Exclusives

BP’s upstream chief emphasizes how a new age of collaboration within the supply chain could help the industry thrive amid the challenges of low oil prices.

Vidar Gunnerud, Solution Seeker, production optimization, artificial intelligence in oil and gas

Solution Seeker CEO Vidar Gunnerud talks about the company’s technology and the importance of artificial intelligence to the oil and gas sector.

robotics, oil and gas robotics, AUVs, ROVs, offshore oil and gas, subsea robotics

The oil and gas industry has been looking toward robotics and automation to improve operational efficiency and safety but still lags behind other sectors in implementation.

The Mercosur and the EU free trade agreement marks a watershed in Brazil's participation in international agreements.

Determined E&P pushes forward with its plans to develop shale in the U.K.

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

OMV is ramping up its geological survey work in Austria with a view to increasing its market share, which currently stands at about 10%, the company said Jan. 29.

Sound Energy said on Jan. 22 it has entered into a binding conditional sale and purchase agreement with Saffron Energy Plc where Saffron will acquire Sound Energy’s portfolio of Italian interests and permits.

Angus Energy agreed to acquire a 25% interest in Cuadrilla's U.K. license for onshore oil exploration at the Balcombe Field discovery in West Sussex as part of a new joint venture agreement.

Prospex Oil and Gas Plc said on Jan. 19 it has been advised by the operator Po Valley Energy Ltd. that strong flow rates from testing operations have confirmed a significant commercial gas discovery at the Podere Maiar-1d appraisal/redevelopment well.

The licenses comprised 45 in the North Sea, 22 in the Norwegian Sea and eight in the Barents Sea and were awarded in a so-called annual predefined areas (APA) licensing round, introduced by Norway in 2003 to encourage exploration and development of discoveries near existing infrastructure.

Production

Britain is tightening controls on firms hoping to carry out hydraulic fracking in parts of the country by adding a financial health check to the application process, the government said on Jan. 25.

Seadrill’s main owner, Norwegian-born billionaire John Fredriksen, backed by Centerbridge Partners, and a group of unsecured bondholders have submitted alternative restructuring plans, and started talks earlier in January.

Gas production in the Dutch Groningen Field needs to be lowered as much as possible in the coming three years to limit the risks of earthquakes, Dutch economy minister Eric Wiebes told parliament on Jan. 16.

By 2022, combined output volume of oil and gas from the country’s fields could approach levels last seen in 2004, the highest on record, it added.

Premier Oil will keep spending tight and focus on paying down debt in 2018 even as higher oil prices and a 10% increase in output help it shake off a three-year downturn, Premier’s CEO said on Jan. 11.

Subsea Engineering

Britain plans to introduce tax changes to oil and gas companies operating in the North Sea, finance minister Philip Hammond said, in a bid to spur investment in the aging basin.

Upstream activity offshore Norway and the U.K. has seen a steady increase in the last couple of weeks, coinciding with a general rise in global crude prices.

Wärtsilä Corp. will supply the engines, exhaust cleaning systems and fuel gas handling systems for Atair, a new LNG-fueled research vessel under construction for the German government.

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. 

Technology

‘It’s becoming more like Libya,’ one trader complains about the most recent shutdown.

Statoil (NYSE: STO) and Accenture (NYSE: ACN) have signed a three-year master service agreement for Accenture to accelerate the delivery of Statoil’s global digitalization initiative.

Ineos said in a note to customers on Feb. 7 that the latest shutdown was caused by an unexpected closure of the feed control valves on the pipeline supplying the Kinneil gas processing plant.

Statoil said it would increase its capex this year to $11 billion from $9.4 billion last year and lift exploration spending to $1.5 billion from the $1.3 billion it had planned to spend in 2017.

Drilling rig company Seadrill said in a court filing it postponed an initial hearing on its restructuring plan to Feb. 26, buying more time to consider alternative plans.