Global Briefs: September 2013

Alaska states Arctic needs

Alaska’s Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell stated the case for the state’s needs at the Ice-Diminished Arctic Conference in Washington, D.C. He emphasized the need for safety, security, and economic development in the region, stating that valuable fisheries need to be considered and protected. Treadwell offered a safety checklist to guide policy.

CIGI urges increase in Arctic ops

The Center for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) issued a policy brief for the “New Arctic,” encouraging Canada’s federal government to devote greater policy attention and resources to Arctic maritime areas, including: better navigational aids, investment in ramps, breakwaters and windbreaks; infrastructure; Arctic deepwater ports; safety and security regulations; and a rigorous code of conduct for ships.

Rosneft studies Kara Sea

Rosneft, jointly with the RosHydroMet Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, started a large-scale program of Kara Sea shelf studies as part of Kara Sea Summer 2013 Marine Expedition. During the expedition, meteorological stations will be installed at Novaya Zemlya archipelago, icebergs will be monitored, and buoys will be launched to monitor ice drift and settlement.

The data is required to assess potential environmental effects on future marine facilities, to be used for development of the Eastern Prinovozemelsky license areas.

TGS shots Canadian surveys

TGS announced two 2D surveys off Newfoundland and Labrador to define and delineate the Henley, Chidley, and Holton basins. The Labrador Sea Deep Basin 2D survey will cover 3000 line-km and the Labrador Sea 2D infill survey will cover 7100 line-km. The surveys will complement and infill the existing 22,167 line-km of 2D data acquired in 2011 and 2012. Data acquisition began in August and initial data will be available 2Q 2014.

Walter spuds relief well

Walter Oil & Gas Corp. began drilling on a relief well near its troubled A-3 natural gas well at South Timbalier 220, in the US Gulf of Mexico. The company, whose permit was recently approved by the US Bureau of Environmental Enforcement, is using the Rowan EXL-3 jackup. Once the relief well intercepts the target, drilling mud, followed by cement, will be pumped into the well.

A fire aboard the Hercules 265 jackup occurred in July, about 55mi (88km) off Louisiana. Operator Walter was completing a sidetracked well, when natural gas ignited. According to Hercules, the 44 people on board the rig were evacuated.

Santos basin discovery

Petrobras confirmed good quality oil (28°API) at Iara area, block BM-S-11, in the Santos basin presalt play, after drilling and testing well 3-RJS-706 (3-BRSA- 1132-RJS). The well is 226km off Rio de Janeiro state and 6km west of the discovery well in 2197m water depth. It was the fourth exploratory well on the block.

The carbonate reservoirs, which start at a depth of 5260m, have excellent porosity and permeability, better than the discovery well (1-RJS-656). Petrobras is the operator (65%) in partnership with BG E&P Brasil (25%) and Petrogal Brasil (10%).

Norvarg gas confirmed

Total’s appraisal drilling confirmed the “extensive” nature of the Norvarg gas discovery in the Barents Sea. Well 7225/3-2, in license PL 535 off Norway, was drilled in 377m water depth by using the Leiv Eiriksson semisubmersible. Norvarg was discovered in 2011, about 275 km north of the Hammerfest LNG plant on Melkøya Island, and was estimated to contain 10-50billion cu m of gas, equivalent to about 63-315MMboe.

Two production tests were done in the upper and lower parts of the Kobbe formation, with the well flowing at a maximum rate of 175,000cu m/d (about 6.2Mcf/d) on a 52/64in. choke. The well will be plugged and abandoned. Partners in the license are Total E&P Norge, operator (40%), North Energy (20%), Ithaca Petroleum Norge (13%), Statoil (10%), Det Norske (10%), and Rocksource Exploration Norway (7%).

TGS shoots West of Shetlands

TGS announced a 3D survey in UK West of Shetlands. Rona Ridge 2013 (RR13) is a 2420sq km 3D survey that will provide 3D data. Data processing will be performed by TGS, with initial data available to clients in 4Q 2013, ahead of the UK 28th Licensing Round.

