Daily Archives: January 10, 2012

Canadian Minister Tells Enviros to F**k Off on Oilsands Obstructionism

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Ronald Bailey | January 10, 2012

In a no-holds-barred open letter, Canadian Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver tells environmental radicals to take a hike, preferably off a high cliff.

Canada is on the edge of an historic choice: to diversify our energy markets away from our traditional trading partner in the United States or to continue with the status quo.

Virtually all our energy exports go to the US.   As a country, we must seek new markets for our products and services and the booming Asia-Pacific economies have shown great interest in our oil, gas, metals and minerals. For our government, the choice is clear:  we need to diversify our markets in order to create jobs and economic growth for Canadians across this country.  We must expand our trade with the fast growing Asian economies. We know that increasing trade will help ensure the financial security of Canadians and their families.

Unfortunately, there are environmental and other radical groups that would seek to block this opportunity to diversify our trade.  Their goal is to stop any major project no matter what the cost to Canadian families in lost jobs and economic growth. No forestry.  No mining.  No oil.  No gas. No more hydro-electric dams.

These groups threaten to hijack our regulatory system to achieve their radical ideological agenda.  They seek to exploit any loophole they can find, stacking public hearings with bodies to ensure that delays kill good projects.  They use funding from foreign special interest groups to undermine Canada’s national economic interest. They attract jet-setting celebrities with some of the largest personal carbon footprints in the world to lecture Canadians not to develop our natural resources.  Finally, if all other avenues have failed, they will take a quintessential American approach:  sue everyone and anyone to delay the project even further. They do this because they know it can work.  It works because it helps them to achieve their ultimate objective: delay a project to the point it becomes economically unviable.

Wow.

That bit about the “quintessential American approach” hurts only because it’s true.

So what did President Obama do in the face of environmentalist agitation? He caved. Our bravely decisive president tried to put off deciding on the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline which would link U.S. refineries to the Canadian oilsands production until after the 2012 presidential election. But as part of the deal to extend the payroll tax cut for two months, the Republicans in Congress set a deadline for President Obama to decide by February 21 whether or not the pipeline is in the U.S. national interest. So which Democratic interest group will the president choose to alienate? The unions or the environmental lobby?

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Murphy Oil Malaysia Completes Rigless Intervention Campaign Using Welltec Services

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Murphy Oil Malaysia recently completed a highly successful, rigless intervention campaign using Welltec services. Not only did the operation allow immediate production from a “lost” well, but it also saved the time and cost of a rig based sidetrack. The end result is expected to add 20 MMscf/d into the production portfolio.

In the first well, the drift run hung up at 945 ft MD when trying to perforate the well. Based on previous experience, the cause was suspected to be part of a cement wiper plug. This was pushed down to a nipple profile at 4,314 ft MD, leaving it still 1,690 ft above the perforation depth. After only minutes of milling, the Well Miller made it through the plug, which allowed the Well Tractor® to push it down to 6,398 ft MD, approximately 380 ft below the target perforation interval. Thereafter the well was perforated and put on production.

In the second well, a poor cement job had made the primary target zone inaccessible and left an obstruction inside the tubing. With pressing rig commitments there was insufficient time to fix the problem, leaving the well temporarily abandoned and a candidate for future sidetracking. Based on the success of the first well, the Well Tractor and Well Miller were used to push the obstruction from 400 ft to 2,132 ft MD , meeting the objective to prepare the well for sidetracking.

However, it was decided to attempt to push the obstruction as far as possible. Using the Well Tractor and Well Miller the well was cleared well beyond the sidetrack target depth to an eventual Hold Up Depth of 8,743 ft MD. Getting this far down the production string allowed access to two of the three reservoirs in this well, which could now be completed for production rather than scheduled for a sidetrack workover.

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Domino-1: Romania’s First Deepwater Exploration Well

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ExxonMobil’s Romanian subsidiary together with Petrom has started exploration drilling on Domino-1, the first deepwater exploration well in the Romanian sector of the Black Sea​.

The Domino-1 well is located in the Neptun Block, 170 kilometers offshore in water about 1,000 meters deep and will be drilled using state-of-the-art industry technology. The well is being drilled by the world-class, sixth generation drillship, Deepwater Champion, which recently transited to Romanian waters after completing its drilling program offshore Turkey. Drilling operations are expected to take about 90 days.

