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Oil Exploration

Mercator Lines to Explore Oil Offshore

Mercator Lines, is planning to expand its business portfolio by foraying into the offshore oil exploration sector. The company is looking for global partners to form a consortium to bid for Indian offshore blocks under the forthcoming round of NELP bids, apart from overseas blocks, including some of the South East Asian and Arabian Gulf blocks. It is in talks with a few European companies, sources said. Mercator Lines, which has forayed into offshore support services and is in the process of acquiring a $180m drilling rig, is aiming at forward integration by getting into the exploration business, which would also give it a captive market for its fleet of rigs and other offshore assets. The company's foray into the oil exploration segment will be spearheaded by its subsidiary, Mercator Oil and Gas Ltd (MOGL). The subsidiary had earlier initiated a foray into offshore segment by tying up with Gujarat State Petroleum Co, but the move did not result in anything concrete. Apart from offshore exploration, Mercator also has plans to get into offshore construction, including construction of platforms and pipelines, the sources said. Source:

CNOOC to Invest $12B in Gas, Oil Exploration

The China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) will invest $12.5b in gas and oil exploration in the next five years, CRI reported. By 2010, more than 50 new gas and oil fields of CNOOC Limited will be completed and put into production. The new fields, 24 of which are under construction and 13 under development assessment, are mainly located in East China's Bohai Sea, the Pearl River estuary and the Beibu Gulf in the South China Sea

Shell initiates Beaufort Sea Oil Exploration

Shell is planning to begin its Beaufort Sea oil exploration this summer, a state official said. The initial work will involve excavating "well cellars" from below the sea floor. The cellars, also known as glory holes, protect well equipment such as blowout preventers from ice scouring. Shell plans to start excavations in August and work only during open-water seasons -- before the ice comes in, he said. The company has acquired one drill rig, the Kullu

Interest in Offshore Exploration in Greenland Growing

Several of the world's largest oil companies hope to tap into possible offshore oil and gas reserves as Greenland opened a new round of concessions for exploration licenses in the fragile Arctic region. Eyes of an oil-thirsty world have turned to the shores of the semiautonomous Danish territory amid rising fuel prices, Mideast instability and concerns over future supplies. The Greenland government hopes to make big gains from any reserves found in its icy waters

ONGC to Finalize Shipbuilding Contract

According to a June 25 report on, India’s biggest oil exploration company, the state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd (ONGC), is expected to name within a week the winner of a tender to build 12 ships that will support its oil drilling operations. It was reported that Pipavav Shipyard Ltd, India’s newest private sector shipbuilder, has submitted the lowest bid. However, the winner will not be named ahead of a formal announcement by ONGC.

Greenpeace Wins Bid To Delay North Atlantic Exploration

Greenpeace won its bid to delay oil exploration in the north Atlantic when a judge ruled the British government was failing to apply a European Commission environmental directive in allocating licenses. The government is considering an appeal against the judgment on the basis that it is not taking into account the Commission's Habitats Directive in issuing exploration licenses. A spokesman said the government had been planning to issue new licenses in its 19th round early in 2000

Russia Shuts Greenpeace Out of Arctic Sea Route

Greenpeace icebreaker Arctic Sunrise (Photo: Greenpeace)

The Russian government has reportedly denied permission for the Greenpeace icebreaker Arctic Sunrise to enter the increasingly busy Northern Sea Route (NSR), despite the ship having fulfilled all the requirements for such an entry. Greenpeace International beleives the decision is an attempt to prevent it from exposing the activities of Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft. Multiple vessels contracted by Rosneft and U.S

Venezuelan Navy Compels Seismic Research Ship to Enter Port

The 285-ft U.S.-chartered oil exploration ship 'Teknik Perdana' seized by the Venezuelan navy in Caribbean waters disputed with neighbouring Guyana was escorted into port at Venezuela's Margarita Island on Sunday, reports AP. Quoting Venezuelan authorities, AP said the ship's 36 crew members, including five U.S. citizens and two Brazilians, would be held on board while an investigation continued. AP note that Adm. Angel Belisario Martinez told local station Union Radio that the research ship

Maersk's 3Q Profit Beats Street

Danish shipping and oil group A.P. Moller-Maersk's third-quarter net profit beat expectations, boosted by a strong performance at its container shipping business Maersk Line. Net profit rose 25 percent to $1.5 billion compared with the same period last year, Maersk said on Tuesday, beating an average forecast of $1.38 billion in a Reuters poll of analysts. It stuck to its forecast for an underlying profit for the full year of around $4

Oil Chiefs Justify Profits

According to a Financial Times report, top oil executives recently rejected allegations by some lawmakers that the oil industry was making record profits at the expense of US consumers, emphasizing the high level of investment the companies make to ensure supply and the limitations that have been set by Washington on oil exploration and development within the US. ExxonMobil executives met with lawmakers at a rare joint hearing of the energy and commerce committees

