The oil and gas industry could be set for a year of mergers and acquisitions following a rapid fall in prices, it has been forecast. Business consultants PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) said 2015 might even see the first “hostile takeover” in the sector in living memory. The oil price has fallen from 115 US dollars (£73) a barrel in the middle of this year to around 60 dollars (£38). Teams working at PwC set out their top five predictions for the year ahead against such a backdrop.
Oil & Gas
The semi-submersible drilling unit, the Sedco Express, has arrived at the Oyo field in Nigeria. Camac Energy said it had contracted the Transocean Sedco Express to speed up the timing of production tie-in from the Oyo-7 and Oyo-8 development wells.
The Scottish Government’s oil revenue forecast for the first three years of independence is now out by £15.5 billion, according to the Scottish Secretary. Alistair Carmichael said the latest UK Government analysis showed that 100 days after the referendum, an independent Scotland would have been facing the shortfall following a drop in oil prices. He said “serious questions” now needed to be asked about how the SNP administration “got this so badly wrong”.
GEG (Global Energy Group) has seen a big rise in revenues only weeks after it confirmed job losses at its fabrication yard on the Cromarty Firth. The energy services firm said turnover had risen by 32% to £472million in the year end to March. The company’s profits have also jumped from £18.8million to £28million.
EMGS (Electromagnetic Geoservices) has been requested by the NPD (Norwegian Petroleum Directorate) to provide all of its CSEM inversion data acquired in the country’s waters from 2008 to 2014. The NPD has also requested all CSEM data acquired in the Tiddly and Nordkapp basins in 2015 with reference to the petroleum regulation of June 2001. A spokesman said the NPD would treat all data as confidential from when it was inverted by EMGS.
EMGS (Electromagnetic Geoservices) has struck a licensing agreement worth $1.8million in Foz do Amazona in Brazil. The company will assist an international oil company in the provision of 3D EM data. It will be delivered in December 2014 and EMGS will book the sales in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Libya extinguished fires at three of five oil-storage tanks that started last week at its largest oil port, helping global crude prices to stabilize. Libya is still seeking international assistance because of possible environmental damage, said Ali al-Hasy, a spokesman for the Petroleum Facilities Guard, part of the internationally-recognized government of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni. Es Sider has tanks with a capacity of 6.2 million barrels of oil, compared with current Libyan output of 352,000 barrels, according to National Oil Corp.
Professional services firm PwC said the oil and gas industry will need to adapt to the new level of volatility within the sector. The company’s oil and gas team said there was little expectation of a rapid rebound in oil prices, which have dropped by 46% in the past six months. From more than $100 a barrel, the price of Brent Crude has dropped to around $60. PwC have made five predictions for the years ahead in the wake of the industry’s current climate.
As 2014 draws to a dramatic close for the industry, Energy Voice reflects on milestone events that fuelled a hectic year. In the first of a three part series we look back at some of the game changers within the industry. Later this week, we'll look at some of the highlights and defining moments in the months leading up to the Scottish referendum.
Suicide attackers have targeted two natural gas facilities in the central Syrian province of Homs, killing eight people, officials said. State news agency Sana also reported the attacks, saying guards opened fire at the attackers as they drove towards the plants, forcing them to detonate their bombs before reaching their targets.
Independent project services consultancy Cambla plans to expand to the Middle East after it exceeded its turnover target by more than 45% in its first year. Established in 2013, the firm has grown significantly over the past year – increasing staff numbers and securing a string of contract extensions with North Sea oil and gas operators including Marathon Oil and Centrica to provide project services support. In the financial year ending July 31, Cambla grew its turnover to £362,000 and expects this to rise to over £500,000 next year.
It is more critical than ever for North Sea oil and gas firms to keep skills at the top of their agenda, despite any layoffs caused by low crude prices, industry body Opito said. The skills, standards and workforce development organisation said there was still an over-riding need to turn potential talent into the offshore workers of tomorrow. Doing so will not just equip the industry with the people it requires when oil prices rise but also help to keep safety at the forefront of operations offshore, it added. Opito managing director John McDonald’s reminder of the importance of maintaining a competent and safe oil and gas workforce came as the Portlethen-based organisation set out its priorities for the year ahead.
The company, which is in a consortium with Kuwait Energy, had success in its Faihaa-1 exploration well, after targeting the Yamama formation. A spokesman said the discovery was made at 4,000 metres at the site in Northern Basra.
Cape has been awarded a five year contract extension by EDF Energy for the supply of access, insulation and associated service in support of its eight nuclear power stations in the UK. The contract will see the company provide its services until 2021 in support of the energy suppliers. Around one fifth of the UK’s energy supply comes from EDF’s nuclear power stations, two coal fired power stations, combine gas cycle turbine power station and wind farms.
