Statoil: Awarded 31 exploration licenses on Norwegian shelf




Statoil: Awarded 31 exploration licenses on Norwegian shelf

Statoil has been offered interests in 31 exploration licences on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS), 17 of these as operator, and 14 as a partner, Norway’s exploration and production company said.

“The NCS is the core of Statoil’s business- licenses awarded through the annual predefined areas (APA) licensing rounds give access to acreage that can provide important resources,” said Jez Averty, Statoil’s senior vice president for exploration in Norway and the UK.

Statoil made a significant discovery in the Norwegian Sea – Cape Vulture in a licence awarded in the 2015 round.

“New discoveries are needed in order to offset the declining production on existing fields on the NCS,” Averty said, adding that the new award is on level with the 2015 and 2015 APA awards, both of which significantly increased Statoil’s license portfolio.

 The offer this year includes three commitment wells, while two of these wells are in the North Sea and one in the Norwegian Sea, the company said.

Through drilling the Gladsheim prospect in license PL921, Statoil will test if oil has moved eastward from the Troll area.

In PL942 in the Norwegian Sea, it aims to discover by drilling of the Ørn prospect, whether new resources can be produced through the Norne installation. Statoil is also participating in the drilling a well in the PL916 at the Utsira High operated by AkerBP.

“Over the past two years we have replenished our portfolio with a number of interesting prospects. This enables us to maintain and increase the exploration efforts. We will this year drill or participate in between 25-30 exploration wells on the NCS. This is an increase from the 19 we operated or participated in in 2017,” Averty said.

In APA 2017 Statoil was awarded new production licences in all of the three provinces on the NCS.


Angus Energy announces agreement to acquire a 25 percent interest in the Balcombe Licence (PEDL244)




Angus Energy announces agreement to acquire a 25 percent interest in the Balcombe Licence (PEDL244)

Angus Energy, a conventional oil and gas production and development company, has entered into a definitive agreement to form a new partnership with Cuadrilla Balcombe (‘Cuadrilla’) and Lucas Bolney (‘Lucas’). Subject to satisfaction of the terms of the agreement, the Company will join the partnership through the acquisition of a 25.0% interest in licence PEDL244 which includes the entire Balcombe field discovery.


On behalf of the partnership, Angus Energy will, subject to Oil and Gas Authority (‘OGA’) approval, assume Operatorship of the Balcombe licence. The Company will commence a fully approved well test program of the Balcombe-2Z horizontal well at the earliest opportunity. Angus Energy will also establish a local Community Liaison Group and contact local residents, at the appropriate time, before work commences.

Under the terms of the agreement, Angus Energy will pay a cash amount in two parts as set out below along with the costs of the well test program of Balcombe-2Z. If the results of the well test are determined successful, the Company will assume the associated costs of a Field Development Plan (‘FDP’) submission to the Oil & Gas Authority (‘OGA’).

The Acquisition has been unanimously approved by the Board and will require additional sources of capital. Accordingly the Board is reviewing several financing options and is in the final stages of selection. An update will be provided in due course.

All operations at Balcombe will be performed through conventional production. There will be no hydraulic fracturing or ‘fracking’.

Terms of the Acquisition

Under the terms of the Acquisition, Angus Energy Weald Basin No.3 Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Angus Energy, has conditionally agreed to acquire the 25% interest in PEDL244 on a pro-rata basis from Cuadrilla and Lucas (the Sellers) on the following terms. The current ownership of PEDL244 is 75% Cuadrilla and 25% Lucas:

  • Pay within 20 working days of 20 January 2018 £2,000,000 less £150,000 already paid under a confidentiality agreement with the Sellers;
  • Pay £2,000,000 following consent from the OGA for the Acquisition; and
  • Carry out and pay for the well test of a horizontal well test program of the Balcombe-2Z (the “Well”) to achieve the following objectives:
    • Measure the Well flowing production rates for oil and natural gas;
    • Measure flowing bottom hole and wellhead Well pressures;
    • Determine the gas oil ratio (GOR) of production from the Well;
    • Collect and analyse Well oil, gas and water samples; and
    • Measure and record Well shut-in bottom hole pressure over approximately one month.

Should the OGA not approve the Acquisition, the initial £2.0 million payment is refundable.