Italy's Eni Arrives Arctic as Shell Departs

Eni in the Arctic. Image credit: ENI

 As Shell retreats from the Arctic, the Italian oil giant Eni is making final preparations for its own oil exploration venture in the Norwegian Arctic, reports the Guardian.   Eni has vowed to press ahead with oil production - a $5.5bn (£3.6bn) project - in the Norwegian Arctic

A Maneuverable Oil Spill Response Vessel

G.M. Penman (Photo: Twin Disc)

The maritime industry has seen an increased need for high speed spill response in step with expanding offshore oil exploration and production.   Meeting this need is the newest skimmer boat from Washington-based shipbuilder Rozema Boat Works: a 65-foot oil spill recovery vessel (OSRV), G.M

Canada Arctic Drilling Rules May Stifle Development

Canada's offshore Arctic drilling rules could "stifle" development since they do not provide incentives for companies to proceed with production after discovering oil, the government was told in a newly-released internal briefing note.  

India's Oil Exploration near South China Sea Irks China

Photo by ONGC Videsh

 The state-run China Daily says that India's plans to conduct oil exploration off Vietnam coast in the South China Sea is "illegal and is an "unwise move" that may "sabotage" positive momentum in ties.   "India's intention to once again explore for oil in

Shipping Corporation Net Profit Jumps Over Three-Fold

Pic: Shipping Corporation of India

 State-run Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) Ltd has reported more than three times rise in net profit for the quarter ended 30 June on account of higher earnings from running oil tankers and lower bunker (ship fuel) prices.   Its June-quarter net profit  is 1

Mexico to Postpone Deep Water Auction

  Mexico, which has started to open its nationalized oil industry to additional private investment, will postpone auctions for deep-water oil exploration and production contracts and adjust the terms of upcoming tenders after an inaugural oil auction failed to meet the government's modest

Oregon Bridge Danglers Hope to Delay Shell's Arctic Drilling

Protestors rappelled off a bridge in Portland, Oregon on Wednesday hoping to delay Royal Dutch Shell's Arctic oil exploration this summer by blocking the return of a ship to Alaska that holds emergency equipment.   Greenpeace said 13 protestors lowered themselves from the St

'Kayaktivists' to Launch Blockade of Shell Icebreaker

Kayaktivists demonstrate in front of the Fennica in Portland Harbor (Photo courtesy Portland Ecofilm Festival)

 A small group of protesters and activists are gathering at the Cathedral Park boat ramp in Portland, preparing to stay for a 24-hour vigil as they wait for Royal Dutch Shell Oil's icebreaker ship, the MSV Fennica, to depart from Portland for the Arctic, reports Reuters.  

'Kayaktivists' Take Shell Arctic Protest Nationwide

Noble Discoverer transits Puget Sound after its departure from the Port of Everett, Wash., June 30. Noble Discoverer was the last of three oil drilling and support vessels to depart western Washington for the Arctic this summer. (USCG photo by Amanda Norcross)

Environmental activists in the U.S. prepare to take their so-called “kayaktivism” nationwide as they urge lawmakers to revoke oil and gas exploration leases in the Chukchi Sea, says environmental group Friends of the Earth. The group’s “Shell No” day on July 18

US Issues Potential Setback to Shell's Arctic Drilling

The Obama administration issued a potential setback to Royal Dutch Shell's  Arctic oil exploration plans on Tuesday, telling the company that established wildlife protections prevent it from drilling two rigs simultaneously within 15 miles (24 km) of each other, as it had planned.  

Shell Rig Departs for Arctic Despite Protest

U.S. Coast Guard and police boats cleared a way through protesters in kayaks at a Seattle-area port on Tuesday so a drilling ship could head for the Arctic on behalf of Royal Dutch Shell.   The Noble Discover is the second drilling ship Shell has sent to the area in recent days.  

Activists Planning Protest Against Shell's Arctic Business

U.S. environmental activists said they planned to protest on Tuesday against the launch of the second of two oil rigs central to Shell's plans to drill for oil in the Arctic. The Washington state activists, who have staged frequent demonstrations over the last two months against Royal

Imperial Oil/Exxon/BP Gr defer drilling in Canada's Arctic

Photo Chevron

  Imperial Oil Ltd said on Friday it and partners Exxon Mobil Corp  and BP Plc need more time before they can drill an exploratory well in Canadian Arctic waters and are seeking an extension to their exploration license in the region.

Environmentalists: Walrus Population at Risk in Arctic

Green groups urged the U.S. Department of Interior on Tuesday to revoke the agency's conditional approval of Royal Dutch Shell's 2015 Arctic oil exploration plan, saying it runs counter to established protections for walruses. A 2013 rule implemented by the Fish and Wildlife Service

BSEE Oversees Testing of Shell’s Arctic Equipment

Photo: BSEE

Testing of Shell’s proposed Arctic-ready capping stack system was supervised this week by the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) in Puget Sound, BSEE Director Brian Salerno announced today.   BSEE Alaska Region Director Mark Fesmire oversaw the testing to

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