Oil And Gas News / Reports
Study: Bill C-69 no cure for Canadian investment disease

With Bill C-69, “Ottawa’s proposed cure looks likely to worsen Canada’s present disease,” according to a new study.

 


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Baker Hughes: US rig count falls 4 units to 1,047

The US drilling rig count dropped 4 units to reach 1,047 rigs working for the week ended Feb. 22. The count is up 69 units from the 978 rigs working this time a year ago, according to Baker Hughes data.


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Aramco forms combine for $10-billion Chinese refining complex

Saudi Aramco has signed a $10-billion agreement to form a joint venture with China North Industries Group Corp. (Norinco) and Panjin Sincen to develop a fully integrated, grassroots refining and petrochemical complex in Panjin, in China’s Liaoning province.


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Norwest-led group plans seismic survey over Xanadu oil discovery

Perth-based Norwest Energy Ltd., Triangle Energy Ltd., and 3C Group IC Ltd. have received regulatory approvals to proceed with the planned Xanadu 3D seismic survey in the offshore North Perth basin of Western Australia.


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ExxonMobil enters cloud technology partnership to raise production

ExxonMobil Corp. said a partnership with Microsoft to use cloud technology for the supermajor’s Permian basin operations is expected to increase net cash flow over the next decade through improved analysis and enhanced operational efficiencies.


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FERC’s new approach signals LNG project certification breakthrough

The US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission adopted a new approach for consideration of proposed LNG terminals that considers direct greenhouse gases from the facilities. It applied the approach for the first time when it considered and approved Venture Global LNG’s Calcasieu Pass LNG export project in Cameron Parish, La., it said.


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CSIS speakers expect stable oil supplies, unstable prices in 2019

Stable supplies and unstable prices will characterize global oil markets during 2019, speakers generally agreed during a Feb. 21 discussion at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “Volatile prices are still the primary energy expenditures driver. We’ve had kind of a wild ride,” observed Howard Gruenspecht, a CSIS senior nonresident energy and national security associate who formerly was the US Energy Information Administration’s deputy administrator.


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MARKET WATCH: Crude oil benchmarks decline slightly on record US oil production

Oil front-month contracts on the New York Mercantile Exchange and the Intercontinental Exchange in London settled with mild price declines Feb. 21 while product prices rallied as refiners cut crude purchases during seasonal refinery maintenance.


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NOPEC sponsors target wrong source of market mischief

Once again, misinformed US lawmakers want to authorize antitrust litigation against the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.

 


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Sheffield returns to role as PNR chief executive

Scott D. Sheffield has assumed his former role as chief executive officer of Pioneer Natural Resources Co., Dallas, succeeding Timothy L. Dove, who has retired as CEO and from his seat on the board.


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Gran Tierra acquires assets in Putumayo, Llanos basins

Gran Tierra Energy agreed with private companies to acquire assets in Colombia’s Putumayo and Llanos basins for $104.2 million.


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Neptune plans Gjoa tie-back developments

Neptune Energy and partners plan to develop in parallel Duva oil and gas field and an extension designated P1 of Gjoa oil and gas field in the Norwegian North Sea with subsea completions tied back to the Gjoa platform on PL153. Neptune Energy Norge operates both fields, where water depth is about 360 m.


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Queensland’s CSG-LNG plants unlikely to reach full capacity

The three LNG plants on Curtis Island near Gladstone in Queensland are unlikely to ever fulfill their combined nameplate capacity of 25.3 million tonnes/year, according to a new study by Adelaide-based energy analyst EnergyQuest. The problem is a shortage of coal seam gas (CSG) reserves on which they rely.


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California’s new underground injection rules go into effect Apr. 1

California’s new underground injection requirements will affect some 55,000 underground injection control (UIC) wells when they go into effect on Apr. 1, the state’s Department of Conservation (DOC) reported. It said the new rules affect wells that inject water or steam for enhanced oil recovery, along with wells that return produced water back to its source.


