Monday 31 March 2014

Schlumberger acquires Rock Deformation Research

Schlumberger has acquired Rock Deformation Research (RDR), a UK-based company specialized in geological software development and structural geology consultancy for the oil and gas industry. “The acquisition of RDR will allow us to provide our customers with an integrated solution to address fault and structural geological exploration and development challenges,” said Uwem Ukpong, president, Schlumberger Information Solutions. “RDR’s technology and expertise complements our Petrel-based geological modeling and geology domain knowledge. As our industry goes through a significant crew change with young professionals filling the gap of retiring experienced staff, Studio Advisor provides software-guided workflows that improve decision-making processes and enhance knowledge sharing and best practices.” By integrating with the Petrel E&P software platform and Studio E&P knowledge environment, RDR’s Structural and Fault Analysis module provides users with tools to reduce risk and quantify uncertainty, while Studio Advisor enables Petrel platform users in process standardization and competency development. Core software product development and consulting services will continue to be in Leeds, UK, where most of RDR employees are based.
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Poseidon Submarine Network

Radius Oceanic Communications and Cyta reported testing and commissioning are complete on the Poseidon submarine cable system, a fiber optic network built to serve the oil and gas and scientific markets in the Eastern Mediterranean. Radius and its regional telecom partner, Cyta have also completed work to establish dual landing facilities in Cyprus, and to implement high-bandwidth end-to-end connectivity from Cyprus to the US. The commissioning of Poseidon provides unprecedented opportunities to the developing oil and gas industry in the region. Companies can create their development plans for deep water production with the certainty that the benefits of fiber optic capacity are available and can be easily extended to their platforms. CSnet International will begin migrating scientific traffic to Poseidon in April. CSnet will use Poseidon to more efficiently offer oceanographic, hydrographic and seismic data to all interested parties on a near real-time basis. The POSEIDON network extends for some 800 km from two shore landings in Cyprus, creating a fiber ring that borders the Cypriot EEZ, and enveloping the offshore oil and gas lease blocks established for development by the Republic of Cyprus.
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Sunday 30 March 2014

First production at Liwan Gas Project, South China Sea

Husky Energy and CNOOC Limited have commenced first production at the landmark Liwan Gas Project in the South China Sea. "Liwan is Husky's largest project to date and places us inside the door of one of the fastest growing energy markets in the world," said CEO Asim Ghosh. "It was a massive undertaking and is a great achievement for deepwater gas production in the Asia Pacific Region." Located approximately 300 kilometres southeast of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the project consists of three fields: Liwan 3-1, Liuhua 34-2 and Liuhua 29-1, which share a subsea production system, subsea pipeline transportation and onshore gas processing infrastructure. The Liwan 3-1 field has started production, with initial natural gas sales expected to be approximately 250 million cubic feet per day (mmcf/day) gross and increasing to approximately 300 mmcf/day in the second half of 2014. Initial sales of condensates and natural gas liquids from Liwan 3-1 are expected to be approximately 10,000 to 14,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/day) gross. The Liuhua 34-2 field will be tied into the Liwan infrastructure in the second half of 2014, subject to final approvals. Production from the Liwan 3-1 field is scheduled to go offline for approximately six to eight weeks to provide for the tie-in of the field. Following the tie in of Liuhua 34-2, combined gas sales are anticipated to increase to approximately 340 mmcf/day (gross). Natural gas from both fields will be processed at the onshore gas terminal at Gaolan and sold to the mainland China market, with initial gas production covered by fixed-price gas sales agreements. Total gas sales are expected to rise towards a range of 400 to 500 mmcf/day (gross) with the planned tie-in of the Liuhua 29-1 field in the 2016-2017 timeframe. Production from Liwan will contribute to the Company's growth this year as per overall guidance. The startup was achieved during one of the most extreme weather seasons in recent history in the South China Sea. Husky expects to achieve the lower end of its Asia Pacific production guidance of 35,000 to 45,000 boe/day. Husky holds a 49 percent interest in the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) for the Liwan Gas Project and operates the deepwater infrastructure. Its partner CNOOC Limited holds a 51 percent interest in the PSC and operates the shallow water facilities and onshore gas terminal. The first stage of the US$6.5 billion project connecting the Liwan 3-1 field and work to date to tie in the Liuhua 34-2 field have been completed on budget.
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Saturday 29 March 2014

Statoil success in Espírito Santo, Brazil

Statoil has received formal approval to enter the São Bernardo discovery in Espírito Santo. The discovery further strengthens Statoil's belief in the oil potential in the basin.
On 19th March, Agência Nacional do Petróleo, Gás Natural e Biocombustíveis (ANP) approved Statoil’s acquisition of Vale SA’s 25% equity in the BM-ES-22A concession in the Espírito Santo basin offshore Brazil.

