-- E&P firms compete to drill 180 UKCS wells in 2006-08 Oil and gas exploration and production firms operating in the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) are planning to drill about 180 wells in 2006-08, according to a report published by North Sea consultancy Hannon Westwood.
-- US drilling activity continues to climb US drilling activity continued to climb, up by 7 units this week with 1,724 rotary rigs working, compared with 1,483 during the same period a year ago, said Baker Hughes Inc.
-- Fort Hills files plan for heavy oil upgrader Petro-Canada Oil Sands Inc. filed an application with the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board for the construction and operation of a heavy oil upgrader 40 km northeast of Edmonton, Alta.
-- Hydro awards upgrade contract for Brage platform Norsk Hydro has awarded Norwegian petroleum services company Aker Kvaerner a 150 million kroner contract for the upgrade of Hydro's reinjection water system on the Brage oil and gas platform in the Norwegian North Sea.
-- US drilling activity on the rise US drilling activity increased by 20 rotary rigs to 1,717 working this week, up from 1,460 in the same period a year ago, said officials at Baker Hughes Inc.
-- Pride International to extend rig contracts Pride International Inc., Houston, has agreed to extend the existing contract on its deepwater semisubmersible Pride North America for an additional 3 years. The rig is operating off Egypt.
-- Minimal increase seen in US drilling US drilling activity showed little change with a net gain of only 1 rotary rig to 1,697 drilling, up from 1,491 a year ago, said Baker Hughes Inc.
-- Co-op programs to drill nine N. Sea wells Six independent oil companies will drill nine wells next year in the central and northern UK North Sea with two semisubmersible rigs under two cooperative programs managed by AGR Peak Well Management Ltd., London.
-- US drilling inches higher US drilling activity inched up with 3 more rotary rigs working the week ended Nov. 17 for a total of 1,696, up from 1,478 a year ago, said Baker Hughes Inc.
-- Regulators approve Suncor's oil sands projects Suncor Energy Inc. said the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board (EUB) on Nov. 14 approved the company's application to build a third oil sands upgrader, Voyageur, and approved plans to develop the Steepbank mine expansion.
-- Terra Nova production resumes off St. John's Production from Terra Nova oil field resumed Nov. 12, following completion of a planned maintenance turnaround on the Terra Nova FPSO vessel (OGJ, Sept. 11, 2006, Newsletter).
-- GlobalSantaFe, BHP agree to extend rig contracts GlobalSantaFe Corp. has signed agreements with BHP Billiton Ltd. to extend the contracts on two ultradeepwater drilling rigs for additional 4-year terms. The rigs currently are operating in the Gulf of Mexico.
-- US rig count drops by 46 units US drilling activity dropped significantly the week ended Nov. 10, down by 46 units, with 1,693 rotary rigs working, said Baker Hughes Inc.
-- KMV plans three more gas wells in Oklahoma Mammoth Energy Group Inc. subsidiary KMV Consulting, Denver, currently drilling five wells in its shallow gas project in Rogers County, Okla., has made arrangements to drill three more wells there.
-- Fortune Oil begins CBM drilling in China A unit of Fortune Oil PLC has begun drilling its first pilot well on the Liulin Block in the eastern Ordos basin of Shanxi Province, China. The Ordos basin is one of the world's largest CBM resource areas.
-- Total unit enters production phase at Joslyn project Deer Creek Energy Ltd., a recent subsidiary of Total SA, has started the commercial production phase of the Joslyn project in the Athabasca region, 60 km northwest of Fort McMurray, Alta. Deer Creek is an 84% interest owner and operator of the Joslyn lease.
-- US rig count slips slightly US drilling activity slipped slightly the week ended Nov. 3, down by 5 units, with 1,739 rotary rigs working, said Baker Hughes Inc.
-- Iraq to boost oil output, develop Al Ahdab field Iraqi oil minister Hussein al-Shahristani, fresh from a tour of Asia, expects his country to produce 3 million b/d of crude oil by yearend and, with fresh investment, some 4.5 million b/d by 2010.
-- Hurricanes spotlight jack up design, placements The storm magnitudes of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita exceeded the design criteria of most of the jack up rigs caught in their paths through the central Gulf of Mexico, said industry experts at a recent Houston workshop sponsored by the International Association of Drilling Contractors.