Global E&P

Nov. 1, 2020
Equinor plans a 200-MMbbl development of the Breidablikk field in the Norwegian North Sea via a subsea tieback to the Grane platform.


PGS has completed three GeoStreamer 3D surveys offshore Newfoundland and Labrador, all conducted this summer from the Ramform Atlas and Ramform Titan. Two of the surveys – South Bank and Torngat Extension – were designed to support next year’s Call for Bids offshore southeast Newfoundland and south Labrador.

CNOOC International has contracted the drillship Stena Forth for an exploratory well next spring in the Flemish Pass basin off Newfoundland and Labrador.


BP has started up the Atlantis Phase 3 facilities, 240 km (150 mi) south of New Orleans in the Gulf of Mexico. These comprise a new subsea production system connecting eight wells to the Atlantis semisubmersible platform, eventually delivering around 36,000 boe/d. 


McDermott International’s Altamira yard has shipped the first topsides modules for the FPSO Miamte MV34, which MODEC is building for Eni’s Amoca field development in Area 1, 10 km (6 mi) offshore Mexico. Sapura Energy Mexicana will transport and install Amoca’s fixed platform – also under construction at Altamira – connecting it to the Mizton platform via a pipeline and subsea cable.


ExxonMobil and its partners have achieved an 18th commercial oil discovery on the Stabroek block offshore Guyana. The Redtail-1 well, drilled 1.5 mi (2.5 km) northwest of Yellowtail in 1,878 m (6,164 ft) of water, penetrated 70 m (232 ft) of oil-bearing sandstone. It was also the ninth find in the southeastern portion of the block.

In addition, the partners have sanctioned a third development on Stabroek, targeting 600 MMboe from the Payara oilfield. SBM Offshore will supply and initially operate the 220,000-b/d capacity FPSO Prosperity, spread-moored in a water depth of 1,900 m (6,233 ft) and connected to 10 subsea drill centers and up to 41 wells provided by TechnipFMC.


Petrobras has approached SBM to deploy the FPSO Almirante Tamandaré as the sixth production system on the giant Búzios field in the presalt Santos basin, with start-up planned for the second half of 2024. This will likely be the largest oil production platform operating anywhere offshore Brazil, with oil and gas processing capacity of respectively 225,000 b/d and 12 MMcm/d. The company has also invited bids for two further floaters for Búzios, P-78 and P-79, both set to enter service in 2025.

In northeast Brazil, Petrobras has agreed to take on operatorship from Total of five blocks in the Foz do Amazonas basin, 120 km (75 mi) from the shore. The area is thought to be prospective for large volumes of oil, but planned exploratory drilling had to be shelved in 2018 after Greenpeace successfully blocked the campaign, citing risks to a nearby coral reef system.


BP has agreed to a revised delivery schedule with Golar for the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim gas-condensate project offshore Mauritania and Senegal. The connection date for the converted FLNG vessel Gimi, previously set for 2022, has been extended by 11 months. Terms of the lease and operate agreement are unchanged. Earlier this year, BP decided to delay start-up of the project in response to global developments.


PetroNor and the government of The Gambia have revised terms for two offshore licenses following arbitration. PetroNor now has the option to retain A4 by signing a 30-year lease under new terms. At the same time, it will drop any claims to the adjacent A1 license, which has been reassigned to a major oil company.


Aveon Offshore has delivered the 350-metric ton (386-ton) production deck module for a conductor-supported platform for NNPC/First E&P’s Anyala field development off Bayelsa State, Nigeria. This was due to be connected to pre-installed subsea support structures and a drilling deck module, both supplied by Aveon in mid-2019.


BW Energy is assessing an alternative development scenario for the Hibiscus/Ruche discoveries in the Dussafu Marin concession offshore Gabon. This would involve use of a converted jackup rather than constructing a new wellhead platform, cutting capex costs and time to first oil, the company claimed. A final decision could follow before year-end.


ExxonMobil and Sonangol P&P have signed three risk service agreements covering their deepwater blocks 30, 44, and 45 offshore southern Angola. These expand the exploration area to over 17,800 sq km (6,873 sq mi), assisting their assessment of the hydrocarbon potential in the frontier Namibe basin.


Equinor and its partners will develop the 200-MMbbl Breidablikk field in the Norwegian North Sea via a subsea tieback to the Grane platform. Twenty-three oil-producer wells will be drilled from four six-slot subsea templates and controlled from the platform, with Equinor using its integrated operations center in Sandsli to ensure optimized production from the wells. Odfjell Drilling’s semisub Deepsea Aberdeen is booked to start development drilling in spring 2022.

Aibel has a FEED contract from Equinor related to the Snøhvit Future gas-condensate project in the Barents Sea. The study covers requirements for constructing a compression station at the Hammerfest LNG plant on Melkøya island that would provide pressure support as pressure in the Snøhvit wells declines, and replacing gas turbines at the plant with power from shore in order to reduce the field’s CO2 emissions.


