BOEMRE calls for comments on 2012-2017 GoM lease program

April 1, 2011
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) has called for nominations regarding a proposed oil and gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico Western and Central Planning Areas for the 2012-2017 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Natural Gas Leasing Program. Nominations and comments must be received no later than April 14, 2011, and may be submitted via mail or email.

Bruce Beaubouef • Houston

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement (BOEMRE) has called for nominations regarding a proposed oil and gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico Western and Central Planning Areas for the 2012-2017 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Natural Gas Leasing Program. Nominations and comments must be received no later than April 14, 2011, and may be submitted via mail or email.

The call is to “all interested parties” and aims “primarily to identify and evaluate areas with potential for oil and gas development, as well as determine possible environmental effects and potential conflicts in the Call area. This is in addition to the information collected through the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process.

BOEMRE says that comments will be used to develop lease terms and conditions to ensure safe offshore operations; and adds that comments will also be used to assess potential conflicts between offshore oil and gas exploration and development operations and state coastal management programs. The agency also says that the comments will be used to develop proposed actions and alternatives in the NEPA review process.

BOEMRE permits bypass well

BOEMRE has approved the first deepwater drilling permit since theDeepwater Horizon incident and the subsequent moratorium on permitting.

Noble Energy is permitted to finish the drilling of a well it began prior to the moratorium in Mississippi Canyon block 519, about 70 mi (~110 km) southeast of Venice, Louisiana, in 6,500 ft (~1.980 m) water depth. This is a bypass well to drill around a block in the original bore.

In issuing the permit, BOEMRE Director Michael R. Bromwich said “This permit was issued for one simple reason: the operator successfully demonstrated that it can drill its deepwater well safely and that it is capable of containing a subsea blowout if it were to occur. We expect further deepwater permits to be approved in coming weeks and months based on the same process that led to the approval of this permit.”

Noble has contracted the Helix Well Containment Group to use its capping stack should emergency well control be needed.

2H Offshore gets Big Foot riser systems contract

2H Offshore, an Acteon company, says it has been awarded a contract by Chevron USA Inc. for the detailed design and delivery management of the riser systems for the Big Foot field development. Chevron is Big Foot field operator, and other working interest owners, include but are not limited to Statoil Gulf of Mexico LLC. The development is in Gulf of Mexico Walker Ridge block 29, where a dry tree drilling and production TLP will be installed in approximately 1,600 m (5,200 ft) of water.

2H Offshore will be responsible for the detailed design and procurement management of the riser systems, which will comprise two high-pressure drilling risers, 15 production/water injection top tensioned risers (TTR), and oil and gas export steel catenary risers. The scope includes system integration, procurement services, and offshore installation support of the TTRs and export riser systems. The 2H office in Houston will be responsible for the contract and the execution of this work.

Jack/St. Malo pipeline design goes to Kenny

Wood Group’s J P Kenny has been awarded a contract to perform detailed design for Amberjack Pipeline Co. LLC’s Jack/St. Malo deepwater oil export pipeline in the Gulf of Mexico. Amberjack Pipeline is a joint venture between Chevron Pipe Line Co. and Shell Pipeline Co. LP. Chevron Pipe Line will construct and operate this pipeline for Amberjack. The one-year contract follows J P Kenny’s successful completion of the front-end engineering and design for the project.

The approximately 136-mi. (219-km.), 24-in. (61 cm.) pipeline will originate in a water depth of 2,100 m (7,000 ft). It will start at the Chevron-operated Jack/St. Malo hub production facility in Walker Ridge block 718, approximately 280 mi (450 km) south of New Orleans, and connect to the Shell Boxer “A” fixed platform at Green Canyon block 19.

The design will allow for technical challenges that include routing of the pipeline to minimize spans; design for pre- and post-installation vortex-induced vibration and stress spans; collapse testing of the pipe to verify wall thickness design; and installation of in-line valves and sleds.

Subsea 7 wins Tahiti Phase II contract

Chevron USA Inc. has awarded subsea-to-surface engineering, construction, and services on Tahiti Phase II to Subsea 7.

Subsea 7 will install one 7.5-in. x 13,000 ft. flexible riser, one 4-in. x 4,500 ft. umbilical, five rigid well jumpers, 10 electrical flying leads (EFL), and seven steel flying leads. Subsea 7 also will transport the flexible riser from Le Trait, France, to the Gulf of Mexico for installation. The engineering work begins immediately at Subsea 7’s Houston office. The installation of the flexible and umbilical will take place 3Q, 2011 with the five well tie-ins occurring through to mid-2012.

Subsea 7 will use theSeven Oceans (pipelay) Skandi Neptune (construction/flexlay), and the Ross Candies (light construction/IMR) vessels for the installation.

Tahiti is in Green Canyon 640 approximately 190 nautical miles (215 mi) south of New Orleans in water depths more than 4,000 ft (1,220 m). Chevron holds a 58% working interest in Tahiti and is the operator, Statoil has a 25% working interest, and TOTAL owns a 17% working interest.

MWCC awards equipment contracts

The Marine Well Containment Co. (MWCC) has awarded two contracts relating to the design and construction of its expanded well containment response system for the US Gulf of Mexico, set for completion in 2012.

Technip reports it has a contract from MWCC for the design, procurement, and fabrication of the umbilical, riser, and flowline components of the expanded well containment response system. Its scope of work includes two deepwater riser systems for operation in water depths up to 10,000 ft (3,000 m) utilizing buoyancy elements, connection systems and flexible jumpers; and two shallow-water systems for water depths up to 2,000 ft (600 m) utilizing a lazy wave catenary configuration and one control umbilical.

This project will be executed by Technip’s operating center in Houston, with specialist support from other group centers. The flexible pipes will be manufactured at Technip’s plant in Le Trait, France, and the umbilical will be fabricated at the group’s subsidiary plant, owned by Duco Inc., in Channelview, Texas.

This contract follows the front-end engineering scope awarded to Technip in October 2010.

In addition, Weatherford International Ltd. says that it has won a contract from MWCC to design and construct the topsides process modules for two dynamically positioned tankers to operate in the Gulf of Mexico. Completion is scheduled for 2012. Weatherford also has a letter of intent for long-term storage and maintenance of the equipment, including assistance to deploy and operate the modules.

The modules will provide the two vessels with the capability to handle up to 100,000 b/d of liquid, along with any associated gas. These process modules are expected to expand the capabilities of the Marine Well Containment interim system.

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