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    Investors Show Faith in Potential of North Sea Exploration Prospect (Friday, 15 June 2018)

    15 Jun 2018, 8:00 am

    OIL and gas independent Upland Resources has raised £3 million as it targets a prospect off Scotland in a development which reflects confidence among City investors in the exploration potential of the North Sea.

    Upland said the fundraising will leave the firm with a strong balance sheet ahead of a busy period which is expected to include drilling the Wick well in the Moray Firth in the third quarter and activity overseas.

    Chief executive Stephen Staley noted Upland raised the funding through a share placing which was oversubscribed and won support from new and existing investors. The result of the exercises appeared to provide a vote of confidence in Wick, which lies in shallow water around a mile from the shore.

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    “2018 will be a very exciting time for Upland with the spudding of the high impact Wick well,” said Mr Staley. He added:“I also expect continued good progress on new opportunities in Sarawak and North Africa.”

    London-listed Upland reckons Wick could contain 250 million barrels.

    The placing provides evidence investors are prepared to support exploration activity in the North Sea. Many cooled on the sector amid the downturn triggered by the slump in the crude price from summer 2014.

    In May Upland said the Wick well was expected to cost £5.2m. It acquired a 40 per cent interest in the licence concerned from privately-owned Corallian Energy in November, noting then that the acreage contained other potential targets.

    Upland completed the placing at 2.5p per share.

    It had a market capitalisation of around £11.5m before the placing.

    Source: www.heraldscotland.com

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    Libyan Oil Exports Impaired as Some in OPEC Seek more Supply (Friday, 15 June 2018)

    15 Jun 2018, 6:00 am

    Two of Libya’s biggest oil ports stopped loading crude after armed forces clashed nearby, taking more bbl off the market just as OPEC mulls proposals to boost production.

    Workers were removed from the Es Sider and Ras Lanuf terminals, people familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak to the media. The evacuation of the ports, which account for 40% of Libya’s oil exports, comes as fellow members of OPEC prepare for a key summit next week in Vienna.

    Fighting erupted about 20 km (13 mi) south of Es Sider, said Omran al-Hamali, a spokesman for Brigade 302, which is partly responsible for security at the oil facilities. Libya has pumped 990,000 bpd over the past three months, well below the 1.8 MMbpd it produced before the ouster of former leader Moammar Qaddafi.

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    Saudi Arabia, the largest producer in OPEC, and partner Russia have proposed boosting output to temper prices that topped $80/bbl in May. OPEC members Iran and Venezuela, which have little capacity to raise supply themselves, oppose the plan.

    Tanker Tracking

    Tanker Minerva Lisa, set to load crude from Es Sider, was instructed to move 10 mi away from the port into deeper water, one person said. Bloomberg tanker tracking shows the vessel headed away from the immediate vicinity of the terminal in the early hours of Thursday morning.

    Es Sider was set to export 15 crude cargoes, or a total of 9 MMbbl, this month, while Ras Lanuf was due to ship five cargoes totaling 2.8 MMbbl, according to a loading program obtained by Bloomberg.

    The Libyan National Army, led by Eastern Military Commander Khalifa Haftar, took control of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf along with other oil facilities in 2016, allowing them to reopen after a long blockade by rival militias. Storage tanks at the terminals were badly damaged in previous fighting.

    Source: www.worldoil.com

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    America's LNG Exports May Double Prices by 2040 as Demand Surges (Thursday, 14 June 2018)

    14 Jun 2018, 8:00 pm

    Exports of U.S. liquefied natural gas may double prices for the fuel by 2040, but rising output and better trade balances will soften the blow to consumers, according to a study commissioned by the Energy Department.

    There’s an almost 50% chance of gas reaching $5 to $6.50/MMbtu over the next two decades, the study shows. But shipments of LNG overseas will boost the U.S. economy, while higher output will meet most of the export boost, according to the report, conducted by NERA Economic Consulting.

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    The U.S. is already shipping record amounts of super-cooled natural gas overseas as production from shale basins surges. The nation is now a net exporter of the fuel for the first time since the 1950s, putting the U.S. on course to rival Qatar and Australia for global LNG dominance in the next five years as new Gulf Coast terminals start up.

    U.S. gas futures have averaged about $2.90/MMBtu over the past year amid ample supply. Some groups, including several Democratic lawmakers and manufacturers, have argued that a jump in LNG exports would send prices sharply higher, hurting consumers.

    www.worldoil.comSource: www.worldoil.com

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    Trump Renews Twitter Assault on OPEC, Pushing to Cut Oil Prices (Thursday, 14 June 2018)

    14 Jun 2018, 12:00 pm

    Donald Trump renewed his Twitter assault on OPEC, pushing the case for lower oil prices a week before the cartel meets to set production policy.

