www.upstreamonline.com http://www.upstreamonline.com/ www.upstreamonline.com Krafla North strike for Statoil http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387147/Krafla-North-strike-for-Statoil Wildcat makes small oil find to boost resource tally of area-wide discoveries in North Sea Steve.Marshall@upstreamonline.com (Steve Marshall) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387147/Krafla-North-strike-for-Statoil Fri, 19 Dec 2014 08:19:16 +0000 live The 30/11-10 probe, drilled by semi-submersible Transocean Leader north of the original Krafla discovery, struck an 80-metre oil column in the Tarbert formation and a 20-metre oil column in the Etive formation.

Both were primary targets in Middle Jurassic reservoir rocks but Det Norske said in a statement they had poorer reservoir properties than expected.

In addition, moveable hydrocarbons were found in a secondary target in the Ness formation after drilling to a vertical depth of 4054 metres in a water depth of 105 metres.

Det Norske said the latest find in Statoil-operated production licence 035 had a preliminary resource estimate of between 6 million and 19 million barrels of oil equivalent.

However, the combined resource tally with the earlier Krafla and Askja discoveries made in nearby PL272 is estimated by the partner at between 75 million and 143 million boe.

Krafla is estimated to hold between 50 million and 80 million boe while resources at the Askja East and West discoveries are in the range of 19 million to 44 million boe.

Partners in both licences will now evaluate a possible combined development of the discoveries.

Extensive data collection and sampling have been carried out at the latest find and, once the well is completed, Statoil intends to drill a sidetrack, 30/11-10 A, to appraise the earlier Krafla Main discovery.

Statoil discovered oil and gas with the Krafla Main and Krafla West discoveries made in 2011, about 35 kilometres south of the Oseberg South field centre.

Statoil operates PL035 with a 50% stake, with Det Norske and Svenska Petroleum each on 25%.

Mariner wind in Schlumberger sails http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387149/Mariner-wind-in-Schlumberger-sails Oilfield services giant wins major drilling and well services deal on UK field with option for Bressay Steve.Marshall@upstreamonline.com (Steve Marshall) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387149/Mariner-wind-in-Schlumberger-sails Fri, 19 Dec 2014 08:53:51 +0000 live The workscope of the deal, for which a value was not disclosed, covers provision of a total of 22 drilling and well services, as well as delivery of electrical submersible pumps, cement and fluids.

It also includes logistical support responsibility, which is normally beyond the scope of such contracts from Statoil, with Schlumberger to carry out work from its Aberdeen base starting in January.

The contract has a four-year duration, with extension options for several additional four-year periods, and also includes an option for similar work on Statoil’s Bressay field off the UK that is currently in the concept evaluation stage.

In addition, the deal will serve as a framework agreement whereby Statoil will be able to use Schlumberger for exploration drilling work in British waters.

Statoil aims to kick off development drilling in 2016 at Mariner, which is being developed at a cost of $7 billion about 150 kilometres East of Shetland in the North Sea and is due online in 2017.

As many as 130 well targets are planned at the field over its planned 30-year production lifetime using both the platform’s drilling rig, and well intervention and completion unit, as well as a newbuild jack-up moored alongside that will assist with drilling over the first few years after start-up.

Statoil said the oilfield services giant’s personnel will now be integrated as part of a project team based in Aberdeen that will also include contractor Odfjell Drilling and rig supplier Noble.

Statoil’s managing director for UK production, Gunnar Breivik, said this was part of an “innovative, new procurement approach” by the operator.

A similar approach involving a multi-disciplinary project team of suppliers and contractors has already been adopted by Xcite Energy on its Bentley field development off the UK.

Statoil aims to tap more than 250 million barrels of reserves at Mariner using a production, drilling and quarters platform, along with a floating storage unit, with plateau output targeted at 55,000 barrels per day.

The Norwegian state-owned oil company holds a 65.11% stake in Mariner, with partners JX Nippon E&P (28.89%) and Dyas Mariner (6%).

Players short-listed for NT pipeline http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387140/Players-short-listed-for-NT-pipeline Companies vying for pipeline linking the Northern Territory to Australia's east coast gas market revealed Josh.Lewis@upstreamonline.com (Josh Lewis) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387140/Players-short-listed-for-NT-pipeline Fri, 19 Dec 2014 05:22:32 +0000 live Australia's Northern Territory government has short-listed 11 companies to proceed to the next stage of the bid process for a pipeline which will link the territory to the east coast gas market.

Northern Territory Chief Minister Adam Giles said the government was contacting the 11 companies on Friday to invite them to proceed to the formal request for an initial proposal stage.

He added further assessment was taking place with one company which could expand the group of short-listed companies to 12.

The initial 11 companies on the government's short-list include – APA Group, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, DDG Operations, Enbridge International, Macquarie Capital, Marubeni, Merlin Energy, OSD Midstream, Quanta Capital, SGSP and GDF Suez.

“The initial expression of interest process has proven the viability of this project, with some of the world’s largest pipeliners and financiers putting their names forward to get involved,” Giles said.

“At this stage the favoured route isn’t clear with different proponents expressing different preferences, as we expected all along.”

He said more detailed proposals from the short-listed companies would be assessed by an expert panel in March, after which a small group would be invited to the binding bid phase of the project.

"We know that this project is time critical so we are hoping the bid process will be finalised in late September 2015, with contractual and financial close shortly thereafter,” Giles added.

One of the short-listed companies, GDF Suez, is currently weighing up options for the development of its Bonaparte gas resource off Australia's north, after earlier engineering and design work had found its previously touted floating liquefied natural gas solution did not meet its commercial requirements.

One of the options under consideration is a subsea development to shore and its interest in the proposed pipeline could mean the company is looking towards the domestic market to monetise its gas.

The Northern Territory and New South Wales governments signed a memorandum of understanding last month to work together on the development of a pipeline to connect Australia's northern and eastern gas markets to help ease a potential east coast gas shortage.

