www.upstreamonline.com http://www.upstreamonline.com/ www.upstreamonline.com Work starts on Pateke tie-back http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393661/work-starts-on-pateke-tie-back First oil from development well expected in April Josh.Lewis@upstreamonline.com (Josh Lewis) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393661/work-starts-on-pateke-tie-back Fri, 06 Mar 2015 03:11:52 +0000 live Operator AWE said the subsea tie-back and installation project started on Thursday with the arrival of the DOF Subsea-owned Skandi Singapore diving support vessel.

The project involves the installation and commissioning of subsea pipelines, manifolds and ancillary support equipment to connect the Pateke-4H development well to the Tui field gathering system.

The project is being carried out in conjunction with a two week planned shut down of the Umuroa floating production, storage and offloading facility for inspection and maintenance.

Pateke-4H hit oil shows while drilling through the Kapuni F10 sandstone objective last year and is estimated to hold about 1.9 million barrels of oil. First oil from the well is expected in April.

Pateke-4H lies in PMP 38158 where AWE holds a 57.5% operated stake, while partners New Zealand Oil & Gas and Pan Pacific Petroleum hold a 27.5% and 15% interest respectively.

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Hides well hits water http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393662/hides-well-hits-water Deeper exploration target comes up dry but shallower section to be completed as gas producer Josh.Lewis@upstreamonline.com (Josh Lewis) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393662/hides-well-hits-water Fri, 06 Mar 2015 03:50:00 +0000 live Well partner Oil Search revealed on Friday the well had hit a total depth of 4663 metres and said the well hit “substantial” sand intervals in the Koi-lange interval but they were found to be water bearing.

The well had already hit gas in the shallower Toro reservoir which was then logged and cased as a future development well.

ExxonMobil will now abandon the exploration component of the well and complete the development section as a gas producer for its PNG liquefied natural gas project.

The well lies in Block PDL 1 which is owned by operator ExxonMobil (36.8%), Oil Search (16.66%), Santos (24%) and other partries (22.54%).

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Hess and NWS close in on Equus tie-in deal http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393660/hess-and-nws-close-in-on-equus-tie-in-deal Players are ‘on track’ for operational integration FEED studies for project this year Josh.Lewis@upstreamonline.com (Josh Lewis) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393660/hess-and-nws-close-in-on-equus-tie-in-deal Fri, 06 Mar 2015 02:23:20 +0000 live Find out more in this week's edition of Upstream Newspaper.

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Big Foot set to sail Friday night http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393653/big-foot-set-to-sail-friday-night Waylaid tension-leg platform said to be on the brink of tow out Luke.Johnson@upstreamonline.com (Luke Johnson) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393653/big-foot-set-to-sail-friday-night Fri, 06 Mar 2015 00:53:00 +0000 live Sources with knowledge of the situation said the completed facility is scheduled to set sail on Friday night at midnight, a time when tide and weather conditions are expected to be ideal for a major transit operation.

Heerema Marine Contractors will conduct the tow-out to Walker Ridge Block 29, about 362 kilometres south of New Orleans. Heerema did not return a call for comment on Thursday. The Dutch company had previously contracted BMT Fluid Mechanics to provide tow-simulation services for the inshore tow of Big Foot.

Chevron also declined to comment.

Chevron and its partners will breathe a sigh of relief once the TLP sets out. The centrepiece of a $4 billion field development has been ready to go since October 2014 but has been continuously delayed by an unusually powerful loop current in the US Gulf, and a pair of large eddies that spun off the main current.

The TLP has been docked at Kiewit's yard in Ingleside, Texas, where the 25,000-tonne topsides was integrated last year with a hull built at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering in South Korea.

Numerous start and stops have raised and dashed hopes that the TLP would ship out. It was most recently said to be pencilled in for the end of February. One source said the partners have anticipated a worst-case scenario of a June sailaway.

Upstream understands the decision to ship will be made by the insurance company's towmaster, rather than the operator.

Big Foot is a FloaTec-designed extended-TLP drilling and production platform with dry trees and a production capacity of 75,000 barrels per day of oil and 25 million cubic feet per day of gas. Once installed, in 5187 feet of water, it will be one of the world’s deepest-moored TLPs.

Chevron operates with a 60% interest, with Statoil on 27.5% and Marubeni Oil & Gas on 12.5%.

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Statoil pays $2m for errant Bakken well http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393647/statoil-pays-usd-2m-for-errant-bakken-well Norwegian giant drilled on leases owned by the US government Noah.Brenner@nhst.no (Noah Brenner) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393647/statoil-pays-usd-2m-for-errant-bakken-well Thu, 05 Mar 2015 23:40:47 +0000 live  

The acreage in McKenzie County, North Dakota was still held by the federal government, according to a statement by the US attorney’s office.

Brigham Exploration drilled the Jay 24-13 1H well just two weeks after it was acquired by Statoil for about $4.4 billion in 2011. Statoil went on to sell $2 million worth of oil produced from the well. 

US Attorney Tim Purdan’s office said Statoil “fully cooperated” with the investigation.

 

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Oxy settles with Peru on pollution charges http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393658/oxy-settles-with-peru-on-pollution-charges US oil giant agrees to fund development programmes for indiginous communities in Amazon Luke.Johnson@upstreamonline.com (Luke Johnson) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393658/oxy-settles-with-peru-on-pollution-charges Fri, 06 Mar 2015 01:56:20 +0000 live The oil producer agreed to fund development programmes for the five Achuar communities in Peru's Amazon, which first filed a lawsuit in 2007, said Marco Simons, who represented them in court for the not-for-profit group EarthRights International.

A joint statement between the two parties was read by Simons at a news briefing in Lima. Occidental had no further comment other than what was in the statement, Reuters reported.

A confidentiality clause prohibits the parties from revealing the size of the negotiated settlement, but both sides said they were pleased. Occidental has denied charges its operations in Peru polluted the environment.

"We've reached our objective of teaching the company a lesson," said Achuar villager Adolfina Garcia at a news conference in Lima, the Peruvian capital.

The communities had alleged Occidental spilled oil and dumped toxic waste while operating Peru's biggest oil block, triggering widespread health problems.

