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Inpex’s $34bn Ichthys LNG project due to open in late-2016

Japanese oil company Inpex said that its $34bn Ichthys project is set to open in late-2016.

Inpex chief executive Toshiaki Kitamura told the West Australian that the Ichthys project was 68% complete.

Industry speculation is that the project may face potential delays and would fall short of budget in addition to timetable blowouts.

Inpex is forging ahead with the project development with its 30% project partner Total.

BP, Halliburton and Transocean settle 2010 Deepwater Horizon claims

Horizon

BP settled the 2010 Deepwater Horizon financial claims with US-based oilfield services provider Halliburton and Swiss contract drilling company Transocean .

The claims were regarding the Gulf of Mexico offshore Macondo Well disaster that killed 11 crew members and spilled millions of barrels of crude oil.

Transocean has resolved all outstanding claims against the company arising from the disaster by eaching two separate settlement agreements with the Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee (PSC), and with BP Exploration & Production and BP America Production .

Statoil claims Gudrun pipeline leak in North Sea could have been ‘fatal’

Gudrun

Statoil completed its investigation into the leak that occurred on the Gudrun platform in the North Sea in February, stating that it could have been ‘fatal’.

Statoil’s corporate investigation team, which has been investigating the leak incident, concluded that if anybody had been exposed to the leak it would have turned out to be a deadly one.

The condensate leak occurred on 18 February, reporting noise and vibrations on the platform and hydrocarbons were then confirmed in the process module.

Wintershall submits plan for $2bn Maria field development in Norwegian Sea

Wintershall

BASF ‘s wholly owned subsidiary Wintershall and its partners submitted a Nkr15.3bn ($2bn) plan to Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy for development and operation (PDO) of the Maria field in the Norwegian Sea.

According to BASF, the development includes drilling, and recoverable reserves are estimated at around 180 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Wintershall board of executive directors member Martin Bachmann said: "We are well on track on the Norwegian continental shelf. Making this investment decision to bring our own discovery, Maria, into production demonstrates our long-term commitment to Norway.

LLOG to restart drilling at Deepwater Horizon explosion site in US

US-based LLOG Exploration Offshore announced it would restart deepwater drilling near the site of the Deepwater Horizon, after an accident in 2010, killing 11 people.

In April, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement issued permits to the oil company to drill a new well near the site where the energy-giant BP’s disaster took place.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management approved LLOG’s exploration plan in October 2014 after conducting an environmental review.

Shell obtains conditional approval from US regulator to drill for oil off Alaska

Alaska

The Anglo-Dutch company Royal Dutch Shell received conditional approval from the US regulator Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to explore oil in the Chukchi Sea, off Alaska.

Already, Shell is said to have invested around $6bn on exploration in the Arctic region, which has an estimated 20% of the world’s undiscovered oil and natural gas.

Under the conditional approval given for the company’s revised multi-year exploration plan (EP), Shell needs to obtain all necessary permits from other state and federal agencies.

As part of the conditions, Shell also has to secure permits from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), and appropriate authorisations under the Marine Mammal Protection Act to go ahead with drilling.

The EP involves all exploration activities planned by Shell, which include drilling of up to six wells within the Burger prospect, located in approximately 140ft of water.

DNV develops unmanned FLNG concept for remote offshore gas fields

DNV GL developed a new unmanned floating LNG (FLNG) concept called Solitude for operating autonomously in remote offshore gas fields.

The FLNG concept will use latest technology to conserve energy and source power from fuel cells instead of high-maintenance gas turbines.

All equipment in the Solitude concept will be modularised and monitored from shore, while fault correction is performed through self-programming autonomous inspection and maintenance robots.

Universal LNG and Jurong Shipyard launch partnership for offshore gas exploration in Africa

Universal LNG and Jurong Shipyard , the wholly owned subsidiary of Sembcorp Marine , joined forces to launch the new West Africa LNG Development in a bid to address the offshore associate gas needs of the African continent.

The West Africa LNG Development is expected to supply Africa with required energy resources, and will reduce pollution globally.

Universal LNG CEO / chairman Jeffrey Liu said: "By aligning ourselves with Sembcorp Marine’s global leading GraviFloat technology platform, we will make a difference globally and improve the quality of life for underserved people of the African continent."

Subsea 7 to cut 2,500 jobs globally

Offshore engineering company Subsea 7 announced plans to cut 2,500 jobs globally by early 2016, citing tough business and economic conditions in the oil and gas market.

The company is looking to implement cost reduction programmes, including downsizing the fleet and workforce, in addition to restructuring corporate organisation.

Under the programme, Subsea 7 will cut down the global fleet, comprising a total of 39 vessels, by up to 11.

Fairfield Energy holds the majority 70% stake, with the remaining 30% owned by Mitsubishi.

Fairfield Energy to shut Dunlin oilfield in North Sea

Fairfield Energy announced plans to shut its Dunlin Alpha platform in the North Sea due to low oil prices, as well as challenging operational conditions.

Set to cost about £400m, the decommissioning process requires regulatory approvals.

Located nearly 200km north-east of the Shetland Isles, the platform processes production from the main Dunlin field and the Osprey and Merlin subsea fields.