FPSO Akpo; Source: Sapetro

Fresh oil, gas, and drilling plays shape global energy ecosystem

𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐩𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐫 𝐨𝐟 𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐠𝐲 𝐦𝐨𝐯𝐞𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝, 𝐬𝐜𝐮𝐥𝐩𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐧𝐞𝐰 𝐩𝐚𝐭𝐡𝐰𝐚𝐲𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐥𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐮𝐩 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐚𝐫𝐤 𝐜𝐨𝐫𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐬. 𝐇𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫, 𝐢𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐧𝐨 𝐬𝐞𝐜𝐫𝐞𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐠𝐲 𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐝𝐬𝐜𝐚𝐩𝐞 𝐢𝐬 𝐞𝐯𝐨𝐥𝐯𝐢𝐧𝐠, 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐬𝐞𝐭 𝐢𝐧 𝐬𝐭𝐨𝐧𝐞 – 𝐚𝐭 𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐬𝐭 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐬𝐨𝐦𝐞 – 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐭 𝐰𝐢𝐥𝐥 𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞 𝐝𝐫𝐚𝐬𝐭𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐲 𝐛𝐲 𝐦𝐢𝐝-𝐜𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐲 𝐭𝐨 𝐦𝐞𝐞𝐭 𝐠𝐥𝐨𝐛𝐚𝐥 𝐧𝐞𝐭 𝐳𝐞𝐫𝐨 𝐚𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧𝐬. 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐢𝐥 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐠𝐚𝐬 𝐢𝐧𝐝𝐮𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐲 𝐢𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐚𝐯𝐚𝐥𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐡𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐠𝐲 𝐬𝐨𝐮𝐫𝐜𝐞𝐬 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐠𝐫𝐨𝐰𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐩𝐮𝐬𝐡 𝐭𝐨𝐰𝐚𝐫𝐝 𝐜𝐥𝐞𝐚𝐧 𝐞𝐧𝐞𝐫𝐠𝐲 𝐢𝐬 𝐝𝐞𝐦𝐨𝐧𝐬𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐭𝐞𝐝 𝐛𝐲 𝐚 𝐦𝐮𝐥𝐭𝐢𝐭𝐮𝐝𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐧𝐞𝐰 𝐩𝐫𝐨𝐣𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐬 𝐜𝐨𝐦𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐨𝐧𝐥𝐢𝐧𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐛𝐞𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐝𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐥𝐨𝐩𝐞𝐝 𝐨𝐧 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐠𝐥𝐨𝐛𝐚𝐥 𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐠𝐞.

FPSO Akpo; Source: Sapetro

Despite this, fossil fuels are losing some ground to renewables, as green agendas get pushed forward. This is illustrated by the changes in the energy environment and fresh decarbonization moves made to implement state-of-the-art technologies. With the quarterly results season now upon us, the oil majors’ performance during 2023 brought multi-billion-dollar profits while spotlighting the dominant role oil, natural gas, and LNG still play in the energy mix. Over the past few days, several new developments have come to light.


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𝗤𝘂𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗹𝘆 𝗿𝗲𝘀𝘂𝗹𝘁𝘀 𝘀𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗼𝗻 𝗸𝗻𝗼𝗰𝗸𝘀 𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗶𝗹 & 𝗴𝗮𝘀 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝘆𝗲𝗿𝘀’ 𝗱𝗼𝗼𝗿𝘀

ExxonMobil and Chevron have raked in $36 billion and $21.37 billion, respectively during 2023. These profits present a steep fall compared to all-time high ones of $55.7 billion and $35.5 billion in 2022. This drop in the energy giants’ combined profits from $91.2 billion in 2022 to $57.37 billion in 2023 is driven by the downward trend in oil and gas prices. However, the batch of new acquisitions has bolstered the duo’s capacity to boost production.

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While Shell’s annual profit fell by 29% on a year-over-year basis in 2023, the UK player still reported a profit of $28 billion. An analysis of the firm’s highest-ever annual profit of almost $40 billion in 2022 leads to the conclusion that the decrease is driven by the shifts in global energy markets, putting the limelight on the downward trend in oil and gas prices and the upswing in LNG trading.

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BP saw a 50% fall in profit on a year-over-year basis, but the oil major still reported a profit of $13.8 billion for 2023. While working to transform itself from an International Oil Company (IOC) to an Integrated Energy Company (IEC), the UK player is following the goals set in its existing strategy, which revolves around resilient hydrocarbons, convenience and mobility, and low-carbon energy.

