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Recent News: 19th-30th November A round-up of recent developments offshore

Deepwater & Harsh Environment


Trion: Discovered in 2012, the project represents the first deepwater joint partnership for Mexico under its new energy reforms. The award agreement included a commitment to undertake a minimum of one appraisal well, one exploration well and the acquisition of seismic data. BHP Billiton owns a 60% stake, with Pemex retaining the remaining 40%. Appraisal drilling has been commissioned using the Deepwater Invictus to spud the Trion 2DEL probe. The drilling programme began on 15th November. Development has been earmarked to take place over the next seven years at a reported cost of US$11 billion. An FPSO is reportedly the preferred production type with offloading to be done via shuttle tankers rather than pipe to shore, as a compromise between cost and export efficiency.

Black Sea

ExxonMobil and OMV were expected to award contracts in October for their Neptun Deep Gas joint project offshore Romania. However, Romania’s legislature has changed the tax regime governing Black Sea projects as of November 14th, putting Neptun in doubt. Target start year was 2021, with peak production slated at 800 mcf/d from 10 wells tapping both the Pelican shallow and the Domino (930 metre water depth) deepwater fields. The engineering work concept envisages an unmanned gas processing platform near Pelican to which satellite fields are tied back from Domino via 154km of 30 inch pipeline. The work is set to involve the deployment of an accommodation vessel for 9 months, potentially in 2020 or 2021 though this may now be in doubt. Total gas reserves in the two prospects are between 2.5 to 4 Tcf. The project is estimated to cost around $1.3 billion Three contractors are competing for EPCI: Saipem, Sapura Energy and TechnipFMC.

North Sea

Norway: Seadrill semi-submersible West Hercules drilled a wildcat 7324/3-1 probe in Equinor-operated production license 615, and made a small discovery, striking a gas column of 30 metres in the upper part of the Snadd formation. The well is plugged and abandoned and the rig is now moving to Eni operated Goliat to drill an appraisal well. Well 7122/7-7 S will be drilled in position 71°17’33.53” North and 22°15’14.46” West, according to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.
Lundin Petroleum is planning two wildcats at 16/1-31 S&A using semi-submersible Leiv Eiriksson targeting the Jorvik and then Tellus East prospects in production license 338. The earliest spud date is expected in February next year for a total duration of 186 days.
US Gulf of Mexico

Drillship Rowan Resolute will be drilling one-well for LLOG starting in December 2018 at Mississippi Canyon Block 546 (“Who Dat”). Subsequently, the rig is expected to commence a one year plus 3 well option programme at Green Canyon Block 40 (“Katmai”) with Fieldwood starting February next year until later 2020.

The contract was originally signed to use Rowan Reliance, but instead transferred to Rowan Resolute. Rowan Reliance will remain warm-stacked offshore Louisiana.


Great Bight: Equinor have announced they will submit a plan to drill Stromlo exploration well in Block EPP39 in Australian Bight in 1Q2019. The well is scheduled to be drilled at year end 2019 or early 2020 if the plan is approved by the authorities. Stromlo lies nearly 400km off Australia’s south coast in water depth of c. 2200m. However BP and Chevron have withdrawn their exploration of this area due to environmental protest. (Image courtesy Equinor; more details: https://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1634078/equinor-eyes-great-australian-bight-well )
equinor bight

Shallower water

South America

Trinidad: First gas flow from Iguana field in Block 1(a) offshore Trinidad occurred this month. Operator DeNovo Energy expects to deliver 80 million cubic feet of gas per day at full operation. The field is in water depth of 27m, and is the first gas project in the Gulf of Paria. The project EPIC was conducted by US contractor Chet Morrison who supplied a conductor-supported platform for three development wells and a 45-kilometre, 14-inch diameter subsea.

(more details: https://www.upstreamonline.com/live/1643520/chet-morrison-completes-offshore-trinidad-work )


Gabon: After Tortue Phase I in the Dussafu license started up in September 2018 and a further appraisal well in the western flank of the Tortue field, BW Offshore has made FID on Phase II of the development. The company plans to drill an additional four horizontal wells with a budget of $275 million. Phase I was brought onstream on budget and on time, is currently producing 12,500 bopd from two horizontal wells tied back to FPSO BW Adolo. The BW Adolo has an oil storage capacity of 1,350,000 bbls and a production capacity of 40,000 b/d of oil. Tortue field is in 118 metres of water depth and has a 2P reserve between 30 to 40 million boe. The first offloading from the FPSO is scheduled for November. More information available at BW Offshore’s website: https://bwoffshore.com/ir/corporate-news/imported-press-releases2/2018/bw-offshore-q3-2018—condensed-interim-consolidated-financial-information/

Nigerian Operator First E&P has announced the commission of two Sea Swift conductor supported platforms from the Aquaterra Energy/Maerlin consortium for the Anyala and Madu fields in shallow water (35-55 metres) in the Niger Delta 40 km offshore Nigeria. The development plan features an existing FPSO at Anyala field in OML 83, with capacity to add 50,000 b/d of oil and 120 MMcf/d of gas with a development cost of $700m. The plan was agreed in 2017 with Schlumberger to provide services in kind and required capital until first oil in late 2019. Anyala and Madu fields have combined in-place reserves of more than 450 MMbbl and in-place gas of over 800 bcf. First E&P acquired 40% interests from Chevron of OML 83 & 85 in 2015 and assumed operatorship with NNPC holding remaining 60%.

More details at: https://www.offshore-mag.com/articles/2018/11/first-orders-sea-swift-platforms-for-shallow-water-nigeria-fields.html

Asia Pacific

Vietnam: FID has been reached on shallow water Nam Du and U Minh. Development will be undertaken in 2H 2019, according to Jadestone Energy. Progress has been made on FEED studies and commercial agreements. Nam Du and U Minh lie in blocks 46/07 and 51 and are estimated to contain a combined 200 billion cubic feet of wet gas. The plan will be installing wellhead platforms on each field. Gas will be exported via a pipeline PM-3 export pipeline to Ca Mau. Condensate will be stored on a leased floating production, storage and offloading vessel, with first gas anticipated in late 2021.

by Graham Walker // 30 November, 2018

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