Tag Archives: BP

Chinese Oil Billionaire's Union Energy Says 1st-Half Profit Soared

By Russell Flannery, Forbes Staff China’s energy business is largely under the purview of big government-controlled companies such as PetroChina, Cnooc and Sinopec.  An oil company led by one of only a handful of private sector entrepreneurs to make a large fortune in the field reported a big jump in profit today. Hong Kong-listed United Energy Group’s net profit in the six months to June more than doubled to HK$525 million, or $67 million, from HK$214 million a year earlier, according to a company announcement. Earnings rose on increased production and higher oil prices, United said.  Revenue climbed to HK$2.3 billion from HK$1.4 billion a year earlier.   Union acquired the upstream operations of BP in Pakistan for $775 million in 2011, and has since increased its production there.  Last October, it announced a “production cooperation agreement” with Chinese government-run China Development Bank for $5 billion, giving providing capital for additional acquisitions.   Union’s chairman Zhang Hongwei ranked No. 825 on the 2013 Forbes Billionaires List with wealth of $1.85 billion.   — Follow me on Twitter @rflannerychina     …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

Can Algerian Energy Buck Downward Trend With EU Help?

By Christopher Coats, Contributor

Even before North Africa’s recent political earthquake, Algeria’s vital energy sector was on the rocks. Despite substantial hydrocarbon reserves, the country’s production had steadily declined in recent years due to dwindling interest from foreign firms. A mix of industry instability, unfavorable revenue agreements and institutional corruption had made it difficult to justify the risks of operating in the country. Making matters worse, European demand for natural gas was declining with the financial crisis and U.S. purchases were wavering amid the North American shale boom. By the time political movements ousted long-standing leaders in neighboring Libya and Tunisia, putting pressure on the country’s leadership, Algeria was already fighting a dangerous narrative of industry decline. For a country so completely dependent on energy revenue and exports for every level of government spending, this wasn’t just bad news – it was destabilizing. While Algeria largely avoided the kind of violence and instability that forced leadership changes in Tripoli, Tunis and Cairo, their post-Arab Spring experience has not been without challenges. In addition to domestic pressure for labor and political reforms, mostly in the form of targeted protests, the country’s energy industry has faced pressure from outside its own borders. In January, militants from Mali crossed the border and targeted a BP and Statoil gas facility near the Libyan border. Touted as a response to Algeria’s support for European action against a Mali-based separatist movement in the north of the county, the raid and ensuing government response left scores dead, including dozens of foreign workers. Coupled with concerns about the country’s energy industry, including wide-spread corruption allegations at state firm Sonatrach, the raid chipped away at the confidence in Algeria’s already beleaguered energy sector. So, it would seem that recent news of a fresh agreement with the EU that, “establishes a framework for co-operation, which covers… oil and gas, renewable energy, energy efficiency, legal and regulatory reform, progressive energy markets, infrastructure development and technology transfer”, could not come at a better time. For Algeria, the new agreement means a vote of confidence from one of its largest customers, despite declining gas demand that is not expected to return for another two to three years. For Europe, it means a further step towards stabilizing a resource line from North Africa and meeting long-term goals of reducing dependence on less favorable resources, most notably Russia. Further, by casting Algerian reserves as “a priority area” for Europe’s strategic energy interests and security, it helps pave the way for EU infrastructure funding that has become increasingly elusive in recent months. Five years in the making, the new agreement is welcome news for both sides of the Mediterranean. Still, details of the new partnership remain vague and it is unclear whether EU support will mean more enthusiasm from European firms that have expressed concern about operating in Algerian in recent years. Six months on from the gas facility attack, both BP and Statoil have resisted sending foreign workers back to the project site. Earlier calls for policy reforms and …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

India's TCS shares at record high on upbeat earnings

Shares in Tata Consultancy Services, India’s biggest IT outsourcing firm, rose to a record high on Friday after reporting better-than-expected quarterly earnings.

TCS jumped as much as 3.84 percent to 1,724.0 rupees on the Bombay Stock Exchange after announcing Thursday that net profit had risen 16.8 percent to 38.31 billion rupees ($641 million) in the April-June quarter.

The firm, part of the steel-to-tea Tata conglomerate, counts blue-chip companies such as British Airways, BP, Citigroup and Microsoft among its main clients.

“TCS’s results were hugely positive, the highlight being a 6.1 percent volume growth, a seven-quarter high,” said Ankita Somani, an analyst with Mumbai’s Angel Broking.

