Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Biden to Target Drilling, Fossil Fuel Subsidies in New Climate Orders

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President Joe Biden was set on Wednesday to sign executive actions to combat climate change, including pausing new oil and gas leases on federal land and cutting fossil fuel subsidies as he pursues green policies in stark contrast to those of his predecessor Donald Trump.The orders map out the direction for the Democratic president's climate change and environmental agenda and mark a reversal from Trump, a Republican businessman-turned-politician who sought to maximize U.S. oil, gas and coal output by removing regulations and easing environmental reviews.Biden's focus on climate change has cheered international partners and environmental advocates…

US Oil Rig Count Rises for First Week Since March

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U.S. energy firms cut the number of oil and natural gas rigs operating to a record low for a 12th week in a row, although they added one oil rig in the first weekly increase since March as a recovery in crude prices tempt some producers back to the well pad. The U.S. oil and gas rig count, an early indicator of future output, fell by two to an all-time low of 251 in the week to July 24, according to data on Friday from energy services firm Baker Hughes Co going back to 1940.That was 695 rigs, or 73%, below this time last year.U.S.

Shale Pioneer Chesapeake Energy Files for Bankruptcy

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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.

Norway Oil Companies Slash Investment Plans

Offshore rigs in Norway - Credit: BjrnKristian/AdobeStock

Norwegian oil and gas investment, a key economic driver, is expected to decline sharply in 2021 after rising less than previously anticipated this year, an industry survey by the national statistics agency (SSB) showed on Thursday.The biggest drop will come in the exploration for new reserves and in spending on development plans, while ongoing oilfield construction work continues largely as expected, the data showed.The closely watched forecasts, based on data from oil companies, show 2020 investment plans have been cut to 180.3 billion Norwegian crowns ($19 billion) from 185.4 billion seen in February…

Nigeria Launches Licensing Round for Marginal Oilfields

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Nigeria has launched its first licensing round for marginal oilfields in nearly 20 years, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) said on Monday, despite court rulings last week that barred some of the fields from being auctioned.Marginal fields are smaller oil blocks that are typically developed by indigenous companies. The new licensing round is the first marginal field round since 2002, which the country hopes will boost oil output and bring in much-needed revenues from fees associated with the licenses."A total of 57 fields located on land…

Melbana Gets More Time to 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…

US Proposal Would Allow Oil and Gas Drillers to Delay Royalty Payments

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The U.S. Department of Interior has proposed allowing oil and gas companies to delay royalty payments due to the impacts of the new coronavirus pandemic.According to the web site of the White House Office of Management and Budget, Interior's Office of Natural Resources Revenue on May 20 sent a proposed rule titled "ONRR Reporting and Royalty Payment Delay Related to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)." Details of the proposal were not available.Interior Department officials were not immediately available for comment.(Reporting by Nichola Groom, Editing by Franklin Paul)

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.

Petrofac Starts Rubie and Renee P&A Work

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UK oilfield services firm Petrofac has kicked off the plugging and abandonment work on the Rubie and Renee fields in the North Sea using Awilco's WilPhoenix rig.Petrofac won the Rubie and Renee P&A contract with Hess in August 2019.Over the next three months, Petrofac will provide Well Operator, Well Engineering, and Project Management services to decommission four wells within the Rubie and Renee fields, 200km northeast of Aberdeen.Petrofac is responsible for detailed planning, direct procurement, and management of all sub-contracted services…

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

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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…

China to Boost Energy Reserve Capacity, Support Unconventional Gas Exploration

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China said on Friday it will bolster the capacity of the country's energy reserves and offer lower gas and electricity charges to key industries, as it looks to ensure energy supply and offset the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.In energy announcements on the first day of the parliament, known as the National People's Congress (NPC), authorities also pledged to boost the country's oil and gas network and continue to support exploration for unconventional gas reserves.The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC)…

US Grants Royalty Relief to Hard-hit Drillers

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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.

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

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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.

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.

