This week the SubseaIQ team added 1 new projects and updated 14 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.
Asia – Caspian
Aug 20, 2012 – RWE Dea has completed its 3D seismic survey offshore Turkmenistan in under four months. Approximately 154 square miles (400 square kilometers) was acquired in RWE Dea’s Block 23, which was awarded as part of a production sharing contract (PSC) in 2009.
According to RWE Dea, it will take several months for geologists and geophysicists to interpret the processed data collected from the Miocene and Pilocene rock strata at depths of 9,842 to 21,325 feet (3,000 to 6,500 meters). This 3D seismic survey transitioned from onshore to shallow water and was the first of its kind conducted on the coast of Turkmenistan. An additional 2D program was included in the seismic measurements in order to further assess the exploration potential of the area.
Asia – SouthEast
Majority Interest in Philippines Block SC56 Acquired by Total
Aug 23, 2012 – Total E&P Philippines B.V. announced it has agreed to a farm-out with Mitra Energy to take 75% interest in offshore Block SC56. The block is located in the Sulu Sea, covers a total area of 1,660 square miles (4,300 square kilometers) and has water depths ranging from 656 to 984 feet (200 to 3,000 meters). Mitra retains 25% interest in SC56.
A new exploration phase begins September 2012 with Mitra operating the re-processing of existing data and the acquisition of an additional 193 square miles (500 square kilometers) of 3D seismic. Operatorship will transfer to Total for drilling operations. Approval of this agreement by the authorities of the Republic of Philippines is pending.
Premier Upgrades Anoa Facility
Aug 23, 2012 – Premier Oil reported that the Anoa facility has been undergoing a series of upgrades via engineering projects collectively known as Phase 4. The first phase commenced began in July with pre-fabricated compression models being installed on the platform. The second phase of construction will continue during Summer 2013. The overall project will be completed during the second half of 2013 and will result in the development of around 200 billion cubic feet of undeveloped proven reserves on Natuna Sea Block A and increase the Anoa facility’s capacity to 200 BBtud.
Aug 23, 2012 – Construction on the Bualuang Bravo Platform is scheduled to be finished by the end of August and approvals have been received for the environmental impact assessment. The K1 HLV will begin load-out and installation of the platform by mid-October and by the end of October the platform will be ready for development drilling activities.
Project Details: Bualuang
Aug 17, 2012 – Premier Oil reported that the Chim Sao North West appraisal well, CS-3X, has reached a total depth of 13,894 feet (4,235 meters). The well has been plugged and abandoned after encountering oil shows in the Middle Dua sands. The appraisal well was drilled to determine whether the Chim Sao North West discovery extended into a separate fault segment to the north. The well targeted the Upper and Middle Dua sands. While 443 feet (135 meters) of sandstone reservoir were penetrated in the Upper Dua interval there was no indication of hydrocarbons. In the Middle Dua interval 541 feet (165 meters) of sands were drilled, but only oil shows were encountered. The CS-N17XP well, which was completed immediately prior to the appraisal well, was drilled to produce from the North West extension to the Chim Sao Field. That well was brought on-stream earlier this month with initial extended production test rates averaging 4,000 barrels of oil per day from four Upper Dua reservoirs.
Project Details: Chim Sao
Europe – North Sea
Aug 23, 2012 – UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change has approved the Field Development Plan for the Fionn Field. Previously drilled and suspended, 211/22a-6, will be completed with dual electrical submersible pumps. First oil is anticipated in mid-2013 at an initial rate of 4,500 bopd. The well, which was originally drilled in 2007, tested oil from the Ness and Etive formations at a combined flow rate of approximately 5,500 bopd. Production from Fionn will be combined with production from Causeway and transported for processing to the Cormorant North platform.
Project Details: Causeway
Aug 23, 2012 – Statoil, along with its partner Petoro, has announced plans for further development of the Gullfaks South field located on the Norwegian continental shelf. Production in the field has fallen sharply in recent years. With a planned investment of $1.4 billion, Statoil will apply its “fast-track” concept which will make use of existing infrastructure as well as two new subsea structures and six additional development wells. The partners believe that their investment will allow recovery in the field to be increased by 65 million barrels of oil equivalent.
