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Oil & Gas

The Budget – previous promises and what to expect

08/07/2015

As Chancellor George Osborne gets ready to deliver the first Conservative budget in 18 years Energy Voice looks back at the North Sea tax changes delivered pre-election and what to expect today. In March, as the Liberal Dem and Conservative coalition geared up for the May vote, the Treasury introduced a raft of measures seen as long overdue by the North Sea oil and gas industry.

Oil & Gas

North Sea focused IOG closes in on funding deal

08/07/2015

Independent Oil and Gas (IOG) has scrapped together enough funding to see it through to the end of the September. The North Sea focused firm also confirmed its bid to secure a long term financing deal was closing in on completion. Earlier this year, IOG set out on a fundraising drive to bring the company's main assets Skipper, Cronx, Elgood and Blythe into production.

Americas

A New York pizza man’s Brazil nightmare and the mess it exposed

08/07/2015

Sei Shiroma is, frankly, a tiny player in Brazil’s $2trillion economy. A 29-year-old immigrant from New York, he runs a pizzeria out of the ground floor of an old apartment building near downtown Rio de Janeiro. The place seats, when tightly packed, maybe 10 people. But Shiroma’s saga as an aspiring entrepreneur, and the bitter attitude it instilled in him, underscore one of the great ills plaguing Latin America’s biggest economy. It can be excruciatingly painful to open -- and then operate -- a business in Brazil. Shiroma refers to the months he spent last year supervising construction and tracking down documents needed to open the restaurant as the worst time of his life. And then he delivers a damning verdict: When he expands his business, he may go somewhere in Europe rather than trying to open another pizzeria in Brazil. “I’m still recuperating emotionally,” Shiroma says. While Brazil’s long slide into its worst recession in 25 years has any number of high-profile causes -- from ballooning federal debt to the corruption scandal paralyzing the oil industry -- the government’s inability to untangle this bureaucratic mess is a key factor too, acting as an impediment to investment. It is one of the many structural reforms the country failed to address during the boom years of the previous decade, when soaring prices for its commodity exports papered over the gaping holes in the economy.

Company features

Skills academy supports oil and gas industry

08/07/2015

In February last year, the formal launch of OGAS (established 2012) took place at the Scottish Parliament, where its fresh-out-of-the-box director, Rulzion Rattray, outlined the potential and new opportunities made available through the formation of the academy.

Oil & Gas

Video: Craig Group boss says Budget must support investment in North Sea drilling

08/07/2015

The managing director of Craig Group has called for more investment in North Sea drilling as the Chancellor George Osborne prepares to deliver the first Conservative budget in 18 years. Douglas Craig was speaking at North Star Shipping’s unveiling of the vessel Grampian Devotion. Earlier this week, the Chancellor was urged to use the budget to tackle a “recession in confidence” in the North Sea sector, which has affected the north-east economy.

Oil & Gas

Gulf Marine decommissiong deal is with ConocoPhillips

08/07/2015

ConocoPhillips has confirmed it is behind a new contract to support decommissioning activity in the UK North Sea. It was keeping quiet about its involvement on Monday, when Abu Dhabi-based Gulf Marine Services (GMS) said one of its large class advanced self-propelled self-elevating support vessels (SESVs) was moving from well service and maintenance work to help with decommissioning activity this summer. Yesterday, a spokeswoman for Houston-based ConocoPhillips the GMS Endurance, gave more details. She said: “The GMS Endurance is currently on contract to ConocoPhillips UK, carrying out maintenance work in the southern North Sea (SNS). “It will move across to provide support for ongoing decommissioning work at the Viking location later this summer. “ConocoPhillips is currently pursuing a planned and phased decommissioning programme for the southern North Sea. “Our initial focus is on the Viking area, where well plug and abandonment work started last year.” She added: “ConocoPhillips has a number of gas fields in the SNS that are approaching the end of their natural lives.

Oil & Gas

Maersk to sell offshore service business for nearly £400m

08/07/2015

North Sea energy service company Esvagt and its 43-strong fleet of offshore support ships are changing hands in a near-£400million deal. The £90million-a-year turnover business, including its Aberdeen-based UK operation, is currently owned by Danish conglomerate Maersk Group. It is being sold to two international infrastructure investors, with Jersey-based 3i Infrastructure and Australia’s AMP Capital expecting the transaction to complete by the end of September. The change of ownership must first be cleared by the European Commission.

