Thursday, May 25, 2017

CGG Launched Multi-Physics Imaging Group

Multi-Physics Imaging routinely provides geologically consistent Earth models, such as this Magnetotelluric conductivity inversion integrated with drilling data to define a hydrocarbon prospect. (Image: CGG)

CGG’s Multi-Physics business line has launched its Multi-Physics Imaging group, consolidating its recognized expertise in multi-physics data processing and interpretation, trusted technical consulting services and specialized commercial software development into a single global team. As a complement to CGG’s seismic Subsurface Imaging capabilities, Multi-Physics Imaging helps oil and gas, geothermal and mining companies around the world gain a more complete understanding of the subsurface by optimizing the value of non-seismic geophysical data in their exploration workflows.

OPEC Meets Again But Has it Had an Impact on Oil Prices?

Ministers from OPEC and non-OPEC oil exporters are meeting in Vienna today and tomorrow to decide whether to extend production cuts that have been in effect since the start of the year. The formal conference comes after extensive consultations in recent weeks which seem to have produced a consensus to extend cuts at the same level for a further nine months to the end of March 2018. But with oil traders focused on Vienna, it is worth asking whether the cuts agreed by OPEC on Nov. 30 and non-OPEC on Dec. 10 have had any significant impact on prices so far.

Most Norwegian Oil Workers Agree to Wage Deal

File photo: Harald Pettersen / Statoil

Energy firms operating offshore Norway on Wednesday agreed wage deals for 2017 with the two largest trade unions representing oil and gas workers, while talks with a smaller union will continue at a later stage under mandatory mediation rules. Industri Energi and Safe, representing some 87 percent of Norwegian oil workers, said the outcome of the talks was disappointing, but added they had nevertheless accepted it as they did not have the right to go on strike this year due to a clause in last year's agreement. Lederne, a third union representing some 13 percent of Norwegian oil and gas workers or about 1…

DONG to Sell O&G Business to Ineos for $1.3 Bln

File photo: DONG Energy

Danish utility and offshore wind farm developer DONG Energy has agreed to sell its oil and gas business to petrochemicals firm Ineos for $1.3 billion, it said on Wednesday, the latest in a string of North Sea deals. The sale is a blow to shipping group A.P. Moller-Maersk , which had sought to merge its oil and gas business with DONG into a company worth more than $10 billion as part of a major restructuring. Talks between the two stalled late last year over price, sources told Reuters in December, and Maersk Chief Executive Soren Skou said in January he saw a listing of the energy unit as the more likely option.

Mexico Oil Regulator OKs New Gulf Area for Pemex

Mexico's oil regulator on Tuesday approved a promising new deep water block to state oil company Pemex, but conditioned the allotment on the firm developing the area with a partner that would eventually operate it. The new Chachiquin area, adjacent to Pemex's Nobilis-Maximino block, could produce 80,000 barrels per day of oil once it reaches peak output, according to the regulator's estimates. Development of the area is not expected to begin until 2024 at the earliest. "It's incredibly important for the country to move forward with deep water projects…

Proserv Secures Multiple Middle East Contracts

Photo: Proserv

Energy services company Proserv said it has been awarded a series of contracts worth a combined value of more than $11 million for its production control new-build and after-market services in the Middle East. In the UAE, Proserv will engineer and manufacture wellhead control panels, hydraulic power units (HPUs) and chemical injection systems to national oil companies, service companies and engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) companies, estimated to be worth around $10 million. Earlier in the year, Proserv officially opened its…

Shell Shareholders Reject Emissions Target Proposal

Royal Dutch Shell shareholders on Tuesday widely rejected a proposal by an environmental group calling for the oil company to set and publish annual targets to reduce carbon emissions. The vote is a setback for climate activists who are increasing pressure on global oil companies, including U.S. firms Exxon Mobil and Chevron, to become more ambitious in helping combat climate change. As many as 94 percent of Shell shareholders who cast a vote decided against the resolution, according to preliminary results displayed during the company's annual general meeting (AGM) in The Hague. There were also a number of abstentions, a Shell spokesman said, without disclosing numbers.

