Saturday, June 23, 2018

Top Shallow Water Driller Raises $225 Mln in Oslo IPO

Shelf Drilling, a Dubai-based contractor for shallow water rigs, raised about $225 million by issuing new shares priced at 65.35 Norwegian crowns ($8.09) per share, the company said on Friday, the latest drilling firm to list in Oslo to raise capital.Its initial public offering comes four years after the company scrapped plans to list in London just as the oil market's downturn started.Demand for shallow water or jack-up rigs has been steadily growing through 2017 after hitting a bottom at the end of 2016. Brent crude is trading at almost $74 a barrel, up from $27 a barrel in Jan.

Schlumberger Wins in US Supreme Court on Patent Damages

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The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Friday that companies can recover profits lost because of the unauthorized use of their patented technology abroad in a victory for Schlumberger NV, the world's largest oilfield services provider.The 7-2 decision overturned a lower court's ruling that had enforced limits on applying U.S. patent law overseas and reduced by $93.4 million the damages sum that rival ION Geophysical Corp had to pay for infringing Schlumberger technology that helps find oil and gas beneath the ocean floor. Both companies are based in Houston.The decision expands the ability of patent owners to recover foreign-based damages…

TWMA Acquires US Service Company

Photo: TWMA

TWMA, provider of specialized drilling waste management services, has announced its acquisition of US-based Dynamic Oilfield Services in an eight-figure deal. The move comes as TWMA continues to implement an ambitious growth strategy, with internationalization and service diversity at its heart. The US land drilling market is currently recognized as the fastest growing drilling market in the world, Dynamic Oilfield Services deploys its solids control and surface equipment divisions in some of the most prolific onshore basins in the US.

Oil Exploration Is Ramping Up Off Norway

Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland / © Equinor

Oil firms are expected to drill 40-50 exploration wells off Norway this year compared to 36 wells drilled the previous year, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said on Thursday.The Norwegian continental shelf still held an estimated 4 billion cubic meters (25.2 billion barrels) of oil equivalents in undiscovered petroleum resources, with two-thirds located in the Arctic Barents Sea, it added.Half of estimated undiscovered resources in the Barents Sea, however, are located north of the areas opened for petroleum activities, and it's unclear when oil firms can get access to them.(Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis, editing by Gwladys Fouche)

Hess Warns Focus on Returns Now Will Hurt US Shale Long-term

John Hess (Photo: Hess Corporation)

Investor pressure on oil producers to focus more attention on shareholder returns and less on output will drive down vital industry investment in the long term, a leading U.S. shale executive said on Thursday.Shareholders have been pushing for more dividends and buybacks from U.S. shale companies, whose heavy investment in production has helped the United States overtake Saudi Arabia to become the world's second biggest oil producer after Russia."Investor sentiment in the last year has really, markedly changed. I'd say it's gone from…

Norway Oil Workers Threaten to Strike

© MAREK SLUSARCZYK / Adobe Stock

Some 2,250 workers on Norwegian offshore oil drilling rigs and in drilling and catering services on oil producing platforms could go on strike this summer after rejecting a proposed wage deal, the Safe labor union said on Thursday.Industri Energi, the largest labor union representing drilling workers, last month agreed to a deal, while the smaller Safe said it would ask its members to vote on the offer made by the Norwegian Shipowners' Association.A strike could hit oil companies' exploration efforts later this summer, although a mandatory round of mediation must be held before any conflict is allowed under Norwegian law.(Reporting by Terje Solsvik, ed

ExxonMobil, Hess Announce Oil Discovery Offshore Guyana

Stena Carron (Photo: Stena Drilling)

ExxonMobil and the Hess Corporation announced an eighth oil discovery offshore Guyana at the Longtail-1 well, creating the potential for additional resource development in the southeast area of the Stabroek Block. The companies said approximately 78 meters of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoir was encountered. The well was drilled to 5,504 meters depth in 1,940 meters of water by the Stena Carron drillship on May 25, 2018. The Longtail-1 well is located approximately 5 miles west of the Turbot-1 well and follows previous discoveries on the Stabroek Block at Liza…

Wellsite Taps Roger as VP of Administration

Jessica Roger (Photo: Wellsite)

Drilling and completion rental equipment provider Wellsite Fishing and Rental Services, LLC has promoted Jessica Roger to vice president of administration. She will be located at the corporate office in Broussard, La.Roger, who previously served as secretary and treasurer for Wellsite, will be responsible for overseeing internal administration, directing administrative functions in accordance with industry standards, regulatory agencies and company policies and leading, guiding and mentoring staff in their tasks.

