Mark Lammey

Business reporter at the P&J. Formerly online editor and deputy business editor at The Moscow Times.
Decom

Video: Huge ship slated for Brent Delta topside lift sails away from Rotterdam

08/08/2016

The huge crane ship booked to lift the Brent Delta topside away in one piece left Rotterdam at the weekend ahead of offshore trials. Allsea’s twin-hulled Pioneering Spirit had been moored in Rotterdam since January 2015 for installation, commissioning and testing of the topsides lift system. If the southern North Sea trials go to plan, the vessel’s first job will be to remove the 13,500 tonne Yme mobile offshore production unit off Norway for Repsol.

Oil & Gas

Add Energy strikes £15m data deal with BP

08/08/2016

Norwegian oil and gas consultancy Add Energy said today that its new £15million contract with BP would keep at least 30 of its employees in work for the next three years. Add Energy will provide global maintenance data centralisation services to help BP improve efficiency across all of its upstream operating regions. In April, Add inked a similar deal with Shell, said at the time to be worth £3million.

Oil & Gas

Proserv and Klaw link up to offer anti-oil spill pack in Middle East

08/08/2016

Energy service firm Proserv has teamed up with a UK-based equipment company to offer a souped-up oil-spill prevention package in the Middle East. Proserv, whose corporate headquarters are in Westhill, Aberdeenshire, will offer goods made by Klaw Products across the region while also delivering in-country technical support. Klaw, based in Wiltshire, supplies breakaway couplings and emergency release systems for the safe transfer of hazardous and non-hazardous materials.

Other News

FTSE 350 oil and gas firms’ pension deficit payments at seven-year low

08/08/2016

FTSE 350 oil and gas companies are paying less towards meeting their pension shortfalls than at any time since 2009, according to new research. Of all the sectors covered by consultancy Barnett Waddingham’s annual survey, oil and gas was responsible for the biggest decrease in disclosed accounting deficits. Deficit contributions as a proportion of dividends were the lowest of all industries represented in the FTSE 350 at just 2%.

Renewables/Energy Transition

Nigg best placed to create offshore wind jobs

06/08/2016

Nigg Energy Park has been identified as the best prepared of Scotland's east coast ports to create jobs from offshore wind contracts in a new industry report. The Cromarty Firth facility's potential was highlighted in the findings of a strategic review, which also examined the capabilities of Invergordon, Aberdeen, Dundee, Montrose, Methil and Rosyth as well as ports on England's east coast. Conducted by the Offshore Wind Industry Council (OWIC), the study focused on the capability of ports to carry out "staging" work, storing and loading offshore wind farm components and carrying out pre-construction activities. It also assessed their ability to manufacture large components in or near their sites.

Health & Safety

Total dismisses North Sea platform down manning claims

05/08/2016

French oil giant Total today denied mounting a large-scale down manning operation on one of its North Sea platforms due to concerns over lifeboat provision. Total said it had slightly reduced the number of people on Elgin-Franklin, but dismissed claims in a media report which set the figure as high as 40. The report said Total was down manning because it would not have had enough lifeboat capacity for a full evacuation of Elgin-Franklin while adhering to industry standards for lifeboats.

Other News

Kongsberg nets £14.4m contract for work on under-construction Clyde-Hebrides ferries

05/08/2016

Marine technology specialist Kongsberg Maritime has started work on a contract worth £144million to install electrical systems on two new ferries being built for the Clyde and Hebrides Ferry Service. Norwegian headquartered Kongsberg was handed the contract by shipbuilder Ferguson Maritime Engineering (FMEL), which is constructing the vessels at its yard on the Clyde. The 330ft long ferries will be capable of carrying 127 cars or HGVs and up to 1,000 passengers.

Market info

MOL Group profits up 20% despite slump in upstream revenues

05/08/2016

North Sea firm MOL Group increased its profits by a fifth in the first half of 2016 thanks to a record return from its downstream business. MOL, based in Budapest, Hungary, said the segment achieved earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (Ebitda) of 209billion Hungarian forints (£570million) on the back of strong petrochemicals and retail performance. But low oil prices saw MOL suffer a 20% drop in its upstream income – despite an 8% rise in average daily hydrocarbon production.

Oil & Gas

Downturn and Brexit vote push revenues 20% lower at Bristow

05/08/2016

North Sea helicopter operator Bristow said yesterday the continuing oil and gas sector downturn and the fallout from the Brexit vote had combined to take a chunk out of its earnings in the three months to June 30. Houston-headquartered Bristow said it was “proud” of its response to the grounding of Super Puma 225 helicopters following a fatal crash involving one of the aircraft in Norway in April. The company also enjoyed a 73% climb in earnings from UK search and rescue services, but any gains were offset by a 27.3% drop in revenues from oil and gas services to $253million (£192million).

Renewables/Energy Transition

EDF launches new 6 turbine wind farm near Stirling

05/08/2016

EDF Energy Renewables today announced the launch of its six turbine wind farm in the Ochil Hills near Stirling. The Rhodders wind farm is located near EDF’s existing Burnfoot Hill and Burnfoot North developments to the north of Tillicoultry, Clackmannanshire. The latest addition takes EDF’s combined electricity generation capacity in the area to 42 megawatts (MW), which is enough to cover the average annual demand of all the homes in Clackmannanshire.

Middle East

Gulf Marine Services inks new vessel supply deals for Middle East, North Africa clients

05/08/2016

London-listed Gulf Marine Services (GMS) said today it had struck a new deal to supply one of its mid-size vessels to an unspecified oil company based in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. GMS, an offshore vessel contractor founded in Abu Dhabi in 1977, said the agreement had kicked in immediately and would run for one year. The company, whose fleet currently comprises 14 vessels, also said another client in the same region had extended its lease on a small class vessel by a further year.

