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OE Press: 2016 / June

OE Press: 2016 / June (83)

Thursday, 30 June 2016 04:11

Johan Sverdrup riser platform construction starts

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The start of construction of the riser platform for the giant Johan Sverdrup project offshore Norway has been marked at Samsung Heavy Industries yard in South Korea.

Johan Sverdrup, 155km west of Stavanger, Norway, is one of the five biggest oil fields on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, with expected resources of 1.7-3 billion boe. The field was discovered in 2011.

The riser platform is the largest of the four platforms constituting the Johan Sverdrup field centre. It will received land-based power and will export oil and gas to onshore - Kårstø (gas) and to Mongstad (oil). The platform will be 124m-long, 28m-wide, 42m-tall, and will weigh 23,000-tonne. 

Statoil expects that, during its 50 years of production, innovation and new technology will open up new possibilities for the field. In anticipation of these, more than 2500sq m of free deck space has been incorporated into the riser platform. 

Construction of the processing platform (P1) for Johan Sverdrup will start during July 2016. 

“As we are starting the riser platform construction we are taking another important step in delivering the Johan Sverdrup project on schedule,” says project director for Johan Sverdrup Kjetel Digre. 

The preparations for the riser platform construction started already in January 2015, when Aker Solutions was awarded the contract for engineering and procurement management for the processing platform and the riser platform for Johan Sverdrup. 

Thursday, 30 June 2016 04:03

Venator OBS system to get Caspian trial

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Norwegian offshore technology company inApril has won its first commercial agreement, worth US$25-30 million for Venator, its node-based seabed seismic acquisition system. 

In development since 2012, the Venator node-on-a-rope system, designed to handle more than 10,000 seismic nodes from one vessel, offers a high level of efficiency and hands-free automation, says inApril. 

A letter of intent (LOI) has been signed with the Kazakhstan company GEO Energy Group (GEG) to supply a Venator system, starting with a test project this autumn in the Caspian Sea.

GEG will also tender inApril’s Venator system in bids for upcoming major ocean bottom seismic (OBS) contracts.  

Last year GEG acquired the interests of Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) in PGS-Khazar to expand its offshore seismic services within Russia and internationally. 

Vidar Hovland, CEO of inApril, said: "We welcome this big step in bringing Venator to market. It marks the beginning of a new generation of independent accessible OBS technology. Oil companies and contractors have long recognized the benefits of the high quality data possible from seabed seismic, but have been put off by the acquisition cost of existing cable and node acquisition technologies.

"Venator is a genuinely disruptive technology. It provides the safe, highly automated, rapid acquisition that companies have been waiting for - at significantly lower cost than existing systems."

Vladimir Telbukhov, CEO of GEG, said: "We are pleased to become an early adopter of inApril’s technology. The Venator system’s obvious benefits in cost, efficiency and safety will be of great help in building our company’s seabed seismic acquisition offering and gaining highly competitive position in the market."

Thursday, 30 June 2016 03:11

Quadrant to drill Driftwood-1 off Australia

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Quadrant Energy has decided to change its drilling plans in the Carnarvon Basin offshore Western Australia. 

The firm had proposed to drill the Palmerston-1 well. After a technical evaluations and engagement with the regulator, Quadrant now plans to drill the Driftwood-1 well, says partner on the license, WA-320-P, Tap Oil (9.778% participating interest). The well is a commitment well, due in WA-320-P by Q4 2016. 

The Driftwood-1 well has an expected total well cost of A$15.47 million (gross), which is substantially lower than the estimated cost for Palmerston-1 of A$98.2 million, says Tap Oil. 

Driftwood-1 is in WA-320-P in the Barrow sub-basin of the Northern Carnarvon Basin, offshore Western Australia, approximately 1km north of the Rosily-1A exploration well which had minor oil shows.

Quadrant Energy is due to use the Noble Tom Prosser jackup drilling rig, with operations starting 1 August.

The well objective is to test the Early Cretaceous sandstones of the Mardie Greensand Member, Birdrong Member and Zeepaard Formation in a low-relief, northeast-southwest trending four-way dip closure.