Garcia said she believes her 11-year-old son died because he drank water from a river polluted by Occidental.

The plaintiffs filed their lawsuit in a federal court in Los Angeles, California, where Occidental used to be based, arguing Peruvian courts would shield Occidental.

Occidental lost its bid to have the lawsuit dismissed from US courts in 2010.

The settlement agreement was reached in September of 2013 but the terms barred an announcement until now, Simons said.

Occidental operated Peru's oil block 1-AB from 1971 to 2000 before selling its operations to Argentine firm Pluspetrol.

Pluspetrol's contract is set to end in August of this year, and it has also been struggling to end several disputes with indigenous communities over pollution.

Indigenous communities are considering taking Pluspetrol to court if they cannot reach an agreement on environmental problems, said Achuar leader Arly Sandi from the town of Sauki.

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ExxonMobil spuds Guyana wildcat http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393644/exxonmobil-spuds-guyana-wildcat US supermajor starts drilling at Liza prospect Noah.Brenner@nhst.no (Noah Brenner) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393644/exxonmobil-spuds-guyana-wildcat Thu, 05 Mar 2015 19:08:52 +0000 live The US supermajor will begin drilling the Liza prospect on the Stabroek block today with the Transocean Deepwater Champion, according to the federal government of Guyana.

An ExxonMobil representative was not immediately available.

Deepwater Champion has been leased to ExxonMobil at a dayrate of $677,000 since June 2012 and remains under contract through November this year.

The sprawling Stabroek block covers almost 27,000 square kilometres and spans the entire length of Guyana’s maritime border in water depths ranging from 200 to 3000 metres.

The block is operated by Exxon-Mobil in partnership with Hess.

Liza itself is situated in 1750 metres of water on the far eastern edge of the block. The prospect is a large amplitude-supported Upper Cretaceous fan play at a total depth of more than 5400 metres.

It is the first of two prospects being eyed by ExxonMobil on the acreage.

The second prospect, dubbed Ranger, is a potential Upper Jurassic carbonate build-up with draped Lower Tertiary clastics, but it is believed that ExxonMobil will acquire additional 3D imaging before drilling a wildcat there.

The move comes amid rising tension between Guyana and Venezuela over ownership of 159,000 square kilometres in the Essequibo region along the maritime border of the two countries.

The pair have traded verbal volleys in the past week over the long-simmering dispute. In its latest move, Guyana appealed to a host of regional and international coalitions to ensure that Venezuela does nothing to hinder ExxonMobil’s operations.

In 2013, the Venezuelan military detained the crew of a survey vessel working for Anadarko in the disputed waters and held the crew for about a week.

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Scientists warn against Atlantic seismic http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393646/scientists-warn-against-atlantic-seismic International group implores Obama to halt proposed tests off east coast over threats to marine life Luke.Johnson@upstreamonline.com (Luke Johnson) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393646/scientists-warn-against-atlantic-seismic Thu, 05 Mar 2015 19:29:07 +0000 live Scientists from Cornell, Duke, the New England Aquarium, Stanford, the University of North Carolina and other institutions sent a letter to the president laying out the potential impacts of shooting millions of deafening sonic blasts underwater at a rate of one every 10-12 seconds.

They say these activities would have “significant, long-lasting and widespread impacts on the reproduction and survival” of threatened whales and commercial fish populations.

"People are rightly concerned about the dangers of offshore oil spills, but seismic blasting is likely to have a terrible impact on Atlantic sea life before the first well is even drilled," said Michael Jasny, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council's (NRDC) Marine Mammal Protection Project.

The Obama administration has floated the possibility of offering up acreage off the Atlantic Coast for oil and gas drilling as early as 2021. The five-year plan is currently under a 60-day review to gauge the resource potential of the area as well as possible environmental impacts of exploration.

Industry has long sought access to US Atlantic waters. US regulators have estimated the east coast region could contain up to 8.87 billion barrels of technically recoverable reserves, most of which is thought to be gas.

The goal of the nine seismic shoots currently under permitting consideration would be to update the estimated hydrocarbon resources ahead of any lease sale.

Environmentalists have argued against allow seismic shoots, saying species like the critically endangered North Atlantic right whale, of which only 500 remain, are at particular risk.

Studies also show the airguns could kill fish eggs and larvae, interfere with breeding and make some species more vulnerable to predators, according to the NRDC.

"Opening the US east coast to seismic airgun exploration poses an unacceptable risk of serious harm to marine life... the full extent of which will not be understood until long after the harm occurs," the scientists wrote in the letter to Obama.

"Mitigating such impacts requires a much better understanding of cumulative effects, which have not properly been assessed, as well as strict, highly precautionary limits on the amounts of annual and concurrent survey activities, which have not been prescribed.

"To proceed otherwise is simply not sustainable."

Click here to read a copy of the letter. (pdf)

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Statoil targets FPSO for Castberg http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393630/statoil-targets-fpso-for-castberg Floater is 'preferred option' on Barents Sea field as high costs and low oil prices rule out original concept Steve.Marshall@upstreamonline.com (Steve Marshall) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393630/statoil-targets-fpso-for-castberg Thu, 05 Mar 2015 15:02:45 +0000 live Local contractor Aker Solutions has been carrying out a concept study on a proposed FPSO for the field, which is now the favoured option of the state-owned operator over an earlier proposed semi-submersible production unit with pipeline to an onshore terminal at Veidnes in Finnmark county.

Statoil’s hull leader for the Johan Castberg floater project, Kristian Aas, told an Intsok conference in Oslo on Thursday the failure of a recent drilling campaign to prove up more resources to boost the commerciality of the field had resulted in the FPSO “being sailed up as the preferred alternative and the semisub being put on the back-burner”.

He said the operator was looking at a possible leased FPSO with storage capacity of 1.2 million barrels, having been working to reduce the scale of the floater topsides and hull to minimise costs in response to Statoil’s cost-cutting initiative.

The company has also been working with SBM Offshore on design and optimisation of the 10,000-tonne turret of the floater.

While the vessel would not be ice-classed, Aas said ice management would be required and the hull would have to be strengthened to mitigate the stress impact of ice incursion.

