The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), Noble Energy, Inc. and the Helix Well Containment Group (HWCG) announced Tuesday the successful completion of a full-scale deployment of critical well control equipment to assess Noble Energy’s ability to respond to a potential subsea blowout in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.
BSEE Director James Watson confirmed that the HWCG capping stack deployed for the exercise met the pressurization requirements of the drill scenario, marking successful completion of the exercise.
The unannounced deployment drill, undertaken at the direction of BSEE, began April 30 to test the HWCG capping stack system – a 20-feet tall, 146,000-pound piece of equipment similar to the one that stopped the flow of oil from the Macondo well following the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in 2010. During this exercise, the capping stack was deployed in more than 5,000 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico. Once on site, the system was lowered to a simulated well head (a pre-set parking pile) on the ocean floor, connected to the well head, and pressurized to 8,400 pounds per square inch.
“Deployment drill exercises like this one are essential to supporting President Obama’s commitment to the safe and responsible development of offshore resources,” said Director Watson. “BSEE continually works to ensure that the oil and natural gas industry is prepared and ready to respond with the most effective equipment and response systems.”
BSEE engineers, inspectors and oil spill response specialists are evaluating the deployment operations and identifying lessons learned as the bureau continues efforts to improve safety and environmental protection across the offshore oil and natural gas industry.
“The quick and effective response to a deepwater well containment incident, demonstrated during the drill, was enabled by collaborative communication and planning between the industry and regulatory agencies with a focus on solutions-based outcomes,” said John Lewis, senior vice president of Noble Energy. “BSEE, the U.S. Coast Guard, Louisiana Offshore Coordinator’s Office and Noble Energy brought unique perspectives together in a Unified Command structure to achieve a shared goal. Through excellent coordination within the Incident Command System structure that included elevating the Source Control Chief to report directly to Unified Command, the dedication of hundreds of people and activation of the HWCG rapid response system, all objectives were met.”
“HWCG’s ability to quickly and effectively respond to a call from Noble Energy and every operator in our consortium is made possible by a combination of the mutual aid agreement committed to by each consortium member and the contracts we have in place for equipment that is staffed and working in the Gulf each day,” said Roger Scheuermann, HWCG Commercial Director. “Mutual aid enables members to draw upon the collective technical expertise, assets and resources of the group in the event of an incident. Utilizing staffed and working vessels, drilling and production equipment helps ensure there is no down time for staffing or testing equipment readiness in a crisis situation.”
In accordance with the plan, all 15 member companies were activated for this incident through the HWCG notification system.
For the safety of personnel and equipment, a Unified Command comprised of BSEE, the US Coast Guard, Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinators Office and Noble Energy decided to temporarily hold operations May 2 and 3 due to rough weather over the Gulf of Mexico. The safety of personnel remained a top priority throughout the exercise.
Since the Deepwater Horizon tragedy in 2010, BSEE has worked to implement the most aggressive and comprehensive offshore oil and gas regulatory reforms in the nation’s history. This deepwater containment drill tested one critical component of enhanced drilling safety requirements.
Press Release, May 8, 2013: Source
This week the SubseaIQ team added 3 new projects and updated 9 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.
Asia – Far East
CNOOC Bolsters South China Sea Production
Jan 3, 2013 – Production has started at CNOOC’s 100% owned Liuhua 4-1 field in the South China Sea. Liuhua 4-1 is a subsea development consisting of one production manifold and eight production wells. They are produced through the Nanhai Tiao Zhan FPS and then pumped to the Nanhai Sheng Li FPSO. Peak production is expected to be reached later this year. In addition, the company completed an adjustment project on the Panyu 4-2 and 5-1 oilfields. The objective of the project was to achieve more efficient production from the two fields through shared facilities.
Europe – North Sea
North Sea Energy Provides Badger Update
Jan 3, 2013 – North Sea Energy’s operating committee recently held a meeting to discuss the path forward regarding the Premier Oil-operated Badger prospect in the UK North Sea. Badger is a structural/stratigraphic trap with an objective in lower Cretaceous Coracle and Punt sandstones. Further delineation is required and critical risk elements need to be mitigated before a drilling decision can be made. The company hopes to be in a position to make that decision by the end of 3Q 2013.
Jan 3, 2013 – Det norske, on behalf of the partners in Production License 001B, submitted to the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy the Plan for Development and Operation of the Ivar Aasen field. If approved, first oil could be seen in 4Q 2016. Information gained during appraisal drilling indicates that the field contains 150 mmboe and will produce at a steady rate of 23,000 boepd. The development will also include the Hanz and West Cable discoveries. Hanz will be utilized by a subsea installation tied back to a production platform servicing Ivar Aasen and West Cable.
Project Details: Ivar Aasen
Jan 3, 2013 – BP announced the start of production systems at the Skarv field on December 31, 2012. Over its life, Skarv is expected to produce over 100 million barrels of oil and condensate and over 1.5 trillion cubic feet of rich gas. Water depth at the location is almost 1,500 feet. Development facilities include a new harsh environment FPSO, five subsea templates and a 50 mile export pipeline. Production rates will gradually increase over the year to an expected maximum daily rate of 165,000 boed.
Project Details: Skarv/Idun
S. America – Other & Carib.
Priodontes Well Spuds Off French Guiana
Jan 3, 2013 – Shell, as operator of the Guyane Maritime Permit (French Guiana), spudded an exploration well at the Priodontes prospect on December 29, 2012. The well is being drilled by the Stena Drillmax ICE (UDW drillship). Well GM-ES-3 is the second well in the current drilling program and is testing a different area of the Cingulata fan system that contains the recent Zaedyus oil discovery. Results of the Priodontes exploration will allow the license partners to gain a better understanding of the area’s geology and overall potential.
