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  • Mon, Oct. 17, 7:59 AM
    • Norway's Petroleum Safety Authority is investigating a fire on Statoil's (NYSE:STO) Statfjord A platform in the North Sea over the weekend that caused the company to evacuate personnel.
    • STO says the situation is under control but it is unclear when the production could restart.
    • Statfjord is an oilfield on the border between the Norwegian and U.K. sectors of the North Sea which produces ~24.7K boe/day; last month, STO celebrated the five billionth barrel of oil produced from Statfjord.
    • Also over the weekend, STO shut down production from its Gullfaks A platform off Norway after a gas leak, and reported a well control incident on a contracted drilling rig while at the Troll field in the North Sea.
    | Mon, Oct. 17, 7:59 AM
  • Thu, Oct. 13, 6:41 PM
    • North Dakota oil production dropped below 1M bbl/day in August for the first time in more than two years, as the state's higher-cost production continues to struggle relative to other parts of the U.S.
    • Production from North Dakota’s portion of the Williston Basin fell to 981K bbl/day in August, down 4.7% from July and the lowest since March 2014; the state's peak production, in December 2014, was more than 1.23M bbl/day.
    • Lynn Helms, director of the state’s Department of Mineral Resources, expects oil production to decline to a low of ~900K bbl/day by mid-2017 before recovering.
    • Companies with a presence in North Dakota's Bakken Shale include CLR, WLL, EOG, ERF, HK, HES, MRO, OAS, QEP, SM, STO, TPLM.
    | Thu, Oct. 13, 6:41 PM | 42 Comments
  • Tue, Oct. 11, 12:49 PM
    • Norwegian oil service workers have ended a three-week strike that halted operations on 17 drilling rigs after the Industri Energi union won its pay demands with employers.
    • The strike at subcontractors to the oil industry included workers at Schlumberger (SLB -0.9%), Halliburton (HAL -1.4%), Baker Hughes (BHI -0.9%) and Oceaneering (OII -0.8%).
    • An extended strike had threatened closure of Statoil's (STO -2.1%) Melkoeya liquefied natural gas plant and Royal Dutch Shell's (RDS.A, RDS.B) Nyhamna gas processing plant.
    | Tue, Oct. 11, 12:49 PM
  • Tue, Oct. 11, 7:55 AM
    • BP says it is abandoning plans to drill deepwater oil exploration wells off in the Great Australian Bight, deciding that the project would not be able to compete for capital investment against other upstream opportunities.
    • BP says the decision to drop the project off Australia's southern coast in an environmentally sensitive area was not influenced by regulatory delays, but it had faced strong opposition from environmental groups that warned of potential spills on the scale of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster.
    • BP says it made the move following discussions with Statoil (NYSE:STO), its joint venture partner in the region.
    • BP is now looking for other work for the Ocean GreatWhite semi-submersible drilling rig that was contracted from Diamond Offshore (NYSE:DO) in 2013; BP says the decision to quit the Great Australian Bight project does not impact the rig contract.
    | Tue, Oct. 11, 7:55 AM | 6 Comments
  • Thu, Oct. 6, 8:42 AM
    • Statoil's (NYSE:STO) Melkoeya liquefied natural gas plant and Royal Dutch Shell's (RDS.A, RDS.B) Nyhamna gas processing plant would be shut if today's wage talks fail and workers go on strike, the country's oil and gas industry association says.
    • Melkoeya turns natural gas from the offshore Snoehvit field in the Barents Sea into gas to be transported by tanker, while Nyhamna feeds the Langeled pipeline, Britain's main subsea gas import route.
    • The strike also could affect ExxonMobil's (NYSE:XOM) oil refinery at Slagen, but it has been shut for maintenance; the association says a strike could delay its return to operation.
    | Thu, Oct. 6, 8:42 AM | 1 Comment
  • Tue, Oct. 4, 9:56 AM
    • Hurricane Matthew threatens to shut in ~33M barrels of oil storage in the Bahamas and disrupt shipping in the Caribbean Sea this week, as the Category 4 storm passes over Haiti today on its way to eastern Cuba and the U.S. Atlantic coast.
