Bluestream Successfully Inspects Several HVDC Platforms

What do the offshore HVDC platforms DolWin alpha, BorWin alpha and DolWin beta in the German section of the North Sea have in common? The only right answer would be: all three power conversion platforms were fully inspected by Den Helder-based Bluestream, one of the leading providers of innovative inspection services for the offshore oil, gas and wind industry.

10bluestreamBluestream has the ability to deliver multidisciplinary services such as divers, ROVs, multi skilled rope access teams as well as ultramodern drones.

Bluestream’s ability to deliver multidisciplinary services was key in the awarding of these orders as divers, ROVs, multi skilled rope access teams as well as ultramodern drones were used for carrying out all three inspections. “One of the reasons why Bluestream was tasked with carrying out this extensive inspection work, was the technical efficiency with which we approached each project,” explains Commercial Manager Anton Janssens.

The first asset to be inspected was the DolWin alpha, the largest offshore conversion platform for windfarm energy in the German section of the North Sea. The platform was installed on a jacket consisting of six legs, and comprises five decks that rise 80 metres above the water surface. Project engineer Michael van Putten says: “All accessible areas in the platform were inspected by camera, and for the inspection of the outside and underside of the platform, we deployed a rope access team. As well as checking the overall condition of the platform, the central focus of the inspection was on the coating.”

CP Drop Cell

The jacket on which the DolWin alpha is mounted also had to be inspected. The inspection not only covered the section of the jacket protruding above the water, but also the six legs below water level. As an alternative for an ROV scope, Bluestream deployed the Cathodic Protection (CP) Drop Cell method for this particular activity. Van Putten continues: “Members of our rope access team climbed down the platform, and lowered the drop cells along the legs to the inspection locations, so the anodes could be measured. A clump weight was used to keep the rope in a straight line.”

Reporting

In close consultation with the client, Bluestream also developed a reporting model for assessing any damage identified. Every item of damage, however small, can be derived from the report data and prioritised according to degree of seriousness. In this way, the client is able to work towards an effective planning model. A special software package was developed in house for user-friendly and rapid information processing. In this way, the client is able to work towards an effective planning model. Commercial Manager Anton Janssens adds: “In principle Bluestream carries out a baseline inspection. As such we operate as the eyes and ears of our client. We observe and analyse the situation in accordance with a regulated ISO standard. We pass on our findings to the client, who at the end of the day retains overall final responsibility.”

After successful completion of this first inspection Bluestream was awarded an order to inspect all accessible areas on the HVDC platform BorWin alpha as well. The total height of the BorWin Alpha is 84 metres, of which 62 metres consists of the support jacket. Unlike the DolWin alpha project, this inspection was carried out following a painting programme, leading to a shorter inspection period. The CP Drop Cell method was again used for this project. The extra challenge on this occasion lay in the fact that the legs of this platform were at an angle, as compared with the legs of the DolWin alpha, which run straight up and down. Nonetheless, the Bluestream team found a smart solution to this problem.

In mid-2017, Bluestream received a further order to inspect the DolWin beta. This submersible floating platform is moored just 30 metres from the DolWin alpha. The concept behind this platform is different from that of the previous two platforms, which are mounted on separately installed jackets. The six legs of the DolWin beta are in fact an integral part of the platform itself. Bluestream was asked to carry out a general visual inspection using a drone operated by business partner Skeye, based in Alphen aan den Rijn. In just three days, pilots from Skeye inspected the outside sheeting, the legs and the underside of the deck of the DolWin beta platform using a drone. A small part of the inspection work still had to be carried out by one of Bluestream’s rope access teams. After all, there are always certain areas that require a close visual inspection. Drones are a complementary tool, and will never be able to completely replace rope access.

The awarding of a fourth order is evidence that Bluestream has stood out with the use of innovative inspection services over the past year. In September of this year, Bluestream will be returning to the BorWin alpha for an extensive inspection of all components of the platform, both above the water and subsea. This time the work will not be carried out by drone but by rope access, backed up by ROVs. None of this represents a problem to Bluestream, since the company can offer all these services in house.

Sparrows Group strengthens Middle East Operations with Dubai Petroleum Contract Awards

11SparrowGÇÖs ECR20 crane on rental in the Middle EastSparrows Group has strengthened its operations in the Middle East, securing two crane contracts with Dubai Petroleum, one for maintenance services and the other for the delivery of rental cranes.

The first contract, for five-year’s crane maintenance services, covers 76 cranes across all of Dubai Petroleum’s offshore fields.

Sparrows will provide maintenance and engineering support for all cranes and associated systems and deliver a maintenance strategy, with technical personnel working on-site including a dedicated crane operator instructor.

The contract has been re-awarded to Sparrows after they previously held it for 14 years until earlier this year.

The second contract, a new three-year agreement, is for the provision of rental cranes to support Dubai Petroleum’s well intervention activities. Sparrows will deliver modular temporary cranes and all associated equipment, including skidding systems.

As part of the scope, the company’s specialist engineering personnel will support the commissioning, operations and decommissioning of the cranes. This includes the delivery of installation plans and post set up structural assessments, as well as preventive maintenance programs to maximize reliability and ensure safety.

The cranes will be supplied with a variety of boom sections which will allow them to be easily modified to suit different lifting requirements across Dubai Petroleum’s offshore operations.

Stewart Mitchell, Sparrows chief executive officer, said: “Sparrows has a successful history with Dubai Petroleum, having worked with the operator for a number of years.

CGG Awarded Contract for Airborne Multi-Client Survey of Onshore and Offshore Licenses in Côte d’Ivoire

CGG has been awarded a contract by Côte d’Ivoire’s Direction Générale des Hydrocarbures (DGH) and PETROCI, the national oil company, to acquire with its local partner, Harvex Geosolutions, a multi-client program of gravity, gravity gradiometry and magnetic data over the Republic’s onshore and shallow offshore basins.

The scheduled five-month program will deploy CGG’s new Falcon® Full Spectrum gravity solution, the industry’s most sensitive airborne gravity platform, to acquire approximately 28,000 line km of data over onshore and shallow offshore licenses, subject to industry pre-funding commitments. The contract includes an option to acquire a further 26,000 line km over the deepwater offshore licenses.

The Falcon Full Spectrum data will be interpreted with existing exploration data to provide details about the basin structure, the sediment thickness and the basement nature in order to help identify areas of mature source rock, reservoir deposition and prospective structures. With some acreage already licenced, this will allow current and future licence holders to better assess their blocks and de-risk future exploration expenditure.

12CGG Ivory Coast Proposed Survey Outlines Index Image 72Map showing locations of the proposed phases of the airborne multi-client program. (This map is not an authority on international boundaries).

The Falcon Full Spectrum solution from CGG Multi-Physics deploys its exclusive Falcon gravity gradiometer with its newly released sGrav gravity system to obtain a high-accuracy gravity signal over a broad bandwidth, significantly improving imaging at depth and increasing spatial resolution for near-surface geology. The system also concurrently collects magnetic data for identifying any igneous intrusions into the sedimentary section and providing further basement imaging.

