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Norway: Statoil Steps Up Technology Efforts to Increase Production

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Norway’s Statoil has singled out four business critical technologies as key to achieving the company’s growth ambitions. Statoil is boosting its R&D investments by 27% and starting to plan Norway’s biggest centre for IOR technology.

In the period up to 2020 Statoil will maintain a high level of production on the Norwegian continental shelf while doubling its international production.

“The oil and gas industry is facing new technological challenges that differ from those we have dealt with so far. We will find the resources of the future at great oceanic depths, in arctic areas where the conditions are extreme, and in new resources such as shale gas and shale oil for example. Statoil is well positioned to lead the continuing development of the oil and gas industry,” says Margareth Øvrum, executive vice president for Technology, Projects and Drilling.

Statoil is now stepping up its technology efforts in order to boost production, reduce energy consumption and support the company’s growth ambitions. Specifically this will mean tougher technology priorities, closer cooperation and the swifter implementation of technology.

Statoil’s new technology strategy builds on the company’s ambitions to boost production from 1.9 million barrels of oil equivalents per day in 2010 to 2.5 million boed in 2020.

The four prioritised technology areas are:

  • Seismic imaging and interpretation – will contribute to making further discoveries and boost the recovery rate by 2020.
  • Reservoir characterisation and recovery – to maximise value. Will contribute to the production a further 1.5 billion boed in reserves by 2020.
  • Efficient well construction – to drill more cost-efficient wells: 30% shorter time on well construction and 15% cost reduction by 2020.
  • Realise subsea compression by 2015 and complete a “subsea factory” by 2020 – to accelerate and boost production.

“We have identified four commercially critical technology areas where Statoil has a competitive advantage and where we have a long history of making the impossible possible. We have set ambitious targets for how technology will help us make further discoveries, boost recovery from existing fields, reduce costs and bring about operational improvements in health, environment and safety,” says Øvrum.

Statoil is increasing its concentration in R&D and IOR (Improved Oil Recovery).

“For 2012 we are increasing our R&D investments by 27% to NOK 2.8 billion. We are also planning for a further increase in our R&D activities going forward. In addition, we have specific plans to expand our R&D Centre at Rotvoll in Trondheim to provide room for Norway’s biggest IOR Centre,” says Øvrum.

“Our technology advances would not have been possible without the solutions developed by an innovative and dynamic supplier industry, as well as by universities and research institutes. In order to succeed in our four prioritised technology areas we require new solutions and closer cooperation with our suppliers, national and international research milieus, and other partners.”

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Milestone Achievement for AGR’s Drilling Technology in Chirag Field, Azerbaijan

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Oil & Gas industry solutions provider AGR is celebrating a milestone achievement for its drilling technology.  Its Riserless Mud Recovery system (RMR™) and Cutting Transportation System (CTS™) have now been deployed on more than 500 wells.

This achievement is not only an indication of AGR’s experience but also of the continued need from the industry for the technology devised by the Norwegian firm’s Enhanced Drilling Solutions division.

David Hine, EVP Enhanced Drilling Solutions, said: “This achievement is a reflection of the ground-breaking technologies that we pride ourselves at AGR and confirms their continued popularity with operators the world over. It also demonstrates the hard work, dedication and ingenuity of the people who work here.

“AGR will continue to further its reputation for step-change technological solutions into 2012 with our EC-Drill™ managed pressure drilling system. This will be deployed for the first time early next year.”

Well number 500 was on the Caspian Sea’s Chirag Oil Project field, located 120 km (75 mi) east of Baku, Azerbaijan and a part of the larger Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) project. It was drilled using RMR™ in order to solve the challenge of the area’s weak clay formation. The client was BP, which was the first user of RMR™, again in the Caspian, in 2003.

RMR has been an industry changer since it was introduced. It allows engineered mud to be used in the top-hole section of a well, enabling a much more stable foundation for successful drilling, with all mud and cuttings being returned to the rig.

The top-hole section can be drilled more safely, quickly and with far less impact on the environment, says AGR on its website.

CTS enables operators to take cuttings, cement, mud, clay and other deposits away from the well area, keeping templates debris free. Because of this, it has had a major impact on the validity of drilling operations in areas that have been deemed is being particularly environmentally sensitive. The system was first used by Statoil on the Gullfaks field in 1998.

