Lease Sale 249 yields more than $121 million in high bids

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has reported that Lease Sale 249 garnered $121,143,055 in high bids for 90 tracts covering 508,096.16 acres in the Gulf of Mexico's Western, Central and Eastern planning areas.

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BeaubouefBruce Beaubouef Houston

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has reported that Lease Sale 249 garnered $121,143,055 in high bids for 90 tracts covering 508,096.16 acres in the Gulf of Mexico’s Western, Central and Eastern planning areas.

Twenty-seven companies submitted 99 bids. The sum of all bids totaled $137,006,181.

  • Shell Offshore Inc. submitted 19 high bids totaling $25,096,163. Its highest bid, $4,500,725, was for Keathley Canyon block 214.
  • Chevron U.S.A. Inc. submitted 15 high bids totaling $27,917,668. Its highest bid, $5,683,116, was for Alaminos Canyon block 814.
  • Exxon Mobil Corp. submitted seven high bids totaling $20,385,425. Its highest bid, $10,800,775, was for Mississippi Canyon block 779.
  • Total E&P USA Inc. submitted six high bids totaling $16,799,283. Its and the sale’s highest bid, $12,100,717, was for Garden Banks block 1003.
  • Anadarko US Offshore LLC submitted 10 high bids totaling $10,601,373. Its highest bid, $3,801,680, was for Mississippi Canyon block 40.
  • Statoil Gulf of Mexico LLC submitted four high bids totaling $4,999,904.
  • LLOG Bluewater Holdings, L.L.C. submitted six high bids totaling $2,649,279.
  • Apache Deepwater LLC submitted one high bid totaling $1,1718,090.
  • BP Exploration & Production Inc. submitted three high bids totaling $1,663,253.
  • LLOG Exploration Offshore, L.L.C. submitted three high bids totaling $1,604,659.
  • Houston Energy, L.P. submitted seven high bids totaling $444,976.
  • Ridgewood Energy Corp. submitted five high bids totaling $1,422,189.
  • Ecopetrol America Inc. submitted four high bids totaling $460,000.

William Turner, senior research analyst at Wood Mackenzie, pointed out that 76 of the 90 blocks receiving bids were in deepwater (400+ m or 1,312 ft depth).

Turner said: “Deepwater blocks won the day today, with 76 blocks receiving 98% of high bid value at $118 million. The deepwater industry is emphasizing short-cycle, low-risk prospects above high-impact, wildcat drilling.”

Shell’s Appomattox platform hull en route to Ingleside

Shell says it has achieved a key milestone in the development of its Appomattox project, which is slated to produce first oil from the deepwater Gulf of Mexico by the end of the decade.

The company says that the hull for the Appomattox platform is en route from Geoje, South Korea, to Ingleside, Texas, where the topsides will be added and construction completed. With the recent completion and sail away of the hull, Shell says that fabrication is more than 60% complete and on schedule.

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The hull of Shell’s Appomattox platform is en route from Geoje, South Korea, to Ingleside, Texas, onboard COSCO Shipping’s Xin Guang Hua. (Courtesy Shell)

The Appomattox development initially will produce from the Appomattox and Vicksburg fields, with average peak production estimated at 175,000 boe/d. The development host will comprise a semisubmersible, four-column production host platform, a subsea system featuring six drill centers, 15 producing wells, and five water injection wells.

Appomattox is 80 mi (129 km) offshore Louisiana, in approximately 7,200 ft (2,195 m) of water. The platform and the Appomattox and Vicksburg fields will be owned by Shell (79%) and Nexen Petroleum Offshore U.S.A. Inc. (21%), a wholly owned subsidiary of CNOOC Ltd.

Stampede TLP installed in deepwater Gulf of Mexico

Crowley Maritime Corp.’s ocean class tugboats and 455-series high-deck strength barges recently supported the safe, successful tow-out and installation of Hess’ Stampede tension-leg platform (TLP) in the deepwater US Gulf of Mexico.

Six Crowley vessels worked alongside other third-party assets to deliver the platform, tendons, and other equipment from the Kiewit facility in Ingleside, Texas, to the Stampede field 115 mi (185 km) south of Fourchon, Louisiana, in Green Canyon blocks 468, 511, and 512. The field lies in about 3,500 ft (1,067 m) of water.

In the first stage, Crowley’s ocean class tugboatOcean Wind and the 455-series barges 455-3, 455-5 and 455-7 worked with other contracted vessels to deliver many 300-ft (91.4-m) sections of nine 3,400-ft (1,036-m) tendons that would secure the TLP to the seabed. From there, the company’s Ocean Sun and Ocean Sky, along with several third-party tugs, towed the TLP through the Ingleside Channel to offshore waters. After a scheduled brief stop at a holding location, the convoy of vessels began the second stage of the tow in offshore waters.

TheOcean Sun,Ocean Sky, and two third-party anchor-handling tugs safely towed the Stampede hull for four days before reaching the project site.

Upon arrival, Crowley’s tugboats began the third phase of work, positioning and stabilizing the platform using the tugs’ dynamic positioning capabilities while the TLP was secured to the tendons.

The company positioned the tugs in a stationary star pattern and used their tow wires to hold the platform steady in the middle. After Hess and its installation contractor, Heerema, completed installation and the platform was made storm safe.

Discovered in 2005 and sanctioned in October 2014, the development plan calls for six subsea production wells and four water injection wells from two subsea drill centers tied-back to a TLP. Gross topsides processing capacity is about 80,000 b/d of oil and 100,000 b/d of water injection.

Hess Corp. has a 25% working interest and is operator. Union Oil Company of California, a Chevron subsidiary, Statoil, and Nexen Petroleum Offshore U.S.A. Inc. each have a 25% working interest.

Hess says that hook-up activities have begun, one well has been drilled and completed, and completion operations are under way on the second and third wells. First production is expected in the first half of 2018.

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