Category Archives: Regulation
The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), Noble Energy, Inc. and the Helix Well Containment Group (HWCG) announced Tuesday the successful completion of a full-scale deployment of critical well control equipment to assess Noble Energy’s ability to respond to a potential subsea blowout in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
BSEE Director James Watson confirmed that the HWCG capping stack deployed for the exercise met the pressurization requirements of the drill scenario, marking successful completion of the exercise.
The unannounced deployment drill, undertaken at the direction of BSEE, began April 30 to test the HWCG capping stack system – a 20-feet tall, 146,000-pound piece of equipment similar to the one that stopped the flow of oil from the Macondo well following the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in 2010. During this exercise, the capping stack was deployed in more than 5,000 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico. Once on site, the system was lowered to a simulated well head (a pre-set parking pile) on the ocean floor, connected to the well head, and pressurized to 8,400 pounds per square inch.
“Deployment drill exercises like this one are essential to supporting President Obama’s commitment to the safe and responsible development of offshore resources,” said Director Watson. “BSEE continually works to ensure that the oil and natural gas industry is prepared and ready to respond with the most effective equipment and response systems.”
BSEE engineers, inspectors and oil spill response specialists are evaluating the deployment operations and identifying lessons learned as the bureau continues efforts to improve safety and environmental protection across the offshore oil and natural gas industry.
“The quick and effective response to a deepwater well containment incident, demonstrated during the drill, was enabled by collaborative communication and planning between the industry and regulatory agencies with a focus on solutions-based outcomes,” said John Lewis, senior vice president of Noble Energy. “BSEE, the U.S. Coast Guard, Louisiana Offshore Coordinator’s Office and Noble Energy brought unique perspectives together in a Unified Command structure to achieve a shared goal. Through excellent coordination within the Incident Command System structure that included elevating the Source Control Chief to report directly to Unified Command, the dedication of hundreds of people and activation of the HWCG rapid response system, all objectives were met.”
“HWCG’s ability to quickly and effectively respond to a call from Noble Energy and every operator in our consortium is made possible by a combination of the mutual aid agreement committed to by each consortium member and the contracts we have in place for equipment that is staffed and working in the Gulf each day,” said Roger Scheuermann, HWCG Commercial Director. “Mutual aid enables members to draw upon the collective technical expertise, assets and resources of the group in the event of an incident. Utilizing staffed and working vessels, drilling and production equipment helps ensure there is no down time for staffing or testing equipment readiness in a crisis situation.”
In accordance with the plan, all 15 member companies were activated for this incident through the HWCG notification system.
For the safety of personnel and equipment, a Unified Command comprised of BSEE, the US Coast Guard, Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinators Office and Noble Energy decided to temporarily hold operations May 2 and 3 due to rough weather over the Gulf of Mexico. The safety of personnel remained a top priority throughout the exercise.
Since the Deepwater Horizon tragedy in 2010, BSEE has worked to implement the most aggressive and comprehensive offshore oil and gas regulatory reforms in the nation’s history. This deepwater containment drill tested one critical component of enhanced drilling safety requirements.
Press Release, May 8, 2013: Source
By Alan Caruba
Under President Obama, two women have been the director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Carol Browner, who served in the Clinton administration and was one of the “czars” Obama appointed; her acolyte Lisa Jackson, and up for the post is Gina McCarthy. Browner and Jackson went out of their way to conceal their internal communications from Congress and McCarthy lied to the committee considering her nomination.
How bad is the EPA? The Society of Environmental Journalists, on the occasion of the April 11 hearing on McCarthy’s nomination, released a statement that said, “The Obama administration has been anything but transparent in its dealings with reporters seeking information, interviews and clarification on a host of environmental, health and public lands issues.” The SEJ accused the EPA of being “one of the most closed, opaque agencies to the press.”
Apparently, the primary consideration for the job of EPA Director is an intense desire to destroy the use of hydrocarbons, oil, coal and natural gas, for transportation and all other forms of energy on which our economy depends. Obama, when campaigning in 2008, made it clear he wanted end the use of coal to generate electricity. At the time, fifty percent of all electricity was produced by coal and now that figure is in decline as coal-fired plants are being forced to close thanks to EPA regulations.
