Sunday, February 17, 2019

US Rig Count Climbs

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U.S. energy firms this week increased the number of oil rigs operating for a second week in a row amid concerns that crude supplies will swamp global demand as U.S. output keeps growing from record levels.Companies added three oil rigs in the week to Feb. 15, bringing the total count to 857, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday.The U.S. rig count, an early indicator of future output, is still higher than a year ago when 798 rigs were active after energy companies boosted spending in 2018 to capture higher prices that year.Thanks to a shale boom…

South Africa: Has Up to 60 tcf of Offshore Gas Potential

Photo: Total

South Africa, where oil major Total recently made a big offshore discovery, said on Friday it had potential gas resources of up to 60 trillion cubic feet in waters off its coast.Last week Total's chief executive said its offshore discovery probably contained 1 billion barrels of total resources, after successfully drilling its Brulpadda prospects in the Outeniqua Basin off South Africa's southern coast."South Africa has potential resources of nine billion barrels of oil and 60 trillion cubic feet or 11 billion barrels of oil equivalent of gas offshore…

Aker Energy Eyes IPO

Photo: Hufton+Crow/Dark Arkitekter

Norwegian oil company Aker said on Thursday that its exploration start-up in Ghana will submit development plans to Ghanaian authorities in March and the parent will then decide whether to sell stakes via an initial public offering or other means.The subsidiary, Aker Energy, plans to develop the deepwater Pecan field off Ghana."Depending on the approval process in Ghana, we believe the first oil is achievable in late 2020 or early 2021," Aker's Chief Executive Oeyvind Eriksen told Reuters during an earnings presentation.A recent appraisal had confirmed contingent resources of 450 million-550 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe) at the field…

BHP Approves Funding for BP-led GoM Project

The Atlantis platform in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico (Photo: BP)

BHP Group, the world's largest miner, said on Wednesday its board has approved $696 million in funding to expand production at the BP PLC-led Atlantis oil project in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.The move comes about a month after London-listed oil and gas major BP discovered further oil prospects in the Gulf of Mexico, including additional oil in the Atlantis field.

Tullow Oil Returns to Net Profit

(Photo: Tullow Oil)

Africa-focused Tullow Oil reported its first annual net profit in five years on Wednesday and said it would resume dividends with a 4.8 cent per share payout as it sets its sights on East African projects and drilling in Guyana.As flagged in November, Tullow will pay out at least $100 million to shareholders from this year, while aiming to shrink its $3.1 billion debt and increase spending to $570 million.The largest chunk of that money will help increase output in Ghana, which sets Tullow on course to raise output to 102,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed) this year from 90…

Velesto Gets Contract Extension from Hess

Image: Malaysia Petroleum Resources Corporation

Malaysian drilling contactor Velesto Drilling said that the oil company Hess Exploration and Production Malaysia has extended the contract for the Naga 8 jack-up drilling rig in North Malay Basin, Malaysia.Naga 8 jack-up rig is owned by Velesto Drilling (previously known as UMW Offshore Drilling), a subsidiary of Velesto Energy Bhd (formerly known as UMW Oil & Gas Corp Bhd).In a filing with Bursa Malaysia, Velesto said that the contract was for 18 months plus extensions.The value of contract to provide high pressure high temperature jack-up drilling rig and services is estimated to be approximately $38 million…

Equinor Drills Dry Well in the Barents Sea

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

Norwegian energy company Equinor has come up dry in the drilling of its first wildcat well in production licence 857 in the southeastern part of the Barents Sea.Equinor, as operator of production licence area Gjøkåsen, drilled 7132/2-1 targeting the Gjøkåsen Shallow prospect about 175 kilometers north of Vardø, using the Seadrill drilling rig West Hercules. The exploration well was the first drilled in production licence 857, which was awarded in the 23rd licensing round in 2016.According to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD)…

Shell, Eni, Exxon Win Concessions in Egypt

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Royal Dutch Shell, Eni, BP and Exxon Mobil were among winners of Egypt's international tender for oil and gas exploration on Tuesday, with 12 concessions awarded in total.It marks Exxon Mobil's entry into gas exploration in Egypt, while Shell was awarded the most concessions in the tender - three for oil and two for gas.Neptune Energy, Merlon, Shell, Eni and state-controlled Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) were awarded seven oil exploration concessions in total in which 39 wells will be drilled, Egypt's petroleum ministry said in a statement.Egypt has in recent years reached maritime demarcation agreements with several countries in the re

