The UK Government is providing £750 million a year in tax breaks to North Sea oil and gas, despite a pledge five years ago to end fossil fuel subsidies, campaigners said. A further £414 million in public money is going into fossil fuel exploration overseas from Siberia in Russia to Brazil, India and Nigeria, a report by the Overseas Development Institute and Oil Change International said. The organisations accused the UK Government of providing a total of £1.2 billion in subsidies a year despite signing up to a pledge by G20 countries in 2009 to phase out fossil fuel subsidies. Since then, generous tax breaks have been provided to international energy giants to explore in riskier, deep-water fields in the North Sea, they said.
Oil & Gas
Ceona has been awarded two contracts in Nigeria with its partner Marine Platforms Limited (MPL) worth more than $30million
BP Egypt and its partners plan to invest $240million in a pair of blocks just awarded as a result of the 2013 EGAS (Egyptian Natural Gas Holding) round. The oil major said the programme will include 3D seismic and three exploration wells in each of the onshore and offshore blocks in phases lasting between six to eight years. The first block, the North El Mataria, is BP’s first entry into the Onshore Nile Delta.
OPEC won’t cut its collective crude output when it meets later this month and global oil prices will stabilize once the surplus is absorbed by the market, Kuwait Oil Minister Ali Al-Omair said. OPEC, which supplies about 40 percent of the world’s oil, meets November 27 to debate supply. The 12-member Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which has a production target of 30 million barrels a day, pumped 30.974 million barrels a day in October, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. “I don’t think there will be any cut in the production,” Al-Omair said at a conference in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. “We feel prices will settle down once surplus oil is absorbed.”
Technology services company Applus RTD has opened a new office in Pennsylvania driven by its operations surrounding the Marcellus Shale formation. The new offices, based in Pennsylvania, are part of the company’s strategic growth plan following demand for its non-destructive (NDT) services in the area.
Rules to curb tremors from fracking are as strict as banning buses driving past houses or slamming wooden doors, experts said as they called for the regulations to be eased. Energy engineers from the University of Glasgow said the measures brought in by the Department of Energy and Climate Change are unnecessarily restrictive, and rules closer to those applied for activities such as quarry blasting should be brought in. Dr Rob Westaway and Professor Paul Younger, of the University of Glasgow’s School of Engineering, also said the risk of serious earthquakes caused by fracking activity is lower than feared. The seismic restrictions - brought in after two small earthquakes were felt near Blackpool, Lancashire, following fracking for shale gas - require the shutting down of operations which cause surface vibrations greater than magnitude 0.5 on the Richter scale.
After initially delaying announcing its third quarter results, Transocean reported a third-quarter loss of $6.12 per share. The confirmation comes after the firm was hit by $2.76billion worth of impairment charges, forcing the firm to push back its schedualed financial announcement. Revenue for its third quarter earnings decreased by $58million to $2.27billion.
A platform owned by Norwegian driller Songa Offshore is expected to leave Scotland this week after its suffered engine failure. The Songa Dee platform was having a Special Periodic Survey (SPS) completed at a yard in Invergordon last month when it happened.
Cairn Energy has made a second oil discovery during its Senegal exploration programme. The Scottish oil firm announced last month it had made an initial oil find it its FAN-1 exploration well in the West African country. The SNE-1 well is located in 1,100 metres water depth and is 100km offshore in the Sangomar block.
China has secured almost a fifth of the natural gas supplies it will need by the end of the decade after striking a second major deal with Russia. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed the gas-supply agreement in Beijing the day before U.S. President Barack Obama arrived in the Chinese capital for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. The deal is slightly smaller than the $400 billion accord reached earlier this year, shortly after Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Russia’s OAO Gazprom is negotiating the supply of as much as 30 billion cubic meters of gas annually from West Siberia to China over 30 years, it said yesterday. Another Russian company is discussing the sale of a 10 percent stake in a Siberian unit to state-owned China National Petroleum Corp.
A new centre which aims to speed up the development of new technologies for the North Sea oil and gas industry will be formally launched by Energy Minister Fergus Ewing in Aberdeen tonight
The UK North Sea's delay-prone Breagh gas field is back on stream after another shutdown, 30% stakeholder Sterling Resources said yesterday. Sterling, based in Calgary, Canada, said Breagh came back into production on October 31 after a two-week halt due to vessel inspections and "minor modifications" at the Teesside gas processing plant.
Talisman Energy boss Hal Kvisle has blamed problems in the North Sea as well as other issues for delaying his retirement. The head of the Calgary-based firm said he has remained in the hot seat for more than two years longer than planned as the firm struggles to sell off its assets in the UK including its joint venture with China’s Sinopec. Mr Kvisle had said earlier this year said he would like to step down by the end of 2014. This week, Talisman reported its third-quarter earnings Tuesday, which revealed its North Sea production fell 37% in its most recent quarter, the result of planned turnarounds at Claymore, Piper, Buchan and the Bleo Holm FPSO.
