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    Super Puma in Emergency Landing at Aberdeen Airport (Saturday, 24 January 2015)

    1 Jan 1970, 12:00 am
    A Super Puma yesterday sparked a full scale emergency at Aberdeen International Airport with 3 fire crews sent to the airport as a precaution. The drama unfolded after the CHC Super Puma L2 asked for priority landing. CHC have not disclosed much details saying only that it was not a technical issue and that a CHC helicopter landed safely at Aberdeen International Airport at approximately 3.30pm on Friday.A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “We were made aware of an emergency landing at 3.30pm. Everyone is safe and officers attended at the scene as a precaution.”A Scottish Fire and Rescue Service spokeswoman confirmed that three fire crews were called to the airport.Emergency crews were stood down from the scene at 3.47pm.The drama was the airports second emergency of the day, earlier an inbound Eastern Airways flight from Scatsta Airport in Shetland was forced to make an emergency landing when the crew reported an “unusual odour” in the cockpit. Earlier in the week another offshore helicopter, a Bristow operated Sikorsky S-92A was forced to return to Sumburgh when a warning light came on.

    UK Treasury Fast-Track Consultation on North Sea Tax Cuts (Friday, 23 January 2015)

    1 Jan 1970, 12:00 am
    The UK government has announced it is fast-tracking a consultation on a new tax incentive for oil and gas firms.The investment allowance, which was first announced in the Autumn Statement, is designed to simplify the existing scheme of field allowances and stimulate offshore investment.Ministers said the plan should reduce the tax rate on new projects from 60% to between 45% and 50%.The consultation is expected to last several weeks.It will seek views from industry on how the allowance can best support investment in North Sea oil and gas projects.The government said it had been fast-tracked at the request of industry.'Positive signal'Industry body Oil & Gas UK welcomed the move as "a positive signal to investors".But it also called for the new incentive to be brought into effect from the Budget in 2015.Chief executive Malcolm Webb said: "We are encouraged to note that work on the Investment Allowance announced in the Autumn Statement is progressing."However, a reduction in the headline rate of tax is also essential to really improve the international competitiveness of the UKCS (UK Continental Shelf)."Given the maturity of this basin, I'm afraid there will be no second chances."'Difficult times'Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said: "These are difficult times for Scotland's oil and gas industry, which is why I announced an ambitious package to support this hugely valuable sector at last month's Autumn Statement."Oil prices are inherently volatile, that is why it is important that we take a long-term view on the issue: supporting the industry through encouraging investment and protecting the UK's public finances through a sustainable tax regime, while ensuring that the 375,000 livelihoods that depend on the UK's oil industry are protected for many years to come."In his Autumn Statement, Chancellor George Osborne announced a series of tax measures for the oil and gas sector.They included plans to cut a supplementary charge on oil firms' profits from 32% to 30%.'Cluster' allowanceOther new measures included a new "cluster area allowance", aimed at encouraging companies to invest in ultra-high pressure and high temperature clusters.Derek Leith, UK head of oil and gas taxation at accountancy firm EY, said: "If the oil and gas industry had produced a wish list of measures it would like to see introduced in the wake of the Autumn Statement, then a new investment allowance would have been near the top."This could lead to the most significantly positive oil and gas fiscal change since 1993 and the chancellor, in expediting the consultation process, demonstrates the new macro-economic perspective from which the government is viewing the UK Continental Shelf."Source: leave comments and feedback below

    Statoil Explore Snefrid Nord prospect in Norwegian Sea (Friday, 23 January 2015)

    1 Jan 1970, 12:00 am
    Statoil has received consent from the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) Norway to drill exploration well 6706/12-2, in the Norwegian Sea.Statoil is the operator for production licence 218 in block 6706/12 in the Norwegian Sea. Statoil applied for consent to drill exploration well 6706/12-2 using Transocean Spitsbergen in a prospect named Snefrid Nord.According to the PSA, drilling is planned to begin in February 2015, with a duration of 33 days, depending on whether a discovery is made.Transocean Spitsbergen is a semi-submersible mobile drilling rig of the Aker H-6e type. The rig was completed in 2009 at the Aker Solutions yard in Stord; it is registered in the Marshall Islands and classified by DnV GL.The rig received Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) in October 2012.Source: www.offshoreenergytoday.comPlease leave comments and feedback below

    Oil Majors Seek to Reclaim Costs from Service Firms (Friday, 23 January 2015)

