Solar powered plane touches down in India


The pilots of a solar-powered aircraft on an historic round-the-world journey say they want the people of India to support their campaign for clean energy to save the global environment. Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg spoke to reporters in the western Indian city of Ahmadabad a day after Mr Piccard flew the single-seat plane there from Muscat, Oman.


China’s crude oil imports slump by nearly 9%


China’s commodity trade slowed in February as the lunar new year holiday crimped imports of oil, iron ore, copper and soybeans while exports of aluminum and steel fell. Oil and iron ore imports slowed to the weakest in three months, according to customs data released Sunday in Beijing.


Wood Group Kenny secures FEED contract with Woodside


Wood Group Kenny (WGK) has secured a contract with Woodside to provide the front end engineering design (FEED) of the flowline system on its North West Shelf (NWS) project in Western Australia. The company will also provide associated procurement support on the proposed Greater Western Flank Phase 2 (GWF-2). The primary engineering focus of the GWF-2 flowline FEED is to develop the flowline system for the final investment decision planned for the second half of 2015.


Buru Energy spuds Sunbeam 1 exploration well


Buru Energy has spudded the Sunbeam 1 well in the Canning Basin of Western Australia. The well has a maximum depth of 1,200metres and is expected to take some 16 days to drill. It is located in the exploration permit of EP 129 and the completion of the well will satisfy the four year work commitment on that permit.


Chevron strikes LNG deal with SK Group


Chevron has struck a deal with South Korean conglomerate SK Group to buy 4.15million tonnes of LNG over five years. The oil major has been looking to secure long-term contracts for its Australian liquefied natural gas. The deal will see the SK Group purchase the gas over a five year period from its Gorgon LNG project.


Oil holds losses as China growth fails to spur demand confidence


Oil held losses below $50 a barrel as China’s economic growth failed to spur confidence demand will be enough to eliminate a global supply glut. Futures were little changed in London after falling 2.7% on January 19, the most in a week. China’s gross domestic product expanded by 7.4% in 2014, the slowest rate since 1990, official data show. In the US, where oil production has surged amid a shale boom, the government will let the market “decide what happens” with supply and demand, according to Amos Hochstein, the State Department’s energy envoy.


BG loads up first QCLNG cargo


BG Group has loaded up its first cargo from the QCLNG (Queensland Curtis Liquefied Natural Gas) project. The company said the first vessel being loaded is from the Methane Rita Andrea. A second cargo will be loaded onto the Methan Mickie Harper which is expected in Gladstone in the first week of January.


BW Offshore wins contract extension


BW Offshore has received a one year contract extension for the lease and operation of the FPSO Umuroa. The vessel is operating on the Umuroa field in waters offshore New Zealand for AWE. The contract period will now finish in Q4 2016 instead of Q4 2015.


Australia backs proposed gas link seen as ‘pipeline to nowhere’


Australia is keen to develop a potential $1.1 billion natural gas project that’s been described as a “pipeline to nowhere.” APA Group, the nation’s largest gas pipeline owner, has signaled its interest in building the project linking the Northern Territory with east-coast markets. The federal government sees it as a way to ease a looming shortage.


Santos cuts spending by 25% in 2015


Australian energy company Santos has cut its capital expenditure for 2015 by 25%. The company said there will be a drop in spending from $2.7billion to $2billion. However managing director, David Knox, has insisted the company’s financial position remains strong.


BG Group sells Australian pipeline for $5billion


BG Group has agreed to sell its Australian pipeline business for $5billion to the APA Group. The subsidiary, QCLNG Pipeline, owns a 543 kilometre underground pipeline network which links BG group’s natural gas field in southern Queensland to a two-train export facility. It was constructed between 2011 and 2014 and has a value of $1.6billion.


China buying REC Solar for $640million to avoid trade dispute


A Chinese company offered NOK4.34billion ($640million) to buy REC Solar ASA, one of the last makers of solar panels in Western hands, a move that may help circumvent trade disputes in the US and Europe. The deal by a unit of China National Chemical Corp. would follow a surge in demand for solar panels, absorbing much of the production that companies supported by the government in Beijing built in the past decade. Authorities in Brussels and Washington have imposed restrictions on Chinese solar panel imports after accusations from competitors that products were sold below cost. That has required Chinese companies that dominate the panel manufacturing industry to establish subsidiaries with factories abroad that are outside sanctions.


Western Australia: Buru Energy drills first well in Apache farm out deal


Buru Energy has started drilling operations on the first well at EP 390 in Western Australia following a farm out deal with Apache. Work on the Commodore 1 well began today and is the first to be drilled since the agreement was made in November last year. Buru said the cost of the well will be funded by Apache under the terms of the farm out which includes a commitment by Apache to fund a $25million exploration program on EP 390, 438, 471 and 473.


Sonardyne strengthens presence in Australasia


Sonardyne has appointed Scope Engineering as its agent as it looks to expand its investment in the offshore industry across Australia, New Zealand and surrounding territories. Scope Engineering delivers a range of marine engineering anf fabrication services as well as third party technology solutions for offshore monitoring and inspection surveys. It will collaborate with the company on commercial opportunities within subsea asset monitoring, exploration and reservoir surveillance, ocean science, vessel positioning and offshore drilling.


New discovery for CNOOC


China oil giant CNOOC has made a discovery in the Eastern South China Sea. The discovery well Lufeng 14-4-4 was drilled and completed at a depth and completed at a depth of 4,098 meters and encountered oil pay zones with a production level tested at 1,320 barrels per day.


Pan Orient sells share in onshore Thailand block


Pan Orient Energy has sold a 50% interest in its subsidiary which operates its L53/48 Thailand concession to Sea Oil for $42.5million including a working capital adjustments of $2.4million. The deal is expected to be closed by January, with a $4million break free payable by Sea Oil if shareholder approval is not obtained.


Cambay Field discoveries higher than expected


Australian explorer Oilex has announced significant progress at its Cambay Field in India. The company said the hydrocarbon liquid to gas ratio (LGR) found during flowback at the Cambay Field was an estimated 250% higher than expected. During flowback it has been 100 bbls (oil barrels) of liquids per MMscfd (Million Standard Cubi Feet Per Day) of gas.


Technip wins Indonesia contract


Technip has been awarded a substantial contract by Chevron Indonesia for the Bangka development. The French energy company will provide a range of services including procurement, construction, installation and commissioning.