Recent work in March

Here are a few examples of my recent energy journalism, copywriting and other corporate communication work, which I have completed for various clients during the month of March 2017.


Eni is everywhere

Oil drilling rig workers lifting drill pipe

Across Africa, Italy’s Eni seems to be everywhere exploring, developing and producing oil and gas both onshore and offshore with its partners. In recent years, it has had some spectacular successes as the following offshore discoveries including the Egypt’s Zohr field, Ghana’s Cape Three Points oil and gas project, Angola’s Block 15/06 and Mozambique’s Rovuma Basin.



‘What next for ‘

Given the support for electric vehicles in the Budget and battery storage being taken up on a huge scale in Southern Australia, it seems like the technology is ‘having a bit of a moment’. We’d like to discuss what the opportunities are for battery storage, how large the potential market is and how the UK economy is set to benefit. We’d like to slant this in terms of automotive leading the way, although the natural focus is the application of the tech beyond cars.


Interconnectors – What are they?

An interconnector is a power cable or pipeline, which enables energy to flow between networks. For instance, there are subsea interconnectors that link the UK power network with the French and Dutch power networks, which enable power to be transmitted between these countries in either direction as required. In addition, there are gas pipelines that for fill the same function, as in the case of the gas pipeline interconnector that switches gas from Holland to the UK.

What lessons can Big Oil learn from Silicon Valley and other industries

With crude oil prices at $50 a barrel, not the $100 the industry has grown used to, you would expect it to change its ways. Unfortunately, it seems the industry is finding it harder than expected. Big oil is adopting several approaches in common practice in other industries to cut costs and improve the economics of business. These include greater usage of benchmarking in controlling project costs, the usage of standardisation in equipment, adoption of more efficient inventories and logistics systems, modularisation, even greater usage of IOT technologies including APPS to monitor and manage the operations oil and gas fields. In addition, it is making a long-term bet on gas which can be cheaper to produce and easier to find than oil.

Where there is muck there is money!

Women with piggy bank

Today, recycling is big business, for instance, countries like Britain and Sweden trade in it. For instance, plastic waste containing (laundry detergent, shampoo bottles) could earn a processor a profit of $250 per ton, and with aluminum some $1,325 per ton in profit.

The fact is Sweden is so good at recycling its waste it has to import rubbish from neighbouring countries to keep its recycling plants operation. Apart from incineration, operators are making efforts to recycle waste. For instance, waste paper can be reprocessed 5 times before it becomes unusable. In addition, much of the aluminum used in drinks cans has been recycled many times. Often many such plants play a vital role in generating energy for power networks and district heating schemes. In addition, it is common practice for things like furniture, gadgets etc to be repaired, shared and reused.

Robots are taking over oil rigs

Much is being talked about that the return to higher energy prices, will mean jobs will return in the industry. The crash in oil prices saw a loss of more than 440,000 jobs. However, the lesson that the oil industry has learn’t is that it needs to cut costs. One way to do this is to automate, this spells trouble for the roustabouts (oil workers). Such automation of complex drilling equipment and maintenance of oil wells, reduces demand the demand for brawn and increased demand for brains with a laptop, especially software specialists and data technicians.

Increased need for gas storage

Today, we hear much about energy storage in the form of batteries and pumped storage hydro. However, little is hear about another type of energy storage, which is gas storage. Gas storage facilities come in two main types, above ground and underground installations. Typical above ground facilities include LNG terminals, LNG tankers and Gasholders. Underground facilities include gas stored in old gas fields, salt caverns or LNG terminals.

Gas storage is principally used to meet load variations but also for speculation, energy security and protect against currency fluctuations. France, Germany and Italy can hold approximately 1/3 of their annual requirement in stock. Gas is injected into storage during periods of low demand and withdrawn from storage during periods of peak demand.

Santorini with churches and sea view in Greece

Devil in the detail – maritime boundary disputes

Around the world ill-defined maritime boundaries are causing problems between countries, this is especially the case where there are thought to be valuable oil or gas resources beneath the seabed. Amongst the current most newsworthy dispute is that between China and other South East Asian nations over the maritime boundaries of the South China Seas. Elsewhere, there are similar disputes as in the eastern Mediterranean between Israel and Lebanon and in East Africa between Kenya and Somalia.

The lessons that Morocco can teach Africa in developing renewables

By 2020 Morocco, a country with no significant fossil fuels expects to achieve the target of 42 percent of its electrical power from renewable sources, despite demand for power increasing at 5 to 6 percent a year. The reasons behind such progress include a combination of capacity building, technology transfers and the right policies, which have enabled renewables to significantly increase its share in its contribution to power generation in the country.

This feature looks at the story behind Morocco’s adventures in renewables, some of the projects, people, organisations, technologies involved. Also, examines what lessons other countries can learn from Morocco’s example.


A virtual pipeline update

The use of virtual gas pipelines to deliver gas to areas beyond existing gas pipelines like remote island Scandinavian communities, Malta, Crete, Cyprus, also factories not connected to the grid in the US. Also look how such technology is enabling the creation of gas power generation plants in South East Asia and parts of the world where a national pipeline network does not exist e.g. South Africa and the Caribean


Pipeline Gas Journal

Turkey’s gas pipelines

Turkey’s close proximity to more than 75 percent of the world’s proven oil and gas reserves make it a vital conduit for piped oil and gas from the Russia,  central Asia and the Middle East to European countries. Oil and gas from Azerbaijan, Iran, Iraq and Russia flows through Turkish pipelines, ports and waterways to Turkey’s  gas power stations, industry and households  and to markets further afield.  Despite some market liberalisation,  state-controlled  BOTAŞ Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAS)  imports  78 percent of all the natural gas consumed in Turkey. It owns and operates the  country’s oil and gas transmission networks, two of  the  four refineries,  some storage facilities,  one of two LNG import terminals and has a stake in the first gas transit pipeline currently under construction, the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline ( Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) ) reports the IEA Turkey 2016 Review. This feature focuses on Turkey’s gas pipeline transmission and distribution networks.

Quatre  Ltd

Houston pinned on a map of USA

Provided corporate journalism services to Quatre Ltd. Here generated a series of press releases, articles and distributed to various news agencies, industry networking sites and journalists worldwide including Linkedin, OilVoice, OilPro, Price Forbes etc. Content distributed included for instance:

A new funding solution is needed for  oil decommissioning

At the time of writing, we are seeing an increasing number of media reports detailing the huge numbers of abandoned oil wells in Alberta and Texas.  In addition, governments and the industry are experiencing growing concern over the increasing costs of decommissioning and reinstatement of both onshore and offshore oil and gas fields.

Texas needs a new funding solution for its abandoned oil wells

London, March 10 2017:  London-based company Quatre Ltd, has produced a new solution designed to fund the decommissioning of oil and gas fields and rehabilitation of other extractive industrial locations including mines. Quatre Ltd was set up to meet the needs of the oil and gas industry operating in the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea. “The flexibility of the Quatre model means that it can just as easily apply to decommissioning of oil and gas E&P operations in Texas, both onshore and offshore”, says Paul Jardine, Founder & CEO, Quatre Ltd.


London, March 3 2017: Alberta’s oil and gas exploration and production companies along with its government are facing the huge challenge of rehabilitating 1,400 abandoned wells.  The existing financial solutions available for paying towards the rehabilitation of Alberta’s abandoned and inactive oil and gas wells are failing to meet requirements.  According to the Alberta Energy Regulator, the cost of rehabilitating inactive and abandoned oil and gas wells is estimated to have reached more than $30.6 billion (as of  October 2015) against its clean-up fund of only $240 million.


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