International

Sempra Energy announced that its IEnova and Sempra LNG units have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a subsidiary of Pemex, Mexico's state-owned petroleum company, for development of a natural gas liquefaction project at the Energía Costa Azul receipt terminal in Ensenada, Mexico. Pemex would have the opportunity to become a customer, natural gas supplier and investor.

"This is an important first step in working with Pemex on the development of liquefaction facilities at Energía Costa Azul," said Mark A. Snell, president of Sempra Energy.

BP, on behalf of the Kinnoull field co-venturers, announced the start of production from the Kinnoull field in the central North Sea. Kinnoull was BP’s seventh and final major upstream project start-up in 2014.

The Kinnoull reservoir, developed as part of a wider rejuvenation of the Andrew field area, is tied back to BP’s Andrew platform, 230-km east of Aberdeen, and is expected to enable production there to be extended by a further decade.

In order to access the reservoir, a new subsea system has been installed, together with a 700 ton topside processing module on the Andrew platform. Production is now carried from the Kinnoull field to the Andrew platform via a 28-km subsea pipeline bundle – the longest such system in the world – for processing and onward export via the Forties pipeline system (oil) and the CATS pipeline system (gas).

CNOOC Limited recently began production from its Liuhua 34-2 gas field in the Eastern South China Sea. The field is located in water depths ranging from 850 to 1,250 meters and consists of one producing well and shares the existing facilities of Liwan 3-1 gas field for overall development. The gas field is producing approximately 30 MMcf/d and is expected to reach its designed peak production of approximately 45 MMcf/d in 2015.

Ecopetrol S.A. reported that its Board of Directors has approved an investment plan for 2015 of US$7.86 billion.

Reuters reports Slovak gas pipeline operator Eustream is proposing a new pipeline be built to carry natural gas from western Europe to the Balkans, relieving the region of its almost total dependence on Russian supply.

Statoil has proposed building a subsea pipeline twice as large as needed to take gas from Norway’s giant new Johan Sverdrup oil and gas field to accommodate future finds that could be tied into the new line, gas system operator Gassco said.

Rigs at risk from drifting icebergs can expect an early warning following research by the Memorial University of Newfoundland. The Autonomous Ocean Systems Laboratory (AOSL) at the university is part of a long-term study modeling the behavior of icebergs that includes acquiring real-world data that will increase the accuracy of predicting the rate and direction of their drift.

The Middle East will be a key market for oilfield services companies for decades to come as countries across the region seek to maximize recovery from maturing assets and bring new fields into production, reports energy specialist corporate advisory firm Simmons & Company International Ltd.

New incentives offered as part of Pakistan’s latest policies for petroleum resource production seem to be proving an attractive prospect for potential investors. However, an equally effective shale gas policy appears more unlikely, according to research and consulting firm GlobalData.

OPEC will stand by its decision not to cut output even if oil prices fall as low as $40 a barrel and will wait at least three months before considering an emergency meeting, said the United Arab Emirates’ energy minister on Dec. 15, according to Bloomberg.

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