EC-Drill™ solves the challenge of the narrow-pressure window in deep-water well drilling, where too much bottom hole pressure (BHP) can cause the formation to fracture; too little may cause an influx. EC-Drill offers greater control of the BHP as it is not regulated by mud-weight but the level of fluid in the riser.

Not only is there the potential to reduce the number of casings, saving time and money, but safety is also enhanced thanks to improved kick/loss detection, improved hole stability and the possibility of drilling with riser margin.

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USA: SCOD Presents World’s First Zero Carbon Superyacht Tender `The Emax Super Marine 45`

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SCOD Presents the World’s First Zero Carbon Superyacht Tender with a Top Speed of 80 knots ‘The Emax Super Marine 45’. The Emax Solar Hybrid Jet Propelled Tender is powered by twin CMD TDI V6’s coupled to GM Allison Hybrid Transmissions.

Each 450hp Diesel Electric Power Plant is revolutionary in the fact that it weighs no more than its gasoline equivalents while consuming 40% less fuel!

When employed as a Zero Carbon ship-to-shore Shuttle the Emax Super Marine 45 relies on a 32KWh Lithium UPS to propel the Solar Hybrid boat at up to 25 knots in virtually silent electric mode. Push the throttles full ahead and the infinitely variable transmission kicks into low gear engaging the V6’s and loading the Hi-Torque RR Waterjets to deliver unsurpassed acceleration. Once on a plane the transmission selects the most economical rpm for the load at all speeds up to 80 knots.

Available from Ned Ship Group the 900hp (1160 ft.lbs of torque) Carbon Epoxy Super Marine 45 is the fastest most powerful tender in the world. Even so she is 50 to 100% Greener than other tenders in her class, due to her Solar Hybrid Propulsion and the ability to store and use energy harnessed from her 4KW Photo Voltaic SunPower Solbian array.

The Emax Super Marine 45 utilizes Allison’s Hybrid technology, a dual mode (Series & parallel EVT) Electrically Variable Transmission that delivers the highest level of economy with the best performance. This system with years of proven reliability from Arctic to sub tropical environments is employed in thousands of Hybrid buses the world over as well as the GM fleet of Hybrid pickup trucks, the Hybrid Cadillac Escalade and surprisingly the Hybrid Bluetec S Class Mercedes Benz .

Allison’s global leadership in Hybrid Technology is underpinned by the more than $300 million dollars that they and Remy have received in US DOE grants to develop this system.

SCOD Presents World’s First Zero Carbon Superyacht `The Emax Super Marine 45`

Whether shuttling passengers and supplies back and forth or embarking on an exhilarating adventure, the luxurious teak decked Super Marine 45 can seat up to 10 people, plus 4 sunbathers on the sun bed. Inside the cabin beneath the Solar Center Cockpit she provides a shower room with stand up head and a sumptuous double bed. For excursions there’s a kitchenette with fridge/freezer, stove, microwave and a foredeck table for setting out a buffet or having a sit down luncheon for six guests.

Richard Sauter Head of Design commented “With a top speed of 80 knots, no other Superyacht tender compares to this upper echelon of performance combined with luxury, style and versatility.

As a jet propelled Zero Carbon recreational watercraft she is the safest and by far the most Eco Friendly boat of her kind. The EPA estimates that registered recreational boats in the USA produce a staggering 330 million metric tons of CO2 per year. Switching from gasoline to Emax Solar Hybrid propulsion can reduce that figure by over 50% thereby reducing “global warming pollution” by more than a 160 million metric tons per year.

Vessel particulars:

LOA 45’ / Beam 10.5’ / Draft 2’

Standard Power: (2) Cummins MerCruiser Diesel (CMD) TDI 4.2 V8 – 700hp

Optional Hybrid Power. (2) CMD 3 liter TDI V6/GM Allison Hybrid – 900hp

UPS 32KWh; Valence Technology

Drives; (2) Rolls Royce FF Series WaterJets

Construction; Ned Ship Epoxy Carbon Fibre

Zero Carbon Cruise; 25 knots

Standard Cruise; 55 knots

Max Speed; 80 knots

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Gone with the Wind Subsidies

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Nicolas Loris
December 9, 2011 at 10:52 am

The year 2012 marks a monumental yet depressing milestone for the wind energy industry: 20 years of tax credits.

