Two of Fugro’s vessels currently searching the southern Indian Ocean for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, were recently involved in an historic find - the discovery of a previously uncharted shipwreck at a depth of around 3,900 meters.
The wreck is likely to be that of a 19th century merchant sailing ship and so great is the detail that what is believed to be scattered coal can be seen throughout the debris, which may indicate that it had an auxiliary steam-powered engine. The debris also appears to include an anchor and the stunning imagery will be provided to expert marine archaeologists for possible identification.
It’s a fascinating find,” said the Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s (ATSB) Peter Foley, Director of the Operational Search for MH370, “but it’s not what we’re looking for. Obviously, we’re disappointed that it wasn’t the aircraft, but we were always realistic about the likelihood. And this event has really demonstrated that the systems, people and the equipment involved in the search are working well. It’s shown that if there’s a debris field in the search area, we’ll find it.” How the story unfolded When the deep tow system operated by Fugro Equator detected a cluster of small sonar contacts in the southern part of the search area, 12 nautical miles to the east of the 7th arc, the sonar data was carefully analyzed. It was categorized as Class 2 – ‘of potential interest but unlikely to be related to MH370’.
“It could not, however be ruled out,” said Peter Foley. “There were characteristics of the contact that made it unlikely to be MH370, but there were also aspects that generated interest, multiple small bright reflections in a relatively small area of otherwise featureless seabed.”
All sonar data collected by Fugro goes through a detailed analysis and an exhaustive review process to ascertain its quality, coverage and most importantly any sonar contacts of interest. “The analysis starts with the mission crew on board the search vessels,” continued Peter. “The data is then reviewed again ashore by sonar analysts at Fugro’s office in Perth and then it is independently reviewed by the sonar experts in the ATSB’s Operational Search team. The process is methodical, meticulous and it is designed to ensure that nothing is missed. In this case we planned to resurvey the contact in more detail.”
The Fugro Supporter was tasked to further investigate the contact, performing a high resolution sonar scan using Fugro’s Echo Surveyor VII autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). The high resolution data revealed a large number of sonar contacts lying very close to the seafloor, at a depth of around 3,900 meters. The majority of the contacts were comparatively small – around the size of a cricket ball – interspersed with a few larger items, the biggest being approximately 6 meters in its longest dimension. Although the debris field appeared to be of man-made origin it did not exhibit all the characteristics of a typical aircraft debris field.
An additional AUV low-altitude mission was then undertaken using the underwater camera to gather images of the field. Analysis of the images revealed that the debris was actually the wreck of a ship.
Fugro’s search director Paul Kennedy of Fugro Survey explained: “This find has given us a great deal of confidence. It shows we are able to find small pieces of metal on the seafloor, a long way down. Pieces from MH370 would be roughly 10 times as big as those of the wrecked ship.” Extended search Senior Ministers from Malaysia, Australia and the People's Republic of China recently agreed to extend the search by an additional 60,000 square kilometers to bring the search area to 120,000 square kilometers and thereby cover the entire highest probability area identified by expert analysis. At an April meeting they received a detailed briefing on the thorough and rigorous work being undertaken to search for the aircraft, including details of the technology used in the underwater search, assessment and analysis of data collected and classification of sonar contacts.
Discussions also covered the challenges and risks in the search operations in such a remote and difficult location in extreme depths. The additional search area may take up to a year to complete given the adverse weather conditions in the approaching winter months. Regularly updated information, including illustrations, is available online.
DNV GL, the technical advisor to the oil and gas industry, has been awarded another offshore pipelay surveillance contract by Statoil to monitor quality assurance throughout the installation campaign.
As new fields have become increasingly complex, the pipeline segments have also experienced cost challenges like other parts of the industry.
“New technologies and continual development of best practice have the potential to contribute positively to the cost reduction efforts necessary to make the industry more robust. Our aim for this project is to contribute to safe cost reductions through ensuring best practice during the installation process to avoid stops and repairs, thus reducing downtime to a minimum during the costly laying process,” says Kjell Eriksson, Regional Manager – Norway, DNV GL Oil & Gas.
“This contract award marks the continuation of a strong collaboration between DNV GL and Statoil’s Pipeline Installation segment. Integrated subsea pipeline installation, field verification and quality surveillance have been a major service field for our Stavanger office since 1997 and this is yet another example of how we contribute with our best experience to assure efficiency and quality throughout the installation process,” continues Eriksson.
Statoil is installing the 480km long Polarled gas pipeline between the Aasta Hansteen field in the Norwegian Sea and the Nyhamna gas processing facility in western Norway. The pipeline will have capacity of 70 million cubic meters per day. The contract is valued at approximately 31 million NOK (US$4 million) and is expected to run until the end of the pipeline installation, 3rd quarter 2015.
DNV GL will complement Statoil’s installation team of pipeline engineers with multi-disciplined surveyors and inspectors to follow-up the quality aspects during welding and Field Joint Coating (FJC) on-board the pipelaying vessel throughout the installation campaign. Both pipelines (Polarled and Edvard Grieg Oil Pipeline (EGOP)) will be installed using Dutch installation contractor Allseas’ lay vessel “Solitaire”.
