Saturday, February 17, 2018

U.S. Drillers Add Rigs for Fourth Consecutive Week

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

U.S. energy companies added oil rigs for a fourth week in a row even though crude pulled back from three-year highs over the past couple of weeks as more drillers boost their 2018 spending plans. Drillers added seven oil rigs in the week to Feb. 16, bringing the total count up to 798, the highest level since April 2015…

BP Plans No Azeri Platform Shutdowns in 2018

Photo: BP

British oil major BP, which operates a number of oil and gas fields in Azerbaijan, plans no maintenance shutdowns of platforms there this year and intends to advance with new projects, BP's regional president told Reuters. "There aren't any turnarounds planned for this year. I think there are some planned for 2019…

Merkel Sees No Threat in New Gas Pipe to Russia, Poland Disagrees

Photo: Nord Stream 2

The planned Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline connecting Germany and Russia poses no threat to Europe's energy security, Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Friday, publicly disagreeing with her Polish counterpart. Poland, Ukraine and Baltic states fear the pipeline to be laid under the Baltic Sea…

Turkish Blockade off Cyprus 'out of Eni's control'

A Turkish blockade of a ship hired by Eni to drill for gas off the Cyprus coast is a diplomatic issue that is out of the Italian oil company's hands, Eni's CEO said on Friday. Last week, the Saipem 12000 drill ship heading from a location southwest of Cyprus towards an area southeast of the…

Congo Defends Right to Explore for Oil in National Parks

Photo: Salonga National Park

Democratic Republic of Congo's oil minister on Thursday defended the country's right to explore for oil anywhere on its territory after media reports that President Joseph Kabila approved drilling in Africa's largest tropical rainforest reserve. Oil minister Aime Ngoy Mukena declined to confirm…

Trump Proposes $200 Mln Budget for BSEE

(File photo: BSEE)

President Donald Trump today proposed a $199.9 million Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 budget for the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) as the Administration aims to support a ramp up in domestic oil and gas production. The FY 2019 budget request includes an estimate of $67.9 million in offsetting collections.

Big Oil Takes Stage for Post-austerity Beauty Contest

(File photo: Shell)

With years of austerity in their rear-view mirrors, the world's biggest oil companies are locked in a beauty contest to lure investors with promises of growth and greater rewards. Royal Dutch Shell and Total are emerging as frontrunners after a three-year slump thanks to strong growth projections but Exxon Mobil…

Sonatrach Eyes More Vessels to Boost Asia Gas Sales

(Photo: Sonatrach)

Algeria will acquire more vessels to transport gas to Asia as it eyes increased sales in that region, the chief executive of state energy firm Sonatrach said on Monday. "With Russia and the U.S., gas competition is tough," Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour told reporters during a visit to the Hassi Messaoud oilfield. He gave no details.

OPEC Sees Balanced Oil Market by Year-end

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OPEC said on Monday the world oil market would return to balance only towards the end of 2018 as extra barrels from the United States and other non-member producers offset an OPEC-led deal intended to clear a supply glut. In a monthly report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries…

Enpro Subsea Wins Frame Agreement with Tullow

Photo: Enpro Subsea

Production optimization specialist company Enpro Subsea has been awarded a frame agreement contract to support leading multinational exploration and production (E&P) company Tullow Oil as part of the operator’s strategic activities in Ghana. The contract will see the Aberdeen-headquartered…

Lebanon Will Use Energy Block Disputed by Israel

Lebanese Energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil vowed on Friday there would be full exploration in offshore energy Block 9, part of which lies in waters disputed by neighbouring Israel. Lebanon said on Friday it had signed its first offshore oil and gas exploration and production contracts for two energy blocks.

Ardiseis, CGG Complete Highest-Density Seismic Survey

Ardiseis, subsidiary of the Arabian Geophysical and Surveying Company (ARGAS), the Middle East’s seismic acquisition specialist, and its technology partner, CGG, have announced the successful completion of the world’s highest-density broadband seismic survey ever acquired onshore or offshore.

Eni/Total Find NatGas off Cyprus

Italy's Eni and France's Total have discovered a promising natural gas field off Cyprus, Eni said on Thursday, saying the find looked geologically similar to the mammoth Zohr field off Egypt. Further analysis was required to determine the range of gas volumes and define further exploration and appraisal operations, Eni said.

