Category Archives: Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic and volcanic activity. Southeast Asia consists of two geographic regions: Mainland Southeast Asia, also known as Indochina, comprises Cambodia, Laos, Burma (Myanmar), Thailand, Vietnam and Peninsular Malaysia, and Maritime Southeast Asia, which is analogous to the Malay Archipelago, comprises Brunei, East Malaysia, East Timor, Indonesia, the Philippines, Christmas Island and Singapore.
Geographically Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan] are sometimes grouped in the Southeast Asia subregion, although such grouping is rare politically, since in political usage the definition of Southeast Asia is overshadowed by ASEAN memberships. The same is true for the Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India, and occasionally regions of the Seven Sister States such as Manipur.
McDermott International, Inc. announced that its Malaysian affiliate Berlian McDermott Sdn. Bhd. was recently awarded a significant subsea contract for executing a deepwater engineering, procurement, construction, transportation, installation and commissioning project offshore Malaysia. The value of this contract is included in McDermott’s first quarter 2012 backlog.
The award is for the subsea infrastructure of the Siakap North – Petai (“SNP”) Development Project operated by Murphy Sabah Oil Co., Ltd. (“Murphy”), comprising rigid flowlines, flexible risers, an umbilical and subsea hardware and controls. The SNP field is located nearby the existing Kikeh field, northwest of Labuan Island, Malaysia, in waters 3,900 – 4,900 feet deep.
“Our subsea engineering expertise, fabrication track record at our Batam Island facility, state-of-the-art subsea construction vessels and understanding of the Malaysian market, contributed to this successful award,” said Stephen M. Johnson, Chairman of the Board, President and Chief Executive Officer of McDermott. “We look forward to delivering the facilities for this important field development for Malaysia.”
The SNP field architecture consists of two rigid, insulated, pipe-in-pipe production flowlines, one rigid water injection flowline and one main umbilical system connecting eight new manifolds and subsea distribution units to existing riser slots on the Kikeh FPSO. The development calls for five water injection and eight production wells, drilled from the manifolds at each of the four drill center locations.
Detailed engineering and procurement for the project are underway, and fabrication of PLETs, jumpers and other installation aids is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2012. Following the infrastructure installation, McDermott will undertake a comprehensive System Integration Test of the subsea units and provide commissioning assistance. The project scope is scheduled to be completed by the third quarter of 2013.
Aker Solutions will build a new state-of-of-the-art umbilical manufacturing plant in Pekan, Malaysia, to meet the anticipated growth and the needs of their Asia Pacific customers. The total investment of USD 60 million will expand Aker Solutions’ manufacturing capacity and strengthen their position as a leading producer of steel tube umbilicals.
“I am very excited about the opportunities that will be created by our new manufacturing plant in Malaysia and the added capabilities it ensures. This new plant increases Aker Solutions’ footprint in Asia and our capability to serve customers in the Asia Pacific region,” says Tove Roskaft, head of Aker Solutions’ umbilical business.
She adds: “The umbilical market has robust fundamentals and this strong growth is expected to continue. This investment gives us a strategic advantage in the already booming oil and gas market in the region. As a technology and market leader, we are now ready to take on the opportunity of having umbilical manufacturing hubs in three major oil and gas regions of the world.”
Over the past few years, Aker Solutions has invested heavily in Malaysia, which is the company’s hub for the Asia Pacific region. This includes their first-class manufacturing centre for subsea production technologies and drilling risers in Port Klang, close to Kuala Lumpur. The company also has a 600-strong front-end, design and engineering hub in Kuala Lumpur.
Subsea umbilicals are deployed on the seabed to supply necessary controls and chemicals to subsea oil and gas wells, subsea manifolds and any subsea system requiring a remote control. Over the past 15 years, Aker Solutions has delivered more than 400 umbilicals to some of the world’s most challenging fields, from harsh environment to ultra-deep, high-pressure water conditions.
Aker Solutions has already opened its regional head office for umbilicals in downtown Kuala Lumpur managed by Mr. Crawford Tennant who is an industry veteran and former head of the Aker Solutions facility in Port Klang. The Pekan facility is scheduled to begin operations in the fourth quarter of 2013.
- Happy Dragon Ships 8 Manifolds to Goliat Field Offshore Norway (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Shell Orders Subsea Connection Systems from Aker Solutions (Norway) (mb50.wordpress.com)
- USA: Aker Solutions to Provide Umbilicals for Anadarko’s Lucius Development (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Ghana: Aker Solutions Signs Well Service Contract with Tullow (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Aker Solutions to Design World’s Largest Spar Platform for Statoil (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Norway: Aker Solutions Secures Draupne FEED Contract (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Norway: Aker Solutions Secures Draupne FEED Contract (appliedagrotech.net)
- Norway: Aker Solutions Delivers Subsea Templates for Skuld Fast-Track Development (mb50.wordpress.com)
The U.S. will also begin the process of easing away sanctions that have so far banned exports of U.S. financial services and investment to Myanmar in response to its democratic transition.
The easing of sanctions has massive implications for the U.S. since Myanmar is a country rich in resources from oil and gas to teak.
The country recently auctioned off 10 onshore oil and gas blocks that U.S. companies couldn’t partake in because of American sanctions on the country. Myanmar had 11.8 trillion cubic feet of proven gas reserves at the end of 2010 and has been tapped by energy hungry Asian giants like China and India.
Earlier this year we wrote that Myanmar’s economic isolation from the West was beginning to end. At the time Dr. Thein Swe, Senior Professor of Economics, Finance and Globalizationat South East Asian Institute of Global Studies said Western countries had been sending their companies to look for investment opportunities in Myanmar in anticipation of an easing up of sanctions.
Myanmar is also expected to be important from a stratetgic point of view as the Obama administration is looking at the Asia-Pacific region as a priority. Myanmar’s democtratic transition could also be one of the Obama administration’s only successful foriegn relations achievement in Asia, according to Myanmar specialisty David Steinberg.
And Myanmar’s been on the radar for many investors. When we spoke with investment guru Jim Rogers last month, he said with every day that goes by, he gets increasingly excited about opportunities in Myanmar. Rogers had previously said that those that invest in the country could be rich in the next 20 – 40 years and had opined, “Unfortunately I’m a citizen of the land of the free and we from the land of the free are not allowed to invest in Myanmar, it’s illegal. You could invest there, but I cannot.”
Coastal Energy, an international oil and gas exploration and production company with assets in Thailand announces the successful Miocene discovery in the Bua Ban South A-04 well.
The Bua Ban South A-04 well was drilled to a depth of 3,250 feet TVD on the eastern flank fault block at Bua Ban South, approximately 1.5 miles south of the Bua Ban Main A-11 well. The A-04 well encountered 42 feet of net pay in the Lower Miocene M75 and M100 sands with 29.5% average porosity. The M75 is a newly discovered pay sand in the Lower Miocene. Initial results indicate that this is an extension of the Miocene reservoir which was encountered in the Bua Ban Main A-11. The A-11 well has been producing since September 2010 and is currently producing over 500 bopd. The minimum areal extent of the closure is approximately 550 acres.
Randy Bartley, President & Chief Executive Officer, commented:
“We are greatly encouraged by the successful Miocene results in the A-04 well. We have now discovered oil in three different Miocene intervals between Bua Ban Main and Bua Ban South. This new discovery is very positive for the Miocene remaining potential across the entire basin as well as supporting the potential of recent Oligocene discoveries in the Bua Ban South area. The Bua Ban South A-03ST#1 well has been spudded and will test the Eocene objective. We are currently evaluating locations for Miocene appraisal wells and will begin drilling those following the A-03ST#1.”
- Recap: Worldwide Field Development News (Mar 23 – Mar 29, 2012) (mb50.wordpress.com)
- French Guiana: Shell to Begin Guyane Drilling in Mid 2012 (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Kea Petroleum. Waking up. (brokermandaniel.com)
- The Smallcap Oil & Gas round up (brokermandaniel.com)
Niko will partner with Zaratex N.V. in the 5908km2 Lhokseumawe PSC in western Indonesia. The block is located directly adjacent to the giant Arun field (>3.1BBOE) and associated LNG plant. A 3865km2 3D program was acquired on the block and a number of high impact prospects were subsequently identified. Drilling is to commence in the shallow water portion of the block in April with two wells. The Candralila-1 and Ratnadewi-1 prospects will be drilled back to back and if successful will be monetized relatively quickly by accessing the existing extensive local infrastructure.
Niko’s deep water rig, the Diamond Ocean Monarch, is scheduled to arrive in Lhokseumawe in September to drill the Jayarani-1 well. This will be the first well in Niko’s planned program of more than 25 deep water wells in Indonesia. In addition, in the North Ganal PSC in which Niko is a participant, operator Eni will be using the Transocean Seven Seas to drill the Lebah-1 well in the second half of 2012. The Lebah prospect will test the extension of the Jangkrik and Jangkrik-NE discovery trend (>400MMBOE of reserves to date). Eni has already filed a POD for the development of these discoveries and first production is expected in 2015.
- Trinidad expects $3 Bln in energy exploration in 2012 (mb50.wordpress.com)
For leaders of smaller nations, a meeting and a photo op with the American President in the White House is always a huge thrill. And so Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt was no exception when she received the presidential treatment on February 24, basking in the glow of President Obama’s approval. The President (rightly) praised Denmark’s military contribution in Afghanistan and Libya, saying that the small Nordic country of 4.5 million people ”punches above its weight.”
As sweet as this praise must have been to the ears of the Danish prime minister, it was soon tempered by revelations that President Obama is very free with the use of this phrase. Danish television clipped together a montage showing Obama complimenting the leaders of Norway, Ireland, and the Philippines in exactly the same words, all for ”punching above their weight.” President Obama apparently has not used the expression about the British, despite the fact that he borrowed it from British Foreign Minister Douglas Hurd.
The conservative Danish newspaper Jyllands–Posten noted that Obama must really be pleased with the Danes, as he said the same thing to the previous Danish prime minister, Lars Løkke Rasmussen, during his state visit last year, sitting in the very same armchairs under the same picture of George Washington. Meanwhile, an editorial in the left-of-center newspaper Politiken grumbled that it was the unfortunate Danish desire to ”punch above their weight” that had gotten the Danes involved in the Iraq war and other American affairs. The newspaper advocated that Danes stick to their own bantam weight class in the future.
The real question might be, however, whether the United States under President Obama is punching below its weight, making the contributions of others seem all the greater. From premature military withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan to selling out U.S. missile defense to the Russians and mouthing mechanical blandishments to U.S. allies like the Danes, President Obama is squandering a great foreign policy legacy.
Helle C. Dale is Senior Fellow in Public Diplomacy at The Heritage Foundation—and a native of Denmark.
Posted in American Leadership
- The Danish Jon Stewart Schools Obama on Using the Same ‘Punch’ Lines with Every Ally (newsbusters.org)
- Punch Drunk: Danish Television Captures the President Delivering The Same Back-Handed Compliment To A Series Of “Little Countries” (jonathanturley.org)
- Danish TV Host Mocks Obama for His Rhetoric “Maybe the copy key got stuck on the presidential speechwriter’s keyboard.” (blogginghounds.wordpress.com)
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Even as world attention is mesmerized with the Strait of Hormuz, worrisome problems are now arising in the South China Sea, a region along the all-important energy sea lane of communication out to Asia Pacific.
‘You have this conundrum of a region that needs energy and yet has a lot of territorial disputes or gray areas that inhibit the ability to produce some of it,’ said Robert Hormats, U.S. undersecretary of state for economic growth, energy and the environment.
Hormats’ remarks came after the Philippines said that it has the right to invite foreign companies to explore for oil and gas in waters located between its western coast and the South China Sea – remarks dismissive of China’s own claims.
‘It is illegal for any country, government or company, without the Chinese government‘s permission, to develop oil and natural gas in waters under Chinese jurisdiction,’ said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei.
The dispute arose after the Philippines’ Energy Secretary Jose Almendras announced that his country had invited international oil companies to explore for oil and gas offshore Palawan province in two areas that fall within the country’s 200-mile exclusive economic zone.
Palawan province faces the South China Sea, which is claimed entirely by China. But other nations in the region, including the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam, have competing claims of their own.
Claims over portions of the sea can have immense bearing on ownership of any oil or gas that lies under the region’s waters, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. But no one knows for sure just how much oil and gas is actually there.
According to EIA, one Chinese estimate suggests potential oil resources as high as 213 billion barrels of oil (bbl), but EIA also mentions a 1993/1994 estimate by the U.S. Geological Survey which put reserves at just 28 billion bbl.
EIA notes speculation that the Spratly Islands could be an untapped oil-bearing province, but it said that, ‘There is little evidence outside of Chinese claims to support the view that the region contains substantial oil resources.’
Of course, there is only one way to find out and that is to explore, explore, explore. The problem, though, is that overlapping claims to the region are hindering exploration.
That was certainly true a year ago when two Chinese vessels threatened to ram the Veritas Voyager, a survey ship hired by U.K.-based Forum Energy PLC.