If Ms. McCarthy has her way, the cost of driving cars and trucks will go up in the name of protecting the health of Americans. As Paul Driessen, a senior policy advisor for the Committee For a Constructive Tomorrow, recently noted, “Since 1970, America’s cars have eliminated 99% of pollutants that once came out of tailpipes.” Joel Schwartz, co-author of “Air Quality in America”, points out, “Today’s cars are essentially zero-emission vehicles, compared to 1970 models.” The EPA’s latest attack on drivers is the implementation of “Tier 3 rules” intended to reduce sulfur levels to achieve zero air quality or health benefits.
Suffice to say that the air and water in America is clean, very clean. Whatever health hazards existed in the 1970s no longer exist. Like all bureaucracies, the EPA now exists to expand its budget and its control over our lives. The Heritage Foundation has calculated that Obama’s EPA’s twenty “major” regulations—those that cost $100 million or more annually—could cost the U.S. more than $36 billion per year. Obama’s EPA has generated 1,920 new regulations.
Don’t think of the EPA as a government agency. It is a weapon of economic destruction.
This has not gone unnoticed. A recent Wall Street Journal opinion by John Barrasso, a Republican Senator from Wyoming, noted that “During President Obama’s first term, EPA policies discouraged energy exploration, buried job creators under red tape, and deliberately hid information from the public.”
“Many EPA regulations,” said Sen. Barrasso, “chased microscopic benefits at maximum cost,” noting for example that “The EPA has proposed dropping the acceptable amount of ozone in the air from the 75 parts per billion allowed today to 60 or 70 parts per billion. The agency concedes that the rule would have a minimal effect on American’s health, but says it would cost as much as $90 billion a year. A study by the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation estimated it would eliminate up to 7.3 million jobs in a wide variety of industries, including refining.”
The other sector in the EPA’s bull’s eye is agriculture. Not content with laying siege to auto manufacturers, oil refineries, coal-fired plants, and all other energy users that might generate carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhouse gases, Barrasso noted that the EPA “has gathered personal information about tens of thousands of livestock farmers and the locations of their operations” which it then shared with environmental groups.
Writing in The Daily Caller, Henry Miller, a physician and molecular biologist and currently the Robert Wesson Fellow in Scientific Philosophy and Public Policy at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, characterized the EPA as “a miasma populated by the most radical, disaffected and anti-industry discards from other agencies,” adding that there was “entrenched institutional paranoia and an oppositional world view.”
“Unscientific policies and regulatory grandiosity and excess,” wrote Dr. Miller, “are not EPA’s only failings; neglecting to weigh costs and benefits is shockingly common, noting that “The EPA’s repeated failures should not come as a surprise because the agency has long been a haven for scientifically insupportable policies perpetrated by anti-technology ideologues.”
Marlo Lewis, a senior fellow at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, writing in Forbes magazine, pointed out Gina McCarthy, the nominee to direct the EPA, “has a history of misleading Congress and the public about her agency’s greenhouse gas regulations. “At a hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee in October 2011, McCarthy denied motor vehicle greenhouse gas emission standards are “related to” fuel economy standards. In doing so,” said Lewis, “she denied plain facts she must know to be true. She did so under oath.”
“The EPA has no statutory authority to regulate fuel economy. More importantly, the federal Energy Policy and Conservation Act prohibits states from adopting laws or regulations ‘related to’ fuel economy.”
The point of this exercise is demonstrate that the EPA is the very definition of a “rogue agency” for which neither laws, nor science, are of any consequence as it pursues policies that do incalculable harm at a time when the nation is deep in debt and in need of economic growth, not regulatory strangulation.
© Alan Caruba, 2013
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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%.