Rosneft Cuts Oil Output Temporarily

Russia's Rosneft is ready to resume full oil output quickly once OPEC-led cuts end as the country's top producer has focused its own cuts on newer fields, its chief executive has said. Those cuts run until June 30, though oil ministers from OPEC and non-OPEC countries meeting in Vienna this week are expected to agree to extend a deal that has seen 22 countries reduce global output by 1.8 million barrels per day (bpd) since January 1. "Restrictions (under the OPEC deal) are mainly applied to greenfields," Rosneft Chief Executive Igor Sechin told reporters last week, referring to newer oil fields.

Odebrecht O&G Announces Debt Restructuring Deal

Odebrecht Óleo & Gás SA, the offshore oil drilling firm owned by Brazil's Odebrecht SA, reached an agreement with more than 60 percent of its creditors for a restructuring of about $5 billion in debt, it said in a statement on Tuesday.   OOG, as the company is known, had told Reuters earlier this month that talks with creditors were in final stages. OOG is among Odebrecht SA subsidiaries struggling with a widespread slowdown in Latin America and restricted access to credit in the wake of a huge corruption scandal. (Reporting by Silvio Cascione)

Angelle Named BSEE Director

Scott Angelle (Photo: BSEE)

Former Louisiana state official Scott A. Angelle will head-up the U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). Angelle, who most recently served as Vice Chairman of the Louisiana Public Service Commission, will assume his new position May 23. “Scott Angelle brings a wealth of experience to BSEE, having spent many years working for the safe and efficient energy production of both Louisiana’s and our country’s offshore resources,” Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said. Angelle, who will serve as the fourth director in BSEE’s history…

Solstad CSV Serviced ahead of Australian Deployment

Normand Reach (Photo: Gibdock)

Gibraltar shipyard Gibdock said a surge in offshore vessel repair and maintenance work has included a special project for Norwegian offshore vessel owner and operator Solstad, to ensure that Normand Reach meets the hull cleanliness standards set by Australia’s National Biofouling Management Guidelines for commercial vessels. The 120.85-meter-long Solstad CSV entered the yard for a special wash and brush up on its way to Western Australia, where it has been reported as due to enter charter in the coming weeks to work in the Ichthys gas field development project.

Statoil's Digitalization Drive

Eldar Sætre, Statoil’s chief executive officer. (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland)

Statoil is establishing a digital center of excellence and launching a roadmap with seven specific programs for digitalization in the company towards 2020. Towards 2020 Statoil expects to invest $120 to $240 million in new digital technologies, accelerating the digital roadmap work. Digital technologies will also be part of other Statoil technology and research projects. “Aiming to be a global digital leader within our core areas, we are now stepping up our efforts to capture opportunities provided by the rapid development within digital technologies,” said Eldar Sætre, Statoil’s CEO.

New Split Hoist System from Bosch Rexroth

Image: Bosch Rexroth

A new ‘split hoist’ heave compensation system from Bosch Rexroth combines active and passive heave compensation (AHC and PHC) elements with a sophisticated control system to enable AHC functionality to be added to new and existing hoisting installations. Using a modular and mobile design, the new split hoist system is especially interesting for use with existing multi-part reeved hoisting equipment. The new split hoist heave compensation system supports a much higher working load, while also improving system efficiency by as much as 80 percent, according to the manufacturer.

China Threatened War If Philippines Drills for Oil -Duterte

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday Chinese counterpart China Xi Jinping had warned him there would be war if Manila tried to enforce an arbitration ruling and drill for oil in a disputed part of the South China Sea. In remarks that could infuriate China, Duterte hit back at domestic critics who said he has gone soft on Beijing by refusing to push it to comply with an award last year by the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague, which ruled largely in favor of the Philippines. Duterte said he discussed it with Xi when the two met in Beijing on Monday, and got a firm, but friendly warning.

Full Tanks & Tankers: A Stubborn Oil Glut Despite OPEC Cuts

© Andrei Pashkov / Adobe Stock

After the first OPEC oil production cut in eight years took effect in January, oil traders from Houston to Singapore started emptying millions of barrels of crude from storage tanks. Investors hailed the drawdowns as the beginning of the end of a two-year supply glut - raising hopes for steadily rising per-barrel prices. It hasn't worked out that way. Now, many of those same storage tanks are filling back up or draining more slowly than investors and oil firms had expected, according to global inventory estimates and more than a dozen oil traders and shipping sources who told Reuters about storage in facilities that do not make their oil volumes public.

