Transocean has secured a contract extension for its Discoverer Enterprise drillship in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
The nine-month contract extension has been awarded by BP. The extension begins in January next year, with the expiration date set for October 2014. The new dayrate for the drilling unit has been set at $615.000 ($166 million estimated backlog). The rig’s prior dayrate was $515,000.
Discoverer Enterprise is a fifth generation deepwater double hulled dynamically positioned drillship, capable of operating in moderate environments and water depths up to 3,049 m (10,000 ft). From 1998 to 2005 the vessel was Panama-flagged and currently flies the flag of convenience of the Marshall Islands.
Also, the company said it sold the standard jackup, GSF Rig 127, which was previously held for sale. The details of the transaction have not been disclosed.
- BP builds its largest-ever Gulf of Mexico fleet (fuelfix.com)
Exxon Mobil Corporation is commencing development of the Julia oil field in the Gulf of Mexico, the oil giant announced yesterday in a press release.
Capital cost for the project, which is expected to begin oil production in 2016, is estimated to be more than $4 billion. The field was discovered in 2007 and is estimated to have nearly six billion barrels of resource in place.
“The development of Julia will provide a new source of domestic energy and well-paying jobs over the next several years,” said Neil W. Duffin, president of ExxonMobil Development Company. “Access to resources such as Julia will contribute to U.S. energy security for many years to come.”
The initial development phase is being designed for daily production of 34,000 barrels of oil and includes six wells with subsea tie-backs to the Jack & St. Malo production facility operated by Chevron U.S.A. Inc. Julia project front end engineering design has been completed and the engineering, procurement and construction contracts have been placed.
“Julia is one of the first large oil discoveries in the ultra-deepwater frontier of the Gulf of Mexico,” said Duffin. “This resource is located more than 30,000 feet below the ocean’s surface. Enhanced technologies will be deployed to ensure the safe and environmentally responsible development of this important energy resource.”
The Julia field comprises five leases in the ultra-deepwater Walker Ridge area of the Gulf of Mexico, 265 miles southwest of New Orleans. The blocks are WR-584, WR-627, WR-628, WR-540 and WR-583.
ExxonMobil, the operator, and Statoil Gulf of Mexico LLC each hold a 50 percent interest in the Julia unit.
Over the past decade, ExxonMobil has drilled 36 deepwater wells in the Gulf of Mexico in water ranging from 4,000 feet to 8,700 feet.
Subsea mooring connector (SMC) specialist, First Subsea has invested over £200,000 in new mooring connector test rig facilities at its production site in Lancaster, UK.
The test-rig is being used in the manufacture of ‘next generation’ SMCs for industry leading, deepwater mooring projects: the Jack & St Malo field’s semi-submersible platform and Lucius field’s Spar moorings, both in the Gulf of Mexico.
The SMC test rig is used for proof load and Minimum Breaking Load (MBL) testing up to 2,600mT (25,497 kN).
‘Next Generation’ Mooring Connectors
First Subsea leads the world in research into large scale steel forgings. In collaboration with the University of Sheffield’s Institute for Microstructural and Mechanical Process Engineering (IMMPETUS), the company has systematically improved the performance of its mooring connectors. The metals forging research is now being applied to the manufacture of the company’s latest Ballgrab Series III male connectors – the largest produced so far with an un-corroded 2,599mT (25,491kN) MBL, and compliant with the ABS Mooring Guide 2009.
“This is a significant investment that will ensure our Ballgrab subsea mooring connector continues to set the standard for deepwater moorings,” says John Shaw, managing director, First Subsea Ltd.
This week the SubseaIQ team added 1 new projects and updated 8 projects. You can see all the updates made over any time period via the Project Update History search. The latest offshore field develoment news and activities are listed below for your convenience.
Sep 25, 2012 – The Israeli Foreign Ministry released a report Sunday regarding new developments that concern the future of the Gaza Marine gas field. Gaza Marine is located roughly 18 miles off the coast of the Gaza Strip. BG, with a 90% interest, is the field operator and estimates reserves of around 1 Tcf. Due to Israeli-Palestinian relations, development of the field has been on hold since two appraisal wells were drilled in 2000. The recent report indicates that Israeli and PLA officials have opened a meaningful dialogue in an effort to come to an agreement on a mutually beneficial development plan.
