Sunday, November 29, 2020

US Oil Industry Group Pledges to Fight Possible Biden Fracking Limits

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If U.S. President-elect Joe Biden tries to restrict development of oil and gas drilling on federal lands, the American Petroleum Institute (API) will use "every tool at its disposal" including legal action, chief executive Mike Sommers said in an interview with Reuters on Monday.Biden has said he supports a ban on new gas and oil permits — including fracking — on federal lands.Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, is a drilling technology that has allowed the U.S. oil industry to vastly boost output in recent years, making the United States the world's largest producer of crude oil.

Charging Ahead: Brent Perry & his Sterling PBES Team Drive Maritime Battery Tech

Brent Perry, CEO of Sterling PBES is a 40+ year veteran of the marine business, and one of the pioneers in delivering battery solutions to boats and ships at sea.  Photo Courtesy Sterling PBES

Brent Perry, CEO of Sterling PBES is a 40+ year veteran of the marine business, and one of the pioneers in delivering battery solutions to boats and ships at sea. Please give us a by the numbers look at Sterling PBES today?Right now we are sitting in a position where we had anticipated delivering somewhere in the neighborhood of $20-21 million worth of product, which is about 35 megawatt hours. And we’re scheduled to blow past that to almost $40 million. And we’re looking at the following year as a year of over a $100 million…

Trump Administration Rushing to Sell Arctic Oil Leases

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The Trump administration on Monday issued a request to energy companies to identify what specific land areas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge should be offered for sale, according to a government document.The Department of Interior said the nominations and any comments on the land tracts must be received 30 days after the document is published in the Federal Register. The “call for nominations” is scheduled to be published on Tuesday, but a version was posted on Monday.The move is a key step toward pulling off a sale of oil drilling leases in a pristine area of the Arctic before Democrat Joe Biden…

VIDEO: SkillGrader Takes Officer, Crew Skills Assessment to the Next Level

Marine Learning Systems introduces SkillGrader, a mobile application designed to enable vessel operators and training institutions to objectively evaluate officer and crew skills, and to generate instant reports on workforce insights.“SkillGrader completes the learning technologies picture," said Murray Goldberg, founder and CEO of Marine Learning Systems. "For some time now, we have had tools to help teach and assess knowledge – the Learning Management System, and tools to help teach skills – simulation, AR and VR. Now we have technology that allows us to capture reliable, objective and actionable data on crew skills.

Tech Files: Offshore Power Products

Danish offshore vessel firm Maersk Supply Service and its compatriot offshore wind developer Ørsted, are testing an innovative charging buoy that can bring green electricity to offshore wind farm service vessels and potentially to a wide range of maritime vessels. Photo courtesy: Maersk Supply Service and Ørsted

Insights on innovative power products upgrades that could be used to keep offshore operations moving along effectively, efficiently.Maersk Supply Service/Orsted power buoysDanish offshore vessel firm Maersk Supply Service and its compatriot offshore wind developer Ørsted, are testing an innovative charging buoy that can bring green electricity to offshore wind farm service vessels and potentially to a wide range of maritime vessels.The buoy could be used to charge the smaller battery- or hybrid-electrical vessels and to supply power to larger vessels, enabling them to turn off their engines when laying idle.

Coronavirus, Consolidation Taking Toll On Energy Jobs

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Oil and gas companies worldwide are taking an axe to their employment rolls, shedding workers to survive what is expected to be a prolonged stretch of weak demand.Exxon Mobil Corp said it will cut its workforce by 15%, or about 14,000 people, along with oil majors Chevron Corp and Royal Dutch Shell Plc.All told, more than 400,000 oil and gas sector jobs have been cut this year, according to Rystad Energy, with about half of those in the United States, where several big exploration companies and most large oil service companies are headquartered.Coronavirus has devastated swathes of the global economy…

Digitalization: Trust - The Keystone for Digital Transformation

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The slowdown of the world economy and plummeting energy consumption have eclipsed most other industry news. Oil exporting countries are coming to terms with limiting production to sustain reasonable prices, and operators are looking for ways to improve efficiency. At the same time, the marketplace created by the pandemic is forcing companies to work differently. Telepresence and remote work have become the norm, and this directly impacts how work is organized and relationships are maintained. The new, distributed work environment…

The Case for 3D Printing Downhole Tools

Image 2: This triple-image of a cutting tool shows stages of design optimization from original CAD model, to topology optimized result, to the final additively-manufacturable part. Designed in nTop Platform by nTopology partner Yamaichi Special Steel.