The New Offshore Reality

(Photo: Oyvind Hagen, Statoil)

Swedbank’s chief economist, Harald Andreassen, isn’t “too hopeful” about the long-term prospects for the oil price, but then again, “I’m less certain of this than I’ve ever been as an economist,” he told a floating production conference in Oslo. After two-and-half years of oil-price collapse followed by layoffs in the thousands; stacked oil rigs and order freezes for offshore shipping, price insecurity itself is a partial expression of confidence. Beneath some palpable yet halting movements toward recovery in 2017, there’s 2016’s rigorous cost-cutting by, among others, Statoil and its subsea supply chain.

New Subsea Consultancy: 1CS1

Cherry Paton, Innovation Park Estate Manager and 1CSI’s founders, Aleksandra Tomaszek, Chief Operating Officer and Matthew Kennedy, Chief Executive Officer (Photo: 1CS1)

Recently established Aberdeen-based subsea integrity consultancy, 1CSI (1 Consulting Subsea Integrity) has marked the launch of its business with a move into premises at the James Gregory Center in the Aberdeen Innovation Park, Bridge of Don. The company was established in April by Matthew Kennedy and Aleksandra Tomaszek and offers solutions to global subsea challenges. This, includes, but is not limited to, fit-for-purpose assessments of deep water flexible risers through the inspection of concrete coated subsea pipelines, to ROV deployed examination of subsea welds inside offshore wind turbine monopiles.

Shell to Sell Tunisian Gas Assets

Royal Dutch Shell is seeking to sell its gas fields in Tunisia for some $500 million, sources said, as the Anglo-Dutch company pushes forward with its vast disposal programme. The Tunisian assets, accounting for some 65 percent of the North African country's gas production, were acquired as part of Shell's $54 billion take over of BG Group last year. The assets include two offshore gas fields -- Miskar, fully owned by Shell and Hasdrubal, 50 percent owned by Shell -- as well as an onshore production facility. In 2015, the fields produced 30,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, according to BG Group's annual report of the same year.

Keppel on Track to Deliver Rig for Caspian Drilling

Photo credit: Keppel Offshore & Marine

Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd (Keppel O&M) through its subsidiary in Azerbaijan, Caspian Shipyard Company (CSC), is on track to deliver a semisubmersible drilling rig to Caspian Drilling Company Ltd, a subsidiary of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR). The rig was named Heydar Aliyev at a ceremony in Azerbaijan today by the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev. Built to Keppel FELS' proprietary DSSTM 38M design, the rig has been customized for the Caspian Sea's harsh environment condition. It is the first modern semisubmersible to be almost completely built in Azerbaijan.

Halliburton CEO to Retire, Replaced by Miller

Halliburton Co said on Wednesday that Chief Executive Officer Dave Lesar will retire on June 1 and be replaced by Jeff Miller, Lesar's longtime deputy and fellow board member. Lesar will stay on as executive chairman of the world's second-largest oilfield service provider until December 2018, when he reaches the company's mandatory retirement age of 65. The transition, which was expected, comes as Halliburton tries to recover from a two-year oil price downturn that has eroded profit margins and forced the company to lay off thousands of workers.

Semco Wins Order for Culzean Hook-up

Photo: Semco Maritime

Semco Maritime to participate in the preparation (hook-up) of Maersk Oil UK’s new gas field in the U.K. sector of the North Sea when the production units arrive from Singapore in the summer of 2018. The largest order ever for Semco Maritime’s Aberdeen office. Maersk Oil UK has selected Semco Maritime to participate in the installation and preparation (hook-up) of the new gas production field Culzean, which is located 240 kilometers east of the coast of Aberdeen in the U.K. sector of the North Sea. The contract is the largest ever for Semco Maritime’s Aberdeen office.

Growing U.S. Shale Activity Confounds OPEC

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock ? (c) shamtor)

As oilfield workers for Lilis Energy Inc threaded together drill pipes one recent morning in the Permian Basin, a bulldozer cleared sagebrush to make way for the company's fifth well since January. Lilis aims to expand production sevenfold this year in America's most active oilfield. The whir of activity is all the more impressive after the small firm nearly collapsed in late 2015 - amid unrestrained production from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). As per-barrel prices plummeted, Lilis piled on debt and struggled to pay workers. Now - with prices higher after a November OPEC decision to cut output - Lilis can't grow fast enough.

