Category Archives: GEOGRAPHIC

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Russia Discovers Massive Arctic Oil Field Which May Be Larger Than Gulf Of Mexico

In a dramatic stroke of luck for the Kremlin, this morning there is hardly a person in the world who is happier than Russian president Vladimir Putin because overnight state-run run OAO Rosneft announced it has discovered what may be a treasure trove of black oil, one which could boost Russia’s coffers by hundreds of billions if not more, when a vast pool of crude was discovered in the Kara Sea region of the Arctic Ocean, showing the region has the potential to become one of the world’s most important crude-producing areas, arguably bigger than the Gulf Of Mexico. The announcement was made by Igor Sechin, Rosneft’s chief executive officer, who spent two days sailing on a Russian research ship to the drilling rig where the find was unveiled today.

Well, one person who may have been as happy as Putin is the CEO of Exxon Mobil, since the well was discovered with the help of America’s biggest energy company (and second largest by market cap after AAPL). Then again, maybe not: as Bloomberg explains the well was drilled before the Oct. 10 deadline Exxon was granted by the U.S. government under sanctions barring American companies from working in Russia’s Arctic offshore. Rosneft and Exxon won’t be able to do more drilling, putting the exploration and development of the area on hold despite the find announced today.”

Which means instead of generating billions in E&P revenue, XOM could end up with, well, nothing. And that would be quite a shock to the US company because the unveiled Arctic field may hold about 1 billion barrels of oil and similar geology nearby means the surrounding area may hold more than the U.S. part of the Gulf or Mexico, he said.

For a sense of how big the spoils are we go to another piece by Bloomberg, which tells us that “Universitetskaya, the geological structure being drilled, is the size of the city of Moscow and large enough to contain more than 9 billion barrels, a trove worth more than $900 billion at today’s prices.

The only way to reach the prospect is a four-day voyage from Murmansk, the largest city north of the Arctic circle. Everything will have to shipped in — workers, supplies, equipment — for a few months of drilling, then evacuated before winter renders the sea icebound. Even in the short Arctic summer, a flotilla is needed to keep drifting ice from the rig.

Sadly, said bonanza may be non-recourse to Exxon after Obama made it quite clear that all western companies will have to wind down operations in Russia or else feel the wrath of the DOJ against sanctions breakers. Which leaves XOM two options: ignore Obama’s orders (something which many have been doing of late), or throw in the towel on what may be the largest oil discovery in years.

And while the Exxon C-suite contemplates its choices, here is some more on today’s finding from Bloomberg:

“It exceeded our expectations,” Sechin said in an interview. This discovery is of “exceptional significance in showing the presence of hydrocarbons in the Arctic.”

The development of Arctic oil reserves, an undertaking that will cost hundreds of billions of dollars and take decades, is one of Putin’s grandest ambitions. As Russia’s existing fields in Siberia run dry, the country needs to develop new reserves as it vies with the U.S. to be the world’s largest oil and gas producer.

Output from the Kara Sea field could begin within five to seven years, Sechin said, adding the field discovered today would be named “Victory.”

Duh.

The Kara Sea well — the most expensive in Russian history — targeted a subsea structure named Universitetskaya and its success has been seen as pivotal to that strategy. The start of drilling, which reached a depth of more than 2,000 meters (6,500 feet), was marked with a ceremony involving Putin and Sechin.

The importance of Arctic drilling was one reason that offshore oil exploration was included in the most recent round of U.S. sanctions. Exxon and Rosneft have a venture to explore millions of acres of the Arctic Ocean.

But what’s worse for Exxon is that now that the hard work is done, Rosneft may not need its Western partner much longer:

“Once the well is plugged, there will be a lot of work to do in interpreting the results and this is probably something that Rosneft can do,” Julian Lee, an oil strategist at Bloomberg First Word in London, said before today’s announcement. “Both parties are probably hoping that by the time they are ready to start the next well the sanctions will have been lifted.”

