Archive: Fri Feb 2019

  1. Exxon, Chevron wow Wall Street with Permian-fueled gains

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    Soaring production in North America’s most prolific oil field helped propel Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp. to bigger-than-expected fourth-quarter profits. Shares for both explorers jumped.

    Exxon surpassed analysts’ forecasts by almost one-third with the biggest refining bonanza in six years and Permian Basin crude output that almost doubled. For Chevron, overall oil and natural gas production climbed to an all-time high, driven by Permian wells that represent the company’s fastest-growing source of crude.

    Expectations had been high, given that Royal Dutch Shell Plc and ConocoPhillips earlier this week also exceeded forecasts, showing that Big Oil was largely able to weather the 35 percent fourth-quarter slide in international crude prices.

    After lifting production above the 4-million-barrel mark for the first time in almost two years, Exxon said Friday it plans to spend $30 billion on capital projects this year, a 16 percent increase from 2018. Chevron pumped an unprecedented 3 million barrels a day during the final three months of last year.

    Chevron said 70 percent of its capital projects will generate profits within two or three years, a sea-change in the Big Oil ethos which historically spread returns out over decades. While Exxon is also building a big shale position, most of its spending is on large traditional deepwater and liquefied natural gas operations.

    Exxon’s refining profits more than doubled to $2.7 billion as margins on processing crude into fuels expanded. The result was also boosted by the sale of an Italian refinery. In Texas, the company this week announced plans to expand a refinery near Houston to handle growing Permian crude flows, a project Cowen & Co. analysts estimate will cost $1.1 billion.

    Exxon had “blow-out downstream results,” Jason Gammel, a London-based analyst at Jefferies LLC, said in a note to clients.

    Chevron is also doubling down on the so-called integrated business model, having agreed this week to buy a Texas refinery from Brazil’s Petrobras for $350 million. Like Exxon, Chevron’s move is aimed at finding a home for surging volumes of Texas crude.

    In the Permian region of West Texas and New Mexico, Exxon’s output soared 90 percent. Even so, overall production was slightly lower than the 4.03 million barrels analysts had expected.

    Exxon CEO Darren Woods was due to make his debut on a quarterly conference call at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time. It will make him the first Exxon chief to field questions on such a call in at least 15 years and comes the day after a total reorganization of the company’s oil and natural gas exploration business.

    Exxon shares were up 2 percent to $74.74 at 9:05 a.m. in New York. Chevron rose 1.6 percent to $116.50.

  2. Weatherford slides deeper into the red with $2.8bn loss in 2018

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    Struggling oil field service company Weatherford International closed 2018 with a $2.8 billion loss, sliding deeper into the red as it moves into what will become its fifth year of losses.

    Weatherford posted a $2.1 billion loss on $1.4 billion of revenue during the fourth quarter. The fourth quarter figures translated into a loss per share of $2.10, representing a decline from the $1.9 billion and loss per share of $1.95 during the same period in 2017.

    The service company finished 2018 with a $2.8 billion loss on $5.7 billion of revenue. The annual figures translated into a loss per share of $2.82, which was flat compared to the $2.8 billion loss and a loss per share of $2.84 reported for 2017.

    The company that $2 billion in pre-tax charges dragged down its fourth quarter and end of year performances. The company has posted 17 consecutive quarters of losses, completing four years of losses and moving into a fifth.

    Weatherford’s fourth quarter and end-of-year figures fell in line with Wall Street expectations for the fourth quarter but missed them for year. A consensus of analysts expected Weatherford to finish the fourth quarter with nearly $1.4 billion of revenue and close the year with nearly $5.8 billion of revenue.

    The company’s fourth quarter loss per share of $2.10 missed Wall Street expectations of 12 cents as did the end-of-year loss of share of $2.82, which was expected to be 75 cents.

    A 40 percent drop in crude oil prices during the fourth quarter hurt business for Weatherford and other oil field service companies, which were pressured by oil and natural gas companies to lower their prices.

    Weatherford has endured more than four years of losses. The company has not made a profit since the fourth quarter of 2014 and faces getting delisted from the New York Stock Exchange.

    This article first appeared on the Houston Chronicle – an Energy Voice content partner. For more from the Houston Chronicle click here.

