Mark Lammey

Energy Voice editor
Other News

Drop in oil and gas prices leads to hotel revenue fall

12/08/2015

Low oil and gas prices steered Aberdeen hotels to double-digit percentage falls in both occupancy and revenue for the second month on the trot, a new report says. And there is uncertainty as to whether hotel prices will be ratcheted up for next month’s Offshore Europe conference, a common practice in the Granite City. Aberdeen hotel rooms generated £52.45 a night on average in May, down an alarming 30% year-on-year, according to accountancy network BDO’s survey of three and four star establishments. Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness all experienced strong increases in revenue, though the Scottish capital was the only location to enjoy a rise in occupancy.

Oil & Gas

Morocco’s sole refinery to shut due to financial problems

11/08/2015

Morocco's Societe Anonyme Marocaine de l'Industrie du Raffinage (SAMIR) will halt production at its 200,000 barrel per day (bpd) Mohammedia refinery due to financial difficulties, the company said in a statement. Sources at the refinery said it was already shut down, but would restart once it received delivery of two cargoes of 2 million barrels of crude oil, scheduled to arrive between Aug. 15 and 18. It said SAMIR will continue to supply oil products until its stocks run out.

Oil & Gas

ConocoPhillips to seek buyers for stake in Indonesian oil, gas block

11/08/2015

U.S. oil and gas company ConocoPhillips is reviewing its portfolio in Indonesia and may soon seek buyers for a stake in a production sharing block it operates in the Natuna Sea, company and government sources said. The company has proposed to upstream oil and gas regulator SKKMigas to open its data room for the South Natuna Sea Block B, the agency's spokesman Elan Biantoro told Reuters, noting that such requests were usually made by companies "that want to farm out their participating interests." ConocoPhillips was opening the data room to offer its share to other investors, spokesman Joang Laksanto said.

Market info

OPEC signals oil supply from rivals proving resilient to low prices

11/08/2015

OPEC on Tuesday raised its forecast of oil supplies from non-member countries in 2015, a sign that oil's price collapse is taking longer to impact on shale and other competing sources than previously thought. In a monthly report, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) raised its forecast for non-OPEC supply this year by about 90,000 barrels per day (bpd).

Oil & Gas

Petrobras CEO says it will take 5 years to rebuild company

09/08/2015

The chief executive of Brazil's Petroleo Brasileiro SA estimates it will take five years for the state-run oil producer to win back the credibility it lost among investors after a massive corruption scandal sent some of its top executives to jail. Aldemir Bendine told daily O Estado de S.Paulo that the corruption scandal will weigh on Petrobras as long as investigations continue but that he will keep pushing for management and financial changes in the company.

Oil & Gas

Alberta probing heron deaths at Syncrude oil sands site

09/08/2015

Alberta's energy regulator is investigating the deaths of 30 blue herons at a Syncrude Canada oil sands site in the northern part of the Canadian province, the agency and company said on Saturday. The Alberta Energy Regulator said it sent investigators to the Syncrude Canada Mildred Lake site, which is about 40 km (25 miles) north of Fort McMurray. In 2010, Syncrude was fined C$3 million ($2.29 million) for negligence in the 2008 deaths of 1,600 ducks in a toxic tailings pond, a case that fueled international concern about the environmental impact of developing Canada's oil sands.

Oil & Gas

Shell eyes new Brazilian assets ahead of BG deal

07/08/2015

Royal Dutch Shell is considering investing billions in Brazil, set to become a focal point after the planned acquisition of BG Group, even as it prepares to sell huge chunks of its business to pay for the $70 bln deal. Despite a broad drive to cut spending in the face of persistently low oil prices, Chief Executive Ben Van Beurden remains steadfast in his plans to buy BG, which will transform Shell into the world's biggest liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplier. The company has announced plans to sell around $30 billion in assets between 2016 and 2018 to improve its balance sheet and focus on its core deepwater oil and LNG business.