Tower settles Namibia cost dispute http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387146/Tower-settles-Namibia-cost-dispute Repsol agrees to allow London-listed player to pay lower share of costs on offshore well Josh.Lewis@upstreamonline.com (Josh Lewis) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387146/Tower-settles-Namibia-cost-dispute Fri, 19 Dec 2014 07:41:43 +0000 live Tower's net cost on the well had risen to $33 million as of 3 September, by which time it had already settled $25.3 million of the costs.

On Friday it said it had reached an agreement with Repsol to reduce its share of the costs to $28.3 million.

As a result its subsidiary Neptune Petroleum is in the process of making the final $3 million payment, leaving Tower with a cash position of about $7.5 million.

“We are pleased to have resolved these matters and now to be working to improve our understanding of the untested prospectivity in our Namibia licence,” Tower chief executive Graeme Thomson said.

“We can now focus on our exciting and potentially play-opening well onshore Kenya and continue developing our African portfolio.”

Tower said it was adequately funded for its remaining commitments with respect to the drilling of the Badada-1 well, on Block-2B in Kenya, which is expected to spud early next month, with Tower's share of the costs of the well budgeted at $1.9 million.

The Welwitschia well was drilled on PEL0010 in June but it proved to be a dry well, with logging evaluations showing the reservoirs were less developed than prognosed.

Repsol operates PEL 0010 with a 44% stake and is partnered by Tower on 30% and Arcadia with a 26% interest.

CIMC Raffles set for 'jack-up deal' http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387067/CIMC-Raffles-set-for-jack-up-deal Award from state-owned Sinopec for newbuild rig imminent for Chinese yard: sources Steve.Marshall@upstreamonline.com (Steve Marshall) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387067/CIMC-Raffles-set-for-jack-up-deal Thu, 18 Dec 2014 14:16:53 +0000 live Sources familiar with the matter told Upstream that CIMC Raffles is a favoured engineering, procurement and construction contractor for fabricating the newbuild as compared with other bidders for the deal that include Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Corporation Offshore (DISC Offshore), China Petroleum Liaohe Equipment Corporation (CPLEC) and Qingdao Beihai Shipbuilding Heavy Industry.

“CIMC Raffles ranks the first”, as the rating of the bidding shows, said one source with direct knowledge of the bid, which was opened last week.

Sources said the deal could be offered to CIMC Raffles by Sinopec Shengli Oilfield Company early next week, but the rig will be operated by Sinopec Oilfield Service Shengli Corporation.

The newbuild will be able to operate in water depths of up to 91.4 metres with drilling depths designed to reach 9144 metres.

The basic design is to be provided by Shengli Drilling Technology Research Institute of Sinopec. The rig is scheduled for delivery within 600 days of completion of the basic design.

Sources said Sinopec Shengli had earlier intended to buy a second hand jack-up but subsequently changed its mind and opted instead to issue a tender for a newbuild rig.

CIMC Raffles is offering its Super M2 design, DSIC Offshore is touting its DSJ300 model and CPLEC is bidding its CT300 design.

CIMC Raffles earlier this year delivered the jack-up New Shengli 1 of similar design to Sinopec.

Sinopec is licensed to operate in a few shallow-water blocks in Bohai Bay in northern China. In recent years, it has expanded its drilling fleet for operation outside China.

Oil on track for fourth week of declines http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387145/Oil-on-track-for-fourth-week-of-declines Oversupply continues to weigh on oil prices Josh.Lewis@upstreamonline.com (Josh Lewis) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387145/Oil-on-track-for-fourth-week-of-declines Fri, 19 Dec 2014 07:10:19 +0000 live Oil prices were on track for a fourth straight week of declines after Opec members last month decided against cutting production in response to a drop of nearly 50% in prices since late June.

Brent crude for February delivery was up 4 cents at $59.31 a barrel early on Friday. The contract had settled down $1.91 on Thursday, after trading as high as $63.70 a barrel in a volatile session.

"Following the long and steep decline in oil prices, we have seen some buying interest in recent days," said Ken Hasegawa, commodity sales manager of Newedge Japan. "But there is still a lot of selling pressure."

Oil companies have been announcing cuts in exploration and capital spending as crude's price decline makes projects uneconomical.

"But for now there is no significant halt in production and no change to the supply and demand situation," said Hasegawa. "So oil prices can still go lower."

Besides the $9 billion in spending cuts already announced, energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie forecasts that, in order to maintain their debt levels, oil companies will need to reduce spending next year by another $170 billion, or 37%, from 2014 if Brent remains around its current level.

At $60 a barrel, only three of the top 40 international oil companies generate sufficient free cash flow to cover spending, including distributions to shareholders, Wood Mackenzie said.

US crude for January delivery , which expires after Friday's settlement, was up 31 cents at $54.42, after rising to as high as $55.50 in earlier trading.

Saudi Arabia's powerful oil minister said on Thursday Opec could not cut output without the support of other big producers and attempts to get them on board had not worked.

Ali al-Naimi said it was impossible for Opec to cut alone to reverse the oil price slump, which he called temporary, when others were pumping more, saying that could lead to loss of market share, and with no guarantee of supporting prices.

AWE drops La Bella interest http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387139/AWE-drops-La-Bella-interest Company elects not to drill on block off the coast of Australia as WHL Energy searches for new partners Josh.Lewis@upstreamonline.com (Josh Lewis) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387139/AWE-drops-La-Bella-interest Fri, 19 Dec 2014 04:51:59 +0000 live Operator WHL Energy revealed on Friday it had received notice from AWE that it had decided not to proceed with the farm-in.

A reason was not given for AWE's withdrawal, however WHL managing director David Rowbottom hinted that the recent fall in oil prices may have swayed the company's decision.

“While it is disappointing that AWE has elected to withdraw at this time, WHL Energy understands that many companies in the industry have reviewed their capital expenditure plans given current commodity pricing,” he said.

“The company is confident that the Vic/P67 asset has significant value and that as a result of our higher equity position the ability to retain value is enhanced.”

AWE originally agreed to farm-in to Vic/P67 in 2012 by paying 75% of the cost to acquire a 3D seismic survey over the La Bella gas field, which lies within the permit.

Following the review of the seismic AWE had the option to withdraw from the permit or takeover as operator and commit to drilling two exploration wells.

