Proposal would strengthen oversight capacity for offshore oil and gas development under the President's all-of-the-above energy strategy
President Obama's fiscal year 2015 budget request for the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) is $204.6 million, a $2.0 million increase over the 2014 enacted level. The Administration's proposal would provide critically needed resources to further strengthen BSEE's regulatory and oversight capabilities for oil and gas development on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf, as the Administration works to responsibly expand domestic energy production through the President's all-of-the-above energy strategy.
"The President's 2015 request lays a strong foundation for a sustainable regulatory program and provides the infrastructure necessary to ensure offshore oil and gas activities are conducted safely and in an environmentally responsible manner," said BSEE Director Brian Salerno. "The President's request will enhance our ability to keep pace with a dynamic industry as operators continue to pursue new and emerging technologies that enable them to develop our nation's energy resources in deeper water and frontier areas."
The 2015 budget proposal would enable BSEE to continue to bolster engineering, scientific and technical expertise and research needed to increase its capacity in multiple disciplines to adequately staff regulatory, safety management, structural and technical support as well as oil spill response prevention programs. The development of robust scientific information and the timely and thorough review of exploratory and production permits are critical components of BSEE's oversight responsibilities.
The President's budget furthers BSEE's strategic goals through a program increase of $905,000 to support enhanced review of emerging technologies, and expand project funding to validate technology, test protocols and analyze economic feasibility. The President's request will be offset by $123.6 million from BSEE collections, including $65.0 million from inspection fees, $50.4 million from rental receipts and $8.2 million from cost recovery fees.
The proposed 2015 budget will enable BSEE to continue to build a robust culture of safety, with a strong focus on risk reduction. The Bureau will bolster its capacity for analyzing data gained through incident reporting requirements, near-miss reporting, and real-time monitoring. BSEE will also work with the offshore industry to better understand their safety processes, so that in turn it can mitigate safety risks and reduce the likelihood of future incidents.
As part of this cooperative effort, BSEE will continue the development of the Ocean Energy Safety Institute in FY2015. The Institute will provide a program of research, technical assistance, and education that serves as a center of expertise in offshore oil and gas exploration, development and production technology. This expertise will be especially critical for frontier areas, such as high temperature/high pressure reservoirs, deepwater, and Arctic exploration and development.
By the end of 2013, there were 40 deepwater floating rigs drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, up from 37 at the start of the year. The Energy Information Administration projects offshore production will continue to grow from 2015 through 2040, as the pace of development activity quickens and new, large development projects, predominantly in the deepwater and ultra-deepwater areas of the Gulf of Mexico are brought into production. The 2015 budget request provides robust support that will enable the Bureau to keep pace with industry activity and the technology developments that are helping to drive this anticipated growth.
InterMoor, an Acteon company, has successfully completed decommissioning operations of the Innovator platform in Gomez field, Mississippi Canyon Block 711, Gulf of Mexico.
The scope of work, conducted in water depths of 910 m, involved disconnecting 10 risers/umbilicals; disconnecting 12 mooring lines and then towing the Innovator to Ingleside, Texas. InterMoor developed special procedures for disconnection and towing, procured rigging and tow equipment for all vessels including the Anchor Handling Vessel (AHV), FPU and tug vessels, and provided essential personnel for the AHV and FPU throughout all phases of operations.
InterMoor's involvement with the Innovator platform dates prior to 2006 when it was a mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) known as the Rowan Midland. At that time, the MODU was being converted by ATP to a production platform, and InterMoor provided the mooring design, project management, procurement, installation and hook-up of the mooring system. The 12-leg mooring system consisted of suction embedded plate anchors (SEPLA), stud link chain, subsea connectors and polyester mooring ropes. This was leading-edge technology at the time, as it was only the third permanent polyester mooring system installed in the Gulf of Mexico and the first permanent SEPLA mooring.
InterMoor's next assignment on the Innovator was in 2011, providing mooring line inspection, change-out of all rig wires, and upgrading five of the mooring legs due to new Metocean regulations and possible life extension. InterMoor performed the upgraded mooring analyses, provided regulatory interface and procured the upgrade mooring components.
The success of the decommissioning programme was a result of InterMoor's detailed understanding of the Innovator platform's mooring system, which was gained during the operations in 2006 and 2011. Tom Fulton, InterMoor president, said, "The successful decommissioning of the Innovator proves InterMoor's technical and operational capabilities for complete floating platform decommissioning in deep water. At a time when many operators are looking at life-of-field solutions, we are proud to have played a role at crucial times throughout the development and decommissioning of this offshore asset."
President Obama's fiscal year 2015 budget request, announced today, includes $169.8 million to fund the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM), which is charged with managing the Nation's offshore energy and mineral resources in a way that promotes efficient and environmentally responsible energy development through oil and gas leasing, renewable energy development, and a commitment to rigorous scientific studies.
"BOEM’s priorities fully support the Administration's vision for creating growth and opportunities as we pursue our mission. Our modest increase in the President’s request reflects careful analysis of the resources needed to advance renewable and conventional energy, manage non-energy OCS mineral resources and invest in what’s needed to grow the economy." said BOEM Director Tommy P. Beaudreau.
The budget requests continued funding to fulfill BOEM's program implementation responsibilities, which include leasing and planning for conventional energy development through implementation of the Five Year Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program, planning for individual lease sales and conducting post-sale review of companies' exploration and development plans. BOEM also manages the development of offshore renewable energy resources - including implementation of the Secretary's "Smart from the Start" initiative to accelerate leasing in offshore wind energy areas off of U.S. coasts.