The Philippines government dispatched a surveillance plane, patrol ships and light attack aircraft to the disputed area, known as Reed Bank. By then, though, the Chinese vessels had vanished and Forum decided to suspend its exploration activities.
Now, a year on, Forum Energy apparently is planning to return to Reed Bank, aiming to drill its first well for oil and natural gas, an event that some analysts say could spark a military crisis if China responds more aggressively than it did last year.
Still, that year has seen a significant change in the posture of the U.S. in the region, with President Barack Obama announcing in January that Asia Pacific is now his country’s top priority in terms of global defense.
That view was underlined in early March by Admiral Robert Willard, head of the U.S. Pacific Command, who said that the America’s military must be present in the South China Sea.
China was less confrontational in 2011 in asserting its claims in the South China Sea than it was in 2010, Willard told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
But Willard also noted that China continues to challenge vessels conducting oil and gas exploration within space that it claims as its own. In a word, he said, ‘They remain aggressive.’
Just how aggressive they will remain is yet to be determined, perhaps by U.S. plans for war games in April with the Philippine navy near Reed Bank – war games that one analyst suggests will be viewed by China as provocative.
‘This will be a litmus test of where China stands on the South China Sea issue,’ said Ian Storey, a fellow at the Singapore Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.
According to Storey, the Chinese ‘could adopt the same tactics as they did last year and harass the drilling vessels, or they might even take a stronger line against them and send in warships.’
- Philippines reignites row with China over oil exploration rights (guardian.co.uk)
- Philippines seeks US muscle on South China Sea (bbc.co.uk)
- South China Sea: The New Persian Gulf? (Defence IQ) (thuytinhvo.wordpress.com)
- Resources fuel tensions in South China Sea (japantimes.co.jp)
- The South China Sea (nation.com.pk)
- Illegal Foreign Oil Platforms Discovered in South China Sea (chinasmack.com)
EMAS, a leading global offshore contractor and provider of integrated offshore solutions to the oil and gas (O&G) industry and operating brand for Ezra Holdings Limited announces two further contract awards worth a total of approximately US$131.5 million.
EMAS’s fabrication division, recently rebranded as TRIYARDS, has been awarded a US$76.5 million contract to fabricate and deliver a self-elevating mobile offshore platform/unit for a client based in Asia Pacific. The unit will be manufactured by the Group’s fabrication division’s yard in Vung Tau, Vietnam, the Group’s second yard facility in country. The fabrication division provides fabrication and vessel design as well as engineering services and has previously built one of the world’s largest self propelled jack-up rigs of its kind.
In a separate announcement EMAS reported its subsea division, EMAS AMC, has been awarded a US$55 million contract for SURF (subsea umbilicals, risers and flowlines) installation and pipe lay from Statoil for work in the North Sea.
Mr Lionel Lee, EMAS’s Managing Director, said: “Our continued stream of new contract wins across the globe by our various divisions validates our internationalisation strategy. We had identified subsea services for our next phase of growth, and since our strategic acquisition of Aker Marine Contractors last year to form EMAS AMC, we have been able to push our Group orderbook to almost US$2 billion in a short span of a year.
“The offshore energy industry is increasingly recognising EMAS as a trusted global player. Our contracts now come from beyond Asia Pacific, and include the challenging environments of the Gulf of Mexico and the North Sea. I am extremely delighted with the momentum and track record we have achieved, and I am confident we will be able to sustain this growth with all our divisions competing for projects around the world.”
EMAS recently announced the award of a US$70 million contract (with options valued at US$30 million) from Apache Energy Limited, allowing EMAS AMC to achieve its US$1 billion subsea orderbook target ahead of time.
- Norway: EMAS AMC Wins Fram SURF Deal from Statoil (mb50.wordpress.com)
- EMAS Wins $55 Million Subsea Installation Contract at Statoil’s Fram Field (gcaptain.com)
- Norway: Statoil Orders Subsea Structures for Asgard (mb50.wordpress.com)
- ExxonMobil Awards Technip GoM Subsea Contract (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Mexico: Cal Dive Nets Second Pemex Contract (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Ichthys: The Largest Subsea Gig for McDermott (Australia) (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Australia: Heerema Wins Subsea Installation Contract for Ichthys Project (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Norway: Subsea 7 Charters Island Intervention Vessel (mb50.wordpress.com)
- USA: Genesis to Support Shell’s SURF Projects (mb50.wordpress.com)