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A cofounder of WildHorse Resource Development has formed the new WildFire Energy in Houston with more than $1 billion in backing from two major private equity firms.

Two of the top private equity firms, New York-based Warburg Pincus and Los Angeles-based Kayne Anderson Capital, are investing in WildFire and its founder and chief executive Anthony Bahr.

Chesapeake Energy closed in February on its $3 billion acquisition of Houston-based WildHorse, which focused on the northern portions of Texas’ Eagle Ford shale.

The goal of the new WildFire is to acquire shale acreage that is already producing oil and gas, and then optimize and expand those existing operations.

“Our business strategy is designed to rapidly achieve scale by capitalizing on current market dynamics and acquiring assets generating material cash flow today,” Bahr said.

WildHorse was founded by Bahr and Jay Graham, but the two have now gone their separate ways.

In May, Graham started the new Houston energy startup Spur Energy Partners that has partnered with the private equity firm KKR & Co. for financing to develop oil and gas acreage in the booming Permian Basin.

Both WildFire and Spur Energy are private Houston firms with major equity backing that are looking to make oil and gas acquisitions.

The full version of this article first appeared on the Houston Chronicle – an Energy Voice content partner. For more from the Houston Chronicle click here.

The post New WildFire Energy gets more than $1bn in private equity backing appeared first on Energy Voice.

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Aberdeen-headquartered energy services firm EnerMech has been hit with a suspected malware attack.

The attack is understood to have impacted the company’s computer system this morning with the majority of staff being sent home at lunchtime.

The firm described it as a “security incident” and confirmed that other locations across the business had been targeted as well as Aberdeen.

EnerMech employs about 3,500 people globally across 40 locations.

It services a range of energy sector projects including oil and gas, LNG and renewables, as well as other areas like power and defence.

EnerMech said it is currently investigating the incident and that it has experts and external advisors working to “minimise disruption to the business and clients”.

It said it currently has no reason to believe personal or confidential data has been compromised.

A spokesman for the firm said: “EnerMech today (19 July 2019) confirmed it has been dealing with security incident.

“The company said an investigation in to the incident was ongoing. Internal IT experts and external advisors have been working together to minimise disruption to the business and clients.

“EnerMech currently has no evidence that any personal or confidential data has been compromised by any external sources.

“The company has taken immediate steps to deal with the incident, initiate any remediation steps and minimise any impact.”

EnerMech chief executive Doug Duguid announced yesterday he was giving up the top job at the company he helped found more than a decade ago.

Mr Duguid, 57, was one of four key shareholders who, alongside private equity firm Lime Rock Partners, set up the energy services group in Aberdeen in 2008.

EnerMech changed hands in a £450 million deal completed last December, with Carlyle Group taking over control from Lime Rock and launching a “strategic transition” plan.

In December, Italian oil services firm Saipem announced that a major cyber-attack targeting the firm had hit its servers in Aberdeen.

The attack prompted the Milan-based firm to cancel “data and infrastructures”.

Saipem revealed in the aftermath that the cyber-attack had impacted servers in Aberdeen, India and the Middle East, with some servers attacked in Italy.

The post Breaking: EnerMech hit with suspected malware attack across a number of locations appeared first on Energy Voice.

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The head of Gibraltar’s government has met privately with Iranian officials in a bid to defuse tensions surrounding the seizure of an Iranian supertanker near the British overseas territory.

Chief Minister Fabian Picardo told parliament on Friday that the meeting earlier this week “was both constructive and positive”.

Mr Picardo said he wants to “de-escalate” the situation after the interception of the Panama-flagged tanker off the southern tip of Spain on July 4.

The tanker is suspected of carrying Iranian oil to Syria in breach of European Union sanctions on Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government, and its seizure stoked international tensions over the Persian Gulf.

Mr Picardo said he met Iranian officials at the Foreign Office in London on Wednesday.

He said he told them that due process of law must be followed and that the case is before Gibraltar’s Supreme Court.

Gibraltar government’s later said the Supreme Court has extended for 30 days the detention of the supertanker.

The government said the court has set August 15 as the date for a new hearing on the Panama-flagged Grace 1.

British Royal Marines boarded the ship on July 4 and Gibraltar police have arrested the vessel’s captain, chief officer and two second mates as part of their investigation.

All are Indian.