Project Details: Gaza Marine
S. America – Other & Carib.
Sep 25, 2012 – BPZ Energy’s CX-15 platform has been delivered and anchored on location at the West Corvina field. The buoyant tower and topside arrived in Peru via heavy lift vessel September 5. At this point, the tower has been ballasted down and the topsides mated to the hull. Final weld out and hook up of facilities is being completed, after which the Petrex-28 platform rig will be brought on board and assembled. The first well is expected to spud in late October.
Project Details: Corvina
Africa – West
BW Extends FPSO Contract with CNR
Sep 26, 2012 – BW Offshore announced a contract extension with CNR International (C??te d’Ivoire) SARL for the lease and operation of the FPSO Espoir Ivoirien. The firm period of the 4 year extension will carry the contract to 2Q 2017. In addition, the option period has been adjusted and could allow CNR to lease the vessel through 2Q 2036. The total contract value (including options) is $925 million, which is up from the previous contract of $250 million.
Maersk Oil Sees More Success Offshore Angola
Sep 24, 2012 – The deep waters of Block 16, offshore Angola, continue to be good to Maersk Oil and its partners. A recent production test of the Caporolo-1 exploration well flowed a maximum of 3,000 bopd on a 36/64″ choke. Caporolo-1 was drilled to 18,070 feet into a structure adjacent to, but separate from, the nearby Chissonga discovery. Drilling was done by the Ensco 5001 (DW semisub) in 4,567 feet of water. Comments from Maersk Oil indicate that further exploration and appraisal will be needed to determine if the discovery is able to be developed.
S. America – Brazil
Anadarko Cedes Interest in Brazilian Block
Sep 27, 2012 – Anadarko announced it ceded its 30% stake in Brazilian block ES-M-661, part of the BM-ES-24 concession, to operator Petrobras who now maintains a 70% interest. The company relinquished its interest in the block 6 months ago but the transaction received the Brazilian National Petroleum Agency’s approval just recently. Petrobras announced in July that the Grana Padano well, located in ES-M-661, was a heavy oil discovery. Anadarko still maintains its interest in two other blocks in the concession.
Sep 27, 2012 – Drilling at Vanco’s Canario prospect is underway. Canario is located in block BM-S-63 and is being drilled by Transocean‘s GSF Arctic 1 (mid-water semisub). The primary target is post-salt turbiditic sands of the Middle Itajai-Acu formation and is expected to be intersected at 10,498 feet. Secondary sandstones in the Upper Jureia formation are being sought as a secondary objective. Total depth for the well is projected to be 15,748 feet. Drilling is expected to take 2 ??? 3 months, at which point the rig will mobilize to the Jandaia prospect in block BM-S-71.
Project Details: Canario
Sep 27, 2012 – Logging is currently being completed and preparations are being made to begin production testing at the Boreas-1 exploration well in Browse Basin, according to Karoon Gas Australia. To this point, interpretation of the data gathered from the well indicates the presence of net pay gas sands exhibiting good reservoir properties. The Transocean Legend (mid-water semisub) is being used to carry out the exploration drilling program which calls for a minimum of 5 wells to be drilled in the area.
Project Details: Boreas
Sep 26, 2012 – New Zealand Oil & Gas said it will drill a well at its Kakapo prospect when a suitable rig can be negotiated. Kakapo is located in Permit 51311 about 25 miles off the South Taranaki coast of New Zealand. NZOG was awarded the permit in 2009 and, based on terms, had to either relinquish the permit this week or keep it and commit to drill. As operator, NZOG has a farm-out agreement with Raisama Energy, whereby Raisama will earn a 10% stake in the permit by carrying 20% of the costs for the first well – not to exceed $3 million. A timetable for the first well is expected to be confirmed within the next 6 months.
Project Details: Kakapo
Europe – North Sea
Sep 24, 2012 – Noreco announced the start of drilling operations at the Romeo prospect in the UK North Sea. The exploration well is located in block 30/11c of license P1666. Romeo is a fault bound dip closure in a proven Upper Jurassic play. Primary risk to success is considered to be the trap geometry in the formation. Suncor, as operator of the license, has engaged the WilHunter (mid-water semisub) to provide drilling services. Downhole conditions are expected to be borderline HPHT so the well will be drilled as such.
