Exclusives

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Speaking at APPEA 2018 in Australia Nigel Hearne sought an unprecedented effort with majors Woodside and Shell to unlock stranded gas from the North West Shelf.

Inquiry finds that hydraulic fracturing could be safely managed in the Northern Territory.

Speaking in China, iron ore magnate Andrew Forrest unveils ambitious western-to-eastern Australia gas plans.

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The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (APPEA) said the report should encourage the immediate suspension of the hydraulic fracturing moratorium in the Northern Territory.

Western Australia is aiming to revive the LNG export boom that made Australia’s biggest state a land of milk and hydrocarbons that carried the country through the worst of the global financial crisis.

Deepwater International

Santos has been awarded two exploration permits close to its existing acreage in the vicinity of the giant ongoing Ichthys LNG development in the Browse Basin offshore Western Australia.

The giant Inpex-operated Ichthys LNG Project has hit a couple of significant milestones, with the start of deepwater pipelay work on the 889-km gas export pipeline and the start of the development drilling program.

Browse FLNG development operator Woodside has pushed back its schedule for the large project to focus further on reducing costs, according to CEO Peter Coleman.

Plans for a newbuild semisubmersible production facility off North Western Australia look to be back on the development path.

A production test is to get underway on an oil discovery offshore Brazil that is expanding nicely in terms of its size and scope as operator Karoon Gas Australia continues to firm up more reserves.

Exploration

Australian oil and gas explorer FAR Ltd on May 30 cut the estimated capital cost for the promising SNE oil project off Senegal by 33% to $2 billion.

Harbour Energy was forced to bid against itself five times until it made a final offer for Santos of $10.8 billion, up more than 50% from its first approach last August.

Australia’s Santos on May 22 ended talks with Harbour Energy and rejected the U.S.-based firm’s $10.8 billion takeover offer, saying it undervalued the oil and gas producer as oil prices surge.

A successful bid would give Harbour access to a recently revived company with a low cost of gas production and stakes in LNG in the Asia-Pacific, where demand is soaring.

If successful, Harbour's bid would mark the biggest takeover of an Australian oil and gas producer, but Santos has indicated the company may be worth more.

Production

The state approved the $54 billion Gorgon project in 2009 on the condition that at least 80% of carbon dioxide released in its gas processing operations over a five-year rolling average period would be buried.

Chevron will idle the second production unit at its Gorgon LNG project in May to carry out modifications already implemented at the other two units, a senior executive said April 30.

Santos announced on April 23 that an agreement has been reached with its joint venture partners to enter the FEED phase for development of the Barossa project to backfill Darwin LNG.

Oil and gas producer Santos Ltd. on April 19 reported a near 7% fall in first-quarter production as output from the Papua New Guinea LNG project fell after a powerful quake hit the region in February.

Browse will be developed to feed the North West Shelf LNG plant.

Subsea Engineering

The treaty signing in New York on March 6 marked the first conciliation under the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea—a process UN Secretary-General António Guterres said could offer other countries a path toward resolving contentious maritime boundary disputes.

Chevron Corp. has started producing LNG at its Wheatstone project in Australia, slightly later than expected, and plans to ship its first cargo soon.

The last massive component of Australia’s $180 billion LNG construction boom arrived on Aug. 14, stepping up a race between Anglo-Dutch giant Shell and Japan’s Inpex to start chilling gas for export in 2018.

Four of the biggest oil and gas operators in Australia have joined forces in an effort to combat an issue offshore Australia that is costing the industry hundreds of millions of dollars: replacing subsea equipment that fails prematurely.

Technology

Harbour, which proposed a $10.4 billion takeover in April, is close to completing a review of Santos' books ahead of deciding whether to make a binding offer.

Comet Ridge Ltd. has appointed Peter Harding-Smith as its new CFO who will succeed Don Langdon, the company said in a statement on May 8.

Australia's NT commissioned an inquiry into the environmental, social and economic risks of fracking and on April 17 accepted the inquiry's conclusion that the risks were manageable.

Santos said April 3 it would "engage with" Harbour Energy after receiving a $10.4 billion takeover offer from the U.S. company, its fourth unsolicited bid since August 2017.

Facility and export pipeline were relatively undamaged in the recent earthquake, company says.