May's top stories: ConocoPhillips closed $13.3bn sale, Saudi Aramco signed $50bn agreements

ConocoPhillips completed the $13.3bn sale of its non-operated interest in the Foster Creek Christina Lake (FCCL) oil sands partnership and the majority of its Western Canada deep basin gas assets to Cenovus, and Saudi Aramco signed $50bn agreements with US firms. wraps up the key headlines from May.

ConocoPhillips closed $13.3bn sale of its Canadian oil sands assets to Cenovus

US-based exploration and production company ConocoPhillips completed the $13.3bn sale of its 50% non-operated interest in the Foster Creek Christina Lake (FCCL) oil sands partnership and the majority of its Western Canada deep basin gas assets to Cenovus.

A definitive agreement was signed by the company with Cenovus in relation to the sale in March this year.

ConocoPhillips Canada retains its 50% operated interest in the Surmont oil sands joint venture and operated 100% Blueberry-Montney unconventional acreage position.

Saudi Aramco signed $50bn agreements with US firms

Petroleum and natural gas company Saudi Aramco signed agreements worth an estimated $50bn with multiple US companies to promote bilateral trade and investment between Saudi Arabia and the US.

Among the agreements are joint ventures (JV) with Jacobs Engineering and National Oilwell Varco (NOV).

Saudi Aramco president and CEO Amin Nasser said: “The agreements signed today by Saudi Aramco with major American companies underscore the purposeful collaboration between Saudi Arabia and the US in areas of strategic importance linking Saudi Vision 2030 and America’s own economic depth and strength.”

Pieridae agreed to merge with Pétrolia to create Canada’s first publicly traded LNG company

Natural gas exploration company Pieridae Energy entered a definitive agreement to merge with Pétrolia, which is expected to create Canada’s first publicly traded, integrated liquefied natural gas (LNG) company.

The newly formed entity will be named Pieridae Energy Limited (Amalco) and will seek to strategically position itself in the North American equity markets as a fully developing integrated energy company, from upstream production to the sale of LNG.

Amalco is expected to benefit from the combined expertise and diversification of the two companies for an effective and sustainable long-term growth plan.

Neptune Energy made offer to acquire EPI’s oil and gas business in €4.7bn deal

UK-based Neptune Energy made a firm and binding offer to acquire 70% interest in France’s Engie Exploration & Production International (EPI) for an aggregate value of €4.7bn.

The deal value includes €1.1bn in decommissioning liabilities deconsolidated from Engie’s balance sheet.

Engie reported that this offer will help reduce the group’s carbon footprint and exposure to merchant commodity prices.

Noble Energy signed agreement to sell upstream assets in Virginia and Pennsylvania

Noble Energy signed a definitive agreement to sell all of its upstream assets in north-west Virginia and southern Pennsylvania to an undisclosed buyer.

This transaction is valued at an aggregate amount of $1.225bn.

The amount included an upfront cash of $1.125bn followed by a subsequent contingent amount of $100m, structured as three separate payments of $33.3m.

Pembina Pipeline agreed to acquire Veresen for $9.7bn

Transportation and midstream service provider Pembina Pipeline signed an arrangement agreement to acquire all issued and outstanding shares of energy infrastructure company Veresen.

The transaction, valued at approximately $9.7bn including Veresen’s debt, is aimed at creating a company, which according to Pembina, will be one of the largest energy infrastructure companies in Canada with a pro-forma enterprise value of approximately $33bn.

Pembina offered to buy all Veresen common shares in return for either 0.4287 of a common share of Pembina or $18.65 in cash, subject to pro-ration as per a maximum share consideration of around 99.5 million Pembina common shares and maximum cash consideration of around $1.52bn.

Total sanctions approved development of gas reserves in Argentina

Total approved the development of the first phase of the operated Aguada Pichana Este licence in the Vaca Muerta shale formation, Argentina.

The group will also increase its interest in the licence from the existing 27.27% to 41%.

Total exploration and production president Arnaud Breuillac said: "Launching this project is a key milestone in the development of the giant Vaca Muerta shale play.”

Anadarko Petroleum shut down 3,000 wells in Colarado

Oil and natural gas exploration and production company Anadarko Petroleum shut down 3,000 vertical gas wells across north-east Colorado in the aftermath of a fire tragedy in the town of Firestone that claimed the lives of two people.

The fire accident occurred on 17 April, approximately 200ft away from where the company operates an older, vertical well that was drilled by a previous operator in 1993.

In a response issued following the tragedy, the company said it is cooperating with fire officials and state regulatory agencies in their investigations.

KBR collaborated with IBM to develop digital solutions for hydrocarbons industry

KBR joined forces with IBM to develop digital products and services that will help address the requirements and challenges facing the hydrocarbons industry.

This move comes in the wake of a challenging atmosphere within the industry, in terms of falling crude prices, political climate and the need for safety and sustainability, according to KBR.

IBM chemical and petroleum industries global managing director Luq Niazi said: "As chemical and petroleum companies strive to remain competitive, implementing a digital strategy will help optimise capital expenditures, reduce operating costs and help maximise the potential of the knowledge and skills of their people.”

Devon Energy planned to sell assets worth $1bn in US

Devon Energy made plans to sell around $1bn of upstream assets across its US portfolio.

These non-core assets include some parts of the Barnett Shale focused primarily on Johnson County and other properties located principally within the company’s US resource base.

Devon intended to start the divestiture programme in the second quarter of this year and complete the sale process over the next 12 to 18 months.