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USA: API Upstream Director Calls for Expanded Five-Year Offshore Plan

API’s Group Director of Upstream and Industry Operations Erik Milito told reporters yesterday that today’s Central Gulf of Mexico lease sale would help the nation develop its offshore oil and natural gas resources but that there was also a need for a expanded five-year offshore plan if the U.S. goal is a stronger energy future for the nation:

“Every lease sale is important, but more important for our energy future than any individual sale is our nation’s broader energy policy framework. That, unfortunately, has been inadequate. The administration’s proposed five-year offshore leasing plan for 2012 through 2017 is a case in point. It would limit offshore development to where it historically has always been: parts of the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Alaska. It would restrict opportunities when it should be expanding them. It would not help prepare us well for our energy future.”

“With the right policies, we could secure at home much more of the energy supplies future generations of Americans will need. We also could create vast numbers of additional new jobs for Americans – perhaps one million more in seven years – and deliver billions more revenue to our government. Offshore leasing – and expansion of offshore leasing – are key parts of that equation.

“Oil and natural gas development is a long-term endeavor. Offshore development, in particular, takes many years. From the time a five-year offshore plan is issued to when production actually begins can take well over a decade. The proposed Department of the Interior five-year plan is insufficient, and each year we implement it, we will fall further behind what we really should be doing. The administration ought to begin working on a new plan immediately.”

API represents more than 500 oil and natural gas companies, leaders of a technology-driven industry that supplies most of America’s energy, supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.7 percent of the U.S. economy, delivers more than $86 million a day in revenue to our government, and, since 2000, has invested more than $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives.

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USA: Broadwater Shelves LNG Plan

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Broadwater Energy said that it has decided not to go forward with any aspect of its LNG project, the company said in a letter to U.S. FERC.

Broadwater also asked the Commission to vacate its previous authorization for the LNG project.

The company is a joint venture by TransCanada Corporation and Shell Oil, and it planned to build a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) attached to a yoke mooring system about 9 miles off Long Island and 10.5 miles off Connecticut, with a maximum regasification capacity of about 9 million mt of LNG per annum.

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BOEM: Conditional Approval for Shell’s Chukchi Sea Exploration Plan (USA)

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The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) on Friday, October 16, issued conditional approval of Shell Gulf of Mexico, Inc.’s revised Exploration Plan under leases in the Chukchi Sea Planning Area. In its Exploration Plan, Shell proposes drilling up to six exploration wells in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea beginning in the 2012 drilling season.

This decision follows the bureau’s completion of a site-specific Environmental Assessment that examined the potential environmental effects of the plan. The conditions of approval require Shell to comply with a range of important safety and environmental protection measures.

BOEM’s conditional approval does not authorize Shell to commence exploratory drilling in the Chukchi Sea. Shell must satisfy the conditions of BOEM’s approval, as well as obtain approvals from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) regarding its Oil Spill Response Plan and well-specific applications for permit to drill.

“Our scientists and subject matter experts have carefully scrutinized Shell’s proposed activities,” said BOEM Director Tommy P. Beaudreau. “We will continue to work closely with agencies across the federal government to ensure that Shell complies with the conditions we have imposed on its Exploration Plan and all other applicable safety, environmental protection and emergency response standards.”

Shell acquired its leases in the Chukchi Sea in 2008 under Lease Sale 193, which BOEM recently reaffirmed after completing a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement. All of these leases are subject to a series of stipulated requirements to mitigate operational and environmental risks, and the conditions for approval of Shell’s Exploration Plan build on and expand those requirements.

Among the conditions of approval is a measure designed to mitigate the risk of an end-of-season oil spill by requiring Shell to leave sufficient time to implement cap and containment operations as well as significant clean-up before the onset of sea ice, in the event of a loss of well control. Given current technology and weather forecasting capabilities, Shell must cease drilling into zones capable of flowing liquid hydrocarbons 38 days before the first-date of ice encroachment over the drill site. Based on a 5-year analysis of historic weather patterns, BOEM anticipates November 1 as the earliest anticipated date of ice encroachment. The 38-day period would also provide a window for the drilling of a relief well, should one be required.

Shell must also obtain necessary permits from other agencies — the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the National Marine Fisheries Service.

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USA: 7 Companies Beside Deepwater Wind Plan to Build Wind Farm off RI

7 Companies Beside Deepwater Wind Plan to Build Wind Farm off RI (USA)

Seven companies in addition to Deepwater Wind have registered interest in developing offshore energy projects in an area of federal waters between Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Providence-based Deepwater announced its application to the federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management last week for a longstanding plan for a 1,000-megawatt wind farm, but no other companies made public their proposals at the time.

The bureau released a list this week of companies interested in generating energy in waters east of Block Island and southwest of Martha’s Vineyard.

No information was provided on their applications or the scope of their projects.

The applicants include Energy Management Inc., the company behind the 130-turbine Cape Wind proposal in Nantucket Sound; Fishermen’s Energy, a company with plans for a wind farm off the New Jersey coast; and Neptune Wind, which announced in August a plan for a 500-megawatt wind farm in the area between Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Also on the list are enXco, a San Diego, Calif.-based company that says it has developed 3,000 megawatts of wind power and 68 megawatts of solar power in the United States, Mexico and Canada; Iberdrola Renewables, the U.S. division of a Spanish company that describes itself as the second-largest developer of wind power in the United States, with 4,800 megawatts of onshore projects; Mainstream Renewable Power, a company that says it is developing 5,500 megawatts of offshore wind power in England, Scotland and Germany; and US Wind, which has also submitted applications to lease waters in another part of Massachusetts and off New Jersey.

The bureau will review the applications before deciding whether to lease areas for development.

By Alex Kuffner (projo)

Original Article

Vietnam Approves Full Development Plan for Te Giac Trang Field

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The Company has been informed by the Hoang Long Joint Operating Company, the Operator of Block 16-1 in the Cuu Long Basin offshore Vietnam, that PetroVietnam has relayed the Government of Vietnam’s agreement to the extension period for the Te Giac Den Appraisal area.

The extension period is for 15 months (from 1st January 2011 to 30th April 2012) or 21 months (from 1st January 2011 to 31st October 2012) in the event that the Company elects to drill a well.

Several 3D seismic acquisition options are currently being reviewed and it is anticipated that acquisition of the 150 square kilometre 3D programme will commence in late June to early July 2011.

PetroVietnam has also informed the Company that the Government of Vietnam has approved the Full Development Plan for the Te Giac Trang Field, incorporating the second phase development. Installation activities in the field are ongoing and the H4 jacket for second phase drilling and production has been installed. The project remains on target for Phase I production start in August 2011.

Original Article

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