www.upstreamonline.com http://www.upstreamonline.com/ www.upstreamonline.com Statoil gets Sverdrup vote http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1385066/Statoil-gets-Sverdrup-vote Partners recommend state-owned company for operator role on giant field off Norway Steve.Marshall@upstreamonline.com (Steve Marshall) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1385066/Statoil-gets-Sverdrup-vote Fri, 28 Nov 2014 13:30:43 +0000 live The newly-minted partner agreement appears to finally eliminate candidate Lundin Petroleum, which had earlier expressed an interest in taking over the baton from present working operator Statoil at a later date.

It also confirms an earlier Upstream report that Swedish player Lundin had conceded operatorship to the Norwegian state-owned giant.

The pact among partners Lundin, Det Norske, Petoro and Maersk Oil will be included in a unit operating agreement to be submitted together with the field development plan to the authorities in February, Statoil said in a statement.

An operational hub for the field will be established in Stavanger, it added.

The co-venturers remain in ongoing talks to hammer out a unitisation agreement to determine their final relative shares in the field that straddles three production licences – 265, 501 and 502.

Investments of between Nkr100 billion and Nkr120 billion are targeted under the first phase of development that will see a four-platform hub installed at the field, which is due online at the end of 2019.

The field, estimated to hold between 1.8 billion and 2.9 billion barrels of oil equivalent, is expected to have a 50-year lifetime and will account for 25% of Norway’s oil production, with targeted plateau output of between 550,000 and 650,000 barrels per day.

Statoil said it intended to work with partners "to secure the best possible utilisation" of resources at the field, where it is aiming for a recovery rate of at least 70% - way above the present average rate off Norway of around 50%.

Total in refinery stake sale to Rosneft http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1385085/Total-in-refinery-stake-sale-to-Rosneft Russian giant upping interest in Germany facility in Schwedt as French player sells out Eoin.Ocinneide@upstreamonline.com (Eoin O'Cinneide) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1385085/Total-in-refinery-stake-sale-to-Rosneft Fri, 28 Nov 2014 15:25:05 +0000 live The French supermajor has agreed a deal to let its 16.67% stake in PCK Raffinerie in Schwedt, Brandenburg go to Moscow-based state player Rosneft.

No value was put on the deal.

The agreement was signed between Rosneft chairman Igor Sechin and Total chief executive Patrick Pouyanne.

“The deal represents a deepening of the energy partnership between Russia and Europe based on the effectiveness of supply of a refinery located along the Druzhba pipeline,” a statement from Rosneft read.

“Total and Rosneft are further agreeing on an off-take agreement to supply Total's retail and wholesale customers securing stable supply to the premium Berlin and surrounding areas, markets and customers supplied by pipeline from the refinery.”

Rosneft already has a stake in the refinery through its 50% ownership in Ruhr Oel (ROG), which controls 37.5%. Anglo-Dutch supermajor Shell is on 16.67%, with Italy’s Eni on 8.33%.

The refinery has primary distillation capacity of 11.5 million tonnes.

Sterling rejigs bond ahead of sales http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1385083/Sterling-rejigs-bond-ahead-of-sales Cash-strapped Calgary explorer gains financing delay as it seeks divestments Bill.Lehane@upstreamonline.com (Bill Lehane) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1385083/Sterling-rejigs-bond-ahead-of-sales Fri, 28 Nov 2014 15:22:38 +0000 live The Calgary-headquartered explorer said that the bondholders had agreed to amendments to allow Sterling Resources to hold onto cash that was due to be put into a restricted account ahead of 30 April’s semi-annual repayment, although the payment itself will not be delayed.

Chief executive Jake Ulrich said the amendments would “put the group on a sound financial footing for the next few months” as it moves ahead with previously announced plans to sell down in Romania, where it holds interests in several blocks in the Black Sea.

Ulrich added that the company was also pursuing asset sales, including potentially a portion of the RWE Dea-operated Breagh field, as it moves toward refinancing the bond next year.

The company said that since April 2013’s signing of the $225 million senior secured bond, the Breagh gas field has seen a delayed production start-up, unexpected shutdowns of the field and onshore gas plant, lower than expected aggregate production from the first six wells, lower than expected UK gas prices, and increased capital expenditures.

However it said it is confident that it can revive output rates by hydraulic stimulation of new and existing wells and that gas prices have recovered from lows seen earlier this year.

It said that Breagh sales gas production for the past two weeks has averaged 148 million cubic feet of sales gas per day, or 44 MMscf/d net to Sterling.

By the end of April, the company aims to have raised the necessary funds to pay the bondholders through asset sales and/or by refinancing the bond, most likely via a bank market reserves-based loan.

Toronto-listed Sterling Resources holds assets in the UK, Romania , France and the Netherlands .

Petronas profit drops in Q3 http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1385039/Petronas-profit-drops-in-Q3 Falling oil prices counter increased output to send bottom line down at Malaysian giant Eoin.Ocinneide@upstreamonline.com (Eoin O'Cinneide) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1385039/Petronas-profit-drops-in-Q3 Fri, 28 Nov 2014 11:51:33 +0000 live The state-controlled player also suffered froma weaker home currency against the US dollar but was cheered by increased flows from some key markets.

Net profit for the three months to the end of September was 15.07 billion ringgit ($4.45 billion) as against 17.19 billion ringgit a year earlier.

Revenues slipped just 1% from 81.41 billion ringgit to 80.37 billion as the slump in oil prices coincided with a weakening of the home currency against the dollar.

The cost of sales also rose from 51.79 billion ringgit to 52.83 billion ringgit.

Total production rose, however, from 2.064 million barrels of oil equivalent per day to 2.078 million boepd.

Petronas recorded increased production from domestic fields as well as Iraq and South Sudan.

Dart Energy defends Welsh drill plans http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1385021/Dart-Energy-defends-Welsh-drill-plans Explorer says CBM borehole will not impact site of historic mining disaster Bill.Lehane@upstreamonline.com (Bill Lehane) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1385021/Dart-Energy-defends-Welsh-drill-plans Fri, 28 Nov 2014 10:12:38 +0000 live Local campaigners are reportedly unhappy about the explorer’s plans to drill an exploratory bore-hole at Borras, Holt near Wrexham because of its proximity to the site of 1934’s Gresford Colliery disaster, according to a report in the UK’s Daily Mirror newspaper.

