March 2017 Lease Sale to Offer All Available Acreage in the Central Gulf of Mexico

1MarchLeaseSale copyBureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Abigail Ross Hopper has announced that the bureau will offer approximately 47 million acres offshore Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama for oil and gas exploration and development in a lease sale that will include all available unleased areas in the Central Planning Area (CPA).

Proposed Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 247, scheduled to take place in New Orleans in March of 2017, will be the twelfth offshore sale under the Administration’s Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-2017 (Five Year Program). This sale builds on eleven sales, already held in the current Five Year Program, that have netted more than $3 billion, and supports the Administration’s goal of continuing to increase domestic oil and gas production.

“As one of the most productive basins in the world, the Gulf of Mexico remains a critical component of the Administration’s domestic energy strategy to create jobs, foster economic opportunities, and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil,” Hopper said. “The exploration and development of the Gulf of Mexico’s vital energy resources will continue to help power our nation and drive our economy.”

Sale 247 will include approximately 8,878 blocks, located from three to about 230 miles offshore, in water depths ranging from 9 to more than 11,115 feet (3 to 3,400 meters).

“The decision to move forward with plans for this lease sale follows extensive environmental analysis, public comment and consideration of the best scientific information available,” said Hopper. “This proposed sale is another important step to promote responsible domestic energy production through the safe, environmentally sound exploration and development of the Nation’s offshore energy resources.”

The proposed terms of this sale include conditions to ensure both orderly resource development and protection of the human, marine and coastal environments. These include stipulations to protect biologically sensitive resources, mitigate potential adverse effects on protected species and avoid potential conflicts associated with oil and gas development in the region. BOEM’s proposed economic terms include a range of incentives to encourage diligent development and ensure a fair return to taxpayers. The terms and conditions outlined for Sale 247 in the Proposed Notice of Sale are not final. Different terms and conditions may be employed in the Final Notice of Sale, which will be published at least 30 days before the sale.

All terms and conditions for Central Sale 247 are detailed in the Proposed Notice of Sale information package, which is available here. Copies of the PNOS maps can be requested from the Gulf of Mexico Region’s Public Information Unit at 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, LA 70123, or at 800-200-GULF (4853).

The Notice of Availability of the Proposed Notice of Sale will be available tomorrow for inspection in the Federal Register here and will be published in the September 16, 2016 Federal Register.

Proposed Impact Assessment Program for Johan Castberg

Statoil has, as operator for the Johan Castberg project, distributed a proposed impact assessment program for the largest field yet to be developed on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS).

“During our improvement work we have created new opportunities for the Johan Castberg field in the far north. We have changed the concept and found new solutions that allow us to realize the project. But we are still vulnerable to increasing costs and a continued low oil price,” says Margareth Øvrum, executive vice president for Technology, Projects and Drilling in Statoil.

2Johan Castberg field Photo Statoil ASA StatoilJohan Castberg field. Image courtesy: Statoil

The proposed impact assessment program is an essential part of the preparations before a final development plan for Johan Castberg is submitted in 2017, according to schedule. The plan will present the development, relevant development solutions and expected impacts on other businesses and communities. The proposed program is being sent to consultative bodies today to allow them to submit any issues for discussion during the consultation process related to the Johan Castberg impact assessment work.

“The Johan Castberg project may be a central project for further development of the NCS and in the far north. The field will provide significant tax income. The field development and operation will also create new opportunities for the industry throughout Norway and in North Norway in particular,” says Arne Sigve Nylund, executive vice president for Development and Production Norway.

Based on a spin-off report from Agenda Kaupang the Johan Castberg project, based on an investment estimate of between NOK 50 and 60 billion, will represent a significant part of NCS investments in the period 2018-2022. The first phase of the Johan Sverdrup development will be completed in this period. A continued low oil price may affect these plans.

According to Agenda Kaupang’s report the expected value creation in Norwegian supplies of goods and services to Johan Castberg amounts to NOK 29 billion, more than half of the project’s total investments. Value creation in North Norway during the development period is estimated to be NOK 1.7 billion.

“The Johan Castberg field will be producing for more than 30 years, and the major project spin-offs will be created in the long-lasting production phase. Castberg will trigger much activity for suppliers in North Norway and have ripple effects throughout Norway Norway, both in the development phase and the operating phase. In a normal year of operation the Johan Castberg field will generate 1200 man-years in Norway, of which 300 are expected to be in North Norway,” says Nylund.

Recommended power solution for Johan Castberg Statoil has, on behalf of the license, made an extensive analysis of possible power solutions for Johan Castberg. Aker Solutions, Aibel, ABB, Unitech, Pöyry and Thema Consulting have contributed to the power analysis. The power solutions include full and/or partial electrification based on power from land as well as gas-fired power.

Due to the long distance and technical challenges the cost of the measures related to partial/full electrification will be high, from just above NOK 5000 per ton of CO2 to just above NOK 8000 per ton of CO2. Investment costs for full/partial electrification will span from more than NOK 4 billion to just above NOK 12 billion. The Johan Castberg power solution effort reveals that costs related to land-based power, including technical challenges, represent a risk to both the timeline and feasibility of the project.

“We have developed a highly energy-efficient solution involving use of gas turbines for power generation on Johan Castberg. By use of heat recovery we achieve a turbine power efficiency of 64%, which is an outstanding result from use of gas turbines on offshore platforms. The license partners consider gas-fired power to be the most suitable and socio-economic solution for the development,” says Øvrum.

Johan Castberg will be prepared for future electrification by use of alternating current technology in case this becomes an efficient and feasible solution in the future.

Emissions from Johan Castberg by use of gas turbines will be 0.27 million tons of CO2 per year, or 2% of current annual emissions from the NCS.

The proposed impact assessment program covers only the offshore field development, not a possible terminal at Veidnes, which is a separate project with a separate timeline. Statoil is cooperating with the other licenses on Wisting, Goliat and Alta/Gotha to secure sufficient volume and a profitable basis for a terminal.

Deepwater Horizon Trustees to Hold Public Meeting Sept. 28, 2016

3DeepwaterHorizionTrusteesThe Deepwater Horizon oil spill Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees will hold a public meeting on September 28, 2016, at the Renaissance New Orleans Pere Marquette French Quarter Area Hotel. The Trustees will present an update on their work since the historic settlement with BP and describe current and future restoration planning activities and opportunities for public engagement. The settlement with BP included a provision for up to $8.8 billion in damages for injuries to natural resources.