    "Oil prices are too high, OPEC is at it again. Not good!,” the president tweeted on Wednesday morning. It’s the second time he’s used social media to rail against the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. He made similar comments in April.

    The U.S. is putting pressure on OPEC members to increase production as global benchmark prices flirt with $80/bbl, raising pump prices in the months before the U.S. votes in midterm elections that could decide which party controls Congress. A mix of new U.S. sanctions on Iran, chaos in Venezuela and robust global growth has tightened the oil market. The U.S. has lobbied Saudi Arabia and other members, arguing they need to raise output by 1 MMbpd to keep prices in check, people told Bloomberg News earlier this month.

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    Saudi Arabia has floated several plans to fellow OPEC members as the kingdom seeks consensus before the meeting in Vienna next week. Russia, the leading country outside OPEC that’s part of the current agreement, is also pushing for higher production. But the countries pushing for looser policy face staunch opposition from Iran and Venezuela, both under sanctions from Washington.

    Although Saudi Arabia has benefited from oil’s rally over the last two years, the government relies on a strong security relationship with the U.S., giving Washington some influence in the debate over OPEC policy. And while purchases have waned as shale production has grown, America is traditionally one of the biggest customers for Saudi oil.

    Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and President Vladimir Putin are meeting in Moscow tomorrow to discuss oil policy on the sidelines of the opening match of the FIFA World Cup. The full organization, plus non-members like Russia who agreed to take part in the earlier round of production cuts, are meeting June 22 and 23 in Vienna.

    Saudi Arabia last month signaled it was ready to boost output in the second half of the year to ease consumer anxiety about higher prices, a policy U-turn for the kingdom that only weeks earlier advocated for production restraint.

    "I think in the near future there will be time to release supply," Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia in late May.

    The change in Saudi tone came after major oil consuming nations, including the U.S., India and China, complained about rising fuel prices. On April 20, Donald Trump took to Twitter to lambaste the cartel’s push for higher prices. "Looks like OPEC is at it again," he tweeted. "Oil prices are artificially Very High!"

    Trump drew lots of tweeted responses, including one from oil hedge fund founder Pierre Andurand, who expects prices will be above $150/bbl in less than two years. “At current prices U.S. oil producers are still losing money. Adding to their $500bil of losses since 2007... so if all production growth is unprofitable what makes oil prices high?? Maybe they are actually way too low..."

    Source: www.worldoil.com

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    ONGC moves 29 Offshore Rigs Ahead of Indian Monsoon Season (Thursday, 14 June 2018)

    14 Jun 2018, 10:00 am

    The Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) has successfully moved 29 mobile offshore drilling rigs prior to the Indian monsoon season.

    Aqualis Offshore assisted with the large majority of the rig moves, which were conducted with the company’s specialist team of mariners in close cooperation with ONGC’s in-house rig move cell.

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    Each of the 29 rigs have now been placed at their respective monsoon locations before the onset of the seasonal adverse weather conditions.

    ONGC’s underwriters (and their respective contractors) were Aqualis Offshore’s clients for the ONGC rig moving campaign. Under this agreement, Aqualis Offshore provides marine warranty services to ONGC’s fleet of jackups and mobile offshore production units (MOPU) in Indian waters.

    “Moving close to thirty rigs more or less in parallel is a huge logistical challenge which was undertaken safely and on schedule,” says Rodger Dickson, group marine director, Aqualis Offshore.

    Aqualis Offshore, part of Oslo-listed Aqualis ASA, is a specialized marine and offshore engineering consultancy focusing on the shallow and deepwater segments of the offshore oil and gas industry.

    Source: www.worldoil.com

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    Saudis are Said to Float Range of Ideas for Higher OPEC Output (Thursday, 14 June 2018)

    14 Jun 2018, 8:00 am

    Saudi Arabia has floated several oil output hike plans to fellow OPEC members, including one with a two-step increase, as the kingdom seeks ways to narrow differences with Russia and the rest of the cartel, according to people briefed on the discussions.

    The ideas, discussed informally among ministers and delegates ahead of next week’s meeting in Vienna, comes as Riyadh tries to rally support for a production increase in the face of staunch opposition from Iran, Venezuela and Iraq, and pressure from Washington, the same people said, asking not to be named discussing private conversations.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meet in Moscow tomorrow to discuss oil policy on the sidelines of the opening match of the Football World Cup.