Last month, WHL revealed it had give AWE more time to decide if would elect to drill or drop the permit.
WHL had already started a farm-out process for Vic/P67 in October to seek a carry through the exploration drilling phase.

A data room was opened up and on Friday it said had received “strong interest” from several pre-qualified companies, adding the farm-out process was expected to continue through the first quarter of next year.

Vic/P67 lies off the coast of Victoria in the Otway basin and WHL has previously identified 14 prospects in the area with a best estimate prospective resource of 1.04 trillion cubic feet of gas and 31.2 million barrels of condensate.

Sumatec reviewing Kazakh plans http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387144/Sumatec-reviewing-Kazakh-plans Malaysia-based player planning to deliver deliver up to 120 MMcfd per day by 2017 http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387144/Sumatec-reviewing-Kazakh-plans Fri, 19 Dec 2014 07:03:36 +0000 live It is carrying out the review due to the current low oil prices, according to a company representative.

The company has just renewed its gas development and production agreement with Markmore Energy (Labuan) and its wholly-owned subsidiary.

Based on this agreement, Sumatec will develop and deliver a gas development plan for the field that meets the minimum requirements of 120 million standard cubic feet of gas per day to an off-taker from early 2017.

The Rakushechnoye field is already a producing field with certified total gas reserves of 1.54 trillion cubic feet, based on 10% of the explored acreage in the concession area.

The remaining 90% of the acreage is yet to be appraised and tested.

A 16-well drilling programme began in early 2014 and will continue until the first quarter of 2015, which will allow the company to review its next campaign to further develop the Rakushechoye field.

The current drilling programme comprises of 12 oil wells and 4 gas test wells and is expected to boost output at the field to 2200 barrels of oil per day by the end of the programme.

Meanwhile, Sumatec is also in the process of finalising the acquisition of the Buzachi fields, which are in shallow water depths of up to two metres.

The acquisition is expected to be completed in the first half of 2015 and preliminary drilling plans have not yet been finalised.

The Buzachi fields lie 277 kilometres to the north-east from Aktau city in the northern part of Kazakhstan's Mangistau region.

NZOG in share buy-back http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387130/NZOG-in-share-buy-back Shareholders vote in favour of NZ$60 million scheme (Russell Searancke) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387130/NZOG-in-share-buy-back Fri, 19 Dec 2014 01:43:33 +0000 live The company said its scheme of arrangement will cancel one in five of its shares and it will return NZ$0.75 per cancelled share.

NZOG's shares currently trade at NZ$0.625, compared to NZ$0.80 in early September.

The company said recently it has a "robust balance sheet with no debt" and in the near term expects increasing cash flows from higher production at the Tui oilfield.

"Consequently, our cash on hand will grow well beyond what the business requires for its

planned activities," added NZOG.

Lion to team up with duo in Indonesia exploration http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387138/Lion-to-team-up-with-duo-in-Indonesia-exploration Australian player to gain stake in conventional PSC while partners have option to join its unconventional play Josh.Lewis@upstreamonline.com (Josh Lewis) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387138/Lion-to-team-up-with-duo-in-Indonesia-exploration Fri, 19 Dec 2014 04:42:51 +0000 live Lion signed a deal which gives it the option to gain a 15% interest in the conventional PSC, while the agreement also gives NZOG and Bukit options to acquire a 45% interest in Lion's unconventional joint study application over a partially overlapping area.

"The synergies from the transaction will result in more efficient exploration and is a key to Lion’s strategy in building a linked conventional and unconventional position in Sumatra,” Lion chief executive Kim Morrison said.

"It expands our acreage footprint in the prolific North Sumatran basin, with Lion already holding a 35% interest in South Block A to the north of the Bohorok area, and the presence of excellent gas markets and existing infrastructure would allow for near-term commercialisation in the event of exploration success.”

NZOG and Bukit originally signed the Bohorok PSC in 2012 and recently completed a 206-kilometre 2D seismic survey and plan to drill a well defined gas condensate prospect in the fourth quarter of 2015.

The block contains a variety of proven conventional and prospective unconventional plays including Late Miocene Keutapang formation sandstone, Middle Miocene Middle Baong formation sandstones, Lower to Middle Miocene Lower Baong marine shale and carbonates, Early Miocene Belumai formation sandstone and carbonates, Late Oligocene to Early Miocene Peutu formation carbonates and Late Oligocene Bampo lacustrine and restricted marine shales.

Lion's unconventional joint study application covers 500 square kilometres and the company's preliminary evaluations indicate highly prospective gas and liquids potential in a number of unconventional plays.

Karoon appoints new chairman http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387133/Karoon-appoints-new-chairman Former Rio Tinto executive takes over role at Australian company Josh.Lewis@upstreamonline.com (Josh Lewis) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387133/Karoon-appoints-new-chairman Fri, 19 Dec 2014 03:43:15 +0000 live Karoon revealed on Friday David Klinger would replace founding executive chairman Robert Hosking in the role.

The company announced in September it was on the hunt for a new chairman, with Hosking to take over as Karoon's managing director as part of the company's governance restructure.

Klinger spent 38 years at Rio Tinto, holding a number of executive positions, including head of exploration, as well as group executive of coal and gold, before retiring in 2004.

Since leaving Rio Tinto he has held the position of chairman of Turquoise Hill Resources, chairman of electronic goods manufacturer Codan, chairman of Energy Resources of Australia and has been an advisory board member to resource private equity boutique Pacific Road Capital Management.

“The appointment of Dr Klingner brings considerable global project development oversight, insight and expertise to the board of Karoon,” Hosking said.

“Dr Klingner’s career has been varied across the resources industry; he has been involved in complex and difficult social and fiscal environments as well as chairing several companies through the modern governance landscape both in Australia and North America.”

Shell sends drillship to Turkey http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387125/Shell-sends-drillship-to-Turkey Noble Globetrotter II headed to Black Sea amid reports Anglo-Dutch supermajor poised for exploration Kathrine.Schmidt@upstreamonline.com (Kathrine Schmidt) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387125/Shell-sends-drillship-to-Turkey Thu, 18 Dec 2014 23:59:35 +0000 live The dynamically positioned Globetrotter Class unit is headed north after drilling a successful frontier wildcat off Gabon that wrapped in October, according to rig contractor Noble Corporation's latest fleet-status report.

