Daily Archives: September 10, 2012
Shell Alaska yesterday began drilling operations at its Burger prospect in the Chukchi Sea, offshore Alaska. The Noble Discoverer drillship is being used for the operations.
“The occasion is historic. It’s the first time a drill bit has touched the sea floor in the U.S. Chukchi Sea in more than two decades. Today marks the culmination of Shell’s six-year effort to explore for potentially significant oil and gas reserves, which are believed to lie under Alaska’s Outer Continental Shelf. In the days to come, drilling will continue in the Chukchi Sea, and we will prepare for drilling to commence in the Beaufort Sea,” said the company in a press release.
- Arctic frontier opens as Shell begins drilling in Chukchi Sea (fuelfix.com)
- Statoil delays start of Chukchi drilling until at least 2015 (fuelfix.com)
- Drilling Off The Alaska Coast For The First Time In More Than Two Decades (alan.com)
BP today announced it has agreed to sell its interests in a number of oil and gas fields in the deepwater US Gulf of Mexico to Plains Exploration and Production Company (‘Plains’) for a total of $5.55 billion, as part of a previously-announced plan to divest the assets and position its Gulf portfolio for long-term growth.
BP is selling its interests in three BP-operated assets: the Marlin hub, comprised of the Marlin, Dorado and King fields (BP working interest 100 per cent); Horn Mountain (BP, 100 per cent) and Holstein (BP, 50 per cent). The deal also includes BP’s stake in two non-operated assets: Ram Powell (BP, 31 per cent) and Diana Hoover (BP, 33.33 per cent). BP announced its intention to sell these non-strategic assets in May 2012.
The divestment is in line with BP’s global strategy of playing to its strengths, including the development of giant fields and deepwater exploration. It also reflects a greater focus in the Gulf of Mexico on producing more high-margin barrels from fewer, larger assets.
BP will concentrate future activity and investment in the Gulf on growth opportunities around its four major operated production hubs and three non-operated production hubs in the deepwater, as well as on significant exploration and appraisal opportunities in the Paleogene and elsewhere.
“While these assets no longer fit our business strategy, the Gulf of Mexico remains a key part of BP’s global exploration and production portfolio and we intend to continue investing at least $4 billion there annually over the next decade,” said Bob Dudley, BP group chief executive.
“This sale, as with previous divestments, is consistent with our strategy of playing to our strengths as a company and positioning us for long-term growth. In the Gulf of Mexico that means focusing future investments on our strong set of producing assets and promising exploration prospects.”
Under the terms of the agreement, Plains will pay BP a total of $5.55 billion in cash for the assets, subject to regulatory approvals, certain pre-emption rights and customary post-closing adjustments. The parties anticipate the deal closing by the end of 2012.
BP expects to divest assets with a total value of $38 billion between 2010 and 2013 as it focuses its business around the world on its strengths and opportunities for growth. With today’s agreement, BP has now entered into agreements to sell assets with a value of over $32 billion since the beginning of 2010.
“This deal further demonstrates the value we have been able to unlock through the targeted divestment of high-quality assets that sit outside the heart of our strategy,” added Dudley.
On completion of the transaction, BP will continue to operate four large production platforms in the region – Thunder Horse, Atlantis, Mad Dog and Na Kika – which produce from some of the largest deepwater oil and gas fields ever discovered and each of which has a long production profile and future development programme. BP will also continue to hold interests in three non-operated hubs – Mars, Ursa and Great White.
BP currently anticipates investing on average at least $4 billion in the Gulf of Mexico each year for the next decade. In June this year, production started from the BP-operated Galapagos project – tied back to the Na Kika platform — and a further development of Na Kika is expected to come on stream in 2013. BP is also progressing plans for a second phase of the Mad Dog field. BP now has six drilling rigs operating in the Gulf of Mexico and expects to have eight rigs in place by the end of the year, the most it has ever had in the region.
BP has been exploring in the deepwater Gulf for more than a quarter of a century and is the leading acreage holder, holding more than 700 leases, with a strong position in the emerging Paleogene play, including appraisal projects such as Kaskida and Tiber. BP acquired 43 new leases in the deepwater Gulf in the June 2012 lease sale, which will be awarded subject to regulatory review.
- Report: BP near $6 billion sale of Gulf assets to Plains (fuelfix.com)
Rowan Companies plc (“Rowan” or the “Company”) announced that it has exercised its option to build a fourth GustoMSC P10,000 design ultra-deepwater drillship with Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (“HHI”) with delivery scheduled in March 2015.
The cost for this rig, including commissioning, project management and spares, but excluding capitalized interest, is estimated to be approximately $620 million. This cost compares to peer companies’ previously announced 12,000 foot capable rigs equipped with 10,000 feet of riser. Rowan plans to equip its drillships with 2,000 feet of additional riser to enable operations in water depths up to 12,000 feet upon delivery. Each drillship will also be equipped with a second BOP for minimizing non-productive time. The Company will also incur operational training and personnel ramp-up costs in readying the drillships to commence well operations. Expected costs for the additional riser, BOP and training and ramp-up costs will be approximately $75 million. Total cost for the Company’s fourth drillship will be approximately six percent higher than the Company’s first three drillships primarily due to equipment price increases and projected labor cost increases. The agreement with HHI also includes an option for a similar fifth drillship exercisable in the fourth quarter of 2012, for delivery in the third quarter of 2015.
Matt Ralls, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are very pleased to add a fourth ultra-deepwater drillship to our fleet. The recent three-year contract obtained for our first drillship, the Rowan Renaissance, and strong customer enthusiasm for Rowan’s history of operational excellence, high-specification drillship design and experienced deepwater team, reaffirms our confidence in our expansion into the ultra-deepwater market.”
The Rowan Renaissance struck steel in July 2012 and is expected to be delivered in late 2013. The second and third drillships are expected to be delivered in the second and fourth quarters of 2014, respectively.