United Kingdom

UK Oil Production, Reserves and Future Projection

18 Aug 2017   United Kingdom

Production History and Reserves UK oil production peaked in 1999. The peak was probably pushed out a couple of years because of the major production interruptions following the Piper Alpha disaster. Production declined quickly until around 2011, then the high oil price allowed more brownfield and then greenfield developments that created a third local peak in 2016. Production is declining again this year but there are several large projects due that will create another peak in 2018 or 2019 (nearly equal to the 2016 one). After that terminal decline is likely. The chart below shows C&C production split according to the year of first production of the field. Like all such all diagrams, this shows that the largest fields were developed first and declined the slowest. Most data here is taken from the new UK Oil and Gas Authority (which replaced part of […]

Shell’s strategic move into electricity

Royal Dutch Shell’s decision to sell electricity direct to industrial customers is an intelligent and creative one. The shift is strategic and demonstrates that oil and gas majors are capable of adapting to a new world as the transition to a lower carbon economy develops. For those already in the business of providing electricity it represents a dangerous competitive threat. For the other oil majors it poses a direct challenge on whether they are really thinking about the future sufficiently strategically. The move starts small with a business in the UK that will start trading early next year. Shell will supply the business operations as a first step and it will then expand. But Britain is not the limit — Shell recently announced its intention of making similar sales in the US. Historically, oil and gas companies have considered a move into electricity as a step too far, with the sector seen as oversupplied and highly politicised because of sensitivity to consumer price rises. I went through three reviews during my time in the industry, each of which concluded that the electricity business was best left to someone else. What has changed? I think there are three strands of logic behind the strategy. First, the state of the energy market. The price of gas in particular has fallen across the world over the last three years to the point where the International Energy Agency describes the current situation as a “glut”. Meanwhile, Shell has been developing an extensive range of gas assets, with more to come. In what has become a buyer’s market it is logical to get closer to the customer — establishing long-term deals that can soak up the supply.

Poll: Shale drilling a new concept to the British public

British polling data show only a handful of respondents claim to know much about hydraulic fracturing. Photo courtesy of Cuadrilla Resources Aug. 3 (UPI) — With shale drilling about ready to go for the first time ever in the country, British opponents said public sentiment was moving against the practice. Cuadrilla Resources said the drilling rig used to tap wells at a shale basin in Lancashire arrived at its destination in late July . The industry is in its infancy in the country, though the British government estimates there may be enough natural gas locked in shale to offset gas imports on pace to increase from 45 percent of demand in 2011 to 76 percent by 2030. Polling data from the British government found only about 13 percent of those responding to its surveys said they knew “a lot” about hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. Support and opposition […]

Drilling set to begin in British shale

With its drilling rig on site, a British shale gas explorer said it expects to address offshore production declines with onshore operations by year’s end. Cuadrilla Resources said the drilling rig used to tap wells at a shale basin have arrived at their destination in Lancashire. “With the decline of North Sea gas and our ever increasing reliance on gas imports, including shale gas imported from the United States, developing an indigenous source of natural gas is critical for U.K. energy security, our economy, jobs and the environment,” Cuadrilla CEO Francis Egan said in a statement . “We are proud as a Lancashire company to be at the forefront of that effort.” The British government estimates shale […]

So how on earth are we going to power nine million electric cars

Earlier this year, car buyers were encouraged to take advantage of the Government’s new environmentally friendly decision to exempt from road tax all electric cars with zero carbon emissions that cost less than £40,000. Intrigued to see the choices that might be available, I visited a Mitsubishi dealer. The hottest model on the forecourt in this category was the latest hybrid Sports Utility Vehicle. A salesman told me that if I was interested in buying it and wanted to avoid the slow process of recharging the car overnight using my domestic electricity supply, he could install a more powerful charger on my driveway for free. I had never realised that owning an electric car involved such a daily palaver. So, put off by the idea of having to plug in the car every night and the potential for overloading our house’s electric circuits, I did not proceed any further. […]

Britain will ban new petrol and diesel cars from 2040: minister

27 Jul 2017   United Kingdom

Britain will ban the sale of new petrol and diesel-powered cars from 2040 as part of a plan to get them off the roads altogether 10 years later, environment minister Michael Gove said on Wednesday. It follows a similar announcement earlier this month by the French government, while German cities including Stuttgart and Munich have also said they are considering banning some diesel vehicles. The British government has been under pressure to take steps to reduce air pollution after losing legal cases brought by campaign groups, and in May set out proposals for a scrappage scheme to get rid of the most polluting vehicles. Ahead of a June election, the governing Conservatives pledged to make “almost every car and van” zero-emission by 2050. “Today we are confirming that that means there should be no new diesel or petrol vehicles by 2040,” Gove told BBC Radio. The […]

