Posts Tagged ‘UK’

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The offshore oil and gas (O&G) sector is set for the highest growth in a decade in the next two years, with $214 billion of new project investments lined up. Rystad Energy research shows that annual greenfield capital expenditure (capex) broke the $100 billion threshold in 2022 and will break it again in 2023 – the first breach for two straight years since 2012 and 2013.

Offshore activity is expected to account for 68% of all sanctioned conventional hydrocarbons in 2023 and 2024, up from 40% between 2015-2018.



  • Middle East investment continues to be strong
  • Good for South America thanks to Brazil (16 new FPSOs by the end of the decade) and the Guyana success story.
  • Strong forecast for Norway and the UK boosts Europe.
  • North America could do far better with less obstructive access policies.

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LONDON, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Russia’s defence ministry said on Saturday that British navy personnel blew up the Nord Stream gas pipelines last month, a claim that London said was false and designed to distract from Russian military failures in Ukraine.

No evidence was presented to support the Russian claim; nor was any information provided on the results of their blitz investigation.

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On Sunday, the Norwegian government announced that its sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, wwould divest its Russian assets, worth around 25 billion Norwegian crowns ($2.80 billion).


“In the current situation, we regard our position as untenable,” Equinor Chief Executive Anders Opedal said in a statement. “We will now stop new investments into our Russian business, and we will start the process of exiting our joint ventures in a manner that is consistent with our values.”


British oil giant BP said Sunday that it is “exiting” its $14 billion stake in Russian oil giant Rosneft over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in one of the biggest signs yet that the Western business world is cutting ties over the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine.

Washington Post

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Excerpt from Press Secretary Psaki’s (2/24/2022) response to a question about lifting restrictions on the energy industry:

A. There’s also plenty of oil leases that are not being tapped into by oil companies, so you should talk to them about that and why.

  • Hopefully, this was a glib response that is not indicative of the Administration’s understanding of oil and gas exploration and development.
  • When you acquire a lease, you aren’t buying a certain amount of oil and gas in the ground that you can simply produce at your leisure. You are buying the opportunity to explore for and, if you are fortunate, produce oil and gas.
  • Exploration begins with the acquisition, processing, and evaluation of geophysical and other data. If these data are encouraging, you seek internal, partner, and regulatory approvals to drill exploratory wells. The drilling of unnecessary wells makes no sense from any standpoint: financial, safety, or environmental.
  • You have a limited amount of time to initiate production depending on the terms of your lease. Otherwise you lose the lease. The Federal regulators are strict about this, as they should be.

As has been noted on this blog, recent offshore exploration activity is not sufficient to sustain current production levels. The absence of regular lease sales is an important factor. The UK Energy Minister commented recently about the importance of new licensing and continued investment. Norway has also taken steps to encourage such activity. Note the emphasis on predictability in this statement from the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy:

Predictability about which areas it is possible to apply for in APA (allocation in predefined areas; i.e. leasing or licensing) and regular replenishment of new area is important to achieve an effective exploration. APA rounds are therefore conducted annually.

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Britain sees a “good, solid” future for the North Sea’s oil and gas industry and will issue new licences to expand output in the future, Energy Minister Greg Hands said on Tuesday.

“We need continued investment into the North Sea,” Hands told the International Energy Week online conference.


Meanwhile, the US government seems intent on supporting legal and administrative actions that stymie offshore exploration and development. The US is sanctioning its own offshore industry during an international crisis centered around energy.

2021 was the first year in the history of the US offshore program dating back to the passage of the OCS Lands Act in 1953 without a single oil and gas sale, and there is no lease sale on the horizon. Most years have had multiple sales, regardless of the party in power. The only attempted 2021 sale (no. 257) was required by a Federal Court decision in Louisiana. That sale was annulled by a questionable DC court decision that the Federal government chose not to appeal.

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By the end of 2022, Germany will have switched off its last 8.1 GW of nuclear power. Another 6.4 GW of coal capacity are scheduled for shuttering by 2023. Recent events and publications have given ammunition to those who fear a collapse of the system.

In 2018, Germany’s influential energy industry association BDEW said that Germany would run into a “shortfall in secured capacity by 2023 at the latest”, and that the country shouldn’t rely on its neighbors to make up the difference. Three years later and a lot closer to the nuclear phase-outBDEW head Kerstin Andreae says: “For a secure energy supply, we also need new gas-fired power plants, as this is the only way to obtain the required controllable power.”

Clean Energy Wire

Germany will need back-up and supplemental power from gas plants, but the EU has excluded gas-fired energy generation from the list of sustainable investments and the associated incentives. Per Kerstin Andreae of the BDEW:

“We need to build these new power plant capacities now. Although they will initially run on natural gas, they are already capable of using hydrogen as an energy source in the future and will thus ultimately become climate neutral,” she said. But without a clear decision from the Commission „ important energy transition investments are at risk”

Clean Energy Wire

Meanwhile, oilprice.com reports that “UK peak-hour power prices for Monday evening through 6 p.m. surged to the highest level in a month due to low wind power generation during the weekend.” In what is becoming a familiar story:

Coal closures and no immediate replacements for nuclear power have exposed the UK’s vulnerabilities to the whims of the weather, with cold winters stoking natural gas demand and still weather lowering wind power generation.


Daniel Yergin reminded us that energy transitions take time. Countries that ignore those realities are likely to suffer the consequences, both economically and environmentally. Per Aissatou Sophie Gladima, the energy minister of Senegal:

Restricting lending for oil and gas development, she said, “is like removing the ladder and asking us to jump or fly.”

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Encouraging report from Steve Walker and his HSE colleagues.

Figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show that there were 73 major or significant hydrocarbon releases associated with offshore installations in 2010/11, compared with 85 the previous year. There were 61 recorded in 2008/09 – the lowest since HSE began regulating the industry. Overall, there continues to be a downward trend in the total of all reported hydrocarbon releases offshore.

For the fourth year running, no workers were killed during offshore activities regulated by HSE and 2010/11 also saw a fall in the number of major injuries. There were 42 reported compared with 50 the previous year, bringing the total in line with the average of the previous five years.

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Daily Mail

The people of Blackpool may have barely felt a shudder, but the repercussions could be wide-reaching.

Measuring just 1.5 on the Richter scale, the seaside town escaped a recent earthquake totally unscathed.

But it was the latest in a series of ‘natural’ disasters, that are not considered natural at all – they are man-made.

Now the UK’s only ‘shale’ gas drilling project has been suspended after it emerged that the controversial technique may have caused the tremors.

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A Maersk Oil-owned FPSO which was damaged during heavy storms in the North Sea in February will be out of action for another year as it heads for drydock repairs. Upstream

More on the Gryphon Alpha incident.

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