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SapuraKencana Energy Sarawak Inc announces the signing of the SK310 upstream gas sales agreement for B15 gas field


SapuraKencana Energy Sarawak Inc (“SKE”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of SapuraKencana Petroleum Berhad (“SKPB”) has signed the SK310 Upstream Gas Sales Agreement (“UGSA”) in relation to the production of gas from the B15 Gas Field on Thursday, 23 June 2016, between Petroliam Nasional Berhad (“PETRONAS”) as Gas Buyer and the SK310 Production Sharing Contract (“PSC”) Contractors as Joint Sellers. SKE is the Operator of Block SK310 PSC which was awarded by PETRONAS on 17 June 2008. SKE has participating interest of 30%, PETRONAS Carigali Sdn. Bhd., 40%, and Diamond Energy Sarawak Sdn. Bhd., a subsidiary of Mitsubishi Corporation, 30%.

The B15 Gas Field which was discovered in December 2010 is located within the SK310 PSC area, offshore East Malaysia. The development will comprise a central processing platform with a 35km gas evacuation pipeline to be tied into the existing infrastructure. The B15 Gas Field will deliver gas to the Malaysia Liquefied Natural Gas (MLNG) complex in Bintulu, Sarawak. The first gas delivery is targeted to be in the fourth quarter of 2017.

“I would like to thank PETRONAS and the SK310 JV partners for their efforts in getting the project to realisation. The SK310 UGSA marks SKE’s first participation in a Gas Sales Agreement for East Malaysia,” said Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Shahril Shamsuddin, President & Group CEO of SKPB.



Oil Glut Is Fading Where You Would Least Expect: Saudi Arabia


Saudi Arabia, a country nearly synonymous with plentiful crude supplies, is offering one of the strongest signs yet that the glut that has plagued the oil market since 2014 is coming to an end.

Despite near record production, the kingdom’s oil inventories have declined for six consecutive months, the longest stretch since the Joint Organisations Data Initiative started tracking Saudi supply levels nearly 15 years ago.

“The drop in Saudi crude stocks signals the rebalancing has started,” said Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at consulting firm Energy Aspects Ltd. in London. “Crude stocks are coming off in places where either the data is opaque or the market isn’t paying as much attention.”

With oil traders focusing on supply changes in the U.S. and to a lesser extent in Europe and Japan, the drop in Saudi inventories has gone largely unnoticed. Since October, when Saudi supplies reached a record high, stocks have fallen by 38.6 million barrels as the kingdom provided more crude to the market than it pumped from its oilfields. Over the same period, U.S. crude stocks increased by nearly 61 million barrels.

“Saudi Arabia cannot continue to draw down stocks forever,” said Olivier Jakob at consulting firm Petromatrix GmbH in Switzerland. With inventories down, Riyadh “will contribute to the rebalancing” of the oil market in the second half of the year and in 2017, he said.

Saudi Arabia’s new energy minister has offered his own opinion that the market is emerging from the global glut.

“The worst is clearly behind us,” Energy Minister  Khalid Al-Falih told Bloomberg television when OPEC met in Vienna on June 2. “We see a balanced market, we see supply and demand converging. We may have started inventory drawdowns that will continue for the foreseeable future.”

The amount of Saudi crude in domestic and overseas storage facilities stood at 290.9 million barrels at the end of April, the lowest level since August 2014, according to JODI data. In addition to tanks within the kingdom, Saudi Arabia keeps crude in large storage facilities in Sidi Kerir in Egypt, Okinawa in Japan, and Rotterdam.

At current trends, Saudi crude stocks are set to fall further, analysts and traders said. In April, the kingdom supplied the market – a mix of crude exports, domestic refinery consumption and direct burn at power plants – with roughly 10.5 million barrels a day, compared with production of just 10.2 million, leading to a drop in stocks, according to JODI data. Preliminary data for May point to the seventh consecutive monthly drop in crude inventories, with stocks down another 5.6 million barrels.

