FERC Issues Order Authorizing Excelerate Energy's Aguirre Offshore GasPort Project

Excelerate Receives Approval to Move Forward with the Construction and Operation of LNG Terminal

On July 24, 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued its order granting authorization to Excelerate Energy ("Excelerate"), in cooperation with the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), to site, construct, and operate the proposed Aguirre Offshore GasPort Project ("Project") located offshore Puerto Rico. The order confirms the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that resulted in a finding of no significant environmental impact. As part of the order, the Project will comply with all the environmental conditions outlined by FERC.

1FERC"We are pleased to receive the order from FERC after nearly four years of extensive environmental review," stated Rob Bryngelson, Excelerate's chief executive officer. "During this time, Excelerate has not diminished its efforts to deliver the beneficial Aguirre Offshore project, nor has the company wavered in its support for PREPA's and the Government of Puerto Rico. Excelerate firmly believes that the Project will provide a valuable service to PREPA and bring tangible and enduring benefits to the citizens of Puerto Rico."

"The order represents an important milestone in the development of the project," stated PREPA's interim executive director, Carlos Castro. "This project is critical for PREPA to reduce the cost of energy in Puerto Rico and to reduce the emission of air pollutants."

The proposed project will be a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal with the same capabilities as a land-based terminal. The terminal will consist of a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU), minimal infrastructure to moor the vessel, and a subsea pipeline to deliver the gas onshore. The facility will provide fuel to PREPA's Central Aguirre Power Complex. Fuel cost reduction and environmental improvements, such as improved air quality and reduced barge traffic in the environmentally sensitive Jobos Bay, are the primary drivers for bringing the Project to Puerto Rico.

The Project has undergone an exhaustive analysis through the environmental review process that began in December of 2011. Within this timeframe, Excelerate has provided extensive information regarding the design, construction and operation of the Project to the FERC, cooperating agencies, and the general public. Also, both Excelerate and PREPA have held numerous meetings with the private and public sectors, as well as local communities and interested parties, to ensure complete transparency throughout the entire permitting process. On February 20, 2015, the FERC issued the final EIS, which assessed the environmental impacts of the Project and determined that the Project was suitable for construction and operation.

In the coming months, Excelerate will continue to work with FERC and cooperating agencies in preparation for the commencement of construction. Construction is estimated to begin the first quarter of 2016, with an in-service date of the second quarter of 2017.

All project related information can be found on the Project website.

The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) is a public corporation that was founded in 1941. PREPA owns and operates electric generating and distribution facilities serving all of Puerto Rico, supplying 99 percent of the power consumed on the Island. Dependable generating capacity aggregates approximately 4.4 million kilowatts, and adequately supplies the highly industrialized economy of Puerto Rico. PREPA is directed by a Government Board.
Excelerate Energy L.P. is the pioneer and market leader in innovative floating LNG solutions. We provide integrated services along the entire LNG value chain with the objective of delivering rapid-to-market and reliable LNG solutions to our customers. Excelerate offers a full range of floating regasification services, from FSRU to infrastructure development; we serve the upstream market through the development of floating liquefaction (FLNG) solutions; and our established trading and chartering team is active in the global market and provides access to LNG supply and market to both our downstream and upstream customers. Headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas, Excelerate has a presence in Buenos Aires, Dubai, London, Rio de Janeiro, and Singapore.

More Oil from Gullfaks

Production from the Gullfaks South (GSO) fast-track project for improved oil recovery in the North Sea started on 27 July. GSO will increase the output from the Gullfaks area by around 65 million barrels of oil equivalent.

2Staloil-gullfaksThe Gullfaks A platform in the North Sea. (Photo: Øyvind Hagen)

«GSO demonstrates how we can increase recovery and profitability by use of standardized, simplified development solutions tied to existing infrastructure,” says Arild Dybvig, vice president for fast-track projects in Development & Production Norway. Production started three years after the project was approved. NOK 9 billion have been invested in the project.

«Helping utilize spare processing capacity, the project extends the Gullfaks A platform life beyond 2030,» says Marit Berling, vice president for Gullfaks operations.

GSO represents our focus on improved recovery, standardization and industrialization – in line with Statoil’s continuous effort of maximizing value creation on the Norwegian continental shelf.

This project is part of Statoil’s fast-track portfolio, but it has a larger and more complex subsea scope than ordinary developments of this kind. «Close to 800 vessel days and 2.3 million working hours have been completed with good HSE results. GSO is our most comprehensive fast-track project,» says Trond Bokn, vice president for subsea projects in Technology, Projects & Drilling. The project also involved 370 drilling rig days. The drilling program will continue through the first quarter of 2016.

GSO covers two subsea templates, four production wells, two gas injectors, a gas injection pipeline and a total of three production tubings, in addition to umbilicals and power cables for pipeline heating. There are a total of 22 subsea tie-ins.

Technip Awarded Offshore Brownfield and Subsea Tie-Backs for Petronas FLNG1

Technip has been awarded an engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning contract by PETRONAS Carigali for the tie-in of PETRONAS first Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (PFLNG1) facility to KAKG-A platform in Kanowit field, located 200 kilometers offshore Bintulu, East Malaysia, at a water depth of approximately 80 meters.

The contract covers the procurement and installation of a 3.2 kilometers flexible flowline between the existing KAKG-A central processing platform in Kanowit field to the PFLNG1 riser. It also includes modification and tie-in works at KAKG-A.

3petronas-flngTechnip’s operating center in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, will execute the contract. The Group will leverage its unique integrated approach in the subsea business. The flexible flowline will be manufactured in Asiaflex Products, Technip’s manufacturing facility in Tanjung Langsat, Johor, Malaysia. It will then be installed by the Group’s multipurpose vessel, the Deep Orient. The installation campaign is scheduled for completion in late 2015.

KK Lim, President of Technip in Asia Pacific, commented, "With this award, we are able to offer to PETRONAS a competitive solution through our unique vertically integrated value chain for subsea infrastructures, from the design and manufacture of the flexible pipes up to its installation, using Technip assets”.

The PFLNG1 vessel, which will produce 1.2 million tons of LNG per year, will play a significant role in PETRONAS’ efforts to unlock gas reserves in Malaysia's remote and stranded fields to help meet the growing demand for gas.

Technip is a FLNG leader with first mover advantage having secured the two world’s first FLNG projects including PETRONAS FLNG1, thanks to its unique combination of know-how and technologies in subsea, offshore and onshore.

Petrofac Urges Marine Employers to be Prepared ahead of Regulatory Changes

Employers of thousands of marine crew are being urged to be prepared following changes to the Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) - or face potentially being unable to set sail.

4Petrofac-Marine-TrainingThe changes affect UK seafarers who hold basic STCW certification, or have six months or more sea service prior to 1 August 1998 and are deemed to be qualified in any of the following:

  • Proficiency in Advanced Fire Fighting
  • Proficiency in Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting
  • Personal Survival Techniques
  • Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats
  • Proficiency in Fast Rescue Boats

George Masson, Marine Team Leader at Petrofac Training Services’ (PTS) quayside facility in Aberdeen, explained: “The changes are being introduced to ensure seafarers maintain the necessary standards of competence to undertake practical emergency, occupational safety and survival functions such as launching life rafts or dealing with fires.”

As of 1 January 2017, seafarers must have completed the training course or updating training within the previous five years, followed by refresher training every five years.

While the requirements are being introduced globally, UK employers are expected to be amongst those most affected as updating training has already been standard practice in many regions. Seafarers who hold UK certification have been required to demonstrate their competence on an ongoing basis on board their vessel but are unlikely to have undertaken approved refresher training.

Crewing companies and owners or operators of all types of vessel will be affected, including supply ships, support vessels, ERRVs, FPSOs, drillships, ferries and flotels, amongst others.

George Masson added: “The new requirements will apply to thousands of seafarers, so we are encouraging companies to be ahead of the game and to plan their training schedules accordingly. The worst case scenario is that workers may not be able to sail and carry out their duties but this can be avoided.”

PTS is approved by the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) to deliver initial and updating training for all the required courses, and is also arranging an increasing number of courses to meet customer-specific requirements.

Gas and Condensate Discovery in the North Sea

5SatoilOperator Statoil and its PL146/PL333 partner Total E&P Norge have made a gas and condensate discovery in the Julius prospect in the King Lear area in the North Sea.

The discovery well 2/4-23S, drilled by Maersk Gallant, proved gas and condensate in the Ula formation. Statoil estimates the volumes in Julius to be between 15 and 75 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent.

The well 2/4-23S aimed also to appraise the King Lear gas and condensate discovery made by the PL146/PL333 partnership in 2012.

The well provided important information on reservoir distribution and reservoir communication in the King Lear discovery. The acquired data will now be further analyzed.

It is expected that the King Lear volumes will stay within the previously communicated range of 70-200 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent.