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.

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.

New Offshore Acreage Licensing to Drop 60% in 2020, Rystad says

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Newly licensed offshore oil and gas exploration acreage is likely to fall by about 60% and onshore acreage by 30% compared with 2019 levels, Rystad Energy has said, as the Norwegian energy market analytics company expects more than half of the world’s planned licensing rounds to be canceled this year due to the combined effect of the COVID-19 pandemic and the low oil prices."This year was slated to be another remarkable year for exploration with about 45 countries launching at least 52 lease rounds, about 60% of them in offshore areas.

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

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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…

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.

Oilfield Equipment and Services Spending to Fall to 2005-Low

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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.

Origin Energy to Defer Shale Drilling in Australia

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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

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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…

Archer Names New CEO, CFO

(Photo: Archer)

Oilfield services firm Archer announced Tuesday that Dag Skindlo will take over as the company's new Chief Executive Officer and that Espen Joranger will succeed Skindlo as Chief Financial Officer.Skindlo joined Archer as Chief Financial Officer and EVP Strategy in May 2016. A 28-year oil ad gas industry veteran, he joined Schlumberger in 1992 where he held various financial and operational positions before he joined the Aker Group of companies in 2005, where he held global CFO roles and Managing Director roles for several large industrial divisions.

Offshore Accounts for 60% of Oil Discoveries

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…

Apache Makes Major Discovery Offshore Suriname

Photo courtesy of Total

Apache Corp and Total SA said on Tuesday they had made a major oil discovery in a closely watched area off the coast of South America's Suriname, sending Apache's shares surging nearly 27%.The discovery, dubbed "among the most anticipated in the world" by one brokerage, is seen as central to Apache's efforts to reduce its reliance on the Alpine High venture in Texas' Permian basin, which has suffered from a dive in natural gas prices.Analysts said it was impossible to ascertain as yet how much oil the well would generate but…

Saipem Tallies $1.7 Bln Drilling Contracts

(File photo: Saipem)

Italian oilfield services firm Saipem announced Friday it has secured approximately $1.7 billion in new and extended drilling contracts for its offshore and onshore divisions.The offshore drilling contracts relate to activities to be executed in Norway and in Angola, Saipem said in a press release.The onshore contracts encompass 19 land-rigs located in Middle East, with power between 1,500 and 2,000 horsepower, and their duration range from three up to 10 years. In addition, new contracts and extensions on other existing contracts have been assigned for new works that will be executed in Bolivia, Perú and Romania, the company said.

Wintershall Dea Norge Wins Norway Permit

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has granted Wintershall Dea Norge, a Norwegian unit of the German oil company Wintershall Dea, a drilling permit for well 66046604/5-2 S, which is located in the Norwegian Sea.According to NPD, the well will be drilled from the Scarabeo 8 drilling facility in after concluding the drilling of wildcat well 6604/6-1 for Wintershall Dea Norge AS in production license 894.The drilling program for well 6604/5-2 S relates to the drilling of an appraisal well in production license 894.Wintershall Dea Norge AS is the operator with an ownership interest of 40 percent.

U.S. Drillers Add Most Rigs Since Feb 2018

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U.S. energy firms added the most oil rigs this week since February 2018 - primarily in the Permian shale - even though producers have been reducing spending on new drilling for much of this year.Companies added 18 oil rigs in the week to Dec. 20, bringing the total count to 685, the most since early November, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co said in its closely followed report on Friday.In the same week a year ago, there were 883 active rigs.In the Permian in West Texas and eastern New Mexico, the nation's biggest shale oil play…

U.S. Drillers Add Rigs for first Week in Eight

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U.S. energy firms added rigs for the first time in eight weeks even as producers follow through on plans to reduce spending on new drilling.Companies added 4 oil rigs in the week to Dec. 13, bringing the total count to 667, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co said in its closely followed report on Friday.In the same week a year ago, there were 873 active rigs.That keeps the oil rig count on track to fall for the first year since 2016. The decline, however, only totals 218, which is much smaller than 2015's record 963 rig decline…

