Saturday, June 23, 2018

Oil Exploration Is Ramping Up Off Norway

Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland / © Equinor

Oil firms are expected to drill 40-50 exploration wells off Norway this year compared to 36 wells drilled the previous year, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said on Thursday.The Norwegian continental shelf still held an estimated 4 billion cubic meters (25.2 billion barrels) of oil equivalents in undiscovered petroleum resources, with two-thirds located

Lukoil, Eni Discussing Possible Swap of Mexico Licences

Lukoil, Russia's second biggest oil producer, is considering swapping licences with Italy's Eni in Mexico, First Deputy Chief Executive Ravil Maganov said on Thursday.In March, Eni and Lukoil won offshore exploration and production licences in the Cuenca Salina basin in Mexico.Eni is set to hold 75 percent in the joint venture which will operate the licence

Norway Oil Workers Threaten to Strike

© MAREK SLUSARCZYK / Adobe Stock

Some 2,250 workers on Norwegian offshore oil drilling rigs and in drilling and catering services on oil producing platforms could go on strike this summer after rejecting a proposed wage deal, the Safe labor union said on Thursday.Industri Energi, the largest labor union representing drilling workers, last month agreed to a deal, while the smaller Safe said

ExxonMobil, Hess Announce Oil Discovery Offshore Guyana

Stena Carron (Photo: Stena Drilling)

ExxonMobil and the Hess Corporation announced an eighth oil discovery offshore Guyana at the Longtail-1 well, creating the potential for additional resource development in the southeast area of the Stabroek Block. The companies said approximately 78 meters of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoir was encountered.

ExxonMobil Considers Importing LNG to Australia

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ExxonMobil Corp, southeastern Australia's biggest gas supplier, is considering importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) to help plug a looming gas shortage from 2021 and protect its market share.The move would compete with plans by both Australia's no.2 energy retailer AGL Energy to start importing…

Norway Awards Oil Permits to 11 Firms in Arctic Licensing Round

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

Norway has awarded 12 oil and gas exploration licences to Equinor and 10 other companies focused mostly on the Arctic, where Oslo believes it has the greatest potential for significant new discoveries.Nine of the licences are located in the Barents Sea and three in the Norwegian Sea off central Norway…

Fugro Tallies ROV Services Contracts with Petrobras

(Photo: Fugro)

Fugro said it has been contracted to provide remotely operated vehicle (ROV) services to support Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. - Petrobras in its exploration and production activities.Two new contracts will see Fugro’s ROV spread working to support drilling related activities, such as towing, mooring…

Danos Wins Shell Contract

Photo courtesy of Danos

Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary Shell Exploration and Production Company has awarded a contract to Danos to provide coatings for Shell’s deepwater Appomattox platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Located in the Gulf of Mexico 80 miles off the coast of Louisiana, the Appomattox platform is one of Shell’s…

Exxon Starts Drilling at Offshore Guyana Projects

(Photo: ExxonMobil)

Exxon Mobil Corp said it has commenced development drilling in the first of three offshore Guyana projects, which could produce more than 500,000 barrels of oil per day. Development drilling began in May for the first of 17 wells planned for Liza Phase 1, the company said.So far, Exxon Mobil…

Sonatrach Signs Gas Exploration Deal with Total, Repsol

Algeria's Sonatrach on Monday signed an exploration and development contract with France's Total and Spain's Repsol for the Tin Foye Tabankort gas field in block 238, the state energy firm said.The three firms will invest $324 million to keep output at 3 billion cubic metres of gas per year for the next six years, Sonatrach executives told reporters.They wil

US Drillers Add Oil Rigs for Third Week in a Row

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U.S. energy companies added oil rigs for a third week in a row even though crude prices have declined about 8 percent over the past three weeks.Drillers added one oil rig in the week to June 8, bringing the total count to 862, the highest level since March 2015, General Electric Co's Baker…

New Oil Discovered in the North Sea

Map Lille Prinsen discovery (Photo: Equinor)

Equinor and partners Lundin and Spirit Energy have struck oil in the PL 167 licence at the Utsira High in the North Sea.The discovery is currently estimated to contain 15-35 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent.“We are very pleased to announce the first Equinor discovery,” said Nicholas Ashton…

Equinor Deepens Its Offshore Brazil Portfolio

Photo: Equinor

Equinor has expanded its portfolio in Brazil’s prolific Campos and Santos basins after winning the Uirapuru and Dois Irmãos blocks in the 4th Production Sharing Bidding Round in Brazil.Equinor, ExxonMobil and Petrogal Brasil presented the winning bid (75.49% profit oil) for the Uirapuru production sharing contract in the Santos basin.

