23 September 2019

OGCI launches series of large-scale CCUS initiatives

The Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI) has announced a number of initiatives to facilitate carbon capture, use and storage (CCUS) and reduce greenhouse gas emissions ahead of its annual stakeholder dialogue event in New York.

The OGCI’s Kickstarter initiative is intended to unlock large-scale investment in CCUS and create the necessary conditions for a commercially-viable, environmentally-responsible and safe CCUS industry.

The OGCI has set the goal of doubling the amount of CO2 that is currently stored globally before 2030, which it aims to achieve through decarbonising several industrial hubs around the world.

In a joint statement, the heads of the OGCI member companies said: “We are scaling up the speed, scale, and impact of our actions in support of the Paris Agreement. Accelerating the energy transition requires sustainable, large-scale actions, different pathways and innovative technological solutions to keep global warming well below 2°C.

“We are committed to enhancing our efforts as a constructive partner with governments, civil society, business and other stakeholders working together to transition to a net-zero economy.”

The OGCI also announced a carbon intensity target for 2025 following the progress made towards its methane intensity target, aiming to reduce the collective average carbon intensity of its member companies’ aggregated upstream oil and gas operations by 2025.

The OGCI outlined its first methane reduction objective in September 2018 and announced on 23 September 2019 that its members had reduced their collective methane intensity by 9%, and we're on track to reduce emissions levels by a third and average methane intensity by at least 20% by 2025.

The initiative’s member companies have also pledged to support policies that attribute an implicit or explicit value to carbon.

The OGCI said: “Acknowledging the role that attributing a value to carbon plays as one of the most cost-efficient ways to achieve the low carbon transition as early as possible, OGCI supports the introduction of appropriate policies or carbon value mechanisms by governments.”

The OGCI’s $1bn-plus Climate Investments fund has nearly doubled the number of investments in clean technologies over 2018, with a total of 15 investments in its portfolio. The fund supports the development and scale-up of the companies it invests in and searches for additional opportunities within their focus areas.

OGCI is an international, voluntary CEO-led initiative taking practical actions on climate change.


23 September 2019

Oil prices soar on doubts over Saudi crude supply

Oil prices have gained more than 1% on doubts over how quickly Saudi Arabia can get back to full crude oil production after drone attacks on the country’s oil plants earlier this month.

Brent crude futures LCOc1 rose 76 cents, or 1.18%, to reach $65.04, while US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 increased 64 cents, or 1.1%, to touch $58.73 per barrel, Reuters reported. The gains were fuelled by buyers and traders’ scepticism over Saudi Arabia’s ability to resume full production by the end of this month.

The strikes on Saudi oil facilities, allegedly carried out by Iran, knocked out nearly half of the kingdom’s oil production and sent oil prices soaring. The attack has resulted in delays in crude and refined product deliveries to customers.

Energy Aspects analyst Virendra Chauhan was quoted by Reuters as saying: “The fund community faded the attack last week on the assumption that supply would return very quickly, but the reality is likely to be different.”

The attack has sparked tensions in the Middle East. The US government has pledged to bolster Saudi Arabia’s air and missile defences through the deployment of additional forces in the region.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that the additional troops are meant to provide ‘deterrence and defence’. Pompeo added that the US does not want to go to war with Tehran.

Economists at Moody’s Analytics said: “Even if war with Iran is averted, serious questions remain about the security of Saudi oil supplies.

“Saudi Arabia will lean on US military technology and expertise to forestall future disruptions, but there are limits to how much assistance the US can provide.”


23 September 2019

Chevron to expand oil and gas production at St. Malo field in GoM

American oil and gas multinational Chevron has sanctioned a waterflood project in the St. Malo field in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM) to assist with its recovery.

The decision is part of the company’s strategy to maximise its existing resources in GoM. The St. Malo field is located approximately 280 miles south of New Orleans in Louisiana. It has an estimated remaining production life of 30 years.

Chevron North America Exploration and Production president Steve Green said: “The St. Malo field is a world-class asset that is positioned for highly economic brownfield development.

“With our leading technology, experienced workforce and broad portfolio, we’re delivering value in the Gulf of Mexico.”

The waterflood project is the company’s first in the deepwater Wilcox trend. It is expected to contribute an estimated recovery of more than 175MMboe (million barrels of oil equivalent).

