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Santos volumes rise, but oil price dents revenue

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Australian oil and gas major Santos has reported an increase in production and sales volumes during the first quarter of 2015, but lower oil prices have led to a decline in sales revenue. Santos on Friday announced that production had increased by 15% year-on-year to 14-million barrels of oil... 

Woodside revenues decline as production falls

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Australian oil and gas major Woodside has seen a 20% decline in sales revenue during the quarter ended March, compared with the previous quarter, as production declined by 6.8%. Woodside told shareholders on Wednesday that production volumes during the quarter were affected by lower liquefied... 

Australia’s gas strategy backs unconventional resources

By: Esmarie Swanepoel The federal government on Tuesday threw its support behind the development of Australia’s unconventional gas resources, with Industry and Science Minister Ian Macfarlane releasing the Domestic Gas Strategy. Macfarlane noted that the strategy would provide the framework to develop unconventional... 

South32 turns bearish as tax inquiry, iron-ore put ‘sell’ skids under BHP

By: Martin Creamer With the shareholder vote just over three weeks away, the planned spin-off of South32 from BHP Billiton has turned bearish and BHP Billiton has itself fallen victim to an unprecedented number of analyst sell recommendations owing to the plummeting iron-ore price, worsened by the reputational... 

South32 turns bearish as tax inquiry, iron-ore put ‘sell’ skids under BHP
Photo by Duane Daws
The BHP Billiton building in central Johannesburg

Fall in oil, commodity prices to exact toll on Africa’s 2015 growth 

By: Terence Creamer A new World Bank report is forecasting that sub-Saharan Africa’s growth will slow to 4% in 2015 from 4.5% in 2014, owing to the weak commodity prices and the sharp fall in oil prices, which will exact a heavy toll on African oil exporters. Excluding South Africa, whose economic performance is... 

Fall in oil, commodity prices to exact toll on Africa’s 2015 growth

Appea calls for gas investment to alleviate pricing pressures

By: Esmarie Swanepoel The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (Appea) said on Monday that the Australian Energy Market Operator’s ‘2015 Gas Statement of Opportunities (GSOO)’ report highlighted the need for more investment in gas projects. The GSOO report, which was published on Monday,... 

Woodside completes Kitimat buy

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Australian oil and gas major Woodside has closed the second part of its $2.75-billion transaction with Apache Corporation, announcing on Friday that the Kitimat liquefied natural gas (LNG) component had now been closed. Earlier this month, Woodside closed the Wheatstone and Balnaves project... 

Iron-ore in fresh crisis as forward prices crumble

By: Reuters Iron-ore is veering to a new crisis as prices for future delivery of the commodity slide 30% in the space of a month, and its outlook is now more bearish than oil and more dire than ever for miners struggling to just stay in business. Prices of the steel-making ingredient for immediate delivery... 

Shell to gain major Australian LNG asset in BG takeover

By: Esmarie Swanepoel The $70-billion takeover of global liquefied natural gas (LNG) producer BG Group would enhance Royal Dutch Shell’s position in new oil and gas projects, particularly in the Australian LNG market. Through the transaction, announced on Wednesday, Shell would gain control of BG Group’s Queensland... 

Apache exits Australia with $2.1bn asset sale

By: Esmarie Swanepoel International oil major Apache Corporation has taken the decision to divest of its Australian subsidiary Apache Energy in a deal valued at $2.1-billion. The transaction with a consortium of private equity funds signaled the exit of Apache from its Australian exploration and production business,... 

Apache exits Australia with $2.1bn asset sale

75% of Alcoa's Australian gas supply needs secured

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Aluminium producer Alcoa has secured 12 years of gas supply for its Australian operations, ASX-listed Alumina reported on Thursday. Alumina, which holds a 40% interest in the alumina alliance Alcoa World Alumina and Chemicals (AWAC), said the latest agreement meant that nearly 75% of the AWAC... 

Australia sets energy policy direction with White Paper

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Federal Minister of Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane announced on Wednesday that the government would work to address challenges in the gas market arising from the domestic market linking with international markets. In launching the Energy White Paper, Macfarlane noted that work in this area... 

Australia sets energy policy direction with White Paper
Photo by Appea
Minister Ian Macfarlane

Mozambique should be careful when granting minerals licences as sector grows strongly

By: Keith Campbell The minerals extraction sector of the Mozambican economy grew by 14.9% in the fourth quarter of last year, in comparison to the fourth quarter of 2013. This was recently reported by the country’s National Institute of Statistics. The economy as a whole grew by 7%.  

Tough Alberta budget to keep province’s oil patch competitive – CAPP

By: Henry Lazenby The Alberta government's 2015/16 budget tabled last week would help keep the province's oil and gas industry competitive in a turbulent global market, supporting jobs and investment at a challenging time, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) said on Thursday. The oil price... 

Threatened beluga whales prompt TransCanada to delay Energy East pipeline plans

By: Henry Lazenby Canada’s number-two pipeline operator TransCanada Corp has cancelled plans to build a marine terminal and oil tank farm at Cacouna, in Quebec, owing to strong local opposition in favour of protecting the St Lawrence Estuary habitat of a population of threatened beluga whales. The result would be... 

Threatened beluga whales prompt TransCanada to delay Energy East pipeline plans

Woodside closes Wheatstone deal

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Australian oil and gas major Woodside’s multibillion dollar transaction with Apache Corporation, to acquire that company’s interest in the Wheatstone liquefied natural gas (LNG) and Balnaves oil interests, as well as the Kitimat LNG project, closed on Thursday. The Wheatstone and Balnaves... 