  3. Updated: Unite orders pay rise for Bilfinger Salamis workers

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    The Unite trade union has told energy services company Bilfinger Salamis to raise pay for its North Sea workers or risk disruption to its services.

    Unite wants Bilfinger Salamis to match the terms recently secured with companies who make up the Offshore Contractors’ Association (OCA), including Aker Solutions, Petrofac and Wood.

    A revised pay offer from the OCA was accepted by North Sea workers in January, bringing down the curtain on a prolonged dispute.

    Bilfinger Salamis left the OCA in 2016. Unions described the move as an attack on workers’ rights, but the company said at the time it would maintain competitive offshore pay rates, create jobs and remain engaged in continual talks with unions through its employee representative committee.

    Unite said Bilfinger Salamis workers have since fallen as much as 5.6% behind the hourly rate agreed with the OCA, and 10.1% behind on sick pay.

    It means some workers could be more than £1,000 worse off per year.

    The union said it was prepared to launch an industrial action ballot if its doesn’t get “complete parity” for crew at Bilfinger Salamis.

    A spokesman for Bilfinger Salamis said Unite’s  figures were “spurious”.

    The spokesman said the company had continued annual pay reviews since leaving the OCA in 2016, with increases provided in 2017 and 2018. It will do so again on April 1, 2019 for 2019-20.

    He said Bilfinger Salamis was expanding rapidly, creating over 700 new jobs last year. The workforce were “better off” in 2018-19 than those covered by the OCA, because the company had reviewed and increased the offshore rates in April 2018 whereas the OCA members had no increase from April 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018 as the deal agreed in January did not provide backdated pay.

    Unite said: “We have requested an early meeting with the senior management to discuss this pay and conditions claim with the intention to have a formal response to put to our members no later than the close of business Monday 25th February 2019.

    “If we have no response by then we will take it that the pay claim has been rejected. If rejected, Unite will immediately consider all available options in pursuit of its members’ interests.”

    In July 2018, Unite accused Bilfinger of “imposing” a wage rise on its staff “without any prior notice”.

    It said the 2.15% increase for 2018-19 fell short of the conditions of the OCA partnership agreement.

    At the time, Bilfinger said the pay rise meant its workers were receiving a second increase in as many years, despite challenging market conditions.


  4. Exclusive: Kawasaki launches multi-million pound subsea venture in Aberdeen

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    Japanese corporation Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KHI) today launched a multi-million pound subsea business in Aberdeen.

    It will focus on building and — in partnership with an inspection, repair and maintenance (IRM) contractor — operating a fleet of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), initially in the North Sea.

    KHI is starting out with a networking and sales office in the Granite City.

    It intends to set up a 1,000 sq.m engineering, manufacturing and stabling facility in the north-east next year.

    Around 15-20 engineering and support staff jobs will be created with a view of building two to four AUVs a year. The objective is to create a stable of around 15 units in five years.

    Executive advisor Carl-Petter Halvorsen said KHI is in advanced discussions with an IRM contractor, which will operate the vehicles and play a key role in establishing the submarine pipeline inspection with close eyes (SPICE) stable in the North Sea and perhaps in other offshore energy provinces worldwide in due course.

    Discussions regarding KHI setting up its AUV venture in Aberdeen started about four years ago.

    Leading the push today is Ken Yoshihara, who is actively building a business network within Aberdeen and throughout the North Sea.

    He is the first line of contact, and is now resident in the city, but remains attached to KHI’s shipyard complex at Kobe in Japan.

    Mr Yoshihara will be joined by the new subsidiary’s managing director, Minehiko Mukaido, around the middle of the year.

    A prototype of SPICE was extensively tested at the now defunct Underwater Centre in Fort William in 2017.

    The results have been incorporated in the 4.5m long, one-tonne production model, which incorporates a sophisticated arm for deploying inspection technologies and other equipment.

    The robot arm is said to be a world first for AUVs and is based on a fusion of submarine technologies and industrial robot technologies fostered in-house over many years.

    Besides being one of the world’s leading shipbuilders, KHI is among the oldest submarine builders in existence, having built its first in 1906.

