Neftegaz America Shelf LP (Neftegaz), an indirect independent subsidiary of Russia’s state-run oil company Rosneft, has acquired 30 percent interest in 20 deepwater exploration blocks in the Gulf of Mexico held by ExxonMobil, under an agreement signed by the two companies.
The 20 blocks have a total area of approximately 111,600 acres (450 square kilometers) in water depths ranging between 2,100 and 6,800 feet (640 and 2,070 meters). Seventeen are located in the Western Gulf of Mexico and three are in the Central Gulf of Mexico.
ExxonMobil retains 70 percent interest in the blocks and remains operator. Analysis of seismic data is under way. There is currently no production on the blocks.
Rosneft and ExxonMobil continue to implement the Strategic Cooperation Agreement signed in 2011, under which the companies and their subsidiaries plan to undertake joint exploration and development of hydrocarbon resources in Russia and other countries and to share technology and expertise. Under subsequent agreements between Neftegaz and ExxonMobil, Rosneft’s subsidiary gained the option to acquire interest in 20 blocks of its choosing from among ExxonMobil’s Gulf of Mexico exploration portfolio. The latest agreement represents the exercise of that option.
The agreement was signed by Igor I. Sechin, president of Rosneft, and Stephen M. Greenlee, president of ExxonMobil Exploration Company.
“ExxonMobil has a long history of safe oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico using state-of-the-art safety and environmental protection systems,” said Greenlee. “We look forward to working with Rosneft and its affiliates to explore these blocks using our leading-edge exploration and development technology and deepwater execution expertise.”
Sechin said, “This agreement provides Rosneft and its affiliates with access to one of the world’s most prolific basins. We believe joint efforts of our companies will ensure the most efficient development of these blocks, with application of the latest technologies and adhering to high environmental standards. Moreover, experience and knowledge acquired in the process may potentially be used when developing deepwater blocks in Russia, including in the Tuapse Trough in the Black Sea as envisaged under the Strategic Cooperation Agreement.”
ExxonMobil and Rosneft continue to implement a program of staff exchanges for technical and management employees to help strengthen the working relationships between the companies and provide valuable career development opportunities for employees of both companies.
The 20 blocks are:
Western Gulf of Mexico – Alaminos Canyon 569, 612, 613, 655, 656, 657, 698, 699, 700 and 701; East Breaks 429, 471, 472, 473 and 515; Keathley Canyon 529 and 573.
Central Gulf of Mexico – Walker Ridge 629, 673 and 717.
Triton Diving Services, LLC, an affiliate company of Grey Mountain Partners (“Grey Mountain”), has acquired the diving assets of Louisiana Oilfield Divers (“LOD”), including the Premier Explorer, a 208-foot, 4-point vessel.
Mark Jeansonne, CEO of Triton Diving Services, said, “The LOD acquisition strengthens Triton’s position as the dominant shallow water (0-300’) commercial diving contractor operating in the Gulf of Mexico. The additional capacity provided by this acquisition will allow us to better serve our customers.”
Beth Lesniak, Vice President of Grey Mountain, said, “With a 20-ton lift capacity, accommodations for 40 crew and a fully functioning machine shop, the Premier Explorer vessel is an excellent addition to Triton’s growing dive service vessel fleet. We look forward to serving customers that have already utilized the Premier Explorer and enhancing our ability to respond to our customers’ current needs in the Gulf of Mexico and abroad.”
Stone Energy Corporation has acquired Anadarko’s 25% working interest in the five block deep water Pompano field in Mississippi Canyon, a 22% working interest in Mississippi Canyon Block 29, and a 10% working interest in portions of MC 72.
The purchase price under the agreement is $67 million in cash plus the assumption of asset retirement obligations, subject to customary closing adjustments. Current net production from the Pompano field attributable to this acquisition is approximately 1,000 barrels of oil per day and 3 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.
Stone’s estimate of proved reserves attributable to this acquisition is approximately 5.9 million barrels of oil equivalent at December 31, 2011.
In late December 2011, Stone Energy also bought BP’s 75% operated working interest in the Gulf of Mexico located field.
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OGI develop and sell seismic processing software and has an existing client base including both major oil companies and seismic contractors. The software is purpose built for modern computer architectures and has an industry leading graphical user interface. It thus provides users with an efficient, cost effective and easy to use seismic processing platform. The newly developed software is already being used on the Polar Duchess for real time Quality Control of acquired data with impressive performance and in Dolphin’s new processing centre established in London.
All Dolphin vessels will be upgraded to the OGI software over the coming months. It will be used for on-board fast track, proprietary processing on the Duchess in the near future and to produce a high-end, fast track product on all future multi-client projects.
R. Gareth Williams, Chief Geophysicist of Dolphin said; “We are extremely excited to be investing in OGI and to be using the Open CPS software for both our on board and onshore, marine processing package. This is a major step towards developing our processing and multi-client services and hence capturing the full value chain in those businesses. We carefully reviewed all the available software platforms and this is a rare opportunity to work with a system designed completely in the 21st century. In addition, we see significant opportunities to support and grow the existing software sales business of OGI and are fully committed to supporting their current customers.”
Roland Gunther and Eric Foley, co-founders of OGI stated “Working with Dolphin will provide us with the opportunity and financial strength to increase the pace of development of our software and to benefit from working closely with an experienced team. We look forward to providing increased levels of support and technology to our current and future customers who are working with both land and marine seismic data. We expect OGI to benefit from the increased global exposure for the software via Dolphin’s multi-client and proprietary projects”
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TETRA Technologies, Inc. has acquired Optima Solutions Holdings Limited (“Optima”) for GBP 40 million (approximately $62.7 million equivalent) plus contingent consideration to be paid in the future depending on profitability.
Optima is a leading provider of rig cooling services and associated products that suppress heat generated by the high-rate flaring of hydrocarbons during offshore well test operations. Established in 1999, Optima has grown rapidly and has served a diversified customer base in over forty countries from operational bases in Aberdeen, UK, and Perth, Australia. Optima’s expectations for continued growth are underpinned by excellent long-term relationships with key customers, increasing international expansion, and a robust market outlook.
Optima’s rig cooling systems provide safety from the extreme temperatures generated during flaring operations and enable high-rate well test operations to be performed without compromising installation integrity, installation operations and personnel safety. Optima’s rig cooling packages employ patented nozzle technology and a wide range of associated pumping equipment that provide users with exceptional performance, reliability and safety.
“With this acquisition, we are accelerating our strategic goal of offering our customers a broader range of well completion and production testing services, and we are expanding our presence in many significant global markets. Optima is a strong complement to our existing portfolio of well completion and production testing services, and we believe we can add value for Optima’s customers through our experience in, and understanding of, those businesses. We are impressed with the relationships and market position that Optima has built and intend to support them within the TETRA family. In addition, we expect this acquisition to be accretive to our consolidated earnings in 2012,” commented Stuart M. Brightman, TETRA’s President and Chief Executive Officer.
Managing Director and founder of Optima, Jamie Oag, stated, “We are very pleased with our new ownership structure. We see this as the next phase in our strategic plan, increasing Optima’s global presence in a manner consistent with our best in class safety and service quality performance standards.” Mr. Oag went on to say that, “Both my fellow founder, Peter Bartholomew, and I, will remain with Optima, along with the remainder of our experienced management and operations teams.”
Simmons & Company International served as financial advisor to TETRA and Ernst & Young served as financial advisor to Optima.
TETRA is geographically diversified oil and gas services company focused on completion fluids and other products, after-frac flow back and production well testing, wellhead compression, and selected offshore services including well plugging and abandonment, decommissioning, and diving.
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SEACOR Marine has reached an agreement with Superior Energy Services L.L.C. to purchase 18 liftboats for $134 million plus working capital.
The transaction is expected to close by the end of March 2012, subject to regulatory approvals. All of the liftboats are currently located in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
U.S.-based SEACOR Marine, a subsidiary of SEACOR Holdings Inc., operates a fleet of offshore marine support vessels, serving the global offshore oil and gas exploration and production industry worldwide with operations and infrastructure concentrated in the United States, Latin America, North Sea, West Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.
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Seabed AS was founded in 2008 by Mr Hans Martin Gravdal, who has more than 30 years of experience within a wide range of subsea operations. Mr Gravdal and his team will continue with the company which is to be renamed Swire Seabed AS.
Along with the acquisition, SPO will take ownership of Seabed Worker, the 88m state of the art Multi-Purpose Support Vessel, and the high-specification subsea ROVs held by Seabed AS.
Neil Glenn, Managing Director of SPO, said, “We are very pleased to announce the acquisition of Seabed, through which we will increase our capabilities and extend the range of services we are able to offer to our customers. We look forward to working closely with Mr Gravdal and his team in Norway as they continue to grow and develop the business.”
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Quantum Energy Partners , has announced the formation of Renaissance Offshore (“Renaissance”) with offshore industry veteran Jeffrey Soine. Supported by a $300 million equity commitment from Quantum, Renaissance will primarily engage in acquiring and redeveloping legacy oil producing properties in the shallow water Gulf of Mexico.
The Renaissance team is led by seasoned Gulf of Mexico executive Jeffrey Soine who will serve as Chief Executive Officer and President. Soine previously served as Executive Vice President of the International Business Unit for Woodside Energy, as well as President of Woodside Energy (USA). Prior to Woodside, Soine was Acquisitions Manager for W&T Offshore where he successfully acquired assets in the Gulf of Mexico. Joining Soine, as Chief Financial Officer and co-founder, is Brian Romere. Romere previously served in the same capacity at Anglo Suisse Offshore Partners and King Ranch Oil & Gas.
Immediately after formation, Renaissance closed on an acquisition of the Ship Shoal 266 field located approximately 75 miles off the coast of Louisiana with an average water depth of 180 feet, from Union Oil Company of California, a Chevron subsidiary. The Ship Shoal acquisition provides Renaissance with a solid production base for the new company, and offers numerous opportunities to increase production over the near term.
Soine commented, “With the recent shift in focus of the majors and large independents to unconventional resources, and continued oil price strength, market conditions are ripe for a well funded, focused acquirer to pursue opportunities on the Gulf of Mexico shelf. Quantum’s strong financial sponsorship and energy industry expertise provides a great complement to our team’s proven Gulf track record.”
“We are excited to be in partnership with such an experienced team focused on the Gulf of Mexico shelf where we see tremendous opportunity to build an acquisition and exploitation platform that we believe will expose Quantum and its investors to superior returns,” said Garry Tanner, Managing Director at Quantum Energy Partners.
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