Technip received instructions from Anadarko Petroleum Corporation to begin the engineering, construction and transport of a 23,000-ton Truss Spar hull for their Heidelberg field development. This field is located in the US Gulf of Mexico, at a water depth of 1,620 meters (5,310 feet).
The Letter of Intent allows Technip to begin construction work on the project and other early works including purchase of long-lead items for the hull and start of fabrication, in advance of the expected project sanctioning around mid-2013, after which it will enter into Technip’s backlog.
The Heidelberg Spar will have a capacity of more than 80,000 barrels of oil and 2.3 million cubic meters of natural gas per day.
Technip’s operating center in Houston, Texas will provide the overall project management and engineering. The detailed hull design and fabrication will be carried out by Technip’s construction yard in Pori, Finland where most of Technip’s Spar projects have been manufactured.
David Dickson, Technip’s Senior Vice President, North America Region, has declared: “Technip is really proud to have received this Letter of Intent. Not only does it strengthen our long-lasting relationship with Anadarko but it also confirms its continuous trust in the Group’s extensive know-how and expertise in Spar technology. After Lucius, awarded last year and currently being built in our yard in Pori, Heidelberg will be the 8th Spar delivered by Technip to Anadarko.”
The Heidelberg Spar will be the 17th delivered by Technip (out of 20 worldwide) and thus demonstrates the Group’s leadership for this kind of floating platform and ability to tackle ultra-deepwater developments. It also confirms Pori’s track record expertise and great capabilities to deliver state-of-the-art platforms.
Brooks County, Texas is a less than five-hour drive from Houston, but the rural community of just over 7,200 people is facing an overwhelming amount of crime.
High-speed chases, smugglers and a rising body count has become a fact of life in a county made up largely of ranchers and farmers.
“We have a lot to contend with,” said Brooks County Chief Deputy Urbino Martinez. “It takes a toll.”
Houston’s connection to this rise in crime can be clearly seen in the 250 cars kept in the sheriff’s office’s impound lot.
“There’s criminal acts involving every vehicle that’s here,” said Martinez.
Martinez said 95 percent of the cars the county has seized this year as part of human, drug and weapons smuggling were originally stolen out of the Houston area.
“The connection between us and Houston, it’s almost like you would have to say ‘neighboring,’” said Martinez.
In addition to Martinez and Sheriff Rey Rodriguez, Brooks County has only four full-time patrol deputies and one investigator to cover 944 square miles of highway, back roads and ranch land.
Martinez said deputies have to work 12-hour shifts to keep up with all the crime running through the county.
“Whether it’s human smuggling, drug smuggling, or both at the same time, it’s phenomenal,” said sheriff’s investigator Daniel Davila. “They are coming in droves.”
Brooks County averages two high-speed chases every day involving either drugs or human smuggling.
This year, the county is also contending with 60 missing person cases and 116 bodies of illegal immigrants found murdered or dead from exposure.
Sheriff’s office records show the number of bodies found in Brooks County in 2012 has more than doubled from 2011.
“The waste of human life, it makes no sense how people are dying out here,” said Davila. “I can only imagine the bodies that are out there that we have yet to discover.”
In addition to tying up scant law enforcement resources, the rising number of bodies found in the county is also a financial burden to taxpayers.
Sheriff’s officials said it costs the county between $1,200 and $1,500 per body.
That cost includes investigation, sending each body to another county for autopsy and, in some cases, burying the individuals in the county’s cemetery.
“We got maybe 40 unnamed graves out there,” said Martinez.
Brooks County is about 75 miles north of the border, but crime is funneling into the area because of geography.
Davila explained many smugglers make it across the border with people or drugs and then fan out into dense ranch lands to avoid border patrol checkpoints along the highway.
The Sheriff’s office contends with so much crime on a daily basis it has had to supplement its annual budget with money from seized assets.
Records show the sheriff’s office’s actual budget for 2011-2012 was $620,186.90.
Records also show the office had to spend an additional $387,834 from asset seizure funds just to maintain daily operational costs.
“We’re not going to stop just because we don’t have the resources,” said Davila. “The pay is lousy, and it may sound corny, but this is my home. This is where I like to be, this is where I want to be, this is where I want to try to make things a little bit better.”
While it still receives some federal funding through partnerships with surrounding counties, the Brooks County Sheriff’s Office recently lost its state Border Star funding for the quarter.
Martinez explained that with only a staff of three administrators, who also handle calls for help and take missing persons reports, the office couldn’t keep up with all the paperwork required to secure the grant.
KBR has been selected by GDF SUEZ Bonaparte Pty. Ltd. (GDF SUEZ), operator of the Bonaparte LNG project, to execute floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) production vessel design work for its project offshore Darwin, Australia.
This award is one of two contracts being let by GDF SUEZ as part of an initial concept definition design competition for the vessel. The award also pre-qualifies KBR as a contender for the EPC delivery phase of the project. The concept definition work is already underway in KBR’s London operations centre in Leatherhead, and is expected to last up to 12 months.
