Industry Shows Continued Commitment to U.S. Economic & Energy Security at Western Gulf of Mexico Oil and Gas Lease Sale

1 1NOIANOIA President Randall Luthi issued the following statement on yesterday’s Western Gulf of Mexico Oil and Gas Lease Sale:

“Congratulations to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management on their first livestream oil and gas lease sale. The relatively modest results of today’s Western Gulf of Mexico lease sale are indicative of the current market conditions and regulatory environment. Despite these challenging circumstances, the companies that participated in today’s sale are investing millions of dollars in the future of America’s energy and economic security with no guarantee of success or financial return. The purchase of a lease block is a first step in a lengthy process that involves rigorous regulatory oversight including extensive environmental reviews, permitting, and safety checks.

1 2WesternGoMLeaseSale248

Gulf of Mexico Western Planning Area Lease Sale 248, Map courtesy: BOEM

“The development of offshore oil and natural gas helps power our nation. Oil and natural gas are abundant and affordable sources of energy needed to fuel our vehicles and heat, cool and power our homes, schools and businesses. While government estimates show that non-traditional sources of energy will continue to provide more of our nation’s energy mix, they also show that for the foreseeable future, oil and natural gas will provide the bulk of reliable, reasonably priced energy to U.S. consumers, including those who protested today’s sale.

“It’s hard to miss the irony of activists traveling to such protests in gasoline fueled vehicles, or the fact that oil and natural gas provide low cost fuel to the income dis-advantaged populations that these activists claim to protect. Should the ‘keep it in the ground’ movement stop federal leasing, we can all expect to pay far more for our basic energy needs and we will witness the loss of thousands of jobs in the Gulf of Mexico region. Billions of dollars to state and federal treasuries will also be left in the ground.

“Attempting to link the recent flooding and disaster to the offshore lease sale not only lacks wide-spread scientific backing, it is also shameful to take advantage of a disaster that impacted thousands of Louisianans, who now find themselves in need, to try to score cheap political points. As a matter of fact, oil and natural gas are helping these communities that face disaster. From fueling the vehicles that helped people evacuate, to powering the boats of the "Cajun Navy" that rescued thousands, to getting the lights back on so clean-up efforts could begin, not to mention all the petroleum-based goods and services that will be needed as the recovery process continues, fossil fuels are helping save lives and rebuild communities. For protesters to try to use this awful disaster to further their political objectives is ill-conceived and does nothing to help the people of Louisiana.”

TEN Delivers First Oil on Time and on Budget

Tullow Oil announces that first oil has flowed from the Tweneboa, Enyenra, Ntomme (TEN) fields offshore Ghana, to the FPSO Prof. John Evans Atta Mills.

2TullowOIlPhoto credit: Tullow Oil

First oil has been reached on time and on budget three years after the Plan of Development was approved by the Government of Ghana in May 2013.

The TEN start-up process is now well advanced and Tullow expects oil production to ramp-up gradually towards the FPSO capacity of 80,000 bopd through the remainder of 2016. Tullow estimates that TEN average annualized production in 2016 will be approximately 23,000 bopd gross (net: 11,000 bopd).

Tullow is the operator of the TEN fields and holds a 47.175% stake. Tullow’s joint venture partners are Anadarko Petroleum Corporation (17%), Kosmos Energy (17%), Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (15%) and PetroSA (3.875%).

Aidan Heavey, CEO of Tullow Oil Plc, commented:

“I am delighted that the TEN fields have reached first oil. This is an important moment for Tullow as production begins from our second operated development in Ghana. I thank the Government of Ghana, the Petroleum Commission and our partners – GNPC, Anadarko, Kosmos and PetroSA - for their support and co-operation since we made the first discovery in 2009. I also congratulate the project team, our contractors and sub-contractors for delivering this project on time and on budget and with great skill and professionalism and commend them for their commitment to the participation of Ghanaian staff and companies in the project.”

Watch video here

Aqua Diving Services Awards Damen Shipyards Sharjah Jack-up Pontoon Contract

3DamenAQUA RISE III1Damen Shipyards Sharjah (DSS) in the United Arab Emirates has won a contract to build a shallow draught, self-propelled Jack-up Pontoon 3526 for the UAE-based contractor Aqua Diving Services Ltd. Once delivered, it will be used primarily to deliver offshore support services, including the provision of accommodation facilities for personnel as well as operating as a work platform with crane facilities.

Aqua Diving Services (ADS) has specifically designed the Jack-up for Middle East operations and is closely cooperating with Damen Shipyards Sharjah for the construction of the unit. The jack-up, which will be named the Aqua Rise III and will have accommodation for up to 128 personnel with a 350m² of deck space and two cranes, rated at 75 and 15 tons respectively. The vessel will also be fitted with a helideck and life boats.

