Daily Archives: March 21, 2012
The purchase price is $40 million in cash. Ocean Columbia is a LeTourneau Class 82 SD-C jack-up drilling rig registered and flagged in the Marshall Islands. Subject to customary closing conditions, the Company expects the acquisition to close in May 2012.
“Hercules approached us with an offer to acquire the Ocean Columbia, and we found the terms to be compelling,” said Larry Dickerson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Offshore. “We are principally a floater company, and this transaction will further augment our funds for potential investments in deepwater and ultra-deepwater assets.”
Saudi Aramco contract
Hercules Offshore also announced that it has entered into a three-year drilling contract with Saudi Aramco for the use of the Ocean Columbia. Over this three-year period, the Company expects to generate total revenues of $160.0 million, including a lump-sum mobilization fee, assuming a utilization rate of 98% for the rig. Under the drilling contract, Saudi Aramco has the option to extend the term for an additional one-year period. Prior to commencing work under the contract, the Company expects to spend approximately $45.0 million for repairs, upgrades and other contract specific refurbishments to the rig and to mobilize the rig from the Gulf of Mexico to the Middle East. The Company expects the rig to commence work under the contract in November 2012.
- Hercules sees more rigs in GOM (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Fairstar FJELL to Carry Hercules 185 Jack-up Back to West Africa (mb50.wordpress.com)
- How Will Hercules Offshore Do in 2012? (dailyfinance.com)
- The Best Offshore Drilling Stock (dailyfinance.com)
Vantage Drilling Company has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the rights and obligations under the construction contract for the ultra-deepwater drillship known as Dragonquest from Valencia Drilling Corporation, a Marshall Islands corporation for a purchase price of approximately $164 million.
Upon closing of this transaction the Company will be responsible for funding the remaining construction-related payments for the Dragonquest. In addition, Vantage has agreed to pay up to $5 million of Valencia’s costs and expenses at closing. The closing of the acquisition is subject to specified closing conditions.
The Dragonquest was constructed at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd. (“DSME”) in Okpo, Korea. Construction has been completed on the vessel, and upon delivery of the Dragonquest and the closing of the transaction, Vantage will be required to make expenditures for the final construction payment, project costs, equipment, and spares, and the total delivered, in-service cost of the project, including the purchase price under the agreement with Valencia, totaling approximately $800 million. The closing of the transaction and the delivery of the Dragonquest are currently expected to take place in April 2012.
Paul A. Bragg, the Company’s Chairman and CEO, commented, “We are excited to acquire the Dragonquest as we continue to build one of the most modern and technologically advanced offshore drilling fleets in the world, and expect to complete the acquisition and take delivery of the rig in the coming weeks.
“We have managed the project since its inception in 2008, so we have the highest confidence in the quality and capabilities of the asset we are buying.”
Upon delivery, the Dragonquest is expected to be deployed in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, pursuant to an eight-year contract with Petrobras. Bragg continued, “Beginning in the third quarter of 2012, we expect the Dragonquest to generate $140 to $150 million of EBITDA per year or approximately $1.2 billion over the life of this contract.”
The Dragonquest is equipped for drilling in water depths of up to 10,000 feet, with a total vertical drilling depth capacity of up to 40,000 feet. The Dragonquest’s hull design has a variable deck load of approximately 20,000 tons and measures 781 feet long by 137 feet wide.
- USA: Vantage Drilling Reports Record Revenues (mb50.wordpress.com)
- South Korea: Seadrill Confirms Samsung Drillships Contracts (mb50.wordpress.com)
- USA: Pacific Santa Ana Drillship Hits the Water (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Pacific Scirocco Drillship Begins Work in Nigeria (mb50.wordpress.com)
- South Korea: Pacific Drilling Extends Option for its 7th Drillship (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Domino-1: Romania’s First Deepwater Exploration Well (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Deepsea Metro II Drillship Arrives in South Africa (mb50.wordpress.com)
Scientists recently concluded an expedition aboard the research vessel JOIDES Resolution to learn more about Atlantis Massif, an undersea mountain, or seamount, that formed in a very different way than the majority of the seafloor in the oceans.
