Category Archives: Offshore FIeld Development
|Worldwide Field Development News
Oct 18 – Oct 24, 2014
|This week the SubseaIQ team added 9 new projects and updated 38 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.|
|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.|
|This week the SubseaIQ team added 5 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 development news and activities are listed below for your convenience.|
Brazil’s state-controlled oil company Petrobras has announced that on March 4, 2014, oil production from the Cascade and Chinook fields in the Gulf of Mexico, reached 40,000 of barrels of oil per day level.
This is a production record for the fields so far. Petrobras said that this output level was reached due to the fact that two new wells , Chinook-5 and Cascade-6, have entered into production, which added 28,000 barrels per day to the previous production level of 12,000 barrels per day.
The Cascade and Chinook fields are located in the Walker Ridge area of the Gulf of Mexico, approximately 300 km (180 miles) south of the Louisiana coast, at a distance of 24 km from each other. Water depth in the area is 2,590 m (8,500 ft).
Oil is produced through the BW Pioneer FPSO, the first floating production, storage and offloading unit approved to operate in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
This week the SubseaIQ team added 4 new projects and updated 22 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.
Jan 31, 2014 – Production from the Guendalina field remains down according the 4Q 2013 Operational Update provided by Mediterranean Oil & Gas (MOG). Low manifold pressure necessitated the shut-in of the GUE 3ss well in August 2013. Eni, the field operator, determined that the reservoir was in good condition and that a blockage in the production string was causing the poor performance. Remedial operations were undertaken in December but progress was hampered by poor weather conditions in the Adriatic. Intervention operations were completed Jan. 11, 2014 and the well returned to a low-production rate. The flow rate will improve as the well cleans up. Eni and MOG maintain 80% and 20% stakes respectively.
Project Details: Guendalina
Asia – SouthEast
Jan 31, 2014 – In December 2013, Roc Oil submitted a Field Development Plan (FDP) to Petronas concerning the Bentara field in the Balai Cluster offshore Malaysia. The FDP outlines a two-phase development and approval is being sought for the first phase which involves early production utilizing the existing wells and facilities established during the pre-development phase. The company expects the FDP to be approved during 1Q 2014.
Project Details: Balai Cluster
Jan 31, 2014 – Salamander Energy sees production from the Bualuang field recommencing in early February after it was stopped in November 2013 when bad weather caused the Rubicon Vantage FPSO to drift off location and damage the production riser. Since then, divers have completed a full inspection and replacement riser and spool materials are being moved to location. While progress is being made, poor weather conditions have slowed repair efforts. A development drilling program being carried out by the Atwood Mako (400′ ILC) has not been interrupted by the event and two production wells have been drilled since the shutdown. Salamander’s production forecast for the field remains unchanged and is expected to average between 13,000 and 16,000 boepd.
Project Details: Bualuang
Jan 31, 2014 – Pan Pacific Petroleum was advised by Premier Oil, operator of Block 07/03 offshore Vietnam, that the Ocean General (mid-water semisub) spudded the 07/03-CD-1X wildcat well on Jan. 28, 2014. The well is being drilled in 426 feet of water and is expected to reach the proposed depth of 12,522 feet. The well is designed to test the Miocene clastic reservoirs of the Silver Silago prospect.
Project Details: Ca Duc (Silver Sillago)
Jan 31, 2014 – Through an agreement with Mubadala Petroleum, KrisEnergy acquired a 60% operating interest in Block G3/48 in the Gulf of Thailand. The block covers an area of 1,126 square miles with water depths ranging from 65 to 165 feet. Partners in the block include Tap Energy (30%) and Northern Gulf Oil Company (10%). The agreement is subject to the customary regulatory approvals.
Project Details: Pathum
MidEast – Persian Gulf
Jan 31, 2014 – Technip was awarded an engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contract by Dubai Petroleum Establishment (DPE) concerning the Jalilah B field development project. Work scope includes construction and installation of the Jalilah B platform, the addition of 13 new risers on existing platforms and the installation of 68 miles of 6 to 24-inch pipeline. The project will be executed from Technip’s fast-track center in Dubai and is scheduled for completion in the second half of 2014.
Project Details: Al Jalilah
Europe – North Sea
Jan 31, 2014 – Lundin Petroleum is in the process of completing a sidetrack well at its Torvastad prospect in license PL501 near the Johan Sverdrup discovery. Well 16/2-20A is being drilled by the Island Innovator (mid-water semisub) to investigate the potential of an up-flank continuous Jurassic reservoir. Oil shows were seen in the main target but reservoir quality was poor. Lundin operates the license and carries 40% stake. Its partners include Statoil (40%) and Maersk Oil Norway (20%).
Project Details: Torvastad
Jan 30, 2014 – Through an oversubscribed share placing, Parkmead Group was able to raise $66 million in an effort to bolster some of its activities in the UK North Sea. Parkmead, operator of the Athena field in License P1293, will use a portion of the funds to enhance production from the field. The group plans to carry out a workover of the P4 well. If successful, the operation could increase field production to 9,000 bopd. Locations are also being evaluated for an additional production well that has the potential to add 1,100 bopd to the production stream. Proceeds from the placing will also allow the group to test several prosepcts in its portfolio such as Skerryvore, Possum, Blackadder and Davaar. Well planning is already underway for Skerryvore.
Project Details: Athena
Jan 30, 2014 – Operator Faroe Petroleum announced an oil and gas discovery at its Novus prospect in license PL645 in the Norwegian Sea. Well 6507/10-2S was drilled by the West Navigator (UDW drillship) to a depth of 9,701 feet. A 39-foot net gas column and 41-foot net oil column were encountered in high quality Garn reservoir. Secondary targets in the Ile and Tilje formations proved to be water wet. Results from pressure and fluid sampling indicate the discovery reservoirs hold between 6 and 15 MMboe. Additionally, the results will be integrated into the existing geologic model of the area to de-risk the remaining prospects and leads in the license.
Project Details: Novus
Asia – Caspian
Jan 31, 2014 – Production activities at the West Chirag platform are underway according to the BP-operated Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC). The platform is part of the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) development in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea. On January 28, 2014 oil began flowing from the J05 development well. Production will increase throughout the year as additional wells are brought on line. As a whole, the ACG fields have produced over 2.3 billion barrels and, with future development, is expected to be a viable project for many decades. The West Chirag platform was installed in 557 feet of water and has a designed processing capacity of 183 thousand bopd. Startup of West Chirag is the final phase of the Chirag Oil Project and is expected to greatly enhance the deliverability of the ACG development.
Project Details: Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli
Jan 31, 2014 – Karoon Gas reports that total depth has been reached at the Grace-1 exploration well in license WA-314-P offshore Western Australia. The well was drilled by the Transocean Legend (mid-water semisub) to a measured depth of 16,630 feet. High gas levels seen while drilling and pressure samples taken from logging while drilling (LWD) equipment Karoon and ConocoPhillips (the operator) to run wireline logs over the zone of interest. Logging and sampling results are expected during the coming weeks.
Project Details: Grace
S. America – Brazil
Jan 31, 2014 – Shell announced its intention to divest 23% of its interest in the Parque das Conchas development to Qatar Petroleum International for approximately $1 billion. Once the agreement is approved by Brazilian regulators, Shell’s operating interest will be reduced to 50%. Parque das Conchas currently produces at a rate of 50,000 boepd since the Ostra and Argonauta B-West fields were brought on-stream in 2009 as part of Phase 1. Phase 2 was completed in October 2013 when oil production commenced at Argonauta O-North. In July 2013, Shell and its partner ONGC (27%) made the final investment decision regarding Phase 3 and will consist of subsea facilities tying the Argonauta O-South and Massa fields to the Espirito Santo FPSO.
Project Details: Parque das Conchas (BC-10)
Thursday, January 30, 2014 by Reuters – John Kemp
LONDON, Jan 30 (Reuters) – Cutting the cost of everything from salaries and steel pipes to seismic surveys and drilling equipment is the central challenge for the oil and gas industry over the next five years.
The tremendous increase in exploration and production activity around the world over the last ten years has strained the global supply chain and been accompanied by a predictable increase in operating and capital costs.
When oil and gas prices were rising strongly, petroleum producers and their contractors could afford to absorb cost increases.
But as oil and gas production have moved back into line with demand, and prices have stabilized, the focus is switching once again to cost control.
“Operational excellence,” a euphemism for doing more with less, is back in fashion and set to dominate industry thinking for the rest of the decade.
Paal Kibsgaard, chief executive of Schlumberger, one of the largest service companies, has been emphasising “smart fracking” and other ways to raise output and cut costs for two years.
Speaking as long ago as March 2012, Kibsgaard warned: “In the past ten years, exploration and production spend has grown fourfold in nominal terms, while oil production is up only 11 percent.”
