Halliburton and Baker Hughes Reach Agreement to Combine in Stock and Cash Transaction Valued at $34.6 Billion

Baker Hughes Stockholders to Receive 1.12 Halliburton Shares Plus $19.00 in Cash for Each Share They Own
Transaction Values Baker Hughes at $78.62 per Share as of November 12, 2014

halliburton-logo1BakerHughesLogoHighly Complementary Product Lines, Global Presence and Cutting-Edge Technologies Will enable Combined Company to Create Added Value for Customers

Accretive to Halliburton Cash Flow by the End of Year One, with Nearly $2 Billion in Synergies and Significant Cash Flow to Support Future Returns of Capital to Stockholders

HOUSTON – November 17, 2014 - Halliburton Company (NYSE: HAL) and Baker Hughes Incorporated (NYSE: BHI) have announced a definitive agreement under which Halliburton will acquire all the outstanding shares of Baker Hughes in a stock and cash transaction. The transaction is valued at $78.62 per Baker Hughes share, representing an equity value of $34.6 billion and enterprise value of $38.0 billion, based on Halliburton's closing price on November 12, 2014, the day prior to public confirmation by Baker Hughes that it was in talks with Halliburton regarding a transaction. Upon the completion of the transaction, Baker Hughes stockholders will own approximately 36 percent of the combined company. The agreement has been unanimously approved by both companies' Boards of Directors.

The transaction combines two highly complementary suites of products and services into a comprehensive offering to oil and natural gas customers. On a pro-forma basis the combined company had 2013 revenues of $51.8 billion, more than 136,000 employees and operations in more than 80 countries around the world.

"We are pleased to announce this combination with Baker Hughes, which will create a bellwether global oilfield services company and offer compelling benefits for the stockholders, customers and other stakeholders of Baker Hughes and Halliburton," said Dave Lesar, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Halliburton. "The transaction will combine the companies' product and service capabilities to deliver an unsurpassed depth and breadth of solutions to our customers, creating a Houston-based global oilfield services champion, manufacturing and exporting technologies, and creating jobs and serving customers around the globe."

Lesar continued, "The stockholders of Baker Hughes will immediately receive a substantial premium and have the opportunity to participate in the significant upside potential of the combined company. Our stockholders know our management team and know we live up to our commitments. We know how to create value, how to execute, and how to integrate in order to make this combination successful. We expect the combination to yield annual cost synergies of nearly $2 billion. As such, we expect that the acquisition will be accretive to Halliburton's cash flow by the end of the first year after closing and to earnings per share by the end of the second year. We anticipate that the combined company will also generate significant free cash flow, allowing for the return of substantial capital to stockholders."

Martin Craighead, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Baker Hughes said, "This brings our stockholders a significant premium and the opportunity to own a meaningful share in a larger, more competitive global company. By combining two great companies that have delivered cutting-edge solutions to customers in the worldwide oil and gas industry for more than a century, we will create a new world of opportunities to advance the development of technologies for our customers. We envision a combined company capable of achieving opportunities that neither company would have realized as well – or as quickly – on its own, all while creating exciting new opportunities for employees."

Lesar concluded, "We believe that the expertise of both companies' employees and leaders will be a competitive advantage for the combined company. Together with the people of Baker Hughes, we will establish a team to develop a detailed and thoughtful integration plan to make the post-closing transition as seamless, efficient and productive as possible. We look forward to welcoming the talented employees of Baker Hughes and are pleased they will be joining the Halliburton team."

Transaction Terms and Approvals
Under the terms of the agreement, stockholders of Baker Hughes will receive, for each Baker Hughes share, a fixed exchange ratio of 1.12 Halliburton shares plus $19.00 in cash. The value of the merger consideration as of November 12, 2014 represents 8.1 times current consensus 2014 EBITDA estimates and 7.2 times current consensus 2015 EBITDA estimates. The transaction value represents a premium of 40.8 percent to the stock price of Baker Hughes on October 10, 2014, the day prior to Halliburton's initial offer to Baker Hughes. And over longer time periods, based on the consideration, this represents a one year, three year and five year premium of 36.3 percent, 34.5 percent, and 25.9 percent, respectively.

Halliburton intends to finance the cash portion of the acquisition through a combination of cash on hand and fully committed debt financing.

The transaction is subject to approvals from each company's stockholders, regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. Halliburton's and Baker Hughes' internationally recognized advisors have evaluated the likely actions needed to obtain regulatory approval, and Halliburton and Baker Hughes are committed to completing this combination. Halliburton has agreed to divest businesses that generate up to $7.5 billion in revenues, if required by regulators, although Halliburton believes that the divestitures required will be significantly less. Halliburton has agreed to pay a fee of $3.5 billion if the transaction terminates due to a failure to obtain required antitrust approvals. Halliburton is confident that a combination is achievable from a regulatory standpoint.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2015.