Summer Demand

Unless the kingdom increases production or reduces exports, the stock draw will deepen as Saudi Arabia uses significantly more crude between June and September to produce electricity for cooling during the sweltering summer months. Within the last year, Saudi Arabia has increased its refining capacity, too, further adding to crude demand.

“The seasonal increase in crude burn from April and the higher base of refinery runs imply further sharp stock draws or higher production to maintain exports,” said Seth Kleinman, an oil analyst at Citigroup Inc. in London.

The kingdom burned 500,000 barrels a day at its power stations in April, the most for the month since at least 2009. Traditionally Saudi crude burn reaches a peak in July to August at around double the rate of April. Even if Riyadh raises its oil production this summer to the all-time high of 10.56 million barrels a day set in June 2015, stocks may fall further, depending on whether current export levels and refinery intakes are maintained.

Saudi Output

The International Energy Agency said earlier this month that Saudi Arabia could increase production beginning in June to cover increased power needs during the summer. The kingdom’s production has been around 10.2 million barrels since the start of the year.

“They’re not in a hurry to ramp up for the time being and that has shown in stocks coming off,” said Abhishek Deshpande, an analyst at Natixis SA in London. “It’s very strategic, what the Saudis are doing. They don’t want to give any shocks to a very fragile market.”




Dstl – supporting National Women in Engineering Day 2016


Raising the profile and celebrating the achievements of women in engineering to encourage more girls to consider engineering as a career.

Raising the profile and celebrating the achievements of women in engineering to encourage more girls to consider engineering as a career.

Dstl’s Laura Jones supporting National Women in Engineering Day
Across the UK women make up less than 10% of the engineering workforce. The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) is bucking this national trend, over 30% of our engineers and scientists are female.

Dstl is proud to be supporting this year’s National Women in Engineering Day (NWED). We want to encourage more girls and women into the engineering sector, to help address the skills gap in the sector and to open the door to rewarding careers.

Commenting on NWED 2016 Jonathan Lyle, Dstl’s Chief Executive said:

At Dstl, female engineers are making a huge contribution to the nation’s security. I am proud of the fact that over 30% of our engineers and scientists are women, and that many are acknowledged and respected leaders in their fields. We would like to see many more women studying STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects at school, college and university, opening the door to exciting and rewarding careers in engineering.

Laura Jones, an engineer working on new materials for our Armed Forces commented:

Engineering is one of the most creative and challenging careers that I can think of. The more complex the problem, the more creativity that is needed to solve it. Every day I am dealing with new and exciting challenges. It’s a hugely rewarding career that’s enabled me to work in both the public and private sectors and has taken me all over the world. The field is also extremely diverse with many different specialisms, so there really is something for everyone. I would encourage everyone, regardless of their gender or background to give serious consideration to pursuing a career in a STEM discipline – there will always be a demand for good STEM professionals.

Professor Penelope Endersby, the Head of Dstl’s Cyber and Information Systems Division added:

I owe a lasting debt to everyone who encouraged me to pursue a career in engineering. I want every girl to consider the opportunity for a fascinating and rewarding career in STEM.

Engineers at Dstl work in a wide range of engineering disciplines including mechanical, electrical, materials and software. Each day they are working on a range of high profile and exciting engineering projects including the Queen Elizabeth class of carriers, the F-35 Lightning II, unmanned aerial vehicles, ballistic protection and cyber security.

Each year Dstl recruits around 80 graduate engineers and 18 engineering apprentices. We also offer 150 student placements. Details of our engineering opportunities can be found on our Facebook page or on our website.

Dstl uses cutting edge science and technology to counter threats, existing and new, to UK Armed Forces and British citizens. In 2015 we were proud to do that in many ways, including being at the heart of UK’s contribution to tackling Ebola in Sierra Leone; providing life-saving protection for our soldiers, sailors and aircrew on operations around the globe; defending critical systems from cyber-attack; and supporting the fight against terrorism at home and overseas. We do that through the application of a diverse range of specialist scientific and engineering skills, working in close partnership with a wide network of partners and suppliers in industry and universities.