And here is why there is nothing Exxon would like more than to put all the western sanctions against Moscow in the rearview mirror: “The stakes are high for Exxon, whose $408 billion market valuation makes it the world’s largest energy producer. Russia represents the second-biggest exploration prospect worldwide. The Irving, Texas-based company holds drilling rights across 11.4 million acres in Russia, only eclipsed by its 15.1 million U.S. acres.”

Proving just how major this finding is, and how it may have tipped the balance of power that much more in Russia’s favor is the emergence of paid experts, desperate to talk down the relevance of the Russian discovery:

More drilling and geological analysis will be needed before a reliable estimate can be tallied for the size of the oil resources in the Universitetskaya area and the Russian Arctic as a whole, said Frances Hudson, a global thematic strategist who helps manage $305 billion at Standard Life Investments Ltd. in Edinburgh. Sanctions forbidding U.S. and European cooperation with Russian entities mean that country’s nascent Arctic exploration will be stillborn because Rosneft and its state-controlled sister companies don’t know how to drill in cold offshore conditions alone, she said.

“Extrapolating from a small data sample is perhaps not going to give you the best information,” Hudson said in a telephone interview. “And because of sanctions, it looks like there’s going to be less exploration rather than more.” In addition, the expense and difficulty of operating in such a remote part of the world, where hazards include icebergs and sub-zero temperatures, mean that the developing discoveries may not be economic at today’s oil prices.

Maybe. Then again perhaps the experts’ time is better suited to estimating just how much longer the US shale miracle has left before the US is once again at the mercy of offshore sellers of crude.

In any event one country is sure to have a big smile on its face: China, since today’s finding simply means that as Russia has to ultimately sell the final product to someone, that someone will almost certainly be the Middle Kingdom, which if the “Holy Gas Grail” deal is any indication, will be done at whatever terms Beijing chooses.

Source

Island Performer getting ready to perform in Gulf of Mexico

A naming ceremony was held for the subsea vessel ‘Island Performer’ in Norway on Friday, June 27, 2014.

The Island Performer, owned by Island Offshore, is getting ready its her work for FTO in the Gulf of Mexico.

The vessel is equipped with a large intervention tower over the main moon pool, a 250-tonne AHC Offshore Crane and two deep-sea work ROVs.

With a length overall of 130m, and width of 25m, the vessel can accommodate 130 people.

The Island Performer is particularly developed to suit the scope in the FTO contract in which Riser-less Light Well Intervention and Inspection, Maintenance, Repair are main tasks.

Source

Worldwide Field Development News May 3 – May 9, 2014

This week the SubseaIQ team added 6 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.

Africa – West
Cajun Express Drilling FAN-1 and SNE-1 Top Holes Offshore Senegal
May 8, 2014 – Top hole drilling at the Cairn-operated FAN-1 well offshore Senegal has been completed and the Cajun Express (UDW semisub) has moved to spud the SNE-1 top hole. Once the top hole is complete, the rig will move back to FAN-1 and drill the well total depth. Both wells are located in the Sangomar Offshore license and are being drilled to test the North Fan and Lupalupa prospects respectively. Cairn operates the license with 40% interest. Its partners include ConocoPhillips (35%), FAR (15%) and Petrosen (10%).
Project Details: North Fan
CAMAC Ready to Kick-Off Oyo Development Activities
May 8, 2014 – CAMAC Energy reports the arrival of the Energy Searcher (mid-water drillship) in Nigerian waters. After taking on personnel, equipment and supplies, the rig will sail to the Oyo field in OML 120 to begin a development drilling program starting with the spud of Oyo-8. Upon the completion and tie-in of Oyo-8, the rig will relocate within the field to re-enter and tie-in Oyo-7. Both wells are expected to be producing at a rate of 14,000 bopd by November. Additionally, the company says the rig could drill one or more high-impact exploration wells in OML 120 and OML 121.
Project Details: Oyo
N. America – US GOM
Apache Divests Lucius, Heidelberg and Other GOM Interests
May 8, 2014 – Apache’s U.S. Gulf of Mexico subsidiary elected to sell off its minority interest in the Lucius and Heidelberg developments to a subsidiary of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. for $1.4 billion. The deal also includes 11 primary term deepwater exploration blocks. Apache combined its deepwater and shelf technical teams in an effort to focus on subsalt and exploration opportunities in water less than 1,000 feet deep. Apache is divesting an 11.7% interest in Lucius and a 12.5% interest in Heidelberg. Its interest in the 11 primary term blocks range from 16.67% to 60%. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close by June 30. None of Apache’s producing operations are involved in the sale.
Project Details: Lucius
Maersk Developer Spuds Martin in Mississippi Canyon 718
May 8, 2014 – Exploratory drilling is underway at Statoil’s Martin prospect in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Martin is located in 2,916 feet of water in Mississippi Canyon Block 718. Statoil acquired the block for $157.1 million in October 2012 which was the highest bid received during the Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 216/222. The company considers Martin to be one of the top components of its global portfolio; it took only 20 months from acquisition of the acreage to advance the prospect to drillable status. Well #1 is expected to take around 150 days to complete and is the first of 4 possible wells that will be drilled in the area. Statoil, the sole participant in the well, contracted the Maersk Developer (UDW semisub) to carry out drilling operations.
Project Details: Martin (GOM)
Mediterranean
Kosmos Comes Up Dry with First Well Offshore Morocco
May 8, 2014 – Kosmos Energy failed to find commercial quantities of hydrocarbons at its FA-1 well in the Foum Assaka license offshore Morocco. FA-1 was drilled by the Maersk Discoverer (UDW semisub) to a total depth of 12,656 feet and is being plugged and abandoned. The well was designed to test the salt diapir play concept, which is one of several in the Agadir Basin. Oil and gas shows were seen in drill cuttings and in sidewall cores which suggests a working petroleum system in the area. Additionally, the well provided key information to calibrate seismic data that will further the geologic understanding of the license.
Project Details: FA-1 (Eagle)
Tamar Partners Sign LOI with Union Fenosa Gas
May 8, 2014 – A non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) was recently executed between the Tamar field partners and Union Fenosa Gas SA (UFG) regarding the supply of Tamar gas to UFG’s gas liquefaction facilities in Egypt. Terms of the LOI propose a 15-year contract term and total gross sales totaling roughly 440 MMcfd over the period. The LOI follows recent agreements with Palestine Power Generation Company, Arab Potash and Jordan Bromine Companies. A binding agreement with UFG is expected to be reached within the next 6 months pending Israeli and Egyptian regulatory approvals. Tamar has been estimated to hold 10 Tcf of discovered gas resources.
Project Details: Tamar
Australia
AWE Finally Reaches TD at Pateke-4H
May 8, 2014 – After several setbacks that necessitated two sidetracks, drilling operations at the AWE-operated Pateke-4H development well have come to an end. Target depth of the well was 17,654 feet but that was eventually revised to 15,656 feet. The decision to adjust the TD was made due to the 2,457-foot horizontal leg being drilled through a very high quality reservoir and to ensure a stable well bore necessary for completion and production. A 6 5/8″ slotted production liner has been installed and preparations are being made to run the completion. Pateke-4H is expected to begin production in 1Q 2015 following the installation of subsea infrastructure and tie-back to the Tui FPSO. Completion operations are expected to take about 10 days after which the Kan Tan IV (mid-water semisub) will relocate within the license to drill the Oi prospect.
Project Details: Tui Area Development Project
Asia – SouthEast
Norshore Wins Top Hole Drilling Contract for Shell’s Malikai Development
May 9, 2014 – Norshore, owner of the new Norshore Atlantic multipurpose drilling vessel, was awarded a contract by Shell’s Malaysian subsidiary to provide top hole drilling services at the Malikai field in Block G offshore Malaysia. The vessel was primarily designed for riser-less operations, making it well suited to drill top hole sections for developments such as Malikai. The contract will commence in April 2014 and should keep the vessel working through the end of the year. Shell and its partners discovered the field in 2004 and made the decision to proceed with development in early 2013. The development concept envisions 17 subsea wells tied back to the Malikai Tension Leg Platform (TLP). The Malikai joint venture includes Shell (35%), ConocoPhillips (35%) and Petronas (30%). Startup of the $775 million project is scheduled for late 2015.
Project Details: Malikai
KrisEnergy Improves Position in the Gulf of Thailand with G6/48 Acquisition
May 9, 2014 – Thai regulatory approval was recently granted for a March 2013 farm-out agreement between KrisEnergy and Mubadala Petroleum concerning the G6/48 block in the Gulf of Thailand. KrisEnergy now serves as the block operator with a 30% stake and its partners include Mubadala (30%) and Northern Gulf Petroleum (40%). Although it has been very active in the Gulf of Thailand, G6/48 will be the company’s first operated asset in the region. Contained within the block in the 2009 Rossukon oil discovery, an extensive 3D seismic survey was carried out over Rossukon in August 2013 and an appraisal drilling program is planned for later this year in an effort to delineate the discovery.
Project Details: Rossukon
Nido Reports Naga 5 Mobilizing to Baragatan
May 8, 2014 – The newly constructed UMW Naga 5 (400′ ILC) left the Keppel FELS yard at Singapore and is mobilizing to the Philippines to drill an exploratory well in Service Contract 63 (SC63). The well, expected to spud mid-May, will test the Baragatan prospect for the possibility of 676 million barrels in estimated gross unrisked resources.
Project Details: Baragatan
Otto Secures 14 Month Extension to SC55 Work Program
May 8, 2014 – Otto Energy received approval from the Philippines Department of Energy (DOE) for a 14-month extension to the work program regarding Service Contract 55 (SC55). The extension was granted after a lengthy delay in the approval process by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development for the SC55 Strategic Environmental Plan and the sudden departure of BHP Billiton from the license. Otto is well into a farm-out process to seek a participant in the Hawkeye-1 exploration well and is hopeful that the process will be completed shortly after the June 2014 deadline.
Project Details: Hawkeye
Europe – North Sea
Drivis Discovery Caps Off Mediocre Johan Castberg Drilling Campaign
May 8, 2014 – Statoil recently announced an oil and gas discovery at its Drivis prospect in Norwegian License PL532. Well 7220/7-3S was drilled by the West Hercules (UDW semisub) to a depth of 6,879 feet. A 223-foot gas column was encountered followed by a 282-foot oil column in the Sto and Nordmela formations. Recoverable volumes are estimated to range between 44 and 63 MMboe. Drivis was the last of a 5-well campaign aimed at proving additional resources around the Johan Castberg discovery. Of the 5 wells drilled, only 2 resulted in discoveries. License participants include Statoil (50%), Eni (30%) and Petoro (20%).
Project Details: Drivis
Lundin Proves Additional Oil Pay at Geitungen
May 8, 2014 – Lundin Petroleum recently finished drilling two appraisal wells at its 2012 Geitungen discovery in Norwegian license PL265. Wells 16/2-19 and 16/2-19A were drilled by the Ocean Vanguard (mid-water semisub) in 380 feet of water. Data indicates 20 feet of oil pay was encountered in good quality lower Jurassic and upper Triassic sands in well bore 16/2-19. Well 16/2-19A, drilled as a sidetrack to the southwest, yielded 33 feet of low to medium quality oil-filled upper Jurassic reservoir above 10 feet of excellent quality upper Jurassic sands that are likely part of the Draupne formation. The license is operated by Statoil (40%) on behalf of its partners Petoro (30%), Det norske (20%) and Lundin Petroleum (10%).
Project Details: Geitungen