UK unveils new plan to cut NO2; sale of new conventional gasoline and diesel cars to end by 2040; focus on local action

27 Jul 2017   United Kingdom

The UK Government unveiled its new plan to reduce roadside nitrogen dioxide (NO 2 ) concentrations in the shortest amount of time. Among the many policy and funding details in the UK Plan for Tackling Roadside Nitrogen Dioxide Concentrations , produced by Defra and the Department for Transport is the cessation of the sale of all new conventional gasoline and diesel cars by 2040. Another element in the plan includes possible civil and criminal charges against manufacturers implementing emissions defeat devices, with fines of up to £50,000 (US$65,000) per instance. The NO 2 plan is one element in the Government’s efforts to deliver clean air. In 2018, the Government will publish a comprehensive Clean Air Strategy which will address other sources of air pollution. Air quality in the UK has been improving significantly in recent decades, with reductions in emissions of all of the key pollutants, and NO 2 […]

Is BP Shifting Its Focus To Natural Gas?

BP announced highlights of its Q2 2017 exploration activities today, collecting the results of several different projects. Four discoveries representing 17+ Tcf of gas BP reports that it has made four gas discoveries so far in 2017. Two separate discoveries were made near Trinidad and Tobago. The Savannah exploration well was drilled into an untested fault block in 500 feet of water, and encountered about 650 feet of net pay. The strong results from this well mean BP expects to develop the fault block using a tieback to the nearby Juniper platform. The Macadamia well, also offshore from Trinidad, recently drilled below the existing SEQB discovery. The well found seven intervals of pay, with a total of 600 feet net pay. The success of this well, and the previously-established SEQB discovery, mean BP will likely develop the area using a new platform in the future. According to BP, Savannah […]

Gas development boosts opportunities in British North Sea

1 Jul 2017   United Kingdom

Energy opportunities in the British waters of the North Sea are bolstered by new work slated for natural gas, services company Bilfinger Salamis said Friday. The company announced it landed a contract for services to help Maersk Oil with platform installations for the Culzean natural gas field. “There are fewer major hook-up projects in the North Sea than in previous years, but the Culzean contract ensures further recruitment and growth for our North Sea business in the years ahead,” Managing Director Sandy Bonner said in a statement . The company said the new work contract could create as many as 300 new jobs in the North Sea energy sector. Parts of the North Sea are rebounding somewhat following maturation concerns. […]

British North Sea target of new drilling plans

20 Jun 2017   United Kingdom

New drilling planned for the British waters of the North Sea by early 2018. The focus area is in a region targeted for development by British energy company BP. Photo courtesy of BP June 19 (UPI) — New drilling off the coast of Britain will start in April to appraise prospects west of the Shetland Islands, a drilling company said. The company, North Atlantic Drilling Ltd., said it was awarded a contract with Siccar Point Energy, an exploration and production company, to examine the waters west of Sheltand. “The contract will commence on April 1st when Siccar Point Energy will drill and test an appraisal well on the Cambo discovery with the data being used to refine the development project requirements,” the drilling company stated. “The minimum backlog for the contract is estimated at $7 million.” Siccar Point took control over the Cambo reservoir when it acquired a regional […]

BP pumps more capital into North Sea programs

British energy company BP is putting more capital into its North Sea program with nearly $200 million in contracts, an energy services company said. Cape Industrial Services said it secured 400 jobs in the North Sea energy sector in a contract that provides BP with storage tank services and other support across the regional exploration, production and transportation sector. “Cape Industrial Services Ltd. has secured two contracts to extend the group’s longstanding relationship with BP in the U.K. North Sea for a further three years,” the company said in a statement . “These contracts have a combined estimated value in excess of $190 million.” The contract marks a rebound for the North Sea portfolio of BP, which last […]

UK Conservatives pledge energy price cap, hitting utility shares

24 Apr 2017   United Kingdom

Britain’s ruling Conservative Party said it would cap domestic energy prices if it retained power in an election in June, targeting an industry it accuses of not working properly and sending shares in the leading providers down sharply. Shares in British energy suppliers Centrica and SSE fell by 4-5 percent after ministers said the Conservative’s election manifesto would include pledges on controlling energy prices. Energy bills have doubled in Britain over the past decade to about 1,200 pounds ($1,640) a year, angering consumers who face rising inflation, and drawing the ire of politicians ahead of a June 8 national election. Energy companies say higher prices reflect increased wholesale costs and environmental levies. Prime Minister Theresa May’s government has previously said the energy market does not work properly and called for more competition in […]

Is Britain’s ‘largest oil discovery in decades’ really all that?

