SBM Offshore secures $1.14bn financing for Liza Unity FPSO

first_img Image: In May, ExxonMobil and Hess decided to move ahead with Liza Phase 2 project in Guyana. Photo: courtesy of Hess Corporation. Dutch offshore services provider SBM Offshore has secured a total of $1.14bn project financing from a consortium of nine international banks, for the Liza Unity floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO).The company will build the FPSO for use on the Liza Phase 2 development offshore Guyana and is expected to draw the full loan, phased over the construction period of the FPSO vessel.SBM Offshore stated: “The financing will become non-recourse once the FPSO is completed and the pre-completion guarantees have been released. The project loan has a tenor of two years post completion, in line with the duration of the charter, and carries a variable interest cost of LIBOR plus 1.50%.”Operated by Esso Exploration and Production, an affiliate of ExxonMobil, Liza field is located approximately 200km offshore Guyana in the Stabroek block.The Stabroek Block is owned by Esso with 45% interest, Hess Guyana Exploration with 30% interest and CNOOC Petroleum, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC, with 25% interest.SBM Offshore to design Liza Unity FPSO based on Fast4Ward programmeThe new FPSO will have a production capacity of 220,000 barrels of oil per day (bopd), associated gas treatment capacity of 400 million cubic feet per day and water injection capacity of 250,000 barrels per day.The FPSO is intended to be spread moored in water depth of about 1,600m and the vessel would be able to store approximately 2 million barrels of crude oil.SBM Offshore said that the design of Liza Unity FPSO is based on its Fast4Ward programme, which incorporates the company’s new build, multi-purpose hull combined with several consistent topsides modules.In May 2019, SBM Offshore secured a contract from the affiliate of Exxon Mobil to construct and install the FPSO, after ExxonMobil and Hess decided to move ahead with the $6bn Liza Phase 2 development.First oil from the Liza Phase 2 development, which will pursue the development of nearly 600 million barrels of oil, is targeted to be drawn by mid-2022. The company will construct the FPSO for use on the Liza Phase 2 development offshore Guyanalast_img read more

Lucy Liu named Artist of the Year

first_img Read Full Story Lucy Liu, acclaimed American actress, producer, director, and philanthropist, has been named the 2016 Harvard University Artist of the Year. The popular actress will be awarded the Harvard Foundation’s prestigious arts medal at the annual Harvard Foundation Award ceremony, Sat., Feb. 20, during the Cultural Rhythms Festival in Sanders Theatre.“The students and faculty of the Harvard Foundation are delighted to present the distinguished and much-admired television and film star Lucy Liu with the 2016 Artist of the Year award,” said S. Allen Counter, director of the Harvard Foundation. “Our student and faculty committee commended her outstanding contributions to the performing arts and her highly-praised humanitarian work as UNICEF Ambassador and other charitable projects.”Liu has starred in many popular films, including “Charlie’s Angels,” “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle,” “Kill Bill,” and “Chicago.” She currently plays the role of Joan Watson on the acclaimed Sherlock Holmes-inspired television show “Elementary.”Throughout her career, Liu has worked to make a difference in the lives of others, Counter said. She has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the plight of women and children in some of the world’s most impoverished countries and the international child trafficking industry. She has actively supported Women for Women, a nonprofit organization that has helped nearly 430,000 marginalized women in countries that are affected by war and conflict. And in 2012, she received the Champion of Peace Award for her “unyielding commitment to promote peace, justice, and human rights.”last_img read more