Equinor Awards Light Well Intervention Contract to Akofs

Geir Sjøberg (right), CEO Akofs Offshore, and Rannfrid Skjervold, vice president procurement subsurface Equinor.
(Photo: Kjetil Eide / Equinor ASA)

Akofs Offshore has been awarded a contract for light well intervention services using the Akofs Seafarer vessel for all Equinor-operated licences in the period 2020 to 2025.Equinor is the operator of about 560 subsea wells on stream on the Norwegian continental shelf. The wells require maintenance, repairs and new production actions. In 2017 Equinor performed 55 light well intervention operations, the average break-even for new production being less than USD 4 per barrel.Granted for a period of five years the contract for wireline operations on Equinor’s subsea wells includes an option for one 3-year extension.

CNOOC Developing New Deep Sea Gas Block in South China Sea

China's offshore oil and gas producer CNOOC has started developing a new gas field in the South China Sea, the official Xinhua News Agency reported on Tuesday.The Lingshui 17-2 gas field is the first deep sea gas block fully operated by a Chinese company, Xinhua said citing CNOOC officials.The deep sea project, which was discovered in 2014, is 150 km (94 miles) south of China's southern Hainan island, with an average operational depth of 1,500 metres, according to a Reuters report from that year.CNOOC is ready to start building a subsea level platform used for drilling, Xinhua said.(Reporting by Meng Meng and Aizhu Chen; Editing by Tom Hogue)

Equinor Awards $3.7 Billion Service Deals

The Grane platform in the North Sea. (Photo: Harald Pettersen / Equinor ASA)

Norwegian oil and gas firm Equinor has awarded drilling and well service contracts worth 30 billion Norwegian crowns ($3.68 billion) to Schlumberger, Halliburton and Baker Hughes, it said on Monday.The contracts cover integrated well services, such as directional drilling, drill bits, fluids and cementing, for an initial four years, and can be extended for up to 10 years."The purpose of integrated drilling and well services is to clarify roles and responsibilities," Equinor, formerly known as Statoil, said in a statement."This results in less interfaces and more clearly defined responsibilities, facilitating more seamless planning and implementation of

Norway Awards Oil Permits to 11 Firms in Arctic Licensing Round

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

Norway has awarded 12 oil and gas exploration licences to Equinor and 10 other companies focused mostly on the Arctic, where Oslo believes it has the greatest potential for significant new discoveries.Nine of the licences are located in the Barents Sea and three in the Norwegian Sea off central Norway, the Ministry of Oil and Energy said on Monday."This licensing round confirms that the oil companies see opportunities for further profitable petroleum activity in the north," Oil and Energy Minister Terje Soeviknes said in a statement.Equinor…

Fugro Tallies ROV Services Contracts with Petrobras

(Photo: Fugro)

Fugro said it has been contracted to provide remotely operated vehicle (ROV) services to support Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. - Petrobras in its exploration and production activities.Two new contracts will see Fugro’s ROV spread working to support drilling related activities, such as towing, mooring, commissioning and decommissioning, and positioning of production and drilling units, as well as installation of subsea equipment in Petrobras oil fields. The ROVs are being deployed in water depths of 3,000 meters on the Brazilian…

Cairn Buys Into Seacrest-backed British North Sea Oilfield

Photo: Cairn

Cairn Energy has bought a 50 percent stake in the Agar-Plantain oilfields in the British North Sea from Azinor Catalyst, the companies said on Thursday, amid renewed interest in North Sea assets.Oil producers are returning to the North Sea having sold many assets in the past few years, often to private equity investors, after oil prices collapsed."There has clearly been a sentiment change in the North Sea. Certainly from our perspective since the beginning of the year. The oil price is up, costs remain low and it's a really exciting window of opportunity to invest in the North Sea…

Exxon Starts Drilling at Offshore Guyana Projects

(Photo: ExxonMobil)

Exxon Mobil Corp said it has commenced development drilling in the first of three offshore Guyana projects, which could produce more than 500,000 barrels of oil per day. Development drilling began in May for the first of 17 wells planned for Liza Phase 1, the company said.So far, Exxon Mobil and its co-venturers have discovered more than 3.2 billion oil-equivalent barrels estimated recoverable resources on the 6.6 million acre Stabroek Block.Liam Mallon, president of ExxonMobil Development Company, said, “We are well on our way to producing oil less than five years after our first discovery…

