Press digest from last week


‘About 200 new oil and gas projects to be sanctioned in 2018’


In 2018, about 200 new oil and gas projects, with a collective amount of US$127bn, might get approval by year-end, according to Rystad Energy

The 45 offshore projects that have been approved year-to-date are already more than the amount approved in 2016. In addition to beating 2016’s activity, this year’s offshore project sanctioning is on track to surpass 2017’s sanctioning levels by 50 per cent.

About US$34bn of onshore projects are expected to be approved in 2018. Despite a steady stream of onshore projects being sanctioned during 2018, the size of these projects varies significantly.

“This has caused a mere US$3bn increase in onshore commitments from May through September. In addition, the fourth quarter will see US$15.1bn of onshore projects approved,” said Rystad Energy.

Subsea tie backs have been favoured the most by operators in 2018. Collectively, about US$26bn in subsea tie-back projects have been approved, with an additional US$7bn forecasted by year-end.



Oil Ministry Signs Three Exploration Agreements Worth $139.2M


Oil minister Tarek El Molla signed three new exploration contracts to drill 15 wells in the Mediterranean and the Western Desert with an investment budget of $139.2 million and a $55 million signing grant, Egypt Oil & Gas reports.

The first agreement was signed with EGAS, Tharwa Petroleum, and Italy’s Eni to drill two wells in the Noor concession with a total investment of $105 million.

Eni announced that it will start drilling in the new concession before the end of the year, Amwal Al Ghad reported.



Australia's Woodside Energy buying 30% interest in Bulgarian Khan Kubrat offshore block


SOFIA (Bulgaria), August 17 (SeeNews) - Australia's Woodside Energy said that it has entered into a farm-in agreement with Shell International Exploration and Development Italia to acquire a 30% non-operated participating interest in Block 1-14 Khan Kubrat, in the Bulgarian sector of the Black Sea.

"This opportunity targets an emerging oil and gas province close to existing infrastructure and markets," Woodside Energy said in an interim financial report, published on Wednesday.

Planning is in progress to drill an exploration well in the second quarter of 2019, Woodside Energy said.

In January, Shell successfully completed a comprehensive geophysical survey in the Khan Kubrat licence area and said it expects to start an exploration drilling programme in late 2018 or early 2019.

"We are currently in the process of preparing for a single exploration well in the Khan Kubrat block and will conduct all necessary assessments in line with Bulgarian legislation and Shell internal procedures," Shell said at the time, adding that the exploration drilling programme is expected to take approximately 3-4 months to complete.



Total says CNPC has right to replace its lead on Iran project


The French major had planned to invest $4.8bn in a gas venture which has been put into jeopardy because of US sanctions against Tehran

French oil major Total said on Monday its exit from a $4.8 billion Iranian gas project was “ongoing” and that co-investor China National Petroleum Corporation had the right to take over its position.

“The contractual process is still ongoing and for our part, we have not been informed of an official CNPC position, but as we have always indicated, CNPC, a Chinese state-owned company, has the right to take over our participation if CNPC decides it,” Total said in a statement.

CNPC could not be reached for comment.



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