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The Offshore Frontier

Thigpen: Improving performance, efficiency will be key for offshore to compete with shales

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The offshore industry has reduced deepwater development costs by up to 50% over the past couple of years, much of it sustainable, but is that enough for deepwater to compete with shales for investors’ capital? In the near term, probably not, acknowledged Jeremy Thigpen, Transocean President and CEO, in a keynote presentation at IADC World Drilling 2017. But in the long term, there remains a critical need for deepwater resources...

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Small signs hint at possible recovery in still-sluggish North Sea

The ENSCO 120 jackup is scheduled to begin a three-year drilling program in the North Sea in July. It was the first rig equipped with Ensco’s Canti-Leverage Advantage system, which enhances the rig’s hoisting capacity at the farthest reaches of the cantilever when the rig is fully skidded out, leading to fewer rig moves on multiwell programs.

Although the North Sea drilling market is still quite a ways from what one might call healthy, small signs of recovery are starting to sprout. Several operators, for example, have publicly touted significant reductions in their breakeven costs for offshore projects – from Maersk Oil’s $40-45 range for pre-FID projects to Statoil’s $27 for pre-FID Norwegian Shelf projects...

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Statoil adopts integrated, trilateral partnership in search of ‘perfect wells’ on Johan Sverdrup field

Speaking at the 2017 OTC on 3 May in Houston, Jákup Øregaard, Drilling Manager at Statoil, detailed an integrated, trilateral partnership among the operator, drilling contractor and main service provider, including a shared incentive system, that supported a 70% recovery goal for the Johan Sverdrup field.

Operated by Statoil, Johan Sverdrup is one of the five largest oil fields on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS), holding an estimated 1.9 billion to 3 billion BOE. In March 2016, Statoil began pre-drilling eight producer wells on the field, with the goal of delivering “perfect wells,” or wells delivered in the minimum possible time, that would contribute to a 70% recovery goal for the field...

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ONGC awards contract to Vantage Drilling’s Platinum Explorer

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Vantage Drilling announced that its ultra-deepwater drillship, the Platinum Explorer, has received a letter of award for a three-year contract from Oil and Natural Gas Company (ONGC). The Platinum Explorer is planned to mobilize to India in the fourth quarter of 2017. Expected revenues over the three-year contract term, exclusive of service tax, are approximately $118 million...

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Noble awards contract for integrated deepwater MPD system

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Noble Corp has awarded AFGlobal a contract for the provision of an integrated deepwater managed pressure drilling (MPD) system. The scope of the award will culminate in the supply and installation of an integrated, next-generation MPD system. The equipment specified is the most advanced of its kind supplied to date by AFGlobal. Noble recognizes MPD as an important next step in bringing continuous improvement to the drilling process. “The addition of MPD systems to our rig fleet will provide a valuable competitive advantage with an expected higher level of safety and performance,” said Scott Marks, Senior Vice President of Engineering at Noble. “AFGlobal’s decades of manufacturing experience, combined with a deep understanding of pressure management drilling technology, has positioned us at the center of ...

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DOE to invest $20 million in new oil and gas research projects

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The US Department of Energy (DOE) announced the availability of $20 million for cost-shared oil and gas research projects to increase recovery efficiency from unconventional oil and gas wells and to prevent offshore spills and leaks. This new funding opportunity seeks projects that will advance DOE’s objective to support a more environmentally responsible, secure, and resilient US energy infrastructure, while enhancing economic competitiveness and national security...

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Hess takes final investment decision for Liza phase 1 development offshore Guyana

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Hess has sanctioned the first phase of development of the Liza Field, one of the industry’s largest oil discoveries of the past decade, located on the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana. In addition, the company announced positive results from the Liza-4 well which encountered more than 197 ft (60 m) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs and will underpin a potential Liza Phase 2 development. Gross discovered recoverable resources for the Stabroek Block are now estimated to be 2.0 billion to 2.5 billion barrels of oil equivalent, including Liza and other successful exploration wells on Liza Deep, Payara and Snoek....

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New BSEE Director aims to balance environmental sustainability, safety and offshore energy development

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One of the early priorities for Scott Angelle, newly appointed BSEE Director who assumed his role on 24 May, will be to review existing rules and regulations to ensure that they promote offshore safety but don’t create an undue regulatory burden. In a call with members of the media on 1 June, Director Angelle emphasized that he wants to make BSEE an “and” agency, rather than an “or” agency. “How do we implement a safety program and, at the same time, embrace domestic energy production?” he asked. “What I see is that it’s not an either/or proposition.”...

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