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Oil & Gas

BP’s chief economist sees US shale weathering oil surplus

30/06/2015

Shale output in the United States will prove resilient to low oil prices likely to be prolonged by the prospect of half a million barrels per day of Iranian crude making its way back to the market, BP's chief economist said on Tuesday. Talks in Vienna between world powers trying to end sanctions on Tehran in return for limits on Iran's most sensitive nuclear activities could bring a significant increase in Iranian oil exports. BP's Spencer Dale, however, told Reuters that it would probably take time for any easing of sanctions to filter through to oil markets if an Iran deal is agreed.

Oil & Gas

Israel to let US-led consortium keep control of biggest offshore gas field

30/06/2015

Israel plans to leave its biggest offshore natural gas project, Leviathan, in the hands of a U.S.-Israeli consortium while opening the industry to more competition, under a proposal announced on Tuesday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been adamant in seeking a deal that would allow Leviathan to be developed and sought a parliament vote to let the state circumvent the antitrust authority, which has expressed opposition. When some ministers said they would not support such a position, Netanyahu faced a coalition crisis and ultimately the vote was postponed due to lack of a majority.

Oil & Gas

Arctic oil rig departs Seattle-area port despite protest

30/06/2015

U.S. Coast Guard and police boats cleared a way through protesters in kayaks at a Seattle-area port on Tuesday so a drilling ship could head for the Arctic on behalf of Royal Dutch Shell. The Noble Discover is the second drilling ship Shell has sent to the area in recent days. The activists, who have staged frequent demonstrations during the past two months against Royal Dutch Shell's oil exploration in the Chukchi Sea off mainland Alaska, had taken to the waters just beyond the Port of Everett north of Seattle where the oil rig launched for sea.

Oil & Gas

Call for UK shale gas exploration

30/06/2015

It is vital the country seizes the opportunity to “at least explore” the UK’s shale gas potential whilst maintaining the very highest safety and environmental standards, energy and climate change minister Andrea Leadsom has said.

Oil & Gas

Statoil revises Gullfaks development plan

30/06/2015

Statoil has revealed it will utilise existing infrastructure to reduce the cost of recovery and improve profitability for its Gullfaks field. The company has submitted an amendment to its development and operations plan with the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. Statoil said phase one of the Shetland/Lista development is expected to add 18 million barrels of oil equivalent and increase the resilience of the area for continued operation of the Gullfaks platforms.

Australasia

Roxi makes exploration gains in Central Asia

30/06/2015

Kazakhstan focused oil and gas firm Roxi Petroleum has made a second find associated with its flagship BNG asset. Core samples and logging in the second well have revealed a potentially oil bearing interval starting from 4,536 meters and extending 100 meters. It’s located approximately eight kilometres from the first deep well and is being drilled by Sinopec, the Chinese multinational, at a fixed cost of $11 million.

Oil & Gas

Total workers call for wider French strike after refinery halted

30/06/2015

A labor union representing Total SA workers has called for a France-wide strike July 2 at refineries, oil depots and crude import terminals to protest a plan to stop processing the fuel at the La Mede plant in southern France. The La Mede refinery near Marseille has been idled since June 11 due to a strike by about 15 workers led by the CGT union, which called for the additional disruptions Thursday, according to a spokesman for Total. Talks with all unions on the plan for the site continue, he said.

Oil & Gas

Aberdeen firm Xodus scoops £380k deal for Middle East work

30/06/2015

Aberdeen energy service firm Xodus Group has struck a deal worth £380,000 for work on the Zirku oil and gas processing facilities in the Persian Gulf. The contract was awarded by Abu Dhabi-based oil major Zakum Development Company (Zadco) and builds on several orders Xodus notched up in the Middle East so far this year. The new agreement will see Xodus lay on services aimed at preventing vibration induced failures on Zirku-Island-based installations over a 24-week period.

Oil & Gas

Fracking industry takes massive setback

30/06/2015

Prospects for the shale gas industry in the UK have suffered a setback after county councillors voted against plans for exploratory fracking. Energy firm Cuadrilla had wanted to frack and test the flow of gas following drilling at up to four exploration wells at a proposed site between Preston and Blackpool.

Oil & Gas

Rig rout puts smaller drillers in front as oil majors scale back

30/06/2015

Crude oil’s plunge is leaving drilling rigs idle from Africa to Latin America as the world’s biggest energy companies curtail spending and stall projects. Their smaller rivals are seizing the opportunity to gain ground. Sound Oil Plc, a Mediterranean producer one-500th the size of Eni SpA, will start exploring fields in Morocco and Italy toward the end of 2015 and early 2016, while Cairn Energy Plc and Savannah Petroleum Plc plan wells in West Africa. “Large companies have dividend and debt burdens to be taken into account when oil prices decline and their response time is slower,” Sound Oil Chief Executive Officer James Parsons said. “Smaller explorers are quick to use the opportunity of declining costs and increasing availability of rigs.”

Oil & Gas

New Aberdeen engineering firm offering price cuts wins £500k of business

30/06/2015

A fledgling Aberdeen-based engineering firm has reeled in £500,000 worth of orders in the last two months by offering cost savings to operators in the oil and gas industry. Low oil prices and high costs have beset the sector in recent times, forcing companies to fire staff and mothball projects to balance their budgets. But the downturn has created a gap in the market for companies to thrive if they can offer cheaper alternatives than their rivals, the directors of Step Change Engineering (SCE) believe.

Oil & Gas

US Supreme Court rejects BP, Anadarko over Deepwater Horizon spill penalties

29/06/2015

The US Supreme Court on Monday rejected bids by BP and Anadarko Petroleum Corp to avoid penalties under federal pollution law in connection with the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The high court left in place a June 2014 ruling by the New Orleans-based 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which said the companies were liable for civil penalties under the federal Clean Water Act. The April 20, 2010, Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion and Macondo oil well rupture killed 11 workers and caused the largest offshore environmental disaster in US history, polluting large parts of the Gulf, killing marine wildlife and harming businesses.

Oil & Gas

Total union calls national strike against La Mede refinery halt

29/06/2015

France's CGT union on Monday called on workers at all oil refineries, depots and port loading terminals to strike on July 2 to protest against Total's plans to end refining at its La Mede plant on the south coast. In a statement, the CGT also called for Total's service stations to be blocked every Thursday this summer until the oil company withdraws its proposals for La Mede.

Oil & Gas

Russia softens Ukraine gas price stance ahead of talks

29/06/2015

Russia proposes keeping the gas price for Ukraine unchanged in the third quarter, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday, a day before Russia's energy minister goes to Vienna for gas talks. "Despite all the difficulties in our current relations with Ukraine, we should within reason make concessions," Medvedev told Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Gazprom Chief Executive Alexei Miller. Gazprom had said Ukraine would be charged $287 per 1,000 cubic metres with no discount in the third quarter. That compares to the $247 charged in the second quarter, including a discount of $100 per 1,000 cubic metres.

Oil & Gas

Cuadrilla decision puts frackers on back foot

29/06/2015

The rejection of fracking schemes in Lancashire comes as a significant blow to the Government’s bid to go “all out” for shale. Environmental campaigners and local opponents of two schemes to drill and frack for shale gas between Blackpool and Preston were cheered last week when Lancashire county councillors turned down one scheme at Roseacre Wood over traffic concerns.

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