TCS and its rival Infosys — which lead India’s flagship IT outsourcing industry — have both reported strong earnings this month, despite lingering uncertainty over global business conditions.

Infosys last week reported a nearly four percent rise in quarterly net profit and kept its market forecast intact.

India’s software outsourcing industry carries out a wide range of jobs for Western firms such as answering calls from bank customers, processing insurance claims and developing software.

India, with its large English-speaking workforce, accounts for at least 50 percent of the global outsourcing market.

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Anadarko, Unshaken By Its Deepwater Horizon Legacy, Builds Big In The Gulf Of Mexico

By Christopher Helman, Forbes Staff

On Tuesday a U.S. district judge in Houston found that Anadarko Petroleum must face up to a lawsuit by investors who allege that the oil and gas giant misled them in the wake of BP’s Deepwater Horizon explosion. Anadarko held a $25 stake in the ill-fated Macondo well. Yet company officials said at the time that Anadarko neither had a hand in designing the well nor was in overseeing the drilling operation and so couldn’t be held responsible for it. Investors seemed placated that any financial hit would be minor. And yet months later Anadarko settled its share of cleanup costs with BP for $4 billion — not an immaterial amount. (More on the new ruling from Bloomberg, here.) …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

BP sets up anti-fraud hotline for spill claims

BP has set up a hotline for people to report alleged fraud involving claims arising from the company’s massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Monday’s launch of the hotline comes a week after a federal appeals court heard BP’s argument that it has been forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in settlement money to businesses with inflated or fictitious claims.

Earlier this month, a judge appointed former FBI Director Louis Freeh to investigate alleged misconduct by a lawyer who helped administer BP’s multibillion-dollar settlement with Gulf Coast residents and businesses.

BP said calls to the hotline can be anonymous and could entitle a caller to a reward if a tip leads to an indictment, recovery of money or denial of a claim.

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox US News

Canadian freed after 18 months in Mauritanian jail

A Mauritanian official says a 24-year-old Canadian man was sentenced to 18 months in prison after being convicted of having ties to al-Qaida’s North African branch but he will be freed because he has already served his time.

Prosecutor Ahmed Ould Abdalla told the Associated Press late Sunday that the court decided to release Canadian national Aaron Yoon because he had already been imprisoned for the duration of his sentence. He was first arrested in December of 2011.

Yoon said he travelled to Mauritania to study the Quran. He reportedly travelled to the region with two other Canadians, who were later implicated in a separate terror attack on a BP-operated natural gas plant in southeastern Algeria earlier this year, which ended with the deaths of 37 hostages.

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox World News

Overseer of US victim funds says work wrenching

Massachusetts lawyer Kenneth Feinberg has been near the heart of some of the worst catastrophes, dealing with people who’ve faced profound loss after 9/1l, the BP oil spill, the Virginia Tech shootings, and the Colorado movie theater ambush.

Now, he’s adding the Boston Marathon bombings to his workload, managing a victims’ compensation fund as he did after the previous tragedies.

The 67-year-old Feinberg said his work takes an emotional toll but is about wanting to help, in the same spirit as those who donate.

The One Fund — now nearing $26 million — was established to help victims of the April 15 explosions that killed three people and injured more than 260.

Feinberg has established an aggressive timeline in Boston. He hopes to meet with families by June 15 and get checks out by June 30.

Currently, he is advising a panel distributing money after the December school massacre in Newtown, Conn., and mediating settlement discussions between Penn State and alleged sex abuse victims of former football coach Jerry Sandusky.

The experiences are wrenching, he said. And recipients invariably resent him, thinking he’s trying to put a price on the priceless things they’ve lost.

“Don’t expect thanks or appreciation or gratitude, none of that,” Feinberg said. “We have very emotional victims and you’re offering them money instead of a limb, instead of the return of a family member. This is a no-win situation.”

But he keeps saying yes to the work because he wants to help.

“Look at the amount of money that pours in from private people, private citizens?” he said. “How do you say no if the governor calls, the mayor?”

In 1984, the Brockton native was appointed to distribute money from a $180 million settlement for military veterans exposed to Agent Orange. His work was stellar enough to prompt a call when President George W. Bush was looking for someone to manage the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund. Since then, the calls have come regularly.

Most of the work is pro bono, including the Boston Marathon job, though Feinberg was paid for his work with the 9/11 fund and the BP oil

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Fox US News

Florida becomes 4th state to sue BP over oil spill

The state of Florida filed a lawsuit Saturday against oil company BP and cement contractor Halliburton over the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, becoming the fourth state to seek damages for the 2010 disaster.

