United Kingdom

Forties on the rocks: how granite led to UK oil pipeline outage

The unplanned shutdown in December of Britain’s biggest oil pipeline, Forties, which shut off supplies for more than two weeks and fired up global oil prices, had an unlikely cause: Scottish granite, its owner Ineos said. Ineos bought the pipeline from oil major BP last October for $250 million. In early December, its contractors spotted a crack on an onshore section of the pipeline during what Ineos called a routine inspection. “The precise point of the transverse weld of the pipeline was resting on a sharp ridge of granite rock and over time vibration of the pipeline led to the hairline crack,” Tom Crotty, director at Ineos, told Reuters. “It was a failure that BP hadn’t seen before and we don’t expect to see again,” he said, after the pipeline resumed full operation in late December following the Dec. 11 shutdown. One of the oldest pipelines […]

UK power system prices go negative Sunday as wind booms, demand weakens

16 Jan 2018   United Kingdom, Wind

Higher wind generation and lower demand drove UK power system prices into negative territory over the weekend, according to traders and National Grid data. The daily minimum system sell price was minus GBP68.43/MWh at 07:30am London time Sunday, according to National Grid. Minimum SSP prices were negative in four consecutive settlement periods Sunday morning, it said. The SSP and system buy prices are calculated and published on National Grid’s website. These imbalance prices are used for the settlement of energy imbalances incurred by participants due to differences between volumes of energy a participant contracts for, and volumes actually generated or consumed. “Short answer for the negative system prices on Sunday was the wind as [National] Grid has to pay wind [farms] to turn off,” a trader said. The trader cited strong wind as well as imports from the Continent as factors driving the negative prices, adding that demand was […]

Ricardo supporting Active Response trial to unlock grid capacity for electric vehicles

Ricardo is supporting a trial run by UK Power Networks into using smart grid technology to unlock spare capacity for increased electric vehicle use—maximizing the power available from existing infrastructure while avoiding costly network reinforcement or substation replacement. The project, called Active Response , will trial a responsive, automated electricity network that reconfigures itself, moving spare capacity to where the demand is. It will do this by using power electronics and automated switching to move electricity from heavily loaded substations to nearby substations with spare capacity. By 2030 it is anticipated that there will be up to 1.9 million electric vehicles in use across London, the East and South […]

Forties Pipeline System Now Fully Operational

The Forties Pipeline System is now fully operational following repair work on the asset, Ineos has confirmed. All restrictions on the flow of oil and gas from platforms feeding into the pipeline system have been lifted and virtually all platforms are now online, Ineos said in a company statement. The Ineos processing facility at Kinneil has also restarted. “Ineos has completed work on the pipeline as quickly as possible with safety as its highest priority,” Ineos stated on its website. “We apologize to our customers and the local community for the issues that the pipeline closure has created,” Ineos added. A controlled shutdown of the FPS was implemented on December 11 after a hairline crack was found in the system at Red Moss, south of Aberdeen. Late last month, Ineos predicted that repair work on the pipeline would complete around Christmas . Ineos completed its acquisition of the Forties […]

Storm Eleanor: Travel disruption and homes without power

Enable it in your browser or download Flash Player here .Sorry, you need Flash to play this. Fire crews were called to fix scaffolding outside a building near Oxford Circus in central London Media captionFire crews were called to fix scaffolding outside a building near Oxford Circus in central London Thousands of homes are without power and travel has been disrupted after Storm Eleanor swept across the UK. The Met Office recorded gusts reaching 100mph (161km/h) overnight with a yellow warning still in place for Wales, England, most of Northern Ireland and parts of southern Scotland. A man was injured after a tree fell on a car in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales. There are numerous delays on public transport, but forecasters expect the winds to ease as the day progresses. About 3,000 homes across Northern Ireland are without power , although electricity has been restored to 20,000 properties, […]

UK Smashes 13 Clean Energy Records In 2017

It was a record year for powering the country using renewables in the UK, National Grid has revealed, making 2017 the “greenest year ever”. The year saw 13 clean energy records smashed in total – including the first day when wind, nuclear and solar generated more power than gas and coal. And in April, the country had its first day without coal generated energy since the industrial revolution. “2017 has been an amazing year for renewable electricity in Britain; we have never been cleaner or greener – and we are on course for an even better year in 2018,” said Gareth Redmond-King, head of energy and climate change from the WWF which gathered the figures with National Grid. “Climate change is wreaking havoc on our nature and wildlife, but we are at last facing up to the challenge, turning our backs on polluting fossil fuels and embracing a new […]

British trade group weighs domestic shale against Russian LNG

30 Dec 2017   United Kingdom

A British trade group said it’s better to tap inland gas than be vulnerable to foreign suppliers, as a vessel docked with its first-ever cargo of Russian LNG. Tanker Christophe de Margerie docked at a British port with the first cargo of liquefied natural gas ever delivered from the Yamal LNG plant in the Russian Arctic. French energy company Total said the vessel left the Arctic facility on Dec. 8. The Yamal LNG project has the capacity to produce about 16.5 million tons of natural gas. Up to 16 ice-class carriers could be designated to ship LNG year-round to global consumers from the far north Kara Sea. Ken Cronin, the chief executive at trade group U.K. Onshore Oil and […]