Corruption scandal keeps growing for Brazilian oil giant Petrobras

By: Simon Rees Putting the ‘B’ in BRICS, the group of five major emerging national economies of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, it seemed as if Brazil was finally fulfilling its destiny to become South America’s global powerhouse in the latter half of the 2000s. As an added fillip, vast offshore... 

Corruption scandal keeps growing for Brazilian oil giant Petrobras

Productivity Commission cautions against gas reservation policies

By: Esmarie Swanepoel The Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association (Appea) has called for the withdrawal of market interventions such as domestic gas reservation policies, after the Productivity Commission released a report stating that such measures were unlikely to be effective or efficient in the... 

Productivity Commission cautions against gas reservation policies

Scotiabank’s commodity price index rallies in February as oil and gas rebound somewhat

By: Henry Lazenby The Bank of Nova Scotia’s ‘commodity price index’ rallied by 2.4% month-over-month in February, after falling in January to the lowest level since early 2007. The third-largest Canadian bank said on Tuesday that its ‘oil and gas index’ rebounded in February, with Alberta light- and heavy-crude... 

Scotiabank’s commodity price index rallies in February as oil and gas rebound somewhat

Brazil's Petrobras will not sell distribution arm – board member

By: Reuters Petrobras, Brazil's state-run oil company, will not sell its fuel distribution arm as part of its ongoing asset sale plan, company board member Silvio Sinedino said on Tuesday. In a live speech broadcast on Youtube, Sinedino said Aldemir Bendine, CEO of the company, officially Petroleo... 

Camac concludes Oyo-8 completion operations

By: Natasha Odendaal JSE-listed Camac Energy is about two weeks away from its first oil output from the now completed Oyo-8 well in the oil and gas explorer’s prospective Oyo offshore oil- and gasfield, off the coast of Nigeria. Camac on Tuesday announced that it had completed the operations at the well and was ready... 

Camac concludes Oyo-8 completion operations

Azonto weighing corporate options

By: Esmarie Swanepoel West Africa-focused oil and gas hopeful Azonto Petroleum told shareholders on Tuesday that the company was weighing a number of strategic options to manage cost and preserve shareholder value, including an asset sale or a possible merger. Azonto holds a 35% interest in Vioco Petroleum, which in... 

Chevron’s Caltex exit has no impact on Australian LNG projects

By: Esmarie Swanepoel US major Chevron has reiterated that its decision to exit the Australian refining industry would have no impact on its focus to deliver big liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in Western Australia. Chevron, which sold its 50% stake in refiner Caltex Australia for A$4.7-billion on Friday, stated... 

Fisherman's Landing permits extended - LNG

By: Esmarie Swanepoel ASX-listed Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) has been given some leeway to secure other gas sources for its proposed Fisherman’s Landing LNG project, in Gladstone. The company reported on Monday that it had extended the site agreement for lease with the Gladstone Ports Corporation until the end of... 

Pura Vida to press play in Morocco

By: Esmarie Swanepoel SX-listed junior Pura Vida Energy was gearing up to spud its first well at Mazagan permit, offshore Morocco, by April, with the company also advancing negotiations with potential farm-in partners over its offshore Gabon assets. At the start of 2013, Pura Vida inked a farm-in agreement with US... 

Brazil gov't names Vale CEO Ferreira to head Petrobras board 

By: Reuters Brazil's government has selected Murilo Ferreira, the CEO of miner Vale, to head the board of embattled state-run Petroleo Brasileiro, according to a filing from the oil company on Friday. The other nominations for the board responsible for steering Petrobras through a massive corruption probe... 

Brazil gov't names Vale CEO Ferreira to head Petrobras board
Photo by Bloomberg
Vale CEO Murilo Ferreira

Empire raises cash to fund growth plans

By: Esmarie Swanepoel ASX-listed Empire Oil and Gas on Thursday announced that it would raise A$15.7-million in a share placement and rights offer as part of its growth strategy. The explorer noted that the raising would comprise of a A$5.5-million share placement to sophisticated and institutional investors, priced... 

Do not hide from debate, NSW Minister tells oil and gas players

By: Esmarie Swanepoel New South Wales Energy Minister Anthony Roberts has called on oil and gas players in the state to have greater involvement in swaying public opinion on favour of the industry. “Do not hide from the debate,” Roberts said at the Domestic Gas Outlook conference, in Sydney this week. 

WA oil and gas job losses loom, Woodside confirms cuts

By: Esmarie Swanepoel Australian oil and gas major Woodside on Wednesday confirmed that it would cut about 300 staff from its payroll, while reports emerged that US major Chevron was mulling the halving of its 4 000-strong Western Australian workforce. Reports suggested that Chevron had informed its staff to prepare... 

Sherritt International appoints ArcelorMittal Canada exec as COO

By: Henry Lazenby TSX-listed Sherritt International Corp has named ArcelorMittal Mining Canada president and CEO Steve Wood as its new COO effective from April 27. Wood would oversee all Sherritt's operations in Canada, Cuba and Madagascar, including the environmental, health and safety, sustainability,... 

Oil price decline shakes up North American growth prospects

By: Henry Lazenby The continued slide in crude oil prices will weigh on Canadian economic growth over the next few years, despite being offset by ultralow interest rates, a weaker Canadian dollar, resilient growth in the key US export market and energy cost savings for consumers, economists at Toronto-Dominion... 

Oil price decline shakes up North American growth prospects
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