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March 13, 2013
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News for the oil and natural gas industry

  Top Story 
  • API to unveil new ad campaign in support of oil, gas tax incentives
    The American Petroleum Institute will unveil a new ad campaign in support of tax incentives enjoyed by oil and natural gas companies, as part of a larger push by industry groups and House Republican lawmakers. While some Democrats and the Obama administration have been seeking to eliminate such tax incentives, saying they are unnecessary, industry officials argue that higher taxes would stunt job generation and affect growing production. The Hill/E2 Wire blog (3/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Industry News 
  • Drillers increase R&D spending to speed up U.S. production boom
    Baker Hughes, Halliburton and other oil field services companies are increasing their spending on research and development in an effort to speed up the U.S. energy production boom, observers say. "From 2004 to 2012, the development of shales was basically, hit it with a big sledgehammer and see what comes out," said Richard Spears, vice president of Spears & Associates. "Now the question is who can do it the best and optimize the process. Shales aren't tube socks, a one-size-fits-all thing." The Wall Street Journal (3/13) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Skilled worker shortage is largest threat to industry, study finds
    A lack of skilled workers is the largest threat to the global oil industry, according to nearly one-third of respondents in a report issued by jobs board The shortage is particularly serious in the subsea and liquefied natural gas sectors, the report stated. "It is clear, though, that the industry must concentrate on developing the workforce in order to ensure knowledge is passed on and the required experience is in place to manage the world's oil and gas reserves," said Mark Guest, managing director of (3/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Black Elk, Platinum sign funding deal for Gulf project
    Black Elk Energy Offshore Operations forged a deal worth $50 million with Platinum Partners Value Arbitrage to finance Black Elk's Gulf of Mexico drilling program for 2013. About 23 wells are involved in the project, Black Elk said. "Black Elk Energy continues to demonstrate [its] track record of success, and we are excited to begin the drilling program," said Mark Nordlicht, chairman and chief investment officer at Platinum. American City Business Journals/Houston (3/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Exxon awards $1.5B services deal for Canadian project
    ExxonMobil has awarded Norwegian-based Kvaerner a $1.5 billion contract to provide services for the U.S. oil major's Hebron offshore project in Canada. Kvaerner has already carried out engineering and site preparation services for the project. Reuters (3/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Watson: Chevron, Venezuela continue energy investment talks
    Chevron continues to negotiate with Venezuela about new energy investment opportunities in the country following the death of President Hugo Chavez, said John Watson, chairman and CEO of Chevron. "I think there's a lot Chevron can bring to Venezuela -- jobs, investment and ultimately higher production," Watson said. The company is also "working on regulatory issues" that would pave the way for the restart of its Frade offshore oil field in Brazil, he added. Platts (3/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Exploration & Production 
  • Chevron sees sharp increase in production by 2017
    Chevron anticipates an increase of nearly 20% in its oil and natural gas production figures by 2017, the company said. Some of Chevron's major production ventures around the world, including new oil wells in ultra-deep Gulf of Mexico waters and a large natural gas project in Australia, are on track for completion, Chairman and CEO John Watson said. Fox Business/Dow Jones Newswires (3/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Policy Watch 
  • N.D. oil taxes bill draws criticism from industry group
    A North Dakota industry group criticized a bill in the state's House of Representatives that seeks to streamline and simplify oil taxes, arguing it is a complicated and costly measure for energy firms. The bill would boost the effective tax rate for drillers by at least 1% and increase as production grows, said Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council. "All we want is a clean, simple and fair tax policy," Ness said. Jamestown Sun (N.D.)/The Associated Press (3/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Appeals court upholds ruling on delayed release of oil, gas leases
    A ruling in favor of the Department of the Interior's decision not to immediately issue 118 oil and natural gas leases on federal lands was upheld by a federal appeals court. Industry groups argued that the leases must be released within 60 days of purchase under the Mineral Leasing Act. A federal judge ruled that the department has the flexibility to decide if further environmental impact studies are needed before the leases can be issued. The Salt Lake Tribune (Utah) (3/12) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  API News 
  • Center for Offshore Safety First Annual Forum, April 29 and 30
    The Center for Offshore Safety is focused on promoting the highest levels of safety and environmental protection for offshore drilling, completions and production operations in deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The First Annual Forum's agenda has been created to provide an update on progress made by the Center and its cross-industry work groups, including SEMS Audit tools and SEMS good practices. The agenda is complemented by interactive panel sessions regarding SEMS implementation and industry experiences. The Forum is an excellent opportunity to gain an insight and understanding of SEMS, SEMS implementation, SEMS auditing, and the work being undertaken by the COS. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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    API-U offers training any way you want it, anywhere you want it. Attend one of our instructor-led classes designed to help you get more out of API Standards, or choose from more than 140 of our e-Learning courses in mechanical maintenance, electrical maintenance, instrumentation and control, industrial math, and science and safety. Learn more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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  Editor's Note 
  • Correction
    An item in the March 12 API SmartBrief misidentified the political party of Rep. Paul Ryan. He is a Republican. SmartBrief regrets the error. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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