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Suncor reports C$2bn net loss as it weathers low crude oil price environment

By: Henry Lazenby Canadian oil producer Suncor Energy on Wednesday reported a net loss for the fourth quarter ended December 31 of C$2-billion, or C$1.38 a share, as the Canadian oil industry buckled under American benchmark oil prices that reached below $50/bl for the period. This was compared with net earnings... 

Council for Geoscience advances shale gas research in the Karoo

By: Ilan Solomons The Council for Geoscience (CGS) has embarked on a three-year research programme involving a range of geoscientific investigations associated with the drilling of a vertical deep-core borehole to better conceptualise some of the geological issues related to potential shale gas resources in South... 

Council for Geoscience advances shale gas research in the Karoo

AGL Energy abandons natural gas plans

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Energy major AGL Energy on Thursday announced plans to abandon its natural gas assets, citing the volatility of commodity prices and long development lead times. AGL MD Andy Vesey told shareholders that the company’s focus would be on its core competencies, transforming the business to... 

TransCanada awards major contract for Energy East pipeline

By: Henry Lazenby Canadian pipeline infrastructure operator TransCanada on Wednesday awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to power and automation technologies firm ABB to manufacture at least 22 electrical houses that would distribute power for the pump stations along the Energy East pipeline project. While the... 

TransCanada awards major contract for Energy East pipeline

Wheatstone production delayed by six months

By: Esmarie Swanepoel First liquefied natural gas (LNG) production from the $29-billion Wheatstone project has been delayed by about six months, with first production now expected in mid-2017. US oil and gas major Chevron reportedly told shareholders last week that the delay was caused by the slow schedule of... 

Wheatstone production delayed by six months

LNG extends Magnolia contract deadline

By: Esmarie Swanepoel ASX-listed Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) has extended the financial close date of a binding agreement with Meridian LNG Holdings Corporation. In July last year, LNG subsidiary Magnolia LNG signed an agreement with Meridian for capacity rights of up to two-million tonnes a year at Magnolia LNG, on... 

Challenger optimistic of gas exploration legislation resolution

By: Natasha Odendaal ASX-listed Challenger Energy on Friday said it was confident of positive developments in key legislation and the progression of its application process to embark on shale-gas exploration in South Africa’s Eastern Cape province. Constructive and positive engagement had been undertaken with the... 

Challenger optimistic of gas exploration legislation resolution

Sudan’s oil, gas block offer to India may fail to entice

By: Ajoy K Das Sudan’s offer of three more oil and gas blocks would face resistance from Indian national exploration and production (E&P) major ONGC Limited, as the company decided to slow or defer overseas investments in the wake of falling oil prices. According to an official of ONGC Videsh, the overseas arm... 

Crucial decision needed on empowerment levels

By: Nadine James An urgent court judgment needs to be made to determine the empowerment levels in South Africa’s mining industry, as this will most likely impact on the future alignment between the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) codes and the Mining Charter, stresses Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr director of... 

Crucial decision needed on empowerment levels
ALLAN REID Aligning the Mining Charter with the Department of Trade and Industry codes will be challenging, regardless of the Department of Mineral Resources' 12-month extension

Delayed MPRDA Amendment Bill unfavourable

By: Nadine James It is more than a year since the Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) Amendment Bill was referred back to Parliament by President Jacob Zuma for reconsideration. According to the latest available public record, more parliamentary committee meetings to reconsider the Amendment... 

Delayed MPRDA Amendment Bill unfavourable

‘Frack mining’ mooted as a future mining innovation

By: Ilan Solomons Miners currently face many challenges, from low commodity prices to the exhaustion of accessible high-quality orebodies and high development costs. However, by drawing on the oil and gas industry’s process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, miners may have new ways to tackle those problems... 

‘Frack mining’ mooted as a future mining innovation
ADRIENNE RATMANSKY Frack mining combines the mining industry’s practice of in-situ leaching with the oil and gas industry’s hydraulic fracturing process

Shell shareholders back BG deal

By: Esmarie Swanepoel The shareholders of oil and gas major Royal Dutch Shell have voted in favour of a $70-billion takeover of BG Group. Shell in April last year announced plans to gain control of BG Group’s Queensland Curtis liquefied natural gas (QCLNG) project in Gladstone, which turns gas from coal seams into LNG. 

India mulls oil and gas incentives to combat price slump

By: Ajoy K Das The Indian government plans to introduce incentives for upstream oil and gas companies to maintain exploration and production (E&P) activities in a low-price environment. The government was expected to announce details of the incentives at the forthcoming Union Budget session of Parliament on... 

