Norway strike talks fail as pension dispute continues

Norway strike talks

Industrial strike action by Norwegian offshore workers entered a second week after talks with employers failed to resolve a dispute regarding pensions.

The SAFE trade union said in a statement on its website: "It was clear there was no basis to continue the talks."

Meanwhile, the Norwegian Oil Industry Association said in a statement: "Unreasonable demands for early retirement mean that we cannot agree."

Labour unions met on 6 July to decide whether to escalate the strike, which may have an impact on more oil fields.

Statoil to halt Norwegian production after lockout notice

Statoil halt production

Statoil said it is planning to shutdown production on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS), following a notice of lockout by the Norwegian Oil Industry Association (OLF).

The lockout was imposed on all members of Industri Energi, the Organisation of Energy Personnel (SAFE) and the Norwegian Organisation of Managers and Executives who are covered by the offshore pay agreements.

The notice follows strike action taken by workers form Industri Energi, SAFE and Lederne on 24 June.

BP suspends Alaskan offshore oilfield Liberty project

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Cost overruns and technical setbacks have led British Petroleum (BP) to suspend its $1.5bn Liberty offshore project in Alaska.

Liberty offshore oilfield is located four miles off the northern coast of Alaska in Foggy Island Bay, in the Beaufort Sea.

Dawn Patience, BP Exploration (Alaska) spokesperson, was quoted by Reuters as saying that an 18-month company review concluded that the Liberty project, a field with about 100 million barrels of recoverable oil, should not go forward as planned.

"We are not going to pursue Liberty in its present form. The project, as it’s designed right now, doesn’t meet BP’s standards," said Patience.

UK offshore drilling increased 64% in Q2: Deloitte

UK offshore drilling

Offshore drilling increased by 64% during the second quarter of 2012 on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), when compared to the same period in 2011, according to a new report by Deloitte.

The report shows that 18 exploration and appraisal wells were drilled in north-west Europe between 1 April and 30 June, which also represents a 64% increase on the first quarter of 2012.

Meanwhile, deal activity rose by 47% during this period compared to Q2 in 2011, indicating a positive outlook for the UK oil and gas industry, according to Deloitte.

UK announces tax relief for North Sea gas exploration

UK announces tax relief

The UK Government has announced a new tax relief to support gas investment in the UK Continental Shelf.

A £500m field allowance for large shallow-water gas fields, with water depths of fewer than 30m, will be established with the aim of attracting future investment in North Sea gas.

A new gas strategy will also be published by the government later in 2012, as part of its plan to provide certainty to investors on the UK’s long-term commitment towards gas.

Centrica posts 15% rise in profits

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Centrica has reported a 15% rise in adjusted operating profits to £1.45bn for the period ended 30 June 2012.

"The results also include a 14% rise in residential services to £125m, while total downstream profits in the UK rose."

Operating profits at the company’s residential energy division, British Gas, rose to £345m, up 23% from 2011.

The results also include a 14% rise in residential services to £125m, while total downstream profits in the UK rose by nine percent, to £563m.