Expro Secures Multi-Million Dollar Well Services Contract with Repsol Sinopec Resources UK Limited

4Expro wireline unit Leading international oilfield services company, Expro, has secured a five-year master services agreement with Repsol Sinopec Resources UK Limited, for well services across its UK North Sea assets.

The contract is valued at $8million/£5million for the first calendar year, which will be reviewed on an annual basis - including options to extend beyond the initial term.

Expro’s award includes well intervention services across all of Repsol Sinopec’s UK North Sea assets for production assurance and enhancement, well integrity, subsea, reservoir and decommissioning and abandonment applications.

The wireline and cased hole logging services include personnel to supervise all offshore intervention activity, including slickline and electric line conveyance, memory and real time cased hole logging (including production logging and calliper services), explosive and perforating services, downhole cameras, gauges and sampling.

Expro is committed to improving well performance through an experienced team of engineers, supervisors and integrity specialists, providing solutions for every stage of the well life cycle.

The company’s services cover all aspects of well servicing activity from office-based planning and co-ordination, through to well site execution and supervision. Expro’s worldwide experience extends across different well conditions, from shallow land gas storage wells to highly complex deepwater HPHT environments.

Expro’s UK Area Manager Gary Sims said:

“Securing this significant agreement gives a major boost to our UK well intervention business, as we work hard to maintain contracts with valued, long term customers. It continues our excellent relationship with Repsol Sinopec (formerly Talisman), which goes back to the company’s arrival in the North Sea two decades ago.

“The experience of our personnel, our strong safety culture and our commitment to service quality were critical in securing this contract - we look forward to further strengthening this relationship with Repsol Sinopec in the future.”

Ampelmann Celebrates Ten Years of Safe Offshore Transfers

5Ampelmann A typeThe global leader in offshore access solutions, Ampelmann, is celebrating its ten year anniversary. In just a decade, this company grew from a team of just four people to a 350 staff member organization that services customers across the globe from offices in eight different countries.

SPE Offshore Europe 2017 is one of the events where the company will reflect on its success with all attendees, while jointly looking forward towards a new decade of innovation, risk mitigation, cost control and efficiency.

With an impressive track record of over 3.6 million people transfers and 2.6 million kg of cargo transferred from ships to offshore structures in 200 individual projects, the industry leader with its Dutch headquarters has truly revolutionized offshore access. Jan van der Tempel, the founder and CEO of Ampelmann, says ‘It is a thrilling and humbling experience to celebrate ten successful years with our customers and stakeholders at various events this year, including SPE Offshore Europe 2017. Our innovative approach has consistently been rewarded with the trust of our customers around the globe. We look forward to engaging with all kinds of stakeholders and to continue to innovate together.’

Ampelmann currently maintains a fleet of 60 operational systems used for transferring crews and cargo to offshore structures. These solutions are tailored to the needs of different market segments, sea states, cargo and crew loads, and are used by the key players in the global industry.

CEO Van der Tempel explains, ‘In the current offshore climate, being able to transfer staff members to offshore structures safely, affordably and efficiently is more important than ever. We help our customers limit downtime and reduce their project costs. Our unique ‘plug and play’ system enables our gangways to be mobilized in less than eight hours. This helps our customers tremendously.’

Since its founding in 2007, Ampelmann experienced a rapid growth and invested in new production facilities in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, to keep up with demand. By 2011, the company’s innovative gangways were structurally used on a global scale, while the first international branch office was opened in Singapore in 2014.

To commemorate the ten year anniversary, Ampelmann published a whitepaper with a brief company history and more. It explains the ‘how and why’, and informs about existing and new developments in crew and cargo transfer solutions such as the A400, the L-type, the ‘Icemann’ N-Type system created for Arctic operations and the AEP (A-type Enhanced Performance). This whitepaper also informs about the Ampelmann S-type currently under development, which is being designed for use on medium and lightweight crew vessels with hull lengths of 50 meters and larger.

Should you be interested in reading this informative whitepaper, then please download it here.

CEO Van der Tempel concludes: ‘In our short history, we became the global industry leader and invented solutions that unburdened our customers in ways thought to be impossible before. In the coming decade, we will continue to focus on innovation and answering the specific needs of market segments and individual customers. We very much look forward to engaging with various stakeholders at SPE Offshore Europe 2017 and jointly head towards the next decade and beyond.”

Gas to Become World’s Primary Energy Source By 2035

6 1Oil and gas forecast 2050 Energy Transition Outlook 2017 coverOil and gas will be crucial components of the world’s energy future, according to DNV GL’s forecast of the energy transition. While renewable energy will grow its share of the energy mix, oil and gas will account for 44% of world energy supply in 2050, compared to 53% today. Gas will become the largest single source of energy from 2034.

DNV GL’s Energy Transition Outlook (ETO), a forecast that spans the global energy mix to 2050, predicts that global demand for energy will flatten in 2030, then steadily decline over the next two decades, thanks to step-changes in energy efficiency. The fossil fuel share of the world’s primary energy mix will reduce from 81% currently to 52% in 2050.

Demand for oil will peak in 2022, driven by expectations for a surge in prominence of light electric vehicles, accounting for 50% of new car sales globally by 2035. However, the stage is set for gas to become the largest single source of energy towards 2050, and the last of the fossil fuels to experience peak demand, which DNV GL expects will occur in 2035.

Gas will continue to play a key role alongside renewables in helping to meet future, lower-carbon, energy requirements. Major oil companies intend to increase the share of gas in their reserves, and DNV GL expect an accelerated shift by 2022 as they decarbonize business portfolios.

While demand for hydrocarbons will peak over the next two decades, significant investment will be needed to add new oil and gas production capacity and operate existing assets safely and sustainably. However, the results of DNV GL’s model reinforce the need to maintain strict cost efficiency in order to achieve the margins necessary for future capital and operational expenditure.