OPEC Output Hike Will Squeeze Oil Buffer to Historic Lows

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The oil industry will face the biggest squeeze on its spare production capacity in more than three decades if OPEC and its allies agree next week to hike crude output, leaving the world more at risk of a price spike from any supply disruption.Spare capacity is the extra production oil producing states can bring onstream and sustain at short notice, providing global markets with a cushion in the event of natural disaster, conflict or any other cause of an unplanned supply outage.That buffer could shrink from more than 3 percent of global demand now to about 2 percent…

Oil Prices Fall On Rising U.S. and Russian Supplies

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Oil prices fell on Monday, pulled down by rising Russian production and the highest U.S. drilling activity in more than three years.Analysts expect higher U.S. output to offset supply curbs by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which have been in place for 18 months and have pushed up prices significantly over the past year.Benchmark Brent crude was down 65 cents at $75.81 a barrel by 1330 GMT. U.S. light crude fell 60 cents to $65.14.The number of new rigs drilling for oil in the United States rose by one last week to 862, its highest since March 2015, data from energy services company Baker Hughes showed.That suggests U.S.

Rowan Secures ExxonMobil Drillship Contract

Contract drilling services provider Rowan Companies plc announced that the one of its R-Class drillships, Rowan Relentless, has been awarded a contract by ExxonMobil to drill a prospect in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.The contract is expected to commence in September 2018 and last for 80 days, followed by four one-well, priced options.

New Oil Discovered in the North Sea

Map Lille Prinsen discovery (Photo: Equinor)

Equinor and partners Lundin and Spirit Energy have struck oil in the PL 167 licence at the Utsira High in the North Sea.The discovery is currently estimated to contain 15-35 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent.“We are very pleased to announce the first Equinor discovery,” said Nicholas Ashton, Equinor’s senior vice president, Exploration, Norway & UK.“This is a good discovery which we expect will be commercial. In addition, the results from the drilling indicate an upside potential in this discovery,” Ashton pointed out.The Lille Prinsen well is located 200 kilometers west of Stavanger and northwest of the Johan Sverdrup field.

LOC Names Cummins Energy Projects Development Director

Ian Cummins (Photo: LOC)

International marine and engineering consulting firm LOC has appointed ex-Head of Engineering at BP, Ian Cummins as its new Energy Projects Development Director. Ian will focus on the oil and gas and renewables markets, and help to identify and develop new and innovative engineering opportunities to progress the business.Cummins brings extensive major project management and engineering experience to LOC, gained from working on exceptionally large projects, significantly boosting LOC's specialist expertise in this area. Throughout Cummin's career he has worked for an operator…

Lukoil Aims to Invest $270 mln in Exploration at Kazakhstan's Zhenis Block

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Russia's second largest oil company Lukoil plans to invest $270 million in exploration at the Zhenis licence area in the Kazakh part of the Caspian Sea, Lukoil's president Vagit Alekperov said in Astana on Tuesday.Lukoil and Kazakh state oil company KMG signed an agreement in principle on Tuesday for possible work on the Zhenis licence area which lies at a depth of 75 to 100 metres and is located 180 kilometres from Kazakhstan's Aktau port.The two companies will establish a consortium after completing procedures needed for the agreement to enter force, Lukoil said.

Johan Sverdrup Drilling Platform Installed

Photo: Espen Rønnevik / Roar Lindefjeld

The 22,000-tonne topside for the drilling platform was lifted into position in one single lift on the Johan Sverdrup field last weekend. Equinor and the Johan Sverdrup partners are the first users in the world of this ground-breaking technology.On Thursday, May 31, the topside for the Johan Sverdrup drilling platform sailed from the Aibel yard in Haugesund to Bømlafjorden at Stord.Here the 22,000-tonne steel structure was transferred from the barge to Pioneering Spirit, the world’s biggest heavy-lift vessel. All set for the 11-hour journey to the jacket waiting for its topside on the Johan Sverdrup field.After initial preparations…

Trump Administration Mulls New Plan to Help Ailing Coal, Nuke Plants - Bloomberg

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Trump administration officials are considering requiring grid operators to buy electricity from ailing nuclear and coal-fired power plants to keep them from being shuttered, according to a Bloomberg news report on Friday that cited a draft memo.If adopted, the move would mark an unprecedented intervention in power markets, and would serve the administration's goal of bolstering America's struggling coal and nuclear industries that have been shrinking amid competition from natural gas, solar and wind power.Under the plan, the U.S.

