Oil and gas technology firm EFC Group is on course to reach its 2016 turnover target of £30million a year early. EFC said yesterday it received orders for £40million-worth of its products last year, an increase of 130% year on year. The company, which has offices in Aberdeen, Leeds, Houston and Singapore, also said it boosted staff numbers to 160 from 54 between 2010 and 2014.
Oil & Gas
Commercial talks between Gazprom and China have been advancing after the chairman of the Russian energy company’s management committee met officials. Alexey Miller had talks with Zhang Gaoli, the first vice premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China took place in Beijing.
A US oil and gas firm has mounted action against two energy companies over an alleged breach of obligation. Target Energy Limited’s subsidiary TELA Garwood LP has filed a lawsuit in Harris County District Court, in Houston, Texas, against Victory Energy Corporation and Aurora Energy Partners. The law suit charge alleges that Aurora, acting through partner, Victory, breached an obligation to purchase some of TELA Garwood’s interests in the West Texas Fairway Project.
Drilling firm Paradigm Drilling Services has received a £5million cash injection from two new investment partners as they look to expand in the region. The company has received the investment package from Buckthron Partners and Suadi Aramco Energy Ventures (SAEV)’s corporate venturing branch, Suadi Aramco. Paradigm said it hopes to employ ten new members of staff to their team of 52 within the next six months.
Lundin Petroleum has spudded an exploration well on the Gemini prospect of the Edvard Grieg field. The company’s subsidiary Lundin Norway said well 16/1-24 in PL338C will investigate the hydrocarbon potential of the prospect. It will test the reservoir properties and hydrocarbon potential of Lower Paleocene aged sandstones of the Ty formation.
Early figures from research company IHS have shown discoveries of oil and gas reserves dropped to their lowest level in at least two decades in 2014. The preliminary numbers suggest the volume of oil and gas found was the lowest since around 1995, not including shale and other reserves onshore in North America. It has been estimated that new finds of oil and gas will have been around 16billion barrels of oil equivalent last year.
Energy services firm Hunting is set to reduce its headcount in line with a number of companies following the decline in oil prices. The Aberdeen-based company has also not set a financial target for 2015 ahead of announcing its preliminary results for 2014 later this week. Hunting said expenditure estimates for Hunting’s customers for the year ahead were continuing to evolve rapidly in light of changing oil prices. A spokesman said the company is re-aligning its business units to fit with the new operating environment which included the launch of "programmes of headcount reductions as and where necessary."
BW Offshore has cut its dividend following the decline in oil prices and a fatal accident in Brazil last week. The Norwegian company said it plans a dividend of two US cents per share between October and December. The amount is one cent less than in recent quarters and below expectations for three cents.
Europa Oil and Gas has signed a farm-out agreement with Vermilion Energy in relation to its 100% owned Tarbes Val d’Adour Permit in France. The deal means Vermilion will acquire an 80% interest in and operatorship of Tarbes, with Europa holding the remaining 20% interest. The area contains several oil accumulations which were previously licensed by Elf but were abandoned in 1985 due to a combination of technical issues and low oil prices.
JKX Oil and Gas has started arbitration proceedings against Ukraine under the Energy Charter Treaty for $180million in rental fees. The company, and its wholly owned Ukrainian and Dutch subsidiaries, are seeking compensation for the losses they have suffered from the country’s “treaty violations”. JKX Oil and Gas claims this includes Ukraine’s “failure” to treat JKX’s investments in a sufficient manner and “failing to comply” with commitments made by the country.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon believes Aberdeen can remain Europe’s energy capital for the next half century – with the right support from the Treasury. The SNP leader will bring her Cabinet to Aberdeen today, and make fresh calls for UK Government support for the vital offshore sector. She and her ministers will be involved in 22 visits and meetings with local companies, organisations and ordinary members of the public across the city. The First Minister said she wanted to “harness the energy we saw during the referendum campaign on both sides of the debate” and use it to tackle day-to-day issues in communities across Scotland.
North sea oil workers could be set to down tools as unions move to ballot over possible strike action following changes to working conditions. Unite and GMB union members of the Offshore Contractor Association (OCA) will vote on whether to take industrial action after talks with industry bosses in London broke down on Friday. Contractors refused to negotiate over shift pattern changes from two weeks on/three weeks off to three weeks on/three weeks off and cuts to pension payments, sick pay and holiday leave.
Speculators cut bullish oil bets for a fourth week, missing a market rebound. Hedge funds and other money managers decreased net-long positions in West Texas Intermediate crude by 9.1% since January 13, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission data show. Futures climbed for a third week as companies including Apache Corp. and Total SA announced spending cuts. Bad weather kept tankers from loading in southern Iraq and Libya’s production decreased. Baker Hughes Inc. said rigs targeting oil in the US dropped to the lowest in almost five years.