FirstEnergy Expects Crude Oil Price to Hit $70 in 2018


Crude oil prices will rebound towards $70 per barrel in 2018, according to oil and gas analysts at FirstEnergy.

“We have increased our expectations for crude oil prices across our entire forecast horizon,” said FirstEnergy’s oil and gas analyst Martin King in a research note sent to Rigzone.

“We anticipate prices closer to $50 per barrel as the new average for 2016, with a steady increase to $60 per barrel in 2017, and higher prices toward $70 per barrel in 2018. Going forward, we expect that further supply erosion, led by the United States, and stronger demand growth, led by the emerging economies, will result in a gradual, but steady drawdown in global inventories and that the market will be undersupplied well into 2017,” he added.

FirstEnergy analysts Darren Engels and Stephane Foucaud echoed King’s predictions, stating that oil would climb as high as $80 per barrel by 2019.

“Our Brent oil price forecast has increased by 15 percent to US$48.70 per barrel in 2016e (estimate) and by 9 percent to $62.50 per barrel in 2017e. Our longer-term Brent oil price forecast from 2019e has been increased by $2.50 to $79.50,” said the analysts in a joint statement.

“Depending on the overall exposure to oil for each company, the nature of fiscal terms and the size of the hedging books, our cash flow estimates for 2016e and 2017e for most larger E&Ps have been increased by 10 percent to 46 percent. As expected, companies with large net debt positions benefit the most from the changes in our commodity price deck. We now rate Africa Oil, Nostrum Oil & Gas and Parex Resources as Top Picks,” the pair concluded.

FirstEnergy also raised its U.S. natural gas price expectations for 2016 and 2017, anticipating gains toward $4.00 per mmbtu by 2019. The outlook for Canadian natural gas prices was lowered in the near term but predicted to quickly recover to FirstEnergy’s “previous bullish outlook” by the first quarter of 2017.




British Antarctic Survey Select Impact Subsea ISA500


Impact Subsea is pleased to announce the delivery of ISA500 units to the British Antarctic Survey (BAS).

The ISA500 units have been selected to monitor the position of an ice boring tool in the Antarctic hundreds of meters below the surface.

During deployment of the ice boring tool, the ISA500 units measure the distance at multiple points from the tool to the outer bore wall.  This allows the bore diameter to be monitored and regulated during the deployment of the tool.

Chosen for this application due to the ISA500’s small form factor, high accuracy and ability to repeatedly resolve distance measurement to the nearest millimetre.  This enables a very high accuracy positioning solution of the boring tool to be provided.

Commenting on this project, Ben Grant, Managing Director, Impact Subsea ‘The work being conducted by the British Antarctic Survey team highlights the diverse range of applications which the ISA500 unit can fulfil – from ROV Altitude to tool deployment monitoring.

The ISA500 is an underwater Altimeter/Range measurement device which utilises sonar techniques to derive distance measurement. The unit provides a 120 meter range measurement capability with millimetre accuracy.  The ISA500 can optionally be provided with an integrated Attitude & Heading Reference System, providing Heading, Pitch and Roll.

Typically used on underwater vehicles for Altitude measurement, the ISA500 also has uses in the Dredging, Magnetometer, Survey and Asset Monitoring applications.



Oil Bust Pushes Producers Together To Make Cost Cutting Count


The biggest oil-industry downturn in a generation has companies collaborating in ways they never thought possible.

In this global effort, one of the world’s most expensive oil regions intends to lead the way. Last month companies operating in the North Sea started pooling spare parts and tools, and they are even sharing plans on how to drill wells so they can work faster and cheaper, said Paul Goodfellow, Royal Dutch Shell Plc’s vice president for the U.K. and Ireland.

This is a big change from oil’s boom, when costs weren’t such an issue as long as $100-a-barrel crude kept flowing. As companies focus on adapting to prices closer to $50 by making their spending less wasteful, they also aim to boost profitability for years to come by keeping costs low as markets recover.

“We didn’t particularly focus with the same urgency on costs when oil and gas prices were high,” said  Colette Cohen, senior vice president of U.K. and the Netherlands for Centrica Plc, a natural gas supplier. “Now it’s about coming in every day and thinking how can I do that better, or how can I reduce costs,” but it’s “very difficult” to keep this going when prices recover, she said.

