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Noble’s New Drillship Enters Three-Year Contract in GoM

Noble Corporation announced that the Company has entered into a three-year term drilling contract with Anadarko Petroleum Corporation for the Noble Bob Douglas, one of Noble’s new ultra-deepwater drillships currently under construction at the Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. (HHI) shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea. The drillship, which is being constructed on a fixed price basis, is expected to be utilized for operations primarily in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

The Noble Bob Douglas is expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2013. The contract is expected to commence thereafter following mobilization to an initial operating location and client acceptance. Revenues to be generated over the three-year term are expected to total approximately $677 million. The contract also provides for an operating cost escalation provision.

The Noble Bob Douglas is one of four ultra-deepwater drillships being constructed for Noble by HHI. All four drillships are based on a Hyundai Gusto P10000 hull design, capable of operations in water depths of up to 12,000 feet and offering a variable deck load of 20,000 metric tons. The Noble Bob Douglas will be delivered fully equipped to operate in up to 10,000 feet of water while offering DP-3 station keeping, two complete six-ram BOP systems, multiple parallel activity features that improve overall well construction efficiencies and accommodations for up to 210 personnel. The rig will also be equipped with a 165-ton heave compensated construction crane to facilitate deployment of subsea production equipment, providing another level of efficiency during field development programs.

With the award of this contract for the Noble Bob Douglas, two of the Company’s four ultra-deepwater drillships under construction at HHI are now under contract. The remaining two uncontracted drillships are scheduled to be delivered from the shipyard in 2014.

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USA: Total Enters Utica Shale JV with Chesapeake

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Total announced that its subsidiary, Total E&P USA, has signed and completed on December 30, 2011 an agreement to enter into a Joint Venture with Chesapeake Exploration, a subsidiary of Chesapeake Energy Corporation, and affiliates of its partner EnerVest Ltd.

In the agreement, Total acquires a 25% share in Chesapeake’s and EnerVest’s liquids-rich area of the Utica shale play located across 10 counties on the eastern side of the state of Ohio, USA.

Yves-Louis Darricarrère, President, Total Exploration & Production, stated “Total is delighted to be building on our technical successes with Chesapeake in the Barnett Shale Joint Venture and to expand into the liquids-rich Utica Shale play in Ohio. This is consistent with our strategy to develop positions in unconventional plays with large potential and, in this case, with value predominantly linked to oil price. This joint venture will provide us with a material position in a valuable long-term resource base under attractive terms and with a top-class operator. Total is conscious of the environmental aspects linked to developing shale acreage and is confident in Chesapeake’s capacity to manage the Utica shale operations in a responsible manner, respecting the highest industry standards.

The transaction is effective as of November 1, 2011. Total has paid Chesapeake and EnerVest about USD 700 million in cash for acquiring these assets. Total will also be committed to pay additional amounts up to USD 1.63 billion over a maximum period of 7 years in the form of a 60% carry of Chesapeake and EnerVest’s future capital expenditures on drilling and completion of wells within the Joint Venture.

The Joint Venture covers approximately 619,000 net acres, of which 542,000 net acres are brought by Chesapeake and 77,000 net acres are brought by EnerVest. Total will acquire its 25% share from each of Chesapeake and EnerVest on identical terms, giving a total of 155,000 net acres. Chesapeake will operate the Joint Venture acreage.

As a result of the transaction, Total will also acquire a 25% share in any new acreage which will be acquired by Chesapeake in the liquids-rich area of the Utica shale play.

To date 13 wells have been drilled across the acreage with very promising results seen from each well in terms of productivity and liquid content. The Joint Venture plans to ramp up the drilling activities in the coming 3 years with 25 rigs planned to be mobilized by 2014 to fully appraise and develop the acreage. SEC production in Total’s share is expected to reach 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day by the end of the decade.

Additionally, Total, Chesapeake and EnerVest have agreed to jointly develop the construction of the necessary midstream facilities to export the production from this acreage.

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USA: Cheniere Enters into Contract with Bechtel

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Cheniere Energy Partners, L.P. announced today that its subsidiary, Sabine Pass Liquefaction, LLC, and Bechtel Oil, Gas and Chemicals, Inc. (Bechtel) have entered into a lump sum turnkey contract for the engineering, procurement and construction of the first two liquefaction trains at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal located in Cameron Parish, Louisiana

Sabine Liquefaction is planning to construct liquefaction facilities capable of producing 9.0 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) of liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the first phase of its project and selling 7.0 mtpa of the production under long-term sales and purchase agreements (SPA).  To date Sabine Liquefaction has contracted half of such production under a long-term, 20-year SPA with customer BG Gulf Coast LNG, LLC, and will make a final investment decision upon contracting the remaining 3.5 mtpa.  Sabine Liquefaction intends to give Bechtel a notice to proceed with construction for the first phase upon achieving acceptable financing arrangements and receiving authorization to commence construction from the FERC.  Construction is expected to begin in 2012 with LNG exports expected to occur as early as 2015.