The settlement also established seven geographically-focused Trustee Implementation Groups and allocated funds among the groups based upon the type and magnitude of injuries caused in each area. Representatives of the seven Trustee Implementation Groups will give updates on the planning and implementation of restoration projects for the natural resources injured by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The groups are responsible for restoration in these geographic areas: Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Open Ocean and Region-wide.

This meeting will serve as the first annual meeting of the Trustee Council and the Region-wide Trustee Implementation Group.

The Trustees encourage the public to attend an open house where the Trustees and Trustee Implementation Group members will be available for conversations and questions. The public meeting, beginning at 6:30 PM, will include a presentation and a public comment session.

Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees Public Meeting

September 28, 2016
Open House: 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM
Meeting: 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM
Renaissance New Orleans Pere Marquette French Quarter Area Hotel – Storyville Room
817 Common Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70112

If you are unable to attend the public meeting, you will be able to view the meeting presentation and transcript on the Trustees’ website soon after the meeting concludes.

The Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment Trustees represent five states—Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas—and four federal agencies—Department of the Interior, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The Trustee Council was established shortly after the oil spill to determine the type and magnitude of injuries caused by the spill to the Gulf of Mexico’s natural resources. Their injury assessment helped to determine the amount of damages BP was required to pay for those injuries. The Trustees also developed a programmatic restoration plan. The settlement funds are allocated in accordance with that plan.

Statfjord Passing Historic 5 Billion Barrels

On Monday September 19, minister of petroleum and energy Tord Lien together with Statoil, Centrica and ExxonMobil celebrated the 5 billion barrels of oil equivalent delivered by Statfjord since first oil in 1979.

The minister got the honor of filling the barrel, which was decorated in golden color for the occasion.

“The spin-offs created by Statfjord can hardly be exaggerated. Generating more than NOK 1500 billion in revenues and 200 000 direct and indirect man-years since the 1970s the field has been of great importance to the Norwegian society,” says Arne Sigve Nylund, Statoil’s executive vice president for Development and Production Norway. He took part in the celebration on Statfjord A.

After Statfjord has been on stream for more than a generation Statoil and its partners still have a horizon until 2025 for the field. Originally the partnership hoped to recover 40 percent of the oil at Statfjord. The result so far is record-high 67 percent.

4Statfjord 468451 wells have been drilled on the field, and more than 40 years after the field was discovered new profitable wells are still being drilled. (Photo: Harald Pettersen)

The additional resources recovered beyond what was initially believed to be possible equal the lower production estimate for Johan Sverdrup.

“On this is a historic day we take a retrospective view. This, however, is also a story about the future, describing how knowledge, skills and experience acquired through many years across the oil industry are harnessed to create ever more values and new activity. Statfjord was supposed to be shut down more than ten years ago. Instead technology development, smart solutions and clever decisions have extended the productive life and increased the level of activity. This is characteristic of Norwegian oil history and something we will build on in Statfjord’s next chapter and on the NCS for many decades to come,” Nylund says.

Increased production for the fourth consecutive year
Thanks to active subsurface work, efficient drilling and well operations, and well operated installations Statfjord this year successfully increases production for the fourth consecutive year. 451 wells have been drilled on the field, and more than 40 years after the field was discovered new profitable wells are still being drilled. Safe and efficient operations are essential to optimal resource recovery. At Statfjord the drilling costs have been reduced by 50%. Overall more than one million meters have been drilled at Statfjord, roughly corresponding to a round trip from Oslo to Stavanger.
Both oil and gas
Statfjord is still producing oil. However, the most important decision after the turn of the millennium was made in 2005. Through the Statfjord Late Life project the field was converted from an oil field to a gas field by reducing the reservoir pressure. A bold decision by the partnership, and a successful implementation with important contribution from the suppliers.

NOK 23 billion was invested, and production was maintained during the conversion process. The work included the drilling of 70 new wells and extensive modifications to the platforms. The high recovery factor is largely thanks to the Statfjord Late Life project, lifting the horizon towards 2025. This means that the old oil giant Statfjord will still be producing when a new giant by the name of Johan Sverdrup has started its 50-year production.

Statfjord field partners: Statoil Petroleum AS (44.34 % - operator), ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Norway AS (21.37 %), Centrica Resources (Norge) AS (19.76 %) and Centrica Resources Limited (14.53 %).

Facts about the A platform
* Topsides: 41,500 tons
* Concrete shafts: 200,100 tons
* Storage capacity: 206,000 m3
* Total height: 270 meters
* The living quarters can accommodate 206 people.
* Production start: 24 November 1979.
Facts about the B platform
* Topsides: 42,500 tons
* Concrete shafts: 310,500 tons
* Storage capacity: 302,000 m3
* Total height: 271 meters
* The living quarters can accommodate 228 people
* Production start: 5 November 1982
Facts about the C platform
* Topsides: 50 000 tons
* Concrete shafts: 290,000 tons
* Storage capacity: 302,000 m3
* Total height: 290 meters
* The living quarters can accommodate 345 people
* Production start: 26 June 1985

Unique Group Adds Sonardyne SPRINT and Syrinx Technologies to European Rental Pool

5Sonardyne Syrinx UniqueHydrographic survey and diving equipment specialists, Unique Group, has selected subsea vehicle positioning and navigation technology from Sonardyne International Ltd, to add to its expanding equipment rental pool.

The SPRINT Inertial Navigation Systems (INS) and Syrinx Doppler Velocity Logs (DVLs) will be held at the company’s regional headquarters in Aberdeen and made available to support survey and construction projects using ROVs and AUVs in water depths up to 4,000 meters.

Introduced onto the market over 10 years ago, Sonardyne’s SPRINT makes optimal use of acoustic aiding from data sources including USBL, LBL and DVL and pressure sensors to improve the accuracy, precision and reliability of subsea vehicle positioning. Unique will be one of the first rental companies to own Sonardyne’s recently launched third generation SPRINT which features dual outputs to support Survey and ROV teams, a small titanium housing and upgradeable performance levels to suit users’ operational requirements.