The federal renewable energy production tax credit, which allows wind producers to take a 30 percent investment tax credit or receive a 2.2-cents-per-kilowatt-hour production tax credit, has been around since 1992. The tax credit expires at the end of 2012, and the wind energy advocates are already ramping up their efforts to include an extension in any end-of-the-year must-pass legislation. It’s time to let this wasteful, unnecessary subsidy run out.

The Wrong Way to Promote Technology

Let’s take it back to 1992. The parents are watching Murphy Brown, the kids are watching Full House, and people are rockin’ out to Nirvana and Dr. Dre. (Some things never change.) And wind was ready to usher in a new era of energy production. In fact, Matthew Wald wrote in a 1992 New York Times article, “A New Era for Windmill Power,” that “striking improvements in technology, the commercial use of these windmills, or wind turbines as the builders call them, has shown that in addition to being pollution free, they can now compete with fossil fuels in the cost of producing electricity.”

He went on: “Kingsley E. Chatton, president of U.S. Windpower, which operates 22 new-generation windmills here, said the economics of wind power was at the point where it ‘will compete with fossil fuel.’ Others agree.”

Twenty years of subsidies later, wind still only provides a paltry 2.3 percent of America’s electricity in 2010, and it still needs subsidies.

Jim Nelson, CEO of Solar3D, argues that government subsidies are obstructing innovation in the renewable-energy sector:

Operating subsidies, or installation subsidies, helps get clean energy sources installed but the problem is that current technology is not economically competitive. Everything we do needs to be done with a view toward global competitiveness. Unfortunately, because current technology is not economical relative to alternatives, it does not promote our competitiveness.

The problem is that subsidies promote technological malaise. They take away the incentive to innovate and lower cost by promoting business models geared more toward gaining favor with politicians than on technological innovation. The result is that subsidized industries quickly become dependent on government. At that point, long-term competitiveness becomes secondary to near-term survival, which is generally conditioned on more handouts.

Thus when the government support is threatened, the propped-up industry responds with pleas for more handouts. Recognizing that their survival depends more on securing subsidies than on technological innovation, subsidized industries reject such investments to the extent that they too are not subsidized by government. Hence, the vicious cycle of subsidies inevitably result in technological stagnation.

When 2.2 Cents Adds Up

That 2.2 cents doesn’t sound like much, but it is on average 40 percent of the wholesale price of electricity. Treasury says the tax credits costs taxpayers $1.5 billion annually. This is uncalled for. Not only is the nation facing $15 trillion of debt, but it already has access to ample supplies of diverse electricity sources that are perfectly capable of meeting our energy demands so long as government gets out of the way. Not only are the subsidies not needed, but they do not work. So regardless of our debt problems, taxpayers shouldn’t be subsidizing any energy source.

Artificially Creating Politically Preferred Jobs and More Lobbying Jobs Will Not Grow Our Economy

Wind-energy advocacy groups are on their megaphones screaming that without the extension of the tax credits, thousands of jobs will be lost. This is a half true, at best.

Subsidizing uneconomical industries, as perhaps the wind-energy tax credit has done for two decades, shifts labor and capital away from other sectors of the economy. Removing the subsidy would free up these resources to be more productive elsewhere in the U.S. economy. In the process, jobs that rely on taxpayer handouts would likely go away. But the newly available resources could then go toward the likely creation of more and better jobs.

If we produce more wind energy without subsidies, all the better, but the American Wind Energy Association says that may not be the case if the tax credit expires. Spokesman Peter Kelly said, “Industrywide we are seeing a slowdown in orders for towers and turbines after 2012 that is rippling down the supply chain and the big issue is the lack of certainty around the production tax credit that gives a favorable low tax rate to renewable energy.”

President of the Cheyenne and Laramie County economic development organization Randy Bruns echoed, “A lot of these projects, the economics change without that tax credit.”

If wind energy is not economically viable without the taxpayers’ crutch, then we’re propping up a market loser. If wind energy is a market winner, the subsidy is taking money out of the taxpayers’ wallets and putting into the hands of the wind producers. Neither case makes any sense.

