West Texas Intermediate crude fell from a two-week high after an Energy Information Administration report showed U.S. inventories rose the most in five months.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Bloomberg) -- U.S. crude production climbed to the highest level in more than 28 years last week as the shale boom moved the country closer to energy independence. Output rose 248,000 bpd to 8.838 million, the most since March 1986, according to Energy Information Administration data. The combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing has unlocked supplies from shale formations in the central U.S., including the Bakken in North Dakota and the Eagle Ford in Texas.
STAVANGER, Norway -- Statoil will lay up the COSL Pioneer rig in fourth-quarter 2014 due to overcapacity in its rig portfolio. The rig is currently carrying out an assignment on the Visund field and is scheduled to complete this work at the end of September. In July, Statoil also announced that the drilling rig Scarabeo 5 would be temporarily suspended.
LONDON -- Aqualis Offshore, part of Aqualis ASA, has signed a rig moving services contract with Saudi Aramco. The contract value is undisclosed. Under the deal, Aqualis Offshore will provide offshore rig moving services over the next three years for Saudi Aramco’s jackup rigs operating in the Arabian Gulf.
LONDON (Bloomberg) -- Scottish independence risks curbing investment needed to maintain production from maturing North Sea oil resources, according to Ian Wood, author of a report into the industry cited by both the Scots and UK governments. “I believe it will be more difficult to get the level of investment we require under the changed regime,” Wood, former head of Aberdeen-based oil-services company John Wood Group Plc, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV.
MILAN -- Eni has made a new oil discovery in Block 15/06, in the Ochigufu exploration prospect, in deep water offshore Angola. Oghigufu is the tenth commercial oil discovery made in Block 15/06. The discovery is estimated to contain 300 MMbbl of oil in place. The Ochigufu 1 NFW well, which has led to the discovery, will be brought into production in record time. The well is located approximately 150 km off the coast and 9.8 km from the Ngoma FPSO (West Hub).
LONDON -- Lloyd’s Register Energy has been chosen by Woodside as one of its global inspection providers. The new contract will help to ensure the components and equipment Woodside procures globally meet quality expectations.
OSLO, Norway -- iSURVEY has been awarded a two-year contract with offshore vessel owner, Island Offshore Management. The contract will see iSURVEY AS provide positioning services to Island Offshore as part of a call off arrangement. Operations have already commenced on the first vessel, Island’s DP2 Light construction vessel, the Island Valiant.
MOSCOW, Russia (Bloomberg) -- Billionaire Vladimir Evtushenkov, the richest Russian to face criminal charges since Mikhail Khodorkovsky, was placed under house arrest yesterday on suspicion of money laundering.
NEW YORK (Bloomberg) -- West Texas Intermediate traded near the highest price in almost two weeks after OPEC’s secretary general said the group may cut crude-output targets next year. Brent was steady in London.
HOUSTON (Bloomberg) -- Apache Corp., the oil producer under investor pressure to shed its international assets, is seeking to raise as much as $840 million from the sale of oil and gas projects in Alberta, two people with knowledge of the matter said.
BEIJING, China (Bloomberg) -- China’s largest oil and gas producers plan to increase shale-gas output by 40% a year to meet the nation’s production target.
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (Bloomberg) -- Saudi Arabia will need to keep cutting oil output to sustain prices above $100/bbl, even after the kingdom’s largest reduction in two years, according to BNP Paribas SA and Societe Generale SA.
PERTH, Australia -- Swala Energy (Zambia) Limited has been formally awarded hydrocarbon exploration rights over block 44 in the Republic of Zambia.
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (Bloomberg) -- Argentina’s oil-producing provinces and the federal government agreed to revise a 1967 energy bill to include shale, two provincial officials said.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Bloomberg) -- A study that found natural gas drilling polluted drinking water is fueling calls for stricter standards for well construction that could increase costs for energy companies.
NEW DELHI, India -- ONGC Videsh and PetroVietnam signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) Sept. 15 to participate in exploration offshore Vietnam. The LOI provides for the expansion of exploration activities by ONGC Videsh in Vietnam by considering participation in 2-3 additional blocks.
DENVER, Colorado -- Bill Barrett Corp. has signed purchase and sale agreements with several undisclosed purchasers for the sale of the majority of its Powder River basin acreage and its remaining position in the Gibson Gulch natural gas program in the Piceance basin. The transactions include an acreage exchange whereby Bill Barrett acquires 7,856 net acres and 390 boed net production within the southern block of its operated Northeast Wattenberg area in exchange for acreage in the Powder River basin.
LAGOS, Nigeria (Bloomberg) -- Workers at Nigerian National Petroleum Corp., the country’s state-owned oil company, began an indefinite strike that may disrupt crude output from Africa’s top producer and affect its domestic gasoline supplies, a union official said. “We have total shutdown at NNPC offices and all their subsidiaries, and that may affect the exports,” Babatunde Oke, a Lagos-based spokesman for both a managers’ union and a blue-collar workers’ union, said by phone Sept. 16. “The refinery workers are also not working.”
VIENNA, Austria (Bloomberg) -- OPEC may cut production next year, its Secretary-General Abdalla El-Badri said. The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries’ output target could fall 500,000 bpd to 29.5 MMbpd next year, El-Badri said at OPEC’s secretariat in Vienna after talks with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak Sept. 16. The group’s monthly report on Sept. 10 showed demand for its oil will drop to 29.2 MMbpd in 2015 from 29.5 MMbpd this year.