Petrobras Still Seeking to Boost Exploration Portfolio

© DJ / Adobe Stock

Brazil's state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA remains interested in expanding its exploration portfolio, new Chief Executive Officer Ivan Monteiro said on Thursday following an auction of offshore oil blocks.Petrobras, as the company is known, joined the consortia that won all three blocks awarded at the auction, days after Monteiro was named

Boosted by Rising Oil Prices, Spain's Repsol Hits Accelerator

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Spain's Repsol plans to increase investment and production and lift its dividend by 2020 after years of cost cuts, the oil and gas company said on Wednesday, as a rebound in global oil prices boosted its profits.The refiner will spend 15 billion euros ($17.6 billion) across units including exploration…

LOC Names Cummins Energy Projects Development Director

Ian Cummins (Photo: LOC)

International marine and engineering consulting firm LOC has appointed ex-Head of Engineering at BP, Ian Cummins as its new Energy Projects Development Director. Ian will focus on the oil and gas and renewables markets, and help to identify and develop new and innovative engineering opportunities…

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

© Georg Lehnerer / Adobe Stock

Russia's second largest oil company Lukoil plans to invest $270 million in exploration at the Zhenis licence area in the Kazakh part of the Caspian Sea, Lukoil's president Vagit Alekperov said in Astana on Tuesday.Lukoil and Kazakh state oil company KMG signed an agreement in principle on…

New LNG Import Terminal Planned at Port Kembla

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A consortium including Japan's JERA Co and Marubeni Corp aiming to ship liquefied natural gas (LNG) to Australia's east coast has chosen a site south of Sydney at Port Kembla for an import terminal, it said on Monday.The project will allow access to a new gas supply for local industries in New South Wales state by 2020…

US Drillers Add Oil Rigs for Second Week in a Row

© Maciej Bledowski / Adobe Stock

U.S. energy companies added oil rigs for a second week in a row even though crude prices have declined about 7 percent over the past two weeks and analysts do not expect any big changes in the rig count for the rest of the year.Drillers added two oil rigs in the week to June 1, bringing the total count to 861…

Offshore Oil: Tullow eyes Ghana Assets

Tullow Oil is interested in new oil blocks off Ghana's coast as part of the British explorer's plans to consolidate its operations in the West African nation, Chief Executive Paul McDade said. Tullow is leading two operations offshore Ghana, including the country's flagship 100,000 barrel-per-day Jubilee field, which began commercial production in late 2010.

Sri Lanka Signs Deal for $50 Mln Offshore Seismic Study

Sri Lanka on Wednesday signed an agreement with a subsidiary of U.S.

SOCAR Inks Deals for Caspian Fields with Equinor

Azeri state oil company SOCAR and Norway's Equinor on Wednesday signed a risk service contract for the development of the Karabakh offshore oil and natural gas field in the Caspian Sea.The two companies also signed a product-sharing agreement for Ashrafi, Dan-Ulduzu and Aypara exploration…

Lebanon Begins Offshore Oil & Gas Exploration

Lebanon's search for its first oil and gas reserves began on Tuesday after authorities approved an exploration plan submitted by a consortium of France's Total , Italy's Eni and Russia's Novatek. Energy and Water Minister Cesar Abi Khalil also said in a televised statement that Lebanon hoped…

U.S. Drillers Robustly Boost Rig Count

File Image: a typical offshore Gulfof Mexico installation (Credit: BSM)

U.S. energy companies added the most oil rigs in both a week and a month since February as drillers continued to return to the well pad with crude prices at their highest since late 2014. The total oil rig count rose by 15 to 859 in the week to May 25, the highest level since March 2015,…

Shell Makes Large Heartland Discovery in GoM

Photo: Shell

Shell Offshore, Inc. (“Shell”) has announced a large, deep-water, exploration discovery in the Norphlet geologic play in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico with its Dover well (100% Shell). The Dover discovery is Shell’s sixth in the Norphlet and encountered more than 800 net feet of pay (244 meters).

