Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale Yields $22.7 Million in High Bids on 190,080 Acres in the Western Planning Area

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The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) held an oil and gas lease sale for the Western Gulf of Mexico that drew $22,675,212 in high bids for tracts on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf offshore Texas.

A total of 5 offshore energy companies submitted 33 bids on 33 tracts, covering about 190,080 acres. The sum of all bids received totaled $22,675,212.

“The Gulf remains a critical component of our nation’s energy portfolio and holds important energy resources that spur economic opportunities for Gulf producing states, creating jobs and home-grown energy and reducing our dependence on foreign oil,” said BOEM Director Abigail Ross Hopper. “While this sale reflects today’s market conditions and industry’s current development strategy, it underscores a steady, continued interest in developing deep water federal offshore oil and gas resources.”

Lease Sale 246 builds on the first seven sales held under the Obama Administration’s Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012-2017 (Five Year Program) that offered more than 60 million acres for development, garnered $2.9 billion in bid revenues and awarded 1,038 leases. The Five Year Program makes available all offshore areas with the highest resource potential and includes 75 percent of the nation’s undiscovered, technically recoverable offshore oil and gas resources.

“As one the most productive basins in the world, the Gulf of Mexico continues to be the keystone of the Nation’s offshore oil and gas resources,” Hopper said. “The continuing drop in oil prices and low natural gas prices obviously affect industry’s short-term investment decisions, but the Gulf’s long-term value to the nation remains high and the President’s energy strategy continues to offer millions of offshore acres for development while protecting the human, marine and coastal environments, and ensuring a fair return to the American people.”

Lease Sale 246 offered 4,083 unleased blocks, covering about 21.9 million acres, located from nine to 250 nautical miles offshore in water depths ranging from 16 to more than 10,975 feet (5 to 3,340 meters).

BOEM established the terms for this sale after extensive environmental analysis, public comment and consideration of the best scientific information available. These terms include measures to protect the environment, such as stipulations requiring that operators protect biologically sensitive features as well as providing trained protected species observers. The observers would monitor marine mammals and sea turtles to ensure compliance with protective measures and restrict operations when conditions warrant.

The lease terms include a range of incentives to encourage diligent development and ensure a fair return to taxpayers. The leases would also allow a lessee to earn a longer lease term for spudding a well in deeper water or by drilling to a minimum target depth.

Following today’s sale, each bid will go through a strict evaluation process within BOEM to ensure the public receives fair market value before a lease is awarded.

Statistics for Lease Sale 246 are available at http://www.boem.gov/Sale-246/ or at www.boem.gov.

BOEM oversees 160 million acres on the Outer Continental Shelf in the Gulf of Mexico off Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. About 26.6 million acres (4,938 blocks) are leased for oil and gas development; and 4.7 million of those acres (967 blocks) are producing oil and natural gas.

Schlumberger Announces Agreement to Acquire Cameron

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- Offers new growth opportunities by creating the industry’s first complete drilling and production systems
- Integrates complementary downhole and surface offerings through software optimization and automation
- Total transaction value of $14.8 billion as of August 25, 2015
- Cameron shareholders to receive 0.716 Schlumberger shares and $14.44 in cash for each share of Cameron
- Transaction expected to be accretive to Schlumberger earnings per share in first year after closing
- Combined company expects $300 million and $600 million in synergies in first and second years

Schlumberger Limited (NYSE: SLB) and Cameron (NYSE: CAM) jointly announces a definitive merger agreement in which the companies will combine in a stock and cash transaction. The agreement was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies.

Under the terms of the agreement, Cameron shareholders will receive 0.716 shares of Schlumberger common stock and a cash payment of $14.44 in exchange for each Cameron share.

Based on the closing stock prices of both companies on August 25, 2015, the agreement places a value of $66.36 per Cameron share, representing a 37.0% premium to Cameron’s 20-day volume weighted average price of $48.45 per share, and a 56.3% premium to Cameron’s most recent closing stock price of $42.47 per share. Upon closing, Cameron shareholders will own approximately 10% of Schlumberger’s outstanding shares of common stock.

Schlumberger expects to realize pretax synergies of approximately $300 million and $600 million in the first and second year, respectively. Initially, the synergies are primarily related to reducing operating costs, streamlining supply chains, and improving manufacturing processes, with a growing component of revenue synergies in the second year and beyond. Schlumberger also expects the combination to be accretive to earnings per share by the end of the first year after closing.

The transaction combines two complementary technology portfolios into a “pore-to-pipeline” products and services offering to the global oil and gas industry. On a pro forma basis, the combined company had 2014 revenues of $59 billion.

Paal Kibsgaard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Schlumberger remarked, “This agreement with Cameron opens new and broader opportunities for Schlumberger. At our investor conference in June 2014, we highlighted how the E&P industry must transform to deliver increased performance at a time of range-bound commodity prices. With oil prices now at lower levels, oilfield services companies that deliver innovative technology and greater integration while improving efficiency, which our customers increasingly demand, will outperform the market.

“We believe that the next industry technical breakthrough will be achieved through integration of Schlumberger’s reservoir and well technologies with Cameron’s leadership in surface, drilling, processing and flow control technologies. Deep reservoir knowledge further enabled by instrumentation, software and automation, will launch a new era of complete drilling and production system performance.

