Monday, June 24, 2019

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

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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

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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

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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

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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…

Lower oil prices start to rebalance the market

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Lower oil prices are starting to rebalance the oil market by slowing the rise in U.S. crude output and encouraging Saudi Arabia and its allies to extend production cuts through the end of 2019.U.S. crude production rose 241,000 barrels per day (bpd) to 11.905 million bpd in March from February, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (“Petroleum Supply Monthly”, EIA, May 2019).U.S. crude output during the first three months of the year was up 1.575 million bpd compared with the same period a year earlier, but…

Chevron Starts Gorgon Stage Two Drilling

Gorgon subsea structure being lowered to the ocean floor. Image: Chevron

Chevron Australia and the Gorgon joint venture participants have started the Gorgon Stage 2 drilling campaign off the northwest coast of Western Australia.Gorgon Stage Two is an expansion of the existing subsea gas gathering network on the Chevron-led Gorgon facility and is part of the project’s original development plan.Chevron Australia Managing Director Al Williams said the campaign will drill 11 additional wells in the Gorgon and Jansz-Io gas fields to maintain long-term natural gas supply to the 15.6 million tonnes per annum LNG and domestic gas plants on Barrow Island.The development…

Eni Names Puliti Chief Upstream Officer

Alessandro Puliti (Photo: Eni)

Alessandro Puliti has been appointed Eni’s new Chief Upstream Officer, effective September 1, 2019.Puliti will replace Antonio Vella, who will leave the company at the end of the year after a career spanning over more than 30 years.Puliti joined Eni’s Reservoir department in 1990, and has since held positions of increasing responsibilities within the upstream business, both in regional management – as Managing Director in key countries such as Egypt and Norway – and in headquarter strategy, in departments such as reservoir and drilling.

World's Largest Ocean Current Energy Project On

Image: OceanBased

OceanBased Perpetual Energy has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Florida Atlantic University’s Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center (SNMREC) to assist the company to develop commercial ocean current energy project.Project to tap into Florida Gulf Stream’s 45 terawatt hours per year of persistent renewable energy and will be the world's largest commercial ocean current energy project.The MoU establishes a mutual interest and agreement between the two entities for the development of the project.The goal of the project…

Only 10% of Shale Firms Reports Positive Cash Flow

Graph: Rystad Energy

Only four, out of the financial performance of 40 dedicated US shale oil firms under study, reported a positive cash flow balance in the first quarter of 2019, bringing down the share of companies with a positive cash flow balance from the recent norm of around 20% to just 10%.Nine in ten US shale oil companies are burning cash, according to Rystad Energy.Total cash flow from operating activities (CFO) fell from $14 billion in the fourth quarter of 2018 to $9.9 billion in the first quarter of 2019.“That is the lowest CFO we have seen since the fourth quarter of 2017…

Danos Wins US Contracts

(Photo: Danos)

Danos has recently entered into a contract with an independent land company based out of Dallas, Texas, to transition 50-60 crew members in a variety of positions. The transition will take place over the coming weeks to support water transfer at water treatment facilities in Midland and Orla, Texas. Additionally, Danos has been awarded a contract to construct two saltwater disposal facilities near Carlsbad, New Mexico, for a Texas-based drilling and production company.“This is the first time Danos has provided production personnel on this scale for a water treatment facility,” said owner Eric Danos.

Oxy Plans to Sell Parts of Anadarko

Deal-makers say most likely sale prospects are Anadarko's offshore assets in the Gulf of Mexico and its pipeline business. (Photo: Anadarko)

Occidental Petroleum snatched up some of the richest shale oilfields in Texas when it beat out rival Chevron Corp in a bidding war to acquire Anadarko Petroleum.It also quadrupled its debt - to $40 billion - at a time when investors are calling for spending cuts and higher dividends.That means the acquisition's success will depend on how quickly Occidental can sell off some of Anadarko's assets and focus on optimizing and integrating the assets it keeps - especially prime U.S. shale fields.Shedding debt will require selling assets when deals have been sluggish, said bankers and merger specialists. The number of U.S.