Sonardyne’s Syrinx DVL provides tight beam-level aiding to SPRINT INS allowing for unprecedented positioning performance, even if one or two DVL beams are unavailable. As a standalone instrument, fully linear signal processing, low noise electronics and adaptive bottom lock, enables Syrinx to operate at altitudes up to 50 percent higher than conventional 600 kHz DVLs with the high resolution performance of a 1200 kHz DVL, all whilst navigating over undulating and challenging terrain of any type.

To complement their SPRINTs, Unique has selected 4,000 meter rated Syrinx DVLs which can be mechanically mated with 3rd generation SPRINTs to make installation on vehicles straightforward, an important consideration when equipment is being mobilized for short term projects.

“The specifications for SPRINT and Syrinx are individually very impressive but when they are combined, it’s clear to see that they provide outstanding levels of performance in a single offering for ROV guidance and survey,” said Andy Doggett, Director at Unique Group’s Survey Equipment division. “The decision to invest was therefore a simple one for us – and one which allow our clients to complete their projects in less time and for less cost.”

For more information about Syrinx DVL, click here.
For more information about SPRINT, click here.

CGG Delivers 38,000 sq km of Ultramodern Seismic Images Ahead of Mexico’s Licensing Round

6CGGlogo copyCGG announced on Tuesday, that the Fast Trax™ Reverse Time Migration (RTM) data from its Encontrado multi-client mega-merge project covering the Perdido fold belt has been delivered on time to the industry and the Comision Nacional de Hidrocarburos (CNH) ahead of Mexico’s December Licensing Round.

The Fast Trax results are available now for license on a non-exclusive basis, with final imaging datasets expected in the summer of 2017.

The Encontrado reprocessing project is a unique merge of over 38,000 km2 of wide-azimuth data from over nine previously acquired and processed surveys, covering some of the most prospective areas of the Gulf of Mexico, including the Great White and Trion discovery to the north and Corfu and Ixcuta further south. Over 35,000 km2 of the data is in the Mexican Gulf of Mexico. The data is being processed through an advanced high-end sequence, including bandwidth extension and 3D deghosting, 3D SRME and advanced imaging using TTI RTM and Kirchhoff migrations. Tomography and Full-Waveform Inversion (FWI) are being used to enhance the velocity model.

Jean-Georges Malcor, CEO, CGG, said: “At a time when Mexico is opening up its oil and gas sector to new players, CGG is capitalizing on the wealth of local experience it has gained in high-end deepwater acquisition and processing to help them make better decisions, faster. We have therefore timed delivery of our Encontrado Fast Trax results to give the industry a previously unavailable, very large regional overview of the exploration blocks being offered in Mexico’s Licensing Round based on ultramodern subsurface images.”

Statoil Awards Troll B Contract to Aker Solutions

7troll468Statoil has, on behalf of the license partners, decided to exercise the option for engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) of a gas module that will increase gas processing capacity on the Troll B platform.

The contract has a value of approximately NOK 370 million, and is an option in a front-end engineering and design (FEED) contract awarded to Aker Solutions in January 2016.

“The gas module is an important contribution to reaching the licensees’ IOR ambition for the Troll field. It will raise production capacity on Troll B and help us recover as much as possible of remaining resources during tale end production. From the module starts up in the autumn of 2018 until Troll B is shut down in 2025 it will increase recovery by around 4.7 million barrels of oil,” says project director Eric Normann Ulland.

The engineering work will be carried out by Aker Solutions in Bergen and module construction will start at Aker’s yard in Egersund in 2017. Weighing just above 500 tons, the module is scheduled to be lifted onto Troll B in the spring of 2018 and become operational in the third quarter of 2018.

The Troll Field

The Troll field lies in the northern part of the North Sea, around 65 kilometers west of Kollsnes, near Bergen.

The field comprises the main Troll East and Troll West structures in blocks 31/2, 31/3, 31/5 and 31/6.

Containing about 40 per cent of total gas reserves on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS), it represents the very cornerstone of Norway’s offshore gas production.

Troll is also one of the largest oil fields on the Norwegian continental shelf. In 2002 the oil production was more than 400,000 barrels per day.

Statoil operates the Troll A, B and C platforms and the landfall pipelines, while Gassco is operator for the gas processing plant at Kollsnes on behalf of Gassled. Statoil is technical service provider for Kollsnes operations.

The enormous gas reservoirs lying 1,400 meters below sea level are expected to produce for at least another 70 years.

Proven in 1979

Norske Shell was chosen as operator when block 31/2 was awarded in April 1979. A large gas find with an underlying oil zone was proven later that year. The block was declared commercial in 1983.

The neighboring blocks were awarded to Statoil, Norsk Hydro and Saga Petroleum in 1983. Block 31/2 contains 32 per cent of the Troll field’s reserves, while the remaining 68% lies in the three other blocks.

The license terms for block 31/2 specified that Statoil could take over as operator for this acreage eight to 10 years after a discovery had been declared commercial.

In 1985, the two licenses were unitized so that Troll could be developed as a single field.

Statoil took over as production operator for Troll Gas on 19 June 1996, while Hydro started production from Troll Oil in the fall of 1995.

Harris Pye Successfully Completes Repair Projects During Demobilization of Ocean Endeavor

The Harris Pye Engineering Group has successfully completed repair works during the two-stage multi-million dollar Diamond Offshore demobilisation project for their semi-sub rig Ocean Endeavor from the Black Sea, which completed its contract in January 2016.

The initial phase of the repair work, which started in December 2015, while the rig was offshore Constanta, Romania involved cleaning of mud, brine, base oil and skimmer tanks. Steel repairs were carried out on a main column blister. The removal of three Seatrax crane pedestals, which included the supply and installation of internal steel stiffening to the pedestals, guides and jacking points, plus handling trunnions, were all required prior to cold cutting of the pedestal which coincided with the arrival of the heavy lift crane to remove them.

8HarrisPyeAt work on Ocean Endeavor

Additional work awarded to Harris Pye in Romania was blasting and painting of four primary column ballast tanks. During the surface preparation steel renewal was added to the project - steel frames, piping, access trunks etc, out of which approx 24 tons of steel work was completed in Constanta. The blasting of all four tanks back to white metal was completed, two tanks received a first coat of paint and two tanks were fully coated before Ocean Endeavor departed from Romania to Fincantieri Shipyard in Palermo, Italy via a pre-booked scheduled heavy lift vessel.

