Thursday 14 August 2014

Shell divests gas assets

Shell is giving up its Pinedale and Haynesville onshore gas assets in exchange for about $2.1 billion of cash, plus additional acreage in the Marcellus and Utica Shale areas in Pennsylvania.

In one agreement with Ultra Petroleum, Shell will acquire 155,000 net acres in the Marcellus and Utica Shale areas in Pennsylvania and receive a cash payment of $0.925 billion from Ultra in exchange for 100 percent of Shell’s Pinedale asset in Wyoming, including associated gathering and processing contracts, subject to closing.

In a separate agreement with Vine Oil & Gas LP and its partner Blackstone, Shell has agreed to sell 100 percent of its Haynesville asset in Louisiana, including associated field facilities and infrastructure for $1.2 billion in cash, subject to closing.

“We continue to restructure and focus our North America shale oil and gas portfolio to deliver the most value in the longer term. With this announcement we are adding highly attractive exploration acreage, where we have impressive well results in the Utica, and divesting our more mature, Pinedale and Haynesville dry gas positions,” said Marvin Odum, Shell’s Upstream Americas Director.

The Shell net production from Pinedale in the second quarter 2014 was 190 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscf/d) of dry gas (32 thousand barrels of oil equivalent per day (kboe/d)). During the first half of 2014, Ultra’s net production from the assets Shell is acquiring in Pennsylvania averaged 109 mmscf/d (19 kboe/d).

“We first entered the Pinedale Anticline in 2001, and I am proud of our operational excellence, community engagement, and leadership in responsible energy development over that time,” said Odum.

Shell’s Pinedale asset (which includes 19,000 net acres of leasehold interest, 1,108 gross wells and associated facilities, and an average of 0.7 percent overriding royalty interest in 11,500 acres) will be exchanged for cash and Ultra’s 100 percent interest in the Marshlands area (63,000 net acres) as well as its entire interest (92,000 net acres) in the Tioga Area of Mutual Interest (AMI), an unincorporated joint venture with Shell. After completion of this transaction, Shell will have a 100 percent interest in the Tioga AMI. The agreement is effective 1 April 2014, and is expected to close this year.

Shell’s Haynesville asset includes 107,000 net acres in in north Louisiana. The transaction includes 418 producing wells, 193 of them operated by Shell. As of 1 July 2014, the gross production from the Haynesville asset was approximately 700 mmscf/d of dry gas, with Shell’s net working interest share at approximately 250 mmscf/d (43 kboe/d). The agreement is effective 1 July 2014, and is expected to close in the fourth quarter of this year.

“We very much appreciate the support we have had in north Louisiana, and we will continue to operate in the state, as we have for decades, through our downstream, retail, midstream, and New Orleans-based deep-water operations,” said Odum.
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Latin America’s largest petrochemical company picks AVEVA software

Braskem, Latin America’s largest petrochemical company, has signed a contract with AVEVA to convert the engineering and design data of 12 of its plants to AVEVA PDMS.

This large contract is the result of a successful pilot project executed earlier this year. Braskem chose AVEVA over several other software vendors, attributing their decision to the confidence they had built up in AVEVA’s technology and personnel during the pilot project.

"These petrochemical plants were originally designed with software from another company," said Luis Henrique Barreto, Coordinator of Engineering Systems and Documents, Braskem.

"AVEVA PDMS offers us reliable continuity and the integrity of the original models. Combined with the excellent post-sales support and service we receive from AVEVA, this will ensure that the conversion runs smoothly creating high quality models without significant data loss. At the end of the process we will have AVEVA PDMS models of all of our plants, and we can use those models for the design and execution of maintenance and modification projects. The confidence we have in AVEVA and its technology has put us at ease with the process.

"We are proud to be working with Braskem on such an exciting large-scale project,” said Helmut Schuller, Executive Vice President, Global Sales, AVEVA. “The migration process must ensure maximum data integrity and our solutions and experience in large-scale migrations will ensure we achieve this. We look forward to continuing our work with Braskem and supplying our proven technologies to strengthen their operations. This agreement is a first step in our new relationship and clear evidence of Braskem’s confidence in AVEVA."
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Tuesday 12 August 2014

OneSubsea, Helix and Schlumberger form alliance

OneSubsea, Helix Energy Solutions Group and Schlumberger have entered into a letter of intent to form an alliance to develop technologies and deliver services to optimize the cost and efficiency of subsea well intervention systems.

Helix is a leading subsea well intervention provider, with the largest fleet size of well intervention vessels, and an unequalled track record in cost-effective subsea well intervention. OneSubsea, a preeminent solution provider for subsea well control, with a global footprint of executed major projects, has significant experience in the manufacture and supply of subsea well intervention equipment and services. Schlumberger is the world's leading supplier of technology and services to the oilfield, including conveyance systems and in-well technologies for subsea applications.

Upon agreement on the final terms of the alliance definitive agreement, the alliance will leverage the capabilities of Helix, OneSubsea and Schlumberger, to provide a unique, fully integrated offering, combining marine support with well access and control technologies. The alliance will focus on several objectives aimed at increasing the operating envelope of today’s subsea intervention technology. These objectives include the expansion of applications enabled by subsea well-access technology, and specific solutions for deep and ultra-deepwater basins and higher well pressure environments. An important consideration is the evolution in the capabilities of Helix’s vessels to provide well intervention and additional support services such as well commissioning, artificial lift support, and abandonment, which are usually performed using drilling rigs.
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Tata Steel secures deal with Subsea 7

Tata Steel has signed a global framework agreement with Subsea 7, one of the world’s leading contractors in engineering, construction and subsea services to the offshore industry, which will formalise a 25-year working relationship between the two global giants. This long-standing partnership, which has seen four multi-million pound North Sea contracts signed in the last 12 months alone, is cemented by the new agreement.

Consisting of four separate projects, the latest contracts are believed to be worth in the region of £10 million and will see Tata Steel supply in excess of 55km of pipe weighing more than 9,000 tonnes.

As a leading supplier of products and services to the oil and gas industry, Tata Steel will supply around 28km of carrier pipe, more than 27km of sleeve pipe, girth welding and triple jointing and the application of Glass Flake Epoxy pipe coating. Welding and coating will take place at the company’s offshore processing centre in Hartlepool, UK.

Tata Steel’s exploration and production commercial manager, Richard Broughton said: “Our work with Subsea 7 over the years has been extensive, particularly in the North Sea oil and gas industry which has become an increasingly important market for us. The new framework agreement will extend the work our companies already do together on a global scale demonstrating the value of Tata Steel in today’s oil and gas industry.

“We have the ability to provide the carrier pipe, sleeve pipe and carry out the coating work in-house demonstrating the customer-focused approach Tata Steel takes. Subsea 7 is an important supply chain partner and our relationship with the company continues to grow.”

With the forecast for high growth in the coming years in areas such as the Subsea, Umbilicals, Risers and Flowlines (SURF) market, the future for operational activity looks promising.

 Subsea 7’s category director for group supply chain management, Phil Cran said: “This Global Frame Agreement reinforces the strong cooperation between Subsea 7 and Tata Steel, which has been developed over a period of multiple successful project deliveries. Subsea 7 fully expects this collaborative relationship to continue successfully in the future.”

Mr Broughton added: “This latest series of contracts further demonstrates the breadth of our offering as a company, over the last 25 years we have provided more than 83,000 tonnes of pipe to Subsea 7 over the course of 37 projects worldwide. From production to engineering our ability to consistently add value to the services we provide is what sets us apart in the market place.”
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Monday 11 August 2014

Physicists create water tractor beam

Physicists at The Australian National University (ANU) have created a tractor beam on water, providing a radical new technique that could confine oil spills, manipulate floating objects or explain rips at the beach.

The group, led by Professor Michael Shats discovered they can control water flow patterns with simple wave generators, enabling them to move floating objects at will.

"We have figured out a way of creating waves that can force a floating object to move against the direction of the wave," said Dr Horst Punzmann, from the Research School of Physics and Engineering, who led the project.

"No one could have guessed this result," he said.

The new technique gives scientists a way of controlling things adrift on water in a way they have never had before, resembling sci-fi tractor beams that draw in objects.

Using a ping-pong ball in a wave tank, the group worked out the size and frequency of the waves required to move the ball in whichever direction they want.

Advanced particle tracking tools, developed by team members Dr Nicolas Francois and Dr Hua Xia, revealed that the waves generate currents on the surface of the water.

"We found that above a certain height, these complex three-dimensional waves generate flow patterns on the surface of the water," Professor Shats said. "The tractor beam is just one of the patterns, they can be inward flows, outward flows or vortices.”

The team also experimented with different shaped plungers to generate different swirling flow patterns.

As yet no mathematical theory can explain these experiments, Dr Punzmann said.

"It's one of the great unresolved problems, yet anyone in the bathtub can reproduce it. We were very surprised no one had described it before."

The research is published in Nature Physics.
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Friday 8 August 2014

Schlumberger Norway awarded statoil contract

Schlumberger Norway has been awarded a contract with Statoil to provide integrated drilling services for the Norwegian continental shelf licenses Gullfaks, Gullfaks Satellites, Snorre, Statfjord , Tordis/Vigdis, Visund.
The agreement also covers exploration drilling on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS).

Taking effect on 1 September 2014 the contract has a value of NOK 1.15 billion for an initial duration of two years. The contract also has three optional extensions, each for two years.

The contract will provide jobs for some 350 people in Schlumberger Norway over the next two years.

Services under the agreement include the delivery of directional drilling, measurement while drilling (MWD), logging while drilling (LWD) and mud logging services. In addition, Schlumberger Norway will deliver RT data transfer, integrated operations/onshore support, drilling optimization and drilling equipment.
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Thursday 7 August 2014

Statoil completes 2014 Hoop exploration programme

Statoil has together with its partner Idemitsu Petroleum Norge made a small gas discovery in the Mercury prospect in PL614 in the Barents Sea.

This completes Statoil’s 2014 exploration programme in the Hoop area.