UK receives first cargo from Russia’s Yamal LNG

The first cargo lifted from Yamal LNG has been delivered into the UK’s Isle of Grain terminal aboard the Arc 7 tanker, the Christophe De Margerie, according to data from cFlow, Platts trade flow software. Yamal LNG’s second cargo was expected to be delivered into the Rotterdam’s Gate LNG terminal aboard the Boris Vilkitsky. The third cargo will be loaded aboard the Fedor Litke, with the expectation that the vessel will berth at the Montoir LNG terminal. Market participants had said that the wide spread between prices in the Pacific basin and Europe meant all Yamal cargoes will be transferred to other vessels for delivery into other markets. By the start of Friday’s trade, the spread between the NBP February contract […]

Oil treading water even as Forties pipeline system returns to life

Oil prices started the trading day Thursday in static territory after pipeline operator Ineos said restrictions on a major North Sea network were lifted. “All restrictions on the flow of oil and gas from platforms feeding into the pipeline system have been fully lifted,” the company said in a statement. “All customers and control rooms have now been informed.” The Forties pipeline system, which carries about 40 percent of the oil and natural gas produced in the North Sea, was closed Dec. 11 after a hairline crack was discovered inland near Aberdeen, Scotland. Ineos said the line is repaired and the system should be back to normal as early as next week. The price of crude oil was more or less unmoved moments […]

UK North Sea Forties oil pipeline pumps at half capacity: source

Flows through Britain’s most important oil pipeline, Forties, have recovered to around half the normal rate, a trading source said on Wednesday, suggesting a steady return to normal operations after a rare unplanned shutdown. The closure since Dec. 11 of the pipeline, which normally pumps about 450,000 barrels per day, and supply disruptions in Libya have helped push oil prices above $67 a barrel, their highest since mid-2015. [O/R] Ineos, the pipeline’s operator, restarted the flow earlier in the week and has pledged to resume full volumes in early January. On Wednesday, Ineos could not immediately comment on current flow rates. “It’s a slow ramp up, but it’s about half the normal rate,” the trade source familiar with the operations said. Forties plays an important role in the global market as it is the biggest of the five North Sea crude streams underpinning Brent, a benchmark […]

The Return Of Oil’s Most Important Pipeline

Energy independent Ineos, the operator of the Forties pipeline, said it has started doing pressure tests on the pipeline after it was repaired. Full flow will resume in early January, the company said. “A small number of customers are now sending oil and gas through the pipeline at low rates as part of a coordinated plan that allows Ineos to carefully control the flow and pressure in the system,” the company said. Ineos, which acquired the Forties network from BP two months ago for US$125 million , shut the pipeline down after discovering hairline cracks on parts of it in early December. Initially, the company jittered markets by saying the repairs might take anywhere between two and four weeks but it later revised its forecast. Initially, the company said last week, the pipeline wouldn’t operate at full capacity, it would instead only ship small amounts of oil and gas, […]

UK, Scotland: The North Sea Ain’t Done Yet

UK and Scottish government representatives see a bright future. The North Sea oil and gas industry isn’t done yet, that’s the message UK and Scottish government representatives want to get across after recent figures revealed a 25 percent drop in employment in the region since 2014. “We see a long future for the North Sea industry,” a Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy spokesperson told Rigzone. “The oil and gas sector continues to play a significant role in the UK even after decades of success,” the spokesperson added. Paul Wheelhouse, the Scottish government’s minister for business, innovation and energy, echoed this sentiment, stating that there are still “significant opportunities” in the North Sea, with up to 20 billion barrels of oil equivalent up for grabs. “We recognize the challenges that are faced by the oil and gas industry and we are using our devolved powers to support the […]

Forties pipeline restart plan sends oil prices back to earth

Production plans and start-ups in Norway, Europe’s largest oil producer, and a restart date for a North Sea pipeline network sent oil prices lower Thursday. “Based on current estimates the company expects to bring the pipeline progressively back to normal rates early in the New Year,” pipeline company Ineos said Thursday . After finding a hairline crack on the network south of Aberdeen, the company closed its Forties pipeline system, which it bought this year from BP, in mid December. The closure of a system that carries about 40 percent of North Sea production, including the blend of oils that make up the global benchmark, Brent, caused a spike in crude oil prices. In surveying […]

Ineos: Forties pipeline back in service by early January

Flow through the Forties pipeline system from the North Sea, idled since Dec. 11, should be back to normal in early January, the operator said Thursday. Pipeline operator Ineos said it started the planning phase for the eventual resumption of operations on a system that sends about 40 percent of the oil produced in the British waters of the North Sea to inland refineries. A hairline crack was discovered in the pipeline near Aberdeen and the company closed the system down Dec. 11. The crack is stabilized, custom components needed for a fix are en route and the network should be back up and running in about a week. “Work on the pipeline is progressing well and based […]

