The government of the Sultanate of Oman has invited interested companies to bid for five oil and gas exploration blocks. Of the blocks offered as part of the Oman Bid Round 2014 two are located offshore the coast of Oman, while three are onshore.In a statement of the website of The Ministry of Oil & Gas, oil and gas companies experienced in upstream projects have been invited to take part in the upcoming bid rounds for the offshore Blocks 18, 59 and onshore blocks 43A, 54, 58 in the Sultanate of Oman.Friday, October 31, 2014 has been set as the deadline for the submission of bids.According to data found on the Ministry of Oil & Gas website, 33 exploration wells were drilled in the Sultanate in 2013.The total reserves of oil and condensate in the Sultanate were estimated to be 5151 million barrels at the end of 2013, an increase of 3.5% over 2012, when the reserves were estimated at around 4974.3 million barrels. [mappress]Offshore Energy Today Staff, August 05, 2014
Over 170 employees will have to go as Harkand’s European business (based in Hammersmith and Aberdeen) is to be wound down by Deloitte’s Joint Administrators, appointed on May 4, 2016.According to Deloitte, 39 staff will be retained for a short period to assist with the wind-down of the European business.Another, approximately 140, jobs remain at risk as the administrators hope sale can be concluded for the Harkand’s US (Houston based) and Africa business. Prior to these events, the group employed approximately 400 staff.As earlier reported, Aberdeen-based Andrews Survey, which employees 46 staff, is not subject to insolvency proceedings, and, according to Deloitte, negotiations are ongoing with a number of parties to secure its sale.“Whilst it is disappointing that the majority of the European business is to be wound down, we are still hopeful to be able to save a significant number of jobs in the Group’s US and Africa business, and we’re confident of securing a buyer for the Aberdeen-based Andrews Survey business,” said Ian Wormleighton, joint administrator and financial advisory partner at Deloitte.Subsea World News Staff
TACLOBAN CITY – After Supertyphoon “Yolanda’ devastated Eastern Visayas, 72-year-old Ricardo Cortes Jr. or “Mang Jun” from Baybay City, Leyte, put up a small “buko” (young coconut) stand just outside his home and called it the Honesty Buko House for a reason. HONESTY BUKO HOUSE — Honesty is the best policy in buying young coconut from Mang Jun’s store in Barangay Hilapnitan, Baybay City Leyte. (PHOTO VIA MARIE MARTICIO/ MANILA BULLETIN)Mang Jun is not there to tend the buko store 24 hours. Thirsty travelers who want a drink of freshly harvested young coconut juice need only to scoop it from the containers or chop the coconut himself, and drop the payment on a PVC pipe. Believing in the honesty and goodness of heart of people despite the rampaging coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, Honesty Buko House, located in Barangay Hilapnitan, is a self-service store serving its clients 24 hours. “May tiwala ako sa Diyos at sa mga kababayan ko dito sa Leyte. Nasa tao lang ‘yang kung magbabayad ba sila o hindi. Nasa konsensiya na din po nila. Nandiyan naman ang Panginoon nanonood (I believe in the honesty of the people of Leyte. So it’s up to them whether they pay or not. It’s up to their conscience. Anyway, God is watching over),” he said when asked why he decided to open an honesty store. “Mayroong iba na hindi marunong magbiyak na buko kaya kami na lang ang nagbubukas. ‘Yung iba gusto nila sila lang magbiyak ng buko at kapag walang tao sa amin sa bahay ihuhulog lang nila ang bayad sa PVC pipe. Sakto naman din ang bayad nila at open ang aming tindahan 24 hours walang sarado-sarado at nandoon na din sa tadtaran ang ‘Sundang’ [machete] (Some do not know how to open the coconut that’s why we do it for them. But others want to open it themselves. When no one is in the house, customers just drop their payment in the PVC pipe. They pay the exact amount. Our tore is open 24 hours),” he said. Mang Jun added that his only business is helping him send his youngest of eight children to school. He also sells papaya, banana, jackfruit, vinegar, shrimp, and other produce from his neighbors so he help them. Although his income has decreased from ₱400-₱500 daily to sometimes ₱100 due to the lockdown, Mang Jun is grateful that his business has started picking up as quarantine measures are eased in Leyte. A big coconut sells for ₱25, while a smaller one sells for ₱15. Joggers