Daily Archives: February 27, 2012

NMS Girl Of The Day #18 – Elena Pappas

You might recognise today’s NMS Girl Of The Day badge winner Elena Pappas from a recent MTV reality TV show.  Or you might not.

What we’re sure you will agree with, though, is that Elena is definitely a worthy winner of the NMS Girl Of The Day badge for today.

Remember you need to VOTE FOR ELENA if you’d like to see her in the final 15 of the Sports Illustrated New Model Search.

February 27, 2012

NMS Girl Of The Day #18 – Elena PappasSports Illustrated.

Blackstone to Invest $2 Billion in Cheniere Energy in Bet on LNG Expansion

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By Jim Polson – Feb 27, 2012 7:49 AM CT

Cheniere Energy Partners LP (CQP) said Blackstone Group LP (BX) agreed to invest $2 billion toward construction of a $5 billion natural-gas export terminal.

The financing is a “significant milestone” toward Cheniere’s plan to build the plant, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Charif Souki said in a statement today. If built, the plant would be the first constructed in more than four decades to export U.S. natural gas by ship.

Cheniere Energy is seeking final approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for the plant, which would liquefy gas for export from its existing import terminal in Cameron Parish, Louisiana. The Houston-based company obtained Energy Department approval to export after U.S. production of the fuel surged from hydraulic fracturing.

“Obtaining this financing will be a significant milestone for the advancement of construction for the first two liquefaction units,” Charif Souki, chairman and chief executive officer of Cheniere Energy Partners and its parent, Cheniere Energy Inc. (LNG), said in today’s statement.

The Blackstone entities have agreed to buy 111 million new senior subordinated paid-in-kind units for $18 billion each, according to the statement. Final terms are contingent on Cheniere securing debt financing.

Starting Construction

Cheniere expects to obtain the remaining financing by March 31 and to begin construction by June 30, according to the statement.

The units that Blackstone is buying will pay 4.2 percent interest quarterly and convert to partnership common units once the first two sections of the plant begin commercial operation. Cheniere Energy Partners will use cash from the sale to buy the pipeline that connects the terminal to the U.S. gas pipeline network from Cheniere Energy Inc., according to today’s statement.

The announcement was made before regular trading began on U.S. markets. Cheniere Energy Partners rose 6.7 percent to $22.30 at 8:46 a.m. in New York. Cheniere Energy Inc. rose 17 percent to $16.42.

Source

Permian Basin of West Texas seeing oil boom

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DALLAS — The Permian Basin of West Texas is experiencing an oil boom, leading some of the region’s top oilmen to predict that Texas oil production will double within five to seven years.

Oil drillers over the last eight years have found that the dense oil rock of the basin surrounding Midland and Odessa responds well to hydraulic fracturing, releasing lush yields. Total oil production last year in Texas averaged more than 1 million barrels per day for the first time since 2001.

“Right in the basin, we could get up to 2 million barrels a day,” Jim Henry of Midland-based Henry Resources told The Dallas Morning News for an article in its Sunday’s edition.

“I’ve been totally surprised by the amount of oil we’re finding out in the shale zones,” Scott Sheffield, chairman and chief executive of Irving-based Pioneer Natural Resources Co., told the newspaper.

“We have 30 billion barrels of new oil discoveries,” said Tim Leach, chairman and CEO of Midland-based Concho Resources. “It can be hard to get your mind around that.

The cloud on the horizon is the persistent drought that has gripped the region. Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” requires massive amounts of water to pump into the ground under high pressure.

Drillers also worry about the prospect of tax increases and limits placed on land use by the presence of such endangered species as the dunes sagebrush lizard.

But as long as crude oil prices remain high, around $100 per barrel, drilling will remain profitable.

Similar booms are under way in the Eagle Ford Shale of South Texas and the Bakken Shale of North Dakota and Montana. Production also is climbing rapidly in western Alberta Canada, which is now the largest source of U.S. oil imports.

“I could paint a scenario for you where we are producing 3 million more barrels per day by 2016, which would almost get us to the point where we could eliminate 60 to 70 percent of our OPEC imports,” Texas Railroad Commissioner Barry Smitherman told The News. “With that greater control over our own energy security, we could care less about what happens in the Strait of Hormuz.”

The narrow straight between the United Arab Emirates and Iran is considered strategically vulnerable to blockade by Iran’s revolutionary regime.

The United States still imports 45 percent of the 19 million barrels of petroleum that it consumes, but that is a sharp reduction, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. In 2005, about two-thirds of all liquid fuels the United States consumed was imported.

Source

South Korea: Seadrill Confirms Samsung Drillships Contracts

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South Korea’s Samsung Heavy Industries on Friday announced that it had received contracts for the construction of two drillships without revealing who the costumer was. Today, Seadrill, a Norwegian/Bermudan offshore drilling contractor confirmed the deal.

The construction of the drillships is scheduled for completion in the second and third quarter 2014. Total project price per drillship is estimated to be under US$600 million, which includes a turnkey contract with the yard, project management, drilling and handling tools, spares, capitalized interest and operations preparations. Seadrill has also a fixed price option to order an additional drillship for delivery in 2014.

The drillships are of the same design as the three previous dual derrick drillships that Seadrill ordered at Samsung late 2010 and early 2011, with increased water depth, technical capabilities and accommodation capacities. These dynamic positioning drillships will have a hook load capability of 1,250 tons and a water depth capacity of up to 12,000 feet targeting operations in areas such as the Gulf of Mexico, Brazil as well as West and East Africa. In addition, these units will be outfitted with seven ram configuration of the Blow out Preventer (BOP) stack and with storing and handling capacity for a second BOP.

