A day after Energy News stopped publishing for the year the regulator shut down Shell's floating LNG vessel the Prelude, after a fire had earlier forced evacuation, and temporary shut down. It is unclear when the vessel will resume production, meaning Australia's 2022 LNG exports are likely to take a hit.
A report has since suggested a power outage could have led to ‘catastrophic failure' at the vessel. The full story was put together by former Energy News reporter Peter Milne, for WA Today.
At the same time EnergyQuest reported strong LNG revenues from Australia thanks to a price surge through 2021, with revenue 25% over 2020 at A$50 billion.
The report also noted a rapid US expansion in export capacity and Qatar's plans to increase nameplate capacity to 110 million tonnes per annum. Coupled with the Prelude outage, Australia likely won't keep its top spot as number one LNG exporter much longer.
Separate media reported that in December the US took the top spot for LNG for the first time ever, surpassing both Australia and Qatar. Since sending its first cargoes in 2016 the nation has risen to at best third spot, tying with Malaysia, but until now far behind export powerhouses Qatar and Australia.
China is also now Australia's largest market, ahead of historic customer Japan.
At the very end of last year Tamboran Resources told the market its Tanumbirini 2H and 3H wells it shares with operator Santos in the Beetaloo Sub-basin had flowed gas to surface following a 10-stage frac. Both are now being dewatered, before a 30-day flow test.
On New Year's Eve, Carnarvon Energy began drilling the Buffalo-10 well in Timor-Leste waters, targeting an oil attic it believes was left behind when BHP exited the project. It is the first well in recent years the Perth company is drilling as operator.
At the beginning of the year ADX Energy noted gas shows while drilling its Anshof-3 well onshore Austria after a December spud, then told the market the next day it had hit an oil zone and a shallow gas zone in its primary target, according to preliminary results.
Melbana Energy said January 4 drilling operations ran through the Christmas and New Year period at its Alameda-1 well onshore Cuba, where it is chasing oil. However it said it would review ongoing operations as there was "a risk they could not be completed consistent with best practice for well control".
Coal-gasification and urea hopeful Leigh Creek Energy has been granted its authorisation under the Aboriginal Heritage Act, allowing it to develop its project in the historic Leigh Creek coal field, by the South Australian government.
Otto Energy's Vick#1 well finished drilling, logging and evaluation, encountering gas and condensate pay in its shallower Yegua objective and another gas and condensate pay across three separate sands in the Wilcox formation. The Wilcox will become a future producer, beginning this quarter. The well is onshore Texas in Lavaca County.
In Mongolia, CSG explorer Elixir Energy has been awarded Investor of the Year for the second year running by the nation's mining ministry, while it has completed its last three wells for its 2021 drilling program.
It plans its first pilot production program this year at its 7 million acre Nomgon IX PSC in the South Gobi desert. Its 17 well program finished the year with a 65% success rate over 300 days of non-stop drilling.
Managing director Neil Young also managed a brief trip to site before Omicron hit.
Meanwhile, after a long wait, it looks as though Invictus Energy is set to drill its Carbora Basa gas field in Zimbabwe this year, telling the market it had secured long lead items for a two-well drill campaign to begin this May.
Muzarabani-1 is targeting a prospecting resource of 8.2 trillion cubic feet of gas and 247 million barrels of condensate.
After a hiatus, save its CO2 well it shares with Vintage Energy in South Australia, Lakes Blue Energy (formerly Lakes Oil) is preparing to drill its Wellesley-2 gas well in Queensland this month with the Easternwell rig 102.
It is expected to take 10-14 days; the project has a best estimate prospective resource of 41 billion cubic feet.
This satisfies a precondition of Lakes returning to trade on the ASX. The company issued a prospectus on Friday to raise between A$2.4 million to $4.34 million, with an assured $800,000 firm advance subscription and a $1.6 million underwriting commitment. Shares will be priced at 0.08 cents each.
Calima Energy produced 3800 barrels of oil equivalent per day in the third week of December, it told the market last week, but didn't hit its targeted ramp up to 4500boepd by the end of the year; it expects to hit this next month. This was in part due to a well needing an unexpected intervention which couldn't be performed until early January.
Thursday last week, Brookside Energy said drilling of its Rangers 36-25SXH 1 well within its SWISH acreage in Oklahoma was proceeding well with oil and gas shows observed within the mud logging in the Sycamore formation.
Buru Energy's first wildcat in many years, Rafael-1, which hit gas at the end of last year in the Canning Basin, will not see a flow test until at least early next month thanks to the Western Australian hard border closure. The specialised operators from Queensland and South Australia cannot travel to the state until at least February 5.
Vessel provider MMA Offshore was awarded two long term vessel contracts with a combined value of A$62 million, with a potential value of $91 million. One is with Woodside Petroleum and another for the Marinus Link project between Tasmania and Victoria.
Bernstein Research has suggested post-BHP merger Woodside Petroleum will be one of the best oil and gas stocks in the region.
Woodside has also been granted exploration permit WA-550-P in the North Carnarvon Basin with one exploration well at an estimated cost of $47 million due between 2025 and 2026.
The permit is one of only a handful to be picked up from 2020's large offshore licensing round from Geoscience Australia. Santos also recently took a permit.
During November's investor day CEO Meg O'Neill said it was unlikely Woodsdie would invest much in exploration in the future unless it was likely to have a high payoff.