July's top stories: Petronas-led LNG project to start this year, Shell to cut 6,500 jobs

Construction of the $36bn liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal project in Canada is expected to start in September, US Department of Energy (DoE) has granted authorisation to Bear Head LNG to export gas to Canada as well as export of Canadian gas to free trade agreement countries while Royal Dutch Shell will be reducing its employee count by 6,500 this year. Hydrocarbons Technology wraps up the key headlines from July 2015.


Bear Head LNG

Shell to cut down 6,500 jobs this year, divest up to $30bn assets by 2018

Shell

Netherlands based Royal Dutch Shell will be reducing its employee count by 6,500 this year, and speed up its spending cuts to cope with the falling oil prices.

The extended period of reduced oil prices has pushed down the energy group's profit in the second quarter by 37%.

Shell, which is presently awaiting regulatory approvals for the $70bn acquisition of BG group, also intends to increase its asset disposals to $50bn between 2014 and 2018.

 

Construction of Petronas-led LNG project in Canada to start in September

Construction of the $36bn liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal project in Canada is expected to start in September, British Columbia (BC) Finance Minister Michael de Jong has announced.

de Jong was quoted by The Malaysian Insider as saying: "The construction will begin soon this fall. All other prerequisites have been dealt with.

"We are optimistic that in the very near future it will be concluded."

"Our central government environmental certificate is the remaining piece of this and we are working through that exercise. We are optimistic that in the very near future it will be concluded."

Oman to construct 1021MW solar thermal facility to explore oil

Miraah

Oman's largest oil and gas producer Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) has announced plans to construct a 1021MW solar thermal plant Miraah to explore oil at Amal oilfield in southern parts of the country.

GlassPoint Solar has been appointed as the developer for the facility which will utilise rays from the sun to generate steam. The steam will be used in thermal enhanced oil recovery (EOR) to extract heavy and viscous oil from the site.

On an average, the project will be able to generate 6,000 tons of steam every day for oil production.

GE and Statoil select five winning technologies as alternative to sand in shale development

Sand alternative

US-based technology giant General Electric (GE) and Norwegian oil and gas firm Statoil have announced winners from an open innovation challenge.

The challenge was to suggest alternatives to sand in shale development.

Bioastra Technologies, Biopolynet, Hoowaki, Semplastics and the University of North Dakota Energy and Environmental Research Center are the five selected winners in the competition.

US DOE allows Bear Head LNG to export gas to Canada

Bear Head LNG

US Department of Energy (DoE) has granted authorisation to Bear Head LNG to export gas to Canada as well as export of Canadian gas to free trade agreement countries.

The approval allows annual exports of up to 440 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of US natural gas from the project to Canada, and up to eight mtpa of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Canada to the free trade agreement (FTA) nations.

Bear Head LNG had received federal approval in May 2015 to build an export terminal on the Strait of Canso in Nova Scotia.

Australian Pacific LNG moves closer to start up of $18bn Curtis Island LNG project in Queensland

 

Australian Pacific LNG has started loading refrigerants to its A$24.7bn ($18bn) Curtis Island LNG facility located near Gladstone in Queensland, as it prepares for start up of the project.

The facility will be loaded with two refrigerants, propane and ethylene, in the following weeks. The refrigerants will be used to cool the natural gas into liquid form at the facility.

Curtis Island LNG utilises Optimized Cascade process for the liquefaction. The technology is exclusively owned by US company ConocoPhillips.

Kuwait awards $11.5bn contract for developing al-Zour oil refinery

Kuwait has awarded contracts totalling KWD3.48bn ($11.5bn) for construction of the al-Zour oil refinery in the country.

The deals have been awarded by the state-owned Kuwait National Petroleum to consortiums including Tecnicas Reunidas and Daewoo Engineering & Construction and China Sinopec.

The refinery is expected to have a daily capacity for 615,000 barrels of oil, which can be raised up to 700,000 to 800,000 barrels in the future.

Once operational, it can be one of the largest in the Midde East, reports Kuwait's national news agency Kuna.

Spain's Tecnicas Reunidas, China-based Sinopec and South Korean Hanwha Engineering and Construction are parts of the first consortium, which is responsible for building the main process units of the refinery under a contract valued at KWD1.28bn ($4.2bn).

Pertamina plans $25bn investment for upgrading Indonesian oil refineries

Indonesian oil and natural gas firm Pertamina intends to invest $25bn to upgrade four main oil refineries in the country.

The upgrades are being planned to provide for the rising crude oil demands and are located in Cilacap, Central Java; Balikpapan, East Kalimantan; Balongan, West Java; and Dumai, Riau, reports Jakarta Post citing Tempo.co.

Pertamina processing director Rachmad Hardadi was cited by the Indonesian news portal as saying that the developments will continue till 2021.

Marathon Petroleum to expand midstream assets portfolio with $15.8bn MarkWest acquisition

US based Marathon Petroleum (MPC) will acquire natural gas processing assets with a $15.8bn acquisition of MarkWest Energy Partners.

The purchase, to be done in stock and cash, will lead to the fourth-largest master limited partnership, and the combined company will have a market capitalisation of $21bn.

Marathon Petroleum will conduct the acquisition through its pipeline unit MPLX.

Marathon Petroleum president and chief executive officer Gary R. Heminger said: "This combination is a significant step in executing MPC's strategy to grow its higher-valued, stable cash flow midstream business, by transforming MPLX into a large-cap, diversified master limited partnership.

Petrofac wins contract build crude oil trunkline project in Kuwait

UK based oil and gas service provider Petrofac has won a $780m engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract from Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) for developing a manifold group trunkline (MGT) system.

To be set up in the northern parts of the country, the trunkline is an important part of KOC's growth strategy for crude production over the following five years.

Petrofac is expected to complete construction of the line within 2017.