and bikers such as Vice Governor Carlo Loreto were inspired by Mang Jun’s Honesty Buko House. “Mighty nice to rediscover bits of inspiration and hope along the road. The Honesty Buko House of Mang Jun defies conventional business models. It depends on the honesty of people for its profit. No CCTV cameras or security guards or cashiers to make sure payment is made. Just a receptacle on which customers will drop their payments for the coconuts thus partaken,” Loreto shared. In the past weeks, the Vice Governor has been inviting biking enthusiasts in Baybay and its nearby towns to patronize the Honesty Buko House and help Mang Jun in his advocacies. A similar honesty store first became famous in Ivana, Batanes. Another honesty store was put up at the Manila Police District headquarters but eventually folded up. SIGN UP TO DAILY NEWSLETTERCLICK HERE TO SIGN-UP
As the world came to a grinding halt to safeguard itself from the effects of COVID-19, gaming and internet consumption rose, highlighting it in ways too large to ignore.From unimaginable mainstream crossovers such as the NBA 2K Players Tournament to NASCAR and Formula 1 racers sitting in the cockpit of virtual racetracks; with all that had transpired over the last several months, one mutual belief remained consistent: gaming was a solution for businesses and industries which were forced to pivot during the pandemic.While esports charity events fundraised to provide relief for essential healthcare organisations like the International Federation of Red Cross and No Kid Hungry, the NBA 2K League and eMLS filled key television programming gaps on ESPN and FOX Sports.The same could be said for sportsbooks around the world whose revenue streams were reduced to a mere drizzle. The pandemic saw the esports betting category rise dramatically in volume and awareness, with a number of non-endemic bookmakers adding the digital sport to its catalogue – but with traditional sports returning to the docket, can esports sustain its growth trajectory? Esports Insider explores the very topic in this edition of the ESI Gambling Report powered by EveryMatrix.Feeding the fireThe idea that esports would rise in the global gambling market amid COVID-19’s onset quickly became far more than speculation – it was indeed proven.As traditional sports leagues adjourned to comply with health and safety protocols, companies like Luckbox and its esports betting platform experienced surges of growth. On March 18th, Luckbox reported a 54 percent uptick in new player registrants following cancellation of the English Premier League. More recently, the company disclosed a 500 percent increase in global wagering alongside securing a $3.8 million CAD (£2.23 million) in investment during the first tranche of its latest funding round.RELATED: ESI Gambling Report: Esports betting, a global lifeline for operatorsB2B iGaming supplier EveryMatrix outlined a 40x growth in esports betting in May in its market study, The State of Esports Betting Report 2020. The report parades almost every metric is on the rise, outlining an impressive 80 percent of betting volume stemming from NBA 2K and FIFA at a time when their unsimulated counterparts were offline.For global online bookmaker Pinnacle, which has been vested in esports for over a decade, competitive gaming occupied the platform’s leading category globally in June, swaggering the overall majority of wagering. VulkanBet saw success during the same timeframe too, which was bolstered by quickly adapting to the emergence of VALORANT and newly-devised tournaments on more established titles.Even the United States, which regulatory position on esports makes for an administratively challenging task to accept wagers, has seen significant advancement. Up until 2018, Nevada regulators had approved just three esports events for wagering. Since March, the state issued 13 separate licenses for esports leagues and tournaments – which major non-endemic sportsbooks such as the likes of William Hill took advantage of.RELATED: Esports Entertainment Group appoints pair to senior leadership positionsTalk of esports gambling is starting to rise in other states, too. Malta-based online gambling enterprise Esports Entertainment Group had established a subsidiary last month with the specific intent of obtaining gambling licenses throughout the United States. In the Garden State, a bill has been approved and motioned to the Speaker for consideration to permit esports wagering on a full-time basis.Across the ocean, esports