In support of both its conventional and renewable energy programs, BOEM conducts extensive analysis, including environmental review, resource assessment, and economic analysis. Applied research through BOEM's Environmental Studies Program supports science-based decision-making.
The budget proposes an increase of $2.9 million above the FY 2014 enacted level and a $3.4 million increase in net appropriations. This includes $2.5 million for a programmatic environmental impact statement (EIS) for the 2017-2022 Five Year Program. The programmatic EIS is mandated by the National Environmental Policy Act and is required by the OCS Lands Act. Development of the EIS involves scoping, development of alternatives, Federal and state agency coordination, public comment, comment analysis and response, as well as final publication.
Additional details on the President's FY 2015 budget request are available online at http://www.doi.gov/budget/appropriations/2015/highlights/index.cfm.
Once again demonstrating their power and agility in both nearshore and offshore waterways, Crowley Maritime Corp.'s ocean class tugs have successfully delivered oversized, overweight equipment – comprised of topsides, tendons, piles and more – that are now part of a massive semi-submersible floating production facility located in the U.S. Gulf, approximately 280 miles south of New Orleans, La. Working alongside the tugs were Crowley's 455 series high-deck-strength barges, which carried much of the equipment as it was towed offshore. Utilizing the Crowley tugs' dynamic positioning capabilities, the facility, known as Jack/St. Malo, was successfully moored and made storm safe at a depth of 7,000 feet between the Jack and St. Malo offshore oil and natural gas fields, which are within 25 miles of each other.
As was done when Crowley's ocean class tugs successfully delivered the Olympus platform and Lucius spar to the U.S. Gulf, both completed late last year, the company's Houston-based Solutions project management team, which manages the tugs and barges, completed the delivery in three stages of work in both nearshore and offshore waters.
During the first stage, the nearshore phase, the topsides were skidded onto the company's 455 series barge Julie B at the Keiwit facility dock in Ingleside, Texas, in Corpus Christi, where they were later lifted and installed onto the hull of Jack/St. Malo. Once in place and secured, the Ocean Wind and Ocean Wave next provided assistance by pushing the Jack/St. Malo facility, away from Corpus Christi, through the Port of Aransas, Texas, and out to deeper waters. The Ocean Sun followed the flotilla and was equipped to provide assistance, if needed.
Relocation to deeper waters marked the beginning of the second phase of work, the offshore stage. Here, the Ocean Wind and Ocean Sun towed the facility to its final location, alongside the Crowley-contracted tugboat Harvey War Horse II. Also during this phase, the Solutions team arranged for the company's 455 series barge 455 7, towed by Crowley's tug Warrior, and third-party barge Marmac 400, towed by Crowley's tug Pilot, to deliver the piles, or long pipe-like structures that serve as anchors for the platform, to the project site. Finally, the Marty J, towed by the Pilot, made three subsequent trips to the installation site to deliver additional equipment – including chains, connectors and line reels – that were used in the mooring of the floating facility.
In the final stage, the positioning phase, the Ocean Wind, Ocean Wave, Ocean Sky, Ocean Sun and Harvey War Horse II worked together to hold the Jack/St. Malo in its final location, and remained on site in a star pattern to provide support as the spar was connected to its moorings and made storm safe in more than 7,000 feet of water.
"This was another successful pairing of Crowley's new ocean class tugboats and high-deck strength barges," said Crowley's John Ara, vice president, solutions. "Not only was the project completed safely and on time, but it also helps to illustrate the increasing competence and capability of our crew and vessels. We look forward to utilizing these specialized teams and assets in projects in the future."
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, Ocean Wave and Ocean Wind, are classed as Dynamic Positioning 1 (DP1) tugboats and are twin-screw, tugs with an overall length of 146 feet, beam of 46 feet, hull depth of 25 feet and design draft of 21 feet. 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.
Scheduled to begin producing oil and natural gas later this year, the facility will have a capacity of 170,000 barrels of oil per day and 42.5 million standard cubic feet per day of natural gas. Jack/St. Malo will act as a hub for the 43 subsea wells, including pumps and other equipment on the seafloor.
Crewmembers involved in the project include Captains Charles Alan Williams, Andrew C. Ashworth, Ted Caffy, Brian Cain, Stuart B. Andrews Jr., Stephen Berschger, Laurence Christie and Ward P. Davis; Chief Mates Darrel Koonce, Dustin Marks, Clyde McNatt, James Hoffman and Scott R. Ellis; Chief Engineers RD Lewis, Charles Pate, Scott Bovee and Edgar C. Henson; Able-Bodied Seamen Terry Laviolette, Ryan Landers, Dave Heindel, Orvin McCoy, Preston Harper, Farrell Bodden, Steven Kendrick, Jonathan Solomon, Corey Hill, Satchel G. Caffy, Ben E. Johnson and Edward J. Rynn; Assistant Engineers Micheal Bibby, Keith Smith, Matthew Hamer, Andralesia Terrell, Richard A. Saunders, James H. Murray, Thomas Murphy and Isaac Levine; Second Mates Travis Cheer, Nate Leachman, Eric A. Eaton, Cecil Wilson and Ray Adams; Third Mate Scott M. Tompkins; Dynamic Positioning Officer John Willson; and Ordinary Seamen and/or Cooks Johnny Godwin, Stephen R. Goletz, Rene Fuentes, Evan Flynn and Glen Williams.