The drillship is owned by the world’s largest drilling contractor, Transocean.

“We are very pleased to collaborate with Petrom in this project – a collaboration built upon ExxonMobil’s experience as a leader in deepwater exploration and Petrom’s vast experience in Romania. We highly value the efforts of the Romanian authorities for supporting the progress of the deepwater Black Sea exploration program,” said Ian A. Fischer, Managing Director of EEPRL.

Exploration drilling, especially in such frontier, unexplored areas as the deepwater Black Sea, may or may not result in a discovery. If commercial discoveries are made, the development of the Neptun Block would yield significant positive industrial, social and economic benefits for Romania.

“Together with our partner ExxonMobil, we are developing a unique project for Romania. Deepwater exploration carries high investment risks and requires investments of several hundred million U.S. dollars, yet a potential success would fundamentally change the perspective of the Romanian energy sector,” said Johann Pleininger, Petrom’s Executive Board Member responsible for Exploration & Production.

Offshore Energy Today Staff, January 10, 2012; Image: Transocean

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What if… Is The US Prepared For Cuban Oil Rigs?

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By John Konrad On January 10, 2012

Will the United States be prepared if Cuba’s new offshore rigs spill oil into US waters?

To address this question, personnel from the U.S. Coast Guard and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) completed a review today of the offshore oil rig Scarabeo 9 following an invitation from the vessel’s operator, Repsol. While aboard the Scarabeo 9, personnel reviewed vessel construction, drilling equipment, and safety systems  in anticipation of the rig’s upcoming drilling operations in Cuba’s exclusive economic zone in the coming months.

According to the Coast Guard, the  review is “consistent with U.S. efforts to minimize the possibility of a major oil spill, which would hurt U.S. economic and environmental interests”. While US regulators exercise no legal or regulatory authority over the rig, the review compared the vessel with applicable international safety and security standards as well as U.S. standards for drilling units operating in the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf. U.S. personnel found the vessel to generally comply with existing international and U.S. standards by which Repsol has pledged to abide.

In anticipation of an increase in drilling activities in the Caribbean Basin and Gulf of Mexico, the United States is participating in multilateral discussions with the Cuba as well as other countries nearby including Bahamas, Jamaica and Mexico on issues including, drilling safety and oil spill preparedness. The Coast Guard views the cooperation as providing valuable information on each country’s spill response plans and capabilities. The Coast Guard is also working to update contingency plans for spills on international waters that could potentially affect U.S. waters and coastline.

In addition to international cooperation, the USCG and BSEE have involved more than 80 federal, state, local, and maritime industry representatives in spill response plans. The group held a table top exercise on Nov. 18, 2011 to address a hypothetical international spill off the coast of Florida. The exercise allowed participants to discuss sensitive environmental areas, planning strategies, likely issues and response coordination principles that responders would face, as well as gather additional information to use in future planning.

The USCG notes the review conducted today does not confer any form of certification or endorsement under U.S. or international law.

Related Articles:

  1. Want to drill in Cuban waters? Perhaps forget doing business in the United States then…
  2. Too Close For Comfort – U.S. To Inspect Cuban Rig
  3. Oil Spill-Containment Companies: So can we operate in Cuban waters?
  4. US Completes Review of Drilling Rig Headed for Cuba
  5. Coast Guard Prepares for International Offshore Drilling Close to our Shores

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Norway: Statoil Steps Up Technology Efforts to Increase Production

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Norway’s Statoil has singled out four business critical technologies as key to achieving the company’s growth ambitions. Statoil is boosting its R&D investments by 27% and starting to plan Norway’s biggest centre for IOR technology.

In the period up to 2020 Statoil will maintain a high level of production on the Norwegian continental shelf while doubling its international production.

“The oil and gas industry is facing new technological challenges that differ from those we have dealt with so far. We will find the resources of the future at great oceanic depths, in arctic areas where the conditions are extreme, and in new resources such as shale gas and shale oil for example. Statoil is well positioned to lead the continuing development of the oil and gas industry,” says Margareth Øvrum, executive vice president for Technology, Projects and Drilling.

Statoil is now stepping up its technology efforts in order to boost production, reduce energy consumption and support the company’s growth ambitions. Specifically this will mean tougher technology priorities, closer cooperation and the swifter implementation of technology.

