Blackstone (NYSE: BX) has formed Clarion Offshore Partners LLC, a new platform to provide strategic solutions to the offshore oil and gas drilling and services sector, with a financial commitment from private equity funds managed by Blackstone.

David G. Gallagher said that trademarked Gilsonite is a naturally occurring asphaltite that binds and strengthens as an additive for drilling fluids and cementing.

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.

Natural gas from Pande and Temane fields, in which Sasol holds a majority stake, is produced and processed at central facility before moving to Mozambique and South Africa, Reuters said.

Federal judge Sergio Moro said Jorge Zelada excessively awarded Vantage Drilling a 2009 contract for drillship Titanium Explorer in exchange for bribes stashed in undeclared Monaco and Switzerland accounts, Reuters reported.

The gas rate in the proof of concept short horizontal well continues to build, and there is about 360 m of coal. Since mid-December, the gas rate has increased over time, and is now beyond 361Mcf/d.

The international rig count fell to 1,095, down by 218 from December 2014; while the U.S. rig count dropped to 637, down by 996 from the count on Jan. 23, 2015.

Uganda discovered crude reserves in Albertine Rift Basin near border with Democratic Republic of Congo in 2006. Latest licensing round will have six blocks covering about 3,000 sq km, Reuters said.

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.

Both wells will probably yield light or superlight crude, and are within the Mexican extension of the Perdido Fold Belt, which has been highly productive on the U.S. side, Reuters said.

The well will test the Kvalross prospect, which has significant oil and gas resource potential within the Lower Triassic Klappmyss Formation clinoform reservoir, and the Kvaltann prospect.

New wells would be drilled around 4 km from site of Sidoarjo mud volcano to a depth about one-third as deep as the well Lapindo drilled in 2006 when Sidoarjo erupted, Reuters said.

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