Statoil drilled three exploration wells in the Hoop area in the Barents Sea: Apollo and Atlantis in PL615 and Mercury in PL614. Those were Statoil’s first operated wells in the Hoop area. Statoil is partner in the OMV-operated oil discoveries Wisting Central and Hanssen in the neighbour licence PL537, which opened a new oil play in the Hoop area.

Unfortunately, the three Statoil-operated wells drilled this summer did not result in commercial discoveries. In Apollo a good reservoir was proved in the well, but no hydrocarbons. Atlantis and Mercury resulted in two small gas discoveries.
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SOCO Vietnam update

Vietnam, Block 16-1 - Te Giac Trang field

The TGT partners continue to focus on achieving approval for the H5 Field Development Plan (“FDP”) and meeting the first oil target in September/October 2015.

The Hydrocarbons Initially In Place/Reserve Assessment Report (“RAR”) was approved on 18th June 2014, and the work is ongoing on the FDP which is expected to be submitted for approval by the relevant Vietnamese authorities by the end of the third quarter.

All  related development works required to meet the first oil schedule remain on target.

Drilling by the ENSCO 109 rig of the 2014 in-fill development programme at the TGT field continues. The first two wells, TGT-17PST1 and TGT-18PST1, have been completed and are producing in line with expectations.

The rig is currently drilling the TGT-11X well.

Following the earlier issues with the Hercules rig, the partners are currently targeting drilling a total of 4-6 development wells during 2014, with any approved wells not completed likely to be added to the 2015 programme.

Vietnam, Block 9-2 – Ca Ngu Vang field

Completion of the CNV-7PST1 well by the Naga 2 rig is expected in September. The well has encountered unexpected geological problems in the upper hole section just above the reservoir. Borehole instability issues, caused by a below seismic resolution fault in the Oligocene section, just above the Basement, requires the section to be re-drilled and for an alternative casing programme to be employed to ensure the well can be drilled safely into the Basement.

Redrilling of the section is not expected to impact the commencement of development drilling on TGT’s H5 well head platform which remains on target following platform installation.

Once onstream, the CNV-7PST1 well is expected to enable production levels of the CNV field to be increased.
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SOCO spuds Lidongo X Marine-101, Congo Basin

SOCO announces that the Lidongo X Marine-101 (LXM-101) exploration well has spudded in the Marine XI Block, located in the Congo Basin, offshore the Republic of Congo (Brazzaville).

The LXM-1 well is designed to test the extension of an adjacent gas/condensate/oil field into the Marine-XI license block. The LXM-101 well is located 23 kilometres north west of Pointe Noire in a water depth of approximately 45 metres.

The planned total depth for the well is provisionally estimated to be 2,600 metres Total Vertical Depth subsea (TVDss), although provision has been made to continue drilling to a maximum depth of circa 3,100 metres TVDss, terminating in the lower most part of the Djeno sandstone formation.

The well will be drilled using the jack-up drilling rig Noble Percy Johns, and is expected to take 35 to 45 days to drill.
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Wednesday 6 August 2014

Lundin Petroleum spuds exploration well in Barents Sea

Lundin Petroleum started drilling exploration well 7220/11-1 in PL609.

The well will target the Alta prospect, which is located some 20 km northeast of the Gohta discovery in the Barents Sea.

The main objective of well 7220/11-1 is to prove the presence of hydrocarbons in sandstones of Triassic age in addition to carbonates of Permo-Carboniferous age. Lundin Petroleum estimates the Alta prospect to have the potential to contain unrisked, gross prospective resources of 261 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMboe).

The planned total depth is 2,393 metres below mean sea level and the well will be drilled using the drilling rig Island Innovator. Drilling is expected to take approximately 60 days.

Lundin Norway holds 40 percent interest in PL609. Partners are RWE Dea Norge AS and Idemitsu Petroleum Norge AS with 30 percent each.
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Lundin Petroleum completes Tembakau appraisal well

Lundin Petroleum has completed the first well in its 2014 Malaysian drilling campaign with the successful drilling and testing of Tembakau-2 appraisal well in Block PM307, offshore Malaysia.

Tembakau-2 was drilled by the jackup rig West Prospero to a depth of 1,450 metres in 68 metres water depth. The well targeted stacked gas reservoirs in Miocene aged sands in a large, low-relief, structure discovered by Lundin Petroleum's Tembakau-1 well in late 2012.

Tembakau-2 is 3.7 kilometres to the south of the discovery well and penetrated 22 metres of gross gas sands in four sand intervals between 900 metres and 1300 metres subsea. The main two reservoirs penetrated were fully cored and the well was comprehensively logged.

The reservoir deliverability was measured through production testing. The "I20" sand produced at stabilised flow rate of 15.8 million standard cubic feet per day of gas over a 8 hour period on 64/64" choke and the "I10" sand produced at stabilised flow rate of 15.9 million standard cubic feet per day of gas over a 8 hour period on 72/64" choke.

Each perforated interval was 3 metres. The gas produced is dry with approximately 0.5% CO2. Multiple samples were obtained for further laboratory analysis. The data gathered will be analysed and integrated with 3D seismic information to update the current gross contingent resource estimate of gas and to provide reservoir information for conceptual development studies.

"The appraisal drilling results from Tembakau are positive. We are incorporating the results of the well into an updated resource estimate. We will now move forward in reviewing conceptual development options and I am hopeful that this will lead to another commercial development project in Malaysia," said Ashley Heppenstall, President and CEO.

The well has been plugged and abandoned and the West Prospero rig has moved to the Bertam oil field well head platform location, also in PM307, to commence development drilling.

Lundin Petroleum holds a 75 percent interest in PM307 through its subsidiary Lundin Malaysia BV. Lundin Malaysia BV's partner is PETRONAS Carigali Sdn. Bhd. with 25 percent interest. Lundin Malaysia BV operates seven blocks in Malaysia, namely PM307, PM308A, PM308B, PM319, SB303and SB307/308.
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First oil from Bonga North West deep-water project

Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Ltd (SNEPCo) started oil production from the first well at the Bonga North West deep-water development off the Nigerian coast on Tuesday 5 August 2014, another milestone for the country’s energy industry.

“This is an excellent addition to our deep-water portfolio – a key growth theme for Shell’s world-wide upstream business,” said Andrew Brown, Shell’s Upstream International Director.

“It’s also good news for Nigeria, as it is a new source of oil revenues and strengthens Nigeria’s deep-water expertise, a key driver of economic development.”

The Bonga project, which began producing oil and gas in 2005, was Nigeria’s first deep-water development in water depths over 1,000 metres. Bonga North West represents a significant step forward for the project.

Oil from the Bonga North West sub-sea facilities is transported by a new undersea pipeline to the existing Bonga floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) export facility. The Bonga FPSO has been upgraded to handle the additional oil flow from Bonga North West which, at peak production, is expected to contribute 40,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day, helping to maintain the facility’s overall output.

Four oil producing wells and two water injection wells in the Bonga North West development will be connected to the FPSO, from where oil is loaded onto tankers for shipping around the world.

The Bonga North West project is part of Shell’s long-standing commitment to developing deep-water engineering skills in Nigeria. The investments made by SNEPCo and its other project partners in the Bonga North West project include upgrades of local contractors’ facilities and providing specialised training for Nigerians to work in the energy industry.

The Bonga project is operated by SNEPCo, which holds a 55% stake. The other project partners are Esso Exploration & Production Nigeria (Deepwater) Limited (20%), Total E&P Nigeria Limited (12.5%) and Nigerian Agip Exploration Limited (12.5%) under a Production Sharing Contract with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.

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Fugro deepwater search MH370

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has awarded Fugro an additional contract for the deployment of two specialist vessels, equipment and expertise in the deep-water search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight 370 (MH370).

Fugro will mobilise its vessels Fugro Equator and Fugro Discovery, both fitted with specialist deep tow survey systems for the work. Since June, the Fugro Equator has been involved in the bathymetric survey of the search area.

Fugro and ATSB expect the Fugro Discovery to begin the deep tow search late September with Fugro Equator joining shortly thereafter.

The search is expected to take up to twelve months but will understandably end if the missing aircraft is found beforehand. The Australian Government has allocated has AUS $ 60 million to the ATSB to carry out the search for MH370.
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Monday 4 August 2014

Noble Corporation completes Spin-Off Of Paragon Offshore

Noble Corporation has completed the spin-off of all of the outstanding shares of Paragon Offshore plc, which owns most of Noble's standard specification drilling business.

Noble and Paragon are now two separate, publicly-traded companies.

On August 1, 2014, Noble distributed to its shareholders one ordinary share of Paragon for every three ordinary shares of Noble held at 5:00 p.m., New York City time, on the record date of the distribution, July 23, 2014. No fractional Paragon shares were issued; however, shareholders who would otherwise have been entitled to receive a fractional Paragon share in the distribution instead received cash in lieu of that fractional share.

Paragon ordinary shares will begin regular-way trading under the symbol PGN on the New York Stock Exchange on August 4, 2014.

Noble ordinary shares will continue to trade on the NYSE under the symbol NE.
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Thursday 19 June 2014

Lundin: Tembakau Appraisal Well in Malaysia

Lundin Petroleum has commenced the first well in its 2014 Malaysian drilling campaign with the spud of the Tembakau-2 appraisal well in Block PM307, offshore Malaysia.

The well will target stacked gas reservoirs in Miocene aged sands in a large, low-relief, structure discovered by Lundin Petroleum’s Tembakau-1 in late 2012.

The discovery well penetrated 60 metres of net gas sands in five high quality sand intervals between 800 metres and 1,250 metres subsea. The appraisal well will core the main reservoir section and is expected to confirm the extent and quality of the gas reservoirs 3.7 kilometres to the south of Tembakau-1. Deliverability will be measured through production testing.

The objective of the well is to confirm the current gross contingent resource estimate of gas as well as to test upside resource potential within the structure and to provide reservoir information  for development planning.

Tembakau-2 is a vertical well to be drilled by the jackup rig West Prospero to a depth of 1,400 metres in approximately 70 metres water depth.