“The project was not without its challenges, but we relish those,” explains Harris Pye’s Chief Technical Officer, Chris David. “Painting and blasting of the four ballast tanks had to be performed within a one month period. An additional 40 tons of steel was required to ensure the work on the tanks was completed within the required timeframe; this had to be brought in from other parts of Europe.

“Additionally a mobile diesel high vacuum grit recovery system was shipped from the UK, due to the large distances involved from the ballast tanks to the recovery system onshore for the purpose of disposal.

“All labor was from the local market, with equipment and materials coming from mainland Europe and the UK. Support to the onsite project team was provided by our workshop in Llandow, Wales which undertook any pre-fabrication required, with Harris Pye UK (HPUK) stores (tools and equipment) and the HPUK purchasing department utilizing local suppliers where possible and outsourcing further afield into mainland Europe for items not available locally, to ensure work was able to continue accordingly.

“Once Ocean Endeavor reached Palermo, the Harris Pye repair team mobilized to work on the remaining steel repairs, and painting of the ballast tanks, including an additional contract to repair a section of column diagonal brace. All works were completed on schedule.

“The six-month long project enabled us to use specialist equipment including a 40 cubic meter per minute high pressure oil free compressor (no oil fumes in the compressed air) which worked 24/7; and Falch 2500 bar hydro blasting equipment.”

“The Harris Pye project team had a very methodical and professional approach to all the projects awarded to them,” stated Diamond Offshore Project Manager Dhaval Mehta. “All projects were completed in a timely manner to the satisfaction of Diamond Offshore’s stringent standards, Class and Statutory rule requirements.

“The project team worked very well with all the other vendors involved and was accommodating with certain last minute changes, without impacting on the end results of the project. The entire Harris Pye site team was well focused on customer satisfaction while keeping safety as the primary focus during the entire project. They also actively participated in Diamond Offshore safety meetings and provided valuable input. A job very well done by the entire HP team involved with the Ocean Endeavor demobilisation project.”

Harris Pye has supported Diamond Offshore on several projects in the past and continues to do so to date in order to build on the existing strong business relations between the two companies.

Global Maritime Establishes Technical Authority Board

Global Maritime Consultancy & Engineering, a provider of marine warranty, dynamic positioning and engineering services to the offshore sector, has established a Technical Authority Board to be led by Alberto Morandi, formerly head of Global Maritime Americas.

The Technical Authority Board will promote excellence throughout Global Maritime, ensuring consistent and high-quality technical standards. Each board member, who will be nominated for a two-year term, will have specific knowledge in one of the following disciplines - marine operations, structural engineering, naval architecture, dynamic positioning (DP) assurance, marine systems, risk, insurance and mooring.

9GlobalMaritime Alberto MorandiAlberto Morandi, Chair of the Technical Advisory Board

Board members will also be responsible for defining the competency requirements for their specific disciplines and will be encouraged to become external industry experts through participation in expert panels, speaking engagements and the writing of technical papers.

David Sutton, CEO of Global Maritime Consultancy & Engineering, said: “Our technical competencies are the backbone of Global Maritime and we are lucky to have so many leading technical authorities in the company. The new Technical Authority Board led by Alberto will help nurture this, providing a pathway to promoting technical excellence inside and outside Global Maritime and ensuring that our technical standards are not only consistent but the most up to date and relevant to our work.”

Alberto Morandi, the new Chair of the Technical Advisory Board continued: “Global Maritime is a company characterized not only by practical experience, operational excellence and safety but also by the very best in innovation and technical knowledge. I’m delighted to have the opportunity to make sure that this knowledge permeates everything we do, with the end result being value-added solutions that help our customers achieve their business goals.”

Alberto has been at Global Maritime for over 17 years where he has held a number of senior positions in Houston, London and Rio de Janeiro, including Advanced Structural Analysis Consultant, Vice President of Engineering, President of American Global Maritime Inc. and Group Managing Director for the Americas.

Alberto has a PhD from the University of Glasgow in Reliability of Marine Structures and an MSc in Naval Architecture from the University of São Paulo. Alberto is also a Chartered Engineer in the UK and a Professional Engineer in the State of Texas, contributing to technical committees and developing international standards and industry practices.

Chet Morrison Contractors Partners with OEM on Riser Project

10ChetMorristonlogoChet Morrison Contractors’ Deepwater Riser Services division recently completed work on a complex deepwater riser maintenance project for an offshore drilling rig that included complete disassembly, blast, paint and reassembly of 57 risers.

By partnering with the Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) on the project, Chet Morrison Contractors was able to deliver key services that allowed for an OEM-recertification on the risers. In addition, by taking advantage of Chet Morrison Contractors’ available shop space and labor capacity, the OEM was able to provide the rig owner with a turn-key solution at a competitive price. This coordination allowed the two companies to maximize their respective resources and areas of expertise for the overall benefit of the client and project.

“We see this as a great example of how Chet Morrison Contractors is able to work effectively with other partners to deliver custom solutions for clients,” said John DeBlieux, Vice President of Deepwater Riser Services. “It is also important to note this project was delivered two weeks ahead of schedule. By combining resources, we were able to offer enhanced value that saved time and money.”

The OEM project lead, Wesley Barnett, stated, “as the OEM, we were very pleased with the overall attention to detail, product knowledge and quality that Chet Morrison Contractors displayed during the entirety of the project.”

Along with the teardown and reassembly of the risers, Chet Morrison Contractors also repaired 15 floatation modules, assisted the OEM with auxiliary line pin and box repairs, conducted hydro/pressure testing of all completed lines and successfully removed stuck set screws from 22 lifting lugs.

Chet Morrison Contractors’ Deepwater Riser Services performs comprehensive services throughout the life cycle of the riser, including inspections or repairs that traditionally require manufacturer support, along with superior safe-harbor storage and maintenance facilities at multiple locations with convenient access to the Gulf.