The Fleet Status Report did not indicate how long the unit was forecast to remain in the Black Sea, referencing only the unit's 10-year contract with Shell at a day rate of $416,000.

A Shell spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Shell took delivery of the unit in 2013 as a newbuild, which boasted capabilities such as working in 10,000 feet of water.

Reuters reported last month that the supermajor was prepared to kick off exploration work in the new year under a $300 million agreement with the Ankara Government.

Reports in early 2013 also said the supermajor had signed a deal for at least one well with state oil company TPAO at a cost of $150 million to $200 million.

A local report citing a joint exploration filed by Shell and TPAO referenced an eight-month programme supported by "three platform-supported drilling vessels".

Noble did not report any new contracts in its December Fleet Status report.

But it did indicate another Shell-booked rig, the Noble Bully II, was "in transit" with its location "pending".

ExxonMobil reports second Argentina find http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387111/ExxonMobil-reports-second-Argentina-find US supermajor says discovery is one of play's best wells, but further study needed Kathrine.Schmidt@upstreamonline.com (Kathrine Schmidt) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387111/ExxonMobil-reports-second-Argentina-find Thu, 18 Dec 2014 21:07:28 +0000 live The company said its Neuquen province Invernada X-3 well in the block by the same name was drilled to a total depth of 15,374 feet with a lateral of 3280 feet.

The probe in the La Invernada block flowed an average of 448 barrels of oil and 1 million cubic feet of natural gas per day on an initial test with a 12/64 choke.

"Analysis of the information and additional studies are being carried out to fully evaluate the discovery,' ExxonMobil said in a statement.

"Before making commercial decisions more wells must be drilled."

Over 60 days the well produced a total of 31,400 barrels of oil equivalent or daily average of about 523 boe.

"This second discovery adds value to our Vaca Muerta exploration programme," said Stephen Greenlee, president of ExxonMobil Exploration Company.

"Our second well is flowing at levels that position it as one of the best in the formation and complements the successful results in our first well."

ExxonMobil has an 85% participation on the Bajo del Choique and La Invernada blocks, with provincial oil company Gas y Petroleo de Neuquen on the remaining 15%.

Neuquen governor Jorge Sapag said the two discoveries are "important and promising news."

"We are confident that the discoveries can open a new path towards new and higher production of gas and oil for Neuquen and Argentina."

ExxonMobil said in May that its first operated well, Bajo del Choique X-2, flowed at an average rate of 770 barrels per day on a 12/64 inch choke.

It was drilled to a total depth of about 15,000 feet, including a 3280-foot lateral.

That well lies just over 12 miles from the new discovery.

ExxonMobil has interests in about 900,000 acres in the unconventional Vaca Muerta formation in Argentina's Neuquen province.

Cheniere, GE in $1bn service deal http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387124/Cheniere-GE-in-1bn-service-deal LNG company, US conglomerate pen 20-year service agreement for Sabine Pass export terminal Kathrine.Schmidt@upstreamonline.com (Kathrine Schmidt) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387124/Cheniere-GE-in-1bn-service-deal Thu, 18 Dec 2014 23:10:57 +0000 live The service company will handle spare parts, planned inspections, maintenance and technical support for gas turbines and refrigerant compressors at the facility, Cheniere said.

The facility's four 4.5 million tonnes-per-annum trains each contain six turbines, according to the companies.

"GE’s ability to service the equipment and provide full on-site technical support to ensure optimal reliability was an important factor in our selection. Support for our terminal will come from their Houston, Cincinnati and Atlanta facilities as well as other locations across the United States," chief operating officer Keith Teague said.

In late October Cheniere Energy said that construction is progressing ahead of schedule at its Sabine Pass facility in Louisiana, keeping the first of its kind liquefaction facility on track for first LNG in late 2015.

New BOEM chief announced http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387097/New-BOEM-chief-announced Maryland Energy Administration director Abigail Ross Hopper to replace Tommy Beaudreau Kathrine.Schmidt@upstreamonline.com (Kathrine Schmidt) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387097/New-BOEM-chief-announced Thu, 18 Dec 2014 20:27:17 +0000 live Abigail Ross Hopper, present director of the US state of Maryland's Energy Administration, will take over from BOEM acting director Walter Cruickshank on 5 January.

Harper will replace Tommy Beaudreau, who left the post in May to become Jewell's chief of staff. Cruickshank will stay on as deputy chief.

“Abigail Hopper’s knowledge of the energy sector, experience working with a wide variety of stakeholders and her legal expertise will be valuable assets to the Bureau and the Department as we continue to ensure the safe and responsible development of our domestic energy and mineral resources and stand up an offshore wind program,” Jewell said.

Hopper led the Maryland's energy administration since 2012, first as acting director, before which she served as energy advisor to Governor Martin O'Malley from 2010.

Hopper played a "pivotal" role in passing wind-energy legislation in the state, also working on energy conservation, efficiency and improving the resilience of the state's electric utilities.

She also previously served for three years as deputy general counsel to the Maryland Public Service Commission as well as spending nine years as an attorney in private practice.

Her specialty there was complex merger and investment counseling and corporate law, according to the Interior Department.

Hopper holds a law degree from the University of Maryland and a bachelor of arts degree from Dartmouth College.

The BOEM handles not only leasing but resource evaluation, approval of oil and gas exploration plans, renewable energy development including wind energy as well as National Environmental Policy Act analysis and environmental studies.

Brazil panel targets 52 in graft probe http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387116/Brazil-panel-targets-52-in-graft-probe Congressional committee recommends charges for dozens on alleged money laundering, racketeering Kathrine.Schmidt@upstreamonline.com (Kathrine Schmidt) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387116/Brazil-panel-targets-52-in-graft-probe Thu, 18 Dec 2014 22:09:54 +0000 live The committee made its non-binding recommendation in a report approved in a 19-12 vote. It now goes before the two houses of Congress for debate and a final vote.