Israel Seeks Diplomatic Solution to Med Gas Spat with Lebanon

Israel seeks a foreign-mediated diplomatic resolution with Lebanon over a disputed Mediterranean gas field, the Israeli energy minister said on Wednesday after a surge in hostile rhetoric between the enemy countries. "We hope for, and are prepared to move forward on, a diplomatic resolution to this matter…

Statoil Raises Dividend, CapEx as Oil Sector Rebounds

A file image of Statoil's Gullfaks A offshore oil installation.

Stock is best performer of European oil index. Norway's Statoil will raise its dividend, investments and exploration spending in 2018, it said on Wednesday, after higher oil prices helped it beat fourth-quarter earnings forecasts. Like other oil companies, Statoil is also benefiting from efficiencies it pushed through during the sector's downturn…

Greenpeace Appeals after Losing Norwegian Arctic Lawsuit

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

Environmental groups launched an appeal on Monday after an Oslo court rejected their arguments that Norway's oil and gas exploration in the Arctic violates citizens' right to a clean environment. Greenpeace and Nature and Youth disputed the Oslo District Court's verdict last month, particularly…

Statoil Contracts West Hercules Rig

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

The West Hercules semi-submersible rig has been contracted for drilling two exploration wells in the Barents Sea in 2018, and options to drill another five exploration wells. Statoil and the licence partners have signed a contract with North Atlantic Norway Ltd for use of the 6th generation West Hercules rig.

US Could Unwind Wind, Solar Restrictions on Federal Lands

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The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump is considering changes to a plan that set aside areas for renewable energy development in the California desert, a move it says would promote more wind and solar projects on federal lands. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management, in a statement on Thursday…

Lebanon Vows to Protect Maritime Borders from Israel

© Loes Kieboom / Adobe Stock

Lebanon vowed to protect its maritime borders from Israeli threats, Energy Minister Cesar Abi Khalil said on Wednesday. "Lebanon will use all available methods to fend off the Israeli aggression that was announced today," he said in televised comments. Israel described as "very provocative"…

Israel, Lebanon Argue over Offshore Block, Beirut Slams 'Threat'

Israel described as "very provocative" on Wednesday a Lebanese offshore oil and gas exploration tender in disputed territory on the countries' maritime border, and urged international firms not to bid. Lebanese President Michel Aoun, whose country considers Israel an enemy state, described the comments as "a threat to Lebanon".

Total Announces Major Deepwater Oil Discovery in US Gulf

French oil and energy group Total said on Wednesday that it had made a significant oil discovery at the Ballymore prospect in the deep offshore in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, its largest discovery in the area. "This major discovery gives us access to large oil resources and follow on potential in the emerging Norphlet play…

Mexico's Oil Reform a Boon for Hard-hit Oil Service, Seismic Firms

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Oil service and mapping firms still emerging from an industry recession have received a boost from about $800 million of data sales to energy firms considering bidding for Mexican oil and gas blocks. Mexico will on Wednesday hold its most important auction since a 2013 reform ended the 75-year monopoly on the energy sector held by state-run oil firm Pemex.

Alaska Requests Limits on US Offshore Drilling

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Alaska Governor Bill Walker said on Tuesday he has asked U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to pare back a Trump administration plan for oil and gas leasing off the state's coast. While Walker supports offshore oil development, he said the Interior Department should focus on the most prospective…

Exxon Plans Major US Investments Due to Tax Reform -CEO

Darren Woods (Photo: Exxon Mobil Corp)

Exxon Mobil Corp plans to invest billions of dollars in the United States due in part to recently approved corporate tax rate cuts, the company's chief executive said on Monday. Darren Woods, head of the world's largest publicly traded oil producer, said in a blog post on the company's website that Exxon expects to spend $50 billion in U.S.