The concession contains the São Bernardo oil discovery made in April 2013. The discovery strengthens Statoil’s position in the basin and the view of its prospectivity.

Two reservoir levels with 34 – 36 API oil were proven by the well. The discovery is currently being appraised by the drilling of the Montanhês well.
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Thursday 27 March 2014

Fugro wins Murphy Sabah Oil contract

Fugro has been awarded a contract for three years, plus a one-year extension option, by Murphy Sabah Oil for the provision of rig and subsea positioning services.

The award will further strengthen a decade-long working relationship in support of Murphy’s deepwater drilling and development programmes offshore Sabah and Sarawak, Malaysia.

Support services include the use of highly specialised subsea survey systems for accurate metrology measurements, along with the provision of accurate offshore surface and subsea positioning and navigation systems for Murphy’s drilling units and vessels, working in water depths of up to 2,000 metres.

The contract award supports Fugro’s commitment to the continued development of Malaysian resources and further investment into Fugro’s activities in Malaysia.
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Repsol and Indra develop system to detect hydrocarbons

Repsol and Indra have jointly developed the world’s first water-based hydrocarbon leak early detection system, which will further increase safety conditions at all its facilities.

The system, called HEADS (Hydrocarbon Early and Automatic Detection System), is a great step forward in hydrocarbon early detection systems worldwide, and has successfully completed testing at the Repsol Industrial Complex in Tarragon, including the Casablanca platform.

HEADS uses a combination of a number of detection sensors, adding the automatic interpretation of infrared images and radar, and activating alarms without the need for human intervention. The combined use of infrared images and radar can maximise reliability, and the automation of the process allows for constant monitoring without the intervention of an operator, minimising the risk of human error. Radar detection is based on the difference in the roughness of the water surface when hydrocarbons are present. The infrared camera detects the variations in temperature between water and hydrocarbons, due to differences between the calorific properties of the two substances.

The system has a console located in a control room where different operations are monitored, such as drilling, production, loading or safety. When HEADS detects an incident, as well as activating the alarm automatically, it also collects all the associated information, registering and analysing all the related parameters.

Another important feature of HEADS is its capacity to identify ships in the vicinity using AIS (Automatic Identification System.) The purpose of the AIS system is to allow ships to communicate their position and other relevant information, so that other ships or stations can track them and avoid collisions. Thus, if an incident is caused by a ship within its detection range, HEADS can record its registration number and monitor the event.

In addition to significantly increasing reliability of detection in any incident on the water’s surface, night or day and even in bad weather conditions such as rain or fog, HEADS has a response time of less than two minutes, minimising the impact and acting faster to resolve it.

The project was launched at the end of 2011, with a multidisciplinary team of over twenty highly-qualified experts and researchers covering the oil industry, physics, chemistry, radar, algorithms and software integration.
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Statoil wins exploration acreage offshore Myanmar

Statoil, together with partner ConocoPhillips, has been awarded a deep-water exploration block in the Myanmar waters of Bay of Bengal.

Block AD-10 cover more than 9,000 square kilometres, and is located 200 km from the coast in water depths of approximately 2,000 metres.

The license has been awarded to Statoil and ConocoPhillips, each with a 50% equity share and with Statoil as the operator.
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BG Group enters new exploration basin, offshore Myanmar

BG Group  has been awarded new exploration acreage offshore Myanmar.

BG Group will operate two blocks, A4 and AD2 (45% and 55% equity respectively). The company also secured non-operated acreage in blocks A7 and AD5 (45% equity in each). These are located in the Rakhine Basin, in the western offshore area of Myanmar and were awarded as part of the government's 2013 Offshore Bid Round.