Companies responded to the price slump by reducing spending, potentially cutting as much as $1 trillion by 2020. The industry has reduced costs by 10 percent to 15 percent overall, but in the U.K. about three-quarters of these savings are linked to things like rig-rental rates, which typically go back up when oil prices rise, said Malcolm Dickson, principal analyst at consulting firm Wood Mackenzie Ltd.

The Shell-led initiative in the North Sea aims to avoid that.

“You can sit there in a world of $100 and think all is good and not maybe realize how fragile the system is,” Goodfellow said in an interview in Aberdeen, Scotland, the center of the U.K. oil industry. “You’ve had the shock and that’s illuminated the problem.”

Shell and partners including EnQuest Plc, Marathon Oil Corp., Apache Corp., Centrica and Repsol SA’s Talisman started talking last year about setting up a pool of spare parts, ranging from nuts and screws to valves and compressors, Goodfellow said. They formed a group to manage the inventory, contributed their excess equipment, cataloged it and found a warehouse in Aberdeen to store more than 200,000 parts.

Sharing Economy

The system, which is managed by a company called Ampelius Trading, came online a few weeks ago. So now, for example, if Shell needs a valve for a North Sea facility, it can log on to the system, go through the catalog, place an order and have the part delivered the next day instead of waiting “six weeks, six months,” Goodfellow said.

Shell is also leading a group called the Wells Forum, which asked members to share their drilling plans so others could give their opinion and experience on how to reduce costs, Goodfellow said. Shell, BP Plc and France’s Engie SA were the first to put up their well plans and seven others followed, helping cut costs by at least 10 percent, he said.

Overall, operating costs in the area have fallen as much as 40 percent in the past two years, Goodfellow said.

While this cooperation is “very desirable,” it’s not enough to fully compensate for current low oil prices, said Nick Butler, visiting professor at the Policy Institute at Kings College in London and former vice president of strategy at BP. Investment cuts in the area will start to affect production from 2018, he said.

Adding Up

Still, lots of incremental savings can add up to significant cost reductions for individual projects. Statoil ASA and its partners have cut the estimate for capital spending on the giant Johan Sverdrup field in the Norwegian North Sea to 160 billion kroner to 190 billion kroner ($19.3 billion to $22.9 billion) from 170 billion kroner to 220 billion kroner previously.

Fewer wells are being drilled, production vessels are being changed and the standardization of equipment like underwater valves makes cost reductions more sustainable, said Wood Mackenzie’s Dickson.

BP CEO Bob Dudley says the industry can do a better-than-expected job of keeping costs low.

The company’s Mad Dog Phase 2 project in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico is now expected to costs less than $9 billion compared with an estimate of $10 billion last year and $20 billion four years ago, Dudley said. Rig-rental rates are likely to stay down because of an oversupply, while low steel prices are reducing the cost of other equipment, he said.

“That’s too pessimistic” to say that most savings will be lost when the industry rebounds from the downturn, he said in an interview in St. Petersburg, Russia, on June 17. “For our organization, we believe we can capture 75 percent of the cost reduction and keep them there.”




Marsol International supports OOCEP’s first crude oil export from MGP terminal


Marsol International, a UAE-based global marine solutions provider focused on the offshore oil terminal market and related infrastructure, has successfully supported Oman Oil Company Exploration & Production LLC’s (OOCEP) first shipment of crude oil from the Musandam gas plant (MGP).

Marsol’s involvement included the provision and management of all marine and offshore activities related to the tanker loading, via the single point mooring (SPM) offshore marine terminal including marine works, vessels, equipment and manpower. OOCEP, a subsidiary of Oman Oil Company S.A.O.C safely exported 300,000 barrels of crude oil as part of the operation, which were fully processed at the MGP on 4 May in Oman.