“The King Lear and Julius discoveries are located in one of the most mature parts of the Norwegian continental shelf - just 20 kilometers north of Ekofisk, the first commercial NCS discovery made 45 years ago. The discoveries confirm Statoil’s view that even such mature areas of the NCS still have an interesting exploration potential,” says May-Liss Hauknes, Statoil vice president for exploration in the North Sea.

“Since the King Lear discovery, the main focus of the license partnership has been to clarify the resource basis within PL146/PL333. Following the positive results of the Julius well, the partnership will start working on an optimal plan for a timely development of the discovered resources. The Julius discovery will be included in the resource base for a future PL146/PL333 development decision,” says Edward Prestholm, acting head of early phase field development on the NCS in Statoil.

Second Damen Offshore Carrier 8500 Launched

On Thursday July 23rd, senior representatives of Maersk Supply Service, DeepOcean UK and the Damen Shipyards Group gathered at Damen Shipyards Galati, Romania to witness the launching of subsea support vessel Maersk Connector. The vessel is owned and operated by Maersk Supply Service and is built to contract for a seven year charter agreement with DeepOcean.

Maersk Connector is the second of a new generation of cable-laying vessels developed by the Damen Shipyards Group. Equipped with survey and trenching capabilities, she will extend DeepOcean’s capabilities in the larger cable-laying end of the market, representing a new focus on interconnector projects in addition to oil and gas sector and renewables work. Her 7,000 tonne carousel will make her well suited for installation and burial projects from land-fall to deep water and also for operations in remote geographical locations. The vessel is designed to meet the high standards demanded by North Sea oil and gas customers.


Pierre Boyde, Commercial Director at DeepOcean, said; “We are delighted to see the positive progress being made on this high quality Damen vessel and are very pleased with the working relationships with our partners. Last week we signed our first project for the Maersk Connector - on the Bligh Bank Wind Farm - and look forward to finalising further contracts elsewhere in the near future.

“This new vessel will be a critical part of our growth strategy, delivering production efficiencies that will contribute to the lowering of costs in the offshore wind sector. In particular it will play an important part in the roll-out of the next generation of interconnectors that will contribute so much towards maintaining the UK’s energy security and lowering the wholesale cost of electricity.”

Chief Commercial and Strategy Officer at Maersk Supply Service, Søren Karas, stated, “We are naturally very pleased to see that our long-term customer DeepOcean has already assigned the vessel to its first project, and we look forward to providing superior marine operations to enable DeepOcean’s continued success.”

Developed as a flexible platform for both transport and installation work offshore, the DOC 8500 is 138 metres in length and has a beam of 27.5 metres. The 9,300 dwt vessel features 2,200 square metres of unobstructed deck with a loading capacity of 20t/m2 and ro-ro capability. Top speed will be 12 knots.

Speaking at the launch, Remko Bouma, Sales Manager at Damen Shipyards Gorinchem, commented, “We are very pleased that the project is meeting all its milestones precisely on time, and the co-operation with the clients has been excellent. We are confident that the rate of progress will continue up to delivery in February 2016.”

Following the launch, the Maersk Connector is now berthed at Damen Shipyards Galati and installation is getting underway on the helideck, cranes and bridge, as well as the fitting-out of the interior. Sea trials are expected to commence by the end of this year.

CAPE Holland Successfully Deploys Its New Vibro Lifting Tool

Earlier this week, during its first commercial application, the newly developed Vibro Lifting Tool (VLT) of CAPE Holland has successfully installed 4 piles in up to 90m water depth. This installation is part of the pre-piling project for the Culzean Wellhead Platform jacket which will be installed next year. The VLT was used as a stabbing tool to install all 4 piles in one sequence to stable depth through a template without any tool change. Negating the need for a tool change meant it was possible to install all 4 piles in just one 12 hour shift to the predicted penetration depths, which resulted in a significant time saving.

7CapeHollandCAPE Holland’s Vibro Lifting Tool stabbed onto the final pile, ready for upending and lifting to the seabed 90m below

CAPE Holland’s CEO Laurens de Neef commented ”This is a major milestone for our company and has once again shown the potential of the VLT by demonstrating that this approach contributes to improved productivity and safety. It increases the pile installation rates by optimising crane handling operations with an added advantage of reducing the amount of required equipment on deck.“ He added “I am very proud of our team, who have worked extremely hard over the past year to develop the VLT for its first application.”

Sparrows Group Breaks into Malaysian Market through Eftech Partnership

Sparrows Group has expanded into the Malaysian market after forming a strategic partnership with a local service provider in the region, Efficient Technology Sdn Bhd (Eftech), as part of the company’s ambitious plans to treble business in Asia Pacific over the next five years.