“In addition, we will achieve significant efficiency gains through lowering operating costs, streamlining supply chains, and improving manufacturing processes while leveraging the Schlumberger transformation platform. We look forward to welcoming the talented employees of Cameron and are pleased that they will be joining the Schlumberger team as our fourth product group.”

Jack Moore, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cameron, added, “This exciting transaction builds on our successful partnership with Schlumberger on OneSubsea and will position Cameron for its next phase of growth. For our shareholders, this combination provides significant value, while also enabling them to own a meaningful share of Schlumberger. Together, we will create a premier oilfield equipment and service company with an integrated and expanded platform to drive accelerated growth.

“By bringing together Cameron and Schlumberger, we will be uniting two great companies with successful track records, performance and value creation. We look forward to working closely with Schlumberger to achieve a seamless post-closing integration and long term value for all of our stakeholders.”

The transaction is subject to Cameron shareholders’ approval, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. It is anticipated that the closing of the transaction will occur in the first quarter of 2016.

Goldman, Sachs & Co. is acting as financial advisor, and Baker Botts LLP and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP are serving as legal counsel, to Schlumberger. Credit Suisse is acting as financial advisor and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP is serving as legal counsel to Cameron.

Crowley’s Jensen Maritime Develops Two New LNG Bunker Barge Concepts

Crowley Maritime Corp. subsidiary Jensen Maritime today announced the development of two new, liquefied natural gas (LNG) bunker barge concepts that can be fully customized to meet a customer’s unique needs.

The first concept involves outfitting an existing barge with an above-deck LNG tank. The concept can be further modified to accommodate more than one type of product, if a customer has a need for multiple liquid transfers. Advantages of this design include a fast turnaround and a reduced need to invest in specialized assets if a customer has short-term LNG requirements.

3Crowley-LNG-Barge-Embebbed-02BThe second concept is for a purpose-built, new bunker barge. Offering greater carrying capacity and improved visibility, the design features a larger LNG tank that is nestled inside of the barge. This new barge will also feature the latest safety features and efficiencies.

“We understand that customers have very different needs when it comes to LNG,” said Johan Sperling, vice president. “Whether LNG is required for the long or short term, or in larger or smaller quantities, Jensen has a bunkering solution. We are proud to continue leading the way with LNG marine solutions.”

In addition to offering customers maximum flexibility and top safety features, all Jensen designs are developed using the company’s proprietary production engineering capabilities, which makes the outfitting, construction and assembly more efficient.

Bunker barges offer an innovative solution for the maritime industry, which is currently struggling with the decision over which to develop first – LNG infrastructure or vessels. These barges are an ideal resource for those who have LNG needs at ports not located near an LNG terminal or as an alternative to over-the-road transportation.

About Jensen Maritime


Seattle-based Jensen Maritime Consultants, Inc., is a naval architecture and marine engineering firm owned by Crowley Maritime Corporation. The company offers a diverse range of consulting, design and engineering services developed from more than 50 years of experience working around the world. Jensen is a recognized leader in the design of all types of vessels - particularly workboats, fishing boats and fireboats – and has built a favorable reputation on a long history of successful designs and conversions with close attention to engineering basics. The company's services include detail and conceptual design and engineering, lofting, regulatory and shipyard liaison as well as on-site consulting services and on-location assistance anywhere in the world.

Exceed Launches World’s First Decommissioning Collaboration Tool

The world’s first online information management system for the offshore decommissioning market has been launched by well management and performance improvement specialist, Exceed.

The Aberdeen-based company has invested in excess of £300,000 in the development of iVISION, an online platform which connects multi-location, multi-discipline teams and business units through one central point where information is securely stored and accessed. iVISION integrates safety management, technical information and video to drive continuous improvement, enhance knowledge transfer and reduce the cost of current and future projects.

4Exceed-Martin-Slowey-preferred1Through the ability to create controlled access privileges for individual users, iVISION also provides a platform for cross-company collaboration, allowing operators to work closely with contractors and third parties around the globe.

Martin Slowey is heading up Exceed’s iVISION business unit

iVISION has been developed by Exceed, and is being used successfully across global well management projects by its performance improvement division for clients such as Engie (previously GDF Suez), Tullow Oil and a major operator in South East Asia. The decommissioning edition of iVISION is now being launched to the decommissioning market to address the collaboration challenges outlined by the Oil & Gas Authority (OGA).

The OGA recognised through its Call to Action, published in February 2015, that whilst the UK has a good track record of decommissioning to date, the industry is still learning and adapting to this new phase.

Successful collaboration is key to the future of decommissioning, a £40billion market which will shape the future of Aberdeen for the next 35 years. This is already happening, for instance, in the Southern North Sea where operators are looking at ways to combine well abandonment scope. With the scale of decommissioning set to significantly ramp up over coming decades, however, efforts to collaborate efficiently will need to match this pace.

iVISION effectively enables the collaborative approach required by industry, providing a platform for operators to integrate safety management systems and technical knowledge, and realise cost-savings through lessons learned, knowledge retention and video capture.

Martin Slowey has recently been appointed to head up Exceed’s iVISION business unit. Bringing with him more than 20 years’ in the oil and gas sector and experience of building a successful software products business, Martin is excited about the potential iVISION offers to the decommissioning world.

He said: “The OGA is proactively working with operators to drive collaboration in the planning and execution of decommissioning projects to ensure knowledge is shared, lessons are learned and the benefits of integrated planning are achieved.

“iVISION’s track record in the well management sector has proven that it effectively addresses these challenges, and in light of the OGA’s Call to Action, we believe that this multi-stakeholder platform will support efforts to collaborate like never before.

