Mark Lammey

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

Asco ties up £50m deal with Marathon for North Sea support services

18/06/2015

North-east oilfield support services firm Asco has struck a deal worth more than £50million with Marathon Oil UK for work in the North Sea. The five-year contract will see Asco provide a range of integrated oilfield services to support Marathon’s Brae field operations. Commenting on the award, Craig Lennox, Asco’s chief executive for Europe, said: “Asco has supported Marathon Oil for many years and we are delighted to secure a new long term contract with them.

Oil & Gas

Unions call off offshore strike ballot

17/06/2015

Trade unions have shelved plans for a strike action ballot over North Sea working conditions following negotiations with industry bosses yesterday. Last night the Unite union said the Offshore Contractors Association (OCA) tabled an improved offer for offshore workers during the latest round of talks in Aberdeen. Unite regional officer Willie Wallace, said: “Today’s talks have been constructive and we have made enough progress to be able to put an improved offer from the OCA to our membership."

Oil & Gas

Russia’s Sechin says U.S., not OPEC, rules oil markets

17/06/2015

Igor Sechin, the head of Russia's top oil producer Rosneft, said on Wednesday the United States is calling the shots on global oil markets, while the influence of OPEC has shrunk. The United States emerged with renewed vigour as a top producer thanks to its shale boom. By refusing to curb its output to prop up oil prices, OPEC has tried to maintain its share in the global market, shrugging off lower prices which damage U.S. producers.

Oil & Gas

Shell, Japan firms may get stake in Gazprom’s Baltic LNG, report says

17/06/2015

Russian gas company Gazprom may offer up to 49 percent in its Baltic LNG project to a strategic partner and the most likely candidates are Royal Dutch Shell or a consortium of Japanese firms, Russia's Kommersant newspaper said on Wednesday. The agreement may be signed this week during an economic forum in Russia's second city of St Petersburg, it reported, quoting sources in the gas industry.

Oil & Gas

Oilfield services provider Calfrac halves dividend

17/06/2015

Canadian oilfield services provider Calfrac Well Services halved its quarterly dividend to 6.25 Canadian cents per share, citing lower crude oil prices and weak demand for oilfield services. Calfrac's board also approved an additional capital of about C$12 million for 2015 to expand in Latin America, the company said on Wednesday.

Oil & Gas

Gazprom’s Turkish pipeline talks expected to resume next week

17/06/2015

A meeting between the head of Russia's Gazprom's and Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz is expected to be rescheduled for next week as both sides strive to finalise agreement on a proposed underwater gas pipeline to Turkey, a senior energy ministry official said on Wednesday. Turkey was named as Russia's preferred partner for an alternative to its planned South Stream pipeline to carry gas to southern Europe without crossing Ukraine after Russia aborted the project in December, citing EU objections.

Oil & Gas

National Oilwell Varco to cut 1,500 Norwegian jobs

17/06/2015

National Oilwell Varco, the largest U.S. oilfield equipment maker, said it will cut its Norwegian workforce by 1,500 by the end of this year as low oil prices have reduced investments. It plans to cut 900 permanent jobs and 600 contractors, the firm said in a statement on Wednesday.

Oil & Gas

New report urges oil and gas firms to cut costs by taking a lead from other industries

17/06/2015

Oil and gas firms need to cut costs by up to 40% a barrel to prolong the production life of the North Sea, a new report says. It urges energy firms to implement seven key tactics used by the aerospace, automotive, chemical, and rail sectors to lower costs and manage performance during hard times. The report, from professional services firm PwC and the Oil and Gas Industry Council, will be officially launched at the Oil and Gas Industry Conference (OGIC) 2015 in Aberdeen today.

Oil & Gas

Sir Ian Wood tells new North-east taskforce for employment to set the standard for Scotland

17/06/2015

The north-east can carry the torch for Scotland in the crusade to reduce unemployment among the country’s young people, Sir Ian Wood told the region’s fledgling jobs taskforce yesterday. Sir Ian, the former chairman of energy giant Wood Group, said the area was in far better position than other parts of Scotland to meet ambitious employment targets put forward last year in his commission’s report into youth joblessness. He added: “We are very lucky in this part of Scotland. In terms of prospects, we have got a whole bunch of youngsters, whether we call them technicians or tradesmen, who are 25 to 30 years old and they’re earning up to £50,000 a year.

Oil & Gas

China’s Sinopec hunting U.S. shale deals, but prices high

16/06/2015

Sinopec, the world's second-biggest oil refiner, is on the hunt for minority investments in U.S. shale oil and gas projects as it seeks to diversify China's supply sources, a senior company official said. The Chinese state energy firm is keen to take a 10-15 percent stake in projects to export liquefied natural gas (LNG), said Jack Yu, managing director of Sinopec D.C., which handles government relations in the U.S. Previous talks over investing in Freeport LNG's project in Texas fell through, he said. New deals, if they materialize, would come more than two years after Sinopec made waves with two big U.S. investments, spending more than $3 billion buying various shale stakes from Devon Energy and Chesapeake Energy.

Oil & Gas

Shell-BG $70 bln deal crosses key milestone with U.S. clearance

16/06/2015

U.S. regulators have given the green light for Royal Dutch Shell's proposed $70 billion acquisition of British rival BG Group, the first clearance for the biggest deal in the energy sector in over a decade. The two companies said on Tuesday the United States Federal Trade Commission (FTC) had cleared the deal. The deal, which the companies aim to complete by early 2016, will require further regulatory clearances from all the countries BG operates in, including the European Union, China, Australia and Brazil.

Oil & Gas

Job losses in UK’s North Sea raise skills and safety concerns

16/06/2015

Cost-cutting in Britain's North Sea oil and gas sector could lead to more acute skills shortages in future, industry experts have warned, with some expressing concerns that safety could be compromised. A plunge in crude prices over the last 12 months has prompted oil majors such as Royal Dutch Shell, BP, Chevron and ConocoPhillips to lay off hundreds of workers. Oil field services groups such as Amec Foster Wheeler, Wood Group and Petrofac are also in consultation with employees over job cuts.

Oil & Gas

Total restarts La Mede refinery after strike

15/06/2015

French oil major Total said on Monday it had begun procedures to restart its La Mede refinery near Marseille, which management had decided to halt after the CGT union called a strike against plans to stop crude processing.

Oil & Gas

Big Oil saves Putin’s top investor show, again

15/06/2015

Some of the world's most powerful oil executives will attend Russia's top investment show this week, once again helping the organisers shrug off a meagre turnout from other leading Western industrialists and bankers.

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