Saturday, October 21, 2017

Alaska Eyes Foreign Capital to Jump-start Energy Projects

Alaska is pursuing foreign investors for its oil and gas industry, hoping to advance recent discoveries while struggling to compete with lower-cost shale projects and reverse a decades-long output decline. Sovereign wealth funds, banks and state-owned energy companies have met with Alaskan officials, John Hendrix, chief energy adviser to Alaska Governor Bill Walker said in an interview. China Investment Corp (CIC) and state-owned Chinese energy company Sinopec held talks with state officials last month, he said. Alaskan crude production has fallen by three-quarters since 1988…

Vattenfall Building Denmark's Largest Offshore Wind Farm

Swedish state-owned Vattenfall said on Friday it had started construction on Denmark's largest offshore wind farm in the North Sea, able to power 425,000 households. The 406 MW Horns Rev 3 wind farm will consist of 49 8.3 MW-turbines delivered by MHI Vestas, a joint venture between Vestas and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries. "Horns Rev 3 is the first of three offshore farms that Vattenfall will construct in Denmark in the coming years," said head of Vattenfall's wind division Gunnar Groebler. The construction work will take place in North Sea, 34 km off Denmark's west coast and will stretch over 88 square kilometers.

Chevron Approves New Tech in North Sea

File Image: A typical North Sea installation (CREDIT: Craig Int'l)

U.S. oil major Chevron has approved an investment to increase output from its Captain oilfield by using a new water-injection technology for the first time in the North Sea, the company said on Friday. Six long-reach horizontal wells will be drilled in the 20-year-old field, around 90 miles northeast of Aberdeen. They are expected to raise the recovery rate 5 to 7 percent. Polymerised water will be injected into the field's oil reservoir, a new technique to tap oil reserves that are hard to reach with conventional drilling methods. It will be the first time the technology has been applied on this scale in the North Sea.

Aker Solutions' Shares Surge, Recovery in Sight

Shares of Norwegian oil services company Aker Solutions surged on Friday on higher than expected quarterly earnings, a better outlook and a new contract, signalling the end of a three-year downturn in its markets. The company, controlled by Norwegian billionaire investor Kjell Inge Roekke, said it saw signs of recovery, particularly offshore Norway and in so-called brownfield project portfolios, which aim to improve output from existing fields. "Clients are looking into their assets and projects to see that they can lower the break-even costs," Aker Solutions Chief Executive Luis Araujo told Reuters.

Schlumberger, Baker Hughes Warn of N. America Slowdown

Schlumberger Ltd and Baker Hughes, the world's top two oilfield services firms, warned on Friday of a slowdown in North America and a challenging year ahead as crude oil prices stay volatile. Schlumberger said investments in North America were moderating as energy companies increasingly shied away from chasing higher production at the cost of financial returns. "Oil prices remain volatile and, as a result, our customers remain cautious," Baker Hughes Chief Executive Lorenzo Simonelli said. The company, in its first report to include GE Co's oil and gas business since their merger, reported a quarterly profit that missed analysts estimates by a wide margin.

Chevron Auspends Drilling Activity in Kurdistan

Chevron has temporarily suspended oil and gas drilling activity in Iraqi Kurdistan, the company said on Thursday, in the latest setback to the region following recent unrest.   "Chevron has decided to temporarily suspend its operations," a company spokeswoman said in a statement.   In September, Chevron drilled its first exploration well in Iraqi Kurdistan after a two-year break.   "We remain in regular contact with the Kurdistan Regional Government. We look forward to resuming our operations as soon as conditions permit." (Reporting by Dmitry Zhdannikov and Ron Bousso; Editing by Mark Potter)

SEA-3250-LT: Innovation in Offshore Wind Installations

The SEA-3250-LT is a dedicated low CAPEX wind turbine installation solution for the emerging U.S. offshore wind market. (Image: GustoMSC)

GustoMSC is targeting the burgeoning U.S. offshore wind energy market with an innovative jack-up design that it claims will help to reduce risk and increase efficiency when installing units offshore: the SEA-3250-LT installation jack-up. Designed to be a safe, stable and solid platform to lift these heavy, delicate components to heights of more than 426 ft (130 m) in an area where technicians are performing assembly tasks at the same time. GustoMSC plays a pioneering role in the offshore wind installation market, delivering designs and equipment for a wide range of jack-up and other vessels responsible for close to 80 percent of the installations within this market.