Unlike volcanic seamounts, which are made of the basalt that’s typical of most of the seafloor, Atlantis Massif includes rock types that are usually only found much deeper in the ocean crust, such as gabbro and peridotite.
The expedition, known as Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) Expedition 340T, marks the first time the geophysical properties of gabbroic rocks have successfully been measured directly in place, rather than via remote techniques such as seismic surveying.
With these measurements in hand, scientists can now infer how these hard-to-reach rocks will “look” on future seismic surveys, making it easier to map out geophysical structures beneath the seafloor.
“This is exciting because it means that we may be able to use seismic survey data to infer the pattern of seawater circulation within the deeper crust,” says Donna Blackman of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif., co-chief scientist for Expedition 340T.
“This would be a key step for quantifying rates and volumes of chemical, possibly biological, exchange between the oceans and the crust.”
As the tectonic plates separate, new crust is formed at the spreading center and a combination of stretching, faulting and the intrusion of magma from below shape the new seafloor.
Periods of reduced magma supplied from the underlying mantle result in the development of long-lived, large faults. Deep portions of the crust shift upward along these faults and may be exposed at the seafloor.
This process results in the formation of an oceanic core complex, or OCC, and is similar to the processes that formed the Basin and Range province of the Southwest United States.
“Recent discoveries from scientific ocean drilling have underlined that the process of creating new oceanic crust at seafloor spreading centers is complex,” says Jamie Allan, IODP program director at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), which co-funds the program.
“This work significantly adds to our ability to infer ocean crust structure and composition, including predicting how ocean crust has ‘aged’ in an area,” says Allan, “thereby giving us new tools for understanding ocean crust creation from Earth’s mantle.”
Atlantis Massif is a classic example of an oceanic core complex.
Because it’s relatively young–formed within the last million years–it’s an ideal place, scientists say, to study how the interplay between faulting, magmatism and seawater circulation influences the evolution of an OCC within the crust.
“Vast ocean basins cover most of the Earth, yet their crust is formed in a narrow zone,” says Blackman. “We’re studying that source zone to understand how rifting and magmatism work together to form a new plate.”
The JOIDES Resolution first visited Atlantis Massif about seven years ago; the science team on that expedition measured properties in gabbro.
But they focused on a shallower section, where pervasive seawater circulation had weathered the rock and changed its physical properties.
For the current expedition, the team did not drill new holes.
Rather, they lowered instruments into a deep existing hole drilled on a previous expedition, and made measurements from inside the hole.
The new measurements, at depths between 800 and 1,400 meters (about 2,600-4,600 feet) below the seafloor, include only a few narrow zones that had been altered by seawater circulation and/or by fault slip deformation.
The rest of the measurements focused on gabbroic rocks that have remained unaltered thus far.
The properties measured in the narrow zones of altered rock differ from the background properties measured in the unaltered gabbroic rocks.
The team found small differences in temperature next to two sub-seafloor faults, which suggests a slow percolation of seawater within those zones.
There were also significant differences in the speed at which seismic waves travel through the altered vs. unaltered zones.
“The expedition was a great opportunity to ground-truth our recent seismic analysis,” says Alistair Harding, also from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and a co-chief scientist for Expedition 340T.
“It also provides vital baseline data for further seismic work aimed at understanding the formation and alteration of the massif.”
The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP) is an international research program dedicated to advancing scientific understanding of the Earth through drilling, coring and monitoring the subseafloor.
The JOIDES Resolution is a scientific research vessel managed by the U.S. Implementing Organization of IODP (USIO). Texas A&M University, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University and the Consortium for Ocean Leadership comprise the USIO.
Two lead agencies support the IODP: the U.S. National Science Foundation and Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.
Additional program support comes from the European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling, the Australia-New Zealand IODP Consortium, India’s Ministry of Earth Sciences, the People’s Republic of China’s Ministry of Science and Technology, and the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources.
