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Rui Z.,University of Alaska Fairbanks | Li C.,Southwest Petroleum University | Peng F.,China University of PetroleumBeijing | Ling K.,University of North Dakoda | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering | Year: 2017

Historical records on the performances of global offshore oil and gas (O&G) projects show that most did not meet industry expectations; therefore, there is a significant need to provide an effective evaluation system for offshore O&G projects to identify project deficiencies and improve project performance. Considering their unique characteristics, a set of two-dimensional industry metrics were developed to evaluate offshore O&G projects across five categories: cost, schedule, safety, production, and quantity. The project data and the results of a survey taken by industry experts were used to validate the credibility of the metrics. In addition, the drivers of each metric are discussed or verified with first principle and were confirmed by industry experts. Finally, the practice for using these metrics is recommended. In other words, with the characteristics of offshore O&G projects taken into account, these metrics will be verified so they are perceived as an efficient tool to evaluate project competitiveness and identify gaps for project performance improvement. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.


News Article | November 16, 2016
Site: www.prnewswire.co.uk

Increasing sales of vehicles as well as continuously expanding automobile fleet across the country to drive the United States tire market through 2021 According to recently released TechSci Research report, "United States Tire Market Forecast and Opportunities, 2021'’,the country's tire marketis projected to grow at a CAGR of over 5%, in volume terms, during 2016-2021, on account of expanding sales of automobiles, growing purchasing power of people and expanding vehicle fleet size. The prominent driver for expanding tire market of United Statesis risingautomobile fleet, as can be witnessed from the fact that it rose from 311.71 million units in 2011 to321.41 million units in 2015. Browse 29 market data Tables and 24 Figures spread through 145 Pages and an in-depth TOC on With an increasing volume share of over 80%, in volume terms in 2015, replacement tire segmentdominated tire industry of the United States.However, the OEM tire segmentis forecast to witness marginal change during the forecast period.In 2015, the country's Southeast region comprising Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Virginia, etc., accounted for the largest share in the tire market, followed by Midwest, West, Northeast and Southwest regions of the United States. Government of US has also initiatedstrategic infrastructural projects and developments, resulting in growth in demand for vehicles as well as tires in the country. Some prominent tire manufacturing companies which have a strong presence in the country include Bridgestone, Continental,Michelin and Goodyear. Other players include Cooper, Yokohama, Hankook, Nexen, Pirelli, etc. Customers can also request for 10% free customization on this report. "With diverse ongoing and planned construction projects, United States is anticipated to witness infrastructure transformation that will lead to developmental activities being undertaken in energy,transport, water, communication, health and housing sectors across the country, which is estimated to boost construction activities in the country; thereby, driving the automotive sector in the coming years. Moreover, the widespread presence of well-established network of dealers and distributors are expected to push tire sales in domestic market during forecast period. On account of this, the country's tire market is expected to witness a healthy growth in medium to long term", said Mr. Karan Chechi, Research Director with TechSci Research, a research based global management consulting firm. "United States Tire MarketForecast and Opportunities, 2021" has analyzed the potential of United States tire market, and provides statistics and information on market structure, imports and trends. The report intends to provide cutting-edge market intelligence and help decision makers take sound investment evaluation.Besides, the report also identifies and analyzes emerging trends along with essential drivers and key challenges faced by the industry. TechSci Research is a leading global market research firm publishing premium market research reports. Serving 700 global clients with more than 600 premium market research studies, TechSci Research is serving clients across 11 different industrial verticals. TechSci Research specializes in research based consulting assignments in high growth and emerging markets, leading technologies and niche applications. Our workforce of more than100 fulltime Analysts and Consultantsemploying innovative research solutions and tracking global and country specific high growth markets helps TechSci clients to lead rather than follow market trends. Connect with us on Twitter - https://twitter.com/TechSciResearch Connect with us on LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/company/techsci-research


