The Norwegian Ministry of Finance has announced sweeping changes to offshore oil & gas taxes in an attempt to quash the slump, boost cashflow, and encourage investment. In what has been termed a rare move for Norway, the measures are expected to have a lasting effect; but will they be enough, and should other countries take note? We find out.

Also, we profile the latest oil & gas developments in Somalia as it reopens its subsea resources for business. And with oil investment pouring into Latin America, we speak to international law firm Volterra Fietta about the opportunities and risks in the region. Elsewhere, we consider what the industry can do to stem job losses and ask, can the industry transform itself into a provider of skills for other sectors? We also talk to ABB about the potential of augmented reality in oil & gas.

Finally, we hear from Sonardyne about their new SMART sensor, learn how oil & gas companies can thwart cyber crime, and take a look at how a small Irish port became a storage hub for oil. 

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In this issue 

Turning on the taps: inside Norway’s new oil and gas taxes

Sweeping changes to Norway’s traditionally static offshore tax structure could dramatically change the industry, with tax refunds of up to 100% of exploration expenses on offer. JP Casey considers the impacts of the move, and whether a similar reform could be implemented in other countries.

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Sizing up Somalia: a new offshore oil frontier in the making

Somalia is one of the few remaining frontier oil and gas exploration territories and the Somalian federal government is promoting its advancement by launching its first ever offshore licensing round. Heidi Vella looks at the latest developments.

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Hot waters: the legal risks for investing in Latin American oil and gas 

At the best of times, every new investment is a risk. Despite a wealth of opportunity, areas of Latin America have different and unique risks not often understood by investors from North America and Europe. Matt Farmer takes a look at the legalities and technicalities that oil and gas investors might want to watch for in Latin America.

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Job losses in oil and gas: first the storm, then the rainbow?

With an increasing number of graduates turning away from the oil and gas sector, Yoana Cholteeva considers what the industry can do to stem the flow or transform itself as a provider of skills for other sectors.

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How augmented reality could change offshore training with ABB  

Augmented reality could replace paper procedures, change training methods, and give detailed advice in real-time. But how can engineers avoid ‘data paralysis’, and could such technology one day replace workers on site? ABB product portfolio manager Chris Naunheimer discusses the ins and outs of their augmented reality procedure monitoring technology with Matt Farmer.

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In-situ data analysis: inside Sonardyne’s new SMART sensor

Technology firm Sonardyne has outlined its SMART sensor, a technology that aims to improve operational efficiency by moving data analysis and computation subsea, enabling the sensor to analyse and send data to the surface in a more streamlined fashion. Yoana Cholteeva and JP Casey speak to the company about the technology.

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How has insurance changed to protect oil and gas from cyber-threats?

For many, Covid-19 has meant working from home, and working from home has meant moving out of the safety of the office firewall. Virtual threats have not relented, but they are now working against industries that know their adversaries, and have plans for cyber-attacks. Matt Farmer discovers more.

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The ballad of Bantry Bay: how an Irish oil terminal took centre stage amid Covid-19

The recent arrival of the first US oil at Zenith’s Bantry Bay terminal cemented the reputation of the facility on the Irish coast as a strategic location serving key trade routes. Julian Turner talks to Zenith about the oil storage shortage, Covid-19, and the rise of West Texas Intermediate.

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Preview – Offshore Technology Focus October 2020

Oil major Chevron has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase all of Noble Energy‘s outstanding shares at a valuation of $5bn. Some have speculated that this could be part of an oncoming wave of post-Covid M&As as majors look to snap up the assets of those unable to weather the pandemic. We investigate. 

Also, in light of Subsea UK’s chief executive warning that subsea firms could turn their back on oil and gas work, we find out what the future looks like for the sector. And we talk to Legasea, the UK’s subsea company of the year, about their efforts to improve the industry’s sustainability.

Elsewhere, we learn about BP‘s acquisition of geospatial analytics company Satelytics.  We also ask what the offshore industry is doing about methane emissions.

Finally, we examine recent setbacks to US pipelines and what it means for the country, hear from Ocean Infinity about their new Armada initiative and autonomy at scale, and talk to the developer of a new offshore marine facility in Singapore.