EurOil 27th July 2010 - Toreador CEO on Hess JV in Paris Basin

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Interview with Toreador CEO Craig McKenzie on his hopes for the JV with Hess in Paris Basin

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EurOil 27th July 2010 - Toreador CEO on Hess JV in Paris Basin

  1. 1. 27 July 2010 EurOil Week 29 Issue 62 News Analysis EUROPE OIL & GAS Intelligence Published by MONITOR NewsBase COMMENTARY 2 NEWS THIS WEEK… Circumspection required as Brussels ponders spill response 2 Handle with care Toreador bullish about French shale oil 3 Conservative MEP for Scotland Struan Stevenson NOCs: the new hybrid 6 tells EurOil it would be wrong for the EU to act PIPELINES & TRANSPORT 8 hastily in the wake of BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil Bulgaria reiterates Nabucco spill. commitment 8 EU policymakers are considering closer regulation INVESTMENT 8 of deepwater drilling (Page 2) BP strikes wide-ranging asset deal with The UK would be the biggest loser if the oil Apache 8 industry were to be shut down indefinitely. (Page 3) BG sells El Manzala stake to Dana Petroleum PERFORMANCE 9 9 Feeling bullish France has given first-stage approval to a shale oil Tullow celebrates Owo strike 9 joint venture between Toreador Resources and POLICY 10 Hess. EurOil spoke exclusively to Toreador’s Trafigura fined in Probo Koala case 10 CEO, Craig McKenzie, to find out more about the Moratorium brings Caribbean limbo 11 deal with Hess and the companies’ ambitions for PROJECTS & COMPANIES 11 the Paris Basin. South Africa awards Karoo study Hess is to become co-holder of Toreador’s permit to international trio 11 exploration permits in the Paris Basin. The US- Out in the cold: BP to ship Hayward to based independent is to invest US$120 million in a Siberia 12 two-phase work programme, for which Toreador is Eni eyes new Caspian projects 12 fully carried. (Page 3) BP divesting assets in Vietnam and The companies plan to spud their first well in the Pakistan 13 fourth quarter of 2010 and aim to drill almost NEWS IN BRIEF 14 continuously thereafter. (Page 3) For analysis and commentary on these and other stories, plus the latest oil and gas developments, see inside… Copyright © 2010 NewsBase Ltd. www.newsbase.com Edited by Ian GM Simm All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, redistributed, or otherwise copied without the written permission of the authors. This includes internal distribution. All reasonable endeavours have been used to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication. However, no warranty is given to the accuracy of its contents
  2. 2. EurOil 27 July 2010, Week 29 page 2 COMMENTARY Circumspection required as Brussels ponders spill response It would be wrong for the European Union to have a knee-jerk reaction to the fallout of BP’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill By Struan Stevenson EU policymakers are considering closer regulation of deepwater drilling The European Commission is to conduct “stress tests” on existing EU legislation on offshore drilling Some legislators have called for a moratorium on all drilling until safety guarantees can be given The Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the southeast of Aberdeen, the four-field Australia still fresh in the mind, some Gulf of Mexico has cost BP billions of Catcher complex, is reckoned to be one industry watchers have opined that it is US dollars and has effectively closed all of the biggest finds in the past 10 years, just a matter of time before another fishing activity in the area for more than with an estimated 350 million barrels. So disaster occurs – and this time it could be three months. Much of the local fishing the doom and gloom mongers who in the North Sea. industry along the south coast of the US predicted the imminent end of North Sea Members of the European Parliament remains closed, with oyster and crab oil have been proved wrong. Oil in Brussels are therefore now demanding fishermen in particular unsure of whether production in the region, both in the UK assurances from the European or not permanent damage has been done and Norwegian Continental Shelves, Commission on the future of deepwater to their catchment areas. looks set to continue for years to come. drilling in the North Sea. BP has been shelling out millions of However, that in turn means the potential The Commission has been urged to dollars in compensation to these threat of a catastrophic spill will continue reveal what plans are in place to secure fishermen and even to the owners of to exist, especially if exploration firms the safety and security of oil extraction tourist boats, who have seen their push out further into deepwater frontier operations, and to insist on the highest business dwindle to nothing as the oil areas. levels of environmental protection and slick has swept ashore down hundreds of The effect of the oil spill from the disaster prevention in EU waters. miles of coastline. Macondo well in the Gulf of Mexico on The Commission has already Policymakers in Brussels are now marine life has remained largely hidden announced that it will conduct “stress asking a critical question: If such a beneath the ocean’s surface, making it tests” on existing EU legislation in this situation arose in the North Sea, what impossible to assess the full scope of its area, to enable it to identify any gaps and would be the outcome? impact. But what the BP disaster does weaknesses in the regulatory framework show is that despite the highest standards at the EU level. UK North Sea and availability of the best technologies, The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has, Most oil exploration and drilling in the the risk of a catastrophic spill can never perhaps with some justification, created a EU is taking place in waters surrounding be fully prevented. feverish backlash in Brussels. It is the UK. The potential impact on appropriate that suitable and compulsory fisheries, and the environment in general, Reassurances sought EU-wide insurance schemes are designed of a spill the size of BP’s in the Gulf of With the Macondo well still causing to compensate fishermen and other Mexico would be horrendous and could problems, and PTT’s oil spill offshore affected businesses in the event of a spill. wipe out entire communities around Scotland’s northeast coast. The entire What the BP disaster A step too far Scottish fishing industry could collapse. However, some MEPs want to go even Until now, few have considered the shows is that despite the further and are calling for a moratorium awesome prospect of an unregulated oil highest standards and on all drilling until such time as spill in the North Sea, and yet it is in guarantees on safety can be given. But these waters that hundreds of oil rigs availability of the best that would be a step too far. operate and new exploratory wells are technologies, the risk of a The oil industry cannot be closed down being sunk on a regular basis. indefinitely. A recent discovery 110 miles (177 km) spill can never be fully prevented Copyright © 2010 NewsBase Ltd. www.newsbase.com Edited by Ian GM Simm All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, redistributed, or otherwise copied without the written permission of the authors. This includes internal distribution. All reasonable endeavours have been used to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication. However, no warranty is given to the accuracy of its contents