News Article | December 13, 2016
Site: www.forbes.com

President-elect Donald Trump could have a significant impact on the U.S. energy industry beyond just the impetus for deregulation, but it’s not clear if that will be good, bad, or both.  The selection of Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State is indicative of Trump's intention to create a business-oriented administration, as well as confirming that he is willing to take bold, controversial moves. This post will discuss some of the potential actions that could affect the petroleum industry negatively; later, possible positive steps will be discussed. Trump’s frequent denunciations of Chinese imports implies that he will take some action, such as tariffs, early during his term which might affect upstream investment.  The U.S. imports about $500 million a year of oil field and drilling equipment, although it’s not clear if this includes offshore drilling platforms. Chinese companies are suffering (like the rest of the industry) from the drop in drilling and reduced upstream investment across the sector.  Reportedly, out of 70 rigs stacked offshore China, only 3 have been delivered to customers by September. For deepwater platforms, contracts for components range into hundreds of millions of dollars, and Korean companies are primary sources for the U.S., but Chinese companies do compete in this market for at least part of the assemblies.  And of course former Canadian independent oil company Nexen is now owned by CNPC, which could make them a particular target of the new president. Could President Trump interfere with imports of Chinese equipment, pressuring oil companies to buy pipe, rigs and platforms from U. S. makers?  If a Shell or BP ordered a $500 million piece of equipment for a Gulf of Mexico field, would President Trump step in and try to shame them into canceling the deal.  Onshore operations could be made more expensive by tariffs on Chinese steel pipes in an effort to bolster U.S. steelmaking and coal mining. But China is not a major exporter of steel pipe to the U.S., that role falls to South Korea (followed by Canada, Mexico, Turkey and Japan).   Additionally, the U.S. has already imposed strong tariffs on Chinese steel imports this year, but Trump might wish to appear to be taking tough action by imposing even higher tariffs. On the other hand, perhaps Trump would address Chinese competition in other markets, pressuring oil companies developing fields offshore Mexico, Brazil or Africa to buy American. Obviously, there is no legal authority to do so, but Trump has already shown his willingness to criticize companies for the costs of their products, so this cannot be dismissed out of hand. However, ultimately, he seems unlikely to undertake an extended effort to push sales of U.S. equipment overseas, and the industry would doubtless resist it. The Arab-Israeli conflict has been overshadowed for years by the Arab Spring and political instability in Egypt, Iraq and Syria which has distracted them from the continuing Israeli-Palestinian disagreements.  Even the wealthier Gulf countries have been preoccupied with maintaining acceptance among the citizenry, especially in a time of low oil prices and constrained budgets.  The last time the Arab-Israeli conflict affected the oil market was during the second intafadah, in part because traders bid prices up out of fear that the violence would somehow either be exported to oil producing nations or cause those countries to take some kind of retaliatory action, as in 1967 and 1973. And one country did:  Iraq announced a one-month suspension of exports in support of the intafadah in April 2002, although it had previously cut production in protest over U.N. sanctions.  The fact that production did not recover until October implies that the sector was suffering from technical problems and needed to reduce production will undertaking field and equipment maintenance.  There was no impact on oil markets, which strengthened only after the late 2002 strike in Venezuela and the second Gulf War.


