Brazil plans to hold two subsalt oil auctions in 2017, putting new exploration areas up for bidding in November for what should be the "most competitive" round of the year, the country's oil secretary tells Reuters.
The first 2017 auction, expected during H1, will offer areas next to existing discoveries already in development, while the November auction will be for fresh exploration areas and should generate more government revenue than the first, the secretary says.
The auctions will be the first since state-run Petrobras (PBR +1.7%) was freed from its required role as operator for all new projects in the subsalt, and the government hopes the opportunity to buy into new areas in one of the world's major deep-sea oil areas should attract offshore majors such as Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A +0.8%), Total (TOT +1.4%) and Statoil (STO +1.1%).
Shell says it is studying whether to participate in this year's oil auctions, adding that the terms would be an important factor.
The secretary also says Brazil will hold three oil auctions in 2018, including one subsalt auction.
Statoil (STO +1.1%) says operational mistakes and a lack of maintenance led to two near-fatal accidents last October at Norway's Troll field and at the Mongstad refinery.
Various incidents at STO's offshore and onshore installations last year prompted several investigations by the company and authorities; the most serious involved the loss of control of a well at the Songa Endurance rig in the Troll field on Oct. 15, and a hydrogen leak that occurred on Oct. 25 at the Mongstad refinery.
STO maintains the link between the incidents at the drilling rig and the refinery was lack of understanding of the risks, not efficiency improvements or cost cutting.
Statoil (NYSE:STO) agrees to sell 25% of its assets in the Hywind floating wind farm pilot project offshore Scotland to an Abu Dhabi renewable energy group for an undisclosed sum.
The companies also agree to share the development risk, with the Abu Dhabi firm covering 25% of previous and future costs.
STO says substructures for the project have been constructed in Spain and are due to arrive in Norway in the spring for assembly before being moved to Peterhead; production is expected to start in late 2017.
STO plans to drill ~30 exploration wells as an operator or partner in 2017, up from 23 last year, with 16-18 to be drilled offshore Norway and including 5-7 in new blocks in the Arctic Barents Sea, where it has not explored since 2014.
“Taking advantage of our own improvements and changed market conditions, we have been able to get more wells, more acreage and more seismic data for our exploration investments,” says STO executive VP for exploration Tim Dodson.
Iran's national oil company reveals that several European oil and gas companies, including Total (TOT +0.4%), Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A +1.9%), Eni (E +1.9%) and Gazprom (OTCPK:OGZPY) will be eligible to bid for the country’s new oil and gas projects.
Several newcomers are on Iran's list of included energy companies, such as Finland's Maersk (OTCPK:AMKAF, OTCPK:AMKBF), Norway's DNO (OTCPK:DTNOF) and Germany's Wintershall; Asian players include CNPC (PTR +2.3%), Inpex, KOGAS and Petronas.
Britain’s BP (BP +1.9%) and Norway’s Statoil (STO +2.7%) are not on Iran's list; BP already had opted out of the bidding.
Iran plans to award new projects to the companies it has qualified through a new format of oil sector contracts, including joint ventures with international companies, which will be paid with a share of production.
Statoil (NYSE:STO) says an October accident at its Sture gas terminal, where five people were injured after being exposed to hydrogen sulfide gas, was very serious and nearly resulted in fatalities.
The findings, which have been submitted to Norway's Petroleum Safety Authority, were part of internal investigations into recent incidents; a separate accident at the Statfjord A platform was found to be less serious.
STO says the investigations found no evidence of a link tying the accidents to its ongoing cost cuts and efficiency drives.
Operations at Libya's Sharara oilfield are gradually resuming after the lifting of a two-year blockade on a pipeline leading from the field, Reuters reports, citing a senior official.
Libya's National Oil Corp. confirmed yesterday that pipelines leading from the Sharara and El Feel fields had reopened, aiming to add 270K bbl/day to national production over the next three months.
Sharara has been closed since November 2014 and El Feel since April 2015, blocked by local armed factions loyal to rival Libyan alliances, and it is not clear what commitments have been secured to allow production to resume.
Sharara is run by the NOC, Statoil (NYSE:STO), Total (NYSE:TOT), Repsol (OTCQX:REPYF, OTCQX:REPYY) and others; El Feel is operated by the NOC and Eni (NYSE:E).
Norway's Statoil (STO -0.5%) says it won a lease from the U.S. government for nearly 80K acres off the coast of New York to explore potential development of an offshore wind farm that would provide NYC and Long Island with a significant, long-term source of renewable electricity.
STO says it submitted a winning bid of more than $43M during an auction by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Ocean Energy Management.
STO has not offered a timeline for when construction of the wind farm could begin.
Statoil (NYSE:STO) agrees to sell its Canadian oil sands assets to Athabasca Oil (OTCPK:ATHOF) in a deal worth up to $832M, consisting of $435M in cash, 100M Athabasca common shares worth $147M, and a series of contingent value payments triggered at U.S. crude prices above $65/bbl.
The deal includes the 24K bbl/day Leismer oil sands plant in Alberta, the undeveloped Corner oil sands project and various midstream contracts associated with Leismer production.
STO will no longer operate any oil sands assets upon completion of the deal, but it will remain a partner in five offshore oilfields in the Atlantic Canada region.
Athabasca says the deal more than triples its production base to 40K boe/day, and adds to its existing Hangingstone oil sands project and light oil production in the Montney and Duvernay shale plays in western Canada.
Statoil (NYSE:STO) will not resume using Airbus's (OTCPK:EADSY) Super Puma helicopters even if Norway's Civil Aviation Authority decides to lift the ban imposed on the workhorse of the offshore oil industry.
Super Pumas were barred from commercial traffic in Norway and Britain following an accident in April that killed 13 oil workers flying from a Norwegian oil platform operated by Statoil.
In four other areas surrounding Trion in the Perdido Fold Belt, areas 1 and 4 went to China's Cnooc (NYSE:CEO), area 2 to a consortium of Total (NYSE:TOT) and ExxonMobil (NYSE:XOM), and area 3 to a group comprising Chevron (NYSE:CVX), Pemex and Inpex.
In the Salina basin to the south, areas 1 and 3 went to a consortium of Statoil (NYSE:STO), BP and Total (TOT), area 4 to Sierra Offshore and a Mexican entity, and Area 5 to a group led by Murphy Oil (NYSE:MUR) and Sierra Offshore; areas 2 and 6 received no bids.
CEO, STO and Pemex each submitted individual bids that did not win an award, while consortia that unsuccessfully submitted bids were Eni (NYSE:E) and Lukoil (OTC:LUKOF, OTCPK:LUKOY), and Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) and Atlantic Rim Mexico.