Gulf Business News Feb 2015

Oman tenders sewerage work
Construction of sewerage networks in Suwaiq

Dubai increases planned solar capacity
Planned capacity of park was 1,000MW and has increased to to 2,600MW

Libya pipeline attacked
Supplies to Marsa al-Hariga are cut

Oman extends Batinah expressway bid deadline
Tender closing date extended for package 11 of road project

Kuwait approves development plan
Previous five-year plan ended in December 2013

Air Arabia posts 30 per cent profit increase
Annual passenger numbers climb to 6.8 million in 2014

Russia and Algeria discuss oil prices
Cooperation between oil producing nations was discussed with Saudi Arabia

Masdar awards solar consultancy contract
German firm providing technical advisory services for Noor 1 solar development

Firms bid for Dubai Metro rolling stock
Study will help increase capacity

Firms bid for Dubai Metro rolling stock
Study will help increase capacity

El-Seif wins $2bn worth of Jizan contracts
Local contractor will build multiple residential areas in Jizan

Bahrain plans to tender Tubli expansion in March
Bahrain upgrades wastewater treatment capacity

Oman Oil, Gas and Energy News Feb, 2015

Oman awards wind farm consultancy deal
ILF Consulting Engineers to advise on 50MW renewables project

Impact of falling oil prices on Oman
With smaller oil reserves and a much higher budget breakeven oil price, Oman is more vulnerable to low crude prices than the four biggest GCC economies, but stands in a far stronger position than Bahrain

Oman begins process for planned new Barka IWP
Consultants invited to submit bids for water recirculation study

Oman prequalifies for Duqm berths terminal
Contractors asked to submit documents by 10 March

Consortium bids low for Sohar desalination scheme
28,000cm/d desalination plant will supply plastics industry

Khazzan export pipelines to be awarded soon
Companies submit prices for Oman condensate and gas export pipelines

Bids submitted for final Oman road package
Bids have been received from 11 firms for the final package of major Oman road project

Oman studies electricity privatization
Canadian company selected to study privatization of power distribution in Muscat

Top 10 projects of Oman

Rank Project Name Sector Contract value  ($m)
1 Sohar Refinery Expansion Project Oil 2,100
2 Muscat & Salalah International Airport Expansion: Passenger Terminal: MC3 Transport 1,834
3 Muscat & Salalah International Airport Expansion: MC1 Transport 1,300
4 Khazzan & Makarem Fields: Central Processing Facility Gas 1,200
5 Redevelopment of Salalah International Airport: MC5 Transport 764
6 Muscat & Salalah Airports: Cargo Terminals & MRO Hangars: MC12 Transport 518
7 Rabab – Harweel Integrated Project: Onplot Gas 500
8 Rabab – Harweel Integrated Project: Offplot Gas 500
9 Musandam Oil Gas Processing Plant Gas 480
10 Salalah Ethylene Dichloride & Caustic Soda Facility Chemical 450

Source: Meed

Saudi Arabian Market Update Feb 2015

Aramco to ramp up shale gas spending – CEO says investment in non-conventional resources will rise to $7bn

Frontrunners emerge for Aramco contract – Four companies in a good position for five-year offshore services contract

GE wins equipment contract for Yanbu 3 – US firm will provide drives for power component of power and water facility

Saudi Arabia wind map to be completed in 2015 – Vestas see high potential for wind projects in the kingdom

U.A.E Oil and Gas Update Feb 2015

Prequalification starts for landmark Dubai tower – Investment Corporation of Dubai appointed consultants last year

Al-Maktoum airport expansion delayed – Enabling works contract for Al-Maktoum International in Dubai was due to be signed by the end of 2014

Contractors submit bids for Dubai museum – Project will be built where UAE rulers formed the federation in 1971

Total wins stake in Abu Dhabi onshore oil fields – Paris-based group first to announce joint venture and also becomes asset leader of several fields

Abu Dhabi takes on gas deficit – The Shah project is providing a boost to gas availability in the UAE, but it is only part of its strategy

GCC LNG exporters hit as prices plummet – Lower Asia demand growth and tumbling crude price signal weak liquefied natural gas market in 2015

South America Oil and Gas Update Feb 2015

BPZ Energy Provides New Production from Albacora A-27D Well – BPZ Energy provided initial production rates from the Albacora A-27D development well at offshore Block Z-1. The Company holds a 51% participation in Block Z-1 and all referenced well production in this release.

The A-27D well was drilled to a total measured depth of approximately 14,500 feet. For the last 10 days, the well has averaged approximately 1,135 barrels of oil per day (bopd) gross. For the last 24 hours, the well has averaged production of approximately 905 bopd, 3,700 thousand cubic feet of gas per day and 2 barrels of water per day. Gas is mostly reinjected due to the lack of a local commercial market at this time. The well is producing better than previous recent wells due to additional pay opened in the Lower Zorritos sands.

Given the positive results of the A-27D, the new Albacora A-22D development well was spud on January 10, 2015. Targeted measured depth of the A-22D well is 14,445 feet, which will also test the Mid and Lower Zorritos sands. Results are expected in April.

