ABB to Provide Power Distribution and Automation Solution for Sevan Offshore Accommodation Vessels

A breakthrough of integrated power, propulsion and automation systems for better energy efficiency

ABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won an order to provide integrated solutions that include the electrical propulsion system, Azipod® CZ and automation system onboard two offshore accommodation vessels.

SevanoffshoreaccommodationvesselsThe 1+1 accommodation vessels will be built by COSCO (Nantong) Shipyard Co., Ltd for Singapore-registered owner Logitel Offshore, which is a subsidiary of Norwegian company Sevan Marine. The cylinder-shaped vessels will each have a displacement of about 40,000 tons and capacity to accommodate 490 persons.

ABB has extensive experience in providing electrical propulsion systems and Azipod units for various offshore vessels. However, this is a breakthrough order for ABB in the floater business to provide an integrated solution that combines not only electrical propulsion system and Azipod, but also the automation system. This integrated package will be delivered to the shipyard by October 2014.

ABB will provide power distribution systems for the two Logitel vessels, including generators, switchboards and main transformers, as well as propulsion transformers and frequency converters. The order also calls for the installation of six Azipod CZ units, conferring superior vessel energy efficiency and manoeuvrability.In addition, based on the System 800xA Extended Automation platform, the ABB automation package provided will be based on its System 800xA Extended Automation platform. This is a version of the group’s world-renowned industrial automation platform that has been adapted for marine applications; include vessel and power monitoring, emergency shutdown, Fire & Gas, as well as the automation of Helideck Monitoring Systems and Loading Computers.

 “ABB already has a large market share in terms of onboard power and propulsion systems,” says Heikki Soljama, head of ABB’s business unit marine and Cranes. “However, this order represents a milestone in our strategy to offer complete solutions for power, propulsion, automation and vessel control. It is the first embodiment of the ‘total integration’ and we believe customers will see a step forward in benefits when one supplier is providing a total package of integrated, cutting edge solutions that deliver enhanced energy efficiency, reliability and improved asset management .”  

ABB ( is a leader in power and automation technologies that enable utility and industry customers to improve performance while lowering environmental impact. The ABB Group of companies operates in around 100 countries and employs about 145,000 people.


OneSubsea Awarded $500 Million Contract for Chevron Rosebank, UK

OneSubseaLogoOneSubsea has received an order from Chevron totaling more than $500 million to supply subsea equipment for the Rosebank development in the UK North Sea, West of Shetland. The scope of supply includes vertical monobore subsea trees with retrievable process modules, 6-slot manifolds, and production control systems. This is the first major award for OneSubsea.

This order also includes project management, design, procurement, manufacture, testing, tooling, spares, installation and commissioning, and start up. Deliveries are expected to start in 2014.

OneSubsea Chief Executive Officer, John Carne said, “With the recent creation of OneSubsea, I am pleased to announce this major award with Chevron. We have a successful history in the West of Shetland area due to our UK manufacturing capabilities and years of significant experience.”

OneSubsea has a long history of supplying the UK North Sea region, dating back to the 1970s. Over the years, OneSubsea has supplied subsea trees, manifolds, pumps, control systems and associated equipment, for the harsh environment to a variety of fields, including the West of Shetland developments.


Rosneft and ExxonMobil Proceed with LNG Project Implementation

RosneftlogoRosneft and ExxonMobil continue to progress the LNG project proposed in the Russian Far East. The contractor selection exxon-mobil-logo1process for design and engineering work has officially commenced.

In 2013-2014 Rosneft and ExxonMobil plan to complete design work, including selection of a liquefaction technology and identification of major equipment requirements, to perform engineering surveys, develop Front End Engineering and Design (FEED) and Russian Proyekt documentation for the LNG plant, hydro-technical marine facilities and a source gas pipeline, as well as perform EIA.

Special attention during the design phase will focus on minimizing environmental impact to the unique ecosystem of the Sakhalin island and encouraging development of local infrastructure.
A joint team of experts from Rosneft and ExxonMobil will apply best practices from both companies to complete the project in the shortest possible timeframe.

Commenting on the progress of the LNG project in the Russian Far East, Rosneft President Igor Sechin said, “Rosneft’s offshore license areas hold massive hydrocarbon resource potential, most of which is natural gas. Given the fact that offshore fields are difficult to reach and are not connected to the national gas supply system, the most efficient way to monetize these resources is to liquefy the natural gas and sell the LNG in export markets.

“We are optimistic about prospects for LNG export liberalization in Russia in the near term and are pleased to announce that we have entered an important stage of the LNG project jointly with our strategic partner ExxonMobil.

“I would also point out that construction of the LNG plant and essential infrastructure will rely on the full resources of the Russian manufacturing and construction industries (primarily those based in the Far East) applying international best practices.”

Capacity of the LNG project to be located on Sakhalin Island in the Russian Far East is expected to be 5 million tons per year, subject to further expansion. The liquefaction plant, the launch of which is scheduled for 2018, will receive natural gas from Rosneft’s reserves in the Far East and other Sakhalin gas reserves.


