Global Briefs OE March 2014

OE Staff

March 10, 2014

Shell quits Alaska:

Royal Dutch Shell will discontinue its 2014 plans for drilling offshore Alaska. Shell’s U-turn on Alaskan drilling follows a profit warning and a court judgment, raising “substantial obstacles” to the company’s plans for drilling in the Chukchi Sea, offshore Alaska.

EnVen plugs gas leak:

The US Bureau of Safety and Environment Enforcement (BSEE) announced that weighted drilling fluids pumped into well A-7 stopped the uncontrolled gas flow in Vermilion block 356 in the Gulf of Mexico.

BSEE approved operator EnVen’s plan to kill the well with mud, and pumping began 31 Jan 2014.

BSEE still requires additional work at the site, including the setting of barriers.

Olympus starts up:

Shell began production from the Mars B development through Olympus, its seventh and largest floating deepwater platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Combined future production from Olympus and the original Mars platform is expected to deliver an estimated resource base of 1 billion boe.

Olmeca export delayed:

Mexico’s Pemex will not begin exporting high-quality Olmeca crude to Europe until 2H February.

Pemex said that exports of the extra-light Olmeca would begin in January, but it announced via Twitter that the start date had been pushed back. The first shipment to Europe would be sent to Varo Energy’s Cressier refinery, a short distance west of Bern, Switzerland, Pemex said.

Cuba drilling discussed:

Cuba’s Ministry of Foreign Relations hosted a delegation from the US-based Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). The CFR delegation included a dozen “energy and environmental experts” focused on the safety and potential environmental effects of offshore oil drilling.

The group traveled to Cuba in January for a fiveday visit. The delegation is part of a long-term project called the Study Group on the Prevention and Resolution of Marine Disaster, sponsored by the CFR.

Croatia plans tenders:

Croatia’s government is planning to publish tenders for oil and gas exploration in the central and southern Adriatic Sea 2Q 2014.

The announcement follows the completion of a 2D multiclient seismic acquisition survey offshore Croatia by Oslo-based seismic services provider Spectrum. The new survey provided about 15,000km of modern longoffset 2D data, covering the majority of offshore Croatia. Final processed products will be available by April 2014.

OMV completes Black Sea Seismic:

OMV and its partners have announced the completion of the largest 3D seismic survey in the Black Sea. The survey covered 7740sq km, in the 1-21 Han-Asparuh block, offshore Bulgaria. It will help define the location for two exploration wells, planned for during 2015 and 2016. The 1-21 Han-Asparuh block is in the western part of the Black Sea and covers 14,220sq km, in water up to 2200m.

Record licensing round:

Norway’s government has offered a record 48 companies stakes in 65 new production licenses in its 2013 Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) licensing round. The move sets a record, both in the number of production licenses offered and the number of companies involved.

The latest round offered for license a total of 103,029sq km, divided into 377 blocks, or parts of blocks. The acreage in the Norwegian Sea was extended by six blocks in the area surrounding Aasta Hansteen, compared to APA 2012.

Siri back online:

After a half-year hiatus, exploration and production in the Siri area has recommenced. DONG Energy reconnected Siri Knutsen to three of the Siri area’s four oil fields on 28 Jan 2014, offshore Denmark. The Nini East field delivered first oil on 4 Feb 2014. In December 2013, the Danish Energy Agency approved a temporary production solution to allow for a 1Q 2014 restart. Operations were placed on hold in July 2013, after a new crack was found around the sponson (nose) area of the Siri platform. The Nini, Nini East and Cecilie fields are slowly returning to full operation, with oil being sent to the Siri Knutsen, instead of the platform.

QGEP strikes big in Atlanta:

Results of the first well drilled in the Atlanta postsalt oil field off Brazil were better than operator Queiroz Galvão Exploração e Produção (QGEP) and its partners anticipated, according to the Brazilian company. Located in Block BS-4 in the Santos Basin 185km out from the state of Rio de Janeiro, horizontal well (7-ATL-2HPRJS) is in around 1500m of water. The well was drilled to a section length of 750m and a diameter of 9.5-in. A sand reservoir was found with average porosity of 38%. High permeability was also confirmed, with an oil quality of 14º API.