Project Details: Greater Gullfaks Area
Aug 23, 2012 – Upon completion of operations at Tomintoul, Total will move the West Phoenix (UDW semisub) to its Spinnaker prospect. Spinnaker is located West of Shetlands on Block 206/04a.
Project Details: Spinnaker
Aug 21, 2012 – Upon completion of operations at Tomintoul, Total will move the West Phoenix (UDW semisub) to its Spinnaker prospect. Spinnaker is located West of Shetlands on Block 206/04a.
Project Details: Spinnaker
Aug 17, 2012 – Statoil has made an oil discovery at the Geitungen prospect, reported Det norske, a partner in Production License 265. Oil was encountered and a core sample was recovered. Drilling operations are ongoing and the final results from the well are not yet available, Det norske said in a statement. The Ocean Vanguard (mid-water semisub) is drilling exploratory well 16/2-12 to a total depth of 6,759 feet (2,060 meters) to prove the presence of oil-bearing Jurassic sandstones similar to the Johan Sverdrup discovery. Statoil operates the field with a 40 percent stake; while Lundin holds 10 percent; Petoro holds 30 percent; and Det norske holds the remaining 20 percent.
Project Details: Geitungen
Aug 17, 2012 – Talisman Energy stated that the Duart field, which was shut-in on July 26 due to a process shutdown on the host Tartan platform, remains shut-in to date. During the shut-in period, additional technical issues have come to light which are preventing the restart of gas processing on the Tartan platform. The gas process is required to support Duart production. The operator will continue to close the field until these problems are resolved. Talisman indicates that the earliest restart date is December 2012.
Project Details: The Greater Tartan Area
S. America – Other & Carib.
Aug 23, 2012 – Borders & Southern received positive results from the fluid analysis performed on samples from Well 61/17-1 located offshore the Falkland Islands. The initial condensate yield from the Darwin gas samples, as measured in a laboratory separator test, varies from 123 to 140 stb/MMscf. The API gravity of the condensate is 46 to 49 degrees. Based on the condensate yield and ongoing reservoir modeling, the Company estimates the recoverable volume of condensate to be 130 to 250 million barrels with a mid-case of 190 million barrels. The company will now move forward with the acquisition of additional 3D seismic data in 2013 and explore the best way to fund an exploration and appraisal campaign.
Project Details: Darwin East
Africa – West
Ophir Energy Successfully Appraises Fortuna Discovery
Aug 23, 2012 – Ophir Energy has successfully drilled the Fortuna East-1 appraisal well in Block R offshore Equatorial Guinea. Fortuna East-1 is located approximately 4 miles (7 kilometers) east southeast of Fortuna-1. The well encountered natural gas in the eastern lobe of the Fortuna Complex as well as in a deeper exploration target Viscata. The recoverable mean resource from the eastern lobe is now estimated at 426 Bcf. A 180-foot (55-meter) gas bearing column containing a total of 131 feet (40 meters) of net pay in the primary target Late Miocene sands of the eastern lobe of the Fortuna Complex was encountered. Pressure measurements indicate communication between Fortuna-1 and Fortuna East-1.
Aug 20, 2012 – Interests in two major natural gas projects in Australia have changed hands between Royal Dutch Shell and Chevron Corporation. Shell has agreed to swap its interest 33.3-percent interest in two gas fields associated with its Wheatstone project located in Western Australia and pay $450 million in cash to Chevron. In return, Shell will receive a combined interest of 36.7-percent interest in the Browse LNG project.
Shell will now hold a 35-percent ownership in West Browse and 25-percent in East Browse. International Director for Shell Upstream, Andy Brown believes this deal with simplify the ownership of the Browse gas fields.
