CSA Demonstrates Capabilities of Advanced Diver Navigation System

CSA LogoCSA Ocean Sciences Inc. (CSA) recently deployed its Advanced Diver Navigation System to conduct numerous projects with differing purposes.  The CSA system includes the Shark Navigator, a self-contained, highly portable, diver-operated mapping system with high accuracy positioning. 

CSA’s Diver Navigation System is designed to give the diver complete autonomy from topside sensors or support vessels, aid in locating CSA AdvancedDiverNavigationSystemtargets, and support seafloor feature and resource mapping.  Divers can plot pre-determined survey lines, seafloor features, resources, targets, and pipeline routes or simply map any points of interest as needed.  The computer software easily integrates with Hypack® navigational software, allowing divers to streamline data collection and processing.  Divers are able to log the track while collecting still photographs and HD video, thereby providing exact locations of any abnormalities.  If a diver’s GPS position is lost due to water depth or wave action, the Doppler Navigation System automatically updates the position data until the GPS returns online.

Utilizing the Diver Navigation System, CSA divers conducted a detailed inspection of sewer outfall pipelines in shallow water depths normally considered inaccessible by support vessels and ROVs.  This system was also recently used to perform a benthic habitat characterization study in Key West for the U.S. Navy.  Using the on-screen navigation, divers were able to swim to pre-plotted points and transects, designate points of interest, and map the perimeter of the habitat.  The system is currently being used for a coral reconnaissance survey in Puerto Rico where a given search area has been designated proximal to pre-existing coral monitoring stations.  These monitoring stations are used to identify any of the seven proposed endangered coral species of the Atlantic and Caribbean found within the 66 Reef-building Coral Species designated by the Endangered Species Act.

The Shark Navigator is manufactured by Shark Marine Technologies Inc.  For more information on the capabilities of CSA’s Advanced Diver Navigation System as well as its other environmental services, please visit our website at www.csaocean.com or call 772-219-3000.

CSA Ocean Sciences Inc. specializes in consulting services for Federal, State, and private industry clients in multidisciplinary projects, integrating science and technology to evaluate environmental activities throughout the world.  CSA offers a wide variety of services related to environmental management and community planning to support clients working in marine, estuarine, wetland, freshwater, and terrestrial habitats throughout the United States and overseas.


Wood Group PSN Shows Strength in the North Sea with Another Contract Extension

Wood Group PSN (WGPSN) has retained its contract with Dana Petroleum for an integrated support services (ISC) in the North Sea, marking more than 14 years of continuous service as prime contractor on the Triton FPSO.

The contract is for two years with the option of a one-year extension and estimated to be worth up to $60 USD million (£40 million GBP) per year.

WGPSN will continue to provide operations, maintenance, engineering and construction services to Dana Petroleum. Effective immediately, the contract will be supported by 120 people offshore and 30 onshore, in the UK from our Aberdeen and regional Glasgow offices.

WoodgroupPSN-dave stewartDave Stewart, UK managing director  for WGPSN (Photo) said: "We have provided support to the Triton FPSO vessel for more than 14 years and are delighted to continuethis contract with the new operator.  Dana Petroleum is a dynamic new operator and securing this piece of work positions us well to support Dana Petroleum as it continues to grow its business in the UK."

Richard Lyon, UK Operations Manager for Dana Petroleum said: “Dana has a determined growth strategy and Wood Group PSN has shown a commitment to helping us achieve this. This contract further enhances our long-term commitment to the UKCS.”

This is the seventh North Sea contract extension chalked up by WGPSN in 2013 from CNR, TOTAL E&P UK, Teekey, Ithaca Energy, Nexen and ConocoPhillips.  Most recently WGPSN also announced the acquisition of Pyeroy Group Limited ("Pyeroy"), a provider of specialist coatings, access and fabric maintenance services to the oil & gas, marine and rail industries. 

In the UK, Wood Group now employs more than 11,000 people working onshore and offshore.


RigNet Installs iDirect Hub in Brazil to Focus on Energy and Maritime Applications

Leading global remote communications provider set to expand operations in Brazil to capitalize on regional growth opportunities

iDirectlogoVT iDirect, Inc. (iDirect), a company of VT Systems, Inc. (VT Systems), announces that RigNet, Inc.(NASDAQ: RNET), a leading rignet-logoglobal provider of managed remote communications to the energy industry, has deployed an iDirect Series 5IF Universal Satellite Hub in Guaratiba, Brazil. This current installment will enable RigNet to accelerate its penetration of the region's growing oil and gas and energy maritime markets. iDirect is a world leader in satellite-based IP communications technology.

 Based on the network expansion, RigNet will offer a managed service for energy, deep-water maritime and remote applications such as VoIP, Internet, video-conferencing and video services. The network delivers Ku-band bandwidth over iDirect's Evolution iDX 3.1 software and X5 remote. This deployment follows RigNet's recent expansion of iDirect services into the Asia Pacific and Middle East regions. The goal of these deployments is to provide regional TDMA services for the energy maritime sector, and build seamless Ku-band services on a global scale.

 "Expanding our coverage to the Latin America market is a strategic move as the region continues to grow and demand greater satellite connectivity.  Our continued investment in the iDirect platform enables RigNet to offer managed services to both onshore and offshore energy maritime, oil and gas, and other markets, connecting remote and central locations to improve operational efficiencies."  Mauricio RUBINSZTAJN
Area Manager – Brazil, RigNet

 "With this new hub deployment, RigNet is enhancing its reach and competitiveness across core industries that rely on satellite connectivity.  RigNet is now well positioned to provide global service and tap emerging markets like Latin America where demand for high quality satellite service is growing rapidly."


Drilling of Relief Well Begins at South Timbalier 220

hercules 265-The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE), U.S. Coast Guard, and Walter Oil & Gas Corporation (Walter), through the Unified Command, continue to 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.

Drilling began on the relief well Sunday using the Rowan EXL-3 jack-up rig, contracted by Walter. Drilling is expected to continue for approximately 35 days. 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. Removal of debris material surrounding the well head began Friday. This work is being conducted from the derrick barge, "Performance."

Walter is submitting procedures today for well intervention work to BSEE for review and approval. Once the procedures are approved, the work would begin if direct access to the well is available. 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.


 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.


Offshore Oil Production to Fuel Economic Growth in St. John's

Increased offshore oil production will make St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador the fastest growing economy among 15 Canadian cities in 2013, according to The Conference Board of Canada's Metropolitan Outlook-Summer 2013.

"With economic growth forecast to reach five per cent this year, St. John's is expected to more than recover from a 3.2 per cent decline in 2012," said Mario Lefebvre, St-Johns-NewfoundlandDirector of the Conference Board's Centre for Municipal Studies. "As the hub for the provincial offshore petroleum industry, St. John's economy will get a lift from higher offshore oil and gas production. Growth in the construction sector will continue to be positive this year, though more modest than in recent years."

Aside from St. John's, most of the cities covered in the Summer 2013 edition of the Metropolitan Outlook are expected to post modest economic gains. In all, 13 of the 15 Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) can expect growth in real gross domestic product (GDP) of between one and two per cent.

The construction sector will give a slight economic boost to some cities in Southern Ontario. Most of that growth will come from non-residential projects, as housing starts are forecast to remain weak across the province. One exception to the slowing pace of residential construction is in Oshawa, which continues to benefit from solid population growth. Thanks to sound overall construction activity, Oshawa's economy will expand by two per cent, the only CMA in this edition of the outlook besides St. John's to achieve significant growth.

Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo's real GDP is forecast to expand by 1.6 per cent, its slowest pace of growth since 2009. The slower growth will be attributable in part to a slowdown in manufacturing. But in 2014, initial work on a light-rail transit system will energize the local construction sector and push total GDP growth to 2.9 per cent.

Windsor's economy is forecast to continue to achieve modest growth, reaching 1.5 per cent in 2013. Weakness in the services sector will limit St. Catharines-Niagara's economic growth to 1.4 per cent this year, slightly below the pace recorded in the previous two years.

London's economic growth is forecast to be relatively soft at 1.2 per cent this year. Growth will be kept at bay due to ongoing restraint in public sector spending and an expected decline in manufacturing output. Sudbury's economy will expand by 1.2 per cent as well, as government cutbacks weigh down modest growth in mining. The fiscal belt-tightening will be particularly hard on Kingston, where health and education's share of economic activity is nearly double that of Ontario as a whole. Not surprisingly, economic growth is expected to be just one per cent this year.

The construction sector is forecast to contract again in 2013 in Moncton, thanks to weaker housing starts. However, widespread growth among the remaining sectors will still lead to a 1.9 per cent increase in real GDP in the area for this year. Negative growth in the construction sector is also expected in Abbotsford-Missiont his year. Fortunately, output in the services sector will see some improvement so that total real GDP growth should reach 1.9 per cent in 2013. Manufacturing gains in Thunder Bay will help offset slow services sector growth, supporting GDP growth of 1.1 per cent. In Saint John, New Brunswick, the economy will grow by 1.1 per cent as well, an improvement over last year's decline, but the CMA's outlook remains limited by weakness in construction and in wholesale and retail trade.

Cities in Quebec are set for a bumpy ride as the economy faces another weak year in investment, coupled with the government's efforts to balance the budget. Saguenay's economy will expand by 1.5 per cent this year, partly because of growth in the forestry and mining sectors. In Sherbrooke, gains in wholesale and retail trade and in finance, insurance, and real estate will drive GDPgrowth of 1.5 per cent.Trois-Rivières faces another tough year, as the shutdown of the Gentilly-2 reactor will be responsible in large part for a decline of 2.4 per cent in the area's real GDP.