“The decommissioning edition of iVISION is the first tool of its kind in two respects. It takes users past the planning stages, through to execution and close out of a project, and is the first system available specifically for the decommissioning market. It will enable operators and contractors to share information effectively, as decommissioning steps up over the coming decades. iVISION is an enabling technology, and without it we anticipate that the industry will struggle to find an efficient, cost-effective way to collaborate.

“It also addresses learning, with visual content playing a significant part of this. Step-by-step video tutorials are included, which are filmed on location, and are used for training and planning activities. Decommissioning is still a relatively new area in the context of the oil and gas industry, and it is essential for learning to be accelerated to prioritise safe execution of operations in the most cost-effective way.”

Industry Group Launches Marine Safety and Pipeline Alert System

The Coastal and Marine Operators (CAMO) group has announced it has successfully completed the first step in rolling out a major initiative to protect the safety of mariners, the environment and hydrocarbon pipelines from being damaged. The CAMO group began transmitting Automatic Information System (AIS) safety messages directly to mariners in two charted pipeline corridors in Port Fourchon, significantly improving their situational awareness by providing immediate alerts for vessels in close proximity to submerged pipelines. These vessel safety messages use existing AIS technology that is already deployed on most commercially operated vessels.

5-2CAMO“Pipeline protection is increasingly important, with the typical incident costing an average of at least $1 million to repair, not counting the incalculable costs of injury, death, or environmental impact,” said Ed Landgraf, director of CAMO. “This AIS-based safety broadcasting system culminates several years of hard work on a solution that enables vessel and pipeline operators to collaborate on protecting mariners from the risk of pipeline strikes. The system makes it easier for mariners to know where and when to take protective measures as they transit or operate near submerged pipelines, and we look forward to a successful roll-out here and in other ports nationwide.”

The first phase of CAMO’s AIS-based pipeline damage prevention and awareness program is being launched in partnership with the Greater Lafourche Port Commission (Port Fourchon) and Oceaneering®, a global provider of engineered services and products primarily to the offshore oil and gas industry. Oceaneering’s PortVision® AIS-based vessel-tracking service is being used to monitor vessel activities in the two charted pipeline corridors north and south of Port Fourchon that pass under its main navigable channel. When the PortVision service detects a vessel operating at a speed less than 0.5 knots for three minutes or more within one of these corridors, an addressed, one-time AIS Safety Related Message (also known as message 12) is immediately transmitted directly to the vessel’s wheelhouse that says, “PIPELINE BELOW.”

Depending on the equipment installed on the receiving vessel and its equipment configuration, there may be visual and audible variations in how the AIS safety alert is received. Mariners capable of receiving and displaying the CAMO AIS messages are encouraged to provide feedback and report any anomalies to Oceaneering, Global Data Solutions support at or by calling 713-396-8644.

About the CAMO Initiative

CAMO initiated its joint pilot project for marine pipeline damage prevention and awareness in August 2012 with the United States Coast Guard (USCG). The pilot system was developed using Oceaneering’s PortVision AIS-based vessel monitoring service through a grant partnership with Port Fourchon and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). The transmission of AIS safety messages has been approved by the FCC and USCG as part of an experimental AIS transmission. The safety message transmission will be operational for 250 days following the USCG notification to mariners recently issued earlier this month. A decision about continuing the transmission will be made after an assessment of how well it has increased vessel operator awareness of subsea infrastructure while reducing the threat of pipeline damage when vessels stop, anchor, drop a spud, or push aground inside one of the designated corridors.

About CAMO

5-1CAMO2jpgThe Coastal and Marine Operators (CAMO) group was developed with a goal to diminish the gap between onshore and offshore spills, releases, and pipeline damage prevention initiatives. A key component of this group’s mission is to educate marine stakeholders and the public about the risks that damage to offshore utilities and pipelines can pose to personal safety and the environment. Although pipeline operators have vigorous inspection and maintenance programs to insure the integrity of their assets, the risk of third-party damage to a pipeline is a continual threat. For more information about CAMO, visit http://www.camogroup.org/ or follow CAMO at https://www.linkedin.com/company/coastal-and-marine-operators-camo-.

About Oceaneering’s PortVision Service

PortVision web-based enterprise software and services help oil companies, marine terminal operators, fleet owners/operators and other maritime users improve business operations through instant, continuous visibility into vessel and terminal activities. Based in Houston, Texas, PortVision is a service of Oceaneering International Inc. (NYSE: OII), a global oilfield provider of engineered services and products, primarily to the offshore oil and gas industry, with a focus on deepwater applications. For more information about Oceaneering visit www.oceaneering.com. For more information about PortVision, visit http://www.portvision.com, or follow PortVision on http://www.linkedin.com/company/portvision.

About the Greater Lafourche Port Commission/Port Fourchon

The Greater Lafourche Port Commission, a political subdivision of the state of Louisiana, facilitates the economic growth of the communities in which it operates by maximizing the flow of trade and commerce. We do this to grow our economy and preserve our environment and heritage. The Port Commission exercises jurisdiction over the Tenth Ward of Lafourche Parish, south of the Intracoastal Waterway, including Port Fourchon and the South Lafourche Leonard Miller, Jr. Airport. For more information about Port Fourchon, visit www.portfourchon.com.