“In this environment, we believe our customers will favour working with companies that can help them increase production and recovery, reduce costs, and manage risks,” he added.
Schlumberger’s website and those of its main competitors Halliburton and Baker Hughes all prominently feature technologies and processes intended to cut costs, such as dual-fuel diesel-natural gas drilling and pumping engines.
It is just a small example of profound industry shift from an emphasis on increasing production to controlling spending.
Issuing a shocking profit warning on January 17, Royal Dutch Shell ‘s new chief executive pledged to focus on “achieving better capital efficiency and on continuing to strengthen our operational performance and project delivery.”
On Thursday, the company cut its capital budget for 2014, and announced it was suspending its controversial and expensive Arctic drilling programme.
Shell is catching up with peers like BP and Chevron , as well as perennially tight-fisted Exxon, in promising to stick to a tighter spending regime and return more value to shareholders .
The problem is not unique to oil and gas producers. Miners like BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Anglo American have all axed projects and pledged to tighten capital discipline after costs spiralled out of control.
The worst over-runs have been on so-called megaprojects – investments costing over $1 billion, sometimes much more. In fact, the bigger project, the worse the cost overruns and delays have tended to be.
Pearl, Shell’s enormous gas to liquids project in Qatar, is now regarded as a success, but was seriously delayed and went wildly over-budget.
Other megaprojects like Chevron’s Gorgon LNG in Australia and the Caspian oil field Kashagan – which is being developed by an industry consortium including ENI, Shell, Total, Exxon and Conoco – have been similarly late and bust their original cost estimates.
It is convenient, but wrong, to blame poor project management for all the days and cost overruns. Some decisions have been flawed, but on projects of this size and complexity, at least some errors are to be expected.
Megaproject managers in 2013 were not, on the whole, worse than in 2003. Unfortunately, the economic and financial environment has become much less forgiving. When projects start to go wrong it has proved much harder to limit the delays and damage to the budget.
By their nature, megaprojects are so big they strain the global construction and engineering supply chain and pool of skilled labour. Megaprojects create their own adverse “weather,” pushing up the cost of specialist labour and materials worldwide.
Attempting to complete even one or two megaprojects with similar characteristics at the same time can strain the global supply chain to the limit. Attempting to complete several simultaneously is a recipe for severe cost escalation and delays. The multi-commodity boom over the last decade created a “perfect storm” for the megaproject industry.
While there is not an exact overlap, massive offshore oil fields like Kashagan, LNG facilities like Gorgon, floating LNG platforms like Prelude (destined for Australia), gas to liquids plants and even simple onshore shale plays like North Dakota’s Bakken, are all competing for the same limited pool of skilled engineers, construction workers and speciality steels.
The result has been a staggering increase in costs and wages. And once a project falls behind, there is no slack in the system to hire extra workers or procure additional or replacement components to get it back on track.
Supply Chain Responds
Rampant inflation and delays have been worst on megaprojects because they require a much higher proportion of very specialist components and the supply chain is least-elastic.
But even simpler projects like shale oil and gas have been plagued by a rapid rise in costs as they stretch the availability of drillers, rigs and pressure pumping equipment, as well as fracking sand, fresh water and guar gum.
Between the end of 2003 and the end of 2013, the number of employees engaged in oil and gas extraction in the United States increased by 70 percent, from 117,000 to 201,000, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Soaring demand for specialised workers has produced an entirely predictable surge in wages.
Employees in North Dakota’s oil, gas and pipeline sectors were taking home an average monthly salary of $9,000 in the fourth quarter of 2012, and staff at support firms were making an average of more than $8,000, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Their colleagues in Texas were doing even better: average salaries in the oil and gas extraction industry were over $15,000 per month, and $11,000 in pipeline transportation.
That made them some of the best-paid employees in the United States. Only financial services employees in New York ($28,000), Connecticut ($25,000), California ($17,000) and a few other states were routinely making more.
Rising wages and other prices were the only means to ration scarce workers and raw materials. But they were also the only way to attract more workers and supplies into the industry.
It takes a long time to train new drillers, petroleum engineers and construction specialists, and give them the experience needed before they can assume positions as experts and team leaders.
Similarly, the expansion of specialist construction facilities and manufacturing firms for items like oil country tubular goods takes years; and companies will only expand or enter the industry if they are convinced the upturn in demand will be durable rather than fleeting.
