A taskforce formed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to deal with job losses in the North Sea will meet every month, it was announced yesterday. Industry and public sector leaders met with taskforce chairwoman Lena Wilson in a secret meeting at Aberdeen’s Ardoe House hotel yesterday to discuss job cuts which could affect thousands of North Sea workers. The location of the meeting was kept quiet in an effort to ensure the proceedings remained private. The Scottish Government has not revealed who the members of the task force panel are, although a list of companies including BP, Aker, Petrofac and Wood Group are said to have provided representatives.
Oil major BP has reduced its workforce in Azerbaijan by 8% following the global drop in crude prices. The company said around 225 jobs would go as it looks to streamline its business in the “challenging market environment”. Last year the company announced it would be making cuts of $1billion to its operational costs.
Financial results from a fourth quarter that saw the collapse of the crude market will provide a window into how the world’s biggest oil companies are adjusting to a new reality of slowing growth and low prices. Oil that topped $115 a barrel as recently as June has been trading below $50 a barrel since the first week of the year, portending a bleak 2015 for the world’s five so-called supermajors -- Exxon Mobil Corp., Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Chevron Corp., Total SA and BP Plc. The companies, whose businesses combine oil and natural gas exploration with refining and chemical manufacturing, have historically been among the most resilient players during down cycles. This could be the oil bust that breaks that pattern.
Oil giant BP is expected to reveal a plunge in full-year profits due to the collapse in oil prices, analysts have warned. BP, which is due to unveil its fourth quarter and full year results on 3 February, could see annual earnings slashed by 60% to £6.2billion on 2013, says BMO Capital.
BP is freezing base pay across the group this year, the latest in a series of steps by oil majors to cut costs in response to sinking oil prices. Many have accelerated cuts in capital and operating expenditures, including freezing some projects, as crude prices more than halved since June to below $50 per barrel. Salaries in the oil sector are a major part of operating expenses.
Oil major BP said it intends to sell its oil storage terminal in the Netherlands following a strategic review of its assets. The company will sell the 950,000 cubic metre capacity oil storage terminal in Amsterdam which it has owned since 1997. The terminals acts as an international trading hub for supplying fuels to and from Europe as well as supplying diesel and gasoline to local and regional petrol stations.
Last week’s ruling that BP Plc (BP/)’s Macondo well dumped less oil into the Gulf of Mexico than the US government claimed may trigger a settlement before a decision on the amount it must pay after a trial set to begin this week. A federal judge determined on January 15 that the penalty will be based on the size of the spill being 3.19 million barrels, about 25% less than estimated by the government. That ruling, which was followed by a 5.3% jump in BP shares, reduced the potential maximum pollution fines for the 2010 spill to $13.7 billion from $18 billion and increased the incentives for a settlement.
More than 150 investors including local authorities and the Church of England have filed a resolution calling on oil giant BP to assess and manage climate change risks. The shareholders, which include multibillion-pound pension funds, investors and insurers, have already filed an identical resolution to Shell. They are calling on the oil companies to transparently “stress-test” their business model against the commitment made by governments not to let global temperatures rise more than 2C above pre-industrial levels - the threshold above which “dangerous” climate change is expected.
BP shares were sharply higher today after a judge in the United States ruled that the Gulf of Mexico oil spill was smaller than government estimates. District judge Carl Barbier said that 3.19 million barrels were discharged into the Gulf after the rig explosion at BP’s Macondo well, more than the 2.4 million-barrel figure BP had argued for but less than the US government’s estimate of about 4.2 million. The latter figure could have meant $18 billion (£12 billion) in maximum penalties under the Clean Water Act.
The energy jobs taskforce will implement a “co-ordinated” response to help workers about to lose their jobs at BP and other companies, according to the first minister. Nicola Sturgeon said the taskforce, which she announced on Wednesday’s visit to Aberdeen, will decide how to address specific circumstances and will liaise with companies and individual employees to see what practical advice and help is needed.
BP Plc (BP/) faces a maximum fine of $13.7 billion after a US judge ruled that the company dumped 3.19 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. US District Judge Carl Barbier today rejected the US government’s 4.2 million barrel estimate of the spill size, decreasing the potential maximum fine from $18 billion. Barbier, who conducted a trial without a jury over who was at fault for the disaster, previously found BP’s exploration unit acted with gross negligence in causing the largest offshore oil spill in US history.
