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Worldwide Field Development News May 3 – May 9, 2014

This week the SubseaIQ team added 6 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.

Africa – West
Cajun Express Drilling FAN-1 and SNE-1 Top Holes Offshore Senegal
May 8, 2014 – Top hole drilling at the Cairn-operated FAN-1 well offshore Senegal has been completed and the Cajun Express (UDW semisub) has moved to spud the SNE-1 top hole. Once the top hole is complete, the rig will move back to FAN-1 and drill the well total depth. Both wells are located in the Sangomar Offshore license and are being drilled to test the North Fan and Lupalupa prospects respectively. Cairn operates the license with 40% interest. Its partners include ConocoPhillips (35%), FAR (15%) and Petrosen (10%).
Project Details: North Fan
CAMAC Ready to Kick-Off Oyo Development Activities
May 8, 2014 – CAMAC Energy reports the arrival of the Energy Searcher (mid-water drillship) in Nigerian waters. After taking on personnel, equipment and supplies, the rig will sail to the Oyo field in OML 120 to begin a development drilling program starting with the spud of Oyo-8. Upon the completion and tie-in of Oyo-8, the rig will relocate within the field to re-enter and tie-in Oyo-7. Both wells are expected to be producing at a rate of 14,000 bopd by November. Additionally, the company says the rig could drill one or more high-impact exploration wells in OML 120 and OML 121.
Project Details: Oyo
N. America – US GOM
Apache Divests Lucius, Heidelberg and Other GOM Interests
May 8, 2014 – Apache’s U.S. Gulf of Mexico subsidiary elected to sell off its minority interest in the Lucius and Heidelberg developments to a subsidiary of Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. for $1.4 billion. The deal also includes 11 primary term deepwater exploration blocks. Apache combined its deepwater and shelf technical teams in an effort to focus on subsalt and exploration opportunities in water less than 1,000 feet deep. Apache is divesting an 11.7% interest in Lucius and a 12.5% interest in Heidelberg. Its interest in the 11 primary term blocks range from 16.67% to 60%. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close by June 30. None of Apache’s producing operations are involved in the sale.
Project Details: Lucius
Maersk Developer Spuds Martin in Mississippi Canyon 718
May 8, 2014 – Exploratory drilling is underway at Statoil’s Martin prospect in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Martin is located in 2,916 feet of water in Mississippi Canyon Block 718. Statoil acquired the block for $157.1 million in October 2012 which was the highest bid received during the Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 216/222. The company considers Martin to be one of the top components of its global portfolio; it took only 20 months from acquisition of the acreage to advance the prospect to drillable status. Well #1 is expected to take around 150 days to complete and is the first of 4 possible wells that will be drilled in the area. Statoil, the sole participant in the well, contracted the Maersk Developer (UDW semisub) to carry out drilling operations.
Project Details: Martin (GOM)
Mediterranean
Kosmos Comes Up Dry with First Well Offshore Morocco
May 8, 2014 – Kosmos Energy failed to find commercial quantities of hydrocarbons at its FA-1 well in the Foum Assaka license offshore Morocco. FA-1 was drilled by the Maersk Discoverer (UDW semisub) to a total depth of 12,656 feet and is being plugged and abandoned. The well was designed to test the salt diapir play concept, which is one of several in the Agadir Basin. Oil and gas shows were seen in drill cuttings and in sidewall cores which suggests a working petroleum system in the area. Additionally, the well provided key information to calibrate seismic data that will further the geologic understanding of the license.
Project Details: FA-1 (Eagle)
Tamar Partners Sign LOI with Union Fenosa Gas
May 8, 2014 – A non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI) was recently executed between the Tamar field partners and Union Fenosa Gas SA (UFG) regarding the supply of Tamar gas to UFG’s gas liquefaction facilities in Egypt. Terms of the LOI propose a 15-year contract term and total gross sales totaling roughly 440 MMcfd over the period. The LOI follows recent agreements with Palestine Power Generation Company, Arab Potash and Jordan Bromine Companies. A binding agreement with UFG is expected to be reached within the next 6 months pending Israeli and Egyptian regulatory approvals. Tamar has been estimated to hold 10 Tcf of discovered gas resources.
Project Details: Tamar
Australia
AWE Finally Reaches TD at Pateke-4H
