Daily Archives: April 26, 2012

U.S. Department of Labor backtracks about child labor on farms


by Monica Wheelus

Late this afternoon the Labor Department issued this statement concerning youth working on farms:

“The Obama Administration is firmly committed to promoting family farmers and respecting the rural way of life, especially the role that parents and other family members play in passing those traditions down through the generations. The Obama Administration is also deeply committed to listening and responding to what Americans across the country have to say about proposed rules and regulations. As a result, the Department of Labor is announcing today the withdrawal of the proposed rule dealing with children under the age of 16 who work in agricultural vocations. The decision to withdraw this rule – including provisions to define the ‘parental exemption’ – was made in response to thousands of comments expressing concerns about the effect of the proposed rules on small family-owned farms. To be clear, this regulation will not be pursued for the duration of the Obama Administration. Instead, the Departments of Labor and Agriculture will work with rural stakeholders – such as the American Farm Bureau Federation, the National Farmers Union, the Future Farmers of America, and 4-H – to develop an educational program to reduce accidents to young workers and promote safer agricultural working practices.”

For those that didn’t hear about this controversial bit of legislation.  It would have prohibited anyone under the age of 16 from working in agriculture.  This included the family farm.  Young people across the country would have also not been able to engage in anything related to agriculture that could be deemed as “labor”.  This could have included many projects for 4H and FFA, such as livestock and horticulture.  Millions of dollars in money and scholarships related to these projects are awarded across the United States.  Not being able to participate in this type of activity until the age of 16 would have devastated that aspect of the industry and hindered many from attaining a higher education.

It just isn’t always possible for a farmer or rancher to pay the cost of their child’s tuition.  Family farms are not multimillion dollar operations like the corporations own.  They need the entire family to keep things afloat from year to year and season to season.  They want their children to be educated and come home to help run the business.  It is a business for the family, but it is also a way of life.

Recent rising costs of fuel and supplies have stretched the farm budgets to a breaking point and many are having to sell out just to get out of debt. With the smaller family run farms becoming fewer and fewer, this removal of a large portion of the workforce could have been the nail in the proverbial coffin.

Note: This is not over. It was a strategy to temporarily relieve political pressure. Pay special attention to Agenda 21 and the upcoming Rio+20 meeting.


Recap: Worldwide Field Development News (Apr 20 – Apr 26, 2012)


This week the SubseaIQ team added 8 new projects and updated 29 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.

