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GoM Lease Sale: Apache Expands Presence in Gulf of Mexico

Apache Corporation announced it was the high bidder on 90 shelf and deep water blocks in the Central Gulf of Mexico offshore lease sale held by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) in New Orleans.

Of the 56 companies submitting bids for Gulf of Mexico acreage, Apache Corp. was ranked No. 1 overall for its 61 high bids on the shelf, while Apache Deepwater LLC, the company’s deep water arm, was ranked No. 4 overall with 29 high bids.

The sum of the combined high bids was nearly $96 million gross.

“We’re excited about these blocks and our expanding presence in the Gulf of Mexico,” said G. Steven Farris, Apache chairman and chief executive officer. “The Gulf of Mexico is integral to Apache’s long-term growth. The shelf provides some of the best margins, highest returns and most free cash flow, and the deep water has some of the best exploration potential of any region in our global portfolio.”

Bidding on acreage in the shelf was focused on areas where Apache is acquiring proprietary seismic data, along with moderate to deep exploration prospects based on recently acquired and reprocessed seismic data. Successful deep water bids were focused on Pliocene and Miocene trends where Apache has acquired a significant seismic data base. Deep water bid partners included Stone Energy, Samson, Noble, Repsol, Nexen and Ecopetrol.

“This was a very robust lease sale with premium acreage,” said Jon Jeppesen, executive vice president of Apache’s Gulf of Mexico regions. “These blocks strengthen our position on the shelf and in the deep water. In both areas, Apache has the fiscal wherewithal, technical prowess and experience to capture the value of these opportunities.”

The shelf and deep water Gulf of Mexico currently represents 15.5 percent of Apache’s overall daily production.

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USA: Subsea 7′s Presence at OTC Bigger than Ever Before

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Subsea 7, will mark its new beginning to the global oil and gas industry at this year’s Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) in Houston, Texas, where its presence is bigger than ever before.

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

3D Imaging

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.”

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