High Impact Exploration on The Rise

2019 High Impact Discoveries. Source: Westwood Wildcat Service

In the first few weeks of 2019 there have been four high impact discoveries of conventional oil and gas, finding 25% of the high impact volume discovered globally in the whole of 2018.According to Westwood Insight, one of these discoveries, Glengorm in the UK North Sea, is reported to be the biggest there since 2008.The second and third are offshore Guyana in the Stabroek licence, the gift that keeps on giving, with the fourth in the Outeniqua Basin, deep water South Africa, where the Brulpadda well has opened a new world class gas and oil play with a discovery that the operator…

Offshore Mooring to Reach $1.1B by 2021

FPSO. Pic: MODEC

The global offshore mooring system market stood at US$0.93 bn in 2014 and is predicted to reach US$1.1 bn by 2021.It is predicted to expand at a CAGR of 3.60% from 2015 to 2021, revealed a new Transparency Market Research report.According to the report, the market for offshore mooring systems is propelled by the rising subsea production and exploration and the consistent introduction of technologically advanced products. In addition, factors such as the growing demand for energy and the rise in the prices of gas and oil have also stimulated the growth of the offshore mooring systems market.In addition…

Seismic Surveys Delayed in US Arctic

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There will be no seismic exploration this winter on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, the Interior Department said on Friday, after the company seeking permission to conduct the tests ran out of time to get the required permit."We can confirm that seismic surveys will not take place until December 2019," said Alex Hinson, U.S. Department of the Interior spokesman, in an email.The company applying for the permits, SAExploration, had applied for a start date as early as December 2018 for seismic testing as a precursor to drill in the ANWR…

Giza and Fayoum Gas Fields Come Onstream

(Photo: BP)

BP on Monday announced first gas production from the second stage of its West Nile Delta development offshore Egypt, marking the second start-up in a string of new upstream projects expected to be brought on line by the supermajor in 2019.The project, which produces gas from the Giza and Fayoum fields, was developed as a deepwater, long-distance tie-back to an existing onshore plant.The Giza and Fayoum development, which includes eight wells, is currently producing around 400 million cubic feet of gas per day (mmscfd) and is expected to ramp up to a maximum rate of approximately 700 mmscfd…

WellConnection Marks UK Debut

Image: WellConnection Group

Norwegian inspection, maintenance and repair (IMR) company WellConnection Group has acquired Scotland-based Independent Oilfield Services (IOS) in a deal which marked its entrance into the UK market.WellConnection Group with bases in Stavanger, Mongstad and Hammerfest in Norway have made a strategic investment in IOS, which since its inception in 2014 has quickly grown to become one of the market leaders in the UK within IMR services and storage.IOS changes name to WellConnection IOS and will provide the group with a strong…

Size Matters in Shale Industry

Image: Rystad Energy

Having taken a closer look at the detailed economics of the most recent 1,000 wells drilled in the most popular shale hotspot – the Wolfcamp A zone of the Permian Delaware basin – Rystad Energy can see a clear pattern emerging that favors large players.As US crude production is set to grow significantly over the next decade, analysts still debate whether shale drilling is actually a profitable endeavor. Some skeptics claim operators overstate their well production profiles, while others say operational cash flow from shale…

US Drillers Add Oil Rigs Again

File Image: AdobeStock / © Mike Mareen

U.S. energy firms this week increased the number of oil rigs operating for the second time in three weeks after oil prices soared over 18 percent in January.Companies added 7 oil rigs in the week to Feb. 8, bringing the total count to 854, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday.The U.S. rig count, an early indicator of future output, is still higher than a year ago when 791 rigs were active after energy companies boosted spending in 2018 to capture higher prices that year.In 2019…

DNO 2019 Spending to Rise Sharply

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Norwegian oil firm DNO reported on Thursday a higher-than-expected operating profit in the fourth quarter and said it would hike 2019 spending as it planned to drill a record number of wells.The Oslo-listed firm, which produces most of its oil in the Kurdistan region of Iraq, in January won a hostile takeover bid for London-based Faroe Petroleum, expanding its foothold in the North Sea."The Faroe transaction transforms DNO into a more diversified company with a strong, second leg," DNO's Executive Chairman Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani…

