Press digest from last week


Exxon pushes ahead with Rosneft LNG project despite sanctions

Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) is pushing ahead with efforts to develop its $15 billion (11 billion pound) Far East Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) project with Russia’s Rosneft (ROSN.MM) despite being forced to exit some joint ventures due to Western sanctions.

Two months ago Exxon invited companies including China National Petroleum Corporation’s engineering arm to bid for construction contracts by October, sources with knowledge of the matter said.A final investment decision is due in 2019, they said.

The project is being jointly developed with Rosneft using gas from the Sakhalin-1 venture which will be chilled into liquid to underpin the LNG plant’s initial annual output target of 6 million tonnes.

Western sanctions forced Exxon to exit some joint ventures with Rosneft in late February, but LNG is not part of the sanctions. The Russian company said the move would not affect the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas production-sharing JV struck in the mid-1990s.

“The Sakhalin-1 consortium continues to explore every opportunity to monetise Sakhalin-1 gas resources,” Exxon spokeswoman Julie King said.“A liquefied natural gas plant is an option to maximise benefits to the consortium and the Russian state and its citizens,” she added.

Exxon-Rosneft have also held discussions about feeding gas from Sakhalin-1 fields into a planned third production unit at an existing LNG plant run by Gazprom (GAZP.MM) on Sakhalin Island, industry sources said.

Rosneft was not available for immediate comment.Exxon’s LNG footprint is expanding rapidly with major new projects planned in Qatar, Mozambique, Papua New Guinea and the United States as demand in China and Southeast Asia booms.


Eni Picks Up East Ganal Exploration Block In Indonesia

Eni has expanded its position in East Kalimantan’s Kutei Basin in Indonesia after being awarded 100% interest in the East Ganal deepwater exploration block.

Covering about 5,100 sq km (1,969 sq miles), the block is a new “gross split” production-sharing contract (PSC) and adjoins the Eni-operated Muara Bakau and East Sepinggan PSCs in the Makassar Strait offshore East Kalimantan, Eni said in a news release.

The company also said its plan of development for the Merakes discovery in the East Sepinggan PSCs was approved in April. “This further development project, using existing Jangkrik and Bontang facilities, will allow an increase in the availability and flexibility of gas supply both for the domestic market and for export, as well as strengthening Eni’s position in the LNG market in Asia,” Eni said.


Bulgarian Telecommunication Company and Gazprom will Develop a Joint Satellite Business

"The Bulgarian Telecommunications Company" (BTC), operating under the Vivacom brand, and Russian "Gazprom Space Systems" will develop joint ventures, announced the Bulgarian company on Friday.

The two companies have signed a contract for a partnership providing for the use of satellite capacity for VSAT data connections and media services on whose basis to build network for data and video transmission in different regions outside Bulgaria.

Thanks to the agreements reached, Vivacom will use a satellite resource Yamal-402 at position 55 east in the Ku range.
The transmission of the signal will be by the Teleport Plana company, owned by the Bulgarian company and fully certified by WTA.

Vivacom adds resources through the Yamal satellite to "Gazprom Space Systems" to the growing list of opportunities and
solutions for satellite services, "commented Vladimir Rangelov, Senior Manager Sales, Radio and TV Services telecom.

"We continue to expand our portfolio of satellite platforms and provide reliable satellite services transfer to our customers, "he adds, quoted in the report.

BTC has invested BGN 10 million in the last seven years for the modernization of the Vivacom retransmission station, near the village of Planina in Sofia, which celebrated 40 years since the first broadcast of its first signal to space satellite.

Daily the telepor spreads through its 50 antennas over 200 radio and TV channels not only in Bulgaria but also
several hundred million households in Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.


Libya’s NOC to withhold Total-Marathon oil deal

The Libyan National Oil Corporation (NOC) will withhold Total’s share of crude from the Waha concession as a dispute drags on over the French oil major’s purchase of Marathon’s stake in the concession two months ago, Libyan oil and industry sources said.

Total closed a $450 million deal to buy Marathon Oil’s 16.33 percent stake in Waha in March, but the deal drew criticism in Libya and the NOC is currently examining whether to intervene in one way or another.Total, which has already paid Marathon for the stake, says it informed the Libyan authorities about the deal in advance and they raised no objections at the time.

However, Total CEO Patrick Pouyanne has also said the two sides are still in talks on some fiscal issues surrounding the deal.According to two Libyan oil sources and an industry source with knowledge of the matter, all speaking on condition of anonymity, Total has so far not received any of its share of crude cargoes from Waha.Total has also not been compensated for the cargoes, one of the sources said.


ABB to provide digital automation solutions to Statoil’s Johan Castberg project

ABB has announced that it will integrate ABB Ability automation and safety systems to Statoil’s new Johan Castberg oil field development project in Norway.

ABB’s solutions and services will help to reduce the CAPEX for the project significantly. Integrated control, safety and communication will be key to the successful operation of this new field.

Located in the Barents Sea, north of the Arctic Circle, the new field will be developed with an FPSO (Floating Production, Storage and Offloading production vessel) and subsea installation with 30 wells. The new field has proven volumes estimated at between 400 and 600 million barrels of oil, and is the world’s largest new offshore oil project.


Eni Makes Onshore Egypt Find

Eni has discovered oil and some gas in a deep level of the Faghur basin onshore Egypt.Italy's Eni said May 3 it has made an onshore oil discovery on the A-2X exploration prospect located in South West Meleiha license, in the Egyptian Western Desert.

The SWM A-2X well, the first drilled by Eni to explore the deep levels of the Faghur basin, produced 2,300 b/d light oil (32° API) and 0.4mn ft3/d associated gas, and may open a new productive area in Egypt.

Eni said that, subject to approvals, the production is expected to be linked to already existing nearby infrastructures and then shipped to El Hamra terminal through existing pipelines.Eni says it is Egypt's main producer, at 260,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day net to Eni, which it expects to grow further this year, thanks to the ramp up of giant offshore Zohr gas field.



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