Month: September 2020

Norwegian regulator moves to block Prosafe-Floatel merger

first_imgA proposed merger between two world’s largest offshore accommodation rig providers has now raised regulatory concerns both in the UK and in Norway.Prosafe’s Safe Boreas semi-submersible accommodation rig on Mariner field; Source: ProsafeThe Norwegian Competition Authority said on Monday it was considering intervening against Prosafe’s acquisition of Floatel.“The transaction involves the two closest competitors in the Norwegian market for offshore accommodation services. The Competition Authority has today notified the parties that it is considering blocking Prosafe’s acquisition of Floatel,” the regulator said.“The Norwegian market for offshore accommodation services has a limited number of players with Prosafe and Floatel as the two largest suppliers. Prosafe and Floatel are the only suppliers that can offer modern semi-submersible accommodation units on the Norwegian continental shelf. The Competition Authority is of the opinion that the two suppliers are close competitors and that they only to a limited extent meet competition from other players, says Lars Sørgard, Director General of the Norwegian Competition AuthorityAccording to the regulator, other suppliers on the Norwegian continental shelf offer accommodation units that are not fully comparable to the semi-submersible units of the parties, and are not able to compete for all contracts.“We fear that customers after the merger will have few or no competing suppliers when tendering for offshore accommodation services.”“We fear that customers after the merger will have few or no competing suppliers when tendering for offshore accommodation services. Reduced competition would lead to increased costs for customers,” says deputy director Marita Skjæveland.“Prosafe has proposed remedies with a view to removing the competition concerns identified by the Competition Authority. However, the Authority’s preliminary assessment is that these will not sufficiently address the Authority’s concerns. The Competition Authority emphasizes that the objections against the acquisition are preliminary and that a final decision has not yet been adopted,” the regulator added.Responding to NCA’s comments Prosafe and Floatel on Monday said:” Prosafe and Floatel have already presented remedial measures to the NCA, to ensure customers on the Norwegian continental shelf have access to sufficient vessel capacity at short notice, on competitive terms. While some of Norway’s most professional customers are positive, the measures have so far not been accepted by the NCA. Prosafe and Floatel will submit responses to NCA’s considerations. A final decision from the NCA is expected towards the end of October.”The proposed merger, if realized, would create the world’s largest offshore accommodation company, with Prosafe currently owning and operating a total of nine offshore accommodation units, and has options for delivery of two newbuilds, while Floatel’s fleet counts five units.UK competition authority concerned too Earlier in September, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said it was concerned that the deal could reduce competition in the supply of ASVs for oil and gas projects on the UK continental shelf.”In a statement on Thursday, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said:”After completing its initial Phase 1 investigation, the CMA is concerned that the deal could reduce competition in the supply of ASVs for oil and gas projects on the UK continental shelf.”“The CMA’s investigation has found that Prosafe and Floatel are the 2 largest suppliers in the market, owning the vast majority of semi-submersible offshore accommodation in North West Europe. They compete closely with each other and have consistently won the most contracts over time. Aside from the merging businesses, there are limited alternatives available to customers at present,” the CMA said.“The CMA is therefore concerned that because of the deal, Prosafe and Floatel’s customers would face higher prices or lower quality offers when tendering for ASVs due to insufficient competition,” the competition authority said.Offshore Energy Today StaffSpotted a typo? Have something more to add to the story? Maybe a nice photo? Contact our editorial team via email. Also, if you’re interested in showcasing your company, product or technology on Offshore Energy Today, please contact us via our advertising form where you can also see our media kit.last_img read more

GasLog secures $1.05 billion LNG newbuildings financing

first_imgMonaco-based LNG shipper GasLog has secured $1.05 billion through a credit facility agreed with twelve international banks for its current newbuilding program. The newbuild facility covers the balance due to the shipyard on delivery and consequently, the final installments of the seven newbuildings are fully funded, GasLog said in its statement.Five of these seven newbuildings are scheduled to deliver from the yards into firm multi-year charters in 2020 and the remaining two into firm multi-year charters in 2021.The facility is backed by the Export Import Bank of Korea (KEXIM) and the Korea Trade Insurance Corporation (K-Sure), who are either directly lending or providing cover for over 60 percent of the facility.GasLog also said that it has amended the covenants on its existing bank facilities to align them with the terms of the newbuild facility and the recently concluded GasLog Warsaw facility, resulting in significant improvements to the financial and non-financial covenants across all bank debt at both GasLog and GasLog Partners.In addition, GasLog has called the remaining NOK434 million ($50 million) of its 2021 NOK bond. The bond call will be settled in January 2020 with proceeds from its 2024 NOK 900 million bond issued November 2019, the covenants of which are aligned with its bank facilities.last_img read more

