Strong field interest in the North
A total of 26 companies have submitted applications to the Ministry of Petroleum and Energy for new exploration acreage in the 23rd licensing round on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. "New exploration acreage is crucial for long- term activity and value creation in the petroleum sector, and thus employment throughout the country. It is therefore encouraging that so many companies have submitted applications, and that there is competition for many of the blocks, in particular for the newly opened area off the coast of East Finnmark," said Minister of Petroleum and Energy, Tord Lien. The 23rd licensing round targets the part of the Barents Sea, which the Norwegian parliament, Stortinget, decided to open for petroleum activity in 2013. The Ministry is processing the applications with the aim to award new licences before the summer of 2016.
Russia looks to the Americas
Elsewhere, Russian oil companies have refocused on strengthening their international positions through the acquisition of exploration and production assets in geographies outside Russia, with countries in the Americas providing a number of potential partnerships in the long term, according to analysts with research and consulting firm GlobalData. “With governmental support, countries not originally prioritized for international expansion are being identified as potentially strong political, trade, and investment partners for Russian oil companies. Currently, they have their sights firmly on the Americas, having expressed interest in future gas projects in Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, and Bolivia, among others,” said Adrian Lara, GlobalData’s senior upstream analyst overseeing the Americas division.
Latin America, Asia- Pacific, and Africa in deepwaters
Regarding developments for Mexico, RigNet a global provider of managed remote communications for the oil and gas sector, is moving ahead with plans to acquire TECNOR. TECNOR is a provider of remote comms and SCADA offerings in Mexico. With combined efforts, the deal should help accelerate revenue growth for the companies and offer a wider range of connectivity options firstly in Mexico, and then later on in Latin America. This could be a timely transaction as other recent analyses indicate growing demand for deepwater activities in the Asia- Pacific region. According to a report entitled: Offshore Drilling Rigs Market by Type, Application & Geography – Global Forecast to 2019 from Research and Markets, the largest markets for offshore drilling rigs ( jackups, semi- submersibles, and drill ships) are identified as Latin America, Asia- Pacific, and Africa. And finally, one of the largest marine and oil service companies in the world, Maridive Group, is busy upgrading its offshore support vessels with Marlink’s VSAT WaveCall Plus services. In doing so, the company aims to improve its operations, client and crew comms. The latest upgrades are for five vessels operating in Venezuela and Brazil.