Shell to sell $3B in North Sea Assets
Royal Dutch Shell is nearing the sale of a large part of its North Sea oil and gas assets to private equity-backed Chrysaor for $3 billion, banking sources said, marking a milestone in its drive to reduce debt after buying BG Group. Chrysaor, a North Sea-focused oil company backed by private equity fund EIG Partners, will acquire from Shell a mix of older fields, new developments and infrastructure in a move analysts say could breathe new life into one of the world's oldest offshore basins where production has been in a steady decline since the late 1990s. The anticipated deal in what is a relatively high-cost region has been seen by the industry as a litmus test for the sector's appetite for buying and selling oil and gas fields…
Britain to Review Tax to Speed up North Sea O&G Deals
Britain will look at ways of making it easier to sell North Sea oil and gas fields by changing tax rules in order to keep them producing for longer, the finance ministry said. The move, which is due to be announced in finance minister Philip Hammond's budget on Wednesday, follows a call by the industry's oil lobby group for a change to decommissioning tax rules that have prevented deals in the North Sea. Owners of oil and gas assets get tax relief on the future costs of dismantling them, but as assets are sold the relief cannot be passed on to new owners. "The UK government will publish a discussion paper and establish a panel of industry experts to consider how tax can assist sales of oil and gas fields, helping to keep them productive for longer," the ministry said in a statement.
Energy Island: Europeans Mull North Sea Hub
A plan set in motion by three European transmission system operators (TSO) aims to develop mammoth offshore wind farm infrastructure in the North Sea supported by at least one manmade island. First unveiled in June 2016, plans for the North Sea Wind Power Hub project will now press ahead to develop a large offshore renewable European electricity system following the signing of a trilateral agreement by TenneT TSO B.V. (Netherlands), Energinet.dk (Denmark) and TenneT TSO GmbH (Germany) in Brussels on March 23, 2017.
Total Overtakes Shell in North Sea Production
Majors still control three quarter of output; even after $10 bln of deals, private equity still plays only modest role. French oil major Total has overtaken rival Royal Dutch Shell to become the second-largest producer in the North Sea with its acquisition of Maersk's Norwegian and UK producing assets. The $7.45 billion deal by Total was welcomed by the market, with analysts saying it helped the French company rebalance its portfolio by adding assets in developed countries after going for projects in riskier places such as Iran and Russia.
Dundee Wants to be a Major Oil and Gas Decommissioning Hub
Forth Ports Limited and AF Offshore Decom UK announced the signing of a Heads of Agreement with the intent to establish a new joint venture, AF Dundee, which will lay the foundations of creating a North Sea oil and gas decommissioning hub in the city of Dundee, with its nucleus at the port. AF Offshore Decom UK, a subsidiary of AF Gruppen, is one of the North Sea’s most respected and prominent decommissioning contractors and operates AF VATS Environmental Base in Norway, the North Sea’s most advanced facility for decommissioning offshore installations.
In Sign of Oil Rebalancing, North Sea Floating Storage Shrinks
The volume of global price benchmark North Sea crude being held in floating storage has declined sharply since mid-August, according to shipping data and trade sources, a sign that a long-awaited market rebalancing is gaining momentum. Two supertankers being used to store North Sea crudes offshore the UK, Desimi and Gener8 Neptune, contain about 4 million barrels of oil, trade sources said. Three weeks ago, the total was closer to 10 million barrels. The clearing of the crude to destinations including China and South Korea has been encouraged by a rise in the price of Brent crude for delivery soon relative to later supplies, trade sources said, a feature known as backwardation. "The whole market is tightening up," said a North Sea trade source.
Shipbreaking NGOs Attack FPSO North Sea Producer
16 August of last year the FPSO North Sea Producer was beached in Chittagong, Bangladesh. The ship was allowed to leave the UK based on the false promise that it would be further operationally used in the Tin Can port in Nigeria. One year on, the battle to hold the owners and cash buyers accountable for the illegal export of the FPSO is not over. The North Sea Producer (ex Dagmar Maersk) was deployed in the McCulloch field in the North Sea, transporting and extracting oil from the UK continental shelf for 17 years…
Maersk Drilling Gets Contract Extensions for Two Rigs
Maersk Drilling has been awarded two contract extensions in the North Sea. Both rigs have recently been re-activated to the North Sea from warm stacking. The estimated duration of the two extensions is 105 days. The high efficiency jack-up Maersk Resolve has been awarded a contract extension by Wintershall Noordzee B.V. for the drilling of a third well in the ongoing drilling campaign in the North Sea. The drilling of the third well will take place in the Dutch Sector and the work scope includes drilling as well as potential testing and completion activities.
