November’s top news stories

7 December 2018 (Last Updated December 7th, 2018 11:52)

China National Petroleum replaced Total in the $4.8bn South Pars natural gas project, and ACCC said it will not oppose Santos’ $2.15bn acquisition of Quadrant Energy. Offshore-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from November 2018.

November’s top news stories
South Pars onshore facilities near Asaluyeh City in Iran. Credit: Hamed Malekpour.

CNPC replaces Total in $4.8bn South Pars project in Iran

China National Petroleum (CNPC) reportedly replaced French energy major Total in the $4.8bn South Pars natural gas project located off the Iranian coast.

Citing a statement made by Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh to the semi-official news agency ICANA, Reuters reported that the Chinese state-owned firm has officially replaced Total.

The development confirmed reports in May that CNPC would take over Total’s stake in the project.


Australia’s ACCC approves $2.15bn Santos-Quadrant Energy deal

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said that it will not oppose Santos’ $2.15bn acquisition of Quadrant Energy.

The approval represents the fulfilment of all outstanding conditions for the proposed deal.

Santos now expects to complete the transaction in the coming weeks. The acquisition will give the company increased ownership of low-cost, long-life conventional natural gas assets in Western Australia.


US firms to invest $2.4bn in Equatorial Guinea’s oil and gas industry

US companies are reportedly expected to invest $2.4bn in Equatorial Guinea’s oil and gas sector to raise production and drill new wells.

The companies are set to drill 11 wells from next year, Reuters reported citing an unnamed Equatorial Guinea oil ministry source.

The development comes after Equatorial Guinea oil minister Gabriel Obiang Lima warned in September that the oil companies could risk not receiving extensions of existing licences unless they collectively invested at least $2bn in the country.


Petrobras to sell JV stake to Vitol-led consortium for $1.53bn

Brazilian state-owned firm Petrobras signed an agreement to sell its 50% stake in its Nigerian oil and gas exploration joint venture (JV) with BTG Pactual E&P to a Vitol-led consortium for a total consideration of $1.53bn.

BTG Pactual will continue to hold its 50% stake in the Petrobras Oil & Gas (POGBV) JV, which owns interests in two blocks that contain three fields located more than 100km off the coast of Nigeria.

The consortium buying the assets comprises Vitol Investment Partnership II (50%), Africa Oil (25%) and Delonex Energy (25%).


University of Western Australia launches centre for subsea research

The University of Western Australia (UWA) launched a centre to research new subsea engineering technologies for offshore oil and gas production.

Chevron and Woodside Energy will collaborate with the Centre for Long Subsea Tiebacks to undertake research activities in order to enhance the oil and gas industry’s understanding of hostile deep-sea conditions.

The research partners will also work on developing solutions to increase the economic feasibility of remote offshore gas production.


Oil & Gas UK reduces decommissioning expenditure forecast

A new report by the Oil & Gas UK indicated that offshore decommissioning expenditure is declining as oil and gas companies are gaining expertise and becoming more efficient.

The report predicted that decommissioning costs will stabilise at around £1.5bn per annum. The revised figure is 20% lower than the 2017 forecast.

The UK oil and gas industry is expected to incur decommissioning expenses of around £15.3bn between now and 2027, with 1,465 wells set to be decommissioned during this period.


Eni and Total to expand search for oil and gas offshore Cyprus

Oil and gas giants Total and Eni announced a joint bid to explore offshore oil and gas opportunities in block 7 offshore Cyprus, despite warnings from Turkey over claims to the area.

Back in October, the Cypriot Government invited Total, Eni and ExxonMobil to bid for the unclaimed block situated within Cyprus’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

In response, the Turkish Government urged companies ‘to act with common sense and to duly consider the realities on the ground’.


DNO makes $778.5m acquisition bid for UK’s Faroe Petroleum

Norwegian oil and gas firm DNO made a takeover bid to acquire all of the issued and to-be-issued share capital of Faroe Petroleum for a £607.9m ($778.5m) consideration.

The company already owns 105,247,866 shares in Faroe, which represents 28.22% of the company’s issued share capital.

According to the proposal, DNO will offer 152p in exchange for each Faroe share.


Shell-Eni oil block deal may result in $5.86bn loss for Nigeria

A scandal-plagued deal secured by oil giants Shell and Eni for a promising oil block in Nigeria could reduce government revenues by $5.86bn over the lifetime of the project, according to a new report by international anti-corruption campaigner Global Witness.

The deal suffered over charges of corruption and the process through which the OPL 245 offshore oil block in the Niger Delta was secured in 2011.

The companies are facing trial in an Italian court over allegations of paying bribes to secure the oil block.


Serica UK to buy BHP’s stake in Bruce and Keith fields in North Sea

The UK-based subsidiary of Serica Energy signed an agreement to purchase BHP Billiton Petroleum Great Britain’s stake in the Bruce and Keith fields, along with associated infrastructure, in the UK North Sea.

The acquisition comprises a 16% interest in the Bruce field and a 31.83% interest in the Keith field (BHP Assets). It will also respectively increase Serica UK’s stake in these fields to 94% and 92%.

It comes after the company signed an agreement last year to acquire a 36% interest in Bruce, a 34.83% interest in Keith and a 50% interest in Rhum field, along with related infrastructure, from BP.