This week the SubseaIQ team added 0 new projects and updated 13 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
Oct 18, 2012 – Petrobras confirmed the presence of light oil in appraisal well 3-BRSA-1101-SPS, informally known as Carioca Norte, in block BM-S-9 offshore Brazil. Schahin’s Vitoria 10000 drillship drilled the well to a total depth of 18,293 feet. Results from the well are similar to three others drilled in the Carioca area. The partners in the block will now proceed with their appraisal plan which has been approved by Brazil’s ANP.
Project Details: Carioca
Oct 18, 2012 – Shell and its partners announced steel cutting for what will be the world’s first floating liquid natural gas facility. When complete, the Prelude FLNG vessel will be 1,600 feet long and 242 feet wide and will be the largest offshore floating facility ever built. Prelude will be deployed approximately 120 miles off the Australian coast in block WA-44-L serving the Prelude and Concerto fields. FLNG technology will eventually make it economical to develop gas fields that are currently considered too far from shore or to remote to produce. The facility is expected to receive first gas some time in 2017. At peak production the facility will deliver 3.6 million tons of LNG and 400,000 tons of LPG per year.
Project Details: Prelude
Oct 17, 2012 – Karoon Gas announced the Transocean Legend (mid-water semisub) has commenced testing of the Boreas-1 exploration well. Upon bringing in the well, a stabilized flow rate of 30.2 Mmscf/d was achieved through a 40/64 choke. The company notes that flow rates were limited by the surface equipment being used. Flow is being assessed from a 229-foot perforated reservoir section in the primary Plover formation at a depth of 16,089 feet. Testing should last five days with the goal of determining the overall deliverability of the primary reservoir which if a part of the Geater Poseidon structure. The next two wells in the drilling program, Zephyros-1 and Proteus-1, are designed to test the east and west flanks of Greater Poseidon Trend.
Project Details: Boreas
Africa – West
Oct 19, 2012 – FMC Technologies has been awarded a $33 million equipment contract to supply three additional subsea well systems to Total for its Pazflor project offshore Angola. FMC supplied the initial deepwater production systems that have now been in operation for just over a year. Three of the four Pazflor reservoirs contain very heavy, viscous oil and relatively low reservoir pressures. Subsea separation and pumping is the key enabling technology making production of the heavy oil possible.
Project Details: Pazflor
Oct 17, 2012 – Eni, operator of block 15/06 offshore Angola, awarded a $50 million-contract to Aker Solutions to participate in the West Hub development project. Aker’s work scope will include engineering, procurement, fabrication and supply of 21 miles of static and dynamic steel tube umbilicals, as well as the associated equipment and peripherals. Delivery is booked for 1Q 2014. Once active, West Hub will draw from the Sangos, Ngoma and Cinguvu fields.
Project Details: West Hub
S. America – Other & Carib.
Oct 19, 2012 – Rockhopper announced the completion of the Premier Oil farm-out agreement. Rockhopper will receive a $231 million cash payment and Premier will obtain a 60% interest and operatorship of Rockhoppers licenses off the Falkland Islands. The cash payment will see Rockhopper’s share of Sea Lion fully funded through first oil which is expected 3Q 2017. Both companies are fully aligned on the project and expect to have a development concept by mid 2013. The partners are also discussing other Falklands area exploration prospects and a 2014 drilling campaign.
Project Details: Sea Lion
Europe – North Sea
Oct 19, 2012 – Statoil and its partners have approved the installation of a 4-slot standard template at Fram H North in the Norwegian North Sea. The template is to be tied-back via flexible pipeline to Fram West which supplies production to the Troll C platform. Installation of subsea equipment, pipelines and control cables is planned for summer 2013. The project will help maintain high flowline temperatures to avoid the use of scale wax inhibitors between Fram and Troll C. Estimates indicate Fram H contains recoverable resources of 10 Mmbeo.
