First Offloading Takes Place at Papa-Terra Field

The first cargo has been successfully offloaded from what is expected to be Chevron's largest investment in Brazil: the offshore Papa-Terra heavy oil development in the Campos Basin.

"The first offloading at Papa-Terra represents an important milestone for the company, reinforces the progress being made by the project and highlights the success of the partnership between Chevron and Petrobras," said Les Wood, a manager with Chevron Brazil.

ChevronThe Brasil Voyager, a tanker owned and operated by Chevron, was built with specific features for offloading oil from Papa-Terra.

On May 9, the Brasil Voyager, a tanker built specifically for the operation, lifted approximately 740,000 barrels of oil from Papa-Terra's floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel. The oil came from the first two production wells in the field.

"This is a significant milestone for the Papa-Terra project," said Kelly Hartshorn, managing director of Chevron's Latin America business unit. "This project will make a positive impact on Chevron's future growth target, and I am proud of the Chevron Brazil team for their efforts to get us to this successful point in the field's development."

The Brasil Voyager is expected to offload around 950,000 barrels of crude from Papa-Terra every 40 days.

"The Brasil Voyager is now bringing cargo to the market, including providing supply to the Pascagoula Refinery, and we look forward to its return to the Papa-Terra Field for the next Chevron shipment," Wood said.

On May 12, production began from a third well at Papa-Terra. Two additional wells are expected to start producing to the FPSO in 2014.

The Papa-Terra Field lies in approximately 3,900 feet (1,189 m) of water. The project includes the FPSO as well Brazil's first tension-leg well platform (TLWP), which was installed in the field in April. Heavier-oil production wells will lead to the platform while lighter-oil production wells will tie back to the FPSO. First oil from the TLWP is expected later this year.

The project has a planned daily capacity of 140,000 barrels of crude oil and 35 million cubic feet of natural gas

Shell Adds Third Major Discovery to the Norphlet Play in the Gulf of Mexico

shell-norphlet-play-map-july-2014Shell has announces its third major discovery in the Norphlet play in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico with the successful Rydberg exploration well. After more than 10 years of exploration activities in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, Shell continues to lead industry in exploring this Jurassic play.

"The Rydberg discovery builds upon our leadership position in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and its proximity to our other discoveries in the area make Rydberg particularly exciting." said Marvin Odum, Shell Upstream Americas Director. "These successes represent the emergence of another hub for Shell's deep-water activities that should generate shareholder value."

The Rydberg well is located 75 miles (120 kilometres) offshore in the Mississippi Canyon Block 525 in 7,479 feet (2,280 metres) of water. It was drilled to a total depth of 26,371 feet (8,038 metres) and encountered more than 400 feet (122 metres) of net oil pay.

Shell is completing the full evaluation of the well results but expects the resource base to be approximately 100 million barrels of oil equivalent. Together with the Appomattox and Vicksburg discoveries, this brings the total potential Norphlet discoveries to over 700 million barrels of oil equivalent.

This is the first discovery for the partnership of Shell (operator, interest 57.2%), Ecopetrol America Inc. (28.5%) and Nexen (14.3%), a wholly-owned affiliate of CNOOC Limited. The discovery is within 10 miles (16 kilometres) of the planned Appomattox development and the 2013 Vicksburg discovery (Shell, operator, 75% and Nexen, 25%).

Shell and Nexen are following up the Rydberg discovery with an exploratory well at Gettysburg, located in Desoto Canyon Block 398 which is also within 10 miles (16 kilometres) of the planned Appomattox Development.


• The Jurassic-period Norphlet play is a geological formation that extends from onshore to the deep waters of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico.
• Appomattox (Shell 80%, Nexen 20%) is currently in the define phase of development and is moving forward with engineering design for the floating production system, subsea infrastructure and wells.
• The drillship Noble Globetrotter I drilled the Rydberg well and is currently repositioning to drill the Gettysburg exploratory well.
• The Gulf of Mexico is a major production area in the USA, accounting for almost 50% of Shell's oil and gas production in the country and almost 180 thousand boe per day in 2013.
Download fact sheet 'Shell and the Norphlet play' (July 2014) (PDF, 168 KB)

Synectics Adds Clair Ridge Project to North Sea Portfolio

ClairRidgeplatforms1Synectics has designed and delivered an end-to-end surveillance solution for Clair Ridge – the £4.5bn second phase development project taking place in the North Sea's Clair field.

Located 75km west of the UK's Shetland Islands, Clair Ridge is the most recent high profile project to feature in Synectics' North Sea portfolio, which also includes developments such as Jasmine/Judy, Golden Eagle, Shell Gannet, Shell Clipper, Erskine and Elgin.

The Clair Ridge development, due for full platform topside installation in 2015, will consist of two bridge-linked platforms - a drilling and production platform, and a second for quarters and utilities.

Production is scheduled to commence in 2015 and continue for 40 years. It is estimated that the development will produce around 120,000 barrels of oil per day and will provide a vital 'hub' for future expansion in the area. It will be the first time that BP's award-winning new LoSal® EOR extraction technique for boosting oil yield – achieved by using desalination technology – will be used. This is expected to result in more than 40 million additional barrels being cost effectively recovered over the lifetime of the field.

Working in partnership with IT and telecommunications company Page Europa, Synectics' IP-based system - utilizing Synergy™ integrated security management software - will provide complete surveillance across both platforms for safety and security processes.

