Daily Archives: September 9, 2011

Tullow Discovers Oil Offshore French Guiana

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Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) announces that the Zaedyus exploration well (GM-ES-1), offshore French Guiana, has made an oil discovery having encountered 72 metres of net oil pay in two turbidite fans. Results of drilling, wireline logs and samples of reservoir fluids show that the well has encountered good quality reservoir sands on prognosis.

The objective of the Zaedyus well was to test whether the Jubilee-play, successfully established in West Africa, was mirrored on the other side of the Atlantic. This discovery therefore opens a new hydrocarbon basin within which several neighbouring prospects have been mapped. This result also reduces the exploration risk associated with Tullow’s prospect inventory offshore French Guiana, Suriname and Guyana. An appraisal programme and extensive follow-up exploration activities will now be considered.

The Zaedyus well is being drilled in the Guyane Maritime licence using the ENSCO 8503 deepwater semi submersible. The well was drilled in water depths of 2,048 metres and has been drilled to a depth of 5,711 metres. Drilling operations will now continue and the well will be deepened to over 6,000 metres to calibrate the deeper geology. The well will then likely be sidetracked to enable cores to be obtained over the reservoir sections.

Tullow (27.5%) operates the Guyane Maritime license and is partnered by Shell (45%), Total (25%) and Northpet (2.5%), a company owned 50% by Northern Petroleum plc and 50% by Wessex Exploration plc.

Angus McCoss, Tullow’s Exploration Director, commented today:

“The discovery at Zaedyus has proved the extension of the Jubilee-play across the Atlantic and made an important new discovery in French Guiana. Tullow has built a commanding and unique acreage position in South America and this result marks the start of a significant and potentially transformational long-term exploration and appraisal campaign in the region.”

Zaedyus exploration well (GM-ES-1), offshore French Guiana
Zaedyus exploration well (GM-ES-1), offshore French Guiana

Original Article

OGX Gets Nod for EWT and Production Development in Campos Basin, Offshore Brazil

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OGX Petróleo e Gás, the Brazilian oil and gas company responsible for the largest private-sector exploratory campaign in Brazil, announced that the preliminary license for the Extended Well Test (“EWT”) and production development in Waimea was granted by Ibama (the Brazilian Institute for Environment and Renewable Natural Resources).

This EWT will be conducted in block BM-C-41 in the Campos Basin. OGX has a 100% interest in this block.

“This preliminary license represents another step forward in our first oil production in the Campos Basin. With the granting of the installation license we expect to begin the mooring and equipment installation process for the EWT in Waimea within a few days,” commented Paulo Mendonça, General Executive and Exploration Officer of OGX.

The Waimea accumulation, which is located in the shallow waters of the Campos Basin, was discovered through wildcat well OGX-3 on December 18, 2009. The EWT, which is expected to begin in an exceptionally short timeframe – around 2 years after the discovery was made – will be performed utilizing the existing horizontal well, OGX-26HP.

Original Article

Don’t hold your breath on faster permitting

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It’s become a familiar refrain in the oil patch: the federal government could kick-start the country’s job machine by resuming offshore drilling permits to a pre-Macondo level.

A letter from American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard written last week implores President Obama to remember the Wood Mackenzie study API sponsored that says the oil and gas industry can create one million jobs in the next seven years and 1.4 million additional jobs by 2030.

And another a letter this week from a number of other industry groups points to another industry study that says 230,000 new or retained jobs, more than $44 billion in U.S. GDP and nearly $12 billion in tax and royalty revenues could be generated in 2012 if permitting returned to the same levels as before the Deepwater Horizon Accident.

Many in the industry (and many readers of this blog) assume the slowdown is part of a concerted effort of the White House to punish the oil and gas business. The arguments range from the administration punishing the largely Red State industry for failing to support it to kowtowing to unions and environmental groups.

Not all industry execs aren’t subscribing to the grudge-against-the-oil-industry answer on the permitting, however.

Chevron CEO John Watson also said earlier this week that he felt the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement was “working very hard to process the permit applications they have,” but that the agency needs more staff to step up the pace, especially in light of new regulations imposed since the Gulf spill.

“Whether they have the resources to do it is another matter,” Watson said. “Whether there’s political overtones elsewhere, that’s for others to judge.”

But as far as the hope of getting back to pre-spill permitting levels, the industry shouldn’t hold its  breath.

