Thursday, December 14, 2017

EIC Appoints Two New Board Members

Left to RIght New EIC Board Members Duncan Reed and Louise Ledgard with EIC CEO Stuart Broadley (Photo: EIC)

The Energy Industries Council (EIC), a leading trade association for companies that supply goods and services to the energy industries worldwide, has announced the appointments of BMT’s Director of Business Development Louise Ledgard and Duncan Reed, Director Project Development with the Dresser-Rand business, part of Siemens Power and Gas, to its Board of Directors. Louise Ledgard has been at BMT, a leading international design, engineering, science and risk management consultancy, since 2011, where she leads the business and development team responsible for oil and gas, renewables and critical infrastructure markets.

Unafraid Investors Pour Cash into U.S. Shale

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

Financiers keep pouring cash into the shale oil sector, providing producers with a path to keep U.S. output rising through the middle of the next decade. The United States is on track to deliver up to 80 percent of the world's oil production gains through 2025, the International Energy Agency estimates, increases fueled in part by easy access to capital. Rising U.S. production is undermining OPEC's attempts to curb global supply and boost prices, forcing the oil cartel to continue restraining output through the end of 2018.

Brent Eases, Traders Sanguine About Pipeline Outage

Brent futures for delivery in the first months of next year have given up much of their premium since the announcement on Monday that the Forties pipeline system would be shut for emergency repairs. The Forties pipeline system, which carries around 450,000 barrels per day and handles nearly a quarter of North Sea output, is likely to be shut for several weeks, according to owner Ineos. But traders have become much more sanguine about the impact on benchmark North Sea oil prices as well as the wider oil market (

Seadrill Receiving Rival Bids for Debt Restructuring

(Photo: Seadrill)

Drilling rig firm Seadrill confirmed on Wednesday it had received two rival bids for its debt restructuring from unsecured bondholders. The company, which filed for Chapter 11 restructuring in a U.S. court on Sept. 12, has sought alternative proposals for the plan put forward by its main owner, Norwegian-born billionaire John Fredriksen and a group of hedge funds. "We have received two alternative bids from unsecured bondholders ... We are evaluating these bids and are in active dialogue with the bidders," the company said in an emailed statement.

Seadrill Bondholders Propose Alternative Debt Restructuring

(Photo: Seadrill)

An unofficial committee of Seadrill's unsecured bondholders has submitted a binding alternative proposal for the company's restructuring, two sources familiar with the proposal told Reuters on Tuesday. Norwegian-born billionaire John Fredriksen and a group of hedge funds proposed on Sept. 12 to invest $1.06 billion via new equity and secured debt to restructure indebted Seadrill, once the largest drilling rig operator by market value. "Total investments (in the alternative plan) are on par with the official restructuring proposal, but it's not a copy paste. It's an improvement for unsecured bondholders," one source said, declining to elaborate.

Trump to Open Oil Drilling off US East Coast

President Donald Trump (Official White House photo)

The Trump administration is preparing a plan that would open up oil drilling off the U.S. East Coast, Bloomberg reported. President Trump ordered the Interior Department to create the draft proposal as part of his “America-First Offshore Energy Strategy” executive order in April.  The new plan, which could be unveiled as soon as this week, would allow the U.S. to auction oil and gas drilling rights in Atlantic waters previously blocked under the Obama administration. The new proposal would span the years 2019 to 2024, replacing the Obama plan, which runs through 2022.

Eni Raises Mexico Estimates as Drilling Campaign Ends

Italian energy group Eni said on Tuesday it had raised its estimates for oil and gas in its Area 1 prospect in Mexico to 2 billion barrels from a previous 1.4 billion after completing its drilling campaign.   The state-controlled major said around 90 percent of the resources in place were oil.   The development plan for Area 1 will shortly be submitted to local authorities for approval, with production startup planned in the first half of 2019.   Eni is counting on Mexico to help rebalance its resource portfolio which is skewed to gas after major discoveries in Egypt and Mozambique. (Reporting by Stephen Jewkes 

Oil Gains on Forties Pipeline Shutdown, New York Blast

Oil prices rose Monday, reversing earlier declines, after a North Sea pipeline shut for repairs and investors focused on commodities following an explosion in New York. Brent crude futures were up $1.20, or nearly 2 percent, at $64.60 by 12:22 p.m. EST (1722 GMT). U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $57.87 a barrel, 51 cents or 0.9 percent above their last settlement. The difference between the two benchmarks <WTCLc1-LCOc1> was the largest since late October, as Brent rallied after the shutdown of the pipeline that carries the largest grade of North Sea crude oil.