While the boom in oil and gas prices dates from around 2003 or 2004, the big expansion of exploration and production spending started much later, around 2006 or even 2007, and it has only filtered down to the labour pool and the rest of the supply chain much more slowly.
It is the long delay between an increase in demand for oil and gas, an increase in production and exploration activity, and an expansion of the whole supply chain, which explain the deep cyclicality of the petroleum industry and mining.
Extreme cyclicality is hard-wired into oil, gas and mining markets. Companies like Shell which have tried to ride through the cycle by ignoring short-term price and cost changes to focus on the long term have eventually been compelled by their investors to fall into line.
In the next stage of the cycle, oil and gas prices are set to remain relatively high but are unlikely to rise much further. For exploration and production companies, increasing shareholder value therefore means increasing efficiency and bearing down on costs, including compensation and payments to suppliers and contractors.
For the supply chain and oil-industry workers, capacity and the availability of skilled labour will continue to expand, while demand is set to stabilise or taper off. Major oil companies and miners have already cancelled some projects. Costs, wages and employment will fall, or at least start rising much more slowly.
BP has added two drilling rigs to the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, bringing its fleet to a company record nine rigs as it continues to develop its strong portfolio of assets in the key U.S. offshore basin.
One of the rigs is a new ultra-deepwater drillship known as the West Auriga that is under long-term contract to BP from Seadrill Ltd, a leading international offshore drilling contractor. The vessel, capable of operating in up to 12,000 feet of water, has begun development drilling work at BP’s Thunder Horse field.
The other is a reconstructed drilling rig on BP’s Mad Dog oil and gas production platform. It replaces the original rig on the platform that was badly damaged and left inoperable by Hurricane Ike in 2008. With the new, state-of-the art rig, the platform recently resumed development drilling at the massive Mad Dog field complex.
“The addition of these two rigs reflects the vital importance of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico to the future of BP,” said Richard Morrison, Regional President of BP’s Gulf of Mexico business. “It also clearly demonstrates BP’s commitment to the American economy and to U.S. energy security.”
BP currently anticipates investing on average at least $4 billion in the Gulf of Mexico each year for the next decade. The company plans to concentrate future activity and investment in the Gulf on growth opportunities around its four major operated production hubs – Thunder Horse, Na Kika, Atlantis and Mad Dog – and three non-operated production hubs – Mars, Ursa and Great White – in the deepwater, as well as on significant exploration and appraisal opportunities in the Paleogene and elsewhere.
BP is also advancing a strong pipeline of future development projects in the deepwater Gulf. In April, the company started up the Atlantis North expansion, the first of seven additional wells to be tied back to the existing Atlantis platform. At Na Kika, another field expansion is planned, following the successful startup last year of the Galapagos development, a subsea tieback to the Na Kika production facility. BP is also pursuing plans for a second phase of the Mad Dog field.
Corpus Christi, TX – Analysis: From Big Foot to Bluto, Gulf of Mexico set for record oil supply surge
CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:10pm EDT By Kristen Hays and Terry Wade
(Reuters) – The Gulf of Mexico, stung by the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history in 2010 and then overshadowed by the onshore fracking boom, is on the verge of its biggest supply surge ever, adding to the American oil renaissance.
Over the next three years, the Gulf is poised to deliver a slug of more than 700,000 barrels per day of new crude, reversing a decline in production and potentially rivaling shale hot spots like Texas’s Eagle Ford formation in terms of growth.
The revival began this summer, when Royal Dutch Shell‘s (RDSa.L) 100,000 barrels per day Olympus platform was towed out to sea 130 miles south of New Orleans – the first of seven new ultra-modern systems starting up through 2016. It weighs 120,000 tons, more than 200 Boeing 777 jumbo jets.
The Gulf Of Mexico’s growth will bolster the United States’ emerging role as the world’s top oil and gas producer, a trend led by advances in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling that unlock hydrocarbons from tight rock reservoirs in places like North Dakota’s Bakken and the Permian of West Texas.
Rising domestic production and the start of natural gas exports may transform the economy and realign geopolitics as U.S. reliance on foreign oil declines.
The resurgence in the Gulf is occurring even though the U.S. government imposed stringent safety and environmental rules after BP Plc‘s (BP.L) Macondo spill. Foreign countries from Brazil to Angola have also aggressively courted Big Oil to invest in developing their offshore fields. And the shale boom has diverted billions of dollars in capital onshore.