Statoil Quits Talks Over a Stake in Mozambique Offshore Block

Statoil decided to quit negotiations over a 25.5 percent stake in Mozambique's offshore A5-A block after more than two years of talks, a company spokesman said Monday. "Statoil has decided to disengage from negotiations on block A5-A in Mozambique... We are not part of this any more, it is up to the other partners to make any moves regarding the stake…

Big Oil Flush With Cash Again, But No Party Yet

(Photo: BP)

The world's top oil companies are expected to generate more cash in 2018 than at any other time this decade after three painful years of cuts, but it isn't party time yet. The shift in sentiment has been rapid as crude prices have risen by more than 50 percent over the past six months to reach $70 a barrel…

Total Strengthens GoM Presence with Samson Deal

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Mike Mareen)

French oil and gas company Total has agreed to buy Samson Offshore Anchor LLC, in a deal which Total said would strengthen its presence in the Gulf of Mexico region. Samson Offshore Anchor LLC holds a 12.5 percent interest in four blocks covering the Anchor discovery, one of the most significant recent discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM), USA.

Argentina, Russia Ink Uranium Exploration, Production Deal

Argentina and Russia signed a memorandum of understanding to boost uranium exploration and production in the South American country that could include $250 million in investment, Argentina's foreign ministry said on Tuesday. The agreement was sealed during a visit by Argentine President Mauricio Macri to Moscow.

Total to buy Kenyan Oil Block Shares from A.P. Moeller-Maersk

Total SA is to buy shares in three Kenyan oil blocks from A.P. Moeller-Maersk , the office of Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta said on Tuesday. Britain's Tullow Oil, and its Canadian partner Africa Oil, discovered commercially viable crude in Turkana region in the far north of Kenya in 2012. A.P. Moeller-Maersk later bought equity in these blocks.

Tanzania Tells Swala Oil to Delay Purchase of 40% Stake in Orca Unit

Tanzania's national oil company TPDC ordered Swala Oil and Gas on Friday to delay its acquisition of up to 40 percent in PAE PanAfrican Energy Corp. pending a more detailed assessment of the deal. Swala, a Tanzanian firm, said on Jan. 2 it would buy the stake in the unit of Canada's Orca Exploration Group for $130 million.

Mexico's Energy Sector Faces Deepwater Auction Test

FileImage: an offshore Mexico oil installation. CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Mike Mareen)

An auction of deepwater oil and gas fields in Mexico this month may prove the last major opportunity for President Enrique Pena Nieto's government to capitalize on its opening of the energy sector, the central plank of its economic agenda. The Jan. 31 tender of licenses to explore and drill…

Eni Boots up World's Biggest Industrial Supercomputer

Italian oil and gas group Eni said on Thursday it had installed new capacity at its supercomputing centre near Milan to create the world's most powerful industrial computer. The new capacity quadruples the group's computing power, allowing it to process up to 22.4 quadrillion operations per second, the company said.

Pampa Energia to Sell $360 Mln in Oil Assets

Argentine group Pampa Energia said on Wednesday it has agreed to sell $360 million in oil assets to local company Vista Oil & Gas, which is headed by the former head of state oil company YPF, Miguel Galuccio. The deal is in line with the Pampa Energia's strategy of focusing its investments…

India to Auction 55 Oil and Gas Exploration Blocks

India will begin the auction of 55 oil and gas exploration blocks from Thursday under new rules, the country's first licensing round after eight years, as it seeks to unlock its vast hydrocarbon resources, the upstream regulator said. The world's third biggest oil importer last year eased…

Norway: We Must Prepare for Arctic Oil Race with Russia

© ggw / Adobe Stock

Norway must identify potential offshore oil and gas reserves near its northern maritime border with Russia to better protect its economic interest in the remote Arctic region, energy minister Terje Soeviknes said on Wednesday. The two countries agreed in 2010 to split previously disputed areas of the Barents Sea between them…

Greece Attracts Interest for Offshore Oil & Gas Tenders

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

Tenders for offshore oil and gas exploration and exploitation west and south of Greece have attracted "strong interest" from companies exploring in the Mediterranean, the head of Greece's oil and gas resources management company said on Wednesday. Greece launched the tenders after expressions of interest by a consortium of Exxon Mobil…

Norway Awards 75 Oil Exploration Licenses

© Marius Dobilas / Adobe Stock

Norway's energy ministry has awarded 75 offshore exploration blocks to oil companies in a so-called predefined areas (APA) licensing round, handing out acreage to 34 firms, of which 19 got at least one operatorship, it said on Tuesday. A total of 39 firms had applied for the offered acreage…