Compelling Strategic and Financial Benefits
• • Leverages complementary strengths to create a company with an unsurpassed breadth and depth of products and services. The companies are highly complementary from the standpoint of product lines, global presence and cutting-edge technology in the worldwide oil and natural gas industry. The resulting company will provide a comprehensive suite of products and services to customers in virtually every oil and natural gas producing market in the world. This strategic combination will create an oilfield services supplier with the ability to serve customers through strong positions in key business lines, a fully integrated product and services platform, increased capabilities in the unconventional, deepwater and mature asset sectors, substantial and improved growth opportunities and continued high returns on capital.

• • Generates significant opportunities for synergies. In addition to the compelling and immediate premium Baker Hughes stockholders will receive, the transaction will also yield significant synergies. The combination will provide substantial efficiencies of scale and geographic scope, particularly in the Eastern Hemisphere, which will enhance fixed cost absorption. Once fully integrated, Halliburton expects the combination will yield annual cost synergies of nearly $2 billion. These synergies are expected to come primarily from operational improvements, especially North American margin improvement, personnel reorganization, real estate, corporate costs, R&D optimization and other administrative and organizational efficiencies.

• • Enables increased cash returns to stockholders. Halliburton expects the transaction to be accretive to cash flow by the end of the first year after closing and to earnings per share by the end of the second year. Halliburton expects that the combined company will maintain a strong investment grade credit profile and substantial financial flexibility. In addition, the combined company will generate significant free cash flow, allowing the return of cash to the combined investor base through dividends, share repurchases and similar actions.

Headquarters, Management and Board of Directors
The combined company will maintain the Halliburton name and continue to be traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "HAL." The company will be headquartered in Houston, Texas,

Dave Lesar will continue as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the combined company. Following the completion of the transaction, the combined company's Board of Directors is expected to expand to 15 members, three of whom will come from the Board of Baker Hughes.

Concurrently with the execution of the merger agreement, Halliburton withdrew its slate of directors nominated for the Board of Directors of Baker Hughes.

Credit Suisse is serving as lead financial advisor and BofA Merrill Lynch is also serving as financial advisor to Halliburton. Baker Botts L.L.P. and Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz are serving as Halliburton's legal counsel. BofA Merrill Lynch, as lead arranger, and Credit Suisse are providing fully committed debt financing in support of the cash portion of the consideration.
Goldman, Sachs & Co. is serving as financial advisor to Baker Hughes. Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP and Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP are serving as Baker Hughes' legal counsel on this transaction.

Technip Introduces the Deep Explorer Diving Support Vessel

Deep-ExplorerTechnip has unveiled the name for its latest newbuild Diving Support Vessel (DSV), currently being built by Vard. The state-of-the-art vessel will be known as the 'Deep Explorer'.

The high-specification vessel will be equipped with the latest technology in terms of navigation (Dynamic Positioning class 3) and will feature a 24-man saturated dive system. With her large deck area, working moonpool, work-class ROVs and a 400Te offshore crane, she will also be able to deliver diverless construction activities.

Technip's commitment to investing in the new vessel was announced in April 2014.

Following the detailed engineering and design phase, construction of the ship's hull commenced at Vard Tulcea in Romania a few months ago. On completion of the hull, the vessel will be towed to Vard Langsten in Norway for final equipment outfitting and commissioning. She is scheduled to join the Technip fleet in 2016.

Purpose-designed for the demanding requirements of the North Sea and Canadian markets, the Deep Explorer will be capable of working in extreme weather conditions. Her potential area of operations remains global.

Knut Boe, senior vice- president of Technip's North Sea Canada region, said:
"Technip has a long history in the diving industry and we are very pleased to extend our long-term commitment to diving and to the oil and gas industry with the development of this important new vessel. At delivery, the Deep Explorer will be the most advanced DSV in the world."

Hess Corporation Announces First Production from the Tubular Bells Field in the Gulf of Mexico

Hess Corporation (NYSE: HES) announces that production has commenced from the Tubular Bells Field, located in the Mississippi Canyon area of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Hess holds a 57.14 percent interest in the Tubular Bells Field and is the operator.

Chevron U.S.A. Inc. has a 42.86 percent interest.

Hess-TubularBellsImage courtesy: Hess

Following a ramp-up period, Tubular Bells is expected to deliver gross production of approximately 50,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (25,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day net to Hess) from three producing wells by year end.

"This important achievement demonstrates our ability to successfully execute highly complex, deepwater development projects," said John Hess, chief executive officer. "We are proud to deliver Tubular Bells safely and on budget. One year after Hess took over as operator, the project was sanctioned and fast tracked with an execution schedule to first oil in just three years."

The Tubular Bells Field was discovered in 2003 and the development was sanctioned in October 2011. It lies in approximately 4,300 feet of water, 135 miles southeast of New Orleans.

Tubular Bells utilizes the first classic spar built in the United States. The design and construction were done entirely in the U.S. creating an estimated 7,000 direct and indirect jobs in Texas and Louisiana.

Hess Corporation is a leading global independent energy company engaged in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas.

McDermott Demonstrates Effective Project Execution with Milestone Delivery of Riser Support Structure for Ichthys Project

McDermott RSS Loadout for IchthysMcDermott International, Inc. (NYSE:MDR) ("McDermott") announces that it has successfully delivered the riser support structure ("RSS") for the INPEX-operated Ichthys LNG Project's subsea umbilical, riser, flowline development.

"The completion of the RSS fabrication, load-out and successful installation is a major milestone," said Tony Duncan, Executive Vice President Subsea. "Few companies in the industry have the capability to deliver a full engineer, procure, construct and install of a subsea project of this scale and nature.

The timely delivery of the RSS is testament to the effective project execution delivery model we have adopted for the Ichthys LNG Project highlighting the strong capabilities of McDermott's team comprised of industry experts from key locations, including Singapore, Batam and Perth and significantly de-risks the project execution schedule."

The 7,200-ton Ichthys Riser Support Structure accounts for more than 25 percent of the total 28,700-ton of subsea structures that McDermott is fabricating for the Ichthys project. (Photo: Business Wire)

Through smart engineering, McDermott was able to optimize the design and constructability of the structure that translated into cost savings in both time and materials for the customer. The innovative design concept of the structure was brought to reality by the combined expertise of our in-house Singapore based engineering team and our fabrication facility located on Batam Island, Indonesia.

The 7,200-ton RSS connects the field's subsea infrastructure to a semi-submersible central processing facility. The RSS structure is comprised of a tower, more than 328 feet tall, with an arch 410-foot long also designed and fabricated by McDermott to be installed at a later date, to support 25 large-diameter flexible risers and dynamic umbilicals.

"The RSS accounts for more than 25% of the total 28,700 ton of subsea structures we are fabricating for Ichthys," explained Duncan. "It is an integral piece of the subsea field architecture as all other subsea structures will be installed and oriented relative to its location."

In addition to the RSS, the facility is undertaking the fabrication of subsea structures including the Flow Line End Terminations, In Line Tees, manifolds and riser bases.

The Ichthys project awarded to McDermott in 2012 includes EPCI and pre-commissioning of product flowline systems, a Mono Ethylene Glycol injection system, start-up condensate transfer and fuel gas transfer flowline systems, control systems and other associated SURF elements in waters up to 900 feet. McDermott will also install mooring systems for the Floating Production, Storage and Offtake vessel and Central Processing Facility as well as engineering for future flowlines, risers and umbilicals.

Paradigm Launches Game Changing Fire Deluge Safety Testing Technology

Paradigm Flow Services, the blockage removal experts for the oil and gas sector, is demonstrating a groundbreaking new technology that will change the way oil and gas operators carry out fire deluge safety testing for the first time in 50 years. Forming part of the company's Deluge Integrity Management service for clients, the Dry-Flo testing technology eliminates issues with conventional wet testing for fire deluge safety systems which can lead to blockages.

Wet testing, where firewater is pumped through the deluge system to check flow through nozzles, can cause problems with corrosion under insulation, water ingress to electrical junction boxes, and flooding of the process module drains - global issues for oil and gas operators but a particular concern on ageing assets. Dry-Flo successfully uses conditioned and dehumidified air to assess the functionality of deluge nozzles, with remote sensors strategically placed to pick up the air wave signatures throughout the deluge system.

Rob-BainParadigmRob Bain, managing director of Paradigm Flow Services, said: "Operators are looking for a way to minimize exposure to the problems with current testing methods. With a 20% rise in hydrocarbon releases from April 2013 to March 2014 and a 50% initial test failure rate in UK deluge systems, the importance of effective fire safety systems cannot be underestimated. Now is the right time to introduce these new testing measures which will transform how the industry benchmarks deluge performance for the first time in fifty years.

The Dry-Flo system dovetails with the Health and Safety Executive's KP4 initiative which aims to improve awareness and management of the risks associated with ageing assets in the offshore oil and gas industry, and also the Asset Stewardship & Technology Strategies from the Wood Review UKCS Maximizing Recovery Review."

The Dry-Flo technology will be demonstrated to clients and industry stakeholders at Paradigm's new office in Drumoak, Aberdeenshire over the next three days, 18th-20th November. The site includes a full scale 50 nozzle deluge system which has been specifically designed to replicate an offshore environment.

This industry first is game-changing for fire safety testing offshore. Not only does it address the risks associated with wet testing and corrosion; it is quicker to set up and complete the testing, it eliminates the need to cover and protect electrical equipment and it can be conducted while the deluge system is live. This means it is much less intrusive and there are no risks of accidental shutdown due to seawater ingress, reducing the impact on production. Additional benefits are a reduction in personnel required, compared with conventional wet testing, and it is more cost effective.

The data picked up from the air wave signatures is compared against hydraulic models developed by Paradigm engineers and the highly accurate sensors detect any deviations from optimum function. This can help to predict and pinpoint any issues with life-saving fire equipment and enables Paradigm to make recommendations on the best course of remediation.

Paradigm's Deluge Integrity Management Service applies to the lifetime of safety critical fire water systems. From design and hydraulic modeling to maintenance, inspection and testing, technical experts from the Paradigm team support clients in achieving an efficient and HSE compliant life-of-field solution for fire safety, underpinned by an annual MOT to ensure ongoing effectiveness.

Bibby Offshore Announces Contract Win with Total E&P UK Limited

Olympic-Ares-0913-464Bibby Offshore, the leading provider of subsea installation and inspection, repair and maintenance (IRM) services to the offshore oil and gas industry, announces a multi-million pound contract award by Total E&P UK Limited ("Total") for services in the UKCS.