Statoil’s project team was apparently ready to launch front-end engineering and design work on the FPSO last June so the revised concept could be announced before Christmas but it was stymied by the company’s recent decision to further tighten project costs amid low oil prices.

Aas said costs of the floater had already been reduced to a targeted break-even level, which he did not disclose, but would now have to be cut further. The project had a previous break-even price of $71 per barrel based on the original concept.

He admitted to Upstream that a final concept decision on the project, scheduled for June this year, was “now up in the air”.

“It is going well but there is still a long way to go before we see the first turret-moored FPSO in the Barents Sea and we do not know at present when this will be,” he said.

Statoil appears therefore to have finally ditched the previously chosen $15 billion solution involving the semisub with pipeline export to shore that has been re-evaluated due to a lack of resources, high costs and an earlier tax hike, with the recent oil price fall also likely to be a major factor in its decision.

Aas said though the company was looking at two alternative export solutions - offshore offloading to shuttle tankers to transport oil directly to market or using the planned terminal as a reloading facility under a possible joint venture with other Barents operators.

The proposed 280-kilometre pipeline is though now definitely off the radar screen for the scheme.

Statoil has been under pressure from the authorities to develop Johan Castberg as a new hub that could be used to tap area-wide discoveries in the frontier Arctic region where there is a lack of existing offshore infrastructure.

However, it is understood the pipeline and terminal would have represented an additional cost of around $2 billion compared with a standalone FPSO solution with offshore loading, making the original concept less economic, especially in a lower oil price environment.

Statoil recently disclosed that Statoil had shaved about $2.5 billion off the original project cost for Johan Castberg and it aimed to achieve a further reduction of $1.7 billion.

Aas said savings had been achieved in areas such as drilling costs, reservoir optimisation and re-arrangement of the subsea configuration at the planned field.

Floater technology player Sevan Marine had earlier carried out a concept study for a cylindrical FPSO, while Aker Solutions had previously performed a study on the semisub for Castberg.

The ship-shaped floater concept had though earlier been ruled out by Statoil in an impact assessment study for the field due to “reduced robustness in relation to safeguarding exploration potential".

Sevan’s business development chief Fredrik Major said the turret-and-swivel arrangement required for station-keeping on a ship-shaped floater would represent an additional cost of between $500 million and $700 million compared with a cylindrical unit, which does not need a turret.

Speaking at the conference, he also highlighted the enhanced motion characteristics of the Sevan concept in rough seas and its ease of disconnectability from risers in ice-infested Arctic waters.

Sevan had been touting a cylindrical unit with 1.4 billion barrels of storage capacity and 190,000 barrels per day of processing for Johan Castberg – which would have been its largest floater to date.

“I find it somewhat strange that we have not been asked to adjust that concept to the current specifications,” he said.

Statoil aims to tap estimated resources of between 400 million and 600 million barrels of oil equivalent from the Skrugard and Havis discoveries that make up Johan Castberg in production licence 532, as well as about 50 million barrels at the Drivis find in nearby PL608 made with the recent drilling effort.

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Petrobras hearing erupts in shouting match http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393640/petrobras-hearing-erupts-in-shouting-match Lawmakers accuse leader of congressional probe of trying to manipulate outcome of corruption investigation Luke.Johnson@upstreamonline.com (Luke Johnson) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393640/petrobras-hearing-erupts-in-shouting-match Thu, 05 Mar 2015 18:41:17 +0000 live The dispute highlights the rising tension in Congress two days after a federal prosecutor asked the Supreme Court to open investigations into 54 individuals for their alleged role in a giant price-fixing, bribery and political kick-back scandal at Petrobras popularly known as Operation Car Wash.

Many of those individuals are expected to include dozens of lawmakers. The list of the political figures targeted could be made public as early as Friday, Reuters reported.

Thursday's fracas began when Hugo Motta, president of the parliamentary-inquiry commission investigating the alleged corruption, tried to open the probe in Brasilia in a congressional meeting room.

Several angry congressmen rushed the dais and began yelling and shaking their fingers in Motta's face in a protest against his creation of investigating sub-commissions.

Motta, 25, a member of the PMDB and one of the youngest members of Congress, responded by yelling into his microphone.

"You must show me respect! You must show me respect!" Motta screamed repeatedly as he trembled angrily and shook his own finger back at his opponents. "I will not open the session like this."

The dispute centred on Motta's decision to create several sub-commissions with their own rapporteurs, a move that some suggested would undermine the power of the commission's main rapporteur, Luiz Sergio, a member of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's Workers Party (PT).

Rapporteurs, because they control the writing of the commission's final report, have great power over the official conclusions.

Those who rushed the dais inlcuded members of the PT and its ally the Socialism and Liberty Party (PSOL). After a few minutes, the protesters relented, and the deliberations proceeded.

The near brawl also underscores a widening rift between Rousseff's PT and the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB) - long her main ally in Congress - over austerity measures the president has proposed to fight inflation and revive a stagnant economy.

Mota had given one the four sub-commission rapporteur positions to members of the opposition Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), the G1 internet news service reported. PSDB presidential candidate Aecio Neves ran second to Rousseff in October presidential elections and has blamed government.

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Golar LNG teams up with Rosneft http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393604/golar-lng-teams-up-with-rosneft Co-operation pact is endorsement for floating LNG's future over costlier mega-projects, say analysts Bill.Lehane@upstreamonline.com (Bill Lehane) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393604/golar-lng-teams-up-with-rosneft Thu, 05 Mar 2015 11:26:42 +0000 live The two companies said the deal aimed to combine Golar LNG’s midstream abilities in liquefaction, transportation and regasification with Rosneft’s giant upstream portfolio.

Under the MoU the duo will hold talks on developing opportunities for the use of Golar's floating liquefaction technology GoFLNG facilities in Latin America and potentially other locations, the companies said.

The pair said they are also targeting signing of two FLNG tolling agreements for projects within Rosneft's portfolio.

Oil giant Rosneft is also the third largest gas producer in Russia with output of 42.1 billion cubic metres in and recoverable natural gas reserves of more than 6.5 trillion cubic metres in 2013.

Controlled by Norwegian oil and shipping magnate John Fredriksen, London-based, Nasdaq-listed Golar LNG is an integrated midstream LNG player.