MEO Renews WA-360-P Permit
Apr 24, 2012 – Permit WA-360-P was renewed for an additional five years, and MEO’s participating interest officially increased to 62.5 percent. MEO reported that early interpretation of 3D data has confirmed the presence of the Maxwell prospect.
Eni Preps to Drill Heron Well
Apr 24, 2012 – Eni is preparing to drill the new Heron well – Heron South-1 – in permit NT/P68. The ENSCO 109 (350′ ILC) jackup is scheduled to arrive between mid-July and mid-August. Heron is located in NT/P68 permit in the Bonaparte Basin offshore Australia.
Project Details: Heron
Origin Connects Accommodation, Controls Module to Yolla A Platform
Apr 23, 2012 – Origin advises that the Yolla Mid-Life Enhancement project has reached a major milestone with the successful lifting and connection of the new accommodation and controls module to the Yolla A platform in Bass Strait. The operator commented that the installation of the accommodation module and associated controls equipment paves the way for further critical work on the construction program. This will include the lifting into place of the compression and condensate pump modules in coming weeks, followed by commissioning works to complete Stage 1 of the MLE project. The joint venture is targeting to restart production from Yolla in July, with project commissioning and completion during September. Evaluation of the program for Stage 2 of the BassGas MLE project continues. This will include the drilling of the Yolla 5 and Yolla 6 development wells and is currently expected to be undertaken during the summer of 2013/2014.
Project Details: BassGas Project
Origin Spuds Thistle-1 Well Offshore Australia
Apr 20, 2012 – Origin Energy has spud the Thistle-1 exploration well using the Stena Clyde (mid-water semisub). The planned total depth of the well is 8,396 feet (2,559 meters). Thistle is located in permit VIC/P43, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) north-northwest of the Geographe gas field.
Project Details: Thistle
S. America – Brazil
OGX Strikes Again in Shallow Waters of Campos Basin
Apr 26, 2012 – OGX has identified the presence of hydrocarbons in carbonate reservoirs in the Albian section of well 1-OGX-79-RJS in Block BM-C-39 in the shallow waters of the Campos Basin. A hydrocarbon column of approximately 492 feet (150 meters) was encountered in carbonate reservoirs of the Albian section with about 210 feet (64 meters) of net pay. The drilling of well OGX-79, known as Itacoatiara, was concluded, reaching a final depth of 6,660 feet (2,030 meters). OGX said that this accumulation, Itacoatiara (OGX-79), expands the Waikiki Complex, and together with the Tubarao Martelo field and Pero and Inga accumulations. Drill stem tests will be conducted to obtain more information on this accumulation. The proximity of Itacoatiara accumulation to the other Waikiki Complex accumulations, a distance of about 2 miles (4 kilometers), facilitates their integration and development, in addition to accelerating the monetization of the discovered resources. The ENSCO 5004 (mid-water semisub) drilled the well in a water depth of 335 feet (102 meters).
Project Details: Itacoatiara
OGX Declares Waikiki Oil Field Commercial
Apr 25, 2012 – OGX has declared the Waikiki oil field commercial, making it the company’s first commercial declaration of an offshore oil discovery. The Waikiki field will be renamed Tubarao Martelo or Hammerhead Shark. The development plan for the oil field is being finalized and will be submitted to ANP soon. OGX estimates the field holds recoverable reserves of 285 million barrels of oil with production expected to start in the second half of 2013.
Project Details: Waikiki
OGX Places Order for Wellhead Platforms
Apr 20, 2012 – OGX has placed an order for the charter and construction of the Wellhead platforms 3 and 4, in addition to the already placed order for platforms 1 and 2 with Techint. WHPs 1 and 2 are scheduled for delivery in the first half of 2014 and are expected to be assigned to the Waimea and Waikiki fields offshore Brazil.
Africa – West
Hess Drills Hickory North Offshore Ghana
Apr 26, 2012 – Hess is currently drilling the Hickory North-1 well in the DWT/CTP license offshore Ghana. Results from this well are expected within the end of the second quarter of 2012. Hess operates the 518,921 acre (2,100 square kilometer) license with a 35 percent working interest. The Stena DrillMax (UDW drillship) is drilling the well.
Project Details: Hickory North
Statoil Enters Ghana Deepwater License
Apr 26, 2012 – Statoil has farmed into the Deepwater Tano/Cape Three Points license offshore Ghana, which is operated by Hess. Two wells have already been drilled in the DWT/CTP license with a third well, Hickory North-1, underway. Results from this well are expected within the end of second quarter of this year. Hess operates the 518,921 acre (2,100 square kilometer) license with a 90 percent working interest and carries Ghana National Petroleum Corporations (GNPC) costs through the exploration phase. Statoil will assume a 35 percent working interest in the license with Hess retaining a 55 percent working interest and GNPC holding the remaining 10 percent carried interest.
Project Details: Paradise
Afren Encounters Water-Bearing Reservoirs in Nunya
Apr 25, 2012 – Afren has encountered thick and high-quality water-bearing reservoirs in the Nunya-1x exploration well in the Keta block offshore Ghana. The objective of the well was to explore a large four-way dip closed Upper Cretaceous prospect. The well intersected 502 feet (153 meters) of very good quality sandstone reservoirs, however they were interpreted as water bearing. The well was drilled with the Transocean Marianas (DW semisub) to a total depth of 14,928 feet (4,550 meters) in a water depth of 5,535 feet (1,687 meters).
Project Details: Nunya
Europe – North Sea
Noreco Comes Up Dry at Eik
Apr 26, 2012 – Noreco has completed the drilling of wildcat well 7228/1-1 on the Eik prospect in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 5,486 feet (1,672 meters) in a water depth of 1,155 feet (352 meters). It was terminated in the Kobbe formation in Middle Triassic. The well’s primary exploration target was to prove petroleum in Jurassic and Triassic reservoir rocks (the Realgrunnen subgroup). The secondary exploration target was to prove petroleum in the Snadd and Kobbe formations of Late and Middle Triassic Age. The well encountered reservoir rocks with reservoir quality as expected in both exploration targets and with weak traces of petroleum in the main target. Data acquisition has been carried out, but all levels are water wet. The well is dry.
Project Details: Eik
EnQuest Increases its Stake in Kraken
Apr 26, 2012 – EnQuest has further increased its interest in the Kraken oil discovery to 60 percent. It is buying 15 percent of the project from venture partner First Oil, paying between $90 million and $144 million. Kraken is currently estimated to contain 167 million barrels of oil, following an independent assessment in March. EnQuest is now the operator and majority stakeholder in the oil field. Nautical has a 25 percent stake in the venture, while First Oil retains 15 percent.
Project Details: Kraken
RWE Successfully Appraises Zidane
Apr 26, 2012 – RWE Dea has found additional gas in the Zidane field in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. The operator said the gas discovery increases the total value of the license with preliminary estimates of the size of the discovery ranging between 4 and 13 Bcm of recoverable gas. The well encountered gas in a 459 feet (140 meter) column in the Fangst group, and hydrocarbon-bearing rocks in the secondary objectives. The well was drilled to a total vertical depth of 14,875 feet (4,534 meters) below the sea surface and terminated in the Early Jurassic Tilje formation. Water depth of the site is 1,309 feet (399 meters). RWE Dea plans to analyze the well results and move into the next phase of field development.
Project Details: Zidane
Centrica to Drill in PL 477
Apr 25, 2012 – The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has granted Centrica Resources a drilling permit for wellbore 6506/11-9 to be drilled by the West Alpha (mid-water semisub). The drilling program for wellbore 6506/11-9 S relates to the drilling of a wildcat well in Production License 477. This is the first well to be drilled in the license. Centrica Resources operates the license with a 40 percent stake; while Faroe holds 30 percent; and Suncor Energy holds 30 percent.
EnQuest to Appraise Kildrummy in 2012
Apr 25, 2012 – The Kildrummy discovery is estimated to contain 40 MMboe of original oil-in-place in excellent reservoir sands. EnQuest, the operator, plans to drill an appraisal well in 2012.
PSA Grants Wintershall Consent to Drill
Apr 25, 2012 – Wintershall has received consent to carry out exploratory drilling of well 33/6-4 with the Borgland Dolphin (mid-water semisub). Well 33/6-4 lies in Production License 370 in the northern part of the North Sea in a water depth of 1,076 feet (328 meters). Drilling operations are set to begin in mid-May and last about 46 days.
EnQuest Mulls Crawford Development Options
Apr 25, 2012 – EnQuest reported that it is evaluating development options for the Crawford field and expects to make a decision during 2012.
Project Details: Crawford
Premier Gets Govt Nod for Solan Development
Apr 25, 2012 – The Department of Energy and Climate Change has approved Premier’s Field Development Plan for the Solan field in the UK sector of the North Sea. The Premier-operated Solan field is expected to produce approximately 40 million barrels of oil with an estimated initial production rate of 24,000 bopd commencing in the fourth quarter of 2014. This is a significant project which will entail the drilling of four subsea wells (two producers and two water injectors) tied-back to a processing deck supported by a jacket. It is planned that the facilities will not be permanently manned after one year of operations. Oil will be stored in a subsea tank prior to being offloaded to shuttle tankers. Premier has entered into an agreement with Awilco Drilling for the provision of the WilPhoenix (mid-water semisub) for Solan drilling commencing in the second quarter of 2013. It is expected that the packages for the procurement and fabrication of the topsides and jacket will be awarded shortly to Burntisland Fabricators while the contract for the installation of the jacket, topsides and subsea tank has been awarded to Heerema.