11 Apr 2017   United Kingdom

A large oil find has been declared 60 miles west of Shetland, off the north coast of Scotland. It’s being described as the UK’s “ largest undeveloped discovery ”. Taken at face value, this is exciting news for an industry still reeling after the oil price collapse of the past few years (environmentalists though are less enthusiastic ). The discovery was made by Hurricane Energy, a specialist exploration firm, which announced that its Halifax well had found large amounts of oil. It said it had also successfully undertaken a production test in which oil flowed at an impressive rate. This find may even be connected with a previous discovery nearby (the Lancaster field ) and hence be part of one large accumulation of nearly a billion untapped barrels. Hurricane Energy specialises in trying to extract oil from so-called fractured “basement” reservoirs . While most oil, including most North Sea […]

BP Sells Key North Sea Pipeline System to Ineos for $250 Million

BP Plc agreed to sell the Forties pipeline, one of the most important pieces of oil infrastructure in the U.K. North Sea, to Ineos AG for $250 million. Ineos will make a cash payment of $125 million on completion and transfer a share of future earnings up to $125 million over seven years, BP said in a statement Monday. The London-based oil producer will retain rights to use the pipeline system’s capacity. The two companies confirmed last month they were in discussions for the pipeline, which transports crude used to set the price of Dated Brent, the benchmark for more than half the world’s oil. BP is selling assets to help pay for the 2010 oil spill in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, for which it set aside more than $50 billion. It also needs to bring down debt and maintain dividends as oil continues to trade at half […]

Report: Operators Stepping Up Search for North Sea Decommissioning Staff

31 Mar 2017   United Kingdom

Operators are improving the ways in which they search for North Sea decommissioning staff, according to a new report by the Boston Consulting Group. Operators are improving the ways in which they search for North Sea decommissioning staff, according to a new report by the Boston Consulting Group. “Leading operators are recognizing that they need tailored talent acquisition and development plans for decommissioning that include sourcing and training interdisciplinary teams of technical and non-technical staff,” the report said. “These operators are starting to highlight decommissioning careers to attract the right talent to both central and business unit roles,” the report added. BCG’s North Sea Decommissioning report highlighted that many engineers acknowledged that decommissioning is the future of the industry in the region, but revealed that a significant portion of engineers with relevant experience are at or close to retirement. The report also stated that finding talent for the sector […]

BP to sell more refineries and sharpen focus on retail outlets

30 Mar 2017   United Kingdom

 BP plans to sell more refineries without investing in new plants despite growing oil production and will focus on modernizing existing operations while expanding its network of filling stations to generate $3 billion in additional cash. The group’s head of refining told Reuters that even though BP’s output was set to spike in the next five years as new fields become operational, its attitude to refining remains more cautious. “Are we going to invest in more green field refining in BP? Probably not,” said Tufan Erginbilgic, who has worked in refining since 1990. Refining of crude oil into fuels such as gasoline, diesel and jet fuel has for years been the industry’s problem child, having to grapple with weak and volatile profit margins as well as competition from modern refineries built in China, India […]

British North Sea oil and gas sector still facing headwinds

8 Mar 2017   -, United Kingdom

An industry trade group sees confidence returning to the British North Sea, but lingering challenges remain for oil and natural gas. File photo by Maryam Rahmanian/UPI. March 7 (UPI) — Though the region is showing signs of recovery, a British oil and gas trade group said new investments in offshore activity are slow to emerge. A report from the trade group Oil & Gas U.K. finds total British offshore production up 5 percent from 2015 to 1.73 billion barrels of oil equivalent. That trend should continue short-term with output reaching 1.9 billion barrels of oil equivalent by 2018. That follows a 15-year period of steady declines from British waters. Deirdre Michie, the chief executive for the trade group, said confidence is returning to the North Sea. Cash flow generated by exploration and production companies is expected to move into positive territory for the first time since 2013. “However, this […]

U.K. Oil, Gas Output Set for Longest Expansion in Two Decades

7 Mar 2017   United Kingdom

U.K. oil and gas production will continue to grow through 2018, putting it on course for the longest expansion in almost two decades, amid project startups and productivity gains, an industry lobby said. “Production has now been rising since 2015, bucking a 15-year trend of decline, and should continue to rise over the next two years,” Oil & Gas U.K. said in a statement on Tuesday. Output in the U.K. Continental Shelf rose to 1.73 million barrels of oil equivalent a day last year and will peak at between 1.8 million and 1.9 million barrels in 2018, the group said. New developments as well as productivity gains are behind the increase after output in the basin peaked about 15 years ago, the lobby said. The slump in oil prices has forced the industry to become leaner, with average operating costs falling by almost half to about $15.30 a barrel […]

British oil and gas projects late and over budget, report says

4 Mar 2017   United Kingdom

Despite capital investments coming in at an all-time high, a British survey of oil and gas activity found few projects were delivered on time and under budget. The official British Oil & Gas Authority published its five-year review of oil and gas activity for the period ending in 2016. The review found less than 25 percent of oil and gas projects were delivered on time, with most running about 10 months behind schedule. OGA Operations Director Gunther Newcombe put a positive spin on the figures, noting investments came in at close to $50 billion over the last five years. “This brings considerable benefits in terms of financial contribution to the economy, supporting thousands of skilled jobs and safeguarding […]