Aker BP Raises 2018 Dividend Forecast

File Image: An offshore Aker BP oil installation (CREDIT: Aker BP)

Norway's Aker BP will pay out $450 million in dividends for 2018, $100 million more than previously indicated, and has "a clear ambition" to raise them by the same amount each year to 2021, the oil company said on Monday. "Our financial position has been strengthened. We have seen a rapid de-leveraging…

Oil to Trade at $60-$70 Through 2020: Kemp

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

Oil prices are expected to remain close to current levels, averaging around $60 to $70 per barrel through the end of the decade, according to the annual survey of energy professionals conducted by Reuters. Forecast prices have changed very little since the last survey a year ago, and are only modestly higher than in the first survey conducted in 2016…

Norway Sees Near-Record Oil Output in 2022

File Image: Statoil's Troll C offshore installation (CREDIT: Statoil)

Norwegian oil and gas investments will begin to rise in 2018 after falling for the last four years, helping drive output to near-record highs in the next five years, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) said on Thursday. By 2022, combined output volume of oil and gas from the country's fields could approach levels last seen in 2004…

Trump Offshore Oil Proposal Could Unlock 65 Bln BOE

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The Trump administration's proposal to open up almost all of U.S. offshore waters to oil and gas drilling could unlock up to 65 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe), attracting billions of dollars in investment, consultancy Rystad Energy said. Last week, U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke…

Reassessing Alaska's Energy Frontier

Permafrost forms a grid-like pattern in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, a 22.8 million acre region managed by the Bureau of Land Management on Alaska's North Slope. USGS has periodically assessed oil and gas resource potential there. (Credit: David Houseknecht, USGS.)

Less than 80 miles from Prudhoe Bay, home to the giant oil fields that feed the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, lies the site of USGS’ latest oil and gas assessment: the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska and adjacent areas. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the NPR-A covers 22.8 million acres, more than the entire state of South Carolina.

ExxonMobil Announces Oil Discovery Offshore Guyana

(Photo: ExxonMobil)

Exxon Mobil Corporation announced its sixth oil discovery offshore Guyana since 2015, following positive results from its Ranger-1 exploration well. The Ranger-1 well discovery adds to previous discoveries at Liza, Payara, Snoek, Liza Deep and Turbot, which are estimated to total more than 3.2 billion recoverable oil-equivalent barrels.

Op/Ed: DPP a Benchmark Toward US Energy Dominance

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National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) president Randall Luthi comments on the U.S. Department of the Interior’s (DOI) 2019-2024 National Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing Draft Proposed Program, which seeks to open nearly all U.S. offshore waters to oil and gas drilling. With 94 percent…

Subsea Infrastructure: Challenges & Solutions

FMC clamp

As offshore oil and gas reserves become ever more difficult and costly to recover, the demand for innovative technology has never been greater. Joe Orrell, managing director at RED Engineering, considers some of the challenges in subsea infrastructure design and the role of fast track engineering solutions.

Some Investors Sense Opportunities in Big Oil

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

Link between oil prices and energy stocks disrupted; uncertainty remains over crude revival, electric car effect. Investors are gaining confidence - up to a point - that 2018 will be the year of oil stocks. While shares in top energy companies have risen since mid-2017, they have failed to keep step with recovering crude markets…

Norway's Arctic Oil Plan Deemed Legal

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

An Oslo court approved on Thursday Norway's plans for more oil exploration in the Arctic, dismissing a lawsuit by environmentalists who said it violated a constitutional right to a healthy environment. The case, brought by Greenpeace and the Nature and Youth Group, had argued that a 2015 oil licensing round in the Arctic that gave awards to Statoil…

Rising Investment Drives Spectrum's Revenues

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

Seismic surveyor Spectrum's fourth-quarter revenue surge reflects a shift among oil firms towards more exploration, its chief executive told Reuters. Spectrum on Wednesday reported preliminary sales of $46 million for the October-December period, an increase of 31 percent from the $35 million it reported for the same quarter of 2016.

