Oslo-listed, east Africa-focused oil and gas company Wentworth reports a "further significant shift" in its operational status, with independent reserves attributed to its Mnazi Bay gas fields for the first time. Production in Tanzania is now imminent as Wentworth has a gas sales agreement in place and the facilities required to produce these reserves are nearing completion.
Roxi, the Central Asian oil and gas company with a focus on Kazakhstan, has unveiled plans for the next stage of its flagship BNG asset. The BNG Contract Area is located in the west of Kazakhstan, near Tengiz on the edge of the Mangistau Oblast. Roxi has a 58.4% stake.
The global crude-oil market will return to balance in the second half of this year from an oversupply of 2million barrels a day that has caused prices to plummet, Opec Secretary-General Abdalla El-Badri has said. Speaking at a conference in Manama, Bahrain, Mr El-Badri said demand in 2014 was weaker than expected “at just below 1million barrels a day” and will rise by 1.2million barrels a day this year.
A low oil price of $50 a barrel could create 90,000 UK jobs by 2020, a new report has predicted, but government would need to act to support the North Sea. Big four accountancy firm PWC said the sharp fall in oil prices since mid-2014 should boost output and employment in most sectors of the UK economy compared to when Brent crude was riding high at $108 per barrel.
A north-east business body has called on the UK government to stick to its promise on cutting North Sea oil and gas taxes and to maintain fiscal stability after the general election. The Aberdeen and Grampian Chamber of Commerce (AGCC) has also called for “swift delivery” of a proposed £2billion Aberdeen ‘city deal’ to boost local infrastructure and make up for the benefits other cities will get with investment in high speed rail in its manifesto ahead of the May election.
US energy explorers shut rigs targeting oil for the 13th straight week, extending the biggest retrenchment in drilling on record and dragging the total count to the lowest level since 2011. Rigs targeting oil in the US dropped by 64 to 922, the lowest since April 2011, Baker Hughes Inc. said on its website Friday. The count is down 43% from the 2014 peak of 1,609. More rigs were idled in the Permian Basin of Texas and New Mexico, the nation’s biggest oil field and one of its oldest, than any other play. The country has lost more than a third of its oil rigs since October as a collapse in crude prices squeezes drillers’ profits and threatens to end the shale boom that turned the US into the world’s largest fuel exporter.
Knowledge transfer and innovation is often seen as the way forward and PSL, as a spin out company of the University of St Andrews, exemplifies this route. We at PSL have developed a unique fibre lighting system offering an innovative technical solution to many sectors where safety of life is paramount. LIGHTPATH is a patented side-emitting flexible fibre that projects a continuous and flexible line of light that carries no electrical power. It combines second-generation, high-performance light emitting diodes (LED) with a life expectancy of 50,000 hours/five hours continuous operation. A unique coupling system for the optics to allow more light into the fibre, which is just 5mm in diameter, is used in combination with a new fibre quick release coupling system.
Technology Showcase 2015: Guest editor Dr Patrick O’Brien, of ITF on better imaging to improve oil and gas recovery
Great leaps have been made in the imaging of hydrocarbons over recent years and it should therefore remain a top priority for technology developers after being named as one of the SPE’s five ‘Grand Challenges’. Whilst exploration activity is being hindered by the low oil price and downturn, it would be dangerous to take an eye off the longer term. Investment in E&P programmes is still needed as well as in the technologies that can aid the discovery of new reserves and optimise recovery. Seismic data today is produced in massive volumes, with more and higher quality 3D and 4D data being processed each year. Advanced computing capabilities permit construction of more detailed inversion models from the collection of high-quality datasets.
Drilling technology business Paradigm Drilling Services this week finalised the establishment of a new Mexican subsidiary, Paradigm Drilling Services Mexico. The firm finalised the establishment of their new Mexican subsidiary in Veracruz on the Gulf of Mexico, and is currently seeking premises to house a large manufacturing and service facility in the city to support its operations, creating around 150 jobs by the end of the year.
BP has signed the final agreements of the West Nile Delta project with an estimated investment of $12billion. The company plans develop 5 trillion cubic feet of gas resources and 55 million barrels of condensates. Production from the project is expected to reach up to 1.2billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d), equivalent to about 25% of Egypt's current gas production and significantly contribute to increasing the supply of energy in Egypt.
Oil major BP has postponed construction of its £500million gas sweetening plant for up to five months. The company said the decision was triggered by the low oil price over the past six months. Earlier this year the company announced job losses from its North Sea operations as it looks to streamline its operations.
The President of Mexico said his country was keen to learn from the expertise of the North Sea oil and gas industry on a trip to Aberdeen yesterday. A heavy police presence, a civic reception and some of the country’s top politicians greeted Enrique Pena Nieto in what was his only commitment outwith London during his stay in the UK. In the grand surroundings of the Town and County Room in the town house, President Nieto signed memorandums of understanding with the UK Government to forge closer links on energy and climate change. Lord Provost George Adam and Secretary of State for Scotland Alistair Carmichael welcomed the Mexican delegation to the north-east, while UK energy minister Matt Hancock described it as the dawn of “an era of closer collaboration”. President Nieto said his country had “enormous” reserves of oil and gas, but was “not capable of exploiting them”.