Project Details: Troll Area
Oct 17, 2012 – RWE Dea has elected to sell its 20% stake in the Edvard Grieg development offshore Norway to OMV for $325.2 million. A contingent payment of almost $46 million is available based on the achievement of certain operational milestones. This acquisition gives OMV access to 2P reserves in excess of 38 Mmboe and net production up to 19,000 boepd in 2016 once the field is brought on stream. The Plan of Development and Operations has already been approved by the Norwegian Parliament and all major contracts for drilling and platform construction have been awarded. OMV will share partnership with Lundin (operator 50%) and Wintershall (30%). The agreement is subject to approval by the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy and by the Norwegian Ministry of Finance.
Project Details: Edvard Grieg (Luno, Ivar Aasen) Project
Oct 16, 2012 – A scheduled maintenance shutdown of the Nexen-operated Buzzard platform in the UK North Sea has lasted longer than predicted. Nexen’s original plan was to bring the platform back online mid-October but startup will have to wait another week. The delay has resulted in one cargo being dropped from the November Forties loading program. Forties is the main component of the global benchmark Brent which is used to price most of the world’s oil. Buzzard is the largest Forties producing field and issues there tend to provide strong support to Brent oil futures.
Project Details: Buzzard
Oct 16, 2012 – Drilling at the Eni-operated Goliat field will begin near the end of October by the Scarabeo 8 (UDW semisub). Appraisal well 7122/7-6 is expected to take 50 days to drill. A 3 ?? year development drilling phase, consisting of 22 wells drilled from 8 subsea templates, will begin upon completion of the appraisal well. The templates will eventually be tied to a circular floating production facility with an integrated loading and storage system. Total development cost of Goliat is estimated at $5.2 billion. After start-up, production is expected to plateau at 100,000 barrels per day.
Project Details: Goliat
Drilling Underway at Spaniards East
Oct 15, 2012 – Drilling operations at the Premier Oil-operated Spaniards East prospect are underway in the UK North Sea. Awilco Drilling’s WilPhoenix (mid-water semisub) is expected to be on location for roughly 40 days. The Spaniards discovery was made in 1989 and flowed 2,660 barrels per day. Spaniards East will test the down-dip potential ?? mile to the east of the discovery well. Successful results from this well could cause the partners in the license to accelerate appraisal plans for the area.
Oct 15, 2012 – Det norske and its partners announced disappointing results at the Geite prospect offshore Norway. Well 7/11-13 encountered Triassic sandstones as planned but were proved to be void of hydrocarbons. The well will now be plugged and abandoned as a dry hole.
Project Details: Geite
Asia – SouthEast
Oct 18, 2012 – Premier Oil awarded a $15 million contract to EOC Limited in relation to the upgrade of FPSO Lewek EMAS. Under the contract, EOC will provide project management, engineering and procurement services for modifications that are necessary to accommodate a subsea tie-back that will link the vessel to the nearby Dua oil field in Block 12E offshore Vietnam. The Lewek EMAS is currently in operation in the Premier-operated Chim Sao field. Once the project is completed in late 2013, the FPSO will produce both fields. All modifications will be made in the field without taking the vessel offline.
Project Details: Chim Sao
Tullow Farms Into Greenland Block
Oct 15, 2012 – Greenland’s Government approved an agreement between Maersk Oil and Tullow in which Tullow will take a non-operated 40% interest in Block 9 located off the nation’s western coast. Maersk Oil will maintain operatorship of the block with 47.5% interest and state oil company Nunaoil will hold the remaining 12.5%. Block 9 is also referred to as the Tooq license and covers an area of 7,333 square miles. Decision to drill an exploration well will be made once 3D seismic is acquired and processed, which will last through 2014.
- Steel-Cutting Commences for Shell’s Offshore Monstrosity…the Prelude FLNG Facility (gcaptain.com)
- Falklands to start producing oil by 2017 (guardian.co.uk)
- Worldwide Field Development News Sep 29 – Oct 5, 2012 (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Aker Solutions Opens Malaysian Subsea Service Base (worldmaritimenews.com)
Borders & Southern has announced the results of the Darwin fluid sample analysis. As previously reported, well 61/17-1 encountered a good quality sandstone reservoir comprising 67.8m of net pay with an average porosity of 22%. The gas condensate reservoir was sampled at four separate levels with 3 fluid samples taken at each level.
