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Despite low energy prices, Consol Energy expects to grow E&P output 30% in 2015/16

By: Henry Lazenby Despite oil prices having tested multi-year lows in recent months that saw many producers scrambling to cut costs in efforts to survive, US oil, gas and coal producer Consol Energy on Friday confirmed that it expected to continue expanding its exploration and production (E&P) division by 30% this... 

Incoming Mozambique President reorganises government

By: Keith Campbell In his first action in office, Mozambique’s recently inaugurated President, Filipe Nyusi, has restructured the country’s government. Among other changes, the Ministries of Mineral Resources and of Energy have been merged to create a new Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources. Similarly, the... 

Lower oil price sees Beach defer projects

By: Esmarie Swanepoel ASX-listed Beach Energy on Thursday announced that it would reduce its capital expenditure (capex) during the second half of the 2015 financial year by around 20%, or by about A$55-million. The company told shareholders that it had undertaken a detailed review of its capex programme as a result... 

NSW faces gas price shock, not a gas shortage – researcher

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Research conducted by the University of Melbourne, on behalf of The Australia Institute (TAI), has stated that gas demand in New South Wales could halve within the next decade, countermanding warnings from the industry that a gas shortage was imminent. The Australian Petroleum Producers and... 

Victoria maintains CSG ban while Parliamentary enquiry runs

By: Esmarie Swanepoel The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (Appea) on Wednesday railed against the Victorian state government’s decision to maintain a moratorium on coal seam gas (CSG) exploration in the state, until a Parliamentary inquiry into the matter was concluded. In May last year,... 

AGL suspends CSG project after chemical find at fracking site

By: Esmarie Swanepoel ASX-listed AGL Energy has suspended pilot production testing at its Waukivory coal seam gas (CSG) pilot project, in New South Wales, after benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes (BTEX) were detected in flow-back water from two of the four wells, and from an above-ground water storage tank.... 

Freeport-McMoRan posts significant loss on oil, gas write-downs

By: Henry Lazenby Arizona-based copper, gold and oil producer Freeport-McMoRan reported a significant fourth-quarter net loss on Tuesday as it booked impairment charges of $3.1-billion, or $3 a share, on the carrying values of its oil and gas properties. The diversified miner said it was taking aggressive actions... 

Amid oil price turmoil, Saldanha zone’s ‘free port’ status punted as key drawcard 

By: Terence Creamer The establishment of a customs control area (CCA), or free port, within the newly designated Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone (SBIDZ) is being held up as a major drawcard for potential oil and gas services investors into the 330 ha site, situated alongside South Africa’s deepest natural... 

 Amid oil price turmoil, Saldanha zone’s ‘free port’ status punted as key drawcard
Port of Saldanha

All eyes on Saudi Arabia as ups and downs of oil price plunge considered

By: Simon Rees The end months of 2014 were grim ones for major oil-producing states everywhere, especially those in the Middle East. As the region continued grappling with the aftershocks of the Arab Spring and the threat of the Islamic State, they also watched the price of oil swoon. All eyes have turned to... 

All eyes on Saudi Arabia as ups and downs of oil price plunge considered

Oil up after Saudi king dies; policy pledges calm market

By: Reuters Brent crude oil rose on Friday after the death of Saudi Arabia's king added to uncertainty in oil markets, although the new ruler indicated immediately there would be no policy change. Brent crude rose to a high of $49.80/bbl, up $1.28/bbl, before easing to around $49.20/bbl by 15:15 GMT. US... 

Oil up after Saudi king dies; policy pledges calm market

Santos posts bumper results, revenue tops $4bn despite oil slide

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Oil and gas major Santos has reported record sales in the fourth quarter and the full year, on the back of a ramp-up in production from the Papua New Guinea liquefied natural gas (PNG LNG) project and higher production from the Cooper basin. “Notwithstanding the fall in oil prices, Santos has... 

Santos posts bumper results, revenue tops $4bn despite oil slide

Investors urged to be cautious about SA resource equities

By: Zandile Mavuso Financial services company Old Mutual Investment Group senior portfolio manager John Orford warns that owing to commodity prices, which are unlikely to recover strongly in 2015 as a result of the extent of the supply-side response in oil and iron-ore, as well as the underlying slowing of China’s... 

Senex Energy slashes capex to protect margins

By: Esmarie Swanepoel ASX-listed Senex Energy would cut its 2015 capital spend by some 20%, the oil producer said this week, as a move to protect margins in the current oil price environment. Senex revealed that capital expenditure (capex) for the 2015 financial year would be reduced from the initially planned... 

Halcón Resources pins hopes on prolific North Dakota oil acreage

By: Reuters Low oil prices and a mushrooming debt load are hampering plans by Halcón Resources CE Floyd Wilson to sell the oil producer, with analysts saying the company's 131 000 acres in North Dakota's Bakken shale formation remains its only growth option. The dilemma highlights how low oil prices are... 

Investors to blame for supporting dithering juniors

By: Henry Lazenby In the aftermath of several key mining-related indexes having dropped significantly since 2011, the mining industry as a whole, and particularly the junior explorers and project generators, have had to “reset” and undergo a paradigm shift from being project promoters to true value creators. This... 

TSX jumps nearly 2% as oil, metals strengthen

By: Reuters Canada's main stock index rose nearly 2% on Friday as shares of oil and mining companies soared on the back of rebounding commodity prices. Oil prices, under pressure since June due to concerns about oversupply, strengthened after the International Energy Agency said that it expects "the tide... 