Toni Partipilo, Sales Director from Page Europa, said: "As the main telecommunications and security systems integrator on this significant North Sea project, implementing a robust and intuitive end-to-end surveillance solution that would be flexible enough to provide reliable safety and security situational awareness was paramount. Synectics' solution fulfilled the brief perfectly."

COEX™ C3000 PTZ hazardous area and safe area dome camera stations will be positioned throughout the development, all of which will be centrally controllable, allowing live, color footage to be viewed, played back and analyzed without any disruption to recording. H.264 encoding technology will also enable high-quality footage to be transmitted and stored with minimal bandwidth requirements.

Amedeo Simonetto from Synectics said: "As well as providing detailed coverage for both hazardous and non-hazardous platform areas, the system we've supplied is centrally controllable and will integrate effectively with multiple third-party systems including the Driller's CCTV system.

"Additionally we factored in remote viewing capabilities, to enable head office monitoring of the platform, and also future capacity. With plans to utilize Clair Ridge as a hub for further expansion and development of the field, the system we've developed is 'future proof' as it is flexible enough to cope with additional demands."

Survitec Wins US Navy Contract to Install MES on MV Cape Ray

SurvitecSurvitec Group has retrofitted its marine evacuation systems (MES) to the United States naval vessel MV Cape Ray. Key to winning the contract was Survitec's capability to deliver and install the equipment within a very short time frame. The order was fulfilled within four weeks. The 648-foot LOA vessel was equipped with a system comprising two DBC evacuation chutes and four 50-person Zodiac SOLAS A pack life rafts.

Easy to retrofit, Survitec's DBC MES is a gravity launch system that requires no electrics or hydraulics to launch. Its simplicity of operation means it is cost-effective yet capable of evacuating personnel in complete safety in the shortest possible time. It can provide 400 descents in less than 30 minutes.

All components of the system are fully adjustable to accommodate different wind, weather, and sea conditions. The zig-zag design of the chute ensures the safe descent of passengers and crew. The chute also has a protective cover and fender system, which guards evacuees against environmental hazards, including contact with the ship or the effects of smoke and heat from a fire.

Commented Mark Hansen, Survitec Group's Director of Sales: "A couple of years ago we invited the US Navy to witness an MES deployment from a passenger ferry and they were impressed. When the Cape Ray was being refitted we were invited to tender for the contract. Our system was not only cost-effective and easy to operate, but we had the capability to deliver and install in Spain, where the vessel was located, within a matter of weeks".

MV Cape Ray is usually deployed as a transportation ship, hauling equipment and personnel around the world for the US military. Earlier this year the vessel was fitted with special equipment to destroy chemical materials by a process of hydrolysis while remaining at sea.

For further information on the Survitec's complete range of MES click here.

 

Litre Meter Launches Second Oil and Gas Safety Survey

UK flowmeter specialist Litre Meter (www.litremeter.com) has launched the second in a series of oil and gas industry safety surveys that will be introduced throughout 2014.

The survey (http://tiny.cc/ped) is designed to enable manufacturers and resellers to test assertions about functionality and construction and quality of manufacture.

The new survey concentrates on the Pressure Equipment Directive (PED) and one lucky respondent will win a Kindle for taking part.

The purpose of PED is to harmonize national laws regarding the design, manufacture, testing and conformity assessment of pressure equipment and assemblies of pressure equipment. This includes pressurized storage containers, heat exchangers, steam generators, boilers, industrial piping, safety devices and pressure accessories. Such pressure equipment is widely used in the process industries including oil & gas, chemical, pharmaceutical, plastics and rubber and the food and beverage industries - all of which are key markets for Litre Meter.

Litre-Oil-Platform-North-SeaLitre Meter has launched the second in its series of industry surveys on safety issues in the oil and gas sector.

All relevant equipment, plant and systems in the European Economic Area must comply with the PED. It requires the level of hazard of pressure equipment to be assessed and classified into 1 of 5 categories labelled SEP (sound engineering practice) then categories I-IV. The higher the level of hazard, the more extensive the level of quality assurance required during the design, manufacture and testing of the equipment.

Litre Meter CEO Charles Wemyss said: "There has been increased focus on safety issues in the offshore sector over recent years. We want to make sure that our manufacturing focus is on safety in relation to both the environment and industry trends.

"Issues surrounding the environment and hydrocarbon releases, asset aging and life extension drive the focus on safety. We want to be able to help in the process of recognizing hazards and reducing risk as well as help engineers take ownership of risk and asset integrity through proving assertions about the functionality and construction of instruments.

"Asset integrity management ensures that the people, systems, processes and resources that deliver integrity are in place, in use and will perform on demand over the asset's lifecycle.

"Being able to prove assertions about the manufacture and functionality of equipment are vital in this process."

Earlier this year Litre Meter conducted a survey of the use of Safety Integrity Levels (SIL) in the specification of instrumentation in the oil and gas sector. The results of that survey are published at http://tiny.cc/sil-result.

To take the PED survey visit http://tiny.cc/ped and spend just a few minutes answering the questions.

Ten Years of Pure Thinking: Alfa Laval’s Early Focus Paved the Way for Today’s Environmental Solutions

AlfaLavallogoPure-ThinkingBeyond a doubt, Alfa Laval is today's environmental front-runner among marine equipment suppliers. The company's Pure Thinking portfolio comprises not only compliant solutions for the broadest range of environmental legislation, but also leading technology – or even the only technology – in each respective area. At this year's SMM, Alfa Laval will be showcasing the portfolio's most recent developments, which include the soon-to-be-launched PureSOx 2.0.