More than 260 workers died in what was one of the UK’s worst mining disasters, and many of the victims’ remains were never recovered.

Locals view any drilling or hydraulic fracturing near the disaster site as an insult, according to the newspaper.

The explorer said that “the proximity to the disaster site was fully considered by Dart Energy and the relevant authorities at the time of the planning application and it was concluded that there would be no effect on the disaster zone”.

“The borehole is in fact over a kilometre distant from the nearest mined seam and more than 1.5 km from the actual disaster zone,” Dart Energy added.

The explorer also pointed out that mining continued at the site for almost 40 years following the disaster including workings that extended past the location of the accident.

Dart Energy also stressed that there are no plans for hydraulic fracturing at this site.

The company said it plans to drill a vertical borehole to recover a sample of rock after which the well will be sealed with cement and the ground restored to its former agricultural use.

Campaign group Frack Free Wrexham said it fears that Dart Energy will later employ hydraulic fracturing depending on the results of the initial borehole, and has vowed to continue its opposition to the project.

The drill application for the CBM probe was rejected by Wrexham County Borough Council in March even though the council’s planning officer had recommended approval.

However the Planning Inspectorate of Wales overturned the well’s rejection, with planning inspector Clive Nield saying it should be allowed to go ahead as the borehole would have a low-level temporary impact on the site for three to four months and no lasting impact on the landscape.

A protest camp established at the site by campaigners was evicted last week following a legal move by the landowner.

Seven Rio makes a splash http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1385058/Seven-Rio-makes-a-splash Latest Subsea 7 pipelay newbuild is launched at Dutch yard of IHC Merwede Steve.Marshall@upstreamonline.com (Steve Marshall) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1385058/Seven-Rio-makes-a-splash Fri, 28 Nov 2014 13:07:41 +0000 live The 146-metre craft, which has 550-tonne top tension capacity and is equipped with two remote-operated vehicles, is the second of four such flexible pipe installation vessels ordered with the Dutch builder for installation work in Brazilian waters.

The first, Seven Waves, is now working for Petrobras after being delivered from the yard earlier this year, with the quartet all lined up on five-year charters under a $1.6 billion contract with the Brazilian state-owned oil company.

IHC said construction of Seven Rio, which was officially launched at a ceremony on Friday, remains on schedule.

The remaining two vessels, Seven Cruzeiro and Seven Sun, are due for delivery in 2016.

Technip wins Gullfaks subsea contract http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1385000/Technip-wins-Gullfaks-subsea-contract Statoil calls option with French outfit from previous award on Snohvit carbon dioxide solution project Josh.Lewis@upstreamonline.com (Josh Lewis) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1385000/Technip-wins-Gullfaks-subsea-contract Fri, 28 Nov 2014 06:57:09 +0000 live Technip did not reveal the financial details of the deal in Friday's announcement saying only that it was an "important" contract. For Technip, an “important” subsea contract ranges from €50 million to €100 million ($62.3 million to $124.5 million).

The lumpsum contract covers the subsea tie-back to a new Wye piece - a connection between two pipelines which allows pigging to be performed from either of the pipelines - on an existing pipeline close to the Gullfaks A platform.

Technip will fabricate and install two sections of pipe-in-pipe, measuring a total 9.5 kilometres, with a production flowline.

It will also install and tie-in three spools and an 8.5 kilometre umbilical, along with a 280-tonne template and 110-tonne manifold.

Technip's operating centre in Oslo, Norway, will carry out the project, with the company to utilise vessels from its own fleet to install the template next year.

The flowline will be welded at Technip’s spoolbase in Orkanger, Norway, while the installation will be carried out using the Apache-2 pipelay vessel in the first half of 2016.

Technip said it would use other vessels from within its fleet to install the associated manifold, spools, umbilical and other subsea equipment.

Technip said the award was an option from the subsea contract it was awarded by Statoil last year on its Snohvit carbon dioxide solution project off Norway.

The latest contract is part of the Gullfaks Rimfaksdalen gas project which involves the subsea tie-back of the Rutil and Opdal subsea gas finds in Rimfaksdalen to Gullfaks.

First gas from the project is planned for the second half of 2016.

Huntington 'to restart' http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1385051/Huntington-to-restart UK oilfield set to be rebooted after prolonged output shutdown: partner Steve.Marshall@upstreamonline.com (Steve Marshall) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1385051/Huntington-to-restart Fri, 28 Nov 2014 12:32:38 +0000 live Production was halted for planned maintenance at the E.ON E&P-operated field on 1 November, although output had also been cut the previous month due to a technical issue with BP’s Central Area Transmission System that hit gas exports.

The field was previously due to be rebooted on 5 December following the latest in a series of outages caused by technical gremlins as well as weather-related issues since it was brought online last year.

Huntington produced at a rate of only 5500 boepd in October, far short of the targeted plateau rate of more than 30,000 boepd.

The German operator has cut its production projections for Huntington, which has led partner Noreco to write down the value of field reserves, while also writing off the associated Fulmar discovery.

Premier said though it had never attributed any value to the peripheral find and its view of the field’s reserves remains unchanged.

The field, produced using the Voyageur Spirit floating production, storage and offloading vessel, is operated by E.ON with a 25% interest, with partners Premier (40%) Noreco (20%) and Iona Energy (15%).

Rivals face off for Bonga SW http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1385002/Rivals-face-off-for-Bonga-SW Contractor giants sent bid documents by Shell as they fight for huge floater contract Eoin.Ocinneide@upstreamonline.com (Eoin O'Cinneide) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1385002/Rivals-face-off-for-Bonga-SW Fri, 28 Nov 2014 08:03:13 +0000 live Read the full story in Friday's issue of Upstream.