BSOG to Go Ahead with Midia Offshore Project

Drilling at the Iulia-1 well (Photo: BSOG)

Romanian-based Black Sea Oil & Gas, controlled by private equity firm Carlyle Group LP, said on Thursday it has decided to go ahead with its $400 million offshore gas project in Romania, the first such project to be developed in 30 years.The Midia Gas Development Project will extract an estimated 10 billion cubic meters of gas some 120 kilometers offshore in the Black Sea.Black Sea Oil & Gas (BSOG) will extract the gas in a joint venture with Italian producer Gas Plus International B.V. and investment group Petro Ventures Resources…

Total Makes Discovery Off South Africa

(Photo: Odfjell)

French oil and gas major Total said it had made a significant gas condensate discovery after drilling its Brulpadda prospects on Block 11B/12B in the Outeniqua Basin, offshore South Africa.Total said the Brulpadda well encountered 57 meters of net gas condensate pay in Lower Cretaceous reservoirs. The well was deepened to a final depth of 3,633 meters and has also been successful."With this discovery, Total has opened a new world-class gas and oil play and is well positioned to test several follow-on prospects on the same block…

ExxonMobil Makes Two Discoveries Offshore Guyana

Noble Tom Madden drillship (Photo: Hess)

ExxonMobil and its partners have made two additional discoveries offshore Guyana at the Tilapia-1 and Haimara-1 wells, bringing the total number of discoveries on the Stabroek Block to 12, the U.S. supermajor announced Wednesday. The discoveries build on the previously announced estimated recoverable resource of more than 5 billion oil-equivalent barrels on the Stabroek block.Tilapia-1 is the fourth discovery in the Turbot area that includes the Turbot, Longtail and Pluma discoveries. Tilapia-1 encountered approximately 305 feet (93 meters) of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoir and was drilled to a depth of 18…

Equatorial Guinea to Offer Ophir's Old Blocks

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Equatorial Guinea will offer offshore Block R with the related Fortuna gas development project in the April licensing round, after the concession was reclaimed from Ophir Energy Plc, the oil minister said on Tuesday.Gabriel Obiang Lima told Reuters in Cape Town that Block R would be one of up to 13 deepwater and ultra deepwater blocks offered in the licensing round on April 1.Ophir was denied an extension in December to its licence for Block R and its plan for a floating liquiefied natural gas (LNG) project. Losing the block prompted Ophir to say it would report a $300 million non-cash right down in its full-year results.Equatorial Guinea…

'Frog's Leg' Proves Bountiful for Aker BP

Aker BP finds up to 153 million barrels of oil equivalents in North SeaAker BP has discovered an oil and gas reservoir while drilling near its Alvheim field in the North Sea.Known as Froskelaar (Frog's Leg) Main, the reservoir is estimated to hold between 45 million and 153 million barrels of oil equivalents, and may straddle Norway's maritime border with Britain."The drilling operation will continue, and a comprehensive data collection program will be performed to determine the size and quality of the discovery," Aker BP said in a statement.When reserves are found to stretch across the British-Norwegian offshore border…

Proserv Acquires SGC Metering

Photo: Proserv

The  global energy services company has announced the acquisition of SGC Metering from Petrofac.SGC Metering is a specialist in the design and manufacture of flow computer metering systems for the oil and gas industry. It provides expertise right across the full life cycle of a metering project, including conceptual design through to installation, operations and maintenance.The firm was established in 1988 and its wide array of systems allows the measurement of all the important metrics associated with hydrocarbon production…

Schlumberger Scraps Bid for Eurasia Drilling Stake

(Photo: EDC)

U.S. oilfield services giant Schlumberger has withdrawn its bid for a stake in Russia's Eurasia Drilling Company (EDC) Russia's Federal Anti-monopoly Service (FAS) said on Monday.Schlumberger, which has its own business in Russia, said last month it would withdraw its application to buy a stake in EDC if it didn't get regulatory approvals soon.Schlumberger's office in Moscow had no immediate comment.The U.S. company had planned to acquire up to 49 percent of EDC, Russia's largest oil services provider.The withdrawal marks Schlumberger's second failed attempt to buy EDC. In 2015, the U.S.

