August's top stories: Cuadrilla halts work, fracking divides UK public

David Cameron supports fracking, Siemens builds compressor trains in China and Rosneft finds an oil and gas field in Siberia. wraps up the key headlines from August 2013.

Top hydro news

Cuadrilla suspends work as UK anti-fracking protests intensify

anti-fracking protest

Hundreds of protesters have participated in an anti-fracking protest march against Cuadrilla's oil test drilling at Balcombe in West Sussex.

Cuadrilla stopped oil-drilling operations at the site in anticipation of the anti-fracking protests.

The company's spokesman told the Guardian newspaper: "We will resume full operations as soon as it is safe to do so."

David Cameron urges UK to accept benefits of fracking

UK Prime Minister David Cameron has said the country should accept the benefits of the controversial fracking method for extracting gas.

The prime minister told the Guardian that fracking will be accepted by the population when its benefits are properly explained.

Fracking allows for the recovery of gas and oil from shale rocks. It has transformed the energy market in the US, reducing costs for households and businesses.

TransCanada to expand North Montney Mainline project


TransCanada, through its wholly-owned subsidiary NOVA Gas Transmission (NGTL), has agreed for Progress Energy Canada to add gas transportation services for its major pipeline extension of the NTGL System, in British Columbia.

As part of the deal, Progress Energy Canada will transport around two billion cubic feet a day (Bcf/d) of natural gas.

The proposed North Montney Mainline along Aitken Creek and Kahta will be a large-diameter extension from the existing Groundbirch Mainline section of the NGTL system.

Siemens to build compressor trains for Chinese LNG plants

Siemens Energy has secured orders from Hangzhou Zhongtai Cryogenic Technology for compressor trains to produce synthetic natural gas for three liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants in China.

The deal is the company's fifth follow-up order from Hangzhou Zhongtai, which operates one of the plants.

The plants have a capacity to produce 500,000m³ of gas a day.

The Siemens compressor trains include a mixed refrigerant which cools the natural gas, a six-stage vertically-split compressor or barrel-type compressor and a Siemens constant speed electric motor.

ConocoPhillips agrees to divest Clyden oil sands asset in Alberta, Canada

Clyden oil sands asset in Alberta, Canada

US exploration and production company ConocoPhillips has agreed to sell its Clyden oil sands asset in Alberta, Canada, to Imperial Oil and ExxonMobil Canada for approximately $720m.

The company will divest around 226,000 net acres of undeveloped land located near the edge of the Athabasca oil sands and south of Fort McMurray.

Along with the latest deal, ConocoPhillips has added proceeds of approximately $13.5bn through the sale of nonstrategic assets as part of its 2012-13 asset disposition programme.

UK public opinion divided on fracking according to poll

An ICM survey commissioned by the Guardian newspaper has found that nearly 40% of UK residents would support hydraulic fracturing in their local area, while 40% said they would oppose it.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, involves the high-pressure injection of large amounts of water mixed with sand and chemicals into thick shale rocks to open up tiny fissures that release bubbles of natural gas.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron said earlier that the country should accept the benefits of the controversial fracking method of extracting gas. He said the process will not destroy the countryside and will involve only minor changes to the landscape.

Rosneft discovers new oil and gas field in East Siberia

Russian state oil firm Rosneft

Russian state oil firm Rosneft has discovered a new oil and gas field at the Mogdinsky license area in East Siberia's Irkutsk region.

The deposits are situated around 160km away from the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) gas pipeline.

Platts reported that a gas and condensate inflow of 425,000m³/day and a crude inflow of 90m³/day were obtained from exploration well ten.

Foster Wheeler wins contract for Vietnam petrochemical refinery complex

Swiss engineering and construction entity Foster Wheeler has secured a project management and consultancy services contract for the Nghi Son Refinery and Petrochemical (NSRP) complex in Vietnam.

The NSRP complex will include an integrated refinery for processing 200,000 barrels of Kuwait Export crude oil a day and a petrochemical complex with associated infrastructure, utilities and off-site facilities.

It will also have full conversion facilities with an integrated aromatics complex and facilities for polypropylene production.

The complex will be built in the Nghi Son economic zone of Thanh Hoa Province and is expected to start operations in 2017.

Mining link