PetroChina to Add 690 Wells at Liaohe Field

Top Chinese oil and gas firm PetroChina is adding new production wells at one of its main oilfields, in northeast China, aiming to build 1.06 million tonnes of new annual capacity this year, parent company CNPC said on Friday.PetroChina plans to drill a total of 690 new wells this year at the Liaohe field in Liaoning province, part of the state oil major's campaign to sustain production at mature fields, which also include top field Daqing in Heilongjiang province further north.PetroChina wants to maintain Liaohe's output at 10 million tonnes per year (or 200,000 bpd) after decades of development, CNPC said,The major's production stabilizing effort com

Total Determined to Drill Amazon Basin as Greenpeace Storms AGM

(Image: Total)

Total is determined to push ahead with its plans to drill for oil in the Amazon basin, it said on Friday as Greenpeace activists interrupted its annual general meeting in protest at the project.The French oil major wants to explore Brazil's Foz do Amazonas basin, but Brazil's environmental agency rejected its licence application on Tuesday for a fourth time.As the company's annual general meeting opened in Paris on Friday, four activists from Greenpeace descended by rope from the ceiling above the stage, unfurling banners reading "Let's save the Amazon's coral reef".At least a dozen others managed to enter the hall…

Brazil Denies Total License to Drill Amazon Basin

Brazilian environmental agency Ibama on Tuesday rejected French oil company Total SA's application for an environmental license to drill in the sensitive Foz do Amazonas basin.It is the fourth time that Ibama has rejected the application and requested additional information.(Reporting by Jake Spring Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

RBS to Cease Financing of 'high-carbon energy' projects

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Snap Happy)

Britain's Royal Bank of Scotland said on Tuesday it had tightened restrictions on project finance and general lending for high-carbon energy projects and companies, joining other banks like HSBC in shoring up its climate policies. RBS said it would no longer directly finance new coal-fired power stations or thermal coal mines, oil sands or Arctic oil projects and unsustainable vegetation or peatland clearance projects. It also said it would no longer lend money to mining companies that generate more than 40 percent of their revenues from thermal coal or power companies that generate more than 40 percent of their electricity from coal.

Lebanon Begins Offshore Oil & Gas Exploration

Lebanon's search for its first oil and gas reserves began on Tuesday after authorities approved an exploration plan submitted by a consortium of France's Total , Italy's Eni and Russia's Novatek. Energy and Water Minister Cesar Abi Khalil also said in a televised statement that Lebanon hoped to launch a second offshore licensing round by the end of 2018 or early 2019. In February, Lebanon signed its first offshore oil and gas exploration and production agreements with the Total-Eni-Novatek consortium for offshore Blocks 4 and 9.

In Vote of Confidence, Oil Firms Mop Up New North Sea Blocks

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The UK Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) on Wednesday awarded 123 licences to 61 companies to explore for and develop new fields in the North Sea, in the latest sign of confidence in the ageing basin that has enjoyed a revival in recent years.Companies ranging from Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Norway's Equinor, to smaller independents including Siccar Point, Chrysaor and Premier Oil were awarded 229 blocks covering a total area of 26,659 square km, the OGA said in a statement."The OGA expects this round to lead very quickly to activity…

Kazakhstan says Rosneft Quits, Shell Joins Kazakh Oil Project

Russia's Rosneft has quit Eurasia, an early-stage oil exploration project in Kazakhstan, while Shell has joined it, an executive of the Kazakh company involved in the project said on Monday.The Eurasia project focuses on exploring a geological area known as the Caspian Depression in western Kazakhstan by drilling ultra-deep wells of up to 15 kilometres.Kazakhstan has estimated that the untapped lower levels of the geological structure could hold up to 60 billion tonnes of oil. The initial stage of exploration, including the drilling of the first well…

As Oil Prices Surge, US Eyes Growing Labor Shortage

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Finding roughnecks remains a challenge for oil drillers as rising crude prices increase demand for their services, oilfield executives said on Thursday at a conference in Houston.Oilfield service suppliers cut tens of thousands of workers following the 2014 oil-price collapse, and skilled employees have moved to other industries or are no longer interested. A worker shortage is helping drive up service costs for oil producers, especially in the hottest shale fields."Recruitment and staffing is a big challenge. We're aggressively focused on recruiting people," said Kevin Neveu, chief executive at Precision Drilling Corp.