DNV GL, Chrysaor Pact for North Sea Operations
DNV GL has secured a combined engineering services agreement with Chrysaor Holdings Ltd. to deliver a unique range of services to the company in support of its North Sea Operations. Chrysaor recently completed the acquisition of a package of assets in the UK North Sea from Shell for a price of $3.0 billion. The transaction sees Chrysaor become the leading independent E&P company in the UK. It currently has more than 400 staff working in the UKCS. Hari Vamadevan, Regional Manager UK & West Africa…
A BP North Sea field to test U.S. policy on Iran
A small gas field on the edge of the British North Sea could become a litmus test for U.S. policy towards Iran. London-based BP this week agreed to sell to North Sea producer Serica Energy three fields in the ageing offshore basin, including the Rhum field which is co-owned by a subsidiary of Iran's national oil company. For Serica, the $400 million deal will increase its production sevenfold. It nevertheless hinges on the British company receiving a licence from U.S. sanctions enforcement authorities at a time when President Donald Trump is flexing his muscles against Tehran. For BP and its American Chief Executive Bob Dudley, selling Rhum, which BP discovered in the 1970s, removes a potential source of friction as it mends its ties with the U.S.
Teekay Orders Additional Shuttle Tanker Duo
Teekay Offshore Partners L.P. has declared options with Samsung Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. for the construction of two Suezmax DP2 shuttle tanker newbuilds for a total fully-built-up cost of approximately $265 million. Upon delivery in 2020, the vessels will join Teekay Offshore’s Contract of Affreightment (CoA) fleet in the North Sea. “This is another important milestone for Teekay Offshore’s shuttle tanker franchise since it further strengthens our position as the leading provider of CoA shuttle tanker services in the North Sea,” said Ingvild Sæther, President and CEO of Teekay Offshore Group Ltd. According to Teekay, the newbuilds will be constructed based on the Partnership’s new Shuttle Spirit design which incorporates technologies to increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions…
Maersk Oil, Partners Approve USD 3.2bln Tyra Gas Project
Maersk Oil has announced that the Danish Underground Consortium (DUC) has approved an investment of approximately 21bn DKK in the full redevelopment of the Tyra gas field. The announcement follows the Danish Parliament’s approval to implement legislation to secure the investment. The redevelopment of Tyra ensures continued production from Denmark’s largest gas field, and will protect and rejuvenate important Danish North Sea infrastructure. Today’s announcement represents the largest oil and gas project investment ever made in the Danish North Sea…
Keppel to Deliver First North Sea FPSO
Keppel Offshore & Marine (Keppel O&M)'s wholly-owned subsidiary Keppel Shipyard Ltd (Keppel Shipyard) is on track to deliver a Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) vessel to Armada Kraken Pte Ltd (Armada Kraken), a wholly owned subsidiary of Bumi Armada Berhad (Bumi Armada). The naming ceremony of the FPSO, Armada Kraken, was held at Keppel Shipyard yesterday. Armada Kraken is a harsh-environment FPSO unit that is designed for operations in the North Sea under a stringent regulatory regime.
Force Majeure Declared on Some North Sea Liftings
Pipeline shut on Dec. 11; repair work could last several weeks. Deliveries of crude oil through the Forties pipeline in the North Sea are under force majeure for the first time in decades and operator INEOS said on Thursday there was no timeline yet for repair work that could last several weeks. The 169-km pipeline, which carries around a quarter of all North Sea crude output and around a third of Britain's total offshore gas production, has been closed since Monday, following the discovery of a small crack in part of the system onshore in Scotland. Force majeure, which suspends a company's contractual obligations in the wake of situations that lie beyond its control, is common in oil-producing nations like Nigeria where unrest often disrupts output, but very rare in the North Sea.
Wärtsilä’s ESS Reduces North Sea Giant's Costs
The technology group Wärtsilä has agreed to retrofit the world’s first energy storage solution on board a large offshore supply vessel. The North Sea Giant, one of the world’s largest and most advanced subsea construction vessels, will be fitted with an energy storage system that reduces the vessel’s energy consumption, operating costs and exhaust emissions. The retrofit energy storage system improves the operational efficiency and environmental footprint of the North Sea Giant, responding to key requirements of Norwegian North Sea Shipping AS, the owner of the vessel.