PTTEP Charters Energy Drilling for Arthit Gig

Singapore based Energy Drilling  has been awarded a contract by the Thailand's oil and gas company  PTT Exploration & Production International (PTTEP) to provide drilling services on the Arthit field in Gulf of Thailand.The builder and manager of self-erecting tender assist drilling rigs said in a release that this contract secures employment for the high specification tender rig EDrill-1, for a firm term of 3 years and 4 months with an option period of 7 months.The Arthit field is located 230km offshore of Thailand’s Songkhla province in the Gulf of Thailand.

Liberia Lines Up 2020 Offshore Licence Round

The Liberia Petroleum Regulatory Authority (LPRA), has announced the launch of the next licensing round, expected to commence in April 2020.In a meeting held between NOCAL, LPRA and TGS, the next steps were unanimously agreed, to allow the government of Liberia to conduct a successful license round and thereby to attract the right investors to this promising exploration region.Nine blocks will be on offer in the Harper Basin, one of the last unexplored and undrilled regions offshore West Africa. TGS holds a range of multi-client data across this acreage to support the licensing round…

Sapura Energy Secures New Order

Malaysian oil and gas services firm Sapura Energy has secured several new contracts and contract extensions for its engineering and construction (E&C) as well as drilling segments.The contracts, valued at approximately RM615 million (USD 148 million), brings the total order book year-to-date to RM15.1 billion, which will increase work volume and utilization of assets.Building on its long-term relationship, Sapura Fabrication Sdn Bhd has won a contract from Hess Exploration and Production Malaysia B.V under the PETRONAS frame agreement…

KCA Deutag Wins UK North Sea Contract Extension

Canadian Natural Resources International (CNRI) has awarded KCA Deutag a five-year extension to a drilling operations and maintenance services contract.The UK-based international oil and gas services company said that multi-million pound contract is for the provision of drilling operations and maintenance services on CNRI’s three platforms - Ninian South, Ninian Central and Tiffany platforms.The two companies have a long history of working together, and over recent years have won various collaboration awards, in conjunction with other partners…

Providence to Operate Avalon as Total Exits

As Total E&P Ireland, a subsidiary of the French multinational oil giant, has withdrawn, Providence Resources has taken over operatorship of the Frontier Exploration Licence (FEL) 2/19, which contains the Avalon prospect, located offshore Ireland.FEL 2/19 is located in the southern Porcupine Basin, offshore Ireland and contains the undrilled Paleocene “Avalon” exploration prospect. FEL2/19 lies adjacent to FEL3/04 in which Providence also has an interest.Total had agreed a farm-out with the Irish oil and gas exploration company in 2017, with the French group taking a 50%  increase in the prospect.

U.S. Drillers Cut Rigs for 12th straight Month

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U.S. energy firms reduced the number of oil rigs operating for a record 12th month in a row after this week cutting rigs for a sixth consecutive week as producers slash spending on new drilling.Drillers cut three oil rigs in the week to Nov. 27, bringing the total count down to 668, the lowest since April 2017, energy services firm Baker Hughes Co said on Wednesday in a report released two days early due to the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday. <RIG-OL-USA-BHI>In the same week a year ago, there were 887 active rigs.In November, drillers cut 28 oil rigs.That puts the oil rig count on track to fall for the first time in three years.

