A former BP Plc engineer pleaded guilty to deleting text messages in what the US said was an attempt to hide spill rate estimates during the biggest offshore oil disaster in US history. Kurt Mix faced as long as 20 years in prison if convicted at trial. Instead, he was sentenced to probation and community service Friday as part of a plea deal with federal prosecutors. Mix was the first of four men charged with crimes tied to the 2010 catastrophe and its aftermath.
An Aberdeen-based oil and lubricant firm yesterday said its ability to deliver savings had helped it strike two new deals, one of which is worth nearly £800,000. Normac Oils will supply its products to oilfield services firm Archer and collective members of the North East Procurement Organisation (NEPO) under separate agreements. Normac declined to say which particular client had stumped up the £800,000.
Lithuania has started talks with Russian gas exporter Gazprom GAZP.MM on purchases for the next year as its long-term supply contract expires in December, Baltic news agency BNS reported. Gazprom said on Monday it would hold an auction later this year for gas deliveries to the Baltic States in 2016. Lithuania's Lietuvos Duju Tiekimas (LDT) plans to import up to 500 million cubic metres (mcm) of pipeline gas next year, Haroldas Nauseda, head of LDT's commercial department, told the parliamentary economic affairs committee this week.
Russia's Rosneft, the world's top listed oil producer by output, has offered Japanese companies a chance to join projects in Russia's East Siberia and Far East, Chief Executive Igor Sechin said on Friday. There is a huge potential for cooperation between the two countries, he said, in offering Japanese firms the opportunity to participate in the Verkhnechonskoye, Srednebotuobinskoye, Tagulskoye and Russkoye projects, as well as in other developments already in operation or yet to be launched. "We proposed to our Japanese partners deals with total reserves of six billion barrels and with a resource base of 100 billion barrels," Sechin told an industry symposium in Tokyo.
Suncor Energy Inc. is stepping up its hostile $3.3 billion bid for Canadian Oil Sands Ltd. by asking Alberta regulators to strike down the target’s new shareholder rights plan aimed at preventing its takeover. The Alberta Securities Commission will hold a hearing on Nov. 26 to consider the so-called poison pill adopted by the Canadian Oil Sands board last month, Suncor said in a statement Friday. The hearing follows Suncor’s application for an order to cease the new rights plan. Canadian Oil Sands vowed to protect its shareholders. The Canadian Oil Sands shareholder plan calls for 120 days to consider bids. Because Suncor’s offer is open for acceptance only until Dec. 4, unless extended or withdrawn by Suncor, it would not be a permitted bid under the new plan, Canadian Oil Sands said last month.
US shale oil producers have reduced the fat from their 2015 budgets after a 50% drop in crude prices. Shale companies including Devon Energy Corp, Continental Resources and Marathon Oil released their preliminary 2016 plans for spending. The cuts come after between 30% and 40% reductions earlier this year. Lower costs and improved productivity would allow them to hold shale oil production largely flat.
The head of Naftogaz said a proposed new pipeline to pump Russian gas to Europe could spell the end for Ukraine’s gas transport business. In September Russia’s Gazprom formed a consortium with E.ON, BASF, Wintershall, OMV, ENGIE and Shell to develop the Nord Stream-2 pipeline. It would allow Russia to bypass Ukraine completely from 2019.
Oil & Natural Gas Corp.’s second-quarter profit fell 11 percent as slumping crude prices eroded revenue at India’s biggest energy explorer. Net income fell to 48.4 billion rupees ($736 million) in the three months ended Sept. 30 from 54.4 billion rupees a year earlier, the state-owned company said in a statement Friday. The average of 25 analyst estimates in a Bloomberg survey was 46.6 billion rupees. Sales gained 1 percent to 205.6 billion rupees.
Faroe Petroleum has completed the acquisition of Roc Oil which holds a 12% interest in the Enoch and Blane interests in the UK North Sea. The company said the deal, which had an initial consideration of $17million, had now been reduced to $13.7million. The Enoch field is currently suspended but is planned to come back on stream in the second quarter of 2015.
Support for a strike at Petrobras is growing according to Brazilian union leaders as workers show their opposition to privatisation of the state-owned oil company. A strike began last Sunday and has become the biggest stoppage in 20 years at Petrobras as workers back union efforts to rationalise the company and cut foreign participation in the oil industry. The focus of industrial action has recently changed to focus on nationalist and anti-capitalist demands rather than wages.