  3. 3. EurOil 27 July 2010, Week 29 page 3 COMMENTARY The UK would be the biggest loser in What sort of message would it send to the highest safety and security standards Europe, with over GBP6 billion international competitors if a drilling ban uniformly across all EU oil platforms and (US$9.16 billion) of investment and oil were to be implemented? drilling operations. revenues at risk if such a ban were to be It is now essential that the Struan Stevenson is a Conservative enforced. British and European Commission, the European Council and MEP for Scotland. He is Senior Vice technology leads the world in safety and EU member states work with the oil President of the European Parliament’s security processes for the oil sector. industry and regulators towards securing Fisheries Committee. Toreador bullish about French shale oil France’s approval of a shale oil joint venture in the Paris Basin indicates continental Europe’s growing appetite for unconventional resources By Ryan Stevenson France has given first-stage approval to a shale oil joint venture between Hess and Toreador Resources Hess is to invest US$120 million in a two-phase work programme The firms are now looking to expedite drilling work, with activity due to ramp up in Q4 2010 French approval of a shale oil joint on the success of shale drilling near in the shales where they were formed. venture in the Paris Basin highlights Paris. EurOil spoke exclusively to continental Europe’s desire to cash in on Phase One of the JV will consist of Toreador’s CEO, Craig McKenzie, to the unconventional revolution spreading evaluating the acreage and drilling six find out more about the deal with Hess beyond North America. The arrival of wells, with the first of these planned for and the companies’ ambitions for the US integrated independent Hess into the late 2010. Depending on the results of Paris Basin. McKenzie began by saying acreage held by small-cap E&P company the first six wells, a second phase is the French government’s approval of the Toreador in the Paris Basin brings expected to consist of appraisal and JV with Hess was a positive serious financial firepower to this development activities. development. liquids-focused venture. Toreador’s conventional assets are “The French government approved the The French Ministry of Ecology, mainly concentrated in the Charmottes deal ahead of time and it has been very Energy, Sustainable Development and and Neocomian fields, which held supportive of the deal in general. We met the Sea granted first-stage approval to the proven reserves of 5.8 million barrels, with the government authorities along transfer of 50% of Toreador’s working mostly in developed permits, as at the with Hess and were encouraged by their interests in its wholly owned and non- end of 2009. Average conventional crude reaction. The French government has wholly owned exploration permits in the production in 2009 was 900 barrels per shown appreciation for what we are Paris Basin, in northern France, to Hess’s day. trying to do with Hess and has been very newly created French subsidiary, However, unconventional resources supportive,” he said. Toreador said on June 28. are now the primary focus for the The two companies signed a definitive company and Toreador believes the Paris Timing agreement on May 10, under which Hess Basin could generate as much as 95 With approval of Hess’s entry into the was to become co-holder of Toreador’s billion barrels of oil, with an estimated JV, the companies are now looking to exploration permits in the Paris Basin. 65 billion barrels still remaining locked expedite drilling work, with activity due Hess is to invest US$120 million in a to step up a gear in the final quarter of two-phase work programme, for which 2010. Toreador is fully carried. “Provisionally we will drill “We are planning to spud our first well three wells … and put in the fourth quarter and we will drill Toreador almost continuously thereafter,” Toreador opted to focus on its French them on production test, McKenzie said. “In terms of commercial portfolio in 2009, offloading its interests which could be as soon as production, it depends on how the in other countries and staking its future drilling of these first wells goes. the first half of 2011” Copyright © 2010 NewsBase Ltd. www.newsbase.com Edited by Ian GM Simm All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, redistributed, or otherwise copied without the written permission of the authors. This includes internal distribution. All reasonable endeavours have been used to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication. However, no warranty is given to the accuracy of its contents
  4. 4. EurOil 27 July 2010, Week 29 page 4 COMMENTARY We are drilling these wells for “In France, the French state has all the the Bakken shale in the US. We don’t scientific purposes, to get new and mineral rights, not the surface owner, so have a choke in the infrastructure like in modern data. All of the data we have there are no negotiations going on with Montana and North Dakota because we been using is vintage, dating from the landowners with respect to royalties. The have Total’s Grand Puits refinery right in 1960s until the early 1990s.” royalties are payable to the state and are the middle of the Paris Basin. It has “We will get new cores and logs set at the time of the award of the permit. about 70,000 barrels per day of extra through these wells and then decide how So the only negotiations we have with processing capacity as we understand it we will proceed from there. Provisionally surface owners is to arrange access to [by displacing imported crude], and we we will drill three wells as a batch and install a pad to drill our wells.” truck our oil there already because we complete the three wells, which could McKenzie noted that there had already have production from our conventional include standard hydraulic fracture been over 2,000 exploratory wells drilled fields in the basin.” stimulation, and put them on production in the Paris Basin – which is also a major That Total has a refinery in the basin, test, which could be as soon as the first conventional oil play – and highlighted and the fact it has spare crude processing half of 2011.” that it was rural land, which means the capacity, is critical