Apache's Latest Horizontal Well at North Sea Bacchus Field Pushes Field Production to 17,600 Barrels per Day

Apache Corporation (NYSE, Nasdaq: APA) says that the third well in the Bacchus Field in the United Kingdom sector of the North Sea has pushed field production past 17,600 barrels of oil per day. Apache has a 50 percent interest in the field.

Apache UK Forties Alpha 02.jpg.thumbnail1024.1024The Bacchus B-1 development well, which commenced production in July, currently is producing 9,400 barrels of oil per day. Apache logged 2,057 feet net oil pay along a horizontal completion segment in high quality Jurassic-aged Fulmar sandstone in the field's western fault block. Oil from the Bacchus Field is produced through a subsea tie-back to Apache's Forties Alpha platform.

Following the recent success at Bacchus, Apache has extended its current Forties 3-D seismic survey area to cover other Jurassic development and exploration targets in Apache licenses in the Bacchus area. The seismic survey is expected to be completed in September.

Apache has brought three new fields — Bacchus, Maule and Tonto — on production in the Forties area since 2009. All three developments qualified under the United Kingdom government's small field allowance system, which provides economic incentives for operators to bring these discoveries into production.

"Utilizing existing infrastructure within the Forties Field area enables Apache to bring these smaller discoveries on production in a cost-effective manner for the benefit of all stakeholders," said James L. House, region vice president and managing director of Apache North Sea. "A little more than a year after first production, Bacchus has produced 3 million barrels of oil and has already paid out."  


Cal Dive Reports Second Quarter 2013 Results and Announces Additional Pemex Contract Award of $40 Million

caldiveCal Dive International, Inc. (NYSE: DVR) reported a second quarter 2013 loss of $1.7 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, on revenues of $121.0 million. Included in the loss is a $4.0 million after-tax gain related to the final marked-to-market adjustment of the derivative liability on the Company’s convertible debt. This compares to a loss of $5.7 million, or $0.06 per diluted share, on revenues of $120.3 million for the second quarter 2012. For the second quarter 2013, the Company reported EBITDA of $10.2 million compared to $10.7 million for the second quarter 2012.

Cal Dive also announced that it was awarded a contract on August 6, 2013, from Pemex Exploración y Producción that is expected to generate revenue of approximately $40 million. This award is in addition to the three Pemex awards already announced in 2013 for approximately $250 million. This most recent award brings the total expected revenue from contracts awarded by Pemex to Cal Dive this year to approximately $290 million. This latest contract is for the procurement, installation and commissioning of 3.5 kilometers of 20 inch subsea pipeline and associated tie-ins to an existing platform. The offshore construction is expected to commence toward the end of the fourth quarter 2013 with the remainder of the work expected to be performed during the first quarter 2014.

Commenting on the results and the contract award, Cal Dive’s Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer, Quinn Hébert, stated, “The second quarter saw increased revenue and profitability from all of our international regions. For the quarter our international revenues increased by over 60% when compared to the second quarter 2012 and accounted for 65% of our total consolidated revenues. We continue to focus on our strategy of expanding our international operations, and expect that approximately 70% of our total 2013 annual consolidated revenues will come from international locations, led by work in Mexico.

“The U.S. Gulf of Mexico shallow water market overall continued to be sluggish during the second quarter and the work season had a late start due to weather during April and into May. Furthermore, we experienced a decline in the profitability of our two derrick barges year-over-year. The Pacific was in drydock much of the quarter but was fully utilized during second quarter last year on a large decommissioning project, and the Atlantic had low utilization in the quarter due to permitting delays for salvage and decommissioning projects and inclement weather at the very end of June. However, the outlook for the salvage and decommissioning market remains steady and these two assets are expected to have good utilization during the third quarter.”

Mr. Hébert continued, “We are very pleased to have just been awarded our fourth contract from Pemex this year. Looking ahead to the second half of the year, we will commence offshore operations in Mexico later in the third quarter. Our offshore schedule is always subject to change, but currently we expect to complete more work in Mexico during the fourth quarter than the third quarter. Therefore we expect the fourth quarter financial results to be comparable with the third quarter as the Mexico activity will offset the start of the typical winter season in the Gulf of Mexico. The remainder of the Mexico work will be completed during the first half of 2014 giving us better than usual utilization during the typically slow winter season. We will continue to actively bid more projects in Mexico over the remainder of 2013 for work in 2014.”


Rowan Awarded Contract for Ultra-Deepwater Drillship Rowan Reliance

Rowan Companies plc ("Rowan" or the "Company") (NYSE: RDC) announces that one of its subsidiaries has entered into a three-year contract with Cobalt International Rowan-RelianceEnergy, L.P. ("Cobalt") (NYSE: CIE) for the Rowan Reliance, one of Rowan's new ultra-deepwater drillships currently under construction at the Hyundai Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. ("HHI") shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea.  The drillship is expected to operate in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. 

The Rowan Reliance is expected to be delivered from HHI at the end of October 2014.  The contract is expected to commence late January 2015 following mobilization.  The effective day rate for the work will be $602,000, including mobilization revenues, and adds $660 million in revenue backlog.

Matt Ralls, Rowan's Chief Executive Officer, stated, "We are very pleased to enter into this relationship with Cobalt.  They have a very exciting growth story with a strong track record in ultra-deepwater exploration.  We will complement their growth potential through our expansion into the ultra-deepwater drilling segment with the most advanced drillships in the industry.  We are proud to have this opportunity to be part of the future success of this exciting company."

The Rowan Reliance is one of four ultra-deepwater drillships being constructed for Rowan by HHI.  All four drillships are based on a GustoMSC P10,000 hull design, capable of drilling wells to depths of 40,000 feet in water depths up to 12,000 feet. The DP-3 compliant, dynamically positioned drillship will be equipped with retractable thrusters, two readily deployable seven-ram BOP systems,five mud pumps, dual mud systems and a maximum hookload capacity of 1,250 tons.

With the award of this contract for the Rowan Reliance, three of the Company's four ultra-deepwater drillships under construction at HHI are now under contract.  The fourth remaining uncontracted drillship, the Rowan Relentless, is scheduled to be delivered from the shipyard at the end of March 2015.



Kongsberg GlobalSim Installs World's Largest Crane Simulator

Kongsberg-SimulatorIn November of 2012, Kongsberg Globalsim completed its multi-year project to build and install the world's largest crane training simulator for the National Ports Agency of Morocco. The simulator uses a 10-meter dome and 12 projectors to create an immersive virtual training environment in which ANP's crane operators can safely and effectively learn to operate new equipment. As the simulator is integrated into its training regimen, ANP expects to dramatically reduce both the training time required to produce competent operators and the number of accidents caused by poor handling of heavy port equipment.

The simulator boasts one of the most realistic virtual training arenas in the world. Much of that realism comes from detailed customizations produced by Kongsberg Globalsim to replicate the port of Casablanca. The simulated cranes match the cranes used in the port. The simulation's layout matches the layout of the real port. Even the city's skyline, complete with the pointed spires of mosques, is recreated on the horizon. "Building the arena for ANP was an interesting project," says John Olsen, one of the lead engineers from Kongsberg Globalsim. "The port is very close to the Hassan II mosque. Because of this we inserted a full 3D model of the mosque into the scene outside the normal port working area, and it is visible from the cab for each of the simulators. In addition to that, our arenas have ground markings and rail placement to match the actual crane models and give the simulator a realistic area in which to work.”

One major advantage of using simulation for heavy equipment training is the diversity of training operations available on a simulator. The ANP system is one of the most diverse training simulators in the world, being able to simulate 6 different crane models. This means that it can be used in the morning to train Ship-to-Shore crane operators and then in the afternoon can be used to train straddle carrier operators.

No matter which piece of equipment is being simulated, trainees will benefit from the immersive training environment as they learn new operating skills. The simulator provides the real look and feel of using the simulated equipment, as it features authentic controls, a full cab, and an inverted 6 degree-of-freedom motion base mounted above the cab. "What is possible with today's technology is absolutely amazing," says Clyde Stauffer, Kongsberg Globalsim's vice president of marketing and sales. "The level of realism these simulators achieve creates a phenomenal training environment without the risks of using real equipment."


New MacArtney LUXUS Compact Low Light Camera

In appreciation of the continuous development of ever more compact ROVs, underwater systems and equipment - along with an emerging demand for a low light, diver inspection options, MacArtney is pleased to introduce the new LUXUS Compact Low Light Camera.


Low light, low weight - high visibility

Like the original MacArtney Low Light Camera, the new and considerably lighter compact version is designed especially for use in harsh and turbid conditions, where light is limited or artificial. Within such demanding environments, the black and white sensor (0,005 LUX) offers impressive light sensitivity, image quality and viewing performance.

Compact versatility

Featuring the same dimensions as the successful LUXUS Compact Camera, the new LUXUS Compact Low Light Camera is designed to function perfectly in combination with remaining LUXUS series including:

* LUXUS Compact LED

* LUXUS Compact Media Controller

* LUXUS pistol grip

* Diver helmet dove tail

* Universal mounting brackets

This makes the new LUXUS Low Light Camera a highly versatile and flexible choice, ideal for use in diving applications and as mounted on small inspection ROVs, diver habitats and other underwater vehicles and systems.

Rugged specifications and design

The LUXUS Compact Low Light Camera is robustly designed and rigorously tested to perform unfailingly in the harshest underwater environments. As  with all other cameras and lights within the MacArtney LUXUS range, the housing for the LUXUS Compact Low Light Camera is made from sandblasted titanium and features a depth rating of 4000 metres. Finally, the camera consumes just 2 W and can handle DC power units from 12 to 24 VDC.

