In Briefs [Oil & Gas News]Al Bawaba Ltd.
Aramco network hit by virus
RIYADH: Saudi Arabian Oil Co (Saudi Aramco) said its computer systems had been shut down by a virus, but it added that production had not been affected.
"An official source of Saudi Aramco confirmed that it had isolated electronic systems for the entire company today and cut off external access as an early precaution," said a statement in Arabic from the company.
Dung Quat plant delays restart
SINGAPORE: Vietnam's only oil refinery, the Dung Quat facility, will not resume production as expected, and industry sources said technical issues could be behind the delay. The restart could take at least a few days, they added. The 135,000 barrels-per-day Dung Quat refinery was unexpectedly shut earlier this month. Dung Quat officials could not immediately be reached for comment on the delay. Industry sources had said the refinery's gasoline-making residue fluid catalytic cracking (RFCC) unit had run into technical problems.
Sasref unit back to normal
RIYADH: State oil giant Saudi Aramco restarted a secondary unit at its 305,000 barrels-per-day joint venture refinery with Royal Dutch Shell in Jubail, the Saudi Aramco Shell Refinery Company (Sasref) joint venture's top executive said. "The unit is back to normal," said Sasref's chief executive officer Abdullah Al Baiz, in reply to a Reuters e-mail. Hydrotreaters are used to remove sulphur from high sulphur gasoil to make it a more environmentally friendly fuel.
Industry sources told Reuters that Sasref had shut its hydrotreater unit due to a "glitch" a few days earlier.
Bapco surveillance audit over
MANAMA: Bahrain Petroleum Company (Bapco) said it has successfully conducted a surveillance audit to ensure adherence to the international standards certification.
Global certification services provider Bureau Veritas carried out the first surveillance audit after Bapco's ISO 14001 recertification, said the Bahrain company in a statement.
Oman refinery picks bidders
MUSCAT: Nine global technology firms have been shortlisted for a $1.2 billion EPC contract to undertake the expansion of Oman's flagship refinery at Sohar, said a project official at Oman's oil and gas ministry. Oman was looking to add 60,000 barrels per day (bpd) to the refinery's current capacity of about 116,000 bpd, he said.
Suzlon swings to net loss
MUMBAI: Shares in India's Suzlon Energy slumped to a record low, a day after the company said it swung to a net loss in the April-June quarter. Suzlon said it posted a net loss of 8.49 billion rupees ($153.2 million) for quarter ended June 30, compared with a profit of 601.2 million rupees in the same period a year ago.
Suzlon shares were down 5.1 per cent, after slumping as much as 9 per cent to a record low of 16.10 rupees earlier.
Continental raises capex
NEW YORK: Continental Resources, a major driller in North Dakota's Bakken shale, said it will increase its 2012 capital expenditures budget to $3 billion, up from a revised $2.3 billion announced in May, because of higher costs and ramped up activity in the shale outpost.
The capital budget revision is the second this year. Early in 2012, Continental had expected to drill 249 net wells with just $1.75 billion, but spent nearly that amount in the first half of the year. It now hopes to drill 330 net wells in 2012.
The Oklahoma-based company has cut the number of rigs it operates in the Bakken in North Dakota and Montana to 19 from 26 in the second quarter and said it is now seeing "anecdotal evidence" of cost reductions in its operations there.
HRT says to invest $457m
SAO PAULO: Brazilian oil company HRT plans to spend $457 million to find oil and natural gas in its prospects in the Brazilian Amazon and off the coast of Namibia by the end of 2013, chief financial officer Carlos Tersandro told investors on a call.The company also expects to complete the sale of part of its Nambian exploration concessions by the end of the year, chief executive Marcio Mello said. The Rio de Janeiro-based company expects to start drilling in Namibia in December or January when it will receive delivery of a semi-submersible drill rig from Transocean, Mello said.
Fire hits Imperial's Sarnia
HOUSTON: Imperial Oil issued an alert about a fire at its 121,000 barrel-per-day refinery in Sarnia, Ontario, according to a local emergency warning service. The NetAlert service said the company personnel were responding to the fire.
Alon refinery begins repairs
NEW YORK: Alon USA Energy said it began repairs on a carbon monoxide boiler following a malfunction at its 67,000 barrel-per-day (bpd) Big Spring, Texas, refinery, according to a filing with state pollution regulators.
Brazil auction unlikely in 2012
RIO DE JANEIRO: Brazil plans to auction new oil exploration and production rights, but no auction is likely this year, an official with Brazil's mines and energy ministry told Reuters. "This year is very unlikely," said Marco Antonio Martins de Almeida, the ministry's oil, natural gas and renewable fuels secretary. "We need four months to arrange an auction and we are already in August. Or in other words, we are at the limit." Brazil, which held annual auctions for a decade starting in 1999, has not sold new rights since 2008, when it moved to increase government power over energy after giant offshore discoveries south of Rio de Janeiro.
Nexen to start maintenance
CALGARY: Nexen said it will start several weeks of scheduled maintenance at its Long Lake, Alberta, oil sands operation.
The company will take the upgrading plant at Long Lake down for six weeks and the steam-assisted gravity drainage production facilities down for three weeks concurrently, Nexen spokesman Davis Sheremata said in an email. The operation produced 33,700 barrels a day in the second quarter, less than half its design capacity.
Phillips 66 unit reports flaring
NEW YORK: Phillips 66 reported a flaring event led to sulphur dioxide emissions at its 120,200 barrel-per-day (bpd) refinery in Rodeo, California, in a filing with state pollution regulators. The filing with the California Emergency Management Agency did not specify which unit was involved in the incident. A refinery operates its safety flare when a production unit cannot normally process hydrocarbon feedstock either due to a malfunction or a planned overhaul.