BG Group and its bidding partners have committed to a 3D seismic acquisition programme in each block, which we expect to begin in 2014/15 with options for future drilling.

This award is in line with BG Group's strategy to focus on securing prospective frontier acreage and enter, on average, one new basin each year.
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Monday 24 March 2014

CNOOC natural gas discovery in Bohai

CNOOC Limited  made a mid-sized natural gas discovery Bozhong 22-1 in Bohai.

Bozhong 22-1 structure is located in the south central Bohai with an average water depth of about 25 meters.

The discovery well Bozhong 22-1-2 is drilled and completed at a depth of 4,611 meters and encountered gas reservoir with a total thickness of about 92 meters.

The gas production of the well was tested around 14.2 million cubic feet per day.

The discovery of Bozhong 22-1 demonstrates the good prospects of buried hills for future gas exploration of south slope in Bozhong Sag.
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Construction starts on K2 Wind project

Workers are beginning to build the K2 Wind Power Project (K2 Wind), which broke ground today following the successful completion of an $850 million financing, which was secured with 15 financial institutions in the form of a construction loan that will convert to long-term operational debt.

Located in Goderich, the 270 megawatt (MW) wind power project is hiring local workers and using Ontario-made products, including 140 wind turbine towers made in Windsor and blades manufactured in Tillsonburg.

Once operational in the second half of 2015, K2 Wind will generate clean power for approximately 100,000 Ontario homes each year. The Project will create approximately 18 to 24 permanent full-time positions, generating about $1.5 million of employment income annually. K2 Wind is being developed jointly by Samsung Renewable Energy, Inc. (Samsung), Pattern Energy Group LP (Pattern Development) and Capital Power LP (Capital Power).

“K2 is our third wind project in Ontario to start construction, bringing a total of 690 MW of new wind energy to the Province,” said Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Development. “K2 embodies Pattern Development’s continued commitment to delivering world-class projects in a responsible way and is particularly exciting because we are hiring locally and using blades and towers made here in Ontario. We’re proud to be part of Ontario’s commitment to green energy.”

“Samsung is proud to be working with the community and our partners on the construction of this project,” said Mr. K.J. Kim, Senior Vice President, Samsung C&T. “The K2 Wind project will create thousands of high-skilled jobs and millions of dollars in tax revenues and community benefits that will benefit real people in the community.”

“K2 Wind will be an important addition to Ontario’s renewable energy fleet, with 270 MWs of clean power generation being built in one of Ontario’s key wind areas,” said Paul Wendelgass, Project Lead for Capital Power. “The project team has worked diligently to plan the project with the highest attention to environmental performance. We engaged local residents and stakeholders throughout the process, and are implementing a number of approaches to share project benefits with the larger community.”

K2 Wind is a strong supporter of the local community and has created a Community Benefits Fund Agreement with the Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh to deliver approximately $15 million in funding for community initiatives over the next 20 years.

K2 Wind will provide financial benefits to some 90 local farm families, who will collectively receive more than $3.2 million in annual revenue through land lease agreements and other benefits. In addition, K2 Wind’s Community Renewable Energy Benefit will provide an annual payment of $1500 to the owner of any residence located within one kilometre of Project infrastructure during the Project’s operation. More information about the Project is available at  
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GTL joint venture

Velocys has entered a joint venture (JV) with Waste Management, NRG Energy (NRG), and Ventech Engineers International (Ventech) to develop gas-to-liquids (GTL) plants in the United States and other select geographies.

The JV will pursue the development of multiple plants utilising a combination of renewable biogas (including landfill gas) and natural gas. Waste Management intends to supply renewable gas and, in certain cases, project sites. All four members will work exclusively through the JV to pursue the intended application (GTL using renewable gas, optionally in conjunction with natural gas) in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and China.

As its first commercial facility, the JV is targeting a plant to be located at Waste Management’s East Oak landfill site in Oklahoma, US. Detailed engineering for this first project is being completed, while final draft permitting documents for the facility have been submitted. The JV intends making a final decision to proceed on this first plant this year. Development activities for additional facilities are expected to commence shortly.

Waste Management is North America’s leading provider of comprehensive waste management services and the 200th largest company in the Fortune list. NRG owns the largest and most diverse competitive power generation portfolio in the United States and is a Fortune 500 company. Ventech is a global leader in the design and construction of modular refineries.

Velocys holds a minority interest in the JV. Its principal financial commitment to the JV arises after a decision is made to proceed with the first project, which the Company believes it can comfortably accommodate from its current balance sheet. Velocys and other members each have the right, but not the obligation, to participate in the funding of additional future plants.
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Saturday 22 March 2014

CIS completes Petrofac contract

Conductor Installation Services (CIS) successfully completed a contract for Weatherford Malaysia Sdn Bhd to provide conductor-driving services and associated equipment on behalf of Petrofac.

These services were delivered as part of Petrofac’s plans to develop Block PM304 for production on the Cendor Field Development, and to further expand the Berantai Field Development, which are located offshore Terengganu, Malaysia.

CIS supplied full project management, including personnel and onshore technical support for the entire project, from the fabrication of drive shoes through to the installation of the conductors.  More specifically, CIS was responsible for carrying out drivability studies, fabricating customised drive shoes, welding the drive shoes to the customer’s pipe, and supplying handling and cold cutting equipment.

Working from the GSF Galveston Key and Trident IX jack-up rigs, CIS used a 90kJ hydraulic hammer to drive fifteen 36-inch conductors into the seabed to form part of the foundations of the Cendor B and C platforms, which are key components of this development.

The contract, valued in excess of USD$1 million, was completed by CIS with support from its base in Singapore and global headquarters in Great Yarmouth, England.  Working in water depths to 62 metres, CIS installed all nine conductors in just six days on the Cendor Phase II Development.
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Repsol and IFPEN develop production technology

Repsol and the French Institute of Petroleum, IFP Energies Nouvelles, have signed a framework collaboration agreement to develop cutting-edge exploration and production technology. These projects will help to make hydrocarbon discoveries, identify new reserves, as well as evaluating their potential and increasing production.

One of the main objectives of the agreement is to jointly develop technology that improves understanding of the subsoil based on data from fields operated by Repsol. These data will allow further development of the software developed by IFPEN for basin modelling and the description of hydrocarbons reservoirs.

Carbonate reservoir characterisation is among the first projects which the scientists at the Repsol Technology Centre and IFPEN will investigate, representing an important contribution to the industry. These reservoirs account for 60% of global oil reserves and 40% of gas reserves.

To perform these studies, involving a team of over 30 people, IFPEN and Repsol will draw on their experience which has allowed the latter to achieve an exploration success rate close to 40%, well above the industry average.

This joint project will provide new insights into some of the most challenging aspects of characterisation and reservoir modelling, with a significant impact on future exploration and production projects. In addition, it will encourage the development of innovative solutions to optimise hydrocarbon reservoir production.
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Monday 17 March 2014

BHP Billiton new agricultural initiative

BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities officially launched the LEAD Project in Mozambique, pledging US$8.8 million over five years to the new agricultural initiative that will benefit smallholder farmers from three districts in Maputo Province.

Managed by ACDI/VOCA, a global economic development organisation that has worked in 146 countries since 1963, the LEAD Project stands for “Livelihoods Empowerment and Development” and began in August 2013.

The project will work with more than 50 producer organisations that represent farmers to increase their income and business opportunities, improve production capacity through farm-level training and facilitate access to financing.  The project has already taken the first steps to establish around 30 farmer field schools and over the life of the project it will directly benefit 6,500 households in the area.

BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities Chairman, Ian Wood, said BHP Billiton was proud to be part of a project that is seeking to improve the livelihoods of smallholder horticulture farmers in the Boane, Marracuene and Namaacha districts of Maputo Province.

“The LEAD project had strong appeal for the BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities’ Directors right from the outset because it builds on people’s affinity with their land in Mozambique and their history in small scale farming,” he said.

“We hope the skills and knowledge shared during this project will help improve the livelihoods of people over many generations to come.”

BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities is a charity established by BHP Billiton as part of its community investment program.  Most projects supported by BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities are five year projects and they predominately focus on building capacity of individuals and institutions, so that after the project is completed, it will leave a lasting positive legacy.

BHP Billiton Sustainable Communities supports a number of projects in Colombia, Australia, South Africa and Mozambique.  Other projects in Mozambique, in addition to the LEAD project, focus on maternal and child health, malaria and access to clean water, with the investment in the country totalling US$30 million.

BHP Billiton is the major shareholder of the Mozal aluminium smelter in Boane, Mozambique.
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Arab Oil & Gas Show

His Excellency Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and the Managing Director and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), opened The Arab Oil and Gas Show at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, UAE.

More than 300 exhibitors from over 25 countries are displaying their products and services for an audience of local, regional and international buyers, engineers and contractors during its three-day run.

This 18th edition of the biennial show features the launch of new products and technologies, and incorporates a Trade Exhibition and an industry-focused Conference on ‘Managing Sustainable Energy’ organized in association with the UAE Society of Engineers.

The show will demonstrate new equipments and processes including Automation Equipment & Systems, Pipeline & Drilling Equipment, Energy Saving Technology, Energy & Water Recycling Products, Engineering & Design, Petrochemical/Petrochemical Solvents, Oil & Gas Production, and Testing & Inspection Services, among others.

Anselm Godinho, Managing Director, International Conferences and Exhibitions (IC&E), organizer of the event, said: “The Arab Oil and Gas show provides a gateway for key players to discuss latest trends, share industry insights and gain knowledge about new products and progressive technologies that can be highly beneficial for the oil & gas sector. The event is becoming even more crucial when we realize that the UAE alone will require around 600,000 barrels of oil over the next decade to sustain its expanding infrastructure and business needs. The Arab Oil & Gas is also focusing on prevailing issues such as our growing reliance on hydrocarbons, the shift towards green economy and sustainability and the increasing challenges due to the surge in the demand for energy.”

A popular feature of the Arab Oil & Gas, the two-day conference on ‘Managing Sustainable Energy’ is being conducted by the UAE Society of Engineers and incorporates technical presentations and seminars on current industry issues delivered by regional leaders and experts. Some of the conference topics being addressed include ‘Why System Engineering is important for Oil & Gas,’ ‘Energy Management,’ and ‘Risk Management,’ among others. In addition, the Training and Recruitment platform at the show, which is the region’s only human resources forum of its kind dedicated to the oil & gas industry, is highlighting the increasing need for training, professional development, skill building and employment in the energy sector.
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DNO wells in Tawke Field

DNO International has initiated production from two newly completed horizontal wells in the Tawke field in the Kurdistan region of Iraq at a combined rate of 37,000 barrels per day.

In one of the new wells, Tawke-21, eight productive fracture corridors penetrated by a 980-meter horizontal section in the main Cretaceous reservoir interval flowed an average rate of 9,700 barrels per day each.  In the other well, Tawke-22, located six kilometers away, seven productive fracture corridors penetrated by an 800-meter horizontal section flowed an average rate of 8,800 barrels per day each.  Both wells are subject to wellbore and surface facilities limitations.

"We hit a new production record of 129,000 barrels per day at the Tawke field on March 5 which is close to the limit of what we currently can deliver by pipeline and road tanker," said Bijan Mossavar-Rahmani, DNO International's Executive Chairman.

"With the exceptional results from these latest wells and the installation of early production packages and a new 24-inch pipeline, we are on track to meet our ambitious deliverability goal of 200,000 barrels per day in 2014," he added.

Two previous Tawke horizontal wells came on production in the second half of last year, two wells are currently drilling and three more are scheduled which, together with Tawke-21 and Tawke-22, will bring the total number of horizontal wells in the field to nine by yearend.

DNO International holds a 55 percent interest in and operates the Tawke license. Genel Energy plc holds 25 percent and the Kurdistan Regional Government the remaining 20 percent interest.
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Sunday 16 March 2014

BP agreement means new contracts

BP has entered into an administrative agreement with the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), on behalf of the federal government, resolving all matters related to the suspension, debarment and statutory disqualification of BP following the Deepwater Horizon accident and oil spill.  As a result of this agreement, BP is once again eligible to enter into new contracts with the US government, including new deepwater leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

The administrative agreement applies to all of the suspended and debarred BP entities, including BP Exploration & Production Inc., BP p.l.c. and certain affiliated companies.

