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The Offshore Frontier

Wood Mackenzie: Explorers’ success rates rise as ultra-deep and frontier basins deliver


Explorers achieved significant success in 2017 as companies emerged from the downturn leaner and more focused on making smart portfolio decisions. The industry has made a return to high-impact exploration in ultra-deepwater and frontier basins after a period of focusing on low-risk, low-reward activity. Oil accounted for 56% of discovered volumes, a share last seen in 2008, with eight out of the top 10 discoveries being oil weighted...

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Total enters exploration in Guyana Basin with three exploration licenses


Total has signed agreements to acquire interests into two exploration licenses offshore Guyana, the Canje Block and the Kanuku Block. These agreements come after entering into an option agreement for the nearby Orinduik Block. Subject to the approval of relevant authorities, Total will thus own exploration rights to an area covering over 12,000 sq km in the Guyana Basin...

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Deep Sea Mooring picks up Quadrant contract offshore Australia


Deep Sea Mooring (DSM), a Vryhof company, has secured a contract with Quadrant Energy to provide turnkey pre-lay mooring solutions to the Transocean GSF Development Driller 1 semi-submersible drilling rig offshore Australia. The deal, a continuation of previous work for Quadrant Energy, begins in March 2018...

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With dayrates still low, industry may have to look to consolidation to cut costs, accelerate rig retirements

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Newbuild deliveries may exert pressure on jackup market in 2018, but operators likely to maintain preference for high-performing rigs with recent track records By Linda Hsieh, Managing Editor Ihab Toma is CEO of Vantage Drilling. Looking at the global offshore drilling market today, what do you see as the most critical challenges facing this business? It’s utilization, and it’s oversupply. For the past couple of years, the big challenge had been lack of rig demand, but that is starting to come back. However, we still have an oversupply of drilling rigs, and that will continue to put pressure on dayrates. Therefore, at this point, it’s very difficult for us to do much except cut more costs to generate enough margins ...

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Vantage Drilling announces contract for Topaz Driller

Vantage Drilling is mobilizing the Topaz Driller to work for Ophir in Thailand.

Vantage Drilling announced that it has entered into a contract with New Age Cameroon Offshore Petroleum for its premium jackup rig, the Topaz Driller, to perform drilling services in Cameroon for 150 days. “We are very pleased to announce this contract with New Age for the Topaz Driller in Cameroon,” said Ihab Toma, CEO of Vantage. “This contract will enable us to have two of our premium jackup rigs operating in West Africa after we mobilize the Topaz Driller from Asia to Cameroon. Our rigs and crews have proven and continue to prove to our clients that Vantage is a leader in safety and operational performance in the region. We look forward to commencing work for our esteemed client.”

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Shell announces large deepwater discovery in Gulf of Mexico


Shell has announced one of its largest US Gulf of Mexico exploration finds in the past decade from the Whale deepwater well. The well encountered more than 1,400 net ft (427 m) of oil-bearing pay. Evaluation of the discovery is ongoing, and appraisal drilling is under way to further delineate the discovery and define development options. “Deepwater is an important growth priority as we reshape Shell into a world-class investment case,” said Andy Brown, Upstream Director for Royal Dutch Shell. “Today’s announcement shows how, through exploration, we are sustaining a strong pipeline of discoveries and future projects to sustain this deepwater growth.” Whale is operated by Shell (60%) and co-owned by Chevron (40%). It was discovered in the Alaminos Canyon ...

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Premier Oil awarded exploration license offshore Indonesia


Premier Oil, together with its joint venture (JV) partners Mubadala Petroleum and Kris Energy, has been awarded the Andaman II License in the 2017 Indonesian Licensing Round. The Andaman II license is located in the underexplored but proven North Sumatra basin offshore Aceh, Indonesia. Premier has identified numerous prospects and leads that exhibit direct hydrocarbon indicators on the existing 2D seismic data, significantly de-risking a potentially material gas play, the company stated. Premier assesses that the overall license has the potential for significant gas volumes that, in the success case, would be delivered to existing gas consumers in North Sumatra. Going forward, the plan is to acquire 3D seismic in the initial three-year term, Premier stated. Tony Durrant, CEO of Premier, ...

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