TWMA Awarded First Offshore Processing Contract in Norway

TWMAlogoTWMA, a leader in integrated drilling and environmental solutions for the international onshore and offshore oil and gas industry, has been awarded a major contract with Total E&P Norge AS to deliver offshore waste management services during the development of the Martin Linge field located on the Northern Viking Graben in the Central North Sea.

The contract – which will last seven years – is TWMA’s first offshore contract in the region and, if given the go-ahead by Norwegian authorities, could see the introduction of offshore processing to the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).

The agreement commencing in 2014, will see TWMA incorporate its solutions to manage Total’s complete drilling waste operations on the new-build Maersk XLE Jack-up drilling rig during the development of the Martin Linge field.

TWMA has extensive experience in providing advice and assistance to the Norwegian energy sector in respect of environmental issues and provides a variety of solutions in an onshore environment for operators in the region. It also manages offshore projects throughout the world, including high-profile projects in the Middle East and West Africa, where legislation is among the most stringent.

TWMA has used its expertise and knowledge of global and regional environmental issues to develop a variety of solutions that can be implemented throughout the full-cycle of a project, from initial conception to decommissioning.

Leif Ove Svensen, Scandinavia region manager at TWMA, said: “TWMA has an intrinsic knowledge of the Norwegian energy sector having worked with operators over a number of years to put in place solutions which eliminate drilling wastes retrospectively.

“The company has been working with the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association (Norsk Olje & Gass) as part of a steering group to coordinate efforts by operators to outline and implement recognised protocols for handling and treating waste materials associated with drilling operations offshore on the NCS.

“We see this contract very much as an opportunity to progress that relationship further by utilising our expertise to minimize the environmental impact of offshore operations in the NCS even further by treating drill cuttings and associated fluids at source.”

TWMA currently employs 30 people at its Stavanger office and recently upgraded Mongstad base, supplying onshore processing, slops treatment and support services for operations in the NCS.

TWMA’s sales director Rob O’Neill adds: “Norway is a key strategic region for TWMA. We have recently increased the capacity at our Mongstad base and this means that we are perfectly placed to provide Norwegian operators with solutions that are both cost-effective and environmentally sustainable.” 


Petrobras Increases Oil Output up in August

petrobras-logoPetrobras announces that, in August, oil output (oil plus natural gas liquids - NGL) from all the company's fields in Brazil averaged 1,908,000 barrels per day (bpd). This volume is 1.1% higher than the average output of the previous month (1,888,000 bpd). Including the share operated by the company for its partners, oil output exclusively in Brazil reached 1,971,000 bpd, indicating a 1.3% rise from July.

This positive result is due to the resumption of operations on platforms undergoing scheduled maintenance stoppages in July (P-40 in Marlim Sul, P-20 in Marlim, PPM-1 in Pampo and FPSO-RJ in Espadarte) and the startup of wells on platforms P-54 and FPSO-Piranema. According to the schedule, production was halted on platforms P-26 and P-35 (both in Marlim) in August to comply with the scheduled maintenance shutdown program. 

In August, Petrobras' total output (oil and natural gas) in Brazil averaged 2,294,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boed), 0.5% higher than output in July. Including the share operated by Petrobras for partners, total output volume in August was 2,401,000 boed, 0.6% up on the July output.

Operations to connect platform P-63, the first production unit in Papa-Terra field, to mooring lines, are currently in the completion phase. This platform will start up operations on October 23.

The construction of platform P-55 has been completed and, on September 17, the inclination tests were initiated. By the first week of October, it should move to the Campos Basin' Roncador Field.

Added to the company's August output abroad, total oil and natural gas volume averaged 2,499,000 boe/d, 0.3% up on total output in July.

Natural Gas Production

In August, non-liquefied natural gas output from the company's fields in Brazil was 61.378 million m³ per day. Total natural gas output, including the share operated by the company for its partners, was 68.336 million m³ per day, close to output levels in July. 

International Production

In August, total extraction of oil and natural gas abroad was 205,698 boed, 1.4% down on July, due to an adjustment in the calculation of oil from Akpo field, Nigeria.


Significant Oil Discovery Offshore Canada

Statoil-CanadaStatoil (OSE:STL, NYSE:STO) Canada and co-venturer Husky Energy have announced that the first Bay du Nord exploration well has discovered between 300 and 600 million barrels of oil recoverable.  

The Bay du Nord discovery, located approximately 500 kilometers northeast of St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, was announced in August. A sidetrack well has been completed this week and confirms a high impact discovery. Additional prospective resources have been identified which require further delineation.

The Bay du Nord discovery is Statoil's third discovery in the Flemish Pass Basin. The Mizzen discovery is estimated to hold a total of 100-200 million barrels of oil recoverable. The Harpoon discovery, announced in June, is still under evaluation and volumes cannot be confirmed at this stage.

The Bay du Nord well encountered light oil of 34 API and excellent Jurassic reservoirs with high porosity and high permeability.

"It is exciting that Statoil is opening a new basin offshore Newfoundland," says Tim Dodson, executive vice president of Statoil Exploration. "This brings us one step closer to becoming a producing operator in the area."

"With only a few wells drilled in a large licensed area, totaling about 8,500 square kilometers, more work is required," adds Dodson. "This will involve new seismic as well as additional exploration and appraisal drilling to confirm these estimates before the partnership can decide on an optimal development solution in this frontier basin."

The successful drilling results from the Flemish Pass Basin demonstrate how Statoil's exploration strategy of early access at scale and focus on high-impact opportunities is paying off. As an early player in the area, Statoil has confirmed its understanding of the basin and has opened a new oil play offshore Canada.  The Flemish Pass has the potential to become a core producing area for Statoil post-2020.

All three discoveries are in approximately 1,100 meters of water. Mizzen was drilled by the semi-submersible rig Henry Goodrich (2009). The Bay du Nord and Harpoon wells were drilled by the semi-submersible rig West Aquarius (2013).

Statoil is the operator of Mizzen, Harpoon and Bay du Nord with a 65% interest. Husky Energy has a 35% interest.

(High impact discovery = > 100 mmboe net to Statoil or > 250 mmboe in total)


Prysmian, First-Ever Submarine Power Link in Capri

€ 70 M contract awarded by Terna to connect the Blue Island to the mainland.

Milestone project will allow reduction of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere
by approx. 130 thousand tons per year.

Prysmian Group, a world leader in the energy and telecom cable systems industry, has been awarded a new contract worth approximately € 70 million, for the connection of the island Prysmianof Capri and Torre Annunziata (Naples), by Terna Rete Italia S.p.A., a company fully owned by Terna S.p.A., the Italian Transmission System Operator. The link is part of a wider scope project planned by Terna and known as ''Progetto Insula'', to connect the main Italian islands - Sardinia, Sicily, Elba, the islands of the Gulf of Naples, the Venetian Lagoon – to the mainland, with state-of-the art technology submarine cables.

The project involves supply and installation of a High Voltage Alternate Current (HVAC) 150 kV power cable connection comprising of 30 km submarine route and of 1 km of land cable, as well as related network components and specialist civil works on either ends, running from the mainland to Terna’s innovative power station with low environmental impact and sustainable design criteria located in Capri’s Gasto Ecological Island.

The cables for the Capri-Torre Annunziata link will be manufactured in the Arco Felice plant (Naples), the Group's centre of technological and manufacturing excellence. Marine cable laying will be performed by the Group’s owned "Giulio Verne" cable-laying vessel. Completion of the project is due by 2015.

"It’s a source of great satisfaction to be involved in the realisation of infrastructure of such great strategic and environmental importance," said Valerio Battista, CEO of Prysmian Group. “The track record of projects carried out and on-going, further confirms our leading role in the development of interconnections for increasingly efficient and sustainable power transmission grids in Europe and worldwide”.

The purpose of this first-ever power link is to strengthen Capri’s entire power system and make it safer and cost-effective. The project will help increase the reliability and security of the power resources of the island with the goal of minimising risks of blackout, mostly during the summer period when tourism, and therefore also power consumption increase. Strong focus on environment and territory are key features of this zero impact power link that will allow preserving the immense landscape value of Capri and of the surrounding coast, thus allowing reduction of CO2 emissions into the atmosphere by approx. 130 thousand tons per year.

In the Mediterranean Basin Prysmian has carried out (or is currently carrying out) projects like the MON.ITA (Montenegro – Italy) and the Italy-Greece interconnections, SA.PE.I. (Sardinia to Italy mainland) and Sorgente-Rizziconi (Sicily to Calabria) in Italy; Spain-Morocco, the Iberian Peninsula-Mallorca and the recently-awarded Mallorca-Ibiza in Spain. In Europe, Prysmian is actively engaged in initiatives for the future development of power grids, such as "Friends of the Supergrid" - to promote a new concept pan-European power supergrid - and Medgrid - to develop a subsea transmission grid that will transport renewable energy from North Africa to Europe. The Group has recently co-founded Norstec, an association of the key players in the global energy sector, whose aim is to support the production of renewable energy by offshore wind farms in the North Sea.


Milbank Advises on $175 Million Financing of Two Brazilian Oil Tankers

MilbankFirm represents Teekay Shuttle Tanker Finance LLC in issuing 10-year senior secured notes for delivery of a pair of identical tankers built in Korea to work Brazil’s  offshore oil fields

In its latest major transaction in the service of Brazil’s  burgeoning offshore energy sector, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy has advised Teekay Shuttle Tanker Finance LLC, as issuer, in the $174,150,000 financing of two Suezmax-class shuttle tankers designed to operate between Brazil’s  offshore oil fields and coastal refineries and terminals.

The bond financing is to be split into two equal tranches and funded through two issuances the first taking place this month, the second scheduled for November, prior to the delivery of each tanker.  Proceeds from the secured 10-year notes will be used to fund delivery of the two vessels.

The two tankers are being built by Samsung Heavy Industries Co. Ltd. of South Korea and will be under 10-year charter to BG in Brazil.  Each identical tanker, Bossa Nova Spirit and Sertanejo Spirit, is 282 meters in length and with a capacity of 167,500 cubic meters.

Teekay Shuttle Tanker Finance LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Teekay Offshore Partners LP, one of the world’s leading owners and operators of shuttle tankers, which since the 1970s has provided an alternative to conventional pipelines for transferring oil from offshore to storage or refining facilities. Shuttle tanker technology permits their operation in deep water and harsh or remote locations, which has earned them the moniker “floating pipelines.”

Project Finance partner Daniel Bartfeld, who co-led Milbank’s  team, says that the successful notes offering for the two shuttle tankers marks a significant milestone and is noteworthy for its multi-vessel and multi-issuance structure, which we believe is a first in this industry.  We’re very pleased to have led in this private placement for Teekay.”

Co-lead partner Jay Grushkin, a member of Milbank’s Structured Finance group, added, This is yet another example of the willingness and appetite of the traditional private placement market to fund non-traditional assets.”

Also working on the transaction were Milbank associates Caroline Conway, Sean O’Neill and Mikhel Schecter.


Crowley’s Four Ocean Class Tugs Perform Inaugural Project Together to Successfully Deliver Largest Offshore Platform, Olympus, to Gulf of Mexico

Crowely-OlympusFour of Crowley Maritime Corp.’s ocean class tugboats, the Ocean Wind, Ocean Wave, Ocean Sky and Ocean Sun, recently completed the successful delivery of the offshore oil production and drilling platform, Olympus, to the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The project was significant because it provided the first opportunity for all four of the company's new high-bollard-pull, ocean class tugboats to work together on any single job. The rig, owned by Royal Dutch Shell, is also considered the largest tension-leg platform ever to be developed for the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

The Crowley ocean class tugs worked together in both nearshore and offshore waters to relocate the 120,000-ton, 406-ft. tall tension-leg platform from Ingleside, Texas, 425 miles to its deepwater location in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. During the first stage of work, called the nearshore phase, (see first photo) the Ocean Wind and Wave provided assistance in pushing the Olympus away from the Keiwit facility dock in Ingleside, Texas, through the Port of Aransas, Texas, and out to deeper waters. During this initial phase, the Ocean Sky was also available and equipped to provide push assistance, if needed.

Once safely outside of the port, the Ocean Wave, Ocean Wind and Ocean Sun towed the vessel to its final location in more than 3,000 feet of water. During this second stage, called the offshore phase, (see second photo) the Ocean Sky took on the role of escort tug, which helped to ensure the towing vessels’ and platform’s safety. Providing additional support was the Crowley-contracted, offshore tugboat Harvey War Horse II. This additional asset was a turnkey solution arranged by the company’s solutions team, a Houston-based project management organization.

In the final stage, called the positioning phase, the Ocean Wind, Ocean Wave and Ocean Sun vessels helped to position the platform in its final location and remained on site in a star pattern to provide support as the platform was attached to tendons and made storm safe. The Ocean Sky remained on site as a stand-by vessel and to provide additional security.

“This successful project is a testament to the capability, station-keeping and power of these vessels,” said Crowley’s John Ara, vice president, solutions. “The design of the ocean class has allowed us to participate in the full scope of marine transportation, including nearshore, offshore and positioning work. From the initial push-off to securing it as storm-safe, these tugs were critical assets in the relocation of the Olympus platform.”

Crowley’s ocean class tugs are modern ocean towing twin-screw vessels with controllable pitch propellers (CPP) in nozzles, high lift rudders and more than 147 MT bollard pull. The first two ocean class vessels, the Ocean Wave and Ocean Wind, are classed as Dynamic Positioning 1 (DP1) tugboats and are twin-screw, steel-hulled tugs with an overall length of 146 ft., beam of 46 ft., hull depth of 25 ft. and design draft of 21 ft. The second two tugs of the class, Ocean Sky and Ocean Sun, are classed as DP2 and are 10 feet longer. All four vessels are capable of rig moves, platform and Floating Production, Storage and Offloading (FPSO) unit tows, emergency response, salvage support and firefighting.

