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UK: Largest Contract in Odfjell Drilling’s History

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Odfjell Drilling has been awarded a significant pre-contract award with BP for the provision of a new build, semi-submersible drilling unit for use in the UK’s West of Shetland region. The contract value is approximately $1.2 billion, excluding options, and represents the largest contract in Odfjell Drilling’s 40 year history.

The new unit will be involved in drilling in the Schiehallion and Loyal fields and will form a key part of the Quad 204 development. The full contract, which is subject to approval by the Quad 204 Partnership, will have a fixed duration of 7 years and is due to start in Q4 2014.

In July 2011 BP announced a decision to progress a major re-development of the Schiehallion and Loyal oil fields to the west of the Shetland Islands.

Schiehallion and Loyal have produced nearly 400 million barrels of oil since production started in 1998 and an estimated 450 million barrels of resource is still available. The investment of circa £3 billion in the re-development of the fields will take production out to 2035 and possibly beyond.

President & CEO of Odfjell Drilling, Simen Lieungh states:

“This contract award from BP is of great importance and represents a solid contribution to the company’s further growth and is a recognition of Odfjell Drilling’s status as a reputable international drilling contractor. We have a track record of delivering new build units on time and on budget and this new build for BP will be the fifth new deep water unit for the company. We highly value our relationship with BP and look forward to developing this relationship further in the future.”

Jim Cowie, BP Vice President for Wells, said: “The Quad 204 partnership is making this major investment in its drilling capability in response to high future demand West of Shetland and a desire to invest in the latest equipment that can help deliver its business plans. This is an exciting development and one which builds on BP’s recent announcements concerning its investments in the North Sea. Odfjell Drilling is a safe, efficient and innovative drilling contractor that is performing well for BP in the North Sea and with Deepsea Stavanger offshore Angola.”

Fifth deepwater unit delivery

The new state of the art Sixth generation rig will be built in South Korea by Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME).

“The new rig for BP is of the enhanced GVA7500 harsh environment design and will be a sister rig of the Deepsea Atlantic and Deepsea Stavanger previously delivered to us by DSME. We are pleased to continue our collaboration with DSME, says Mr. Lieungh.”

Construction engineering has commenced and keel laying is scheduled for March 2013.

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UK: Aquaterra Installs Unique Drilling Riser on Rowan Gorilla VII

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Aquaterra has successfully installed a ‘world first’ 10,000psi rated, 20” I.D. full bore drilling riser for Apache North Sea.

The unique High Pressure Riser System was designed specifically for Apache North Sea to drill three subsea wells on the Bacchus field from the Rowan Gorilla VII. The installation marks the first Riser System of this kind to be run worldwide.

Aquaterra Energy built on the success of their 5,000psi Riser System, using Merlin Connectors developed by Oil States Industries (UK) Ltd to produce a higher capacity, 10,000psi system in conjunction with Oil States. The 10k System is a ‘world first’ as never before have Merlin connectors been used at this size or pressure, for this application. To cope with the increased pressure and anticipated loads, the joints were fully forged with a wall thickness of 2 ½” and the overall dimensions of the Merlin Connector were increased greatly. The Merlin Connector significantly increases running speed and improves the efficiency of operations when compared to standard flanged alternatives. With a unique service agreement in place with Oil States Industries, Aquaterra Energy is the only service company providing this exclusive rental system to the market.

High Pressure Drilling Riser specialists, Aquaterra Energy, offered a full scope of supply to Apache North Sea ranging from Riser Analysis to offshore installation. Aquaterra’s dedicated in-house team of Drilling Riser Engineers provided design engineering, project management, operational expertise and managed the delivery of the riser system as well as offshore installation

Aquaterra Senior Project Engineer, Stuart Dockree managed the project and commented, “The overall project was extremely interesting with many engineering and operational planning challenges throughout, which required continued focus from the project team. Speaking on behalf of that team, we have all been delighted to be involved with this significant ‘world first, full bore 10k Merlin riser system’ project which has further strengthened our riser team and product lines as clear market leaders for High Pressure Riser Systems.”

Aquaterra Project Engineer, James Head, who supervised the Riser installation on the Rowan Gorilla VII said, “A positive working relationship and excellent communications between Aquaterra Energy and Apache North Sea throughout the offshore operation ensured that the Riser System was installed to plan. The operation went smoothly as all parties pulled together to ensure a successful outcome.”