Baron Oil abandons SundaGas takeover due to ‘uncertainties’

first_imgUK-based and AIM-listed oil and gas company Baron Oil has decided to terminate a reverse takeover of Singapore-based private E&P company SundaGas.SundaGas’ block offshore Timor-Leste; Map source: SundaGasBaron said on Tuesday that the reverse takeover, announced on November 14, 2019, was amicably terminated due to “uncertainties around the potential capital requirements of the combined group, along with complications in relation to the required restructuring of the SundaGas subsidiaries.”According to the company, the uncertainties encountered would involve additional costs and time to resolve and give rise to a material risk that the reverse takeover would not be completed in the required timeframe.The company confirmed that it would re-start trading its shares on AIM with effect from 7.30 AM on January 28, 2020.Baron will now revert to developing its portfolio of assets as an independent exploration company. Its interests will consist of its entitlement to invest with SundaGas in the Chuditch gas accumulation offshore Timor-Leste, together with a near-term drilling opportunity onshore Peru and assets capable of holding substantial prospective resources in the UK.In the UK, the company holds 8 percent interests in Dorset offshore license P1918 as well as the PEDL330 and PEDL345 onshore licenses. The firm also has 15 percent stakes in Inner Moray Firth offshore licenses P2470 and P2478.As for the TL-SO-19-16 PSC or Chuditch, it is located approximately 185 kilometers south of Timor-Leste, 100 kilometers east of the producing Bayu-Undan field and 50 kilometers south of the planned Greater Sunrise development.Chuditch, operated by SundaGas, covers approximately 3,571 sq. km and contains the Chuditch-1 gas discovery, drilled by Shell in 1998.Baron will invest in the project via its entitlement to a one-third shareholding in a SundaGas subsidiary SundaGas TLS, equating to an indirect 25 percent interest in the Chuditch. The Chuditch PSC was declared to be fully in effect on December 19, 2019.During the first two years of the initial three-year term of the Chuditch PSC, there is an obligation to reprocess 800 sq. km of 3D seismic and 2,000 line kilometers of 2D seismic data.Malcolm Butler, executive chairman of Baron, said: “Baron and SundaGas have agreed jointly that the uncertainties that have arisen involve risks to the completion of the RTO that do not justify the continuation of the process.“However, Baron’s shareholders will still benefit from the Company’s entitlement to invest in a one-third shareholding in SundaGas TLS. In addition, Baron will retain its full existing interests in Peru and the UK and will continue to operate on a low overhead basis.”Spotted a typo? Have something more to add to the story? Maybe a nice photo? Contact our editorial team via email. Also, if you’re interested in showcasing your company, product or technology on Offshore Energy Today, please contact us via our advertising form where you can also see our media kit.last_img read more

Chief Rabbi voices opposition to gay marriage

first_imgTelegraph 25 June 2012Changing the law to allow same-sex marriage would undermine a “sacred institution” recognized since “time immemorial”, according to the Chief Rabbi, Lord Sacks. In his only public statement on the subject he warned that any attempt to exempt religious groups from performing homosexual weddings would be likely to be challenged at the European Court of Human Rights. Lord Sacks, who is preparing to retire next year, has consistently declined to be drawn into the debate about the Government’s plans to allow same-sex couples to have civil weddings. A clutch of traditional rabbis have spoken against the Government’s plans while liberal branches of Judaism in Britain have given their support. But now a formal submission to the Government’s consultation process from the London Beth Din – the Chief Rabbi’s court, which adjudicates on legal matters – has reiterated traditional orthodox teaching that homosexuality is against Jewish law. “Marriage by definition in Jewish (Biblical) Law, is the union of a male and female,” it asserts. “While Judaism teaches respect for others and condemns all types of discrimination, we oppose a change in the definition of marriage that includes same-sex relationships.” It continues: “Our understanding of marriage from time immemorial has been that of a union between a man and a woman. “Any attempt to redefine this sacred institution would be to undermine the concept of marriage.”http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/9352603/Chief-Rabbi-voices-opposition-to-gay-marriage.htmllast_img read more