ARO Drilling Commences Operations

ARO Drilling, a 50/50 joint venture between Rowan Companies plc and the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco), commenced operations on October 17, 2017. As part of the initial startup of ARO Drilling, Rowan and Saudi Aramco contributed equal amounts of cash into the joint venture. Following these contributions, Rowan sold three of its jack-up drilling rigs to ARO Drilling, including the J.P. Bussell, which was previously idle, and Saudi Aramco sold one of its jack-up drilling rigs to ARO Drilling. Following the purchase of these drilling rigs…

Double On-site Seal Repair on Offshore Platform in Mexico

Photo: Hydrex

In August a team of Hydrex divers traveled to Veracruz, Mexico for a stern tube seal repair. The operation consisted of the underwater replacement of the damaged seals on both assemblies of a semi-submersible offshore platform. The unit left the field after its project was finished and was berthed alongside to have repair and maintenance work carried out without docking. We were asked to perform the stern tube seal repairs during the available window of opportunity. After the diving team performed a thorough underwater inspection of the assembly they installed on of our flexible mobdocks.

World’s First Floating Wind Farm Starts Production

The Hywind Scotland floating wind farm. (Photo: Øyvind Gravås / Woldcam - Statoil ASA)

The world's first offshore floating wind farm has started to deliver electricity to the Scottish grid, providing power to approximately 20,000 households. The 30MW Hywind Scotland wind farm, operated by Statoil in partnership with Masdar 25 kilometers offshore Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, was officially opened today by First Minister of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon. “This marks an exciting development for renewable energy in Scotland,” First Minister Sturgeon said. “The learnings from Hywind Scotland will pave the way for new global market opportunities for floating offshore wind energy.

DNV GL, Taiwan Pact for Offshore Wind

Photo: DNV GL

DNV GL, the world’s largest resource of independent energy experts and certification body, has signed an agreement with leading Taiwanese stakeholders to collaborate on offshore wind testing and certification to drive the expansion and facilitate the development of offshore wind in Taiwan. The regulations for certification will be headed by the Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection since it has been designated by the highest authority in Taiwan. Taiwan is one of the rising offshore wind markets in the world. With its long-term visibility in terms of policy, financial support and development, Taiwan is Asia’s second biggest offshore wind market after China.

Newest Outpost for US Crude Exports: India

© sedi78 / Adobe Stock

India is set to emerge as a key market for American crude exports in coming months, as refineries in that country are ramping up "test" purchases of U.S. grades to diversify their imports. U.S. exports recently set a weekly record with nearly 2 million barrels of crude a day sent overseas. But shipments to India have been rare, with just a few deliveries since the U.S. lifted its ban on crude exports in late 2015. Indian refineries are starting to increase purchases as the country seeks to secure more supply from outside the Middle East. Refiners are testing both U.S. sweet and sour crudes in their facilities, a common practice when importing crude from new sources.

Rigdon Named Interim CEO at Tidewater

Larry Rigdon

Larry T. Rigdon will serve as interim president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Tidewater Inc. while a search committee seeks a permanent successor to Jeffrey M. Platt, who has elected to retire from his role as director, president and CEO of offshore service vessels (OSV) owner and operator effective October 15, 2017. “Having successfully completed the financial restructuring of Tidewater at the end of July, which positioned the company to weather current industry conditions and achieve success in the future, the board and I have agreed that the time is appropriate to transition the leadership of the company…

Oil Rises as Kirkuk-Iraqi Fighting Escalates

Iraq forces move into oil-rich, Kurdish-held Kirkuk. Oil markets jumped on Monday as Iraqi forces entered the oil city of Kirkuk, taking territory from Kurdish fighters and raising concerns over exports from OPEC's second-largest producer. Iraq launched the operation in the multi-ethnic region on Sunday as the crisis between Baghdad and the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) escalated. Tensions have been building since the KRG voted for independence in a Sept. 25 referendum. Brent crude futures were at $58.10 per barrel at 1053 GMT, up 93 cents from the previous close. U.S. WTI crude was at $52.14 per barrel, up 69 cents.

Advanced Monitoring Proves Its Capabilities Offshore

(Photo: RED Engineering)

New monitoring technology developed by RED Engineering has been used for the first time to improve accuracy, speed and safety during the installation of jacket foundations for wind turbines at the Beatrice Offshore Wind Farm Ltd project in the Moray Firth, Scotland. The development by the North East-based firm of engineers features remote proximity sensors to confirm the correct engagement of an internal lifting tool (ILT) in use by Seaway Heavy Lifting, a Subsea 7 company. These are connected to a remote monitoring system providing improved control of the lifting tool and confirming correct engagement.