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

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The UK Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) on Wednesday awarded 123 licences to 61 companies to explore for and develop new fields in the North Sea, in the latest sign of confidence in the ageing basin that has enjoyed a revival in recent years.Companies ranging from Royal Dutch Shell, BP and Norway's Equinor…

BP to Cut 3% of Jobs in Upstream Business

British oil giant BP Plc plans to cut 3 percent of jobs in its exploration and production as part of a restructuring of its upstream operations to make the division more efficient and flexible, The Financial Times reported on Tuesday.The oil major would cut about 540 jobs from its 18,000-strong upstream workforce over the course of this year…

Egypt Sets Deadlines for O&G Exploration Bids

Egypt has set October 1 and October 8 deadlines for two major international tenders for oil and gas exploration spanning 27 onshore and offshore blocks, the oil ministry said on Tuesday.Bids for 11 blocs offered by the Egyptian General Petroleum Corp (EPGC) must be submitted by October 1, the ministry said in an advertisement published in the state-run al-Ah

Kazakhstan says Rosneft Quits, Shell Joins Kazakh Oil Project

Russia's Rosneft has quit Eurasia, an early-stage oil exploration project in Kazakhstan, while Shell has joined it, an executive of the Kazakh company involved in the project said on Monday.The Eurasia project focuses on exploring a geological area known as the Caspian Depression in western…

US Oil Rig Count Holds Steady after Weeks of Gains

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The U.S. oil rig count held steady this week after rising for six weeks in a row even as crude prices soar to multi-year highs, prompting drillers to extract record amounts of oil, especially from shale.The total oil rig count held at 844 in the week to May 18, General Electric Co's Baker…

Argentine Invites Oil Companies to Submit Offshore Proposals

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Argentina has called on oil companies to submit proposals for offshore exploration areas, the country's official gazette said on Friday, looking to exploit under-explored parts of the country's continental shelf and other potential oil basins.Oil companies, including Shell and Statoil, have…

Ghana to Award New Oil Blocks off West Coast

FPSO Prof. John Evans Atta Mills (File photo: Tullow)

Ghana is set to award nine new upstream oil blocks for commercial exploration off its western coast beginning this year, the energy ministry said on Thursday.The West African country plans to award six of the nine blocks this year while the remaining three will be given out next year through a mix of open competitive tender and direct negotiations, the minis

Rising Oil Prices Herald Next Phase in Cycle

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Oil prices are now in the top half of the cycle, with benchmark Brent on Thursday trading above $80 per barrel for the first time since November 2014.In real terms, prices averaged $75 per barrel over the course of the last full cycle, which lasted from December 1998 to January 2016.The recent…

UK Takes Extra Measures to Support Shale Gas Development

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The British government announced measures on Thursday to speed up planning applications to support development of the country's shale gas industry.Increasing reliance on imported gas as Britain's domestic North Sea output declines is one of the driving forces behind government support for hydraulic fracturing…

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

China's Foreign Ministry said on Thursday that no country, organisation, company or individual can carry out oil and gas exploration or exploitation in Chinese waters without permission from Beijing.Ministry spokesman Lu Kang made the comment at a regular news briefing when asked about recent drilling by Rosneft Vietnam BV, a unit of Russian state oil firm R

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

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Colombia's state-run oil company Ecopetrol said on Wednesday it will start drilling 19 new oil wells at the Akacias oil field at the end of this month, in partnership with Repsol SA's Talisman Energy.The new wells will join nine which are already operating at the field, in Acacias municipality in central Meta province, the company said in a statement.