L-3 company SAM Electronics has been awarded a major contract to provide complete electrical packages as well as integrated navigation, automation, communications, energy distribution and propulsion systems for Ceona Amazon, the 199m offshore construction and pipelaying vessel to be delivered this coming October to Ceona, the London-based subsea contracting organization. The turnkey supply work, which also includes all cabling installation, is to be carried out under contract to the vessel's principal outfitter, Lloyd Werft Bremerhaven AG, Germany, which subcontracted the steel work to Crist SA's shipyard in Gdynia, Poland.
Due to begin service in January 2015, Ceona's multifunctional Amazon vessel is capable of operating in multiple pipelay modes, installing both rigid/flexible pipe and umbilicals. It is equipped for heavy lifting with two 400-ton deepwater cranes, and has the capacity to carry more than 9,000 tons of rigid pipe.
"Following the successful recent completion of similar installations, the highly complex project for the Ceona Amazon represents a major undertaking that we are well-positioned to accomplish," said Ulrich Weinreuter, President of L-3 Marine Systems International. "This latest award demonstrates our continuing presence as a leading supplier of a wide range of specialized systems and expertise in support of the global offshore shipping and platform industries."
The vessel control system consists of a NACOS Platinum integrated navigation system featuring standardized workstations with multipurpose displays, and an MCS Platinum automated monitoring and control system capable of processing approximately 4,500 input and output signals controlled by 10 processing stations. Supplementary support facilities comprise a full range of internal communications systems as well as a comprehensive range of GMDSS equipment. Power will be available for seven asynchronous thruster drives generated by a series of six diesel alternators supplying three medium-voltage switchboards. Other associated equipment includes six-pulse and 12-pulse PWM converter drives in addition to 16 medium-voltage propulsion and distribution transformers.
The Ceona Amazon contract is the latest in a series of major turnkey projects undertaken by SAM Electronics on behalf of leading operators of next-generation offshore construction support craft. Other recent ventures include comparable outfitting of the heavy-lift jack-up crane vessels, Innovation and Vidar.
Building on the fruitful past decade of UK-Singapore cooperation in scientific research and development, A*STAR's Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC) and the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute (SMMI) officially launched a joint laboratory in Maritime and Offshore Engineering R&D today, to develop innovative technological solutions through modeling and simulation using high performance computing technology, aimed at solving technical issues faced by the maritime, energy and offshore sectors.
The opening of the joint laboratory symbolizes both countries' continued commitment to the fostering of greater synergy and cooperation in moving the frontiers of science. The Joint Lab opening was witnessed by UK Minister of State for Universities and Science, The Rt Hon David Willetts MP.
As a globally leading maritime hub that is home to many companies in the offshore sector, Singapore provides an excellent base for the development of innovative technological solutions. The long legacy of the UK as a global maritime powerhouse further ensures the synergy of complementary expertise from both organizations that will greatly enhance the maritime, energy and offshore sectors and bring about economic benefits to both countries.
The strategic aim of the IHPC-SMMI Joint Lab is to deepen the understanding of the science and technology deployed in the design, construction and operation of future ships used, and new offshore structures that are utilized for the exploration and extraction of oil, gas and renewable energy sources from deep oceans under extreme harsh environments and translate these insights into impactful industrial applications.
The research areas are aimed at addressing two major challenges faced by the maritime and offshore sector:
Continuing trend in deep-water offshore oil and gas drilling, where the main challenge is in the more complex engineering requirements, both in terms of the environment in which the platforms will operate, and in their design and risk analysis based on more reliable scientific approaches.
Growth in shipping, from (a) the increasing size, variety and complexity of ships and, (b) a requirement for vessels to be "greener" from an environmental emissions viewpoint.
Prof. Alfred Huan, Executive Director of IHPC, said: "This joint lab is another key component toward building a hub to catalyze further R&D activities in marine and offshore companies in Singapore. IHPC is keen to promote the development of high performance computing techniques that can be applied to pertinent issues, that will lead to improved design of offshore structures and better understanding of their performance and reliability in harsher environment and more severe conditions. We intend to draw upon participation from industry players so that the benefits of the research can propagate through the economic sector."
Prof. Don Nutbeam, Vice-Chancellor, University of Southampton, said: "The Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute is a world-leading hub for international collaboration which really has no parallel in terms of its scale and ambition. With Singapore being home to the world's leading maritime economy and supporting major strengths in marine and maritime engineering we are very pleased and excited for the SMMI to be working in collaboration with A*STAR here to deliver a number of projects to develop safer, improved and more efficient offshore and marine structures and ships to deliver real and tangible economic and environmental benefits for the future."
Prof. Ajit Shenoi, Director of the SMMI, added: "The SMMI serves as a magnet to attract partners from around the world to draw upon our fantastic research and development capabilities and specialists. The future of humanity depends on us learning together and by working collaboratively through this new collaboration with A*STAR in Singapore is a catalyst for making major strides in all sectors of the maritime community, both academically and commercially."
The multidisciplinary research leverages the complementary expertise and skillsets possessed by the SMMI researchers, and IHPC research scientists from the Fluid Dynamics and Engineering Mechanics departments. The collaboration draws upon IHPC's strength in computational modeling and simulation, and SMMI's strength in marine research. The Joint Lab projects will focus on developing solutions in the marine and offshore sector where the technical challenges are complex and often beyond the capabilities of a single organization.
