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Oil & Gas

Union set to protest at Offshore Europe

08/09/2015

Union members are poised to protest at Offshore Europe today. Unite the Union have planned the move following a dispute with offshore catering companies. Trade union bosses have accused offshore catering firms of "point blank"refusing to honour a 1.3% pay rise that had been agreed for the year.

Oil & Gas

Woodside bids for oil search in Asia’s biggest energy offer

08/09/2015

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. offered A$11.65 billion ($8.1 billion) in stock for Oil Search Ltd. as it aims to take advantage of a collapse in oil prices in what would be the biggest energy deal between non-related companies in the Asia-Pacific region. Woodside offered one share for every four Oil Search shares, which amounts to a premium of about 14 percent based on Oil Search’s closing price on Monday. Oil Search rose 16 percent to A$7.835 and Woodside slid 2.9 percent to A$29.68 as of 1:12 p.m. Sydney time. Oil Search was one of the few oil and gas companies to report a jump in profit in the first half, driven by its Papua New Guinea liquefied natural gas project. “The market is sending a pretty clear signal that Woodside’s offer is undervaluing the Oil Search stake in the PNG LNG project, which is really one of the most competitive LNG investments in the whole Asia Pacific region,” Angus Nicholson, a market analyst at IG Markets Ltd. in Melbourne, said by phone. “Not to mention Woodside will need PNG government support, so that could be tricky.”

Oil & Gas

Move over Exxon, Russian drillers are oil world’s top performers

08/09/2015

At a time when the collapse in crude prices pushes Russia’s economy into a recession, the nation’s oil producers are managing to beat their western counterparts. On measures including cash flow, profit margins and share prices, OAO Rosneft, Lukoil PJSC-- Russia’s two largest oil producers -- and OAO Gazprom Neft are performing better than Royal Dutch Shell Plc, BP Plc or Exxon Mobil Corp. “When oil goes down, the western companies are hurt more than the Russian companies,” said Maxim Edelson, a Senior Director at Fitch Ratings in Moscow. Because Russian tax rates adjust automatically to lower prices the nation’s companies enjoy a buffer to the slump in crude while “a lot of the hit is taken by the government.”

Oil & Gas

Iran sanctions seen lifted in early 2016 by nuclear envoys

07/09/2015

Oil and financial sanctions on Iran will probably be lifted within the first three months of 2016, according to four western diplomats familiar with the nuclear monitoring process. Under the terms of a July 14 accord between world powers and Iran, sanctions imposed internationally on the Persian Gulf nation will be lifted in return for restrictions on nuclear work. The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency will assess when Iran has fulfilled the terms of deal, paving the way for the removal of restrictions. The monitoring necessary for that to happen will probably be in place by January or February, according to three of the envoys. A fourth saw restrictions lasting as late as March. All of the officials have knowledge of the IAEA’s verification regime in Iran and asked not to be named discussing confidential estimates.

Oil & Gas

Iraqi Kurds to pay Genel, DNO, Gulf Keystone within a week

07/09/2015

Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan Regional Government plans to start making its first regular payments to oil producers including DNO ASA, Genel Energy Plc. and Gulf Keystone Petroleum Ltd. within seven days. The companies’ shares rallied. The Ministry of Natural Resources authorized the allocation of $75 million of revenue from the KRG’s direct sale of crude oil as payments, the ministry said in an e-mailed statement on Monday. Operators of the Taq Taq oil field including Genel Energy will receive $30 million, Tawke field operator DNO will get $30 million and Gulf Keystone, the operator at Sheikhan, will receive $15 million over the next seven days, it said. “Regular payments will be needed to allow the exporting companies to cover their ongoing expenses and plan for further investment in the oil fields, which will in turn boost production and thus help the people of the Kurdistan region,” according to the ministry statement. Additional payments will be made as Kurdish shipments rise in 2016, it said. The payments would be the first schedule compensation to companies that have been caught for years in a dispute over revenue sharing between authorities in the northern Kurdish enclave and Iraq’s federal government. Genel’s shares gained 6.1% percent, while DNO and Gulf Keystone Petroleum also rallied.

Middle East

Sound Oil signs Moroccan exclusivity deal

07/09/2015

Sound oil has signed a two-month exclusivity agreement with Maghreb Petroleum Exploration to buy a subsidiary of the Moroccan Sidi Moktar licences. The Sidi Moktar licence covers 3000km2 onshore in the Essaouira basin which contains multiple gas discoveries. Sound said it is carrying out due diligence and it will issue further updates in due course.

Oil & Gas

Oil drops a second day as Venezuela seeks OPEC summit amid glut

07/09/2015

Oil declined for a second day as Venezuela proposed an OPEC summit to stabilize prices amid a global glut. Futures slid as much as 2 percent in New York. Producers from outside of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries including Russia will be invited to the meeting, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro told state-owned broadcaster Telesur. Cutting output for a short-term price gain isn’t the cure for the “sickness” affecting global markets, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Friday. Oil has fluctuated the past three weeks as concerns overs slowing demand in China fueled volatility in global markets. Prices are down more than 25 percent from this year’s closing peak in June on signs the surplus will persist. OPEC members are sustaining output and U.S. crude stockpiles remain almost 100 million barrels above the five-year seasonal average.

Oil & Gas

Stork snaps up Australian firm

Energy services firm Stork has spread its wings with the acquisition of a mechanical services firm in Australia for an undisclosed sum. Stork, which is owned by energy investor Arle Capital Partners, snapped up Sydney-based Giovenco Industries, including its £39million joint venture contract with Bechtel for work on Chevron’s Wheatstone project in Western Australia.

Oil & Gas

Exclusive OGA: The North Sea’s most “significant change” is yet to come

07/09/2015

The chief executive of the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has called on the sector to invest in the next generation or risk perpetuating crippling sector skills gap. In the OGA’s official call to action, the industry leader said despite actions already taken in the wake of a dramatic oil price decline more significant change was needed. However, he added the sector’s “expertise, imagination and tenacity” would see it weather the storm. “Irrespective of the oil price, the UK offshore oil and gas industry needs to change,” he said.

Oil & Gas

Foreign oil drillers sour on regulation-happy Angola, Total says

06/09/2015

Angola risks losing investment from foreign oil companies as costly government regulations and low world prices make the country, vying to be Africa’s largest producer, less attractive to operate in, an industry executive said. A series of measures introduced by Angola’s government in recent years has pushed production costs up as much as $500 million annually, said Jean-Michel Lavergne, general manager for Total E&P Angola, the country’s biggest driller. Oil companies want talks with the Angolan government to press home the threat posed by regulatory costs, Lavergne told reporters on Friday at a monthly business forum in Luanda.

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