Global E&P

April 2, 2020
Apache Corp. plans to proceed with drilling of a third prospect offshore Suriname once operations have concluded on the Sapakara West-1 well.


Stena Drilling has signed a contract with China’s CNOOC to drill up to three exploration wells this year in the Flemish Pass basin off Newfoundland this year, according to Rystad Energy. The drillship Stena IceMAX will operate at $299,000/d on the 1144 and 1150 licenses, the consultant claimed.


Talos Energy and its co-venturers in block 7 offshore Mexico have settled on the main elements of a full-field development of the Zama oil discovery. According to Premier Oil, these comprise two processing, drilling and accommodation platforms connected to an FPSO, with oil offloaded to shuttle tankers. They hope to submit their proposals this summer, assuming they can strike a deal on unitization of the field with Pemex, which operates an extension of Zama in an adjoining block.


Apache Corp. plans to proceed with drilling of a third prospect offshore Suriname once operations have concluded on the Sapakara West-1 well. This follows the company’s play-opening Maka Central oil discovery in offshore block 58 earlier this year. However, Apache is scaling back planned activity in other regions such as the North Sea, following last month’s oil price fall.


Petrobras plans to offer its full equity interest in Merluza and Lagosta, two producing fields in the shallow-water Santos basin off southern Brazil. Merluza’s PMLZ-1 fixed platform has handled gas and condensate from the field since 1993, and has also received Lagosta’s production since April 2009. Combined output from the two fields last year was 3,600 boe/d.

PGS has been acquiring a new GeoStreamer X 3D seismic survey over a 14,500-sq km (5,590-sq mi) area in the presalt, deepwater Campos basin. The Ramform Titan is towing what the company claims is the largest acquisition spread ever deployed in Brazilian waters, comprising over 140,000 m (459,316 ft) of multi-stream sensors. Some of the data will be relevant to acreage due to be offered late this year under Brazil’s 17th Bid Round.


Maersk Decom - a joint venture between Maersk Drilling and Maersk Supply Service - will P&A seven exploration and appraisal wells at the Banda and Tiouf fields offshore Mauritania for Tullow Oil. The fields are respectively 53 km (33 mi) and 84 km (52 mi) from the shore, in 1,200 m (3,937 ft) of water. Offshore execution, involving a drilling rig and two support vessels, should start early in 2021.


Keppel Shipyard has completed a fasttrack modification/upgrade program on the FPSO Abigail-Joseph. Yinson Nepeta Production commissioned the project, which included life extension work and installation/integration of topsides modules. The vessel, designed to process 50,000 b/d oil and to compress 34 MMcf/d of gas from connected wellhead platforms, will operate for First E&P at the Anyala-Mudu field in the shallow-water OML 83/85 license offshore Nigeria.


Tower Resources has moved closer to drilling the NJOM-3 appraisal well in the Thali production-sharing contract off Cameroon, after agreeing to farm out a 24% interest to Brisbane-based OilLR. Tullow aims to start drilling in June followed by first production in 2021.

New Age has contracted TechnipFMC to undertake front-end engineering design (FEED) for the IM gas condensate field development in Cameroon’s offshore Etinde permit. New Age, which will manage reservoir engineering and subsurface aspects of the FEED, plans an unmanned wellhead platform with pipelines connected to an onshore gas processing/export center.


BW Energy has brought onstream the first two wells of the Tortue Phase 2 development in the Dussafu Marin permit offshore Gabon. Both are tied back to the FPSO BW Adolo; two more wells are due to be tied in ready for start-up by June.


BP has awarded TechnipFMC an integrated EPCI (iEPCI) contract for the Platina field development in block 18 offshore Angola, in water depths of 1,200-1,500 m (3,937-4,921 ft). TechnipFMC will supply and install subsea trees, a production manifold, subsea controls, rigid steel pipelines, umbilicals and flexible jumpers, with some of the assembly/manufacture performed at the company’s plants in Angola.

Eni’s latest appraisal well on the Agogo oil discovery in Angolan block 15/06 suggests overall oil in place of around 1 Bbbl. The drillship Libongos drilled Agogo-3 in 1,700 m (5,577 ft) of water, 23 km (14.3 mi) from the block’s West Hub FPSO N’Goma. Deviation of the well through a thick sub-salt sequence confirmed an oil-charged and connected reservoir.


In the Adriatic Sea off eastern Italy, Eni has extended its lease of Ocean Power Technologies’ PB3 PowerBuoy by 18 months, following over a year of continuous operation for an offshore AUV charging pilot project. The PowerBuoy will be redeployed this summer to supply power to an unmanned, decommissioned gas production platform off the Abruzzo coast. This is part of a wider program that includes assessing life-extension methods for oil and gas platforms nearing the end of their productive lives.