News Article | September 26, 2016
Site: www.theenergycollective.com

Chinese state-owned enterprises, China’s national oil companies foremost among them, have incurred phenomenal debts – higher than the country’s total GDP. So far they have been bailed out by the government, but this just shifts the problem one level up,  to China Inc as a whole, writes geophysicist  (ex-Shell) Jilles van den Beukel. Van den Beukel explains how China’s national oil companies Sinopec, CNPC and CNOOC got into this fix and why the world should hold its breath about their future. Some 15 years ago I worked for a small and well-hidden part of Shell in Central Africa. I have fond memories of living on the shores of Lake Yenzi in Gabon where my children grew up in a world of lagoons and tropical rainforest virtually untouched by mankind. To this day I miss the human warmth of Africa. Towards the end of my spell in Gabon we would discuss among colleagues the arrival of a new competitor in country: Sinopec. We were puzzled. How could we reconcile the stories that the Chinese were  taking over Africa (if not the world) with this hapless new venture, which had trouble getting to grips (both geology and country wise) with a completely new environment? What were we missing? I do not think we underestimated them; it was expected they would work hard and learn fast (and they had money to spend). But the general view was that they faced an uphill struggle. These days the Chinese national oil companies (NOCs) have long shifted their focus from leftover assets in Africa to other parts of the world, including North America. The growth in their overseas oil production has been phenomenal. But it has come at a price. Earlier this year Moody’s estimated that the debt of Chinese state owned enterprises (SOEs), of which the NOCs form a major part, had risen to about 115% of China’s GDP, higher than for any other country in the world. There are a number of questions that I want to address in this paper. Where did the Chinese NOCs invest? Did they overpay? What were their objectives to go abroad and were they met? And perhaps most importantly: have the Chinese NOCs now become global energy powerhouses or are they giants with feet of clay? A heartland of mature onshore fields.  Unlike some of its neighbors (e.g., Japan or S. Korea) China has a large domestic oil production. The major fields were found in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The largest field, Daqing, has produced over 10 billion barrels and is still producing close to 700,000 barrels per day. In spite of frantic efforts, later exploration has enjoyed much more limited success. In 1993 consumption overtook domestic production and since then consumption has increased fourfold (whereas domestic production has only seen limited growth). The large dependence on oil imports (currently China imports about 62% of its oil) is a key issue for China’s energy security. Today, China is still the fourth or fifth largest oil producer in the world with Canada (after Saudi Arabia, Russia and the US). But the bulk of its production comes from very mature fields such as Daqing, which by now experience high water cuts. It is only by intense (and costly) enhanced oil recovery methods that decline can be limited. As a result China’s onshore production is not low cost, of the order of 30 dollars per barrel on average (with a marginal cost that is much higher). Western publicity of Chinese oil companies tends to focus on their overseas acquisitions but the heartlands of these companies are mature conventional fields and their core technical expertise is maximizing recovery from these fields. Chinese NOCs operate in a different way compared to the western majors. Their preference is to do as much as possible in house (including the use of in house service companies). If this is not possible they tend to use Chinese service companies and only as a last resort (if specialized knowledge is not available in house or in China) western service companies. Activities such as logistics and catering are done in house. Their workforces are much larger than those of western firms with similar production (e.g., CNPC employs about 550,000 people). Government owned, not government run.  Initially oil production, processing and distribution were controlled by the Ministry of Petroleum Industry (the forerunner of CNPC) and the Ministry of Chemical Industry (the forerunner of Sinopec). In the 1980’s these ministries were converted into state owned enterprises (SOEs) and they both became integrated oil companies (be it that CNPC still has a bigger focus on the upstream and Sinopec has a bigger focus on the downstream). A third major SOE was added (CNOOC, China National Offshore Oil Company) and to date these companies (generally referred to in China as “the big three”) dominate China’s oil industry. Each of them comprises a wholly state-owned holding company and a listed subsidiary for which domestic and overseas shareholders own a minority stake (e.g., PetroChina in the case of CNPC). To date, the heads of CNPC and Sinopec are of ministerial rank in China’s hierarchy (a higher rank than the much smaller government agencies that oversee them). To date there is no formal Ministry of Energy in China. The result has been described as “ineffective institutions and powerful firms”. The NOCs are owned by the state but not run by the state. According to an IEA report, “the top executives of the NOCs are deeply connected to the top leadership of the government and the CCP (Chinese Communist Party); they must wear two hats, as leaders of major commercial enterprises and as top Party operatives. It is in the interests of both the government and the Party that the NOCs are commercially successful, and that they secure adequate oil and gas supplies. Leaders have a great deal of freedom in how they achieve these aims, and those who fulfill them have leverage in bargaining for future promotions.” An extensive overview of the structure of the Chinese oil industry can be found in a recent OIES report. Whilst NOCs will never omit a reference to China’s national energy security it seems that their own commercial interests are as strong a driver (if not the dominant one). There is no well coordinated master plan for China’s energy policy and overseas investments. Instead there are vague overall guidelines in an opaque environment. The limited oversight and the opaque way in which overseas assets are acquired or work is contracted out create an environment where widespread corruption is possible. The early 1990’s saw a number of developments that were of key importance to the Chinese oil industry and enabled them to go abroad. At the 1992 14th congress the CCP announced it would institute a “socialist market economy with Chinese characteristics”. Deng Xiaoping, retired from his official functions and yet at the height of his influence, believed the economic benefits of capitalism could be combined with the CCP guidance of a centralized and technically knowledgeable political system. Part of this economic reform policy involved the concept of “going out” (zou chuqu), investing surplus Chinese capital abroad to gain access to foreign markets, natural resources and advanced technology. In 1993-1994 the Chinese government relaxed domestic oil prices, improving the financial situation of the NOCs and enabling them to invest abroad. For the oil industry going out arrived at an opportune moment. In the early 1990s it had become clear that domestic production could no longer keep up with consumption. The absence of exploration success and the increasing maturity of China’s producing fields implied that better opportunities for investment existed abroad. The go-ahead to go abroad presented a huge opportunity to Chinese companies but also – given their complete lack of experience in operating or investing outside China – a huge challenge. But their long term aim was clear: to become competitive global businesses and to emulate the western IOCs. Initially they started out as operators in a limited number of countries (e.g., Sudan and Kazakhstan) with a relatively high political risk. At this time Chinese NOCs still lacked the financial muscle that they enjoyed later on and they had little choice but to go for these risky areas. The largest of these ventures was CNPC’s development of the Southern Sudan oil fields. It is also the one that has received by far the most attention in the western media. It has become the defining story for China’s investments in Africa, generating considerable reputational damage. Luke Patey’s “The new kings of crude” gives a well documented and balanced overview of CNPC’s Sudan venture (see the box for a more detailed account based on this book). It also paints a fascinating story of the pain of Chevron’s geologists (after years of hard work and exploration success having to leave the country for political reasons), the substantial achievements in development of the Chinese (establishing oil production and export in record time) and the difficult choices that the Chinese subsequently faced (with Sudanese leaders interested in power rather than their people’s well-being). Throughout the late 1970’s and early 1980’s Chevron ran a major exploration campaign in Southern Sudan. It was Chevron that found the Heglig field and started the work on an export pipeline. Then things started to fall apart. An attack by Southern Sudanese rebels on Chevron’s base camp (with three fatalities) was followed by a worsening of the political environment, forcing Chevron to put things on hold. By the late 1980’s the National Islamic Front came to power and the new central government threatened Chevron to resume operations or face expulsion. A new Chevron board turned out to be less committed to the project. Making a major additional investment in a country torn by civil war was just too risky for them (also given the low oil prices after the 1986 crash). They sold their assets to a local company for a mere pittance and walked away from a 1 billion dollar investment.  