    It remains a prominent player in that market today. It has also designed and built vehicles — the so-called DSRV– for the deepsea rescue of personnel from submarines in distress.

    KHI’s arrival in Aberdeen is expected to help reinforce Scotland’s high standing as a leading centre of subsea excellence. It has booked space at the Subsea Expo showcase at the AECC next week.

    Although the primary emphasis for now is oil and gas, Mr Yoshihara said the plan was to eventually expand into subsea mapping/hydrography and the North Sea’s large and still rapidly expanding maritime renewables sector.


  5. Shell targeting growth in North Sea business

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    Shell remains firmly focused on beefing up its UK North Sea business in spite of recent oil price volatility, the energy giant’s boss said yesterday.

    Chief executive Ben van Beurden stressed the Anglo-Dutch supermajor’s strong commitment to the region, which has a “lot of life left in it”.

    He was speaking after Shell reported a healthy increase in 2018 profits.

    Shell made swingeing job cuts in the UK after crude prices plummeted in 2014, sparking one of the worst downturns endured by the sector.

    The company also sold a £3 billion package of North Sea assets to Chrysaor in 2017 as part of a wider campaign to balance the books following its acquisition of BG Group.

    Shell set itself a target of divesting £23bn worth of assets globally from 2016-18. Yesterday, the company said it had completed the process.

    A string of final investment decisions (FIDs) were delivered last year.

    In January 2018, Shell said it would redevelop the Penguins field – involving the construction of the firm’s first new manned installation in the northern North Sea in nearly 30 years.

    Shell also approved the development of the Arran and Fram fields, both of which will be tied back to the Shearwater platform 140 miles east of Aberdeen.

    The company has a 50% stake in the BP-operated Alligin project, sanctioned in April.

    In November, Shell was involved in the delivery of first oil from Clair Ridge, a major development west of Shetland. The firm has a 28% working interest in the field, which is operated by BP.

    The acquisition of a 30% stake in the Cambo field from Siccar Point Energy further strengthened Shell’s presence in the highly prospective west of Shetland basin.

    Cambo is thought to contain more than 800 million barrels of oil.

    Mr Van Beurden said recent swings in oil price had done little to dampen Shell’s enthusiasm for the UK North Sea.

    He added: “We are quite happy with our position in the UK. We made quite a bit of change as part of the £23bn divestment programme.

    “In the North Sea, our focus has really shifted to making sure we have growth in that business.

    “We still believe that business has a lot of life left in it, even under the challenging circumstances we see today.”

    Brent crude hit a four-year high of $86 per barrel in October 2018, only to sink back toward $50 amid fears of a recession and the failure of US sanctions to remove a large volume of Iranian production from the market.

    The global benchmark now sits at $62 per barrel.

    Despite the drop in the fourth quarter, average oil and gas prices were higher in 2018, helping Shell increase its revenue by 27% to £295bn, while pre-tax profits came to £27bn, nearly double 2017’s total.

    Shell’s preferred measure of CCS (current cost of supplies) earnings attributable to shareholders was up 36% year-on-year at £16.3bn.


  6. North Sea acquisition talks between Ineos, ConocoPhillips break down

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    Ineos’ bid to acquire ConocoPhillips’ North Sea portfolio appears to have fallen through.

    Both companies today confirmed that exclusive talks had concluded.

    Conoco said a number of other companies were in the running for the package.

    A spokesman for Conoco said: “The period of exclusive negotiations with Ineos has concluded and we will now continue the marketing process with a number of additional parties expressing interest in our UK assets.”

    Ineos said in an emailed statement to Energy Voice: “We confirm that we are no longer in discussions with ConocoPhillips.”

    Conoco is one of several international oil companies to have been linked with a North Sea exit in the last 18 months.

    The firm sold 16.5% of its equity in the Clair Field to BP, leaving it with 7.5%, last year.

    At the time, Luke Parker, analyst at energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie, said the Houston-headquartered business’s complete withdrawal from the UK seemed “likely to follow”.

    Ineos, traditionally focused on petrochemicals, has been expanding its North Sea footprint through acquisitions in recent years.

    The company announced its arrival in the basin in 2015 when it bought stakes in several fields, including Breagh and Clipper South, from Dea.