May 8, 2014 – After several setbacks that necessitated two sidetracks, drilling operations at the AWE-operated Pateke-4H development well have come to an end. Target depth of the well was 17,654 feet but that was eventually revised to 15,656 feet. The decision to adjust the TD was made due to the 2,457-foot horizontal leg being drilled through a very high quality reservoir and to ensure a stable well bore necessary for completion and production. A 6 5/8″ slotted production liner has been installed and preparations are being made to run the completion. Pateke-4H is expected to begin production in 1Q 2015 following the installation of subsea infrastructure and tie-back to the Tui FPSO. Completion operations are expected to take about 10 days after which the Kan Tan IV (mid-water semisub) will relocate within the license to drill the Oi prospect.
Project Details: Tui Area Development Project
Asia – SouthEast
Norshore Wins Top Hole Drilling Contract for Shell’s Malikai Development
May 9, 2014 – Norshore, owner of the new Norshore Atlantic multipurpose drilling vessel, was awarded a contract by Shell’s Malaysian subsidiary to provide top hole drilling services at the Malikai field in Block G offshore Malaysia. The vessel was primarily designed for riser-less operations, making it well suited to drill top hole sections for developments such as Malikai. The contract will commence in April 2014 and should keep the vessel working through the end of the year. Shell and its partners discovered the field in 2004 and made the decision to proceed with development in early 2013. The development concept envisions 17 subsea wells tied back to the Malikai Tension Leg Platform (TLP). The Malikai joint venture includes Shell (35%), ConocoPhillips (35%) and Petronas (30%). Startup of the $775 million project is scheduled for late 2015.
Project Details: Malikai
KrisEnergy Improves Position in the Gulf of Thailand with G6/48 Acquisition
May 9, 2014 – Thai regulatory approval was recently granted for a March 2013 farm-out agreement between KrisEnergy and Mubadala Petroleum concerning the G6/48 block in the Gulf of Thailand. KrisEnergy now serves as the block operator with a 30% stake and its partners include Mubadala (30%) and Northern Gulf Petroleum (40%). Although it has been very active in the Gulf of Thailand, G6/48 will be the company’s first operated asset in the region. Contained within the block in the 2009 Rossukon oil discovery, an extensive 3D seismic survey was carried out over Rossukon in August 2013 and an appraisal drilling program is planned for later this year in an effort to delineate the discovery.
Project Details: Rossukon
Nido Reports Naga 5 Mobilizing to Baragatan
May 8, 2014 – The newly constructed UMW Naga 5 (400′ ILC) left the Keppel FELS yard at Singapore and is mobilizing to the Philippines to drill an exploratory well in Service Contract 63 (SC63). The well, expected to spud mid-May, will test the Baragatan prospect for the possibility of 676 million barrels in estimated gross unrisked resources.
Project Details: Baragatan
Otto Secures 14 Month Extension to SC55 Work Program
May 8, 2014 – Otto Energy received approval from the Philippines Department of Energy (DOE) for a 14-month extension to the work program regarding Service Contract 55 (SC55). The extension was granted after a lengthy delay in the approval process by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development for the SC55 Strategic Environmental Plan and the sudden departure of BHP Billiton from the license. Otto is well into a farm-out process to seek a participant in the Hawkeye-1 exploration well and is hopeful that the process will be completed shortly after the June 2014 deadline.
Project Details: Hawkeye
Europe – North Sea
Drivis Discovery Caps Off Mediocre Johan Castberg Drilling Campaign
May 8, 2014 – Statoil recently announced an oil and gas discovery at its Drivis prospect in Norwegian License PL532. Well 7220/7-3S was drilled by the West Hercules (UDW semisub) to a depth of 6,879 feet. A 223-foot gas column was encountered followed by a 282-foot oil column in the Sto and Nordmela formations. Recoverable volumes are estimated to range between 44 and 63 MMboe. Drivis was the last of a 5-well campaign aimed at proving additional resources around the Johan Castberg discovery. Of the 5 wells drilled, only 2 resulted in discoveries. License participants include Statoil (50%), Eni (30%) and Petoro (20%).
Project Details: Drivis
Lundin Proves Additional Oil Pay at Geitungen
May 8, 2014 – Lundin Petroleum recently finished drilling two appraisal wells at its 2012 Geitungen discovery in Norwegian license PL265. Wells 16/2-19 and 16/2-19A were drilled by the Ocean Vanguard (mid-water semisub) in 380 feet of water. Data indicates 20 feet of oil pay was encountered in good quality lower Jurassic and upper Triassic sands in well bore 16/2-19. Well 16/2-19A, drilled as a sidetrack to the southwest, yielded 33 feet of low to medium quality oil-filled upper Jurassic reservoir above 10 feet of excellent quality upper Jurassic sands that are likely part of the Draupne formation. The license is operated by Statoil (40%) on behalf of its partners Petoro (30%), Det norske (20%) and Lundin Petroleum (10%).
Project Details: Geitungen