- Sea Trucks Secures Subsea Installation Contract in Mexico (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Worldwide Field Development News Oct 27 – Nov 2, 2012 (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Gulf of Mexico: Quest Offshore Sees Bright Future for Deepwater GoM (USA) (mb50.wordpress.com)
- UK: PEMEX E&P and BP to Share Technology, Expertise for Deepwater Well Cap (mb50.wordpress.com)
- USA: FMC Technologies, Edison Chouest Offshore Team Up (mb50.wordpress.com)
The Gulf of Mexico, more than any other major deepwater region in the world, has experienced massive changes in the last five years with long-term implications for the future of the region and the GoM’s supply & demand effects on the global deepwater oil and gas market, Quest Offshore says in its report.
The worldwide financial crisis and subsequent recession, shale gas’ implications on U.S. natural gas prices and the aftermath of the Macondo incident have led to significant changes in the outlook for the region. Despite those overwhelming obstacles, the U.S. GoM’s future is bright with a pronounced recovery expected in all major market segments from drilling to subsea, floating production and marine construction.
Overall spending in the region is expected to increase significantly starting in 2013 up nearly 30 percent to $40 billion. Total expenditures are expected to reach a significant $167 billion in the 2013 to 2016 period. For the first time, 2012 is expected to represent an investment shift with deepwater CAPEX and OPEX spending surpassing that in shallow water. In the under developed ultra-deepwater frontier areas of the region, challenging technical and reservoir conditions will result in increased spending across the board, a trend expected to continue through the foreseeable future.
Five years ago the region was a mix of major and independent oil companies executing both oil and gas standalone and subsea tieback projects. In 2013 and beyond, Quest sees more oil dominance with offshore gas waning. Large international oil companies will play a larger role with the execution of standalone (hub) projects with niche-focused independents looking to infrastructure-led drilling around existing hubs and mega-independents continuing to grow their strategic portfolios in select basins.
In Quest Offshore’s latest market report, Quest Deepwater Review: Gulf of Mexico 2013 and Beyond, the reader will gain a comprehensive understanding of current trends and expectations from one of the leading deepwater basins, the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
Leasing Activity Positive for Deep and Ultra-deepwater
Leasing activity is rightly seen as the furthest leading indicator for prospective oil and gas activity not only in the Gulf but throughout the world. Due to the relatively long lead times between leasing, drilling and production, leasing trends can be expected to provide insight on future activity for years to come. With one-third of active deepwater leases, oil majors and national oil companies are expected to continue to be the driving force for pushing the boundaries of the Gulf of Mexico’s development. Excluding Anadarko and Conoco, all recent frontier projects have been undertaken through operatorship’s of one of the majors or national oil companies (BP, Chevron, Exxon, Shell, Total, Statoil, Petrobras), and we expect this theme to persist moving forward.
Drilling Permitting on an Upward Trend
Drilling permit approvals are showing noticeable increases over the past six months with total counts back to pre-Macondo levels. As of the end of September there have been 78 new exploration drilling permits and 36 new development drilling permits approved over the year.
While raw permit counts are showing positive movement this year, the comparison in permits issued per project highlights the underlying cause for such steep increases in the first half of 2012. Multi-well projects (defined as five or more wells) have seen a record permitting pace since late 2011; examples of this trend include Chevron’s Jack/St. Malo Project, Shell’s Mars B Project, Hess’s Tubular Bells project, Chevron’s Big Foot and most recently the BP’s Atlantis North development, while true wildcat exploration permit numbers are still well below levels seen prior to the drilling moratorium.
Drilling Market Accelerating
Notable discoveries of ultra-deepwater fields in the Lower Tertiary continue to increase the reserve and production expectations for the region. The shift in the Gulf is most apparent in the floating rig market with four operators now possessing 50 percent of the contracted rig fleet. Ninety percent of rigs operating are high-spec and rated for ultra-deepwater.
Robust Outlook for Deepwater Development
Since 2008, the U.S. Gulf of Mexico has undergone a shift in project development mix from heavy in small, independent-operated subsea tiebacks to one that is grounded in fewer, larger subsea tiebacks and high-investment standalone developments developed by international oil companies and mega-independents.
This shift towards fewer, larger subsea tiebacks as well as increased FPS units will have profound effects on the future of the subsea sector as the hardware installed evolves as a direct result of fewer gas developments and deeper, more challenging fields. Subsea equipment manufacturers will experience fewer, but larger scope, award opportunities through the forecast period. As these developments move into more challenging areas, the value of these subsea production packages are expected to increase significantly as HP/HT trees and subsea processing become an enabler for these complex, capital-intensive projects.