Thursday, 30 June 2016 03:04

Skipper well to start mid-late July

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UK-based explorer Independent Oil and Gas (IOG) expects to take Transocean's Sedco 704 semisubmersible drilling rig on contract and start drilling an appraisal well on the Skipper oil discovery in the second half of July 2016.  

Skipper lies in Block 9/21a in license P1609 in the Northern North Sea and IOG is the 100% owner and operator of the license.  The well is expected to take approximately 22 days to drill.

The vertical well will be drilled to 5600ft with the primary objective of retrieving good quality reservoir condition oil samples in order to optimize the Skipper field development plan.  

The well will also drill two mapped reservoir structures beneath the Skipper oil field in the Lower Dornoch and Maureen formations.  

The directors of IOG believe an approved field development plan on Skipper would convert the Board's estimated 34.1 MMbbl of contingent resources, based on a 25% recovery factor, into 2P reserves.

Mark Routh CEO of IOG commented: "We are now in the final stages of preparation for this well which we believe will be transformational for IOG and should confirm Skipper as a key pillar in our target to achieve more than 100 MMboe combined 2P reserves and 2C resources net to IOG from the existing portfolio once the previously announced Vulcan satellites acquisition is completed. We are very excited to be drilling in the North Sea at this time and look forward to progressing straight to the Skipper Field Development planning thereafter."

Thursday, 30 June 2016 03:00

Woodside 3D Ireland shoot starts

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Norwegian seismic firm PGS has started a new 3D seismic program in the Porcupine Basin offshore Ireland for Woodside. 

The Bréanann 3D seismic program started 27 June on Frontier Exploration License 3/14, says license partner Petrel.  

The total program is over 2400sq km, of which about 40% relates to FEL 3/14, in which Petrel has a 15% carried interest.  

The program is expected to complete within five weeks, but the processed and interpreted results will require many months thereafter. A further announcement of the results will be made in due course.  

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 13:37

Mexico, US, Canada unite in climate pact

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Mexico is joining the US and Canada in committing to reduce North America’s methane emissions from the oil and gas sector – the world’s largest methane source – 40% to 45% by 2025, the three countries announced in a joint statement.

Image of Peña Nieto, Trudeau, and Obama. From the White House Twitter. 

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, US President Barack Obama, and Mexico's President Enrique Peña Nieto share a common commitment to a competitive, low-carbon and sustainable North American economy and society, the White House said in a statement. The Paris Agreement was a turning point for our planet, representing unprecedented accord on the urgent need to take action to combat climate change through innovation and deployment of low-carbon solutions.

North America has the capacity, resources and the moral imperative to show strong leadership building on the Paris Agreement and promoting its early entry into force.

“We recognize that our highly integrated economies and energy systems afford a tremendous opportunity to harness growth in our continuing transition to a clean energy economy.  Our actions to align climate and energy policies will protect human health and help level the playing field for our businesses, households, and workers.  In recognition of our close ties and shared vision, we commit today to an ambitious and enduring North American Climate, Clean Energy, and Environment Partnership that sets us firmly on the path to a more sustainable future,” the statement said.

Advancing Clean and Secure Power

The historic goal for North America is to strive to achieve 50% clean power generation by 2025.

“We will accomplish this goal through clean energy development and deployment, clean energy innovation and energy efficiency,” the statement said.

Together, it is estimated that the development of current and future projects and policies to achieve this goal will create thousands of clean jobs and support of a vision for a clean growth economy.

The three countries will continue to strengthen the North American Cooperation on Energy Information platform, by including additional geospatial information relating to cross-border infrastructure and renewable energy resources.  We also commit to deepened electric reliability cooperation to strengthen the security and resilience of an increasingly integrated North American electricity grid.

Driving Down Short-Lived Climate Pollutants

Short-lived climate pollutants such as methane, black carbon, and hydrofluorocarbons are up to thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide. Common sense actions to reduce these pollutants will deliver significant climate and health benefits in the near term and into the future, supporting our goal to limit global warming this century.