Forties Pipeline System Repairs Scheduled to Complete by Christmas

Repair work on the Forties Pipeline System is scheduled to complete around Christmas based on current estimates. Ineos revealed Thursday that repair work on the Forties Pipeline System (FPS) is scheduled to complete around Christmas, based on current estimates. The company expects to bring the pipeline progressively back to normal rates early in the new year and has already initiated the planning phase necessary to begin recommissioning the system. “Ineos continues to work with the emergency services, relevant authorities and regulators as it implements the code compliant repairs on the FPS pipeline,” Ineos said in a company statement. “We apologize to our customers and the local community for the issues that this creates and we are working hard to minimize the impact of the pipeline closure as far as possible,” Ineos added. A controlled shutdown of the FPS was implemented on December 11, after a hairline crack was found […]

UK solar photovoltaic capacity at end of Nov up 7.7% on year to 12,642 MW

21 Dec 2017   Solar, United Kingdom

The UK’s installed solar photovoltaic capacity at the end of November was up 7.7%, or 902 MW, year on year to 12,642 MW across 935,120 installations, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy said Thursday. * Installed solar PV capacity up 902 MW in 12 months to November * Around 12 MW of solar PV capacity deployed in October Some 12 MW of solar PV capacity in 3,400 installations were deployed in the month of November, the data showed. “The figure for deployment within the latest month should always be taken as highly provisional — it is likely to be revised upwards as further data are received on newly operational site,” BEIS said. BEIS said 46%, or 5,810 MW, of total installed solar PV capacity, was in large-scale installations greater than 5 MW, with 20%, or 2,520 MW, coming from small-scale installations of up to 4 kW. –Shubhlakshmi […]

Barclays Bearish On Oil Prices In 2018

Unplanned temporary outages such as the Forties Pipeline shutdown are currently supporting oil prices, but as we go into 2018 a lot of those temporary issues will go away and supply is going to exceed demand again and inventories will build, Michael Cohen, Head of Energy Markets Research at Barclays, told CNBC’s Squawk Box on Wednesday. Barclays expects WTI oil prices to revert to the mid-$50s by the summer of next year, Cohen said. Moving to the end of 2018, oil prices in Q4 will be higher, according to the Barclays expert. At 12:48 pm EST on Wednesday, WTI Crude was up 0.64 percent at $57.93 . Still, the issue in the oil market next year will be that U.S. oil production continues to move higher, and EIA and Barclays forecasts continue to expect about 1 million bpd to1.2 million bpd of more liquids supply out of the US […]

UK’s Forties North Sea oil pipeline due to restart in early Jan -Ineos

21 Dec 2017   United Kingdom

Britain’s Forties oil and gas pipeline, one of the biggest in the North Sea, should restart in early January after repairs to a crack over Christmas, operator Ineos said on Thursday. Oil prices have risen since the pipeline was shut on Dec 11. Brent oil prices fell after the announcement to trade 25 cents down at $64.31 per barrel at 0925 GMT. The Forties is the biggest of the five North Sea crudes that underpin Brent, a benchmark for oil trading in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia. “Work on the pipeline is progressing well and based on current estimates Ineos is planning to complete the repair around Christmas,” it said in a statement. ”Initially a small number of customers will send oil and gas through the pipeline at low rates as part of a coordinated plan that allows Ineos to carefully control the flow into […]

Forties pipeline system could be out until January

Custom parts needed to fix the Forties pipeline system are being made, though it may be the second week in January before work is finished, the operator said. Ineos, which owns the Forties pipeline system, shut down operations on a network catering to about 40 percent of North Sea oil production Dec. 11 after finding a hairline crack on infrastructure near Aberdeen. In its latest formal update , the company said the crack is stabilized and the custom parts necessary to fix the issue are being made or are already on their way to site of the crack. “At this stage, it is still too early to say exactly how long the repair […]

Ineos says Forties oil pipeline repair timeframe unchanged

The timeframe to repair Britain’s Forties crude oil pipeline in the North Sea remains two to four weeks, its operator Ineos said on Tuesday, adding that repair options were still being assessed. The system, which carries around 450,000 barrels per day of Forties crude to Britain, along with a third of the UK’s total offshore natural gas output, has been closed since Dec. 11 after a crack was found. “The timescale stays the same – two to four weeks from the 11th,” Ineos spokesman Richard Longden said. He added that the company was examining three repair options. In a news release issued on Tuesday morning, Ineos said that custom parts for some of these options had been made and would be delivered “over the coming days”. The Ineos-operated Grangemouth refinery shut down about half of its 200,000 bpd capacity on Friday owing to the pipeline outage. […]

Ineos shuts 110,000 bpd crude unit at Grangemouth refinery: source

16 Dec 2017   United Kingdom

Ineos has shut the 110,000 barrels-per-day crude distillation unit(CDU) at its Grangemouth oil refinery in Scotland due to a lack of feedstock following an outage on Monday on the Forties crude pipeline, according to a source familiar with the plant’s operations. Preparations for the shutdown began on Thursday evening, according to the source, and the shutdown comes slightly ahead of an original plan to take the unit offline early next week. Ineos shut the 65,000 bpd CDU at the refinery on Wednesday but the unit restarted again on Thursday. Ineos is looking at the option of bringing forward maintenance that was planned for the spring, but that option depends on finding the right crew, equipment and the length of the shutdown of Forties pipeline, the source added.

