www.upstreamonline.com http://www.upstreamonline.com/ www.upstreamonline.com Big Foot no match for loop current http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382246/Big-Foot-no-match-for-loop-current US supermajor waits for more favourable conditions to tow out and moor massive offshore production facility Kathrine.Schmidt@upstreamonline.com (Kathrine Schmidt) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382246/Big-Foot-no-match-for-loop-current Fri, 31 Oct 2014 18:00:27 +0000 live Chevron North America president of exploration and production confirmed that construction of the facility was “essentially complete” but the facility cannot be towed out and commissioned under current conditions.

“This loop current is particularly strong and we are monitoring for the conditions that would allow us to proceed with installation,” Shellebarger said.

Instead, Chevron is trying to complete some of the normal pre-commissioning work that would be done offshore while Big Foot is still in the yard.

The $4 billion facility is an E-TLP designed platform that can handle production volumes of 75,000 barrels per day of oil and 25 million cubic feet per day of gas.

It was supposed to be installed in the Walker Ridge area late this year so it can begin commissioning for first oil by the middle of next year but the project was already knocked off schedule by problems with the fabrication of the topsides.

This latest loop current has confounded operators and service companies over the last couple months.

Service giants like Baker Hughes, Schlumberger, Halliburton and Weatherford all cited work delays due to the strong loop currents as factors that cut into their earnings for the quarter.

Baker Hughes chief executive Martin Craighead said that 13 different drilling rigs experience some delay during the quarter due to problems with the currents.

The loop current in the US Gulf typically affects oil and gas operations in the late summer and early autumn. However, this year the currents and separated eddies have been more powerful and their impact more sustained than in the past, according to Patrice Coholan, president of ocean forecaster Horizon Marine.

The impact of Eddy Lazarus, a strong eddy that spun off the main loop current in mid-July and then re-attached in mid-August, is the worst Horizon Marine oceanographers have seen since 2007, Coholan told Upstream.

Coholan expects operators in the north-central US Gulf to feel the effects of the loop current into early November.

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ExxonMobil mulls US shale moves http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382239/ExxonMobil-mulls-US-shale-moves More asset grabs could be on the cards for US supermajor in key home liquids-rich plays Eoin.Ocinneide@upstreamonline.com (Eoin O'Cinneide) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382239/ExxonMobil-mulls-US-shale-moves Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:33:54 +0000 live Production from a trio of key liquids-rich basins – the Permian, Bakken and Woodford shale – totalled 210,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the third quarter, vice president of investor relations Jeff Woodbury said on Friday.

A large minority – about 40% - of this was in the Bakken, with around 35% in the Permian and 25% in the Woodford, he said.

Through shale giant subsidiary XTO, ExxonMobil completed an asset swap in May with Linn Energy, the supermajor taking control of nearly 26,000 acres in the Midland sub-basin of the Permian that is prospective for the red-hot Wolfcamp and Spraberry formations.

The acreage is mostly located in Midland, Martin, Upton and Glasscock counties. ExxonMobil also took about 1000 acres across the border in Lea County, New Mexico, which is in the Delaware sub-basin of the Permian.

But further acquisitions could be afoot, Woodbury saying in a conference call on Friday: “We continue to look for opportunities to add acreage through bolt-on acquisitions.”

Woodbury continued that the company would continue to high grade its portfolio in these basins, contending: “Even with the current decrease in prices, we are finding opportunities” – onshore US and even internationally.

Papua New Guinea, where ExxonMobil’s giant PNG LNG project came online this year, is another area where the company may look to progress operations significantly.

Asked if the company was looking at additional LNG trains to monetise a recent gas discovery or to handle third-party gas, Woodbury said: “Everything is on the table in terms of what we do there.”

The company has an active exploration programme in PNG and is considering other exploration programmes, he continued, but the next step was to “consider the economic viability of incremental trains”.

The PNG LNG plant was, he said, designed to easily integrate additional trains, so this would be more competitive than another Greenfield site.

“We are looking at opportunities to add to (the recent discovery).”

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Chevron lifts net profit by 12% http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382210/Chevron-lifts-net-profit-by-12 US supermajor gains on forex in Q3 despite lower revenues Bill.Lehane@upstreamonline.com (Bill Lehane) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382210/Chevron-lifts-net-profit-by-12 Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:40:41 +0000 live The San Ramon, California-headquartered major said that it gained $366 million on foreign currency effects during the period compared to a $276 million loss in the year-ago period.

Sales declined to $52 billion compared to $57 billion in the third quarter of 2013.

Upstream earnings declined from $5.09 billion to $4.64 billion over the same timeframe, while downstream earnings surged from $380 million to $1.38 billion thanks to asset sales as well as higher refining profits because of the lower oil prices.

For the first nine months of 2014 overall earnings fell to $15.77 billion from $16.49 billion garnered during the same period of last year.

Chief executive John Watson said the company had raised its quarterly net profit despite the fall in crude oil prices.

Watson said that the supermajor was continuing to advance key development projects, with the Bibiyana expansion project in Bangladesh coming online post-period and Tubular Bells and Jack/St Malo in the US deep-water Gulf of Mexico set to begin producing in the fourth quarter.

He said that Chevron was also advancing its Australian LNG duo Gorgon and Wheastone as well as progressing the development and ramp-up of production from shale and tight resources, particularly in the Permian where the company has drilled 460 wells so far this year.

“These and other major capital projects are expected to deliver significant growth in production, earnings and cash flows in the years ahead,” he said.

Worldwide net production slipped to 2.57 million boepd from 2.59 million boepd in the third quarter of last year.

Chevron said that normal field declines, production entitlement effects in several locations and the effect of asset sales had outweighed its ramp-ups US, Argentina, Brazil and Nigeria and improved reliability at Kazakhstan’s Tengizchevroil.

Sharp falls in oil prices both domestically and internationally weighed on Chevron's earnings.

US oil prices declined $10 from $97 to $87 for the giant, while US gas prices rose from $3.23 per thousand cubic feet to $3.46.

International oil prices fell from $104 to $93 over the sametimeframe while gas prices declined from $5.88 to $5.73 per mcf.