    It completed a deal to buy Dong Energy’s oil and gas business for £1 billion in September 2017 to become one of the North Sea’s top producers.


  7. Cluff’s talks with major oil company go into extra time

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    Cluff Natural Resources (CLNR) has gone into extra time in its bid to secure a partner for its Pensacola prospect in the southern North Sea.

    CLNR said in November that it had entered into an exclusivity agreement with a “major international oil and gas company” for its 100%-owned licence P2252.

    The exclusivity period was meant to lapse on January 31.

    London-listed CLNR said today that discussions over a farm out had reached an “advanced stage”, but had not yet concluded.

    As a result, the exclusivity period has been extended by one week.

    CLNR has been searching for a partner for a long time. The firm was awarded the licence in the 28th round.

    In November, the Oil and Gas Authority agreed to extend the licence by six months to the end of May.

    Chairman Algy Cluff, who set up the company in 2012, was involved in the discovery of the North Sea Buchan field 40 years ago.

  8. SSE sells windfarm stakes for £635m

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    SSE will sell a 49.9% stake in two Scottish wind farms to a renewable infrastructure fund for £635 million.

    The deal involves the 66 turbine Stronelairg wind farm near Fort Augustus and the 33 turbine Dunmaglass development, 15 miles south of Inverness.

    The stakes equate to 160.6 megawatts of capacity. 

    Buyer Greencoat UK Wind (UKW) is run by Greencoat Capital, a leading European renewable investment manager, with over £3 billion of assets under management.

    SSE will continue to operate both wind farms with Vestas and GE providing turbine operation and maintenance.

    The transaction is expected to go through by the end of March 2019. 

    SSE intends to use up to £200m of the proceeds to fund a discretionary share buyback.

    Gregor Alexander, SSE’s finance director, said: “Both Stronelairg and Dunmaglass are a testament to SSE’s ability to design, develop, construct and operate first class renewable energy assets.

    “Onshore wind makes a huge contribution to supplying low carbon electricity to the GB market and to meeting the UK’s carbon reduction targets. 

    “The sale of stakes in these wind farms to Greencoat is a continuation of SSE’s longstanding approach of partnering and securing value for shareholders at appropriate times.” 

    Tim Ingram, chairman of UKW, said: “I am delighted to announce the acquisition of these two high load factor, ROC accredited wind farms, which will deliver attractive investment returns.

    “This transaction builds on our longstanding relationship with SSE and we are delighted to be co-investing with a major UK pension fund partner.”

  9. Global investments paying off at Craig International

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    Investment in growing global market share has paid off at Craig International, the Aberdeen company’s owner said yesterday.

    Douglas Craig was speaking after accounts for Craig International and its parent, Craig Group, were lodged at Companies House.

    Global oilfield procurement specialist Craig International reported a 20% increase in turnover to £100.2 million, from £83.4m a year earlier, across UK and international operations during the year to April 30 2018.

    The balance-sheet was hit by costs associated with setting up and growing global operations, particularly in the Middle East, resulting in pre-tax losses of £455,000.

    Global market share increased to around 40%, thanks to about £20m-worth of new business in the Middle-east.

    Mr Craig said: “The significant growth at Craig International is attributable to our long-term investment strategy.

    “We are now delivering out-sourced third party procurement services … in over 55 countries.”

    “In 2019, we expect to start reaping the rewards of our investment in global growth with a return to profit.”

    Craig Group figures for the six months to April 30 – showing losses of £239,000 on turnover of £48.8m – reflect a restructuring after the sale of emergency response and rescue vessel division North Star Shipping in October 2017.

  10. COSL Innovator to drill Barryroe

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    The COSL Innovator rig has been booked for a drilling campaign on the Barryroe field off Ireland.

    The semi submersible rig will drill and test four vertical wells and one horizontal side-track, plus the optional drilling of two additional horizontal wells.

    China Oilfield Services Limited (COSL) will provide all services and equipment required for the campaign.

    Barryroe, 50km off the south coast of Ireland, is operated by Exola, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Providence Resources, on behalf of its partners, APEC Energy Enterprises and Lansdowne Celtic Sea.

