Chevron-Led Consortium Executes Mexico Deepwater Contract

2ChevronlogoAn international consortium operated by Chevron Corporation’s (NYSE:CVX) subsidiary, Chevron Energía de Mexico, S de R.L. de C.V., has signed an exploration contract with Mexico’s National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH), representing the Mexican government, for Block 3 in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

The consortium, which also includes partners Pemex Exploración y Producción and INPEX CORPORATION, was awarded the block on December 5, 2016, during Mexico’s 1.4 bid round.

The block is located in the Perdido Fold Belt, approximately 45 miles (117 kilometers) offshore Mexico in water depths ranging between 1,640 to 5,575 feet (500 to 1,700 meters).

“The execution of this contract represents an important milestone in our ongoing, strategic partnership with Pemex, INPEX and Mexico,” said Ali Moshiri, president of Chevron Africa and Latin America Exploration and Production. “We look forward to exploring this prospective area together and strengthening our presence in Mexico for the long term.”

The signing ceremony in Mexico City was attended by Clay Neff, Chevron Africa and Latin America incoming president, Jose Antonio Gonzalez Anaya, Pemex CEO, Shuhei Miyamoto, Managing Executive Officer of INPEX, and other high-level government officials.

The consortium will now begin the initial, multi-year exploration phase, which will focus on analyzing existing seismic data.

Chevron is the operator and holds a 33.3334 percent interest in the block while Pemex and INPEX each hold a 33.3333 percent interest.

Wood Group Begins Detailed Engineering of Leviathan

3 1wood group logo detailWood Group recently completed the seven-month front-end engineering design (FEED) for Noble Energy’s Leviathan Field Development Project in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and has started the detailed engineering for the platform – including the topsides and jacket. The FEED and detail design has a total contract value of approximately $95 million.

The estimated 30,000 ton fixed platform is being initially designed to process 1.2 Bcf/d of gas, expandable to 2.1Bcf/d to accommodate future production. The platform will be installed in 86 meters water depth.

3 2NBL East Med map 03 02 17 01Image credit: Noble Energy

The Leviathan project adds to Wood Group’s portfolio of projects executed for Noble Energy. Wood Group previously designed the Tamar platform topsides; the Tamar onshore compression plant which receives natural gas from the Mari-B and Tamar fields in the Mediterranean Sea; and the topsides and jacket for the Alen production platform, offshore Equatorial Guinea.

Robin Watson, chief executive of Wood Group, said: “Wood Group’s global engineering experience in delivering large-scale offshore gas production facilities and proven ability to deliver safe, cost-effective and efficient solutions will help Noble Energy and its partners meet the high standards, cost requirements and delivery schedule of the Leviathan field development. We are proud to be a valued partner in this major project.”

iSURVEY Singapore Awarded Contract with Solstad Offshore

Following two years of successful operations, iSURVEY Pte Ltd, Singapore, has again been awarded a marine construction survey support contract with Solstad Offshore Asia Pacific for works onboard the DLB ‘Norce Endeavour’.

4iSurvey DLB Norce EndeavourDLB ‘Norce Endeavour’

Due to commence in March 2017, with options for extension in 2018 and 2019, the four month contract will see iSURVEY provide positioning and survey support to Solstad Offshore Asia Pacific’s 2017 pipeline and platform installation programme in Thailand.

The workscope includes monitoring during jacket setting, together with final positioning, levelling and survey assistance during pile cut-off. Subsea positioning will also integrate with IKM Subsea’s Merlin work-class ROV during installation operations.

Bill Petrie, iSURVEY Singapore’s managing director, said: “We are delighted to have been selected once again to support these works with Solstad Offshore Asia Pacific. This agreement is a strong endorsement of the quality of our solutions and experience of our team over the two previous years, and being awarded this contract for the third time marks a significant milestone in the continued development of iSURVEY’s operations in South East Asia. We look forward to the continuation of this excellent working relationship.”

iSURVEY Group is a leading provider of survey and positioning services to the global oil and gas, telecommunications and offshore renewable energy sectors. The Group operates from its bases in Aberdeen, Oslo and Singapore.

Damen Reacts To Growing LNG Market

5Damen Liquefied Gas Carrier 1500 LNG lowresDamen Shipyards Group’s range of Liquefied Gas Carriers is a response to the changes seen in the maritime LNG market in recent years. The Dutch company’s designs meet a variety of capacity requirements, from 500m3 to 7,500m3.

The maritime LNG market has long been faced with the conundrum around the subject of supply and demand. Ship owners have been reluctant to make the switch to LNG because of the lack of bunkering infrastructure. At the same time, development of bunker infrastructure has been slow to get off the ground due to the low demand from the market. This has been described on numerous occasions as ‘the chicken and egg’ situation.

Attention on emissions

However, the outlook for the LNG market is changing, something that can be put down to a number of factors. Firstly, states Bastiaan Schurink, Damen Shipyards Bergum’s Design & Proposal Marketeer, there is a continued focus on tightening exhaust emissions.

“Emissions regulations are getting tighter every day. Ships need to reduce their emissions – and one way to do that is LNG.” Indeed, following the establishment of the emissions control areas (ECAs), ship owners are looking for solutions to meet new legislation. “Of course there are other ways, but LNG is a preferred method to reduce not only SOx and NOx, but also a substantial amount of CO2 emissions.”

“Another important point is that the subject of LNG is becoming more and more interesting: both commercially and politically,” highlights Mr Schurink. “There are a growing number of European LNG bunkering projects that have been initiated by well-known oil and gas majors. EU funding is also making its presence felt.”

