By Anthony Boadle
(Reuters) – Reports that the United States spied on Brazilian oil company Petrobras, if proven, would be tantamount to industrial espionage and have no security justification, Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff said on Monday.
Brazil’s Globo television network reported on Sunday that the U.S. National Security Agency hacked into the computer networks of Petrobras and other companies, including Google Inc. , citing documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
The report came as Brazil is preparing to auction rights to tap some of the largest oil finds in the world in recent decades, deposits trapped under a salt layer off its Atlantic coast. State-run Petrobras, Brazil’s largest company and a source of national pride, made the discoveries in recent years and will be a mandatory partner in developing all of the new deep-sea fields.
The Globo report added tension to relations between Washington and Brasilia already strained by previous disclosures of NSA spying on internet communications in Brazil, including email messages and phone calls of Rousseff herself.
An angry Rousseff has repeatedly demanded an explanation. At stake is a state visit by Rousseff to the White House on Oct. 23 to meet President Barack Obama and discuss a possible $4 billion jet fighter deal, cooperation on oil and biofuels technology, as well as other commercial agreements.
“If the facts reported by the press are confirmed, it will be evident that the motive for the spying attempts is not security or the war on terrorism but strategic economic interests,” Rousseff said in a statement.
The U.S. government has said the secret internet surveillance programs disclosed by Snowden in June are aimed at monitoring suspected terrorist activity and do look at the content of private messages or phone calls.
PETROBAS NOT A SECURITY THREAT
“Clearly, Petrobras is not a threat to the security of any country,” Rousseff said, adding that the company is one of the world’s largest oil assets and belongs to the Brazilian people.
Brazil will take steps to protect itself, its government and its companies, Rousseff said, without elaborating. She said such espionage and interception of data were illegal and had no place in the relations between two democratic nations.
On Friday, Obama met with Rousseff during a summit of leaders of the world’s largest economies in St. Petersburg, Russia, and pledged to look into the reports that the NSA had snooped on her personal communications and those of Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto when he was still a candidate.
She said Obama had promised her a reply by Wednesday.
Brazilian Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo is scheduled to meet in Washington on the same day with Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice, Brazilian officials said.
Globo did not say when the alleged spying took place, what data might have been gathered or what exactly the NSA may have been seeking. The television report showed slides from an NSA presentation, dated May 2012, that it said was used to show new agents how to spy on private computer networks.
In addition to Google and Petrobras the presentation suggested the NSA had tapped into systems operated by France’s foreign ministry and the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, an international bank cooperative known as Swift through which many cross-border financial transactions take place.
Brazilian officials said the spying report would not affect the upcoming auction of rights to extract oil from the giant Libra oil field, which will go ahead as scheduled on Oct. 21.
Some Brazilian politicians have suggested that U.S. companies should be excluded from the bidding, but experts said that is legally impossible according to the terms of the auction.
Libra has estimated reserves of between 8 and 12 billion barrels of oil, according to Brazilian oil regulator ANP.
Brazil is counting on the new oil production to consolidate its emergence as a world economic power and take the country’s development to a new level. Rousseff signed a law on Monday that designates the royalties from the new oil production contracts for health and education programs.
|This week the SubseaIQ team added 13 new projects and updated 30 projects. You can see all the updates made over any time period via the Project Update History search. The latest offshore field develoment news and activities are listed below for your convenience.|
This week the SubseaIQ team added 7 new projects and updated 29 projects. You can see all the updates made over any time period via the Project Update History search. The latest offshore field develoment news and activities are listed below for your convenience.
S. America – Brazil
May 9, 2013 – BP announced its intention to sell its 60% operated interest in the Polvo field to HRT Oil & Gas for $135 million in cash. Polvo is located in the southern part of the Campos Basin in block BM-C-8. Oil from the field is produced through a fixed drilling and production platform tied to an FPSO. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, but BP expects the deal to close in the second half of 2013. If approved, HRT will make the transition from a pure exploration company to a small oil producer. Currently, the field is producing at a rate of 13,000 bopd.
Project Details: Polvo
May 8, 2013 – Brazilian exploration and production company OGX reached an agreement to sell 40% of its interest in Campos Basin blocks BM-C-39 and BM-C-40 to Petronas for a reported $850 million with an effective date of May 1. Based on the agreement, Petronas will acquire an interest in the Tubarao Martelo oil field with its 285 million barrels of recoverable resources along with the Inga and Pero prospects which are all located within the two blocks. Production from Tubarao Martelo is expected to begin by the end of the year. The transaction is subject to approval by Brazil’s National Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels Agency and the Brazilian Council for Economic Defense.
Project Details: Tubarao Martelo (Waikiki)
May 7, 2013 – Karoon announced its second oil discovery of the current 3-well exploration program in the Santos Basin. The company announced a 656-foot gross oil pay made up of interbedded sand and shale intervals encountered while drilling the Bilby-1 well in block S-M-1166. Wireline testing of the pay zone is currently underway. Once complete, drilling will continue to the planned depth of 15,003 feet where Karoon hopes to find hydrocarbon-bearing Santonian aged reserovoirs. Completion of the Bilby well will mark the end of the exploration program.
Project Details: Bilby
Asia – SouthEast
May 8, 2013 – Nido Petroleum and its partner, Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC), have approved a work plan and budget to spud a wildcat on the Baragatan prospect in SC 63 offshore Palawan Island. Nido will serve as technical operator while drilling operations are underway. The well will be drilled when a suitable jackup becomes available and all regulatory approvals are secured. Bragatan is estimated to hold mean risked recoverable oil volumes of 115 million barrels with an upside of 166 million barrels.
Project Details: Baragatan
May 7, 2013 – The Ensco 107 (400′ ILC) is expected to drill an exploration well targeting the Cua Lo prospect in Block 105 off Vietnam in June 2013. Participants in the block include Eni (50%) serving as operator, Neon Energy (25%) and KrisEnergy (25%). Interpretation of 3D seismic over the area is ongoing and the joint venture is attempting to finalize the drilling location to maximize the exposure of multiple potential pay zones. A Prospective Resource Assessment of the block has confirmed best estimate gross unrisked prospective recoverable resources of 3.9 Tcf.
Project Details: Cua Lo
May 6, 2013 – ROC Oil advised that drilling of the Bentara-3 well in the Balai Cluster RSC has commenced. The well is the fifth and final well in the Balia Cluster pre-development/appraisal drilling program. Once the well is complete the joint venture partners will review the data and determine the economic viability of the fields. If the decision is made to move forward, a formal field development plan will be submitted.
Project Details: Balai Cluster
N. America – US GOM
May 10, 2013 – Total depth has been reached in the B-1 well in Main Pass 108 block in the US Gulf of Mexico. The well, drilled by the Hercules 202 (200′ MC), was designed to target a potential 1.8 MMboe in the Tex W-6 Sand. It is possible that B-1 will be completed and on production by July. At that point, the Hercules 202 will skid over and spud the B-2 well which is targeting similar reserves. If successful, the B-2 well could be on line by 4Q 2013.
Project Details: Main Pass 108
May 8, 2013 – ExxonMobil and its partner, Statoil, have agreed to proceed with development of the Julia oil field in the US Gulf of Mexico. Julia was discovered in 2007 and is estimated to hold almost 6 BBbbls of oil. The $4 billion project is expected to start producing in 2016. Phase 1 of the development will be designed to produce 34,000 bopd from 6 subsea wells tied back to the Jack/St. Malo production facility. A development drilling program is planned to be kicked-off in 2014 in waters ranging from 4,000 to 8,700 feet. ExxonMobil, the field operator, and Statoil each hold a 50% stake in the field.
Project Details: Jack/St. Malo
May 8, 2013 – Royal Dutch Shell made its final investment decision on the Stones ultra-deepwater oil and gas development project in the US Gulf of Mexico. At 9,500 feet deep, Stones is expected to host the world’s deepest production facility. Announcement of the decision sets in motion the construction of a floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel along with all of the associated subsea infrastructure. Initially, two developments well will be tied back to the FPSO with six additional wells to follow at a later date. Peak production for the first phase is expected to peak at 50,000 boed. The Stones reservoir is estimated to hold more than 2 BBboe.
Project Details: Stones
Marathon Development Continues off Louisiana Coast
May 6, 2013 – A fifth development well has been spud on the Apache-operated Marathon gas and condensate field in the Atchafalaya Bay off the coast of Louisiana. Marathon-4 is being drilled by the Parker 76-B (inland barge) in 8 feet of water and is targeting the Marathon formation at roughly 18,700 feet total depth. It is estimated to take 4-months to drill, complete and tie-in the well to existing production facilities. The Marathon field is operated by Apache who maintains a 48.75% interest. Petsec Energy holds 8% while private investors make up the remaining 43.25%.
