2016: The year's biggest Offshore Technology stories

A US judge finalised BP’s $20bn settlement over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, while Norway awarded 56 oil and gas exploration licences in NCS. Offshore-technology.com wraps-up the key headlines from 2016.


US judge finalises BP’s $20bn settlement over 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill

A federal US judge in Louisiana finalised BP's $20bn civil settlement over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

Judge Carl Barbier determined the deal between BP, the Justice Department, and five states of the Gulf Coast, which would allowing the company to deduct a majority of the costs as an ordinary business expense.

BP originally reached an agreement with the US Department of Justice and the Gulf Coast states in July 2015 to pay up to $18.7bn in penalties.

Norway awards 56 oil and gas exploration licences on Norwegian Continental Shelf

Norway's Ministry of Petroleum and Energy awarded 56 oil and gas exploration licences in mature areas on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).

The licences have been offered in the Awards in Pre-defined Areas 2015 (APA 2015) licensing round in a bid to increase activity for the industry, which is experiencing weak crude prices.

A total of 36 companies were awarded stakes to explore in the mature areas, or areas that are already opened for exploration.

Shell completes $70bn deal to acquire BG Group

Shell completed its deal to acquire BG Group for $70bn and now owns the entire share capital of BG.

The latest development comes after the High Court of Justice in England and Wales sanctioned the scheme of arrangement at a hearing held on 11 February 2016.

In accordance with the terms of the scheme, shareholders who made no valid election under the mix and match facility will receive 0.4454 new Shell shares and 383 pence in cash for each scheme share held, Shell said.

Petrobras to sell stake in exploration block to Statoil for $2.5bn

Petróleo Brasileiro (Petrobras) announced the sale of its stake in exploration block BM-S-8 in Brazil’s Santos Basin to Statoil Brasil Óleo e Gás for $2.5bn.

The latest deal comes as a result of a competitive bidding process and represents a significant development in the partnership between the two companies. It also forms a vital part of the Petrobras 2015-16 partnership and divestment plan.

Petrobras and Statoil have already signed cooperation agreements for technological development in offshore exploration and production.

Maersk Oil starts drilling of first well on Culzean field in North Sea

Maersk Oil started drilling of the first production well on Culzean field in the UK North Sea.

Drilled by Maersk Highlander through a wellhead platform (WHP) jacket, the well is the first of six production wells to be drilled on the high-pressure / high-temperature field.

The company is planning continuous drilling activity over the next five years and first gas from Culzean is expected to be produced in 2019.

TransCanada to build $2.1bn Sur de Texas-Tuxpan pipeline in Mexico

TransCanada and its joint venture with Sempra Energy's subsidiary IEnova and Infraestructura Marina del Golfo (IMG) secured a contract for the $2.1bn Sur de Texas-Tuxpan offshore natural gas pipeline in Mexico.

Under the contract, TransCanada and its partners will build, own and operate the 800km pipeline, which is the recent addition to TransCanada's expanding portfolio in Mexico.

The latest project will be supported by a natural gas transportation service contract signed for a period of 25 years for 2.6 billion cubic feet a day with Mexico's state-owned power company Comisión Federal de Electricidad (CFE).

Hurricane Energy signs agreement to use Aoka Mizu FPSO at Lancaster field

UK-based oil exploration company Hurricane Energy signed a heads of terms deal with Bluewater Energy Services to use Aoka Mizu Floating Production Storage and Offloading Vessel (FPSO) on Lancaster field, west of Shetland.

Hurricane plans to use this Aoka Mizu FPSO for Early Production System (EPS) phase of development. It will also have the right to extend the contract for up to ten years.

Under the agreement, Bluewater Energy (BES) has given Hurricane an exclusive right to enter a fully termed agreement until November 2017.

Technip and FMC Technologies agree to merge to create $13bn company

French oil-services company Technip and US-based FMC Technologies signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to combine and create a new company named TechnipFMC with a market value of $13bn.

Each company's shareholders will own close to 50% of the new company, which will have its operational headquarters in Paris, France.

The combination will build on the Forsys Subsea joint venture that was formed between Technip and FMC last year.

Anadarko Petroleum to buy Freeport’s Gulf of Mexico assets for $2bn

Anadarko Petroleum signed a $2bn agreement to acquire US-based Freeport McMoRan Oil & Gas's deepwater assets in the Gulf of Mexico.

The deal is expected to double Anadarko's ownership in the Lucius development to ;around 49% from its previous 23.8% ;and will add approximately 80,000boepd in production capacity.

Furthermore, the acquisition will expand Anadarko's operated infrastructure throughout the Gulf of Mexico and is set to generate an estimated $3bn of incremental Gulf of Mexico free cash-flow over the next five years.

Faroe Petroleum completes acquisition of Norwegian North Sea assets

Faroe Petroleum has announced the completion of previously announced acquisition of interests in five oil and gas fields located in the Norwegian North Sea.

Faroe Petroleum acquired this ownership stake from Dong E&P Norge.

The five fields are Ula (20%), Tambar (45%), Tambar East Unit (37.8%), Oselvar (55%) and Trym (50%).