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Tag Archives: Oil and gas

State blocks permits for 2 Grays Harbor oil terminals

A state regulatory board is withdrawing its approval of permits for two crude oil shipping terminals in Grays Harbor, saying backers have failed to address public safety and environmental issues.

The Quinault Indian Nation and several conservation groups successfully argued that permits issued for two terminals in Grays Harbor should be reversed.

“Those permits should have never been issued in the first place,” said Fawn Sharp, president of the Quinalt Nation.

“The shipping terminals would be a clear violation of public safety, as well as treaty-protected rights. Far more jobs would be lost when the inevitable spills occur than would be gained from the development of the proposed oil terminals,” Sharp said.

There are three terminals on the table for Grays Harbor. Two are officially in the permitting process, which is now on hold.

The Imperium terminal would draw two additional trains per day and 200 ships or barges per year. It would have storage capacity for more than 30 million gallons of oil.

The Westway terminal would draw two unit trains every three days and 64 barge movements. It would have storage capacity for more than 33 million gallons of oil.

Overall, the proposed projects could lead to 520 additional vessel transits per year in Grays Harbor, and 973 unit trains per year to the Port of Grays Harbor.

The Washington Shorelines Hearings Board said the permits were issued without appropriate review of the vessel and rail transit increases and identified “troubling questions of the adequacy of the analysis done regarding the potential for individual and cumulative impacts from oil spills, seismic events, greenhouse gas emissions, and impacts to cultural resources.”

There are now 11 places in the Northwest considering taking oil arriving by rail from North Dakota to be transported onto ships. Meanwhile, there’s talk in Congress about weakening rules against exporting American oil.


Statoil Proposes New North Sea Gas Pipeline for Sverdrup Field

Statoil has proposed building a subsea pipeline twice as big as needed to take gas from Norway’s giant new Johan Sverdrup oil and gas field to cater for future finds which could be tied into the new line, gas system operator Gassco said on Friday.

Statoil aims to build a 10-million cubic metre per day, 165-kilometre gas pipeline from the field, which will go into operation towards the end of the decade, taking gas to the onshore Kaarstoe processing plant near Stavanger.

Norway is Western Europe’s biggest gas supplier and accounts for about a fifth of the European Union’s gas imports.

“The new pipeline will have a larger capacity than Johan Sverdrup’s own requirements, estimated at 3-5 million standard cubic metres per day in the early phase,” Gassco said in a statement.

“The new line will also provide greater capacity than Johan Sverdrup needs, opening the way for other fields in the area to use it in the future,” it added.

Sverdrup, the biggest North Sea find in decades, is estimated to hold up to 3.3 billion barrels of oil and its partners see peak production at 500,000 barrels per day.

Statoil is expected to present a development concept for the field later this year.


China scrambles to boost oil output

The mainland’s biggest state-owned oil companies, sitting on ageing fields, are scrambling to ramp up crude oil and natural gas production to meet surging domestic demand through a slew of investments that also risk pushing up their costs.

PetroChina, Sinopec and CNOOC produced more oil and gas in the first nine months of this year, they said in the past week.

That was partly in response to the government’s recent rise in domestic natural gas prices and moves to link pump prices more closely with international crude costs.

The increase, however, is far from enough to bridge the gulf between the energy consumption and production of China, which last month overtook the United States to become the world’s largest oil importer.

As domestic oilfields age, the three companies have in recent years poured billions of dollars – the biggest amount in the world so far – into the acquisition of unconventional and traditional hydrocarbon assets overseas, to boost reserves.

They have also invested heavily in risky projects such as deepwater drilling at home and abroad.

These investments, which mirror a trend in the global oil industry, will increase costs but, so far, not at the expense of profits.

PetroChina and Sinopec both reported on Tuesday net profit growth of about 20 per cent in the third quarter.

“There is a lot of incentive for China to produce as much oil as it can domestically,” said Simon Powell, the head of Asia oil and gas research at brokerage CLSA, citing the country’s soaring oil imports.

The mainland’s oil consumption last year rose 5 per cent to 10.2 million barrels a day from 2011, according to BP’s Statistical Review of World Energy, a figure that was the highest since the energy major started compiling data in 1965.

By contrast, oil production increased 2 per cent to 4.2 million barrels a day, the review shows.

China, the world’s second-largest oil user, already relies on imports for 60 per cent of its consumption and is set to double its fuel use by 2030.

PetroChina, the country’s dominant oil and gas producer, saw its output rise 4.3 per cent year on year in the first three quarters.

Crude oil production edged up 2.2 per cent to 698 million barrels, while natural gas output jumped 9 per cent, the company said on Tuesday.

But higher costs and lower realised crude prices in the period meant operating profits for its exploration and production division fell 10 per cent, it said.

Analysts said the rise in costs was partly due to PetroChina’s efforts to stem output decline at its ageing oilfields, including Daqing, the country’s largest.