Aker BP Makes North Sea Find

(Photo: Aker BP)

Aker BP has discovered an oil and gas reservoir while drilling near its Alvheim field in the North Sea, the Norwegian firm said on Monday.Known as Froskelaar (Frog's Leg) Main, the reservoir is estimated to hold between 45 million and 153 million barrels of oil equivalents, and may straddle Norway's maritime border with Britain, the company added."The drilling operation will continue, and a comprehensive data collection program will be performed to determine the size and quality of the discovery," Aker BP said in a statement.When reserves are found to stretch across the British-Norwegian offshore border, the two nations share the revenue from productio

Husky Restarts White Rose

West White Rose Project. Pic: Husky Energy

Husky Energy said that it has received approval for the limited restart of oil and gas production from White Rose field offshore Newfoundland and Labrador.SeaRose FPSO project was shut down after a spill of about 250,000 litres after a heavy wind storm a couple of months ago.“We have worked with our certifying authority to satisfy ourselves the SeaRose FPSO and associated equipment is ready to safely operate the Central Drill Centre (CDC). The operations at the CDC will be restarted in a phased approach,” the company said/According to local medai reports…

Deepwater Oil Output to Reach 10 mb/d in 2019

Graph: Rystad Energy

Global deepwater oil production was expected to grow 700,000 barrels  per day (b/d) this year to hit a record high of more than 10 million b/d.Norwegian research group Rystad Energy said that it "expects global deepwater production to reach record high level and surpass 10 million bb/d.""With new fields starting up in Brazil and Gulf of Mexico, we expect the total deepwater liquid production to reach 10.3 million bbl/d in 2019. This is an increase of 700 kbbl/d compared to 2018," it said.In addition to Brazil and the US, Angola…

Bid to Suspend Total's Guyana Drilling Rejected

A French court has rejected an urgent request by environmental groups including Greenpeace and Surfrider Foundation Europe to deny oil and gas major Total permission to proceed with plans to drill off the coast of French Guyana.The environmental groups asked the court in December to suspend Total's permit to drill five wells in the block over environmental concerns.The court said there was no need for an urgent ruling, which would have come in time to halt the drilling operations.Total said in December that a drilling vessel was on the site to start drilling, and it invited activists to visit the site saying it was taking measures to protect the enviro

Petrobel Contracts Shelf Rig

Image: Shelf Drilling

UAE-headquartered offshore drilling contractor Shelf Drilling has received a contract award for one of its jack-up rigs with Belayim Petroleum Company (Petrobel) for operations in the Gulf of Suez, offshore Egypt.According to a press release from the shallow water offshore drilling contractor,  the Trident 16 jack-up drilling rig had been awarded a one-year contract.It said that the contract includes mutually agreeable options, and the planned start-up of operations is Q1 2019.The Trident 16 jack-up rig was built in 1982 by Mitsui Ocean Development & Engineering (MODEC) and its last upgrade was in 2012.

Lundin Raises Long-term Output Guidance

Rendering of Johan Sverdrup phase 2, scheduled to come on stream in 2022 (Image: Lundin Petroleum)

Lundin Petroleum raised its output guidance on Wednesday and said it would drill a record number of exploration wells in 2019.The company now expects output of over 150,000 barrels of oil equivalents per day (boepd) in 2020 from a previous forecast of more than 130,000 barrels and up from 81,100 boepd in 2018.In 2023, output is expected to exceed 170,000 barrels per day, up from 160,000 barrels expected previously.The increase will primarily come from the startup of Norway's Johan Sverdrup oilfield, the largest North Sea discovery in more than 30 years, but also from its existing fields as well as other soon-to-be developed assets, it said.Lundin plans

Lundin Granted North Sea Drilling Permit

Image: Lundin Petroleum

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has granted Lundin Norway AS a drilling permit for a wildcat well in the North Sea.The NPD said on Tuesday that the wildcat well, designated 16/1-31 S, would be drilled from the Leiv Eiriksson drilling rig after concluding the drilling of wildcat well 7121/1-2 S in the Barents Sea.The well will be drilled about 4 kilometers northeast of the Edvard Grieg facility in the central North Sea using the Ocean Rig Leiv Eiriksson semisubmersible drilling rig after it completes the drilling of…