$800mln Gas Pipeline Proposed as Argentina Preps for Shale Boom

Gas transporter TGS, controlled by Pampa Energía, has proposed an $800 million pipeline and gas treatment plant in Argentina's Vaca Muerta shale fields, a company source said, aiming to address a key barrier to increasing production. The project, subject to approval by the government of Neuquen province, could be built in a year and a half and would transport gas produced by companies including state-run YPF SA , Tecpetrol, Dow Argentina and Exxon Mobil Corp , the source said. Argentina's President Mauricio Macri has made attracting investment to ramp up natural gas production a priority of his government, which is trying to end reliance on costly energy imports.

Bids Close on Lebanon Offshore Energy Blocks

Lebanon's energy minister Cesar Abi Khalil on Thursday said a tender had closed on a first round of offshore energy blocks, without saying how many companies had bid. It will take years for revenue from any of the blocks to start flowing to the country, he said in a televised news conference. "The first licensing round for oil exploration closed," he said. The country's petroleum authority and the cabinet will evaluate the bids, he added. Lebanon relaunched the licensing round for five offshore blocks (1,4,8,9 and 10) in January after a three-year delay due to political paralysis. It extended the bid deadline in September.

Innogy Issues $1 Bln Bond to Fund Wind Farms

© Terrance Emerson / Adobe Stock

Innogy, Germany's largest energy group, on Thursday issued a 850 million euros ($1.01 billion) corporate green bond to refinance wind power projects in Europe, it said. Proceeds of the bond, which has a 10-year maturity, will be used to refinance four offshore wind farms in Britain and Germany as well as an onshore wind farm in the Netherlands that is either under construction or already operating. The bond was met with "strong interest from investors and was oversubscribed several times", Innogy said. Innogy, in which utility RWE holds a 76.8 percent stake, on Wednesday said it bought the rest of British offshore wind project Triton Knoll from Norway's Statkraft.

FLNG Hilli Episeyo Departs Singapore Early

Golar LNG Limited said today that its floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) vessel Hilli Episeyo departed Singapore for Cameroon earlier than anticipated, leaving at 10 a.m. local time on October 12. Hilli Episeyo was scheduled to leave Singapore between October 15 and October 20, but Golar LNG said a decision was made to complete LNG bunkering in Cameroon rather than in Singapore. The voyage to Cameroon is expected to take between 32 and 40 days. The world’s first FLNG conversion, Hilli Episeyo was converted from a 1970s-built LNG carrier by Keppel Shipyard. The vessel will go to work offshore Kribi, Cameroon for Société Nationale des Hydrocarbures and Perenco Cameroon.

Norway Remains Among World's Top 10 Places to Discover Oil

© h368k742 / Adobe Stock

Norway remains among the top 10 places to find oil worlwide, with the Arctic region still having much potential despite recent disappointing exploration results, consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie said on Thursday. Earlier this week Norway's Statoil reported yet another dry well in the Barents sea, some 100 kilometres northwest of the Johan Castberg discovery. However, the firm said it would continue its exploration campaign in the area next year. "Exploration has been very disappointing over the few past years, the Barents hasn't lived up to expectations.

BP, SOCAR to Ink Caspian Sea Exploration Deal

Azeri state energy company SOCAR plans to sign a production-sharing agreement with BP to jointly explore prospects in a new block, D-230, in the North Absheron basin of the Caspian Sea before the end of 2017, a source at SOCAR said on Thursday. BP and SOCAR signed a memorandum of understanding on joint exploration of this block in May 2016 in a move that reflected efforts by SOCAR and foreign companies to make new discoveries in the oil-rich country. "Participants of the deal will each have 50 percent of shares in the agreement," the source, who did not want to be named, told Reuters.

GMG Acquires Fugro’s Trenching, Cable Laying Business

(Photo: Global Marine Group)

Global Marine Group (GMG) will acquire Fugro’s trenching and cable laying business in exchange for an equity stake of around 24 percent in the combined business valued at $65 million, and a one year secured vendor loan of $ 7.5 million. Fugro said it will realize a gain on this transaction, valued at approximately $73 million. GMG is a supplier of subsea cable installation and maintenance services in the telecoms, offshore renewables, power and oil and gas market segments. The acquisition of Fugro’s trenching and cable laying business provides added high-end capabilities that strengthen its service offering.