    • Statoil (STO +0.8%) operates the 6.7M-barrel South Riding Point terminal in Freeport on Grand Bahama Island, and Buckeye Partners (BPL +0.3%) operates a 26.2M-barrel terminal on the island, two terminals that are significant for storage and used for blending and transshipment of crude and petroleum products.
    • Jamaica hosts two petroleum terminals, one operated by Aegean Marine Petroleum (ANW +0.6%) and Petroleum Corp. of Jamaica.
    | Tue, Oct. 4, 9:56 AM
  • Tue, Oct. 4, 8:28 AM
    • Petrobras (NYSE:PBR) and Statoil (NYSE:STO) are expanding an existing partnership to help the Brazilian company stop declining production at aging wells in the offshore Campos Basin, Reuters reports.
    • PBR and STO signed a memorandum of understanding in August that has since evolved to targeting aging wells, and the companies are discussing terms for STO to obtain stakes in some fields in exchange for fresh investment and technological cooperation, according to the report.
    • The move comes two months after STO agreed to pay $2.5B for a 66% stake in Carcará, one of PBR's largest oil and gas prospects, and the companies recently signed a deal to collaborate on existing fields in Brazil's Campos and Santos Basins.
    | Tue, Oct. 4, 8:28 AM | 1 Comment
  • Tue, Sep. 27, 9:45 PM
    • Australia’s oil and gas regulator is expected to rule this week on BP’s proposal to begin deepwater exploration drilling in the Great Australian Bight, a pristine stretch of ocean that is a sanctuary for whales and other protected species.
    • BP, Statoil (NYSE:STO) and Chevron (NYSE:CVX) are among several companies with permits to explore the area, which could contain up to 1.9B boe.
    • Critics warn that BP's presence would risk another “Deepwater Horizon-style” oil spill; Australia’s oil and gas regulator already has twice denied BP’s environmental plan for the area.
    • But even as the oil majors have de-emphasized high-risk deepwater frontier exploration wells in favor of lower-risk opportunities close to existing infrastructure, BP is under pressure to find new resources after underperforming peers in terms of booking new oil reserves during recent years, and the Great Australian Bight is one of the world's largest untested deepwater basins.
    | Tue, Sep. 27, 9:45 PM | 5 Comments
  • Tue, Sep. 27, 10:27 AM
    • North American Drilling (NADL -4.1%) is sharply lower after Statoil (STO -2%) canceled its drilling contract for NADL's West Epsilon jack-up about two months before expiration; Seadrill (SDRL -2.2%), which owns ~70% of NADL, also is lower.
    • NADL says it will receive an $11M lump sum payment because of the early termination.
    • The rig's dayrate is $247K, so the cancellation means ~$14M in lost backlog; NADL's total backlog is now an estimated $370M.
    | Tue, Sep. 27, 10:27 AM | 9 Comments
  • Wed, Sep. 21, 10:21 AM
    • More than 300 Norwegian oil service workers are on strike after wage talks broke down, hitting operations of subcontractors to the country's oil and gas industry including Schlumberger (SLB +1%), Halliburton (HAL +2.3%), Baker Hughes (BHI +2%) and Oceaneering (OII +1.5%).
    • The conflict will force oil companies to halt drilling of some wells on Norway's continental shelf and later could cut into the country's production of ~2M bbl/day of oil, condensate and natural gas liquids; state-controlled Statoil (STO +0.8%) is Norway's largest oil firm.
    • Brent crude recently was 1.6% higher at $46.58/bbl and WTI had jumped 2.1% to $45, sparked by the strike and API data showing a surprise drop in U.S. crude inventories.
    | Wed, Sep. 21, 10:21 AM | 15 Comments
  • Wed, Sep. 21, 8:58 AM
    • Statoil (NYSE:STO) celebrates the extraction of 5B barrels of crude from the North Sea Statfjord field, where production began in 1979.
    • STO originally had hoped to recover 40% of the oil at the field, but Statfjord so far has reached a record high of 67%.