Oil Under Pressure as U.S. Adds Rigs

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

U.S. rig count hits 751, highest since September, as U.S. Oil prices edged lower on Monday as rising U.S. drilling activity pointed to a further increase in American production, countering OPEC-led output cuts. Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were 10 cents lower at $63.30 a barrel by 1115 GMT. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $57.10 a barrel, down 26 cents from their last settlement. Brent and WTI settled more than 1 percent higher on Friday, and oil prices have gained well over a third from 2017 lows. "It's time for a breather," said Warren Patterson, commodities strategist with ING.

FERC Seeks Delay of Coal, Nuclear Rule

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) carolyn franks)

The new chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission late on Thursday requested a 30-day delay on a decision on a plan promoted by Energy Secretary Rick Perry to subsidize aging nuclear and coal-fired power plants. Kevin McIntyre, a Republican, wrote a letter to Perry proposing to extend the deadline for a decision on the so-called Grid Resiliency Pricing Rule. Perry in September had issued FERC a directive to consider the rule and decide on it by Dec. 11. The plan would allow plants that maintain at least 90 days of fuel supply on site to recover their full costs through regulated power pricing.

Maersk Drilling: One Dead After Tambar Oilfield Accident

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

Maersk Drilling said on Friday that an employee, a Norwegian citizen, has died following an accident on a drilling rig at Aker BP's Tambar oilfield off Norway on Thursday.   Another person was injured and is receiving medical treatment but his condition is not critical, said Maersk Drilling, which is owned by A.P. Moller-Maersk.   The field's production has been shut, Aker BP said in a separate announcement.   Reporting by Teis Jensen 

Two Injured on Rig at Aker BP Oilfield

File Image: a Tambar offshore oil installation (CREDIT: Aker BP Photography)

Two people were injured on a Maersk-owned drilling rig at Aker BP's Tambar oilfield off Norway on Thursday, Aker BP said. One of the two individuals fell into the sea and was picked up by a ship that was on standby at the field, Aker BP said. It did not provide details of how the second person was injured. Both individuals were working for Maersk Drilling. The company declined to comment on any impact on output at the North Sea Tambar field. "Aker BP confirms that a serious incident has been reported at 1210 (1110 GMT) today at the Tambar field," the company said in a statement. It did not give additional information on the extent of the injuries.

US Interior Dept Pushes Drilling, Expedited ANWR Permits

The Department of the Interior, the U.S. government's second largest revenue generator behind the IRS, is trying to be a better business partner to oil companies to curb falling revenues, Vincent DeVito, energy advisory to the Secretary of the Interior, said on Thursday.   The department plans to expedite permitting on drilling in Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska, DeVito said at the S&P Global Platts Energy outlook in New York. Expediting the process would not be at the expense of environmental stewardship, he said.   Reporting by Jessica Resnick-Ault 

Alaskan Lease Sale Draws Tepid Response

File Image: the Trans alaska Pipeline. (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Roger Asbury)

An oil-and-gas lease sale that raised concerns with environmentalists due to the vast amount of acres offered in Arctic Alaska drew few bids on Wednesday, government officials said. Seven bids were received, covering about 80,000 acres - or less than 1 percent of the 10.3 million acres offered in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska by the Trump administration. It was, by far, more territory than ever offered in any of the previous 12 NPR-A lease sales held since 1999. The sale was the latest move by the administration of President Donald Trump…

US Senate Pushes Alaska Wildlife Refuge, But Drillers Look Elsewhere

© George Burba / Adobe Stock

Even as the U.S. Senate moves to allow oil drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), the real action is 150 miles (241 km) west, where industry proponents hope a coming sale of 10 million acres of land will revitalize the state's sagging crude production. The Trump administration, through the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, will auction off 10 million acres on Wednesday in the National Petroleum Reserve (NPR-A), a hotbed of oil exploration and development in the western part of Alaska's North Slope. The planned sale has encouraged the oil industry while angering environmental groups.

