August's top stories: explosion shuts Iraq pipeline as Kuwait revives oil project

While an explosion in Turkey prompted the closure of an Iraqi pipeline, Shell took over Chevron’s stake in the Browse LNG project. wraps up the key headlines from August 2012.

CNOOC to invest $1.56bn in coal bed methane exploration in China

China National Offshore Oil Corporation signed a contract with China United Coalbed Methane Corporation to invest $1.56bn in coal bed methane exploration in the country.

The 30-year agreement will see the two companies explore, develop and produce methane gas over a 10,866m² area covering Shanxi, Shaanxi, Anhui, Shandong, Yunnan, Ningxia, Hebei, Hubei and Henan provinces over the next five years.

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners to acquire two natural gas pipelines for $6.22bn

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (KMP) said it will acquire the Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) and a 50% stake in the El Paso Natural Gas (EPNG) pipeline from Kinder Morgan for $6.22bn.

The acquisition will see Kinder take over an estimated $1.8bn in assumed debt at TGP and $560m proportional debt at EPNG.

Explosion shuts Iraqi oil pipeline

Kirkuk-Ceyhan pipeline

A pipeline carrying oil from Iraq to world markets was shut by authorities due to an explosion in Turkey.

Turkey's pipeline company, BOTAS, said the explosion occurred late on 5 August 2012 near the south-eastern town of Midyat, and damaged the pipeline running from Kirkuk, in northern Iraq, to the Turkish Mediterranean port at Ceyhan.

Local media reports cited Kurdish rebels as the cause of the blast.

AMEC wins remediation contract in Kuwait

AMEC received a contract from Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) to provide remediation services for an oil field in Kuwait.

Under the contract, the company will provide project management consultancy services for the remediation of KOC's oilfield properties, which were damaged during the 1990-1991 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

The remediation contract has been funded by the United Nations Compensation Committee (UNCC), with KOC acting as the managing agent and contracting entity.

Shell to acquire Chevron's stake in Australian Browse LNG project

Browse project

Shell Development has entered into a binding agreement with Chevron to acquire a stake in the Browse LNG project at James Price Point in Western Australia.

The agreement entitles Shell to acquire Chevron's 16.7% interest in East Browse titles and a 20% interest in West Browse titles, in exchange for its 33.3% interest in the Clio-Acme titles.

Shell will pay $450m for a 35% interest in West Browse titles and a 25% interest in East Browse titles.

Venezuela's Amuay plant still burning, fire kills 39

Amuay fire

A deadly fire which broke out at Amuay refinery, west of Caracas, Venezuela, continued to spread and on August 27 the death toll rose to 39.

The blaze was caused by a gas explosion two days earlier and the plant was shut.

Venezuela President Hugo Chavez has ordered an investigation into the causes of the blast and declared three days of mourning.

Cosmo Oil to close refinery in Japan

Japan map

Cosmo Oil unveiled plans to shut down its refinery in Kagawa Prefecture, Japan, in July 2013.

Shrinking oil demand in the country was cited as the reason for the closure of the refinery, currently capable of handling 140,000 barrels of crude oil a day.

Closure is expected to reduce the company's total refining capacity by about 20% to 500,000 barrels and is estimated to cut costs by about JPY10bn ($127.4m) annually.