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Apache hails strong North Sea showing despite net losses hitting £185m

Apache today said it had managed a 100% drilling success rate in the North Sea while adding production from three development wells in the region during the second quarter. The Houston-headquartered firm, which also has operations in Canada, Egypt and the US, said the trio had achieved a 30-day average rate of more than 6,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) a daily. Drilling has also started on the Storr play in the Beryl area, the company said in its second quarter results announcement, which revealed net losses of $244million (£185million).

Other News

Value of money transfers from migrants workers in Russia down 26% last year – report

The value of currency transfers from migrants workers in Russia to neighbouring countries dropped by a quarter last year as western sanctions and the crude price rout hit the country’s economy, a new report said. The Caucasus, Central Asia and Eastern Europe supply the majority of migrant labour to Russia, and many workers from these regions transfer part of their wages to their families back home. To varying degrees, these funds are important for the economies of the states where the money ends up.


Canadian Natural Resources cuts £250m from first half costs

Canadian Natural Resources (CNR) today said it had cut its costs by about CAN $430million (£250million) in the first half of 2016 thanks to a “commitment to effective and efficient operations”. The savings helped the Calgary-headquartered firm narrow its net losses to £260million from £380million during the same period a year earlier. CNR's North Sea assets include the Ninian, Banff, Murchison and Tiffany fields.

Oil & Gas

Dong Energy overcomes oil and gas woes to post 70% profit rise

First half profits went up at Dong Energy (CPH: DENERG) as the Danish group’s thriving offshore wind business offset a drop in revenues from oil and gas. Dong Energy’s income from oil and gas fell by £20million to £280million, a slump which would have been worse had production not started up from the Laggan-Tormore gas project west of Shetland in February. Group revenues fell 7% to £3.95billion, though pre-tax profits shot up to £990million from £570million.


Tlou edges closer to Botswana start up after environmental statement approved

Tlou Energy said today it had taken a major step toward starting up its coal bed methane project in Botswana after the country’s government approved its environmental appraisal. Tlou, an Australian-headquartered firm which was founded in 2009, said the environmental statement covering the Lesedi project will next be put through a final review process, with a decision expected before the end of 2016. In June the AIM-listed company confirmed positive gas flow from its operations in the Botswana.


Aggreko shares in double-digit slide as demand for generators tails off

Aggreko shares fell 12% this morning after the temporary power supplier reported a £30million drop in its first half profits amid a “difficult trading environment”. Aggreko, which has a manufacturing facility in Dumbarton, also stuck to its earlier guidance that profits for the full year would be slightly lower than in 2015. The company, which has provided rental power for major sporting such as the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, also said it had made 700 employees redundant worldwide as part of plans to achieve savings of £80million.

Other News

Watchdog Ofgem to bring in price cap on pre-paid meters

Ofgem is to press ahead with proposals to introduce a price cap on pre-payment meters, the energy industry regulator has announced. The watchdog’s response follows a report published by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) in June - which set out ways in which the market could be improved for customers. On Wednesday, Ofgem said it would work closely with suppliers to help “disengaged customers” who remain on expensive tariffs.


Aberdeen harbour hires first operations manager

Aberdeen Harbour Board (AHB) today said it had filled the newly created role of operations manager at the port. Following his appointment, John McGuigan, who has worked in the port industry for more than 30 years, will direct all “land based operational activities”, working closely with customers and safety authorities. Mr McGuigan started his career with British Steel and has since worked for Clydeport, Peel Ports and was previously the E.ON UK terminal manager in Liverpool.

Other News

Northcote inks oilfield waste treatment agreement with Pemex

A subsidiary of Northcote Energy has signed a preliminary agreement with Pemex to carry out waste treatment services for the Mexican-state owned oil company. Mayan Drilling Fluids (MDF) will use its soon-to-be commissioned treatment facility in Comalcalco, Mexico, to recycle oil cuttings from fields operated by Pemex, if a binding agreement is reached. MDF is a joint venture between Northcote, which holds 51% of the enterprise, and its Mexican partner Gaia Ecologica.

Oil & Gas

Drilling contractor Rowan puts rivals in the shade with revenue boost

Contract terminations helped US drilling contract Rowan Companies (NYSE: RDC) increase its revenues by a fifth in the second quarter of 2016. The Houston-headquartered firm banked $120million (£90million) during the three months as part of an agreement allowing one of its customers, Freeport, to cancel the contract for the Rowan Relentless drillship early. The company also said its Rowan Reliance drillship experienced lower levels of downtime over the three months.

Other News

Ratcliffe’s Ineos buys North American chemicals business

A subsidiary of chemicals giant Ineos has snapped up North America’s top producer of sulphur dioxide and other chemicals used for treating wastewater for an undisclosed fee. Ineos Enterprises, part of the Swiss-based company owned by billionaire industrialist Jim Ratcliffe, bought Calabrian Corporation from New York private-equity firm SK Capital Partners late last month. SK recapitalised Calabrian in 2011 alongside the Cogliandro family, which founded the company.

Energy Transition

Scottish university spin-out targets renewables market following six-figure investment

A Scottish university spin-out which makes sensors for detecting faults on electricity grids has scooped investments totalling £370,000. Synaptec plans to use the money to hire more staff members and break into the renewable energy and subsea markets. The batch of funding came from business angel syndicate Equity Gap, the Scottish Investment Bank, Scottish Enterprise, and Strathclyde University, where the company originated.

