Finance News

oceaneeringlogoOceaneering International, Inc. (NYSE: OII) has reported record quarterly earnings for the second quarter ended June 30, 2014.

On revenue of $927.4 million, Oceaneering generated net income of $110.3 million, or $1.02 per share. During the corresponding period in 2013, Oceaneering reported revenue of $820.4 million and net income of $98.8 million, or $0.91 per share.

Summary of Results
(in thousands, except per share amounts)

                             Three Months Ended                                                   Six Months Ended
                                   June 30,                         March 31,                              June 30,

                           2014             2013                     2014                           2014              2013

Revenue           $ 927,407      $ 820,372             $ 840,201                 $ 1,767,608      $ 1,538,924

Gross Margin       218,215        201,864                 189,491                      407,706           362,239

Income from Ops. 161,311       146,337              132,862                         294,173           254,627

Net Income         $ 110,295     $ 98,811              $ 91,225                     $ 201,520        $ 173,660

Diluted Earnings

Per Share (EPS)         $1.02         $0.91                    $0.84                            $1.86             $1.60


Year over year, quarterly EPS increased on profit improvements from Subsea Products, Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV), and Subsea Projects. Sequentially, quarterly EPS rose on higher operating income principally from Subsea Products and Subsea Projects.

M. Kevin McEvoy, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "Our quarterly EPS was slightly above our guidance, and was up 21% over the first quarter of this year and 12% over the second quarter of 2013. EPS for the first half of 2014 was 16% higher than the first half of 2013. We achieved record quarterly operating income from Subsea Products, and for the first time Subsea Products operating income exceeded that of ROV.

"Our outlook for the second half of this year remains positive and unchanged overall from last quarter. Given this outlook and our year-to-date performance, we are narrowing our 2014 EPS guidance range to $3.95 to $4.05 from $3.90 to $4.10. Relative to the first half of 2014, we expect to generate higher income from each of our operating segments during the second half, led by ROV and Subsea Projects. We continue to forecast year-over-year operating income growth for all of our oilfield segments in 2014.

"Compared to the first quarter, Subsea Products operating income rose on the strength of increased revenue and profitability from tooling and subsea hardware. Subsea Products backlog at quarter end was $850 million, compared to our March 31 backlog of $894 million and $902 million one year ago. During the quarter we announced one large umbilical contract for offshore Indonesia.

"ROV operating income was essentially flat, as operating margin declined due to higher repair and maintenance expenses, unanticipated startup costs associated with placing new systems in service, and lower fleet utilization. Revenue grew on increases in days on hire and revenue per day on hire. During the quarter we put 13 new ROVs into service and retired 4. At the end of June we had 323 vehicles in our fleet, compared to 296 one year ago.
"During the second half of this year, we expect to place at least 13 new ROVs into service, and we have contracts for all of these. When these new vehicles are placed into service depends upon the actual commencement dates of new drilling rig and vessel project work. We now anticipate adding 40 or more new systems to our ROV fleet in 2014.

"Sequentially, Subsea Projects operating income increased largely as a result of adding a vessel, the Bourbon Evolution 803, to our Field Support Vessel Services contract with BP for work offshore Angola and a higher profit contribution from the Ocean Alliance in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The Ocean Alliance was out of service for much of the first quarter undergoing a regulatory drydock inspection. Asset Integrity operating income improved slightly due to a seasonal increase in activity in Europe and the Caspian Sea area. Advanced Technologies operating income declined due to execution issues on certain U.S. Navy and industrial projects.

"For the third quarter of 2014, we are projecting EPS of $1.10 to $1.15. We expect sequential improvements in income from all of our operating business segments, led by ROVs.

"Our liquidity and projected cash flow provide us with ample resources to invest in Oceaneering's growth. At the end of the quarter, our balance sheet reflected $103 million of cash, $80 million of debt, and $2.2 billion of equity. During the quarter we generated EBITDA of $217 million, $403 million year to date, and for 2014 we anticipate generating at least $855 million.

"In June we increased our regular quarterly cash dividend by 23% to $0.27 from $0.22 per share. This underscores our continued confidence in Oceaneering's financial strength and future business prospects.

"Looking beyond 2014, we believe that the oil and gas industry will continue its investment in deepwater projects. Deepwater remains one of the best frontiers for adding large hydrocarbon reserves with high production flow rates at relatively low finding and development costs. With our existing assets and opportunities to add new assets, we are well positioned to supply a wide range of services and products to safely support the deepwater efforts of our customers."

piraNYC-based PIRA Energy Group reports that WTI strengthened in June while other midcontinent differentials weaken. In the U.S., crude stock drew while products built.  In Japan, crude stocks built. Specifically, PIRA’s analysis of the oil market fundamentals has revealed the following:

WTI Strengthens in June, Other Midcontinent Differentials Weaken

With crude bottlenecks redeveloping in Canada and West Texas, differentials generally weakened in June. Rising production, refinery maintenance, and pipeline delays are contributing to relative weakness in Midcontinent markets – except for Cushing, where inventories continue to fall.

DOE Data Shows Crude Stock Draw, Product Build

Overall commercial inventories increased this past week with product inventory increase outpacing a crude stock decline. Last year saw a very large inventory decline for this particular week and, as a result, the inventory comparison to last year swung to positive, albeit just by 1.0 million barrels, for the first time this year.

Japanese Crude Stocks Build

Crude runs were little changed, but a higher import rate built stocks 3.9 MMBbls. Finished product stocks built slightly, but gasoline stocks drew to a record low. Refining margins are good. Gasoline cracks gained on the week, while other cracks eased slightly. The impact of typhoon Neoguri will be seen in the data for next week with refinery and berthing operations curtailed for a time.

LPG Scorecard

U.S. LPG prices have remained remarkably strong despite the large fall in crude oil prices. WTI and Brent crude oil have fallen 5% and 6% over the past two weeks. Mt Belvieu Propane is only 1% lower over the same period despite record increases in inventories and a surplus stock level to the year prior. Increased export capacity and a bumper corn crop (crop drying demand) are supportive for propane prices. Butane prices were flat over the same period and thus butane’s price ratio to WTI strengthened considerably, by 2.7% to 52.8% of WTI, the strongest vs. US benchmark crude since April. Winter gasoline blending season is only a few months away – the high demand period for butane. Ethane prices were the exception – outpacing natural gas' 6% decline by falling 10% in two weeks to 25.9¢/gal, the lowest level since November of last year.

U.S. Ethanol Prices and Manufacturing Margins Advance

The second half of 2014 began with ethanol prices rising in most of the country and corn costs plunging. As a result, manufacturing margins increased for the first time in five weeks.

Ethanol Production Declines

U.S. ethanol output declined to a six-week low 927 MB/D during the holiday-shortened week ending July 4, down from 953 MB/D in the preceding week. Inventories increased by 82 thousand barrels to 18.3 million, inching closer to the annual high of 18.4 million.

The information above is part of PIRA Energy Group's weekly Energy Market Recap, which alerts readers to PIRA’s current analysis of energy markets around the world as well as the key economic and political factors driving those markets.

StoneLogoStone Energy Corporation (NYSE: SGY) has announced a definitive agreement to sell its non-core Gulf of Mexico (GOM) conventional shelf properties to Talos Energy Offshore LLC for $200 million in cash and assumed future undiscounted abandonment liabilities estimated at approximately $117 million.

These properties represented production volumes of approximately 57 MMcfe per day for the first quarter of 2014 (58% natural gas). The estimated proved reserves associated with these properties represented approximately 9% of Stone's year end 2013 estimated proved reserves. Stone will retain an option for a 50% working interest in the deep drilling rights on the properties.

Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer David H. Welch stated, "The sale of our non-core GOM shelf properties will allow us to further focus our efforts on GOM deep water, gulf coast deep gas and Appalachian projects, which we have targeted for our growth. We also retained the right to drill deep gas prospects on the divested properties. Our remaining conventional GOM shelf properties will consist of two core operated fields currently producing approximately 6,000 boe per day (86% oil), which will allow us to better focus our human capital and financial capital. Together with the sale of our two onshore south Louisiana properties in late 2013 and first quarter 2014, we have sold approximately $300 million in non-core GOM shelf properties with over $140 million in future undiscounted abandonment liabilities."

The effective date was April 1, 2014, and the transaction is expected to close by early August 2014, subject to customary closing conditions and adjustments. After the closing of this transaction, Stone will be providing updated 2014 guidance, which will adjust for the proposed divestiture. Scotia Waterous acted as the financial advisor to Stone on this transaction.

Stone Energy is an independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company headquartered in Lafayette, Louisiana with additional offices in New Orleans, Houston, Texas and Morgantown, West Virginia. Stone is engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of properties in the Deep Water Gulf of Mexico, Appalachia and the onshore and offshore Gulf Coast. 

Marsol-men-at-workMarsol International, a UAE-based global marine solutions provider focused on the offshore oil terminal market and related infrastructure, has entered into a partnership with RMA Engineering Solutions (RMAES) to support its international growth strategy.

RMAES is a member of the RMA Group, a diversified American-owned company headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand. RMA specializes in providing innovative infrastructure, automotive and engineering solutions to clients in the emerging markets of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, often in extremely challenging frontier environments. The company has approximately $1 billion in annual revenues with offices on the ground in 21 counties, and has over 8,000 staff.

Marsol International men at work

RMA's global breadth and support via development and investment funding will enable Marsol to deliver its solutions to a greater service level and a wider customer base. It will also allow Marsol to pursue international growth through its ability to train local resources to take their rightful place in the operation and maintenance of the facilities and related equipment.

Since 2005, based on experienced gained over 46 years, Marsol International has provided operational engineering and management solutions to clients, consultants and EPC contractors for new offshore facilities, and operational and IRM services for existing facilities to offshore terminal owners and operators.

Mike Young, Managing Director of Marsol International, said: "Marsol International has always employed a holistic approach to growing our business. We understand that the key to developing emerging markets is to train local people to an internationally accepted level, whereby empowering them to manage their own resources.

"Marsol International adds value by managing this process. From the concept and design stage, through to installation and operation, we work closely with clients to understand their requirements to ensure their needs are met by a fully operational solution with minimal modifications. Taking ownership of this process and training local staff to operate the field on a day-to-day basis is key to this integrated approach."

"We are delighted to be working with RMA. Its understanding of emerging markets gives another dimension to our service and offers real value and insight to our customers."

James Hamann, CEO RMAES, said: "For the past 25 years RMA has enjoyed steady growth across the globe. This is largely through our ability to diversify our offering while remaining focused on servicing clients with excellence across the frontier markets of Asia, Africa and the Middle East. Combining the global size and breadth of RMA with Marsol International's specialised skills and experience in the oil and gas market will give Marsol the platform it needs for growth."