    Providence chief executive Tony O’Reilly said: “The rig nomination allows us to progress the rig-related consents for the upcoming Barryroe appraisal drilling programme.

    “Subject to the receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals, we currently envisage rig mobilisation and drilling commencing during Q3 2019.

    “The Barryroe partners look forward to working closely with COSL on the execution of this major drilling programme and further project announcements will be made as appropriate.”


  11. Quanta Fabricom appoints two new directors

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    Westhill-based energy services firm Quanta Fabricom has announced the appointment of two new directors.

    Paul Kelly and Mark Marsh join the firm on the back of the company’s recent management buyout and subsequent rebrand.

    Originally called Fabricom Offshore Services, the firm was a subsidiary of French group Engie until November, when the buyout was completed by chief executive Nick Oates.

    A month later, the company said it had moved into a new office at Arnhall Business Park in Westhill, near Aberdeen.

    Quanta Fabricom, which also has offices in Newcastle, has more than 140 onshore and offshore employees.

    It is forecasting the headcount in Westhill will rise to about 30.

    The company provides engineering, procurement and construction services to the oil and gas industry.

    New technical director, Mr Kelly joins Quanta Fabricom from petrochemicals giant Ineos, where he led a team on the Clipper South Field.

    Mr Marsh, who joins as finance director, has 25 years experience.

    Nick Oates, chief executive of Quanta Fabricom, said: “We are delighted to welcome Paul and Mark to the team, both bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience that will support the senior management team as we move forward and grow the business.

    “Through delivering agile, innovative and integrated solutions, Quanta Fabricom continues to be recognised as premier energy industry partner.”

  12. Scottish renewables jobs down despite £6bn turnover

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    Turnover for the Scottish renewable energy sector almost totalled £6 billion in 2017, according to figures published by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

    But the new ONS data also shows a significant drop off in jobs, despite multi-billion sales.

    While total turnover in Scotland has grown exponentially each year – hitting £5.9bn in 2017 – employment has dropped by 2,500.

    Job numbers in sector peaked at 23,900 in 2016 but dropped to 21,400 in 2017.

    Scotland’s total renewable energy business saw a strong showing from offshore wind and biofuels in 2017.

    Turnover was greater in Scotland than any other area of the UK.

    The ONS attributed this growth to the growth in onshore wind north of the border, with most of the large scale projects taking place in Scotland.

    At present, UK Government policy has hampered the construction of major onshore windfams in England.

    Renewable energy trade bodies hit out at UK Government policy last year, as new data suggested that onshore windfarm numbers were set to plummet even further.

    Compared to data provided between 2012-2017, in which nearly 4,000 onshore units were built, the next four years will only see 1,080 wind turbine foundations constructed in the UK.

    The alarming drop off in onshore wind foundations – and therefore new wind farms – is likely to be less severe in Scotland, however, trade body Scottish Renewables described it as a result of the UK Government’s decision to “lock onshore wind out of the energy market”.

    However, the ONS data showed the energy efficiency sub-sector accounted for the lionshare of turnover (£20.7bn) and employment (142,000) in the UK in 2017.

  13. Oil States wins £80k Scot Gov funding

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    Aberdeen headquartered oil and gas service firm Oil States has announced the award of £80,000 from the Scottish Government.

    The cash injection will help with the development of well plug and abandonment (P&A) technologies.

    The funding, which has been granted as part of the Scottish Government’s Decommissioning Challenge Fund (DCF), will be used to develop innovations that will improve time efficiencies and introduce cost savings to the industry.

    Matt Smith of Oil States said: “Well P&A remains one of the highest cost operations when decommissioning offshore wells in the UKCS, and globally.

    “It is an area of the industry that requires new technology to help achieve the targeted 35% reduction in decommissioning costs.

    “The technology that Oil States will develop with this funding will not only enhance our decommissioning portfolio, but it will go a long way in making changes to bring down costs across the industry as a whole.”

    Oil States confirmed it will design, manufacture, assemble and test the new P&A tools in-house.

    It plans to invest in training for its workforce to run and maintain the new equipment offshore.