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    Russia, the leading member of a group of countries allied to OPEC, has proposed a deal that would put about 1 MMbpd into the market as quickly as producers could ramp up production, according to a person familiar with the country’s thinking.

    Often oil ministers float ideas informally to gauge support, only to change tack as negotiations progress. It’s unclear whether Riyadh would press ahead with any of the plans it has suggested when ministers meet next week.

    Different Scenarios

    Saudi Arabia is mulling different scenarios to raise production over the coming months by between 500,000 bpd and 1 MMbpd. One proposal envisages a single hike of just 500,000 bpd. Another idea would see an immediate increase of 500,000 bbl, followed by a similar rise in the fourth quarter. The kingdom has also shared ideas with increases of around 600,000 to 700,000 bpd.

    In contrast, Saudi Arabia and several other OPEC members, including the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, and non-OPEC nation Oman would prefer a gradual production boost to avoid upsetting the oil market.

    The two-step production hike could help to smooth the impact of an increase. Some Arab countries have suggested calling an extraordinary meeting in September or October to take stock of the market.

    Saudi Arabia last month signaled it was ready to boost output in the second half of the year to ease consumer anxiety about higher prices, a policy U-turn for the kingdom that only weeks earlier advocated for production restraint.

    "I think in the near future there will be time to release supply," Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih said at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia in late May.

    The change in Saudi tone came after major oil consuming nations, including the U.S., India and China, complained about rising fuel prices. On April 20, Donald Trump took to Twitter to lambaste the cartel’s push for higher prices. "Looks like OPEC is at it again," the U.S. president tweeted. "Oil prices are artificially Very High!"

    "The fact that Saudi Arabia wants lower prices in the near term is becoming increasingly obvious," Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at Energy Aspects Ltd. in London, said in a note to clients.

    Source: www.worldoil.com

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    Republic of Congo Announces Promotion of License Round Phase 2 (Thursday, 14 June 2018)

    14 Jun 2018, 6:00 am

    The Ministry of Hydrocarbons of the Republic of Congo has announced the promotion of the Congo-Brazzaville License Round Phase 2 2018/19 at Africa Oil Week, Nov. 5-9, 2018. Congo Minister of Hydrocarbons, Jean-Marc Thystère Tchicaya stated, “With the support of PGS and AOW, we have scheduled the promotion of Phase 2 of the Congo License Round to take place at Africa Oil Week. The Ministry is currently finalizing the details and we expect to use what is the most important oil and gas summit in Africa to act as a springboard for the success of this bidding round.”

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    “We are committed to welcoming the global upstream operators to Congo - we will have an exhibition stand, host a seminar and have private meetings with prospective partners throughout the event, so we encourage the global oil and gas community to join us at Africa Oil Week.”

    Hon Minister Thystère Tchicaya went on to say, “The Republic of Congo will focus on building on the momentum of the License Round Phase 1 in 2016, which saw 30 international companies register to participate. The timetable for the License Round Phase 2 will see the opening of the call for tender in September 2018, followed by a major promotion campaign in Cape Town at Africa Oil Week in November 2018. The closing date for receipt of tender offers in Brazzaville will be June 30th 2019.”

    The Congo License Round promotion highlights the importance of Africa Oil Week in driving new business opportunities for explorationists in Africa. Paul Sinclair, Conference Director for Africa Oil Week, added, “The Congo bidding round offers a level of excitement that continues to position Africa Oil Week as the must-attend event in Africa.”

    “It is in this context that the Congo License Round Phase 2 will offer an exclusive opportunity for the international oil and gas industry, permitting them to take strategic positions in areas of the Republic of Congo with a significant proven potential for hydrocarbons.”

    Source: www.worldoil.com

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    NHV Signs Contract with Dana Petroleum (Thursday, 14 June 2018)

    14 Jun 2018, 12:00 am

    NHV Group has received a contract from Dana Petroleum to provide helicopter services to its central and northern North Sea assets, the company announced on 7 June.

    NHV will operate the H175 aircraft for the contract, which is designed to meet evolving mission needs in the oil and gas industry. To support the project, NHV will add a new H175 to its fleet in Aberdeen.

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    Daily flights will depart from NHV’s base in Aberdeen to the Triton FPSO in the Central North Sea and Western Isles FPSO in the East Shetland Basin for a period of five years.

    Jamie John, NHV’s base manager in Aberdeen, said: ‘We are excited to begin this new partnership and look forward to supporting Dana’s operations in the North Sea. The start of this contract also allows us to showcase the capabilities of the H175, in what will be its longest range scheduled flight in support of the Western Isles FPSO.’

    Source: www.shephardmedia.com

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