Advanced design software supports growth of additive manufacturing applications in the oil and gas industryAdditive manufacturing (AM, aka 3D printing) is beginning to impact product-development strategies in the oil and gas industry just as it already has in many other industries—by shifting the production paradigm in unexpected ways.Particularly in the case of downhole tools, overall tool size is compatible with the range of part dimensions that today’s AM systems are capable of manufacturing. Consider a common piece of equipment on any oil and gas rig: the tricone drill bit.

Equinor Axing Jobs in US, Canada and UK

Equinor's Houston office (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland, Equinor)

Norwegian oil and gas firm Equinor is set to cut jobs significantly in the United States, Canada and Britain to adjust to a fall in oil prices, a company spokesman said on Wednesday.The group plans to cut employee numbers in those countries by about 20% and contractor numbers by around half to ensure profitability at lower oil prices, the spokesman told Reuters, adding that the targets were communicated internally on Tuesday.Equinor will also not drill any new unconventional wells this year in the United States, where it has acreage in the Bakken and Marcellus shale formations…

Robotics: Autobots Transform in the Offshore Energy Sector

BladeBUG is a blade walking inspection robot, focusing on leading edge erosion inspection. Images from ORE Catapult.

Robots and robotics have slowly been entering our lives, in various shapes and forms (and fictional characters), from self-driving household vacuum cleaners to highly automated manufacturing systems. Now they’re heading for the offshore world – in just as many shapes and forms.There could be a lot to gain from robotics, but platforms and offshore wind turbine structures are also very challenging places to put them on. For oil and gas, key drivers are around safety and cost . For the offshore wind sector, the sheer volume of structures being installed is driving a push for robotic systems to do inspection…

Opedal Tapped for Top Spot at Equinor

Anders Opedal, next CEO of Equinor. (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland)

The Equinor Board of Directors appointed Anders Opedal as its new president and CEO starting November 2, 2020. Eldar Sætre will retire after six years as CEO and more than 40 years in the company.Opedal ascends to the top spot coming from the position as Executive Vice President Technology, Projects and Drilling. He joined Equinor as a petroleum engineer in 1997, spent many years in Drilling and Well and served as Chief Procurement Officer. In 2011, he was chosen to lead Equinor’s approximately NOK 300 billion project portfolio.

Indonesia's Pertamina Expects up to 180,000 bpd from Rokan Block when It Takes Over from Chevron

Rotan block - Credit: Chevron

Indonesian state oil company PT Pertamina expects to produce 170,000-180,000 barrels per day (bpd) at the Rokan block when it takes over in August next year, the chief executive of Pertamina Hulu Energi, Budiman Parhusip, said on Wednesday.The government decided in 2018 that the operation of Rokan, Indonesia's second-biggest crude oil producing block, would be transferred to Pertamina when Chevron Pacific Indonesia's contract expires in August 2021.Pertamina previously estimated that the block's output would drop to 140,000 bpd in 2021 if it did not drill ahead of schedule."We hope production could be maintained at 170…

Wave of N. American Oil and Gas Bankruptcies to Continue at $40 Oil

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A wave of oil and gas bankruptcies in North America is likely to continue this year as oil prices remain depressed and a new surge of COVID-19 cases threaten to stall any recovery in fuel demand, law firm Haynes and Boone said in a report released this week.Bankruptcies surged in the second quarter, including from major shale independents Chesapeake Energy and Whiting Petroleum, as oil prices collapsed due to the pandemic and a brief, unexpected price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.There were 18 producer bankruptcies in the second quarter…

Safety Product: Magnetic Fall Protection System

Rotterdam-based McNetiq launched a new line of magnetic anchors for fall protection when working at height.

Rotterdam-based McNetiq launched a new line of magnetic anchors for fall protection when working at height.The first product in this series from McNetiq is the workplace safety device McNetiq Fall Restraint, intended for workplaces constructed of steel without edge protection.The operator is connected to this anchor with a measured working line so that the worker can never get past the unsecured edge. Areas of application are: loading and unloading work on ship decks, construction and demolition work on drilling platforms, shipbuilding and maintenance, and working on cranes and windmills.This new application is based on Controlock technology.

Shale Pioneer Chesapeake Energy Files for Bankruptcy

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Chesapeake Energy Corp filed for Chapter 11 on Sunday, becoming the largest U.S. oil and gas producer to seek bankruptcy protection in recent years as it bowed to heavy debts and the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on energy markets.The filing marks an end of an era for the Oklahoma City-based shale pioneer, and comes after months of negotiations with creditors. Reuters first reported in March the company had retained debt advisers.Chesapeake was co-founded by Aubrey McClendon, an early and high profile advocate of shale drilling who died in 2016 in a fiery one-car crash in Oklahoma while facing a federal probe into bid rigging.