Solveig buys oilfield operator Capricorn from Cairn

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Norwegian pipeline firm Solveig Gas has agreed to buy oil firm Capricorn Norge from Cairn Energy for $100 million, completing its transformation into a North Sea field operator, Solveig's owner HitecVision said on Wednesday.The private equity fund told Reuters earlier this year it aimed to turn Solveig into an integrated exploration and production company, using the cash flow from its gas pipelines to fund expansion.Cairn separately confirmed the deal, adding it will use the proceeds to fund its ongoing oil business in British waters.Capricorn owns 10% in the Wintershall Dea-operated Nova field in the North Sea…

ADNOC to Buy Dozens of Rigs

(Photo: ADNOC)

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) said its drilling subsidiary will acquire dozens of rigs to support that national oil company’s upstream growth plans.In the first phase of the wider fleet expansion program, ADNOC acquired, in November 2019, four technologically advanced and UAE-built land rigs with a total value of over AED 350 million ($100 million). Following the integration of the four rigs, which will join the fleet in the first quarter of 2020, ADNOC Drilling plans to acquire dozens of additional land, offshore…

Sandvik to Supply OCTG for ADNOC

(Photo: Sandvik)

Sandvik, a developer and producer of advanced stainless steels, special alloys, titanium and other high-performance materials, said it has entered into a long-term agreement with Tenaris to supply Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG) following its award from the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) in August 2019.ADNOC has awarded Tenaris a long-term contract for the provision of tubulars and Rig Direct services over the next five years, with the possibility of a two-year extension. The award forms part of an initiative by ADNOC…

Stuck Pipe Solution Cut Through

(Photo: Churchill Drilling Tools)

Oilfield services company Churchill Drilling Tools announced four successful drill-string severs using its HyPR HoleSaver, following stuck pipe events across the Middle East, including two in the UAE.Over the last six months, four drilling teams from three major Middle East operators deployed the HyPR stuck pipe solution. All successfully cut their drill-strings in a matter of hours, a 100% success rate. One UAE operator severed its drill-string in 60 minutes, after getting stuck due to heavy losses.Churchill’s HyPR is a safe, simple stuck pipe solution, pre-placed in the string, that enables operators to reinitiate operations rapidly.

Weatherford Wins Russia Contracts

Oilfield services firm Weatherford announced it has signed two contracts totaling $67.4 million for drilling services with two major operators in Russia.The first contract spans two-and-a-half years. Operations began in July 2019 and will last through the end of 2022. Weatherford will provide logging-while-drilling (LWD), measurement-while-drilling (MWD), rotary steerable systems (RSS), drilling, and geo-data interpretation services at several oilfields in Western Siberia.The second contract is a three-year drilling services contract.

U.S. NatGas Prices Near 25-year Low as Glut Weighs

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In the shale field that helped launch the U.S. natural gas boom a decade ago, Chesapeake Energy Corp this month set aside its last drilling rig. The problem for the once No. 2 U.S. gas producer was not a lack of gas, but too much of it.A long, steady increase in U.S. gas production – much of it a byproduct of the shale oil boom – has prices for the fuel heading toward a 25-year low, with output outpacing U.S. consumption and expected to hit 91.6 billion cubic feet, up 10% over last year, according to government and industry estimates.Producers have sought to turn much of the U.S. surplus to liquefied natural gas (LNG) and export it.

Delfin Delays Final Louisiana FLNG Project

File Image: a typical FLNG underway on its way to deployment (CREDIT: shell)

Delfin Midstream Inc has delayed its plan to make a final investment decision on its proposed Delfin Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) export terminal in the Gulf of Mexico off Louisiana to 2020 from 2019.Delfin said in a release on Tuesday it entered into new agreements for front-end design and engineering work on a newbuild FLNG vessel with units of Samsung Heavy Industries Co Ltd and Black & Veatch. The company said it was on track to complete an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract in mid-2020.With the 2020 target for a final investment decision, the company said it was looking at first LNG production in mid 2024.

Baker Hughes Profit Rises on Strong Foreign Demand

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Baker Hughes Co reported a rise in quarterly adjusted profit on Wednesday, helped by increased demand for its oilfield services and higher margins for its turbomachinery such as gas turbines and compressors.The company's results contrasted with steep falls in revenue reported by some of its rivals in the oilfield services industry as it benefited from stronger equipment sales to customers building liquefied natural gas plants and a rise in business outside the United States.The company, which was separated from General Electric Co.

