Category Archives: AUSTRALIA – OCEANIA

Oceania is a region centered on the islands of the tropical Pacific Ocean. Australia

Worldwide Field Development News Oct 20 – Oct 26, 2012

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This week the SubseaIQ team added 2 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.

N. America – US GOM

Noble Anticipates Second Gunflint Appraisal

Oct 26, 2012 – Noble Energy expects the Ensco 8501 (UDW semisub) to be available to drill the second Gunflint appraisal well in early 2013 after it finishes exploratory drilling at the Big Bend prospect in the US Gulf of Mexico. Gunflint, situated in Mississippi Canyon Block 948, was appraised and confirmed commercial earlier in the year and represents the company’s largest Gulf of Mexico discovery to-date. The discovery well intersected several reservoirs netting more than 550 feet of high-quality pay. Gunflint is believed to hold up to 500 Mmboe.

Project Details: Gunflint (Freedom)

Australia

Boreas-1 Tests Well

Oct 24, 2012 – Karoon Gas Australia believes the Boreas discovery in permit WA-315-P could be commercial based on well test results. The company feels that future production wells drilled adjacent to Boreas-1 could flow in excess of 100 MMscf/d. Results from the well will be combined with data gathered from Kronos-1, the Poseidon wells and Poseidon 3D seismic to further characterize the size and structure of the Greater Poseidon Trend. The company’s assessment of contingent resources will be independently assessed upon completion of the drilling program.

Project Details: Poseidon

Europe – North Sea

Lundin Receives Boyla PDO Approval

Oct 26, 2012 – The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy granted approval to Lundin Petroleum for the Plan of Development and Operation of the Boyla field in PL 340 offshore Norway. Estimated gross reserves are roughly 21Mmboe with gross peak production of 19,000 Boepd. Boyla will be developed via a subsea tie-back to the Alvheim FPSO. Technip was awarded the field development contract and will handle construction and installation of the subsea equipment.

Project Details: Alvheim

Partners Strike Oil at Garantiana

Oct 26, 2012 – Well 34/6-2S on the Garantiana prospect offshore Norway has been drilled to a total depth of 13,287 feet by the Borgland Dolphin (mid-water semisub). The well, located in Production License 554, penetrated good quality oil-bearing reservoir rock in the Cook formation. Further analysis is needed for an accurate resource estimate but initial flow rates of 4,000 barrels per day were achieved through a 28/24-inch choke. Pending available contracted rig days, the partners in the Total-operated license may elect to drill a sidetrack well to define the oil-water contact.

Project Details: Garantiana

Shell Takes Hess’ Spot at Beryl

Oct 25, 2012 – Royal Dutch Shell and Hess Corporation have reached an agreement whereby Shell will buy Hess’ stake in the Scottish Area Gas Evacuation Pipeline and the fields that comprise the Beryl Area. Beryl is operated by Apache and is made up of 12 producing fields on the UK continental shelf northeast of Aberdeen. Hess’ net daily production from the area through the first three quarters of 2012 was about 14,000 boepd. Shell plans to extend the production life of its new assets potentially by 20 years. The $525 million deal is expected to close during the first quarter of 2013, pending regulatory approval.

Wintershall Spuds Asha/Noor Exploration

Oct 25, 2012 – Exploration of the Wintershall-operated Asha/Noor prospect in the Norwegian North Sea has commenced on board the Bredford Dolphin (mid-water semisub). Well 16/1-16 is being drilled in 370 feet of water on the western edge of the Utsira High area and is targeting four reservoirs assumed to be Upper Jurassic sandstones. In addition, the well has the potential to appraise the neighboring Ivar Aasen and Apollo discoveries. If the reservoirs are deemed commercially viable the prospect could be developed via the Grane Field processing facilities.

Project Details: Noor

Nexen Spuds Polecat Appraisal

Oct 24, 2012 – Atlantic Petroleum announced the commencement of appraisal drilling at the Polecat prospect in UK license P1100. Well 20/4a-11 is being drilled in 370 feet of water by the Transocean GSF Arctic III (mid-water semisub) in the vicinity of the Ettrick and Blackbird fields. The well is targeting Upper Jurassic reservoirs and is expected to take 50 days to reach total depth. Nexen and Atlantic Petroleum hold 80% and 20% stakes respectively while Nexen maintains operatorship of the license.

Initial Contender Results Look Promising

Oct 23, 2012 – JV partner Antrim Energy announced positive initial results from the Contender well 211/21-N94 in the UK North Sea. Drilling took place on the TAQA Bratani-operated North Cormorant platform and reached a total depth of 16,903 feet. Preliminary results suggest a net oil pay in excess of 60 feet was encountered in the Tarbert member of the Jurassic Brent sandstones. Ongoing testing has revealed greater than expected porosity and hydrocarbon saturation. If Contender is determined to be commercial, it will be developed from North Cormorant under the name Cormorant East.

Project Details: Falcon

Shell Gets Go-Ahead for UK Fram

Oct 23, 2012 – Shell received consent from the UK government to proceed with the development of the Fram field in the UK sector of the North Sea. The development, one of the largest to be approved in five years, is expected to contribute 35,000 Boepd to the country’s production with a field life of 20 to 30 years. Although Shell is the operator, JV partner Esso Exploration & Production UK is the major equity holder with a 68% interest. Fram was discovered in 1969 and is unrelated to the Norwegian field of the same name. The gas condensate field is located in blocks 29/3a and 29/8c in roughly 300 feet of water.

Project Details: Fram

More Delays for Breagh

Oct 22, 2012 – Sterling Resources announced a delay in production start-up at the Breagh field in the UK North Sea. Late design completion, rework of certain systems and late material deliveries combined to cause construction delays which have pushed the anticipated start-up date to the end of 1Q 2013. Breagh Phase 1 development costs have risen to $825 million which is 1.4 percent above initial estimates. Development drilling at the field has not been hampered by the construction delays. The first three wells will be flow-tested before the end of the year. A fourth well is expected to come on stream once field production is established.

Project Details: Breagh

Mediterranean

Sara Disappoints

Oct 23, 2012 – GeoGlobal Resources received disappointing results from the Sara-1 well offshore Israel. Approximately 321 feet of high quality reservoir sands were encountered but proved to be wet without commercial quantities of hydrocarbons. Logging runs provided evidence that gas had once migrated through the system. The Noble Homer Ferrington (DW semisub) drilled the well to a total vertical depth of 12,887 feet and is in the process of plugging and abandoning the well before being released. Data collected during the operation will be used to refine the geologic model of the area and to further evaluate other possible targets within the license.

Leviathan Licensees Seeking Additional Partner

Oct 23, 2012 – The partners in the Leviathan gas field offshore Israel are taking bids to add an international partner to the group to help distribute field development costs. Being offered is up to a 30% stake in the field. Sources indicate Australia’s Woodside Petroleum and Russia’s Gazprom are likely finalists in the bidding round. Leviathan holds an estimated 17 trillion cubic feet of gas and is expected to be brought into production in 2017. The bidding round is due to end in the coming month.

Project Details: Leviathan

Samuel Resource Report Released

Oct 22, 2012 – NSAI released an independent resource report covering the Adira Energy-owned Samuel License offshore Israel. The report indicates P50 estimates of 65.8 MMbbl of oil and 65.8 Bcf of gas in four structures within the license. “The initial well will target the Cretaceous section which is estimated to contain almost 38 million barrels of prospective oil equivalent,” CEO Jeffrey Walter said. Samuel comprises an area of 223 square miles in waters up to 330 feet deep.

Project Details: Samuel

Asia – SouthEast

New Bualuang Facility Ready for Installation

Oct 25, 2012 – Salamander Energy’s Bualuang Bravo Platform construction project is on track to finish on time and within budget. The platform’s jacket has been fabricated and is en route to the Bualuang field where it will be positioned. Topside installation will begin shortly thereafter. Thai Nippon Steel was awarded the construction contract for the 16-slot platform in 1Q 2011. Through the Bravo platform, Salamander plans to double the amount of horizontal production wells currently in use and feels that production will increase from the current level of 11,500 bopd to 15,000 bopd in 2013. The Atwood Mako (400′ ILC) is scheduled to begin development drilling from the platform at the end of November.

Project Details: Bualuang

ROC Announces Successful Balai Cluster Appraisal

Oct 24, 2012 – Appraisal drilling activities at the Bentara-2 well in the Balai Cluster SFRSC have come to a stop upon reaching a total vertical depth of 9,038 feet. BC Petroleum was incorporated to manage the Balai Cluster Small Field Risk Service Contract and is comprised of ROC (48%), Dialog Group (32%) and Petronas (20%). Early results indicated and estimated net hydrocarbon pay in excess of 328 feet across a total interval of 2,132 feet. The well will now be cased and completed in preparation for well testing. Appraisal drilling is the first phase in pre-development of the license and is scheduled to take 18 months to execute. If pre-development is completed successfully the partners in BC Petroleum will submit a field development plan and work towards bringing the Balai Cluster into production.

