Aramco Forms JV with Petronas for Malaysia's RAPID Project

Saudi Aramco and Petronas have formed two joint ventures to fur ther the two national oil companies' equal ownership and par ticipation in operations of the refinery and petrochemical integrated development (RAPID) projec t now under construction at the USD 27-28-billion Pengerang integrated complex (PIC) in southeastern Johor, Malaysia.

As part the finalized agreement, Aramco will hold a 50 percent ownership interest in RAPID ventures and assets as well as ser ve as primary supplier of crude feedstock for the project's 300,000-b/d refinery, the companies said.

Specifically, Aramco will provide as much as 70 per cent of the refinery's feedstock requirements, while Petronas and its affiliates will supply natural gas, power, and other utilities.

While they did not identify the newly formed JVs, the companies said they will share in the rights to offtake production of the JVs on an equal basis. Announcement of the new JVs follows the companies’ 2017 preliminary agreement to partner on RAPID.
Shell Sells West Qurna 1 Interest in Iraq

Royal Dutch Shell PLC has taken another step in the trimming of its oil and gas interests in Iraq.

Shell EP Middle East Holdings BV sold all share capital in Shell Iraq BV, which holds a 19.6 per cent interest in West Qurna 1 oil field, to a subsidiar y of Itochu Corp. Itochu paid USD 406 million and assumed USD 144 million of debt.

Last year, Shell Iraq Petroleum Development BV won endorsement by the Iraqi Ministry of Oil of its proposal to withdraw from Majnoon oil field, which it operates with a 45 percent interest. Majnoon produces more than 200,000 b/d of oil.

ExxonMobil Corp. operates West Qurna 1 field, which produces about 400,000 b/d of oil, with a 32.7 percent interest. Other par tners are PetroChina, 32.7 per cent; Pertamina, 10 per cent; and state-owned Oil Exploration Co., 5 percent.

Shell said its other business in Iraq will not be affected. It is a 44 per cent par tner in Basrah Gas Co., a 25-year joint venture with stateowned South Gas Co. (51 per cent) and Mitsubishi (5 per cent) that captures, treats, and sells associated gas from West Qurna 1, Zubair, and Rumaila oil fields.
Sonatrach-Led Group Brings Algeria's Timimoun Gas Field On Stream

Total SA reported that natural gas production has star ted from Timimoun field in southwestern Algeria. Algeria's Sonatrach jointly operates the Timimoun production complex with par tners. Sonatrach has 51 percent interest, Total 37.75 percent and Cepsa 11.25 percent.

Gas from Timimoun eventually will be produced with a total of 37 wells connected to a processing plant tied into the GR5 pipeline to move gas from southwestern Algeria to Hassi R'mel.

Total has held Algerian assets for decades. In 2017, Total's production in Algeria averaged 15,000 boe/d, all of it from the Tin Fouye Tabankort gas-condensate field 300 km west of the Libyan border.

Through the Maersk Oil acquisition, which closed on Mar. 8, Total also holds 12.25 per cent interest in the El-Merk, Hassi Berkine, and Ourhoud oil fields with a combined production capacity of 400,000 boe/d.
BOEM to Begin Process for Proposed 2019 Beaufort Sea Lease Sale

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced it will publish a call in the Mar. 30 Federal Register for information and nominations for a proposed 2019 Beaufor t Sea oil and gas lease sale. It emphasized that the sale would be par t of the draft proposed 2019-24 US Outer Continental Shelf planning program announced in January, which has not become final. Comments will be accepted through Apr. 30, the US Department of the Interior agency said.

"Available information indicates that the Beaufort Sea possesses great oil and gas potential," BOEM Alaska OCS Region Director James Kendall said in Anchorage. “It also contains unique, environmentally sensitive areas important to the subsistence needs of the region's Alaska Native communities. This process will help us identify not only the areas that can be safely and responsibly developed, but also those areas that should be pro tec ted for wild life and traditional uses."

BOEM is seeking comments from the oil and gas industry on interest in the areas proposed for leasing, including nominations or indications of interest in specific lease blocks within the area. The agency also wants information from any interested par ty relating to par ticular geological, environmental, biological, archaeological and socioeconomic conditions, use conflicts, or other situations which could affect the potential leasing and development of par ticular areas.
Province Plans Separate Oil and Gas Unit

The government of Newfoundland and Labrador plans to strip oil and gas operations from Nalcor Energy and create a separate provincially owned entity.