 

ITF Seeking Proposals to Drive Down Costs of Well Plugging and Abandonment

The Industry Technology Facilitator (ITF) has launched a call for proposals for new technology solutions to deliver cost efficiencies in through tubing logging during plugging and abandonment operations.

Organizations that are developing new technologies that specifically address the quality of cement bond through tubing have the opportunity to lead their own joint industry project (JIP) with funding provided by the ITF members who participate in their project.

In addition, the developer gets industry profile for its product; they can showcase the capability of their technology to their future potential clients through the JIP, and get technical guidance from ITF’s membership of global oil and gas operators and service companies, to develop their technology to best meet industry needs.

6Dr.Patrick-OBrien-CEO-of-ITFDr. Patrick O’Brien, CEO of ITF

When a well is abandoned or plugged, permanent barriers are put in place to ensure that all zones with a flow potential are isolated from each other and from the surface or the seabed. The primary method is to use cement to form plugs which are placed in the necessary seals. This requires the verification of the integrity of cement placed during well construction to ensure hydraulic isolation once a barrier is placed.

Removal of the production tubing is often necessary prior to this logging operation as tools do not exist that can image through the tubing. This usually requires the use of a rig to remove the Xmas tree, place pressure control equipment and pull the production tubing before logging – an operation that can cost £250,000 per day.

Dr. Patrick O’Brien, CEO of ITF said: “In wells where historical well construction data is poor and cement integrity unknown, a common approach is to pull the production tubing to determine whether a good cement barrier exists behind the casing. Each well may require three plugs, which could mean in excess of £750,000 of rig time for each operation. If we can find a technology to determine the quality of the cement through tubing and verify the potential leak paths to the surface, it could significantly reduce those costs.”

It is estimated there are over 900 wells to be abandoned in the UKCS alone over the next 10 years. Through tubing logging of cement integrity was one of the areas identified as a priority during a well abandonment workshop earlier this year. A roadmap is being developed that will highlight specific technology challenges to be tackled by the industry.

For more information on the call for proposals visit: www.itfenergy.com.

ITF will be hosting a session at Offshore Europe within the Deepwater Zone on Wednesday 9th September, 2015 between 14:30-17:30. Please get in touch if you are interested in setting up any interviews at the event.

The Industry Technology Facilitator (ITF) represents its membership of international oil and gas operating and service companies to bring forward collaborative funding for research and development projects that address shared technology challenges. A not-for-profit organization, focused on the commercial needs of its members, ITF has facilitated the launch of more than 200 projects from early stage concepts through to field trials and commercialization. Operating across continents, ITF works with its members, the technology development community and government bodies to tackle specific regional issues as well as defining areas of technology need from a global perspective and identifying opportunities for the transfer of knowledge.

Bibby Hydromap Begins Work on LNG Project for Port Merdian Energy off Morecambe Bay

The complex program of work comprises geophysical, geotechnical and environmental surveying of the proposed pipeline route to shore and will be undertaken using a multi-vessel approach. Bibby HydroMap’s own vessels Chartwell and Eagle will perform the geophysical and environmental scope, acquiring multibeam bathymetry, side scan sonar data, sub-bottom profiler and magnetometer data, alongside benthic grab samples and visual inspection. For the geotechnical aspect of the work, Bibby HydroMap will perform vibrocores to 5m and CPTs to 5m and 20m.

Bibby HydroMap Project Manager Daniel Jenkins comments “Working to improve the UK LNG network on this interesting and complex project is something that we are delighted to be a part of.”

7Bibby-Credit to Ronnie RobertsBibby HydroMap's survey vessel MV Chartwell Credit: Ronnie Roberts

Located in Morecambe Bay, offshore Barrow-in-Furness, Port Meridian Energy is developing an LNG receiving and offloading facility designed to accommodate Höegh LNG’s FSRU (floating storage and regasification unit) vessels. Conventional LNG transportation vessels will offload LNG to the FSRU via ship-to-ship transfer; with the FSRU converting liquefied natural gas (LNG) into a gaseous state suitable for transportation to shore via a subsea pipeline.

Transfer to shore comprises of a 26” diameter high pressure gas pipeline, commencing at the FSRU location approximately 43½ km’s southwest of Barrow and landfalling on the western beach of Walney Island. From the landfall, the pipeline traverses approximately 5½ km’s through agricultural fields and crosses Walney Channel to the mainland to the site of the proposed Above Ground Installation where the gas will connect into the existing National Transmission System.

Port Meridian Construction Manager Nigel Kirk comments “PMEL have contracted Bibby HydroMap because they offered a comprehensive onshore and offshore survey package, with established onshore subcontractors and dedicated offshore and nearshore vessels”

Shell Awards Canyon Offshore BC-10 Brazil Deepwater Trenching Contract

8CanyonOffshoreHelix Energy Solutions Group, Inc. is pleased to announce that Shell, as operator of BC-10, has awarded a contract to Helix’s robotics subsidiary, Canyon Offshore Inc., to trench and bury over 40 kilometers of pipe in 1675 meters of water in the Campos Basin offshore Brazil. The work will be performed at the Shell operated BC-10 field in the fourth quarter of 2015 from the DP III M/V Grand Canyon I utilizing the T-1200 Deepwater Trenching System.

Mr. Ian Edmondstone, President of Canyon, said “we are very pleased that Shell as operator of BC 10 has awarded this work to Canyon. Shell and Canyon have a long history of developing and utilizing Pipeline Burial Trenching as a flow assurance enhancement tool, and we have performed numerous projects together in the past using this successful technology. This will be the deepest pipeline trenching project ever performed offshore Brazil and the vessel Grand Canyon I deploying T-1200 is the perfect set of tools for the job.”