The NPD (Norwegian Petroleum Directorate) has granted start-up consents for the Edvard Greig oil pipeline and the Utsira high gas pipeline. Both of these transport solutions will become part of the Edvard Greig and Ivar Aasen fields on the Utsira High in the North Sea. The oil transport system includes a 94-kilometre long 16-inch pipeline from the Edvard Greig platform and a new Y-connection point, which has been installed on the Grane oil pipeline about four kilometres away.
ExxonMobil is being investigated by the New York state attorney general as to whether it misled investors and the public about the risk of climate change and how it might have affected the company. According to reports, a subpoena was set to the oil company earlier this week, requesting emails, financial records and other documents. The investigation could look at ExxonMobil’s activities from as far back as the 1970s till this year.
MOL Group has achieved its best ever quarterly results led by the demand in its downstream sector. The Hungarian company said its net profit for the nine months of the year was $583million which was more than double the result from the same time last year. MOL said it was on track to reach its upgraded target for 2015 of $2.2billion. Despite the decline in oil price the company said its upstream segment decreased by a much smaller extent of 23%.
A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S, Denmark’s biggest company, said profit at its oil unit dropped 86 percent in the third-quarter as energy prices fell. Maersk Oil’s net operating income after tax for the three months through September was $32 million, down from $222 million in the same period a year earlier, the Copenhagen-based company said in a statement on Friday.
Taqa Bratani said a consultation over headcount reductions launched in August has now concluded with the loss of 100 offshore core crew positions. The company previously announced it was considering the move which was most likely to affect contractors.
Faced with the collapse in oil prices, the two dominant North Sea producers are taking opposite approaches to bolster dwindling investment: The U.K. is offering carrots, while Norway is wielding a stick. Britain plans to extend the 1.3 billion pounds ($2 billion) of tax cuts granted to producers in March after more than one in three fields was rendered uneconomic by the slump in crude. In contrast, Norway has shunned incentives and warned companies that scrapping projects could hurt their chances of getting new Arctic licenses. The differing strategies highlight the divide between depleted British waters and the untapped potential and larger reserves on the Norwegian side of the North Sea. Norway can afford to be uncompromising, while the U.K. struggles to extend the life of aging and higher-cost fields.
A Scottish oil and gas engineering firm said yesterday it had powered past the £10million turnover milestone after netting several “major” North Sea contracts. It means JWF has quadrupled its revenues in just a decade, allowing it to double its total workforce to 26 at the same time. The company, which was founded in 1959, supplies energy companies with a range of instruments that measure flow, temperature and pressure, among other things.
Lower crude prices continue to bite into North Sea oil and gas company profits and spending plans, with another two firms revealing impacts in their third quarter results yesterday. Apache and Canadian Natural Resources (CNR) reported losses totalling billions of pounds and also highlighted cost-cutting on a scale being seen right across the industry.
FAR Limited said the first appraisal well to be drilled on the SNE field offshore Senegal has been spudded. The SNE-2 well will be drilled in approximately 1,100 metres of water and drilled to a total vertical depth subsea of 2,770 metres before an evaluation program including logging, coring and flow testing is undertaken.
Swedish refiner Preem has bought its first cargo of Saudi Arabian crude oil in around two decades. The purchase from another traditional buyer of Russia’s Urals crude is expected to heat up the contest for the market share which Saudi Arabia has effectively brought to Russia’s backyard in the Baltic region.
Shell has been accused of making false claims about its clean-up operations in Nigeria in a joint report by Amnesty International and the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development. The findings claimed the oil giant had also failed to implement UN recommendations. The report also alleged several sites Shell had claimed to have cleaned up remained polluted.
Oil major BP said it plans to start production from a new natural gas discovery in Egypt in 2018. The company said it also aims to double its production from the country by the end of the decade. The Atoll offshore field will be developed with two initial wells connected to existing infrastructure.
Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.’s profit beat analyst estimates after it deepened cost cuts to cope with crude prices near the lowest in six years. It reported adjusted earnings of 10 cents a share, compared with the average 9-cent loss estimated by 16 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. The third-quarter net loss was C$111 million ($84.3 million), or 10 cents a share, compared with profit of C$1.04 billion, or 94 cents, a year earlier, the Calgary-based company said in a statement Thursday. “We continue to make significant progress in reducing costs,” Steve Laut, President of Canadian Natural, said in the statement. “At the same time, our average production has increased 11% despite a very significant drop in capital program spending.”
Lundin Petroleum said it has temporarily suspended drilling operations on the Neiden prospect in the Barents Sea due to the looming winter weather.
The UK Government has announced a new consultation on banning fracking in protected wildlife sites. The move comes from DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change) and would include sites of specific scientific interest. Proposals for an outright ban were first introduced earlier this year by MPs concerned about the government’s drive for shale gas exploration.