Today (29 June), Mexico will join Canada and the US in committing to reduce their methane emissions from the oil and gas sector – the world’s largest methane source – 40% to 45% by 2025, towards achieving the greenhouse gas targets in our nationally determined contributions. To achieve this goal, the three countries commit to develop and implement federal regulations to reduce emissions from existing and new sources in the oil and gas sector as soon as possible.  There will also be a commitment to develop and implement national methane reduction strategies for key sectors such as oil and gas, agriculture, and waste management, including food waste.

The three countries have also pledged to continue collaborating with one another and with international partners as we commit to significant national actions to reduce black carbon emissions in North America, and promote alternatives to highly polluting hydrofluorocarbons.

early warning systems for natural disasters, and cooperate on marine protected areas.

We reaffirm our commitment to work collaboratively to achieve our long term goal of conserving North America’s Monarch migratory phenomena and to ensure that sufficient habitat is available to support the 2020 target for the eastern Monarch population.  Trilateral efforts to date have achieved significant successes across the range, including the restoration and enhancement of hundreds of thousands of acres of habitat.  We look forward to continued progress and action in the future, building on the population increase for eastern monarchs observed in 2015. 

We commit to collaborating with Indigenous communities and leaders to incorporate traditional knowledge in decision-making, including in natural resource management, where appropriate, and in advancing our understanding of climate change and climate resilience. We also recognize the importance of a gender-responsive approach to climate action and sustainable development.

Showing Global Leadership in Addressing Climate Change

Canada, the US, and Mexico will work together to implement the historic Paris Agreement, supporting the goal to limit temperature rise this century to well below 2oC, and pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5oC.

Lloyd’s Register (LR) has extended rig integrity support for the Deepwater Invictus drilling rig. The company’s expertise in blow-out preventors (BOPs) and rig integrity will be used to provide confidence in how risk is managed for deepwater drilling and well exploration.

Image of the Deepwater Invictus, from Transocean.

“We have had a team supporting the Gulf Of Mexico (GOM) drilling program on board Deepwater Invictus and it is this same team that has been requested for BHP Billiton’s drilling program in Trinidad. Although the core part of our work is on BOP operation, rig integrity and compliance, we will also provide expertise in performing inspections, risk assessments and training for personnel working on the rig,” Kevin Comeau, LR dynamic positioning / power management & marine safety systems manager said.

The BOP is often the final line of defense for protecting life and the environment and so there is high demand for a transparent and well-structured risk assessment approach that helps rig owners and operators to monitor the BOP’s safety performance.

A subsea BOP is a special system which is highly regulated and among one of the few pieces of equipment that combines multiple functions such as drilling and operations control, a tool for preventing risk and supporting emergency response procedures. BOPs were developed to cope with extreme erratic pressures and uncontrolled flows emanating from well reservoirs during drilling. These factors mean that simple component failures can cause drilling operators to be exposed to severe risk.

Before the market downturn, LR was reviewing more than 350 drilling rigs each year. The company has unmatched expertise in the provision of maintenance and asset management services, specifically designed to meet the needs of the drilling industry.

“As the industry looks to implement new, best-in-class offshore drilling operations, we believe we have a great deal to contribute to the conversation,” Comeau said. “Developments in BOP underline that new technology is not a barrier. It is seen as the catalyst for better performing oil and gas sector and a competitive necessity among the key operators.

“Our work with BHP Billiton is a great example of how synergies between companies can lead to innovative risk and reliability work that help make the industry more reliable, better performing and safer.”

Deepwater Invictuswas delivered in 2014 and is IMO registered vessel 9620592 with a gross tonnage of 68,034. It has a rated drill depth of 40,000ft. The continuation of support for the Trinidad drilling campaign with BHP started in May 2016.

Statoil has received consent from Norway’s Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) to drill a wildcat well in the Njord field with the Songa Delta semisubmersible, a rig that the Norwegian supermajor suspended with Songa Offshore just last week.