DNV GL’s first pipeline code was issued in 1976. It has achieved global recognition, winning prestigious industry awards and currently 60-70% of all new projects globally are designed and constructed according to DNV GL standards. Just recently during Corrosion 2015, the world’s largest corrosion conference, DNV GL was awarded NACE’s Distinguished Organization Award for 2015. “DNV GL has decades of distinguished service and dedication to the science of managing corrosion, illustrated by NACE leadership and participation, leadership in Joint Industry Projects (JIPs), and authorship of numerous white papers, industry standards, recommended practices, and service specifications.” the NACE jury said in its statement.
The 12-position rosette and 10-liter water bottle system are part of a specialized inventory of environmental monitoring equipment.
Okeanus Science and Technology (Okeanus) is pleased to announce the acquisition of a new 12-position water sampling rosette and 10-liter water bottle system to its portfolio of oceanographic and scientific research rental equipment.
The Sea-Bird Electronics SBE 32 sampling rosette, operable to a depth of up to 7,000 meters, can be outfitted with up to 12 10-liter General Oceanics GO-FLO sampling bottles to retrieve water samples in any position. The unit is easily integrated with Okeanus’ corresponding CTD and auto fire module (AFM) rentals for automatic firing of bottles based on time or depth, and is the newest addition to Okeanus’ comprehensive catalog of environmental monitoring equipment.
In addition to water quality sampling systems, Okeanus’ marine environmental monitoring inventory features Bongo and Neuston nets and 1-meter and 10-meter MOCNESS plankton collection systems, as well as a diverse selection of sediment sampling equipment that includes box cores, Van Veen and Ponar grab samplers, 12-position multi-cores, handheld push cores and a comprehensive suite of ROV sediment sampling equipment.
“We are very excited about the addition of the new 12 position rosette and 10 liter water bottle system to our rental inventory,” stated Benton LeBlanc, Vice President and General Manager of Okeanus. “This acquisition adds a new dimension to our existing rental pool of environmental monitoring equipment, further demonstrating the commitment that Okeanus has made to our customers and to our environment. By our investment in this broad spectrum of marine environmental monitoring equipment, we enable customers to focus on their core competencies and maximize their profitability by allowing them to lease these assets rather than purchase them.”
Asset Guardian Solutions Ltd (AGSL), which specializes in protecting companies’ process critical software assets, announced that it has secured a key contract with oil and gas operator Dana Petroleum. The contract requires AGSL to implement and support Asset Guardian, a software solution that helps to secure the integrity of process software and the mission critical processes that it controls.
Single secure repository improves workflow, protects software integrity
Asset Guardian software will be installed by AGSL on Dana’s Triton FPSO in the UK North Sea. By installing Asset Guardian, Dana’s process-related software and data will be stored in one central repository, improving workflow and reducing risk. In the event of a system failure, Asset Guardian dramatically speeds recovery of software and data, significantly reducing the impact that such an event has on production.
Services delivered offshore
AGSL engineers have already visited Dana’s offshore asset to gather existing process control software files and load this information into Asset Guardian.
In addition, AGSL is providing AGSync software, which allows data and files to be synchronized between multiple onshore and offshore locations. As a result, the integrity of information is maintained, even when communications links are disrupted.
Asset Guardian helps maintain compliance with relevant regulatory standards and government directives relating to process critical systems, such as IEC61508, 61511, ISO 9001, CPNI and HSE KP4, among others.
“With its depth of experience in process control systems, AGSL has the expertise to fully integrate the Asset Guardian toolset for Dana, " said Sam Mackay, Chief Executive Officer of AGSL. "We will use our innovative technology to protect the integrity of the process control software, and maximize its operational efficiency."
The award of this contract from Dana to AGSL follows on the heels of several others. In recent months, AGSL has been awarded contracts by GDF Suez, Nexen Petroleum UK Ltd, Dolphin Drilling AS, Woodside, Inpex, Stena Drilling, BP Quad 204 and Clair Ridge, and nuclear energy provider EDF Energy.
For the past eight years, AGSL has been supplying the oil and gas industry with the Asset Guardian toolset to help ensure that operations run smoothly, reducing potential disruption.
About Asset Guardian Solutions Limited
Asset Guardian Solutions Ltd was born out of the recognition that most companies involved in the process industry had little to protect the integrity and safekeeping of the Software Assets used that control their production processes.
Originally, it was part of Elite Controls Systems Ltd, a company that specializes in process automation, has a global ‘blue chip’ client base, and boasts an enviable reputation.
By combining its control automation and IT expertise, in 2000 the company developed Asset Guardian, an innovative solution that ensures users compliance with ISO & IEC Standards, Government Directives and Industry Best Practices for the “Configuration and Change Management” of process-critical systems.
Following 10 years of continuous growth involving detailed market research and collaboration with users, Asset Guardian has transformed from a “product” to an “integrated solution” that protects the integrity of safety and process-critical systems. Its future development and growth will now be carried on under the leadership of Asset Guardian Solutions Ltd, a team that was formed by combining the original development team with a new sales and marketing team to maximize the company’s potential within the global marketplace.
Working in close partnership with its clients, Asset Guardian Solutions Ltd appreciates the need for rapid, demonstrable returns on client investments, and encourages them to follow the company ethos “Take Control and Control Change.”
iSURVEY Pte Ltd, Singapore, has been awarded a contract from EMAS AMC for the provision of positioning and survey services on board its pipe lay vessel, the ‘Lewek Centurion’.
The work is in support of Chevron’s 2015 pipeline installation campaign in the Gulf of Thailand. The project commenced in Q1 2015 and has an estimated duration of 120 days. iSURVEY will provide lay barge positioning and four personnel during the installation of 18 pipelines of varying diameters.
iSURVEY Singapore’s managing director Bill Petrie commented: “We are delighted to have been awarded this contract with EMAS AMC, after completing a smaller positioning project for them in 2014. The award of this significant contract represents a key milestone in the development of iSURVEY’s business in South East Asia.
“We have experienced a very strong first half of 2015 so far, and our reputation as a leading provider of high quality and high specification positioning services continues to go from strength to strength.”
iSURVEY, a leading provider of survey and positioning services to the global oil and gas, offshore renewables and telecommunications sectors, established operations in South East Asia in 2011 with the launch of a base in Singapore.
Global-leading energy services company Proserv has successfully completed the first phase of one of its largest contracts yet to provide subsea control systems for deepwater projects in Brazil.
The firm has delivered the initial three of nine control systems that will support drill pipe riser (DPR) intervention services at depths of 2500 meters. The work forms part of a $40million (approx £24m) deal with a leading oilfield service company. The remaining six systems are expected to be delivered by the turn of the year in line with key project milestones.
David Lamont, Proserv’s chief executive officer, said: “We are delighted to have completed the opening stage of this contract award which is testament to the hard-work, expertise and experience of our global project teams.
Proserv has manufactured three of nine subsea control systems as part of its record contract in Brazil.
“From our subsea controls experts in Great Yarmouth - who are responsible for the overall project execution, engineering and build of the control systems - to the delivery of the first accompanying hydraulic power units by our dedicated manufacturing facility in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, this success demonstrates the international collaboration across the business to deliver best in class technology and service.”
The project reinforces Proserv’s rapidly evolving global footprint and market-leading position through exporting some of the most technically-advanced subsea equipment to clients around the world.
Proserv’s DPR control system is the first of its kind for the offshore industry. The product incorporates deepwater electro-hydraulic installation and workover controls for supporting the manipulation of all subsea operations, the tubing hanger running tools and surface test trees. The systems all feature Proserv’s Artemis 2G, a next-generation subsea electronics module which has been specifically designed to suit challenging environmental and operational conditions.
Proserv, which operates worldwide through 29 operating centers based in 11 countries, has a 40-year track record in delivering world-class solutions for the energy industry, particularly in the drilling, production and subsea market sectors.
The company has won a string of industry awards in recognition of its people and outstanding achievements. Most recently, Proserv was named Great Large Company at the Society of Petroleum Engineers’ Offshore Achievement Awards in March. The accolade came shortly after Proserv was crowned Company of the Year at the 2015 Subsea UK Awards while just weeks before, two of Proserv’s promising young employees were recognized for their outstanding achievements at the 2015 Oil & Gas UK awards.
Unique Group, one of the world’s leading integrated turnkey subsea and offshore solution providers, has now delivered two new dive systems and a diving vessel worth around £5million to global services provider, Vertech. The Hydracraft 1500 Daughter Craft vessel, named the Vaila, is nearly 50ft long and designed for air diving activity. The hull is designed to provide an enhanced stability, optimising operational efficiency.
Unique Group’s UK Managing Director, Ray Hughes, handed the vessel over to Vertech’s UK Managing Director, John Marsden, and Vertech’s Diving Manager, Alan Melia in Aberdeen last week.
The Vaila is the first Daughter Craft which has been built for purpose, from concept through to design. Other vessels used for the same purposes have been conversions of existing craft. The daughter craft system is designed for conducting diving operations for underwater inspection in locations otherwise inaccessible by larger vessels.
The project was initiated when Vertech (under their previous identity, Global Diving) formed a new commercial diving entity. They approached Unique for surface diving systems and so the concept development for the Daughter Craft began in May 2014.
Talking about the project, Ray Hughes said, “Delivering the Daughter Craft to Vertech has been a magnificent achievement for Unique Group. We have worked closely with our client, ensuring the design and operations of the vessel are first class. It is essential that the craft and its associated equipment provide a safe and comfortable working environment for the divers and crew onboard. Unique Group’s strength is in our continued ability to provide turnkey solutions tailored to suit our clients' requirements. The supply of the Daughter Craft and dive systems demonstrates the versatility and diversity of our energy sector capabilities.”
John Marsden commented, “At Vertech it is really important that we provide our Client’s with the very best safety performance, service, and value. The dive systems we have purchased from Unique Group are a key part of this; the systems themselves are well proven with a good track record. They have been designed to meet our onerous specifications and incorporate all the latest recommendations from IMCA. This kit is state-of-the-art and the service we have received from Unique has exceeded our expectations."
The Vaila can hold a maximum of 10 people and will be based at a North-East port, with the ability to deploy anywhere around the world. It has its own single launch and recovery system, the Macgregor G150 Davit, which is the largest lifting davit manufactured by Macgregor to date.
Gauthiers’ announces the acquisition of an equity share of Modex, a leading international manufacturer of DNV-certified offshore equipment. As part of the transaction, Gauthiers’ will merge its operations with Modex to create the world’s third-largest offshore container company, with an inventory of 17,000 units, a global presence and comprehensive service offerings from engineering and manufacturing to the sale and leasing of offshore containers and modules. Modex currently has operations in Norway, Brazil, UAE, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, China and the United Kingdom (Aberdeen) with further growth planned in the near future.