As Venezuela’s Misery Grows, Cuba Remains in Charge

first_imgBy Yuri Hernandez/Diálogo May 15, 2019 Cuba and Venezuela established relations in 1902. In 1999, the bilateral trade and military relationship significantly improved during the presidency of Hugo Chávez as Chávez allied with Cuban President Fidel Castro. Cuba and Russia are longtime allies of Venezuela and its socialist government. Russia has supplied economic support and military equipment to the government of Nicolás Maduro, while Venezuela has sent oil subsidies worth billions of dollars to Cuba in exchange for medical aid and intelligence advisors. As Interim President Juan Guaidó tries to ignite the military to support the constitution of Venezuela, the presence of Cuban troops in the country makes this more difficult. In an interview with the Washington Post, former Venezuelan Army Lieutenant Colonel Carlos Jose Montiel Lopez, who escaped to the United States in 2018, said Cubans dressed in civilian clothing acted as “our supervisors and decision-makers.” U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said at the White House: “I think it’s fear of the 20,000 to 25,000 Cuban security forces in the country” that prevented Venezuelan troops from heeding Guaidó’s call. Bolton further stated that “If this afternoon 20-25,000 Cubans left Venezuela, I think Maduro would fall by midnight. It’s this foreign presence that sits on top of the military, sits on top of the government, that makes it impossible for the people’s voice to be heard.” Carlos Fernández de Cossío, Cuba’s chief of U.S. Affairs, told the Associated Press that “the 20,000 Cubans in Venezuela are primarily medical workers. Cuba does not participate in military operations nor in security operations in Venezuela.” Fernández, however, noted that as hemispheric partners Cuba and Venezuela have the sovereign right to military and intelligence cooperation. Contrary to Fernández’s remarks, in an article the New York Times published on March 17, 2019, several Cuban doctors sent to Venezuela by the Cuban government described how their Cuban and Venezuelan superiors ordered them to use medical assistance as a political weapon. Carlos Ramirez, a doctor who defected to Ecuador after six years, told the New York Times: “You arrived with vitamins and some pills for blood pressure. And when you started to gain their trust, you started the questions: ‘Do you know where your voting place is? Are you going to vote?’” In a Washington Post article, Fernando Cutz, who was a senior adviser to then-National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, and served as South America director in the National Security Council, said: “There is no doubt that Cubans are very much assisting the Venezuelan regime — the Maduro regime — to stay in power.” Venezuelan General Antonio Rivero, exiled in the United States, said in a 2010 interview with Spanish daily La Vanguardia, that “the penetration of Cuban officers into the Venezuelan armed forces is to monitor and supervise the military doctrinal elements at the command and staff levels.” In an interview with El Nuevo Herald in January 2015, he estimated that figure “to be 20,000 Cuban fighters who could come out in defense of the Bolivarian Revolution in case of a military uprising against Chavismo.”last_img read more

Trump to extend US work visa freeze to year-end: White House

first_img‘Prioritize’ most valuable workers The official said the order was necessary to respond to soaring unemployment that resulted from the COVID-19 shutdown.The official also stressed the H-1B visa freeze was temporary while the program is restructured, shifting from an annual lottery that feeds coders and other specialists to Silicon Valley to a system the gives priority to those foreign workers with the most value.Trump “is going to prioritize those workers who are offered the highest wages,” as an indicator that they can add more value to the US economy, the official said.  “It will eliminate competition with Americans… in these industries at the entry level, and will do more to get the best and the brightest.”The move also freezes most H-2B visas — used each year for about 66,000 short-term, low-skilled jobs in landscaping, food and hospitality industries — and H-4 visas, which allow spouses of other visa holders to work.Exemptions will apply to seafood processing plants and to au pairs, foreigners offering families household help like childcare.  In addition, the official said the government is issuing new regulations that will make it much harder for tens of thousands of asylum seekers waiting for their court hearings to work legally in the meanwhile.With often a two-year wait for a case to be reviewed, the administration sees many people apply for asylum mainly to be able to acquire work permits.Layoffs caused by the coronavirus pandemic in the United States passed 45.7 million last week, and although many jobs will come back as the country reopens, there are worries that some have been irrevocably lost by the heavy financial impact on businesses and local governments.Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell warned earlier this month that unemployment could still be 9.3 percent nationwide at the end of the year, an improvement from the current 13.3 percent but still devastatingly high. US President Donald Trump will prolong a ban on US employment permits to year-end and broaden it to include H-1B visas used widely in the tech industry, the White House said Monday.A senior administration official told journalists that the move would free up 525,000 jobs, making a dent in the high unemployment rate caused by the coronavirus pandemic.”President Trump is focused on getting Americans back to work as quickly as possible,” the official said, on condition of anonymity. Topics :center_img Trump had endlessly touted a strong economy, but now finds himself desperate for a political boost ahead of the November election.An executive order, expected later Monday, will extend and widen the 60-day freeze Trump placed on new work permits for non-US citizens two months ago.The administration official said the new order would extend to the end of 2020 and include H-1B visas provided to 85,000 workers each year with special skills, many of them joining the US technology industry.It will also cover most J visas, common for academics and researchers, and L visas used by companies to shift workers based overseas to their US offices.last_img read more