Brown and Root's Greens Bayou Fabrication Yard has successfully landed a series of fabrication projects in recent months. Shown here, a worker welds a skid plate in preparation for load out of jacket bound for Walter Oil and Gas's West Delta 106. Other work includes fabrication of a jackup and piling for Walter's Ship Shoal 243, fabrication of 105-ton flare boom for Enserch, a catenary anchor leg mooring buoy and gravity-type pipeline end manifold system for SOFEC, and 14 modules for Tengizchevroil.
MMS among agencies targeted for elimination
US President Bill Clinton announced in late March that the Administration's Reinvent Government program has targeted the Minerals Management Service for elimination. The plan, details of which has yet to be finalized, calls for elimination of 5,000 federal jobs and a federal budget savings of US$13 billion/year.
Besides the MMS, other agencies in line for cuts are the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Small Business Administration, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Federal officials say an estimated $69 mil-lion/year would be saved and about 700 jobs eliminated from the MMS alone.
The MMS was created in 1982 by the Reagan Administration. The agency is part of the Interior Department. It collects the $4 billion/year in royalties owed to the federal government from federal oil and gas leases.
LIOGA calls for natural gas cooperatives
Federal legislation to allow formation of natural gas producer co-operatives has been endorsed by the Louisiana Independent Oil & Gas Association (LIOGA). The legislation would allow natural gas producers as a group to market gas directly to consumers, something now forbidden by antitrust laws. About one-fourth of the nation's natural gas resources are in the Gulf of Mexico.
"The co-ops would restore competition to a market presently dominated by a handful of huge marketing companies that form a choke point between producers and consumers," said Bob Meredith, LIOGA chairman. "The marketers hold all the cards when it comes to futures trading, using real-time supply, demand, and storage information to speculate on gas price swings, thereby adding to market volatility."
Meredith said the average independent gas producer in the US controls 2.5 million cu ft/day of production. That's too little for direct supply to consumers, therefore producers sell on the spot market through marketing companies. "Co-operatives would be a lifeline for independent producers," said Meredith.
Poseidon pipeline construction to begin in July
Leviathan Gas Pipeline Partners says it has sufficient commitments from producers to proceed with construction of its Poseidon Sour Oil Pipeline project in the Central Gulf. Construction will begin in July, with the initial pipeline segment expected to be operational by year-end. The pipeline will consist of 200 miles of 20-24-in. pipeline capable of delivering more than 400,000 b/d to onshore Louisiana market outlets. "A number of recently announced flextrend, deepwater, and subsalt oil discoveries in the Gulf of Mexico have increased the need for additional sour oil capacity in the region," said Thomas P. Tatham, Leviathan chief executive.
AMC expands Gulf construction services
Lafayette-based American Marine Construction (AMC) says it is expanding its Gulf of Mexico construction services to include heavy lift and salvage operations. AMC will operate the jackup crane American Intrepid (formerly Ranger IV), a drilling rig retrofitted with a 220-ton revolver crane. The mat-supported rig is capable of operating in water depths of 15 to 125 ft. It has a lift capacity of 220 tons at a 26-ft radius.
DeepFlex pays $29 million for Lafitt Pincay
DeepTech International and Coflexip Stena Offshore last week said they had finalized a limited partnership to supply floating production systems to operators in the flextrend and deepwater areas of the US Gulf. The new venture is called DeepFlex Production Partners. DeepFlex and Coflexip Stena have entered into a seven-year supply agreement for Coflexip to supply flexible pipe to the partnership. Also, DeepFlex was the successful bidder at auction for the semisubmersible drilling unit FPS Lafitt Pincay, paying $29.3 million. The unit will be converted to a floating production system for lease to Gulf operators.
Balmoral Webco wins Pompano contract from BP
Aberdeen-based Balmoral Webco has won a contract for BP Exploration's Pompano Phase II development in the Gulf of Mexico. Balmoral will provide polypropylene insulation for the flowlines, operating in conjunction with contractor McDermott. Installation of the flowlines is scheduled for this summer. "This will be the first thermal insulation system of its kind installed in the Gulf of Mexico and Balmoral is optimistic that this track record will lead directly to further opportunities," said Balmoral Webco.
Enserch buys Green Canyon 254working interest
Enserch has purchased all working interest in the Green Canyon 254 project, says David Biegler, chairman, president, and chief executive. "Consolidating the interest enables us to sell down our interest to a planned level of about 50 percent and the project to proceed toward development."
In 1991, a discovery well was drilled at Green Canyon 254, encountering 350 ft of net oil pay in multiple Pliocene sands below 13,000 ft. A sidetrack well encountered 400 ft of net oil and gas pay in Pliocene and Pleistocene reservoirs below 12,000 ft. Enserch Exploration had a 25% interest in the discovery work and a 100% interest in the sidetrack. An additional well is scheduled during the current quarter. No reserves from Green Canyon 254 have been booked to date by Enserch.
Enserch Exploration has received additional consideration from Mobil to extend the time allotted for their purchase of a 40 percent working interest in the Garden Banks 388 project. As partial consideration for the option, Mobil drilled an exploratory well on block 387 and conducted an additional 3D seismic survey over the unit. Enserch Exploration currently owns 100 percent of the 6-block unit. Biegler said Enserch recently completed the initial well on Garden Banks 388. Tests indicate the well will flow at an initial rate of 6,000 b/d. Reserve estimates for the Garden Banks prospect range from 28.1 million bbl of oil and 34.2 billion cu ft of gas to 59 million bbl and 107 billion cu ft.
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