    1 Jan 1970, 12:00 am
    Global oil majors say they are demanding cheaper but better services from engineering and service companies, or simply taking work back in-house, after losing hundreds of billions on cost overruns in the last five years.Cost overruns and delays were the main reason why oil majors generated less cash than shareholders expected when oil was over $100 per barrel.With oil now half that price, the urgency of addressing costs and delays rises by the day for the producers.While keen to avoid accusations of ganging up to force terms on suppliers, they are exploring measures that are likely to put further pressure on services companies such as Schlumberger and Halliburton, which have already cut thousands of jobs as business shrinks."In the 80s and 90s, we were very close to the projects and controlled costs and execution. In 2000s, when we became rich, we became less cost-efficient," said Claudio Descalzi, chief executive of Italy's ENI, one of the oil majors that meet in Switzerland every year on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.The group includes the listed BP, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, Chevron and Statoil and state giants Sinopec from China, Pemex from Mexico and Aramco from Saudi Arabia, making it the world's most powerful gathering of oil companies.The boss of Aramco, Khalid Falih, said the group had held a closed-door meeting to discuss how to change the nature of relationships with oilfield services and engineering firms to deliver projects on time and on budget.Industry research shows that over 100 large projects exceeded initial costs by a cumulative $400 billion in the past five years, according to participants."Last year, when oil was at $100-110 per barrel, many colleagues already spoke about cancelling projects as they were not able to justify them, even at that price," Falih said.Emilio Lozoya, head of the Mexican oil giant Pemex, said: "We simply need to bring costs down in line with the current lower oil prices."Participants in the meetings said a range of ways to collaborate had been suggested, including having a shared database that would list the best and worst service companies by region, and a 'rule book' for systems and components.Falih said the industry could push for common standards for equipment such as pipes or valves.Descalzi said the industry as a whole was actively moving to contracts where payments are based on timely execution.He said lower oil prices offered a good opportunity for the industry to renegotiate some existing contracts or move work in-house:"In the 1980s, we didn't use EPC (Engineering-Procurement-Construction) contracts. We did a lot of things in-house. In the 2000s, we outsourced a lot of things and became weaker in engineering."ENI recently hired 2,000 people to bring work in-house, Descalzi said. "Ultimately, you save billions of dollars if the project is delivered on time and without cost overruns."Source: www.reuters.comPlease leave comments and feedback below

    Economic Downturn for US Drilling (Friday, 23 January 2015)