The Company notes a fully approved test program of Balcombe-2Z Well will require minimal preparation as the Well is drilled and ready for testing.

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UTEC: Appoints new Business Unit Director and is awarded milestone contracts in the Middle East




UTEC: Appoints new Business Unit Director and is awarded milestone contracts in the Middle East

UTEC, a global survey company in subsea services group Acteon, appoints Bill Hickie as Business Unit Director of its Middle East and Caspian operations and announces the award of multiple geophysical survey contracts in Saudi Arabia in conjunction with it’s in Kingdom partner, Zamil Offshore.

Previously with UTEC in the role of Global Director of Business Development for the Eastern Hemisphere Bill has developed strong relationships in the region and provides continuity for UTEC’s clients as he moves into this new role. Bill has over 12 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry, working internationally with companies including Ceona and Subsea 7.

The contracts which include multiple work-sites are for geophysical surveys in the Safiniyah, Marjan and Zuluf fields, offshore Saudi Arabia. UTEC will utilise the Zamil 51 offshore support vessel using a combination of multibeam and side scan sonar survey techniques. The projects will be executed out in January and February this year.

Stuart Cameron, UTEC Chief Executive Officer, said, “Having spent the past year with UTEC, Bill has been instrumental in driving business strategy and growth in the Middle East and these contract awards are a fantastic achievement and a great start to 2018.”

Bill Hickie, said, “Over the last two years we have been building our presence here in the Middle East in preparation for projects like this and have recently relocated to a new regional HQ in Abu Dhabi which supports all projects and operations in the region. During this time, we have taken our Middle East geophysical strategy from concept to reality and through our partnership with Zamil we are now executing geophysical surveys in the region.”


ExxonMobil: Acquires exploration acreage offshore Ghana




ExxonMobil: Acquires exploration acreage offshore Ghana

ExxonMobil today announced that it has signed a petroleum agreement with the government of Ghana to acquire exploration and production rights for the Deepwater Cape Three Points block. The agreement is subject to parliamentary ratification.

Exploration activities, including acquisition of seismic data and analysis, are expected to commence later in 2018. The Deepwater Cape Three Points block, located 57 miles (92 kilometers) off the coast of Ghana, measures approximately 366,000 acres (1,482 square kilometers) in water depths ranging from 5,085 feet to 9,350 feet (1,550 meters to 2,850 meters).

“The addition of this block reaffirms ExxonMobil’s commitment to pursuing high-quality projects in areas with large resource potential,” said Steve Greenlee, president of ExxonMobil Exploration Company. “We are excited to partner with the government of Ghana as we employ our significant upstream experience and technological expertise in assessing the exploration opportunities in this block.”

ExxonMobil will carry out the work program as operator, and holds 80 percent interest. Ghana National Petroleum Corporation holds 15 percent interest. ExxonMobil will work with the government to identify a Ghanaian company to potentially hold up to 5 percent interest.


Energy Analyst Kojo Opoku has praised Ghana’s new oil deal with Exxonmobil Corp, describing it as the ‘best deal’.

President Akufo-Addo after a meeting with officials of Exxon Mobil Thursday urged the company to help develop Ghana’s oil sector.

The signing followed direct negotiations between Ghana and Exxon Mobil without an open competitive tender due to the nature of the field, where the depth ranges from 2,000 to 4,000 meters.

The deal which yet to be approved by Parliament is the first to be signed after the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea last September drew an ocean boundary favoring Ghana in a dispute with its neighbor Ivory Coast.

Exxon Mobil, lead operator, holds an 80-percent interest in the DWCTP, while state-run Ghana National Petroleum Corporation holds 15 percent. Exxon is yet to select a local partner to own the remaining 5 percent as Ghana’s laws requires.

Commenting on the pact, Mr. Opoku told Francis Abban on the Morning Starr Friday that Ghana stands to benefit from the arrangement without incurring any cost.


Schlumberger: To Exit Land, Marine Seismic Acquisition Business



Schlumberger: To Exit Land, Marine Seismic Acquisition Business

Oil-services giant Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB) said it will exit the marine and land seismic acquisition market and transform its WesternGeco product line into an asset-light business over concerns about future returns.

Seismic acquisition involves generating and recording data about the composition of rocks or fluid content deep underground. Schlumberger recorded a $198 million impairment charge on its seismic data operation in the third quarter.