Feds to delay pipeline project decisions in wake of interim environmental assessment measures

By: Henry Lazenby The Liberal Canadian government on Wednesday said it would delay decisions on Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion Project and TransCanada’s Energy East pipeline project in order to implement five new temporary measures as the first step of a broader strategy to “review and restore... 

Feds to delay pipeline project decisions in wake of interim environmental assessment measures

Lower prices hits Oil Search bottom line

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Despite reporting strong production in the December quarter, ASX-listed Oil Search reported a 10% decline in revenue for the fourth quarter, on the back of lower oil prices. Total production during the quarter under review reached 7.51-million barrels of oil equivalent, which was up 1% on the... 

Drillsearch shareholders agree to Beach merger

By: Esmarie Swanepoel The shareholders of takeover target Drillsearch Energy have voted in favour of a merger agreement with fellow-listed Beach Energy. Following a shareholder meeting on Wednesday, Drillsearch announced that nearly 99% of its shareholders had supported the merger. 

AWE sells Sugarloaf stake for $190m

By: Esmarie Swanepoel ASX-listed AWE has agreed to sell its 10% working interest in the Sugarloaf project, in Texas, for $190-million. The company said on Wednesday that it had received a $14-million deposit from buyer Carrier Energy Partners II, with the transaction likely to be completed by the end of March. 

Final Lisheen zinc shipment leaves gap Southern Africa can fill – Vedanta 

By: Martin Creamer The final shipment of zinc from Vedanta Resources' Lisheen mine has brought zinc supply from the Irish mine to an end, opening up an opportunity for the Gamsberg project, which is inching forward at a carefully measured pace in South Africa’s Northern Cape. Lisheen’s closure means that some 120... 

Final Lisheen zinc shipment leaves gap Southern Africa can fill – Vedanta
Photo by Duane Daws
Tom Albanese, Godfrey Oliphant, Deshnee Naidoo at first Gamsberg blast

Beach flags impairment charge, cuts capex and output guidance

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Australian oil and gas producer Beach Energy on Monday warned of an impairment charge of between A$450-million and A$650-million for the 2016 half-year, on the back of lower oil prices. The company also announced a A$60-million reduction in its planned capital expenditure for 2016, to between... 

Beach flags impairment charge, cuts capex and output guidance

Santos ‘well placed’ to withstand low oil price, reports strong output

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Oil and gas major Santos has achieved its highest yearly production rate since 2007, on the back of a strong December quarter. Santos produced 14.9-million barrels of oil equivalent in the December quarter, which was in line with the 15.1-million barrels produced in the previous corresponding... 

Santos ‘well placed’ to withstand low oil price, reports strong output

Expert to unpack China, India impact on mining in Africa

By: Dylan Stewart The impact of slowed demand from China and growing demand in India for African commodities will be highlighted during a presentation at the 2016 Investing in African Mining Indaba by the Robert H Smith School of Business Michael Dingman chair in strategy and globalisation Dr Anil Gupta. China and... 

Key speaker to address investment options at Indaba

By: Mia Breytenbach International financial institution World Bank Group VP Makhtar Diop will be a key speaker at this year’s Investing in African Mining Indaba as well as being part of the market panel titled ‘Driving Investment in African Infrastructure - what are the investment options?’. The Mining Indaba will... 

Key speaker to  address investment options at Indaba
Photo by Duane Daws
MAKHTAR DIOP Despite the slowdown of Africa’s biggest economies, the gross domestic product in the region is expected to pick up to an average of 4.4% and 4.8% in 2016 and 2017, respectively

Eskom moves ahead with dual-fuel conversion of OCGT plants despite gas uncertainty

By: Terence Creamer State power utility Eskom is poised to move ahead with the conversion of its open cycle gas turbines (OCGTs) to dual fuel facilities, with contracts having being placed with two international technology providers. In December, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown indicated that the conversion... 

Eskom moves ahead with dual-fuel conversion of OCGT plants despite gas uncertainty

Woodside flags A$1bn impairment, reports strong FY production results

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Australian oil and gas major Woodside on Thursday warned shareholders of a A$1-billion to A$1.2-billion impairment for 2015, following an asset value review and taking into account the lower short- and long-term oil price. Despite the downturn in oil prices, Woodside achieved its second-highest... 

Eden sells UK assets for £1

By: Esmarie Swanepoel ASX-listed Eden Energy on Thursday announced that it has agreed to divest of its UK subsidiary to UK Onshore Gas (UKOG). Under the terms of the agreement, UKOG would pay Eden Energy £1 in cash for the assets, with the two parties also entering into an overriding royalty agreement, which has been... 