Oil major BP will cut 300 jobs, the company has announced. The move comes after the oil major launched a blitz on costs in November influenced by rising costs and "toughening market conditions". BP said the cuts would consist of 200 full-time employees and 100 contractors.
BP workers will tomorrow find out if cuts are to affect their jobs. The energy giant is soon expected to share findings of an exercise aimed at saving money.
Intelligence services had information of terrorist threats to workers in Algeria just weeks before seven Britons were killed at a gas plant. An inquest heard details that the government failed to pass information onto BP about reports of terrorists seeking to kidnap foreigners. The Britons were among 40 staff killed when Islamist terrorists stormed the Amenas facility, which is jointly owned by BP, Statoil and Algerian state company, Sonatrach in January 2013.
Oil major BP has received consent from the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) to use the Valhall DP and PCP facilities beyond their lifetime. BP wishes to use the DP facility as a wellhead platform until the wells are decommissioned, plugged and closed down.
Oil major BP could face a sizable fourth quarter loss on its Rosneft share caused by the 47% slide in the ruble over the past three months. According to reports, city analysts have had forecast losses to be as much as $750million. BP currently has a 19.75% shareholding in the Russian energy company which it acquired in 2013.
Oil major BP said production has started from the Kinnoull field in the North Sea. The Kinnoull reservoir, which was developed as part of a wider rejuvenation of the Andrew field area, is tied back to BP’s Andrew platform 230km east of Aberdeen. The development of the field is expected to allow production from the field to be extended by a further 10 years.
Shares in oil giant BP have increased by 0.5% on the back of reports its set to close a deal with Rosneft to develop fields in eastern Siberia. The potential agreement has been reported by Moscow-based newspaper Kommersant, which says that Rosneft has signed a "strategic partnership" with BP to explore oil fields.
BP has claimed any gulf spill compensation payments by it should be less to reflect the oil price plunge. The oil giant is currently in a legal wrangle over what civil penalties it should make following the Deepwater Horizon rig disaster in 2010. The company said in legal filings before the final round of the case next month that penalties – which could beup to $18billion – would have a “very significant economic impact” on BP and its exploration and production business. BP claims any future ruling should take into account the fall in the oil price, the company’s clean-up efforts and the environmental improvement in the Gulf of Mexico.
Freedom of information campaigners are claiming victory in their bid to force the Tate to say how much money it has received in sponsorship from oil giant BP. The funding has attracted controversy since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010, when 11 workers were killed and four million barrels of oil were spilled into the Gulf of Mexico. Protesters have picketed events at a central London gallery and 8,000 people signed a petition demanding an end to the deal.
The former head of BP’s Aberdeen-based North Sea operation warned yesterday the UK oil and gas industry is facing an early death unless there is swift political action to prevent it. Dave Blackwood, who retired from BP in 2009 and is currently a non-executive director with Granite-based energy service firm Expro Group, was speaking as reports in Saudi Arabia said the kingdom was prepared to increase its oil output and claim a bigger global market share, potentially putting further pressure on the UK industry after the oil price slump of recent months. Adding his voice to widespread calls for swift tax cuts for North Sea operators, Mr Blackwood said: “Nothing less than radical change will prevent the premature demise of the basin, let alone maximise economic recovery.”
BP and SOCAR (The State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan) have signed a new production sharing agreement to explore shallow water prospects in the Absheron Peninsula. The agreement is part of the government’s plan to ensure that all of Azerbaijan’s offshore areas are fully explored. A deal was signed by Rovnag Abdullayev, president of SOCAR, on behalf of the government of the Republic of Azerbaijan, and Gordon Birrell, BP’s regional president for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. Mr Birrell said: “BP is proud to embark on this new era of exploration in the Caspian together with SOCAR.
BP has selected Jacobs Engineering to hold its role as strategic supplier of mid-cap work on a global basis. The contract value has not been disclosed, but it replaces a similar contract that has been in place since 2002.
BP has been denied a request by Norway’s oil safety watchdog to extend the lifetime of the QP platform at the Valhall field. The platform provides living quarters for workers however safety concerns have been raised by the PSA.
BLOBA Glasgow aluminium company owned by the former owner of Rangers Football Club said its systems had been successfully installed an accommodation module to be used on successfully installed on the BP Clair Ridge project. Bellshill-based Alphastrut, owned by Sir David Murray’s private investment firm, said its decking has saved BP around 54 tonnes in weight following the completion the seven figure installation deal.