contributed to a sharp revenue increase for operators in the United Kingdom. A data study conducted by the UK Gambling Commission covering approximately 80 percent of the online gambling market showed esports betting gross yield grew 124 percent from March to April. Perhaps more impressively, the report also indicates a year-over-year growth change of 2922 percent since March 2019.Such figures would typically suggest the esports vertical is more than just a flash in the pan; although, with the world on its way back to normality, and with it, the return of competing betting handles, there is rightful hesitation about esports’ continued prosperity.Surviving the return of sportsThe escalation of esports in the gambling market was forecast to taper off once traditional sports came back onto the marketplace; and as inferred, this was indeed the case.Photo credit: Fabio Ferrari/LapresseEsports is no longer Pinnacle’s highest grossing product, FIFA and NBA 2K betting has dipped back to regular volumes, and a majority of punters are back to having a cheeky bet on football over the weekend. Even with traditional sports leagues such as the Serie A and La Liga resuming, allowing bookmakers to reacquire its customers, esports time in the limelight perhaps won’t end in vain.According to Luckbox CEO Quentin Martin, the boost in volume ushered in alongside COVID-19 is “automatically sustaining.”“The boost is automatically sustaining in the sense that there were some people who weren’t really aware of esports before, or had heard of it but didn’t know much about it, and now people are knowledgeable,” Martin said. “That kind of growth is still there.”RELATED: Luckbox scores investment from Inter Miami footballer Luis Robles“More likely it’s people that were aware of the title, enjoyed the games, but are now more clearly aware that there are betting opportunities on them. Maybe they’re a little bit more familiar with the teams and players, and now more likely to place bets due to that familiarity.”Previously, Esports Insider reported how the pandemic crisis had inadvertently grown the esports betting handle, but also served as a catalyst for the industry at large. Now in a period when esports as a betting product is becoming overshadowed once again, online bookmaker Rivalry’s Chief Marketing Officer Kevin Wimer insists the industry will carry on from this point having created a wealth of “positive ripple effects” to surf on.“The net result when comparing February to perhaps September this year, we believe, will show that esports betting is in a much better place in September than it would have been without the epidemic,” Wimer told Esports Insider. “While some in esports will certainly not make out from this, we believe the industry as a whole, including the gambling sector, will end up seeing a net positive outcome. Gaming entertainment even beyond esports has seen a massive spike in viewership and all new interests from sponsors. This will end up long-term creating a lot of positive ripple effects for the industry.”RELATED: B8 establishes partnership with RivalryThe lack of alternatives which led to both the acceptance of esports by traditional books and bettors, as well as its mainstream appearances during the quarantine’s height, has accelerated all of the industry’s KPIs. Most namely, it has created an awareness which will establish a foundation to tee-up esports and its betting precinct for a grand slam. 10 Sec Hector ‘H3CZ’ Rodriguez – ESI Hall of Fame Inductee 2019 NextStay Hector ‘H3CZ’ Rodriguez – ESI Hall of Fame Inductee 2019NOW PLAYINGTEAMS wins The Clutch DigitalNOW PLAYINGESI London – Franchised leagues in esports. CARMAC vs lurppisNOW PLAYINGThis year in esports- Investments, sponsorships and deals in 2019NOW PLAYINGESI Hall of Fame 2019 – #ESIHOFNOW PLAYINGESI London 2019NOW PLAYINGMarcus ‘djWHEAT’ Graham – ESI Hall of Fame Inductee 2019NOW PLAYINGHeather ‘sapphiRe’ Garozzo – ESI Hall of Fame Inductee 2019NOW PLAYINGThe best MMOs in 2020NOW PLAYING Arrow Left #1 Icon Created with Sketch. Arrow right #1 Icon Created with Sketch. The big leaguesBleeding revenue and tumbling stocks had instilled the fear of god in operators globally. While many bookmakers reached for esports out of pure necessity, it offered those unfamiliar an opportunity to get acquainted.Gaming group Enlabs and its flagship sports betting brand OPTIBET is just one example of many. Last month, the company teamed up with B2B iGaming supplier EveryMatrix to offer esports coverage of its own.