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Statoil Charters Light Well Intervention Vessels to Increase Recovery

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Statoil has awarded contracts for new light well intervention (LWI) vessels. These “category A” units will contribute to increased recovery from Statoil’s approximately 500 operated subsea wells on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS).

Statoil has on behalf of relevant licensees awarded a contract to Island Offshore Management and Eide Marine Services for the charter of a total of three LWI vessels.

These purpose-built vessels are used for performing light well interventions, well operations and well maintenance without a riser-based system. Statoil can reduce well intervention costs by about 60% by utilizing a LWI vessel instead of a conventional rig.

“Performing these types of conventional jobs on subsea wells with low volumes of oil in place is expensive. The LWI vessels ensure both cost-efficient and safe operations,” says Statoil’s head of drilling and well Øystein Arvid Håland.

“Having more and new vessels of this category also helps increase recovery from fields on stream by opening new zones in the well, and stopping water production downhole.”

The contracts are worth a total of NOK 9.4 billion (USD 1.57 billion).

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Island Offshore vessels Island Frontier and Island Wellserver, which already have contracts with Statoil, have been awarded new five-year contracts. Eide Well Intervention, a new supplier in this segment for Statoil, has been awarded an eight-year contract for their new build, which employs a completely new technology.

The contracts with both companies come into effect in the spring of 2015, and include two options to extend for another two years.

A growing number of discoveries are developed via subsea wells, and it is important both to have equipment capable of maintaining these and to avoid using conventional drilling rigs for this type of work.

The rig market on the NCS is characterized by an aging rig fleet, and it is necessary to ensure sufficient and adequate rig capacity at sustainable rates. To address this, Statoil has put light LWI vessels – category A units – into service on a large scale.

“We have great ambitions and a long-term perspective on the NCS. Using purpose-built rigs and vessels in our operations is an important part of Statoil’s rig strategy. The high number of subsea wells in the future will require maintenance, and we are securing capacity in order to meet this need,” says Statoil’s chief procurement officer Jon Arnt Jacobsen.

“Island Offshore has delivered solid services and we expect the same going forward. At the same time we are pleased to have increased the number of suppliers in this market, and through the Eide Well Intervention newbuild we are also employing the latest available technology. Together these three vessels will provide us with an efficient service fleet for light well intervention services.”

Statoil has been pursuing riserless well intervention in subsea wells since 2000, and the technology has steadily improved.

The category A units will perform services for Statoil and the partners on the Åsgard, Norne, Gullfaks, Oseberg, Heidrun, Snøhvit, Tyrihans, Tordis/Vigdis, Snorre, Statfjord and Sleipner fields.

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UK: Wellbore Clean Up Specialist Eyes Turnover Increase

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Aberdeen-based oilfield services firm Coretrax Technology Limited has secured over £1.2million of contracts since the start of the year and expanded its team to 12 people.

Coretrax specialises in innovative oilfield services to the completion, cementing, abandonment and wellbore clean up sectors both in the North Sea and globally. The contract wins are for projects in the North Sea utilising Coretrax’s innovative wellbore clean up tools and chemicals.

The team in Aberdeen has also expanded with the appointment of a new business development manager and offshore supervisor both bringing many years of oil industry experience to the company. Coretrax plans to recruit a further 6-8 new staff in 2012 including a second graduate in design engineering.

Kenny Murray, director and founder of Coretrax, said: “We have had a really promising start to the year and I’m delighted with the new members who have joined the Coretrax team. Our focus this year is continual R&D to expand our range of products and services to provide solutions to operators with our team of engineers globally.

“Our innovative approach to wellbore clean up has also led to successful projects globally and we are completing successful contracts in Africa, Middle East and Asia. We will continue to expand both internationally and in the North Sea with on-going recruitment and new premises this year.”

Formed in 2008, Coretrax is a finalist in the ‘new idea’ category of SPE’s Offshore Achievement Awards taking place in Aberdeen this month. The company forecasts a turnover of £3million this year.

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Norway: Statoil Steps Up Technology Efforts to Increase Production

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Norway’s Statoil has singled out four business critical technologies as key to achieving the company’s growth ambitions. Statoil is boosting its R&D investments by 27% and starting to plan Norway’s biggest centre for IOR technology.

In the period up to 2020 Statoil will maintain a high level of production on the Norwegian continental shelf while doubling its international production.

“The oil and gas industry is facing new technological challenges that differ from those we have dealt with so far. We will find the resources of the future at great oceanic depths, in arctic areas where the conditions are extreme, and in new resources such as shale gas and shale oil for example. Statoil is well positioned to lead the continuing development of the oil and gas industry,” says Margareth Øvrum, executive vice president for Technology, Projects and Drilling.

Statoil is now stepping up its technology efforts in order to boost production, reduce energy consumption and support the company’s growth ambitions. Specifically this will mean tougher technology priorities, closer cooperation and the swifter implementation of technology.

Statoil’s new technology strategy builds on the company’s ambitions to boost production from 1.9 million barrels of oil equivalents per day in 2010 to 2.5 million boed in 2020.