During the following years domestic and small western companies found themselves unable to make significant progress (to the frustration of the Sudanese government), lacking the financial and technical clout to develop a major new oil province at a large distance from shore.  By 1995 the Sudanese search for an operator able to unlock these major finds linked up with the Chinese search for overseas opportunities. It is easy to see why CNPC was interested: significant oil had been found and although field development required a large effort it was the kind of work (development wells, pipelines) that was well within their capabilities. Chinese banks were willing to finance with loans of (up to that moment) unprecedented magnitude. With the limited choices CNPC had it was an opportunity too good to walk away from.  Managing to get oil flowing from the Southern Sudan oil fields through a 1500 km pipeline to the Red Sea by 1999 was a major achievement for CNPC. In the preceding four years they threw everything at it that they had, sending out their best teams to their most important overseas venture. They built up an entire oil infrastructure, including a local refinery. The continuing political unrest and occasional hostage taking (or worse: killing) did not deter CNPC. In any case the grueling circumstances and low safety standards were a greater danger to Chinese workers than the Southern Sudanese rebels.  During the following years Sudan’s oil production soared (to a peak of 470,000 bpd in 2007) and the CNPC Sudan venture was by far the largest producer and profit maker of the Chinese NOCs’ overseas ventures.  But after 2005 things gradually started to become more difficult. The number of incidents started to rise and the fallout of the reputational damage of the Sudan venture started to become more clear. Sudan was becoming a major hindrance in the Chinese NOCs’ overseas investments and attempts to get access to western technology. Following the large initial investments the venture gradually went into cash cow mode. Investments in enhanced recovery, needed to crank up the recovery factors, were postponed. As a result recovery factors of these fields have remained low (e.g. 23% for Heglig, which is considerably lower than the 30 – 50% that has been achieved for similar high net to gross sandstone reservoirs in other parts of the world). The rapid severe water cut that these fields experienced in the 2005-2010 period suggest they have been producing too fast, maximizing profit in an unstable country that was now about to split up.  For CNPC Sudan was initially a major success story. The subsequent collapse of production after Southern Sudan’s secession in 2011 has been a major disappointment, however. To this day, Sudan and Southern Sudan are arguing about pipeline fees for the transport of Southern Sudan oil through the Sudanese pipeline. The Chinese are doing their best to keep both parties happy and remain unsuccessful in doing so (in the words of a Southern Sudan oil minister: “but Jesus said one cannot serve two masters”). Political risks (both within Sudan and the reputational damage in the western world) had been severely underestimated. Eventually, the overseas investments of the NOCs took off in earnest in 2009. The figure below (from a presentation by SIA Energy) gives an overview of Chinese NOCs acquisitions in the 2005 – 2013 period. A total of $123.5 bn was spent by the three Chinese NOCs during this period, primarily between 2009 and 2013. Apart from being of a much larger magnitude the nature of Chinese NOCs’ overseas investments in the 2009–2013 period is markedly different from the early investments in countries like Sudan, Kazakhstan and Venezuela. There is a shift from operated assets to non operated assets, from a limited set of high risk countries to investments well spread all over the world and from primarily onshore, conventional assets to a full range of asset classes (including unconventional, deepwater and oil sands). Several reasons lie behind this shift: the scarcity of Sudan-like opportunities (large amounts of relatively low-cost, onshore conventional oil), the wish to share risk (both technical and political), the wish to avoid making very large investments in a single high risk country like Sudan (were the total investment eventually amounted to some $20 bn) and the increased importance to get access to western technology (as remaining opportunities tend to be associated with unconventional, deepwater or oil sands deposits – none of which relate to the core technical strengths of Chinese NOCs). Landmark acquisitions during this period were the $15 bn takeover by CNOOC of Canadian oil company Nexen in 2013 (following a 2005 failed attempt by CNOOC to take over Unocal, in spite of putting a bid on the table that was over 10% higher than the eventually successful bid by Chevron) and the takeover by Sinopec of the Swiss-based oil company Addax in 2009. The question whether the Chinese NOCs did systematically overpay has generated a lot of discussion. Several papers (e.g., by Derek Scissors) have maintained that this is the case, often within the context of increasing Chinese influence in general. Many reports on Chinese acquisitions contain statements that they “again overpaid wildly” but I have seen very few systematic studies. The few I have found (e.g. a very interesting paper by Anatole Pang, one of the few papers written by someone with Chinese industry experience) were academic studies that claim they found no evidence for systematic overpaying. As these studies are based on the cost of reserves I tend to doubt their conclusions. A deal where say 2 dollar per barrel of proved reserves is paid can be a deal that is worse than one where say 20 dollar per barrel of proved reserves is paid; it all depends on development costs, tax regime, etc. I think that looking at takeover premiums for acquisitions of publicly listed companies is the best way to deduce whether Chinese NOCs did overpay. Based on this it seems likely that Chinese NOCs did indeed overpay – by an amount of the order of 20 – 50%. Where publicly traded companies have been acquired the premiums paid by Chinese NOCs have been hefty. Premiums paid for the Addax and Nexen takeovers were 47 and 60% respectively; significantly above the average premium in the energy sector of about 30-40%. In takeovers of assets that were not listed they have frequently outbid competitors by significant amounts (I am not aware of any examples of the reverse). Several factors may contribute to overpaying. Chinese NOCs may feel overpaying is necessary to overcome political resistance and to preclude a long bidding competition that may generate adverse publicity. Government approval is required and, once obtained, may be an incentive to come to a successful bid. Failed takeovers may be seen as loss of face. Government policy for the NOCs was focused on volumes and growth rather than value until recently. And finally access to funding at relatively easy terms by Chinese banks may provide less of an incentive to bargain hard for a lower price. Nevertheless, the financial performance of Chinese NOCs’ overseas acquisitions is not so much hampered by paying more than their competitors but rather by the unfortunate timing of their acquisitions. By far the greatest amount of takeover activity took place in the 2009-2013 high oil price world. A lot of money was spent on high production cost assets, such as (Canadian) oil sands or (North Sea) mature fields that were bought at the peak of the market. These assets have performed particularly poorly in the post 2014 low oil price world. An example is the 2012 acquisition of a 49% stake for $1.5 bn in Talisman’s UK assets by Sinopec. Relatively high field decline rates, a high downtime of ageing facilities and increasing estimates of future abandonment costs limited the attractiveness of these assets already in a high oil price world (many North Sea operators have been trying to divest these kind of assets for years, with few takers). With the 2014 oil price collapse this turned into a disastrous cocktail and the poor performance of its UK assets threatened to bring down Talisman as a whole (a company already weakened by low American shale gas prices). Efforts to further divest their North Sea assets were unsuccessful and in 2014 the