Project Details: Browse LNG
Aug 17, 2012 – Karoon Gas has completed repair work on a blowout preventer after more than two months, and the contracted semisub rig, Transocean Legend (mid-water semisub), can resume drilling in the Greater Poseidon area in the Browse Basin offshore Western Australia. The operator is planning to drill at the Boreas-1 well, the first of a minimum five exploration wells the consortium will drill in the Greater Poseidon area, will begin on Aug. 17. All of the five exploration wells will be drilled by the Transocean Legend, and lie in the WA-314-P, WA-315-P and WA-398-P Browse Basin permits containing the previously announced Poseidon and Kronos gas discoveries. Karoon Gas holds a 40 percent stake in WA-315-P and WA-398-P, and a 90 percent stake in WA-314-P. ConocoPhillips holds the remaining stakes in the three permits.
Project Details: Boreas
- Worldwide Field Development News Aug 10 – Aug 16, 2012 (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Worldwide Field Development News Aug 3 – Aug 9, 2012 (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Mitt Romney pushes offshore oil drilling in mid-Atlantic (newsday.com)
- Romney Energy Plan Would Expand Oil Drilling Offshore (nytimes.com)
Since the collapse of the USSR in 1991, the nations that border the Caspian Sea – namely Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan – have quarreled over how to properly divide its waters. With as much as 250 billion barrels of recoverable oil, 200 billion barrels of potential reserves and 9.2 trillion cubic meters of recoverable natural gas, at stake, tensions have risen over recent moves by Russia to develop its offshore resources.
A Geo-Political Storm Could Be Brewing Over The Caspian Sea’s Energy Resources
Photo Credit: mwanasimba
On 16 November in Astrakhan Lukoil president, Vagit Alekperov told journalists that his company will spend over $16 billion over the next decade to develop the country’s Caspian offshore Korchagin and Filanovskii oil and natural gas fields in the Caspian, at the signing of a cooperation agreement with the Astrakhan Region.
An equitable division of the Caspian’s offshore resources have bedeviled the region since the December 1991 implosion of the USSR, putting the Soviet Union’s previous cozy arrangements with the Shah’s Iran “into the dustbin of history,” to quote Leon Trotsky.
Related: Russia Oil and Gas Industry
Related: Iran Oil and Gas Industry
Before the collapse of the USSR, the Soviet Union and Iran effectively divided the inland sea amongst themselves, according to the terms of the 1940 Soviet-Iranian treaty, which replaced the 1921 Treaty of Friendship between the two countries, which awarded each signatory an “exclusive right of fishing in its coastal waters up to a limit of 10 nautical miles.” The treaty further declared that the “parties hold the Caspian to belong to Iran and to the Soviet Union.”
Since 1991 three new nations have arisen in the Caspian basin to contest this bilateral arrangement – Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. For the past two decades the five nations have wrangled about how to divide the Caspian offshore waters, and little has been achieved.
Amidst the disagreements Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan have tentatively moved cautiously to develop their offshore reserves in sectors that they believe would be indisputably within their future assignations under an eventual five-state agreement.
Even within these cautious offshore margins, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan have increased their output in the last 15 years by 70 percent.
Related: Azerbaijan Oil and Gas Industry
Related: Kazakhstan Oil and Gas Industry
But at issue are the diametrically opposed positions of Iran and the Russian Federation about how to develop an international Caspian consensus beyond the now moribund 1921 and 1940 treaties. Iran insists that all Caspian nations should receive an equitable 20 percent of the Caspian, while the Russia Federation has consistently maintained that the five Caspian riverine nations should receive their portion based on the length of their coastline. Under the Russian formula, Iran’s sector would consist of 12 percent to 14 percent of the Caspian’s waters and seabed.
The stakes are high – in 2009 the U.S. government’s Energy Information Administration estimated that the Caspian could contain as much as 250 billion barrels of recoverable oil along with an additional 200 billion barrels of potential reserves, in addition to up to 9.2 trillion cubic meters of recoverable natural gas.
Accordingly, all five Caspian nations have been delicately developing their offshore Caspian reserves in areas that will undoubtedly remain theirs whatever eventual agreement is hammered out between Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation and Turkmenistan. The Russian Federation and Iran are the last two nations to move “offshore.”