to the future success issue of population density does not of the JV and was clearly a selling point Land ownership hinder progress. for Hess. Issues of population density and land “The land is all rural and open Referring to the refinery, McKenzie ownership are often flagged as potential farmland, so we don’t anticipate any said: “It is literally just down the road. obstacles to shale oil and gas problems at all from the surface owners We therefore have easy access to development, particularly in Europe. and that has certainly been the case for infrastructure for selling the oil. It is But McKenzie does not foresee any the past 50 years in the Paris Basin,” he Brent-quality crude and we have a major problems in the Paris Basin. He said. contract in place with Total for said: “The land ownership situation in purchasing the oil.” the US is much more complex because Infrastructure there you have landowners who are also With such benign surface conditions, is it Environment mineral rights owners. In addition, there actually easier to conduct drilling work Allied with good infrastructure, the Paris are various competing jurisdictions at in shale formations in the Paris Basin Basin also has favourable environmental local, state and federal levels as well as than it is in some shale plays in the US? conditions. various environmental protection McKenzie believes that is indeed the “Surface and water conditions are agencies.” case. favourable,” McKenzie said. “The water Toreador’s CEO believes the situation “We think so because it’s not a hostile is controlled by the French authorities – is much more benign in France, environment. We don’t have harsh they have a ministry that controls all describing it as “much simpler.” winters to contend with like drillers do in water production, distribution and usage. So we don’t anticipate any issues there because the Paris Basin has had up to 20 rigs drilling at any one time with all the resultant water consumption.” Toreador’s CEO does not foresee any conflict with local farmers over water usage either. “The Paris Basin has a prolific aquifer and to my knowledge there have been no seasonal droughts for nearly 40 years.” Hess The allure of the Paris Basin shale for Hess was strong given its similarities to the Bakken shale in the US, in which the company is a leading player, a fact highlighted by McKenzie. He said the mineralogy, petrophysics and geochemistry of both plays as well as their structural geology made the Bakken and the Paris Basin very similar. Copyright © 2010 NewsBase Ltd. www.newsbase.com Edited by Ian GM Simm All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, redistributed, or otherwise copied without the written permission of the authors. This includes internal distribution. All reasonable endeavours have been used to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication. However, no warranty is given to the accuracy of its contents
  5. 5. EurOil 27 July 2010, Week 29 page 5 COMMENTARY “Hess has been in the Bakken since 1979 French government might have about the sell off more of its interest in the Paris … and we believe Hess will be one of the process. Basin or retain control and seek to largest players there with the new “We have been very open with the develop its permits with Hess alone? For programme it has announced. Hess plans French authorities. We have shown them now, McKenzie is focused on the joint to invest about US$1 billion per year in some detail what it is exactly that we venture with Hess. over the next five years in the Bakken are trying to do with these wells, because “Hess has committed US$120 million Shale in North Dakota, with goals of obviously it has become controversial in for the proof of concept phases. They boosting production from 10,000 barrels some parts of the US, such as the have split the phase into two parts, for of oil equivalent per day today to 80,000 Marcellus shale, because the shale is which they will put up US$50 million for boepd by 2015. The company shares our close to freshwater aquifers,” he said. the first stage and US$70 million for the view that both the geology and the oil However, McKenzie believes the second, and will carry us on both phases. itself in the Paris Basin are very similar geology of the Paris Basin means similar It’s a significant commitment and it’s to the Bakken,” he said. problems will be avoided. more robust than any other commitment “The shale in the Marcellus play is you have seen elsewhere in Europe for Services shallower,” he stressed. “In the Paris this kind of development,” he said. Thus with the joint venture approved and Basin there are about 2,000 metres of Looking to the future, McKenzie went drilling set to get under way, is separation between the shale and the on: “Toreador is fully capitalised for McKenzie confident that the service freshwater strata. That is very significant, shale for years to come. We still have industry in continental Europe is well because obviously when you are fracking 500,000 net acres, which is a very positioned to support a ramp-up in these zones in the first instance you have sizeable acreage spread. We could sell activity? The answer appears to be yes frack heights of say 50 metres and further acreage and retain a very material and no. certainly not 2,000 metres. We have been acreage position ourselves, but we do not “During the first appraisal phase when and will continue to work very closely have any plans to do so. Right now we we are drilling the proof of concept with the French government.” believe it is best to expedite drilling and wells, the supply and contracting That the French shale is deeper, get some results.” industry is sufficiently robust for though, does mean costs will be higher. The Toreador CEO concluded by everything we need. We can get rigs, we Another company, Canada’s Vermilion saying: “We would like to keep our can get track equipment, we can certainly Energy Trust, has recently fracked a well acreage position the way it is, since we secure the appropriate logging and both near Toreador’s acreage, according to a are fully capitalised and at some point as the drilling and the well completion Vermilion investor presentation and we prove the concept further, then we suppliers,” he said. related webcast, a key development in might revisit this idea and sell down However, after the appraisal stage, the evolution of the Basin. further, because we are a very ambitious sourcing equipment could become more “So far Toreador has not fracked a company. We think we are in a great problematic, at least initially. McKenzie well. But Vermilion Energy Trust did position right now with respect to our continued: “If we get past the proof of just frack a well in the Paris Basin shale balance sheet and the cost structure and concept stage into the development and their permit is very close to in term of being capitalised for the phase, where we are