BP Says Peak Oil Demand May Occur Post-2050, Plans to Increase Production

2 Mar 2017   United Kingdom

In the wake of the expected growth trends set out by its energy outlook, BP plc revealed in its latest strategy update that it anticipates production to increase by an average of 5 percent per year from 2016 to 2021. BP Group production, which includes BP’s share of production from Rosneft, is expected to be around 4 million barrels of oil equivalent per day (boepd) by 2021, the energy major said in a Feb. 28 company statement. According to BP: six projects began production in 2016 seven projects are scheduled to come online in 2017 nine projects are expected to come on-stream between 2018 to 2021 The projects coming online in 2016 and 2017 are said to be on track to deliver 500,000 boepd in new production capacity by the end of this year. Production ramping up from new upstream projects is expected to deliver a material improvement in […]

A Push for Diesel Leaves London Gasping Amid Record Pollution

Every winter, as if on cue, the coughing begins. As soon as the weather turns cold, Tara Carey, an international aid worker living in London, ritually places cough syrup on her bedside table because she knows her sleep will be punctuated by hacking coughs. She also coughs at work. And she coughs while cycling to her office, on a road so toxic that for a brief period last month the air pollution there was greater than in infamously smoggy Beijing.

Tidal Lagoon Energy in Wales

17 Feb 2017   Tidal, United Kingdom

The report of an independent review of UK tidal lagoon energy was published on 12 January 2017 by a former UK energy Minister Charles Hendry. The report praises the proposed ‘pathfinder’ tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay as a ‘no-regrets option’, and sets out a supportive case for developing the sector. The Hendry Review was commissioned in February 2016 by UK Government to assess the strategic case for tidal lagoon energy as a new industry in the UK. This followed a successful planning proposal by Tidal Lagoon Power (TLP) to develop the world’s first tidal lagoon in Swansea Bay, as well as a subsequent programme for a ‘fleet’ of five larger projects, including three in Welsh waters (Cardiff, Newport and Colwyn Bay). Despite the Swansea Bay project appearing in the 2015 UK Conservative Party manifesto and receiving development consent in June 2015, uncertainties around cost and subsidy subsequently prompted the […]

Decline of UK’s Rough storage site to raise gas import costs

17 Feb 2017   United Kingdom

The decline of Britain’s biggest gas storage site and the lack of new-build to replace it will increase dependency on imports over the next few years, boosting wholesale market volatility and consumer gas prices. Seasonal gas storage provides security and flexibility of supply. At times of low demand and therefore low gas prices in the summer, gas is injected into storage to be kept for when demand rises in the winter. Rough, the country’s only seasonal gas storage site, can usually meet around 10 percent of Britain’s peak daily gas demand but is currently capable only of handling 5 percent. At over 30 years old, the depleted gas field off England’s east coast has undergone prolonged outages over the past year due to problems with well pressure; six wells have permanently closed and […]

Volvo receives order for 8 all-electric buses in UK; OppCharge opportunity charging

Volvo Buses has received an order for eight electric buses, the Volvo 7900 electric, from Transdev Blazefield, the owner of the Harrogate Bus Company in the UK. Operations start in 2018 in Harrogate, 90 km northeast of Manchester. When the vehicles enter service in 2018, the project will be the first of its kind in the UK introducing full electric vehicles using opportunity charging via the common interface OppCharge, whereby the charging stations can also be used by electrified buses from other vehicle manufacturers. OppCharge is now starting to be used as a common interface in more than 12 countries. ( Earlier post .) Opportunity charging takes place via an overhead mast, which connects to the bus […]

BP may ‘incrementally’ increase U.S. shale portfolio: CEO

BP is looking at ways to incrementally increase its footprint in U.S. shale oil and gas production, its Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley said on Tuesday. Dudley said the company will use “a lot of discipline” in investments in the sector as asset prices are high. Talking to analysts after reporting its 2016 results, Dudley also said the British oil and gas company was considering giving the green light to several projects around the world, including in Oman, Trinidad and Tobago and India. (Reporting by Ron Bousso; editing by Jason Neely)