As part of the country-wide agreement, Sparrows Group will offer services such as offshore crane maintenance, crane hire, fluid power, inspection and cable and pipe lay products which are in particularly high demand in the region.

Sparrows Group already works with a number of drilling companies in Malaysia however it is expected that the agreement with Eftech will enable this to increase significantly.

8Sparrows-Group---EftechStewart Mitchell, chief executive officer at Sparrows Group, said: “We see Asia Pacific as a key growth area for Sparrows Group in the coming years. Malaysia’s oil reserves are the fourth highest in Asia Pacific and by partnering with a well-respected local company that shares our commitment to assure delivery to clients, such as Eftech, we believe we are on the right track to realizing our aims.

“In many ways a partnership with Eftech is a perfect fit as we complement each other’s strengths. Eftech is an established provider of process and pipeline services, combined with our in-depth knowledge of lifting and handling, fluid power and cable and pipe lay we will provide operators with an integrated specialist service of the highest standard.”

At present Sparrows Group employs over 120 people in Asia Pacific and over 2,100 globally. They currently have bases in Singapore, Myanmar, Australia, China and two in Indonesia in the region.

Malaysian regulations stipulate all offshore service activity for Petronas, the state’s national oil and gas company, should be carried out through a local company.

The agreement with Eftech, which was founded in 2002, will see the company supporting Sparrows Group in providing its services across Malaysia’s three producing offshore basins. At present there are more than 130 offshore operating platforms in Malaysia and over 30 drilling rigs.

Dato’ Mahathir Samat, managing director of Eftech said: “Our partnership with Sparrows Group and their considerable track record in crane maintenance services has been integral to us being awarded a license for this type of work by Petronas. There is a demand in our local market for the level of service we can bring through our partnership which I am sure will bring many benefits to the Malaysian offshore sector.”

Established originally in 1946, the Sparrows Group moved into the oil and gas market in 1975 and celebrates 40 years working offshore this year. They are one of the most well-known and trusted names in the oil and gas industry. The company provides engineered products and services, primarily to the offshore sector, specializing in lifting and handling, cable and pipe lay, and fluid power solutions.

Trelleborg Provides Coating Solutions to Help Enhance Safety at New Sverdrup Oil Field

9Trelleborg-Provides-Coating-Solutions-to-Help-Enhance-Safety-at-New-Sverdrup-Oil-Field1Trelleborg’s offshore operation has secured a contract to supply its thermal insulation, corrosion and passive fire protection (PFP) solutions for use on the new Johan Sverdrup oil field in the North Sea, off Norway.

Contracted by Kvaerner, Trelleborg’s offshore operation in Norway will supply its Vikotherm R2 thermal insulation coating to be applied to 12 risers. In addition, the company will provide corrosion coating for 195 riser guides, 40 caisson guides and 15 J-tube guides.

By working with Trelleborg, Kvaerner has reduced the number of its suppliers for insulation, corrosion and fire protection requirements, which is expected to save the contractor significant time and money throughout the life of the project. Production will begin at Trelleborg’s facility in Krokstadelva in September and will continue until May 2016.

Ben Erik Jansen, Business Group Director at Trelleborg’s offshore operation in Norway says: Wa’ve worked closely with Kvaerner on previous projects, but we take no contract for granted. So when they confirmed that we had successfully won the project for the Johan Sverdup field, we were thrilled. We are looking forward to working with Kvaerner in the coming months.”

Trelleborg’s Vikotherm™ R2 rubber is chemically resistant to most corrosive liquids, gases, salt water, ozone and UV-light; all of which are corrosive agents commonly encountered in the offshore environment. In addition, the material’s operating temperature ranges from -49 °C to +155 °C / -56 °F to 311 °F.

The high performance rubber-based composite insulates and protects jumpers, manifolds, risers, pipelines, flow lines, equipment and other subsea structures. Designed to last a minimum of 30 years, the material is maintenance-free, eliminating the need for future replacements or rectifications. It is practically incompressible and resistant to both seawater and impact, effectively withstanding low and high temperatures and giving corrosion and mechanical protection.

Trelleborg’s offshore operation in Norway has delivered a variety of rubber based products and solutions since 1896. In 1972, the company started providing corrosion protection to the oil industry and in 1986 made its first delivery of thermal insulation to the Oseberg field, Norway.

