Exclusives

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Ensco Buys Atwood Oceanics In Downturn’s First Offshore Drilling Merger

Despite the need for consolidation in the offshore drilling space, the Ensco-Atwood merger doesn’t mean much for the currently oversupplied market, analyst says.

OPEC, extends, oil production, cuts

Demand is expected to pick up in the second quarter, according to OPEC’s president. But that doesn’t mean another extension is off the table.

Improving drilling efficiencies through effective solids control helps offshore operators manage costs and deliver value.

Companies from Britain bring significant expertise to the offshore community.

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 move follows expressions of interest by a consortium of Total, ExxonMobil and Hellenic Petroleum for exploration in two sites off the island of Crete and by Greece’s Energean for a block in the Ionian Sea in western Greece.

Norway’s Statoil has reduced its exploration ambitions for 2017 and will drill about 30 wells, down from previous plans for as many as 35, its CFO said on July 27.

Centrica agreed with Bayerngas Norge to merge the companies' North Sea assets, creating the region's largest non-major oil and gas producer and allowing Centrica access to younger fields.

Shellsaid it would sell its 45% stake in the Corrib gas venture to a unit of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board for up to $1.23 billion, marking the oil company's exit from the upstream business in Ireland.

Greece’s oil and gas resources management company will launch a tender for licenses to drill in the respective blocks by the end of next month, aiming to conclude the procedure by the end of the year.

Production

European gas suppliers must take a more proactive role in tapping into diverse supply sources in view of U.S. attempts to sell its liquefied natural gas (LNG) into Europe, the CEO of German utility Uniper said on Aug. 8.

The world’s biggest oilfield service provider Schlumberger took a 20% stake via a private placement in the company managed by former Seadrill executives in March.

Lundin, a partner in Norway’s giant Johan Sverdrup Field, reported $333.5 million in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, above the forecast of $320 million in a Reuters survey of analysts.

Brent crude oil prices were expected to remain broadly unchanged in 2018 as U.S. shale production is able to expand at these levels, effectively capping prices.

Deal between Lithuania, Poland involves transporting oil products.

Subsea Engineering

Economic development agency Scottish Enterprise is making a push to keep Scotland at the top of the global subsea market, despite the challenges offered by competition from other regions around the world and the harsh realities of the severe industry downturn.

After meeting in August, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin hope to remove some barriers preventing the development of a number of joint projects, especially the planned Turkish Stream gas pipeline under the Black Sea. 

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate is facilitating a competition in hopes of strengthening its technological expertise and capacity.

Subsea technology provider Forum Energy Technologies (UK) Ltd. has unveiled a deepwater test facility and received industry accreditation for the calibration laboratory at its new European Operational Centre in Aberdeen. 

The Irish government has offered 14 new licensing options in the Irish offshore following the conclusion of the 2015 Atlantic Margin Licensing Round.

Technology

Franklin, who is currently the interim chairman of Norway’s Statoil, will assume the role of Premier Oil’s nonexecutive chairman from Sept. 1, the company said.

Oil producers are slowly starting to reinvest in deepwater projects as the market downturn has forced project developers to cut costs.

Croatia's CROSCO, part of energy group INA, said on Aug. 3 it had won deals worth €47 million (US$56 million) to drill 12 wells in Ukraine.

Britain’s market regulator said on Aug. 2 a takeover of Amec Foster Wheeler by oilfield services firm Wood Group could hurt competition.

The world’s second-largest oil company by market capitalization said in a statement responding to questions from Reuters that “approximately 400 [staff] are potentially at risk of redundancy during the last quarter of 2017/first half of 2018.”