Industry at large

Upstream outlook healthy. Statoil gets dressing down from regulator. US moots LNG export.

A report from IHS Herold—the Oilfield Services Sector Review sees ‘a healthier outlook’ for 2011 despite the Gulf of Mexico drilling moratorium. The recovery is driven by ‘rising oil prices, unconventional drilling in North America and multiple opportunities offshore worldwide.’ The review compares financial data from major service companies including Baker Hughes, Halliburton and Schlumberger. More from

An audit by the Norwegian Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) of Statoil’s 34/10-C-06A well highlights the ‘increasing risk’ of drilling in the Gullfaks area, with its abnormal pressure régime. Following a series of well control incidents, the well was plugged and temporarily abandoned in July 2010. The audit found ‘serious deficiencies’ in well planning. Non-conformances were identified in the areas of risk management, knowledge of and compliance with governing documents, documentation of decision-making processes and planning of managed pressure drilling operations. Well planning ‘made insufficient use of experience from earlier wells, such as well incidents, pressure measurements and general knowledge in the area.’ More from

Following the huge success of non-conventional gas production in the US, Cheniere Energy Partners has engaged SG Americas Securities to advise on the development of liquefaction facilities at its Sabine Pass LNG terminal. Meanwhile, ConocoPhillips received the first LNG shipment from its Qatargas 3 project delivered to Canaport terminal in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. More from

The Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative reports that Cameroon, Gabon, Kyrgyzstan and Nigeria are ‘close to compliance’ with EITI’s transparency rules. Indonesia and Togo have signed as candidates. To date, 33 countries have ‘started to implement’ EITI transparency standards. More from

The news ‘silly season’ was opened this month with an oil price forecast from Seismic Micro Technology. Respondents to SMT’s ‘Geoscientist View of the Future’ survey expect the oil price to ‘close in on $100 per barrel in 2011, and move towards $150 by 2015.’ Perhaps more reliably, 41% reported increased exploration expenditure during 2010 (16% saw a decline). Spend was especially high for organizations engaged in unconventional exploration. Microseismics was ranked as top new technology for 2011. More from

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