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Sunday, 10 December 2017 23:00

Pemex kills Nobilis-Maximino farm-out

Mexico’s state-owned firm Pemex has canceled its tender for the Nobilis-Maximino farm-out that was scheduled to coincide with the country’s next deepwater round (2.4) in January.

Juan Carlos Zepeda, president commissioner, CNH, speaks at the Pemex Farm-out day event in July 2017. Photos from Pemex Flickr.

Pemex blamed a number of factors for what it said was a “less than robust” interest in the farm-out, including the geological complexity at Nobilis-Maximino coupled with the current oil price environment. Pemex also stated that it believes the recent Brazilian pre-salt rounds negatively affected interest in Nobilis-Maximino.

The pre-emptive cancellation follows a previous unsuccessful offshore farm-out for the shallow water Ayin-Batsil, where no bids were received in October this year. Pemex was successful in its first deepwater farm-out for the Trion block, where it partnered with BHP Billiton in December 2016.

“Unlike the Trion block, the deposits of the Nobilis-Maximino block have greater geological complexity, more gas content and a water depth of more than 3000m,” Pemex said in an 8 December statement. “These factors imply greater investments to extract hydrocarbons, so the equilibrium price is higher than the area in question.”

Map from Pemex.

At a “farm-out day” road show in Houston earlier this year, Pemex discussed the Nobilis-Maximino prospect, which sits in 3000m water depth in the Perdido Fold Basin, adjacent to previous discoveries Trion (40km away) and Great White (26km away). A total of nine wells have been drilled on the Nobilis-Maximino. Maximino was drilled first in 2013, with Nobilis following in 2016. The 1524sq km Nobilis-Maximino area has 3P reserves of 502 MMboe of light oil, and estimated production of 300,000 b/d.

The company said that it will continue to promote the partnership strategy at other fields that present “less technical difficulties and lower risks.”

Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH) told Reuters that the cancellation of the Nobilis-Maximino farm-out does not affect industry interest in the upcoming deepwater round, scheduled for 31 January.

News of the cancellation comes two weeks after Pemex announced the installation of new CEO Carlos Alberto Trevino Medina, who replaced CEO José Antonio González Anaya, who was chosen by Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto to head the treasury (Ministry of Finance and Public Credit). The outgoing head of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit, Jose Antonio Meade, has resigned his position to run as the ruling party’s (Institutional Revolutionary Party or PRI) presidential candidate in 2018.

González Anaya has been Pena Nieto’s “go-to guy” to fix underperforming agencies. González Anaya took the reins in February 2016 from Emilio Lozoya Austin, who was thought to have been too slow to implement Pemex’s farm-out strategy. 

Read more:

New CEO to take Pemex reins

No bidders for Ayin-Batsil

The fruits of Mexico's labor

Wednesday, 06 December 2017 15:46

BSEE: 1 dead in GoM rig accident

The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has reported a fatality onboard the Petrobras 10,000 drillship, in Walker Ridge 469, 172 mi south of Port Fourchon, Louisiana.

Petrobras 10,000 photo courtesy of BSEE.

The incident happened at 4:45am on Saturday, 2 December. The worker from Spencer Ogden was participating in pipehanding operations onboard the Petrobras 10,000 drillship owned by Transocean. The drillship was working for operator Petrobras America. No other personnel were harmed in the incident, BSEE reported.

According to BSEE's Deepwater Activity Report, as of 5 December, the Petrobras 10,000 drillship was working inside the Chinook field area, which has a water depth of 8835ft. 

BSEE is working with the US Coast Guard to investigate the accident, and BSEE has launched its own panel investigation, with inspectors conducting an investigation into the cause of the fatality.

BSEE released a safety alert today, which stated that: "At the time of the incident, the deceased was working on the rig floor and positioned between a stanchion, on the port side of the rig floor with his back to the retracting skate, when it moved causing the 'loading platform' of the skate to pin him against the stanchion. It was reported that there is approximately a 3in clearance between the stanchion and the loading platform. The incident took place within a rig floor red zone – an area where entry is controlled."

BSEE said that it recommends all operators and drilling contractors review their facilities’ hazardous areas and associated safe work practices. 

Map courtesy of BSEE.

