Oil & Gas Journal News

Mexican multinational conglomerate Alfa SAB de CV and British energy firm Harbour Energy Ltd. have collaborated to acquire the stock of Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp., Toronto, not already owned by Alfa in a deal valued at about $1.7 billion, excluding debt.

State-owned Petroleos del Peru SA (Petroperu), through a contractor, has let a contract to Flowserve Corp., Irving, Tex., for the supply of pumping systems to be installed as part the long-planned modernization and upgrade of its 62,000-b/d Talara refinery at Piura, about 1,200 km north of Lima (OGJ Online, Dec. 19, 2013).

Statoil ASA said a Feb. 18 condensate leak at its Gudrun platform in the North Sea could have been much worse, even fatal, if anyone would have been present at the time.

US net imports of natural gas totaled 1,171 bcf in 2014, down 9% from the level in 2013 and continuing an 8-year decline, according to the US Energy Information Administration. This was the lowest level since 1987.

Abu Dhabi Co. for Onshore Petroleum Operations Ltd. (ADCO) has let a $344-million contract to China Petroleum Engineering & Construction Corp. for engineering, procurement, and construction work for the further development of onshore Mender field in Abu Dhabi (OGJ Online, Mar. 11, 2015).

Crude oil prices on the New York and London markets regained some ground May 20 with US light, sweet crude oil prices for July climbing nearly $1/bbl to close at just under $59/bbl on the heels of a government report that US oil inventories dropped for a third consecutive week.

Husky Energy Inc. has started commercial steam operations at the 10,000-b/d Rush Lake heavy oil thermal project in Saskatchewan (OGJ Online, Dec. 12, 2014).

Esso Exploration & Production Guyana Ltd., a unit of ExxonMobil Corp., reported an oil discovery on Stabroek block 120 miles offshore Guyana.

Ending the US crude oil export ban will produce such significant energy, economic, and geopolitical benefits that it appears likely to come to a Senate vote during 2015, Energy and Commerce Committee member John Hoeven (D-ND) predicted.

Wintershall Holding GMBH is leaving Qatar, effective May 25, because of lack of access to local infrastructure, the company said.

Power Engineering News

Replacing heavy equipment is one way utilities can extend the life and increase the reliability of their existing nuclear plants. As part of investing in its Callaway Energy Center, Ameren Missouri worked with AREVA Inc. to replace the reactor vessel closure head (RVCH) during a scheduled outage in fall 2014.

The U.S. coal-fired electric generation industry once again finds itself in the crosshairs of regulatory changes. Government activity at the end of 2014 resulted in the "pre-publication" of the federal coal combustion residual (CCR) rule that has been promised since late 2008 and early 2009.

Gas turbines have been widely deployed in industrial applications for decades and are used to produce the power to drive propellers, pumps and compressors.

Southern has acquired or is constructing more than 1,100 MW of renewable energy generating capacity with 16 solar, wind and biomass projects, including four solar projects in Georgia.

Heaven help the country's power producers. They've lately faced a perfect storm of environmental regulations, which-though nobly intentioned-make the affordable operation of a power plant much more complicated.

In April 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a final rule in the Federal Register to regulate the disposal of coal combustion residuals (CCR) as solid waste as part of its Resource Conservation and Recovery Act.

No one will deny that the coal-fired power industry faces many challenges as it moves into the coming decades. Coal plant owners are being asked to make high capital investments in equipment upgrades and modifications to meet ever-tightening emissions regulations.

Acronyms are a government addiction. The Clean Power Plan has introduced some new acronyms and reinforced some existing ones that need to be incorporated into the vernacular of today's power plant engineer, specifically: CPP, EGU, BSER and CSS.

Four years ago in this space, I wrote a column about the "new" WANO - the World Association of Nuclear Operators.