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UK: Talisman Selects Helix Well Ops for Subsea Works on Its Assets

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Subsea well intervention specialist Helix Well Ops UK (Well Ops), has been awarded a multi-service contract by Talisman Energy (UK) Limited.

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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UK: HFG Inks Contract for Fabrication of Two Jackets for Golden Eagle Development Project

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Heerema Fabrication Group (HFG) has been awarded the contract for the fabrication of two jackets for the Golden Eagle Development project of Nexen Petroleum UK Ltd.

The contract consists of the fabrication of a 6,000 tons wellhead jacket and a 6,000 tons jacket for the PUQ (Production Utilities Quarters). The construction will be executed at the Vlissingen fabrication location and is scheduled to start in February 2012. Both jackets will have a height of 130 meters with a foot print of 45 x 45 meter. It is scheduled that the jacket will be ready for transportation to Nexen’s Golden Eagle oilfield in the UK North Sea, approximately 43 miles from Aberdeen, in the 2nd quarter of 2013.

The award of the Golden Eagle jackets contract follows the successful execution of the Buzzard PS jacket contract in 2009, which formed the basis for the mutual confidence to fabricate the wellhead and PUQ jackets in parallel for delivery by 2nd quarter 2013”, according to Remco van Gilst, VP Business Development and Sales.

Tino Vinkesteijn, CCO of Heerema Fabrication Group adds: “Securing this contract will continue to safeguard employment at our Vlissingen facility and also create additional supply-chain jobs in this region, as it will directly follows the jackets currently under construction.” Tino continues: “The continuous improvement process of our safety culture, which is called ‘Building on Safety’, is secured and carefully taken into account in the overall project planning to achieve a safe and accident free working environment. We look forward to working again with our client Nexen to accomplish a safe execution and successful completion of this project.”

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UK: Trump Demands Public Inquiry into Proposed Offshore Wind Farm

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DONALD Trump has asked the Scottish Government to hold a public inquiry into plans for a windfarm off the coast from his £750million golf resort.

The property tycoon claims 11 giant turbines erected at a European Offshore Wind Deployment Centre in the North Sea, would be visible from his controversial links course at Balmedie, Aberdeenshire.

Trump has already heavily criticised the plans and wrote to First Minister Alex Salmond saying that the proposal was “environmentally irresponsible”.

And now his lawyers have contacted Energy Minister Fergus Ewing requesting a hearing into the plans.

A letter, sent by Ann Faulds of legal team Dundas and Wilson, read: “A public inquiry into the proposed development is necessary to explore all material considerations, and to ensure a proper evidential base to inform Scottish ministers’ determination of the application.

“In particular, the potential economic impact of the proposed development on my client’s development, and by extension the regional and Scottish economy, has not been addressed in the environmental statement submitted in respect of the application.”

Trump’s son, Donald Jnr said he feared the public had not fully understood the impact the turbines could have and added: “I don’t think the public realise how close to the shore they are going to be, so I think there needs to be a hearing.”

But the windfarm, one-and-a-half miles from the course, and a £150million joint venture between utility company Vattenfall, engineering firm Technip and Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, has generated hundreds of letters of support.

By Stephen Wilkie (express)

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UK: Tidal Energy, Possible Answer for Renewable Industry

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THE latest bid to revive plans for a Severn barrage comes at a time when the renewable energy sector is facing increasing problems.

Supporters of a barrage argue that it is second only to wind power in its ability to produce a substantial amount of electricity and in being a proven technology.

That is debatable, but what is certain is that the wind industry is facing increasing difficulties in getting projects off the ground.

Not only are wind farms becoming more likely to be rejected by local planners, investors are becoming increasingly put off by a perceived lack of political support, particularly in Wales.

This was highlighted in the summer when First Minister Carwyn Jones announced that the Welsh Government did not see the need for a large overhead pylon network in Mid Wales to connect wind farm developments to the grid.

The statement suggested the Welsh Government did not support major new wind farm developments since burying the power cables would add significantly to the cost.

The solar power industry has also had a hard time of it, although it is perhaps a victim of its own success.

The UK Government has twice changed the framework on feed-in tariffs (FITs), on both occasions causing disruption in the sector.

