July’s top news stories

7 August 2019 (Last Updated July 14th, 2020 15:33)

Saudi Aramco awards contracts worth $18bn to expand capacity at offshore oilfields, Equinor to divest 16% stake in Lundin Petroleum for $1.56bn. Offshore-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from July 2019.

July’s top news stories
Inpex signed an agreement with Anadarko to acquire a 40% stake in four blocks in the US Gulf of Mexico. Credit: D Thory from Pixabay.

Saudi Aramco awards $18bn contracts for Marjan and Berri oil fields

Saudi Arabian national petroleum and natural gas company Saudi Aramco awarded contracts worth $18bn to expand production at two offshore oilfields in the kingdom.

The company said it aims to increase output capacity at the Marjan and Berri oilfields by a combined 550,000 barrels a day. It will also boost capacity for natural gas output by 2.5 billion cubic feet a day. The projects will keep Saudi Aramco’s maximum sustained capacity at 12 million barrels per day.

Saudi Aramco awarded 34 contracts to 16 companies, half of which are Saudi companies, for engineering, procurement and construction work of the Marjan and Berri increment programmes. The projects are anticipated to create several direct and indirect job opportunities for Saudi nationals.


Equinor to divest 16% stake in Lundin Petroleum for $1.56bn

Norwegian oil and gas firm Equinor agreed to divest its 16% stake in Lundin Petroleum for approximately $1.56bn, and in return acquire 2.6% direct ownership share in Johan Sverdrup oilfield.

Equinor agreed to sell about 54.5 million Lundin shares at SEK 266.4 ($28.22) per share. The company will retain a 4.9% stake in Lundin.

The Norwegian firm will acquire a 2.6% stake in the Equinor operated Johan Sverdrup field for a cash consideration of $910m. The oilfield is expected to start production in November.


Petrobras signs contracts to sell offshore fields for $1.5bn

Brazilian company Petrobras signed two contracts for the sale of shallow-water oilfields in Campos and Santos Basins for $1.5bn.

Petrobras’ contract also provides for the additional contingent payment of up to $200m, depending on oil prices in the future.

The company will sell 100% of its interest in the Pampo and Enchova clusters in shallow waters in the Campos Basin to Trident Energy’s subsidiary Trident Energy do Brasil for $851m.


UK’s OGA launches licensing round for 768 offshore blocks

The UK’s Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) began inviting applications for exploration in large areas of the North Sea and west of Shetland.

The 32nd offshore licensing round is offering 768 blocks or part-blocks across the main producing areas of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS). Blocks on offer are situated in the central North Sea, northern North Sea, southern North Sea and the west of Shetlands.

The authority has provided access to a massive data bank from past drilling of over 2,700 wells, seismic surveys of the seabed and pipelines. Companies also have the opportunity to propose further blocks in adjacent areas, for potential inclusion where applicants plan to carry out a substantial firm work programme.


Total to sell several North Sea oil assets to Petrogas for $635m

Energy giant Total agreed to divest several North Sea oil assets, which were purchased as part of the French company’s 2017 agreement for Maersk Oil.

Norway-based private equity investor HitecVision and Petrogas NEO UK have partnered to buy Total’s UK non-core assets for $635m. Formerly owned by Maersk Oil, the assets are situated in the eastern North Sea, off the coast of Aberdeen.

Total is divesting 100% interest in the Dumbarton, Balloch, Lochranza, Drumtochty fields, 65.94% in Flyndre, 66.67% in Affleck and 60.6% stake in Cawdor.


Inpex to acquire 40% stake in four blocks in US Gulf of Mexico

Inpex US Offshore, a subsidiary of Japanese exploration and production (E&P) company Inpex, signed an agreement with Anadarko Petroleum to acquire a 40% participating interest in Keathley Canyon blocks 921 and 965 and Walker Ridge blocks 881 and 925 in the US Gulf of Mexico.

Anadarko is an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company and is the operator of the blocks.

The four blocks, located around 380km off the coast of the State of Louisiana, cover 93.2km² where the water depth ranges between 2,150m and 2,700m. The blocks are located near the Lucius Oil Field and Hadrian North Oil Field. The Japanese company, through its American subsidiary, has participating interests in these oil-producing fields.


Williams commissions Norphlet deepwater gathering pipeline system

Williams acquired and commissioned the Norphlet deepwater gathering pipeline system, which was constructed by Shell Offshore and CNOOC Petroleum Offshore USA.

The 16-inch pipeline extends 54 miles from the Appomattox Floating Production System operated by Shell, in 7,400ft water to the Transco Main Pass 261A junction platform located about 60 miles south of Mobile, Alabama.

First gas deliveries took place on 22 June.


NPCC and Petrofac JV wins FEED contract from Al Yasat Petroleum

Abu Dhabi firm National Petroleum Construction (NPCC), along with its joint venture partner Petrofac, won a contract from Al Yasat Petroleum to provide front end engineering design (FEED) services for the Belbazem Block Development Project.

Al Yasat Petroleum is an Adnoc Group company and CNPC joint venture partner.

The Belbazem Block Development Project is located offshore Abu Dhabi, UAE. The scope of work includes a FEED package, as well as a proposal for the engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) of the facilities.


Shell completes sale of interest in Caesar-Tonga asset to Equinor

Shell Offshore, a subsidiary of British-Dutch oil and gas company Royal Dutch Shell, completed the sale of 22.45% non-operated interest in the Caesar-Tonga asset in the US Gulf of Mexico to Equinor Gulf of Mexico for a cash consideration of $965m.

Equinor Gulf of Mexico is a subsidiary of Norwegian energy company Equinor.

The transaction is part of Shell Offshore’s focus on the strategic positioning of the deepwater business for growth.


Eni to sell 13.75% stake in three Kenyan blocks to Qatar Petroleum

Italian company Eni and Qatar Petroleum (QP) signed an agreement under, which the Qatari national oil company will acquire a 13.75% share in the exploration blocks L11A, L11B and L12 offshore Kenya.

The proposed acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals by the Government of Kenya.

Blocks L11A, L11B and L12 are located in a largely unexplored area in the Lamu basin east of Kenya in water depths ranging from 1,000m to 2,700m. The three blocks cover a surface of about 15,000km² and have a high exploration potential.