6 2Elisabeth Trstad 3Elisabeth Tørstad, CEO, DNV GL – Oil & Gas

“We have seen impressive and important innovative efforts across the energy industry, resulting in cost saving and efficiency gains. The oil and gas industry must continue on a path of strict cost control to stay relevant. Coming from a tradition of technological achievements, and having the advantage of existing infrastructure and value chains, this industry has the potential to continue to contribute to energy security and shape our energy future,” said Elisabeth Tørstad, CEO, DNV GL – Oil & Gas.

“Increased digitalization, standardization and remote or autonomous operations will play a central role in achieving long-term cost savings and improving the oil and gas industry’s carbon footprint. We also expect the industry to turn to innovations in facility design, operating models and contracting strategies,” Tørstad added.

DNV GL has published a suite of reports on the Energy Transition Outlook, which are available to download free of charge. The main ETO report covers the transition of the entire energy mix to 2050. Three sector-specific supplements will accompany this: an oil and gas supplement and a renewable, power and energy supplement are both available this week. A maritime supplement will be available later this year. DNV GL’s oil and gas supplement considers some of the key trends identified by the company’s model across the sector’s value chain, and explores their implications.

Download a complimentary copy.

Bibby Offshore Bolsters North Sea Presence with Multiple Contract Wins

Bibby Offshore, a leading subsea services provider to the oil and gas industry, continues to strengthen its North Sea presence through successful completion of two further contracts with oil and gas majors, Perenco and Endeavour Energy UK.

7BibbyOffshoreBarry Macleod, UKCS managing director at Bibby Offshore

Perenco appointed Bibby Offshore to perform subsea integrity inspections and maintenance works on the Inde Joint pipeline, which runs to the Bacton Gas Terminal in the Southern North Sea. Completed in early July, the 15-day workscope saw Bibby Offshore install a total of 94 concrete mattresses over the pipeline to assist in preserving the remaining rock dump mounds.

The second workscope, completed in late July, saw Endeavour Energy UK contract Bibby Offshore to carry out subsea tree inspections in the Renee and Rubie fields located in blocks 15/27 and 15/28 of the Central North Sea.

Both contracts utilized the company’s inspection, repair and maintenance vessel Olympic Bibby and were the latest in a series awarded by these clients.

Commenting on the contract awards, Barry Macleod, UKCS managing director at Bibby Offshore, said: “The successful completion of both workscopes further consolidates our exceptional ability to deliver projects in a short period of time and with a quick, successful turnaround.

“We place a huge emphasis upon client satisfaction and confidence, and once again, Bibby Offshore has demonstrated our clients’ continued belief in our ability to efficiently deliver a wide range of consecutive projects. We look forward to the continuation of both excellent working relationships.”

Bluestream and Skeye Partners in Offshore Inspection Services

Bluestream, one of the leading providers of innovative inspection services to the oil, gas and wind industry, and Skeye BV from Alphen aan den Rijn, one of the most successful UAV operators in the Netherlands and UK, have announced a partnership providing visual inspection services and geographic data acquisition for offshore assets using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV).

According to a statement by both companies, this move is a good example of embracing innovations in the inspection market.

8bluestreamLeft Anton Janssens (Bluestream) and right Jan van Liebergen (Skeye).

Thanks to this extension of Bluestream’s own topside inspection capabilities, the Den Helder-based company can now provide clients with a total inspection solution utilizing Skeye’s advanced small unmanned drones, capable to reach places that are difficult, expensive, dangerous, or even impossible to approach by manned inspection teams. The drones are particularly suitable for live flare & vent stack, topside, splash zone and under deck inspections.

“Our professional rope access, diving and ROV inspection, repair and maintenance services combined with the Skeye UAV-based inspection services will provide a unique advantage for customer’s maintenance campaigns and projects. We are now tailored to meet the most challenging of customer needs,” commercial manager Anton Janssens of Bluestream said. “Not only does this high-grade inspection service allow a fast and efficient collection of extensive footage in a short amount of time, whilst the asset is still in production, it also improves the targeted delivery of Rope Access work. This cooperation enables both subsea and topside inspections to be done by a single party, resulting in integrated reports of inspections done, creating added value to the customer.”

Operations Director Jan van Liebergen of Skeye added: “Through this partnership we are able to offer full UAV inspections, complete with report, and including recommendations if requested. This new service will position both companies as more complete and efficient service providers within the offshore industry.”

Both Bluestream and Skeye are well introduced in the offshore and windfarm work practices, ensuring a suitable and safe concept of operations for any mission. The inspections are performed by highly competent personnel, that will ensure compliance with (local) legislation regarding UAV operations as well as inspection requirements.

In the meantime the new business partners have already successfully executed various inspection scopes together, including a comprehensive inspection program for a client in the North Sea wind sector.

Decom Heavy-Weight Joins Well-Safe’s Growing Senior Team as the Company Secures HQ Offices

9Well Safe Office 1Well-Safe Solutions, a new entrant to the decommissioning market, has further strengthened its senior team with the appointment of Jim Christie as director of programs.

The specialist well abandonment company, launched in July this year, has already assembled a senior team of eight well-known industry experts and now employs 20 people.

Well-Safe has just signed a five-year lease for 4,400 square feet to accommodate over 60 people at Hill of Rubislaw in Aberdeen and will be moving in this week. The prestigious, newly refurbished offices have flexible open-plan and office space which can be increased as the company grows.

Aiming to become a major tier 1 well abandonment service company, Well-Safe will provide a fully integrated package using its own bespoke marine assets to help oil and gas operators to meet the challenges of safe and cost-efficient decommissioning of subsea wells.

The appointment of Mr. Christie follows hot on the heels of the company’s first acquisition and recruitment of the chief executive officer, a chief technical officer and commercial director.

Formerly head of decommissioning with the OGA, Mr. Christie has 35 years’ experience in oil and gas, civil engineering, construction, refining, power, transportation and ship-building with extensive expertise in offshore decommissioning in the US and the UK, working with owners, regulators and the supply chain.

