -  a self-propelled DP2 vessel that can operate in the geotechnical, offshore wind, offshore construction, Oil & Gas and cable repair markets - will support Geo with the offshore borehole campaign.The offshore liftboat is equipped with 102 meters long legs, a rack and pinion hydraulic jacking system…

Offshore Drillers to Lose $3B Due To COVID-19, Low Oil Prices

A jack-up drilling rig - Image by namning - AdobeStock

Offshore drillings contractors leasing drilling rigs to oil and gas companies are set to lose contracts worth $3 billion in combined revenue in 2020 and 2021, Rystad Energy said Thursday, citing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and low oil prices.According to Rystad, the estimated contract value in 2020–2021 is $30 billion in total; $20 billion in 2020 and $10 billion in 2021. "So far six rig years of contracts have been canceled, translating to approximately $400 million in contract value. These numbers will only increase as operators continue to slash capex budgets and delay projects…

Upland Relinquishes Moray Firth License

ENSCO-72 (Photo: Corallian Energy)

London-listed oil company Upland Resources has, with partners, relinquished an offshore license in the UK sector of the North Sea.Upland said Wednesday that it had relinquished Licence P2470 in the Inner Moray Firth. The license included blocks 11/23, 11/24c and 11/25b, surrounding the Wick Prospect in the Inner Moray Firth, on which Upland UK participated in the dry Wick Well (11/24b-4) at the beginning of 2019. The well was drilled using the Ensco-72 jack-up rig by the operator Corallian Energy"These blocks were applied for before the results of 11/24b-4 were known and…

Key Offshore Wildcat Wells At Risk of Being Suspended

Illustration; An offshore drilling rig

At least nine of the world’s top planned exploration wells for 2020 are at risk of being suspended as a result of the blended impact of COVID-19 on oil and gas activities and the oil price war, Rystad Energy said Tuesday.These wells, the Norwegian energy intelligence firm said, located in Norway, Brazil, the Bahamas, Guyana, the US, Gambia, and Namibia would target a combined 7 billion barrels of oil equivalents (boe).The wells that Rystad Energy has identified as candidates for suspension are at risk because of their commercial viability under the current price levels…

Global Petroleum in Offshore Namibia 'Data for Equity' Deal

Image credit: Global Petroleum

Oil company Global Petroleum has exchanged part of its stake in offshore Namibia Block, 2011A (PEL0094), with NAMCOR, for a right to get access to pre-existing 3D seismic data over the block."This key data, acquired by previous licensees in 2010, covers the Company's Welwitschia Deep prospect and Marula lead, and will enable precise mapping of these features," Global said."Once this is complete, Global will update Prospective Resources and chances of success for Welwitschia Deep and Marula," it added.As part of the deal, Global has agreed to transfer to National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia ("NAMCOR") a 7 percent participating interest in PEL0094.

Equinor Finds Oil at Monument Prospect in U.S. Gulf of Mexico

Pacific Khamsin drillship - Image credit: Equinor

Norwegian oil firm Equinor, with partners Progress Resources and Repsol, has made an oil discovery in the Monument exploration well in the US Gulf of Mexico.The Monument exploration well found approximately 200 feet (c. 60 meters) of net oil pay with good reservoir characteristics in Paleogene sandstone. This provides an early indication of the productive reservoir interval at the well location, Equinor said Monday.The offshore well was drilled to a total depth of 33,348 feet (10,164 meters) using the Pacific Khamsin drillship.“We are pleased to have proved an accumulation of movable hydrocarbons in the Monument exploration well.

Oil Drops after Saudi Arabia, Russia Delay Meeting on Output Cuts

Oil prices slipped on Monday, after Saudi Arabia and Russia delayed a meeting to discuss output cuts that could partly alleviate oversupply in global markets as the coronavirus pandemic pummels demand.Brent crude slipped close to $30 a barrel in early trade and was at $33.45 by 0532 GMT, down 66 cents, or 1.9%. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 98 cents, or 3.5%, to $27.36 a barrel, after earlier touching a low of $25.28.Late last week, prices surged, with U.S. and Brent contracts posting their largest ever weekly percentage…

Oilfield Equipment and Services Spending to Fall to 2005-Low

Image by NickEyes - AdobeStock

Global spending on oilfield equipment and services this year will fall 21% from 2019 to $211 billion, the lowest level since 2005, according to a report to be released on Wednesday by consultancy Spears & Associates, as oil and gas producers slash spending.The decline comes as the coronavirus pandemic has crushed oil and gas demand, and Saudi Arabia and Russia pump full bore in a grab for market share that has shale producers reeling. U.S. oil futures fell 54% for the month of March, to $20.48 a barrel on Tuesday, below U.S.