  14. Lerwick port encouraged by west of Shetland interest

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    Cruise ships, fishing boats and ferries helped boost activity levels at Shetland’s main harbour last year, according to figures released by Lerwick Port Authority (LPA) yesterday.

    The statistics showed that, compared to 2017, the number of vessel arrivals rose 6.7% to 5,226 and the gross tonnage of visiting shipping increased 10% to a total of 12.8 million gross tonnes.

    Passenger numbers leapt 26.4% to 225,479 over the same period.

    LPA said the rise in vessel visits last year was mainly due to more liners arriving, increased fishing activity and the addition of a third freight ferry for peak periods by operator Serco NorthLink.

    During a record-breaking cruise liner season, the number of seaborne tourists arriving in Lerwick soared 78% year-on-year to 90,336.

    Total ferry passenger numbers were up by 5.9% at 135,143.

    There were also record white-fish landings at the port in 2018, with a 9.4% increase on the year before to 250,246 boxes, which sold at an average price of £2,009 per tonne.

    LPA said that more herring was landed last summer than in 2017, with prices “comparable.”

    Reflecting continuing lower levels in offshore industry activity, the amount of cargo handled at Lerwick was down 10% last year, compared with 2017, at 832,618 tonnes.

    Port authority chief executive Calum Grains said: “While we anticipate another quiet year for offshore industry activity, growing sector interest in west of Shetland and preparations for the arrival in 2020 of the Ninian Northern platform topsides for decommissioning at Dales Voe are encouraging.

    “So too are positive trends seen last year, with a healthy outlook for fishing and an another record cruise season, with 113 vessels booked, up over 20% on 2018 and expected to bring 91,000-plus passengers.”

    LPA said Lerwick continued to be a popular destination for UK and foreign yacht crews during 2018, with the 541 arrivals marking a 2% increase on the previous year.

  15. Shell ‘leading the way’ on climate change

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    Oil super major Shell is “ahead of the curve” on facing up to climate change responsibilities, its boss said yesterday.

    Green investor groups have been putting increasing pressure on oil companies to clean up their acts in recent times.

    In December, Shell revealed plans to link pay for its top brass to the achievement of emissions targets.

    Shell said it would start setting targets for shorter periods in an effort to cut the net carbon footprint of its energy products by around half by 2050, and 20% by 2035.

    Today, Shell chief executive Ben van Beurden said the company was “leading the industry” when it comes to taking action on the energy transition.

    He said: “We are ahead of the curve when it comes to our role as a responsible company in the Paris Agreement context.”

    Mark van Baal of Follow This, a Netherlands-based shareholder group, said recent investments showed Shell was putting its money where its mouth is.

    The company invested more than £600 million it its New Energies renewables division last year.

    Mr van Ball said: “With these investments Ben van Beurden shows that Shell means business with the energy transition.”

    Follow This describes itself as a “group of responsible shareholders in oil and gas companies”, including Shell, BP, ExxonMobil, Chevron, and Equinor.

    It organises shareholder support for oil and gas companies to commit to the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees C.

    Commenting on Shell’s strong financial performance, Mr van Baal added: “Shell is now in an excellent position to materialize its leadership in the energy transition.

    “The company can invest the high earnings from fossil fuels in new business models.”

    On the subject of Brexit, Mr van Beurden said Shell would be prepared for “every eventuality”.

    He hopes a “no-deal” scenario can be avoided, but is confident Shell’s portfolio will not be materially affected, whatever the outcome.



  16. Npower could cut ‘up to 900’ jobs

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    Energy giant npower is aiming to cut up to 900 jobs under a programme to reduce its operating costs in response to the “extremely tough” UK retail energy market.

    The German-owned firm, which employs 6,300 workers in the UK, said actual redundancies will be “considerably lower” because of the number of employees who leave every year.

    Chief executive Paul Coffey said the retail energy market was “incredibly tough”.

    He added: “Ofgem itself forecasts that five of the ‘Big Six’ energy companies will make a loss or less than normal profits this year due to the implementation of the price cap, and with several recent failures of new energy suppliers, it is clear that many have been pricing at levels that are not sustainable.

    “Even with these reductions, we still forecast significant losses this year, but we’re doing everything we can to minimise them whilst continuing to focus on service and value for our customers.”

