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2007

Strong rig demand, especially in Norway, to keep northwest Europe bustle alive into 2008

By Jeremy Cresswell, contributing editor There is no such thing as a steady state on the northwest Europe continental shelf (NWECS). Just when one thinks some sort of stability has been achieved, it is swiftly swept away by that absolute certainty … change. Big changes are indeed happening, some with surprising speed, and, as can be expected, Norway and the UK overwhelmingly dominate the European stage. But, while Norway remains perceived as fiscally stable, the UK is now regarded as fiscally unstable and unfair. It is becoming clearer by the year, perhaps even by the month, that if anyone believes this hugely important offshore region is growing old gently and gracefully, they should revise that view. The most graphic evidence ...

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US land drilling 2008 outlook: soft start, strong finish

By Katie Mazerov, contributing editor Think of a high-performing athlete at the top of his game, earning $20 million a year. His game falls off … and his salary slips to $16 million. A drop, to be sure, but he is still playing – and being compensated – at a very high level. That is the analogy that energy research analyst Dan Pickering used to describe what he sees as the outlook for United States land drilling in 2008, in particular the first half of the year. “A soft scenario, but soft at a very high level,” said Mr Pickering, director of research at Tudor, Pickering & Co Securities. With gas accounting for 85% of the land wells being drilled ...

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Is the water bluer on the other side of the Gulf?

by Jerry Greenberg, contributing editor US Gulf of Mexico rig activity at the end of September 2007 was at its lowest level since late 1992 in terms of contracted rigs. This is primarily a result of low natural gas prices but also a result of an industry affected by a hurricane season that runs from June through November. Much of the low activity level is attributable to idle jackups, which are most affected by low gas prices and hurricanes, while the deepwater and ultra-deepwater market is still booming and will expand with 13 newbuild semisubmersibles and drillships entering the region between 2008 and 2010, all with long-term drilling contracts. US Gulf of Mexico rig activity at the end of September ...

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Kevin Lacy, BP head of discipline, drilling and completions: Building a global career around a global business

By Linda Hsieh, associate editor Graduating with honors at the height of the boom in 1980 with a petroleum engineering degree, Kevin Lacy had his pickings. His five summer jobs had given him a taste of drilling, production and reservoir engineering, but he wanted to learn things first-hand, and he knew it was drilling that would get him into the field right away. He ended up choosing Chevron because the company sends its drilling engineers to the rigs in a leadership capacity. “I had learned the field work and basics through summer and part-time jobs, and I was ready to take it to the next level,” he said. Since it was 1980 and oil companies couldn’t get their wells drilled ...

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People Companies & Products

Transocean, GlobalSantaFe announce merger Transocean and GlobalSantaFe have announced an agreement for a merger of equals. The combined company will be known as Transocean and will have a global fleet of 146 rigs. The merger “will enhance our high-end floater fleet, including five newbuild ultra-deepwater units, while growing our position in the worldwide jackup market, especially in the Middle East, West Africa and the North Sea,” said Robert L. Long, who will continue to serve as CEO of Transocean. Current GlobalSantaFe president and CEO Jon A. Marshall will serve as Transocean’s president and COO. Current GlobalSantaFe chairman Robert E. Rose will serve as Transocean’s chairman of the board of directors. Separately, Transocean has joined the Gulf of Mexico Foundation, a ...

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SAFETY principles can help achieve true culture of safety

By Greg Anderson, Randy Smith Training Solutions Culture is described as the beliefs and behaviors handed down from one generation to the next. In the workplace, each new employee and contractor represents the next generation of a company. This can be an opportunity or a continuing challenge, because these new people will adopt the safety behaviors of their co-workers. One finding that came out of a major industrial incident was that “hazard training was largely passed down by experience from others. Sometimes this guidance was poor, perhaps due to an element of complacency.” Managers need to constantly ask themselves, “Whose behaviors are our new people adopting? Are these the behaviors we want passed to the next generation of employees?” There ...

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D&C Tech Digest

BHP Billiton-operated rigs set benchmarks for subsalt, deepwater drilling in Gulf of Mexico BHP Billiton Petroleum announced that two company-operated drilling vessels have set new benchmarks for subsalt, deepwater drilling in the US Gulf of Mexico. On 17 May 2007, while working on a development well on the Shenzi oil and gas field, the GSF C.R. Luigs achieved a record-low average of 1.52 days/1,000 ft from spud to TD. The well was drilled to a total depth of about 26,900 ft in 33 days while operating in water depths of nearly 4,300 ft on Green Canyon Block 654. This matches a company record accomplished the prior month on the Neptune development with the GSF Development Driller I, which averaged about ...

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D&C News

KCA DEUTAG, Bentec unveil new rig design KCA DEUTAG and Bentec Drilling and Oilfield Services unveiled the first of a new land rig design, called the Nomad Class, developed for desert terrain conditions such as North Africa and the Middle East. A second Nomad Class rig is scheduled for completion in September 2007, with further Nomad rigs under consideration. T-211 will be mobilised in the third quarter 2007 to Algeria to work for BP/Sonatrach under a one-year contract. The Nomad Class rig was designed in response to demand for highly mobile and more efficient drilling rigs capable of drilling wells to 15,000 ft or deeper, said Claus Chur, KCA DEUTAG director technical and procurement. “Existing rigs can take more than ...

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Unlike weather, we can do more than talk about finding new people

Mike Killalea, Editor & Publisher In Houston at press time, we watch with wary eye as the first hurricane (Dean) and tropical storm (Erin) enliven the Gulf of Mexico. Both were forecast to swing wide of oil developments. Given cyclonic unpredictability, though, on alert we remain. (See p 68 for a case study in hurricane preparedness.) Which suggests the old adage – everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it. For ages, the same has rung true about replenishing the industry’s thinning ranks. But that’s finally front and center on the radar screen. Herein, I celebrate one particular effort – IADC Career Connection. Born of the vision of IADC chairman Bob Long of Transocean to expand ...

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News Cuttings

DC_Sept07_NewsCuttings IADC to use DNV’s worldwide network to expand audits In a move that could pave the way for expansion of its accreditation and certification efforts, IADC has signed an agreement with Det Norske Veritas (DNV) to utilize the company’s extensive worldwide network of auditors to assist in monitoring accredited training providers. “One thing that has restrained our responsiveness to requests for additional accreditation services has been the availability of qualified auditors,” said Steve Kropla, vice president of Accreditation & Certification. “Access to DNV’s global resources will greatly assist us in ensuring the quality of our existing programs as well as enable us to put new programs in place more quickly.” The agreement provides IADC with preferred audit day rates ...

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