BG Group has loaded up its first cargo from the QCLNG (Queensland Curtis Liquefied Natural Gas) project. The company said the first vessel being loaded is from the Methane Rita Andrea. A second cargo will be loaded onto the Methan Mickie Harper which is expected in Gladstone in the first week of January.
Oil advanced for the first time in three days amid speculation that an escalating conflict in Libya will help ease a global supply surplus that’s driven crude into a bear market. Brent futures rose as much as 1.6% in London. Fires have been extinguished at three of five tanks at Es Sider, Libya’s largest oil port, which were set ablaze after an attack by militants, said Ali al-Hasy, a spokesman for the Petroleum Facilities Guard. Algerian Energy Minister Youcef Yousfi called on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries to cut output to boost prices.
A price war is brewing between Canada and Latin America over who will satisfy US Gulf Coast refiners’ hunger for heavy oil. The new Seaway Twin pipeline will almost double the amount of heavy Canadian crude coming to Gulf terminals and plants to about 400,000 barrels a day starting in January, according to Calgary-based based ARC Financial Corp. The shipments are growing even without the Keystone XL pipeline, which has been delayed for six years because of environmental opposition. The Canadian supply will square off against crudes from Mexico and Venezuela that have traditionally fed refineries along the Texas and Louisiana coasts.
Mexico’s Finance Ministry took out 50 billion pesos ($3.4 billion) from the state oil company Petroleos Mexicanos, according to a statement sent to the Mexican Stock Exchange. The payment this month was meant to “make management of public-sector finances more efficient,” according to the filing from the oil company, known as Pemex. The withdrawal marks a departure from the government’s usual methods of obtaining revenue from Pemex, which include taxes and royalties. Pemex typically provides about a third of the federal budget, and its contributions dropped this year as the oil company faced production declines and falling crude prices. During the first 11 months of 2014, taxes paid by Mexico City- based Pemex declined by about 260 billion pesos, or 22 percent, from the same period of 2013, according to records. The withdrawal shows “a near addiction to Pemex’s revenue by the ministry,” Fluvio Ruiz, a board member of the oil company’s petrochemical unit, said in a phone interview. He said he had no prior knowledge of the disclosure through his role at the company. Pemex and Finance Ministry press officials declined to comment.
Saudi authorities pledged to curb wages and push ahead with investments next year as the world’s largest oil exporter seeks to counter the effect of tumbling crude prices on the economy.
Lukoil has sold its 20% stake in NOC (National Oil Consortium) to Rosneft. NOC was established by Russian oil companies in 2008 as part of the Russian-Venezuelan economic promotion. In 2010, the NOC and Venezuelan company PDVSA registered a joint venture, PetroMiranda, to develop the Junin-6 block in the Orinoco heavy-oil belt.
Shares in oil giant BP have increased by 0.5% on the back of reports its set to close a deal with Rosneft to develop fields in eastern Siberia. The potential agreement has been reported by Moscow-based newspaper Kommersant, which says that Rosneft has signed a "strategic partnership" with BP to explore oil fields.
A farm-out agreement between Chariot Oil and Gas and Woodside has been approved by the Moroccan Authorities. The company made the deal earlier this year with Woodside who committed to pay 100% of the 3D seismic acquisition and processing costs incurred across the licence by Chariot. A spokesman said a substantial part of the funds had been received bringing its estimated cash balance to $52million.
Billionaire Harold Hamm, whose early adoption of shale drilling in North Dakota helped usher in a US energy renaissance, plans to cut spending by 41% at his company after the plunge in oil prices. Continental Resources Inc. and other US producers can adjust quickly to the crude collapse and will be able to withstand the downturn better than many producing countries, which face economic “ruin,” Hamm said in an interview. “The oil and gas industry has lowered the cost of gasoline to consumers in this country,” Hamm, chairman and chief executive officer of Continental, said yesterday.
Fears have been raised that an emergency summit on North Sea oil will “fall flat on its face”. Aberdeen City Council Conservative group leader Ross Thomson yesterday voiced his “extreme disappointment” at the way Labour announced the event, with no details on its remit or venue. He has e-mailed other group leaders on the council calling for an a commitment to constructive talks.
Oil traded near the highest price in almost two weeks as the US economy expanded at the fastest pace in more than a decade, signalling fuel demand may increase in the world’s biggest consumer. West Texas Intermediate futures were down 0.6% in New York, paring a 3.4% gain yesterday. Gross domestic product rose at a 5% annual rate from July through September, the most since 2003, according to revised Commerce Department data.