Continental Expects Low Oilfield Service Costs in 2019

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U.S. shale producer Continental Resources expects oilfield services costs to remain low in 2019 as companies that provide drilling and completion work continue to face pressure from softer oil prices, executives said during a company presentation on Tuesday.Continental is now operating 12 rigs for its SpringBoard development in Oklahoma, down from 14 in the fourth quarter of last year due to improved efficiencies, company executives said while providing an investor update.Oil prices fell sharply in the fourth quarter last year amid concerns of oversupply and slowing economic growth, trading down to roughly $42 a barrel in December.

Total Plans Biggest Exploration Drive in Years

(Photo: Total)

Total is launching its biggest exploration campaign for years in 2019 as part of a turnaround plan that is ditching the company's focus on risky long-shots in favor of areas known to contain commercial levels of oil or gas.The French major aims to drill 23 wells this year, its senior vice president for exploration, Kevin McLachlan, told Reuters, in waters off Mauritania, Senegal, Namibia, South Africa, Guyana and Brazil.While the company declined to say how many wells it drilled in 2018, McLachlan said 2019 would be Total's largest program in years.

Glengorm Discovery Highlights UKCS Potential

Topsides being installed in 2018 at the Culzean field (Photo: Total)

CNOOC announced Tuesday it has made a significant discovery on the Glengorm prospect, located in the Central North Sea of the U.K. continental shelf (UKCS), with recoverable resources estimated at close to 250 million barrels of oil equivalent.The exploration well was drilled in License P2215 in approximately 86 meters water depth to a total depth of 5,056 meters and encountered 37 meters net gas and condensate pay zones in an Upper Jurassic reservoir.Kevin Swann, a senior analyst with Wood Mackenzie’s North Sea upstream team, said Glengorm is the largest gas discovery in the U.K.

Test Well Boosts Valeura's Confidence in Turkey

Valeura said on Monday that findings from a test well in Turkey's Thrace basin, where it operates with Norway's Equinor, had boosted its confidence in the area's potential for gas fracking.Toronto-listed Valeura and its partners sit on 20 trillion cubic feet, or roughly 3.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent, of potential gas and condensate resources two hours from Istanbul, which they are fracking at a depth of more than 3 kilometers (1.86 miles).Valeura CEO Sean Guest said results from the appraisal well supported the company's…

Oil Falls as U.S. Adds New Rigs, China Weakness

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Oil fell nearly 2 percent on Monday after U.S. companies added rigs for the first time this year, a signal that crude output may rise further, but the price is still on course for its strongest January gain for 14 years.Further weighing on oil markets, the trade dispute between the United States and China looks unlikely to end anytime soon and its impact on the Chinese economy is increasing.Brent crude oil futures were down $1.05 at $60.59 a barrel by 1300 GMT, while U.S. futures were down $1.02 at $52.67 a barrel.U.S. crude production <C-OUT-T-EIA>…

Turkey to Begin Drilling Around Cyprus

(Photo: TPIC)

Turkey will begin drilling for resources around Cyprus, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday, a move that could create tensions with neighboring Cyprus and Greece over ownership of natural resources.Attempts to tap gas and oil in the eastern Mediterranean have caused friction between Athens and Ankara.Turkey and the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot government in Cyprus have overlapping claims of jurisdiction for offshore oil and gas research in the eastern Mediterranean, a region thought to be rich in natural…

US Drillers Add Rigs

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U.S. energy firms this week increased the number of oil rigs operating for the first time this year but the rig count in January fell the most in a month since April 2016, as the boom in the Permian, the nation's biggest shale oil formation, cools.Companies added 10 oil rigs in the week to Jan. 25, bringing the total count to 862, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday.For the month, drillers cut 23 rigs in January, the most removed in a month since April 2016. Over the past two months, they pulled two rigs in December and added 12 in November.The U.S.