When Pure Thinking was introduced as a concept in 2004, Alfa Laval solutions were already associated with high efficiency and the reduction of waste. However, there was a growing sense that more would soon be called for when it came to the environment. Indeed, the International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments, adopted by IMO earlier that year, proved to be just one of the seemingly insurmountable hurdles placed before ship owners and operators.

"Ballast water treatment was on everyone's minds a decade ago, in much the way that emission control is today," says Peter Leifland, President Marine & Diesel Division. "There were others besides Alfa Laval with a ballast water solution in development, but already then we were looking at a much bigger picture. We anticipated more and tougher environmental legislation in the years to come, and we knew our customers would have to meet it without damage to their business. Pure Thinking became the platform for meeting that need."

As the name suggests, Pure Thinking began as a strong vision, with only a handful of finalized products and much that was still in the idea stage. PureBallast, for example, was not yet named and just setting out on its first trials at sea. But the formulation of a goal and a systematic approach would prove the key to addressing legislative demands. Ten years later, with US ballast water regulations already in place and Emission Control Areas (ECAs) soon entering into force, Alfa Laval's environmental portfolio is a concrete offering prepared for an increasingly concrete reality.

Unique developments of core technologies
While the Pure Thinking portfolio addresses a wide range of applications, some of which are completely new, the products within it remain true to Alfa Laval's proven strengths. "The principle of Pure Thinking has not been to venture into unproven areas, but rather to meet challenges by applying our core expertise in new ways," says Leifland. "Separation, fluid handling and heat transfer are Alfa Laval cornerstones, even when addressing environmental issues."

PureBilge, the centrifugal separator that became the very first Pure Thinking product, serves as an excellent example. "Centrifugation has been an Alfa Laval hallmark for over a century," says Leifland. "In PureBilge we use it to counteract the vessel's roll and pitch, thereby removing the reliability issues associated with static bilge water treatment solutions." This reliance on core technologies, however, has not kept radical advances from being made within Pure Thinking.

PureBilge was recently joined by PureDry, a very different kind of separator that enables waste fuel recovery in accordance with MEPC.1/Circ.642. PureDry is a paradigm shift in centrifugal separation, combining a solid bowl and disc stack with self-cleaning capabilities. Together, PureDry and PureBilge form an integrated waste oil and bilge water handling system that produces three streams: clean water, a minimal amount of super-dry solids and reusable ISO-quality fuel.

"PureDry is actually the only technology capable of taking advantage of MEPC.1/Circ.642," says Leifland. "In addition to minimizing waste oil volumes, it allows vessels to recoup up to 2% of their consumed fuel volume – which is why it's being adopted rapidly by leading actors in almost every niche of the energy-focused marine industry." Leifland points out that over 100 PureDry systems have been sold in little more than a year of sales.

Environmental protection with energy in mind
For those with energy in focus, there have also been recent developments in PureBallast, a long-time flagship of the Pure Thinking portfolio. PureBallast, which in 2006 became the first ballast water treatment system to reach the market, was launched in its third generation in 2013, bringing with it energy savings of up to 60% over previous versions.

"Ratification of the IMO ballast water convention has taken more time than expected, but in light of US legislation, there is no question that it will happen," says Peter Leifland, President Marine & Diesel Division. "In the meantime, we have continued to develop PureBallast for the best possible fit with today's market demands. Those demands include not only high energy efficiency, but also compactness and flexibility – all aspects that have been greatly improved in PureBallast 3.0."

Beyond the energy savings, PureBallast 3.0 offers space savings of 50% over previous versions and much greater flexibility, thanks to newly optimized reactors in a variety of sizes. Introduced at launch with 300 and 1000 m3/h reactors, the system was expanded with a 600 m3/h reactor in the spring of 2014, enabling a further range of compact and energy-saving configurations.

Meeting the emission challenge

Heerema Chooses Kongsberg Maritime to Supply the World’s Most Advanced Offshore Heavy Lift Crane Simulator

KM Heerema CraneHeerema Marine Contractors (HMC) has selected Kongsberg Maritime's K-Sim Offshore simulation platform to enhance crane operator training and the safe, efficient implementation of heavy lift operations. With the contract signed on May 21st 2014, delivery of what will become the world's most advanced offshore heavy lift crane simulator is planned for September 2015. It will be installed at a new simulation center in the HMC Academy at the company's HQ in Leiden, the Netherlands.

As a leading international offshore oil and gas marine contractor specializing in transporting, installing and removing offshore facilities, HMC's requirement when selecting its simulation partner was to develop a system that could train the most competent crane operators and conduct detailed pre-mission training for heavy-lift projects. To meet these requirements, Kongsberg Maritime will develop a unique simulator based on the K-Sim Offshore platform, which is already in use at several high-profile offshore training facilities worldwide.

"In addition to the technical capabilities of the K-Sim Offshore Simulator, especially including its high-level hydrodynamics, it was important to find a simulator supplier that we could work closely with on such an extensive project," comments Catina Geselschap, Project manager at the HMC Academy. "Kongsberg Maritime demonstrates not only the technical competence to deliver such a complex and sophisticated simulator, but also an open approach that encouraged dialogue and a willingness to find a solution working in close cooperation with Heerema."