Shell Sees Significant Oil Discovery in Albania

Shell Upstream Albania B.V. said on Friday initial tests showed "a flow potential of several thousand barrels of oil per day" from its Shpirag 4 well in central Albania, and it needed more work to determine its commercial volume."We are pleased that these initial tests have confirmed the potential of this discovery and look forward to growing our business in Albania," Marc Gerrits, Shell's Executive Vice-President of Exploration, said.The Shpirag 4 well west of Berat had confirmed the flow potential of a significant light oil discovery…

Johan Sverdrup Phase 2 Plan Approved

Johan Sverdrup Phase 2 (Image: Equinor)

Norwegian authorities have formally approved the plan for development and operation (PDO) of the second phase of the Johan Sverdrup field, Equinor announced on Wednesday. The Norwegian energy company said the NOK 41 billion ($4.7 billion) project received broad support in Norway’s parliament at the end of April, and today the partnership received the formal approval by the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE).“This is a big day for Equinor and the other Johan Sverdrup partners comprising Lundin Norway, Petoro, Aker BP and Total,” said Anders Opedal, executive vice president for Technology, Projects and Drilling in Equinor.

Oil&Gas Industry Records 1242 Contracts in Q1

Pic: Adnoc

The Oil and Gas industry reported 1242 contracts, of which 1178 were awarded contracts, said Quarterly Oil & Gas Industry Contracts Review.Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region recorded the most contracts with 569 contracts, representing around 48% of the total awarded contracts in Q1 2019, followed by Americas region with 366 contracts, accounting for 31% of the total awarded contracts.Upstream sector reported 73% of the total awarded contracts, with 862 contracts. The midstream sector recorded 156 contracts, representing 13% of the total awarded contracts…

800bln Undiscovered Barrels of Oil and Gas Exist Globally

Graph: Rystad Energy

Total greenfield project sanctioning, summed up to the present day, only accounts for 40% of estimated volumes of offshore projects ever being sanctioned, said Rystad Energy, the  energy research and consultancy headquartered in Norway."Likewise, the brownfield market has only begun, with total historical expenditures accounting for only about 20% of estimated brownfield spend over the projects lifetime, leaving 80% of brownfield spending to the future. And the decommissioning market is still in its nascent form,” says Audun Martinsen…

Oil Prices Fall After Trump's Tariff Threat Against China

© Jim / Adobe Stock

Oil prices fell on Monday after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would sharply raise tariffs on Chinese goods this week, risking the derailment of trade talks between the world's two biggest economies.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $61.68 per barrel at 1338 GMT, down 26 cents. WTI hit $60.04 earlier in the session, its lowest since March 29.Brent crude futures were broadly steady at $70.88 per barrel, having earlier hit its lowest since April 2 at $68.79.Trump said on Twitter on Sunday that he would hike U.S.

Oxy Would Sell Anadarko’s Africa Assets to Total

(Photo: Anadarko)

France's Total SA said on Sunday it has agreed with Occidental Petroleum Corp to acquire the African assets of Anadarko Petroleum Corp for $8.8 billion, should the two U.S. oil and gas companies clinch a deal to combine.The agreement with Total is the latest move by Occidental in its effort to convince Anadarko to accept a $38 billion cash-and stock acquisition offer and abandon its agreed $33 billion sale to Chevron Corp. On Tuesday, Occidental secured a $10 billion investment from Warren Buffet's Berkshire Hathaway Inc in…

Trump Administration to Revise Offshore Safety Rules

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The Trump administration will unveil on Thursday its final plan to roll back offshore drilling safety measures put in place by the Obama administration after the fatal 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the worst in U.S. history, raising concerns by some groups over potential risks to workers and the environment.The Interior Department will announce the final revised rule at an afternoon event in Port Fourchon, a Louisiana seaport that services over 90% of the Gulf of Mexico’s deepwater oil production.Last year, the agency's Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement proposed revisions to the 2016 offshore well control rule…

Weir Oil & Gas Intros ULR Wellhead

Image: Weir Oil & Gas

Weir Oil & Gas, a upstream provider of pressure pumping and pressure control equipment and services, today announced an updated, field-proven Unitized Lock-Ring (ULR) wellhead.The ULR wellhead features a standardized design for shale plays in the U.S. that accommodates 95 percent of casing configurations in either 11 inch or 13-5/8 inch nominal sizes, ensuring faster delivery and greater flexibility for operators.Weir’s newly designed wellhead features a ULR casing head housing that has been standardized to accommodate various casing sizes…