Precision Drilling's Quarterly Loss Narrows

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Oilfield services company Precision Drilling's loss narrowed for the third-quarter, helped by higher drilling activity across North America, the Canadian company reported on Thursday.Net loss narrowed to C$3.5 million ($2.68 million), or 1 Canadian cent per share, from C$30.6 million, or 10 Canadian cents a share, a year earlier.Revenue fell about 2% to C$376 million($1 = 1.3076 Canadian dollars)(Reporting by Taru Jain; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

US Gives Chevron More Time in Venezuela

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The U.S. Treasury Department on Monday renewed a license allowing Chevron, the last U.S. operating energy company in Venezuela, to continue drilling in the country for another three months through Jan. 22.The license has been a subject of intense debate within the Trump administration as it pursues a campaign to oust socialist President Nicolas Maduro. Its renewal represented a win by some in the administration, such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who see keeping a U.S. company in Venezuela as an asset that could lead to…

Drilling Activity Buoyant in Norway

The number of wells drilled could challenge all-time high levels by the end of the year in the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS), while global offshore exploration activity has been flat year-to-date.Rystad Energy expects that this high activity level will be sustained through the winter season and into 2020. Around 30 to 50 exploration wells will be drilled per year towards 2023.“Our preliminary analysis shows that a total of 130 wells are likely to be drilled this year – a 16% increase compared to 2018. The increased activity this year relates primarily to an uptick in exploration drilling…

Chestnut Field Extended Up to Three Years

Hummingbird Spirit FPSO (Photo: Teekay)

Partners Spirit Energy and Dana Petroleum will invest £140 million ($177 million) to extend the life of the Chestnut field in the UK North Sea by as much as three years.The companies announced on Friday that they reached a deal with Teekay to extend the employment of the Hummingbird Spirit floating production, storage and offloading unit (FPSO) until March 2023 as the partners plan to drill a fourth production well by the first quarter of 2020.Drilling at Chestnut will kick off before the end of the year and follows a similar…

Eni Committed to Cyprus Exploration

(Photo: Eni)

Italian oil major Eni is committed to the exploration of Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone and its contractual engagements with the country, its chief executive said on Friday.Turkey said last week it had sent an oil-and-gas drilling ship to waters off southern Cyprus where Greek Cypriot authorities have already awarded hydrocarbon exploration rights to Italian and French companies.In reply to a Reuters request for comment on Eni's position, Chief Executive Claudio Descalzi added the group was planning a joint exploration campaign in the first half of 2020 together with its French partner Total.(Reporting by Stephen Jewkes, writing by Giulio Piovaccari)

U.S. Drillers Cut Rigs Again: Baker Hughes

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U.S. energy firms this week reduced the number of oil rigs operating for a seventh week in a row as producers follow through on plans to cut spending on new drilling this year.Drillers cut 3 oil rigs in the week to Oct. 4, bringing the total count down to 710, the lowest since May 2017, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday.In the same week a year ago, there were 861 active rigs.The oil rig count, an early indicator of future output, has declined over a record…

Norway Sovereign Fund to Divest E&P Firms

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Norway's $1.1 trillion sovereign fund will divest companies solely dedicated to oil and gas exploration and production in a bid to shield itself from a long-term fall in oil prices, the finance ministry said late on Tuesday.The move will partly shift the world's largest sovereign wealth fund away from oil and gas, as called for by the central bank, which had originally sought to remove all petroleum producers to protect the country if oil prices fell.The fund will continue to maintain stakes in refiners and other downstream firms.An earlier decision to maintain investments in so-called integrated oil firms…

PTTEP, Halliburton Ink Automation Deal

(Image: Halliburton)

PTTEP, a national petroleum exploration and production company in Thailand, selected Halliburton Landmark for joint development of new well design workflow to automate drilling and completion engineering processes across the well lifecycle, the US-based oilfield services company announced.Halliburton said the new workflow is based on PTTEP well design initiative which will be developed using Landmark Digital Well Program, an application within DecisionSpace 365, which transforms how wells are constructed and delivered by combining a digitalized planning and design process with engineering models on a single and open platform.