The Kongsberg Maritime scope of supply includes two offshore crane operator domes and a DNV Class A bridge with K-Sim DP simulator, which is based on the same Kongsberg Maritime K-Pos DP systems used on Heerema's vessels. To achieve highly realistic training, the K-Sim Offshore simulator will feature detailed models of three HMC deepwater construction vessels; Thialf (Semi-Sub), Balder (Semi-Sub) and Aegir, in addition to several barges (including H-851) and a supply vessel.

Supporting Heerema's plans to use the simulator for project planning, testing & verification, Kongsberg Maritime is also developing a set of library objects and models of offshore installations and equipment used for simulating specific heavy lift projects; such as lifting Jackets, top sides and subsea templates from barge to vessel or from vessel and overboard. Also included in the delivery is an extensive instructor and debrief system, and two deck operator trainers (deck position simulator) designed to train for communication and teamwork between the crane operator and deck operators.

"Heerema is pushing limits with real operations and the K-Sim Offshore simulator project will push limits within training for heavy-lift applications," says Harald Kluken, Area Sales Manager, Kongsberg Maritime Simulation. "As our most advanced offshore heavy lift crane simulator to date, this project will take the K-Sim Offshore simulator platform a great step forwards in regards to engineering and pre-simulation for complex heavy lift operations."

Proposed Demerger of Aker Solutions - Publication of Information Memorandum - Impairment of Some Future Akastor Assets

logoThe board of directors of Aker Solutions ASA ("Aker Solutions") has in accordance with the strategy disclosed April 30 resolved to propose to the company's shareholders that Aker Solutions be split into two companies. The board has also determined to write down the value of some assets in the Aker Oilfield Services unit of Akastor, one of two companies that will emerge from the separation.

Aker Solutions Holding ASA ("New Aker Solutions") - a subsidiary of Aker Solutions ASA established for the purposes of the demerger and which will apply for listing of its shares on the Oslo Stock Exchange - will through the proposed demerger assume Aker Solutions' activities in the following areas of operation: Subsea (SUB), Umbilicals (UMB), Maintenance, Modifications and Operations (MMO) and Engineering (ENG). New Aker Solutions will operate under the Aker Solutions name from the first day of listing.

From the first day of listing of New Aker Solutions, the existing Aker Solutions ASA will change its name to Akastor ASA to form the Akastor Group together with the other subsidiaries that have not been transferred to New Aker Solutions. The Akastor Group will, among other things, continue Aker Solutions' activities mainly related to Drilling Technologies, Process Systems, Surface Products and Aker Oilfield Services, as well as Business Solutions, some financial assets and real estate.

On completion of the demerger, consideration shares in New Aker Solutions will be issued to the shareholders of Aker Solutions. Each share in Aker Solutions will give the right to one consideration share in New Aker Solutions. The consideration shares will constitute 100 percent of the outstanding shares in New Aker Solutions as of completion of the demerger.

The demerger is subject to approval by the shareholders of Aker Solutions at the Extraordinary General Meeting to be held on August 12, 2014, and depends, among other things, on the approval of the application to list New Aker Solutions shares on the Oslo Stock Exchange.

Based on external and internal valuations, the board of Aker Solutions determined an allocation of Aker Solutions' share capital so that 35.2 percent of the share capital would be allocated to Aker Solutions (to be renamed Akastor) and 64.8 percent to New Aker Solutions. This is in accordance with the allocation of net values between the two companies as a consequence of the demerger. The allocation is mainly based on internal and external evaluations of future cash flow and also takes into account the businesses' risks and prospects. Aker Solutions has as part of the demerger plan adopted an interim balance sheet that is included in the demerger plan.

The board determined to recognize impairments and a provision, which are reflected in the above-mentioned valuation, of about NOK 1.6 billion on some assets and goodwill of the Aker Oilfield Services unit of Akastor. The value of Aker Oilfield Services' investments in the Skandi Aker and Aker Wayfarer vessels will be written down and a provision will be made on future leasing commitments for the Aker Wayfarer vessel. The goodwill value of the business area Oilfield Services and Marine Assets (OMA), which Aker Oilfield Services belongs to, will also be written down.

The impairments and provision are based on revised business cases after the cancelation in June by Total in Angola of a two-year contract for the Skandi Aker vessel, as well as a generally weaker market that has created uncertainty about the value of the vessel and the goodwill value of OMA. An impairment charge of NOK 664 million will be taken on the Skandi Aker and NOK 306 million on the goodwill value of OMA. An impairment charge and onerous lease provision totaling NOK 662 million will also be taken on the Aker Wayfarer as some prior investments in the vessel have little or no value based on recently revised business cases and the current market outlook.

The after-tax effect of the impairments and provision is expected to be about NOK 1.3 billion. Most of the Aker Wayfarer impairment and provision will impact earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA). The Skandi Aker and OMA goodwill impairments will impact earnings before interest and taxes (EBIT). The impairments and provision, as well as other financial consequences of the demerger, will be incorporated in the second-quarter 2014 results disclosed July 17 by Aker Solutions.

The impairments and provision will have no effect on the new Aker Solutions since OMA will become part of Akastor. There will be no cash effect, no adverse impact on future funding through covenants and no consequences for the separation of Aker Solutions.