Energy Transition

Updated: Scottish tourism employment figures not affected by wind farms – report

The spread of onshore wind farms in Scotland has not affected the number of people working in the tourism industry, either for better or worse, according to new research. Biggar Economics said its report did show that some areas which enjoyed the greatest rise in tourism employment also saw the biggest increase in turbine numbers, but could not prove a direct relationship between the two trends. The Midlothian-based economics consultancy drew its conclusions from its study of 18 Scottish sites between 2009 and 2013.

Oil & Gas

Europa granted extensions on two licences off Ireland

Europa Oil and Gas (LON: EOG) will carry out further analysis of two blocks off the coast of Ireland after being granted year-long extensions on the licences. The AIM-listed exploration and production company said it hoped that uncovering additional resources would help it find a drilling partner. It plans to carry out extra mapping of potential plays contained within its 100%-owned assets in the South Porcupine Basin, about 120 miles off the south-west tip of Ireland.

Oil & Gas

OGA awards contracts worth £6m for new studies

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) has handed out four contracts worth more than £6million in total for studies intended to aid exploration, production and decommissioning on the UK continental shelf (UKCS). Technical services organisation Lloyd’s Register, which secured two of the four deals, will supply the regulator with exploration maps and field support engineering. British Geological Survey will provide geoscience project services and data to help uncover and measure the scale of new resources.

Oil & Gas

New IOG chairman bullish on prospects for North Sea

The new chairman of Independent Oil and Gas (IOG) has said the company’s bold North Sea plans and UK energy sector’s response to the downturn had convinced him to take on the role. David Peattie, who is expected to help support IOG’s mergers and acquisitions strategy, said there were “all sorts of opportunities” in the UK North Sea. “There has been a positive response from the supply chain in terms of reduced costs, risk sharing and flexibility,” said Mr Peattie, who spent more than 30 years of his career at BP.

Health, Safety & Environment

Union boss casts doubt on sustainability of North Sea maintenance backlog reductions

Job losses and low morale could derail efforts to bring the UK offshore sector's safety-critical maintenance backlog under control, a trade unionist said yesterday. RMT regional organiser Jake Molloy was commenting on a report showing the amount of maintenance work overdue for completion on oil and gas infrastructure was shrinking. Oil and Gas UK’s health and safety report said year-on-year reductions were being reported across the backlog of planned, corrective and deferred work.


Oil prices drop amid fresh supply glut fears

Oil prices slumped today after a survey was published indicating OPEC production hit record highs last month while the US rig count also soared. OPEC’s output for July likely rose after Iraq and Nigeria pumped out greater volumes in July despite attacks on installations from militants, the Reuters survey said. Meanwhile, 44 new oil drilling rigs came online in the US in July, the biggest monthly increase in two years, heightening fears of another oil glut.

Oil & Gas

Drilling contractor Diamond Offshore to scrap 2 rigs as revenues plummet

US drilling contractor Diamond Offshore said today it would scrap two of its rigs after recording a 38% drop in revenues in the second quarter of 2016. The Houston-based firm said Ocean Quest and Ocean Star would be retired, while two others would be cold stacked to keep costs down. Diamond made the decision at a time when offshore drilling is in the doldrums due to high costs and low crude prices.

Energy Transition

Ecosse Subsea Systems doubles workload on Baltic wind farm project

Ecosse Subsea Systems (ESS) has doubled its workload on a Baltic Sea wind farm project, the Banchory-based engineering firm said today. Italian company Prysmian Group last year subcontracted ESS to carry out pre-cut seabed trenching for Wikinger, a planned 70-turbune wind farm off Germany. ESS has now agreed to take on the route clearance and seabed preparation work on the Wikinger development, which has been led by Spain’s Iberdrola since 2010.

Health, Safety & Environment

UKCS gas leaks up in 2015 as detection technology improves – OGUK report

Better technology could be behind an increase in the number of oil and gas leaks reported on the UK continental shelf (UKCS) in 2015, according to new research. In its latest annual health and safety report, Oil and Gas UK (OGUK) said the number of offshore hydrocarbon releases went up by 9% last year. But the industry body said the rise was largely made up of minor incidents, as the frequency of major leaks was flat.

Other News

Ex-oil worker aims to make fledgling car and motorbike business leader of the pack

A north-east mechanical engineer is fine-tuning his passion for building and repairing cars and motorbikes, including Harley Davidsons, after losing his job in oil and gas. Petrol head Adam Grozier suffered the same fate as thousands of other people in the region in March when he was laid off by a US oil service firm. After a career in the sector spanning 25 years, most of which was spent working in Russia, Mr Grozier decided the time was ripe to set up his own company.

Oil & Gas

ExxonMobil profits nosedive 59% due to “volatile industry environment”

US energy giant ExxonMobil yesterday revealed a 59% drop in second quarter earnings, blaming low crude prices and weak returns from refining. ExxonMobil, which has an interest in about 40 producing North Sea oil and gas fields, said its global upstream earnings slumped 82% year-on-year to $294million (£223million) during the three months. Downstream earnings came to £625million, down £516million from the second quarter of 2015.