22 july 2020

Fugro completes phase one of Qatargas’ North Field site investigation

Dutch global geological survey firm Fugro has announced the completion of the first phase of its offshore site investigation for LNG firm Qatargas’ North Field ‘production sustainability compression’ phase.

The North Field is the world’s biggest single non-associated natural gas field. It is located 80 nautical miles (nm) offshore north-east Qatar peninsula.

Phase one of the project focused on the geophysical scope, while the geotechnical scope, which is included under phase two, will continue until next month.

Fugro noted that the in-country project teams on board the company’s dedicated vessels Proteus and Adventurer are executing the fieldwork. The fieldwork includes cone penetration testing and P-S logging.

According to the company, the final deliverables will comprise a bathymetric and geophysical survey, as well as a geotechnical appraisal of the soils that have been encountered.

This data will help optimise the jacket platform pile foundation design, and pipeline and cable-route engineering at the North Field.


22 july 2020

Cortez Subsea lays subsea pipeline using Zap-Lok mechanical connector

Cortez Subsea has completed a subsea pipeline installation project using the NOV-Tuboscope Zap-Lok mechanical connector.

Carried out in offshore Malaysia, the project was completed in partnership with Alam Maritim.

According to the company, the usage of the new technology allowed for faster and cheaper completion of subsea pipelay compared to conventional welded pipelay process.

It recorded the best average lay rate, of 4.7km in 24 hours, with the rigid pipelay section completed within 20 days.

The pipeline system was developed specifically for the Tembikai Non-Associated Gas (TNAG) Development by Vestigo Petroleum, a subsidiary of PETRONAS Carigali.

The system utilises NOV-Tuboscope Zap-Lok connectors to connect the rigid pipeline through diverless connections.

Cortez Subsea managing director Alasdair Cowie said: “We championed the Zap-Lok mechanical interference connector as a weld-free alternative to traditional pipelay. This is the first time this technology, which is much faster and more efficient, has been used offshore Malaysia."


21 JULY 2020

Baker Hughes and Snam test hydrogen blend turbine for gas transport

US oilfield services company Baker Hughes and Italian energy infrastructure firm Snam have completed testing of a ‘hybrid’ hydrogen turbine designed for a gas network.

The turbine will allow transportation pipelines to carry hydrogen blended with natural gas.

The companies claim that the turbine is the ‘world’s first’ turbine of its kind. They noted that the test paves the path to implement the adoption of hydrogen combined with natural gas in the Italian firm’s transmission network infrastructure.

Baker Hughes chairman and CEO Lorenzo Simonelli said: “The completion of this test represents an important step in defining the energy of the future. The energy transition will increasingly need technology to be a critical enabler for success.

“Building on our strong foundation of industrial expertise, Baker Hughes is proud to work closely with our partners, including Snam to offer innovative technologies capable of burning up to 100% hydrogen with low to zero emissions, helping to lead the energy transition together.”

The new turbine ‘NovaLT12’ was entirely designed in Baker Hughes’ plants in Italy. It can be fuelled by a mix of natural gas and up to 10% of hydrogen.

NovaLT12 turbine will be installed by next year at Snam’s Istrana site in the Italian province of Treviso.


21 july 2020

Premier Oil signs SPAs for BP North Sea assets acquisition

British oil and gas firm Premier Oil has signed sale and purchase agreements (SPAs) for acquiring BP’s interests in the Andrew Area and its Shearwater assets.

Last month, Premier Oil and BP agreed revised terms over the latter’s sale of a series of North Sea assets, ending a dispute with Premier’s largest creditor, Asia Research Capital Management (ARCM).

The latest move follows Premier Oil’s creditors’ approval for the acquisition of BP’s interests in the producing Andrew Area and Shearwater fields in the UK North Sea under amended terms.

Premier expects to conclude the acquisitions by the end of September this year, after raising the funds through an equity raise.

Premier Oil CEO Tony Durrant said: “The signing of the SPAs with BP is another important milestone in completing the value-accretive BP Acquisitions which consolidates the group’s position in the UK North Sea, one of our core areas while, at the same time, accelerates the deleveraging of our balance sheet.”

The deal will see Premier paying BP $210m and reduces Premier’s liability for field abandonment to approximately $240m from $600m.

Furthermore, BP would be entitled to receive an additional $115m based on higher future oil and gas prices.


21 july 2020

Oil Search, Total and Exxon “demobilise” PNG exploration amid Covid-19

Papua New Guinean offshore company Oil Search has announced that technical staff at a proposed liquefied natural gas (LNG) project have been “demobilised” due to the spread of Covid-19 in the country, casting some doubts over the company’s future in Papua New Guinea.

The plan, a joint venture between the Papua New Guinea Government, Oil Search, and industry majors Total and ExxonMobil, was set to go ahead following the completion of discussions in May.