Indicative key dates for the demerger and the listing of New Aker Solutions shares on the Oslo Stock Exchange are as follows:

• Extraordinary General Meeting of Aker Solutions where the demerger proposal will be considered: August 12, 2014
• Application for listing of New Aker Solutions' shares on the Oslo Stock Exchange: on or about August 27, 2014
• Last day of trading of the Aker Solutions' share inclusive of the right to consideration shares in New Aker Solutions: on or about September 26, 2014
• Registration of the demerger with the Norwegian Register of Business Enterprises: on or about September 26, 2014
• First day of trading in Akastor shares exclusive of the right to consideration shares in New Aker Solutions: on or about September 29, 2014
• First day of trading in New Aker Solutions shares on the Oslo Stock Exchange: on or about September 29, 2014


ABG Sundal Collier, Barclays and Carnegie will act as joint lead managers for the listing process.

As part of the process, a listing prospectus for New Aker Solutions will be prepared and published in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

Specialist Pipeline Pig Proves Pipeline is ready for Inspection

PECAT---S34258ECAT™, a pigging based inspection tool supplied by Circor Energy – Pipeline Engineering is helping operators and contractors schedule and plan effective in-line inspections (ILI) of pipelines.

Inspections of pipelines are carried out to identify and locate defects and in-service damage that, if not repaired, could result in pipeline failure. This operation is performed by intelligent or 'smart' pigs which vary in technology and complexity depending on the assessment they will be used to perform.

It is accepted practice for most Oil and Gas pipelines to undergo ILI's as part of their ongoing integrity management; this may also be a legal requirement. Effective ILI operations rely on pipelines being clean and operators want to avoid ILI tools being sent through insufficiently cleaned pipelines. In advance of an ILI, or where pipelines are not regularly cleaned, progressive pigging programmes are often carried out to clean the line, with decisions on whether to run an ILI based on the results and debris returns being encountered.

While cleaning in advance of an ILI is clearly beneficial, the decision of when to inspect a pipeline is to some degree opinion based, as actual available data about the cleanliness of the line is largely based on analysis of debris quantities being returned with each pig run. To support and improve the decision process regarding when a pipeline is suitably clean for inspection, PECAT™, which is ATEX certified, can be sent through the line. PECAT™ uses in-built unique and patented sensor and data logging technology to measure the location and quantity of debris, as well as ovality, temperature and differential pressure. This data is used to help operators and contractors make informed decisions regarding the readiness of a line for an ILI.

A recent project in the UK North Sea where PECAT™ proved particularly beneficial involved a 16" export line which was experiencing high levels of wax formation on the internal pipe wall due to the low temperature of the crude oil.

Operational pigging was in place to remove the wax; however, previous attempts to inspect the line had not returned full sets of data. With another inspection due, the operator wanted assurance that the line was sufficiently clean. Initially a progressive cleaning campaign was carried out with pipeline pigs supplied by Circor Energy - Pipeline Engineering. As this cleaning progressed, changes in the quantity of wax being retrieved and the reduction in differential pressure indicated that the line had been cleaned. A gauging pig was also sent through the line which indicated that all potential obstructions had been removed.

PECAT™ was then run through the line to provide accurate data on quantities of wax remaining on the internal pipe wall, as well the location of any remaining wax. The data recorded by PECAT™ indicated that there were no significant quantities of wax left in the line, with typical readings of build-up on the internal pipe wall being less than 0.5mm.

Based on the results of the PECAT™ survey, an ILI tool was run and the inspection produced a full set of results.

Implementation of a specific progressive cleaning programme followed by running PECAT™ through the line proved to the operator that it was ready for inspection, ensuring they avoided the high expense, both in time and operational costs, of carrying out an ineffective ILI.

Unique Maritime Group Secures Strategic Investment from Blue Water Energy

UniqueUnique Maritime Group (UMG), one of the world's leading integrated turnkey subsea and offshore solutions provider, is pleased to announce a pivotal strategic equity investment from Blue Water Energy.

Martin Somerville(left) fro BWE shaking hands with Harry Ghandi, CEO of UMG on this new partnership

Founded in 1993, UMG is a specialist in the provision of services, and the sale and rental of equipment for the marine, diving, hydrographic, oceanographic, oil & gas, inspection and NDT market sectors. The group has an established manufacturing capability for the delivery of customized engineering projects worldwide. Headquartered in the Hamriyah Free Zone of the United Arab Emirates, UMG has built up an impressive reputation for quality, innovation, service and speed of response in it's nearly two decades of existence and is always striving to improve its product and service offering. The Group's operations are spread across the Middle East, USA, UK, South Africa, Nigeria, India and Singapore.

Founded in 2011, Blue Water Energy is a leading global middle market energy private equity firm based in London. The firm primarily targets private equity investments in the upstream and midstream/downstream energy supply chain, while partnering with best-in-class management teams and utilising a network of seasoned investment and operating professionals that drive value throughout all aspects of the investment process. Its Partners have on average 25 years of relevant experience and, complemented by a seasoned investment team, the Blue Water Energy investment team possess combined experience spanning over 160 years.

The new partnership will allow UMG to accelerate its growth plans through additions to its Rental fleet, as well as through further acquisitions, to expand the product & service offering and geographic distribution.