This next wave of FPS developments is, for the most part, in ultra-deepwater and in more remote areas not currently connected to shallow water or onshore infrastructure. These developments will materially impact the pipeline and marine construction markets (SURF) as these production hubs are connected to existing export infrastructure through 2016 and beyond. The subsea tieback potential for these hubs is most likely to be seen in the latter half of this decade and into the following, with these latest hubs laying the foundation for the next generation of deepwater developments in the region.
- Gulf of Mexico poised for resurgence in 2013 (fuelfix.com)
This week the SubseaIQ team added 3 new projects and updated 17 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
Sep 13, 2012 – The Gurame SE-1X well is expected to spud towards the end of September, according to MEO Australia. Success of the appraisal well could lead to early development of the Gurame oil and gas field situated offshore northern Sumatra in the Seruway PSC. The well was identified via 3D seismic as the lowest risk drill-ready candidate with the highest potential for commercial development. Drilling will be undertaken by the Hercules 208 (200′ MLC). Two attractive targets in the well, the Baong and Belumai reservoirs, are expected to be naturally fractured and gas bearing. These attributes should improve the possibility of achieving commercial flow rates. MOE maintains a 100% interest in Seruway.
Project Details: Gurame
Sep 12, 2012 – The Berangan-1 well has proved to be Lundin Petroleum‘s third gas discovery in block SB303 offshore Malaysia. The well was drilled in 229 feet of water to a total depth of 5,607 feet by the West Courageous (350’ ILC). Data acquired from the well indicates a 541 foot gross continuous gas column in mid-Miocene sands. While Berangan-1 is the third gas discovery in SB303, it is the fourth in the contract area. Each of the 4 gas discovery lies within a 6 mile radius.
Project Details: Berangan
Sep 11, 2012 – Otto Energy has approved the Final Investment Decision for Phase II of the Galoc field. Total project cost will be $188 million. Based on its working interest in the project, Otto will be funding 33 percent of the cost, or $62 million. The scope of work for Phase II includes drilling two subsea wells, tying back the wells to the existing FPSO and installing a second production riser and control umbilical. Both wells are expected to commence production during the second half of 2013. The two new Phase II wells will increase field production rates to 12,000 bopd from the current rate of 5,600 bopd.
Project Details: Galoc
Europe – North Sea
Sep 13, 2012 – BP has announced it reached an agreement to sell its 18.36% stake in Draugen Field in the Norwegian Sea to Norske Shell for $240 million. The deal, subject to regulatory approval, should be completed by the end of the year. BP’s net production from the Shell-operated Draugen field averages 6,000 barrels per day. Since 2010, BP has entered into agreements to sell assets valued at $33 billion. In an effort to focus more on growth opportunities and its core business strengths BP expects to divest $38 billion in assets between 2010 and 2013.
Project Details: Draugen
Sep 13, 2012 – Providence Resources has been informed by ExxonMobil that a letter of intent has been signed for the use of Ocean Rig’s Eirik Raude (UDW semisub). The rig will be used to drill the Dunquin prospect located in Frontier Exploration Licence 3/04 offshore Ireland. Program duration is expected to take up to 6 months and will commence in the first quarter of 2013, pending corporate and co-venture contract approvals. Partners in the exploration license include operator ExxonMobile (27.5%), Eni (27.5%), Repsol (25%), Providence Resources (16%) and Sosina Exploration (4%).
Project Details: Dunquin Project
Sep 12, 2012 – JV partner Bridge Energy has announced the start of operations at exploration well 7/11-13 on the Norwegian continental shelf. The well is targeting the Triassic reservoir Geite prospect which is located 19 miles (30 kilometers) west of the Ula field. The Maersk Guardian (350′ ILC) is drilling the well and is expected to be on location for a minimum of 80 days.