The post Gibraltar hopes to diffuse tensions surrounding Iranian supertanker appeared first on Energy Voice.

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Oilfield services giant Schlumberger has appointed a former North Sea boss as its new chief executive.

Olivier Le Peuch will take on the top job on August 1, replacing Paal Kibsgaard who is retiring after more than 22 years at Schlumberger and eight years as CEO.

Mr Le Peuch is the current chief operating officer at the firm, having been with Schlumberger for 32 years.

In that time he had a spell between 2008 and 2010 as vice president for North Sea operations, overseeing work in the UK, Ireland, Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands and offshore north-west Africa.

He has also held a range of other senior positions within the company.

Current CEO, Mr Kibsgaard, said: “Olivier possesses the Company’s values, an in-depth knowledge of our business, and a proven industry track record—all together, he is ideally suited to lead Schlumberger into the next chapter of our history.”

Mr Kibsgaard is also being replaced as chairman by Mark Papa who will come in as non-executive chairman of the board.

Commenting on his new post, Mr Le Peuch said: “I am truly honored at being chosen to lead Schlumberger and its world-class workforce at a very exciting time in our Company’s history.

“I would like to thank Paal for his leadership and contributions to the Company, along with his guidance during the succession process.”

Earlier Schlumberger posted its second quarter results with pre-tax income of £773.3m, down 12% on the same period last year at £870.7m.

Revenues were £6.5bn, down from £6.6bn in the same period in 2018.

The post Schlumberger appoints former North Sea boss as new chief executive appeared first on Energy Voice.

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Global oil field service giant Schlumberger reported nearly $8.3 billion of revenue during the second quarter beating Wall Street expectations.

In an early Friday morning statement, he company reported posting a $492 million profit on nearly $8.3 billion of revenue during the second quarter. The figures translated into earnings per share of 35 cents for stockholders.

The figures fell in line for Wall Street expectations of earnings per share of 35 cents but beat second quarter expectations of $8.1 billion on revenue.

Schlumberger’s earnings were mixed compared to the $430 million profit on $8.3 billion of revenue reported during the second quarter of 2018.

The company’s gains on revenue were lead by overseas activity. Schlumberger’s international activity increased by 8 percent — accounting for $5.5 billion of revenue. North America remained relatively flat with 2 percent growth and $2.8 billion of revenue.

“From a macro perspective, we expect oil market sentiments to remain balanced,” Schlumberger CEO Paal Kibsgaard said in a statement. “The oil demand forecast for 2019 has been reduced slightly on trade war fears and current global geopolitical tensions, but we do not anticipate a change in the structural demand outlook for the mid-term.”

In a separate announcement, Kibsgaard announced that he is retiring and will be succeeded by the company’s chief operating officer Olivier Le Peuch effective Aug. 1.

Founded in 1926 and headquartered in Paris, Schlumberger maintains its U.S. headquarters and its principal offices in Houston.

With more than 100,000 employees in 85 nations, Schlumberger finished 2018 with a $2.2 billion profit on $32.8 billion of revenue — making it the largest oilfield service company in the world.

This article first appeared on the Houston Chronicle – an Energy Voice content partner. For more from the Houston Chronicle click here.

The post Schlumberger beats expectations on revenue during second quarter appeared first on Energy Voice.

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A former Unaoil executive has pleaded guilty to five offences of conspiracy to give corrupt payments amid a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation.

Basil Al Jarah, 70, made the plea earlier this week in relation to the award of contracts to install and supply oil pipelines in Iraq.

In the same investigation, Stephen Whiteley, 64, from Aberdeen, and Paul Bond, 67, who are both formerly of SBM Offshore, have been charged with conspiracy to make corrupt payments.

Ziad Akle, 44, Unaoil’s Iraq territory manager, has also been charged with the same offence.

A trial has been set for January 13 next year at Southwark Crown Court.

The post Former Unaoil executive pleads guilty in Serious Fraud Office bribery case appeared first on Energy Voice.

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Drilling rig operator Noble has given an update on its fleet, including two new contract extensions in the UK and Middle East.

The Noble Sam Hartley rig has been picked for an extension with Total in the UK until mid-April next year.

The day rate being paid has not been revealed.

Meanwhile the Noble Joe Beall has been awarded an extension with Saudi Aramco through to late December at a dayrate of $65,000 (£52,000).