UMG has an impressive line-up of products and services for the marine, diving, survey, NDT and inspection and oil & gas sectors. A few of these products and services can be listed as follows:

• Marine: Integrated Vessel Management, Control and Safety Systems; Power Generation and Propulsion Systems for Offshore Vessels; Onboard EnergyManagement Solutions; Hoisting Equipment, Deck Machineries & Offshore Containers; Unique Seaflex range of air lift bags, water weights and pipeline buoyancy units

• Diving: Air and Mixed Gas Diving Systems; Saturation Diving Systems; Hyperbaric Rescue Facility; Daughter Craft; Breathing Air Compressors; Commercial Diving Equipment

• Survey: Hydrographic, Oceanographic, Geophysical & Geotechnical Survey Equipment; Environmental & Oceanographic Monitoring Solutions; Remotely Operated and Autonomous Operated Underwater Vehicles; Underwater Security Solutions

• Inspection: Subsea Corrosion Protection Inspections; NDT Equipment; CSWIP Inspection Engineers; ACFM, MPI, FMD, UT

• Oil & Gas: Pipeline Rehabilitation; Hot Tapping & Line Stopping; On-Site Machining; Under Pressure Leak Sealing; Pipeline Repair Clamps; On-Line Safety Valve Testing; On-Line Valve Maintenance; Pipe Freezing; Portable Onsite Machine Rental Solutions; Subsea Diamond Wire Pipe Cutter; Hot Tap & Line Stop Tees and Fittings; Extruded Headers; Pipeline Isolation and Inspection Tooling Solutions

On this occasion, Harry Gandhi, CEO @ Unique Maritime Group commented, "Blue Water Energy is a strong partner for this important growth phase of our business. From the outset, the team at Blue Water Energy has understood our strategy and vision and we are confident that with their industry experience and network, they can strongly support UMG's expansion plans."

Tom Sikorski, Partner @ Blue Water Energy further added, "We are very excited to have been given the opportunity to work with Harry and his team. The partnership with UMG continues our investment strategy of working with founder owners building international energy companies. Harry and his team have a very successful track record to date and we see significant growth opportunities – both organically and through acquisitions - for UMG across its international network."

DW Monday July 14th, 2014: Rise of the Semisub Floatel

douglas-westwoodDeclining North Sea production and increasingly mature assets are expected to drive demand for offshore accommodation support, with the attributed maintenance, refurbishment and shutdown work requiring additional personnel-on-board and workshop capacity. However, the harsh met ocean conditions of the northern North Sea (NNS) ultimately limit Operator choice to two types of accommodation - jackup barges and semisubs – due to the greater stability and safety offered.

Despite growing demand for semisub units, the sector is plagued by constrained global supply and limited availability, placing upward pressure on day rates. This is having a significant impact on contract costs in the NNS, with day rates typically ranging from $200-350k. Additionally, Operators are placing contracts several years in advance to ensure maintenance or construction schedules are satisfied. This is forcing Operators to seek more efficient contracting practices, either through unit sharing agreements or securing units on an annual basis.

Notably; although costs continue to rise, a key emerging trend in the floating accommodation sector is employee welfare. IOCs are using their global footprints to help drive the adoption of the 'quality equals efficiency' concept. This is now being mirrored in the NNS, where several large Operators and service contractors have identified a trend between 'spanner time' – hours worked by offshore personnel – and the quality of worker accommodation. While this may incur greater costs in terms of unit day rates, the cost advantages gained from reduced downtime and improved worker efficiency could make this increased expenditure worthwhile.

The industry is screaming for offshore accommodation capable of working in harsh conditions. Although the market will see 11 new units delivered between 2015-2016, continued growth in demand for accommodation semisubs, intensified by unit retirement, will further constrain supply. We are already seeing the market respond with new orders; however, will this be enough to offset growing demand pressures?

Murray Dormer, Douglas-Westwood London
+44 1795 574736 or

www.douglaswestwood.com

 

MacGregor Secures Offshore Deck Equipment Order for Malaysia-Based International Oilfield Services Provider

MacGregorMacGregor, part of Cargotec, has won an order to supply equipment for three 80m ice-class vessels and a 96m shallow water pipe laying barge, all will be constructed for Bumi Armada Berhad, a Malaysia-based international offshore oilfield services provider. The vessels are destined to operate in the Caspian Sea. Equipment delivery is scheduled for mid November 2014.

The order is booked into the second quarter 2014 order intake.

Two of the three 80m ice-class vessels are designed for support services, the third is a multi-purpose duty rescue vessel. All will have a 60-tonne bollard pull and will be equipped with MacGregor electro-hydraulic windlass/mooring winches, capstans, tugger winches and storage reels, along with anchor handling/ towing winches with a 120-tonnes line pull and 200-tonne brake holding capacity. The first two vessels will be constructed at Keppel Nantong Shipyard in China and the third vessel will be constructed at Keppel Singmarine Pte Ltd in Singapore. All three vessels are classified with the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RMRS).

The shallow water pipe laying barge will be constructed by Romanian shipyard Santierul Naval Constanta SA and classified with Bureau Veritas (BV). MacGregor will supply ten electric variable frequency drive positioning mooring winches and mooring capstans; equipment delivery is planned for February 2015.

"MacGregor is very well positioned to deliver offshore deck equipment for highly specialized offshore support vessels designed to work in extremely low temperature environments such as Arctic region and Caspian Sea," said Francis Wong, Vice President, Segment Sales, Offshore. "This leading market position has recently been strengthen by a number of important acquisitions, which means that we now have a comprehensive portfolio to meet customers' specific operational requirements.

"In addition, MacGregor's extensive global services and supports networks provide confidence and peace of mind for customers running international operations."

PIRA Energy Group's Weekly Oil Market Recap for the Week Ending July 13th, 2014

piraNYC-based PIRA Energy Group reports that WTI strengthened in June while other midcontinent differentials weaken. In the U.S., crude stock drew while products built.  In Japan, crude stocks built. Specifically, PIRA’s analysis of the oil market fundamentals has revealed the following:

WTI Strengthens in June, Other Midcontinent Differentials Weaken

With crude bottlenecks redeveloping in Canada and West Texas, differentials generally weakened in June. Rising production, refinery maintenance, and pipeline delays are contributing to relative weakness in Midcontinent markets – except for Cushing, where inventories continue to fall.