Health & Safety

BP refinery in Indiana inspected after breaching waste discharge limit – reports

05/08/2016

BP’s refinery in Indiana is thought to have been inspected after the facility discharged five times more industrial waste into Lake Michigan than allowed earlier this week. A BP spokesman was quoted as saying “an upset” at the refinery’s wastewater treatment facility had caused the infringement and said the firm was working to correct the problem. The company reportedly said no hydrocarbons had leaked into the lake, adding that the excess in wastewater discharges would not affect drinking water or marine life.

Market info

Apache hails strong North Sea showing despite net losses hitting £185m

05/08/2016

Apache today said it had managed a 100% drilling success rate in the North Sea while adding production from three development wells in the region during the second quarter. The Houston-headquartered firm, which also has operations in Canada, Egypt and the US, said the trio had achieved a 30-day average rate of more than 6,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) a daily. Drilling has also started on the Storr play in the Beryl area, the company said in its second quarter results announcement, which revealed net losses of $244million (£185million).

Market info

Flotel order cancellation hits Teekay for £33m

05/08/2016

Marine energy transport company Teekay Offshore slumped to net losses of $102.6million (£78million) in the second quarter after being hit by a cancellation charge for two flotels. Teekay booked a £33million writedown when it terminated the construction deals for the two so-called units for maintenance and safety (UMS) with the Cosco Shipyard in China. Revenues from vessel operations also suffered due to the Arendal Spirit UMS’s withdrawal from service for 71 days.

Oil & Gas

Russneft denies bidding for Kremlin stake in rival Russian oil producer

05/08/2016

Russia’s 10th biggest oil producer, Russneft, has denied bidding to buy the Kremlin’s 50.08% stake in rival firm Bashneft, a news report said. The two companies reportedly mulled a merger in 2010, but a deal never came to pass. The Russian government is selling its stake, thought to be worth $3billion, as part of a privatisation drive intended to raise funds to keep the country’s budget deficit under control.

Other News

Value of money transfers from migrants workers in Russia down 26% last year – report

05/08/2016

The value of currency transfers from migrants workers in Russia to neighbouring countries dropped by a quarter last year as western sanctions and the crude price rout hit the country’s economy, a new report said. The Caucasus, Central Asia and Eastern Europe supply the majority of migrant labour to Russia, and many workers from these regions transfer part of their wages to their families back home. To varying degrees, these funds are important for the economies of the states where the money ends up.

Market info

Canadian Natural Resources cuts £250m from first half costs

04/08/2016

Canadian Natural Resources (CNR) today said it had cut its costs by about CAN $430million (£250million) in the first half of 2016 thanks to a “commitment to effective and efficient operations”. The savings helped the Calgary-headquartered firm narrow its net losses to £260million from £380million during the same period a year earlier. CNR's North Sea assets include the Ninian, Banff, Murchison and Tiffany fields.

Oil & Gas

Dong Energy overcomes oil and gas woes to post 70% profit rise

04/08/2016

First half profits went up at Dong Energy (CPH: DENERG) as the Danish group’s thriving offshore wind business offset a drop in revenues from oil and gas. Dong Energy’s income from oil and gas fell by £20million to £280million, a slump which would have been worse had production not started up from the Laggan-Tormore gas project west of Shetland in February. Group revenues fell 7% to £3.95billion, though pre-tax profits shot up to £990million from £570million.

Africa

Tlou edges closer to Botswana start up after environmental statement approved

04/08/2016

Tlou Energy said today it had taken a major step toward starting up its coal bed methane project in Botswana after the country’s government approved its environmental appraisal. Tlou, an Australian-headquartered firm which was founded in 2009, said the environmental statement covering the Lesedi project will next be put through a final review process, with a decision expected before the end of 2016. In June the AIM-listed company confirmed positive gas flow from its operations in the Botswana.

Video

Video: North Sea oil and gas prophecy and Radiohead inspire new music album

04/08/2016

Radiohead and a prophecy about the North Sea oil and gas industry were among the inspirations behind a slick, new cross-genre album. Oil was written and performed by the Kaleidoscope Saxophone Quartet, a collaboration between a group of promising young musicians. They decided to give their debut album a Scottish flavour after touring the country in 2015, playing seven concerts in as many days.

Market info

Aggreko shares in double-digit slide as demand for generators tails off

03/08/2016

Aggreko shares fell 12% this morning after the temporary power supplier reported a £30million drop in its first half profits amid a “difficult trading environment”. Aggreko, which has a manufacturing facility in Dumbarton, also stuck to its earlier guidance that profits for the full year would be slightly lower than in 2015. The company, which has provided rental power for major sporting such as the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, also said it had made 700 employees redundant worldwide as part of plans to achieve savings of £80million.

Other News

Watchdog Ofgem to bring in price cap on pre-paid meters

03/08/2016

Ofgem is to press ahead with proposals to introduce a price cap on pre-payment meters, the energy industry regulator has announced. The watchdog’s response follows a report published by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in June - which set out ways in which the market could be improved for customers. On Wednesday, Ofgem said it would work closely with suppliers to help “disengaged customers” who remain on expensive tariffs.

People

Aberdeen harbour hires first operations manager

03/08/2016

Aberdeen Harbour Board (AHB) today said it had filled the newly created role of operations manager at the port. Following his appointment, John McGuigan, who has worked in the port industry for more than 30 years, will direct all “land based operational activities”, working closely with customers and safety authorities. Mr McGuigan started his career with British Steel and has since worked for Clydeport, Peel Ports and was previously the E.ON UK terminal manager in Liverpool.

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