KBR has developed an extensive global FLNG engineering capability in recent years, and draws on its experienced resource pool with capabilities in FPSO and onshore LNG EPC delivery.
“KBR is delighted to be working with GDF SUEZ on this project. We look forward to working together in a new relationship which we hope will prove valuable for both companies as this project moves towards the EPC phase,” said Roy Oelking, Group President, Hydrocarbons.
This work follows KBR’s recent FLNG front-end projects in London, Houston and Perth. FLNG represents a new market for the industry and KBR’s engineering capability is already being utilized in several FLNG projects around the world.
- Australia: KBR Secures Bonaparte FLNG Design Work (worldmaritimenews.com)
- Australia: Floating LNG Facility Receives Environmental Approval (worldmaritimenews.com)
- Need LNG? Yemen Is Looking for Buyers (gcaptain.com)
November 6, 2012-Houston–
NOV’s gift will be used to establish the National Oilwell Varco Computational Engineering Laboratory and to conduct contractual research for UH’s subsea engineering program and NOV.
The computational lab will be used to perform detailed computational calculations on complex subsea equipment that must operate under high-temperature and high-pressure oil and gas conditions that occur in ultra-deep subsea reserves.
The lab also will support the subsea engineering curriculum and students, enabling them to complete capstone design projects using the latest in computational subsea engineering tools.
Recently, UH received the state’s approval to offer the nation’s first subsea engineering graduate program, which will teach the scientific and technical skills necessary to create the first generation of formally trained subsea engineering specialists. UH already offers a certificate program in subsea engineering, which also is the only such program in the United States.
“NOV has made an important investment in UH’s efforts to build a premier graduate program in subsea engineering. We are grateful to NOV for recognizing the value of this ambitious energy initiative,” said Matthew Franchek, founding director of UH’s subsea program and a mechanical engineering professor.
“The subsea engineering graduate program is part of UH’s ongoing efforts to support the area’s energy sector,” Franchek said. “With NOV’s help, this program will produce students with the skills needed to overcome the unique challenges of deepwater exploration.”
The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board approved UH’s proposal to provide a graduate subsea engineering program, which is expected to begin in fall 2013.
Formed in partnership with the world’s leading energy engineering companies, the master’s program will include classroom lectures and hands-on software education for subsea systems design. Recognized experts in the industry will teach the courses.
Offshore oil and gas reserves are increasingly important sources of energy. Some experts believe that billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas lie within federally controlled waters in the Gulf of Mexico alone. But these massive reserves lie underneath 10,000 feet of water, presenting unprecedented engineering challenges such as freezing temperatures, corrosive seawater and immense water pressure.
A subsea engineer is responsible for the design, installation and maintenance of the equipment, tools and infrastructure used in the underwater phase of the offshore oil and gas drilling and production.
Last year, UH began its subsea engineering certificate program in response to the oil industry’s increasing need for these skilled engineers. It was the first of its kind in the U.S. Subsea engineering typically has not been considered a distinct discipline in the U.S., but a number of universities abroad offer degree programs in the field.
The new subsea graduate program will dovetail into UH’s growing petroleum engineering program, which two years ago established an undergraduate degree program in addition to its graduate curriculum.
About the University of Houston
The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the nation’s best colleges for undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation’s fourth-largest city, UH serves more than 39,500 students in the most ethnically and culturally diverse region in the country.
- UH to offer first subsea engineering program (fuelfix.com)
- Sea Trucks Secures Subsea Installation Contract in Mexico (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Subsea equipment providers see boom ahead (fuelfix.com)
- National Oilwell Varco sees rig technology sales climb (bizjournals.com)
Under the Technology License Agreement, BP will make available technical information that PEMEX E&P, one of four subsidiaries of PEMEX, can use, in addition to PEMEX E&P initiatives already in place, if it decides to build and maintain its own well capping system for use in Mexican waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
In addition, BP has agreed to conduct workshops in Houston to brief PEMEX E&P on the technical information and operational aspects of the system, as well as to introduce PEMEX E&P specialists to key vendors and fabricators that BP used to develop its global deepwater well cap and tooling package.
“The agreement marks another step forward in PEMEX E&P’s ongoing efforts to help protect the rich Gulf of Mexico environment in which we operate, as well as to apply state-of-the-art technology as we develop Mexico’s deepwater oil and natural gas resources,” said Carlos Morales, president of PEMEX Exploration and Production.
Richard Morrison, BP’s Head of Global Deepwater Response, said the agreement underscores BP’s commitment to sharing lessons learned during and following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon accident and response.
“Today’s announcement builds on our commitment and the work we have done — and continue to do — to help advance global deepwater response capabilities around the world,” he said.
