Wood Group wins Shell Prelude FLNG contract

Prelude FLNG facility

Wood Group PSN (WGPSN) received an A$10m ($10.5m) contract to build a computerised maintenance management system for the Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility located off the coast of Western Australia.

ODL business and Wood Group Integrity Management (WGIM) will jointly carry out the integrated service contract that will be delivered to Shell by contract teams in Perth, Australia, and Aberdeen, UK.

Argentina issues warning against companies in the Falklands

Argentina’s National Securities Commission (CNV) officially warned hydrocarbon companies operating in the Argentine continental shelf, offshore the disputed Falklands / Malvinas Islands, that they are involved in "illicit and clandestine" activities.

Oil and gas companies working offshore of the Falklands Islands, including Argos Resources, Rockhopper Exploration, Borders & Southern Petroleum and Falkland Oil have been notified by the government of Argentina of the CNV’s resolutions, reported local media.

If these firms continue to operate in the area, they could pave the way for criminal and civil proceedings.

Norwegian offshore industry needs to change says panel

A panel of Norwegian oil and gas experts has called for changes in the country’s offshore sector, which has been struggling to experience growth in production since 2010.

The panel expressed concerns over the rising costs of offshore drilling in the country and called for changes in safety rules and workers’ conditions, which it believes would save up to NOK1,000bn ($167.5bn) and enable increased oil and gas production.

Shell to begin Arctic drilling in 2012

Arctic drilling

Royal Dutch Shell announced that it intends to begin drilling operations off the northern coast of Alaska in 2012.

The company has spent more than $4.5bn on building equipment and obtaining federal rights to drill in these waters, after it received support from the US Government.

Pete Slaiby, Shell Alaska unit vice president, was quoted by The Wall Street Journal as saying the company "absolutely expects to drill this year."

UK Oil & Gas optimistic over rise in Q2 activity

David Ripley

A business confidence index published by Oil & Gas UK says the nation’s upstream oil and gas industry is maintaining a stable and positive outlook for the second quarter of 2012.

The overall index rose by one point from 64 to 65 on a 100 point scale, the highest since the series began almost four years ago.

Survey results also included a three point rise from 57 in the first quarter (Q1) of 2012 to 60 for major operators, while a two point increase has been noted in independent companies in the second quarter of 2012.

Saudi Aramco back in business after cyber attack

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Saudi Arabian oil giant Saudi Aramco said it has restored its main internal network services after a computer virus affected 30,000 work stations in mid-August.

Critical data on the company’s PCs was replaced with the image of a burning American flag on 15 August, which Saudi Aramco described as a "malicious virus".

In a statement, Aramco said affected workstations were cleaned and normal business resumed when employees returned to work following the Muslim Eid holidays.

CNOOC invites bids for offshore blocks in China

China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) invited foreign exploration companies to bid for 26 offshore blocks in China.

This is the second round of joint development tenders announced by the state-owned oil and gas company.

In June 2012, nine offshore blocks in the western area of the South China Sea were put up for bidding.

US oil industry may escape severe damage from Hurricane Isaac

Hurricane Isaac

Energy experts predicted that big oil companies operating in the Gulf of Mexico would escape major damage to their platforms as Hurricane Isaac approached the US.

Homes and businesses were cut off from electricity supply on August 29 as the hurricane arrived in Louisana with maximum sustained winds of 80mph, but no discernible damage to refineries or offshore oil and gas platforms was reported.

Kenneth Medlock, Rice University Baker Institute energy expert told Reuters, "The offshore facilities should be OK with regard to major damage. I would not expect a prolonged production outage."