Daily Archives: January 4, 2012

Norway: Greenland Group to Supply PetroFlame for Island Innovator Rig

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Grenland Group, a full-service engineering, procurement and construction company based in Norway, has been awarded a contract for two PetroFlame® burner booms for the semisubmersible drilling and intervention rig, Island Innovator.

Island Innovator is owned by Marine Accurate Well ASA (Maracc), and the rig is currently under completion at COSCO Shipyard in Qidong, China. Main shareholder of Maracc is the Island Offshore group.

“We are proud to be awarded this contract by Island Offshore, one of the leading providers of well intervention services. This contract proves once again our competitiveness in the global market”, says Erik Taule, EVP Solutions at Grenland Group.

“This taylor-made PetroFlame® system combines our extensive experience of design, fabrication and construction. The design will be done at our office in Sandefjord, and fabrication will be subcontracted to Jutal, China, and closely followed up by our Shanghai office“, says Jan-Erik Totland, Product Manager at Grenland Group.

The PetroFlame® burner booms supplied by Grenland Group is designed for permanent installation on vessels or mobile offshore drilling units, and for the purpose of well testing. The PetroFlame® keeps the gas flare and burner head in safe distance from the vessel structures to achieve low level of heat radiation.

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PSA Norway Approves Manned Underwater Ops

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Statoil has chosen to take out an additional two-year option on the existing contract for diving services with Technip Norge AS. According to a cooperation agreement, ExxonMobil and Gassco could also be potential users of this contract.

The manned underwater operations will be conducted from DSV Skandi Arctic as primary vessel and DSV Wellservicer as secondary vessel, as well as the light diving vessel LDC Technip Sea Hunter.

PSA Norway has given the companies has given a consent for manned underwater operations down to water depths of 180 meters. The consent and comprises defined and undefined operational and project tasks, as well as repair standby.

The defined tasks are work which Statoil will perform on Glitne oil field during the spring of 2012. It relates to connection of underwater wells to the FPSO Petrojarl 1. The water depth at the site is 110 metres, and the work is assumed to last for five days.

Glitne oil field was brought on stream in 2001 and has been developed with sub-sea completed wells tied back to the leased FPSO facility Petrojarl 1. Oil is transported to shore by offshore tanker loading. Production was originally expected to last for around three years, but a combination of better than expected performance and in-fill drilling has resulted in extended field life.

No need for separate schedule

Gassco has not identified any need for separate scheduled manned underwater operations relating to this consent, but may require repair work on pipelines that the company owns.

The consent also applies to undefined operational and project assignments which may be required during the period for the companies’ production licenses, as well as pipeline systems. This also includes pipelines on a foreign shelf covered by Norwegian jurisdiction.

The consent also includes any surface-supplied diving operations which may be required during the period.

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Angola: Azul-1 Deepwater Well Brings Oil to Maersk Oil

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Songangol, Maersk Oil and other partners declared the Azul-1 deepwater exploration well, located in Block 23 in the Kwanza Basin offshore Angola, a discovery well.

The Azul-1 well, the first to penetrate pre-salt objectives in Angolan deepwater, was drilled in water depths of 923 meters and reached a final depth of 5,334 meters. The condition of the well prevented an assessment of flow capacity by a conventional test. This was performed as a mini-Drill Stem Test that enabled the recovery of two good quality oil samples.

The preliminary interpretation of the data indicated a potential flow capacity greater than 3,000 barrels of oil a day. Taking into account these encouraging results, Maersk Oil will further evaluate the results of this discovery and will proceed with exploration work in the block.

Sonangol E.P. is the block Concessionaire. Maersk Oil is operator of Block 23 with a 50% working interest with partners Svenska (30%) and Sonangol P & P (20%).

“We are encouraged by the results of our first pre-salt exploration well in this region, which was also the first ever deep water well targeting pre-salt reservoirs in the Kwanza Basin. The result may be a further step towards our goal of building up a significant business in Angola,” said Lars Nydahl Jorgensen, Head of Exploration at Maersk Oil.

“There is substantial evaluation work ahead of us to determine whether the discovery is enough to invest further to get production going. This will be done by, amongst other things, state of the art reprocessing of seismic data. Fully appraising the discovery will take several years and it is far too early to guess the outcome,” Jorgensen said.