“We are pleased to provide PEMEX E&P with access to our recent technological innovation and information so that operators in both the USA and Mexico areas of the Gulf of Mexico can be equipped to respond to a subsea well control incident in the Gulf of Mexico.”
BP’s global deepwater well cap is a 100-ton stack of valves that can be lowered onto a leaking well to halt the flow. The system can operate in 10,000 feet of water and is rated to pressures of 15,000 pounds per square inch. Stored in Houston, it can be sent by heavy-lift aircraft to any country where BP operates in a matter of days.
Under the Technology License Agreement, BP will share at no cost to PEMEX E&P technical information on BP’s capping stack, and PEMEX E&P has agreed to make any future advancements to this well-capping technology available at no cost to BP. BP will retain intellectual property rights, so it can continue to share the plans with others.
BP, which has had a presence in Mexico for around 50 years, has collaborated with PEMEX E&P through a variety of non-commercial technology, scientific and training mutual cooperation agreements over the last decade. Those have resulted in hundreds of workshops, seminars and exchanges to share best practices and technological expertise.
- Pemex Signs Deal to Use BP’s Well-Capping Technology in Gulf (ibtimes.com)
- Mexico Announces New Significant Crude Oil Discovery in Gulf of Mexico (hispanicallyspeakingnews.com)
FMC Technologies, Inc. announced today that it has formed a joint venture with Edison Chouest Offshore LLC. The new company will be based in Houston.
Utilizing the subsea technologies, tooling and expertise of FMC Technologies, and the vessel, port logistics and ROV operations of Edison Chouest Offshore, the new company intends to provide integrated vessel-based subsea services for offshore oil and gas fields globally. Services to be offered by the joint venture include equipment intervention, riserless light well intervention, plug and abandonment and other services. The company’s objective is to provide cost-effective solutions to enhance the customer’s ability to initiate, maintain, and increase production from subsea field developments through efficient operations, innovative technologies and a broad inventory of vessels and tools.
”We are pleased to be working with Edison Chouest Offshore to expand the portfolio of subsea services offered by FMC Technologies,” said Tore Halvorsen, FMC Technologies’ Senior Vice President, Subsea Technologies. “This joint venture will provide integrated subsea solutions to address the growing needs of our customers to increase production and improve field recovery rates.”
”We look forward to working with FMC Technologies on this new venture,” said Dino Chouest, Vice President of Operations, Edison Chouest Offshore. “Their leadership in the subsea market combined with our expertise in marine transportation will bring new integrated technologies and operations to the development of subsea fields.”
Cal Dive International, Inc. announced that it has recently commenced a two-year charter of the DP saturation diving vessel Kestrel to a major contractor in Mexico to perform repair and maintenance work for Pemex.
The charter started in mid-October and has a fixed term of two years with an additional one-year option. The charter is expected to result in EBITDA of approximately $10 million per year during the two-year charter term. The vessel is expected to generate approximately break-even EBITDA in 2012.
In addition, Cal Dive has been awarded three saturation diving contracts in Australia. Two of the projects will utilize one of Cal Dive’s portable saturation diving systems while the third contract will be performed from a third party vessel utilizing a built in saturation diving system. These three contracts are expected to generate total revenue of approximately $20 million during 2013 and the first project is expected to commence in the first quarter 2013.
Quinn Hébert, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cal Dive, stated, “We are pleased to announce the saturation diving contracts in Australia and the charter of the Kestrel in Mexico. Both awards demonstrate the continued execution of our strategy to geographically diversify outside the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The charter of the Kestrel is also consistent with our strategy to commit certain assets to long-term contracts that improve visibility. The charter is of additional significance due to the EBITDA improvement it will generate in 2013.”
Cal Dive International, Inc., headquartered in Houston, Texas, is a marine contractor that provides an integrated offshore construction solution to its customers, including manned diving, pipelay and pipe burial, platform installation and platform salvage services to the offshore oil and natural gas industry on the Gulf of Mexico OCS, Northeastern U.S., Latin America, Southeast Asia, China, Australia, the Middle East, West Africa and the Mediterranean, with a diversified fleet of surface and saturation diving support vessels and construction barges.
Ecolab Inc. announced that it has agreed to acquire privately held Champion Technologies and its related company Corsicana Technologies (hereafter collectively referred to as Champion) in a transaction valued at approximately $2.2 billion, to be paid through a mix of approximately 75% cash and 25% stock.
Champion is a Houston, Texas-based global energy specialty products and services company with approximately 3,300 employees in more than 30 countries delivering product and service-based offerings to the oil and gas industry. 2011 sales were $1.2 billion. Closing is expected to occur by year-end 2012, subject to regulatory clearance and other customary closing conditions.
- Ecolab buying Champion Technologies for $2.2 bln (marketwatch.com)
- Ecolab buying Champion Tech for $2.2B, hints on good Q3 (bizjournals.com)
- Champion Technologies sold to Ecolab for $2.2B (bizjournals.com)