drilling a large Toreador’s. So while we are still drilling programme with the Hess carry. number of wells, then that’s where we planning to frack a well, Vermilion has Now all our focus is really on proving up would need the service industry to ramp actually gone out there and done one.” the concept and thereafter we might up.” “The company has not been consider new options.” “The service industry is not forthcoming with details, but as we Vermilion’s recent success is sufficiently robust at this point. We are in understand it, they fracked a vertical encouraging for Toreador, which, as the close discussions with several contractors shale completion and the well has been in leading permit holder in the central part and they are waiting for a critical mass of production since March. I think that is of the Paris Basin, is well positioned to demand before they ramp up. So I don’t tremendous news for us, as it is an capitalise on its shale oil asset. anticipate any problems, but for them to important proof point that the Paris Basin McKenzie said Toreador was also ramp up right now would mean that they is receptive to fracking. Vermilion will continually examining further growth had idle equipment and people, which is come out with more details on that in its opportunities throughout France and in obviously not good.” own time and we will be watching mainland Europe. The rest of Europe will developments there closely,” he said. in turn be taking note of the company’s Fracking progress in France and assessing how Fracking has come under increased Future developments unconventional reserves might fit into the legislative scrutiny in the US recently, With Vermilion already making continent’s future energy mix. but McKenzie is confident his company headway, Toreador is optimistic about has done enough to allay any fears the the future. So does the company intend to Copyright © 2010 NewsBase Ltd. www.newsbase.com Edited by Ian GM Simm All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, redistributed, or otherwise copied without the written permission of the authors. This includes internal distribution. All reasonable endeavours have been used to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication. However, no warranty is given to the accuracy of its contents
  6. 6. EurOil 27 July 2010, Week 29 page 6 COMMENTARY NOCs: the new hybrid The world’s future supplies of energy are reliant on NOCs, which are responding to the various challenges in a number of ways By Ed Reed NOCs must invest a substantial amount to meet future world demand While NOCs are becoming more commercial, they also have the ability to invest counter-cyclically The JNOC lesson serves as a reminder of the inefficiencies of NOC investments NOCs are improving their financing ability, although there are still gains to be made Traditional distinctions between national resources – although alongside its own seizing opportunities for perceived state oil companies (NOCs) and international set of challenges. IOCs have also reacted benefit, rather than straightforward oil companies (IOCs) are blurring, with to this squeeze by changing their focus commercial gain. each side adopting tactics and techniques towards unconventional resources – such For instance, Brazil’s Petrobras opted from the other. as shale and deepwater – as well as to explore for gas over the last two years, The traditional conception of NOCs increasing their gas exposure. despite the fact that this feedstock could defines them as large-scale resource In 2009, Birol said, spending was 19% secure only low international prices and holders – such as Saudi Aramco – or below that invested in 2008, which was most companies have focused on oil regulators in the domestic market, seen as insufficient. Questions, therefore, exploration. The reason for this, an securing energy supplies for the have arisen over the extent to which the official involved in the work explained, citizenry. However, this is changing and NOCs and IOCs can meet the IEA’s was an attempt by the Brazilian these definitions are becoming harder to suggested spending level. government to reduce gas imports from make as NOCs compete with IOCs in Bolivia. areas such as financing, profit seeking, Focus NOCs are often seen as risk-averse, technology and investing. State-owned companies have a duty to though, preferring to buy up developed the government and people of their projects rather than carry out exploration. The challenge country, while commercial entities have The same could, though, be said of the The International Energy Agency (IEA) a duty to their shareholders. This can be IOCs, which in recent years have shied has predicted that, in order for the energy manifested in a number of ways, with the away from the riskier extremes of the industry to meet demand and replace similarity being the return of profits. business, preferring instead to focus on declining fields, four new Saudi Arabia’s NOCs have duties beyond, solely, cash acquisitions and stock buybacks. must be brought onstream by 2030. generation and can use this to their Industry executives have noted the NOCs own around 75% of the world’s advantage. They often have a remit to converging interests of NOCs and IOCs. resources and, the IEA has said, 80% of provide employment, to ensure the stable A BP official, Steve Westwell, the needed production growth must come supply of energy and to advance their speaking at a recent conference, from these state companies. government’s policies. acknowledged that while NOCs and In monetary terms, the Paris-based This can lead to the NOCs making IOCs had “different roots … the idea that energy watchdog has said, the world counter-cyclical investment decisions, their roles and priorities are vastly must invest a total of around US$25 different no longer holds true in the 21st trillion by 2030, suggesting NOCs must century.” stump up US$20 trillion over the next 20 A BP official, Steve Chevron’s president of Africa and years. Latin America, Ali Moshiri, concurred, Conventional resources are, for the Westwell, acknowledged saying: “I don’t see much difference most part, out of reach of the IOCs, that while NOCs and IOCs between IOCs and NOCs.” requiring NOCs to take on a substantial IOCs have responded to the economic burden in meeting the challenge. The had “different roots … the slowdown by selling off non-core assets exception to this rule, the IEA’s chief idea that their roles and in order to focus on managing capital economist, Fatih Birol, said is Iraq, more efficiently, this could well provide which offers access to substantial priorities are vastly opportunities for NOCs. different no longer holds true in the 21st century” Copyright © 2010 NewsBase Ltd. www.newsbase.com Edited by Ian GM Simm All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, redistributed, or otherwise copied without the written permission of the authors. This includes internal distribution. All reasonable endeavours have been used to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication. However, no warranty is given to the accuracy of its contents
