Eni: New Oil Discovery Offshore Angola

enilogoEni has made a new oil discovery in Block 15/06, in the Ochigufu exploration prospect, in deep water offshore Angola. Oghigufu is the 10th commercial oil discovery made in Block 15/06. The new discovery is estimated to contain 300 million barrels of oil in place.

Ochigufu 1 NFW well, which has led to the discovery, will be brought into production in record time. The well is located at approximately 150 kilometers off the coast and 9.8 kilometers from the Ngoma FPSO (West Hub) and the closeness to Ngoma FPSO allows the increase of the resource base of the West Hub project, currently underway. The well was drilled by the Ocean Rig Poseidon Drilling Unit in a water depth of 1,337 meters and reached a total depth of 4,470 meters.

Ochigufu 1 NFW was directionally drilled in order to reach the targets in optimal position and proved a net oil pay of 47 meters, (34° API) contained in the Lower Miocene and Oligocene sandstones with very good petrophysical properties. The data acquired in Ochigufu 1 well indicate a production capacity equal to more than 5,000 barrels of oil per day.

Claudio Descalzi , Eni's CEO said: "This important discovery , which will be brought into production in record time, adds even more value to Block 15/06. Like the recent discoveries in Congo and Gabon, this new find exemplifies the results we can achieve by applying leading edge technologies to exploration, and substantiates the decision to refocus Eni on key oil and gas competences".

Studies are underway in order to evaluate an early tie-in to the Ngoma FPSO, already in location in the West Hub and designed to handle 100,000 barrels of oil production per day.

Eni is operator of the Block 15/06 with a 35% stake. The other partners of the Joint Venture committed to the block are Sonangol P&P (30% stake), SSI Fifteen Limited (25% stake), Falcon Oil Holding Angola SA (5% stake) and Statoil Angola Block 15/06 (5% stake).

Angola is a key Country in the strategy of organic growth of Eni, which has been present in the Country since 1980 with a daily production in 2013 of about 90,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. In Block 15/06 the two oil development projects West hub and East Hub have already been sanctioned. The production start up of the West Hub project, through FPSO Ngoma, is expected by the end of 2014. In Angola, Eni is also operator of Block 35, located in the deepwater Kwanza Basin.

Statoil Farms Down in Aasta Hansteen, Asterix and Polarled

Statoil ASA (OSE: STL, NYSE: STO) farms down in Aasta Hansteen, Asterix and Polarled andexits two assets on the NCS for a consideration of USD 1.3 billion, including contingent payment.

AastaHansteenIllustration: The Aasta Hansteen platform will be the largest SPAR platform in the world. (Illustration: GeoGraphic / Statoil)

Through this transaction Statoil monetizes on the Aasta Hansteen field development project, while retaining the operatorship and a 51 % equity share. In addition Statoil exits the non-core Vega and Gjøa fields. The transaction includes a farm down in four exploration licenses in the Vøring area. The buyer is Wintershall, a Germany-based energy company and a well-established player on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).

"We realize significant value, created through successful asset development. The transaction increases our flexibility to further strengthen our portfolio," says Arne Sigve Nylund, president for Development and Production Norway in Statoil.

The transaction consists of a cash consideration of USD 1.25 billion and a USD 50 million consideration contingent on Aasta Hansteen milestones. The accounting gain from the transaction is expected to be between USD 0.7-0.9 billion and will be adjusted for activity between the effective date 1 January 2014 and the closing date.

The transaction releases around USD 1.8 billion of capital expenditure for the period from the effective date until end of 2020. Statoil's production from the divested Gjøa and Vega assets in the first half of 2014 is 22.000 barrels of oil equivalent per day. The transaction includes a transfer of operatorship of the sub-sea field Vega. The transaction will not involve transfer of personnel.
"We have a strong portfolio of projects. This transaction focuses our NCS portfolio and further improves our capacity to invest in core areas," says Nylund.

Statoil will invest around 20 USD billion annually in the period 2014-2016. This includes NCS project Gudrun which started up April this year, while Valemon will come on stream towards the end of year. In addition projects like Aasta Hansteen and Gina Krogh are in the execution phase, while Johan Sverdrup and Johan Castberg are under planning. The exploration activity remains high with 50 exploration wells planned globally for 2014.

Statoil and Wintershall have signed an extended agreement to continue cooperating on EOR efforts and exploration. 
The effective date for the transaction is 1 January 2014. Closing is expected around year end 2014, pending government approval.
Strategic portfolio management

In recent years Statoil has undertaken a series of transactions to position Statoil as a well-capitalized, technology focused upstream company. Active portfolio management continues to realize substantial value that is channeled to further strengthening the company's growth potential. Total proceeds of around USD 20 billion have been realized through divestments by Statoil since 2010, including this transaction.

Recent portfolio optimization activity includes divestments internationally as well as on the NCS. Last year Statoil divested their holdings in two West of Shetlands fields, Rosebank and Schiehallion. The same transaction also included shares in Gullfaks and Gudrun.

Lambert Energy Advisory was financial advisor to Statoil on this transaction.

