Category Archives: Exploration

Worldwide Field Development News Dec 8 – Dec 14, 2012

This week the SubseaIQ team added 1 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.

Africa – West

Ophir Subsidiary to Participate in Starfish

Dec 13, 2012 – A subsidiary of Ophir Energy has assumed operatorship of the Offshore Accra Contract Area through a farmout agreement with Tap Oil. Under the agreement, the Accra Contractor Group consists of: Ophir Energy (20%), Afex Oil (20%), Vitol Upstream (30%), Rialto Energy (12.5%), Tap Oil (17.5%). The farmout and transfer of operatorship have been approved by Ghana National Petroleum Corporation and the Ministry of Energy. Contract terms dictate that an exploration well must be drilled before September 23, 2013 and the Group has identified the Starfish prospect as the target of that well. Starfish is a deepwater prospect that is structurally similar to the Jubilee field. It is estimated to hold P50 reserves on the order of 431 Mmbbls.

Hess Hits Pay in Pecan-1

Dec 12, 2012 – A notice of discovery was filed with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation on behalf of Hess Corporation for the Pecan-1 exploration well. Drilled in the Deepwater Tano / Cape Three Points license, a total depth of 15,420 feet was reached and 245 net feet of oil pay was discovered in two separate intervals. An extensive logging program was carried out and the well was sidetracked to obtain additional reservoir cores. Drilling was carried out by the Stena DrillMAX (UDW drillship) in 8,245 feet of water. The rig is now in the process of suspending the well before sailing to the Cob prospect 15 miles away.

Jubilee Phase 1A Production Underway

Dec 12, 2012 – Production has commenced from Jubilee Phase 1A offshore Ghana. The first production well is onstream and has helped bring total field production to over 90,000 bopd. Phase 1A consists of five production wells, three injection wells and general expansion of the existing subsea infrastructure and should take 18 months to complete. A second Phase 1A well is expected to be brought into production before the end of the year but the Sedco Energy (DW semisub) must first perform remedial work on some of the Phase 1 wells.

Project Details: Jubilee

Asia – SouthEast

Pathum-1 Exploration Spuds Off Thailand

Dec 13, 2012 – Tap Oil announced the spud of its Pathum-1 exploration well in the G3/48 concession offshore Thailand. The well is being drilled by the Ensco 85 (300′ ILC) to a proposed total depth of 8,667 feet. Pathum is thought to hold perspective resources in the range of 5 million barrels. Barring any issues, the well should reach TD in a maximum of 11 days.

MEO Abandons Gurame Sidetrack

Dec 13, 2012 – Difficulties have plagued MEO Australia at its 100% owned Gurame prospect in the Seruway PSC off Northern Sumatra. After loosing over 100 feet of BHA in the Gurame SE-1X appraisal, the decision was made to plug back and sidetrack the well. More progress was made in Gurame SE-1XST but significant mud losses caused MEO to plug back into the liner at 9,599 feet. A 187 foot section of the Baong sands was perforated at 8,858 feet MDRT. No flow was observed and attempts to stimulate the well with nitrogen were made with no effect. The Ensco 85 (200′ ILC) will plug and abandon the well and will be released soon after.

Project Details: Gurame

Keppel Kicks-Off Malampaya Phase 3

Dec 12, 2012 – A steel cutting ceremony held at Keppel Subic Shipyard marked the start of construction of a Depletion Compression Platform (DCP) to be deployed at the Malampaya gas field near Palawan Island in the Philippines. Installation of the DCP represents Phase 3 of the Malampaya Gas-to-Power project which is led by the Philippine Department of Energy. Once complete the DCP will be stationed next to the existing Malampaya production platform. Supporting the project are Shell, as operator, and joint venture partners Chevron and Philippine National Oil Company. Keppel is responsible for building the base and topsides as well as a bridge connecting the new facility to the production platform. The DCP is expected to be installed by 2015.

Project Details: Malampaya

Coastal Tests Fracking at Bua Ban South

Dec 12, 2012 – Coastal Energy recently tested a three stage pilot hydraulic fracturing program in the Bua Ban South A-1 well. The fracked zones flowed back oil at a combined rate of 800 Bopd under natural conditions during well cleanup. Plans call for the well to be re-completed with an electric submersible pump for long term production testing. Next, the company will focus its efforts on the Bua Ban South A-3 sidetrack well in an effort to improve recovery rates. If successful, Coastal will continue the fracking program in order to unlock the full potential of the Songkhla Basin which is characterized by sands with lower porosity and permeability.