This new partnership provides substantial advantages to both parties. Gauthiers’ benefits from adding full in-house manufacturing design and production capacity as well as capital support for its continued growth, while Modex gains access to the North American oil and gas market via Gauthiers’ locations, expertise and relationships with operators, contractors and service companies in the Gulf of Mexico.
Gauthiers’ branding materials will be updated to include “A Modex Company” to reflect its expanded capacity and new global service offerings. Meanwhile, Gauthiers’ existing Louisiana locations (in Lafayette, Houma and Port Fourchon) will continue under the same management while offering an even broader range of customized units along with a larger available inventory.
“It will be business as usual – only better – with the merged company. Our customers will still receive the same outstanding service they always have, only now they will gain access to additional units, more facilities, new models and direct factory support,” said Gauthiers’ President Robert Gauthier. “What’s more, we can now serve customers anywhere in the world.”
Modex is the leading integrated Cargo Carrying Unit (CCU) manufacturer and rental provider in the world. Unlike other CCU providers that subcontract their production, Modex owns and operates the most advanced CCU and cabin manufacturing facility in the world, capable of producing 5,400 CCUs and 120 cabin units per year.
“Gauthiers’ is an ideal partner for us because of their experience, facilities and long-standing customer relationships throughout the Gulf region. And just as importantly, they are industry leaders in the development and implementation of international safety standards,” said Modex CEO Eric Snellen.
The International Well Control Forum (IWCF), the independent organization that sets international well control standards, is attending the oil & gas industry APPEA conference in Melbourne this week (17-20 May) to showcase its well training and accreditation capabilities.
With an active branch in Australia, IWCF now plans to expand its presence by opening its first local office in the region. Expected to be ready by the middle of the year, the new office will be located in Brisbane and will support all 20 accredited centers in Australasia.
Professor Sheik Rahman, Director, National Drilling & Well Control Program at the School of Petroleum Engineering, University of New South Wales said: “IWCF opening an office in Brisbane is a great boost for the industry. As well as being of significant benefit to us in our daily operations, it demonstrates to operators that IWCF takes well control safety seriously. Over the years, IWCF has proven very responsive to the changing needs of the industry. It has developed its training courses to deliver a balance of theoretical and practical work and having support from a local office will ensure we can continue to offer the best service to our candidates.”
The not-for-profit organization will be appointing a Brisbane-based Regional Manager for Australasia who will be responsible for managing and administering test sessions as well as supporting the centers with their day-to-day activities.
The School of Petroleum Engineering at the University of New South Wales was the first center in Australia to become IWCF accredited in 1998. Since then, the organization has grown to have 20 centers across Australia and New Zealand.
David Price, CEO of IWCF said: “Some of the world’s largest oil and gas megaprojects are based in Australia, including Ichthys and the Gorgon joint venture project. Such large-scale projects demonstrate the need for a continued focus on well training and accreditation to ensure the safety of oil and gas personnel. While improvements in technology and management systems have reduced safety incidents, a culture shift in behavior and attitude is still needed.
“A local office in Australia will help us provide better support to our accredited centers in Australasia and ensure they can continue to deliver the high standard of training that we expect. We don’t want candidates to turn up, sit an exam and go away, we want a continual style of learning where we can change behaviors and make individuals feel empowered to act.”
IWCF is also investing in new facilities at its headquarters in Montrose, UK to improve training for well control assessors and instructors who address drilling operations and well intervention activities. The organization is actively recruiting for new members, anyone who is interested in having a say in well control safety should visit http://www.iwcf.org/ for more information.
Enerpac has been awarded a contract to build the world’s largest, offshore overhead gantry crane for French consortium Bouygues Travaux Publics, VINCI Construction and Demathieu Bard Construction. The crane—with a lifting capacity of 4,800 Ton—will be used to install the pre-cast viaduct columns for a new coastal highway around Reunion Island, located east of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.
Enerpac Overhead Gantry Crane
The 5,400m coastal highway (Route du Littoral) will connect Saint Denis—the administrative capital of La Réunion—with La Possession. It replaces the existing coastal road, which is exposed to falling rocks and flooding from swells and tropical storms.
The Bouygues Travaux Publics, VINCI Construction and Demathieu Bard Construction consortium is building a barge to construct the offshore highway. Enerpac is supplying an offshore crane with 4,800 ton lifting capacity for the barge. The barge will be used to pick up concrete precast foundation elements (gravity base, pile head and segments) at the harbor of Reunion Island, and position them on the seabed. The Enerpac offshore crane will be used to make at least 200 foundation block lifts.
Enerpac was approached by the consortium based on its reputation as a provider of tailor made solutions for repetitive heavy lifting operations.
Global director Enerpac Integrated Solutions, Jeroen Naalden, commented, "We are delighted to have the opportunity to work with Bouygues Travaux Publics, VINCI Construction and Demathieu Bard Construction on this important infrastructure project. With a history of being involved in the Kursk salvage offshore, the Millau Viaduct construction and other significant heavy lifting operations, we have a growing reputation for excellence in bespoke heavy lift systems."
Construction of the 4,800 ton offshore crane has already started at Enerpac Integrated Solutions manufacturing facility in Hengelo, The Netherlands.
To learn more about Enerpac's heavy-lift systems, click here.
Cygnus Instruments Ltd, the leading manufacturer of Multiple-Echo digital ultrasonic thickness gauges used for measuring remaining metal thickness without the need to remove protective coatings, unveils the latest range of surface instruments.
