Subsea 7, a global leader in seabed-to-surface engineering, construction and services to the offshore energy industry, will be exhibiting the wealth of its expertise and some of its new groundbreaking technology at this year’s Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, USA, from 30 April to 3 May.
Subsea 7 will deliver seven conference papers and, among the range of new technology the company will be exhibiting at its booth 1641, will be its new flagship pipelay / heavylift vessel, the Seven Borealis, its pioneering Autonomous Inspection Vehicle (AIV), and its award winning Mechanically Lined Pipe technology. Also high on Subsea 7’s agenda at OTC 2012 will be the recruitment of talented engineers, project managers and support function personnel for its expanding work programme following the successful award of a number contracts.
Steve Wisely, Subsea 7’s Executive Vice-President – Commercial, said: “We will have a bigger presence than ever at OTC this year. This reflects the successful year we have had, the great strides that we have made in technology solutions and our service offering to clients. Subsea projects are getting more complex and challenging, in deeper waters and more harsh environments. We want to show clients the full range of our capabilities, including a large and modern fleet, our expertise and our ability to deliver their projects. And for people looking for new employment challenges with a rewarding company, we have a number of opportunities available.”
Subsea 7 has been investing in renewing its fleet in the last year, including its new flagship vessel, the Seven Borealis, which is due to go on its first project later this year. With its combined S-lay and J-lay pipelay and 5,000t heavylift capabilities, the Seven Borealis is one of the most versatile subsea construction vessels in the industry, ideally suited to meet the exacting requirements of ultra-deep and deepwater projects.
In the area of Life-of-Field support, Subsea 7 will showcase its revolutionary AIV, which is now commercially available. A differentiating element of the AIV is its ability to recognise and respond to its surroundings, being able to correct its trajectory in real time, based on information it gathers from its onboard sensors. The AIV, which can operate directly from a host facility, such as an FPSO or Platform, or from infield support vessels or mobile rigs, will transform Life-of-Field projects. It can provide cost-effective, low-risk inspection to aid field survey and integrity management and intervention activities.
The full range of Subsea 7’s capabilities in riser technology, pipe-in-pipe and pipeline welding will be on show at OTC. The company’s technological expertise was recently recognised by the industry’s prestigious Pipeline Industries Guild giving Subsea 7 the Subsea Pipeline Technology Award for the installation of Mechanically Lined Pipe by reel–lay, which will be on display at the show. The technology, independently qualified by DNV, has demonstrated its market potential and been adopted for the first major pre-salt project, Guará-Lula NE, in Brazil by Petrobras.
Seven technical papers will be delivered by Subsea 7 at this year’s OTC, showcasing its experience and capabilities to deliver innovative solutions for clients’ projects. These are:
• Accounting for Vortex Induced Vibration (VIV) in wake induced motion of risers in tandem at high reynolds number
• A giant step and innovative subsea project – Pazflor
• Innovation in ROV/AUV technology – Autonomous Inspection Vehicle: A new dimension in Life-of-Field operations
• Design consideration and equipment details of the 5,000t mast crane of the deepwater pipelay and heavylift vessel Seven Borealis
• Improved pile driving prediction in carbonate soil and rock
• Mechanically Lined Bubi® Pipe – installation by reel-lay
• GIS support for field development project: A contractor experience and perspective.
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FMC Technologies, Inc. announced that it has been named the recipient of two Spotlight on New Technology awards by the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC). The awards, which honor innovative technologies that significantly impact offshore exploration and production, recognize FMC’s subsea processing systems designed for Total’s Pazflor field and Petrobras’ Marlim field.
“We are honored to be recognized by OTC for a third consecutive year with these prestigious awards,” said John T. Gremp, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of FMC Technologies. “This is a significant accomplishment for our employees and for our industry-leading subsea processing systems.”
The Pazflor field is the world’s first use of subsea separation and boosting in a new subsea field that will produce two grades of oil (light and heavy). This technology enables economic development of the reservoir where the use of a conventional subsea production system was not feasible. Pazflor is located offshore Angola, and began production in August of 2011 at water depths up to approximately 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).
The equipment for the Marlim field is a step-change in the evolution of subsea processing. It is the industry’s first use of oil and water separation technologies in deep water, and it is the first subsea system to separate heavy oil and water. The Marlim equipment is also the first to reinject separated water back into a subsea reservoir to boost production. The Marlim system was installed offshore Brazil in November of 2011 in water depths of approximately 2,950 feet (900 meters). It is designed to extend the life of this mature oil field, which began production over 30 years ago and was once the largest subsea development in the region.
FMC will receive both awards during a ceremony and press conference at 4:00 p.m. CDT on Monday, April 30, in the Rotunda area of the Reliant Center in Houston, Texas.
FMC Technologies, Inc. is a leading global provider of technology solutions for the energy industry. Named by FORTUNE® Magazine as the World’s Most Admired Oil and Gas Equipment, Service Company in 2010, the Company has approximately 14,200 employees and operates 27 production facilities in 16 countries. FMC Technologies designs, manufactures and services technologically sophisticated systems and products such as subsea production and processing systems, surface wellhead systems, high pressure fluid control equipment, measurement solutions, and marine loading systems for the oil and gas industry.
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The impacts that the international liquefied natural gas market will see from shale gas production growth in North America and across the globe will vary widely according to local market conditions, members of a panel at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston said Wednesday.
In the US, where the “shale gas revolution” first started and already is well under way, domestic gas supplies have severely cut into the demand for imported LNG, Emma Cochrane, manager of gas power and marketing for ExxonMobil, said.
With ample gas supplies to meet US gas demands most of the time, LNG imports will largely serve to meet seasonal balancing needs, she said.
“Imports will mostly come in the summer, where there is nowhere else for the gas to go,” Cochrane said. As a result of the inflow of gas supplies from shale plays across the nation, “the US becomes almost self-sufficient” in meeting its gas demand in the future.
In other regions of the world, however, the growth of shale gas production will be less of a factor in supply-and-demand dynamics than more localized factors, Rafael McDonald, associate director of global gas research, IHS CERA, said.
“We see an acceleration of the tightening of the global gas market,” he said. However, the resurgence of gas demand in the wake of the global recession will result in “a multi-speed recovery,” with some regions outpacing others.
“In terms of GDP and gas demand, some places never dipped, like Brazil and China. Some dipped but came roaring back, like South Korea, and some continue to languish,” he said.
Australia, which has ambitious plans to dramatically increase its liquefaction and LNG export capacity, could someday surpass Qatar as the world’s largest LNG exporter, McDonald said. “There are some questions still. There 28 million tons of capacity already, with over an additional 100 million tons of capacity planned,” he said.
He added that “all of that can’t come on line,” as Australia does not have the resources to increase its LNG capacity to the extent that LNG developers envision.
Davis Thames, president of Cheniere Marketing, described how the changing dynamics of the international gas market has led his company to announce plans to convert its Sabine Pass LNG receiving terminal in Cameron Parish, Louisiana into bi-directional terminal capable of exporting as well as importing LNG.
“In the US, we have a natural gas market that doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world,” he said. Technological innovations in gas production techniques have resulted in “a tremendous amount of gas,” coming onto US markets, driving down the domestic costs of gas and destroying the economic rationale behind building LNG import-only terminals.
As a result, Cheniere is reinventing its business model from the traditional LNG import terminal, Thames said.
“We’re providing a midstream service,” he said. Cheniere’s proposed bi-directional LNG facility “looks more like a pipeline,” than a traditional LNG import terminal, he said.
Houston-based Cheniere, which owns the 4 Bcf/d Sabine Pass LNG import terminal, in August 2010 applied to US authorities for permission to export gas produced in the Lower-48 states.
–Jim Magill, email@example.com
Helix Well Containment GroupThe Helix Well Containment Group’s new deepwater well capping stack, unveiled Tuesday at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston. The new capping stack can handle pressures of up to 15,000 pounds per square inch, an improvement over the 10,000 psi model Helix completed in February.
By David Hammer The Times-Picayune
The Helix Well Containment Group is a cooperative effort of 24 Gulf oil companies. They have banded together and invested in spill-response technology to convince the federal government that they could return to drilling in the deep sea and stop a leak like last year’s BP disaster, in which the massive device known as a blowout preventer failed to close in the well.
Helix Well Containment Group’s participating companies succeeded in getting several new wells approved in recent months, mostly because they had access to the consortium’s capping stack, something like a mini-blowout preventer that could attach to the top of a failed blowout preventer and block hydrocarbons flowing through it at pressures of up to 10,000 pounds per square inch.
At the annual Offshore Technology Conference in Houston today, Helix Well Containment Group unveiled a second capping stack model, which promises to safely shut in flows of up to 15,000 psi. That’s a significant increase in capabilities that the industry hopes can pave the way to deeper drilling.
Like the 10,000 psi model that was unveiled in late February — and led to the first new deepwater well permit approval a day later — the new capping stack will be housed in North Houston and can be at the site of a blowout offshore in less than 48 hours, according to Helix Well Containment Group.
The consortium’s well containment plan states that if there’s no debris blocking the well bore, the stack can be attached and shut off flow in three to four days. But other complications could delay final closure. If the capping stack is not enough to stop all flow and containment vessels and systems are necessary to carry oil to the surface, it could take as long as 17 days, consortium spokeswoman Danielle Allen said.
Michael Bromwich, the government’s top offshore regulator, said the 10 deepwater wells approved since Feb. 28 can all be shut in using only the capping stack.
The consortium’s second capping stack, which weighs 156,000 pounds, boasts a larger opening than others, something that should allow scientists to keep working on the insides of a busted blowout preventer even while shutting off the flow.
It’s one of the new components developed since last summer when a cap built on the fly by one of the consortium’s contractors, Helix Energy Solutions, finally shut in BP’s Macondo well, 87 days after its blowout preventer failed.
A diagram of Helix Well Containment Group’s full capping stack and oil collection system.
In addition, the capping stack has ports for tubes to connect to ships on the surface, in case it needs to collect excessive oil flowing out. That containment system works in up to 8,000 feet of water and is being expanded to 10,000 feet this summer, Allen said.
Asked why Helix Well Containment Group is keeping its equipment in Houston when the vast majority of deepwater oil and gas prospects are off the Louisiana coast, Allen said the threat of hurricanes played a major role in the company’s decision.
“The Louisiana coast has some vulnerability in the event of a hurricane surge,” she said. “Houston is close enough to the port, but would not put it in the path of a hurricane surge and would allow for access to other ports via land.”
She also contended that most deepwater wells are about 200 miles from each deepwater Gulf port, but Macondo and some of the wells approved recently are about 100 miles from Port Fourchon.
by Brett Clanton Posted on May 3, 2011 at 11:25 pm
The Chevron Genesis platform in the Gulf of Mexico (AP file photo/Mary Altaffer)
As the global offshore oil and gas industry meets in Houston this week, leaders say they are aware the reputation of their business is still bruised after the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill and that motorists and politicians are fuming over $4 gasoline prices.
But they cautioned Washington against overreaching with new regulation and taxes, stressing the enormity of the challenge ahead in meeting the world’s surging energy needs.
“We cannot afford to have emotions control business and policy decisions,” Zuhair Hussain, vice president of Saudi Aramco’s drilling and workover unit, said during a panel discussion Tuesday at the 2011 Offshore Technology Conference.
With global energy demand expected to rise 40 percent by 2035, industry must be unencumbered to invest in finding more resources and developing new technology, said other panelists.
“You can’t be emotional about our business based on gas prices,” said Ali Moshiri, president of Chevron Corp.’s Africa and Latin America exploration and production company.
But Obama administration officials and oil company executives agreed that last year’s Macondo well blowout, which killed 11 workers and launched the nation’s worst oil spill, gave the industry a major image problem that could take years to quash.
Christopher Smith, U.S. deputy assistant energy secretary, noted that “blowout preventer” and “fracking” have become familiar words since the Deepwater Horizon disaster and amid controversy surrounding the fracturing process used to unlock natural gas. And that’s not a good thing, he said.
“These terms have entered into the public consciousness in a way that is going to be a net negative for industry and for government as we try to advance our goals,” Smith said.
But government, industry and environmentalists can work together on shared goals, such as advancing safe development of natural gas, he said.
Farouk Hussain Al Zanki, CEO of Kuwait Petroleum Corp., described a key lesson industry should take away from events of recent months, including the Gulf oil spill and Japan’s tsunami-triggered nuclear power plant disaster.