The company has a fleet of LNG carriers and floating storage and regasification units (FSRUs) as well as orders for two FLNG vessels due in 2017 and 2018 and heads of agreement signed on an FLNG export project in Cameroon.

New York-based equity research firm Cowen and Company said the deal was good news for both Golar and its FLNG technology.

”We see Golar LNG as a longer term beneficiary of the lower oil price environment as LNG mega-project economics come under pressure and companies opt for smaller LNG developments,” the analysts said.

”We see this MoU as a sign of confidence for the FLNG technology in the marketplace. The signing of an MoU with a major gas producer demonstrates the market's belief that FLNG is a viable commercial technology,” Cowen and Company said.

The analysts forecast that Golar LNG will add a third FLNG vessel by 2019, for which it has an option remaining with the yard completing the conversion from LNG carrier to FLNG of the first two vessels, Singapore’s Keppel.

Cowen and Company added that given Golar LNG is the preferred supplier for British Colombia’s Cedar LNG, the midstream LNG player could add a further two FLNG vessels to its fleet to serve that project in the future.

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Honeywell gains Te Giac Trang work http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393620/honeywell-gains-te-giac-trang-work US specialist hired for third platform being added to Vietnam oilfield Bill.Lehane@upstreamonline.com (Bill Lehane) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393620/honeywell-gains-te-giac-trang-work Thu, 05 Mar 2015 14:36:10 +0000 live The New York-listed provider said it gained the work for the TGT-H5 wellhead platform following similar services on the first two platforms at the Cuu Long basin field, TGT H1 and TGT H4.

It is to provide turnkey project management and engineering of the new platform’s topside structures.

The automation specialist will also install an integrated control and safety solution to improve automation, increase cyber and physical security and improve operator effectiveness.

Honeywell will also provide engineering management and integration with the two existing TGT platforms, the Armada TGT 1 floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, and remote monitoring from the Hoang Long office in Ho Chi Minh City.

TGT-H5 is targeted to come online in the fourth quarter to take total output at the Block 16-1 field to about 50,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

Partners in the Hoang Long venture are state player PetroVietnam Exploration & Production, London-listed Soco International and Thailand’s PTT Exploration & Production.

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CNR boosts net profit by 69% http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393609/cnr-boosts-net-profit-by-69-percent Higher oil output drives increased earnings for Canadian operator Bill.Lehane@upstreamonline.com (Bill Lehane) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393609/cnr-boosts-net-profit-by-69-percent Thu, 05 Mar 2015 11:57:38 +0000 live The Calgary-based company raised overall output by 18% to 790,410 barrels of oil equivalent per day, with higher margin oil and liquids production rising by 11% to 531,200 barrels per day.

Chief executive Steve Laut said the results reflected the operator’s progress toward a longer life lower decline asset base with new volumes coming on stream the Pelican Lake and Kirby South oil sands projects.

Laut said that the company was able to adopt a "nimble, fexible capital allocation" to meet he challenges of lower oil prices, with the operator having already revealed plans in January to slash its capital budget by almost a third to C$6.2 billion.

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Genel Energy slumps to annual loss http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393594/genel-energy-slumps-to-annual-loss UK-listed operator sees higher revenues eaten up by exploration charges Bill.Lehane@upstreamonline.com (Bill Lehane) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393594/genel-energy-slumps-to-annual-loss Thu, 05 Mar 2015 09:45:05 +0000 live The Middle East and Africa-focused operator booked a charge of $476.8 million, which had been revealed in advance, as a result of unsuccessful exploration drilling off Malta, Morocco and Angola.

The explorer also wrote off $141 million in depreciation of oil and gas assets and wrote off the full value of the Dohuk gas asset in a charge of $80.9 million.

The charges negated a 49% rise in revenues to $519.7 million for the year as production rose by 58% to 69,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Genel Energy chief executive Tony Hayward said that “operational progress and the completion of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI)-Turkey pipeline helped to drive production up 58%, which in turn led to an increase in both revenue and ebitdax of almost 50%”.

Hayward said that the domestic monetisation of its Kurdistan output provided “a significant interim source of revenue until predictable export payments are in place”, adding he expects regular export payments during this year.

The company has been selling Taq Taq crude domestically through a temporary channel set up by the Kurdistan Regional Government to provide cash directly to contractors during the transition to regular export payments following last year's deal with Baghdad in the long-running dispute over Kurdish oil exports.

Contractors receive 50% of domestic sales proceeds with Taq Taq’s domestic price of $40-45 per barrel equating to a Brent price of $50 less transportation tariffs, reflecting strong demand for lighter barrels, Genel Energy said.

The operator is aiming to hike output to between 90,000 and 100,000 boe per day this year with revenue guidance of between $350 million and $400 million based on a $50 Brent price.

Genel Energy shares traded up by 6% at £5.98 on London’s main market on Thursday morning.

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PGNiG hikes net profit by 47% http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393603/pgnig-hikes-net-profit-by-47-percent Higher gas revenues outweigh lower oil prices for Polish gas company Bill.Lehane@upstreamonline.com (Bill Lehane) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393603/pgnig-hikes-net-profit-by-47-percent Thu, 05 Mar 2015 11:03:23 +0000 live Shares in the Warsaw-listed gas player rose by 5% following the results, with the fourth quarter net profit of 688 million zlotys ($183.59 million) beating the 72 million bottom line forecast by a Reuters poll of analysts.

The company netted 2.82 billion zloty in 2014 on revenues up 7% to 34 trillion zlotys.

The exploration and production segment lifted ebitda by 7% to 3.14 billion zlotys as while lower oil prices hampered revenues from higher crude sales, the drop was mitigated by higher gas sales and higher gas revenues, PGNiG said.

Annual crude oil and condensate output at 1.21 million tonnes exceeded PGNiG’s target by almost 30,000 tonnes despite unplanned downtime in Norway in the fourth quarter.

2015 production is targeted at 1.27 million tonnes.

PGNiG’s annual natural gas production target met its target of 4.5 billion cubic metres in 2014 and output of the same level is targeted for this year.

