Suez Canal Terrorist Attack Thwarted

By MarEx 2015-07-06 12:16:29

Egyptian authorities have arrested 13 members of the Muslim Brotherhood on suspicion of planting bombs around the Suez Canal to disrupt shipping, security sources said on Monday.

The security sources said the men formed a 13-member cell that included an employee at the Suez Canal Authority.

Prosecutors had ordered that suspected terrorists be detained for 15 days and said they had planted bombs in areas including sanitation and electricity facilities as well as on beaches, they said.

The Suez Canal is the fastest shipping route between Europe and Asia. Around 18,000 ships pass through the canal annually, which amounts to 10% of global maritime trade. Currently, the canal is in the midst of an $8 billion expansion that is set to begin operations August 6.

The Suez Canal represents a vital source of income earning Egypt around $5 billion per year. The new canal, which will allow two-way traffic of larger ships, is supposed to increase revenues by 2023 to $15 billion. Attacks against the canal have the potential to severely impeded Egypt’s economic development.

Egypt’s government has recently escalated rhetoric against the Brotherhood, which it regards as a terrorist group, since the assassination of the country’s top prosecutor last week.

The Muslim Brotherhood is a Pan-Islamic group, which has been implicated in terrorist activities. The group has one of its largest organizations in Egypt even though the government officially declared the Brotherhood a terrorist organization in 2014.

The army toppled President Mohamed Mursi of the Brotherhood in 2013 following mass protests against his rule.

The Brotherhood says it is committed to peaceful activism designed to reverse what it calls a military coup, after former army chief, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ousted Mursi, and then went on to become elected president.

Security forces cracked down hard on Mursi’s supporters after he was ousted, killing hundreds in the streets at Cairo protest camps and arresting thousands of others in what human rights groups described as a return to repression.

Last week Egyptian security forces stormed an apartment in a western Cairo suburb and killed nine men whom they said were armed, the interior ministry said.

Among the dead was a prominent lawyer for the Brotherhood and a former lawmaker. The Brotherhood denied that the men were armed and said they were holding an “organizational meeting”.

Egypt does not distinguish between the Brotherhood and groups such as Islamic State, which has an affiliate in Sinai, epicenter of an Islamist militant insurgency that has killed hundreds of soldiers and police since Mursi’s fall.

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Eni Begins Production on Massive Gas Field

Italian oil and gas giant Eni has started production of the massive gas field Perla, the largest offshore gas field in Latin America.

The first production well has been opened 50 kilometers (31 miles) offshore, in the Gulf of Venezuela, and is currently in the clean-up phase.

The field is located in the Cardón IV Block operated by “Cardón IV S.A.”, a company jointly owned by Eni (50%) and Repsol (50%). Perla is the largest offshore gas field discovered to date in Latin America and the first gas field to be brought to production offshore Venezuela.

Eni CEO, Claudio Descalzi, commented, “Eni has reached another milestone with the production start-up of the Perla offshore field, in line with the timing presented to the market in March during the Strategy presentation. Perla was for Eni one of the most significant start-up projects of 2015, and the today result confirms the validity of our development model that allowed us to reach production in an industry-leading time to market”.

The development of Perla has been planned in three phases to optimize time to market and investment pace. It includes four light offshore platforms linked by a 30” pipeline to a Central Processing Facility (CPF) located onshore at Punto Fijo (Paraguaná Peninsula) and 21 producer wells. In the CPF two treatment trains have been installed with the capability of handling 150 Mscfd and 300 Mscfd each.

The development of the field, discovered in late 2009, was completed in 5 years, an industry-leading time to market. This excellent performance was achieved thanks to an extensive use of pre-pack modules in the realization of the onshore gas treatment trains, in order to minimize construction works.

Perla currently holds 17 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of gas in place, which corresponds to 3.1 billion of barrels of oil equivalent (boe), with additional potential. The best wells are estimated to produce over 150 million standard cubic feet per day (Mscfd) each.

Eni’s current net production in Venezuela is approximately 12,000 boed and is expected to exceed 50,000 boed by year end, mainly due to the increase in production from Perla.

