Statoil & Exxon Make 3rd 2012 Find, Northern Tier Energy Gets New CEO: Energy Biz Wrap

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TransCanada Corporation (NYSE:TRP) might have to wait until summer to see a final United States decision on its Keystone XL pipeline. The State Department says that it will decide on the $5.3 billion Canada-to-Nebraska section by the end of March, but that assumes Nebraska okays a new route that averts an environmentally sensitive region there. However, Robert Johnston, director of global energy and natural resources for the Washington-based Eurasia Group, predicts that environmental groups will push for public hearings on the department’s new environmental impact study on the project, and then press for an Environmental Protection Agency review of that study. Johnston adds that “This suggests a timetable of presidential approval as early as April but quite possibly one that extends until summer.”

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Statoil (NYSE:STO) and its partner Exxon Mobil Exploration and Production Tanzania Limited (NYSE:XOM) will report updated aggregate volumes in Block 2 in 2013, with an increase in the upside potential of the Block anticipated subsequent to further evaluations of the well. The Statoil-operated Lavani-2 well successfully evaluated the Lavani-1 discovery reservoir in the Palaeogene, and then when deepening the well to the second target, a separate and significant gas bearing reservoir in the Cretaceous was found. The Lavani-2 discovery marks the venture’s third discovery this year.

Seadrill Limited’s (NYSE:SDRL) subsidiary North Atlantic Drilling reported Friday that Statoil has extended the contract for the heavy-duty harsh environment jack-up rig West Epsilon from December 2014 to December 2016, with an estimated value of the extension at $215 million.

Northern Tier Energy (NTI) said that its co-founder and Chief Executive Mario Rodriguez steps down effective Friday, and that its other co-founder, President and Chief Operating Officer Hank Kuchta, takes the role of Chief Executive of the Partnership.

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