Rising Oil Prices Herald Next Phase in Cycle

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Oil prices are now in the top half of the cycle, with benchmark Brent on Thursday trading above $80 per barrel for the first time since November 2014.In real terms, prices averaged $75 per barrel over the course of the last full cycle, which lasted from December 1998 to January 2016.The recent rise in prices sends a strong signal about the need for more production and slower growth in oil consumption.In the next few months, the narrative will increasingly turn to boosting supply and restraining demand in order to stabilise inventories and return the market to balance.Between 2014 and 2017…

UK Takes Extra Measures to Support Shale Gas Development

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The British government announced measures on Thursday to speed up planning applications to support development of the country's shale gas industry.Increasing reliance on imported gas as Britain's domestic North Sea output declines is one of the driving forces behind government support for hydraulic fracturing, which involves extracting gas obtained from rocks broken up or fractured with water and chemicals at high pressure.However, it is impossible to know exactly how much shale gas might be underground - and, more importantly…

Rosneft: South China Sea Drilling is Within Vietnam Waters

(Photo: Rosneft)

Drilling in the South China Sea by Rosneft is within Vietnamese territorial waters, the Russian state oil firm said in a statement on Thursday, two days after its Vietnamese subsidiary began drilling in Vietnamese waters claimed by China.Rosneft's local unit, Rosneft Vietnam BV, is concerned that its recent drilling in an area of the South China Sea that falls within China's "nine-dash line" could upset Beijing, two sources with direct knowledge of the situation told Reuters on Wednesday."Offshore license areas of Rosneft on the South China Sea are situated within the territorial waters of Vietnam," Rosneft said in its statement."The Company conducts i

O&G Exploration in Chinese Waters Requires Beijing's Permission

China's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that no country, organisation, company or individual can carry out oil and gas exploration or exploitation in Chinese waters without permission from Beijing.Ministry spokesman Lu Kang made the comment at a regular news briefing when asked about recent drilling by Rosneft Vietnam BV, a unit of Russian state oil firm Rosneft, in an area of the South China Sea that is claimed by China."We urge relevant parties to earnestly respect China's sovereign and jurisdictional rights and not do anything that could impact bilateral relations or this region's peace and stability," Lu said.(Reporting by Christian Shepherd; Wri

Trump's State Department Energy nominee Approved by Senate Panel

President Donald Trump's nominee for the top U.S. State Department job dealing with matters related to energy and the global oil industry was approved by a Senate committee on Wednesday, as the United States gears up to re-impose sanctions on Iran's oil exports. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved Francis Fannon, a former head of corporate affairs at mining company BHP Billiton and senior director of Murphy Oil Corp , to head the department's energy bureau. If Fannon is confirmed in a vote by the full Senate, one…

Ecopetrol, Talisman Energy to Open 19 New Wells at Colombian Oilfield

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Colombia's state-run oil company Ecopetrol said on Wednesday it will start drilling 19 new oil wells at the Akacias oil field at the end of this month, in partnership with Repsol SA's Talisman Energy.The new wells will join nine which are already operating at the field, in Acacias municipality in central Meta province, the company said in a statement. The nine wells produce an average of 6,300 barrels per day.Ecopetrol plans to invest between $3.5 billion and $4 billion this year as it reboots production and exploration after…

Russia State Oil Firm Starts Drilling at New Well Offshore Vietnam

Photo: Rosneft

A unit of Russian state oil firm Rosneft, Rosneft Vietnam BV, has started drilling at a new production well in waters off the southern coast of Vietnam, the company said in a statement posted to its website on Tuesday.The drilling is significant for Vietnam, which has been struggling to maintain its crude oil and gas output amid already declining production from its key fields and ongoing pressure from China in the disputed waters of the South China Sea.The LD-3P well explored by Rosneft is part of the Lan Do gas field in Block 06.1, Rosneft said.

