Pancontinental Oil & Gas NL reports that the Kenya L8 licence operator Apache Kenya Limited (Apache) has secured the use of the deepwater drilling ship Deepsea Metro 1 to drill the giant Mbawa Prospect.
Apache is anticipating a spud date within Q3 2012, with the actual date depending on when the drilling rig is finished with its current operations.
The well is expected to take some 45 to 60 days to complete to a planned total depth of 3,250m subsea in water depth of 860m, easily within the range of modern equipment.
Pancontinental has a 15% interest “free-carried” through Mbawa drilling by Tullow Oil plc up to a “cap” of US$ 9 million (as may be reduced by other exploration expenditure). Pancontinental now expects to have contribute more to the well cost due to increased well cost estimates.
Pancontinental estimates that Mbawa has maximum potential to contain 4.9 Billion Barrels of oil in place at the main Tertiary / Cretaceous level with significant additional potential also to be tested by the well at the deeper Upper Jurassic level and shallower Tertiary levels. Only drilling is capable of verifying the oil and gas volumetric potential (if any) of the Mbawa Prospect.
Pancontinental has four projects offshore Kenya covering more than 18,000 square kilometres in licence areas L6, L8, L10A and L10B, with the L8 / Mbawa project being the most advanced and Mbawa being the first prospect to be drilled.
Pancontinental’s CEO Barry Rushworth commented;
“Pancontinental is in the unique position of having sizeable interests in a number of Kenyan and Namibian offshore licences and having substantial leverage to any Mbawa drilling success. We are very pleased that a drilling rig contract has now been signed by our operator Apache for the L8 Mbawa Prospect. We are pursuing what we see as a major oil play rather than a gas play offshore Kenya and we are doing the same offshore Namibia. The economics of oil developments are often far better than those for gas, with potential for much earlier cash flow and much lower development costs compared to LNG, for example. Apache is now leading the L8 venture in an aggressive exploration programme and in our other Kenyan blocks L10A and L10B we also have fast-moving activity led by BG Group”.
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Statoil has chosen to take out an additional two-year option on the existing contract for diving services with Technip Norge AS. According to a cooperation agreement, ExxonMobil and Gassco could also be potential users of this contract.
PSA Norway has given the companies has given a consent for manned underwater operations down to water depths of 180 meters. The consent and comprises defined and undefined operational and project tasks, as well as repair standby.
The defined tasks are work which Statoil will perform on Glitne oil field during the spring of 2012. It relates to connection of underwater wells to the FPSO Petrojarl 1. The water depth at the site is 110 metres, and the work is assumed to last for five days.
Glitne oil field was brought on stream in 2001 and has been developed with sub-sea completed wells tied back to the leased FPSO facility Petrojarl 1. Oil is transported to shore by offshore tanker loading. Production was originally expected to last for around three years, but a combination of better than expected performance and in-fill drilling has resulted in extended field life.
No need for separate schedule
Gassco has not identified any need for separate scheduled manned underwater operations relating to this consent, but may require repair work on pipelines that the company owns.
The consent also applies to undefined operational and project assignments which may be required during the period for the companies’ production licenses, as well as pipeline systems. This also includes pipelines on a foreign shelf covered by Norwegian jurisdiction.
The consent also includes any surface-supplied diving operations which may be required during the period.
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The contract will see the Aberdeen-based firm carry out a number of subsea workscopes that include well maintenance and production enhancement operations, and a number of well abandonments at various fields within Talisman’s portfolio of assets. The multi-service campaign is anticipated to last upwards of two months and will be undertaken from Well Ops’ mono-hull saturation diving and well intervention vessel MSV Seawell.
Launched in 1987, MSV Seawell was one of the pioneers of the light well intervention market in the North Sea and will soon be entering its 25th year of service across the UKCS, NCS and Danish sectors of the North Sea. During this period the vessel has performed well intervention work on more than 650 wells, as well as decommissioning over 150 live and suspended wells and 15 subsea fields.
The 114-metre (374ft) DP2 vessel features a purpose-built derrick for well intervention above a 7m x 5m moon-pool and a travelling block rated to 80-tonne lift capacity. MSV Seawell has a saturation diving capability of up to an 18-man team, and these services are supported by work-class and observation-class ROVs.
Steve Nairn, Well Ops’ regional vice president of Europe and Africa, said: “Well Ops has successfully carried out a number of well intervention projects for Talisman in recent years and we are very pleased to be continuing our long-standing relationship with the award of this two-month, multi-service project.”
The abandonment of wells is anticipated to make up a significant proportion of the estimated £30billion expenditure that will be spent decommissioning the UK’s oil and gas infrastructure. Industry body Oil & Gas UK has said that between 2012 and 2020, it is estimated that £1.6billion will be spent decommissioning wells.
Mr Nairn added: “Although well abandonment and decommissioning is being discussed more widely, there is still uncertainty as to the speed that such projects will come on stream. At the same time, due to the investments which are being made in the North Sea establishing new fields and rejuvenating existing ones, there will continue to be a demand for our broad range of well intervention, diving and light construction services.”
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