The company said it drilled 24 domestic wells during the year including 15 exploration wells, six research boreholes and three appraisal wells, with ten of the probes aimed at unconventional hydrocarbons.

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Shell acquires permit onshore Italy http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393596/shell-acquires-permit-onshore-italy Anglo-Dutch supermajor buys 80% stake in block from UK junior Northern Petroleum Bill.Lehane@upstreamonline.com (Bill Lehane) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393596/shell-acquires-permit-onshore-italy Thu, 05 Mar 2015 10:14:22 +0000 live Shell is to pay $850,000 cash in completion of the deal and will carry Northern Petroleum’s costs for up to $4 million in seismic costs and up to $50 million on one exploration well.

Shell has also acquired a pre-emptive right to Northern Petroleum’s share in the event of any change in control at the asset or corporate level.

Northern Petroleum chief executive Keith Bush said the deal showed the value of its Italian asset portfolio and strategy of partnering with bigger companies to maximise the assets’ value.

The duo will now re-interpret existing seismic to determine if new seismic is needed and help identify a location where a well could be drilled.

Shares in the London-based junior rose by 11% to £0.06 on the city’s Alternative Investments Market following news of the deal.

Awarded to Northern Petroleum last July, the Cascina Alberto permit in Italy’s Po Valley had previously held by Italian giant Eni in the late 1990s under the name Fiume Sesia.

The acreage contains the Gattinara prospect seen as potentially analogous to the Villafortuna-Trecate oilfield, which lies 25 kilometres to the south-east.

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Greatship gains Lamprell jack-up http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393407/greatship-gains-lamprell-jack-up Newbuild drilling unit Greatdrill Chaaru bound for India's ONGC Bill.Lehane@upstreamonline.com (Bill Lehane) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393407/greatship-gains-lamprell-jack-up Thu, 05 Mar 2015 09:07:00 +0000 live The subsidiary of India's Greatship said on Wednesday it has taken delivery of the self-elevating unit named GreatDrill Chaaru from the Sharjah, United Arab Emirates-based fabricator.

The Le Tourneau Super 116 E design jack-up is equipped to operate in water depths of up to 350 feet and to drill to depths of up to 30,000 feet.

Confirming the delivery on Thursday, Lamprell said the unit had been completed on time and within budget to a fast-track timeline 18 months after the first steel was cut.

The fabricator said the unit will sail away from its Hamriyah facility in the United Arab Emirates within the next few days.

Lamprell chief executive Jim Moffat said the delivery “further demonstrates Lamprell’s proven capability to fabricate high quality, complex products for use in the global energy industry”.

The Mumbai-headquartered group said last year it had secured a five-year charter for the newbuild unit in Indian waters with state player Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) beginning this month.

Greatship said the delivery took its owned and operated fleet to four jack-ups along with five platform supply vessels, nine anchor-handling tug supply vessels, two multi-purpose platform supply and support vessels, and six remotely-operated vehicle service vessels.

Mumbai-headquartered Greatship Group is a wholly-owned subsidiary of India's Great Eastern Shipping Company.

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Impairments hit Hunting's profits http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393588/impairments-hit-huntings-profits Underlying performance up on previous year on the back of higher revenues Josh.Lewis@upstreamonline.com (Josh Lewis) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393588/impairments-hit-huntings-profits Thu, 05 Mar 2015 08:08:42 +0000 live Hunting posted a profit of $71.8 million last year, down 33% on 2013's profit of $107.6 million.

It blamed the fall in profits on a $49.6 million impairment to the value of the goodwill held by its electronics and drilling tools business units, while it also booked an $11.3 million impairment related to the carrying value of its exploration and production assets.

These factors offset a rise in revenue in 2014 to nearly $1.4 billion, compared to just under $1.3 billion generated the previous year.

This helped lift Hunting's underlying profit $145.5 million in 2013 to $155.2 million last year.

Underlying results were boosted by the company's well completion business which posted saw its underlying profit from operations rise from $124.5 million to $140.8 million.

The well intervention business also helped boost underlying results, with the segment posting an increase in underlying profit from operations from $15.7 million to $23.8 million.

“During most of the year, activity was high in our core markets, in both the offshore and onshore sectors. This environment allowed a rise in (underlying) profits,” Hunting chairman Richard Hunting said.

“The sharp reduction in the global price of crude oil did not affect our trading results during 2014, however, we continue to monitor our customer activity levels closely going into 2015.”

While the company said the current volatile market condition made it hard to fully evaluate the short term outlook, it said it was well equipped for the anticipated market recovery in the long term with 2.8 million square feet of global manufacturing capacity spread and facilities and distribution centres spread across 13 countries.

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Woodside gets ACCC nod for Apache deal http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393580/woodside-gets-accc-nod-for-apache-deal Competition watchdog gives thumbs up to $3.75 billion deal Josh.Lewis@upstreamonline.com (Josh Lewis) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393580/woodside-gets-accc-nod-for-apache-deal Thu, 05 Mar 2015 03:28:26 +0000 live The ACCC said it would not oppose the deal which will see Australia's Woodside pick up Apache's interests in the Wheatstone liquefied natural gas project and Balnaves oilfield in Western Australia, as well as its stake in the Kitimat LNG project in western Canada.

The ACCC found the deal was unlikely to raise significant competition concerns, with Woodsie's share of the total market changing by less than 5%.

ACCC chairman Rod Sims said Woodside would also still continue to face strong competition from other suppliers in the market, including Apache, Chevron and Santos.

“Apache will continue to supply gas to the market through its interests in the Macedon, Varanus Island, and Devil Creek projects,” Sims said.

“As a result, Apache will remain a larger supplier of domestic gas in WA than Woodside following the proposed acquisition. Apache’s minority interest in domestic gas produced by the Wheatstone project will represent only a small fraction of the total gas to be supplied to WA, when it comes online in around 2018.”

The ACCC also pointed out that the Balnaves and Kitimat projects were not expected to supply product to Australia and said it had noted concerns expressed by the market about the effects of any further industry consolidation.

“The ACCC will continue to monitor the supply of domestic gas in WA and any future acquisitions in this area will be scrutinised carefully,” Sims said.

Last month Apache chief executive John Christmann confirmed the company had not ruled out selling off its remaining assets in Western Australia.

