Daily Archives: March 15, 2012
Namibia: BP Joins Serica in Exploration Offshore Namibia
Serica Energy plc announces that, subject to the consent of the Ministry of Mines and Energy in Namibia, BP will be joining Serica in the exploration of Licence 0047 offshore Namibia by farming-in to Serica’s interest.
The Licence, comprising Blocks 2512A, 2513A, 2513B and 2612A (part), was recently awarded to Serica Energy Namibia B.V. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Serica) and covers an area of approximately 17,400 square kilometres in the deep water central Luderitz Basin. Serica currently has an 85% interest in the blocks. Its partners are the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (Pty) Limited (“NAMCOR”) (10%) and Indigenous Energy (Pty) Limited (“IEPL”) (5%). Both NAMCOR’s and IEPL’s interests are carried by Serica for prescribed work programmes.
Under the transaction, BP will pay to Serica a sum covering Serica’s past costs and earn a 30% interest in the Licence by meeting the full cost of an extensive 3D seismic survey. As a result of the farm-out, Serica’s interest in the Licence following completion of the seismic survey will be 55%. Serica has also announced today that it has signed a contract with Polarcus Seismic Limited to acquire up to 4,150 square kilometres of 3D seismic across the Licence .
The deep water geological basins offshore Namibia, including the Luderitz Basin, are at the early frontier stage of exploration. Although the presence of very large structures have been shown to exist from seismic surveys, very few wells have been drilled in the deeper water Namibian basins to date and the full hydrocarbon potential of the area has not yet been fully tested. Water depths in Serica’s Luderitz Basin blocks range from 300 to 3,000 metres. Drilling in these depths of water, whilst becoming more commonplace in the industry, requires sophisticated drilling techniques and equipment and is very costly.
Serica has therefore granted an option for BP to increase its interest in the Licence by meeting the full cost of drilling and testing an exploration well to the Barremian level before the end of the first four year exploration period. In the event that this option is exercised, Serica’s interest in the Licence will be 17.5% carried through the first well, which will have very considerable value if the exploration drilling is successful.
Serica will continue to be the operator of the Licence during the initial seismic period with BP taking over as operator if it exercises its option to drill and test a well.
Tony Craven Walker, Serica’s Chairman and Interim Chief Executive said:
“Serica’s licence interests in the emerging Atlantic margin basins offshore Ireland, Morocco and Namibia are attracting growing industry interest. In Namibia we recognise the benefits of having a partner who brings technical and development expertise to the group to complement Serica’s early stage exploration capability.
We are therefore very pleased that BP has decided to join Serica and its partners in the exploration of the Luderitz Basin blocks. The blocks, located in the centre of the largely unexplored Luderitz Basin, cover a very large area and contain multiple play types with considerable potential. We were awarded the blocks only two months ago and, with BP now participating in the exploration effort, we are able to make a very fast start to what is likely to be a considerable and potentially very rewarding exploration programme.”
- French Guiana: Shell to Begin Guyane Drilling in Mid 2012 (mb50.wordpress.com)
- ANCAP Reveals Ronda Uruguay II Winners (mb50.wordpress.com)
- BP Acquires New Offshore Acreage in Brazil (mb50.wordpress.com)
USA: Vantage Drilling Reports Record Revenues
Offshore drilling contractor, Vantage Drilling Company, reports a net loss of $9.3 million for the 4th quarter, 2011 as compared to a net loss of $13.0 million for the 4th quarter, 2010.
Net loss for the full year, 2011 was $54.8 million, excluding approximately $25.2 million of charges for the early retirement of debt as compared to a loss of $19.8 million in the prior year period, excluding approximately $27.8 million of acquisition and refinancing charges. Including the acquisition and refinancing charges, Vantage reported a net loss $80.0 million for the full year 2011 as compared to a net loss of $47.6 million in 2010.
The company reported record revenues of $485 million for full year 2011 compared to $278 million in 2010.
Paul Bragg, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are very pleased to announce record annual revenues and income from operations. Vantage continues to deliver operational excellence. Our jackup fleet had outstanding productive time for the year in excess of 99% and the Platinum Explorer completed its initial year of operations with productive time in excess of 92%. Market conditions are improving, particularly for new, modern rigs like ours.”