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While announcing “robust” results in line with its objectives and confirming the relevance of its strategy in an uncertain environment, TotalEnergies, which is celebrating its 100th birthday in 2024, disclosed a net income of $21.4 billion for the full year 2023, a 4% increase compared to $20.5 billion for the full year 2022.

Patrick Pouyanné, CEO of TotalEnergies, commented: “In an uncertain environment, TotalEnergies’ balanced transition strategy, which combines growth in Oil & Gas, in particular in LNG, and Integrated Power, delivered strong results in 2023, in line with its objectives.”

The 2023 results are perceived to be the “highest profit” in the firm’s history, according to Greenpeace. This performance is underpinned by the success of the LNG and electricity divisions. However, the overall results were affected by the drop in oil and gas prices and refining margins compared to the highs observed in 2022.

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𝗥𝗶𝗴 𝗺𝗼𝘃𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗼𝗳𝗳𝘀𝗵𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗱𝗿𝗶𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗷𝗼𝗯𝘀

Serica Energy is setting the stage to embark on its four-well drilling campaign and well work-over program in the UK sector of the North Sea. These wells are scheduled to take about three months each to drill, meaning that drilling will continue into 2025.

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Shell picked a jack-up rig from Valaris Limited for a two-well drilling campaign in the North Sea. This entails an exploration well and an appraisal well, which will be drilled sequentially, with the contract and mobilization slated to begin in the June-July 2024 period.

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A new drilling assignment will enable Paratus’ jack-up rig to continue carrying out operations offshore Mexico for another year.

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One of Ocean Oilfield’s jack-up rigs has finished a plug and abandonment (P&A) program at an offshore field in the UAE for Sinochem’s Atlantis (UAQ) Limited.

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A semi-submersible rig, owned by Valaris, has started drilling the first of eight wells on a Woodside Energy-operated gas field off the coast of Western Australia.

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TotalEnergies has sealed a deal to obtain a majority stake from Vantage Drilling in a drillship, which is currently working in Namibia. With its hook load capacity of 2.5 million pounds, offline capabilities, and managed pressure drilling equipment, this drillship is said to meet the French player’s envisaged future global needs.

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Diamond Offshore has expanded its contract backlog with a new job for one of its semi-submersible rigs with Serica Energy in the UK sector of the North Sea and an extension of the current assignment with BP for a drillship, which is working in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

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As a result of a rig contract termination with Island Drilling, Trident Energy’s three-well infill drilling campaign offshore Equatorial Guinea has been put on ice until a new rig is secured for the job.

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Borr Drilling has managed to extend existing and secure new assignments for three premium jack-up rigs in its fleet with BW Energy in Africa, Valuera Energy in Asia, and an undisclosed operator in Southeast Asia.

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𝗡𝗲𝘄 𝗼𝗶𝗹 & 𝗴𝗮𝘀 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗷𝗲𝗰𝘁 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗿𝘁-𝘂𝗽𝘀

CNOOC brought on stream an oilfield secondary adjustment and development project, which is located in Liaodong Bay of Bohai Sea. This project will have 118 development wells, including 81 production wells and 37 water injection wells. According to the Chinese player, the project has been developed relying on an onshore power supply. As a result, it will consume green electricity generated onshore, enabling the green and low-carbon development of offshore oil and gas resources.

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TotalEnergies has started production from a field, which has been tied to an existing FPSO operating offshore Nigeria. The field is expected to add 14,000 barrels of condensate production per day, to be followed by up to 4 million cubic meters of gas per day by 2028.

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𝗚𝗲𝘁𝘁𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗼𝗳𝗳𝘀𝗵𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗮𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗴𝗻𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀

Wood’s latest multi-million-dollar contract extension is for the delivery of maintenance and modification solutions to optimize wellhead platforms and floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) unit located at a field off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This is said to be Equinor’s largest operated field outside Norway.

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An RM 400 million ($84.67 million) contract for a new MOPU is expected to provide long-term financial visibility to T7 Global Berhad upon first oil. This MOPU is destined to move to an oil field in the Gulf of Thailand soon, where it will be leased to the operator of the field, Valeura Energy.

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After QatarEnergy announced the award of four multi-billion-dollar EPCI contract packages to multiple players, McDermott International confirmed two new assignments with North Oil Company, a joint venture between QatarEnergy (70%) and TotalEnergies (30%), related to the delivery of the EPCIC scope for the development of the next phase of the largest oil field off the coast of Qatar.

𝐑𝐞𝐚𝐝 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞:

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MODEC hired Axess Group on a long-term inspection contract related to its recently converted FPSO, which will work on the Woodside Energy-operated offshore oil development project in Senegal, Africa.

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With Ocean Installer pooling resources with ALP Maritime Services, this puts three new vessels at the firm’s disposal, which will be used to support its FPSO towing and hook-up assignments.

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As a result of a new five-year deal, EthosEnergy will become Harbour Energy’s primary service provider for the maintenance and support of a fleet of light industrial gas turbines across three production assets in the UK North Sea: the Greater Britannia AreaJ-AreaAELECatcher, and Tolmount areas.

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MODEC has held a ceremony to mark the beginning of the construction stage for an FPSO vessel, which is destined to work on ExxonMobil’s fifth oil development in the Stabroek block offshore Guyana. The start-up of the $12.7 billion development is targeted in 2026.

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In the meantime, BW Offshore has tucked in new construction milestones under its belt for an FPSO, which is expected to be deployed on a Santos-operated natural gas field offshore Australia. This development is on track for the first gas in H1 2025 and the contract for the initial production period of 15 years is valued at $4.6 billion.

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Altera Infrastructure has hired DOF Group to install a cylindrical FPSO and an FSO at Eni’s oil and gas development offshore Côte d’Ivoire, Africa. The Norwegian player plans to mobilize its 2011-built anchor handling vessel to complete part of its scope of work encompassed in this deal, which entails project management, engineering, transportation, installation, and hook-up of floating units in the field.

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𝗘𝘅𝗽𝗮𝗻𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗼𝗶𝗹 & 𝗴𝗮𝘀 𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗳𝗼𝗹𝗶𝗼𝘀 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗻𝗲𝘄 𝗮𝗰𝗾𝘂𝗶𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀

Longboat JAPEX has wrapped up the acquisition of an interest in an offshore license, allowing it to enrich its portfolio with initial producing assets offshore Norway.

𝐒𝐞𝐞 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞:

In addition, the company brought to an end its sale of partial interests in two exploration licenses on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) to Norway’s Concedo.

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Eni and Vår Energi have added new assets to their portfolios by completing the acquisition of Neptune Energy’s oil and gas assets – aside from the firm’s German portfolio – for a total aggregate enterprise price of $4.9 billion.

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DNO is in the process of expanding its North Sea portfolio with the acquisition of ONE-Dyas’s interest in a Shell-operated gas field on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).

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Deltic Energy has taken steps to sell a partial stake in a Shell-operated license, containing a prospect, which is due to be drilled later this year with Valaris Limited’s jack-up rig. Dana Petroleum has decided to snap up this asset and join the planned hydrocarbon exploration game once drilling activities begin.

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TotalEnergies is in the process of enlarging its overall gas portfolio with more assets offshore Malaysia, thanks to a deal with OMV, which will enable the French player to obtain a stake in SapuraOMV Upstream, a 50:50 joint venture between Sapura Energy and the Austrian firm. The oil major’s portfolio enhancement is expected to come with a total price tag of $903 million.

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Petrobras has come back to Africa’s oil and gas exploration arena, thanks to the acquisition of interests in three Shell-operated exploration blocks located off the coast of São Tomé and Príncipe.

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𝗨𝗞 𝗴𝗼𝗲𝘀 𝗼𝗻 𝗹𝗶𝗰𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗮𝘄𝗮𝗿𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘀𝗽𝗿𝗲𝗲

The UK has revealed its second tranche of license awards from 115 applications in its 33rd offshore oil and gas licensing round. Due to this, the total number of licenses awarded so far has climbed to 51. The latest batch brought 24 new licenses to 17 oil and gas players – including Shell, Equinor, BP, TotalEnergies, and NEO – in the North Sea and West of Shetland areas.

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Meanwhile, a license extension has been secured offshore Cameroon. With this out of the way, the ongoing discussions regarding the funding of Tower Resources’ upcoming drilling program are expected to be wrapped up in due time. The drilling campaign will be done with one of Borr Drilling’s jack-up rigs.

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𝗪𝗼𝗼𝗱𝘀𝗶𝗱𝗲 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗲𝘀 𝗮 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝘆 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗦𝗮𝗻𝘁𝗼𝘀 𝗯𝘂𝘁 𝗺𝗲𝗿𝗴𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗮𝗹𝗸𝘀 𝗳𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝘁𝗵𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗴𝗵

While the news that Woodside and Santos are abandoning merger talks may be shocking to some, others have expected this outcome all along. These discussions could have brought an A$85.7 billion (about $55.9 billion) merger to life, creating an Australian gas market giant, had they been successful.

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𝗘𝗺𝗯𝗿𝗮𝗰𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗲𝗻𝗲𝗿𝗴𝘆 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗻𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗼 𝗹𝗼𝘄-𝗲𝗺𝗶𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗳𝘂𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗲

Following the endorsement of the Oil & Gas Decarbonization Charter at COP28, TotalEnergies penned cooperation agreements with Petrobras, SOCAR, Sonangol, and NNPCL to carry out methane detection and measurement campaigns using its Airborne Ultralight Spectrometer for Environmental Applications (AUSEA) technology on oil and gas facilities in Brazil, Azerbaijan, Angola, and Nigeria. The French oil major has now inked a similar agreement with India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) to share its AUSEA technology in a bid to pivot the whole industry towards zero methane emissions by 2030.

After halving its methane emissions from its operated sites between 2010 and 2020, TotalEnergies set ambitious targets to step up its efforts and slash methane emissions by a further 50% by 2025 – with the ambition to reach this target a year early, in 2024 – and by 80% in 2030, compared to 2020. The company is also committed to promoting the United Nations Oil and Gas Methane Partnership (OGMP 2.0) framework with other oil companies.

Pouyanne noted: “Our industry’s priority in the fight against climate change is to slash methane emissions from operations. Aiming for zero methane emissions by 2030 is our collective ambition as signatories of the OGDC at COP28. We are pleased to collaborate and make our AUSEA technology available to ONGC, in India, to detect, measure and eventually reduce methane emissions on their own assets.”

𝐋𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐧 𝐦𝐨𝐫𝐞:

As the decarbonization race continues to gain speed, many energy transition blueprints are making the rounds, but the CEO of Qatar’s state-owned energy giant QatarEnergy, is adamant that a balancing act between energy security, affordability, and sustainability will allow countries across the globe to transform their energy system and reach net zero goals.

“We need a balance between energy security, affordability, and sustainability for an effective transition,” underlined Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Qatar’s Minister of State for Energy Affairs and President and CEO of QatarEnergy while bearing in mind the current strife and uncertainty over firing the energy transition engine on all cylinders.

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𝗔𝗗𝗩𝗘𝗥𝗧𝗜𝗦𝗘 𝗢𝗡 𝗢𝗙𝗙𝗦𝗛𝗢𝗥𝗘 𝗘𝗡𝗘𝗥𝗚𝗬

𝗗𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘄𝗮𝗻𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝗴𝗿𝗮𝗯 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝘁𝘁𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝘆𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘁𝗮𝗿𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝗮𝘂𝗱𝗶𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗶𝗻 𝗼𝗻𝗲 𝗺𝗼𝘃𝗲? 𝗟𝗼𝗼𝗸 𝗻𝗼 𝗳𝘂𝗿𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝗻 𝗢𝗳𝗳𝘀𝗵𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗘𝗻𝗲𝗿𝗴𝘆! 𝗢𝘂𝗿 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗶𝘀 𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗱 𝗯𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗼𝘂𝘀𝗮𝗻𝗱𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗳𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗼𝗻𝗮𝗹𝘀 𝗲𝗻𝗴𝗮𝗴𝗲𝗱 𝗶𝗻 𝗼𝗶𝗹 & 𝗴𝗮𝘀, 𝗺𝗮𝗿𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗺𝗲, 𝗼𝗳𝗳𝘀𝗵𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝘄𝗶𝗻𝗱, 𝗴𝗿𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗺𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗲, 𝗵𝘆𝗱𝗿𝗼𝗴𝗲𝗻, 𝘀𝘂𝗯𝘀𝗲𝗮, 𝗺𝗮𝗿𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗲𝗻𝗲𝗿𝗴𝘆, 𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗻𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗳𝘂𝗲𝗹𝘀, 𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗽𝗽𝗶𝗻𝗴, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝗶𝗻𝗱𝘂𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝗼𝗻 𝗮 𝗱𝗮𝗶𝗹𝘆 𝗯𝗮𝘀𝗶𝘀.

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