company was taken over by Repsol. Repsol was interested in other parts of Talisman and saw little value in the North Sea assets, especially when oil prices turned out to be lower for longer. For Sinopec a $1.5 bn investment turned into an abandonment-related liability within 3 years. Sinopec’s subsequent legal demand for compensation from Repsol is seen as having a very low chance of success. It is a sign of their frustration, a way to put pressure on Repsol (which values good relations with Chinese NOCs with whom it cooperates elsewhere) and stakeholder management with respect to the Chinese government. Another example is CNOOC’s $15 bn Nexen takeover. Nexen, a Canadian company, is heavily exposed to high cost Canadian oil sands. Apart from its high costs, these assets suffer from being landlocked. The US blocking the Keystone XL pipeline will now result in a lower price for Canadian oil for a longer time. Even among other oil sands assets Nexen’s assets are relatively high cost and have been recently plagued by operational issues. Many Chinese and Chinese companies lack a profound understanding of the western world (in the same way as many in the western world lack an in depth understanding of China). China should perhaps be seen as a parallel universe instead of just another country. As a result they are not optimally equipped to fully analyze the technical, political and environmental risks associated with an overseas investment. Of course many western companies have had their share of acquisitions turned sour. But I would argue that on average they have a better track record (paying lower takeover premiums, being more reluctant to invest in high cost mature North Sea fields or Canadian oil sands, making a better assessment of political and technical risk). From 2014 onwards overseas investments have decreased dramatically. The current low oil price environment definitely plays a role here. Profits have dramatically decreased as a result of the low oil price and write-offs of previous acquisitions. Internal funding of acquisitions has become more difficult. Funding is still possible, however, and the current low oil price environment is not the only reason for the overseas investments drop. Management of the Chinese NOCs is currently under intense pressure due to the ongoing reforms of SOEs (triggered by their poor performance) and corruption probes. A high publicity audit of a $10 bn investment by Sinopec in Angola revealed shady deals with Sonangol through obscure companies known informally as the Queensway group. Angolan assets put on the market by western oil companies ended up (upon Sonangol exercising its preemptive rights) with companies such as China Sonangol, owned jointly by Sonangol and Chinese middlemen (but funded by Sinopec). When these assets would eventually be transferred to Sinopec (more likely so for the poorly performing assets) it would be at a substantially higher price. The Financial Times reporting on the Queensway group is one of the few cases were investigative journalism has been able to unravel the dealings of Chinese NOCs and their middlemen in some detail. Over the last 2 years former presidents of both CNPC and Sinopec have been convicted for corruption. Many other high ranking managers have been placed under investigation or convicted. The most prominent case was that of Zhou Yangkang, who after his spell as CNPC president eventually became a member of the CCP standing committee, China’s top decision making body. Corruption may have been but a welcome pretext (the CCP has to be seen as being tough on unpopular corruption); the underlying reasons are more likely to be a combination of a power struggle within the CCP and the removal of people opposed to the reform of poorly performing Chinese SPE’s (as well as the poor performance in itself). Knowing that unsuccessful overseas acquisitions can eventually result in convictions (be it for corruption rather than the acquisitions themselves) has made the Chinese NOCs much more cautious. Future acquisitions should involve smarter investments in quality assets, focusing on value rather than volume. Cost cutting is now starting to result in a significant drop in domestic oil production (which still accounts for over 70% of the total production of Chinese NOCs). 2015 is likely to have been the year that Chinese domestic oil production has peaked. By July 2016, production had dropped by more than 8% from its peak. On the positive side, I would consider the Chinese NOCs to be able operators for their domestic (primarily onshore, conventional) production. Average cost of the order of 30 dollars per barrel imply that these assets generate substantial profits. Twenty years of overseas investments have resulted in equity production that is about 30% of their total production, amounting to over 2 million barrels per day. But what else? Surely, if this were to be a true success story, it should not be just about growth. If it is about energy security it should be noted that oil from the NOCs overseas assets is sold on the open market – and is going to the refinery that is best suited for this quality of oil and is willing to pay the highest price (and not necessarily to China). Control over the strait of Malacca (through which about 80% of China’s oil imports is transported) seems a much bigger issue here. If it is about profitability than I feel that their record of overseas acquisitions is a mixed bag – at best. What hampers them in this regard is their record of overpaying and the timing of the bulk of their acquisitions, which coincided with the 2009-2014 high oil price world. If it is about technical capabilities I note that, whereas they have massively invested in deepwater, oil sand or unconventional, they have done so mostly as non-operators. The technical knowledge acquired by being a non operating partner (or by acquiring a company that is subsequently run at arm’s length) is not of the same order as the technical knowledge needed to operate and grow organically. I do not see the Chinese NOCs operating e.g., deepwater fields across the globe, in a way that the western majors do. Their operated production is still primarily domestic conventional production. I do not think that emulating the western IOCs in operating different types of assets across the world or emulating the US tight oil industry in Chinese tight oil are successful business models for Chinese NOCs. For China as a country I think it would be more beneficial to put a greater emphasis on conventional oil and gas within the Asian continent (in particular, Kazakhstan, Russia, Iran/Iraq), thus aiming at a greater share of conventional assets (closer to the NOCs technical strengths) in locations close to China that at least in part export oil by pipeline to China rather than by tanker through the strait of Malacca. Kazakhstan has so far been one of their more successful overseas investments. The strength of Chinese NOCs (apart from their domestic production) is financial rather than technical. A western company with a similar record of acquisitions would be in severe financial trouble. Not so the Chinese NOCs: the absence of public shareholders with a short time horizon and the funding by Chinese banks imply that for them the rules of the game are different. So far, “China Inc” has bailed them out. Their rapid growth has been fueled by profits from domestic production (in particular in a high oil price world) and by debt. Chinese banks have been more than willing to fund. Chinese people, with their high savings rate (and limited ability to move funds abroad) have few alternatives for their savings. It is for them to ultimately pick up the bill. Chinese SOEs in financial trouble have so far been bailed out. This does not solve the problem though in the long term – it just shifts the problem upwards to the next level (which is basically “China Inc”). When evaluating the strength of Chinese NOCs one cannot look at these companies in isolation; one has to look at them as “part of China”. In the long term, the strength of China and Easternisation are there to stay. How could it be otherwise? As Lee Kuan Yew, the former prime minister of Singapore stated: “Theirs is a culture 4000 years old with 1.3 billion people, with a huge and very talented pool to draw from. How could they not aspire to be number one in Asia, and in time the world?” But in the short term: when will Chinese debt and the ability of China to bail out all its poorly performing SOEs hit a ceiling? At some stage pumping more debt into increasingly unattractive projects has to stop. At this stage Chinese debt is growing at three times the rate of the Chinese economy. With an increasing share of problematic loans the question is not if, but when, there will be a Chinese debt crisis. Chinese that have the means to do so have now started to take their money out of the country. The Chinese NOCs are giants built on shaky foundations for a simple reason: they are part of an even bigger giant – built on even shakier foundations. Jilles van den Beukel worked as a geologist, geophysicist and project manager for Shell in many parts of the world. This paper was first published on his blog JillesonEnergy.