TSX jumps nearly 2% as oil, metals strengthen

MPRDA sent back to National Assembly

By: Megan van Wyngaardt President Jacob Zuma has referred the Mineral And Petroleum Resources Development Act (MPRDA) Amendment Bill back to The National Assembly on Friday. The President was of the view that the Bill, which was passed by Parliament last year and referred to Zuma for assent and signing into law, would... 

MPRDA sent back to National Assembly
Photo by Duane Daws
President Jacob Zuma

Nigeria’s gas sector undergoes structural change

By: David D‘ Oliveira Nigeria’s oil and gas industry is going through significant structural change, owing to production levels not exceeding 2.5-million barrels a day of oil in the past ten years, says strategy and communications consultancy africapractice. Production levels have, in fact, often dipped below... 

Nigeria’s gas  sector undergoes structural change
HARD AT WORK The balance of ownership is changing with the significant empowerment of local operators

Freeport-McMoRan in $137.5m settlement over acquisitions

By: Reuters Freeport-McMoRan on Thursday agreed to pay $137.5-million to resolve a lawsuit claiming that executives and directors had conflicts of interest that caused the natural resources company to overpay significantly for two oil and gas companies in 2013. The accord resolves shareholder derivative... 

Woodside hits $7bn sales revenue record, reviews 2015 spending

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Australian oil and gas major Woodside has reported record 2014 production and sales, but warned on Thursday that it would be cutting expenditures in 2015 in light of weaker commodity prices. During 2014, Woodside produced a record 95.1-million barrels of oil equivalent, a 9.3% increase on the... 

Woodside hits $7bn sales revenue record, reviews 2015 spending

ACCC calls for submissions on Woodside/Apache deal

By: Esmarie Swanepoel The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has launched an investigation into the proposed $2.75-billion transaction between ASX-listed Woodside and Apache Corporation. In December, Woodside announced that it would acquire Apache’s share in the Wheatstone liquefied natural gas... 

Canadian oil firms rein in spending as oil price craters

By: Henry Lazenby Companies focused on Canada’s oil patch in Alberta are facing tough times ahead should the cratering oil price remain below forecasts for a prolonged time. The latest firm to prune back investment spending in its 2015 budget was Canada’s largest oil and gas company Suncor Energy, which lopped... 

Canadian oil firms rein in spending as oil price craters

Bank flags metal price weakness as key risk to Africa’s 2015 outlook

By: Terence Creamer A further decline in the already depressed price of metals – particularly iron-ore, gold and copper – would severely affect a large number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa, the World Bank’s latest Global Economic Prospects (GEP) report warns. The authors still expect the global economy to grow... 

Bank flags metal price weakness as key risk to Africa’s 2015 outlook

Massive revenue growth forecast for Australian CSG industry

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Revenue from the coal seam gas (CSG) industry in Australia has been flagged to grow about 148% during 2015, industry researcher IBISWorld reported this week. In 2014, the CSG industry accounted for revenues of A$737.9-million; however, IBISWorld predicted that this would grow to some... 

Massive revenue growth forecast for Australian CSG industry

Woodside and Adani hunt for LNG opportunities

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Australian oil and gas major Woodside Petroleum has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Indian multinational conglomerate Adani to hunt for and develop potential liquefied natural gas (LNG) assets. Under the terms of the non-binding MoU, Woodside and Adani agreed to cooperate in... 

Keystone clears hurdles, stage set for Washington showdown

By: Reuters The Keystone XL oil pipeline cleared two hurdles on Friday, setting up a showdown between Congress and President Barack Obama who has raised new questions about the project after more than six years of review. Following months of deliberation, the Nebraska Supreme Court allowed a route for the... 

Keystone clears hurdles, stage set for Washington showdown

Appea laments NSW opposition leader’s comments on coal seam gas

By: Esmarie Swanepoel The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (Appea) on Thursday lamented statements made by newly appointed New South Wales opposition leader Luke Foley, when he called for a moratorium on coal seam gas (CSG) in the state. In comments made to the ABC, Foley, who replaced John... 

Appea laments NSW opposition leader’s comments on coal seam gas

Buru’s Yulleroo gas well not posing any danger – DMP

By: Esmarie Swanepoel ASX-listed Buru Energy has welcomed statements by the Western Australian Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) which confirmed that the company’s defunct Yulleroo wells were not leaking any gas. DMP officials inspected the site following claims by protestors that one of the wells was leaking a... 

Despite oil doldrums, 2014 saw increased upstream M&A activity

By: Henry Lazenby Despite a late-year plunge in crude oil prices, robust merger and acquisition activity (M&A) in the first ten months fuelled an increase in the total transaction value for global upstream oil and gas M&A deals in 2014, which rose 23% to $173-billion, according to analysis from information and... 

Despite oil doldrums, 2014 saw increased upstream M&A activity

Oil price plunges to lowest in 5 yrs, but not all gloom for Canada economy

By: Henry Lazenby As prices for Western Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil on Monday fell below the $50/bl level for the first time since April 2009, a report published by one of Canada’s ‘big five’ banks argued that while the low prices would impact negatively on the country’s economy, offsetting positive outcomes... 

Oil price plunges to lowest in 5 yrs, but not all gloom for Canada economy

Giyani agreement cut short

By: Megan van Wyngaardt Southern Africa-focused explorer Giyani Gold has announced that its binding letter of intent (LoI) with Horizon Enerji and Sumo Coal has expired, bringing an end to the triple-listed company’s plans to diversify into the oil services and coal sectors. 

Giyani agreement cut short
Photo by Duane Daws
DUANE PARNHAM
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