Total has announced that it will not be in a position to continue the South Pars 11 (SP11) project in Iran as a consequence of the United States’ decision to withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and reinstate the US sanctions that were in force before the JCPOA’s implementation.
The company will unwind all related operations before 4 November 2018, unless Total is granted a specific project waiver by US authorities with support of the French and European authorities. In 2017, Total executed the contract related to SP11, together with partner PetroChina and in full compliance with UN resolutions and US, EU and French legislation acceptable at the time. On 8 May 2018, President Donald Trump announced the United States’ decision to withdraw from the JCPOA and reinstate the US sanctions.
Total has made it clear that it cannot afford to be exposed to any secondary sanction, which might include the loss of financing by US banks for its worldwide operations, the loss of its US shareholders or the inability to continue its US operations. In these circumstances, Total will not take any further commitment related to the SP11 project.
Maersk Drilling has been awarded three consecutive contracts for the Maersk Resolute with TAQA Energy, Petrogas E&P Netherlands and Dana Petroleum Netherlands. The contract with TAQA Energy covers the subsea plug and abandonment of three wells. It will commence June 2018 with an estimated duration of 60 days. After that, the contract with Petrogas and Dana Petroleum will commence, lasting for around 70 days, including workover and drilling activities.
Additionally, the Maersk Resolve has been awarded a contract extension by Wintershall for the drilling of an additional well in the ongoing drilling campaign in the Dutch sector of the North Sea.
Rowan Companies has announced that the Rowan Gorilla VII, a Super Gorilla Class ultra-harsh environment jackup, has been awarded an 18-month program by Chrysaor in the UK sector of the North Sea. The contract includes two one-year options.
In separate news, Rowan’s R-Class drillship Rowan Relentless has been awarded a contract from ExxonMobil to drill a prospect in the US Gulf of Mexico. The contract is expected to commence in September 2018 and last for 80 days.
Further, Rowan expects that four of its idle jackups will be leased to ARO Drilling to fulfill four three-year contracts that ARO Drilling has been awarded by Saudi Aramco. ARO Drilling will lease the EXL I, EXL IV, Bess Brants and Earnest Dees (formerly named P-59 and P-60, respectively) from Rowan through a bareboat charter lease mechanism.
Hess has reached an agreement with Esso Exploration and Production Guyana to acquire a 15% participating interest in the Kaieteur Block offshore Guyana. The Kaieteur block is approximately 3.3 million acres, equivalent in size to more than 580 deepwater blocks in the Gulf of Mexico. The 2018 work program includes processing and interpretation of approximately 5,700 sq km of 3D seismic data and evaluation of a future drilling program. The Kaieteur block lies in the same geological basin as the Stabroek Block, where total recoverable resources of more than 3.2 billion bbl of oil equivalent have been discovered.
SOCAR and BP have signed a new production-sharing agreement (PSA) to jointly explore and develop Block D230 in the North Absheron basin in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea. Block D230 lies some 135 km northeast of Baku in the Caspian Sea. It covers approximately 3,200 sq km with water depths of 400-600 m.
Vantage Drilling International has entered into a contract with Total Gabon for the Topaz Driller jackup to perform drilling services in Gabon for an estimated term of nine months, with additional optional periods.
Equinor has signed a framework agreement with Odfjell Drilling with terms that will be used for future rig contracts with Odfjell on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The first rig contract signed under this format was for the Deepsea Atlantic, a sixth-generation semi. “We have reached a long-term agreement with standard terms that will ensure more efficient procurement processes for future assignments with Odfjell,” Pål Eitrheim, Senior VP for Procurements, said.
The established work program is scheduled to start in January 2019. The well-based contract is estimated at $150 million to $200 million for six wells.
The rig owner is responsible for casing running, slop treatment and cuttings handling, remote control vehicle and fuel.
Currently on contract with Equinor and its license partners, the Deepsea Atlantic will complete a drilling program for the Visund and Utgard licenses before it undergoes 10-year classification.
Keppel FELS has signed a master agreement with Borr Drilling for the sale of five jackup rigs for approximately $745 million. Borr will pay a first installment of $288 million within 20 business days of the effective date of the master agreement, and the remaining amounts are payable within five years from the respective delivery dates of each individual rig, on a seller’s credit with interest at market rates. The rigs are under construction by Keppel FELS to the KFELS B class designs.
Petroteq Energy has acquired additional acreage in the resource-rich Uintah Basin. The company has finalized the acquisition at auction of a 100% interest in two leases for 1,312 acres of land within the Asphalt Ridge, Utah, area.
Equinor and partners Lundin and Spirit Energy have struck oil in the PL 167 license at Utsira High in the North Sea. The discovery is estimated to contain between 15 million to 35 million bbl of recoverable oil equivalent. An additional discovery was made with good reservoir quality over the main discovery, but the volume in this discovery has not been evaluated. The well also appraised the 2004 gas discovery Verdandi, and the estimate of 4 million to 11 million recoverable oil equivalent is maintained.
Siccar Point Energy has secured additional strategic acreage in the Oil & Gas Authority’s 30th licensing round for the UK Continental Shelf. In a 50/50 partnership with Shell, Siccar Point will operate the exploration and appraisal phases of the license in the Greater Cambo Area in the West of Shetland. The license lies between the Cambo field and the Suilven field and is ideally suited to provide satellite tie-in development opportunities to the Cambo field development. It includes the Tornado gas discovery, as well as multiple exploration prospects.
BP and Reliance Industries have announced the sanctioning of the “Satellite cluster” project in Block KG D6 offshore India to develop the block’s discovered deepwater gas fields in an integrated series of projects. The “Satellite cluster” is the second of three projects in the development and is a dry gas development. Together, the three projects will develop a total of about 3 trillion cu ft of discovered gas resources.
Kosmos Energy’s Anapai-1 well, on Block 45 offshore Suriname, encountered shallow borehole stability issues during drilling before reaching the target interval. The well will be re-spudded, targeting the same objectives, with a reconfigured well design. Anapai-1A is expected take approximately 50 to 60 days to drill, with results expected early in Q3.
Through a joint venture with funds managed and/or advised by Hayfin Capital Management, Transocean has purchased a 33.3% interest in the West Rigel, a newbuild harsh-environment semisubmersible. The total purchase price for the rig is $500 million. The rig, renamed the Transocean Norge, is a Moss Maritime CS60 design rig. Delivery is expected in Q4 2018, and it is expected to become available for charter in Q1 2019.
ExxonMobil has announced the commencement of development drilling in the Liza Phase 1 development in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana. Development drilling began in May for the first of 17 wells planned for Phase 1, laying the foundation for production startup in 2020.
Eni announced an oil discovery on the A-2X exploration prospect located in the South West Meleiha license in the Egyptian Western Desert, 103 km north of the Oasis of Siwa. The well is the first drilled by Eni to explore the deep geological sequences of the Faghur Basin. The well, named SWM A-2X, was drilled to a total depth of 5,090 m and encountered 18 m of light oil in the Paleozoic sandstones of Dessouky Formation of Carboniferous age and other hydrocarbon levels in the Alam El Bueib sandstones.