Helix Energy Solutions Group, headquartered in Houston, Texas is an international offshore energy company that provides specialty services to the offshore energy industry with a focus on well intervention and robotics operations. For more information about Helix, please visit the website.

Conductor Installation Services Installs Directional Conductors Offshore Australia

Operation Completed Safely, Without Harming Staff or Environment

9CISConductor Installation Services (CIS), an Acteon company that provides hammer services to install conductors and drive piles, has successfully installed directional conductors to form the basis of two new production wells as part of a major project offshore Australia.

Although CIS has installed directional conductors for numerous operators around the world, the recent operation was the first time that the company had installed them for this particular operator. “Because the project plays such a vital role in the supply of gas to Australians, we are acutely aware of how important it is that each and every phase of construction is completed safely, with attention to detail and sensitivity to the environment,” said Andy Penman, Group Managing Director of CIS. “We are extremely pleased that this inaugural operation for this operator was a success.”

To ensure that the operation would be executed successfully, it was critical that the conductors be properly positioned before being driven into the seabed. CIS engineers carefully assessed the angles required so that the conductors would be appropriately offset. The company also produced three customized deviated drive shoes necessary to drive the conductors: two for the wells and one as a back-up. The directional drive shoes were then welded onto the conductor pup joints at the CIS Asia Pacific Region base in Singapore. Once this was completed, they were transported to Australia.

Working from the Sea Drill West Telesto jack up rig, CIS used a 150 kJ hydraulic hammer to install the conductors safely, driving them approximately 126 meters subsea and a further 117 meters below the mudline to their respective target depths. The total length of each conductor extended 243 meters.

The platform is live, so CIS chose to use a cold cutter system to cut the conductors to the correct height and the required bevel in order to prepare them for receiving the respective wellheads. By doing so, the cutting process was executed safely in a potentially explosive gas environment. CIS completed the entire offshore operation in three days.

The range of services provided by CIS supports the Acteon Group’s commitment to defining subsea services across a range of interconnected disciplines. The company is an active member of Acteon’s Seabed Foundation Technologies.

Learn more at www.acteon.com.

Songa Offshore SE : Delivery of Songa Endurance

10SongaEnduranceSonga Offshore has taken delivery of Songa Endurance from Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (DSME) in Korea.

Songa Endurance will shortly depart South Korea en route to Norway for commencement of an eight-year drilling contract with Statoil, with first assignment on the Troll Field on the Norwegian continental shelf. The voyage to Norway will take place with tow-assist and the rig will arrive with all third party equipment installed and ready for final acceptance testing. Commencement of drilling operations is expected to take place around year-end.

Songa Endurance is a sixth generation, high specification, harsh environment, midwater rig designed for efficient year around drilling, completion, testing and intervention operations in water depths up to 500 meters. The rig is certified DP3 and is equipped with a "state-of-the-art" drill-floor and an efficient layout with improved safety and working environment features.

Songa Endurance is the second rig in a series of four Category D rigs specifically built for and contracted to Statoil.

Danos Wins Shell Contract

11DanoslogoDanos has been selected by Shell Offshore Inc. to fabricate three boarding valve skid assemblies for its deep-water Appomattox project. The project, which will engage five Danos divisions – coatings, fabrication, instrumentation and electrical, project management and procurement – will begin immediately, and is expected to take about 12 months to complete.

“Shell and Danos have worked on projects together for the past 44 years,” said Mark Danos, construction and fabrication division manager. “It’s an exciting time. Not only is this a great opportunity for Danos, it will create new jobs at our Amelia facility.”

The boarding valve skids will be fabricated at Danos’ Amelia, Louisiana fabrication facility and shipped to Ingleside, Texas for integration on the facility topside. Following integration, the equipment will be installed on a floating production platform located in deep-water Gulf of Mexico, about 80 miles off the Louisiana coast.

Litre Meter gets ‘Heroic’ North Sea Order

UK flowmeter specialist Litre Meter has supplied a number of VFF flowmeters for the Martin Linge field development project in the North Sea.

Litre Meter has supplied 14 positive displacement flowmeters including MF30, HF20, VFF8 and V125 models, all constructed in Duplex stainless steel. The meters were shipped to a Samsung/Technip consortium for use in a chemical injection skid on the project, which is being developed by Total E&P Norge in partnership with Petoro and Statoil.

The field, located 115 m below the surface on the Norwegian continental shelf 170 km west of Bergen, is named after Norwegian actor and WWII hero Martin Jensen Linge. Production of around 80,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day is expected to commence in 2016.

12LitreMeter-Chemical-injection-skidLitre Meter has supplied 14 positive displacement flowmeters to a Samsung/Technip consortium for use in a chemical injection skid for the Martin Linge field in the North Sea.

The platform is a manned wellhead jacket type platform with process, separation and compressor capabilities powered from shore. Its operations will be controlled remotely from shore using fibre optics. Litre Meter's flow controllers will be used to measure the flow of chemicals and were selected because they are capable of operating at varying flowrates and pressures.

