Energy Briefs

IN TODAY'S Energy Briefs: Gorgon self-harm; Ichthys milestone; Decmil takes hit on APLNG village; Santos air contract; Antares completed buyback; Petrofrontier still seeking saviour; Origin sells asset; Rey launches legal action; Otto rig moves; IS bombed; Island dreaming; Alaskan LNG stalls; Petronas sledged; ConocoPhillips gets export approval; WorleyParsons denies raising plan; Petrobras in legal muck; and AMEC backs gas pipe.

Chevron Corporation

News Corporation is reporting that a fly-in fly-out worker on a plane between Barrow Island and Perth harmed himself.

PerthNow reported Chevron Australia's Gorgon project operations production manager Andrew Black as saying the incident took place last Friday.

The worker was reported to be stable and receiving medical support.

Cabin crew and co-workers on the Cobham Aviation flight were praised for their quick response

Chevron says there are options for mental health support on Barrow Island, including a psychologist available seven days a week.

The incident comes after a WA parliamentary inquiry was last year held into mental health issues after a spate of suicides in the state's FIFO workforce in the Pilbara.

It made 30 recommendations, including a new code of practice to address rosters and "explicitly acknowledge the impact of fatigue on mental health", half of which were supported and half were noted.

Production is due to start at Gorgon, Australia's second largest LNG project, within weeks.

Kentz

Construction firm Kentz says that the underground civil work at Inpex's Ichthys onshore LNG facilities near Darwin has installed the last of two million metres of cables required, all while passing the more than one million man hours lost time injury free.

The final cable was installed at the end of November, but only confirmed this morning.

Cabling started in September 2013.

Decmil Group

Decmil, which recently signed an exclusive accommodation agreement with ConocoPhillips, the downstream operator of the Australia Pacific LNG facility located on Curtis Island near Gladstone, has been forced to writedown the value of its wholly owned Homeground Gladstone accommodation village by $78.1 million to $110.8 million.

The company blamed market conditions in the Queensland natural resources sector.

Santos

Alliance Aviation has secured a five-year air charter to support Santos' operations in the Cooper Basin running up to an additional 16 flights per week between Adelaide and Moomba, plus co-ordinating other services, such as running the Moomba and Ballera airports and intra-field operations.

Alliance has had the contract since 2006.

Antares Energy

Antares has completed a share buy-back spending $4.5 million to buy 15 million shares on the market.

The buy-back, announced in October 2014 saw the company buy shares between $0.38 and $0.10 per share.

Antares shares were last traded at $0.50 in September

The oiler was suspended from trading for refusing to divulge the identity of the buyer of its remaining Permian Basin assets in Texas.

Since then, the oil price has crumbled and the $US250 million deal has become decidedly shaky.

Armour Energy

Major shareholder Orch-Ziff, one of the largest institutional asset managers in the world, has reduced its holding in the explorer from 9.51% to 7.57% through the sale of some 4.3 million shares.

The US fund gave no reason for its decision, but it follows a collapse in the oil price and legal action between Armour and JV partner American Energy Partners - before the JV agreement has even been signed.

Armour is hoping to establish oil and gas production from the Roma Shelf later this year.

Petrofrontier

Canada's Petrofrontier, which did its dough in the Southern Georgina Basin two years ago, has extended the term of its engagement with GMP Securities for a further six months.

The company, which has basically acted as a shell since quitting its permits after five free-carried dusters with Statoil, continues to work with GMP to evaluate "a range of strategic alternatives, which could include a recapitalisation of the corporation, a merger or other business combination of the corporation with another entity or the sale of the corporation as a whole" - a position that has been unchanged for some time.

The shell has around $9 million in cash.

Origin Energy

Origin has entered into an agreement to sell the Mortlake Terminal Station for a cash consideration of $110 million to AusNet Services.

Mortlake, which is currently operated and maintained by AusNet, connects Origin's gas-fired Mortlake power station to Victoria's electricity market.

The sale is part of an $800 million divestment program that was announced last September.

Origin expects to make a pre-tax gain of $25 million on the sale, and will continue to connect Mortlake power station to the Victorian network under a long-term agreement with AusNet.

The sale should be concluded mid-year.

Rey Resources

The ongoing feud between Oil Basins and Rey Resources has resulted in Rey moving the brawl into the Supreme Court of Western Australia.

Rey is seeking orders forcing Oil Basins to respect the farm-in agreement terms that provided for Rey to take over operatorship on January 1.

Oil Basins claims Rey hasn't paid its cash calls, claims Rey rejects.

Otto Energy

Otto says the first well for its Gulf of Mexico farm-in with Byron Energy will spud next week with the Hercules 205 drilling jack-up rig being mobilised to the SM6-2 well location.

The South Marsh Island 6 lease is part of a portfolio of low cost, high chance of success, conventional oil and gas opportunities located both onshore and offshore the Gulf of

Mexico, which Otto has the option to participate in as part of the transaction.