The project, including associated project management and engineering, will be carried out on the Ellon and Grant field, located 270 miles north-east of Aberdeen and in water depths of up to 135 meters.

The scopes will see Total utilise two of Bibby Offshore's vessels, the dive-support vessel ("DSV") Bibby Polaris and the construction support vessel ("CSV") Olympic Ares (photo), to deliver the services between July and September 2015.

This is the latest of a series of subsea services that Bibby Offshore has undertaken for Total in the North Sea since 2003.

Barry MacLeod, Managing Director - UKCS, commented: "We are delighted to be working with Total again to support their operations in the North Sea. Our longstanding relationship of over 10 years is a demonstration of our ability to consistently and successfully deliver complex and challenging projects for our clients."

Statoil CEO: Oil and Gas Investments Needed To Meet Future Demand

The scale of the climate challenge requires us not only to ask how we can do more, but how we can achieve the most. Climate change doesn't stop at borders – and neither should our solutions," says Statoil CEO Eldar Sætre at the Statoil Autumn Conference.

"We need a global approach that stimulates technology innovation," Sætre continues.

In the 2014 World Energy Outlook the International Energy Agency (IEA) presents "New Policies" as the main scenario. In this scenario global energy demand rises by 37% in the period to 2040.

By 2040, the world's energy supply mix divides into four almost-equal parts: oil, gas, coal and low-carbon sources.

Statoil-Autumn conf 468cCEO Eldar Sætre (right) and Mishal Husain at the Statoil Autumn Conference 2014. (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland)

No matter which direction environmental policies and measures take, an enormous amount of oil and gas investment will still be needed in the years ahead to secure energy supply, according to the IEA.

A full USD 18.5 trillion will be needed in oil and gas investment from 2014-2035 in order to meet the supply needed for the IEA's "450 Scenario", which sets out an energy pathway consistent with the goal of limiting the global increase in temperature to 2°C.

"The challenge is formidable. Even in the IEA's two-degree scenario, the industry must replace four times Saudi Arabia's production of oil and 10 times Norway's production of gas just to fight natural decline," says Sætre.

EU climate targets
The European Union recently announced their target of cutting carbon emissions by 40% by 2030, which is also line with Statoil's recommendations.

"While the agreement is an important step in the right direction, now the job is to make sure that promises turn into policies, and ambitions into actions. If the EU's ambitions are backed by efficient measures, it will underpin the role of gas in the European markets, replacing coal and reducing emissions," Sætre says. Statoil is a strong advocate for a global approach towards a much higher carbon price—and has seen the results in action.
Based on Norway having one of the world's highest prices on carbon emissions, Statoil has the world's most carbon-efficient oil and gas production.

Statoil's commitment and contribution to tackling climate change goes beyond advocacy for a high carbon price and the promotion of gas.

"We are working to make our production more energy efficient. We are contributing as an industry and as a company to cuts in emissions as part of the Norwegian "Klimaforliket". And we're working to achieve more," says Sætre.

Statoil remains focused on developing carbon capture and storage, and carbon capture and use, as part of the longer-term solution.

Statoil and the entire oil industry have since the early 1990s had a commitment on the Norwegian continental shelf not to flare from routine operations.

"Globally we are now also working collaboratively against flaring through the Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership," says Sætre. This is a World Bank initiative aiming to eliminate global flaring by 2030.

And at the UN Climate Summit in New York in September, Statoil and partners launched the Climate and Clean Air Coalition Oil and Gas partnership.

This partnership aims to find effective solutions to detect and reduce methane emissions— which account for a significant, but underexposed share of greenhouse gas emissions.

Energy needs in Africa
One of the main focus areas of this year's Autumn Conference and World Energy Outlook report is economic development, sustainability and energy needs in Africa—focusing particularly on the sub-Saharan regions.
While almost 30% of global oil and gas discoveries have taken place in sub-Saharan Africa over the last five years, more than two-thirds of the population still lacks access to electricity.

"Statoil has over the past few years made significant gas discoveries offshore Tanzania and we are excited about the opportunities we see for a natural gas and LNG development. We already experience that expectations to Statoil's contributions are significant. Given that only around 15% of the population have access to the electrical grid, that is not difficult to understand," says Sætre.

The IEA report highlights three actions that—if accompanied by more general governance reforms— can boost the sub-Saharan economy by a further 30% in 2040: an upgraded power sector, deeper regional cooperation, and better management of energy resources and revenues through efficiency and transparency in financing.

"Our strong presence comes with a big responsibility. This is about developing a sound, sustainable and profitable business that gives the government revenues necessary for economic growth and development. It is about contributing to local capacity building, and about contributing to openness and transparency," says Sætre.

Liverpool-based ISP Targets Offshore Market with New Rescue Boat

Liverpool-based maritime firm International Safety Products (ISP) is joining an elite group as one of the world's only major suppliers of a new rescue boat.

The Liverpool City Region business - which is one of the largest manufacturers of inflatable marine lifejackets - supplies an extensive range of maritime safety equipment.