The call for indictments was included at the last moment and comes after federal prosecutors charged 39 people over the past week in an estimated $3.76 billion (10-billion-real) bribery scheme dogging the government of President Dilma Rousseff.

Those charged, many of whom appear on the list of people targeted by the congressional panel, include two former Petrobras division heads and more than 20 executives of Brazil's biggest construction and engineering companies.

State-level prosecutors in Rio de Janeiro are seeking further indictments, including that of former Petrobras chief executive Jose Sergio Gabrielli.

Rousseff's government fought to limit the scope of the congressional investigation. Using its majority on the committee it worked to prevent testimony from political allies and the president. Rousseff was chairwoman of Petrobras from 2003 to 2010 when much of the alleged graft took place.

Rousseff has said she did nothing wrong and has promised to fully investigate the alleged corruption at Petrobras.

The committee first probed alleged bribes and overpayments related to Petrobras' $1.2 billion purchase of a refinery in Pasadena, Texas in 2006. Its scope broadened as police and prosecutors produced new evidence of wrongdoing at other Petrobras projects, including the nearly $20 billion Abreu e Lima plant in Brazil, one of the most-expensive refineries ever built.

According to prosecutors, Petrobras officials conspired with construction and engineering firms to inflate the value of contracts and then kicked-back a percentage of the profits to Petrobras executives and politicians as bribes and campaign contributions.

The congressional report does not recommend the filing of charges against any politicians. But a leading witness cited in the report, former Petrobras refining chief Paulo Roberto Costa, has testified that the scheme involved dozens of members of Congress.

The congressional report does not call for charges to be filed against any current Petrobras executives.

Bolivia agrees to pay PAE $357m http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387114/Bolivia-agrees-to-pay-PAE-357m Compensation is in return for 2009 nationalisation of Argentine company's subsidiary Kathrine.Schmidt@upstreamonline.com (Kathrine Schmidt) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387114/Bolivia-agrees-to-pay-PAE-357m Thu, 18 Dec 2014 21:47:21 +0000 live The deal falls short of the $1.49 billion first demanded by Pan American in 2010. Bolivia seized control of natural gas producer Chaco from Pan American after talks over a share transfer broke down.

"Today an agreement was signed for $357 million, including a cash payment of $324 million, which means we are only paying 21 percent of the amount sought by Pan American Energy," said the Andean nation's attorney general, Hector Arce.

Pan American is controlled by BP, while Argentina's Bridas Holdings, which counts state-run Chinese oil firm oil firm CNOOC as an investor, holds a minority stake.

Bolivian President Evo Morales, a former coca grower who has followed a pragmatic socialist line in office, nationalised oil and gas businesses after he first assumed the presidency in 2006.

His prudent spending of gas revenues, in particular on anti-poverty programs, have earned the country's first indigenous leader wide support in a country long plagued by political instability.

Chaco is currently a unit of Bolivian state-owned firm YPFB. Before it was expropriated, YPFB held 49% of the firm.

Morales won a third term in office by a landslide in October.

Eni farms into Portugal deep-water http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387094/Eni-farms-into-Portugal-deep-water Italian operator to pick up 70% stake in block trio after Petrobras left prior partnership Kathrine.Schmidt@upstreamonline.com (Kathrine Schmidt) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387094/Eni-farms-into-Portugal-deep-water Thu, 18 Dec 2014 20:07:02 +0000 live Eni will take on a 70% operated stake in the Gamba, Santola and Lavagante blocks into the Alentejo basin, which cover an unexplored area of 9100 square kilometres.

"The agreement is part of Eni’s strategy aimed at diversifying and expanding its exploration portfolio," the Italian company said, without elaborating on financial terms.

Galp said 2D and 3D surveys covering 8500 square kilometres and 1800 square kilometres respectively had identified "multiple prospects and leads within Jurassic and Cretaceous sediments."

"The parties are planning to drill an exploration well during the next exploration period," Galp said, without elaborating.

Portugal awarded the blocks to Galp in 2007 and Petrobras farmed into a 50% stake in a 2010 deal.

Materials distributed by Galp at Nape International in Houston last February indicated the company was looking for a new partner.

The Lisbon-based said then it aimed to farm down up to 80% of its holding with drilling seen as soon as 2015, the company told Upstream.

"We're looking for deep-water operators and non-operators," Ricardo Dias Ferreira of Galp's business portfolio unit said.

Galp's prior work programme with Petrobras covered a 1800-square kilometre 3D seismic survey on two of the areas and had planned a well for 2013.

Galp envisages exploration on the "ready-to-drill" Gamba and Santola prospects, with both targeting lower Cretaceous turbidite reservoirs in 2200 metres and 1000 metres of water respectively.

Basin modeling predicts offshore oil with prospective reserves of "several hundred million barrels", according to Galp.

Geologists see an expected extension of east Canada's oil province with an eye to discoveries off Nova Scotia in the Jean d'Arc basin and in Norway's Flemish Pass basin as possible analogs, Thomas Bouchery, a geoscientist for new ventures at Galp told Upstream then.

Portugal has never seen a commercial offshore oil discovery, but Galp expressed optimism to Upstream about the geology and the country's "excellent" fiscal terms.

BASF, Gazprom scrap asset swap http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387093/BASF-Gazprom-scrap-asset-swap Agreement would have partnered companies to develop two blocks at the Urnegoi field Kathrine.Schmidt@upstreamonline.com (Kathrine Schmidt) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387093/BASF-Gazprom-scrap-asset-swap Thu, 18 Dec 2014 18:54:27 +0000 live BASF unit Wintershall was to have helped target reserves in the Achimov formation while the jointly held natural gas trading and storage business would be handed off to Gazprom.

The Russian company would have also taken a 50% stake in Wintershall's Southern North sea business unit.

"We regret that the asset swap will not be concluded. We will continue our cooperation of over 20 years with Gazprom in our existing joint ventures,” BASF chairman of executive directors Kurt Bock said.