Ranger Offshore to Acquire Strategic Diving Assets from Technip USA and Enter Into Multi-Year Preferred Sub-Contractor Agreement

RangerOffshoreRanger Offshore, Inc., a leading global marine and subsea construction and support services contractor to the offshore oil and gas industry, has announced that it has signed an agreement to acquire Technip USA's diving assets (the "Assets"), belonging to the diving division for the North American region of international oilfield services company Technip S.A. ("Technip"). Closing of the transaction is scheduled to take place in Q4 2014.

The acquisition includes diving assets, two dynamically positioned multi-service support vessels as well as a multi-year preferred sub-contractor agreement for Ranger to provide diving services to Technip USA.

Bill Lam, CEO of Ranger commented, "This acquisition further enhances Ranger's ability to serve blue chip customers through additional resources and capacity, and will help to solidify Ranger's position as a market leader for subsea construction services. It also places the Company in a strong position to retain an ongoing relationship with Technip, as evidenced by a multi-year preferred sub-contractor agreement. Furthermore, the acquired business model complements that of Rangers', being non-capital intensive and a platform for flexible growth."

About the Assets

The Assets are used in the U.S. and Mexican Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean, for diving support construction services directly to Technip USA and third party customers. The Assets have established accreditation and decades of proven performance, along with best in class diving procedures that meet the strict standards of major IOC's, independents, and top tier contractors. Approximately 150 staff, including divers, supervisors and shore based support and project management teams are currently operating the Assets and, following completion of the acquisition, Ranger anticipates to retain most of the staff. Services are provided to clients via two support vessels, The MSV Global Orion and The MSV Normand Commander. The MSV Global Orion is fully owned, while the MSV Normand Commander is on long term Charter, which will be assumed by Ranger from Technip USA. In addition to the two vessels, other assets include saturation diving systems, surface compression chambers, launch and recovery systems, diving control systems and other ancillary diving equipment. This equipment will provide Ranger further capacity to deploy additional diving spreads and broaden its growing customer base.

About Ranger Offshore, Inc.
Ranger Offshore, Inc. provides subsea construction services and support for the offshore oil and gas industry, including subsea inspection, repair and maintenance, decommissioning and new construction projects in the US Gulf of Mexico, Mexico, West Africa, and select international markets. Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Ranger has support facilities in Galveston, Texas, Lafayette, Louisiana, and Ciudad Del Carmen, Mexico. Since its formation, Ranger has assembled an industry leading and highly experienced management team, invested in best in class equipment, and installed proven operating procedures, management systems and financial controls to position it as the leading subsea service provider to its clients. Ranger Offshore, Inc. is a portfolio company of SunTx Capital Partners.


McDermott Completes Contract Scope for Jack & St. Malo Project in Gulf of Mexico

McDermott International, Inc. (NYSE: MDR) ("McDermott") is pleased to announce the successful completion of the Jack and St. Malo project for Chevron U.S.A. Inc. The project involved the installation of jumpers, flying leads, subsea pump stations, umbilicals and subsea landing of some of the industry's largest and complex umbilical end terminations to a host floating production platform in 7,200 feet of water 279 miles offshore Louisiana. The project is part of the first stage of development of the Jack South, St. Malo South and St. Malo North Drill Centers.

McDermott NO102 Jack St MaloMcDermott subsea construction vessel NO102 installed umbilicals totaling 65 miles along with other related subsea structures. (Photo: Business Wire)

McDermott executed in-house fabrication of 21 high specification rigid flowline, manifold and pump jumpers and installed the structures using the Derrick Barge 50 ("DB50") with its specialized deepwater lowering system. In addition, more than 80 flying leads, five additional rigid production well jumpers and other subsea control and production boost components were installed by the DB50 – including three pump stations each weighing 209 tons to a depth of 6,988 feet. The DB50 was assisted by a fleet of up to 12 support vessels delivering material from various Gulf Coast fabrication and staging facilities to the offshore installation site.

Additionally, three control and two power umbilicals totaling 65 miles were transported and installed by the subsea construction vessel North Ocean 102 ("NO102") along with other related subsea structures.

"Our ability to fabricate the jumpers in house and utilize the combined strengths of the DB50's deepwater lowering system and the high payload and top tension capacity of the NO102's 330-ton vertical lay system allowed McDermott to deliver an integrated subsea solution for our client on this complex deepwater project," said Tony Duncan, Executive Vice President Subsea. "As the industry moves into deeper water, McDermott continues to tailor its subsea engineering expertise, fabrication facilities, and global fleet of specialized vessels to meet the evolving technical needs of our clients."

Located in the Gulf of Mexico Walker Ridge Area, the Jack and St. Malo fields are jointly being developed with a host floating production unit.

PMI Energy Services Opens Shorebase in Morgan City, Louisiana

PMI-MC-Shorebase---Aerial-South-to-North-Aug-14-2014PMI Energy Services, a Superior Energy Services company, has opened a shorebase in Morgan City, Louisiana, focused on supporting shelf, coastal and inland waters production and drilling activities.

PMI's shorebase is centrally located on the Louisiana coast and provides better protection from weather events than ports located directly on the Louisiana coastline. It maintains a close proximity to established fuel docks, mud docks, 29-B waste transfer stations, rental and supply companies, fabrication yards, shipyards, repurpose facilities and other industry and civil infrastructure to support offshore or inland oil and gas properties.

The 12.5 acre site with a 600 foot bulkhead dock can easily accommodate the necessary services expected for a first class shorebase facility. It includes ample acreage for material handling and temporary storage, both open and enclosed, for dry goods and sensitive equipment; secure short-term and long-term parking; marine and aviation crew changes; meeting rooms; a safety training facility; customer office space; and satellite offices for logistics coordinators.

"As the demand for resources in Louisiana's deepwater port has increased with projections for deepwater drilling activities continuing that upward trend, PMI is providing an alternative solution for operators that are experiencing inefficiencies supporting their operations," said Don Mehrtens, PMI vice president. "The lower demand on resources at our new base will create value to operators with more efficient uses of their marine assets, lower equipment and personnel transportation costs into and out of this port."

Jamie Holt, general manager of PMI's Gulf of Mexico business unit, said, "We will focus on safe material handling and minimizing marine vessel port time to lower an operator's LOE and AFE expenses. We have created a first class facility in the birthplace of the offshore oil and gas industry to provide shorebase support for production facilities, drilling programs and well work, as well as construction projects and decommissioning activities."

Panama Canal Expansion will Allow Transit of Larger Ships with Greater Volumes

EIA-PanamashipsShips carrying crude oil and petroleum products are limited by size restrictions imposed by several of the main thoroughfares of maritime navigation: the Panama Canal, the Suez Canal, and the Strait of Malacca. These size restrictions provide another way to classify the large tankers that carry most of global crude oil and petroleum product trade.

The Panama Canal, an important route connecting the Pacific Ocean to the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, currently has a limited role in global crude and petroleum product transport. The canal's current size restrictions means smaller vessels, with capacities of approximately 400,000-550,000 barrels of light sweet crude oil, are the only ships that can safely pass through the canal. These ships are referred to as Panamax tankers, and their smaller cargos lead to a higher per-barrel cost.

However, the Panama Canal is undergoing an expansion that will allow for the passage of larger vessels with capacities of approximately 400,000-680,000 barrels of crude oil. These larger tankers have the potential to increase crude and petroleum product transport through the canal. Larger vessels or vessels that are slightly over the draft limit can use the Trans Panama Pipeline, which runs parallel to the canal and has both the loading and unloading points for a complete transfer, but doing so adds to shipment costs. In addition to oil transit, the expansion of the Panama Canal, now slated for late 2015, will be able to provide passage for up to 80% of global shipping of liquefied natural gas (LNG). It currently allows passage of only a small percentage of LNG shipping and only shipping by the smallest of LNG tankers.

The Suez Canal in Egypt is a major transit route from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean and beyond that to North America. The Suez Canal saves an estimated 6,000 miles of travel around the Cape of Good Hope at the southernmost point of Africa. As the sizes of vessels in the global fleet have increased, the canal was deepened and widened. The current Suezmax limitation on vessels passing through the Suez is a draft of 66 feet and a width of 164 feet. A ship of this size has a deadweight tonnage of approximately 900,000 barrels to 1.3 million barrels. However, most vessels do not transit the canal fully laden; vessels instead unload into the Suez-Mediterranean (Sumed) Pipeline, which runs parallel to the canal, prior to transit and reload once having passed through the canal.

The Strait of Malacca, located between Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, links the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea and Pacific Ocean. The Strait of Malacca is the shortest sea route between Persian Gulf suppliers and the markets of Asia. However, the size of vessels that can safely navigate the strait (Malaccamax) is limited to a draft of 82 feet, along with length and width restrictions. This is approximately equal to a vessel classified as a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC), with a capacity of 1.9-2.2 million barrels of crude oil. Larger vessels, such as Ultra-Large Crude Carriers (ULCC), must use alternative navigation routes with deeper channels, adding time and cost to the voyage.
Principal contributor: T. Mason Hamilton

Source: EIA

GE Oil & Gas Awarded Over $300 Million Subsea Equipment Contract from Petrobras

GE-Oil--Gas-LogoGE Oil & Gas (NYSE: GE) announces a more than $300 million contract with Petrobras for the first supply of the subsea manifold systems for Brazil's pre-salt fields, located offshore in water depths up to 6,500 feet (2,000 meters).

This award includes eight manifolds that will be designed with retrievable injection modules to allow water-alternated gas injection for up to four wells, and system integration with subsea controls.

"This contract illustrates how GE Oil & Gas has expanded its portfolio of solutions to support development of Brazil's pre-salt fields," said Rod Christie, CEO of Subsea Systems for GE Oil & Gas. "Our company has developed solutions that are standardized around a series of pre-approved modules to meet our customers' specific local needs."

The equipment will be manufactured in Brazil, reinforcing the company's commitment to comply with local content requirements.

"GE Oil & Gas has an enduring partnership with Petrobras to support the development technologies and solutions to support offshore operations in Brazil, especially pre-salt. We work to strengthen the relationship and support Petrobras' challenges," said Patricia Vega, President and CEO of GE Oil & Gas for Latin America.

In 2012, GE signed a frame agreement for delivery of subsea wellheads for pre-salt fields. With a complete portfolio, GE Oil & Gas is a world leader in advanced technologies and services for the oil and gas industry.

Vard Marine Awarded US Patent for Dual Fuel Vessel

VARDDualFuelVesselVard Marine, formerly STX Marine, has been awarded a US Patent for their design and engineering of a Dual Fuel Vessel. The company is pleased to announce that later this year; the first of six 5100DWT vessels to be built under this patent, designed by Vard Marine and built by Gulf Coast Shipyard Group for Harvey Gulf International Marine will be delivered. These innovative vessels represent the first US flag vessels capable of operating exclusively on natural gas or diesel fuel oil.

As per US Patent No. US 8,690,622 B2, filed September 13, 2011, the patent is applicable to: a small size, self-propelled floating vessel having a dual fuel system, monohull or catamaran hull shape with an overall length ranging from sixty meters to one hundred and seventy meters, azimuthing thrusters, and with LNG tank capacities between 100cbm and 1200cbm. For further information, please contact the Vice President of Business Development, Wade Carson,

Vard Marine specializes in the development of advanced technology and its application to offshore and specialized vessel designs. Its portfolio ranges from offshore support vessels, offshore subsea construction vessels, semi-submersibles, and icebreakers to research, naval and patrol vessels, and will complement VARD's existing product portfolio of vessel designs and equipment.

Vard Marine is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, with branch offices in Ottawa and Houston, Texas. Vard Marine is a wholly owned subsidiary of Vard Group AS, a Fincantieri company, with a workforce of over 20,000 worldwide supporting 21 shipyards.

Unique Hydra Secures DSCV Contract from Ultra Deep Solutions

Unique Hydra, a division of Unique Maritime Group (UMG) one of the world's leading integrated turnkey subsea and offshore solutions provider, is delighted to announce that it has been selected by Ultra Deep Solutions (UDS) to design, build and integrate the dive system for a multipurpose Diving Support Construction Vessel (DSCV).

UniqueThe new DSCV is equipped with a 300HD 18-man twin bell Saturation Diving System. The dive system incorporates the latest mechanical and electrical design requirements. The feature rich diving system offers a first in the drive towards reducing the complexity of shipyard integration and installation time frames.

UDS has combined the high tech factor, practicality and high safety standards to design and build this DP3 18-man twin bell diving support construction vessel. It is designed to operate up to 4000m water depth, in collaboration with Marin Teknikk Norway, the world's renowned global ship designer of such highly-spec vessels.

The vessel is modeled on the proprietary "Red Class 6027" MT design DSCV and is a DP3, 142-meter state-of-the-art multipurpose subsea DSCV.

UDS specializes in the design, construction and operations of World-Class Ultra Deep Diving Heavy Construction Vessel to the offshore industry. Its onshore and offshore expertise provides top-class quality offshore-related services/knowledge with excellent high standards.

Unique Hydra is a leading manufacturer and supplier of diving equipment to the oil and gas industry. Their experience has given Unique Maritime Group a leading edge in obtaining contracts involving the design, production, supply and maintenance of its specialized equipment. Unique Hydra manufactures and offers a complete range of diving systems – from air and mixed gas to complete saturation diving systems encompassing Divers LARS and Wetbells. Some of its other equipment includes the daughtercraft systems, hyperbaric rescue facility, breathing air compressors and decompression chambers.

Some of the specifications of the new vessel include:
• Length overall 142.90 m
• Breadth moulded 27.00 m
• Depth Main deck 11.00 m
• Dead Weight 8,000 ton
• Main Deck 1,500 m² @ 10.0t/m²
• Capt. Deck 650 m² @ 2.0t/m²
• Main Crane Huisman 400t Dual fall 3200 m
• Single fall 5200 m
• Trial speed 14 knots
• Accommodation 140 person

Mike Jessop, Managing Director Unique Hydra commented, "We are aware of our client's requirement for a modern and reliable DSCV. The award of this project demonstrates our clients' confidence in Unique Hydra's in-depth technical capabilities, our strength in project execution and the considerable financial capabilities established through our corporate partnership recently formed with Blue Water Energy. We have increased our DSV solution capabilities over the last year and we are globally positioned to handle multiple DSV contracts. We strongly believe that over the next few years our brand and product will become the Diving System of choice."

Shel Hutton, Chief Executive Officer @ UDS also commented, "With only 30 similarly-sized but older vessels worldwide, and the requirement in the industry for safe yet fast-response vessels, UDS is poised to deliver such high standards of quality to the deep and ULTRADEEP water projects. The "Red Class 6027" combines the practicality, safety, reliability, efficiency and impressive subsea technology. We are confident that it will exceed the expectations of oil majors and offshore operators."

Aker Wayfarer Wins Five-Year Contract from Petrobras

AkerWayfarer 320 02Aker Solutions' subsidiary Aker Oilfield Services (AKOFS) has won a contract worth USD 465 million over five years from Petrobras to provide subsea intervention services offshore Brazil from the Aker Wayfarer vessel.

The contract will start within the fourth quarter of 2016 and has a five-year option extension. AKOFS will at the end of September become part of Akastor, an oilfield services investment company that will be one of two companies formed as part of the announced separation of Aker Solutions.

The Aker Wayfarer vessel will be outfitted at a yard in Norway to become a deepwater subsea equipment support vessel (SESV). It will have a fibre-rope deployment system, deck skidding systems and a subsea orientation equipment system, allowing it to install and retrieve subsea trees and modules, including subsea structures and manifolds.

The Aker Wayfarer will be the second vessel of this type operated by AKOFS in Brazil. Skandi Santos, the first vessel of this type operated by AKOFS, has performed SESV services successfully for Petrobras since starting operations in March 2010.

Damen Starts Building the Walk 2 Work Vessel on Speculation

DamenFinal touches have been made to the Damen Walk 2 Work vessel , a completely new and innovative design for the offshore support vessel market. Damen also decided to start building the vessel on speculation, This is marked with the start of the basic and consequently detailed engineering of the vessel. The vessel will support and accommodate turbine maintenance crews at sea. Not only provides the vessel on-site work facilities and accommodation for voyages of up to one month, the vessel also comes with a helicopter platform, daughter crafts and has an 80% weather operability in the Central North Sea Area.

Since the 'E3' are becoming more and more important these days, Damen started about a year ago with the search for a way to create and design a vessel which is Environmentally-friendly, Economic viable, and Efficient in operation (E3). The key design criteria for the vessel were the result of extensive discussions Damen held with the industry. Staff retention was a growing issue in the offshore market. Therefore a fourth requirement was given: comfort for crew and its passengers.

The vessel is a monohull with bridge located amidships. It has a length of 90m and a beam of 20m. The Damen WSV will feature 500m2 of deck space, approximately 400 m2 internal storage space, a helicopter platform and a motion and heave compensating crane and gangway. Its shallow draft optimizes comfort, while also conferring significant power savings.

North Sea sea state
The Walk-to-work WSV is especially designed for the North Sea area of operation. The vessel is is capable of gaining access up to 80% of the time in the worst case scenario in the Central North Sea area. This result can also be achieved when the worst single failure is occurring, a main switchboard failure, on board the vessel. This performance results in an accessibility of more than 95% in many areas were offshore wind farms are being built.

The effects of this new and innovative design are: greater turbine availability, less lost production and less direct O&M costs against a higher profitability of the wind farm. This vessel is contributing to about 25% reduction of O&M cost of an average large size wind farm.

Optimal comfort for crew and passengers
The optimal comfort for crew and passengers is determined by designing the right hull form and the right positioning of the accommodation. Damen has been able to reduce vertical and horizontal accelerations significantly. A significant reduction of accelerations has been achieved throughout the vessel up to 30% in the , accommodation. This achievement highly improves the level of comfort, safety and workability on board.

The vessel, as a result of this design effort, performs well within the motion criteria as set by the industry.

When considering noise and vibrations, bow thrusters noise emission can be mitigated, but it is relatively expensive to do so. Many of these considerations has been input for the design-phase of the vessel, resulting as well into easily complying within the industry set criteria at limited cost.

Adding up to the level of comfort is the extensive ergonomic studies carried out resulting in crew and turbine technician cabin dimensions of well above the minimum set requirements by law.

Of course the vessel has a fitness center and internet/movie services.

Optimal efficiency and economics
By extensively analyzing the flow of personnel with all their different tasks on board the vessel and the flow of spare parts and other equipment, Damen was able to map the public spaces for efficient workflows and storage.

Having an optimized design based on the right Ocean conditions results in the fact that expensive compensation systems are not needed.
The hull-form resulted in an average of 25% less installed power to reach the same speed. When considering DP operations and power output, significant less thrusters output (20%) is required because of the positioning of the accommodation. .

Damen also developed a fuel consumption tool in which total fuel consumption of the vessel in various operational conditions in a specific area can be calculated. This tool gives a good indication of what can be expected on a yearly basis given a certain operational profile.

So altogether, every effort has been made to reduce the vessels total cost of ownership.

Transfer Positioning System (TPS)
The transfer of maintenance personnel and equipment is one of performance determining functions of the entire ship. Being able to continue the work flow in the prevailing wind conditions and waves, forms the biggest challenge. The design questions are based on the selections of the components like the access systems and, the choice of the DP system, the positioning of these systems on board and a smart integration. Characteristic for these systems for crew and cargo transfer on offshore vessels is that they operate independently of the control systems for the dynamic positioning of the vessel. This innovation, the TPS, aims to increase employability by design integration and share system integration at the heart of the design.

Caterpillar Launches New Modular Solution Developed with Deltamarin for FPSO and Offshore Platform Main Power at 2014 Rio Oil & Gas Expo

Offshore-Power-Generation-ModuleCaterpillar Oil & Gas launched the Cat® Offshore Power Generation Module, a new modular solution for FPSO and offshore platform main power at the 2014 Rio Oil & Gas Expo and Conference held September 15th – 18th in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The Cat Offshore Power Generation Module is a turn-key EPC scope, scalable, single lift, modular power plant product that includes full integration into the FPSO or platform structural design. This uniquely attractive product leverages the broad array of proven Caterpillar engine technology with the vessel design expertise of Deltamarin, a Finnish naval architecture and engineering company who was integral to the development of the Cat Offshore Power Generation Module.

"The Offshore Power Generation Module was engineered to serve as a flexible solution for diverse offshore customers with varying operational, fuel and power needs," Antti Ekqvist, Caterpillar Oil & Gas global offshore business development leader noted. "Beyond offering proven performance in the module outputs, the Offshore Power Generation Module was carefully designed with Deltamarin for the seamless integration into vessels and platforms."

The Cat power generation solution was designed specifically to meet the needs of FPSO and fixed production platform main power applications in cases where a gas turbine is not ideal. By utilizing experience-based, operational modeling Caterpillar is prepared to ensure the optimal configuration is selected. Available from 4 to 17.3 eMW per module, the Cat Offshore Power Generation Module is designed to run on liquid, diesel, crude and heavy fuel oil, gas or in dual fuel mode and meets current and future emission regulations to maximize flexibility and reduce operating costs. The global Caterpillar offshore oil and gas team collaborates extensively with the vessel's designer to ensure all interface and connection points are easily accessible.

The module is fully tested and certified to be easily integrated in the vessel systems. The modular layout is easily expanded to provide power for future upgrades and is a fully self-contained unit which provides a single lift capability. The integrated design is complemented with flexible manufacturing to enable the Offshore Power Generation module to be assembled anywhere in the world, providing customers with the added advantage of meeting any local content regulations and on-time delivery for project requirements. Additionally, the power module is equipped with remote monitoring to enable it to be managed from the vessels main control room or an onshore location.

iSURVEY Awarded Two Year Contract with Island Offshore

Island-ValiantiSURVEY, a leading provider of survey and positioning services to the global oil and gas, offshore renewables and telecommunications markets has been awarded a two year contract with offshore vessel owner, Island Offshore Management.

The two year contract will see iSURVEY AS provide positioning services to Island Offshore as part of a call off arrangement. Operations have already commenced on the first vessel, Island's DP2 Light construction vessel, the Island Valiant.

Following current well head cutting work in the Danish sector, iSURVEY will be supporting Island Offshore for further subsea work in the North Sea.

Øivind Røegh, managing director at iSURVEY AS, said: "We are extremely pleased to have been selected as a key service partner by Island Offshore.

"This contract award underlines iSURVEY's capabilities and highlights our expertise in the subsea sector. We look forward to continuing the relationships with Island Offshore and growing our presence in subsea projects internationally."

TDW Delivers Emergency Pipeline Isolation Services to Statoil Petroleum

TDWT.D. Williamson (TDW) and Statoil Petroleum AS share a frame agreement that requires TDW to provide pipeline pressure isolation services. The advantages of having such an agreement in place are immediately apparent in emergency pipeline repair scenarios (EPRS) where both companies are well prepared to move quickly and efficiently to repair pipelines without delay.

Statoil requested that TDW provide emergency isolation services on a 36-inch dry gas pipeline attached to the Heimdal Riser platform in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. As the Heimdal platform is a major distribution point for the transport of Norwegian gas to the rest of Europe, it was critical that the platform be returned to production as soon as possible.

Statoil contracted TDW to use a 36-inch remote-controlled SmartPlug® pressure isolation tool to isolate the line while the repair works were performed. TDW had previously performed a successful isolation on the same line, and was therefore confident that the operation could be repeated with similar success within the narrow time frame. Pre-engineering for the line was complete, and specialist pipeline pressure isolation equipment and an experienced crew were on-hand, ready to respond, saving time and money.

Rapid response reduces downtime
Just eight days after receiving the request from Statoil, TDW began to mobilize crew and equipment to the Heimdal platform. The actual operation commenced in less than two weeks after TDW received the first phone call.

Working from the platform, TDW launched the tool into the line and monitored its progress with its remotely operated SmartTrack™ tracking and monitoring system. The SmartTrack system, which uses two-way, through-wall, electromagnetic communication between an external transponder and the receiver in the tool, also monitors pressure in the line to ensure that it remains at a safe operating level throughout isolation operation. For three days, the pipeline was isolated and sealed against a pressure of 122 bar (1,769 psi) while the valve was replaced.

When a major gas export pipeline such as this is down for even one day longer than planned, it's a loss to all stakeholders. It is also a major interruption to business, affecting customers both upstream and downstream. "We appreciate what a pivotal role the Heimdal platform plays, so we are extremely pleased that the operation was quickly and so well executed," said Atle Halvorsen, Project Manager for TDW. "We attribute much of our ability to deliver such an extremely rapid turnaround to the care and attention that Statoil and TDW invested in developing a plan that would allow us both to respond as promptly and efficiently as possible."

SPE Aberdeen Launches New Ground Breaking Seminar for the Offshore Drilling Industry

SPEThe Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Aberdeen has added a brand new UK-first event to its 2014-15 session, specifically targeted to the oil and gas drilling sector.

'Drilling Automation – do I need some too?' is a full day event which will take place on 2 October at Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre. The event is expected to attract around 100 experts – both SPE members and non-members - working across all offshore drilling disciplines.
The seminar will look at how automation may be the solution that the oil and gas industry needs to optimise production and extend the economic lives of brownfield sites. Progress to date will be a key focus, before turning to the skills that are needed for continuous development of the drilling industry amongst other factors which will impact its future.

The keynote address will come from Oil & Gas UK's Technology Consultant, Dr. Andy Leonard, who spent 30 years working in the upstream sector and most recently held the position of Vice President BP Cambridge. He is an honorary professor of geology at the University of Aberdeen and currently consults within the oil and gas sector, focusing on geology, reservoir development and management and technology leadership.
Dr. Leonard said: "A major part of this seminar will be drawing comparisons from the military, space, medical and other similar industries which have embraced automation. This has meant reduced risk to personnel and has improved access to hostile environments, both major factors within the oil and gas industry.

"The UKCS is facing significant challenges in accessing and economically recovering the remaining resources in the basin. It is particularly challenged by cost, small and difficult pool sizes, mature facilities and, of course, the requirement to be safe. Technologies for automation, remote monitoring/ control and robotics have, with some notable exceptions, not made significant in-roads in to the oil and gas business. The advances of these technologies in the drilling world present a great opportunity and could lead the rest of the industry forward."
Presentations will be given by a number of major drilling operators and service companies including Schlumberger, NOV, Halliburton, BP and Baker Hughes.

SPE Aberdeen Chairman Ross Lowdon said: "There is a huge challenge to advance drilling efficiency and an industry step change, such as moving to a more autonomous approach, is needed.

"There are many lessons to be learned from our peers and other similar industries. We need to act upon these lessons now, so that we can build best practice into our oil and gas drilling processes and in turn accept the challenge to maximise oil recovery.

"SPE Aberdeen is recognised throughout the upstream oil and gas industry for the role that our events play, encouraging innovation and being quick to react to the pressing issues and emerging trends in the sector. This event is the first of its kind in the UK and we hope to see it become a platform for meaningful industry discussion."

For a full list of speakers and presentation abstracts, please visit: http://www.spe-uk.org/aberdeen/event/spe-aberdeen-summit-series-seminar/

LAGCOE 2nd Annual Oil & Gas Career Fair - Attend, Learn and Network

LAGCOE-Career-Fair-OO-EcardLAGCOE presents its second annual Career Fair designed for the oil and gas industry. Current and future oil and gas professionals will have the opportunity to interact with human resource personnel and hiring managers.

The oil and gas industry has a growing need for qualified employees. The LAGCOE Career Fair addresses this crucial need by providing this networking opportunity. 

LAGCOE, Louisiana Gulf Coast Oil Exposition, is one of worlds pioneer oil and gas expositions that has been fueling global energy solutions, since 1955. One of the largest oil and gas industry expositions in the United States, LAGCOE is held biennially in the very heart of America's energy corridor: Lafayette, Louisiana.

NAVTOR's Navstation Transforms Maritime Navigation with 'Giant iPad'

NavtorTouch screen technology has transformed everyday life and now, thanks to Norwegian e-navigation specialist NAVTOR, it is set to revolutionize operations onboard busy vessel bridges. Today sees the launch of the NAVTOR NavStation, the world's first 'Digital Chart Table' and a breakthrough in bridge-based decision making tools.

NavStation combines unique software with an optional 46inch 'gigapad' touch device, giving navigators an intuitive and user-friendly interface to plan optimal vessel routes. The software gathers and overlays all the data navigators require – including ENCs, weather data, tidal information, digital publications, and other services like piracy updates – on a single screen for the very first time. Users can then grab, swipe and man oeuvre the layers on the giant touch pad to unlock a new e-navigation reality.

"NavStation signifies a giant leap in the evolution of e-navigation and is exactly what busy navigators have been dreaming of," states NAVTOR Business Manager Willy Zeiler.

"So much information is available, and compulsory, today, but managing it is time-consuming, impractical and tiring. Our software integrates everything into one place, meaning navigators no longer have to race around the bridge – from one software to another, from maritime publications and paper charts to ECDIS, from console to console. Hence they can concentrate on what's really important, optimal navigation.

"This is the utilization of technology for greater efficiency, safety and effectiveness; which is the cornerstone of the e-navigation movement."
The NavStation software, which also operates on standard computers, utilizes NAVTOR's market leading ENC service as its 'base layer'. Subscribers can then add and integrate additional NAVTOR e-navigation products and services, including weather overlay, all Admiralty's digital products and publications, as well as services like piracy or iceberg updates.

It is, Zeiler says, a complete navigation package rooted in the principle of "simplifying complicated tasks and producing better results."
This philosophy is embodied by several key NavStation features, such as the automatic updating of charts and publications, and easy integration with a vessel's ECDIS. In addition, the dynamic route planning function provides powerful benefits, with the potential to deliver real fuel and man-hour efficiencies.

"This is another breakthrough," Zeiler explains. "If you were looking to plan a route across the Pacific and wanted to optimize it for wind, wave size, direction and frequency, and so on, you'd have to download maybe 15 days of data. Even then, as you sail along, the weather will change and therefore so will the optimal route. However, with NavStation the planned route is shared with our partner StormGeo, which constantly updates the weather data and provides a dynamically optimized route based on real-time conditions. It gives navigators a better standard of information, leading to better decision making, and achieving better time and fuel savings. Simple."

Solving complex challenges with simple solutions is a key driver for NAVTOR. This is clear in NavStation's gigapad option:
"It's basically a giant maritime 'iPad' developed by a respected OEM. The functionality is first class and the features are tailor-made for bridge use, such as the split screen option. This allows you to divide the screen and zoom in to see intricate details and important information on one half, while keeping an overview on the other. It's a unique route-planning tool and an easy way to really seize the great potential e-navigation offers."

The NavStation software has been in development for the past year, with a series of successful trial installations undertaken with shipowners based in Norway.

DW Monday September 15, 2014: Denmark – The Last of a Dying Breed

douglas-westwoodDenmark is the European Union's (EU) only net exporter of oil. The Nordic state's oil exports totaled approximately 13.7 million barrels of oil equivalent in 2013. This is in stark contrast to the EU's only other significant oil producer, the UK, which became a net importer in 2004 and has experienced a steep decline in output since, as its historically productive North Sea fields reach extreme maturity. Denmark has maintained its status as a net exporter despite peak oil production in 2004. A strong shift towards wind power has seen a decrease in oil used for electricity generation while district heating systems traditionally fuelled by oil are now switching to natural gas and renewable sources.

Denmark's ability to hold on to its status as the EU's last net exporter is likely to diminish in the long-term. Its North Sea fields continue to stutter and decline in output, seeing production half from a peak of 389 kb/d in 2004 to just 192 kb/d in 2014. In 2013, a range of technical issues meant that only 12 of 19 operational fields were producing from August to December. A lack of large discoveries has also inhibited Denmark's upstream sector, seeing oil reserves fall from 1.3 Bnboe in 2006 to 0.8 in 2013. A lack of fresh developments has also led to a decline in drilling, just eight development wells have been drilled over the last three years. Well completions increase slightly in the medium-term with the development of the high-pressure-high-temperature Hejre field – however DW do not expect this to arrest the production decline.

Based on current trends, DW predict Denmark's ongoing issues with North Sea developments will see it become a net importer of oil by 2021. By this time, oil production will likely have waned to around 130 kb/d – the country's lowest daily output in 30 years.


PIRA Energy Group's Weekly Oil Market Recap for the Week Ending September 14th, 2014

piraNYC-based PIRA Energy Group reports that Asian oil balances remain long, for now. In the U.S., product stock build outpaces crude draw, widening commercial stock excess. In Japan, both crude and finished product stocks rise. Specifically, PIRA's analysis of the oil market fundamentals has revealed the following:

Asian Oil Balances Remain Long, For Now
Oil prices are likely to remain soft. Asian oil demand will pick up in 4Q and support a rising run profile post-turnaround. The continued glut of Atlantic Basin crude will need to be moved to Asia which will keep Brent-Dubai narrow. Eventually, Asian crude demand will rise and some of the surplus should be drawn, thus presenting a floor to prices. Gasoil cracks should be supported by seasonal demand increases, while gasoline cracks will weaken seasonally. Refinery margins should show improvement from weak levels seen earlier, but new refinery capacity both in Saudi Arabia and the UAE will present challenges in arbing product out of the Asian theater.

U.S. Product Stock Build Outpaces Crude Draw, Widening Commercial Stock Excess
The stock data for the week of September 5 reflected a rebenchmarking to the latest (June 2014) monthly, raising the possibility that weekly stock changes might be distorted when one week is indexed to a new benchmark, and the prior week to an older one. We mention this because of the larger than expected light product builds, and the unusual propane draw. Looking at the data as reported, crude stocks drew more this year than last, slightly widening the year-over-year deficit.

Both Crude and Finished Product Stocks in Japan Rise
Crude runs fell back slightly and imports rose, thus building crude stocks. Finished product stocks continued rising, though gasoline and gasoil stocks posted a draw. Gasoline demand continues to come in below expectations, but gasoil demand was quite strong this past week. Kerosene demand was higher on the week and the stock building rate came in slightly less than seasonal norms. Refining margins remain poor, but there was a slight improvement in gasoline and middle distillate cracks.

U.S. LPG Strength Continues, Future Prices Increases Will Face Headwinds
Propane prices reacted to Wednesday's EIA surprise of near unchanged stocks by climbing an additional 2% this week. Butane was dragged a penny lower to $1.27/gal by a large drop in gasoline prices, although butane blending economics remain extremely robust. U.S. LPG price increases will likely moderate or re-trace as stock building resumes in the coming weeks, and as the spot arbitrage to Europe and Asia remains challenged, if not closed.

Ethanol Prices Plunge
Most U.S. ethanol assessments reached seven-month lows September 4 as the DOE reported that stocks built 356 thousand barrels and the production of ethanol-blended gasoline fell 1.1% from the previous week. Corn futures were also the lowest in over four years.

Production of Ethanol-blended Gasoline Declines
U.S. ethanol-blended gasoline manufacture plummeted to 8,553 MB/D the week ending September 5 from 8,802 MB/D during the previous week, as total gasoline output declined. U.S. ethanol output rose to 927 MB/D from 921 MB/D as production outside of PADD II reached another record high.

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.