ISP commercial director Geoff Billington said the Duarry 420RB Rescue Boat is an important addition to the portfolio. He said the firm will be targeting key markets with the product, especially the commercial marine sector - including offshore businesses.

Duarry-420RB-Rescue-BoatISP is the exclusive UK and Ireland distributor for Duarry liferafts and rescue boats and is responsible for sales and service throughout the territory.

Mr. Billington said the new SOLAS Duarry rescue boat benefits from a durable and lightweight design.

"This is a terrific product boosting our extensive portfolio," said Mr Billington. "It has a number of innovative design features, including an aluminium unsinkable hull and reinforced rubber side panelling.

"Its lightweight design makes it quick and easy to deploy and operate. It also has a number of performance enhancing features, including non-spill fuel tanks, detachable seats and inflation and deflation valves. Further features include a SOLAS certified engine with propeller guard.

"We expect the product to make a strong impact across a number of maritime markets, as it has been built for a variety of end-users, in the commercial shipping sector."

Adding to ISP's portfolio is Duarry's revamped range of liferafts including Throw Over Board (TOB), Open Reversible (ORIL) and Davit Launched (DL) models.

The new and improved range benefits from a new container design making stowage easier on board vessels.

"Key design changes have been made to the shape of the liferaft containers with greater reinforcement to the inner shell," said Mr. Billington. "This means that most types of Duarry liferafts can be stored on existing cradles on board ships. This will help to improve usability and drive greater efficiency for ship operators.

"Duarry liferafts have a strong reputation for high quality and durability. They form an integral part of ISP's maritime safety product range. Moreover, the scale and versatility of the Duarry range is also a key selling point. It further benefits from an extensive network of service stations worldwide helping to provide a cost-effective solution to maintenance."

DNV GL Tackles Corrosion and Integrity of Aging Wells with New JIP

The global oil and gas industry is now facing the reality that many of its on and offshore wells are being used beyond the original lifespan. This presents significant uncertainty around the integrity, safety and productivity of the remaining service life. DNV GL has established a Joint Industry Project (JIP) to develop guidelines for a decision support framework for corrosion assessment and integrity management of ageing wells.

DNVCorrosionBlackford Dolphin, Semi submersible, drilling rig, mou. Credit: Per Sverre Wold-Hansen

Many wells are reaching an age of upwards of 30 or 40 years, and operators are facing a growing challenge to predict output, mitigate against risk and ultimately decide whether to retire or rejuvenate ageing wells. Life extension of ageing wells is moving up the agenda for oil and gas operators in many regions. Factors driving this include, high oil prices, technology advances and regulatory requirements

"As well as dealing with the operational changes in the well's lifetime, such as long-term degradation effects, there can also be difficulties caused by uncertainty over the integrity of the well and access to design documentation. Corrosion in particular poses a major threat to these wells," says Shamik Chowdhury, Project Manager at DNV GL. "The JIP aims to close the existing gap in well integrity management and introduce proper corrosion assessments, as well as provide estimates on the remaining life of individual wells. The outcome will help operators squeeze the remaining life out of their wells safely and cost effectively, as well as to plan for decommissioning."

"The proposed guideline resulting from the JIP will provide a clear method to evaluate and manage corrosion for wells. This can be used on a field or company-wide level to ensure the HSE and economical performance is balanced and that corrosion risks are sufficiently managed," he continues.

DNV GL is inviting participants to take part in the JIP which will deliver a corrosion threat and integrity well screening assessment method as well as guidelines for a decision-making tool on corrosion evalution, monitoring, maintenance and inspection.

"There are many risks to consider at the well level. External casings deteriorate over time at different depths for a variety of different corrosion mechanisms, and can result in loss of structural integrity," adds Chowdhury. "The risk of well collapse is therefore higher.

Ageing wells also tend to have more aggressive conditions, normally being higher water cut, and potentially with H2S arising from reservoir changes or microbial activity, which may accelerate attack or introduce corrosion damage where it was considered 'not to happen' before.

The JIP will involve the review of corrosion inspection techniques, prediction and modeling tools as well as the impact from other interfacing aspects such as pipelines and process equipment. Investigative data will be gathered from participants' own experiences in this field and the operational history of selected operators' wells. The project will also carry out a pilot study to test the methodology on selected wells.

The JIP will kick off later this year and will commence through to the end of 2015 with the development of a guideline for corrosion management in wells.

"DNV GL leads many joint industry projects annually, combining our expertise with that of the sector to identify and find solutions to its most complex technical challenges. We set the benchmark in oil and gas industry best practice, offering open access to more than 170 oil and gas industry standards and recommended practices, which support the industry to improve safety, reliability and performance," says Elisabeth Tørstad, CEO DNV GL Oil & Gas.

Claxton’s New Conductor Cementing Support System Delivers Huge Rig Time Savings

Claxtons-conductor-cementing-support-system2Claxton Engineering Services Ltd, an Acteon company, has developed a new conductor cementing support system (CCSS) that has typically saved 12 - 18 hours of rig time per conductor waiting for cement to cure.