Tuesday, 05 December 2017 13:17

Cape Wind to surrender US lease

US wind developers Cape Wind have applied to relinquish its lease offshore Massachusetts, which at one time had been set to be America's first offshore wind farm. A series of setbacks endured by Cape Wind allowed the honor of America's first offshore wind farm to be bestowed upon Deepwater Wind's Block Island Wind Farm, offshore Rhode Island instead.

Photo from iStock.

A US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) spokesperson told OE: "BOEM received an application from Cape Wind Associates on Friday (1 December) requesting to relinquish it lease. BOEM is currently reviewing this request."

The 468 MW Cape Wind project was proposed in November 2001. The lease area is comprised of approximately 46sq mi in Nantucket Sound, 25sq mi of which make up the project footprint area on Horseshoe Shoal, according to BOEM. The lease includes a five-year site assessment term and a 28-year operations term.

The developers requested a two-year suspension of operations on 26 February 2015, a request that was granted in July of that year. The suspension expired in July 2017. BOEM reported that Cape Wind sought another two-year suspension of operations terms of its commercial lease and a suspension of its payment obligations back in June this year. 

National Ocean Industry Association (NOIA) expressed their disappointment at the news of the surrender of the lease.

“Cape Wind’s surrender of its offshore wind energy lease, which the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management rightly affirmed in September, is disappointing," said NOIA President Randall Luthi on 4 December. "While Cape Wind ultimately decided to end their hard-fought 16-year quest to bring offshore wind power to Massachusetts, NOIA will continue our support of the US offshore wind sector.”

America's first offshore wind project, Block Island Wind Farm, came onstream in late 2016. OE profiled the project in our July 2016 issue. Other companies have set their sights on projects offshore the US. Norway's Statoil secured a lease in late 2016, for a project that it has named Empire Wind. Denmark's  Ørsted (formerly DONG) has two projects underway: Bay State Wind, offshore Massachusetts, and Ocean Wind, offshore New Jersey. Fugro was recently chosen to undertake geotechnical investigations at both sites.

Read more

Statoil to develop wind farm off New York

First US offshore wind farm operational

Cape Wind green light

Seanamic Group’s Umbilicals International has opened a new quayside manufacturing site in Channelview, Texas – just 30 minutes east of downtown Houston – today (5 December).

 Umbilicals International's Channelview facility. Photos from Umbilicals International.

The site, which is near the Houston Ship Channel, is home to a horizontal helix machine, extrusion line, and supporting equipment. The group says that with the new facility allows them to offer typical longer-length cables and umbilicals required for subsea, umbilicals, risers and flowlines (SURF) packages.

The Channelview facility includes 12 neutralized positions, 1.8M bobbins (10-tonne maximum load per bobbin, 12 filler positions, three 5.5M take-up/payoffs for in process, 152mm diameter extruder, with 40mm co-extrusion for striping, and outside storage and carousel area for SIT, load out, testing and storage.

The location is in “umbilical alley” next door to other providers such as GE Oil & Gas, and TechnipFMC Umbilicals.

When asked why Channelview was chosen over other locations along the Gulf Coast, CEO Bob Conners told OE at a media event on 4 December that three things stood out: the infrastructure, the workforce, and proximity a major highway. He also said that marine traffic at the facility’s quayside is much quieter than at the Port of Houston nearby.

Conners added that with the new facility, Umbilicals International is focused signing contracts within brownfields and life extension (inspection, repair and/or replace) opportunities. They are interested in some smaller, greenfield opportunities.

Conners is an umbilicals industry veteran with some 20 years’ experience. Before joining Umbilicals International in January 2016, he served as vice president of SURF at Prysmian. Prior to that he was general manager for Technip Umbilical Systems (DUCO) and previously vice president of manufacturing for JDR Cable Systems.

Bob Conners, CEO Umbilicals International (left) and Joaquin Medina, VP Manufacturing (right)

The new facility opening in Channelview comes three months after Umbilicals International opened its Glasgow facility. The firm became part of the Seanamic Group in 2015, and works alongside Caley Ocean Systems, IMES International and Flexlife.

Coupled with a manufacturing facility in Stafford (45min southwest of the Channelview facility), Conners believes Umbilicals International can offer customers a complete package.

“This site gives Umbilicals International a new and strong future,” Conners said in a press statement. “Our enhanced capabilities at Channelview, coupled with our established 100,000sq ft facility in Stafford, means we can offer an extensive range of cable and umbilical products which are an expected component of SURF packages.”


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