Offshore Oil Wells, Ports Shut as Hurricane Sally Advances on U.S. Gulf
Energy companies, ports and refiners raced on Monday to shut down as Hurricane Sally grew stronger while lumbering toward the central U.S. Gulf Coast, the second significant hurricane to shutter oil and gas activity over the last month.The hurricane is disrupting oil imports and exports as the nation's sole offshore terminal, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port (LOOP), stopped loading tanker ships on Sunday, while the port of New Orleans closed on Monday.The U.S. government said 21%…
First ANS Cargo in One Year on Way to China
One million barrels of Alaskan crude is due in China next week, the first such shipment in almost a year, according to data from Refinitiv Eikon and vessel-tracking firm Kpler.China's imports of U.S. crude have fallen amid the two countries' trade dispute to 41,600 barrels per day (bpd) in the six months ended February, from 377,000 bpd in the first half of 2018, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.Tanker Sonangol Cabinda departed last week from Alaska's Valdez terminal carrying Alaska North Slope (ANS) crude and is projected to arrive June 6 in Qingdao…
Freeport LNG Delays Start of Texas Export Terminal
Freeport LNG, a privately held U.S. liquefied natural gas company, said on Thursday it pushed back the projected start date for its $13 billion export terminal under construction in Texas by about nine months to around Sept. 1, 2019.Freeport LNG now expects the first liquefaction train to enter service around Sept. 1, 2019, with the second and third trains seen in service around Jan. 1 and May 1, 2020, respectively, said Zdenek Gerych, a spokesman at Freeport.Previously, the three…
BP Completes $10.5-billion BHP Billiton Acquisition
London-based BP Plc BP has completed the $10.5-billion acquisition of BHP’s U.S. unconventional assets in a landmark deal that will significantly upgrade BP’s U.S. onshore oil and gas portfolio, in a move that upgrades and repositions its American onshore business.The portfolio includes assets in the highly-prized Permian-Delaware basin in Texas, along with two premium positions in the Eagle Ford and Haynesville basins in Texas and Louisiana (see map, below).The assets currently produce 190…
US Judge Approves BP Civil Settlement with US Government over 2010 Spill
U.S. Judge Carl Barbier granted final approval on Monday to BP Plc's civil settlement over its 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill after it reached a deal in July 2015 to pay up to $18.7 billion in penalties to the U.S. government and five states. The company at the time said its total pre-tax charges from the spill set aside for criminal and civil penalties and cleanup costs were around $53.8 billion. Under the terms of the original agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice and the Gulf Coast states…
Former Maersk Boss Named Unifeeder Chairman
Nils Smedegaard Andersen has been appointed Chairman of the Board of Directors of Denmark based feeder and shortsea operator Unifeeder, taking up his first directorship within the logistics and shipping industry after stepping down from his position as Group Chief Executive Officer of A.P. Moller - Maersk A/S in 2016. Andersen, who is a board member and strategic adviser to Unifeeder’s largest investor, e.g. Nordic Capital Funds, also serves as Non-Executive Director at BP plc…
Transocean CEO's Exit Possibly Linked to 'Lack of Vision'
Barely two months into his new job as the head of the world's largest offshore driller, Steven Newman was steering Transocean through the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, quickly earning a reputation as a CEO with a steady hand. Too steady, perhaps. Since Sunday Newman, 50, is out of work. People inside and outside the company say his abrupt departure reflected in part the board's view that the 20-year company veteran was too conservative and lacked a bold vision for a period of dramatic industry change that began at the end of the last decade.
Refinery Strike Talks Unlikely This Week
Talks to end the largest U.S. refinery strike in 35 years are not expected to resume this week, sources familiar with the negotiations said on Monday after the number of plants hit by walkouts increased over the weekend. Face-to-face meetings between the United Steelworkers union (USW) and lead refinery owner representative Shell Oil Co, the U.S. arm of Royal Dutch Shell Plc, might remain on hold until the second week of March, the sources said. The halt in talks comes after the…
Union: Tentative Pact will End U.S. Refinery Strike
The United Steelworkers union and oil companies have reached a tentative deal to end the largest U.S. refinery strike in 35 years, the labor group and people familiar with the negotiations said on Thursday. The new agreement for about 30,000 workers would last four years, a year longer than previous agreements. The deal, which still needs to be ratified, may not end strikes right away at all refineries that have suffered walkouts as local union chapters could still need to work out pending issues.