Repsol, LLOG to Partner on Deepwater US Gulf Developments

Image: Repsol

The U.S.-based exploration and production company LLOG Exploration Offshore and  Spanish oil company Repsol announced the signing of an Asset Exchange and Joint Participation Agreement in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.The agreement provides for the drilling of a delineation well at Repsol’s Leon discovery and covers Keathley Canyon blocks 642, 643, 686 and 687. In addition, Repsol will acquire an interest in the LLOG-operated discovery Moccasin in Keathley Canyon 736.Leon is a discovery drilled by Repsol in late 2014 on Keathley Canyon block 642 and is located about 200 miles offshore Louisiana in approximately 6,000 feet of water.

TAQA Buys Schlumberger Rigs for $415mln

Image: TAQA KSA.

Saudi Arabia’s Industrialization and Energy Services Company (TAQA) announced that its drilling subsidiary, Arabian Drilling Company (ADC), has agreed to acquire Schlumberger’s Middle East drilling rigs business in Kuwait, Oman, Iraq and Pakistan for $415 million (SR1.56 billion).This acquisition will add 18 rigs to ADC fleet and welcomes more than 1,000 employees to the ADC family when the transaction is completed.The new ADC will have a fleet of 67 land and offshore rigs and a workforce of more than 5,900 employees.For TAQA…

Warren Buffett Backs Oxy's Anadarko Bid

(Photo: Anadarko)

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc committed $10 billion on Tuesday to Occidental Petroleum Corp's $38 billion cash-and-stock bid for Anadarko Petroleum Corp, boosting its chances of snatching a deal from Chevron Corp.Occidental and Chevron are locked in the biggest oil-industry takeover battle in years as they eye Anadarko's prized assets in West Texas' huge Permian shale oil field.Anadarko on Monday agreed to start negotiations with Occidental, saying its bid could potentially be superior to Chevron's existing deal to…

Activists End Occupation of Arctic Drill Rig

(Photo: Greenpeace)

Greenpeace activists climbed down from a Seadrill drilling rig in Norway on Tuesday and are no longer occupying it, the environmental group told Reuters.The rig, which was boarded by four activists on Monday, will be used next month by Equinor to explore for oil and gas in the Arctic.(Reporting by Gwladys Fouche, Writing by Terje Solsvik, Editing by Paul Tait)

65,000 Wells will be Drilled in 2019

Graph: Rystad Energy

Rystad Energy forecasts that the number of onshore and offshore oil and gas wells drilled globally will increase to around 65,000 in 2019.Activity levels are then projected to remain around this level through 2023, the energy research and business intelligence company said.Rystad Energy also forecasts that more than 1 million kilometers of new oil and gas wells will be drilled over the next five years. The collective depth of these wells is the equivalent of 25 times around the equator – or 2.5 times the distance to the moon.As…

Boskalis to Install Cables for Hornsea 2

(Photo: Boskalis)

Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis) said it has been awarded a €100 million ($111.6 million) contract from Ørsted to install three export cable circuits for the Hornsea 2 offshore wind farm.The wind farm will consist of up to 165 turbines with a maximum capacity of 1.4GW and is located approximately 90 kilometers off the Yorkshire coast.Boskalis said its project scope includes the preparation of the offshore export cable route (geophysical survey, boulder clearance and seabed leveling through dredging), and the installation and protection of the cables.

Anadarko to Resume Talks with Occidental

(Photo: Anadarko)

Anadarko Petroleum Corp said on Monday it planned to resume talks with Occidental Petroleum Corp over its $38 billion bid, putting pressure on Chevron Corp to raise its $33 billion offer for the oil and gas producer.Anadarko said its board had unanimously decided that Occidental's offer could result in a "superior proposal", but added that it continued to recommend Chevron's offer at this point.Anadarko asked Chevron on Sunday if it wanted to raise its bid and Chevron declined, people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday.Chevron is reluctant to pay more for Anadarko and does not want to be drawn into a bidding war, the sources said.