Project Details: Songkhla

Europe – North Sea

Breagh Production Test Update

Dec 14, 2012 – Production testing has been completed on three initial development wells at the Breagh field in the UK North Sea. Results from the tests are in-line with reservoir stimulation models run by development partners RWE Dea and Sterling Resources. Once normalized to reflect expected the sales level of wellhead pressure, the current three well capacity is estimated at 88 Mmscfd. The newly drilled A3 well is the most prolific producer with a flow rate of 58 Mmscfd under initial production conditions. Performance of the development wells is being monitored so that future production can be optimized. Five wells are expected to be available by early May 2013 with an estimated total production capacity of 150 Mmscfd.

Project Details: Breagh

Seismic Cables to Increase Snorre and Grane Recovery

Dec 13, 2012 – Norwegian oil major Statoil announced Thursday that it plans to use seismic cables on the seabed to help produce 30 million additional barrels of oil from its Snorre and Grane fields. The company has signed contracts worth $160 million with U.S. firm Geospace Technologies to deliver the cables, which will be part of a permanent reservoir monitoring (PRM) program. Statoil believes the technology will allow it to better understand the reservoirs because they are stable and able to provide a more accurate picture of the subsurface than cables that are towed on the surface and which are subjected to wind, waves and currents. Statoil plans to lay more than 400 miles of seismic cables. Statoil currently recovers around 50 percent of the oil from its operated fields on the Norwegian continental shelf.

Project Details: Greater Snorre Area

Wintershall Spuds Rodriguez

Dec 11, 2012 – The Transocean Arctic (mid-water semisub) is drilling ahead at Wintershall’s Rodriguez prospect in the Halten Terrace area off Norway’s coast. Well 6407/1-6S is seeking oil in the Middle Jurassic Garn, Ile and Tilje formations. It should take roughly 75 days to reach the planned total depth of 13,254 feet. Rodriguez is located in PL475 near the Tyrihans field and Faroe’s 2010 Maria discovery. Wintershall maintains a 50 percent operating interest in the license with Faroe Petroleum and Centrica sharing 30 and 20 percent interest respectively.

Africa – Other

Ophir Updates Jodari and Mzia Ops

Dec 13, 2012 – A recent three well appraisal drilling program undertaken by BG Group and Ophir Energy on the Jodari field off Tanzania successfully achieved its objectives. The wells proved high quality reservoir across the field and reconfirmed the 3.4 Tcf mean recoverable resource estimate. In addition, the joint venture was able verify that high-angle drilling within Jodari may be a viable option to reduce development costs. Drilling was carried out by the Deepsea Metro I (UDW drillship) which is currently drilling the Mzia-2 appraisal well. Upon completion of the Mzia appraisal, the rig will return to Jodari to perform a drill stem test and then move on to continue exploratory drilling in Block 1.

Project Details: Jodari

Black Sea

Gas Discovery Off Romania

Dec 14, 2012 – Sterling Resources, operator of Block 13 Pelican in the Romanian Black Sea, announced a gas discovery at the Eugenia-1 exploration well. The well was drilled by the GSP Jupiter (300′ ILC) to a measured depth of 7,375 feet. Initial results indicate 72 feet of net gas pay in Late Cretaceous sandstones. Data is still being studied but open-hole logging confirmed the presence of moveable gas. The company is also interested in a 65 foot zone of Eocene limestone which presented gas shows. Attempts to collect pressure data were unsuccessful which is not uncommon in carbonates where matrix porosity is limited. The same Eocene interval turned out to be producible in an adjacent well.

Asia – South

Eni Expands Deepwater Footprint in Pakistan

Dec 13, 2012 – Through an agreement with Pakistani authorities and OGDCL, the state oil company, Eni acquired 25% and operatorship of Indus Block G in the offshore area of the Indus Basin. The block is situated in an under explored deepwater area and covers roughly 2,895 square miles. To start, Eni will initiate a multi-disciplinary study in order to establish a suitable exploration approach. Eni has maintained a presence in Pakistan since 2000 and this acquisition further strengthens its position in the country.

Australia

Kan Tan IV Secured for Offshore Taranaki Exploration

Dec 12, 2012 – OMV, operator of PEP 51906, secured the Kan Tan IV (mid-water semisub) for the third quarter of 2013 to drill the Matuku prospect offshore New Zealand. Matuku is estimated to hold 65 million barrels of mean recoverable resources. The company has undertaken several studies to de-risk the prospect. Results of the studies indicate the presence of suitable reservoir rock, and adequate seal and a mature source kitchen. Partners in the license include OMV with a 65%interest, Octanex with a 22.5% interest and NZOG who recently farmed-in for a 12.5% stake.

Worldwide Field Development News Nov 10 – Nov 16, 2012

This week the SubseaIQ team added 3 new projects and updated 19 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.

Australia

Maari Partners to Buy Raroa FPSO

Nov 15, 2012 – OMV New Zealand, on behalf of the Maari field partners, announced the intent to exercise the option to purchase the Raroa FPSO. Since 2009 the Maari partners have leased the Raroa from Tablelands Development Ltd. Included in the lease is an option to buy the vessel after the fourth contract year at a pre-agreed buy-out price. Ownership of the FPSO will give the group the flexibility to refurbish and make upgrades as needed throughout the life of the field. Ownership transfer will be effective as of March 8, 2013. Additionally, MODEC Management Services has been awarded an operations and maintenance services contract for the Maari field through 2017 with options to extend in two year increments. MODEC currently operates 15 FPSOs worldwide.

Project Details: Maari

Drilling Commences at Zephyros-1

Nov 13, 2012 – Joint Venture partner Karoon Gas Australia announced the spudding of Zephyros-1, an exploration well in permit WA-398-P. The well is being drilled on the border of a large tilted fault block and will test the presence, quality and extent of reservoirs in the Plover formation. ConocoPhillips, the operator, has contracted the Transocean Legend (mid-water semisub) to carry out the drilling program which includes a minimum of 5 wells and will continue through 2013. Zephyros is the second well to be drilled and follows the highly successful Boreas-1 well. The remaining wells will be announced as they reach joint venture approval.

Project Details: Zephyros

Asia – Far East

WZ6-12 Development Nearing Completion

Nov 13, 2012 – Roc Oil continues to drill successful wells in the WZ6-12 development area offshore China. Its latest well, WZ6-12-A7, reached a total depth of 8,720 feet while targeting the Sliver and Liushagang prospects. Just over 34 feet of net oil pay was encountered within the Sliver prospect. Liushagang yielded 259 net feet of water wet sands with up-dip potential remaining. A 7″ liner will be set to allow future completion and tie-in to production facilities. Based on the recent drilling results the company is re-examining the area for additional exploration potential. At least two development wells will be needed before the field can be brought online. First oil is still planned for early 2013.

Project Details: Beibu Gulf

S. America – Other & Carib.

BPZ Ready to Flip Switch at Corvina

Nov 13, 2012 – Development drilling in BPZ Energy’s Corvina field will soon begin from the newly installed CX-15 platform. The Peruvain Ministry of Energy and Mines granted the company an environmental permit which cleared the way for drilling and eventual operation of all production and injection facilities on the platform. The current plans call for the Petrex-28 rig to be mobilized to the platform with the first well being spud in December 2012. Production of first oil is expected to take place in 1Q 2013.

Project Details: Corvina

Europe – North Sea

Voyageur Spirit Completing Commissioning Process

Nov 16, 2012 – The Voyageur Spirit FPSO has been on location at the Huntington field in block 22/14b in the UK North Sea since early October undergoing hook-up of risers and completion of commissioning. An exact date of start-up activities has not been set as it is dependent upon favorable weather and the timing of first oil which has been pushed back from 4Q 2012 to 1Q 2013. Prior to being towed to location, the Voyageur Spirit underwent upgrades at the Nymo shipyard in Norway to prepare for Huntington.

Project Details: Huntington

Subsea 7 Wins Martin Linge SURF Contract

Nov 16, 2012 – Total E&P Norge awarded a subsea, umbilical, riser and flowline (SURF) contract worth almost $800 million to Subsea 7 for development activities at the Martin Linge gas field in the Norwegian North Sea. Under the contract, Subsea 7 will provide engineering, procurement, construction and installation of the subsea facilities associated with the field. Engineering and project management are expected to commence immediately with offshore operations forecasted to begin in the spring of 2014. Contract duration is estimated at 4 years.

Project Details: Martin Linge (Hild)

Gudrun Platform Deck Arrives in Norway

Nov 16, 2012 – Production from the Statoil-operated Gudrun field in the Norwegian North Sea is expected to begin during 1Q 2014. The company is a step closer to its start-up goal with the arrival of the production platform’s deck from Aibel’s construction yard in Thailand. The topsides components, which include the operations deck, living quarters, platform modules and helideck, will now be assembled on land. Once complete the unit will be taken via heavy lift vessel to the Gudrun field and attached to the jacket structure which has already been installed. Installation of the deck topsides is expected to take place in the summer of 2013.

Project Details: Sleipner Area

Providence Announces Drombeg Potential

Nov 14, 2012 – Providence and its partner Sosina recently completed a potential resource assessment and major seismic inversion program over its Drombeg prospect in the southern Porcupine Basin offshore Ireland. Analysis results indicate recoverable P50 prospective resource potential of 872 MMbo within Drombeg and a new target identified below the main prospect. Additional Lower Cretaceous seismic anomalies have been identified both laterally offset to and vertically stacked with Drombeg which provide further resource potential. Supplemental data and 3D seismic of the area will be needed to accurately evaluate the true potential of Drombeg.

Project Details: Dromberg

Antrim Inks FPSO Agreement for Fyne

Nov 14, 2012 – A Heads of Terms agreement was signed between Antrim Energy and Hummingbird Production Limited, a subsidiary of Teekay Corporation, for an option to lease the Hummingbird Spirit FPSO for the development of the Fyne field in UK North Sea block 21/28a. The agreement will be subject to approval of a Field Development Plan which Antrim (operator) must submit to the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change no later than January 2013. First oil is tentatively expected in 4Q 2014 contingent upon timing of the redeployment of the FPSO from its current work location. Results from well 21/28a-11, drilled earlier this year, have increased Fyne 2P reserve estimates to 11.7 million barrels of oil.

Project Details: Fyne

Shell Acquires Additional Stake in Schiehallion

Nov 14, 2012 – Shell and Murphy Oil signed an agreement whereby Shell will acquire Murphy’s 5.9% stake in the Schiehallion field offshore Scotland. The field is located in blocks 204 and 205 of the West of Shetlands area in 1,300 feet of water. Execution of the agreement will bring Shell’s stake in the field to 55%. Partners in the field include BP (operator) with 33.5% and Statoil and OMV, both with 5.9% stakes.

Project Details: Schiehallion (Quad 204)

Major Causeway Milestone for Antrim

Nov 13, 2012 – Antrim Energy announced the start of oil production from the Causeway field in UKCS block 211/23d. Commissioning of the field has commenced with gross production rates of roughly 4,500 barrels per day on a 53% choke. The long horizontal geometry of the well has lead to slow clean-up and is impacting initial flow rates. Electric submersible pumps are expected to contribute to production rates through the first half of 2013. Antrim maintains a 35.5% working interest in the block.

Project Details: Causeway

Ithaca Updates Greater Stella Area

Nov 13, 2012 – Ithaca Energy plans to start its Greater Stella Area (GSA) development drilling program by drilling four production wells at the Stella field starting 1Q 2013 using the Ensco 100 (350′ ILC). Each of the Stella wells is expected to take 90 days to complete. These wells will be tied into the FPF-1 floating production unit which is currently being upgraded at the Remontowa yard in Gdansk. Commissioning of the vessel and hook-up to the GSA production hub is scheduled for 1H 2014. Engineering and construction of the GSA subsea facilities is on schedule with installation to take place throughout 2013. More wells are planned for the Stella, Harrier and Hurricane fields once the four initial Stella wells are brought on line.

Project Details: Stella/Harrier

MidEast – Persian Gulf

Total Extends Al Khalij Involvement

Nov 14, 2012 – Total will continue to operate the Al Khalij field offshore Qatar for the next 25 years thanks to the signing of a Heads of Agreement between Qatar’s Ministry of Energy and Industry, Qatar Petroleum and Total. Qatar Petroleum will maintain a 60% stake in the field while Total will remain the operator with a 40% stake. Al Khalij was discovered by Total in 1991 and production was initiated in 1997.

S. America – Brazil

Petrobras Signs LoI for Iracema Norte FPSO

Nov 15, 2012 – Petrobras and its partners in block BM-S-11 announced the signing of a Letter of Intent with Schahin and MODEC for the charter of an FPSO that will be used for the development of the Iracema Norte area in the Santos Basin. The vessel will be operated by Schahin and MODEC and chartered to the Consortium for a period of 20 years. MODEC is tasked with taking VLCC Alga and converting it into FPSO Cidade de Itaguai MV26 which is to be installed on location in December 2015. Once operational, the vessel will be capable of handling 150,000 bopd, 280 MMscf of gas per day and storing a total of 1,600,000 barrels of liquids. SOFEC, a subsidiary of MODEC, will design the mooring spread that will hold the FPSO on location in 7,349 feet of water.

Project Details: Iracema

Statoil Boosts Peregrino Recovery

Nov 15, 2012 – Statoil is well known for its use of multilateral well technology and has used it extensively on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The company has now taken its expertise to the Peregrino field in block BM-C-7 offshore Brazil. Peregrino was regarded as an oil field with large potential for increased recovery based on already low recovery rates and in-place volumes of nearly 2.3 billion barrels. By using horizontal wells drilled with geosteering technology to optimize placement, water injection and flow assurance measures, the estimated recoverable resources have been increased to the range of 300 to 600 million barrels of oil. To date, the company has drilled 15 production wells of this type at Peregrino and has doubled the expected recovery rate.

Project Details: Peregrino

Worldwide Field Development News Nov 3 – Nov 9, 2012

This week the SubseaIQ team added 0 new projects and updated 14 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 – SouthEast

Maleo MOPU Recevies TLC

Nov 8, 2012 – SOV Windermere (subsea operations vessel) has been contracted to provide offshore support services in the Maleo field in East Java’s Madura offshore PSC. Hall Marine, the vessel’s owner, indicated the operation is centered around the Windermere’s integral 15-man saturation diving facility. The crew of the vessel will be engaged in facility inspections as well as repair and maintenance operations. Maleo is produced via a six-wellhead platform and a jackup converted to a Mobile Offshore Production Unit.

Thailand Partners Provide Concession Update

Nov 6, 2012 – Thailand’s Department of Mineral Fuels, Ministry of Energy has formally approved the transfer of 50% participating interest in the G2/48 concession from Pearl Oil to Rayong Offshore Exploration Ltd. The concession lies in proximity to the Jasmine and Manora oil fields and also contains the Rayong Basin which possesses similar characteristics to nearby basins with known oil accumulations. An exploration drilling program is in the advanced stages of planning with the Anchan-1 and Sainampueng-1 wells scheduled to spud 4Q 2012. These wells will satisfy the 5- and 6-year concession commitments respectively.

Project Details: Sainampueng

Black Sea

Sterling Gets Mixed Results From Ioana

Nov 7, 2012 – TD has been reached in the Ioana-1 well in the Romanian sector of the Black Sea. Gas shows were encountered in the Sterling Resources-operated well from 1,640 feet to the total depth of 6,397 feet. The main objective identified by 2D seismic was encountered as prognosed but was found to be made up of thinly bedded sands within low permeability siltstones. Shallower gas bearing sands were intersected but formation details won’t be known until cased-hole logs are thoroughly reviewed. Sterling indicated that it might seek to acquire 3D seismic data over the area to gain a better understanding of the complex formations encountered while drilling Ioana.

Project Details: Ioana

N. America – Mexico

Pemex Awards Akal Contract to Sea Trucks

Nov 9, 2012 – Pemex awarded an EPCI contract to Sea Trucks for work to be done in the Akal field offshore Mexico. The project calls for the extension of topsides of four platforms including processing equipment with associated piping and fire, gas, electrical and control systems. Field infrastructure will also be upgraded by the addition of subsea pipelines, pig launchers/receivers, spools and risers. No definite timeline has been released but the company says the work will take place in the first half of 2013.

Project Details: Cantarell

Asia – Far East

Roc Continues Success in Beibu Gulf

Nov 6, 2012 – Roc Oil, operator of the WZ6-12 development area in the Beibu Gulf, successfully drilled its second exploration well to a total depth of 8,720 feet. Well WZ6-12-A6 intersected almost 200 feet of net oil pay through multiple hydrocarbon bearing zones in the Weizhou formation and will be completed as a producer. Results of the well have confirmed the extent of the WZ6-12 South field. The third well in the three well exploration program, WZ6-12-A7, is underway and will survey the Sliver and Liushagang prospects to the north of the field.

Project Details: Beibu Gulf

N. America – US GOM

Technip Wins Cardamom Contract

Nov 9, 2012 – Shell awarded another Gulf of Mexico development contract to Technip for the development of infrastructure for the Cardamom field in Garden Banks block 427. The project consists of a subsea tieback to the Auger TLP at a water depth of 2,720 feet. Under the contract, Technip will provide project management, engineering, fabrication and installation of 8 miles of pipe-in-pipe flowlines with associated line terminations and steel catenary risers. Offshore installation is planned for the second half of 2013. The company has not disclosed the value of the contract.

Project Details: Auger

MidEast – Persian Gulf

South Pars 17 and 18 Nearing Completion

Nov 6, 2012 – Iranian Offshore Engineering and Construction Company successfully built and installed the 2,320-ton production deck for South Pars A17 platform. From engineering to installation, the entire project took just over 4 years to complete. Production will begin in about 3 months when final commissioning is complete. The unit has the capacity to produce 500 million cubic feet of gas per day. Construction of the production deck for the A18 platform is 90% complete. Completion of the two platforms will be a milestone for phases 17 and 18 in the South Pars development.

Project Details: South Pars

Mediterranean

Cosmos Concession Sees Reserve Estimates Rise

Nov 5, 2012 – New Zealand Oil & Gas announced 2P reserve estimates for the Cosmos Concession, offshore Tunisia, have increased from 6.3 to 8.8 million barrels of recoverable hydrocarbons. The 40% increase is attributed to a resource evaluation completed by InSite Petroleum Consultants Ltd. Two other independent assessments have garnered similar results. A final investment decision from the Cosmos partners is expected in early 2013. Storm Ventures International operates the license with a 40% stake. NZOG and state-owned oil company ETAP hold 40% and 20% stakes respectively.

Project Details: Cosmos South

Europe – North Sea

Europa Eyes Irish Atlantic Margin Prospects

Nov 9, 2012 – Europa Oil and Gas has identified two previously unknown prospects, Mullen and Kiernan, in the South Porcupine Basin in the Irish Atlantic Margin. Both prospects are located in the company’s 100% owned Licensing Options 11/7 and 11/8. First pass seismic data has been reprocessed over Mullen while reprocessing is on-going over Kiernan. Resource estimates at Mullen range from 66 mmbo (P90) to 1092 mmbo (P10). Both prospects are characterized by Early Cretaceous turbidite reservoirs which, although proven in the North Porcupine Basin, are untested in the south. Results from the upcoming ExxonMobile Dunquin well may help to de-risk the area. Europa is currently looking for a joint venture partner to assist with maturing the prospects to drillable status.

Subsea 7 Grabs Subsea Compression Gig

Nov 9, 2012 – Subsea 7 is the winner of a subsea compression contract for the Statoil-operated Gullfaks C production facility. At almost $70 million the contract provides for the engineering, installation and commissioning of a 9.5 mile integrated power umbilical, a protection structure, a subsea compressor station, pipeline spools and tie-ins. Work will begin immediately at Subsea 7′s Stavanger office with offshore operations scheduled to begin in 2015.

Project Details: Greater Gullfaks Area

Proserv Awarded Cygnus Controls Contract

Nov 8, 2012 – GDF SUEZ, through its design contractor AMEC, awarded a $1.9 million contract to Proserv to design, engineer and build wellhead control panels for the Alpha and Bravo platforms at the Cygnus project in the UK North Sea. Proserv will also provide an umbilical termination unit that is integral to the control of the isolation valve fitted to the subsea export pipeline. Six of the ten development wells associated with the platforms will be controlled through the initial panel design. Work is already underway on the project and equipment is scheduled for delivery in 2013 and 2014.