WesternGeco is a part of the company’s Reservoir Characterization Group, where fourth-quarter revenue declined 8% sequentially and 2% from the prior year.

“The only product line that does not meet our return expectations going forward, even factoring in an eventual market recovery, is our seismic acquisition business,” Chief Executive Paal Kibsgaard said.

Shares fell 2.2% to $74.68 during premarket trading. The stock is down 12% over the past 12 months.


BGP: Sues Kenya based UK oil company




BGP: Sues Kenya based UK oil company

A firm prospecting for oil and gas in Lamu is locked in a court battle with its sub-contractor over a Sh90 million debt.

BGP Kenya has taken Zarara Oil and Gas Limited to court for failing to settle $873,561 (about Sh90 million) payment for services offered. BGP claims that it was engaged by Zarara to undertake seismic surveys on blocks L4 and L13 but only part of its debt was settled.

Zarara has been prospecting for gas and oil in Pate island, Lamu East.

“The defendant has for a period of over four years neglected and or declined to fully settle its debt herein but has instead elected to shift goal posts and give the plaintiff empty promises on payment of the same despite having fully acknowledged the debt and confirmed the outstanding amount,” says Zhao Enhui, the BGP general manager.

BGP says it fears that Zarara might silently dispose of its interest in the two blocks and exit the country, arguing that in such a scenario it lacks recourse since the firm has no known assets in Kenya.

The firm wants the High Court to restrain Zarara from disposing of the two blocks until it settles the claim. Zarara is the main operator on the two blocks with a 75 per cent stake, while Swiss Oil Holdings controls 15 per cent with the remaining 10 per cent interest held by the Kenya government.

Zarara has, however, filed a separate application requesting the High Court to refer the dispute for arbitration.

The firm says their agreement provides for all disputes to be resolved through arbitration in accordance with the Rules of the London Court of International Arbitration.

Zarara further claims that the payment for the alleged services was disputed due to sub-standard work, adding that the firm has maliciously jeopardised its interests in the two blocks.

The firm denies allegations that it plans to dispose of the blocks, terming them unsubstantiated.


BGP: CNPC registers in Roumania





BGP: CNPC registers in Roumania

BGP Inc., China National Petroleum Corporation (CNP) Hebei, Bucharest Branch was registered with the Trade Registry, according to data published in the Official Gazette of January 19th. The company has filed for registration in Romania on December 14th.

The company’s empowered is Guo Zhengfei, based in China.
BGP Inc. is part of China National Petroleum Corporation and provides geophysical services, as well as delivers technologies, services, and equipment for 200 oil and gas customers from 53 countries. Established in 1961 in China, BGP services include onshore, marine, TZ and shallow water, borehole, and micro-seismic data acquisition; seismic data processing and interpretation; GEM and geo-chemical services; and reservoir geophysics.

The company also manufactures geophysical equipment that include vibrators, seismic data recording systems, drilling rigs, desert vehicles, and swamp transportation tools. In addition, it provides information technology (IT) services, including IT planning and consulting, ERP, information system software research and development, project implementation, system operation and maintenance, system integration, digital oilfield, industrial control meter, intelligent building, information security, finance, business intelligence, data center construction, and maintenance, etc.


Schlumberger: Q4-17 and FY-17 Results




Schlumberger: Q4-17 and FY-17 Results


  • Fourth-quarter revenue of $8.2 billion increased 3% sequentially
  • Fourth-quarter pretax operating income of $1.2 billion increased 9% sequentially
  • Fourth-quarter GAAP loss per share, including charges of $2.11 per share, was $1.63
  • Fourth-quarter EPS, excluding charges, was $0.48
  • Full-year and fourth-quarter cash flow from operations were $5.7 billion and $2.3 billion, respectively

Full-Year Results

(Stated in millions, except per share amounts)
    Twelve Months Ended Change
    Dec. 31, 2017 Dec. 31, 2016 Year-on-year
Revenue   $30,440 $27,810 9%
Pretax operating income   $3,921 $3,273 20%
Pretax operating margin   12.9% 11.8% 111 bps
Net loss (GAAP basis)   $(1,505) $(1,687) n/m
Net income, excluding charges and credits*   $2,085 $1,550 35%
Diluted EPS (loss per share) (GAAP basis)   $(1.08) $(1.24) n/m
Diluted EPS, excluding charges and credits*   $1.50 $1.14 32%
*These are non-GAAP financial measures. See section below entitled “Charges & Credits” for details.
n/m=not meaningful

Full-year 2017 revenue of $30.4 billion increased 9% year-on-year. This included a full year’s activity from the acquired Cameron businesses as compared to three quarters of activity in 2016. Excluding the addition of Cameron, revenue growth was driven by land activity in North America, which increased by 82% in line with the increase in rig count. Full-year Production Group revenue increased 21%, Reservoir Characterization Group revenue improved 2%, and Drilling Group revenue declined 2%.