“The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, of course, became the entry ticket to enter the arena of the major classic sports,” Daniel Belozertsev, Head of Betting at Enlabs, told Esports Insider. “This branch grew quickly, but now it has made itself very loud. In the future, growing popularity among the masses will become a catalyst, since the 21st century with rapidly growing technologies and a constantly replenishing number of new games makes it possible to find something for each existing and new player.”RELATED: Enlabs’ OPTIBET to offer esports betting through EveryMatrix dealThe pandemic very well served as a gateway to esports in the mainstream gambling industry, but it provided far more than just an introduction. Operators have had several months to experiment with esports as a primary handle, deploying first string resources and allowing them to truly assess the market.What non-endemic bookmakers are finding is that the appetite for esports is established, and with it, the appetite for its betting district is growing.Although DraftKings CEO Jason Robins acknowledges how a “pent-up demand for sports” likely coerced bettors into trying something new, he admits “esports has stuck,” in a CNBC interview.“It’s been a huge growth area over the last couple months for us and [it’s] hard to say what it will look like once the traditional sports are back, but I think a lot of people are finding it fun,” said Robins.Consumer research agency 2CV and market researcher ProdegeMR reported esports gambling revenue is set to double from the $7 billion (£5.8 billion) earned in 2019 worldwide to over $14 billion (£11.5 billion) in 2020 in wake of the coronavirus outbreak. Whether this riveting projection comes to fruition or not, it’s just one piece of chatter this category and its potential has generated in recent times.RELATED: MAD Lions finds Chinese betting sponsor in DYVIPThe gambling industry saw bookmakers approach esports from a variety of different levels. Whether improving upon and promoting existing offerings to starting fresh with a new product, this period provided first-hand insights into its capabilities and made industry decision-makers “acutely aware” of esports, Martin said.“On a business level, all of the business development people, all the people at the top are now acutely aware about what a role esports can play and how it can react, and then need to make sure they’ve got a good product going forward,” he added. “But also to make sure [bookmakers] have it on their growth and acquisition targets moving forward.”Saving graceFor most traditional sportsbooks, esports indeed may drift back out into the peripherals with leading betting products being restored onto the point spread. Operators aside, esports as an industry flexed its ability to adapt and, for the most part, operate within the pandemic’s parameters without a hitch.Competitive gaming acted as a lifeline for operators to dampen the revenue loss from sports betting when there was truly nowhere to turn. Having displayed its versatility in this climate, as well as its other redeeming qualities, executives and directors will likely opt to pay the piper by maintaining and growing esports as a category on their betting platforms.RELATED: Oddin.gg and BOA Gaming partner for esports wagering solutionPhoto credit: Riot GamesMuch less a case of being too late to turn back, but more so because esports will keep a card up the sleeves of bookmakers if and when another pandemic occurs. Phill Adams, CEO of RPGG Media, the owner and operator of UK-licensed esports betting platform Puntt, elaborated on this idea for Esports Insider.RELATED: Puntt enters commercial agreement with Aquarius AI“It has increased the realisation from traditional bookmakers that they need to have something in their back pocket in case [a pandemic] happens again,” said Adams. “Even if no one believes it will ever happen again, they can’t go to the city and not have this as part of their risk planning. I think you’ll find an increased interest in esports betting from the operators as they try to find products that are easy to plug in and easy to risk assess.”Even as traditional bookmakers turned to esports, most arrived too late to the party to yield the profits they so desperately needed. Meanwhile, books who had already invested in esports with established and abundant offerings were sent soaring. It’s all the more reason to believe competitive gaming will become a usual suspect on bookmaker’s menus in the future, or as Pinnacle Trading Director Marco Blume says, a saturation orbiting “100 percent.”