Workers at Largest U.S. Refinery OK Deal
More than 700 union workers at the largest U.S. refinery unanimously approved a new contract in a vote at their union hall in Port Arthur, Texas, on Tuesday night, said union officials. The United Steelworkers union (USW) also said workers at three Tesoro Corp refineries on the West Coast were making progress in finalizing contracts. Return-to-work agreements, usually the final step before ratification votes, were under discussion. USW members at the Motiva Enterprises Port Arthur, Texas, refinery walked off their jobs on Feb. 21 as part of the nation's largest refinery strike in 35 years.
U.S. Offshore Oil Drilling Rule Planned
The United States is planning to impose a major new regulation on offshore oil and gas drilling to try to prevent the kind of explosions that caused the catastrophic BP Plc oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the New York Times reported on Friday, citing Obama administration officials. The Interior Department could make the announcement as early as Monday, the paper said. It is timed to coincide with the five-year anniversary of the BP disaster, which killed 11 men and sent millions of barrels of oil spewing into the gulf.
Egypt Receives LNG Shipment from Australia
Egypt received a cargo of liquefied natural gas from Australia after the exporter sent two shipments to the region in the past two years, signaling increasing demand, reports The Daily Star. The Woodside Rogers tanker arrived at Egypt's Ain Sokhna terminal Thursday after loading at Australia's Dampier port on May 12, according to ship-tracking data on Bloomberg. The 159,760-cubic-metre cargo aboard the Woodside Rogers loaded at the port of Dampier, which serves as the loading point for two LNG export plants, Pluto and North West Shelf. Both plants are operated by Woodside Petroleum.
Ex-BP Engineer Deserves New Gulf Spill Trial -US Appeals Court
A former BP Plc engineer deserves a new trial on an obstruction of justice charge related to the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a federal appeals court ruled on Tuesday. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans agreed with a lower court judge's decision last June to throw out the defendant Kurt Mix's December 2013 conviction. U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval acted after learning that the jury forewoman admitted to having heard in a courthouse elevator that other BP employees were being prosecuted over the spill…
Shell Arctic Drilling "Risky"
Former BP PLC Chief Executive John Browne said fellow FTSE 100 giant Royal Dutch Shell PLC is risking its long term reputation and finances by deciding to drill n the Arctic, the BBC reported. Both Browne and Shell Chief Executive Ben van Beurden gave interviews to BBC for a Radio 4 documentary concerning climate change, where Browne said Shell should not be prioritising the Arctic as an area for exploration for a variety of reasons, especially in the current downturn. "I'm not chairman of Shell.
Transocean CEO Steps Down, Dividend Slashed
The chief executive of Transocean Ltd , one of the world's top offshore drilling companies, is stepping down and the company is slashing its dividend as business slows on tumbling crude oil prices. Transocean said on Sunday that Chairman Ian Strachan, who previously held executive positions at Exxon Mobil Corp and Rio Tinto PLC, will serve as interim chief executive officer until a replacement is found for departing CEO Steven Newman. Transocean's shares have fallen 76 percent since Newman took over as CEO in 2010.
Union, Shell in Prolonged Refinery Labor Talks
Royal Dutch Shell Plc and the United Steelworkers union (USW) negotiated for hours on Tuesday over a new labor contract for U.S. refinery workers, the company said on day 10 of the biggest refinery walkout since 1980. They have been unable to agree since this year's talks started on Jan. 21 on the size of wage increases and how to monitor worker fatigue, which is tied to accidents and can be handled through overtime pay or adding workers. Shell is the lead representative for oil companies at the negotiations for a three-year pact that would cover 30,000 workers at 63 plants.
BP 'Grossly Negligent' in 2010 US Spill, Fines Could Be $18b
A U.S. judge has decided that BP Plc was "grossly negligent" and "reckless" in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill four years ago, a ruling that could add nearly $18 billion in fines to more than $42 billion in charges the company took for the worst offshore environmental disaster in U.S. history. BP said it would appeal Thursday's ruling by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans, Louisiana, who held a trial without a jury last year to determine who was responsible for the April 20…
Timeline: BP Oil Spill Litigation
BP Plc was found "grossly negligent" on Thursday by a federal judge in connection with its role in the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The decision by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans, who oversees litigation related to the disaster, is likely to boost the British oil company's costs emerging from the biggest offshore spill in U.S. history. April 20, 2010 Rig Explodes: An explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig at the Macondo exploration well kills 11 workers and releases millions of barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The well is capped in mid-July.
