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Opinion: Digital Oil and Gas in 2030

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08/11/17 – I was asked to give a short talk at the UpstreamIntel Conference in Aberdeen earlier this week. The topic for the talk was suitably forward thinking: “What will the Digital Oil and Gas Industry look like in 2030?” The challenge for any technologist in making predictions is that often these predictions tend to be about things that are abstract for most people. The technology industry has been fantastic at making predictions about how things like processing power and available storage will increase over the long term but we have assumed it to be almost self-evident the impact that…

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HSBC makes $100bn green pledge

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07/11/17 – HSBC bank has pledged to provide $100bn in sustainable financing and investment by 2025, as one of five new commitments to help combat climate change. The bank plans to source all its electricity from renewable energy by 2030, with an interim target of 90% by 2025. It said long-term agreements with suppliers will be signed to support the development of new renewable power facilities. HSBC will also reduce its exposure to coal, by discontinuing the financing of new coal-fired power plants in developed markets and of thermal coal mines worldwide. The bank will also provide more details of its…

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McDermott transformative digital platform

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06/11/17 – Vaseem Khan, Vice President of Global Engineering at McDermott spoke exclusively to Pipeline Magazine’s Julian Walker about the FEED and EPCI firm’s new transformative digital project delivery solution that will create waves across the oil and gas industry McDermott International is pushing the boundaries of what traditional EPCI companies have done in the past with digital technology and is working on providing an integrated software platform that can deliver best in industry EPCI solutions for project lifecycle. Vaseem Khan is the man leading McDermott’s charge into the digital future and helping to put the international EPCI company at…

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Trump administration to lease 77 million acres in Gulf of Mexico

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25/10/17 – The Trump administration will sell leases for some 77 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas drilling, the largest sale of offshore leases in US history. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said the sale, scheduled for March, would open an area the size of New Mexico to drilling, including all unleased areas on the Gulf’s outer continental shelf. The Gulf’s outer continental shelf is estimated to hold recoverable reserves of more than 48 billion barrels of oil and 141 trillion cubic feet of gas. The sale would come as the offshore sector continues to struggle…

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Minister Mahlobo optimistic about oil and gas sector growth

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On Monday, the newly appointed South African minister of energy, David Mahlobo, addressed delegates attending an oil and gas conference in Cape Town, highlighting energy as a “critical resource” to drive growth and development of African economies. “The African Union Agenda 2063 calls on us as African governments and states to take certain steps now to ensure the continent’s growth and sustainable development. “In this regard, energy is a critical resource and an input element that must be used to propel our economies towards a growth trajectory in the next 50 years,” Mahlobo stressed.  Local future for oil and gas…

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OGA approves Angus Energy’s drilling plans

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23/10/17 – The operator’s Field Development Plan Addendum at the Brockham Oil Field includes kick-starting production from the Kimmeridge layers in well BR-X4Z (X4Z) The X4Z Well will inititially produce from a 200 meter naturally fractured section of a 385m thick, Kimmeridge interbedded shale and limestone layer. Prior to initiating production, Angus Energy will install a connection to the National Grid for the distribution of excess power generated on-site. A company spokesperson said: “The company reiterates there will be no hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” at the Brockham Oil Field. Upon completion of this installation, production from X4Z will commence. Angus…

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Oil M&A Deals Set To Rise

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12/10/17 – Mergers and acquisitions in the oil and gas industry are on the rise, and the trend will intensify over the next 12 months, the latest Mergers and Acquisitions in Oil and Gas report from A.T. Kearney has found, as price uncertainty diminishes and new investment areas draw the industry’s attention. More than 66 percent of the industry executives A.T. Kearney surveyed said they expected at least 10 percent more M&A deals over the next 12 months as a transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy, a change in oil and gas demand expectations, and digitization all prod oil…

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Turkmenistan To Spend $93-Billion On Oil And Gas Sector

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11/10/17 – Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has vowed to spend tens of billions of dollars to prop up the country’s oil-and-gas sector, which has been hurt by low global prices and falling demand from Russia. “In the next seven years, we will make investments of 240 billion manats. In the oil-and-gas complex, we will invest 159 billion manats,” Berdymukhamedov said. He was speaking on October 9 at a meeting of the Council of Elders, an unelected body that offers no real check on the powers of the authoritarian Turkmen leader.   Sitting on the world’s fourth-largest gas reserves, Turkmenistan has…

