Dutch oil and gas producer Oranje-Nassau Energie (ONE) announced its entry into the UK North Sea yesterday after snapping up 50% of the Sean field. The move increases the Amsterdam-based firm’s total production to more than 20,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day and is part of its “long-term reserve base growth strategy”. Sean is in the southern sector of the North Sea and ONE is now the operator after acquiring its stake from Shell and Esso Exploration and Production UK, which each held 25%. The remaining 50% is held by SSE E&P UK.
Oil major BP will suspend operations at one of its platforms in the Caspian Sea. The British oil company said it will be postponing work at Chirag, while planned maintenance takes place.
The drop in oil prices will probably spur smaller oil and gas explorers in Africa to consider mergers to fund their ambitions, according to Pura Vida Energy NL. Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s $70 billion deal to buy BG Group Plc may be followed by mergers and acquisitions among smaller operators, according to the Perth-based company, which started drilling off Morocco this week. Freeport-McMoRan Oil & Gas LLC is its partner.
Royal Dutch Shell Plc sees oil prices increasing because supply from shale drilling in the U.S. won’t be enough to meet increasing global demand. The industry needs to find an additional 4 million barrels to 5 million barrels a day of supply every year to meet rising demand and replace depleted fields, Shell Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry said in an interview on Tuesday. “Lower oil prices increase demand and reduce investment, and it already has,” Henry said. Global demand of about 93 million barrels a day is increasing by 1 million every year, he said in London.
Dutch ship designer, builder and repairer, Damen, has broken into the oil & gas standby (ERRV) market for the first time with its remarkable Twin Axe workboat. It was only a matter of time as a number of these vessels are successfully servicing the needs of North Sea windfarms. They are weatherly, fast and have the ability to carry significant loads. It is Groen Offshore, Guard & Support that has broken with oil & gas tradition and gone for something totally different to convention.
Helix Well Ops’ new well intervention semi-submersible, the 35,000-ton Q5000, is en-route to the US Gulf of Mexico following its handover by the Jurong Shipyard in Singapore. The company’s latest asset is due to stop off at Mauritius, Namibia and Curacao before eventually arriving during the summer. Based upon the successful Q4000 design, the Q5000 is a much larger second generation intervention semi with enhanced capability for subsea intervention, construction and life of field services. The company had been planning the new-build for a number of years prior to placing orders for not just one but two intervention semis . . . Q5000 in 2012 and Q7000 the following year, though there is talk of the latter being pushed back to 2017 because of deteriorating market conditions.
Confidence and determination are important, but cash pays the wage bill. The industry has already witnessed some casualties of the downturn, and we are not out of the woods yet. What does “through cycle investing” really mean? First, let’s acknowledge that not everyone is in the same predicament. If you have a monopoly on an essential product or service you can boast how many requests for rate reductions you have politely declined or ignored. Some call these “begging letters”, but the form and substance varies widely. Some are well considered, with a tailored personal message from named senior executive to named senior executive. Perhaps even uncomfortably comparing published customer and suppliers profit margins!
Almost 30 years have passed since Ewen Kerr walked out of Oldmachar Academy into the big wide world. He had wanted to work . . . something engineering-related; ideally training to become a draftsman. The North Sea seemed logical; after all it had been booming, only his timing was awful as the province had just been hit hard in the 1986 oil price crash. “My father was head engineer at John M Henderson’s here in Aberdeen,” recalls Kerr. “So maybe it was a genetic thing. But with the North Sea in recession, I couldn’t get a job. I ended up working in a bank for a year or two as it was all that was available. “I had done my Highers and I could have gone to university but I wanted to work. I made that choice. Whether it was right, well, you can look back and wonder. But I’ve done OK. “The career advice I got wasn’t very good . . . and that was to go and work in a bank because I couldn’t get a technical job. And to be honest, looking back, banking was a really good grounding. I even started doing my banking exams . . . economics, finance, that sort of thing; a good grounding for running a business.
Integrated subsea services firm Harkand has completed its first project in the Caribbean for BG Trinidad and Tobago. The remotely-operated vehicle (ROV) subsea support work lasted 75 days and was carried out by the team on board Harkand’s multi-purpose vessel the Go Electra in the waters off Trinidad and Tobago.
Sterling Energy has completed a 3D seismic survey over a high-graded portion of the Ambilobe block. The acquisition was undertaken by CGG Services on behalf of the Ambilobe joint venture partners Sterling and Pura Vida Mauritius. The processing of the data will begin shortly to a pre-stack migration cube.
A manager in working for Libya's Mellitah has been kidnapped, according to reports. The staff member, working for the consortium, which is owned by state oil firm NOC and Italy's ENI, was taken earlier this week. Mellitah operates a complex in Libya which exports oil and gas as well as the Wafa and El Feel oilfields.
Dana Gas has signed an agreement for oil major BP to pay for part of its exploration costs in the El Matriya onshore concession area in Egypt. BP is expected to pay an estimated $39million of the cost of Dana's drilling of a natural gas exploration well.
Chevron has moved a deepwater Gulf of Mexico platform to sheltered waters after damage was caused its installation tendons. The company said the Big Foot TLP was not connected to any subsea wells or tendons at the time of the incident.