  7. 7. EurOil 27 July 2010, Week 29 page 7 COMMENTARY Resource seekers Ecopetrol’s vice president of strategy domestic production, one financier noted. Those NOCs with limited domestic and growth, Hernando Zerda Noriega, The exception to this is Mexico’s options but cash resources – primarily said the emphasis was to secure a profit Pemex, which hedged its 2009 exports at Asian entities – have turned their from operations, which could then be US$70 per barrel, which reportedly led to attention to overseas opportunities, with used domestically. KNOC, similarly, the country making a profit of around mixed results. sells its foreign production abroad, as do US$5 billion. Some have been extremely successful, Chinese companies. Using hedges in this way is for instance China’s NOCs have made particularly useful for a NOC, a Pemex substantial headway, paying out a lot of King cash official said, because it provides for cash to secure foreign assets, often in NOCs have shown an increasing much greater certainty when setting Africa. awareness of financial options, with a government budgets, which require an oil The notable failure, though, was the variety of techniques used, including benchmark figure. Japan National Oil Corporation (JNOC), partial listings, bridge loans and other which managed to waste a large amount facilities. To the future of cash and make little headway in Russia’s Rosneft, for instance, carried As time progresses, resource-seeking securing supplies. JNOC was scrapped in out an initial public offering (IPO) in NOCs are likely to try to move from the 2005 but its failure has contributed to a 2006, which raised around US$10 acquisition model to the exploration continued wariness on the part of Japan’s billion. It went on to sign bridge model. overseas ambitions. financing deals and agreed an oil-backed This will carry greater risk, though, The push to secure overseas resources export facility with China. and there are likely to be missteps – such came to a head as a result of the 1973 oil Governments are keenly aware of the as JNOC – which could hamper such crisis, according to Korea National Oil allure of paving the way for NOCs to tap ambitions. Corporation’s (KNOC) executive vice equity markets but there are some IOCs, meanwhile, are likely to face president, Seong Hoon Kim. Speaking at concerns about how this would be greater social pressures to be “good a conference in London, the South executed and the extent to which citizens,” employing local workers and Korean official explained that the crisis financing would be available. In Nigeria, distributing benefits – in effect, moving led to a situation where “the oil was not the government is working to incorporate towards the NOC model. available to buy, even though we had the the joint ventures between the Nigerian The BP executive, Westwell, money.” National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) acknowledged this shift, noting: “IOCs This failure of the market brought and the Western super-majors. have recognised the importance of home to consumers – and governments – These joint ventures, which produce serving national interests in the places the perils of relying solely on the market the majority of Nigeria’s crude, are where they operate.” and saw a drive to capture foreign under-funded because NNPC is IOCs have also benefited from their production. unwilling or unable to meet its share of sheer scale in receiving political support, However, this pendulum has swung costs. although clearly not to the same extent as back the other way as NOCs grasp the Incorporating the joint ventures, the NOCs. impracticality of producing foreign oil theory goes, would allow them to raise To give one unfortunate example, the and shipping it home. capital. However, the validity of this Macondo disaster in the US Gulf of Often, it is more efficient to sell it on assertion remains to be seen and the Mexico has resulted in BP cancelling its the international market and use the cash transformation is likely to be painful. dividend for three quarters. The UK- to buy feedstock closer to one’s target As a side note on the question of based super-major makes up a major part market. The KNOC official put the return financing, one under-used technique that of London’s FTSE 100 index of leading on producing assets at around 15%. NOCs could do well to adopt is hedging shares, so the dividend cancellation has This is the key factor to bear in mind led to concerns surfacing over pension when considering the expansion of NOCs payments, translating into government- into foreign resources. Ecopetrol’s vice president to-government talks on the subject. While this quest may have been born Big business has a clear role to play in out of a desire to control the flow of oil of strategy and growth, social affairs. This has been evident from from the well to the pump, it is simply Hernando Zerda Noriega, the start for NOCs and is becoming not practical – cash is easier to move increasingly clear for IOCs. than energy. said the emphasis was to secure a profit from operations, which could then be used domestically Copyright © 2010 NewsBase Ltd. www.newsbase.com Edited by Ian GM Simm All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, redistributed, or otherwise copied without the written permission of the authors. This includes internal distribution. All reasonable endeavours have been used to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication. However, no warranty is given to the accuracy of its contents
  8. 8. EurOil 27 July 2010, Week 29 page 8 PIPELINES & TRANSPORT Bulgaria reiterates Nabucco commitment Bulgaria’s Economy Minister Traicho saying. The Nabucco line will follow a 3,300- Traikov reiterated his country’s No word was available as of press time km route from Erzurum, a city in eastern commitment to the Nabucco natural gas on how the OMV and NGPI managers Turkey, to Baumgarten an der March, a pipeline at a meeting in Vienna last responded to Traikov’s statements. The gas hub in Austria. NGPI has said it week. economy minister was speaking shortly hopes to begin construction work in 2011 Speaking to senior managers of OMV, after Sofia and Moscow agreed to and then launch the pipe in 2015 at an the Austrian company that is leading the establish a joint venture to build the initial capacity of around 5-10 billion Nabucco project, and to Reinhard Bulgarian section of South Stream, a cubic metres per year. Throughput will Mitschek, the CEO of Nabucco Gas Russian-backed gas link that is widely eventually rise to a peak of 31 bcm per Pipeline International (NGPI), Traikov viewed as a rival to Nabucco, since it year. said he hoped to see work on the pipeline will