Exploration and development projects involving unconventional oil reserves in Russia have slowed down this year, with trailblazers assessing the impact of recent changes in the tax regime and US and European Union sanctions against the country’s oil industry.

While BASF did not state a reason for the cancellation, explorers have also been grappling with the near-halving of oil prices since June and curtailing exploration budgets accordingly.

BASF had estimated the sale would net the company some €12 billion while increasing Ebitda by 500 million euros in 2013.

Given the cancellation BASF will instead book charges of €113 million in 2013 and €211 million in 2014.

Comstock swaps gas for oil in 2015 http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387092/Comstock-swaps-gas-for-oil-in-2015 Haynesville back in play as rigs move from Eagle Ford and Tuscaloosa Marine shales Noah.Brenner@nhst.no (Noah Brenner) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387092/Comstock-swaps-gas-for-oil-in-2015 Thu, 18 Dec 2014 18:50:37 +0000 live In total, Comstock plans to spend $307 million in 2015 to drill 19 horizontal wells split between 15 in the Haynesville/Bossier and 5 in the Eagle Ford.

The figure is down from an estimated $450 million spent in 2014.

Comstock is dropping its rig in the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale, where it has drilled one operated well on its 71,000-acre position, and does not plan to return to the play until oil prices improve.

In the Eagle Ford, Comstock is dropping two of its four rigs and moving the other two to the Haynesville trend early next year.

The US independent said it can get a better return on its investment at current prices in the Haynvesville through the use of longer laterals and improved completions.

In addition, Comstock plans a re-fracturing pilot programme on 10 wells in the play.

Comstock holds 70,000 net acres along the Texas Louisiana border that are prospective for the Haynesville and Bossier plays.

Enbridge hit by pipeline leak http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387084/Enbridge-hit-by-pipeline-leak Canadian operator investigating incident at Saskatchewan terminal Bill.Lehane@upstreamonline.com (Bill Lehane) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387084/Enbridge-hit-by-pipeline-leak Thu, 18 Dec 2014 15:44:02 +0000 live The Canadian operator confirmed a release from the line within its on-site pumping station the evening of 17 December at the Regina Terminal.

Immediately upon detecting the lease the pipeline to the US and pumping station were shut down.

It has been determined it occurred within the facility and all the leaked product has been contained on-site in designated catchment areas.

No injuries were reported and no impacts to the public, wildlife or local waterway. Enbridge said residents and businesses in the area may detect a faint order but air monitoring has indicated levels are within safe limits.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing.

EDP Energias signs up at Corpus Christi LNG http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387086/EDP-Energias-signs-up-at-Corpus-Christi-LNG Portuguese utility signs offtake deal for Cheniere Energy export project Bill.Lehane@upstreamonline.com (Bill Lehane) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387086/EDP-Energias-signs-up-at-Corpus-Christi-LNG Thu, 18 Dec 2014 16:20:49 +0000 live The supplies will start once the third train begins operations at the facility, which is to be located on the La Quinta Channel on the north-east side of Corpus Christi Bay in San Patricio County, Texas.

Cheniere Energy chief executive Charif Souki said that 8.42 mtpa of LNG has now been sold for the Corpus Christi project, with additional talks underway for more volumes from the third train.

“We expect to complete all necessary steps to reach a final investment decision and begin construction by early 2015," he said.

EDP will purchase the LNG on a free on board basis (FOB) for a purchase price indexed to the monthly Henry Hub price plus a fixed component.

The sale and purchase agreement runs for 20 years starting from the first deliveries of the third train, expected in 2019, with extension options for an additional 10 years.

The three-train project is designed to handle up to 13.5 mtpa of LNG and is due to come online, pending approvals and a final investment decision, from its first train in 2018.

Supply deals have also been signed in recent months with Australia’s Woodside Petroleum, Spanish trio Iberdola, Gas Natural Fenosa and Endesa Generacio as well as Indonesia's Pertamina.

Subsea 7 job cuts 'forced by Norway lull' http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387064/Subsea-7-job-cuts-forced-by-Norway-lull Oilfield services contractor says lack of new projects behind redundancies Bill.Lehane@upstreamonline.com (Bill Lehane) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387064/Subsea-7-job-cuts-forced-by-Norway-lull Thu, 18 Dec 2014 13:02:31 +0000 live Speaking to Upstream, Subsea 7 group communications director Carol Reed confirmed the reports that first emerged in September and resurfaced this week of workforce reductions across the company’s Norway business, without specifying a firm number of jobs that are to be lost.

Subsea 7 Norway first announced in September that between 100 and 150 jobs would be lost between its five operational bases in Norway as a result of lower field development activity.

Reed said that “a lot of the work we have been performing up to September have been on prior contracts awarded and there’s still an extremely strong business going forward but unfortunately due to the lack of sanctioning of projects we have had to face cutbacks as have had the rest of the Norwegian industry”.

“All the Norway offices continue albeit we’ve had to have a reduced workforce on some of the programmes,” she said, without giving further details.

Reed said that Thursday’s move to restructure the company’s global divisions was not related to the job cuts.

Maria in resource leap http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1386940/Maria-in-resource-leap Wintershall boosts recoverable estimate on stalled Norwegian Sea field project Steve.Marshall@upstreamonline.com (Steve Marshall) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1386940/Maria-in-resource-leap Thu, 18 Dec 2014 11:00:42 +0000 live The German operator has released a new resource estimate of 180 million barrels of oil equivalent for the field, an increase of 40 million boe.

The latest figure comprises 150 million barrels of oil, 10 million boe of gas and 20 million boe of natural gas liquids, compared with the previous estimate of 130 million barrels of oil and 10 million boe of gas.

“We have done laboratory experiments that show the water saturation in the reservoir is lower than we originally thought,” said Wintershall’s Maria project director, Hugo Dijkgraaf.

“That leads to higher in-place volumes. We have also shown through detailed reservoir simulations that we can improve the recovery factor,” he added.

The fresh estimate was disclosed in connection with upcoming submission to the authorities of an impact assessment study for the stalled field development.

