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Company News

Mergers and Acquisitions

  • Newpark Resources bought Alliance Drilling Fluids, a provider of drilling fluids, proppants, and related services, for USD 53 million. Alliance’s core business is in the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford formation of Texas. Alliance and Newpark are both focused on water-based fluids and engineering services.
  • Genel Energy bought the remaining 49% participating interest in the Miran exploration block in Iraqi Kurdistan from Heritage Oil for USD 294 million. Genel is now the operator of the Miran block with a 100% interest. The block contains two large contiguous structures, Miran East and Miran West.
  • CGG bought Fugro’s Geoscience division, and will now be organized around three divisions: equipment, acquisition and geology, and geophysics and reservoirs. The USD-1.3-billion transaction also creates a joint venture, Seabed Geosolutions, which is owned by Fugro (60%) and CGG (40%); a multiclient agreement for CGG to sell Fugro’s existing 3D data; and a global strategic mutual preferred-supplier agreement.
  • Pioneer Natural Resources sold a 40% stake in its 207,000 net lease acres in Texas’ Wolfcamp shale to Sinochem Group for USD 1.2 billion. Pioneer will remain the operator (60%) and will conduct all leasing, drilling, completion, operations, and marketing activities in the joint interest area. The companies plan to drill 86 horizontal wells this year, 120 next year, and 165 in 2015.
  • Marubeni bought a 49% interest in Gulfstar One from Williams Partners for USD 1 billion. Gulfstar One is engaged in constructing a floating production platform at the Tubular Bells field in the Gulf of Mexico. The platform has a designed capacity of 60,000 B/D of oil and 200 MMscf/D of gas, and will be installed in Block 768 of the Mississippi Canyon in water depths of 4,300 ft.
  • An unnamed South Korean firm will pay 50% (USD 150 million) to create a joint venture with Bellatrix Exploration in west-central Alberta, Canada, to develop 83 Cardium formation wells. The foreign partner will earn 33% of Bellatrix’s working interest until well payout, when it will receive a 20% share.
  • Seadrill paid USD 1.20 per share for 82 million shares in the private placement of Archer, amounting to USD 98.4 million. The company will also receive 2.8 million shares in Archer as commission for underwriting the transaction. After the deal closes, Seadrill will own 231 million shares (39.9%) in Archer.

Company Moves

  • Gail India commissioned the 5-MTPA Dabhol liquefied natural gas terminal at Ratnagiri, Maharashtra. The terminal is operated by Ratnagiri Gas and Power, which is a joint venture between operator Gail and the National Thermal Power Corporation, with minority interests held by the Maharashtra State Electricity Board and financial institutions.
  • TAM International opened a new 11,500-ft2 district office and shop in Midland, Texas. The facility offers drilling, completions, and workover tools and services serving the Permian Basin region.
  • GE Oil and Gas opened a new facility near Basra City, Iraq, serving the North Rumalia region. It will provide pressure-control equipment, installation and maintenance, testing, inspections, repair, and storage. Also, GE and GLS Holding are building a new subsea-equipment manufacturing facility in the Soyo province of Zaire, Angola. The initial investment is USD 175 million.
  • Momentive Specialty Chemicals’ Oilfield Technology Group opened a new transload facility in Fort Collins, Colorado, to provide resin-coated proppants to fracturing service providers. The facility will serve the Denver-Julesburg basin and the Powder River basin.
  • Production management and accounting service company Merrick established Merrick International Canada, and opened an office in Calgary, Alberta.


  • China’s Ministry of Land and Resources awarded exploration rights for 19 shale gas blocks to 16 companies. The winning companies are six state-owned companies, eight provincially backed companies, and two private firms.
  • Tullow extended its contract to keep Seadrill’s West Leo ultradeepwater semisubmersible for 2 more years in west Africa. The potential revenue for the extension is USD 450 million based on a 97% use rate with a performance bonus agreement, bringing the contract value to USD 1.13 billion.
  • Statoil awarded a USD-1.1-billion contract to Hyundai Heavy Industries to install a topside facility on the Aasta Hansteen spar hull, which Hyundai is also building. The 21,000-ton topside facility is capable of producing 23 MMcm. The field is 300 km offshore Norway.
  • Gazprom Neft awarded an USD‑879‑million contract to Samsung Engineering for engineering, procurement, and construction of a gas-separation plant in southeast Iraq on a lump-sum turnkey basis. Samsung will build the 200-MMscf/D central processing facility, and utilities and offsites facility near the Badra oil field in Wasit province.
  • Jurong Shipyard awarded a USD‑160‑million contract to ABB for design, supply, installation supervision, testing, and commissioning of the main electrical systems for seven drillships. The vessels will be used in the pre-salt fields of the ultradeepwaters offshore Brazil. They are the first in a series of high-efficiency drillships designed and built by Estaleiro Jurong Aracruz at its shipyard in Espiritu Santo, Brazil. The ships will be delivered to Sete Brazil and chartered to Petrobras.
  • Shell awarded a USD-135-million contract to Subsea 7 as part of Shell’s Fram development in the central North Sea. The work scope covers the engineering, procurement, fabrication, and installation of an in-field pipeline bundle, with integrated manifolds and tie-in structures.
  • Statoil awarded a USD-117-million engineering, procurement, construction, installation, and commissioning contract to Aker Solutions. The work will tie in gas production from the Dagny platform, about 20 miles northwest of Sleipner East, to the Sleipner A platform.