Both sides of abortion debate meet at Parliament

first_img“Is this not enough? 13,285?” Ms DeRuiter said her group wanted abortion laws tightened but also for pregnant women to be properly supported so they could consider all options. NZ Herald 25 July 2018Family First Comment: The report says “Both sides of the abortion debate met on Parliament’s front lawn today in an orderly demonstration of free speech.”Orderly?No – sadly. The pro-abortion group played loud music and shouted during the Voice for Life speeches, and one of their members went through the booties and threw them all around – ignoring the weak Parliamentary Security efforts to stop him.The good news was that the pro-life were respectful, dignified, and focused on all women – including the unborn ones. #chooselife    #proudtobeontherespectfulsideBoth sides of the abortion debate met on Parliament’s front lawn today in an orderly demonstration of free speech.The Voice for Life pro-life group laid out 13,285 pairs of baby booties on the lawn to represent the number of foetuses aborted in 2017.Voice for Life national president Jacqui de Ruiter said the group decided to create the graphic display following the release of the latest abortion figures to illustrate how many potential lives were lost through abortion.“New Zealanders and women deserve better than abortion – 13,285 lost to the violence of abortion – there’s got to better be a better way,” she said.“So many women have said afterwards, ‘If I would have known what I was really doing, I wouldn’t have done it.’“It’s not the simple process people think it is.”READ MORE: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/index.cfm?objectid=12095065&ref=twitterPro-lifers cover Parliament’s lawn with babies’ bootiesNewsHub 25 July 2018Anti-abortion protestors have covered Parliament’s lawn in 13,285 pairs of booties to represent the number of abortions in New Zealand last year. Voice for Life President Jacqui de Ruiter said the womb should be the safest place in the world.“Abortion should not be an option”, she said.We’re doing this to show the public and Parliament that we are really concerned about the lives lost and that there must be a better way.”“Thousands of people all over New Zealand have knitted these booties in remembrance. Each pair symbolises little human boys and girls who are vulnerable and need love and protection”, Mrs de Ruiter said.READ MORE: https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2018/07/pro-lifers-cover-parliament-s-lawn-with-babies-booties.htmlAnti-abortion protest delivers thousands of baby booties to ParliamentTVNZ One News 25 July 2018Thousands of specially knitted babies’ booties were displayed outside Parliament this afternoon in an anti-abortion protest, but there was cross-party support for counter-protesters.Voice for Life advocates for human life from time of conception. A spokesperson said the 13,285 pairs of booties were a memorial to the number of abortions performed in New Zealand last year.Voice for Life national president Jacqui DeRuiter said they put out the booties to show Parliament and the public “a representation of all these little lives that didn’t get a chance to live”.Ms DeRuiter said although they were outnumbered by the counter-protesters, the fact that thousands of people around the country had pitched in to knit the booties showed they had a lot of support.“We are here to speak for the unborn, to show Parliament that we do not need more-liberal abortion laws. Voice for Life said after the display, the booties would be given to families.READ MORE: https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/anti-abortion-protest-delivers-thousands-baby-booties-parliamentAnti-abortion protest delivers thousands of baby booties to ParliamentRadio NZ News 26 July 2018Thousands of specially knitted babies’ booties were displayed outside Parliament this afternoon in an anti-abortion protest, but there was cross-party support for counter-protesters.Voice for Life advocates for human life from time of conception. A spokesperson said the 13,285 pairs of booties were a memorial to the number of abortions performed in New Zealand last year.Voice for Life national president Jacqui DeRuiter said they put out the booties to show Parliament and the public “a representation of all these little lives that didn’t get a chance to live”.Ms DeRuiter said although they were outnumbered by the counter-protesters, the fact that thousands of people around the country had pitched in to knit the booties showed they had a lot of support.“We are here to speak for the unborn, to show Parliament that we do not need more-liberal abortion laws.“Is this not enough? 13,285?”READ MORE: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/362641/anti-abortion-protest-delivers-thousands-of-baby-booties-to-parliamentAnti-abortion protesters and counter-protesters at ParliamentA short video clip from Radio NZ showing the disrespectful protester trying to trash the Booties Memorial. Sad. Disrespectful.last_img read more