“Energy safety has moved to the forefront of industry challenges,” he said.
Dave Payne, Chevron’s vice president of drilling and completions, said the damage from the spill will be particularly long-lasting.
“A large percentage of the American public doesn’t understand our business,” he said. “We have not regained trust. It will take us years as an industry to get to where we need to be.”
He cautioned against an adversarial relationship between federal regulators and the offshore drilling industry. We “need a partnership with government,” he said. “We cannot work at loggerheads with the government and be successful.”
In an afternoon panel on the Gulf spill, speakers explored specific ways that the industry could learn from the blowout last year.
One big lesson: The data streaming from the seafloor to the drilling rig may not be displayed in the best way to help workers make quick decisions.
There’s a concern that amid a barrage of data, “someone working in real time has to tease out” what’s relevant “and make real consequential decisions on the fly,” Smith said.
The oil and gas industry can take cues from how information is presented to pilots in airplane cockpits and engineers in nuclear reactors, he said.
“Instead of relying on a person who is smart and quick and who has that intestinal fortitude to stop work on a $350 million rig,” Smith said, the airlines and nuclear industry use more checklists and automation.
Chevron’s Payne said industry stalwarts likely would resist safety checklists, but acknowledged they could go a long way to improving safety offshore.
“We need to start bringing procedures and checklists into our business,” he said. “We have an opportunity to work together as an industry and hold each other accountable.”
OTC attendance so far is up about 10 percent from last year, when 72,900 came to the four-day annual event, said Stephen Graham, OTC’s associate managing director.
Posted on May 2, 2011 at 1:28 pm by Jennifer Dlouhy
The federal government will expand its oversight of coastal drilling to include new regulation of oil field service firms, rig suppliers and other offshore contractors, a top Obama administration official said today.
Michael Bromwich, the head of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, said a broad internal review of current laws concluded that the agency has “broad legal authority over all activities relating to offshore leases, whether it is engaged in by lessees, operators or contractors.”
“We can exercise such authority as we deem appropriate,” Bromwich told the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston.
Bromwich has floated the idea of expanding the ocean energy bureau’s reach beyond oil and gas companies before — but he had been unsure whether the move would require Congress to go along with the plan. According to the administration’s internal legal review, congressional action isn’t necessary; the agency already has the authority.
Historically, the federal offshore energy agency — previously known as the Minerals Management Service — has focused on leaseholders and operators. Other federal agencies, such as the Coast Guard, separately regulate entities such as drilling rigs and their owners. The benefit of the traditional system, Bromwich acknowledged, is that “it served to preserve clarity and the singular responsibility of the operator.”
But the drilling chief said that he was “convinced that we can fully preserve the principle of holding operators fully responsible — and in most cases solely responsible — without sacrificing the ability to pursue regulatory actions against contractors for serious violations of agency rules and regulations.”
Bromwich insisted the Obama administration would be “careful and measured in extending our regulatory authority to contractors.”
The presidential commission that investigated last year’s oil spill concluded that poor communication among contractors on the Deepwater Horizon rig contributed to the disaster.
Sean Grimsley, the panel’s deputy chief counsel, said that there was an absence of a sense of real responsibility at the Macondo well.
“One of the problems is that there are upwards of 20 plus contractors out here on one of these rigs,” Grimsley said. “What we saw here was that different contractors were making critical decisions, often times without communicating what they had learned to other decision makers.”
Visit FuelFix this week for the latest news from OTC. You can also like our page on Facebook or follow @FuelFixBlog on Twitter. Look for updates from reporters @houstonfowler and @jendlouhyhc under the #OTCHouston hashtag.
Posted on May 2, 2011 at 11:33 am by jenniferdlouhy
Governors from Alaska and states bordering the Gulf of Mexico are reaching out to their counterparts along the West and East Coast today in a bid to get them more involved in decisions about energy production offshore.
The push for a new Outer Continental Shelf Governors Coalition is led by four governors who know a little something about oil and gas production offshore: Rick Perry of Texas, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Haley Barbour of Mississippi and Sean Parnell of Alaska.
In an invitation to other coastal state governors, the foursome said they hoped the coalition would “foster an appropriate dialogue between the coastal states and the administration” about offshore drilling. The group would give the governors a vehicle to lobby for expanded drilling offshore.