Mike Young, Director of Marsol International, said: “The successful exportation of the first crude oil from the newly constructed Musandam gas plant is a fantastic achievement for OOCEP and we are delighted to have been selected to support this operation. Our tanker operations and our product transfer services ensure safe and efficient mooring and unmooring at the SPM and are a crucial element of our asset integrity management service.”

The Musandam gas plant, located on the west coast of the Musandam peninsula, has a processing capacity of up to 20,000 barrels of crude; 45 million cubic feet of gas and 75 tonnes of LPG per day.

Since 2005, based on experienced gained over 47 years, Marsol International has provided operational engineering and management solutions to clients, consultants and EPC contractors for new offshore terminal facilities, and operational integrity management and IRM services of existing facilities to offshore terminal owners and operators.




From Engineer To Sommelier: Calgary’s Laid-off Oil Workers Try Plan B


Alejandro Rodriguez wants to be a sommelier. His previous experience: 20 years as an oil reservoir engineer.

The 42-year-old needed to consider a career plan B after ARC Resources Ltd laid him off in January, adding to a growing number of people in the Canadian city of Calgary, Alberta who no longer have a place in its once-vibrant oil and gas industry.

Once lured by high pay and a multitude of opportunities, many job seekers in Calgary often have one mission these days: get out of the industry and never return.

“I see this as an opportunity to go for the passions you may have. If the downturn had not come, I would be continuing in the oil and gas industry,” said Rodriguez.

While the oil-rich province has a long boom and bust history, executive recruiters say pessimism is deeper than in past, with a growing number of white-collar workers looking for more stable careers.

In May, there were 25,000 fewer jobs in Calgary than there were a year earlier. Unemployment hit 8.1 percent, according to Statistics Canada data, higher than the 7.8 percent unemployment seen across Alberta, which has nearly doubled from 4.6 percent two years earlier.

Those departures suggest the industry could forever lose some of the talent and expertise it would need during a recovery.

“We have people coming through our programs saying ‘We are done. We do not want oil and gas jobs any more because it’s too unstable’,” said Jackie Rafter, founder of Higher Landings, a company that tries to help people move into different careers.

With U.S. crude around $48 a barrel, less than half the price it was two years ago, industry veterans call this slump the worst in a generation. Last month’s wildfire in the northern Alberta oil sands region landed a cruel extra blow.

The Canadian industry’s shift to produce more higher cost oil sands crude also makes a recovery less likely in a low-price environment. Research firm Wood Mackenzie recently estimated new thermal oil sands projects would need a U.S. crude price of around $60 to break even over time.

“Do I Want to Go Through This Again?”

That means there is plenty of demand for Rafter’s company, which held a recent workshop in a small, windowless conference room on the 52nd floor of Calgary’s Suncor Energy tower.

During the hour-long bring-your-own-lunch session, attendees are urged to focus on their values, beliefs and identity, as well as skills. She urges attendees to “unpeel the onion,” to figure out what kind of career would work for them.

But she warns those that think they can land another oil and gas job they are in for a shock since jobs that were once plentiful are now hard to come by.

“I feel sorry for those people who expect to get another job doing what they were doing before,” she said.

Wayne Beatty, 61, former vice president of corporate development at oil sands producer Southern Pacific Resource Corp, which went bust last year, is working toward provincial insurance and mutual fund licenses for a new career in financial services.

“The swings (in oil and gas) are much bigger than what other industries have seen and that creates all sorts of havoc,” he said.

Rafter said other Higher Landing clients include an engineer who has joined an accounting firm, a former oil company accountant turned nutritionist, and an oilfield services human resources manager who now works for a construction firm.

Bruce Proctor, managing partner of executive recruiter Summit Search Group in Calgary, said oil and gas professionals who have been laid off for six months or longer often then take a hard look at their options.

They ask, “‘do I want to go through this again once the industry comes back in another three to five years?'” he said.


There is another problem for Calgary’s job seekers. Some prospective employers worry oil veterans might return to their old, lucrative jobs if prices recover.

Summit Search Group’s Proctor said many of his clients worry that former energy sector workers use other jobs — which often have lower status and pay — as stopgaps for tough times, so they won’t consider oil and gas “casualties” for jobs now.