Rebuilding Confidence in Reactivated DP Assets

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The offshore energy sector, like any industry, is constantly subject to market cycles. Challenging conditions may lower demand, resulting in a significant number of resources such as offshore support vessels (OSVs) and drillships being deactivated for potentially extended periods. Over time, however, cycles reverse and demand increases for these same assets.Operators reduced expenditures on offshore exploration and production activities, with a subsequent lower demand for these offshore assets, many of which were ultimately deactivated and laid-up (or “stacked”) for extended periods.

Talos Comes Up Big Offshore Mexico

(Photo: Premier Oil)

An appraisal well in the Zama project offshore Mexico showed more potential for oil, raising hopes of a large discovery, operator Talos Energy said on Thursday.The Zama project in Block 7 offshore Mexico is operated by Talos, whose partners include Sierra Oil and Gas and Premier Oil.The Zama-2 appraisal well was drilled 2.1 kilometers to the north of the Zama-1 discovery well in a down dip location with a key objective to confirm the oil water contact (OWC). The well encountered the top Zama reservoir at 3,279 meters (true vertical depth (TVD)) on prognosis and the OWC at 3,430 meters TVD, consistent with the flat-spot observed on seismic.

Shipbuilding: Keppel Sees Rig Recovery, Profits Up

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Singaporean conglomerate Keppel Corp posted improved results for the fourth quarter, helped by narrower losses in its offshore and marine division, and said it was seeing signs of recovery in the rig industry.The company on Thursday reported a net profit of S$135 million ($99.2 million) for the quarter ended December, compared with a net loss of S$492 million a year earlier, when it accounted for a fine its rig-building unit agreed to pay to resolve bribery charges in Brazil.The latest profit was 6 percent higher than a profit of S$127 million it would have reported a year earlier…

Santos Boosts Van Gogh Production

FPSO Ningaloo Vision (Photo: Santos)

Australian producer Santos announced Tuesday that it has achieved first oil from the Van Gogh infill project, marking the completion of a two-well program to increase production from the field.The Santos-operated Van Gogh field is one of three subsea oil field developments located in the Exmouth Basin, offshore Western Australia, which tie into the floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO), the Ningaloo Vision.The infill project began in September and involved drilling and completing two subsea wells and connecting…

Halliburton Profit Beats on International Demand

(Photo: Halliburton)

Halliburton Co beat Wall Street estimates for quarterly profit on Tuesday, as higher demand for its oilfield services in international markets offset a slowdown in North America.Clients in North America, Halliburton's biggest market by revenue, began pulling back on some drilling services last year amid transportation bottlenecks in the largest U.S. production region and after oil prices slid sharply in the fourth quarter.An oil glut and concerns about a global economic slowdown have pushed U.S. crude down about 30 percent…

CGG Survey Favours Gabon's Offshore Expansion

Image: CGG

Geoscience company CGG is extending its Gabon multiclient data footprint with a 9,800-km offset 2D seismic survey in an unexplored deepwater area of the South basin.The integrated Geoscience company said it is building on the recent success of its 25,000-sq-km 3D BroadSeis survey, which led to the Boudji-1 and Ivela-1 oil discoveries. A subset of the data over the offered license blocks will be available in advance of Gabon's 12th offshore licensing round planned for June 2019.The new 2D data will help define the full extent of existing and new plays in the region.

Oil Rises as Investors Latch on to OPEC Cuts, Supply Outlook

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Oil rose on Monday, reversing earlier losses, as investors latched on to positive supply-side drivers for the market, although concern about the wider economy simmered in the background after data pointed to a slowdown in China.Brent crude oil futures were up 12 cents at $62.82 a barrel by 1520 GMT, while U.S. crude futures were up 9 cents at $53.89 a barrel.Analysts said a more robust backdrop for financial markets, together with the prospect of slower crude production growth, were the major drivers behind the rally in oil."The stock market performance is one of the reasons why oil keeps marching higher.