    • Statfjord’s productive life is not over yet and the operators plan to pump oil from it until 2025; there are 451 wells currently functioning, with 70 more planned to be drilled.
    | Wed, Sep. 21, 8:58 AM | 1 Comment
  • Tue, Sep. 13, 2:33 PM
    • Total (TOT -3.5%) is considering selling down its 51% stake in the Martin Linge offshore oil and gas field in Norway’s North Sea, Bloomberg reports.
    • TOT's holding is worth ~$1B, and the company also is offering some smaller producing assets to potential buyers as part of the deal, according to the report.
    • The field is scheduled for first production in 2018; TOT is the operator, while the remaining stake is held by Statoil (STO -3.9%) and state-owned Petoro.
    | Tue, Sep. 13, 2:33 PM | 2 Comments
  • Tue, Sep. 13, 7:53 AM
    • Statoil (NYSE:STO) -2.1% premarket after warning that the giant Johan Castberg oil project in the Barents Sea off the Norwegian coast could become unfeasible or face delays if parliament requires it to run on power via cable from the mainland rather than cheaper but more polluting gas power.
    • STO says it would cost up to 12B kroner ($1.46B) to prepare the field to run on clean hydro power via cable from the mainland, due to long distances in the Arctic basin as well as technical challenges.
    • STO estimates proven reserves at Johan Castberg at 400M-600M barrels of oil.
    | Tue, Sep. 13, 7:53 AM | 1 Comment
  • Mon, Sep. 12, 11:51 AM
    • Statoil (STO +0.5%) says it has started to drill the world's hottest geothermal well on Iceland to explore if high temperature water can be extracted from deep reservoirs for power production.
    • STO is a partner in the Iceland Deep Drilling Project, an international research project designed to explore the potential of deep, high-enthalpy geothermal resources, especially supercritical hydrothermal fluids, as energy sources.
    • The drilling operation seeks to deepen an existing geothermal well to 5 km (3.1 miles), where super-heated steam can be brought to the surface at 400-500 degrees Celsius and used for efficient generation of electricity in steam turbines.
    | Mon, Sep. 12, 11:51 AM | 3 Comments
  • Thu, Sep. 8, 11:37 AM
    • Plans by Norway’s government to open up new areas for oil exploration near fish spawning grounds and one of the most picturesque parts of the Arctic has attracted widespread outrage and dismay in the country, Financial Times reports.
    • Statoil (STO +0.5%) has been one of the most vocal proponents of opening up the area around the Lofoten islands - home to the world’s largest cold water coral reef - for development, arguing that Norway’s oil production would otherwise continue to decline.
    • The dispute could become a political problem for Conservative prime minister Solberg, who needs the support of the Liberal and Christian Democrat parties - both of which oppose drilling in the new areas - for the coalition government to have a majority in parliament.
    • The outcry also comes as the one oilfield producing in the Norwegian Arctic - the Goliat platform run by Eni (E +1.2%) - is under criticism from regulators after a series of mishaps; production is stopped for now until the company can convince the regulator on safety.
    | Thu, Sep. 8, 11:37 AM | 4 Comments
  • Tue, Sep. 6, 10:59 AM
    • Statoil (STO +1.7%) says it plans to push deeper into the Arctic, shopping for Barents Sea drilling licenses in an attempt to add resources and maintain production over the coming decades.
    • STO said it had acquired stakes in four licenses in Norway's far north from Tullow Oil (OTCPK:TUWLF, OTCPK:TUWOY), after entering or boosting its holdings in five other Arctic licenses in the past months, through deals with companies including OMV and ConocoPhillips, at undisclosed prices.
    • As part of the deal with Tullow, STO raised its stake in the 241M-barrel Wisting discovery in the Hoop area of the Barents Sea to 35% from 15%, enlarging its footprint in one of the most promising provinces in Norway's far north, Jez Averty, STO's head of exploration in Norway and the U.K., tells WSJ.
    | Tue, Sep. 6, 10:59 AM | 1 Comment