Why Is This Private Equity Fund Scooping Up Billions In North Sea Assets

2 Feb 2017   United Kingdom

I’ve been discussing the return of big oil and gas M&A the last several weeks. And yesterday we got more confirmation it’s “money on” right now in the global petroleum sector — with one of the biggest single deals in years coming down in an unexpected place. From a virtually unknown acquirer — which has instantly become the largest independent producer in the neighborhood. That’s a London-based firm called Chrysaor Holdings. Which yesterday unveiled a $3.8 billion purchase of North Sea assets from Shell. Under the deal, Chrysaor is buying Shell’s working interest in seven North Sea projects. Coming with a current 115,000 b/d of oil equivalent production — plus another 13,000 b/d production in the Shetland Islands, which is expected to be onstream soon. In total, Chrysaor will acquire 350 million barrels of proven and probable reserves — making the firm the largest U.K. independent producer focused on […]

Shell Sells $4.7 Billion of Fields as Disposal Push Accelerated

31 Jan 2017   United Kingdom

Royal Dutch Shell Plc, looking to pare debt swollen by last year’s acquisition of BG Group Plc, accelerated its drive to shed assets on Tuesday by agreeing to the sale of fields in the North Sea and Thailand for as much as $4.7 billion. The disposals include the sale of about half the company’s North Sea oil and gas assets for as much as $3.8 billion to Chrysaor Holdings Ltd., Shell said. Earlier Tuesday, the company agreed to sell its stake in an offshore Thai gas field to a unit of Kuwait Petroleum Corp. for $900 million. Shell piled up borrowings following its biggest-ever acquisition, the $54 billion purchase of BG, and needs to hit disposal targets to stave off credit rating reviews and maintain dividend payouts. While Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden has made debt reduction a top priority, Shell missed its target for asset sales last […]

Fracking gets conditional endorsement from Church of England advisers: Kemp

20 Jan 2017   United Kingdom

Two groups of Church of England advisers have cautiously endorsed fracking for shale gas in the United Kingdom provided it does not conflict with climate change policy and robust regulations are put in place. If the Church’s advisory panel had come out against fracking, the decision would have been widely cited by lobbying groups active on climate issues as well as local issues to oppose further drilling and fracturing. Instead its cautious endorsement, subject to conditions, is in line with an evolving consensus that does not oppose fracking in principle but is likely to remain wary in practice for the time being. “Shale gas is a potentially useful element in achieving a transition to a much lower carbon economy,” church advisers wrote in a briefing paper […]

UK Is Europe’s Last Hope For A Fracking Success

19 Jan 2017   United Kingdom

Following poor success across Europe, including Poland, Ukraine, France, the Netherlands, and Denmark, the UK now remains the last candidate province for European shale gas and oil in the near term. And a fracking moratorium in Scotland has further reduced that to England & Wales. The British government is in favour of developing the resource and has opened up significant acreage in the 14th Onshore Round. Nonetheless, some resistance remains. Meanwhile, North Sea production has been waning and the current deficit amounts to around 1 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) per annum, with the figure set to double over the next 20 years. 1/3 of gas imports come from either Russian fields or LNG supplies of mixed provenance. And with ‘Brexit’ looming, it will be vital for the UK economy to secure long term, reliable energy. (Click to enlarge) Figure 1. Falling North Sea gas production could create a huge […]

Church of England weighs in on shale

19 Jan 2017   United Kingdom

The Church of England said Wednesday it added its voice to the chorus of those taking a stand on the fledgling shale natural gas industry in the country. “As more applications for test drilling and fracking are granted, some affected communities are looking to the Church of England for leadership and perspective on the many issues concerned,” it said in a briefing paper. Last year, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace delivered a petition with 186,000 signatures to the British government expressing solidarity with a move by the Lancashire County Council to prohibit drilling in the area. Advocacy groups say there are indications the government aims to develop a commercial shale industry under the terms of a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Planning mechanism, a mechanism criticized […]

So-so future for British North Sea

18 Jan 2017   United Kingdom

Oil and natural gas activity off the British coast should wax and wane in the short-term after one of the industry’s worst years, Wood Mackenzie finds. Lower crude oil prices and an uncertain economic future in the wake of last year’s vote to leave the European Union put the British offshore oil and gas industry in “full survival mode,” according to a report from Wood Mackenzie. Fiona Legate, a senior analyst with the group, said in a statement that capital investments offshore last year declined 20 percent to just over $10 billion, a figure reflected in a lower appetite for new assessments offshore. That, however, masks otherwise upbeat performances. “Exploration and appraisal drilling hit a 50-year low in 2016, but despite this […]

Oil Price Rebound May Come Too Late For UK Oil Sector

9 Jan 2017   United Kingdom

The ‘lower for longer’ oil price reality of the past two years has spared virtually no one in the industry, and the UK’s oil and gas companies have been among the hardest hit, strained by the oil price slump in the high-cost production area of the North Sea. Troubles with refinancing and declining capital investment in North Sea projects have taken their toll, especially on smaller independents, a report by accountancy firm Moore Stephens shows. A total of 16 UK-based oil and gas companies became insolvent in 2016, compared to just 2 businesses that went bust in 2015, to 6 insolvencies in 2014, 1 in 2013, and not a single one in 2012. Moore Stephens flagged concerns that many hedging contracts – that had secured higher prices for some producers – now have expired. In addition, oil and gas companies have been facing problems with refinancing as banks are […]