SeaBird plunges into the red http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1385005/SeaBird-plunges-into-the-red Third-quarter loss due to weak market worsens financial woe for Norwegian seismic contractor Steve.Marshall@upstreamonline.com (Steve Marshall) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1385005/SeaBird-plunges-into-the-red Fri, 28 Nov 2014 08:26:53 +0000 live Overall revenue plunged 55% year on year to $22.7 million - despite an increase in multi-client takings - on significantly lower vessel utilisation of 65% versus 86% a year earlier.

As a result, a year-ago operating profit of $6.7 million was reversed to an $11.1 million loss in the latest quarter to leave SeaBird with a net loss of $20.2 million compared with a $4 million profit in the same period of 2013.

The negative result is putting an increased strain on the balance sheet of the Oslo-listed company, which currently has net interest-bearing debts totalling $92.9 million and failed to meet a repayment deadline on a $14.9 million loan with lender Perestroika due in September.

SeaBird is also in breach of covenants on another bond agreement for an $81.9 million loan due in December 2015 and remains in dialogue with shareholders and bondholders for a financial restructuring to avoid possible bankruptcy, with trading in its shares suspended.

The company’s financial woes have been compounded by a weaker global seismic market, which has been hit by oil company cutbacks in exploration spending and falling oil prices, and it warned its predicament could also delay new contract awards.

"Given the challenging market situation, the company is actively looking at savings initiatives to reduce the company's cost level. As part of this effort, we are also reviewing the lay-up of vessels until market demand recovers,” SeaBird said in its results statement.

An excess of 2D and 3D vessels working in its key markets has further increased the pressure on the company’s margins.

Indicative of the market situation, SeaBird extended the charter for one of its 3D vessels, Voyager Explorer, at a reduced dayrate of only $13,200.

The company is also cutting staff and shutting its Dubai office, while consolidating its administrative functions in the Oslo office, as it targets annual cost savings of $10 million.

However, SeaBird continues to win new contracts that have boosted its backlog to $264 million, including deals likely to be awarded, from $147 million at the end of the previous quarter.

Losses mount for Noreco http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1385012/Losses-mount-for-Noreco Norwegian independent drowning in red ink as third-quarter results hit by impairments Steve.Marshall@upstreamonline.com (Steve Marshall) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1385012/Losses-mount-for-Noreco Fri, 28 Nov 2014 09:54:58 +0000 live The net loss – almost double the Nkr569.4 million reversal recorded a year earlier - largely resulted from after-tax impairments totalling Nkr971 million that included Nkr614 in write-downs on the E.ON E&P-operated Huntington field off the UK in which Noreco is a partner.

The latter figure was less than the Nkr700 million estimated write-down for Huntington previously communicated by the company.

The company also wrote off the value of the field’s Fulmar discovery by Nkr228 million and recorded respective after-tax write-downs of Nkr 103 million and Nkr26 million on its Oselvar field off Norway and Cecilie and Nini fields off Denmark.

Noreco has been forced to write down the value of Huntington due to a reduced production profile for the field, which has been hit by a series of outages since start-up last year and is presently shut in, while booked reserves for Oselvar have been slashed by 75% due to lower in-place volumes.

Higher quarterly revenue of Nkr296 million, versus Nkr177 million a year ago, was offset by significantly higher production, exploration and evaluation costs totalling Nkr806 million.

The company reported an operating loss before depreciation and write-downs of Nkr556.4 million in the quarter, compared with a loss of Nkr284.5 million a year earlier, while cash flow from operations was slashed to Nkr15.4 million from Nkr79 million in the same period of 2013.

Noreco, which is laden with interest-bearing debt of nearly Nkr3.2 billion, reiterated that it is unlikely to be able to comply with cash covenants towards year-end and through 2015.

The company is in talks with bondholders to secure a loan waiver as well as with other stakeholders for a possible financial restructuring amid an ongoing strategic review that could result in asset sales.

“While a wide range of solutions continue to be evaluated, the company has concluded that a deferral of bond instalments due on 9 December is required to give the company time to explore all possible alternatives,” it stated.

The company, now led by newly appointed chief executive Tommy Sundt after a top management switch, added it has a “constructive dialogue” with bondholders, creditors and shareholders.

Plexus wins work on Det Norske well http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1385004/Plexus-wins-work-on-Det-Norske-well London-listed player to supply equipment services for appraisal well on the Iva Aasen development Josh.Lewis@upstreamonline.com (Josh Lewis) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1385004/Plexus-wins-work-on-Det-Norske-well Fri, 28 Nov 2014 08:53:14 +0000 live Engineering service provider Plexus has landed a contract from Norway's Det Norske Oljeselskap to supply surface wellhead and mudline equipment services for an appraisal well on the Ivar Aasen development project, off Norway.

Under the purchase order, Plexus will provide Det Norske with an 18.75-inch high pressure/high temperature adjustable surfacer wellhead and mudline system.

Det Norske had already selected Plexus to supply equipment for the Geopilot-1 well, with both appraisal wells to be drilled using the newbuild jack-up Maersk Interceptor.

The purpose of the wells is to determine a possible extension of the gas zone at the field as well as examine reservoir properties and gather geological data.

Det Norske operates the Ivar Aasen field with a 34.8% stake and is partnered by Statoil (41.5%), Bayerngas (12.3%), Wintershall (6.5%), VNG (3%), Lundin Petroleum (1.4%) and OMV (0.5%).

Dolphin nets new award http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/article1385006.ece Norwegian seismic player wins 3D survey contract off West Africa Steve.Marshall@upstreamonline.com (Steve Marshall) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/article1385006.ece Fri, 28 Nov 2014 08:44:55 +0000 live The Oslo-listed player said work on the expected 40-day contract would get under way in the first quarter of 2015. No value was disclosed for the deal.

The latest award further improves contract coverage for the company next year as it diversifies its fleet globally to defy a downturn in the seismic market.

TTS cuts staff http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1385022/TTS-cuts-staff Offshore crane supplier to shed workers in Bergen and Shanghai due to market slump Steve.Marshall@upstreamonline.com (Steve Marshall) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1385022/TTS-cuts-staff Fri, 28 Nov 2014 10:11:10 +0000 live The cutbacks will result in between 40 and 60 redundancies at its operations in Bergen and Shanghai, the Oslo-listed company said in a statement.

