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The Offshore Frontier

Shell invests in Vito development in Gulf of Mexico


Shell Offshore, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, announced the final investment decision for Vito, a deepwater development in the US Gulf of Mexico with a forward-looking, breakeven price estimated to be less than $35 bbl. This decision sets in motion the construction and fabrication of a new, simplified host design and subsea infrastructure...

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State of offshore rig market is all about rig supply – yet nobody knows how many offshore rigs there are in the market anymore

If the market returns to somewhere near its high demand of 397 jackups, then there will need to be 467 rigs in the fleet compared with today’s high supply number of 518, in order to achieve an 85% utilization rate. Bassoe estimates that the jackup fleet will shrink by 90 rigs over the next two years, while estimated attrition for semisubmersibles is 25. To achieve 85% utilization in the drillship segment, only four rigs would have to be removed, after removing the remaining non-competitive units. Bassoe believes that, even while it remains hard to forecast the supply side, scenarios that yield an 85% utilization are feasible.

What’s the state of the offshore rig market today? In four words, it’s not that bad. Sure, rig demand hasn’t risen as much as it was forecasted to do. When rigs do get drilling contracts, they don’t make much money. There are a lot of stacked rigs sitting around. There’s still a need for more contractor consolidation...

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Bonded composite reinforcement technology designed to replace hot work, reduce time, costs and hazards during FPSO repairs

During the installation of ColdShield, an industrial vacuum is used to reduce the humidity under the area to be sealed off down to as low as 1%. Following the dehydration  process, structural polymers are injected. The polymers include a resin that bonds to the base metal of the hull, keeping the pad in place for up to 10 years. The process-controlled injection is performed through an automated skid.

Many floating production, storage and offloading units (FPSOs) operating today were built as early as the 1970s. As these assets age, they experience corrosion on their hulls and decks, which necessitates in situ repairs as most FPSO do not go to drydock. Typically, hull and deck repairs require hot work, including grinding and welding, which can cause fire and explosion hazards and disrupt production...

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Noble drives down completion time for Tamar 8 well by adopting new designs for temporary P&A, BHAs

The first wells on Noble Energy’s Tamar field offshore Israel required six BHA trips before running the open-hole gravel pack. The operator managed to reduce the required number of BHA trips to only three in the Tamar 8 well, Ian Magin, Deepwater Completions Engineer for Noble, said at the 2018 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference.

Since Noble Energy’s Tamar field offshore Israel was brought online in 2013, the natural gas produced from the field has provided 60% of Israel’s electricity. To continue meeting the country’s gas demand, Noble announced in 2016 that it would drill the Tamar 8 well. This provided Noble with an opportunity to optimize the well’s completion design and methodology...

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Noble, GE collaborate to create digital rigs that leverage predictive analytics and digital twins to take maintenance off the critical path

Noble is currently monitoring seven systems onboard the Noble Globetrotter I: the BOP system, power system, drawworks, mud pumps, top drive, thrusters and dynamic positioning system. These systems were selected for monitoring because they had the greatest potential to cause downtime in the event of a failure.

To improve the efficiency of its asset management and operational productivity, Noble Corp announced in February that it had partnered with GE to outfit four of its high-specification rigs with an advanced data analytics system that can detect anomalies and potential failures weeks in advance. Seven key critical systems are now being monitored – the BOP system, power system, drawworks, mud pumps, top drive, thrusters and dynamic positioning system. Noble expects that it can achieve improved reliability and up to a 20% reduction in the maintenance spending on these systems as early as the second half of this year, according to Bernie Wolford, Senior VP Operations...

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