Circle Oil buys Mahdia license

Irish independent Circle Oil announced that its subsidiary, Circle Oil Tunisia Ltd., has increased its stake in Mahdia license, offshore Tunisia to 100%, after acquiring the remaining 30% working interest from Tethys Oil & Mining Inc. for US$3 million. Circle Tunisia has identified multiple leads following a recent 3D seismic survey over the license area.

The company is highlighting two prospects: El Medouini and West El Medouini, containing an estimated 125MMbo and 75 MMbo unrisked, most-likely reserves, respectively. Circle will need to drill at Mahdia by July 19, 2014.

Yam Hadera estimate

Modiin Energy updated resource estimates for Yam Hadera field, off Israel. The best estimate of gross recoverable, prospective resources is 208MMbo (revised upwards from 133 MMbo) and 3.4Tcf of natural gas (revised upwards from 1.4 Tcf of natural gas). The estimates were prepared by Netherland Sewell & Associates Ltd., based on a 3D seismic survey of a 250sq km area around the prospect’s northern closure.

Tel Aviv-based Modiin Energy wholly owns the rights to the 400sq km Yam Hadera license. The license is about 30km off the Israeli coast, between Hadera and Haifa, in 500-1000m water depths and is directly northwest of Adira Energy’s Gabriella and Yitzhak license blocks.

ConocoPhillips acquires Senegal blocks

ConocoPhillips has agreed to acquire a 35% stake in three contiguous blocks off Senegal through two deals. The company is to acquire a 25% interest in all three blocks from Cairn Energy and a further 10% in the same blocks from FAR. The blocks are Rufisque, Sangomar, and Sangomar Deep, which cover about 7490sq km within the Mauritania-Senegal-Guinea Bissau basin.

Cairn has planned a twowell exploration program for 1H 2014, to target more than 1.5 billion bbls of undiscovered resource. Transocean’s semisubmersible Cajun Express will drill the wells.

FAR said the exploration campaign will test a shelf play and a deepwater fan play, and estimates total prospective resources at 3.58 billion bo.

Cairn will retain operatorship and 40% interest in the blocks during the exploration phase. Petrosen, the Senegal National Oil Co., will retain its 10% interest in the exploration phase, and FAR will hold 15%.

If commercial, Conoco- Phillips would have the option to become operator.

Eni discovery off Congo

Eni made an oil and gas discovery on the Nene Marine exploration prospect, in the Marine XII block, about 17km off Congo. Eni says two wells were drilled on Nene Marine and estimates it contains about 600 MMbo and 700Bcf of gas in place.

The first well, Nene Marine 1, was drilled in 24m water depth and encountered a wet gas and light oil accumulation in the Lower Cretaceous presalt clastic sequence. Nene Marine 2 was drilled 2km from the discovery well, confirming the hydrocarbons and reservoir continuity. Production tests on both wells flowed at a commercial rates with 37°API oil. Eni said it will continue the appraisal phase, while starting studies for commercial exploitation. Eni is operator of Marine XII block with 65% equity. Other partners are New Age, 25%, and Societé Nationale des Pétroles du Congo, with 10%.

Cobalt Energy wells

Cobalt International Energy is drilling the Mavinga #1 pre-salt exploratory well with Diamond Offshore’s semisubmersible Ocean Confidence in block 21 and the Lontra #1 pre-salt exploratory well on block 20, using Petroserv’s newbuild SSV Catarina semi. Cobalt is operator (40% WI) in both the Mavinga #1 and the Lontra #1 wells, both offshore Angola.

Cobalt is also working on pre-development activities for its Cameia field in Angola block 21. Formal project sanction is expected during 2014, with first production from Cameia in 2017. Cobalt is operator with 40% WI.

