Oil & Gas

Americas

US studies implicate fracking fall-outs as a health hazard

Unconventional oil and gas (UOG) operations in the US that involve fracturing may be harming human health. By inference, research being carried out at the University of Missouri may sound alarm bells in the UK and wider EU where shale gas extraction (and oil) industry has yet to start. Up to now in the US, discussions have largely concentrated on potential air and water pollution from chemicals used in these processes and how it affects the more than 15million Americans living within one mile of UOG operations.

Europe

Dyna-Mac lands FPSO work on Catcher field

05/01/2015

Singapore-based Dyna-Mac has been awarded a contract worth a preliminary estimate of $89million to construct FPSO topside modules and one flare tower for BW Offshore. The company’s prepatory work is for the vessel which will operate at Premier Oil’s Catcher oil fields in the North Sea.

Europe

Rockhopper awarded stake in Croatian block

05/01/2015

Rockhopper Exploration has been awarded a 40% share in an offshore block in Croatia in a partnership deal with Eni. Block 9 is located in shallow waters of the Northern Adriatic gas province and contains the previously discovered Ksenija accumulation along with the Klaudija prospect. The company said the anticipated work programme consists of seismic acquisition, processing and re-processing during the first exploration phase, with the drilling of a well in the second exploration phase.

Middle East

Gulf Keystone Petroleum hits production target

05/01/2015

Gulf Keystone Petroleum said seven wells are now producing at its Shaikan production facilities. A further well is expected to come online this month in the Kurdistan region of Iraq where operations are taking place. The company said total daily production has been gradually increasing since last month, with the company’s 400,000 gross barrels of oil per day target being reached shortly before New Year.

Oil & Gas

Oil extends drop from 5 1/2-year low on supply glut speculation

05/01/2015

Oil fell for a third day, extending its drop from the lowest close since 2009 amid speculation a global supply glut that’s driven crude into a bear market may persist this year. Futures slid as much as 2% in London, after losing 5.1% last week. Iraq, the second-largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, plans to boost crude exports this month, the oil ministry said.

Europe

Scotland ‘could go all renewable’

05/01/2015

Scotland’s electricity system could be powered almost entirely by renewable energy by 2030, according to a report by an environmental charity. WWF Scotland’s report uses independent analysis by an engineering and energy consultancy to test the Scottish Government’s policy to decarbonise the country’s electricity supply over the next 15 years. It found that an electricity system based on “proven renewables and increased energy efficiency” is a credible way of meeting the target.

Europe

Oil company director steps down after voting bungle

05/01/2015

A director of a North Sea oil company has been forced to step down after a bungle over the number of votes cast for his re-election at the firm’s annual meeting. The “proxy tabulation error” has only just been revealed – weeks after Antrim Energy shareholders voted on whether Gerry Orbell should continue on the board. Mr Orbell is a former chairman of the company, which is based in Calgary, Canada.

Americas

Oil below $60 tests US drive for energy independence

05/01/2015

Oil’s biggest bust since the global recession was good for a few cases of whiplash. Just two months ago, Continental Resources Inc. (CLR), the shale driller founded by billionaire Harold Hamm, budgeted for $80-a-barrel oil and planned to spend $4.6billion in 2015. Six weeks later, with crude down 29% in the interim, Continental cut its 2015 budget to $2.7billion.

Oil & Gas

Flexlife makes profit turnaround

Subsea pipe specialist Flexlife returned to profit last year despite a small decline in annual sales. Its parent company, Flexlife Group, also narrowed losses, according to accounts filed at Companies House. Flexlife Limited saw turnover fall around £1million to £13.3million in the year to the end of March 2014. But the firm recorded a pre-tax profit of £452,461 compared to a £514,678 loss in the prior year.

Oil & Gas

EES launches new testing division

An engineering services company has invested £150,000 in setting up a new testing division in Aberdeen. Enterprise Engineering Services (EES) says the new facility at Tullos Industrial Estate has enabled it to become a one-stop shop for design, fabrication, installation and testing services.

Africa

BG boosted by Egypt payment

02/01/2015

Oil and gas exploration firm BG Group received a boost today as it revealed the Egyptian government had paid it £225 million as the state seeks to repay outstanding debts to the energy industry. The group also said it was “working with the government on resolving the outstanding receivable balance” of £592 million. It comes after a year in which Reading-based BG has been dragged down by problems in Egypt as well as the tumbling oil price, and been hit by controversy over pay plans for its new chief executive.

