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Wednesday, 06 September 2017 15:26

BP braces for Hurricane Irma

BP has begun evacuating personnel from the Gulf of Mexico, as Category 5 Hurricane Irma churns in the Atlantic Ocean, making its way towards Florida. 

The projected path for Hurricane Irma. Image from the US National Weather Service.

Weather forecasts have indicated that Irma could potentially impact Florida this weekend, and possibly later along the southeast Atlantic Coast.

BP says it is closely monitoring Irma to ensure the safety of its personnel and operations in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere along the Atlantic Coast.

In the Gulf of Mexico, BP has begun securing offshore facilities for heavy weather and evacuating non-essential personnel from its Thunder Horse platform and the West Vela drilling rigor the super major confirmed. BP is also preparing for the possible evacuation of remaining offshore workers and the shut-in of production at facilities if needed. However, no production is shut-in at this time.

As of 2 p.m. CST, the US National Weather Service reported that Hurricane Irma was moving closer to the Caribbean. Hurricane conditions are expected to begin within the hurricane warning area in the US Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico on Wednesday. Destructive winds, storm surge, dangerous surf, heavy rainfall and flash flooding are possible. There is an increasing chance of seeing impacts from Irma in parts of Florida later this week.

“With safety as our top priority, we will continue to monitor weather conditions closely to determine next steps,” says BP. 

The move follows the devastating effects Hurricane Harvey left on Texas just last week. 

“In addition, with the impacts of Hurricane Harvey still being widely felt, we also remain focused on the safety of our roughly 5000 employees and their families in southeast Texas and our workers and operations elsewhere along the Gulf Coast.

“BP continues to assess and remediate portions of our Westlake campus in Houston that sustained significant flooding during Harvey, including our Westlake One office tower and nearby childcare center. While this work is underway, BP’s US headquarters offices will be closed until further notice and reopen only when safe for employees to return to work,” says BP.

BP’s US business activities were minimally impacted by the storm, and all normal operations are expected to continue as the company works to secure temporary office space for a portion of its Houston workforce, and permit other employees to work remotely as they are able. 

In the Gulf of Mexico, BP operates four large production facilities and drilling rigs.

Read more:

Harvey continues to wreak havoc

Hurricane Harvey shuts in 22% of GoM production

Wednesday, 06 September 2017 14:35

Shah Deniz 2 vessel Khankendi launched

The Shah Deniz consortium launched Khankendi, a new state-of-the-art subsea construction vessel, for the giant Shah Deniz 2 project in the Caspian Sea. 

Khankendi. Image from BP Twitter.

The flagship vessel was specifically designed and built to install the biggest subsea production system in the Caspian Sea as part of the Shah Deniz Stage 2 project. 

The official inauguration of the US$378 million vessel took place in Baku today (6 September).

Khankendi will be deployed to the Shah Deniz field where it is expected to perform subsea installation and construction work over the next 11 years, according to BP.

The vessel is 155m in length and 32m in width, with 2000sq m of deck space. It has a total weight of 17,600-tonne, a carrying capacity of 5000 metric tonne at 6.5m draft and two engine rooms with 6 x 4.4 MW and 2 x 3.2 MW generators. 

Khankendi is equipped with dynamic positioning to allow working in 3.5m significant wave height, a 900-tonne main crane capable of placing 750-tonne subsea structures down to 600m below sea level, an 18-man two-bell diving system, two work-class ROVs and a strengthened moon pool. The vessel can carry out complex activities without the need for anchors.

The vessel has a maximum capacity of 175 people on board, including the marine crew and discipline specialists.

“We are proud to deliver this complex and truly multi-functional vessel, capable of installing the latest subsea production technology in the Caspian as part of the giant Shah Deniz Stage 2 project,” says Gary Jones, regional president for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey for BP, operator of the Shah Deniz consortium. “This is another great milestone for Shah Deniz, achieved in cooperation with a local service company, and we look forward to the essential support the Khankendi will provide.”

Shah Deniz is about 70km offshore Baku in 50-500m water depth, and is one of the largest gas-condensate fields in the world with 40 Tcf – over 1 Tcm of gas in place. Shah Deniz 2 will add a further 16 Bcm/y of gas production to the approximately 9 Bcm/y by Shah Deniz Stage 1.

Khankendi was designed and built by the Baku Shipyard -  a joint venture of SOCAR, the Azerbaijan Investment Co. (AIC), and Keppel O&M.

The Shah Deniz consortium consists of: operator BP (28.8%), TPAO (19%), Petronas (15.5%), AzSD (10.0 %), Lukoil (10%), NICO (10%) and SGC Upstream (6.7%).

Wednesday, 06 September 2017 12:03

Norway's APA 2017 gets record interest

The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy received a record response for the Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) 2017 round, with a total of 39 companies submitting applications for new acreage on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).

Map of Barents blocks available in APA 2017. Map from the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy.

The 39 applications, which had a deadline of 1 September, more than doubled last year’s APA round, and is about 20% more than the previous record number of applications received in APA 2014.

The Ministry says that the significant increase is from a broad variety of companies. 

“Applications have been received from large international companies, from the established mid-size companies and from smaller exploration companies. A number of newly established companies with no prior record on the NCS also applied for acreage in this year's APA-round,” the Ministry announced in a statement.

Companies that applied include: Shell, Aker BP, Bayerngas, Capricorn, Centrica Resources, Concedo, ConocoPhillips Skandinavia, DEA, DNO, Dong E&P, ENGIE E&P, Eni, Exxon, Faroe Petroleum,  Fortis Petroleum, Idemitsu Petroleum, Inpex, Kufpec, Lime Petroleum, Lotos, Lundin Norway, Maersk, M Vest Energy, MOL, OKEA, OMV, Pandion Energy, Petrolia, PGNiG, Point Resources, Repsol, Skagen 44, Statoil, Suncor Energy, Total, Tyr Exploration, VNG, Wellesley Petroleum, and Wintershall. 

In the 2017, the Ministry expanded the predefined areas to a total of 87 blocks, with 34 blocks in the Norwegian Sea, and 53 blocks in the Barents Sea. The expansion includes blocks west in the Norwegian Sea and areas around Wisting, Alta and Gohta in the Barents Sea.

“Further exploration activity is vital to future value creation and employment on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. This in turn is important with reference to financing the welfare state.  Therefore, I am very happy that such a diverse group of companies has delivered a record number of applications for new exploration acreage,” says Norwegian Minister of Petroleum and Energy Terje Søviknes (The Progress Party).

The Ministry expects to award the new production licenses in early-2018.

Read more:

Norway opens latest licensing round, APA 2017

Wednesday, 06 September 2017 08:52

Wood Group bags Ichthys subsea deal

Wood Group secured a new, five-year contract with Inpex Operations Australia (Inpex Australia) to provide subsea engineering services for the integrity of the Ichthys LNG Project, offshore Western Australia.

Image from Inpex.

The operations of all subsea assets and the gas export pipeline will be supported under the contract, which includes two, one-year extension options and is effective immediately.

It continues Wood Group’s 12-year support of the Ichthys LNG Project development; providing subsea engineering and project management services during the concept, front-end, and detailed engineering phases of the project. This award follows on from the subsea integrity and maintenance services contract successfully completed in 2016. 

Bob MacDonald, CEO of Wood Group's Specialist Technical Solutions business, said: “We are proud to support the Inpex-operated Ichthys LNG Project’s successful production from one of the world’s largest liquefied natural gas developments. We have applied our global expertise and technical capabilities to support the development for over a decade.

“Our focus will be applying our detailed knowledge and our extensive global experience of supporting subsea operations, to create value-driven solutions that assure the long-term integrity of the Ichthys LNG Project’s subsea system.”