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.
Oil & Gas
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.
Statoil's Valemon gas and condensate field was officially brought on stream today. The North Sea venture is the Norwegian operator's first platform remotely controlled from shore. It will later transition to a "normally unmanned platform" when drilling is completed in 2017.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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
Wintershall has suspended onshore production in Libya until further notice following unrest in the country. The company said it had taken the decision following armed hostilities which had taken place at more oil export facilities. The Libyan National Oil Company (NOC) had declared Force Majeure in mid-December.
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.
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
A Declaration of Commerciality (DoC) has been submitted to the Brazilian National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels for three separate oil and gas accumulations in Brazil. BG Group said it had, along with its partner Petrobas, submitted the application which it believes is another major milestone in the first phase of development of BG Group’s interests in the region. The Iara area is located approximately 250 kilometres off the coast of Rio De Janeiro in water depths of around 2,270 metres.
Cargotec has received an order from Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industry Co four offshore cranes. The deal will see all the cranes fitted to a new 145m dive support vessel under construction at the yard for UK-based operator Sealion Shipping.
The 6405/12-1 on PL584 was investigating the hydrocarbon potential of the Lindarormen prospect which is 150km northwest of Kristiansund. The company said no reservoir sandstones were encountered in the primary objective.
Oil major BP said production has started from the Kinnoull field in the North Sea. The Kinnoull reservoir, which was developed as part of a wider rejuvenation of the Andrew field area, is tied back to BP’s Andrew platform 230km east of Aberdeen. The development of the field is expected to allow production from the field to be extended by a further 10 years.
Jupiter Energy has provided an update on drilling at the East Akkar field in Kazakhstan. Well 19 has been spudded by the company between the J-51 and J-52 wells which have both been producing oil under trial production licenses.
Seadrill has taken ownership of an ultra deepwater drillship in a $456million deal with Ship Finance. The West Polaris was acquired by Ship Finance in 2008 and chartered to Seadrill with purchase options commencing in 2012.
Libyan oil production has fallen below 300,000 barrels a day after Islamist militants shifted attacks to energy facilities including the country’s largest oil export terminal, said Energy Aspects Ltd. Output is the lowest since May and down at least 65% from a recent high of 850,000 barrels a day in October following the assault on the Es Sider terminal, according to the Energy Aspects estimate. Libya holds Africa’s largest oil reserves. The fighting last week marked a turning point in the unrest that followed Muammar Qaddafi’s 42-year rule, according to Energy Aspects and Eurasia Group consultants.