Project Details: Solan
Buzzard Field Remains Shut-In
Apr 24, 2012 – Nexen’s Buzzard oil field remains shut-in after an incident that occurred on Saturday, April 21. The operator said repairs are on-going and production is expected to ramp up soon. A bearing failed Saturday morning on one of the gas compressors on the fourth platform.
Project Details: Buzzard
Islay Comes Online
Apr 24, 2012 – Total has commenced production at its Islay gas field in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. Lying in a water depth of 395 feet (120 meters), the field has estimated reserves of nearly 17 million barrels of oil equivalent and has already reached its expected production of 15,000 boepd. Islay’s single well is tied-back to the Alwyn North platform via existing subsea infrastructure.
Project Details: Greater Alwyn
RWE Dea Finds Gas near Heidrun Field
Apr 24, 2012 – The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate reported that a gas discovery of up to 13 Bcm of recoverable gas has been made near the Heidrun field through well 6507/7-15 S in the Norwegian Sea. The primary exploration target for the well was to prove petroleum in Middle Jurassic reservoir rocks in the Fangst group. The secondary exploration target was to prove petroleum in reservoir rocks from the Early Cretaceous Age in the Lange formation and Early Jurassic Age in the Tilje formation. The well was not formation-tested, but extensive data acquisition and sampling have been carried out which will provide valuable information for future production of the gas discoveries in the production license. The West Alpha (MW semisub) performed the drilling operations in a water depth of 1,300 feet (399 meters). The well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned.
Project Details: Heidrun
Agora O&G Increases Tybalt Stake
Apr 24, 2012 – Valiant Petroleum has signed a farm-out agreement with Agora Oil and Gas for the Tybalt appraisal well in the UK sector of the North Sea. Agora will increase its interest in Tybalt to 40 percent in return for a partial cost carry. Valiant will remain as operator with a 60 percent interest.
Project Details: Tybalt
Aker Solutions Wins Svalin Umbilical Contract
Apr 23, 2012 – Subsea 7 awarded Aker Solutions a contract for the design and fabrication of a control umbilical for the Svalin C project in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. The scope of work includes a four-mile-long (six-kilometer-long) control umbilical, connectors, engineering and project management. In December 2011, Statoil awarded Aker Solutions the contract for engineering, procurement and construction of the subsea production system for the Svalin project. The Svalin umbilical will be delivered in 2Q 2013. Svalin is a fast-track oil field project located in the middle part of the North Sea, about five miles (eight kilometers) southwest of the Grane field and 115 miles (185 kilometers) west of Haugesund. The water depth is approximately 394 feet (120 meters).
Penspen to Provide Detailed Design Services for Stella Development
Apr 23, 2012 – Penspen Group has been contracted to provide Detailed Design services to EPC Offshore Limited in support of Ithaca Energy’s Greater Stella Area development. The contract follows on from Penspen’s recent work for EPC Offshore on the FEED for the GSA Development. Under the terms of agreement, Penspen will provide Detailed Design services for the Phase 1 subsea structures and associated tie-in infrastructure, consisting of the Stella Main Drill Center manifold, northern drill center manifold, export riser base, oil and gas export tee assembles. Ithaca Energy has contracted EPC Offshore to provide project management of the subsea and pipelines elements of the development last year, which the company then contracted Penspen. The project is slated to commence production in 2014.
Project Details: Stella/Harrier
TAQA to Acquire Operatorship of Cladhan
Apr 20, 2012 – TAQA Bratani will acquire a 13.5 percent stake in the North Cladhan area from Sterling Resources for an initial consideration of $47 million including an allocation to tax allowances. The initial consideration will be satisfied in three installments: $22.3 million paid upon completion; $4.3 million paid on achievement of certain milestones expected in 2012; and the balance either as a carry of part of Sterling’s development expenditure in respect of Cladhan or, subject to satisfaction of certain conditions linked to project approval, in whole or in part (at Sterling’s election) in cash up to a maximum payment of $20.4 million. In addition, Sterling could receive a contingent consideration after first production linked to reserves upside up to a maximum additional payment of $10 million if proven plus probable reserves are certified in the range of 30 million barrels to 45 million barrels for 100 percent of the field. TAQA will assume operatorship on or shortly after approval of a final Field Development Plan expected for submission by 3Q 2012. Once this transaction is completed and approved, the new equity positions will be Sterling Resources (26.4 percent), TAQA (40.1 percent) and Wintershall (33.5 percent).