    1 Jan 1970, 12:00 am
    Little is going right for California’s oil industry.Turns out the state’s shale formation holds less promise than producers expected. Aging conventional wells are drying up. And a rebound in output that cost drillers as much as $3 billion annually to create has been overshadowed by shale oil gushing from wells in North Dakota and Texas.Then, of course, came the collapse in oil prices -- a seven-month, 57 percent drop that was exacerbated by OPEC’s refusal to cut output in order to squeeze the U.S. shale drillers. No state is feeling that pressure more than California. Drillers there have idled more rigs -- on a proportional basis -- than those in any other part of the country.“We spent a lot of money to go out and drill and use new technologies just to stop production from depleting in our mature fields,” Rock Zierman, chief executive officer of trade group California Independent Petroleum Association, said by phone. “It took us a lot of capital to basically run in place and now we’re looking at crude prices under $40 a barrel.”While U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate oil has fallen by more than half since June, California’s heavy Kern River crude has lost 65 percent of its value. The spot price of that oil slid to $34.87 a barrel on Jan. 22, below Gulf Coast crudes, below Bakken in North Dakota and under Alaska North Slope oil.Gasoline ReliefFalling prices haven’t been all bad for California. Governor Jerry Brown said in an interview with Bloomberg News Jan. 15 that while the decline in California’s oil drilling is “of concern,” drivers are benefiting. Gasoline is under $2.50 a gallon for the first time since 2009 in a state that’s usually home to some of the most expensive fuel in the country.Relief at the pump will save the average California household $675 this year, said Patrick DeHaan, a Chicago-based senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy Organization Inc.“The oil price decline goes right into consumer spending,” Brown said at his Oakland office. “So there will be trade-offs.”Within the past four weeks, drillers idled half of their rigs in the state, dragging the total down to the lowest since 2009. Oil output, which had been creeping up since 2011, is now little changed and a slide will probably follow.West Texas Intermediate fell 15 cents to $46.16 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange at 11:25 a.m. New York time. Brent, the global benchmark grade, rose 32 cents to $48.84.Drilling DropProducers told the state that they planned to drill 28 wells in the seven days ended Jan. 10, a 66 percent decline from seven days earlier and 13 percent from a year ago.Up until 2012, California’s oil production had fallen for 14 straight years, the result of two price collapses that drillers never fully recovered from. In contrast, overall U.S. output has risen at the fastest pace in three decades, led by Texas, the largest producer, and North Dakota, the next biggest. California ranks third.Dreams of unlocking California’s Monterey formation, home to the largest U.S. deposits of shale oil, fizzled after the U.S. government said in May that only about 600 million barrels could actually be pulled from the rock, 96 percent less than previous estimates. Producers have been left using costly steam and water to push oil out of the older, conventional fields instead.“If there are wells shut in, it’ll be in California,” James Williams, president of energy consulting company WTRG Economics, said by telephone Jan. 16.Inching UpCalifornia’s output began inching up in 2012 after drillers invested in technologies to complete more wells and improve their yields, Zierman said. Production climbed 6,000 barrels a day in 2013, paling in comparison with the Bakken shale boom that more than doubled North Dakota’s production within two years.Now shale oil from other states is invading California’s market. A record 38,086 barrels a day arrived by rail in December 2013, from states including North Dakota and Wyoming. “All of a sudden, we’re no longer an energy island,” Zierman said.In December, drilling contractor Ensign Energy Services Inc. (ESI) told California regulators that it planned to dismiss as many as 700 workers. California Resources Corp. (CRC), the Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY) spinoff that became the state’s largest independent oil and gas producer, idled rigs and let go of contractors. Its cash operating costs are around $20 a barrel, said Todd Stevens, the Los Angeles company’s chief executive officer.“We’ll live within our means and our cash-flow,” he said by phone Jan. 12. “We’re just trying to be a prudent operator.”Source: leave comments and feedback below

    Putin awards Rosneft for energy development (Friday, 23 January 2015)

    1 Jan 1970, 12:00 am
    The President of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Putin, has awarded Rosneft officials for their “contribution to the development of the energy sector and long and responsible service”.Rosneft Vice President for HR and Social Policy, Yuri Kalinin, noted that: “In September, the Company successfully finished the exploratory drilling on the northernmost well named Pobeda and made an outstanding oil and gas basin discovery. For half a century the Russian and global oil and gas industry fell short of such events. The discovery of enormous reserves on the arctic shelf secures energy security for the years to come.“The operations were conducted in a harsh environment, fulfilled in record-breaking time in compliance with all safety and environmental standards. We are happy that the effort of our colleagues was awarded by the state with such a high distinction.”Individual and joint efforts of the employees in the execution of the project in the Kara Sea were evaluated by a specialist from responsible Ministries and the Administration of the President and the President made his decision on the basis of this analysis.The awardsAccording to the published edict of the President of the Russian Federation, the Rosneft Vice President for Offshore Project Zeljko Runje was awarded with the Order of Friendship; Rosneft Vice President, Chief Geologist Andrey Lazeev was awarded with the Medal of the Order of the Merit for the Motherland II Degree.The same medal was awarded to the Licensing and Resources Management Control Department Director Aleksandr Zharov; Offshore Drilling Department Director Timur Kasumov; Offshore Geological Exploration Department Director Timofey Strelzov; and HR Department Director Andrey Sudakov.Furthermore, the Medal of the Order of the Merit for the Motherland II Degree was awarded to the Head of Joint Projects of RN-Exploration Kirill Shmiglya; geology division testing manager Igor Usachev; chief specialists of the same division Aleksandr Aniskin and Grigoriy Stunja; Offshore Drilling Department Division Chief Stanislav Belokon; managers for Joint Projects with ExxonMobil of Drilling and Supervising Services of RN-Exploration Maksim Grozny and Vyacheslav Gudkov; Chief Specialist of the same service Sergey Epishin; Head of the service for joint projects with ExxonMobil in the area procurement of RN-Exploration Marina Kovaleva; Department of Joint Offshore Projects First Deputy Director Ivan Sechin; Deputy Director of the same Department Andrey Kondratiev; HR Department manager Svetlana Romanova; RN-Shelf-Arctica Geologic Modeling Division Manager Natalya Tkacheva.Rosneft says that Kara Sea project was successfully carried out thanks to the “expertise and efficient work” of its employees.Source: www.offshoreenergytoday.comPlease leave comments and feedback below