Project Details: Cygnus

Chevron Takes The Helm in West of Shetland Probe

Nov 7, 2012 – Chevron has been given consent by the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to drill the West of Sheland Cambo-5 well on behalf of Hess Limited, the operator of block 204/5a. Cambo-5 will be drilled by a drillship in 3,576 feet of water but the vessel chosen for the drilling program has yet to be named. As part of the approval process, the DECC has thoroughly reviewed Chevron’s management systems and emergency response plans and inspected the drillship that is to be used for the well.

Northeastern Johan Sverdrup Reservoir Qualtity Confirmed

Nov 7, 2012 – Diamond Offshore’s Ocean Vanguard (mid-water semisub) drilled another successful well in the Johan Sverdrup discovery area. Well 16/2-14 was drilled almost 4 miles northwest of Johan Sverdrup discovery well 16/2-6. The main objective was to collect data from the stratigraphic sequence above the reservoir to serve as the basis for field development decisions. A 98-foot oil column was encountered in Upper Jurassic reservoir rocks that exhibited good reservoir quality. The Hegre and Shetland Groups were encountered but reservoir quality was poor in both. The well was drilled to a total depth of 6,430 feet and will be permanently plugged and abandoned.

Project Details: Johan Sverdrup

Premier and Partners Come Up Dry at Spaniards East

Nov 6, 2012 – Exploration well 15/21a-60 in the UK North Sea was drilled to a depth of 10,694 feet and plugged and abandoned as a dry hole. The Premier-operated well was designed to test the easterly extent of the Spaniards discovery and encountered 75 feet of Jurassic sands. However, logging revealed the sands to be water wet. A full analysis of the drilling data is required before a final decision on the commerciality of the Spaniards discovery can be made.

Africa – West

Alen Development Remains On Schedule

Nov 7, 2012 – PA Resources announced work on the Alen field development in Blocks O and I, offshore Equatorial Guinea, is progressing on schedule. The goal remains to achieve first production in the second half of 2013. Fabrication of platform facilities is in advanced stages and installation of flowlines and umbilicals is expected in 4Q 2012. The development will be comprised of a wellhead platform connected by a bridge to a central processing platform. Once on-line, Alen should produce 33,000 barrels of oil per day via three production wells.

Project Details: Aseng

S. America – Other & Carib.

Mapale-1 Yields Gas Offshore Columbia

Nov 8, 2012 – Equion Energia and its partners announced the discovery of gas in the Mapale-1 exploration well in block RC-5 offshore Columbia. The well was spud in August using the West Mischief (350′ ILC). Gas shows during drilling confirmed the presence of a hydrocarbon system and fluid tests and logging results confirmed the presence of dry natural gas. The company will now begin the technical evaluation process in order to determine the potential of the discovery. A second well was scheduled to be drilled but was postponed until after the harsh weather season, which lasts from November through April, passed. Equion serves as operator with 40.56% interest followed by Ecopetrol with 32% and Petrobras with the remaining 27.44%.

Oil and gas exploration opens off North coast

Mike Dinsdale
Friday, November 9, 2012 9:27

The sea off Northland‘s entire west coast has been opened up for oil and gas exploration, something the Government says could pour up to $2 billion a year into the economy and create thousands of jobs in the region.

Energy and Resources Minister and Whangarei MP Phil Heatley yesterday welcomed the Government’s starting the process for awarding oil and gas exploration permits in seven onshore and three offshore blocks around the country. The offshore areas include the Northland/Reinga Basins, which stretch from the entrance to the Manukau Harbour, up Northland’s west coast to above Cape Reinga in the Tasman Sea.

A survey by Crown Research Institute GNS Science found the Reinga Basin could hold the most promising oil and gas fields in New Zealand.

Mr Heatley said the potential benefits could be game changers for Northland: “Down in Taranaki oil and gas industry provides over 5000 jobs and puts $2billion a year into the economy. Taranaki provides a great model of how safe and responsible oil and gas exploration can happily work side by side with primary industry and tourism.

“Oil and gas finds in Northland could be worth even more, and provide just as many jobs as those in the Taranaki because the Reinga Basin has been tagged as one of the most promising fields in New Zealand. But Northlanders will never know for sure until experienced companies are allowed to explore. If they find something, locals can then have an informed debate about whether we allow them to go after it.”

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment had started consulting iwi and councils, and he encouraged iwi and councils to participate. “Their feedback ensures that areas of sensitivity are carefully considered before the areas to be tendered are finalised,” Mr Heatley said. No schedule-four conservation or World Heritage sites would be included in the areas for exploration.