Aker BP Wins Approval for Gas Lift at Tambar

Norway's oil and gas watchdog has approved Aker BP's plans to modify facilities at the Tambar oilfield to support North Sea oil production it said on Thursday. The approved modification includes installation of a gas lift module to inject natural gas into wells to help to produce oil from the reservoir. "The gas lift is being installed because the reservoir pressure at Tambar is no longer sufficient to ensure satisfactory production," Norway's Petroleum safety authority said in a statement. In March, the Tambar licence partners agreed to invest about 1.7 billion Norwegian crowns ($215 million) to extend the field's lifetime by 10 years until 2028.

Total Reinforces its Exploration in West Africa

Map: Total

Total and the National Office of Petroleum of Guinea (ONAP) signed a Technical Evaluation Agreement to study deep and ultra deep offshore areas located off the coast of Guinea Conakry, covering approximately 55,000 square kilometers. “By taking this position on a new under-explored area, Total pursues its exploration strategy targeting deep offshore prospective basins,” declared Kevin McLachlan, Senior Vice President Exploration for Exploration & Production at Total. “Therefore, Total has the opportunity to evaluate a very large area, located in an extension of the prolific Mauritania/Senegal basin where we already are.

Op/Ed: ASTRO Act Shoots For the Stars

Randall Luthi (Photo: NOIA)

National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) president Randall Luthi weighs in after the House Natural Resources Committee held a hearing on offshore development and introduced the Accessing Strategy Resources Offshore (ASTRO) Act. Today’s hearing was a slam dunk by the House Natural Resources Committee. Not only did the Committee bring in experts and stakeholders with their own unique offshore perspectives to the hearing, the Committee took a bold step in introducing the forward thinking ASTRO Act. By opening up the potential for hundreds…

Most US Oil Execs See Prices below $60/Barrel through 2018

Nearly two-thirds of U.S. oil executives see crude oil prices remaining below $60 per barrel through 2018 and not hitting $70 until at least the next decade, according to a survey published on Wednesday by consultancy Deloitte Services LP. The survey, based on a poll of 250 executives at companies that produce, transport and refine oil and natural gas, reflects a shift from last year when many respondents forecast commodity prices would rise and capital spending budgets grow. U.S. oil prices fell slightly on Wednesday to $50.79 per barrel.

Innogy Becomes Sole Owner of Triton Knoll Wind Project

File Image: offshore wind operations in progress (CREDIT: CWind)

Innogy buys 50 pct stake from Statkraft; Triton Knoll will cost about 2 billion pounds. Innogy, Germany's largest energy group, became the sole owner of a 2 billion pound ($2.64 billion) British offshore wind farm project after buying out Norway's Statkraft, it said, adding the final ownership structure could still change. The purchase of a 50-percent stake in Triton Knoll for an undisclosed sum follows state-owned Statkraft's strategic move to no longer invest in offshore wind power projects to free up cash to be able to pay a full dividend.

Turkey to Drill for Oil and Gas in Mediterranean

Turkey will carry out its first hydrocarbon drilling in the Mediterranean later this year and its first deep drilling in 2018, Energy Minister Berat Albayrak said on Wednesday.   Albayrak said Turkey aimed to open wells in Turkish and Cypriot waters, and drilling would also take place in the Black Sea.   Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu 

UK to Provide 557 mln stg Funding for Renewables

File Image: CREDIT Blount Boats

The British government confirmed on Wednesday up to 557 million pounds ($734 million) of funding for the next clean electricity auctions for less-established renewables. The next so-called contracts-for-difference (CfD) auction will take place in spring 2019, the government said in a statement but has not yet confirmed how much will be available for that auction. Less-established renewables include offshore wind, biomass, energy-from-waste technologies and some combined heat and power projects, a government spokesman said. Under the CfD scheme…

Heavy Lift: Shell’s Appomattox Hull Delivered to Texas

(Photo: COSCO)

COSCO SHIPPING Specialized Carriers Co., Ltd. vessel M/V Xin Guang Hua delivered Shell’s 40,335mt Appomattox hull from Geoje, South Korea to Ingleside, Texas on October 5, following nearly four years of work with Shell Offshore Inc to prepare for the sailing   The Appomattox hull is the largest and heaviest cargo transported to date by COSCO’s fleet of semi-submersible heavy lift vessels.   “We are very proud to have worked closely with Shell and be part of the Appomattox project’s overall success,” said Josh Wilson, V.P. Business Development for COSCO SHIPPING Heavy Transport.

