Subsea 7 has been awarded a $300million contract from Wintershall Norge AS for the Maria field development in the Norwegian Sea. The company will carry out a pipeline and subsea construction contract which consists of engineering, procurement, construction and installations to develop the field.
Oil & Gas
Petroleo Brasileiro SA has drawn interest from Mitsui & Co. in the sale of a package of natural gas pipelines, according to people with knowledge of the matter. Petrobras, as the Brazilian state oil company is known, has been marketing the sale of 49 percent of its stake in the pipelines, according to the people, who asked not to be identified discussing a private process. Mitsui is seen as a natural buyer of the assets because it’s already a partner with Petrobras on gas pipelines, two of the people said. Still, talks between the companies are at a preliminary stage, the people said.
Ecosse Subsea Systems (ESS), based in Banchory, Aberdeenshire, has swooped to buy English firm MASfab in a deal which is expected to boost total annual turnover by more than £3million within three years. ESS specialises in offshore engineering consultancy and subsea technology for the subsea energy and offshore renewables markets. It said yesterday its decision to acquire County Durham business MASfab for an undisclosed sum was largely based on a reputation for “first class workmanship” on large oil and gas contracts.
Royale Energy has received permissions to drill 30 wells at Ballinger Oil Field in Runnels County in Texas. Three of these wells will be drilled as soon as possible at the Ellenberger formation in the northern parts of the US state.
Applied Drilling Technology International (ADTI) has been shut down by its private-equity owner, with the loss of about 90 jobs. Energy Voice's sister publication Press and Journal has learned from various sources in Houston that the sudden closure of the well-management business earlier this week came to light as it desperately tried to get placement transfers for at least some of its 20 graduate trainees. It is not known whether the owner, Sun European Partners, is trying to sell what’s left of the business.
Norwegian oil and gas operator DNO ASA has doubled the capacity at its flagship Tawke field in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. The 200,000 bopd wellhead, processing and pipeline capacity milestone was reached in less than two years, with 10 new horizontal wells and the construction of two early production facilities with a combined capacity of 80,000 bopd and the installation of a new 44-km, 24-in. pipeline.
International oil service firm Vertech is planning rapid growth at its new Aberdeen office in the next five years, with the aim of achieving £40million annual turnover from the base. The Granite City arm of the Australian company is only a few months old, yet is already experiencing success in its targeted inspection, maintenance and construction markets. Its growth plans were revealed yesterday by UK managing director John Marsden as millions of pounds worth of new equipment for the business arrived in Aberdeen.
Time is fast running out for energy companies to enter the first ever North Sea industry Gold Awards. The deadline is tomorrow, providing a last chance for firms to take part in an event which could deliver significant rewards for their business, staff and customers. The Press and Journal, in association with our sister website Energy Voice and title partner Aberdeen Asset Management (AAM), has launched the awards to mark a significant milestone for the oil and gas industry – the 50th year of the north-east’s involvement in the development of the North Sea.
Marathon Asset Management’s chief executive officer said debt of Puerto Rico’s public power utility is among the distressed-debt firm’s best investments. “We think it’s a very high rate of return for Prepa,” Bruce Richards said in an interview at the SkyBridge Alternatives Conference in Las Vegas. “It’s one of the best ideas that we have in our fund.” The cash-strapped Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, known as Prepa, has been in talks with creditors to negotiate a plan to restructure its $8.6 billion of obligations, many of which trade at distressed levels.
A man has been evacuated by helicopter from a North Sea oil platform.
2015 is proving to be challenging for the North Sea. Despite the oil price reaching its highest level so far this year, touching $68 per barrel this week, there seems to be no end in sight to the continuous stream of concerning news about companies cutting costs, announcing redundancies and cancelling activities.
Statoil has been granted a drilling permit by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD). Wellbore 6407/8-7 will be drilled from the Transocean Spitsbergen drilling facility. The well's licence, which is the first in the venture, concerns the drilling of a wildcat well in production licence 348 C, which was awarded in February.
Oil and gas firms must show they are capable of doing more than just cutting costs if they are to secure the North Sea’s long-term future and save jobs, a top UK energy industry official said. The sector is in the grip of a downturn brought on by low oil prices and spiralling operating costs – a self-made crisis, in the words of many industry leaders. About 4,000 jobs have been lost in the UK, according to media reports, and only five exploration wells have been drilled in British waters so far this year – way below what the basin can support when business is booming.