N. America – Canadian Atlantic
May 8, 2013 – Husky Energy, operator of the White Rose field in Canada’s Jeanne d’Arc Basin, awarded a pair of development contracts associated with the South White Rose Extension project to Technip. The first contract is set to be carried out in 2013 and includes the supply and installation of gas injection flowlines, umbilicals and various subsea structures. Execution of the second contract will commence in 2014 and will involve the supply and installation of flowlines and subsea structures to support oil production and water injection. Husky has started a development drilling program and anticipates production start-up in 2014.
Project Details: White Rose
Europe – North Sea
May 8, 2013 – Cairn Energy announced it will farm-in to licenses FEL 2/04, FEL 4/08 and six adjacent licensing option blocks in the Porcupine Basin west of Ireland. Included in FEL 2/04 are the Spanish Point gas condensate discovery and the Burren oil discovery. The farm-in is subject to regulatory and partner approval. If approved, Cairn becomes the operator and acquires a 38% working interest by paying a pro-rated share of back costs for a consideration of $4.1 million and 63.33% of exploration and appraisal costs up to two wells, subject to a cap. An appraisal of Spanish Point is expected to be drilled in 2Q 2014.
Project Details: Spanish Point
May 7, 2013 – The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) approved an addendum to the Ettrick Field Development Plan (FPD) that was submitted in November 2012. Partners in the field include operator Nexen Petroleum (79.73%), Dana Petroleum (12%) and Atlantic Petroleum (8.27%). Ettrick was discovered in 1981 and began producing in 2009. Approval of the addendum will allow an infill production well to be drilled near the crest of the field. The well should be tied into the Aoka Mizu FPSO near the end of 3Q 2013.
Project Details: Ettrick
May 7, 2013 – Appraisal well 16/2-21 has been spud by the Bredford Dolphin (mid-water semisub) in the Johan Sverdrup discovery on the Norwegian continental shelf. The central part of the discovery is being tested in an effort to establish the depth, quality and thickness of the Jurassic reservoir sequences. Information obtained from this well will aid in developing a drainage and development strategy which is expected to be announced at the end of the year. Well 16/2-21 is the first in a three-well appraisal campaign that will be carried out through 2013.
Project Details: Johan Sverdrup
May 7, 2013 – Lundin Petroleum reports the previously announced production test of the Luno II discovery well is complete. Well 16/4-6S was drilled by the Bredford Dolphin (mid-water semisub) and encountered 131 gross feet of oil pay. A flow rate of more than 2,000 bopd was achieved through a 48/64 inch choke with a gas to oil ration of 1,100 scf/bbl. Lundin estimates the Luno II structure to contain gross contingent resources of 25 to 120 MMboe along with 10 to 40 MMboe of prospective resources for he Luno II North segment.
Project Details: Luno II
S. America – Other & Carib.
May 8, 2013 – Shell’s exploration campaign off the coast of French Guiana continues with the recent spudding of well GM-ES-4 on the Cebus prospect in the Guyane Maritime Permit. Cebus is the third well in the four-well program. The well will test the hydrocarbon potential of a different fan system than that of the two previous wells that failed to find pay.
The Laguna Star, QGOG Constellation’s new ultra-deepwater drillship, arrived, Nov. 7, in Brazil. Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard, located in South Korea, built the Laguna Star as well as the Amaralina Star drillship, which is currently in operation by QGOG.
The unit will be operated by its subsidiary, Queiroz Galvão Óleo e Gás (QGOG), in water depths of up to 10,000 feet and well depths of up to 40,000 feet. It is equipped to operate in ultra-deepwater including the Brazilian pre-salt area.
The Laguna Star is the second drillship to be operated by QGOG, after Amaralina Star, which arrived in Brazil in August, 2012. The unit contributes to expanding and diversifying QGOG’s portfolio in ultra-deepwater drilling.
“The arrival of Laguna Star is another key milestone for the QGOG Constellation’s ultra-deepwater operations and, together with Amaralina Star, reinforces our operational track record,” said QGOG Constellation CEO Leduvy Gouvea.
These two drillships are chartered to Petrobras under six-year contracts, with options to renew for six additional years. Drilling services will be provided by QGOG.
- Atwood Oceanics Orders Third Ultra-Deepwater Drillship (gcaptain.com)
- Maersk Newbuild Drillship Snatched Up (gcaptain.com)
- Shell Hires Four Transocean’s Newbuild Drillships (USA) (worldmaritimenews.com)