September's top stories: PG&E settle explosion case, Colorado floods cause spills

California utility Pacific Gas & Electric to pay $565m to settle 2010 San Bruno gas line explosion case, while flooding caused massive oil spills in rivers of Colorado. Russian oil company Rosneft signed a $1.8bn agreement to acquire 40% interest in Arctic Russia from Italy's largest power company Enel. Hydrocarbons-technology.com wraps up key headlines from September 2013.


Explosion

Rosneft to buy Enel stake in Arctic Russia for $1.8bn

Russia

Russian state-controlled oil company Rosneft has signed a $1.8bn agreement to acquire a 40% interest in Arctic Russia from Italy's largest power company Enel.

Rosneft's subsidiary NGK Itera will acquire the stake, which provides the company with indirect ownership of a 19.6% stake in SeverEnergia.

SeverEnergia is a joint venture (JV) of Yamal Development and Arctic Russia, which holds gas producing assets in Yamal-Nenets, an autonomous region of Russia.

Floods cause massive oil spills in Colorado, US

Massive oil spills amounting to around 22,000 gallons have so far been surveyed by state regulators in the river waters of Colorado as a result of heavy floods that hit the state last week.

Five spills have been classified as notable and two more have been confirmed in an area, which belongs to Anadarko and Bayswater Exploration and Production.

Floods have hit around 20,500 operating wells in Weld County, 300 in Boulder County, 250 in Larimer County and 100 in Broomfield County, according to officials. Out of 51,000 wells operating in Colorado, around 1,900 have been shut due to bad weather conditions.

Nearly 600 personnel have already been deployed to inspect and repair the damaged well sites. Some oil and gas sites, which are still in deep floodwater, are yet to be inspected by regulators.

PG&E to pay $565m to settle San Bruno pipeline explosion case

California utility Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E)

California utility Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) will pay $565m in legal settlements and other claims for the 2010 San Bruno gas line explosion, which killed eight people, injured dozens and destroyed 38 homes.

The blast took place in September 2010 when a 54-year-old pipeline exploded underneath the San Francisco suburb.

The settlement value is the outcome of lawsuits that have been filed by blast victims. The company has settled all but two claims.

Following the explosion and subsequent investigations, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said that a "litany of failures" had contributed to the blast.

Shell and Baker Hughes collaborate for reservoir modelling platform

Royal Dutch Shell and oil field services supplier Baker Hughes will jointly produce a high-end platform for geological and reservoir modelling.

The new platform will offer enhanced evaluation and visualisation capabilities for Shell geoscience and petroleum engineering experts to plan and manage the extraction of oil and gas resources.

It will complement Shell's existing applications and software used to visualise and interpret seismic data.

The system, which is based on the Baker Hughes JewelEarth software platform, will be optimised for resource modelling and production in tight / shale gas and liquids-rich shale reservoirs.

Rolls-Royce wins $175m Kazakhstan gas pipeline contract

UK-based power systems provider Rolls-Royce

UK-based power systems provider Rolls-Royce has won a $175m contract from Asia Gas Pipeline (AGP) to supply equipment and related services to power the flow of natural gas through the Line C gas pipeline in Kazakhstan.

The pipeline is a part of the vast 1,833km long Central Asia-China Gas Pipeline network.

AGP, a joint venture between KazMunaiGaz and CNPC, will receive 12 RB211 gas-turbine-driven pipeline compressor units from Rolls-Royce. The units will operate at four compressor stations along the 1,115km Line C Pipeline.

Hoover Energy expands crude oil gathering business in Delaware basin

Hoover Energy Partners has announced the execution of three new substantial crude oil gathering agreements in the southern Delaware basin, with its affiliate Hoover Energy Texas.

Pecos Crossing, Hoover Texas's existing crude oil pipeline system in the Delaware basin, currently consists of 25 miles of 12in steel mainline, 12 miles of low pressure gathering pipeline and central delivery facilities that serve a large producer-owned gathering system.

Hoover has new long-term commitments with dedications totalling 70,000 gross acres.

Japex and Petronas start production at Garraf oil field, Iraq

Japan Petroleum Exploration (Japex)

Japan Petroleum Exploration (Japex) has announced the commencement of oil production at the Garraf oil field located in Thi Qar Province, Iraq.

The field is being operated by Malaysian national oil company Petronas. Also involved is state partner North Oil.

The partnership achieved a first commercial production of around 35,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd) in 90 days, and plans to increase this to 230,000 bopd by 2017.

The companies acquired rights to the oil field under Iraq's second petroleum licensing round in December 2009.

Laclede Gas acquires Missouri Gas Energy assets for $975m

US-based Laclede Gas has completed its previously announced acquisition of the assets of Missouri Gas Energy from Energy Transfer Partners.

The acquisition is in line with Laclede's strategy for achieving growth through leveraging its natural gas industry expertise. It adds more than 500,000 customers in western Missouri, increasing its total customers to more than 1.1 million. It also adds 550 employees in Kansas City.

The sale of Missouri Gas Energy is part of Energy Transfer Partners' plan to streamline and integrate by selling off non-core assets. It will use proceeds from the sale to pay off debt, including borrowings under its revolving credit facility.

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