The drilling of the well, including testing, is expected to take approximately 60 days.
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Wednesday 18 June 2014

Statoil: gas discovery offshore Tanzania

The discovery in the Piri prospect is Statoil and co-venturer ExxonMobil’s sixth discovery and the fifth high-impact discovery in Block 2 offshore Tanzania.

The discovery of an additional two to three trillion cubic feet (tcf*) of natural gas in place in the Piri-1 well brings the total of in-place volumes up to approximately 20 tcf in Block 2.

“Since 2012 we have had a 100% success rate in Tanzania and the area has become a core exploration area in a very short period of time. We quickly went from drilling one well to a multi-well programme, and with Piri-1 we are continuing the success,” said Nick Maden, senior vice president for Statoil's exploration activities in the Western Hemisphere.

The new gas discovery was made in the same Lower Cretaceous sandstones as the gas discovery in the Zafarani-1 well drilled in 2012.

The Piri-1 discovery is the venture's sixth discovery in Block 2. It was preceded by the high-impact gas discoveries Zafarani-1, Lavani-1, Tangawizi-1 and Mronge-1, and a discovery in Lavani-2.

Piri-1 was drilled by the drillship Discoverer Americas. The well location is two kilometres southwest of the Lavani-1 well at 2,360-metre water depth. The Discoverer Americas has now moved location and is currently drilling the Binzari prospect in Block 2.
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Tuesday 17 June 2014

CGG wins Saudi Aramco contract

CGG reported ARGAS, its joint venture with TAQA in Saudi Arabia, has been awarded a major contract by Saudi Aramco for an extensive, high-density land seismic program across the Kingdom. Sercel, CGG’s equipment division, will supply all the seismic equipment deployed on this survey program.

The three-year contract provides for two optional extension periods of one year each. The program is expected to start in the fourth quarter of 2014 and cover a wide variety of terrain. It will be acquired by a 50,000-channel mega-crew operating with the Sercel 428XL acquisition system, Sercel SG-10 geophones and a fleet of 24 Sercel Nomad 65 Neo vibrators. A mix of high-productivity and conventional acquisition techniques will be deployed depending on survey requirements. CGG’s broadband UltraSeisTM technology portfolio will be deployed to acquire the high-resolution data.

“We are delighted that Saudi Aramco is continuing its long-term relationship with CGG by awarding what is one of the world’s largest land seismic survey programs to our ARGAS joint venture with TAQA. With Sercel also supplying the new seismic equipment, this program marks a key milestone in our 2014-2016 strategic roadmap to benefit from the expansion of ultra-high-channel-count surveys in the Middle East region,” said Jean-Georges Malcor, CEO, CGG.
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Friday 16 May 2014

Clough AMEC JV signs Arrow Energy contract

The Clough AMEC Joint Venture has signed a $20 million Engineering Procurement and Construction Management (EPCM) contract for Arrow Energy’s Daandine Expansion Project.

The Daandine Expansion Project includes the installation of additional well facilities and new gas and water gathering pipelines in the Daandine field in Queensland’s Surat Basin.

The contract includes the expansion of the existing central gas processing facility with three new reciprocating, gas-driven compressors and associated process and utility plant, increasing the current number of wells in the Daandine gas field by 22.

Production will be increased by modifications to existing infrastructure and the installation of additional infrastructure.

The contract is set to run to the end of 2015.

According to Clough CEO and Managing Director Kevin Gallagher, the Daandine Expansion Project represents a significant investment in domestic gas supply in the region.

“Clough will draw on extensive engineering and construction management and execution experience in the coal seam gas (CSG) sector to reduce the total installed costs for this important project,” said Mr Gallagher.

“We will work closely with Arrow Energy and our partner AMEC, to deliver industry leading safety, cost and productivity performance.”
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Thursday 15 May 2014

Fugro awarded Basrah Gas contract

Fugro has been awarded a contract for one year, plus a year extension option, by Basrah Gas Company for the provision of Geotechnical Investigations and Topographic Services in the Basrah province of Southern Iraq.

Fugro will provide geotechnical and topographical survey investigation services at various locations throughout the project area to support a number of planned engineering projects for an onshore LNG plant, new pipelines, and anticipated expansion of gas compression facilities.

From the planning through to the decommissioning stages of the project, engineering survey support will be provided in the form of route, profile, setting out and as-built surveys for pipelines, cables, utility services, roads, and overhead power lines.

Geotechnical investigations will be carried out for engineering and foundation design of new structures and review of existing structures in the project area, with all geotechnical laboratory testing performed at Fugro’s accredited laboratory in Basrah.

The award builds on the work previously undertaken by Fugro Iraq in support of Basrah Gas Company’s gas development activities in the Basrah province of Southern Iraq.

The contract award supports Fugro Iraq’s commitment to the continued development of Iraq’s rebuilding process.
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GAC Russia upgrades Black Sea facilities

GAC Russia is underlining its commitment to offshore oil & gas exploration and extraction in the Black Sea with a major project to upgrade its facilities at the port of Novorossiysk.

"By combining our local experience and expertise with the GAC Group’s versatile range of services and international experience in supply base business, we have what it takes to overcome the current limitations of Novorossiysk port to create a strong supply base to support upcoming operations in the Russian Black Sea," Arkady Podkopaev, GAC Russia’s Managing Director said.

"We are also well prepared to set up bases elsewhere in Russia in the near future."

The Black Sea is one of the areas in which the development of fields looks set to boom as Russian oil majors are granted licenses and joint ventures are formed with international energy companies to develop blocks.

GAC Russia has already signed contracts with one of the key players to provide supply base support for their operations from Novorossiysk. Facilities include a dedicated berth, open and closed storage areas, site for liquid mud plant and dry bulk plant and office premises.

During the pre-drilling phase, GAC’s Novorossiysk supply base will be used for the accumulation of materials and equipment being gathered in preparation for offshore operations. When drilling starts, the base will swing into full action with round-the-clock operations loading and offloading supply vessels supporting the offshore operations. GAC will provide experienced personnel, mobile cranes, forklifts and trucks to arrange the full scope of supply base management in strict compliance with national and international HSSE regulations.

The project will include coordination with a range of local authorities and service providers, as well as screening and pre-qualifying partners to ensure they meet the stringent standards of the GAC Group. Arkady Podkopaev, GAC Russia’s Managing Director, says his company is equal to those challenges, and has already obtained OHSAS 18001:2007 certification in preparation for the task.
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Nordic Maritime new 3D seismic award

Nordic Maritime, in collaboration with ELNUSA, has been awarded the provision of 3D marine seismic data acquisition & processing services for Husky-CNOOC Madura Limited, Offshore Indonesia.

Nordic Maritime’s seismic vessel S/V Nordic Bahari, which recently completed a 2,500 line km 2D marine seismic data acquisition & processing services in East Malaysia's Sarawak T3 Block, for Pexco Sarawak N.V., will start the acquisition of approximately 420 by the end of May with support from chase vessel M/V Viking Vanguard.

The project is expected to be completed by July.
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Tullow Oil Twiga-2 update

Twiga-2 sidetrack encounters 62 metres of net oil pay

The Sakson PR5 rig is continuing drilling operations on the Twiga-2 up-dip appraisal well.  The initial wellbore was drilled near the basin bounding fault and encountered some 18 metres of net oil pay within alluvial fan facies, with limited reservoir quality. A decision was therefore made to sidetrack the well away from the fault to explore north of Twiga-1 and some 62 metres of vertical net oil pay has been discovered in the Auwerwer formation, similar in quality to the initial Twiga-1 discovery.  The well is currently being deepened to evaluate the Lower Lokhone potential and a testing program for this successful well is planned to be conducted later this year.”

Ekunyuk-1 finds best sands on eastern flank although lacks trap

The Ekunyuk-1 well is located on the eastern flank, on trend with recent discoveries at Etuko and Ewoi. The well has now reached a final total depth of 1,802 metres and has encountered some 5 metres of net oil pay, within approximately 150 metres of reservoir quality water-bearing sandstone and an equal thickness of a basin-wide rich oil shale. This rig will now be moved to the Agete-2 location.”

"I am pleased to announce that the Twiga-2 exploratory sidetrack has encountered material oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs north of Twiga-1," said Angus McCoss, Exploration Director, Tullow Oil.

"The combined results from Twiga-2 and its successful sidetrack confirm the resource potential and have given us valuable insights for the locations of future exploration and development wells. The Ekunyuk-1 well encountered the best developed reservoir sands so far on the east flank, although at this location the trap appears to be incompletely formed. Additionally, the presence of a thick extensive oil shale gives us new options to study the basin’s substantial unconventional oil potential."
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Monday 12 May 2014

North Sea hope for declining production

According to Douglas-Westwood Western Europe will continue to rely on imported Russian gas into the 2020s as mature offshore provinces struggle for growth, while large-scale shale gas extraction looks increasingly unlikely in the medium term.

Following Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine and the resulting strained diplomatic ties with the West, it remains to be seen if North Sea production can rally to support any drop in gas flow from Russia.

With many IOCs planning investment into UK offshore fields through enhanced oil recovery (EOR), deeper water plays and downstream infrastructure upgrades, our Development Drilling & Production Forecast predicts that production will rally slightly to around 1.75 million b/d by 2017, requiring a maintaining of the recent 6% jump in well completions.

The necessary high levels of expenditure are unlikely to be sustained in the long-term due to the UK’s offshore maturity; therefore, DW expect a resumption of decline towards the end of the decade. Hope for any long-term growth rests with much-needed reform of the UK’s offshore regulator, which must swiftly adapt to the shift towards production from smaller fields.

On the other side of the North Sea, Statoil are to attempt improved recovery from brownfield projects offshore Norway. Along with the start of projects in the large Johan Sverdrup and Goliat fields, this will see the number of well completions sustained at around 200 a year beyond 2020. DW expect these projects will see Norway break from the mould of other mature Western European producers and sustain production into the next decade. It must be noted, however, that both of these fields are currently subject to delay. Johan Sverdrup is facing electrification issues whilst ENI’s Goliat FPSO is still to be completed and may take millions of man-hours more.

Potential risks to future growth include rising costs and the potential (albeit currently small, and in the longer term) competition from shale gas production.