After the Pipe Alpha disaster in 1989, Trelleborg worked with Hydro and Saga Petroleum, now Norsk Hydro, to develop a new type of fire protection in rubber, for use on risers in splash zones. Since then, Trelleborg’s Firestop technology has developed further, growing the portfolio of fire protection solutions for the oil and gas market.

New Improved Temperature Range for Wire Rope and Umbilical Grease

10BioGen-Vessel-Antarctica-751New independent testing of the recently launched BIOGEN WIRESHIELD® wire rope and ROV umbilicals lubricant demonstrates consistently high lubrication performance within an industry-leading temperature range of -50ºC to +180ºC.

It means that offshore operators can depend on a single wire rope and ROV umbilical lubricant in all operating conditions. There is no risk of BIOGEN WIRESHIELD going brittle at very low temperatures, and at the highest operating temperatures, such as those endured by the wire ropes in active heave compensation (AHC) systems, the lubricant performs to the same high standard, eliminating the safety risks associated with inferior products melting and dripping onto decks.

This latest performance characteristic builds on the performance and safety credentials of BIOGEN WIRESHIELD, which has already been certified under EU Ecolabel as an Environmentally Acceptable Lubricant (EAL) to comply with the requirements of the latest US VGP (Vessel General Permit). It enables the marine and offshore industries to meet stricter environmental safety requirements whilst benefiting from enhanced day-to-day operational performance.

Manufactured in the UK by ROCOL®, BIOGEN WIRESHIELD has already demonstrated superior corrosion resistance, with zero galvanic reaction after 1000 hours in salt spray testing. The product offers shear stability too in the presence of salt water, with little degradation in testing.

It also provides maximum penetration to the cable’s core. The lubricant’s pseudoplastic rheology means that shear or agitation causes a reduction in dynamic viscosity, which allows maximum penetration into ROV umbilicals and wire ropes, as well as increasing pumpability during application to minimise blockages.

ROCOL Business Development Manager for Marine and Offshore Industry, Gareth Procter, says: “A ‘no compromise’ approach was taken to the development of BIOGEN WIRESHIELD and the key to its success is its formulation, which includes unique proprietary ingredients. Independent environmental testing was performed on ROCOL’s high performance additive packs, allowing them to be used in BIOGEN WIRESHIELD without compromising VGP compliance.

“The most remarkable result is the extent to which the formulation has exceeded performance expectations, such as the operating temperature range and corrosion protection. It is quickly proving itself to be the total wire rope and umbilical solution.”

CentraMax® PI1 (Push-In) Added to Antelope’s Centralizer Series

Oil Tool (AOT), an industry leading designer, manufacturer and seller of patented casing and cementation equipment, has developed the CentraMax® PI1, an addition to the CentraMax® Series.

11CentraMaxThe CentraMax® PI1 is used as an alternative solution to centralizer subs in close tolerance applications. The design allows for both reciprocation and rotation type applications, and is always pushed when installed between two external anchor devices. The CentraMax® PI1 is to be used when the annular clearance between the casing O.D. and restriction I.D. are sufficient, negating the requirement for a more expensive centralizer sub solution.

Antelope’s ‘to the pipe’ solution provides flexibility of placement and ease of installation by our trained installation technicians, and has a significant lower manufacturing cost when compared to industry competitor offerings. Adding the CentraMax® PI1 to the series, proves our continuous drive to serve our clients and their cementation needs,” said Bill Kelley, president and chief executive officer.

The one-piece centralizer design contributes proven and effective restoring force and standoff in under-reamed hole sections, while being able to compress and pass through narrow tolerance restriction sections, resulting in low starting and running forces.

The CentraMax® one-piece design presents superior mechanical integrity, high yield and tensile strengths, and eliminates the potential of failure of welds. The slip-on design can accommodate virtually any casing weight, grade and threaded connection types.

Well Intervention Experts Sought for Leading Industry Conference

With only three weeks left to become part of the presentation line-up for this year’s SPE ICoTA European Well Intervention Conference, experts in well intervention are urged to submit an abstract on the topic and share the latest developments in the field with their peers.

The annual conference, hosted by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Aberdeen Section and the Intervention and Coiled Tubing Association (ICoTA), will take place between 11-12 November 2015 at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre.

12A-number-of-presentations-Conference1A number of presentations took place at last year's SPE ICoTA European Well Intervention Conference

A range of topics will be covered over the course of the two days, with a focus on new technology and innovative solutions, lightweight rig intervention, safety innovations, subsea fields, mature fields, challenging environments and thru-tubing drilling. Presentation abstracts are welcomed on relevant topics including well integrity, abandonment operations, intervention techniques and technology, completion systems and cost savings.