The Joint Lab will undertake projects in collaboration with other partners in the maritime and offshore R&D community, including researchers from National University of Singapore (NUS) and the IHPC-Lloyd's Register Joint Lab co-located within IHPC premises.
The first four projects undertaken at the IHPC-SMMI Joint Lab cover the following areas: hydrodynamics and fluid-structure interactions, applied mechanics and structure engineering.
The Joint Laboratory is located on A*STAR premises to promote engagement and more seamless scientific exchanges with researchers from other research fields, such as those from the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech), and the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE).
The Rt Hon David Willetts MP commented, "As two of the world's top proponents of scientific endeavour, the UK and Singapore celebrate 10 years of close cooperation in pioneering cutting-edge research innovation for global markets. Many leading British companies such as GSK, Lloyd's Register and Rolls-Royce have collaborated with A*STAR, jointly developing R&D capabilities to drive innovation and achieve growth in Asia. This new partnership symbolized in the Joint Lab has the potential to catalyze our countries' reputations as international maritime hubs, translating to a wealth of economic opportunities in Asia Pacific and beyond."
About the Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC)
As a national research institute supported by A*STAR through its Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC), the Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC) was established in April 1998 to provide leadership in high performance computing as a strategic resource for scientific inquiry and industry development. IHPC seeks to power discoveries through advanced methodologies, techniques and new tools in modeling, simulation and visualization. Its core research areas are in the realm of complex-coupled systems, mechanics and fluid dynamics, large-scale systems, digital modeling, adaptive and collaborative computing, data mining and analysis, computational electronics and electromagnetics, computational materials science and chemistry.
For more information about IHPC, please visit http://www.ihpc.a-star.edu.sg.
About the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
The Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) is Singapore's lead public sector agency that fosters world-class scientific research and talent to drive economic growth and transform Singapore into a vibrant knowledge-based and innovation driven economy.
In line with its mission-oriented mandate, A*STAR spearheads research and development in fields that are essential to growing Singapore's manufacturing sector and catalyzing new growth industries. A*STAR supports these economic clusters by providing intellectual, human and industrial capital to its partners in industry.
A*STAR oversees 18 biomedical sciences and physical sciences and engineering research entities, located in Bio polis and Fusion polis, as well as their vicinity. These two R&D hubs house a bustling and diverse community of local and international research scientists and engineers from A*STAR's research entities as well as a growing number of corporate laboratories.
Please visit http://www.a-star.edu.sg
About theSouthamptonMarine and Maritime Institute(SMMI)
Formally launched in 2012, the Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute at the University of Southampton is a major hub for marine and maritime innovation, education and expertise. SMMI comprises over 1000 academic staff and researchers in various disciplines relating to engineering, sciences, social sciences and humanities and cover industrial, business and government sectors underpinning climate and the environment, energy and ocean resources, trade, manufacturing and transport as well as societal and policy issues.
About the University of Southampton
The University of Southampton has a global reputation for academic excellence with an innovative and entrepreneurial approach to delivering world-leading research, scholarship and enterprise. Southampton fully supports a culture that engages and challenges students and staff in their pursuit of development across a wide range of disciplines - from engineering, science and technology to management, law, social sciences, health and humanities.
With over 23,000 students, and 5,000 staff, Southampton is a member of the UK's Russell Group of research-focused universities and actively involved in the World Universities Network.
The University is also home to a number of world-renowned research centers including the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, the Optoelectronics Research Centre and the Web Science Institute, and is a partner of the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton.
The data acquired is important to reduce technical uncertainties in a possible future Tanzania offshore and LNG development.
The Zafarani-2 operation tested two separate intervals and flowed at a maximum of 66 million standard cubic feet of gas per day, constrained by equipment, and confirmed good reservoir quality and connectivity.
The drill stem test operation was performed through a re-entry in the Zafarani-2 well, in 2,400 meters water depth and approximately 80 kilometers off the coast of southern Tanzania.
"The ongoing appraisal program is crucial to firm up the design and development basis for bringing gas to shore and a first phase onshore LNG project in Tanzania," says Øystein Michelsen, Statoil's Tanzania country manager.
"We are now working constructively with our co-venturer ExxonMobil, Blocks 1, 3 & 4 and the Tanzanian authorities to progress the plans for a joint LNG plant development."
The production well rate potentials are estimated to be higher than the equipment constrained rates obtained during the test. The Zafarani-2 operation will be followed by the appraisal well Zafarani-3, which concludes the planned appraisal in the Zafarani reservoir, the cornerstone for a field development in Tanzania Block 2.
The Zafarani-2 well test announcement follows the Mronge-1 discovery made in December 2013, which was the fifth discovery in Block 2 and brought the natural gas in place volumes up to 17-20 trillion cubic feet (Tcf)*.
The Mronge-1 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.
Statoil operates the license on Block 2 on behalf of Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) and has a 65% working interest, with ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Tanzania Limited holding the remaining 35%.
Statoil has been in Tanzania since 2007, when it was awarded the operatorship for Block 2.
(*1 Tcf =180 million barrels of oil equivalent)
BP disagrees with the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit denying the company's request for a permanent injunction preventing certain payments under the Economic and Property Damages Settlement (the "settlement") it reached in 2012. BP had asked the Court to prevent payments to business economic loss (BEL) claimants whose alleged injuries are not traceable to the Deepwater Horizon accident and oil spill. BP believes that such BEL claimants are not proper class members under the terms of the settlement and is considering its appellate options.