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Port of Antwerp Hones in on “One Belt One Road”

“One Belt, One Road” is a Chinese development strategy launched at the end of 2013 that focuses on connectivity and cooperation among countries primarily in Eurasia. It has two main components, namely the land-based “Silk Road Economic Belt” and the ocean-going “Maritime Silk Road.” Antwerp has the potential to play a significant role in both these routes as a major trading hub, and so the Port Authority is setting up a special taskforce for this purpose.

During the recent state visit to China by king Philippe of Belgium the country applied to join the new Asian Infrastructure Development Bank, the investment bank behind the strategy.

Joining the Asian Infrastructure Development Bank is also very significant for the port of Antwerp, which for many years now has put great efforts into expanding its market share in China. The Chinese president Xi Jiping last week told his Belgian visitors – who included Marc Van Peel and Eddy Bruyninckx, respectively chairman and CEO of Antwerp Port Authority – that Antwerp has an important role to play in developing a “New Silk Road” linking the Europe and the Middle East with the economic centres of China and other countries in South-East Asia and around the Indian Ocean. In order for Antwerp to play this role correctly a “One Belt One Road” taskforce is being set up this month within the Port Authority.

Chinese presence

The port of Antwerp has long had a prominent presence in China. The port has a permanent representative in Shanghai who defends the interests of Antwerp in all sorts of ways. These efforts have met with success, as collaboration between various Chinese port cities and Antwerp has expanded rapidly in the past few years.

Last Monday the Port Authority signed a collaboration agreement with the China Development Bank and the Chengtong Holdings Group in which both parties have undertaken to look for a suitable site in the port of Antwerp to set up an EU-Africa-International Trade & Logistics Hub Centre. One possibility (among others) currently being examined is the Churchill Industrial Zone. The Chinese holding company was one of the candidates in the Request for Proposals issued by the Port Authority last year to find a use for the former Opel site in the port area. This agreement fits fairly and squarely into the One Belt One Road strategy, a project in which Antwerp has been identified as an important region for investment and mutual collaboration, in this particular case by acting as a hub for trade with Africa.

To underscore the significance of the event the agreement was signed in the presence of Li Keqiang, premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China. In preparation for the premier’s visit, He Lifeng, vice-chairman van the National Development and Reform Commission, called on the European Commission in Brussels to talk about “One Belt One Road.” Following the program in Brussels, He Lifeng paid an extended visit to the port of Antwerp where the main topic of discussion was One Belt One Road and the role in which Antwerp can play in this project.

Strategic collaboration

Antwerp is an attractive partner not only because of its location in the heart of Europe. Thanks to collaboration with various ports and regions that lie along the New Silk Road the port has become a major strategic partner. This week, for instance, representatives of two subsidiaries of Antwerp Port Authority – Port of Antwerp International (consultancy) and APEC (training center) – will visit the port of Baku in Azerbaijan to sign a collaboration agreement that is expected to result in contracts in the short term. In Oman, Port of Antwerp International together with RentAPort has long been active in developing the port of Duqm, where a hub function is being created for trade between the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Far East, South-East Asia and East and South Africa.

One Belt One Road

The One Belt One Road project announced at the end of 2013 seeks to connect China’s main industrial cities with trading centers elsewhere in Asia, the Middle East and Europe. The project encompasses a rail route which roughly follows the historic Silk Road and a maritime route that covers South East Asia and the countries around the Indian Ocean. Infrastructure work for this project will be financed by among others the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

Details

Port of Antwerp Homes in on “One Belt One Road”

“One Belt, One Road” is a Chinese development strategy launched at the end of 2013 that focuses on connectivity and cooperation among countries primarily in Eurasia. It has two main components, namely the land-based “Silk Road Economic Belt” and the ocean-going “Maritime Silk Road.” Antwerp has the potential to play a significant role in both these routes as a major trading hub, and so the Port Authority is setting up a special taskforce for this purpose.

During the recent state visit to China by king Philippe of Belgium the country applied to join the new Asian Infrastructure Development Bank, the investment bank behind the strategy.

Joining the Asian Infrastructure Development Bank is also very significant for the port of Antwerp, which for many years now has put great efforts into expanding its market share in China. The Chinese president Xi Jiping last week told his Belgian visitors – who included Marc Van Peel and Eddy Bruyninckx, respectively chairman and CEO of Antwerp Port Authority – that Antwerp has an important role to play in developing a “New Silk Road” linking the Europe and the Middle East with the economic centres of China and other countries in South-East Asia and around the Indian Ocean. In order for Antwerp to play this role correctly a “One Belt One Road” taskforce is being set up this month within the Port Authority.