Oil & Gas

Shell to sell stake in Chinese lubricant supplier Tongyi

07/08/2015

Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to sell its controlling stake in Tongyi Lubricants in China, in the energy company's latest step to restructure its global refining business. Shell said it expects to complete its exit from Tongyi, in which it bought a 75 percent stake in 2006, by late 2015 or early 2016. The value of the sale to Huo's Group, its partner in Tongyi, and private equity firm Carlyle International, was not disclosed. The Anglo-Dutch oil and gas company will remain present in China's growing lubricant industry, which produces liquids such as engine oils and greases.

Renewables/Energy Transition

E.ON to sell Italian hydroelectric plants to ERG for $1bln

07/08/2015

Italian energy group ERG is to buy German utility E.ON's Italian hydroelectric power plants for about 950 million euros ($1 billion), expanding its renewable portfolio which mostly comprises windfarms. E.ON's Terni Hydroelectric Complex, which has 527 megawatts (MW) of generating capacity and produces about 1.4 terawatt hours of electricity a year, was put up for sale in late 2013 along with other assets in the country. ERG currently operates windfarms in Europe with a total capacity of 1.38 gigawatts, including 1.1 gigawatts in Italy, as well as a gas-fired thermal plant in Sicily with a capacity of 480 MW.

Oil & Gas

‘Frack now, pay later,’ top services companies say amid oil crash

07/08/2015

Business is so tough for oilfield giants Schlumberger and Halliburton that they have come up with a new sales pitch for crude producers halting work in the worst downturn in years. It amounts to this: "frack now and pay later." The moves by the world's No. 1 and No. 2 oil services companies show how they are scrambling to book sales of new technologies to customers short of cash after a 60 percent slide in crude to $45 a barrel. In some cases, they are willing to take on the role of traditional lenders, like banks, which have grown reluctant to lend since the price drop that began last summer, or act like producers by taking what are essentially stakes in wells.

Oil & Gas

Energy Institute urges better dialogue on fracking issue

07/08/2015

The energy industry’s professional membership body yesterday lambasted the sector’s inability to provide clear information on fracking, the method of shale gas extraction. And, unable to tolerate the situation any longer, the Energy Institute has published its own guide to fracking, which is one of the most divisive issues surrounding the industry at present. In January, the Scottish government declared an indefinite moratorium on granting planning consent for fracking while further research was carried out.

Oil & Gas

Shell declares force majeure on Nigerian gas supplies to NLNG

06/08/2015

Shell has declared force majeure on gas supplies to Nigeria's LNG export terminal on Bonny Island in Rivers State due to a pipeline leak, a spokesman for the company said on Thursday. "Shell declared force majeure on gas supplies from SPDC to NLNG (Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Co), effective August 4," spokesman Precious Okolobo said, adding that the company was investigating the cause of the leak.

Oil & Gas

In rare move, PBF snaps up oil cargo from Western Canada

06/08/2015

U.S. oil refiner PBF Energy is shipping a cargo of crude from Western Canada to supply its plant on the other side of the continent, a rare move traders say is a sign steep discounts for oil sands are upending age-old trade routes. The deal set the market abuzz on Wednesday with traders speculating about the status of the shipment of up to 500,000 barrels of crude. Two traders said PBF picked up a cargo coming from the Kearl oil sands projects operated by Imperial Oil in northern Alberta at a hefty discount.

Oil & Gas

Sewage flow becomes Williston’s oil bust indicator

06/08/2015

The population of a U.S. oil boomtown that became a symbol of the fracking revolution is dropping fast because of the collapse in crude oil prices, according to an unusual metric: the amount of sewage produced. Williston, North Dakota, has seen its population drop about 6 percent since last summer, according to wastewater data relied upon heavily by city planning officials. They turned to measuring effluent because it was a much faster and more accurate way to track population than alternatives such as construction permits, school enrollment, tax receipts or airport boardings.

Oil & Gas

Aviva Investors opposes Vedanta takeover bid for Cairn India

06/08/2015

Fund firm Aviva Investors said on Wednesday it opposed a $2.3 billion plan by Vedanta to buy out minority shareholders in Cairn India as the deal failed to deliver sufficient value. Aviva's UK equity team has a 4.3 percent stake in Cairn Energy, the original owner of Cairn India and still its largest minority shareholder. Its emerging market equity teams, meanwhile, both own stakes in Cairn India, it said. "As long-term investors, we believe that the timing of this deal is opportunistic and materially undervalues Cairn India, its current reserves and future prospects," Aviva Investors, part of insurer Aviva, said in a statement.