Twilight years: is the UK entering its last decade of oil and gas production?

The Edinburgh Geological Society was formed in 1834 with the aim of stimulating public interest in geology. Issue 62 of its magazine, The Edinburgh Geologist , published in October, certainly did that. It contained a report by Edinburgh University that predicted the UK’s oil and gas reserves could run out in as little as a decade, that fracking is not viable in Scotland and barely feasible in the UK thanks to a dearth of suitable geology, and that the UK will soon have to import all its oil and gas. Professor Roy Thompson of Edinburgh University’s School of Geosciences also concluded that only 10% of the UK’s original recoverable oil and gas remains, roughly 11% of oil and 9% of gas resources. Deirdre Michie, CEO of industry body Oil & Gas UK responded that some of the largest fields in the North Sea would still be producing in 2050. […]

Putin Pleased As Desperate UK Turns To Russian Natural Gas

We said two days ago that it’s been a tough week for anybody who needs to heat their home or put gasoline in their cars in Britain. The litany of negative events and mishaps includes extremely low temperatures, the shutdown of the Forties pipeline due to a hairline crack and an explosion at one of the Europe’s biggest gas hubs in Austria, which further tightened UK supplies. As we noted, the price of gas futures surged by the most in 8 years. The timing of the gas hub explosion, as we head into Winter, couldn’t have been worse either. (Click to enlarge) However, adding insult to injury, the UK lacks gas storage capacity and the web of interconnections that link markets across Continental Europe. And…Centrica is closing the nation’s biggest storage site after more than 30 years. The question was, where could the UK secure alternative supplies. It takes […]

Subsea Sector Still Supports Around 45,000 Jobs in UK

The subsea sector still supports around 45,000 jobs in the UK, despite the recent downturn in oil and gas, according to Subsea UK’s latest business activity review. The subsea sector still supports around 45,000 jobs in the UK, despite the recent downturn in oil and gas, according to Subsea UK’s latest business activity review. The oil price crash, and subsequent downturn, led to the deferral or cancellation of major subsea projects, particularly in deepwater, and cost around 8,000 jobs, Subsea UK Chief Executive Neil Gordon said in an organization statement. “However, the subsea sector appears to have weathered the storm by increasing exports and diversifying, particularly into offshore wind, where the skills and technology are eminently transferable,” Gordon said. Subsea UK’s latest review revealed that the industry is generating annual revenues of $10 billion (GBP 7.5 billion), compared to $11.9 billion (GBP 8.9billion) in 2014. Exports account for over […]

North Sea pipeline operator invokes force majeure

The operator of a damaged North Sea crude pipeline has invoked a clause that exempts it from fulfilling contracts, underlining the scale of the damage that has sent oil and gas prices surging. Ineos, the operator of the Forties network of pipelines that shifts almost 40 percent of the North Sea oil and gas production, on Thursday declared force majeure which exempts an entity from obligations if there are causes beyond its control. “Although North Sea cargoes are often delayed from one month to the next, it is very rare for force majeure to be declared, highlighting the severity of the issue,” said analysts at consultancy FGE. The Forties network has been closed since Monday, as Ineos assesses how to fix the hairline crack in a section onshore, close to Aberdeen in Scotland. The company, which bought the pipelines from energy company BP in October, expects it to be “a matter of weeks” before the crack is repaired. The pipeline system carries about 450,000 barrels a day of Forties crude from more than 80 fields to the Kinneil processing terminal in Scotland. From there the oil is loaded on to tankers, stored or piped to the 200,000 b/d Grangemouth refinery, which is also owned by Ineos. The company said that although the plant remains in operation it has reduced crude processing rates.

UK turns to Russian project targeted by sanctions for gas supply

14 Dec 2017   United Kingdom

British homes are set to be heated over the new year with gas from a Russian project targeted by US sanctions, as the shutdown of a key North Sea pipeline slashes domestic output and sends utilities and traders scrambling for supplies. The first tanker of liquefied natural gas from the Yamal LNG project in Russia’s Arctic, which was opened by President Vladimir Putin last week, is making its way to the Isle of Grain import terminal in Kent as UK gas prices soar.

The shipment of the super-chilled cargo to the UK, which was originally expected to go to Asia, will be cheered in the Kremlin, where the Yamal LNG project has been held up as evidence that it can withstand western sanctions. Moscow has insisted that Europe will remain reliant on Russia for gas. The UK government has taken a tough line on Russian sanctions since Moscow first intervened in Ukraine nearly four years ago, and Theresa May, prime minister, has stepped up criticisms more recently, accusing Moscow of meddling in elections and attempting to “weaponise information” to undermine the west.

Bringing in the tanker will highlight questions about the UK’s energy strategy and the security of supplies, as it follows the shutdown of a three-decade-old pipeline this week that has cut off 12 per cent of gas from the UK’s portion of the North Sea, sending prices to four-year highs and sparking fears of potential shortages. While it is not unusual for the UK to import small amounts of Russian gas that has come by pipeline through other European countries, the scheduled arrival on December 28 of the Christophe de Margerie LNG tanker will be the first delivery to arrive by ship, with the loading of the tanker personally overseen by Mr Putin last week.