Shell’s Olympus on Its Way to U.S. GoM Mars Field

Shell’s massive Olympus tension leg platform (TLP) set sail from Ingleside, Texas on 14th July, for a 425 mile trek to its final home on the Mars Field in the Gulf of Mexico.

For 10 days, tugboats will transport the over 120,000 ton platform to the location where work will begin to secure the platform in place. The Olympus TLP will be moored to the seafloor by tendons grouped at each of the structure’s corners and will float in approximately 3000 feet of water.

The Olympus TLP is Shell’s sixth and largest tension leg platform and will provide process infrastructure for two of Shell’s deep water discoveries, West Boreas and South Deimos. The project also includes pipelines that will be routed through West Delta 143C, the recently installed shallow water platform.

The Olympus TLP is expected to start production in 2014, producing at a rate of 100k boe.

Source

Gulf of Mexico: Shell Invests in GoM Stones Project

Royal Dutch Shell plc (Shell) today announces a final investment decision in the Stones ultra-deepwater project, a Gulf of Mexico oil and gas development expected to host the deepest production facility in the world.

This decision sets in motion the construction and fabrication of a floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel and subsea infrastructure. The development will start with two subsea production wells tied back to the FPSO vessel, followed later by six additional production wells. This first phase of development is expected to have annual peak production of 50,000 boe/d from more than 250 million boe of recoverable resources. The Stones field has significant upside potential and is estimated to contain over 2 billion boe of oil in place.

“This important investment demonstrates our ongoing commitment to usher in the next generation of deepwater developments, which will deliver more production growth in the Americas,” said John Hollowell, Executive Vice President for Deepwater, Shell Upstream Americas. “We will continue our leadership in safe, innovative deepwater operations to help meet the growing demand for energy in the US.”

The Stones field is located in 9,500 feet (2,896 meters) of water, approximately 200 miles (320 kilometers) southwest of New Orleans, Louisiana, and was discovered in 2005. The project encompasses eight US Federal Outer Continental Shelf lease blocks in the Gulf of Mexico’s Lower Tertiary geologic trend. Shell has been one of the pioneers in the Lower Tertiary, establishing first production in the play from its Perdido Development.

An FPSO design was selected to safely develop and produce this ultra-deepwater discovery, while addressing the relative lack of infrastructure, seabed complexity, and unique reservoir properties. With an FPSO, tankers will transport oil from the Stones FPSO to US refineries, and gas will be transported by pipeline.