TTS said the “workforce reduction is a cost and capacity adjustment to the current offshore market situation” but is expected to improve profitability in the first half of 2015.

Rey to take over Blackreef's Derby stake http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384989/Rey-to-take-over-Blackreefs-Derby-stake Agreement signed for 50% disputed interest in onshore Canning basin block Josh.Lewis@upstreamonline.com (Josh Lewis) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384989/Rey-to-take-over-Blackreefs-Derby-stake Fri, 28 Nov 2014 01:04:28 +0000 live Under the deal, Rey will take over Backreef's 50% share in the Derby Block, formally known as EP487, by either paying A$2 million (US$1.7 million) on the grant of a production licence, or a 2% royalty on future production.

The 50% stake is currently at the centre of a dispute between Oil Basins, which holds the other 50% share, and Backreef over certain unpaid cash calls.

Rey said its agreement with Backreef was subject to the conclusion of ongoing hearings in the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) of Western Australia where Oil Basins is currently seeking to have Backreef’s grant of title in EP487 by the WA Government overturned.

A resolution to that dispute is expected in January next year, according to Rey.

The deal is also subject to the termination or expiration of existing agreements to sell the Derby Block to third parties.

Rey said it would also assume the conduct of, and bear the costs of, the SAT proceedings and outstanding legal claims on Backreef by Oil Basins in the WA District Court and Magistrates Court in connection with the expenses incurred on management of the Derby Block to date.

However, it will also have the ability to terminate the agreement and be relieved from any obligation to conduct and bear the costs of the proceedings at any time by giving Blackreef 14 days notice.

The Derby block covers about 5000 square kilometres in the north-west margin of the Fitzroy trough and Oil Basins has previously stated the acreage was highly prospective for unconventional shale gas in the Laurel formation.

Pembina to expand Alberta facility http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384999/Pembina-to-expand-Alberta-facility New gas processing plant will expand capacity at its Cutbank complex by 100 MMcfd Josh.Lewis@upstreamonline.com (Josh Lewis) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384999/Pembina-to-expand-Alberta-facility Fri, 28 Nov 2014 04:42:21 +0000 live Pembina said the C$105 million (US$92.5 million) facility would boost the capacity at Musreau, which is part of its Cutbank complex, by 100 million cubic feet per day.

The new plant, to be named Musreau III, will include a 100 MMcfd shallow cut facility which will be built adjacent to the company's existing Musreau facility and its nearly complete Musreau II facility.

The company said it expected the new facility to have liquids extraction capacity of about 3000 barrels per day.

Pembina's senior vice president for natural gas liquids and natural gas facilities, Stuart Taylor, said the areas surrounding its existing gas processing facilities at Musreau continued to be a focus for the company's customers producing liquids-rich natural gas.

"Musreau III allows for additional processing and Pembina's customers benefit from our ability to provide an integrated service offering including pipeline transportation and fractionation services,” he said.

“Musreau III will leverage the engineering and design work for our Musreau I and Musreau II facilities and will use the same pipeline lateral to access our Peace pipeline system.”

Pembina said the construction of Musreau III was underpinned by long-term take-or-pay agreements with several area producers.

The company expects to bring the new facility on-stream in mid-2016.

Once Musreau III is complete, the Cutbank complex will have roughly 570 MMcfd of shallow cut processing capacity, 205 MMcfd of deep cut processing capacity and will produce about 25,000 bpd of liquids for transportation on Pembina's conventional pipelines.

Oil prices continue to fall http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384996/Oil-continues-to-fall-in-wake-of-Opec-meeting Rosneft's Igor Sechin warns prices could continue to fall to as low as $60 Josh.Lewis@upstreamonline.com (Josh Lewis) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384996/Oil-continues-to-fall-in-wake-of-Opec-meeting Fri, 28 Nov 2014 03:28:18 +0000 live Opec's decision, which came after Saudi Arabia blocked calls from poorer members of the group to cut, led to a rout in oil prices on Thursday.

"The move aligns with Saudi Arabia's stance to allow the oil market to stabilise itself and be driven by supply and demand fundamentals," ANZ analysts said in a note on Friday.

Brent crude had fallen 13 cents to $72.33 a barrel early on Friday after plummeting $5.17 to close the previous session at $72.58. Earlier on Thursday, it touched its weakest since July 2010 at $71.25.

The crude benchmark is headed for its steepest monthly decline since November 2008, after falling more than 15% this month.

Brent has lost more than 37% since June when it hit $115.71 a barrel, hurt as increasing shale production in North America created an oil glut amid sluggish global economic growth.

US crude for January delivery plunged $4.86 to $68.83 a barrel, after dropping to its lowest since May 2010 at $67.75 in early Asian trade. US markets were shut on Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.

US crude has shed almost 15% in November, its biggest monthly drop since May 2012.

Opec's decision marked a "watershed" for oil markets,Barclays analysts said in a note.

"In keeping the production target at 30 million barrels per day, Opec is clearly signalling that it will no longer bear the burden of market adjustment alone and this decision puts the onus on other producers, especially US tight oil to adjust as well," they said.

Russia's most powerful oil official Igor Sechin said oil prices could fall to $60 or below by the end of the first half of next year and that Russia had the potential to cut between 200,000 and 300,000 barrels a day of production if prices remained low.

Responding to Opec's decision, Venezuela president Nicolas Maduro said the country would keep campaigning until oil prices rebounded to $100 per barrel.

A further blow to global oil demand could come on Monday when China releases official Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) date for November which could show slower growth, according to a Reuters poll.

Rosneft jack-up deal in doubt http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384995/Rosneft-jack-up-deal-in-doubt Contract to charter Northern Offshore-owned jack-up Energy Endeavour pushed back Josh.Lewis@upstreamonline.com (Josh Lewis) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384995/Rosneft-jack-up-deal-in-doubt Fri, 28 Nov 2014 02:48:09 +0000 live Northern said, in conjunction with its partners Atlantic Drilling and Seadrill, it had agreed to delay the contract until the end of May next year.

“While Northern and partners remain committed to the transaction, Northern will market the Endeavour to other clients following its current contract in the Netherlands, subject to availability in the event the transaction is not finally consummated,” Northern said in a statement on Thursday.