Oil Turns Positive as Market Awaits EIA Data

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Carabay)

Surprise rise in U.S. API crude stocks weighs on prices; investors await U.S. EIA inventory data later on Wednesday. Oil prices strengthened on Wednesday ahead of U.S. crude inventory data that could give investors a clue as to whether an OPEC-led output cut is making progress in reducing the persistent global supply overhang. Brent crude was up 33 cents at $51.98 per barrel by 1100 GMT. U.S. light crude rose 18 cents to $48.84. Both benchmark prices started the day in negative territory after industry data from the American Petroleum Institute (API) estimated that U.S. crude stocks had risen by 882,000 barrels in the week ending May 12 to 523 million barrels.

DNV GL Initiative to Improve Offshore Site Assessments

Photo: DNV GL

DNV GL invites industry partners to start a Joint Industry Project (JIP) for improving the collection and assessment of site conditions data for offshore wind farms. Aiming to increase the efficiency of collecting site conditions, the new JIP will work with stakeholders from across the wind industry. The knowledge generated from the JIP is planned to be ultimately incorporated in a DNV GL recommended practice. The design of an offshore wind farm is dependent on the quality of the calculated site conditions used to derive the design parameters.

Petrobras to Exercise Preferential Rights in Brazil Oil Auctions

State-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA will exercise its preferential rights in two offshore oil auctions scheduled for October, Mining and Energy Minister Fernando Coelho Filho said at an event on Tuesday. The minister did not say where the company, known as Petrobras, would exercise its rights, but he said it would not do so in all of the areas up for auction in the pre-salt region.     (Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier)

Industry Funding to Boost UK Offshore O&G Research

John Underhill (Photo: Heriot-Watt University)

A major funding package for the Institute of Petroleum Engineering (IPE) at Heriot-Watt University will directly support research and training for the future of the industry in U.K. offshore waters. Heriot-Watt’s Chief Scientist, Professor John Underhill, has secured funding of £416,000 (approximately $537,000) from Verus Petroleum, an independent oil company active on the U.K. Continental Shelf (UKCS). The award will support a number of oil and gas related training and Applied Geoscience research activities in IPE including the NERC Center for Doctoral Training (CDT)…

South Africa Mulls First Shale Gas Exploration Licences

South Africa's government may award its first shale gas exploration licences by the end of September, after environmental objections delayed the process, a senior government official said on Monday. The five licence applications under review are for exploration in the semi-arid Karoo basin. Environmentalists criticised plans to work in the sparsely populated region, known for its rugged scenery and home to rare species such as the mountain zebra and riverine rabbit. Royal Dutch Shell, Falcon Oil and Gas and Bundu Gas & Oil are among five firms whose applications were being reviewed by the regulator…

Topaz Resolve Goes to Work in the Mediterranean

Topaz Resolve (Photo: Topaz Energy and Marine)

International offshore support vessel company Topaz Energy and Marine said its multipurpose supply vessel (MPSV) Topaz Resolve has commenced a charter in support of geophysical and geotechnical survey operations in the Mediterranean Sea for a European oil major. Topaz Resolve is operating from Limassol, Cyprus for an initial period of one month. The vessel is a multi-functional ROV, dive and survey vessel and is equipped for deep and shallow water operations, in DP2 or by 4-point mooring. The 50m vessel, which was built in late 2015, is equipped with a 25 metric ton offshore subsea crane.

Shepherd Joins Bibby Offshore's Renewables Team

Dorothy Shepherd (Photo: Bibby Offshore)

Bibby Offshore, a subsea services provider to the oil and gas industry, has appointed Dorothy Shepherd as general manager, renewables. Shepherd joins Bibby Offshore with more than 15 years’ experience in the energy industry. Having spent a significant time at The Crown Estate - a key player in supporting the delivery of energy supply for the U.K. - Shepherd brings with her a wealth of offshore renewables knowledge, including the delivery of new developments and supporting infrastructure. In her new role, Shepherd will be instrumental in the delivery of new business in the renewables sector.

Containerized Control Room Delivered for SSCV Thialf

Photo: ELA Container Offshore

ELA Container Offshore GmbH delivered an offshore office container to Heerema Marine Contractors (HMC), a marine contractor in the international offshore oil and gas industry. The container was placed on board semisubmersible crane vessel (SSCV) Thialf and was used as a control room to operate their anchor winches. The Thialf is HMC's largest SSCV, capable of a tandem lift of 15,600 tons. Its two cranes provide for a depth reach lowering capability as well as a heavy lift capacity to install topsides. This multi-functional dynamic positioned SSCV is customized for the installation of foundations…

Centrica to Boost North Sea Drilling

A typical North Sea Oil Installation (CREDIT: Craig International)

Centrica said it will drill a new production well at its Chestnut oilfield in the North Sea, which was going to be shut later this year. The Chestnut oilfield is off the coast of Aberdeen in Scotland and has been producing oil since 2008 but was only expected to do so for three years. The field produces 4,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day and the additional production well should bring a further 10,000 barrels a day on stream, bringing total daily production to nearly 14,000 barrels a day, Centrica said. The 35 million pound investment will extend the life of the field by at least three years.

Arctic Council Meeting Stirs Hidden Tensions

Photo credit: Arctic Council Secretariat / Linnea Nordström

As foreign ministers from countries with territory in the far North celebrated an agreement on fighting climate change this week, one topic seethed below the surface: growing competition for Arctic resources and sea lanes as the ice melts. Russia, one of eight members of the Arctic Council which includes the United States, Canada and the Nordic countries, has been pouring money and missiles into the Arctic as well as reopening and building bases there. This is bringing its Arctic military presence to the highest level since the 1991 fall of the Soviet Union.

Total Expands Oil Search Offshore West Africa

Total has signed a deal to explore for oil and gas offshore Mauritania, the French company said on Friday, expanding the scope of its search for new fields in the deep waters off West Africa's Atlantic coast. Under an agreement with Mauritania's state-run oil company SMHPM, Total will take a 90 percent operating stake in Block C7, which covers 7,300 square kilometres, and SMHPM will take the remaining 10 percent. The deal comes 10 days after Total announced that it had taken a 90 percent stake in the deepwater Rufisque Offshore Profond Block in neighbouring Senegal, as oil majors show an increasing interest in the largely untapped region.

ACE Winches' Mooring System on the Iron Lady Barge

Photo: ACE Winches

ACE Winches has mobilized a six point mooring system to anchor the Iron Lady Barge being used on the Brent decommissioning project. The equipment, designed and manufactured by ACE Winches at its global headquarters in Turriff, Aberdeenshire is now in situ and being supported by a team of ACE Winches offshore personnel. ACE Winches manufacture a range of standard and bespoke drum winches, available in single or double drum configurations. Drum winches are designed to be utilized for hoisting, deployment, mooring and general pulling applications and, depending on the size and power requirement, can be hydraulically, electrically or pneumatically driven.

Oil Firms, on Track for Biggest Gain in Five Weeks

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Edelweiss)

U.S. oil inventories fell by more than forecast last week; OPEC-led production curbs expected to be extended. Oil prices on Friday were on track for their biggest weekly gain in five weeks, helped by expectations of an extension of OPEC-led output cuts and buoyed by falling U.S. crude inventories. Benchmark Brent was trading 5 cents higher at $50.82 per barrel at 1141 GMT, on target for a 3.5 percent rise on the week. U.S. light crude oil was up 2 cents at $47.85. A larger-than-expected fall last week in U.S. crude inventories <C-STK-T-EIA>…

Caspian Pipeline Eyes Expansion With New Oilfields

The Caspian oil pipeline will boost its capacity this year by some 47 percent thanks to new oilfields in the region including the giant Kashagan deposit in Kazakhstan, the director general of the consortium that owns it, Nikolai Gorban, said on Friday. The plans to boost the oil exports may undermine OPEC-led efforts to cut production of oil in order to reduce bloated global inventories and support sagging oil prices. The Caspian Pipeline Consortium (CPC), the only private large oil pipeline in Kazakhstan and Russia, is wrapping up its $5.4 billion five-year expansion programme this autumn.

Wind Consortium Weighs in on MD Offshore Developments

File Image: a view of offshore wind (CREDIT: Sparrow Group)

The Maryland Public Service Commission Finances Two Offshore Wind Projects. The Business Network For Offshore Wind commends the Maryland Public Service Commission for awarding financing for two offshore wind projects. The Maryland Public Service Commission’s (MD PSC) approval and financing of US Wind and Skipjack Offshore Energy, LLC’s combined 368 MW projects solidify offshore wind as a US industry. Maryland has more than 800 businesses working in and around Baltimore’s ports many of which have potential to provide support for scaling the U.S. offshore wind industry.

