Eni has been present in Norway since 1965, with current production standing at approximately 110,000 boe per day through its subsidiary Eni Norge AS.
San Donato Milanese (Milan), 9 December, 2013 – Eni has made a new offshore oil and gas discovery in the Norwegian Barents Sea, approximately 240km from Hammerfest.
The well, which is located in the Skavl prospect in the PL532 license, has been drilled five kilometers south of the Johan Castberg area. It was drilled in approximately 349 meters of water and reached a target depth of 1,700 meters.
The well has confirmed good quality oil and gas in Jurassic and Triassic sandstone, with volumes of recoverable oil estimated at between 20 and 50 million barrels. The discovery is part of Eni's joint venture exploration activity to develop the Johan Castberg field.
Following completion of Skavl, the drilling rig will move 16 kilometers north where it will continue its exploration campaign in the execution of an additional exploration well on the prospect of Kramsnø. Statoil is the operator of production license PL532 with a 50% stake; the remaining shares are held by Eni Norge AS (30%) and Petoro AS (20%).
Eni has been present in Norway since 1965, with current production standing at approximately 110,000 boe per day through its subsidiary Eni Norge AS. Eni is operator of the ongoing development of the first oil field in the Barents Sea, the important Goliat discovery, and of the Marulk gas field in the Norwegian Sea. Furthermore, in Norway Eni has interests in the country in a number of exploration licenses and fields under development and in operation, including Ekofisk, Norne, Åsgard, Heidrun, Kristin, Mikkel and Urd.
Total announces the signature of a farm-in agreement with InterOil Corporation that gives it a 61.3% interest in Petroleum Retention License (PRL) 15 in Papua New Guinea. The Elk and Antelope gas fields, two of the biggest finds in the Asia-Pacific region in recent years, were discovered in the license in 2006 and 2009 respectively.
Total and InterOil Corporation retain the flexibility to farm-down an aggregate of up to a 19.3% interest (before any election by the government to exercise its option to join the project with a 22.5% interest) to a strategic partner.
The common objective of Total, who will operate the project, and InterOil, is to complete the delineation of the two discoveries and to continue to explore for new resources in the license area. Depending on the results, this could lead to a final investment decision by 2016 for the development of the fields and the construction of a liquefaction plant located onshore on the Gulf of Papua.
In addition, Total has an option to take an interest in Petroleum Prospecting Licenses PPL 236, PPL 237 and PPL 238 in the same area.
"Following Total's entry into exploration in Papua New Guinea in 2012, this new acquisition of an interest in significant discovered resources is an exciting opportunity for Total to develop a new gas production and liquefaction hub in the Asia-Pacific region, where gas demand is very dynamic", stated Yves-Louis Darricarrère, President Upstream at Total. "Total will leverage its technology and experience in major LNG projects to reinforce its long-term production post-2020."
Total will pay $470 million for a 42% interest (32.5% if the government executes its option to join the project) with a contingent payment estimated by Total at approximately $590 million. The transaction remains subject to the approval of the Papua New Guinea government.
Total in Papua New Guinea
In October 2012, Total acquired from Oil Search Limited a 40% stake in the PPL 234 and PPL 244 offshore permits, 50% in the PRL 10 offshore permit and an option for 35% in the PPL 338 and PPL 339 onshore permits (in the same area as the Elk and Antelope gas fields and PPLs 236, PPL 237 and PPL 238).
In April 2012, Total Marketing & Services created a new affiliate in Papua New Guinea, with offices in Port Moresby. Total Marketing & Services had been marketing lubricants in the country via a distributor arrangement for several years. The new affiliate will allow Total to more effectively support its mining and manufacturing customers in implementing their development projects in Papua New Guinea, which is enjoying strong economic growth.
The discovery of an additional 2-3 trillion cubic feet (Tcf)* of natural gas in place in the Mronge-1 well brings the total of in-place volumes up to 17-20 Tcf in Block 2.
Mronge-1 is drilled by the drillship Discoverer Americas, and the site is located 20 kilometers north of the Zafarani discovery, and at 2,500-meter water depth.
"We have initiated a new and ambitious drilling campaign offshore Tanzania following four successful discoveries during the first drilling phase. The Mronge-1 well discovered additional gas volumes and furthers the potential for a natural gas development in Tanzania. The new drilling program also allows us to fully explore the remaining exploration potential in Block 2," says Nick Maden, senior vice president for Statoil's exploration activities in the Western hemisphere.
The Mronge-1 well discovered gas at two separate levels. The main accumulation is at the same stratigraphic level as proven in the Zafarani-1 well in Block 2. The Zafarani-1 discovery was made in 2012 and was a play opener for the block.
The secondary accumulation was encountered in a separate, younger gas bearing reservoir, in a play which previously has not been tested in Block 2.
The Mronge-1 discovery is the venture's fifth discovery in Block 2. It was preceded by three successful high-impact gas discoveries during the first drilling phase with Tangawizi-1, Zafarani-1 and Lavani-1, and a deeper discovery in a separate reservoir in Lavani-2.
