July 29, 2012
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Editor's Letter

Russia Assesses Its Shale Gas Potential – Why Not?

Pat Davis Szymczak

   While I was in Houston last month, I had the pleasure of attending several industry events and meetings at which shale gas was the topic. And it is a hot, hot...

Main Article

Russia's ESPO Crude Oil Gains Acceptance as a Key Asia-Pacific Price Reference

Market acceptance of Russia’s Eastern Siberian Pacific Ocean (ESPO) crude oil as an important regional price reference has been growing steadily since the first exports of ESPO six months ago to the Pacific Basin via Russia’s Kozmino port, according to Platts, a leading global provider of energy and metals information and a division of The McGraw-Hill Companies (MHP). 

Featured Article

Total to Develop Gas Field in Barents Sea

Total (NYSE:TOT) plans to develop the huge Shtokman natural gas field in the Barents Sea remain on track, with a final investment decision expected in 2011, Arnaud Breuillac, the company's senior vice-president for Continental Europe and Central Asia, said in an interview.
"Shtokman is not being further delayed," Breuillac said, dismissing rumors that the project was facing further postponement due to the gas price weakness after lengthy earlier delays.

More Top Features

Rosnedra's Ledovskikh Seeks Private Investment for Seismic as Public Funding Drops

   As the world financial crisis continues, Russia’s Natural Resources Ministry is striving to attract non-budget funds to study subsoils. Cutting the state budget for geological surveys in 2009 led a drop of over 20 percent in the volume of state orders (from 800 in 2008 to 625 last year).

Geological Exploration Experts Sense Optimism in Market for 2011

   The positive dynamics of Russian geological exploration expected by the representatives of companies whose businesses are closely linked to the development of new technologies and services provided in the field is supported by 5-10 percent budget increases assigned by producer companies for geological exploration in 2010.

Modern Marine Geophysics Tech Identifies Geological Hazards

   Key tasks of offshore engineering surveys include the discovery and localization of seabed sectors which are dangerous or unfavorable for pipeline installation projects. Such sectors include areas of slope build-up, gas-bearing and permafrost formations, exaration, active tectonic zones, etc.

Leasing: Prospects Looking Forward

   The topic of oil and gas extraction equipment has already been raised on the pages of Oil&Gas Eurasia. Specifically, last year it was shown that the scheme, including the leasing of oil and gas extraction equipment with full provision of services is an asset for oil companies to further boost the efficiency of their operations.

Complex Imaging Challenges: Offshore Southeast India

   Imaging in deep water environments poses a specific set of challenges, both in the data pre-conditioning and the imaging. These challenges include scattered complex 3D multiples, aliased noise; and low velocity shallow anomalies associated with channel fills and gas hydrates.

Shale Gas: Global Revolution or Yet Another Bubble?

   Growth of U.S. shale gas production could result in re-mapping the global energy resources market. Gazprom’s quest for higher natural gas prices has come back to bite the company, its consumers now having been forced to develop gas fields which were previously unprofitable.

ABB's Azipod CZ Thruster Slashes Bunker Fuel Expenses

   Compact Azipod units promise the means of producing more efficient thrust for drilling vessels, saving fuel cost and cutting emissions. Bunker prices for the IFO380 grade fuel used by the majority of ships were on the rise at time of writing, reaching around $465 per ton. This is by no means a record level, but marine fuel costs can represent up to 60 percent of a ship’s overall operating cost.*

TMK Premium Services Consolidates Its Leadership

   Difficult conditions inherent in oil and gas production require quality thread connections in drilling, casing and production pipes. Large Russian production companies are beginning to understand that premium-class threaded joints ensure the high reliability of equipment and are therefore a good solution.

VZBT Completes Stalingrad Rig - a Milestone in Drilling Equipment

   VZBT successfully completed 2009 with the launch of its new-generation STALINGRAD rig. The Volgograd Drilling Equipment Plant (VZBT) has everything required for success in the market. Almost 30 years of uninterrupted improvements in technology, the spotless reputation of a reliable supplier, a modern manufacturing process which includes over 200 NC units and even its own testing field have all helped in creating an outstanding image for the company both in Russia and internationally.

Zirax: Solutions for Savings on Downhole Well Operations

   Today the foremost condition in hydrocarbon production is to identify economic benefits for the client. Unfortunately, in the pursuit for low-cost chemicals used in many wells, companies forget to take into consideration the long-term costs of using them.

Norway: Barents Sea Deal With Russia To Boost Petroleum Industry

Commenting on the deal announced April 27, Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Riis-Johansen says the ground is now prepared for more activities and cooperation with Russia in the field of petroleum.

As BarentsObserver reported, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev yesterday announced a deal on the delineation of the 175,000 square kilometer big area in the Barents Sea.  

China Eyes Arctic Shipping And Resources As Ice-cap Melts

China will increase Arctic research and expedition efforts, the country’s top administrator on Polar research says. The undiscovered oil and gas resources in the Arctic are global resources, not regional, he claims.
"We need to increase scientific research and expeditions to better comprehend the Arctic Ocean and global climate change," Qu Tanzhou, director of the Chinese Arctic and Antarctic Administration, told China Daily, adding that China lags behind some countries in this regard.
China, like other countries under the framework of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, has the right to participate in the exploration of the Arctic, Qu noted.

Strategic Perspective: Gazprom and Naftogaz

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s proposal to merger Gazprom with Ukraine’s Naftogaz certainly came out of left field to investors and, it seems, to the Ukraine government. Gazprom’s CEO, Alexei Miller, has confirmed that the two companies will meet after the May holidays to discuss the proposal.

EuroGas, Galizien To Develop CBM Gas Properties in Ukraine

EuroGas, Inc. has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Galizien Energy Corp., a closely held, Toronto-based private oil & gas company, to develop certain Ukrainian coal bed methane gas properties (CBM properties) owned by EuroGas and its Ukrainian partners. The CBM properties in Ukraine consist of coal bed methane permits in East Ukraine, as well as an interest in a revitalization program of up to approximately 2,000 plugged and shut-in natural gas wells, which are also located in Eastern Ukraine.

Qatar Petroleum, Shell, Petrochina Ink New Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement

Qatar Petroleum (QP) on behalf of the Government of the State of Qatar signed a new Exploration and Production Sharing Agreement (EPSA) with Shell and PetroChina Company Limited (PetroChina) for Qatar Block D on May 18, Shell reported in a news release.
The agreement was signed in Doha by His Excellency Abdulla bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Industry, Peter Voser, Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell plc, and Mr. Zhao Dong, Chief Financial Officer of PetroChina International Investment Company Limited.

Russian Deputy PM Sechin: New Oil Tax Proposals Coming

Igor Sechin, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of Rosneft, said the government will submit new oil tax proposals to the Prime Minister by the year-end. The oil industry, in particular, Rosneft, has been battling with the Finance Ministry for a significant reduction in its tax bill to help fund capex. So far, the Finance Ministry has prevailed with its argument that the government needs the revenue to fund investment into infrastructure, new industries, SMEs, etc. If investors believe that the oil companies may get the PM’s support for a tax cut in 2011 then valuations will rise. Too early to say how likely that is but any new optimism may spark some speculative price gains. This is at least one of the reasons for the 3.8 percent price gain in Rosneft (ROSN LI) recently.

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