S. America – Brazil
PanAtlantic to P&A Jandaia
Jan 4, 2013 – Jandaia reached its targeted depth without encountering any indication of hydrocarbons. PanAtlantic and its partner Panoro Energy have plugged and abandoned the well. Jandaia, which is located in concession BM-S-71, was the third well in Vanco’s three-well program offshore Brazil. Sabia, the first well in the program, encountered volume at the low end of the pre-drill estimate and the second well, Canario, was dry.
Jan 3, 2013 – With the Inauguration of the Tamar production platform Noble Energy and the other Tamar interest holders are one step closer to the realization of first gas which is expected in April of this year. Discovery of the deepwater reservoir took place four years ago and development has progressed on schedule and within budget. The platform was installed in 800 feet of water and has the capacity to process 1.2 bcfd from its subsea wells. Once processed, the gas will flow through 93 miles of subsea pipeline to the Ashdod Terminal on Israel’s coast. Tamar is estimated to hold 8.4 tcf of gas reserves and its development will help bring the country to the verge of energy independence.
Project Details: Tamar
N. America – US GOM
Jan 3, 2013 – LLOG Exploration awarded a subsea equipment contract to FMC Technologies relating to the recently approved Delta House development project in the deep waters of Mississippi Canyon in the US Gulf of Mexico. Under the contract FMC will supply nine subsea trees, four subsea manifolds, five multiphase meters with all associated topside control systems and subsea distribution systems. Delivery of the $114 million order will take place this year.
Project Details: Delta House
- Gulf of Mexico: FMC Technologies’ Subsea Equipment for LLOG’s Delta House Project (mb50.wordpress.com)
- With Subsea Compression Technology, Offshore Platforms Could Become Obsolete (gcaptain.com)
- UH to open first subsea engineering masters program in 2013 (appliedagrotech.net)
A Cost Sharing Agreement (CSA) has been executed between Levant LNG Marketing, a subsidiary of Pangea LNG B.V., and Tamar Partners. This major milestone demonstrates the continuing progress toward the export of LNG from the Tamar and Dalit fields in the Eastern Mediterranean, 60 miles offshore from Israel.
The Tamar Partnership will participate in the cost of developing the project front end engineering and design (FEED) for a permanently moored offshore floating natural gas liquefaction vessel with onboard storage. Pangea LNG and Tamar Partners anticipate launching FEED by end of 2012 and making a final investment decision by the second half of 2013.
The floating liquefaction (FLNG) midstream solution is being developed by Pangea LNG, an LNG development and investment company owned by Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering (DSME), Next Decade International and D&H Solutions AS. Pangea LNG is a floating LNG liquefaction and storage project developer now working on projects around the globe that will connect gas suppliers to the world’s most important LNG demand markets.
The Tamar Partnership includes Noble Energy Mediterranean Ltd, Isramco Negev 2 Limited Partnership, Delek Drilling Limited Partnership, Avner Oil Exploration Limited Partnership, and DorGas Exploration Limited Partnership. These companies are the owners and producers involved in the discovery of significant natural gas resources in the Tamar and Dalit fields where development drilling is underway.
Gerhard Ludvigsen, a founding member of the Pangea LNG board of directors, said “the Tamar project embraces the entire value chain and balances the risk positions for the owners of hydrocarbons, the off takers and the midstream technology provider.
“The Pangea business model offers the opportunity for all stakeholders to take part in the value enhancement from gas production through the FLNG/midstream solution to the final off take of LNG. Pangea LNG opens the potential for national oil companies and owners of small to medium size gas reserves to monetize stranded gas and take part in the value creation in the entire value chain.”
Pangea LNG continues to work on off-take agreements for LNG production from the Tamar project. Pangea LNG has already executed several letters of intent with potential off takers and is in the final stage of negotiations for the long term sales and purchase agreement.
The Tamar framework agreement represents an important step in the development of what will be the first floating LNG liquefaction project in the Mediterranean basin. The Tamar and Dalit fields are located in the Levantine basin in Israeli waters.
“The Eastern Mediterranean gas fields provide a particularly good location for deploying an offshore floating LNG solution,” said Kathleen Eisbrenner, Pangea LNG’s chief executive officer. “The reserves are large, the climate is moderate and the location offers efficient access to significant LNG markets.”
O.K. Shin, Team leader of DSME Corporate Strategy Team, noted that the vessel-mounted liquefaction system being designed will take advantage of the efficiencies of the DSME shipyard construction environment and the best practices the company has developed during many years of LNG and process vessel construction.
Pangea LNG brings together a team that generated the innovations that are at the foundation of the floating LNG sector. DSME, the majority owner of Pangea, is one of the world’s leading shipbuilders and a contractor for major energy companies providing them with offshore platforms, drilling rigs and floating production units. The company builds special purpose vessels and specializes in LNG carriers. It constructed nine of the 11 floating LNG regasification vessels now in service.
- Israel: Major Milestone in Tamar FLNG Project Development (worldmaritimenews.com)
- Pangea LNG Continues its Development of Mediterranean Floating LNG Export Project (prnewswire.com)
- Global Market for Floating Production Systems to Reach $91 Billion; More Than $28 Billion in Global FLNG Liquefaction Spending (sacbee.com)