Alekperov said, “Five hundred billion rubles ($16 billion) will be invested in development. This huge amount will provide an opportunity for sustainable development in the region.”
Astrakhan Region Governor Aleksandr Zhilkin waxed lyrical on the importance of the agreement for the long-term development of Astrakhan’s shipbuilding industry, situated on the lower Volga, the Russian Federation’s major river emptying into the Caspian.
Zhilkin commented, “All shipyards in Astrakhan Region will have work for the next ten years. Vagit Yusufovich (Alekperov) mentioned that Lukoil is investing more than 500 billion rubles ($16 billion) over the decade.
Zhilkin’s remarks to reporters are hardly an idle boast, as he stated that Lukoil had paid more than $16.1 million in taxes last year to Astrakhan’s regional budget.
So, the Russian Federation, like its four Caspian neighbors, is now beginning to tiptoe into its offshore waters, all the while insisting that its vision of divvying the inland sea prevails.
Related: The New “Great Game” in Central Asia
The last two decades have seen an apparent pragmatism slowly evolve over the Caspian offshore resources, first in Baku, followed by Astana, Ashgabat and more recently and reluctantly, Tehran and Moscow. While the issue of a final disposition of the Caspian’s offshore waters remains significant if for no other reason than the various proposed undersea pipelines such as Turkmenistan-Baku, which could be an influential element in the European Union’s projected $15 billion Nabucco natural gas pipeline reverie, all five nations seem to be moving cautiously towards planting their offshore flags in areas unlikely to arouse their neighbours.
It will be interesting to see if they meet in the middle.
By John C.K. Daly, OilPrice.com
- Auditor: Turkmenistan has second-largest gas field (sfgate.com)
- Petronas draws first gas at Turkmenistan field (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Turkmens slam Russian bid to hinder gas pipeline (seattlepi.com)
China’s third West-to-East gas pipeline, mainly carrying gas from Central Asia to southeastern Fujian province, is expected to become operational by the end of 2013 , China Daily reported on Thursday, citing a source with the country’s dominant gas supplier.
The 5,200-kilometre project, with annual shipment capacity of about 30 billion cubic metre (bcm), will include one artery, six branch lines, three gas storage facilities and a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, the report said.
The pipeline will run from the Xinjiang region to the city of Fuzhou in Fujian province, the source was quoted as saying.
Work on the fourth and fifth pipeline will be initiated some time after 2015, with each pipeline having an annual capacity of about 30 bcm and supplying gas to the country’s industrialized coastal regions, the English newspaper reported.
Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan will be the major sources of supply for all the planned pipelines, the report said.
China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), parent of China’s largest oil and gas producer PetroChina Co Ltd , has long planned to add more lines across the country to feed booming demand in the eastern and southern coasts.
But its plans have been modified from one time after another due to uncertainties in gas supplies.
Talks with Russia for gas imports of up to 68 bcm per annum have been on and off for years as the sides were far apart on prices.
China’s first West-to-East gas pipeline, pumping domestic gas from Xinjiang to eastern cities including Shanghai, is running at full capacity of 17 bcm per year, and the second line, sending Turkmenistan gas to the east, is scheduled to reach its capacity of 30 bcm by the end of next year.
China’s natural gas imports rose 86.5 percent from a year earlier to some 25 bcm in the first 10 months, of which 12.3 bcm was piped in from Turkmenistan and the remainder shipped in by LNG carriers, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.
The country aims to more than double the current 4 percent share of gas in its overall energy consumption by 2020.
- ExxonMobil Eyes North American LNG Exports (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Shale gas should make the world a cleaner, safer place (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Australia: All Ichthys Approvals on Track, INPEX Says (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Chesapeake CEO Opposes US LNG Exports (mb50.wordpress.com)
- This Pipeline Could Finally Loosen Russia’s Grip On Europe’s Gas Supplies (businessinsider.com)
- Shell eyes LNG terminal in B.C. that would overshadow Kitimat (theglobeandmail.com)