The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), Noble Energy, Inc. and the Helix Well Containment Group (HWCG) announced Tuesday the successful completion of a full-scale deployment of critical well control equipment to assess Noble Energy’s ability to respond to a potential subsea blowout in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
BSEE Director James Watson confirmed that the HWCG capping stack deployed for the exercise met the pressurization requirements of the drill scenario, marking successful completion of the exercise.
The unannounced deployment drill, undertaken at the direction of BSEE, began April 30 to test the HWCG capping stack system – a 20-feet tall, 146,000-pound piece of equipment similar to the one that stopped the flow of oil from the Macondo well following the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in 2010. During this exercise, the capping stack was deployed in more than 5,000 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico. Once on site, the system was lowered to a simulated well head (a pre-set parking pile) on the ocean floor, connected to the well head, and pressurized to 8,400 pounds per square inch.
“Deployment drill exercises like this one are essential to supporting President Obama’s commitment to the safe and responsible development of offshore resources,” said Director Watson. “BSEE continually works to ensure that the oil and natural gas industry is prepared and ready to respond with the most effective equipment and response systems.”
BSEE engineers, inspectors and oil spill response specialists are evaluating the deployment operations and identifying lessons learned as the bureau continues efforts to improve safety and environmental protection across the offshore oil and natural gas industry.
“The quick and effective response to a deepwater well containment incident, demonstrated during the drill, was enabled by collaborative communication and planning between the industry and regulatory agencies with a focus on solutions-based outcomes,” said John Lewis, senior vice president of Noble Energy. “BSEE, the U.S. Coast Guard, Louisiana Offshore Coordinator’s Office and Noble Energy brought unique perspectives together in a Unified Command structure to achieve a shared goal. Through excellent coordination within the Incident Command System structure that included elevating the Source Control Chief to report directly to Unified Command, the dedication of hundreds of people and activation of the HWCG rapid response system, all objectives were met.”
“HWCG’s ability to quickly and effectively respond to a call from Noble Energy and every operator in our consortium is made possible by a combination of the mutual aid agreement committed to by each consortium member and the contracts we have in place for equipment that is staffed and working in the Gulf each day,” said Roger Scheuermann, HWCG Commercial Director. “Mutual aid enables members to draw upon the collective technical expertise, assets and resources of the group in the event of an incident. Utilizing staffed and working vessels, drilling and production equipment helps ensure there is no down time for staffing or testing equipment readiness in a crisis situation.”
In accordance with the plan, all 15 member companies were activated for this incident through the HWCG notification system.
For the safety of personnel and equipment, a Unified Command comprised of BSEE, the US Coast Guard, Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinators Office and Noble Energy decided to temporarily hold operations May 2 and 3 due to rough weather over the Gulf of Mexico. The safety of personnel remained a top priority throughout the exercise.
Since the Deepwater Horizon tragedy in 2010, BSEE has worked to implement the most aggressive and comprehensive offshore oil and gas regulatory reforms in the nation’s history. This deepwater containment drill tested one critical component of enhanced drilling safety requirements.
Press Release, May 8, 2013: Source
This week the SubseaIQ team added 3 new projects and updated 9 projects. You can see all the updates made over any time period via the Project Update History search. The latest offshore field develoment news and activities are listed below for your convenience.
Asia – Far East
CNOOC Bolsters South China Sea Production
Jan 3, 2013 – Production has started at CNOOC’s 100% owned Liuhua 4-1 field in the South China Sea. Liuhua 4-1 is a subsea development consisting of one production manifold and eight production wells. They are produced through the Nanhai Tiao Zhan FPS and then pumped to the Nanhai Sheng Li FPSO. Peak production is expected to be reached later this year. In addition, the company completed an adjustment project on the Panyu 4-2 and 5-1 oilfields. The objective of the project was to achieve more efficient production from the two fields through shared facilities.
Europe – North Sea
North Sea Energy Provides Badger Update
Jan 3, 2013 – North Sea Energy’s operating committee recently held a meeting to discuss the path forward regarding the Premier Oil-operated Badger prospect in the UK North Sea. Badger is a structural/stratigraphic trap with an objective in lower Cretaceous Coracle and Punt sandstones. Further delineation is required and critical risk elements need to be mitigated before a drilling decision can be made. The company hopes to be in a position to make that decision by the end of 3Q 2013.
