Exclusives

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.

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

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

Reservoir services company Core Laboratories NV acquired Sanchez Technologies in an all-cash transaction. Sanchez is based in Viarmes, France. Sanchez designs and manufactures cutting-edge reservoir pressure-volume-temperature equipment and instrumentation.  

Shell’s acquisition of BG, scheduled to close in early 2016, requires further regulatory reviews from several foreign agencies, but the FTC ruling might serve as a model for further regulatory reviews.

The Cooper Basin producer’s subsidiary Beach Petroleum has transferred its 30% interest in Block 28 to the operator Petroceltic Romania for nominal consideration.  

Through the new 3-D acquisition, Energean said it aims to improve the seismic imaging of the Prinos Field and the satellite oil fields Prinos North and Epsilon.

The partners said they intend to submit a proposed outline of the development plan for reservoir to the government of Cyprus.

Production

Local officials in Lancashire County, England, rejected Cuadrilla Resources Ltd.’s plans to drill shale gas at Preston New Road site, Bloomberg said. Roseacre site drilling plans were rejected last week.

The Netherlands’ Groningen Field accounts for 55% of its total natural gas, Bloomberg said.  A Shell-Exxon Mobil joint venture company owns 60% of Groningen. Groningen’s output was cut after earthquakes.

The project will use 4-D seismic imaging, horizontal drilling and pump technology. Polymer chemical injection technology’s role in maximizing economic recovery of U.K. hydrocarbon reserves will be demonstrated.

The production license is valid until 2035 and covers about 50 sq km. Morskaya Field might  hold 157Mboe in gross contingent resources. 

LLC Petroresurs owns the field. 

Tanzania could lead East Africa LNG exports through Shell’s takeover of BG Group, Bloomberg said. Stakes in three blocks offshore Tanzania, holding one-third of estimated resource, are included in deal.

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

Top American companies including ExxonMobil Corp. stayed out of greenhouse-gas emissions initiative. The U.N. told six European oil majors to plan phasing out of fossil fuels by 2100, Bloomberg said.

Joar Welde said Peter Jenkins will now oversee 4Subsea’s strategy of delivering solutions that lower opex and capex on subsea well systems and production riser systems.

Key changes involve the development and production Norway and technology, projects and drilling departments. There will be one new research and technology unit. Overall project development will be simplified.

Jubilee’s phase one A will use large-bore subsea completion landing strings, subsea exploration and appraisal landing strings, high flow-rate surface well testing and sampling services.

Norwegian Shipowners’ Association represents employers in mediation with Industri Energi union, DSO union members. Without deal, workers on two Teekay-owned ships in Knarr and Varg fields will strike, Bloomberg said.