Daily Archives: December 14, 2012
Exposed: Harry Reid should not be allowed to manipulate Senate rules to further stifle Senators’ freedoms
On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) accidentally drew back the curtain on fabricated tales of Republican obstructionism and revealed the dark secret of Democrats who have been promoting “gridlock” in the U.S. Senate for nearly a full four years. It happened so quickly anyone who blinked missed it.
Upon filing for Senate consideration of the Transaction Account Guarantee (TAG) Act, Sen. Reid immediately “filled the tree” by offering the maximum amount of amendments permitted under the rules and filed cloture on the bill before any other Senator could speak, offer debate or filibuster the bill.
Senator Reid essentially asked the Senate to consider a bill then immediately asked to end consideration on that bill, all within the space of a mere two minutes. Some have speculated this parliamentary slight-of-hand may have made history with its sheer speed.
While proclaiming the need for filibuster “reform” and complaining of its over use by the minority, Senator Reid continues to apply these tactics, limiting debate and preventing Senators of both parties from submitting their own ideas through amendments. His actions essentially produce a “majority filibuster” which prevents the voices of citizens throughout every one of the 50 states from being heard through their Senators.
Yet, even while setting a new speed record, Sen. Reid’s tyrannical control of the calendar is nothing new. Reid has spent the last four years turning such bold obstruction into regular operating procedure for the Senate – with Tuesday marking the sixth-ninth time Sen. Reid has launched a majority filibuster.
These actions are atrocious in their violation of the purpose of the Senate in our federal government and their steamrolling of two key rights of all Senators.
On the official Senate website, the Senate Historian notes: “All senators have two traditional freedoms that, so far as is known, no other legislators worldwide possess. These two freedoms are the right to unlimited debate and an unlimited opportunity to offer amendments, relevant or not, to legislation under consideration.”
Since Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has successfully manipulated standing Senate rules to severely stifle (and in many cases, entirely eliminate) the second of these unparalleled freedoms by routinely “filling the amendment tree,” only one of those freedoms remains. With Reid’s iron-fisted control of the process — frequently preventing even Senators from his own political party from offering their own amendments — it is no wonder Senators of all stripes question the wisdom of removing their remaining freedom. In fact, it is a wonder Majority Leader Reid does not face a mutiny from within his own party.
But the story gets much, much worse. Because Reid cannot capture enough votes (despite a Democratic majority of 55 Senators) to institute his radical rules change under the existing rules (which requires 60 votes), he has proposed a method that ignores the rules entirely. Instead, Reid’s grand plan is to pretend the “Standing Rules of The Senate” simply do not exist during the first day of a new Congress – and only during the first day.
This runs into a major problem through a simple reading of Rule V, Section 2, which itself clearly states that (emphasis added): “The rules of the Senate shall continue from one Congress to the next Congress unless they are changed as provided in these rules.” Furthermore, this rule was initially adopted, at the will of the Senate itself, in recognition of the Senate’s unique place in our legislature.
For Majority Leader Harry Reid to completely ignore the rules in order to re-write the rules (something he promised he would never do) in the name of political expediency would violate matchless freedoms of every U.S. Senator while also violating the Constitution itself.
Ultimately, this boils down to three observations. One, the pervasiveness of majority filibuster and obstructionism of their own agenda has helped slow action in the Senate. Two, this atrocious behavior by the Senate Majority Leader snatches away exceptionally unique freedoms and rights of Senators from both sides of the aisle, and all deprived Senators should demand reform. And three, Majority Leader Reid’s proposal, if carried through, would irreparably depart from the rules and Constitutional provisions guiding our “most deliberative” legislative body.
This is the essence of the current debate between totalitarian forms of government and conservatives: whether existing rules can be ignored for political or popular expediency, or whether the rules must be followed in order to protect the unique freedoms and force compromise which truly moves our nation forward.
Regardless of what reforms are needed in the Senate, the rules are the rules – and those rules must be followed in order to bring about credible, positive and lasting improvement.
This week the SubseaIQ team added 1 new projects and updated 15 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.