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Brent steady as Iran deal stalls http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393583/brent-steady-as-iran-deal-stalls Benchmark flat despite a higher than expected rise in US oil inventories Josh.Lewis@upstreamonline.com (Josh Lewis) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393583/brent-steady-as-iran-deal-stalls Thu, 05 Mar 2015 04:35:00 +0000 live Tehran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Wednesday no deal had been reached on the duration of any possible final agreement with world powers on Iran's programme. That allayed investors' fears of an imminent rise in Iranian oil supply.

Brent has traded around $60 since mid-February, rebounding from a six-year low of about $45 hit in January.

The April contract inched down 3 cents to $60.52 a barrel by 0326 GMT while West Texas Intermediate crude edged up 22 cents to $51.75 a barrel. A 2% gain in the previous session narrowed WTI's spread with global benchmark Brent to less than $9 a barrel.

"We've got a technically more constructive picture now," Michael McCarthy, chief strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney said, pointing to the end of seven straight months of oil price falls.

"That could be contributing to the surprisingly bullish reaction to the overnight news," he said.

Government data showed commercial crude stockpiles in the US hit a record high, rising 10.3 million barrels last week, which was twice as much as expected, but that failed to push prices down.

Saudi Arabia's oil minister voiced cautious optimism about the market outlook on Wednesday, saying he expected oil prices to stabilise.

A deteriorating security situation led Libya's state oil company to declare force majeure on 11 of its oilfields on Wednesday.

"It's not a huge difference but supportive of the market overall," McCarthy said. Output from the Opec producer was at more than 400,000 barrels per day on 1 March.

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Ophir firms up Seychelles leads http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393578/ophir-firms-up-seychelles-leads Preliminary interpretation of 3D seismic high grades four key structures in offshore acreage Josh.Lewis@upstreamonline.com (Josh Lewis) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393578/ophir-firms-up-seychelles-leads Thu, 05 Mar 2015 01:32:08 +0000 live Joint venture partner WHL Energy said preliminary interpretation from the recently acquired Junon 3D seismic survey had confirmed the potential of key prospects previously identified on existing 2D data.

As a result, four key structures - Junon South East, Junon Central, Junon South and Junon West – have been high graded within the Junon 3D area.

Junon South East is now estimated to hold 214 million barrels in prospective resources, Junon Central is believed to hold 209 million barrels, while Junon South and Junon West are estimated to hold 55 million and 53 million barrels respectively.

WHL managing director David Rowbottam said it was encouraging that prospects and leads identified on the previous 2D seismic had developed into potentially substantial prospects with the addition of the 3D data.

“This provides confidence that the high upside potential identified in the Beau Vallon structure and the Junon North trend prospects, which are currently only defined on 2D seismic, will potentially develop into valuable prospects with further 3D seismic acquisition,” he said.

“If our JV partner Ophir Energy elects to continue to the drilling phase under its farm-in agreement then these are the likely targets of future seismic acquisition.”

Based on the existing 2D data, WHL currently estimates the Beau Vallon Central prospect to hold 451 million barrels of prospective resources, with the Beau Vallon South and East prospects are estimated to hold a combined 432 million barrels.

It also estimates the Junon North East and North West prospects to hold 518 million and 171 million barrels, respectively, based on the 2D data.

The 1528 square kilometre Junon 3D survey was shot using the Polar Duchess seismic acquisition vessel and was designed to mature a number of prospects for drilling on the Junon trend in the east of the acreage.

The survey was gathered over blocks 5B/1 and 5B/2 where Ophir gained a 75% operated stake after striking a farm-in deal with WHL last year where it agreed to fully fund the seismic shoot, up to a cap of $17 million, and pay $4 million in back costs.

If Ophir decides to retain its interest in the licences beyond mid-2015, it will pay further contributions towards the next exploration phase.

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Epic to build Louisiana facility http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393576/epic-to-build-louisia-facility Pipeline fabricator to establish new home base in Livingston Parish Josh.Lewis@upstreamonline.com (Josh Lewis) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393576/epic-to-build-louisia-facility Thu, 05 Mar 2015 00:52:19 +0000 live The 200,000 square-foot facility will be equipped with advanced robotic equipment to optimise fabrication and Epic said the facility could be expanded to 300,000 square feet.

The project is expected to create 560 direct new jobs, with an estimated 500 involved in manufacturing and the remaining 60 to be dedicated to professional administrative roles.

Epic also said it expected an additional 732 new indirect jobs to be created in the region and surrounding parishes as a result of the project.

In order to secure the project, the state of Louisiana offered Epic an incentive package which included a performance-based $1.8 million economic development award programme grant to offset site infrastructure costs.

Epic said it also expected to utilise the state’s quality jobs and industrial tax exemption programmes.

The company will start recruiting for the facility immediately with construction slated to start in the second quarter of the year for completion in the same quarter of 2016.

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Colombian union to hold indefinite strike http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393584/colombian-union-to-hold-indefinite-strike Action called amid layoffs in Colombian oil sector due to fall in prices Josh.Lewis@upstreamonline.com (Josh Lewis) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393584/colombian-union-to-hold-indefinite-strike Thu, 05 Mar 2015 04:57:10 +0000 live A date for the stoppage would be fixed by 26 March USO president Edwin Castano told Reuters moments after a meeting with members to vote on strike action.

The union was still willing to discuss members' grievances with the government in the meantime, he said.

More than half Colombia's oil is produced by state-controlled Ecopetrol while Toronto-listed Pacific Rubiales is the biggest private player. About 2400 USO members work at Ecopetrol and some are contractors at Pacific.

"The 26th of March is the deadline we have for setting when the strike will begin. Meanwhile, we're waiting to open dialogue with the government and with Ecopetrol," Castano said.

Labor Minister Luis Eduardo Garzon said the government was willing to hear the union's demands and explore solutions, during a meeting with Castano on Tuesday, but members voted to strike nonetheless.

An Ecopetrol source told Reuters the company was preparing a contingency plan to minimise disruption in the event of a stoppage and said strikes at Ecopetrol were prohibited by law because the state-owned company provides a service to the public.