MacGregor Wins Equipment Package Contracts for Seven New Middle East Offshore Support Vessels

11MacGregorjpgMacGregor, part of Cargotec, has won comprehensive equipment package contracts for a variety of seven specialist support vessels that will operate in the Middle East region. MacGregor will deliver deck cranes and a range of deck machinery to each vessel. The order is booked into the third quarter 2016 order intake.

"These orders are a good demonstration of MacGregor's ability to deliver a one-stop-shop solution, using products from across our range of market-leading brands. All backed-up by good global aftersales and service support," says Esko Karvonen, Head of Smart Ocean Technology division, MacGregor. "We are often approached to supply specific equipment on board a vessel, but packages of equipment always prove to be the most beneficial solution to the owner."

MacGregor will deliver: a deck crane and deck machinery, shark-jaws and towing pins to two 58m anchor handling tug supply (AHTS) vessels; deck machinery and a deck crane to one 45m work utility vessel; and a deck crane and deck machinery to four 45m maintenance utility vessels. MacGregor equipment deliveries are planned for the first quarter of 2017.

"MacGregor worked closely with the owner early in the process to discuss technicalities," Mr. Karvonen continues. "This early involvement optimizes design decisions, which can positively influence the profitability, safety, reliability and environmental sustainability of operations throughout a vessel's working life. We will continue this close cooperation with the customer."

The vessels will be built in China for a leading provider of marine logistics services in Middle East. They are planned for delivery in the third quarter of 2017 and will support the operations of a Middle Eastern National Oil Company in the Arabian Gulf under a firmed five-year charter with a two-year extension option.

