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)
Shipyard delivery for the first drillship is scheduled for mid-2015. The remaining three drillships are expected to be delivered from the shipyard at approximately six-month intervals thereafter. After customer acceptance, the contracts are expected to commence in 2015 and 2016, contributing an estimated revenue backlog of $7.6 billion, excluding mobilization. The aggregate capital investment for the four newbuild rigs is an estimated $3.0 billion, excluding capitalized interest.
All four drillships have advanced capabilities: each is designed to operate in water depths of up to 12,000 feet and drill wells to 40,000 feet. Featuring state-of-the-art equipment, including Transocean’s patented dual-activity drilling technology, the newbuild drillships will possess industry-leading hoisting capacity. The drillships will also have a variable deckload capacity of 23,000 metric tons and feature enhanced well completion capabilities. In addition, each newbuild rig will be outfitted with two 15,000 psi blowout preventers (BOPs), which are expected to reduce customer non-productive time between wells. The four newbuild drillships will be able to accommodate a future upgrade to a 20,000 psi BOP, when it becomes available. The rigs will also feature diesel engines configured to comply with anticipated Tier III International Maritime Organization (IMO) emissions standards.
“These contracts add 40 years of rig work to our revenue backlog, expand and upgrade our ultra-deepwater fleet, improve our fleet mix and provide an opportunity to expand our relationship with an important customer with which we have 40 years of experience in advancing the state of the art in offshore drilling technology,” said Steven L. Newman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Transocean Ltd. “We look forward to providing Shell with incremental value through the addition of these seventh-generation, ultra-deepwater drillships.”
Peter Sharpe, Shell’s Executive Vice President, Wells, said, “Shell continues to develop its deepwater operations and modernize its contracted rig fleet at fair market rates. These state-of-the-art deepwater rigs, on which we are collaborating with Transocean to design, will comply with the highest industry standards for safety, operations and environmental protection for drilling deepwater wells.”
The newbuild rigs will be constructed at the Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co., Ltd. facility at Okpo, South Korea, where Transocean’s five Enhanced Enterprise-Class rigs were built and where the company currently has two other ultra-deepwater drillships under construction. Construction on the first drillship is expected to commence during the fourth quarter of 2013.
- Shell Gives Transocean a Huge Shot in the Arm with 40 Years of Drilling Contracts (gcaptain.com)
- Atwood Oceanics Orders Third Ultra-Deepwater Drillship (gcaptain.com)
- Time to Buy This Offshore Driller? (fool.com)
Malaysia is aiming to become Asia’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) trading hub by 2020 with the establishment of a $1.3 billion LNG terminal in the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex (PIPC), the country’s Prime Minister Najib Razak said in a statement Thursday.
The LNG terminal – also known as the Pengerang Independent Deepwater Petroleum Terminal (PIDPT) – will be developed by the Johor state government, Netherland’s Royal Vopak and Malaysia’s Dialog Group.
PIDPT – which will be constructed over two phases – is designed to have a total storage capacity of five million cubic meters. The terminal will be used for storage, loading and regasification of LNG, both for trading and domestic use. The first construction phase of PIDPT has already started, and is scheduled for completion by 1Q 2014.
“This will be the first independent LNG trading terminal in Asia, allowing multiple LNG users to store and trade the product. It will spur the growth of the [petroleum] industry, and help establish Malaysia as Asia’s LNG trading hub,” Razak said.
PIPC will also house Petronas’ new $20 billion refinery and petrochemical integrated project. The project – scheduled to be commissioned by 2016 – will be able to produce 300,000 barrels per day of refined products.
Malaysia’s PIPC has been touted as a potential strong competitor to Singapore’s Jurong Island – an artificial island located to the southwest of the main island of Singapore, off Jurong Industrial Estate. Singapore is, at present, the Asian price discovery center and trading hub for oil products due to its significant oil storage and trading infrastructure in Jurong Island. The island which is home to oil and gas companies – such as ExxonMobil, Shell, BP, BASF, Celanese, Mitsui Chemicals – sees up to 1.3 million barrels of crude processed each day.
Singapore is also aggressively developing its oil and gas storage infrastructure. The island-city, through the development of the Jurong Rock Cavern (JRC) project, will create an additional 1.47 million cubic meters of oil storage space by 2013. JRC is the first underground rock cavern for oil storage in Singapore and Southeast Asia. Construction work on JRC started in February 2007.
- Malaysia ‘wants to be Asia’s hub’ (todayonline.com)
- BG Group inks pipeline deal for LNG terminal (calgaryherald.com)
- Shell to Build Kitimat LNG Terminal Despite China Investment (mb50.wordpress.com)
- U.S. Expected to Approve Expanded LNG Exports to Japan (mb50.wordpress.com)
- USA: Golden Pass Files with DOE to Export LNG (mb50.wordpress.com)
Rowan Companies plc (“Rowan” or the “Company”) announced that it has exercised its option to build a fourth GustoMSC P10,000 design ultra-deepwater drillship with Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (“HHI”) with delivery scheduled in March 2015.
The cost for this rig, including commissioning, project management and spares, but excluding capitalized interest, is estimated to be approximately $620 million. This cost compares to peer companies’ previously announced 12,000 foot capable rigs equipped with 10,000 feet of riser. Rowan plans to equip its drillships with 2,000 feet of additional riser to enable operations in water depths up to 12,000 feet upon delivery. Each drillship will also be equipped with a second BOP for minimizing non-productive time. The Company will also incur operational training and personnel ramp-up costs in readying the drillships to commence well operations. Expected costs for the additional riser, BOP and training and ramp-up costs will be approximately $75 million. Total cost for the Company’s fourth drillship will be approximately six percent higher than the Company’s first three drillships primarily due to equipment price increases and projected labor cost increases. The agreement with HHI also includes an option for a similar fifth drillship exercisable in the fourth quarter of 2012, for delivery in the third quarter of 2015.
Matt Ralls, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, “We are very pleased to add a fourth ultra-deepwater drillship to our fleet. The recent three-year contract obtained for our first drillship, the Rowan Renaissance, and strong customer enthusiasm for Rowan’s history of operational excellence, high-specification drillship design and experienced deepwater team, reaffirms our confidence in our expansion into the ultra-deepwater market.”
The Rowan Renaissance struck steel in July 2012 and is expected to be delivered in late 2013. The second and third drillships are expected to be delivered in the second and fourth quarters of 2014, respectively.
Beleaguered natural gas producers in Western Canada are going to have wait a little longer for relief from severely depressed prices. Janine McArdle, the senior executive in charge of the Kitimat LNG project at Houston-based Apache Corp., said the facility’s planned startup will take an extra year as the company continues to look for firm contracts with buyers in Asia.
Apache’s proposed natural gas liquefaction plant on the northern British Columbia coast, which it owns with Encana Corp. and EOG Resource Inc., would be the first in line to ship large quantities of LNG to Asia.
The first cargo is now expected to leave Canada in 2017, a year behind the latest plans. The project has regulatory approval, but Apache needs to be sure it has a market for the gas and that the project is economic before taking a final investment decision, Ms. McArdle, senior vice-president for gas monetization at Apache, North America’s largest oil and gas independent producer, said Wednesday.
Construction of a 10-million tonnes a year plant would then take 50 to 60 months.
“We are moving as quickly as we possibly can given that Canada is new to these buyers, and we are relatively new to the buyers as Apache,” she said on the sidelines of an industry conference.
“We have been talking to multiple markets simultaneously and there is a lot of interest. I always have to remind people that these are 20, 30-year marriages. These things don’t happen overnight.”
Next in line is Royal Dutch Shell PLC’s B.C. LNG project, which is slated for startup in 2019. Shell gave the tentative go-ahead to the project last month with three Asian partners that will secure Canadian gas has customers — PetroChina, Mitsubishi Corp. and Korea Gas Corp. However, the project has yet to obtain regulatory approval.
- Apache discovers massive shale gas field in B.C.
- Alberta looking at ways to expand natural gas use, including in vehicles
A handful of other projects are also in various planning stages, but they are further behind.
It’s a tense time for Western Canadian natural gas producers, who are watching closely progress on LNG facilities on the B.C. coast so they can start monetizing reserves already found and look for new ones. The facilities will enable exports to Asia and help alleviate a massive shale supply glut in North America that has depressed prices to 10-year lows.
Asian demand for LNG is expected to increase to 35 billion cubic feet a day by 2020, from 20 bcf today, said Ed Kallio, director of gas consulting at Ziff Energy Group, a Calgary-based gas forecasting firm. He expects demand to outstrip supply in Asia by 2016/2017.
The good news is that there is plenty of gas to keep the projects full. Apache announced last week that it discovered in the Liard Basin a new shale gas field containing as much as 48 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas which it characterized as one of the world’s best.
The find motivates Apache to develop an alternative market for Canada, Ms. McArdle said.
It also further boosts Canada’s 500-trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves, a number that has ballooned in recent years thanks to shale discoveries such as the Horn River, the Montney and the Cordova, all in British Columbia. To put it in context, the now-shelved Mackenzie Gas Project was underpinned by six trillion cubic feet of reserves in the Mackenzie Delta. The number seemed immense before shale gas was unlocked.
Mr. Kallio, who also spoke at the conference, said it will take a lot more than LNG exports to restore balance to the natural gas market and Western Canadian producers will be stuck in a low-price environment for several years. Demand will have to increase, and supply will come down as production of liquids-rich natural gas runs out of steam with weakening of liquids prices, as drilling promoted by land terms tapers off, and if producers do their part by being more disciplined, he said.
“We had such a rush and we had a bunch of cowboys out there, including Chesapeake [Energy Corp.] and Encana that drilled like crazy, [because] they had nice hedges on through the end of this year. But they have very little hedged next year, and that is why they are selling assets — they are selling fingers, toes, kidneys, prized assets to get the cash flows up” and hang in until the next rising market, Mr. Kallio said.
- Shell races Apache to export LNG from Kitimat to Asia (bizjournals.com)
- Apache discovers massive shale gas field in B.C. (business.financialpost.com)
- Natural gas producers pin hopes on Asian market as prices sink (business.financialpost.com)