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Company News

Mergers and Acquisitions

  • Compania Espanola de Petroleos entered into a definitive merger agreement to acquire Coastal Energy for an aggregate value of approximately USD 2.2 billion. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014.
  • Total, with partners Anadarko and Canadian Natural Resources International (CNR), will spend up to USD 300 million during 2014 to drill exploration wells on three ultradeepwater offshore blocks (514, 515, and 516) in Ivory Coast waters. Total owns a 54% interest in 514, with CNR (36%) and Petroci (10%). Total and Anadarko each control 45% of 515 and 516, with Petroci (10%).
  • Eni signed an agreement with Quicksilver Resources to jointly evaluate, explore, and develop potential shale oil resources in 52,500 gross acres held by Quicksilver in the Leon Valley area, Pecos County, Texas. The agreement calls for an initial three-phase program that includes drilling up to five exploration wells and acquisition of a 3D seismic survey, both aimed at determining the area’s hydrocarbon potential and a subsequent development plan. Eni will pay Quicksilver up to USD 52 million to cover drilling, completion, and seismic survey costs, while the two companies will equally share any future expenditure.
  • Heritage Oil entered into a joint venture with Bayelsa Oil Company, owned by Nigeria’s Bayelsa State government, to establish an oil company called Petrobay Energy. The new company will look to acquire production, development, and exploration assets from international oil companies operating in Nigeria. Heritage will own a 45% equity interest.
  • Ophir Energy will sell a 20% interest in Blocks 1, 3, and 4 in the Ruvuma and Mafia Deep basins area offshore Tanzania to Pavilion Energy, a Temasek portfolio company, for USD 1.3 billion. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2014. 
  • Seadrill subsidiary Seadrill Jack-up Holding agreed to pay USD 235 million for 100% of the shares and certain intercompany obligations of Prospector Offshore Drilling subsidiary Prospector Rig3 Owning Company (PR3OC). Prospector will receive a total of USD 55.2 million from Seadrill. The transaction includes PR3OC’s yard construction contract with Dalian Shipbuilding Industry Offshore for the new-build, high-specification jack-up rig Prospector 3. The rig, scheduled to be delivered in first-quarter 2014, has a water depth capacity of 400 ft and a drilling depth capacity of 35,000 ft.
  • Devon Energy will buy closely held GeoSouthern Energy’s assets in the Eagle Ford shale play in south Texas for USD 6 billion. The assets include current production of 53,000 BOE/D and 82,000 net acres.

Company Moves

  • Schlumberger announced the official opening of the Schlumberger Reservoir Laboratory (SRL) in Brisbane, Australia. The 10,000-ft2 facility is the latest addition to the global network of SRLs, providing core measurement and analysis services for companies with unconventional and conventional oil and gas assets. Laboratory personnel will work closely with the Queensland University of Technology.
  • Construction began on a 30-story, Class AA office tower located in Houston, Texas, to anchor a new headquarters campus for BHP Billiton’s global petroleum business. The 600,000-ft2 office building, constructed to LEED-Gold standards and expected to be completed in 2016, will be situated on a 2.72-acre tract beside BHP Billiton’s current petroleum business headquarters.


  • Benthic was awarded a contract by Neptune Marine Services for an offshore geotechnical investigation to collect seabed geotechnical data off the north coast of Western Australia. Benthic’s portable remotely operated drill will perform rotary drilling and piston coring, and also perform in-situ testing using a piezo-cone penetrometer to identify the soil conditions and geotechnical properties of the soil for the placement of a mobile jackup rig.
  • KS Drilling, an 80%-owned subsidiary of KS Energy, with its joint operation partner, Pertamina Drilling Services Indonesia, received a 1-year, USD-41-million contract extension for the jackup KS Java Star. The KS Java Star is expected to continue drilling in the West Madura oil field offshore Java until January 2015.
  • Transocean entered into a 3-year contract with Royal Dutch Shell for work off the coast of Alaska starting July 2014. Transocean’s Polar Pioneer harsh environment semisubmersible drilling unit will earn a rate of USD 620,000 per day in the summer season from July to October and then USD 589,000 per day the rest of the year.
  • Ukraine signed a shale gas production-sharing agreement, to extend for 50 years and whose potential value is USD 10 billion, with Chevron to develop the country’s western Olesska field. The agreement foresees an initial investment of USD 350 million by Chevron for exploratory work over 2 to 3 years to establish the commercial viability of shale reserves in the 2,000-sq-mile Olesska.
  • Adyard Abu Dhabi, a subsidiary of Interserve, was awarded a USD-17-million contract by Dana Gas for the fabrication of an offshore platform for the Zora Field Development Project, which spans the territorial waters of Sharjah and Ajman, United Arab Emirates. The platform will help extract reserves from the Zora field through an offshore facility and transport the reserves through a 21.7-mile subsea pipeline to an onshore gas-processing facility.
  • Mitsui Ocean Development & Engineering Company and Schahin were awarded a supply, charter, and operations contract for a floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel by Petrobras, on behalf of Consortium BM-S-9, for the BM-S-9 block (Carioca area) in the presalt region of the Santos basin, Brazil. The FPSO vessel, with expected delivery by June 2016, will be capable of processing 100,000 B/D of crude oil, 177 MMscf/D of gas, and 120,000 B/D of water injection, with the ability to store 1.6 million bbl of crude oil. 
  • Lamprell completed construction of the jackup rig Jindal Star for Jindal Pipes to be used offshore India. The Jindal Star, weighing 10,500 metric tons, is a LeTourneau Super 116E rig with a self-elevating 477-ft leg design.