Exclusives

A succession of high-profile speakers at the annual SPE/IADC Drilling Conference in London lined up to outline some of the long-term measures their companies have undertaken to raise their game.

The country plans to offer additional acreage onshore and offshore later this year.

The proposal includes an investment allowance, reversal of the increased supplementary charge and a new exploration tax credit.

Vast shale deposits are beckoning, but the geology needs to work.

The company expects permits for its onshore exploration in the Emilia Romagna region to be issued in the first half of next year.

Deepwater International

Norway’s Polarcus has been hired to conduct a 3-D marine seismic survey offshore Egypt.

Various subsea equipment will be delivered throughout 2015 and 2016.

GE Oil & Gas has invested more than $20.5 million across its subsea manufacturing facilities in Montrose, Scotland, in a move to enhance its business’s test and assembly and manufacturing capabilities.

Ceona has successfully installed a 570-mt multiple pipelay vertical lay system (VLS) and twin 400-mt cranes onto its next-generation flagship asset, the Ceona Amazon.

Kosmos Energy is taking a fresh look at a handful of new and existing exploration prospects in frontier waters offshore Ireland, according to partner Europa Oil & Gas.

Exploration

Statoil’s Yeti well in the U.S. GoM’s Walker Ridge area delivered good drilling results, Bloomberg said. The company acquired 14 more leases adjacent to Yeti in the recent GoM sale. 

Total might sell the Frigg U.K. System pipeline, or a majority stake, for about $1 billion, Reuters said. The 362 km (225 m) pipeline transports North Sea gas to St. Fergus, Scotland. 

UK Oil & Gas seeks Magellan Petroleum (UK) Ltd.'s 40% working interest in the onshore PEDL126 license, containing the Markwells Wood oil discovery.

The 22/16-6 well on the Dalziel structure flowed at rates in excess of 8 Mboe/d. The well is now being sidetracked to appraise the extent of this discovery.  

The discoveries in the Krafla area once again demonstrate that growth opportunities still exist in the North Sea. 

Production

The UK’s OGA will ensure North Sea producers extract Britain’s remaining 24 Bbbl of reserves, Reuters said. It will fine E&Ps that breach licenses. The OGA becomes a legislative body April 1. 

Statoil believes the drilling proposals lie outside the scope of current international sanctions against Russia. The company plans to drill the wells with OAO Rosneft, Reuters said. 

For the Netherlands, the EU's biggest gas producer, less gas could reduce national income by almost 2 billion euros ($2.1 billion), according to the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Bloomberg said.

The Mariner Sentinel will provide emergency cover, oil spill response preparedness and tanker-assist capabilities for the Mariner Field.

Oil companies from Statoil to Russia’s OAO Rosneft are cutting investment plans, in particular high-cost ventures in areas like the Arctic, after prices fell 60% from June to January. 

Subsea Engineering

The major problems facing the drilling industry become more apparent as each week passes.

The recent arrival of Allseas’ massive Pieter Schelte single-lift vessel in Rotterdam has been met by a furore over its name.

It’s too early to know if the new tax arrangements offered by the UK government will revitalise the offshore sector, but that it needs a lift is beyond doubt, despite near record investments of some £13bn. 

Aberdeen City Council is now arranging a job summit, amid fears thousands of posts could be axed, but fears have been expressed the event could achieve nothing.

Politics has reared its head in the energy industry again as Russia, in the form of Gazprom, has cancelled the $40bn South Stream gas pipeline project across the Black Sea which would have supplied gas to southern Europe while avoiding the Ukraine.

Technology

The U.K. lifted a moratorium in December 2012, but no fracking has taken place, Bloomberg said. Scotland and Wales temporarily banned the method while studying environmental safeguards.

New rules and guidelines will be published in May. They were developed to reduce accident risk and environmental damage. They cover design, fabrication, installation, structural assessment, life assessment and decommissioning. 

Most recently, Eskil Jersing headed new ventures and was co-head of M&A at Petrobras in Rotterdam. He has 29 years' experience in exploration, new ventures, strategy planning and business development. 

Opedal will be responsible the corporate improvement programs and for driving operational efficiency across Statoil’s business areas.

Unite and GMB are gauging the mood for strike action among U.K. North Sea workers, Reuters said. About 3,000 Offshore Contractors Association workers have grievances on shift changes, sick pay and pensions.