The launch of the Stones development is a key milestone as Shell continues to grow deepwater exploration and development in the Gulf of Mexico, having made significant progress recently on the Mars-B development project with the arrival of the Olympus tension leg platform. Shell is also in the concept selection phase for the Appomattox and Vito discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico.

Shell holds 100% interest and will operate the Stones development.

Source

Rosneft Buys Exxon’s GoM Blocks (USA)

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.

Rosneft Buys Exxon’s GoM Blocks (USA)| Offshore Energy Today.

Sonardyne, Oceaneering Demonstrate ROV Capabilities in U.S. Gulf

A recent trials partnership between Sonardyne International Ltd. and Oceaneering International, Inc. has resulted in the development of a Fly-By-Wire (FBW) system for ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) control in any water depth, allowing the vehicle to hold station indefinitely and navigate to real-world coordinates automatically.

A Sonardyne SPRINT system was installed on one of Oceaneering’s Maxximum ROVs and integrated with a Sonardyne Ranger 2 Ultra Short Baseline (USBL) system for acoustic aiding of the Inertial Navigation System (INS). The trials took place in the Gulf of Mexico in water depths of 3,057 metres (10,030 ft) and results showed that continuous hovering of the ROV in mid-water beyond Doppler Velocity Log (DVL) range was possible, as well as automatic navigation to waypoints.

The majority of ROV navigation systems utilize an Attitude and Heading Reference System (AHRS) and DVL to provide a relative or dead reckoned position. These systems are subject to time and distance based position errors and only operate close to the seabed, meaning mid-water operations are conducted via manual control so real world or relative coordinates cannot be easily used by the ROV pilot. To address these limitations, Sonardyne and Oceaneering have developed a novel navigation and control system solution utilising the dual output of INS and AHRS data from SPRINT to provide ROV Dynamic Positioning (DP) in all water depths with capabilities beyond current state-of-the-art, without affecting reliability or ease of use.

The system has two methods of ROV control: ‘Navigation’ and ‘Passthru’. In ‘Navigation’ mode, the ROV control system uses INS positioning optimised for DP with real-world position, velocity and attitude data at high output rates. This speeds up ROV operations by improving vehicle control precision, automating station keeping and delivering FBW capability. ‘Navigation’ mode is available continuously in all water depths when USBL data is available. If the INS solution should become degraded or is unavailable, the system automatically reverts to ‘Passthru’ mode. ‘Passthru’ mode is a dead reckoned solution using self contained AHRS data that is inherently robust and reliable when combined with DVL data.

The results of the trial showed that continuous hovering of the ROV in mid-water beyond DVL range was possible, as well as automatic navigation to waypoints. When the ROV was in DVL range of the seabed the ‘Navigation’ mode performed equally as well as the ‘Passthru’ mode but with the added benefit of real-world referenced positioning data from the USBL system. The faster update rate (20 Hz, compared to the 5 Hz rate of the DVL) has the potential to refine vehicle control precision.

Commenting on the development, Mark Carter, Business Development Manager for Inertial Systems at Sonardyne said, “Fly-By-Wire ROV control using real-world coordinates significantly improves operational efficiency compared to relative-only positioning methods. Faster navigation updates, automatic registering of waypoints and indefinite mid-water station keeping speed up ROV operations and ultimately save ROV and vessel time.”

Mark Philip, ROV Technology Manager at Oceaneering stated that, “Autonomous flight control is an increasingly important feature for ROVs. Oceaneering’s Fly-By-Wire system has greatly enhanced the efficiency of the service we provide to our customers since its introduction several years ago. The integration of the SPRINT inertial navigation system further enhances this capability by providing hands-free hovering and navigation throughout the entire water column. We place high importance on ease of operation and redundancy and are confident that our collaboration with Sonardyne satisfies these requirements.”

Sonardyne, Oceaneering Demonstrate ROV Capabilities in U.S. Gulf| Offshore Energy Today.

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