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Rosneft Buys Exxon’s GoM Blocks (USA)

Neftegaz America Shelf LP (Neftegaz), an indirect independent subsidiary of Russia’s state-run oil company Rosneft, has acquired 30 percent interest in 20 deepwater exploration blocks in the Gulf of Mexico held by ExxonMobil, under an agreement signed by the two companies.

The 20 blocks have a total area of approximately 111,600 acres (450 square kilometers) in water depths ranging between 2,100 and 6,800 feet (640 and 2,070 meters). Seventeen are located in the Western Gulf of Mexico and three are in the Central Gulf of Mexico.

ExxonMobil retains 70 percent interest in the blocks and remains operator. Analysis of seismic data is under way. There is currently no production on the blocks.

Rosneft and ExxonMobil continue to implement the Strategic Cooperation Agreement signed in 2011, under which the companies and their subsidiaries plan to undertake joint exploration and development of hydrocarbon resources in Russia and other countries and to share technology and expertise. Under subsequent agreements between Neftegaz and ExxonMobil, Rosneft’s subsidiary gained the option to acquire interest in 20 blocks of its choosing from among ExxonMobil’s Gulf of Mexico exploration portfolio. The latest agreement represents the exercise of that option.

The agreement was signed by Igor I. Sechin, president of Rosneft, and Stephen M. Greenlee, president of ExxonMobil Exploration Company.

“ExxonMobil has a long history of safe oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico using state-of-the-art safety and environmental protection systems,” said Greenlee. “We look forward to working with Rosneft and its affiliates to explore these blocks using our leading-edge exploration and development technology and deepwater execution expertise.”

Sechin said, “This agreement provides Rosneft and its affiliates with access to one of the world’s most prolific basins. We believe joint efforts of our companies will ensure the most efficient development of these blocks, with application of the latest technologies and adhering to high environmental standards. Moreover, experience and knowledge acquired in the process may potentially be used when developing deepwater blocks in Russia, including in the Tuapse Trough in the Black Sea as envisaged under the Strategic Cooperation Agreement.”

ExxonMobil and Rosneft continue to implement a program of staff exchanges for technical and management employees to help strengthen the working relationships between the companies and provide valuable career development opportunities for employees of both companies.

The 20 blocks are:

Western Gulf of Mexico – Alaminos Canyon 569, 612, 613, 655, 656, 657, 698, 699, 700 and 701; East Breaks 429, 471, 472, 473 and 515; Keathley Canyon 529 and 573.

Central Gulf of Mexico – Walker Ridge 629, 673 and 717.

Rosneft Buys Exxon’s GoM Blocks (USA)| Offshore Energy Today.

Trinidad to Offer Six Blocks in Deep Water Bid Round

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Trinidad and Tobago’s Ministry of Energy and Energy Affairs (MEEA) has announced that the 2012 Deep Water Competitive Bid Round is tentatively set to open on the 29th of March.

Leading up to the opening of the round, the MEEA will participate in road shows 21st – 24th of February at NAPE 2012 in Houston, 28th – 29th of February at Trinidad and Tobago Energy Trade Mission in the JW Marriot Houston, and the 8th of March at the MEEA delegation to the High Commission for the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in London where the six selected deep water blocks nominated will be announced.

The six offshore blocks that are to be nominated and offered will come from locations in the East Coast Marine Area and Trinidad and Tobago Deep Atlantic Area (See Concession Map). This acreage offers a mix of water depths, hydrocarbon play-types and production potential.

Available Data

PGS, in conjunction with the MEEA, has acquired 6,766 km of marine MultiClient 2D data over approximately 43,000 sq. km of the Trinidad and Tobago offshore area.

PGS TOBAGO TROUGH MC2D 2008: 2,448 km of ultra-long offset, dual-sensor GeoStreamer 2D data located across 9 blocks in the West Tobago Sub-basin and Tobago Platform.

PGS DEEPWATER ECMA MC2D 2008: 1,966 km of ultra-long offset, dual-sensor GeoStreamer 2D data located across 26 blocks in the Barbados Accretionary Complex on the Trinidad and Tobago Deep Atlantic Area.

PGS NCMA-4&5 MC2D 2008: 2,352 km of high resolution 2D located across the Patao High across 2 blocks in the West Tobago Sub-basin and Southeast Tobago Sub-basin between the Tobago Platform and the Araya-Tobago metamorphic basement.