Robson W.,Nexen | Killian T.,Marathon | Siveter R.,IPIECA
Society of Petroleum Engineers - Carbon Management Technology Conference 2012 | Year: 2012

The effectiveness and efficiency of regulatory and other policy approaches intended to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from transportation fuels can hinge on the fuel life-cycle analysis (LCA). Emerging regulation has raised urgent questions about both definition and evaluation of life-cycle emissions, and the effectiveness, efficiency and equity of regulatory approaches which use such analyses. This paper focuses on the LCA for transportation fuels from unconventional hydrocarbon sources and associated regulatory issues and implications, and examines these in the context of experience gained in the study of conventional hydrocarbon sources, biofuels, electric vehicles, and other alternatives. Critical issues arise in the regulatory use of life-cycle emissions analysis when comparing different types of fuels, for different types of vehicles, including: • Uncertainty in life-cycle emissions - Differences in estimates of the life-cycle emissions for one fuel can exceed the differences in estimates for different fuels; boundaries, accounting, aggregation and accuracy of LCA are each critical and determining issues in its application in regulations. • Flexible pathways - In order to incentivize innovation in fuel production, many pathways (with the ability to be altered) are needed to map production from each individual agent, who will each have their own process. • Energy security - Regulation to lower the life-cycle emissions is often also intended to improve energy security (e.g. by increasing supplies of indigenous biofuels); however, in the case of unconventional sources of oil such regulations may aggravate energy security. For complex policies, such as those involving LCA - especially where there are international ramifications - much broader dialogue is needed to improve the policy's effectiveness, efficiency and ultimately credibility. Copyright 2012, Carbon Management Technology Conference.