Melbana Gets More Time to Find Beehive Drilling Partner

Image Credit: Melbana

Australian oil and gas company Melbana Energy has been given more time to work on its Beehive offshore prospect in the Bonaparte Basin off W. Australia.The company said Friday that the National Offshore Petroleum Titles Administrator had approved Melbana's application for a 12-month suspension of the work program conditions in respect of Permit Year 3 (with a corresponding extension of the permit term) for the WA-488-P block containing the Beehive prospect.As a result, Permit Year 3 now ends on 21 December 2021 and the permit…

Norway: OMV Gets NPD Nod for Hades Drilling

Island Innovator rig - Image by Hans Hausman - MarineTraffic

Austrian oil and gas firm OMV has been granted a permit for the drilling of the offshore well 6506/11-12 S in the Norwegian Sea.The company's Norwegian subsidiary OMV Norge will use the Island Innovator semi-submersible to drill the appraisal well at the prospect named Hades in the production license 644.OMV Norge is the operator with an ownership interest of 30 percent. The other licensees are Equinor (40 percent), DNO (20 percent), and Spirit Energy (10 percent).The well will be drilled about 4 kilometers west of the Morvin field.

Fugro IOVTEC Wins Survey Work at Hai Long Wind Farm Sites

Fugro Voyager - Credit: Fugro

Fugro IOVTEC, a JV between Dutch Fugro and Taiwan's IOVTEC, has secured an offshore geotechnical site investigation project in Taiwan for the Hai Long 2 and Hai Long 3 offshore wind farms. The Hai Long offshore wind farms are being co-developed by Northland Power Inc, Yushan Energy, and Mitsui & Co. Under the newly awarded contract, Fugro IOVTEC will acquire Geo-data at 32 wind turbine locations and the site investigation will be carried out in two phases: seabed and downhole. The seabed phase will be performed using Fugro’s SEACALF continuous drive system. The Fugro Voyager geotechnical drilling vessel will be deployed for the downhole phase.

NOIA: U.S. Offshore Drilling Ban Would Crush Jobs, Govt Revenues

Offshore drilling rigs - Image by wildnerdpix / AdobeStock

A U.S. ban on new offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, which presidential hopeful Joe Biden promised to enact if elected, would lead to hundreds of thousands of job losses and billions in lost government revenue over 20 years, an offshore drilling industry group said on Tuesday.The report by the Washington-based National Ocean Industries Association comes as Biden and other Democrats hoping to unseat Republican President Donald Trump in November's election have vowed to shift the country away from planet-warming fossil…

Gas Output to Resume at Israel's Leviathan After Brief Halt

File photo: Noble Energy

Production at Israel's offshore Leviathan natural gas field will resume in the coming hours after an emergency shutdown on Saturday, the project's operator Noble Energy said [on Saturday].The platform's flare system had been activated to burn off excess gas, generating a flame visible from shore, in what Israel's Energy Ministry called an "emergency closure."Noble initially referred to it as an "operational event" but updated later it had been a false alarm caused by a gas detector failure."All the safety systems on the rig are working properly and natural gas production from Leviathan is expected to resume in the coming hours…

US Grants Royalty Relief to Hard-hit Drillers

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The Trump administration has granted royalty relief to several drilling companies producing oil and gas on federal lands in recent weeks, according to a government database, as the industry seeks help weathering low energy prices.The move shows drillers are taking the government up on its offer to consider royalty cuts on a case-by-case basis after the Interior Department rejected industry calls for blanket relief covering all federal leases.The U.S. Bureau of Land Management approved royalty rate cuts on at least 76 federal drilling leases in the state of Utah in recent weeks, according to the database.

Repsol Given Green Light to Use Maersk Inspirer at Yme

Maersk Inspirer - Credit: Maersk Drilling

Spanish oil company Repsol has been given a green light to use the Maersk Inspirer jack-up rig at the Yme field, in the North Sea, offshore Norway.The consent, granted by the Petroleum Safety Authority Norway, to connection, completion, and start-up preparations in conjunction with previously installed fixed facilities on the Yme field.The Yme is a field in the southeastern part of the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, 130 kilometers northeast of the Ula field. The water depth is 77-93 meters. The field was discovered in 1987. Production started in 1996 and ceased in 2001.

