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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.
Kosmos Energy and its partners have discovered gas at the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim-1 well (GTA-1) in the Albian reservoir. The GTA-1 well was drilled using the Ensco DS-12 rig. The Greater Tortue Ahmeyim gas project is situated offshore Mauritania and Senegal. The LNG project is expected to yield first gas in the first half of 2022.
Oil supermajor Shell has announced about achieving production at the 175,000 boed Appomattox floating production system in Gulf of Mexico, months ahead of schedule. Shell upstream director, Andy Brown said, "That Appomattox was safely brought online ahead of schedule and far under budget is a testament to our ongoing commitment to drive down costs through efficiency improvements during execution,". Appomattox has seen more than 40% reduction in costs since 2015.
Indonesian oil major, Medco Energi has concluded the $517.34m acquisition of Ophir Energy. The UK-based exploration and production firm nodded to the proposed acquisition by Medco Energi in January, 2019. The estimated increase in Medco’s 2019 pro forma production will range around 29% to 110,000 boed. The $517.34 million all-cash acquisition was funded through a blend of existing cash resources and credit received under an agreement from Standard Chartered Bank.
The State Statics Committee informed that the oil and gas condensate output of Azerbaijan has dropped by 2.9% year-on-year in January-April 2019. The output has settled at 12.445 million tonnes. The report reveals that gas production climbed in the first four months of 2019 to 11.637 billion cubic meters. In 2018, the nation's oil production was 38.758 million tonnes almost equal to the production of 2017.
Australian exploration firm, Talon Petroleum has concluded the acquisition of EnCounter Oil. The strategic acquisition of EnCounter gives Talon a 100% stake in the highly prospective UK North Sea exploration licenses. Talon Petroleum entered into an all-stock transaction in January to purchase 100% of the shares in EnCounter Oil. Talon is looking forward to rapidly expand its UK North Sea exploration portfolio.
In Argentina’s first offshore licensing round, Norwegian energy major, Equinor won big with the award of seven exploration blocks in the bidding. While on four blocks Equinor secured 100% operatorship, it will partner with YPF and Total on the remaining three blocks. The bidding round which had 38 offshore blocks on offer was the first open bid round for Argentinian offshore acreage in almost three decades.
The number of oil rigs operating in the US rose again this week, with crude futures climbing more than 40% so far this year. Baker Hughes, yesterday, reported that the rig count increased by two oil rigs this week, putting the total count to 833. The rig count had remained on the downhill for the past four months while E&P companies were slashing expenses involved with new drilling.
Russian oil major, Repsol has entered into lease agreement with Greek oil firm, Hellenic Petroleum to conduct exploration activities together offshore Greece. The lease agreement will see the firms explore an offshore block in the Ionian Sea. Greece is looking forward to giving a major boost to its oil and gas sector with landmark discoveries in the eastern Mediterranean region.
Apache Corporation has informed about beginning oil production at its Garten well in the UK North Sea. The first successful exploration well was drilled in March 2018. First oil from the Garten well came by the end of November this year. Apache had anticipated oil production from well to kick start in 2019. The well is currently producing 13,700 bpd of oil and 15.7m cubic feet of gas.
The Government of India has extended Vedanta’s contract for the Rajasthan block by 10 years, the company informed through a regulatory filing. Vedanta has been in a 3-year long legal dispute, which is still underway, with the government over the terms of the renewal. The government wanted an added 10% share in profit from the Rajasthan field during the extension, to which Vedanta had refused.
Dallas-based Kosmos Energy has informed about plans of abandoning Pontoenoe-1 offshore exploration well in Block 42, offshore Suriname due to failure in finding oil. Although Kosmos found high-quality reservoir at the Pontoenoe-1 well, primary exploration showed reservoir to be water-bearing and no commercial hydrocarbons were discovered. Kosmos is the operator of the Block 42, where Hess and Chevron are partners.