Lukoil Reaches 100mmt of Oil at West Qurna-2

Pic: Lukoil

Russia's oil producer Lukoil said cumulative production at the West Qurna-2 field has reached 100 MMt of oil as part of successful implementation of Phase 1 of the project.With 184 wells drilled at the field, the average daily production rate is 400,000 bbl, it said in a press release.To manage the field's production, LUKOIL uses the intelligent field concept  which allows to control and adjust where necessary  the production indicators in real-time.In 2018, the company started Phase 2 of the field's development which envisages  growth in daily production to 480,000 barrels in 2020 and to a plateau of 800,000 barrels per day in 2025.

Husky Energy Beats Profit Estimate

(Photo: Husky Energy)

Canada's Husky Energy Inc beat analysts' estimates for quarterly profit on Friday, as it benefited from improved Canadian crude prices following Alberta's output cuts and investment in a number of refineries and pipelines boosted its margins per barrel.The oil and gas producer, which runs drilling and refining businesses in Canada, the United States and Asia, said average realized prices rose to C$47.20 per barrel of oil equivalent (boe) in the first quarter, from C$40.87 per boe a year earlier.In December last year, Alberta…

Trump Administration Sidelines Offshore Drilling Plan

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The Trump administration will hold off on issuing its plan to expand offshore drilling as it weighs what to do after a March court ruling that blocked drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic, Interior Secretary David Bernhardt told The Wall Street Journal.The newly confirmed secretary said the agency's five year plan for oil and gas drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf would be sidelined indefinitely as it waits for the case to go through the appeals process.“By the time the court rules, that may be discombobulating to our plan,” Bernhardt told The Wall Street Journal.(Reporting by Valerie Volcovici)

Tullow Oil Cuts Output Guidance

(Photo: Tullow Oil)

Tullow Oil downgraded its 2019 output guidance to 90,000-98,000 barrels of oil per day (bpd) due to problems at its Ghana fields and sees final go-aheads for its Uganda in the second half while its Kenya project timeline was "ambitious"."(Ghana) performance was below expectations due to gas compression constraints on Jubilee during February and a delay in completing the Enyenra-10 production well at the TEN field.

Occidental Tops Chevron's Bid for Anadarko

(Photo: Anadarko Petroleum)

Occidental Petroleum Corp on Wednesday started the first takeover battle for a major oil company in years, offering $38 billion for Anadarko Petroleum Corp, a bid that topped a $33 billion offer by Chevron Corp.Both suitors are offering a premium for Anadarko's holdings in the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico. The vast shale field holds oil and gas deposits that can produce supplies for decades using new, low-cost drilling techniques.Occidental's surprise $76-per-share bid is valued at $57 billion, including debt.

Archer Wins Contract from Chevron

Captain (Photo: Chevron)

Archer announced Tuesday it has been awarded a contract to provide platform drilling services for Chevron in the UK sector of the North Sea.Under the deal, Archer it will provide offshore operations and maintenance supervision on the Alba Northern and Captain platforms. Archer said it will also continue to provide onshore rig operations, maintenance and QHSE management.The new contract, which is for five years firm, with two one-year options, is scheduled to commence May 1, 2019 and ensures continuity of platform drilling operations and maintenance management services on the Alba Northern and Captain platforms until at least 2024.Kenny Dey…

Halliburton Reports Activity Uptick

(Photo: Halliburton)

Halliburton Co said on Monday a pricing downturn that has plagued the oilfield services sector was bottoming out, as it reported modestly higher activity levels in North America in the first quarter from a year earlier.Oilfield services providers have been struggling with a tightening of spending by U.S. oil producers as they rein in new drilling in response to shareholder pressure for greater returns after a period of heavy investment.The company's shares were up 2.8 pct at $32 before the bell.In contrast to comments from top oilfield services provider Schlumberger NV last week…

BP Invests $6 Bln in Offshore Azerbaijan Project

Image: BP

The British multinational oil and gas company BP and its partners will lead a $6 billion development of the giant Azeri-Chirag-Deepwater Gunashli (ACG) oil-field complex offshore Azerbaijan.The supermajor said that the Azeri Central East (ACE) project includes a new offshore platform and facilities designed to process up to 100,000 barrels of oil per day. The project is expected to achieve first production in 2023 and produce up to 300 million barrels over its lifetime. The $6 billion sanction is the first major investment decision by the ACG partnership since the extension of the ACG production sharing agreement (PSA) to 2049 was agreed in 2017.