The four prioritised technology areas are:

  • Seismic imaging and interpretation – will contribute to making further discoveries and boost the recovery rate by 2020.
  • Reservoir characterisation and recovery – to maximise value. Will contribute to the production a further 1.5 billion boed in reserves by 2020.
  • Efficient well construction – to drill more cost-efficient wells: 30% shorter time on well construction and 15% cost reduction by 2020.
  • Realise subsea compression by 2015 and complete a “subsea factory” by 2020 – to accelerate and boost production.

“We have identified four commercially critical technology areas where Statoil has a competitive advantage and where we have a long history of making the impossible possible. We have set ambitious targets for how technology will help us make further discoveries, boost recovery from existing fields, reduce costs and bring about operational improvements in health, environment and safety,” says Øvrum.

Statoil is increasing its concentration in R&D and IOR (Improved Oil Recovery).

“For 2012 we are increasing our R&D investments by 27% to NOK 2.8 billion. We are also planning for a further increase in our R&D activities going forward. In addition, we have specific plans to expand our R&D Centre at Rotvoll in Trondheim to provide room for Norway’s biggest IOR Centre,” says Øvrum.

“Our technology advances would not have been possible without the solutions developed by an innovative and dynamic supplier industry, as well as by universities and research institutes. In order to succeed in our four prioritised technology areas we require new solutions and closer cooperation with our suppliers, national and international research milieus, and other partners.”

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World Demand for High Value-Added Vessels Increase

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The new orders gained by China shipbuilding industry in 2010 worth USD 36.3 billion, accounted for 38% of the global market exceeding the 37% taken by South Korea. From January to September 2011, the China’s new orders fell by 40% and the new orders obtained by South Korean shipyards valued USD 43.6 billion regaining its first place in the world.

Japanese and South Korean companies are directed towards high value-added ships, especially seismic vessel, drillship, FPSO and LNG Carrier. The long-term instability in the Middle East and the increasing scarcity of oil resources in shallow water are affecting the increase in demand for these vessel types.

90% of the orders for seismic vessels, usually priced at more than USD 600 million, are obtained by South Korean companies, the rest belongs to Japanese companies.

South Korean companies have been dominating the drillship market. Samsung Heavy Industries established Estaleiro Atlantico Sul (EAS) with local construction giants Queiroz Galvao and Camargo Correa. Petrobras recorded an order for seven drillships with EAS in February 2011, with a contract value of approximately USD4.63 billion, what accounts for the largest drillship project ever. Samsung Heavy Industries has more than 60% of drillship orders.

It has been anticipated that in late 2012 or early 2013, China shipbuilding industry will face a severe crisis. The global dry and bulk cargo and container shipping markets will see a downturn and severe excess capacity till 2016.

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USA: Apache 3Q Production and Profit Rise Year-on-Year

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Apache Corporation  reported production of 752,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day and earnings of $983 million, or $2.50 per diluted share, for the three-month period ending Sept. 30, 2011. These compare with production of 667,000 boe per day and net income of $765 million, or $2.12 per diluted share, for the same period in the prior year.

Excluding certain items that management believes affect the comparability of operating results, Apache reported adjusted earnings of $1.2 billion in third quarter 2011 compared with $797 million in the year-earlier period. On a per-share basis, adjusted earnings were $2.95 in the third quarter compared with $2.20 per diluted share in the prior-year period. Oil and gas revenues for third quarter 2011 were $4.3 billion, a 41 percent increase from $3.0 billion for the same period last year. Cash from operations before changes in operating assets and liabilities* were $2.7 billion, up 35 percent from the prior year’s $2.0 billion.

“Apache had a very productive quarter, both in operations and commercial activity,” said G. Steven Farris, chairman and chief executive officer. “For the sixth consecutive quarter, we achieved record daily production on an equivalent basis. We’ve commenced development of the Balnaves oil field offshore Western Australia. We’ve extended the productive range of our holdings in Egypt’s remote Western Desert with new producers in the Faghur Basin. We continue to drill from the extensive, multiyear inventory of drillable locations we have developed in the Permian, Central, Gulf of Mexico and Canadian regions of North America. Domestically, the recent focus has obviously been on higher-margin oil and liquids-rich opportunities. This operational flexibility is a competitive advantage of Apache’s portfolio model.

“Apache made great progress commercially as well during the quarter. We announced the acquisition of ExxonMobil’s Beryl and other selected fields in the U.K. sector of the North Sea, expanding our presence in this region. In Australia, the partner-operated Wheatstone Project advanced to development. This is Apache’s first liquefied natural gas (LNG) project, and we expect it will enable us to monetize an estimated 2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas resource from the Brunello, Julimar, and Balnaves fields, which also are in development, at premium prices pegged to the worldwide market for LNG, creating additional value at those discoveries,” Farris said.

Liquid hydrocarbons represented 50 percent of production and 78 percent of revenues. Apache benefited from higher oil prices for both its international production indexed to Dated Brent benchmarks and sweet crudes from the Gulf of Mexico, which continue to receive a meaningful premium per barrel compared with production benchmarked to West Texas Intermediate prices.

Apache Corporation is an oil and gas exploration and production company with operations in the United States, Canada, Egypt, the United Kingdom North Sea, Australia and Argentina

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