The project comprises two new production wells, three new injector wells, as well as topsides injection equipment for the Jack/St. Malo floating production unit, enabling Chevron to extend St. Malo field life.

Chevron, through its subsidiaries, Chevron US and Union Oil Company of California, holds a 51% working interest in the St. Malo field. The remaining stake in the field is owned by MP Gulf of Mexico (25%), Equinor Gulf of Mexico (21.5%), Exxon (1.25%) and Eni Petroleum US (1.25%).

In July 2019, Chevron Australia chose Man Energy Solutions to support the front-end engineering and design (FEED) study of a subsea compression solution for its Jansz-Io field.


20 September 2019

TGS starts 3D survey in offshore north-west Africa

Norwegian survey service firm TGS is to start a new survey in the Mauritania, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea Bissau and Guinea Conakry (MSGBC) Basin, offshore north-west Africa.

The Senegal Ultra-Deep offshore three-dimensional (3D) survey covers an area of 4,500km² equipped with an advanced broadband acquisition set-up. It is being undertaken in partnership with GeoPartners and BGP Prospector, along with full support from the national oil company Petrosen.

This standalone survey borders Jaan 3D seismic survey, which is TGS’ 3D dataset covering the southern portion of the MSGBC Basin. According to the company, the survey will illuminate plays in the ultra-deep levels to build upon the success the basin has experienced with SNE, FAN and Yakaar.

The company said in a press statement: “The project has a 60-day acquisition timeline, with fast-track data available four months after acquisition. The full dataset will be available by August 2020.”

Earlier this month, TGS and Schlumberger announced a strategic collaboration on a new 3D seismic reimaging project in the Egyptian Red Sea.

TGS CEO Kristian Johansen said: “I am delighted to announce the commencement of Senegal Ultra-Deep, our latest 3D survey that extends our coverage in a region in which we have been active for a decade.

“The MSGBC Basin has been one of the most exciting of the world’s frontier exploration basins in recent years and this survey will help to further develop opportunities for our customers offshore Senegal.”


19 September 2019

Europa Oil & Gas wins exploration permit offshore Morocco

UK-based Europa Oil & Gas has secured a new exploration permit, covering an area of 11,228km2 in the Agadir Basin, offshore Morocco.

Following official confirmation from Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM), Europa will be assigned a 75% interest and operatorship, while the remaining 25% will be held by ONHYM.

The exploration licence lies in water depths ranging between 600m and 2,000m and has an eight-year term, comprising three phases.

During the initial two-year phase, the company will undertake a work programme, including reprocessing of 1,300km2 of 3D seismic data, and other technical studies. By the end of the initial phase, Europa will secure the option to drill an exploration well in the second phase or to cease the licence.

Europa Oil & Gas CEO Hugh Mackay said: “The Inezgane Permit in Morocco is an excellent technical fit with Europa’s substantial licence position in the Porcupine Basin in Ireland where, among other plays, we are also targeting the Lower Cretaceous, a prolific producer in West Africa.

“We very much look forward to working with ONHYM in the initial phase of the Licence to mature prospects, which have the potential to hold up to 250MMBO each, to drillable status over the next two years.

“Together with our well-established positions in Ireland and the UK, we now have multiple work streams underway concurrently, all of which have the potential to generate significant value for our shareholders.”


18 September 2019

ExxonMobil discovers oil at Tripletail-1 well on Stabroek Block

ExxonMobil has discovered oil on the Stabroek Block located offshore Guyana at the Tripletail-1 well in the Turbot area.

The latest discovery adds to the estimated recoverable resource of more than six billion oil-equivalent barrels announced earlier on the Stabroek Block.

Drilled in 6,572ft of water, the well Tripletail-1 encountered 108ft of a high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoir. It is located approximately 5km north-east of the Longtail discovery.

When the drilling is complete, the Noble Tom Madden drillship will move to drill the Uaru-1 well located 10km east of the Liza field.

ExxonMobil Exploration and New Ventures senior vice-president Mike Cousins said: “Together with our partners, ExxonMobil is deploying industry-leading capabilities to identify projects that can be developed efficiently and in a cost-effective way.”

The company noted that exploration and development activities are moving forward elsewhere on the Stabroek Block.