Project Details: Romeo
- Worldwide Field Development News Sep 14 – Sep 20, 2012 (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Recap: Worldwide Field Development News Jul 27 – Aug 2, 2012 (mb50.wordpress.com)
Shipyard delivery for the first drillship is scheduled for mid-2015. The remaining three drillships are expected to be delivered from the shipyard at approximately six-month intervals thereafter. After customer acceptance, the contracts are expected to commence in 2015 and 2016, contributing an estimated revenue backlog of $7.6 billion, excluding mobilization. The aggregate capital investment for the four newbuild rigs is an estimated $3.0 billion, excluding capitalized interest.
All four drillships have advanced capabilities: each is designed to operate in water depths of up to 12,000 feet and drill wells to 40,000 feet. Featuring state-of-the-art equipment, including Transocean’s patented dual-activity drilling technology, the newbuild drillships will possess industry-leading hoisting capacity. The drillships will also have a variable deckload capacity of 23,000 metric tons and feature enhanced well completion capabilities. In addition, each newbuild rig will be outfitted with two 15,000 psi blowout preventers (BOPs), which are expected to reduce customer non-productive time between wells. The four newbuild drillships will be able to accommodate a future upgrade to a 20,000 psi BOP, when it becomes available. The rigs will also feature diesel engines configured to comply with anticipated Tier III International Maritime Organization (IMO) emissions standards.
“These contracts add 40 years of rig work to our revenue backlog, expand and upgrade our ultra-deepwater fleet, improve our fleet mix and provide an opportunity to expand our relationship with an important customer with which we have 40 years of experience in advancing the state of the art in offshore drilling technology,” said Steven L. Newman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Transocean Ltd. “We look forward to providing Shell with incremental value through the addition of these seventh-generation, ultra-deepwater drillships.”
Peter Sharpe, Shell’s Executive Vice President, Wells, said, “Shell continues to develop its deepwater operations and modernize its contracted rig fleet at fair market rates. These state-of-the-art deepwater rigs, on which we are collaborating with Transocean to design, will comply with the highest industry standards for safety, operations and environmental protection for drilling deepwater wells.”
The newbuild rigs will be constructed at the Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co., Ltd. facility at Okpo, South Korea, where Transocean’s five Enhanced Enterprise-Class rigs were built and where the company currently has two other ultra-deepwater drillships under construction. Construction on the first drillship is expected to commence during the fourth quarter of 2013.
- Shell Gives Transocean a Huge Shot in the Arm with 40 Years of Drilling Contracts (gcaptain.com)
- Atwood Oceanics Orders Third Ultra-Deepwater Drillship (gcaptain.com)
- Time to Buy This Offshore Driller? (fool.com)
The ratings agency added that even in the event of a shutdown of the whole Elgin field, it believes that Total is likely to retain its ‘AA’ credit rating as it has the cash resources to more than cover any associated costs.
“The Elgin leak is a surface gas leak rather than an underwater oil leak, making its potential for environmental damage far lower than in the Deepwater Horizon case,” said Fitch in a press statement Wednesday. “These sorts of accidents are often difficult to resolve and unpredictable; nonetheless, in our view the potential is low for this leak to escalate to a crisis on the scale of Deepwater Horizon. Total’s preliminary assessment suggests there has been no significant impact on the environment and the use of dispersants has not been considered.”
However, Fitch added that it had considered a “worse-than-base-case” scenario where Total may have to shut down the Elgin field to stop the gas leak. “This would imply the loss of a producing field that is worth, in net present value terms, EUR 5.7 billion [$7.6 billion] according to third-party valuations. Were the field to become permanently unusable it would cost Total EUR 2.6 billion [$3.5 billion] and the company might have to compensate its partners for the remaining EUR 3.1 billion [$4.1 billion],” Fitch said.
On Tuesday Dow Jones reported a source saying that the proximity of vessels owned by Transocean and Rowan to the Elgin platform may sway Total’s decision in hiring a firm to drill relief wells to cap the leak.
Currently, Transocean’s Sedco 714 (mid-water semisub) is drilling for Total in the North Sea, while a Rowan jack-up rig was used for drilling work at Elgin.
Total said Tuesday it is studying all options and could take time to make a decision, while dismissing reports that claimed the company had indicated it could take up to six months to drill a relief well.
“They are not details that have come from us at all,” a Total spokesperson told Rigzone Tuesday morning, explaining that the company did not yet have a timescale in place regarding the drilling of a relief well.
Meanwhile, Royal Dutch Shell reported Tuesday that it removed oil workers from two of its North Sea rigs due to the proximity to Total’s Elgin/Franklin platform.