Judge Rejects BP Bid to Recoup Some Spill Payments
A U.S. judge has ruled that BP Plc cannot recoup what it says were inflated claims paid under a multi-billion dollar settlement program to compensate people hurt by the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, NOLA.com reported on Wednesday. BP originally expected the payout program to cost $7.8 billion, but it has said the final bill, from the uncapped agreement that is handling thousands of claims, could be considerably higher. The oil major has filed numerous motions to challenge what it says are excessive fees charged by the program's administrator…
Former BP Engineer Convicted for Obstruction of Justice
Kurt Mix, a former engineer for BP plc, was convicted today of intentionally destroying evidence requested by federal criminal authorities investigating the April 20, 2010, Deepwater Horizon disaster. Acting Assistant Attorney General Mythili Raman of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Special Agent in Charge Michael J. Anderson of the FBI’s New Orleans Division made the announcement after the verdict was announced by U.S. District Judge Stanwood R. Duval Jr. Mix, 52…
BP Loses Bid to Block Seafood Fund Payments
A U.S. federal judge on Wednesday denied BP Plc's request to halt payments from the $2.3 billion fund it created to compensate commercial fishermen for financial losses after the British company's 2010 offshore oil spill, according to court records. BP had sought to block the payments after alleging that some individuals supposedly injured by the spill, clients of attorney Mikal Watts, did not exist. The company said it has already paid out more than $1 billion from the so-called Seafood Compensation Fund. U.S.
BP More Than Tripled CEO Dudley's Total Pay Last Year
Oil and gas major BP Plc more than tripled Chief Executive Bob Dudley's pay last year, the firm's annual report showed on Thursday, with cash and performance-related bonuses taking his total remuneration to $8.7 million. The payout came as the CEO works to right the course of BP following the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill and streamline the business, returning cash to shareholders. Dudley was awarded a cash bonus of $2.3 million and shares worth $4.5 million in 2013, the report showed, on top of his base salary of $1.8 million. That $8.7 million total compares with $2.6 million in 2012.
BP, Anadarko Fail to Win Review of Gulf Spill Fines
BP Plc and Anadarko Petroleum Corp narrowly failed to persuade a U.S appeals court to reconsider its 2014 ruling that they could face civil fines under federal pollution laws over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. By a 7-6 vote, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals let stand a three-judge panel's decision to uphold a 2012 ruling from U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier in New Orleans, in which he said the companies could face Clean Water Act penalties. Barbier is scheduled on Jan. 20 to begin a non-jury trial to determine pollution fines. BP is appealing his Sept.
Ex-BP Boss Hayward could Stay Glencore Chair
Glencore Xstrata Plc's interim chairman, former BP Plc chief executive Tony Hayward, is in the running to take the job permanently, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the situation. Hayward is on a shortlist with Roger Agnelli, the former chief executive of Brazil's Vale SA, and Frank Chapman, former head of oil and gas producer BG Group Plc , according to the Journal, which said it is not clear whether the shortlist is final, or who is the front runner.
Schlumberger Slashing 9,000 Jobs
Shlumberger Ltd, the world's No.1 oilfield services provider, said it will cut 9,000 jobs, or about 7 percent of its workforce, as it focuses on controlling costs amid plummeting oil prices. The company said it took charges amounting to $1.77 billion in the fourth quarter including impairment charges related to its seismic business, Venezuela currency devaluation and job cuts. Schlumberger had said last month that it would take a $1 billion charge related to jobs cuts and the writedown of some seismic vessels.
Shell 'Optimistic' on U.S. Refinery Contract Talks
Lead industry negotiator Royal Dutch Shell Plc said on Thursday it was "optimistic" a new three-year agreement could be reached with a union representing hourly workers at 63 U.S. refineries that account for two-thirds of U.S. refining capacity. In a message to members, the United Steelworkers union (USW) did not share Shell's optimism, pointing to the approaching expiration of the current three-year agreement at 12:01 a.m. on Sunday in the time zone where each refinery is located. "Still no new offer from the industry," the USW message read. "Clock is ticking.