PIRA Energy Market Recap for the Week Ending September 19, 2016

12PIRALogoLarge U.S. Product Build
Overall commercial stocks built by 6 million barrels for the latest week, as products led the way gaining about 7.1 million barrels. Distillate inventory added a quite large 4.6 million barrels as reported demand showed a big decline from the previous week. Total product demand dropped from the prior week falling around 1.1 MMB/D to 20.2 MMB/D. Key products are expected to experience stock draws next week led by distillate’s 1.7 million barrels decline. Crude runs are expected to continue falling as the turnaround season commences.
Southern Europe Pricing is Being Rewritten this 3Q
Southwestern Europe has been fed an array of problems recently that are rewriting how gas is priced in the region. Gas pricing in Southern France has traditionally traded versus spreads to Northern France. Recently, we’ve seen a dislocation due to physical constraints that not only indicate a potential shift, but reminds us that regional pricing does not have to mean national pricing.
Continued Hot Weather Stresses Generation
Most Eastern markets recorded strong gains in On-peak prices in August due to a combination of higher cooling demand and unplanned outages. Generator outages at St. Clair (MISO), Millstone (New England) and Watts Bar 2 (SERC) being a few cases. Loads in the East and ERCOT combined rose by 5.1% year-on-year (21.5 aGW) in August as cooling degree days increased by nearly 27%. PIRA continues to be bullish winter 2016-17 fuel prices due to stronger demand year-on-year and concerns about near term supply.
A Neutral Shift in 2017
While natural gas and eastern coal forwards have firmed recently, PIRA sees increasing signs that coal markets will tighten through this coming winter, but then face a subsequent deflation as natural gas prices ease during the latter half of next year.
EU ETS Sees Declining Power Emissions, No Clarity on Policy Support
Declining power emissions and rising auction supply suggest limited EUA price gains. An EU Parliamentary committee may propose stronger post-2020 market reforms, but PIRA is not assuming additional policy support absent a better sense of whether an ambitious proposal can actually be passed. An expected higher energy efficiency target provides a bearish policy signal. With modest price gains expected for thermal fuels this year, even a higher correlation with oil and gas prices may not provide much support for EUAs.
Cash Basis in Flux
Cash markets saw some wild swings last week as harvest gets rolling while the action in futures was pretty mundane. “Quick ship” premiums for new crop soybeans stretched to almost a $1.00 difference as compared to just a few weeks down the line. Farmers as far north as DeKalb, Illinois jumped on the opportunity if their early-planted beans were ready to go. Midweek saw a dramatic drop in CIF basis as the early week response filled immediate needs.
Global Equities Ease on the Week
Global equities were again lower on the week. The U.S. market did relatively well and was little changed. Technology led in performance, followed by utilities. Energy was the weakest of the tracking indices. Internationally, China performed the best, up modestly, while Latin America and Europe were the weakest.
U.S. Propane Prices Climb Higher
U.S. propane prices shrugged of a rather large two million barrel U.S. C3 inventory build, and embraced seasonality instead, gaining 1.7% to settle just below 50¢/gal (October futures) equating to a stronger 49% of WTI. PIRA’s forecast is for propane to price at 51% of WTI in October.
U.S. Ethanol Prices Continued to Rally the Week Ending September 9
Margins remain near the highest level in over six weeks. RIN values rose. Japanese Runs Dropped, Imports Declined and Stocks Drew Runs dropped sharply due to higher downtime, both planned and unplanned. Runs will continue declining through much of the month. Crude imports moved sufficiently lower to induce a 1.05 MMBbl crude stock draw. Finished product stocks built 1.6 MMBbls, with about half being in the jet-kero complex. Refining margins continue to improve from abysmal levels. On the week, all the major cracks posted gains.
September Fundamentals Buck Seasonal Trend
The market’s latest rally, supported by a one-two punch of stronger-than-expected pipeline deliveries to Sabine Pass and a seasonally substantial CDD count, will be tested by the inevitable acceleration in refills as underscored by yesterday’s reported relatively stout build. Yet, this month’s more constructive fundamentals that finally lowered PIRA’s end-October outlook more decidedly toward 3.9 TCF, should set the stage for another sustained price advance that bucks traditional seasonal trends.
UK Power Prices Skyrocket…And It's Not Even Winter Yet
U.K. power prices have been on a rollercoaster ride, with hourly spot prices reaching a multi-year high of £999/MWh on the evening of September 15, while accepted prices on the balancing market have been as high as £1,500/MWh in the last few days. Higher plant unavailability, coupled with low wind output, is now bringing to fore reliability concerns, which will be underpinning power generator margins in the upcoming months. Dark spreads have also widened to a point that may start to encourage more units to come back online.
Price Rally Resumes on China Heat, Tight Prompt Physical Market
The accord on raising China's coal production was not able to completely quell the upward momentum on seaborne coal prices this week, with sizeable gains shown for all three major forward curves. The prompt market is fairly tight, even in the Atlantic Basin, with limited availability of Colombian cargoes, high demand in China and rain-constrained output in Indonesia keeping the Pacific Basin market tight. Once the back of the winter is broken, this short-term tightness will ease. This is reflected in the steeper backwardation in current market forwards. PIRA believes that the current tightness in the market simply cannot last much longer and that the market is overly pessimistic regarding 2017 prices.
Washington State Joins the Club of Carbon Pricing States
Washington State has finalized its regulatory program to reduce GHG emissions in the state, with compliance to start in 2017 – even as the November elections and ballot initiatives can lead to significant changes. Unable to implement a typical cap and trade program, the policy design allows for compliance through different instruments, including those from out of state programs. Initial reduction requirements are low – and it is expected that there will be enough available low cost WA-eligible RECs and other supply to minimize/eliminate demand for California Carbon allowances.
Inflation Expectations Rise
The S&P 500 was only modestly changed on the week. Volatility, after rising early in the week, settled back and ended the week lower. High yield and emerging market debt, however, sold off in price. The dollar was generally stronger, while commodities were slightly lower. The Cleveland Fed released their inflation estimates for September, which showed a second consecutive monthly increase across all the major maturities.
Stocks Fall to the Lowest Level of the Year the Week Ending September 9
Ethanol output increased by 6 MB/D to 1,004 MB/D, breaking a string of three consecutive weekly declines. Ethanol-blended gasoline manufacture fell to a nine-week low 9,142 MB/D.
Harvest Slowed by Weekend Rains
A relatively light weekend as far as the number of harvest reports received although the theme of below 2014 corn yields and very impressive soybean yields continued. Six Iowa reports averaged 7.5 bpa better than last year in soybeans while one Illinois report was an astounding 17 bpa better than last year’s 57 bpa in the EC part of the state. Corn yields in Illinois remain 5-10 bpa below 2014.
Asian Demand Growth: Reversal of the Slowdown is Imminent
PIRA's latest update of major country Asian product demand shows a continued slowdown in growth. Our latest assessment of growth is now 483 MB/D versus year-ago. It is worth noting that there was improved growth in gasoline and gasoil/diesel demand, which should be a harbinger of things to come. In our assessment last month we pointed out that growth would pick up in 4Q, fairly significantly. That expectation is still on track. We estimate Asian demand growth bottomed in August. When September and October data begin to roll in, demand growth will begin to move noticeably higher.
Bulgarian Gas Prices on the Rise
Bulgargaz has proposed to increase natural gas price for consumers by 3.4% for the fourth quarter of 2016. The proposed increase, which will be first since the beginning of the year, is due to the expected higher prices of gas supplies in the fourth quarter and the weaker Bulgarian lev. Bulgargaz submitted a formal proposal for the increase to the Bulgarian water and energy regulator KEVR on September 10.
California Carbon Awaiting Emissions Data, Legal Rulings
Benchmark contract prices moved up to average $12.85 in August, above the auction reserve price. Trading volumes remain weak and open interest is down year-on-year, though call options were actively traded. The August auction was undersubscribed, with a low coverage ratio. Continued undersubscription in November could see allowances moved to the Reserve, leaving less supply for compliance. Concerns over the validity of the auctions and also the cap and trade program post-2020 linger. Near term emissions data releases and court developments regarding the auction litigation can move the market.
Vehicle Sales in U.S. and China Remain Key to Growth
Growth in vehicle sales has played an important role in the U.S.’s economic recovery over the last seven years. Worrisomely, however, there are indications that the vehicle sector may have begun to run out of breath. One sign is a sharp rise in the amount of auto loan outstanding, and another is the recent behavior of used car prices in the CPI data. In China, growth in industrial production accelerated during August, with large gains in auto production playing a role. Recent data on Chinese car sales corroborated the findings from gasoline demand statistics.
Measures of Reserves Becoming Increasingly Less Relevant to Forecasting Future Production
Oil resources and reserves can be developed into production and as a result the industry has followed these numbers closely as a guide to the source and volume of future production. However, common measures of the resource base have always had limited value in predicting future production growth. We are now at a point where essentially ALL of the future non-OPEC crude production growth to 2035 is seen as coming from sources that either were not in the resource base as little as 10 years ago (shale) or were not in US EIA's proved reserves 10-15 years ago (Orinoco and oil sands).
Costs to Produce and Replace Oil Supplies are About to Bottom
The current low oil price environment has made it cheaper to operate existing oil fields and to develop new supplies. Since 2014, the worldwide Brent Equivalent costs to operate current supplies have decreased by around 13% while full-cycle costs to develop new supplies have been reduced by 28% for U.S. shale and 16% for non-shale developments worldwide. However, in spite of these reductions, many new projects (deep water, Canadian oil sands) still require Brent prices well above $50/Bbl to become profitable. The ongoing rebalancing of oil markets points to inevitably higher crude prices which will increase operator profitability. However, historically, when oil prices increase so do costs and hence cost deflation is probably about to be over. We are likely to see cost increases starting in 2017 although they will not necessarily be uniform across oil plays.
Counter Balancing in Counter Seasonal Markets
The counter-seasonal buying patterns of countries in South America, the Mideast, and Asia have taken on much greater prominence this year. Both the US and Australia have ramped up export volumes, effectively leaving the market with even more volumes to absorb in the second and third quarters when global LNG demand is at a seasonal low.
Chinese Refiners Adapt to Structural Changes and Rising Competition in the Downstream Sector
The structural reforms occurring in the Chinese economy are leading to somewhat slower overall oil demand growth. But more pronounced is the shift to more rapid growth in light products and slower growth or even declines in gasoil and some heavier products. These changing trends are having their impact on the Chinese refining industry. In particular, Chinese refiners have increased gasoline yields and imported large amounts of mixed aromatics for blending into gasoline, and decreased yields for slower growing products. Also, as oil demand growth for refined products has slowed, this has led to an effective capacity surplus. Part of the solution will be to increase exports, rationalize inefficient capacity, and slow down new projects. The recent changes in China policy to grant crude import and product export quotas to independent refineries will move the industry in that direction by creating more competition among Chinese refiners and will remove inefficient refining capacity.