First it imposed an upper limit of 50 kilowatts (kw) on the size of installations entitled to FITs, killing off the development of large solar parks. Then it announced it was to half the FITs rate from 43p to 21p by December 12, a far larger and earlier cut than had been previously suggested.

Supporters of renewable energy hope new biomass and anaerobic digestion plants will take up some of the slack, but there is every likelihood these will also face local planning difficulties, as waste burning plants elsewhere have.

In this context, tidal energy projects could be the best hope for renewable energy.

by Chris Kelsey (walesonline)

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UK: Aker Solutions to Supply Subsea Modules for Western Isles Project

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Aker Solutions in Aberdeen that it has received an order to manufacture and deliver a number of subsea control modules and topside power units as part of an 12,6 million contract with Dana Petroleum plc.

The company has signed a contract for the project management, engineering, procurement and construction of a number of subsea systems for the Western Isles Development Project on the UK continental shelf. It marks the first contract agreement between the two companies.

A total of nine subsea control modules will be delivered by Aker Solutions’ Aberdeen facility. The full scope of work will also see one master control system, one electrical power unit, one hydraulic unit, one subsea isolation valve panel, two topside umbilical termination units, two subsea distribution units, five electrical distribution boxes and 11 mounting bases delivered.

The work will also include offshore installation and commissioning support of all subsea control system equipment and Aker Solutions expects final deliveries will be made in second quarter of 2011.

Paul Griffin, Dana Petroleum’s UK Managing Director said “This is an exciting time for Dana as we strive to grow our business in the UK and internationally. The Western Isles development is a significant project for us and we’re pleased to be working with Aker Solutions to bring the field online, with first production expected in late 2014.”

The Western Isles Development Project is located 500 kilometres north east of Aberdeen and comprises the Harris and Barra reservoirs.

“We are very pleased to be awarded this important contract with Dana Petroleum. Not only does this contract allow us to utilise the full strength of our subsea offering, it also reinforces our position as a leading name in the subsea technology sector. We look forward to building a relationship with this new customer,” said Alan Brunnen, EVP Subsea within Aker Solutions.

Aker Solutions’ contract party is Aker Subsea Ltd.

Aker Solutions is one of the largest employers in the north-east of Scotland, employing around 2,500 people at bases across Aberdeen City, Dyce and Portlethen.

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UK: Reef Subsea Enters Charter Deal for Two Neptune Offshore’s Vessels

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Reef Subsea AS announced yesterday that they have entered into two 5-year charter agreements for two newly-built dynamically positioned subsea construction vessels – Neptune Despina and Neptune Larissa – from Neptune Offshore AS.

Simultaneously Neptune Subsea AS, the ship owning company of the vessels, welcomes Reef Subsea as a 25% shareholder. Both vessels have been recently delivered to Neptune Offshore and should be transferred to Reef Subsea by mid-January 2012.

The sister ships are newly-built IMR and Subsea Construction vessels. Designed with the Ulstein X-Bow, they have a faster transit speed in head seas, and enjoy reduced fuel  consumption. The design also provides several advantages in the foreship and on the working decks making the vessels more environmentally and work friendly (read more in foot note). Designed for worldwide and deepwater services, they are equipped with 150t SWL crane with active heave compensation, an enclosed ROV hangar with integrated LARS for the deployment of Work Class ROVs on both sides of the vessel, a large moonpool and up to 750m² of working deck.

The  150t crane is able to work in over 2000m water depth and, with the Reef Subsea’s WROVs, the vessels will be able to operate in water depths up to 3000m. Both vessels are expected to work in the North Sea and in Europe to deliver projects sanctioned by clients from both the Oil & Gas and the Renewable Energy industries.

The vessels will be renamed Reef Despina and Reef Larissa

Mark Preece, Reef Subsea Chief Executive Officer, said: “I am extremely pleased we can increase Reef Subsea’s fleet with two newly-built environmentally friendly vessels. Our fleet is now comprised of four vessels, three of which are new.  These new vessels provide added value in our service to our Clients and excellent offshore working conditions for the Project teams. Our new share ownership in Neptune Subsea represents an element of control for the years to come as well as a potential ability to increase our participation.”

Bjørn Endresen, Neptune Offshore Chief Executive Officer, commented: “On behalf of Neptune Offshore and Neptune Subsea, I am very proud to see the two Vessels being well received in the market place, and we believe the Vessels will serve Reef Subsea, its clients and the market in general in a prosperous way.”

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