Eni Buys out Shell's Stake in Evans Shoal Gas Field

Photo: ENI

Italy's Eni announces the purchase of a 32.5% stake in the Evans Shoal gas field in the Timor Sea, Australia. The field is located offshore in the NT/P48 exploration permit in the north Bonaparte Basin, around 300km northwest of Darwin, where there is an existing LNG plant precinct. The undeveloped Evans Shoal field…

Higher Prices Needed to Boost U.S. Drilling -Dallas Fed

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

Oil prices will need to rise further for energy companies to significantly expand drilling activities, according to a survey released on Thursday by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. U.S. energy companies have added rigs and boosted production to near record levels, as oil prices have more…

Eni Begins Drilling Oil Well in Alaska's Beaufort Sea

(Photo: BSEE)

Italian oil producer Eni this week began drilling a new well in U.S. waters off the north coast of Alaska, becoming the first company to do so since 2015, federal regulators said on Wednesday. The oil and gas firm is working from an artificial island in the Beaufort Sea about three miles off Oliktok Point in the Arctic Ocean.

Petrobras: O&G Auction Not in CapEx Plan

Brazil's state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro announced that it had not allocated money to bid in upcoming oil and gas auctions in its five-year capital spending plan, according to a presentation hosted by exploration and production director Solange Guedes. Petrobras nnounced a plan to invest $74.5 billion in the 2018-22 period with the lion's share…

Offshore Norway Exploration to Expand in 2018

File Image: The Gullfaks A Installation, a Statoil operation. CREDIT: Statoil

About 45-50 exploration wells expected off Norway in 2018; drilling activity set to double, highest level since 2013. Efforts to find new oil off Norway are expected to double next year, preliminary company plans show, with activity rising in more mature areas after this year's disappointing Arctic campaign.

Surge in U.S. Shale Hedging to Boost 2018 Drilling

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

When oil prices rocketed towards $60 a barrel this fall, U.S. shale producers hedged more barrels of oil during the quarter than in at least three years, which could help propel the country to record crude production by next year. quarter. sales. million bpd in 2018, which would be an all-time record for U.S. drilling. pressure prices in the near term.

Fight over Alaska Arctic Drilling has Just Begun

A coastal plain within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (Photo: USFWS)

Senator Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican, won a decades-long battle on Wednesday to open part of an Arctic wildlife reserve in her state to oil and gas drilling, but Democratic senators and conservationists vow the war has only begun. The tax bill passed by Congress contains language…

SBM Offshore Completes FPSO Liza Financing

The very large crude carrier arrives at the Keppel shipyard in Singapore in November 2017 to be converted for the FPSO Liza project (Photo: SBM Offshore)

SBM Offshore said it has secured the $720 million project financing for FPSO Liza through a consortium of 12 international banks, completed on December 19, 2017. SBM Offshore said it expects to draw the loan in full, phased over the construction period of the FPSO. The financing will become…

Shell, Eni Accused in Alleged Nigeria Corruption

An Italian judge has ordered Royal Dutch Shell and Eni to stand trial over alleged corruption in Nigeria with the CEO of Eni among past and present managers involved, legal sources said on Wednesday. The case involves the 2011 purchase by Eni and Shell of Nigeria's OPL-245 offshore oilfield - one of Africa's most valuable oil blocks - for about $1.3 billion.

Gazprom Neft, ZPEC Discuss East Siberian Oil Fields Project

Russian oil producer Gazprom Neft is in talks with the Chinese drilling company Zhongman Petroleum and Natural Gas Group Corp (ZPEC) over it taking a stake in Gazprom Neft's Chonsk oil fields development project in Siberia, two sources at the Russian company told Reuters. The Chonsk project…

Petrogress Enters Joint Venture with EDT Offshore

Petrogress, Inc. has announced that its Petrogress Int’l, LLC (PIL) subsidiary has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with EDT Agency Services, Ltd. (EDT Offshore) to combine the companies’ operations at the Port of Limassol and additional port facilities in Cyprus. The MoU…

Statoil Acquires 25% Stake in Brazil's Roncador

The P-54 FPSO on the Roncador Field. Photo: Geraldo Falcão, Statoil ASA

Statoil ASA and Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras) have agreed that Statoil will acquire a 25 percent interest in Roncador, a large oil field in the Campos Basin in Brazil. The transaction nearly triples Statoil’s production in Brazil, with attractive break-evens and potential for additional…