Africa – West
Ophir Subsidiary to Participate in Starfish
Dec 13, 2012 – A subsidiary of Ophir Energy has assumed operatorship of the Offshore Accra Contract Area through a farmout agreement with Tap Oil. Under the agreement, the Accra Contractor Group consists of: Ophir Energy (20%), Afex Oil (20%), Vitol Upstream (30%), Rialto Energy (12.5%), Tap Oil (17.5%). The farmout and transfer of operatorship have been approved by Ghana National Petroleum Corporation and the Ministry of Energy. Contract terms dictate that an exploration well must be drilled before September 23, 2013 and the Group has identified the Starfish prospect as the target of that well. Starfish is a deepwater prospect that is structurally similar to the Jubilee field. It is estimated to hold P50 reserves on the order of 431 Mmbbls.
Hess Hits Pay in Pecan-1
Dec 12, 2012 – A notice of discovery was filed with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation on behalf of Hess Corporation for the Pecan-1 exploration well. Drilled in the Deepwater Tano / Cape Three Points license, a total depth of 15,420 feet was reached and 245 net feet of oil pay was discovered in two separate intervals. An extensive logging program was carried out and the well was sidetracked to obtain additional reservoir cores. Drilling was carried out by the Stena DrillMAX (UDW drillship) in 8,245 feet of water. The rig is now in the process of suspending the well before sailing to the Cob prospect 15 miles away.
Dec 12, 2012 – Production has commenced from Jubilee Phase 1A offshore Ghana. The first production well is onstream and has helped bring total field production to over 90,000 bopd. Phase 1A consists of five production wells, three injection wells and general expansion of the existing subsea infrastructure and should take 18 months to complete. A second Phase 1A well is expected to be brought into production before the end of the year but the Sedco Energy (DW semisub) must first perform remedial work on some of the Phase 1 wells.
Project Details: Jubilee
Asia – SouthEast
Pathum-1 Exploration Spuds Off Thailand
Dec 13, 2012 – Tap Oil announced the spud of its Pathum-1 exploration well in the G3/48 concession offshore Thailand. The well is being drilled by the Ensco 85 (300′ ILC) to a proposed total depth of 8,667 feet. Pathum is thought to hold perspective resources in the range of 5 million barrels. Barring any issues, the well should reach TD in a maximum of 11 days.
Dec 13, 2012 – Difficulties have plagued MEO Australia at its 100% owned Gurame prospect in the Seruway PSC off Northern Sumatra. After loosing over 100 feet of BHA in the Gurame SE-1X appraisal, the decision was made to plug back and sidetrack the well. More progress was made in Gurame SE-1XST but significant mud losses caused MEO to plug back into the liner at 9,599 feet. A 187 foot section of the Baong sands was perforated at 8,858 feet MDRT. No flow was observed and attempts to stimulate the well with nitrogen were made with no effect. The Ensco 85 (200′ ILC) will plug and abandon the well and will be released soon after.
Project Details: Gurame
Dec 12, 2012 – A steel cutting ceremony held at Keppel Subic Shipyard marked the start of construction of a Depletion Compression Platform (DCP) to be deployed at the Malampaya gas field near Palawan Island in the Philippines. Installation of the DCP represents Phase 3 of the Malampaya Gas-to-Power project which is led by the Philippine Department of Energy. Once complete the DCP will be stationed next to the existing Malampaya production platform. Supporting the project are Shell, as operator, and joint venture partners Chevron and Philippine National Oil Company. Keppel is responsible for building the base and topsides as well as a bridge connecting the new facility to the production platform. The DCP is expected to be installed by 2015.
Project Details: Malampaya
Dec 12, 2012 – Coastal Energy recently tested a three stage pilot hydraulic fracturing program in the Bua Ban South A-1 well. The fracked zones flowed back oil at a combined rate of 800 Bopd under natural conditions during well cleanup. Plans call for the well to be re-completed with an electric submersible pump for long term production testing. Next, the company will focus its efforts on the Bua Ban South A-3 sidetrack well in an effort to improve recovery rates. If successful, Coastal will continue the fracking program in order to unlock the full potential of the Songkhla Basin which is characterized by sands with lower porosity and permeability.
Project Details: Songkhla
Europe – North Sea
Dec 14, 2012 – Production testing has been completed on three initial development wells at the Breagh field in the UK North Sea. Results from the tests are in-line with reservoir stimulation models run by development partners RWE Dea and Sterling Resources. Once normalized to reflect expected the sales level of wellhead pressure, the current three well capacity is estimated at 88 Mmscfd. The newly drilled A3 well is the most prolific producer with a flow rate of 58 Mmscfd under initial production conditions. Performance of the development wells is being monitored so that future production can be optimized. Five wells are expected to be available by early May 2013 with an estimated total production capacity of 150 Mmscfd.