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ExxonMobil cautious on Russian operations http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382219/ExxonMobil-cautious-on-Russian-operations US giant circumspect when quizzed on precise effect of sanctions on its dealings in Russia Eoin.Ocinneide@upstreamonline.com (Eoin O'Cinneide) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382219/ExxonMobil-cautious-on-Russian-operations Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:00:44 +0000 live The US supemajor, which just posted increased third-quarter net profit despite a drop in revenues and production, was also unwilling to disclose much in the way of detail of a discovery made recently in the Russian Arctic with state-owned giant Rosneft.

The pair unearthed an oil and gas discovery a month ago at the Universitetskaya-1 probe in the Kara Sea with the Seadrill semi-submersible West Alpha. Around the same time as well operations were ongoing, however, the US and European Union stepped up their sanctions measures on Russia and Rosneft, leading ExxonMobil to begin winding down its operations in the Russian Arctic.

In a conference call on Friday to present the company’s third-quarter results, where ExxonMobil revealed a 3% rise in net profit to $8.07 billion, new vice president of investor relations Jeff Woodbury was notably cautious in answering any questions on the company’s dealings in Russia.

Although confirming that “hydrocarbons” had been found at the Kara Sea well, Woodbury would not give any indication of the size or nature of the discovery, but confirmed the well had been plugged and abandoned and the rig moved away.

Asked how the sanctions are likely to affect the company’s ongoing operations in Russia, amid reports that Rosneft has vowed to go it alone in the Arctic if necessary, Woodbury said: “I will point out that ExxonMobil has a very long-standing relationship.” He added that Russia is “clearly a very important area for the industry in total” and said the Kara Sea acreage position is “over 31 million acres”.

Woodbury confirmed, however, that the sanctions do not affect its operations at Sakhalin-1 off Russia far eastern coast.

However, when pressed further on whether or not the sanctions had led to any postponements, deferrals or reductions at any other operations ExxonMobil has in Russia, Woodbury was noticeably circumspect.

Pointing out that the sanctions apply to deep-water, unconventional and Russian Arctic plays, Woodbury said that some or all of its joint venture operations in the Black Sea, West Siberia and Russian Arctic fall within the realm of the sanction measures.

“We are fully complying with the sanctions and regulatory requirements,” he said without elaborating on the extent to which its operations in Russia have been affected.

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Interoil offloads Peru blocks http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382238/Interoil-offloads-Peru-blocks United Oilfield Inc acquires block pair from cash-strapped Norwegian explorer Bill.Lehane@upstreamonline.com (Bill Lehane) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382238/Interoil-offloads-Peru-blocks Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:22:35 +0000 live The cash-strapped Olso-listed junior, which entered into a strategic review earlier this week, said that it would offload Block III and IV in Peru, which it operated under a 12-month contract that expires in April 2015.

In April Interoil lost an international arbitration case against Perupetro over its decision not to extend the production licences for the wholly-owned onshore blocks in the Talara region before gaining the one-year extension.

Interoil E&P said that the blocks did not hold any value for the company because it is not qualified to bid for a 30-year license on the blocks initiated by licensing authorities in Peru, whereas the buyer expects to be a qualified bidder and to participate in the round.

“With this transaction we are able to discontinue our business in Peru in an orderly fashion while increasing the chances of our Peruvian employees to continue to have employment on Blocks III & IV,” commented Interoil E&P chief executive Thomas Fjell said.

Interoil said the agreement will not have any cash effect or material impact on Interoil's financial position.

It expects to complete the deal before the end of the year subject to approval from its bondholders.

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ExxonMobil rises in Q3 http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382207/ExxonMobil-rises-in-Q3 Downstream and chemicals businesses boost US supermajor's net profit Eoin.Ocinneide@upstreamonline.com (Eoin O'Cinneide) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382207/ExxonMobil-rises-in-Q3 Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:09:16 +0000 live The US supermajor battled slumping production and the expiration of a lucratice concession in Abu Dhabi, but revenues slipped nonetheless.

Net profit for the three months to the end of September hit $8.07 billion, up 3% from $7.87 billion a year earlier.

Revenues slid, however, from $112.37 billion to $107.49 billion.

One reason the bottom line was boosted was a $4 billion cut in costs.

Production dropped 4.7% from an average of 4.02 million barrels of oil equivalent per day in the third quarter last year to 3.83 million boepd this time around.

Much of this reflected the loss of an onshore concession in Abu Dhabi. Exclusive of this loss, output was down 1%.

Net liquids production dropped from 2.2 million barrels per day to 2.07 million bpd. Whereas output was up in the US, Canada and South America, it dropped significantly in Asia - from 778,000 bpd to 601,000 bpd, largely on account of the Abu Dhabi factor.

It was also slightly down in Africa, flat in Europe and up in Australia/Oceania.

Total gas production slipped from 10.91 million cubic feet per day to 10.6 MMcfd. Domestic gas output slumped from 3.56 MMcfd to 3.41 MMcfd, with virtually all other geographical markets also showing falls.

"Field decline and lower entitlement volumes were partly offset by new production from Papua New Guinea and work programmes," the company said on Friday.

ExxonMobil managed to chop capital and exploration expenses by 7% to $9.8 billion.

Chief executive Rex Tillerson commented: "We continue to meet our operational and project development objectives.

"Upstream production for 2014 remains on track with previous full-year estimates of 4 million oil-equivalent barrels per day as the company adds new production from project start-ups.”

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Chevron hits the brakes at Buckskin http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382228/Chevron-hits-the-brakes-at-Buckskin US supermajor rethinking plans to build standalone production hub Kathrine.Schmidt@upstreamonline.com (Kathrine Schmidt) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382228/Chevron-hits-the-brakes-at-Buckskin Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:24:32 +0000 live For the full story read Friday's edition of Upstream.