For Big Oil, Reserve Size Matters Less Than Ever

File Image: CREDIT BSM

Oil and gas reserves life falls below 12 years, lowest level in at least 20 years. A decade ago, the news that the world's top oil and gas companies had less than 12 years of production left in their reserves might have caused a panicked sell-off in their shares. But as consumers try to move away from fossil fuels to cleaner and cheaper energy sources…

Expected LNG Surplus Evaporates, New Projects Looming

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / © Fotmart)

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) producers around the globe are once again considering new investments as expectations of a glut in supply wither away in the face of strong, China-led demand growth in Asia. Given it takes several years to go from a Final Investment Decision (FID) to producing cargoes of the super-chilled fuel…

Russia State Oil Firm Starts Drilling at New Well Offshore Vietnam

Photo: Rosneft

A unit of Russian state oil firm Rosneft, Rosneft Vietnam BV, has started drilling at a new production well in waters off the southern coast of Vietnam, the company said in a statement posted to its website on Tuesday.The drilling is significant for Vietnam, which has been struggling to maintain…

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

Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland / Statoil

An architect of the Paris climate agreement urged governments on Tuesday to halt oil exploration in the Arctic, saying drilling was not economical and warming threatened the environmentally fragile region.Christiana Figueres, formerly head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat when the Paris accord was reached by almost 200 nations in 2015…

Argentina Offshore Auction Attracting Oil Producers

International oil firms including Norway's Statoil, U.S.

Egypt Approves Oil Exploration Deal with Eni, Tharwa

© Igor Shkvara / Adobe Stock

Egypt has approved an exploration agreement with Italy's Eni and the Egyptian Tharwa company to search for oil and gas in the Mediterranean off the coast of northern Sinai, the Egyptian oil minister said on Wednesday.Under the deal, Eni and Tharwa will spend $105 million in two stages over six years, which involve drilling one well in the first stage and ano

Norway Launches New Licensing Round in Mature Offshore Areas

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Norway will hold a new licensing round for its offshore oil and gas fields in already opened areas, further expanding the exploration acreage available to energy firms, the oil ministry said on Wednesday.Areas in the North Sea, the Norwegian Sea and the Barents Sea will be offered to oil companies, who have until September to submit their applications.

Aker to explore options for Aker Energy after Ghana plan filing

Oeyvind Eriksen (Photo: Aker)

Norwegian investment firm Aker will consider options for its stake in oil startup Aker Energy after the unit has appraised its offshore field in Ghana and submitted a development plan for the site to the Ghanaian government.Aker Energy bought a 50-percent stake in Ghana's ultra deepwater…

Maersk Likely to Shelve Plans to List Drilling Division

(File photo: Maersk Drilling)

Shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk is likely to shelve plans to list its struggling offshore drilling division because of weak market conditions, according to five finance sources familiar with the matter.The Danish company is now expected to focus on a trade sale of Maersk Drilling, and extend…

Emerson Launches Roxar Tempest 8.2

Photo: Emerson

Emerson has launched Roxar Tempest 8.2 – the latest version of its reservoir management software, bringing advanced uncertainty analysis tools and increased support to the Big Loop workflow and robust risk analysis and reserves estimates across the seismic to simulation workflow. The announcement…

Aker BP Beats Street, May Increase Drilling

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

Norway's Aker BP, partly owned by oil major BP, beat quarterly earnings forecasts on Monday, helped by record output and higher oil prices, and said it may drill more wells this year than previously planned. The company, controlled by a Norwegian billionaire Kjell Inge Roekke, is focusing…

Colombia's Ecopetrol Boosts Output

Ecopetrol, Colombia's state-run oil company, has accelerated activity at several of its oil fields to make up for a slight output fall in the first quarter, executives said during a call with investors on Friday.The company's first-quarter net profit rose to 2.6 trillion pesos ($923.3 million), up 195 percent from the same period in 2017, it said on Thursday

Siccar Point Confirms Cambo Well Spud and Shell Deal

Jonathan Roger (Photo: Siccar Point Energy)

Siccar Point Energy has started drilling a final appraisal well on the Cambo field, north-west of Shetland, with results expected this summer. The Aberdeen based production, development and exploration company, has also confirmed the completion of a sale and purchase agreement with Shell UK Limited…