Shell restarts unit at Alberta
NEW YORK: Royal Dutch Shell said it was restarting an unspecified unit at its 100,000 barrel-per-day Scotford refinery near Edmonton, Alberta, according to a notice on a community information line early.
There could be intermittent flaring for the next 12 hours, and there was no material impact to production, the message said.
YPF to issue $760m in bonds
BUENOS AIRES: Argentina's YPF will issue bonds for 3.5 billion pesos ($760 million) as part of its push to reduce fuel imports by investing in domestic output, the state-controlled energy company said in a letter to regulators.
In May the government seized a 51 per cent stake in YPF from Repsol after accusing the Madrid-based parent company of under investing in Argentine production. "The board of directors of YPF, at their meeting, approved the issuance of negotiable obligations up to 3.5 billion pesos," a letter from the company to local stock market regulators said. The debt issuance will come under a $1 billion 2008 shelf registration.
Argentina to buy less LNG
BUENOS AIRES: Argentina will buy about 30 per cent less liquefied natural gas than originally expected this year due mainly to rising fuel imports from neighboring Bolivia, a source at state energy company Enarasa said.
Latin America's No 3 economy, Argentina has seen its energy import bills spike while its own oil and gas output has fallen in recent years - prompting the controversial state takeover of top energy company YPF earlier this year. A mild Southern Hemisphere winter and slowing economic growth this year are also reducing demand for the costly LNG imports that have dented Argentina's trade surplus, a key source of dollars used by the government to repay debt.
Citgo refinery coker trips
HOUSTON: A coking unit tripped out of production at Citgo Petroleum's 167,000 barrel per day (bpd) Lemont, Illinois, refinery, according to a notice the refinery filed with the state and federal pollution regulators. A compressor failed on the unit, according to the notice the refinery filed with the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. A gasoline-producing fluidic catalytic cracking unit (FCCU) was shut at the refinery for repairs.
OSX, Mendes win $900m deal
RIO DE JANEIRO: Shipbuilder OSX Brasil and construction group Mendes Junior won a contract worth more than $900 million from Brazil's state-led oil company Petrobras to install the oil processing equipment on two oil production ships, OSX said.
OSX, controlled by Brazilian billionaire Eike Batista, and Mendes Junior will also construct some of the production modules to be installed on the ships, known as FPSOs, or floating production, storage and offloading vessels, OSX said in a securities filing.
Shell refinery fire doused
NEW YORK: A fire at Shell Oil Co's Martinez, California, refinery was extinguished in about 40 minutes, a Contra Costa Health services personnel said. He did not provide information regarding the units involved in the incident. Earlier, Shell reported a fire at its 156,400 barrel-per-day refinery in Martinez. EnerMech, Shoaibi ink deal
AL KHOBAR:International engineering group, EnerMech, has signed a joint venture agreement with Saudi-based Shoaibi Group to provide cranes, hydraulics and valves to the Saudi Arabian energy sector. Based in Al Khobar, EnerMech will also provide pipelines and umbilicals (PPU), lifting and inspection services, equipment rental and specialist training, a statement from the company said.
Shoaibi Group will facilitate EnerMech's operations and provide essential marketing and technical support services under the agreement. Faisal Al Shoaibi, chairman of EnerMech, said: "We are extremely pleased to enter into this venture with EnerMech.
Shoaibi Group's growth is dependent on such partnerships and we are delighted to collaborate with EnerMech and jointly develop the business in Saudi Arabia."
Saudi signs power deals
AL KHOBAR: State-owned Saudi Electricity Co (SEC) is splashing out hundreds of millions of riyals to improve its power distribution network, after thousands of people suffered blackouts last month including some in two of the kingdom's biggest cities Jeddah and Riyadh. SEC said in a statement it had awarded three contracts worth around SR700 million ($186.6 million) in total involving the construction of two substations to boost its networks in the western city of Jeddah and in the Madinah area, and to extend cables to some plants in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia's capital.
Yemen to export jet fuel
SINGAPORE: Yemen's Aden refinery is set to resume jet fuel exports for the first time in nearly a year as production at its refinery restarted this month, traders said. The refinery has offered 30,000 tonnes of jet fuel for loading in a tender.
The Aden refinery resumed production after halting operations for nine months because of attacks on the country's main oil pipeline. Two shipments of crude oil from Yemen's Ras Isa oil terminal on the Red Sea coast arrived in Aden in late July, enabling the refinery to resume production. It will pump crude at a reduced rate of 60,000 barrels per day (bpd), a refinery official had said earlier.
Kurdish oil exports fall
BAGHDAD: Iraq's Kurdistan region has delivered 116,000 barrels per day of crude (bpd) since it restarted oil pumping, Deputy Prime Minister Hussein Al Shahristani said, adding the amount was below the 175,000 bpd agreed. Kurdistan halted its crude shipments in April due to a payment disagreement between Iraq's central government and the autonomous northern region which has run its own government since 1991.
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) says the central government in Baghdad has failed to pay companies working there. "Until today, we have received a total of 116,000 bpd of crude oil delivered from the Kurdistan region. This quantity is below the agreed amount of 175,000 bpd in the budget," Shahristani told reporters.
Stork, Sisco set up JV
JEDDAH: Stork Technical Services and Saudi Industrial Services Company (Sisco) will set up a new firm to offer specialised technical services to the oil and gas, petrochemical and water desalination sectors in Saudi Arabia. The company, Stork Technical Services Saudi Arabia, will have a share capital of SR25 million with Stork taking 55 per cent, and Sisco 45 per cent.