According to Managing Director of MacArtney Benelux, Ron Voerman, professional operators who currently use the LUXUS Compact Camera will benefit greatly from adding the compact low light version to their toolkit. However, the new compact camera is also highly relevant for OEMs and ROV operators who are looking to exploit the advantages of design optimisation and system weight reduction. 


Petrobras Confirms Discovery of New Oil Accumulation in Santos Basin Pre-Salt

petrobras-logoPetrobras has confirmed the presence of oil in well 3-SPS-101 (3-BRSA-1179-SPS), in the Carioca Discovery Evaluation Plan area, block BM-S-9, Santos Basin pre-salt. The well, informally known as Iguaçu Mirim, is located 303 km off the coast of the state of São Paulo, 34 km south of the discovery well (1-SPS-50 - Carioca) and 9 km south of the Iguaçu well (4-BRSA-709-SPS), at a water depth of 2,158m.

This new discovery was confirmed through oil samples of approximately 20° API, taken via cable test from pre-salt carbonate reservoirs starting at a depth of 4,850 meters.

The consortium of BM-S-9 is operated by Petrobras (45%) in partnership with BG E&P Brasil (30%) and Repsol Sinopec Brasil (25%). The deadline for the Declaration of Commerciality is December 31, 2013.

Please   Click Here to see the map.


Ascent Resources Announces Disposal of interest in Netherlands Offshore Licenses

Ascent LogoAscent Resources plc, the AIM listed European oil and gas exploration and production company, today announces that it has agreed to dispose of its full interests in the Netherlands Exploration Licenses Terschelling-Noord and M10a & M11 to Tulip Oil Netherlands B.V. for a total cash consideration of up to €450,000, before selling expenses, once the consents for the transfer of the Licenses become irrevocable. These licenses did not form part of the core asset base on which the board has decided to focus.

 The agreement grants Ascent the right to re-purchase from Tulip Oil a 10% interest in each of the Licenses once Tulip Oil has made a final investment decision with respect to the commercial development of the Terschelling-Noord Field.

 The disposal enables Ascent to recover a proportion of its technical appraisal costs incurred during the period it held the Licenses.

 Len Reece, Ascent's Chief Executive Officer, commented: "This transaction is in accordance with our corporate strategy of disposing of non-core assets. It provides additional cash for the Company in the short term and allows Ascent to focus our efforts and resources on our core Petišovci project in Slovenia."


Inmarsat Announces Strategic Partnership with RigNet Targeting the Energy Sector

    Inmarsat and RigNet sign long-term distribution agreement for Global Xpress and L-band services

     RigNet signs significant 4-year Global Xpress capacity pre-purchase

    RigNet acquires Inmarsat's retail energy operations

inmarsatlogoInmarsat plc (LSE: ISAT), a leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services, and RigNet, Inc. (NASDAQ: RNET), a rignet-logoleading global provider of managed remote communications solutions to the oil and gas industry, has announced a wide-ranging strategic transaction involving the appointment of RigNet to distribute Inmarsat's Global Xpress and L-band services to the energy sector and the sale of Inmarsat's retail energy business to RigNet.

Under the terms of the agreement, RigNet will become a key Global Xpress distribution partner for the global energy sector and will offer Global Xpress and L-band services to RigNet's growing customer base.  In connection with the appointment, RigNet has entered into to a significant 4-year Global Xpress capacity pre-purchase.  

To further enhance the strategic value of the partnership, Inmarsat has agreed to sell to RigNet its retail energy operations, currently managed within the Inmarsat Solutions Enterprise business unit, for a total consideration of US$25 million.  The sale will include Inmarsat's microwave and WiMAX networks in the US Gulf of Mexico serving drillers, producers and energy vessel owners; its VSAT interests in Russia, the UK, the US and Canada, its telecommunications systems integration business operating worldwide, and its retail L-band energy satcoms business.  In 2012, the operations subject to the sale had total revenues of $81 million.  The overall transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close during or before the first quarter 2014.

RigNet, based in Houston, Texas, provides managed remote communication services in over thirty countries on six continents, covering over 1,100 oil and gas related sites ranging from drilling rigs to production facilities and energy vessels.  

Rupert Pearce, Inmarsat's Chief Executive Officer, said "We are excited about this partnership as it enhances the strategic positioning of both companies as we seek to address the communications needs of the global energy sector together. RigNet is the perfect partner for Inmarsat, supporting a large customer base of oil and gas VSAT customers, whom we expect to be at the forefront of the transition to Global Xpress services.  We also welcome the opportunity to work with RigNet's management team with its extensive knowledge of VSAT operations and customers.  This partnership prepares the way for a fast and successful take up of Global Xpress services in the global energy sector.'’

Mark Slaughter, RigNet's chief executive officer and president, said, "We are delighted to enter into this strategic partnership with Inmarsat.  As the two companies came together for discussions over a number of months - with RigNet evaluating high-throughput satellite providers and Inmarsat seeking a strong distribution channel into the energy market for its Global Xpress offering - it quickly became clear that this deal represented the best path forward for both companies."

"With the purchase of Inmarsat's energy broadband business and the addition of Global Xpress to our transport options, we will broaden and deepen our capabilities to serve the oil and gas industry across the life of the field from drilling through production," Slaughter added.  "This deal will enhance our services portfolio with world-class additions.  The highly-skilled staff that comes with the business will expand our team at an opportune time in the energy cycle.  Altogether, RigNet's extensive product and services portfolio tailored for the oil and gas industry, coupled with the unprecedented connectivity capabilities of Inmarsat's Global Xpress network, sets the stage for a step change in managed remote communications services to the oil and gas industry."

Trinity Advisers S.A. acted as Inmarsat's advisor and Steptoe & Johnson LLP acted as legal counsel on the transaction.


McDermott Announces Executive Management Retirement

mcd logoMcDermott International, Inc. (NYSE: MDR) (“McDermott” or the “Company”) announces that John T. McCormack, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, has advised the Company of his intention to retire, effective in the fourth quarter of this year. Mr. McCormack (age 66) has been with McDermott for ten years and has held his current role since 2011.

“I would like to thank Jack for his decade of contribution to McDermott,” said Stephen M. Johnson, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of McDermott, “His commitment and knowledge of the business have earned him the respect of employees and customers around the world, and we extend our best wishes to Jack for his retirement.”

An internal and external search effort is underway for a successor, whom the Company expects to name in the near-term to provide for a smooth transition


NorSea Group Appoints new General Manager to Lead Future Developments in UK

 NorSea Group, Norway’s leading supplier of base services and integrated logistics systems to the oil and gas industry, has appointed Kim Christensen as its first UK General Manager to lead the group’s future developments in Scotland.

 He will head up NorSea Group (UK) Ltd, a new company within the Group, which has been established to reinforce the Group’s commitment to enhance its business activity in the UK. KIM-CHRISTENSEN-NORSEAGROUP007To support this, NorSea Group will open its first UK office in Aberdeen.

 The move follows NorSea Group’s recent announcements that it had signed an agreement with the Scrabster Harbour Trust in Caithness and formed a strategic working partnership with local logistics firm Hugh Simpson (Contractors) Ltd to develop Scotland’s most northerly mainland port as a one-stop supply base servicing the oil and gas industry.

 Mr Christensen’s initial focus will be to build on the existing Scrabster relationships and to move proposals forward to establish a base which will particularly benefit offshore operators and developments in the northern North Sea andEast/West of Shetland. He will do this through working closely with the local community to maximise benefits for the area.

 Alongside that, he will be responsible for identifying new business opportunities in the UKCS with an emphasis on North-East Scotland right up the coast to Orkney and Shetland.

 “NorSea Group (UK) Ltd anticipates expanding operations in Scotland by establishing a presence in additional strategic ports within the next two years.Many of the Norwegian companies we work with already have existing relationships with companies operating in the UK North Sea sector so there is already a good fit there,” says Knut Magne Johannessen, director of international and project operations in NorSea Group.


Blade Offshore Opens New Office in Brazil

BladeOffshorelogoBlade Offshore Services have opened an office in Macaé, the centre of the oil industry in Brazil. The Company wishes to establish a permanent administrative base in Brazil to take advantage of the fast expanding energy market, and the growing demand for the Company's services in the region.

John Swingler, Drilling Services Director, is a Brazil resident and is delighted to oversee the latest BOS development. 'The move demonstrates the company's commitment to the region and it will help enormously to manage our activity in Brazil, which has expanded rapidly over the last few years to become a significant part of our global business. We are definitely now ''open for business'' in Brazil and look forward to developing our relationships with existing clients and partnering with new ones'.

Blade Offshore Services Brazil: Adress: Avenida Rui Barbosa, 1725 – 2nd Floor, Loja44F, Alto dos Cajueiros – Macaé/RJ Phone: +55 22 2765 7344


Interior Holds First-Ever Competitive Lease Sale for Renewable Energy in Federal Waters


deepwaterwindrhodeislandHistoric Auction Leases Nearly 165,000 Acres Offshore Rhode Island and Massachusetts for Wind Energy Development, Advances President’s Climate Action Plan

 As part of President Obama’s comprehensive plan to move our economy toward domestic clean energy sources and cut carbon pollution, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Director Tommy P. Beaudreau on Wednesday, held the nation’s first-ever competitive lease sale for renewable energy in federal waters.  

 The provisional winner of yesterday’s lease sale, which auctioned two leases for a Wind Energy Area of 164,750 acres offshore Rhode Island and Massachusetts for wind energy development, is Deepwater Wind New England, LLC. When built, these areas could generate enough combined energy to power more than one million homes.

 “When you think about the enormous energy potential that Atlantic wind holds, this is a major milestone for our nation,” said Secretary Jewell. “A lot of collaboration and thoughtful planning went into getting to this point, and we’ll continue to employ that approach as we move forward up and down the coast to ensure that offshore wind energy is realized in the right way and in the right places. Offshore wind is an exciting new frontier that will help keep America competitive, and expand domestic energy production, all without increasing carbon pollution.”

 The Wind Energy Area is located 9.2 nautical miles south of the Rhode Island coastline and has the potential to support 3,395 megawatts of wind generation. BOEM will hold its next competitive lease sale for offshore wind on Sept. 4, which will auction nearly 112,800 acres offshore Virginia, and is expected to announce additional auctions for Wind Energy Areas offshore Massachusetts, Maryland, and New Jersey later this year and in 2014.

 Maps for these areas are available on BOEM’s website.

 Today’s auction is the result of a coordinated strategic plan to accelerate the development of offshore wind resources that was unveiled in February 2011 by former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and former Secretary of Energy Steven Chu. As part of a ‘Smart from the Start’ program for expediting commercial-scale wind energy on the federal Outer Continental Shelf, Interior identified Wind Energy Areas well suited for commercial development with minimal impacts to the environment and other important uses. Efforts to spur responsible development of this abundant renewable resource are part of a series of Administration actions to speed renewable energy development offshore and onshore by improving coordination with state, local and federal partners.

 As part of President Obama’s comprehensive Climate Action Plan, he challenged Interior to re-double efforts on the renewable energy program by approving an additional 10,000 megawatts of renewable energy production on public lands and waters by 2020.

 Since 2009, Interior has approved 46 wind, solar and geothermal utility-scale projects on public lands, including associated transmission corridors and infrastructure to connect to established power grids. When built, these projects could provide more than 12,700 megawatts – enough energy to power more than 4.4 million homes and support over 17,000 construction and operations jobs.

 At the same time, under the Administration’s all-of-the-above energy strategy, domestic oil and gas production has grown each year President Obama has been in office, with domestic oil production currently higher than any time in two decades; natural gas production at its highest level ever; and renewable electricity generation from wind, solar, and geothermal sources having doubled. Combined with recent declines in oil consumption, foreign oil imports now account for less than 40 percent of the oil consumed in America – the lowest level since 1988.

 “Each of these renewable energy lease sales are significant steps forward in the President’s all-of-the-above energy strategy and call for action on climate change,” said Director Beaudreau. “Harnessing the enormous potential of offshore wind will create jobs, increase our energy security and provide abundant sources of clean renewable power.”  

 BOEM auctioned the Wind Energy Area offshore Rhode Island and Massachusetts as two leases, referred to as the North Lease Area (Lease OCS-A0486) and the South Lease Area (Lease OCS-A0487). The North Lease Area consists of about 97,500 acres and the South Lease Area covers about 67,250 acres. For a map of the Wind Energy Area, click here. The sale received $3,838,288 in high bids. The auction lasted 1 day, consisting of 11 rounds before determining the provisional winner. In addition to Deepwater Wind New England, LLC, the following companies participated in the auction: Sea Breeze Energy, LLC; and US Wind Inc.

 “Now that we have identified Deepwater Wind as the provisional winner of this auction, we look forward to executing the lease and reviewing their Site Assessment Plan for the lease area,” said Director Beaudreau.  

 Following the auction, the Attorney General, in consultation with the Federal Trade Commission, will have 30 days in which to complete an antitrust review of the auction. Shortly thereafter, BOEM will send unsigned copies of the lease form to the winning bidder, who will have 10 days to sign and return the lease, file required financial assurance, and pay the balance of the winning bid.

 Each lease will have a preliminary term of 6 months in which to submit a Site Assessment Plan to BOEM for approval. A Site Assessment Plan describes the activities (e.g., installation of meteorological towers and buoys) a lessee plans to perform for the assessment of the wind resources and ocean conditions of its commercial lease.

 After a Site Assessment Plan is approved, the lessee will have up to 4 and 1/2 years in which to submit a Construction and Operations Plan (COP) for approval, which provides a detailed plan for the construction and operation of a wind energy project on the lease. After the COP is approved, the lessee will have an operations term of 25 years.


PETEX™ at The University of Texas at Austin Introduces New Interactive Offshore Oil Rig

The Petroleum Extension Service (PETEX™) at The University of Texas at Austin is proud to announce the launch of its newInteractive Offshore Oil Rig. This innovative, 3-D e-product provides a unique learning perspective on the inner workings of a semi-submersible oil rig, one of the most intricate and powerful units used in offshore drilling operations.  PETEX is a leading instructor of oil and gas industry workers in Texas and around the world.


The Interactive Offshore Oil Rig gives users an inside view to see and hear about each component of the rig—what it does and where it is located-- and lets users zoom in for expanded views. Options include visuals and detailed audio describing ten different areas of the rig including a 360 degree Rig View, Power and Hoisting Equipment, Circulating and Cementing Equipment and much more.

The product includes an online assessment that tests the learning progress of the user. A passing score earns users a Completion Certificate from PETEX and The University of Texas at Austin. Developed by PETEX Learning Specialist Itzel McClaren with assistance from the university's Faculty Innovation Center at the Cockrell School of Engineering, this product is the result of a true collaboration between scholars and oil and gas professionals.

PETEX's Director Zahid Yoosufani says, "The Interactive Offshore Oil Rig is the only product of its kind on the market for offshore drilling and is especially useful for oil and gas industry personnel seeking a better understanding of the individual parts of this extremely complex mechanical unit. With thousands of offshore rigs actively drilling for oil and gas around the world, effective training is now more critical than ever."

The Interactive Offshore Oil Rig is available for subscription and licensing purchases. For more information, contact us online at www.petex.org or by phone at 1-800-687-4132. You may also try the demo at www.petex.org.


Easing the Burden of Suspended Well Decommissioning

Offshore Installation Services Ltd (OIS), an Acteon company, has launched a new service designed to help operators fulfill their suspended well decommissioning OIS-well-abandonment-UK-North-Seaplans. Wellintel is a well data collection and review service that gathers and prepares the information operators require before they start a decommissioning program. OIS engineers with extensive well abandonment knowledge and detailed understanding of the entire decommissioning process will deliver the service.

Operators having an up-to-date well inventory and regulatory documentation ready for submission to DECC and the HSE can take advantage of commercially efficient opportunities such as multi-client abandonment campaigns that may arise at short notice.

Decommissioning offshore assets is a key challenge for the UK’s offshore oil and gas industry. The UK government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is prompting operators with assets that require permanent abandonment to expedite the process.

For many operators, the main obstacles are lack of time or limited in-house resources to deal with the critical tasks required to prepare for decommissioning. The Wellintel team will help by collating well-specific data, such as end-of-well reports and well status diagrams, and the initial assessment of well categorization in accordance with O&G UK guidelines, which is required to identify which assets are available and suitable for vessel-based abandonment, thereby easing the burden on operators.

The Wellintel service can also support operators with preparing the submissions to DECC and the HSE that are required before starting a decommissioning program. These submissions include the oil pollution emergency plan, PON 5 (application to abandon a well), PON 15f (permit to use and/or discharge chemicals during well abandonment), the Marine Coastal Access Act licence and the HSE notification.

Since its launch, Wellintel has attracted a high degree of interest amongst North Sea operators who recognize the value of this approach. One operating company has already started using the service as part of its decommissioning strategy.

One of the key features of the proposition is that the costs of the Wellintel service are deductible from future abandonment work by OIS, as Tom Selwood, OIS vice president commercial and business development, explained. “Once the Wellintel process is complete, OIS can provide well abandonment solutions, including vessel charter, marine management, equipment and personnel, and full offshore project management for any suspended wells that are suitable for vessel-based abandonment. Operators that use OIS for back-of-boat suspended well abandonment work within 18 months of using Wellintel can recover the costs incurred against the project management fees associated with the well abandonment project.”


Alstom’s Tidal Turbine Reaches 1MW in Offshore Conditions

Alstom-tidal-1MW-turbine-liftFrom its immersion in January 2013, at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, Scotland, Alstom’s full-scale tidal device has reached the full nominal power of 1MW after a series of gradual increases in power. The turbine connected to the grid has now generated over 10MWh of electricity, in actual operating conditions. Both are major milestones in the development of the tidal stream energy. 

The tidal turbine has been tested in different operational conditions through the ReDAPT1 testing program. It has shown a reliability and performance in line with its design models.  The next step of the testing program will be to demonstrate the full range of autonomous running capabilities of the turbine (its ability to efficiently operate independently), continue with the planned maintenance and gather evidence for certification. The endurance and reliability will also be tested into 2014. Tests in pilot farms will follow prior to the start of full commercial production.

We are enthusiastic following the initial tests of our tidal stream turbine which successfully demonstrated the advantages of Alstom tidal turbine technology, in the challenging environment of the Fall of Warness in Orkney”, stated Alstom Ocean business Vice-President Rob Stevenson. 

Alstom’s tidal turbine has a 22 meters long nacelle and weighs 150 tons. Its rotor has three pitchable blades and a diameter of 18 meters. The tidal turbine is capable of floating. Buoyancy enables the turbine nacelle to be easily towed to and from the point of operation and attached to its pre-installed foundation. Avoiding the need for specialist vessels and divers, this particular technical feature minimizes installation and maintenance costs and reduces the timeframe to install or retrieve the turbine. The unit operates fully submerged with no surface piercing part, in a water depth of about 40 meters. The nacelle can rotate around vertical axis to face the incoming tide at an optimal angle, and thus extract the maximum energy potential.