North Sea

Craig Group adds new rescue vessel to fleet

07/07/2015

The head of Aberdeen-based Craig Group yesterday swatted away any suggestions the firm may be experiencing buyer’s remorse after its shipping division added a new vessel to its fleet. A number of North Sea oil and gas companies have been forced to the wall this year after their ambitious spending plans failed to reap rewards as orders tailed off amid the oil price slump. But Craig Group’s boss said its outlay on emergency response and recovery vessels would safeguard hundreds of jobs at the privately owned, family-run shipping and energy services company.

Americas

More problems for Shell’s Arctic plans

07/07/2015

Shell’s drive to resume Arctic drilling has hit another hurdle, with the discovery of a hole in the hull of an ice-management vessel meant to safeguard its operations in the Chukchi Sea.

Oil & Gas

Ghana Gas Company shuts plant over Tullow gas supply disruption

07/07/2015

State-run Ghana Gas Company has shut down its Atuabo gas processing plant due to an unexpected disruption of gas supplies from the offshore Jubilee field operated by Tullow Oil, the plant's director said on Tuesday. George Yankey told Reuters that Tullow had informed the plant of the disruption on its floating production vessel. Gas supplies were cut on July 3 and there was no indication when they would resume, he said.

Oil & Gas

Libya lifts force majeure at Ras Lanuf oil terminal

07/07/2015

Libya has lifted force majeure at the major Ras Lanuf oil terminal, though restarting exports would take at least two days depending on available crude, a spokesman for the National Oil Corporation said on Tuesday. Restarting Ras Lanuf would be a major boost for Libya's crippled oil industry. The terminal, along with another major eastern oil port Es Sider, has been under force majeure since December last year due to fighting between rival factions,

Oil & Gas

Statoil to decide on Scottish floating wind farm in September

07/07/2015

Norway's oil and gas firm Statoil plans to take the final investment decision in September on building a floating wind farm off the coast of Scotland, set to be the first of its kind in the world, a spokesman for the company said on Tuesday. Statoil, which has run a single floating offshore turbine for several years in Norway, is now planning to build five floating turbines, each with 6 megawatt capacity, off Aberdeen in an area where the water depth is around 100 metres. With development areas for foundation-fixed offshore turbines limited to shallow seas with depths up to 50 metres, and with some countries experiencing strong opposition against the visual impact of turbines on the land, floating offshore is seen as the next major growth area for the wind industry.

Oil & Gas

Tullow Oil finds ways to explore despite withered budget

07/07/2015

Africa-focused Tullow Oil is turning to low-cost technology in its search for new oil reserves after the collapse in the price of crude and a poor run of discoveries forced the company to slash its exploration budget by 80 percent. Energy companies worldwide, from wildcatters to international behemoths, cut spending in an effort to keep their books balanced after the near-halving of oil prices since last June as a result of sharp growth in global supplies. British-based Tullow slashed its exploration budget for this year to $200 million from a target of $1 billion in 2014. Its reduced programme includes wells in Gabon, Kenya, the Netherlands, Suriname and Pakistan.

Africa

Bomb blast kills 25 in Nigeria

07/07/2015

A bomb blast in Nigeria’s northern university town of Zaria has killed 25 people including a two-year-old, the Kaduna state governor reported. The incident is the latest in a string of deadly bombing and shooting attacks by the Boko Haram Islamic extremist group.

Oil & Gas

China gives independent Shandong Dongming crude oil import quota

07/07/2015

The Chinese government has given independent refinery Shandong Dongming Petrochemical Group approval to import 7.5 million tonnes of crude oil a year, or 150,000 barrels per day (bpd), the state economic planner said on Tuesday. It is the first independent plant to win crude oil quotas since the introduction of new regulations allowing more private participation in a sector long dominated by state oil giants.

Oil & Gas

Egypt signs energy import deals with Russia’s Rosneft

07/07/2015

Egypt and Russia's top oil producer Rosneft have signed two initial deals for the supply of petroleum products and liquefied natural gas to Cairo, the two sides said on Tuesday. The oil ministry said in a statement the deals include the supply of benzine and bitumen, as well as 24 LNG cargoes for state gas company EGAS over two years starting from the fourth quarter of 2015.

North Sea

Exova extends with Maersk Oil

07/07/2015

Testing and calibration specialist Exova has been awarded a contract to provide materials qualification testing for Maersk Oil.

Americas

Northcote eyes investment in Mexico’s energy sector with new facility

07/07/2015

Northcote and its joint venture partner Gaia Ecologica have invested in their first new facility as they look to expand their reach in Mexico’s energy sector. The companies purchased a 22-acre property for the development of an environmental waste remediation facility based in the southern state of Tabasco. The strategic location of the base means it could benefit from the considerable activity being undertaken in the region by Mexican state-owned Pemex.

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