Marsol's team of experienced engineers understand first-hand the real life scenarios on a busy oil field and ensure their services and related infrastructure / products are designed, manufactured and installed to meet customer's operational requirements. The focus being on OPEX control, reliability with limited risk through ensuring integrity and life extension potential. The company is involved in all stages of offshore terminal projects from Front End Engineering Design (FEED) to Operations and Maintenance (O&M).

Asset-Guardian-Logo-Transparent-Background-Large-PNGAsset Guardian Solutions Ltd (AGSL), which specializes in protecting companies' process critical software assets, announced that it has been awarded a key contract by a major North Sea operator in Aberdeen, Scotland.

The contract requires AGSL to provide Asset Guardian, a process software management tool that helps to secure the integrity of process software and the mission critical processes that it controls.

Protecting integrity of process critical software on North Sea assets

AGSL will install Asset Guardian software on all of the operator's assets in the North Sea. Asset Guardian software provides a multifaceted, single point solution to manage the process control software it uses to operate these assets. It also ensures that the company complies with all relevant regulatory standards and government directives on process critical systems, such as IEC61508, 61511, ISO 9001, CPNI and HSE KP4 among others.

By using Asset Guardian, the operator will operate with a single secure repository in which all software and data for its North Sea assets is stored. By doing so, critical information is centralized, providing authorized personnel – both onshore and offshore - with access to one source of data, dramatically enhancing workflow.

In addition to preventing unauthorized access to process software, Asset Guardian makes it possible to retrieve back-up files and data required to update or replace system software that has been corrupted or failed, quickly and efficiently. As a result, negative impact upon production is dramatically reduced.

Improving communications enhances operations

Because these assets operate in the rugged, often stormy North Sea, communication links between the assets and onshore cannot always be relied upon. "To address this, we are also providing AGSync, a software solution that we developed especially for the oil and gas industry that makes it possible to synchronize data and files between locations," said Sam Mackay, Managing Director of AGSL.

In addition to providing Asset Guardian software, AGSL will also assist this customer with the migration of files and data from existing systems into Asset Guardian and provide full training to both Users and system Administrators using the recently launched Asset Guardian Computer Based Training (CBT) program.

Since 2007, AGSL has been supplying the oil and gas industry with the Asset Guardian toolset. The award of this contract follows on the heels of several others, including those from Woodside, Inpex, Stena Drilling, BP, Marathon, and nuclear energy provider EDF Energy

ParagonlogoParagon Offshore Limited (to be converted to Paragon Offshore plc) ("Paragon"), in preparation for its previously announced spin-off from Noble Corporation (NYSE: NE) ("Noble"), announces that, subject to market and other conditions, it intends to offer for sale $1.185 billion in aggregate principal amount of senior unsecured notes due 2022 and 2024 in a private offering that is exempt from registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act"), to eligible purchasers.

Paragon intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to repay a portion of the promissory notes that it expects to issue to Noble as partial consideration for the transfer to Paragon of Noble's standard specification drilling business in connection with the spin-off.

The notes and the related guarantees will be offered only to qualified institutional buyers in reliance on the exemption from registration set forth in Rule 144A under the Securities Act, and outside the United States, to non-U.S. persons in reliance on the exemption from registration set forth in Regulation S under the Securities Act. The notes and the related guarantees have not been registered under the Securities Act or the securities laws of any state or other jurisdiction, and may not be offered or sold in the United States without registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements of the Securities Act and applicable state securities or blue sky laws.

This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, any securities, nor shall there be any sale of the notes or related guarantees in any state in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of such states.

About Paragon Offshore
Paragon Offshore is currently an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Noble Corporation. Paragon is a pure-play global provider of standard specification offshore drilling rigs. Paragon's drilling fleet consists solely of standard specification rigs and includes 34 jackups and eight floaters (five drillships and three semisubmersibles). Paragon's primary business is to contract its rigs, related equipment and work crews to conduct oil and gas drilling and workover operations for its exploration and production customers on a dayrate basis around the world. Paragon's principal executive offices are located in Houston, Texas.

piraYC-based PIRA Energy Group believes that Oil demand growth will improve in 2H14 with stronger economic growth. In the U.S., with crude stock draws expected and improving product demand, stock builds will continue to decline and ultimately become stock draws in the weeks ahead.  In Japan, crude runs were marginally changed while crude imports remained low enough to limit the stock build. Specifically, PIRA’s analysis of the oil market fundamentals has revealed the following:

World Oil Market Forecast

Oil demand growth will improve in 2H14 with stronger economic growth. Iraq’s crude production losses in 2H14 will be made up primarily by Saudi Arabia, but global spare capacity will fall to just 1.4 MMB/D August through November. This is expected to support higher crude oil prices. In 2015, lower Iraq production will again require higher output from Saudi Arabia, but much less so because of weaker demand from higher prices and assumed increases elsewhere in OPEC. Refinery margins will be somewhat weaker because of higher crude prices.

U.S. Stock Building to Slow Down

With crude stock draws expected and improving product demand, stock builds will continue to decline and ultimately become stock draws in the weeks ahead. This past week overall U.S. oil inventories increased. This widened the year-on-year inventory deficit to 25 million barrels with all major categories below last year. Even though PIRA is forecasting a stock draw for next week’s DOE data, the year-on-year inventory deficit will narrow because of last year’s very large inventory decline for this particular week.

Japanese Crude Runs Stay Low, Product Demands Rise

Crude runs were marginally changed while crude imports remained low enough to limit the stock build to less than 1 MMBbls. Finished products drew 2.6 MMBbls. Product demands were all higher, leading to broad based stock draws. Refining margins were little changed but remain soft.

Inventory Build Rate Slows, But Climb in Weeks Ahead

U.S. weekly propane prices strengthened 1.3% to 107.8¢/gal this week on a lower-than-expected stock build. For the second week in a row, the total propane/propylene inventory increase was below three million barrels. The latest data from the Department of Energy showed that total C3 (propane + propylene) stocks increased by 2.43 MMB, below the monster 3.4 MMB+ rate of increase observed in late May and early June. Strong inventory builds over the next few weeks, due to dramatically lower exports, should reduce or eliminate the year-on-year stock deficits caused by this winter’s record conditions.

U.S. Ethanol Prices Tumble

Ethanol prices tumbled last week as record production during the week ending June 13 greatly outweighed the robust demand, declining inventories and rising corn costs. Margins for ethanol manufacture were the lowest since February, partly due to plunging co-product DDG values as China stopped buying this animal feed component from the U.S. on concerns it might contain unapproved genetically modified organisms.

Ethanol Production Plummets

U.S. ethanol production plummeted to 938 MB/D the week ending January from an extraordinary 972 MB/D during the previous week as weather-related issues in the Midwest curtailed operations at several plants. This was the largest week-on-week decline since January.

The information above is part of PIRA Energy Group's weekly Energy Market Recap, which alerts readers to PIRA’s current analysis of energy markets around the world as well as the key economic and political factors driving those markets.

ArnleaArnlea Systems (Arnlea), the leading asset management provider in the North Sea, has received a £5.5 million investment package from a combination of NVM Private Equity and management as part of a buy-out. The investment will provide the firm with capital to fund product development and international expansion.

Arnlea targets the global upstream oil and gas industry, helping operators, offshore floating systems and drilling companies to optimise their inspection and repair processes, ensure compliance with industry regulations, and manage asset integrity during the entire lifecycle. The deal included NexusAB, Arnlea's partner company, which provides integrated quality assurance and technical inspection technology.

The management team of Arnlea includes Allan Merritt, managing director, Martin Slowey, business development director and Jeremy Lai, finance director.

Mr Merritt said: "The NVM investment is a great opportunity for Arnlea; our business is now perfectly poised, as the demand for our inspection and tracking solutions grows rapidly.

"We already maintain a market-leading position with established and new products being delivered to the oil and gas sector, however we have created a three year business plan, aiming to triple our turnover to £15 million by 2017. To help support this demand we also look to double our head count to 60 staff."

The product demand for Arnlea is driven by growth in asset integrity, health, safety and environmental concerns; and a tightening of compliance and regulation post the Macondo oil spill. BP is currently among Arnlea's extensive blue-chip customer base, along with Total, Shell, Nexen, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Talisman and Subsea7.

Mr Merritt added: "The global demand for our products emphasises a need for us to be based overseas, and we are aiming to open a second office in South East Asia as part of our three year business plan."

Mauro Biagioni, director of NVM Private Equity said: "We are delighted to back an experienced and high quality management team from two businesses that have the potential to create a large international company.

"Allan and the team delivered significant growth in 2013, more than doubling the group's revenues. This demonstrates the capability of the team to take their business forward to the next stage, and we look forward to supporting them on this journey."

KPMG Corporate Finance advised the management team. Dane Houlahan, head of KPMG's Oilfield Services M&A team in Aberdeen, said: "KPMG were delighted to advise on this successful transaction. Through combining two quality businesses, Allan and the team have created a fantastic platform for growth and now, with the support of NVM, have the backing to significantly expand Arnlea's portfolio and international footprint.

"This transaction represents another great example of how growth capital is being used to drive accelerated growth for a number of SME businesses in the Oilfield Services sector."

Arnlea is the leading asset management provider in the North Sea and has supported companies operating in hazardous and harsh areas for more than 20 years to maximise operational efficiency and effectiveness. The company's suite of mobile and radio frequency identification tracking technology, used by the oil & gas, petrochemical and food & drink industries, enables users to manage and monitor their assets. 

logoThe board of directors of Aker Solutions ASA ("Aker Solutions") has in accordance with the strategy disclosed April 30 resolved to propose to the company's shareholders that Aker Solutions be split into two companies. The board has also determined to write down the value of some assets in the Aker Oilfield Services unit of Akastor, one of two companies that will emerge from the separation.

Aker Solutions Holding ASA ("New Aker Solutions") - a subsidiary of Aker Solutions ASA established for the purposes of the demerger and which will apply for listing of its shares on the Oslo Stock Exchange - will through the proposed demerger assume Aker Solutions' activities in the following areas of operation: Subsea (SUB), Umbilicals (UMB), Maintenance, Modifications and Operations (MMO) and Engineering (ENG). New Aker Solutions will operate under the Aker Solutions name from the first day of listing.

From the first day of listing of New Aker Solutions, the existing Aker Solutions ASA will change its name to Akastor ASA to form the Akastor Group together with the other subsidiaries that have not been transferred to New Aker Solutions. The Akastor Group will, among other things, continue Aker Solutions' activities mainly related to Drilling Technologies, Process Systems, Surface Products and Aker Oilfield Services, as well as Business Solutions, some financial assets and real estate.

On completion of the demerger, consideration shares in New Aker Solutions will be issued to the shareholders of Aker Solutions. Each share in Aker Solutions will give the right to one consideration share in New Aker Solutions. The consideration shares will constitute 100 percent of the outstanding shares in New Aker Solutions as of completion of the demerger.

