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    Cnooc Oil-Sands Spill Worsens Pipeline Plans (Tuesday, 28 July 2015)

    1 Jan 1970, 12:00 am
    It’s becoming increasingly difficult to get oil-sands pipeline projects off the ground, and Alberta’s worst spill since 1980 will probably make it tougher.A rupture in a line operated by Nexen, a unit of China’s Cnooc Ltd., spewed 31,500 barrels of bitumen, waste water and sand into the bog-like muskeg of the province’s north this month, igniting outrage from communities along pipeline routes. The crude in the slurry would be enough to make gasoline to fill up about 15,000 cars.The leak is bolstering opposition that has stalled every major crude export project from Canada in recent years and may lead to more stringent regulations. The delays to multibillion-dollar pipelines such as TransCanada Corp.’s Keystone XL are threatening output growth and have led producers to turn to costlier trains for transport.“Every high profile incident and spill, especially those that involve operator malfeasance, gets major play and adds to the call to stop new pipelines,” said Michal Moore, a University of Calgary economist and former California energy regulator. There’s “no question” this one will lead to more scrutiny, he said.Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said the leak will shake public confidence and called for an investigation that “can produce clear, meaningful recommendations to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.”Among aboriginal leaders expressing concern is Byron Bates, a councilor from a Fort McMurray band that has lands as close as 10 kilometers (6 miles) from the spill.“It’s still two big football fields of black goo,” Bates told reporters on July 24 after a visit to the site.Aboriginal BackingSupport from communities is an important consideration in pipeline investment decisions in Canada. Indigenous groups across the country have said leaks may harm lands where they fish and hunt.Enbridge Inc. has put off a firm timeline for its Northern Gateway line to the Pacific Coast as it tries to win aboriginal backing.“The Nexen spill is going to be brought into the larger conversation of why we don’t need tar-sands pipelines,” said Kendall Mackey, the national tar-sands campaign manager with Energy Action Coalition in Washington.On July 15, a worker identified the leak from the eight-month-old line used to deliver crude to a processing facility. The spill may have begun as early as June 29, when it was restarted after maintenance, Ron Bailey, senior vice-president of operations at Nexen, said at the site on July 22. It will take months to investigate the cause, he said.‘Root Causes’“Our focus today is really the safety, the environment and the root causes,” Nexen Chief Executive Officer Fang Zhi said at the site.It’s too early to know whether rules will change, Colin Woods, manager of enforcement and surveillance at the Alberta Energy Regulator, said while touring the site.Requirements the regulator could consider include scheduled and random inspections of pipelines during construction and while in operation, as well as better spill detection technology, University of Calgary’s Moore said.In the meantime, the spill is getting bad press in Canadian newspapers every day.“An incident in the oil sands reinforces this general negativity that’s playing into the challenge to get pipelines built,” said Steven Paget, an analyst at FirstEnergy Capital Corp. in Calgary.Source: leave comments and feedback below

    North Sea Forties Oil Flow Restriction Lifted (Tuesday, 28 July 2015)

    1 Jan 1970, 12:00 am
    A restriction on the amount of oil that can be put through the North Sea's Forties pipeline was lifted last week, trade sources said on Monday, boosting output of the crude that helps set the Brent benchmark.Oilfields linked to the Forties Pipeline System (FPS) including Buzzard, the largest source of Forties crude, had to lower their output during the restriction, which was removed last Thursday, one of the sources said."Buzzard had a bit of a restriction imposed by FPS but it is all back to normal now," another of the sources said.Oil traders said the flow limitation was probably linked to maintenance work at the Kinneil processing plant, which handles unstabilised crude.BP, the FPS operator, declined to comment.Source: leave comments and feedback below

    Harkand Completes Inertial Metrology Survey Offshore Mexico (Monday, 27 July 2015)

