Category Archives: Exploration
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)
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)
Northern Petroleum Plc announces the joint venture decision to extend current drilling operations on the Guyane Maritime permit in French Guiana.
The GM-ES-3 exploration well is the second well of a four well exploration drilling campaign that commenced in 2012 to follow up the oil discovery at GM-ES-1 in 2011.
The GM-ES-2 well had exploration objectives in the major Cingulata fan system within which the original oil discovery was made in two ages of formation. GM-ES-3 has been planned to deliver exploration information in the subsidiary Priodontes fan system to the north west of the Zaedyus oil discovery.
The GM-ES-3 well intersected a 50 metres gross section of oil stained sands in the lower part of the Bradypus fan which was not a target formation at this location although it is also within the main Cingulata fan system. A 325 metres gross interval of sandstones was encountered in the targeted Priodontes fan, but these were logged with no significant hydrocarbon shows.
It has been decided by the Shell, Total, Tullow Oil and Northpet Investments Limited joint venture that this well provides a suitable location to drill deeper in a plan to penetrate the full post Atlantic rift sequence. The duration of this additional drilling will depend upon results from the formations encountered.
“This information may prove crucial to a fuller understanding of the exploration potential of this very large licensed area. Although this extension may cause a small delay to the further wells in this exploration programme, the earlier the deeper formations are examined, the better the advantages to be gained from its use in the second part of the drilling programme and aid efforts towards discovering more oil,” said NorthernPetroleum in a press release.
The well is now targeted to reach a final depth of 6438 meters subject to operational factors.
Derek Musgrove, Managing Director of Northern stated: “Following the oil discoveries of GM-ES-1 in 2011, the task before us was to explore the licence to ascertain its wider potential. Whilst the sand package in the primary target proved not to have significant hydrocarbons at this location, the oil staining encountered in the Bradypus fan is encouraging of the broader active hydrocarbon systems and potential.
“Northern supports this fuller exploration approach to this well. It is likely to provide Partners with further geological data imperative to gaining further understanding of the complex geology in this area”
To read more on the Joint Venture’s operations in French Guiana click here.
Alcoa Oil & Gas, an Alcoa business, will supply 5,300 meters (17,400 feet) of Aluminum Alloy Drill Pipe (AADP®) to Fugro McClelland Marine Geosciences of Houston and Fugro Singapore PTE, LTD for use in offshore geotechnical survey drilling projects. Fugro McClelland Marine Geosciences is a world leader in marine geophysics and seafloor mapping in support of resource development, engineering and scientific projects.
Fugro will use Alcoa’s 5-inch diameter AADP® for global, offshore, geotechnical surveys in water depths ranging up to 3,000 meters (1.8 miles). These surveys are a critical first step in determining whether a site is geologically suitable for a particular application, such as construction of offshore oil and gas drilling or production platforms. Alcoa’s drill pipe is composed of high-strength, aluminum alloy tube connected by a proprietary thermal joining technology, which enables conventional steel tool joints to be used with an aluminum alloy pipe body. This innovative coupling of aluminum and steel provides a strong yet lightweight solution for deep water drilling resulting in increased cost efficiencies.
“We decided to use Alcoa Aluminum Alloy Drill Pipe because it is approximately half the weight of steel, allowing us to double our offshore operating depth,” said Ken Taylor, Operations Manager, Fugro McClelland. “Another factor in our decision was Alcoa’s status as a worldwide leader in aluminum, which can support our efforts with advanced metallurgical technology and innovation.”
Alcoa produces the aluminum tubes at its Lafayette, Indiana, facility.
“Fugro’s decision to use Alcoa’s AADP for such a critical application is a testament to our core value proposition, which is to extend the drilling range of existing assets,” said Jay Grissom, Marketing Director of Alcoa Oil & Gas.
Alcoa’s AADP® was also successfully used in complicated deep water drilling applications by Brunei Shell Petroleum Co. Sdn. Bhd., offshore Seria, Brunei, to a total depth of 7,485 meters (4.6 miles) in about 60 meters (197 feet) of water.
- Alcoa (AA) Unit Enters AADP Supply Agreement with Fugro Companies (streetinsider.com)
This week the SubseaIQ team added 3 new projects and updated 9 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.
