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Oil & Gas

Oil halts advance as Saudis pump at record before OPEC meeting

01/06/2015

Brent oil snapped a two-day advance as Saudi Arabia maintained crude output at a record in May before OPEC meets this week to discuss its production policy. Futures slid as much as 0.8 percent in London after rising 4.8 percent on Friday. Saudi Arabia pumped 10.25 million barrels a day, unchanged from April and the most in a monthly Bloomberg survey going back to 1989. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries will probably maintain its collective quota at 30 million barrels a day when it meets June 5 in Vienna, according to a separate survey last month.

Oil & Gas

Mexico to allow Exxon, Chevron to bid on all oil blocks for sale

30/05/2015

Mexico’s oil regulator said it will allow pre-qualified companies including Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. to bid on all 14 shallow water blocks up for auction after removing restrictions. Companies pre-qualified to bid to explore for oil in Mexico’s shallow waters will be able to participate in auctions for all available blocks, according to Juan Carlos Zepeda, National Hydrocarbons Commissioner. Participation was limited to five blocks under prior guidelines. Companies participating in group bidding now also have the option to compete individually, Zepeda said Friday in Mexico City.

Oil & Gas

US oil drilling retreat drags on for 25th straight week

30/05/2015

Oil explorers idled rigs in US fields for the 25th straight week, drawing out an unprecedented retreat in drilling that has curbed the country’s shale oil boom and helped crude prices rally. Rigs targeting oil in the US declined by 13 to 646, the lowest since August 2010, field services company Baker Hughes Inc. said on its website Friday. Most of the losses were outside of major basins, with drilling subsiding in states including California and Louisiana.

Oil & Gas

Richard Irvin on hunt for engineers

29/05/2015

Facilities management group Richard Irvin Energy Solutions has returned to profit in its latest trading year and says it is ready to hire North Sea engineers who want to move back onshore. The firm’s management team, led by chief executive Willie MacLean, has worked to turn the business from a £3.1million loss in 2014 to a small pre-tax profit of £74,000 this year. Mr MacLean, who took over the role of chief executive at the end of 2013, said: “2014 was a year of turnaround for Richard Irvin and, having returned to a stable and profitable position, we can now focus on growing the business in the year ahead.

Oil & Gas

Dutch court rejects suit to have gas production stopped

29/05/2015

A Dutch court has rejected a suit to have gas production stopped at one segment of the Groningen gas field. The move was made in relation to Eemskanaal on the grounds complainants had not proved that stopping exploitation would improve their safety. The decision by the court is the second in two month regarding exploitation of gas at the field.

Oil & Gas

BofA sees 50% chance US ends crude-export ban within two years

29/05/2015

The US has a more than 50 percent chance of lifting the ban on most crude oil exports within the next two years, potentially narrowing the gap between domestic and international crude prices, according to Bank of America Corp. The collapse in domestic gasoline prices has reduced the political cost of tackling the issue, while the prospect of economic sanctions imposed on Iran being removed while the US’s self-imposed ban remains in place seems an unlikely pairing, the bank said in a report dated Thursday.

Middle East

Middle East could become “vital” to Scottish energy sector

29/05/2015

Scotland-based energy firms will expect the Middle East to become vital to their operations in terms of market share over the next few years, according to a professional services firm. KPMG surveyed more than 30 senior executives from oilfield services and energy-focused technology businesses at a seminar in Aberdeen last week which highlighted business opportunities and risks in the region. The Middle East represents an enormous market for UK-based businesses in the industry with opportunities spanning oil and gas, power generation and renewables.

Oil & Gas

Jee completes Decom contract

29/05/2015

A subsea engineering and training firm has completed a contract with Decom North Sea (DNS). The deal enabled the UK-based company to identify pioneering methods of salvage and re-use options for concrete subsea mattresses, the findings of which were presented to industry members yesterday. Nigel Jenkins, DNS chief executive said: “This project was implemented in direct response to our operator member requests and Jee’s findings have been eagerly anticipated.

Oil & Gas

Shortlist for gold achievement awards revealed

29/05/2015

The shortlist of contenders for honours at the Press and Journal’s inaugural celebration of 50 years of operations in the North Sea has been unveiled. Thirteen companies and four individuals have emerged as potential winners of the newspaper’s first Gold Awards. The recipient of the first hall of fame accolade will also be unveiled during the ceremony at the Marcliffe Hotel and Spa.

Middle East

Report to show Iran nuclear probe stalled

29/05/2015

The UN’s atomic agency will be reporting a standstill in attempts to probe allegations that Iran is working on nuclear arms, in an assessment later today, diplomats have said. The International Atomic Energy Agency reports regularly on Iran’s nuclear programme, but the upcoming summary is particularly important because its investigation figures in an emerging deal meant to restrict Tehran’s nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief.

Africa

Buhari takes over as Nigeria leader

29/05/2015

He takes over a nation in crisis, with an Islamic uprising that has made 1.5 million people homeless and coffers emptied by massive corruption. Similar crises confronted him when he ruled briefly as a military dictator in the 1980s. The 72-year-old says a similar prescription more judiciously imposed by a “born-again democrat” can heal the woes of Africa’s biggest nation, economy and oil producer.

Market info

China edges closer to own oil futures amid commodity ambitions

29/05/2015

China took a step closer to adding oil futures to its domestic commodities markets as the world’s second-biggest consumer seeks greater influence in determining the price of raw materials. The Shanghai International Energy Exchange will start yuan-denominated crude futures in the city’s free-trade zone at the end of this year, Lu Feng, an official at the bourse, said at a conference Friday. The contract will trade in 100-barrel lots, with an American Petroleum Institute gravity of 32 degrees and sulfur content of 1.5 percent, he said. The Shanghai International Energy Exchange will start yuan-denominated crude futures in the city’s free-trade zone at the end of this year, Lu Feng, an official at the bourse, said at a conference Friday. The contract will trade in 100-barrel lots, with an American Petroleum Institute gravity of 32 degrees and sulfur content of 1.5 percent, he said.