Petronas Farms Out Part of Suriname Offshore Block to Exxon

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Malaysian oil and gas company Petronas has completed the farm-down of a 50% stake in an offshore Suriname block to a subsidiary of ExxonMobil.The offshore block, known as Block 52, is located north of the coast of Paramaribo, Suriname’s capital city, and is situated in the prospective Suriname-Guyana basin where several major hydrocarbon discoveries were made recently. Block 52 covers an area of 4,749 km² with water depths ranging from 50 to 1,100 meters.Following the farm-down, Petronas will remain the operator of Block 52 with a 50% stake, while ExxonMobil will the remaining 50 percent.

Rystad: Oilfield Services Firms' Market Cap Halved. Offshore Drillers Have it Worst

For Illustration - Image by Ranimiro - AdobeStock

Oilfield services companies have collectively lost almost half of their market capitalization, hit by the combination of the coronavirus pandemic and low oil prices, with offshore drillers, in particular, the most affected, Norway's Rystad Energy has said in its analysis released on Friday."It is widely acknowledged that the oilfield services sector (OFS) is the energy world’s worst-hit market from the Covid-19 pandemic. What is staggering is the extent that the capitalization of listed OFS companies has fallen," Rystad said.Analyzing a representative group of 116 listed OFS companies…

Transocean Disposing Of Two Semi-Submersibles

GSF Development Driller II - U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Barry Bena

Offshore drilling contractor Transocean is disposing of a pair of floating drilling units, the ultra-deepwater semi-submersible drilling rig GSF Development Driller II, and the midwater semi-sub Transocean 712.The 2005-built GSF Development Driller has been stacked since 2016.According to the company's recent fleet status report, the 1983-built Transocean 712 was stacked in April 2020, having worked for Chrysaor. The rig's contract will Chyrsaor will be substituted with either the Paul B. Loyd or the Transocean Leader rig."The…

Serica Hires WilPhoenix Offshore Rig for Rhum Well

WilPhoenix drilling rig - Image by MustangJoe/Flickr, shared under CC0 license

Serica Energy has hired Awilco Drilling's WilPhoenix semi-submersible drilling rig for the intervention work on the Rhum-3 ("R3") well in the UK North Sea.The 3rd-Generation, Enhanced Pacesetter, harsh-environment, mid-water, semi-submersible drilling rig will start operations in the fourth quarter of 2020 and last approximately 70 days. The contract follows a letter of intent the two companies signed in February.The work program will involve recovering debris left in the well by the previous operator and removing an obstruction that is believed to be in place across parts of the downhole completion.

Oil rises 5% in second weekly gain on output cuts, demand hopes

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Oil prices settled 5% higher on Friday in their second consecutive week of gains as U.S. producers cut production with the number of drilling rigs falling to a record low, and as more states moved ahead with plans to relax lockdowns intended to halt the coronavirus pandemic.The number of operating oil and natural gas rigs fell by 34 to an all-time low of 374 this week - reflecting data going back 80 years - as the energy industry slashes output and spending to deal with the coronavirus-led crash in fuel demand.North American…

New Round of Layoffs at Maersk Drilling

A Maersk Drilling rig - Image Credit: Maersk Drilling

Offshore drilling company Maersk Drilling has announced a new wave of layoffs and has revised its financial guidance for 2020, citing oil and gas companies' budget cuts and delays and cancellations in offshore drilling tenders.As previously reported, Maersk Drilling in April said it would lay off around 250-300 people in its North Sea crew pool, and mothball several drilling rigs due to the effects of low oil price on offshore drilling activities.The Danish offshore driller on Thursday announced a new round of cuts, this time onshore."...the need for onshore support is expected to be adversely impacted by the reduced offshore activity.

Halliburton Lays Off 1,000 Employees at Houston HQ

Image Credit: Halliburton

Oilfield services firm Halliburton has laid off roughly 1,000 employees, or 22% of staff, at its corporate headquarters in Houston, a company spokeswoman said on Wednesday, as oil prices collapse.The cuts by one of the biggest names in oilfield services come with oil prices having plunged to around $24 a barrel, far below production costs for many firms, prompting oil and gas explorers to slam the brakes on drilling. Companies that provide drilling equipment and services have been among the hardest hit.Halliburton, which had roughly 4…

Aker BP Cuts Dividend by Two-thirds on Oil Price Slump

Image Credut: Aker BP

Aker BP will cut its quarterly dividend payments by two-thirds due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the plunge in crude prices, the Norwegian oil firm said on Wednesday after reporting a better-than-expected first-quarter core profit.Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) came in at $666 million, compared with $539 million a year ago, outperforming a $617 million forecast in a Refinitiv poll of analysts."The board has decided to retract the current dividend plan in order to retain financial flexibility and position the company for future value accretive organic and inorganic growth opportunities…