Energean has agreed to acquire Total’s 50% operated interest in block 2 offshore western Greece. Work on the license to date has identified a large hydrocarbon-prospective structure analogous to the Vega field across the median line offshore Italy, operated by Energean’s soon-to-be subsidiary Edison E&P. Hellenic Petroleum is the other partner in block 2.


Azerbaijan International Operating Co. has contracted Worley to support production operations on the Chirag platform in the Azeri sector. Worley will manage a project to install new gas-lift flowlines and production manifolds.


McDermott has started construction of its new fabrication site at the King Salman International Complex for Maritime Industries and Services in Ras Al-Khair, Saudi Arabia. The 1.2-MM sq m (13- MM sq ft) facility with covered assembly shops will be capable of manufacturing platforms and modules for offshore and onshore projects for Saudi Aramco and others in the region, and will also feature a 580-m (1,903-ft) reinforced bulkhead providing marine access.

Schlumberger has opened a well completions manufacturing center at the King Salman Energy Park for production of equipment including liner hangers, packers, and isolation valves. The first-phase development extends over 105,000 sq m (1.13 MM sq ft).


Saudi Aramco has contracted Nexans to supply and install 180 km (111 mi) of 230-kV submarine cables for the Marjan increment development project offshore Saudi Arabia. Nexans’ factories in Halden and Rignan, Norway will respectively manufacture the composite power and fiber optical cables, with the company’s new flagship vessel Aurora due to start installation in February 2022.


Heerema Marine Contractors’ Aegir vessel has installed the new living quarter platform for Qatargas’ North Field Bravo expansion project offshore Qatar. The vessel collected the 1,000-metric ton (1,102-ton) jacket and the 3,000-metric ton (3,307-ton) topsides in two separate voyages to the N-KOM yard in Qatar, then performed the offshore lifts, all within a 10-day period.

Rystad Energy expects investments in the North Field to exceed $50 billion, if Qatar is to meet its goal of expanding the associated liquefaction capacity by 49 MM metric tons (54 MM tons) to 126 MM metric tons annually (139 MM tons). The consultant recently predicted that approval for the project’s first stage would be deferred until the first half of 2021.


Cambodia’s first offshore oilfield development remains on track for start-up around mid-year, according to operator KrisEnergy. The production barge Ingenium II has been undergoing upgrades at two sites in Singapore, and construction is progressing on minimum facilities wellhead platform topsides and jacket at the PT Profab 1 yard on Batam Island, Indonesia.


Fugro will acquire an extensive marine survey for INPEX Masela to support the Abadi LNG-related field development in the Masela block offshore Indonesia. Results from the geophysical/geotechnical program will inform the FEED for the offshore production facilities and subsea pipeline to the onshore LNG terminal. Seafloor challenges at the location are said to include slope stability, faulting and carbonate sediments.


Jadestone Energy has decided to delay development of the Nam Du and U Minh gas fields offshore Vietnam, as part of a review of its 2020 capital program.


ConocoPhillips has awarded the three outstanding subsea contracts for the Barossa gas/condensate project, 300 km (186 mi) north of Darwin in the offshore NT/RL5 petroleum permit. Aker Solutions and National Oilwell Varco will respectively supply the umbilicals and flexible risers, while Subsea 7 will transport and install the umbilicals and 36 km (22 mi) of infield flowlines in water depths of 230-270 m (754-886 ft). The development plan calls for an FPSO connected to six subsea production wells, infield facilities and a gas export pipeline tied into the Bayu-Undan pipeline system that supplied gas to the Darwin LNG complex.

Santos, which has agreed to acquire ConocoPhillips’ operated interest in the Barossa joint venture, has also sanctioned phase two of its Van Gogh Infill Development in the Exmouth basin off Western Australia. This will entail the Valaris MS1 drilling three horizontal/dual-lateral oil production wells (starting early next year) and a subsea tieback to existing infrastructure. The Van Gogh field is tied into the FPSO Ningaloo Vision.


Esso Australia has started drilling two new subsea production wells for the West Barracouta gas field development in the Gippsland basin offshore Victoria. The company will control the subsea infrastructure from the Barracouta platform over 5 km (3 mi) distant: West Barracouta’s gas will flow to the Longford onshore gas complex via a connection to the existing Barracouta pipeline.


Equinor has dropped plans to drill the Stromlo-1 well in the Ceduna basin offshore South Australia, after concluding the project would not be competitive with other exploration opportunities in its global portfolio. •