serve many of the same markets. The consortium’s six shareholders are move forward more quickly. To this end, Botas (Turkey), Bulgarian Energy A cross-border pipeline from he said, Sofia favours plans for the Turkey to Bulgaria could become Holding (BEH), Transgaz (Romania), construction of a cross-border gas the first section of Nabucco MOL (Hungary), OMV and RWE pipeline connecting Turkey and Bulgaria. (Germany). The partners expect to invest This pipeline could later serve as the 7.9 billion euros (US$10.1 billion) in the first operational section of the Nabucco pipeline, which will pump gas from the network, he said. Caspian Sea basin and the Middle East to “The construction of the Bulgarian- Central Europe. Turkish pipeline will practically become Azerbaijan and Iraq are expected to the start of the Nabucco project, which is provide the first volumes of gas for designed to provide Bulgaria and all of Nabucco. The NGPI consortium has said Europe with access to the gas resources it hopes to secure throughput from of the Caspian region and the Middle several other countries, including East,” Sofia News Agency quoted him as Turkmenistan, Egypt and Syria. INVESTMENT BP strikes wide-ranging asset deal with Apache Apache Corporation has signed a US$7 in the Gulf of Mexico. Mexico’s Permian Basin and western billion deal to acquire assets from BP in Apache said the deal would bring it Canadian upstream gas assets. The deal North America and Egypt. around 83,000 barrels of oil equivalent makes sound economic sense. BP has BP had announced plans to sell off per day and 385 million barrels of proven achieved a price widely seen as fair, US$10 billion worth of assets and this reserves. Based on this figure, Apache while Apache has deepened its presence deal demonstrates the super-major, while has paid US$18.2 per barrel of proven in areas it already has strong footholds. having a tough time in the US, still has reserves. The company’s second quarter BP’s chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg, sufficient clout to raise cash at strong production was 646,866 boepd, so this said the decision to sell these assets had metrics. BP needs to come up with transaction provides an increase of been taken because they were US$20 billion to cover an escrow around 13%. “strategically more valuable to other account, set up to compensate for In North America, Apache is to acquire parties than they are to BP.” damages linked to the Macondo disaster assets in Texas’ and southeast New Copyright © 2010 NewsBase Ltd. www.newsbase.com Edited by Ian GM Simm All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, redistributed, or otherwise copied without the written permission of the authors. This includes internal distribution. All reasonable endeavours have been used to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication. However, no warranty is given to the accuracy of its contents
  9. 9. EurOil 27 July 2010, Week 29 page 9 INVESTMENT The company’s CEO, Tony Hayward, There is the possibility that some of Canadian gas said it had achieved “an excellent price” these sales could be pre-empted by third Apache has also acquired around 214 and that this demonstrated BP’s parties, BP said. million boe of net proven reserves and determination to “get maximum value for Regulatory approval is required by 1.37 billion boe of net resources, in everything we sell.” certain dates for the sales. In the case of Canada. Net production is 240 mmcf (6.8 None of the sales will be conditional the Permian Basin, this is October 29, mcm) per day and 6,500 bpd of liquids. on the success of the other sales and they while the western Canadian assets are The company has also acquired the are expected to be completed in the third required by January 31. Should these not proposed Mist Mountain coal-bed quarter of 2010, with an effective date of be given by these times, BP will be methane (CBM) project. July 1. Apache is to provide a cash required to repay the relevant deposits. A note from Scotia Capital said that deposit of US$5 billion by July 30. Of Apache is to acquire 10 fields in the while the price paid was fair, it expected this amount, US$3.25 billion will be for Texas-New Mexico transaction, with two Apache to increase “value over time by Canada and US$1.5 billion for the BP-operated gas-processing plants. Net using the same approach it has in the past Permian assets. production is 15,100 barrels per day of to squeeze more out of assets that have The total price attached to the Permian liquids and 80 million cubic feet (2.27 been undercapitalised.” Basin assets is US$3.1 billion, while the million cubic metres) per day of gas. Net total for the Canadian gas assets is proven resources are 126 million boe US$3.25 billion. with resources of 148 million boe. BG sells El Manzala stake to Dana Petroleum Dana Petroleum is to acquire a 50% stake Dana said the BG deal would continue Apache recently struck a deal to extend in BG International’s El Manzala its programme of expanding its work in its position in the Western Desert, buying offshore concession, offshore Egypt, in Egypt – and particularly the Nile Delta. assets from BP for US$650 million. (See: the Mediterranean Sea. Dana’s CEO, Tom Cross, said the two BP strikes wide-ranging asset deal with Dana, in a statement on July 21, said it companies were planning to drill a well Apache, Page 8). would cover the costs of the next in early 2011. “This further extends Cross went on to say Dana was in the exploration well, up to an agreed cap, in Dana's strategic position and growth process of drilling at Fin, near the order to earn its 50% interest. The opportunities across Egypt, where we are company’s wholly owned Lorcan oil company said it believed the area was already 50:50 partners with Gaz de discovery, onshore in the Gulf of Suez. prospective in the Pliocene play and in France in the western area of the Nile Dana is also drilling the Nefertiti the deep, high-pressure horizons. Dana Delta, together having made two gas prospect, in which it has a 65% stake, has had some success in the Pliocene at discoveries with our first two wells at offshore the Gulf of Suez. Korea its West El Burulus concession with the WEB-1 and Papyrus. Dana is also 50:50 National Oil Corporation (KNOC) is in WEB-1 and Papyrus wells. partners with Apache in the Western the first stages of making a bid for Dana, The El Manzala production-sharing Desert, where the group has made, and but there have been signs that the UK- contract (PSC) covers around 630 square successfully brought onstream, several listed company may want more cash than km in the offshore Nile Delta area. oil discoveries.” is acceptable to the Asian party. PERFORMANCE Tullow celebrates Owo strike Tullow Oil has found a new oilfield in its encountered a “significant column of vertical reservoir interval of 154 metres, Deepwater Tano block, offshore Ghana, excellent quality oil.” with 53 metres of net oil pay in two pay as a result of the Owo-1 well. The Owo well, around 6 km west of zones. The well, Tullow said on July 26, the Tweneboa wells, found a gross Copyright © 2010 NewsBase Ltd. www.newsbase.com Edited by Ian GM Simm All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, redistributed, or otherwise copied without the written permission of the authors. This includes internal distribution. All reasonable endeavours have been used to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication. However, no warranty is given to the accuracy of its contents