    Unions will be fully consulted over the proposals, starting in early February, said npower.

  17. Industry experts unite to unlock full potential of the UKCS

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    Unlocking the full potential of the North Sea will be on the top of the agenda at Subsea Expo – the industry’s annual flagship conference and exhibition.

    The “Revitalising the UKCS” conference session will explore the opportunities and challenges around new and marginal fields so that the estimated 7.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent (bnboe) in discoveries awaiting development plans can be recovered and further activity in the basin stimulated.

    Sponsored by the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA), in collaboration with Subsea UK, the Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) and the National Subsea Research Initiative (NSRI) this session will take place on the final day of Subsea Expo(Thursday, 7th February) at the AECC in Aberdeen.

    A panel of operators, suppliers, industry experts and government officials will join together to debate the barriers and the potential solutions for recovery of the remaining resources. This will include looking at licensing and infrastructure access, along with enabling technologies.

    Neil Gordon, chief executive of Subsea UK, said: “Despite being one of the most developed basins in the world, the UKCS still has enormous potential. But we need to have frank conversations about what’s stopping development and what needs to change to bring this forward. Contrary to some perceptions, this is not just a technology issue. With a change in mind-set, we can collaboratively overcome both the commercial and economic barriers to unlock this potential and deliver value for the industry, its shareholders and stakeholders, including the Treasury, in line with the industry’s vision for 2035 and MER UK.”

    Tony Laing of NSRI will chair a panel looking at the enabling technologies, and Mr Gordon will head up the debate around the commercial and economic challenges associated with marginal field developments.

    The OGA’s head of technology, Carlo Procaccini will lead a discussion on the opportunities which exist for further development of the UKCS. He said: “Building on the industry’s hard work to improve operational and project performance over the recent years, and today’s more positive market outlook, we should accelerate new field planning and delivery to fully leverage the existing infrastructure.”

    The session will also welcome Professor Alex Kemp from the University of Aberdeen, who will explore the potential long-term activity in the UKCS, and representatives from the OGTC, who will discuss how the adoption of new technology is vital to accessing these reserves.

    Hamish Westwater, projects group manager at Apache, will also share the successes and lessons learned from the Garten field development, which achieved first oil in less than a year and well ahead of the original plan. As the 2,500th exploration well on the UK Continental Shelf, the development is an exemplary case study on exploiting the existing potential of the UKCS.

    The OGA predicts that there are 10 to 20+ bnboe in recoverable resources remaining in the UKCS, of which, 5.4 bnboe are either developed or sanctioned reserves, and a further 7.5 bnboe are in discoveries awaiting development plans. It is estimated that additional 4 bnboe are in prospects and leads yet to be discovered and up to 11bnboe in plays.

    Subsea Expo will take place from 5-7th February 2019 at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre. This year’s event will have the theme ‘Innovating the Future’ and will stimulate high-level discussions on technological and commercial innovation, including digitalisation, required to accelerate delivery of sustainable energy and operation efficiency.

  18. ICR Integrity appoints operations and finance chiefs

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    Aberdeen-based oil and gas services group ICR Integrity has announced the appointment of a new operations chief, alongside a new finance lead.

    Richard Wilson joins ICR in a new role, as chief operating officer (COO), while Alan McQuade comes onboard as chief financial officer (CFO), replacing Mark Ritchie.

    Mr Wilson spent more than 12 years with Sparrows Offshore, latterly as a director of operations.

    Mr McQuade also boasts 12 years’ experience as a chartered accountant and previously worked in two of Acteon Group’s operating companies.

    ICR chief executive Bill Bayliss said: “We are pleased to welcome Richard and Alan to our 200-strong team, where they will support ICR’s growth.

    “Our expert track record in offering integrated solutions has allowed us to expand in key regions including Australia, the US and the Middle East, whilst we continue to undertake exciting R&D work in integrity monitoring and repairs.

    “The experience and knowledge of both complement our strategic aims and will be a fantastic addition to the company.”

    ICR specialises in integrity, corrosion, maintenance and repair solutions in the energy sector.

    The firm has also recently benefited from a foray into work on nuclear submarines.