Equinor Stops Drilling Arctic Well After Incident

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

Norway's Equinor has put on hold the drilling of a key exploration well in the Barents Sea after a well incident last week, the company said on Monday.The incident occurred when Seadrill's rig West Hercules was drilling the Gjoekaasen well offshore Norway .The so-called "high-risk, high-impact" well could hold between 26 million and 1.4 billion barrels of oil equivalents, one of Equinor's partners, Aker BP, said last week.Other partners include Sweden's Lundin Petroleum and Norwegian state-owned oil company Petoro.During the…

Government Shutdown: Atlantic Seismic Permitting Blocked by Judge

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A federal court judge on Friday ruled that the federal government cannot process seismic testing permits for offshore oil drilling during the ongoing government shutdown, dealing a blow Trump administration's energy agenda.Judge Richard Gergel of the U.S. District Court in South Carolina issued the decision in response to a motion filed by a range of conservation and business groups and coastal cities opposed to the adminstration's efforts to expand U.S. offshore drilling.The Justice Department had sought a delay in the court…

Schlumberger to Manage Equinor Project in Brazil

(Photo: Equinor)

Schlumberger signed a contract worth over $200 million with oil major Equinor to manage an offshore rig as part of a drilling program in Brazil's offshore Campos oil basin, a person familiar with the matter said on Thursday.The deal would be the first time an oil services company replaces a drilling-rig contractor, the person said, adding pressure to offshore drillers still reeling from an industry-wide contraction."Schlumberger will provide the full scope of well construction services, drilling management services, and advanced digital technology solutions…

Aker BP Plans Output, Dividend Hike

Valhall field (Photo: Kjetil Alsvik / Aker BP)

Norway's Aker BP will boost dividend payments between now and 2023 and step up investment in developing offshore oil and gas fields next year, the independent oil company said on Thursday.The result of a 2016 merger between the Norwegian operations of BP and the Det norske oil firm owned by Norwegian billionaire Kjell Inge Roekke, Aker BP has become the second largest licence holder on the Norwegian continental shelf.While Aker BP expects its output to be broadly flat year-on- year in 2019 at between 155,000 and 160,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd)…

Subsea Integration Alliance Wins Esso Contract

(Image: Schlumberger)

Exxon Mobil subsidiary Esso Australia Pty Ltd. awarded integrated subsea engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning (EPCIC) contracts to Subsea Integration Alliance, which comprises OneSubsea, a Schlumberger company, and Subsea 7.The work scope includes engineering, procurement, construction and installation of two production wells in a water depth of approximately 45m that will be tied-back to the Longford onshore gas plants. Project management and engineering will be provided by OneSubsea and Subsea 7 from local offices in Perth and Melbourne, Australia.

Equinor Makes Gas and Condensate Discovery off Norway

The West Phoenix drilling rig. (Photo: Seadrill)

Norwegian oil company Equinor announced Wednesday it has proven gas and condensate in the 6406/2-9 S exploration well at Ragnfrid North around 20 kilometers south of the Kristin platform in the Norwegian Sea. Recoverable resources are estimated at 6-25 million barrels of oil equivalent.“We are pleased to start the new year by announcing a new discovery. Exploring for resources close to existing infrastructure is a central part of Equinor’s strategy to further develop the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS). We need this kind of discoveries in the years to come…

BP Gives Up Acreage Offshore Nova Scotia

Image: BP

BP Canada is scaling back its oil and gas exploration plans off Nova Scotia, as the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (NSOPB) said the company is giving back 50% of the area included in its license.According to NSOPB, half of the area included in in Exploration License 2434R is a consolidation of four offshore parcels roughly 300 kilometers southeast of Halifax.The move comes after BP failed to drill four wells within the first phase of its exploration license, which is required for approval of the second phase.The petroleum board said BP also agreed to pay a $1 million drilling deposit to extend the first phase of its exploratory license…

LLOG Exploration Reports Deepwater Exploratory Discovery

Image: LLOG Exploration

The  deepwater exploration company operating primarily in the Gulf of Mexico  reported the drilling of a successful discovery on its Nearly Headless Nick exploratory prospect on Mississippi Canyon Block 387 in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.Louisiana-based company said that it has drilled  successful  discovery  on  LLOG’s  exploratory  prospect,  Nearly  Headless  Nick,  in Mississippi  Canyon  387Brought  online  five  new  fields  in  2018,  of  which  four  initiated  production  in  the  fourth  quarter, adding  a  total  of  eight  new  producing  wells  in  2018…