Oil Falls After U.S. Drilling Picks Up

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

Oil prices still near highest since mid-2015 on OPEC deal. Oil fell on Monday after U.S. shale drillers last week added more rigs but prices still held close to their highest since mid-2015, supported by an extension to output cuts agreed last week by OPEC and other producers. Drillers in the United States added two oil rigs in the week to Dec. 1, bringing the total count to 749, the highest since September, energy services company Baker Hughes said in its closely followed report late on Friday. February Brent crude futures were down 62 cents at $63.11 a barrel by 1230 GMT, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate was down 63 cents at $57.73.

US Shale Eases Into Detente with OPEC as Supply Cut Extended

U.S. producers applauded Thursday's decision by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producers led by Russia to extend output cuts until the end of 2018. Texas and North Dakota - the two largest U.S. shale-producing states - described it as a boon for their producers. Their appreciation was in contrast to a more combative style in recent years, when shale states seemed to relish openly bashing the group. "Now that it seems prices are looking to stabilise with this OPEC deal around $60 (per barrel)…

Saudi Arabia, Russia Reach Compromise on Oil Pact: Kemp

Ministers from OPEC and their allies have agreed to extend their production pact all the way to the end of 2018 but with a review in June that will take into account market conditions and progress towards rebalancing. The outcome represents a successful compromise between de facto OPEC leader Saudi Arabia (which wanted to announce an extension throughout 2018) and non-OPEC heavyweight Russia (which wanted to avoid giving such a long commitment). The decision was in line with traders’ expectations and there has been little change in either outright crude prices or calendar spreads since the decision was announced on Thursday.

MEG Energy Expects to Produce More Oil in 2018

Photo: MEG Energy

Canadian oil sands producer MEG Energy Corp said on Friday it expects higher production in 2018, compared to its 2017 forecast. The company expects to produce 85,000 to 88,000 barrels per day (bpd) next year, compared to its 2017 forecast of 80,000 to 82,000 bpd. MEG Energy expects capital expenses of C$510 million ($396.02 million) next year, the majority of which will be used to drill new oil wells. The company said it plans to spend C$120 million next year on thermal technology at its Christina Lake oil sands project in northern Alberta, which involves adding gas to steam injected underground to liquefy and extract tarry oil sands bitumen.

Oil Prices Rise After OPEC Extends Output Curbs

Oil edged up on Friday after OPEC and other major producers agreed to continue reining in output until the end of next year to try to reduce the global oil glut and boost prices. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and some non-OPEC producers led by Russia agreed on Thursday to keep current limits on output in place until the end of next year, although they signalled a possible early exit from the deal should the market overheat and prices rise too far. Brent was trading at $63.17 by 1351 GMT, up 54 cents on the day. U.S. light crude was up 43 cents at $57.82.

Chevron to Study Mexican Oil Block

U.S. oil major Chevron Corp will focus on studying the geology of its block in Mexico's deepwater Gulf during the first four-year phase of its contract, rather than drilling new wells, a senior executive said on Thursday. The company, which leads a consortium that includes Mexican state oil firm Pemex and Japan's Inpex, won the rights to deepwater Block 3 at auction late last year. The auction was part of a sweeping 2013-14 energy reform that ended Pemex's decades-long monopoly, as the government sought to reverse a decade of declining oil and gas production.

Arctic Drilling Hits Speed Bumps in U.S. Tax Bill

© Terje / Adobe Stock

A quest by Republicans to open Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Reserve was slowed after a nonpartisan Senate official ruled late on Wednesday that the exploration was subject to environmental assessments by the Interior Department. Senator Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska and the head of the Senate energy panel, has been pushing a measure in the U.S. tax bill that would open a portion of the refuge on the coastal plain to two lease sales in 10 years for drilling. But the nonpartisan senate official took issue with the energy committee measure as it did not fully consider requirements under a national environmental law.

Russian Oil Industry Pipe Maker TMK Prepares for U.S. Spin-off


TMK, Russia's largest maker of steel pipes for the oil and gas industry, is preparing its U.S. subsidiary IPSCO Tubulars for an initial public offering (IPO) of shares. The announcement comes amid concerns among some Russian officials about a potential expansion of U.S. sanctions against Moscow and as Russia itself has pledged to cut its oil output by 300,000 barrels per day as a part of the global deal. OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers look poised to agree at a meeting on Thursday to extend output cuts until the end of 2018, four OPEC sources said as the group seeks to clear a global glut of crude and avoid another price crash.

