North America

Eni was set to start exploratory drilling early this month in the Mexican sector of the Gulf of Mexico.

Beckman
BeckmanJeremy Beckman • London

Eni was set to start exploratory drilling early this month in the Mexican sector of the Gulf of Mexico. According to reports, the four-month program is designed to appraise the Amoca oil discovery in 27 m (88.6 ft) of water. Eni tendered successfully last year for the rights to appraise and produce various shallow-water accumulations off the southeast Mexican state of Tabasco.

PEMEX has contracted CGG to acquire a 10,000-sq km (3,861-sq mi) wide-azimuth seismic survey over deepwater in the Perdido area. The campaign, due to begin early next year, is designed to improve subsalt imaging over this geologically complex area.

Caribbean Sea/South America

ExxonMobil’s second appraisal well on the deepwater Liza oil discovery offshore Guyana delivered strong results, according to partner Hess, likely pushing recoverable volumes to the upper end of the 800 MMboe-1.4 Bboe estimate. However, a wildcat by the same duo on the Skipjack prospect was unsuccessful.

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The Ministry of Energy and Mines for the Dominican Republic has identified six areas around the island nation and its coasts with hydrocarbon potential, including the Ocoa and San Pedro offshore basins. This follows studies by Schlumberger, designed to help the Ministry establish the country’s National Hydrocarbon Database.

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Anadarko aimed to resume exploration drilling during the current quarter on the Purple Angel block off Colombia’s Pacific coast. The aim of the well is to test objectives similar to those that delivered the company’s Kronos gas discovery.

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Petrobras and Total have agreed to the general framework for a strategic alliance covering upstream and downstream activities in Brazil and elsewhere. They plan to jointly evaluate opportunities in Brazil, pooling their deepwater experience to optimize development/production. Currently they are partners in nine consortia in Brazilian waters, including the Libra area in the Santos basin, and also cooperate in Nigeria’s deepwater Akpo project and Chinook in the US Gulf of Mexico.

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Argentina’s state oil company has reportedly chosen to collaborate with Statoil in evaluating potential drilling sites off the country’s Atlantic coast. This could involve seismic surveys over various areas in water depths ranging from 500-3,500 m (1,640-11,483 ft), and is part of an initiative by Argentina’s new president to attract foreign investors to help revive the country’s economy.

West Africa

Wood Mackenzie has identified $100 billion of cutbacks in E&P projects across Sub-Saharan Africa over the next five years, with the majors responsible for most of the reductions. Deepwater has incurred the deepest cuts, with Nigeria and Angola worst affected. As a consequence, current Sub-Saharan liquids production of 4.8 MMb/d could dip to 2.6 MMb/d by 2030, the analyst claimed. Gas activity, however, may remain strong thanks to interest generated by recent ultra-deepwater discoveries off Mauritania and Senegal.

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Woodside has completed its acquisition of ConocoPhillips Senegal for around $440 million. The transaction includes 35% of three exploration blocks containing the deepwater SNE and FAN discoveries, with Woodside likely to operate a future development. According to Australian partner FAR, SNE is in the pre-front-end engineering and design phase for a hub-based scheme, with at least two more appraisal wells planned on the field during early 2017.

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ExxonMobil was looking to spud its first deepwater exploratory well off Liberia last month, according to reports. The location is on the Liberia-13 block, 50 mi (80.4 km) from the mainland.

Off Nigeria, the company has upgraded resources from the deepwater Owowo field to potentially 500 MMboe-1 Bboe recoverable, following results of the recent Owowo-3 appraisal well. The field spans portions of oil prospecting license 223 and oil mining license 139, in a water depth of 576 m (1,890 ft).

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The FPSOArmada Olombendo has undergone a naming ceremony at Keppel Shipyard in Singapore and should be on its way to Angola. Keppel converted a VLCC into the 382-m (1,253-ft), 58-m (190-ft) wide floater, which has a design life of 20 years. The vessel, which can handle 80,000 b/d of oil and 120 MMcf/d of gas, will serve the East hub development in 450-550 m (1,476-1,804 ft) of water in Angolan block 15/06. Operator Eni anticipates start-up during the first half of 2017.

Caspian Sea

Lukoil has started production from its second field development in the Russian sector. The ultra-shallow water Vladimir Filanovsky field, 220 km (137 mi) from Astrakhan, has estimated recoverable resources of 129 MM tons of crude oil and 30 bcm of gas. Currently four platforms are in service, with two horizontal production wells flowing more than 45,000 b/d combined at start-up. Oil heads through a subsea pipeline to an onshore storage center with associated gas sent for processing to the Stavrolen onshore complex. Lukoil’s investments to date total around $2.37 billion, with more platforms to be added under the second development phase.

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Crude oil shipments have re-started from the Kashagan field in the shallow-water Kazakh sector following a lengthy shutdown to repair and replace pipelines damaged by sour service production. Eni, a member of the North Caspian Operating Co. consortium, said output should ramp up gradually to 370,000 b/d by the end of next year. Kashagan, with estimated reserves of 35 Bbbl, is 80 km (49.7 mi) southeast of Atyrau.

Middle East

Subsea 7 will install more than 40 km (25 mi) of rigid pipelines and associated subsea structures for the Atoll field in the East Nile Delta offshore Egypt. These will also be connected to facilities serving the Taurt field, in a water depth of 100 m (328 ft). The contractor will deploy three vessels for construction of these and an associated 105-km (65-mi) umbilical to the shore during 2017-18. The client is Pharaonic Petroleum, a joint venture between BP, EGAS, and Eni.

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Saudi Aramco’s Offshore Projects Department has awarded UAE contractor NPCC a six-year, long-term agreement (LTA) covering offshore oil and gas platforms, pipelines, power cables, and related facilities. Aramco awarded LTAs to four other offshore contractors in June 2015. The agreements are designed to cover construction and installation needs under the company’s Master Plan for its fields offshore Saudi Arabia, and are extendable by up to 12 years.

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ADNOC will integrate the operations of its offshore E&P subsidiaries ADMA-OPCO and Zakum Development Co. (ZADCO) into a single organization. The program has the support of BP and Total, the two partners in ADMA-OPCO, and ExxonMobil and Japan Oil Development Co., which are partners in both companies. ADNOC’s aim is to create a more flexible, profitable upstream business better able to respond to market developments. Consolidation should be completed by early 2018.

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Eni will assess Bahrain’s offshore and onshore petroleum potential following an invitation by the country’s authorities. The agreement gives Eni access to data on Bahrain’s various discovered fields and could lead to joint development initiatives.

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Technip has installed the FMP platforms offshore Qatar for Qatar Petroleum using its floatover technique, which dispenses with the need for large crane vessels. The EPIC contract, awarded in 2013, covered a new utility platform and a living quarters platform, with connecting bridge.

East Africa

Shell has embarked on a two-well exploration campaign on blocks 1 and 4 offshore Tanzania: the company assumed operatorship following its acquisition of BG Group. According to partner Ophir Energy, theNoble Globe Trotter 2 will drill the wells on gas prospects in the Mafua basin in water depths of up to 2,300 m (7,546 ft), with results contributing to planning for the Tanzania LNG project.

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Madagascar has reportedly put back a tender for 40 offshore blocks until next year, to give the government more time to complete a new petroleum code.

Asia/Pacific

Mubadala Petroleum has extended Petrofac’s operations and maintenance contract for the FPSO FPF0003 to potentially 2023. The facility serves the Jasmine/Ban Yen fields in the Gulf of Thailand. To date Jasmine has produced more than 60 MMbbl, far more than originally anticipated. Petrofac will work on an optimized scope to reduce the field’s opex and sustain further development.

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Shell has conditionally agreed to sell its 50% operated stake in the 2011 North Sabah Enhanced Oil Recovery PSC to SEA Hibiscus for $25 million. The concession comprises four offshore producing fields close to the Sabah coast - St Joseph, South Furious, SF30, and Barton - pipeline infrastructure, and the Labuan crude oil terminal. Production last year averaged 18,000 b/d.

Technip’s Asiaflex Products plant in Tanjung Langsat will manufacture flexibles in diameters from 4-6-in. for Petronas’ Samarang redevelopment, Phase 2 EOR offshore Malaysia. Technip will install the products at the offshore locations during 1Q 2017.

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CNOOC has completed installation of a second 22-in. subsea export pipeline for the Liwan gas/condensate field offshore China.

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INPEX has discovered gas offshore Japan’s Shimane and Yamaguchi prefectures. The semisubmersible M.G. Hulme Jr. spudded the exploratory well in early June in 210 m (689 ft) of water, encountering gas in both shallow and deeper subsurface zones. The area had not been drilled since the 1980s.

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Keppel Offshore has named a refurbished FPSO commissioned by the Armada Madura EPC consortiumKarapan Armada Sterling III. The vessel will operate on the Madura field offshore Indonesia for partners Husky Energy and CNOOC.

Australia

Construction and commissioning has finished of the Julimar development, part of the Chevron-operated Wheatstone LNG project offshore Western Australia. Partner Woodside said the LNG storage tank was ready for cooldown, with all Train 2 modules on site. First Wheatstone LNG from Train 1 should follow in mid-2017.

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Santos has sold its interests in five gas fields offshore Victoria to Cooper Energy for $62 million. These include the Sole field, which Cooper as operator plans to develop via a horizontal production well and a 12-in. subsea pipeline to the onshore Orbost gas plant. Cooper has agreed to supply gas for a minimum of five years from Sole to Alinta Energy, starting in 2019.

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Quadrant Energy has conducted a successful test on the Roc-2 appraisal well, drilled 165 km (103 mi) north of Port Hedland in the Bedout basin offshore Western Australia. The well flowed at a constrained rate of 51.2 MMcf/d of gas and 2,943 b/d of condensate from an interval 4,400 m (14,436 ft) below sea level.

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Location of Roc well in the Bedout basin. (Map courtesy Quadrant Energy)

Black Sea

Total has discovered oil with its first exploratory well in the Bulgarian sector, the company said in its 3Q results statement. Although it did not issue further details, the company operates deepwater block 1-21 Khan Asparuh, and planned to use a drillship to test the Polshkov prospect.

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Total’s Khan Asparuh block offshore Bulgaria. (Map courtesy Total)
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