Jean-Georges Malcor, CEO, CGG, said: “This program represents an important step for Cote d’Ivoire to open up further plays in both its onshore and offshore basins. CGG is pleased to work with DGH and PETROCI, through our partnership with Harvex Geosolutions, to help fast-track exploration programs in Côte d’Ivoire. Our Falcon Full Spectrum technology will provide valuable insight into basin structure and help focus future seismic acquisition and drilling programs over priority areas, reducing the cost of future exploration efforts.”

KENT Immersion Suits are Serious Lifesaving Equipment

13KentImmersionSuitsAbandoning a capsized or sinking vessel in open water is a scenario professional mariners never want to face. Designed for commercial fishing, shipping, and offshore oil and gas crew, Kent Safety Products' USCG and USCG/SOLAS/MED Immersion Suits deliver superior protection from the elements for dramatically increasing the odds of survival.

Whether from air or sea, Kent Immersion Suits are designed to be seen. Built from 5mm flame-retardant, safety orange neoprene with SOLAS-grade reflective patches, no other company offers as much high-visibility yellow—the face mask, inflatable head pillow, three-fingered mitts and ankle adjustments all provide the contrast needed to be noticed from a distance.

Unlike the competition, the inflatable head pillow on a Kent Immersion Suit is positioned for maximum safety and freeboard, as it allows the wearer's head to be positioned higher in the water. It's also removable, making it easy to replace if damaged, and less expensive than an entire new suit.

An attached whistle, PLB pocket and attachment points are provided. The IMO RES 207(81) version includes a stainless steel lifting harness and instantly accessible buddy line with snap hook.

Conditions are typically less than ideal when abandoning ship. That's why Kent Immersion Suits are fast and easy to put on, even in low light and rough seas. They're generously cut and sized, and the gloves are positioned so the articulated sleeves turn at the elbow. The suits come in three sizes: intermediate for 110–250 lbs./5'–2" to 5'–10"; universal for 110–305 lbs./4'–11" to 6'–3"; and oversize for 250–350 lbs./6'–3" to 6'–10".

At Pacific Marine Expo, Nov. 16–18, Seattle, one lucky attendee will have a chance to outfit a crew of six with Immersion Suits by winning the "Outfit Your Boat" sweepstakes. Showgoers should stop by Kent's booth #620 to register.

Noble Energy Announces Election of Holli C. Ladhani to Board of Directors

14 1noble energy logoNoble Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NBL) ("Noble Energy") has announced the election of Holli C. Ladhani to its Board of Directors, effective October 26, 2017.

14 2ladhaniholli4x5jpgjpg 2Ms. Ladhani is Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Rockwater Energy Solutions, Inc. ("Rockwater"), a leading provider of comprehensive water management solutions to the unconventional oil and gas industry. She has served as President and Chief Executive Officer since June 2015 and became Chairman in February 2017. She originally joined Rockwater in 2011 as its Chief Financial Officer. Rockwater is expected to close a merger with Select Energy Services, Inc. ("Select"), a publicly-traded water solutions company, in the fourth quarter of 2017, at which time Ms. Ladhani will serve as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Select. Prior to joining Rockwater, Ms. Ladhani served as Chief Financial Officer of Dynegy Inc. ("Dynegy"), and held various other leadership positions within Dynegy. In addition, Ms. Ladhani also held positions of increasing responsibility at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP. She holds a B.A. in Accounting from Baylor University and an M.B.A (Jones Scholar) from Rice University.

Noble Energy's Chairman, President and CEO, David L. Stover, commented: "On behalf of Noble Energy's board, we welcome Holli to the Noble Energy team and look forward to her contributions as a director. Her executive leadership experience, together with her expertise in energy services and finance, will be invaluable in our boardroom."

PIRA Energy Market Recap for the Week Ending October 30, 2017

15PIRALogoRefinery Margins Remain Strong

Brent prices approach, and probably exceed, $60/Bbl in 4Q17 but that strength is not sustainable for 2018. WTI – Brent relatively weak but will firm somewhat when Cushing stocks draw. Refining margins will remain strong through 2018 with regional demand growth and poor refinery operations in Latin America pulling on Atlantic Basin product supply. Sophisticated regional refinery capacity layers are essentially full leaving only less economic options which drive up margins and runs in simpler capacity layers (hydroskimming in Europe) to cover demand/import requirements. Product stocks tighten, pushing prices into backwardation and cracks higher to marginal supply economics. Atlantic Basin gasoline stocks/coverage recover in 4Q from Hurricane Harvey but stay in historical range. Diesel stocks now in the lower half of “normal” range, lowest in over two years. Gasoline cracks seasonally weaker but stay healthy, no deep discounts. Diesel cracks will continue to gradually strengthen assuming a normal winter. Residual fuel oil cracks will remain firm.

In Developed Economies, Synchronized Growth but Unsynchronized Policy Response

U.S. GDP for the third quarter was solid, and September durable goods orders suggested a strengthening in the economy’s momentum. Given the healthy outlook for U.S., the Federal Reserve is expected to stay on the path of gradual policy normalization. The European Central Bank was expected to chart a path for tapering of quantitative easing this week, but it decided not to follow the Fed’s playbook – the ECB announced a scaling down of asset purchases for next year, but it also continued to make the QE program open-ended. In Japan, activity data have been encouraging, but the Bank of Japan is not yet in position to present a roadmap for monetary policy normalization.

Iraqi Kurdistan: Battle for Fishkabur May Be Imminent

Clashes between Iranian-backed Shia militias and Kurdish forces broke out this week 25 miles south of the Kurdish town of Fishkabur, where the pivotal oil pipeline border crossing to Turkey is located. PIRA understands Iranian-backed militias still hope to take the strategic pipeline hub, and thus physical control of all northern Iraqi pipeline exports (over 500 MB/D before the recent turmoil in Kirkuk). This makes a near-term battle more likely than not. The operation appears to be orchestrated by influential Iranian general Qassem Suleimani, indicating Tehran’s growing influence within the post-ISIS vacuum. Notably, the Shia militias have not yet agreed to a ceasefire announced by the KRG and Iraqi government forces on October 27. A battle for the pipeline crossing could place all northern pipeline exports at risk, while Iran’s desire to solidify control in both Iraq and Syria portends greater regional instability.

Supply is Coming…Is Winter?

As discussed at the 38th PIRA Annual Client Seminar, seasonal price recovery this year is dependent on more normal heating demand taking hold in the U.S., in contrast to a year ago. Indeed, the relatively comfortable level of pre-winter inventories (especially in the Midwest and East), coupled with a healthy well inventory, necessitate that the arrival of cold weather occur early rather than later in the season. In order to expand the Y/Y storage deficit in December, the de-stocking would have to approach year-ago levels. Therefore, while PIRA maintains its constructive stance relative to the current forward curve, we downwardly revised prices for the winter by an average of 5¢. Our constructive stance on price is predicated on the expansion of the inventory deficit as the season unfolds. While the impressive call on supply from new structural and export demand growth could reach 3 BCF/D, higher prices still necessitate a return of normal weather.

Back-End of the Curve Upside

Warmer weather helped make the French nuclear shortfall more manageable during October, but the outlook remains highly uncertain. With the extension of the Tricastin outage through the end of November, Y/Y gains for French nuclear appear now unlikely. Sustained exports toward its Southern neighbors, together with ongoing risk of delays in the restart of the reactors, are overall constructive for French prices, and we have revised upward our forecasts for November and December.

In addition to shrinking thermal capacities, a fluid policy framework offers upside for the back-end of the curve. The agreement on the introduction of a carbon floor of €18/MT in the Netherlands should translate into an increase by €1-1.4/MWh on German prices, driven by increased exports to Netherlands. While we’re still far from the formation of a new government in Germany, the resiliency of German C02 emissions is now coming more prominently to the fore, especially as the Greens are part of the coalition talks. Our price forecasts are already above the curve, without factoring in so far any policy change, other than the Dutch carbon floor.

August Coal Stockpiles Draw Less Than Normal on Mild Weather, Stalled Gas Price Rally

The EIA reported end-August electric power sector coal stockpiles of 144.2 MMst on October 24, a decline of 3.9 MMst M/M. That was 1.4 MMst short of the five-year average stock draw for August and less than half of the stock draw during August 2016. Mild August 2017 temperatures, which were centered over the coal-dominated Midwest, lowered coal burn during the month. In addition, coal burn was impacted by Henry Hub spot gas prices that averaged $2.90/MMBtu in August, just $0.08/MMBtu higher than the August average last year.

U.S. Commercial Stocks Drop Slightly

Overall U.S. commercial stocks saw the largest decline in several months, falling by 12.2 million barrels for the latest week led by sharp declines in gasoline and distillate inventory. The pace of decline is outpacing last year, leading to a widening of the storage deficit to 59.8 million barrels. Gasoline stocks fell by 5.5 million barrels, one of the largest weekly declines of the year-to-date placing storage 9.1 million barrels below last year. For the next week inventory continues to draw falling by 1.1 million barrels. Similarly distillate inventory fell by around 5.2 million barrels, placing the deficit to last year at 23.1 million barrels. Distillate continues to decline sharply next week by 2.7 million barrels. Refinery runs bounced back from the impact of Hurricane Nate to reach just over 16 MMB/D, up 590 MB/D for the week. Runs are expected to reach 16.2 MMB/D for the next week, as the peak of the turnaround season has passed. Crude storage added nearly 0.9 million barrels, while Cushing stocks drew by 0.2 million barrels. Crude stocks are expected to draw by over 2.2 million barrels for the next week, while Cushing storage builds by 0.3 million barrels.

Bearish Storage Comes With Higher Upside Risk from LNG and the Power Sector

Warm weather reduced gas demand by over 2.24-BCM across Europe, the second biggest October total in the last 10 years. In addition, wind speeds in Northwest Europe were up 33% Y/Y, leading to higher German wind output of 127% Y/Y or 9.2-GW. Historically speaking, realized wind speeds were relatively normal and upwards of 18% below October highs of the last 10 years pointing to problematic gas consumption for the Octobers to come. Unfortunately, gas is still very much tied to coal pricing, which has been fundamentally buoyed by low stocks and high demand in Asia. PIRA doesn’t see these forces abating till next year.

Cape Freight Rates Stay High but Chinese Cutbacks Loom

Capesize dry bulk freight rates have held on to recent gains, with the five-route rate holding near $22,000/day. However, Chinese demand for dry bulk commodities is set to contract over the winter months due to mandatory cutbacks in several industries, particularly steel and aluminum. PIRA expects Cape freight rates to fall steadily through 4Q17 and 1Q18, underperforming current FFA rates before picking up later in the year.

2016 California Emissions: Lower PowerGen Counters Gains in Transport

The once-a-year release of annual cap-and-trade covered emissions data can be a market-moving event. Even in oversupplied markets, it offers an opportunity to calibrate and quantify the surplus. Similar to previous years, data for the 2016 compliance year in the California emissions market will be available on November 6th at 12pm Pacific Time. PIRA expects overall California 2016 covered emissions to be down vs. 2015 levels, as declining emissions across the power sector (in-state generation, cogeneration, power imports) negate rising emissions from transportation. While prior California data releases did not have a short-term impact on California Carbon Allowance (CCA) prices, the magnitude of the decline expected this year could provide downward price pressure.

Japan Max Turnarounds, Demand Slowly Picking Up

The data this week came in much as expected. Runs were little changed, crude stocks were higher, along with a broad based finished product inventory draw and higher product demands. The impact of typhoon Lan does not appear to have entered this past week’s data, but next week will be another story, along with impacts from tropical storm Saola. Gasoline stocks were little change, while gasoil stocks drew due to higher exports. Kerosene demand remained strong as pre-heating season fill programs continued. Kero stocks resumed drawing at a rate of 60 MB/D, with the 4-week build rate easing to 46 MB/D. Refining margins again eased slightly on the week, but remain acceptable. Indicative marketing margin had improved for the last month, but eased this past week. For both gasoline and gasoil/diesel are below statistical norms, with gasoil/diesel showing the larger variance.

NGL Purity Product Prices Rebound

NGL purity product prices recorded gains last week following increases in crude prices. Propane’s price strengthened relative to crude prices and closed the week at 73% the WTI crude price. Divergent moves in oil and natural gas prices will further pressure high LPG prices into November, while ethane prices should soften with natural gas prices. The strength in propane prices is due to a perception of tight supplies because of relatively low inventories. Propane stocks fell by 1.2 million barrels for the week ending October 20. Propane inventories trail the five-year average by 8.5% and are 23% lower than at this time last year. Propane exports declined 7.8% to 905,000 b/d for the week ending October 20. Propane exports are expected to remain in the neighborhood of 900,000 b/d for the week ending October 27. U.S. raw mix NGL production increased 35,000 b/d for the week. NGL production returned to normal last week after disruptions caused by Hurricane Nate.

Ethanol Prices Slide in U.S. and Europe

U.S. ethanol prices slid the week ending October 20. Manufacturing margins were stable as corn cost also declined. The EPA stated it is not likely to reduce the mandates for 2018 from those proposed earlier this year. RIN values jumped on the announcement. European ethanol prices also declined as beet-ethanol hit the market. U.S. biodiesel prices rose to a three-week high.

Seasonal Rally Underway in Crude Trades but Product Tanker Rates Weaker

After spending a prolonged period near or below cash break-even levels, crude tanker markets registered a strong seasonal recovery on near-record Chinese crude imports in September and earlier than normal delays in the Turkish Straits. In contrast, MR product tanker rates in the Atlantic Basin collapsed as U.S. refineries shut down by Hurricane Harvey resumed operations creating less need for imports while exports were still restrained by fall maintenance.

Kurdish Deal with Baghdad Lowers Risks to Northern Oil Flows

The KRG has reportedly struck a deal for joint control with Baghdad of the border crossings including Fishkahbur. Iraq will monitor oil flows from the KRG, revenues will go to Baghdad, and Baghdad will pay KRG salaries (including Peshmerga) but will do it through the Governorates, not the KRG bureaucracy. This is apparently a preliminary agreement, with the details to be sorted out over the next couple of weeks. The risk of a confrontation over Fishkabur has therefore been substantially reduced.