The 2.5-year contract for the jack-up was originally signed in July this year, however the deal has been questioned due to economic sanctions imposed on Russia by the European Union.

Northern chief executive Gary Casswell has previously stated the company's legal advisors believed the contract would be grandfathered from the imposition of EU sanctions since it was signed prior to the 1 August.


DSIC Offshore targeting deal for semisub tender http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384993/DSIC-Offshore-targeting-deal-for-semisub-tender Chinese yard in talks with Singapore’s Upstream Drilling (News Wires) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384993/DSIC-Offshore-targeting-deal-for-semisub-tender Fri, 28 Nov 2014 02:01:15 +0000 live For more, read this week's edition of Upstream Newspaper.

Quest to farm-in to Alberta oil sands http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384991/Quest-to-farm-in-to-Alberta-oil-sands Deal signed with First Nations-owned company to gain up to a 50% share in Cold Lake project Josh.Lewis@upstreamonline.com (Josh Lewis) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384991/Quest-to-farm-in-to-Alberta-oil-sands Fri, 28 Nov 2014 01:46:31 +0000 live Quest will initially fund four vertical well re-entries to earn a 50% stake in the wells and four corresponding 640-acre sections of land.

Under the second phase of the farm-in deal, Quest will fund the drilling of 13 conventional vertical wells to earn a 50% stake in those wells and the corresponding 640-acre sections of land.

Finally it can elect to jointly fund a multi-horizontal well production development programme over the entire project area, on a 50:50 basis with Keyano, to earn a 50% interest in each well and corresponding section of land, which could see it gain a maximum position of about 41,000 net acres of the 82,290-acre project area.

Quest said the project presented an exclusive opportunity for it to partner a Cree First Nations exploration and production company which holds a large scale, multi target, drill-ready land position in a significant oil and gas producing location in Alberta.

It added that as the oil and gas rights were owned by the First Nations people, who in turn own Keyano, approvals and consents for the proposed activities were assured, including access to significant infrastructure across the project area.

Keyano also controls the project area and mineral rights meaning the proposed partnership between the two companies will not be subject to short term lease constraints and pressures that are normally associated with North American development projects, which Quest said would allow the pair to focus on a long term mutually beneficial partnership.

Venezuela to keep pushing to reverse oil decline http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384994/Venezuela-to-keep-pushing-to-reverse-oil-decline South American country to keep campaigning until oil prices return to $100 a barrel Josh.Lewis@upstreamonline.com (Josh Lewis) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384994/Venezuela-to-keep-pushing-to-reverse-oil-decline Fri, 28 Nov 2014 02:18:53 +0000 live Saudi Arabia blocked calls from poorer members of the Opec oil exporter group for production cuts to arrest a slide in global prices, sending benchmark crude plunging to a fresh four-year low of about $71.25.

The decision is a blow to Venezuela's flailing economy, widely believed to be in recession, and also highlights the country's diminished influence in Opec, which it helped found, Reuters reported.

But Maduro said the country with the world's largest crude reserves was undeterred.

"We didn't achieve it for now, but we will and we will keep trying until oil prices are where they're meant to be, around $100 per barrel," he said at a military event, estimating the oil price slump had curbed Venezuela's revenues by up to 40%.

The country has an upward battle to win over the wealthy Gulf states that have made clear they are ready to ride out the weak prices.

The prospect of continued low oil prices, however, is disastrous for Venezuela, which is grappling to pay debt arrears to private companies ranging from airlines to oil partners, finance expensive social programmes, and make major bond payments.

Earlier on Thursday, Venezuela's Foreign Minister and top Opec representative Rafael Ramirez vowed to maintain contact with Opec and non-Opec countries to monitor markets.

"We have agreed to work toward (price) stability and work to maintain contact with non-Opec countries, which is very important," he said in an interview with Latin American regional television station Telesur from Vienna, referring to conversations with oil producers Mexico and Russia that are not part of the group.

But Ramirez's comments were a far cry from the interview he gave Telesur earlier this month from Iran, one of several stops on his unsuccessful global tour to shore up support for an Opec cut.

Then a confident looking Ramirez, who until September was the country's oil minister and head of state oil company PDVSA, told Venezuelans a consensus for an output cut was in the works.

"The issue isn't even the reduction but rather how much," he had said.


Opec shuns output cut http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384960/Opec-shuns-output-cut Organisation maintains production level despite concern over 'rapid decline' in oil price Eoin.Ocinneide@upstreamonline.com (Eoin O'Cinneide) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384960/Opec-shuns-output-cut Thu, 27 Nov 2014 15:44:09 +0000 live The 12-member organisation will keep its collective production level at 30 million barrels per day of oil, it said after a meeting in Vienna, Austria.

Thursday's conference considered supply and demand projections for each of next year's quarters, in particular focusing on the first half.

"The conference also considered forecasts for the world economic outlook and noted that the global economic recovery was continuing, albeit very slowly and unevenly spread, with growth forecast at 3.2% for 2014 and 3.6% for 2015," a statement read.

"Recording its concern over the rapid decline in oil prices in recent months, the conference concurred that stable oil prices – at a level which did not affect global economic growth but which, at the same time, allowed producers to receive a decent income and to invest to meet future demand – were vital for world economic wellbeing.

"Accordingly, in the interest of restoring market equilibrium, the conference decided to maintain the production level of 30 million bpd as was agreed in December 2011."

It added, however, that member nations are ready "to respond to developments which could have an adverse impact on the maintenance of an orderly and balanced oil market".

"Agreeing on the need to be vigilant given the uncertainties and risks associated with future developments in the world economy, the conference directed the secretariat to continue its close monitoring of developments in supply and demand, as well as non-fundamental factors such as speculative activity."

Oil prices had sunk on Thursday on anticipation of no output cut from Opec. By 1630 GMT both Brent and WTI were trading down by more than $3, with Brent under $75 and WTI just above $70.

Opec resolved to meet next on 5 June in Vienna.

The body also elected Nigerian Petroleum Resources Minister Diezani Alison-Madueke as president of the conference from 1 January, taking over from Libya’s Vice Prime Minister for Corporations, Abdourhman Atanher Al-Ahirish.