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Ecopetrol profits slump 40% in Q3 http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382220/Ecopetrol-profits-slump-40-in-Q3 Lower oil prices and currency losses hit Colombian player's earnings Bill.Lehane@upstreamonline.com (Bill Lehane) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382220/Ecopetrol-profits-slump-40-in-Q3 Fri, 31 Oct 2014 14:46:02 +0000 live Total sales also declined by 10% to 14.57 billion pesos from 16.21 billion in the third quarter of last year.

Ecopetrol chief executive Javier Gutierrez admitted that “the period's financial results were clearly affected by the international situation, which led to a $9.40 per barrel decline in crude export prices compared to the prior quarter, as well as weakening of the currencies of emerging countries".

Compared to the second quarter, the sale prices of crude, products and gas decreased by 9.5%, 4.4% and 2.9%, respectively.

Gutierrez said that Ecopetrol had also recorded a significant non-operating loss due to the valuation of its dollar-denominated liabilities coming at a higher exchange rate to the domestic currency.

He pointed out that the operator nonetheless raised production by 2.8% compared to the second quarter to 754,000 barrels per day thanks to better operational conditions and key project progress.

The explorer also picked up five new blocks in Colombia’s latest licensing round and was a 40% partner in Repsol’s high-impact Leon discovery in the US Gulf during the period.

Gutierrez said that the company would be internally reviewing its medium- and long-term strategy in the coming months, without further elaborating on any possible changes involved.

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Net loss for Vantage Drilling in Q3 http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382185/Net-loss-for-Vantage-Drilling-in-Q3 Debt repayments eat up earnings for Houston deep-water driller Bill.Lehane@upstreamonline.com (Bill Lehane) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382185/Net-loss-for-Vantage-Drilling-in-Q3 Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:26:51 +0000 live Chief executive Paul Bragg said the company’s debt reduction plans were on track and underpinned by a high level of contract backlog.

The company raised revenues by about 18% to $201 million in the third quarter as it saw 99% utilisation on its four jack-ups and 83% utilisation on its trio of ultra-deepwater drillships.

For the first nine months of 2014, Vantage Drilling netted $29.38 million on revenues of $659.7 million, reversing a $112 million loss for the year-ago nine-month period.

New York-based equity analysts Cowen and Company said that Vantage Drilling had seen both lower earnings and higher costs than it anticipated in the third quarter.

"Ebidta of $86 million fell quarter over quarter and was significantly below our $101 million forecast as cost increases outpaced our expectations,” the analysts said.

Cowen and Company said a key driver for Vantage Drilling will be its ability to gain a long-term customer for its fourth ultra-deepwater drillship under construction, the Cobalt Explorer.

"The company has plenty of time to sign the rig to an inaugural contract given its 2016 delivery but investors will be anxious to see the rig find attractive long-term work given Vantage's significant debt levels,” the analysts said.

The equity researchers also pointed out that Petronas' contract for the jack-up Aquamarine Driller runs out in November.

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Bokhtar partners start seismic campaign http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382163/Bokhtar-partners-start-seismic-campaign Shoot being carried out in Tajikistan to firm up deep well prospects Josh.Lewis@upstreamonline.com (Josh Lewis) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382163/Bokhtar-partners-start-seismic-campaign Fri, 31 Oct 2014 07:52:40 +0000 live Tethys Petroleum, which makes up one third of a consortium which includes Total and China National Corporation (CNPC) that operates the PSC, said a contract had been signed to acquire a large seismic programme.

The shoot, which has already commenced, will be used to help identify the best possible location to for the first deep well on the PSC, which is expected to spud by the end of 2015.

Tethys said processing of the data would be carried out concurrently with the shoot so that interpretation and mapping could start before the end of the year.

An independent resource report of the Bokhtar PSC by Gustavson Associates estimates the gross prospective resources of the acreage at 27.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent, consisting of 114 trillion cubic feet of gas and 8.5 billion barrels of oil.

Tethys has previously stated that the licence area is an extension of the highly prolific Amu Darya basin, which contains some of the world’s largest gas and condensate fields.

 

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Brazil market in focus http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382170/Brazil-market-in-focus Upstream takes an in-depth look at the thriving oil and gas industry in a Latin American economic powerhouse Eoin.Ocinneide@upstreamonline.com (Eoin O'Cinneide) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382170/Brazil-market-in-focus Fri, 31 Oct 2014 10:19:20 +0000 live Check it out online now.

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Dong loss widens but output up http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382169/Dong-loss-widens-but-output-up Danish player increases full-year ebitda expectations but third-quarter result still bleeds red Eoin.Ocinneide@upstreamonline.com (Eoin O'Cinneide) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382169/Dong-loss-widens-but-output-up Fri, 31 Oct 2014 08:47:52 +0000 live The company posted a net loss of 1.81 billion Danish kroner ($305.53 million) in the three months to the end of September, down from the loss of 666 million kroner a year earlier.

Revenues waned from 13.49 billion kroner to 12.08 billion kroner, although a drop in depreciation, amortisation and impairments negated some of the fall.

Production was up, however, from an average of 94,900 barrels of oil equivalent per day to 114.5 boepd, with 10.5 million boe in the whole quarter, as against 8.7 million boe a year earlier.

For the nine-month period, output rose from 21.3 million boe to 30.9 million boe, mainly due to a rise in gas and condensate production from the Ormen Lange field off Norway where Dong’s share rose last July from 10.3% to 14%.

Falling gas prices, however, affected the top line.

Dong adjusted its full-year guidance slightly and now expects earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation of more than 16 billion kroner. A previous guidance given in February indicated ebitda of between 15 billion and 17 billion kroner.

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Cat-D cash in pocket of Songa http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382180/Cat-D-cash-in-pocket-of-Songa Financing secured for final two rigs as first semisub set to be delivered in first quarter after naming ceremony Steve.Marshall@upstreamonline.com (Steve Marshall) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382180/Cat-D-cash-in-pocket-of-Songa Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:47:46 +0000 live The $1.1 billion credit facility signed with banks and an export credit agency will provide pre-delivery funding of $90 million per rig and post-delivery financing of $550 million per rig, with the latter loan carrying a five-year tenure.