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EIA: US crude inventories up 3.7 million bbl

US crude oil inventories for the week ended Feb. 15, excluding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, increased by 3.7 million bbl from the previous week, data from the US Energy Information Administration showed. At 454.5 million bbl, US crude oil inventories are about 6% above the 5-year average for this time of year, the report indicated.


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Federal court upholds FERC’s approval of Mountain Valley gas line

The US Appeals Court for the District of Columbia upheld the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s approval of the proposed Mountain Valley natural gas pipeline by denying several environmental groups’ petition for review of the decision.


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ADNOC Refining lets contract for grassroots refinery at Ruwais

ADNOC Refining (formerly Takreer) has let a contract to John Wood Group to deliver preliminary front-end engineering and design for a refinery to be built in Ruwais, in the western region of Abu Dhabi. With a proposed nameplate capacity of 600,000 b/d, the new refinery will be designed to have full-conversion capability as well as the ability to be integrated with existing petrochemical infrastructure in Ruwais.


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MARKET WATCH: Crude oil prices rise on lower-than-expected API inventory

Light, sweet crude oil prices gained on the New York market Feb. 20 while the American Petroleum Institute estimated a limited increase in US crude oil supplies. The US Energy Information Administration was scheduled to release its inventory on Feb. 21.


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Netherlands becomes a net gas importer

The Netherlands became a net importer of natural gas last year for the first time since the commissioning in 1963 of giant Groningen gas field, production of which is being phased out by the government. GasTerra, which markets Groningen gas for NAM, the ExxonMobil-Shell joint venture that operates the field, reported the shift in Dutch gas trade in a financial report.


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API revises well drilling, servicing safety recommended practice

The American Petroleum Institute issued a new recommended practice that revises recommended procedures to promote and maintain safe and healthy working conditions for personnel in drilling and well servicing operations. First published in 1981, the latest version of Recommended Practice 54 applies to rotary drilling rigs, well servicing rigs, and special services as they relate to operations on location.


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Algeria’s Touat gas project on track for exports by midyear

Neptune Energy Group and Algeria’s Sonatrach have started natural gas production as part of the commissioning of the partnership’s Touat project in the Sbaa basin, 1,500 km southwest of Algiers, near Adrar. The development, which will produce about 450 MMcfd of gas at plateau, remains on track to begin gas export production by the end of this year’s first half.


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Devon to shed assets, focus on US oil

Devon Energy Corp. plans by yearend to sell or spin off its heavy oil properties in Canada and gas production in the Barnett shale to focus on US oil. The company has hired advisors for each group of assets to be separated. It will open data rooms by this year's second quarter.


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APLNG to buy Ironbark coal seam gas prospect from Origin

The Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG) combine has agreed to acquire the Ironbark coal seam gas project from Origin Energy for $231 million (Aus.). Ironbark—not to be confused with the BP PLC-led group’s conventional gas prospect of the same name offshore Western Australia—lies near Tara in the Surat basin of southeast Queensland.


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Valeura spuds Thrace basin appraisal well

Valeura Energy has spudded a second well to appraise its 2017 Yamalik-1 discovery in the Thrace basin of northwestern Turkey. The Devepinar-1 well is 20 km west of the first appraisal well, Inanli-1, which awaits testing. The Inanli-1 is 6 km northeast of Yamalik-1. Valeura said the new well tests the lateral extent of the basin-centered gas accumulation play to the western side of the basin.


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Targa divests interest in Badlands assets for $1.6 billion

Targa Resources has agreed to sell a 45% interest in Targa Badlands, the entity that holds Targa’s North Dakota oil and natural gas assets, to funds managed by GSO Capital Partners and Blackstone Tactical Opportunities for $1.6 billion in cash. Targa will continue to operate and hold majority governance rights.