Removing the government’s influence in the market reduces the need for more office space on K Street in Washington, D.C., the central hub of lobbyists. Just yesterday, Occupy Wall Street shut down K Street with protests, but they should direct their message to the root cause of lobbying—government controlling decisions that are best left for the private sector. If Occupy Wall Street is sincere in its fight against crony capitalism, it would be arguing for less government intervention into the economy, not more.

These problems will continue to persist so long as politicians continue to expand subsidies for their pet projects. When it comes to energy subsidies, we need to prevent the new and repeal the old.

That’s my 2.2 cents. I’d like to keep them in my own pocket.

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UK: Rolls-Royce Hits 100MWh Milestone with Tidal Technology

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Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, has achieved a significant milestone in the deployment of tidal energy technology with confirmation that its prototype tidal turbine, located subsea off the Orkney Islands, Scotland​, has successfully generated and fed over 100 megawatt hours (MWh) of electrical power into the national grid.

Harnessing the reliable and predictable energy of tidal streams, the 500 kilowatt (kW) tidal turbine prototype was designed and built by Rolls-Royce wholly owned subsidiary Tidal Generation Limited.

Robert Stevenson, Rolls-Royce, Vice-President – Power Ventures said: “Rolls-Royce has injected its world-class engineering expertise and incubation processes to deliver this innovative renewable energy project. Reaching the 100 megawatt hours milestone highlights the significant potential of cleaner, greener tidal power as part of a diversified UK energy mix. Having proven the capability of tidal energy, Rolls-Royce is well placed to meet any future demand with larger, more efficient technology on a commercial scale.”

As a reliable and predictable energy source, deep water tidal stream power generation could make a valuable contribution to meeting the electricity demands and carbon emissions reduction objectives of many industrialised nations, including the UK, Canada, Australia and the U.S.A. For example, Rolls-Royce tidal technology could generate up to 30TWh (terawatt-hours) of UK electricity, equivalent to around 7.5 per cent of existing UK electricity needs or enough to power 3 million homes.

Rolls-Royce Hits 100MWh Milestone with Tidal Technology (UK)

Harnessing the Energy of Tidal Streams

Installed as part of the Deep-Gen III project, co-funded by the UK government-backed Technology Strategy Board, the Rolls-Royce prototype tidal turbine is currently deployed at the European Marine Energy Centre’s (EMEC) offshore test site off the Orkney Islands, Scotland. It is the first EMEC located project to both receive Renewable Obligation Certificates and to reach 100 MWh of supply to the grid.

The tidal unit’s three-bladed turbine is attached by a tripod to the seabed and can operate, fully submerged at water depth of 40 meters. Its innovative design allows the turbine to continually rotate to face the incoming tide at an optimal angle. In addition, the turbine unit is semi-buoyant and can be easily towed to and from the point of operation, minimising installation and maintenance costs by avoiding the need for specialist vessels.

Neil Morgan, Head of Energy at the Technology Strategy Board said: “This is a significant milestone for the UK marine renewables industry. The UK is well-placed to exploit tidal stream energy resources and, if commercialised on a large scale, this technology could be an important part of the renewable energy mix we’ll need in the future, and could create jobs and exports for the UK.”

As part of the Energy Technologies Institute funded ReDAPT (Reliable Data Acquisition Platform for Tidal) consortium project, Rolls-Royce is currently building a 1MW tidal turbine demonstration unit that will be deployed in mid-2012 at EMEC in Orkney. The project will deliver detailed environmental and performance information never before achieved at this scale in real sea conditions. Rolls-Royce is also working with a number of developers in advancing demonstration arrays, systematic arrangements of turbines, which will lead to large scale commercial deployment.

Dr David Clarke, ETI, Chief Executive said: “The U.K. is already a world-leader in this exciting renewable sector. However, the long-term viability of tidal technology depends on it becoming competitive with other renewable energy sources. Continued investment and new partners are urgently needed to maintain momentum and bring the technology to scale.”

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USA: HWCG Chooses Sonardyne Acoustics for New GoM Well Containment Response System

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Sonardyne’s wideband acoustic monitoring technology has been selected to play a key role in a new, emergency well containment system built by Trendsetter Engineering Inc. for the Helix Well Containment Group (HWCG).