A strike would deal a further blow to the Andean nation's million-barrel-per-day industry already reeling from the roughly halving of global crude prices since last June.

It would also cut badly-needed royalty and tax revenue the government relies on and hit oil companies' earnings.

Around 10,000 workers have been laid off in the past few months and dismissals could reach 25,000 this year, Castano said, as companies rethink their investment and production plans with less cash to invest.

Crude is Colombia's largest export and source of foreign exchange. The Andean country is the fourth-largest oil producer in Latin America.

The union also objects to the idea that the government could at some point sell more shares in state-run Ecopetrol and to a plan under way to privatise publicly-owned Isagen, in a bid to raise funds for highway infrastructure.

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ExxonMobil looks onshore US for oil growth http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393570/exxonmobil-looks-onshore-us-for-growth Tight oil plays to account for about half of new production Noah.Brenner@nhst.no (Noah Brenner) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393570/exxonmobil-looks-onshore-us-for-growth Wed, 04 Mar 2015 22:01:32 +0000 live The US supermajor holds large positions in the giant Bakken and Permian plays and the lesser-known Ardmore basin in Oklahoma, which are primarily operated by its XTO Energy subsidiary.

While the company has extensive holdings in gas-prone shales such as the Marcellus, Haynesville and Utica, about 85% of its US onshore budget is directed toward its oil assets.

The “key” to that onshore growth will be the Permian basin, where ExxonMobil added about 65,000 acres in the Midland sub-basin in the last year to chase the Wolfcamp shale play and now plans to begin more aggressive horizontal drilling after sinking just 16 horizontal wells last year.

The US supermajor has moved more slowly than some competitors to appraise its US onshore holdings but, unlike those competitors, ExxonMobil is not dropping its rig count as quickly either.

While the Bakken play has lost more than a third of its rigs, ExxonMobil plans only small declines in its drilling there, where the company runs 13 rigs.

Tillerson said US tight oil economics are "more resilient than some people think".

"It might surprise people how attractive these things are even in this environment," he said, disputing claims that US tight oil production was at the margin of global development economics.

"There is a significant portion of this that is competitive on a global basis."

At the same time, such resilience in the sector means that operators will continue to bring on new production, potentially keeping prices depressed for a longer period of time – the company is assuming an average Brent price of $55 over the next three years.

"People need to settle in for a while," said Tillerson.

Tillerson compared the situation to that of the US shale gas industry five years ago, when rig counts plummeted by 75% while at the same time production rose by about 50% due to increased efficiencies and better understanding of the subsurface.

A similar dynamic is arising in the US tight oil plays.

ExxonMobil is already seeing 20% to 25% declines in service costs in major US onshore basins.

Operators also have learned more about the best ways to drill, complete and produce tight oil formations, especially how to best design the hydraulic fracture treatments.

For example, in the Bakken, seven-day tests have shown ExxonMobil's average initial production rates are up 90% since 2011.

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Titan hits Allen Dome gas http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393579/titan-hits-allen-dome-gas Promising signs as drilling is terminated early on the eastern flank of Texan project Josh.Lewis@upstreamonline.com (Josh Lewis) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393579/titan-hits-allen-dome-gas Thu, 05 Mar 2015 01:57:59 +0000 live Titan revealed on Thursday it was forced to halt drilling for the Ward-1 well at 3367 feet due to lost circulation issues, while it also had concerns the amount of gas encountered created the risk of a possible underground blowout.

The operator has since logged and cased the well at a depth of 3280 feet and identified a number of potentially productive sands.

It plans to perforate and test the well for production capacities once it has determined the most appropriate market for the potential gas find.

Titan managing director Paul Garner said the results from Ward-1 further confirmed the potential of the Allen salt dome.

“We anxiously await the results of the forthcoming completion tests on this well and will report these to our shareholders as soon as possible,” he said.

“In the meanwhile Titan is looking forward to testing further potential areas across the dome in future wells.”

Titan holds a 40% non-operated interest in the Ward-1 well.

The Australian company increased its acreage position on the Allen Dome field last month to roughly 1085 net acres after picking up more acreage on the eastern flank of the dome.

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Vaalco spins Angola bit http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393573/vaalco-spins-angola-bit US independent spuds its first well on Block 5 in a bid to add production from second West African country Luke.Johnson@upstreamonline.com (Luke Johnson) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393573/vaalco-spins-angola-bit Wed, 04 Mar 2015 22:48:40 +0000 live Vaalco commenced drilling on Monday at its first exploration well on Block 5 off Angola, the post-salt Kindele-1. The operator has contracted Transocean semi-submersible GSF Celtic Sea for the work.

Transocean's latest fleet status report shows a dayrate for the rig of $338,000, though the contract is scheduled to end this month. The well is expected to take about six weeks to drill.

Planned total depth for the Kindele well is 2250 metres in a water depth of about 100 metres. It will first test the Mucanzo sand section at around 1800 metres and then be deepened to the salt "for geologic and geophysical correlation".

"After nearly nine years of continued commitment to our Block 5 license, we are embarking on an important phase in our efforts to explore for hydrocarbons from a second West African country," said chief executive Steve Guidry.

"We continue to believe that Block 5 is within an area with potential in both post- and pre-salt formations including the syn-rift and sag play."

Kindele-1 will test a fault block adjacent to the Mubafo discovery, which tested oil from the Mucanzo sand section within the Pinda group formations.

Vaalco, which is very active in Gabon, announced in October last year that it had signed an agreement with state-owned partner Sonangol for the subsequent exploration phase for Block 5.

Under the agreement, Vaalco and Sonangol have committed to drill a total of four exploration wells through November 2017.

Vaalco also said it is close to finalising the seismic processing in the outboard portion of Block 5.

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Encana taps markets for cash http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393574/encana-taps-markets-for-cash Canadian gas producer looks to raise at least $1bn in bought-deal sale Luke.Johnson@upstreamonline.com (Luke Johnson) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393574/encana-taps-markets-for-cash Wed, 04 Mar 2015 23:09:40 +0000 live Encana will sell 85.6 million common shares at C$14.60 each to a syndicate of underwriters led by RBC Capital Markets, Credit Suisse and Scotiabank.