Steve Cromar, co-chairman of this year’s SPE ICoTA Well Intervention Conference said: “The drop in the price of oil has shifted the focus to maximising the cost savings and efficiency of coil tubing operations. The industry has responded, and this has been successfully achieved on a number of recent projects, whilst maintaining safe working practices.

“The annual SPE ICoTA European Well Intervention Conference and Exhibition offers technical experts the opportunity to share their expertise and experiences in this niche field with other industry professionals, with the aim of improving industry best practice and further driving technological advancement.”

A one day pre-conference short course will kick off the event on 10 November aimed at non-specialists, which will appeal to those looking to gain a basic understanding of well intervention operations.

Industry professionals are asked to share their expertise on coiled tubing and well intervention on global stage at this year’s conference by submitting a paper proposal by 14 August at www.rodgerandco.com or by email to .

PIRA Energy Group's Weekly Oil Market Recap for the Week Ending July 26th, 2015

13piranewlogoNYC-based PIRA Energy Group reports overall commercial stocks built but the excess modestly narrowed. In Japan, crude runs declined due to typhoons and crude stocks drew on low imports. Specifically, PIRA’s analysis of the oil market fundamentals has revealed the following:

U.S. Stocks Build but Excess Modestly Narrows

Overall commercial stocks built 2.9 million barrels, 2.3 million barrels less than last year’s increase for the same week, narrowing the year-on-year stock excess to a still hefty 144.4 million barrels, or 12.8%. The crude stock surplus to last year widened to 93 million barrels, or 25%. Cushing crude stocks are 39 million barrels over last year, a new high for the year.

Japanese Crude Runs Decline Due to Typhoons, Crude Stocks Draw on Low Imports

Crude runs declined due to the impacts from a typhoon, which also kept crude imports very low such that crude stocks posted a large draw. Finished product stocks rose due to a build in jet-kero and fuel oil. Gasoline demand was higher from holiday impacts and stocks drew. Gasoil demand was also higher, producing a modest stock draw. The indicative refining margin remained good and was little changed.

Gas Tanker Rates Falling

Spot VLGC tanker rates look to have peaked with the benchmark Ras Tanura to Chiba, Japan rate falling $20 to $120/MT after reaching the year’s highest levels a week ago. LPG length in the AG has led to suppliers leaning on term purchasers to lift contracted volumes, which squeezed an already extended gas tanker market. Supply in Asia, set to benefit from additional AG deliveries, has reacted to crimp spot arbs from the U.S. by the most in a year – which may very well lead to an increase in spot VLGC availabilities – and thus the peak may now be in for tanker rates. With new build tanker deliveries accelerating from here thru next year – rates may not return to these levels for some time.

Ethanol Prices Decline

The week ending July 17, U.S. ethanol prices tumbled to the lowest level in almost a month, tracking the decline in corn and oil values. The six-week low output of ethanol-blended gasoline during the preceding week was also bearish.

U.S. Ethanol Output Lower

Ethanol production fell for the second consecutive week as some plants have been operating at lower rates due to poor margins. Inventories dropped by 181 thousand barrels to 19.6 million barrels, though PADD III was the only region where stocks decreased.

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, July 27th, 2015: The Evolution of Subsea EPC

14DWMondayThe subsea sector is highly consolidated with just five players servicing the $12billion annual requirements of the global E&P community. The two largest, FMC and OneSubsea, account for approximately two-thirds of the market but despite this, have shown no signs of resting on their laurels, forging strategic partnerships to reshape and redefine the commercial landscape. This has become increasingly critical as projects have grown in scale and complexity.

Recent years have seen a shift in focus from mechanical tree designs towards value added instrumentation, monitoring and processing technologies. The joint venture between Cameron and Schlumberger to form OneSubsea in 2013 is a deliberate attempt to unite the former’s subsea skill with the latter’s downhole and processing expertise. Likewise, the recent partnership between FMC and Technip to form Forsys Subsea, combines subsea production, processing and installation capabilities, minimising both supply chain and technological interfaces for the end user.

Ultimately, E&P companies have been gradually moving from a ‘pick and choose’ approach, to procuring systems from a single vendor. DW data suggests that 15 years ago, nearly a fifth of subsea wells installed had different manufacturers for the trees and controls. In 2015 it is expected that over 95% of subsea trees installed will have wellheads and controls from the same manufacturer. This trend is set to develop further with an appetite for standardisation of subsea equipment that has been driven by cost pressures, lower oil prices and the subsequent need to deliver projects on-budget, on-time.