Bechtel will design, construct and commission two liquefaction trains using the ConocoPhillips Optimized Cascade® technology.  This is a proven technology deployed in several LNG projects around the world.  The liquefaction trains will be built next to the existing facilities at the Sabine Pass LNG terminal, which include five tanks with storage capacity of 16.9 billion cubic feet equivalent (Bcfe), two docks that can handle vessels up to 265,000 cubic meters and vaporizers with regasification capacity of 4.0 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d).  Cheniere Partners anticipates that over 3,000 construction workers will be employed at peak construction and up to 100 permanent jobs will be created once the liquefaction facilities are operational.

The total contract price of the EPC Contract is $3.9 billion.  Total expected costs for the project before financing costs are estimated to be between $4.5 billion and $5.0 billion, including an estimated $0.6 billion to $1.0 billion for owner’s costs and contingencies.

Bechtel was chosen to develop and construct our liquefaction facilities due to their extensive LNG capabilities and experience in building some of the world’s largest LNG production facilities.  Our trains are being designed with the best combination of efficiency, cost, and reliability, and with the turndown capability needed to provide flexible LNG delivery programs,” said Charif Souki, Chairman and CEO.  ”We have worked with Bechtel in the past on the construction of our existing Sabine Pass LNG terminal, which was completed on time and on budget, and look forward to another successful project.

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Technip Enters Frame Agreement with Statoil

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After a competitive tender process, Technip has been awarded by Statoil Brasil Óleo & Gàs Ltda. a frame agreement for engineering studies. The scope of this 3-year contract covers feasibility, concept and front-end engineering design studies for Statoil’s existing offshore production fields and future developments in Brazil.

All work will be performed by Technip’s operating center in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil with support from the Group’s European centers, and will achieve a minimum 60% of local content.

This award reinforces Technip’s leading position as engineering services supplier to the Brazilian market where the Group previously carried out similar feasibility, conceptual and front-end engineering design projects for Petrobras, OGX, OSX and Maersk.

Technip is a world leader in project management, engineering and construction for the energy industry.

From the deepest Subsea oil & gas developments to the largest and most complex Offshore and Onshore infrastructures, our 23,000 people are constantly offering the best solutions and most innovative technologies to meet the world’s energy challenges.

Present in 48 countries, Technip has state-of-the-art industrial assets on all continents and operates a fleet of specialized vessels for pipeline installation and subsea construction.

Original Article

Ministry of Mines, Industry & Energy Approves MOU for LNG Train 2 in Equatorial Guinea

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Ophir Energy plc (Ophir), an Africa-focused upstream oil and gas company, notes the announcement released on 21 April 2011 by the Ministry of Mines, Industry & Energy of Equatorial Guinea of the approval and signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) relating to the commercial structure of the LNG Train 2 Integrated Project in Equatorial Guinea.

The MoU relates to the alignment of the gas producers, the owners of the gas pipeline infrastructure and the owners of  EGLNG Train 1 to develop and implement the LNG Train 2 Project (EGLNG2). Ophir has an established position offshore Equatorial Guinea with an 80% interest as Operator of Block R which covers 1,600km2 and contains the significant gas discoveries Fortuna and Lykos. In 2009 Ophir acquired 1,000km2 3D seismic survey data of the area and has a high impact drilling campaign in place for 2011.

“MALABO, 21 APRIL 2011 SIGNATURE OF MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING RELATING TO THE INTEGRATED PROJECT OF LNG TRAIN 2

The Ministry of Mines, Industry & Energy is pleased to announce that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been approved and signed relating to the commercial structure of the LNG Train 2 Integrated Project in Equatorial Guinea. The MOU was signed by the Ministry of Mines, Industry & Energy, SONAGAS GE (the national gas company of Equatorial Guinea), the partners of Blocks O & I (Noble Energy, GEPetrol GE (the national oil company of Equatorial Guinea), Glencore, Atlas Petroleum and Osbourne Resources Ltd.), the partners of Block R (Ophir Energy and GEPetrol GE), the shareholders of 3G Holding Ltd (Union Fenosa Gas and GALP Energia) and the partners of EGLNG Holding Ltd.

(Marathon GE, Mitsui & Co. Ltd and Marubeni Gas Development Co. Ltd).

The signed MOU relates to the alignment of the gas producers, the owners of the gas pipeline infrastructure and the owners of EGLNG Train 1 to develop and implement the LNG Train 2 Project, using the resources necessary to carry out this Project. The planned FID for this project is 2012 with the first LNG in 2016.”

About Ophir

Ophir Energy plc is a UK incorporated holding company with interests in 17 oil and gas exploration projects in eight different African jurisdictions. The Group’s headquarters are located in London (England), with operational offices in Perth (Australia), Malabo (Equatorial Guinea), Dar es Salaam/Mtwara (Tanzania) and Dakar (Senegal).

Original Article

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