S. America – Brazil

Statoil Wins at Peregrino South

Oct 24, 2012 – Statoil, together with partner Sinochem, has completed drilling an appraisal well at the Peregrino South prospect offshore Brazil. Well 3-STAT-8-RJS intersected approximately 278 feet of high-quality oil-saturated sandstone reservoir in the Carapebus formation. Goals of the operation were to validate previous volume estimates and establish an optimal development plan. The joint venture will use the positive results from the appraisal to guide the Peregrino Phase II development.

Project Details: Peregrino

Total Selects AGR’s RMR for Exploration Offshore Australia

TOTAL E&P Australia (Total) has signed up to use AGR’s Riserless Mud Recovery (RMR®) system.  The contract is for two exploration wells to be drilled over the next year in the Browse Basin off North West Australia.

Bernt Eikemo, AGR’s Vice President of the Enhanced Drilling Solutions (EDS) division (Asia Pacific), said: “AGR is delighted to be part of Total’s drilling team during the forthcoming exploration campaign. We hope that this is the start of a long, successful relationship with Total E&P Australia.”

He added: “Our previous experiences with several operators in the Browse Basin and the North West Shelf have shown that unconsolidated sand formations become much more benign when drilled with RMR® using a proper mud system.”

RMR® has been used by Total on several other projects internationally but this is the first time that the operator has used the system in Australia.

The main reason for using RMR® on these wells is to be able to drill through the unconsolidated sands of the Grebe Formation. It is renowned for stuck-pipe problems when drilling riserless using seawater and sweeps.

RMR® (system example attached) enables the use of weighted, engineered mud in the top-hole section. All mud and cuttings are returned to the rig with no discharge to the seabed. The top-hole section can be drilled more safely, quickly and with less impact on the environment.

RMR®, together with its sister technology the Cutting Transportation System (CTS™), has been deployed on more than 500 wells worldwide to date.

Source

Obama’s LOST Legacy: A New World Order

By Peter C Glover
Posted on Jun. 11, 2012

So who cares if Obama wants, as part of his legacy, to do what Ronald Reagan refused to do and sign up the United States to LOST, the UN’s Law of the Sea Treaty? Well if you are a small government, liberty-loving American, or citizen anywhere in the free world, you should. Here’s why.

US ratification of this Treaty would effectively grant governance of the bulk of the world’s surface area, its navigable waterways and access to what lies beneath – i.e. the world’s deepwater energy riches, not only fishing rights – to an unelected, anti-US, rabidly anti-Jewish, anti-free market, anti-capitalist body; where those in the democratic West can easily be outvoted.

Sound good to you?

For many Lost is a far-flung fictional fantasy about people facing a dangerous new world that poses unique threats. LOST also offers a new world of unique threats – but is an only too real, clear and present danger. It just so happens, when it comes to ambitions for an expanded Law of the Sea Treaty, that what is in the best interests of the United States is also in the best interest of the free world. No matter that the much of the rest of the world may have already attempted to sign away some of their sovereign rights under LOST. Quite simply, without US ratification (and its naval power), LOST remains a largely meaningless document. It is essential that it stays that way.

The problem with transnational governance of any kind is that on an administrative level it ties up sovereign claims in bureaucratic red tape for years. Meanwhile the world’s ‘less’ democratic leaders, like Russia’s Vladimir Putin, will do as they always have, ignore them altogether. Russia has effectively already annexed around 60 percent of the Arctic. We’ve all seen the International Criminal Court of Justice in action. Those hauled up before it are far more likely to die of old age than receive justice. Imagine an international tribunal, with all manner of agendas, demanding governments and successful companies stump up billions of dollars in fines, compensations and ‘reparations’ to be ‘redistributed’ at the whim and collusion of some of the world’s leading dictators.

A little harsh? Then consider the UN’s track record.

LOST, the story so far

With bemusing short-sightedness, the key supporters of LOST or, to give it its alternative title, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), are pushing ratification both as a “tool to expand and confirm American sovereignty” and as a “peace tool for the US”. The treaty has been on the books since 1982 garnering wide Western support until Ronald Reagan grounded it perceiving it to be a threat to US sovereign interests. But President Obama, it seems, sees adoption as part of his legacy. In mid-May the Pew Charitable Trusts and the Atlantic Council held a forum at which US politicians, businesses and even national security leaders gave their support to the Treaty. Currently, Senator John Kerry is operating as the administration’s point man. Kerry is holding a series of public hearings to garner further support for the US to ratify LOST. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey (amazingly the US Navy thinks it’s a good idea) and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – all avid proponents of adopting the Treaty – have all been called to give evidence.

