Thursday, July 18, 2019

Western Europe News

Strike Would Cut Norway's Output 11%/Day

(Photo:  Harald Pettersen / Equinor)

Norway's oil and gas output could be cut by about 440,000 barrels of oil equivalents per day, or about 11% of total production, if workers go on strike from June 4, industry association Norwegian Oil and Gas (NOG) said on Monday.A government-appointed mediator is leading negotiations between oil companies and employees represented by the Lederne union in a bid to avert a strike.Altogether nine fields would have to shut in the event of industrial action, NOG said in statement.Lederne members are planning to strike at Neptune Energy's Gjoea field…

Norway Oil Workers Threaten Strike

© Andrei Puzakov / Adobe Stock

Around 200 Norwegian offshore oil and gas workers plan to go on strike on June 4 unless pay negotiations lead to a deal with employers, the Lederne labour union said on Wednesday.A strike would hit seven offshore fields and at least two of those would have to shut production, cutting output by a combined 102,600 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boed), industry group Norwegian Oil and Gas (NOG) told Reuters.While Neptune Energy's Gjoea and Okea's Draugen fields would shut in the initial phase of a strike, it was not yet clear whether the same would apply to Equinor's Kristin, Oseberg East and Gudrun, or to Aker BP's Ivar Aasen, NOG said.Those six fields produced aro

Europe Invests $30bln in Wind in 2018

Image: WindEurope

Europe invested a total of EUR27bn (USD 30.34bln) in new wind farms in 2018, allowing it finance a record amount of new wind energy capacity, according to European trade body WindEurope.Europe invested EUR 10.3 billion in new offshore wind farms with a combined capacity of 4.2GW in 2018.Investments in new offshore wind projects increased by 37% from 2017 but were still some way off the record EUR 18.2 billion seen in 2016, according to the report. The capacity financed in 2018 is also the second highest after 2016.The total amount invested in wind power is similar to previous years.

MOL, Total Make Refueling Europe Easier

Pic: MOL Group

Japanese logistics giant Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and French multinational integrated oil and gas company Total S.A. signed an agreement which will make travelling across Europe easier for their corporate customers.The agreement provides for acceptance of MOL Group Cards by Total in its network of stations in France, Belgium, Luxembourg, The Netherlands and Germany. At the same time, the Total fuel cards will be accepted in the MOL’s and Slovnaft’s network of stations in Hungary, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia.As a first step, starting from February 2019, Total fuel cards are accepted in MOL’s network in Hungary and Romania.

Norway Awards Record Number of Exploration Blocks

© h368k742 / Adobe Stock

Norway awarded a record 83 blocks to explore for petroleum resources in mature areas of the Norwegian continental shelf, in a sign of continuing interest from oil companies in the country's oil sector, the energy ministry said on Tuesday.A lack of large discoveries on the shelf has prompted concerns that Norway's top industry, which employs about 170,000 people directly and indirectly, could fall into decline.The government hopes that offering more licenses could trigger more activity."This is the largest licensing award on the Norwegian continental shelf.

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, the Norwegian…

Norway Oil Investment to Rise in 2019

(Photo: Equinor)

Oil and gas investment in Norway is expected to grow for a second year in a row in 2019 but will fall back between 2020 and 2023, an industry lobby group said on Monday.Western Europe's largest oil producer has seen a recovery in oil industry activity thanks to higher crude prices, after a slump in 2014-2016.Investment in Norway's oil industry is estimated to rise by 16 percent year-on-year to 184.5 billion crowns ($21.5 billion), the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association (NOG) said. It previously expected 2019 investment of 153 billion crowns."It is good news that activity is so high on the Norwegian continental shelf.

Denmark-Netherlands Subsea Power Cable Reaches Dutch Coast

Photo: www.cobracable.eu

A subsea power line set to link the networks of Denmark and the Netherlands reached the Dutch coast on Friday as part of plans to share excess electricity from wind farms and other sources.The 325 km (202 mile) long COBRAcable, short for Copenhagen, Brussels and Amsterdam, has a capacity of around 700 megawatts (MW) and is expected to become fully operational in the third quarter of 2019."This is an important step towards the integration of electricity networks in western Europe," said Jeroen Brouwers, spokesman for Dutch grid operator TenneT."We will now have the first link between the Netherlands and Denmark, adding to existing connections with Norway and Britain."

Norway Oil Workers, Employers Reach Deal to End Strike

© Inge / Adobe Stock

Norwegian drilling rigs workers will end their industrial action after the union representing 1,600 striking employees reached a deal with the group acting for their employers, the parties said on Thursday.The strike began on July 10 after the Safe union and the Norwegian Shipowners' Association could not come to an agreement over wages and pension conditions. The industrial action led to the shutdown of one Shell-operated field."The strike is over ... All workers will go back to work today," the lead negotiator for the Safe union told Reuters.The action had limited impact on output from Norway…

Hundreds of Oil Workers Strike in Norway

Photo: Harald Pettersen / © Equinor

Hundreds of workers on Norwegian offshore oil and gas rigs went on strike on Tuesday after rejecting a proposed wage deal, leading to the shutdown of one Shell-operated field and helping send Brent crude prices higher.One union said hundreds more workers would join the strike on Sunday if an agreement over union demands for a wage increase and pension rights was not reached.Royal Dutch Shell said that due to the strike it was temporarily closing production at its Knarr field, which has a daily output of 23,900 barrels of mostly oil, but also natural gas liquids and natural gas.Shutting the field…