SBM Offshore to Pay $238 Mln in US Bribery Case

SBM Offshore NV, a Netherlands-based maker of offshore oil drilling equipment, and its U.S. subsidiary, SBM Offshore USA Inc, agreed to settle criminal charges of bribing officials in five countries and pay a $238 million penalty, the U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday. The companies agreed to settle charges related to schemes lasting more than a decade involving bribery of foreign officials in Brazil, Angola, Equatorial Guinea, Kazakhstan and Iraq, in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the Justice Department said in a statement. SBM Offshore USA pleaded guilty on Wednesday in the U.S.

Exxon Nears Deal to Explore for O&G Offshore Mauritania

Photo: Exxon Mobil

Exxon Mobil is close to signing a deal to explore for oil and gas offshore Mauritania, its first foray into the West African country, Mauritania's oil, energy and mines director said on Wednesday. An Exxon Mobil spokeswoman declined to comment on the deal, but said the Texas-based company does not yet have drilling activities in Mauritania. Interest has surged in oil and gas fields offshore of Mauritania and neighbour Senegal since big discoveries by Cairn Energy and Kosmos Energy, the latter now partnered with BP, in separate projects over the last three years. Both are expected to start production early next decade.

Israel's Delek Group Posts Record Q3 Profit

Tamar Platform (Photo: Delek)

Israeli energy conglomerate Delek Group reported a record profit in the third quarter boosted by the sale of a stake in the Tamar natural gas field. Delek said on Wednesday it earned 1.02 billion shekels ($291 million) for the quarter, up from 85 million a year earlier. Delek sold a 9.25 percent stake in the Tamar project, which alone resulted in a profit of 873 million shekels. Delek, through its subsidiary Delek Drilling, still has a 22 percent share of the Tamar field, which it said it has committed to sell off by the end of 2021. Revenue for the quarter rose to 1.78 billion shekels from 1.55 billion.

ExxonMobil's Canada Offshore Project Produces First Oil

Photo: ExxonMobil Canada

The Hebron oil project off the coast of eastern Canada has produced its first oil, operator Exxon Mobil said on Tuesday, in a boost to Atlantic Canada's output after years of weak crude prices. At its peak Hebron will produce up to 150,000 barrels per day (bpd), Exxon said. It will help Atlantic Canada offshore production climb 44 percent to 307,000 bpd by 2024, according to estimates from the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers. The platform is located 200 miles (350 kilometres) off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador in depths of 300 feet (92 metres) and the oil field…

Statoil to Drill 5-6 Wells in Arctic Barents Sea in 2018

© Ivan Kurmyshov / Adobe Stock

Norway's Statoil will continue to drill for oil in the Arctic Barents Sea next year even though its 2017 campaign was mostly disappointing, the company's head of exploration told Reuters on Tuesday. Statoil plans to drill between 25 and 30 wells in Norwegian waters in 2018, of which five or six are expected in the Barents and the rest will be split between the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea, which are both located further south. "We have tested a lot of potential there (in 2017), and that potential is gone, but we still believe in the overall potential of the Barents Sea…

Pressured for Profit, Oil Majors Bet Big on Shale Technology

(File photo: ConocoPhillips)

Shale oil engineer Oscar Portillo spends his days drilling as many as five wells at once - without ever setting foot on a rig. Part of a team working to cut the cost of drilling a new shale well by a third, Portillo works from a Royal Dutch Shell Plc office in suburban Houston, his eyes darting among 13 monitors flashing data on speed, temperature and other metrics as he helps control rigs more than 500 miles (805 km) away in the Permian Basin, the largest U.S. oilfield. For the last decade, smaller oil companies have led the way in shale technology…

Oil Falls On US Drilling

© Tomasz Zajda / Adobe Stock

Oil prices fell on Monday, with U.S. crude easing from two-year highs on prospects of higher output, but losses were limited before an OPEC meeting that is expected to extend output limits. Brent crude oil was down 10 cents at $63.76 a barrel by 1430 GMT. U.S. light crude was 70 cents lower at $58.25. U.S. crude oil production <C-OUT-T-EIA> has risen by 15 percent since mid-2016 to 9.66 million barrels per day (bpd), not far from top producers Russia and Saudi Arabia. Rising drilling activity means output is likely to grow further. U.S. energy firms added oil rigs last week.