A recent victim of rising costs was the subsea compression project at Ormen Lange, despite positive results during testing and the backing of Statoil and ExxonMobil. Recent onshore legislation changes in the UK now allows for drilling and pipeline construction under private property. This, along with growing encouragement from Westminster of E&P companies, shows that shale gas extraction could be possible on a larger scale towards the end of the decade.
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CNOOC Kenli 3-2 oilfields start production

CNOOC Limited reported that its Kenli 3-2 oilfields have commenced production.

The Kenli 3-2 oilfields, located in the southern Bohai Sea, consists of Kenli 3-2, Bozhong 34-6/7, southern part of Bozhong 29-4 and Bozhong 35-2 oilfields.

The average water depth is approximately 20 meters. The primary production facilities include 7 offshore platforms and 1 onshore oil processing terminal.

The peak production of the oilfields is estimated around 35,000 barrels per day.
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Edvard Grieg appraisal well successfully completed

Lundin Petroleum reported the appraisal drilling and testing of the well 16/1-18 on the Edvard Grieg field in the North Sea sector of the Norwegian Continental shelf has been successfully completed.

The Edvard Grieg field was discovered by well 16/1-8 drilled in 2007. The appraisal well 16/1-18 was drilled 2.4 kilometres east of the Edvard Grieg production platform.

The objective of the well was to appraise the reservoir properties in the south eastern part of the Edvard Grieg field in order to optimise the drainage strategy and drilling of production wells in this part of the field.

The well encountered approximately 62 metres of oil bearing conglomeratic sandstone sequence dated late Upper Jurassic. The reservoir sequence was cored and an extensive logging programme was acquired. Good reservoir quality was established in the upper 43 metres and moderate reservoir quality in the lower 19 metres of the oil bearing zone. An oil down-to situation was established.

A production test (DST) was carried out in a 13 metre perforation interval in the lowest part of the oil bearing zone. The test yielded over 800 barrels of oil per day through a 28/64 inch choke, demonstrating good permeability and good vertical communication across the entire 62 metres oil zone. The upper part of the reservoir with the best reservoir quality was planned to be perforated and tested in a comingled test with the lower zone, but this was cancelled due to operational issues. Nevertheless, a mini-DST in the upper oil bearing zone confirmed good quality reservoir properties.

"The results of the Edvard Grieg appraisal well provided encouraging results in respect of the quality of the conglomeratic reservoir which is much better than seen in other wells," said Ashley Heppenstall, President and CEO of Lundin Petroleum.

"This provides upside in relation to the resource contribution from this reservoir where we previously assumed low recovery factors. The lack of sandstone reservoir at this location is however disappointing. At this stage I expect the impact on Edvard Grieg resources to be neutral with upside remaining from the conglomeratic reservoir."

Appraisal well 16/1-18 was drilled to a vertical depth of 2,361 metres below mean sea level (MSL) and was terminated in the Granitic basement. The well will be permanently plugged and abandoned. The water depth is 109 metres.

Lundin Norway is the operator of PL338 with a 50 percent interest. The partners are OMV Norge AS with 20 percent, Statoil Petroleum AS with 15 percent interest and Wintershall Norge AS with 15 percent interest.
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Sunday 11 May 2014

Partnerships to drive GCC petrochemicals industry

Strong regional multi-stakeholder partnerships will be the key for a dynamic, flexible and growth-driven petrochemicals industry, said industry experts at the sixth Supply Chain conference, organized by the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA).

“The industry needs advanced national and regional infrastructure if we are to succeed,” said Mohammad Husain, Chairman of the GPCA Supply Chain Committee and Chief Executive Officer of Equate.

Husain highlighted that the expansion and introduction of new land and sea transport infrastructure would make the Gulf’s petrochemicals industry more flexible, a trait that is necessary for this export oriented sector.

“If you look at Kuwait, for example, 95% of the products, be it petrochemicals or oil and gas, are exported.” The GCC exported approximately 79% of its total product portfolio to 177 countries last year, amounting to 63.4 million tons of chemicals, according to GPCA estimates.

Petrochemical exports for the year were valued at US$55.5 billion.

Husain recommended that the only way to overcome logistics bottlenecks in the petrochemical industry is to strengthen partnerships between GCC government entities, border and customs regulators, logistics service providers and educational institutions.

“The supply chain is made up of many links, and we will only be as strong as the links that make up the entire chain.” Meanwhile, ambitious railway developments in the Gulf region will become a critical enabler for industry growth by facilitating intra-regional chemicals trade.

The growing capabilities of the petrochemicals industry will likewise benefit the emerging railway “For rail to succeed, petrochemicals need to be transported on trains,” said Dr Rumaih Al- Rumaih, Chief Executive Officer, Saudi Railway Company (SAR).

“Railways will make a return on investment only if it transports high- value freight, like petrochemicals, across long- A well-connected railway network will result in capacity and fuel savings, as well as environmental benefits.

“One train is the equivalent of 600 trucks, which can result in savings of 70% for fuel and greenhouse gas emissions,” explained Dr Al-Rumaih.

“The GCC petrochemicals industry has seen astonishing growth over the last few years,” said Dr Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary-General of GPCA.

“Rapid expansion may pose many challenges to the sector and its partners in the transport, customs and logistics industries.

And, in terms of human capital, we are dependent on educational institutions for our human resources.” While the challenges are clear, the industry is set to see consistent growth in the near future.

The GPCA estimates that petrochemical producers in the Arabian Gulf will increase their capacity by 45% over the next four years, reaching 199.5 million tons by 2018.

“The emergence of the petrochemical industry is a positive development that strenghtens the economic diversification of the region,” said Dr Al-Sadoun.

“We predict the growing influence of this sector, as we work in conjunction with our partners across different industries related to infrastructure, construction and transportation. Together, we are ready to face the challenges of the future.”

Over 350 delegates from 23 countries attended the sixth annual Supply Chain conference.

The event was marked by the release “Chemicals Supply Chains in the Arabian Gulf: Chokepoints and Opportunities”, a joint report by the GPCA and Accenture, the management consulting firm.

For more information on the conference and the report, visit
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Thursday 8 May 2014

Petroleum Geo-Services completes Indonesia-Australia project

PGS reported the completion of the Abadi-Arafura-Aru (AAA) MegaProject.

This unique cross-border seismic study, which extends from Eastern Indonesia through the northern margin of Australia, is based on the integration of several seismic surveys and full tectono-stratigraphic interpretation of 26,500 line km of modern long offset, MultiClient 2D seismic data, largely acquired using PGS GeoStreamer® technology.

The survey ties the main structural elements from East Timor and the Petrel Basin in the west, to the Seram Trough and Arafura Basin in the east, and provides a much improved understanding of regional stratigraphy and basin development.

Large parts of the area remain underexplored and poorly understood. The cross-border AAA MegaProject helps fill that knowledge gap. It reveals the petroleum system along the southern and southeastern margin of Indonesia by tying key wells and discoveries along the northern margin of Australia, which is more mature in terms of exploration.

The project has been the basis for detailed geological analyses by Horizon. These include tectonic and palinspastic reconstructions from Permian to present, geochemical modeling of all potential source rocks in the area, well failure analyses, play fairway mapping, and prospectivity assessment.

The AAA MegaProject is a comprehensive regional seismic and prospectivity package which will help oil companies gain a better understanding of the petroleum systems in this vast, underexplored area, helping them to identify exploration “sweet spots” with increased confidence.
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Pacific Hydro appoints new CEO

The Board of global clean energy solutions provider Pacific Hydro today announced that Michael Fuge will become CEO of the company in early July 2014, which will facilitate a smooth transition from Rob Grant who steps down at that time. Michael’s appointment is the culmination of a global executive search announced in October last year.

Michael has 20 years of international experience in the energy sector. His career has focused on driving transformations in performance in the areas of growth, productivity, efficiency, safety and people engagement.

“This is an outstanding appointment. Michael has deep energy experience across exploration, production and distribution, having led large teams and complex, large-scale developments in New Zealand, as well as in diverse cultures including Oman and Brunei,” said Garry Weaven, Chair of Pacific Hydro.

“Pacific Hydro has diverse renewable energy sources across multiple geographies and as CEO, Michael will focus on realising the significant value potential of the company.

“The global outlook for the renewable energy sector is strong and Michael will selectively consider growth opportunities within an overall framework of operational excellence to deliver strong performance returns to investors.”
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North Sea hope for declining production

Western Europe will continue to rely on imported Russian gas into the 2020s as mature offshore fields struggle for growth, while large-scale shale gas extraction looks increasingly unlikely in the medium term. Following Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine and the resulting strained diplomatic ties with the West, it remains to be seen if North Sea production can rally to support any drop in gas flow from Russia.

With many IOCs planning investment into UK offshore fields through enhanced oil recovery (EOR), deepwater plays and downstream infrastructure upgrades, Douglas-Westwood (DW) in their World Development Drilling & Production Forecast predicts that production will rally slightly to around 1.75 million b/d by 2017, requiring a maintaining of the recent 6% jump in well completions.

The necessary high levels of expenditure are unlikely to be sustained in the long-term due to the UK’s offshore maturity; therefore, DW expect a resumption of decline towards the end of the decade. Hope for any long-term growth rests with much-needed reform of the UK’s offshore regulator, which must swiftly adapt to the shift towards production from smaller fields.

On the other side of the North Sea, Statoil are to attempt improved recovery from brownfield projects offshore of Norway. Along with the start of projects in the large Johan Sverdrup and Goliat fields, this will see the number of well completions sustained at around 200 a year beyond 2020. DW expect these projects will see Norway break from the mould of other mature Western European producers and sustain production into the next decade. It must be noted, however, that both of these fields are currently subject to delay. Johan Sverdrup is facing electrification issues whilst ENI’s Goliat FPSO is still to be completed and may take millions of man-hours more.

Potential risks to future growth include rising costs and the potential (albeit currently small) competition with shale gas production. A recent victim of rising costs was the subsea compression project at Ormen Lange, despite positive results during testing and the backing of Statoil and ExxonMobil.