Schlumberger Debuts At-bit Steerable System

The NeoSteer ABSSs aim to improve horizontal well drilling performance by providing high-dogleg capability and increased rate of penetration in the curve and the lateral, (Image: Schlumberger)

Schlumberger Introduces At-Bit Steerable System for Drilling Horizontal Wells in a Single RunNeoSteer at-bit steerable system design integrates a unique cutting structure and steering mechanismsSchlumberger introduced today the NeoSteer at-bit steerable system (ABSS) at Society of Petroleum Engineers Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (SPE ATCE). The NeoSteer ABSSs improve horizontal well drilling performance by providing high-dogleg capability and increased rate of penetration in the curve and the lateral.Developed as a fit-for-basin solution…

Halliburton Introduces Automated Drilling Telemetry Service

Quick and reliable data transmission enables faster well deliveryOilfield services company Halliburton released a new measurement while drilling (MWD) technology designed to provide quick and reliable downhole information at extended depths to deliver wells faster. This capability helps operators drill longer laterals, make improved geosteering decisions and reduce well time to maximize their asset value, the manufacturer said.The QuickPulse Automated Directional Gamma Service system combines directional, vibration and gamma ray sensors with a strong transmission signal that overcomes most downhole interference.

Huge Opportunities in Norwegian Shelf

Even after more than 50 years, the Norwegian shelf still holds vast opportunities, says  Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD).According to NPD's  2019 resource report on fields and discoveries, more than half of the estimated remaining resources on the Norwegian shelf have already been discovered. 85 per cent are located in the fields and 15 per cent are located in discoveries that are being considered for development.There is also a potential that even more proven oil and gas could become profitable to produce by applying new technology and knowledge…

Four Steps to Successful Rig Intake

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After a period of dormancy, drilling activity and rig utilization is up. Yet despite an increase in demand for rigs, there is still an oversupply. Few long-term fixtures, gaps in schedules and rigs moving between different regulatory regimes create new rig intake challenges.What does this mean for your rig intake strategy? Your preference may be to contract a hot rig, as the operational risks are significantly less when compared to contracting a rig which has been nonoperational. But are the hot rigs actually “hot”? And what happens if you can’t get a hot rig?The rig intake process can be extensive and unpredictable.

Timor Resource to Drill 5 Wells in Timor-Leste

Australian privately-owned oil and gas company Timor Resources said it has commissioned Eastern Drilling to commence drilling operations in the Southeast Asian country of Timor-Leste.One of the world’s last frontiers for oil and gas, Timor-Leste's most recent drilling undertaken onshore was nearly 50 years ago in 1972, when Timor-Leste (then East Timor) was under Indonesian rule.In 2017, Timor Resources made history by securing the rights to explore and develop approximately 2,000 km2 of under-explored onshore acreage on Timor-Leste’s south coast. Timor Resources is in a joint venture with TIMORGAP, the national oil company.

US Rig Count Slides

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U.S. energy firms this week reduced the number of oil rigs operating for a fourth week in a row as producers cut spending, leading to slower growth in crude output.Drillers cut five oil rigs in the week to Sept. 13, bringing the total count down to 733, the lowest since November 2017, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday.In the same week a year ago, there were 867 active rigs.The oil rig count, an early indicator of future output, has declined over a record-tying…

Mexico, Pemex to Hedge Oil Output

Mexico and Pemex are hedging their oil output to protect oil income against projected low prices in 2020. (Photo © Adobe Stock / mmmx)

The Mexican government has said in its 2020 budget proposal that it will maintain a strategy of hedging its oil output against lower prices.Mexico’s state oil company Pemex will also continue a similar but separate hedging program. Mexico’s roughly $1 billion annual oil hedge is considered the world’s largest oil trade and the government has made the first moves to launch its program by asking banks for quotes.The budget document said the government had “fiscal shock absorbers” to protect against volatility that could affect public finances.