The initial condensate yield from the Darwin gas samples, as measured in a laboratory separator test, varies from 123 to 140 stb/MMscf. The API gravity of the condensate is 46 to 49 degrees. Based on the condensate yield and ongoing reservoir modelling, the Company estimates the recoverable volume of condensate to be 130 to 250 million barrels with a mid case of 190 million barrels.
Following these positive laboratory results, the Board will approve a work programme that includes appraisal drilling of the Darwin discovery. Additional wells are necessary to confirm the initial resource estimates and establish a commercial development. In the coming months, activity will focus on a comprehensive technical evaluation of all the data collected from well 61/17-1 and a review of potential development concepts along with project economics.
These results have exciting implications for the Company’s prospect and lead inventory and particularly for those prospects in the Lower Cretaceous play fairway to the south of the Falkland Islands. Borders & Southern’s prospect inventory contains further relatively low risk structural prospects of a similar size to Darwin along with stratigraphically trapped fans of slightly higher risk but larger scale. Some of these prospects will be targeted in the next drilling phase with the objective of adding to the discovered resources of Darwin and building a core development area.
“Discussions with a seismic contractor regarding the acquisition of additional 3D seismic are in progress and we plan to have a vessel in the Falklands at the start of 2013 to commence the survey,”said Borders & Southern in a statement.
This survey will focus on similar prospects to Darwin currently outside our existing 3D area. Whilst the final costs of the 2012 drilling programme will not be fully known until after the demobilisation of the rig later in the year, the Company can state that it is fully funded for the 3D seismic acquisition and processing, the reprocessing of the Company’s 2007 3D seismic data and all the technical studies that need to be undertaken on the samples collected from the two wells.
Given the encouraging results from the Darwin well, the Company will start planning the next drilling programme, which is likely to include both exploration and appraisal wells. The company has said that the the timing of drilling will be dependent on rig availability, but “realistically this will not occur before 2014“. The Company is currently exploring the best way to fund the next phase of the programme, including the possibility of now bringing in partners.
This week the SubseaIQ team added 1 new projects and updated 20 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.
Jul 11, 2012 – Noble Energy reported that appraisal drilling will not occur at its Deep Blue prospect at this time. Although hydrocarbons were found in both the initial exploration well and subsequent sidetrack, the company and its partners have decided not to proceed with additional appraisal activities right now. The Deep Blue well was originally spud late 2009 and sidetrack operations were underway when the moratorium was announced. Noble Energy was required to suspend operations and the rig working at that time was released. After the moratorium was lifted, another rig was certified under new regulatory requirements to finish the sidetrack.
Project Details: Deep Blue
Jul 10, 2012 – LLOG granted Expro a contract for the Who Dat development in the Gulf of Mexico. The company will provide subsea test trees for the project on Mississippi Canyon Block 547.
Project Details: Who Dat
Jul 9, 2012 – ATP has completed a workover at its Mississippi Canyon Block 941 A-2 well located in the Mirage field at the Telemark Hub. The well was completed with 3-1/2 inch tubing at a measured depth of 17,140 to 17,401 feet (5,224 to 5,304 meters) to add the Miocene B sand completion to the wellbore for field development optimization. Initial test flow rates are at 4,000 barrels equivalent per day (boepd) of which 90 percent is oil. The A-2 well will be tied-back to the facility and is expected to produce at a rate of 4,000 to 5,000 boepd. The MC 941 A-2 well produces through the ATP Titan floating drilling and production platform.
Project Details: Telemark
S. America – Other & Carib.
Jul 12, 2012 – Premier Oil has agreed to pay an initial $231 million to farm into Rockhopper Exploration‘s license interests in the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic. Premier Oil will acquire a 60 percent interest in the licenses, with the deal including a provision for Premier to pay an additional $48 million for further exploration within the license areas and an additional $722 million to develop reserves found there (subject to the approval of a field development plan).
Project Details: Sea Lion
Europe – North Sea
Jul 12, 2012 – Statoil awarded Technip a letter of intent to construct a hull of a spar platform on the Aasta Hansteen field. The platform will be the world’s largest Spar platform and the first of its kind on the Norwegian continental shelf. Total recoverable reserves for Aasta Hansteen, previously called Luva, are preliminary estimated at about 47 Bcm of gas and .8 Bcm of condensate. The platform, the first spar with storage capacity, will have the capability to store about 25,000 square cubic meters of condensate and export gas via the Norwegian Sea Gas infrastructure. The supplier will also design and prepare specifications for steel rigid risers and a complete mooring system. Part of the work will begin in the middle of August, with completion of deliveries set for mid-December 2015. This letter of intent will contribute to securing the overall progress plan for Aasta Hansteen. The investment decision is expected in late 2012/early 2013, with production start-up at the end of 2016.
Project Details: Aasta Hansteen (Luva)
Jul 12, 2012 – Xcite Energy reported that pre-production flow test on the Bentley field is progressing well with the planned shut-in period and pressure build-up test commencing on July 11 following the initial, successful, clean-up and first oil flow on July 9. This planned shut-in period and pressure build- up test is designed to obtain key information about the Bentley reservoir and the mobility of its fluid for use in interpreting the subsequent flow data and for planning the next step of the Bentley field development.
Project Details: Bentley
Jul 11, 2012 – Talisman Energy has evacuated construction personnel from the Yme oil platform in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea after structural issues were discovered. The operator removed 140 workers from the Yme platform late Tuesday after finding weaknesses in the platform’s supporting structure. Dow Jones reported that in May the company took a $250 million write down on the project and delayed production for an unspecified amount of time. It also said the standards to which the platform had been built had fallen behind Norwegian standards. Oil production was scheduled to start next year.
Project Details: Yme
Jul 10, 2012 – Ithaca Energy has commenced exploratory drilling on the Hurricane appraisal well in Block 29/10b, which lies within the Greater Stella area in the UK sector of the North Sea. The well is being drilled by the WilHunter (mid-water semisub). Drilling should take between 75 to 85 days to complete, including the performance of a drill stem test. The Hurricane discovery well, 29/10-4z, was drilled by Shell in 1995. The well encountered 41 degrees API light oil in Eocene Rogaland sands in the western lobe of the structure. The appraisal well will be drilled to the base of the Tertiary section in the eastern lobe of the mapped structure and is designed to satisfy three primary objectives: to confirm the nature and volume of recoverable hydrocarbons; calibrate the hydrocarbon contact with seismic amplitude; and verify the distribution, quality and connectivity of the reservoir. Upon successful completion of the appraisal well objectives, the wellbore will be suspended for future re-entry and completion as a production well.
Project Details: Stella/Harrier
Jul 10, 2012 – WGP has completed the 15th Life of Field Seismic (LoFS) survey over the Valhall field in the North Sea for BP. The company acquired the full data set of 2,552 kilometers in six weeks, which included time for mobilization and demobilization. This data will help enhance the life of the Valhall field, stated the company.
Project Details: Valhall
Jul 9, 2012 – Providence Resources might be sitting on more than one billion barrels of oil in place at its Barryroe discovery, according to a research report issued by oil analysts at London-based Liberum Capital. The research note stated that Liberum estimates Barryroe could contain around one billion barrels of oil in place and more than 160 million barrels of recoverable oil based on technical disclosures concerning the Barryroe well made by Providence. These figures are around three times what investors in Providence are expecting from Barryroe, according to Liberum.
Project Details: Barryroe
Jul 9, 2012 – Xcite Energy has signed a five-year, $155 million loan agreement with a group of lending institutions, secured against oil reserves, which will provide funding for Phase 1B development of its Bentley heavy oil field. The loan facility is subject to certain conditions and the achievement of targets in the Bentley Phase 1A development work program, including the drilling of a well and a flow test.
Project Details: Bentley
Jul 6, 2012 – The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) conducted an audit of Statoil’s compliance with regulatory requirements during engineering and construction of the wellhead and process modules for the Gudrun facility. The audits were conducted in Asker from May 8-9, 2012 and on the construction site in Thailand from May 14-16, 2012 and focused on electrical systems, instrumentation and technical safety disciplines.