Libra to be drilled:

Drilling operations will begin 2H 2014 on two wells in the giant Libra field off Brazil following approval of the field’s 2014 working and investment plan. Located about 23km off the state of Rio de Janeiro in the ultradeep waters of the Santos Basin pre-salt polygon, Libra spans 1,547.67sq km, and is estimated to have 8 -12 billion bo recoverable. Peak oil production could reach 1.4MMbo/d. Drilling activities on the two wells are expected to conclude 1H 2015. In addition, seismic reprocessing is planned for the entire block, along with studies for a new seismic survey. An extended well test will occur year-end 2016.

FAR completes testing:

FAR Ltd. recently assessed significant hydrocarbon resource potential in its Guinea Bissau 3 blocks offshore, Sinapa Block 2 and Esperanca Blocks 4 A /5 A in West Africa. The existing East Sinapa oil discovery is estimated to contain contingent resources of 13.4MMbo. East Sinapa is also estimated to contain prospective resources of 7.5MMbo. The West Sinapa prospect, expected to be drilled by the joint venture in late 2014, is estimated to contain prospective resources of 64.7MMbo. The prospect is assessed to have significant upside with 251.7MMbo.

Dana surveys Bakassi West:

Dana Petroleum has started 2D seismic acquisition operations in the Bakassi West production sharing contract (PSC) area in Cameroon’s Rio Del Rey basin.

The survey covers an area of almost 390sq km. Around 350km of 2D seismic will be acquired over the next six months and the first exploration well is planned for late 2015 or early 2016.

Giant jackup order:

Drydocks World (DDW) signed an agreement with Drill One Capital for what it describes as the largest jackup to ever be built. The Dubai Expo 2020 NS jackup rig will be the first Gusto MSC CJ 80 design rig to be built. It has been designed to be operated in harsh environments. The 101x110m, 5500sq m unit will be classed by DNV and will meet all rules and regulations in the Norwegian and the UK sector of the North Sea. The design draft is 8.5m, with 20m minimum operational water depth and 232m leg length.

Concession extended:

The government of Abu Dhabi extended the concession for the Upper Zakum oil field, off Abu Dhabi to 2041. The extension adds more than 15 years to the previous term. Upper Zakum is being jointly developed by Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC), ExxonMobil, and INPEX subsidiary Japan Oil Development Co. Upper Zakum is one of the largest oil fields in the world, covering 1150km, about 80km offshore. Production capacity is targeted at 750,000 bbl/d.

AMEC consortium on Shah Deniz II:

The AMEC Tekfen Azfen (ATA) consortium has been awarded a US$974 million contract for work on the BP-operated Shah Deniz II gas field development in the Caspian Sea. The contract covers the fabrication, load out, and offshore hook-up and commissioning of the topsides units of the two Stage 2 platforms, including the production and risers platform, and quarters and utilities platform. Both topsides units will be built at the ATA fabrication yard in Bibi-Heybat, near Baku. Construction is planned to begin January 2014, with completion expected in 2018.

Crude leak off South Korea:

Nan Zhou Maritime Pte Ltd.’s Wu Yi San tanker collided with a jetty at the Port of Yeosu, causing damage to a pipeline, and leaking crude oil into the sea.

The leak occurred at a quay off Yeosu, over 300km south of Seoul, South Korea, while the 160,000-tonne Wu Yi San was preparing to offload crude.

According to Shell, the ship’s cargo tanks suffered no damage, and there were no injuries reported by crew members. The amount of crude oil leaked from GS Caltex Corp.’s pipeline has yet to be determined, but the company said that the spill had no impact on refinery production.

EGPC begins bid round:

The Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) has launched a new bid round for exploration licenses in the Gulf of Suez.

Fifteen blocks, five in the Gulf of Suez and 10 in the Western Desert sedimentary basins, will be available, with licenses to be agreed on a production sharing model. The closing date for bids is 19 May.

Aqualis enters offshore market:

Oslo-based Aqualis Offshore, entered the Indian offshore market and is completing its first rig moving operation in the region.

Staff from Aqualis Offshore’s Dubai office successfully moved its first jackup rig in India in early February.

The Jindal Star, a newbuild MLT 116 E, was towed from Lamprell’s shipyard in UAE to an ONGC platform location offshore the west coast of India.

TGS plans Barrow seismic survey:

TGS announced it will conduct a 3D seismic survey off northwest Australia. The Huzzas is a 2100sq km 3D survey that will cover the Barrow sub-basin.

The data will be acquired by Volstad Maritime’s M/V Geo Caspian using CGG’s BroadSeis and BroadSource technologies.

Preliminary data will be available 3Q 2014.