The Corvina CX15-8D development well is currently being completed with results expected in February 2015. The 8D well location helps extend the Corvina field to the southwest.

Block Z-1 Production from the Corvina and Albacora fields for full year 2014 averaged 5,055 gross, or 2,578 bopd net to BPZ, which represents an 83% increase compared to full year 2013 production of 2,761 bopd gross, or 1,408 bopd net.

For the fourth quarter 2014, production averaged approximately 5,276 bopd gross, or 2,691 bopd net, which was 10% above third quarter 2014 production, and 94% higher than fourth quarter 2013 production. The 2014 exit rate for production was approximately 5,200 bopd, or 2,652 bopd net.

January 2015 production to date has averaged approximately 5,443 bopd gross, or 2,776 bopd net. Manolo Zuniga, President and CEO commented, “Given the positive results on the A-27D, we approved drilling of the A-22D well also targeting the Mid and Lower Zorritos formation, particularly the new deeper oil tested in the last three wells. We have also decided to perforate deeper sands in the Albacora A-21D and A-26D in the first quarter of 2015. These interventions should enable us to increase production with minimal capital, and we continue to look for other similar opportunities. While this work has been approved, the full 2015 capital plan is still under review as we work with our Block Z-1 partner to reduce costs, and with our advisors on financing alternatives.”

Source : Gulf Oil and Gas

Cyprus Gas Exploration Update Feb 2015

Cyprus in Talks with Noble on Exploitation of Gas – Cyprus and U.S. energy company Noble are discussing the potential exploitation of a gas field discovered in 2011, the island’s energy minister said.

Yiorgos Lakkotrypis also said discussions had almost concluded with French company Total on modifying an existing exploration permit after initial results showed no tangible reserves in an area where it was licensed.

He said Cypriot authorities had started discussions with Noble over its plans to develop Aphrodite, a 4.54 trillion cubic feet (tcf) gas reservoir.

“There are many steps which need to be taken, (but) it’s the start of a process towards exploitation of the reserve,” Lakkotrypis said.

Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration , both subsidiaries of Israel’s Delek Group , each own 15 percent of Aphrodite. Texas-based Noble Energy controls the rest. Aphrodite is adjacent to the much larger Leviathan field in Israeli waters in which the three companies also hold a concession.

Total last week confirmed it had completed surveys over two Cypriot offshore blocks for which it had licenses, without finding potential drilling targets. “An arrangement has been found with Total, and right now the legal documentation remains to be approved,” Lakkotrypis said. “If that yields results then they (Total) will be with us at least until February 2016.”

Source : Gulf Oil and Gas

Saudi Aramco Oil and Gas Exploration Feb 2015

Saudi Aramco Stops Red Sea Deepwater Exploration Work – State oil giant Saudi Aramco has put on hold its deepwater oil and gas exploration and drilling activities in the Red Sea because of high costs as it economises in an environment of low crude prices, industry sources said.

The cost of operations in the Red Sea, a new area for Saudi Aramco, was around $1 million per day, said two sources, who declined to be identified because they were not authorised to speak to media.

“It is related to budget cost reduction in the Red Sea offshore,” said one of the sources.

Saudi Aramco declined to comment.

The company’s chief executive Khalid al-Falih said last week that Saudi Aramco would renegotiate some contracts and postpone some projects because of the plunge in oil prices over recent months. The firm has suspended plans to build a $2 billion clean fuels plant at its largest oil refinery in Ras Tanura, sources told Reuters last month.

However, Falih also said Saudi Aramco would continue investing in key projects, and had earmarked $7 billion to spend on unconventional gas in coming years after investing $3 billion in the past.

A second source said deepwater exploration in the Red Sea had stopped because of several factors, including environmental issues, costs, and the need for further studies to minimise risks.

“One of the most expensive offshore (areas) happens to be in the Red Sea – the depth is different from the Gulf coast. They did discover a lot of oil and gas but they need to do lots of tests. Now with the current prices, they have put it on hold until further notice to collect more data,” said a third source.

Saudi Aramco said in its 2013 annual review that it was continuing operations in the Red Sea’s deep waters and had made a new oilfield discovery at Al-Haryd.

“It would not be surprising if Saudi Aramco were to suspend exploration in the Red Sea because it is a very complex basin, and no significant discoveries have been announced since the Midyan field complex and the Um Luj condensate discoveries accomplished by the Aramco exploration team of the early 90s,” said Sadad al-Husseini, a former top executive at Saudi Aramco and now an energy consultant.

Source : Gulf Oil and Gas

Turkey – New Russia Gas Pipeline Update Jan 2015

Ankara hosted a working meeting between Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee and Taner Yildiz, Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources. The parties discussed the main issues of constructing a new gas pipeline across the Black Sea towards Turkey.

The meeting considered the preliminary feasibility study on the new gas pipeline and approved its new route. The four strings will have an aggregate capacity of 63 billion cubic meters a year. 660 kilometers of the pipeline’s route will be laid within the old corridor of South Stream and 250 kilometers – within a new corridor towards the European part of Turkey.