Exclusives

oil, gas, production, U.K., North Sea, Oil & Gas UK, Deirdre Michie

Oil and gas production on the U.K. Continental Shelf jumped 8.6 percent for the first 10 months of the year, compared to 2014.

Groningen kicked off a frenzy of exploration that ultimately resulted in the development of the North Sea. Nowadays it’s making news for a different reason.

UK, shale, gas, licensing, round, INEO, Oil & Gas Authority, Cuadrilla

The round received 95 applications from 47 companies as the oil and gas sector continues to cope with the prolonged downturn, depressed commodity prices and a supply-demand imbalance.

Shell, reorganize, upstream, Ben van Beurden, commodity, BG Group

Reorganization plans unveiled Nov. 3, as part of the company’s management day, include breaking its conventional oil and gas, unconventional resources and integrated gas units into three businesses.

BP, technology, outlook, production, cost

By applying certain technologies, BP believes proved oil and gas reserves could increase from 2.9 trillion barrels of oil equivalent to 4.8 trillion barrels.

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

Greece has made several fruitless attempts over the last 50 years to find big oil and gas reserves, and has increased those efforts due to its debt crisis, Reuters reported.

Petroceltic, which operates in Algeria, Egypt, Black Sea and the Kurdistan region of Iraq, said in December it hired bankers to conduct a strategic review, including a possible sale, Reuters said.

Last year saw a flurry of deals in Norway's biggest industry, with private equity investors buying up assets, betting on a recovery in crude prices, from energy firms happy to generate some cash.

Stephen Brunner, Petro River’s president, said past political and geological issues have rendered Larne the only truly untested carboniferous basin Europe. Larne is broadly similar to carboniferous-sourced East Irish Sea Basin.

The biggest winner was Statoil with 24 licenses, including 13 operatorships. Others to win operatorships include Lundin and Eni.

Production

Local opposition to drilling on environmental grounds has slowed development and prompted the introduction of a 12-mile ban on activities within Italy's coastlines and protected areas, Reuters said.

The flowline system will be fabricated at the group’s spoolbase in Mobile, Ala. The offshore installation is scheduled for second-half 2016 by Technip’s Deep Blue flagship deepwater pipelay vessel. 

The Laggan-Tormore development consists of a 140-km (87-mile) tieback of four subsea wells to the new onshore Shetland Gas Plant which has a capacity of 500 million standard cubic feet per day, according to a news release. 

The company expects to produce between 60,000 and 70,000 barrels of oil equivalents per day (boe/d) this year, which is about double the average rate achieved in 2015.

The referendum requested by some regional governments concerns a recently passed law stating that concessions already granted should last until the oilfield in question is depleted, Reuters said.

Subsea Engineering

Ending a saga worthy of a James Joyce novel, Shell has finally brought the Corrib Field offshore Ireland onstream, more than 15 years after project consents were first issued.  

Wintershall is looking to boost oil and gas production from its core areas including Russia, Norway and the UK while also expanding activities in Argentina, new company chairman Mario Mehren told the World Gas Conference in Paris.

The threat of possible strike action continues to hang over the U.K. North Sea.

The latest international survey of the offshore oil and gas sector reminds the industry of some of its worst ills that have only been exacerbated by the current low-price environment.

The rampant cost inflation which U.K. North Sea producers have been battling against in recent years was starkly highlighted at an industry event in Aberdeen.

Technology

Supreme Court weakened the Obama administration's climate change agenda on Feb. 9 when it delayed implementation of Clean Power Plan until legal challenges to the regulation are completed, Reuters reported.

Oil & Gas Investment Fund SAS currently holds a 75% interest in a reconnaissance permit over the Meridja area and Morocco’s Office National des Hydrocarbures des Mines holds remaining 25%. 

The 10-year collaborative arrangement, which is for GE’s engageDrilling Services, will include GE purchasing the BOP systems aboard Diamond Offshore’s four drillships in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico for a total of $210 million, according to a news release.

Philippe Baptiste has been appointed senior vice president of scientific development at Total, effective Feb. 1, the company said in a news release.

The concessions for four blocks in the Adriatic Sea were awarded in line with the terms of a 2014 tender, pending parliamentary approval, an economy ministry's spokeswoman said, Reuters reported.