The V125 meter was designed to measure the discharge of monoethylene glycol (MEG) at the wellhead pump. It was constructed from Duplex with a PVD coated SS nitronic rotor with two-inch ANSI 2500 RTJ connection and is pressure rated to 414 bar. The VFF8 PD meter is also rated to 414 bar and has joint flange 2-inch 1,500 with direct mounted VRGS connections. The HF20 is pressure rated to 206 bar and MF30 flowmeters are pressure rated to 690 bar.

As standard, the VFF V125 rotary piston flow meters are pressure rated from 40 bar to 1,035 bar and constructed from 316 stainless steel. The meters are temperature rated between -40 and +150 degrees C and can be used with fluids in a range of viscosities from 0.8 to 2,000 centistokes (cSt) or greater. The normal flow range of the V125 is 0-6,000 l/h. The HF20 has a flow range of 0-1,200 l/h and the MF30 has a flow range of 0-90 l/h. Both have a viscosity range of 0.8 to 1 million cSt.

Under conditions of low temperature and high pressure, gas hydrates can solidify as crystals which may block pipelines and valves, impeding the transfer of oil and gas. This can result in a shutdown and the risk of explosion or unintended release of hydrocarbons into the environment.

MEG is injected at high pressure where there is a risk of hydrates (dew) forming then freezing at low temperature. Litre Meter VFF positive displacement flowmeters measure the correct amount of MEG needed to prevent hydrate formation.

The process, known as bullheading, forcibly pumps MEG into the bore hole to act as an ‘antifreeze' to lower the freezing point of gas hydrate. This protects the wells' sub-surface valves from hydrates forming under high pressure and low temperatures during long shutdowns.

Litre Meter CEO Charles Wemyss said: "The complexity of this project demonstrates Litre Meter's ability to customize its meters to suit a range of applications that require accurate yet robust solutions.

"Subsea repairs and the associated loss of production are high cost, so protecting deep-water well bores from hydrate formation, plugging and organic fouling is a major flow assurance concern in offshore operations.

"Hydrate prevention strategies provide protection during normal operation, start-up and shutdown. "Litre Meter's VFF flowmeter is ideally suited for use in the oil and gas industry and in particular for low flow / high pressure applications.

"Years of experience in chemical injection applications onshore and offshore have confirmed the instrument's capability to reliably measure fluids under extreme conditions of both temperature and pressure."

Hoover Container Solutions Introduces New Acid Tanks to Offshore Product Line

13Hoover-acidetank horiz2Hoover Container Solutions, a global provider of chemical tanks, cargo carrying units and related products and services, has introduced acid tanks intended for safe transport and storage of a wide range of corrosive liquids and chemicals as the newest addition to its comprehensive offshore product line.

Hoover’s offshore acid tanks are constructed using carbon steel for the vessel, piping, valves, instruments and welds to withstand offshore service, with corrosion-resistant carbon steel used to construct the external frame of the tank. Linings for the interior of the tank are selected based on the materials being stored within the tank to ensure maximum corrosion protection.

Each of the transportable horizontal and vertical acid tanks are designed and manufactured to meet IMDG UN Portable Tank Type T14, DNV 2.7-1, EN12079, ADR/RID, CFR 49 standards and with frames designed to meet DNV 27-1 standards. Additionally, the acid tanks are equipped with a relief valve and rupture disc on the tank container as safety features.

“Hoover is committed to manufacturing and providing our customers the highest quality products and services available on the market,” said Donald Young, chairman and CEO, Hoover Container Solutions. “The addition of acid tote tanks will strengthen our comprehensive offshore product line by offering our customers a reliable and efficient solution for the transportation of chemicals such as those used in oil and gas processes, waste materials and aviation fuel.”

The Hoover offshore acid tank is available for short- or long-term rental periods or for purchase. For more information on this product, click here.

PIRA Energy Group's Weekly Oil Market Recap for the Week Ending August 23rd, 2015

14piranewlogoNYC-based PIRA Energy Group reports that the U.S. to allow exchange of Mexican heavy crude for domestic light crude. In the U.S., commercial inventories increased this past week, modestly widening the year-on-year stock surplus. In the Japan, crude runs continued rising, while low level of crude imports drew crude stocks back. Specifically, PIRA’s analysis of the oil market fundamentals has revealed the following:

U.S. to Allow Exchange of Mexican Heavy Crude for Domestic Light Crude

The U.S. is set to allow the exchange of up to 100 MB/D of Mexican heavy crude for U.S. light crude. PIRA believes this move will add modest support to U.S. crude prices relative to international levels by reducing the risk of price disconnects. A lighter crude slate in Mexico increases light product yields and allows for somewhat higher runs. In our view, this development represents another incremental step towards easing restrictions on U.S. crude oil exports, but not a fundamental change in policy.

A Slight U.S. Stock Build

Commercial inventories increased this past week, modestly widening the year-on-year stock surplus. In contrast to recent weeks, product stocks drew while crude inventories built. Crude stocks are now almost 94 million barrels higher than last year. The bulk of the remaining product excess to last year is in distillate and propane with the latter showing up in other products.

Japanese Holiday Supports Gasoline

Due to the mid-August holiday, two weeks of data were reported this past week. Crude runs continued rising, while low level of crude imports drew crude stocks back below 100 MMBbls. Gasoline demand was strong both weeks and stocks drew to near record lows. Gasoil demand was depressed in the latest week due to the holiday and stocks built. The kerosene stock build rate accelerated on low seasonal demand. The indicative refining margin has improved a bit on better gasoil cracks and gasoline cracks, which are still characterized as strong.

