Global E&P

Brazil awards 12 offshore blocks under the country’s latest licensing round. BP and BW Offshore deliver exploration drilling successes offshore West Africa.

Topsides integration should start shortly for the FPSO Energean Power.
Topsides integration should start shortly for the FPSO Energean Power.
(Courtesy Energean)

Brazil

Brazil’s National Agency of Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels (ANP) has awarded 12 offshore blocks to various consortia under the country’s 16th bid round. The applications drew signature bonuses totalling $2.2 billion. Operatorships in the Campos basin went to Chevron, ExxonMobil, Petrobras, Petronas, Repsol, Shell and Total, while BP Energy will operate block S-M-1500 in the Santos basin. Contracts should be signed and ratified by Feb. 14, 2020.

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Petrobras has asked two Far East contractors to provide FPSOs for the Marlim cluster revitalization project in the Campos basin. MODEC will supply, charter and operate one of the floaters, which will have an 80,000 b/d crude and 7 MMcf/d gas processing capacity, with SOFEC responsible for the spread mooring system. Yinson will supply the FPSO Marlim 2, designed to process 70,000 b/d of oil and 4 MMcm/d of gas. The Marlim field is 150 km (93 mi) from the northern Rio de Janeiro State coast in 670 m (2,198 ft) water depth.

Shell has contracted Maersk Supply Service to undertake a mooring system life extension program for the FPSO Fluminense, which has operated on the Bijupira and Salema oilfields in the Campos basin since 2003. The subsea support vessel Maersk Achiever will manage the offshore campaign which is due to start in December, and includes heading control of the FPSO and replacement of mooring lines.

West Africa

BP has confirmed a southern extension to the Yakaar gas field in Senegal’s Cayar Offshore Profond block. The appraisal well, drilled by the Valaris DS-12 drillship 9 km (5.6 mi) from the Yakaar-1 discovery well, delivered 30 m (98.4 ft) of net pay from the Cenomanian interval. According to partner Kosmos Energy, the result suggests the overall Yakaar-Teranga gas resource could support a phased LNG development project.

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Australian independent FAR has increased its operated stake in blocks A2 and A5 offshore the Republic of Gambia to 50%, the remainder held by Petronas. The partners have also agreed on extensions to the licenses, the terms including a commitment well in the first two years on either block. They will use results from a new 3D seismic survey over the concessions to delineate prospects.

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BW Offshore has proven more oil in the Dussafu license offshore Gabon. The DHIBM-1 well and subsequent side track on the Hibiscus Updi prospect - both drilled by the jackup Borr Norve in 116 m (380 ft) of water - intersected 47 m (154 ft) of net pay in the Gamba formation. BW estimates recoverable volumes at up to 50 MMbbl.

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ION Geophysical has been acquiring a new 2D multi-client seismic survey over the barely explored Namibe basin off southern Angola. The NamibeSPAN data-set will integrate various ION BasinSPAN programs to form a continuous regional exploration overview spanning over 65,000 km (40,389 mi) along the coast. Results should be available for Angola’s new licensing round.

Mediterranean Sea

The hull of the FPSO Energean Power was floated out recently from the Cosco shipyard dock in Zhoushan, China. The vessel will serve Energean’s deepwater Karish/Tanin gas field development offshore Israel. Following further construction work, the hull was due to sail before year-end to Sembcorp Marine’s Admiralty Yard in Singapore for integration of the topsides.

Noble Energy and its partners in the nearby Leviathan and Tamar gas fields have extended their firm gas supply commitments to Delphinus Holdings by five years to 15-year terms, with total combined contracted quantities now above 3 tcf. In addition, the partners have been negotiating to participate in the regional East Mediterranean Gas pipeline project.

Caspian Sea

BP has awarded a consortium of Subsea 7 and Bos Shelf a wide-ranging work program for the Azeri Central East (ACE) project offshore Azerbaijan. It includes engineering and fabrication of subsea structures and spools, launching of a 16,200-metric ton (17,857-ton) jacket, and floatover of an 18,500-metric ton (20,393-ton) topsides. Water depth at the offshore site is 140 m (459 ft). ACE is the latest-phase development of the Azeri-Chirag-Deepwater Gunashli oilfield complex.

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Shell has pulled out of the proposed development of the Khazar project in the Kazakh sector, and the Kashagan consortium (including CNPC, Eni, ExxonMobil, and Total) has also decided against pursuing the Kalamkas More project. According to consultant Wood Mackenzie, the potentially large oil volumes appear to have been offset by the marginal economics of the two projects, due to a combination of complex geology and logistics and the ultra-shallow water setting.

Middle East

ADNOC and Abu Dhabi’s government have awarded Lukoil a 5% stake in the UAE’s offshore Ghasha gas concession, which includes the ultra-sour Hail, Ghasha and Dalma fields. The other partners are Eni, OMV, and Wintershall Dea. The planned Ghasha mega-project is designed to produce over 1.5 bcf/d of gas for domestic power generation and more than 120,000 b/d of oil and condensates.

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Qatar Petroleum (QP) has assumed control of the Idd El-Shargi North Dome and South Dome oilfields offshore Qatar following the expiry of production-sharing agreements with former operator Occidental Petroleum. QP has also issued tenders for EPC packages covering new storage, loading and distribution facilities in Ras Laffan Industrial City to manage increased liquids volumes from Qatar’s offshore North Field Expansion project.

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Iran’s Petropars is set to start work next year on the South Pars 11 gas development in the Persian Gulf. The company has taken charge of the project after Total, the originally designated operator, withdrew following the US’ decision to re-impose sanctions on Iran.

East Africa

Total has completed its acquisition of Anadarko’s 26.5% operated stake in the Mozambique LNG project for $3.9 billion. This was part of a package of four interests held by Anadarko across Africa when it was acquired earlier this year by Occidental. The two-train onshore project will have an annual liquefaction capacity of 12.9 MM metric tons (14.2 MM tons), supplied by 18 tcf of gas from the deepwater Golfinho and Atum fields in Offshore Area 1 in the Rovuma basin. Total anticipates start-up by 2024.

Australasia

Proposed development of the Barossa field offshore northern Australia.Proposed development of the Barossa field offshore northern Australia.(Courtesy ConocoPhillips)

Santos is buying ConocoPhillips’ northern Australia business for $1.39 billion, with a further $75 million payable based on FID for the Barossa field, 300 km (186 mi) north of Darwin. The transaction brings Santos operated interests in the offshore Barossa, Bayu-Undan and Poseidon fields and the 3.7MMt/yr-capacity Darwin LNG plant.

The plan for Barossa calls for subsea wells tied back to an FPSO for gas processing and condensate export, with the gas transported through a new 260-km (161-mi) pipeline, to be installed by Allseas, and tied into the existing Bayu-Darwin pipeline 100 km (62 mi) northwest of Darwin. Santos estimates capex to first gas in 2024 at $4.7 billion, with associated upgrades at Darwin LNG extending the facility’s lifespan by over two decades. •

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