The objective of the audit was to ensure Statoil’s compliance with requirements to establish and implement technical and operational barriers. Special emphasis was placed on how Statoil and its partner Aibel, promotes the understanding of interactions between operator, development project, suppliers and operations preparations. Two nonconformities were identified in relation to the system for electrical power supply and for establishment of barrier performance requirements. Improvements were suggested for flame detection and the command structure in the emergency shutdown system.
Project Details: Sleipner Area
Jul 6, 2012 – BP Norge AS (BP) received approval from Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) to use the Safe Scandinavia facility as a flotel on the Valhall field from July 1, 2012 to January 1, 2013. Aker Verdal’s Safe Scandinavia was built in 1984 and has been contracted for the Valhall field numerous times with the last contract expiring in March 2012. The 583-bed facility received the PSA’s Acknowledgement of Compliance in April 2007.
Project Details: Valhall
Asia – SouthEast
Lundin Begins Malaysian Drilling Campaign
Jul 10, 2012 – Lundin Petroleum has commenced its 2012 Malaysian drilling campaign with the spud of the Tiga Papan 5 well in the SB307 & SB308 Blocks offshore Sabah, East Malaysia. The well will target mid-Miocene aged sands of the Tiga Papan unit previously tested (in 1982) with the original discovery well that flowed at a cumulative rate of 5,631 bopd. A vertical well will test the un-appraised fault block to the east of the original Tiga Papan 1 discovery well. In the event of a discovery, the well will be sidetracked into the same fault block as the original discovery well to test the down dip extension of the pay zones previously encountered. The well will be drilled with the Offshore Courageous (350′ ILC) in a water depth of approximately 164 feet (50 meters) to a depth of 5,482 feet (1,671 meters). The well is the first of the five-well program planned in 2012 by Lundin Malaysia BV.
Jul 9, 2012 – PTTEP reported that oil production from the offshore Vietnam 16-1 project will hit 55,000 bopd by the fourth quarter of this year due to the successful installation of a second wellhead platform. Oil production at the Te Giac Trang (TGT) field, where the newly installed wellhead is sited, is currently at 41,000 bpd. The TGT field is located off the southern coast of Vietnam, 62 miles (100 kilometers) from Vung Tau province. The project consists of a floating, production, storage, and offloading unit, two wellhead platforms and a subsea pipeline system. The development came online in August 2011.
Project Details: Te Giac Trang (White Rhinoceros)
N. America – US Alaska
Jul 11, 2012 – BP is shelving its Liberty project in Alaska after deciding that the current development plan is not up to the stricter standards the company has enforced, reported Dow Jones. The oil project was anticipated to produce about 40,000 bopd. The company stated it is working with regulators to discuss potential ways to move the project forward.
Project Details: Liberty
Africa – West
Jul 9, 2012 – ExxonMobil has commenced production at the Kizomba Satellites Phase 1 project offshore Angola, and is expected to produce 100,000 bopd from two large deepwater fields, Mavacola and Clochas. The initial phase of the Kizomba Satellites project ties 18 new wells to production facilities already in use tapping other oil fields in the Block 15 area.
Project Details: Kizomba, Block 15
S. America – Brazil
Total Acquires Xerelete Field
Jul 10, 2012 – Total became operator of the offshore Xerelete concession, located around 155 miles (250 kilometers) off the coast of Rio de Janeiro. The oil field, discovered in 2001, contains relatively heavy oil. A pre-salt prospect has also been identified below the Xerelete structure, which lies around 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of the recently announced Pao de Acucar discovery. Total plans to start drilling activities in 2013. Total and Petrobras each hold a 41.2% interest in the concession, while BP holds the remaining 17.6 %.
Jul 9, 2012 – Vanco has spud the Sabia well in the BM-S-72 block in the southern Santos Basin offshore Brazil. The well is being drilled by the GSF Arctic I (mid-water semisub). The Sabia well is located offshore approximately 143 miles (230 kilometers) south of the city of Santos in a water depth of approximately 656 feet (200 meters). The well will be vertically drilled with a target depth of 14,718 feet (4,486 meters). The primary reservoir target for this well is post-salt sandstones of the Itajai-Acu formation, expected to be encountered at around 12,139 feet (3,700 meters) below mean sea level. The prospect is also targeting secondary sandstone in the Ilha Bela member of the Jureia formation. Drilling operations should take about two to three months, and after finishing this well the rig will drill the Canario prospect (BM-S-63) and the Jandaia prospect (BM-S-71).