“There are many more hoops and a lot more verification the government is requiring of itself and of us,” said Gary Luquette, president of Chevron North America Exploration and Production Co., said in an interview with the Chronicle earlier this week. ”This is a much more intensive process now, so we won’t go back to the time lines of the past.”

The biggest reason for the slower pace is that waivers on a number of environmental impact studies that allowed companies to skip them pre-Macondo have been reinstated.

The pace today is certainly better than it was right when the drilling moratorium was lifted, Luquette  said, and even better than it was just last month.

“There’s a need for continuous improvement and they seem to be committed to that,” he said.

BOEMRE chief Michael Bromwich said there’s no doubt the pace of permitting is way off from before Macondo.

“But that’s largely irrelevant because it misses the sea change that’s occurred over the last 15 months, with the more rigorous requirements,” Bromwich said during the same hearings where Watson spoke.

Bromwich also repeated his refrain that there’s no deliberate attempt to stifle the industry.

“There’s absolutely no evidence that anyone in the agency up through and including me has made any effort to slow things down,” Bromwich said. ” I do appreciate [Watson] saying that there is no deliberate slowdown. It’s actually fully consistent with what we’ve been hearing behind closed doors from top company executives for months. And it’s nice that one of the ceos has come out and said so publicly. I don’t think it would hurt the others to say the same thing because I think they realize there’s no agenda to slow things down.”

Original Article

Interwell raises the bar in well intervention technology

Uploaded by Interwell100 on Jul 14, 2011

Interwell High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) Mechanical Retrievable Bridge Plug. We have developed a bridge plug for the oil and gas industry. This is a demonstration of the HPHT Bridge Plug to be used in different applications such as Water Shut Off, Temporary Barrier Plug and Reservoir Well Intervention

THE world’s first high pressure (HP) retrievable bridge plug capable of withstanding a differential pressure of 15,000psi was today (Tuesday, 6 September) unveiled at Offshore Europe by high-technology well intervention specialist Interwell.

Interwell developed the ultra slim, 2.2” OD, HP bridge plug to provide a reliable barrier in extremely high pressure conditions.

The ISO 14310 qualified tool contains an innovative packer back-up design which both compresses and constrains the element, reducing the risk of extrusion in extreme conditions and enables its operation to 15,000psi.

“We have established a new standard with this tool as we are the only company in the industry to develop a plug which can withstand such high pressures and is fully retrievable after use,” says Interwell’s UK managing director, Andrew Louden.

“This tool is a significant development in terms of its global applicability in ultra-deepwater environments, and from our perspective is a further major design and engineering achievement in a portfolio which already includes the highest-expansion ultra-slim bridge plugs available.”

The ultra-slim design of the patented element back-up segments of the HP plug reduces the risk of deployment and retrieval through narrow wellbore restrictions, a crucial operational benefit in high pressure high temperature (HPHT) wells.

Efficiency is further enhanced by each plug taking just one run to set and one to retrieve, providing a reliable and cost effective solution for well interventions.

Jim Laidlaw, business development director at Interwell Aberdeen, says: “Intervening in deepwater and HPHT wells is very demanding. Our key design aim was to develop the slimmest HP plug solutions in the market whilst also minimising operational complexity in these challenging well conditions.

“With a range of plug sizes for 3-1/2” to 7-5/8 casings, the ultra slim HPHT plug design makes it an ideal barrier solution for wellbores with any form of restriction, allowing it to be deployed reliably to the desired depth.

“Our plugs have been designed so they can be used as both shallow and deep barriers, making them ideally suited to workover applications. They can also be used to anchor injection valves and equalisation devices.”

The tool can be run on slickline, e-line, coiled tubing or pipe and as with all of Interwell’s plugs and packers, it features a scale tolerant slip design ensuring that it adequately grips the casing.

Interwell offers some of the most advanced well barrier solutions available in the upstream oil and gas sector, and it is the world’s leading independent supplier of retrievable bridge plugs.
Its product portfolio has already successfully passed qualification testing in gas with very high pressures up to 15,000 psi and at temperatures up to 200°C. The company intends to continue developing plugs which can withstand more extreme conditions using its field proven design.

Each of Interwell’s portfolio of solutions can be tailored to solve individual project requirements with very short lead times, providing a rapid response for clients. Interwell also has in-house testing facilities where they can qualify plugs and packers to the ISO 14310 V0 standard.

In February 2011, the firm opened a new facility in Aberdeen as it embarked on an ambitious international growth strategy. The Aberdeen office has created 17 new jobs within the first 6 months of operations and expects to double in size over the next 12 months.

Interwell has offices in Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi and Oman, in addition to its operations in Norway and the UK.

Link www.interwell.com

Original Article

STX Finland Inks Contract with Eide Marine Services for Two Well Intervention Vessels

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STX Finland Oy and Eide Marine Semi AS, a subsidiary of Eide Marine Services A/S, have signed a contract for the outfitting, completion and delivery of two highly sophisticated well intervention vessels with an aggregate contract value exceeding EUR 300 million.

The technically advanced well intervention vessels with deadweight of 31,000 tons will have a length of 122 meters and a width of 45 meters. The vessels are designed to operate in rough open sea conditions on Brazilian continental shelf. Vessels have innovative hullforms securing high seakeeping characteristics together with DP3 dynamic positioning system and truster arrangement. Large deck area provides opportunity to arrange all well serving equipment in most efficient way.

The project will create a high outfitting work load for STX Finland and its network. The work on the first hull will begin at STX Rauma shipyard in April 2012 and on the second hull in June 2012. The intervention vessels will be delivered from Rauma shipyard in March 2013 and June 2013. The contract is subject to certain financing conditions.

The contract shows STX Finland’s ability to provide competitive services and win significant contracts in this highly sophisticated and demanding offshore business segment. The contract is also an important part of STX Finland’s diversification strategy, in which the company is continuing to expand its operations into new business areas such as offshore business segment.

The outfitting contract for Eide Marine Services is a very important project for STX Finland. It shows that our strategic plan to expand our product and services portfolio,and to improve our global competitiveness and presence, has been successful”,says Timo Suistio, COO of STX Finland. “The project is very challenging both in terms of amount of outfitting work and the management of several global networking entities.” continues Suistio.

Original Article

USA: Wartsila, Shell Ink Cooperation Deal to Promote LNG as Marine Fuel

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Wärtsilä, the marine industry’s leading solutions provider, and Shell Oil Company have signed a Joint Co-operation Agreement aimed at promoting and accelerating the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a marine fuel. The agreement was signed in August 2011 and will run for several years.

Supplies of low cost, low emissions LNG fuel will be made available to Wärtsilä natural gas powered vessel operators, and other customers by Shell. The Joint Cooperation Agreement will focus first on supplies from the US Gulf Coast, and then later expand their efforts to cover a broader geographical range.

Gas fuelled marine engines are seen as being a logical means for ship owners and operators to comply with increasingly stringent environmental legislation. This agreement aims at increasing and easing the availability of natural gas for marine engine use, as well as developing the supply chain and infrastructure to facilitate the bunkering of LNG fuel. The two companies will jointly move these developments to marine markets in order to enhance its rapid introduction and use.

Wärtsilä has been at the forefront in the development of dual-fuel engine technology, allowing the same engine to be operated on both gas and diesel fuel. This dual-fuel capability means that when running in gas mode, the environmental impact is minimized since nitrogen oxides (NOx) are reduced by some 85 percent compared to diesel operation, sulphur oxide (SOx) emissions are completely eliminated as gas contains no sulphur, and emissions of CO2 are also lowered. Natural gas has no residuals, and thus the production of particulates is practically non-existent.

In addition to the environmental benefits that LNG fuel offers, the shipping industry is increasingly looking to gas as a means of reducing operating costs. With fossil fuel prices, and especially the cost of low carbon marine fuel, likely to continue to escalate, gas is an obvious economic alternative. In promoting gas propulsion, the two companies aim at reducing client risk, thereby accelerating market demand.

It’s an exciting time for the industry to have Shell, a major player, committed to increasing the availability of clean natural gas as a marine fuel. The marine community is becoming increasingly aware of the benefits provided by Wärtsilä natural gas engines as a means of reducing both costs and the environmental footprint. Natural gas engines represent a rare win-win, capturing emissions reduction and operational savings,” says Christoph Vitzthum, Group Vice President, Wärtsilä Services.

Drawing from decades of experience in the development and application of natural gas engines for both the power generation and marine industries, Wärtsilä is the global leader in this advanced technology. “Clean, safe natural gas represents a true shipping paradigm shift; years ago it was sail to steam, then came the move from steam to diesel, and now it’s a new era for gas propulsion,” says Jaakko Eskola, Group Vice President, Wärtsilä Ship Power.

We are pleased to work with Wärtsilä to move forward with this significant step in introducing LNG-powered vessels into the US market, providing a clean, abundant and affordable fuel option,” said David Lawrence, Shell’s executive vice president Exploration and Commercial.

Original Article

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