Aqua Diving Services was established in the United Arab Emirates in 1975 and today delivers a wide range of sub-sea services as well as other support to offshore oil and gas operators in the region. The company already owns and operates a fleet of two Jack up pontoons. Aqua Rise III is due for delivery in early 2018 and promises to be a state of the art vessel offering services to a long list of clients in the Arabian Gulf.

Mr. Clive Frost, Managing Director of Aqua Diving Services, commented that building the vessel of Aqua design at a high quality shipyard like Damen Shipyards Sharjah was a win-win for both parties and that he is very much looking forward to the delivery of Aqua Rise III.

Pascal Slingerland, Sales Manager Middle East for Damen Shipyards Group commented that this order is fitting in with Damen’s strategy to become more active in the lift-boat market and to build vessels outside the standard Damen portfolio. This is a further sign that local clients value Damen’s strong track record and reputation as a shipbuilder delivering superior quality at the right price.

Statoil Submitting PDO for Byrding Oil and Gas Discovery in the North Sea

Statoil and its partners have submitted the Plan for Development and Operation of the Byrding oil and gas discovery in the North Sea to government authorities.

Capital expenditures estimated at approximately NOK 1 billion, recoverable volumes are projected at approx. 11 million barrels of oil equivalent.

“This is another example of a new discovery being realized through existing infrastructure,” says Torger Rød, Statoil’s senior vice president for project development.


The development will boost activity and production on the Troll C platform. (Photo: Øyvind Hagen)

The Byrding development includes a duo-lateral well drilled from the existing Fram H-Nord subsea template through which oil and gas from Byrding will flow to Troll C.

Oil and gas will be piped from there through existing pipelines to Mongstad and Kollsnes respectively.

Capital expenditures have been reduced from initially approximately NOK 3.5 billion to the current estimate of approximately NOK 1 billion. “Byrding shows that successful improvement efforts in Statoil, and in this case particularly within drilling and well, allow new development projects to be realized,” Rød says.

The duo-lateral well to be drilled is some seven kilometers long, the first kilometers being shared by the two laterals.

“Combined with the use of an available well slot in an existing subsea template this reduces the costs of the project substantially. The project is profitable also in the current oil price environment,” Rød says. The field is scheduled to come on stream in the third quarter of 2017. The project will thus yield a return in the same year as investments are made.

“Byrding will add new profitable volumes from the Troll / Fram area, boosting the activity and production on the Troll C platform,” says Gunnar Nakken, Statoil’s senior vice president for Operations West.

According to plans Byrding will remain on stream for 8-10 years.


Partners: Statoil Petroleum AS (operator) 45%, Wintershall Norge AS 25%, Idemitsu Petroleum Norge AS 15% and Engie E&P Norge 15%

Discovery year: 2005

Location: north of the Fram field in the North Sea

Water depth: 360 meters

In the peak period in 2017/2018 Byrding is expected to produce almost 8,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Launch of Ground-breaking Decommissioning Tool

Decom North Sea, the representative body for the offshore decommissioning industry, launches the ground-breaking Late Life Planning Portal.

The operational website – also known as L2P2 – has been designed to support the North Sea oil and gas industry in the planning and execution of late life and decommissioning projects. Providing a single access point for knowledge sharing and cross sector learning, L2P2 reflects Decom North Sea’s overarching objective to bring the regulators, operators and supply chain together to create the co-operative environment required by the decommissioning industry.

5Roger Esson copyRoger Esson, Decom North Sea Chief Executive

Roger Esson, chief executive of Decom North Sea explains the drive behind the portal: “Decommissioning is a long game, with over 40 years of decommissioning activity yet to take place and around 90% of North Sea assets yet to be decommissioned. For that to happen as efficiently and as cost-effectively as possible in the long term, we need to make good decisions in the Late Life phase.

“Taking that into account, it is easy to understand why Decom North Sea has developed a portal which provides the ultimate decommissioning toolkit: a repository for lessons learned, a forum for discussion and a gateway to contacts, analytics and market intelligence. At this stage in any industry, a toolkit such as this provides fundamental support in achieving the overarching objectives of efficiency, simplification, standardisation and cooperation.”

Project workstream champions have populated the portal with what have been characterised as foundation tools and lessons learned. Decom North Sea business manager – and L2P2 project manager – Pamela Ogilvie explains why industry engagement is a fundamental to the portal: “It is now up to industry to share the tools and processes that have materially added value to their decommissioning projects, so that others can share the benefits.

“Given the incredible level of genuine collaboration on this project to date, I am confident that L2P2 will be adopted as an industry standard information portal – we believe the potential is limitless.”

Technip and DOF Announce the Delivery of Skandi Açu and Commencement of Contract with Petrobras

Technip and DOF Subsea announces that through their 50/50 owned affiliate TechDof Brasil AS, they have taken final delivery of the pipe-lay support vessel (PLSV) Skandi Açu. The vessel has been approved for hire by Petrobras and commenced as per commitment at 00h00 on August 13th 2016 its 8-year charter contract. It is the first of 4 PLSVs fixed on long-term charters with Petrobras which were awarded to the joint venture between DOF Subsea and Technip in August 2013.