Source

BP Gains Access to 5 More Deepwater Blocks Off Angola

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BP’s involvement with Angola goes back to the mid 1970s. During the 1990s, BP made very substantial investments in Angola’s offshore oil, and it is now an important part of the company’s upstream portfolio. The UK based oil giant today confirmed that it has gained access to five more deepwater exploration and production blocks offshore Angola.

These give BP a leading position in Angola, with interests in nine blocks accounting for a total acreage of 32,650 square kilometres (km2).

In a ceremony today in Luanda, in the presence of state oil company Sonangol’s president Manuel Vincente and BP group chief executive Bob Dudley, the production sharing agreements were signed for four new blocks covering 19,400 km2 in the Kwanza and Benguela basins.

Separately, BP has recently taken a 40% stake in the 4,840 km2 Block 26 in the Benguela basin, by agreeing a farm-in deal with Brazilian national oil company, Petrobras, which operates the block.

“In October, we told the markets we would build on our strengths in exploration and in the deepwater to provide future growth for BP. This new access builds on the major presence we have developed in Angola over the past 10 years, investing a total of $21 billion in the business. We plan to double our global spend on exploration and this huge new acreage gives us more great opportunities. We look forward to working with Sonangol in the Kwanza and Benguela basins,” said Bob Dudley. “The last 14 months have been our most successful for a decade in gaining new access for exploration – with 69 new exploration licences in 11 countries.”

BP was awarded operatorship of Blocks 19 and 24 with 50% interest, and additional non-operating interests in Blocks 20 (20%) and 25 (15%). With Block 26, the five new blocks cover a total area of 24,000 km2 in water depths from 200 to 2500 metres, and increase BP’s total Angolan acreage by 275%.

Source

Sterling Declares Force Majeure in its Blocks Offshore Romania

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Sterling Resources Ltd. has declared Force Majeure on its Midia and Pelican Blocks in the Black Sea after the Company has been unable to undertake Petroleum operations for reasons outside of its control.

In early 2011, after extensive and lengthy efforts, the Company finally obtained from the relevant Governmental authorities the environmental and drilling permits necessary for operations on the Midia and Pelican Blocks. The National Agency of Mineral Resources (“NAMR”) has given approval to a 2011 work program based on which Sterling is obligated to undertake certain offshore activities which include the drilling of 2 offshore wells, acquiring 1,050 linear kilometers of 2D seismic and undertaking investigations and studies to bring the Ana and Doina discoveries forward for development.

However, in July 2009 the Romanian Parliament passed a law requiring construction permits for certain offshore activities. Sterling has sought clarification of this requirement from relevant authorities, as the activities contemplated under the 2011 work program clearly appear to have aspects that will require a construction permit. It is Sterling’s view that, after having received responses from certain relevant governmental authorities, that the authorities are currently unable or unwilling to provide construction permits for offshore oil and gas activities.

The effect of this situation, which the Company views as political in nature, is to render it impossible for the Company to undertake Petroleum Operations at the present time. Sterling has thus issued a notice to NAMR, stating that the total lack of clarity on the applicable procedure and authority for issuance of construction permits constitutes an event of Force Majeure under the Concession Agreement.

Under the terms of the Concession Agreement NAMR must, within 15 days of this notification, either agree with the invocation of Force Majeure, the effect of which would be to extend the duration of the Concession Agreement, or reject the Company’s invocation putting the two parties into a dispute resolution procedure which could ultimately be decided in international arbitration.

Mike Azancot, Sterling’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Despite this unfortunate situation we look forward to working with the NAMR and other Romanian authorities to find a resolution that will allow the Company to fulfill its obligations, preserve its rights and ultimately achieve success for the Company and the people of Romania. With a satisfactory resolution achieved, we are hopeful that we can advance our plans to undertake further exploration on these very prospective blocks and bring Ana and Doina to production within 3 years. This will bring significant benefits to Romania in terms of greater energy self-sufficiency, the likely award of construction and oil service contracts to local companies, and encouraging a wide range of companies to explore offshore Romania.”

Sterling Resources Ltd. is a Canadian-listed international oil and gas company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta with assets in the United Kingdom, Romania, France and the Netherlands. The shares are listed and posted for trading on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol “SLG”.

Original Article

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