Amid smoggy days in London, growing calls to clean up Europe’s toxic air

It’s Christmastime on Oxford Street. Brilliant displays of white lights rain from above. Decked-out shoppers dash from one gaudy sale to the next. And Johnny Conquest breathes in poison. “The air is horrible. The taxis stop right here, and when they take off, boom, you can taste it,” says the 67-year-old as the heavenly smell of the caramel peanuts he hawks from a humble street stall mingles with the sickly stench of diesel. “I’m on the worst corner in London.” In at least one important respect, it may be the worst in the world. London has come a long way since the days when its infamous coal-fired pollution shrouded Sherlock in a permanent haze or struck at least 4,000 residents dead in less than a week. But the city’s overreliance on diesel-powered vehicles […]

The End Of The Downturn? BP Steps Up Spending As Oil Prices Rise

20 Dec 2016   United Kingdom

With the rebound in oil prices underway and the astronomic costs stemming from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the rear view mirror, BP is once again looking to make large investments. In just the past few days, BP announced a rash of deals in different parts of the world, signaling the British oil major’s intent to grow after several years of shrinking. Over the course of three days, BP announced a $2.2 billion expansion of its existing facility in Abu Dhabi, as well as a nearly $1 billion investment in natural gas fields off the coast of Mauritania and Senegal. Bloomberg calculates that BP has spent $3.8 billion on acquisitions in 2016, the highest tally in four years. BP’s CEO Bob Dudley finds himself in an unfamiliar position – the CEO of a growing company. He took the helm shortly after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, which saw nearly […]

UK High Court upholds shale gas permit for Third Energy: claimants

20 Dec 2016   United Kingdom

Britain’s High Court ruled on Tuesday that a local government’s shale gas fracking permit award to developer Third Energy was legal, claimants Friends of the Earth said in a statement. “The High Court has ruled that fracking can go ahead in beautiful Yorkshire,” said Donna Hume, campaigner for Friends of the Earth, an environmental group that had challenged the permit awarded in May. North Yorkshire County Council was the first local authority to grant a shale gas fracking permit since a moratorium was lifted in 2012. Other British shale gas developers include IGas, Egdon Resources and INEOS. (Reporting by Karolin Schaps, editing by Louise Heavens)

Green Energy Firm Fights UK Fracking Plans

10 Dec 2016   United Kingdom

Green energy firm Ecotricity is challenging the fracking industry by submitting applications for its new Green Gas Mills on sites already proposed for fracking. Green energy firm Ecotricity is challenging the fracking industry by submitting applications for its new Green Gas Mills on sites already proposed for fracking. We’ve applied for planning permission for #GreenGas Mills at #fracking sites… https://t.co/2l64RYV0Et pic.twitter.com/7F1QnKvshs — ecotricity (@ecotricity) 8 December 2016 The company has put in applications at two potential Cuadrilla fracking sites in Lancashire – Preston New Road and Roseacre Wood. “We want to show that there‘s an alternative to fracking and start a local debate in the areas directly affected by it, in the same way we want to start a debate at the national level, including the House of Commons,” Dale Vince, Ecotricity founder, said. “It’s important not just to oppose fracking, but to have an answer as to where […]

BP CEO Dudley: We’ll Double Our North Sea Oil Production By 2020

9 Dec 2016   United Kingdom

Bob Dudley UK’s oil major BP (NYSE:BP) will double its production in the North Sea to 200,000 barrels of oil per day, chief executive Bob Dudley said in an interview with Energy Voice in Aberdeen on Wednesday. “You will see portfolio changes for us in the North Sea, but you may see us invest in other projects as people approach us about joining them. So I think there’s a mix, but we should double our production by 2020 from where it was in 2015,” Dudley said. The manager went on to add: “We should be over 200,000 barrels a day in 2020 and by then I’m hopeful our exploration program will lead to more things to do.” Even though he admitted that the North Sea is largely contains mature fields and things would never go back the way they were when oil was sitting comfortably at US$100, Dudley expects […]

UKCS Oil, Gas Extraction Drops 10%

9 Dec 2016   United Kingdom

Oil and gas extraction in the UKCS decreased by 10% year-on-year, and by 10.8% month-on-month, in October, according to the latest numbers from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Oil and gas extraction in the UK Continental Shelf decreased by 10 percent year-on-year, and by 10.8 percent month-on-month, in October, according to the latest numbers from the Office for National Statistics (ONS). “Evidence from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) attributed the decrease to continued maintenance at some of the largest oil fields in the North Sea,” the ONS report said. BEIS advised that the decrease could largely be attributed to continued maintenance to the Buzzard oil field, which is owned by Nexen Petroleum UK Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited. The decline was the largest since September 2012, when it fell by 26.4 percent, according to the ONS. Buzzard also underwent extensive maintenance […]