David Elsey, vice president at recruiter Executrade, said many companies have been burned in the past by hiring oil and gas workers, only to see them jump ship as soon as a new posting in the sector came available.

“It’s a nightmare from a recruitment perspective, you have such skilled people and can’t do anything with them,” he said.

Marian Hanna, who said she is in her 50s, lost her job as president of ION Geophysical Canada last July when the geoscience firm closed its Calgary office.

She recently completed a corporate directors designation program, similar to an executive MBA, run out of the city’s Haskayne School of Business, and is the current president of the Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists.

While the title is impressive, it does her little good these days because good job opportunities are so scarce, she said.

“If push comes to shove… I may be in retail or a Walmart greeter. I am not trying to be negative, but that’s the reality,” she said. “With 100,000 people out of work you can imagine how many apply when there’s an opportunity.”




Proserv secures double contract wins


Energy services company Proserv has won two significant contract wins in the Gulf of Mexico. The deals with Talos Energy and Hess Corporation will see Proserv carry out work at the operators’ respective Phoenix and Conger field expansion developments.

The delivery of these contracts will be a truly collaborative effort involving Proserv’s global team of subsea controls and communications experts in Great Yarmouth, UK; Trondheim, Norway and Houston, USA.

Proserv will provide subsea communications and controls solutions to support the brownfield upgrade of the Phoenix field for Talos Energy. Specifically, the company will design, manufacture and supply an Open Communications Hub (OCH) and Electrical Distribution Units to interface with the existing subsea infrastructure previously supplied by Proserv. The design, manufacture and supply of the OCH will be delivered by Proserv’s dedicated controls team in Houston with support from the company’s engineering and project teams in Trondheim.

The award with Hess Corporation calls for Proserv to provide a Subsea Control Module (SCM) and associated tree mounted equipment for the expansion of the Conger field. The design and manufacture of the SCM will be carried out by Proserv’s team of subsea experts in Great Yarmouth. The tree mounted equipment and the final testing, servicing and the integration of equipment will be performed at Proserv’s controls facility in Houston.

Over the past three years, Proserv has provided Hess Corporation with controls solutions for Hess’ Tubular Bells, Stampede and now, Conger projects in the Gulf of Mexico.

The workscopes for both projects will be delivered later this year, in line with key project milestones.

David Lamont, Proserv CEO, said: “As one of the leading challenger brands in the oilfield services sector, we remain focused on providing our clients with ingeniously simple solutions through the delivery of appropriate, efficient and highly-reliable technology.

“Winning these awards is testament to the strength of our relationship with both operators and their trust in our ability to deliver robust technology solutions and services on time and to the very highest standards.

“We look forward to working with both Talos Energy and Hess Corporation in the successful delivery of these projects.”

Proserv, which operates worldwide through 26 operating centres based in 11 countries, has a 40-year track record in delivering world-class solutions for the energy industry, particularly in the subsea, production and drilling market sectors.
For more information, please visit:  http://www.proserv.com/

For more information on projects, please visit ProjectsOGP



V.Ships Offshore awarded new ship management contract by Milaha Offshore


V.Ships Offshore, part of V. Group, has been awarded a new ship management contract by Milaha Offshore to provide full technical and crew management services for their self-propelled jack-up lift boat – the Milaha Explorer.

The ship management services will be delivered from our newly acquired Bibby Ship Management office in Singapore. The Milaha Explorer, which can accommodate 300 people, will be deployed offshore with an initial crew of 15 in support of field maintenance efforts and is Singapore flagged.

Arvind Mohan, general manager V.Ships Offshore Singapore operation said: “This is the first lift boat owned by Milaha Offshore and we are pleased that our previous experience of managing these types of specialised vessels has been recognised.”

Alessandro Ciocchi, director V.Ships Offshore added: “This contract further demonstrates the diverse portfolio of skills and experience, which V.Ships Offshore offers the offshore oil and gas sector, supporting our clients’ brown field operations.”

For more information, please visit: www.vgrouplimited.com