Latin America ///

Maersk Drilling reports major contract wins for three rigs

Maersk Drilling has been awarded a contract by Shell for the deepwater semisubmersible rig Mærsk Developer. The contract covers the drilling and completion of three wells, and the suspension of one well, all located in block E of the East Coast Marine Area (ECMA) offshore Trinidad.

Ecuador says it will cap output at higher level in deal with OPEC

A month after dealing a blow to OPEC, Ecuador says it will cap output at a more comfortable level than it had initially pledged.

Venezuela's Citgo turns to Canada for oil as crisis deepens

Venezuela’s oil-supply woes are so dire that its U.S. refineries are turning to Canada for help.

GeoPark, Wintershall strike oil in Neuquen basin, Argentina

GeoPark Limited and Wintershall Energía S.A., a subsidiary of the BASF group, the fourth-largest gas producer in Argentina with over 15 blocks, have announced the discovery of a new oil field in the CN-V block (GeoPark 50% WI, Wintershall 50% WI) in the Neuquen basin, Mendoza Province of Argentina.

Petrobras discovers oil accumulation in Campos basin pre-salt layer

Petrobras has reported the discovery of oil accumulation in the Campos basin’s pre-salt layer, in the area of Marlim Sul field.

Threat of Venezuelan oil ban pits oil boss Hamm against refiners

The prospect of a U.S. blockade of crude oil imports from Venezuela has ignited fierce lobbying in Washington pitting domestic energy producers such as oil tycoon Harold Hamm, who favor a get-tough approach, against refiners that depend on those supplies.

ION acquires first seismic survey offshore Panama in 30 years

ION Geophysical Corporation has announced acquisition is in progress on a new 2D multi-client program offshore Panama. Supported by industry funding, this is the first seismic survey acquired there in approximately 30 years.

Chevron, Total withdraw foreign staff in Venezuela amid political turmoil

Repsol SA pulled all foreign workers from its oil fields in Venezuela amid a deepening political crisis, while Chevron Corp. and Total SA have removed a small number of employees, said people with knowledge of the companies. Norway’s Statoil ASA has withdrawn its expatriate staff.

Oil & Gas in the Capitals

Mauro Nogarin, Contributing Editor

Notwithstanding Latin America’s limited economic growth, exploration investments are the common denominator in the region’s major oil and gas plays.

First Oil

Kurt Abraham, World Oil

On July 30, either through their own free will, or through coercion and intimidation by their president, Nicholas Maduro, the citizens of Venezuela approved a new “Constituent Assembly.”

Suretank Brazil aims to revolutionize chemical transportation for oil and gas

Suretank Latin America has entered into a partnership agreement with Pinamak aimed at dramatically reducing operating costs in the transportation of chemicals to offshore platforms.

Russian oil giant lends support to Venezuela oil company

Russia’s largest oil company disclosed another advance payment to Venezuela’s state producer after the U.S. sanctioned President Nicolas Maduro on Monday.

Venezuela to prepare workaround if U.S. bans oil imports

Venezuela’s state-owned oil company and its partners have quietly started working on a Plan B to find markets for the country’s crude oil if the White House ratchets up sanctions and bans imports.

Potential U.S. oil sanctions increase risk of Venezuelan default

The specter of tighter U.S. sanctions is pushing up the perception that Venezuela is getting closer to defaulting on its bonds.

Karoon approves FEED for Echidna oil discovery in Santos basin, Brazil

Karoon Gas Australia Ltd. is pleased to announce that its Board has approved the development concept for the Echidna light oil discovery, progressing the project to the next phase in the development, Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED).

Echo Energy signs technical evaluation agreement for the Rio Salado Block in Bolivia

Echo Energy, the South and Central America focused upstream gas company, has announced the signature of a technical evaluation agreement (TEA) for the Rio Salado Block, onshore Bolivia.

Exxon Mobil announces successful Payara-2 well, offshore Guyana

Exxon Mobil Corp. today announced that it has discovered additional oil in the Payara reservoir offshore Guyana, increasing the total Payara discovery to approximately 500 MMboe.

Subsea 7 awarded contract extensions offshore Brazil

Subsea 7 S.A. has announced the award of contract extensions for three Pipelay Support Vessels (PLSVs) currently on long-term day-rate contracts offshore Brazil.

Total, BP unit, YPF announce $1.15-billion investment in Argentina's Vaca Muerta

Argentina's state-run oil firm YPF SA, France's Total SA, Wintershall Energía SA and BP unit Pan American Energy LLC announced a $1.15-billion joint investment on Tuesday to increase shale gas production.

Brazil mulls easing local content rules in older oil contracts

Brazil's oil regulator is proposing a plan to allow companies to apply more flexible local content rules to pre-existing contracts, the agency chief said on Tuesday, in a bid to attract fresh investment by foreign oil majors into Latin America's top economy.