March's top stories: Iran-Pakistan begin pipeline production, UK tax breaks
The UK introduced tax incentives for fracking companies and local communities to promote the industry, Iran and Pakistan started construction of a gas pipeline between the two countries and a report revealed a 20-year high crude oil output for the US in 2012. Hydrocarbons-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from March 2013.
A rise in shale oil production boosted US crude oil output to a 20-year high in 2012, a report from the The Energy Information Administration (EIA) revealed last month.
EIA's new Petroleum Supply Monthly report showed that US crude oil production for November 2012 went up from 6.893 million bpd to 7.013 million bpd.
The report said this is the first time any US monthly oil output was above seven million bpd since December 1992, while crude oil production for December 2012 was even higher at 7.030 million bpd, posting a 16.7% rise from a year earlier.
Netherlands-based Shell and its affiliates announced plans to build two small-scale liquefaction units, which will supply liquefied natural gas (LNG) fuel to marine and heavy-duty on-road customers in North America.
The two units will allow the company to form LNG transport corridors in the Great Lakes and Gulf Coast regions.
Shell also announced it is planning to use natural gas as a fuel in its own operations.
UAE-based natural gas company Dana Gas commenced gas production on the West Sama-1 and Allium-1 fields in Egypt.
Dana Gas started production within two months of initial well testing.
The new fields were discovered in Egypt's Nile Delta Basin, during the company's 2012 multiwell drilling programme.
Iran and Pakistan last month officially inaugurated the construction phase of a gas pipeline project, which will bring Iran's gas reserves to Pakistan.
The ceremony was attended by Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari.
The project, which was conceived during the early 1990s, aims to deliver 750 million cubic feet of gas per day from Iran's South Pars field to the Pakistan-Iran border, via a 56in 1,150km pipeline. It is expected to be completed in 2015.
Netherlands-based energy consulting and testing and certification company DNV KEMA opened a new multiphase flow laboratory (MPFL) in Groningen, Netherlands.
The new laboratory will enable equipment manufacturers and oil and gas companies to test, validate and calibrate multiphase technologies, such as separators and flow meters, which will allow measurement and trading of gas.
The new facility will help to increase the accuracy of future multiphase flow meters and the efficiency of multiphase separators.
In March the UK Government introduced a series of new tax breaks in its 2013 budget, to encourage shale gas exploration in the country.
The measures were announced in the annual budget speech to parliament by UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.
The measures proposed by the Chancellor include new planning guidance, tax breaks for fracking companies and incentives for local communities, which are expected to relax public opposition to hydraulic fracturing or fracking.
Russia-based Rosneft paid $16.65bn to UK-based BP, as part of the sale and purchase agreement of TNK-BP, which was announced in October 2012.
The transaction will allow Rosneft to acquire 50% of BP's stake in TNK-BP.
As part of the deal, BP will receive $12.48bn in cash, which also includes TNK-BP dividend of $0.71bn and Rosneft's 18.5% shares.
The Albanian Parliament approved the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) signed between Albania, Italy and Greece, related to the construction and operation of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) project.
The agreement was signed in Athens, Greece, on 13 February 2013.
The IGA approval will help to finalise the Host Government Agreement (HGA), signed in Tirana between TAP's managing director Kjetil Tungland and Albania's Minister of Economy, Trade and Energy, Edmond Haxhinasto, on 18 January 2013.
In Mexico, Pemex's HQ was rocked by an explosion that killed 25 people, meanwhile Greece, Italy and Albania signed an agreement to support the Trans Adriatic Pipeline project and Gran Tierra Energy started production in Peru.
One of the worst terrorist attacks for decades hit In Amenas gas field in Algeria, killing at least 39 hostages, while Iran announced plans for an Iraq-Syria border pipeline.