Elsewhere in the UK, the Noble Lloyd Noble is under contract with Equinor, the Hans Deul is carrying out work for Spirit Energy and the Houston Colbert is also preparing to mobilise.

The post Noble rig gets extension with Total in UK appeared first on Energy Voice.

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It was just another day offshore for Fraserburgh man Alan Roy until he plucked up the courage to have a laugh with Neil Armstrong.

The US astronaut’s presence on an oil rig off the coast of Ireland in the 1970s had rendered most of the crew mute.

But as the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar mission approaches, Mr Roy has spoken of his meeting with one of the world’s most famous men.

The craft carrying Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins blasted off for space on July 16 1969.

Four days later, 50 years tomorrow, Armstrong became the first person to walk on the moon.

In the mid-1970s, however, he was touching down on the Aladdin rig as it sat off the coast of the city of Cork.

Mr Roy was working as a derrickman for Jebsen Drilling when they met,  sometime between 1975 and 1978.

Alan Roy gets Neil Armstrong’s autograph on an oil rig

Armstrong was described by his family as “a reluctant American hero” but the presence of the man from space left the hardy men on the rig awestruck.

Mr Roy said: “Neil Armstrong was on the board of Marathon Oil at the time and came on to the rig with some of the other Marathon men.

“We were drilling a hole down off the coast, south of the city of Cork, if I remember right.

“The crew were scared about asking for his autograph, but when we saw he was on his way to the helicopter to leave, I finally plucked up the courage and asked for one.

“He did it no problem. It was great to meet him.”

Mr Roy handed over his tally book, the note book he was using offshore at the time, for the astronaut to sign.

While watching Armstrong scrawl his name across the page, Mr Roy cracked a joke, with the moment captured on camera as they shared a laugh.

The 64-year-old said: “I asked him, because he was wearing a hard hat at the time, whether I could borrow his hat. He couldn’t understand my accent so he asked one of the men with him what I had said and they explained.

“He said ‘No, I think I need it just now’ and I laughed and said ‘no, I mean your big round one’.

“We were all laughing after that. While we were laughing that’s when the picture of us was taken.

“I remember watching the moon landing on an old black and white TV, which was just incredible, so meeting him was great.”

The post The day I met Neil Armstrong offshore appeared first on Energy Voice.

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Marine technology firm Nautronix has changed hands for the second time in less than four years.

The Aberdeen business is now a division of Imenco, a Norwegian supplier of subsea electronic and mechanical products, following its sale by Westhill-based energy service company Proserv.

Nautronix general manager Alan Buchan will continue to lead a 21-strong team moving from Proserv to Imenco’s facility at the Aberdeen Innovation Park, Bridge of Don.

The value of the deal, in which Simmons Energy advised Proserv, was undisclosed.

Nautronix, founded in Perth, Western Australia, in 1983, specialises in digital acoustic communications and positioning systems for the global offshore oil and gas industry.

North-east business duo Mark Patterson and Ian Suttie acquired it for about £18 million in 2002 before selling it to private-equity firm SCF Partners for tens of millions eight years later.

Proserv – now owned by OakTree Capital and KKR Asset Management – announced its acquisition of Nautronix for an undisclosed sum in September 2015.

Announcing the recent sale, Proserv said Nautronix was no longer core.

The post Nautronix changes hands for second time in less than four years appeared first on Energy Voice.

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Ithaca Energy has revised down the level of debt it will take on to help pay for its £1.6bn acquisition of Chevron’s North Sea business.

The firm, owned by Israel’s Delek Group, said last week it would launch a £558million debt finance offering to help realise the deal.

However the firm today said it has closed a deal to raise £400m, which is expected to be completed on August 1.

The amount is due by 2024, with interest payable semi-annually.

The firm revealed in May it would snap up US oil giant Chevron’s central North Sea business in a £1.6 billion deal.

The deal hands Ithaca stakes in 10 producing North Sea fields and continues the trend of North American majors selling large packages of UK assets.

Ithaca, a subsidiary of Israel-based Delek Group, said the Chevron deal established it as the “second largest independent oil and gas producer” in the UK North Sea.

The firm will operate four of the 10 fields it is buying into – namely Alba, Alder, Captain and Erskine.

The post Ithaca revises down debt fundraiser for Chevron North Sea acquisition appeared first on Energy Voice.

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