[Op/Ed] Congo and OPEC: A Marriage of Mutual Need

NJ Ayuk (Photo: Centurion Law Group)

The Republic of the Congo has suffered dearly during the oil collapse; and Congolese President Denis Nguesso has pledged that the country would no longer be sitting on the side lines — suffering the effects of global decision-making in the oil industry without a voice. In an official communiqué announcing the bid for OPEC membership…

Statoil sells non-core asset on UK Continental Shelf

Hedda Felin Photo Statoil

Statoil has agreed to sell its 17 percent non-operated interest in the Alba oil field on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) to Verus Petroleum. Alba is an oil field in the UK Central North Sea that Statoil entered in 1995 and which is operated by Chevron. To date, it has produced around 420 million barrels of oil.

BSEE Regs Update to Cut Burden on Operators

Courtesy BSEE

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) – incorporating industry innovation, best science, and best practices – is proposing to update regulations covering offshore oil and gas drilling operations to improve reliability, safety, efficiency, and environmental stewardship, and reduce unnecessary burdens on operators.

US Oil Rig Count Continues Climb

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The U.S. oil drilling rig count rose for the fourth week in a row and ended the month sharply higher as producers plan to boost output as they reap profits from crude trading near three-year highs.Drillers added five oil rigs in the week to April 27, bringing the total count to 825, the highest level since March 2015…

Changes in Statoil's Top Deck

Margareth Øvrum (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland / Statoil)

Statoil said on Friday it had expanded its leadership team and changed its corporate structure to reflect the company's increased focus on Brazil.Statoil's Brazilian operations will become a separate business unit headed by Margareth Oevrum, the company's current head of technology, project and drilling.Meanwhile, its separate U.S.

Fugro Goes Hunting for Hydrocarbon Seeps Offshore Brazil

Fugro has reported increased confidence in identifying seabed expressions of hydrocarbon  seeps Image Fugro

Working for multi-client geoscience data company TGS, Fugro continues the hunt for hydrocarbon seeps, this time offshore Brazil.Two modern, purpose-built vessels – Fugro Brasilis and Fugro Searcher – have been deployed to acquire high-resolution multibeam echosounder and sub-bottom profiler…

ConocoPhillips Profit Tops Estimates on Rising Oil Prices, Cost Cuts

Photo: ConocoPhillips

ConocoPhillips, the world's largest independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company, posted a bigger-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday, helped by rising crude prices and cost cuts.Results at Conoco, like many of its peers, have steadily improved in recent quarters…

Iraq O&G Exploration and Development Auction Ends

Iraq has awarded Iraqi-owned United Arab Emirates-based Crescent Petroleum three exploration blocks in an oil and gas exploration and development contract auction on Thursday and China's Geo-Jade won two.United Energy Group, also based in China, won one contract and a total of five blocks received no bids.Iraq is offering 11 new blocks for exploration in bor

Kuwait Energy Starts Producing Natural Gas in Southern Iraq

Photo: Kuwait Energy

Kuwait Energy PLC <IPO-KEC.L> started producing natural gas from Siba on Wednesday, the first gas field to be brought on stream in the south of Iraq, an Iraqi oil executive told Reuters.Siba began producing gas at an initial rate of 25 million cubic feet a day (mcf/d), which should rise gradually to 100 mcf/d by the end of the year…

Fuel Shortage Hits Sudan as Dollar Crisis Hampers Imports

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Vehicles queued for hours at gas stations in Sudan's capital on Tuesday as a fuel shortage caused by the government's difficulty in importing it due to a foreign currency crisis hit home.Once an exporter of oil, Sudan was forced to begin importing it after the south seceded in 2011, taking…

Lebanon Prepares for Second Offshore Oil and Gas Licensing Round

Lebanon's energy minister said on Tuesday he had asked the country's petroleum authority to start preparing for a second oil and gas offshore licensing round, but did not give a timeline for when it might happen.Lebanon in February signed its first offshore energy exploration and production agreements for two of Lebanon's 10 offshore blocks with a consortium