July's top stories: Saudi Aramco's $300bn investment, HPCL’s $9.47bn expansion plan

Saudi Aramco revealed plans to invest more than $300bn over the next decade towards gas exploration, India’s HPCL planned to invest $9.47bn towards the expansion of refineries. Hydrocarbons-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from July.

Saudi Aramco planned to improve production with $300bn investment

Saudi Aramco planned to invest more than $300bn into its business operations over the next decade, in order to maintain its spare oil production capacity and undertake an exploration programme to increase the supply of gas.

The company is looking to ramp up its oil production and strengthen its standing in the sector through the investment.

It also intends to utilise the latest technology in order to meet its commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement.

India’s HPCL planned to invest $9.47bn towards expansion of refineries

Indian oil and natural gas company Hindustan Petroleum (HPCL) made plans to invest Rs610bn ($9.47bn) over the next four years in a bid to expand its refinery capacity and meet emission control norms.

In an investor presentation last month, the state-owned oil company has expressed its intent to add additional capabilities to both its Mumbai and Visakhapatnam refineries to produce fuel, which is compliant with Euro-VI emission norms.

In a statement, HPCL said: “Major planned investments in refinery, petroleum, oil and lubricants (POL) distribution and natural gas projects.”

China planned to expand pipeline network to 240,000km by 2025

China planned to expand its oil and natural gas pipeline network to around 240,000km by 2025, according to a report released by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The expansion plan is jointly released by NDRC and the National Energy Administration (NEA) and aimed at securing future energy supply needs and spurring investment in the sector.

According to Xinhua, which quoted the report, the plan will see the extension of natural gas pipeline network to 104,000km, while crude and refined oil will be stretched to 32,000km and 33,000km, respectively, by 2020.

NNPC and Halliburton partnered for oil discovery in Nigeria’s inland basins

The Nigerian National Petroleum (NNPC) signed an agreement with Halliburton to identify the specific location of crude oil deposits in the country’s inland sedimentary basins.

Through the partnership, NNPC intends to accelerate the oil exploration programme through the use of the Halliburton Neftex solution, which will enable the exactitude of oil during drilling campaign.

Expected to provide a geophysical mapping structure of Nigeria, the solution complements the NNPC research centre’s ongoing efforts to develop 'Turonian Cenomanian Cretaceous source rock' for all basins in the country.

Organised racket stole crude oil from Cairn India’s onshore field in Rajasthan

Indian police unravelled a smuggling case at Cairn India’s onshore oilfield in Barmer in the state of Rajasthan.

According to media reports, the smuggling racket pilfered more than 50 million litres of crude oil, using water tankers meant for collecting waste water at the oilfield.

It is reported that the criminal activity went unnoticed for around six years, and was unearthed after the police received complaints from the company.

Petronas terminated Pacific NorthWest LNG project in Canada

Petronas, in consultation with its partners, decided to terminate the C$36bn ($28bn) Pacific NorthWest LNG project at Port Edward in British Columbia (BC), Canada.

The company is attributing the decision to changing global gas market conditions, including falling prices.

Petronas upstream executive vice-president and CEO Anuar Taib said: “We are disappointed that the extremely challenging environment brought about by the prolonged depressed prices and shifts in the energy industry have led us to this decision.”

QEP Resources agreed to sell Pinedale Anticline assets in US for $740m

US-based QEP Resources’ subsidiary QEP Energy Company has signed an agreement to divest natural gas assets in south-west Wyoming for $740m.

Under the agreement, QEP will sell all of its assets in the Pinedale Anticline field in Sublette County, Wyoming, to Pinedale Energy Partners.

Together, the Pinedale assets comprise an estimated 964 billion cubic feet equivalent (bcfe) of proved reserves as of 31 December last year, with a net production of 234 million cubic feet equivalent a day (mmcfed) in the first quarter of this year.

Eni resumed operations at Val d'Agri Oil Centre in Italy

Multinational oil and gas company Eni resumed operations from Viggiano's Val d'Agri Oil Centre (COVA) in Italy after receiving approval from the Regional Council of the Basilicata Region.

According to the company, the resumption of operations follows the relevant authorities examining the functionality of the plant and the existence of requisite safety parameters.

In April, the oil centre was shut down after receiving orders from the local administration over reports of alleged leaks from storage tanks at the site.

GE completed acquisition of Baker Hughes for $7.4bn

US-based energy conglomerate General Electric (GE) completed the merger of its oil and gas business with Baker Hughes as part of a deal valued at $7.4bn.

The transaction will see GE assume 62.5% interest in the new entity known as ‘Baker Hughes, a GE company’ (BHGE), while the remaining 37.5% is set to be owned by Baker Hughes shareholders.

BHGE intends to bring together digital solutions and technology from the GE Store marketplace with Baker Hughes' domain knowledge in the oilfield services sector.

ConocoPhillips agreed to sell interests in Barnett shale field for $305m

Production and exploration company ConocoPhillips signed an agreement to sell its interests in the Barnett shale field in the US to an affiliate of Miller Thomson & Partners for $305m, as it continues to divest its non-core assets as part of a business consolidation initiative.

The deal follows the sale of ConocoPhillips’ 50% non-operated interest in the Foster Creek Christina Lake oil sands partnership, as well as the majority of its western Canada Deep Basin gas assets to Canada-based Cenovus Energy in May.

An agreement was also signed in April to sell the company’s interests in the San Juan Basin to an affiliate of Hilcorp Energy Company for a total of up to $3bn.