The Judges on the panel split three ways, with two Judges voting to affirm the District Court and deny permanent injunctive relief but without agreeing in all respects on a rationale. By denying the relief BP requested, however, BP believes that today's decision will improperly allow for the payment of losses with no connection to the spill. BP further believes that unless this problem is fully corrected, the settlement cannot be upheld under the law. BP has accordingly already sought en banc rehearing of the January 2014 decision by a separate panel of the Fifth Circuit upholding the validity of the settlement. The full Court has not yet reached a decision on BP's en banc rehearing petition.
BP has already secured a favorable ruling in the courts regarding the matching of revenues and expenses in calculating BEL claims. In December 2013, after ten months of litigation, including two appeals to the Fifth Circuit, the District Court reversed its prior rulings and held that the Court Supervised Settlement Program (CSSP) must ensure that claimants' reported revenues and expenses are correctly matched for the purposes of determining awards under the settlement.
Under the terms of today's decision, the injunction temporarily suspending issuance of final determination notices and payments of all BEL claims, including claims currently in the appeal process, will be vacated. The lifting of the injunction will not take place until the case is transferred back to the District Court, the timing of which may be affected by a potential filing by BP of a petition requesting en banc rehearing of the March 3 decision.
As of December 31, 2013, BP held no provision for BEL claims payable under the settlement because no reliable estimate could be made. A provision for BEL claims will be established when the uncertainties referred to in BP's fourth quarter and full year 2013 results announcement dated February 4, 2014 are resolved and a reliable estimate can be made of the liability.
EO, Mons S. Aase stated that he is very pleased with the contract awards, which further strengthens DOF Subsea's market position in the Gulf of Mexico.
DOF Subsea, a subsidiary of DOF ASA, has entered into an agreement with Otto Candies for the charter of the Jones Act vessel Chloe Candies for a firm period of one year plus one year option. The charter period will commence at the beginning of March 2014. The vessel will be operated by DOF Subsea North America to execute subsea projects.
DOF Subsea North America has also entered into a contract securing utilization of the vessel Chloe Candies for 5 + 2 months. In addition, DOF Subsea North America has entered into a contract utilizing Harvey Deep-Sea for 3 months firm + 2 months options.
CEO, Mons S. Aase stated that he is very pleased with the contract awards, which further strengthens DOF Subsea's market position in the Gulf of Mexico.
Fairmount Marine has safely delivered rig ENSCO 5002 in Singapore. The rig was towed from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, via Cape Good Hope, by tug Fairmount Expedition.
ENSCO 5002 is a 1975 built 70 meters long and 61 meters wide semi- submersible drilling rig. The rig can accommodate up to 110 persons and is capable to drill up to 10,668 meters.
Tug Fairmount Expedition hooked-up with the rig offshore Rio de Janeiro mid-November 2013. The convoy arrived in Singapore this week after a 9,200 miles voyage by an average speed of 5,6 knots.
During the voyage stops were made in Cape Town (South-Africa) and Port Louis (Mauritius) for bunkers, replenishments and crew changes. At both stops the Fairmount Expedition made some cargo runs.
Fairmount Marine is a marine contractor for ocean towage and heavy lift transportation, headquartered in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Fairmount's fleet of tugs consists of five modern super tugs of 205 tons bollard pull each, especially designed for long distance towing, a multipurpose support vessel and a large submersible transport barge. Fairmount Marine is part of Louis Dreyfus Armateurs Group.
MacGregor's three-axis motion compensated offshore crane has won the Offshore Support Journal's (OSJ) Innovation of the Year award. The news was announced at OSJ's fifth Annual Offshore Support Journal Conference and Awards event in London, UK, on 19 February 2014, and the award was presented to MacGregor's Offshore Advanced Load Handling team in front of an audience of over 500 people at the conference's gala dinner.
The award is given for a product, system or service which is judged to have made the most significant impact on the design, build and/or operational aspects of offshore support vessels. "It is an honour to receive such a prestigious prize from one of the most reputable forums in the international offshore sector," says Tom Svennevig, Vice President, Advanced Load Handling. "It is also an important recognition of our capabilities from peers across the offshore industry."
"In 2012 we also received the OSJ Innovation of the Year award; on that occasion it was for our Chain Wheel Manipulator," Mr Svennevig continues. "Winning it for a second time is especially remarkable, particularly in the face of such notable competition from the shortlist of nominees in the category."
Photo: MacGregor's three-axis motion compensated crane employs new technology that compensates for vessel movements in the horizontal plane (pitch and roll) in addition to heave compensation in the vertical plane. Compensating for the horizontal motions ensure that the crane's pedestal remains vertical in relation to the seabed, so that it will always be parallel to the windmill structure, allowing the crane to perform extremely accurate load positioning operations.
This crane is a first-of-its-kind, not just for MacGregor, but for the offshore industry as a whole. MacGregor was approached by Siem Offshore to develop an innovative type of crane for its newbuild infield support vessel Siem Moxie. The crane will be delivered to Siem Offshore in March 2014. The vessel will operate in the offshore renewable energy markets, carrying out installations, repairs, maintenance and general service duties. One specific task for Siem Moxie will be to transfer containers of tools and equipment to the top of offshore windmill foundations.
