25 january 2019

Eni starts new production well in Vandumbu field offshore Angola

Eni has started the new VAN-102 production well in the Vandumbu field, which is located in the West Hub of Block 15/06, offshore Angola. Block 15/06 is developed by a joint venture (JV) of Eni, Sonangol P&P and SSI Fifteen.

The start-up of the new well, which is located 350km north-west of Luanda and 130km west of Soyo, took place through the N’Goma floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) unit, achieving a performance of 13,000 barrels.

It follows the start-up of the second Subsea Multiphase Boosting System (SMBS). 

According to Eni, the new well is another step in the development of the Vandumbu field that was launched in November 2018. The field is planned to be completed in the first quarter of this year with the start-up of the water injection well.

Along with another production well in the Mpungi field, Block 15/06 production is expected to reach a total of 170,000 barrels of oil equivalent a day (boed). These start-ups represent the progress adopted by Eni in the phased and clustered development strategy for the block.

A total of eight fields have become operational since November 2014; production in the West Hub started with the Sangos field.

Eni currently has an equity production of 150,000boed in Angola. In December 2018, the company started production from the Vandumbu field in Block 15/06 through West Hub N’Goma FPSO.


24 january 2019

Premier Oil sees potential in Zama appraisal well offshore Mexico

Premier Oil announced on Thursday the successful completion of the first part of the Zama appraisal in Block 7 offshore Mexico. The block is operated by US-based Talos Energy, in a consortium with Premier Oil and Sierra Oil and Gas.

The Zama-2 appraisal well is the first of three appraisal wells drilled by the consortium to more precisely define the resource potential of the Zama discovery. It was drilled 2.1km north of the Zama-1 discovery well, reaching the top of the Zama reservoir at a depth of approximately 3,279m.

The appraisal confirmed that the reservoir quality of the Zama-2 well was similar to that of Zama-1 and in line with the consortium’s expectations, with a higher net-to-gross ratio of 73% compared to Zama-1’s 63%.

Premier Oil chief executive Tony Durrant said: “This is an excellent start to the Block 7 Zama appraisal programme in Mexico. It enhances our interpretation of the large Zama discovery and increases our confidence in our resource estimates.”

Another objective of the Zama-2 well was to test a deeper exploration prospect called Marte. While this test of the Marte reservoir did not find any hydrocarbons, the information gathered during the test would help the consortium with its evaluations of the Zama reservoir and other possible prospects on Block 7, according to operator Talos Energy.

Talos president and CEO Timothy Duncan said: “We are very pleased with the results of the Zama-2 well as we were able to achieve our primary goals of understanding the depositional environment and the presence of thick sand bodies needed for robust aquifer support, both of which help with ultimate recovery.

“We also confirmed that this section of the reservoir has similar or better rock properties as compared to the Zama-1 discovery well and that the pressure information indicates connectivity to Zama-1. Perhaps most importantly, the oil-water contact was encountered at the predicted depth, if not slightly deeper.

“These results provide us with confidence that our geological and reservoir modelling can be used as a predictive tool for the Zama development, just as we’ve been successfully using them on the US side of the Gulf of Mexico. It helps to de-risk not only Zama, but the remainder of the Block 7 inventory.”

The Zama-2 well will now be side-tracked to create the Zama-2ST1 well. The consortium plans to drill a second appraisal well, Zama-3, to the south of the original discovery well.


24 january 2019

Transocean raises $550m to finance Deepwater Poseidon drillship

Offshore drilling contractor Transocean’s wholly owned indirect subsidiary Transocean Poseidon launched a $550m private offering to pay for its Deepwater Poseidon drillship.

After deducting the initial purchasers’ discount and estimated offering costs, Transocean Poseidon expects to receive $538m aggregate net proceeds from the offering. The company plans to use the proceeds to partially finance the construction or acquisition of the rig.

Transocean Poseidon has raised the offering in the aggregate principal amount of senior secured notes due 2027 to eligible purchasers according to Rule 144A/Regulation S.

According to Transocean, the notes will bear interest at an annual rate of 6.875% and be guaranteed by Transocean Ltd, Transocean Inc. and a wholly owned indirect subsidiary that owns the drillship.