Allseas’ Pioneering Spirit has removed the 14,200-t topsides from CNR International’s Ninian Northern platform in the UK northern North Sea in a single-lift operation. The structure has since arrived at the Peterson-Veolia yard in Dales Voe, Shetland, for dismantling. Pioneering Spirit is due to return to remove the jacket in mid-2022.

Heerema Marine Contractors’ crane vessel Sleipnir has installed a 4,850-metric ton (5,346-ton) gas production platform at the Tolmount gas field in 51 m (167 ft) of water, 40 km (25 mi) from the English east coast. Tolmount operator Premier Oil recently agreed to merge with Chrysaor.    


Energean has held talks with Greece’s government on a potential capital injection concerning the Prinos oilfields offshore western Greece. This could allow a resumption of the offshore Epsilon development, adding 2,000 b/d of production from three pre-drilled vertical wells, and eventually leading to commercialization of 44 MMboe of resources through further drilling.


The Trans Adriatic Pipeline, transporting gas from the Shah Deniz II development in the Caspian Sea to countries in southeast Europe, should begin operations this month. The western part of the 878-km (545-mi) system crosses the Adriatic Sea from the Albanian coast, making landfall in Puglia, southern Italy.


Eni and BP have discovered more gas in the shallow-water Great Nooros Area in the Abu Madi West development lease offshore northern Egypt. The Nidoco NW-1 well, drilled 4 km (2.5 mi) north of the Nooros field in 16 m (52 ft) of water, encountered gas in the Pliocene Kafr-El-Sheik and Messinian Abu Madi formations. Eni has since raised its estimate for in-place gas in the area to over 4 tcf.


OMV Petrom has taken a 42.86% interest in the Total-operated Han-Asparuh exploration block in the Bulgarian sector of the Black Sea, after Repsol decided to withdraw. Three wells have been drilled on the deepwater concession since 2012: the partners will determine future exploratory activity based on results from a new 3D seismic survey, acquired in May this year.


Lukoil has installed jackets for an ice-resistant platform complex at the V.I. Grayfer field in the Russian sector of the Caspian Sea, following transportation on the cargo pontoon Rahman Sharifov from the yard in Astrakhan through the Volga-Caspian seaway canal. Topsides installations should follow in 2021.


Gazprom has proven another large gas field west of the Yamal peninsula in the Kara Sea, offshore northern Russia. During testing, the exploratory well on the Leningradskoye discovery flowed around 600 cu m/d. Gazprom now estimates recoverable volumes across the Leningradsky block at 1.9 tcm. This latest result follows last year’s Dinkov and Nyarmeskoye gas finds in the offshore Rusanovsky and Nyarmeysky blocks, with estimated combined resources of 611 bcm, and the nearby 75 Years of Victory discovery earlier this year (202.4 bcm).


The minimum facilities wellhead platform for KrisEnergy’s Apsara oilfield offshore Cambodia recently departed NOV’s PT Profab1 yard on Batam Island, Indonesia. Apsara, in the Khmer basin in block A, is Cambodia’s first offshore development. Mini Phase 1A, due onstream before the end of this year, comprises the mini-platform with five wells, with production sent to the Ingenium II barge for processing.


Pharos Energy has secured approval for the TGT full-field development in block 16.1 offshore southern Vietnam. The company plans to drill six infill wells, lifting the field’s production by around 5,000 boe/d to 20,000 boe/d in 2022.

McDermott International is working on the FEED for a subsea gas pipeline for Delta Offshore Energy’s Sisyphus project. This will connect a regasification platform 35 km (22 mi) offshore Vietnam to a planned 3,200-MW power plant in Bac Lieu province.


Tie-in work has finished at Liuhua 29-1, the third deepwater field development serving the Liwan gas project in the South China Sea. Husky Energy, CNOOC’s partner, expects start-up this month with peak gas production of 45 MMcf/d and 1,800 b/d of associated liquids.

Recently, CNOOC brought onstream the Liuhua 16-2 oilfield/20-2 oilfield joint development in the eastern South China Sea. The facilities, in 410 m (1,345 ft) water depth, include a new 150,000-t FPSO and three subsea production systems connected to 26 wells, with anticipated output of around 72,800 b/d by 2022.

The company is also producing oil from two newly onstream shallow-water fields in the offshore Bohai region – Jinzhou 25/1 in the 6-11 area and Nanbao 35-2 in the S1 area – and gas condensate from the offshore Bozhong 19-6 field pilot area development. All feature single wellhead platforms connected to existing processing infrastructure.


Australia’s 2020 Offshore Petroleum Exploration Acreage Release is focused on established oil and gas provinces off Western Australia, Northern Territory, and Victoria with developed infrastructure networks. Forty-two areas are on offer across the Bonaparte, Browse, Northern Carnarvon, Otway and Gippsland basins: bidding will close on June 1, 2021.

CGG was expecting to issue first results from its recent 8,700-sq km (3,359-sq mi) 3D seismic survey over the Gippsland basin offshore southeast Australia. The program – Phase II of the company’s Gippsland ReGeneration reprocessing and acquisition project – is designed to support bids for blocks V20-3 and V20-4 under the 2020 Acreage Release through improved imaging of the basin’s shelf break and submarine channels, and the deeper targets not visible in legacy data.