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The UK’s offshore oil and gas sector has announced plans to cut half of its emissions over the next decade. The latest move comes as the fossil fuel sector in the country aims to transition to a net-zero emissions basin by 2050, as part of its commitment to address climate change and help decarbonize the global economy.
UK development and production company, Independent Oil & Gas has awarded the core project phase one well management contract to Petrofac. The AIM-traded firm said the award followed a competitive tendering process, and the approval last month of the phase one field development plan by the UK Oil and Gas Authority (OGA). The contract scope covered planning, execution and close-out phases of the phase one drilling programme.
OVO Energy, which bought the household supply business of SSE for £500m just months ago, has announced plans to slash 2,600 jobs. The company said its integration plans, including a drive for digital and investment in a zero-carbon future, had been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. OVO said it had initially expected the mergers to have taken a number of years but it hoped to achieve the cuts through volunteers.
Oil supermajor, BP Plc yesterday reported a slump in its earnings for the first quarter, sliding over the challenging circumstances generated due to declining oil prices and collapse in the demand. The British energy giant recorded a net loss of $4.37 billion from a profit of $2.93 billion for the quarter that ended March 31. However, BP has still maintained its quarterly dividend at 10.25 cents a share.
Oil & Gas UK has estimated a significant drop in production revenue from the UK Continental Shelf. It has also predicted that the UK oil and gas industry might lose as many as 30,000 jobs over the next 12–18 months. The industry trade body commented, "The outlook is bleak compared to the picture of steady growth seen only two months ago, before the grip of the pandemic became clear”.
British offshore services provider, Valaris is reportedly looking towards an imminent bankruptcy, as it struggles against lower contract awards. If news agency Reuters were to be believed, Valaris has been preparing for talks with creditors to agree on bankruptcy terms. News of Valaris having already appointed restructuring advisors is also being reported. Valaris reported $6.5bn of outstanding debt last year, compared to small $100m cash.
UK-based subsea well-decommissioning specialist Well-Safe Solutions has awarded a subsea well decommissioning support contract to Dutch geological survey major, Fugro. The three-year-long contract requires Fugro to support the semi-submersible Well-Safe Guardian which will carry out the decommissioning. The scope of the contract includes the provision of remotely operated vehicle (ROV) services, rig positioning and remote operations for the decommissioning process.
In a welcome move, the UK government has announced major funding for multiple carbon capture schemes in its Budget for 2020. Although UK chancellor Rishi Sunak refrained from mentioning any new measures for North Sea oil and gas extraction, his first budget laid emphasis on environment-friendly investment. The UK Committee on Climate Change has proposed the country’s first carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) facility and it should be operational by 2026.
Oil supermajor, BP has acquired majority stakes in fibre optic innovation company, Fotech through its business development branch, Launchpad. Founded in 2008, Fotech develops fibre optics products for transportation, smart cities, energy and the security sector. The UK-based firm deploys artificial intelligence and edge computing in its products, spanning areas like surveillance, transport management, cable monitoring and rail management.
Oil and gas services firm, KCA Deutag has secured a five-year contract extension from CNRI for three platforms operating in the UK North Sea. The scope of the contract includes the delivery of drilling operations and maintenance services on CNRI’s Ninian South, Ninian Central and Tiffany platforms. CNRI and KCA Deutag have a long history of working together.
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.
ConocoPhillips has concluded the sale of two of its subsidiaries to Chrysaor E&P Limited in a $2.675 billion deal, apart from the interest and customary adjustments. The two ConocoPhillips subsidiaries indirectly owned the firm’s E&P assets in the UK, including roughly $1.8 billion in asset retirement obligations. The US oil major also declared about discontinuing exploration activities in the Central Louisiana Austin Chalk trend.
Halliburton has added new technology to its product line. Oil field service company has acquired from Westerton a new portfolio of electro-mechanical downhole cutting tools and related tubing punches. This equipment will offer a safe and reliable alternative to operators for conventional pipe recovery and intervention across the well lifecycle. It will not only reduce the cost of construction of new wells but also extend the life of old wells.
Restrata Platform is a system for real-time monitoring of people and assets. Serica Energy has signed a deal to adopt this platform for Bruce asset in the UK Northern North Sea. CEO of the company said, “Our team will work with Restrata to commence the roll out of the technology and integrate our operating procedures, specific to Bruce".
Diamond Offshore has reported losses in the first half of 2019. The losses have more than doubled and pre-tax losses were registered to be £179 million. The total revenue of the company dropped down to £370m. Also, a backlog of £1.6bn was reported by the firm. However, Diamond has recently secured a new contract for Ocean GreatWhite.
French energy giant, Total has revealed plans of farming out North Sea assets worth £4billion in the current financial year. The asset farm-out news comes tailing a £510m-sale of a UK North Sea mature field package to Petrogas in July. The supermajor said that the divestment strategy is in line with Total’s goals of growing in the LNG market, and will stress on the sales in the exploration and production.
Iran detained two British oil tankers traveling through the Strait of Hormuz on Friday, worsening tensions with London and Washington. Naval forces from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps detained and sent the British-flagged tanker Stena Impero to Iranian shores for legal procedures. The tanker was seized on the claims of not following international maritime regulations while transiting the strait. The British Government has cautioned of a “considered and robust” response.
In an attempt to increase its share of North Sea decommissioning work, Scotland has raised funding worth £4 million. In the fourth round of Decommissioning Challenge Fund, the nation gained a higher share of the £15.3bn forecast. Energy Minister said, "Decommissioning North Sea infrastructure will help Scotland’s supply chain gain an even higher share of North Sea projects and capitalise global market opportunities by exporting knowledge and experience".