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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Oil Exploration News

Norway Awards Oil Permits to 11 Firms in Arctic Licensing Round

The West Hercules drilling rig in the Barents Sea. (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland / Equinor)

Norway has awarded 12 oil and gas exploration licences to Equinor and 10 other companies focused mostly on the Arctic, where Oslo believes it has the greatest potential for significant new discoveries.Nine of the licences are located in the Barents Sea and three in the Norwegian Sea off central Norway, the Ministry of Oil and Energy said on Monday."This licensing round confirms that the oil companies see opportunities for further profitable petroleum activity in the north," Oil and Energy Minister Terje Soeviknes said in a statement.Equinor…

Maersk: Disappointing Q1 Earnings Hit Share Price

(Photo: A.P. Moller-Maersk)

A.P. Moller-Maersk missed first-quarter profit expectations on Thursday and warned that political and trade tensions clouded the outlook, sending shares in the world's biggest container shipper sharply lower.Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) for the three months to March 31 rose 5 percent to $669 million but came in well below the $852 million forecast by analysts in a Reuters poll.Chief Executive Soren Skou called the result "unsatisfactory"…

Oil Exploration Is Ramping Up Off Norway

Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland / © Equinor

Oil firms are expected to drill 40-50 exploration wells off Norway this year compared to 36 wells drilled the previous year, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said on Thursday.The Norwegian continental shelf still held an estimated 4 billion cubic meters (25.2 billion barrels) of oil equivalents in undiscovered petroleum resources, with two-thirds located in the Arctic Barents Sea, it added.Half of estimated undiscovered resources in the Barents Sea, however, are located north of the areas opened for petroleum activities, and it's unclear when oil firms can get access to them.(Reporting by N

Seadrill Could Be Heading for Bankruptcy

Photo: Seadrill Limited

The oil rig owner SeaDrill could be forced into bankruptcy protection soon, if it fails to reach a restructuring agreement with its lenders, reports Reuters. The rig firm, controlled by John Fredriksen, is battling with $14 billion in debt and liabilities. "In the event a consensual restructuring agreement is not concluded or an agreement to an extension is not reached, we are also preparing various contingency plans, including potential schemes of arrangement or chapter 11 proceedings," the company warns.

BHP Billiton, Pemex sign Trion Contract

Pedro Joaquín Coldwell, Mexican Minister of Energy,  Enrique Peña Nieto, President of Mexico, Andrew Mackenzie, BHP Billiton CEO and José Antonio González Anaya, CEO of PEMEX. Photo: BHP Billiton

BHP Billiton has advanced its exploration and production interests in the Gulf of Mexico by executing a contract with PEMEX Exploration & Production Mexico (Pemex) to complete work on the significant Trion discovery in Mexico. In December 2016, BHP Billiton successfully bid on the resource that, once fully appraised, is expected to be in the top 10 fields discovered in the Gulf of Mexico in the last decade. The agreement includes a commitment to deliver a Minimum Work Program, which consists of drilling one appraisal well, one exploration well and the acquisition of additional seismic data.

EU Lawmakers Reject Call for Ban on Arctic Oil Exploration

© ggw / Adobe stock

The European Parliament rejected a call to ban Arctic oil and gas exploration on Thursday, in a symbolic vote seen as a barometer for future moves by Brussels to regulate to protect the region. Lawmakers who back the ban, which had drawn the ire of Norway, say the European Union needs a strategy for future developments in a region being transformed by climate change. Lawmakers voted 414-180 to reject the non-binding motion calling for the European Commission and member states to work with international forums towards "a future total ban on the extraction of Arctic oil and gas".

Statoil Wins Licences Off UK, 'Resets' Exploration Off U.S.

Norway's Statoil was the second top bidder for 13 oil exploration leases in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and won six licences offshore Britain, it said on Thursday, in a sign it may be looking to boost reserves after slashing costs. Statoil bid a total of $44.5 million for 13 licences in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, coming second only to Shell and ahead of Hess Corp, Chevron and Exxon, the latest auction results showed. The company said in a separate statement it had won five new operated licences in the northern North Sea and one in the frontier area west of Scotland, committing to drill at least three wells. Statoil said its bids for licences in the U.S.

