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Expert says fracking could harm Aberdeen’s oil and gas ‘capital’ status

23/10/2015

Fracking could have a detrimental impact on the North-east oil and gas industry, an Aberdeen academic has warned. The onshore fracking process has led to huge public protests over the potential environmental impact of blasting gas from shale rock using water and sand, including a major demonstration at Barton Moss in Greater Manchester. Professor of petroleum accounting at Robert Gordon University, Alex Russell, has said fracking could have a hugely detrimental impact on Aberdeen’s position as Europe’s oil and gas capital.

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Hotels flag despite Offshore Europe

A busy Offshore Europe event delivered “staggering” occupancy levels for Aberdeen hotels, but failed to reverse an ongoing decline due to the oil price crash, new figures show. In what is the first report on the Granite city’s hotel trade for the key month of September 2015, LJ Research found that room occupancy fell 12.8% despite reaching 99% capacity halfway through oil week. The report also found that hotel room yields in the month were down 13.8% on September 2013 – the last time Aberdeen hosted the biennial oil and gas event.

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Family urge PM to save oil worker from Saudi penalty

23/10/2015

The grandchildren of a British man who reportedly faces 350 lashes for breaking the law in Saudi Arabia have appealed directly to David Cameron as “his only hope”. Karl Andree, who has battled cancer and suffers from asthma, was arrested in Jeddah in August last year for breaching the country’s strict anti-alcohol laws after he was caught with home-made wine. The 74 year old has served his time in jail but is still locked up as Saudi officials wait to carry out the lashings, according to his son Simon Andree.

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Petrobras ends offshore helicopter tender

22/10/2015

Petrobras has cancelled an ongoing tender for heavy and medium helicopters used in its offshore operations. Era Group said Aeroleo Taxi Aero, its Brazilian joint venture, had received notification after Petrobras has carried out a review of its aviation needs. It was concluded no additional contract was needed amid the challenges of the current marketplace.

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US Senator calls for climate change probe against ExxonMobil

22/10/2015

A US Senator has called on the Department of Justice to investigate an alleged fraud by ExxonMobil over what it knew and told the public and shareholders about the cause of climate change. Senator Bernie Sanders has written to Attorney General Loretta Lynch to ask for a probe into what he alleges as a “potential instance of corporate fraud” by the oil giant. In his letter the politician refers to reports from an investigation by Inside Climate News, which says that scientists from the company conducted extensive research on climate change as early as the 1970s.

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Nigeria to split long-delayed petroleum bill to speed passage

22/10/2015

Nigeria’s government plans to split an oil- industry bill stuck in parliament for seven years and resubmit it to lawmakers after it held up reforms and deterred investment in Africa’s largest crude producer, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said. Breaking up the Petroleum Industry Bill, or PIB, into smaller laws focused on fiscal and regulatory measures in Nigeria’s energy industry would make it easier to pass through parliament, he said. The bill, first presented to parliament in 2008, will be resent to lawmakers in the first quarter of 2016.

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Leadsom: Hinkley will create infrastructure ‘fit for 21st century’

21/10/2015

An agreement between EDF and its Chinese partner China General Nuclear Corporation (CGN) will create a infrastructure "fit for the 21st century" according to the UK Energy secretary. Conservative politician Amber Rudd said the government was tackling a legacy of under-investment in the UK. The deal was signed amid a landmark visit from Chinese President Xi Jinping where he has met with both politicians and dignitaries.

People

Aker Solutions appoints new MMO head to UK operations

21/10/2015

Aker Solutions has recruited an upstream manager from oil major BP to lead its maintenance, modifications and operations (MMO) business in the UK. Craig Wiggins, who will be based in Aberdeen, will have responsibility for the company's brownfield engineering capability in the region. His most recent role had seen him focussed on delivering efficiencies within BP's global upstream business.

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For nuclear’s cost, UK could have six times the wind capacity

21/10/2015

Britain could have six times the power- generation capacity for the same money by investing in wind turbines instead of the 24.5 billion-pound ($37.9 billion) Hinkley Point nuclear reactor. That’s the conclusion of Bloomberg New Energy Finance, a London-based researcher that estimates the cost of power from renewables in the U.K. are rivaling fossil fuels even without subsidy. Wind easily beats the more expensive nuclear plant that Electricite de France SA is building with the support of investment from China. The findings highlights the trade-offs Prime Minister David Cameron weighed in his decision to support EDF’s bid to build the first new reactors in the UK in more than two decades. In backing nuclear and maneuvering to draw Chinese funds in a deal due on Wednesday, Cameron prioritized reliability of supply and the impact on rural landscapes over cost.

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Alba topside prepares to move off to new destination

21/10/2015

The topside for Marathon Oil’s new Alba B3 platform is getting ready for a sail away to its next stop as the platform moves towards completion. The preparations for a sail away to the Heerema Vlissingen yard are in full swing from its current location at the Heerema Zwijndrecht yard in the Netherlands.

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Cameron in No10 talks to seal trade deals with China

21/10/2015

David Cameron will host talks with Xi Jinping at Downing Street as he seeks to cement multi-billion trade deals during the Chinese president’s four-day state visit to the UK. Investment by Beijing in Britain’s first UK nuclear power plant in a generation is expected to be confirmed as part of what the Government hopes will amount altogether to £30 billion of agreements. But the lavish welcome given to the president was attacked as a “national humiliation” by a former close adviser to the Prime Minister, who is under pressure to raise concerns about human rights and “dumped” cheap steel blamed for the loss of thousands of British jobs.

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ROVOP strengthens team with new commercial director

21/10/2015

ROVOP has strengthened its team with the appointment of a new commercial director to its senior executive team and board. Euan Tait will join the company from professional services firm KPMG having spent his career in a number of roles within corporate finance and oil and gas. Steven Gray, ROVOP chief executive, said: “Euan brings more than 10 years of commercial experience to ROVOP. His network, knowledge of the industry and blend of energy and structured thinking will undoubtedly strengthen our senior team and add value for our clients."

Health & Safety

Worker killed in Chevron accident off Gulf of Mexico

21/10/2015

An investigation has been launched after a worker was been killed in an accident on a drillship contracted to oil major Chevron in the Gulf of Mexico. The man, who was employed by Pacific Drilling was fatally injured on board the Pacific Santa Ana while it was operating in waters in the US Gulf.

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Subsea 7 to downsize offices in Aberdeenshire hub

21/10/2015

Subsea 7 is to downsize its Aberdeenshire office as it looks to streamline costs during the oil price decline. The company, which announced it would be making headcount reductions earlier this year, said it would “optimise” its other buildings. Subsea 7 currently has its east and west complex as well as its workshop and sports centre based in Westhill.

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Oil price decline a ‘double-edge sword’ for energy sector

21/10/2015

Engineering is in Ollie Folayan’s DNA. His father considers himself to be number 23 in a long line of engineers. It meant a career in engineering was a natural choice for Mr Folayan, who loved tinkering with gadgets as a youngster. Mr Folayan, who is now the Aberdeen-based chairman of the Association for Black and minority ethnic Engineers (AFBE-UK), said: “When I was younger I always tended to break everything electronic. I tried to figure out how it worked. It could be as simple as trying to get the aerial to work on the TV to trying to understand cars.” Mr Folayan, 41, moved into a full-time engineering job at Babcock after earning his doctorate in fuels and combustion at Leeds University.

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