6Skandi Acu web06Skandi Açu: Photo credit: DOF Subsea

The vessel is designed to achieve a 650-ton laying tension capacity, thus enabling the installation of large diameter flexible pipes in ultra-deepwater environments, such as the Brazilian pre-salt.

The vessel has been built by VARD in Romania and Norway, and the main pipelaying equipment by Huisman in Czech Republic and in the Netherlands. Skandi Açu has gone through complete sea-trials and acceptance tests by Petrobras. The long-term financing of Skandi Açu is arranged by Société Générale, GIEK and Eksportkreditt.

DOF Subsea CEO, Mons S. Aase, said: “The extensive newbuild program of 4 PLSVs together with Technip has combined the subsea and vessel expertise across our organizations. Taking final delivery of Skandi Açu and commencing the contract with Petrobras is an important milestone in our partnership with Technip, and the joint venture now has 3 vessels in operations. I look forward to seeing the vessel in operation in the years to come.”

Hallvard Hasselknippe, President Subsea for Technip, commented further: "This new state-of-the-art PLSV, with the most advanced pipelay equipment and highest flexible pipelay tension capacity in the world, demonstrates again our extensive ultra-deepwater pipelaying experience, and our commitment to enable projects offshore for our clients."

Record Summer for Gibdock’s Offshore Business

Gibdock achieved its busiest month this year in the offshore market in June 2016, pressing home its strategic location and reputation for high quality, on-time redelivery, at a time when it is updating a series of management, safety and environment accreditations.

Four offshore vessels were at Gibdock at the same time, highlighting its status as the ‘go to’ regional hub for OSV, seismic survey ship, dive support vessel, anchor handling tug supply ship, pipe layer and construction support vessel work, says Managing Director Richard Beards.


Simultaneous attention to four offshore support vessels at Gibdock demonstrates that the Gibraltar yard is now a regional hub for this specialized repair, maintenance and renewal work, operating as a base for mobilization and de-mobilization projects. Photo credit: Gibdock

“We are now attracting offshore vessels operating worldwide, but our advantageous location enables us to be particularly competitive for assets being mobilised, or demobilised in the Mediterranean and West Africa areas,” he says.

The 127m long, 10,979grt CSV left the yard on June 29th following a 21-day stay in Dock 1. Work included the removal and overhaul of the complete propulsion system, and port and starboard gearboxes, plus routine five-year survey work. Normand Cutter.The biggest offshore vessel project undertaken by Gibdock so far this year involved Solstad Shipping.

Norway-based Solstad is now a regular Gibdock customer. Conrad Melhus, Solstad Shipping’s technical manager, says: “We chose Gibdock because of the good relationship we have with them, their reliability, and their good 'hands on' management with short reporting lines. They are also centrally positioned, with easy access by road from the main spare parts hubs in Europe.”

Also in the yard in June were: Atlantic Offshore’s 1,200 dwt, 1975-built AHTS Ocean Sky, for repair and maintenance in Dock 3, the 2011-built, 5,640dwt DSV Harkand Da Vinci in Dock 1; and Farstad’s 2009-built, multi-functional 121.5m subsea support vessel Far Samson, for afloat repairs.

Mr Beards says that Gibdock’s recent investment in Pad 1, a specialized prefabrication area alongside Dock 1, has been especially beneficial for more offshore projects, allowing the yard to take on more complex projects. “In line with our offshore successes, we are continually improving our QHSE, at a time when owners are watching every last dollar and some shipyards may be tempted to seek work based on aggressive pricing alone. We know that safety and the environment in particular are key concerns for offshore owners and operators,”

Gibdock is transitioning from ISO 9001:2008 to ISO 9001:2015 quality and from ISO 14001:2004 to ISO 14001:2015 environmental standard accreditation.

ROVOP to Create New Jobs as Result of GoM Business Growth

8ROVOP GoM growthIndependent subsea remotely operated vehicle (ROV) service provider, ROVOP, is set to increase its Houston workforce as a result of further business growth including recent contract wins in the Gulf of Mexico region.

The growth follows the successful completion of a pipeline installation campaign in Mexico with Drebbel de Mexico, which has led to follow-on work.

The initial project with Drebbel involved the use of an ROV for concrete mattress installation for the first time in Mexican waters.

As a result of the successful project, ROVOP and Drebbel will work together again on another new scheme with a large multi-national service operator to provide ROV services for pre-lay survey, riser inspection and crossing fabrication with concrete mattresses.

Both projects build on ROVOP’s track record for delivering inspection, maintenance and repair (IMR), decommissioning and installation projects in the US Gulf of Mexico, Brazil, Venezuela and Mexico as well as West Africa and South East Asia over the last three years.

In support of these project wins, ROVOP - which currently employs around 135 people globally - continues to actively recruit for its full service Western Hemisphere base in Houston and anticipates increasing its workforce by up to 10% this year.