Chevron Cuts Spending, Says Asset Sales Lift Profits

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Chevron Corp on Friday slashed its capital spending plans by another $2 billion as the coronavirus pandemic guts demand for oil and gas, while delivering a year-over-year 38% increase in profits.Global fuel demand has crashed by a third while many people shelter at home for an indefinite period. Major oil companies have largely reported losses as an oil glut and a shortage of storage space sends prices to historic lows.Earnings at Chevron beat Wall Street expectations and were $3.6 billion in the first quarter, up from $2.6…

Equinor's Helleneset Offshore Well Comes Up Dry

The West Hercules drilling rig in the Barents Sea. (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland/Equinor)

Norwegian oil and gas company Equinor has completed drilling of the offshore exploration well Helleneset, formally known as well 30/6-31 S, without finding hydrocarbons.The well was using the West Hercules semi-submersible drilling rig drilled about 7 kilometers southeast of the Oseberg C platform in the North Sea and 140 kilometers west of Bergen.The objective of the well was to prove petroleum in Middle Jurassic reservoir rocks (Intra Heather Formation sandstones).According to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate, the well…

Diamond Offshore Files for Bankruptcy

Diamond Offshore's Ocean Onyx semi-submersible drilling rig. Image by Stephen Walter Sr. / MarineTraffic

Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc filed for bankruptcy protection in Texas on Sunday, after the company recently skipped making an interest payment and said it had retained restructuring advisers.The Houston-based contract drilling company's filing, one of 15 of its group companies seeking protection under Chapter 11, said day rates and demand for its services had "worsened precipitously" this year amid a "price war" between OPEC and Russia and the steep drop in oil demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic.The company has significant operations in the Gulf of Mexico.The filing comes as the five biggest U.S.

NOIA Elects Cobb, McCarroll to Board Leadership Roles

The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) Board of Directors has elected Galen Cobb, Vice President of Industry Relations of Halliburton, as Chairman and Matt McCarroll, President & CEO of Fieldwood Energy, as Vice Chairman for the 2020-21 term. Cobb and McCarroll were confirmed in their positions during a virtual Board Meeting today.NOIA President Erik Milito said, “As the offshore industry continues to navigate unprecedented energy uncertainty, Galen and Matt’s leadership will be a steadying factor.“The American offshore industry provides incredible benefits…

Huisman, Yeager in Geothermal Collab

Image Credit: Huisman

Dutch company Huisman Geo has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with geothermal energy operating company Yeager Energy  to collaborate in Yeager Energy’s development plans in the Nissewaard license area in the Netherlands. Huisman said the goal was to make a significant contribution to the energy transition by efficiently developing and operating geothermal wells and innovative smart grid district heating, and cooling networks on a large scale.Huisman Geo focuses on the geothermal energy market in the Netherlands and neighboring countries. Huisman Geo will operate with Huisman manufactured drilling rigs.

US Crude Futures Plunge to Lowest on Record

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U.S. crude oil futures collapsed below $0 on Monday for the first time in history, amid a coronavirus-induced supply glut, ending the day at a stunning minus $37.63 a barrel as desperate traders paid to get rid of oil.Brent crude, the international benchmark, also slumped, but that contract was nowhere near as weak because more storage is available worldwide.While U.S. oil prices are trading in negative territory for the first time ever, it is unclear whether that will trickle down to consumers, who typically see lower oil…

Geoquip Wraps Geotechnical Survey at Oriel Wind Farm Location

Geoquip's Geotechnical vessel - Image by Parkwind

Offshore geotechnical firm Geoquip has completed a month-long geotechnical survey at the Oriel wind farm location offshore Ireland.This work complements last year’s geophysical survey campaign completed during August 2019 by Irish company Alpha Marine. "The data collected during these surveys is essential as it not only contributes to the foundation design but also to the future wind farm layout," offshore wind farm developer Parkwind said.The Oriel offshore wind farm is in the development stage and is located approximately 22km off the coast of Dundalk.Peter Caluwaerts…

Maersk Drilling Loses Two Offshore Rig Deals

Image by Maersk Drilling

Danish offshore drilling company Maersk Drilling has said it has received early contract termination notices for two of its drilling rigs.Maersk Drilling said Friday that Shell had the contract for the semi-submersible Mærsk Developer "with immediate effect." The original end of the contract for the Maersk Developer was expected to be in August 2020.Further, Aker BP has terminated the contract for the jack-up rig Maersk Reacher. The jack-up rig was hired for accommodation services on the Valhall field, offshore Norway, with effect from end-April 2020.