"These are high value resources. The attractiveness is also demonstrated by a recent asset transaction in the neighboring block. The discoveries also demonstrate how Statoil's strategy of focusing on high-impact opportunities is paying off and supports the company's ambition for international growth," Maden says.
"The Tanzania government is pleased to learn about additional gas resources discovered in Block 2," says Hon. Prof. Sospeter Muhongo, Minister for Energy and Minerals in Tanzania.
The Statoil-operated partnership started its new drilling campaign in Block 2 in September 2013. In addition to Mronge-1, the campaign includes drilling of several new prospects and appraisal of previous discoveries. Following Mronge-1, the partnership is scheduled to appraise the 2012 Zafarani discovery.
Statoil operates the license on Block 2 on behalf of Tanzania Petroleum Development
A group comprised of 17 oil and gas companies has established a project for joint seismic acquisition in the southeastern Barents Sea. Statoil is the operator of the project.
Seismic vessel Ramford Vanguard. (Photo: Ole Jørgen Bratland)
At the request of the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy (MPE), the industry, via the Norwegian Oil and Gas Association, has taken the initiative to jointly acquire seismic 3D data from the blocks in the southeastern Barents Sea that will be announced in the 23rd licensing round for the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) in 2014.
This is the first new area on the NCS to be opened since 1994. Thirty companies showed interest in participating in such a collaboration.
17 of these companies signed an agreement to establish a joint project for planning and implementing the acquisition. As the largest operator on the Norwegian shelf Statoil has taken on the operator role.
"Coordinated seismic acquisition has several advantages. It will ensure very good data quality, since the industry to a much greater extent will be able to utilise the companies' collective professional expertise within geological understanding and seismic acquisition and processing. The initiative lays the foundation for fewer, well-planned operations, thus reducing acquisition costs and potential disadvantages for the fishing industry," says Gro G. Haatvedt, Statoil's senior vice president for exploration on the NCS.
"Interest in the Barents Sea has increased considerably in recent years, due in part to the discoveries in the Johan Castberg area. High-quality 3D data will be important to the industry in order to increase understanding of the area's potential."
When the authorities circulate the 23rd round nominated blocks for public consultation, other oil companies will get a new opportunity to engage in the project. It is expected that several companies will make use of this offer.
The project will immediately initiate a tender process for the seismic acquisition. The plan is for the seismic surveys to start in April 2014 and conclude in the autumn of the same year.
The companies who will be taking part from the beginning are BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Det norske oljeselskap, Eni, GDF Suez, Idemitsu, Lukoil, Lundin, Norske Shell, PGNiG, Repsol, Spike, Statoil, Suncor, VNG and Wintershall.
Offshore blocks offered in Bangladesh's Bay of Bengal have attracted a disappointing level of interest from license-holders; however, anticipated improvements to the terms governing the country's oil and gas industry could entice investors, says research and consulting firm GlobalData.
According to the company's latest report*, only one extra bid is thought to have been received for the shallow-water blocks during the extension of Bangladesh's 2012 bidding round, adding to the three already received. As a result, more attractive fiscal terms are likely to be implemented in upcoming rounds, although the next one is unlikely to commence until 2015.
The fiscal terms for Bangladesh's deepwater blocks were amended significantly, with a number of new incentives, mid-round in 2013; however, no such improvements were applied to the terms for the shallow-water area, despite increasing demand for natural gas.
Jonathan Lacouture, GlobalData's Lead Analyst for the Asia-Pacific region, cites this lack of incentives as a reason for the low number of bids.
Bangladesh faces fierce competition from India and Myanmar for exploration investment in the Bay of Bengal,says the analyst. Incentives are needed to make the Bangladeshi blocks stand out, especially considering the substantial turnout which Myanmar recently experienced in its own licensing round."
Indeed, Bangladesh's upstream oil and gas sector is further clouded by ongoing uncertainty over the status of certain blocks in the shallow-water area. Following a clash with Myanmar over maritime boundaries, a similar dispute with India now remains unresolved, and arbitration on this dispute is not expected until June 2014.
Lacouture continues: If the ruling on this issue favors India, then it would threaten the integrity of the six offshore blocks on the western edge of the exclusive economic zone, which are currently claimed by Bangladesh. This arbitration means that the next bidding round will probably not happen until 2015 and the delay will only increase authorities urgency to attract investors."
Will Scargill, Fiscal Analyst for GlobalData, suggests that future incentives are most likely to be offered through either a higher-cost recovery limit, or an improved gas-pricing framework.
He says: "
Given the level of domestic demand, export provisions are unlikely to be offered. The 2008 model contract permitted exports, and it was precisely for this reason that there was a lot of political opposition to the contract."
Royal Dutch Shell plc ("Shell") announces that the company will not move forward with the proposed 140,000 barrels per day Gulf Coast gas-to-liquids (GTL) project in Louisiana and will suspend any further work on the project.
Shell is the industry leader in GTL technology, and the company has carefully evaluated a number of development options for GTL on the US Gulf Coast, using natural gas feedstocks.
Despite the ample supplies of natural gas in the area, the company has taken the decision that GTL is not a viable option for Shell in North America, at this time, due to the likely development cost of such a project, uncertainties on long-term oil and gas prices and differentials, and Shell's strict capital discipline.
Shell is the leading energy company in integrated gas, which includes liquefied natural gas and GTL. The company has built up substantial new options for integrated gas investment, particularly in Australia and North America in recent years.
CEO Peter Voser commented "we are making tough choices here, focusing our efforts and capital on the most attractive opportunities in our world-wide portfolio, to add value for shareholders."
Shell thanks the Governor of Louisiana, his staff, Parish officials, regulators and the community for the opportunity to consider locating this project in Louisiana, and the company looks forward to continuing a long, successful relationship with the state.
Alex Arthur, Director of Tax at Johnston Carmichael
After a recent consultation, HMRC has issued further guidance on the steps being taken to reduce the loss of tax and National Insurance Contributions (NIC) due by offshore employees and employers.
Special arrangements are needed for oil and gas workers due to the hundreds of contracts and subcontracts involved in running offshore oil installations, which can make it difficult to know who is required to pay what.
Under the new regime, UK based associates or branches of offshore employers will become liable to make good any unpaid tax and NICs. Offshore employers who do not have a UK associate or branch will be able to apply for a compliance certificate however if they do not have a certificate, the liability will pass to the oil company who has the license. As HMRC points out, the oil company which holds the license could ‘ask’ the offshore employer to fulfil their tax obligations however the licensee will still be liable for any failure incurred by the offshore employer.
At present, many offshore employers that deploy workers to the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) operate UK PAYE, however are not liable to pay employers’ NIC for workers classed as ‘mariners’. HMRC has drafted the new rules carefully so that NIC relief remains in place for recognized ‘mariners’, but will be denied to some of those who have staff working aboard floating installations as opposed to supply or safety vessels.
Following the consultation process and meetings with HMRC, we expected a definition of mariners to be announced, however further queries and concerns were raised, which has meant that this is still under consultation. A draft of the proposed changes to the NI regulations show that if you are a UKCS worker, as well as a mariner (still undefined) then being a UKCS worker will trump the mariner rules. This means that many more mariners will be caught, so the effect will be more widespread than first envisaged, following discussion with HMRC. However there are still unresolved questions.
For instance, what happens when a vessel switches from an oil and gas contract to do offshore renewables work? As the new information is still under the consultation process, we have spoken to HMRC and are in dialogue with them to clarify their understanding. We hope that by the time the amendments are finalised, genuine mariners will remain within the current status and that no NIC is due, allowing UK businesses to remain competitive in the UK market.
Discussions with HMRC have been generally open and constructive and they suggest that they will not normally pursue UK associate companies where the offshore employer already operates PAYE and complies with the Real Time Information rules.
Proven onshore technology to go offshore to target growing deepwater and subsea market
OptaSense, the global leader in distributed acoustic sensing (DAS), is to develop the world's first fully marinized and qualified DAS system in a joint programme with Shell.
The OptaSense Subsea-DAS™ system, which will be deployed in water depths of up to 10,000ft, will take OptaSense's proven onshore DAS technology to the offshore oil and gas industry, allowing highly accurate acoustic data acquisition for the first time in this sector.
The technology is expected to have a significant impact on the rapidly growing international subsea oil and gas market which is forecast to double in size in the next five years to up to $70 billion (£43 billion) a year*.
The Subsea-DAS™ system will provide acoustic data for a wide range of subsea and deepwater applications including pipeline surveillance and leak detection, geo-positioning, in-well monitoring, subsea assembly condition monitoring and permanent reservoir monitoring. The multi-application device will include functional and technical parameters configurable in software, thereby avoiding different hardware for settings or functions.
The marinization process will require the re-engineering of OptaSense's existing DAS interrogator unit to reduce its size to fit into a pressure canister. The modified opto electronics will be tested to ensure they meet the stringent temperature, vibration, shock and electrical certifications required of subsea equipment.
The companies anticipate that the Subsea-DAS™ unit will be ready for demonstration by mid-2014. Magnus McEwen-King (photo, left), Chief Executive of OptaSense, said: "In collaboration with Shell we are very pleased to be able to produce the Subsea-DAS™ system.
The search for oil and gas is taking the industry into ever deeper and more challenging environments. The global deepwater and subsea market is large and is forecast to grow rapidly. Producing a marinized version of our technology will enable OptaSense to extend the use of our already proven onshore distributed acoustic sensing capabilities into the growing subsea sector. We fully believe, given our considerable experience gained using DAS on land, that we will be able to make rapid progress in developing and commercialising our technology for this market. I am particularly pleased that Shell has taken a leading role in helping to develop this work. "
OptaSense has achieved considerable onshore success with its leading DAS technology, which has been applied in a wide range of applications including microseismic monitoring. The company continues to innovate on all aspects from hardware performance, software and data interpretation. With commercial services available in hydraulic fracture profiling, production flow monitoring and vertical seismic profiling (VSP), OptaSense is transforming the industry's ability to understand in real-time what is happening along the well bore and beyond.
OptaSense's chief technology officer Dr David Hill (photo, right) said: "The marinization of the OptaSense DAS technology will provide us with the capability to develop a range of applications for which DAS is particularly suited.
With these capabilities, we shall be able to extend our industry-leading pipeline monitoring and leak detection abilities to subsea pipelines, permanently monitor subsea wells for flow and micro seismic activity, provide on-demand subsea VSP measurements, continuously monitor the condition of rotating machinery in subsea assemblies and develop a low-cost solution for permanent reservoir monitoring.
The Subsea-DAS™ program gives us the opportunity to further reduce the size and power requirements of DAS systems while increasing its reliability through the hardening of the components to temperature vibration and shock effects."
"QinetiQ is recognized as world leaders in maritime, whether it be naval architecture, acoustic signatures, systems integration or test and evaluation at its leading edge facilities. Being able to utilize this for qualification testing has been important to our success and now means QinetiQ Group is able to provide a complete solution to the subsea market from design to qualification. The development of Subsea-DAS™ adds to the world renowned heritage of QinetiQ's maritime business and enhance it still further."
*Source for market size
Reflex Marine, a global leader in safe marine transfer solutions, welcomed personnel from Coastguard section of the Brazilian Navy into Aberdeen last week for testing with the company's innovative crew transfer technologies.
Representatives from the Diretoria de Portos e Costas (Directorate of Ports and Coasts) explored Reflex Marine's industry leading FROG capsule and witnessed immersion, load, vertical and lateral impact tests of both the company's FROG-6 and newly launched FROG-XT
Reflex Marine is currently working with the DPC to gain accreditation for the FROG to operate on board vessels registered in the country, although several operators have already put the device to use using foreign ships.
To continue developing important relationships in the energy industry between Aberdeen and Brazil, the Lord Provost of Aberdeen and Gordon McIntosh, director of Enterprise, Planning and Infrastructure at Aberdeen City Council met with Reflex Marine and the Brazilian delegates.
Carol Richards, sales consultant South America at Reflex Marine, said: "For the past two years we have had delegates from Brazil visit Aberdeen learn more about how our technologies can improve safety in the country's burgeoning energy sector, and it's great to extend that to members of the Brazilian Navy too.
"The standard method of transfer offshore in the region is by helicopter and traditional rope baskets are commonly used in emergencies. However, Brazil's continuing commitment to exploring other methods of transfer is positive. It was great for us to demonstrate the safety and operational benefits of our products."
Lord Provost of Aberdeen George Adam said: "I was delighted to meet the visitors from the Brazilian Navy and those working for Reflex Marine. It's always a pleasure welcome visitors from Brazil to our city.
"Our strong relationship with Brazil, which is experiencing considerable growth in its energy sector, is very important to Aberdeen and the North-east. Brazil is an important market for many of our businesses and the interest shown by the Navy is clear evidence of the high esteem in which the skills, knowledge and expertise Aberdeen boasts in all aspects of the industry are held worldwide.
"I believe the visit to Aberdeen was productive for everyone involved. The Navy officers were very complimentary about the tests they had witnessed and about the Reflex Marine product range. I hope this results in a productive business relationship.Gordon McIntosh said: "This visit from the Brazilian Navy, as the accredited body for offshore safety in Brazil, is extremely significant for the Aberdeen oil and gas industry's growing reputation in that country.
"Over the past 14 years we've worked closely with partners from Brazil to grow opportunities in this fast developing marketplace."
VAALCO Energy, Inc. (NYSE: EGY) has announced that the Company has received written confirmation from The Ministry of Petroleum of Angola that the available 40% working interest in Block 5, offshore Angola, has been assigned to Sonangol E.P., the National Concessionaire. The Ministry of Petroleum also confirmed that Sonangol E.P. will assign the aforementioned participating interest to its exploration and production affiliate, Sonangol P&P.
With this confirmation, VAALCO has begun the process of contacting drilling rig companies to secure a semi-submersible rig to commence the exploration phase of the pre-salt / post-salt Kwanza Basin program.
Steve Guidry, CEO, commented, "We are excited to begin drilling offshore Angola, especially given the recent significant discoveries made elsewhere in the Kwanza basin in which Block 5 is located. Having Sonangol as our partner, with their extensive knowledge of the basin, reaffirms our confidence in the potential of discovering commercial quantities of hydrocarbons on our 1.4 million acre concession."
Following the assignment, Sonangol and its affiliates will hold a 60% working interest in Block 5, comprising a 20% carried working interest and the newly assigned 40% participatory working interest. VAALCO, as operator, continues to hold a 40% operating working interest in Block 5.
MacArtney has supplied a major consignment of high performance oceanographic winches to JAMSTEC, the Japanese Agency of Marine-Earth-Science and Technology. The total of eight winch systems and appurtenant equipment were delivered to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries who, in cooperation with specialist MacArtney launch and recovery technicians, installed them onboard the brand new JAMSTEC research vessel, the R/V Shinsei Maru.
JAMSTEC R/V Shinsei Maru
Built at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Shimonoseki Shipyard and Machinery Works, the R/V Shinsei Maru was completed and delivered to JAMSTEC in June 2013, hereby marking the latest addition to the extensive JAMSTEC fleet of modern research vessels. In the hands of the JAMSTEC scientists and empowered by state-of the-art functions and equipment, R/V Shinsei Maru is bound to offer an invaluable contribution to the recovery of marine ecosystems and fisheries in post earthquake disaster coastal Japan. This will be achieved through comprehensive studies, hereunder efficient marine environmental observation, bathymetric survey and ocean-atmosphere research.
Total winch solution by MacArtney
In order to effectively carry out these kinds of oceanographic surveying, the R/V Shinsei Maru is equipped with a wide variety of on board observation systems, portable research equipment and a remote controlled unmanned probe. For launching and recovering this multitude of surveying systems and equipment, the R/V Shinsei Maru is outfitted with a cutting-edge total MacArtney winch solution.
Comprising eight winch systems (four stationary and four portable), the MacArtney winch solution includes:
* 1 x General Survey Winch
* 1 x Large Wire Winch
* 1 x Medium Wire Winch
* 1 x Small Wire Winch
* 1 x CTD Winch
* 1 x Deep Tow Winch
* 1 x Water Sampling Winch
* 1 x Mooring Survey Winch
Adding to the overall system performance, six of the MacArtney winches onboard the R/V Shinsei Maru are empowered by Active Heavy Compensation (AHC). AHC dramatically reduces unwanted undulation, cable slack, pull and equipment instability by compensating for the motion caused by heavy seas. This way, AHC works to dramatically decrease weather related downtime.
From initial contact to final delivery, the order was facilitated by trusted MacArtney Japan representative, the Nishiyama Corporation. MacArtney is dedicated to continue working with both Nishiyama, JAMSTEC and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries on future projects.
NYC-based PIRA Energy Group reports that the midcontinent fundamentals weakened in November. The U.S. is in a much tighter stock position than last year. In Japan, Japanese low crude imports draw stocks. Specifically, PIRA’s analysis of the oil market fundamentals has revealed the following:
Midcontinent Fundamentals Weaken in November
High crude stocks on the Gulf Coast led to a further disconnect between U.S. and foreign markets in November, with the Brent-LLS differential rising to a record $10/Bbl. Meanwhile, continuing surplus stocks in the western Canada corridor further depressed Canadian differentials. And with West Texas now pipeline-connected to the Gulf Coast, the weak LLS-WTI spread allowed Midland differentials to slip lower. However, by late November and early December fundamentals were improving and all differentials had strengthened, with LLS and Mars moving from contango into backwardation.
U.S. in Much Tighter Stock Position than Last Year
For the first time this year U.S. commercial oil inventories have fallen below last year. Crude stocks are 14 million barrels above last year, although from a commercially available stock position crude inventories are really comparable to last year because of new infrastructure. Overall product stocks are 16 million barrels below last year. The inventory deficit to last year should further widen next week. While there is a small stock deficit to last year, adjusted petroleum product demand (four week average) is running a huge 1.57 MMB/D, or 8.5%, higher than last year.
Japanese Low Crude Imports Draw Stocks
Runs continued rising post-turnaround, but crude imports moved lower resulting in a strong crude stock draw. Both gasoline and gasoil demand eased back with minor stock changes for both. Kerosene stocks posted strong build rate, but the kerosene yield relative to jet yield does not fall within expected norms, suggesting a data revision down the road.
Increased Saudi Formula Crude Prices for January Directionally Discourage Liftings
Saudi Arabia's formula prices for January were recently released. Many of the differentials against the key pricing benchmarks were raised for movements to the U.S, Europe, and Asia, though Asian premiums on Arab Heavy and Medium were lowered slightly. For the U.S. market, the higher January differentials for Arab Light/Medium/Heavy are the strongest ever seen since the adoption of ASCI as a marker in 2010. The overall changes to formula pricing for January will directionally discourage liftings.
Refinery Outages and Atlantic Basin Products
While growing product exports from high runs in the United States have received much of the attention recently, there has also been an ongoing need for more light product imports into Latin America and Africa. That import requirement is driven by growing demand but stagnant refinery capacity. It has been compounded by refinery outages at times. Last year disastrous fires in Venezuelan refineries cut refinery output. More recently there was a fire in the Brazilian 190 MB/D REPAR refinery on November 28. Although it was originally thought to come back on line by mid-December, reports are now suggesting that it will take longer, perhaps by end-month.
Atlantic Basin Surplus Crude
The growth in crude production in the Atlantic Basin will have a profound impact on regional crude supply/ demand balances. Crude production growth is being driven by the shale “revolution” in the United States and increased oil sands development in Canada. The Atlantic Basin is broadly defined as including the Americas, Europe, and Africa. Refinery runs in these countries have declined somewhat in recent years after peaking in 2005-2007, but they are expected to slowly resume growth with increases in the U.S. and Latin America more than offsetting declines in Europe. However, the projected growth in crude production is much greater than the increase in refinery runs. As a result a sizeable crude surplus will develop within the region and crude will be forced to seek markets elsewhere, primarily in the rapidly growing countries in Asia.
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.
Apache Corporation announces that CEPSA Suriname S.L., a Spanish company, has farmed in to a 25-percent participating interest in Suriname's Block 53, a 867,117-acre (3,509 km2) area located in 1,640-5,900 feet (500-1,800 meters) of water about 80 miles (130 km) offshore.
Apache Suriname Corporation LDC, a subsidiary of Apache, signed a production sharing contract for Block 53 with Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname NV — the Surinamese national oil company — in 2012 after a competitive bid round. The Block 53 work program includes a 3-D seismic program, currently in processing, and two exploration wells. Apache retains a 75-percent participating interest in the block. Staatsolie has an option to obtain a 20-percent participating interest in commercial fields discovered on the block.
Hoover Container Solutions (Hoover), a subsidiary of Hoover Group, Inc., has announced the grand opening of its new distribution and service center in Scott, La. The opening of this facility will provide an increased ease of operation for Hoover products and services to the Gulf of Mexico and the southeastern United States.
The new distribution and service center sits on nine acres and is comprised of 25,000 square feet of warehouse and 3,000 square feet of office. Overseen by Robbie Monlezun, Hoover's regional operations manager, the new facility currently employs 11 individuals and is expected to more than double within the next six months.
The site hosts the most robust, state-of-the-art tank cleaning equipment in the Gulf Coast and will handle operations such as tank wash, recertification, reconditioning and transportation of intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) including the capability to perform NAS 6 & 8 cleaning of chemical tanks. In addition to the variety of services offered at this location, Hoover's new Louisiana facility will sell and rent stainless and poly IBCs, offshore chemical tanks, ISO tank containers, offshore baskets, cutting boxes and related products.
"Our new location allows us to more than double the capacity of our previous tank cleaning capabilities and significantly increase the available inventory of our products," said Paul Lewis, Hoover's president and chief operating officer. "We value our customer base in Louisiana, and Hoover's expansion is a reflection of our desire to provide a convenient location to better meet their needs."
Flexible pipe specialist FlexTech has surpassed its first year turnover target of £500,000 just six months after start-up and anticipates reaching £1million by the end of the year.
Flexible pipe expert Craig Keyworth(photo) established the Aberdeen-based company in March of this year, after operating as a flexible pipe consultant for a number of years prior.
Mr Keyworth, who is also FlexTech's Engineering Director, said: "I'm very pleased with the company's initial progress. We are building a great track record of developing bespoke solutions to individual challenges, project managing complex design scopes, delivering on schedule and on budget."
FlexTech's core business is the successful delivery of flexible pipe and riser engineering projects, offloading systems and integrity management and inspection. It also has a range of innovative products designed to facilitate ease of installation, ensure operational integrity and prolong the life of the flexible in field.
The company moved to new premises in September 2013, representing a six-figure investment in a new office as well as specialist software and infrastructure. The company also has a half-acre research and development facility in Lincolnshire, with a further one acre to allow for future planned expansion.
Within its initial six months, FlexTech has completed work and supplied equipment globally for a range of companies from UK and international operators as well as installation contractors, with a number of high profile jobs scheduled for 2014.
Mr Keyworth continued: "The business has been a long-term plan and we have a wealth of internal practical experience and a team driven for success, both for the clients and for ourselves as an organisation. The ultimate aim is for a reputation as a company capable of delivering on all flexible pipe requirements. We are a highly skilled, dynamic company and pride ourselves on our solutions-based approach and ability to adapt quickly and professionally to our clients' needs whatever or wherever they may be."
FlexTech currently has a team of six subsea and marine specialists and aims to add a further eight employees within the next 12 months. It has recently recruited two new directors, who, along with Mr Keyworth, boast more than 50 years' experience in the oil and gas industry among them.
Mr Keyworth said: "The business isn't just about making money, it's about the team and how they work together and with our clients. We have recruited a team with an extensive knowledge and background in flexible pipes that is willing to go the extra mile to provide excellent service and results to our clients.
"Our experience in the industry and our innovative and practical approach which saves our clients time, effort and money, has been in high demand, and we are looking forward to a busy 2014 and beyond."
Transocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG) (SIX: RIGN) has announced that Mr. Lars Sjöbring has been appointed Senior Vice President and General Counsel of Transocean Ltd. He will join the company upon completion of the notice period with his current employer and will be based in Geneva, Switzerland. In the interim, Mr. Allen Katz will continue to serve as the company's Interim Senior Vice President and General Counsel.
Mr. Sjöbring's qualifications include over 15 years of law practice in international settings, and he received his education in both Europe and the United States. Mr. Sjöbring has been serving as the Vice President Legal Affairs, General Counsel and Secretary of Autoliv, Inc., an automotive safety supplier, since 2007. Prior to joining Autoliv, Inc., from 2003 to 2007 Mr. Sjöbring was Senior Legal Counsel and subsequently Director Legal, M&A with Nokia Corporation.
Mr. Sjöbring earned Master of Law degrees from the University of Lund, Sweden, in 1994; Amsterdam University, Netherlands, in 1995; and Fordham University, United States, in 2003.
"Lars' background and experiences make him an outstanding addition to our management team and I look forward to his contributions," said Steven L. Newman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Transocean Ltd. "As we welcome Lars, I want to thank Allen Katz for his service as Interim General Counsel. His expertise and guidance has proven invaluable since he began advising the company in June 2010."
Statoil ASA (OSE:STL, NYSE:STO): Arne Sigve Nylund has been appointed executive vice president for Development and Production Norway.
Arne Sigve Nylund has been appointed executive vice president for Development and Production Norway. (Photo: Ivar Langvik)
Nylund will assume his new responsibilities on 1 January 2014 and report to Helge Lund, Chief Executive Officer. Nylund's office location will be Stavanger. He succeeds Øystein Michelsen, who has been appointed country manager in Tanzania.
Nylund is currently senior vice president, Processing and Manufacturing in Marketing, Processing and Renewable Energy (MPR), a role he has held since 2009.
He joined Statoil in 1987 with the transfer of the operatorship of Statfjord from Mobil. He has a background from a range of operational and leadership positions. He has been platform manager at Gullfaks, operations manager at Statfjord and senior vice president for Statfjord operations and Operations West in DPN.
"Arne Sigve Nylund is an experienced leader from both upstream and downstream operations in Statoil. His deep understanding of both the onshore and offshore parts of Statoil makes him a very strong fit for the challenging position as head of DPN," says Statoil CEO Helge Lund.
"Arne Sigve Nylund is recognised for his strong interpersonal skills. He works well with internal as well as external stakeholders. He has experience from driving challenging projects and change agendas, and has demonstrated ability to create trust and strong results. The Norwegian Continental Shelf is the backbone of Statoil's activities, and I look forward to having Arne Sigve as part of the team realising the full NCS potential over the years to come," Lund adds.
"DPN is a very important business area in Statoil. The years to come will be both exciting and demanding. Our ability to adapt, improve and change is a prerequisite for future success. I am really looking forward to again have the opportunity to work together with all the competent and dedicated people in DPN to deliver on our goals and contribute to Statoil's improvement agenda," says Arne Sigve Nylund.
Nylund has a BSc in engineering from the Stavanger Technical College, 1981, a BSc in operations management from University of Stavanger, 1988 and a business economist degree from Norwegian School of Economics, 1989.
Nylund's successor will be announced in the near future.
A new study<http://www.noia.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/The-Economic-Benefits-of-Increasing-US-Access-to-Offshore-Oil-and-Natura....pdf> released by the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) and the American Petroleum Institute (API) shows that opening the U.S. Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) to offshore oil and natural gas development could have remarkable benefits for job creation, domestic investment, revenue to the government, and U.S. energy security. The study, conducted by Quest Offshore Inc., shows that offshore oil and natural gas development in the Atlantic OCS could create nearly 280,000 jobs, spur an additional $195 billion in new private investment, contribute up to $24 billion per year to the U.S. economy, generate $51 billion in new revenue for the government, and add 1.3 million barrels of oil equivalent per day to domestic energy production, between 2017 and 2035. These jobs are in addition to any jobs and revenue generated by offshore wind or wave energy projects that might take place.
“It is truly amazing what the offshore energy industry already does for America while only having access to less than 15 percent of the Outer Continental Shelf. It would be more amazing to stop limiting ourselves to this one small area. Opening the Atlantic coast to responsible oil and natural gas development could add to our workforce, overall economic growth, government coffers and energy security,” said NOIA President Randall Luthi.
If lease sales in the Atlantic OCS were held in 2018, exploratory drilling could begin the following year with the first production of oil and natural gas expected in 2026. Major capital investments, job creation, and revenue to the government would all begin years before the first barrel goes to market.
“The key is getting Atlantic lease sales included in the 2017-2022 Offshore Leasing Plan. None of the benefits shown in the study can be realized without actual sales. Everyone is looking for the silver bullet that will decrease unemployment, increase federal revenue without raising taxes, and make America more energy secure. Tapping more of our offshore energy is that elusive silver bullet,” said Luthi.
By 2035, the Atlantic coast region could see 215,000 new jobs as a result of offshore oil and gas activity. Inland states outside the Atlantic coast region could see 63,950 new jobs. The largest employment impact is predicted for North Carolina<http://www.noia.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/NOIA_NC_12.3.13.pdf> (55,422 new jobs), South Carolina<http://www.noia.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/NOIA_SC_12.3.13.pdf> (35,569 new jobs), and Virginia<http://www.noia.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/NOIA_VA_12.3.13.pdf> (24,979 new jobs). Mid and North Atlantic States could also see great job and revenue benefits. Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York could see over 40,000 new jobs, contributions to the economy of over $3.7 billion and an increase in state revenues in the neighborhood of $2.7 billion by 2035. Active oil and gas development off the coasts of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia might mean similar resources are located off the New England coast. Should that be so, the New England states could see 45,000 new jobs and state revenues of over $5 billion in that same time frame.
If offshore revenue sharing were legislated for coastal states to receive 37.5 percent, the federal government would receive over $33 billion a year and individual states would receive over $19 billion a year by 2035.
“Opening up the Atlantic OCS is only part of the energy equation. The oil and natural gas industry must also be committed to significant financial investment and continue to show that these resources are developed efficiently and safely. A cooperative, respectful relationship between industry and regulators means we can develop those oil and natural gas resources and maintain the highest safety and environmental standards,” said Luthi.
The full study<http://www.noia.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/The-Economic-Benefits-of-Increasing-US-Access-to-Offshore-Oil-and-Natura....pdf>, and executive summary<http://www.noia.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Executive-Summary-The-Economic-Benefits-of-Increasing-US-Access-to-Off....pdf>, as well as national and state infographics<http://www.noia.org/tap-offshore-energy> are available at www.noia.org/TapOffshoreEnergy<http://www.noia.org/TapOffshoreEnergy>.
NOIA is the only national trade association representing all segments of the offshore industry with an interest in the exploration and production of both traditional and renewable energy resources on the nation’s outer continental shelf. NOIA’s mission is to secure reliable access and a fair regulatory and economic environment for the companies that develop the nation’s valuable offshore energy resources in an environmentally responsible manner. The NOIA membership comprises about 300 companies engaged in business activities ranging from producing to drilling, engineering to marine and air transport, offshore construction to equipment manufacture and supply, telecommunications to finance and insurance, and renewable energy.
The 488-meter-long-hull of Shell's Prelude floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) facility has been floated out of the dry dock at the Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) yard in Geoje, South Korea, where the facility is currently under construction. Once complete, Prelude FLNG will be the largest floating facility ever built. It will unlock new energy resources offshore and produce approximately 3.6 million tons of liquefied natural gas (LNG) per annum to meet growing demand. "Making FLNG a reality is no simple feat," said Matthias Bichsel, Shell Projects & Technology Director. "A project of this complexity – both in size and ingenuity – harnesses the best of engineering, design, manufacturing and supply chain expertise from around the world. Getting to this stage of construction, given that we only cut the first steel a year ago, is down to the expert team we have ensuring that the project's critical dimensions of safety, quality, cost and schedule are delivered."
FLNG will allow Shell to produce natural gas at sea, turn it into liquefied natural gas and then transfer it directly to the ships that will transport it to customers. It will enable the development of gas resources ranging from clusters of smaller more remote fields to potentially larger fields via multiple facilities where, for a range of reasons, an onshore development is not viable. This can mean faster, cheaper, more flexible development and deployment strategies for resources that were previously uneconomic, or constrained by technical or other risks.
Prelude FLNG is the first deployment of Shell's FLNG technology and will operate in a remote basin around 475 kilometers north-east of Broome, Western Australia for around 25 years. The facility will remain onsite during all weather events, having been designed to withstand a category 5 cyclone.
Shell is the operator of Prelude FLNG in joint venture with INPEX (17.5%), KOGAS (10%) and OPIC (5%), working with long-term strategic partners Technip and Samsung Heavy Industries (the Technip Samsung Consortium).
• Prelude is expected to produce 3.6 million tons per annum (mtpa) of LNG, 1.3 mtpa of condensate and 0.4 mtpa of LPG, and to remain on location for approximately 25 years.
• The Prelude FLNG hull is longer than four soccer fields laid end to end and it is longer than the Empire State Building is tall.
• The LNG storage tanks have a capacity equivalent to approximately 175 Olympic swimming pools.
• Once complete, the FLNG facility will weigh more than 600,000 tons fully loaded, displacing the same amount of water as six of the world's largest aircraft carriers.
• Whilst the Prelude facility is big it is also small – taking up 1/4 the area of an equivalent onshore LNG plant.
• Existing technology that has been adapted for FLNG includes:
• Close coupling between the producing wells and the LNG processing facility – This is the physically short length from one to the other
• Mooring systems – making it bigger for the largest floating facility ever built and dealing with the associated forces.
• The marinisation of processing equipment, so that it will work on a floating facility
• Water intake risers, as water will be used as part of the cooling process needed to turn the gas into LNG.
• LNG tanks that can handle sloshing – that is the motions of the liquid LNG within the hull if and when there are stormy seas.
• LNG offloading arms which will transfer LNG from the facility to the ships moored alongside – two moving facilities instead of just one.
• On 2 September 2013, Woodside announced the use of Shell FLNG technology as the development concept to progress through the Basis of Design (BOD) phase to commercialize the Browse gas fields.