Metgasco hunting for new opportunities

By: Esmarie Swanepoel ASX-listed Metgasco on Wednesday told shareholders that the company had set itself the task of identifying relevant, value accretive opportunities, and securing these within the first six months of 2016. The company believed that the current oil price environment would offer attractive... 

Chevron eyes potential offtake partner for Gorgon

By: Esmarie Swanepoel US energy major Chevron has inked a non-binding heads of agreement (HoA) with China’s ENN LNG Trading Company for the delivery of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Gorgon project. ENN was expected to receive up to 0.5-million tonnes a year of LNG over a ten-year period, with deliveries... 

COS management accepts Suncor’s sweetened hostile offer

By: Henry Lazenby Despite the price of oil dipping to 2003 levels, Canadian oil sands major Suncor Energy on Monday announced that it has succeeded in swaying Canadian Oil Sands (COS) management to accept a sweetened C$6.6-billion offer for the company. The offer, which was extended to 4:00 pm Mountain Time, would... 

COS management accepts Suncor’s sweetened hostile offer

Oil rout favours Rio Tinto over BHP, at least for now

By: Reuters In the decimated mining sector, Anglo-Australian Rio Tinto is set to be the last man standing for investors as sliding commodities prices force its peers to slash dividends, in a reversal of fortunes against arch rival BHP Billiton. BHP used to brag that its oil and gas business, its... 

Russia’s Gazprom in partnership deal for SA coal gasification project 

By: Ilan Solomons Diversified investment and mining company Anglo African Capital (AAC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Russian gas company Gazprom to secure the sole distribution rights for Gazprom’s underground coal gasification (UCG) technology in sub-Saharan Africa. Gazprom has also agreed... 

Russia’s Gazprom in partnership deal for SA coal gasification project
HEINE VAN NIEKERK Gazprom has also agreed to partner with Anglo African Capital to develop the underground coal gasification of its coal assets in the Springbok Flats, in Limpopo

India likely to consider premium pricing for difficult gas reserves

By: Ajoy K Das The Indian government is likely to consider giving natural gas producers the option to charge a premium for reserves located in difficult terrain, including deep-sea, but will refrain from dismantling the administered price regime across the board. According to an official in the Oil and Natural... 

Tumbling oil trades below $30/bl for first time in 12yrs

By: Reuters Oil fell briefly below the widely watched $30/bl level on Tuesday, extending a sell-off that has sliced almost 20% off prices this year amid deepening concerns about fragile Chinese demand and the absence of output restraint. Prices settled down 3%, a seventh straight daily decline for oil.... 

Tumbling oil trades below $30/bl for first time in 12yrs

Big mining shares keep tumbling as China data ups anxiety

By: Martin Creamer Global mining stocks have lost $1.4-trillion since 2011, more than the combined value of Apple, Exxon Mobil and Alphabet Inc, according to Bloomberg Business, which reports that its world mining index has dropped to an 11-year low. The market capitalisation of diversified major Anglo American,... 

Big mining shares keep tumbling as China data ups anxiety
Mining's mess exemplified by this slimes dam disaster in Brazil.

Beach appoints new CEO

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Oil and gas major Beach Energy has appointed Matthew Kay as CEO, effective from July 17. Kay, which is currently the executive GM of strategy and commercial at ASX-listed Oil Search, would replace acting CEO Neil Gibbins. 

British Columbia unable to support Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion

By: Henry Lazenby The British Columbia provincial government has stressed that it cannot support Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion project based on information submitted to the National Energy Board (NEB) panel reviewing the project. The provincial government stated on Monday that, during the course of the... 

British Columbia unable to support Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion

Suncor ‘encouraged’ by amount of COS shares tendered, extends hostile bid

By: Henry Lazenby Canadian oil sands miner Suncor Energy has extended its hostile takeover bid for Canadian Oil Sands (COS) until January 27, encouraging COS shareholder interest in the acrimonious proposition. "We are encouraged by the number of shares that have been tendered," stated Suncor president and CEO... 

India ratchets up diplomatic push to secure Iranian gas assets

By: Ajoy K Das ndia has initiated a diplomatic push to ensure its toe-hold in the Farzad-B Iranian gas field and to avoid retendering for the Persian Gulf asset. The diplomatic initiative to back ONGC Videsh Limited’s bid to develop the estimated 12.8-trillion cubic foot Farzad-B gas reserve was launched last... 

First LNG cargo departs from APLNG

By: Esmarie Swanepoel The $24.7-billion Australia Pacific liquefied natural gas (APLNG) project, offshore Queensland, has shipped its first LNG product. The Methane Spirit departed Curtis Island, bound for customers in Asia, on the weekend. 

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