    1 Jan 1970, 12:00 am
    Harkand, a global inspection, repair and maintenance company, has carried out, what the company claims is, the first ever free inertial metrology in Mexico’s waters at a depth of 380 fsw in the Bay of Campeche, thus setting a new record in the area.The scope of work saw Harkand working in collaboration with their metrology technology partner Zupt to complete the survey project in support of the installation of an expansion spool piece for a new pipeline and platform campaign in Mexico. Harkand did not reveal the name of the client for which it carried out the survey.AJ Jain, Harkand managing director North America and Africa said: “Our client wanted to know if the inertial metrology witsould better suit the project over the acoustic method.”“Our personnel are experienced in both techniques so after reviewing the work we were able to determine the free inertial metrology was the most time-saving and cost effective solution in this circumstance.”“Although a diver had not performed inertial metrology in this water depth before, we were confident in our saturation diving team’s experience and capabilities. Our client had the results in just 12 hours allowing the expansion spool piece design and fabrication to proceed very quickly. In comparison, the acoustic method would have taken three days to be reported back.”The expansion spool piece was fabricated onboard a vessel in two days, with the Harkand saturation diving team installing the spool piece.Jain continued: “Our mission is to deliver the most efficient solution and the most accurate results for our clients. In subsea survey, project planning is essential. It’s key to consider all the factors including the environmental and project specific ones before proposing the best method of metrology.”“Being the first global company to complete this type of survey successfully in the region and by a diver at this depth is a really great start for our new office in Mexico. It not only showcases our in-house knowledge, skill and the expertise of our personnel, but our excellent assets combined with Zupt’s technology.”Keith Vickery, Zupt President said: “Inertial metrology is a mature product and has been used for over eight years worldwide with great success. Harkand has fully embraced the advantages and benefits of inertial technology and is bringing it to their clients with true value addition; their clients are seeing new and improved ways of doing old tasks, and with reduced project costs and improved project schedules.”Source: www.offshoreenergytoday.comPlease leave comments and feedback below

    Cost Pressures Drive Subsea Equipment Evolution (Monday, 27 July 2015)

    1 Jan 1970, 12:00 am
    The subsea sector is highly consolidated with just five players servicing the $12 billion annual requirements of the global E&P community, Douglas-Westwood, an energy intelligence group, has said in its DW Monday report.DW explained that the two largest, FMC and OneSubsea, account for approximately two-thirds of the market but despite this, have shown no signs of resting on their laurels, forging strategic partnerships to reshape and redefine the commercial landscape. According to DW, this has become increasingly critical as projects have grown in scale and complexity.Recent years have seen a shift in focus from mechanical tree designs towards value added instrumentation, monitoring and processing technologies. DW said that the joint venture between Cameron and Schlumberger to form OneSubsea in 2013 is a deliberate attempt to unite the former’s subsea skill with the latter’s downhole and processing expertise. Likewise, the recent partnership between FMC and Technip to form Forsys Subsea, combines subsea production, processing and installation capabilities, minimising both supply chain and technological interfaces for the end user.Ultimately, DW noted, E&P companies have been gradually moving from a ‘pick and choose’ approach, to procuring systems from a single vendor. DW data suggests that 15 years ago, nearly a fifth of subsea wells installed had different manufacturers for the trees and controls.DW predicts that, in 2015, it is expected that over 95% of subsea trees installed will have wellheads and controls from the same manufacturer. The intelligence group consluded that this trend is set to develop further with an appetite for standardisation of subsea equipment that has been driven by cost pressures, lower oil prices and the subsequent need to deliver projects on-budget, on-time.Source: www.offshoreenergytoday.comPlease leave comments and feedback below

    UK Offshore Licences Sale ‘Largest Rounds in Five Decades’ (Monday, 27 July 2015)

    1 Jan 1970, 12:00 am
    The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) – the UK oil and gas regulator – has announced today, July 27, 2015, the remaining winners from the 28th Offshore Licensing Round.According to OGA, the 41 new licences awarded today in addition to the 134 confirmed in late 2014 makes this one of the largest rounds in the five decades since the first licensing round took place in 1964 – a total of 175 licences covering 353 blocks.The 28th Offshore Licensing Round was launched on January 24, 2014 and a total of 173 applications were received. The main tranche of awards was announced on November 6, 2014 and today’s awards have been confirmed following additional environmental assessment and consultation.Andy Samuel, Chief Executive, Oil and Gas Authority said:“The UK Continental Shelf remains a world-class hydrocarbon province where significant resources and economic value remain to be realised. The good level of interest in the 28th Round highlights the continued attractiveness of the UK’s oil and gas resources.“Licences are however just a start and industry, government and the OGA now need to work together to revitalise exploration activity across the basin and convert licences into successful exploration wells.”Andrea Leadsom, UK Energy Minister said:“We are determined to make the most of our North Sea resources to provide secure, reliable energy for hardworking families and businesses and reduce our reliance on volatile foreign imports.“We are backing our oil and gas industry which supports hundreds of thousands of jobs across the UK. The 28th offshore licensing round comes after the Government announced a major package of support in March to encourage £4 billion of additional investment in the North Sea which will prolong the life of this vital industry.”Source: www.offshoreenergytoday.comPlease leave comments and feedback below

    Offshore Rig Count Remains Unshaken (Monday, 27 July 2015)