The Oslo-listed rig contractor is set to take delivery of the first so-called Cat-D semisub, Songa Equinox, in the first quarter of 2015 under lucrative contracts worth a total of more than $5 billion with Statoil for the custom-designed midwater rigs.

The rigs will operate on dayrates of around $480,000 under the eight-year charters, each with four three-year extension options.

All four semisubs were officially named at a recent ceremony at DSME, where they are being built at a total cost of more than $2.6 billion after suffering minor delays and cost overruns at the yard.

Songa has previously stated the average cost per rig has increased by 2% to 3% compared with the previous estimate of $660 million, with the three remaining units  - Songa Endurance, Songa Encourage and Songa Enabler – also scheduled for delivery next year.

Chief executive Bjornar Iversen has previously told Upstream the long-term deals for the rigs at strong dayrates will leave the company well-positioned in a falling market, which will also enable it to find new rig recruits to meet a manpower need of up to 500 hands as rivals lay off workers.

The contracts are also set to make Songa a major rig contractor for state-owned giant Statoil, which last year agreed to a 5% dayrate increase for the Cat-D rigs as part of a financial restructuring by the company.

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Rolls-Royce turbines for Lake Charles http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382174/Rolls-Royce-turbines-for-Lake-Charles BG Group hires UK outfit for Louisiana LNG export terminal Bill.Lehane@upstreamonline.com (Bill Lehane) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382174/Rolls-Royce-turbines-for-Lake-Charles Fri, 31 Oct 2014 09:24:45 +0000 live The Reading-headquartered gas player has also signed a long-term service agreement under which Rolls-Royce will deliver support and maintenance on the equipment for up to 25 years.

Rolls-Royce energy president Andrew Heath said that the order was a vote of confidence for its Trent 60 DLE aero-derivative technology, which he predicted “will become the leader in the LNG sector, due to its superior economics”.

Four Trent 60 DLE turbines will be used for each train to drive the main refrigeration compressors for the LNG export project.

Rolls-Royce said it expected the orders to be activated in the first half of next year subject to the US LNG plant permitting process and final investment decisions by BG Group and co-developer Energy Transfer.

BG Group and Energy Transfer sought export approval for the project from the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Ferc) in May.

They expect to gain approvals and make a final investment decision next year on the project to see exports start in the second half of 2019.

In May, Rolls-Royce agreed to sell its energy gas turbine and compressor business to engineering giant Siemens in a deal worth £985 million that is expected to complete before the end of the year.

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Russia, Ukraine in gas pact http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382166/Russia-Ukraine-in-gas-pact Gazprom to restart deliveries as supply deal reached to avert winter disruption threat for Europe Steve.Marshall@upstreamonline.com (Steve Marshall), (News Wires) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382166/Russia-Ukraine-in-gas-pact Fri, 31 Oct 2014 08:18:02 +0000 live The pact was inked in Brussels late on Thursday after several rounds of talks between the two sides, hosted by the European Union, had stalled largely on Russia’s demand for guarantees on prepayment of supplies from state-owned Gazprom that were halted in June due to a gas dispute.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, stepped in to unblock deadlocked talks by agreeing to act as a guarantor for supplies amid concern the row over unpaid gas debts and pricing could also hit gas deliveries to the continent amid Western sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis.

Ukraine has secured financing guarantees both from the EU and International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the $4.6 billion package that includes $3.1 billion in debt repayments by year-end and $1.5 billion to pay up front for about 4 billion cubic metres of fresh gas until March 2015, according to Reuters.

Ukraine's gas company Naftogaz also has revenues of its own that it would use to pay for some of the fresh Russian supplies at a newly agreed price of $378 per thousand cubic metres for the rest of this year and $365 in the first quarter of 2015.

Gazprom's executive chairman Alexei Miller was quoted as saying gas supplies to Ukraine could restart next week if Kiev pays $2.2 billion in debts and prepayments.

The deal was signed by the Russian and Ukrainian energy ministers as well as the EU’s Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger, who had brokered the talks and is set to step down from the post on Saturday under an executive shift.

"Unprecedented levels of EU aid will be disbursed in a timely manner, and the IMF has reassured Ukraine that it can use all financial means at its disposal to pay for gas," the European Commission said in a statement.

"Further work with the international financial institutions on financial assistance to Ukraine, also in relation to gas supplies, will still continue. But all three sides are reassured that Ukraine will have the necessary financial means."

Oettinger said: "We can say to the citizens of Europe that we can guarantee security of supply over the winter."

While the gains for Ukraine are evident - without Russian gas many of its people would face death over the winter - Russia also gains from a deal that brings in cash at a time when its economy is suffering from a slide in world oil prices and Western sanctions.

“The deal demonstrates that despite continued hype regarding Russia’s dominance over European gas supplies, Gazprom needs its European customer base than the other way around,” senior Eastern Europe analyst Daragh McDowell of UK-based research consultancy Maplecroft said in a note.

“In fact, if anything, Gazprom and Russia are more vulnerable to supply disruptions given the continued deterioration of Russia’s economy and the increasing pressures on Russia’s federal budget.”

Natural gas earnings have become increasingly important to provide an alternative source of revenue for the Kremlin due to falling global oil prices and Western sanctions that hit third-quarter earnings for state-owned oil company Rosneft, according to the analyst.

Russia remains dependent on Ukraine, which hosts the bulk of pipeline capacity for European markets, as a transit country for its supplies to the continent and McDowell said alternative supply routes such as the stalled South Stream pipeline “remain a long-term prospect”.

Meanwhile, separatist elections scheduled for 2 November in Ukraine’s Donbass region, which are being recognised by Moscow, may result in a de facto recognition of the independence from Kiev of disputed territories being contested by rebels who are believed to be backed by Russia, he said.

This, the analyst warned, could undermine a fragile ceasefire in the tense region and “makes a resumption of hostilities next week highly probable”, with separatists pledging a renewed offensive amid reports of heavy weapons and artillery being moved into the region.