While UK and EU sanctions do not directly target Yamal LNG, they have imposed other sanctions that cut off Russian energy companies from finance or technology for certain projects, levied after Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

UK natural gas price hovers near 4-year peak

UK natural gas prices stayed near their highest level in four years on Wednesday, reflecting supply disruptions in the North Sea, but the reopening of a key European hub for Russian imports helped ease concerns over shortages. The cost of gas for the UK’s energy needs eased 5 pence to 68p a therm, though it remains up 17 per cent since the beginning of the month. The price for delivery in January dipped nearly 5p to 60.85p. Fears of a supply crunch have risen during the cold snap gripping the country, sparked by the shutdown of a key North Sea oil and gas pipeline that is expected to cut as much as 40 per cent of daily supply into the new year.

A surge in gas prices on Tuesday also reflected an explosion at the Baumgarten gas import hub in Austria, the main conduit for Russian supplies into Europe. The operator Gas Connect Austria said on Wednesday that the main arteries supplying neighbouring countries had come back online late on Tuesday. Same-day UK gas prices rose almost 50 per cent to a high of 99p a therm on Tuesday, the highest level since 2013. The shutdown of the Forties Pipeline System caused the closure of the British North Sea Elgin-Franklin and Britannia gasfields.

On Wednesday, the UK’s gas system was undersupplied by 27.8m cubic metres as demand fell short of flows, National Grid data showed, but the UK government stressed that the country had adequate import capacity. The pipeline outage has also reduced supplies of North Sea crude oil by 450,000 b/d, boosting oil prices to the highest in more than two years. Brent crude, the international oil benchmark underpinned by supplies from the North Sea, jumped to almost $66 a barrel on Tuesday. Prices have since eased to $63.76 a barrel.

Forties aftershock ripples through North Sea oil markets

14 Dec 2017   United Kingdom

Several oil cargoes may be deferred to January as the threat of force majeure hangs over the market after a crack shut down the Forties supply pipeline, trading sources said Wednesday. Several cargo deferrals likely, say traders Still no clarity on force majeure Prompt demand for medium sour crudes could rise Ineos says it is still considering number of repair options The key 600,000 b/d artery, which transports one of the key blends that make up the Dated Brent pricing benchmark, is likely to remain shut. Pipeline operator Ineos said it’s considering a number of repair options. In response, crude buyers have started to look elsewhere for alternative medium-sour blends. With not many prompt oil barrels available, a scramble for cargoes has begun, said trading sources. The shutdown pushed the physical Dated Brent benchmark to a two-and-a-half-year high of 65.165/b on Monday but prices have backtracked since then as […]

North Sea business out nearly $30M a day on Forties pipeline outage

14 Dec 2017   United Kingdom

Closing the Forties pipeline system in the North Sea, which sidelines almost half of the area’s production, means heavy industry losses, a trade group said. Pipeline operator Ineos shut down the Forties crude network in the North Sea after discovering a “hairline crack” on a pipe near Aberdeen, Scotland, last week. The system carries about 40 percent of the oil produced in the British waters of the North Sea, or about 450,000 barrels of oil per day. The company said it could be a matter of weeks before repairs are made to the North Sea network. Deirdre Michie, the chief executive at trade group Oil & Gas U.K., said the outage […]

UK Gas Prices Rise Most In 8 Years On Explosion, Outages

It has been a tough week already for those that heat their homes in Britain (and those that trade Natural Gas). Following extreme weather warnings and the forties pipeline crack shutdown , an explosion at one of the Europe’s biggest gas hubs further tightened supplies sending gas futures prices up by the most in 8 years. As Bloomberg reports , gas futures rose the most in more than eight years in Britain, which already is struggling to absorb the impact of a crack that shut down a North Sea pipeline network. After snow fell for two days in London, cooler-than-normal temperatures spread from the Alps to Scandinavia, raising demand for heating fuels. (Click to enlarge) An explosion at around 9am at Austria’s main gas pipeline hub, left one person dead and 18 injured, according to police. The facility about 50 kilometers (31 miles) northeast of Vienna transports the equivalent […]

Oil, Gas Firms Could Lose Millions Due to Forties Pipeline Shutdown

Oil and gas firms could lose millions of dollars in the event of a prolonged shut down of the Forties Pipeline System, oil and gas analysts at GMP FirstEnergy have confirmed. Independent oil and gas firms EnQuest plc and Premier Oil plc could lose millions of dollars in the event of a prolonged shut down of the Forties Pipeline System, oil and gas analysts at GMP FirstEnergy have confirmed. The analysts highlighted that EnQuest’s operated Greater Kittiwake Area and Scolty/Crathes development, along with Premier Oil’s operated Balmoral area, non-operated Elgin-Franklin asset and other minor fields, would be impacted as a result of a shut down of Britain’s largest oil pipeline. GMP analysts have stated that every month of shut down would reduce the energy investment banking firm’s expected cashflow forecast for EnQuest and Premier Oil by around $7 million and between $10-12 million, respectively. The shut down of the […]