Schlumberger Posts Loss on $8.5 Bln Charge as Customers Accelerate Cuts

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Schlumberger NV, the world's largest oilfield services firm, on Friday reported a first-quarter loss due to $8.5 billion in charges, as customers accelerated spending cuts amid the continuing decline in oil prices.Crude prices plunged 60% in March after Saudi Arabia and Russia vowed to pump full bore and the spread of the novel coronavirus crushed global fuel demand. On Friday, international Brent crude futures were trading around $28 a barrel, well below the cost of production for many big producers.The decline has caused big customers such as Exxon Mobil to cut spending at least 30% and halt some drilling.

Fred. Olsen Offshore Liftboat to Support Thor Wind Farm Seabed Tests

Fred. Olsen Windcarrier's liftboat Jill - Image Credit: Fred. Olsen Windcarrier (The photo has been cropped)

Fred. Olsen Windcarrier has signed a contract with the Danish firm Geo to supply an offshore liftboat for the preliminary geotechnical investigations for the Thor offshore wind project in the Danish North Sea. Fred. Olsen Windcarrier's liftboat Jill -  a self-propelled DP2 vessel that can operate in the geotechnical, offshore wind, offshore construction, Oil & Gas and cable repair markets - will support Geo with the offshore borehole campaign.The offshore liftboat is equipped with 102 meters long legs, a rack and pinion hydraulic jacking system…

Offshore Drillers to Lose $3B Due To COVID-19, Low Oil Prices

A jack-up drilling rig - Image by namning - AdobeStock

Offshore drillings contractors leasing drilling rigs to oil and gas companies are set to lose contracts worth $3 billion in combined revenue in 2020 and 2021, Rystad Energy said Thursday, citing the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and low oil prices.According to Rystad, the estimated contract value in 2020–2021 is $30 billion in total; $20 billion in 2020 and $10 billion in 2021. "So far six rig years of contracts have been canceled, translating to approximately $400 million in contract value. These numbers will only increase as operators continue to slash capex budgets and delay projects…

Upland Relinquishes Moray Firth License

ENSCO-72 (Photo: Corallian Energy)

London-listed oil company Upland Resources has, with partners, relinquished an offshore license in the UK sector of the North Sea.Upland said Wednesday that it had relinquished Licence P2470 in the Inner Moray Firth. The license included blocks 11/23, 11/24c and 11/25b, surrounding the Wick Prospect in the Inner Moray Firth, on which Upland UK participated in the dry Wick Well (11/24b-4) at the beginning of 2019. The well was drilled using the Ensco-72 jack-up rig by the operator Corallian Energy"These blocks were applied for before the results of 11/24b-4 were known and…

Key Offshore Wildcat Wells At Risk of Being Suspended

Illustration; An offshore drilling rig

At least nine of the world’s top planned exploration wells for 2020 are at risk of being suspended as a result of the blended impact of COVID-19 on oil and gas activities and the oil price war, Rystad Energy said Tuesday.These wells, the Norwegian energy intelligence firm said, located in Norway, Brazil, the Bahamas, Guyana, the US, Gambia, and Namibia would target a combined 7 billion barrels of oil equivalents (boe).The wells that Rystad Energy has identified as candidates for suspension are at risk because of their commercial viability under the current price levels…

Global Petroleum in Offshore Namibia 'Data for Equity' Deal

Image credit: Global Petroleum

Oil company Global Petroleum has exchanged part of its stake in offshore Namibia Block, 2011A (PEL0094), with NAMCOR, for a right to get access to pre-existing 3D seismic data over the block."This key data, acquired by previous licensees in 2010, covers the Company's Welwitschia Deep prospect and Marula lead, and will enable precise mapping of these features," Global said."Once this is complete, Global will update Prospective Resources and chances of success for Welwitschia Deep and Marula," it added.As part of the deal, Global has agreed to transfer to National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia ("NAMCOR") a 7 percent participating interest in PEL0094.

Equinor Finds Oil at Monument Prospect in U.S. Gulf of Mexico

Pacific Khamsin drillship - Image credit: Equinor

Norwegian oil firm Equinor, with partners Progress Resources and Repsol, has made an oil discovery in the Monument exploration well in the US Gulf of Mexico.The Monument exploration well found approximately 200 feet (c. 60 meters) of net oil pay with good reservoir characteristics in Paleogene sandstone. This provides an early indication of the productive reservoir interval at the well location, Equinor said Monday.The offshore well was drilled to a total depth of 33,348 feet (10,164 meters) using the Pacific Khamsin drillship.“We are pleased to have proved an accumulation of movable hydrocarbons in the Monument exploration well.