Qatari Minister of Energy Mohammed Bin Saleh Al Sada was elected alternate president, with Venezuela's Opec governor Bernard Mommer appointed chairman of the board of governors and Algerian counterpart Ahmed Messili named alternate chairman, all also from 1 January.

Earlier on Thursday, an analyst note from Rystad Energy said that a cut to 29 million bpd would be needed to see a rise in oil prices in 2015.

SBM breaks silence on Brazil http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384912/SBM-breaks-silence-on-Brazil Floater player finally speaks on reports of alleged graft but largely fails to clarify situation Eoin.Ocinneide@upstreamonline.com (Eoin O'Cinneide) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384912/SBM-breaks-silence-on-Brazil Thu, 27 Nov 2014 12:13:22 +0000 live The floater giant was in mid-November accused of bribing a Petrobras official by none other than the chief executive of the state-controlled oil company, Maria das Gracas Foster.

SBM released a wordy statement on Thursday in relation to press reports in recent weeks linking it with allegations of corruption in Brazil.

Although the contractor reiterated its stance from April when an internal investigation raised "certain red flags in Brazil" but "did not find credible evidence that (it) or its agent made improper payments to Brazilian government officials," SBM failed to address the issue of alleged historical payments of bribes to a Petrobras employee to try to secure offshore contracts.

Gracas Foster told reporters at a press conference in Rio de Janeiro earlier this month: "SBM sent us a letter months ago saying it found evidence of briberies payed to an undisclosed Petrobras employee, which triggered our immediate decision to exclude the company from upcoming tenders.

"Despite our best efforts to locate this employee, SBM did not disclose who that person is and how much money was paid.

"SBM will remain unable to participate in our tenders until that information is disclosed."

SBM has failed to respond to questions from Upstream on the allegation raised by Gracas Foster.

The contractor's statement on Thursday continued: "As far as SBM Offshore is aware, Brazil is the only country in which investigations are currently ongoing that include the company.

"The company has read in the press about formal investigative proceedings instituted against it but has not received any notification thereof.

"It is in discussion with authorities in Brazil in order to find an expeditious conclusion of any issue involving the company."

SBM admitted "it does not know what else may surface from investigations still under way" but vowed not to comment on individual media reports, "even when factual interpretations are given with which the company disagrees".

"Given what the company has done since 2012 to improve its compliance, SBM Offshore feels strongly there should be no impediment for it to resume its bidding activities in Brazil as soon as possible," it said on its current barring from Petrobras tenders.

"The company will do what is necessary to preserve its reputation," adding "there can be no doubt about (its) commitment to Brazil".

Opec seeks 'stability and balance' http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384947/Opec-seeks-stability-and-balance Market awaits decision on output from Vienna meeting as oil price continues to lag Eoin.Ocinneide@upstreamonline.com (Eoin O'Cinneide) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384947/Opec-seeks-stability-and-balance Thu, 27 Nov 2014 14:06:51 +0000 live The 12-member body is currently producing 600,000 bpd above its collective output target of 30 million bpd, according to Bjornar Tonhaugen, vice president for oil and gas markets at industry analyst firm Rystad Energy.

“If there is no change in the output target, it could indicate a paradigm shift,” Tonhaugen wrote on the day of the 166 meeting of Opec in Vienna.

“Market forces would work to restore oil market balance for the first time in decades. Prices will likely continue to slide next year as the market realises that the price level where US shale production growth stops is lower than $60 per barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude.”

Brent fell under $76 per barrel on Thursday as traders speculated Opec was unlikely to chop its target.

Tonhaugen continued: “Opec faces a dilemma. A voluntary cut in supply will support oil prices and likely improve member countries’ revenue. However, it will also ensure strong growth from US shale drillers and other competing producers while reducing Opec’s market share in the medium term.”

The analyst’s note continued: “If Opec reduces the output target to 29.5 million bpd or less, the market will likely stabilise but only if it is followed by immediate signs of actual output cuts.

“An implied cut of 1.1 million bpd from current production levels, would be seen as a compromise. Helped by non-Opec producers market balance should be restored but not create much upwards pressure on prices.”

However, Tonhaugen continued: “A cut to 29 million bpd would be needed to send prices higher next year.”

Opening the Opec conference on Thursday, Opec president and Libya’s Vice Prime Minister for Corporations Abdourhman Atanher Al-Ahirish said: “A careful look at the current situation suggests the recent fall in (oil) prices may not be exclusively attributed to oil market fundamentals.

“Ample supply, moderate demand, a stronger US dollar and uncertainties about global economic growth have been key factors in this recent price trend. In addition, as Opec has noted in the past, the impact of speculative activity in the oil market has also been an important factor.”

The president continued: “The recent price developments are a sign that the oil market is currently searching for stability and balance. At today’s meeting, Opec will consider these issues – and discuss the market outlook for 2015.

“As always, our deliberations will be focused on contributing towards stability in the market. This is what most benefits global economic growth – and it is what matters most to all stakeholders, producers and consumers alike.”

Lukoil profit sinks by 47% http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384911/Lukoil-profit-sinks-by-47 Russian explorer and Iraqi oil minister agree West Qurna 2 can withstand oil price falls Bill.Lehane@upstreamonline.com (Bill Lehane) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384911/Lukoil-profit-sinks-by-47 Thu, 27 Nov 2014 11:29:01 +0000 live The Moscow-headquartered independent netted $1.62 billion during the quarter compared to $3.09 billion in the same period of 2013 even though revenues rose by around 6% over the same timeframe to $39.02 billion.

Currency effects swung from a $57 million gain in the third quarter of last year to a $347 million loss this year as the Russian rouble sharply declined in value against the dollar.

A US dollar cost an average of 36.19 roubles during the third quarter, up 10% from 32.8 roubles in the year-ago period, the company said.

Depreciation costs jumped from $1.54 billion to $2.78 billion while dry hole and other exploration expenses rose from $65 million to $207 million.

The explorer said it recognised $185 million worth of a $347 million write-off on West African exploration during the third quarter.