Project Details: Sabia
Noble Energy to Flow Test Pinnacles Reservoir
Jul 10, 2012 – Noble Energy has completed an extensive test of the Pinnacles 1 well and its production facilities. The operator will now flow test the Pinnacles reservoir, during which the gas composition and gas treatment measures will be tested. Flow tests are expected to begin in the near future and last for several days.
Jul 10, 2012 – Delek Group has reported details on the Tanin reservoir, specifically, 81 percent of the high estimate of Tanin’s contingent resources is within the Alon A licenses, and that the rest is within the Alon B and Amit licenses. The low and best estimates are wholly within the Alon A license, stated Netherland Sewell & Associates. NSAI contingent estimates for Tanin are as follows: low estimate of 160 billion cubic feet (Bcf); best estimate of 592 Bcf, and a high estimate of 1,035 Bcf. The prospective estimates are: low estimate of 359 Bcf; best estimate of 471 Bcf, and a high estimate of 607 Bcf. The best estimate for Tanin’s proven and contingent reserves makes it the third largest natural gas discovery after Delek and Noble Energy’s Tamar and Leviathan discoveries of 9.7 trillion cubic feet and 17 trillion cubic feet, respectively.
Project Details: Tanin
Jul 12, 2012 – Total has increased its stake in the Ichthys LNG project to 30 percent through the acquisition of a further 6 percent interest from its partner INPEX. Total commented that the acquisition will not have an impact on any of the LNG offtake agreements that have been arranged.
Project Details: Ichthys
Jul 10, 2012 – Apache Energy awarded Technip a subsea installation contract worth around $61 million for the Balnaves oil field development. The project is situated in a water depth of about 442 feet (135 meters). The contract covers the project management, design, engineering and installation of 4.3 miles (7 kilometers) of flexible flowlines and risers and 1.9 miles (3 kilometers) of umbilicals. It also includes the transportation and installation of the subsea equipment including the manifolds, spools, flying leads, jumpers and a mooring system and riser column. First production from the $438-million development is scheduled in 2014, with gross peak production of approximately 30,000 barrels of oil per day and estimated gross recoverable resource of 17 million barrels of oil and 30 billion cubic feet of gas.
Project Details: Balnaves
- Noble Energy Linking Noa and Pinnacles to Mari B Platform (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Israel: Pinnacles Delivers First Gas (mb50.wordpress.com)
- PHOTOS: Express installing subsea manifolds ” Helix Currents (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Recap: Worldwide Field Development News (Jun 22 – Jun 28, 2012) (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Recap: Worldwide Field Development News (May 18 – May 24, 2012) (mb50.wordpress.com)
Argentina once again warned oil companies considered by the Government to be “illegally operating” in the Falklands/Malvinas Islands, and reiterated it will press charges against them unless they justify their actions before next Wednesday, May 2.
In a recent statement released to the press, the ministry said that on last April 17th, all oil companies currently performing exploration tasks in the ‘Malvinas basin’ were notified “of their clandestine actions and their consequences” by the Argentine embassy in the United Kingdom.
The Argentine government has set a May 2 deadline for companies to justify their activities.
“If case of failure to offer a response and once the legal deadline expires, we will issue the corresponding sanctions to every company according to a resolution by the Argentine Energy Secretariat, which considers these activities to be clandestine. The Government will also proceed to press criminal and civil charges,” the ministry warned.
The Foreign Affairs release states that by doing this they “reaffirm Argentina’s decision to defend the nation’s sovereign rights by any peaceful means possible – both legal and diplomatic- as well as the country’s natural resources, which belong to the Argentine people.”
- Incensed Spain threatens Argentina after YPF seizure (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Argentine Senate nears approval of YPF takeover (sacbee.com)
- US State Department condemns Argentine expropriation of YPF Oil Company (alethonews.wordpress.com)
- Argentine threats against oil companies near Falkland Islands ‘bizarre and ridiculous’ (telegraph.co.uk)
- Argentina ‘satisfied’ by BP’s Falklands rejection letter (telegraph.co.uk)
The Government, in a move designed to ease concern among the investment community about the Argentine legal threats, has written to some 15 banks and oil exploration companies operating in the region.