"MacGregor's standard active heave-compensation technology supplied though a crane's winch compensates for a vessel's vertical movement, assuring accurate load handling. However, when transferring equipment to the top of offshore windmill foundations, which are about 20m above the water and are only 4m2, even more precision is required," explains Baard Alsaker, MacGregor R&D Director, Advanced Load Handling.
"As a result, our engineers developed new technology that compensates for vessel movements in the horizontal plane (pitch and roll) as well as in the vertical plane. Compensating for the horizontal motions ensures that the crane's pedestal remains vertical in relation to the seabed, so that it will always be parallel to the windmill structure. Thanks to this three-axis compensation, the crane can perform extremely accurate load positioning operations. The crane can be used for a variety of other purposes, including ship-to-ship operations. It can also be specified for certification for personnel lifts, further enhancing its flexibility."
He notes: "We see that the emerging offshore wind sector continues to set new requirements for offshore cranes and we are constantly looking for ways of employing our expertise in the development of innovative new solutions for our customers."
Chukar Waterjet, Inc. is pleased to announce that it is adding several innovative mobile waterjet cutting products to its OTC 2014 exhibit, May 5-8 in Houston, Texas. Look for Chukar Waterjet in the outdoor pavilion booth 546.
Chukar Waterjet’s OTC exhibit will feature the latest ultra-high pressure waterjet systems designed especially for the oil and gas industry, including Chukar’s Deepwater Subsea Waterjet System, a Spyder portable abrasivejet cutting system, a Ragworm® robotic waterjet system and a 60KSI (4100 bar) psi, 80hp iP60-80DS diesel-powered waterjet intensifier pump.
Ultra-high pressure waterjet cuts without heat or flames, making it safe for hazardous environments and appropriate for a wide range of industry applications, offshore, onshore or subsea; from removing failed tank floors, to cutting pipes and door sheets, to cutting and blasting 3000 meters underwater.
On Display at OTC:
Deepwater Subsea Waterjet System
Operable to 3000 meters (10,000 feet), Chukar Waterjet’s Deepwater Subsea Waterjet System is effective at cutting steel up to 250 mm thick (10”) or waterjet blasting at pressures up to 36KSI (3800 bar). This powerful underwater waterjet cutting and blasting system improves the safety and effectiveness of subsea operations and has numerous advantages over conventional subsea cutting and cleaning tools, giving operators increased flexibility and access to larger projects. Unlike conventional tools, waterjet cuts without heat, reducing the hazard of igniting trapped pockets of gas during cutting. In addition, the tools used in a waterjet system cannot bind in the cut, jeopardizing asset integrity.
Chukar’s subsea waterjet equipment has numerous applications for deepwater emergency response operations, salvage operations, and rapid de-mobilization operations. It can be used to blast away coatings and marine growth to inspect welds, or as a cutting tool in emergency response and salvage operations. Waterjetting equipment also may be used to provide turbulence in a stream of methanol for hydrate remediation.
RAGWORM® Robotic Waterjet Cutting System
The RAGWORM® robotic waterjet cutting system is a fast, safe and efficient method for removing storage tank floors, roofs and side-shells as well as cutting and removing worn ship decks, rig and production platform decks, pontoon and barge decks, pipes, custom large section cuts and custom hazardous location cuts. The system uses dual 46,400 psi (3200 bar) waterjets to cut tank walls from their old floors and roofs safely, without the risk of explosion or toxic fumes associated with traditional cutting methods such as oxyacetylene torches. RAGWORM is 5 times faster than cutting with torches and 30 times faster than the standard gouging method, and there is no damage to the tank terp (foundation). It easily cuts through 6 mm (.24") carbon steel at an average of 100 meters (328') per hour.
Powered by a Chukar diesel waterjet intensifier pump, the RAGWORM® was developed by Jet Set Hydro Technics B.V. of the Netherlands. It is available exclusively in the United States through Mass Technology Corporation’s Safe-Cut Services of Kilgore, Texas. Safe-Cut Services uses and adapts the RAGWORM® to cut storage tank floors, roofs, and side-shells, as well as fiberglass, and concrete, multiple layers of substrates, asphalt, and vessels. Safe-Cut representatives will be available at OTC to answer questions.
NYC-based PIRA Energy Group believes that recent economic softness will be temporary and we continue to expect above-trend growth in 2014. On the week, pretty close to flat U.S. stock profile, while Japanese crude stocks built sharply. Specifically, PIRA’s analysis of the oil market fundamentals has revealed the following:
Economic Softness Will Be Temporary
PIRA believes recent economic softness will be temporary and we continue to expect above-trend growth in 2014. While flat price has ignored weaker economic data, crude stock builds are forecast to somewhat undermine bullish sentiment. Global refinery runs will bottom in April and then move sharply higher by midyear. Light product inventories will remain low, but diesel cracks will seasonally ease while gasoline cracks strengthen. Political risks to supply are growing, raising the probability of even larger MENA disruptions than PIRA is assuming.
Pretty Close to Flat U.S. Stock Profile
Commercial oil inventories decreased a slight 0.50 million barrels this past week, all of which was in products. This is the seventh consecutive week of product stock declines. Large product stock declines are quite typical in February because it is a strong product demand month. In fact, last year's product inventory decline during February was even larger with this past week's decline being 7.0 million barrels.
Japanese Crude Stocks Build Sharply
Total commercial stocks jumped 7 MMBbls with crude moving higher by nearly 8 MMBbls due to a surge in implied imports. Finished product stocks fell largely due to a strong draw on kerosene but also smaller draws on the other major products. Gasoil demand was very strong at 992 MB/D, the third highest level in a year. The indicative refining margin was modestly lower with all the major cracks weakening slightly.