Statoil’s new technology strategy builds on the company’s ambitions to boost production from 1.9 million barrels of oil equivalents per day in 2010 to 2.5 million boed in 2020.

The four prioritised technology areas are:

  • Seismic imaging and interpretation – will contribute to making further discoveries and boost the recovery rate by 2020.
  • Reservoir characterisation and recovery – to maximise value. Will contribute to the production a further 1.5 billion boed in reserves by 2020.
  • Efficient well construction – to drill more cost-efficient wells: 30% shorter time on well construction and 15% cost reduction by 2020.
  • Realise subsea compression by 2015 and complete a “subsea factory” by 2020 – to accelerate and boost production.

“We have identified four commercially critical technology areas where Statoil has a competitive advantage and where we have a long history of making the impossible possible. We have set ambitious targets for how technology will help us make further discoveries, boost recovery from existing fields, reduce costs and bring about operational improvements in health, environment and safety,” says Øvrum.

Statoil is increasing its concentration in R&D and IOR (Improved Oil Recovery).

“For 2012 we are increasing our R&D investments by 27% to NOK 2.8 billion. We are also planning for a further increase in our R&D activities going forward. In addition, we have specific plans to expand our R&D Centre at Rotvoll in Trondheim to provide room for Norway’s biggest IOR Centre,” says Øvrum.

“Our technology advances would not have been possible without the solutions developed by an innovative and dynamic supplier industry, as well as by universities and research institutes. In order to succeed in our four prioritised technology areas we require new solutions and closer cooperation with our suppliers, national and international research milieus, and other partners.”

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Brazil: DOF Extends Contract with OGX for AHTS Skandi Mogster

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DOF has agreed a new 2 year contract with OGX for Skandi Møgster in Brazil. The new contract with OGX will commence in March 2012.

Skandi Møgster, built by Kværner Kleven Leirvik in 1998, is an AHTS with 16.000 BHP and 192 T Bollard Pull.

The DOF group operates within three different segments in relation to strategic types of activities and vessel types. The groups technical diversified fleet consists of innovative vessels specialized for their operational purpose.

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Chavez Moves toward Military Dictatorship, State Sponsor of Terror Status

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Ray Walser
January 9, 2012 at 3:30 pm

As he readied for the visit of a close ally, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez undertook a cabinet shuffle in the fashion of the defunct Soviet politburo. Before Christmas, he announced a pending reassignment of his Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro, Vice President Elias Jaua, and Interior Minister Tareck El-Assami to state governor candidate status. He elevated Congressman Diosdado Cabello, an influential former soldier, to head the ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela, or PSUV. On January 6, Chavez named Henry de Jesus Rangel Silva, former director of Venezuela’s … More

‘US builds hospitals in Georgia, readies for war with Iran’

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The United States is sponsoring the construction of facilities in Georgia on the threshold of a military conflict in Iran, a member of Georgian opposition movement Public Assembly, Elizbar Javelidze has stated.

According to the academician, that explains why President Mikhail Saakashvili is roaming the republic opening new hospitals in its regions.

“These are 20-bed hospitals…It’s an American project. A big war between the US and Iran is beginning in the Persian Gulf. $5 billion was allocated for the construction of these 20-bed military hospitals,” Javelidze said in an interview with Georgian paper Kviris Kronika (News of the Week), as cited by Newsgeorgia website.

The opposition member stated that the construction is mainly paid from the American pocket.

In addition, airports are being briskly built in Georgia and there are talks of constructing a port for underwater vessels in Kulevi on the eastern Black Sea coast in Georgia.

Javelidze believes that it is all linked to the deployment of US military bases on the Georgian soil. Lazika – one of Saakashvili’s mega-projects, a new city that will be built from a scratch – will be “an American military town”. According to the politician, “a secret airdrome” has already been erected in the town of Marneuli, southern Georgia.

The opposition member wondered who would protect Georgia in case if Iran fires its missiles against US military facilities on the territory of the Caucasian state.

All in all, about 30 new hospitals and medical centers were opened in the former Soviet republic in December last year. The plan is to build over a hundred more.

As for Lazika, the Georgian president announced his ambitious idea to build a second-largest city in Georgia, its western economic and trade center, at the end of 2011. According to the plan – which was slammed by his opponents and many analysts – Saakashvili’s dream-town will become home to at least half a million people within a decade.)

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