Project Details: Geite
N. America – US Alaska
Sep 12, 2012 – Shell’s much anticipated Chukchi Sea drilling campaign is underway marking the first attempt in 20 years to explore offshore U.S. Arctic petroleum resources. Currently, the Noble Discoverer (mid-water drillship) is being used to drill the mud line cellar and top-hole sections of the first well. This is expected to take two weeks, after which the Discoverer will either continue drilling the Burger prospect or will move to another location to drill the top-hole section. Part of that decision will rest on whether or not the company is able to obtain a permit to drill past the surface sections into the oil bearing portion of the well. Shell has plans to drill three wells in the Chukchi Sea and two wells in the Beaufort Sea if the weather cooperates.
Project Details: Burger, SW Shoebill, Cracker Jack
Africa – Other
Sep 11, 2012 – Africa-focused Tullow Oil reported Monday that the Mbawa-1 exploration well, currently being drilled by Apache Corporation offshore Kenya, has encountered gas in its shallowest objective. Mbawa-1, located in the L8 license, has so far been drilled to a depth of 8,375 feet and it has encountered approximately 170 feet of net gas pay in porous Cretaceous sandstones. The Deepsea Metro I (UDW Drillship) is now drilling the well to a total depth of 10,745 feet. Apache is the operator of Block L8 with a 50-percent interest. Tullow holds a 15-percent interest.
Project Details: Mbawa
Beach Gains 30% of Est Cobalcescu
Sep 12, 2012 – Melrose Resources has agreed to farm-out 30% of its equity in the Est Cobalcescu exploration concession in the Black Sea to Beach Petroleum. Once the transaction is completed, Melrose will retain operatorship of the concession. Terms dictate that Beach will pay its proportionate share of past costs and cover Melrose’s share of the recently completed seismic survey.
Africa – West
Sep 13, 2012 – The joint venture partners for Aje, led by YFP, are reprocessing seismic data related to the Aje discovery with a focus on the Cenomanian reservoir. The joint venture is mulling the potential for early oil development as the technical review could lead to an increase in Cenomanian oil volumes. An appraisal well may be drilled in 2013 targeting the reservoir.
Project Details: Aje
N. America – US GOM
Sep 13, 2012 – Petrobras has started production at its Chinook field in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The Chinook #4 well was drilled and completed in Lower Tertiary reservoirs. Production from Chinook is processed by the BW Pioneer – the first FPSO to operate in U.S. waters.
Project Details: The Greater Chinook Area
Sep 12, 2012 – It has been announced that Plains Exploration & Production has agreed to buy Shell’s 50% working interest in the Holstein Field for approximately $560 million. The transaction is effective October 2012 and should close by the end of the year. Holstein, located in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, began producing in December 2004 and is facilitated by a spar platform anchored in 4,400 feet of water. Average net production at the field is 7,400 boepd. The remaining 50% interest in the field is held by BP.
Project Details: Holstein
S. America – Brazil
Sep 13, 2012 – Vanco is preparing to move the GSF Arctic I (mid-water semisub) to drill its Canario prospect on BM-S-63. This is the second well in their three-well program offshore Brazil. Drilling is expected to commence in approximately two weeks.
Project Details: Canario
Sep 13, 2012 – Vanco Energy’s Sabia well reached a depth of 13,779 feet when a decision was made to stop drilling short of the proposed depth of 14,717 feet. Based on current well data, the discovered volumes are at the low end of the pre-drill range estimate. While the well encountered an active petroleum system, the commerciality of the discovery cannot be firmly made at this time. The information obtained from the well is likely to have a positive impact on the next two prospects to be drilled – Canario and Jandaia.
Project Details: Sabia
Sep 12, 2012 – Petrobras has announced the start of oil production at the Baleia Azul presalt field in the offshore Camps Basin. First oil from the field is being pumped aboard the Cidade de Anchieta FPSO. The Cidade de Anchieta is one of two new production systems that Petrobras will put into operation in 2012. Initial production at Baleia Azul is a good sign for Petrobras whose oil production has taken a hit this year due to maintenance and unexpected shutdowns. The company has also announced plans to bring Bauna and Piracaba fields online in October. Petrobras holds a 100% stake in the fields.
Project Details: Espadarte