The thinking runs that the US needs to secure its rights to the vast mineral resources on its extended continental shelf, not least in the Arctic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The fact is, however, under existing international law and US policy, America already has access to these areas. And it’s hard to see anyone arguing the fact given US naval clout; which brings us full circle to what’s really going on here. And for those who love liberty and freedom, it turns out to be far more than controlling just US wealth and sovereign rights, as the rush for the Arctic’s subsea energy riches exemplifies.

The USGS estimates that the Arctic has around 22 percent of the world’s undiscovered energy resources, with 84 percent of that figure in deepwater. It is clearly a whole new energy frontier. While various claims to Arctic regions, as well as other energy-rich areas of the world, have been lodged with the UNCLOS, tensions between the Arctic’s littoral states, Russia, Canada, Norway Denmark (Greenland), the US and Iceland have been ratcheting up. with the larger states, particularly Russia, militarizing their claimed regions. The argument from the American left is that as the US has not ratified UNCLOS/LOST it does not have a seat at, what they view, as the UN’s prospective arbitration table. Indeed, the US has notably not submitted any claims to UNCLOS. And without US co-operation any decisions currently made by UNCLOS won’t count for much.

In 2010 I attended the inaugural meeting of The Arctic: Territory of Dialogue which has translated into an annual forum on all matters Arctic hosted by the Russian Geographical Society, sponsored by Putin himself. Those attending included members of another key international forum, the Arctic Council, made up of representatives of all the littoral Arctic states. Bottom line: international ‘jaw-jaw’ forum to deal with everything ‘Arctic’ already exist. So why is a new UN convention with global reach necessary? And who, precisely, thinks it’s a good idea? Let’s take the second issue first.

Usual suspects

Washington Times’ Frank Gaffney describes those pushing for the US to sign up to LOST as “usual suspects – the environmentalists, the one-worlder trans-nationalists, the Obama administration” and other “short-sighted special interests”. Yep, leftwing social engineers all. And US ratification of LOST would give the world’s greatest naval power no more than a single vote at a table chaired by the UN. De-superpowered at a bureaucratic stroke and giving the world’s leading talking shop to rake in a huge ‘tax and penalty’ bonanza from the vast deepwater energy resources on continental shelves.

America signing up to LOST would effectively require it to pay tax royalties to the UN’s International Seabed Authority. It would also become subject to UN powers of arbitration over disputed waters. At whim, the UN bureaucracy could level economic penalties for all sorts of alleged infractions. The UN would, at last, have found a potentially bottomless pit of independent income, mostly at US expense. Greenpeace and other lobbies would salivate at the prospect of suing the US and other countries to force them to sign up to that which has thus far eluded them: a legally-binding climate deal. All in all, ratification of LOST would provide the UN – the same organisation that has elected Iran to the Commission on Women’s Rights and recently invited Zimbabwean despot Robert Mugabe to become a UN Ambassador – with what the Washington Times’ Ed Fuelner rightly describes as “an economic wrecking ball”.

President Obama may or may not be out of office come November but he wants a lasting, globally-impacting, legacy. And ‘internationalist’ legacies don’t come much bigger than being instrumental in handing governance of seventy percent of the earth’s surface to an unelected Star Chamber, supported and dominated by one world nutjobs, enviro-freaks, international despots and self-aggrandizing bureaucrats.

That’s quite a legacy.

Source

PNG: InterOil Net Profit Climbs

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InterOil said today its net profit for the quarter ended March 31, 2012 was $9.4 million compared with a net profit of $0.7 million for the same period in 2011, an improvement of $8.7 million.

First Quarter 2012 Highlights and Recent Developments

  • As of April 6, 2012, InterOil drilled the Triceratops-2 well in Papua New Guinea through the entire carbonate interval to a total depth of 7,336 feet (2,236 meters). The acquisition of wireline logs was completed on April 14, 2012 and the testing program is ongoing. The logs and DST pressure data indicate two separate, carbonate reservoir intervals with separate pressure systems and potentially separate or stacked hydrocarbon pay. The upper reservoir interval contains gas and condensate which preliminary pressure data indicates is in communication with the gas and condensate tested 3.8 kilometers away in the Bwata-1 well. The deeper zone lies below a 264 feet (80.5 meter) thick marl and argillaceous limestone interval, likely an intra-formational seal, where an independent formation evaluation indicates potential liquid hydrocarbons. The presence of movable hydrocarbons in the lower reservoir interval, at this stage, has not been confirmed with testing. However, a small volume of light oil of condensate composition was recovered.
  • Net profit for the quarter ended March 31, 2012 was $9.4 million. The operating segments of Corporate, Midstream Refining and Downstream collectively derived a net profit for the quarter of $28.6 million, while the investments in the development segments of Upstream and Midstream Liquefaction resulted in a net loss of $19.2 million.
  • Subsequent to quarter end, InterOil signed a binding Heads of Agreement with Pacific Rubiales Energy  to be able to earn a 10.0% net (12.9% gross) participating interest in PPL237, which includes the Triceratops structure. The transaction contemplates staged initial cash payments totaling $116.0 million, an additional carry of 25% of the costs of an agreed exploration work program, and a final resource payment. PRE has paid the initial $20 million of the staged cash payments. Definitive agreements are in the process of being finalized.