BP North Sea Field to Test U.S. Iran Policy

Serica acquires Rhum field from BP, co-owned by Iran; seeks U.S. licence to operate in Rhum field. A small gas field on the edge of the British North Sea could become a litmus test for U.S. policy towards Iran. London-based BP this week agreed to sell to North Sea producer Serica Energy three fields in the ageing offshore basin, including the Rhum field which is co-owned by a subsidiary of Iran's national oil company. For Serica, the $400 million deal will increase its production sevenfold. It nevertheless hinges on the British company receiving a licence from U.S.

U.S. Shale Producers Challenge OPEC Strategy

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

U.S. shale producers have started adding more drilling rigs in response to rising oil prices and improving confidence about the outlook for 2018. Experience shows changes in the number of rigs drilling for oil in the United States tends to follow changes in WTI prices with a lag of about 16 to 20 weeks. The active rig count peaked in mid-August and then declined through September and October, in response to the earlier peak and fall in prices between February and mid-June. But WTI prices hit a recent low around June 21 and have been on an upward trend for 22 weeks so it was expected the rig count would start to rise.

U.S. Drilling Balances OPEC Cuts

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

OPEC and other producers expected to keep output limits. Oil prices fell on Monday, with U.S. crude easing from two-year highs on prospects of higher output, but losses were limited before an OPEC meeting that is expected to extend output limits. Brent crude oil was down 30 cents at $63.56 a barrel by 1310 GMT. U.S. light crude was 65 cents lower at $58.30. U.S. crude oil production <C-OUT-T-EIA> has risen by 15 percent since mid-2016 to 9.66 million barrels per day (bpd), not far from top producers Russia and Saudi Arabia. Rising drilling activity means output is likely to grow further. U.S. energy firms added oil rigs last week.

A BP North Sea field to test U.S. policy on Iran

A small gas field on the edge of the British North Sea could become a litmus test for U.S. policy towards Iran. London-based BP this week agreed to sell to North Sea producer Serica Energy three fields in the ageing offshore basin, including the Rhum field which is co-owned by a subsidiary of Iran's national oil company. For Serica, the $400 million deal will increase its production sevenfold. It nevertheless hinges on the British company receiving a licence from U.S. sanctions enforcement authorities at a time when President Donald Trump is flexing his muscles against Tehran.

Big Gas Exporter Nations Blast Unilateral Sanctions in US Dig

© Sergeev Sergey / Adobe Stock

Representatives from a group of major energy-exporting nations on Friday said they oppose the use of unilateral sanctions on any of their members - an apparent dig at the United States for its moves against Russia, Iran and Venezuela. The Gas Exporting Countries Forum, which also includes members like Libya, Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria, expressed their "profound concern" about sanctions affecting the gas sector that are not authorized by the United Nations, according to a communique signed by GECF's 12 members after the group's summit in Bolivia this week. The U.S.

With Keystone Pipeline Shut, US Oil Prices Near 2-year High

U.S. oil prices remained near two-year highs on Monday on the back of the ongoing closure of the Keystone pipeline connecting Canada and the United States, while expectations of extended OPEC-led supply cuts also supported markets. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were at $58.91 a barrel at 0029 GMT, 4 cents below their last settlement but still close to two-year highs of $59.05 reached on Friday. Brent crude futures were at $63.84 a barrel, virtually unchanged from their last close. The closure of the 590,000 barrels per day (bpd) Keystone pipeline following a spill has helped drive up U.S. crude as it reduces stocks. "WTI prices ...

Aker BP Announces Deals with Maersk, Odfjell, Halliburton‍

Aker BP is committed to increase the productivity, quality, flow- and time efficiency throughout the value chain.

