Reef Subsea has secured two contracts for offshore operations in the West Africa region with a combined value of more than US$15M (£9.8 Million).
The firm’s IMR and Construction division, based in Bergen, Norway, is working with two major oil and gas companies on the projects in The Republic of Congo and Equatorial Guinea.
For both projects, Reef Subsea, which also has a presence in Aberdeen, Houston, Mandal in Norway and Surrey and Stockton-on-Tees in England, is providing operational support using one of its subsea construction support vessel’s, Reef Larissa, which will perform structure installations, ROV & survey operations and commissioning support in water depths down to 1400 metres. In addition, onshore engineering will be delivered from Reef Subsea’s Bergen office. Reef Subsea will add to the operational competence and experience involved in the projects while ensuring the scope of work is carried out in a safe and efficient manner.
Tim Sheehan, Executive VP Commercial of Reef Subsea, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded these two contracts, which confirm our teams and assets are well adapted to subsea construction operations in deepwater worldwide. We have already worked in West Africa over the past few years, and are pleased to be operating in this region again to strengthen our reputation further.”
Ørjan Lunde, Managing Director of Reef Subsea IRM & Construction, said: “We are pleased to have secured these two projects in West Africa with blue chip operating companies. West Africa will be a key region for us in the future to meet our strategy to become a leader in field of life IRM & Construction services.”
BP was quick to react after the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today issued a press release in which it said that the British oil giant would be temporary banned from making new arrangements with the federal government.
In a statement issued on its website BP highlighted that the temporary suspension relates only to future potential contracts with the U.S. government and won’t affect any existing contracts the company has with the US government, including those relating to current and ongoing drilling and production operations in the Gulf of Mexico.
To remind, EPA explained the move as a necessary action“due to BP’s lack of business integrity as demonstrated by the company’s conduct with regard to the Deepwater Horizon blowout, explosion, oil spill, and response.”
The suspension will remain in force until BP can provide sufficient evidence to EPA demonstrating that it meets Federal business standards, EPA explained in its press release.
One year suspension?
In its response BP, headquartered in London, said it has already provided EPA with a statement of more than 100 pages and supplemental answers to the EPA’s questions based on that submission, to prove itself a responsible company able to do business with the government.
BP, which two weeks ago pleaded guilty for its conduct relating to the Deepwater Horizon blowout, explosion, oil spill and response, said it was notified by EPA that the suspension could be lifted soon. Some sources, such as Forbes and Federal Times claim that the ban could last for one year, while The Washington Post predicts the suspension could be in force until the end of legal proceedings related to the oil spill disaster.
BP added the company has made significant enhancements since the accident, saying that immediately after the Deepwater Horizon accident, the company launched an internal investigation, publicly released the results, made changes to the management, and has been implementing all 26 of the investigation’s recommendations.
“In the two and a half years since the Deepwater Horizon accident, the US government has granted BP more than 50 new leases in the Gulf of Mexico, where the company has been drilling safely since the government moratorium was lifted,” BP said.
Markey: Righteous Punishment
Representative Edward J. Markey today, on his blog, praised the Obama administration move: “…suspending BP’s access to contracts with our government is the right thing to do…When someone recklessly crashes a car, their license and keys are taken away. The wreckage of BP’s recklessness is still sitting at the bottom of the ocean and this kind of time out is an appropriate element of the suite of criminal, civil and economic punishments that BP should pay for their disaster.”
No BP bids
The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management today held Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 229, which offered over 20 millions acres and attracted more that $133 million in high bids for the acreage in the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) offshore Texas. Thirteen companies submitted the bids, and BP was not one of them, The Washington Post reports, citing sources close to the UK-based oil giant.
LLOG Exploration Company L.L.C. and Blackstone today announced the formation of a long-term, strategic partnership and have committed to invest over $1.2 billion to expand and accelerate LLOG’s offshore operations in the Gulf of Mexico.
The partnership will leverage the combined operational and financial resources of LLOG and private equity funds managed by Blackstone (collectively with their affiliates “Blackstone”) to expedite development of LLOG’s four recent deepwater discoveries as well as the exploration and appraisal of its extensive prospect inventory, which includes over 110 offshore leases. In addition, the partnership will expand LLOG’s asset base in the Gulf of Mexico through federal lease sale participation, farm-ins and M&A activities, further building upon its position as one of the largest private companies in the basin. This strategic partnership is the largest private equity financing executed in the Gulf of Mexico to date.
LLOG is one of the top 10 privately owned oil and gas companies in the U.S. and one of the largest private operators in the Gulf of Mexico (“GOM”). LLOG operates over 95% of its reserves and 86% of its prospects. During the last two years, the Company has made four consecutive discoveries, including two deepwater Gulf of Mexico discoveries to date during 2012, and over the last 10 years the Company has yielded an exploration drilling success rate of 70%.
Blackstone is one of the largest alternative asset managers in the world, with more than $205 billion in assets under management and a leading energy sector private equity investing franchise with an extensive, successful track record of investing in partnership with exceptional management teams seeking to fully capitalize on growth opportunities. Blackstone is currently investing from two private equity funds which aggregate over $19.3 billion of committed capital including Blackstone Energy Partners (“BEP”), its dedicated energy sector fund.
Who Dat not included
Last year, LLOG commenced production from its Who Dat discovery, an asset which is excluded from this partnership. The Who Dat Field, with estimated reserves of 200 to 300 million barrels of oil equivalent, is one of the largest discoveries in the GOM during the last several years. This field is producing through the first privately owned floating production system in the GOM, the Opti-Ex, which the Company acquired and brought online in less than three years, a record setting pace for a development of its type. Importantly, LLOG is also focused on maintaining a strong long-term track record in the areas of health, safety and environment and was the most recent company to be awarded the coveted Safe Operations and Reporting (SOAR) Award by the industry regulatory agency.
Scott Gutterman, LLOG’s CEO, commented, “We are very excited to form this unique, significant, and long-term strategic partnership with Blackstone. This is the first time that we have joined forces with an equity partner on a Company wide basis, and we cannot imagine a more suitable partner to mark this significant inflection point for LLOG. This transaction is indicative of the many exciting assets and opportunities we have at LLOG and will enable us to capture opportunities that we could not otherwise pursue. We believe the Gulf of Mexico deepwater is one of the most attractive oil plays in the world, and we expect to continue to be a long-term, significant player in the basin. I believe that with our deep technical and operations team, experience and assets in the GOM combined with Blackstone’s team, extensive capital resources, oil and gas expertise and industry resources, we will be able to take our business, activity levels and assets to the next level. We are very excited about the risk profile and depth of our prospect inventory, the associated resource potential and the operational, capital and human resources we will bring to safely develop and expand our asset base for our partnership.”
Angelo Acconcia, the Managing Director who leads Blackstone Energy Partners’ global oil and gas investing practice, commented, “We are very excited to form this long-term partnership with LLOG to accelerate the growth and development of LLOG’s attractive and extensive portfolio of discoveries and prospects. LLOG has a very talented and experienced technical and operations team, one of the best we have seen in the GOM and the Company has an incredible track record of exploration and development success, operational excellence and strong safety and environmental practices. To complement this, LLOG is a highly efficient deepwater operator, with the history and ability to accelerate development, minimizing the timeframe to first production and significantly increasing project returns.” David Foley, Chief Executive Officer of Blackstone Energy Partners, stated, “We evaluate many potential investments in the energy sector but choose only a small number each year to pursue that we believe represent a combination of the most exceptional management teams with unique and large-scale opportunities to create value; LLOG is a great example of this.”