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MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil briefly touches 2019 high

Light, sweet crude oil closed slightly above $56/bbl on Feb. 19 after having briefly reached a 2019 high of $56.39/bbl, but prices fell in early trading Feb. 20 following a US government forecast that US production from unconventional plays will reach a record during March. The US Energy Information Administration forecast US shale production will reach 8.4 million b/d next month.


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CSB: Thermal fatigue likely cause of Pascagoula gas plant incident

Thermal fatigue was likely the cause of the explosion and fire at Enterprise Products Partners’ Pascagoula, Miss., gas plant late in the evening of June 27, 2016, a US Chemical Safety Board investigation concluded on Feb. 19. The failure of the plant’s brazed aluminum heat exchanger led to the release of methane, ethane, propane, and other hydrocarbons that then ignited, CSB’s final report on the incident said.


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Aruba delays refinery rehab amid US sanctions on Venezuela

Refineria di Aruba, a wholly owned incorporated company of the government of Aruba responsible for compliance monitoring of Citgo Petroleum’s Citgo Aruba Refinery, is putting a hold on the operator’s previously announced program to restart Valero Energy’s former 235,000-b/d refinery in San Nicolas as a result of US sanctions recently placed on Citgo’s parent company Petroleos de Venezuela SA.


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India seeks more oil, gas license appeal

Seeking to increase exploration and production, India’s Union Cabinet has approved a new round of changes in oil and gas licensing and regulation. “Considering stagnant/declining domestic production of oil and gas, rise in import dependence, and decline in investment in E&P activities, the need to bring further policy reforms was felt,” said a statement by the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas.


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Equinor lets contract to boost production from Vigdis subsea field

Norway’s Equinor has let a $13-million engineering, procurement, construction, and installation contract to Wood for the boosting station to increase production from Vigdis subsea field in the Tampen area on Block 34/7 in the Norwegian North Sea.


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Contracts let for gas fields off Sarawak

Sarawak Shell and Sapura Exploration & Production have let contracts to McDermott for work related to the linked development of three natural gas fields offshore Malaysia. The Shell unit’s contract covers transportation and installation of jackets, topsides, and pipelines for Gorek field. The Sapura contract is for the same work for Larak and Bakong fields. McDermott also will fabricate risers and spools under both contracts.


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SOCAR Polymer commissions HDPE plant in Azerbaijan

SOCAR Polymer has started up a high-density polyethylene plant in the Sumgait Chemical Industrial Park about 30 km north of Baku. The 120,000-tonne/year HDPE plant, which officially began operating on Feb. 18, will produce four varieties of HDPE to meet Azerbaijan’s demand, with the remaining 75% of product manufactured at the plant to be exported to Turkey and Europe.


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Anadarko, Pertamina sign LNG agreement for Mozambique plant

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. reported that Mozambique LNG1 Co. Pte. Ltd.—the jointly owned sales entity of the Mozambique Area 1 coventurers—has entered into a 20-year, 1 million-tonne/year LNG supply agreement with Indonesia’s state-owned Pertamina.


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Equinor releases Great Australian Bight drilling plan

The Australian arm of Norwegian international energy company Equinor has released for public comment its draft environment plan for the proposed drilling program of the Stromlo-1 wildcat in exploration permit EPP39 in the South Australian portion of the Great Australian Bight.


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MARKET WATCH: Brent crude oil approached $67/bbl to start week

Brent crude oil reached a high of $66.83/bbl on the London market Feb. 18 before falling to settle at $66.25/bbl while US markets were closed Feb. 18 for the Presidents’ Day holiday.


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The Green New Deal
For oil and gas companies, the Green New Deal, unveiled on Feb. 7, should raise concern for one overarching reason: It undermines the intellectual foundation of energy policy-making.
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Millennials in the workforce
The large number of oil, gas, and petrochemical business employees expected to retire in the next few years along with anticipated industry growth has reinforced the need to attract younger workers. The industry will look to the Millennial Generation to fill roles and support expansion.
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Montana federal judge’s latest order continues to block Keystone XL

US District Judge Brian Morris issued a new ruling allowing TransCanada Corp. to build and use pipe storage and container yards for the proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline. But the Feb. 15 order reportedly continues to block construction of worker camps, effectively keeping work from beginning on the project.