Robert Drummond, president of Schlumberger North America, (left) talks about his company as Jeremy Aumaugher, south division operations manager, listens to questions about expansion of their business to support clients in the Eagle Ford Shale.
Photo: TOM REEL, San Antonio Express-News / San Antonio Express-NewsBy Vicki Vaughan Updated 12:26 p.m., Thursday, March 8, 2012
Schlumberger, the world’s largest oil-field services company, threw open the doors Wednesday to its new operations plant in southern Bexar County, where it was drawn by proximity to the Eagle Ford Shale.
“This is a big deal for us,” Robert Drummond, president of Schlumberger North America, said as he stood before shiny trucks in a spic-and-span warehouse that’s part of a $19 million investment.
The new facility is a critical addition to Schlumberger’s south division operations, which encompasses the New Mexico, West Texas and South Texas, he said.
Construction of the company facilities, which occupy three sites on Fischer Road near the intersection of Interstate 35 South and Loop 410, began in December 2010, company officials said.
Schlumberger — which is based in Houston, Paris and The Hague, Netherlands — employs almost 400 in the San Antonio area, a total that is likely to grow to 500 employees in the coming months, officials said.
San Antonio’s nearness to the shale has meant that the company hasn’t had a problem recruiting employees, whose work ethic “is excellent,” Drummond said.
The South Bexar facility employs managers, engineers, health and safety employees, equipment operators, maintenance and electronic technicians, and laboratory workers.
Salaries at the operations center range from $25,000 to $85,000 a year, said Jeremy Aumaugher, south division operations manager for pressure pumping. Employees also are eligible for performance bonuses, he said.
However, some employees may work 60 hours a week or more and be away from home for periods of time, Aumaugher said.
The company’s biggest labor needs are for truck drivers, while mechanics and electronic technicians make up another key category, he said.
“We’re in competition, obviously, with others who do the same work as us,” Drummond said. “We want to be the employer of choice in North America, meaning not only (in) compensation but work conditions, facilities and safety environment.”
Schlumberger’s center will handle its customers’ demands for pressure pumping, which is used to enhance the flow of oil and natural gas in hydraulic fracturing. It also will provide cementing services, a process used to surround a well’s casing, or pipe.
Schlumberger’s operations occupy 60 acres. One facility occupies a 35-acre site that includes bays for maintaining, fueling and washing trucks. There’s a 15-acre bulk plant capable of storing 20 million pounds of sand for use in hydraulic fracturing, a cement blending area, a 39,028-square-foot warehouse, a laboratory and a support and training facility on 10 acres.
At a ceremony Wednesday at Schlumberger, Economic Development Foundation Chairman Henry Cisneros said: “This is a great, global company doing important work. The more you can succeed here, it is ‘mission accomplished’ for us.”
As drilling in the Eagle Ford Shale has exploded, a number of oil-field services companies have established a presence in the region, including Houston-based Halliburton Co. and Baker Hughes Inc., Switzerland-based Weatherford International Inc. and Canada-based Sanjel.
In addition, a number of oil production companies drilling in the Eagle Ford Shale have opened offices in San Antonio.
- Eagle Ford construction is booming – San Antonio Express-News (wpvins.wordpress.com)
The vessel will be 106.5 m long and 24.5 m wide with a top speed of over 17 knots.
This subsea vessel will be equipped with three ROVs: one for observation and two for operation. It will also have an Module Handling System.
Onboard the vessel will be a 100-tonne AHC (Active Heave Compensated) offshore crane. The crane will be used mainly for lifting/lowering heavy equipment from/to the sea bottom.
The vessel will able to carry out demanding operations even under harsh weather conditions.