The new range of thickness gauges is launched following extensive customer engagement, working within industry standards and following careful / exhaustive design reviews.
WHAT IS NEW
Versatile Measuring Modes as Standard with Latest PLUS Models
Cygnus has now incorporated two additional measuring modes in to their latest range of thickness gauges. Single-Echo and Echo-Echo modes, both using twin crystal probes, can assist in obtaining measurements in areas of extreme corrosion or back wall pitting:
• Single-Echo measuring mode - ideal for measuring uncoated surfaces with heavy front face and/or back-wall corrosion and attenuative materials such as cast metals, plastics and composites
• Echo-Echo measuring mode - used for measuring painted metals but with heavy back wall pitting for improved back wall detection.
Additional New Features
The range consists of 5 new models offering a comprehensive array of new features including: A-scan and B-scan displays; hands free units for climbing or rope access; simple sequential data logging or comprehensive data logging with features including Grid Format, offering 16 directional formats; vibrate alert to warn the operator when the measurement is out of tolerance; Bluetooth data transfer capability; and MSI™ (Measurement Stability Indicator).
MSI™ is both clever and simple. Used in Single-Echo and Echo-Echo modes, this trademarked technique samples returning echoes to ensure they are all identical. If the returning echoes are identical the display changes colour or format which indicates the reading is stable and reliable.
Sequential and Comprehensive Data Logging
There are two data logging models in the range, one offering simple sequential measurements to be recorded while the other offers comprehensive data logging where the user can add defined text comments, create templates and add radial measurements around a last logged measurement point. Both models record up to 5,000 measurement points, including A-scans.
Data logging models are supplied with the Cygnus CygLink Software. CygLink is a Windows® application for PC’s running Windows 7 and above and is used for uploading data from a data logging gauge. The information can then be analysed, stored, reports can then be created and the data can be exported as a .pdf or .csv file.
Extremely Rugged Enclosure
Designed for use in the most severe operating conditions, the purpose designed enclosure is both extremely tough and strong while small and light weight.
Manufactured using a twin shot injection moulded enclosure which has a soft but durable TPE outer skin, making them both comfortable and extremely durable, while the inner shell is strong, keeping the electronics totally sealed from the outside environments.
This new instrument enclosure has allowed Cygnus to achieve the tough American Military Standard MIL SPEC 810G for environmental protection. These new gauges will survive the harshest operating conditions including drop, vibration, dust and water ingress (IP67) together with low and high temperature cycling.
While the new range from Cygnus offers many new features, the simple to use menu structure means that these new gauges are quick to learn and simple to use.
Cygnus has concentrated on providing the user with key measurement functions for a wide range of thickness gauging applications, in a tough instrument designed and tested for the most severe operating conditions.
NYC-based PIRA Energy Group believes that Brent crude prices will continue to gradually strengthen for the next few months. In the U.S., commercial crude and product inventories both declined this past week. In Japan, crude runs decline while crude and product stocks rise. Specifically, PIRA’s analysis of the oil market fundamentals has revealed the following:
European Oil Market Forecast
Brent crude prices will continue to gradually strengthen for the next few months reflecting improving crude balances with higher refinery runs, increased shipments to Asia, flattening United States/non-OPEC crude production and rising geopolitical concerns. Refinery runs will ramp up as maintenance winds down, peaking in June-August in the Atlantic Basin.
First Major U.S. Stock Draw of 2015
U.S. commercial crude and product inventories both declined this past week. The strongest weekly product demand of the year combined with relatively low crude imports to push stocks lower. The year-on-year stock excess narrowed by 9 million barrels to 157 million barrels or to a still large 14.4%.
Japanese Crude Runs Decline, While Crude and Product Stocks Rise
Two weeks of data were released this past week covering the traditional May holiday period. Crude runs eased both weeks, while crude and finished product stocks rose both weeks. Gasoline demand was higher, while most other product demands eased. Kerosene stocks began to build seasonally. The indicative refining margin remains good, but it has been coming off its highs.
Asia-Pacific Oil Market Forecast
Oil balances are tightening. A global crude surplus has been built, but it is about to be reduced as runs continue to rise supported by healthy refining margins. The balances will be increasingly helped by slowing non-OPEC supply growth as 2015 plays out, and then outright year-on-year declines in non-OPEC supply as we move towards year-end. Over the summer, Middle East producers, particularly Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, will have limited additional barrels for sale as new refineries continue their ramp up and increased summer burn absorbs supply. Strategic reserve purchases of crude oil in India and China will add to crude demand.
Energy Commodities Continue to Strengthen
On a weekly average basis the S&P 500 rose modestly, and closed at a record high on Friday. Emerging market debt prices fell slightly with higher yields. Bond yields on Greek debt eased modestly as a resolution to the Greek debt problem continues to be worked through. The total commodity index rose on the week, as did energy. The U.S. dollar has continued to weaken against many currencies with noted declines against the euro, British pound, and Russian ruble. The Shanghai Interbank Offer Rate eased for the tenth straight week. Bond yields for longer term maturities have risen in the U.S., Europe, Canada, UK and Japan. The Chinese policy interest rate (1-year banking lending rate) was cut again.
European LPG Imports Saturating Demand
Well supplied markets are facing limited incremental demand in Europe. Coaster sized lots of propane were called a significant $50/MT (13%) lower on the week near $320/MT while the spread to larger cargoes widened to $60, indicating that prices on the latter will face increasing pressure in the coming weeks. Large butane cargoes fell 7% to $399, while barges were little changed.