Statoil will drill at its operated production licence 107C in the Norwegian Sea, which is scheduled to begin in late June 2016 with an estimated 33-day drilling period, depending on whether a discovery is made.

Last week, Statoil suspended its contract for the Songa Delta, upon completion of drilling activities at the Slemmestad well in the Norwegian North Sea.

The rig was to go on a 75% suspension rate at a dayrate of US$277,000 from the end of June 2016, with work to pick up in mid-August 2016.

Image of the Songa Delta, from Songa Offshore.

Read more:

Statoil suspends use of Songa Delta

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 04:21

Energean picks up Montenegran "sweet spot"

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Greek explorer Energean Oil & Gas has reached an agreement  with the Ministry of Economy of Montenegro upon Hydrocarbons Exploration and Production for offshore blocks 4219-26 and 4218-30.

The proposed concession contract, joint operating agreement and accounting agreement are subject to the approval of the Parliament of Montenegro. 

The western offshore Adriatic has been a prolific hydrocarbon producing province for over 50 years for both oil (Italy) and biogenic gas (Italy and Croatia), says Energean.

"By contrast, the eastern Adriatic remains substantially underexplored, despite having what appears to be all the necessary hydrocarbon generating components in place," it says. 

"Energean believes Montenegro may sit in the 'sweet spot' of this untapped, under explored potential in the eastern Adriatic.

"The company is familiar with the geology of the wider area, as it has been exploring two blocks, onshore Ioannina and offshore Katakolo, both in Western Greece."

Wednesday, 29 June 2016 04:13

DNV GL launches new Spadeadam facility

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DNV GL has today officially opened a new, state-of-the-art training centre at its large-scale testing and research facility at Spadeadam in Cumbria, UK.

The oil and gas advisory and classification society is also inviting participation in a new joint industry project (JIP) to improve cost-efficiencies in explosion protection designs for process areas with testing to take place at the site.

More than £3 million has been invested in the Spadeadam Testing and Research centre to enhance its offering to perform rarely available trials in a controlled and secure "real-life" environment. The site features some of the world's most advanced destructive and non-destructive test facilities. The new training and conference facility will enhance experiential learning for the oil and gas, chemical, utilities and security industries.

Elisabeth Torstad, CEO, DNV GL – Oil & Gas, said: “While the industry is understandably preoccupied with generating shorter-term value, we must be vigilant in ensuring safety remains as a top priority. Our challenge is to continue giving the message to clients that cutting costs without understanding the bigger risk picture can end up being ineffective, and ultimately very costly to the business.

“The primary role of the Spadeadam Testing and Research centre is to provide our clients with the knowledge and understanding to ensure risks are reduced and operations are safer. It is the availability of this infrastructure that allows Spadeadam to respond so effectively across a number of sectors.”

Spadeadam will run full-scale experiments, using available test rigs, for a new DNV GL-led JIP, CostFX, to investigate cost-efficient explosion load descriptions for process areas.

The project, which is still open to new participants, is driven by a need to improve and align knowledge between HSE and structural disciplines on explosion load criteria. The aim is to reduce complexity and over design in current models and methodologies for explosion protection, while balancing demand for valid, accountable safety margins.

The results will be used to generate standards and guidelines to allow structural engineers to pre-define design explosion loads for standard installations, mitigating the need for costly, specialist analyses.

For non-standard installations, a direct link from complex explosion load assessments to structure response and design analyses will be provided. Overall saving in project execution, duration and steel thickness is foreseen, while areas where increased safety is needed will be identified providing both increased safety and reduced cost.

Work carried out at the site, which is the largest facility of its kind in the UK, consists of confidential, large-scale, major hazard tests, including flammable gas dispersion, fires, explosions, pipeline fracture tests, blast and product testing in a safe and secure environment.

Hari Vamadevan, Regional Manager, UK and West Africa, DNV GL – Oil & Gas, said: “Although the oil and gas and other industries are facing challenging times, safety is one area which cannot be compromised and it is important that we provide an environment where research and training can be conducted safely, securely and confidentially.”

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