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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.

Oil & Gas

Tullow on firm footing after robust cost saving exercise

01/07/2015

Tullow Oil is set for a strong second half of the year after taking steps to cut costs and re-set the business. Tullow reduced costs in its European operations – disposing of its stake in Dutch operated and non-operated interests whilst actively managing its equity position and exposure to drilling costs in Norway across a number of licences. Tullow no longer holds any operated licences in the UK or Netherlands.

Oil & Gas

Offshore leaks at lowest ever level

01/07/2015

The number of oil and gas leaks occurring offshore is at its lowest ever level, a new report says. Injury rates were also lower than in many other sectors, including construction, transport and manufacturing, according to industry body Oil and Gas UK (OGUK)’s Health and Safety Report 2015, published today.

Oil & Gas

Iran faces slow road back to oil market even with nuclear deal

01/07/2015

As Iran nears a deal to ease oil sanctions after almost two years of talks, selling more crude remains a long way off. The nation’s goal of increasing exports 50 percent as soon as restrictions are lifted won’t be fulfilled, say Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bank of America Corp. and Societe Generale SA. That would require an extra 500,000 barrels of daily output, which the banks say will take six to 12 months as OPEC’s fourth- biggest producer complies with terms of a deal and revives aging wells. The impact on prices will be limited, the banks predict. “They’ve got to meet the requirements of any agreement, and that’s going to take time,” Jeff Currie, head of commodities research at Goldman Sachs, said by e-mail from New York on Monday. “When you shut these fields in to that significant of a degree, your ability to bring back production to previous levels will be limited because you’ve done damage to the fields that will require significant investment.”

Oil & Gas

UK’s big six utilities seen spared from breakup after review

01/07/2015

The U.K.’s biggest energy suppliers probably will escape a recommendation to break up companies when the nation’s anti-trust regulator completes a review of how best to reduce costs and spur competition. The provisional findings of the Competition and Markets Authority are “highly unlikely” to delve into the structure of the country’s energy industry or the wholesale markets, said Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch, a U.K. price comparison site. Instead, the regulator will focus on how to get consumers more engaged in managing their bills, she said. The comments, echoed by industry officials who wished not to speak publicly before the decision is announced on July 7, suggest the utility industry’s basic structure probably will be retained by Prime Minister David Cameron’s government. The opposition Labour Party, which lost the last general election in May, had promised to split the industry into separate retail and power-generation businesses.

Americas

Oklahoma woman blaming fracking for quake can sue oil firms

01/07/2015

New Dominion LLC can be sued by an Oklahoma woman injured when her fireplace fell on her during an earthquake that she blames on disposal wells tied to fracking. Tuesday’s ruling by the Oklahoma Supreme Court reversed a lower-court decision throwing out the case and saying it was a matter for state energy regulators. The lawsuit is the first of its kind headed toward a jury trial, according to a lawyer for the woman.

Oil & Gas

Lego mentality could hold key to energy sector cost reductions

01/07/2015

Lego building methods could be the answer to the North Sea oil and gas sector’s current plight, energy industry leaders heard at a seminar in Aberdeen yesterday. Organised by trade association Oil and Gas UK (OGUK), the event promoted the virtues of simplification and standardisation and gave an insight into cost efficiency measures taken by other sectors during hard times. Franco-Japanese alliance Renault-Nissan said the automotive industry practically fell off a cliff during the global financial crisis of 2008, while also having to cope with customers’ demands for more content in their cars for less money.

Oil & Gas

BP’s chief economist sees US shale weathering oil surplus

30/06/2015

Shale output in the United States will prove resilient to low oil prices likely to be prolonged by the prospect of half a million barrels per day of Iranian crude making its way back to the market, BP's chief economist said on Tuesday. Talks in Vienna between world powers trying to end sanctions on Tehran in return for limits on Iran's most sensitive nuclear activities could bring a significant increase in Iranian oil exports. BP's Spencer Dale, however, told Reuters that it would probably take time for any easing of sanctions to filter through to oil markets if an Iran deal is agreed.

Oil & Gas

Israel to let US-led consortium keep control of biggest offshore gas field

30/06/2015

Israel plans to leave its biggest offshore natural gas project, Leviathan, in the hands of a U.S.-Israeli consortium while opening the industry to more competition, under a proposal announced on Tuesday. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been adamant in seeking a deal that would allow Leviathan to be developed and sought a parliament vote to let the state circumvent the antitrust authority, which has expressed opposition. When some ministers said they would not support such a position, Netanyahu faced a coalition crisis and ultimately the vote was postponed due to lack of a majority.

Oil & Gas

Arctic oil rig departs Seattle-area port despite protest

30/06/2015

U.S. Coast Guard and police boats cleared a way through protesters in kayaks at a Seattle-area port on Tuesday so a drilling ship could head for the Arctic on behalf of Royal Dutch Shell. The Noble Discover is the second drilling ship Shell has sent to the area in recent days. The activists, who have staged frequent demonstrations during the past two months against Royal Dutch Shell's oil exploration in the Chukchi Sea off mainland Alaska, had taken to the waters just beyond the Port of Everett north of Seattle where the oil rig launched for sea.

Oil & Gas

Call for UK shale gas exploration

30/06/2015

It is vital the country seizes the opportunity to “at least explore” the UK’s shale gas potential whilst maintaining the very highest safety and environmental standards, energy and climate change minister Andrea Leadsom has said.

Oil & Gas

Statoil revises Gullfaks development plan

30/06/2015

Statoil has revealed it will utilise existing infrastructure to reduce the cost of recovery and improve profitability for its Gullfaks field. The company has submitted an amendment to its development and operations plan with the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. Statoil said phase one of the Shetland/Lista development is expected to add 18 million barrels of oil equivalent and increase the resilience of the area for continued operation of the Gullfaks platforms.

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