U.S. Ethanol Prices Higher
The rally in U.S. ethanol prices continued the week ending May 8 as many plants were shut down for spring maintenance. Higher petroleum values also provided support.
Ethanol Production Rebounds
U.S. ethanol production rebounded from a six-month low the week ending March 8 as several plants came back online following spring maintenance. Output rose to 912 MB/D from 887 MB/D in the previous week.
The information above is part of PIRA Energy Group's weekly Energy Market Recap - which alerts readers to PIRA’s current analysis of energy markets around the world as well as the key economic and political factors driving those markets.
When the price of oil started its tumble late last fall so too did the oilfield services (OFS) market. The rig count in the U.S. has been halved compared to this time last year and operators are struggling across the board to cut costs in this low price environment. Some of the major U.S. shale plays are being hit harder than others, some will bounce back quickly while others may start to fade away.
DW expects a 34% decrease in total U.S. oilfield services spend in 2015 for the 20 services that we cover. On a basin-by-basin level, the Barnett and the Bakken will be hit hardest. The Barnett rig count has continued its steep decline from a 2008 peak, now with only four rigs drilling for gas. With the fall in oil price, operators in the Bakken will spend 40% less on services in 2015. The Bakken is one of the more expensive shale plays and the low price environment will lead to fewer wells being completed and intense cost cutting pressure on services companies. Conversely, the Marcellus is likely to be hit the least as recently the gas drilling market has not suffered to the same extent as the oil plays.
To give one key OFS example, proppant is the sand or ceramic material designed to keep an induced hydraulic fracture open during or following a fracturing treatment. Here we expect Operators’ spend to fall by 42% in 2015 as a result of a strong decrease in demand and a shift away from ceramics towards cheaper sands. While all drilling and completion-led services will suffer in 2015, those driven more by the active wellstock will suffer less than new drilling activity. Historically, services such as artificial lift and slickline services for example have been less directly correlated to oil price and are less affected by downturns.
As the oilfield services industry continues to rebalance over the course of 2015, some basins and service lines will feel the pressure more than others.
Jacob Halevy, Douglas-Westwood Houston
The Top Workplaces are determined solely on employee feedback. The employee survey is conducted by WorkplaceDynamics, LLP, a leading research firm on organizational health and employee engagement. Eight hundred companies were nominated for the Top Workplaces, and InterMoor was placed in the top 40 of the ‘Small Business’ category.
More than 285 professionals work in InterMoor’s modern, purpose-built Morgan City facility. Benefits for employees include life insurance and health plans, flexible working policies and regular onsite group cooking events to foster team morale. InterMoor supports individual involvement in occupational and industry-related organizations; and external employee training and certifications are encouraged and reimbursed by the company. Each individual completes an annual employee satisfaction survey.
Scott Thomas, vice president of finance, InterMoor, said, “We are proud to be recognized as a top workplace in the New Orleans region. We believe it is critical to invest in the well being of employees in order to maintain and grow a successful business such as InterMoor. With initiatives such as allowing for generous vacation accrual, providing free flu shots for employees and their spouses and subsidising gym memberships, we are helping our employees maintain a positive work/life balance and an all-round healthy lifestyle.”
New Orleans Times-Picayune, which is distributed to 120,000 households, published the complete list of Top Workplaces on May 17.
For more information about the Top Workplaces lists, please visit www.topworkplaces.com.
1. Statoil Snorre & Grane Permanent Reservoir Monitoring (PRM) Project
WGP has completed the re-mobilisation of the Dual Portable Modular Source System (D-PMSSTM) onboard the ‘Siddis Sailor’ as part of the ongoing 4D/4C Permanent Reservoir Monitoring project over the Statoil operated Snorre and Grane fields in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.
The projected program of work will see repeat source surveys undertaken over both the Snorre and Grane trenched seabed cable systems through spring and early summer, with subsequent surveys to be completed in early autumn.
Image: D-PMSSTM installed on the back deck of the ‘Siddis Sailor’
2. P-CableTM HR3D Contract Award with TGS
WGP has completed the re-mobilisation of the ‘Bergen Surveyor’ and has commenced a program of work in the South East Barents Sea on behalf of TGS.
An initial program of 3 month’s High Resolution 3D (HR3D) will be acquired utilising P-CableTM technology and will comprise both regional and localised data acquisition to consolidate TGS’ multi- client data library in the Barents Sea.
For further information please contact:
Mark Burnett, CEO
The Board of BP plc announces that it has appointed Mrs. Paula Rosput Reynolds and Sir John Sawers as Non-Executive Directors with immediate effect.
Mrs. Rosput Reynolds has over 25 years’ experience in the energy sector, including as president and chief executive officer of AGL Resources. Sir John Sawers has had long experience in government, most recently as Chief of the UK Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) and is now Chairman of Macro Advisory Partners.
Carl-Henric Svanberg, Chairman of BP said “We are delighted to welcome Paula and John to the Board of BP. Paula has deep experience in the energy and financial services sectors. John brings extensive experience of international affairs and geopolitics. They are both strong additions to the BP Board.”