DNV GL Acquires ComputIT

Are F. Tjønn, CEO, DNV GL - Software (Photo: DNV GL)

DNV GL said it has acquired ComputIT, a specialist independent company for Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software and R&D. ComputIT develops unique high-end technology for simulating fires, explosions and gas dispersion. “This acquisition brings us world-leading capabilities in the CFD domain,” says Are F. Tjønn, CEO, DNV GL - Software. With its roots in the offshore sector, ComputIT has also served onshore oil and gas, power generation, chemical, transport, maritime, and construction industries. It has been engaged by governmental bodies for investigation of fire accidents. ComputIT uses scientifically based models to solve industrial problems.

Cairn Oil and Gas to Invest $4.6 bln in New Exploration

Cairn Oil and Gas, part of Vedanta Ltd, will invest 300 billion rupees ($4.6 billion) in exploration projects off India's east coast and in the onshore fields of Barmer in the west, its acting CEO said. The company expects approvals to be in place by the end of October, Sudhir Mathur told Reuters on the sidelines of the India Energy Forum in New Delhi, as Cairn undertakes a fresh investment plan after the extension of its production contract until 2030. No debt will be raised for the investment, Mathur said, adding that the money will be spent over a period of three to four years.

Ampelmann Gangway System Increases Operational Efficiencies

Photo: Ampelmann

Ampelmann has enhanced its existing E1000 gangway transfer system to speed up conversion of its gangway from personnel to cargo mode from at least ten minutes to less than one minute, providing greater operational efficiencies. The innovative and adaptable E1000 motion compensated access system can transform from a gangway into a crane boom. It is 30 meters in length and is capable of safely transferring people and up to 1,000 kilograms of cargo in rough sea states in wave heights up to 4.5 metres. The enhanced, automated system now employs remote-controlled hydraulic pin pushers to fixate the gangway booms in less than one minute with a single button.

Gazprom Neft: Work Restarted on Prirazlomnoye Platform

Russia's Gazprom Neft, the oil arm of state gas producer Gazprom, restarted work on its Arctic offshore platform Prirazlomnoye on Oct 5 after three months of maintenance, a company executive told Reuters on Monday. Andrey Patrushev was talking to Reuters on the sidelines of the India Energy Forum by Ceraweek. Prirazlomnoye field is an Arctic offshore oilfield located in the Pechora Sea.   Reporting by Neha Dasgupta

Borr Drilling Deal Could Lead to Mexico Contracts

Borr Drilling's acquisition of nine jack-up rigs from Singapore's PPL shipyard could provide it a competitive edge in seeking contracts off Mexico, Danske Bank analysts said. The company has successfully raised $650 million to partly finance the $1.3 billion deal with Sembcorp Marine Ltd , a unit of PPL Shipyard Pte, by issuing 162.5 million new shares via private placement, the company said on Monday. He added the company will consider acquiring more rigs, "if the price is good", but had no immediate plans to do so.

Statoil Discovers Oil in Verbier Sidetrack

The Transocean Spitsbergen drilling rig. (Photo: Kenneth Engelsvold)

Statoil and partners have made an oil discovery in the Verbier sidetrack well in the outer Moray Firth on the UK Continental Shelf, proving a minimum of 25 million recoverable barrels of oil in the immediate vicinity of the wellbore. The preliminary results suggest the discovery could range anywhere between 25 and 130 million barrels of oil. The partnership will continue to assess the data and plan further appraisal to determine the exact size of the discovery. The partnership will also seek to determine the commerciality of the discovery in addition to maturing additional opportunities within the P2170 licence.

NorSea Opens New MGO Facility in Peterhead

Photo: NorSea Group

NorSea Group UK (Ltd) has completed Phase I of its multi-million dollar investment at its Shore Base within Peterhead Port with the opening of a new custom-built Marine Gas Oil (MGO) facility on Smith Quay. Two MGO tanks, which hold a combined total of 3000 cu. m.  of fuel, are now operational. This represents an expansion in the range of services currently provided directly to clients by NorSea Group at Peterhead as project support and supply vessels can now be fuelled directly at the quay. Walter Robertson, Managing Director of NorSea Group, said: “This investment delivers a much needed fuelling option for vessels supporting offshore activities.

