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The Offshore Frontier

Equinor strengthens its position in the Norwegian Sea

Equinor and Faroe Petroleum have agreed a number of transactions in the Norwegian Sea and the North Sea region of the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS). These transactions are calibrated as a balanced swap when it comes to value with no cash consideration. “The net effect of our agreement with Faroe is to upgrade Equinor’s portfolio in line with our updated roadmap for the NCS, Siri Espedal Kindem, Equinor’s Senior Vice President for Operations North, said. “We are strengthening our operated position in the prolific Njord area, which we believe continues to have considerable upside potential. We remain operator and majority equity holder in Alve, which is produced via Norne, another important part of the Norwegian Sea for us. And we ...

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Verus moves to next phase of growth plan as production rises 12-fold through drilling and acquisitions

Verus Petroleum is moving on to a new phase of growth, having secured a 12-fold increase in its production – from 1,500 to 18,000 BPD in less than a year – through drilling and key acquisitions in the UKCS. The private equity backed independent operator has recently completed three significant acquisitions; an interest in the Babbage gas field acquired from Premier Oil on 6 December, on the back of completing transactions to acquire Cieco Exploration & Production and Equinor’s Alba field interest in November. These three deals, each with an economic date of 1 January 2018, were funded by a combination of equity, existing cash reserves and debt. Equity has been provided by HitecVision, the majority-owner of Verus. Together with the drilling of ...

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Quick plugging of shut-in wells at Valhall

Through utilization of the PWC (Perforate, Wash & Cement) plug and abandonment method (P&A) on the Valhall field, HydraWell has contributed towards Aker BP executing its plugging program significantly quicker than planned.  Since May 2017, HydraWell has contributed towards plugging 10 shut-in wells on the original drilling platform (DP) at the Valhall field centre. Compared to the first P&A phase on the DP platform from 2014 to 2016, Aker BP has reduced the average time per well by 50% in the latest phase, despite a rise in the complexity of the wells towards the end of the campaign. Plugging wells on the DP platform is a key part of the work to modernize the Valhall field centre. The three original ...

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National Oilwell Varco to outfit Equinor offshore drilling rig fleet with wired drillpipe

National Oilwell Varco (NOV) has announced the signing of a frame agreement with Equinor for the provision of IntelliServ Wired Drillpipe to outfit their global fleet of offshore drilling rigs. This agreement is based on the success of recent field deployments of version two of Wired Drillpipe that have demonstrated the value of high-speed telemetry in multiple applications across their fleet of working rigs. The initial agreement is for three and a half years with five, two-year extensions. “We are delighted to see accelerated adoption of NOV’s proprietary Wired Drillpipe in the global drilling market,” Clay Williams, Chairman, President and CEO of NOV, said. “As the industry places further emphasis on drilling automation and optimization, high-speed telemetry, which allows data to be ...

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DEA to acquire Sierra Oil & Gas in Mexico, including stake in world class Zama discovery

DEA Deutsche Erdoel AG (DEA) has signed an agreement to acquire Sierra Oil & Gas, a leading independent Mexican oil and gas company. Sierra holds interests in a portfolio of six exploration and appraisal blocks in Mexico, including the world-class Zama discovery. The transaction is an important milestone in DEA’s international growth strategy, fulfilling DEA’s objective of building a significant portfolio in the Mexican upstream market. DEA will add Sierra’s acreage to its existing portfolio of operated production and exploration blocks to become one of the country’s largest acreage holders. Once completed, it will be the largest upstream M&A transaction in the country since the liberalization of the petroleum sector in 2013. “The acquisition of Sierra will allow DEA to achieve ...

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Apache achieves first oil at Garten Development

Apache Corporation has announced it has initiated production from its Garten development on Block 9/18a Area-W in the United Kingdom sector of the North Sea. The discovery well, which is located six km south of the Beryl Alpha Platform, was placed on production in late November, less than eight months after being drilled in March 2018. The discovery well at Garten encountered a downthrown structural closure with 778 ft of net oil pay in stacked, high-quality, Jurassic-aged sandstone reservoirs. The well is currently producing from the Beryl sand at a rate of 13.7 thousand BOE/d and 15.7 million cu ft of gas per day. Two lower zones were also successfully tested, and all three zones will ultimately be commingled to maximize recovery. The strong initial rate ...

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Maersk Drilling and Seapulse enter alliance to execute global exploration drilling program

Maersk Drilling and Seapulse have signed a master alliance agreement (MAA) under which Maersk Drilling will provide fully integrated services, including provision of drilling rigs, related drilling services, well services, and other goods and services, for a global offshore oil & gas exploration drilling program of 12 wells. The program is expected to commence in the middle of 2019 with an expected duration of 490 days. The program spans shallow water and deepwater wells in several regions requiring a combination of jackups, semi-submersibles, and drillships. The specific rigs to be deployed during the course of the program will be determined on basis of rig suitability and availability. The fully integrated services will be provided on the basis of market rates with an incentive payment scheme ...

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Industry bullishness needs tempering despite rising dayrates for harsh environment floating drilling rigs

Fueled by increasing dayrates and growing global demand growth for harsh environment semi-submersible offshore drilling rigs, some industry leaders are extremely bullish on future demand for these semis, but the market is far from achieving full utilization and growth expectations need to be tempered, according to new analysis from IHS Markit, a leading global source of critical information and insight. According to the IHS Markit Floating Rig Report and IHS Petrodata RigPoint database, average new fixture dayrates for all floating rigs climbed by 12% year-over-year through September 2018, and the average expected annual growth in global demand for the floating rigs is 7% through 2022, but the floater market utilization (which includes all semi-submersibles and drill ships) is far from ...

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ExxonMobil increases Stabroek resource estimate to 5 billion barrels

ExxonMobil has announced it made its 10th discovery offshore Guyana and increased its estimate of the discovered recoverable resource for the Stabroek Block to more than 5 billion BOE. The resource estimate, up from the previous estimate of more than 4 billion BOE, is a result of further evaluation of previous discoveries and includes a new discovery at the Pluma-1 well. “The discovery of a resource base of more than 5 billion BOE in less than four years is a testament of our technical expertise and rigorous evaluation and pursuit of high-potential, high-risk opportunities in this frontier area,” Neil Chapman, ExxonMobil Senior Vice President, said. “We will continue to apply what we’ve learned to identify additional exploration prospects and potential future discoveries that will deliver ...

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Rowan Relentless has first two options exercised by ExxonMobil

Rowan has announced that ExxonMobil has exercised the first two options for the Rowan Relentless, an R-Class ultra-deepwater drillship.  The options will be used for operations in the US Gulf of Mexico and have an expected duration of 30 days each. The Rowan Relentless has been under contract since September 2018 to ExxonMobil, who has two remaining one-well options for the rig.

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