The US will become one of the world’s largest oil exporters if domestic production continues to surge and policy makers lift a four-decade ban that keeps most crude from leaving the country, a government-sponsored study shows. America would be capable of sending as much as 2.4 million barrels a day overseas in 2025 if federal policy makers were to eliminate restrictions on most crude exports, an analysis by Turner, Mason & Co. for the Energy Information Administration shows. That would make the US the fourth-largest oil exporter, behind Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United Arab Emirates, based on 2013 EIA data. The report assumes domestic output rises by 7.2 million barrels a day from 2013.
Offshore workers are being put on “zero-hours” contracts that are a threat to safety in the oil and gas industry and should be outlawed, a union boss said last night. Jake Molloy, regional organiser for the RMT, was speaking after it emerged energy service firm Bilfinger Salamis UK was signing people up on terms he said were tantamount to controversial zero-hours deals. But the company denied this was the case, saying its employees were paid even if there was no work available and that “technical variations” to contracts gave it more flexibility in the oil and gas downturn.
Aberdeen marine technology firm Nautronix said yesterday it had won a £25million-plus contract extension to provide survey services to Norwegian subsea company Ocean Installer for a further three years. Nautronix - represented at this week's Offshore Technology Conference in Houston - has been growing its survey services business since 2012, supporting projects on Ocean Installer vessels globally. Growth at the division has come amid significant investment in people and equipment, and it now employs about 50 workers and owns a large quantity of survey equipment.
American Eagle Energy has appointed a new chief financial officer to the company. Martin J Beskow has taken up the role following the resignation of Kirk Stingley.
Transocean's list of offshore rigs scheduled for disposal - ostensibly destined for cutting up - has grown up to 19 with further units likely to join the scrapping queue. The list so far comprises: Deepwater Expedition, GSF Article III, GSF Explorer, DSF Seven Seas, Sedco 710, Sovereign Explorer, Sedco 700, Sedco 601, JW McLean, GSF Arctic I, Falcon 100, Sedneth 701, Sedco 703, Sedco 709, C K Rhein, Jr, SF Aleutian ey and Sedco 70, plus Transocean Legend and Transocean Rather. Expentation is that roughly another 10 will be weeded out this year before Transocean bosses are satisfied that the fleet is back in balance.
Repsol SA, Spain’s largest oil company, will transfer the chief executive officer of its Brazilian operations to the US to help integrate Talisman Energy Inc. into its operations, according to two people familiar with the decision. Tomas Garcia Blanco, who took over the Brazilian operations less than a year ago, will help oversee integration of Calgary-based Talisman’s North American assets after the $13 billion acquisition is completed on May 8, one of the people said, asking not to be identified before a public announcement. Garcia Blanco, who will be based in Houston, was head of exploration and production at Repsol’s YPF SA unit until the Argentine government nationalized it in 2012.
Flexlife has been awarded a contract by Apache Corporation for work on the Aviat gas development and other operations in the Central North Sea. The subsea project management and engineering support contract also includes work on the Ness/Nevis tie in and general subsea operations support.
Range Resources has confirmed the sale of part of its assets has successfully closed. The oil and gas exploration firm has sold Range Resources Drilling Services (RDSL) for $4.37million. Texas-based RDSL will continue to provide full oilfield operations services to Range in Trinidad.
Liquefied Natural Gas Limited has made progress with its Magnolia LNG project in Louisiana as two key steps have been taken in readiness for the engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning phase. The company has agreed on contract terms and conditions with the Kellogg Brown & Root LLC and SK E&C Group joint venture (KSJV).
Petsec has begun drilling at its Mystic Bayou Field. Work on the 16,700 RA SUA Williams #2 alternate well in Louisiana started earlier this week. The well is being drilled to a vertical depth of of 17,035 ft to test the oil and gas potential in Lower Miocene age Planulina sand reservoirs in a fault closure up-dip from production in the Planulina interval in Mystic Bayou Field.
Saudi Arabia needs to take significant measures to curb public spending and reduce its reliance on oil revenue as it reacts to the last year’s slump in crude prices, according to the International Monetary Fund. “There will be a need for significant fiscal consolidation to be able to bring spending and revenues more in line with each other,” Masood Ahmed, director of the Middle East and Central Asia department at the IMF, said in an interview in Dubai on Tuesday. The world’s leading oil exporter must “ensure that there is an equitable sharing of oil wealth across future generations,” he said.
Ophir Energy has singed an agreement with Golar LNG for a project in Block R in Equatorial Guinea. The binding heads of terms for a midstream chartering and operating services agreement outline the terms for Golar to build operate and maintain the floating liquefication and storage vessel and facilities on the Ophir-operated Fortuna floating liquefied natural gas project in Block R.