Exclusives

Providence Resources and Europa Oil & Gas are among the companies that have identified prospects, but success has not been had by all in the in past.

The specter of Russia looms over Europe as Romania focuses on shale and ultradeepwater exploration to reverse declining oil and gas production.

Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh has run a consortium devoted to time-lapse seismic, not within its geophysics department but within its petroleum engineering department.

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.

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

The farm-in will provide Vermilion participating interest in 19 onshore exploration licenses in northwest Germany, comprising about 850,000 net acres of oil and gas rights (100% undeveloped), the company said in a news release.

Italian oil company Eni was awarded three licenses covering 23 blocks, while Shell received one license to explore 10 blocks, government data showed, Reuters said. 

Italy’s Eni has asked advisers to look at options for the assets, which include interests in oil and natural-gas fields, people with knowledge of the private matter told Bloomberg.

Shell's bid signals renewed interest in Albania, a NATO nation seeking to join the European Union, after many oil majors failed to strike oil there in the decade after it toppled communism in 1990.

Companies shoulder much of costs for large-scale redundant platform decommissioning as sales in ageing oil fields remain few, Reuters said. Urgency to sell assets has grown on low oil prices.

Production

Total began production from Dalia Phase 1A, a new development on its deepwater Block 17offshore Angola. The project involved seven infill wells that were tied back to the Dalia FPSO.

For about US$523 million, Maersk Drilling extended contract with BP to operate NA Heydar Aliyev drilling rig in Shah Deniz natural gas field in the Caspian Sea until May 2021. 

Pressure will be boosted at the Midgard and Mikkel reservoirs tied to the Aasgard Field, helping increase total production by 306MMboe, or 45.9Bcm of gas, Reuters said.

Draft regulations allow hydraulic fracturing below 1,200m in protected areas, including national parks and groundwater, Reuters said.  Local politicians rejected two projects that could have been first shale gas-producing wells.

Statoil’s production in the Barents Sea could be delayed further on the Iran nuclear deal, Bloomberg said. Norway faces its biggest drop in offshore investments in 15 years.

Subsea Engineering

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.

The UK government has finally unveiled a package of measures to help the country’s ailing offshore industry which it says will encourage more than £4bn of additional investment over the next five years. 

Technology

BP CEO Bob Dudley said company is less likely to be acquired, “and it is certainly not our intention” to sell, after $18.7 billion Gulf of Mexico settlement, Reuters reported.

Gas firm PGNiG and chief refiner PKN Orlen will jointly research eight exploration licenses near the Bieszczady Mountains in southeastern Poland, PKN said, Reuters reported.

Kristian Røkke, currently chairman of Aker Philadelphia Shipyard ASA (AKPS), and previously president and CEO of AKPS, will assume his new position in Akastor on Aug. 10, 2015. 

Industry-funded Task Force on Shale Gas advised Britain to avoid deep injection wells for hydraulically fracturing gas, oil, Reuters said. Final report on shale gas risks and benefits is forthcoming.

Discussions have already taken place between the government and shale gas developers in which industry representatives have urged politicians to adjust policies, industry sources said, Reuters reported.