Global E&P

Sept. 1, 2020
Petrobras plans to order four more FPSOs for at the giant Búzios oilfield in the presalt Santos basin offshore Brazil, which continues to set new daily production records.


The MOPU platform that produced gas from Encana’s Deep Panuke field, 47 km (29 mi) west of Sable island, Nova Scotia, has been removed from its location.  According to owner SBM Offshore, the facility is undergoing preparations before heading to a recycling yard. Deep Panuke ceased operations in May 2018.


LLOG has committed to a two-well development of its Taggart discovery in the US Gulf of Mexico via a tieback to the Williams-owned Devils Tower spar in Mississippi Canyon block 773. Production should start in 2022. Taggart, with estimated reserves of around 27 MMboe, is in 1,722 m (5,650 ft) of water in Mississippi Canyon block 816.


Heerema Marine Contractors’ Balder vessel has installed the 700-metric ton (772-ton) jacket and the 850-metric ton (937-ton) topsides for Pemex’s Yaxche-C platform in the Bay of Campeche. Cotemar constructed both structures in Tampico, Mexico.


Mexico’s Ministry of Energy (SENER) has ordered Pemex and the offshore block 7 partners to agree on unitization terms for the Zama oilfield to allow development to proceed. Zama, discovered by Talos, extends into an adjoining concession operated by Pemex. Talos proposes two fixed production platforms with combined capacity of 150,000 b/d in 170 m (550 ft) of water, the deepest for any Mexican offshore project to date.


The Bahamian government has given Bahamas Petroleum Co. (BPC) more time to drill the offshore Perseverance #1 exploration well, originally scheduled to spud this spring. BPC, which declared force majeure due to the sudden turmoil caused by COVID-19, is now working with rig provider Stena Drilling to ensure the well goes ahead between mid-December and early February.                                                  


Jamaica’s government has approved United Oil & Gas’ request to operate the offshore Walton Morant license, after the company assumed the 80% stake formerly held by Tullow Oil. United’s immediate priority is to de-risk Colibri, a potential 229-513 MMbbl prospect, and other targets on the license ahead of a drilling decision.


Apache Corp. and Total have proven more oil on block 58 offshore Suriname. The Kwaskwasi-1 well, drilled by the Noble Sam Croft in 1,000 m (3,281 ft) of water, delivered 278 m (912 ft) of net oil and volatile oil/gas-condensate pay in two Upper Cretaceous intervals. After this third successive discovery, the drillship was due to spud the Keskesi-1 well, testing more oil-prone targets. The focus next year, when Total takes over as operator, will be to appraise the three finds and to extend exploration elsewhere on the block.


Petrobras has committed to add four more FPSOs at its largest producing fields in the presalt Santos basin offshore Brazil. Three will be for the Búzios field where four floaters are currently operating with a fifth, Almirante Barros, currently under construction. Of the latest trio, the chartered FPSO Almirante Tamandaréwill have the highest processing capacity, 225,000 b/d of oil and 12 MMcm/d of gas, and will be the first to come online, during the second half of 2024. In July the existing platforms set a new production record for the company of 844,000 boe/d combined: Petrobras expects to have 12 floaters in service on the field by the end of the 2020s.

Not far from Búzios, Petrobras has started production from the Iara Cluster Oeste de Atapu and Atapu fields in block BM-S-11A. The newbuild FPSO P-70 will eventually be connected to eight producer and eight injector wells: the location is 200 km (124 mi) from the coast of Rio de Janeiro in 2,300 m (7,546 ft) of water.

In the Campos basin, the company has started decommissioning the P-12 production platform, with the approval of Brazil’s ANP agency. Similar programs will follow later in the year on the P-07 and P-15 in the same basin and on the FPSO Piranema in the Sergipe-Alagoas basin. Petrobras’ strategic plan calls for a total of 18 production facilities to be decommissioned by 2024.


Woodside Energy planned last month to pre-empt Cairn Energy’s proposed sale of its 40% stake in the RSSD joint venture offshore Senegal to Lukoil. RSSD, covering the Rufisque Offshore, Sangomar Offshore and Sangomar Deep concessions, includes the deepwater Sangomar field development. Woodside said it would pay the agreed purchase price of up to $400 million, plus adjustments. State oil company Petrosen will also take up an option to raise its interest in the Sangomar Exploitation Area from 10% to 18%.


Total Gabon has agreed to sell its shares in seven producing fields offshore Gabon to Perenco for up to $350 million. Included in the deal is operatorship of the Cap Lopez oil terminal, subject to ratification by the Gabonese authorities. Perenco should net combined production of around 8,000 b/d.


Odfjell Drilling’s harsh environment semisub Deepsea Stavanger may have spudded the Luiperd-1 exploration well for Total on block 11B/12B, offshore South Africa. According to Total’s partner Africa Energy, Luiperd is a large prospect that has been de-risked by the nearby Brulpadda gas-condensate play opener, discovered last year on the same concession.


EnQuest is planning to develop the heavy-oil Bressay field in the UK northern North Sea after agreeing to acquire a 40.81% interest from Equinor. Subject to approvals, EnQuest would then become operator: the company is considering a tieback to its Kraken field FPSO, potentially using Bressay’s gas as fuel for the vessel.


Neptune has confirmed that its recent Dugong oil discovery in the Norwegian North Sea is commercial, with recoverable volumes in the range 40-120 MMboe. The semisub Deepsea Yantai drilled the well in the Tampen area, 158 km (98 mi) west of Floro in 330 m (1,082 ft) of water.