- Norway: NPD Supports Statoil’s New Rig Concept for Subsea Wells (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Norway: Ulstein Launches New Platform Supply Vessel for Blue Ship Invest (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Helix Orders Semi-Sub Well Intervention Rig in Singapore (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Helix Well Ops UK Completes Well Intervention in West Africa (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Swire Acquires Norway’s Subsea Specialist (mb50.wordpress.com)
“The dynamic modeling and reservoir optimization software of SPT Group will complement the existing Schlumberger production software portfolio,” said Tony Bowman, President, Schlumberger Information Solutions (SIS). “In combination with the Petrel* E&P software platform and other SIS technologies, this will enable customers to further optimize production from reservoir performance to processing facilities.”
“This is a great testament to our employees and a remarkable opportunity for the company,” commented Tom Even Mortensen, Chief Executive Officer of SPT Group. He continued, “Combining the skills, abilities, presence and technologies of the two companies will further increase the scale of our activities and enable continued delivery of products and services with the quality and pace the market demands.”
SPT Group Chairman and Altor Partner Reynir Indahl added, “We are proud to have developed a very successful company together with SPT Group management, and believe that Schlumberger will be a great home for SPT and its employees.”
SPT Group, founded in 1971, is headquartered in Norway and employs approximately 280 people in 11 countries worldwide. The company is a leader in dynamic modeling of multiphase flow and reservoir optimization through renowned software products and a global team of professional consultants. SPT Group has invested more than most comparable firms in developing cutting-edge technology. The company’s employees, global presence, close ties to industry research environments, and clear focus on customer needs have been important factors in its success.
- Schlumberger opens base in Bexar (mysanantonio.com)
“This will boost our presence in Northern Norway and help ensure added value from the Northern fields in the future. Ever since the merger in 2007, and the setting up of Operations North in Stjørdal, we have expressed our intention of establishing a new operational area in the North when activities and materiality justified such an industrial decision – and we are now seeing that level of activity,” states Statoil CEO Helge Lund.
Lund adds that there are also expectations of further activities in Northern Norway, owing to the increase in exploration in newly opened acreage, and in areas expected to be made available to the petroleum industry; initially the Barents Sea, and subsequently areas in the north-eastern Norwegian Sea.
Increased activity in Northern Norway
To begin with the new operational area will be responsible for the already operative Norne and Snøhvit fields, as well as for the Åsta Hansteen field, for which a decision will be taken later this year. In due course the Skrugard/Havis field will also report to the new operational area, which will be managed along similar lines and carry the same executive authority as other operational areas.
Meanwhile, it is the intention to locate the Åsta Hansteen field’s operational organisation in Harstad, the supply base in Sandnessjøen and the helicopter base in Brønnøysund. These choices have been made after consultation with the partners on the field and final decisions here will be taken in connection with the impact assessment study.
“In wishing to base the Åsta Hansteen operational organisation in Harstad, we are envisaging the possibility of synergy effects obtained from a joint localisation with the Norne field. A new operational organisation will also boost competence and enhance the specialist milieus in Harstad,” says the executive vice president for Development and Production Norway, Øystein Michelsen.
The creation of this new area of operations will entail an increase in the number of employees at the Harstad office. Once the decision on Åsta Hansteen is taken, more employees will join the new area; overall the increase is likely to amount to some 30-50 persons.
Work on the detailed planning of the new operational area in Northern Norway is now getting under way. The area will commence its operations in the course of the first half of 2013.
- Norway: NPD Supports Statoil’s New Rig Concept for Subsea Wells (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Norway: EMAS AMC Wins Fram SURF Deal from Statoil (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Dockwise Vanguard Booked to Transport Statoil’s Aasta Hansteen Spar (gcaptain.com)
- Norway: Technip Participates in Statoil’s Vilje and Visund Developments (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Aker Solutions to Design World’s Largest Spar Platform for Statoil (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Norway: DOF Subsea to Provide Offshore Survey & Construction Services to Statoil (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Major Oil And Gas Finds In northern Europe (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Norway: Statoil Steps Up Technology Efforts to Increase Production (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Norway: Aker Solutions Delivers Subsea Templates for Skuld Fast-Track Development (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Norway has SERIOUS gas…Like 60 Billion Cubic Meters Of It. (gcaptain.com)