The Russian explorer noted the imposition of US and EU sanctions preventing Western companies from dealing with it in Arctic offshore and shale exploration projects, but was largely silent on their impact.

“The company considers these sanctions in its activities, continuously monitors them and analyses the effect of the sanctions on the company’s financial position and results of operations,” Lukoil said.

For the first nine months of 2014, net income slid to $5.76 billion from $7.79 billion during the equivalent period of last year despite a 7% rise in revenues to $112.9 billion.

Nine-month ebidta rose 5.9% to $15.47 billion, Lukoil said.

Overall production rose by 4.6% year-on-year to 2.29 million barrels of oil equivalent per day for the first nine months of the year thanks chiefly to rising output from Iraqi giant oilfield West Qurna 2.

Lukoil said it also lifted domestic oil and gas production by 1.3% thanks to output rises in the Timan-Pechora (+4.3%), Ural (+4.9%) and Volga regions (+16.5%).

Meanwhile it has emerged that Lukoil chief executive Vagit Alekperov and the Iraqi Oil Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi held talks in Vienna on the eve of today’s Opec meeting in the Austrian capital.

A source close to the Oil Ministry of Iraq said “the parties discussed the future development of the West Qurna-2 project, noting that the economy of the project allows it to resist a temporary slump in oil prices”.

Lukoil is expected to continue gaining buy-back oil throughout next year to recover costs on its investment in the first phase of more than $5 billion, the source said.

The duo also discussed the possibilities of Lukoil expanding elsewhere in Iraq, another source familiar with the negotiations said.

Sarqala flagged for first oil http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384948/Sarqala-flagged-for-first-oil WesternZagros aims to bring online Kurdistan discovery in early 2015 as plan approval expected shortly Steve.Marshall@upstreamonline.com (Steve Marshall) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384948/Sarqala-flagged-for-first-oil Thu, 27 Nov 2014 14:15:15 +0000 live The pair’s development plan for the Garmian block that hosts the oil find is expected to be approved by the authorities of the semi-autonomous region by year-end, the Alberta-based company said in a statement.

Chief executive Simon Hatfield said near-term production from the Sarqala-1 discovery well is expected to start in early 2015 under the three-phase development plan that envisages eventual output from the field of 25,000 to 35,000 barrels per day.

It follows a recent successful workover to boost the flow capacity of the well that yielded a flow rate of 11,500 bpd of 40-degree API oil, compared with 5000 bpd after the discovery was made in 2011.

The rig that performed the workover is currently testing the Hasira-1 light oil discovery well that could be tied into the existing Garmian production facility, contingent on the results of the tests that are expected within the next few months.

Hatfield said the joint venture is now looking to boost processing capability for the field to 15,000 bpd, up from the present level of 10,000 bpd, as part of the push for early oil production.

A new production facility that could handle up to 35,000 bpd is also earmarked for construction under a later phase in 2016.

The partners have recently booked the first reserves from contingent resources at the field, which now has proven and probable reserves of 12 million barrels of light oil.

The company’s 5 million-barrel share of these reserves, based on its 40% working interest, is estimated to be worth $75 million.

However, Western Zagros said the reserves figure represents only “a small portion” of the discovery’s resource potential and believes the block could ultimately support output of up to 50,000 bpd.

Kurdistan’s new independent pipeline to the Turkish port of Ceyhan is currently pumping a reported 300,000 bpd - expected to increase to 500,000 bpd by year-end – after a recent interim pact on exports between the regional government and federal regime, according to Hatfield.

WesternZagros aims to either sell produced oil from its operated Garmian block to the domestic market or export it via the pipeline.

The company stated meanwhile the Kurdish authorities have requested revisions to the development plan for the Kurdamir block, in which it is a partner, submitted earlier this year by operator Talisman Energy.

As a result, the pair have postponed further drilling on the block, where the Kurdamir discovery is estimated to hold as much as 1.3 billion barrels in prospective oil resources.

Circle Group acquires WellPartner http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384949/Circle-Group-acquires-WellPartner HitecVision-backed oilfield services vehicle buys subsea specialist Bill.Lehane@upstreamonline.com (Bill Lehane) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384949/Circle-Group-acquires-WellPartner Thu, 27 Nov 2014 14:23:43 +0000 live Circle Group chief executive Rolf Leknes said that WellPartner was a “highly suitable acquisition”to begin the startup’s plans to invest in a portfolio of  oilfield service companies within the drilling, well construction and completion segments.

WellPartner chief executive Arvid Qvanvik said the tie-up would enable the company to broaden its portfolio and enhance competitiveness through “the combination of our current market position together with the industrial experience and financial strength represented by our new owners”.

Stavanger-headquartered WellPartner offers services and products to the drilling, intervention and well completion segments, specialising in subsea field developments on the Norwegian continental shelf.

It employs 50 staff with estimated revenues for 2014 of around Nkr 140 million ($20.35 million).

Taipan gains nod in Kenya legal row http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384920/Taipan-gains-nod-in-Kenya-legal-row Explorer allowed to prepare well site ahead of court decision on legal injunction Bill.Lehane@upstreamonline.com (Bill Lehane) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384920/Taipan-gains-nod-in-Kenya-legal-row Thu, 27 Nov 2014 12:36:42 +0000 live The Toronto-listed company said that its wholly-owned Lion Petroleum subsidiary succeeded in its bid to vary the terms of the injunction that was slapped on the exploration plans by Kenya’s High Court earlier this month for undisclosed reasons.

Taipan said the court has agreed to allow it continue preparations for drilling at the Badada-1 wellsite at Bock 2B in north-east Kenya, where it has been planning a 70-day drill to target a Tertiary oil prospect.

It also said the county government of Wajir has been allowed by the court to join Taipan’s petition in the row as interested party alongside partner Premier Oil and Kenya's energy ministry, attorney general and department of lands.

Taipan said that the case is to be heard on a consolidated basis on 10 December, at which hearing the explorer said it and its partners “remain confident that the remaining petitions will be over-ruled at the next court hearing and will remain on schedule to spud the Badada-1 well in early January”.

Taipan holds a 30% operating interest in the 5464 square-kilometre Block 2B, with Premier Oil on 55% and Tower Resources on 15%.