Recent onshore legislation changes in the UK now allow for drilling and pipeline construction under private property. This, along with growing encouragement from Westminster of E&P companies, shows that shale gas extraction could be possible on a larger scale towards the end of the decade.
Read more ...

WellDog wins $16.5m in contracts

WellDog has been awarded about $16.5 million in contracts to supply and install its aquifer monitoring and gas production optimisation downhole gauge systems.

These contracts confirm WellDog’s stature as the largest supplier of gauge systems in Australia, and one of the largest in the world.

“We appreciate our customers’ continued confidence in our services and intend to work hard to warrant that confidence for the foreseeable future.”

“As our gauge business has grown we have continuously improved our manufacturing and field service procedures in order to increase installation success and optimise long term system performance,” WellDog CEO John Pope said.

“We offer the best performance value in the industry, and we’re quickly making it even better.
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Helix wins McDermott ROV services contract

Helix Energy Solutions Group reported its Robotics subsidiary, Canyon Offshore reached an agreement with a subsidiary of McDermott International, Inc. to provide remotely operated vehicle (ROV) services and equipment for McDermott’s fleet of subsea construction and pipelay support vessels.

"We are extremely proud that McDermott has chosen Canyon to support their subsea project ROV needs and look forward to providing a value-added service to McDermott on all of their subsea support vessels," said Canyon’s President Ian Edmonstone.

"We believe McDermott selected Canyon based on our track record of deepwater construction ROV services, our quality and safety systems and most importantly, our experienced staff of operators. We look forward to a long and mutually successful relationship."

The agreement is for a fixed term of three years with options to extend. Canyon will provide dual 3,000-meter ROV systems onboard McDermott vessels, which initially is expected to include the North Ocean 102, Lay Vessel North Ocean 105, Lay Vessel 108 and the Derrick Lay Vessel 2000.

Canyon will supply tooling, personnel and ROV project support to McDermott.

Contract services and equipment mobilization are expected to begin mid-2014, with six ROV systems being installed on three of the McDermott vessels.
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Wednesday 7 May 2014

Petrobras challenge

Petrobras has a track record of remarkable technological achievements; however, it remains constrained by Brazilian politics and has consistently missed its self-set production targets over the last decade. In 2013, it seemed the NOC had finally accepted reality as it announced an output target similar to that of 2012 levels (2 million b/d). However, its long-term forecast estimates oil production to reach 4.2 million b/d by 2020, with much of the increase occurring in the latter part of the decade.

Douglas-Westwood (DW) in their World Development Drilling & Production Forecast expect this to be missed by some 800,000 barrels a day. Petrobras has suffered with persistent funding problems, along with project sanctioning and execution issues which have served to delay the arrival of much needed production from new fields.

Historic estimates of Capex requirements have proved unrealistic and Petrobras has struggled with a double whammy of general industry cost inflation coupled with specific cost increases incurred as a result of local content requirements.

The challenge for Petrobras is the sheer number of major floating production projects required to meets its lofty 4.2 million b/d 2020 target and ensuring that these are executed on time. In this respect, the industry track record is poor.

DW predict that given the NOC’s current situation oil output will reach 3.4 million b/d by the end of the decade.

The difference between Petrobras’ and DW’s production forecasts, in terms of oil-targeted offshore wells required, is significant. Over the 2018-2020 period the Petrobras 2020 target would require 78 more producing wells.

To stand a chance of bridging this gap, Petrobras must increase recovery in existing projects, it must find ways of delivering projects successfully and it must do all of this whilst satisfying the constraints imposed by the government of the day.
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Tuesday 6 May 2014

Shallow Water Gas Sector Bubbling Upwards

A shift in how nations generate their electricity is causing a rise in natural gas demand following the Fukushima 2011 accident and the ever-growing need for cleaner-burning fuel.

The latest IPCC report highlights natural gas as a key bridge to a low-carbon future. However, with many onshore fields maturing, it seems IOCs and NOCs alike are gazing out to sea for their next big gas pay. Relatively immature shallow water (<500 metres water depth) gas plays seemingly offer a way of meeting rising global natural gas demand.

Douglas-Westwood (DW) in their World Development Drilling & Production Forecast expect much of the growth will be seen in APAC where LNG export opportunities to Japan and South Korea, coupled with high decline rates, will see well completions exceed 1,000 by 2020, up 44% from 717 in 2013. Thailand will account for a large amount of this; in 2013, 410 wells offshore gas wells were drilled for around 0.6 mboe/d gas.

This is in stark contrast to the Middle East where highly productive gas wells allow for small numbers of annual well completions. For example, Qatar drilled just 28 shallow water gas wells in 2013 for over 2.5 million boe/d gas.

This could increase to 2.7 million boe/d by 2020 if the Qatari government lift the current moratorium on the North Field, the world’s largest conventional gas deposit.

Also set to boost shallow water gas production is the continuing emergence of FLNG projects. In South East Asia, Petronas is set to deploy its 29 kboe/d FLNG1 vessel on Malaysia’s Kanowit deposit.

A year later Shell is to deploy its $12 billion facility on Australia’s Prelude gas field.

DW expect that such activity will see gas wells drilled in less than 500m of water rise by nearly a half to 1,845 by 2020 – thus leading to gas production from fields in such waters to surge to 21 million boe/d in 2020 from 16 million boe/d in 2013.
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Monday 5 May 2014

Statoil’s completes farm down

On 1 May 2014 Statoil completed the farm down of 10% of its interest of 25.5% in the Shah Deniz Production Sharing Agreement and the South Caucasus Pipeline Company Limited to BP (3.33%) and SOCAR (6.67%).

The consideration for the sale and transfer of these assets is USD 1.45 billion.

The divestment that was announced in December 2013, is in line with Statoil’s strategy of portfolio optimisation based on rigid prioritisation of future investments, and capturing value created from a significant gas position.

Statoil portfolio in Azerbaijan consists of 15.5% in the Shah Deniz (SD) project and the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP), 8.56% in Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli (ACG) and 8.71% in Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) Pipeline.

Statoil also holds 20% share in Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) AG which is developing the pipeline for transport of the Shah Deniz gas to European markets.
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Saudi Arabia’s water desalination grows

Saudi Energy 2014 to display innovative technologies, latest solutions & newest products for Middle Eastern audience

The population of Saudi Arabia is growing at the rate of over 2.5 per cent, while the demand for water is increasing by more than 8.8 per cent annually.

This has lead the Saudi government to make significant investment in the water desalination industry, which has experienced an annual growth rate of six per cent – the highest in the world. Furthermore, the Ministry of Water and Electricity have signed several contracts worth billions of dollars to establish new desalination facilities in the Kingdom in addition to renovating existing plants to prolong their life expectancy from 25 years to 40 years. Currently, the state-owned Saline Water Conservation Corporation (SWCC) operates 36 water desalination stations on the Red Coast.

To be held from May 26 to 28, 2014 at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center, Saudi Energy 2014 – the International Trade Exhibition for Electricity, Power Generation, Alternative Energy, Water Technology and Lighting will exhibit cutting-edge technology and latest products in water desalination.

Under the patronage of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Water and Electricity, the event is being organized by the Riyadh Exhibitions Company and Informa Exhibitions.

With the demand for desalinated water at an all time high in the Kingdom, Saudi Energy is one of the leading specialized exhibitions in the region that will give exhibitors an insight about the requirements of the country’s water desalination sector, enable them to strengthen their presence in the Saudi market. Furthermore, participant will gain entry into the regional market by exploring partnership opportunities with local companies, and networking with the region’s professional audience, including government officials, service providers, regional buyers and international exhibitors.
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Friday 2 May 2014

Statoil completes Drivis exploration well

Statoil has together with PL532 partners made an oil and gas discovery in the Drivis prospect in the Barents Sea.

This concludes the 2013/2014 exploration programme around the Johan Castberg field.

Well 7220/7-3 S, drilled by the rig West Hercules, has proven a 68 metre gross gas column in the Stø formation and an 86 metre gross oil column in the Stø and Nordmela formations.

Statoil estimates the total volumes in Drivis to be in the range of 44-63 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent (o.e.), out of which 42-54 million barrels of oil.
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Thursday 1 May 2014

Fugro in carbon capture and storage challenge

Fugro GEOS, in partnership with Sonardyne, is leading a three-year, all-British project for the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI) to develop a carbon dioxide (CO2) monitoring system using marine robotics. Valued at £1 million in the first year, the project aims to provide assurance that CO2 stored deep below the seabed in Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) sites is secure. The safety of such a method is of paramount importance, with feasibility studies currently underway in the UK and overseas on a number of CCS projects.

A consortium of British multi-discipline partners will examine the requirements for the Measurement, Monitoring and Verification (MMV) system. The project will result in the construction of a technology demonstrator with sea trials; a comprehensive review at the end of the three year period; and a solution to a legislative requirement to monitor potential CO2 leaks and their effect on the environment.

“Progress on the development of a cost-effective, reliable monitoring system for the marine environment above CO2 storage complexes is another key step in the process of building confidence in a new CCS industry in the UK,” said Den Gammer, ETI Strategy Manager for CCS.

“Although leakage is highly unlikely we have a duty to ensure that stores are actually protecting the environment and this technology will bring peace of mind to both the operator and the regulator. Our modelling work has shown that CCS has the potential to play a major role in any future low carbon UK energy system, with technological innovation delivering both economic and environmental benefits to the country. This project helps to move the industry and UK capability forward.”

“The challenge set by ETI is the development of an entirely new capability in the MMV of under-sea carbon capture storage sites,” said Anthony Gaffney, Managing Director, Fugro GEOS Ltd.

“This is a truly exciting and ground-breaking project with worldwide ramifications. It is great to see Britain and British organisations leading the way and we are proud to bring our wealth of experience to this key project.”

“Fugro is constantly seeking to diversify and expand its range of technological solutions into new markets. We are well-established in the marine sector and, together with the respective strengths of our technical partners from industry, academia and research, we will ensure that the ETI has selected a consortium able to deliver a cost-effective and commercially exploitable monitoring solution for the carbon capture industry.”