US Rig Count Dips

© FerrezFrames / Adobe Stock

U.S. energy firms this week reduced the number of oil rigs operating for the first time in three weeks as production growth forecasts from shale, the country's largest oil fields, continue to shrink.Drillers cut eight oil rigs in the week to April 18, bringing the total count down to 825, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Thursday.Baker Hughes released the report a day early this week due to the Good Friday holiday.The U.S. rig count, an early indicator of future output…

Chrysaor to Buy ConocoPhillips’ UK Assets

Judy in the J-Area (Photo: ConocoPhillips)

Chrysaor has reached a deal to acquire ConocoPhillips’ oil and gas exploration and production assets in the UK for $2.675 billion, the companies announced on Thursday.Full-year 2018 production and year-end 2018 proved reserves associated with the assets being sold were approximately 72,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) and approximately 99 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe), respectively. This acquisition increases Chrysaor’s pro forma 2018 production to 177,000 boepd, making Chrysaor one of the largest oil and gas producers in the UK North Sea.The transaction will be backdated to January 1…

Santos Posts Record Production in Q1

Santos in January announced first oil from the Van Gogh infill project, marking the completion of the two-well program that will increase production from the field. (Photo: Santos)

Australia's No.2 independent gas producer Santos Ltd on Wednesday posted record quarterly production, boosted by its acquisition of Quadrant Energy assets, while sales revenue jumped 28 percent.Santos said production for the quarter ended March 31 rose to a record 18.4 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe), up from 13.8 mmboe last year.Revenue came in at $1.02 billion, the second-highest quarterly revenue on record, it said.Santos acquired Quadrant Energy last year in a $2.15 billion deal, snapping up Quadrant's 80 percent stake in the promising Dorado oil find."In the second quarter…

Santos Finds Gas Off Western Australia

(Image: Santos)

Santos announced Tuesday it has confirmed significant gas resource in the Corvus-2 appraisal in the Carnarvon Basin, offshore Western Australia.Corvus-2 is located in 63 meters water depth, approximately 90 kilometers northwest of Dampier in Commonwealth waters within petroleum permit WA-45-R, in which Santos has a 100% interest.The well was drilled approximately 3 kilometers southwest of Corvus-1 (drilled in 2000) using the jack-up mobile offshore drilling unit Noble Tom Prosser and reached a total depth of 3,998 meters. According to Santos…

Vermilion to Drill Exploration Wells in Central Europe

Canada's Vermilion Energy will drill its first two exploration wells in Croatia in June, a senior official from the company said on Monday. Vermilion won four licences in 2015 for oil and gas exploration in Croatia's flat northeastern areas and the drilling will take place on one of these."Although we see evidence of gas charge from the new seismic data we have acquired, we'll not know for sure whether any of this is commercially producible until after these initial wells are completed," Bryan Sralla, who heads the unit for central and eastern Europe…

Chevron to Buy Anadarko for $33 Bln

(Photo courtesy Anadarko)

Chevron Corp on Friday said it will buy oil and gas producer Anadarko Petroleum Corp for $33 billion in cash and stock in a deal that doubles down on its bet on U.S. shale and LNG as U.S. energy production is shattering records.The deal makes Chevron the second-largest major by crude production, behind Exxon Mobil Corp, up from fourth. It expands Chevron's reach in two areas where U.S. energy output is surging - shale from the Permian Basin of west Texas and New Mexico, and liquefied natural gas (LNG) - which have helped make the U.S.

​​​​BP Plans to Exit China's Shale Gas

European oil major BP plans to exit from two production sharing contracts (PSC) for projects drilling for shale gas in the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan, three sources with the knowledge of the matter said this week.BP is the last of the international oil majors, including Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil, ConocoPhillips and ENI, to quit exploring for shale gas in China because of poor drilling results. Its departure leaves the sector firmly in the hands of domestic companies.In March 2016, BP agreed with China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) to explore and produce natural gas from shale rock formations in the Neijiang-Dazu block in Sichuan…