Oil Steadies Ahead of OPEC Meeting

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

U.S. output may rise more than rig count suggests - Westwood. Oil prices were only slightly firmer on Tuesday as traders looked ahead to a meeting next week at which major crude exporters are expected to extend production cuts but the prospect of rising U.S. output capped gains. Brent crude oil was up 12 cents at $62.34 a barrel at 1145 GMT. U.S. light crude was at $56.56, up 14 cents. Analysts said Brent was expected to fluctuate in a narrow range, between $61 and $63, as the market awaited the outcome of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries' meeting on Nov. 30.

Nebraska Mulls Keystone Pipeline's Fate

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / Berkut 34)

Nebraska regulators will announce their decision on Monday on whether to approve TransCanada Corp’s Keystone XL pipeline route through the state, the last big hurdle for the long-delayed project. Just days ago, TransCanada's existing Keystone system spilled 5,000 barrels in South Dakota and pipeline opponents said the spill highlighted the risks posed by the proposed XL expansion. The stakes are big. President Donald Trump, a Republican, has made Keystone XL’s success a plank in his effort to boost the U.S. energy industry. Environmentalists have made the project a symbol of their broader fight against fossil fuels and global warming.

US Oil Rig Count Steady this Week -Baker Hughes

© Aneese / Adobe Stock

U.S. energy companies kept the oil rig count unchanged this week, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said on Friday, as some analysts expect a gradual decline in overall rigs in the fourth quarter and in 2018. The rig count, an early indicator of future output, held at 738 in the week to Nov. 17, still much higher than 471 rigs a year ago as energy companies boosted spending plans for 2017 as crude started recovering from a two-year price crash. The increase in drilling lasted 14 months before stalling in August…

Statoil to Step Up Offshore Norway Exploration

File Image: an offshore Statoil Installation (CREDIT: Statoil)

Norway's Statoil will ramp up its search for oil and gas deposits on the Norwegian continental shelf next year, the company said on Friday. Oil companies are stepping up efforts to find more oil and gas offshore after cutting exploration budgets following the oil price drop since 2014, meaning more work for owners of drilling rigs, such as Transocean or Seadrill. Majority-state owned Statoil is emerging from the downturn as one of the most active offshore explorers. "We are looking at drilling 25 to 30 wells in Norway in 2018. That's an early ambition we have and it depends on some approvals," Statoil's spokesman said.

Offshore Oil Service Firms Dominate Energy Bankruptcies

(File photo: Ocean Rig)

Offshore oil drilling and service companies, hurt by the energy industry's shift to lower-cost shale and away from deepwater projects, are dominating the year's energy bankruptcies in North America, according to law firm Haynes and Boone. There were fewer oilfield service companies seeking protection this year than last but those that did have had larger debts. Through October, 44 oilfield services companies filed for bankruptcy in the United States and Canada owing creditors $24.8 billion, compared with 72 companies and $13.48 billion for all of 2016.

Premier Oil Seeks Buyers for Stake in Indonesia Gas Field

Premier Oil is seeking buyers for a 25 percent stake in the Tuna field development in Indonesia after reaching a gas sale deal with Vietnam, Chief Executive Tony Durrant said on Thursday. Premier and SKK Migas signed on Nov. 10 an agreement to sell gas to Vietnam from the Tuna development, Premier said in a trading update. The field holds around 500 billion cubic metres of resource, Durrant said. The offtake agreement "represents a significant step forward in the potential development of the field envisaging using a new cross-border pipeline to connect the Tuna area to the existing Nam Con Son Pipeline system in Vietnam," Premier said.

SandRidge Energy to Buy Bonanza Creek in $746 Mln Deal

(Photo: Bonanza Creek)

Oil and gas producer SandRidge Energy said on Wednesday it would buy rival Bonanza Creek in a deal valued at $746 million to expand its presence in the Denver-Julesburg Basin of Colorado. Shares of SandRidge fell 19.4 percent, while those of Bonanza Creek slipped 2.3 percent and were trading well below the offer price of $36, suggesting investors were skeptical of the deal going through. Both SandRidge and Bonanza Creek have emerged from bankruptcies after being stung by a slump in oil prices. "This acquisition greatly enhances our existing portfolio by adding a deep inventory of drill-ready locations in the DJ Basin of Colorado…

Oil Explorer Finder Seeks $150mln for Australia Drilling

Australia-focused oil and gas explorer Finder Exploration is seeking to raise $150 million for the drilling of five wells off the country's northwest coast, a document seen by Reuters showed. The wells could hold as much as 600 million barrels of oil and gas equivalent, the privately owned company said in a presentation to potential investors. Finder, a joint venture with energy services company Fugro , hopes to start drilling in the third quarter of 2018. The exploration blocks are adjacent to the Browse basin and Northern Carnarvon basin, where a number of large oil companies including Exxon Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell operate.

