Operators advance deepwater projects

Operators in Brazil and West Africa boast some of the most active deepwater development programs in the world. Brazil currently produces 100,000 b/d of oil from its deepwater pre-salt fields, but is targeting a tenfold increase to 1 MMb/d by 2017.

David Paganie • Houston

Operators in Brazil and West Africa boast some of the most active deepwater development programs in the world. Brazil currently produces 100,000 b/d of oil from its deepwater pre-salt fields, but is targeting a tenfold increase to 1 MMb/d by 2017. The basic hardware that will deliver that goal is eight new lookalike and four converted FPSOs and up to 28 new ultra-deepwater drilling rigs, but there are numerous issues to resolve before these fleets can be put into service and further projects launched. Meanwhile, Total has delivered first oil from the Pazflor cluster in Angola block 17. This is the company's fourth development in the block, and its sixth operated deep offshore production center off West Africa. By 2017, Total expects to have nine deepwater FPSOs, two floating production units, and 450 associated subsea wells in operation off West Africa.Jeremy Beckman, Editor, Europe, details the operators' deepwater plans, beginning on page 36.

Asia's appetite for natural gas increasing

Natural gas is one of the most important considerations for operators seeking to exploit opportunities in the Asia Pacific region, explainsRichard Bailey, GL Noble Denton, in a special report for Offshore. Asia is not just one of the largest consumers of natural gas; it is also considered the global hub for LNG design and component construction. In the global context of rising energy demand, the Economist Intelligence Unit report "Deep water ahead?", sponsored by GL Noble Denton, refers to natural gas as a key industry "game changer," seen as an affordable and relatively low-carbon source of energy also suitable for use in electricity generation. Its popularity has risen as Asia has sought to increase its supply options. Bailey's full report begins on page 46.

LLOG deploys novel FPU

LLOG Exploration Co. L.L.C., operator of the deepwater Who Dat oil and gas field in Mississippi Canyon Blocks 503, 504 and 547 in the US Gulf of Mexico, recently installed the industry's first semisubmersible FPU built on spec. Unlike major oil companies and most large independents, LLOG, based in Covington, Louisiana, purchased their FPU "off the shelf," rather than spending years having one designed specifically for the Who Dat field and then taking several more years to build it. What's more, LLOG has prospects in the same general area identified by 3D seismic imaging that, when drilled, very likely could necessitate the near-future necessity for at least one other, similar, FPU – and perhaps even more.Offshorecontributing editor, F. Jay Schempf, has the complete story beginning on page 40.

Offshore West Africa returns to Nigeria

With the full support of Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. (NNPC), Offshore West Africa conference & exhibition, Jan. 24-26, 2012, returns to Abuja, Nigeria with increased operator participation and an enhanced technical program. To open the event, Nigeria's distinguished Honorable Minister of Petroleum Resources Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke has been invited to give the Keynote Address. The conference chairman, Mr. Francis Alabo Ogaree, GM, International Venture Opportunities, NNPC, will give the welcome address.

Formatted as an extension to the Opening Plenary, an Operators' Perspectives session follows with senior managers from some of the top international operating companies in the region. Among those invited to participate include BP, Shell, ExxonMobil, Tullow Oil, and Total. The US Geological Survey is expected to close the session with a regional resource assessment. The two-track technical program boasts a full complement of speakers from international and national operating companies, drilling contractors, and engineering companies, among others. Presentation topics include subsea technology, well construction and drilling operations, field development, floating production, flowlines and pipelines, geosciences, and local content. Anchoring the program, an enthusiastic panel has been invited to engage the audience in a lively debate on advancing regional local content.

For more information, visit:www.offshorewestafrica.com.

To respond to articles in Offshore, or to offer articles for publication, contact the editor by email(davidp@pennwell.com).

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