Global E&P Briefs

April 29, 2022
Offshore exploration and production project highlights from around the world


Phase 1 production has started from bp’s Herschel Expansion project in 6,700 ft (2,042 m) of water in Mississippi Canyon block 520. The single-well development is connected via a new subsea production system to the Na Kika platform to the northwest, and should add around 10,600 boe/d at peak. The new infrastructure allows for further tie-in opportunities.

TotalEnergies has decided not to pursue development of the North Platte deepwater project in US waters and plans to relinquish its 60% operated interest. Equinor, with a 40% stake, is the other partner. And Petrobras is looking to sell its 20% position in the MP Gulf of Mexico joint venture, which has interests in 14 US offshore fields. Murphy Exploration & Production, with 80%, is the co-venturer. Petrobras’ net production from the fields last year was 10,400 boe/d.

The FPSO Miamte has started operations for Eni at the Mizton field in the Bay of Campeche in the Offshore Area 1 block, 10 km (6.2 mi) from Mexico’s Tabasco coast. The vessel, operated and maintained by MODEC under an initial 15-year charter contract, is moored in 32 m (105 ft) of water, with capacity to handle 90,000 b/d of oil, 75 MMcf/d of gas, and oil storage of up to 700,000 bbl. The disconnectable tower yoke mooring system, which allows the vessel to quickly move off-station in severe weather, is also designed to transfer fluids, power and signals to up to three production platforms via 11 risers and three umbilicals.   

Lukoil has completed acquisition of a 50% operated interest in Mexico’s Area 4 project, which covers two blocks 42 km (27 mi) offshore containing the producing Ichalkil and Pokoch oilfields with combined reserves of 564 MMboe. The three-phase development, which came onstream late last year, should eventually generate over 115,000 boe/d. PetroBAL is the sole co-venturer.


ExxonMobil has started production through Liza Unity, the second FPSO on the Liza field in the Stabroek block offshore Guyana. The vessel, supplied by SBM Offshore, is moored in 1,650 m (5,413 ft) of water, with 2MMbbl crude storage capacity. It should reach peak output of 220,000 b/d of oil later this year.

CGX Energy and partner Frontera Energy plan to drill the Wei-1 exploration well later this year in the northwestern part of the Corentyne block offshore Guyana, having confirmed a discovery with their first well on the block, Kawa-1, drilled by the semisub Maersk Discoverer. The same rig will drill Wei-1, targeting Campanian and Santonian stacked channels in the western fan complex.

TotaEnergies and partner APA Corp have discovered another apparently commercial oilfield in block 58 offshore Suriname. The drillship Maersk Valiant drilled the Krabdagu-1 well in 780 m (2,559 ft) of water in the central part of the block, 18 km (11.2 mi) southeast of the Sapakara South appraisal wells. Krabdagu-1 delivered 90 m of net oil pay. The partners will continue drilling other prospects in an attempt to prove sufficient resources by year-end for a first oil development.

Petrobras has taken delivery of the FPSO Guanabara at the Mero field in the Libra block in the pre-salt Santos basin off Brazil. The 332-m (1,089 ft) long vessel, which was converted at the DSIC shipyard in Dalian, China, will be moored in 1,930 m (6,332 ft) of water, with production due to start by mid-year. EPCI contractor MODEC has also contracted Keppel Shipyard to install and integrate the topsides modules for Equinor’s Bacalhau FPSO. The hull should arrive in Singapore later this year, with the completed FPSO set to head to Brazil in the second half of 2023. The topsides are designed to produce up to 220,000 b/d of oil and to inject up to 530 MMcf/d of associated gas and up to 200,000 of seawater.


Morocco’s government has awarded London-based Chariot Energy operatorship of the Rissana Offshore license, in partnership with state-owned ONHYM. The 8,489-sq km (3,277-sq mi) concession surrounds the partners’ Lixus Offshore license, containing the planned Anchois gas field development, and is thought to offer potential for more discoveries on-trend with Anchois.    