Lund pay deal 'falls foul' of Whitehall http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384775/Lund-pay-deal-falls-foul-of-Whitehall UK business minister rallies BG shareholders to vote against 'excessive' share award for new CEO: reports Steve.Marshall@upstreamonline.com (Steve Marshall) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384775/Lund-pay-deal-falls-foul-of-Whitehall Thu, 27 Nov 2014 08:57:00 +0000 live Former Statoil chief Lund has been lured to the British player with a total remuneration package estimated to be worth a potential £29 million ($46 million) - including a £14 million annual salary and £12 million share award - that would make him one of the best-paid company bosses in Europe.

Shareholder opposition is mounting to the controversial deal ahead of an extraordinary general meeting being held on 15 December to approve the share award, which exceeds BG’s existing remuneration guidelines agreed in May and effective for the next three years.

Cable has now publicly stated his objection to the deal, having led the introduction of UK regulations requiring a binding vote from companies on future pay levels of executives

Earlier this year, shareholders in UK engineering player Kentz voted down a remuneration policy in the first revolt of its kind under the new rules.

“This is a case where investors, who include you and me, have got to exercise responsibility,” the minister told London publication the Evening Standard.

“We have given shareholders the power to vote this kind of excessive pay down and they have got to use it.”

Four of the company’s top 15 institutional investors have threatened to vote against the proposed award, warning BG is facing one of the biggest shareholder revolts against executive pay in UK corporate history, the Financial Times reported.

Investors representing about 25% of its stock are either preparing to oppose the deal or have been advised to vote against it, and the company is scrambling to secure the necessary shareholder support.

One big investor, L&G Investment Management, with a 3% shareholding, expressed fears the pay package would set an unwelcome precedent in the light of BG’s current pay policy.

Announcing Lund’s appointment last month, BG stated that he is not obliged to join the company if the share award is not approved.

Lund’s potential annual salary of £14 million would be 10 times that which he earned at Statoil, a company with revenue five times that of BG.

He would be paid a basic annual salary of £1.5 million, receive a short-term bonus of 100% to 200% of his salary, and gain annual payments under a long-term incentive plan of six times his annual salary.

Lund could reportedly end up raking in £84 million by 2020 if he hits performance targets and earns his full pay and bonuses.

Some shareholders said Lund’s basic salary should be more closely tied to potential performance, with one smaller investor saying the lack of clarity on performance conditions was “egregious”.

ISS, which represents about 20% of the UK stock market as an advisor on shareholder votes, has called on BG investors to reject the package.

“The performance conditions are not disclosed and have not been designed to be challenging,” it stated.

The UK’s Institute of Directors (IoD) has also thrown its weight behind the campaign to scupper the deal, dubbing it “excessive, inflammatory and contrary to the principles of good corporate governance”.

The IoD’s Simon Walker claimed the deal was “astronomical” and suggested it could also be an issue in the country’s upcoming general election next year, saying “it’s a red rag to anti-capitalists”.

It also came in for criticism from the opposition Labour party’s shadow energy and climate change secretary Caroline Flint who said: “Hard-pressed families and pensioners struggling to pay their gas and electricity bills are sick and tired of these bumper payouts when year after year all they see are higher bills and worse customer service.”

However, other shareholders claimed the package was appropriate given the scale of the task facing Lund to turn around the lagging fortunes of BG and restore confidence in its shares.

The company has defended the deal with Lund, saying “his remuneration is competitive in the international oil and gas industry” and is “in line with the letter and spirit of corporate governance legislation”.

BG specified in a recent circular to shareholders the award of shares to be vested over a seven-year period would be tied to Lund’s performance in areas such as safety and strategy.

Statoil keeps Tune alive http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384956/Statoil-keeps-Tune-alive Norwegian operator gains life extension for subsea field in North Sea Steve.Marshall@upstreamonline.com (Steve Marshall) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384956/Statoil-keeps-Tune-alive Thu, 27 Nov 2014 15:29:45 +0000 live The southern North Sea gas condensate field started producing in 2002 as a tieback to the Oseberg field centre, with the Tune South satellite discovery subsequently brought on stream.

The field’s risers and pipelines originally had a design life of 12 years.

However, state-owned operator Statoil has been granted consent to use the subsea facilities, pipelines and control cables at the field until November 2020.

Delek advances plans for UK listing http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384901/Delek-advances-plans-for-UK-listing Israeli conglomerate London-bound in its drive to focus on upstream Bill.Lehane@upstreamonline.com (Bill Lehane) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1384901/Delek-advances-plans-for-UK-listing Thu, 27 Nov 2014 10:09:40 +0000 live Delek Group chief executive Asaf Bartfeld said “a UK listing will allow increased exposure to the group's energy activities to a large and diverse international investors’ base, and is a step in our long-term goal of becoming a leading international energy company”.

The company will also retain its listing on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

Delek is selling off a number of non-energy related businesses to focus on becoming an integrated energy player with upstream projects like the large-scale offshore gas finds Tamar and Leviathan as well as Israeli downstream operations.

So far this year holdings in motorway service station business Roadchef, central European fuels business Delek Europe, investment firm Barak Capital and a stake in insurance business Republic were sold for total proceeds of 2.85 billion shekels ($734 million).

Bartfield said recent divestitures were “a solid representation of our ongoing achievements and success in executing on our strategic decision to focus on upstream energy”.

“In the coming quarters, we intend to continue our strategy of focusing the group on the exploration, development and production of natural gas and oil with an emphasis on promoting the development plans of Leviathan, as well as identifying new opportunities in these areas,” he said.

Net income doubled year-on-year in the third quarter to 150 million shekels ($39 million) as oil and gas exploration and development operations saw increased revenues while earnings decreased from Israeli downstream and finance and insurance operations.

Oil and gas exploration and gas production operations earned 53 million shekels during the quarter, up from 41 million during the same period a year earlier.

On a nine-month basis, the oil and gas segment trebled its contribution to net income from 46 million to 147 million.

The group swung into the red for the first nine months of 2014 as 1.1 billion shekels worth of asset write-downs on divestitures dragged down the result to a net loss of 645 million shekels.