Arctic Oil 'Undrillable' amid Global Warming -UN's Ex-climate Chief

Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland / Statoil

An architect of the Paris climate agreement urged governments on Tuesday to halt oil exploration in the Arctic, saying drilling was not economical and warming threatened the environmentally fragile region.Christiana Figueres, formerly head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat when the Paris accord was reached by almost 200 nations in 2015, told Reuters by telephone "the Arctic has been rendered undrillable."The past three years have been the hottest since records began in the 19th century, and Figueres said the heat was a…

US Shale Output to Hit Record in June -EIA

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U.S. shale production is expected to rise by about 145,000 barrels per day to a record 7.18 million bpd in June, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said on Monday.A majority of the increase is expected to come from the Permian basin, the biggest U.S. oil patch, where output is expected to climb 78,000 bpd to a fresh record of 3.28 million bpd, the EIA said in its monthly drilling productivity report https://www.eia.gov/petroleum/drilling/#tabs-summary-2.Soaring Permian crude production has already outpaced pipeline takeaway capacity…

Oil Steady Near Multi-year Highs as US Drilling Rises

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Oil prices steadied below 3-1/2 year highs on Monday as resistance emerged in Europe and Asia to U.S. sanctions against major crude exporter Iran, while rising U.S. drilling pointed to higher North American production.Brent crude was up 15 cents at $77.27 a barrel by 1130 GMT. U.S. light crude oil was up 5 cents at $70.75.Both oil futures contracts hit their highest since November 2014 last week at $78 and $71.89 a barrel respectively as markets anticipated a sharp fall in Iranian crude supply once U.S. sanctions bite later this year.It is unclear how hard U.S. sanctions will hit Iran's oil industry.

US Military Seeks Rules for Drilling in Gulf of Mexico

File photo: U.S. Navy personnel detonate a floating mine during an exercise in the Gulf of Mexico (U.S. Navy photo by Patrick Connerly)

An expansion of oil drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico would interfere with U.S. military testing unless the Pentagon and another agency develop rules to govern the work, the U.S. Department of Defense said in a report this week.The Defense Department concluded in a report it sent on Wednesday to U.S. lawmakers that drilling east of the Military Mission Line in the Gulf of Mexico, a demarcation more than 200 miles (320 km) west of Florida, would harm military testing operations without the rules."Military flexibility in the region would be lost and test and training activities would be severely affected…

Texas Oil Drilling Permits Rose 34% in April

Texas's energy regulator issued a third more oil and gas drilling permits in April than a year ago, according to data released on Thursday, as higher prices continue to spur an increase in activity.The Railroad Commission of Texas, which regulates the state's oil and gas industry, issued 1,221 original drilling permits in April, up around 34 percent from last year.Oil prices have climbed to near $71 per barrel, the strongest level in nearly 3-1/2 years, aided by production cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and declining supplies from Venezuela.A fresh round of U.S.

Egypt Approves Oil Exploration Deal with Eni, Tharwa

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Egypt has approved an exploration agreement with Italy's Eni and the Egyptian Tharwa company to search for oil and gas in the Mediterranean off the coast of northern Sinai, the Egyptian oil minister said on Wednesday.Under the deal, Eni and Tharwa will spend $105 million in two stages over six years, which involve drilling one well in the first stage and another in the second, Tarek El Molla told journalists.Reporting by Momen Saeed Atallah, writing by Sami Aboudi

Sanctions spell the end of OPEC output deal

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President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the nuclear agreement with Iran marks the end of the current output agreement between OPEC and its allies.OPEC is likely to insist the current agreement remains in effect, at least for now, but the prospective removal of several hundred thousand barrels per day of Iranian exports from the market will require a major adjustment.Saudi Arabia has already promised to "mitigate" the impact of any potential supply shortages, in conjunction with other suppliers and consumer countries…

Aker to explore options for Aker Energy after Ghana plan filing

Oeyvind Eriksen (Photo: Aker)

Norwegian investment firm Aker will consider options for its stake in oil startup Aker Energy after the unit has appraised its offshore field in Ghana and submitted a development plan for the site to the Ghanaian government.Aker Energy bought a 50-percent stake in Ghana's ultra deepwater Tano Cape Three Points block from Hess for $100 million in February.Options for the stake include listing Aker Energy separately, offering it for sale to oil companies in the area or those seeking to enter Ghana, or a combination of both, Aker's CEO Oeyvind Eriksen told Reuters.Aker Energy is 50 percent owned by Aker…

Maersk Likely to Shelve Plans to List Drilling Division

(File photo: Maersk Drilling)

Shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk is likely to shelve plans to list its struggling offshore drilling division because of weak market conditions, according to five finance sources familiar with the matter.The Danish company is now expected to focus on a trade sale of Maersk Drilling, and extend the timeline to divest the unit beyond its initial target of the end of 2018, said the sources who declined to be named as the discussions are private.Maersk group has not publicly put a price tag on the division, but analysts value it at around $4.8 billion.It has not yet received any firm offers for the unit, according to two of the sources.