TWMA Appoints Garrick as CEO, President

Ronnie Garrick (Photo: TWMA)

TWMA, provider of specialized Drilling Waste Management services, is expecting its growth strategy to accelerate, with a target turnover of £200 million ($263 million) and headcount to reach 1,500 following investment from Buckthorn Partners earlier this year. To support the strategy implementation, Tony Branch will expand his current Director role within TWMA, taking over from Ronnie Garrick as CEO. Mr Garrick expands his remit as President of the Company, focusing and leading on three key growth development areas: merger and acquisitions activity; new geographic expansion; and new product and technology development.

Senate Panel Set to Advance Quest for Oil in Alaska Refuge

(Photo: USFWS)

Oil drilling in a vast Alaskan wildlife refuge could move a step closer to reality on Wednesday as a Senate panel votes to open part of the reserve coveted by conservationists. Republicans, who control Congress and the White House, have long wanted to prise open a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge on the north coast known as the 1002 area. Senator Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican and the head of the Senate energy committee, says drilling in the refuge is needed to provide jobs and boost the country's resource base. But former U.S.

Israel Takes Bids for Offshore Exploration

Israel said on Wednesday it received bids to explore for oil and gas in its economic waters from Greece's Energean and a consortium of Indian firms including ONGC Videsh, Bharat PetroResources , Indian Oil Corp and Oil India.   Israel hoped it would draw 2-3 foreign firms to come drill in 24 new offshore blocks in its latest bidding round that opened a year ago.   Israel's Energy Ministry said it would spend the coming weeks examining each bidder's offer and work plan before making a final decision. It said it will hold another bidding round next year. (Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch)

Ghana, Exxon Discuss Deepwater Drilling

Ghana has opened talks with Exxon Mobil Corp to allow the U.S. oil firm to undertake deepwater exploration off the West African nation's coast, a deputy energy minister said on Monday.   "The negotiations are ongoing according to our current laws ... so far so good," Mohamed Amin Adam told Reuters on the sidelines of an Africa oil conference in Accra. (Reporting by Kwasi Kpodo; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

Shell to Begin Drilling in Brazil's Gato do Mato Block in 2019

Royal Dutch Shell's Brazil chief said on Monday that the oil major plans to begin drilling in the Gato do Mato block it won in an auction last month in 2019. Andre Araujo, Shell's Brazil CEO, said at an event in Rio de Janeiro that it was too soon to forecast when first oil might be produced.   Reporting by Alexandra Alper

Oil Steady Near Two-Year Highs

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

Middle East tensions raise risk of supply disruptions; Increase in U.S. oil drilling caps prices. The Brent oil price was steady at close to two-year highs on Monday, with support from Middle East tensions and record long bets by fund managers balanced by rising U.S. production. Benchmark Brent crude futures were down a modest 5 cents at $63.47 a barrel by 1228 GMT but up 14 percent so far this month. U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures rose 6 cents to $56.68. Traders said crude prices were well supported as output…

U.S. drillers Add Most Rigs since June -Baker Hughes

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

U.S. energy companies added the most oil drilling rigs in week since June as crude prices traded up to their highest levels since the summer of 2015. Drillers added nine oil rigs in the week to Nov. report on Friday. price crash. over the summer. The U.S. of a 380,000 bpd increase. U.S. 8.9 million bpd in 2016, the EIA said. million bpd in 1970. The largest U.S. long as oil prices stay above $50 per barrel. U.S. week, their highest since July 2015. year's $43.47 average. of the year and calendar 2018. production at any cost. to increase spending on U.S. about 53 percent over what they spent in 2016, according to U.S. financial services firm Cowen & Co.

