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USA: Caterpillar to Produce More Gas Fueled Equipment and Engines

Caterpillar Inc., the world’s leading manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives, announced at the inaugural Natural Gas for High Horsepower Applications (HHP) Summit on Sept. 27 its intentions to go ‘all-in’ on natural gas and produce even more natural gas-fueled equipment and engines for a variety of applications.

Joel Feucht, Caterpillar’s director of gas engine strategy for the energy and power systems businesses, made the announcement during his keynote address at HHP Summit 2012, a first-ofits-kind event that examined the economic and environmental benefits of using the clean-burning, domestically abundant natural gas in fuel-hungry high horsepower applications.

We have decided to go all-in on gas,” declared Feucht during his keynote address at HHP Summit on Sept. 27. “We are going to invest because we see a global market long term. Large engines are going gas. It’s not debatable; it’s our conclusion.”

Feucht’s remarks confirmed that Caterpillar will provide natural gas fuel as an option for engines across its many high horsepower lines for marine, rail, mining, earthmoving and drilling operations. The company recently announced its first expected liquefied natural gas (LNG)-powered will likely include Cat 793, 795 and 797 mining trucks, and locomotives produced by Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD), a unit of Caterpillar’s Progress Rail Services.

“There is huge economic incentive to move to natural gas,” Feucht stated noting that price of oil and gas are going to stay disconnected for the foreseeable future thereby creating an economic incentive to use natural gas in fuel-hungry high horsepower applications.

Current users of natural gas to power high horsepower equipment are realizing a cost savings of 30 to 50 percent. New technologies expanding access in North America have contributed to the low-cost of natural gas.

Caterpillar to Produce More Gas Fueled Equipment and Engines, USA LNG World News.

Strong Demand for UDW Drillships Spurs Seadrill to Order One More from SHI (South Korea)

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Seadrill continues to see strong demand for modern ultra-deepwater (UDW) drilling rigs driven by high oil prices and large deep-water discoveries and increased development drilling. Specific interest, mainly from operators in West Africa and the Americas, demonstrate a trend towards higher day rates and longer term contracts.

With yard costs at very attractive levels and Seadrill’s proven track record with respect to successful new build construction the Company today announced the order of a sixth drillship from Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) with delivery in the second quarter of 2014. The expected total project cost is less than USD600 million, in line with the 5 units under construction and with delivery in 2013 and 2014. The yard contract was originally between a party related to Seadrill’s major shareholder Hemen Holding and Samsung, as part of a larger shipyard deal, but Seadrill has been given the right to take over the contract at original terms.

Seadrill’s current new build program now includes 17 units: 6 ultra deep-water drillships, 1 harsh environment semi submersible, 5 tender rigs and 5 jack ups, all to be delivered in the period from Q4 2012 to Q1 2015. In addition, Seadrill has received a fixed price option for a further ultra deep-water drillship. The six drillships under construction are of the same design and 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 and West and East Africa. Also, 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.

CEO of Seadrill Alf Thorkildsen says:

“With the available capacity in 2013 and 2014 Seadrill is uniquely positioned among its peers to take advantage of strong demand for drilling services with high dayrates and longer charter contracts. We will continue to aggressively build Seadrill’s earnings and further expansion of the building program is expected in the months to come. Together, these developments provide for continued value creation and an increased dividend capacity.”

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USA: Harvey Orders More LNG OSVs from Trinity

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Harvey Gulf International Marine ordered two additional 302’ X 64’, Dual Fuel Offshore Supply Vessels, bringing its total order to four.

The contract signed today with Trinity Offshore is a follow on to the first two vessel order placed in October of 2011. Trinity will build all four vessels at their Gulfport, MS shipyard where the first Harvey Gulf LNG Powered Vessel hull fabrication was started last week.

In addition to being powered by cleaner burning natural gas, the vessels will achieve “ENVIRO+, Green Passport” Certification by the American Bureau of Shipping. The requirements for this certification include, among others, that the vessels be continuously manned with a certified Environmental Officer, be completely constructed with certified environmentally friendly materials, and have advanced alarms for fuel tanks and containment systems. Along with Harvey Gulf’s other vessels under construction, these will be the first OSV’s to achieve this certification, making them the most environmental friendly OSV’s in Gulf of Mexico.

Harvey Gulf CEO Shane J. Guidry announced the signing: “Harvey Gulf’s decision to become the leader in “Clean” Gulf of Mexico operations has been enthusiastically accepted by oil company executives and was the impetus for adding two additional LNG Dual Fuel vessels to the fleet. These vessels, like their two sisterships, will meet the highest emissions standards that exist today and even higher standards that haven’t been created yet. We recognize the strong stance on environmental protection by the administration in the wake of the oil spill and are doing our part to respond to it and provide our customers support for their environmental commitments.

John Dane III, Trinity’s President and CEO, stated “This follow on order is a significant milestone for our shipyard and will increase employment by hundreds at its peak during the next 36 months.”

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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%.

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Russia: Rosneft Gets Clearance to Buy More Offshore Assets in the Arctic

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Russia’s competition body has approved a request from the country’s top crude producer Rosneft to acquire more offshore assets, following the company’s deal last week with Exxon Mobil to extract oil and gas from the Russian Arctic.

The watchdog, the Federal Antimonopoly Service, or FAS, approved a petition from a Rosneft subsidiary, Zapad-Shmidt-Invest LLC, to acquire Chernomorneftegaz, Sintezneftegaz and Artikprominvest, with assets located mostly in the Arctic, it said on Wednesday.

Details of the investments were not disclosed. However, Uralsib analysts said on Thursday that “Rosneft should be able to acquire the assets for a total of $300-$400 million”.

A Rosneft spokesman said the talks on the purchase of the assets are not yet complete.

Rosneft and the world’s top natural gas producer Gazprom have exclusive rights to develop offshore hydrocarbon reserves, according to Russian law.

Uralsib said Chernomorneftegaz, controlled by Novolipetsk Steel owner Vladimir Lisin, holds licenses for four blocks in the Black and Azov Sea, with prospective oil and gas resources of between 1.4 billion and 2.8 billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe).

Sintezneftegaz, controlled by senator Leonid Lebedev, has licenses for two blocks in the Barents Sea, with estimated resources of up to 7 billion boe.

Last week, Rosneft signed an agreement with Exxon Mobil to jointly develop oil and gas deposits in the Russian Arctic.

The Arctic assets may complement the three blocks in the Kara Sea to be included in the ExxonMobil JV,” Uralsib analysts said in a note.

By Vladimir Soldatkin (Reuters)

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