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Geithner to pressure China and Japan to back economic sanctions against Iran

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By Erik Wasson – 01/04/12 09:52 AM ET

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will travel to China and Japan next week to hold high-level economic talks, the Treasury Department announced Wednesday.

High on the agenda will be getting Chinese support for new sanctions against Iran, which is forging ahead with its plans to develop a nuclear weapon. Iran will also be a top priority in Japan.

President Obama last weekend signed harsh new U.S. sanctions into law as part of the 2012 defense authorization bill.

Tensions between the United States and Iran have ratcheted up in recent weeks as the new U.S. sanctions against Iran’s central bank were sent to Obama’s desk.

Iran has threatened to block shipping in the Persian Gulf in order to cause a spike in oil prices, in retaliation. China is one of the biggest customers for Iran’s oil and has shown reluctance to punish Tehran.

China’s foreign ministry on Wednesday criticized the new U.S. sanctions.

“China has always maintained that sanctions were not easing tensions, the Iranian nuclear issue has to be resolved in a fundamental way, that dialogue and negotiation is the only correct way,” spokesman Hong Lei said when asked about the U.S. law.

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“China is opposed to a country putting its domestic law above international law, by placing on the other countries unilateral sanctions.  Like many other countries, China and Iran maintained normal, open and transparent trade and energy exchanges, these transactions do not violate United Nations Security Council resolutions should not be affected.”

Geithner’s trip on Jan. 10 to 12 will start off with a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan.

In a conciliatory gesture to China last week, Treasury once again decided not to name China a “currency manipulator,” despite acknowledging that the renminbi is undervalued.

The low value of China’s currency promotes China’s exports into the United States and hurts the ability of U.S. products to compete in China. A Senate-passed bill to slap trade sanctions on China over its currency has stalled in the House since October.

Geithner will meet with Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda on his journey to Japan. Japan is contemplating trying to join the TransPacific Partnership trade agreement being negotiated by the Obama administration.

For such a TPP agreement to be completed, Congress would almost certainly need to renew fast-track trade negotiating authority for the president. That power would force up-or-down votes in Congress on any trade pact.

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Shell Eyes Potential South Sudan Opportunities

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by  Alexis Flynn
Dow Jones Newswires
Wednesday, January 04, 2012

LONDON (Dow Jones Newswires), Jan. 4, 2012

Shell is examining possible opportunities in South Sudan, which seceded from its northern neighbor, Sudan, in July last year, taking with it at least 75 percent of the areas known oil fields.

“We continuously review potential business opportunities around the world. We would like to better understand the current security, political and business environment in South Sudan, and how this has been impacted by the secession,” a Shell spokesman said in a statement.

Ethiopian newspaper The Reporter on Saturday said Shell is planning to construct an oil pipeline from South Sudan to Ethiopia. Citing “reliable sources,” the paper said a Shell delegation had visited South Sudan in November.

When asked whether Shell had met with local officials and discussed a potential pipeline project, a Shell spokesman declined to elaborate beyond the company’s statement that it wasn’t pursuing business opportunities in South Sudan “at the moment.” The company doesn’t have a presence in Sudan.

Although South Sudan retained most of the country’s output and is now producing around 350,000 barrels of oil a day, the landlocked country still depends on Khartoum for refineries, ports and export pipelines.

Similar challenges also exist elsewhere in East Africa, a burgeoning oil province following recent major discoveries in Uganda‘s Albertine basin but without the necessary infrastructure to bring its crude to market. French major Total, U.K. explorer Tullow Oil and China’s CNOOC are expected to invest at least $10 billion developing Uganda’s oil assets, which will include the building of a 1,300-kilometer pipeline to the Kenyan port of Mombasa.

However, analysts cast some doubt on whether Shell would be prepared to make a significant investment into a relatively unstable part of the world.

Relations between the two Sudans have worsened in recent weeks, with the office of South Sudan President Salva Kiir late Monday accusing Sudan of stealing its oil by diverting as much as 1.2 million barrels of crude oil.

Royal Bank of Canada analyst Peter Hutton said a move into South Sudan would have little obvious operational synergy for Shell, which have been exiting Africa in the downstream, adding that their experience in Nigeria has probably made the firm’s management more risk averse. “It all looks a bit of a stretch–not the direction investors will want Shell to go in,” said Hutton.

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