Michelle Gomez, Douglas-Westwood Singapore


Total Sells Minority Interests in West of Shetland Fields for £565 Million

15totallogo-1Total has signed an agreement to sell 20% of its interests in the Laggan, Tormore, Edradour and Glenlivet fields, located in the West of Shetland area, to SSE E&P UK Limited Ltd for £565 million (around $876 million), subject to the customary approvals.

“The sale of these minority interests is aligned with Total’s portfolio management strategy and target of divesting $5 billion of assets in 2015. It allows us to capitalize fully on this new deep offshore development, while retaining a majority interest and operatorship,” commented Arnaud Breuillac, President, Exploration & Production. “With the upcoming start-up of Laggan, followed by Tormore, Edradour and Glenlivet in the coming years, Total is opening up a new frontier area for gas production in the United Kingdom.”

Following completion of the transaction, Total will hold a 60% operated interest in the Laggan, Tormore, Edradour and Glenlivet fields, alongside partners DONG E&P (UK) Limited (20%) and SSE E&P UK Limited (20%). The sale also includes 20% of Total’s interest in the Shetland Gas Plant and interests in several exploration licenses located in the West of Shetland area, including the Tobermory discovery.

Laggan and Tormore

The Laggan and Tormore fields are located around 140 kilometers west of the Shetland Islands on Blocks 206/1a, 205/4b and 205/5a, in 600 meters of water. Development of the fields was launched in 2010 and first gas is expected in the coming months. The development concept consists of a 140-kilometer tie-back of five subsea wells to the new onshore Shetland Gas Plant, with a peak production rate of 500 million standard cubic feet per day.

Edradour and Glenlivet

Development of the Edradour and Glenlivet fields was launched in 2014. The Edradour discovery is located 75 kilometers northwest of Shetland on Block 206/4a, in 300 meters of water. The Glenlivet discovery is located north of Edradour on Block 214/30a, in 400 meters of water. Edradour will be developed by converting the discovery well into a production well, connected to the main Laggan-Tormore flowline by a 16-kilometer subsea tie-back. Glenlivet will be developed via two wells and a 17-kilometer production pipeline tied back to Edradour. Edradour is expected to start up in 2017, followed by Glenlivet in 2018.

Global Upstream Oil and Gas Deal Activity Fell by $4.3 Billion in June 2015, says GlobalData

16GlobalDatalogoGlobal upstream oil and gas deal activity, including capital markets and Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A), totaled $19.3 billion from 125 transactions in June 2015, marking a $4.3 billion decrease in value from the $23.6 billion across 119 deals posted in May 2015, says research and consulting firm GlobalData.

According to the company’s latest monthly upstream deals review*, upstream M&A accounted for $8.8 billion from 18 transaction announcements in June 2015. While this was a significant drop from $11.7 billion in May 2015, the number of M&A transaction announcements increased from 13 in the previous month.

Matthew Jurecky, GlobalData’s Head of Oil & Gas Research and Consulting, states: “Capital raising continues at the healthy clip seen in 2015, driven by debt offerings in the US almost a year from prices collapsing. Companies continue to seek financial flexibility and restructure short- and reserves-based capital to avoid bankruptcy.”

GlobalData’s report says that Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) led the global acquisitions market in terms of value in June 2015, with a 39% regional share totaling $4 billion. This came from 18 deals, of which 14, with a combined value of $4 billion, were announced, and four, with an undisclosed value, were completed. The majority of M&A activity in EMEA was centered on offshore assets, which delivered the greatest share of deal volume with 10 deals in June 2015.

Jurecky comments: “M&A momentum continued in June with Emirates National Oil Company proposing a buy-out of Dragon Oil, BP buying a stake in one of Rosneft’s Siberian fields, and Wintershall selling a package of North Sea assets to Tellus Petroleum (Tellus).”

Other significant transaction announcements include a proposed $2.3 billion merger between Vedanta and Cairn India, as well as an acquisition of royalties from Cenovus for $2.67 billion by the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan.

Jurecky concludes: “Market conditions will continue to fuel a desire for M&A. After a failed attempt years ago, Emirates National Oil Company is another case of a company taking advantage of depressed asset values to consolidate ownership in one of its positions, Dragon Oil.

“On the other hand, Wintershall is disposing of lower growth assets, which for Tellus is an opening into a stable and dependable production base.”