The operator reiterated that it still intends to submit a development plan for Maria in the first half of 2015, delayed from an earlier schedule of late this year, despite ongoing wrangling with other licensees over a proposed subsea tie-back of the field to the Heidrun, Aasgard B and Kristin platforms.

Wintershall has now requested the Petroleum & Energy Ministry intervene due to disagreement in hammering out terms for the tie-back plan.

The field, due on stream in 2018, will be the first operated project to matured from from discovery to development by Wintershall.

Its Norway managing director Bernd Schrimpf said the company was “working closely together with our licence partners and regional partners to get these discoveries moved to the production phase as quickly as possible”.

“The higher expected recoverable resources for Maria confirm our belief that we’re on the right track with our growth strategy in Norway,” he said.

The field in Wintershall-operated production licence 475BS is being developed in the Halten terrace area at an estimated cost of Nkr12 billion ($1.6 billion) and FMC Technologies was recently awarded a Nkr1.8 billion contract to deliver the subsea production system.

Wintershall holds a 50% operated stake in the licence with partners Petoro and Centrica on 30% and 20% respectively.

Lamprell delivers jack-up Shuwehat http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1386930/Lamprell-delivers-jack-up-Shuwehat London-listed rig builder sends fifth rig to Abu Dhabi's NDC Bill.Lehane@upstreamonline.com (Bill Lehane) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1386930/Lamprell-delivers-jack-up-Shuwehat Thu, 18 Dec 2014 09:58:27 +0000 live "The contract for the 'Shuwehat' rig was signed in April 2012 and this is the fifth in a series of eight rigs with the LeTourneau Super 116E (enhanced) Class design which are being built and delivered by Lamprell to NDC," Lamprell said in a release.

The third and the fourth jack-ups, named as Qarnin and Marawwah were delivered to NDC earlier this year, Lamprell said.

Only last month, Lamprell had secured a contract worth around $365 million for a pair of newbuild high-specification jack-ups from NDC, taking the total number of NDC ordered rigs to eight.

The two latest jack-ups would be built at Lamprell's yard at Hamriyah in the United Arab Emirates and due for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2016 and second quarter of 2017 respectively.

Jack-up 'Shuwehat' is the 11th super 116E jack-up drilling unit which Lamprell has delivered over the past six years, the company said. 

Gazelle 'still set for sanction in 2015' http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387070/Gazelle-still-set-for-sanction-in-2015 Partners gain exploitation authorisation for Ivory Coast gas field Bill.Lehane@upstreamonline.com (Bill Lehane) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387070/Gazelle-still-set-for-sanction-in-2015 Thu, 18 Dec 2014 14:57:53 +0000 live Swiss oil trading giant Vitol holds a 65% interest in the Vioco Petroleum venture that operates the project on an 87% interest while UK junior Azonto Petroleum holds 35% of the venture, with state company PetroCI holding the remaining 13% in Gazelle.

The duo said the presidential approval for the EEA at the Block CI-202 field following on from field development plan approval “demonstrates clear support for the project from the authorities”.

If sanctioned in the first half of next year the field 30 kilometres south-east of the capital Abidjan could see first gas within 14 to 16 months, or as soon as the first half of 2016, the explorers said.

Azonto managing director Rob Shepherd admitted the progress has developed more slowly than originally anticipated but pointed out that the project was not dependent on high oil prices.

“The reality is that, whilst the development of Gazelle has faced additional execution challenges primarily due to the need to fully align the upstream and midstream phases, the economics remain fully robust even though the price of oil has fallen significantly in recent months,” he said.

Previously expected to see an FID this year, the project has been held up by midstream funding issues tied to its gas buyer CI Energies’ ability to secure debt capital that has prevented progress on pipeline construction, while the Ivorian company is also now looking at a dual-fuel power plant.

The sanction would allow orders to be placed for long-lead items and the award of pre-engineering to the preferred engineering, procurement, installation and construction contractor, Azonto Petroleum said previously.

Azonto Petroleum, which was formerly known as Rialto Energy, saw its shares trade up more than 16% at under £0.01 following Thursday's announcement on London’s Alternative Investments Market.

Brent falls back below $60 http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387122/Brent-falls-back-below-60 Global crude oil prices slump anew as traders bet market would resume six-month rout Kathrine.Schmidt@upstreamonline.com (Kathrine Schmidt) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387122/Brent-falls-back-below-60 Thu, 18 Dec 2014 22:37:36 +0000 live Benchmark Brent and US crude tumbled $2 a barrel each in late trading after initially extending Wednesday's short-covering, which lifted oil prices by more than $3.

With Brent back below the psychologically-key level of $60 a barrel and US crude under $55, traders braced for more selling in a market that has lost about half its value since June.

"We're continuing to search for a bottom and might even see another significant drop before the year-end," said Gene McGillian, an analyst at Tradition Energy in Stamford, Connecticut.

While the market seemed to slide on renewed worries about oversupply, traders said some of the selling could have been due to position squaring ahead of Friday's expiry of the January front-month contract in US crude.

Some cited a Bloomberg report about a Nigerian port workers union suspending a strike, although workers in that dock union were only involved in container shipping in Lagos, not oil ports.

The slump set in at midmorning and accelerated in the last 30 minutes of trade.

Brent's front-month contract closed down $1.91 at $59.27 a barrel, after hitting a session low at $59.17.

A broker suggested that Brent needed to rally and hold well above $61 a barrel "to have any decent strength technically." In Wednesday's short-covering rally, Brent hit $64.40 before closing at $61.18.

US crude's front-month contract settled down $2.36 at $54.11, having fallen to $54.05 earlier. It rose to $58.98 the previous day.

Oil's near 50% drop over the past six-months began on worries about fast-growing US shale oil supplies and accelerated after OPEC's decision in November not to cut output.

Oil companies have, meanwhile, announced cuts in exploration and capital spending.

Chevron has put on indefinite hold a plan to drill for oil in the Beaufort Sea in Canada's Arctic while Marathon Oil cut its capital expenditure for next year by about 20%.

Canadian oil producers also deepened cuts in 2015 spending, as Husky Energy, MEG Energy and Penn West Petroleum joined those scaling back capital budgets.