London transport operator Go-Ahead adds two Irizar electric i2e buses to fleet after successful operating results

Based on the success of two Irizar 100% i2e electric buses that have been operating in London since June 2015, London’s largest transport operator, Go-Ahead, is incorporating the buses into its fleet and has signed an agreement with Irizar that includes service and maintenance. For over a year, these two buses have been operating on the busy routes 507, connecting Waterloo Station with Victoria Station, and 521, which connect Waterloo Station with London Bridge Station. The operating data has successfully fulfilled the objectives requested. With this change, both buses will begin to operate for longer periods on the 108 route which runs from Stratford International Station to Lewisham Station with different operating conditions. In addition, Irizar will offer comprehensive maintenance of the buses. The first of these two units was delivered to TFL (Transport for London) as part of the “Clean Bus Summit” which took place on 29 June […]

Coal price surge sets miners against activists by English seaside

28 Nov 2016   Coal, United Kingdom

In northeastern England, a battle is raging between grass roots campaigners and a company intent on digging a new open cast mine as world coal prices soar. A year after Britain closed its last deep coal mine and pledged to phase out coal-fired power generation, the economics of mining have been transformed. Coal prices have risen by well over 100 percent this year to $100 a tonne. Some mining stocks have risen even more, spurred by U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s pledges to revive coal and pull out of the Paris Agreement on climate change. Some wonder how long the coal price surge will last, but in Northumberland, the Banks Group is pressing ahead with plans for a new mine despite opposition from local environmentalists. Northumberland […]

With a Meeting, Trump Renewed a British Wind Farm Fight

23 Nov 2016   United Kingdom, Wind

When President-elect Donald J. Trump met with the British politician Nigel Farage in recent days, he encouraged Mr. Farage and his entourage to oppose the kind of offshore wind farms that Mr. Trump believes will mar the pristine view from one of his two Scottish golf courses, according to one person present. The meeting, held shortly after the presidential election, raises new questions about Mr. Trump’s willingness to use the power of the presidency to advance his business interests. Mr. Trump has long opposed a wind farm planned near his course in Aberdeenshire, and he previously fought unsuccessfully all the way to Britain’s highest court to block it. The group that met with Mr. Trump in New York was led by Mr. Farage , the head of the U.K. Independence Party and a member of the European Parliament. Mr. Farage, who was a leading voice advocating Britain’s […]

With a Meeting, Trump Renewed a British Wind Farm Fight

22 Nov 2016   United Kingdom, Wind

When President-elect Donald J. Trump met with the British politician Nigel Farage in recent days, he encouraged Mr. Farage and his entourage to oppose the kind of offshore wind farms that Mr. Trump believes will mar the pristine view from one of his two Scottish golf courses, according to one person present. The meeting, held shortly after the presidential election, raises new questions about Mr. Trump’s willingness to use the power of the presidency to advance his business interests. Mr. Trump has long opposed a wind farm planned near his course in Aberdeenshire, and he previously fought unsuccessfully all the way to Britain’s highest court to block it. The group that met with Mr. Trump in New York was led by Mr. Farage , the head of the U.K. Independence Party and a member of the European Parliament. Mr. Farage, who was a leading voice advocating Britain’s […]

Britain to officially shutter all coal power plants by 2025

15 Nov 2016   Coal, United Kingdom

The last coal power station in Britain will be forced to close in 2025, the government said as it laid out its plan to phase-out the polluting fossil fuel. Ministers promised last year that the UK would close coal power within a decade and replace it with gas and other sources to meet its climate change commitments. But in a delayed consultation on the phase-out, published on Wednesday , officials admitted that the last coal power station was likely to shutter in 2022 even without government intervention, prompting calls from campaigners to bring forward the cut-off year. Greg Clark, the energy secretary, said the move sent a clear signal to the world that the UK was a good place to invest in clean energy. “Taking unabated coal power out of our energy […]

British Offshore Industry: Expect The Unexpected

The majority of us will say check out last year’s figures – only 13 exploratory wells were drilled in 2015. As energyvoice.com put it – “Exploration in British waters has absolutely crashed and is now at its worst ever in the entire history of our still strategically vital offshore oil and gas industry.” But that was before the closure of the latest government licensing rounds. Keen observers (they do say the geeks will inherit the Earth) noticed that for the first time in over twenty years the recent offshore licensing offers in the North Sea concerned what’s described as “frontier areas”. And guess what? Be still our beating hearts. It was “really positive”. 24 companies applied for licenses covering 113 blocks – BP alone made 29 applications. Nick Richardson, head of exploration and new ventures at the OGA said, “It is not much use comparing this to […]

