Global Briefs OE April 2014

US rakes in $850million for lease sale

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) received 380 bids for 326blocks in the central Gulf of Mexico, totaling more than US $850 million. Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 231 attracted operators to bison almost 40 million acres. Arizona-based Freeport-McMoRan Oil & Gas was top bidder with 16 bids totaling$321.44 million. The company’s highest bid went on Atwater Valley Block 198,which received the most bids of all blocks offered. Supermajor BP placed 24 bids totaling $41.6 million, following a recent agreement that was reached between the firm and the US Environment Protection Agency (EPA) to bid on deepwater leases after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident. Cobalt International Ltd. and Total E&P eachplaced 44 high bids totaling$26.6 million and $17.2 million, respectively.

Intermoor completes deco job

Intermoor has completed decommissioning operations of the Innovator platform in Gomez field, Mississippi Canyon Block 711, Gulf of Mexico.

The scope of work, conducted in water depths of910m, involved disconnecting 10 risers/umbilicals; disconnecting 12 mooring lines and then towing the Innovator to Ingleside, Texas.

InterMoor’s involvement with the Innovator platform dates prior to 2006 when it was a mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) known as the Rowan Midland.

Johan Sverdrup concept chosen

Statoil and its partners on the giant Johan Sverdrup field have chosen a four-platform development concept, with power from shore. The field, containing 1.8-2.9billionboe, is one of the five largest discoveries on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Located 1800-1900mbelow the seabed, it spans more than 200sq km and is expected to produce for more than 50 years.

Johan Sverdrup will be developed in phases. The first phase will comprise of afield center, export pipelines, power supply, and additional subsea installations, with accost of NOK100-120 billion (US$16.5-19.5 billion).

The field center consists of four bridge-linked installations, a process, drilling, riser and living quarters platforms, will be on steel jackets in120m water depth. It is anticipated that 40-50production and injection wells will be drilled to support Phase 1. First production is expected to start in late 2019.

New Barents exploration area

For the first time in 20 years, Norway’s government is looking to include a new area in the Barents Sea in its next exploration licensing round. Blocks in the Barents Sea southeast were included in consultation documents issued by Norway’s Ministry for Petroleum on its 23rd licensing round.

The round proposal includes a total 61 blocks, with seven blocks in the Norwegian Sea, 34 blocks in the southeast Barents Sea, and 20 blocks in the rest of southern Barents Sea.

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has estimated recoverable resources for Barents Sea southeast between55-565MMsq cu m oil equivalent. It says the potential for finding oil and gas is high. Gases expected to account for 85%of the resources and oil for the remaining 15%.

To manage exploration in these new areas, the ministry said it would initially allocate “limited number of key blocks,” with the results from these areas informing decisions over what blocks to release in future licensing rounds.

Prorefam’s seventh round launched

Brazilian president Mariadas Graças Silva Fosterand Petrobras Director of Exploration and Production, José Formigli, launched the seventh and final round of the Fleet Renewal Plan for Offshore Support Vessels (Prorefam). The Brazilian national said it will issue calls for bids by 21 March.

Foster said that the company’s priority is to increase its oil production, as outlined in the 2014-2018 Business and Management Plan. Proposals from the seventh round must be submitted by 27 June, and contracts must be executed by30 October.

Colombia raises offshore profile

Colombia’s Vice Minister of Energy for the Ministry of Mines and Energy, Orlando Cabrales, appeared at IHS CERAWeek in Houston in March to tout the country’s new 2014 Round.

Colombia’s Agencia Nacionalde Hidrocarburos (ANH) is offering 22 million hectares of acreage both on- and offshore.

Cabrales told press after his panel appearance at CERAWeek that the country is increasing investment into deepwater and ultra-deepwater. So far 20 offshore blocks have already been awarded in the Caribbean. The 2014Round will offer 13 offshore blocks, 10 in the Caribbean and three in the Pacific.

Enid enlarges field estimates Eni has doubled its estimated size of the Nene Marine field offshore Congo after drilling the Nene Marine 3 exploration well, in the Marine XII block. Nene Marine3 was drilled in 28m water depth and found a wet gas and light oil accumulation in there-salt classic sequence, outlining significant extension to the west of the reservoir and its hydraulic continuity, Unsaid. During the production test in the oil interval, the well flowed more than 5000 b/d at36° API gravity. Following the results of the well, Eni estimates that the Nene Marine field contains 1.2 billion bbl and 30 billion cu ft of natural gas in place, with upside. ENI says it is planning first production from the field in 2016.