  10. 10. EurOil 27 July 2010, Week 29 page 10 PERFORMANCE The company said the zones were part system between the Tweneboa and resources in both Owo and the adjacent of the same accumulation and that the oil Jubilee fields. Tweneboa accumulation towards was between 33 and 36 degrees API. Tullow’s exploration director, Angus commercialisation.” The deviated well was drilled by the McCoss, said: “Accelerated appraisal The Tweneboa-Owo-Ntomme was Sedco-702 semi-submersible, reaching a drilling will now focus on maturing the given a 1.4 billion barrel of oil equivalent total depth of 3,891 metres, in reserve figure and Tullow, in a water of 1,428 metres. presentation at the beginning of A note from RBS said the July, said the Owo-1 well would reservoir quality appeared to be “make or break” this projection. very good at Owo – similar to The RBS note went on to say Jubilee and better than Tweneboa. the Owo field might be Once logging has been developed before Tweneboa, completed, the well will be “given the apparently better sidetracked by 600 metres to the reservoir characteristics and east to give more detail on lateral absence of gas.” reservoir distribution and to meet a Tullow has a 49.95% stake in deeper part of the Owo channel Deepwater Tano and is the system. Results from the sidetrack operator. Kosmos Energy Ghana should be ready in mid-August, and Anadarko Petrolum both RBS said. have 18% stakes in the block, Once the sidetrack has been Sabre Oil & Gas has 4.05% and finished, the Sedco-702 rig is to Ghana National Petroleum drill the Onyina-1 exploration well, Corporation (GNPC) has a 10% targeting a large fan-channel carry. POLICY Trafigura fined in Probo Koala case Trafigura was fined 1 million euros sentence and a 25,000 euro (US$32,320) dumping. (US$1.29 million) on July 23 by a Dutch fine. The captain of the Probo Koala also The trader has maintained, though, that court for illegally dumping toxic waste in received a suspended sentence. the slops were not toxic and did not Cote d’Ivoire. Trafigura had acquired a cargo of cause the ill effects. However, it did pay The commodities trader acknowledged coker petrol, which originated from out US$198 million in 2007 to the the Amsterdam ruling and said it was Mexico’s Pemex. The trader carried out Ivorian government under a settlement considering an appeal. The company said an onboard upgrading process – known deal. it was “pleased” to have been acquitted as caustic washing – and sold the product A Greenpeace campaigner on toxic of forgery but said it was disappointed on for a profit. However, the process left materials, Marietta Harjono, said this was the other two rulings, “which it believes behind an amount of sulphurous waste. “a first step towards justice and a clear to be incorrect.” The company tried to offload it in signal to other companies that the illegal Trafigura also said the court had noted Amsterdam but, owing to price concerns, export of waste to Africa will not go there was only “limited risk to human was forced to rethink this plan. unpunished.” health from these slops.” Trafigura then struck a deal with an The Court of Appeal in The Hague is A Trafigura employee, Naeem Ahmed, Ivorian company, Compagnie Tommy, to due to carry out a hearing on September was acquitted of one charge but take the slops. The waste was dumped 8 based on documents provided by convicted of a second. The company said around Abidjan, at open-air sites. Greenpeace. The NGO said a decision the employee did nothing wrong and Consequently, a number of people would be given in October at the would provide him with legal assistance. complained of illness and 16 people died earliest. He received a six-month suspended – linked by some observers to the Copyright © 2010 NewsBase Ltd. www.newsbase.com Edited by Ian GM Simm All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, redistributed, or otherwise copied without the written permission of the authors. This includes internal distribution. All reasonable endeavours have been used to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication. However, no warranty is given to the accuracy of its contents
  11. 11. EurOil 27 July 2010, Week 29 page 11 POLICY Moratorium brings Caribbean limbo The moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of of oil equivalent] oilfields in 18 leads Cuba has a total of 59 offshore blocks. Mexico may have brought it to a recognised in BPC’s southern Bahamas Should the drilling go ahead as standstill. However, Statoil is planning to licensed area.” The company also noted planned, there is sure to be widespread begin exploration in Cuban and Bahaman that a US Geological Survey of the disgruntlement in the US, as drilling in waters, less than 100 miles (161 km) offshore Cuba Basin estimated “a these waters poses very much the same from the coast of Florida. potential of 7-14 billion barrels [of] oil threat to the country’s marine ecosystem In early July, the Norwegian company and gas equivalent of undiscovered as drilling in its own waters. announced its plans to commit to a resources.” Amid concerns that Cuba lacks the deepwater drilling project on the Cuban Ron Harper, IHS Global Insight’s area technical know-how to deal with an Continental Shelf (CCS) with Spain’s co-ordinator for the Caribbean, Central emergency clean-up, a government- Repsol YPF. Last week, BPC Ltd, an America and Ecuador, told Forbes that approved trip in August will see Australian explorer, reported that it Repsol YPF drilled the Yamagua well, discussions between officials of the would form a joint venture with Statoil to Cuba’s first in deepwater, in 2004, soon International Association of Drilling launch the first major offshore after it had been discovered, and despite Contractors (IADC) and Cuban exploration on the Bahaman Continental “encouraging” results, Repsol had only authorities regarding safety and Shelf (BCS) since the mid-1980s. found non-commercial hydrocarbons. environmental issues. Bahamas-based newspaper the Nassau The Spanish company, holding a 40% Guardian reported that BPC had recently stake in the six-block offshore Opening the door carried out seismic surveying of the consortium, acts as the operator, while Speculation is growing surrounding prospect, which is located close to the Statoil and