Full-year 2017 pretax operating income grew 20% and pretax operating margin of 13% expanded 111 basis points (bps). This was driven by improved profitability in North America due to the growth in land activity that benefited both the Production and Drilling Groups.

Fourth-Quarter Results

(Stated in millions, except per share amounts)
    Three Months Ended Change
    Dec. 31, 2017 Sep. 30, 2017 Dec. 31, 2016 Sequential Year-on-year
Revenue   $8,179 $7,905 $7,107 3% 15%
Pretax operating income   $1,155 $1,059 $810 9% 43%
Pretax operating margin   14.1% 13.4% 11.4% 73 bps 272 bps
Net income (loss) – (GAAP basis)   $(2,255) $545 $(204) n/m n/m
Net income, excluding charges and credits*   $668 $581 $379 15% 76%
Diluted EPS (loss per share) – GAAP basis   $(1.63) $0.39 $(0.15) n/m n/m
Diluted EPS, excluding charges and credits*   $0.48 $0.42 $0.27 14% 78%
*These are non-GAAP financial measures. See section below entitled “Charges & Credits” for details.
n/m=not meaningful

Schlumberger Chairman and CEO Paal Kibsgaard commented, “We closed the year with fourth-quarter revenue growing 3% sequentially while pretax operating income rose 9%. Sequential growth was driven by strong activity in North America, Saudi Arabia, and Latin America, while revenue in the Europe, CIS, and Africa Area seasonally declined. Earnings per share of $0.48, excluding charges, were 14% higher than the third quarter.

“Among the business segments, the fourth-quarter revenue increase was led by the Production Group, which grew by 7%. Production Group performance was driven by strong international activity, with more than 20% sequential growth in Saudi Arabia, Russia, and Argentina. In North America land, revenue grew 6% following the redeployment of additional pressure pumping fleets, despite a slight sequential decline in market activity.

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Fugro: Undertakes surveys for UAE Hail and Ghasha Gas development





Fugro: Undertakes surveys for UAE Hail and Ghasha Gas development

Fugro has commenced a programme of geophysical and geotechnical surveys for Artelia, Abu Dhabi as part of the Hail and Ghasha development, a landmark project by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).

Located offshore in the Arabian Gulf, the Hail and Ghasha gas development is part of ADNOC’s largest sour gas field project and directly supports the company’s strategy to unlock its developed sour gas reserves to ensure a sustainable and economic gas supply to the United Arab Emirates.

Fugro’s ability to provide turnkey survey solutions was a key factor in the award of the contract following a highly competitive bidding process. In order to meet the fast track schedule Fugro mobilised to the Ghasha field with specialised equipment including self-elevating platforms for geotechnical work and crew accommodation. In the Hail field, an inter-tidal shoal area, it is conducting surveys with amphibious buggies while in deeper water, marine geophysical and bathymetric surveys are being performed using its state-of-the-art survey vessel, Fugro Proteus.

“We’re meeting the requirements of this key project with our expertise in both geotechnical site investigation and marine survey,” explained Chris Arnott, Fugro’s Project Delivery Manager. “The geotechnical workscope includes boreholes, grab samples, vibrocores, cone penetration tests, pressuremeters and down hole seismic.” Bathymetric, multibeam echo sounder, tide gauges, ultra high resolution seismic sub-bottom profiling, magnetometer and side scan sonar make up the geophysical survey activities at the site.

Louis Burnard, Fugro’s Country Manager, UAE added, “Our involvement in this strategic project for the United Arab Emirates further strengthens Fugro’s relationship with ADNOC. It follows more than 30 years of collaboration across all of the company’s subsidiary operating companies in Abu Dhabi.”