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, September 19, 2016: A Sea Change in LNG

13DWMondayLNG technology evolved as a solution to the problem of transporting large quantities of gas over long distances. Developments in the market over the next five years are expected to have a significant impact on both the construction of LNG carriers and the primary LNG trading routes.

The LNG carrier market is currently over-supplied. A combination of low commodity prices and a reduction in imports from key consumers such as Japan (following the re-start of its nuclear power stations), has resulted in a substantial decline in charter rates for LNG carriers to approximately $25,000 a day – considerably below typical breakeven costs of $40,000. We note that 36 carriers were delivered in 2015, and only four newbuilds having been ordered in 2016 at the time of writing.

However, this trend is expected to change over the 2017-2021 period, due predominantly to liquefaction projects expected onstream in Australasia and North America. Notably, the USA is forecast to increase its LNG export capacity from 11mmtpa in 2016 to 77mmtpa by 2021. In the World LNG Market Forecast Report 2017-2021, DW forecasts the delivery of over 150 units yet to be ordered over the 2017-2021 period, in addition to the current order book, in order to satisfy this additional supply.

With the USA on track to be become one of the world’s largest exporters of LNG, this will result in a diversification of the primary trade routes for LNG transportation. Notably, the expansion of the Panama Canal enables it to accommodate larger LNG tankers, and also provides a means for vessels travelling to Asia and South America from the Gulf Coast to reduce their voyage times. This is ultimately expected to introduce greater competition to LNG trading routes.

Katy Smith, Douglas-Westwood London

Danos Completes Production Deck Extension for Offshore Platform

14DanoslogoDanos’ Amelia-based custom fabrication yard recently completed the interconnect piping and production deck extension for a client’s deepwater platform in the Gulf of Mexico. The deck’s installation was the culmination of a two-year process in which Danos worked closely with the client to design and fabricate the 165-ton, fully-integrated production deck extension.

“This project is a great example of how our integrated line of services benefits our customers,” said Mark Danos, vice president of project services. “We’re proud to have met or exceeded every delivery fabrication milestone with zero recordable safety incidents.”

Several Danos service lines supported the project, including fabrication, project management, automation, scaffolding, construction and coatings. In addition to the deck structure, 550 pipe spools were fabricated, with more than 100 installed on the extension. The automated services division supplied panel fabrication, while the project management team coordinated the planning and support of the workpack.

Following the installation and completion of the project, the customer recognized Danos for achieving “Quad Zero.” This means that throughout the 100,000 project man-hours, the company logged zero recordable safety incidents, zero lost time, zero work days and zero motor vehicle accidents.

Quest Offshore Inks Venture with Calash Ltd.

15 1QuestOffshore15 2CALASH LOGO pcQuest Offshore Consulting links venture with Calash Ltd. to assist the expansion of its services to the USA, with the opening of offices in both Houston and New York City. A Calash/Quest Consulting combination will offer enhanced services to US based private equity, debt, and wider investment community, with a focus on strategic due diligence across the energy sector, targeted at the US onshore and offshore oilfield service and E&P markets. The Houston and New York offices build upon Calash's current locations in Aberdeen, London, and Sydney.

Quest Offshore Consulting is dedicated to strategic due diligence services related to mergers and acquisitions working with major financial clients globally including a focus on U.S. private equity. Quest also provides customized analysis to help Energy businesses, government agencies and other groups make strategic data-driven decisions led by both qualitative and quantitative research. Quest Consulting's industry expertise and wide array of knowledgeable contacts across the supply chain will continue to serve as key assets for the new venture.

Calash is an award winning energy advisory firm providing strategy, business advisory, data analytics, and M&A support services. The company provides services to Investors & Lenders, Executive Management, Corporate Finance and Other Advisors, having completed over 500 projects across the energy sector globally. Calash is comprised of a team of energy industry experts that have deep practical experience of owning and working in service and E&P companies, running day to day operations and growing business value within the energy sector.

The expansion into the USA market will enhance Calash's strategic and business advisory consulting services in the US market, allowing Calash to provide services including restructuring support, market entry strategy, asset valuation, and commercial and operational support.

Quest Offshore Consulting is enthusiastic to join Calash, LLC to expand our strategic service offering across The Americas and provide an established beach head to the collaborative venture from Quest's corporate office in Houston (Sugar Land) along with integral support to the New York City office where we can provide enhanced services to our growing client base of financial firms.-Paul Hillegeist, President & COO Quest Offshore Resources, Inc.

"Over 80% of our existing clients have operations in the USA. Calash's expansion into this key energy market reinforces our objective to support our clients globally, ensuring we provide relevant, cost effective services" - Alan Evett, Founder and Group Managing Director of Calash.

Calash, LLC (the US trade name) is a partnership between Calash Ltd. and Quest Offshore Consulting, LLC. a division of Quest Offshore Resources, Inc., Calash is a strategic consulting and transaction support advisory firm and its long association with Quest makes this move a natural extension for Calash.

IMCA Welcomes News of the Ballast Water Management Convention

The International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) welcomes the news that the Ballast Water Management (BWM) Convention enters into force on 8 September 2017, and has produced a 12-point information sheet on the Convention for its members. The BWM Convention aims to stop the spread of potentially invasive aquatic species in ships’ ballast water. It was Finland’s accession on 8 September this year that triggered the entry into force of the Convention in a year’s time.

Under the Convention’s terms, ships will be required to manage their ballast water to remove, render harmless, or avoid the uptake or discharge of aquatic organisms and pathogens within ballast water and sediments.

16IMCA Benzie Richard comprIMCA’s Technical Director, Richard Benzie

“This is a significant environmental development, which provides certainty with regard to a definite implementation date,” says IMCA’s Technical Director, Richard Benzie.

“IMCA and its industry partners have expressed concerns that type approval procedures for ballast water management systems need to be practical and that flag and port state administrations must be capable of implementing the requirements of the Convention. This is something that IMO Member States will consider in October, during the next session of the IMO Marine Environment Protection committee (MEPC 70). At this session, all parties need to finalise the G8 Type Approval Guidelines in order to facilitate a workable implementation of the BWM Convention.”

