Saturday, March 28, 2015

International News -- March 28, 2015; China To Increase Oil Production; Russia May Extend Invitations; Shell Getting Eager


April 1, 2015: Rigzone is reporting -- 
The U.S. Interior Department on Tuesday upheld a 2008 lease sale in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska, moving Royal Dutch Shell a step closer to returning to oil and gas exploration in the Arctic since it suffered mishaps in the region in 2012.
"The Arctic is an important component of the Administration's national energy strategy, and we remain committed to taking a thoughtful and balanced approach to oil and gas leasing and exploration offshore Alaska," said Interior Secretary Sally Jewell.
Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will next consider Shell's exploration plan and perform an environmental assessment on it, which could take at least 30 days. Shell lost control of a massive oil rig called the Kulluk in 2012, which eventually ran aground. But in anticipation of returning to the region for the first time since then, Shell has already moved rigs to Alaska.  
Original Post

Reuters/Rigzone is reporting:

Royal Dutch Shell is moving oil rigs to Alaska ahead of the possible resumption of controversial drilling activities as the oil major awaits the green light from U.S. authorities.
The Anglo-Dutch oil major hopes to revive its Arctic drilling programme two years after the grounding of a rig in Alaska that led to a huge uproar from environmental groups.
But even before getting the go-ahead from the U.S. interior secretary, Shell is moving the drilling rigs Noble Discoverer and Polar Pioneer to the area in anticipation of the short operations window in summer. The vessel are "heading to North America ahead of a potential 2015 drilling season," a Shell spokeswoman told Reuters.
"Any final decision to go forward with a 2015 season will depend on successful permitting, clearing any legal obstacles and our own assessment that we are prepared to explore safely and successfully." 
Not holding my breath. I think Barack Obama is president of the US through the end of 2016.

Reuters/Rigzone is reporting:
China's top offshore oil producer CNOOC Ltd said on Friday it aims to boost output by 18 percent over the next three years, after reporting stronger-than-expected 2014 profit on cost cuts and higher production.
CNOOC, China's third largest oil company, plans to boost output to 513 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) in 2017, up more than 18 percent from 2014, chief financial officer Zhong Hua told reporters at its results briefing.
But cost cuts will also be a top priority as it braces for long-term oil price weakness. Last month, CNOOC said it planned to slash 2015 capital spending by 26-35 percent to 70 billion-80 billion yuan, while still trying to raise output by up to 15 percent to 495 million BOE.
"The company... has sensed the pinch of the 'cold winter'," CNOOC's chairman Wang Yilin said in the firm's earnings filing. "In 2015, we may face even more severe environment for our exploration and development."
CNOOC on Friday reported net profit of 60.2 billion yuan ($9.69 billion) for last year, up 6.5 percent year on year, as cost cuts, lower tax payment and higher output helped offset the slide in global oil prices. That beat a consensus forecast of 52.3 billion yuan from 23 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters. 
Peak oil?

Reuters/Rigzone is reporting:
Russia may allow more oil companies to access its offshore projects, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday.
"In general, the access can be extended," Novak told reporters in Moscow. An existing law stipulates that only state energy majors Rosneft and Gazprom can explore offshore fields. But Lukoil, Russia's No.2 oil producer, has long called for extending access to private firms as well. 
The strain is showing.

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