Europe

Russia pumps most oil since Soviet era as sanctions yet to bite

02/01/2015

Russian oil production rose to a post-Soviet record last month, showing how pumping of the nation’s biggest source of revenue has so far been unaffected by US and European sanctions or a price collapse for the commodity. The nation increased output 0.3% to 10.667 million barrels a day, according to preliminary data today e-mailed today by CDU-TEK, part of the Energy Ministry. The figure is for crude and condensates, an ultralight oil that yields a greater proportion of high-value fuels. Production averaged 10.58 million barrels a day for 2014, also a post-Soviet record.

Oil & Gas

Afren settles with former execs over unauthorized payments

02/01/2015

Afren Plc settled a dispute with its former chief executive officer and chief operating officer who were fired after receiving payments without board approval. The UK oil and gas explorer secured $17.1million from former CEO Osman Shahenshah and COO Shahid Ullah, recovered $3million in legal costs and agreed not to pursue the matter in court, it said today in a statement.

Oil & Gas

Step Change in Safety splits from Oil & Gas UK

01/01/2015

Step Change in Safety has split from Oil & Gas UK. The safety organisation confirmed that as of today it will operate independently from the industry body. It is now wholly owned by its 137 member organisations and will be governed by its own board of directors.

Oil & Gas

Contractor rates could be cut by up to 15%

31/12/2014

Oil and gas workers could face cuts of up to 15% in the New Year it has been revealed. BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Total and Chevron have called for sharp reductions in the rates which contractors are paid. It comes just weeks after WGPSN said it would cut contractor rates by 10% and salaries would be frozen from January. According to reports, recruitment group Hays confirmed that the falling oil price has led to pay cuts for contractors.

Oil & Gas

ECB chief economist warns lower oil prices could affect inflation expectations

31/12/2014

European Central Bank Chief Economist Peter Praet warned in an interview with German newspaper Boersen-Zeitung that lower oil prices increasingly risk de-anchoring inflation expectations, indicating that quantitative easing is becoming more likely. The euro-area could see “negative inflation during a substantial part of 2015” amid a slide in the cost of crude, and the Governing Council “cannot simply look through” that, Praet said in comments published. “Inflation expectations are extremely fragile” and “the risk of second-round effects seems to be greater today than it was in the past,” he said.

Americas

Rose Petroleum spuds Mancos well

31/12/2014

Rose Petroleum has spudded the State 1-34 Mancos well in Utah. The company said it had used a smaller rig for better cost efficiency and will bring in a larger rig in early January to drill the balance of the well to total depth. Surface casing will be set to 300 feet and once the surface casing is cemented in place, drilling operations will recommence.

Oil & Gas

Magseis strikes Chevron deal

31/12/2014

Seismic acquisition technology firm Magseis has won a contract with Chevron North Sea. The contract is for seabed seismic acquisition using the company’s MASS system and Artemis Athene.

Oil & Gas

Bakken Club gets evicted as oil plunge tests shale boom

31/12/2014

A private club in North Dakota’s Bakken shale that once charged membership fees as high as $25,000 and served jumbo shrimp cocktail was evicted this month in a sign that oil’s plunge is undercutting the region’s go-go years. The Bakken Club was ordered on December 17 to vacate its premises on Williston’s Main Street after failing to pay rent, state court records show. The club owed $21,598 for rent plus $1,329.90 in late fees, the landlord, On The Spot Development LLC, said in a November 25 complaint. One check bounced.

Oil & Gas

Oil set for biggest slump since 2008 as OPEC battles US shale

31/12/2014

Oil headed for the biggest annual decline since the 2008 global financial crisis as US producers and the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries ceded no ground in their battle for market share amid a supply glut. Futures slid as much as 1.4% in New York, bringing losses for 2014 to 46 percent. US guidelines allowing overseas sales of ultralight oil without government approval may boost the country’s export capacity and “throw a monkey wrench” into Saudi Arabia’s plan to curb American output, according to Citigroup I

Oil & Gas

Oil prices still going down

31/12/2014

Brent and US crude oil prices both hit five year lows yesterday, before rebounding slightly, and experts expect them to go lower still. Benchmark Brent was down by 36 cents a barrel to $57.52, putting it on track for its second weakest month since the global financial crisis of 2008, while US crude was off 3 cents at $53.57 by late afternoon UK-time. Richard Hastings, a macro strategist at American investment bank Global Hunter Securities said US crude would likely break below $50 in the next few trading days.

Oil & Gas

North-east MSP warns against any moves to cut corners

31/12/2014

The slump in the price of North Sea oil is no excuse for oil companies to cut back on spending on offshore safety measures, north-east MSP Lewis Macdonald said last night. Mr Macdonald, Scottish Labour’s energy spokesman, added: “The falling oil price is putting severe pressure on oil companies. “We’ve already heard about proposed job cuts among sub-contractors and of plans to cut wages but there can be no compromise on safety

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