Ocean Installer wins subsea installation job in GoM

Ocean Installer has been awarded a subsea installation job in the Gulf of Mexico with one of the world’s leading international oil and gas companies on its largest deepwater producing field which sits in over 1800m water depth.

This is Ocean Installer’s first SURF contract in the GoM and marks a milestone for the company in the region.

The project, which involves the installation and testing of umbilicals and associated equipment, will be managed from the Ocean Installer Houston office with onshore preparations starting immediately. Offshore work will take place this summer and Ocean Installer will be utilising the Subsea Construction Vessel (CSV) the Normand Clipper, which is on a long-term charter from Solstad Offshore.

“This is our first SURF job in the GoM and we are very pleased to have secured this work only a year after we established our Houston office and less than four months after introducing our first vessel in the region. We are now looking forward to working closely with our client to execute the project in a safe, high quality and efficient manner,” says Mike Newbury, President of Ocean Installer in the US.

Ocean Installer opened its Houston office in April 2013 and the Normand Clipper arrived in Houston in January. The vessel has been well-received in the market and has since its arrival experienced good utilisation executing several jobs in the regional spot market.

Press Release, May 02, 2014

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BP E&P extends Subsea 7 contract in GoM

Subsea 7 S.A. has announced the award of a three-year $160 million contract extension by BP Exploration & Production Inc. for light subsea construction, inspection, repair and maintenance services in the US Gulf of Mexico.

The contract will run from the second quarter 2014 to the third quarter 2017. The scope covers the provision of two vessels, including a dedicated vessel on a full-time basis, associated project management and engineering support, ROV-based inspection and intervention, and light construction work.

One of the vessels to be utilized in the contract is a new-build offshore subsea construction vessel while the other is a light construction vessel. Both vessels will be chartered on a long- term basis.

John Evans, Subsea 7′s Chief Operating Officer, said: “We are very pleased to have been awarded this important contract extension and to be able to continue growing our valued relationship with BP. This award highlights our proven track record for safely delivering successful Life-of-Field operations.”

Press Release, May 01, 2014

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Gulf of Mexico: Noble Energy Hires EMAS for Gunflint Project

EMAS, the operating brand of Ezra Holdings received a Letter of Agreement (LOA) from Noble Energy for the Gunflint Project in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM).

Under the terms of the agreement EMAS’s Subsea Services division, EMAS AMC has been nominated to perform the offshore installation of pipelines, umbilicals and ancillary equipment for the Gunflint Project in the Mississippi Canyon area of the US GoM in water depths in excess of 2,000 metres. The pipelines will be installed with EMAS AMC’s flagship vessel the Lewek Constellation while the EMAS Marine Base in Ingleside, Texas will be used to perform the pipe stalking and fabrication of various subsea structures.

Project preparation activities have already started and offshore works are scheduled to be carried out during 2015.

“I would like to express my sincerest appreciation to Noble Energy for their vote of confidence by awarding this important project to us,” said Mr Lionel Lee, EMAS’s Group CEO and Managing Director. “The Gunflint project is another significant milestone for us as it is a testament to the growth and current capabilities of EMAS AMC. It affirms that our combined engineering and asset capabilities, including our flagship construction vessel Lewek Constellation, are being endorsed by the industry to execute challenging subsea projects anywhere in the world. It is also the second major contract awarded to us by Noble Energy, following our successful work for the Noble Tamar Project and I look forward to working with Noble again and deliver a mutually successful outcome on Gunflint.”

The Group has secured more than US$300 million subsea contracts since the beginning of 2014, with the subsea backlog standing at more than US$1.4 billion to date.