ETP: U.S. Drilling Ban Won't Delay Ohio Gasline

File Image: A typical gas pipeline header arrangement. (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) pisotckii)

Completion of the Rover pipeline, the biggest natural gas pipe under construction in the United States, is not expected to be delayed by a U.S. federal order to stop new drilling to install pipe, Energy Transfer Partners LP said on Thursday. The company spilled more than 2 million gallons of drilling fluid - mostly water and clay - in Ohio wetlands in April during construction of Rover, prompting regulators to halt drilling in certain areas. The line, once finished, will have the ability to carry enough gas to supply 15 million U.S. and Canadian homes.

Options Bulls Betting on U.S. Energy Rebound

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) GEAR STD)

Some U.S. equity options traders are betting that the recent rebound in the price of crude oil spells good news for the battered energy sector. The S&P energy index is still down about 9.9 percent this year, making it the second worst-performing sector among S&P's tracking indexes. That contrasts against the broad benchmark S&P 500 stock index, which is up 6.9 percent for the year. Recent trading in the options market, however, shows traders putting on bullish bets in both options on exchange traded funds exposed to the energy market and individual stocks.

Spills Prompt U.S. to Stop ETP's Drill Work on Rover Pipeline

U.S. regulators on Wednesday prohibited Energy Transfer Partners (ETP) LP from new drilling to install pipe along the route of its Rover natural gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to Ontario following drilling fluid spills in a wetland area in Ohio. Concern that the ban was coming helped lift natural gas futures prices on Wednesday, traders said. The drilling ban will remain in place until the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) staff authorizes the company to start again. It does not prevent the company from finishing drilling activities already started or other non-drilling construction work.

Canada's Enbridge Expects Adjusted Profit to Rise on Spectra Deal

Enbridge Inc , Canada's largest pipeline company, said on Thursday it may acquire more assets and forecast a rise in adjusted earnings before interest and taxes this year following its purchase of Spectra Energy Corp. Enbridge said last September it would buy Spectra, a smaller rival then valued at $28 billion, to create the largest energy infrastructure company in North America. The deal, which closed on Feb. 27, highlighted the pressure on pipeline companies to merge as they grapple with over-capacity and sliding tariffs. Calgary, Alberta-based Enbridge…

Total: Brazil Drilling No Risk to Amazon Reef

A French oil firm on Thursday rejected concerns that exploration off Brazil could damage a unique coral reef at the mouth of the Amazon river as it awaits final approval to start drilling. "Drilling activity will not impact the reef system," a spokeswoman for Total told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. The company is working closely with Brazil's environmental enforcement agency (IBAMA) and needs their go ahead before it begins to drill, she said in an email. It was not clear when a final ruling will be issued but Total says it expects to drill exploratory wells this year.

Suncor to Grow Oil Sands as Oil Majors Flee

Even as the world's largest energy companies exit Canada's high-cost oil sands the country's top producer Suncor Energy is lining up its next phase of growth in the world's third largest crude reserves. The preliminary plans for new projects in remote northern Alberta follow a stream of multi-billion dollar deals in which international oil majors sold off oil sands assets to Canadian producers, who are betting technology and economies of scale will make the region competitive with other plays globally. Suncor said on Monday it will file a regulatory application for its 160…

Fire Protection for Offshore Comms Hub

Photo courtesy of SeaRoc Group

A monitoring and voice and data communication solution launched by SeaRoc Group links land-based operations to distant offshore petroleum platforms and wind farms via satellite, fiber and other data services. In order to protect the sensitive and valuable electronics inside these unmanned SeaHubs, an engineered fire detection and suppression system from Sea-Fire Europe was chosen. The mobile SeaHub system can be installed aboard a vessel, platform or even on a remote land-based location, allowing  drill rigs and wind farms to be installed farther offshore than was possible in the past.

New Asset Integrity Management System Launched

(Photo: Bureau Veritas)

Bureau Veritas has launched Veristar AIM 3D asset integrity management system, based on technology partner Dassault Systems’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform. The new solution combines a digital twin of any marine or offshore assets with smart data in a collaborative environment. Veristar AIM 3D will be used in the design, development and implementation of the operational lifecycle, to reflect and predict the condition of any asset, or fleet of assets. The solution supports risk based inspection and condition based maintenance approaches. Veristar AIM 3D provides asset management dashboards for individual ships, rigs or facilities – or for whole fleets.