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Johan Sverdrup bid battle begins http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382164/Johan-Sverdrup-bid-battle-begins Competition to build drilling deck for giant Norwegian project said to be fierce Eoin.Ocinneide@upstreamonline.com (Eoin O'Cinneide) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382164/Johan-Sverdrup-bid-battle-begins Fri, 31 Oct 2014 08:19:19 +0000 live Read the full story in Friday's issue of Upstream.

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LNG Ltd in Fisherman's Landing supply talks http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382154/LNG-Ltd-in-Fishermans-Landing-supply-talks Queensland LNG project back on track as negotiations start on gas deal to feed initial train (Russell Searancke) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382154/LNG-Ltd-in-Fishermans-Landing-supply-talks Fri, 31 Oct 2014 02:41:57 +0000 live If the two sides can formalise an agreement, it would involve Fisherman's Landing processing Tri-Star’s potentially significant gas reserves to produce 1.5 million tonnes per annum of LNG over a 20-year term.

LNG Ltd said it plans to apply a similar tolling business model to that used on its Magnolia LNG and Bear Head LNG projects in North America whereby LNG Ltd takes no commodity risk and receives a fee to provide all liquefaction and LNG storage services. 

The toller is contractually responsible for the supply and transport of the gas to the LNG plant and for LNG sales and transport to LNG buyers.

Maurice Brand , LNG Ltd's managing director, said the Tri-Star commitment plus the extension of the LNG plant's site agreement until 31 March 2016 "are major steps towards recommencing the development of FLLNG”. 

But he cautioned that “shareholders need to be aware that a number of steps need to be

finalised before the project could recommence, including executing a legally binding GSA;

tolling agreement; engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning contract and

project financing of both equity and a debt facility”. 

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Brent slips below $86 http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382158/Brent-slips-below-86 Benchmark on track to post its steepest monthly decline since 2012 Josh.Lewis@upstreamonline.com (Josh Lewis) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382158/Brent-slips-below-86 Fri, 31 Oct 2014 04:23:22 +0000 live Unless Opec moves to cut oil output at its meeting next month, traders say oil prices, which have dropped by a quarter since June, are likely to extend their rout.

"We are still not confident about oil prices rebounding sharply because there are no signs that Opec countries would cut production," said Ken Hasegawa, commodity sales manager at Newedge Japan.

"Therefore, we cannot say that the decline in oil prices is over."

Brent crude for December delivery had slipped 32 cents to $85.92 a barrel early on Friday. The oil benchmark has fallen more than 9% so far in October, on track for its biggest weekly drop since May 2012.

US crude eased 14 cents to $80.98 per barrel. Having lost 11% this month it was also heading for its worst performance since May 2012.

Brent dropped to as low as $82.60 this month, its weakest since 2010, and Hasegawa said if Opec doesn't trim output it could fall further towards $75.

There are no signs that Opec members will cut oil production to rescue prices when they meet in Vienna on 27 November. Opec secretary general Abdullah al-Badri this week added to growing signals that the group would stick to its production target of 30 million barrels per day.

Opec should cut output by 500,000 bpd to 1 million bpd, according to Hasegawa, citing slow oil demand given weaker economies in China, Japan and Europe. A 1 million bpd cut may be enough to push Brent back to $95, he said.

Among global economies, only the US is on the mend. Data on Thursday showed the US economy grew 3.5% in the third quarter, topping market estimates for a 3% rise.

The data underpinned the dollar near four-week highs versus a basket of currencies, making dollar-denominated commodities such as oil more expensive for buyers using other currencies.

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EMGS bags Asia job http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382168/EMGS-bags-Asia-job Survey player wins first work off Thailand under LoI with oil company Steve.Marshall@upstreamonline.com (Steve Marshall) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382168/EMGS-bags-Asia-job Fri, 31 Oct 2014 08:40:48 +0000 live The Oslo-listed electromagnetic survey player will use its vessel BOA Thalassa, currently working off Malaysia, to carry out data acquisition under the preliminary pact worth $7 million with an unnamed oil company.

It will mark the first survey for the company off Thailand.

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Origin in search of Vietnam partner http://www.upstreamonline.com/incoming/1382157/Origin-in-search-of-Vietnam-partner Block 121 joint venture looking for a partner to help shoulder the cost of potential future exploration Josh.Lewis@upstreamonline.com (Josh Lewis) http://www.upstreamonline.com/incoming/1382157/Origin-in-search-of-Vietnam-partner Fri, 31 Oct 2014 04:02:45 +0000 live Minority equity holder Pan Pacific Petroleum (PPP) revealed in its quarterly report on Friday that the joint venture was searching for a potential farm-in partner to help share the cost and risk of further exploration of the block.

The joint venture will make a decision at the end of 2015 as to whether or not they will proceed to the third exploration phase of the block which includes a drilling commitment.

PPP did not rule out exiting the block completely, depending on the merits of any offer the joint venture was to receive from a potential partner.

The Block 121 partners have recently finished up the acquisition of a 2D seismic survey, with initial processing identifying a number of interesting features in the eastern deep-water part of the block.

PPP said on Friday that pre-stack depth migration processing for the 3D seismic survey over the Swordfish prospect had also made good progress, with a preliminary volume expected by the end of October, ahead of the final results in January.

The Swordfish prospect lies about 30 kilometres north of the Whale prospect which was drilled earlier this year.

The primary objective was water bearing, but PPP said the presence of two thin sands that bore thermogenic gas in a shallower miocene interval demonstrated there was an active petroleum system in place on Block 121.

Origin operates Block 121 with a 45% stake and is partnered by PPP and Premier Oil, which hold a 15% and 40% interest respectively.

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Triangle farms in to Surat permit http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382161/Triangle-farms-in-to-Surat-permit Australian junior can earn up to a 75% stake in onshore block by meeting exploration commitments Josh.Lewis@upstreamonline.com (Josh Lewis) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382161/Triangle-farms-in-to-Surat-permit Fri, 31 Oct 2014 05:49:24 +0000 live Triangle is set to earn an intital 50% stake in ATP1186 by repaying Goshawk A$73,830 (US$64,929) in past costs and issuing the company with 120 million Triangle shares.