The deepwater Gulf, considered the most technically challenging offshore oil patch, remains alluring even as other areas struggle. Brazil attracted only a single bid this month for its once-touted Libra field, yet global companies still compete fiercely for the right to drill in the Gulf.
“A barrel of discovered oil in the Gulf of Mexico is difficult to beat for value anywhere else, even with the increased costs of doing business,” said Jez Averty, senior vice president of North American exploration at Norway’s Statoil (STL.OL).
Huge finds over the last decade – in what engineers call “elephant fields” that can produce for 25 years or more – are lifting growth in a basin some companies once abandoned, fearing it was drying up or its resources were beyond reach.
“This is still one of the premier oil and gas regions in the world and that’s why we’ve never left,” said Steve Thurston, vice president of Chevron Corp‘s (CVX.N) North American exploration and production division.
Even after decades of production in the Gulf, government estimates have shown that 48 billion barrels could still be recovered.
The area of the Gulf of Mexico where most of the new infrastructure will start up is in an ancient geological trend in its deepest waters 200 miles or more from shore known as the Lower Tertiary, estimated to hold 15 billion barrels of crude.
Appraisals in the Gulf’s Lower Tertiary have shown fields that could have half a billion barrels or more of oil, like Exxon Mobil Corp’s (XOM.N) Hadrian, estimated to hold up to 700 million barrels, or Anadarko Petroleum Corp‘s (APC.N) Shenandoah, which tests this year showed could hold up to three times more than initial estimates of 300 million barrels.
The potential bounty of massive deposits that can produce for a quarter century or more is what keeps players coming even though a single well that bores tens of thousands of feet through thick salt and rock to strike oil – or a dry hole – can cost $130 million or more.
By contrast, an onshore well costs about $8 million to drill – but may only produce a trickle of oil for a few years.
Chevron’s Jack/St. Malo project, which will tie a platform to the ocean floor 7,000 feet below the surface and tap a reservoir 26,000 feet deep, costs $7.5 billion.
It may become the biggest such platform in the world after shipping out later this year, with the ability to double its initial 170,000 bpd capacity. It will be followed next year by Chevron’s second new platform, Big Foot, to be secured to the sea floor by 16 miles of interlocking metal strands, or tendons.
In addition to projects by Anadarko Petroleum Corp (APC.N) and Williams Cos (WMB.N), private equity firm Blackstone Energy Partners will join the game. In 2015, Blackstone’s partner LLOG Exploration aims to start up Delta House – named for the boisterous fraternity in the film “Animal House” – less than 10 miles from BP’s plugged Macondo well.
Delta House will pump oil from the Marmalard and Bluto fields, namesakes of characters in the movie.
CLEAR AND STABLE RULES
Three years ago, some analysts thought the post-Macondo Gulf would have fewer players as stricter regulations and higher operating chilled activity, particularly for smaller companies.
Producers must now provide more detailed plans for offshore operations, submit to more frequent inspections and prove they have access to a rapid-response system to cap a gushing well. More than 4 million barrels of oil poured into the sea for 87 days after the Macondo well blowout killed 11 men.
High costs have given some companies pause. Even as BP began appraisal drilling at its self-described “giant” Tiber field this August, a month later it canceled contracts to build a second platform at its Mad Dog field. BP says it wants to move forward on Mad Dog 2 “with the right plan.”
Many others are pressing ahead full steam.
“It hasn’t scared us away,” John Hollowell, Shell’s top deepwater executive for Shell Upstream Americas said, noting deepwater is one-third of Shell’s growth platform, alongside natural gas and unconventional areas like onshore shales.
Hess Corp (HES.N) Chief Executive John Hess has told analysts the company, which operates one oil and gas platform in the Gulf with another on the way next year, also aims to increase its exploration in the deep waters.
“It’s a core area for us and now that Macondo is behind the industry, it is an area where we intend to start investing more, assuming we get the returns that we expect,” he said.
Companies say the Gulf is still the best deepwater basin to set up shop – with high profit margins, reasonable per-barrel costs and a predictable legal and regulatory system.
Operators can bring in their own workers rather than employ a certain number from the host country, as they do in Brazil – where just finding enough qualified workers is a hurdle.
Gulf operators also do not have to brace themselves for sudden changes in royalty requirements or possibly be blocked from bidding on drilling rights, as has happened in Angola.
To get in the Gulf of Mexico’s door, they put in the highest bid when the government leases drilling rights.
“All you have to do is show up at the lease sale,” Statoil’s Averty said.
(Editing by Eric Walsh)