Statoil: USD 2.65 Billion Transaction to Capture Value and Focus Portfolio

Statoil ASA (OSE: STL, NYSE: STO) has signed an agreement to divest minority interests in the Gullfaks and Gudrun fields offshore Norway and exit the non-core, non-operated Schiehallion and Rosebank fields, West of Shetlands.

In addition to the cash consideration of USD 2.65 billion, the transaction with Austrian oil and gas company OMV includes a contingent payment and involves a partnership between the two companies. Statoil reduces its ownership share in Gullfaks from 70% to 51% and from 75% to 51% in Gudrun, and retains its operatorships on both fields. 

Statoil-Gullfaks Gudrun map 468

"Through this transaction, Statoil captures value created through asset development and unlocks capital for investment in high return projects in core areas. This includes our recent discoveries on the Norwegian continental shelf. We continue to deliver on our strategy to create value through active portfolio management and to further increase our financial flexibility," says Helge Lund, Statoil's president and chief executive officer.

Statoil expects to recognize a gain from the transaction estimated to be between USD 1.3-1.5 billion, to be adjusted for activity between the effective date 1 January 2013 and the closing date.

The transaction will enable Statoil to redeploy around USD 7 billion of capital expenditure, around USD 5.5 billion of which is pre-2020 (excluding potential investments in the recent Shetland/Lista discovery at Gullfaks).

Entering partnership

OMV is an established company on both the Norwegian (NCS) and the UK (UKCS) continental shelves. Statoil and OMV enter into a partnership including potential cooperation on exploration opportunities across Norway, the UK and the Faroese Islands as well as the development of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) technologies.

"Statoil is pleased to strengthen the partnership with OMV on the Norwegian continental shelf. OMV is already a valued partner in Edvard Grieg and Aasta Hansteen, and this agreement enables our companies to develop the cooperation further," says Lund.

"I believe this is a win-win deal for Statoil and OMV. Apart from the assets, I am especially proud that we can partner with a world-class leader in offshore and EOR technology," says Gerhard Roiss, chief executive officer of OMV.

Demonstrating value of Statoil's NCS and UKCS portfolio

The transaction builds on Statoil's offshore competence and experience, and track record of realising value through asset development and portfolio management.

As operator of the Gullfaks field, Statoil has added substantial value through successful efforts to maximise oil recovery and recently announced a new discovery in the Shetland/Lista formation. As part of the transaction, Statoil captures upside from this discovery through a contingent payment of 6 USD per barrel of oil equivalent of reserves developed.

Gudrun is on track for production start-up in the first quarter of 2014. As the operator, Statoil is executing the development on time and below original cost estimates. Today's transaction demonstrates the value of efficient project execution in an asset where Statoil increased its ownership in 2010.

Statoil remains committed to growing its business on the UKCS and is the operator of large field developments including the Mariner project and exploration licenses. By divesting non-core, non-operated developments in the West of Shetlands, Statoil further focuses its UK portfolio.

Statoil's production from the divested assets in the first half of 2013 was approximately 26,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day from Gullfaks. Production impact for Statoil from the transaction is estimated to around 40,000 barrels of equity oil equivalent per day in 2014 and 60,000 per day in 2016.

The effective date for the transaction is 1 January 2013. Closing is expected around year end 2013, pending government and partner approvals.

Total proceeds of around USD 15 billion have been realised through divestments by Statoil since 2010, enabling the company to redeploy resources to core, high-return upstream projects.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Lambert Energy Advisory Limited were financial advisors to Statoil on this transaction.


Eco Atlantic Awarded Oil Exploration Rights on its License #31, Extending into Walvis Basin Waters, Offshore Namibia

EcoAtlanticlogoEco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas Ltd. ("Eco Atlantic" or the "Company") (TSX-V: EOG, NSX: EOG) is pleased to announce that it has received final approval from Namibia's Ministry of Mines and Energy (the "Ministry") for the inclusion of all oil and gas rights on its Skeleton Coast License #31 which is a transition license that is both onshore Huab Basin and extends offshore Walvis Basin. The License, which the Company recently named "Daniel", covers Blocks 2114, 2013B and 2014B. The license originally covered only CBM and Shale rights but now will include all petroleum.

The Daniel Block has an offshore section extending into Walvis Basin that the Company has recently evaluated for oil prospectivity. Colin Kinley, Eco's Chief Operating Officer commented, "The offshore section of Daniel is near shore, however, it has good cover and is on trend with the slope and direction of the source rock, proven in the last two wells drilled by HRT in the basin. The drilling of the Toscanini well four decades ago on the beach section of this block, based on visible oil shows, seems to be consistent with our evaluation of the block. This oil presence was the basis for wild cat drilling of the Toscanini well, and our oil slick study with Fugro further defines oil presence in the basin and the prospectivity on the Daniel new offshore section of the block. We believe further work on the offshore section of this block will prove consistently prospective."

