US to provide 21 million acres in Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas development


The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) decided to offer more than 21 million acres offshore Texas for oil and gas exploration and development in a lease sale featuring all available unleased areas in the Western Gulf of Mexico planning area.

The move is part of US President Barack Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy.

Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 238 is scheduled to be held in New Orleans, Louisiana, on 20 August 2014.

Turkey approves EIA for South Stream project’s offshore section

The Turkish Ministry of Environment and Urban Planning approved the environmental impact assessment (EIA) report for South Stream’s offshore pipeline section.

The pipeline will be built at a distance of more than 110km from the Turkish coast, in water depths of about 2,200m.

The pipeline’s initial string is planned to be laid starting from late 2014, while the first pipelaying vessel will enter the Turkish exclusive economic zone in the first quarter of 2015.

Statoil wins Colombian offshore licence


Norway-based Statoil was awarded a 33.33% interest in the COL4 licence offshore Colombia in the Caribbean Sea in the 2014 Colombia Licensing Round.

Spanish energy firm Repsol will operate the licence with 33.34% stake while ExxonMobil Exploration Colombia will hold the remaining 33.33% interest.

Statoil said the licence award, which is subject to the final approval of the National Hydrocarbons Agency of Colombia, marks its entry into Colombia with an early exploration phase.

Eni to explore for hydrocarbons in Republic of Congo

Italian oil and gas firm Eni signed an agreement to explore for hydrocarbons in the Republic of Congo’s coastal basin.

The agreement, which extends from onshore Mayombe to the deep-offshore, follows discussions with the Congo Government that resulted in the extension of permits around strategic resources.

The government has extended permissions for Madingo, Marine and Marine VI VII fields.

Hyundai secures $1.9bn order for UAE offshore project


South Korea-based Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) secured a $1.9bn order from Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (Adma-Opco) for the second package of the Nasr full field development project in the UAE.

Under the deal, HHI will build the fixed platforms and lay subsea cables for the project.

HHI will carry out engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning work for the super complex, which will feature a gas treatment platform, a separation platform and an accommodation platform.

MOL expands North Sea upstream portfolio through acquisition of six licenses


MOL Group expanded its upstream portfolio in the central North Sea through the acquisition of six licenses from Premier Oil UK for $130m.

The assets acquired through the licenses include a balanced mix of current and new production, as well as both operated and non-operated exploration opportunities in the Scott-Telford and Rochelle area.

MOL acquired 21.84%, 15% and 1.59% stakes in the Stott, Rochelle and Telford fields respectively, as well as a participating interest in further exploration licenses, such as the Rochelle Upper Jurassic deep project.

Shell makes third oil discovery in Gulf of Mexico’s Norphlet play


Shell made a third major oil discovery in the Norphlet play in deep waters of the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

The company found oil near its Rydberg exploration well, which is in 7,479ft of water approximately 75 miles offshore in Mississippi Canyon Block 525.

Shell drilled the well to a total depth of 26,371ft and found oil reserves more than 400ft deep.

The company anticipates the resource base to be around 100 million barrels of oil equivalent and Rydberg well joins the Appomattox and Vicksburg wells, also in the Norphlet play, bringing the total potential of discoveries to more than 700 million barrels of oil equivalent.

OMV discovers new oil reservoir in Romanian Black Sea


OMV Petrom discovered a new oil reservoir on the continental shelf of the Romanian Black Sea.

The reservoir in the shallow-water Istria XVIII offshore perimeter was identified by OMV’s Marina 1 exploration well at a cost of about €19m.

The well was drilled to a depth of approximately 2,150m below the seabed with production potential of 1,500bpd-2,000bpd.