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Ancient artefacts have been discovered on the seabed off Australia’s west coast. This discovery has opened up a new frontier for resource companies to look out for in conserving indigenous heritage. In July, archaeologists stumbled upon hundreds of stone tools submerged off the Dampier Archipelago in Western Australia, showing evidence of people living in the area when it was dry land more than 7,000 years ago.
Total has resigned from its role as operator of five exploration blocks in the Foz do Amazonas Basin, 120 kilometers offshore Brazil. The area may contain as many as 14 billion barrels of petroleum. Environmentalists, however, have tried to prevent oil exploration in the area, which is home to a sizeable reef. A new operator will be appointed for the job in a period of six months.
Santos Ltd paid out a weaker than expected half-year dividend amid uncertainty over recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Underlying profit slumped to $212 million for the six months to June 30 from $411 million a year earlier. Including $526 million in asset impairments due to weaker long term oil price assumptions, Santos had a first-half net loss of $289 million.
At least 31 employees of India’s state-controlled Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) working at a key offshore facility off the country’s west coast have tested positive for Covid-19. These 31 employees had spent 15 days at the facility. They were found positive in the COVID-19 test conducted at a hospital in Mahim. G North ward has reported 6,613 COVID-19 cases so far, of which 1,908 patients are from Mahim.
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) placed Notice of Award (NoA) for seven successful bidders in 13 contract areas comprising of 49 marginal on-land oil and gas fields. The bid process for seeking partners for enhancement of production from 64 marginal nomination fields was held recently. Interested companies participated in the International competitive bidding process for 17 onshore contract areas comprising of producing oil and gas fields.
Austrian energy major, OMV today registered a net loss for the first quarter, attributing the downfall to significant inventory costs and reduced its production target and crude price forecasts. OMV lost $74 million in the first quarter through March, corresponding to a profit of 496 million in the first quarter of 2019. The firm anticipated its 2020 output at 440,000 boed instead of previously estimated 500,000 boed.
Energy researcher, IHS Markit has forecasted a huge crude oil storage crunch in the coming time, with the situation close to becoming a reality in as little as three months. The consultant said that current rates of supply and demand indicate an increase in inventories by 1.8 billion barrels over the first half of 2020. There are only an estimated 1.6 billion barrels in storage capacity currently available.
A document from the Chinese Ministry of Natural Resources has revealed that in order to increase oil and gas development in the country, China will open its oil and gas exploration and production to foreign firms. However, only those foreign firms will be allowed who have registered in China with net assets no lower than 300 million yuan ($43.29 million) from May 1.
Iraq has decided to increase production from oil fields in Basra after the production from Nassiriya oil fields were stopped abruptly by protestors. The move aims at preventing the country's export and production from declining. Iraq can also increase the production from Majnoon oil fields to cope up with the situation. However, it is a tense situation as Nassiriya produces 80-85,000 BOPD and this is the first time when protestors have shut an entire oilfield.
Chevron, Royal Dutch Shell and Mubadala received concession for exploration over the Red Sea area in an international tender on Sunday. Egypt awarded the first block to Chevron, the second block to Shell and third to both Shell and Mubadala. The total exploration will cover an area of around 10,000 square kilometers which is approximately 3860 square miles. The ministry has required a minimum investment of $326 million in the project.
In a major setback to the oil and gas industry in California, the state disclosed new regulations for drillers in an attempt to reduce its dependence on fossil fuels. The newly announced measures also include a moratorium on the extraction technique, fracking which uses high-pressure steam to break up oil formations underground. The regulations received heavy applause from environmental groups.
US oil major, Marathon Oil Corp yesterday registered a 44.5% dip in quarterly adjusted profit, stressed by weak crude and gas prices which limited the gains from higher output in its U.S. shale basins. Marathon Oil’s total production in the quarter rose 6.5% to an average of 425,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd), excluding divestitures.
In an unprecedented move, the UK government has effectively banned the controversial practice of hydraulic fracing, dealing a severe blow to the fracing industry. The move came just weeks ahead of a general election, putting an end to the technique in the UK after growing concerns about earthquakes in the region. The decision will serve as a major roadblock to firms like Cuadrilla Resources Ltd. and Ineos Group Ltd.
Libyan state-run National Oil Corp. informed on Saturday about the shutdown of the country’s largest oilfield, El-Sharara due to suspected valve closure. NOC has launched an investigation on the matter. The El-Sharara oilfield, which pumps 290,000 bpd, has often been targeted by protesters or armed groups. NOC officials have revealed that the shutdown will cut Libya’s oil production to more than one million bpd.
Australian E&P firm, Woodside Petroleum registered lower revenue in the second-quarter earnings released yesterday. Woodside saw a 32% dip in revenues, the first decline in the last six quarters. Revenue dropped over the extension in the maintenance period at the Pluto liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility and weaker prices. Woodside recorded a lower production for the quarter at 17.3 million barrels of oil equivalent (mmboe).
Australian energy firm, Santos Ltd has registered record gas production in the second quarter, supported by stronger output across its gas assets. Santos recorded a jump from 14.2 mmboe last year to 18.6 mmboe. The production figure beat analysts’ expectation of 17.78 mmboe. Santos also saw a jump in sales for the three-month period to 22.4 mmboe from 19.1 mmboe in the previous year, producing $959 million in revenue.
Greek oil and gas major, Energean has inked an agreement to acquire Edison E&P from Edison. The $750 million-deal will gain Energean 100% stake in Edison’s oil and natural gas unit. The acquisition will allow Energean to expand its operations in the emergent eastern Mediterranean gas hub, and establish an important presence in Egypt’s offshore basin.
India-based Hindustan Oil Exploration Company (HOEC) yesterday informed about entering a conditional agreement to acquire Hardy Oil and Gas’ Indian project office. Hardy E&P holds a tactical position in the oil and gas basins on the east coast of India and near the Bombay High field. Hardy E&P had been active in India’s oil and gas sector for more than two decades.