Energy Island: Europeans Mull North Sea Hub

Image: TenneT

A plan set in motion by three European transmission system operators (TSO) aims to develop mammoth offshore wind farm infrastructure in the North Sea supported by at least one manmade island. First unveiled in June 2016, plans for the North Sea Wind Power Hub project will now press ahead to develop a large offshore renewable European electricity system following the signing of a trilateral agreement by TenneT TSO B.V. (Netherlands), Energinet.dk (Denmark) and TenneT TSO GmbH (Germany) in Brussels on March 23, 2017. Central to the plan is the construction of one or more islands in the shallow water Dogger Bank section of the North Sea where wind conditions are optimal.

Goldman Sachs to Sell 2.1% of DONG Energy

Photo: Dong Energy

Goldman Sachs has launched an accelerated bookbuilt offering to institutional investors of 8.8 million existing shares in Danish utility and offshore wind farm developer Dong Energy, the U.S investment bank said on Monday. The shares are equivalent to 2.1 percent of the existing shares in Dong Energy and are owned by New Energy Investment, which is indirectly owned by Goldman Sachs. Goldman Sachs and Danske Bank are acting as joint global coordinators and reserve the right to close the books at any time. Dong will not receive any proceeds from the transaction.

Hempel: New Coatings for Offshore Structures

Photo: Hempel

Hempel has launched two new advanced coatings specifically developed to protect the vulnerable “splash zone” areas of offshore structures. The “splash zone” is the area of an offshore asset (oil & gas platform or wind turbine, for example) that is just above the waterline and so suffers from the dual impact of atmospheric and immersion-type corrosion; as well as physical damage such as abrasion and impact, especially in areas around boat landings. Launched in Europe today, Hempadur Multistrength 35480 and 35482 are Hempel’s new coatings that will revolutionise the way the “splash zone” is protected.

BP, Kosmos Announce 'major' gas find Offshore Senegal

BP and joint venture partner Kosmos Energy revealed a major gas discovery off Senegal on Monday, adding to other recent finds off the West African coast. Oil majors including BP and Total are investing in the waters of Senegal and Mauritania in the hope of repeating the recent exploration success of smaller players. "Yakaar-1...further confirms our belief that offshore Senegal and Mauritania is a world-class hydrocarbon basin," Bernard Looney, BP Upstream chief executive officer, said. New York-listed Kosmos in 2015 discovered a gas pool in the Tortue 1 exploration well…

CFD Simulation of a Fully Featured Offshore Platform Model

(Photo: Hydrocean)

CFD simulations of offshore oil and gas platforms are used to predict the maximum wind loads acting on the structure of the platform topsides (the upper half of the platform, above sea level and outside the splash zone, including the oil production plant, the accommodation block and any drilling equipment). The wind loads are used as waves and current loads to design the mooring of the structure, and can be significant in specific ocean areas. Because platform topside geometries were traditionally considered too complex to mesh in high detail, CFD simulations relied on simplified, de-featured models.

ECO Affiliates Ink 5-Year Deal with Shell for IMR Vessel

Island Enforcer (Photo: ECO)

Two affiliates of Louisiana-based Edison Chouest Offshore (ECO) have signed a five-year contract with Shell Brazil for light subsea construction, and inspection, maintenance and repair (IMR) services from the M/V Island Enforcer, a 402-ft. subsea installation and construction vessel. According to ECO, the agreement includes a varied list of projects featuring vessel services from ECO affiliate Bram Offshore, and ROV and survey services from C-Innovation. The all-inclusive contract also includes installation, commissioning, inspection, subsea intervention, surveys, testing, bunkering support and material transport.

US Drillers Add Oil Rigs for 16th Week

© chirnoagarazvan / Adobe Stock

U.S. energy firms added oil rigs for a 16th week in a row, extending a drilling recovery into a 12th month even as the pace of those additions has slowed in recent weeks as crude prices have held below $50 a barrel. Drillers added six oil rigs in the week to May 5, bringing the total count up to 703, the most since April 2015, energy services firm Baker Hughes Inc said on Friday. While that is more than double the same week a year ago when there were only 328 active oil rigs, the pace of those additions has declined over the past four weeks to the lowest since the week to March 10. U.S.

Pemex Seeks Refinery Investors, but Who's Buying?