Pill testing is not the answer to drug deaths at music festivals

first_imgMercatorNet 25 September 2019Family First Comment: Great commentary“To really liberate adolescents and young adults from the dark realities of the festival narcotics culture, we need to remind them that they are not just victims of circumstance, nor are they inert actors within a broader culture of psychedelic escapism. They are the masters of their own lives, and they have a choice when it comes to drugs.”Many Australians think that pill-testing will stop drug-related deaths at music festivals. The reality is that there’s no magic solution to stop narcotics abuse in our society. On the contrary, pill testing risks creating a culture of learned helplessness among post-Millennials, whereby adolescents and young adults believe that they are powerless to resist peer pressure and the pernicious overtures of a toxic festival drug culture. The working assumption of the Australian pill testing lobby is that it is inevitable that young people will inevitably consume drugs at rave concerts and alternative music festivals, and that the best approach is one of harm minimisation…..….. While pro-drug politicians like Australian Greens leader Richard Di Natale are keen to describe “drug use as a health issue”, the reality is that teens and adolescents who consume drugs at festivals are typically not languishing in throes of drug addiction. Rather, these mature adolescents and young adults — let’s drop the pretense of childish naiveté — are casual, recreational drug users, who live an otherwise normal life.Joseph Pham — who died after an MDMA overdose at Defqon.1 in Sydney last September — was a 23-year-old student at the Australian Catholic University whose interests included online games and Taekwondo. Diana Nguyen, 21, who died after consuming MDMA the same event, was a “vibrant, loving young woman” who was engaged to a boy she had known since she was 14. Furthermore, young people know the risks that they take when consuming illicit substances. And sadly, they still choose to proceed with what is manifestly destructive behaviour. Either that, or education in schools and community institutions is so woefully inadequate that teenagers can’t tell the difference between the risks involved in consuming over-the-counter paracetamol and the potentially deadly consequences of popping ecstasy pills in the middle of sweaty mosh-pit.Granted, pill testing helps festival-goers to identify whether the drugs they have purchased are contaminated. But we are still left with the problem of festival-goers routinely consuming hard drugs — and all with the imprimatur of health authorities, should we proceed with state-sanctioned pill testing at music festivals.If we completely medicalise the drug problem, we end up with a culture in which casual drug users are immune from any moral sanction whatsoever — even self-sanction when they reflect on their own behaviours and their responsibility for their actions.It would also be naive at best to ignore the myriad of harmful effects of casual drug use and focus only on the problem of drug-related deaths at high-profile music events. Hard drugs like ecstasy and LSD, for example, are closely linked to a host of mental disorders, including psychosis, heightened anxiety, paranoia and severe depression.According to 2016 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data, 37 percent of people 18 or over who had used meth/amphetamines in the past 12 months experienced high or very high levels of psychological distress. It would be hypocritical for state governments to seek to fight the scourge of mental illness while capitulating to pressure from the pill-testing lobby.Amidst all the political rhetoric (bordering on moral panic), we would do well to reflect on the broader cultural implications of the way in which we frame the issue of recreational drug consumption in our society. Pill testing sends a message to young people that they are victims of their own drug culture, and that they cannot be expected to resist the pressure to consume drugs.Rather than fuelling a victim culture among the post-Millennial generation, we need effective drug-education programs. These programs should not only focus on risks, but should also remind young people that they are the authors of their own lives, that they are respectable citizens and that they can resist (or exit) the bacchanalian culture surrounding contemporary music festivals.To really liberate adolescents and young adults from the dark realities of the festival narcotics culture, we need to remind them that they are not just victims of circumstance, nor are they inert actors within a broader culture of psychedelic escapism. They are the masters of their own lives, and they have a choice when it comes to drugs.Xavier Symons is a research associate at the Institute for Ethics & Society, University of Notre Dame.https://www.mercatornet.com/features/view/pill-testing-is-not-the-answer-to-drug-deaths-at-music-festivals/22895last_img read more

Burundi’s Parliamentary Elections Postponed

first_imgBurundi’s electoral body announced Wednesday it will delay scheduled local and parliamentary elections after more than a month of sometimes violent protests against President Pierre Nkurunziza’s bid for a third term.Nkurunziza’s campaign for a third presidential term ignited Burundi’s worst crisis since an ethnically-fuelled civil war ended in 2005. His opponents say he is constitutionally prohibited from running for a third term.Regional bloc East African Community on Sunday asked the Burundian government to postpone elections for at least 45 days and to use the time to ensure that there is a conducive environment to hold the polls. More than 90,000 Burundians have fled the country fearing violence. Burundi has had a long history of political upheaval that has been characterized by political assassinations and coups.Officials are waiting for a proposal from the electoral commission on the new dates for election. Parliamentary elections were scheduled for Friday while presidential polls were slated for June 26.last_img read more

Indonesian passenger plane missing over Papua region with 54 people on…

first_imgContact was lost with the Trigana Air ATR 42 turboprop just before 15:00 local time (06:00 GMT) after take-off from Sentani airport in the regional capital Jayapura. The plane was flying to the town of Oksibil in the south of the region. A search for the missing plane was suspended at dusk and will continue on Monday morning, rescuers said. It is carrying 44 adult passengers, five children and infants, and five crew.Air transport is commonly used in Papua, Indonesia’s easternmost province, where land travel is often impossible. It was not immediately clear if search efforts would continue into the night in the densely forested mountainous region where the aircraft was traveling. According to the Aviation Safety Network, an online database, the ATR 42-300 had its first flight 27 years ago. ATR is a joint venture between Airbus (AIR.PA) and Alenia Aermacchi, a subsidiary of Italian aerospace firm Finmeccanica (SIFI.MI) .Trigana has been on the EU blacklist of banned carriers since 2007. Airlines on the list are barred from operating in European airspace due to either concerns about its safety standards, or concerns about the regulatory environment in its country of registration. An Indonesian domestic flight with 54 people on board lost contact with air traffic control in Papua province Sunday afternoon, the nation’s search and rescue agency said on Twitter.last_img read more