New Maersk training complex in operation
Maersk Drilling and Maersk Training inaugurated the MOSAIC II, Maersk’s offshore simulator training complex in Svendborg, Denmark in late 2012. The 1,200-sq-meter, US $10 million complex features a dome-based drilling simulator that offers a 180° side view and 90° vertical view, as well as pipe-handling and well control training capabilities. It is equipped to perform well control downhole simulations with 3D graphics.
“This drilling simulator complex will be able to simulate extreme well control situations,” said Claus V. Hemmingsen, CEO of Maersk Drilling. “It exceeds any industry requirement and represents our strong commitment to effective training and high safety standards.”
Maersk developed the simulator complex in response to the Macondo incident and to focus on the interaction between crew members in various functions on the rig when dealing with well control scenarios. Other simulators either already installed at the facility or in the process of installation include a rig control room simulator, an engine room simulator and two crane simulators.
The training facilities in Svendborg will be in high demand as Maersk Drilling is in the process of hiring 3,000 employees and doubling its fleet by 2016.
Statoil completes appraisal well in North Sea
Statoil has completed another appraisal well in PL265 in the Johan Sverdrup discovery in the Norwegian North Sea with partners Petoro, Det Norske Oljeselskap and Lundin Petroleum. The well was drilled with Diamond Offshore’s Ocean Vanguard semi, which will also drill wildcat well 25/11-26 in production license 169.
Separately, the Lavani-2 well offshore Tanzania has appraised the Lavani-1 discovery reservoir in the Palaeogene. A significant gas-bearing reservoir in the Cretaceous was encountered. Ocean Rig drilled the well about 3 miles (5 km) southeast of the Lavani-1 discovery well and 12 miles (20 km) south of the Zafarani-1 well.
Talisman Energy flows high-quality oil from Kurdamir-2 well
Talisman Energy has confirmed a significant accumulation of light oil in the Kurdamir-2 well in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq. The cased-hole test was conducted in the deeper part of the Oligocene formation and targeted 66 ft (20 meters) of fractured reservoir below the main porous zone.
The zone tested at stabilized rates of up to 3,450 bbls/d of 38° API oil and 8.8 mmcf/d of natural gas. The results confirm the presence of an oil column of at least 479 ft (146 meters) in the Oligocene reservoir.
Chevron discovers gas offshore Western Australia
Chevron has made two discoveries in the Exmouth Plateau area of the Carnarvon Basin offshore the Western Australia coast.
The Pinhoe-1 well, drilled in 3,048 ft (929 meters) of water to TD 13,396 ft (4,083 meters), encountered approximately 197 ft (60 meters) of net gas pay in the Barrow and Mungaroo Sands.
The Arnhem-1 well, drilled in 3,963 ft (1,208 meters) of water to TD 9,557 ft (2913 meters), confirmed approximately 149 ft (45.5 meters) of net gas pay in the upper Mungaroo Sands.
BP discovers gas in Trinidad, begins production at Skarv
BP Trinidad & Tobago has discovered an estimated 1 trillion cu ft (tcf) of gas offshore Trinidad, doubling the estimated gas in place of the Savonette gas field to 2 tcf.
The Savonette 4 appraisal well was drilled east of the original Savonette field discovery well in water depths of almost 300 ft (91 meters) in the Columbus basin, approximately 50 miles (80 km) off the southeast coast of Trinidad. The well was drilled to TD 18,678 ft (5,693 meters) and penetrated hydrocarbon-bearing reservoirs in two intervals.
Separately, BP and partners have started production from the Skarv field, approximately 130 miles (210 km) west of the Norwegian coast in water depths up to 1,476 ft (450 meters). The field has an estimated recovery of around 100 million bbls of oil and condensate and more than 1.5 tcf of rich gas.
Hess makes Pecan-1 discovery offshore Ghana
Hess Corp has discovered oil in the Pecan-1 exploration well. In the Deepwater Tano/Cape Three Points license offshore Ghana, the well encountered 245 net ft of oil pay in two separate Turonian intervals. The well was drilled to TD 15,420 ft (4,700 meters) in a water depth of 8,245 ft (2,513 meters).
UK allows exploratory hydraulic fracturing to resume with new requirements
The UK Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) has announced that exploratory hydraulic fracturing for shale gas can resume in the UK. DECC has introduced new regulatory requirements intended to ensure that seismic risks are effectively mitigated in hydraulic fracturing operations.
Fracturing had been suspended since May 2011, pending the investigation of two seismic tremors experienced near Preese Hall, Lancashire.
DECC has also responded to the Maitland Report, an independent review on the strength of the UK’s offshore oil and gas safety and environmental protection regime.
Many of the government recommendations have been implemented. Key responses to the recommendations include:
• A pan-industry forum to share best practice and develop guidance and standards for well management and design will remain in place permanently;
• Guidelines for improved management systems to give assurance that safety and environmental plans are implemented robustly; and
• Increased requirement for operators to carry out offshore emergency response exercises from every five years to every three years.
Latshaw Drilling acquires Keen Energy Services
Latshaw Drilling Company has acquired Keen Energy Services. Latshaw Drilling is now made up of 41 rigs and 1,000 employees, making it the second-largest privately owned drilling contractor in the US. Most of the rigs are late-model, diesel-electric units. Thirty-two rigs are equipped with top drives for horizontal drilling, and seven are AC-power rigs.
The acquisition makes Latshaw the second most active drilling contractor in the emerging Mississippi Lime unconventional play between Oklahoma and Kansas. Latshaw operates rigs in Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana and Arkansas, predominantly in the unconventional horizontal plays.
Frigstad T70 semi features 30,000 dwt displacement
The KM-3, a Frigstad T70 semisubmersible tender-assisted drilling unit, is the largest of its kind with a displacement of approximately 30,000 dwt. Norway’s Frigstad Engineering has secured a contract with SapuraKencana Petroleum to provide detailed engineering services for the construction of KM-3. The unit is equipped with three large cranes, including one 400-ton crane capable of lifting the drilling equipment set in predesigned modules onto offshore jackets.
Vantage, Sigma JV to build ultra-deepwater drillship
Vantage Drilling and Sigma Drilling have entered a joint venture to construct a high-specification drillship at STX Offshore & Shipbuilding. The ultra-deepwater rig will be equipped to operate in up to 12,000-ft water depth and outfitted with a dual-activity derrick. Delivery is expected in November 2015.
Vantage Drilling’s ultra-deepwater drillship Titanium Explorer also commenced operations in the Gulf of Mexico on 7 December 2012. The drillship is contracted to Petrobras for eight years.
Shelf Drilling stakes claim in shallow-water markets
Shelf Drilling was established in September 2012 upon reaching a definitive agreement with Transocean to acquire 37 independent cantilever jackups and one swamp barge for approximately US $1.05 billion. The deal officially closed on 30 November 2012.
Although a good portion of the E&P industry has set its sights on deepwater as the next frontier, David Mullen, Shelf Drilling CEO, points out that shallow water still accounts for 70% of today’s offshore production and notes that his company has no plans to divert focus away from jackup operations.
Seadrill acquires Songa Eclipse ultra-deep semisub
A subsidiary of Seadrill has acquired the ultra-deepwater semisubmersible Songa Eclipse from Songa Offshore for US $590 million. The rig is currently operating for TOTAL offshore Angola on a fixed contract ending in December 2013.
Seadrill has also received a Letter of Award from Husky Oil Operations for a five-year contract for the newbuild harsh-environment semisubmersible West Mira for operations in Canada and Greenland. The rig is under construction, and delivery is scheduled for Q4 2014.