ONGC Videsh Ltd. (OVL) of possible changes soon being made to the beaches of eastern Florida. Under the India each own stakes of 30%. US economic embargo on Cuba. terms of the Statoil-BPC The House Agriculture contract, Statoil will operate Committee passed a bill which the licences. However, as the relaxed the trade and travel accord is yet to be approved embargo, which suggests that by the authorities, the despite strong opposition, the US Norwegian company is may be taking tentative steps prevented from being towards a new relationship with involved in the seismic Castro’s Communist regime. programme. It may come as little surprise, In a 2009 statement, BPC however, that these steps are said that a competent happening at a time when Cuba person’s report published has begun exploring the estimated Moyes & Co. in 2008 20 billion barrels of oil reserves indicated: “there could be lurking beneath its continental multiple 500 [million barrels waters. PROJECTS & COMPANIES South Africa awards Karoo study permit to international trio South Africa has awarded a technical co- in the Free State, extending into the partners the right to study the Karoo operation permit (TCP) to Sasol Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Basin for shale gas for 12 months. Petroleum International (SPI), Statoil and The TCP covers 88,000 square km, However, the permit does not authorise Chesapeake Energy on an area primarily Sasol said on July 19, and gives the three “any surface activity or drilling.” Copyright © 2010 NewsBase Ltd. www.newsbase.com Edited by Ian GM Simm All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, redistributed, or otherwise copied without the written permission of the authors. This includes internal distribution. All reasonable endeavours have been used to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication. However, no warranty is given to the accuracy of its contents
  12. 12. EurOil 27 July 2010, Week 29 page 12 PROJECTS & COMPANIES The partners intend to examine assess the potential resource. generation. South Africa is mainly reliant existing, available data in their hunt for SPI’s managing director, Ebbie Haan, on coal-fired power plants but cleaner- shale gas. In addition, they will sample said the discovery of “large recoverable burning gas holds obvious advantages. In cores drilled by Soekor in the 1970s and shale gas reserves in the Karoo Basin addition to its power needs, South Africa 1980s, which were seeking shale oil. will be a game-changer in the broader is a proponent of the production of liquid Sasol said the same shale formations South African energy market context and fuels from gas. were now being assessed for their gas will likely constitute a major step to Shale gas has come to prominence potential. further develop gas transmission and after its revolutionary impact in North Depending on the results from this 12- distribution infrastructure in the America. Statoil and Chesapeake are month study, the trio would consider country.” working together in the northeast US to “committing to a more extensive The discovery of shale gas in the area develop the Marcellus shale. Exploiting exploration programme in the Karoo could also help South Africa tackle its shale gas is a technically demanding Basin.” The South African company said “power and fuels shortage.” The country process, requiring the large-scale the Karoo Basin had unproven shale gas is short of power plant capacity, which provision of services, which may prove potential and that a “significant led to blackouts in 2008, and Eskom has difficult to roll out in South Africa. exploration” effort would be required to a large-scale plan to invest in additional Out in the cold: BP to ship Hayward to Siberia The embattled CEO of BP, Tony Hayward’s blood after the calming affect Replacement Hayward, has this week tendered his of his resignation. The CEO’s departure Hayward will be replaced as BP’s CEO resignation in light of the Macondo spill will see him pick up a package worth on October 1, by Bob Dudley, the man in the Gulf of Mexico. GBP11 million (US$17 million), brought in to head up day-to-day cleanup In his statement of resignation, the including a GBP1 million (US$1.55 operations in the GOM. Dudley, an CEO said: “With the leak now capped, million) payoff and a pension of around American, was the CEO of TNK-BP we have reached a significant milestone. GBP600,000 (US$930,000) per year, before a dispute over control of the This provides a firm basis to reshape the which will begin when he turns 55 in company led to him being forced to leave company.” Hayward thanked those who 2012. On top of this, the UK’s Guardian Russia. had helped BP in its response to the newspaper reported that his role as an Fears had emerged that Dudley’s disaster and said that it should “embark NED in Russia would pay him an appointment would alienate BP’s on its next phase under new leadership.” additional GBP35,000 (US$54,000) per Russian interests. However, Hayward’s Having served the company since year. past experiences of dealing with Moscow 1982, leading it as CEO since 2007, There had been speculation that the could prove beneficial. Hayward does not look likely to be cast departure of Hayward – dubbed “public While Hayward’s resignation was aside by BP, with reports suggesting that enemy number one” – would see the expected to help the company garner the super-major will nominate him for a Briton given a more sizeable golden some positive public opinion, his likely non-executive directorship of its Russian parachute. However, in the US, public, appointment at TNK-BP could cast yet joint venture, TNK-BP. environmental and, in some spheres, more cloud over the company’s brand. News of this could lead to disgruntled political indignation regarding the payout feeling among the thirstiest for will no doubt be feverish in any case. Eni eyes new Caspian projects Eni has expressed interest in several new Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. It is also mulling plans for the Caspian projects. The Italian firm is According to a company statement, development of Ashrafi and Dan Ulduzu, already a shareholder in Kashagan, Eni is looking to play a key role in efforts two offshore fields in Azerbaijan’s Kazakhstan’s largest offshore oilfield, to move Turkmenistani gas across the section of the Caspian, the statement but it is now considering investments in Caspian Sea. said. Copyright © 2010 NewsBase Ltd. www.newsbase.com Edited by Ian GM Simm All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, redistributed, or otherwise copied without the written permission of the authors. This includes internal distribution. All reasonable endeavours have been used to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in this publication. However, no warranty is given to the accuracy of its contents

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