DONG Energy Settles Platform Dispute

DONG Energy said it has reached a settlement with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and Technip over who bears responsibility for construction errors concerning an offshore platform for the idled Hejre field. The settlement clears a major hurdle for the Danish company's plans to divest its oil and gas unit to focus on its growing business of developing offshore wind farms. DONG said in a statement that the agreement will reduce the 2.5 billion Danish crowns ($367 million) of provisions it made in relation to the Hejre field ahead of its listing, which was one of the largest in the world last year. It will also have a positive impact of around 900 million crowns on operating profit in DONG's Discontinued Operations…

China Threatened War If Philippines Drills for Oil -Duterte

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday Chinese counterpart China Xi Jinping had warned him there would be war if Manila tried to enforce an arbitration ruling and drill for oil in a disputed part of the South China Sea. In remarks that could infuriate China, Duterte hit back at domestic critics who said he has gone soft on Beijing by refusing to push it to comply with an award last year by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, which ruled largely in favor of the Philippines. Duterte said he discussed it with Xi when the two met in Beijing on Monday, and got a firm, but friendly warning. "We intend to drill oil there…

Turkish Navy Monitoring Drilling Vessel near Cyprus

Turkey has sent two ships and a submarine to monitor a drilling vessel in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, the military said on Thursday, in a move likely to increase tension with Cyprus after reunification talks failed last week. The drilling work, a contractual obligation between Cyprus and France's Total, comes a week after the collapse of talks to reunify the divided island nation, split between ethnic Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Ankara has said it will take measures against Cyprus for engaging in gas and oil exploration around the island. It says that hydrocarbon resources in the waters around the divided island should belong to both sides. The military said it had deployed the frigates and a submarine to the eastern Mediterranean to "guarantee the security of oil transportation".

Dakuku Calls for Marine Ecosystem Conservation

Director, Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research, Dr. Parcy Obatola, Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside, Norwegian Ambassador to Nigeria Jens-Petter Kjemprud and the representative of the Lagos state commissioner for Agriculture, Emmanuel Audu at the Regional Conference on Marine Safety and Fisheries Protection, in Lagos. (Photo: NIMASA)

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr. Dakuku Peterside has stressed the need for concerted and collaborative efforts of all stakeholders toward the conservation and sustainable use of ocean resources for the protection of the environment and indeed the entire ecosystem. The Director General who made this appeal while speaking at a 2-day Regional Conference on Marine Safety and Fisheries Protection organized by the United Nations…

TGS Shares Fall after Q2 Sales Disappoint

Shares of the world's leading provider of geoscience data to oil companies TGS fell by more than 6 percent on Thursday, after disappointing sales in the second quarter. TGS reported $108 million in quarterly revenues, 6 percent below consensus, and compared with $114 million in the second-quarter a year ago. "Part of the problem was that TGS failed to sell more in Brazil, where PGS and CGG did well, or in Mexico, where it had data in the wrong place or it was simply too expensive," Iver Baatvik at ABN-AMRO bank said. The so-called late sales of seismic data were down to $79 million from $84 million a year ago. Peers including Schlumberger, PGS and CGG all reported year-on-year growth in the second quarter.

Total, Chevron Team up in Gulf of Mexico Oil Exploration

Photo: Total

Total announced that its subsidiary, TOTAL E&P USA, INC., has entered into an agreement to capture seven prospects operated by CHEVRON U.S.A. INC. in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The agreement covers 16 blocks. The associated prospects are located in two promising plays and areas of the GoM: Wilcox in Central GoM next to the Anchor discovery, and Norphlet in Eastern GoM nearby to the Appomattox discovery. Total’s participation in these wells will be between 25 percentand 40 percent.The first of these wells was spudded late July on the Ballymore prospect in Mississippi Canyon.

Market Snapshot: Offshore Outlook

(Source: Vessels Value)

Notwithstanding the recent surge in crude oil prices, it isn’t lost on anyone that the offshore oil exploration business is, and has been for some time, in the doldrums. In the U.S. Gulf, that pain can be seen through Chapter 11 filings and the sobering specter of vessel after vessel rolling off the shipyard ways and directly into cold iron layup. And, it doesn’t help that the shore-based shale drillers have not only found a way to drastically reduce their operating expenses, but also how to turn the valve off and on, seemingly at will, in response to market conditions.

Norway's Arctic Oil Plan Violates Constitution, Lawsuit Says

© h368k742 / Adobe Stock

Norway's plan for Arctic oil exploration is unconstitutional because it violates the right to a healthy environment, a lawyer for Greenpeace and the Nature and Youth environmental group told an Oslo court on Tuesday. The case is the first of its kind in Norway and says a 2015 oil licensing round in the Arctic that gave awards to Statoil , Chevron and others violates the constitution. Norway signed the 2016 Paris accord, which aims to end the fossil fuel era this century. The country is Western Europe's largest oil producer and oil and gas are its most important exports.