Project Details: Breagh
Dec 13, 2012 – Norwegian oil major Statoil announced Thursday that it plans to use seismic cables on the seabed to help produce 30 million additional barrels of oil from its Snorre and Grane fields. The company has signed contracts worth $160 million with U.S. firm Geospace Technologies to deliver the cables, which will be part of a permanent reservoir monitoring (PRM) program. Statoil believes the technology will allow it to better understand the reservoirs because they are stable and able to provide a more accurate picture of the subsurface than cables that are towed on the surface and which are subjected to wind, waves and currents. Statoil plans to lay more than 400 miles of seismic cables. Statoil currently recovers around 50 percent of the oil from its operated fields on the Norwegian continental shelf.
Project Details: Greater Snorre Area
Wintershall Spuds Rodriguez
Dec 11, 2012 – The Transocean Arctic (mid-water semisub) is drilling ahead at Wintershall’s Rodriguez prospect in the Halten Terrace area off Norway’s coast. Well 6407/1-6S is seeking oil in the Middle Jurassic Garn, Ile and Tilje formations. It should take roughly 75 days to reach the planned total depth of 13,254 feet. Rodriguez is located in PL475 near the Tyrihans field and Faroe’s 2010 Maria discovery. Wintershall maintains a 50 percent operating interest in the license with Faroe Petroleum and Centrica sharing 30 and 20 percent interest respectively.
Africa – Other
Dec 13, 2012 – A recent three well appraisal drilling program undertaken by BG Group and Ophir Energy on the Jodari field off Tanzania successfully achieved its objectives. The wells proved high quality reservoir across the field and reconfirmed the 3.4 Tcf mean recoverable resource estimate. In addition, the joint venture was able verify that high-angle drilling within Jodari may be a viable option to reduce development costs. Drilling was carried out by the Deepsea Metro I (UDW drillship) which is currently drilling the Mzia-2 appraisal well. Upon completion of the Mzia appraisal, the rig will return to Jodari to perform a drill stem test and then move on to continue exploratory drilling in Block 1.
Project Details: Jodari
Gas Discovery Off Romania
Dec 14, 2012 – Sterling Resources, operator of Block 13 Pelican in the Romanian Black Sea, announced a gas discovery at the Eugenia-1 exploration well. The well was drilled by the GSP Jupiter (300′ ILC) to a measured depth of 7,375 feet. Initial results indicate 72 feet of net gas pay in Late Cretaceous sandstones. Data is still being studied but open-hole logging confirmed the presence of moveable gas. The company is also interested in a 65 foot zone of Eocene limestone which presented gas shows. Attempts to collect pressure data were unsuccessful which is not uncommon in carbonates where matrix porosity is limited. The same Eocene interval turned out to be producible in an adjacent well.
Asia – South
Eni Expands Deepwater Footprint in Pakistan
Dec 13, 2012 – Through an agreement with Pakistani authorities and OGDCL, the state oil company, Eni acquired 25% and operatorship of Indus Block G in the offshore area of the Indus Basin. The block is situated in an under explored deepwater area and covers roughly 2,895 square miles. To start, Eni will initiate a multi-disciplinary study in order to establish a suitable exploration approach. Eni has maintained a presence in Pakistan since 2000 and this acquisition further strengthens its position in the country.
Kan Tan IV Secured for Offshore Taranaki Exploration
Dec 12, 2012 – OMV, operator of PEP 51906, secured the Kan Tan IV (mid-water semisub) for the third quarter of 2013 to drill the Matuku prospect offshore New Zealand. Matuku is estimated to hold 65 million barrels of mean recoverable resources. The company has undertaken several studies to de-risk the prospect. Results of the studies indicate the presence of suitable reservoir rock, and adequate seal and a mature source kitchen. Partners in the license include OMV with a 65%interest, Octanex with a 22.5% interest and NZOG who recently farmed-in for a 12.5% stake.
- The Philippines: Keppel O&M Subsidiaries Clinch S$160 Mln Contracts (worldmaritimenews.com)
- Keppel Subic Shipyard Starts Construction Works for Offshore Platform (maritime-executive.com)
- Tullow says Jubilee Phase 1 production begins in Ghana, as company’s share value reaches £11.4b (ghanabusinessnews.com)