Three Hurt in Contango Pipeline Rupture
Three workers received minor injuries and an oil-gathering platform near Houston was temporarily shutdown after a rupture of a 20-inch wide underwater oil pipeline, Contango Oil & Gas Company said Wednesday. The company implemented its emergency spill response plan, even though it said it expect little oil loss, perhaps less than a barrel.
The accident occurred when a dredge contracted by the Army Corps of Engineers to
dredge the Atchafalaya River Channel, snagged the pipeline, Contango said. The three workers were apparently employees of the private dredging company performing the dredging, and received medical treatment.
Kenneth R. Peak, Contango`s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, said "We are
fortunate that we have received no reports of serious injury and any
environmental impact at this time appears to be minimal. We have worked closely
with the Army Corps of Engineers, the United States Coast Guard, and the
Minerals Management Service and are gratified by the assistance we have
received. A fly-over by our crew spotted a light sheen that they estimated at
less than a barrel. Repair vessels and a diving crew are en-route to the
location to assess the extent of the damage to our pipeline."
Six wells were "shut-in" but several others are unaffected, the company said. Contango is a Houston-based, independent natural gas and oil company.
This appears to be more of a headache for Contango than a long-term setback. Investigations and work in getting the pipeline back in service will take some time, but since many other wells and lines remain in service, production will likely not be severely affected.
French Labor Unrest Threatens Gas Shortages
A strike squeezing French oil refineries spread Tuesday to facilities owned by ExxonMobil, raising the pressure on Total SA and the government to ward off gas shortages.
Workers at an ExxonMobil-owned Esso depot joined in the walkout Tuesday to support their Total colleagues, who have been striking since last week over plans to close a plant in northern France. The Esso depot in Port Jerome, on the English Channel, was closed before dawn for lack of workers, CGT union organizer Laurent Delaunay said. Workers at an Esso refinery in neighboring Notre-Dame-de-Gravenchon, France's second-largest refinery, were set to walk out later Tuesday. Together, Total and Esso refineries account for about 70 percent of France's refining capacity. A prolonged strike and serious gas shortages could be bruising for French President Nicolas Sarkozy's government as it faces regional elections in less than three weeks. The refinery blockages come amid other acts of unrest among French workers, including an air traffic controllers' strike canceling hundreds of flights Tuesday.
ConocoPhillips to Cut 2010 Capital Expenditures
ConocoPhillips says it will spend $11.2 billion on capital projects in 2010, a 10 per cent drop from estimated 2009 spending.
The nation's third-largest oil company previously said it would cut capital expenditures and sell off assets to help pay off debt and improve its cash position amid sagging profits.
Geokinetics Completes Acquisition of PGS
Geokinetics announced today that it has completed its acquisition of Petroleum Geo-Services' ("PGS") onshore seismic data acquisition and multi-client data library business ("PGS Onshore").
"The combination of PGS Onshore and Geokinetics solidifies our position as the clear leader in the onshore seismic data acquisition business," said Richard F. Miles, President and Chief Executive Officer of Geokinetics. "It not only brings together two strong complementary seismic data acquisition operations, but it also accelerates our strategic initiatives in the multi-client library business."
BP In Talks Over $1.2 Bil Canadian Oil Sands Deal
BP is in talks to pay about $1.2 billion for a majority stake in a privately held Canadian company with large reserves of oil-rich sand deposits.
Reliance Industries Ltd is thought to have made a rival $2 billion takeover bid but BP is understood to be the preferred partner, the paper said.
Conflict with Court Appointee in Chevron Lawsuit
In a court filing today in Lago Agrio, Ecuador, Chevron provided
newly discovered information showing that the author of a report recommending
that Chevron be ordered to pay $27 billion in damages is the majority owner of
an oilfield remediation company that stands to gain financially from a judgment
Due to the remediation company`s relationship with Ecuador`s state-owned oil company, Petroecuador, Chevron called upon the court to immediately reject the work of Richard Cabrera on the grounds that he knowingly hid his relationship and that he stands to gain from what was supposed to be unbiased work for the court. "For three years, Mr. Cabrera has concealed clear financial conflicts of interest that disqualify him from acting as an independent and objective evaluator of the evidence in the case," Chevron Vice President and General Counsel Hewitt Pate said. "While Mr. Cabrera`s financial interests alone are sufficient grounds for his report to be rejected, his intentional concealment of those interests further demonstrates that the entirety of his work lacks honesty, integrity, or credibility."
Ghana has not blocked $4bln Exxon deal
Ghana has not blocked a planned $4 billion oilfield stake sale by Kosmos Energy to Exxon Mobil but still threatens to do so if the parties do not abandon the deal, a government source said on Tuesday.
The source said the government had written to Exxon about the deal but had not gone beyond repeating the threat.
Devon Sells $1.3B Oil Field Stake To Maersk
Shipping and oil group, AP Moller-Maersk, is purchasing Devon Energy’s stakes in three of its oilfields in the Gulf of Mexico for $1.3 billion.
The Copenhagen-based company will get a 50% stake in the Cascade field and a 25% interest in each of the Jack and St Malo fields.
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