In the new letter, the Foreign Office says it is “deeply sceptical” that Argentina would be able to enforce “any penalties” in courts outside its own borders. It adds that the government of the Falklands “is entitled to develop” oil and fishing industries in its own waters “without interference from Argentina.”
“The British Government has no doubt about our sovereignty over the Falkland Islands and surrounding maritime areas,” it adds.
News of the letter follows The Sunday Telegraph’s revelation that the Argentine government had written to banks involved in the Falkland oil industry threatening them with legal action. In writing to the banks concerned, including broker Oriel Securities and Royal Bank of Scotland, the Government has sought to not jeopardies the fledgling Falkland oil industry.
- Letter to banks over Argentina’s Falklands threats 21 Apr 2012
- Argentina’s Kirchner opens a new trade war 21 Apr 2012
- Falkland Oil and Gas shrugs off Argentine threats 13 Apr 2012
- Argentina’s Falklands oil threats: the letter to banks 31 Mar 2012
- Argentina includes Repsol gas unit in asset raid 19 Apr 2012
- EU parliament calls for Argentina sanctions 20 Apr 2012
Edison Investment Research, which has published research on the value of oil around the islands , slammed the attempts to silence it.
“Edison Investment Research firmly believes in the right for all financial institutions, publishers and in particular financial research houses such as ours to be able to exercise their right to provide independent analysis of all quoted companies wherever they are listed and wherever their operations may be carried out,” said Edison’s Fraser Thorne.
- Foreign Office letter to banks over Argentina’s Falklands oil threats (telegraph.co.uk)
- Argentina threatens to sue banks helping Falklands oil explorers as trade war with Britain escalates (oyiabrown.wordpress.com)
- Venezuela attacks Britain’s stance over Falklands (independent.co.uk)
- Some Argentines Demand Return Of Falkland Islands (npr.org)
|This week the SubseaIQ team added 7 new projects and updated 86 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.|
- Recap: Worldwide Field Development Jan 6 – Jan 12, 2012 (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Recap: Worldwide Field Development News (Jan 20 – Jan 26, 2012) (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Worldwide Field Development News Dec 30 – Jan 5, 2012 (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Norway: Statoil Orders Subsea Structures for Asgard (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Worldwide: Project Field Development News (mb50.wordpress.com)
- McDermott signs agreement for spool base services in Gulf of Mexico (mb50.wordpress.com)
- USA: Shell Sets World Record for Deepest Subsea O&G Well at Perdido Development (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Cuba Oil Drilling Tests U.S. on Protecting Florida or Embargo (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Ichthys: The Largest Subsea Gig for McDermott (Australia) (mb50.wordpress.com)
- UK: Reef Subsea Enters Charter Deal for Two Neptune Offshore’s Vessels (mb50.wordpress.com)
- North Falkland Basin: Rockhopper Spuds 8th Well on Sea Lion, (Offshore Falklands) (mb50.wordpress.com)
When the Leiv Eiriksson, a rig built to hunt for oil beneath 10,000 feet of water in the world’s roughest seas, finishes drilling a well off Greenland’s west coast next month, it will sail for its next job — a prospect 9,000 miles away, south of the Falkland Islands.
The month long voyage from top to bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, at a cost of about $500,000 a day, exemplifies how the world’s drillers have never spent so much searching for oil and gas in so many places, spurred by crude prices above $100 a barrel and depleting reserves at existing fields.
After holding back in the aftermath of the financial crisis, Exxon Mobil Corp. , Royal Dutch Shell Plc and other producers will increase exploration spending by the most since 2007 this year to a record $70 billion, said Wood Mackenzie Consultants Ltd. That’s bringing rigs to countries with no history of oil and gas production, from French Guiana in South America to Kenya in east Africa.
“The race for exploration has become hotter than ever,” said Michael O’Dwyer, managing director for oil and gas at Morgan Stanley & Co. in London. “The biggest change I’ve seen in the activities of oil companies over the last 24 months is the focus on exploration.”