Providence Resources is in fam-out discussions that could lead to Norwegian company SpotOn Energy managing development of the shallow-water Barryroe oil and gas field in the Celtic Sea offshore southern Ireland. SpotOn would work with a consortium of six contractors comprising AGR, Aibel, Aker Solutions, Keppel FELS, Maersk Drilling, and Schlumberger.


Georgia’s Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development has offered OMV Petrom the country’s first offshore exploration block in the eastern Black Sea. Block II covers 5,282 sq km (2,039 sq mi): OMV Petrom is active on the Romanian (western) side of the Sea, as partner to ExxonMobil in the deepwater, gas-probe Neptun concession, and operator of the producing, shallow-water Istria block.


TPAO has reportedly discovered a giant gas field in the Turkish sector, 150 km (93 mi) north of the country’s northern coast and relatively close to the Neptun block. The Tuna-1 well was spudded during July by the drillship Fatih in a water depth of around 2,200 m (7,218 ft). Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan estimated total volumes at 320 bcm.


Gazprom has commissioned five yards in Russia to construct an ice-resistant platform for the 555-bcm Kamennomysskoye-Sea field in the Ob Bay region of the Kara Sea. The platform, 41 m (134 ft) tall, 69 m (226 ft) wide and over 135 m (443 ft) long, will be capable of withstanding severe storms, temperatures down to -60°C (-70°F), and the build-up of thick freshwater ice. Most of the equipment will be encased in the hull for protection against cold and wind.

The facility, which will be installed in 5-12 m (16.4-39 ft) of water and fixed to the seafloor via 56 driven piles, will initially be used to drill directional production wells, with production sent through pipelines to a gas treatment complex and a booster compressor station onshore. Gazprom expects the completed platform to be towed to the field during the summer of 2024.


Eni has contracted Vantage Drilling International’s jackup Topaz Driller for a 180-day program offshore Montenegro in the eastern Mediterranean Sea during the first part of next year.


Eni and Libya’s state oil company NOC are considering further projects on producing offshore fields in the Libyan sector of the Mediterranean. These include the Bouri oilfield’s undeveloped West and North areas and the Structures A&E project, which would extend plateau gas production from the Bahr Essalam field.


Eni and partners BP and Total have proven gas in the Bashrush prospect 11 km (6.8 mi) offshore northern Egypt, close to the producing Nooros and Baltim South West fields.  The well, drilled on the North El Hammad license, intersected 102 m (334 ft) of net gas pay in Abu Madi sandstones. Assuming a tie-in to nearby infrastructure, Total foresees potential deliverability per well on Bashrush at up to 100 MMcf/d, plus up to 800 b/d of condensate.


Oman’s Ministry of Oil and Gas has awarded Masirah Oil a Declaration of Commerciality for the Yumna oil field in offshore block 50, which currently produces through a single well connected to a MOPU. Under the award, Masirah can fully develop the field, starting with a second well early in 2021, while continuing to explore elsewhere on the block.


Total has secured $14.9 billion of senior debt financing for its Mozambique LNG project, part of the transaction with Occidental for assets formerly owned by Anadarko. The two-train, 13.1-MMt/yr onshore liquefaction plant will convert gas from the deepwater Atum and Golfinho fields in Area 1 in the offshore Rovuma basin. The overall investment is estimated at $20 billion.


Mermaid Subsea Services (Thailand) has formed an offshore transportation, installation and decommissioning division. According to the company, around 100 platforms in the Gulf of Thailand look set to be approved for decommissioning over the next 10 years. One major operator in Thailand has already started a program covering 49 platforms during 2020-23: Mermaid has qualified as an approved bidder for related services.


Eni has proven more hydrocarbons close to its 2019 Ken Bau discovery in the Song Hong basin offshore eastern Vietnam. The Ken Bau 2X well, drilled in 95 m (312 ft) of water on block 114, delivered over 100 m (328 ft) of pay from Miocene sandstones. Eni now estimates in-place reserves at 7-9 tcf of gas and 400-500 MMbbl of associated condensates. The company and partner Essar E&P plan further drilling.


CNOOC says its recent Huizhou 26-6 discovery in the eastern South China Sea could be the first mid to large-size condensate oil and gas field proven in the shallow-water area of the Pearl River Mouth basin. On test, the well flowed 2,202 b/d of oil and 15.36 MMcf/d of gas. The location is in the Huizhou Sag in the Zhui 1 Depression, in 113 m (371 ft) water depth.

The company has also started oil production from its Luda 21-2/16-3 development in Liaodang Bay in the Bohai Sea, 39 km (24 mi) north of the Luda 10-1 oilfield. Facilities include five platforms which will ultimately be connected to 69 wells, with peak production of around 25,000 b/d in 2022.


Indonesian regulator SKK Migas has approved Santos’ plan of development for the Paus Biru gas field in the offshore Sampang PSC. According to partner Cue Energy, production will come from a single horizontal development well connected to an unmanned wellhead platform, with production exported initially through a new subsea pipeline to the Oyong field platform, and then through an existing pipeline to the Grati onshore plant for processing.


Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) has approved Shell’s proposal for developing the Crux gas field in the Browse basin. Shell plans to install a not normally manned platform with five production wells, connected via a 165-km (103-mi) subsea export pipeline to the Prelude FLNG vessel.