News Article | December 25, 2016
Site: www.PR.com

US Tire Market to Grow at CAGR 5% Till 2021: TechSci Research Increasing sales of vehicles as well as continuously expanding automobile fleet across the country to drive the United States tire market through 2021. New York, NY, December 25, 2016 --( Browse 29 market data Tables and 24 Figures spread through 145 Pages and an in-depth TOC on “United States Tire Market" https://www.techsciresearch.com/report/united-states-tire-market-forecast-opportunities/828.html With an increasing volume share of over 80%, in volume terms in 2015, replacement tire segment dominated tire industry of the United States. However, the OEM tire segmentis forecast to witness marginal change during the forecast period. In 2015, the country’s Southeast region comprising Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Virginia, etc., accounted for the largest share in the tire market, followed by Midwest, West, Northeast and Southwest regions of the United States. Government of US has also initiated strategic infrastructural projects and developments, resulting in growth in demand for vehicles as well as tires in the country. Some prominent tire manufacturing companies which have a strong presence in the country include Bridgestone, Continental,Michelin and Goodyear. Other players include Cooper, Yokohama, Hankook, Nexen, Pirelli, etc. “With diverse ongoing and planned construction projects, United States is anticipated to witness infrastructure transformation that will lead to developmental activities being undertaken in energy,transport, water, communication, health and housing sectors across the country, which is estimated to boost construction activities in the country; thereby, driving the automotive sector in the coming years. Moreover, the widespread presence of well-established network of dealers and distributors are expected to push tire sales in domestic market during forecast period. On account of this, the country’s tire market is expected to witness a healthy growth in medium to long term,” said Mr. Karan Chechi, Research Director with TechSci Research, a research based global management consulting firm. “United States Tire MarketForecast and Opportunities, 2021” has analyzed the potential of United States tire market, and provides statistics and information on market structure, imports and trends. The report intends to provide cutting-edge market intelligence and help decision makers take sound investment evaluation. Besides, the report also identifies and analyzes emerging trends along with essential drivers and key challenges faced by the industry. About TechSci Research TechSci Research is a leading global market research firm publishing premium market research reports. Serving 700 global clients with more than 600 premium market research studies, TechSci Research is serving clients across 11 different industrial verticals. TechSci Research specializes in research based consulting assignments in high growth and emerging markets, leading technologies and niche applications. Our workforce of more than 100 fulltime Analysts and Consultants employing innovative research solutions and tracking global and country specific high growth markets helps TechSci clients to lead rather than follow market trends. Contact Mr. Ken Mathews 708 Third Avenue, Manhattan, NY, New York – 10017 Tel: +1-646-360-1656 Email: sales@techsciresearch.com New York, NY, December 25, 2016 --( PR.com )-- According to recently released TechSci Research report, “United States Tire Market Forecast and Opportunities, 2021’’, the country’s tire market is projected to grow at a CAGR of over 5%, in volume terms, during 2016-2021, on account of expanding sales of automobiles, growing purchasing power of people and expanding vehicle fleet size. The prominent driver for expanding tire market of United States is rising automobile fleet, as can be witnessed from the fact that it rose from 311.71 million units in 2011 to 321.41 million units in 2015.Browse 29 market data Tables and 24 Figures spread through 145 Pages and an in-depth TOC on “United States Tire Market"https://www.techsciresearch.com/report/united-states-tire-market-forecast-opportunities/828.htmlWith an increasing volume share of over 80%, in volume terms in 2015, replacement tire segment dominated tire industry of the United States. However, the OEM tire segmentis forecast to witness marginal change during the forecast period. In 2015, the country’s Southeast region comprising Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Virginia, etc., accounted for the largest share in the tire market, followed by Midwest, West, Northeast and Southwest regions of the United States. Government of US has also initiated strategic infrastructural projects and developments, resulting in growth in demand for vehicles as well as tires in the country. Some prominent tire manufacturing companies which have a strong presence in the country include Bridgestone, Continental,Michelin and Goodyear. Other players include Cooper, Yokohama, Hankook, Nexen, Pirelli, etc.“With diverse ongoing and planned construction projects, United States is anticipated to witness infrastructure transformation that will lead to developmental activities being undertaken in energy,transport, water, communication, health and housing sectors across the country, which is estimated to boost construction activities in the country; thereby, driving the automotive sector in the coming years. Moreover, the widespread presence of well-established network of dealers and distributors are expected to push tire sales in domestic market during forecast period. On account of this, the country’s tire market is expected to witness a healthy growth in medium to long term,” said Mr. Karan Chechi, Research Director with TechSci Research, a research based global management consulting firm.“United States Tire MarketForecast and Opportunities, 2021” has analyzed the potential of United States tire market, and provides statistics and information on market structure, imports and trends. The report intends to provide cutting-edge market intelligence and help decision makers take sound investment evaluation. Besides, the report also identifies and analyzes emerging trends along with essential drivers and key challenges faced by the industry.About TechSci ResearchTechSci Research is a leading global market research firm publishing premium market research reports. Serving 700 global clients with more than 600 premium market research studies, TechSci Research is serving clients across 11 different industrial verticals. TechSci Research specializes in research based consulting assignments in high growth and emerging markets, leading technologies and niche applications. Our workforce of more than 100 fulltime Analysts and Consultants employing innovative research solutions and tracking global and country specific high growth markets helps TechSci clients to lead rather than follow market trends.ContactMr. Ken Mathews708 Third Avenue,Manhattan, NY,New York – 10017Tel: +1-646-360-1656Email: sales@techsciresearch.com Click here to view the list of recent Press Releases from TechSci Research


Gray F.D.,Nexen | Schmidt D.P.,CGGveritas | Delbecq F.,CGGveritas
Society of Petroleum Engineers - Canadian Unconventional Resources and International Petroleum Conference 2010 | Year: 2010

Parameters of interest in hydraulic fracturing are the principal stresses, hoop stress and rock strength parameters such as Young's modulus and Poisson's ratio. Modern seismic inversion algorithms allow us to extract rock strength parameters. We show that they can be estimated between wells from seismic data. The azimuthal response of conventional and/or multicomponent seismic data is related to the stress field of the earth. By combining these methods, the magnitude of the principal stresses and the directions of the horizontal stresses may be estimated and then, hoop stress and fracture breakdown pressure can be approximated. These estimates may be used to guide field development away from existing wells. Copyright 2010, Society of Petroleum Engineers.