    ‘African Inspiration’ Vessel Delivered to Marine Platforms (Friday, 23 January 2015)

    1 Jan 1970, 12:00 am
    Marine Platforms, an oil and gas subsea support services firm, located in Nigeria and Aberdeen, has taken delivery of a new subsea support vessel, the African Inspiration, from Norwegian shipbuilder Havyard.Marine Platforms, which is headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, with an operations base at Port Harcourt, also has a technical support base in Westhill, Aberdeenshire, and the vessel will service deepwater market locations offshore Nigeria.The African Inspiration is currently berthed in Aberdeen to install two 200hp workclass ROV systems and other project equipment before it leaves for Nigeria. The 113m Havyard Type 857 subsea IRM vessel is fitted with a 250 tonne deepwater crane, has a gross tonnage of 9,618 and crew capacity of 120.Marine Platforms offers a wide range of services to the offshore oil industry in Nigeria and West Africa ranging from completions and sub-sea services to vessel chartering services.Chief technical officer, Angus Kerr, said: “The delivery of the African Inspiration will allow us to fulfill clients current and future project requirements by providing turnkey solutions and long-term employment for a greater number of both Nigerian and expatriate workers.“We employ locally based personnel for both on and offshore operations as well as requiring the services of many local vendors. Nigeria, like many other countries, now requires a higher level of in country workers and using the expertise of the team here we assist with the development of Nigerian personnel ensuring a sustainable future for both our Nigerian and UK workforces.”Marine Platforms, which was founded in 2001, specialises in subsea construction, life of field services, ROV operations, engineering support, supply vessel operations and well bore clean-up.The firm operates two subsea support vessels, Siem Marlin and African Vision, as well as 12 advanced workclass ROV systems in West Africa.Source: www.offshoreenergytoday.comPlease leave comments and feedback below

    Santos Australia announce Record 4Q (Friday, 23 January 2015)

    1 Jan 1970, 12:00 am
    Australia’s oil and gas company Santos has announced company records for sales revenue in both the quarter ($1.1 billion) and the full year ($4 billion), saying the results reflect the rise of production from the PNG LNG project in Papua New Guinea as well as higher Cooper Basin production in AustraliaFourth quarter production of 15.1 mmboe – 15% higher than the corresponding quarter – brought full-year production to 54.1 mmboe. This was a 6 per cent increase on the previous year and within the company’s guidance range of 53-55 mmboe.“Notwithstanding the fall in oil prices, Santos has delivered growth in full-year and quarterly production, and record sales revenue,” Santos Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer David Knox said.“These results affirm the strength of Santos’ underlying business, the transformation of our operations and the positioning of the company as a major player in the Asian LNG market.”“We look forward to further growth in 2015 with the start-up of GLNG in the second half of this year.”“Commissioning of the GLNG LNG plant is well underway, with firing of the first gas turbine generator expected in the coming weeks. GLNG is more than 90% complete and it remains on time and on budget,” Knox said.Gas struck offshore AustraliaSantos also reported that the Barossa-3 appraisal well had intersected a gross gas bearing interval of 152 metres and provides significant upside to the resource position for the Barossa gas field, offshore Northern Territory.The company has said that the Barossa-3 result strengthens Santos’ resource position in the Bonaparte Basin and means the Barossa gas field is well positioned to supply gas for either back-fill or expansion at Darwin LNG.Gas sales higherSales gas, ethane and gas to LNG production of 66.3 petajoules for the quarter was 25% higher than the corresponding quarter, reflecting a full quarter of PNG LNG production from both trains and higher gas production from the Cooper Basin. Total sales gas, ethane and LNG sales revenues jumped 79% to $557 million for the quarter.Quarterly crude oil production of 2.6 million barrels was 8% higher than the previous quarter, primarily due to higher production from Mutineer-Exeter/Fletcher Finucane, offshore Australia . The average oil price for the quarter was A$92 per barrel, 20% lower than the previous quarter, reflecting lower global oil prices partially offset by a weaker Australian dollar. Total crude oil sales revenues of $385 million for the quarter were 18% lower than the previous quarter reflecting lower oil prices.Source: www.offshoreenergytoday.comPlease leave comments and feedback below

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