Vantage, a Cayman Islands exempted company, is an offshore drilling contractor, with an owned fleet of four Baker Marine Pacific Class 375 ultra-premium jackup drilling rigs and the ultra-deepwater drillship, the Platinum Explorer, as well as an additional ultra-deepwater drillship, the Tungsten Explorer, now under construction. Vantage’s primary business is to contract drilling units, related equipment and work crews primarily on a dayrate basis to drill oil and natural gas wells. Vantage also provides construction supervision services for, and will operate and manage, drilling units owned by others. Through its fleet of seven owned and managed drilling units, Vantage is a provider of offshore contract drilling services globally to major, national and large independent oil and natural gas companies.
- USA: Pacific Santa Ana Drillship Hits the Water (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Pacific Scirocco Drillship Begins Work in Nigeria (mb50.wordpress.com)
- South Korea: Seadrill Confirms Samsung Drillships Contracts (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Odfjell Offshore Raising up to $500M to Develop Fleet (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Atwood Beacon to Drill Offshore Israel (mb50.wordpress.com)
- CGX Begins Drilling Offshore Guyana (mb50.wordpress.com)
- USA: Aker Solutions to Open Hi-Tech Drilling Equipment Simulator in – Houston (mb50.wordpress.com)
Recap: Worldwide Field Development News (Mar 9 – Mar 15, 2012)
|This week the SubseaIQ team added 9 new projects and updated 27 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.|
- Recap: Worldwide Field Development News (Mar 2 – Mar 8, 2012) (mb50.wordpress.com)
- The Smallcap Oil & Gas round up (brokermandaniel.com)
- USA: FMC Technologies Provides Subsea Systems for Anadarko’s Lucius Field (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Lucius: Deepwater Gulf of Mexico (mb50.wordpress.com)
- ExxonMobil Awards Technip GoM Subsea Contract (mb50.wordpress.com)
- USA: Anadarko, Partners Give Nod for Lucius Project in Deepwater GoM (mb50.wordpress.com)
- USA: Aker Solutions to Provide Umbilicals for Anadarko’s Lucius Development (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Recap: Worldwide Field Development News (Jan 27 – Feb 2, 2012) (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Australia: Heerema Wins Subsea Installation Contract for Ichthys Project (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Recap: Worldwide Field Development News (Feb 10 – Feb 16, 2012) (mb50.wordpress.com)
Norway: NPD Supports Statoil’s New Rig Concept for Subsea Wells
The NPD encourages licensees in Statoil-operated production licences to support Statoil’s plans for using a new type of rig that is specially adapted for maintenance of subsea wells.
A letter sent to the relevant companies points out that recovery from producing fields is an important commitment area for the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate. An increasing percentage of the oil production on the Norwegian shelf comes from subsea wells, and the number of wells is increasing. The NPD has noted that it could be challenging to both drill new sidetracks from the subsea wells and carry out maintenance.
“That is why the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate is concerned with finding good solutions that can contribute to maintaining or increasing production from subsea wells,” says Torsten Bertelsen, director responsible for the Norwegian Sea and Barents Sea.
Statoil has long worked on a new type of rig for subsea wells, a so-called category B rig. It is permanently equipped for cables, coiled tubing and slim hole drilling and is specially adapted to well intervention campaigns. This type of rig can be used on multiple fields with subsea wells.
Use of such a rig will contribute to improve rig capacity, increase the number of subsea wells and thus improve recovery from subsea wells.
In the letter to the licensees the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate asks the companies to support Statoil’s project or to present alternative measures or projects that can yield similar effects.
“A cooperation on the new rig type across production licences is considered good resource management,” says Bertelsen.
- Norway: EMAS AMC Wins Fram SURF Deal from Statoil (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Norway: Statoil Orders Subsea Structures for Asgard (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Norway: Technip to Install Subsea Compression System on Asgard (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Statoil Introduces New “Cat J” Jackup Rig for Norwegian Continental Shelf + [VIDEO] (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Helix Orders Semi-Sub Well Intervention Rig in Singapore (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Norway: DOF Subsea to Provide Offshore Survey & Construction Services to Statoil (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Norway: Statoil Steps Up Technology Efforts to Increase Production (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Recap: Worldwide Field Development News (Mar 2 – Mar 8, 2012) (mb50.wordpress.com)
Exposing the 2 percent oil reserves mythInstitute for Energy Research
“The United States holds only 2% of the planet’s proven oil reserves,” President Barack Obama[i]
According to President Obama, the United States contains only 2 percent of the planet’s proven oil reserves, Of course, he’s right — to a point. In classic fashion, he’s using a technicality to skirt the facts and keep the myth of energy scarcity alive. The reality is that the U.S. has enough recoverable oil for the next 200 years, despite only having 2 percent of the world’s current proven oil reserves.
