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November 7, 2018updated 08 Jul 2020 11:55am

October’s top news stories

A new study claims that companies need to invest up to £330bn to extract oil and gas from UK waters over the next 30 years, and Shell announced a $31.9bn JV to supply LNG to emerging Asian markets. Offshore-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from October 2018.

Study claims firms need to invest up to £330bn to extract oil and gas

Companies need to invest up to £330bn to extract oil and gas from UK waters over the next 30 years.

Offshore fields in the North Sea have produced in excess of 43 billion barrels since the 1970s.

Based on economic modelling, a study by researchers at Aberdeen University noted that North Sea fields could contain 17 billion barrels of oil or the equivalent gas still to be extracted.


US fears Russia could help Iran avoid sanctions

The US is reportedly concerned that Russia could play spoilsport and facilitate Iran in avoiding sanctions by purchasing oil and then reselling it in the global market.

The US recently reimposed sanctions with the aim of halting Tehran’s oil exports.

The Trump administration decided to withdraw from the 2015 nuclear pact,  which provided relief to Tehran from sanctions.

Russia has been opposed to the decision of reimposing sanctions on Iranian oil exports and the withdrawal from the multilateral pact, in which China, the UK, France, Germany and EU were also signatories.


Thalassa’s ARL completes autonomous flying node sea trials

Thalassa announced that its subsidiary Autonomous Robotics (ARL) completed sea trials of a prototype flying node autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) at a location off the coast of Plymouth harbour.

Conducted under the supervision of ARL engineering director Arran Holloway, the trials are claimed to be a major step forward in the proof of concept prototype development phase.

ARL said that the trial successfully confirmed the AUV autonomous navigation and seabed landing and take-off operation.


Shell leads $31bn Canadian LNG project with Asian energy giants

A consortium of energy companies led by Shell has announced a C$40bn ($31.9bn) joint venture (JV) to supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) to emerging Asian markets.

Comprising Shell, PetroChina, Mitsubishi, Korea Gas Corporation and Malaysia’s Petronas, the JV is Canada’s largest private sector investment project and expected to deliver 26 million tons of LNG to Asia.

The government is contributing C$275m to support the LNG project to be used for infrastructure, marine and environmental protection.


India’s ONGC awards $1.5bn contract for deep-water development

India’s Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has awarded a Rs117.4bn ($1.52bn) contract to Baker Hughes (BHGE), McDermott and L&T Hydrocarbon (LTHE) for the deep-water development project, KG-DWN-98/2 (Cluster-2) in the Krishna Godavari basin.

This contract will see subsea equipment and services being provided by BHGE, McDermott and LTHE to ONGC with end-to-end project delivery.

The deep-water development project will help India cater to its domestic energy requirements.


Magseis to buy Fairfield Seismic Technologies for $233m

Norwegian geophysical company Magseis has reached a $233m agreement to acquire Fairfield Geotechnologies’ Seismic Technologies business, which comprises data acquisition, and nodal and system sale and rental activities.

The deal includes the acquisition of all shares in Fairfield’s 100%-owned UK subsidiary WGP Group.

Under the terms of the agreement, the total consideration will comprise cash payment of $165m, the issuance of 33.5 million Magseis shares, and an earn-out payment related to the Al Shaheen project in Qatar, amounting to 40% of the net cash generated from the project.


UK oil and gas industry receives fiscal assurances in 2018 Budget

The UK oil and gas industry came out on top in this year’s budget, with the government promising to remove £3bn of tax barriers to encourage North Sea investment.

In his speech, Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond referred to the UK oil and gas industry, introducing plans to develop Scotland has a global hub for offshore decommissioning work and stimulating investment in the oilfield services sector.

Under Section 4.105 of the Budget titled ‘Oil and gas taxation: transferable tax history and retention of decommissioning expenditure’, the government noted that the new transferable tax history mechanism would remove tax barriers to new investment offshore, and that the government would also amend Petroleum Revenue Tax laws to simplify the sale of older UK oil and gas fields to new investors.

The section concluded: “This will provide further support for an industry that is a vital part of the economies of Scotland and the rest of the UK.”


India’s BPCL to invest $800m in Mozambique LNG project

Indian oil and gas firm Bharat Petroleum (BPCL) is reportedly set to invest $800m as equity in the Mozambique Rovuma Offshore Area 1 liquefied natural gas (LNG) project.

The investment represents BPCL’s largest investment in an upstream project overseas, thehindubusinessline.com reported.

The company holds a 10% interest in the Rovuma Offshore Area 1 concession, which is located within the Rovuma Basin. BPCL acquired the 10% stake for $703m.


Cue, BP, Beach and NZOG sign JV deal for Ironbark-1 exploration well

Cue Energy Resources’ subsidiary Cue Exploration signed an agreement with BP Developments, Beach Energy and New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZOG) to form a joint venture (JV) to undertake drilling operations at the Ironbark-1 exploration well in WA-359-P, off the Western Australian coast.

The Ironbark prospect is estimated to contain 15Tcf of prospective recoverable gas.

In a separate transaction, New Zealand Oil & Gas reached an agreement to buy a 15% equity in WA-359-P from Cue.


Equinor makes new oil discovery in Johan Castberg licence

A partnership comprising Equinor, Eni and Petoro has discovered more oil in the Johan Castberg licence in the Barents Sea, following the completion of the Skruis exploration well.

The well, where exploration drilling commenced last month the Songa Enabler drilling rig, indicated a volume between 12 and 25 million recoverable barrels of oil.

With estimated recoverable reserves 450-650 million barrels, the Johan Castberg licence is expected to start-up in 2022. The estimate does not include the volumes from Skruis and the Kayak discovery.

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