Asia – Far East
CNOOC Bolsters South China Sea Production
Jan 3, 2013 – Production has started at CNOOC’s 100% owned Liuhua 4-1 field in the South China Sea. Liuhua 4-1 is a subsea development consisting of one production manifold and eight production wells. They are produced through the Nanhai Tiao Zhan FPS and then pumped to the Nanhai Sheng Li FPSO. Peak production is expected to be reached later this year. In addition, the company completed an adjustment project on the Panyu 4-2 and 5-1 oilfields. The objective of the project was to achieve more efficient production from the two fields through shared facilities.
Europe – North Sea
North Sea Energy Provides Badger Update
Jan 3, 2013 – North Sea Energy’s operating committee recently held a meeting to discuss the path forward regarding the Premier Oil-operated Badger prospect in the UK North Sea. Badger is a structural/stratigraphic trap with an objective in lower Cretaceous Coracle and Punt sandstones. Further delineation is required and critical risk elements need to be mitigated before a drilling decision can be made. The company hopes to be in a position to make that decision by the end of 3Q 2013.
Jan 3, 2013 – Det norske, on behalf of the partners in Production License 001B, submitted to the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy the Plan for Development and Operation of the Ivar Aasen field. If approved, first oil could be seen in 4Q 2016. Information gained during appraisal drilling indicates that the field contains 150 mmboe and will produce at a steady rate of 23,000 boepd. The development will also include the Hanz and West Cable discoveries. Hanz will be utilized by a subsea installation tied back to a production platform servicing Ivar Aasen and West Cable.
Project Details: Ivar Aasen
Jan 3, 2013 – BP announced the start of production systems at the Skarv field on December 31, 2012. Over its life, Skarv is expected to produce over 100 million barrels of oil and condensate and over 1.5 trillion cubic feet of rich gas. Water depth at the location is almost 1,500 feet. Development facilities include a new harsh environment FPSO, five subsea templates and a 50 mile export pipeline. Production rates will gradually increase over the year to an expected maximum daily rate of 165,000 boed.
Project Details: Skarv/Idun
S. America – Other & Carib.
Priodontes Well Spuds Off French Guiana
Jan 3, 2013 – Shell, as operator of the Guyane Maritime Permit (French Guiana), spudded an exploration well at the Priodontes prospect on December 29, 2012. The well is being drilled by the Stena Drillmax ICE (UDW drillship). Well GM-ES-3 is the second well in the current drilling program and is testing a different area of the Cingulata fan system that contains the recent Zaedyus oil discovery. Results of the Priodontes exploration will allow the license partners to gain a better understanding of the area’s geology and overall potential.
S. America – Brazil
PanAtlantic to P&A Jandaia
Jan 4, 2013 – Jandaia reached its targeted depth without encountering any indication of hydrocarbons. PanAtlantic and its partner Panoro Energy have plugged and abandoned the well. Jandaia, which is located in concession BM-S-71, was the third well in Vanco’s three-well program offshore Brazil. Sabia, the first well in the program, encountered volume at the low end of the pre-drill estimate and the second well, Canario, was dry.
Jan 3, 2013 – With the Inauguration of the Tamar production platform Noble Energy and the other Tamar interest holders are one step closer to the realization of first gas which is expected in April of this year. Discovery of the deepwater reservoir took place four years ago and development has progressed on schedule and within budget. The platform was installed in 800 feet of water and has the capacity to process 1.2 bcfd from its subsea wells. Once processed, the gas will flow through 93 miles of subsea pipeline to the Ashdod Terminal on Israel’s coast. Tamar is estimated to hold 8.4 tcf of gas reserves and its development will help bring the country to the verge of energy independence.
Project Details: Tamar
N. America – US GOM
Jan 3, 2013 – LLOG Exploration awarded a subsea equipment contract to FMC Technologies relating to the recently approved Delta House development project in the deep waters of Mississippi Canyon in the US Gulf of Mexico. Under the contract FMC will supply nine subsea trees, four subsea manifolds, five multiphase meters with all associated topside control systems and subsea distribution systems. Delivery of the $114 million order will take place this year.
Project Details: Delta House
- Gulf of Mexico: FMC Technologies’ Subsea Equipment for LLOG’s Delta House Project (mb50.wordpress.com)
- With Subsea Compression Technology, Offshore Platforms Could Become Obsolete (gcaptain.com)
- UH to open first subsea engineering masters program in 2013 (appliedagrotech.net)