ABS to Class Silver Eagle's New Jack-Ups

ABS, a classification services provider to the marine and offshore industries, will provide classification for a series of "highly innovative Self-Elevating Drilling Units (SEDU)" for Silver Eagle Global.Silver Eagle, of Manama, Bahrain, says the self-propelled design is capable of working at greater water depths and in harsh environments. According to Silver Eagle Global, the Silver Eagle SEDU 430WC-4 will have the industry’s largest deck area and deck load capacity, large accommodation, increased crane capacities, high-speed jacking system…

Origin Energy to Defer Shale Drilling in Australia

Illustration only; Image by FerrizFrames - AdobeStock

Origin Energy will defer shale exploration drilling in Australia's Northern Territory until the second half of this year in a bid to protect workers from a coronavirus, the company said on Thursday.Origin, operator of a joint venture with Dublin-based Falcon Oil & Gas Ltd, resumed drilling in the Beetaloo Basin last year after a three-year break when drilling was banned, and had hoped to get first test results around July this year.It has estimated the Beetaloo Basin contains 6.6 trillion cubic feet of potentially recoverable…

Lekoil 'in Process' of Paying $2M to Optimum

Image credit: Lekoil

Nigerian oil company Lekoil has said it is in the process of paying $2 million to Optimum Petroleum, its partner in an offshore block in Nigeria.The 2 million payment was agreed in January, and it is the first of two installments Lekoil is due to pay to Optimum Petroleum to cover "sunk costs and consent fees” for the OPL 310 offshore block. According to the agreement in January, where Lekoil got more time to make the payments, Lekoil is to pay $2 million by March 20, and another $7.6 million by May 2, for a total of $9,6 million to Optimum…

Oilfield Services Giant to Cut Spending by 30%

Illustratoin; Image by ????? ????????/AdobeStock

Schlumberger, the world's largest oilfield services company, on Tuesday said it would cut spending by 30% this year from last year's levels as the oil market has been roiled by the coronavirus outbreak and Saudi-Russia price war.The company expects a rapid reduction in active drilling and hydraulic fracturing activity, estimating the number of rigs in operation could fall to levels last seen during the 2016 downturn.Oil prices have fallen by more than half this year, diving below $24 a barrel on Tuesday, as coronavirus curtails…

U.S. Offshore Oil Lease Sale Weakest Since 2016

Silhouette of an oil platform at sunset in the Gulf of Mexico - Image by Lukasz Z / AdobeStock

A major sale of oil and gas leases in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday generated $93 million in high bids, the lowest total for any U.S. offshore auction since 2016, reflecting caution in the drilling industry amid a steep slide in oil prices.Firing up offshore drilling is a crucial part of U.S. President Donald Trump's "energy dominance" agenda to maximize domestic production of crude oil, natural gas, and coal. But the energy industry is in crisis as the coronavirus outbreak decimates world demand for fuel and crushes prices."While bidding did take a tough hit…

Deepwater Acreage to Attract Investments

Image: Norwegian Petroleum Directorate

Deepwater acreage will continue to attract significant company interest through 2020, said a report.According to GlobalData, a significant portion of the acreage available in Q1 2020 is located in either deep or ultra-deep water, up from the previous quarter.In Q1 2020, approximately 60% of the acreage available in licensing rounds either open or scheduled to close in the quarter is located in deep or ultra-deep water, revealed the report: ‘Q1 2020 Global Bid Round Outlook – Increase in Deepwater Acreage Offered in Q1 2020’.Toya Latham…

Diamondback Cuts Drilling Activity as Oil Prices Tumble

© Alexey Zakirov / Adobe Stock

Diamondback Energy Inc said on Monday it was reducing drilling activity immediately, as the oil and gas producer tackles one of the steepest declines in oil prices in decades.Oil prices lost as much as a third of their value on Monday in the biggest daily rout since the 1991 Gulf War, after Saudi Arabia signaled it would hike output to win market share at a time when the coronavirus epidemic has left the market oversupplied.The company's shares were down nearly 22% in light premarket trading amid a broader fall in oil and gas related stocks.Diamondback expects to drop two rigs in April and a third later in the second quarter.