It will fund 66.67% of the costs of the $US8 million to earn a 40.625% working interest.

Islamic State

The US Pentagon has released videos showing airstrikes destroying an Islamic State-controlled oil and gas plant near Dayr Az Zawr in eastern Syria earlier this month.

The US-led coalition has recently been targeting the terror group's money supply and illicit oil production operations.

US Central Command said a total of four airstrikes had been carried out near Dayr Az Zawr against four separate IS oil facilities.

The videos show the destruction of pipelines and wellheads, with the US military using a special missile that has been specifically designed to render wellheads inoperable and difficult to repair.

IS allegedly receives two-thirds of its revenue from the sale of its illicit oil production, earning around $US40 million per month.

Hawaii

The US' isolated Pacific Ocean state of Hawaii is looking to shift from a reliance on burning oil for fuel to developing renewable energy projects, skipping any plans for LNG imports.

The Hawaii Island Energy Cooperative said this week that it wants to move the Big Island faster and at a lower cost towards the state's 100 % renewable energy goal, now in 2035.

The plan also includes the continued expansion of rooftop and utility-scale solar, wind and energy storage, with geothermal energy considered at a later state.

The announcement comes after Hawaiian Electric was subjected to a $4.3 billion acquisition by Florida-based NextEra Energy.

HIEC wants HE to reject the takeover offer and convert to a non-profit cooperative.

Alaska LNG

A lack of progress in negotiations between the partners on the $US45 billion-plus Alaska LNG project agreements is likely to throw the entire project off schedule, according to the state's government.

BP, ConocoPhillips and ExxonMobil are still working on the structure of the Alaska LNG project's critical North Slope Gas Balancing Agreement after more than a year of negotiations.

The agreement would allow the companies to pull their gas from the Point Thomson and Prudhoe Bay fields at certain times without upsetting the overall operations of the project.

Petronas

The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has warned that the planned $US36 billion Pacific NorthWest LNG plant on Canada's Pacific Coast would probably cause "significant adverse environmental effects".

The draft report, which will be reviewed by the Canadian government before it makes a decision on the proposal, contains concerns around the greenhouse gas emissions and the destruction of harbour porpoise habitat, even with mitigation measures to restrict CO2 to 5.28MMtpa.

Emissions tied to gas drilling would also be "high in magnitude, continuous, irreversible and global in extent" at up to 8.7MMtpa.

The report added 20 pages of conditions for the project to move ahead, should the federal government give its approval.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Liberal government last month announced stricter approval conditions.

India Oil, Japex, CPCC and Brunei National Petroleum are also in the project.

ConocoPhillips

The US Department of Energy has approved ConocoPhillips' request to export 40Bcf of liquefied natural gas from its Kenai terminal in Alaska over the next two years.

The approval will allow the oiler to export gas to any country the US has a free-trade agreement with or any other country with which trade is not prohibited by US law.

The Kenai terminal was the first LNG export facility in the US.

Most of the gas exports from Kenai have gone to Japan since the plant entered service.

WorleyParsons

Engineering firm WorleyParsons has rejected an article published in The Australian newspaper this morning that it is considering an equity raising.

While the company admits it has been considering a range of options for deleveraging its balance sheet in the softer market, but an equity raising is not one of them.

The company will report its half year results on February 2016.

Petrobras

Stichting Petrobras Compensation Foundation, International Securities Associations and Foundations Management Company for Damaged Petrobras Investors and a coalition of law firms have formed a Dutch foundation seeking restitution from the Brazilian state oiler.

The foundation has written to Petrobras to encourage the company and its former executives to discuss avenues for a potential settlement relating to alleged fraud-related losses of its shares and bonds traded outside of the US.

If Petrobras doesn't enter settlement negotiations the foundation will commence litigation before the district court in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

The foundation alleges that when years of complex fraud and bribery schemes orchestrated by management and officials of Petrobras were finally revealed to the public in 2014, investors lost billions of dollars resulting from significant asset write-downs and precipitous declines in Petrobras share prices.

Petrobras has significant operations in the Netherlands, and several Petrobras entities allegedly involved in the bribery schemes are also headquartered in Rotterdam. European investors were damaged as a result of Petrobras' alleged fraud and bribery activity.

Efforts are underway to recover investor losses related to the revelations of allegations of rampant corruption, money laundering, bribery and violations of securities laws in multiple jurisdictions.

AMEC

The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies says there are nine operational, proposed and potential mining sites that should benefit from a new gas pipeline to AngloGold Ashanti's Tropicana mine in the Fraser Range of Western Australia.

Access to cost effective regional infrastructure is a significant issue for AMEC members due to the remote location of many resources projects, the lobby group said.

"Replacing diesel fuel and LNG for piped natural gas power generation will provide a cleaner, more reliable and cost effective energy source. This will encourage more developments in the region, creating jobs and government revenue streams for years to come," CEO Simon Bennison said.

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