PetroChina is now expected to allocate more resources to exploration and production, while cutting spending on refining, petrochemicals and businesses with lower profitability.

Sinopec posted a 4 per cent rise in oil and gas output in the January-September period.


3D technology helping find new oil wells in Southwest Nebraska

McCOOK, Nebraska — Oil officials in Nebraska are crediting advancements in a technology called 3D seismic surveys for increased — and highly successful — oil drilling in southern Hitchcock and Dundy counties.

While there’s been drilling and exploration for oil in the two counties for many years — drillers found oil at Dry Creek northwest of Swanson Lake in 1963 — this new drilling frenzy is unheard of in this area of Southwest Nebraska.

“What’s changed, over the past four or five years, is the application of 3D seismic,” Bill Sydow, director of the Nebraska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission in Sidney, said. Jim Gohl of Culbertson, a commissioner for NOGCC, said that 3D seismic is “a great tool” to help locate favorable drilling locations.

Gohl could name six companies that are drilling holes in the two counties in Nebraska, and on locations directly across the state line south in Kansas. Some of the resulting wells have been “very lucrative,” he said, although he couldn’t confirm rumors of individual wells pumping 700 to 800 barrels a day.

Sydow gets excited about the capabilities of and enhancements in seismic testing. He said that when seismic started, one dynamite charge (buried beneath the surface of the ground) sent vibrations down, they bounced off subsurface formations of rocks and up again, and a sensor called a ‘geophone’ made a single trace.

Sydow said that 2D seismic employed a line of geophones.

Now, Sydow said, 3D seismic means that a dense array of geophones records a subsurface “cube of data” from a grid pattern on the surface, and produces — in conjunction with improved computer processing — a much more detailed set of seismic information, including the “subtle highs” of stored oil and gas rather than just the indication of structural elements that may indicate oil/gas.


BHP gives up nine oil & gas exploration blocks in India

(Reuters) – Global miner BHP Billiton said on Monday it has given up nine oil and gas exploration blocks in India due to its inability to carry out exploration operations there.

The company is withdrawing from those blocks because of delays in clearances, according to local media, but BHP would not confirm the reason for its decision to relinquish its interest.

“The decision to relinquish these blocks is the result of an exploration portfolio review … there have been regular discussions and communications over the last 12 months with the Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas,” BHP said in a statement.

BHP gave up its interest in six blocks awarded in India’s NELP VII bid round, in which it held 26 percent interest and GVK held 74 percent interest as well as three blocks awarded in the NELP VIII bid round in which it held 100 percent interest.

BHP Billiton will keep its 50 percent interest in its NELP IX block, operated by BG Group.

Kazakhstani Parliament ratifies deal on Kazakhstan-China pipeline

The Kazakhstani Parliament ratified on Thursday the agreement between Kazakhstani and Chinese governments on developing and exploiting Kazakhstan-China oil pipeline.

The agreement describes mechanisms and terms of implementation of the project of development and exploitation of the Kazakhstan- China oil pipeline aimed at increasing its capacity.

At a plenary meeting of the Parliament, it was mentioned that investments and capital expenditures will make around 126 billion tenge (840 million US dollars).

“The agreement is mainly aimed at setting a uniform network rate independent of the point of oil’s entry into the Kazakhstan-  China pipeline system. The oil supply rate will be approved by the competent state authorities of Kazakhstan and should not exceed the set oil export rate,” said Kazakhstan Oil and Gas Minister Uzakbai Karabalin.

According to the minister, the prices in the oil sales contracts will be set based on international oil prices in oil/ barrel and will be the same at the Kazakhstan-Chinese border.

“The Chinese partners will be making sure that these prices are attractive for Kazakhstani dispatchers for the whole period of this agreement,” Karabalin said.

The plan is to increase the pipeline’s capacity in Atassu- Alashankow section to 20 million tons per year in 2013, he said, adding that the general plan is to create 400 permanent jobs and up to 2,000 jobs for the first two years of construction.

“Exploitation and maintenance of all the parts of the Kazakhstan-China pipeline are currently being performed and will be performed by KazTransOil,” the minister noted.

Earlier, Kairgeldy Kabyldin, director general of KazTransOil, assured that there would be as few foreign workers at the Kazakhstan-China oil pipeline as possible.

Currently, China’s share in the production of oil is 24 percent, but Chinese companies are mostly on deposits in the Kyzyl-Orda and Atyrau oblasts, where year-on-year oil production decreases.

Therefore, China’s share in the future of Kazakhstan’s oil production will be reduced to 7-8 percent, said the minister.

At present, investments from the United States in this area accounts for 25 percent, the most among foreign countries.


Injection increases oil production at Salman offshore Iran

TEHRAN, Iran – Oil production from the Salman field in the Persian Gulf has increased by 10,000 b/d following installation of a new gas lift platform close to the existing offshore production complex.

According to Abbas Rajabkhani, a senior official of the Iranian Offshore Oil Co. (IOOC), speaking to news service Shana, the new platform became operational after implementation of a gas injection compressor and accelerated gas flow. It is designed to inject around 60 MMcf/d (1.7 MMcm/d) of gas.