This latest success closely follows the firm’s recent announcement that it had secured more than $4million in contract wins spanning the North Sea, Gulf of Mexico, West Africa and Europe.

President of ROVOP’s Houston operations, Wayne Betts, said: “We are particularly pleased with our performance in the initial contract with Drebbel because with safety being of paramount importance, precisely positioning the mattresses in zero visibility meant that we eliminated the risk to divers by deploying one of our high-performance ROVs and expert operators. We look forward to working together on future projects.

“ROVOP is bucking the trend in an industry by adjusting to the lower oil price and increasing focus on efficiencies to meet our customer’s needs. In Houston, we have seen a steady growth curve since inception and we expect that to continue for the rest of the year.”

ROVOP also supports industry education and collaboration in the US.

Betts said: “We supported the first Marine Technology Camp in Traverse City, Michigan, by sharing our knowledge with tomorrow’s industry pioneers. This proved an excellent platform for demonstrating how better collaboration, communication and education can support the younger generation and ultimately benefit the sector in the long-term.

“ROVOP also plans to further support education by making a solid contribution to industry events in and around our area and are committed to strengthening our position and contribution to the region.”

Schmidt Ocean Institute Selects Sonardyne Navigation Technology for New Research ROV

9Sonardyne SOI SuBastianThe international science community’s newest ocean research platform, a deep-rated remotely operated vehicle (ROV) called SuBastian, will be positioned and navigated using acoustic and inertial technologies supplied by Sonardyne Inc., based in Houston.

Built by the Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI), a private non-profit operating foundation located in California, SuBastian will provide scientists from around the world with new opportunities to explore and study the ocean. Capable of diving to 4,500 meters, the vehicle has been equipped with a state-of-the-art equipment package that includes a reconfigurable payload skid for deploying and recovering experiments, a 4K Ultra-High Definition camera capable of streaming live video to the surface and a comprehensive suite of scientific sampling sensors.

Following a survey of the deep ocean research experts that make up SuBastian’s Science Advisory Group, the need for both accurate and multiple means of subsea navigation was identified as a priority mission requirement. The group commented that provision of the best available integrated acoustic and inertial navigation sensors underpinned the scientific value of the observations and data gathered by SuBastian.

When SuBastian enters service this summer, it will be operated from SOI’s research vessel, Falkor, which has been operating with Sonardyne’s Ranger 2 Ultra-Short BaseLine (USBL) acoustic positioning system since 2012. During that time, the system has provided scientists with the ability to track equipment down to abyssal depths in excess of 5,000 meters.

Based on their extensive track record with Ranger 2, SOI and Sonardyne worked together to configure an integrated navigation solution for SuBastian. This resulted in the supply of a SPRINT Inertial Navigation System (INS), Syrinx 600 kHz Doppler Velocity Log (DVL) and a Wideband Mini Transponder (WMT), all of which is compatible with the Falkor’s existing Ranger 2 topside hardware.

Now in its third generation, Sonardyne’s SPRINT exploits the long-term precision of acoustic positioning with the continuous availability and fast update rate of inertial sensors. This combination provides robust vehicle positioning during periods of challenging acoustic conditions and helps to improve sensor data quality and vehicle control. Uniquely, SPRINT supports dual gyrocompass and INS operating modes, meaning that SuBastian’s pilots and science teams will be able to rely upon its output simultaneously. Its new, lightweight titanium housing also provides valuable space and weight savings that can instead be used for scientific payload or samples.

SuBastian is also now one of the first research vehicles in the world to benefit from Sonardyne’s recently introduced Syrinx DVL. DVLs are an important element of any ROV’s navigation system as they enable the vehicle’s velocity and distance travelled to be measured. When tightly integrated with INS, acoustic and depth observations, a true estimate of the vehicle’s position can be calculated.

Syrinx differs from other DVLs in that it offers high altitude (up to 175 meters) navigation capability normally only available from a 300 kHz DVL with the high precision and accuracy of a 1200 kHz DVL. Its adaptive bottom lock has been demonstrated to provide consistency and reliability over challenging and changing seafloor topography, which together with its high update rate, will enable SuBastian to undertake complex missions in any environment.

Completing the navigation suite for SuBastian is WMT, a high-power USBL transponder built upon Sonardyne’s latest 6G (sixth generation) wideband acoustic architecture that provides robust, high update rate positioning in any water depth, shallow or deep.

Commenting on this major contract, Kim Swords, Senior Application Engineer with Sonardyne in Houston said, “SuBastian is the first vehicle in the world to be equipped with a full spread of our Ranger 2 USBL, SPRINT INS and Syrinx DVL technologies. We’ve worked closely with SOI to configure the optimum subsea navigation solution for SuBastian so that when it begins to acquire data for the international science community later this summer, it will do so with the highest precision possible.”