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Repsol makes gas discovery at Sakakemang onshore Indonesia

Indonesian oil and gas regulator SKK Migas confirmed a natural gas discovery at the Repsol-operated Sakakemang PSC onshore central Sumatra. Repsol started drilling the Kali Berau Dalam-2 well in August 2018, targeting a fractured Pre-Tertiary basement play. The company reentered the well earlier this month following control problems in late 2018, according to consultant Wood Mackenzie.


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Marathon Oil sets $2.4-billion capital budget for 2019

Marathon Oil Corp. has earmarked $2.4 billion in development capital for 2019, the majority of which—95%—to be allocated 60-40 to the four US resource plays: Eagle Ford and Bakken, and Oklahoma and Northern Delaware, respectively.


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Santos increases operatorship position in offshore Bonaparte basin

Santos has boosted its operatorship position in the Bonaparte basin off northern Australia through an agreement with fellow explorer Beach Energy. The agreement aligns interests across three permits in the Northern Territory jurisdiction—NT/P82, NT/P85, and NT/P84—and one offshore Western Australia, WA-454-P, such that the two companies become 50-50 joint venture partners in each with Santos as operator.


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IOC inks term contract for US crude supplies

Indian Oil Corp. Ltd. has finalized a term contract to import as much as 3 million tonnes/year of crude oil from the US as part of the operator’s strategy to diversify its term crude sources. IOC finalized the contract—valued at $1.5 billion—on Feb. 15, the company said.


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Probert joins TransGlobe Energy as VP, COO

Geoffrey Probert has agreed to join TransGlobe Energy Corp., Calgary, as vice-president and chief operating officer based in London. Probert has been North Africa managing director for Petroceltic and previously worked with Shell and BHP Billiton.


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Horse Hill field due horizontal drilling

Horse Hill Developments Ltd. (HHDL) plans horizontal drilling this year at Horse Hill field, which is undergoing an extended production test near Gatwick Airport outside London, reports parent company UK Oil & Gas PLC.


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Henderson named Kosmos chief exploration officer

Tracey Henderson has been named chief exploration officer of Kosmos Energy Ltd., Dallas, succeeding founding partner Brian F. Maxted, who is retiring.


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MARKET WATCH: Oil price benchmarks end week on 3-month high

Benchmark crude oil prices rose on New York and London markets by more than $1/bbl Feb. 15 to 3-month-high settlements following the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries report that cartel production dropped in January from December 2018.


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Canada, no haven for pipeline work, mulls freeze-out
Environmental assessment can—dare a humble scribe say it?—go overboard. To be sure, the process is good and necessary. Business must be done and projects must be executed responsibly—meaning, at a minimum, without fouling nature or threatening health.
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Watching Government: Challenging emissions favoritism
The American Petroleum Institute and the Natural Gas Supply Association filed an amicus brief on Feb. 8 supporting a petition asking the US Supreme Court to overturn a federal appeals court’s finding that New York State’s Zero Emission Control (ZEC) program does not preempt federal authority by subsidizing certain forms of electric power generation.
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Chevron inks deal to buy Petrobras’s Pasadena refinery
Chevron Corp. subsidiary Chevron USA Inc. has signed a share purchase agreement with Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) subsidiary Petrobras America Inc. (PAI) to acquire all outstanding shares and equity interests of Pasadena Refining System Inc. (PRSI), which includes the refinery in Pasadena, Tex., and PRSI Trading LLC for $350 million, excluding working capital.
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ExxonMobil adding crude unit at Beaumont refinery
ExxonMobil Corp. has reached a final investment decision to proceed with a previously announced plan to expand crude refining capacity by more than 65% at its 366,000-b/d integrated refining complex in Beaumont, Tex.
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