“These specialized tugboats have proven themselves as workhorses for our valued upstream energy customers and for companies and government entities needing long-range, high-capacity, ocean towing along with salvage and emergency response support,” said Crowley’s Todd Busch, senior vice president and general manager, technical services. “They are truly solidifying our standing as an industry leader in ocean towing, salvage and offshore marine support.”

The Olympus (photo) which was constructed in South Korea, features 24-slot drilling units and a deck large enough to process crude from a six-well subsea development on site. Outfitted with 15,000 psi-rated trees, the platform will concentrate on high-pressure reservoirs that range in depths ranging from 20,000 to 22,000 ft. The expectation is that the Olympus will produce and process 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day once operating at full capacity. A video providing more information about the sail of the platform can be viewed online here:

Now that the Olympus has been delivered safely, the Ocean Wind, Ocean Wave and Ocean Sun are already at work on a different project, this time transporting the Lucius spar platform for customer Anadarko. The 80,000-barrel-per-day spar is now under tow with Crowley for more than 300 miles to its final location in the deep waters of the U.S. Gulf. Once delivered, it will be installed in about 7,100 ft. of water to produce oil and natural gas from beneath the sea floor.


Noble Corporation Announces Plan to Create Independent Standard Specification Drilling Company

noblecorplogoNoble Corporation (NYSE: NE) announces that its Board of Directors has approved a plan to separate a business comprised of many of its standard specification drilling units, resulting in the creation of two separate and highly focused offshore drilling companies.  The drilling units that would be owned and operated by the new company comprise most of the standard specification drilling units in the Noble fleet, including five drillships, three semisubmersibles, 34 jackups, two submersibles, and one FPSO.  The new company would also be responsible for the Hibernia platform operations.  Noble will continue to own and operate its high-specification assets with particular operating focus in deepwater and ultra-deepwater markets for drillships and semisubmersibles and harsh environment and high-specification markets for jackups.

The plan approved by the Board of Directors involves the separation of the standard specification business through the distribution of the shares of the new company to Noble shareholders in a spin-off that would be tax-free to shareholders.  Subject to business, market, regulatory and other considerations, the separation may be preceded by an initial public offering of up to 20 percent of the shares of the new company. Consummation of the transaction is contingent upon the receipt of a tax ruling from the IRS, which Noble expects to receive soon.  If Noble proceeds with the IPO as part of the spin-off, Noble expects that the new company would file a registration statement for the IPO with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in late 2013 or early 2014.  The transaction is also subject to the approval of Noble's shareholders, which the company anticipates seeking in the second quarter of 2014.  Noble anticipates that the spin-off would be completed by the end of 2014.  Noble expects that the new company would use the net proceeds from borrowings by the new company (and the IPO if undertaken) to repay to Noble the debt the new company would incur to Noble in order to acquire the standard specification business and assets from Noble.  Noble expects that, in turn, it would use such proceeds to repay outstanding indebtedness of Noble and its subsidiaries.

The purpose of the separation is to:

    separate Noble's existing rig fleet into high specification and deepwater and ultra-deepwater assets, which will remain with Noble, and many standard specification assets, which will comprise the new company's fleet, as set forth in the attachment to this release;

    allow each company to have a more focused business and operational strategy;

    enhance each company's growth potential and overall valuation of its assets;

    provide each company with a greater ability to make business and operational decisions in the best interests of its particular business and to allocate capital and corporate resources with a focus on achieving its strategic priorities;

    better utilize the professionalism and skills of Noble's team and culture to deliver excellent service, safety and operational integrity to its customers;

    improve each company's ability to attract and retain individuals with the appropriate skill sets as well as to better align compensation and incentives with the performance of these different businesses; and

    allow the financial markets and investors to evaluate each company more effectively.

David W. Williams, who will remain as Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Noble, said, "The purpose of the separation is for Noble to move forward with our development as a robust high specification and deepwater drilling company through continued execution of newbuilds and fleet enhancements.  By separating these two businesses, we believe each company will be able to better leverage the overall value of its fleet by focusing on the drivers of its particular business."

There can be no assurance that Noble's proposed plan will lead to an initial public offering or spin-off of the new company or any other transaction, or that if any transaction is pursued, that it will be consummated. This announcement does not constitute an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, any securities. This announcement is being issued pursuant to, and in accordance with, Rule 135 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.

Due to limitations imposed by U.S. securities laws, Noble will not hold a conference call to discuss the contents of this release.

For more detailed information click here



Barge Master Incorporated in Walk-To-Work Vessel

Barge Master has received a Letter of Award from Niestern Sander bv for employment of the Barge Master motion compensated crane on their new Walk-to-Work vessel, to be built for Barge-Master-crane-North-Sea-2-4-LRWagenborg. The vessel including the Barge Master system will be ready in the first quarter of 2015. NAM will use the motion compensated crane to service and maintain gas production platforms in the North Sea.