The demerger is subject to approval by the shareholders of Aker Solutions at the Extraordinary General Meeting to be held on August 12, 2014, and depends, among other things, on the approval of the application to list New Aker Solutions shares on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

Based on external and internal valuations, the board of Aker Solutions determined an allocation of Aker Solutions' share capital so that 35.2 percent of the share capital would be allocated to Aker Solutions (to be renamed Akastor) and 64.8 percent to New Aker Solutions. This is in accordance with the allocation of net values between the two companies as a consequence of the demerger. The allocation is mainly based on internal and external evaluations of future cash flow and also takes into account the businesses' risks and prospects. Aker Solutions has as part of the demerger plan adopted an interim balance sheet that is included in the demerger plan.

The board determined to recognize impairments and a provision, which are reflected in the above-mentioned valuation, of about NOK 1.6 billion on some assets and goodwill of the Aker Oilfield Services unit of Akastor. The value of Aker Oilfield Services' investments in the Skandi Aker and Aker Wayfarer vessels will be written down and a provision will be made on future leasing commitments for the Aker Wayfarer vessel. The goodwill value of the business area Oilfield Services and Marine Assets (OMA), which Aker Oilfield Services belongs to, will also be written down.

The impairments and provision are based on revised business cases after the cancelation in June by Total in Angola of a two-year contract for the Skandi Aker vessel, as well as a generally weaker market that has created uncertainty about the value of the vessel and the goodwill value of OMA. An impairment charge of NOK 664 million will be taken on the Skandi Aker and NOK 306 million on the goodwill value of OMA. An impairment charge and onerous lease provision totaling NOK 662 million will also be taken on the Aker Wayfarer as some prior investments in the vessel have little or no value based on recently revised business cases and the current market outlook.

The after-tax effect of the impairments and provision is expected to be about NOK 1.3 billion. Most of the Aker Wayfarer impairment and provision will impact earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA). The Skandi Aker and OMA goodwill impairments will impact earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT). The impairments and provision, as well as other financial consequences of the demerger, will be incorporated in the second-quarter 2014 results disclosed July 17 by Aker Solutions.

The impairments and provision will have no effect on the new Aker Solutions since OMA will become part of Akastor. There will be no cash effect, no adverse impact on future funding through covenants and no consequences for the separation of Aker Solutions.

Indicative key dates for the demerger and the listing of New Aker Solutions shares on the Oslo Stock Exchange are as follows:

• Extraordinary General Meeting of Aker Solutions where the demerger proposal will be considered: August 12, 2014
• Application for listing of New Aker Solutions' shares on the Oslo Stock Exchange: on or about August 27, 2014
• Last day of trading of the Aker Solutions' share inclusive of the right to consideration shares in New Aker Solutions: on or about September 26, 2014
• Registration of the demerger with the Norwegian Register of Business Enterprises: on or about September 26, 2014
• First day of trading in Akastor shares exclusive of the right to consideration shares in New Aker Solutions: on or about September 29, 2014
• First day of trading in New Aker Solutions shares on the Oslo Stock Exchange: on or about September 29, 2014

ABG Sundal Collier, Barclays and Carnegie will act as joint lead managers for the listing process.

As part of the process, a listing prospectus for New Aker Solutions will be prepared and published in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

CfGBridgelogoEntradalogoAberdeen-headquartered Brazilian market specialist EntradaB2B has joined forces with CFG Bridge to facilitate farm-in opportunities for UK companies seeking access to the exciting Brazilian oil sector.

CFG Bridge, based in Rio de Janeiro, Bogota and London, can access a number of farm-in opportunities in both the onshore and offshore sectors in Brazil and Colombia through an extensive contact network built up after many years involvement in the Oil &Gas industry.

Daniela Figueiredo, Director of CFG Bridge, commented "This is a very exciting time for Brazilian oil and gas operations. The high number of prospects identified in recent years through successful E&A drilling points to the potential for early production revenue for overseas investors interested in farm-in opportunities."

"We are delighted to partner with CFG Bridge in this exciting venture", said Jim Cargill, Entrada B2B's local Director, "and look forward to assisting UK companies develop their interests in Brazil."

The Brazilian oil and gas sector has been marked by major finds over the last 20 years with UK companies like BG establishing substantial positions alongside local operators. A number of International Oil Companies (IOCs) are already producing oil in Brazil with many others holding acreage.

Calibre International and Lonsal Representações, a Brazilian company, operate under the “Entrada” banner to help British and Brazilian firms partner on projects in Brazil's booming oil & gas sector.

The full formal name of the jointly held local Brazilian company is “Entrada Consultoria Em Vendas E Marketing E Legalizacao  De Estrangeiro Limitada” and trades under the names “Entrada do Brasil” and “”.

Entrada has offices in both Aberdeen and Rio de Janeiro and is able to offer comprehensive assistance to UK service companies wishing to enter a growing market. features a free database of Brazilian and UK companies willing to offer their resources, exchange skills, expertise and technology to make the most of opportunities in the burgeoning energy market. The new website aims to provide clients with a ‘one stop shop’ of information and services. This is being continually developed with additional information and services.

It already features an Advice Centre, which includes briefings on legal issues from the leading Scottish law firm Brodies and financial and taxation issues from the independent chartered accountant Campbell Dallas and its Brazilian partner UHY Moreira.

CFG Bridge

CFG Bridge Ltd. is a Member of the Brazilian Chamber of Commerce, the ONIP Brazilian Organization of the Petroleum Industry (ONIP), and the Program for the Mobilization of the National Industry of Oil and Gas (PROMINP). It was created in January 2013 by the Executive Luiz Octavio de Azevedo Costa and the Deputy Manager Daniela Figueiredo, who were the Heads of the International Business Development team of PETROBRAS in London. In April 2013, Marco Hupe joined the Executive Board and also as a Partner.

With operations in Colombia, Brazil and Argentina (expanding to Peru and Mexico), and offering services that deliver business expansion in Latin America, CFG Bridge works alongside European and Latin American companies seeking market penetration and local partners. CFG Bridge’s services range from sales representation to business modelling to total set-up. These services also include the support of a world-class law firm, a specialist in oil and gas with a global reach .

CFG Bridge Ltd. also has an influential array of Associates, experts with solid experience in different aspects of the market, especially in the different sectors of the Oil and Gas Industry.

Datacom, LLC ("Datacom") has secured a capital investment in the Company of $19.2 million led by Main Street Capital Corporation (NYSE: MAIN) ("Main Street").

The initial investment proceeds were used to complete a minority recapitalization, refinance existing debt and provide working capital for growth in Datacom.

In addition to the initial investment, Datacom secured an additional tranche of growth capital totaling $13 million through the Main Street-led facility to expand its current business lines and make acquisitions.

Datacom's management team retained majority equity ownership in Datacom. Its leadership consists of veteran energy telecommunications and engineering managers who have a combined 175 years of experience in the field.

CEO and founder, John Poindexter, and COO Walt Messa, said, "We are happy to welcome Main Street as a capital partner in Datacom, and we are eager to pursue the significant growth opportunities that are available to the Company with this large capital pool and major financial partner like Main Street. We believe this will be a period of exciting and exponential growth for Datacom and its employees."

Datacom was assisted in its selection of a capital partner and counseled throughout the transaction by Bruce Bown of Dancing Bear Resources, LLC.

Datacom, LLC
Datacom, LLC is a leading provider of telecommunications, security, surveillance, engineering and data transfer services and products for companies involved in operations in remote and harsh environments. Founded in 2002, Datacom serves the onshore and offshore energy industry from its headquarters in Lafayette, Louisiana, and offices in Cutoff, Louisiana; Carthage, Texas; Devine, Texas; and Midland, Texas.

piraNYC-based PIRA Energy Group reports that Cushing crude stocks continue to fall. On the week, product inventories push U.S. stocks higher.  In Japan, refiners begin coming out of turnarounds. Specifically, PIRA’s analysis of the oil market fundamentals has revealed the following:

Cushing Crude Stocks Continue to Fall, Supporting WTI

Crude differentials in Midcontinent markets were mixed in May, with improvement in the most heavily discounted grades, like Canadian heavy and those in Midland, but declines in most other light grades. Cushing crudes remained relatively strong, with plenty of outgoing pipeline capacity now in place. Cushing stocks in May reached an all-time low in percentage terms and a five-year low in absolute terms. As Gulf Coast stocks drop this summer, causing the Cushing-Houston arb to reopen, severe WTI backwardation is a strong possibility. In other regions, rail and pipeline projects expected in the second half of this year portend increased takeaway capacity and stronger differentials in coming months.

Product Inventories Push U.S. Stocks Higher

Weaker reported product demand and a product import high for the year caused product stocks to increase, also a weekly high for 2014. Crude inventories fell for the week, leaving the overall stock build at 8.8 million barrels, which is in sharp contrast to last year’s 1.2 million barrel inventory decline during the same week. Thus, the year-on-year stock deficit narrowed by 10 million barrels to 13.6 million barrels, or just 1.2%.

Japanese Refiners Begin Coming Out of Turnarounds

Crude runs rose 29 MB/D as it appears turnarounds have begun to wind down. Imports rose from relatively low levels and crude stocks built 4.9 MMBbls. Finished products built slightly though gasoil and jet kero stocks posted draws. Refining margins were slightly lower with falling middle distillate cracks more than offsetting higher gasoline, naphtha, and fuel oil cracks.

India Quarterly Oil Demand Monitor

Market jitters that shook India in mid-2013 have faded. Economic data on growth continue to be disappointing, but optimism is running high after a decisive outcome in last month’s national election. Oil demand was held down in recent quarters by the sluggish performance of the economy and a continuous rise in retail diesel prices. But recent data on diesel under-recoveries showed that price hikes should be over soon. PIRA projects a moderate acceleration in oil demand growth going forward.

LPG Scorecard

Surging LPG inventories complicated by an upcoming export facility turnaround will pose challenges for domestic prices. A lack of incremental European demand and tight competition with naphtha in Asia will act as headwinds for LPG.

Ethanol Inventories and Production Soar

U.S. ethanol inventories soared to a 14-month high the week ending May 30 as plant output increased for the fourth consecutive week and ethanol-blended gasoline production dropped sharply. As a result, June ethanol futures prices plummeted.

Biofuels Programs Continue to Proceed Actively in Many Countries

Enerkem recently started its 10 million gallon per year waste-to-biofuels plant in Edmonton, Alberta. Universal Robina started up its 30 million liter per year ethanol plant in Manjuyod in the Negros Oriental province of the Philippines in May.