London Firms To Visit Saudi Arabia As Battle For Aramco Listing Continues

Heavyweight firms London will be accompanying the City of London’s lord mayor on his trip to Saudi Arabia this coming weekend, as Saudi officials have yet to announce which would be the international stock exchange for the planned listing of 5 percent of oil giant Saudi Aramco. Charles Bowman, the City of London’s lord mayor, will travel on an overseas business trip to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, scheduled for December 9 – 13 . A senior executive of the London Stock Exchange (LSE) will be part of the business delegation, as well as representatives from PWC, and from investment group Standard Life Aberdeen, The Times reported. The business delegation is expected to hold meetings with officials from the Saudi stock exchange—the domestic market on which Aramco will also list—and from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth funds and monetary authority, according to The Times. The City of London’s lord mayor […]

New UK-wide map of air pollution; insights into nitrogen dioxide levels across the country and within towns and cities

« BP and Copersucar to form a new ethanol joint venture in Brazil | Main | Long Beach Transit receives $600K grant for 40 Cummins near-zero CNG engines » EarthSense Systems—a joint venture between the University of Leicester and aerial mapping company BlueSky—has published MappAir, the first high resolution nationwide map of air pollution. Combining data from satellites and its own air quality monitoring sensors together with open source data, EarthSense used complex modeling techniques to create the highly accurate map. Initially available for the whole of the UK at 100-meter resolution, MappAir shows how air pollution, specifically nitrogen dioxide, changes across the country and within towns and cities, highlighting likely sources and potential clean-air refuge areas. Earthsense_MappAir PR image Using the British National Grid, EarthSense divided the UK into 100 meter squares. Air pollution readings from satellites and its own Zephyr air quality monitoring sensors were combined with […]

Is This The End Of Nuclear Power In The UK?

The UK’s ambitious program to build more nuclear generating stations will begin with the massive Hinkley Point units. Yet, in a recent paper, Prof. Steve Thomas, a well-known energy economist in the UK, asked a question that had been on our minds, namely is it “Time to cancel Hinckley?” The timing of the paper and ensuing editorials coincided with record low prices for off-shore wind, £57.50 per MWh to be exact. The Guardian newspaper editorialized that this figure should “blow away the UK’s nuclear plans.” First, let’s put the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in context. The UK government first announced its nuclear power expansion program in 2006. The plan was to build five new nuclear generating stations, producing 16 GWs, to be on-line by 2030. The units planned are at Sizewell, Wylfa, Moorside, Oldbury and Hinkley. At the time the government cited two concerns with respect to […]

UK Government Issues Support for Shale Industry

The UK government has lent its support to the UK’s shale gas industry in a recently published white paper. The UK government has lent its support to the UK’s shale gas industry in a recently published white paper. Industrial Strategy: Building a Britain Fit for the Future states that the emerging shale gas industry in the region ‘offers the prospect of creating jobs, enhancing the competitiveness of downstream sectors and building up supply chains’. In the white paper, the government outlined that it will support the development of this industry, while recognizing the devolved nature of planning in the devolved nations, and revealed that it was currently considering how to implement its proposal for a Shale Environmental Regulator. Ken Cronin, the chief executive of UK Onshore Oil and Gas (UKOOG), the trade body for the UK onshore industry, said the sector welcomed the government’s support. “Domestic shale gas production […]

British energy lauded for momentum as economy falters

23 Nov 2017   United Kingdom

The number of new bidders trying to wade into the British offshore energy sector is a vote for as much as 6 billion barrels of new oil, a trade group said. The British government said it received 96 applications from 68 different companies, some of which were bidding for the first time ever, for rights to tap into the potential in a license round covering 44,100 square miles in the British North Sea and surrounding waters. Mike Tholen, the director of exploration and production for trade group Oil & Gas U.K., said the new entrants represented a vote of confidence for offshore as early signs point to the potential for as much as 6 billion barrels of new oil. “While […]

New wind farm in service off the British coast

23 Nov 2017   United Kingdom, Wind

Norwegian energy company Statoil said Wednesday its Dudgeon wind farm off the British coast is now feeding the grid from its 67 wind turbines. The Dudgeon wind farm is about 25 miles off the coast of Norfolk. Its turbines, with a combined capacity of 402 megawatts, can meet the energy demands of around 410,000 average households at its peak. The Norwegian company, one of the main energy suppliers to the European market, said Dudgeon is part of its efforts to add more green components to its portfolio. “As part of our strategy to develop from an oil and gas company to a broad energy major, Statoil will grow significantly in profitable renewable energy, with an ambition to invest around $12 billion […]

UK launching £400M vehicle charging infrastructure fund; putting extra £100M to support for buying EVs

The UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, presented his Autumn Budget to Parliament. Among the elements in the budget are the launch of a new £400-million (US$530-million) Charging Investment Infrastructure Fund and the provision of an extra £100 million (US$133 million) towards helping people buy battery-electric cars. The government is also committing to electrify 25% of cars in central government department fleets by 2022. The UK government is investing £200 million in the charging infrastructure fund; the remaining £200 million is to be provided by matching private investment. The government will also make sure all new homes are built with the right cables for electric car charge points. Continue Reading “UK launching £400M vehicle charging infrastructure fund; putting extra £100M to support for buying EVs” Thirteen environmental groups working on clean transportation solutions sent a letter to the United States Postal Service (USPS) urging it to select plug-in […]

Chancellor Helps UK Oil Industry with ‘Innovative’ Tax Policy

23 Nov 2017   United Kingdom

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, pledges to help the UK oil and gas industry by delivering an ‘innovative’ tax policy from November 2018. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, has pledged to help the UK oil and gas industry by delivering an ‘innovative’ tax policy from November 2018. “We will introduce transferrable tax history for transfers of oil and gas fields in the North Sea,” said Hammond in his 2017 Budget speech. Hammond said the tax policy will ‘encourage new entrants to bring fresh investment to a basin that still holds up to 20 billion barrels of oil’. Currently in the UK oil and gas sector, the history of tax paid remains with an asset’s original owner, even when the asset is sold. As a result, buyers can perceive fields to be less attractive commercially, partly because they are unlikely to be able to access the […]

Majors move out, minors move in to British North Sea

The sale of gas fields in the British North Sea could be a sign that bigger companies are losing interest in an area with a bit of a future, analysis finds. Serica Energy said Tuesday it was taking on the role of operator at the Bruce, Keith and Rhum fields in the North Sea in a deal with British supermajor BP that could have an initial value of as much as $17 million. Serica gets about 110 staff from BP in a deal that leaves the British supermajor with the costs associated with any decommissioning. Serica, meanwhile, didn’t have to raise any additional equity to finance the deal. The deal for the North Sea means Serica’s production grows from a […]

New oil expected from North Sea by December

New oil production is on pace to start in December from a floating production facility off the east coast of Scotland, Premiere Oil said Thursday. “In the United Kingdom, the Premier-operated Catcher project remains on schedule for first oil during December,” the company announced . “The floating production storage and offloading vessel arrived on location on Oct. 18 and the production buoy was successfully pulled into the hull.” Catcher was discovered in 2010 by Premiere and the company put the gross reserve estimate at the time between 25 million and 50 million barrels of oil. A North Sea review from consultant group Wood Mackenzie, published early this year , found more than a dozen new oil and […]

Russian Hackers Target British Energy Industry

Russian hackers have attacked targets from the British energy industry over the last 12 months, the head of the country’s National Cyber Security Center, Ciaran Martin said. The warning, according to the New York Times , suggests that the number of attacks coming from Russia has been much greater than previously estimated by British and U.S. officials. Martin did not specify the names of any potential targets, which, he said, also included businesses from the media and telecoms industries. He also didn’t specify the number of attacks identified by his agency. Earlier this year, U.S. security agencies reported that they had detected network breaches by Russian hackers into companies operating nuclear power facilities in the United States. The combination of nuclear power and cyberattacks is enough to raise any government’s hackles, and Britain’s PM Theresa May wasted no time in accusing Moscow directly, saying “We know what you are […]

Shell Gears Up For Peak Gasoline

Since the oil price plummet it 2014, Shell has transitioned its business model over to refining oil, offering other refined oil products, and producing petrochemicals. The oil giant will produce well beyond gasoline to serve other growing economic sectors, and to offset the role EVs will play by the 2030s. Rapid growth in the global economy, especially Asia, will grow demand for other refined oil products and petrochemicals. Asia will see new roads added, with demand creating economically viable substitutes for asphalt. Shell wants to be poised and ready to provide that supply. The oil giant will also be ready to provide the polymers and chemicals that go into plastics used in vehicles and many other products, said Shell’s head of manufacturing Lori Ryerkerk, who is in charge of refining. Shell will double the size of its chemical operations by the mid-2020s with several new plants coming to Louisiana […]

Norway and UK Production Update

Short-term trends for UK oil and gas production and, to a lesser extent, Norway can be rendered a bit meaningless by seasonal impacts from summer maintenance turn-arounds and cyclic gas demand. Overall, though, both are at or approaching the tail end of the production curve, but with slight upticks in the nearer term. Barring several large and unlikely new discoveries over the coming years the industry will continue winding down in both countries, with the UK ahead of Norway, and exploration and development leading operations and finally decommissioning. However some Norwegian gas production still has a multi-decade plateau to come and there are a couple of large oil projects due on-line in each country which will run for twenty to thirty years. Norway Drilling and Discoveries The usual patterns of exploration wells and discoveries following a bell curve that is matched by a […]

BP back in balance even if oil moves back toward $50 per barrel

1 Nov 2017   United Kingdom

British energy company BP posts strong figures for the third quarter and says to expect more production before the year is out. There are clear signs the market is back on solid ground and adjusting to historically lower, but recovering, crude oil prices, BP said. “We have made strong progress this year in adjusting to the lower oil price environment and have now brought our finances, including the full dividend, back into organic balance at an oil price just below $50 a barrel,” Chief Financial Officer Brian Gilvary said in a statement . The price for Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, was around $60 per barrel in early Tuesday trading, holding firm at its highest level in years. Gilvary said Tuesday the company would start buying back shares during the fourth quarter and the company said its $1.87 billion […]