The Helix Well Containment Group’s capping stack is the most advanced well response system in the world and was built by Trendsetter Engineering. The Sonardyne acoustic monitoring system is clearly visible on the upper left of the structure.

HWCG is a consortium of 24 operators in the Gulf of Mexico who have come together with the common goal of expanding capabilities and pooling technical expertise to quickly and comprehensively respond in the event of a deepwater well control incident.

The new emergency well response system comprises an intervention capping stack that would be placed over a damaged well to stop its flow. Its advanced design makes it capable of capturing and processing up to 55,000 barrels of oil per day and 95 million cubic feet of natural gas per day at surface pressures of up to 10,000 psig.

During an emergency, the supplied Sonardyne data acquisition system would be used to remotely monitor pressure and temperature sensors fitted to the capping stack. The system consists of a Surface Command Unit, intelligent Deep Acoustic Remote Transducers (DARTs) and a Subsea Electronics Module (SEM) that is capable of transmitting data at high speed to the surface for immediate analysis.

Mario Lugo, president of Trendsetter Engineering said, “The performance of Sonardyne’s wideband signal technology during the Macondo incident was a key factor for its selection. The technology was shown to work reliably in areas of extreme subsea noise. This is now the second time we have worked with Sonardyne on a system of this nature.”

The intervention capping stack will be continuously maintained by Trendsetter’s technical experts at its facilities in North Houston, where it will remain on-call for immediate deployment in the unlikely event that a deepwater well’s blowout preventer (BOP) fails to operate as designed.

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UK: SeaEnergy Publishes ‘Past Laurels, Emerging Offshore Wind Energy Service Sector Bode Well’

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The management has an excellent track record of establishing businesses from the concept stage and adding value for shareholders

SeaEnergy PLCs (earlier Ramco Energy PLC) strategic approach to growth entails entering new businesses at an early stage when the need for capital is low and exiting these ventures when the right value is attained. The company, which was incorporated with focus on oil services, evolved into| an energy investment company with interest in oil and gas assets. SeaEnergy is currently also focusing on the development of its offshore wind service business, SeaEnergy Marine. In line with its strategy, the company has successfully monetized its business interests in the past. It liquidated its 2.0825% interest in the Azeri Chirag Guneshli (ACG) field in Azerbaijan for USD150 million during 2000 and divested its 80.13% stake in SeaEnergy Renewables Limited (SERL) for a cash consideration of £38.6 million in 2011.

SeaEnergy Marine – Banking on the promising offshore wind energy services sector

SeaEnergy is venturing into services related to the installation, operation and maintenance (O&M), and support of wind turbines through SeaEnergy Marine. It will stand out in terms of efficiency and cost-effectiveness. Offshore wind capacity in Europe is estimated to rise from 2.6GW at the end of 2010 to 43.3GW by 2020. This is likely to create massive demand for vessels that can facilitate the installation and O&M of wind turbines. The industry is currently facing a dearth of right-fit vessels that can execute these activities efficiently. For instance, wind farm owners in UK currently depend on workboats that operate at a maximum wave height of 1.5 meters and at a distance of 60 miles from shore, severely limiting their usefulness for wind farms now in development. The huge gap between demand and supply reflects the opportunities for growth in the offshore wind energy sector.

SeaEnergy Marine – A one-stop-shop for offshore energy sector

SeaEnergy Marine plans to integrate all services that offshore wind farm owners/developers may require. The company’s state-of-the-art vessels will shorten the installation cycle and increase accessibility for O&M. In addition, SeaEnergy Marine’s vessels will offer these services at very competitive rates, making the economics of operation quite favourable for its customers.

Past experience, established business model increase probability of success

SeaEnergy Marine benefits from the management’s experience in the offshore wind energy sector, especially the exposure gained while working with SERL. Moreover, the business model is well established. SeaEnergy Marine is also actively submitting tenders for contracts with major offshore wind companies.

The Discounted Cash Flow approach yielded a fair value of GBp50.5 per share, based on a cost of equity at 14.48%, inclusive of an additional risk premium of 8% as the company is still in the inception phase. As the marine business will gradually materialise, the additional premium will be faded out over time , providing further upside. In addition, our fair value excludes current (and further) upside from the O&G assets.

Original Article

Technip Spar Fabrication

SPAR: The robust, reliable deepwater solution
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