Gil Holzman, Chief Executive Officer of Eco Atlantic commented, "Eco continues with the focused evaluation of our offshore blocks in the Walvis Basin. We have carefully selected and negotiated the addition of the conventional oil and gas rights for the Daniel Block. The recent confirmation of source rock in both of HRT's wells in the basin is in agreement with our exploration science and definitely has increased focus on the Walvis Basin proven oil prospects. We are grateful for the Ministry's approval."

The Company further announces, based on its technical assessment, and in return for the conversion of License #31, the relinquishment of its CBM Exploration License #32, (Block 2418) onshore South East Namibia.


PIRA Energy Group's Weekly Oil Market Recap for the Week Ending August 18th, 2013

PirlalogoNYC-based PIRA Energy Group believes that the China GDP slowdown is underway. On the week, U.S. commercial stocks drew. Specifically, PIRA’s analysis of the oil market fundamentals has revealed the following:

 Difficult Transitions Underway

The China GDP slowdown is underway. It is still unclear whether the long-predicted transition to slower, domestic led growth will be successful and smooth. While this may represent a vulnerability to demand growth (for all fuels), the increasingly volatile political transition in MENA could prove to represent a far more important vulnerability to oil and gas supply growth. The shale revolution continues to spread from the natural gas supply to the demand side of the balance as new markets emerge to take advantage of the growth of low cost North American production. 

U.S. Stocks Drew Last Week

Total commercial stocks decreased for the week ending August 9, largely offsetting the modest builds seen in the prior two weeks. Products increased despite lower refinery runs and lower product imports due to weaker reported demand. Crude stocks drew, with Cushing crude stock draws accounting for half of the total draw. Cushing crude stocks are now down from the all-time high this year and at the lowest level since 1Q12. Despite this week’s decline, the stock excess to last year widened as there was a draw in this week last year. 

U.S. Sees Low Propane Stock Build

A surprisingly low stock build was indicated for the latest reporting week. The U.S. is experiencing a widening deficit to last year. The storage deficit relative to last season is expected to widen as the pace of exports picks up and with a likely favorable crop drying season ahead. 

EPA Finalizes 2013 Biofuel Standards and Will Reduce 2014 Mandates

U.S. ethanol prices and margins fell last week because of rising production, inventories and imports. Sharply lower RIN prices also put downside pressure on prices. The EPA finalized the renewable fuel standards for 2013 and stated that it will reduce the 2014 mandates in order for them to be achievable. 

Ethanol Stocks Draw; Production Higher

Ethanol stocks were drawn by 291 thousand barrels to 16.4 million barrels for the week ending August 9, erasing the build from the previous week. U.S. ethanol production rose for the second straight week, reaching 857 MB/D from 853 MB/D the prior week as several manufacturers maximized output prior to extended turnarounds planned for later this month and during September. 

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.


The Best Option for Protecting the Internal Surface of Oilfield Tubulars Against Corrosion

Corrosion in the oilfield can be caused by many sources: H2S, HCl, CO2, SO2, brinish disposal water, highly acidic soil conditions and many others. DLRing ProductCrossSection1Corrosion reduces productivity, and causes downtime for maintenance, or worse, replacement. Each year, corrosion costs oil and gas operating companies billions of dollars in lost revenue and reduced operating profit.

Operating companies involved in oil and gas production have to abide by safe and timely production schedules. In many instances, fluids are so highly corrosive that most tubulars will experience greatly diminished life cycle without some sort of protection.

There are ways to minimize the effects of corrosion on the internal surface of oilfield tubulars. But before making any specification for your application, you should have some basic knowledge of the two most commonly used forms of protection: coatings and liners.

Internal Plastic Coatings (IPC)

Originally, most internal coatings were organic solvent based however, pressured by the Clean Air Act in the 1970’s, the industry implemented powder coatings to cut use of solvents, hence reducing emissions. Efforts to coat with powder are often unsuccessful because the adhesion of coating to the pipe is often ineffective.

One reason--these coatings are thin and unable to resist impact, thus culminating in aggressive localized corrosion. In addition, the coatings are not of universal thickness or found throughout the entire product. Over time, these imperfections grow, until there was a complete failure of the piping that would shut down the system.

While, many of the powder coatings have improved. It is essential to understand what kind of parameters must exist to ensure success. See attached graph for comparison between Internal Plastics Coatings (IPC) and Glass Reinforced Epoxy (GRE) Liners.

Internal Plastics Coatings (IPC)

GRE Liners

IPC susceptible to damage from wireline tools and coil tubing operations

Durable 50-95 mil thickness is highly resistant to wireline damage and coiled tubing intervention

IPC can flake off upon penetration by trapped gas molecules

High hoop strength modulus and system has very low permeability

IPC specific per application environment

GRE systems are adaptable to a large range of environment and able to accommodate a changing injection profile



Petrobras: US$ 2.1 Billion Asset Sale

petrobras-logoAt a meeting held on August 16 , Petrobras' Board of Directors approved the following asset sale transactions totaling US$ 2.1 billion:

1. Sale of a 100% interest in Petroquímica Innova S.A. (Innova) to Videolar S.A. and its majority shareholder for R$ 870 million (approximately US$ 372 million1), the buyer to take on debt of approximately R$ 23 million.

The transaction will be put to a vote at an Extraordinary Shareholders' Meeting to be convened in due course and, based on the opinion of the Brazilian Securities Commission, will not involve any preemptive rights for the acquisition of Innova shares by Petrobras shareholders.

Innova is a second-generation petrochemical company sited in the Petrochemical Zone of Triunfo, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. It produces ethylbenzene, styrene and polystyrene, used in the manufacture of home appliances, disposables, elastomers, packaging, paints and fiberglass.

Completion of the transaction is subject to certain standard pre-conditions, including approval by the Brazilian Antitrust Authority (Cade).

2. Sale of the 35% stake held by Petrobras in block BC-10, known as Parque das Conchas, to the Sinochem Group for US$ 1.54 billion.

Block BC-10 is located in the Campos Basin, some 100 km off the south coast of the state of Espírito Santo, and partners include Shell, the operator with a 50% stake, and ONGC with 15%. These partners have preemptive rights which can be exercised within 30 days after notification.

Completion of the transaction is subject to the certain standard pre-conditions, including approval by the Brazilian Antitrust Authority (Cade), Brazil's National Petroleum, Natural Gasand Biofuels Agency (ANP) and China's National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

3. Signing of farm-out contracts amounting to US$ 185 million related to 100% of the Petrobras stake in blocks MC 613 (Coulomb), GB 244 (Cottonwood) and EW 910, all in production and located in the US Gulf of Mexico.

Petrobras has a 33% stake in the Coulomb field; the remaining 67% is held by Shell, which is the operator. The field is located in Mississippi Canyon Block 613 (MC 613), some 130 km off the coast of Louisiana.

Petrobras has a 100% stake in the Cottonwood field located in the Garden Banks Block 244 (GB 244), some 220 km off the coast of Texas.

Petrobras has a 60% stake in the EW910 asset; the remaining 40% is held by W&T Offshore, which is the operator.

The transaction is subject to third party preemptive rights and approval by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).


Apache Agrees to Sell Alberta Oil and Gas Assets to Ember Resources for US$214 Million

Apache logoApache Corporation (NYSE, Nasdaq: APA) has announced it has agreed to sell oil and gas producing properties in the Nevis, North Grant Lands and South Grant Lands areas of western Alberta, Canada, to Ember Resources Inc., a private Canadian company, for US$214 million (CAN$220 million).

"Going forward, Apache is focused on growing our liquids production from a deep inventory of crude oil- and liquids-rich opportunities that generate attractive rates of return on our extensive remaining acreage in Canada's Western Sedimentary Basin," said Rodney J. Eichler, president and chief operating officer. "We also remain focused on advancing the Kitimat LNG project to monetize large unconventional resources in the Liard and Horn River basins in northern British Columbia.

"This transaction is one element of a comprehensive review of Apache's portfolio to determine which assets make the most sense for Apache to own given our growth and return objectives and which assets are better owned by others," Eichler said. "The Nevis, North Grant Lands and South Grant Lands assets fit in the latter category."

Apache's Nevis, North Grant Lands and South Grant Lands assets

The assets comprise 621,000 gross acres (530,000 net acres) and more than 2,700 wells that had average net production of 67 million cubic feet of gas and 237 barrels of liquid hydrocarbons per day from late Cretaceous sands and coal seams during the second quarter of 2013. Apache will retain 100 percent working interest in horizons below the Cretaceous, such as potential Duvernay and Nisku, in Nevis and North Grant Lands.

The effective date of the transaction is April 1, 2013, and it is expected to be completed during the third quarter, subject to customary regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

"I commend the employees who have worked these assets for many years of safe and environmentally responsible operations," Eichler said.

Portfolio Rebalancing

Apache previously announced plans to divest $4 billion in assets by year-end 2013. The company intends to use proceeds from the asset divestitures to reduce debt and enhance financial flexibility and to repurchase Apache common shares under a 30- million-share repurchase program authorized by the Board of Directors earlier this year.

In July, Apache announced an agreement to sell its Gulf of Mexico Shelf operations and properties to Fieldwood Energy LLC (Fieldwood), an affiliate of Riverstone Holdings, for cash proceeds of $3.75 billion. In addition, Fieldwood will assume all asset retirement obligations for these properties, which, as of June 30, 2013, Apache estimated at a discounted value of approximately $1.5 billion.


ConocoPhillips Announces Sale of Trinidad and Tobago Asset

conocophillipsConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) has announced that it has closed a transaction with the National Gas Company of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (NGC) for the sale of its wholly owned subsidiary, Trinidad and Tobago Holdings LLC, for a total consideration of $600 million plus customary adjustments.

Trinidad and Tobago Holdings LLC holds a 39 percent interest in Phoenix Park Gas Processors Limited (PPGPL). PPGPL operates a gas processing and natural gas liquids fractionation facility located at Point Lisas, Trinidad.

“The sale of this noncore, midstream asset represents further progress in strengthening and focusing the ConocoPhillips portfolio, and advances the strategic interests of both NGC and ConocoPhillips,” said Don Wallette, executive vice president, Commercial, Business Development and Corporate Planning. “We appreciate the long and productive relationship we have had with NGC.”

ConocoPhillips expects to recognize an after-tax gain of approximately $290 million for the sale.

Including this transaction, ConocoPhillips has announced expected proceeds of approximately $14.1 billion from the sale of nonstrategic assets as part of its 2012-13 asset disposition program. Through June 30, 2013, the company has received $3.8 billion in proceeds from completed sales, with the remainder expected by year-end 2013. These proceeds will be available for general corporate purposes and allow the company to advance existing growth programs.


Pomerantz Law Firm has filed a Class Action Against McDermott International, Inc. and Certain Officers -- MDR

Pomerantz Grossman Hufford Dahlstrom & Gross LLP has filed a class action lawsuit against McDermott International, Inc.  ("McDermott" or the "Company") (NYSE: MDR) and certain of its officers.  The class action, filed in United States District Court, Southern District of Texas, and docketed under 13-cv-2442, is on behalf of a class consisting of all persons or entities who purchased or otherwise acquired securities of McDermott between November 6, 2012 and August 5, 2013 both dates inclusive (the "Class Period"). This class action seeks to recover damages against the Company and certain of its officers and directors as a result of alleged violations of the federal securities laws pursuant to Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.

McDermott is an engineering, procurement, construction and installation ("EPCI") company focused on executing complex offshore oil and gas projects worldwide.  The Company provides integrated EPCI services for upstream field developments including, fixed and floating production facilities, pipelines and subsea systems from concepts to commissioning.  McDermott operates in approximately 20 countries across the Atlantic, Middle East and Asia Pacific area.  

The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants made false and misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (a) the Company was experiencing weakness in its project bidding and execution; (b) the Company was engaging in poor risk evaluation; (c) the Company had been experiencing poor project management; (d) the Company was experiencing material losses in its Middle East, Asia Pacific and Atlantic segments; and (e) based upon the above, the Defendants lacked a reasonable basis for their positive statements about the Company during the Class Period.

On August 5, 2013 the Company issued a press release, reporting the Company's second quarter financial and operating results for the quarter ending June 30, 2013, stating a substantial decrease in the Company's year-over-year financial results which the Company attributed to poor performance of several significant projects in the Middle East and Asia Pacific segment along with underutilization of assets in the Company's Atlantic segment.  The Company additionally disclosed that it was taking immediate action to correct "weaknesses" in its "project bidding and execution" and that management was putting in place four initiatives in order to create a "more disciplined culture within the Company" to deliver adequate return on the Company's investors' capital.  On this news, McDermott shares declined $1.80 per share or over 19%, to close at $6.93 per share on August 6, 2013.


Aker Solutions Wins Contract for Johan Castberg Floater Study

logoAker Solutions won a contract from Statoil to conduct an extended concept study for the floater for the Johan Castberg oilfield development in the Barents Sea. The contract, worth NOK 250 million, includes options for further work.

"This is an exciting opportunity to take part in the development of a major new oil field in northern Norway," says Per Harald Kongelf, regional president for Norway at Aker Solutions.

Aker Solutions has previously conducted concept studies for the Johan Castberg field, which is estimated to hold between 400 million and 600 million barrels of oil. The Statoil-operated field is located about 240 kilometres north-west of Hammerfest.


Unique System FZE Appoints New Division Head for its Oil & Gas Division

Unique System FZE, a Unique Maritime Group company, which is one of the world’s leading integrated turnkey subsea and offshore solution providers, Martin-Boltonhas announced the joining of Martin Bolton as the new Division Head for its Oil & Gas Division for the Middle East Region.  He will be based at Unique’s head office in Sharjah in the UAE.

His main responsibilities will include leading and developing the Oil & Gas Division’s team and to ensure that the high product quality, technical and customer service continues to fulfill customer expectations. His main role will be to further expand the Oil & Gas division amid offering a new range of services to the existing clients as well as a new set of clients in the Middle East Region. A few of these services would be Well Head maintenance, Refurbishment of Wellheads, internal and external casing cutting, Slot recoveries, Permanent Abandonments, Supply of High Pressure High Temperature Risers ( HPHT ) ,Supply of Low Pressure Risers, Supply of Double Studded Adapters ( DSA ), tension systems/ tension rings, Overshots, etc. With his primacy, we would soon be targeting a geographical expansion by exploring the competitive Middle Eastern territories of KSA and Kuwait to offer our portfolio of products and services.

Martin started his early career by working as a Service Technician and then as a Field Service and Subsea Service Engineer, for companies such as Weatherford, Vetco Gray and Dril-Quip which acquainted him to the running, installation and maintenance of equipment, and to the overall project completion. He rapidly advanced in his career and worked as a Business Development Manager and General Manager (Sales) over the past 9 years with Claxton, an Acteon Group company. All through his career, Martin has actively managed sales activities and opportunities, while also providing valuable technical and engineering assistance to clients.

On this occasion, Sahil Gandhi, Director @ Unique Maritime Group said, “We are extremely delighted to have Martin Bolton on board to further expand our Oil & Gas Division. He has remarkable experience in the Middle East region and his phenomenal sales, engineering and business development skills will invigorate our market share in the Oil & Gas sector which till date has not been deeply explored.”

Martin Bolton asserted, “I am delighted to be offered this challenging role to help develop Unique’s Oil & Gas division in the Middle East region. I hope to use my expertise to target new clients in this important market sector and target new products too, also add value to the services that the company already has to offer, and focus on customers’ needs and satisfaction.”



$11+ Billion in Orders for 
Floating Production Systems

The floating production sector has been especially active over the past several months. Ten production floaters have been ordered since March. They include a $3 FPSO Cidade de Niteroi MV18billion FPSO for Nigeria (a record price for an FPSO), two $1.8 billion FPSOs for Brazil, a $1.8 billion FPSO for the UK, a $1.3 billion production barge for the Congo and a $1.0 billion FPSO for the Gulf of Mexico.


MODEC's FPSO Cidade de Niteroi MV18 


269 floating production units now in service or available —

This figure is 22% greater than five years ago, almost 80% higher than ten years back. FPSOs account for 61% of the existing systems. The balance is comprised of production semis, tension leg platforms, production spars, production barges and floating regasification/storage units. Thirteen units (12 FPSOs, 1 Semi) are off field and available for reuse – resulting in an overall utilization rate of 95.2%. Another 93 floating storage/offloading units (without production capability) are in service.


72 production floaters are on order —


Current order backlog consists of 40 FPSOs, 6 production semis, 5 TLPs, 4 spars, 1 barge, 4 FLNGs and 12 FSRUs. Delivery of the equipment will grow the production floater inventory by 27%. In the backlog are 46 units utilizing purpose-built hulls, 26 units based on converted tanker hulls and 1 unit being modified from an existing production semi Of the production floaters being built, 41 are owned by field operators, 31 are being supplied by leasing contractors. Brazil continues to dominate orders for production floaters – 23 units are being built for use offshore Brazil, 32% of the order backlog.                               


241 new floater projects are in the bidding or planning stage

The number of future projects in the pipeline keeps growing. A year ago 233 projects were in the planning or bidding stage. Five years ago, the figure was 141 projects. Ten years back, 94 projects. According to Jim McCaul, head of IMA, "potential deepwater projects should grow significantly over the rest of the decade. Oil demand keeps growing, the futures market points to $90+ oil through the decade, deepwater drill contractors are running at full load and 90+ additional drillships/semis are scheduled for delivery over the next few years. These new drill units will increase deepwater drill capability by 30% and remove a bottleneck that has constrained E&D in deepwater."

But deepwater spending could be hitting headwinds

Deepwater projects compete for a place in capital expenditure plans – and investment opportunities in tight oil and shale gas could cause some deepwater projects to slip from oil company capex budgets. This could be occurring now. According to McCaul, "maybe it is more than a coincidence that five major deepwater projects have been deferred over the past several months. Each project had its own reason for deferral. But five in such a short period sends warning signals to everyone in this sector."

International Maritime Associates (IMA) is a firm of business consultants specializing in market analysis and strategic planning for companies in the marine and offshore sectors.

We provide the front-end research needed to size the available market, analyze customer requirements, benchmark market position, identify new business opportunities, evaluate market positioning options and assess potential acquisitions or strategic alliances.

Since formation in 1973, IMA has performed over 350 consulting assignments for clients in more than 40 countries.


Visual Observation Inside South Timbalier 220 Well

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), U.S. Coast Guard, and Walter Oil & Gas Corporation (Walter), through the Unified Command, continue to hercules 265-oversee and coordinate response efforts to secure the South Timbalier 220 natural gas Well A-3. Safety of personnel and protection of the environment remain the top priorities.

All debris is now removed from the wellhead giving crews vertical access to the well, removal was done from the derrick barge “Performance”.

BSEE approved plans to send a camera and logging tools down the wellbore and is conducting visual observation along with Unified Command. Observations will be used to advance well intervention plans. No gas releases are reported from fixed wireless detectors placed some 30 feet from the top of the well or detection devices carried by all onsite personnel.

Drilling on the relief well is underway using the Rowan EXL-3 jack-up rig, contracted by Walter. Drilling is expected to continue through early September. Many factors can affect the expected schedule including weather and the intricate work of locating the target well bore at the end of the drilling process. A relief well is drilled to intercept the target well. Once intercepted, drilling mud, followed by cement will be pumped into the well to secure it.

All available options to safely secure the natural gas well remain under consideration. Work is moving forward on all approaches.

From visual observation, a sheen is no longer present in the area of the well. The Coast Guard continues to maintain a 500-meter safety zone around the site. Firefighting and other marine vessels remain onsite with personnel from Walter, Hercules, and other professional engineering contractors, and relevant federal agencies. BSEE's investigation into the cause of the loss of well control continues in coordination with the Coast Guard.

Additional updates will be issued as information becomes available. Media inquiries and requests for additional information should be directed to. 504-736-2595.

BACKGROUND:  Walter experienced a loss of control of Well A-3 at approximately 8:45a.m. July 23 on an unmanned platform at South Timbalier Block 220 while doing completion work on the sidetrack well to prepare the well for production. The operator reported the safe evacuation of 44 personnel from the Hercules 265 jack-up rig. Coast Guard confirmed that the leaking natural gas ignited at 10:45 p.m. CDT July 23. BSEE confirmed July 25 that the well flow subsided after a natural bridging process and the fire was suppressed.


Increasing Investment in Offshore Exploration Activities, to Drive the Global Offshore Drilling Market to $121.1 Billion by 2018

ResearchandmarketslogoOffshore Drilling Market By Services (Contract Drilling, Directional Drilling, Logging While Drilling), Applications (Shallow Water, Deepwater, Ultra-Deepwater) And Geography-Global Trends & Forecasts To 2018'

The growing demand for energy, coupled with increasing investment in offshore exploration activities, will drive the global offshore drilling market to $121.1 billion by 2018, growing at a CAGR of 10.6% from 2013 to 2018.

The factors that drive the growth of this market are sustained high oil prices, increased investment from oil and gas operators, and a surge in deep and ultra-deepwater activities. The maturity of onshore oil reserves now shifts the focus of operator companies towards deep water offshore areas.

Among the services considered by the report, offshore contract drilling holds the biggest share with 78% of the total revenue in 2012. Coupled with increasing day rates and record backlog orders, offshore contract drilling companies find a bright outlook and add new equipment to their fleet to provide the most versatile fleets of mobile offshore drilling units.

Other services such as directional drilling and logging while drilling, holds 18% and 4% of the total market revenue respectively in 2012.

This report analyzes various marketing trends and establishes the most effective growth strategy. It identifies market dynamics such as drivers, opportunities, burning issues, and winning imperatives. The size of the overall market is determined by forecasting techniques based on offshore contracted rig count, day rates, and well counts in different geographical regions which are validated through primary sources. The market data is available from 2011 to 2018, growing at a CAGR of 10.6% from 2013 to 2018.

Companies Mentioned

- Atwood Oceanics Inc
- Baker Hughes Inc
- China Oil Field Services Limited
- Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc
- Fred Olsen Energy ASA
- Gyrodata Inc
- Halliburton Company
- KCA Deutag
- Maersk Drilling
- Nabors Industries Ltd
- Noble Corporation
- Rowan Companies PLC
- Schlumberger Limited
- Scientific Drilling International
- Seadrill Ltd
- Superior Energy Services
- Transocean Ltd
- Weatherford International Ltd

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Halliburton and Gazprom Neft Enter Into Technology Cooperation Agreement

GAZPROM Halliburton handshakeHalliburton (NYSE:HAL) has entered into an agreement of cooperation with Gazprom Neft for the introduction of new technologies to improve operational efficiency in Gazprom Neft fields.

“The strategic objective of Gazprom Neft is to increase hydrocarbon production to 100 million tons of oil equivalent by 2020. According to our estimation, more than half of all our oil will be produced using innovative technologies.  Enhancement of mature field development efficiency and implementation of new major projects involve technological challenges.  In order to solve these problems, we are actively cooperating with Russian and foreign service companies choosing the most suitable modern technologies for our oilfields” said Gazprom Neft first deputy general director Vadim Yakovlev.

Representatives of the two companies will collaborate on technological solutions for hard-to-recover reserves,unconventional resources, deepwaterand other projects.  Gazprom Neft specialists will provide Halliburton with updated data on implementation of specific projects and Halliburton experts will offer technological solutions.

“Halliburton invests significant funds and resources into research and development of new technologies for the exploration and production of hydrocarbons,” said Konstantin Schilin, general director of Halliburton’s Russia operations.  “This innovation allows us to continuously perfect our capabilities and offer efficient solutions to lower cost per BOE for our customers.”


SAIC Awarded Contract By Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency


SAIC-LogoScience Applications International Corporation (SAIC) [NYSE: SAI] announced it was awarded a prime contract by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to provide deep ocean acoustic detection for Transformational Reliable Acoustic Path Systems (TRAPS). The single-award cost-plus fixed-fee contract has a fourteen-month base period of performance, one six-month option, and a total contract value of approximately $10 million if the option is exercised. 

 TRAPS is a fixed passive sonar node designed to achieve large-area coverage by exploiting advantages of operating from the deep seafloor.  Under a previous contract, SAIC completed the initial TRAPS prototype design under the Deep Sea Operations Program Phase 1B, part of the Distributed Agile Submarine Hunting program, and continued validation of the underlying scientific approach through the further analysis of available Navy datasets. In Phase 2, SAIC completed a highly successful deep ocean acoustic data collection using the primary sensor intended for the TRAPS prototype that validated key foundational hypothesis for this breakthrough approach.

 Under Phase 3 of the contract, SAIC will expand the number of prototype nodes to demonstrate a scalable distributed system prototype system to detect quiet submarines.  SAIC intends to supply DARPA with a capability to use systems of configurable technology to achieve Antisubmarine Warfare surveillance needs over large, operationally relevant deep ocean areas.

 "We're excited to continue to work with DARPA on this program, maintaining our commitment and focus on offering innovative solutions that will lead to a final sea test demonstration employing multiple long endurance nodes modified and tested for improved power efficiency, information assurance, enhanced signal processing and manufacturability," said John Fratamico, SAIC senior vice president and group general manager. 


DOF Subsea USA Takes Delivery of Jones Act Compliant Construction Vessel - Harvey Deep-SEA

harveydeepseaDOF Subsea USA has taken delivery of the new build DPII Multipurpose Construction Vessel - Harvey Deep-Sea under a 4-year long term charter agreement with Harvey Gulf International Marine.

DOF Subsea will immediately commence the planned mobilization, comprising of structural reinforcement of the back deck to allow rapid mobilization of project specific equipment, repositioning of the crane boom rest, expansion of deck utilities, integration of two (2) new XLX ROV system and installation of on-line /off-line survey systems. 

Upon completion of the mobilization and prior to commencing committed work with undisclosed client in the Gulf of Mexico, the vessel will undertake a short trials program to test the newly integrated ROV's and calibrate on-board USBL and Crane AHC Systems.

The Harvey Deep-Sea is a 92 meters in length and 19.5 meters in beam vessel featuring a 165t AHC Knuckle-boom crane (approx. 90t to 3,000 meters), accommodation for 71 people, S92 helideck, FiFi 2 and it is certified to carry methanol proving a suitable asset to the Subsea Team to deliver integrated projects safely and in compliance with the Jones Act.

DOF Subsea owns and operates a high specification fleet of vessels and ROVs, which in combination with our team of highly qualified and experienced personnel provides our Clients with safe, efficient and cost effective project delivery. 


The International Herald Tribune and Energy Intelligence Unveil Stellar Line-Up for the 34th Annual Oil & Money Conference

Oil -MoneyThe International Herald Tribune (IHT) and Energy Intelligence this year welcome a number of new distinguished speakers to the 34th Oil & Money Conference.  Taking place in London on October 1 & 2, Oil & Money will bring together energy and finance experts for two days of stimulating discussion and debate on the crucial issues facing the international energy sector today.

This year’s theme, “A Revolution in Progress,” will examine the challenges driving the global energy agenda and explore how political unrest in the Middle East and North Africa region, technological advancement and regulatory pressures are impacting the bottom line. Topics for discussion include US energy independence and the implications for global markets, the significance of exploration and production successes in Africa and the role of liquefied natural gas in the convergence of regional gas markets.

Emilio Lozoya, Chief Executive Officer, PEMEX, will be delivering a keynote address on the opening up of Mexican waters to private investment and competition.  Other new speakers taking to the stage this year include Miguel Galuccio, President & Chief Executive Officer, YPF, Michael Blaha, Executive Chairman, Discover Exploration, and Torbjörn Törnqvist, Chief Executive Officer, Gunvor Group, each of whom will be sharing their insights on the trends, challenges and opportunities shaping the future of the global energy industry.  

Stephen Dunbar-Johnson, Publisher, IHT, commented: “For more than three decades Oil & Money has crafted a program that brings together a powerhouse of industry leaders, influencers and policymakers and through candid and inspired debate has brought into focus the key challenges impacting the oil and gas sector worldwide. As the global energy picture evolves, with geopolitical forces creating an ever more volatile and complex marketplace, the insights and strategies shared at Oil & Money this year will have more relevance and value than ever before."

Lara Sidawi Moore, Chief Strategy Officer and Chairman, Executive Committee, Energy Intelligence, said, “Oil & Money is the leading annual conference for global oil and gas industry leaders. Now, in its 34th year, geopolitical events are again at the forefront of the issues impacting the industry. High oil prices have enabled development in North America of new technologies for extraction of non-conventional gas and oil, which have far reaching consequences for global markets. Our agenda focuses on these issues and is sure to spark lively debate.”