UK Oil & Gas Reserves Fall To 5.7 Billion BOE

1 Nov 2017   United Kingdom

The UK’s proven and probable (2P) oil and gas reserves as at end-2016 were 5.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe), down from 6.3 billion boe at end-2015, due to production exceeding additions and reserves adjustments for producing fields, the UK’s Oil & Gas Authority said in a report published on Tuesday. The UK still has significant oil and gas reserves capable of sustaining production from the UK Continental Shelf for another 20 years and more, but replacement of proven and probable reserves remains a concern, the authority said. Last year, some 600 million boe were produced, but only 80 million boe of contingent resources were matured to reserves—such that can be commercially viable to explore. This translates into a reserve replacement ratio of 13 percent, which leads to an underlying decline of the proved resources, the Oil & Gas Authority warned. The regulator estimates that the UKCS contains […]

Iraq asks BP to boost oil production from Kirkuk: spokesman

24 Oct 2017   Iraq, United Kingdom

Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi met a senior BP executive on Monday to discuss developing and boosting production from Kirkuk oilfield, a ministry spokesman said.  Luaibi, who met BP’s president for the Middle East region Michael Townshend, has asked the British oil major to help increase output from Kirkuk oilfield to more than 700,000 barrels per day, the spokesman said.  “The minister is very keen to rehabilitate the Kirkuk oilfield and raise production from there as soon as possible,” spokesman Asim Jihad told Reuters.  The oil minister discussed reactivating a deal signed in 2013 with BP to revive Iraq’s northern Kirkuk oilfield and help Baghdad arrest a huge decline in output from Kirkuk and increase production to higher levels, said Jihad.

Kirkuk is one of the biggest and oldest oilfields in the Middle East, still estimated to contain around 9 billion barrels of recoverable oil, according to BP. BP has provided technical assistance in the past to the Iraqi state-owned North Oil Company to aid the redevelopment of the Kirkuk field. “BP and the oil ministry will form a joint team to visit Kirkuk oilfield and study the situation on the ground to survey the oilfield,” said the spokesman without giving a timing for when the visit could happen. Kirkuk has become the key area of tensions between Baghdad and Kurdish regional authorities since Iraqi Kurdistan held an independence referendum in September, triggering an angry response from Baghdad and neighboring Turkey and Iran.  Kurdistan’s Peshmerga forces pulled out from Kirkuk oilfields last week as Iraqi military advanced on the area that is responsible for a half of Kurdistan’s oil production, or around 300,000 barrels per day.

UK On Track To Approve Construction of “Mini” Nuclear Reactors

The Telegraph . London’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is due to issue a study on the matter soon, and industry sources said the Rolls Royce consortium’s plan should succeed over its competitor to win the government’s approval. A spokesman for the BEIS told The Telegraph: “We are currently considering next steps for the SMR programme and we will communicate these in due course.” Small nuclear reactors (SMRs) are far cheaper to build than their full-sized counterparts. Funding for their development could be covered under the British government’s 250 million-pound pool to encourage “innovate nuclear technologies” that allow the nation to meet its anti-climate change targets. “Rolls has been involved with this technology in the past and realised it is not designed with the energy utility in mind because it simply isn’t commercially investible,” a source from Whitehall said. “It also looks as if the Government […]

London’s £10 daily “T-charge” for most polluting vehicles now in effect; partnership with Turing Institute

London’s £10 daily “ T-Charge ” (toxicity), aimed at the oldest, most polluting vehicles on London roads, is now in effect. The T Charge applies mainly to diesel and gasoline vehicles registered before 2006. The T-Charge (officially known as the Emissions Surcharge) operates on top of (and during the same operating times as) the Congestion Charge (Monday to Friday 7am-6pm), so it will cost £21.50 to drive in the zone if a vehicle is affected. Drivers can check the status of their vehicles online. The minimum emissions standards for avoiding the T-Charge are Euro 4/IV for both gasoline and diesel vehicles and Euro 3 for motorized tricycles and quadricycles. A small number of vehicles manufactured […]

UK North Sea Oil Faces Quickening Decline If No Brexit Deal

17 Oct 2017   United Kingdom

The UK oil and gas industry faces a faster decline if Prime Minister Theresa May fails to agree to a trade deal with the European Union. (Bloomberg) — The U.K. oil and gas industry faces a faster decline if Prime Minister Theresa May fails to agree to a trade deal with the European Union, as restrictions on the movement of workers and equipment would increase costs. A “no deal” Brexit, which has become a stronger possibility after talks ended in a deadlock this week, could restrict investments in the North Sea, hastening the existing decline of the aging basin, said Michael Bradshaw, professor of global energy at Warwick Business School. Oil & Gas U.K., the lobby group, has warned that the industry’s cost of trade could almost double if the country reverts to World Trade Organization rules. The U.K. North Sea was already well past its peak when crude […]