Prepare for the North Sea Oil Flood

December flow set to increase to 2.16 million barrels a day U.K.’s Forties field, Norway’s Grane crude driving surge Oil producers in the North Sea, home to one of the world’s key crude-price benchmarks, are poised to ship the most crude in more than four years. The surge takes place just as OPEC tries to contain a global surplus with coordinated output cuts. Shipments of North Sea grades will increase 10 percent month-on-month to about 2.16 million barrels a day in December, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. If all the cargoes load as planned it would mark the most crude oil shipments from the region since May 2012. The increase just from September, when there was field maintenance, would be almost 360,000 barrels a day. The surge poses yet another challenge to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries as it seeks to curb production to steady markets in […]

Energy Giant Shell Says Oil Demand Could Peak in Just Five Years

3 Nov 2016   United Kingdom

Demand to top out in 5-15 years, before supply peaks Royal Dutch Shell Plc, the world’s second-biggest energy company by market value, thinks demand for oil could peak in as little as five years, a rare statement in an industry that commonly forecasts decades of growth. “We’ve long been of the opinion that demand will peak before supply,” Chief Financial Officer Simon Henry said on a conference call on Tuesday. “And that peak may be somewhere between 5 and 15 years hence, and it will be driven by efficiency and substitution, more than offsetting the new demand for transport.” Shell’s view puts it at odds with some of its biggest competitors. Exxon Mobil Corp., the largest publicly traded oil company, said in its annual outlook that “global demand for oil and other liquids is projected to rise by about 20 percent from 2014 to 2040.” Saudi Arabia, the biggest […]

BP confirms joint venture with Rosneft

British energy company BP said Tuesday it confirmed a pledge to invest as much as $300 million in developing reserves in Russia alongside oil company Rosneft. BP issued a statement confirming a joint venture with Rosneft to carry out exploration work in two inland basins in Russia. Starting in late 2016, both sides working through the Yermak Neftegaz joint venture will carry out preliminary seismic surveys to get a better understanding of the resource potential there. “BP has committed to provide up to $300 million in two phases as its contribution to the cost of the joint venture’s activities at the exploration stage,” the British company said in a statement. Both companies have a turbulent past. BP CEO Bob Dudley […]

BP Beats Forecasts, But Earnings Slump On Weak Oil, Refining Margins

2 Nov 2016   United Kingdom

BP ( NYSE:BP ) reported on Tuesday a third-quarter profit that beat analyst estimates, but weaker oil prices and sharply lower refining margins dragged its earnings down by almost a half compared to the third quarter last year. Underlying replacement cost profit, BP’s definition of a net income, dropped to US$933 million for the third quarter from US$1.819 billion for the third quarter last year, “affected by a weaker price and margin environment”, BP said . In comparison, analysts polled by The Telegraph had expected BP’s third-quarter profit to come in at only US$780 million, while the average estimate of 14 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had anticipated the earnings to stand even lower at US$719.2 million. Although BP beat earnings estimates at a consolidated group level, its upstream business suffered heavily from the ‘lower-for-longer’ oil prices. BP’s upstream segment booked an underlying pre-tax replacement cost loss of […]

Shell Swings to Profit as Operating Costs Fall but Remains Cautious

1 Nov 2016   United Kingdom

Royal Dutch Shell PLC reported a marked increase in third-quarter profit Tuesday, reversing a successive decline in earnings this year as its drive to lower costs to counter weak oil prices bore fruit. The company said its quarterly profit on a current cost-of-supplies basis—a number similar to the net income that U.S. oil companies report –was $1.4 billion, up from a loss of $6.1 billion in the third quarter of 2015 and sharply higher compared with the previous quarter. The improvement in earnings is an important victory for management, who must show they are taking steps to sustain the business through a t wo-year slump in oil prices and are able to deliver value after completing a roughly $50 billion acquisition of smaller rival BG Group earlier this year that many investors worried […]

BP Posts Sharp Rise in Profit as Cost Cuts Offset Weak Oil Prices

1 Nov 2016   United Kingdom

BP PLC’s third-quarter profit rose 35%, reversing three successive quarters of losses, as the company began to feel the benefits from cost reductions that are helping to offset continued weakness in oil prices and sliding refining margins. The British energy giant said Tuesday its replacement cost profit—a number analogous to the net income that U.S. oil companies report—totaled $1.66 billion, compared with a profit of $1.23 billion a year earlier. “We continue to make good progress in adapting to the challenging price and margin environment,” said BP Chief Financial Officer Brian Gilvary. Despite the rise in profit and upbeat comments from management, shares in the company dropped 3% in early trading in London. BP’s earnings come as oil executives have begun to sound rare notes of optimism that the worst of a two-year […]