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‘Biogas trumps biomass on carbon efficiency’ – claim agri-food giants

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10/10/17 – Converting farm waste to natural gas has the power to decarbonise Ireland’s agricultural food supply chain, agri industry heavyweights have claimed. As fears that the country will significantly miss its legally-binding 2020 EU greenhouse gas emissions target continue to mount, some are challenging the government to rethink current strategies broadly focused on biomass and energy crop solutions. Speaking at a conference on ‘Renewable Gas: Securing our Energy Future – Addressing our Agri Emissions Challenge’, industry leaders outlined the success they’ve achieved in converting to green gas – while also highlighting potential new income streams it can bring at farm level. Ian Kilgallon,…

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UK strongly in favour of bioenergy

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09/10/17 – 84% of people in the UK support the use of waste and 77% the use of biomass for energy production, according to new survey results published by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI). Other key findings from the survey include 88% of 18-24 years olds believing the UK should be trying to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. 58% of people surveyed think the government should do more to tackle emissions, that number rising to 73% in the 18 – 24 year old demographic. The annual YouGov survey commissioned by the ETI questioned over 3,200 British adults to gauge public…

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WorleyParsons to buy UK oil and gas company for $303 million

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09/10/17 – Australian engineering firm WorleyParsons will pay $303 million to expand into the UK North Sea petroleum market. That is the price tag for WorleyParsons to purchase AFW UK Oil & Gas, which provides engineering and construction services on the UK continental shelf. To fund its British acquisition, the Australian company will issue new shares as part of a $322 million capital raising (through a one-for-10 entitlement offer and existing debt facilities). Around 24.8 million new shares will be issued at $13, which is an 8.7 per cent discount to WorleyParsons’ closing price last Friday ($14.24). “We are excited to…

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$16 million invested into sorghum bioenergy project

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04/10/17 – One of the world’s largest plant science research institutes has received a five year, $16 million (€13.6 million) grant from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to enhance the use of sorghum for bioenergy. The Donald Danforth Plant Science Centre will use the funding to build on earlier research using the model grass, green foxtail (Setaria viridis). The latest project will aim to identify new genes and pathways that can contribute to photosynthesis and enhanced use efficiency. The researchers will deploy these genes using tools of the emerging field of synthetic biology to accelerate development of elite energy…

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Government begins work on gross-split regulation to urge oil & gas investment

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04/10/17 – The Finance Ministry has said that the government is preparing a regulation on the gross-split scheme, which will encourage oil and gas companies involved in exploration and exploitation to invest in the sector through the provision of tax incentives, according to a kontan.com report on Tuesday. “We are trying to provide investors with fiscal incentives, incentives in income tax (PPh) and added-value tax (PPN),” Finance Deputy Minister Mardiasmo said on Tuesday in Jakarta. He added that the incentives were based on existing regulations on cost recovery. Under the scheme, taxes would be waived for the company during its exploration stage, he said, adding that accumulated…

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UK Beats Own Renewable Energy Record For The Second Time This Year

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03/10/17 – Renewables made up close to a third of electricity in the UK during the second quarter of 2017, breaking the country’s previous record (Q1 2017) for the highest percentage of electricity generated from sustainable sources. This is according to a recent government report.    Wind energy saw the most growth, with onshore wind rising by 50 percent (2.0 TWh) to 6.0 TWh and offshore wind up by 22 percent (0.7 TWh) to 4.0 TWh compared to figures from the same time last year. This is thanks to an increase in capacity and wind speeds. Electricity generation from biodegradable waste has also grown dramatically. Over…

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US drillers won’t generate ‘meaningful’ returns unless oil stays above $50 a barrel, says Moody’s

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02/10/17 – Oil prices below $50 are simply not going to cut it in the U.S. shale oil patch, Moody’s analysts say in a new research note. Exploration and production companies have managed to drive down their costs since oil prices crashed in late 2014. But Moody’s believes it will be difficult for drillers to cut much deeper, and any reductions will be offset by a rebound in the prices that oilfield services companies charge. For that reason, drillers won’t be able to make significant returns on the capital they plow into new production unless benchmark U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude…