Project Details: Cladhan
S. America – Other & Carib.
Boders & Southern Find Gas in Darwin East
Apr 23, 2012 – Borders & Southern has made a gas discovery in the 61/17-1 well on the Darwin East prospect in the South Falkland Basin. The well, reaching a total depth of 16,000 feet (4,876 meters), encountered good hydrocarbon shows from 15,200 to 15,780 feet (4,633 to 4,810 meters). The main reservoir interval comprises good quality massive sandstone and is found to be 277 feet (84.5 meters) thick with net pay of 222 feet (67.8 meters). Fluid samples from the reservoir have been recovered and will be brought back to the UK for analysis. The operator will complete wireline logging operations, plug and abandon the well, then move the Leiv Eiriksson rig (DW semisub) on to the Stebbing prospect.
Project Details: Darwin East
Rockhopper Boosts Success Rates at Sea Lion
Apr 20, 2012 – Rockhopper Exploration has received a 90 percent chance of success in developing its Sea Lion field off the Falkland Islands, according to a report conducted by Gaffney, Cline & Associates. The report also gave other discoveries adjacent to Sea Lion, including Casper, Casper South and Beverly, a 75 percent chance of successful development. In its report, GCA gave a best estimate of gross contingent resources at Sea Lion and the adjacent discoveries of 385.9 million barrels, with 355.6 million barrels net to Rockhopper. The CPR also reports on a development concept for the Sea Lion field using an FPSO. The principal assumptions of the development concept include first oil occurring in 2016, with a plateau production rate of 70,000 barrels per day for the first three years of full production.
Project Details: Sea Lion
N. America – Canadian Atlantic
Kiewit-Kvaerner Contractors to Perform FEED on Hebron Development
Apr 25, 2012 – Kiewit-Kvaerner Contractors has been authorized by ExxonMobil Canada Properties to proceed with the Hebron Project gravity based structure (GBS) project in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The authorization follows substantial completion of front-end engineering and design (FEED) services and awards the next phase, which includes detailed engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) related services.
Project Details: Hebron
Black Sea
TPAO Secures Rig for Istranca-1 Well
Apr 26, 2012 – TPAO, the national oil and gas company of Turkey, awarded GSP Jupiter a contract for offshore drilling services. The jackup will drill the Istranca-1 well, plus one optional well, on Block 3920 in the Turkish sector of the Black Sea.
Project Details: Istranca
Asia – Far East
Technip to Install Liwan Pipeline
Apr 23, 2012 – Technip received a pipeline installation contract for the Liwan 3-1 shallow water project in the China Sea. With a total length of 160 miles (260 kilometers), the pipeline will link the Liwan gas platform to China National Offshore Oil Corporation’s (CNOOC) Gaolan gas plant. Technip’s scope covers the shallow water portion of the development project. It includes the installation of 100 miles (160 kilometers) of a 30-inch export oil/gas two-phase pipeline from the Liwan gas platform to a water depth of approximately 230 feet (70 meters). The contract is scheduled for completion by the end of 2012.
Project Details: Liwan
CNOOC Hits HPHT Gas Discovery in South China Sea
Apr 20, 2012 – CNOOC Limited has made a gas discovery in Dongfang (DF) 13-2 in the high-temperature and high-pressure gas reservoir in Yinggehai, following the successful appraisal of the middle formation of the DF 13-1 gas field in 2010. The new discovery is located in the north of central sag in the Yinggehai Basin of Western South China Sea. The discovery well, DF13-2-1, encountered gas pay zones with total thickness of 115 feet (35 meters) in a water depth of 213 feet (65 meters) and a well depth of 10,394 feet (3,168 meters). During the test period, the well flowed at an average rate of 42.4 MMcf/d.
Project Details: Dongfang
Asia – SouthEast
Santos to Submit Peluang FID in 2012
Apr 25, 2012 – Santos Limited expects to submit a Final Investment Decision on the Peluang field in the Madura Offshore PSC in the second half of 2012 with production commencing in the second half of 2013. The Peluang field, holding about 45 Bcf, will be tied-back to the nearby Maleo field. The company currently produces 110 MMcf/d of natural gas from Maleo.
BG Group Begins Production at Greater Bongkot South
Apr 23, 2012 – BG Group has commenced production from the Greater Bongkot South field in the Gulf of Thailand, about 125 miles (200 kilometers) east of the city of Songkhola in southern Thailand. The development has new standalone facilities with processing capacity of 350 MMcf/d of gas and 15,000 barrels of condensate per day. BG said that once plateau production is achieved, Greater Bongkot South will deliver around 14,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. Production is expected to reach plateau in the second quarter of 2012. Gas from the project is exported via a new-build spur line while condensate is exported to a floating, storage and offloading vessel at Bongkot North.