Tullow Oil Plc, Total SA and Cnooc Ltd. are set to invest almost $14 billion developing oil fields in Uganda, according to Jimmy Mugerwa, general manager of Tullow’s operations there. “With the partner companies, we are looking at $8 to $10 billion for the upstream and $3 to $4 billion when we start the pipeline construction,” Mugerwa said in an interview Thursday in Kigali, the capital of neighboring Rwanda.
This week's most popular story was the assertion from oil and gas expert Alan Kennedy, of professional services firm KPMG, that the current downturn in the industry won't trigger an industry apocalypse for the north-east.
Oil fell in New York after US crude supplies increased to the highest level in more than three decades, adding to a global glut. West Texas Intermediate for April delivery dropped 63 cents, or 1.2%, to $50.90 a barrel at 9:09 a.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The volume of all futures traded was 43 percent above the 100-day average for the time of day.
Technology Showcase 2015: Guest editor Dr Patrick O’Brien of ITF on production efficiency challenges
UK production efficiency has dropped from 80% to 60% over the last decade making technologies that can help extend the life of current assets and rejuvenate uptime increasingly important. Gerald Schotman, Chief Technology Officer at Shell put it wisely: “If you simply stick with existing technologies then our industry becomes very labour intensive and unaffordable.” Yes there is a risk involved, but we take an even bigger risk of failure if we do not, as an industry, fund innovations that can address production challenges and support recovery.
The President of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto arrived in Aberdeen today during a UK state visit to mark closer ties on energy issues and climate change. President Nieto was greeted in Aberdeen by Alistair Carmichael, the Secretary of State for Scotland, and escorted to the Aberdeen Town House. He was joined by energy minister Matthew Hancock and introduced to senior UK oil and gas representatives, including Shell and BP.
Months of hard science by budding young students at an Aberdeen school came to an end yesterday when they presented their projects at TechFest last week. TechFest's Heroes of Tomorrow event, sponsored by Statoil, had pupils from S1 to S6 giving short presentations to their families and peers on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Maersk have launched a new training facility in Kingswells, providing additional training opportunities to oil and gas workers in Aberdeen. Launched this week, the centre aims to complement the training facilities that already exist in the north-east, including the survival centre in Portlethen and the boat training facility in Stonehaven.
OEM Diesel Products has invested a six figure sum in a base in Australia to meet market demand. The Aberdeen-based firm opened the office in St George’s Terrace in Perth, Australia. In Aberdeen, the company recently moved to its new base at the Commerce Centre at Souterhead Road, Altens. The building, which spans more than 6000 sq ft includes a workshop, reception area, additional offices and boardroom.
Woodside Petroleum’s proposed $3.75billion acquisition of Apache’s interest in three projects will not be opposed by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). The company is looking to acquire interests in the Wheatstone, Balnaves and Kitimat Projects. The first and second project are located in the Northern Carnarvon Basin, offshore Western Australia, while the Kitimat Project is located in British Columbia, Canada.
Royal Dutch Shell Plc and the United Steelworkers’ union will resume talks Monday on a new labor contract after ending discussions today without a resolution to the largest oil worker strike since 1980. The two sides will meet in Houston, the union said in a statement. The discussions come amid a walkout that’s widened to 12 refineries accounting for almost 20 percent of the capacity in the US Shell is leading the negotiations with the 30,000-strong United Steelworkers on behalf of companies including Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp.
Energy Secretary Ed Davey has given Russian oligarch Mikhail Fridman seven days to explain why he should be allowed to retain ownership of newly acquired oil and gas fields in the North Sea, or face being forced to sell them. Upping the ante in a standoff that could deter other Russians from investing in Britain, Mr Davey wrote to Mr Fridman saying he was considering forcing him to sell North Sea assets just acquired from German utility RWE. RWE finalised the sale of oil and gas production unit RWE Dea to Mr Fridman's investment vehicle, LetterOne, earlier this week, ending months of uncertainty over whether the £3.7billion deal would go ahead.
Subsea 7 refused to say yesterday if more jobs will go across its global operations after it revealed 1,000 were shed in 2014. The energy service giant also outlined plans to reduce its fleet capability by 10 vessels over a two-year period as it continues to look for ways to slash costs in the wake of the big drop in oil prices. Hefty losses for the firm in 2014 – more than £150million at pre-tax level – were the latest blow for company balance sheets right across the sector as it adjusts to a new trading climate. Subsea 7 said its latest figures were hit by a £774.4million writedown due to an expected downturn in activity, and without it net profits came in at £525.4million.
Spin is beating science in the debate over unconventional oil and gas in Scotland, according to the boss of a leading engineering firm. Keith Cochrane, chief executive of Weir Group, said he fears the country will be left behind if it does not take advantage of shale gas opportunities. The Scottish Government has announced a moratorium on granting planning consents for hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” - the method by which the gas is extracted. It will be in place while a full public consultation is carried out alongside further research into the technique to look at planning, environmental regulation and the impact on public health.