Von Lunen E.,Nexen | Jensen S.,Nexen | Leslie-Panek J.,Nexen
Leading Edge | Year: 2012

The rise of unconventional resource plays to prominence in the oil and gas industry has presented geophysics with a set of unprecedented challenges, chief among which is the problem of resource and reserve estimation. Instead of the traditional concerns with trap mapping, spill points, and degree of fill, unconventional resource plays require information on reservoir quality, fracability, fracture networks, and the stimulated rock volume (SRV) resulting from frac-completion programs. Figure 1 shows the critical differences in risk assessment between traditional and unconventional systems. The quantification of the "deliverability system" is the principal area, which geophysical methods must address. These requirements lead to a reliance on seismic inversion, attributes such as curvature and coherence, and microseismic data. © 2012 Society of Exploration Geophysicists.


Johnson B.A.,Nexen
Society of Petroleum Engineers - Canadian Unconventional Resources and International Petroleum Conference 2010 | Year: 2010

In developing the Doris Mannville Coal Bed Methane (CBM) gas field near Fort Assiniboine, Alberta, the Nexen exploitation team encountered many unforeseen artificial lift challenges using Electric Submersible Pumps (ESPs). High failure rates and short pump run times made forecasting of production volumes and reserves difficult, while high operating costs driven primarily by downhole servicing reduced the economic viability of the project. The root cause of the high pump failure rate was attributed in most part to the unanticipated volume of produced coal fines and reservoir solids in the produced water stream. The production of these solids, coupled with lower than expected water production rates, led to a re-evaluation of the field's artificial lift strategy. Following a thorough artificial lift evaluation, a change from an ESP to a reciprocating rod pump (Pump Jack) system was initiated. The largest anticipated benefit of reciprocating rod pumping systems over ESP artificial lift systems were: • Increased minimum flow path area through the system, reducing the frequency of solids plugging, leading to longer pump run times. • Reduced well servicing costs with reciprocating rod pumps through elimination of services required solely by ESPs. • Elimination of pump failures due strictly to electrical shortages by changing from an electrical/mechanical (ESP) to a straight mechanical (Pump Jack) downhole system. • Improved operating efficiency by matching artificial lift design with actual water production rates. The change in artificial lift strategy made an immediate impact on pump failure rates in the Doris field. This paper will present the resulting increased pump run times, sustained production rates and drastically lower operating costs that has made reciprocating rod pumping systems the artificial lift method recommended by Nexen to exploit Alberta's Mannville coal for CBM. Copyright 2010, Society of Petroleum Engineers.


News Article | February 15, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

A ribbon-cutting event will be held on Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. with City Council members and the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce. An Open House for the new store will be held on February 25, 2017. The 7,000 square foot store features 10 state-of-the-art service bays with digital timers, Challenger & Hunter Lifts, Hunter laser guided alignment machines and environmentally friendly waste depositories. Modern kiosks with display panels, eight 50” HDTV digital menu and appointment boards. The customer waiting area offers a 50” HDTV, wireless Internet access, complimentary coffee, bottled water, clean, aesthetically pleasing restrooms, and courtesy customer shuttle service. The store will employ 9 full time service staff. This new store in Simi Valley becomes the model of how future Big Brand Tire & Service stores will be built and operated statewide. The tire store chain has made significant cutting-edge improvements in the energy efficiency of the building design to cut energy use by implementing the newest technologies in lighting design. The “Eco-friendly” design includes standards and practices that include pollution prevention, cleanliness, recycling, resource conservation and bio-friendly lubricants and flushes. Big Brand Tire & Service sells a wide selection of leading tire brands such as Michelin, Goodyear, Continental, General, BFGoodrich, Toyo, Nexen, Pirelli, and GT Radial. Services offered at Big Brand Tire & Service include: wheel alignment, brake repair, oil and lube, steering and suspension, windshield repair and replacement, batteries, starters and alternators, shocks, struts, cooling systems, transmissions, as well as the latest diagnostic and maintenance services. “Big Brand Tire & Service is thrilled about our new location in Simi Valley and we look forward to earning the business of our new neighbors while providing great value and exceptional customer service,” said Matt Eckman, Big Brand Tire & Service General Manager. The store hours are Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sundays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Big Brand Tire & Service, based in Camarillo, California, is a tire and automotive service retailer. The company currently operates 18 stores across southern and central California. In 2014, the company marked its 45th year serving customers as their trusted tire and automotive service provider in local markets across California.

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