UK oil output slumps in Q3 http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1386941/UK-oil-output-slumps-in-Q3 North Sea oil production hits 37-year low amid decline and Buzzard downtime Bill.Lehane@upstreamonline.com (Bill Lehane) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1386941/UK-oil-output-slumps-in-Q3 Thu, 18 Dec 2014 11:24:42 +0000 live Oil and gas production has been falling for a decade by an average of 9% each year, the latest quarterly report from the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change said.

The third quarter’s oil and natural gas liquids output of around 64 million barrels was the UK’s lowest three-month output since 1977, the DECC said.

The report pointed out that part of the drop was seasonal, with crude production slumping by more than a quarter during August as a result of planned maintenance at Buzzard, the UK’s largest oilfield.

July was also marked by maintenance with a few floating production, storage and offloading vessels offline as well as maintenance on fields around the Forties pipeline system that reduced throughput to the Forties terminal, the DECC said.

Gas production rose 3.6% to around 54.9 million barrels of oil equivalent in the biggest quarterly increase since 2010.

The DECC said that in addition to the absence of the Jasmine field in the year-ago period, the third quarter of 2014, especially August, saw higher associated gas production as a result of shorter maintenance activity at a number of fields and terminals.

Life extension for Oseberg satellite http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387077/Life-extension-for-Oseberg-satellite Statoil gains safety nod to keep using subsea kit but faces 'start-up glitch' at new satellite field Steve.Marshall@upstreamonline.com (Steve Marshall) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1387077/Life-extension-for-Oseberg-satellite Thu, 18 Dec 2014 15:20:41 +0000 live The satellite field started production as a subsea tie-back to the Oseberg field centre in 2006 and was expected to be halted this year under the original development plan.

The state-owned operator now though estimates the field could remain in production until 2025 and has been given the nod by the Petroleum Safety Authority to use subsea facilities, pipelines and control cables for the duration of the remaining lifetime.

Meanwhile, Statoil is reported to be facing a significant delay to start-up of another North Sea satellite field, Gullfaks South, that is being developed as part of its fast-track programme.

The project to boost oil recovery at the field was due to be brought on stream this month but has been postponed until October 2015 due to quality deviations that has resulted in delays in marine pipe deliveries from  sub-suppliers, Petro Media News reported.

The publication cited a letter from Statoil to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate in which the operator stated current weather and wave conditions increased the risk of safety incidents with marine installation work during the winter.

The field partners have therefore decided to postpone the remaining installation activity until March to July next year.

Damen wins Petrojarl 1 upgrade http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1386928/Damen-wins-Petrojarl-1-upgrade Dutch yard to carry out work for Teekay ready for Altanta field charter off Brazil Steve.Marshall@upstreamonline.com (Steve Marshall) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1386928/Damen-wins-Petrojarl-1-upgrade Thu, 18 Dec 2014 09:37:10 +0000 live It follows the award to Teekay of a five-year charter for the unit to operate on Queiroz Galvao E&P’s Atlanta heavy oil field in the Santos basin off Brazil that is set to generate annual cash flow from vessel operations of between $55 million and $60 million for the Canadian offshore player.

Teekay Offshore Partners has also agreed to acquire the FPSO for $57 million from parent Teekay Corporation after the unit was decommissioned by Statoil in February 2013 from the Glitne oilfield in off Norway.

It said in a statement the upgrade work would be carried out at Damen’s Schiedam yard in the Netherlands at a fully built-up cost of about $240 million, including the acquisition price, which would imply a net value for the job of around $183 million.

The FPSO is due to start operations as an early production system at the 260 million-barrel Brazilian field, located in a water depth of 1550 metres about 185 kilometres off the coast, in the first half of 2016.

Subsea 7 switches to two global units http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1386927/Subsea-7-switches-to-two-global-units Oslo-listed specialist planning cheaper, more strategic structure Bill.Lehane@upstreamonline.com (Bill Lehane) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1386927/Subsea-7-switches-to-two-global-units Thu, 18 Dec 2014 09:28:50 +0000 live The subsea specialist is to replace its current four geographical units and a corporate segment with two global divisions and an unchanged corporate division.

Speaking to Upstream, Subsea 7 group communications director Carole Reed said the reorganisation was part of a longer process of adopting a global approach to the business since 2010’s merger with Acergy gave the contractor a wider international footprint.

“Over the last couple of years we have been looking at how to improve our engineering capability and also centralise certain aspects of what we’re doing globally according to the markets and what our clients are needing around the world,” she said.

Reed said that the contractor chose a hemispheric structure for the divisions “simply because most of the large subsea umbilicals, risers and flowlines (SURF) projects tend to be in the southern hemisphere - outside of Norway like for example Martin Linge – and most of the life of field projects tend to be in the North Sea, albeit a growing business around the world”.

Reed said the restructuring was being announced to comply with corporate reporting requirements of the Oslo stock exchange on divisional changes and was unrelated to job cuts recently announced by the contractor.

Chief executive Jean Cahuzac said the new structure would enhance strategic management capabilities in addition to cutting costs for the oilfield services contractor.

“The newly-formed global projects centres for managing the group’s largest and most complex projects will increase flexibility and foster consistency of project execution,” he said.

“Managing the life of field business on a global basis will allow us to expand this business both in terms of its service offering and geographical presence.”

“These organisational changes will also reduce costs, improve our flexibility to manage resources and enhance our ability to adapt to the near-term reduction in activity we foresee in certain geographical areas,” he said.

The four geographical units are being replaced by two new divisions, the Northern Hempisphere and life of field business unit and the Southern Hempishere and global projects business Unit.

Executive vice president Steven Wisely will lead the first new division which will be responsible for the company’s business in the UK, Norway, Canada and the Gulf of Mexico.

It will also have global responsibility for the life of field business and i-Tech division.

The second new division will be lead by newly-appointed executive vice president Oyvind Mikaelsen, who is currently senior vice-president.

He will be responsible for Subsea 7’s business in Africa, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, Brazil and the global projects division.

Both Wisely and Mikaelsen are based in the company’s principal executive office in London, where they will report to chief operating officer John Evans.