BSEE Oversees Spudding of New Oil Well in Arctic

Photo: Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement

Italian oil producer Eni began drilling the new well off the north coast of Alaska, becoming the first company to do so since 2015, reports Reuters. "New oil exploration in Arctic federal waters is underway this week with the spudding of a new oil well from an existing man-made island in the Beaufort Sea. Two Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) personnel were on-hand Monday ensuring compliance with approved permits, federal regulations and safety standards as Eni U.S.

Norway Awards 75 Oil Exploration Licenses

© Marius Dobilas / Adobe Stock

Norway's energy ministry has awarded 75 offshore exploration blocks to oil companies in a so-called predefined areas (APA) licensing round, handing out acreage to 34 firms, of which 19 got at least one operatorship, it said on Tuesday.   A total of 39 firms had applied for the offered acreage, up from 33 companies that applied in the previous round a year ago, when the ministry awarded 56 exploration licenses. (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis and Joachim Dagenborg, editing by Terje Solsvik)

China Considering New Tariffs on 128 US Products

© Amarinj / Adobe Stock

China's commerce ministry said on Friday that it may impose additional tariffs on up to $3 billion of U.S. imports in response to U.S. tariffs on Chinese steel and aluminum products. The ministry said it was considering implementing measures in two stages: first, a 15 percent tariff on 120 products including steel pipes, dried fruit and wine, and later, a 25 percent tariff on pork and recycled aluminum. Below is a list of 128 U.S. 83  22043000  Grape juice other than that of heading item No.

Near Record Low Arctic Ocean Ice a Boost for Shipping

© Misiurin Viacheslav / Adobe Stock

Winter sea ice on the Arctic Ocean covered the second smallest area on record this year, part of a thaw that is opening the region to shipping and oil exploration and may be disrupting weather far to the south, scientists said on Friday. The extent of floating ice likely reached an annual maximum of 14.5 million square kilometers (5.6 million square miles) on March 17, fractionally bigger than a record set in 2017, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) said. Sea ice around the North Pole freezes to its biggest at the end of the winter in March…

Satellite Images Show China's Show of Force in South China Sea

(Photo: Planet Labs)

Dozens of Chinese naval vessels are exercising this week with an aircraft carrier in a large show of force off Hainan island in the South China Sea, satellite images obtained by Reuters show. The images, provided by Planet Labs Inc, confirm a Chinese carrier group has entered the vital trade waterway as part of what the Chinese navy earlier described as combat drills that were part of routine annual exercises. The Liaoning carrier group last week traversed the Taiwan Strait, according to the Taiwanese defense ministry.

Arctic: ExxonMobil Exits, Rosneft Goes Ahead

Photo: ExxonMobil

Russian state oil company Rosneft will continue geological explorations in the Arctic offshore zone after ExxonMobil quits the joint projects, reports TASS. The report qouted Natural Resources Minister Sergey Donskoy saying that the Arctic licenses will remain with Rosneft and the company "plans to continue to operate there". Exxon Mobil  decided to withdraw from the joint projects with Rosneft in late 2017 after Washington issued a legal act expanding against Russia. According to the document, in 2013 and 2014 Exxon Mobil and Rosneft created various entities for operations in oil exploration.

Maersk Likely to Shelve Plans to List Drilling Division

(File photo: Maersk Drilling)

Shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk is likely to shelve plans to list its struggling offshore drilling division because of weak market conditions, according to five finance sources familiar with the matter.The Danish company is now expected to focus on a trade sale of Maersk Drilling, and extend the timeline to divest the unit beyond its initial target of the end of 2018, said the sources who declined to be named as the discussions are private.Maersk group has not publicly put a price tag on the division…

Egypt Approves Oil Exploration Deal with Eni, Tharwa

© Igor Shkvara / Adobe Stock

Egypt has approved an exploration agreement with Italy's Eni and the Egyptian Tharwa company to search for oil and gas in the Mediterranean off the coast of northern Sinai, the Egyptian oil minister said on Wednesday.Under the deal, Eni and Tharwa will spend $105 million in two stages over six years, which involve drilling one well in the first stage and another in the second, Tarek El Molla told journalists.Reporting by Momen Saeed Atallah, writing by Sami Aboudi

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Jul 2018 - Marine Communications Edition

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