Oil Drops after Saudi Arabia, Russia Delay Meeting on Output Cuts

Oil prices slipped on Monday, after Saudi Arabia and Russia delayed a meeting to discuss output cuts that could partly alleviate oversupply in global markets as the coronavirus pandemic pummels demand.Brent crude slipped close to $30 a barrel in early trade and was at $33.45 by 0532 GMT, down 66 cents, or 1.9%. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 98 cents, or 3.5%, to $27.36 a barrel, after earlier touching a low of $25.28.Late last week, prices surged, with U.S. and Brent contracts posting their largest ever weekly percentage…

Oilfield Equipment and Services Spending to Fall to 2005-Low

Image by NickEyes - AdobeStock

Global spending on oilfield equipment and services this year will fall 21% from 2019 to $211 billion, the lowest level since 2005, according to a report to be released on Wednesday by consultancy Spears & Associates, as oil and gas producers slash spending.The decline comes as the coronavirus pandemic has crushed oil and gas demand, and Saudi Arabia and Russia pump full bore in a grab for market share that has shale producers reeling. U.S. oil futures fell 54% for the month of March, to $20.48 a barrel on Tuesday, below U.S.

ABS to Class Silver Eagle's New Jack-Ups

ABS, a classification services provider to the marine and offshore industries, will provide classification for a series of "highly innovative Self-Elevating Drilling Units (SEDU)" for Silver Eagle Global.Silver Eagle, of Manama, Bahrain, says the self-propelled design is capable of working at greater water depths and in harsh environments. According to Silver Eagle Global, the Silver Eagle SEDU 430WC-4 will have the industry’s largest deck area and deck load capacity, large accommodation, increased crane capacities, high-speed jacking system…

Origin Energy to Defer Shale Drilling in Australia

Illustration only; Image by FerrizFrames - AdobeStock

Origin Energy will defer shale exploration drilling in Australia's Northern Territory until the second half of this year in a bid to protect workers from a coronavirus, the company said on Thursday.Origin, operator of a joint venture with Dublin-based Falcon Oil & Gas Ltd, resumed drilling in the Beetaloo Basin last year after a three-year break when drilling was banned, and had hoped to get first test results around July this year.It has estimated the Beetaloo Basin contains 6.6 trillion cubic feet of potentially recoverable…

Lekoil 'in Process' of Paying $2M to Optimum

Image credit: Lekoil

Nigerian oil company Lekoil has said it is in the process of paying $2 million to Optimum Petroleum, its partner in an offshore block in Nigeria.The 2 million payment was agreed in January, and it is the first of two installments Lekoil is due to pay to Optimum Petroleum to cover "sunk costs and consent fees” for the OPL 310 offshore block. According to the agreement in January, where Lekoil got more time to make the payments, Lekoil is to pay $2 million by March 20, and another $7.6 million by May 2, for a total of $9,6 million to Optimum…

Oilfield Services Giant to Cut Spending by 30%

Illustratoin; Image by ????? ????????/AdobeStock

Schlumberger, the world's largest oilfield services company, on Tuesday said it would cut spending by 30% this year from last year's levels as the oil market has been roiled by the coronavirus outbreak and Saudi-Russia price war.The company expects a rapid reduction in active drilling and hydraulic fracturing activity, estimating the number of rigs in operation could fall to levels last seen during the 2016 downturn.Oil prices have fallen by more than half this year, diving below $24 a barrel on Tuesday, as coronavirus curtails…

U.S. Offshore Oil Lease Sale Weakest Since 2016

Silhouette of an oil platform at sunset in the Gulf of Mexico - Image by Lukasz Z / AdobeStock

A major sale of oil and gas leases in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday generated $93 million in high bids, the lowest total for any U.S. offshore auction since 2016, reflecting caution in the drilling industry amid a steep slide in oil prices.Firing up offshore drilling is a crucial part of U.S. President Donald Trump's "energy dominance" agenda to maximize domestic production of crude oil, natural gas, and coal. But the energy industry is in crisis as the coronavirus outbreak decimates world demand for fuel and crushes prices."While bidding did take a tough hit…

Deepwater Acreage to Attract Investments

Deepwater acreage will continue to attract significant company interest through 2020, said a report.According to GlobalData, a significant portion of the acreage available in Q1 2020 is located in either deep or ultra-deep water, up from the previous quarter.In Q1 2020, approximately 60% of the acreage available in licensing rounds either open or scheduled to close in the quarter is located in deep or ultra-deep water, revealed the report: ‘Q1 2020 Global Bid Round Outlook – Increase in Deepwater Acreage Offered in Q1 2020’.Toya Latham…

