Alder Field in Central North Sea

UK invites bids to drill for oil and gas in North Sea


The UK Government opened the 28th licensing round inviting companies to apply for new licences to drill for offshore oil and gas in the North Sea.

The government’s latest initiative, set to give a further boost to the economy, will also support the industry’s joint Oil and Gas Industrial Strategy, published in 2013, and works to secure future decades of investment and production in the North Sea.

Increasing recovery of oil and gas in the country is expected to improve energy security, support thousands of jobs and provide billions in increased tax revenues.

Petrotrin confirms 11 oil spills during December 2013

Oil spill

Trinidad’s state-owned oil company Petrotrin confirmed at least 11 oil spills during December 2013 and was fined $3.1m from the country’s Environmental Management Authority (EMA).

The oil spills are said to have damaged parts of Trinidad and Tobago and coated miles of beach with crude.

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Based on a report from the Trinidad Guardian, it has been revealed that initially the company responded to an oil spill that took place near La Brea on 17 December.

BP’s Kurt Mix defence lawyers blame elevator conversation for verdict in Gulf oil spill trial


Defence lawyers for a former BP drilling engineer, Kurt Mix, who was convicted by a federal jury of obstructing an investigation into the company’s 2010 Gulf oil spill, claimed that jurors engaged in misconduct that warrants a new trial.

The attorneys of the 52-year-old engineer from Katy, Texask, asked the US District Judge Stanwood Duval Jr to throw out the 18 December judgement given by the jury.

Mix tried to destroy evidence when he deleted a number of text messages to and from a supervisor and a contractor of BP.

Sete Brasil receives $3.7bn loan to finance building nine offshore drilling rigs

offshore rig

Oil-rig supplier Sete Brasil Participacoes secured BRL8.8bn ($3.71bn) loan from Brazil’s national development bank.

The Brazilian firm plans to use the funding from BNDES to finance construction of nine deep-water offshore drilling rigs.

According to Sete Brasil, the loan will clear an obstacle as the company commences construction on the first offshore drilling rigs that will be built in Brazil.

The company will use the funding to construct the first nine drill rigs, which form part of a portfolio of 29 rigs that was announced in 2012.

Amec offers $3.2bn to buy Foster Wheeler

British engineering firm Amec made a $3.2bn cash-and-shares offer to buy Switzerland-based engineering firm Foster Wheeler as part of its strategy to boost its geographical presence and revenues, especially in faster-growing regions.

Foster Wheeler shareholders would receive 0.9 new Amec shares and $16 in cash, valuing the Swiss firm at $32 a share.

Amec plans to fund the acquisition through a combination of existing cash and new debt financing.

Commenting on the deal, Amec chief executive Samir Brikho noted that the combination of the two businesses would be financially and strategically attractive.

Shell acquires Brazil’s BC-10 project stake for $1bn

Shell Office

Oil and gas company Shell completed the acquisition of an additional 23% interest in the Parque das Conchas (BC-10) project offshore of Brazil for $1bn.

The company secured regulatory approvals and will hold a 73% operating interest in the project.

According to Shell, the purchase is effective as of 1 January 2013 and is the result of pre-empting a third party’s bid for Petrobras’s 35% interest in BC-10.

Partner ONGC, which earlier owned a 15% working interest, will now hold a 27% interest.

Chevron secures approval to develop Alder Field in North Sea

Drilling rigs

Chevron North Sea reached a final investment decision and received approval from the UK government to develop the Alder Field in the Central North Sea.

The project has a planned design capacity of 110 million cubic feet of natural gas and 14,000 barrels of condensate a day. It is expected to start first production in 2016.

The company plans to develop the field through a single subsea well tied back to the existing Britannia Platform, a distance of 17 miles.

Energy XXI discovers oil in US Gulf of Mexico

Oil and natural gas explorer Energy XXI discovered oil at its Stricker well on West Delta 30 field in the US Gulf of Mexico.

The well was drilled to 5,897ft measured depth (MD) / 5,168ft total vertical depth (TVD) and logged 79 net feet of oil pay in six different reservoirs, five of which were previously untested and are new discoveries.

The well is currently being sidetracked down dip to delineate the size of the new discoveries in anticipation of finding incremental net pay.

Energy XXI said that additional development wells may be needed to accelerate recovery of reserves due to discovery of several pay sands in the Stricker well, which marks the company’s first well drilled after its acquisition in December 2010.