Shipbuilding know-how

In response to these developments, Damen is promoting its range of Liquefied Gas Carriers. Richard Nugteren, Damen Product Director Cargo Vessels, explains: “These vessels will be capable of transporting all types of liquefied gases. LPG and VCM in addition to LNG, for example. They will also exhibit a wide range of cargo capacities; including 500, 1,500, 3,000, 5,000, 6,500 and 7,500 cubic metres.”

Damen’s Liquefied Gas Carrier designs draw on a number of tried and tested characteristics. “For example, they are designed with proven hull forms,” says Mr Nugteren. “Focused on efficient hydrodynamics, this results in minimal resistance during sailing which, in turn, minimises fuel consumption.”

Fitted out to the highest levels of comfort, accommodation areas can be designed to significantly reduce sound and vibration levels.

Increasing demand

In terms of cargo, Damen’s designs use industry-recognized tank layouts provided by suppliers specializing in cryogenic gas handling systems and tanks. Vaporized LNG can also be used for propulsion or auxiliary engines.

“At the moment this is a small niche market – but it’s up and coming,” continues Mr Schurink. “The European market is getting the ball rolling, and we expect these developments to continue in other regions too.”

“For example, the North American market is paying more attention to emissions. And the feeder markets in Indonesia and the Mediterranean are also interesting. We have designs and the specs available. All in all, we are fully prepared to build these vessels.”

Petrobras and Total Finalize Strategic Alliance Agreement

6 1Petrobraslogo6 2total logo 819x1024Petrobras and Total inform that they have signed definitive contracts in relation to the package of assets contemplated in the Strategic Alliance, as defined in the 21st of December, 2016 Agreement.

The contracts signed seal the Strategic Alliance between the two companies creating new partnerships in the Upstream and Downstream sectors, together with a reinforced technical cooperation covering operations, research and technology. This alliance should allow both companies to combine their internationally recognized expertise on all segments of the oil and gas value chain in Brazil and internationally.

Through these contracts:

  • Petrobras will transfer 22.5% of rights to Total in the concession area named Iara (comprising the Sururu, Berbigão and Oeste de Atapu fields which are under unitization with the Entorno de Iara, a transfer of rights area in which Petrobras holds 100% interest) in the Block BM-S-11. Petrobras will continue to be operator with a majority interest of 42.5%. The partnership with Total will allow Petrobras to reduce its investment and benefit from technological solutions that will be jointly studied between Petrobras and total, maximizing profitability and the volume of oil to be recovered. BG E&P Brasil, a Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary, with 25% and Petrogal Brasil, with 10%, also take part in the consortium.
  • Petrobras will transfer 35% of rights to Total, in the Lapa field concession area, in Block BM-S-9 and will also transfer the operatorship to Total whereas Petrobras will remain in the license with 10%. The Lapa field has been put in production in december 2016. Total, as new operator of this field, will bring to the Consortium its valuable experience in deep-offshore projects to manage the next phases of the challenging development of the Lapa field as it presents distinct characteristics from other pre-salt fields.The other partners are BG E&P Brasil, a Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary, with 30% and Repsol-Sinopec Brasil , with 25%.
  • Petrobras will transfer 50% interest to Total in Termobahia composed of 2 cogeneration plants, Rômulo de Almeida and Celso Furtado, located in Bahia area. The two plants are connected to the regasification terminal located in São Francisco do Conde, also in Bahia where Total will take regasification capacity to supply gas to the power plants. This integrated G&P joint venture will represent an innovative partnership in the Brazilian G&P market.

The above contracts adds up to the ones already executed on the 21st of December, such as: (i) option for Petrobras to purchase 20% interest in block 2 of the Perdido Foldbelt area, in the Mexican sector of the Gulf of Mexico, (ii) joint exploration studies in the exploratory areas of Equatorial Margin and in Santos Basin; and (iii) Technological partnership agreement in the areas of digital petrophysics, geological processing and subsea production systems

Following yesterday’s signature, Pedro Parente, CEO of Petrobras and Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of Total, have declared: “We are delighted today to see our Strategic Alliance becoming reality. These new partnerships together with a reinforced technological cooperation should create significant synergies and values, mutualizing our operational excellence and further reducing costs on our joint projects for the benefit of both companies”.

Through this transaction, Total will pay to Petrobras a global amount of US$ 2,225 billion made of US$ 1,675 billion cash for assets and services, US$ 400 million that can be triggered to carry a part of Petrobras’s investment share in the Iara development fields and US$ 150 million as contingent payments.

The conclusion of the operation is subject to approvals by the relevant regulatory entities, potential exercise of preemptive rights by current Iara partners in addition to other preceding conditions.

For Petrobras, the execution of the Strategic Alliance is an important part of the Petrobras’ 2017-2021 Business and Management Plan, to enhance the sharing of information, experiences, and technologies, to advance corporate governance strengthening, and to improve the company's financiability through mitigation of risks, cash inflow, and release of investments.

For Total, these new partnerships with Petrobras reinforce Total’s position in Brazil through access to new fields in the Santos Basin while entering the promising gas value chain.

Trelleborg Launches Buoyancy Repair Service for the Gulf of Mexico

7Trelleborg copyTrelleborg’s offshore operation has formalized its Drill Riser Buoyancy Module (DRBM) repair offering for the Gulf of Mexico through its partnership with the Deepwater Riser Services division of Chet Morrison Contractors. Trelleborg is the only DRBM supplier offering certified third-party repair services with in-house production standards.

This new service will deliver significant time and cost savings to Trelleborg’s customers, who will now be able to have their buoyancy repaired at one of Chet Morrison Contractors’ four locations with convenient access to Gulf of Mexico. Chet Morrison Contractors underwent a stringent onsite audit to ensure that its processes and workmanship met Trelleborg’s high standards. Following the assessment, Chet Morrison Contractors were named as an Authorized Repair Center for Trelleborg.