    1 Jan 1970, 12:00 am
    Baker Hughes Incorporated has posted Weekly Rig Count reports to its Investor Relations website according to which the U.S. offshore rig count has once again remained unaffected.BHI Rig Count: U.S. +19 to 876 rigsU.S. Rig Count is up 19 rigs from last week to 876, with oil rigs up 21 to 659, gas rigs down 2 to 216, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged at 1.U.S. Rig Count is down 1,007 rigs from last year at 1,883, with oil rigs down 903, gas rigs down 102, and miscellaneous rigs down 2.The U.S. Offshore rig count is 31, unchanged from last week, and down 29 rigs year over year.BHI Rig Count: Canada +8 to 200 rigsCanadian Rig Count is up 8 rigs from last week to 200, with oil rigs unchanged at 98, and gas rigs up 8 to 102.Canadian Rig Count is down 195 rigs from last year at 395, with oil rigs down 140, and gas rigs down 55.Source: www.offshoreenergytoday.comPlease leave comments and feedback below

    Aker Solutions Deliver First Christmas Tree to Petrobras (Monday, 27 July 2015)

    1 Jan 1970, 12:00 am
    Aker Solutions, an oil services company, has delivered the first christmas tree for Petrobras’ FA 2011 60 XMT project.According to Aker Solutions, the christmas tree was delivered to Brazil’s state-owned oil company before the contract deadline.“The great execution is due to good planning from the start of the project, including steps such as engineering, release of purchasing materials and supplier delivery time and production,” said project manager from Aker Solutions, Alexandre Oliveira.The company explained that the delivered christmas tree will operate in the pre-salt area of the Lula field, in the Santos Basin, offshore Brazil, at a water depth of approximately 2,000 meters.The Lula field was discovered in 2012 and it is operated by Petrobras (65%) in partnership with BG E&P Brasil Ltda (25%) and Petrogal Brasil S.A (10%).Source: www.offshoreenergytoday.comPlease leave comments and feedback below

    Oil Majors Shelved $200bn in New Projects Due to Oil Slump (Monday, 27 July 2015)

    1 Jan 1970, 12:00 am
    The world’s big energy groups have shelved $200bn of spending on new projects in an urgent round of cost-cutting aimed at protecting investors’ dividends as the oil price slumps for a second time this year.The sell-off in oil has been matched by a broader slump in copper, gold and other raw materials, pushing the Bloomberg commodities index to a six-year low over concerns of weaker Chinese growth and rising supplies across the board.The plunge in crude prices since last summer has resulted in the deferral of 46 big oil and gas projects with 20bn barrels of oil equivalent in reserves — more than Mexico’s entire proven holdings — according to consultancy Wood Mackenzie.Among companies postponing big production plans while they wait for costs to come down are UK-listed BP, Anglo-Dutch Royal Dutch Shell, US-based Chevron, Norway’s Statoil, and Australia’s Woodside Petroleum.Research from Rystad Energy, a Norwegian consultancy, found in May that $118bn of projects had been put on hold, but the Wood Mackenzie study shows the toll is now much greater.The decline in Brent crude, which has more than halved in the past year, was triggered by Opec’s decision not to cut output in the face of a US supply glut and weaker than expected demand. After stabilising in March, oil prices have faced renewed pressure, with Brent falling below $55 a barrel this month — a 20 per cent decline from a five-month high reached in early May.More than half the reserves put on hold lie thousands of feet under the sea, including in the Gulf of Mexico and off west Africa, where the technical demands of extracting crude and earlier inflation have pushed up the cost of projects.Deepwater drilling rigs cost hundreds of thousands of dollars a day to hire and these projects could yet proceed if contractors’ costs fall far enough.Canada is the biggest single region affected, with the development of some 5.6bn barrels of reserves, almost all oil sands, having been deferred.“The upstream industry is winding back its investment in big pre-final investment decision developments as fast as it can,” Wood Mackenzie said in the report to be released on Monday. “This is partly because it is one of the quickest ways to free up capital in response to low oil prices.”It added that the number of major upstream projects expected to be fully approved during 2015 could probably be counted “on one hand”.Shell, which stunned the energy industry with a £55bn agreed offer for BG Group in April, will this week set out deeper cuts to its capital spending this year, revising downwards its most recent estimate of $33bn expenditure.France’s Total is expected to reveal it has managed greater efficiency savings than expected just a few months ago, while it is thought BP is likely to spell out the impact of falling supplier costs on its overall spending.The Europe-based integrated oil groups should reveal second-quarter earnings about 20 per cent below those for the first three months of 2015, with Brent having averaged $63 a barrel, more than 40 per cent below levels a year ago, said Neill Morton, an analyst at Investec. Lower trading profits and seasonal maintenance could offset the impact of improved refining margins.Source: www.ft.comPlease leave comments and feedback below

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