DOE Data Shows Crude Stock Draw, Product Build

Overall commercial inventories increased this past week with product inventory increase outpacing a crude stock decline. Last year saw a very large inventory decline for this particular week and, as a result, the inventory comparison to last year swung to positive, albeit just by 1.0 million barrels, for the first time this year.

Japanese Crude Stocks Build

Crude runs were little changed, but a higher import rate built stocks 3.9 MMBbls. Finished product stocks built slightly, but gasoline stocks drew to a record low. Refining margins are good. Gasoline cracks gained on the week, while other cracks eased slightly. The impact of typhoon Neoguri will be seen in the data for next week with refinery and berthing operations curtailed for a time.

LPG Scorecard

U.S. LPG prices have remained remarkably strong despite the large fall in crude oil prices. WTI and Brent crude oil have fallen 5% and 6% over the past two weeks. Mt Belvieu Propane is only 1% lower over the same period despite record increases in inventories and a surplus stock level to the year prior. Increased export capacity and a bumper corn crop (crop drying demand) are supportive for propane prices. Butane prices were flat over the same period and thus butane’s price ratio to WTI strengthened considerably, by 2.7% to 52.8% of WTI, the strongest vs. US benchmark crude since April. Winter gasoline blending season is only a few months away – the high demand period for butane. Ethane prices were the exception – outpacing natural gas' 6% decline by falling 10% in two weeks to 25.9¢/gal, the lowest level since November of last year.

U.S. Ethanol Prices and Manufacturing Margins Advance

The second half of 2014 began with ethanol prices rising in most of the country and corn costs plunging. As a result, manufacturing margins increased for the first time in five weeks.

Ethanol Production Declines

U.S. ethanol output declined to a six-week low 927 MB/D during the holiday-shortened week ending July 4, down from 953 MB/D in the preceding week. Inventories increased by 82 thousand barrels to 18.3 million, inching closer to the annual high of 18.4 million.

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.

Deep Down Awarded Installation Support Contract

DeepDownlogoDeep Down, Inc. (OTCQX: DPDW) ("Deep Down"), an oilfield services company specializing in complex deepwater and ultra-deepwater oil production distribution system support services announced today that it has been awarded a contract to supply vessel-based equipment and personnel at an umbilical and flexible flow line recovery and re-installation project located offshore West Africa.

The contract has an estimated value of $1.5 million in revenue and is scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Ron Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Deep Down, Inc. stated, "This contract illustrates the confidence our customers have in us to perform this challenging scope of work worldwide."

GAC Group Signs Global Ship Agency Agreement with PGS

Ramform-Atlas-from-PGSs-seismic-fleetGAC Group has signed a frame agreement for ship agency with Norwegian seismic company Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS) for their oil & gas exploration activities globally.

Under the agreement, GAC will provide support for vessels chartered and owned by PGS calling at ports worldwide.

"GAC has supported PGS with ship agency services since the company was founded in 1991. As both our businesses have extended their global reach, we've seen that partnership develop and strengthen. It's one of GAC's key business strategies to build long term relationships, and this is a prime example," says Herman Jorgensen, General Manager of GAC Norway. "GAC's overall approach to delivering an integrated package of shipping, logistics and marine services, supported by its strong commitment to safety and security, experienced staff and extensive national and global coverage, were all contributing factors in securing this latest agreement with PGS."

PGS is one of several major exploration companies supported by GAC globally.

DeepFlex Announces Strategic Partnership with Offshore Inland Marine & Services, Inc.

DeepflexlogoDeepFlex announces the signing of an agreement with Offshore Inland Marine & Services, Inc. (OIMO) to establish a new unbonded flexible pipe manufacturing and qualification testing facility to be located in the Port of Pensacola, Florida. The industrial complex will have direct access to the existing deep water quay-side, which is strategically located for optimized access to serve the flexible pipe markets in the Gulf of Mexico, West Africa, Europe and Asian regions. The state of the art manufacturing and qualification testing facilities will create job opportunities in excess of 100 direct jobs and make a significant contribution to the City of Pensacola's industrial and business growth.

Felipe Lamego, DeepFlex President & CEO, said: "Our new plant in Pensacola, benefiting from its strategic location and our leadership in composite fiber reinforced flexible pipes, will strengthen our global leadership in the research, development, industrialization and commercialization of advanced technology for the delivery of deep water enabling flexible pipe solutions. We look forward to the bright future ahead for this facility's growth with the City of Pensacola and Offshore Inland. We recognize the assistance provided by the Greater Pensacola Chamber, who actively guided the project through the competitive site-selection process and helped our company navigate both the local, regional and state incentive approval process."

Lamego continued: "Other local, regional and state partners instrumental in facilitating our project included Enterprise Florida, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, the Florida Department of Transportation, Escambia County and the City of Pensacola. The project was also supported by two special regional initiatives – Gulf Power Company's Job Creation Rate Incentive, which offers discounts to new and existing customers who add jobs, capital investments and new electrical loads to the region – as well as the Industry Recruitment, Retention and Expansion Fund, a regional economic development initiative administered by the University of West Florida and appropriated by the state legislature."