NMS Girl Of The Day #59 – Nadia Van Der Merwe

April 26, 2012

I’ve been sitting here with tears streaming down my cheeks, dripping onto my keyboard.

This is the last NMS Girl Of The Day. Our run is over. The fun is at an end.

No longer do I arrive at work with a massive decision to make. No longer to I hold the hopes and dreams of so many in my hands.

There is some good news, though, but I’m too sad to share it with you today. Come back on Monday and hopefully I’ll be in a better mood.

For now let’s just enjoy and VOTE FOR NADIA.


NMS Girl Of The Day #59 – Nadia Van Der MerweSports Illustrated.

USA: Sierra Club Opposes Cameron LNG Export Plans


The Sierra Club filed a formal protest to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) on Tuesday, challenging a proposal to export billions of cubic feet of domestic natural gas from a facility on Lake Charles in Cameron Parish, LA.

The Sierra Club’s protest challenges natural gas companies’ efforts to secure liquefied natural gas (LNG) export licenses without acknowledging its damaging effects. DOE is currently studying the effects of exporting as much as a fifth of the domestic gas supply, and the Sierra Club calls for similar studies of the public health and environmental damage caused by increased fracking.

The Sierra Club’s challenge contends that the Cameron export proposal would lead to increased air and water pollution in Louisiana and Texas and raise domestic natural gas prices. The filing calls for a full Environmental Impact Statement to study the extent of this proposed facility’s environmental damages before DOE makes any final decisions. Weighing these threats is particularly important because the oil and gas industry currently exploits numerous loopholes and exceptions in federal safeguards, putting the health and safety of Americans at risk.

This filing is the fifth protest the Sierra Club has brought before DOE and other regulatory bodies, opposing LNG export facilities. The other challenges were filed against Cove Point, MD, Sabine Pass, LA, Coos Bay, OR, and Freeport, TX.


Argentina warns Falklands’ oil companies of May 2 deadline when legal actions begin


The ‘Ocean Guardian’ oil rig which spent almost two years drilling in Falklands’ waters


Argentina once again warned oil companies considered by the Government to be “illegally operating” in the Falklands/Malvinas Islands, and reiterated it will press charges against them unless they justify their actions before next Wednesday, May 2.

Thursday, April 26th 2012 – 01:33 UTC

In a recent statement released to the press, the ministry said that on last April 17th, all oil companies currently performing exploration tasks in the ‘Malvinas basin’ were notified “of their clandestine actions and their consequences” by the Argentine embassy in the United Kingdom.

The companies notified were Argos Resources, Rockhopper Exploration, Borders and Southern PLC, Falkland Oil & Gas Ltd and Desire Petroleum PLC.

The Argentine government has set a May 2 deadline for companies to justify their activities.

“If case of failure to offer a response and once the legal deadline expires, we will issue the corresponding sanctions to every company according to a resolution by the Argentine Energy Secretariat, which considers these activities to be clandestine. The Government will also proceed to press criminal and civil charges,” the ministry warned.

The Foreign Affairs release states that by doing this they “reaffirm Argentina’s decision to defend the nation’s sovereign rights by any peaceful means possible – both legal and diplomatic- as well as the country’s natural resources, which belong to the Argentine people.”


%d bloggers like this: