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Oil & Gas

Study shows Uruguay natural gas potential

22/05/2015

Uruguayan state oil company ANCAP said the country could have a number of shallow-lying natural gas reserves as well as other previously identified oil resources. A 2D seismic study by Petrel Energy Limited has indicated as much as 910 million barrels of oil and 3.1 trillion cubic feet of gas could lie under the soil in both the Salto and Piedra Sola regions.

Middle East

Oil market shrugging off turmoil in Middle East

22/05/2015

When Islamic State fighters in Iraq captured the town of Ramadi this week, just 80 miles (129 kilometers) from the capital of the Middle East’s second-largest oil producer, crude markets shrugged. Rather than the spikes that have historically accompanied geopolitical disturbances, oil prices actually fell that day. Elsewhere, Libya is on the verge of becoming a failed state and Saudi Arabia is waging an air war against rebels in neighboring Yemen. Again, the markets seem blissfully indifferent. The old certainty that oil prices respond sharply to geopolitical upset no longer seems the case.

Oil & Gas

OPEC refuses to yield in battle for oil-market share

22/05/2015

OPEC will stick with the strategy of favoring market share over prices when it meets next month because rival producers are already starting to buckle. All but one of the 34 analysts and traders surveyed by Bloomberg said the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will maintain its daily production target of 30 million barrels when it meets in Vienna on June 5. Saudi Arabia, the biggest of OPEC’s 12 members, shaped the strategy at the last meeting in November, arguing that the usual response of cutting output to boost prices would not address the threat from shale and other higher-cost suppliers.

Oil & Gas

Exclusive: WGPSN to be appointed duty holder of CATS infrastructure in multi-million pound deal

21/05/2015

Wood Group PSN (WGPSN) is expected to take over as duty-holder of the Central Area Transmission System (Cats) North Sea pipeline system under a long-term deal worth an estimated £250million. A spokeswoman for WGPSN – part of Aberdeen-based energy service giant Wood Group – said last night the contract was still subject to third party approvals. But Antin Infrastructure Partners, which took control of the Cats infrastructure last month, have already told staff working at Cats about the move.

Oil & Gas

Range Resources approves St Mary’s plans

21/05/2015

Range Resources said budgets have now been finalised for an onshore block in Trinidad. The asset, St Mary's block, has been described as 'highly prosepctive' by the company. A four well drill programme has now been committed to, with expected completion by 2018.

Oil & Gas

ExxonMobil in ‘significant’ Guyana discovery

21/05/2015

ExxonMobil has announced a significant oil discovery at its Stabroek Block offshore Guyana. The well, located 120 miles offshore, was drilled by the company's affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana. More than 295 feet of high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs were encountered.

Oil & Gas

‘Shale-ionaires’ suffering from wave of bankrupt oil drillers

21/05/2015

At the height of the US energy boom, Texas landowner John Baen received about $100,000 a month in royalty payments from companies producing oil and natural gas on his property. Now the checks are much smaller, and when he opens his mailbox each day, he’s afraid he’ll find yet another bankruptcy notice. So far, four of the producers sending him checks have caved in to rising debts as oil prices slumped, seeking court protection from their creditors. “I feel like crying because I know I’m going to get another 10 notices,” said Baen, 67, who owns 10,000 acres of land and mineral rights on other property. A rebound in oil prices that bottomed near $44 a barrel in March has provided some relief to stronger companies that have been able to compensate with cost cuts and more efficient operations. For many smaller, cash-strapped producers, current prices of almost $60 still aren’t enough to make ends meet compared to the $100-plus prices seen during the boom days. There have been at least a dozen bankruptcy filings in recent months, and more than a dozen have defaulted on bond payments or warned investors of challenging times ahead, according to data compiled.

Oil & Gas

Total begins production on Termokarstovoye field

21/05/2015

Oil and gas giant Total has confirmed the start of gas and condensate production from the onshore Termokarstovoye field in Russia. The exploration firm said the field will produce around 233 million cubic feet of gas and 20,000 barrels of condensate per day alongside a combined production capacity of 65,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Oil & Gas

Amec Foster Wheeler now looking at 43 Aberdeen job cuts

21/05/2015

Amec Foster Wheeler (AFW) said yesterday it was still consulting workers in Aberdeen about possible redundancies, with the number of potentially affected jobs now standing at 43. This down from a few weeks ago when the project management and engineering giant said it was speaking to 149 individuals about 64 potentially affected roles. An AFW spokeswoman said yesterday there were no plans to radically reduce engineering numbers in Aberdeen, where the company employs about 3,000 people among a 40,000-strong workforce in 50 countries.

Africa

South Sudan denies rebels have taken control of oil fields

20/05/2015

South Sudan’s government denied claims by rebel forces that they’ve seized oil fields in the north of the country after clashes in the region. Lony T. Ngungdeng, a spokesman for insurgents loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar, said on Tuesday that the fighters took control of facilities in Upper Nile state, which are still producing crude. Fighting is taking place around Malakal, the state capital, and Akoka, Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth said by phone Wednesday from South Sudan.

Middle East

Wintershall pulls out of Qatar activities

20/05/2015

Wintershall said it plans to give up its gas exploration activities in Qatar as well as closing its Doha office. The BASF subsidiary will return its licence to explore Block 4 North near to the Qatari coast. The company said it had made the decision as a result of limited access to local infrastructure.

Oil & Gas

Sound Oil confirms gas from Nervesa

20/05/2015

Sound Oil is set to move forward with the testing phase of the latest appraisal of the Nervesa project after a well encountered a number of gas bearing intervals. The Mediterranean focused upstream oil and gas company said the second Nervesa appraisal has reached total depth of 2,054 metres and logging is now also complete.

Oil & Gas

Shell boss warns of shortfall

20/05/2015

Growing global oil demand will create a daily shortfall equating to about 80 times the size of current North Sea output without more investment in production, Royal Dutch Shell boss Ben van Beurden has said. The gap between supply and demand could grow to 70million barrels per day by 2040, he said, adding: “That’s the equivalent of six times Saudi Arabia’s 2013 production and 80 times the size of today’s UK North Sea production.”

Oil & Gas

Gazprom says Saipem will start building Turkey link in June

20/05/2015

Gazprom revived a deal with Saipem SpA to build a gas link through the Black Sea, which was suspended after Russian President Vladimir Putin scrapped the South Stream pipeline to Europe last year. Italy’s biggest oil and gas contractor will start laying the new route to Turkey next month as the Moscow-based exporter shifts contracts, including pipe supplies, to the new project, Gazprom management board member Oleg Aksyutin told reporters on Tuesday. Saipem shares narrowed losses of as much as 1 percent after the news, and trading down 0.6 percent at 12.43 euros at 1:42 p.m. in Milan.

Europe

Top EU energy chief to visit Scotland

19/05/2015

The European Union's top official in charge of creating an 'energy union' has accepted an invitation to visit Scotland later this year. Maros Sefcovi, vice president of the European Commission, will explore the potential role Scotland could play in creating a single energy market across the region. The energy union has been described as the EU's most ambitious plan since the 1950s and would allow gas and electricity to flow across Europe to where it was needed.

Oil & Gas

Working collaboratively key to UKCS continued success

19/05/2015

A sustainable future for the UKCS (UK Continental Shelf) will be met through ardent co-operation across the UK oil and gas industry. This was the message heard by delegates at an Oil & Gas UK briefing in London. Drawing on the experience of others in helping to contain inflationary pressures was also marked as a key solution in helping the industry. Stephen Marcos Jones, Oil & Gas UK’s business development director and chair of the event, said:“While the tax reforms announced in the Government's 2015 Budget and the establishment of the new regulator, the Oil and Gas Authority, will take effect over time, Oil & Gas UK estimates that efficiency improvements of 30 to 40 per cent need to be made by 2020 to put the basin back on a healthy footing.

Oil & Gas

Premier Oil encounters oil shows at Isobel Deep prospect

19/05/2015

Premier Oil said it has encountered oil shows in an exploration well in the Isobel Deep prospect. The company, which resumed drilling from the Falkland prospect after it was temporarily shutdown, said a zone of elevated formation pressure was penetrated and oil shows were encountered. An additional casing string before drilling ahead through the main reservoir will now be run.

Americas

Marathon workers vote to continue strike in Texas

19/05/2015

Workers at Marathon Petroleum's refinery in Texas have voted to continue to strike after a contract proposal was rejected. The staff, who work out of the company's base at Galveston Bay, voted by a secret ballot earlier this week. Almost 900 striking workers had voted, with the proposal for the contract overwhelmingly rejected.

Oil & Gas

Alaska Governor vetoes $3 billion from budget as oil taxes lag

19/05/2015

Alaska Governor Bill Walker vetoed $3 billion from the state budget and said he may have to furlough government workers as lawmakers remain at odds over how to deal with a deficit caused by plummeting oil taxes and royalties. Walker on Monday vetoed the unfunded portion of a $5 billion spending plan sent to him by the legislature May 12, saying it was the “least detrimental” choice he faced.

Oil & Gas

BP plans to sell part of its stake in Australian oil venture

19/05/2015

BP Plc plans to sell part of its oil project off southern Australia, before an exploration campaign that’s slated to start late next year at a cost of more than A$1 billion ($800 million). BP wants to cut its stake to between 40 percent and 50 percent from 70 percent, with the sales process starting in the second half this year, Bryan Ritchie, vice president of exploration for Asia Pacific, told reporters Tuesday in Melbourne. Statoil ASA owns the rest of the project in the Great Australian Bight.

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