The suit, among other things, faults BP for not changing the batteries on the rig’s blowout preventer. Halliburton was blamed for installing faulty cement barriers that were supposed to gird the well against oil pressure.

The 40-page complaint by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi was filed in U.S. District Court in Panama City. The federal court has jurisdiction under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990.

Bondi filed suit on the three-year anniversary of the tragedy that killed 11 rig workers in the Gulf of Mexico. Florida is now the fourth state to sue over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill; Mississippi sued on Friday. Cities and counties along the coast also have filed.

A BP spokesman declined comment and Halliburton spokespeople were not immediately available. A note on BP‘s website Saturday from BP America Chairman and President John Mingé said, “On the third anniversary of the tragic accident in the Gulf of Mexico, our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of our 11 colleagues who died and those injured.”

A battery-operated blowout preventer, powered by “a series of 9-volt battery packs,” was supposed to activate automatically but didn’t, according to the suit, because BP didn’t replace the batteries.

BP knew or should have known that the manufacturer recommended replacement of the batteries in the battery packs at least once per year,” the suit said. Divers later couldn’t manually turn it on, either. The suit also blames BP for installing a defective valve on the same blowout preventer.

The spill fouled 1,100 miles of beaches and marsh along the Gulf coast, keeping away waves of summer tourists who swim and fish in the waters.

“Indeed, Florida relies on the pristine nature of the Gulf of Mexico as the source for much of the attraction of patrons, tourists and visitors,” the suit said.

The suit focuses on the state’s economic losses and includes negligence and other claims under federal, state and maritime law.

Bondi argues that the 2010 spill cost the state a variety of

From: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/national/~3/AIKVCd2yIxg/

Mississippi becomes third state to sue BP for oil spill

Mississippi has become the third state to sue BP PLC over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

Attorney General Jim Hood announced Friday that Mississippi had filed suits in federal and state court. The move comes one day before the three-year statute of limitations expires for claims related to the April 20, 2010 explosion and subsequent spill.

Hood says he wanted to settle, but says BP refused to negotiate. He also says the oil company refused to waive the statute of limitations.

A spokeswoman for BP didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Louisiana and Alabama sued BP earlier and are participating in a federal trial in New Orleans to determine the liability of BP and its contractors. Mississippi hadn’t been participating because it hadn’t sued.

From: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/national/~3/28MNwtJhjkU/

3 years later: oil spill cleanup, study carries on

At first glance, the marshy, muddy coastline of Bay Jimmy in southeast Louisiana appears healthy three years after the nation’s worst offshore oil spill. Brown pelicans and seagulls cruise the shoreline, plucking fish and crabs from the water. Snails hold firm to tall blades of marsh grass.

Underneath the surface, environmentalists and scientists fear there may be trouble, from tiny organisms to dolphins. Yet the long-term environmental impact from the spill is still not fully known and will likely be debated for years to come.

BP has spent billions of dollars on cleanup efforts since the Deepwater Horizon rig exploded and a well ruptured April 20, 2010, spilling 200 million gallons of crude.

The oil fouled 1,110 miles of beaches and marsh along Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. Fishing waters were closed and thousands of people who depend on the Gulf’s deep blue waters wondered if the coast would ever be the same again. Crews continue to find oil buried underneath beaches whenever a tropical storm stirs up the Gulf.

“Visually, the coast looks great, and I think most of what was visible is gone,” said David Muth, director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Mississippi River Delta Restoration Program.

Still, oil sheens penetrated deep into marshes, worrying Muth.

“The micro-organisms and the smallest invertebrates, they’re all eating the grasses and eating each other,” he said. “Some of those persistent chemicals just get built up, and as each creature comes along and eats it, the toxins can be amplified right up the food chain until you get to the top predators, like dolphins and sea turtles.”

More than 650 stranded dolphins have been found since the spill, Muth said.

But those deaths started two months before the disaster and it’s not clear what is causing them — or how much the spill may have contributed. Federal biologists have said the one consistent thread was a bacterial infection.

Turtle deaths also are being looked at, but the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has said many probably drowned in shrimp nets.

Nearly every aspect of the spill’s environmental impact is under review, though much of the research cannot be released because it’s likely going to be evidence in an ongoing trial.

From: http://feeds.foxnews.com/~r/foxnews/national/~3/Ux_eDMPxa0Y/