For the oil and gas industry, the timing of Mariner Energy’s explosion in the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday could not be worse. The day before, about 5,000 members of the industry had gathered in a convention center in Houston to call for the lifting of the moratorium on new deepwater drilling in the gulf and to protest against proposed taxes and other measures.
The industry’s point was that deepwater drilling creates jobs and benefits the economy at a time when the country desperately needs more – not less – jobs and economic investment.
Yet the government’s point has been that, above all, the industry must operate safely. The Macondo well incident has raised questions about whether the industry could be operating more safely in the gulf. And while the majors contend that they are safe and would not have had the accident BP had, the Bureau for Ocean Energy Management says it must ensure that is the case. The moratorium is giving the government time to determine what must be done to ensure best practices across the industry. Read more
If you thought a deal worth $39bn would satisfy even the most acquisition-happy chief exec, you’d probably be wrong in the case of Marius Kloppers. BHP Billiton’s chief exec is throught to be looking at a major oil and gas acquisition at the same time as working on the multi-billion deal to buy Canada’s Potash Corp, according to a story in The Australian on Thursday. Read more
While Iraq is still a difficult place to work, companies continue to persist in getting business there. On Tuesday, Halliburton announced it had been awarded a contract by Eni to provide a range of integrated energy services to help redevelop the Zubair field in southern Iraq.
No details about the value of the countract. Halliburton just said work for the “multi-million dollar contract” is underway. Halliburton is to carry out services such as perforating, acidizing and well-testing on 20 wells for Eni. Halliburton chief executive, Dave Lesar, explains in the news release why Halliburton is interested:
We are committed to providing Eni the critical services required to deliver on its goal of expanding production over the next several years. Halliburton has made a strategic investment in our Iraqi infrastructure, and the award of this contract, coupled with the recent letter of intent awarded by Shell and its partners, demonstrates that we have the technology and people in place to deliver in Iraq.
Elsewhere this Thursday:
- Fresh air for sale in Hong Kong
- Shale’s footprint: Another dead issue?
- Iowa: The Saudi Arabia of ethanol
- Pedal power takes off as exercise produces electricity
- Jatropha: A new form of energy Read more
- BP asset sales close to $10bn – FT
- Petrobras to buy oil from Brazil for $42.5bn in newly-issued stock – Bloomberg
- US oil industry protests against drilling moratorium – FT
- Weak laws bother Iraq investors more than violence – Bloomberg
- Rosatom launches global charm offensive – FT
- Texas fines pipeline firm for gas blast – WSJ
- ADB plans triple currency bond – FT
- BP ad spend triples since spill – FT
- Lessons learnt from spill response – FT Read more
In this week’s podcast: How BP is fairing in front of the US Coast Guard and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management in the ongoing investigations into the cause of the oil explosion in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20. We also turn our attention to Cuba’s preparation for oil exploration in the waters off the Gulf of Mexico, just 50 miles off the US – we ask what this means for the trade embargo on the Caribbean nation. We look at the Canadian potash industry and the battle over pricing, production and marketing and lastly we discuss mining media mogul Anil Agarwal and his moves to make Vedanta the natural resources champion in India. Read more