EIA Proposing Some Significant Changes to Petroleum Data

The EIA published a number of significant proposed changes to their petroleum forms and data in a recent Federal Register Notice. Adding complete balances for a PADD II split into PADD II-A (Northwestern PADD II), and PADD II-B, the balance of PADD II, is one of the major changes. They propose to consolidate the number of breakouts in jet and distillate balances. EIA also proposes to stop collecting crude oil stocks held at production lease storage – currently about 32 million barrels – and remove those volumes from all historical and forecast balances. They are proposing to add better coverage of in-transit stocks moved via rail, tanker, and barge. They are also proposing reorganizing the gasoline balance along the lines of gasoline blended with ethanol and gasoline not blended with ethanol.

U.S. Waterborne LPG Exports Slump

Waterborne LPG exports from the U.S., as tallied by PIRA shiptracking efforts were just 3.3 MMB (470 MB/D) last week, a significant 45% decrease from the previous week’s sailings. Approximately 60% of these shipments are headed to the Latin America/Caribbean region. Worsening arbitrage economics over the past few weeks help to explain this latest decrease in export activity.

U.S. Ethanol Recover some of the Midweek Loses

Ethanol prices were pulled down August 12 because of a USDA report that was bearish for corn values. Assessments rebounded by the end of the week as buyers returned.

U.S. Output Flat

The ethanol industry was stable the week ending August 14, with production remaining at 965 MB/D after having fallen to an eleven-week low 961 MB/D two weeks earlier. Stocks increased by 32 thousand barrels to 18.6 million barrels.

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, August 24th, 2015 : License to Drill – Saudi Bond Issue

15DWMondayLow global crude prices have hit Saudi Arabia hard. With a considerable budget deficit, Saudi has been forced to begin borrowing from capital markets – $4bn in July. The kingdom is highly reliant on oil – accounting for more than 90% of budget revenues. Cuts have not been made to capital expenditure and Saudi has engaged in an expensive conflict within Yemen. Consequently, the decision to ride out lower prices has put a huge strain on finances – the IMF estimates $50 oil will lead to a deficit of ~$140bn (20% of GDP) this year. Plugging holes in the budget with bond issues is the clearest sign yet that the kingdom is feeling the pinch, the question is, how long can it continue?

At least for the time being, there seems to be room for more lending, with plans to raise $27bn by year end. Debt levels have been dramatically reduced since the late 1990s when borrowing reached 100% of GDP (prior to July’s bond issue, debt was 1.6% of GDP). At present, liquidity does not seem to be a problem with local banks easily absorbing bond issues. However, further borrowing into 2016 and beyond could prove problematic. Predicted rises in global interest rates over the coming years may make borrowing unattractive, forcing further withdrawals from the country’s foreign reserves. If current oil price trends continue, these reserves could fall to $200bn by 2018 – 70% less than pre-crash levels.

Where does this leave the country? Maintenance of oil output has secured market share and proved devastating for US onshore drilling. However, with a “bathtub” shaped recovery a very real possibility, Riyadh may be forced to make a number of difficult decisions regarding domestic subsidies and expenditure in order to reduce a potentially crippling budget deficit.

 

First Offshore Contract Awarded for ACO Marine’s New Clarimar MF

ACO Marine has signed a contract to supply a bespoke version of its new Clarimar MF wastewater treatment plant to the CFT 623 wellhead platform under construction for Dubai’s Dragon Oil.

The specially adapted Clarimar MF-2 has capacity to treat 3.5m3 of black and grey wastewater a day and features a sludge tank for liquid discharges from drilling operations.

“The offshore oil and gas sector is an important market for ACO Marine,” said Managing Director Mark Beavis. “We have delivered a number of systems for installation to offshore rigs in the past, but this is the first offshore contract we have received for the new Clarimar MF. This prestigious contract will open the door of opportunity to supply equipment to other offshore projects.”

16FirstOffshoreACO Marine has been awarded a contract to supply its new Clarimar MF to the CFT 623 wellhead platform

Due to the platform’s location, the end-user required a system proven to meet the stringent environmental regulations governing oil and gas production in the ecologically sensitive Caspian Sea.

ACO Marine’s system, type-approved by Bureau Veritas according to new IMO MEPC 227 (64) requirements, incorporates a unique “Bio-Sword” filtration technology capable of replacing the settling and chlorination stages found in more traditional biological wastewater treatment systems.

“The Bio-Sword allows the system to operate in environments with bio-mass concentrations up top four times greater than conventional plants, greatly reducing activation tank volume, system footprint and maintenance requirements,” said Beavis.

The system ACO Marine will supply in September has double piping and system componentry, and is manufactured from durable PPFR composite which, unlike coated black steel, is light weight and completely resistant to corrosion.

In February 2014, Dragon Oil awarded a contract for the engineering, construction, and installation of the Dzheitune (Lam) E wellhead and production platform and associated pipelines. Detailed engineering and fabrication is underway with the platform due for completion in 2016.

Routine Turbine Handling in Offshore Conditions

17jdn101-a-72dpiThe Gerritsen On- & Offshore Services BV Company has handled a routine turbine maintenance procedure being undertaken on an offshore location in the Southern North Sea. This involved four of their personnel, utilizing an air operated hoist unit manufactured by the J D Neuhaus company for the safe and effective lift and maneuver procedures for a turbine lift load of 26,500lbs. The turbine was responsible for supplying power to a gas-compressor utilized for power, steam and other general services.