Fugro GEOS has a long MMV history with a track record extending over 30 years, encompassing a diversity of projects worldwide in some of the harshest oceanographic environments.
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Wednesday 30 April 2014

Noble Corporation Paragon spin-off

Noble Corporation updated its plan to spin-off Paragon Offshore.

Noble expects to effect the spin-off as a dividend of 100 percent of the shares of Paragon Offshore to Noble's shareholders during the third quarter of this year.

Paragon Offshore will own and operate most of Noble's current standard specification drilling business, including five drillships, three semisubmersibles, 34 jackups, and one FPSO.  The new company will also be responsible for the Hibernia platform operations.  Noble will continue to own and operate its high-specification assets with particular operating focus in deepwater and ultra-deepwater market segments for drillships and semisubmersibles and harsh environment and high-specification segments for jackups.

"The spin-off of Paragon Offshore to our shareholders will be an important milestone in Noble's transformation and will allow each company to have a more focused business and operational strategy.  The spin allows us to bring certainty to our shareholders and to both of the Noble and Paragon business organizations," said David W. Williams, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Noble.

"I am excited for the future of both Noble and Paragon Offshore. Noble can move forward as an industry-leading high specification and deepwater drilling company, and Paragon Offshore can better leverage its fleet and substantial backlog to focus on the drivers of its particular business segment. In light of financial market conditions, both generally and with respect to the equity markets for offshore drilling companies, we decided to eliminate the initial public offering and accelerate the completion of the separation transaction.

"Each company will have capable assets and great talent that will allow the two fleets to be optimally marketed and operated for the benefit of all shareholders."

The spin-off, which is expected to be tax-free to shareholders, will be subject to approval by Noble's shareholders at the upcoming annual general meeting.  Noble will also file a registration statement on Form 10, and the distribution will be subject to such registration statement being declared effective, as well as final board approval of the actual dividend and other customary matters.
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McDermott wins contract Offshore East Java, Indonesia

McDermott reported that the Derrick Barge 101 was recently mobilized to Indonesia to perform fast-track heavy-lift work for a client offshore Indonesia.

“Response time to fast-track work is just one of the key elements to a successful project outcome,” said Hugh Cuthbertson, Vice President and General Manager, Asia Pacific.

“Our Project Management and Offshore Resources teams expedited the planning process, while ensuring compliance to safety throughout, to achieve mobilization within just a few days. In addition, this opportunity is an example of our efforts to improve asset utilization beyond the requirements of our existing backlog.”

This contract is included in McDermott’s first quarter 2014 backlog.
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Monday 28 April 2014

Chris Finlayson resigns as BG Group Chief Executive

BG Group has accepted Chris Finlayson's resignation as Chief Executive and as an Executive Director of the Board with immediate effect, for personal reasons.

Until a permanent replacement is appointed, Andrew Gould, BG Group’s Non-Executive Chairman, will take over as interim Executive Chairman. A recruitment process to find an external successor to Chris is now underway. Andrew will revert to the role of Non-Executive Chairman once the new Chief Executive is appointed.

"I would like to thank Chris for his contribution to the Group over the past four years and we wish him well for the future," said Andrew Gould.

"The Board of Directors is fully committed to the Group’s strategy, which is built upon a portfolio of high-quality assets. The Company must accelerate the creation and delivery of the longer-term value for our shareholders, while delivering the Group’s business plans. The Board felt that it was in the best interests of the Group to accept Chris' resignation and seek fresh leadership to deliver both of these priorities."

Chris will not receive any payment beyond his contractual entitlement, details of which will be available on the Group's website.
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AGR secures frame agreement with Det norske

AGR has been awarded a frame agreement with Det norske to provide well services and consultancy resources to the operator’s projects on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).

The frame agreement commences 1 May 2014 with duration of three years. The possible additional two plus two years’ extension will see the frame agreement end in 2021.

Under the agreement, AGR is to provide well services and consultancy manpower to support Det norske’s upcoming exploration and production activity.

Sjur Talstad, AGR’s Executive Vice President, Norway and Russia (pictured), said: “We are very pleased to continue our good working relationship with Det norske on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).“

“AGR has established a long track record of delivering wells efficiently and with high focus on HSEQ. With this contract award AGR will continue our support to Det norske on drilling projects in addition to our existing collaboration within reservoir management.”

AGR has proved its capability to work with Det norske on earlier well management projects. The efficient collaboration between Det norske, AGR and the service suppliers during the first AGR-managed Bredford Dolphin drilling campaign (2007-2011) resulted in Det norske being the best performing exploration operator on the NCS during that period.
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Industry first for McDermott

A McDermott International subsidiary has become the first to install rigid reel-lay pipe-in-pipe in Asia-Pacific for the Siakap North-Petai (SNP) development project offshore Malaysia.

At more than 3,900 feet (1,190 meters), the SNP development is one of the industry’s most challenging deepwater projects.

“Successfully installing the rigid reeled pipe-in-pipe flowlines on the Siakap project is a significant achievement for McDermott and a first for the region,” said David Dickson, President and Chief Executive Officer, McDermott.

“It’s testament to the expertise of our people, the performance of our vessels and our capability to deliver complex deepwater projects. The performance of our project team and vessels in the final months of installation was critical in helping our client achieve first oil at the end of February.”

McDermott was awarded the full turnkey contract in December 2011 for the project’s subsea infrastructure. This includes the design, procurement, fabrication and installation of two complex rigid insulated pipe-in-pipe production flowlines, one rigid water injection and one main umbilical system connecting eight new manifolds and subsea distribution units to existing riser slots. As part of the pipe-in-pipe and water injection flowline system, McDermott combined its design capability from both its Houston and Singapore Subsea engineering offices, completed all spooling activities at its in-house regional spool base and fabricated the Pipeline End Termination (PLET) and In Line Tee (ILT) structures.

Installation of the pipe-in-pipe production flowlines and rigid water injection flowlines was undertaken by McDermott’s Lay Vessel North Ocean 105, while flexible risers were installed by McDermott’s North Ocean 102.
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Friday 25 April 2014

Offshore helicopter services set to take off

Douglas-Westwood’s new World Offshore Oil & Gas Helicopter Market Report forecasts that $24 billion will be spent on offshore helicopter services between 2014 and 2018 – an increase of 57% over the preceding five-year period.

“Long-term production support contracts in Western Europe and continues to underpin the market, but we expect faster growth rates to be experienced in Africa, Asia, Australasia and Latin America over the forecast period. A preference for local providers in many of these markets means that regional specialists dominate and the major helicopter operators have lower levels of participation, with the notable exceptions of Brazil and Australia," said report editor, Frank Wright.

“On a global basis the medium-type helicopter class accounts for close to 60% of total offshore helicopter service expenditure. Western Europe and Australasia are exceptions, as buyers in these markets favour larger helicopters with increased range and carrying capacity.

“The next five years will be a critical time for the industry as a new generation of medium-class helicopters are introduced. These models are highly efficient with the most advanced safety systems and are expected to perform well in the offshore arena. However, due to the natural conservatism in the industry, it will take time before a critical mass of orders is achieved.”
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Tullow Oil Mauritania well update

Tullow Oil reported that the Tapendar-1 exploration well in the C-10 licence, offshore Mauritania, has not encountered hydrocarbons and the well is being plugged and abandoned.

"The Tapendar-1 frontier exploration well was a bold attempt to open a new oil play in this area of Tullow’s highly prospective offshore Mauritania acreage which the Group has built up in pursuit of the next Jubilee-type discovery," said
Angus McCoss, Exploration Director, Tullow Oil.

"At this well location, two targets of Miocene and Upper Cretaceous age failed to encounter hydrocarbons. Following these opening wells, we and our partners will now pause to analyse the data gathered from the exploration campaign thus far. We will then decide on the location and timings of the next wells which will continue to focus on exploring for conventional oil plays."

Tapendar-1 is the second exploration well in Tullow’s Mauritania exploration campaign, following the Frégate-1 well in February 2014. The objective of Tapendar-1 was to test two targets of Miocene and Upper Cretaceous age. At the Miocene interval a major undrilled turbidite fairway was penetrated and encountered excellent quality, well developed, reservoir sands. However, these sands were water bearing at this location. The deeper Upper Cretaceous target tested a salt flank play, which at this location, did not encounter any sands. The well reached total depth of 3,752 metres and is currently being plugged and abandoned after which the Stena DrillMax drill ship will leave Mauritania.

Tullow has a significant exploration position offshore Mauritania. A variety of exploration prospects and plays, independent of the Tapendar and Frégate results, remain highly prospective. Data from the Frégate-1 and Tapendar-1 wells will now be analysed and integrated into the seismic data previously acquired across Tullow’s Mauritania acreage before the next well locations and timings are confirmed. Seismic acquisition in Blocks C-3 and C-18 will also continue this year.

Tullow operates the C-10 licence with 59.10% equity and is partnered by Premier Oil plc (6.23%), Kufpec (11.12%), Petronas (13.5%) and SMHPM (10%).
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Wednesday 23 April 2014

Hess sells Thailand assets

Hess Corporation has sold its interests in both the Sinphuhorm and Pailin Fields located in Thailand to PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited for a total after-tax consideration of approximately $1.0 billion, effective 1 July 2013.

Together, the two assets produced an average of 17,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day net to Hess in 2013.

Hess will use the proceeds from this sale to continue repurchasing shares under its existing $4 billion authorization.
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Expro expand operations in Azerbaijan

Leading international oilfield services company, Expro, has secured a milestone subsea contract with BP for the Shah Deniz Stage 2 project in the South Caspian Sea, one of Expro’s largest Europe CIS contracts to date.

The 5-year contract, worth almost $100m, will see Expro provide completion landing string equipment and services for the installation and completion of Shah Deniz Stage 2 subsea wells, covering 24 new subsea completions.

As a result of the contract, Expro is set to invest in its subsea onshore support base and infrastructure in order to support BP locally in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Expro will supply its Landing String Assembly – High Pressure (ESLA-HP) 15k valves in conjunction with its EXPRESS electro hydraulic control systems thus ensuring a fast Emergency Shut Down during the clean-up of high pressure/high rate gas wells.

