More growth ahead for GoM

June 1, 2006
As this month’s Gulf of Mexico report reflects, the GoM is in a period of rapid growth and change, stimulated by higher than ever commodity prices and an insatiable demand for oil and gas worldwide.

Eldon Ball, Houston

As this month’s Gulf of Mexico report reflects, the GoM is in a period of rapid growth and change, stimulated by higher than ever commodity prices and an insatiable demand for oil and gas worldwide. The fact that the GoM is in a politically stable area near the largest market in the world adds further incentive for new ventures.

One such new entry is Signal International, a new player in the rig-building and repair arena. Signal, lead by Dick Marler, president and CEO, was established through the acquisition of six marine and fabrication yards -- four located in the Port Arthur/Orange, Texas area and two in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

Signal focuses on offshore drilling rig overhaul, repair, upgrade, conversion, and new construction, including heavy fabrication for the marine market. For the full story of how Signal was conceived and launched, see the report bySenior Editor David Paganie.

Meanwhile, the eastern GoM may hold larger than expected rewards, according to a recent survey. AsGlyn Roberts and Kjell Finstad of GGS-Spectrum report, survey WF-05 by GGS indicated a large number of different plays with excellent potential for hydrocarbon accumulation both in the deep and shallow water parts of offshore West Florida. The seismic data shows the presence of continental/transitional crust in the deep water with large rifted grabens/horsts and extensive salt tectonics adding to trapping mechanisms. Further geophysical studies are planned in the near future using AVO and PSDM technology. The gravity and magnetic data that was collected along with the seismic survey will also be integrated with the seismic data.

Stimulation vessel demand grows

The overall size of the stimulation vessel fleet may not have changed much over the past several years, but the big four stim vessel players are all saying the same thing - more clients are calling, and they are asking for more services in shorter timeframes.

Generally, vessel operators see the greatest demand for their services in areas such as Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico (both the US and Mexican sides), and the North Sea. New opportunities are appearing in West Africa and the Middle East, accompanied by an uptick in Southeast Asia, especially in China’s Bohai Bay and off the coast of Indonesia.

Technology Editor Ted Moon takes a look at the changes ahead for stim vessels in his report.

Subsea processing emerges

Subsea processing - which includes artificial lift and separators -- is at last being considered as a viable option by the majority of the larger oil companies on many of their new field development prospects and as an option to retrofit to existing fields. Even some of the smaller oil companies are now considering subsea processing.

That’s the conclusion ofGeorge Trowbridge of OTM Consulting and Steve Robertson of Douglas-Westwood in their analysis of the market.

The reason for this change of view, they say, could be that the last six years has also seen a change in the subsea processing market drivers. While in the past, the drivers that have encouraged interest in this area have been evenly spread between certain technical, production and financial factors, production related drivers (increased production rate, increased ultimate recovery, etc.) are now seen as being much more important.

The result may be a surge of interest - and spending - on this long dormant technological frontier.

Courtesy Saudi Aramco's Manifa book, December 2015
Manifa oil field
Courtesy ExxonMobil Canada Properties / hebronproject.com
Hebron platform
Courtesy Ole Jørgen Bratland / Equinor
Gina Krog