Vladimir Putin told a defence ministry meeting that he wished to see the military bolster its presence in the territory

View from City Road: Lasmo may need a rights issue

Lasmo's North Sea disposal confirms the soundness of its assets, reflected in the values they attract. But the fact that it has been forced to sell them underlines the weakness of its balance sheet.

Mitsubishi buys into North Sea oil sector

MITSUBISHI Oil, the big Japanese exploration and refining group, is buying a parcel of North Sea assets from Petrofina, the Belgian group, for about dollars 200m (pounds 136m), writes Neil Thapar.

Tall ships emerge from the North Sea mist for 1993 race

(Photograph omitted)

Hardy in 29m pounds cash call

HARDY Oil & Gas, the North Sea explorer, is tapping shareholders for the second time in two years with a pounds 29m cash call to finance acquisitions and develop new fields, writes Neil Thapar.

Sports Listings: This Weekend / Windsurfing - North Sea Cup, Pevensey Bay

The North Sea Cup at Pevensey Bay, East Sussex, this weekend is one of the largest windsurfing regattas in Britain as it is also the second round of the National Series Championships. The Cup itself is a four-round event, contested by France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Britain, and more than 200 sailors will compete in the penultimate round. Britain has not won the North Sea Cup, though this season a strong challenge is mounted. Matthew Wemms, from Welwyn Garden City, is the overall leader in the lightweight division and will work hard to retain the position in open-sea conditions at Pevensey Bay. Also in contention in this category is Willie Banham, the National Champion. The Londoner won the first round in the Netherlands over Easter. Christine Lapworth, from Botley, leads the women's section for Britain.

Shell decision

Shell is not to be prosecuted over 11 deaths in a helicopter crash near the Cormorant Alpha North Sea platform, the Crown Office confirmed.

Oil tax changes 'will damage economy'

THE GOVERNMENT'S sweeping tax changes affecting the North Sea oil industry are likely to cause severe long-term damage to the economy, according to an authoritative report.

Subs 'close to nuclear explosion'

A US nuclear-powered submarine that collided with a Russian sub in the Barents Sea last month came within 60ft of striking the Russian vessel's nuclear reactors, AP reports from Moscow. Had the USS Grayling hit the vital reactor area, 'a thermo-nuclear explosion would have followed', said Rear-Admiral Alexei Ovcharenko, a Russian officer who investigated the 20 March accident.

North Sea vessel hit

About 70 men were evacuated from a North Sea oil rig support vessel after it was hit by a safety ship which lost power in 45mph winds and 22ft seas. The crash happened in the Claymore Field, 100 miles north-east of Aberdeen. No injuries have been reported.

Clyde to raise pounds 34m to develop oilfield: Rights issue accompanied by bigger loss

CLYDE Petroleum, the North Sea oil explorer, is raising pounds 34m from a rights issue to fund the development of Gryphon, a new offshore oilfield in which it has a 35 per cent stake.

Letter: Tax that could dry up North Sea oil revenue

Sir: We, the undersigned, former chairmen of the Petroleum Exploration Society of Great Britain and/or the Petroleum Group of the Geological Society, wish to draw your attention to the absence of comment in the press on proposals in the Budget for the most fundamental tax changes to affect the North Sea oil and gas scene for 10 years. This is because the outcome of the proposed changes is not obvious.

Enterprise profits fall

ENTERPRISE OIL, the big North Sea explorer, has lifted its total dividend by 2 per cent to 16p for last year despite a sharp fall in profits caused by lower oil prices and a high tax bill.

Next services: 244 miles: Armed with permit, insect repellent, CB radio and the collected works of Tater Bob, Bill Pannifer follows the Alaska pipeline to the Arctic Ocean

We are driving out to the coast. Not the East Coast, nor the West Coast, but the North Coast: the northernmost point in the United States accessible by vehicle. Our route is on all the maps, a dead straight, lonely-looking line up from Fairbanks to the shores of the Arctic Ocean. We've already driven three thousand miles from San Francisco, and we're not going to stop now, just because it says 'Restricted Road'.

Itochu buys North Sea interests

THE market for North Sea oil assets received a further boost after Enterprise Oil, the UK independent, sold some interests to Itochu, the Japanese conglomerate, for dollars 106m (pounds 73m).

Riggers' plunge

Two North Sea riggers were recovering in hospital after falling 50ft (15.2m) into the water from the underside of British Petroleum's Bruce platform, 250 miles north-east of Aberdeen. Both were able to swim back to a platform leg. An investigation has begun.
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