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March 3, 2013

February’s top stories: BP, Transocean in court, North Sea 30 year investment high

BP and Transocean faced US prosecutors in court who alleged the companies' negligence contributed to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion, the UK North Sea hit a 30 year investment high, while Rosneft and ExxonMobil decided to expand their Russian Arctic shelf joint venture. Offshore-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from February 2013.

By Heidi Vella

BP_DH

Shell to develop Malaysia’s third deepwater oil field

Shell_Malaysia

Shell Malaysia, along with its joint venture partners, took the final investment decision to develop the Malikai oil field located about 100km offshore of Sabah, Malaysia, in February.

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Shell Malaysia holds 35% interest in the project, while other joint venture partners ConocoPhillips and PETRONAS Carigali hold 35% and 30% interest respectively.

Located in water depths of about 500m, the oil field is operated by Sabah Shell Petroleum Company and is part of the Block G PSC awarded by PETRONAS in 1995.

BP faces new $34bn claim for Gulf oil spill

BP_34bn

Oil and gas major BP, at the beginning of last month, faced a new $34bn claim from local and southern state governments in the US, including Louisiana and Mississippi, for financial losses and property damage incurred as a result of the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The states have been affected by the pollution that took place after the explosion on the BP-operated Macondo well in April 2010, which killed 11 people, reported The Guardian.

Commenting on the claims, the company said the method adopted to calculate the claims was "seriously flawed" and that it would not have to make additional financial provisions.

OPITO to pilot safety standard for North Sea offshore workforce

OPITO

Scotland-based industry skills body OPITO said it will pilot a new standard in the North Sea, in an effort to reduce the risk of accidents and improve safety for elected safety representatives (ESRs) working on offshore oil and gas fields.

The new advanced standard was designed to give training access to ESRs that will help them develop their effectiveness and confidence.

As part of the pilot programme, risk management company DNV will deliver four two-day pilot courses in Aberdeen, Scotland, in February and March 2013.

US to lease 38m acres for offshore development in Gulf of Mexico

US_DoI

The US Department of the Interior last month announced it had finalised plans to sell oil and gas drilling leases for 38 million acres in the Central Gulf of Mexico, in an effort to provide an opportunity for oil companies to expand their operations in the offshore oil region.

The lease sale was expected to produce about one billion barrels of oil and nearly four trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said the Obama administration is committed to developing the country’s domestic energy resources to create jobs, promote economic opportunities and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil.

Rosneft, ExxonMobil expand Russian Arctic shelf joint venture

Russian_Arctic_Shelf

Russian oil major Rosneft and US-based multinational oil and gas company ExxonMobil signed an agreement to expand their joint venture by adding new blocks to develop oil and gas resources on Russia’s Arctic shelf.

The deal, signed as part of the 2011 Strategic Cooperation Agreement, will include an additional 600,000km² (150 million acres) of exploration acreage in the Arctic shelf.

As part of the deal, both companies will jointly explore seven additional blocks in three different seas within the Russian continental shelf.

UK approves Statoil’s $7bn Mariner field development plan

Statoil

Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil announced it had received approval from the UK Government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) for its plans to develop the Mariner heavy oil field in the North Sea.

Statoil claimed that the project, which will be carried out with an investment of more than $7bn, will be the largest new offshore development in the UK.

Commenting on the approval, UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary Edward Davey said North Sea oil and gas is an important asset, which will provide energy security to the nation, reduce the UK’s dependence on volatile international energy markets and support thousands of jobs.

Tax breaks boost North Sea investment to 30-year high

Tax_North_Sea

Tax changes introduced by the UK Government for the oil and gas industry resulted in more companies investing in the North Sea, which hit a 30-year investment high in 2012, with further increases expected, according to a report published by Oil & Gas UK last month.

According to the 2013 Activity Survey, investments ranged from projects of less than £50m to more $1bn pounds.

The report said that investment is anticipated to increase even further to about £13bn in 2013 and create thousands of jobs across Britain.

US prosecutors accuse BP, Transocean over Gulf spill

BP_London

BP and Transocean officials’ negligence in conducting an oil-rig safety test was one of the main causes of an explosion which killed 11 people at the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion, a US attorney said on 25th February on the first day of a gross negligence trial against the two companies.

US Justice Department lawyer, Michael Underhill, and Jim Roy, an attorney for plaintiffs suing the companies, told US District Judge Carl Barbier, who is overseeing the trial, that BP and Transocean supervisors failed to accurately interpret the results of a pressure test on the Macondo well, off the coast of Louisiana, which resulted in the devastating accident.

The explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig spewed four million barrels of oil into the Gulf waters and was one of the largest oil spills in US history, reported Bloomberg News.

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How attractive are current investment opportunities in Europe?

Europe has been identified as one of the most favorable regions for investors, seeing high investment activity in the past year. Most of these investments have been through Debt Offering, valued at close to $700 billion. The region has provided attractive investments in a diverse set of companies. Companies who tend to major themes such Digital Media, Cloud, Artificial Intelligence, E-commerce, and Big Data are recording the highest number of deals, with Digital Media recording close to 2,000 deals. However, GlobalData’s whitepaper offers a full view of the market, analyzing less successful or attractive points of investment as well, examining statistics on Equity Offering investments and PE/VC deals. Understand how government agencies for economies around the world use GlobalData Explorer to:  
  • Track the M&A and Capital Raising volumes into their target market
  • Identify the top sectors in the target market attracting the investments
  • For any investment segment, identify the top Investors inside and outside the target economy that are already investing in the Segment
  • Assess and showcase the growth potential for various Industries in the target economy
Don’t miss out on key market insights that can help optimize your next investment – read the report now.
by GlobalData
Enter your details here to receive your free Report.

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