In his 2018 budget speech, Finance Minister Tom Osborne said the standalone oil and gas company would “work directly with the Department of Natural Resources to accelerate the growth and opportunity of our petroleum industry."

Nalcor Energy Oil & Gas holds working interests in fields off the province: 4.9% in Hebron oil field, 5% in the White Rose Growth Project, and 10% in the Hibernia Southern Extension Project.

The parent company generates and transmits electrical power.
Richard Herbert Named CEO of Frontera Energy

Richard Herbert has been named chief executive officer of Frontera Energy Corp., Toronto, and will relinquish his position as an independent board member.

He succeeds Barr y Larson, who will remain with the company through April to help with the transition.

Herbert, who joined the Frontera board last December, has more than 36 years of experience in global oil and gas exploration and development, having worked with BP PLC, Talisman Energy Inc., and Phillips Petroleum Co.

Frontera has operations in Colombia and Peru, producing 65,000- 70,000 boe/d of oil and natural gas.
Black & Veatch Named LNG Industry EPC Contractor of the Year

Black & Veatch, a global leader in the design, construction and delivery of innovative floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) production and regasification solutions, has been named EPC Contractor of the Year. The award, presented to Black & Veatch at the recent LNG USA Summit 2018 in Houston, cited the company’s advanced capabilities in executing complex projects and coincides with increasing investor interest in flexible, costeffective LNG solutions that can more quickly move supply to end users.

Black & Veatch has been a pioneer in floating LNG, providing engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) solutions for topside liquefaction equipment and packages using its patented PRICO® LNG technology. The PRICO® process uses a single-mixed refrigerant loop for natural gas liquefaction, a method that requires minimal equipment and reduces capital and operating expenses.

"Being named EPC Contrac tor of the Year at the LNG USA Summit demonstrates our commitment to helping clients meet their objec tives, regardless of project size, by being the top EPC solutions provider for FLNG developments," said Bob Germinder, Senior Vice President and Managing Direc tor of Floating Oil & Gas Solutions for Black & Veatch.

Floating applications typically require fewer resources and can more quickly move supply to end users versus traditional onshore facilities, which is par ticularly crucial in the current price environment. Commercial viability was named by survey respondents as the top driver for making FLNG investment decisions, followed by implementation costs, according to Black & Veatch’s 2017 Strategic Direc tions: Natural Gas Industry Report. Cost and speed of delivery are top priorities for investors.
ONGC Awards Ratna Work to UAE's NPCC

UAE-based National Petroleum Construction Company (NPCC) has been awarded an engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract by India's ONGC for five well platforms and a pipeline for Ratna field offshore India.

Founded in 1973, NPCC is par t of Senaat Abu Dhabi. Senaat, representing the government of Abu Dhabi, owns 70% and Consolidated Contractors Company (CCC) owns 30% of NPCC.

NPCC said last week that the contract award was wor th $327 million and it was awarded as par t of ONGC's offshore oil and gas infrastructure development on the west coast of India.

This contract includes survey, design, engineering, procurement, fabrication, load out, transpor tation, installation and commissioning of five well platforms (R12B-R10A-R9A-R7A-R13A) and associated pipelines and cables.

Hussain Al Nowais, Chairman of NPCC said: "I am proud of the NPCC's relationship with ONGC and is a testament of the good relations and economic cooperation between UAE & India, under the able guidance of the leadership of two countries."
SNC-Lavalin and Saudi Aramco Sign MoU Supporting in-country Opportunities

SNC-Lavalin and Saudi Aramco has signed a Memorandum of Understanding signalling SNC-Lavalin's continued commitment to creating and accelerating opportunities for local workforces in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The MoU supports Saudi Aramco's In-Kingdom Total Value Add ("IKTVA") program, which applies to Saudi Aramco suppliers and drives the localization of oilfield services and equipment value chain, to strengthen and diversify the Saudi economy; transfer technologies, skill and knowledge through training and development; and create thousands of new jobs for the growing Saudi population.

Christian Brown, President, Oil & Gas, SNC-Lavalin, added: "Our work for Saudi Aramco is of great importance to us; we have close to 10,000 team members working in the country and putting in place such a framework around iktva means we can continue to grow and execute additional scopes on behalf of Saudi Aramco. Our presence, scale and experience in the region mean we are well placed to implement this, and we see strong demand for similar initiatives supporting economies and social development in our active bidding."