Petroleo Brasileiro SA is boosting fuel prices as Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff gives the state-run producer some relief from inflation-fighting policies and the lowest oil prices in four years. Shares gained. The Rio de Janeiro-based company known as Petrobras was scheduled to raise its subsidized refinery gate prices for gasoline by 3 percent and diesel by 5 percent at midnight local time, it said yesterday in a regulatory filing. Petrobras booked more than $44 billion in operating losses mainly from selling fuel at below-market prices during Rousseff’s first term and became the world’s most indebted producer. It was granted permission to raise fuel prices even after crude’s 25 percent plunge this year brought them more into line with international benchmarks. The decision comes after Rousseff won re-election by the narrowest margin in Brazil’s history and the central bank raised interest rates sooner than expected last week.
Energy service firm Hydrasun Limited reported a healthy order book and “strong pipeline of new opportunities” in its latest annual accounts. The Aberdeen company - part of Hydrasun Group - achieved a small rise in profits to just under £17million, from £16.2million a year earlier, during the 12 months to March 31. Turnover increased by more than £20million to £120.9million.
A north-east MSP has urged the Scottish Government to “bury the hatchet” with UK ministers and work together for the good of the North Sea oil industry. Conservative Alex Johnstone said Brent crude oil was trading at under $83 a barrel, a four year low, and there had been a 20% drop in prices since the independence referendum on September 18. Speaking at first minister’s questions yesterday, the MSP claimed the SNP leader put oil at the centre of the government’s campaign.
Cluff Natural Resources (CNR) has been awarded 11 licences by the DECC (Department of Energy and Climate Change) in the UK’s 28th offshore licensing round. The company has been awarded blocks including 41/5, 41/10 and 42/1 in Southern North Sea. All of the blocks are in close proximity to the Breagh Gas field.
British power and gas company E.ON is considering the use of gas injection at its Huntington field after restrictions were imposed by the Central Area Transmission System (CATS). In a production update for the month by Norwegian energy company, Noreco, they said production from the field had been reduced “significantly” as a result. The company said in the short-term gas injection was being considered this month.
Transocean was forced to delay its third quarter results after being hit by $2.76billion worth of impairment charges amid declining contract values. The firm, which owns the biggest fleet of deepwater drilling rigs, said: “The charge is the result of impairment testing conducted due to the decline in the market valuation of the contract drilling business.” The dip in rig-use fees was also thought to have affected today’s delay.
The UN nuclear agency is expected to say that Iran is stalling its attempts to probe allegations that Tehran worked on nuclear weapons.
Statoil has completed its exploration programme in the Barents Sea, completing 10% of all exploration wells drilled in the Barents Sea. The exploration well, between 2013 and 2014, started with five wells in the vicinity of Johan Castberg. These wells were critical, Statoil said, in clarifying the oil potential in the area in order to plans for the Johan Castberg field.
Emerging talent and outstanding achievement in the UK oil and gas industry were celebrated at an awards ceremony in the north-east last night. A record of about 650 people attended the 2014 edition of the Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) Awards at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre. Marnie Toal of energy technology firm Proserv came away with the apprentice title after impressing judges with her enthusiasm to take on extra responsibility and her adeptness at identifying ways of improving work processes.
The slump in oil prices is a boon to China as the world’s second-biggest oil consumer. It’s a different story for the country as a major producer. The slide in prices to a four-year low threatens to cut spending, production and profit for the country’s oil companies including PetroChina Co (857) Brent, the global benchmark, has fallen 26% this year to below $83 a barrel. The decline, amid signs that global supply is outpacing demand, is pressuring profits from oil extraction across the globe. After a flurry of acquisitions and spending that’s stretched the balance sheets of Chinese oil companies, the country will also have a diminished appetite for deals, according to Sanford C Bernstein & Co.
Statoil is on the hunt for its next Johan Sverdrup – this time on the UK divide of the North Sea, according to its exploration manager Tom Dreyer. Tom spoke to Energy Voice after the Norwegian operator made out as one of the biggest winners in the 28th licensing round. The major industry player snapped up 8000sq km of acreage, winning all of the 12 licences it applied for. The opportunities amassed by the firm on the UK side of the North Sea, strategically located on near its Mariner and Bressay projects, leave it all to play for, according to Tom. The first step is process is apply the techniques leveraged to unearth Johan to targets identified in the UK North Sea.
Enegi Oil has been awarded a production licence in the UK Central North Sea in the 28th round of licensing. The block, 21/28b, was awarded by the Department of Energy and Climate change. It contains two known discoveries named Crinan and Dandy, which lie adjacent to the Fyne Project area in water depths of 89m.