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Iran plans $1bln refinery in Syria

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02/10/17 – Iran plans to build a US$1 billion oil refinery in Syria, capable of producing 140,000 barrels per day, an official from the country’s Research Institute of the Petroleum Industry said. “The refinery will be launched once the unrest is over in the Arab country,” Mansour Bazmi, deputy head of Technology and International Relations said, according to the oil ministry agency Shana news. Bazmi said an investment of US$1 billion dollars will be made in the project, adding the refinery will be developed for production of gasoline, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), gasoil, kerosene, fuel oil and bitumen. The facility…

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BP starts production from giant Khazzan gas field in Oman

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26/09/17 – BP said it has begun production from Oman’s Khazzan gas field, its sixth and largest of the seven projects it expects to bring online this year. Operated by BP in a 60-40 per cent partnership with Oman Oil Company Exploration and Production, phase one of the Khazzan development is made up of 200 wells. Production expected to plateau at 1 billion cubic feet of gas per day (bcfd), while the second phase will see production ramp up to 1.5 bcfd. About 300 wells are expected to be drilled over the estimated lifetime of the Khazzan field. Phases One…

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Solar and wind over biomass the ‘smart economic choice’ for UK power

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26/09/17 – Powering the UK on wind and solar is not only possible, but the “smart economic choice” according to a new report which has condemned the future prospects of biomass in the country. Earlier this week the US-based Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) released its ‘Money to Burn II’ report, a follow-up to its landmark report from last year, concluding that the UK should look towards onshore wind, solar and natural gas for its electricity. The report, compiled alongside UK-based economics consultancy Vivid Economics, claims that solar and onshore wind would be the least cost option to decarbonising the…

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Biogas from waste can oust fossil fuels

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25/09/17 – Countries with large quantities of waste from forestry, manure or straw from farms are now looking for economic ways to turn them into forms of renewable energy. Most of these so-called wastes can be burned directly as an alternative to fossil fuels in power stations or for district heating, but increasingly they are being turned into biogas. This can be used as fuel in vehicles, fed into gas pipelines as a addition to natural gas, or to be used to generate electricity when there is a shortfall from other renewables like wind and solar. Two countries keen on…

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Scottish Water installs £1.2m solar farm in Speyside

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20/09/17 – Nearly 5,000 panels have been installed in the Scottish Water project at Badentinan near Lhanbryde. Electricity generated from the green energy scheme will be used to power two borehole water wells nearby. It is expected the solar farm will provide about a fifth of the sites’ annual electric needs – saving the equivalent of 437 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. The solar farm is the largest of its kind built by Scottish Water Horizons, which is owned by the public utility. Project delivery manager Ian Piggot said: “This £1.2million project has taken about three months to complete…

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UK oil and gas reserves ‘may run out in 10 years’, study warns

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20/09/17 – The UK’s oil and gas reserves may be virtually exhausted in the next decade, an academic study has warned, calling for increased efforts to boost renewable sources of energy. Only around 10 per cent of the UK’s original recoverable oil and gas is still waiting to be extracted, researchers at the University of Edinburgh found. The study also warned that the controversial technique of fracking may not come anywhere near meeting Scotland’s energy needs even if is is approved by ministers. If the predictions are correct, the effect on Scotland’s economy could be severe and the UK will…

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Dubai Awards $3.9 Billion Solar Energy Contract to Shanghai Electric, ACWA Power

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19/09/17 – (DUBAI) – Dubai’s state energy utility awarded a $3.9 billion contract to build and run a 700 megawatt solar power plant to a consortium comprising Shanghai Electric and Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power, the government said on Saturday. The project will feature a 260-meter (850-foot) tower receiving focused sunlight, the world’s tallest such tower, the government said. The consortium bid to supply electricity to Dubai for 7.3 U.S. cents per kilowatt hour.   The first stage of the project is due to be commissioned in late 2020. It is part of the Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum Solar Park, a…

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Value of Scottish North Sea oil and gas rises by 15.2%