Prices Will Be Under Some Downward Pressure
Brent crude prices remain supported by relatively tight global supply-demand balances due to continued supply disruptions and low stocks. United States crude prices relative to Brent will be choppy with WTI stronger with new pipelines, while the entire USG complex will see inventory builds during U.S. refinery maintenance before tightening again later in the 2nd quarter. European distillate cracks will trend lower as demand seasonally eases and currently tight inventories build back when Atlantic Basin runs ramp up after maintenance. Gasoline cracks are likely to increase significantly over the next few months with Atlantic Basin inventories expected to be lower than last year.
December 2013 DOE Revisions
DOE recently released its final monthly December 2013 (PSM) U.S. oil supply/demand data. While demand was revised lower by 519 MB/D, strong year-on-year gains continued. Total commercial inventories were revised higher by 8.5, with all the upward revision in products. Inventory levels of both crude and product were in deficit compared to year-ago, with that deficit having grown from end-November comparisons.
Severe Winter Weather Impacts Rail Performance
Every few years, severe winter weather causes major problems for rail transportation. This winter the weather problems have caused a record deterioration in service performance for the major U.S. railroads. These problems have contributed to the slight decline in U.S. crude by rail volumes since early December 2013. It will take two or three weeks for the rail system to recover from the cumulative effects of the weather, assuming that the rest of the winter returns to “average.” So the impact on crude by rail volumes will continue to be felt until mid-March, at a minimum.
U.S. Propane Exports Set a Record
U.S. propane exports set a new record in 2013 and are expected to increase further during the course of 2014. This will tend to keep inventories relatively low during the upcoming year, especially with stocks ending 1Q at around a record low for the period. As the season ends it will be necessary for the European and Asian chemicals operations to pick up the pace of LPG feedstock usage.
The Output of Ethanol-Blended Gasoline Soars
The production of ethanol-blended gasoline increased to a two-month high of 8,364 MB/D the week ending February 21 from 8,069 MB/D in the preceding week. U.S. ethanol output climbed for the third consecutive week, reaching 905 MB/D for the first time in five weeks.
Russian Gas Risks Greater for Central Europe; Oil Risks Minimal
The Ukrainian corridor for Russian gas exports is not as important as it used to be, but it still plays a central role in European gas supply. PIRA's analysis of pipeline flows shows that Russia can divert a little over half of the gas it moves through Ukraine to locations all over Europe. Spare capacity in the Nord Stream (Baltic) pipeline to Germany and the Yamal pipeline through Poland will allow Western Europe to receive most of the gas it needs. Central Europe and the Balkans could face some scarcity if the Ukrainian route were to temporarily disappear, but this is considered unlikely. For oil, there is less potential impact than with gas since most Russian oil exports go by tanker from Russian ports in the Baltic and Black seas.
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.
Subsea 7 S.A. (Oslo Børs: SUBC) has announced the award of a US$75 million three-year subsea construction services contract by ExxonMobil Canada Properties.
The contract supports the Hebron heavy oil field development, located in the Jeanne d'Arc
Basin 350 kilometres southeast of St. John's, Canada.
The contract scope includes the project management, engineering and installation of two Offshore Loading Systems in a water depth of 92 metres. Engineering and project management will begin immediately from Subsea 7's offices in St John's.
Stephen Henley, Managing Director of Subsea 7 Canada, said: "This contract award further enhances our construction capability across offshore Canada, building on the successes of our subsea engineering and construction work for our clients in the region."
Bibby Offshore's newest international division, Houston-based Bibby Subsea, has gone from strength to strength since its launch in October last year, having trebled the team in the past four months.
The subsea installation contractor developed the base in North America as part of its continued global growth strategy and to meet the growing demand of its clients in the region. In a bid to further strengthen ties with the region, Aberdeen-based Bibby Offshore last week hosted Houston based HM Consul General, Andrew Millar, the senior official representing the government in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma.
Alongside Aberdeenshire Council Provost Jill Webster, Chief Executive of Subsea UK Neil Gordon, and senior members of Aberdeenshire Council; discussions were held regarding Aberdeenshire's extensive investment into the Subsea Industry and plans to further develop Bibby Offshore's presence in Houston and the Gulf of Mexico.
This expansion plan is already evident with Bibby Subsea having increased its initial Houston team of three to now include Barry Straughan as HSEQ Manager, Daniel Wheeler as Subsea Business Manager, and four offshore personnel. It plans to double the Bibby Subsea workforce by the end of the year.
Mr Straughan brings 37 years' health and safety experience to the team, having previously worked internationally in the subsea industry. Mr Wheeler also complements the team with several years' experience and will provide the team with a wealth of regional expertise and knowledge to develop the company's business opportunities in the Gulf of Mexico.
Andrew Duncan, President and Managing Director of Bibby Subsea, said: "We have received significant interest in the division since its launch, with Bibby Subsea being perfectly positioned to deliver enhanced capabilities and undertake subsea projects using our international fleet of subsea support vessels and remotely operated vehicles (ROVs).
"Bibby Subsea's preliminary $1million contract with Cal Dive International to mobilise a work-class remotely operated vehicle (WROV) on Cal Dive International's support vessel in Mexico, the Mystic Viking, is ongoing, with talks in place to increase our ROV presence in the region.
"Market demand for subsea services is forecast to grow by 43% over the next five years, and Bibby Subsea is positioning itself as a major player within the ROV market, with an increased level of in-house capabilities which we can offer to clients."
Bibby Subsea aims to deliver a diverse range of subsea construction projects for operators worldwide. Services include project management and engineering, innovative remotely operated vehicle support vessels (ROVSV) and survey capabilities, diverless intervention, advanced remote systems and tooling packages, in-house survey and data processing, subsea construction support services, and inspection, repair and maintenance (IRM).
Niche Products Ltd is pleased to announce that the formal establishment of Niche Produtos do Brasil is now underway. The coming Niche facility will provide in.country manufacturing of subsea control fluids as well as 24 hour technical support for present and future customers.
Mike Mahaney, Vice President at Niche Products LLC stated "We are very pleased to be a player in the most active exploration & production area of the world. The establishment of Niche Produtos do Brasil signifies a major commitment and investment by Niche Products to provide Brazilian customers more choices and value through increased competition and cutting edge field proven technology."
Brad Jeter of Niche Products added "Moving forward we fully anticipate Niche Produtos do Brasil will play a key global role as we support projects both inside and outside of Brazil from this facility. In addition, we are creating skilled job opportunities for Brazilians as we staff and train our manufacturing, laboratory, and support staff personnel."
Niche Products specialize in the offshore industry and have been supplying environmental fluids since the company was founded in 2001. The Pelagic range includes environmental fluids for subsea production control systems, drilling and umbilical storage. Niche currently has manufacturing facilities in Manchester UK, Houston TX and Perth Australia and the new facility in Brazil will ensure customers receive rapid delivery worldwide.
Independent subsea engineering and training company Jee Ltd will draw on its extensive pigging experience to host a webinar exploring the topic in March.
Senior Subsea Engineer Paul Otway will present the webinar, focusing on 'Best Practice for Management of Pipeline Integrity by Pigging in Complex Environments.' It will take place globally on 13 March.
Mr Otway said: "Pipeline integrity is extremely important in offshore projects and becomes increasingly critical as assets age. To detect corrosion and improve the corrosion management systems to extend the lifespan of these pipelines, pigging is crucial, and choosing the right technology can save operators valuable time and money."
Pipeline corrosion can have serious health and safety, environmental and operational effects, therefore it is imperative that offshore operators constantly monitor corrosion to determine the condition of pipelines. In-line inspection (ILI) pigging is a key tool in identifying the efficacy of pipeline management and the information provided can add years to the life of an ageing asset.
Designed to give an overview of ILI and its benefits, the webinar will examine how pipelines are pigged and discuss best practice in selection of appropriate methodologies for pipeline inspection.
Mr Otway continued: "At Jee, we have invaluable experience in pigging operations and I look forward to conveying some of our knowledge during this webinar, where I will talk participants through the advantages and disadvantages of specific technologies as well as design aspects of piggable pipeline systems."
Jee has global experience in a range of pigging operations including complex scenarios in deep water, multi-diameter lines and FPSO vessels. Mr Otway was recognised for his work on ILI projects when he won the Subsea UK award in the category of Young Emerging Talent in 2013.
Jee is an independent subsea engineering and training company with offices in Aberdeen, London and Tonbridge. The company celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2013 and has built up a range of capabilities to become a leading provider of integrated subsea services spanning the whole life-of-field, including SURF, structures, controls, materials, installation, integrity management and decommissioning.
The webinar will take place online at 3 p.m. GMT. Interested participants can register online by visiting http://www.business-review-webinars.com/webinar/Energy/InLine_Inspection_Ensuring_Fitness_for_Purpose_of_Subsea_P-QyP39YW8
MacGregor, part of Cargotec, has acquired Norwegian privately owned Deep Water Solutions AS, specialising in lifting applications utilising electric multi drive technology.
"Customer requirements for environmentally friendly solutions are increasing in offshore load handling applications, such as subsea cranes, module handling and LARS (launch and recovery) systems and having Deep Water Solutions' experts in the MacGregor family we enhance and strengthen our multi-drive (electric) technology know-how to be able better to serve and support our customers", says Tom Harald Svennevig, Vice President for MacGregor Advanced Load Handling business. "The owners and operators are looking for vessels designed for worldwide service with a 'clean design' and Green Passport. Clean Design requires minimum fuel consumption, requires no spill philosophy and makes electrical multi drive technology a preferred choice", Mr Svennevig continues.
Uplogix Local Management has been chosen as the technology to manage network and satellite communications infrastructure for two of the newest rigs for Songa Offshore.
By deploying the combination of an Uplogix Local Manager (LM), which connects to network infrastructure such as Cisco routers and switches and satellite communications devices like SeaTel antenna controllers and iDirect modems, and an Uplogix LEO-I Iridium modem, technicians in the teleport can access gear without a site visit. Remote troubleshooting, configuration and management can all be accomplished as if a technician was onsite.
"Deployments on drilling platforms benefit from Local Management because it's almost like having a skilled technician onsite monitoring the equipment at all times," said James Dollar, Uplogix CTO. "When issues arise, the Uplogix LM can take automated actions plus notify and connect the NOC over the primary link or an out-of-band connection like an Iridium modem."
With an array of specialized drivers for satellite modems and antenna controllers, Uplogix is a satcom standard for ensuring network uptime and lowering support costs. Uplogix solutions have been deployed in the maritime communications market for about a decade.