BP, SOCAR, Total, and Fluxys join TAP

Trans Adriatic Pipeline AG (TAP) announced that BP, SOCAR, Total SA, and Belgian Fluxys have exercised their option to join TAP. They are members of the consortium developing Shah Deniz field off Azerbaijan. The BP-led group exercised a call option that gives it control of a 50% stake in the pipeline project. TAP’s shareholding is now BP (20%), SOCAR (20%), Statoil (20%), Fluxys (16%), Total (10%), E.ON (9%) and Axpo (5%). TAP’s shareholders remain open to further strategic partners joining the project in the future.

TAP will carry natural gas from Shah Deniz II field from Azerbaijan’s Caspian to Italy, with the Trans Anatolian Pipeline, or TANAP, on the Turkish- Greek border, then taking it across Greece, Albania, and the Adriatic Sea, before coming ashore in southern Italy.

Ice-class LNG tanker delivered

Dynagas took delivery of two ice-class membrane LNG tankers, the Yenisei River and Arctic Aurora from Hyundai Heavy Industries’ Ulsan shipyard, South Korea. The 155,000cu m vessels are fitted with GTT Mk III containment systems. Propulsion for the ships is provided by a dualfuel diesel generator engine system. Four Wartsila- Hyundai diesel engines in each ship, fueled by gas or fuel oil, will power two propulsion motors driving a single, fixed-pitch propeller. Registered in the Marshall Islands, the ships will operate on charter to Gazprom and Statoil.

Harkand launches ROV support vessel

The vessel will have one ROV and a complete survey spread.Harkand launched the Harkand Harmony, an ROV support vessel, designed to service Asia Pacific’s oil and gas industry. The vessel has secured on a three-year, hire-purchase contract that will see Harkand extend its inspection, repair, and maintenance (IRM) services in the growing Asia Pacific region.

ASL Marine Holdings built the vessel at Batam near Singapore. It will be fitted with one Comanche work ROV and a complete survey spread. It boasts a 580sq m main deck, a Kongsberg DP2 system, 20t man-riding knuckle boom crane, a 4.5m moonpool, and is able to accommodate 60 crew members.

Lundin swaps for CVII PSC

Lundin Sareba BV and Indonesia’s SKKMigas entered into a PSC for 100% interest in the Cendrawasih VII (CVII) block off northeastern Indonesia. The block is a subsitute for Lundin’s existing Sareba acreage, since Sareba was declared a protected nature conservation area.

The CVII block covers 5545sq km and has been lightly explored. It contains the shallow water portion of the Mamberamo delta and an undeveloped gas discovery in Pliocene turbidite reservoirs. Large carbonate build-ups have also been identified with a 950sq km 3D seismic survey acquired in 2009.

Heavy-lift vessel for BigLift

BigLift Shipping’s new vessel Happy Sky, started its maiden voyage from Shanghai to Cape Lambert, Australia. The vessel is transporting three large modules— 935mt/818mt/777mt— to be installed as part of the Cape Lambert port expansion Phase B project. This voyage is the first of four consecutive shipments.

The vessel is the latest addition to BigLift Shipping’s heavy-lift vessel fleet. It was built by Larsen & Toubro in India and features two 900mt, Huisman-built, heavy-lift mast cranes. The cranes have a lifting height of 40.9m above the main deck.

The vessel is 155m long, 18,680dwt, and has Finnish/ Swedish 1A Ice Class notation. During sea trials it achieved 17kt service speed.

Pipeline work off Java

Hallin’s modular saturation diving system on the Carlisle will be used to support dive teams.Hallin Marine was awarded a project off northwest Java for installation of new control taps and a bypass for the island’s main pipeline to the mainland. The pipeline supplies 60% of Jakarta’s gas requirements. Hallin will provide full saturation-diving services using the Ullswater subsea operations vessel. Also on site will be Hallin’s Carlisle, which was recently mobilized for duty as a diving support vessel.

Hallin teams will be performing concrete coating removal on existing pipelines, pipeline integrity checks, spools installation, precommissioning assistance, installation of hot-taps at multiple locations, and the fitting of underwater pipe-closure stopples.

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