Diamondback Cuts Drilling Activity as Oil Prices Tumble

© Alexey Zakirov / Adobe Stock

Diamondback Energy Inc said on Monday it was reducing drilling activity immediately, as the oil and gas producer tackles one of the steepest declines in oil prices in decades.Oil prices lost as much as a third of their value on Monday in the biggest daily rout since the 1991 Gulf War, after Saudi Arabia signaled it would hike output to win market share at a time when the coronavirus epidemic has left the market oversupplied.The company's shares were down nearly 22% in light premarket trading amid a broader fall in oil and gas related stocks.Diamondback expects to drop two rigs in April and a third later in the second quarter.

Saudi Aramco Launches Largest Shale Gas Development Outside US

Amin H. Nasser (Photo: Saudi Aramco)

Saudi Aramco is launching the biggest shale gas development outside of the United States to boost domestic gas supply and end the burning of oil at its power generation plants, Chief Executive Officer Amin Nasser told Reuters on Monday.The world's top crude oil exporter has for years battled for market share with rapidly expanding shale oil producers in the United States, which in just a decade have developed capacity to pump millions of barrels per day of oil from rock formations that were previously too costly to tap.Saudi Arabia fought a price war aimed at putting the U.S. shale industry out of business just six years ago, which ultimately failed.

Fugro in Record Cable Route Survey at Sofia Wind Farm Site

Fugro Pioneer - Image by Philippe Guichot - MarineTraffic

Dutch geotechnical services firm Fugro has said that its Fugro Pioneer vessel has left the Port of Sunderland in the UK earlier this month to begin a 6-month offshore site investigation and survey campaign for innogy's Sofia offshore wind farm.The 1.4 gigawatt (GW) Sofia Offshore Wind Farm, sited on the shallow central area of the North Sea known as Dogger Bank, is the largest project in innogy SE’s current development portfolio."Fugro will provide geophysical and geotechnical services over the project’s 220 km export cable corridor…

Brazil Breaks Oil Output Record in January

Illustration; An FPSO in Brazil - Image by Ranimiro / AdobeStock

Oil companies produced 3.17 million barrels per day (bpd) on average in Brazil in January, a volume 20.4% larger than seen in the same month a year earlier and an output record for the country, oil regulator ANP said on Wednesday. Natural gas production increased 22% over January 2019 to 138.7 million cubic meters per day on average last month, also a record. The deepwater, pre-salt field known as Lula accounted for a third of all oil production in Brazil, reaching 1.05 million bpd of crude on average in January, ANP said.

Offshore Accounts for 60% of Oil Discoveries

Offshore discoveries accounted for more than 60% of global discoveries in 2019, up significantly on previous years, according to a study by GlobalData.GlobalData report reveals that while Colombia and Norway saw the highest number of discoveries drilled in 2019, Guyana, Mauritania and Russia hosted the most significant finds.In Guyana, ExxonMobil drilled five discoveries in the deepwater Stabroek Block. Following the additional well drilled in January 2020 (Uaru-1), the company has increased its estimated gross recoverable…

NOV Warns Virus Fallout Could Hit Supply Chain

© Kalyakan / Adobe Stock

U.S. oilfield equipment supplier National Oilwell Varco on Friday called the coronavirus a "wildcard" in the oil industry's outlook, with an extended outbreak potentially hurting access to Chinese-make materials and foreign sales.The Houston-based company said further shutdowns at its Chinese suppliers could limit its production of certain products such as fiberglass resins and drilling pipe.For now, National Oilwell has the latitude to make up lost ground, executives added, noting it has a diversified supply chain."[There is] still a lot of uncertainty related to the extent to which this will impact operations…

Are OSVs Fit for Refit for Offshore Wind?

BEFORE: Island Clipper: Island Offshore of Ulsteinvik, Norway, has had success with conversions.  “before” and “after”.  Photos: Island Offshore

While it is generally agreed that the nascent offshore wind energy market in the U.S. will be a newbuild market, there is a repair and conversion possibility for some stacked OSVs.Though estimates on the pace of the offshore wind energy market in the U.S. vary widely, the direction is clear: offshore wind will be a huge marketplace for construction and support vessels to be deployed in U.S. waters over the next decade. The starting point for estimated vessel demand is the raft of projects along the U.S. East Coast, and to a lesser extent, in the Pacific waters, now in the pipeline.