23 september 2020

BP receives all regulatory approvals for drilling Ironbark-1 well

Oil major BP has received all the required regulatory approvals for drilling the Ironbark-1 exploration well offshore north-west Australia.

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 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%).

The Well Operations Management Plan and the Safety Case for the Diamond Offshore-owned Ocean Apex semi-submersible drilling rig to be used for the operation were the final regulatory documents required to be approved by Australian offshore regulator NOPSEMA.

According to Cue Energy, the rig is set to mobilise in mid-October, with drilling due to start later that month.

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


23 september 2020

Morrison secures decommissioning contract for six structures in Gulf of Mexico

Oil and gas services company Morrison has secured a contract for a turnkey decommissioning project in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

The contract has been awarded by oil and gas investment firm Hoactzin Partners.

Under the contract, Morrison will provide field decommissioning for the six structures within the Hoactzin facility.

It will be responsible for providing fully managed ‘end-to-end’ decommissioning services.

Morrison CEO Chet Morrison said: “What we can provide is extremely unique in that we are one of very few US contractors in the region with the portfolio of experience to provide full decommissioning management packages.

“We continue to establish trust and confidence with all parties, including regulators, demonstrating to the decommissioning industry our position as an industry leader.”

Earlier this year, Morrison hired industry expert Jon Minshall to advance its commitment to the decommissioning market.


22 Septmber 2020

US agencies BOEM and BSEE advance research to increase Gulf O&G production

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) have formed a strategic collaboration to advance new research.

The research is aimed at exploring ways to increase oil and gas production from deepwater infrastructure already in place in the Gulf of Mexico.

BSEE director Scott Angelle said: “President Trump recognises smart policy requires us to look for adjustments that need to be made today to facilitate US offshore competitiveness, or we will experience problems tomorrow.

“This research will help ensure our Nation continues to achieve top oil and gas production by reducing stranded assets. A cursory review of the preliminary data suggests the time is right to usher in updated policies to ensure we are efficiently developing our natural resources and value for the American people.”

According to the agencies, the research will examine specific economic parameters used by BOEM and BSEE for new technologies such as ‘extended-reach’ subsea tiebacks.

If implemented, these technologies could minimise ‘stranded’ hydrocarbon resources.

BOEM acting director Walter Cruickshank said: “BSEE has provided some important initial data, and our team will consider the economic parameters used to examine these extended-reach subsea tieback projects given the capacity that exists in the region.

“Based on that analysis, BSEE could then have more tools to minimise stranded resources.”


22 Septmber 2020

Axora launches online resource centre for post-Covid oil and gas recovery

Global innovation platform Axora has launched an online Oil and Gas Resource Centre to help companies in the industry rebound and boost their development after the hit by the global Covid-19 pandemic. 

The centre provides industry insights and access to digital solutions and technologies for oil and gas companies to adopt in order to accelerate their business growth, reduce investment waste, and avoid duplication.

Axora industry innovation director for oil and gas Stuart Gregg said: “15% of global energy greenhouse gas emissions come from the process of getting oil and gas out of the ground. This and other urgent challenges such as price volatility amid the Covid-19 pandemic are encouraging leading industrials to look to technology to change the way oil and gas are discovered, drilled, and produced.”

Axora’s Oil and Gas Resource Centre also offers smart technologies that fast-track safer, efficient, and more sustainable production. These include: internet of things, smart devices, and smart connected devices to improve the technological sophistication of oil and gas operations.

Axora chief commercial officer Dr. Nick Mayhew said: “From robotic drills to renewable energy grids, drone exploration to data collection and analytics, today’s flourishing tech ecosystem is driving a cleaner, safer, and more sustainable operating model for upstream energy.

He added: “Companies which act now to improve their technology solutions and accelerate their digital transformation roadmaps are the ones which will recover quickest from Covid-19 and thrive in the future.”

The company’s Oil and Gas Resource Centre also aims to provide guidance on how survival and sustainability in the oil and gas industry can coexist, how to reduce operational carbon emissions with and digital trends to watch out for.

The creation of Axora’s Oil and Gas Resource Centre follows the successful launch of its Smart Mining Resource Centre in May this year.


21 september 2020

Danish rig operator Maersk Drilling to cut CO2 emissions in half by 2030

Danish offshore drilling rig operator Maersk Drilling has announced to cut the ‘intensity’ of carbon dioxide emissions from its drilling operations in half by 2030.

The latest move comes as the company looks to boost efficiency from its fleet of deepwater rigs.

