Oil & Gas

Oil & Gas

Boats for £20m seismic survey to hit the water within weeks

02/07/2015

A £20million programme of seismic surveys in the UK continental shelf will get under way within weeks, the energy industry’s regulator said today in Aberdeen. The programme − announced in the last Budget − is aimed at stoking North Sea drilling, which is currently at an all-time low. Gunther Newcombe, director of exploration and production at the Oil and Gas Authority, said the surveys would cover an expanse of 15,000 to 20,000 kilometres with data slated for release in the second quarter of 2016.

Oil & Gas

Union leaders urge workers to back new shift pattern

02/07/2015

Union leaders have urged oil workers to back proposals from firms over new shift patterns. In a letter obtained by our sister paper the Evening Express, the GMB union has proposed to members that three weeks on and three weeks off should be implemented offshore.

Oil & Gas

South Korea turns to cheap spot crudes as glut grows

02/07/2015

Refiners in South Korea, the world's fifth-largest crude oil importer, have stepped up spot purchases this year, buying at prices depressed by an oil glut as they run their plants at high rates to catch strong processing margins. With the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers keeping crude taps open in spite of soft global demand growth, tens of millions of unbought barrels have built up in floating storage sites and dragged down international oil markets. Still, the profit earned on turning a barrel of Dubai crude into fuel have held at $7.50-$9 a barrel this year - well above annual averages since at least 1997 - as crude benchmarks dipped to multi-year lows, sparking consumer demand for gasoline and naphtha.

Oil & Gas

UK’s Hunting sees full-year operating profit slump on oil woes

02/07/2015

Oilfield services company Hunting said it expected a 50 percent to 75 percent fall in operating profit for the year as it continued to reel under a drop in global rig counts and a weak oil and gas market. Hunting shares fell more than 7 percent on the London Stock Exchange on Thursday morning. The stock was the top loser on the FTSE-250 midcap index.

Oil & Gas

Norway cuts Det norske’s stake in Sverdrup field in North Sea

02/07/2015

The Norwegian government has modified an original proposal on how to divide up stakes in the Johan Sverdrup field in the North Sea, giving Det norske a smaller stake than originally proposed, it said on Thursday. Sverdrup, Europe's costliest offshore energy project, contains up to 3 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) and could operate for 50 years. It is forecast to start production by the end of 2019. Four out of five shareholders, including operator Statoil, agreed in February on how to divide up the project, but Det norske disputed the agreement, asking for a government review.

Oil & Gas

Video: Harkand adapts service vessel for work on Solan project

02/07/2015

Integrated subsea services firm Harkand said yesterday it has adapted a support vessel to keep busy against the backdrop of the oil and gas industry downturn. The Spearfish craft has been switched from the Gulf of Mexico to the North Sea and fitted with a hydraulic gangway that provides workers with safe access to platforms. The vessel, which is on long-term charter Norway’s Siem Offshore, normally supports subsea construction projects, but is now supporting Premier Oil’s commissioning work on the £960million Solan project west of Shetland.

Oil & Gas

Braskem SA sued in US for ties to Petrobras scandal

02/07/2015

A Braskem SA shareholder sued the petrochemical company for securities fraud in a case tied to Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as litigation in the U.S. over the Brazilian energy company’s bribery scandal expands to customers. Petrobras sells naphtha to Braskem, Latin America’s largest petrochemical maker. The material, the main ingredient for making petrochemicals, is sold under long-term agreements between the two firms, according to investor Douglas Peters. Petrobras has been accused of involvement in a bribery scheme that has rocked Brazil’s economy and triggered lawsuits in the U.S.

Oil & Gas

Shale drillers lose most precious asset – the $90 hedge

02/07/2015

The insurance protecting shale drillers against plummeting prices has become so crucial that for one company, SandRidge Energy Inc., payments from the hedges accounted for a stunning 64 percent of first-quarter revenue. Now the safety net is going away. The insurance that producers bought before the collapse in oil -- much of which guaranteed minimum prices of $90 a barrel or more -- is expiring. As they do, investors are left to wonder how these companies will make up the $3.7 billion the hedges earned them in the first quarter after crude sunk below $60 from a peak of $107 in mid-2014.

Oil & Gas

Turkey sees gas price deal with Gazprom in two weeks

01/07/2015

Turkey and Russia's Gazprom are likely to finalise a deal on natural gas prices by mid-July, Turkish officials told Reuters, after Ankara warned last week it could seek international arbitration if they failed to agree. Russia, which supplies more than half the gas consumed by Turkey annually, has already agreed to cut prices by 10.25 percent, but Gazprom's additional demands regarding the Turkish Stream natural gas project are delaying the final signature, a Turkish energy official said. Last week, Turkey said it had the right to take Gazprom to international arbitration if there we no agreement by June 29. Ankara already has a case at the court against Iran, its second biggest supplier.

Oil & Gas

Shell receives permission to develop giant Gulf of Mexico field

01/07/2015

Royal Dutch Shell has been granted permission to develop the Appomattox deepwater oil and gas field in the Gulf of Mexico, set to be the energy giant's largest floating platform in the region. The Appomattox project, 80 miles off the coast of Louisiana, is expected to reach peak production of around 175,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day, Shell said in a statement on Wednesday.

Oil & Gas

As Indonesia gas demand falters, floating LNG plant lies idle

01/07/2015

A $400 million floating plant for changing LNG back to gas has sat idle off Indonesia's coast for around six months despite only being commissioned last summer, hit by faltering demand for the cleaner fuel as oil prices drop and the economy slows. The stoppage could stoke government worries over the strength of appetite for gas in Southeast Asia's largest economy, another blow to the administration of President Joko Widodo which has been pushing for greater consumption of the fuel to curb pollution and diversify energy sources. Tepid Indonesian demand also means more liquefied natural gas is likely to spill into regional markets, already struggling near their lowest since before the Fukushima crisis in 2011 boosted usage as Japan shut all its nuclear reactors.

Oil & Gas

US walrus protections hit Shell’s Arctic drilling plan

01/07/2015

The Obama administration dealt a setback to Royal Dutch Shell's Arctic oil exploration plans on Tuesday, saying established walrus and polar bear protections prevent the company from drilling with two rigs simultaneously at close range, as it had planned. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued Shell a permit which emphasized that under 2013 federal wildlife protections, companies must maintain a 15-mile (24-km) buffer between two rigs drilling simultaneously. The rule is meant to protect populations of animals sensitive to sounds and activities of drilling. Walruses have been known to plunge off rocks into the sea during drilling, putting some at risk. The animals are already at risk from reduced habitat due to global warming.

Oil & Gas

Ukraine halts Russian gas imports, flows to Europe unaffected

01/07/2015

Ukraine said it halted natural gas imports from Russia on Wednesday after EU-brokered talks collapsed without a deal on how much Kiev should pay for its supplies and an interim accord expired at midnight. Russian gas flows to the European Union via Ukraine were unaffected. The European Commission said both sides had promised gas transit west would remain smooth, but it would not relinquish its mediation efforts until there was agreement. "From today, Ukraine is not getting gas from Russia. Transit supplies are as normal," Maksim Belyavsky, a spokesman for Ukraine's gas transit monopoly Ukrtransgaz, said.

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