The ELSA-HP has been developed to service the high pressure horizontal tree completion and intervention market. With systems designed and qualified up to 15,000 psi, 250 degF and 10,000ft water depth, this landing string assembly provides clients with the safety and reliability to develop fields with challenging conditions.
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Atkins builds on Maersk Oil relationship

Atkins has been awarded an engineering support contract covering three of Maersk Oil’s UK assets in the North Sea.

“This is a truly multi-faceted contract involving many challenges as we seek to assist Maersk Oil with the enhancement of their existing North Sea assets," said Mark Wood project manager and senior process engineer.

“The agreement builds on a strong record of process engineering support to Maersk Oil over many years so is further testament to our great working relationship. We look forward to delivering successful and incident-free campaigns for each of their assets.”

The Gryphon FPSO, Global Producer III FPSO and Janice FPU are planned for major offshore inspection, repair and maintenance (IRM) works this year, in addition to field expansion works. Maersk has committed to this plan by contracting a dedicated Dive Support Vessel (DSV) for 365 days.

In order to ensure this is completed safely and on time, a team of eight process engineers from Atkins will support Maersk Oil in developing the scope, maintenance plans, commissioning procedures and providing a technical interface between the dive vessel and Maersk Oil’s assets. The Atkins team will be managing the scopes through to completion with the provision of offshore engineers and a project management role.
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Thursday 17 April 2014

Total discovers oil in deep offshore Ivory Coast

The Total-operated Saphir-1XB exploration well on Block CI-514 proved the presence of liquid hydrocarbons in the deep offshore west of Ivory Coast. 

“Drilled in an abrupt margin play, this first well is the first discovery in the San Pedro Basin, a frontier exploration area in Ivory Coast,” said Marc Blaizot, Senior Vice President, Exploration at Total. "Having confirmed the presence of a petroleum system containing light oil, we will next evaluate this very promising find and focus on its extension to the north and east."

Lying in 2,300 meters of water, Saphir-1XB is the first well in Block CI-514. It was drilled to a total depth of 4,655 meters, encountering around 40 meters of net pay containing light 34° API oil, in a series of 350 meters of reservoirs. 

Data acquired during drilling is being analyzed and will be used to determine the area’s potential and design the delineation program.

Total is pursuing its intensive exploration program in the area, with plans to drill two wells in Blocks CI-515 and CI-516 by year end

Total E&P Côte d’Ivoire operates Block CI-514 with a 54% interest, alongside CNR International (36%) and PETROCI Holding (10%). 

Total also has interests in three other ultra-deep offshore exploration licenses in Ivory Coast (CI-100, CI-515 and CI-516). 

The Group is continuing to analyze the oil discovery made in Total-operated Block CI-100 in 2013, which confirmed the extension of an already proved active petroleum system in the prolific Tano Basin.
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McDermott signs agreement for North Sea spoolbase

McDermott International reported that one of its subsidiaries has signed an option agreement with PD Ports which gives it the exclusive right to operate a spoolbase to serve projects in the North Sea. McDermott expects to have the facility available for projects in early 2015.

“This agreement for the spoolbase is an important milestone towards supporting McDermott’s re-entry into the North Sea market,” said Tony Duncan, Executive Vice President, Subsea.

“We look to combine the prime location of the Hartlepool spoolbase for quick access to project sites with McDermott’s high standards, and high-performance Reel-Lay capabilities provided by our Lay Vessel North Ocean 105. We are firmly committed to meeting our clients’ needs in the region.”

Located in Hartlepool, in northeast United Kingdom, the spoolbase is expected to support McDermott’s re-entry into the North Sea Reel-Lay market.

The Port of Hartlepool is a well-established working port with a history of fabrication for the oil and gas industry and has excellent access from harbor to the open sea.

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Shell deep-water gas discovery Malaysia

Shell reported an exploration discovery offshore Malaysia.

The successful ‘Rosmari-1’ well is located 135 kilometres offshore in Block SK318, and was drilled to a total depth of 2,123 metres.

“Rosmari-1 is a testament to our ability to successfully drill and build understanding of new geology within our existing exploration heartlands, adding value to our existing assets in Malaysia,” said Andy Brown, Director Shell Upstream International.

“We are expanding and rejuvenating heartlands across our exploration portfolio, including in Brunei, Australia and the Gulf of Mexico.”

The well encountered more than 450 metres of gas column. With further exploration planned, the finding is a positive indicator of the gas potential in an area of strategic interest for Shell.

“This adds to Shell’s sequence of recent exploration successes in Malaysia, with these discoveries expanding the company’s heartlands positions,” said Iain Lo, Chairman Shell Malaysia.

Block SK318 is Shell operated with an 85% interest, with the remaining 15% held by PETRONAS Carigali Sdn Bhd.
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Tuesday 15 April 2014

TransAlta preferred bidder in Western Australia development

TransAlta Corporation has been named the preferred bidder for the South Hedland Power Project.

"Our bid on this development project illustrates the importance and focus that TransAlta places on customers and business in Western Australia. We want to be the company of choice in providing reliable and low cost power to customers in the remote mining regions of the State and are pleased to be adding another asset at an important location like Port Hedland," said Dawn Farrell, President and Chief Executive Officer of TransAlta.

Subject to the finalization of necessary contracts and approvals that will take place during the next several weeks, the project would see TransAlta build, own and operate a 150MW power station in South Hedland, Western Australia.

The investment is estimated at approximately AUD $550M. The comibined cycle gas power station is expected to to be delivering power in 2016 with full commissioning of the station in 2017. The development will be fully contracted under 25 year agreements with Horizon Power and Fortescue Metals Group and may be expanded to accommodate additional customers at later dates. The station will supply Horizon Power's customers in the Pilbara region as well as Fortescue's port operations. The project will be built and funded over the next 30 months.

Western Australia is an important market for TransAlta, where it has been operating for more than 15 years. With six facilities totaling 425 MW of generating capacity and a natural gas pipeline under development, TransAlta has proven experience for providing reliable power to remote operations in the region.
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Monday 14 April 2014

FMC Technologies wins $322 Million contract

FMC Technologies has received an order from BP to supply subsea systems for its Shah Deniz Stage 2 project in the Caspian Sea.

"This award culminates three years of pre-engineering work between FMC Technologies and BP on this project," said Tore Halvorsen, FMC Technologies' Senior Vice President, Subsea Technologies.

"This close cooperation will accelerate the transition to the manufacturing stage and enable reduced lead time delivering the project."

The order has an estimated value of $322 million in revenue.

FMC Technologies' scope of supply includes subsea manifolds, associated controls and connection equipment as well as key controls and connection components for subsea production trees. The Shah Deniz field is located in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea, 43 miles (70 kilometers) southeast of Baku.
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Largest wind project in Canada now running

Samsung Renewable Energy, Inc. (Samsung) and Pattern Energy Group reported the South Kent Wind project is fully operational. The 270 megawatt (MW) South Kent Wind project is the largest wind power facility in Canada with the capacity to produce clean renewable energy for approximately 100,000 Ontario homes each year.

“South Kent Wind is our first in a series of wind projects in Ontario and we’re proud it has been delivered on time and within budget, despite a very harsh winter,” said Mike Garland, CEO of Pattern Energy.

“This project was truly a collaborative effort – a total of 15 banks providing financing for an effort that involved 500 workers constructing 70 kilometers of roads, 124 wind turbines and 283 kilometers of electrical cable. Along with our partner, Samsung, we’d like to thank the very dedicated construction crew and the fantastic community of Chatham-Kent. We’re proud this project will now be providing real benefits to the local economy, including more than $7 million in direct spending each year.”

“Samsung and our partners are proud to complete this first project under our Green Energy Investment Agreement with the government of Ontario,” said Ki –Jung Kim, Senior Vice President, Samsung C&T.

“This project is now producing hundreds of megawatts of clean energy, and has created thousands of high-skilled jobs and millions of dollars in community investment, all of which are benefiting real people in Chatham Kent and across the province.”

South Kent Wind created approximately 500 jobs during construction and 22 full-time permanent positions for ongoing operations and maintenance. A total of 99% of the workforce was comprised of workers from Ontario, which were involved in every aspect of the South Kent Wind project – from manufacture and assembly of the wind turbine components to site construction, installation work and project operations. RES Canada managed construction of the project. Altogether, Samsung and Pattern Energy’s wind power projects in Ontario are creating thousands of manufacturing and construction jobs, contributing significant property taxes in host communities and providing millions of dollars for schools and important community projects.

South Kent Wind is utilizing 124 Siemens 2.3 MW wind turbines with blades and towers that were made in Ontario. Siemens’ turbine blade facility in Tillsonburg manufactured the blades and CS Wind’s facility in Windsor manufactured the turbine towers, using Ontario-made steel.

The South Kent Wind project features some of the most advanced wind technology, including TowerTEX’s TowerSHADE, which is used to mitigate the impact of night lights required by aviation regulations. The tower shades completely eliminate light visibility from below the turbine out to 1.5 km, while allowing the light to be seen from above by aircraft.

South Kent Wind helps Ontario achieve its clean energy goals and allows the Province to continue moving away from its dependence on coal energy production. Compared to coal-fired generation, South Kent Wind will offset approximately 842,000 tonnes of CO2 each year, the equivalent of taking nearly 148,500 cars off the roads, and conserve enough water to meet the needs of approximately 23,600 Ontarians. The South Kent Wind project has a 20-year power purchase agreement with the Ontario Power Authority (OPA).

Samsung and Pattern Energy are also in construction of the 150 MW Grand Renewable Energy Park in Haldimand County, Ontario. Samsung and Pattern Development are making significant progress on two other wind energy projects in Ontario, including the 180 MW Armow Wind project in the Municipality of Kincardine and the 270 MW K2 Wind project in the Township of Ashfield-Colborne-Wawanosh, which began construction in March and is being developed with our partner Capital Power. Altogether, these four projects will create 870 MW of renewable energy for the OPA, enough to power approximately 300,000 homes in Ontario each year.
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Repsol creating jobs

Repsol in 2013 hired a total of 1,062 people, of whom 49% are women. These figures reflect the company's commitment to creating quality employment, attracting, motivating and retaining the best professionals, and providing an attractive workplace. The company is one of the main job creators of the Spanish StockExchange (Ibex), with an average of nearly 1,500 new jobs per year over the last three years.