Ntem concessions

Murphy Oil started drilling the Bamboo-1 exploration well on the Ntem concessions, offshore Cameroon, early February, using the Ocean Confidence fifth-generation semisubmersible drilling rig.

The well, about 56km off the coast, has an estimated target depth of 4200m true vertical depth subsea and will be drilled in 1600m water depth. Drilling is anticipated to take about 60-70 days. The Bamboo prospect is a basin floor fan target in the Upper Cretaceous play, with the primary objective estimated to have a mean un-risked, gross prospective resource of422MMbbl and 170Bcfof gas.

Ophir weighs FLNG option

UK-listed explorer Ophir Energy is considering floating LNG to develop its Equatorial Guinea gas fields and has signed a letter of intent with Petrofac to help it draw up a field development plan. Petrofac will provide services as operator of the proposed gas development up to the final investment decision, including preparing and issuing the field development plan.

Ophir has also held discussions with a number of floating LNG (FLNG) vessel providers for the project, in Block R, in the southeastern part of the Niger Delta complex, in 600m-1950m water depth. Total gross 2C gas resources discovered are estimated at about 2.6Tcf, with upside.

McDermott conducts pipeline repair in UAE

McDermott International Inc. recently mobilized its dive support vessel (DSV) Thebaud Sea for an emergency pipeline repair offshore the United Arab Emirates. This is the third time in recent months that the DSV has been fast tracked to an emergency response.

Russian giants form emergency response pact

Gazprom and LUKOIL signed a cooperation agreement on the prevention of and response to emergencies caused by oil and petroleum product spills offshore, including performing joint emergency exercises.

The companies agreed that in case of emergencies related to oil and/or petroleum products pills, they would provide mutual assistance in response to such emergencies, with the engagement of professional rescue services.

Gazprom and LUKOIL will also conduct joint emergency drill in the locations of the Prirazlomnaya offshore ice resistant platform and the Varandey oil export terminal before year’s end.

Noble Energy eyes Bohai exit

Noble Energy is in talks with potential bidders to offload its stake in an offshore field located in the Bohai Bay, China.

Australia’s Roc Oil has been touted as the most likely buyer for Noble’s Cheng Dao Xi (CDX) oil field, the Wall Street Journal reports. Roc Oil already owns shares in four offshore blocks in the Bohai Bay (Zhao Dong, Zhanghai, Chenghai and 09/05 fields).

Rubicon Vantage risers repaired

Damaged risers on the Salamander Energy operated Rubicon Vantage floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel have been repaired and production from the Bualuang field has restarted. Bad weather had slowed work to replace riser sections, which were damaged when the FPSO came off station in a storm. Development drilling on the rest of the field was not impacted. Salamander is investing in the Bualuang oilfield, in Block B8/38. In 2012,it installed a new production platform.

N KPOC wells underway off Sabah

ConocoPhillips has updated development plans for the Kebabangan project in the South China Sea, off the coast of Sabah, Malaysia. The consortium expects to complete phase one drilling of five wells by May. KPOC began drilling with the deepsea drillship CHIKYU in mid-2013, through aUS$32 million contract with Petronnic  Sdn. Bhd.

The Kebabangan gas field was discovered by Shell in1994, and further delineated by an appraisal well drilled in 2002. The well penetrated gas columns in number of reservoir intervals. The field is estimated to contain about2 Tcf of natural gas. The Kebabangan cluster asset comprises four non-associated gas fields.

AWE to sidetrack Pateke well

Australia-based AWE Ltd will drill a sidetrack well in New Zealand after drilling issues encountered on the Pateke-4Hwere unable to be resolved. The Pateke-4H development well sits in PMP 38158 in the Taranaki basin offshore New Zealand. AWE is the operator of the permit with a 57.5%stake, with New Zealand Oil& Gas and Pan Pacific Petroleum holding 27.5% and15% respectively. The well is targeting a mapped northern extension of the producing Pateke field. AWE said the well is being drilled in water depth of 124m, with a planned total depth of 5361. If successful, it will tied back to the Tui FPSO for production in 2015.

Anadarko drills exploration well

Anadarko Petroleum Company started drilling theCaravel-1exploration well inthe Canterbury basin offshore New Zealand mid-February.

Drilling is expected to take about 40 days, using the drillship Noble Bob Douglas. The expected total depth is 2800m subsea, in 1105m water depth. The joint venture partners on the license (PEP38264) are: Anadarko New Zealand Company (Operator)45%, Origin Energy, 45%,and Discover Exploration Canterbury, 10%.

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