It will be secured by a lien on the Deepwater Poseidon its certain other associated assets. The notes will be callable after 1 February 2022. Subject to customary closing conditions, the offering is expected to close on or near 1 February.

Korean firm DSME delivered the Deepwater Poseidon drillship to Transocean last year when it started its contract with Shell in the Gulf of Mexico for a ten-year period.

Last May, Shell made a deepwater, exploration discovery using the rig in the Norphlet geologic play in the US Gulf of Mexico with its Dover well, offshoreenergytoday.com reported. Capable of accommodating 200 people, the rig has a transit speed of up to 12.5k and can reach a maximum drilling depth of 40,000ft.


24 january 2019

CNOOC announces spending target on exploration and production for 2019

China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) has announced plans to spend between CNY70bn to CNY80bn ($10.3bn to $11.8bn) on exploration and production, as part of its business strategy and development plan for this year.

For this year, the company’s is targeting net production of 480 million to 490 million barrels of oil equivalent (Mboe). Production from China and overseas will respectively account for 63% and 37% of the total production. For 2020, CNOOC expects its net production to be 505Mboe to 515Mboe, and 535Mboe to 545Mboe for 2021.

CNOOC CFO Xie Weizhi said: “The company will maintain its prudent financial policy and investment decision-making, and ensure the effective implementation of the capital expenditure plan to improve the overall performance of the company.”

This year, the company plans to start operations of six new projects. Nigeria’s Egina oil field and Huizhou 32-5 oil field in the South China Sea have already started production.

The Appomattox project in the US Gulf of Mexico, Bozhong 34-9 oil field, Caofeidian 11-1/11-6 project and Wenchang 13-2 project offshore China are set to begin production this year.

As part of its development plan, CNOOC will also drill 173 exploration wells and acquire 28,000km² of 3D seismic data. The company recently said it plans to double its exploration projects and proven oil and gas reserves by 2025. The plan is in response to China President Xi Jinping’s call for an increase in domestic production and reserves.


23 january 2019

Ashtead and 4Subsea to distribute sensor technology

Ashtead and 4Subsea have entered a partnership for global distribution of sensor technology to the oil and gas industry. The partnership will see the combination of sensor engineering competence, domain expertise and technologies to ensure the lifespan of subsea assets. It will also help operators and vessel owners reduce risk and operational costs associated with operating subsea fields.

Ashtead Technology CEO Allan Pirie said: “Our customers now have access to a leading innovator in offshore asset monitoring and integrity solutions.

“Adding 4Subsea’s autonomous sensor technology and services to our existing capabilities means we can now offer a comprehensive monitoring and integrity management service to support the performance and life extension of critical infrastructure.”

Under the terms of the strategic partnership, Ashtead will add 4Subsea’s autonomous, retrofittable sensors to its portfolio to improve its inspection, maintenance and repair (IMR) services. The company will also get access to 4Subsea’s domain experts within subsea production, well intervention and drilling.

4Subsea will also leverage Ashtead’s sales and distribution network, including facilities in Aberdeen, Abu Dhabi, Halifax, Houston and Singapore to bolster its position in the global sensor market.

4Subsea CEO Peter Jenkins said: “We are pleased and excited about building a partnership with Ashtead Technology. They hold a world-leading position in providing offshore equipment solutions to the oil and gas industry, and we regard this partnership as a joining of forces to enhance our offering to the market and drive greater customer success.”


22 january 2019

Santos produces first oil from Van Gogh project in Australia

Santos has produced first oil from the Van Gogh infill project in the Exmouth Basin, offshore Western Australia. The latest announcement marks the completion of the two-well programme successfully and is set to increase the field production.

According to Santos, the Van Gogh oil field is one of three offshore developments that tie into Ningaloo Vision, the floating production, storage and offloading vessel (FPSO). As part of the project, which started last September, two subsea wells were drilled and completed and connected into existing offshore infrastructure.

Santos managing director and CEO Kevin Gallagher said: “This programme has been a great success, enabling a lift in production from the field.”