Encana has also granted the underwriters an over-allotment option to purchase up to an additional 12.8 million shares at the same price. If that option is exercised, Encana's gross proceeds from the deal would be around C$1.44 billion.

The company intends to use proceeds from the sale to strengthen its balance sheet and bring additional financial flexibility by reducing Encana's long-term debt and interest expense. It will also pay down debt.

The move follows similar efforts by Canadian companies like Cenovus, which sold C$1.5 billion of shares last month.

The offering - which will be made by the underwriters rather than the company itself - is expected to close on 16 March.

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Crew vessel collides with liftboat in US Gulf http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393459/crew-vessel-collides-with-liftboat-in-us-gulf Coast Guard responds to incident in shallow waters involving Halliburton wireline unit Luke.Johnson@upstreamonline.com (Luke Johnson) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393459/crew-vessel-collides-with-liftboat-in-us-gulf Wed, 04 Mar 2015 19:52:58 +0000 live The 135-foot passenger vessel Diamond Edge started taking on water after it hit wireline liftboat BW Haley just off Freshwater Bayou near LaFayette, Louisiana.

There were four people on board the crewboat at the time of the collision at around 10 am on Monday. All four put on life jackets and were safely evacuated, the Coast Guard said.

Images showed Diamond Edge, which is owned by Jewel Marine, with its bow sticking into the air at a 45-degree angle and its stern submerged in nine feet of water.

Jewel Marine, which did not immediately return a call seeking comment, has hired McKinney Salvage to recover the vessel, according to the Coast Guard.

A spokesman for the agency said two tugs and three barges - a derrick, a crane and a receiver - are expected to arrive on scene around 4:00 pm local time on Wednesday.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Damage to the hull of the Diamond Edge is thought to be minimal. The vessel will head to a yard in Lake Charles for repairs.

No injuries or immediate environmental damage were reported. However, the stricken vessel has some 6000 gallons of diesel fuel on board.

The Coast Guard is "carefully monitoring" the situation, adding that there is "no longer any distress associated with the case".

It was not clear what was happening aboard the BW Haley at the time of the incident, though the liftboat was said to not be damaged.

Halliburton said the US Coast Guard is looking into the incident, but the company provided no further details.

The incident was first reported by gCaptain.

**The US Coast Guard initially classified the incident as an "allision" but later re-classified it as a "collision", indicating both vessels were in motion at the time they made contact.

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Venezuela must pay interest on ExxonMobil bill http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393571/venezuela-must-pay-interest-on-exxonmobil-bill US district court rejects country's bid to reduce interest on $1.6bn award to supermajor related to nationalisation Luke.Johnson@upstreamonline.com (Luke Johnson) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393571/venezuela-must-pay-interest-on-exxonmobil-bill Wed, 04 Mar 2015 22:04:47 +0000 live The decision is a setback for the South American Opec member that has also sought revisions to the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes' (ICSID) decision, in addition to its outright annulment, Reuters reported.

"The judgement shall continue to accrue interest at the rate that the ICSID award specified: 3.25% compounded annually, until Venezuela has made payment in full," District Judge Paul Engelmayer ordered, denying Venezuela's motion.

Cash-strapped Venezuela has been facing more than 20 major arbitration awards, most stemming from high-profile nationalisations under the polarising late socialist president Hugo Chavez.

Delays to the enforcement of the latest hefty arbitration award grant the government of his successor Nicolas Maduro some breathing room as it struggles with a tumble in oil prices, arrears with private companies, debt payments, and campaigns for this year's parliamentary election.

The government did not immediately respond to requests for comments to Reuters.

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California shuts more injection wells http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393458/california-shuts-more-injection-wells Regulators close 12 facilities in Kern County to protect groundwater Noah.Brenner@nhst.no (Noah Brenner) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393458/california-shuts-more-injection-wells Wed, 04 Mar 2015 19:46:19 +0000 live The move was part of a broader review of the roughly 50,000 injection wells scattered across the state after it was found that some may be injecting into formations that the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) believes may be needed for human use in the future.

“Out of an abundance of caution, we want to be sure that no injection is taking place into zones containing water that could, with treatment, be used for human activities.” California Oil &Gas Supervisor Steven Bohlen said.

California has been rocked by severe drought in recent months, leading state officials to re-double efforts to identify and protect water resources.

These twelve wells, all of which are located in Kern County, inject into zones that were not approved by the EPA and which have water with relatively low dissolved solids, indicating it might be useable for people.

Operators of ten of the wells, including Linn Energy, California Resources and Chevron have already voluntarily shut them in and relinquished their injection permits

State regulators issued cease-and-desist orders to stop activity at the other two, operated by Modus and Western States International.

The latest move comes in addition to the 11 injection wells in Kern County that were shut in last year for the same reason.

In total, California identified more than 2500 injection wells that drilled into unapproved formations and found 532 of them terminated in formations that might have useable water.

After evaluating those 532 wells, state officials found that 176 of them were injecting into water reservoirs with total dissolved solids of less than 3000 milligrams per litre – standards for human consumption require less than 1000 mg/l.

The state is now focusing on certain wells within those 176 that are drilled to less than one mile below the surface and within 500 vertical feet of a formation that supplies water to the public.

California has a plan in place to halt injection into aquifers with less than 3000 mg/l by 15 October and to halt injection into all other unapproved formations, or seek to have them federally approved, by early 2017.

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BP plans CATS sale http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393448/bp-plans-cats-sale UK supermajor aims to shed 36% operated interest in North Sea pipeline Luke.Johnson@upstreamonline.com (Luke Johnson) http://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1393448/bp-plans-cats-sale Wed, 04 Mar 2015 17:39:29 +0000 live "In December, BP announced the intent to sell our equity in the Cats business," the UK supermajor said in its annual report filing.

BP operates the 400-kilometre line with a 36% interest.

The company is in the midst of an effort to divest approximately $10 billion in assets.

The central North Sea pipeline has a transportation capacity of 293,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Average throughput in 2014 was 134,000 boepd, the company said.

BP provided no value estimates for its intended sale.

UK-based BG Group sold its 62.78% interest in the Cats pipeline last year for nearly $1 billion to the Antin Infrastructure Partners fund.

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