*Monthly Upstream Deals Review – June 2015

Statoil Snorre & Grane PRM Spring Survey Completion

17wgp-group-logoSpring 2015 Permanent Reservoir Monitoring (“PRM”) operations over the Statoil operated Snorre and Grane fields have now been completed ahead of schedule thanks to a combination of excellent operational performance, minimum downtime and favourable weather conditions.

A total of over 6,000 km of data has been shot over the two fields, now in the second full year of operation. Source operations started over the Grane field after mobilization in Stavanger on the 3 May with completion on Snorre on the 13 July. The D-PMSSTM has now been demobilized from the platform supply vessel ‘Siddis Sailor’, operated by OH Meling, and will be re-mobilized again later this Summer for the Autumn survey period.

Marcus Smith, Operations Director commented: “We have had two excellent surveys this season with the best recorded production figures and lowest downtime hours seen since we started the PRM survey for Statoil. Records have been broken and all with zero HSE incidents during this time. The working relationship between the WGP and OH Meling crew onboard the ‘Siddis Sailor’ has gone from strength to strength and this cooperation has helped us achieve this outstanding performance. We look forward to returning in the Autumn and acquiring yet more data to assist Statoil in increasing their PRM data library”.

New President for IMCA

Bruno Faure, Group Senior Vice President Subsea Projects and Operations at Technip, a world leader in project management, engineering and construction for the energy industry, has taken over the role of President of the International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA), the association representing the interests of over a thousand offshore, marine and underwater engineering companies in more than 60 countries.

In addition to becoming President of IMCA, having served as Vice President of IMCA since September 2014, he also becomes Chairman of the association’s Overall Management Committee (OMC).

18“We welcome Bruno as our President and OMC Chairman for the next two years,” says Jane Bugler, Acting Chief Executive of IMCA. “At the same time we are able to announce that Leon Harland, Executive Vice President Commercial & Technology at Heerema Marine Contractors, has taken over as the IMCA Vice President.

“I am delighted and honored to take the chairmanship of IMCA following on from Massimo Fontolan, who provided valuable guidance to the Council over the last two and a half years,” says Bruno Faure. “At a time when our industry is experiencing challenging times, I am convinced that IMCA can, more than ever, play a key role in facilitating the necessary constructive dialogue among clients, contractors and the supply chain, with the aim of offering to the industry the most appropriate solutions in the context of economic pressure.”

About the new President
Bruno Faure joined Technip in July 2014 as Group Senior Vice President Subsea Projects and Operations. He is a Civil Engineer with a degree in Finance, and has had 30 years in the oil and gas industry. He joined Coflexip in 1985 as a structural engineer, then installation engineer, project engineer and then occupied various positions in projects for UK, Norway, Asia Pacific, USA and Africa, before moving on to General Management roles to become COO Africa in 2006.

In 2006 he joined Stolt Comex Seaway (now Subsea 7) as Projects and Operations Director for Africa Region and then became President for Region Africa, Gulf of Mexico and Mediterranean in Subsea 7 based in London.

Further information on IMCA Information on IMCA and its work on behalf of its members is at www.imca-int.com or from and IMCA, 52 Grosvenor Gardens, London SW1W 0AU, UK. Tel: +44 (0)20 7824 5520; Fax: +44 (0)20 7824 5521.

BMT Cordah Appoints Andrew Glass as Managing Director

19BMT-Cordah Andrew-GlassBMT Cordah, a subsidiary of BMT Group, the leading international maritime design, engineering and risk management consultancy, has announced the appointment of Andrew Glass as Managing Director.

Andrew will be responsible for leading the business in implementing strategy, direction and policy, ensuring the company continues to provide an extensive range of specialist services to its UK and international offshore oil and gas customers. Commenting on his new role, Andrew said: “I am extremely excited to be given this opportunity to work with a great team and I’m looking forward to leading the organisation in its drive for future growth both here in the UK and internationally.”

With a wealth of experience in Environment Health and Safety (EHS) from the RSK Group where he held the position of Director, Andrew spent several years in the UAE developing new service lines. He helped bring the business back to profitability, achieving financial targets and delivered business benefits for clients with a 100% track record. He further supported the creation of an Eastern European office.

Notable projects include the operational review of three international and two domestic airports for the Abu Dhabi Airports Company. Here, he redefined EHSQ operational practices, as well as influencing the redesign of organisational structure. All five airports were certified to ISO9001, OHSAS 18001 and ISO14001 standards.

Andrew has a degree in Industrial and Operations Management and is a member of the: Chartered Management Institute and Institute of Management Consultancy. He is an Associate of the Institution of Environmental Management and Assessment and an approved professional by the EHS centre Abu Dhabi for all entity sectors.