“Pre-COVID there were still some bookmakers which didn’t have an esports offering. I think going forward, we’re going to see almost a saturation of 100 percent of bookmakers offer esports,” Blume said. “I think esports is here to stay, esports is just going to grow – so bookmakers would be foolish to not continue having it in their portfolio.”RELATED: Pinnacle bets on Abios with data partnershipOf course, esports has a lot more to offer to operators than just a fail-safe plan during a crisis. In particular, it serves as an entry point for sportsbooks to tap into a much younger, and historically difficult to reach, demographic and have them as long-term customers. Furthermore, esports can supply close to around-the-clock action on a global scale which is accommodating to players betting from around the world.Blume also noted that the esports customer “spends a lot of time” on the Pinnacle platform comparatively to traditional sports bettors. The ability to embed streams for users to watch tournaments and also place wagers at the same time is thought to be the culprit.Kevin Wimer of Rivalry describes them as “endless options” for both operators and users, but notes the betting market still has a long way to go. “There’s essentially 24/7/365 matches going on. Endless options for [bookmakers] and their users. But with the market being so immature, there’s a lot of baggage that comes with it. There are often mispriced markets, cancelled matches, and other unexpected ‘esports’ things.”Meeting the standardWhile the studies yielded from this report certainly motion towards a brighter future for esports betting, the industry at large needs to mature in many ways before it can accommodate for the high standards set by the upper-echelon of gambling operators and regulators.“Esports has challenges which don’t exist in traditional sports, and I can’t emphasize that enough. Traditional sports [are] highly regulated, highly standardised. You have big organisations like FIFA, UEFA, the Bundesliga – all these leagues have been doing this for many, many years. Esports is the wild west,” Blume explained. “Everything under the sun is happening in esports. So, if you don’t have a team that’s dedicated to this who actually understands esports and can understand betting on esports very well, I don’t think you have much of a chance to actually get a great product out of the door.”RELATED: ESI Gambling Report: Integrity, regulation, protection in fast-growing esports betting marketIt’s safe to say the level of quality and merit sportsbooks are accustomed to is simply not all there yet in esports. Understandably so, traditional sports are as old as time itself, and while esports is growing at an impressive rate, it’s difficult to compare the two in this context.There’s an inspiring amount of growth in esports as a gambling market left to be obtained, and for Blume this comes down to one thing: data.“Data has always been the one element that prohibited esports from becoming great. So now companies are taking up the challenge and providing data in sustainable matters and companies like us now can make it into a great product,” Blume told Esports Insider. “I think people are going to be in for a ‘rude awakening’ how good esports betting is going to get very, very soon. We’re launching with GRID data this week or next week, and our uptime is phenomenal.”RELATED: GRID and Unikrn partner for ESPORTS MILLIONS contestIn June, Pinnacle procured the likes of Abios to “facilitate further enhancements to the company’s renowned esports offering.” The partnership will vamp up Pinnacle’s existing data collection efforts with esports data provider GRID, which inked its deal together in September 2019.It would be naive to think esports would come out on the other side of the pandemic as a cardinal betting product globally. Although, that’s not to say it hasn’t come around the bend of a significant turning point from its time at the top.Esports may have passed off its championship belt back to traditional sports, but it proved itself as a worthy contender in the gambling ring. In the process, its winning potential was revealed as well as calling to attention its areas of improvement.With this attention, awareness, and direct insight, esports can be brought into the hands of key stakeholders in the gambling business who will groom it into a competitive betting handle.“I think it’s actually a slow burn still,” Martin said. “There was an irregular jump where we just levelled up and fast-forwarded into the future and its growth trajectory. But now, if we can say that the world is back to ‘normal’, then I think it’s fair to say the growth of esports will continue on the same kind of growth trajectory, but from a much more advanced place.”Subscribe to ESI on YouTube