Chinese presence

The port of Antwerp has long had a prominent presence in China. The port has a permanent representative in Shanghai who defends the interests of Antwerp in all sorts of ways. These efforts have met with success, as collaboration between various Chinese port cities and Antwerp has expanded rapidly in the past few years.

Last Monday the Port Authority signed a collaboration agreement with the China Development Bank and the Chengtong Holdings Group in which both parties have undertaken to look for a suitable site in the port of Antwerp to set up an EU-Africa-International Trade & Logistics Hub Centre. One possibility (among others) currently being examined is the Churchill Industrial Zone. The Chinese holding company was one of the candidates in the Request for Proposals issued by the Port Authority last year to find a use for the former Opel site in the port area. This agreement fits fairly and squarely into the One Belt One Road strategy, a project in which Antwerp has been identified as an important region for investment and mutual collaboration, in this particular case by acting as a hub for trade with Africa.

To underscore the significance of the event the agreement was signed in the presence of Li Keqiang, premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China. In preparation for the premier’s visit, He Lifeng, vice-chairman van the National Development and Reform Commission, called on the European Commission in Brussels to talk about “One Belt One Road.” Following the program in Brussels, He Lifeng paid an extended visit to the port of Antwerp where the main topic of discussion was One Belt One Road and the role in which Antwerp can play in this project.

Strategic collaboration

Antwerp is an attractive partner not only because of its location in the heart of Europe. Thanks to collaboration with various ports and regions that lie along the New Silk Road the port has become a major strategic partner. This week, for instance, representatives of two subsidiaries of Antwerp Port Authority – Port of Antwerp International (consultancy) and APEC (training center) – will visit the port of Baku in Azerbaijan to sign a collaboration agreement that is expected to result in contracts in the short term. In Oman, Port of Antwerp International together with RentAPort has long been active in developing the port of Duqm, where a hub function is being created for trade between the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea, the Far East, South-East Asia and East and South Africa.

One Belt One Road

The One Belt One Road project announced at the end of 2013 seeks to connect China’s main industrial cities with trading centers elsewhere in Asia, the Middle East and Europe. The project encompasses a rail route which roughly follows the historic Silk Road and a maritime route that covers South East Asia and the countries around the Indian Ocean. Infrastructure work for this project will be financed by among others the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.

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Baker Hughes Wins Drilling Contract for Johan Svendrup

By MarEx 2015-07-06 09:55:05

Statoil announced today that it has awarded Baker Hughes Norway a NOK 1.5 billion ($185 million) contract for Johan Svendrup project.

The agreement is for integrated drilling services and is valid for six years with a four-year extension option for the entire field life.

For the Johan Sverdrup field Statoil has decided to invite the market to tender for integrated services in order to reduce total well costs and achieve more efficient well services. Baker Hughes will provide a complete range of services including cementing and pumping, completion, integrated drilling services, and drilling and completion fluids, as well as offshore handling of drill cuttings.

“Drilling will commence in 2016. Together with Baker Hughes we will quickly establish an integrated operations team, working closely with the drilling and rig contractor Odfjell to plan and optimize well deliveries. This award will play an important part in driving performance and creating value for Johan Sverdrup”, says Øivind Reinertsen, senior vice president for the Johan Sverdrup field.

Johan Sverdrup is one of the five biggest oil fields on the Norwegian continental shelf. With expected resources of between 1.7 – 3.0 billion barrels of oil equivalent, it will also be one of the most important industrial projects in Norway over the next 50 years.

Peak production on Johan Sverdrup will be equivalent to 25 percent of all Norwegian petroleum production.

The investment costs for phase one of the Johan Sverdrup development are estimated at some NOK 117 billion (2015 value). The development concept for Johan Sverdrup for the first phase will consist of four installations, including a utility and accommodation platform, a processing platform, a drilling platform and a riser platform, in addition to three subsea templates for water injection.

The platforms will be bridge-linked. The project aims at a recovery rate of 70% for Johan Sverdrup.

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