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An estimated $10 billion of floating production systems (FPS) designed to explore offshore for oil and natural gas failed to materialize as the global economy began to derail last year, but a recovery in the sector should begin in 2010, energy consultant Douglas-Westwood said in a new report. Projects worth an estimated $46 billion total are forecast to begin ramping up through 2013. Africa, North America and Latin America are expected to take 59% of the forecast global FPS capital expenditures, with an estimated 121 FPS facilities expected to be installed worldwide through 2013. Brazil's national oil company Petroleo Brasilerio (Petrobras) is expected to be the biggest spender. Last year Petrobras was given approval by the Minerals Management Service to develop the first floating production storage offloading (FPSO) facility in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico (see NGI, May 5, 2008). The FPSO is to be built in the Cascade-Chinook area in the Walker Ridge region of the Lower Tertiary trend, which is 165 miles offshore Louisiana in 8,200 feet of water.

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and its partners have announced a Miocene discovery in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico (GOM) at the Samurai prospect in Green Canyon Block 434. The discovery well is about 12 miles north of the Marco Polo platform. The Houston-based producer, which operates the prospect and has a one-third interest, said it encountered more than 120 feet of net pay in several "high quality" sands. Murphy Oil Corp. and Samson Offshore Co. also each own a one-third interest in the Samurai prospect. Samurai was drilled using the Belford Dolphin drillship, Anadarko said. The initial well is located in 3,400 feet of water and was drilled to a depth of about 31,700 feet. The Samurai discovery is Anadarko's third in the deepwater GOM this year.

Private equity fund Tiberius Capital LLC has launched a tender offer to acquire a controlling interest in Petrosearch Energy Corp. to prevent Double Eagle Petroleum Co. from purchasing the company. Denver-based Double Eagle agreed to buy Petrosearch in a stock transaction valued at $9.3 million (see NGI, April 6). Houston-based Petrosearch, which is traded over the counter (OTC), had net proved reserves of around 2.2 million boe at year-end 2007. Operations are focused in the Anadarko Basin in North Texas. Besides increasing its reserves, the transaction would add $8.75 million to Double Eagle's working capital base. The Chicago-based fund said it wanted to acquire about 15 million outstanding shares of common stock of Petrosearch and would pay 33 cents/share net. The shares that Tiberius is offering to purchase, together with the shares that it currently owns, would total 51%. A key condition to the tender offer, which expires Aug. 7, is that Petrosearch stockholders vote against the proposed merger with Double Eagle.

ONEOK Partners LP subsidiary ONEOK Texas Gas Storage LLC (OTGS) is holding a nonbinding open season through July 22 for firm gas storage capacity at its Loop, TX, facility. Customers may bid for up to 5.5 Bcf of capacity that will be available with the reactivation of the field. "If there is sufficient interest in the capacity, ONEOK Partners will reactivate our Loop storage field," said ONEOK Partners' Pierce Norton, executive vice president, natural gas. The additional capacity is projected to be available in April 2011. OTGS owns and operates fully leased salt and reservoir storage with combined capacities of 4.7 Bcf. The reactivated storage would add 5.5 Bcf of capacity. OTGS storage can be accessed by shippers on ONEOK WesTex Transmission, a Texas intrastate pipeline serving West Texas local distribution companies, power generators and industrial markets from the northern Texas Panhandle south through Lubbock, and continuing to delivery points in the Big Spring-Midland-Odessa corridor and El Paso markets. In addition, ONEOK WesTex has nine pipeline interconnects in the Waha market hub. For information contact Mike Onderick at (918) 588-7404 or monderick@oneok.com.

Sunday (June 21) saw the arrival of the first cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) at Sempra LNG's Cameron LNG terminal near Lake Charles, LA. The $900 million terminal project has now begun its start-up process, which is expected to take a few weeks to complete, the company said. The terminal is expected to be commercially operational in July. The first ship to berth at Cameron LNG is the British Diamond. It transported 136,500 cubic meters of LNG to Cameron from the Atlantic LNG liquefaction plant in Point Fortin, Trinidad. The cargo traveled 2,200 nautical miles.

Los Angeles-based Rentech Inc., which is commercializing a waste-to-clean energy process, has reached a definitive agreement to buy all of Atlanta-based SilvaGas Corp., a partner in its recently announced Rialto (CA) Renewable Energy Center to be developed about 60 miles east of Los Angeles. In addition, Rentech has acquired a 25% interest in ClearFuels Technology Inc., a bio-energy gasification and project development company with a technology for converting virgin cellulosic biomass feedstock into synthetic gas. Rentech has a prototype project running in Commerce City, CO, making jet fuel from natural gas. Called the Product Demonstration Unit (PDU), the $100 million facility is designed to produce more than 400 gallons/day of ultra-clean synthetic jet fuel, aviation fuel, ultra-low sulfur diesel and specialty waxes and chemicals. It is scalable for greater output. As part of its new ownership interest in ClearFuels, Rentech said it has agreed to install the company's biomass gasifier at the PDU. The added technologies should allow Rentech to develop more "integrated mixtures of renewable fuels and power production," it said. Included in the SilvaGas acquisition is the company's commercial biomass gasification technology.

Riverstone Holdings LLC bought Babcock & Brown North American Energy Group (B&B) and formed Pattern Energy as a new renewable energy player, absorbing all of the B&B personnel and undeveloped projects. A Pattern Energy spokesperson said B&B or others still own all of the 2,000 MW of existing North American wind projects it developed and is in the process of selling those assets separately. Operating assets developed before 2008 are not owned by Pattern or B&B, and the more recently developed ones are the ones being sold by B&B. Riverstone, which holds other energy investments, including oil/gas exploration and development, billed itself in this transaction as an energy/power-focused private equity firm holding the world's largest renewable energy private equity fund. Riverstone said it has committed $400 million to expand and support Pattern Energy's renewable energy business. The Australian-based B&B global parent holding company filed for bankruptcy earlier this year and announced all of its North American unit's energy projects would be up for sale. Pattern Energy will now control B&B's development pipeline that exceeds 4,000 MW wind power proposals in 11 states and four foreign countries, along with several electric transmission projects. The high-profile San Francisco Bay underwater transmission cable project that is getting close to being built will be managed, but not owned, by Pattern, a company spokesperson told NGI. Riverstone shows investments in five major energy areas on it website (www.riverstonellc.com): oil/gas exploration; electric generation; midstream pipelines; energy and power services; and renewable and alternative energy.

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