For more information on SPRINT, click here

For more information on the Schmidt Ocean Institute, click here

Latest Vessel Monitoring System In Operation at Lerwick Harbour

Lerwick Port Authority have inaugurated a new Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) which utilizes the latest technology to improve the handling of ship movements at the busy Shetland port.

Transas, a world-leader in providing harmonized integrated solutions to the maritime industry, has installed the system across four sites covering the port area – port control in the main building and three remote stations, at Rova Head north of Lerwick and Maryfield and Kirkabister, on the island of Bressay, monitoring the northern approaches, inner harbor and southern approaches, respectively. Fibre and microwave links supply data back to port control.

10Lerwick Port Authoritys new control roomLerwick Harbour’s port control room and the newly installed Vessel Monitoring System, with Deputy Harbourmaster Alexander Simpson (left) and Port Controller Douglas Garrick (right). Credit: John Coutts.

The completion is being marked today (Friday 19 August, 2016), with invitations extended to port users to view the new system.

The modernizing VMS project, including the Transas contract, telecommunications and civil works, cost £450,000.

The Port Authority’s Deputy Harbourmaster, Captain Alexander Simpson, said: “The VMS is already a great asset for Port Control in handling shipping movements and providing navigational assistance. It combines data from multiple sensors in very user-friendly vector chart operator display units, extends Port Control’s VHF radio range, displays weather information and linked cameras deliver CCTV coverage – all enhancing the efficiency and safety of operations.

“The investment in the VMS is just one of several projects expanding the port’s infrastructure at a time when we are welcoming larger vessels – for example, the biggest cruise ship yet at Lerwick arrived this week.”

The new VMS is based on the high-end Navi-Harbour software solution from Transas. Hardware equipment scope consists of Class A AIS Transponders, Northrop Grumman Sperry Marine Vision Master radars, a Jotron VHF Communication System, Gill Meteorological sensors, general IT hardware platform and an APC Power Backup System.

“The Transas Ship Traffic Control solutions installed at Lerwick Harbour will provide tools for coordinated approach to maritime traffic control, monitoring and decision support which is vital in the era of rapid digital transformation,” comments Frank Coles, Transas CEO.

As part of a wider project to refurbish the Authority’s office in Albert Building, the port control room in Albert Building has been completely renovated, including a new server room. Transas closely collaborated with the Authority to design a new layout for the service within the building and contracted local support from H Williamson & Sons for installation and ongoing maintenance.

As part of its comprehensive customer support program, Transas also provided the Authority with an Operator Training Course and Maintenance Service Plan.

Conversion of the ground floor of Albert Building to a new reception and offices is underway, for completion by year-end as part of the phased refurbishment program.

About Lerwick Harbour

Lerwick is “Britain’s Top Port”, the most northerly commercial harbour in the country, handling more than 10,000 vessel movements in-and-out of the port annually, plus numerous movements within the harbour, and servicing a range of industries, along with the Shetland community. It is a leading centre for the fishing sector; for the offshore oil and gas industry in the Northern North Sea and North-Eastern Atlantic; Shetland’s lifeline ferry port to the Scottish mainland and a popular-port-of-call for cruise ships. Lerwick is a Trust Port, with the Authority responsible for management, maintenance and regulation, with all profits reinvested in the harbour.

About Transas

Transas’ vision is to lead the way in creating an ecosystem of harmonised integrated solutions in safety, navigation and ship operations. In creating these solutions Transas unites global maritime stakeholders in the future of e-Navigation and operations.

True to its vision, Transas has introduced THESIS, the Transas Harmonized Eco System of Integrated Solutions. THESIS is a flexible data resource where Ship, Fleet Operations, Academy (simulation & training) and Ship Traffic Control can all be connected to the ecosystem, effectively a community working together on a cloud based shared data platform to enable smarter operations, safety and navigation. United into a single environment, navigation, simulation, vessel traffic, and fleet management systems become a decision support tool using the data provided by Transas software solutions. Transas operates more than 20 own regional offices and has a global network of partners around the world.

“Pioneering Spirit” Completes Maiden Heavy Lift Project

11PioneeringSpirit1600x899Allseas’ dynamically positioned single-lift installation/decommissioning and pipelay vessel “Pioneering Spirit” successfully executed her maiden heavy lift project, removal of the 13,500 t Yme mobile offshore production unit (MOPU) in the North Sea, 100 km off the coast of Norway, on 22 August 2016 for Repsol Norge AS.

Photo credit:  Allseas

The Yme MOPU is a jack-up type platform standing on three steel legs of 3.5 m diameter, which are inserted approximately 10 m inside the subsea storage tank columns at 93 m water depth.

With this platform removal, Allseas was able to demonstrate the unique single-lift capabilities of “Pioneering Spirit”.

The platform has since been sea-fastened on board and the vessel is currently on her way to the newly developed dismantling yard in Lutelandet, Norway.