Press Release, April 11, 2014

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LEASE SALE DISPLAYS POWER OF THE GULF

A message from Executive Director Lori LeBlanc

The oil and gas industry demonstrated its confidence in the power of American energy during the federal government’s Central Gulf of Mexico lease sale held March 19 in New Orleans. In fact, a total of 50 companies submitted 380 bids, and the Department of Interior garnered $850 million in high bids for about 1.7 million acres off the coast of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. This signals a continued strong business interest in offshore energy production.

It’s this confidence in the valuable resources of America’s Gulf that continues to drive our national and state economy, fund the U.S. government, employ hundreds of thousands of men and women across our country, and keep the lights on from Portland, Oregon, to Portland, Maine. Here in Louisiana, we proudly serve as the gateway to the Gulf, the front door to the boundless energy potential miles off of our coast and thousands of feet under the water’s surface. We proudly do a job that other states refuse to do; a job that literally fuels America.

GEST is pleased to help promote this rebirth of the Gulf as America’s energy workhorse, as well as the thousands of men and women who go to work each day to provide power to our people.

Hats off to all of you!

Read More: Here

Williams Partners: Gulfstar One spar nears completion (VIDEO)

Williams Partners L.P. reported key construction milestones and progress on a tieback expansion as its proprietary Gulfstar FPS™ (Floating Production System) nears completion in the eastern deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The Gulfstar One project is the first spar-based floating production system with major components built entirely in the United States.

“Williams Partners’ made-in-America Gulfstar One is 21,500 tons of proof that American engineering and construction are alive and well. The hull of the floating production system was towed out and positioned in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico before the topside platform was installed in March 2014.” the company said in a press release.

After mooring the floating spar to the ocean floor in February, crews in March lifted and installed Gulfstar’s three-level topside structure. The floating production system is moored 135 miles southeast of New Orleans in about 4,000 feet of water. It will serve as a hub that aggregates production and then combines production handling services with oil and gas export pipeline services, which feed Williams’ downstream oil and gas gathering and processing services.

Once operational, the Gulfstar’s base design will produce up to 60,000 barrels of oil per day and 135 million standard cubic feet of gas per day with additional tieback capacity. With hook-up and commissioning activities currently underway, Gulfstar is on schedule to start serving anchor customers in the third quarter of 2014 and Gunflint in 2016.

In addition to previously announced anchor commitments, Gulfstar in January executed agreements with Gunflint field owners Noble Energy, Inc., Ecopetrol America Inc., Marathon Oil Company and Samson Offshore, LLC. The Gunflint tieback is designed and engineered with modifications expected to be completed after the base Gulfstar project is completed.

“Landing this Gunflint tieback before first oil is received from the anchor tenants demonstrates the promise of the Gulfstar model for producers, both economically and technically,” said Rory Miller, senior vice president of Williams’ Atlantic-Gulf operating area. “As a midstream company, Williams is focused on infrastructure solutions of this nature that connect the best supplies with highest-value markets. Gulfstar is one of approximately $4.5 billion in large-scale projects we expect to bring into service in 2014 and 2015.”

Major components of the Gulfstar were built entirely in the United States, creating approximately 1,000 domestic jobs and allowing quick parts replacement and reduced platform downtime. Gulf Marine Fabricators built the hull in Aransas Pass, Texas and Gulf Island Fabrication, Inc. constructed the topsides in Houma, La.

“Gulfstar provides a complete ‘floating production system to market clearing point’ solution for producers in the Gulf for their oil, gas and liquids production, designed specifically to maximize their net present value and minimize risk,” said Mark Cizek, Gulfstar Project Director. “The ‘design one, build many’ construction concept allows for standardized design options and enhanced safety and reliability of each unit. The repeatable concept also increases speed to market.”

Williams Partners developed the Gulfstar One project and it has a 51 percent ownership interest. Marubeni Corporation has a 49 percent interest in the Gulfstar One project.

Source

Williams Partners Reports Execution Progress on Gulfstar One
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