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August 03, 2015 --- Vol. 21, No. 33August 2015

Shell CEO confirms commitment to Chukchi exploration

During an analyst call reviewing Shell's second quarter 2015 results Ben van Beurden, the company's chief executive officer, confirmed his company's commitment to exploration in the Chukchi Sea, despite a reduction in the company's overall exploration spend in the wake of the company's takeover of the BG Group.

"In Alaska … we are planning to drill the Burger prospect in the Chukchi Sea in 2015 and '16 to test what could be a multibillion-barrel oil field for Shell, with further exploration potential in the more general acreage we hold there," van Beurden said.

Shell has previously said that it views its program in the Alaska Arctic offshore as a long-term strategic play.

Van Beurden also commented that the company anticipates drilling just one well during this year's Arctic open water season.

"We have one well planned for this season over the next weeks, months, so expect results somewhere in September or do," he said.

- ALAN BAILEY

Conoco: $195M in Alaska in second quarter

A small bump in oil prices early in the year helped ConocoPhillips earn $195 million from its Alaska operations during the second quarter - up from the first quarter of the year but down considerably from a year ago, when oil prices topped $100 per barrel.

The largest oil company in the state had earned $145 million in the first quarter of this year and $627 million in the second quarter of last year. With global oil prices depressed, Alaska remained one of the most profitable segments in the company's portfolio.

By comparison, after adjustments, ConocoPhillips reported a loss of $293 million from its Lower 48 operations and a loss of $60 million from its Canadian operations, and gains of $328 million from its Asia Pacific and Middle Eastern operations and $71 million from its European operations during the second quarter. Companywide, ConocoPhillips reported a net loss of $179 million on $8.6 billion in revenue, down from nearly $2.1 billion in net income on $14.7 billion in revenue in the second quarter of 2014.

- ERIC LIDJI

Exxon names new Alaska production manager

ExxonMobil Production Co. said today that Cory Quarles has been named Alaska production manager.

He has been with ExxonMobil since 1998, most recently as global facilities engineering manager for ExxonMobil Production.

Quarles, a native of Houston, Texas, holds a chemical engineering degree with Texas A&M University.

He succeeds Karen Hagedorn, who has taken an assignment in the United Kingdom.

- Petroleum News

See stories in Aug. 9 issue, available online Friday, Aug. 7 at www.PetroleumNews.com

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