John DeBlieux, Vice President of the Deepwater Riser Services division of Chet Morrison Contrators, says: “We are pleased to be certified as an authorized repair center for Trelleborg. Damage to DRBMs can happen at any time so it is critical that the module is assessed, repaired and returned to site as quickly as possible. By working in collaboration with Trelleborg, we can bring the buoyancy back to the highest performance possible using OEM approved processes, materials and standards.”

Alan McBride, Vice President Drilling and Syntactic Products for Trelleborg’s offshore operation, says: “Once we deliver products to our customers, the service doesn’t stop there. We are proactive business partners adding value through after sales services, such as local buoyancy repair to our own high standards. We strive to enhance the business performance and competitiveness of our customers and are delighted to offer this service, through our partnership with Chet Morrison Contractors. This is a further step in providing asset management support to our customers whenever and wherever they need us.”

DRBMs are installed to reduce a drilling riser’s net weight in water, and ensure that the structure and drilling vessel are supported. Trelleborg offers a range of DRBMs and ancillary products to fit all styles and types of drill riser.

D3 Consulting Offers Decommissioning Waste Management Expertise to Industry

D3 Consulting, a specialist decommissioning and demolition consultancy, has launched a comprehensive waste management advice service to the industry.

Identifying a gap in the market for regulatory waste advice encompassing the complete decommissioning process, D3 is offering this complimentary service to support the challenges and complex issues faced by businesses as the pace of decommissioning increases.

8D3Consulting Martin BjerregaardMartin Bjerregaard, Director, D3 Consulting

Martin Bjerregaard, director of D3 Consulting, explains: “Waste is becoming a key and complex issue for regulators, operators and supply chain companies planning for late life asset management and decommissioning. We’ve had increasing requests for advice and support around offshore decommissioning waste management and were keen to offer our expertise.”

Typically involved at the front end planning and engineering phase of decommissioning projects, D3 Consulting supports these operations with bespoke solutions for safe, regulatory compliant and cost effective operations. The waste management advice function has been developed as an additional complimentary service to the company’s current offering and is hoped to improve collaborative working within the industry.

Martin continued: “The industry is aware that collaboration is key for successful, cost effective and efficient decommissioning operations and so by offering our expertise to the wider industry, I hope we can lead by example. Whilst some organizations can offer general decommissioning advice, this is a unique and comprehensive waste advice service for the complete decommissioning process – from pre-decom planning to recycling and disposal. We would be delighted to hear from anyone requiring waste management support for specific decommissioning challenges.”

Businesses with offshore decommissioning waste management queries can contact D3 at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Delivering Floating Power to Turn the World On

9GE Power ShipThe sea presents an opportunity for many. Communities around the world rely on it as a source of food and income, but now it presents another opportunity: power.

Here’s the idea: a floating power plant built on a ship that can travel to anywhere in the world and provide power to onshore communities where it is needed. When you consider that more than 1 billion people around the world have no access to power and many more simply lack the required amount, powerships offer a much-needed alternative solution to this global issue.

Of course, the use of ships as floating business operations is nothing new—giant cruise liners can host thousands of guests in luxury for weeks, offshore oil vessels provide both floating accommodation and drilling plants in rough seas all year round; the powership is another example of what ships can achieve today. It is an innovative and flexible example of a microgrid, ideal for areas with poor access to infrastructure. As building a power grid can take many years and comes at a huge cost, a powership can provide distributed power generation, helping communities to have access to essential energy supplies.

However, realizing a powership is no easy task. From financing to project management, there’s a chain of expertise that is needed to succeed. Needless to say, technology also plays an essential role in the value chain, and there are several critical considerations.

Compared to conventional shipping vessels, a powership requires significant engineering expertise to build a stable power plant on the ship’s platform, and the system must be able to withstand the harsh sea environment, which can damage equipment over time. Machines need to be specifically designed to accommodate even the most extreme climates, with temperatures ranging from -20 to 50 degrees Celsius.

While the very nature of powerships means that they can be deployed anywhere in the world, different regions have different grid codes to comply with, so the ships need to be adaptable enough to connect to the grid and able to “pump” power wherever it is needed.

Power isn’t the only thing that can be devastating when in short supply. If there’s a shortage of power, it’s likely that essential water supplies and infrastructure may be lacking or disrupted. Powerships also come into play here. They can be loaded with desalination plants, providing a supply of clean, safe drinking water. Their position close to the shore makes them the ideal short-term solution.

Multi-discipline ship needs multi-expertise partner

So, if ships are able to provide flexible power and water solutions to cities, what else could they do? It is clear that the roles of vessels are expanding. Powerships are becoming lifelines to cities and towns that need them the most.

This convergence of disciplines requires a joined-up approach from partners bringing their expertise to successful projects. Using the strength of the GE Store, GE is in a position to connect its experts from power generation to water desalination technology to grid connection and marine capability—enabling collaboration on solutions that provide the added value of being integrated in one organization.

The sea is once again giving us a great opportunity. However, collaboration is essential if we are to continue delivering help to those who need it most.

Author: Andy McKeran, Marine Executive, GE’s Marine Solutions

Rivertrace Presents New Product at the OTC Exhibition

10Rivertrace smart pfm 107 oil in water monitorUK-based Rivertrace will be show casing its new Smart PFM 107 Oil-in-Water Monitor, at booth 501 of the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) from 1-4 May 2017 in Houston, Texas.

Currently undergoing sea trials in the Norwegian North Sea Sector, the monitor measures particulates in the sample stream on a continuous basis by passing the process fluid through a proprietary photo optical measuring cell, developed by Rivertrace Technologies.