US Rig Count Climbs

© tjphoto / Adobe Stock

U.S. energy firms this week increased the number of oil rigs operating for the first time in seven weeks after oil futures soared nearly 40 percent this year.Companies added 15 oil rigs in the week to April 5, the biggest increase since May, bringing the total count to 831, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday.The rig count fell to its lowest since April 2018 in the previous week.The U.S. rig count, an early indicator of future output, is higher than a year ago…

Lebanon Announces Offshore Blocks

© bilalulker / Adobe Stock

Lebanon announced on Friday five offshore blocks to be included in its coming bidding round for energy exploration and production licences, including four along disputed maritime borders.Offshore energy development has been a central ambition for successive governments in cash-strapped Lebanon, but political paralysis has caused years of delays.Blocks 8 and 10 both include waters also claimed by Israel, while blocks 1 and 2 include waters claimed by Syria. One of the two blocks for which licences were awarded last year, block 9…

AMS Wins Hornsea Two Gig

AMS NoDig drill site for Hornsea One at Horseshoe Point. Image: Ørsted

AMS Trenchless Specialists, North Lincolnshire-based engineering company, has won a huge contract for part of the onshore cable works for Hornsea Two, an offshore wind farm being constructed 89km off the Yorkshire Coast.AMS Trenchless Specialists, based in Scunthorpe, will undertake Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD), a method of installing ducting and cables beneath existing infrastructure without disruption, at the landfall site in Horseshoe Point where the offshore cables meet the onshore cables.This contract builds on the existing relationship between the East-coast firm and Ørsted…

NPD Report on High North Offshore

Director Bente Nyland presents the report "Petroleum Activity in the High North" in Hammerfest. Photo: NPD

Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD), Norwegian government agency responsible for the regulation of the petroleum resources on the Norwegian continental shelf, has presented a report on petroleum activity in the High North at the Barents Sea conference.The report titled "Petroleum activity in the High North" aims to place petroleum activity in the High North into a technological, historical and international context, showing how exploration and production of oil and gas take place under “demanding marine conditions.”The report shows how exploration and large-scale oil and gas production take place under demanding marine conditions in both the US…

GA Drilling Gets Capital Boost

(Photo: GA Drilling)

Slovakia-based GA Drilling has received a boost to help develop, test and commercialize its innovative plug and abandonment (P&A) technology. The company has signed a £4.2 million ($4.7 million) funding agreement with Budapest based venture capital firm Lead Ventures, with funding provided by Hungary-based integrated, international oil and gas company MOL Group and Hungarian Eximbank.The financing deal, in addition to a service agreement with the European oil and gas company, gives GA Drilling access to onshore production wells where it can put its PLASMABIT P&A technology to the test in real field conditions.

GA Drilling Gets Fund, Signs Pact with MOL

 Pic: GA drilling

High-tech deep-drilling company GA Drilling signed a EUR 4.2 million funding agreement with Lead Ventures and a service agreement with MOL Group.Lead Ventures, a Budapest based venture capital firm invested funds provided by MOL Group, and Hungarian Eximbank.The deal gives GA Drilling access to onshore production wells to test its disruptive PLASMABIT plug & abandonment technology in real field conditions.The agreement is a major step in enabling the commercialization of the PLASMABIT technology, which can bring positive environmental impacts…

Orinduik Partners to Drill 2nd Well Off Guyana

Stena Forth (Photo: Stena Drilling)

Partners Tullow Oil, Total and Eco Atlantic have chosen the Joe prospect for a second well in their much-watched Orinduik oil and gas field off Guyana's coast, Eco said on Friday.Eco earlier this month increased the estimate for the field to about 3.9 billion barrels of oil equivalent, a third more than announced in an estimate released in September.The well will be drilled with the Stena Forth drill ship in mid-July moving on from the Jethro Lobe well in the same field."Joe is a 150 million boe (P50 – best estimate) Upper Tertiary target which has a 43.2 percent chance of success...

Bourbon Wins Shell Contract in Bulgaria

Photo courtesy of Bourbon

Bourbon Marine & Logistics said on Thursday it has been awarded a contract from Shell to support the oil major's exploration drilling in the Black Sea offshore Bulgaria.The French services company said its project scope covers the full logistics solution project management, offering for the first time both marine logistics together with shore logistics: marine services, logistics base, warehousing, port facilities, cargo carrying units, waste management, customs clearance, etc.Two large supply vessels will be dedicated to the project…