It can then take its interest up to 75% by completing the four-year work programme on the block, which includes the acquisition of 105 kilometres of 2D seismic and drilling two exploration wells.

ATP1186 lies about 100 kilometres west of the Moonie oilfield and the joint venture will now use existing geological information in the area to progress its understanding of the licence and indetify drilling targets.

Triangle revealed it had also entered into a consulting agreement with Goshawk for the provision of geological and geophysical services.

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Trio of players eye Ande Ande Lumut contract http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382156/Trio-of-players-eye-Ande-Ande-Lumut-contract Players show interest in Santos tender for Suezmax tanker conversion stories@upstreamonline.com (Upstream Staff) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382156/Trio-of-players-eye-Ande-Ande-Lumut-contract Fri, 31 Oct 2014 02:53:48 +0000 live Find out who is in the running in this week's edition of Upstream newspaper.

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ConocoPhillips gives up on Coronado http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382137/ConocoPhillips-gives-up-on-Coronado Unclear what will become of non-operated 35% stake; operator Anadarko says 'continuing to evaluate' discovery Luke.Johnson@upstreamonline.com (Luke Johnson) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382137/ConocoPhillips-gives-up-on-Coronado Thu, 30 Oct 2014 22:38:54 +0000 live ConocoPhillips owns a 35% stake in the prospect in the Walker Ridge area in what is known as the Shenandoah mini-basin, operated by Anadarko Petroleum.

Chevron made the initial Coronado discovery last year in the Lower Tertiary play of Walker Ridge Block 98 hot on the heels of the Anadarko find at Shenandoah. Along with Shell's Yucatan North, Coronado has been depicted as a possible contributor to a major field development in the so-called mini-basin.

"After further evaluation, the company has elected not to continue appraisal of the Coronado prospect and expensed the initial wildcat well costs as a dry hole," ConocoPhillips said in a third-quarter earnings release.

Chevron drilled a subsequent sidetrack at Coronado to assess the size of the discovery but came away empty. Prior to the sidetrack's completion, Chevron sold a 20% stake to Anadarko and handed over operatorship to the US independent upon conclusion of the appraisal well.

Industry sources had said prior to the sale that the Chevron was less than bullish on Coronado.

In a conference call on Thursday, ConocoPhillips' head of E&P Matt Fox said: "Rather than continue to appraise (Coronado), we feel it would be better to direct our exploration and appraisal dollars elsewhere."

He hastened to add that the decision "doesn’t have any long-term implications for our Gulf of Mexico exploration programme". The company has some 2 million acres under lease, including 576,000 acres added in the most recent lease sale. They will have a rig under contract in the US Gulf starting early next year.

It was not clear what will become of ConocoPhillips' stake, or whether it is up for sale. The company did not respond to a call for comment on Thursday.

Chevron owns a 20% stake and Venari Resources has 15%. Anadarko operates with 35%, after the deal with Chevron earlier this year.

Anadarko, meanwhile, said it is "continuing to evaluate the Coronado discovery and future actions".

In a second-quarter conference call in July, Anadarko's head of deep-water exploration Bob Daniels said the Coronado appraisal was testing a Miocene objective. The partners had kept the Miocene target "quiet" in order to build up a position in an upcoming lease sale, he said.

"We went in to test the concept of expanding the Miocene, and we went to the south and east and we actually didn’t find this sand at all," Daniels said.

After some seismic reinterpretation, Anadarko figured that "actually, we have to go the other direction to the west" to find the Miocene.

For now, it looks like Anadarko will wrap up ongoing appraisal work at Shenandoah before going back to Coronado. When they do return, it appears, it will be without the help of ConocoPhillips.

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ICA-Fluor wins Shell oil sands gig http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382142/ICA-Fluor-wins-Shell-oil-sands-gig Shell taps Mexico-US joint venture for fabrication and procurement work Carmon Creek project Luke.Johnson@upstreamonline.com (Luke Johnson) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382142/ICA-Fluor-wins-Shell-oil-sands-gig Fri, 31 Oct 2014 00:34:03 +0000 live The contract covers work for 13 well pads at the 80,000 barrels-per-day steam-assisted gravity drainage oil sands project near Peace River.

The initial contract is worth $264 million to ICA Fluor.

ICA Fluor will fabricate the modules at Industria del Hierro's El Empalme yard in Tampico, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

It is the first award under the multi-year frame agreement signed in June 2014 with Shell for projects in North America, and the first fabrication work ICA Fluor and Industria del Hierro will perform for a project in Canada.

Completion is scheduled for December 2017.

ICA Fluor director general Juan Carlos Santos called the deal "a major step for our company".

Meanwhile, Texas-based Fluor reported third-quarter earnings of $183 million, up from $173 million a year ago. That came on revenues of $5.4 billion, down from $6.7 billion a year earlier.

The income boost was partly a result of a 65% improvement in profits from the company's oil and gas segment, which contributed income of $179 million on revenue of $3.2 billion - up 12%.

"Strong segment profit results reflect favourable project performance and increased contributions from upstream and petrochemical projects," Fluor said.

Third-quarter new awards for the segment totaled $4.5 billion, including "an oil sands project in Canada".

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Synergy in $125m Wattenberg pickup http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382136/Synergy-in-125m-Wattenberg-pickup US independent makes deal with undisclosed seller for acreage in DJ basin Kathrine.Schmidt@upstreamonline.com (Kathrine Schmidt) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382136/Synergy-in-125m-Wattenberg-pickup Thu, 30 Oct 2014 22:45:33 +0000 live The deal includes non-operated working interests in 17 horizontal wells, 10 of which are producing and seven of which are amid the completion process and expected to begin production by year-end.

Jointly current production is around 1240 barrels per day and stakes range from 6% to 40%.

"We are pleased to expand our producing assets and leasehold in our area of operations in the core of the Wattenberg Field by approximately 20% to over 35,000 net acres," said William Scaff, co-chief executive of Synergy.

"These assets are in the southern portion of the Wattenberg Field in the townships near our Phelps and Eberle horizontal wells where we have had excellent results."

The deal also includes 73 operated and 11 non-operated vertical wells with an additional 5040 gross acres (4053 net) with rights to the Codell and Niobrara formations.