Tanker Collided with Oil Rig in North Sea
The tanker Elsa Essberger collided with unmanned oil rig Q1 with is no longer in use, at around 1820 UTC Dec 31 in North sea some 20 nm southwest of Den Helder, Netherlands. The platform Q1 Halfway is not in use and according to the Coast Guard there were no people at the time of the collision. The plant built there in 1995 is part of an oil and gas field in the Dutch part of the North Sea off Den Helder. In the collision the bow of the Elsa Essberger was damaged, but the cargo tanks remained completely intact, so there is no danger of outflow or leakage of the cargo.
North Sea Canal Ports Transhipment Hits Record 100 MT
The positive economy led to a 2.5 percent increase in the transhipment of goods at the Port of Amsterdam to 81.3 million tonnes in 2017. Together with the other seaports in the North Sea Canal Area, transhipment rose to a record level of 100.8 million tonnes. In IJmuiden, transhipment was up 7 percent to 18.5 million tonnes. Beverwijk saw transhipment increase to 800,000 tonnes (up 6 percent). Zaanstad booked an increase of 35 percent to 300,000 tonnes. The increase at the Port of Amsterdam was mainly due to higher transhipment of oil products and agribulk.
Maersk Sells North Sea Stakes to RockRose
Maersk Oil, a unit of Danish conglomerate A.P. Moller-Maersk, has agreed to sell stakes in three North Sea fields to RockRose Energy, the latest new entrant into the ageing basin. RockRose suspended trading on Wednesday before announcing it has agreed non-binding headline terms and a period of exclusivity from Maersk Oil North Sea UK to acquire its non-operated 7.4 percent interest in the Wytch Farm field, a 5.2 percent interest in the Scott fields and a 2.4 percent interest in the Telford field.
Oliver Design Fits Out North Sea Salmon Factory Vessel
Spanish naval design and architecture firm, Oliver Design, has just completed interior design of the salmon factory vessel Norwegian Gannet. The ship is currently under construction at the Balenciaga yards near San Sebastian, Spain. Oliver Design will shortly begin the work of interior outfitting on the ship, which is due to be launched in April and handed over to the owner in August. Although the shipyard was founded in 1921 and the naval design firm in 1990, this is the first time the two leading Basque firms have worked together.
North Sea Crude-Forties Slips to Lowest Since mid-2017
North Sea Forties crude differentials weakened on Wednesday to the lowest since mid-2017. Gunvor sold a cargo from floating storage. Such sales are often seen as a sign of a plentifully supplied market. PLATTS WINDOW Forties: Glencore bought from Gunvor a cargo loading on a ship-to-ship transfer basis from the Blue Pride on Feb. 28-March 2 at dated Brent minus 65 cents. Gunvor also offered a Feb. 25-27 cargo at dated Brent minus 70 cents, meaning on average Forties was worth dated minus 70 cents, equalling the mid-2017 low reached on Monday. (Reporting by Alex Lawler
MOL, FEIA Team to Develop North Sea Route
Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Ltd. signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Far East Investment and Export Agency under the Ministry of the Russian Federation for the Development of the Far East to cooperate with each other in the development of the Northern Sea Route and the Russian Far East. MOL has been participating in the Yamal LNG Project, which is the world first large scale energy project that exports cargoes through the Northern Sea Route, and MOL’s first ice-breaking LNG carrier for the project is slated to go into service at the end of March…
North Sea Forties Crude Sailings Resume
Loadings of Forties crude at Hound Point terminal in Scotland have resumed, a spokesman for Ineos, operator of the Forties pipeline, said on Friday. "At the moment, sailings from Hound Point have re-commenced," spokesman Richard Longden said, adding that a vessel had sailed on Thursday. Ineos had said on Thursday that loading was temporarily postponed due to adverse weather conditions. Forties is one of five North Sea crudes which underpin the Brent benchmark. Reporting by Alex Lawler
Maersk Drilling Bags North Sea Contracts
Maersk Drilling said it has been awarded three consecutive contracts for the Maersk Resolute and a contract extension for the Maersk Resolve, both operating in the Dutch sector of the North Sea.“The North Sea continues to be a key market to Maersk Drilling, and with the new contracts for Maersk Resolute and the contract extension for Maersk Resolve, we are further strengthening our presence in the area,” said Morten Kelstrup, CCIO in Maersk Drilling.Three consecutive contract agreements with TAQA Energy B.V., Petrogas E&P Netherlands B.V. and Dana Petroleum Netherlands B.V.