The Stena Carron drillship is currently drilling the Ranger-2 well and will carry out a well test at Yellowtail-1 upon completion.

The Noble Bob Douglas drillship is in the process of completing drilling operations for the Liza Phase 1 project.

Next month, ExxonMobil plans to add a fourth drillship, the Noble Don Taylor, as it continues to optimise its drilling plans.

ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana operates the 26,800km² Stabroek Block with a 45% interest.

Hess Guyana Exploration owns a 30% interest and the remaining 25% is held by CNOOC Petroleum Guyana, a wholly owned subsidiary of CNOOC.

In February, ExxonMobil made two discoveries at the Tilapia-1 and Haimara-1 wells in the Stabroek Block.

The discoveries bring the total number of discoveries on the block to 12.


18 September 2019

Equinor and partners start production from Utgard field in North Sea

Equinor and its partners have commenced production from the Utgard gas and condensate field, which covers the Norwegian-UK border in the North Sea.

Discovered in 1982, the Utgard field development comprises two wells from a subsea template tied back to the Sleipner field using a pipeline and an umbilical.

The subsea template has one well on each side and is installed on the Norwegian side of the border.

Recoverable resources at the field are estimated to be at around 40 million barrels of oil equivalent (Mboe) and daily production on plateau will be around 43,000boe.

Equinor acquired the UK share of the discovery in 2016 to realise its development. During the same year, the plan for development and operation and the field development plan were submitted to Norwegian and UK authorities.

The cost estimate during that time was Nkr3.5bn ($391m) and operations were scheduled for the end of this year.

Equinor Technology, Projects and Drilling executive vice-president Anders Opedal said: “I am proud of the Utgard project being delivered at Nkr900m below the cost estimate and ahead of schedule, but first and foremost of the project being delivered without personal injuries.”

“Good and efficient cross-border cooperation with both licence partners and authorities has made the Utgard development possible, and I am pleased that we found solutions ensuring proper resource management on both sides.”

The Utgard field will be remotely operated from the Norwegian Sleipner field, where the well stream will be processed prior to transporting dry gas to the market through the Gassled pipeline system.

Liquids would be transported to Kårstø through the existing pipeline for further exportation to Europe.

Utgard will also use Sleipner’s facility for the purification and storage of CO2.

Equinor Energy operates the field with a 38.44% interest. Other licence partners are Equinor UK (38%), LOTOS Exploration & Production Norge (17.36%) and KUFPEC Norway (6.2%).


17 September 2019

Tullow Oil discovers more oil offshore Guyana

Tullow Oil has made a second oil discovery on the Orinduik license, offshore Guyana, after the Joe-1 exploration well opened a new upper tertiary oil play in the Guyana basin.

The latest discovery follows an oil find by Tullow in its Jethro-1 exploration well, in the same area of Guyana, back in August 2019.

UK-headquartered Tullow Oil is the operator of the Orinduik block with a 60% interest. France’s Total holds a 25% stake and Canada-based Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas owns the remaining 15% interest.

The Stena Forthdrillship drilled the Joe-1 exploration well to a final depth of 2,175m in about 780m of water. The well encountered 14m of net oil pay in high-quality oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs of Upper Tertiary age. The initial interpretation, before drilling, defined more than 12 potential resource targets throughout the total hydrocarbon section.

Tullow Oil exploration director Angus McCoss said: “The Joe-1 discovery and its surrounding prospects represent another area of significant potential in the Orinduik Block and we are greatly looking forward to the next phase of the programme as we continue to unlock the multi-billion barrel potential of this acreage.”

Tullow Oil, along with its partners, will now undertake a detailed assessment of the Jethro, Joe and Hammerhead extension oil reservoirs on the 1,800km² Orinduik block.

The Orinduik Block is located in shallow water (70m to 1,400m), 170km offshore Guyana in the Suriname Guyana basin. It is situated 11km up-dip from ExxonMobil’s Liza discovery and 6km up-dip from Hammerhead discovery.

Eco Atlantic COO and co-founder Colin Kinley said: “This new discovery in the Upper Tertiary has opened a new play, the first Upper Tertiary discovery in Guyana, throughout our block, just as the Jethro-1 discovery did in the Lower Tertiary section. It has greatly increased our chance of success on our upcoming drilling targets and significantly de-risks other resource not previously considered in our interpretation.”