Jan 3, 2013 – Det norske, on behalf of the partners in Production License 001B, submitted to the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy the Plan for Development and Operation of the Ivar Aasen field. If approved, first oil could be seen in 4Q 2016. Information gained during appraisal drilling indicates that the field contains 150 mmboe and will produce at a steady rate of 23,000 boepd. The development will also include the Hanz and West Cable discoveries. Hanz will be utilized by a subsea installation tied back to a production platform servicing Ivar Aasen and West Cable.
Project Details: Ivar Aasen
Jan 3, 2013 – BP announced the start of production systems at the Skarv field on December 31, 2012. Over its life, Skarv is expected to produce over 100 million barrels of oil and condensate and over 1.5 trillion cubic feet of rich gas. Water depth at the location is almost 1,500 feet. Development facilities include a new harsh environment FPSO, five subsea templates and a 50 mile export pipeline. Production rates will gradually increase over the year to an expected maximum daily rate of 165,000 boed.
Project Details: Skarv/Idun
S. America – Other & Carib.
Priodontes Well Spuds Off French Guiana
Jan 3, 2013 – Shell, as operator of the Guyane Maritime Permit (French Guiana), spudded an exploration well at the Priodontes prospect on December 29, 2012. The well is being drilled by the Stena Drillmax ICE (UDW drillship). Well GM-ES-3 is the second well in the current drilling program and is testing a different area of the Cingulata fan system that contains the recent Zaedyus oil discovery. Results of the Priodontes exploration will allow the license partners to gain a better understanding of the area’s geology and overall potential.
S. America – Brazil
PanAtlantic to P&A Jandaia
Jan 4, 2013 – Jandaia reached its targeted depth without encountering any indication of hydrocarbons. PanAtlantic and its partner Panoro Energy have plugged and abandoned the well. Jandaia, which is located in concession BM-S-71, was the third well in Vanco’s three-well program offshore Brazil. Sabia, the first well in the program, encountered volume at the low end of the pre-drill estimate and the second well, Canario, was dry.
Jan 3, 2013 – With the Inauguration of the Tamar production platform Noble Energy and the other Tamar interest holders are one step closer to the realization of first gas which is expected in April of this year. Discovery of the deepwater reservoir took place four years ago and development has progressed on schedule and within budget. The platform was installed in 800 feet of water and has the capacity to process 1.2 bcfd from its subsea wells. Once processed, the gas will flow through 93 miles of subsea pipeline to the Ashdod Terminal on Israel’s coast. Tamar is estimated to hold 8.4 tcf of gas reserves and its development will help bring the country to the verge of energy independence.
Project Details: Tamar
N. America – US GOM
Jan 3, 2013 – LLOG Exploration awarded a subsea equipment contract to FMC Technologies relating to the recently approved Delta House development project in the deep waters of Mississippi Canyon in the US Gulf of Mexico. Under the contract FMC will supply nine subsea trees, four subsea manifolds, five multiphase meters with all associated topside control systems and subsea distribution systems. Delivery of the $114 million order will take place this year.
Project Details: Delta House
- Gulf of Mexico: FMC Technologies’ Subsea Equipment for LLOG’s Delta House Project (mb50.wordpress.com)
- With Subsea Compression Technology, Offshore Platforms Could Become Obsolete (gcaptain.com)
- UH to open first subsea engineering masters program in 2013 (appliedagrotech.net)
A Cost Sharing Agreement (CSA) has been executed between Levant LNG Marketing, a subsidiary of Pangea LNG B.V., and Tamar Partners. This major milestone demonstrates the continuing progress toward the export of LNG from the Tamar and Dalit fields in the Eastern Mediterranean, 60 miles offshore from Israel.
The Tamar Partnership will participate in the cost of developing the project front end engineering and design (FEED) for a permanently moored offshore floating natural gas liquefaction vessel with onboard storage. Pangea LNG and Tamar Partners anticipate launching FEED by end of 2012 and making a final investment decision by the second half of 2013.
The floating liquefaction (FLNG) midstream solution is being developed by Pangea LNG, an LNG development and investment company owned by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME), Next Decade International and D&H Solutions AS. Pangea LNG is a floating LNG liquefaction and storage project developer now working on projects around the globe that will connect gas suppliers to the world’s most important LNG demand markets.
The Tamar Partnership includes Noble Energy Mediterranean Ltd, Isramco Negev 2 Limited Partnership, Delek Drilling Limited Partnership, Avner Oil Exploration Limited Partnership, and DorGas Exploration Limited Partnership. These companies are the owners and producers involved in the discovery of significant natural gas resources in the Tamar and Dalit fields where development drilling is underway.
Gerhard Ludvigsen, a founding member of the Pangea LNG board of directors, said “the Tamar project embraces the entire value chain and balances the risk positions for the owners of hydrocarbons, the off takers and the midstream technology provider.
“The Pangea business model offers the opportunity for all stakeholders to take part in the value enhancement from gas production through the FLNG/midstream solution to the final off take of LNG. Pangea LNG opens the potential for national oil companies and owners of small to medium size gas reserves to monetize stranded gas and take part in the value creation in the entire value chain.”
Pangea LNG continues to work on off-take agreements for LNG production from the Tamar project. Pangea LNG has already executed several letters of intent with potential off takers and is in the final stage of negotiations for the long term sales and purchase agreement.
The Tamar framework agreement represents an important step in the development of what will be the first floating LNG liquefaction project in the Mediterranean basin. The Tamar and Dalit fields are located in the Levantine basin in Israeli waters.
“The Eastern Mediterranean gas fields provide a particularly good location for deploying an offshore floating LNG solution,” said Kathleen Eisbrenner, Pangea LNG’s chief executive officer. “The reserves are large, the climate is moderate and the location offers efficient access to significant LNG markets.”
O.K. Shin, Team leader of DSME Corporate Strategy Team, noted that the vessel-mounted liquefaction system being designed will take advantage of the efficiencies of the DSME shipyard construction environment and the best practices the company has developed during many years of LNG and process vessel construction.
Pangea LNG brings together a team that generated the innovations that are at the foundation of the floating LNG sector. DSME, the majority owner of Pangea, is one of the world’s leading shipbuilders and a contractor for major energy companies providing them with offshore platforms, drilling rigs and floating production units. The company builds special purpose vessels and specializes in LNG carriers. It constructed nine of the 11 floating LNG regasification vessels now in service.
- Israel: Major Milestone in Tamar FLNG Project Development (worldmaritimenews.com)
- Pangea LNG Continues its Development of Mediterranean Floating LNG Export Project (prnewswire.com)
- Global Market for Floating Production Systems to Reach $91 Billion; More Than $28 Billion in Global FLNG Liquefaction Spending (sacbee.com)
Noble Energy, Inc. today announced a discovery at the Big Bend exploration prospect in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The well, located in 7,200 feet of water on Mississippi Canyon Block 698, was drilled to a total depth of 15,989 feet. Open-hole logging identified approximately 150 feet of net oil pay in two high-quality Miocene reservoirs.
Charles D. Davidson, Noble Energy’s Chairman and CEO, said, “The discovery at Big Bend is an exciting follow-up to our recent success at Galapagos. The well results appear at least as good as our pre-drill mean resource expectations and de-risked our offset prospect Troubadour. The combination of excellent reservoir properties, fluid characteristics and our high working interest in this project will contribute significant production and cash flow for our business.”
Noble Energy operates with a 54 percent working interest in Big Bend. Other interest owners are W&T Energy VI, LLC (a wholly owned subsidiary of W&T Offshore Inc.) with 20 percent, Red Willow Offshore, LLC with 15.4 percent and Houston Energy Deepwater Ventures V, LLC with 10.6 percent.
This week the SubseaIQ team added 2 new projects and updated 15 projects. You can see all the updates made over any time period via the Project Update History search. The latest offshore field develoment news and activities are listed below for your convenience.
N. America – US GOM
Oct 26, 2012 – Noble Energy expects the Ensco 8501 (UDW semisub) to be available to drill the second Gunflint appraisal well in early 2013 after it finishes exploratory drilling at the Big Bend prospect in the US Gulf of Mexico. Gunflint, situated in Mississippi Canyon Block 948, was appraised and confirmed commercial earlier in the year and represents the company’s largest Gulf of Mexico discovery to-date. The discovery well intersected several reservoirs netting more than 550 feet of high-quality pay. Gunflint is believed to hold up to 500 Mmboe.
Project Details: Gunflint (Freedom)
Oct 24, 2012 – Karoon Gas Australia believes the Boreas discovery in permit WA-315-P could be commercial based on well test results. The company feels that future production wells drilled adjacent to Boreas-1 could flow in excess of 100 MMscf/d. Results from the well will be combined with data gathered from Kronos-1, the Poseidon wells and Poseidon 3D seismic to further characterize the size and structure of the Greater Poseidon Trend. The company’s assessment of contingent resources will be independently assessed upon completion of the drilling program.
Project Details: Poseidon
Europe – North Sea
Oct 26, 2012 – The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy granted approval to Lundin Petroleum for the Plan of Development and Operation of the Boyla field in PL 340 offshore Norway. Estimated gross reserves are roughly 21Mmboe with gross peak production of 19,000 Boepd. Boyla will be developed via a subsea tie-back to the Alvheim FPSO. Technip was awarded the field development contract and will handle construction and installation of the subsea equipment.
Project Details: Alvheim
Oct 26, 2012 – Well 34/6-2S on the Garantiana prospect offshore Norway has been drilled to a total depth of 13,287 feet by the Borgland Dolphin (mid-water semisub). The well, located in Production License 554, penetrated good quality oil-bearing reservoir rock in the Cook formation. Further analysis is needed for an accurate resource estimate but initial flow rates of 4,000 barrels per day were achieved through a 28/24-inch choke. Pending available contracted rig days, the partners in the Total-operated license may elect to drill a sidetrack well to define the oil-water contact.
Project Details: Garantiana
Shell Takes Hess’ Spot at Beryl
Oct 25, 2012 – Royal Dutch Shell and Hess Corporation have reached an agreement whereby Shell will buy Hess’ stake in the Scottish Area Gas Evacuation Pipeline and the fields that comprise the Beryl Area. Beryl is operated by Apache and is made up of 12 producing fields on the UK continental shelf northeast of Aberdeen. Hess’ net daily production from the area through the first three quarters of 2012 was about 14,000 boepd. Shell plans to extend the production life of its new assets potentially by 20 years. The $525 million deal is expected to close during the first quarter of 2013, pending regulatory approval.
Oct 25, 2012 – Exploration of the Wintershall-operated Asha/Noor prospect in the Norwegian North Sea has commenced on board the Bredford Dolphin (mid-water semisub). Well 16/1-16 is being drilled in 370 feet of water on the western edge of the Utsira High area and is targeting four reservoirs assumed to be Upper Jurassic sandstones. In addition, the well has the potential to appraise the neighboring Ivar Aasen and Apollo discoveries. If the reservoirs are deemed commercially viable the prospect could be developed via the Grane Field processing facilities.
Project Details: Noor
Nexen Spuds Polecat Appraisal
Oct 24, 2012 – Atlantic Petroleum announced the commencement of appraisal drilling at the Polecat prospect in UK license P1100. Well 20/4a-11 is being drilled in 370 feet of water by the Transocean GSF Arctic III (mid-water semisub) in the vicinity of the Ettrick and Blackbird fields. The well is targeting Upper Jurassic reservoirs and is expected to take 50 days to reach total depth. Nexen and Atlantic Petroleum hold 80% and 20% stakes respectively while Nexen maintains operatorship of the license.
Oct 23, 2012 – JV partner Antrim Energy announced positive initial results from the Contender well 211/21-N94 in the UK North Sea. Drilling took place on the TAQA Bratani-operated North Cormorant platform and reached a total depth of 16,903 feet. Preliminary results suggest a net oil pay in excess of 60 feet was encountered in the Tarbert member of the Jurassic Brent sandstones. Ongoing testing has revealed greater than expected porosity and hydrocarbon saturation. If Contender is determined to be commercial, it will be developed from North Cormorant under the name Cormorant East.
Project Details: Falcon
Oct 23, 2012 – Shell received consent from the UK government to proceed with the development of the Fram field in the UK sector of the North Sea. The development, one of the largest to be approved in five years, is expected to contribute 35,000 Boepd to the country’s production with a field life of 20 to 30 years. Although Shell is the operator, JV partner Esso Exploration & Production UK is the major equity holder with a 68% interest. Fram was discovered in 1969 and is unrelated to the Norwegian field of the same name. The gas condensate field is located in blocks 29/3a and 29/8c in roughly 300 feet of water.
Project Details: Fram
Oct 22, 2012 – Sterling Resources announced a delay in production start-up at the Breagh field in the UK North Sea. Late design completion, rework of certain systems and late material deliveries combined to cause construction delays which have pushed the anticipated start-up date to the end of 1Q 2013. Breagh Phase 1 development costs have risen to $825 million which is 1.4 percent above initial estimates. Development drilling at the field has not been hampered by the construction delays. The first three wells will be flow-tested before the end of the year. A fourth well is expected to come on stream once field production is established.
Project Details: Breagh
Oct 23, 2012 – GeoGlobal Resources received disappointing results from the Sara-1 well offshore Israel. Approximately 321 feet of high quality reservoir sands were encountered but proved to be wet without commercial quantities of hydrocarbons. Logging runs provided evidence that gas had once migrated through the system. The Noble Homer Ferrington (DW semisub) drilled the well to a total vertical depth of 12,887 feet and is in the process of plugging and abandoning the well before being released. Data collected during the operation will be used to refine the geologic model of the area and to further evaluate other possible targets within the license.
Oct 23, 2012 – The partners in the Leviathan gas field offshore Israel are taking bids to add an international partner to the group to help distribute field development costs. Being offered is up to a 30% stake in the field. Sources indicate Australia’s Woodside Petroleum and Russia’s Gazprom are likely finalists in the bidding round. Leviathan holds an estimated 17 trillion cubic feet of gas and is expected to be brought into production in 2017. The bidding round is due to end in the coming month.
Project Details: Leviathan
Oct 22, 2012 – NSAI released an independent resource report covering the Adira Energy-owned Samuel License offshore Israel. The report indicates P50 estimates of 65.8 MMbbl of oil and 65.8 Bcf of gas in four structures within the license. “The initial well will target the Cretaceous section which is estimated to contain almost 38 million barrels of prospective oil equivalent,” CEO Jeffrey Walter said. Samuel comprises an area of 223 square miles in waters up to 330 feet deep.
Project Details: Samuel
Asia – SouthEast
Oct 25, 2012 – Salamander Energy’s Bualuang Bravo Platform construction project is on track to finish on time and within budget. The platform’s jacket has been fabricated and is en route to the Bualuang field where it will be positioned. Topside installation will begin shortly thereafter. Thai Nippon Steel was awarded the construction contract for the 16-slot platform in 1Q 2011. Through the Bravo platform, Salamander plans to double the amount of horizontal production wells currently in use and feels that production will increase from the current level of 11,500 bopd to 15,000 bopd in 2013. The Atwood Mako (400′ ILC) is scheduled to begin development drilling from the platform at the end of November.
Project Details: Bualuang
ROC Announces Successful Balai Cluster Appraisal
Oct 24, 2012 – Appraisal drilling activities at the Bentara-2 well in the Balai Cluster SFRSC have come to a stop upon reaching a total vertical depth of 9,038 feet. BC Petroleum was incorporated to manage the Balai Cluster Small Field Risk Service Contract and is comprised of ROC (48%), Dialog Group (32%) and Petronas (20%). Early results indicated and estimated net hydrocarbon pay in excess of 328 feet across a total interval of 2,132 feet. The well will now be cased and completed in preparation for well testing. Appraisal drilling is the first phase in pre-development of the license and is scheduled to take 18 months to execute. If pre-development is completed successfully the partners in BC Petroleum will submit a field development plan and work towards bringing the Balai Cluster into production.
S. America – Brazil
Oct 24, 2012 – Statoil, together with partner Sinochem, has completed drilling an appraisal well at the Peregrino South prospect offshore Brazil. Well 3-STAT-8-RJS intersected approximately 278 feet of high-quality oil-saturated sandstone reservoir in the Carapebus formation. Goals of the operation were to validate previous volume estimates and establish an optimal development plan. The joint venture will use the positive results from the appraisal to guide the Peregrino Phase II development.
Project Details: Peregrino
- Worldwide Field Development News Oct 13 – Oct 19, 2012 (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Worldwide Field Development News Oct 9 – Oct 15, 2012 (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Worldwide Field Development News Sep 22 – Sep 28, 2012 (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Worldwide Field Development News Sep 29 – Oct 5, 2012 (mb50.wordpress.com)
It took 18 months for the 280 m platform to be completed, and the project has been described as “the largest infrastructure project in Israeli history.”
The Tamar platform will be located in approximately 800 feet of water and will be able to process 1.2 billion standard cubic feet of gas per day. The Tamar field is estimated to contain 8.4 trillion cubic feet of gas and will be produced through several subsea wells connected to the platform by 150 km long flow lines. The single-lift topsides facility has four deck levels and weighs nearly 10,000 tons.
Globes further reports that the platform is expected to reach its destination during the fourth quarter this year. First production is scheduled for March 2013.
Noble Energy operates Tamar with a 36 percent working interest. Other owners are Isramco Negev 2 with 28.75 percent, Delek Drilling with 15.625 percent, Avner Oil Exploration with 15.625 percent, and Dor Gas Exploration with the remaining four percent.