Recently, it has become increasingly common for operators to install a jacket and batch set the platform conductors so that the topsides can be installed at a later date. The operator brings a rig over the jacket and uses it to run a conductor and then to hold the conductor in place while the cement cures: a process that typically takes 12 - 18 hours.

The Claxton CCSS secures the conductor with a hydraulic jack-and-clamp mechanism that holds the weight of the conductor while the cement cures. This means that the rig no longer has to hold each conductor, and can therefore move to the next slot and begin running another conductor.

Dannie Claxton, technical director, Claxton, said, "The CCSS has a holding capacity of 135 - 160 t and is suitable for conductor diameters of 24 - 30 in. However, we can scale the design to any conductor size on request and tailor the footprint and weight handling capacity to specific slot or jacket configurations. The new system has a compact design and can be repositioned easily without a crane. In addition, it offers schedule flexibility because it splits in half, thereby enabling operators to run the conductor before, or after, the CCSS is in place.

"We know that every job can present new challenges and every platform installation is different, so we offer a custom design-and-build service to meet specific customer needs. The CCSS has already been used successfully in the field on projects for two major North Sea operators. We expect further interest, due to the system's huge cost-saving potential," Claxton concludes.

Double Contract Win in Nigeria for Ceona with Local Strategic Partner MPL

Ceona 1Ceona, SURF contractor with heavy subsea construction capabilities, has been recently awarded two new contracts in Nigeria further underpinning the company's rapidly-evolving footprint and track record in the region, along with its local strategic partner Marine Platforms Limited (MPL).

The contracts, which are worth a total of more than $30 million, will see Ceona providing vessels from its first-class fleet together with its installation expertise on the ENI NAE (Nigerian Agip Exploration Limited) ABO12 well completion, as well as supporting MPL on the Sea Eagle FPSO on behalf of SPDC (Shell Petroleum Development Company).

Engineering has already started on the ABO12 project with the full scope of work involving the installation of flexibles, umbilicals and a PLEM suction pile system. Offshore work is planned for February 2015.

Mark Preece, Executive VP Commercial and Business Development at Ceona, said: "These contracts reinforce the high value, all-encompassing subsea construction service that Ceona is delivering to clients. It also demonstrates the strong strategic partnership we have developed with MPL in the country, and how it is supporting our growing geographical footprint across West Africa."

Ceona is a SURF and heavy subsea construction contractor in the deepwater market, specialising in full-service engineering, pipelay and construction project management and execution, including floater installation (Semi, TLP, SPAR). With backing from majority shareholder Goldman Sachs Capital Partners, Ceona is developing its fleet of state-of-the-art vessels. It has offices in London, Aberdeen and Houston, with partners in Brazil and West Africa. 

Osiris Marine Services Mobilizes Cougar XT ROV for Work in the Gulf of Mexico

osirisMarineWorking within the oil and gas industry, Osiris has mobilized its Cougar XT system complete with the new Launch and Recovery System (LARS) and Tether Management System (TMS) from their head office in Yorkshire to its final destination in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Cougar XT is providing operational back-up support for Bluestream Offshore where Osiris will be acting as a sub-contractor. The Cougar XT will be managed by a small on-site team, who will be responsible for the maintenance and operation of the ROV during its involvement within the project.

The project will include the piloting of the ROV and the operation of the new LARS system, which includes a TMS, a first of its kind at Osiris that enhances their capabilities in deep operations. This integrated approach for ROV operations helps to reduce the effect of drag on a long length of surface tended umbilical, providing more consistency and accuracy in the work site during this oil and gas operation.

The Cougar XT undertook a four week journey, which started with a scheduled stop in the Netherlands and Spain where it was then loaded onto a support vessel for a three week crossing of the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico.

Commenting on the Cougar XT and the scope of work, managing director Aiden West said: "this is another great opportunity to showcase our skill-set and get the Osiris name into the oil and gas market, which is something that we have been targeting in recent months. I have no doubt that our team on the ground will excel when involved in operations. Equally it will be a great opportunity to utilize our new LARS and TMS systems and demonstrate the capability of our investment."

DNV GL Win Multi Service Contract from Maersk Oil for Culzean Field Development Project

DNV GL has secured a multi-million pound project from Maersk Oil North Sea UK (MOUK) for the Culzean field development project.
Elisabeth Tørstad, CEO, Oil & Gas signed the contract on 24th October at the DNV GL office in Esbjerg.

The scope includes Independent Competent Person (ICP) Verification, Independent Verification Body (IVB), Pressure Equipment Directive (PED) and the Explosive Atmospheres Directive ATEX services. The team will be managed from a single point in UK and DNV GL is to use additional resources and expertise from the team in Denmark to deliver the work.

DNV-KBR Culzean-MaerskImage of the Maersk Culzean Asset, in the North Sea

"DNV GL propose to work together with Maersk Oil UK as part of one integrated team with the view to helping delivering the project fully compliant, on-schedule and on-cost," says John Harper, Project Manager. "It is fully understood that the Culzean Project is a flag-ship project for Maersk Oil globally. The UK Safety Case Regulations Legislation is the overall driver for this work and compliance with Maersk Oil UK Technical Standards (MOTS) and Design Standards (MODES) is a key driver," he adds.