Johan Sverdrup ROV Contract Awarded

(Photo: Statoil)

Statoil has awarded IKM Subsea a services contract for ROVs on at the Johan Sverdrup platform commencing in the third quarter of 2018.The contract was won in a competition with other suppliers through an e-auction event that was performed as one of the final stages of the tendering process.The scope of work consists of provision of ad-hoc ROV operations to support drilling activities on the Johan Sverdrup field. The contract duration is six years plus additional options.

Aker BP Beats Street, May Increase Drilling

File Image: An Aker BP offshore installation at the Tambar Field. (CREDIT: Aker BP)

Norway's Aker BP, partly owned by oil major BP, beat quarterly earnings forecasts on Monday, helped by record output and higher oil prices, and said it may drill more wells this year than previously planned. The company, controlled by a Norwegian billionaire Kjell Inge Roekke, is focusing more on developing its existing business after growing via a series of acquisitions, including last year’s purchase of Hess assets for $2 billion. Thanks to the latest purchase, which included a stake in the Valhall field, the company reported record first-quarter production of 158…

Oil Surges to Fresh Highs on Growing Supply Worries

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Hensenn)

Brent jumps to over $75/barrel as WTI rises above $70/barrel. The continuting economic crisis in Venezuela threatens its oil exports. Oil prices rose to their highest levels since late-2014 on Monday, boosted by Venezuela's deepening economic crisis and a looming decision on whether the United States will re-impose sanctions on Iran. Brent crude oil futures were at $75.67 per barrel at 1126 GMT, up 80 cents from their last close. Earlier in the session they touched their highest since November 2014 at $75.89 a barrel. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 84 cents to $70.56 per barrel.

Op/Ed: Connecting to the Future of Offshore

(Photo: GE)

120 miles out at sea, 6,000-horsepower devices lift drilling equipment weighing up to 3 million pounds out of holes lying 10,000 feet beneath the water. Keeping such sea monsters in good working order, often for years at a time, is no mean feat. Oil companies spend between $300,000 and $800,000 per day on each vessel drilling offshore. Any failures can result in losses that run into hundreds of thousands of dollars per day.With such high costs and massive market pressures, including volatile oil prices, increasing competition and operations in complex environments, offshore companies are seeking new ways to boost efficiency and raise productivity.

Noatum Maritime Opens Houston Office

Photo: Noatum Maritime Services

Noatum Maritime Services, the maritime services division of Noatum Maritime, has opened new offices in Houston (US) including commercial offices and a warehouse through its Marmedsa Oil & Gas division.Initially, Marmedsa USA will focus on the provision of specialized services to the gas and oil drilling industry, reinforcing the solutions offered by Noatum Maritime Services through its Marmedsa Oil & Gas division.Established in 2015 and led by Federico Lopez, the Oil & Gas division provides individual and reliable solutions…

New Recommended Practice for Wellhead Fatigue Analysis

Wellhead schematic (Photo: DNV GL)

DNV GL releases new recommended practice for wellhead fatigue analysis to improve analysis consistency in the industry.The recommended practice(RP) DNVGL-RP-E104 Wellhead fatigue analysis has now been published. This publication is the result of a phase 2 Joint Industry Project (JIP) involving 16 oil companies and supersedes the April 2015 edition of DNVGL-RP-0142.The content of the updated RP provides specific recommendations on how to perform wellhead fatigue analysis in a consistent manner, and how to solve what have been…

Mobilizing the Offshore Organization for Johan Sverdrup Field

The Johan Sverdrup riser platform. (Photo: Anette Westgård - Woldcam / Statoil)

The mobilization of up to 2,400 women and men who will work to hook-up, finalize and eventually start-up the Johan Sverdrup field in the North Sea.Later today approximately 150 people – plus crew from the flotel-operator ProSafe – will sail away onboard the floating accommodation vessel "Safe Zephyrus" from Mekjarvik outside Stavanger with the North Sea as their destination.When the flotel arrives at the Johan Sverdrup field this weekend, this will mark the beginning of the offshore mobilization for the giant field which will be in production for more than 50 years.“This is a big day for Statoil and the Johan Sverdrup partnership.