But Te Runanga o Te Rarawa chairman Haami Piripi said his iwi was not happy with the proposal and felt any consultation would be a “facade”.

“There’s nothing from the exploration regime that will benefit iwi, other than possibly some jobs in the extraction process. The Government is going ahead without first dealing with the big issue, the customary interest iwi have in this resource,” he said.

“We have a legal opinion saying iwi do have a customary interests in oil and petroleum resources. The Waitangi Tribunal issued a report that recognised that Taranaki iwi have an interest in their petroleum resource, but that has been rejected by the Government.

“So we say we legally have a customary interest there, but the Government is trampling on those interests by ignoring them. It will be a facade consultation.”

He said regardless of what iwi thought, the Government would ignore their concerns if they interfered with its plans. “But we will raise our objections.”

Northland Chamber of Commerce head Tony Collins welcomed the move, saying the region needed the jobs and opportunities exploration could provide. “If you look at Taranaki it’s been a positive thing there and it should be positive for Northland.

“There’s always a balance between risk and reward, but if they use best practice for extraction the chances of anything going wrong are very, very minor,” Mr Collins said.

“This could actually create a lot of opportunities for iwi. They could become involved and use it to help lift the aspirations of their people.”

National Oilwell Varco Gives $905,000 to UH’s Subsea Engineering Program

left to right: UH Cullen College of Engineering Dean Joseph Tedesco, Charles N. Grichar, NOV senior vice president/technology development, Matthew Franchek, founding director of UH’s subsea engineering program.

Laura Tolley
ljtolley@uh.edu

November 6, 2012-Houston-

National Oilwell Varco (NOV) is giving $905,000 to the University of Houston’s subsea engineering program to further research initiatives and develop a computational laboratory.

NOV’s gift will be used to establish the National Oilwell Varco Computational Engineering Laboratory and to conduct contractual research for UH’s subsea engineering program and NOV.

The computational lab will be used to perform detailed computational calculations on complex subsea equipment that must operate under high-temperature and high-pressure oil and gas conditions that occur in ultra-deep subsea reserves.

The lab also will support the subsea engineering curriculum and students, enabling them to complete capstone design projects using the latest in computational subsea engineering tools.

Recently, UH received the state’s approval to offer the nation’s first subsea engineering graduate program, which will teach the scientific and technical skills necessary to create the first generation of formally trained subsea engineering specialists. UH already offers a certificate program in subsea engineering, which also is the only such program in the United States.

“NOV has made an important investment in UH’s efforts to build a premier graduate program in subsea engineering. We are grateful to NOV for recognizing the value of this ambitious energy initiative,” said Matthew Franchek, founding director of UH’s subsea program and a mechanical engineering professor.

“The subsea engineering graduate program is part of UH’s ongoing efforts to support the area’s energy sector,” Franchek said. “With NOV’s help, this program will produce students with the skills needed to overcome the unique challenges of deepwater exploration.”

The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved UH’s proposal to provide a graduate subsea engineering program, which is expected to begin in fall 2013.

Formed in partnership with the world’s leading energy engineering companies, the master’s program will include classroom lectures and hands-on software education for subsea systems design. Recognized experts in the industry will teach the courses.

Offshore oil and gas reserves are increasingly important sources of energy. Some experts believe that billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas lie within federally controlled waters in the Gulf of Mexico alone. But these massive reserves lie underneath 10,000 feet of water, presenting unprecedented engineering challenges such as freezing temperatures, corrosive seawater and immense water pressure.

A subsea engineer is responsible for the design, installation and maintenance of the equipment, tools and infrastructure used in the underwater phase of the offshore oil and gas drilling and production.

Last year, UH began its subsea engineering certificate program in response to the oil industry’s increasing need for these skilled engineers. It was the first of its kind in the U.S. Subsea engineering typically has not been considered a distinct discipline in the U.S., but a number of universities abroad offer degree programs in the field.

The new subsea graduate program will dovetail into UH’s growing petroleum engineering program, which two years ago established an undergraduate degree program in addition to its graduate curriculum.

About the University of Houston

The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the nation’s best colleges for undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation’s fourth-largest city, UH serves more than 39,500 students in the most ethnically and culturally diverse region in the country.

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