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In February, the International Energy Agency said that global oil demand would drop this quarter for the first time in over a decade as fears over coronavirus batter the global economy. Significant too is the fact that OPEC production cuts have done little to reduce surplus. We look at the factors behind the drop in oil demand.

Also, we look into the history of the dispute in the Saudi-Kuwait Neutral Zone and what it could mean for offshore producers in the region. And, following BP’s announcement of its plan for net zero, we examine how the company is forging a path for corporate responsibility in the sector. 

Elsewhere, we get the inside line on Aker BP and Cognite’s trial of robotic systems that could improve offshore efficiency, safety and sustainability. We also find out how Equinor plans to extend the life of the Statfjord field for another two decades. Finally, we examine Russia’s $300bn Arctic offshore project, the effect of Orsted‘s transition to renewables, and what the delayed shutdown of the Forties pipeline means for the industry. 

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In this issue 

Rock bottom: how Covid-19 has shattered the oil industry

The Covid-19 pandemic has shattered oil demand, sunk prices, and is posing a significant risk for those involved in oil extraction and processing. JP Casey asks: is an industry traditionally thought of as resistant to change properly equipped to deal with this crisis?

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Thawed relations hit strange times: inside the Saudi-Kuwait Neutral Zone

After five years of shutdown, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia have decided to resume oil production from their shared fields in the ‘Neutral Zone’. Heidi Vella considers the region’s history and what restarting production could mean for the market at this tumultuous time. 

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More questions than answers: BP’s plan for net-zero emissions

New BP CEO Bernard Looney has announced a ten-point plan to make the oil major carbon-neutral by 2050, but critics remain sceptical of the company’s commitment to these goals and its ability to deliver on such lofty pledges. JP Casey finds out more.

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Spot the bot: testing offshore robotics at Aker BP’s Skarv field

Norwegian E&P company Aker BP and industrial AI firm Cognite have joined forces to test a range of robots at Aker BP’s Skarv field in the Norwegian Sea. Chris Lo asks: what will be involved in these trials, set to take place throughout 2020, and will the ongoing Covid-19 crisis get in the way?   

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Asset life extension: viable in the long term for oil and gas?

While much of the oil and gas industry moves towards decommissioning, there are a few companies going against the grain and investing in asset life extension. JP Casey speaks to UK-based Rockrose Energy to find out whether pushing back decommissioning and focusing on life extension is viable in the long-term.

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The cold thaw: inside Russia’s $300bn Arctic oil and gas investment 

While investments in the North American Arctic remain frozen, Russia is doubling down on oil and gas in the region. Julian Turner talks to Canadian energy analyst Doug Matthews about budgets, blow outs, and what the oil price collapse could mean for Russian ambitions in the Arctic Circle. 

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How Ørsted’s energy transition led the way for oil and gas companies

Oil and gas companies are slowly but surely moving towards the renewable market. While some are taking baby steps, the energy transition has worked out well for some early adopters. Matthew Farmer takes a look at some of the big moves.

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Up and running: inside INEOS’s decision to keep the Forties pipeline flowing

The Forties pipeline system exports around 40% of the UK’s oil and gas, and links up more than 80 North Sea assets. Julian Turner assesses how INEOS’ decision to postpone taking the pipeline offline this June, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will impact UK and world markets.

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What does the future hold for the oil and gas workforce?

Since the start of the year, dozens of operators have announced budget cuts. These will mean slashing costs, which will translate to thousands of workers losing their jobs. Matthew Farmer asks: how bad is the situation for the oil and gas workforce, and when will staffing return to ‘normal’?

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Preview – Offshore Technology Focus August 2020

The Norwegian Ministry of Finance has announced sweeping changes to offshore Oil and 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 and 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 as 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.