It also follows previous initiatives by the company such as the ‘first-ever’ offshore rig to operate using shore power and the upgrade of two large jack-up rigs to hybrid, low-emission rigs.

Maersk Drilling CEO Jørn Madsen said: “Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing our society today, and we want to do our part in addressing this.

“The global demand for energy is rising and the expert consensus is that renewable energy will not be able to replace all traditional energy production within the foreseeable future.

“Therefore, the answer must be to provide affordable energy, including oil and gas, while keeping CO2 emissions under control. Our contribution to a sustainable energy future is to significantly reduce emissions from our operations and to explore ways to store CO2.”

Furthermore, Maersk Drilling recently announced it was joining a consortium formed by Ineos Oil & Gas Denmark and Wintershall Dea to focus on the development of offshore storage solution for CO2 captured at onshore industrial facilities. Maersk Drilling’s emissions reduction target is in line with the 2030 targets of most of the oil and gas majors and supports the Paris Agreement on ‘Climate Change’.


21 september 2020

Inpex and Chevron cut jobs in Australia amid Covid-19 crisis

Japanese oil and gas major Inpex and American multinational energy firm Chevron are reportedly set to trim their workforces in Australia as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

Inpex plans to cut jobs at its Ichthys liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Darwin as crude prices remain weak.

However, it did not confirm how many jobs it plans to axe.

The news agency quoted Inpex as stating: “The low oil price environment has accelerated Inpex Australia undertaking a review of its Operations division to support the future Ichthys LNG operating model. The review will impact various roles across the Operations division.”

The first LNG cargo from the Ichthys project was shipped in 2018. The plant has a capacity of 8.9 million tonnes per annum.

“The project continues to maintain smooth and stable production,” Inpex added.

Chevron confirmed it will also be cutting jobs in Australia as part of a global cull of up to 15% of its 45,000 employees, which it flagged in May this year.

In Australia, Chevron’s operations were hard hit this year due to an outage at its Gorgon liquefied natural gas plant. The plant is facing phased shutdowns of each of its three processing units for weld repairing purposes.


17 september 2020

Eni and BP make new gas discovery offshore Egypt

Italian oil and gas firm Eni and its partner BP have announced the discovery of new gas in the Great Nooros area, in the Abu Madi West Development lease, offshore Egypt.

The discovery has been made at the Nidoco NW-1 exploration well in a water depth of 16m. It is 5km from the coast and 4km north from the Nooros field that was discovered in 2015.

Eni has discovered 100m of gas-bearing sands at the exploration well, which comprises 50m in the Pliocene sands of the Kafr-El-Sheik formations and the remaining 50m in the Messinian age sandstone of the Abu Madi formations.

In a press statement, Eni said: “The preliminary evaluation of the well results, considering the extension of the reservoir towards north and the dynamic behaviour of the field, together with the recent discoveries performed in the area, indicates that the Great Nooros Area gas in place can be estimated in excess of 4Tcf.”

Through its subsidiary IEOC, Eni owns a 75% stake in the licence of Abu Madi. BP holds the remaining 25% stake in the licence.

Petrobel serves the operator of the Abu Madi licence. It is an equal joint venture between IEOC and state company Egyptian General Petroleum.

Eni has been operating in Egypt since 1954 through IEOC Production. In July, Eni discovered a significant hydrocarbon accumulation on the Ken Bau discovery located in Block 114, Song Hong Basin, offshore Vietnam.


10 september 2020

Kosmos Energy agrees to sell exploration assets to Shell for $200m

Kosmos Energy has signed an agreement to sell a package of offshore exploration interests to Royal Dutch Shell subsidiary B.V. Dordtsche Petroleum Maatschappij.

Shell will acquire the company’s blocks offshore São Tomé & Príncipe, Suriname, Namibia, and South Africa.

The agreement terms comprise an upfront cash payment of $100m, along with a contingency payment of $50m payable following each commercial discovery from the first four exploration wells drilled across the assets, capped at $100m in total.

Three of the four wells are due to be drilled next year.

Kosmos Energy chairman and CEO Andrew G Inglis said: “With this transaction, we are continuing to focus our exploration portfolio on proven basins that offer superior returns with shorter payback and significant resource potential.

“The proceeds enable Kosmos to accelerate high graded exploration opportunities while strengthening the balance sheet, positioning Kosmos to create additional shareholder value.

“The contingent payments locked into the agreement with Shell ensure we retain upside from frontier exploration with no further investment.”

Kosmos noted that it plans to use up to one-third of the initial sale proceeds to test two infrastructure-led exploration prospects in the Gulf of Mexico.