Statoil to Drill in Arctic Despite Previous Disappointments

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

Statoil's exploration campaign in the Barents Sea was disappointing this year, but the company has firm plans to drill another five wells there in 2018, a spokesman said on Monday. Statoil's last Barents well of 2017, at Koigen Central some 100 kilometres northwest of the Johan Castberg discovery, failed to find hydrocarbons, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said earlier. In five exploration wells drilled by Statoil in the Barents Sea this year, the company made only one small oil discovery. "This year's campaign didn't give the results we have hoped for in terms of having new standalone developments…

Statoil: UK Exploration Wells Disappoint

Statoil's exploration campaign off Britain yielded one discovery, one dry well and one non-commercial discovery this year, the company said on Monday. Results of the Mariner Segment 9 and Jock Scott wells were disappointing, while the third, a sidetrack to Statoil's Verbier well in the outer Moray Firth, proved at least 25 million barrels of oil. "Whilst the results of the other two exploration wells were disappointing, we are convinced of the remaining, high-value potential on the UK continental shelf," Jenny Morris, Statoil's vice president for UK exploration, said in a statement.

Chevron Starts LNG Output at Wheatstone Project

Wheatstone Project in Western Australia. Photo: Chevron Corporation.

Chevron Corporation announced it has started producing liquefied natural gas (LNG) at the Wheatstone Project in Western Australia. The first cargo is on track to be shipped in the coming weeks. “First LNG production is a significant milestone and is a credit to our partners, contractors and the many thousands of people who collaborated to deliver this legacy asset,” said Chevron Chairman and CEO John Watson. At full capacity, the Wheatstone Project’s two train LNG facility will supply 8.9 million metric tons per year of LNG for export to customers in Asia.

Borr Drilling in USD 1.3bln Sembcorp Deal

Photo: Sembcorp Marine Ltd

Singapore-based Sembcorp Marine said its wholly-owned subsidiary PPL Shipyard (PPLS) has agreed to sell nine Pacific Class 400 jackup drilling rigs to Borr Drilling and its subsidiaries for a total of US$1.3 billion. It will also be entitled to a market-based fee, based on an uplift in value of the rigs sold. Under the terms of the Agreements, which is subject to conditions precedent being met by both parties, Borr Drilling will take delivery of the nine jackup rigs progressively over a 14-month period, from 4Q 2017 to 1Q 2019. Borr Drilling will make an upfront down payment of about US$500 million.

Ensco Completes Acquisition of Atwood Oceanics

Photo: Ensco

Ensco plc announced today that Ensco shareholders voted to approve the allotment and issuance of Ensco Class A ordinary shares to shareholders of Atwood Oceanics in connection with the all-stock acquisition of Atwood at the Company’s general meeting of shareholders on 5 October 2017. The final results of the general meeting of shareholders held today indicate that 65% of the shares cast at the meeting voted in favor of this proposal. Carl Trowell, Ensco’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are extremely pleased that Ensco shareholders recognized the strategic and financial merits of our combination with Atwood.

Randgrid FSO Begins Gina Krog Field Contract

Image of Randgrid FSO by Teekay Corporation

Teekay Offshore Partners announced the Randgrid FSO, which was converted from one of the Partnership’s shuttle tankers at Sembcorp’s Sembawang shipyard in Singapore, has commenced its charter contract with Statoil ASA (Statoil) on the Gina Krog oil and gas field in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. “Today marks a significant milestone in Teekay Offshore’s FSO franchise with the start-up of our largest FSO project to-date,” commented Ingvild Sæther, President and CEO of Teekay Offshore Group Ltd. Teekay Offshore Partners L.P. is an international provider of marine transportation…

Ecuador to Offer Oil Block Terms in January

Ecuador will offer oil exploration and production blocks in January under new contract terms that it expects will attract more interest and allow the OPEC-member country to compete with its neighbors for foreign investment, the oil minister said. The new terms will allow producers to be paid in oil and enable them to export or sell the barrels to local refineries, said Carlos Perez at a conference at Rice University in Houston on Friday. "Ecuador needs to be able to compete now that Brazil and Colombia have changed their contract terms to encourage foreign investment," he said.

NOIA Appoints Four to BoD

Martin Stauble

National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) Chairman David Welch has appointed four new members to the association’s Board of Directors. The appointments were announced today during NOIA’s fall meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where the association is commemorating 45 years of commitment to America’s offshore energy industry. Today, the oil and gas industry, long centered in the Gulf of Mexico, produces 17% of America’s domestic oil and 5% of our domestic natural gas, while off the coast of Rhode Island, America’s first offshore wind farm is providing energy to residents and businesses on Block Island.