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14/09/17 – An increase in production and prices has boosted the value of Scottish North Sea oil and gas, according to new figures. Official statistics showed oil and gas production in Scotland rose year-on-year by 2.9% in 2016-17 to about 74.7 million tonnes of oil equivalent. The figure, which represented 82% of total UK production, was the highest since 2011-12. The approximate sales value was £17.5bn – 15.2% higher than in 2015-16. Scottish government statisticians attributed the rise in revenues to the increase in production and a rise in prices towards the end of last year and during the first…

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Saudis are said to prep for possible Aramco IPO delay to ’19

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14/09/17 – Saudi Arabia is preparing contingency plans for a possible delay to the initial public offering of its state-owned oil company by a few months into 2019, according to people familiar with the matter. While the government is still aiming for a Saudi Aramco IPO in the second half of next year, that timetable is increasingly tight for what’s likely to be the biggest share sale in history, the people said, asking not to be named discussing internal deliberations. Saudi Aramco said in statement the IPO “remains on track. The IPO process is well underway and Saudi Aramco remains…

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Delays to clean energy transition could cost consumers billions

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13/09/17 – Delays to the UK’s transition to a cleaner power sector and the deployment of new renewable capacity could cost consumers as much as £2.6 billion, a new report has claimed. Think tank Green Alliance has set out the claims in a new report – Closing the clean power gap – published today on the back of Monday’s second Contracts for Difference auctionround results, which saw offshore wind projects win support at strike prices significantly lower than forecast. The auction procured more than 3GW of offshore wind capacity at strike prices as low as £57.50/MWh, however Green Alliance has today said that…

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Oil trades near $48 as IEA sees fastest demand growth in two years

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13/09/17 – Oil traded near $48 a barrel as the International Energy Agency forecast the strongest demand growth in two years, while OPEC was said to discuss prolonging output cuts further into 2018. Futures gained 0.2 percent in New York after rising 1.6 percent the previous two sessions. The IEA boosted its forecast on stronger-than-expected consumption in Europe and the U.S., and said that inventories of refined products are subsiding to their five-year average. A six-month extension to supply curbs from the end of March is one of the options being considered by OPEC and its allies, according to a person…

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Offshore Europe 2017 round-up – industry is facing up to challenges of ‘lower-for-longer’

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12/09/17 – More than 35,000 people attended the four day event, held at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre, Aberdeen – down from 55,947 in 2015 when delegates were drawn to the Granite City from 104 countries. However the sentiment among exhibitors seemed to be “quality over quantity” as they praised the amount of positive leads taken from the conference with a greater emphasis placed on technology. Gareth Rapley, exhibition director of SPE Offshore Europe said this week’s numbers had “exceeded expectations” given the current climate. He said: “Operators and companies at every level of the supply chain have continued to…

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Nearly 2.4 gigawatts of solar installed in the US during second quarter of 2017

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12/09/17 – The U.S. installed almost 2.4 gigawatts (GW) of solar photovoltaics in the second quarter of 2017, an increase of 8 percent year-on-year, according to a new report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Breaking the figures down, a total of 2,387 megawatts (MW) were installed in the second quarter with total installed capacity in the U.S. hitting 47.1 GW, enough to power just over nine million homes. Looking forward, the U.S. Solar Market Insight report forecast that this year would see the solar industry add 12.4 GW of new capacity, down from GTM Research’s prior…

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Renewable energy projects win 15-year contracts after UK government auction

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12/09/17 – Two Scottish renewable energy projects which will power more than one million homes have been awarded 15-year contracts after a UK government auction. The Moray East Offshore wind farm, planned for the Moray Firth, has been awarded a contract in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s second competitive clean power auction at a price substantially lower than previous auction rounds. The project is scheduled to start generating power in 2022/23. The result was one of three UK offshore wind projects to win a Contract for Difference (CfD) in the auction, which together signalled a considerable drop in the cost of…

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Norway goes to the polls with the future of its oil and gas industry in play

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11/09/17 – When Truls Gulowsen began campaigning in the 1990s, telling Norway it had both a moral obligation and an economic interest in phasing out the industry that has made it rich was not what might be called a vote winner. But as Norwegians go to the polls on Monday, the future of their country’s giant oil and gas business is a major electoral issue – with parties that back curbs or even a shutdown of the industry set to play a key role in post-election coalition-building. “The public mood has changed,” said Gulowsen, who heads Greenpeace Norway. “Something’s really happening. For the…

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