In a statement, Shell said it had reduced personnel on its Shearwater platform and the nearby Nobel Hans Deul drilling rig. Drilling operations on the Noble Hans Deul (400′ ILC) rig, which is located offshore Scotland 138 miles east of Aberdeen, have been suspended and the wells “left in a safe state,” said Shell.
“While the move is purely precautionary and primarily driven by the prevailing weather conditions, and both facilities remain operational, it has been decided to reduce numbers to a more manageable level until the full situation surrounding the Elgin leak has been established,” said a Shell spokesperson.
Shell also reported Tuesday that it is using the downtime as an opportunity to conduct maintenance on one of its rigs.
“Further to the precautionary safety measures we took yesterday following Total’s gas leak at Elgin, we have no brought forward plans to carry out maintenance at Shearwater. This will take place from today, starting four days ahead of schedule. We are therefore shutting down production in a controlled manner,” said a Shell spokesperson.
Total reported Monday that it had evacuated the Elgin platform’s crew and reported that all 238 personnel had been accounted for.
A former engineer, Jon Mainwaring is an experienced journalist who has written about the technology, engineering and energy industries. Email Jon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- North Sea oil rig: Mystery gas leak forces workers to be evacuated amid fears of explosion (dailymail.co.uk)
- Well from hell: Gas rig abandoned in North Sea after massive leak (mirror.co.uk)
- North Sea Gas Leak May Take Months To Plug (news.sky.com)
(Reuters) – A judge in Campos, Brazil, could shift the criminal charges filed against Chevron and drill-rig operator Transocean to Rio de Janeiro, a decision that would remove a crusading prosecutor from the case.
Eduardo Santos de Oliveira, a federal prosecutor based in Campos, in Rio de Janeiro’s interior, told Reuters on Friday a jurisdictional review is under way, which could delay any formal criminal indictment of the firms and their employees for weeks.
Oliveira filed criminal charges against Chevron, Transocean and 17 of their employees in Brazil this week for alleged crimes related to a November offshore oil spill in Brazil’s Frade field, which Chevron operates.
He pledged to seek maximum prison sentences of 31 years against the firms’ executives.
Federal judge Claudio Girão Barreto will consider whether the companies must post bonds in Campos or whether the case should be moved to Rio de Janeiro. The judicial review normally takes around ten calendar days.
The review does not alter the content of the criminal charges, but it could remove the case from Oliveira’s turf and hand it to another team of prosecutors.
The question of jurisdiction stems from the location of the alleged crimes in a deep-sea oil field beyond Brazil’s territorial waters but within its 200-nautical-mile “exclusive economic zone.”
Oliveira said the judge had asked him to appear in court on Monday with more details about the case.
“I think moving the case to Rio de Janeiro would be a mistake,” said Oliveira in a telephone interview. “Chevron and Transocean want you to believe this happened on some foreign ship or platform in international waters. But the crime happened under the seabed, in physical Brazilian territory.”
Some Brazilian officials, including Senator Jorge Viana of the government’s ruling party, have called Oliveira’s charges over-aggressive. Viana told Reuters this week that the case could damage Brazil’s oil industry.
A 20 billion reais ($11 billion) civil suit filed earlier by Oliveira in Campos against Chevron and Transocean, its drilling contractor at Frade, has already been shifted to Rio de Janeiro’s capital. A judge ruled in January that Campos wasn’t the proper jurisdiction for the civil case, Brazil’s largest-ever environmental lawsuit.
Chevron’s November leak of 2,400 to 3,000 barrels of oil at the Frade field was the result of a pressure kick during drilling. Oliveira has said Chevron’s drilling was reckless and unsafe. The companies deny the charges.
|This week the SubseaIQ team added 3 new projects and updated 30 projects. You can see all the updates made over any time period via the Project Update History search. The latest offshore field development news and activities are listed below for your convenience.|
- Recap: Worldwide Field Development News (Jan 27 – Feb 2, 2012) (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Recap: Worldwide Field Development Jan 6 – Jan 12, 2012 (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Recap: Worldwide Field Development News (Jan 20 – Jan 26, 2012) (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Foster Wheeler Enters U.S. Gulf of Mexico Junction Platform Project (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Lucius: Deepwater Gulf of Mexico (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Worldwide: Project Field Development News (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Who Dat (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Norway: North Sea Giant Stays with Technip (mb50.wordpress.com)