In US Gulf, Robots, Drones Take on Dangerous Offshore Oil Work

File Image: A photo taken during an offshore DNV GL Drone-enabled survey (CREDIT: DNV GL)

At BP's massive Thunder Horse oil platform in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, a dog-sized robot called Maggie uses magnetic tracks to creep along pipes connecting the giant oil facility to the sea floor. Before MaggHD, dubbed "Maggie" by BP, the dangerous inspection job was reserved for highly paid specialist technicians who did their jobs while rappelling along the platform. The energy industry has turned to robots and drones to cut costs and improve safety in some of the world's tougher working environments. Drones inspect gear high up on floating rigs. Robots crawl underwater to test subsea equipment for microscopic metal cracks.

Oil Slips as OPEC, Iran Worries Balance U.S. Output

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © scanrail)

Potential of new U.S. sanctions against Iran keep market on edge as OPEC cuts bolstered by Venezuelan declines also support. Oil prices slipped on Thursday as swelling U.S. crude inventories and record weekly U.S. production clashed with OPEC supply cuts and the potential for new U.S. sanctions against Iran. Brent crude oil futures were at $72.91 per barrel at 1113 GMT, 45 cents below their last close. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were 10 cents lower at $67.83 per barrel. Prices have seesawed, edging lower during Asian trading hours…

CMHI, DNV GL Ink LoI for Two Jack-ups

The signing at OTC 2018. Front (L to R): Rulin Yao, General Manager of China Merchants Heavy Industry (Jiangsu); Ernst Meyer, Director of Offshore Classification, DNV GL – Maritime. Back (L to R): Lixin Xu, General Manager, R&D Center at China Merchants Offshore Technology Research Center; Sichuan Wu, China Merchants Industry Holding, Co Ltd.; Cor Selen, CEO co-owner/ founder of OOS Energy; Timothy Tan, General Manager (Asia Pacific) of OOS International. (Photo: DNV GL)

DNV GL announced it has signed a letter of intent (LoI) with shipyard China Merchants Heavy Industry (Jiangsu) Co., Ltd (CMHI) for the classification of two multi-activity jack-up units at the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston.Ordered by OOS Energy B.V., which is affiliated with Netherlands-based Overdulve Offshore Services (OOS) International, these 96 m long units will be purpose-built for the decommissioning market. Construction is scheduled to start later this year.The two identical four-legged, self-elevating multi-activity units (MAUs) will be used in decommissioning operations.

McDermott, CB&I Shareholders Approve Merger

(File photo: CB&I)

McDermott International shareholders on Tuesday approved a merger with Chicago Bridge & Iron Co that creates a vertically integrated onshore and offshore engineering and construction company, thwarting an attempt by offshore drilling contractor Subsea 7 to block the deal.More than 50 percent of McDermott shareholders supported the deal and approved a 3-to-1 reverse stock split, according to a spokesman. CB&I shareholders also voted in favor the merger, the companies said, and the combination is expected to close on May 10.Shares of CB&I were up about 6 percent…

Siccar Point Confirms Cambo Well Spud and Shell Deal

Jonathan Roger (Photo: Siccar Point Energy)

Siccar Point Energy has started drilling a final appraisal well on the Cambo field, north-west of Shetland, with results expected this summer. The Aberdeen based production, development and exploration company, has also confirmed the completion of a sale and purchase agreement with Shell UK Limited, on 01 May 2018, for a minority interest of the acreage, 125 km north-west of Shetland. Shell has acquired a 30% non-operated working interest in UKCS licences P1028 and P1189 (incorporating the Cambo discovery) and a 22.5% non-operated working interest in P1830 (including the Blackrock prospect).

ABS Issues First MPD-rReady Notation

ABS MPD-Ready notation demonstrates drilling units have the necessary provisions in place to integrate equipment needed for MPD operations Photo ABS

ABS announced it has awarded the world’s first Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) – Ready Notation to Ocean Rig for the ABS-classed Corcovado and Mykonos deep water drillships.The ABS MPD-Ready notation demonstrates drilling units have the necessary provisions in place to integrate equipment needed for MPD operations.“Offshore operations in deeper water continue to lead back to a need for reliable and cost-effective technologies” said ABS Executive Vice President – Global Offshore, Kenneth Richardson. “The ABS MPD-Ready notation…