June's top stories: Gazprom to build gas pipeline, Cenovus Energy's divestment plan

Gazprom revealed plans to complete construction of more than 1,100km of the Power of Siberia gas pipeline by the end of the year, and Cenovus Energy declared a plan targeting around $5bn in asset sale agreements by year end. Hydrocarbons-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from June.

Gazprom to construct 1,100km of Power of Siberia gas pipeline by year end

Russian firm Gazprom revealed plans to complete the construction of more than 1,100km of the Power of Siberia gas pipeline by the end of the year.

The plans were revealed at the company’s press conference, which focused on Russian gas supplies to China via the eastern route.

The company noted that the trunkline's construction project is ahead of schedule. Roughly 445km of the pipeline’s linear part was built by the start of the current year, while around 774km was ready as of this month.

Cenovus Energy targets around $5bn in asset sale agreements by year end

Cenovus Energy unveiled plans to proceed with its divestiture plan to raise between $4bn and $5bn through asset sale agreements by the end of the year.

The company also intends to achieve $1bn of cumulative capital by reducing operating, general, and administrative costs over the next three years.

The plans are part of a five-year programme that aims to generate 14% annualised free funds flow growth through to 2021 , while enhancing production at a 6% compound annual growth rate and reducing the company’s debt.

GE and Baker Hughes reach agreement with DoJ to complete merger

Energy conglomerate General Electric reached an agreement with the US Department of Justice (DoJ) to proceed with the proposed merger of its oil and gas business with Baker Hughes.

GE signed an agreement with Baker Hughes to form a combined equipment, technology and services provider in October.

The arrangement was sealed at $7.4bn, which will be paid by GE to Baker Hughes shareholders.

SemGroup to acquire Houston Fuel Oil Terminal Company for $2.1bn

SemGroup signed a definitive agreement to acquire US-based Houston Fuel Oil Terminal Company (HFOTCO) for a sum of $2.1bn from investment funds managed by Alinda Capital Partners.

The acquisition is expected to enhance SemGroup’s position in the Houston Ship Channel energy market.

An initial payment of $1.5bn will be made at closing as part of the agreement, which includes an estimated $785m of existing HFOTCO debt and the issuance of $300m to $400m in common shares to Alinda at a rate of $32.30 a share.

Rosneft completes sale of stake in Verkhnechonskneftegaz for $1.1bn

Rosneft closed the sale of 20% shares in its subsidiary Verkhnechonskneftegaz to China-based Beijing Gas Group Company for around $1.1bn, as the parties intend to create a vertically integrated system of cooperation.

The Chinese company earned interest in an Eastern Siberian producing field with developed infrastructure as part of the acquisition, as well as access to the Eastern Siberia–Pacific Ocean (ESPO) oil pipeline that connects Russia with a number of Asian countries.

In exchange, Rosneft will have access to China’s domestic gas market and end users via swap deals.

EQT signs agreement to acquire Rice Energy for $6.7bn

Energy company EQT signed a merger agreement to acquire all outstanding common stock shares of US-based natural gas and oil company Rice Energy as part of a deal valued at approximately $6.7bn.

EQT will offer 0.37 shares of EQT common stock and $5.30 in cash per share of Rice common stock under the arrangement, in addition to assuming or refinancing around $1.5bn of net debt and preferred equity.

EQT president and CEO Steve Schlotterbeck said: "This transaction brings together two of the top Marcellus and Utica producers to form a natural gas operating position that will be unmatched in the industry.”

Panel recommends increased emission controls for Canadian oil sands

An official panel appointed by the Government of Alberta recommended more emission cuts for the oil sands industry.

The Oil Sands Advisory Group (OSAG) called for early actions to encourage additional emissions reductions after being tasked with advising on the implementation of the 100 megatonnes (mt) per year carbon emissions limit.

The panel was formed last year and mandated to develop a framework for addressing local and regional environmental issues.

Indian income tax department orders recovery of $104m due to Cairn Energy

The Indian income tax department (IITD) is set to confiscate a sum of $104m in dividends due to Cairn Energy, as the oil and gas major lost an appeal filed before an international arbitration panel seeking protection from the department’s move to recover tax.

An order was issued by IITD requiring Vedanta India to pay the entire amount originally due to Cairn Energy to the Government of India.

However, the British energy company stated that it will continue to pursue its case before the international panel in The Hague, the Netherlands.

HEP signs $563m JV deal to develop assets in Delaware Basin, US

Howard Midstream Energy Partners (HEP) signed a $563m joint venture (JV) agreement with WPX Energy to develop crude oil and natural gas gathering and processing infrastructure in the core of the Delaware Basin in the US.

Howard will make an initial payment of $300m to WPX Energy and subsequently fund $263m to finance the capital expenditure of the project as part of the equally owned JV development.

HEP will complete the construction of a 50-mile crude oil gathering system and build a new cryogenic natural gas processing complex under the programme, which will feature an initial capacity of 400 million cubic feet per day.

Shell closes sale of oil sands assets in Canada

Royal Dutch Shell completed previously announced agreements to sell all its in-situ and undeveloped oil sands interests in Canada, through its subsidiaries Shell Canada Energy, Shell Canada and Shell Canada Resources.

The company also reduced its share in the Athabasca Oil Sands Project (AOSP) from 60% to 10% as part of the sale.

Shell closed the divestment of its assets, including 60% interest in AOSP, 100% interest in the Peace River Complex in-situ assets such as Carmon Creek, and several undeveloped oil sands leases in Alberta, Canada, under the first agreement.