The information above is part of PIRA Energy Group's weekly Energy Market Recap, which alerts readers to PIRA’s current analysis of energy markets around the world as well as the key economic and political factors driving those markets.

douglas-westwoodDeclining North Sea production and increasingly mature assets are expected to drive demand for offshore accommodation support, with the attributed maintenance, refurbishment and shutdown work requiring additional personnel-on-board and workshop capacity. However, the harsh met ocean conditions of the northern North Sea (NNS) ultimately limit Operator choice to two types of accommodation - jackup barges and semisubs – due to the greater stability and safety offered.

Despite growing demand for semisub units, the sector is plagued by constrained global supply and limited availability, placing upward pressure on day rates. This is having a significant impact on contract costs in the NNS, with day rates typically ranging from $200-350k. Additionally, Operators are placing contracts several years in advance to ensure maintenance or construction schedules are satisfied. This is forcing Operators to seek more efficient contracting practices, either through unit sharing agreements or securing units on an annual basis.

Notably; although costs continue to rise, a key emerging trend in the floating accommodation sector is employee welfare. IOCs are using their global footprints to help drive the adoption of the 'quality equals efficiency' concept. This is now being mirrored in the NNS, where several large Operators and service contractors have identified a trend between 'spanner time' – hours worked by offshore personnel – and the quality of worker accommodation. While this may incur greater costs in terms of unit day rates, the cost advantages gained from reduced downtime and improved worker efficiency could make this increased expenditure worthwhile.

The industry is screaming for offshore accommodation capable of working in harsh conditions. Although the market will see 11 new units delivered between 2015-2016, continued growth in demand for accommodation semisubs, intensified by unit retirement, will further constrain supply. We are already seeing the market respond with new orders; however, will this be enough to offset growing demand pressures?

Murray Dormer, Douglas-Westwood London
+44 1795 574736 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


piraNYC-based PIRA Energy Group believes that Brent crude prices will move higher after some first half July weakness. In the U.S., there was a crude stock draw and product stock build. In Japan, crude runs begin to rise and stocks draw. Specifically, PIRA's analysis of the oil market fundamentals has revealed the following:

European Oil Market Forecast
Brent crude prices will move higher after some first half July weakness with tighter global crude markets and reduced OPEC spare capacity even as Saudi Arabia makes up for lower Iraqi exports. Urals differentials will firm over the next two months. Gasoline cracks still have a bit of strength for now, but with ample inventories they will narrow next month and especially in September. Distillate inventories, while currently rising, remain low and will tighten in the Atlantic Basin in the third quarter, driving diesel cracks higher.

Crude Stock Draw and Product Stock Build Results in Flat Commercial Stock Profile
With a 14.7 million barrel commercial stocks draw this week last year, it was inevitable that the year-over-year stock deficit would narrow. Last year's commercial draw consisted of a 10.3 million barrel draw in crude, a 5.9 million barrel draw in the four major refined products, and a 1.6 million barrel build in other product stocks. Consequently, even though crude stocks drew last week, crude stocks flipped from a deficit to a surplus versus last year.

Japanese Crude Runs Begin to Rise, Stocks Draw
Crude runs have begun moving higher as turnarounds begin to wind down. Crude stocks drew marginally as imports remained low. Finished product stocks also drew slightly. While refining margins remain soft, they improved slightly due to improved light product cracks overcoming a weaker fuel oil crack.

LPG Scorecard
U.S. stocks of LPG continue to rebuild from low levels at record rates. NGL production rates soared to a record high in April, with significantly more growth expected this year. New fractionation capacity and export infrastructure is being rapidly deployed to meet surging oil production. Propane in Europe and Asia is well supplied, with seasonally low demand inhibiting further price strength. Butane markets are tighter and discounts to naphtha in both regions have the product favored for petrochemical feedstocks use.

U.S. Ethanol Prices Declined During June
Ethanol prices fell during most of June as output reached a record high, stocks built to a yearly peak, and corn costs were the lowest since February. Prices showed some strength late in June as production declined when problems with railcar delays returned.


Ethanol Output Increases

U.S. ethanol production rebounded to 953 MB/D the week ending June 27, up from 938 MB/D during the preceding week. Though last week's output was significantly less than the record 972 MB/D two weeks earlier, it was still the second highest since December 2011.

The information above is part of PIRA Energy Group's weekly Energy Market Recap, which alerts readers to PIRA's current analysis of energy markets around the world as well as the key economic and political factors driving those markets.

piraNYC-based PIRA Energy Group believes that Brent crude prices will average higher as global oil markets tighten. On the week, U.S. products continue to build, crude draws again.  In Japan, turnarounds continue, crude stocks build. Specifically, PIRA’s analysis of the oil market fundamentals has revealed the following:

European Oil Market Forecast

Brent crude prices will average higher, in the $110-115/Bbl range for the third quarter, as global oil markets tighten. Urals differentials will firm over the next two months. Rising product exports from Russia, the U.S., and Saudi Arabia will be absorbed by demand increases in Latin America, Africa, and elsewhere in the Atlantic Basin, as well as by lower runs in Europe year-on-year.

U.S. Products Continue to Build, Crude Draws Again

Overview inventories increased this past week with product stocks increasing while crude stocks fell. It was the second consecutive weekly crude inventory decline, and declines should generally be commonplace in the weeks ahead. For products, the large inventory build reflected weak reported demand. It turns out last year’s stock build for the same week was more than twice the size of last week's reported inventory increase, thereby widening the year-on-year stock deficit. Most of the deficit is in crude and the two major light products.