Oil & Gas platforms have become smaller and more flexible during the last forty years. They no longer have a resident crew or helicopter pads which means frequent journeys to and from the platform by ship in order to perform maintenance work.  With the new Walk-to Work Vessel these operations can be executed in a safer, more efficient and effective manner.  The Vessel is unique because multiple functions are combined for the first time.  The vessel can accommodate 20 crewmembers and 40 service technicians, chemicals can be stored and transferred safely, and thanks to the T40 Barge Master system materials can be transferred during wave heights of up to 3 meters.  Through utilizing new technology, NAM is able to safely continue harvesting gas on the North Sea with an extended weather window and less down time. 


ABB Wins $25 Million Order for Two Russian Icebreaker Vessels

ABBlogoABB, the leading power and automation technology group, has won an order worth around $25 million to supply its marine propulsion system, Azipod, and complete electric power plants for two new rescue and salvage icebreakers that are under construction at Nordic Yards GmbH in Germany.

The new vessels, owned by Russia’s State Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (SMRCC), will be used for patrols and rescue operations in offshore oil-and-gas fields. They will be fitted with equipment for search and rescue tasks and oil-spill response. The vessels are designed for Arctic conditions and will receive Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RMRS) Icebreaker 6 class notations to perform rescue operations in waters covered by ice of up to one meter thick.

“Since ABB’s first delivery of Azipod technology for ice breakers in the 1990s, 60 units have been delivered for more than 30 ice-going vessels,” said Veli-Matti Reinikkala, head of ABB's Process Automation division. “On average, two out of three high ice-class vessels built today are fitted with ABB systems. This order sustains our reputation as a long-term and reliable partner in the Russian market.”

ABB’s scope of supply will include 3.5 megawatt (MW) Azipod VI units, main switchboards, drives, bow thrusters and generators. Total power per vessel will be 7 MW. ABB has made a significant investment in Russia to support the country’s fast-growing offshore oil-and-gas activities in the Arctic. The company has 27 offices in Russia and five production sites, overseen by the head office in Moscow. ABB has also reinforced its presence in Russia by establishing dedicated marine centers in Moscow and St. Petersburg, backed by specialized marine service teams in Murmansk and Sakhalin.




Hertel Offshore Successfully Delivers Shell Draugen Additional Living Quarter

HertelHertel Offshore, part of the international multi-disciplinary industrial services company Hertel, has successfully delivered an additional Living Quarter for the Shell Draugen Platform in the Norwegian Continental Shelf.

The Shell Draugen additional Living Quarter will accommodate 44 people, has a total weight of approx. 500T  and is designed according to the stringent Norsok and Shell requirements and standards.

The additional Living Quarter is now on its way to Norway where it will be lifted on the Shell Draugen Platform.

Hertel Offshore is very proud to have worked with Norske Shell and Aibel on this project while building on the great experience and know-how of Hertel Offshore.


ION Introduces Narwhal for Ice Management in Seismic and Drilling Operations

IONlogoION Geophysical Corporation (NYSE: IO) has announced the launch of NarwhalTM, the first fully integrated ice management system designed to reduce risk and improve efficiency in seismic data acquisition and drilling operations in or near ice, such as in the Arctic. 

The Arctic contains an estimated 25% of the world's undiscovered hydrocarbon resources, but harsh, icy conditions pose hazards to seismic contractors and E&P operators.  The Narwhal system enables operators to gather, monitor, and analyze data from various sources, including satellite imagery, ice charts, radar, manual observations, wind, and ocean currents, to forecast weather and predict ice movements in these harsh environments.  With the ability to track, forecast, and monitor potential ice threats, operators can make informed, proactive decisions to ensure the safety of people, assets, and the environment, while minimizing operational downtime.

Des Flynn, Vice President of ION's Concept Systems group, responsible for the development of Narwhal, added, "One of the unique aspects of Narwhal is the way it manages 'trafficability' -- the ability to use all of the ice information to define go/no-go areas, plan routes, optimize  vessel operations, and identify escape routes – in multi-vessel and platform operations.  The system's unique enterprise capability allows multiple vessels, platforms, and onshore operations to share and visualize all available information in a common operational picture, thereby improving efficiencies and providing the entire operation with greater situational awareness."

Joe Gagliardi, Vice President, Marine, for ION's GeoVentures group and leader of ION's Arctic initiatives, added, "ION's mission is to develop and deliver geophysical technologies that enable E&P companies to locate and produce hydrocarbons safely and efficiently, in the most challenging environments.  We have been pushing operational boundaries in the Arctic since acquiring our first regional seismic survey there in 2006.  With 15 projects and eight seasons of Arctic data acquisition under our belts, yielding approximately 65,000 km of data, including over 30,000 acquired under the ice, we understand the unique operational challenges posed by Arctic ice.  Narwhal is an exciting new addition to our comprehensive, integrated Arctic toolkit."

Built on a robust and proven industry leading software platform, Narwhal is currently in commercial use in the Canadian Northwest Passage and offshore Baffin Island.

For more information, go to


Offshore Solutions Signs North Sea Contract With Maersk Oil UK

Offshore Solutions BV (OSBV), the joint venture between AMEC and Cofely Nederland NV, has signed a North Sea contract with Maersk Oil UK to provide marine access support to the OffshoreSolutionsfloating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) unit Global Producer III.

Located 185 miles north east of Aberdeen, Scotland, OSBV’s Offshore Access System (OAS) will support the shutdown operations for a minimum of 110 days, with options to extend.

The walk to work system is deployed on the REM Installer, a new-build offshore subsea construction vessel chartered by Canyon Offshore, the marine contracting business unit of Helix Energy Solutions. Sea trials for the project were completed in North Sea waters in July with operations starting later the same month.

Lindsay Young, managing director of OSBV, said: “OAS equipped vessels provide safe and cost effective marine transfer and offshore accommodation allowing for greater access to offshore installations than by crew vessels or helicopters.  By using the OAS, additional offshore man-hours are made available, enhancing production whilst ensuring that workers are transported in a safe manner.

Rob Armstrong, walk to work project manager for Maersk Oil UK added: “Having personally investigated several walk to work options, the Offshore Access System (OAS) proved to be the most reliable, with a track record of high connection rates and excellent operability. Maersk Oil UK undertook an intensive hazard identification procedure to select the safest system for the project and the OAS heave compensated marine access system that we examined complies with Maersk's very stringent safety standards. Fitted on-board the REM Installer, which is a new build, state of the art DPII vessel, we are expecting even greater performance than previously experienced.”


Oilfield Equipment Manager Petroquip Energy Services LLC Lowers Server Backup Costs by 80% with Zetta.Net Cloud Backup and Disaster Recovery Solution has  announced that Petroquip Energy Services LLC has selected’s enterprise-grade cloud backup and disaster recovery solution to replace its previous backup solution for dramatically lower cost and less management time. Since deploying DataProtect, the leading oilfield equipment company has seen its costs reduced by 80 percent, while shortening time spent on backup management and adding new disaster recovery functionality.

To manage just under one terabyte of business data produced by user-generated spreadsheets, engineering data, and revisions, the company’s IT environment is centered around four physical servers running Windows 2008 R2 at three sites, as well as Hyper-V virtual servers. Data is kept on a NAS, which currently has about 4.5TB of hard drives. The NAS also serves as a local backup of data from all employees’ Windows desktop and laptop computers.

Petroquip originally outsourced its backup, but the results of the company’s previous outsourcing solution were unsatisfactory. “Not only were their costs outrageously high – we had been spending over $25,000 a year – but we often had problems with getting restores in a timely fashion, sometimes taking two to three days, during which we were without critical data,” said Chad Alexander, Petroquip’s systems administrator. “About 30 percent of the company’s data is static; the rest changes often. We may start from existing documents and make changes, resulting in new documents.”

While Petroquip typically hasn’t had problems with recovery, Alexander noted that it’s possible someone could accidentally delete the copy on the network share, which could be difficult to recover: “Given where our offices are located, hurricanes or other extreme weather could cut our power and Internet connectivity, impede physical access, even destroy our facility. Plus, hardware can fail. So backup is always an important IT requirement.”

Petroquip has realized a number of tangible benefits since moving to Zetta for backup. The company now spends only about $5,000 a year for backup and recovery – significantly less than they had been paying. This cost not only includes data coverage, but also overhead for snapshots and periodic global backups.

Zetta has also proven that it can support Petroquip for DR scenarios. During the summer of 2012, the company received a weather alert of a possible hurricane. Using Zetta, Alexander knew that the company had backups of these databases in data centers far from the hurricane path. “Moving the data to a local server took only about two hours,” says Alexander. “And it reassured us that we could continue business in this office, even if the other office and its database are down.”

For the full case study visit:



ECO Teams with Gulf of Mexico Foundation

ECOlogoIt's been an amazing first year for Environment Coastal and Offshore (ECO) magazine. During 2013 they’ve not only been introduced to a talented array GulfofMexicoFoundof environmental professionals, but also forged some strong relationships with both individuals and organizations.

Recently, Environment Coastal & Offshore Magazine was named the official publication of the Gulf of Mexico Foundation. They are honored to formalize this relationship and proudly invite readers to explore the Foundation's projects through a series of informative articles and stunning images.

ECO’s continued coverage of the Gulf of Mexico Foundation will include behind-the-scenes insight, updates on the progress of their programs, and expert analysis of the most important issues impacting the Gulf of Mexico.  

The mission of the Gulf of Mexico Foundation is to promote and facilitate conservation of the health and productivity of the Gulf of Mexico and its resources through education, public awareness, research, and leadership programs.

Be sure to read ECO’s introductory article about their work, entitled Rigs to Reefs, in the latest issue of ECO Magazine - alongside their continued international coverage of the key environmental issues impacting coastal and offshore industries.

If you would like to learn more about the work GMF is doing, visit their website at

New readers can subscribe to ECO at



Stainless UK Produce Profiled Plates for Undersea CPT Testing System

Stainless UK Plasma Cutter1Stainless UK has manufactured stainless steel profiled plates to be used as thruster back plates and gussets on a deep water subsea CPT testing system rig.

Cone Penetration Testing was developed in the 1950s as a method of establishing the bearing capacity of soft ground into which foundation piles were to be driven. More recently the technique has been used to test the strength of soft sea bed at depths of up to 3,000 meters

Stainless UK manufactured the profiles for the 12mm thick Grade 316 stainless back plates and gussets using a high definition water injection plasma cutter in their Sheffield factory. This technique produces a clean, square edged, high tolerance profile – an essential requirement of the product.

“We have a range of facilities including plasma cutting to meet the specialized needs of customers in the subsea sector and the other markets in which we operate”, said Tim Wells, managing director of Stainless UK.

The plates were then machined to provide a central spot face with locating holes and also drilled and tapped fixing points on the outer face. The gusset plates were welded together and bolted into position.

Stainless UK specialise in the supply of marine grade stainless steel undersea and coastal applications. Other recent projects include the supply of Grip-Bar fully threaded bars for use in a test rig to measure the flow of waves and currents.


PIRA Energy Group's Weekly Oil Market Recap for the Week Ending September 22nd, 2013

piraNYC-based PIRA Energy Group reports that U.S. crude stocks declined relative to the same week last year. On the week, U.S. commercial inventories declined, while Japanese stocks rose. Specifically, PIRA’s analysis of the oil market fundamentals has revealed the following:

U.S. Commercial Inventories Decline

Commercial inventories declined for the week ending September 13 led by lower crude inventories but also lower gasoline and distillate. U.S. commercial stocks are now 12.7 million barrels above last year. This is down sharply from last week due both to the stock draw this past week and the huge stock build for this same week last year. The excess continues to be largely in gasoline. While crude is down compared to last year and distillates are nearly flat and remain quite low relative to history.

Japanese Crude Imports and Stocks Rise, Demand Weakens

Crude stocks and imports jumped and gasoline demand was surprisingly soft. Kerosene stocks returned to building mode as demand eased back. Refinery margins remain abysmal with gasoline cracks being the biggest drag, though fuel oil cracks are also very weak.

Low Propane Stocks in the U.S. and High Levels of Feedstock Usage

High levels of propane exports and on-going feedstock usage will keep propane stocks relatively low going into the winter. Growing LPG imports into Europe as well as the winding down of North Sea maintenance are pressuring prices. Steam cracker operators should be maximizing propane use in both Europe and Asia.

Ethanol Values Plummet

U.S. ethanol values plunged for the week ending September 13 as the 2013/2014 corn harvest has begun and corn prices have fallen, lowering the cost to manufacture the fuel. The supply/demand balance also shifted from tightness to a surplus position.

Ethanol Output Lower

U.S. ethanol production fell to 838 MB/D for the week ending September 13, erasing some of the gains made in the previous week. Output is expected to increase soon as the corn harvest begins in the Midwest and several plants restart.

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.

Click here for additional information on PIRA’s global energy commodity market research services.


LAGCOE International Opportunities - Nine Countries Presenting

LagcoeLAGCOE, one of the world’s pioneer oil and gas expositions, has been selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Commerce International Buyer Program Select (IBP Select) - one of only two oil and gas expositions in the program in 2013. IBP Select resources in combination with the LAGCOE International Committee’s efforts have produced a full slate of presenters for International Presentations and two Technical Presentations.

David Boulet, (Photo) Tusk Energy Services, LLC director of business development is co-chairman of the LAGCOE International Committee. He comments, David Boulet“We are honored to welcome representatives from Angola, Australia, Brazil, Canada, India, Malaysia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Singapore. These international professionals are traveling great distances to present information on opportunities in their respective countries which benefit local companies. We encourage attendees to take advantage of a vast amount of information being presented by attending sessions and networking with our visitors afterward.”

In addition to International Presentations, LAGCOE provides an International Business Center which hosts international attendees from 27 countries and provides a space for business to business meetings between international and domestic companies facilitated by U.S. Department of Commerce Commercial Service Personnel.

LAGCOE (Louisiana Gulf Coast Oil Exposition) will be held October 22 – 24, 2013 at The Cajundome and Convention Center in Lafayette, LA. In continuous operation since 1955, LAGCOE is a first rate exposition where world class companies display the latest equipment and services and technical sessions address pertinent issues from across the globe.  LAGCOE 2013 exhibit space is sold out with 415 exhibitors displaying while over 400 companies remain on the wait list. LAGCOE 2011 welcomed 14,000 attendees from 47 states and 27 countries.  Admission to the show and technical presentations is free, and limited to energy industry personnel. The general public is invited on October 24, 2013 from noon until 2:00 p.m.  Learn more at


Northern Offshore Announces New Contract Award for Jackup Energy Endeavour

Energy-EndeavourNorthern Offshore, Ltd. (Oslo Bors: NOF.OL) has reported that its subsidiary, Northern Offshore U.K. Ltd, was awarded a contract with Wintershall Noordzee B.V. ("Wintershall"), for the jackup Energy Endeavour.  The contract will be performed in the Dutch Sector of the North Sea commencing on/or about October 1, 2013 with completion well in progress on May 1, 2014. The contract provides for extension options and an initial operating day rate of US$160,000 per day.

Gary W. Casswell, Northern Offshore's president and CEO, said "We are delighted that Wintershall has selected Northern Offshore for this program and are pleased to broaden our customer base in the North Sea with this new client.  We look forward to working with Wintershall and achieving a safe and successful drilling program."


Update On Cameron Drillship Package Award

camlogoCameron (NYSE: CAM) announced on Nov. 26, 2012, that it had received an order from STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd., to supply a complete drilling equipment package for an ultra-deepwater drillship. The customer of STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. was Sigma Drilling Ltd., of which Vantage Drilling Co. is a partner.  

Vantage Drilling Co. has announced that STX has suspended construction efforts on the drillship in connection with STX's restructuring efforts. Vantage also noted that it and Sigma Drilling Ltd. are discussing with STX the possible means for execution of the remaining contracted scope of work. Vantage further reported it anticipated that an agreeable work plan would result in delivery in the first or second quarter of 2016.

Cameron is a leading provider of flow control equipment products, systems and services to worldwide oil, gas and process industries.  



Chevron Technology Ventures Launches $90 Million Fund V


ChevronlogoChevron Technology Ventures LLC (CTV) has announced that it has launched CTV Fund V, a $90 million venture capital fund to invest in early- to mid-stage companies and in limited partnership funds. Investments from CTV Fund V will focus on companies developing emerging technologies that have the potential to improve Chevron’s oil and gas base business performance or create new opportunities for growth.

“We provide an excellent source of innovative technologies that can deliver value to Chevron’s business units when applied,” said CTV President Barbara Burger. “We are using venture capital as a conduit for early adoption of emerging technologies and to build a pipeline of innovation for Chevron.”

CTV-managed strategic investments prior to Fund V have supported a wide range of companies and venture capital funds. Partner technologies are used across Chevron’s Upstream and Downstream business units, producing substantial earnings for the company. CTV screens more than 400 opportunities per year, selecting one to three companies in which to invest. The company has a current portfolio of 37 companies.

Formed in June 1999, CTV invests in technology start-up companies whose innovations could significantly benefit Chevron’s existing businesses and lead to new growth opportunities. CTV identifies, sponsors and demonstrates emerging technology and champions its integration into Chevron.

 has announced that it has launched CTV Fund V, a $90 million venture capital fund to invest in early- to mid-stage companies and in limited partnership funds. Investments from CTV Fund V will focus on companies developing emerging technologies that have the potential to improve Chevron’s oil and gas base business performance or create new opportunities for growth.

“We provide an excellent source of innovative technologies that can deliver value to Chevron’s business units when applied,” said CTV President Barbara Burger. “We are using venture capital as a conduit for early adoption of emerging technologies and to build a pipeline of innovation for Chevron.”

CTV-managed strategic investments prior to Fund V have supported a wide range of companies and venture capital funds. Partner technologies are used across Chevron’s Upstream and Downstream business units, producing substantial earnings for the company. CTV screens more than 400 opportunities per year, selecting one to three companies in which to invest. The company has a current portfolio of 37 companies.

Formed in June 1999, CTV invests in technology start-up companies whose innovations could significantly benefit Chevron’s existing businesses and lead to new growth opportunities. CTV identifies, sponsors and demonstrates emerging technology and champions its integration into Chevron.