(Simon Dawson/Bloomberg)

Transocean’s June drilling contracts come in at year high

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It’s the first time since December that Transocean has drawn more than $100 million in contracts this year, well above the monthly average of $22 million it saw in the first five months of 2015.

Energy XXI sells Gulf pipeline system for $245 million in cash

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Energy XXI will sell a subsea pipeline system in the shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico for $245 million as part of a broader campaign to shed assets and increase cash.
Logo of Houston-based independent oil and gas company Harvest Natural Resources Inc.

Embattled Houston energy company gets financial lifeline, new partnership

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Harvest, a Houston-based company that focuses on exploration in Venezuela and elsewhere, is giving up three of its seven board seats and nearly half of the company to CT Energy in exchange for at least $32.2 million in proceeds and a long-term strategic partnership.
Chevron's massive deep water offshore platform heads to the Gulf of Mexico. The project was slated to start production this year, but that's been delayed after several subsea installation tendons sustained damage. (Chevron)

Big Oil is paying attention to Chevron’s Big Foot troubles

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The equipment failure plaguing Chevron’s massive Big Foot project was an unusual fate for a system that’s been commonly used for years to tether massive oil and gas production platforms to the seafloor.
A group of idle rigs is seen behind James Noe, Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer for Hercules Offshore while aboard the Hercules 251 a shallow water drilling rig owned by on Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010, near Port Fourchon, La. (Smiley N. Pool /Chronicle)

Hercules Offshore to file for bankruptcy

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Shallow-water driller Hercules Offshore is planning to hand ownership of the company to its creditors in a financial restructuring deal that will require it to seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by early July.
(Paul O'Driscoll/Bloomberg News)

Shell gets one step closer to megadeal with BG

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Shell said the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has waived, or terminated, the initial antitrust waiting period. The Dutch energy super major said the deal, which was first announced in April, is still on track to close in early 2016.
Blue Planet: Seas of Life premieres Sunday Jan. 27 on the Discovery Channel.    HOUCHRON CAPTION  (01/24/2002):  Scarred beluga whales are caught in a small hole in the ice in the Arctic on Blue Planet. Twenty miles of ice lies between the whales and the open ocean, so they must use the hole to breathe for two months. The scars are from polar bears attacking the whales as they surface for air every 20 minutes.

Shell nabs critical animal disturbance permit for Arctic drilling venture

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The incidental harassment authorization, issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, further lowers the number of federal permits Shell Oil Co. must win before it is able to resume exploratory drilling in the Arctic Ocean.
Screengrab of an infrared image captured by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration of the tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico, June 15, 2015. (NOAA)

Enterprise Products Partners evacuates three offshore platforms; other companies watching tropical storm closely

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Oil companies and refiners are keeping a close eye on a tropical disturbance in the Gulf of Mexico, but the storm hasn’t shut down operations or triggered evacuations of essential personnel.
Helix Well Containment Group equipment was deployed in a drill at a Noble Energy test well in May, with federal regulators and industry representatives looking on. (Photo: Noble Energy)

Despite new discoveries, deep water’s a bit still

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Marshall Adkins, director of energy research at Raymond James in Houston, said the moves show there is reason for optimism, but that the deepwater oil and gas sector might be 18 months away from seeing a rebound, as opposed to the quicker recoveries expected in U.S. shale.
A crew cleans oil from the beach at Refugio State Beach on May 20, 2015 north of Goleta, Calif.  (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

California officials deny Exxon’s request to truck crude stranded after Plains pipeline breach

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Exxon Mobil estimates it will fill onsite storage at a stranded processing plant in less than one month and need to cease both natural gas and crude production in the area.