“All federal decisions regarding exploration and production must be made in consultation with affected states,” the four governors said. “In recent months, however, the federal government has taken sweeping actions regarding offshore oil and gas activities with little consultation with the states.”
And too often, they say, those decisions have conflicted with the states’ best interests.
For instance, Gulf Coast governors who signed the letter have protested the administration’s decision to halt deep-water drilling after last year’s oil spill and to postpone some sales of offshore drilling leases. And Virginia state leaders were upset by the Obama administration’s move to cancel a lease sale off their coastline.
Representatives from Louisiana, Texas and other states are set to announce the new group during a session this afternoon at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston.
David Holt, president of the Consumer Energy Alliance and a FuelFix guest blogger, said the move would allow the governors to better communicate “the need to produce American energy offshore, not only for their individual states, but for the entire nation.”
Visit FuelFix this week for the latest news from OTC. You can also like our page on Facebook or follow @FuelFixBlog on Twitter. Look for updates from reporters @houstonfowler and @jendlouhyhc under the #OTCHouston hashtag.
Subsea 7 Inc. and Acergy S.A. merged in January this year, bringing together two very strong subsea companies to create a global leader in seabed-to-surface engineering, construction and services. With a 12,000 strong workforce worldwide, the new Subsea 7 has the highest concentration of expertise in its industry sector. It has a global engineering team of around 1,500 professionals addressing the key engineering disciplines within its business. Subsea 7 is well placed to deliver technologies that address its clients’ requirements, for example, in the offshore rigid pipelay market, not only does the company have an industry-leading engineering design capability, but also the full suite of installation techniques of: Reel-lay; S-lay; Steep S-lay; J-lay and Bundlelay.
The new Subsea 7 enables clients to access a fleet comprising 42 vessels and on booth #2824 in the Reliant Centre, Subsea 7 will showcase its technically advanced fleet, in particular, Seven Borealis, a new pipelay/heavy lift vessel due to be delivered to Subsea 7 during the first half of 2012. Seven Borealis will be ideally suited to meeting the exacting requirements of ultra-deep and deepwater projects in the world’s harshest environments. Subsea 7 will demonstrate its project management experience, in executing major engineering, procurement, installation and construction projects, this is endorsed by a newly awarded milestone US $1 billion contract by Petrobras for four decoupled riser systems to be installed in the Guará and Lula fields located offshore Brazil, in water depths of approximately 2,200m. On top of the challenges of scale posed by the project are the ground-breaking design innovations. The project is based on installing four very large submerged buoys, weighing around 1,900 tonnes each, approximately 250 metres below the surface, along with twentyseven steel catenary risers (SCRs) and associated pipeline end terminations.
Subsea 7 will also have an update on the commercialisation of its first new Autonomous Inspection Vehicle (AIV), expected to be available in late 2011. A significant amount of interest was generated during OTC 2010 where Subsea 7 had a scale model of the AIV on its booth to enable visitors to understand the technology.
At OTC 2011, Subsea 7 will deliver 11 technical papers, showcasing examples of its capabilities in deepwater markets, its engineering and technical expertise.
Technical papers include:
• Conger – Technical Challenges and success for Rigid Pipeline
• Deployment lowering operations (2 papers)
• Deepwater Field Developments
• Lateral Buckling Mitigation in Deepwater
• Qualification of Large Diameter Fiber Rope – DNV
• Angola LNG Pipeline bundle
• Design, construction and management of Hybrid Riser Towers (2 papers)
• Reel Clad SCR Weld Fatigue
Recruitment and talent-spotting will also be high on the agenda for Subsea 7 at this year’s event. At present, the company is looking to recruit a substantial number of people globally, in a range of disciplines including engineering, project management, operations management and support functions.
Steve Wisely, Subsea 7’s Executive Vice President – Commercial, commented:
“This year’s OTC is an ideal opportunity for the new Subsea 7 to give visitors a real insight into the extended fleet capabilities, technical expertise and depth of engineering and project management resources that are available to help them meet their deepwater challenges in particular. We will also be actively recruiting and hope to attract a number of new people to join the company, through the variety of opportunities we currently have available.”