Using a combination of optical recognition algorithms and light intensity it is possible to differentiate between oil particles, gas/air bubbles and solid particulates in the range 0-500 microns. Unlike conventional monitors using light scatter or UV fluorescence, the PFM 107 requires no re-calibration if the oil varies from the standard calibration fluid making it an ideal monitor for offshore platforms, drill ships and FPSO’s. Flow and particulate characteristics can also be visualized live via remote access and via optional dedicated software on any Windows PC.

Oil concentration, pressure, temperature and oil alarm status are displayed on an easy to read LCD touch screen display. Oil concentrations, alarms and any faults are logged and stored within the system to comply with the reporting requirements of IMO resolution MEPC 107(49) and can be accessed remotely or downloaded onto a pc via LAN or USB for further analysis. When connected to the internet it is possible for remote diagnostics to be performed by the manufacturer or an approved service center.

The Smart PFM offers a choice of auto cleaning methods to ensure the accuracy is maintained at all times. Dependant of the utilities available you can choose from an air driven solenoid, electronic actuator or high power ultrasonic cleaning method. The cleaning is fully automatic and operates whenever the system senses contamination of the optical windows.

Mike Coomber, Managing Director of Rivertrace comments:

“The Smart PFM 107 Oil-in-Water Monitor is the only PFM on the market that comes with a choice of cleaning options as standard, preventing fouling, the most common failure of any PFM.

We are committed to ongoing development to ensure that these products remain at the forefront of available technology, and consistently push the boundaries for oil-in-water analysis.”

LAGCOE Organization Expands to Reflect Strategic Growth

11LAGCOE organization logoLAGCOE, a nonprofit energy industry organization focused on educational programs and organizer of a technical exposition and conference, has expanded its mission to reflect its 62 years of strategic growth.

LAGCOE the organization has strategically expanded to more holistically serve the global energy industry through focused initiatives surrounding generational industry education, introductory and ongoing career development and networking events.

Angela Cring, executive director, LAGCOE, explained, “The oil and gas industry is familiar with our biennial technical expositions and conferences, but there is much more to LAGCOE. LAGCOE’s mission is to cultivate economic growth of the energy industry by facilitating domestic and global business development and fostering the energy workforce pipeline.”

Through the LAGCOE Education Fund, 501(c)(3) funding for projects and programs supporting educational efforts for or about the energy industry is provided. The Future Energy Professionals program has provided five students with more than $43,000 in higher education scholarships. LAGCOE has established additional scholarships and endowed professorships at both University of Louisiana at Lafayette and South Louisiana Community College. In addition, STEM education support programs are currently being expanded to further generational industry education.

LAGCOE offers a Young Professionals of LAGCOE (YPL) membership. This group’s mission is to provide career development and networking opportunities to young professionals looking to become the next industry leaders. This is achieved through a continuous program of industry networking events, mentor programs and active fundraising in support of the LAGCOE Education Fund.

“YPL is the future of the oil and gas industry and the next generation of LAGCOE. Their involvement and commitment to nurturing newcomers to this industry at all ages is crucial to establishing the next leaders of this organization and the industry,” Cring continued.

The cornerstone of LAGCOE’s support to the energy industry is its biennial technical exposition and conference. LAGCOE 2017, held October 24-26 in Lafayette, La., USA, will offer the energy industry an international and innovative event to explore new technology, products and services; conduct business-to-business meetings and make lasting connections for long-term success.

“LAGCOE remains committed to promoting commerce, fostering education and connecting people within the energy industry. Our initiatives are centered on innovation, education, workforce development, volunteers and community. Both individual and corporate participation is available. We as an organization are proud of our growth throughout the last 62 years and we look forward to continuing to support the energy industry and its people,” Cring concluded.

Trelleborg Launches a New Mobile App

12TrelleborgNewAPPTo make it even easier to specify FireNut™, Trelleborg’s offshore operation is launching an app to calculate the correct FireNut™ a customer needs to suit their flange.

FireNut™ is a light weight, easy to install alternative to the fire-insulated metal boxes used for the protection of bolted connections or flanges on offshore installations. A rubber-based fire protection system, it specifically protects just the nuts of a bolted connection or flange. In stark contrast to the traditional bulky metal boxes, this lightweight solution is customizable to accommodate almost any bolt size, is easy to install and extends the service life in the event of a fire, being resistant to both jet fire and pool fire.

Patrick Waal, Sales Manager at Trelleborg’s offshore operation, says: “FireNut™ may seem like a simple product, but it can be critical in terms of fire protection. The app will give our customers a quick guide to choosing the best FireNut™ for their flange type. By installing effective and reliable passive fire protection systems like FireNut™, our customers can significantly improve onboard safety.”

FireNut™ is just one of a complete range of passive fire protection solutions from Trelleborg’s offshore operation. These include: Elastopipe™, a flexible piping system; Elastoshield, a protective cover for electric cables and hoses; and Vikodeck™, a surface protection material.

This FireNut™ app is currently available for download for iPhone and iPad, and is planned for release on Android and as a web-tool. To download the app, search for ‘Trelleborg FireNut’ in the app store.

To find out more about the app, click here and to find out more about FireNut™, click here.

Job Opportunity: Coastal Energy Facility Review Specialist

13HomePortNY Department of State logoThe Natural Heritage Trust (NHT) is a New York State public benefit corporation established for the purpose of receiving and administering gifts, grants and other funds to advance a variety of parks, recreation, land and water conservation initiatives throughout New York State. The Department of State (DOS) oversees compliance with the State Coastal Management Program (CMP) and approved Local Waterfront Revitalization Programs (LWRPs). The selected candidate for this position will be an employee of the NHT with work conducted under the supervision of DOS.

The Coastal Energy Facility Review Specialist is responsible for reviewing project proposals and recommending regulatory decisions regarding siting of facilities affecting land and water uses, natural resources, and State coastal policies in New York’s coastal area, particularly those projects involving energy generation or transmission. Proposed facilities, and activities associated with them, are reviewed for their consistency with the policies of the State Coastal Management Program (CMP) and approved Local Waterfront Revitalization Programs (LWRPs). The individual will receive training in the provisions of the federal Coastal Zone Management Act, the New York State Waterfront Act, and their implementing regulations, the CMP and the interpretation and application of CMP policies and objectives in coastal consistency review and decision-making.

The position requires demonstrated knowledge of and experience with energy generating facility siting and transmission facility routing as those activities relate to coastal uses and resources.

Working out of Albany, New York, the position will have the following responsibilities:

a. Coordinate project reviews and evaluate the effects and consistency of proposed facilities with State coastal policies, particularly energy facilities requiring federal agency authorizations or involving financial assistance from federal agencies. Propose project modifications and prepare recommendations for coastal consistency decisions;
b. Monitor and evaluate proposed state agency actions in the coastal area and advise those agencies of State coastal policy issues and consistency requirements, particularly projects related to energy generation or transmission;
c. Assess the completeness of applications to ensure they include all information necessary to assess the effects of proposed facilities on coastal resources and uses and State coastal policies;
d. Communicate with applicants and federal agencies through written correspondence and other communications;
e. Provide coastal policy and procedure advice to applicants and other government agencies to ensure activities are consistent with State coastal policies;
f. Prepare decision records, memoranda, summary and special reports and conclusions, and recommend decisions regarding whether the proposed facilities would be consistent with, would advance, or are inconsistent with the State coastal policies;
g. Review and analysis of energy law, regulation and policy as it pertains to coastal zone management; and,
h. Travel to coastal areas in New York to attend meetings and conduct site visits and evaluations of proposed facilities. The amount of travel could range from 10% to 20% of the individual’s time during any month.

Candidates must have demonstrated background experience in or knowledge of: 1) energy facility siting, routing, and regulation; 2) management of coastal resources and uses; and 3) a broad understanding of local State, and federal regulatory and other decision-making authorities and processes. Working knowledge of state and federal energy policy, the National Environmental Policy Act, and New York State Environmental Quality Review Act is also desirable.

Necessary qualifications include: a bachelor’s degree or higher in marine sciences, coastal resource management, urban or regional planning, environmental science, geology, geography, architecture, landscape architecture, natural resources, environmental or resource management law, environmental engineering, civil engineering or a related field and at least one year of full-time work experience in either: 1) energy facility planning, siting, and routing; or 2) the regulation of energy facility siting and routing.

The salary range for this position is $53,000 - $68,000, depending on education and experience.

The NHT is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Women, minorities, persons with disabilities and veterans are encouraged to apply.

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter and resume by March 31, 2017 to:

Denise Caldwell
Administrative Assistant
NYS Department of State
Division of Coastal Resources
Consistency Review Unit
1 Commerce Plaza
99 Washington Avenue - Suite 1010
Albany, New York 12231-0001

Or by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

DW Monday March 6, 2017: Vessel Contractors Re-Shaping for the Rebound

14DW Monday Logo PNGThe announcement on the 28th February of EMAS Chiyoda’s bankruptcy is the latest in a long line of vessel contractors to fall victim to the downturn since January 2015. Multiple companies such as Cal Dive, Ceona, Cecon, Hercules Offshore, Harkand and Swiber have entered into administration, taking a significant number of vessels out of the active fleet. In other cases, internal restructuring measures (e.g. Siem Offshore, Boa Offshore, Deepocean etc.) were/have been in order. Whilst current indicators of subsea activity (e.g. subsea tree orders) remain weak, industry sentiment is improving, with oil prices approximately 76% higher this February relative to the average WTI recorded in February 2016. With a market equilibrium and a recovery in sight, 2017 represents an opportune time for substantial industry consolidation and opportunistic vessel acquisitions to support long-term business strategy objectives. For example, McDermott’s recent acquisition of the newbuild ‘Ceona Amazon’ at a significant 77% discount to the reported build cost, will serve to strengthen and rejuvenate its subsea fleet, putting the company one step closer to their ultra-deepwater expansion strategy.

The recent downturn has been one of the most trying times in the history of the subsea industry. However, the removal of non-competitive low-spec vessels and strategic moves by vessel contractors to acquire high-spec vessels at discount rates, will find themselves well positioned to capitalize as the market continues to stabilize.

Michelle Gomez, Douglas-Westwood

Shell to Execute Phase One of the Kaikias Deep-Water Project in the US Gulf of Mexico

1Shell Kaikias subseaShell Offshore Inc. (Shell), a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc, and MOEX North America LLC (MOEX NA), a wholly owned subsidiary of Mitsui Oil Exploration Co., Ltd, have each taken the final investment decision to execute phase one of the Kaikias deep-water project in the US Gulf of Mexico. Kaikias is an attractive near-field opportunity with a competitive go-forward break-even price below $40 per barrel. It will produce oil and gas through a subsea tie-back to the nearby Shell-operated Ursa production hub.

“Kaikias is an example of a competitive and capital-efficient deep-water project using infrastructure already in place,” said Andy Brown, Upstream Director of Royal Dutch Shell. “The team has done a great job to reduce the total cost by around 50% by simplifying the design and using lessons learned from previous subsea developments.”

The project will be developed in two phases with phase one expected to start production in 2019. The first phase of development includes three wells, which are designed to produce up to 40,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) at peak rates.

Kaikias is located in the prolific Mars-Ursa basin approximately 210 kilometers (130 miles) from the Louisiana coast and is estimated to contain more than 100 million barrels of oil equivalent recoverable resources.

Shell is the operator and has an 80% working interest. MOEX NA owns the remaining 20% working interest.

Globally, Shell’s deep-water business is a growth priority for the company and in Q4 2016 produced around 725,000 boe/d. Shell’s deep-water production is expected to increase to more than 900,000 boe/d by 2020 from already discovered, established reservoirs. In the Gulf of Mexico, two other Shell-operated projects are currently under construction or undergoing pre-production commissioning: Coulomb Phase 2 and Appomattox.

  • Shell is a leading operator in the Gulf of Mexico with significant acreage, seven production hubs, and an established network of subsea infrastructure.
  • Kaikias phase one will produce oil and gas from three wells back to the nearby Ursa production hub using a single flowline.
  • Shell minimized the need for new drilling at Kaikias by safely re-developing the exploration and appraisal wells for production.
  • Kaikias makes use of a simplified design resulting in approximately 50% reduction in total costs versus initial estimates.
  • By taking advantage of existing oil and gas processing equipment on Ursa, Shell minimized the need for additional top-side modifications and will reduce operating costs at the asset.

BOEM Plans to Offer 1.09 Million Acres in Cook Inlet Lease Sale

2BOEM Alaska Program AreasThe Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has announced it plans to offer approximately 1.09 million acres in Cook Inlet off Alaska’s southcentral coast in a proposed lease sale this year.

Cook Inlet Oil & Gas Lease Sale 244, scheduled to take place in June 2017, would offer 224 blocks toward the northern part of the Cook Inlet Planning Area for leasing. The blocks stretch roughly from Kalgin Island in the north to Augustine Island in the south.

“Following a robust environmental analysis, we are moving forward with the Lease Sale 244 process,” said Walter Cruickshank, BOEM’s acting director. “We look forward to hearing Governor Walker’s comments and recommendations as we continue to balance environmental considerations with careful development.”

The Proposed Notice of Sale is available now. A Notice of Availability will be published Monday, Feb. 27 in the Federal Register Reading Room, and on Tuesday, Feb. 28 in the Federal Register itself. BOEM has notified Alaska Governor Bill Walker of this announcement, and as required by law will mail him a copy of the Proposed Notice of Sale to arrive coincident with the Feb. 28 Federal Register Notice of Availability. This will initiate a governor’s 60-day review and comment period.

This sale would be the final one in the Department of the Interior’s 2012-2017 OCS Oil & Gas Leasing Program, which proposes one lease sale (OCS Oil & Gas Lease Sale 244) in Cook Inlet in June 2017. Publication of this notice does not mean the final decision has been made to hold the lease sale.

The next step in the leasing process is the publication of the Final Notice of Sale. Per BOEM’s regulations, this must be done at least 30 days prior to the date of the sale.

The Proposed Notice of Sale follows the Dec. 22, 2016, publication of an Environmental Impact Statement relating to the proposed sale. The EIS analyzed the important environmental resources and uses (e.g., sea otter and beluga whale populations; subsistence activities; commercial fishing of pacific salmon and halibut; and more) that currently exist within the Cook Inlet Planning Area and identified robust mitigation measures to be considered in leasing the area. Mitigation measures identified in the proposed notice would protect sea otter, beluga whale and commercial fisheries.

For more information, including a map of the proposed lease sale area and a timeline of the leasing process, click here.

Snake-Arm Robot to Showcase Offshore Inspection Capabilities at ITF Event

3Snakearm P100 robot 2 Credit OC Robotics copyDelegates at this week’s ITF Technology Showcase will be given an insight into how a novel snake-arm robot could take offshore inspection to a new level ahead of its first trial with Chevron.

Technology developer, OC Robotics has proven the capability of the P100 snake-arm robotic inspection system onshore and is now exploring the feasibility of robotic inspection of offshore oil and gas pressure vessels. Snake-arm robots are driven by wire ropes and controlled by OC Robotics’ proprietary software. Snake-arm robots are especially suited to working in confined and hazardous spaces as they can navigate and traverse cluttered environments. Only the arm itself is deployed into the workspace as the main drive motors, electronics and control systems are located away from the inspection area.

The project is being funded by Innovate UK’s ‘Energy Game Changer’ program. OC Robotics & Chevron are exhibiting on Innovate UK’s stand along with a number of companies that secured funding through the competition last year. Innovate is the UK’s innovation agency which aims to drive science and technology innovations that will grow the UK economy - delivering productivity, new jobs and exports.

As part of the project, a world first offshore trial will take place on one of Chevron’s North Sea assets to assess current capabilities and future needs for long-term operation of robotic equipment. OC Robotics is adapting its existing technology to be more robust and adaptable for the restricted access encountered on offshore rigs, such as deck layouts, narrow walkways and handrails.

Russell Brown, Senior Reliability Engineer, Chevron ETC said: “We inspect our assets at regular intervals to determine their continued fitness for service and prevent asset-integrity or process-safety-related incidents. This causes a dilemma as, to do so, we have to perform high-risk, confined-space inspections. To this end, Chevron and the wider industry have been looking for solutions that will help minimise human entry in confined and hazardous environments for tasks like cleaning and inspection.”

Rebecca Smith, Project Manager at OC Robotics said: “Our project is innovative in the deployment of robotic technology in harsh environments, such as the North Sea. There is real potential to improve inspection outputs and extend asset life by characterising vessels and assessing fitness for service without human entry into dangerous and confined spaces. We are at an exciting stage with the P100 and we look forward to telling our story to a like-minded audience at the Showcase.”

The annual ITF Technology Showcase at AECC – Technology in Action - brings together some of the brightest minds from inside and outside of oil and gas to challenge current thinking and bring fresh focus on progressing new solutions.

Dr Geoff McGrath, Chief Innovation Officer at McLaren Applied Technologies and the KPMG McLaren Alliance will give a keynote on ‘innovation from outside our industry’ at the conference and exhibition at AECC on Wednesday 1st March.

Other plenary speakers include Colette Cohen, Chief Executive of the Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC), Dr Geoff Nesbitt, Group Head of Technology Strategy at Petrofac and Willie Reid, Director of the Strathclyde Oil and Gas Institute. Gunther Newcombe, Director of Operations, Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) and Greta Lydecker, Managing Director, Chevron Upstream Europe will also join the morning panel session.

An Innovation hall will be dedicated to supporting the innovator community and showcasing the very best in new thinking, products, solutions and services.

The technology sessions are facilitated by oil and gas operators with a keen interest on getting technology to market through the most effective and efficient routes possible. The three sessions this year will focus on:

  • Applied Digital Technologies to Improve Operational Efficiency and Performance
  • Transformational manufacturing and new materials to reduce costs
  • Emerging Inspection and Condition Monitoring Technologies to Prevent Failure in Operation and Avoid Downtime.

The event is supported by KPMG McLaren Alliance, OGA and Innovate UK. For more information on the event, click here.

‘Lifting’ a 48,000-ton Platform in the Open Ocean is No Easy Task

It was the biggest assignment Bosch Rexroth in Boxtel had ever faced, and it took more than two years to carry it out. But they seized with both hands the opportunity to research and supply the hydraulic components and associated local controls for the innovative lifting system on board the Pioneering Spirit, conceived and developed by Allseas.

4PioneeringSpiritSpecial Bosch Rexroth components and control systems on board the ‘Pioneering Spirit’

The request came from Allseas, an offshore specialist, or in fact from founder and owner Edward Heerema. A specially designed ship to lift entire offshore platforms off their piles in a single movement, for which Allseas had developed in-house a complete motion compensation system and associated control system. Allseas also wrote the software for the principle behind the motion system. Then they asked Bosch Rexroth to further develop the design of the hydraulics and the arrangement of specific components of these lifting beams, and to supply specialist hydraulic components and drive systems.

Ron van den Oetelaar, Managing Director of Bosch Rexroth Benelux, says: “We’d already worked closely with the Allseas engineers in Delft in the past, on other projects. So we had already supplied all sorts of components for special ships laying pipelines in the ocean. We were honored when Allseas gave us the engineering task of investigating the technical design for a new lifting system. It was a unique opportunity to display our technological knowhow. Working closely with the Allseas engineers, who developed the unique form and functionality of the ship and the principle of the lifting beams for the ‘topsides lift system’, our engineering team investigated various technical control options for the individual lifting beams. They looked at many different variations: hydraulic, electrical, and hybrid combinations of both technologies. The hydromechanics and electromechanics were a challenge, but so was the digital technology (controls, software, bus systems, etc.). Allseas wanted the ship to be able to handle platforms weighing up to 48,000 tons. That’s no easy task. Especially when you realize not only how accurately but also how fast it has to happen. During the development process countless tests were carried out and simulations performed so that, together with the engineers at Allseas, we could find the optimal solution. When after a couple of years’ development we had got it right ‘on paper’, we were given the job of manufacturing and supplying the hydraulic components and drive systems for the individual beams.

Enormous efficiency gains

It used to take ships with cranes and dozens of workers weeks or even months to construct or dismantle a platform piece by piece on the open ocean. “Pioneering Spirit”, 382 meters long and 124 meters wide, can lift the top section of a platform off its piles in 9 seconds. The motion compensation system is activated during preparations to pick up a platform. It consists of 16 lifting beams operated from the bridge of Pioneering Spirit. Using the lifting beams, a platform is raised 2.5 meters in a single swift movement so that the topsides of the platform becomes detached from the substructure. Then the ship moves away, and the topsides is carried towards the shore.

The technology applied in this situation by Allseas, also known as “swell compensation”, is exceptionally complex due in part to the simultaneous movements of the lifting beams along multiple axes.

Engineered to order

For this assignment, was it possible to use standard components from the Bosch Rexroth range, or were custom components required? “Standard components can rarely be used for special projects of this size,” Van den Oetelaar replies. “Apart from a few catalog components, such as valves and plunger pumps, most of the components and subsystems were developed specifically for this ship. This includes cylinders, control devices, generators, mounting plates, etc. The local digital control systems that we supplied for the lifting beams were also developed specifically for this assignment. That applies to both the control hardware and the software. During the design process, we made intensive use of powerful simulation tools to predict system behavior, finite element methods to compute critical parts and components for strength, and analysis techniques to identify risks in the process flow. But it’s always exciting when the first job gets underway. That took place last August, and involved lifting the 13,500-ton top section of the Yme platform, off the Norwegian coast. Everything worked perfectly. Since then, the remaining four lifting beams (including Bosch Rexroth components) have been installed on the ship for larger lifting jobs. It’s great that our designers, production staff, service engineers and other technicians have been able to make such an important contribution.”

BP Group Chief Executive Bob Dudley to Lead Opening Plenary at SPE OE 2017

5 1OffshoreEurope 2017BP group chief executive Bob Dudley will underline the value of the North Sea in the oil major’s global portfolio when he leads the opening plenary session at SPE Offshore Europe 2017 being held in Aberdeen from 5-8 September 2017.

Dudley, who calls BP’s UK North Sea business one of its “crown jewels”, will address the hundreds of delegates expected to attend the opening plenary session at Europe’s foremost exploration and production (E&P) technical conference and exhibition. Other senior level plenary speakers will be announced in due course.

5 2BP Bob DudleyBP expects to bring two of the largest new developments in the North Sea – the Quad 204 redevelopment and the new Clair Ridge project - into production over the next year or so, as well as continuing to invest in other North Sea assets. Over the same period, BP plans to participate in five exploration wells in the region and in around 50 new development wells over the next three years. BP’s North Sea production output is expected to double from 2015 levels to 200,000 barrels of oil a day by 2020.

Conference chair Catherine MacGregor, president, Reservoir Characterization Group, Schlumberger Limited, commented: “As one of the most eminent figures in our industry, Bob Dudley will provide an inspirational scene-setter under the conference theme Embracing New Realities: Reinventing our Industry. Bob’s insight will kick-start OE2017 as we encourage the industry to think beyond cost efficiency and embrace new technologies, new types of business models and collaborations that will lead to sustainable ways of working.”

Bob Dudley became group chief executive of BP in October 2010. He has spent his whole career in the oil and gas industry since joining Amoco Corporation in 1979. In 1997, he became general manager for strategy for Amoco and in 1999, following the merger between BP and Amoco, was appointed to a similar role in BP. Between 1999 and 2000, he was executive assistant to the group chief executive, subsequently becoming group vice president for BP’s renewables and alternative energy activities. In 2002, he became group vice president responsible for BP’s upstream businesses in Russia, the Caspian region, Angola, Algeria and Egypt. In 2003 he became chief executive officer of TNK-BP in Russia until 2008 before returning to BP and joining its board in 2009.

Under the theme ‘Embracing New Realities: Reinventing our Industry’, SPE Offshore Europe 2017 will offer more than 85 free-to-attend technical presentations and 11 keynote panel sessions combined with business breakfasts and topical lunches. A ‘new for 2017’ Decommissioning Zone will feature a themed exhibition and conference space. Also free-to-attend, the zone will include over 40 decommissioning technology and service providers in the exhibition as well as a conference programme organised by key industry associations including Decom North Sea, ITF and IMechE.

SPE Offshore Europe has been held biennially in Aberdeen since 1973. It is the largest E&P conference and exhibition outside North America.

Click here for further information.

Sparrows Group Lifts Five Year Contract

Sparrows Group has secured a five-year contract to deliver hydraulic, lifting and rigging services for Maersk Oil’s UK floating assets.

The agreement will see Sparrows support the operator in strengthening its lifting operations for the Global Producer 3 (GP3) and Gryphon FPSO’s and the new Culzean FSO.

The scope encompasses hydraulic services including maintenance, repair and parts and materials procurement; as well as the supply, management and certification of all lifting gear.

6Maersk SparrowsSparrows Group will perform hydraulic, lifting and rigging services for Maersk Oil’s UK floating assets including the Gryphon FPSO (pictured). Photo credit: Image courtesy of Maersk Oil

Additional mechanical engineering services, including failure modes, effects and criticality analysis (FMECA) studies; finite element analysis; the design and build of structural and mechanical assemblies and small pressure vessels; reverse engineering and fabrication; and Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER) inspections, are also included.

Stewart Mitchell, chief executive officer of Sparrows, said: “The award of this important contract confirms our reputation as a world-class provider of reliable and cost-effective hydraulic, lifting and rigging solutions.

“We look forward to collaborating with Maersk to support their existing operations across the North Sea as well as Culzean. As the largest discovery in the UKCS since 2004, we are delighted to be involved in helping ensure safe and efficient production from this strategically important development.”

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 start in 2019 and produce enough gas to meet 5% of total UK demand at peak production in 2020/21.

The value of the contract was not disclosed.

TGS and Schlumberger Announces New Fusion M -WAZ Reimaging Program in Gulf of Mexico

7TGS SLBFusion MapTGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company (TGS) and Schlumberger have announced a new multi- and wide-azimuth (M-WAZ) multiclient reimaging program in the highly prospective Central U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Final results are expected in early 2018, ahead of a period when substantial block turnover in the area is anticipated.

The new Fusion M-WAZ reimaging program comprises data covering more than 1,000 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) blocks (~23,000 km2) from 3D WAZ programs previously acquired by TGS and Schlumberger with the WesternGeco Q-Marine* point-receiver marine seismic system between 2008 and 2012. This large reimaging program will process data from the Mississippi Canyon, Atwater Valley and Ewing Bank areas using the latest imaging technology to provide a significant uplift in data quality for upcoming licensing rounds. The area is expected to remain a high priority for E&P companies in the foreseeable future and will benefit from two licensing rounds every year for the next five years under the new BOEM 2017-2022 Five-Year Program.

"This highly prospective region is a core area for TGS and Schlumberger, where we have a close relationship with customers who continue to demand the best data to support their exploration and drilling activities," said Kristian Johansen, CEO, TGS. "We have a strong track record of adding value to existing data sets through reprocessing with the latest technology. Fusion is the largest wide-azimuth reprocessing project ever performed by TGS in our collaboration with Schlumberger."

Maurice Nessim, president, WesternGeco, Schlumberger, added, "This reimaging collaboration combines the use of the latest reimaging technology with high quality Q-Marine measurements and extensive geophysical and geological knowledge of this prolific area. Customers have shown great interest and we are confident that this project will afford them a competitive advantage in the upcoming lease rounds and ahead of the large block turnover."

The custom-processing workflow for this project will include a number of newly developed imaging technologies including 3D WAZ de-ghosting; 3D surface related multiple elimination (SRME); common offset RTM gather (COR) and image-guided tomography; and orthorhombic anisotropy velocity modelling. During the reprocessing, geoscientists will update the salt interpretation and add input from the latest well data released for the area.

The reimaging program is supported by industry funding. Fast-track data will be available in 2017 for lease round bid evaluation.