Blog Archives

USA: Helix Marks Strong Market Demand for Deepwater Well Intervention Services

Helix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. announced that it has been awarded its initial customer contractual commitments for the Helix 534. The Helix 534 was acquired in August from Transocean and is undergoing modifications and upgrades necessary for conversion into a well intervention vessel at the Jurong Shipyard in Singapore.

The Helix 534 is scheduled to sail from Singapore during the first quarter of 2013 and after transit to the Gulf of Mexico, is expected to be placed into service in late second quarter 2013. Backlog for the Helix 534 involves work in the Gulf of Mexico and extends into 2016.

Meanwhile, the Q4000 has extended its strong contractual backlog through 2014, with strong customer interest into 2016.

Helix also announced that the Skandi Constructor has also received its initial contractual awards. The Skandi Constructor is a chartered vessel and is expected to enter the Helix well intervention fleet in the spring of 2013. Its initial contract involves work in the North Sea and follows with a project off the eastern Canadian coast.

Helix’s two existing North Sea based well intervention vessels, the Seawell and the Well Enhancer, have been awarded customer contracts into the fourth quarter of 2013.

Owen Kratz, President and Chief Executive Officer of Helix, stated, “The recent contract awards for our two new additions to the well intervention fleet, the Helix 534 and the Skandi Constructor, as well as the growing backlog for our existing fleet, reflects the strong market demand for deepwater well intervention services as well as Helix’s market leadership for these services. Furthermore, customer interest for our newbuild semisubmersible well intervention vessel, the Q5000, remains high. The Q5000 is currently under construction at the Jurong Shipyard in Singapore and is scheduled to enter the fleet in early 2015.”

Subsea World News – USA: Helix Marks Strong Market Demand for Deepwater Well Intervention Services.

Coal Vs. Gas: This is why Americans need an Energy Policy that “WORKS’”

Coal Is Dead; Long Live Natural Gas

July 13, 2012

Major coal manufacturers in the United States, including Arch Coal Inc (ACI), Alpha Natural Resources, Inc. (ANR), Peabody Energy Corporation (BTU), and James River Coal Company (JRCC), made the same mistake the predecessors of today’s oil giants, such as BP p.l.c. (BP) and Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM), made in the 1980s. They built up too much capacity when commodity price was high, raising their own fixed cost structure and increasing their debt burdens along the way.

When reality turned out to be different from expectations, coal price collapsed with natural gas flooding the electricity generating market. Since natural gas is more efficient, cleaner, and now inexpensive, the coal industry as a whole faces major trouble. Power generation from natural gas has matched coal for the first time. This major trend appears unstoppable. And the worst may be yet to come. All coal miners will have to downsize, and more will go bust.

Within the United States, coal consumption has dropped sharply during recent years as natural gas gradually becomes cheap and abundant, replacing thermal coal in power plants. The following chart shows this trend vividly.

In the meantime, U.S. coal stocks have been rising as supply constantly outruns demand, which almost inevitably leads to lower prices. Given coal miners’ razor-thin profit margin in general, a small coal price movement often translates into huge stock price swings.

And finally, as coal production piles up, the export of coal has been rising sharply (in the following chart). The sharp rise in exports is a consequence of price collapse—it becomes so cheap that it’s a better deal for other continents to ship coal across the ocean, still cheaper than digging in their own backyards. Coal mining is a dirty business, polluting self while serving cheap coal to other countries perhaps wouldn’t serve the industry well politically.

Given such overwhelming trends, one has to be very suspicious of the sustainability of this industry for years to come. One possible policy change that might help coal mining is that the environmentalists and the EPA manage to stop hydraulic fracturing of natural gas, which will curb natural gas supply and make dirtier coal a viable option again—a bit ironic, isn’t it?

The one that might do better than the others is Walter Energy, Inc. (WLT), which has a focus on metallurgical coal for the steel industry, and is not so much dependent on thermal coal (for burning).

So what about natural gas? Would major natural gas businesses such as Chesapeake Energy Corporation (CHK) become the new king? Not necessarily. With abundant reserve and a relatively cheap way of exploration, competition will be fierce. Big players like Exxon Mobile still have an edge in financial resources. At the end of the day, companies like Chesapeake are not necessarily winners even if natural gas becomes mainstream.

Overall, investors shall not count on a turnaround of the coal industry like what happened during the last roller coaster cycle of coal prices.

Source

"If I wanted America to fail" (video)

Published on Apr 20, 2012 by FreeMarketAmerica

The environmental agenda has been infected by extremism—it’s become an economic suicide pact. And we’re here to challenge it. On Earth Day, visit www.freemarketamerica.org.

MODU Market Spending to Reach USD 48.1bn in 2012

image

A large amount of undeveloped offshore oil and gas fields as well as new offshore discoveries will help drive the Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODU) market, especially in deepwater.

With strong oil prices persisting, major energy companies are increasingly reinvesting their earnings in exploration and development of offshore oil and gas basins. Visiongain calculates capital expenditure in the MODU market will total $48.1bn in 2012.

According to the International Energy Agency, global oil demand will rise from 88 million barrels today to around 99 million barrels in 25 years time. Over this period the cost of extracting oil will be higher and production from offshore resources will not be as expensive as it was relative to development of onshore hydrocarbons.

Although new technological improvements mean fewer people will be needed on offshore oil and gas drilling rigs, the construction industry behind MODUs and assembly of related technologies is providing employment for thousands of people. For example, the Brazilian marine construction industry has emerged on a vast scale to enable its offshore industry to provide MODUs and technologies for Petrobras to meet its vast oil production targets from its offshore resources.

Most super-major oil and gas companies as well as independent oil and gas companies have each secured a share in the hydrocarbon-rich offshore regions across the globe and demand for MODUs is strong. Meanwhile, health and safety standards and technology have both improved across the industry, leading to a backlog of orders for new-build MODU.

The Mobile Offshore Drilling Units (MODU) Market 2012-2022 report includes 144 tables, charts and graphs that analyse quantify and forecast the MODU market in detail from 2012-2022 at the global level, four submarkets and for 7 regional markets. The analysis and forecasting ahs been reinforced by extensive consultation with industry experts. Two full transcripts of exclusive interviews are included from Friede & Goldman and Maxeler Technologies. The report also profiles 55 leading companies involved in the MODU market.

More Info

Soure

Angola: Oil Ministry Says US Will be Main Market for LNG Export

image

The United State of America will be the main export market for the natural gas produced by the Angola LNG project, the head of the production department of the Oil Ministry, Alcides Santos said Thursday in Moscow, Russia.

Cited by Angolan news agency Angop, Santos said, at the Angola-Russia economic forum, that according to projections, annual exports are estimated at US$5.2 billion.

Explaining the choice of the United States as the main market for Angola’s natural gas, Santos said that the US had been the first country to show interest in purchasing the gas and also had terminals ready to receive it, as well as the fact that US group Chevron is the main shareholder of Angola LNG.

The LNG Angola project, which ahs been underway for over two years in an area of 2,000 hectares in Soyo municipality, Zaire province, will produce, through a single line, 5.2 billion tons of natural gas,” he said.

In order to complete the project in 2012, Chevron, BP, Total, ENI and Sonangol have invested US$9.1 billion.

As well as the United States countries in Europe and Asia, notably South Korea and Japan, are interested in importing the natural gas from Angola.

The Angola-Russia economic forum, which has the theme of “Angola in the 21st Century: A Growing Economy,” began Thursday in the Russian capital and features speeches by members of the Angolan government and Russian officials.

Source

%d bloggers like this: