May's top stories: Yamal LNG project signed agreements, Halliburton and Baker Hughes' merger abandoned

Russia's $27bn Yamal liquefied natural gas (LNG) project has signed 15-year loan agreements, and Halliburton and Baker Hughes have abandoned their previously announced merger valued at $34.6bn. Hydrocarbons-technology.com wraps up the key headlines for May 2016.


Yamal

Russia's $27bn Yamal LNG signed loan agreement with two Chinese banks

Russia's $27bn Yamal liquefied natural gas (LNG) project has signed 15-year loan agreements worth more than $12bn with ExportImport Bank of China and the China Development Bank.

Natural gas producer Novatek owns a 50.1% stake in the project. French company Total and China National Petroleum hold 20% stake each, while the remaining 9.9% is owned by China's Silk Road Fund (SRF).

Yamal LNG has already received $2.3bn from a fund and €3.6bn from state-controlled Sberbank and Gazprombank.

Halliburton and Baker Hughes abandoned $34.6bn merger over regulatory issues

American

US-based Halliburton and Baker Hughes abandoned their previously announced merger valued at $34.6bn, due to opposition from the US and European regulators.

The merger agreement was announced in November 2014 and terminated as it was hit with challenges in securing remaining regulatory approvals and general industry conditions.

Halliburton chairman and CEO Dave Lesar said: "While both companies expected the proposed merger to result in compelling benefits to shareholders, customers and other stakeholders, challenges in obtaining remaining regulatory approvals and general industry conditions that severely damaged deal economics led to the conclusion that termination is the best course of action.

Santos began production from second train at $18.5bn Gladstone LNG project in Australia

Curtis

Oil and gas company Santos commenced producing liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the second train at its $18.5bn Gladstone LNG project on Curtis Island in Queensland, Australia. Train two is the fifth of six production trains on Curtis Island.

The company's latest announcement follows first LNG production from train one and GLNG's first LNG export cargo in September 2015 and October 2015, respectively.

Santos managing director and CEO Kevin Gallagher said that the two-train project has already produced more than two million tonnes of LNG and shipped 32 cargos.

Upstream PS agreed to support Origin Energy's $18bn APLNG project in Queensland

Upstream Production Solutions (Upstream PS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of GR Engineering Services, signed an agreement to support Origin Energy's A$24.7bn ($18bn) Australia Pacific LNG project in the Surat Basin, South Western Queensland.

Upstream PS will provide wellsite, gas production and water treatment facility maintenance and major works to support APLNG's operations and maintenance activities. The contract has an initial two-year term and can be further extended by another year.

Under the contract, Upstream PS will complete scheduled and unscheduled maintenance and associated services for a minimum of 1,500 wells.

US regulator approved TransCanada's acquisition of Columbia Pipeline Group for $13bn

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the US (CFIUS) approved TransCanada's $13bn acquisition of Columbia Pipeline Group.

The regulator approved the deal after investigating the company's proposal, announced in March. According to the company, the clearance satisfies one of the conditions required to complete the proposed acquisition.

The deal also requires approval from the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Anti-Trust Improvements Act (HSR Act), as well as Columbia's stockholders.


Canada's NEB approved Kinder Morgan's $5.19bn Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project

Canada's energy regulator, the National Energy Board (NEB), conditionally recommended the approval of Kinder Morgan's C$6.8bn ($5.19bn) Trans Mountain oil pipeline expansion project.

NEB issued a 533-page report recommending the Governor in Council approve the project, subject to 157 conditions.

Prior to recommending the project, the board carried out a scientific and technical examination of all the evidence brought before the NEB panel.

TransCanada received permits for $4.8bn Coastal GasLink pipeline project in Canada

TransCanada

Canada's BC Oil and Gas Commission issued the last two of ten pipeline and facilities permits to TransCanada for the $4.8bn Coastal GasLink project.

Permits are for pipeline-related facilities, which include a natural gas compressor station and metre station in Groundbirch, as well as a natural gas metering facility in Kitimat. The other eight permits are related to pipeline construction.

With the latest permits in place, the company can now proceed with construction and operation of the proposed pipeline and related facilities.

Rosneft and Pertamina agreed to develop $13bn Tuban oil refinery in Indonesia

Russian company Rosneft and Indonesian state-energy company Pertamina have signed an agreement to finance the construction of the new refining and petrochemical complex Tuban in east Java, worth up to $13bn.

Under the agreement, the companies will establish a joint venture for the project implementation and also study into the prospects for joint projects in the area of crude and oil products supplies, logistics and infrastructure.

The final investment decision for the project will be taken after obtaining the results of the feasibility study, basic engineering design (BED) and front-end engineering design (FEED).

Oil Search signed agreement to acquire InterOil for $2.2bn

Papua New Guinea-based Oil Search signed an agreement to acquire InterOil in a transaction valued at $2.2bn.

The combination of these two companies will create an independent PNG oil and gas company and is expected to facilitate cooperation of the Papua LNG Project and the PNG LNG Project.

Following the acquisition, the shareholders of InterOil will own an interest in Oil Search's asset base and dividend stream, including the PNG LNG project in addition to its existing stake in PRL 15.

US EPA announced new steps to cut methane emissions from oil and gas industry

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new steps to cut methane emissions from new and existing sources in the oil and gas sector.

The latest move is being finalised by the agency and is meant for new, modified and reconstructed sources. It is also part of an effort to curb methane, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and toxic air emissions in the industry.

It is also part of the administration's strategy under President Obama's climate action plan to reduce methane emissions.