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Oceaneering Charters Subsea Support Vessel from Otto Candies (USA)

Oceaneering International, Inc. announced today that it has entered into a five-year charter for use of the Cade Candies, a multi-service subsea support vessel owned by Otto Candies LLC. The charter is expected to commence during the second quarter of 2013.

This state-of-the-art, U.S. flagged vessel was built in 2010. It has an overall length of approximately 309 feet (94 meters), a Class 2 dynamic positioning system, accommodations for 69 personnel, a helideck, a 150-ton active heave compensated crane, and a working moonpool.

Oceaneering’s current rolling, short-term charter contract on the Cade Candies, in place since November 2011, will continue through early 2013. At that time, the vessel will enter a shipyard to undergo modifications to enhance its project capabilities. While in the shipyard, Oceaneering’s two, high-specification, work class ROVs onboard the vessel will be repositioned and fully integrated into the vessel for more effective operations. The vessel will also be equipped with a satellite communications system capable of transmitting streaming video for real-time work observation by shore personnel.

To be renamed the Ocean Alliance, the vessel will be used to augment Oceaneering’s ability to provide subsea intervention services in the ultra-deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). These services are required to perform inspection, maintenance, and repair (IMR) projects and hardware installations. IMR projects are expected to include chemical well stimulation and hydrate remediation. Hardware installations are expected to include umbilicals, subsea trees, flowline jumpers, flying leads, and manifolds.

M. Kevin McEvoy, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, “We are very pleased to have added, on a long-term basis, this modern, high-end, Jones Act-compliant vessel to our suite of assets to enhance our capabilities to serve our customers in the deepwater GOM. This charter demonstrates our belief the GOM deepwater subsea intervention market has a promising and sustainable future.”

Oceaneering Charters Subsea Support Vessel from Otto Candies (USA)| Offshore Energy Today.

BSEE: Production in US GoM Returns to Normal

BSEE: Production in US GoM Returns to Normal| Offshore Energy Today

Offshore oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico continue to restore production following Tropical Storm Isaac. The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Hurricane Response Team will continue to work with offshore operators and other state and federal agencies until operations return to normal.

Personnel remain evacuated on a total of 10 production platforms, equivalent to 1.68 percent of the 596 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Production platforms are the structures located offshore from which oil and natural gas are produced.

Personnel remain evacuated from one rig, equivalent to 1.32 percent of the 76 rigs currently operating in the Gulf. Rigs can include several types of self-contained offshore drilling facilities including jackup rigs, submersibles and semisubmersibles.

BSEE: Production in US GoM Returns to Normal| Offshore Energy Today.

Ecopetrol Updates on US GoM Parmer Propect

Ecopetrol S.A., through its affiliate Ecopetrol America Inc., provided the results of the Parmer Prospect, deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

The Parmer prospect #1 is located on Green Canyon 867, at a depth of 18,900 ft (5,760 meters), which allowed for several pressure readings and the collection of several fluid samples from Miocene sands. The data indicate a column of approximately 240 ft (73 meters) of net condensate-rich gas pay, as prospect as one of 40 ft (12 meters) of net oil pay. In the coming months, Ecopetrol and its partners will reprocess 3-D seismic data and determine a comprehensive delimitation and development plan according to these results.

The two Parmer leases (GC 823 and GC 867) are located within the Green Canyon protraction area, at a depth of approximately 4,200 ft (1,280 meters) underwater. Each covers an area of 5,760 acres (23.3 square kilometers) and is located approximately 143 miles (230 km) from Louisiana.

Ecopetrol America has a 30% interest in the Parmer Prospect. Its partners are Stone Energy, and Apache that is the prospect’s operator.

The Parmer discovery is Ecopetrol’s second deepwater discovery in the Gulf of Mexico, one of the regions with the highest oil hydrocarbon potential in the world.

The results are expected to assist in Ecopetrol S.A.’s strategy to attain a production level of 1.0 million clean barrels of oil equivalent a day by 2015, and 1.3 million clean barrels by 2020.

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Noble’s New Drillship Enters Three-Year Contract in GoM

Noble Corporation announced that the Company has entered into a three-year term drilling contract with Anadarko Petroleum Corporation for the Noble Bob Douglas, one of Noble’s new ultra-deepwater drillships currently under construction at the Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. (HHI) shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea. The drillship, which is being constructed on a fixed price basis, is expected to be utilized for operations primarily in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

The Noble Bob Douglas is expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2013. The contract is expected to commence thereafter following mobilization to an initial operating location and client acceptance. Revenues to be generated over the three-year term are expected to total approximately $677 million. The contract also provides for an operating cost escalation provision.

The Noble Bob Douglas is one of four ultra-deepwater drillships being constructed for Noble by HHI. All four drillships are based on a Hyundai Gusto P10000 hull design, capable of operations in water depths of up to 12,000 feet and offering a variable deck load of 20,000 metric tons. The Noble Bob Douglas will be delivered fully equipped to operate in up to 10,000 feet of water while offering DP-3 station keeping, two complete six-ram BOP systems, multiple parallel activity features that improve overall well construction efficiencies and accommodations for up to 210 personnel. The rig will also be equipped with a 165-ton heave compensated construction crane to facilitate deployment of subsea production equipment, providing another level of efficiency during field development programs.

With the award of this contract for the Noble Bob Douglas, two of the Company’s four ultra-deepwater drillships under construction at HHI are now under contract. The remaining two uncontracted drillships are scheduled to be delivered from the shipyard in 2014.

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GoM Lease Sale: Apache Expands Presence in Gulf of Mexico

Apache Corporation announced it was the high bidder on 90 shelf and deep water blocks in the Central Gulf of Mexico offshore lease sale held by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in New Orleans.

