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The Offshore Frontier

Maersk Drilling announces major contract with Repsol

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Maersk Drilling has been awarded a new major contract in the North Sea for the combined drilling and production jackup Mærsk Inspirer by Repsol. With an estimated duration of five years and options for up to an additional five years, the contract covers drilling and production on the Yme New Development in Norway. Following modification work to the production module, the contract is expected to commence operations on the Yme field as early as Q4 2019...

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Deepwater drilling segment reaches nadir in 2017, may see beginnings of a steady recovery in 2018

The Pacific Scirocco drillship recently completed a contract with Hyperdynamics Corp offshore Guinea. The contract was for one firm well, with three optional wells. Short-term contracts like this are still pervasive in the ultra-competitive deepwater market.

As the deepwater drilling industry looks toward 2018 and beyond, here’s the silver lining: The worst is likely over. Conditions are still difficult, with few work opportunities available for the large supply of deepwater rigs worldwide. However, companies can take some comfort in the fact that things appear to be on the mend, if slowly. “We believe 2017 does actually represent the nadir of activity in deepwater wells drilled,” said Ben Wilby, an analyst with Westwood Global Energy Group. “It increases next year and then increases steadily for the foreseeable future.” This means rig utilization will also see a slow and steady increase beginning in 2018, although a still-oversupplied rig market is expected to keep dayrates down for the foreseeable future...

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Artificial intelligence-enabled flexibility at heart of cognitive drilling platform

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By Linda Hsieh, Managing Editor Schlumberger is in the final stages of commissioning its Rig of the Future, which should be commercial by early 2018, Arindam Bhattacharya, President of Schlumberger Land Rigs, said at the 2017 IADC Advanced Rig Technology Conference on 25 October in Amsterdam. The rig brings together not only automation but also mechanization, including a central hoisting and rotating system, as well as an integrated fluid system that will help to integrate workflows like cementing and managed pressure drilling. Elements of the downhole system, like stick-slip mitigation, can also be optimized through automation. The Rig of the Future project was driven by the lower oil price environment and the desire to thrive, not just survive, in this ...

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Department of Interior announces largest oil and gas lease sale in US history

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US Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has announced that the Department of Interior is proposing the largest oil and gas lease sale ever held in the United States: 76,967,935 acres in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico, offshore Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. The proposed regionwide lease sale, offering an area about the size of New Mexico, is scheduled for March 2018 and includes all available unleased areas on the Gulf’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), surpassing last year’s regionwide lease sale by about 1 million acres. “In today’s low-price energy environment, providing the offshore industry access to the maximum amount of opportunities possible is part of our strategy to spur local and regional economic dynamism and job creation and is ...

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IHS Markit: Tight inventory of deepwater E&P assets for M&A drives prices higher as offshore deal value increases

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Reduced spending for oil and gas exploration is limiting availability of quality deepwater assets for merger and acquisition (M&A) deals, according to a new report by IHS Markit. This lack of deepwater asset inventory is challenging E&P operators who seek to acquire assets in order to secure development funds or de-risk their portfolios. “Low oil prices have significantly reduced operator spending on exploration — particularly in the deepwater, which is very costly,” said Cindy Giglio, CFA, Senior Principal Energy M&A Analyst at IHS Markit. “This means fewer deepwater discoveries are made and even fewer world-class assets become available for sale or acquisition. As a result, those quality deepwater assets that do become available are commanding premium prices.” During this period, ...

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Acoustic telemetry network provides real-time data during deepwater frac pack completions

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Most of the telemetry platforms in existence today don’t provide real-time data during completions. XACT Downhole Telemetry developed its acoustic telemetry network to provide pressure, temperature, tension, torque and bending data during completion operations. At the 2017 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in San Antonio, Texas....

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Atwood Oceanics announces contract extension for Atwood Orca jackup rig

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Atwood Oceanics announced that one of its subsidiaries has agreed to a four month extension on the jackup rig Atwood Orca with Mubadala Petroleum for drilling operations offshore Thailand. The new contract is at an undisclosed day rate that is higher than the current day rate, and it includes two four-month options that are priced at successively higher day rates than the new firm day rate...

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