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Seven Generations launches IPO http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382131/Seven-Generations-launches-IPO Montney player poised to raise C$810m as shares surge in early trade Luke.Johnson@upstreamonline.com (Luke Johnson) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382131/Seven-Generations-launches-IPO Thu, 30 Oct 2014 20:06:52 +0000 live The independent company, which is selling some 45 million shares, priced the share offering at C$18, compared with an earlier projected range of C$17 to C$21, Reuters reported. The offering is set to value the company at over C$5 billion.

The stock, which began trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday on a "when-issued" basis, surged more than 16%, indicating robust investor appetite for energy stocks despite low oil prices.

"We have strong confidence that it's a fairly explosive growth story," said Paul Taylor, chief investment officer at BMO Asset Management, which owns shares of Seven Generations. "It has a lot of the positive attributes that we look for, in terms of a growing production profile, strong management team and good assets."

Calgary-based Seven Generations focuses on a liquids-rich natural gas property in north-west Alberta, with almost all of it in the highly sought-after Montney shale region, where the has seen success.

It has reported significant shale production volumes and expects to exit 2015 averaging between 55,000 and 60,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

The company's major shareholders include the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Calgary-based private equity firms ARC Financial and Kern Partners.

Some large initial investors in the company including ARC and Kern that were considering selling down a portion of their stake via a concurrent secondary offering appear to have chosen not to do so at this time, Reuters said. ARC and Kern could not immediately be reached for comment.

CPPIB is likely to remain the biggest shareholder in Seven Generations with a 14.8% stake, after taking into account the new equity being issued and the over-allotment options. On the same basis, ARC and Kern would retain stakes of about 11.6% and 8.2%, respectively.

The offering is expected to raise C$931.5 million if the over-allotment option is fully tapped by RBC Capital Markets, Credit Suisse and Peters & Co, who are co-lead underwriters on the offering.

On a fully diluted basis, if the over-allotment option is maxed out, the pricing of the offering values the company at C$5.1 billion. After taking into account the jump in the share price on Thursday, the company would be worth C$6 billion.

The stock, which will officially begin trading on or about 5 November, was the second most heavily traded scrip on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Thursday.

"It was attractively priced to generate some interest, and obviously there is interest," said Taylor, adding that the IPO was oversubscribed.

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Sabine Pass construction moving along http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382135/Sabine-Pass-construction-moving-along First of its kind liquefaction facility on track for first LNG in late 2015 Kathrine.Schmidt@upstreamonline.com (Kathrine Schmidt) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382135/Sabine-Pass-construction-moving-along Thu, 30 Oct 2014 22:15:25 +0000 live The LNG startup said construction work is 76% complete for the first two trains of the Cameron Parish complex, which broke ground in August 2012.

Construction on the third and fourth units kicked off in May 2013, which are now 43% complete.

"We expect Trains 3 and 4 to become operational in late 2016 and 2017, respectively," Cheniere said in its third-quarter earnings statement.

The company however dropped to another quarterly loss, falling $89.6 million into the red over the three months to September. Development costs continued to exceed $66.9million in LNG terminal revenues.

The result compared with a loss of $100.8 million in the year-ago period.

Cheniere said it is close to receiving final regulatory approval for a second liquefaction facility in Corpus Christi, Texas after the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Ferc) released a final environmental impact statement in October.

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Oil falls on stronger dollar http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382134/Oil-falls-on-stronger-dollar End of quantitative easing bolsters US currency as crude trends down Luke.Johnson@upstreamonline.com (Luke Johnson) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382134/Oil-falls-on-stronger-dollar Thu, 30 Oct 2014 21:20:13 +0000 live Both benchmark Brent and US crude gained about 1% a day earlier as US crude stockpiles rose less than expected last week, ending two weeks of builds that pressured the market, Reuters reported.

But sentiment in oil weakened again in the latest session as the dollar hit a three-week high after the Federal Reserve ended its long-running bond-buying stimulus known as quantitative easing on Wednesday. A stronger dollar makes commodities priced in the currency, including oil, costlier for buyers using other denomination.

A 3.5% annual rise in third-quarter US gross domestic product reported on Thursday also reinforced investor confidence over the economy, lending to a more hawkish interest rate outlook.

"We're back to the mantra that the US economy will lead the way to higher rates from here on, and that's causing the dollar to really weigh on oil and all commodities," said Phil Flynn, analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.

Brent crude for December delivery settled down 88 cents a barrel at $86.24, after falling to as low as $85.92. Front-month US crude finished down 78 cents at $82.20, after hitting a session low at $80.80.

Both crude grades briefly pared losses in late afternoon trade as stocks on Wall Street extended their gains.

"It was a brief rotation of interest back into oil as the dollar came down a bit and stocks went up. But it didn't change the story of the day, which was all about interest rate fears and what Opec's gonna do next month," said John Kilduff, partner at New York energy hedge fund Again Capital.

Oil traders were also wary of recent remarks by Opec officials, including those of producer Iran, that the 27 November meeting of the cartel may not help much to reduce what many feared was higher than necessary production.

A 25% slide in oil prices since June had raised talk that Opec may need to curb output.

But Opec secretary general Abdullah al-Badri said on Wednesday the exporter group was not in a rush to trim production.

Earlier this week, a senior Iranian oil official said a cut was unlikely at the November meeting. Iran is normally the first among Opec members to call for action to support oil prices.

"So when you have them saying they don't think there's going to be a cut, I think the decision is pretty much made," said James Williams, energy economist at WTRG Economics in London, Arkansas.

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Pouyanne decries US oil export ban http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382133/Pouyanne-decries-US-oil-export-ban New Total CEO urges Europe to fight Washington over policy on crude Luke.Johnson@upstreamonline.com (Luke Johnson) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382133/Pouyanne-decries-US-oil-export-ban Thu, 30 Oct 2014 20:42:36 +0000 live Patrick Pouyanne said on Thursday the export ban flouts free-trade agreements and puts European and Asian refiners at a disadvantage, making a bold appeal to European politicians, Reuters reported.

