More Oil & Gas News

NORTH SEA FIELD MAY GET CONCRETE PLATFORM

Concrete oil production platforms appear ready to make a comeback in the U.K. North Sea. Amerada Hess Ltd. favors a concrete substructure for Scott field, the largest oil reservoir currently under development off the U.K. At the same time, McAlpine Offshore and Doris Engineering have formed a joint venture to undertake complete design, construction, and installation for concrete structures in the British North Sea. In other North Sea action: Conoco (U.K.) Ltd. started initial development

CALIFORNIA NATURAL GAS LINE ACTION SIMMERING

The competition to serve California's growing gas demand with an interstate pipeline has developed a new wrinkle. Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (DWP) has turned to Coastal Corp.'s Wyoming-California Pipeline Co. for natural gas pipeline capacity after negotiations collapsed with the competing Tenneco Inc./Williams Cos. Kern River Transmission Co. project to bring gas from Wyoming to southern California. The scramble among competing interstate pipeline projects to

U.S. INDUSTRY EXPANDS SPILL RESPONSE PLAN

Expanded plans are in place by U.S. oil companies to form a standby oil spill cleanup group, the Petroleum Industry Response Organization (PIRO). Plans began taking shape in earnest last summer in the aftermath of the Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska's Prince William Sound (OGJ, June 26, 1989, p. 18). John Costello, president of PIRO Implementation Inc., said the 20 companies that originally proposed PIRO and 20 more large firms are being asked to join by Mar. 1. He said, "The PIRO

MODIFIED VISCOMETER REMOTELY MEASURES DILUTED HEAVY OIL

J.S. Pasini-Taylor AEC Pipelines Edmonton, Alta. AEC Pipelines, Edmonton, has successfully modified a conventional viscometer for remote, on-line measurement of diluted heavy-oil. These modifications included additional instrumentation to monitor and control the temperature of the product sample within the viscometer and instrumentation and controls remotely to operate the viscometer and monitor its status. A pipeline company transporting diluted heavy oil must monitor product quality.

U.S. BRIEFS

ASEA BROWN BOVERI INC., Stamford, Conn., acquired Combustion Engineering Inc. after CE shareholders approved the merger. ABB bought more than 90% of CE's common stock Dec. 15, 1989, for about $1.6 billion. ABB also purchased Westinghouse Electric Co.'s transmission and distribution operations for about $800 million. SONAT INC. completed acquisition of the common stock of Carlile & Howell Inc., owner of Marshall Exploration Inc., Marshall, Tex. Sonat estimates the acquisition added

ENVIRONMENT KEY TO BIG WRITEDOWNS

Long delay in starting up Point Arguello field off California hits Chevron, Texaco, Phillips fourth quarter earnings. Exxon Valdez, petrochemical plant blast also factors in profits pinch. ARCO, Sun take charges for environmental expenses. Environmental and safety woes have spurred a number of U.S. companies to take writedowns totaling more than $2 billion against 1989 earnings. Chevron Corp. charged $1.203 billion in special items against earnings, Texaco Inc. took charges totaling $355

AMOCO SETS FLOW TEST WATER DEPTH RECORD

Amoco Production Co. last week disclosed a world record water depth flow test at a well in the Gulf of Mexico. The company's 1 Sidetrack 2 Viosca Knoll 957 flowed at a stabilized rate of 22.5 MMcfd of gas and 2,670 b/d of condensate through a 46/64 in. choke with 2,800 psi average flowing tubing pressure during a 4 day test of pay at about 13,000 ft. Drillsite, about 70 miles east of the Mississippi River Delta, is in 3,492 ft of water (see map, OGJ, Nov. 13,1989, p. 22). At last count, the

WATCHING WASHINGTON DINGELL'S NEW VIEWS

With Patrick Crow Times change, and sometimes people change with them. A case in point is Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), chairman of the House energy and commerce committee. During the past two decades he often has been a tough critic of the oil industry and, due to his position, a formidable obstacle for oil lobbyists. But last year, Dingell was persuaded that consumers would be better served by natural gas decontrol than by regulation. As a result, phased deregulation was enacted. Last week

OGJ NEWSLETTER

OPEC Sec. Gen. Subroto has urged Japan to provide an unspecified level of funding to help OPEC raise productive capacity to prepare for a tighter crude oil market. Subroto told Hikaru Matsunaga, minister of international trade and industry, OPEC will need $60 billion in foreign aid to boost capacity 6-7 million b/d by 1995. Matsunaga said the Japanese government will carefully consider the request. Japan imported 3.59 million b/d in 1989, 76.5% of it from OPEC and an 8.2%, gain from 1988

BUSH PLANS TO HIKE ENERGY OUTLAYS

President Bush's first budget proposal calls for significantly higher spending f r energy research and development, conservation, and renewable energy. The administration's fiscal 1991 budget, for 12 months beginning Oct. 1, calls for $1.23 trillion in spending and anticipates $1.17 trillion in revenues, leaving a $63 billion deficit. That's barely less than the $64 billion deficit limit set in the Gramm-RudmanHollings budget law. As part of the budget, the Treasury Department

IMPERIAL TO SELL MORE STATIONS

Imperial Oil Ltd. has agreed to sell 27 more service stations in Atlantic Canada to gain approval of a $4.9 billion acquisition of Texaco Canada Inc. The action is in response to a ruling late in January by the quasijudicial Competition Tribunal, which said Imperial had not done enough to ensure market competition after the acquisition. Imperial also will give stronger supply guarantees to independent retailers in Ontario and Quebec.

SHELL BEGINS TEST OF METHANOL/GASOLINE FUEL

Shell Oil Co., saying much more information is needed on methanol's effects as a motor fuel, has launched a methanol/gasoline fuel test program in California. Shell is undertaking the 10 year program in cooperation with the California Energy Commission (CEC). Shell hopes the program will help answer many of the "economic, logistical, health and safety, technical, environmental, and consumer acceptance questions associated with methanol fuel," said O.P. Graves, vice-president, western

TWO N. SEA FIELDS APPROVED FOR DEVELOPMENT

Two oil field development projects have won the green light in the North Sea. Norsk Hydro gained approval for its 8.4 billion kroner ($1.29 billion) Brage project off Norway. The 240 million bbl field will be developed with a single drilling and production platform linked to the nearby Oseberg crude oil pipeline to the Norwegian mainland. In the U.K. sector, Amerada Hess Ltd. will shortly place on stream Hamish oil field, one of the smallest reservoirs to be tapped off Northwest Europe.

SOME OIL SPILL RECOMMENDATIONS

In the matter of the Feb. 7 tanker spill of Alaskan crude oil off Huntington Beach, Calif., some recommendations to interested parties: To the petroleum industry. Prepare for another storm of invective from environmentalists and their friends in officialdom. It was a shipping mishap, to be sure. But it was your basic commodity that, at this writing, appeared to threaten popular beaches. Especially in California, that constitutes guilt.

LEASE PLAY ERUPTS IN BLACK WARRIOR BASIN

A Cambro-Ordovician Knox dolomite lease play is mushrooming in the Black Warrior basin of Mississippi and Alabama. Exploration Co. of Louisiana (XCL), Lafayette, La., said the play is an extension of Cambro-Ordovician Arbuckle dolomite exploration near Wilburton, Okla., in the Arkoma basin. Knox and Arbuckle are geologic equivalents. XCL has acquired lease interests lying in 18 northern Mississippi counties and two western Alabama counties in the Black Warrior basin. At its farthest point,

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