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Australia

Oil & Gas

Woodside boss plays waiting game in Oil Search bid

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Peter Coleman sees more time, not money, as the key to securing a takeover of Oil Search Ltd. “You don’t always have to sweeten deals,” Coleman said in an interview with Bloomberg TV’s Angie Lau on Monday. “What happens is that over time, expectations come together. You’re starting to see some M&A activity in Australia post the approach we made to Oil Search and you can see that peoples’ view of the world is starting to get a little closer.”

Oil & Gas

Beach Energy to takeover Drillsearch creating a $842million company

Beach Energy has agreed to buy Drillsearch creating an $842.7million energy company in Australia. The move comes amid a decline in oil prices and will create what could be the region’s biggest onshore oil producer and natural-gas supplier. Drillsearch has been valued at about $384million in the deal which its chairman says will help provide growth in the challenging market.

Oil & Gas

Halliburton’s Baker deal faces Australian regulatory hurdle

Halliburton Co.’s proposed purchase of Baker Hughes Inc. faces further regulatory scrutiny after Australia’s competition watchdog raised concerns that the $34.6 billion deal would shrink the number of suppliers for oilfield goods and services, particularly for offshore drilling. The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission delayed its decision until Dec. 17 and asked for further comments from market participants, according to a statement from the regulator on Friday. The businesses have significant competitive advantages in providing services as they benefit from extensive product ranges, economies of scale and scope as well as industry experience, the ACCC said. Halliburton and Baker Hughes last month flagged the sale of additional business units in an effort to satisfy antitrust concerns over the takeover. The world’s second- and third- largest oilfield service companies have been seeking to complete the deal by either Dec. 15, or 30 days after both certify compliance with US Justice Department requests, whichever is later.

Oil & Gas

Shell, BG competition decision delayed in Australia

A decision on Shell's takeover of BG Group by Australia's competition watchdog has been postponed until the middle of November. The move follows an earlier deferral last month by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). It said last month that market participants had expressed concerns the takeover may harm gas supply competition in eastern Australia.

Oil & Gas

Santos ship first cargo from Gladstone LNG project

Santos said the first cargo from the Gladstone liquefied natural gas project left today as Australia looks to overtake Qatar as the world’s top LNG exporter. The launch was good news for Santos which has been racing to sell assets in a bid to reduce its $8.8billion of debt.

People

AWE Limited chief exec to step down next year

AWE Limited’s chief executive will step down next year after more than five years in the top job with the company. The firm said a new search has already begun to find Bruce Clement’s successor to the role. Chairman of the firm Bruce Phillips paid tribute to Clement for his leadership in “reshaping” the company into a more “diversified oil and gas producer”.

Other News

Metgasco strikes deal with Terrex for seismic work

Metgasco has signed a contract with Terrex to acquire new seismic in its Northern Rivers petroleum exploration licence in Australia. The program is expected to take about four days to complete and has already been given the approval of the New South Wales government. The purpose of the seismic program is to provide more definition of the northern extent of the Greater Mackellar conventional / tight gas exploration prospect.

Other News

New Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull says government remains strong

Malcolm Turnbull assured Australia that its government remained strong despite an internal party revolt that made him the nation’s fourth leader in little more than two years. The former communications minister was sworn in as Australia’s 29th prime minister after a surprise ballot of his conservative Liberal Party colleagues voted 54-44 on Monday night to replace prime minister Tony Abbott only two years after he was elected. Mr Turnbull’s elevation has cemented a culture of disposable leaders as the new norm in Australian politics since the 11-year tenure of John Howard ended in 2007. “There’s been a change of prime minister, but we are a very, very strong government, a very strong country with a great potential and we will realise that potential working very hard together,” he said as he left his Canberra home this morning.

Other News

Australian PM faces leadership bid

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott is facing a challenge to his leadership after a communications minister launched a bid for the top office. Former tech entrepreneur Malcolm Turnbull said he would be seeking the leadership of the Liberal Party after being urged “by many people” to run after criticism of the current Prime Minister’s performance.

Health, Safety & Environment

Oil company pleads guilty to breaching safe workplace duties after death of workers

An oil company has pleaded guilty to breaching its duty to provide a safe workplace after the death of two workers on a rig. Stena Drilling Australia is expected to be sentenced next month after entering the plea at a Magistrates Court in Victoria. It followed the deaths of floorman Peter Meddens and toolpusher Barry Denholm who had been working on the Stena Clyde mobile offshore drilling unit.

Markets

Santos first-half profit declines 82% amid oil price collapse

Santos Ltd., Australia’s third-largest oil and gas producer, posted an 82 percent slump in first-half profit after a fall in oil prices. Net income fell to A$37 million ($27 million) in the six months ending in June, from A$206 million a year earlier, the Adelaide-based company said Friday in a statement. That compared with an estimate of A$41 million from Macquarie Group Ltd.

Oil & Gas

Santos chief exec Knox to step down as oil price slump prompts review

Santos Ltd. Chief Executive Officer David Knox will step down after seven years in the role as the Australian oil producer reviews its options amid a plunge in crude prices, the company said Friday. Knox will depart once a successor has been named, the Adelaide-based company said in a statement after reporting an 82 percent drop in first-half profit. The slide in oil prices has put pressure on Santos as the company prepares to start its $18.5 billion liquefied natural gas project in Queensland state. The Australian energy producer has cut spending and jobs while flagging the possibility of asset sales as it copes with the oil market downturn. Santos shares have fallen 62 percent in the last year.