The JDN hoist was a Profi TI and this unit was also combined with an overhead rail mounted trolley, also air powered, to provide horizontal movements of the load. For maximum safety of operation in offshore conditions, a rack and pinion drive was incorporated into the trolley mechanism, with the whole lifting package also incorporating a spark resistant finish for operation within potentially explosive atmospheres. Control operations for the hoist mechanism were incorporated into a JDN E-type pendant controller providing single speed control of the raise/lower/traverse load movements.

The current range of Profi TI air operated hoists manufactured by JDN comprises 13 models covering individual lift capacities from 550lbs to an impressive 100 metric tons. All these models are suitable for use in explosion-hazardous areas, as typically found in offshore environments, providing unbeatable advantages over conventional electrically driven handling products.

They are all designed for easy, quiet operation with 100% duty ratings and unlimited duty cycling. The models include low-headroom and lightweight characteristics, with all hoists also featuring lube-free operation. They are also insensitive to dust, humidity and operating temperatures ranging from 20°C to +70°C, and combine strong, fast, silent operation with safety, as well as oil-free and low maintenance performance. Their Ex classification according to EC Directive on Hazardous Location 94/9/EEC is as standard: EX II 2 GD IIA T4 / II 3 GD IIB T4 and with increased spark protection EX II 2 GD IIC T4. Hoists featuring hydraulic drive mechanisms are also available.

PIRA Energy Group Launches a New Website and Complimentary subscription to PERSPECTIVES

18piranewlogo copyPIRA Energy Group, a leader in global energy market analysis, announced today the official launch of its new website and complimentary subscription service called PIRA PERSPECTIVES. PERSPECTIVES combines a high-level, weekly overview of PIRA’s energy intelligence with a monthly video series featuring its top analysts. This complimentary subscription is now available online at: http://www.pira.com/insights.

Subscribers can access updates and video, spanning across 12 different commodity areas. PIRA’s fundamentals-based, integrated view of the market helps analysts to keep a pulse on the market. It will also serve media professionals who often request information from PIRA that can be shared with the general public. PIRA’s complete information services and data tools are reserved for its paid subscribers to its DIMENSIONS platform. Trials to that platform can also be requested through the new website at http://www.pira.com/dimensions.

“PERSPECTIVES is a significant step forward for PIRA as we start to share some of our market-leading energy intelligence with the outside world” said CEO Gemma Postlethwaite. “The energy industry has long regarded PIRA as being a valued partner in analyzing the markets. PERSPECTIVES allows energy professionals to get closer to PIRA’s market-leading intelligence.”

The launch of PERSPECTIVES is part of an ongoing, focused effort to deliver the deep expertise of PIRA’s leading team of experts in ways that best align with the needs of today’s energy professionals. “Our brand stands for delivering the total view of the energy market and now analysts can see what we mean by that every week, right in their inbox” said Jeff Mancini, PIRA’s Chief Marketing Officer. “PERSPECTIVES online is just the beginning. We are committed to sharing more of our deep industry knowledge through studies and live events as well.”

About PIRA Energy Group
Established in 1976, PIRA is one of the leading energy market analysis firms, providing the total view of the energy market so its clients can make the best business decisions possible. Currently, more than 500 companies located in 60-plus countries retain PIRA. These include international integrated majors, national oil and gas companies, independent producers, refiners, marketers, oil and gas pipelines, electricity and gas utilities, major industrials, airlines, trading companies, financial institutions, and government agencies.

For more information about PIRA PERSPECTIVES, click here.

Bristow Group Appoints Don Miller as Chief Financial Officer

19bristowBristow Group Inc. (NYSE: BRS), a leading provider of helicopter services to the offshore energy industry, has announced it is combining its CFO group with its Mergers, Acquisitions and Integration group, and has appointed Don Miller as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, effective immediately. Miller is replacing John Briscoe, who will be leaving his current position as Chief Financial Officer to pursue other business opportunities. Jonathan Baliff, President and CEO of Bristow Group, stated, "I want to thank John Briscoe for his efforts on behalf of Bristow. We are grateful for his contributions to the company, especially in the successful implementation of our ERP system and leadership of the CFO group at a very dynamic time in our industry. We wish him great success in his future endeavors."

Miller, who joined Bristow in 2010, was until recently Senior Vice President, Mergers, Acquisitions and Integration. He has 30 years of experience in finance, capital markets and M&A, and was responsible for creating the Mergers, Acquisitions and Integration group at Bristow that led to the acquisition of Cougar Helicopters, Eastern Airways and Airnorth. Prior to joining Bristow, Miller spent nine years with Enron North America in positions of increasing levels of responsibility, ending with his role as post-petition President and CEO of Enron North America, leading their wholesale businesses through their orderly disposal after 2001. From 1985 until 1997, he held financial positions with Citicorp Securities, as both an energy corporate banker and high yield research analyst, and as account executive with Dean Witter Reynolds. Miller holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Memphis, and a Master in Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin. He also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

Baliff added, "Don has an outstanding track record of value creation and many years of energy finance experience at senior levels in international corporations and banking. His proven leadership skills, and knowledge of both the aviation business and capital deployment have been critical to the success of Bristow's recent initiatives, including our Gulf of Mexico restructuring, Canadian expansion, and fixed wing investments in the U.K. and Australia. As we navigate through a rapidly changing aviation market and a more challenging energy environment, Don's skill set and experience make him a natural fit for this important role at this important time."