Libya’s state-run oil company warned that it would shut production at all fields if authorities in the divided nation fail to contain an escalation of attacks on facilities that cut crude output to a year-low. “If these incidents continue, National Oil Corp. will regrettably be forced to stop all operations at all fields in order to preserve the lives” of employees, the company said in a statement. “National Oil Corp. urges the Ministry of Defense and the Petroleum Facilities Guard to take the appropriate measures to protect oil sites.” The North African nation’s oil production was reduced by 180,000 barrels a day after a fire at a pipeline that carries crude to the eastern Hariga port, National Oil spokesman Mohamed Elharari said by phone in Tripoli. Hariga, near Tobruk, has oil left in storage for exports and the last ship to load there was the Greek-flagged Minerva Zoe, he said.
Leading oil and gas industry figures will give their views on the growing importance of technology in helping the sector tackle cost in a difficult business environment at an event in Aberdeen next month. The Technology Showcase organised by the Industry Technology Facilitator (ITF) in partnership with Oil & Gas UK, aims to highlight the emerging technologies needed to improve production efficiency and curb rising operating costs in the UK Continental Shelf. The exhibition will showcase latest innovations from companies across the UK. The opening session will include presentations from Paul Warwick, executive vice president Europe Atlantic for Talisman Energy and Philippe Guys, managing director of Total E&P UK.
Scottish Gas owner Centrica will unveil plans to slash spending and potential job cuts as it grapples with low oil prices and the effects of warm weather. The new boss of the firm, Iain Conn, is this week expected to reveal a 29% plunge in operating profit to £1.9 billion, according to City estimates. Mr Conn, a former BP executive, will present Centrica’s annual results on Thursday just six weeks after he took over the role from former chief executive Sam Laidlaw who had been at the helm for eight years.
Aberdeen-based oil and gas consultancy Optimus has hailed its “best ever” period in its 15-year history after turning over contracts worth more than £5million in the ten weeks to end-January. But while turnover in the engineering firm’s most recent financial year grew 32%, profits were flat as the firm said it “sacrificed” margin on investment in new offices, staff and technology. Managing director Karl Green said: “We sacrificed profits to build our team and development capabilities, and procure new hardware; we hired experienced people even if we didn’t have immediate work for them,” said Mr Green. “This was the correct decision for last year, providing a real growth spurt and building our capabilities to support fit-for-purpose delivery in the modern era.
US oil explorers, facing crude near $50 a barrel, idled rigs for the 10th straight week, extending an unprecedented retreat in drilling and dragging the nation’s total rig count down to the lowest level in almost five years. Rigs targeting oil in the US dropped by 84 to 1,056, the least since August 2011, Baker Hughes Inc. said on its website Friday. The total US count fell by 98 to 1,358, the Houston-based field services company said. Half the decline was in the Permian Basin of Texas and Mexico, the biggest US oil field.
ConocoPhillips is considering the sale of properties that account for about 20 percent of its production in Western Canada outside the oil sands. The largest US independent oil and natural gas producer is weighing whether to sell properties spread across British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan in 2015, according to a copy of a marketing document. Production from the properties is mostly gas and amounts to the equivalent of about 31,000 barrels of oil a day after royalties.
The investment company founded by oil pioneer Algy Cluff has come to a preliminary agreement with US oil giant Halliburton to work together on cultivating UK fossil fuel deposits. The deal moves Cluff Natural Resources (CNR) another step closer to developing the UK’s first offshore Underground Coal Gasification (UCG) project. The process of tapping un-mined coal reserves involves pumping oxygen and water through a borehole to turn the fossil fuel into synthetic gas, which can then be converted into hydrogen, methane, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.
Interwell UK has announced the departure of its managing director. Andrew Louden joined the company in 2010 to establish the UK subsidiary of Interwell AS. David Aitken, who joined the company as UK operations manager will now take up the position.
‘Big-metal’ contracts are being issued; development of the massive Johan Sverdrup field has started; Norway can look forward to the future with renewed confidence. It was in September 2010 when Lundin disclosed that it had made an oil discovery with exploratory well 16/2-6 on the Avaldsnes prospect in the Norwegian part of the North Sea. Drilled to a vertical depth of 2,132m (6,995ft), the well encountered a 17m column of oil in the Draupne and Hugin formation in the Upper to Middle Jurassic.
This week's most read story on Energy Voice was the news that the Spanish takeover of Talisman Energy and its 50% stake in a struggling UK joint venture is “on track” to complete during the first half of 2015. Talisman insisted earlier this week that the £5.3billion deal struck with Spain’s Repsol in December was unaffected by hefty losses in the North Sea as oil prices nose-dived last year. At Subsea Expo 2015, which took place from February 11 -13 at the AECC (Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre), Forum Energy Technologies launched its latest generation subsea robotic system at Subsea Expo.
Subsea 7 has been awarded a contract by Woodside Energy for its Persephone development off the coast of Australia. The Persephone project consists of two wells tied into a subsea production manifold with production fluids transported to the existing North Rankin Complex (NRC). The contract comprises fabrication, transportation, installation and pre-commissioning activities.
Statoil and its partners will submit a plan for the development and operation (PDO) of Johan Sverdrup to the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy. The PDO will be handed over from Statoil’s chief executive officer Eldar Saetre to Norwegian petroleum and energy minister Tord Lien. The capital expenditures for phase one of the project is an estimated NOK 117 billion and the expected recoverable resources are projected between 1.4-2.4billion barrels of oil equivalent.