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

TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Co. signed a LOA with Polarcus DMCC to acquire 3M sq km of 3-D seismic data in northwest Europe. It could potentially extend to 7M sq km.

A French satellite systems operator, Collecte Localisation Satellites SA, bought U.S. Gulf of Mexico-focused Horizon Marine Inc. Horizon provides metocean forecasting services. No transaction details were provided in a press release.

UK Oil & Gas Investments Plc found more than 8 Bbbl of shale oil in Horse Hill Field in Weald Basin. The basin is near London’s second-busiest airport, Bloomberg said. 

Statoil ASA made another natural gas discovery in Block 2 offshore Tanzania, Reuters said. The company will now appraise one of its previous seven discoveries, and then evaluate several projects.

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. 

Production

A Dutch court will announce Tuesday whether production at Groningen, Europe’s biggest natural gas field, has to be cut after earthquakes damaged buildings in the nation’s northernmost province, Bloomberg said.

Tyra is 220 km off Denmark’s west coast. It should produce about 20 MMbbl of oil and 170 cf of gas, and 50 MMboe of combined reserves and resources.

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.

Subsea Engineering

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. 

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.

Technology

Catherine Hughes’ resignation from the board of directors will be effective immediately. Stavanger, Norway-based Statoil’s nomination committee will search for a new board member.

Subsea 7’s work scope from aboard Seven Seas  will include engineering and installation services for client-supplied flowlines, umbilicals and subsea equipment in up to 3,000 m of water.

Bourbon Interoil Nigeria Ltd. contacted families of the three Nigerian nationals, crew members on crew boat Surfer 1440, after they were kidnapped. The boat was boarded night of April 8.

Argentina filed charges against several E&Ps after the 33rd anniversary of its invasion of the U.K.-held Falklands, Bloomberg said. On April 2, two companies reported exceptional Zebedee oil well discovery.

In 1965, first licensing rules for the Norwegian Continental Shelf were put in place by royal decree. A 278-block licensing round was announced, the most extensive in Norway’s oil history.