Saudi Aramco Launches Largest Shale Gas Development Outside US

Amin H. Nasser (Photo: Saudi Aramco)

Saudi Aramco is launching the biggest shale gas development outside of the United States to boost domestic gas supply and end the burning of oil at its power generation plants, Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser told Reuters on Monday.The world's top crude oil exporter has for years battled for market share with rapidly expanding shale oil producers in the United States, which in just a decade have developed capacity to pump millions of barrels per day of oil from rock formations that were previously too costly to tap.Saudi Arabia fought a price war aimed at putting the U.S. shale industry out of business just six years ago, which ultimately failed.

Fugro in Record Cable Route Survey at Sofia Wind Farm Site

Fugro Pioneer - Image by Philippe Guichot - MarineTraffic

Dutch geotechnical services firm Fugro has said that its Fugro Pioneer vessel has left the Port of Sunderland in the UK earlier this month to begin a 6-month offshore site investigation and survey campaign for innogy's Sofia offshore wind farm.The 1.4 gigawatt (GW) Sofia Offshore Wind Farm, sited on the shallow central area of the North Sea known as Dogger Bank, is the largest project in innogy SE’s current development portfolio."Fugro will provide geophysical and geotechnical services over the project’s 220 km export cable corridor…

Brazil Breaks Oil Output Record in January

Illustration; An FPSO in Brazil - Image by Ranimiro / AdobeStock

Oil companies produced 3.17 million barrels per day (bpd) on average in Brazil in January, a volume 20.4% larger than seen in the same month a year earlier and an output record for the country, oil regulator ANP said on Wednesday. Natural gas production increased 22% over January 2019 to 138.7 million cubic meters per day on average last month, also a record. The deepwater, pre-salt field known as Lula accounted for a third of all oil production in Brazil, reaching 1.05 million bpd of crude on average in January, ANP said.

Offshore Accounts for 60% of Oil Discoveries

Graph:  GlobalData

Offshore discoveries accounted for more than 60% of global discoveries in 2019, up significantly on previous years, according to a study by GlobalData.GlobalData report reveals that while Colombia and Norway saw the highest number of discoveries drilled in 2019, Guyana, Mauritania and Russia hosted the most significant finds.In Guyana, ExxonMobil drilled five discoveries in the deepwater Stabroek Block. Following the additional well drilled in January 2020 (Uaru-1), the company has increased its estimated gross recoverable…

NOV Warns Virus Fallout Could Hit Supply Chain

© Kalyakan / Adobe Stock

U.S. oilfield equipment supplier National Oilwell Varco on Friday called the coronavirus a "wildcard" in the oil industry's outlook, with an extended outbreak potentially hurting access to Chinese-make materials and foreign sales.The Houston-based company said further shutdowns at its Chinese suppliers could limit its production of certain products such as fiberglass resins and drilling pipe.For now, National Oilwell has the latitude to make up lost ground, executives added, noting it has a diversified supply chain."[There is] still a lot of uncertainty related to the extent to which this will impact operations…

Are OSVs Fit for Refit for Offshore Wind?

BEFORE: Island Clipper: Island Offshore of Ulsteinvik, Norway, has had success with conversions.  “before” and “after”.  Photos: Island Offshore

While it is generally agreed that the nascent offshore wind energy market in the U.S. will be a newbuild market, there is a repair and conversion possibility for some stacked OSVs.Though estimates on the pace of the offshore wind energy market in the U.S. vary widely, the direction is clear: offshore wind will be a huge marketplace for construction and support vessels to be deployed in U.S. waters over the next decade. The starting point for estimated vessel demand is the raft of projects along the U.S. East Coast, and to a lesser extent, in the Pacific waters, now in the pipeline.