LeBron James stretches lead in NBA All-Star Game fan voting PBA Finals: Beermen get back at Hotshots to tie series at 1-1 Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Eduard Folayang gets new opponent for ONE Manila card Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View comments Following a second consecutive Grand Slam triumph at the Australian Open in January, the 21-year-old Osaka lost some momentum.The Japanese-Haitian star parted ways with her coach Sascha Bajin and suffered an opening round defeat in Dubai, a fourth-round exit in Indian Wells -– where she was the defending champion -– and a third-round loss in Miami.She hired Jermaine Jenkins as her coach ahead of Indian Wells, and says she feels like Stuttgart has got her back on track.“I think in Stuttgart, I did pretty well,” she said.“I played two really hard matches and I think that I just was able to turn a switch on that I haven’t been able to since the Australian [Open].ADVERTISEMENT Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? The Witcher series prompts over 500,000 reprints of Andrzej Sapkowski’s books “It was really fun actually, those matches, so I’m really looking forward to my next one,” added Osaka.Successful adjustmentAll three of Osaka’s career titles so far have come on hard-courts but she believes she’s been successfully adjusting her mentality on clay in order to contend at Roland Garros.“I think it’s fitness and also mental. Because last year I thought the number one thing I could have improved on, on clay, is just prolonging the point, or like accepting when I have to back off being aggressive,” she said.“So then when I played Donna (Vekic in Stuttgart) … I just remember telling myself that I don’t have to hit a winner for it to be a good point and I don’t have to play perfectly to win, so I think I was able to do that.“I was a bit sad I couldn’t continue that way of thinking because I had to withdraw but hopefully I can keep it here.”Osaka said she was impressed by Nadal’s academy during her training block there, despite her shyness in meeting the Spanish 17-time Grand Slam champion.“He’s a really nice person, he was sort of the one talking more than me, which you can kind of tell that that would happen,” she said.“Yesterday (in Madrid) he went on the court after me and he was talking to me again and I was like ‘woah’,” she said with a smile.Defending Madrid champion Petra Kvitova, a losing finalist to Osaka at the Australian Open, is the number two seed at the Caja Magica and opens her campaign against talented 20-year-old Sofia “Sonya” Kenin. LATEST STORIES MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Duterte says he will appoint Gamboa as next PNP chief Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption Japan’s Naomi Osaka serves the ball to Taiwan’s Su-Wei Hsieh during their round-of-16 match at the WTA Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, southwestern Germany, on April 25, 2019. (Photo by THOMAS KIENZLE / AFP)After a week of training on the clay courts of the Rafa Nadal Academy in Mallorca, Naomi Osaka feels she’s rediscovered the form that had been missing since her Australian Open triumph in January.The top seed at the Madrid Open this week, Osaka says she’s ready to return to action and isn’t too concerned about the abdominal injury she sustained in Stuttgart where she reached the semi-final last week.ADVERTISEMENT Pagadian on tighter security for 100,000 expected at Sto. Niño feast The world number one was forced to withdraw ahead of her semi-final against Anett Kontaveit at the German tournament but was seen hitting at Madrid’s Caja Magica on Friday, and says she’s pain-free.“I haven’t served up until today and basically I was just resting it,” Osaka told reporters in the Spanish capital on Friday.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets offers from Asia, Australian ball clubs“Of course I hit ground strokes for the past three days because it’s not like I could fully rest, but it’s not painful, so I think it’s looking good.”Seeking her first title on clay, Osaka opens against 2016 runner-up Dominika Cibulkova in Madrid.