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Mariner field

ExxonMobil plans $14bn investment in Canada’s Hebron field

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US-based multinational oil and gas company ExxonMobil has said that it will proceed with its plan to develop the Hebron oil field in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, offshore of Canada.

The company plans to spend nearly $14bn to construct the platform, which is expected to have a daily production capacity of 150,000 barrels of oil.

The field is located at a water depth of 300ft in the Jeanne d’Arc Basin offshore of Newfoundland and Labrador, more than 350km south-east of the capital of St John’s and 32km south-east of the company’s Hibernia project.

US to auction 134 blocks in March 2014

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has scheduled the auction of oil and gas blocks at the Gulf of Mexico Eastern Planning Area in New Orleans on 19 March.

The scheduled lease sale 225, the first sale proposed for the Eastern Planning Area under the 2012 to 2017 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Natural Gas Leasing Programme, will follow the proposed Central Planning Area (CPA) Sale 231.

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Under the sale, BOEM will auction the 134 unleased blocks, located around 125 statute miles offshore in water at depths ranging from 2,657ft to 10,213ft, which cover around 465,200 acres in the Eastern Planning Area.

Petronas awards $3.12bn offshore contract

Petronas offshore contract

Malaysia’s state oil firm Petroliam Nasional (Petronas) has awarded a MYR10bn ($3.12bn) 13-package, five-year offshore hook-up, commissioning and maintenance services contract to six local service providers.

Petronas awarded the Pan Malaysia integrated hook-up and commissioning and topside major maintenance contract to Kencana, Dayang Enterprise, Petra Resources, PBJV, Carimin Engineering Services and Sigur Ros.

According to the company, the contract also includes all the necessary services such as manpower services, marine spread services, and tools and equipment that are needed for the execution of the respective work scopes.

Statoil to build $6.79bn drilling platform at Snorre field

Snorre field drilling and processing platform

Norway’s Statoil has announced a Nkr40bn ($6.79bn) project to build a new drilling and processing platform in a bid to extract another 300 million barrels of oil from its Snorre field in the North Sea.

Total investments include platform, infrastructure and drilling of wells, while the latest announcement is also aimed at extending the improved oil recovery (IOR) project lifetime to 2040.

With a capacity of 140 single cabins, the new platform will drill 40 new wells for production and injection of water and gas and the drilling facility will have a reach of 7,000m.

BP seeks court intervention for Deepwater Horizon compensation

Gulf of Mexico spill

BP appealed in the Fifth Circuit court in New Orleans, US, demanding that $9.6bn in settlement of damages, related to the 2010 oil spill, should not be approved if a dispute regarding claim payments isn’t settled in the company’s favour.

The company argues that the interpretation used by claims administrator Patrick Juneau is "inequitable", stating that the company is giving compensation to Gulf Coast businesses that weren’t affected by the spill.

In a filing, BP said that the interpretation used by Patrick Juneau is not in line with the legal norm of a class action lawsuit, or group, under which all claimants are treated with the same injuries equally.

Reliance Industries to invest $6.5bn in KG-D6 gas fields


Indian energy firm Reliance Industries (RIL) has announced that it will invest approximately $6.5bn in its KG-D6 gas fields to re-achieve natural gas production of up to 60 million standard cubic metres per day (mmscmd) by 2019/20.

RIL president and chief operating officer B Ganguly told PTI that the company can achieve a production level of 40 to 60 mmscmd by 2019/20, once it gets timely approvals and the right natural gas price.

The Bay of Bengal KG-D6 fields, which commenced gas production in April 2009, have a current production of more than 14 mmscmd.

BP files lawsuit against EPA for prohibition of government contracts

BP has approached the federal court of Houston regarding the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), saying that it has lost contracts worth billions of dollars from the US military.

The company filed a lawsuit claiming that the agency is abusing its discretion by continuing to bar the company from new government contracts following guilty pleas related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The EPA has refused to lift the prohibition on new contracts, first put in place in November 2012.

US House committee approves bill to expand offshore drilling

Outer Continental Shelf

A US House of Representatives committee has approved a new energy bill that’s expected to widen the country’s offshore oil and natural gas production.

As well as the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act, the committee has also passed two other bills, the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska Access Act and the Young’s Native American Energy Act.

All now need Senate approval before they can become policy.

Senator recommends US Government join EU oil price investigation

Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee chairman Ron Wyden has recommended that the Justice Department take part in a European Union (EU)-launched probe into oil price manipulation by Shell, BP and Statoil.

The senator, in a letter written to Attorney General Eric Holder, said that the US Government should join the investigation in order to find out whether alleged price fixing in Europe has impacted fuel prices for American consumers.

Wyden told Reuters: "Efforts to manipulate the European oil indices, if proven, may have already impacted US consumers and businesses, because of the interrelationships among world oil markets and hedging practices."

Shell to build LNG units for transport corridors in North America

LNG-powered OPV

Shell and its subsidiaries are planning to build two small-scale liquefaction units to bring liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel close to its marine and heavy-duty on-road customers in North America.

The company said that the units will form the basis of two new LNG transport corridors in the Great Lakes and Gulf Coast regions.

Shell president Marvin Odum said that the company intends to use its LNG expertise and strength to make LNG a feasible fuel option for the commercial market, as it is a cleaner-burning energy source and plentiful in North America.

US introduces new rule to strengthen safety on offshore platforms

offshore platform safety

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has introduced a new set of rules to address and manage operational safety hazards and impacts on the US Outer Continental Shelf.

The latest step is intended to expand safe and responsible development of the nation’s oil and gas resources, alongside increasing safety for offshore crews.

The Safety and Environmental Management Systems (SEMS) II final rule has been designed to improve the original SEMS rule, also known as the Workplace Safety Rule, which was issued in October 2010.

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

Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil has announced that it has 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 Ed Davey said that 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.