U.S. NatGas Ticks Up as Traders Reassess Market

© Sergii Ryzhkov / Adobe Stock

U.S. natural gas prices have bounced by almost 10 percent since the start of the month as traders reassess their earlier bearish view this winter amid signs sentiment had become far too gloomy. Futures prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange for gas delivered to Henry Hub in January 2018 have risen to almost $3.30 per million British thermal units from $3.00 on Nov. Prices for January, at the height of the winter heating season, now command a premium of almost 32 cents over April, up from just 16 cents at the start of the month.

Fredriksen's Northern Drilling raises $246 mln

The drilling rig company says raised NOK 2 billion Norwegian crowns ($245.91 million) via private placement of 31.75 mln new shares at a subscription price of NOK 64 per share​. The firm says ‍that private placement was substantially over-subscribed. Following the issuance, the company will have an issued share capital of $77.75 million divided into 77.75 million common shares, each with a nominal value of $1.00. Hemen Holding Ltd., a company indirectly controlled by trusts established by John Fredriksen for the benefit of his immediate family and affiliated with Greenwhich Holdings Limited ("Greenwich")…

Asian Floating Storage Declines as Crude Market Tightens

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

Strong demand is tightening the market but rising US output could sap efforts to rebalance market. The amount of oil stored on tankers around Singapore has dropped sharply in the last months, the latest indication that OPEC-led supply cuts are successfully tightening crude markets even as U.S. exports have soared. Shipping data in Thomson Reuters Eikon shows around 15 super-tankers are currently filled with oil in waters off Singapore and western Malaysia, storing around 30 million barrels of crude. That is half the number of ships in June and down from 40 tankers holding surplus fuel in mid-2017.

Arctic Oil Expansion Panned by Scientists

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A group of 37 U.S.-based scientists whose research focuses on Arctic wildlife asked two U.S. senators in a letter on Thursday not to open the National Arctic Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration, according to a copy seen by Reuters. The scientists, including several retired former officials from the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, said in a letter to Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington that drilling for oil and gas in the refuge would be "incompatible with the purposes for which the refuge was established…

Oil Prices Rise on Supply Cuts, Tensions

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Oil prices rose nearly 1 percent on Thursday, supported by supply cuts by major exporters as well as continuing concern about political developments in Saudi Arabia. Brent crude oil was up 59 cents or 0.9 percent to $64.08 a barrel by 11:30 a.m. (1630), still close to Tuesday's intra-day high of $64.65, which was the highest since June 2015. U.S. light crude was up 46 cents or 0.8 percent at $57.27, just shy of this week's more than two-year high of $57.69 a barrel. Saudi Arabia plans to cut its crude exports by 120,000 barrels per day in December compared with November…

Well-Centric Develops Compact Milling Tool

Gate Valve Milling Tool (Photo: Well-Centric)

Well-Centric, an independent specialist in well integrity and production technology solutions for the oil and gas industry, will launch a new compact milling tool at the SPE ICOTA Well Intervention Conference this month. The Well-Centric Gate Valve Milling Tool is a milling tool designed to provide access to restricted wells by drilling through stuck gate valves or other blockages. Stuck valves can result in a well being out of action for months, if not years, with lost production potentially amounting to millions. The Gate Valve Milling Tool helps reinstate production safely, quickly and efficiently with minimal operator downtime.

Petrobras Seeks Halt to Odebrecht Drilling after Accident

Brazil's state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA has asked Odebrecht's offshore drilling arm to halt operations of a rig, according to a document seen by Reuters on Monday, after an explosion there killed three people in June. Petrobras also threatened to cancel contracts related to the Norbe VIII rig, according to an undated internal memo sent by Roberto Simoes, chief executive of Odebrecht Oil and Gas (OOG), Odebrecht's offshore drilling unit. Contract cancellations would be another blow for Odebrecht, which has been targeted in corruption probes in Brazil and elsewhere in Latin America.

US Shale Producers Promise Higher Output and Returns

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U.S. shale producers are telling investors impatient for better returns that they can keep boosting oil output aggressively and do so while still making money for shareholders. Investors have pushed top U.S. shale companies to focus on returns, rather than higher output, a move that threatened to slow the breakneck growth in supply sparked by the shale revolution in the world's top oil consumer. For the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, slower shale production gains would have been welcome. The cartel this year put caps on its members' production to end a supply glut and boost oil prices, only to find U.S.