Chairman of Seadrill John Fredriksen says:

Our long relationship with Samsung has given us access to a proven rig design and favourable delivery slots. In combination with attractive global yard prices, this has created an opportunity to continue to organically build Seadrill with very compelling economics. Seadrill will have five new ultra-deepwater rigs scheduled for delivery in the period 2013 – 2014 and four existing units coming off current contracts in the same period. There has already been specific discussions regarding chartering of part of this capacity. We believe the open ultra-deepwater exposure position will serve Seadrill well and create a unique exposure to one of the fastest growing and most profitable energy businesses in the world. We also believe that this open exposure can be used to further strengthen our relationship with fast growing and dynamic oil companies. The recent increase in daily rates for drilling rigs will generate excess cash that can be used for a balanced combination of organic growth and a strong long-term dividend distribution. It is likely that Seadrill’s commitment to tender and ultra-deepwater new buildings will be further increased in the weeks to come.

Source

Repsol Sinopec Makes High-Impact Discovery Off Brazil

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Statoil together with operator Repsol Sinopec and partner Petrobras has confirmed a high-impact discovery (*) in the Pão de Açúcar prospect offshore Brazil.

The partnership announced today that it has made a high impact discovery in the Pão de Açúcar prospect located in the BM-C-33 block in the Campos Basin.  The well, drilled by the Stena DrillMAX drillship, is located some 195 kilometres offshore Rio de Janeiro State in 2,800 meters of water.

The Pão de Açúcar well encountered two pre-salt accumulations comprising a hydrocarbon column of 480 meters with a total pay of around 350 meters. A test performed in a partial section of the pay zone flowed 5,000 barrels per day of light oil and 28.5 million cubic feet per day of gas. This was a choked Drill Stem Test (DST) with very limited drawdown. The Pão de Açúcar discovery is the third find made in the BM-C-33 block after Seat and Gávea and confirms the area’s high potential.

“The development potential of the Pão and Gávea discoveries will now be evaluated by the partnership. This discovery increases our understanding of the pre-salt potential in the Campos Basin and improves our confidence in the recently acquired acreage position in the pre-salt Kwanza basin of Angola,” says executive vice president for Exploration in Statoil, Tim Dodson.

“Statoil’s exploration strategy focuses on high impact opportunities and the deepening of core areas. The Pão de Açúcar success shows that we are delivering on our strategy,” continues Dodson.

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“Statoil has clear ambitions to grow in Brazil through new exploration opportunities. The Pão discovery will become an important building block in our growth ambitions,” says Kjetil Hove, country president for Statoil in Brazil.

Repsol Sinopec is operator of the exploration consortium with a 35% stake. Partners Statoil and Petrobras hold respective 35% and 30% shares.

Statoil is also the operator of the Peregrino field in Brazil, which came on stream in April 2011.

The Pão discovery is the sixth high impact discovery made by Statoil in the last 12 months. The other discoveries are Skrugard and Havis in the Barents Sea, Johan Sverdrup (former Aldous/Avaldsnes) in the North Sea, Peregrino South in Brazil and Zafarani in Tanzania.

(*) ”High-impact well” =  a total of more than 250 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe), or 100 million boe net to Statoil.

Source

USA: Encana Inaugurates LNG Fueling Station in Louisiana

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Encana Natural Gas, a subsidiary of Encana Corporation, one of North America’s largest natural gas producers, Friday opened the first liquefied natural gas (LNG) fueling station in Louisiana.

Located at The Relay Station in Frierson, the station which will serve the fueling needs of heavy duty truck fleets is open for public use. The station is currently being utilized by Heckmann Water Resources (HWR), an Encana partner in water sustainability in the natural gas industry.

HWR recently ordered 200 new LNG big-rig trucks, 50 of which have been deployed to date. California-based Heckmann Corporation, parent company to HWR, provides water management services to Encana and other producers in the Haynesville resource play.

Encana also recently secured a contract with Pivotal LNG, a subsidiary of AGL Resources Inc. which owns and operates a major liquefaction facility.

We are very pleased to be part of an innovative Canadian and American solution to expand the use of LNG. This new station is a major step towards encouraging companies to convert vehicles to run on affordable, environmentally-responsible natural gas,” said Eric Marsh, Executive Vice-President, Encana Corporation & Senior Vice-President, USA Division.

Encana works with supply chain partners and other external heavy duty fleets by offering fueling solutions to help them better manage fuel usage and realize the cost savings of natural gas. Encana is quickly growing in its efforts to commercially develop natural gas for transportation. Additionally, Encana owns and operates four mobile LNG fueling stations (two in Louisiana) and six compressed natural gas (CNG) stations. In leading by example, Encana has converted nearly half of their fleet field vehicles in Louisiana operations to utilize CNG. They have also retrofitted drilling rig engines to run on natural gas in their U.S. operations, four of which run on LNG.

Natural gas powered cars and trucks are fueled with CNG or LNG and operate similarly to gasoline or diesel powered vehicles and generally have a longer operating life due to the cleaner combustion. Converting freight trucks and commercial vehicles has an immediate impact on saving fuel costs and reducing carbon emissions. Converting one 18-wheeler from diesel to LNG is equivalent to removing the emissions of about 325 cars from the road.

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