Barclays Rejects Arctic Drilling

Image: NERC

U.K.-based international bank Barclays  announced a new energy policy that significantly restricts the bank’s financing for the exploration or extraction of oil and gas in the Arctic.The policy  rules out funding for companies seeking to drill in the Arctic Refuge as well as other climate change threats.According to the British multinational investment bank and financial services company headquartered in London, arctic oil and gas refers to new exploration and extraction of oil and gas in the area within the Arctic Circle which is subject to sea ice…

Oil Prices Edge Up

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Oil prices edged up on Monday, supported by ongoing supply cuts from producer club OPEC and Russia and by a drop in U.S. drilling activity.International Brent crude oil futures were at $60.75 per barrel at 0040 GMT, up 27 cents, or 0.5 percent, from their last close.U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 22 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $51.81 a barrel.Economic research firm TS Lombard said oil "prices are likely to stabilize around current levels and quite possibly drift upwards", pointing to supply cuts from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and some non-OPEC allies…

Aker Energy Hits Oil in Ghana

Image: Aker Energy

The operator of the Deepwater Tano Cape Three Points (DWT/CTP) block, Aker Energy, has announced the near-completion of a successful drilling operation of the Pecan-4A appraisal well offshore the Western Region of Ghana.This, the Chief Executive Officer at Aker Energy, Jan Arve Haugan, said has been successfully proven, adding "We are pleased to announce the well results, confirming our understanding of the area, as well as the resource base and upside potential in the DWT/CTP block.”The well was drilled at the Pecan field in the DWT/CTP block approximately 166 kilometres southwest of Takoradi in Ghana…

AzEire Gets Irish Offshore License Extension

Image: Azeire Ltd

Ireland-focused oil and gas exploration company backed by Seacrest Capital AzEire has been awarded an extension of a frontier exploration license (FEL) and a conversion of a license option to an FEL."The Minister of State at the Department of Communications, Climate Actions and Environment has approved both the extension of Frontier Exploration Licence 1/13 (FEL 1/13) for two years, and the conversion of Licence Option 16/17 (LO 16/17) to Frontier Exploration Licence 1/19 (FEL 1/19), commencing 1 February 2019," said an official…

Seadrill CFO to Step Down in June

(Photo: Seadrill)

Norwegian offshore drilling rig firm Seadrill Ltd said on Thursday that Chief Financial Officer Mark Morris will step down following completion of the company's financial restructuring.The company, controlled by Norwegian-born billionaire John Fredriksen, said it has begun a formal search process and that Morris will remain in the role until the end of June to make the transition possible.Separately, Seadrill Partners said Morris would step down as chief executive officer of that firm at the end of June. Seadrill Partners is a limited liability company formed by Seadrill Ltd to own…

Norway Ready to Claim Share of Russia's Arctic Finds

© Ivan Kurmyshov / Adobe Stock

Norway will step up preparations to claim its share of oil and gas resources if Russia finds petroleum on its side of a border in the Barents Sea, the head of Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) said on Thursday.Norway and Russia in 2010 agreed a maritime border in the Barents Sea, ending a 40-year long dispute, and also agreed to share oil and gas resources spanning that border.Russia has allowed oil and gas exploration all along the border, including in the Arctic where it has already awarded exploration rights to Rosneft and Italy's Eni.Norway currently only allows oil firms to explore in the southern part of the Barents Sea.

US Working on Arctic Oil Leases Despite Shutdown

(Image: Alaska BLM)

Even as a partial shutdown halts the functions of many U.S. government departments, forcing the Department of the Interior to close national parks, the Trump administration is continuing to push for the expansion of oil drilling on sensitive, federally owned lands in Arctic Alaska.The Alaska Bureau of Land Management (BLM), part of the Interior Department, was scheduled to hold a meeting on Wednesday night in Wainwright, an Inupiat village on the Arctic coast, over a plan to expand oil development in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.

Norway 2019 Oil Output Forecast Cut to 30-year Low

(Photo: Jan Arne Wold / Woldcam)

Norway's oil output in 2019 will be smaller than previously forecast and its lowest level in three decades, although it should rebound in the following years, the country's oil industry regulator said on Thursday.Investment in Western Europe's largest oil producer and Europe's second-largest gas producer, behind Russia, is surging after a decline due to the slump in oil prices in 2014 to 2016.Despite that, oil output in 2018 of 86.2 million cubic meters (mcm), or 542 million barrels, missed a 90.2 mcm forecast made a year ago…