July’s top news stories

3 July 2018 (Last Updated July 29th, 2020 12:56)

China National Offshore Oil Corporation to invest $3bn in offshore oil and gas operations in Nigeria, Inpex started gas production from the wellhead of the Ichthys LNG Project, Total to divest UK North Sea offshore assets worth $1.5bn. Offshore-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from July 2018.

July’s top news stories
CNOOC and NNPC officials. Credit: Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

China National Offshore Oil Corporation plans to invest $3bn in Nigeria

China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) revealed plans to invest $3bn in its current offshore oil and gas operations in Nigeria.

CNOOC has already invested more than $14bn in Nigeria and considers it as the most strategic overseas business venture.

CNOOC is also seeking collaboration with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to work towards increased production.


Inpex begins gas production at Ichthys LNG Project

Japanese oil company Inpex begun gas production from the wellhead of its Ichthys LNG Project in Australia.

Prior to this, final safety verifications for the project were completed, including verifications concerning electrical equipment.

The Ichthys LNG Project is expected to produce and ship approximately 8.9 million tonnes (Mt) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and 1.65Mt of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) annually. It will also produce 100,000 barrels of condensate a day.


Total to sell $1.5bn of UK North Sea assets

French oil and gas company Total is set to divest multiple offshore assets located in the UK North Sea, which could be worth around $1.5bn.

The divestment is expected to include one-third of Total’s stake in Laggan Tormore gas field.

It would also include multiple smaller fields that the company received as a part of the $4.95bn AP Moller-Maersk’s oil and gas unit acquisition, completed in the March this year.


Saudi Aramco aims to buy majority stake in SABIC petrochemicals

National oil and gas company Saudi Aramco proposed the purchase of a controlling stake in petrochemicals manufacturer Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC), taking as much as the entire 70% stake owned by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), according to Reuters.

The oil and gas company confirmed the reports, saying it was attempting the purchase of a ‘strategic stake’ in SABIC from the national sovereign wealth fund.

Saudi Aramco will buy between 50% and 70% from the PIF, making it the majority owner. Some of Wall Street’s largest financial institutions are offering loans to oil giant for the acquisition, according to sources who wished to remain anonymous.


Adnoc awards $1.6bn of seismic survey contracts

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) awarded AED5.88bn ($1.6bn) in 3D offshore and onshore seismic survey contracts in a bid to identify new resources.

The contracts involve an area of up to 53,000km² and were awarded to China National Petroleum Company’s (CNPC) subsidiary BGP following a competitive bid process.

In the UAE, the contract winner is represented by Al Masaood Oil Industry Supplies & Services.


Element opens materials testing laboratory in Singapore

Element Materials Technology opened a new materials testing laboratory in Singapore to offer services for oil and gas sector Energy Performance Certificate contractors and fabricators across the Asia Pacific region.

The Element Singapore laboratory will provide specialised testing for metallurgical and fracture toughness.

The company claims that it has made significant investments to equip the lab with high-tech equipment in order to ensure that customers receive efficient service. The laboratory will employ 21 people.


ConocoPhillips and BP agree to swap assets in Alaska and North Sea

ConocoPhillips signed an agreement with BP to sell its 16.5% stake in the Clair field, located offshore west of Shetland in the UK.

Upon completion, BP and ConocoPhillips will hold 45.1% and 7.5% interests in the Clair field respectively.

At the same time, the companies also signed an agreement under which BP will sell its entire 39.2% stake in the Greater Kuparuk Area on the North Slope of Alaska, as well as its 38% interest in Kuparuk Transportation Company to ConocoPhillips.


DEA secures operatorship of three Mexican offshore blocks

DEA Deutsche Erdoel subsidiary Deutsche Erdoel Mexico assumed operatorship for three offshore blocks awarded by the National Hydrocarbons Commission Comisión Nacional de Hidrocarburos (CNH).

The three blocks, namely 16, 17 and 30, were awarded by CNH during the shallow water bid round 3.1 conducted in March.

The company, along with its partners, has entered official contracts for the three blocks with CNH.


Kawasaki signs deal to test AUV for subsea pipeline inspections

Japan-based manufacturing multinational Kawasaki Heavy Industries signed an agreement with The Underwater Centre (TUC), a marine testing facility in Fort William, Scotland, to test a prototype of its autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) designed with a robot arm to enable inspections of subsea pipelines.

The first of its verification tests is set to be performed in October, with plans for commercialisation of the AUV in fiscal year 2020.

Kawasaki is devising the device to allow underwater charging and the transfer of inspection data to the mother ship. These capabilities are expected to ensure longer deployment duration.


BP begins gas development project operations at Shah Deniz 2

UK-based oil and gas company BP started operations at the $28bn Shah Deniz 2 gas development project in Azerbaijan.

The gas development project, which is said to be the largest subsea infrastructure operated by BP in the Caspian Sea, also initiated the process of the first commercial gas delivery to Turkey.

Shah Deniz 2 is the beginning of the Southern Gas Corridor pipeline series that is set to deliver natural gas directly from the Caspian Sea to European markets.