Velesto Bags Contracts from Petronas Carigali

Malaysia-based Velesto Drilling, indirect wholly- owned unit of Velesto Energy Bhd’s (VEB), has received a letter of award from Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd (PCSB) for the provision of jack-up drilling rig Naga 7.In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, the company said the contract worth an estimated US$8 million  is for the provision of drilling rig services for PCSB’s drilling program, which is expected to commence in the third quarter of 2019.The Malaysian offshore drilling and services provider said that the contract is expected…

Baker Hughes: U.S. Oil Drillers Cut Rigs Again

file Image: credit AdobeStock / © Diter

U.S. energy firms this week reduced the number of oil rigs operating for a third week in a row after drilling slowed for nine straight months as independent producers cut spending by about 10% this year.Drillers cut four oil rigs in the week to Sept. 6, bringing the total count down to 738, the lowest since November 2017, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday. <RIG-OL-USA-BHI>In the same week a year ago, there were 860 active rigs.The oil rig count, an early indicator of future output…

PGNiG Starts Norwegian Drilling

Polish state-controlled oil and gas company PGNiG said its unit PGNiG Upstream Norway started drilling an exploration well in licence area PL838 (the Shrek prospect) on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, for the first time in the role of the operator.It is the first exploration well in this licence area, located in the vicinity of the Skarv oil and gas field, in which PGNiG holds a 12% interest, said the subsidiary of Polish Oil and Gas Company."The main objective of our operations in Norway is to scale up our own production of gas in the region.

Empyrean Energy to Spud Well in Indonesia

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

US Drillers Add Oil Rigs

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

Total Extends Pacific Santa Ana Gig

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

Chinese Ship Returns to Vietnam's EEZ

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

Borr Drilling Wins Premium Jack-up Deal

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

Petronas Signs Offshore Deal with Gabon

Malaysian oil and gas company Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) has signed an agreement with Gabon for two exploration permits after the African country enacted a new oil law last month.A Bloomberg report quoted Noel Mboumba, Gabon’s petroleum minister saying that the deal follows the enactment of a revised hydrocarbons code last month, made with the support of the International Monetary Fund.The new code is more fiscally attractive than the previous one, the statement said citing Mboumba, the report said.Petronas  already has a presence in Gabon and is the first company to sign an exploration and production contract in the country in five years.

Investments in Exploration Drilling to Double

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

Seadrill Ivory Coast Contract Terminated

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

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

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

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

GSP Offshore, Trident Black Sea Bid in Ukraine

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

UK Plans to Boost Drilling

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

USCG Investigating Offshore Facility Fatalities

Rear Adm. John Nadeau, who recently took command of the Eighth Coast Guard District in New Orleans

Rear Adm. John Nadeau, who recently took command of the Eighth Coast Guard District in New Orleans, convened a formal investigation last week for the incident that occurred onboard the offshore production facility Auger, June 30, 2019.Crewmembers aboard the Auger were testing the facility’s lifeboat recovery system when a malfunction occurred resulting in the loss of two lives. The Auger is located 210 miles southwest of New Orleans and is responsible for the production of oil.“The Coast Guard is committed to finding the facts that led to this tragedy,” said Nadeau.

Permian Midstream Bottlenecks May Choke Output

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Rapidly rising production in the Permian basin has led to soaring levels of associated gas, outpacing pipeline infrastructure and placing increasing slowdown pressure on other production streams like crude oil and natural gas liquids (NGLs), Dr. Eugene Kim, Wood Mackenzie Research Director, Americas Gas, told delegates at the Unconventional Resources Technology Conference (URTeC) in Denver.Natural gas pipelines hit a takeaway pipeline capacity wall in late March 2019, triggered by reduced shoulder season gas demand and pipeline maintenance.

Beach Energy to Boost Drilling Spend

(Photo: Beach Energy)

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