Japanese Turnarounds Continue, Crude Stocks Build

Crude runs dropped back, and while crude imports also dropped, crude stocks built over 4 MMBbls for the second straight week. There have been two key delays in planned turnarounds, which will keep runs low for at least the next two weeks. Finished products drew slightly. Product demands showed only modest changes. Refining margins continued to decline with all the cracks, other than fuel oil, losing ground. Margins are deemed to be weak, despite ongoing refinery downtime.

International LPG Prices Mixed Last Week

Despite WTI crude oil prices rallying nearly 3% last week, U.S. propane prices were flat on another huge stock build. Butane prices fared only slightly better. High U.S. LPG inventories, which will soon be in surplus to the year-ago period, will pose challenges for domestic prices. European and Asian LPG prices proved to be far more susceptible to geopolitical supply risks than their American counterparts. Both European propane and butane surged with rising crude by 3% to $780/MT and $747/MT respectively. Asian prices were even stronger with propane’s weekly average up 3.1% to $919/MT, and butane up 3.3% to $921/MT. A lack of incremental European demand and tight competition with naphtha in Asia will continue to act as headwinds for international LPG prices. Record waterborne exports from all regions to Asia will ensure the region remains well supplied in June.

Ethanol Prices Decline

U.S. ethanol prices declined during most of the week ending June 6 due to greater production, rising inventories, and lower corn costs. Prices manufacturing margins fell, breaking three straight weeks of gains, as lower product and co-product prices outweighed the decrease in corn cost.

Ethanol Output and Stocks Increase

U.S. ethanol production increased for the fifth consecutive week the week ending June 6 to 944 MB/D, the highest level thus far in 2014. Inventories accumulated, building by 172 thousand barrels to a 14-month high 18.4 million barrels.

Iraq Update Conference Call with Dr. Kenneth Pollack and Dr. Gary Ross

Iraq is now in a state of sectarian civil war. The most likely situation is that Iraq will become mired in a Syria-like stalemate, with the population divided along ethno-sectarian lines. Kurdish independence looks more likely, but only if Turkey supports an independent Kurdistan. Northern Iraqi exports are unlikely to return, but the 2.6 MMB/D of current southern exports could remain relatively well-protected in Shia-dominated territory. However, periodic disruptions are likely, either from local extortionists or Sunni militia attacks. Right now, oil markets are firmly in a $110-$115/Bbl Brent price range, but even a temporary disruption in the south could quickly send prices into a $115-$120/Bbl range, where risks of an SPR release would increase. Forecast Iraqi production growth (in 2014, 2015 and beyond) is now called into question, providing more support to prices as the pressure on Saudi Arabia to cut production (in 2015+) is likely diminished.

The information above is part of PIRA Energy Group's weekly Energy Market Recap, which alerts readers to PIRA’s current analysis of energy markets around the world as well as the key economic and political factors driving those markets.

piraNYC-based PIRA Energy Group reports that U.S. demand growth was only 0.3%, but distillate and kero-jet demands were very strong. On the week, U.S. stock deficit widens in spite of commercial stock build.  In Japan, crude runs eased with continuing low crude imports such that stocks posted a moderate draw. Specifically, PIRA’s analysis of the oil market fundamentals has revealed the following:

March DOE Monthly Supply/Demand

DOE released its final monthly March 2014 (PSM) U.S. oil supply/demand data today. Demand came in at 18.53 MMB/D versus the 19.10 MMB/D PIRA had assumed in its balances. Compared with the weekly preliminary data, total demand was revised downward by only 14 MB/D. While demand growth was only 0.3%, or 50 MB/D, distillate and kero-jet demands were very strong, aided by colder-than-normal weather and colder weather relative to last March. End-March total commercial stocks stood at 1,057 MMBbls. PIRA had assumed 1,052 MMBbls in its balances. Crude stocks came in 7.6 MMBbls lower than PIRA assumed, while products came in 13.2 MMBbls higher.

Stock Deficit Widens in Spite of Commercial Stock Build

Total commercial stocks built for the week ending May 23, although the three major light products drew, reflecting strong pre-holiday-weekend demand. A surge in imports drove crude stocks higher, and all other oils built collectively. With a much larger total stock build last year, the year-over-year stock deficit increased. As noted last week, the effective stock deficit could be even larger, with approximately 9.5 million barrels of crude operational stocks for new infrastructure this year versus last.

Japanese Turnarounds Continue

Crude runs eased with continuing low crude imports such that stocks posted a moderate draw. Finished products also drew. Demands were only slightly changed, with a small stock build in gasoline, a small draw in kerosene, and larger draws on fuel oil, gasoil, and notably naphtha.

LPG Scorecard

Stronger demand and favorable arbitrage economics for LPG exports will be counteracted by ever increasing U.S. LPG inventories. Lower demand in Europe will keep LPG prices within range, while Saudi loading delays, higher contract prices, and less spot Middle Eastern volumes will be supportive for prices in Asia.

Ethanol-blended Gasoline at an All-time High

U.S. Ethanol-blended gasoline manufacture soared to a record 8,980 MB/D the week ended May 23, eclipsing the previous high of 8,957 MB/D set earlier in the month. U.S. inventories increased by 499 thousand barrels to an annual high 17.5 million barrels.

Prices/Margins Rise in May

U.S. ethanol prices increased during May as consumption in gasoline soared to a record high, while inventories in the Midwest are at the lowest level of the year. After declining for six consecutive weeks, manufacturing margins rose, with lower corn costs adding to the improved economics.

The information above is part of PIRA Energy Group's weekly Energy Market Recap, which alerts readers to PIRA’s current analysis of energy markets around the world as well as the key economic and political factors driving those markets.

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