Premier Oil has taken full ownership of the Solan field. The UK-listed oil company acquired the 40% stake in the field which it did not already own. It purchased Chrysador’s interest in the Solan field, West of Shetland, for nil upfront consideration.
An Invergordon firm that was founded as a ferry operator nearly 50 years ago and evolved to meet the needs of a growing oil and gas industry has been swallowed up by Global Energy Group. Aberdeen and Inverness-based Global said yesterday it had acquired MF Marine Operations through its Caledonian Towage subsidiary. Global – owned by Highland businessman Roy MacGregor and his family – did not say how much it paid Colin Watson, MF Marine’s owner and managing director, for the business.
Aberdeen and Stavanger are two cities sitting on either side of the North Sea with long histories evidenced by their many fine old buildings constructed respectively of granite and wood. The links between the two cities go back many centuries largely through trading and fishing but since the advent of the oil and gas industry in both areas in the late sixties our populations have become even closer. In 1990 the two cities cemented that relationship by formally twinning. In 1995 the two cities joined together with another four energy capitals to be the founder members of the World Energy Cities Partnership an organisation which has grown to 22 energy capitals from around the world.
Companies in Alberta prepared to return to work as rain eased a wildfire that prompted the shutdown of 10 percent of Canada’s oil-sands production. Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.’s operation staff received permission today to go to the Primrose oil sands site to implement a “step-by-step recovery plan,” Julie Woo, a company spokeswoman, said in a statement Monday. Cenovus Energy Inc. plans to send essential staff to the Foster Creek project once a government team assesses potential hazards, the company said on its website.
Iran, seeking billions of dollars to revitalize its ailing oil industry, plans to offer significantly better commercial terms to companies prepared to invest than offered during the last market opening nearly two decades ago. Foreign oil executives who have reviewed partial drafts of the new terms, called the Iranian Petroleum Contract, said they’re more generous than the types of deals used in the 1990s and 2000s. Unlike those contracts, which merely paid a set fee for the delivery of a project, the new agreements could give investors some share of a field’s production and allow companies to book more reserves on their balance sheet.
Oil companies that have pumped trillions of barrels of crude from the ground are now saying the future is in their other main product: natural gas, a fuel they’re promoting as the logical successor to coal. With almost 200 nations set to hammer out a binding pact on carbon emissions in December, fossil-fuel companies led by Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Total SA say they’re refocusing on gas as a cleaner alternative to the cheap coal that now dominates electricity generation worldwide. That’s sparked a war of words between the two industries and raised concern that Big Oil is more interested in grabbing market share then fighting global warming.
A new oil and gas service business has launched in Aberdeen, creating 16 jobs. Initially based in Tullos, Aberdeen, EnerQuip plans to move to a larger facility in the north-east in early 2016 to support anticipated growth. It has been formed by three former senior bosses of Granite City-based AMC Engineering – Andrew Polson, Dave Clark and John Duncan – who together have more than 50 years’ oil and gas experience.
Apache has revealed plans to reorganise its business as it looks to reduce costs. Cory Loegering has been named as the new head of Apache North Sea, taking over from Jim House who has been given a newly created position. House will become senior vice president for the Houston region and will be based at the company's headquarters Houston.
While the UK’s offshore industry is indeed facing pressure there is huge remaining potential – with up to 23billion barrels of oil & gas still to play for. Tax reforms announced in the Government's 2015 Budget and the setting up of the new regulator, the Oil & Gas Authority, provide strong foundations for the regeneration of the North Sea. The onus is now on industry to align around a common purpose and work together to build a more sustainable future through safe cost and efficiency improvements. North Sea oil & gas is a hugely valuable industry and a prize worth fighting for; supporting 450,000 jobs; paying billions of pounds to Treasury each year; fostering advanced technology; and meeting half of Britain’s oil & gas needs.
Norwegian explorer Statoil has agreed a long-term gas supply agreement with the UK's SSE. The deal, which will start from October, will see gas supplied increase from ca. 0.5 billion standard cubic metres per day to ca. 2.5 bcm/y. Tor Martin Anfinnsen, senior vice president of Marketing and Trading in Statoil, said: “We are very happy to have made this agreement with SSE. Being the second largest supplier of gas and electricity in the UK, SSE is a significant player in a market that is very important to Statoil.
Atlas Knowledge has been awarded a contract by INPEX to provide training for production workers involved in the Ichthys LNG project. The multi-million dollar agreement will see the company develop and deliver custom-made training modules and online 3D models of the project's onshore and offshore production facilities. The e-learning team will provide all personnel in the integrated operations team with an understanding of the plant, equipment, materials and their associated hazards. Facility-specific modules will take production technicians on an interactive journey to the process area they are assigned to.
Endeavour International has launched its marketing process in the UK for the sale all of its North Sea oil and gas assets. The company said it will consider a full range of options in order to “unlock the underlying value” of its assets, which include interests in five fields in the North Sea. A spokesman said Endeavour believes the sale of all its North Seas assets would provide the “best means to preserve and protect” the value its other assets.