ExxonMobil Contributes $500,000 to Flood Relief in Louisiana

12flooding 160816Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) has announced that it will donate $500,000 to the American Red Cross and the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank to support local flooding disaster relief assistance in Louisiana.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with our friends and neighbors in Louisiana who have been impacted by storms and severe flooding in the region," said Rex W. Tillerson, chairman and chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil Corporation. “We hope that this donation will help provide some relief to Louisianans as recovery efforts begin."

ExxonMobil employs more than 5,500 employees and contractors in the Baton Rouge area where it has operated for more than 100 years. Baton Rouge employees spend more than 40,000 hours volunteering in the community each year supporting 168 local organizations. Annually, the company donates about $5 million to agencies and schools in the Baton Rouge area.

The Red Cross provides food, shelter, counseling and other assistance to the victims of disasters. The agency has supported more than 10,000 people at over 50 shelters during this response effort. The Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank services an 11-parish service area, provides food to 130 agencies and distributed more than 8.7 million meals in 2015. The agency’s food warehouse was severely impacted from the flooding.

DW Monday, August 20, 2016: Fracking’s Future

13DWMondayHydraulic fracturing has been a hugely controversial subject in many countries and has increasingly become the focus of legislation in the US. The state of Colorado has seen the most recent push for new restrictions – activists have obtained over 200,000 signatures to introduce two new initiatives on Colorado’s November 8th ballot. If passed, these initiatives would impose the toughest regulations on the hydraulic fracturing industry to date – increasing local control and dramatically limiting where fracking can take place. Initiative 75 would provide local governments with the authority to regulate oil and gas development in a manner that supersedes statewide regulations, whilst initiative 78 would prohibit fracking within 2,500 feet of houses, parks, schools, playgrounds, and clean water sources.

Colorado accounts for a significant proportion of U.S. hydrocarbon reserves – more than ten percent of the nation’s largest natural gas fields. Amongst US states, Colorado ranks 7th in both natural gas and crude oil production. Upstream activity in the state relies heavily upon fracking, the proposed legislation, coupled with the slow oil price recovery would likely severely hinder hydrocarbon extraction in Colorado.

Strict limitations on fracking activity will also have severe consequences for the state budget. Pro-fracking groups argue that passing these initiatives in Colorado may cost the state 140,000 jobs and up to $217 billion in economic activity over the next 15 years. The implications of passing such a bill would likely reach much further than just the state of Colorado. With precedent set, increased regulation may be seen in other states. Greater regulation, combined with reduced activity as a result of the oil price downturn, could severely impact the future of the drilling sector in the US.

Both presidential candidates may also play a significant role in the future of fracking. Trump has stated that while he is in favour of fracking, he supports Colorado’s right to ban the activity as an issue of states’ rights. Clinton broadly supported fracking as Secretary of State – however, she has pledged support for increased investment in renewable energy and outlined a series of fracking “conditions”. With volatility shaking the industry, the United States presidential election could be decisive in deciding the industry’s direction.

Jacob Halevy, Douglas-Westwood Houston

Danos’ Amelia Location Authorized as Port Facility

14DanoslogoThe U.S. Coast Guard has certified Danos’ fabrication facility in Amelia, La. as an official port facility. This designation allows both foreign and US vessels to access the facility or remain docked there.

The Coast Guard granted Danos port facility status following approval of the company’s facility security plan under Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 105.

“In addition to opening our Amelia facility up to foreign vessels for transporting fabrication projects, port facility status also allows us to provide docking services for idle vessels,” said Mark Danos, vice president of project services.

Located on 175 acres along Bayou Boeuf, the facility’s five thousand linear feet of bulkhead and 18-foot water depth can accommodate large-scale custom fabrication projects of more than 1,000 tons.

Add Energy Launches New Advisory Service

15Add EnergyAdd Energy, the international oil and gas upstream consultancy provider, has expanded its operations with the launch of a new advisory service, ADDvisor.

The bespoke service offers a team of Subject Matter Experts (SME's) with over 30 years experience who can provide specialized expertise within oil and gas, well construction and operations.

The unique business model of this service means that SME expertise is available to the industry on an 'as needed' basis, meaning that expertise and advice can be called upon as and when required. The SME services range from being a 'sparring partner' at the end of the phone, to delivering concrete assessments and advice as a report or in meeting attendance and facilitation/contribution.

Terje Løkke-Sørensen, Add Energy CTO commented: “We are thrilled to be launching this new service for both existing and prospective clients. Our company is proud to have a number of highly experienced and qualified industry professionals and technical authorities within our team whose expertise can be even better utilised through the ADDvisor service".

“In the current market, our clients are looking for the most cost effective solution to their problems. We saw a real demand for this service as companies continue to streamline operations, and our team of experienced ADDvisor’s are well suited to help."

SPIE and Sparrows Group Form Strategic Alliance

16Sparrows and SPIE have agreed to work in collaborationSparrows Group and SPIE Oil & Gas Services have strengthened their existing service portfolios by signing a global agreement to work in collaboration to support the energy sector.

The deal will see the companies work together to initially deliver their collective service offering throughout Africa before they expand the scope of their collaboration globally.

SPIE Oil & Gas Services is one of the world’s leading technical services providers for the oil and gas industry; and is the general maintenance contractor for a number of offshore assets around the world.

Sparrows Group is the world’s market leading specialist in the area of cranes, lifting and mechanical handling, fluid power, and cable and pipe lay. The partnership will enable Sparrows Group to aid SPIE in delivering a comprehensive world-class service.

Stewart Mitchell, chief executive officer at Sparrows Group, said: “The synergy between our companies, which are both committed to excellence, will allow us to deliver an unrivalled technical competence in Africa. SPIE have an extensive footprint across Africa which will allow us to reach new customers who require the highest possible standards in crane operation and maintenance, lifting, mechanical handling, inspection, training, fluid power, and cable and pipe lay services.

“Our specialist expertise complements SPIE’s existing service portfolio and together we are confident that we can deliver seamless and cost effective services to our customers around the globe.”

Yves Compañy, managing director at SPIE Oil & Gas Services, said: “Our companies share the same performance, safety and responsibility values. Their expertise and delivery capabilities complement each other enabling us to propose unique packaged solutions to the oil and gas industry.

“Sparrows Group's internationally recognized expertise will bring a key added value to our SPIE Asset Support Solutions product line, and Global Maintenance Contracts. It will also enrich the extensive operator's local training programs we deliver.

“This strategic alliance will strongly benefit our customers willing to rely on a seamless local support with top international standards, to increase safety and integrity, extend lifetime and make the most out of their assets. Our matching geographical footprints mean we look forward to extending our services to a more global scale shortly."

GE and L&T Sign MoU to Manufacture Subsea Equipment for Deepwater Projects

Contributing to India’s exploration and production (E&P) activities in the oil and gas sector, GE (NYSE: GE) has signed an exclusive Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Larsen & Toubro (L&T). Together, the firms will partner in the manufacture of subsea manifolds destined for future deep water projects in the Krishna-Godavari basin on the east coast of India.

1GE subsea manifold in useThe partnership brings together the manufacturing and technological excellence of two leading companies in the oil and gas space, and also marks India’s entrance into local subsea equipment manufacturing.

Image credit: GE

Spread over an area of 600,000 sq.m. and with an annual capacity of 50,000 MT, L&T’s modular fabrication facility in Tamil Nadu was chosen as the production site after a rigorous qualification process. The plant is equipped with advanced welding and fabrication capabilities along with a 150m jetty, making it an ideal location to manufacture advanced hardware for the seabed. Utilizing a modular approach, GE’s subsea manifolds will provide long-term reliability, safety and quality, while addressing the complexities of the subsea environment.

Ashish Bhandari, CEO, GE Oil & Gas, South Asia said, “GE continues to grow its widespread manufacturing footprint in India and this latest collaboration will continue our contributions towards Make in India. Our strategic partnership with L&T has opened new avenues for us to manufacture highly advanced equipment to serve the needs of India’s oil and gas sector as well as the broader, global industry.”

Commenting on the development, Subramanian Sarma, CEO and MD, L&T Hydrocarbon Engineering, said: “Associating with GE will help L&T to broaden its offering in the deep water space and provide a compelling value proposition to our customers. Projects of such strategic importance and magnitude bring huge responsibility and we are poised to make significant contributions to India’s growth curve going ahead.”

In addition to this MoU, L&T Infotech has also joined the GE Digital Alliance Program, with the organizations collaborating to develop innovative digital industrial solutions powered by GE’s Predix operating system for the Industrial Internet. They will work together to leverage analytics and real-time insights to enhance competitiveness and transform the way companies manage their assets and workforce.

Pioneering Surface Effect Vessel

2AMC Esna Specialist aluminium boatbuilder, Aluminium Marine Consultants (AMC), has added a new surface effect ship (SES) design to its portfolio which is geared towards the crew transfer vessel market and designed by Norway’s Espeland and Skomedal Naval Architects (ESNA).

The new ESNA Tern SES CTV is a next generation high performance crew transfer vessel, offering turbine access in up to 2.5m significant wave height, with a maximum speed above 40 knots and greatly reduced speed loss in high seas.

Rob Stewart, commercial director, AMC, said: “This vessel is unique in the qualities that it offers and we’re very excited to work with ESNA. This new design will enhance the AMC portfolio and help innovate the crew transfer vessel market.”

The vessel’s tern hull consists of two slender catamaran hulls with the area between the hulls closed with flexible reinforced rubber fingers in the bow and an inflated rubber bag in the stern.

This allows centrifugal fans blow air into the enclosed space, providing an air cushion that lifts up to 80% of the vessel weight.

In fact, the vessel can be lifted up and down approximately two meters, which means it is able to cancel up to the same height of vessel motion in waves. This is especially effective in long waves/swell, where all other vessel types will float and follow the wave surface.

The remaining 20% of the vessel’s weight is supported by side hull buoyancy which allows for high vessel speed because frictional resistance is decreased.

The Tern is equipped with a computer controlled active motion damping system which reduces vertical motions both at high and low vessel speeds reducing seasickness.

As the lift fans supply air to the air cushion, the control system actively controls vent valves that either ventilate the air cushion to a low pressure or closes the valves so that the air cushion pressure is increased.

STATS Group, Paradigm and Halliburton Collaborate on Murchison Decommissioning for CNR

STATS Group in collaboration with Paradigm Flow Services and Halliburton safely and successfully isolated, de-oiled, plugged and abandoned two 3.5” subsea flowlines as part of the Murchison decommissioning project.

After nearly 30 years of operation in the Northern North Sea, the CNR International operated Murchison field had reached the end of its production life. Prior to the removal of the topsides jacket, it became evident that two subsea flowlines were still connected to the platform. These lines were known to still contain hydrocarbons and required to be de-oiled and cut to enable the heavy lift scope.

When considering the available options to safely disconnect the flowlines, CNRI was progressing towards a conventional Diving Support Vessel subsea intervention that would result in hot tap penetrations being made at subsea to flush the jumper bundles free of remaining hydrocarbons.

3Dale Millward Director of EPRS and subsea services STATS GroupDale Milward, Director of EPRS and subsea services, STATS Group

Aberdeenshire-based STATS Group was initially approached to review the requirement for subsea hot tapping operations. However, following collaborative discussions with Paradigm Flow Services and Halliburton, an alternative solution that would mitigate a diver-intensive operation was proposed that could be completed solely from the platform topsides. This approach provided many safety benefits, reducing the risk to personnel and the environment and providing significant time and cost savings for the operator.

Initial discussions on the scope began in late 2013, and through regular collaborative meetings involving CNRI and all three service companies, each element of the project was explored, developed and risk accessed. In May 2014 CNRI progressed with the platform-based solution and the contract was awarded. At this stage, all individual and collective engineering, manufacture, assembly, testing and offshore execution, was completed within 12 months and in line with CNRI’s schedule.

In order to de-oil and abandon the subsea flowlines, full bore access was required in order to install Paradigm’s Flexi-Coil technology prior to pumping Halliburton’s Thermatek™ fluid system. As there was no suitable valves to offer a positive isolation or provide an access point to gain entry to the flowline, STATS utilised their hot tap installed BISEP™ isolation tool.

STATS patented leak-tight BISEP™ provided fail-safe double block and bleed isolation, deployed through a single full bore hot tap penetration from the platform. STATS provided mechanical tie-in clamps, ball valves and a hot tap machine which allowed the flowlines to be hot tapped (drilled) while under pressure, allowing access to deploy the BISEP™ from a pressure competent launcher.

Once deployed, the BISEP™ was hydraulically activated setting the dual elastomer seals isolating the flowline. The seal annulus was then monitored and vented, independently testing both seals with full line pressure.

With the flowline successfully isolated and vented from the platform behind the BISEP the line was cut, STATS then installed a mechanical connector and temporary launcher system, providing the full bore access required to deploy Paradigm’s Flexi-Coil technology.

The Flexi-Coil technology is a miniaturised coiled tubing system which is an ultra-lightweight, highly flexible pipe that has the ability to traverse multiple 5D bends in pipeline and riser systems. The Flexi-Coil was initially used to de-oil the flowline but subsequently acted as a conduit to pump Halliburton’s Thermatek™ fluid system through the line.

Halliburton’s Thermatek™ System provides a rigid setting fluid which is ideally suited to plugging and abandonment operations. The low viscosity non-shrinking nature combined with a controlled rapid right angle set and high compressive strength of the fluid, enabled a robust pressure barrier to be installed in the horizontal flowline, allowing the decommissioning of the topsides facility to continue.

The isolation, de-oiling and plugging of the two 3.5” unpiggable flowlines was successfully completed and allowed the platform decommissioning to progress on schedule delivering the project on time and with no lost time incidents.

Dale Millward, Director of EPRS and Subsea Services for STATS Group, said, “As a result of this collaborative project, the industry now has, where the field layout allows, a practical and cost-effective topsides solution for the isolation and abandonment of live or contaminated subsea flowlines. Unlike traditional techniques, this approach does not require a subsea intervention, eliminating the requirement for costly Diving Support Vessel or Work-class ROV vessels.

“The level of cooperation between all companies demonstrates the value of collaborative working to deliver solutions that would normally be out with any individual company’s capability. This solution has led to significant cost savings for the client in comparison to a conventional subsea intervention.

“A major element of the project success was the positive involvement and enabling influence of CNR International, who showed initiative and willingness to explore new ideas and technologies to increase safety and reduce project timescales”.