Hundreds of Norway Oil Workers Go On Strike

Photo courtesy of Equinor

Hundreds of workers on Norwegian offshore oil and gas rigs went on strike on Tuesday after rejecting a proposed wage deal, leading to the shutdown of one Shell-operated field and helping send Brent crude prices higher.One union said hundreds more workers would join the strike on Sunday if an agreement over union demands for a wage increase and pension rights was not reached.Royal Dutch Shell said that due to the strike it was temporarily closing production at its Knarr field, which has a daily output of 23,900 barrels of mostly oil, but also natural gas liquids and natural gas.Shutting the field…

Norway Wants to Build Floating Wind Farms

(Photo: Equinor)

Norway's energy minister will meet with companies on Wednesday to discuss the potential construction of offshore floating wind farms, he told Reuters on Friday.The meeting is the first concrete step to spur development of offshore floating power generation, after the government said last December it would seek to accommodate such plans."Wednesday next week I will have a meeting with different stakeholders in offshore wind and discuss both the opening process and the regulatory framework," Terje Soeviknes said.Unlike offshore wind turbines that are fixed to the seabed…

Refit for Jack-up at Damen Verolme Rotterdam

Photo: Damen Shipyards

Damen Verolme Rotterdam (DVR)  completed a refit project on the MPI Enterprise, a 120-metre, self-elevating, DP2, wind turbine installation vessel owned and operated by MPI Offshore, part of the Vroon Group. The works included the installation of spudcans on her four-legged jacking system, which can elevate the vessel at rate of one metre per minute in water depths up to 45 metres. Acquired by Damen Shipyards Group in June 2017, DVR is one of the largest refit and repair yards in Western Europe, capable of accommodating any seagoing vessel or floating offshore unit. Damen Shiprepair & Conversion has worked with MPI Offshore in the past.

Norway Labour Unions Threaten Strike by 35,000 Workers

Image: Credit Aker Solutions

Almost 35,000 private-sector workers organised by Norway's largest labour unions plan to go on strike from April 8 unless a deal is found over wages, pensions and other compensation, the unions said on Tuesday. The first wave of a strike would hit large parts of Norway's metals production by leaving smelters idle, and would have significant impact on the output of fertilisers. But the output of oil and gas from western Europe's largest producer would initially be spared, the unions said. Norway's Norsk Hydro is a major producer of aluminium, while Yara is among the world's largest makers of fertilisers.

Norway Calls in Mediator to Avert Strikes

© donvictori0 / Adobe Stock

Norwegian employers and labor unions failed to reach a deal in initial wage talks on Thursday, union sources told Reuters, leaving it up to a state-appointed mediator to avert widespread strikes that risk impacting output in western Europe's biggest crude producer. Negotiations will resume after the upcoming Easter holiday, ahead of an April 7 deadline, after which most workers are allowed to go on strike. While Norway's production of oil and natural gas is unlikely to be targeted from the start since the contract for rig workers' is valid until June, unions may still hit the sector by shutting down yards and other suppliers.

Oil Producer Norway Starts Wage Talks to Avert Widespread Strikes

© Elmer Laahne / Adobe Stock

Norwegian employers and labour unions embarked on four weeks' of wage talks on Monday to stave off widespread strikes that risk impacting output in western Europe's biggest crude producer. Unlike most years, in which wages are set on an industry-by-industry basis to reduce complexity, the 2018 round rolls a majority of private sector firms into a single negotiation in a bid to resolve a stand-off over pension reform. "We've understood that there is no real will among employers to compromise from the outset," labour union negotiator Asle Reime, who will represent oil workers, told Reuters ahead of the talks.

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 that Norway could not be held responsible for greenhouse gas emissions from the use of its oil and gas exported abroad. The Oslo court said a 2015 licensing round that granted offshore exploration rights to companies including Statoil, Chevron, Lukoil and ConocoPhillips was acceptable under Norway's anti-pollution laws.

DNV GL Taps Oudman as Regional Manager

Ben Oudman (Photo: DNV GL)

As the global energy transition in the oil and gas industry marks significant changes to come, regional adaptions will pose a broad variation of challenges and opportunities. DNV GL – Oil & Gas has appointed Ben Oudman as Regional Manager for Continental Europe, Eurasia, Middle East, India and Africa to further strengthen the company’s efforts to help the industry overcome barriers to progress. DNV GL’s 2017 Energy Transition Outlook report shows that while the energy transition is well underway, oil and gas will likely remain major energy sources for many years to come.

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, allowing each to exploit resources hidden beneath the seabed. An increase in drilling activity on the Russian side of the border should lead Norway to push its own agenda, the minister said. "We need to start the discussion about what to do in the far north.

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, Chevron and others was unconstitutional. "The environmental organisations' argument that the plan violates the Constitution's Article 112 has not succeeded," Oslo district court ruled. The court ordered the environmental groups to pay the state's legal costs of 580,000 Norwegian crowns ($71,687).