Russia Leads E&P Race in Arctic Region

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Russian and Norwegian exploration and production (E&P) operators have been expanding their operations in the Arctic continental shelf, which is estimated to hold vast deposits of hydrocarbons and rare earth minerals.Warming temperatures in the Barents Sea and northern coastline of Russia are giving an added impetus to resource development in this region, according to GlobalData.GlobalData's report, ‘Arctic Exploitation’, discusses how Russia is keen on hydrocarbon appraisal and development from the Arctic region to such a great…

PGNiG Acquires Duva Field in Norway

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PGNiG Upstream Norway, a subsidiary of Polish Oil and Gas Company (PGNiG), has obtained a final administrative consent to purchase additional 10% interests in the PL636 and PL636B licences in the North Sea.Following the transaction, PGNiG Upstream Norway’s (PUN) interests in both licences increased to 30%. As a result, the volume of Duva field gas production attributable to the Company will rise to 0.2 bcm per year.“Acquisition of fields on the Norwegian Continental Shelf is one of the investment priorities of the PGNiG Group.

Canadian Energy Sector to Boost Spending

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Capital spending by Canada's oil and gas industry will rise by 6%, or C$1.9 billion, in 2020 from the previous year, halting a six-year decline due to improving economics, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) forecast on Thursday.CAPP said a corporate tax cut by Alberta's provincial government last year and its easing of oil production limits will lead to higher spending.Congested pipelines created a glut of oil in storage in the Western Canadian province in recent years, depressing prices and causing its…

CaribX Ups Stake in Cape Licence Off Honduras

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The Central American and Caribbean specialist exploration company CaribX said that it is increasing its share of the Main Cape Operating contract in Honduras.Following government approval CaribX will hold a 55% interest in the highly prospective licence area.CEO Rory Scott Russell said: "We are pleased to have closed this latest round of funding and delighted to have such a highly qualified and experienced group of explorers and entrepreneurs joining the company. Attracting the team behind Sierra and the giant Zama discovery demonstrates the enormous potential offshore Honduras…

Alaska's North Slope Holds 3.6 Bn Barrels Oil

Image: USGS

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) department estimated that Alaska's Central North Slope 3.6 billion barrels of oil. Assessment also included estimate for 8.9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.This assessment does not include discoveries made by industry between 2013 and 2017.“Alaska is synonymous with energy, and this assessment just reinforces that,” said USGS Director Jim Reilly. “The State of Alaska and its industry partners have responsibly produced billions of barrels of oil from Prudhoe Bay, and we think there are still…

Rotterdam Port Explores Option of Geothermal

Image: Port of Rotterdam Authority

Research into the geothermal port of Rotterdam is entering the next phase, according to the Port of Rotterdam Authority.Shell Geothermal BV and the Port of Rotterdam Authority are jointly investigating the options for geothermal energy in the western part of the port of Rotterdam. The two companies have received an exploration permit from the Ministry of Economic Affairs.The subsurface has been mapped out thoroughly in recent years as part of the Ultra-Deep Geothermal Energy (UDG) green deal. Obtaining the exploration permit means that Shell and the Port Authority will have time in the coming years to further detail their plans…

Global Demand Lifts Schlumberger Profits

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Schlumberger NV reported a 9.4% rise in adjusted quarterly profit on Friday, as buoyant demand in international markets helped the world's largest oilfield services provider make up for lower drilling activity in North America.Net income fell to $333 million, or 24 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $538 million, or 39 cents per share, a year earlier.The year-ago quarter included a gain from an asset sale.Excluding charges and credits, net income rose to $545 million, or 39 cents per share, from $498 million, or 36 cents per share.(Reporting by Shariq Khan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

Oilfield Services Giants Start Year with Asset Sales

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Schlumberger, Halliburton Co, and Baker Hughes Co have kicked off the new year by putting units up for sale, as the three largest names in oilfield services seek to reshape their businesses and adjust to falling demand.Oilfield service providers are facing reduced spending by oil and gas producers as investors push for higher shareholder returns rather than more drilling activity. Competition also is forcing service companies to exit less profitable businesses. The trio, which hold about 26% of the global oilfield services market…