U.S. Oil Drillers Cut Rigs for 4th Week in Five

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

The U.S. oil rig count fell for a fourth time in the last five weeks as a 14-month drilling recovery stalled as energy firms reduced spending plans in response to recent crude price declines. The oil rig count fell by two to 748 in the week to Oct. 6, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said in its closely followed report on Friday. The rig count, an early indicator of future output, is much higher than a year ago when only 428 rigs were active after energy companies boosted spending plans earlier in the year in anticipation of higher crude prices in coming months. U.S.

Producers Gain Breathing Room to Borrow Amid Oil's Uptick

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

U.S. oil and gas producers have gained more flexibility to borrow money as crude prices have modestly rebounded, according to a survey of the companies, lenders and others released on Friday. Greater room to borrow means energy producers are under less immediate pressure to cut costs or output. Only 26 percent of energy producers with loans are likely to see a decrease this fall in their borrowing bases, according to the survey by Dallas-based law firm Haynes and Boone. Borrowing base redeterminations are a measure that lenders use to determine available credit according to property value. A year ago, the same survey showed 41 percent were expected to see a decline.

ConocoPhillips Withdraws Workers From GoM Ahead of Nate

ConocoPhillips said on Friday it is evacuating non-essential personnel from its Magnolia oil platform in the central Gulf of Mexico ahead of Tropical Storm Nate. It joined other oil companies that have reduced staff or curtailed production on offshore platforms over the past day. Nate is expected to move up the central Gulf of Mexico and become a Category 1 hurricane before striking the U.S. Gulf Coast late Saturday or Sunday.   Reporting by Ernest Scheyder

Rovco Joins NVIDIA Inception Program

Becoming a NVIDIA member will allow Rovco to enhance its 3D reconstruction capabilities and inspection techniques. Picture – 3D reconstruction of jacket structure. (Photo: Rovco)

UK-based subsea company Rovco has announced plans to take artificial intelligence (AI) to new depths after being selected to join the NVIDIA Inception Program. Designed to nurture start-ups that are revolutionizing industries with advances in AI and data science, the virtual incubator program supports members overcome critical stages of product development, prototyping, and deployment. Being selected by NVIDIA will see Rovco benefit from hardware grants, marketing support and training to aid the development of the firm’s range of underwater robotics and subsea inspection techniques.

T/S Nate Kills 22 in Central America, Bears Down on U.S. GoM

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

Tropical Storm Nate killed at least 22 people in Central America on Thursday as it pummeled the region with heavy rain while heading toward Mexico's Caribbean resorts and the U.S. Gulf Coast, where it could strike as a hurricane this weekend. In Nicaragua, at least 11 people died, seven others were reported missing and thousands had to evacuate homes because of flooding, said the country's vice president Rosario Murillo. Emergency officials in Costa Rica reported that at least eight people were killed due to the lashing rain, including two children. Another 17 people were missing, while more than 7,000 had to take refuge from Nate in shelters, authorities said.

U.S. GoM Energy Producers Evacuating Ahead of T/S Nate

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

Oil and natural gas producers began evacuating staff at U.S. Gulf of Mexico platforms on Thursday ahead of Tropical Storm Nate, the second storm in as many months to threaten Gulf Coast oil and refining facilities. Nate, which has already killed three people in Costa Rica, according to local authorities, is forecast to scrape past Honduras and Mexico, enter the Gulf and strengthen into a hurricane before making landfall early on Sunday in Louisiana, near several major refineries. That path takes it through an area populated by offshore oil and natural gas platforms, which pumps more than 1.6 million barrels of crude per day, about 17 percent of U.S.

Saudi Aramco to Boost Turnkey Drilling Contracts

Saudi Aramco plans to increase turnkey drilling contracts as part of a strategy to boost collaboration with major oilfield service providers, four industry sources said. Aramco floated two tenders to renew work at the South Ghawar field; work that used to be conducted by Halliburton and in Udhailiyah for gas, work that was performed by Schlumberger . A third tender for a lump-sump turnkey contract (LSTK) is expected to be floated later for work at Abu Hadriya, Fadhili and Khursaniyah fields. "This is the new way of doing business, increasing LSTK…

No Bidders for Tie-up in Ayin-Batsil Offshore Oil Field

There were no bidders in an auction to partner with Mexican national oil company Pemex on its offshore Ayin-Batsil project, the industry regulator said on Wednesday, in a setback for the opening of the country's energy sector to private capital. Industry analysts had seen Ayin-Batsil as the most attractive of the three areas on the block on Wednesday. The results of the other two blocks are due to be announced later. The auction is only the second offering of a joint venture between Pemex and equity partners since a sweeping energy opening…