Paula Rosput Reynolds
Paula Rosput Reynolds began her career as an economist before spending over 25 years in the energy sector in a variety of operational and corporate roles, including at the Duke Energy Corporation and the Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Mrs Reynolds was President and Chief Executive Officer of AGL Resources, a Fortune 500 natural gas distribution, services and trading company which serves the eastern US. She has also previously served as a non-executive director of Anadarko Petroleum Corporation.
Mrs. Reynolds was Chair, President and Chief Executive Officer of Safeco Corporation, a US insurance company, until its acquisition by Liberty Mutual Group in 2008. She was then appointed Vice Chairman and Chief Restructuring Officer of American International Group Inc. (AIG), overseeing the company’s divestiture of assets and serving as chief liaison with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
Mrs. Reynolds currently serves as a non-executive director of BAE Systems plc, TransCanada Corporation and Delta Airlines where she will be stepping down shortly. She is also Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre. She was previously a non-executive director of Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. and of Air Products and Chemicals Inc. In 2014, Mrs. Reynolds was recognized with a lifetime achievement award for exceptional contributions as a board member by the National Association of Corporate Directors in the US.
Sir John Sawers
Sir John Sawers spent 36 years working for the British Government in international affairs and security. He completed his five year tenure as Chief of MI6, the UK Secret Intelligence Service, in November 2014. Prior to that, he was the UK’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Political Director of the Foreign Office, Special Representative in Iraq, Ambassador to Egypt, and Foreign Policy Advisor to the Prime Minister. In his early career, he worked in the Middle East, South Africa and Washington.
Sir John is now Chairman and Partner of Macro Advisory Partners LLP. He is also a Visiting Professor at King’s College London and a Governor of The Ditchley Foundation.
Statoil (OSE:STL, NYSE:STO) appoints new chief financial officer (CFO), and launches business area for New Energy Solutions (NES). Three new executive vice presidents (EVPs) are appointed as members of the corporate executive committee (CEC).
CFO Torgrim Reitan is appointed EVP for Development & Production USA (DPUSA) after Bill Maloney decided to not prolong his contract with Statoil. Hans Jakob Hegge is appointed new EVP and CFO. Hegge comes from the position as senior vice president for Operations North in Development & Production Norway.
Irene Rummelhoff is appointed EVP for New Energy Solutions, and Jens Økland new EVP for Marketing, Midstream & Processing (MMP). Rummelhoff and Økland start in their new positions 1 June 2015. Reitan and Hegge will start in their new positions 1 August 2015.
CEO Eldar Sætre
“I am glad that Torgrim Reitan has accepted the opportunity to lead DPUSA, and pleased to welcome Hans Jakob Hegge, Irene Rummelhoff and Jens Økland as new members of my management team. Their deep and broad experience brings renewal to the CEC addressing our future challenges,” says Eldar Sætre, president and CEO of Statoil.
The new DPUSA will further focus the effort to strengthen the profitability of our offshore assets in the Gulf of Mexico and US onshore shale oil and gas operations. In combination, the offshore and onshore activities in the USA give Statoil a strong position in the world’s largest integrated energy market.
Statoil’s offshore and onshore business in Canada becomes part of the business area Development & Production International (DPI). The Canada activities add materiality and longevity in the DPI portfolio, and provides further opportunities to create synergies with offshore activities in Brazil, the UK and Tanzania.
“I am grateful to Bill, who joined Statoil in 2002 as head of global exploration. Leading our North America business since 2010 he has been instrumental in maturing our GoM portfolio and building Statoil’s position as onshore operator,” says Sætre.
The transition of the global energy systems to a low carbon society creates new business and growth opportunities within renewables and new energy solutions. Statoil will establish a new business area for New Energy Solutions (NES) to drive further profitable growth within these areas.
Establishing NES as a separate business area reporting directly to the CEO reflects the aspirations to gradually complement the oil and gas portfolio with profitable renewable energy and other low-carbon energy solutions. A more detailed plan for the business will be developed as an integrated part of Statoil’s strategy.
The development of the energy systems open opportunities to create new profitable solutions, combining Statoil’s oil and gas portfolio, project delivery capacity and ability to integrate technological solutions. As a starting point the existing offshore wind portfolio will constitute our activities in this area.
The ambition is to grow and potentially expand into other sources of renewable energy, while also considering appropriate financial structures. The business area will seek new opportunities to deliver attractive returns through technology and business innovation, as well as venture activities.
Irene Rummelhoff has been appointed EVP to lead the development of the business area. Rummelhoff comes from the position as senior vice president for Exploration Norway in Statoil.
Tor Martin Anfinnsen
Jens Økland has been appointed EVP and will head up the new Marketing, Midstream & Processing business area (MMP). The renewable business is carved out of the previous Marketing, Processing and Renewable Energy business area (MPR). Acting EVP for MPR since October 2014, SVP Tor Martin Anfinnsen will take the position as SVP marketing and trading in MMP.
“I thank Tor Martin, who took on the challenge at short notice and has led MPR effectively during a time of considerable change,” says CEO Eldar Sætre.
Background information on appointees
Torgrim Reitan has been appointed executive vice president (EVP) for Development & Production USA. He assumes his new responsibilities from 1 August 2015 and his office location will be Houston.
Torgrim Reitan has 20 years of Statoil experience. He has broad and diversified leadership experience, both in Norway and internationally. During his five years as CFO Reitan was a driving force in supporting the business areas’ strategy development, performance and improvement agenda. In the corporate executive committee (CEC) , Reitan took early moves to address the key challenges of our industry, reducing cost and increasing capital efficiency through corporate improvement programs to strengthen Statoil’s overall competitiveness and value creation. Reitan holds a MSc. degree in business from Norges Handelshøyskole, 1995.