The 12-point information note (IMCAM 09/16) covers:

• What is the Ballast Water Management Convention?
• When will the Convention enter force?
• Will it affect me?
• Will I have grandfather rights for existing chips?
• How much time do I have?
• What will I need to do?
• Do I need to fit a ballast water treatment system to all of my ships?
• Does a ballast water treatment system need to be approved?
• Will there be any surveys or inspections?
• What else do I need to know about selecting and installing a ballast water treatment system?
• My ship is American or operates in United States of America waters, do I need to know anything else?
• What should I do next? – with six useful answers

NOC Launches New Collaborative Platform for Oil and Gas Industry

1OilRigs KevinThe National Oceanography Centre (NOC) has launched a new collaborative way of working with the oil and gas industry. NOC will provide innovative science and technology to enable industry to work safely and efficiently, with minimum impact on the marine environment.

The launch comes off the back of many years of working with the industry on both an individual and collaborative basis, to develop science and technology to enhance competitive advantage, maximize investment and reduce operational costs during exploration, production and decommissioning. NOC has unique expertise in marine autonomous and robotic systems and sensors, for operations in challenging, hazardous and deep-sea environments. NOC’s fleet of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles, Remotely Operated Vehicles, Unmanned Surface Vehicles and submarine gliders have all been developed to operate in extreme conditions. NOC’s science teams have had many years of experience in testing and demonstrating the capabilities of our autonomous platforms and sensors, in such hazardous environments.

NOC Associate Director, Innovation and Enterprise, Kevin Forshaw commented “Building on our existing relationships, we are hoping that this offer will encourage more oil and gas companies to develop long-term relationships with us, as we believe there are benefits to be gained on both sides. With the many challenges facing the industry, companies are recognizing the value of novel science and technology, to create real business value. By accessing external funding opportunities and joint-industry funding, companies are benefiting from responsive and flexible innovations to drive down operational costs, maximize existing investments, access and share innovation expertise, and respond to government fiscal and environmental regulations.”

The collaboration package is an annual subscription which includes access to efficient, authoritative and rigorous science research services, responsive to the industry’s needs, expert interpretation of valuable data-sets, access to software and data-products and alerts for public funding opportunities. Collaborators will also have Associate Membership of the NOC’s Marine Robotics Innovation Centre.

For more information about this project, the NOGIC website can be found here.

Anadarko Announces $2 Billion Property Acquisition

2 1Anadarko LogoAnadarko Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: APC) announced on Monday, September 12, it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the deepwater Gulf of Mexico assets of Freeport McMoRan Oil & Gas for $2.0 billion. The transaction, effective Aug. 1, 2016, is expected to close prior to year end.

2 2freeport"This immediately accretive, bolt-on transaction strengthens our industry-leading position in the Gulf of Mexico and is a catalyst for the company's oil-growth objectives, with quality assets being acquired at an attractive price to create significant value," said Anadarko Chairman, President and CEO Al Walker. "We expect these acquired assets to generate substantial free cash flow,(1) enhancing our ability to increase U.S. onshore activity in the Delaware and DJ basins. Our current plans are to add two rigs in each play later this year, and to increase activity further thereafter, with an expectation of more than doubling our production to at least 600,000 BOE per day collectively from these two basins over the next five years. This increased activity would drive a company-wide 10- to 12-percent compounded annual growth rate in oil volumes over the same time horizon in a $50 to $60 oil-price environment, while investing within cash flows. Additionally, the transaction expands Anadarko's infrastructure in the Gulf, adds to our unmatched inventory of low-cost, subsea tieback opportunities, and bolsters optionality with new exploration prospects. The company's Gulf of Mexico position, with the addition of these properties, will have net sales volumes of approximately 155,000 BOE per day, comprised of approximately 85-percent oil."


Anadarko's operated Lucius facility in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico continues to achieve strong reservoir performance and facility productivity. As a result of this performance, the company is increasing the estimated ultimate recovery of the field to more than 400 million BOE from the previous 300-plus million BOE. Additionally, gross oil sales volumes through the facility recently surpassed 100,000 barrels of oil per day (BOPD). Under the terms of the transaction, Anadarko will increase its working interest in Lucius to approximately 49 percent from its previous 23.8-percent ownership, enabling the company to further capitalize on additional future value-adding opportunities at Lucius.


The acquisition and development cost of the acquired properties, excluding a total of approximately $300 million of materials inventory and seismic, is approximately $13.50 per BOE for the estimated proved reserves to be acquired. The assets are being acquired at an estimated EBITDAX multiple(1)(2) of 1.5 for the expected sales volumes over the coming 12 months, using the current futures strip price for oil and natural gas. Please see the supplemental information available here for additional details on the transaction.


Upon closing, the transaction is expected to add approximately 80,000 BOE per day to Anadarko's sales-volume guidance – more than 80 percent of which is comprised of oil. The company also is expected to increase its 2016 full-year capital guidance, not including the acquisition, to a range of $2.8 to $3.0 billion, primarily reflecting the increased activity in the Delaware and DJ basins.

Jefferies Group LLC and Latham & Watkins LLP are serving as advisors to Anadarko on the acquisition.


New Contract Secured For Jack-Up Mærsk Gallant

3maersk gallant printMaersk Drilling has been awarded a contract for the jack-up rig Mærsk Gallant with Maersk Oil. The contract covers the plugging and abandonment of the Leadon and James subsea fields in the UK sector of the North Sea. The duration of the contract is estimated to 230 days, with commencement in February 2017. The estimated contract value is USD 24m.

“Despite an extremely challenging market, I am glad to say that Maersk Drilling is still able to secure new contracts for our rigs. By focusing on operational excellence and technical problem solving, we strive to always be a trusted and value-adding partner for our customers,” says Michael Reimer, Head of Global Sales in Maersk Drilling and continues.

“Maersk Drilling has extensive experience with plugging and abandonment operations, and we are looking forward to working closely together with Maersk Oil to safely decommission the two subsea fields, Leadon and James.”

Mærsk Gallant is about to complete its current contract with Total E&P Norge A/S. The rig is designed for year-round operation in the North Sea, in water depths up to 120 m (394 ft) with an available leg length below hull of 138.5 m (454 ft). The rig is fully equipped for high pressure/high temperature drilling (HP/HT).