Credit Markets Remain Constructive

Credit conditions remain highly constructive, with the S&P 500 continuing to set new records, though volatility again gained slightly on the week. Many of the credit indices, such as high yield debt (HYG), emerging market debt (EMB), along with some of the other credit indicators in the energy space lost ground slightly. Total commodities gained despite a strong move higher in the U.S. dollar. Energy was particularly strong and outperformed. The St. Louis financial stress indicator continued its downward trend.

No Pain No Gain for Canadian Producers Challenged by ‘Congestion Pricing’

The routing of Canadian price markers has continued this month. Despite the ongoing development of capacity enhancement projects, commercial behavior and capacity restrictions have pushed AECO-C differentials to marked lows not observed for the last 15 years. With pipeline maintenance weighing more heavily than ever on the long-dated contracts, the market is seemingly putting very little stock in early forecasts of a return to ‘normal’ winter. Yet, continued infrastructure expansions coupled with advantageous contracting on TransCanada’s Mainline should provide basis relief beginning next month.

What do JKM Prices Say about Spot Demand in a World Where Contract Volumes Growth Dominates?

The 40% surge in JKM spot prices over the past month belies the fact that the demand surge in Asia over the past year has been almost entirely (91%) underpinned by long term, take-or-pay oil indexed contracts. While oil-indexed prices too have gotten some support in recent weeks on political risk factors and a move towards rebalancing in 4Q, the 8% increase in JCC prices over Sept. bears little relationship to the current spot market jump. The fact is that the spot market in Asia is comparatively small and fairly illiquid and such volatility is to be expected when there is an unexpected turn in buying behavior, either following an outage of a nuclear plant or a temperature spike, regardless of how small that call on actual cargos may be.

Ukranian Industrials to Receive Price Rise

NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine from November 1, 2017 will raise the price of natural gas for industrial consumers and other economic entities. This has been reported by the company’s press service. “The prices will be raised by 7.5% in November, comparing with the prices in October of the current year,” reads the report. The proposed prices for natural gas from the company's resource have been differentiated depending on the volume of purchases, terms of payment and the state of previous settlements with Naftogaz, the company reported.

Coal Market Strength Persists, Winter Risks Skewed to the Upside

Despite easing for most of the week, seaborne coal prices finished the week higher W/W, amid a rally in the overall energy complex. Over the next 90 days, the pricing risks remain to the upside in PIRA’s view, with low stockpiles in key markets, upcoming seasonal demand, and underperforming coal supply. However, after the winter peak season passes, the risks become more balanced to bearish, which should see prices fade precipitously over 2Q/3Q.

Fire at Tehran’s Refinery

At this point the fire has reportedly been contained but the magnitude of damages are not yet known. Apparently the fire was caused by an oil leakage in a yet to be identified unit that was undergoing maintenance. According to PIRA’s World Refinery Database, the facility runs mostly medium sour grades, yielding 22% gasoline (50 MB/D), 41% gasoil (85 MB/D), 7% jet-kero (15 MB/D), 13% fuel oil (25 MB/D) and around 3% naphtha (5 MB/D).

Global Equities Setting More Record Highs

Global equity markets continue to set more broad based records in a host of countries and across a host of market indices. In the U.S., the S&P 500 was modestly higher on the week, and again set records. Technology, consumer discretionary, and banking were the best performers, while retail was the laggard. Energy was down slightly. Internationally, Japan performed the best, +1.6%, while Latin America lost a similar amount of ground.

U.S. Ethanol Production rose to Six-Week High

U.S. ethanol production rose by 20 MB/D to a six-week high 1,039 MB/D last week, as nearly all plants have resumed normal operations following seasonal maintenance. The 72 MB/D gain over the past fourteen days was the largest two-week increase ever reported. Total inventories dropped by 446 thousand barrels last week to 21.0 million barrels, led by a huge draw in the Gulf Coast region. Ethanol-blended gasoline production rose for the fourth time in five weeks, increasing by 51 MB/D to 9,182 MB/D.

Mild Weather & Congestion Compresses Supply Hubs — Alongside Henry

While yesterday’s EIA release of 64 BCF is generally in line with the mid-60’s consensus, the re-stocking landed well below both the year-ago and five-year average builds. Furthermore, the growing concerns of a repeat of last season’s mild weather and more pronounced production appreciation this year continue to weigh heavily on the November contract. Indeed, the nearby contract has declined more than 10¢ since entering the month, with the heating season average not far off, down by ~7¢ thus far. Wrapping up October, the HH cash price is on track to end the month 7¢ below September’s level — with broad weaknesses observed across the cohort of supply regions in both the East and West.

Brazil’s Refining Sector Hopes to Welcome Private Investment

Earlier this week the head of Petrobras’s refining branch stated that by the end of the year the company will likely approve the strategy to sell stakes in its domestic refining system.

Saudi Arabia: Foreign Exchange Reserve Draw Tempered in September

Saudi’s foreign exchange (fx) reserves for end-September were just released. They declined -$2.4 billion, a noted improvement from the -$6.9 billion draw posted in August, and the -$6.2 billion draw seen in July. Saudi still needs prices higher than the current Dubai price of $57 ($55.40 Oct mtd), to stabilize reserves. PIRA’s expectation is for an extension of OPEC’s production agreement beyond March 2018, which should favor a continuing improvement in Saudi financials.

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.

First Phase of DNV GL Led Offshore Cable and Pipeline Operations Equipment Joint Industry Project Completed

The Joint Industry Project (JIP), focusing on the development of a new design and certification standard for equipment for pipeline and cable offshore operations, aims to reduce uncertainty, cost, increase efficiency and safety throughout the lifecycle of the equipment.

Pipeline and cable operations is a dynamic field of technology, with multiple players, leading to a level of complexity and lack of standardization in the most common terms used within the oil and gas industry.

1DNVGL Simon Mockler 6Photo credit: Simon Mockler

Offshore wind cable vessel

Phase 1, “Mapping the big picture”, focused on the identification and clarification of the following essential aspects:

  • The differences between the equipment types and the standard lifting appliances;
  • The building blocks and functional groups in the pipeline and cable operation deck spread.

A key attribute of phase 1 was the drafting of a glossary for the definition of the common terms used across the industry. “This in itself is a huge step forward in the standardization process but there is still some work to be done during the course of Phase 2 on this task” says Dr. Eng. Marius Popa, JIP project manager, DNV GL – Oil & Gas.

The data analyzed during phase 1 has identified and recorded various processes across the industry regarding equipment for pipeline and cable offshore operations. The activities of Phase 2 will be focused on the development of a separate standard for the pipeline and cable operations equipment that will harmonize the position of individual stakeholders and consolidate the trend for a standard approach throughout the lifecycle of the equipment.

Marius Popa, adds: “The development of a standard for this type of equipment will create an industry wide consensus on an agreed set of practices to follow for the design and certification of these products as equipment, or as integrated parts in a system, dedicated to, and customized for, a specific asset. This will allow stakeholders to increase transparency and reduce the risk in the early phases of the equipment development and ensure consistency across the supply chain”. Due, to start shortly, Phase 2 is planned to take 12 to 18 months.

The current JIP Partners are: Allseas Engineering BV, Amclyde Norson Engineering (a division of National Oilwell Varco), Aquatic Engineering and Construction (an Acteon company), IHC Engineering Business Ltd, IHC SAS B.V., INNOVO Engineering and Construction Ltd., MAATS Tech Ltd, Passer AS, Parkburn Precision Handling Systems Ltd, REEL S.A.S., Saipem, Subsea 7 and TechnipFMC.

New participants may, in principle, be accepted into Phase 2 should any company be able and willing to positively contribute to the project.

Secretary Zinke Announces Largest Oil & Gas Lease Sale in U.S. History

2iStock 000003663063SmallU.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke announced that the Department is proposing the largest oil and gas lease sale ever held in the United States --76,967,935 acres in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico, offshore Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. The proposed region-wide lease sale, offering an area about the size of New Mexico, is scheduled for March 2018 and includes all available unleased areas on the Gulf’s Outer Continental Shelf, surpassing last year’s region-wide lease sale by about one million acres.

“In today’s low-price energy environment, providing the offshore industry access to the maximum amount of opportunities possible is part of our strategy to spur local and regional economic dynamism and job creation and a pillar of President Trump’s plan to make the United States energy dominant,” Secretary Zinke said. “And the economic terms proposed for this sale include a range of incentives to encourage diligent development and ensure a fair return to taxpayers.”

Proposed Lease Sale 250, which will be livestreamed from New Orleans, will be the second offshore sale under the National Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2017-2022. Lease Sale 249, held in New Orleans last August, received $121 million in high bids. In addition to the high bids and rental payments, the Department will receive royalty payments on any future production from these leases. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) lease revenues are directed to the U.S. Treasury, Gulf Coast states, the Land and Water Conservation Fund and Historic Preservation Fund.

“In order to strengthen America’s energy dominance, we must anticipate and plan for our needs for decades to come," said Senator Lisa Murkowski, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources. "The administration’s decision to move forward with the largest offshore lease sale in our nation’s history is a key part of that effort. Whether in Alaska or the Gulf of Mexico, we should all support responsible development because it creates high-paying jobs, strengthens national security, and keeps energy affordable for our families and businesses.”

“President Trump’s team is following through on their commitment to advancing America’s energy independence," said Senator Roger Wicker. "Unlike the previous administration, this one understands that expanded offshore energy development benefits working families, consumers, and our national security. This is a win for Mississippi and the entire country.”

“President Trump and his administration are following through on their promise to end the war on American energy," said Senator Bill Cassidy. "Investing in energy creates better jobs with better benefits for working families, strengthens our national security and strengthens our energy independence.”

“This is great news that our oil and gas industry in Louisiana sorely needs. This is the largest sale in U.S. history, and it will create jobs and bolster our state and national economy," said Senator John Kennedy. "Our Louisiana workers are ready to go back to work.”

“President Donald Trump made clear his desire to ensure Americans can use our own natural resources to produce the energy vital to our economy and national security," said Alabama Governor Kay Ivey. "As he has done time and again, President Trump has proven to the people of Alabama that he is a man of his word, and we are grateful to him and to Secretary Ryan Zinke for their determination to open a vast tract of American waters to oil and gas exploration. This decision is not only in the best interest of all Americans, it allows Gulf Coast states, like Alabama, to utilize our natural resources not only to provide energy for our nation, but increased economic opportunities for our people.”

"Mississippi welcomes Secretary Zinke’s action to carry out the president’s vision for American energy dominance," said Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant. "This will strengthen our state’s status as a leader in oil and gas exploration and create good jobs for hardworking Mississippians."

“If we’re serious about energy dominance and long-term energy affordability, we must create certainty about future access in the Outer Continental Shelf," said Congressman Rob Bishop, Chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources. "Secretary Zinke should be commended for his leadership to create that certainty and realign Interior as a partner for industry to advance responsible energy development. This is a welcomed announcement on that front. Congressionally, we will continue to move forward on a comprehensive overhaul of onshore and offshore federal lands energy policy to help Interior expand even greater access, streamline permitting and increase revenues to both states and the U.S. Treasury.”

“Secretary Zinke’s announcement is welcome news and I look forward to continuing to work with the administration to put consumer’s interests first while promoting job creation and modernizing our nation’s energy infrastructure," said Congressman Greg Walden, Chairman of the House Committee on Energy & Commerce. "The president and his administration have placed energy independence and security at the top of their agenda, and this committee has been leading the way in examining policies that seek to streamline siting and permitting of the nation’s oil and gas pipelines.”

"President Trump has stated that he wants our country to exert 'energy dominance' throughout the world, and this lease sale is another bold step in that direction," said House Majority Whip Steve Scalise. "I applaud today's announcement by Secretary Ryan Zinke to offer the largest offshore oil and gas lease sale in U.S. history. My constituents in Southeast Louisiana will be leading the way in this exploration and development that will create good jobs and kickstart more economic growth. This bold action helps us continue fighting for the responsible development of our natural resources that bring critical dollars to restore our coast."

“As a long-time advocate for opening up more of the Gulf of Mexico, it’s refreshing to work with an Administration that understands it’s true energy potential," said Congressman Pete Olson. "Oil production, when done safely and responsibly, is a win for Texas and the Gulf Coast economy, and adds to America’s energy security. I applaud Secretary Zinke for moving forward with this lease sale and hope these opportunities to tap into our energy potential continue.”

“Secretary Zinke’s announcement of the largest oil and gas lease sale in our country’s history is welcome news. The oil and gas industry provides thousands of direct and indirect jobs to the people of Mississippi," said Congressman Gregg Harper. "This lease sale has the potential to create new opportunities for our state and nation as advances in technology continue to make the United States a world leader in natural resource production.”

“I applaud Secretary Zinke and the Department of Interior for their efforts to spur energy production and support communities along the Gulf Coast. Revenue from these leases will be a huge boost for Gulf states, like Alabama, and will help us continue conservation and preservation of our treasured coastal areas," said Congressman Bradley Byrne. "Through developments like this, we can ensure American energy dominance and make life better for Gulf Coast families.”

The estimated amount of resources projected to be developed as a result of the proposed region-wide lease sale ranges from 0.21 to 1.12 billion barrels of oil and from 0.55 to 4.42 trillion cubic feet of gas. Most of the activity (up to 83% of future production) from the proposed lease sale is expected to occur in the Central Planning Area.

Proposed Lease Sale 250 includes 14,375 unleased blocks, located from 3 to 230 miles offshore, in the Gulf’s Western, Central and Eastern planning areas in water depths ranging from 9 to more than 11,115 feet (three to 3,400 meters). Excluded from the lease sale are blocks subject to the Congressional moratorium established by the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006; blocks that are adjacent to or beyond the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone in the area known as the northern portion of the Eastern Gap; and whole blocks and partial blocks within the current boundary of the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.

“American energy production can be competitive while remaining safe and environmentally sound,” said Vincent DeVito, Counselor for Energy Policy at Interior. “People need jobs, the Gulf Coast states need revenue, and Americans do not want to be dependent on foreign oil. We have heard their message loud and clear.”

The lease sale terms include stipulations to protect biologically sensitive resources, mitigate potential adverse effects on protected species, and avoid potential conflicts associated with oil and gas development in the region. The terms and conditions for Lease Sale 250 in the Proposed Notice of Sale are not final. Different terms and conditions may be employed in the Final Notice of Sale, which will be published at least 30 days before the sale.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) estimates that the OCS contains about 90 billion barrels of undiscovered technically recoverable oil and 327 trillion cubic feet of undiscovered technically recoverable gas. The Gulf of Mexico OCS, covering about 160 million acres, has technically recoverable resources of over 48 billion barrels of oil and 141 trillion cubic feet of gas.

All terms and conditions for Gulf of Mexico Region-wide Sale 250 are detailed in the Proposed Notice of Sale (PNOS) information package, which is available here. Copies of the PNOS maps can be requested from BOEM’s Gulf of Mexico Region’s Public Information Unit at 1201 Elmwood Park Boulevard, New Orleans, LA 70123, or at 800-200-GULF (4853).

The Notice of Availability of the PNOS will be available for inspection in the Federal Register on October 26, 2017 here.

Rowan Announces Launch of ARO Drilling

3Rowan Companies LogoRowan Companies plc ("Rowan" or the "Company") (NYSE: RDC) has announced that ARO Drilling, a 50/50 joint venture with the Saudi Arabian Oil Company ("Saudi Aramco"), commenced operations on October 17, 2017.

Tom Burke, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "We are extremely pleased to announce the launch of ARO Drilling. This is a groundbreaking joint venture that supports Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030, and provides Rowan with an unparalleled long-term growth opportunity throughout the next decade and beyond."

As part of the initial startup of ARO Drilling, Rowan and Saudi Aramco contributed equal amounts of cash into the joint venture. Following these contributions, Rowan sold three of its jack-up drilling rigs to ARO Drilling, including the J.P. Bussell, which was previously idle, and Saudi Aramco sold one of its jack-up drilling rigs to ARO Drilling. Following the purchase of these drilling rigs, ARO Drilling distributed excess cash in the amount of approximately $88 million to each of Rowan and Saudi Aramco maintaining each party's 50% ownership interests in the joint venture.

Pursuant to the ARO Drilling shareholders' agreement, Saudi Aramco will sell an additional jack-up rig in 2017 to ARO Drilling and Rowan will sell an additional two jack-up rigs to ARO Drilling once they complete their current contracts in late 2018.

ARO Drilling also now manages the operations of Rowan's seven remaining jack-up rigs currently in Saudi Arabia. Rowan and Saudi Aramco have agreed that ARO Drilling will purchase twenty future newbuild rigs that will be constructed by a Saudi Aramco manufacturing joint venture and are expected to be delivered between 2021 and 2030. Each newbuild is expected to have a sixteen-year drilling commitment upon delivery to ARO Drilling.

Add Energy Plans to Unlock World’s Smaller Offshore Gas Assets with Transborders

4Add FLNG ON CARRIER HULL FAR 3 300dpi 0022Add Energy, an international energy consultancy provider, has partnered with Transborders Energy (TBE) and joined forces with TechnipFMC and MODEC to create a unique and fast deployment business model for the FLNG (floating liquefied natural gas) industry that will free up small-scale stranded resources around the world and establish a new concept in global gas field development.

The new business model targets discovered gas resources of ≈ 0.5 to 2.0 trillion cubic feet of gas that have little value to their current owners because they are either in remote locations where tieback is capital intensive, or lack an economically viable development concept.

Key to the model is the deployment of an innovative small scale FLNG vessel. Rather than investing up to five years in identifying a gas resource, understanding its size and potential and creating a bespoke development concept, the new model establishes a pre-defined concept incorporating the use of a ≈1.0 million ton per annum FLNG vessel and applies it to fields that fit the concept.

This low-cost concept represents a radical change in gas field development and will unlock hundreds of the world’s previously uneconomic smaller natural gas plays.

TBE Managing Director Daein Cha said: “The economies of scale pursued by mega projects have not eventuated. They are too capital intensive and risky in terms of resilience and flexibility for what is a commoditizing business.

“However, the deployment of our pre-determined, low cost small scale FLNG concept on already discovered but stranded resources with innovative financial and commercial structures delivered by a small but high caliber team establishes a new value proposition to the resource owners and LNG buyers.”

Add Energy will manage the drilling operations, maintenance, safety and risk management of the projects and is the exclusive partner to engineer, procure, drill and operate the wells.

TechnipFMC is a global leader in engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) of oil and gas projects. It is an industry leader for FLNG and subsea, umbilicals, risers and flowlines (SURF) and is the exclusive partner for TBE to EPCI the SURF and the FLNG vessel.

MODEC is a global expert in EPCI, operations and maintenance of floating production systems. It is the technical adviser for the EPCI of the hull, LNG tank and turret mooring system of the FLNG vessel, together with the operations and maintenance of TBE’s FLNG vessel.

Offshore Australia has been identified as suitable for an initial pilot project, with a target resource to be confirmed early 2018 and the project to be reach Final Investment Decision by 2020. TBE is also in discussion with resource owners of other jurisdictions to pursue global opportunities.

Eduardo Robaina, VP for Well Engineering, Add Energy, said: “LNG development is currently focused on fields with large scale volumes between 5 and 10 trillion cubic feet or more. However, a supply shortage in LNG is expected from mid 2020 due to demand growth and a failure to proceed with new mega project developments.

“Large scale LNG projects typically involve up to five years of front-end engineering and design work and a further six years for EPC activities, but new projects need to progress now to capture this upside.

“The Transborders’ concept enables the development of previously uneconomic resources at a much faster pace than that of mega projects and will help feed the growing demand for energy, initially in Asia and elsewhere. Add Energy’s role will be to ensure well construction, maintenance and well intervention activities ,are carried out in accordance with best practices and industry standards.”

Fugro Secures New Contract for Marine Site Investigation in Mexico

5Fugro Explorer for Pemex rel comprFugro, in conjunction with long-time associates, Constructora Subacuática Diavaz, S.A. de C.V., has been awarded a large survey contract by Mexico's national oil company, Pemex. Valued at approximately USD 10 million, the contract covers work between August and December 2017.

Offshore operations, including multi-site high resolution geophysical and geotechnical surveys together with laboratory testing and geoconsulting services, will support design and/or installation of platforms, pipelines, jack-up platforms and deepwater facilities.

Aker Solutions Wins Order for World's Largest Umbilicals System

6Aker Solutions.svgAker Solutions has won an order valued at more than NOK 1.6 billion to deliver the largest umbilicals system ever.

The contract entails delivery of 250 kilometers of steel-tube umbilicals linking a subsea development to an existing offshore platform.

"We are honored to have been selected to work on this project, which is groundbreaking in terms of the size and technology of the umbilicals system," said Luis Araujo, chief executive officer of Aker Solutions.

The work will be led by Aker Solutions in Oslo and manufacturing will take place at the company's umbilicals plant in Moss, Norway. Delivery is set for the end of 2018.

The parties have agreed to not disclose the name of the project or customer at this point.

Umbilical systems are full service connections used to transport data, power and liquids between oil and gas installations on the seafloor to onshore facilities or platforms.

Drilling Starts at South Timbalier 224 in Gulf of Mexico

7OttoEnergy ST224Otto Energy Limited (ASX:OEL) announces that drilling of the ST 224 #1 well has commenced within the South Timbalier 224 (‘ST 224’) lease in the Gulf Of Mexico shelf. Drilling is targeting a large, amplitude supported, high CGR (condensate gas ratio) gas condensate exploration prospect located in the prolific Bul. 1 trend. Otto holds a 25% working interest in ST 224 which is operated by W&T Offshore.

The ST 224 well to target 3.2MMbbls oil + 90Bcf gas (Mid-case, 100% Project)*

The Operator advised that the ST 224 #1 well had commenced and as at 6am on October 19, US Central Daylight Time the well was at 1,240 feet.

LOUISIANA/GULF OF MEXICO – SOUTH TIMBALIER 224 Location: Offshore Gulf of Mexico Gross Area: 20.23 km2 (5,000 acres)
Otto’s Initial Working Interest: 25% Water Depth: 170 feet
Prospect Target Depth: 10,800 feet (TVD), 11,439 feet (MD)

The prospect, which sits in approximately 170 feet of water, is being drilled using the Enterprise 264 jack up drilling rig. The well has a relatively shallow target depth of 10,800ft (TVD) (11,439ft (MD)) and is expected to take around 55 days to drill and evaluate.

Otto intends to report on well progress as material milestones are achieved.

The ST 224 well to target 3.2MMbbls oil + 90Bcf gas (Mid-case, 100% Project)*

Otto’s Managing Director, Matthew Allen, commented:
“Drilling has commenced as planned and we now look forward to testing this highly prospective opportunity. With an experienced Gulf of Mexico operator in W&T Offshore and a high calibre rig and drilling crew under contract we are confident that exploration drilling and any subsequent development activities will be conducted in a quick, safe and cost effective manner.”

*The resources referred to in this report were reported on 5 October 2017 (refer to the Company’s announcement on October 5, 2017).

Definitions:
TVD True Vertical Depth (vertical distance from the wellhead to the target level)
MD Measured Depth (distance along the well bore from the wellhead – for inclined wells, this will be longer than the TVD)

Okeanus Upgrades Nortek Signature55 System for Real-Time Data Interpretation

8 1Nortek Signature55 55kHz frontview8 2OkeanuslogoOkeanus Science & Technology, LLC (Okeanus) announces that it has recently upgraded its Nortek Signature55 ADCP System and purchased the software necessary for it to be able to be deployed from a vessel or stationary platforms while allowing the data to be read in real-time. This upgrade was in response to a need presented to Okeanus by one of its clients operating in the US sector of the Gulf of Mexico.

Okeanus worked with Nortek, who designs and manufactures the Signature55, along with Automasjon og Data (A&D) who developed the DADAS software which allows the ADCP to read the profiling data in real-time.

“We are pleased to see that our Signature55 has gained acceptance within the oil and gas industry as a reliable long-range ADCP. The instrument provides low lifetime ownership cost, and was built to meet stringent requirements set out by the US federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM),” says Atle Lohrmann, CEO of Norwegian tech firm Nortek.

“This upgrade is another example of Okeanus’ commitment to innovation, and our commitment to providing our customers with the most technologically advanced equipment available”, says Benton LeBlanc, president of Okeanus.

“Our interest is in supporting our customers’ initiatives by deploying capital into cutting edge technology that will make them more efficient and competitive in the oceanographic marketplace. Through lease or sale, we can provide our customers with turnkey solutions that will help them to get the job done”, LeBlanc adds.

This new and upgraded system will be on display at the 2017 MTS BBQ being held on October 26th, 2017 at Seanic Ocean Systems in Houston, TX.

Expro Launches Industry-Leading TCP Gun System for Extreme High Pressure Applications

9Expro Gun loaderLeading international oilfield services company, Expro, has launched a new extreme high pressure tubing conveyed perforating (TCP) gun system, delivering the largest perforation hole area available for frac and gravel pack completions.

Designed specifically for challenging deep water environments in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM), the Extreme Pressure Series 30,000 PSI TCP gun system utilises super big hole charge technology, providing best-in-class area-open-to-flow (AOF) to support frac-and gravel-pack operations. Delivering 18-22 shots per foot using steel HMX charges, standard casing sizes of 7” through 7-3/4”, in combination with the 4 3/4” OD system, will achieve 6-7” AOF. However larger casing sizes of 9-5/8 through 10-3/4”, utilising the 6 5/8” OD system, will deliver a market-leading 13-15” AOF.

Developed in collaboration with high performance gun system provider, GEODynamics, the system is complemented by Expro’s fully rated dual hydraulic firing heads and drill stem testing (DST) tools for underbalanced perforating applications. These systems offer cutting edge technology to deliver efficient completions, alongside optimal well performance.

Expro’s DST/TCP Product Line Director, Ron Fordyce said:
“Expro has built a strong reputation as a leading TCP provider in the GoM, working with a range of major clients over the past 30 years. Following a growth in activity associated with deep wells in deeper waters, we knew it was important to deliver the right technology solution for this environment.

“GEODynamics has an unsurpassed reputation for their gun systems and associated products. Alongside our reputation for safety and service quality, the new Extreme Pressure Series, provided exclusively by Expro, can now deliver similar performance for extreme high pressure as it would for lower pressure wells.”

Expro’s DST/TCP Global Business Development Manager, Kerry Daly added:
“The 30,000 PSI TCP guns and associated equipment were specifically designed for the deep water environment, where operators typically frac or gravel pack wells after perforating and require the most AOF possible. Now fully field tested, they can deliver an industry leading perforating hole size for achieving optimal completions and subsequent performance from the well.

“It allows us to bring a key piece of technology to the market place, to support a range of clients due to spud their wells in 2018 – a key driver of this partnership from the outset.”

Expro’s TCP operations are supported from its service centre in Broussard, Louisiana, alongside the Company’s broader suite of subsea, well test, well intervention and fluid product lines across North and Latin America (NLA).

The Company is launching the new TCP gun system at the LAGCOE conference being held in Lafayette, Louisiana, 24-26th October 2017. This includes a range of technical demonstrations on stand ROS22 during the week, as well as a technical showcase conference presentation by Kerry Daly in Room 1 Blues/Convention Centre 2nd Level on October 25th, 10am – 11:30am. For full details, click here.

Wood Wins FEED Contract for First-of-Its-Kind LNG Production Platform

10Wood logo GREY 45mmThe Honghua Group Limited has awarded a $12 million front-end engineering design (FEED) contract to Wood for its liquefied natural gas (LNG) platform development in the West Delta area of the Gulf of Mexico.

The main objective of the FEED is to finalize the design of the world’s first offshore platform-based natural gas liquefaction and storage facility. Wood recently completed the pre-FEED for this project.

Wood’s scope of work includes the onshore gas pre-treatment plant configuration and layouts, general utilities, feed gas processing and compression, and transportation and delivery via repurposed pipelines from the existing onshore Toca and Venice, Louisiana, facilities to the LNG facility 10 miles offshore. Once complete, around 2020, gas from the Texas Permian Basin will be transported to the offshore platform where it will be liquefied, stored and ultimately exported globally.

Wood will compile and develop the necessary technical documentation for a Deep Water Port (DWP) permit application to United States Maritime Administration (MARAD). This includes designing onshore, pipelines and offshore elements of the facility in sufficient detail to satisfy the MARAD. Wood will update and complete the preliminary design of the full offshore gas liquefaction facility. The facility will be designed to produce up to 4.2 million tonnes per year of LNG and to store 300,000 cubic meters of LNG, which is enough to fill 120 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

The FEED is being conducted in collaboration with EnTX GasTek Global Ltd, Baker Hughes, a GE Company, and Braemar Technical Services (Braemar), the Owner’s Engineer on the LNG 21 project. Braemar is also leading the design and development of the unique FSP LNG storage system.

Andrew Stewart, CEO for Wood’s Asset Solutions Americas business, said: “We are very excited to be a part of this ingenious project. Our ability to provide innovative engineering design solutions highlights our global success in working with international partners. Wood’s best-in-class planning, execution and delivery performance helps to assure our clients their projects will be successful.”

Statoil Names New York Offshore Wind Project "Empire Wind"

11EmpireWind"The name Empire Wind captures the pivotal role that this important project will play in helping New York achieve its ambitious renewable energy goal," said Statoil's Empire Wind Project Director Christer af Geijerstam. "Empire Wind also speaks to the leading role that New York State is taking in advancing the deployment of offshore wind technology in North America."

Statoil is in the early stages of developing the offshore wind farm with the potential to provide New York City and Long Island with a significant, long-term source of renewable electricity. The Empire Wind project team is currently conducting an extensive evaluation process, gathering detailed information about the seabed conditions, grid connection options and wind resources characteristic to the area.

New York's Clean Energy Standard mandates an increase in the share of renewables in its energy mix to 50 percent by 2030. As part of that effort, Governor Andrew Cuomo recently called for the development of up to 2.4 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030.

"Statoil looks forward to working with all stakeholders as we move forward with the job of bringing offshore wind energy to New York," said Geijerstam of Statoil. "We are committed to working with other developers, state officials, unions and the business community to develop a U.S. supply chain for this and other offshore wind projects. Our goal is to help make offshore wind a leading option for generating clean and affordable energy in New York."

Statoil currently has seven offshore wind projects online or under development in Europe, including the world's first floating offshore wind project in Scotland—a technology which could prove pivotal in generating offshore wind power for the U.S. west coast and Hawaii. The company's offshore wind portfolio has the capacity of providing over one million European homes with renewable energy. Statoil also recently announced its first solar investment in the 162MW Apodi solar asset in Brazil which will provide approximately 160,000 households with electricity.

Statoil (NYSE: STO) also announced the launch of the Empire Wind website where members of the public can obtain information on the project and register to receive updates.

For more information, click here.

SM 71 Pipeline Installation Completed in Gulf of Mexico

12OttoSM71 GoM Map OELOtto Energy Ltd. announces that the operator of the South Marsh Island 71 (SM 71) oil and gas development, Byron Energy Limited, has completed the installation of the 500 foot 4-inch oil and 7,000 foot 6-inch gas pipelines on October 21, 2017. Each pipeline has been laid and buried to within tie-in distance to the SM 71 F platform location and their respective sales lines. Final tie-in work at the platform end and sales lines will be made by dive crews soon after the jacket and decks are installed at the platform location in SM 71. All project pipeline work will be performed by Chet Morrison Construction from Houma, Louisiana.

Additionally, the operator has advised that the timeline for load-out and installation of the Byron operated SM 71 F production platform has been set. Construction work in Galveston, Texas is proceeding to schedule and the onshore construction portion of the project is nearly complete. The three day process of loading the jacket, pilings and decks on to material barges is currently slated to begin on 30 October 2017. After load-out, work to tie-down all equipment is expected to take approximately six days. By 7 November 2017, the barges should be ready for the two day transit to SM 71. Once on location at SM 71, the Tetra Hedron derrick barge will commence operations to set the jacket and drive the pilings to secure it to the sea floor. After that step, the deck will be lifted into position and welded in place on top of the jacket. In total, installation operations are expected to take six days offshore. The sequence of events leading to installation is subject to weather conditions and will occur only when the risk of weather is minimized to ensure safe working conditions and to maintain cost control by reducing the potential for weather related delays.

Otto holds a 50% working interest (40.625% net revenue interest) in South Marsh Island Block 71. The operator, Byron, holds the remaining 50% working interest.

Otto’s Managing Director, Matthew Allen said: “Otto is very pleased with progress being made by the Operator at SM 71, with a significant portion of the project schedule now completed and first production only a matter of months away. The project is entering a critical phase over the coming months and when drilling commences in late November the joint venture will also be testing a very significant exploration target in the SM 71 F2 well at the B65 sand interval. Otto looks forward to the successful completion of the SM 71 development in the coming months and first production and cashflow being generated in early 2018.”

GTT Announces a Contract Award for Membrane Cargo Containment System Services for Shell's Prelude FLNG Facility

13GTT mark iii schemeGTT has been awarded a contract for Membrane Cargo Containment System Services for Shell's Prelude FLNG[1] facility. This contract will provide support for the engineering, inspection, maintenance as well as testing of the containment system.

The Prelude FLNG facility recently arrived at its location 475km north east of Broome where the hook-up and commissioning phase of the project is underway. Prelude FLNG has a liquefied gas storage capacity of 326,000 m3. It has 10 tanks (6 for LNG and 4 dedicated to LPG), each equipped with the membrane containment system Mark III developed by GTT.

Philippe Berterottière, Chairman and CEO of GTT, declared: "We are very proud to continue to work with Shell on the Prelude FLNG project, building on the portfolio of innovative services we have developed. This contract is somewhat of a landmark for GTT."

Akastor ASA: MHWirth Awarded Contract for West White Rose Project Offshore Canada

14akastor landscape grad posMHWirth AS, a company owned by Akastor ASA, has received a contract from Wood Group Canada Inc for delivery of a drilling package, including equipment, engineering and services for the West White Rose Project offshore Canada.

Husky Energy is developing the West White Rose Project, together with its co-venture partners. This will be a fixed facility with a platform supported by a concrete gravity structure. The platform will serve as a fixed drilling rig and is located approximately 350 kilometers southeast of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada, in the White Rose field. The primary function of the platform will be drilling, and will include limited processing facilities and permanent accommodations.

"Being awarded this project represents an important milestone for MHWirth," says Finn Amund Norbye, CEO of MHWirth. "This is the first complex offshore drilling package awarded in the market in the past several years. We are looking forward to working closely with Husky and Wood Group on this project."

The contract covers the majority of the equipment ranges of MHWirth in addition to an engineering scope.