Statoil Takes First Bite of Solar Market

(Photo: Scatec Solar)

Norway's Statoil is taking its first step into the solar sector on Wednesday, partnering up with Oslo-listed renewable energy firm Scatec Solar in a joint venture aiming to build several large-scale solar plants in Brazil. Bruised by pressure on oil prices over the last two years, European oil companies have been intensifying their expansion into renewable energy to seek new sources of revenue. With a 40-percent share in Scatec's construction-ready 162 megawatt Apodi farm and a 50-percent share in the project execution company, Statoil adds to a renewable energy portfolio that until now has consisted mainly of offshore wind projects.

Offshore Rig Firms See End to Historic Downturn

Aker BP recently awarded a contract worth up to $68 million to Odfjell Drilling for the lease of the semi-submersible drilling rig Deepsea Stavanger in the Norwegian Sea and the Barnts Sea (Photo: Aker BP)

Demand for offshore rig rental globally is starting to recover from its worst ever downturn, led by oil firms' growing demand for harsh-environment exploration and triggering multi-billion dollar tie-ups among drillers hoping to profit, executives said. While the 2014-2016 oil price crash caused firms to cut exploration budgets, ending a boom in rig demand and bankrupting many owners, energy companies are now seeking to replenish their hydrocarbon reserves. The nascent demand for harsh-environment rigs, particularly for North Sea drilling…

Drydocks World Takes on FPSO Aoka Mizu Projects

His Excellency Abdulrahman Al Saleh Chairman of Drydocks World and Mr. Hugo Heerema, President & CEO of Bluewater (Photo: Bluewater Energy Services)

Drydocks World, a marine, onshore and offshore service provider to the oil, gas and renewable energy sectors, has signed an agreement for two new projects with Bluewater Energy Services B.V. and end client Hurricane Energy plc. Building on Drydocks World’s track record of 32 conversions and six turrets, the yard will now undertake a repair, life extension and upgrade project on Floating Production Storage & Offloading (FPSO) vessel Aoka Mizu, which will be deployed in the Lancaster Field West of the Shetlands after completion. Drydocks World will also carry out the fabrication of an over 1…

New MD Set to Scale Up Operations for ClearWELL

Alasdair Fergusson (Photo: ClearWELL Oilfield Solutions)

Flow assurance and production optimization specialist, ClearWELL Oilfield Solutions, has appointed a managing director as the company looks to increase its international footprint. Alasdair Fergusson brings more than 25 years of oilfield management and marketing experience to ClearWELL, having worked for major service companies in Europe and the Middle East. Most recently he held the Paris-based position of Business Manager Europe and Africa, Production Technologies at Schlumberger’s M-I SWACO, where he led and grew business capability in new markets.

Oil Prices Ease as Speculators Grow Impatient

Oil eased on Tuesday, as speculators took profits on some large positions that have built up in the last couple of weeks, but the prospect of gradually ebbing oversupply lent support. December Brent crude futures were down 27 cents at $55.85 a barrel at 1315 GMT, having lost almost 2.5 percent on Monday. U.S. crude futures fell 24 cents to $50.34. Brent notched up a third-quarter gain of about 20 percent, the biggest increase for that quarter since 2004, and traded as high as $59.49 last week, but has since fallen about 6 percent. Money managers have pushed their bullish bets on the Brent crude market to a record high in the last week…

Safety Zone Management Assurance for Offshore Installations

Michael Cowlam (Photo: Seacroft Marine)

An Aberdeen-based maritime specialist has launched 500m Zone Management assurance and auditing for offshore Installations following the success of its training courses for offshore installation personnel to help address safety concerns. Seacroft Marine Consultants has developed a new assurance process to continue to monitor operational safety standards after providing initial training to help installations manage ship movements when they come close to platforms. It is the latest development from the leading marine assurance providers which…

New Solution Simplifies Relief Well Operations

(Image: Add Energy)

Energy consultancy provider Add Energy and subsea solutions provider Trendsetter Engineering have teamed up to develop the Relief Well Injection Spool (RWIS) Lite, designed to reduce the complexity of relief well operations on a global scale, when coupled with the original RWIS product. RWIS Lite is an exact structural replica of the original RWIS, which allows for duplicity in shared components. The original RWIS increases the flow capacity of a single relief well, which is a safer and less challenging option to drilling multiple relief wells during a subsea well blowout.