InterOil’s Chief Executive Officer Phil Mulacek commented, “We are pleased to report another successful quarter of profitability from our operating business. Additionally, we are excited to welcome Pacific Rubiales as partners in PPL 237, the company brings valuable expertise to our team.”

In regards to the ongoing LNG partnering process, Mr. Mulacek stated “We are continuing to work with our advisors to obtain a strategic partner. We have received conforming and non-conforming bids for the LNG partnering and sell down of an interest in the Elk and Antelope fields that we believe would be accretive to shareholders. We are now set to engage with a shortlist of significant LNG industry participants with a view to concluding discussions and entering into an agreement this quarter. The end result of the partnering process is envisioned to fully satisfy all the terms of the 2009 LNG Project Agreement.”

As to the Triceratops-2 well, Mr. Mulacek noted that, “Despite mechanical difficulties in obtaining a successful drill stem test from zones of interest in the lower hydrocarbon interval, we are very encouraged by gas and liquid hydrocarbon testing ongoing at the Triceratops-2 well. A plan is in place to evaluate the entire drilled interval and would likely include casing the entire interval and perforating zones of interest to obtain definitive results. Our prospect inventory is maturing and we anticipate that it will support our goal of a multi-year, multi-well exploration program. We believe that these achievements, combined with our strong balance sheet, support our continued growth and operational success.”

Source

Law of the Sea Treaty: A Tool to Combat Iran, China, and Russia? or Redistribution of wealth

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Posted by Doug Bandow

Every few years, the Law of the Sea Treaty rears its head as a one-size-fits-all solution to a host of current maritime problems. This time, Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Join Chiefs of Staff, are urging the Senate to ratify the treaty. The officials claim it will act as a tool to deal with aggressive actions by Iran, China, and Russia. But as I have long argued, no matter the current rationale for the treaty, it represents a bad deal for the United States.

Panetta and Dempsey rolled out three hot issues to make their case:

  • Iran is threatening the world economy in the Strait of Hormuz? The Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) will help solve this.
  • China is threatening the Philippines in the South China Sea? LOST is a crucial tool to prevent war.
  • Russia is claiming land in the Arctic region to extract natural resources? LOST will put the screws to Moscow.

These international controversies will be magically resolved if only the Senate ratifies the convention.

If this sounds too good to be true, it is. It is not clear the treaty would do much at all to alleviate these flashpoints. Especially since the two most important potential antagonists, China and Russia, already have ratified LOST. And it is certainly not the best option policy-wise for the United States with each issue: Iran’s bluster in the Strait of Hormuz may prove its weakness. U.S. policy in the South China Sea suffers from a far more serious flaw: encouraging free-riding by allied states. Russia’s move into the Arctic has nothing to do with Washington’s absence from LOST.

The treaty itself, not substantially altered since 1994, is still plagued by the same problems that have halted its ratification for decades. Primarily, it will cede decisionmaking on seabed and maritime issues to a large, complex, unwieldy bureaucracy that will be funded heavily by—wait for it—the Untied States.

On national security, the U.S. Navy does not need such a treaty to operate freely. Its power relative to all other navies is the ultimate guarantee. Serious maritime challengers do not exist today. Russia’s navy is a rusted relic; China has yet to develop capabilities that come close to matching ours. Moreover, it is doubtful that the United States needs to defend countries such as the Philippines when flashpoints over islands in the region affect no vital American interests.

The average American knows very little about this treaty, and rightly so. It is an unnecessarily complicated and entangling concoction that accomplishes little that the longstanding body of customary international law on the high-seas or the dynamics of markets do not account for. My conclusion in testimony before the Senate Committee on Armed Services in 2004 still holds true:

All in all, the LOST remains captive to its collectivist and redistributionist origins. It is a bad agreement, one that cannot be fixed without abandoning its philosophical presupposition that the seabed is the common heritage of the world’s politicians and their agents, the Authority and Enterprise. The issue is not just abstract philosophical principle, but very real American interests, including national security. For these reasons, the Senate should reject the treaty.

Source

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