The current workforce at Repsol exceeds 24,000 employees of more than 80 nationalities of which 91% have permanent contracts.

The company is especially focused on the incorporation of young people into the labour market and furthering student training. Repsol has several Masters’ Programmes in the different areas of its activities (Hydrocarbons Exploration and Production, Refining, Petrochemicals and Gas, and Repsol Energy Management) all taught in its Further Education Centre. Students in these programmes receive an internship contract which can become a permanent contract depending on academic performance. During 2013, a total of 97 students joined this programme.

On the other hand, during 2013 Repsol trained 800 students at its different internships and scholarship programmes, moving them forward in their training and helping them to acquire additional skills and knowledge.

Repsol is widely recognised as one of the best companies to work for in Spain, and is among the top companies amongst those which promote work-life balance, according to a ranking included in the analysis of work-life balance of Spain performed by the International Institute of Political Science. The award recognises the different tools Repsol offers its employees: remuneration, training, internal mobility and international careers, as well as development and performance reviews.
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Friday 11 April 2014

Gas and oil discovery in the Valemon area

Statoil together with the Valemon Unit partners made a gas and oil discovery in the Valemon Nord prospect in the North Sea.

The discovery wells 34/10-54 S and 34/10-54 A, drilled by the drilling rig Transocean Leader, are located approximately 10 kilometres north of the planned Valemon installation.

The main wellbore 34/10-54 S proved a gross 164-metre gas/condensate and oil column in the Middle Jurassic Brent Group. The side-track 34/10-54 A proved a gross 100-metre gas/condensate column in the Brent Group and in sand of unspecified Jurassic age, and an additional gross 140-metre gas/condensate column in the Statfjord Group. Gas/condensate was also found in the middle Jurassic Cook Formation.

Statoil estimates the total volumes in Valemon North to be in the range of 20-75 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent (o.e.).
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Thursday 10 April 2014

Chevron, YPF continue Vaca Muerta Shale development

Chevron Corporation confirmed subsidiaries of the company have signed agreements with the Argentine oil company YPF S.A. to continue development of shale oil and gas resources from the Vaca Muerta formation located in the Neuquén province in Argentina.

"This is a significant step in our subsidiaries' joint efforts with YPF to develop one of the most exciting shale plays in the world today," said George Kirkland, vice chairman of Chevron Corporation.

"Vaca Muerta could become an important contributor to Chevron's long term production growth."

The agreements build off the progress made with the drilling program begun in 2013 and call for continued investment toward large-scale drilling and production in the 96,000-acre (388-sq. km) Loma Campana concession.

The agreements also call for exploration of shale oil and gas resources in the 49,400-acre (200-sq. km) Narambuena area located about 70 miles (100 kilometers) north of Loma Campana in the Chihuido de la Sierra Negra concession, one of the main producing areas in the Neuquén Basin of west-central Argentina.

"YPF is a reliable partner and operator that is advancing the project in the right direction," said Ali Moshiri, president of Chevron Africa and Latin America Exploration and Production Company.

"We are pleased with the progress achieved so far and look forward to continuing to provide our technical expertise and investment to help Argentina achieve its goal of energy self-sufficiency."
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Wednesday 9 April 2014

McDermott installs P-61 Tension Leg Wellhead Platform

McDermott International reported the successful installation of the P-61 Tension Leg Wellhead Platform (TLWP) for the PPT BV Joint Venture, consisting of Petrobras and Chevron.

Once fully commissioned and operational, the project will enter the record books as the first use of dry-tree floating technology offshore Brazil and the first Tension Leg Platform installation offshore South America.

Awarded in 2010 to FloaTEC Singapore Pte, Ltd. ("FloaTEC Singapore"), a joint venture between subsidiaries of Keppel FELS Ltd. ("Keppel FELS") and McDermott, the successful installation of the Papa Terra P-61 is a testament to the excellent working relationship amongst three leading offshore specialists.

“The patented Extended Tension Leg Platform technology from FloaTEC, construction capabilities of Keppel FELS, and offshore transportation and installation experience of McDermott combined to form a first-of-a-kind solution for this challenging deepwater environment,” said David Dickson, President and Chief Executive Officer at McDermott.

“The alignment of all three teams with our customers’ requirements ensured successful and safe delivery of one of the most challenging Tension Leg Platforms ever installed.”

Topsides engineering was executed by McDermott in Houston and constructed in Singapore by Keppel FELS, and fabrication of the piles and tendons was provided by McDermott’s fabrication facilities. The hull was designed by FloaTEC in Houston and fabricated in Brazil by Keppel FELS at its BrasFELS yard. The topsides and hull were then integrated at BrasFELS using the float over method.

The McDermott team was instrumental in providing float-over support and executing the offshore transportation and final installation of the TLWP offshore Brazil. The project was carried out with significant technical contribution by Chevron to the TLWP design, construction and installation. Commissioning of the platform continues, under the expertise of the FloaTEC project team.

Using the Derrick Barge 50 (“DB50”), a specialized deepwater construction vessel, to install the tendons, McDermott successfully completed its offshore campaign without a single Lost Time Incident. Recent enhancements to the DB50 include a new state-of-the-art switchgear and power management system with an upgraded level of auxiliaries resulting in improved reliability and station keeping – a critical feature during offshore installations.
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Seadrill reduces stake in SapuraKencana

Seadrill Limited has sold 230 million shares of SapuraKencana raising approximately US$300 million in proceeds.

"We are very pleased with the progress to date of our partnership with SapuraKencana, both in the integration of the tender rig business and in the development of our successful PLSV joint venture in Brazil," said John Fredriksen, Chairman, President and Director of Seadrill.

"We are today working together on several new businesses with the target of creating new growth opportunities supported by long term contracts.  Our support for one of our closest partners is unwavering and we look forward to many years of future cooperation."

The total economic gain realized from this sale is approximately US$165 million.  Following the completion of this transaction Seadrill will continue to own approximately 490 million shares, representing an approximate 8% ownership stake in SapuraKencana.

Tor Olav Trøim will continue to serve as a board member of SapuraKencana with John Fredriksen as an alternate director.

On April 30, 2013 Seadrill increased its ownership stake in SapuraKencana to 12% as a result of the integration of its tender rig business into SapuraKencana. The target was to develop a strong leading player in the Far East integrated service market.  Since completion of this transaction, SapuraKencana has made significant progress integrating the two businesses and taking delivery of an additional 3 tender rigs under construction at the time of the transaction. This progress has partly been reflected in the positive share price development.

Seadrill remains a long-term strategic investor in SapuraKencana and, in connection with the sale, has entered into a lock up agreement for its remaining shares until the end of 2014.  Seadrill will continue to support SapuraKencana's strategy of growing its broad offshore service portfolio.  SapuraKencana has strengthened its position in the Asian market and has significant international growth opportunities.  SapuraKencana's position as an integrated service provider and upstream leaseholder creates a competitive advantage in the region.  Having acquired Seadrill's tender rig assets, SapuraKencana is in an ideal position to serve field developments on a global basis as well.
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Tuesday 8 April 2014

AGR wins Frame Agreement with Premier Oil

AGR has been selected by Premier Oil to deliver a range of services within the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).

The contract period is for five years plus additional three years. The scope of the agreement covers Well Management and Well Planning Services for exploration drilling and field developments. The Work Scope will encompass delivery of resources, competence and methodology by AGR’s Well Management team in Norway.

“We are pleased to continue the close working relationship with Premier Oil on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS),” Sjur Talstad, AGR’s Executive Vice President, Norway and Russia said.

“The activity will be carried out from our fast growing Stavanger office which has an excellent track record of delivering Well Management and operational HSE support.

“This contract win follows a busy 2013 for us when at peak we delivered five operations in parallel managing jack-up, semi-submersible and drill-ship rigs during the year.”    

AGR recently celebrated drilling over 500 well projects in 25 countries for 106 clients - an average of one drilling project commenced every 10 days since 2000. On the NCS, the company has managed over 80 drilling projects on 14 rigs on behalf of 21 operators. Last year, AGR’s Norway team was involved in 15% of exploration wells drilled on the NCS.

AGR’s experience spans drilling in a variety of challenging environments, including HPHT, deepwater and ultra deepwater, the Barents Sea and drilling in environmentally sensitive areas.
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Atkins wins design contract for major UK offshore wind farm

Atkins has been awarded an additional contract by DONG Energy. Atkins is now contracted to design five offshore substations for DONG Energy.

"With over 30 years looking after oil and gas offshore structures, we can directly apply lessons learned in terms of construction and operation in deeper waters, foundation and jacket technology, the use of heavy-lift vessels and asset maintenance offshore," Dave Parkin, managing director of Atkins’ Power and Renewables business said.

"Our UK based team will be working together with DONG Energy to apply the lessons on these large, complex projects enabling us to set new benchmarks in stripping out any fat for an industry that needs to become more and more competitive with other energy sources.”

The contract will see Atkins provide detailed substation designs for Race Bank, one of DONG Energy’s major offshore wind development projects in the UK.

Atkins is also designing the substations for DONG Energy’s Walney and Burbo extension projects.

"DONG Energy has a tough target to cut the cost of offshore wind by 35 – 40 per cent by 2020," Benj Sykes, UK country manager for DONG Energy Wind Power said.

"We are doing this through standardising the building of a wind farm.  Atkins is working with us to provide a design for five substations that can be applied to three of our projects.  This will enable a production line approach to fabrication, rather than a bespoke solution each time and will reduce costs without compromising safety and reliability. It becomes more like buying off the shelf than ordering a unique product and that brings cost savings."

The project, located in the Greater Wash area off the east coast of England, has a capacity of up to 580 megawatt with offshore construction due to commence from 2017.

“I want to see more UK firms throughout the supply chain profiting from the growth in sustainable power," Minister for Business and Energy Michael Fallon said.

"This contract is a promising step towards the creation of more highly skilled jobs as we establish a dependable and affordable energy mix."
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