"We need to fight and put this topic on the table," Pouyanne said during a sometimes emotional appearance at London's annual Oil & Money conference, where de Margerie had been a popular speaker over the years.

"I hope the European Commission raises this issue... the refiners in Europe and Asia are suffering from one rule. That is the US cannot export oil."

Pouyanne's pointed comments on US policy, made during a near-45 minute long question and answer session that was met with a rare standing ovation, suggested he has inherited some of his flamboyant mentor's talent for controversy.

De Margerie was an outspoken critic of US and European sanctions against countries like Russia and Iran, arguing business relations forge deeper ties between countries and increase understanding.

He was also not afraid of making bold statements at odds with many in the often conservative industry, saying oil production would peak and struggle to keep up with rising demand back in 2008 as prices raced to a record high near $150 a barrel.

A minute of silence was held for de Margerie on Wednesday during the traditional black-tie Oil & Money dinner and award ceremony. The organisers placed a glass of Lagavulin whiskey, de Margerie's favourite, next to an empty seat where the Frenchmen sat last year.

Pouyanne said he agreed with de Margerie's stance on opposing sanctions against Russia.

"My priority is to continue ... as if he were still alive," he told reporters in French after the session.

The US government is not expected to relax the crude oil export ban in the near future, despite a shale oil revolution that has put the country on course to become the world's largest producer for the first time in decades.

The Commerce Department notified two companies earlier this year they could export minimally processed light oil, which many US refiners are not particularly well suited to processing. But since the summer the department has put a hold on similar applications from more than 20 companies.

While the US bans the export of crude oil - a legacy of the Arab oil embargoes in the 1970s - it does allow the export of refined products like gasoline and diesel, adding to pressure on plants in other regions.

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Argentina passes new hydrocarbons law http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382128/Argentina-passes-new-hydrocarbons-law Measure aims to attract investors to the Vaca Muerta shale, offshore, mature fields Kathrine.Schmidt@upstreamonline.com (Kathrine Schmidt) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382128/Argentina-passes-new-hydrocarbons-law Thu, 30 Oct 2014 17:44:55 +0000 live The measure, passed by the lower chamber of deputies with a 130-116 vote, has moved quickly as a compromise worked out after months of bitter dispute. Having already passed the Senate earlier in the month it is now headed to the desk of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

"With this hydrocarbons law we are seeking energy independence in the face of those that always want to return to the past," Julian Dominguez, president of the chamber of deputies, said via Twitter.

The new law, which updates a 1967 measure, is an effort to streamline and standardise leasing and investment terms throughout the country and improve co-ordination with state oil company YPF.

But the close vote showed support was far from unanimous, underscored by ongoing protests by indigenous Mapuche communities at the heart of the play.

Shares of the Argentina company were up 3.62% to $32.92 Thursday morning in New York trading.

The bill would continue to allow provinces to grant licenses and generally administer their resources, and stipulates that a cut of new contracts would supply infrastructure needs. But provincial oil companies that now partner in many upstream deals would have to participate as part of a consortium in a competitive bid process, a phaseout of the so-called "carry" model which has been controversial in the market.

The measure would also cap national royalties at 12% through an initial concession, with a maximum of a 3% increase on unlimited 10-year renewals.

The bill allows a number of major carrots for industry: Any company that commits to invest $250 million will be able to sell some of its oil abroad free of export controls and taxes after the third year. That is capped at 20% for unconventionals and 60% for offshore production. The bill would also give a break on restrictions for importing equipment for industry.

Offshore, heavy oil and tertiary recovery projects will also be incentivised with up to a 50% cut in royalties.

It also codifies a provision already seen in the country notably a new gas price of $7.5 per million British thermal units, a move that has already stimulated gas production.

The question of bid rounds - currently done on a province-by-province basis - is left unsettled, but a new model is to be presented within six months to tackle the issue.

The measure would also establish shale concession periods at 35 years, offshore concessions at 30 years and shorten the timeline for exploration to hasten investment.

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ConocoPhillips raises profit by 8% http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382071/ConocoPhillips-raises-profits-by-8 Nigeria sale boosts Q3 earnings for US oil major Bill.Lehane@upstreamonline.com (Bill Lehane) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1382071/ConocoPhillips-raises-profits-by-8 Thu, 30 Oct 2014 11:31:47 +0000 live The Houston-headquartered explorer said that when the Nigeria sale to Oando Energy Resources and other special items were excluded, its adjusted quarterly earnings fell from $1.8 billion to $1.6 billion over the same timeframe.

ConocoPhillips raised production from continuing operations by 4% year-over-year to 1.473 million barrels of oil equivalent per day in the third quarter, excluding Libya and adjusted for downtime.

Third-quarter adjusted earnings per share of $1.29 beat Wall Street expectations of an average of $1.17 per share among analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research, Associated Press reported.

On a nine-month basis, earnings increased 3% to $6.9 billion for New York-listed ConocoPhillips between 1 January and 30 September versus the same period in 2013 as output increased by about 3% to 1.52 million boepd.

Chief executive Ryan Lance said that the explorer's operations were "meeting growth milestones" and said the company was “well-positioned in the current environment to deliver 3% to 5% volume and margin growth with an attractive dividend”.

Lance said first production had been achieved at Canada's Foster Creek Phase F and the UK's Britannia long-term compression project during the quarter, along with and a post-period start for Malaysia's Shell-led Gumusut floating production system in October.

ConocoPhillips’ Eagle Ford and Bakken production increased by a third compared to the third quarter of last year, while the period also saw the Cairn Energy-operated Fan-1 oil discovery off Senegal.

“We recently started production at three major projects, continued to generate strong results from our development activities in the North American unconventionals and completed a series of planned major turnarounds across the portfolio,” Lance said.

Lance said preparations continued for startup at Malaysia's Kebabangan deep-water gas project in the fourth quarter.

He predicted that next year would see strong growth driven by ongoing success in North American unconventionals and startup of several major projects, including Canadian oil sands project Surmont 2 and liquefied natural gas development Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG).

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