About three-quarters of exploration money for conventional oil and gas is spent offshore, where 284 wells will be drilled next year, 30 percent more than in 2011, targeting more than 100 billion barrels of potential reserves, according to Morgan Stanley.
BP and Total SA are increasing exploration budgets after the world’s largest oil companies were beaten to the biggest discoveries by smaller competitors in recent years, such as Tullow Oil Plc’s Jubilee field in Ghana, which is now umping 120,000 barrels a day.
“Majors have overlooked a number of the biggest basins in the world,” BP Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley said at a press conference yesterday.
U.S. independent Anadarko Petroleum Corp. has found fields off Mozambique in east Africa that hold more gas than the U.K.’s total remaining reserves. Rockhopper Exploration Plc’s Sea Lion discovery is the Falkland Islands’ first commercial find and may contain as much as 1.4 billion barrels of oil.
“We’re seeing some courageous exploration activity at the moment, particularly with the medium-sized companies such as in Greenland and east and west Africa,” said John Martin, managing director for global energy at Standard Chartered Plc in London.
The so-called supermajors have responded in two ways. First, by becoming partners with smaller companies and secondly, by drilling more exploration wells themselves.
When Tullow’s Zaedyus well made a potential find of 700 million barrels of oil in deep water off French Guiana last month, its partners were Shell and Total, Europe’s largest and third-largest oil companies. Paris-based Total is looking to replicate Anadarko’s east Africa success in Kenya, where it’s acquired control of five deepwater exploration blocks.
At BP, the experience of drilling a well in the Gulf of Mexico that exploded and caused the U.S.’s worst oil spill hasn’t deterred it from exploration. The company plans to double spending on exploration from $2.7 billion in 2010. The company plans drilling in waters off Australia, China and the U.K., and will increase its exploration wells to as many as 25 a year by 2013 from six wells drilled this year.
“It’s very hard to grow and make a profit with an oil and gas company unless you are good at, and are investing in, exploration,” Helge Lund, chief executive officer of Statoil ASA , Norway’s largest oil company, said in an interview. “It seems that compared to what we saw in the 90s, oil and gas companies are exploring much more now.”
Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, whose company spent $3 billion on exploration last year, signed an agreement with Russia’s biggest oil company, OAO Rosneft, this year to spend an initial $3.2 billion exploring undrilled areas of Russia’s Arctic Ocean and the Black Sea.
“As long as oil prices stay above $80, no one’s going to slow their exploration programs,” said Jason Gammel, an analyst at Macquarie Capital Europe Ltd. in London. “Exploration is very high risk, but the highest rates of return on capital tend to be from fields you discover yourself. Unlocking new frontiers can bear fruit.”
The 11 percent drop in prices in the past six months isn’t likely to deter exploration, Wood Mackenzie analyst Andrew Latham said. Brent oil, a benchmark price for two-thirds of the world’s crude, is about $110 a barrel, more than 30 percent higher than its five-year average. Futures contracts show prices above $100 for the next two years.
“The recent softening in oil prices doesn’t change exploration planning,” Latham said. “Most of the industry is planning on prices ranging from $70 to $80.”
Wood Mackenzie’s figures for exploration spending don’t include investment in so-called unconventional oil and gas, which is extracted from oil sands or by grinding underground rocks.
Still, many wells will find nothing more than sand or water. Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy Plc’s $1 billion drilling campaign in the Arctic waters off Greenland has yet to make a significant discovery. While the success rate for exploration wells worldwide is about 48 percent this year, typically only one in four exploration wells will find oil or gas, according to Morgan Stanley.
That’s a factor that may also play to the balance sheet strength of the largest oil companies as worsening financial conditions make funding harder to find for smaller explorers. An index of oil and gas companies on London’s junior AIM market — a leading source of equity finance for smaller drillers — has dropped 39 percent this year.
“The big question is whether financial market turmoil will put pressure on spending,” said Lucy Haskins, an equity analyst at Barclays Plc in London. “Most of the big-cap companies are very keen not to get into a stop-go investment cycle that has dogged their production in past, but some of smaller players may be a more cautious short term.”
By Brian Swint (Bloomberg)
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