The Maersk Oil-operated Culzean project is one of the largest gas discoveries of recent years in the UK North Sea. Culzean is a HP/HT field discovered in 2008 in Block 22/25 of the UK Central North Sea and further appraised between 2009 and 2011. If successfully developed, it could provide around 5% of the UK's total gas consumption by 2020/21. First gas from the project is currently expected in 2019.

Maersk Oil and its co-venturers JX Nippon Exploration and Production (UK) Limited and Britoil (BP) have chosen a new standalone facility to develop the discovery; a complex of bridge linked platforms comprising a 12 slot wellhead platform (WHP), a central processing facility and utilities/living quarters. Subject to a final investment decision in 2015, a phased installation of the facilities would begin in 2016.

PIRA Energy Group's Weekly Oil Market Recap for the Week Ending November 16th, 2014

piraNYC-based PIRA Energy Group Reports that U.S. total commercial oil stocks drew the week ending November 7, slightly widening the commercial stock surplus. On the week, Japanese crude runs rose and crude imports declined, causing crude stocks to draw. Specifically, PIRA's analysis of the oil market fundamentals has revealed the following:

Stock Excess Expands Slightly W/W
U.S. total commercial stocks drew the week ending November 7. The draw fell short compared to last year, slightly widening the commercial stock surplus. Within the overall draw, another week of very low crude imports drove an unexpected crude stock draw, pushing crude stocks into a deficit versus 2013 levels. The four major refined products drew year-on-year, narrowing their deficit.

Crude Imports in Japan Decline W/W
Japanese crude runs rose and crude imports declined the week ending November 8, causing crude stocks to draw. Finished product stocks built, with most of the build in kerosene. Gasoline demand was relatively strong, the yield fell back and stocks drew. Gasoil demand was again fractionally changed, as were stocks. Kerosene demand fell and the yield was higher so consequently stocks built on the week.

OPEC Meets November 27
Saudi Arabia will be in an uncomfortable position at the upcoming November 27 meeting in Vienna. As the primary beneficiary, along with the two other core OPEC countries, Kuwait and UAE, of OPEC (and non-OPEC) outages since 2010, other OPEC members will expect Saudi Arabia to sacrifice volume in the current oversupply situation.

Creeping Stock Surplus Continues
The preliminary October stock data for the three major OECD markets are in and they show a commercial stock draw of just 2 million barrels versus a stock decline of 31 million barrels in the same month last year. The nearly 1 MMB/D swing in the change in inventories is evidence of the ongoing 1.0-1.5 MMB/D supply surplus relative to demand in 2014.

Weak Naphtha Hampers LPG Demand
LPG remains stuck in strong competition with naphtha in Europe. Propane declined in lockstep with the refined product, losing 4% last week. Butane performed better bust still lost 2%, settling Friday at $505/MT. Butane weakness in Europe has the product's cracking margin soaring. At 48¢/lb, butane is a full ten cents higher than other feedstocks. Naphtha margins improved some, and now look about equivalent with propane in the region. Propane remains relatively expensive, and thus any increase in petrochemical demand will necessitate a widening of LPG's discount to naphtha in both Europe and Asia.

U.S. Ethanol Prices Soar W/W
Ethanol prices jumped again the week ending November 7 as inventories and production during the prior week were lower than expected. This resulted in a short squeeze since many traders had counted on values to decline.

U.S. Ethanol Output and Stocks Increase W/W
Ethanol production rose to 946 MB/D the week ending November 7, up from 929 MB/D during the preceding week as more corn has come available from the new harvest. Inventories built for the second consecutive week, reaching 17.7 million barrels.

Political Risk Scorecard
Progress in the Kurdish negotiations but continued instability in Libya this week.

The information above is part of PIRA Energy Group's weekly Energy Market Recap - which alerts readers to PIRA's current analysis of energy markets around the world as well as the key economic and political factors driving those markets.

DW Monday, November 17th: Varying Drilling Expectations

douglas-westwoodAs the year draws to a close, attention turns to expectations for 2015. December usually sees a variety of eagerly anticipated E&P spend forecasts, however early indications suggest we will have a mixed bag of operators' increased/decreased spending plans. The drivers for this can be project-specific – biased by exposure to short or long-term projects – and also geographic.

Whilst the spending surveys are a useful guide, what can be learned right now from the drilling and production data? A review of our latest quarterly DW D&P output throws out some interesting geographic trends and here we pick two to illustrate the point:

The USA, the world's largest drilling and OFS market seems to have enjoyed a bumper year-to-date. Our expectations for land drilling in 2014 are just over 40,000 wells, versus 37,677 in 2013. The market has been buoyed by an upturn in activity in Texas shale formations, with the Texas Railroad Commission reporting completions increased by 21% for the first three quarters, with 23,149 over the year.

