Shell to develop Malaysia’s third deepwater oil field


Shell Malaysia, along with its joint venture partners, took the final investment decision to develop the Malikai oil field located about 100km offshore of Sabah, Malaysia, in February.

Shell Malaysia holds 35% interest in the project, while other joint venture partners ConocoPhillips and PETRONAS Carigali hold 35% and 30% interest respectively.

Located in water depths of about 500m, the oil field is operated by Sabah Shell Petroleum Company and is part of the Block G PSC awarded by PETRONAS in 1995.

BP faces new $34bn claim for Gulf oil spill


Oil and gas major BP, at the beginning of last month, faced a new $34bn claim from local and southern state governments in the US, including Louisiana and Mississippi, for financial losses and property damage incurred as a result of the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The states have been affected by the pollution that took place after the explosion on the BP-operated Macondo well in April 2010, which killed 11 people, reported The Guardian.

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Commenting on the claims, the company said the method adopted to calculate the claims was "seriously flawed" and that it would not have to make additional financial provisions.

OPITO to pilot safety standard for North Sea offshore workforce


Scotland-based industry skills body OPITO said it will pilot a new standard in the North Sea, in an effort to reduce the risk of accidents and improve safety for elected safety representatives (ESRs) working on offshore oil and gas fields.

The new advanced standard was designed to give training access to ESRs that will help them develop their effectiveness and confidence.

As part of the pilot programme, risk management company DNV will deliver four two-day pilot courses in Aberdeen, Scotland, in February and March 2013.

US to lease 38m acres for offshore development in Gulf of Mexico


The US Department of the Interior last month announced it had finalised plans to sell oil and gas drilling leases for 38 million acres in the Central Gulf of Mexico, in an effort to provide an opportunity for oil companies to expand their operations in the offshore oil region.

The lease sale was expected to produce about one billion barrels of oil and nearly four trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said the Obama administration is committed to developing the country’s domestic energy resources to create jobs, promote economic opportunities and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil.

Rosneft, ExxonMobil expand Russian Arctic shelf joint venture


Russian oil major Rosneft and US-based multinational oil and gas company ExxonMobil signed an agreement to expand their joint venture by adding new blocks to develop oil and gas resources on Russia’s Arctic shelf.

The deal, signed as part of the 2011 Strategic Cooperation Agreement, will include an additional 600,000km² (150 million acres) of exploration acreage in the Arctic shelf.

As part of the deal, both companies will jointly explore seven additional blocks in three different seas within the Russian continental shelf.

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


Norwegian oil and gas company Statoil announced it had 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 Edward Davey said 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.

Tax breaks boost North Sea investment to 30-year high


Tax changes introduced by the UK Government for the oil and gas industry resulted in more companies investing in the North Sea, which hit a 30-year investment high in 2012, with further increases expected, according to a report published by Oil & Gas UK last month.

According to the 2013 Activity Survey, investments ranged from projects of less than £50m to more $1bn pounds.

The report said that investment is anticipated to increase even further to about £13bn in 2013 and create thousands of jobs across Britain.

US prosecutors accuse BP, Transocean over Gulf spill


BP and Transocean officials’ negligence in conducting an oil-rig safety test was one of the main causes of an explosion which killed 11 people at the 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion, a US attorney said on 25th February on the first day of a gross negligence trial against the two companies.

US Justice Department lawyer, Michael Underhill, and Jim Roy, an attorney for plaintiffs suing the companies, told US District Judge Carl Barbier, who is overseeing the trial, that BP and Transocean supervisors failed to accurately interpret the results of a pressure test on the Macondo well, off the coast of Louisiana, which resulted in the devastating accident.

The explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig spewed four million barrels of oil into the Gulf waters and was one of the largest oil spills in US history, reported Bloomberg News.


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