Oil & Gas

Seismic survey scheme gets off to flying start

06/08/2015

A £20million programme of seismic surveys aimed at reinvigorating exploration in the North Sea has got off to a flying start, the UK oil and gas industry’s regulator said yesterday. It was thought the work would get under way at the beginning of August, but vessels have been surveying since July 21. The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) said more than 1,400 linear miles have been covered since then, with three vessels currently engaged in the task.

Market info

Chesapeake Energy posts loss on $5 bln impairment charge

05/08/2015

U.S. natural gas producer Chesapeake Energy reported a quarterly loss, compared with a year-earlier profit, as it took a $5 billion charge on some oil and gas assets. Oil and gas producers including Encana and Chevron have taken massive impairment charges this year as the value of their assets has dropped after global oil prices more than halved in the past year. Natural gas prices, which have also plunged due to a supply glut, are showing no signs of recovery.

Oil & Gas

US court rejects Ecuador challenge to $96 mln Chevron award

05/08/2015

A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday rejected Ecuador's challenge to a $96 million international arbitration award in favor of energy giant Chevron, marking the latest twist in a decades-long dispute over the development of oil fields in the South American country. The dispute stemmed from a 1973 deal that called for Texaco Petroleum Co, later acquired by Chevron, to develop oil fields in exchange for selling oil to the Ecuadorean government at below-market rates. Texaco filed several lawsuits in the 1990s accusing Ecuador of violating the contract. The District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a 2011 award from The Hague's Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Netherlands.

Oil & Gas

MOL’s Q2 net profit soars 161 pct y/y on strong downstream business

05/08/2015

Hungarian oil and gas group MOL's second-quarter net profit surged 161 percent from a year earlier as its downstream segment posted its best ever quarterly result thanks to strong refining and petrochemicals margins. The company's so called clean EBITDA, or core earnings, jumped 89 percent to 179.5 billion forints ($629.63 million), exceeding analysts' median forecast of 169.9 billion in a poll by business website portfolio.hu. It was also above the 154.1 billion forints core earnings recorded in the first quarter. MOL posted a net profit of 62.7 billion forints, compared to a profit of 24 billion forints in the same period of 2014.

Oil & Gas

Businessman relaunches firm following liquidation

05/08/2015

The head of an Aberdeen-based energy sector procurement services firm that went bust last month has started trading again. Warren Anderson was the controlling shareholder in Gas and Oil Technology Services (GOT Services) when administrators were brought in to wind down the business in July, putting 19 employees out of work with immediate effect. But last week it emerged that Mr Anderson had set up GOT Procurement Services at the same registered address less than a fortnight after the earlier venture hit the buffers.

Oil & Gas

BP to relinquish three offshore blocks in Uruguay

04/08/2015

British oil major BP has halted its deepwater exploration activities off Uruguay as it prioritizes lower-risk projects at a time of low international prices, an official at Uruguay's state-owned oil company Ancap said on Monday. BP confirmed its exit from the South American country, three years after it won rights to explore blocks 11 and 12 in Uruguay's Pelotas basin and block 6 in the Punta del Este basin. The acreage covers an area of almost 26,000 square kilometers in waters ranging from 50 to 2,000 meters deep. "BP has other exploration projects in other parts of the world that are lower risk. In today's environment, there is a limit to investments," said Hector de Santa Ana, head of Exploration and Production at Ancap.

Oil & Gas

GE Oil & Gas announces planned job losses in Peterhead

04/08/2015

Energy firm GE Oil and Gas today announced plans to cut jobs at its facility in Peterhead due to low oil prices. GE employs about 130 people at the base, where components used in the oil and gas industry are made. The firm, which also has operations in Aberdeen and Montrose, did not specify the exact number of staff members it intends to lay off, or the amount of money it expects to save as a result of the measure.

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