File Image (CREDIT: AdobeStock / (c) Sharrif Che'Lah)

Sweeping energy reforms have turned Mexico into one of the world's most attractive offshore prospects, but one segment is getting no love from U.S. investors: the nation's aging refineries. Efforts by Mexico's state-owned oil company Pemex to attract about $5 billion in capital to help modernize its two largest refineries so far have proved futile, according to two people familiar with the process who declined to be named because they were not authorized to speak publicly. The company is seeking a joint venture partner for its Salina Cruz refinery on the West Coast.

ABS, DSME Pact on Novel FLNG Concept

LNG·LPG carriers. Photo: Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering

ABS signed an agreement with Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering Co. (DSME) to support safety and apply class guidance to a conceptual Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (FLNG) unit. “We are pleased to sign this agreement and work with DSME to support new innovations and technology advancements in the offshore industry,” says ABS Executive Vice President of Global Offshore Ken Richardson. “As gas continues to play an increasingly important role in the global energy mix and industry looks to develop new resources, ABS remains committed to its mission of advancing safety,” Ken added.

African Petroleum Holds Senegal Oil Block Claimed by Total

African Petroleum, an oil firm founded by Romanian-Australian businessman Frank Timis, said in a statement it still owns a licence to explore an oil block off the coast of Senegal that French oil major Total said it bought this week. The claim could set up a battle over potentially lucrative exploration licences just as the poor West African country is preparing to begin oil production after a series of promising discoveries. "The company reiterates its position that it holds a 90 percent operated position in the ROP (Rufisque Offshore Profoud) production sharing agreement," African Petroleum said in a statement on Wednesday.

DONG Energy Settles Platform Dispute

DONG Energy said it has reached a settlement with Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering and Technip over who bears responsibility for construction errors concerning an offshore platform for the idled Hejre field. The settlement clears a major hurdle for the Danish company's plans to divest its oil and gas unit to focus on its growing business of developing offshore wind farms. DONG said in a statement that the agreement will reduce the 2.5 billion Danish crowns ($367 million) of provisions it made in relation to the Hejre field ahead of its listing, which was one of the largest in the world last year.

Martin Joins Costain O&G Team

Tim Martin (Photo: Costain)

Technology-based engineering solutions provider Costain has appointed Tim Martin as Director of Front End & Advisory Services within its oil and gas team. Martin joins Costain from Ramboll, where he was the Managing Director. As a proponent of industry improvement and transformation throughout his 20-year career within the sector, Martin has directed the delivery of multiple innovative solutions for client organizations and is a Member of the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA) Asset Stewardship Board. His achievements include a 50-60 percent CAPEX reduction for a particular UKCS small pool tie back challenge…

Statoil Profit Jumps on International Ops Growth

File Image: A typical Statoil offshore installation.

First-quarter operating profit $3.3 bln is firm's first international profit since third-quarter of 2014. Statoil reported a far bigger jump in first-quarter operating profit than expected on Thursday, helped by the first profit from the Norwegian company's international operations since 2014 and higher oil prices. Like rivals such as Royal Dutch Shell, the majority state-owned oil and gas company benefited from a 55 percent increase in crude prices from the same period a year ago and its cost-cutting efforts. Statoil's overall adjusted operating profit came in at $3.3 billion, well above the $2.67 billion expected by analysts and $857 million a year earlier.

Slumping Oilfield Services Sector bets on Offshore Tech

File Image: CREDIT Global Marine Systems

The oil industry's top equipment and services suppliers this week are hawking vastly cheaper ways of designing and equipping subsea wells, aiming to slash the cost of offshore projects to compete with the faster-moving shale industry. At the Offshore Technology Conference, the industry's annual gathering of floating rig and subsea well suppliers, sales pitches this year are all about cost savings and faster time to first production. With U.S. crude priced under $50 a barrel, offshore projects with their typically high costs and long-lead times are now borrowing from leaner shale in the competition for oil company investment.

ABS Approves Innovative Drillship Design

Photo:  Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc

ABS is working with industry to improve efficiencies in offshore development. “ABS is working on multiple fronts to help the offshore industry find efficiencies and streamline operations,” says ABS Executive Vice President for Global Offshore Ken Richardson. “We are coordinating efforts for standardization and working one-on-one with companies that are changing the way offshore projects are executed,” he added. Recent work with Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc. on the company’s Floating Factory drillship concept is an example of how ABS is working with drilling contractors, in this case, approving the basic design for this innovative concept.