ExxonMobil has agreed to sell its interest in Mobil Producing Nigeria to Seplat Energy for $1.28 billion, plus a contingent payment of up to $300 million. The transaction covers ExxonMobil’s entire shallow-water business in Nigeria and includes a 40% share of four oil mining licenses covering over 90 shallow-water and onshore platforms and 300 producing wells. The company will re-direct its focus to deepwater E&P in the country, which includes the producing Bonga, Erha and Usan fields.     Eni and bp have agreed to combine their Angolan oil and gas businesses into a new co-owned company named Azule Energy. This will be an independently managed organization with production of over 200,000 boe/d and net resources of 2 Bboe. It should also be Angola’s largest hydrocarbons producer, with interests in 16 licenses. New oil development projects set to start up under Azule’s management in the next few years include Agogo in offshore block 15/06 and PAJ in offshore block 31. Recently, Eni started up the Ndungu early production oil development in block 15/06 through the FPSO Ngoma. Ndungu’s initial production of around 20,000 b/d should sustain plateau output through the FPSO, which underwent upgrades last year to reduce its emissions.


Allseas’ Pioneering Spirit has installed the topsides for the new P2 processing platform at the Equinor-operated Johan Sverdrup field complex in the Norwegian North Sea. The vessel set down the 25,000-metric ton (27,558-ton) load on the pre-installed jacket in a single-lift operation, completed within three hours, also installing the new 95-m (311-ft) bridge connecting P2 to the existing riser platform.     

The newbuild FPSO for the Johan Castberg project in the Barents Sea, also operated by Equinor, has departed Sembcorp Marine’s yard in Singapore for western Norway, where it will undergo topsides integration and final completion work. The hull is self-contained to withstand harsh winter conditions at the field location, 240 km (149 mi) from Hammerfest, northern Norway.     Aker Solutions has completed upgrades to the hull and deck of the Njord A semisubmersible at its yards in Stord and Verdal, western Norway. The platform, which started operations on the Njord field in the Norwegian Sea in 1997, was taken off-station in 2016 to prepare the facility for extended service under the Njord Future project, and tie-ins of production from other fields in the area such as Fenja. Following offshore hookup and commissioning, the remodeled platform should resume operations late this year.

Spirit Energy Production UK has commissioned Heerema Marine Contractors and DeepOcean to jointly remove and dispose of various platforms and subsea facilities. The firm scope covers the Audrey A and B and Ensign platforms in shallow water in the UK southern North Sea, with a combined weight of around 7,000 metric tons (7,716 tons). There are also options for five further platforms in the UK and Dutch sectors.


Turkish Petroleum’s drillship Fatih-1 has completed a second flow test on an appraisal well on the Sakarya gas field in the Turkish sector, in a water depth of 2,143 m (7,031 ft). One of the reservoir sections flowed close to 22 MMcf/d, with the test confirming good reservoir connectivity. Results will support the FEED for the Sakarya development, with first gas expected to flow next year. In addition, Turkish Petroleum has taken delivery of the Cobalt Explorer drillship, which will likely work in the same area.

Lukoil has acquired a 9.9% interest from Petronas in the bp-operated Shah Deniz gas-condensate development, 70 km (43.5 mi) southeast of Baku in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea. The transaction lifts Lukoil’s overall share of the field, which started producing in 2006, to 19.99%.


GAS-fifteen has contracted Keppel Shipyard to convert an LNG carrier to a floating storage and regasification unit for Gastrade. The completed FSRU will be stationed 17 km (11 mi) southwest of Alexandroupolis, Greece, supplying gas to countries in southeast Europe.

Israeli E&P company Delek Drilling plans to rename itself NewMed Energy 1 to reflect its future strategy. The company’s plans include advancing the Stage 1B development of the deepwater Leviathan gas field offshore Israel to raise production to around 21 bcm/yr, and supporting development of the Aphrodite gas reservoir offshore southern Cyprus, with plans for gas exports to Egypt and LNG sales to other markets.


Wintershall Dea will exit oil production in the Gulf of Suez offshore Egypt. The company has been a partner in the Ras Budran and Zeit Bay fields, operated by the Suez Oil Company, which have produced oil since the 1980s. Egyptian General Petroleum Corp, the other partner, will take on Wintershall Dea’s interest. The German company will remain an active partner to bp in Egypt’s offshore West Nile Delta concession in the Mediterranean Sea.

Eni has proven gas with its first exploratory well in Block 2 offshore Abu Dhabi. The XF-002 well was drilled in 115 ft (35 m) of water, with initial results suggesting up to 2 tcf in place in good-quality reservoirs. Eni’s partner is Thai state oil company PTTEP.