Speaking one the eve of Offshore Europe, where Well-Safe has a high-profile presence in the Decom Zone, founder and executive director, Mark Patterson, said: “Jim’s appointment is highly significant and a major boost in our ambition to become a leader in plug and abandonment in the decommissioning sector.

“Retaining and sharing lessons learned, we will deliver safe, efficient well P&A operations in collaboration with our clients and stakeholders which result in significant cost reductions.

“The response from industry since our launch has been incredible and we are gaining huge support for our complete package offering.”

As head of decommissioning for the OGA, Jim was responsible for the development of the UK’s decommissioning strategy, working in collaboration with the industry and government.

“As we seek to work hand-in-hand with the regulator to support operators in navigating the complex regulatory process, with a view to driving change and transparency while ensuring tax efficiency, Jim’s experience will be invaluable to our team,” added Mr. Patterson.

Prior to his role at the OGA, Mr. Christie was global decommissioning projects manager with Marathon Oil in Houston. He joined Marathon in 1984 and has held various project management and project assurance roles for the operator, including working on decommissioning of the Brae Field.

Well-Safe has also announced the appointment of a director of finance. Alan Cormack joins the company with immediate effect. A qualified accountant with ten years’ experience in senior finance roles in the oil and gas industry, Mr. Cormack joins from Raeburn Recruitment where he was head of finance. Before that, he worked with Mr. Patterson as director of finance at Nautronix for almost a decade.

Mr. Patterson said: “Having Alan on board to take care of all our financial affairs is ideal. Having worked closely with him in the past, I have the utmost respect for and trust in his ability. He is a great addition to the team and will be instrumental in developing our back office support.”

PIRA Energy Market Recap for the Week Ending September 5, 2017

10PIRALogoU.S. Stock Deficit Widens Again

Hurricane Harvey has certainly disrupted the lives of millions and led to the shutdown of refiners, steam crackers and other industrial operations. The deluge has created significant problems for refiners from the Houston area east, with Corpus Christi operations being largely spared the worst impact of the tropical storm. For the latest reporting week, which does not show the effects of Harvey, refinery runs increased to a new high of 17.7 MMB/D, driven by strong margins as well as firm demand and exports. Hurricane Harvey has led to a steep reversal in operations with runs expected to fall back to 14.7 MMB/D for the next week. Overall commercial stocks fell by 1.1 million barrels for the latest week, widening the deficit to last year to 70.7 million barrels. Major light products were little changed, with total product stocks up by 4.3 million barrels. This was offset by a 5.4 million barrel drop in crude stocks.

U.S. Manufacturing Margins Improved in August

D6 RIN values were lower. Brazil imposed a 20% tariff on U.S. ethanol imports above 600 million liters per year. Mills in Brazil’s South-Center region produced a higher percentage of ethanol in August. European ethanol prices continued to decline.

Early-Bird Outlook for 2018

A clear path for seasonal price recovery looms considering the positively skewed Y/Y heating demand risks — on top of ongoing structural expansion being driven by the “Big Three” that has been buoying the call on supply for more than a year now. The return to normal weather during the fourth quarter would dramatically tighten supply/demand balances, suggesting that prices will “lift off” well in advance of the official start to the 2017-18 heating season. While a more normal turnover in inventories during the 2017-18 heating season will largely be viewed as constructive for prices, the same cannot be said of the 2018 injection season. Indeed, when coupled with what appears to be an impending new record level of supply growth take root in 2017, the total supply picture is likely to be viewed as too top-heavy.

September RGGI Carbon Auction to Rebound vs. June

The August WCI current and future vintage auctions returned to full subscription, clearing at historic high prices. Auction pricing failed to reach highs seen in July, but is above the expected 2018 reserve price. Coverage ratios were strong and the number of registered bidders increased significantly. Compliance entities secured most of the winnings. Secondary market reaction to the results has been decidedly bullish. With August the second consecutive auction to clear above the reserve price, unsold allowances can start to be re-offered beginning with the November auction. This will increase supply and allow for the surplus/bank to build.

Nuclear Winter

The outlook remains generally constructive for Continental power prices, given the poor status of water reserves in major markets, while more surprises could still surface in the Creusot-Forge saga. The opaque ASN consultation document of Aug. 16 is clouding the French nuclear outlook, but our take is that the review of these irregularities was already underway and so far neither ASN nor EDF have made public specific safety concerns that would prevent plants from operating normally. At this point, with French prices already moving significantly higher, the upside for the winter contracts seems quite limited under normal weather. Our model shows the price impact of extended delays of plants restarts could be more significant in 4Q – in a range of € 6-7/MWh, but the market has already factored in more than half of it. Additionally, 1Q 2018 seems to be already trading at levels compatible with lower nuclear availability. Oddly, 2Q and 3Q 2018 do not appear to be factoring any major nuclear losses.

Disrupted Supplies and Undisrupted Injections Support Pricing

Summer is ending, and Sept. HDDs across Europe come quickly in percentage terms (316% M/M) followed by October in absolute terms (+4,900 HDDs M/M). This will sneak up quickly and will initially be balanced with lower injections. While gas demand has been hurt by a normalization of nuclear supplies, hydro continues to be supportive. This support is particularly true in the next several months, being the traditional seasonal low for hydro production – generally down 17% M/M in September and a further 10% M/M in October. Storage injections outturned 30% higher than forecasted in August at 13-BCM. German injections have been the second highest injection month ever. In addition, Austria, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia each had their top or second highest injection month. Up to this point in injection season, over 26.5 BCM of gas has been injected into storage in Northwest Europe, with another 5.1 BCM forecasted by PIRA on the way - contracting forward spreads. Additionally, as gas continues to price itself against coal, it becomes increasingly sensitive to developments in Asian coal restocking in the coming months that may continue to be quite supportive.

Temperatures and Prices Reach Triple Digits

Heat waves bookended August weather with temperatures reaching triple digits in California and Northwest load centers. CA ISO on-peak block prices breached the $100 mark on several days with DA LMPs for early evening hours in the CA ISO markets clearing in the $300-500 range. WECC US loads rose by 3 aGW from the prior year while hydro gains dwindled to just over 1 aGW. Solar output rose by nearly 1 aGW but nuclear generation declined due to an outage at the Columbia Station. As a result, coal-fired output was up and gas nearly matched its prior year level on average, far exceeding it on peak days. Bullish weather patterns are forecast to continue into September. The extended outlook for 2019 is for market implied heat rates to remain stable as neither gas prices nor resource mix are expected to change significantly.

U.S. Coal Stockpiles Continue Downward Trajectory

June 2017 electric power sector stockpiles came in at 160.5 MMst according to the EIA’s August 24 data release, down 4.4 MMst M/M. That was less than the five-year average M/M stock draw of 6.3 MMst for June, but put stockpiles 6% below the five-year average for the month. PIRA has estimated a July stock draw of 12 MMst, which exceeds the five-year average but falls short of last year’s nearly 14 MMst decline (a bullish draw that stoked 2016’s rally in coal prices). The M/M decline in stockpiles in July is typically the largest of the year and has averaged ~11 MMst over the most recent five-year period.

Japan Coming off the Holiday, Gasoline Demand Still Soft, Gasoil Rebounds

This week’s data takes us further from the mid-August holiday period. Total commercial stocks drew 2.35 million barrels, with both lower crude and product stocks, and a rebound in major product demand, in part due to much higher gasoil demand. Crude runs dropped 77 MB/D from peak levels. Gasoline demand fell back a modest 8 MB/D, but is still seen as soft. Gasoil demand rebounded sharply from its holiday induced low. Refining margins have continued to perform well and remain supportive of the high level of runs. Higher levels of maintenance and a tempering in runs should support margins, while demand softens a bit.

Familiar Sight in U.S. – Solid GDP / Job Growth, and Wage Riddle

The U.S. economy has appeared to be in good shape for a while – and after this week’s data releases, the picture looks even better. GDP growth for the second quarter was revised up, and growth for the third quarter is shaping up to be solid. As for the August labor market report, private-sector job growth was healthy, the unemployment rate stayed low, and wage pressure was absent. Going forward, Hurricane Harvey will create noise for a short period for some data. Outside the U.S., Chinese business confidence surprised positively in August. Canada and Brazil reported positive GDP data, but India disappointed.

Hurricane Harvey Shutters 50% of U.S. Steam Cracker Capacity

Hurricane Harvey’s historic rainfall caused the shutdown of 70% of Texas Gulf Coast steam cracker plant capacity, which represent 50% of total U.S. steam cracker capacity. The corresponding decrease in ethane demand was 550 MB/D. The duration of cracker outages will depend on any damage sustained at the plants and other infrastructure such as pipelines and terminals returning to service. Mont Belvieu ethane prices were down due to slack demand, while each of the other NGL purity products prices strengthened. Shipping terminal outages reduced Gulf Coast exports last week and also will reduce exports this week. However, global demand for U.S. LPG remains seasonally firm even in the face of challenging arbs.

Hurricane Harvey Offers Glimpse into Global Gas Loss Potential

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, which swept through one of the world’s main energy producing hubs, much of the focus has been on the oil front in terms of US refining capacity outages owing to the seasonal impact of potential gasoline shortages in the final weeks of US summer driving season. And on the US domestic gas front, the concerns are heightened by the fact that compared with previous storms, much more US domestic gas production is in the South Texas/ Houston area and subject, for now, to force majeure.

Cape Freight Rates Ride a Wave of Chinese Speculation

Capesize dry bulk freight rates surged over the past month due to a variety of factors. Another bout of commodity speculation, and shift if steelmaking process in China certainly were major factors in lifting rates. On the supply side the expansion of the fleet has at least temporarily halted, driving up prompt rates and FFAs PIRA expects Cape rates to stay high over the next two months and to then fall back.

Global Equities Post a Positive Week

Global equity markets generally posted another positive week. In the U.S., among the tracking indices, housing, technology and materials did the best and outperformed. Energy posted a gain of 0.9%, but underperformed. The international tracking indices also generally gained on the week, but underperformed the U.S. Emerging Asia did the best, but underperformed the U.S. market.

Production and Supply Decreases

U.S. ethanol production declined the week ending August 25 (before the impact of Hurricane Harvey), falling 10 MB/D to 1,042 MB/D. The largest drop occurred in PADD III as some biofuel manufacturers near the coast prepared for the arrival of hurricane. Total inventories fell by 206 thousand barrels to 21.3 million barrels. Ethanol-blended gasoline production jumped to a nine-week high 9,447 MB/D from 9,392 MB/D during the preceding week.

Coal Pricing Remains Elevated, Downside Risks Gather

Coal pricing was mixed in August, with surging dry bulk freight rates pushing CIF ARA prices substantially higher, while the end of the Asian heat wave saw Pacific Basin price strength ease. While upside price risks remain, and should be respected for the prompt market, rising supply and easing demand fundamentals should see prices over 4Q17 into 2018 fall below market forwards.

U.S. Shale Oil Breakevens Down Despite Higher Costs

PIRA expects costs to increase by an average 11% between 2016 and 2017 driven primarily by tightness in fracking equipment (pressure pumping and proppants). However, continued improvement in well productivity appears to more than offset cost inflation. PIRA forecasts U.S. shale oil breakevens to be slightly lower in 2017 versus 2016. PIRA also forecasts U.S. shale oil production to continue to rise despite the recent flattening in oil rig growth.

Credit Conditions Remain Constructive & Stresses Low

It was generally another constructive week for financial stress with the S&P 500 gaining week-on-week, along with lower volatility (VIX), positive performance on credit pricing and commodities. The St Louis financial stress indicator posted a fourth straight weekly rise, but stress indicators remain very low.

U.S. Production in June Falls on Alaska and Gulf of Mexico Maintenance; Growth Slows in Texas

U.S. crude and condensate actuals for June 2017 came in at 9,112 MMB/D, down 72 MB/D month-on-month, up 164 MB/D year-on-year, and 73 MB/D below PIRA’s forecast. The miss relative to PIRA’s Reference Case was primarily due to Texas and the Gulf of Mexico.

Refined Product Implications/Outlook After Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey has finally moved on, but it has left record flooding in its wake. The impact has come as a wave starting in South Texas near Corpus Christi where it made landfall. Then, it moved on to horrific flooding near Houston and finally in the Beaumont/Port Arthur area in eastern Texas. PIRA has tracked the refinery outages and based on what information is currently available made an estimate for the likely recovery refinery-by-refinery. This is of course a preliminary estimate based on what we know now and it assumes that no major long-term damage will be found.

Tighter to Asia, but Reflective of Market

Saudi Arabia's formula prices for October were just released. Pricing offsets to Asia, vs. the Oman-Dubai benchmark, were raised for the second straight month, but generally reflective of less contango in the Dubai pricing structure. Pricing into the U.S. was raised on the lighter and heaviest grades, but left unchanged on Arab medium, which is key competing grade vs. the domestic barrel (Mars). There appears no consideration in setting prices with regards to hurricane Harvey. European pricing on Arab light was reduced $0.10/Bbl, but a widening in the Urals discount vs. Dated Brent would have suggested a slightly larger reduction.

High Utilization Rates Required in Swing Refining Capacity

Refinery utilization rates since 2015 are holding near “Golden Age” levels in swing refinery capacity. Utilization rates outside of these areas are lower, depressing global averages, but that has limited impact on market pricing since much of it cannot be brought to bear. This is a key factor supporting refinery margins.

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.

Chevron Contributes $1 Million to Immediate Texas Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

1Chevron logoChevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) announces that it is making a $1 million contribution to the American Red Cross for the immediate relief efforts under way to assist victims of Hurricane Harvey that struck Texas over the weekend.

"Our thoughts are with all the people who have suffered tremendous losses and disruption from this catastrophic hurricane and related flooding," said Jeff Shellebarger, president, Chevron North America Exploration and Production Company. "As a business with deep ties to Texas and Houston, this donation will assist with the initial critical relief process. We will continue to work with responding organizations to support ongoing recovery efforts, which we hope can begin soon."

The donation will support relief efforts throughout the affected regions, including both Corpus Christi and the greater Houston metropolitan area. In addition, the company will match donations made to the relief efforts by its employees and retirees, many of whom have seen the tragedy unfold first-hand. One of Chevron's top priorities is protecting its employees, families and communities when they may need assistance in times of emergency.

The American Red Cross is a key partner in delivering that assistance. "The Red Cross is working around the clock in extremely challenging conditions in Texas to help people impacted by Hurricane Harvey," said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross. "We couldn't do it without the generosity of our donors - like Chevron. With their support, the Red Cross can be there when disaster strikes to respond with shelter, food and the necessary supplies to ensure people are cared for, and to help during the recovery process. We're extremely grateful for their support."

Houston represents the single-largest concentration of Chevron employees globally, and the company has important business interests throughout Texas, including the Permian Basin and Corpus Christi. A number of Chevron's businesses are headquartered in Houston, including our exploration and production companies for North America, Africa and Latin America; our technology companies; pipeline, power and global procurement businesses; and the supply and trading function. In addition, many of Chevron's major capital projects are planned and developed from Houston.

Chevron Corporation is one of the world's leading integrated energy companies. Through its subsidiaries that conduct business worldwide, the company is involved in virtually every facet of the energy industry. Chevron explores for, produces and transports crude oil and natural gas; refines, markets and distributes transportation fuels and lubricants; manufactures and sells petrochemicals and additives; generates power; and develops and deploys technologies that enhance business value in every aspect of the company's operations. Chevron is based in San Ramon, Calif. More information about Chevron is available here.

CSA Ocean Sciences and Okeanus Stage Emergency Response Survey Resources

2USV Photo 6CSA Ocean Sciences Inc. (CSA) and Okeanus Science & Technology announces they are working together to stage a full-range of specialized survey and monitoring equipment in Louisiana to deploy in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Harvey to help evaluate the storm’s impact on coast lines, waterways, bayous, ship channels and terminals, marine infrastructure, and oil and gas related facilities located on or near the water.

“Hurricanes often dramatically impact coastlines and waterways in affected areas, deposit debris into lakes, harbors and ship channels creating hazards to navigation that can leave waterways and adjoining infrastructure out of commission for an extended period,” said Gordon Stevens, Vice President and General Manager of CSA. “With Okeanus, we have emergency response personnel and equipment standing by in Houston and Louisiana to assist local companies and organizations with geophysical surveys and environmental impact assessments in the aftermath of the storm.”

CSA is staging the following types of equipment for deployment as required:

  • Small survey vessels
  • Side scan, multibeam and single beam sonars
  • Sub-bottom profilers
  • Magnetometers
  • Observation remotely operated vehicles (ROVs)
  • Unmanned surface vessels (USVs)

For more information contact, Gordon Stevens, 772-219-3087, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or Benton LeBlanc at 985-709-1023, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

ExxonMobil Increase Support from $500,000 to $1Million for Gulf Coast Hurricane Relief

3ExxonMobilExxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) announces that it is has increased its support from $500,000 to $1 million for relief and recovery efforts in Houston and other Gulf Coast communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

A contribution of $500,000 will be provided to the United Way of Greater Houston and follows an initial allocation of $500,000 for the American Red Cross which was made on Friday.

"Our thoughts remain with our families, friends and neighbors in Houston and other communities impacted by flooding and other effects of Hurricane Harvey," said Darren W. Woods, ExxonMobil chairman and chief executive officer. “We will continue to assess needs and to assist government authorities and disaster relief agencies in providing critical goods and services to those in need.”

ExxonMobil has also made provisions to ensure that emergency responders and other essential service providers requesting fuel are given priority.

The Red Cross is mobilizing relief workers to support response efforts, and has pre-positioned shelter and relief supplies in certain areas. To assist with volunteer efforts, click here.

Kosmos Energy Successfully Completes Tortue Drill Stem Test

4 2KosmosEnergy copyKosmos Energy (NYSE: KOS) announces that it has successfully completed the drill stem test (DST) of the Tortue-1 well, demonstrating that the Tortue field is a world-class resource and confirming key development parameters including well deliverability, reservoir connectivity, and fluid composition.

4 1GreaterTortueMap testThe Tortue-1 well flowed at a sustained, equipment-constrained rate of approximately 60 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d) during the main, extended flow period, with minimal pressure drawdown, providing confidence in well designs that are each capable of producing approximately 200 MMcf/d. The DST results confirmed a connected volume per well consistent with the current development scheme, which together with the high well rate is expected to result in a low number of development wells compared to equivalent schemes. Initial analysis of fluid samples collected during the test indicate Tortue gas is well suited for liquefaction given low levels of liquids and minimal impurities. Data acquired from the DST will be used to further optimize field development and to refine process design parameters critical to the front-end engineering and design (FEED) process anticipated to begin later this year.

“The positive results from the DST confirm that the Tortue field is a world-class resource and validates the assumptions that underpin our development concept,” said Andrew G. Inglis, chairman and chief executive officer. “The combination of high well rates, large connected volume per well together with a gas well-suited for liquefaction is why we believe Tortue is one of the lowest cost pre-FID greenfield LNG projects. The Kosmos BP partnership remains aligned on delivering a final investment decision for the project in 2018 and first gas in 2021.”

The Tortue-1 well is located in water depths of approximately 2,700 meters offshore Mauritania. The DST was conducted by the Atwood Achiever drillship, which has now mobilized to the Hippocampe prospect in Block C-8 offshore Mauritania to begin exploration drilling operations. Kosmos is exploration operator of Block C-8 with a 28% participating interest. BP is named operator with a 62% participating interest, and Societe Mauritanienne des Hydrocarbures et de Patrimoine Minier (“SMHPM”) has a 10% participating interest.

John Crane Asset Management Solutions Wins North Sea Maintenance Build Contract with Maersk Oil

5John Crane Maersk contractJohn Crane Asset Management Solutions has secured a contract to supply Maersk Oil with data services to support the planned maintenance strategy at one of the largest new developments in the UK North Sea.

At the Culzean field, John Crane Asset Management Solutions will provide data build services as well as establishing a maintenance plan for all topside equipment. A Detailed Criticality Analysis and Maintenance Definition (DCAMD) strategy will be developed to cover high-criticality equipment with generic procedures being used for non-critical appliances.

The Culzean gas condensate field has resources estimated at 250-300 million barrels of oil equivalent. Located in the Central North Sea, the high pressure, high temperature field is expected to commence production in 2019 and supply enough gas to meet 5% of total UK demand at its peak in 2020/21.

James Reid, Project Manager at John Crane Asset Management Services, said: “We are pleased to deliver a smooth planned maintenance programme for Maersk Oil that combines both preventative and condition based maintenance.”

In June, John Crane Asset Management Solutions announced it had been awarded a five-year contract to provide condition based maintenance services with another major operator in the UK North Sea.

In October 2015, John Crane Group announced it had acquired Aberdeen independent Asset Management business, XPD8 Solutions Ltd. Both contracts will enable the strengthened John Crane Asset Management Solutions team to use their expertise to fully meet the customer needs and further increase their asset performance.

John Morrison, Managing Director at John Crane Asset Management Solutions, said: “To be involved in supporting the maintenance strategy on one of the most significant projects on the UK Continental Shelf in recent years is fantastic news for the company. Having an effective strategy will stand the development in good stead for years to come, giving those in charge the confidence that their topside equipment will perform reliably and efficiently.”

John Crane Asset Management Solutions is a trading name of XPD8 Solutions Limited, which is part of John Crane, itself a division of the global technology company Smiths Group Plc.

N-Sea Announces Inaugural Cameroonian Contract

Subsea IMR provider, N-Sea, has begun work in the Cameroonian offshore market, via a contract win with Dutch offshore lifting and transportation company, Jumbo Offshore.

With phase one completed in mid-July, the project takes place off the shores of Cameroon’s South Province, as a part of the Hilli Episeyo Subsea Soft Yoke Installation. N-Sea’s workscope comprises diving and ROV support, performing all subsea installation of the soft yoke system.

The activity N-Sea will perform on the floating liquified natural gas (FLNG) mooring and loading facility includes seabed measuring, mattress placement, anchor base and pile positioning support and pile sleeve sediment removal. Final connection between the yoke and FLNG will be undertaken by N-Sea later in 2017.

6N Sea team working on Jumbo FairplayerN-Sea team on Jumbo Fairplayer

Commenting on the contract win, N-Sea Group Commercial Director, Gary Thirkettle said: “We are delighted to be supporting Jumbo Offshore with the expertise of N-Sea’s dive team, who will be utilising our ROVs on this FLNG project.

“Whilst N-Sea has been active in Nigeria since early 2016, this contract award represents not only our first partnership with Jumbo, but also our first project offshore in Cameroon. As such, the contract reflects our continued strategy to actively target potential clients throughout West Africa.”

Hilli Project Manager for Jumbo Offshore, Tim Klieverik says: “Good cooperation with the Jumbo Offshore and N-Sea teams helped to bring the first phase of this significant project to a successful completion. The skilled N-Sea team will again assist us in bringing phase two of this project together at the end of the year and we look forward to working with them again.”

N-Sea is known for its innovative work as an independent offshore subsea contractor, specialising in IMR services for the oil and gas, renewable and telecom/utility industries, as well as for civil contracting communities. N-Sea provides near shore, offshore and survey services to major operators and service companies alike.

Jumbo Offshore is a leading and reputable heavy lift, transport and installation contractor for the offshore industry. Jumbo’s offshore scope includes the installation of subsea structures and moorings, jackets, topsides and wind turbine foundations. www.jumbomaritime.nl

OSM Officially On Board Statoil’s Peregrino

Efforts in Brazil are reinforced for OSM with more than 90 specialized offshore positions officially on board the Peregrino.

“OSM Brazil have successfully mobilized our crew on board the FPSO Peregrino,” says Tommy Olofsen, Managing Director of OSM Crew Management.

OSM Maritime Group (OSM) began its journey with Statoil’s Floating Production Storage Unit (FPSO) Peregrino back in early 2016. However, increased efforts and investments in Brazil have been ongoing since 2013 – with multiple office locations, and an EBN Certification that marks the company as a registered Brazilian Shipping Company, OSM have positioned themselves strategically for growth and support within the area.

7OSM bluec 44021808551From right to left – OSM crew members Giliard Damasceno Miranda (Deck Operator), Wilton Pereira Gomes (Deck Operator) and Alex Fabiano de Figueiredo Oliveira paying attention to the instructions that Bruno Araujo (back) is going through

“Creating new opportunities for professionals in the area has been a natural result of this project – we have secured more than 90 specialized offshore positions on board the Peregrino” says Walker Lima, OSM Brazil General Manager.

With all hands on deck, Olofsen stresses the importance of communication between teams to ensure a favorable result:

“Key to the success of this project is our commitment to continuous improvement. We will maintain close communication between both our on- and offshore teams in the hopes of predicting change and creating solutions to challenges before they arise.”

About OSM:

OSM is a leading third party management provider in the maritime industry with 11,000 employees delivering services to more than 500 vessels. The company has offices in 30 countries and is the largest provider of third party management services to the offshore supply industry.

Schlumberger Completes Multipurpose Vessel Seismic Acquisition Survey for Roc Oil in Malaysia

Schlumberger has announced that WesternGeco has completed a hybrid seismic acquisition survey using their newly deployed multipurpose vessel (MPV)—a first in the industry. The 340 km2 3D seismic survey was acquired offshore Sarawak, Malaysia, for Roc Oil using a triple source array with simultaneous recording by ocean-bottom nodes and a towed-streamer spread, all from a single seismic vessel.

8Sclumberger WG Vespucci DSCF1754 cr WGWG Vespucci MPV. Photo credit: Ulstein

The WG Vespucci MPV acquired the high-quality ocean-bottom seismic (OBS) data required around existing platform obstructions supplemented by streamer seismic data. Simultaneously acquiring the OBS and streamer data without having to employ multiple acquisition vessels and crews resulted in cost reduction and greater efficiency while achieving the survey objectives.

“Providing a hybrid OBS and streamer acquisition option with our multipurpose vessel versus a traditional OBS or towed streamer survey gave the customer a versatile and cost-effective solution to better fit their specific challenges and budget,” said Maurice Nessim, president, WesternGeco, Schlumberger. “This industry-first acquisition underscores our commitment to offering our customers innovative approaches to offshore seismic acquisition challenges.”

The WG Vespucci is one of three newly configured MPVs in the WesternGeco fleet. The WG Tasman and WG Cook are equipped with Q-Seabed* multicomponent seabed seismic systems.

BW Offshore: BW Catcher Commenced Transit to the North Sea

9BWOffshoreBW Offshore has announced the sail away of the FPSO BW Catcher. The vessel has left Keppel Shipyard in Singapore and is currently in transit to the Catcher field in the central North Sea.

BW Catcher is expected to reach UK waters early in the fourth quarter, depending on prevailing weather conditions. Upon its arrival, BW Catcher will commence a seven-year fixed term contract, with extension options of up to 18 years, with Premier Oil. Based on a field life of 10 years, the contract value is USD 2.3 billion including FPSO charter rate and opex.

“The BW Catcher has been completed on time and within budget, and we are especially pleased with the good HSE performance during the construction project. We have worked over 11 million man hours without a lost time injury and in total around 19 million man hours. The FPSO is now underway to the North Sea for hook-up at the Catcher field, and with first oil scheduled later this year,” said Carl K. Arnet, the CEO of BW Offshore.

BW Catcher has an oil storage capacity of 650,000 barrels and a processing capacity of 60,000 barrels per day. The FPSO has a design life of 20 years of uninterrupted operations, and will be moored using a Submerged Turret Production system.

Shell Starts Production at Gbaran-Ubie Phase 2 in Nigeria

The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd joint venture has started production at Gbaran-Ubie Phase 2, a key project in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region.

Phase 2 follows the success of the first phase of the Gbaran-Ubie integrated oil and gas development, which was commissioned in June 2010. Peak production of around 175,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day is expected in 2019.

10gbaran ubie projectPhoto credit: Shell

“Today’s announcement is a positive step for Shell’s global gas portfolio,” said Andy Brown, Shell’s Upstream Director. “It is also good news for Nigeria as gas from Gbaran-Ubie Phase 2 will strengthen supply to the domestic market and maintain supply to the export market.”

Eighteen wells have been drilled and a new pipeline constructed between Kolo Creek and Soku which connects the existing Gbaran-Ubie central processing facility to the Soku non-associated gas plant. First gas flowed from the wells in March 2016, with the facilities coming on stream in July 2017.

The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) is the operator of a joint venture between the government-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC, 55%), SPDC (30%), Total E&P Nigeria Ltd (10%) and ENI subsidiary Nigerian Agip Oil Company Limited (5%).

  • SPDC is the largest Shell company in Nigeria and produced the country’s first commercial oil exports in 1958.
  • A detailed breakdown of the peak production of Gbaran-Ubie Phase 2 is approximately 864 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (MMscf/d) and 26,000 barrels of condensate per

Trelleborg Supplies Smartport Solution to Prelude FLNG

Trelleborg’s marine systems operation has supplied a suite of products to Shell’s Prelude FLNG facility, the largest offshore facility ever constructed. Prelude, which is 488 meters long, 74 meters wide, and made with more than 260,000 tons of steel, will extract and liquefy natural gas from a site in North West Australia.

Trelleborg supplied its gas transfer technology and SafePilot navigational and piloting systems for Prelude.

11Shell two ship of natural gas in seaShell’s Prelude FLNG. Image credit: Shell

Richard Hepworth, President of Trelleborg’s marine systems operation, says: “We’re delighted that our SafePilot solution, SSL, ESL and radio ESD for tandem condensate offload have been used on Shell’s Prelude FLNG. A project of this size and prestige is one we’re extremely proud to be a part of. The products supplied fall under our SmartPort product range: they represent industry leading technology that enables real time communications and information sharing during vessel approach and the LNG, LPG and Natural Gas Condensate transfer operations.”

In support of Prelude’s process operations, Trelleborg supplied its industry-leading Ship Shore Link (SSL) system for the transfer of LNG from the platform to visiting LNGCs. To achieve this, a full shore SSL system was supplied. In addition, Trelleborg also provided their Electrical Shutdown Link (ESL), known more commonly as the SIGTTO link, for Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) transfer and a new radio ESD link developed with Shell used in conjunction with floating hoses for the tandem transfer of natural gas condensate produced as part of the LNG production process.

In support of Prelude’s marine operations, Trelleborg supplied the navigational system for Prelude. The system is designed to closely monitor the relative motion of the FLNG and the carrier during approach, and the sideways berthing/mooring phase, as well as a tandem berthing/mooring phase. The motion and position data of the carrier are measured by the Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) / Globalnaya Navigazionnaya Sputnikovaya Sistema (GLONASS) RTK based Portable Pilot Units (PPU) installed on the bridge wing of the gas LNGC.

The PPU is an “all in one” unit with built in roll and pitch sensors. The CAT III unit is quick and easy to set up, as it only contains two GPS antennas and the PPU switches on automatically the moment the antennas are pulled apart.

Position and motion data of the FLNG is measured by the Motion Reference Unit (MRU) and the DGPS / GLONASS RTK based base station on the FLNG. The base and up to five PPUs are linked via a dedicated UHF frequency.

The offshore operation requires a precision approach, monitoring and mooring software for the offshore oil and gas industry. Through the SafePilot system, the pilot, master, tug operator and control room all have access to a real-time, accurate and independent picture of the relative positions and movement between the different objects and tankers in the operation. Trelleborg’s offshore software allows the ability to view all objects and shuttle tankers together, on a single display.

Trelleborg’s SSL and SafePilot solutions fall under the company’s SmartPort portfolio. SmartPort is Trelleborg’s answer to the need for a standardized way to collect and store data. It’s a technology platform that connects port operations, allowing users to analyse asset performance and apply data insights, to improve day-to-day decision making.

For more information on Trelleborg’s SmartPort solution, including its SSLs and SafePilot solution, click here.

CGG Starts Espirito Santo IV Survey Offshore Brazil

CGG announces the start of work on Espirito Santo IV, a large BroadSeis™ 3D multi-client survey in the deep and ultra-deep waters of the Espirito Santo Basin offshore Brazil.

12CGG EspiritoSanto IV BroadSeis mapMap showing location of CGG’s Espirito Santo IV multi-client survey offshore Brazil.

The Oceanic Champion is acquiring the survey which is expected to take seven months. This industry-supported survey will cover 10,300 sq km and be processed at CGG’s Rio de Janeiro Subsurface Imaging center. The high-end broadband sequence will include the latest 3D deghosting, Full-Waveform Inversion (FWI) velocity modeling and Tilted Transverse Isotropy (TTI) imaging. Fast-Track PSDM products will be delivered six months after completion of the acquisition.

Jean-Georges Malcor, CEO, CGG, said: “This new survey will expand our high-quality coverage across the Espirito Santo Basin, enhancing industry understanding of exploration potential in this promising region with an upcoming lease round. It reflects CGG’s commitment to invest in the innovative products required to support the successful development of Brazil’s oil and gas resources.”

Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL) Regional Forum: Preparedness for a Major Subsea Incident in Brazil

On Wednesday, August 16, OSRL's CEO Robert Limb lead a multifaceted OSRL team to Brazil to present a forum on Preparedness for a Major Subsea Incident. The forum was held at the Brazilian Petroleum & Gas Institute (IBP) in Rio de Janeiro, with a follow-on visit on Thursday, August 17, to the SWIS base at Angra dos Reis.

The forum brought together approximately 70 operators, government regulators, and stakeholders and almost 30 visitors to the SWIS base. Three constant themes, introduced by OSRL's Americas Regional Director, Kurt Kriter, provided the context for the entire forum:

  • Tiered Preparedness & Response
  • Planning & Logistics
  • Working Together

Matt Clements, Chris Moore, and Matt Simmons, provided information on OSRL’s global capping, containment and subsea injection (SSDI) capabilities, B727 Tersus aerial dispersant spray systems, and surface response capabilities. Brazil Country Manager, Aldo Pace, examined OSRL capabilities in Brazil and the Brazilian response environment, and logistics and regulatory coordination issues, including information about the new Water Column Monitoring Package soon to enter the OSRL inventory.

The forum also included a presentation on Petrobras’s Centers for Defense Environmental (CDA), and closed with a panel discussion with BP, the National Petroleum Agency (ANP), National Environmental Agency (IBAMA), and OSRL. Paul Schuler, OSRL's Director of Regional External Affairs moderated the forum and Mitch Quinn, OSRL's Senior Response Specialist, provided subsea engineering expertise.

13OSRL base visit pictureSRL's Angra base was opened to a small entourage of OSRL Members, potential members and representatives of ANP and IBAMA. Photo credit: OSRL

On Thursday, August 17, OSRL's Angra base was opened to a small entourage of OSRL Members, potential members and representatives of ANP and IBAMA, for a guided tour of the Capping and Containment equipment. Brazil is one of the most active offshore (and deep water) plays in the world.

The forum provided a good opportunity to build relationships with Members, exchange information vital to effective preparedness and response, and facilitated exchanges with regulatory authorities on key topical issues.