Proven oil reserves are not all of our oil resources—not even close. In fact, proved reserves represent a tiny portion of our total oil resources. Proven (or proved) oil reserves are reserves that have already been discovered, typically through actual exploration or drilling, and which can be recovered economically. That estimate does not include oil that we know about, yet are unable to access because of regulatory barriers. For example, the billions of barrels of oil in ANWR are not included in our proved oil reserves. So let’s look at the facts.
Currently, the United States has 1,442 billion barrels of technically recoverable oil, but only about 20 billion barrels are considered proven oil reserves.[ii] That is partly because the federal government is denying access to hundreds of millions of acres oil-rich federal lands: the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge, the Naval Petroleum Reserve-Alaska, federal waters off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, at least 45 percent of the Gulf of Mexico, the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas, and oil shale on federal lands in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming, to name a few. In the case of oil shale (an oil composed of kerogen), technology needs to be perfected to make its production viable, but this will not happen until the land is leased. Regrettably, the Department of Interior has stopped a leasing program Congress directed it to undertake.
Proved Oil Reserves Are Not Static
Let’s take a look at history. In 1944, U.S. proven oil reserves were 20 billion barrels — about the same as they are today. Yet, between 1945 and 2010, the United States produced 167 billion barrels of oil. In other words, the United States produced over 8 times more oil than the amount of proven oil reserves it had in 1944. How can that be? The answer is that proven oil reserves are not stagnant because people keep looking for oil. Proven oil reserves keep changing, are officially recorded every year, tallied country by country, and published in the Oil and Gas Journal, among other publications. And due to U.S. entrepreneurship and ingenuity, more reserves are found and proven each year.
What happens is one or more of the following: 1) technology is found that converts hard-to-produce resources into proven reserves, 2) oil prices increase to allow more expensive types of oil to be produced, and/or 3) companies are able to purchase additional leases and explore for new basins of oil. An example of the first case where technology enables oil resources to become proven reserves is hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling used to produce shale oil resources, most notably in North Dakota. North Dakota now ranks third among the states in oil production.[iii] Its proven reserves have increased 25-fold in 13 years, and are likely to grow much larger. An identical increase from the rest of the United States would result in US reserves of 500 billion barrels, or almost twice those of Saudi Arabia.
What Does More Recent Data Look Like?
So, is this an historic anomaly? No. Let’s look at more recent data. In 1980, according to the Energy Information Administration, the United States had 31.3 billion barrels of proven oil reserves. However, between 1980 and 2010, the United States produced 77.8 billion barrels of oil and still had 20.7 billion barrels of oil reserves left. In other words, between 1980 and 2010, the United States produced 2.5 times the amount of oil as it has proven oil reserves in 1980.
Conventional and Unconventional Oil
Proven oil reserve data for the most part are comprised of conventional oil resources. Yet, today unconventional sources of oil are being produced. For example, Canada has proven reserves of conventional oil of only 5 billion barrels, but has 170 billion barrels of oil sands–a heavy oil whose production is based on unconventional technology –either by open pit mining or in-situ techniques, which reduce the viscosity of the oil by injecting steam and/or hot air into the oil sands. Canada’s proven oil reserves are officially set at 175 billion barrels, because it requested that oil sands be included in its proven oil reserve estimate. Canada now ranks third in the world in proven reserves, behind Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.[iv]
Proven oil reserves are not stagnant. They are continually changing as companies explore, find and produce oil. Declaring that “the U.S. has only 2% of the world’s oil is akin to saying that the only gasoline we will have is that which is in our tanks.” The president should know better, and if he does not, his Secretaries of Energy and Interior should tell him.
So, what can be done to increase our oil reserves? First and foremost, the United States needs to open more federal lands and waters to oil leases. Currently, only about 3 percent of government property is leased for finding energy. Once that is done, American ingenuity will take over to explore and produce those resources. ”According to a Gallup poll, an overwhelming number of consumers — 85% — say Obama and Congress should take “immediate” action to keep a lid on (gasoline) prices.”[v]
It is time our government stops misleading the American public and starts owning up to the reality of our energy situation – we are a nation rich in energy resources with poor policies that do not allow us to access them.
Exposing the 2 percent oil reserves mythInstitute for Energy Research | Institute for Energy Research.
- Big Lies on Big Oil (gompsparky.wordpress.com)
- President Obama’s Energy Lies (inquisitr.com)
- Big Lies on Big Oil – David Limbaugh – Townhall Conservative Columnists (gds44.wordpress.com)
- Will Release of Strategic Oil Reserves Matter? (247wallst.com)