In contrast Russia, another major OFS market, appears to be suffering. Drilling is conducted by both independent contractors and directly by some E&P companies. Despite the long-term positive underlying drivers, the impact of both geopolitical turmoil and weak oil prices is becoming evident. The largest drilling contractor, EDC has reported drilling volumes down 7% for the first three quarters. Surgutneftegas a 17% drop, whilst for the first half of 2014 Rosneft was down 1.6% and Gazprom reports a slight upturn. Furthermore, international oil companies such as ExxonMobil and Shell have had to suspend activities in Russia as a result of sanctions imposed on the country.

Overall, our expectation is that Russian drilling will be down some 10% in 2014, at 6,700 wells, and will remain so or slightly lower in 2015 before recovering over the period to 2020.

Instances of double-digit movements in drilling from one year to the next are comparatively unusual, particularly so for large, established markets. But as the above illustrates, attempts to generalize the outlook for the whole E&P sector are difficult, and the "devil is always in the detail."


Wood Group PSN Secures Contract Extension on Hibernia

WoodGroupPSNWood Group PSN (WGPSN) will continue its provision of engineering, procurement and construction services to the Hibernia platform, offshore Newfoundland and Labrador, under a new multi-million dollar, five-year contract extension from Hibernia Management and Development Company Ltd. (HMDC).

Since first oil in 1997 WGPSN has been the incumbent contractor for these services and the contract is still a cornerstone of WGPSN business in the region. Hibernia was the first producing field off Canada's East Coast.

Tim O'Leary, president, Wood Group PSN Canada said: "The extension of our contract to provide services for the Hibernia platform is evidence of the continued high level of service we have demonstrated and of the confidence this key client has in our team."

Wood Group PSN is one of the largest brownfield engineering and construction offices in Atlantic Canada with more than 500 people working onshore and offshore.

Cairn Completes Senegal Drilling Program

CairnCairn and its Joint Venture (JV) partners have completed operations on the SNE-1 well in Senegal and plans are now underway to appraise the discovery next year.

Having discovered oil in the upper clastic target, no hydrocarbons were subsequently encountered in the deeper target of karstified and fractured Lower Cretaceous shelf carbonates. Following completion of logging operations the well will be plugged and abandoned.

The SNE-1 well located in 1,100 meters (m) water depth and approximately 100 kilometers (km) offshore in the Sangomar Offshore block was drilled to a total depth of ~3,000m.

Cairn has a 40% Working Interest (WI) in three blocks offshore Senegal (Sangomar Deep, Sangomar Offshore and Rufisque) ConocoPhillips has 35% WI, FAR Ltd 15% WI and Petrosen, the national

BMT Recognized as Outstanding Employer in the Global Business Excellence Awards

BMT Group Ltd, the leading international maritime design, engineering and risk management consultancy, has been recognised in the Global Business Excellence Awards 2014.

The judging panel recognised BMT's continued focus on its staff and how effective communication, management and support was recognised as the cornerstones of the organisation's success. BMT's Employee Engagement Index of 80% compares very favourably with the 'good' industry benchmark of 50% and in the most recent staff survey, 84% of respondents were 'satisfied working for their operating company'.

BMT Group BMT Recognised As Outstanding Employer in the Global Business Excellence Awards low rezBMT's Young Professionals Summit held in Bristol, November 2014. BMT's Young Professionals Society (YPS) has been developed to bring together young professionals from across all the BMT companies and provide a platform for them to communicate, collaborate and explore new ideas to further their careers within BMT.

The chairman of the judges said: "BMT Group has differentiated itself by offering its 1,400 employees exceptional benefits and staff initiatives. Its Profit Related Pay scheme is outstanding and to date it has paid out £40 million to staff members. It is also one of the few companies to be established as an Employee Benefit Trust, giving staff a stake in the company and a say in their future. The range of other incentives and benefits are second to none. Consequently, BMT has high levels of staff productivity and loyalty. BMT is an exceptional winner and a role model in its sector."

Peter French, Chief Executive of BMT Group comments: "We are extremely proud to receive this accolade. Engagement with all of our staff is something that we take very seriously because without them, we wouldn't be the successful company we are today."

For over 29 years BMT has gone from strength to strength, providing consultancy services to customers in the defence, energy and environment, government, mining, marine risk and insurance, maritime transport and ports and logistics sectors.

Rowan Companies Appoints New Chief Financial Officer

rowancfoRowan Companies plc ("Rowan" or the "Company") (NYSE: RDC) announces the appointment of Stephen M. Butz (photo) as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer, effective December 1, 2014.

Mr. Butz joins the Company from Hercules Offshore, Inc., where for the past nine years he has served in various corporate development, treasury and finance functions, most recently as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Mr. Butz also has more than 10 years' experience in commercial and investment banking.

Tom Burke, President and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "I am so pleased that Stephen will be joining Rowan. I believe his keen industry knowledge and vast experience will be instrumental as we complete our drillship newbuild program and consider our future capital allocation options. I am confident Stephen will quickly become a valued member of the Rowan team."

Mr. Butz will take over from Kevin Bartol, whose resignation was previously announced and is effective as of November 30, 2014.

Rowan Companies plc is a global provider of contract drilling services in the ultra-deepwater and shallow water jack-up market with a fleet of 34 offshore drilling units, including four ultra-deepwater drillships, two of which are currently under construction, and 30 jack-up rigs, 19 of which are rated high-specification.