Africa

Somalia may pay 90% oil revenue to explorer under draft deal

29/05/2015

Soma Oil & Gas Holdings Ltd., chaired by former U.K. Conservative Party leader Michael Howard, has proposed a deal with the Somali government that may grant it as much as 90 percent of the country’s prospective oil revenue. A draft production-sharing agreement, obtained by Bloomberg from an official close to the negotiations, sets the state’s share of revenue on the first 25,000 barrels per day at 10 percent if found at a depth of greater than 1,000 meters (3,281 feet) and when oil costs less than $70 a barrel. If output exceeds 150,000 barrels, Somalia’s take rises to 30 percent. Crude for delivery in June fell 0.4 percent to $57.30 a barrel at 4:45 p.m. in London on Thursday.

Oil & Gas

North Sea crudes trade at biggest discounts in more than 6 years

29/05/2015

North Sea crudes are trading at the biggest discount to the regional benchmark in more than six years amid a surplus of cargoes. Forties, the largest of the benchmark North Sea crudes, sold Thursday at the steepest discount to Dated Brent since 2008, according to a Bloomberg survey of brokers and traders monitoring the Platts trading window. Ekofisk traded Wednesday at the lowest level since at least 2009. Delayed maintenance work unexpectedly increased the volume of North Sea crude available in June, while unsold Nigerian cargoes remain for July, according to Eugene Lindell, a senior analyst at Vienna-based consultant JBC Energy GmbH.

Oil & Gas

Canadian lawsuit accuses Ithaca of misleading shareholders

29/05/2015

Ithaca Energy has misled shareholders by hiding “material facts” related to its Greater Stella Area (GSA) development, the Canadian lawyer at the heart of a lawsuit against the North Sea oil company said last night. Toronto-based Andrew Morganti said he was pursuing a class action on behalf of investors who bought Ithaca shares between August 12, 2014 and February 25, 2015. He was speaking after Ithaca, which is Canadian owned but has its headquarters in Aberdeen, revealed it had received a statement of claim “from a law firm that advertises itself as undertaking investor lawsuits”.

Oil & Gas

OneSubsea wins $330million contract

28/05/2015

OneSubsea has been awarded a $330million contract for subsea production systems relating to a gas project offshore North Africa. The scope of the supply for the 13-well development includes subsea production equipment, tooling and installations and commissioning services.

Oil & Gas

Amec Foster Wheeler secures Beaco LNG contract

28/05/2015

Amec Foster Wheeler has been awarded a pre-FEED (front-end engineering design) contract worth $3.8billion for the Beaco Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plant. The contract was awarded by the Government of Timor-Leste. The scope of work includes concept selection srudies, development of technical design and development of procurement and construction strategies.

Oil & Gas

SK Innovation looks to US shale market for investment

28/05/2015

SK Innovation, which owns South Korea's biggest refiner, said it plans to raise investment in US shale fields. The company said in a statement it wanted to expand its shale gas fields in both Oklahoma and Texas, which it acquired last year, into nearby areas.

Africa

PetroSA suspends top three execs

28/05/2015

PetroSA has suspended its top three executives amidst declining revenues. According to reports, South Africa's state oil company has also made the move as a result of poor investments and a failed bid to enter the fuel retail market.

Americas

Tornado in Texas hits natural gas drilling rig

28/05/2015

A tornado in Texas has left three people injured after hitting a natural gas drilling rig in Texas. According to reports, one victim suffered minor injuries, another had non-life threatening injuries to his face and a third had suffered an injury to their abdomen.

Oil & Gas

Drone firm backed to the skies with £2.5million

A drone firm specialising in the oil and gas industry has been boosted by venture capital investment worth more than £2.5million. Sky-Futures, which is opening a new, larger office in Aberdeen on Monday, has also been backed by a US fund specialising in drone technology. The firm was founded in 2009 by James Harrison and Chris Blackford who operated drones in Iraq and Afghanistan while in the British Army.

Oil & Gas

Shell estimates one million hours of offshore work saved from Brent Delta move

28/05/2015

Shell’s decision to remove the topside of its Brent Delta platform in one has shaved off about a million hours of high-risk offshore work, a senior manager from the British-Dutch oil major said in Aberdeen yesterday. Shell said in February it would seek approval for the Pioneering Spirit, thought to be the largest ship ever built, to lift and remove the topside in one piece, shunning more traditional methods which involve cutting installations into smaller sections.

Oil & Gas

Premier and Rockhopper make further Falkland discovery

28/05/2015

Premier Oil said a further oil discovery has been made in the Isobel deep exploration well in waters off the coast of the Falklands. The find is believed to have similar properties to the discovery which was made at the Sea Lion project. Premier exploration director Andrew Lodge said:"This is an important play opening discovery in the previously unexplored southern area of Licence PL004.

Americas

Alberta fire threat grows as blaze moves toward oil sites

28/05/2015

Northern Alberta firefighters are battling a wildfire that has moved within 5 kilometers of Cenovus Energy Inc’s oil sands operations. The Cold Lake Air Weapons Range blaze is spreading in the direction of oil and gas operations and threatens plants run by Cenovus and Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Scott Long, an executive director at the Alberta Emergency Management Agency, said in a press conference Wednesday. Firefighters put in containment and protection guards to keep it from getting closer, he said. Wildfires have prompted the shutdown of 230,000 barrels a day of oil-sands output, about 10 percent of Canada’s production.

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