Salman is 144 km (89 mi) south of Lavan Island. The Salman complex comprises 10 main platforms, 10 satellite jacket structures for water injection, and 15 satellite jackets for production wells.

The field has 44 oil wells, 10 water injection wells, and facilities to handle 220,000 b/d of oil and other products.  Produced oil is sent through a subsea pipeline to facilities on Lavan Island for processing and storage.

Elsewhere in the region, IOOC says a new 3D modeling program of hydrocarbon systems in the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman is 60% complete. According to Shana, the data will help identify regions with lower hydrocarbon exploration risk.

The Persian Gulf Pearl project is designed to integrate geological, geophysical, and petrophysical data into a new databank using advanced technologies and software.

Iran’s Research Institute of Petroleum Industry (RIPI) is managing the project, which takes in 80 geological structures, 17 oil and gas fields, and 490 oil and gas wells.

Aims include determining the time of accumulation of oil and gas in structural and stratigraphic traps, timing of geological and tectonic events, and classification of hydrocarbon reservoirs.

According to RIPI, the Persian Gulf has 715 Bbbl of oil and 2.462 tcf (70 bcm) of gas.


ONGC Approves EOR Project in India’s Rajasthan Oil Fields

India’s state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) has approved a $560 million project to enhance oil recovery at the Rajasthan oilfields in India.

“Our board earlier this week approved the Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) project for Rajasthan fields,” ONGC Chairman and Managing Director Sudhir Vasudeva told India’s Economic Times Thursday.

The EOR proposal will now be submitted to India’s oil regulator Directorate General of Hydrocarbons for approval.

Cairn India, the field operator of the Rajasthan block, submitted a draft EOR plan in June 2012 to the Indian authorities for the Mangala oilfield, the largest among the 26 oil and gas find it has made in the Barmer district block.

Funds will be used for drilling additional wells and other works, Vasudeva said, adding that the project cost will be shared between Cairn India and ONGC in a 70:30 ratio.

The Rajasthan joint venture will drill 48 infill wells in the current fiscal year that ends March 31, 2014. These wells will also be used at a later stage for EOR, which may include chemical intervention to sustain plateau production rates for a longer period.

Cairn India has 70 percent in the Rajasthan block, while ONGC holds the remaining 30 percent.

Cuadrilla Begins Drilling at Balcombe, England

Unconventional oil and gas firm Cuadrilla Resources began exploration drilling for oil at its Balcombe site in West Sussex, England, Friday morning (UK time) amid protests from members of the local community and professional anti-fracking activists.

A spokesman for the firm confirmed that a 3,000-foot deep, six-inch wide well is being drilled by a 72-foot land rig. Cuadrilla expects to drill to take only a few weeks but it has permission to drill from West Sussex County Council until September 28.

Although no hydraulic fracturing will take place during the current drill, Rigzone understand that Cuadrilla will use it to look at the potential to drill a 2,500-foot horizontal hole in the future. However, the company’s plans for a development at Balcombe will depend on how much oil is detected during the current drill, according to the spokesman.

Cuadrilla’s main focus remains the Bowland shale in Lancashire, northwest England, where the British Geological Survey believes there is up to 300 trillion cubic feet of gas resources.

In late July, Cuadrilla arranged two drop-in sessions for residents near sites where it plans to drill for shale gas.


Energy services provider-Hunting PLC

Hunting PLC is an international energy services provider that manufactures and distributes products that enable the extraction of oil and gas for the worlds leading companies. Established in 1874, it is a fully listed public company traded on the London Stock Exchange.

The global “Upstream” activity is co-ordinated through Hunting Energy Services. This builds on a history that has spanned one hundred years of innovation in developing products and techniques to enable the successful development of customer assets. With a large presence in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Well Construction Services

Its Well Construction division provides products and services to oil and gas customers in the drilling phase of exploration and production programmes.

Typically the company provides Casing and Oil Country Tubular Goods (OCTG) in the Construction of the well bore in an oil and gas well; in house design (Seal-Lock) and threading of Premium Connections are well suited to the deeper and more challenging offshore environments.

Well Completion Services

Its Well Completion division oversees the global manufacture of accessories and completion equipment for the worlds principle producing regions. Providing products, proprietary technologies, engineering expertise and services below the wellhead.

OCTG supply, advanced manufacturing techniques, high specification casing and premium connections for global markets, 2-step tubing for the US. Speciality threading, OEM manufacturing and proprietary down hole tools used by the upstream oil and gas companies.

Well Intervention Equipment

Its Well Intervention division spans a range of services for Equipment Manufacturing and supply for Down Hole Intervention in producing wells for logging or other well services.

The growth of this division by organic means and through acquisition has allowed for the integration of an extensive range of pressure control equipment technologies, wireline and slickline tools, together with intervention expertise into the Hunting portfolio.



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