Oil & Gas

Norway baffles analysts by giving away 15 million barrels of oil

No one can accuse the Norwegian government of being greedy when it last week decided on the ownership stakes in the giant Johan Sverdrup oil discovery. After months of deliberation, the Petroleum and Energy Ministry’s decision meant it took away as much as 15 million barrels of oil from Petoro AS, the state-owned oil company. The other loser was Det Norske Oljeselskap ASA, which forced the government to arbiter after disagreeing with the field’s other partners. They include Statoil ASA, Lundin Petroleum AB and A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S. The move to cut Det Norske’s stake, and in the process its own, was surprising since it could have approved the initial deal, said Kjetil Bakken, an analyst at Carnegie ASA. “That’s a bit odd,” he said in an interview Friday. “You could wonder if there’s an element of retribution here, or at least a very strong signal to the entire industry to please refrain from bringing this sort of dispute to the ministry.”

Oil & Gas

Norway cuts Det norske’s stake in Sverdrup field in North Sea

The Norwegian government has modified an original proposal on how to divide up stakes in the Johan Sverdrup field in the North Sea, giving Det norske a smaller stake than originally proposed, it said on Thursday. Sverdrup, Europe's costliest offshore energy project, contains up to 3 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) and could operate for 50 years. It is forecast to start production by the end of 2019. Four out of five shareholders, including operator Statoil, agreed in February on how to divide up the project, but Det norske disputed the agreement, asking for a government review.

Oil & Gas

Norway oil rig unions in last-chance talks to avoid strike

Norwegian oil-rig unions and employers started government-backed mediation on Wednesday in a final bid to avoid a strike that could shut down two North Sea oil fields. Talks started at 10 a.m. Oslo time, said Benedikte Naess, spokeswoman for the Norwegian Shipowners’ Association, which is representing employers. If the parties fail to reach a deal by midnight, 189 workers will go on strike on two Teekay Corp.- owned production ships on the Knarr and Varg fields starting Thursday, the SAFE union has said. Those fields represent less than 2 percent of Norway’s total oil and gas production.

Oil & Gas

Wintershall to sell package of offshore Norway assets for $602 mln

UK-based Sequa Petroleum has reached agreement to buy a portfolio of Norwegian offshore field interests for $602 million from Wintershall, the oil and gas subsidiary of BASF, the companies said on Thursday. Sequa said the transaction will be conducted by Oslo-based Tellus Petroleum Invest A/S, which it is also buying in a concurrent deal for $4 million plus 6 million shares in Sequa. The agreement with Wintershall will give Tellus interests in five fields - 20 percent of Knarr, 15 percent of Maria, 10 percent of Yme, 6.5 percent of Ivar Aasen and 4.5 percent of Veslefrikk.

Oil & Gas

Norway cuts rate to record low as oil slump rears recession risk

Norges Bank cut interest rates for a second time since oil prices collapsed to avoid a recession in western Europe’s biggest crude producer. The overnight deposit rate was cut by 25 basis points to a record low 1 percent, the Oslo-based central bank said. The decision was forecast by 16 of 17 economists surveyed by Bloomberg, while one saw no change. The bank signaled it may cut rates further.

Oil & Gas

National Oilwell Varco to cut 1,500 Norwegian jobs

National Oilwell Varco, the largest U.S. oilfield equipment maker, said it will cut its Norwegian workforce by 1,500 by the end of this year as low oil prices have reduced investments. It plans to cut 900 permanent jobs and 600 contractors, the firm said in a statement on Wednesday.

Health, Safety & Environment

Statoil to make safety improvements after audit

An audit by the PSA (Petroleum Safety Authority) Norway has criticised Statoil over an alleged failure to monitor the condition of safety-critical blowout preventer equipment on a pair of North Sea platforms. Between October 2014 and January 2015 the PSA conducted the audits at Oseberg B and Gullfaks C. The authority said the findings were applied primarily to the BOP (Blowout Preventer) system which had been chosen as a particular object of verification during the audit.

Oil & Gas

Statoil signs joint venture contract for Johan Sverdrup topside

Statoil has signed a joint venture contract with Kvaerener and KBR worth NOK 6.7billion on behalf of the Johan Sverdrup partnership. The contract includes engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the topside for the Johan Sverdrup utility and living quarter platform. The utility and living quarter platfrom consists of two modules, one utility module and one accommodation module. Fabrication of the utility module will be done by subcontractors in Poland under management of Kvaerner and completed at Stord Norway.

Oil & Gas

Norway’s $900 billion fund might stop getting fresh cash

What happens to a wealthy, oil-reliant nation when crude prices collapse and unprecedented monetary easing threatens to scupper returns for its sovereign wealth fund? Yngve Slyngstad, who manages Norway's $900 billion wealth fund, has said many times in the past year that in a low-and even negative-interest rate world the fund will not be able to hit its expected 4 percent real return. The real world impact is that fiscal spending will need to be checked. The Norwegian government has a self-imposed rule capping use of the fund's money in its budget to the expected return. That has meant increased spending each year, in krone-terms, as the fund has ballooned in size. The current minority coalition said in October it will use a record 164 billion kroner ($21.8 billion) in 2015, or about 3 percent of the fund.

Oil & Gas

Wintershall makes minor oil discovery

The NPD (Norwegian Petroleum Directorate) said Wintershall has made a small gas discovery at the Kristin field. The company said the wildcat well 6406/2-8 had encountered two oil columns over a 130 metre interval in the Bat and Fangst groups. The well was drilled about 20 kilometres south of the Kristin field in the Norwegian Sea and 190 kilometres northwest of Kristiansund.

Oil & Gas

Statoil spuds Bister well

Statoil has spudded the Bister exploration well in the Norwegian Sea. The company is operator of the well in licence PL 348/C, which also contains the producing Hyme field and the 2013 Snilehorn discovery. The licence is located adjacent to the producing Njord field.

Renewables/Energy Transition

Norway power link could create 200 jobs

Plans have been tabled for a £2billion power link between Aberdeenshire and Scandinavia which could create 200 jobs. The NorthConnect scheme would carry electricity generated in Scotland and Norway to both nations to meet demand. The consortium involved wants to build an onshore converter station in the village of Boddam, south of Peterhead.

Oil & Gas

ConocoPhillips looks to sell Norwegian assets

ConocoPhillips, the third-largest US oil producer, is exploring the sale of some its North Sea assets in Norway as it seeks to divest overseas operations, two people with knowledge of the matter said. The Houston-based oil and natural gas producer may sell Norwegian assets that are operated by others including stakes in the Aasta Hansteen, Alvheim and Grane fields, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private. Conoco, which is running the disposal without advisers, has contacted potential buyers, they said. If sold together, all three stakes may fetch as much as $1 billion, one of the people said. US producers are increasingly offloading overseas assets to focus on domestic opportunities amid a sharp drop in oil prices.

Other News

Statoil may further reduce headcount

Statoil could reduce its headcount by more than 2,000 staff as it looks to make cost savings following the oil price decline. According to reports, the move would affect engineering staff – particularly workers drilling and maintaining wells – as well as administrative staff.


TGS to reduce its headcount

Norwegian company TGS will reduce its headcount by around 100 staff members as it looks to save costs. It announced it would be looking to make cost savings of around $10million as a result of the oil price decline. TGS said it expected its net revenues for the first quarter of 2015 to be around $172million, about 23% lower than revenues reported for the first quarter of 2014. A spokesman said net revenues had been lower than management’s expectation due to weaker late sales from the data library in all of its geographic regions.

Oil & Gas

Norwegian Petroleum Directorate grants drilling permit to Talisman Energy

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has granted a drilling permit to Talisman Energy Norge. The permit is for well 15/12-24 S, which will be drilled from the Maersk Giant drilling facility, just north east of the Varg field in the central part of the North Sea. The drilling programme for well 15/12-24 S relates to the drilling of a wildcat in production licence 672, where Talisman Norge AS is the operator.

Other News

Norway celebrates 50 years since its first licensing round

Norway marked 50 years this week since the first licensing rules were implemented by royal decree. The objective was to ensure the country could secure thorough exploration but also reap the financial rewards. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) has issued an image of the first continental shelf map for the country made in 1965. Director general Bente Nyland said:"The assessments made at the time were sound. They had a clear vision of how any potential resources, and management thereof, would benefit the Norwegian people.

Other News

ONS Norway event cancelled after oil price decline

ONS Norway has been cancelled. The Stavanger-based ONS Foundation blames low oil prices, low activity and great uncertainty in the industry have meant that too few exhibitors have registered for the show, which was to have been staged in August, just weeks before Offshore Europe. The foundation said that the exhibitor registration was good until early in the year before it stagnated. There have also recently been a number of cancellations by companies that are struggling. “Too few exhibitors means that we cannot create a meeting place with the famous ONS quality that exhibitors expect and deserve. We must take the consequences,” said CEO Leif Johan Sevland, a former mayor of Stavanger.

Oil & Gas

Statoil begin work on Polarled pipeline installation

Statoil has commenced laying of a pipeline which will eventually take gas from the Aasta Hansteen field in the Norwegian Sea. The Solitaire pipe-laying vessel started on the first stage of the Polarled installation project which will see the creation of a 482-kilometre long pipeline. The Norwegian company is operator during the development of the Polarled project and is responsible for laying the pipeline between Aasta Hansteen and Nyhamna.

Other News

Norway deal to boost green power

The world’s longest electricity connector is to be built between the UK and Norway to supply low-carbon power from the Scandinavian country. The 450-mile (724km) long “interconnector”, which has the capacity to supply enough electricity to power nearly three quarters of a million UK homes, will help with energy security and could cut consumer bills, officials said. It will be the first electricity interconnector between the two countries, with the £1.5 billion cost of the scheme split between the UK and Norway.