“After a lengthy negotiation, BP is pleased to have reached this resolution, which we believe to be fair and reasonable,” said John Mingé, Chairman and President of BP America, Inc.

“Today’s agreement will allow America’s largest energy investor to compete again for federal contracts and leases.”

Under the terms and conditions of the administrative agreement, which will apply for five years, BP has agreed to a set of safety and operations, ethics and compliance, and corporate governance requirements, including those contained in the remedial order stemming from BP’s 2012 Plea Agreement with the US Department of Justice and Final Judgment Order with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

As part of the administrative agreement, BP will dismiss the lawsuit it filed against the EPA in federal court in Texas for improper statutory disqualification and suspension.
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McDermott: emergency pipeline repair

McDermott reported that the Dive Support Vessel Thebaud Sea (DSV) was recently mobilized for an Emergency Pipeline Repair intervention offshore the United Arab Emirates. This is the third time in recent months that the DSV has been fast-tracked to carry out an emergency response. This contract is included in McDermott’s first quarter 2014 backlog.

“Pipeline failures can often result in significant production loss, which is why reaction speed to these cases is critical,” said Scott Cummins, Executive Vice President, Offshore.

“Although there is added pressure due to the impact in oil revenues, Health, Safety and the Environment remains at the forefront for Emergency Pipeline Repair Systems (“EPRS”). The pipeline must be safely isolated and then stabilized before any repairs can be executed, to ensure the safety of the diver and the environment.”

“Every case is unique, which is why the approach must be robust enough to handle any given situation,” commented Cummins. “Our operational knowledge, experience and expertise defines our engineering deliverables as real solutions, over theoretical studies. We are pleased that our clients have shown repeat confidence in our EPRS capabilities."

With the support of in-house offshore resources, McDermott engineering teams have completed several EPRS studies on behalf of a number of clients. For each repair scenario, an individually tailored solution was delivered to cater to specific emergency responses to pipeline damage.
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Fugro wins Ichthys survey work

Fugro Spatial Solutions Pty Ltd, based in Australia has been awarded a dimensional control survey subcontract by JKC Australia LNG Pty Ltd, as part of the construction of the Ichthys Project Onshore LNG Facilities, near Darwin, Australia.

This contract will run until the end of 2015, with Fugro’s specialist surveyors supplying high precision survey services to the project team for the installation and hook-up of the LNG plant modules by accurately measuring the interface points.

Modern Dimensional Control combines 3-dimensional mathematical modelling with surveyed measurements providing the ability to analyse or compare objects. Originating in the offshore industry, it is now used by our surveyors in the engineering, manufacturing, mining, marine, aeronautical and automotive industries.

“The contract award acknowledges Fugro’s knowledge and experience gained from previous dimensional control surveys associated with onshore LNG facilities.  Fugro’s strength as an established provider of Dimensional Control surveys to the oil and gas market, along with our ability to service clients globally through an experienced and mobile workforce gave Fugro an advantage to secure this contract,” said Bill Jones, Fugro Spatial Solutions’ Managing Director.
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GE oil and gas facility in Hungary

GE has opened its newly expanded oil and gas facility in Fót, Hungary.

The GE Oil & Gas manufacturing plant has been substantially enlarged with the addition of a new 8,000 square meter manufacturing facility and a new office building of 3,000 square meters.

The new state-of-the-art manufacturing base will provide central unit control panels (UCPs) for pipelines, LNG production facilities and other oil and gas applications.

The increased capacity adds more than 100 jobs, including 40 engineering positions, an employment increase of more than 80 percent.
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Wintershall sells VNG shares to EWE

Wintershall, Germany’s largest internationally active crude oil and natural gas producer, is planning to divest its shareholding in the Eastern German company Verbundnetz Gas AG (VNG) as part of its strategy to concentrate on the upstream sector.

An agreement was reached today (March 14, 2014) that will see EWE Aktiengesellschaft take over Wintershall’s 15.79 percent share in VNG.

The transaction requires the approval of the competition authorities. It is also subject to board approvals in both companies and requires the approval of the VNG annual general meeting.

The parties agreed not to disclose the purchase price.
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