Of the 56 companies submitting bids for Gulf of Mexico acreage, Apache Corp. was ranked No. 1 overall for its 61 high bids on the shelf, while Apache Deepwater LLC, the company’s deep water arm, was ranked No. 4 overall with 29 high bids.

The sum of the combined high bids was nearly $96 million gross.

“We’re excited about these blocks and our expanding presence in the Gulf of Mexico,” said G. Steven Farris, Apache chairman and chief executive officer. “The Gulf of Mexico is integral to Apache’s long-term growth. The shelf provides some of the best margins, highest returns and most free cash flow, and the deep water has some of the best exploration potential of any region in our global portfolio.”

Bidding on acreage in the shelf was focused on areas where Apache is acquiring proprietary seismic data, along with moderate to deep exploration prospects based on recently acquired and reprocessed seismic data. Successful deep water bids were focused on Pliocene and Miocene trends where Apache has acquired a significant seismic data base. Deep water bid partners included Stone Energy, Samson, Noble, Repsol, Nexen and Ecopetrol.

“This was a very robust lease sale with premium acreage,” said Jon Jeppesen, executive vice president of Apache’s Gulf of Mexico regions. “These blocks strengthen our position on the shelf and in the deep water. In both areas, Apache has the fiscal wherewithal, technical prowess and experience to capture the value of these opportunities.”

The shelf and deep water Gulf of Mexico currently represents 15.5 percent of Apache’s overall daily production.

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BP Starts Galapagos Development in U.S. GoM

Yesterday BP announced that on June 3, 2012 it began the initial start-up of the Galapagos development in the deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico, one of a series of new major upstream projects that the company expects to bring into production this year.

“The start-up of this project in the Gulf of Mexico is one of BP’s key operational milestones for 2012, one of six high-margin projects we expect to come on stream this year,” said Bob Dudley, BP group chief executive. “I expect that the operational progress we are now making will deliver increasing financial momentum for BP as we move into 2013 and 2014.”

The Galapagos development includes three deepwater fields and increases the capability of a key offshore production hub for BP. The fields – Isabela, Santiago and Santa Cruz – are being produced using subsea equipment on the floor of the Gulf. A new production flowline loop has been added to carry output to the nearby Na Kika host facility, a BP-operated platform located roughly 140 miles southeast of New Orleans in 6,500 feet of water.

The Na Kika facility, with a production capacity of 130,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, has been modified to handle output from the three fields. Full ramp-up of the project is expected around the end of June.

“The Galapagos development marks another significant step forward for BP in the Gulf of Mexico, and reflects the potential we continue to see in this world-class basin, now and in the future,” said James Dupree, Regional President of BP’s U.S. Gulf of Mexico business.

BP’s overall interest in the three-block area that includes the fields comprising the Galapagos project is about 56 per cent. Noble Energy, Inc., Red Willow Offshore, LLC, and Houston Energy, L.P., are co-owners. BP is the operator of the Isabela field, while Noble Energy operates the Santiago and Santa Cruz fields.

The Galapagos development required the installation of new subsea infrastructure, production risers, topsides as well as other modifications.

BP expects to invest at least $4 billion a year on oil and gas development in the Gulf of Mexico over the next 10 years, following its strategy of focusing investment and future growth around the company’s strengths, including deepwater exploration and development.

“BP’s continuing investment in the Gulf of Mexico is yet another example of our commitment to the U.S. economy and energy security,” Dudley added. “This investment, along with our ongoing commitment to the Gulf Coast region, demonstrates the importance of the U.S. to BP’s long term strategy.”

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USA: Statoil Extends Maersk Developer Contract for GoM Work

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Norway’s oil and gas exploration and production compayn, Statoil, has declared the option included in the 4-year firm contract for the ultra deepwater semi-submersible Maersk Developer rig.

Under the contract, the rig, owned by Denmark’s Maersk Drilling, will continue to work for Statoil in the US Gulf of Mexico. The duration of the option is two years with start scheduled for 4 November 2013 when the firm contract runs out. The contract value for the option period is approximately USD 370 million.

“We are very pleased to continue our cooperation with Statoil, one of our key clients, for this highly advanced deepwater rig,” says Claus V. Hemmingsen, CEO of Maersk Drilling.

“Having secured contracts for all our deepwater semisubmersibles until mid 2014 is a milestone in Maersk Drilling’s ambition of becoming a leading provider of highly advanced ultra deepwater rigs.”

Delivered in 2009, Maersk Developer is the first in a series of three state-of-the-art ultra deepwater development semi-submersibles in Maersk Drilling’s fleet. Since its delivery the rig has been employed in the US Gulf of Mexico.

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USA: Technip Bags Lump Sum Contract for Lucius Development Project in GoM

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Technip was awarded a lump sum contract by Anadarko Petroleum Corporation​ for the engineering, construction and transport of a 23,000 ton truss Spar hull for their Lucius project in approximately 7,100 feet (2,165 meters) of water depth in the US Gulf of Mexico, with first oil being scheduled in 2014. Lucius will be the seventh Spar Technip has delivered to Anadarko.

The Lucius truss Spar floating production facility will have a nameplate capacity of 80,000 barrels of oil per day and 450 million cubic feet of natural gas per day.

Technip’s operating center in Houston, Texas, will provide the overall project management. The detailed hull design and fabrication will be carried out by Technip’s yard in Pori, Finland.

This Spar will be the fifteenth delivered by Technip (out of eighteen worldwide) and thus demonstrates Technip’s leadership in Spars and our ability to provide solutions for ultra-deep water developments. This also confirms the expertise and track record of our Pori yard to deliver state-of-the-art platforms.

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