Known as the P’nyang Gas Agreement, the project has since been shelved due to the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on oil and gas prices, and Total and ExxonMobil withdrawing the majority of their technical and commercial staff.

The suspension of the project is the latest setback for Oil Search, which published its half-year financial figures today, with mixed results for the company. Total revenue fell 26% between the end of the first quarter of 2020 and the end of the second quarter of the year, while half-year revenue is down 19% compared to the first six months of 2019.

These struggles are in spite of a slight increase in production over this period, with total production up 4% and total sales up 2% in the first half of 2020 compared to the first half of 2019, as the company struggles to deal with the plummeting oil and gas prices that have rocked the industry amid the pandemic.

Oil Search’s reporting noted that the average oil price per barrel crashed from $68.67 in the June 2019 quarter to $23.05 in the June 2020 quarter, while LNG and gas price fell from $9.30 per million British thermal units (MMBtu) to $7.34 per MMBtu over the same period.

These price collapses have forced the company to cut costs across its operations, with managing director Keiran Wulff noting that: “Following the decisive steps taken in March to reduce 2020 capital expenditure by approximately 40%, in early April we strengthened our balance sheet materially by raising approximately $700 million through an equity issue.

“The placement component was significantly oversubscribed and we ensured that all placement shares were allocated to existing shareholders to minimise dilution,” Wulff continued. “We were very pleased that the raise was strongly supported by our shareholders, particularly given market conditions.”

Earlier this month, the company announced a number of measures to aid in the Papua New Guinea Government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic; there have been just 19 cases of Covid-19 reported in the country, and a single death, but both the government and private companies remain vigilant of the threat.


20 july 2020

Israel approves $6.9bn subsea pipeline project to Europe

Israel has approved the construction of a $6.9bn subsea pipeline project that will transport natural gas to Europe.

The Eastern Mediterranean (Eastmed) pipeline project, which has been under the planning stage for several years, received approval from the Israeli cabinet this week, reported Reuters.

The cabinet ratified an earlier agreement signed by the Israeli, Greek, and Cypriot ministers to build the pipeline.

Once complete, the project will enable transporting natural gas from the offshore fields in Israel and Cyprus to Greece and then to Italy. The majority of the 1,900km-long pipeline will be under the sea with some portions on land.

A final investment decision is expected by 2022 while the associated countries aim to complete construction works by 2025.

Initially, the pipeline will carry around ten billion cubic metres of gas annually and gradually double its capacity.

The project is expected to help Israel enhance its footprint as an energy exporter.


17 july 2020

BESIX and Mota-Engil to build marine facilities of LNG project

Belgium-based contractor BESIX and Mota-Engil have secured a contract for the construction of marine facilities of a Mozambique liquefied natural gas (LNG) gas development project.

The LNG project is located in the Cabo Delgado Province, near the Palma coastal town offshore Mozambique.

Under the contract, both firms will be responsible for the EPC of the material offloading facility and the LNG load-out jetty.

The CCS JV was awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract by Total E&P Mozambique Area 1 for the LNG project.

BESIX noted that the LNG load-out jetty and wharf includes a 2,700m-long access jetty, with a width ranging from 34m to 90m. The jetty leads to a 1,900m-long wharf at sea.

The wharf will also be equipped with five berths or platforms, of which four are for LNG and the remaining one is for berthing and mooring facilities, as well as condensate for the two Q-Max and two Q-Flex LNG carriers.


17 july 2020

BP receives approval from NOPSEMA to drill Ironbark-1 well

Australian offshore regulator NOPSEMA has approved BP’s environment plan for the Ironbark-1 exploration well.

The Ironbark prospect is located in exploration permit WA-359-P, which is situated in the Carnarvon Basin, around 50km from the North West Shelf (NWS) LNG infrastructure.

BP operates and owns 42.5% in the permit. Other partners include Cue Energy (21.5%), Beach Energy (21%), and New Zealand Oil & Gas (15%).

In October 2018, Cue Energy Resources’ subsidiary Cue Exploration signed an agreement with BP Developments, Beach Energy and New Zealand Oil & Gas (NZOG) to form a joint venture (JV) to undertake drilling operations at the Ironbark-1 exploration well.

Drilling activities at Ironbark-1 are planned to start in October using the Diamond Offshore-owned Ocean Apex drilling rig.

The well is expected to be drilled at a depth of 5,500m.

Cue Energy CEO Matthew Boyall said: “Cue Energy welcomes the approval of the Ironbark Exploration Drilling Environment Plan and is excited with the continuing progress toward the drilling of the Ironbark-1 well, which is expected to spud in about three months.

“Cue holds a significant 21.5% participating interest in the world-class Ironbark gas prospect, which, if successful, could be company changing for Cue and deliver environmental and economic benefits to Australia and the region.”