Danos Names Gros GM of Fabrication Division

Danos-Names-Gros-GM-of-Fabrication-DivisionDanos recently named Larose native Glenn Gros General Manager of the company's Fabrication Division. In addition to the day-to-day management and oversight of Danos' nearly 30-year-old fabrication yard at the company's headquarters' in Larose, Gros will also be responsible for establishing the company's new, waterfront fabrication yard.

Prior to joining Danos, Gros, an LSU graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering, has held leadership positions at J. Ray McDermott, Cameron Process Solutions, Unifab International, Oil States Skagit SMATGO, and RCI.

"Glenn brings over 40 years of fabrication and project management experience to Danos, and we're proud to have him lead our growing fabrication division," said Mark Danos, Construction and Fabrication Division Manager.

With capabilities to handle carbon steel, stainless steel, duplex steels, copper-nickel and aluminum, Danos' fabrication division offers customized solutions for both the structural and process piping demands of the oil and gas industry. The addition of a new waterfront facility will allow Danos to pursue large structures and modules, adding to its current fabrication capabilities.

"It's a great time to be joining the Danos organization," said Gros. "Danos has built a solid, well-respected fabrication business over the past three decades, and I'm ready to get to work helping expand the business and creating job opportunities with our new waterfront facility."

Paragon Offshore Announces $1.185 Billion Private Placement of Senior Notes in Connection with Spin-Off

ParagonlogoParagon Offshore Limited (to be converted to Paragon Offshore plc) ("Paragon"), in preparation for its previously announced spin-off from Noble Corporation (NYSE: NE) ("Noble"), announces that, subject to market and other conditions, it intends to offer for sale $1.185 billion in aggregate principal amount of senior unsecured notes due 2022 and 2024 in a private offering that is exempt from registration under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act"), to eligible purchasers.

Paragon intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to repay a portion of the promissory notes that it expects to issue to Noble as partial consideration for the transfer to Paragon of Noble's standard specification drilling business in connection with the spin-off.

The notes and the related guarantees will be offered only to qualified institutional buyers in reliance on the exemption from registration set forth in Rule 144A under the Securities Act, and outside the United States, to non-U.S. persons in reliance on the exemption from registration set forth in Regulation S under the Securities Act. The notes and the related guarantees have not been registered under the Securities Act or the securities laws of any state or other jurisdiction, and may not be offered or sold in the United States without registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements of the Securities Act and applicable state securities or blue sky laws.

This press release shall not constitute an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, any securities, nor shall there be any sale of the notes or related guarantees in any state in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of such states.

About Paragon Offshore
Paragon Offshore is currently an indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Noble Corporation. Paragon is a pure-play global provider of standard specification offshore drilling rigs. Paragon's drilling fleet consists solely of standard specification rigs and includes 34 jackups and eight floaters (five drillships and three semisubmersibles). Paragon's primary business is to contract its rigs, related equipment and work crews to conduct oil and gas drilling and workover operations for its exploration and production customers on a dayrate basis around the world. Paragon's principal executive offices are located in Houston, Texas.

Repsol Makes Oil Discovery in Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad Descubrimiento tcm11-671800• Repsol has discovered hydrocarbons in its TB14 well in the TSP block offshore Trinidad and Tobago, east of the Island of Trinidad.

• This discovery, made outside of the existing extension of the Teak field, has an estimated 40 million barrels of oil in place.

• The TB14 well has produced 1,200 barrels of oil a day of good quality crude in testing and is in commercial production.

• The find adds to the successful completion of the TB13 development well, which began producing in May.

The company has for the last three years beaten its own resource addition targets, outlined in its 2012-2016 strategic plan.

Repsol has made a new hydrocarbons discovery in the Teak field, offshore Trinidad and Tobago, in the TSP block east of the island of Trinidad.

The find in the TB14 well has upgraded the northern portion of the Teak B field that was not known to exist before.
The newly-discovered area is estimated to contain over 40 million barrels of oil in place, which increases the field's current reserves, extends its productive life and adds new output.

Repsol operates the field with a 70% interest, partnered by co-venturers Petroleum Company of Trinidad and Tobago (Petrotrin) and The National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago (NGC), with a 15% stake each.

Repsol and its partners are carrying out a drilling campaign to add new resources and production to the TSP block, which has been producing since the 1970s. The program includes new drilling throughout 2014.

The TB14 well, which has produced 1,200 barrels of oil a day in testing, adds to the start-up in June of the TB13 well, which added 1,384 bopd to the field's output. The new wells add 24% to the block's existing production, which averaged 10,900 bopd during 2013.
The drilling programs in Trinidad and Tobago have been benefitted by fiscal reforms implemented by the government in the last few years to incentivise exploration and production in mature fields. This has resulted in increased rig activity, additional production and new reserves.
Repsol and its partners continue to work in the area, expecting to complete at least two more wells during the current year, with further drilling scheduled for the following years.

Repsol has boosted its exploratory activity in the last few years with significant success, with more than 50 discoveries since 2008, including some of the world's largest finds in the period.

In 2013, Repsol posted the highest reserve replacement rate amongst its peers at 275%, which also beat the company's own reserve addition targets for a third consecutive year to reach a total 1.515 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

Repsol in Trinidad and Tobago

Repsol has been operating in Trinidad and Tobago since 1995. It currently holds rights over seven offshore blocks. Repsol's production in the country averaged 135,046 boepd in 2013.

At the end of 2013, Repsol has hydrocarbons reserves in Trinidad and Tobago totalling 325.3 million barrels of oil equivalent.