Hans Jakob Hegge
Hans Jakob Hegge will succeed Reitan as EVP and CFO from 1 August 2015, located in Stavanger. Hegge is currently senior vice president for Development & Production (DPN) Operations North, based in Harstad, Norway.
Hans Jakob Hegge brings 20 years of experience from Statoil, and has delivered consistent leadership to drive change and efficiency, including the recent successful turnaround of operational performance at the Snøhvit plant in his current role. Heading up joint operations and Operations East in DPN, he had a leading role in the implementation of the new operating model after the merger with Norsk Hydro’s oil and gas division.
Prior to this Hans Jakob worked in Statoil’s natural gas business, and later led the development of Global Business Services (GBS) from 2005 to 2009. Hegge’s experience will be important for the CFO function going forward, transitioning Statoil to an even more efficient company and developing the global footprint.
Hegge holds a MSc degree in business from Norges Handelshøyskole, 1994.
Irene Rummelhoff has been appointed as EVP of the New Energy Solutions (NES) business area from 1 June 2015. Her office location will be in Stavanger. Since January 2014 she has been SVP for Exploration Norway.
Rummelhoff has extensive commercial experience and broad value chain knowledge from her career in Statoil since 1991, particularly in the area of business development and natural gas.
The new business area will focus on developing commercial sources of alternative energy, as well as looking at investments in proven alternative and renewable energy. Irene Rummelhoff has seven years of international experience, heading up the strengthening of our asset base in North America, including the acquisition of Brigham Exploration Company in 2011.
Rummelhoff holds a MSc. degree in geology/geophysics, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, 1990.
Jens Økland has been appointed EVP for the Marketing, Midstream & Processing (MMP) organization from 1 June 2015. His office location will be in Stavanger.
Jens Økland brings 21 years of experience from Statoil, mainly in the downstream sector. He was previously senior vice president in MPR where he was responsible for portfolio and supply and US gas in MPR natural gas.
In 2013 he moved to DPN to the position as VP of operations for the Åsgard area. His extensive experience in the downstream sector and varied exposure to both international and operational areas of the business gives him a strong background to lead the new MP organization and as a member of the CEC.
Økland holds a MSc. degree in business from Handelshoyskolen BI, 1994.
FMC Technologies, Inc. announced that its Board of Directors has appointed Douglas J. Pferdehirt President of the company. Pferdehirt assumes this responsibility from John T. Gremp who remains Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
"Doug has been integral to our company's success and a valuable partner to me and the executive leadership team. In the three years he has been with FMC Technologies, our company has improved execution, expanded and enhanced customer relationships, established a platform for industry standardization, and entered into an industry-changing alliance with Technip," said Gremp. "This appointment recognizes the performance, experience and leadership strength that Doug brings to our company."
Pferdehirt previously served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. He will assume the role of President immediately, while retaining his position as Chief Operating Officer, responsible for leading the company's three business segments.
Pferdehirt has an extensive background in the oil and gas industry. Before joining FMC Technologies in 2012, he had a successful 26-year career with Schlumberger Limited where he held a number of leadership positions.
Ceona, SURF contractor with heavy subsea construction capabilities, has been awarded a new deepwater contract with Houston-based Bennu Oil & Gas LLC in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) on their Mirage field. This contract comes after a first contract was awarded and completed last year for operations on their Clipper deepwater field.
The agreement will see Ceona deploy its newest vessel, the Amazon, to install a flexible flowline of approximately 2.4 miles (3.8 kilometers) and an umbilical of about 2.6 miles (4.2 km) from Bennu’s Mirage well location, which is located in Block 941 of the Mississippi Canyon Field. Each will be tied-back to Bennu’s Titan Production Facility at a depth of approximately 4,000 feet (1,200 meters).
The contract is the second that Ceona has won with Bennu after previously being selected to install a 1.1 mile (1.7 km) umbilical and two 15 mile (24 km) electric quad cables at a depth of 3,000 ft (914 m) on the Clipper pglenroject in spring 2014.
Offshore work is scheduled to begin in the second half of 2015 and, as with the previous operation, the project management and engineering work will be coordinated from Ceona’s Houston offices.
Janelle Pence, VP Commercial Americas, commented: “We have established a strong relationship with Bennu following our previous work together and this latest contract gives us the opportunity to build on this as well as our track record in the GoM. We are also pleased to be able to deploy the Amazon on this project because it provides another opportunity to demonstrate the vessel’s deepwater capabilities.”
The project is the second that Ceona has been awarded in the GoM to be carried out by its flagship field development vessel, the Ceona Amazon. In March, the company announced a Letter of Intent for a major rigid pipelay project in the Gulf of Mexico for leading US independent oil & gas operator, Walter Oil & Gas Corporation.
The unique Ceona Amazon will be deployed on the Coelacanth export pipelines project with the scope of work involving the vessel laying both an oil and gas export line, totaling more than 22.5 miles (36km).
The Ceona Amazon is a multi-functional vessel capable of operating in multiple pipelay (rigid/flexible pipe and umbilicals) and operational mode (heavy subsea construction). At 655 ft (199m) long, it is equipped for heavy lifting with two 400mt deepwater cranes, and has capacity to carry 9,500mt of pipe.