“The campaign has also been delivered safely and efficiently, highlighting the tremendous offshore expertise we have brought into the business with last year’s acquisition of Quadrant Energy.”

Targeted to access bypassed oil not drained from the original wells, the two dual-lateral wells involved drilling of horizontal sections in the 3,500m-long reservoirs located 950m below the seabed.

The Van Gogh field started production in 2010. The nearby Coniston and Novara fields were respectively tied back to the vessel in 2015 and 2016.

Santos operates the Van Gogh-Coniston-Novara project with a 52.5% interest.

Last month, Santos announced first gas from the third and final well of the Bayu Undan infill well programme.

For the Bayu Undan gas/condensate project in the Timor Sea, the drilling programme comprised two platform wells and one subsea well connecting into existing offshore infrastructure.


21 january 2019

Inpex Norge wins two exploration licences offshore Norway

Inpex subsidiary Inpex Norge has secured exploration licences PL1027 in the western Barents Sea and PL1016 in the northern Norwegian Sea, offshore Norway.

Granted as part of Norway’s Awards in Predefined Areas (APA) 2018 licensing round, the licences provide the groundwork for the company’s third and fourth exploration projects in the country.

They are also expected to further enhance Inpex’s global project portfolio.

Before evaluating the possibility of discovering hydrocarbon deposits through exploration activities, the company plans to follow the required administrative procedures involving Norwegian authorities, the licences’ operators and partners.

Located in the western Barents Sea, PL1027 covers a surface area of approximately 1,220km² in a water depth of 440m. Lundin operates PL1027 with a 40% stake. Inpex, DEA and DNO each hold 20% stake. PL1016 is also located 250km offshore Norway and covers a surface area of 1,310km². The water depth ranges between 350m and 1,000m.

The licence is operated by OMV with a 60% stake, while the remaining 40% is owned by Inpex. Inpex also secured a 40% participating interest in exploration licence PL767B as a part of the APA 2018 licensing round. This is an extension to exploration licence PL767 in which Inpex acquired a 40% interest in 2017.

Inpex said that the acquisition of these licences is aligned to its aim of the ‘sustainable growth of oil and natural gas E&P activities’. Through Inpex Norge, full-scale oil and natural gas exploration and development activities are to take place in Norway.


18 january 2019

Equinor celebrates successful CO2 reductions

Norwegian energy giant Equinor has announced it has successfully reduced CO2 emissions from its logistical operations on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS) by 600,000 tonnes since 2011.

According to a statement outlining the company’s ambitions to halve emissions in the NCS supply chain by 2030, Equinor has reduced total emissions by 37% since 2011 and emissions adjusted for reduced activity by 26%.

This 600,000 tonnes of reduced CO2, including from helicopters and vessels used for storage, rig moves, supply and emergency response, is the same amount as annual emissions from all vehicles in Oslo.

Equinor also said that it plans to work with supply chain manager NorSea to open a shore-to-ship power supply station at its Dusavik supply base. The base is designed to provide shore power to vessels contracted to Equinor and charge their onboard batteries. Currently, 13 Equinor supply vessels have installed shore power systems, with a further five vessels being prepared this year.

Equinor joint operations head Phillipe F. Mathieu said: “We need broad cooperation if we are to reduce emissions from our supply chain. Equinor plays a key role in this effort, as we have many suppliers who must be team players if we are to cut emissions.

“We influence operations by our management of day-to-day activities, commercially by rewarding low emissions in contracts and strategically by supporting a business that utilises vessels, vehicles and helicopters in a proper way.”

In addition to Dusavik, shore-to-ship power supply stations have been installed at supply bases in Mongstad, Florø, Hammerfest and Møre og Romsdal throughout 2018. These developments have been supported by the NorSea Group and its subsidiaries, with financial support from US-based multinational Enova.

Mathieu added: “We have an ambition of moving all vessels on long-term contract with us to shore power because we have seen that it is an efficient tool for reducing emissions. We note that shipowners, crews, base companies and authorities are strongly committed and willing to prepare for operation and infrastructure that will help reduce emissions.”