Vantage Drilling named their new rig, the Topaz Driller, in late February at the PPL Shipyards. A Baker Marine Pacific-class 375 rig, the Topaz Driller will go to work for PVEP Phu Quy Petroleum Operating Company offshore Vietnam. The rig has a maximum operating water depth of 375 ft and a drilling depth of 30,000 ft. This marks Vantage’s fourth jackup rig, others being the Emerald Driller, Sapphire Driller and Aquamarine Driller. Vantage also has three drillships and two semisubmersibles under construction.
Campos Basin exploratory well finishes drilling
Petrobras has completed drilling exploratory well 4-PM-53 in shallow waters (200 m) in the post-salt area of the Campos Basin. The well allows the discovery of a new producer area adjacent to the Pampo Field. The well was drilled 6 km from the PPM-1 (Pampo platform), and it detected the existence of a continuous, 128-m net pay column of 20° API oil in Albian calcareous rocks located in reservoirs of excellent porosity and permeability. The volume of recoverable oil has been estimated at 25 million barrels.
Keppel to build custom Saudi Aramco jackup
Keppel FELS has contracted with Aramco Overseas Company, a subsidiary of Saudi Aramco, to build a customised KFELS Super B Class jackup. Construction will commence in May 2010, and rig delivery is planned for the second half of 2012. The unit will be deployed in the Middle East. “We are pleased to usher in 2010 with a newbuild project for Saudi Aramco. This is an encouraging development, signaling that confidence is gradually returning to the industry,” Wong Kok Seng, executive director of Keppel FELS, said. “In the current market, owners and operators are on the look-out for even more innovative and cost-effective solutions that can be delivered as promised.”
GSF Celtic Sea awarded contract for work offshore Angola
Transocean’s deepwater semisubmersible rig GSF Celtic Sea has been awarded a three-year contract by an undisclosed customer for operations in Angola commencing in 2011.
Estimated contracted revenues related to the contract are approximately $350 million. The GSF Celtic Sea is one of Transocean’s 16 deepwater floaters that can operate in water depths up to 5,750 ft and drill wells up to 25,000 ft deep.
Keppel AMFELS makes Tuxpan jackup rig delivery to Perforadora
Keppel AmFELS delivered its first rig in 2010, Tuxpan, to Mexico’s Perforadora Central SA de CV.
Patricio Alvarez Morphy, president of Perforadora Central, said, “We are confident that this fine rig will achieve a strong operational record when she begins work.”
Tuxpan is the second jackup rig that Keppel AmFELS has built for Perforadora Central.
Keppel AmFELS is currently constructing four other newbuild jackup rigs of the enhanced LeTourneau Super 116E design, for Rowan Companies.
Seadrill’s West Gemini secures 2-year deal
Seadrill has received a letter of award from an international E&P operator for the ultra-deepwater drillship West Gemini under construction. The letter of award represents a two-year contract with an estimated value of approximately $345 million, including mobilization fees.
The West Gemini is expected to be completed early July 2010 and will subsequently relocate from Korea to West Africa to commence operations.
Statoil extends production drilling contracts
Statoil has extended its production drilling and maintenance contracts with Odfjell Drilling for the platforms Snorre A, Snorre B, Visund and Heidrun for two years, until the end of September 2012.
Statoil has also extended contracts with KCA DEUTAG Norge and Seawell for production drilling and maintenance services. KCA DEUTAG Norge was awarded two-year contract extensions for six fixed platforms on the Oseberg field, including Brage and Njord, in the North Sea.
The Seawell contract extensions were for platform drilling services on six fixed platforms on the Gullfaks and Statfjord fields on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. The drilling and maintenance assignment has a firm duration of two years with option for an additional two years. Seawell has been working on the Statfjord A, B and C platforms since 1982 and the Gullfaks A, B and C since 2004.
Separately, Statoil has reported a minor oil discovery in the Tampen area in the northeastern area of the Snorre field of the North Sea. The find has been named Lower Lunde, and its size has been estimated to be between 6 million and 19 million bbls of oil equivalent. The Snorre Unit licensees will consider tying in production from the find to Snorre. The well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned.
ExxonMobil’s Point Thomson well reaches target
ExxonMobil has successfully drilled and cased PTU-15, the first development well for the Point Thomson project on Alaska’s North Slope. In addition, a 60-mile ice road has been completed from Endicott to Point Thomson, which enables the transport of heavy equipment and materials to the site.
ExxonMobil drilled the well to over 16,000-ft MD. The shore-based rig directionally drilled under the Beaufort Sea to the targeted gas reservoir more than 1.5 miles offshore. The rig will be moved to the second development well at Point Thompson (PTU-16). Work continues on front-end engineering and design for the initial production system.
The project, located approximately 60 miles east of Prudhoe Bay, is scheduled to commence production in 2014.
Chevron will develop new Venezuelan energy project
Chevron confirms that a consortium led by its Venezuelan subsidiary has been selected to negotiate its participation in a project composed of three blocks in the Orinoco Oil Belt (Faja) of eastern Venezuela.
Situated in the eastern area of Faja, approximately 40 miles northeast of the city of Puerto Ordaz, the three blocks have a combined area of 215 sq miles.
Chevron currently holds a joint venture interest in PetroPiar, an integrated extra-heavy oil project in Faja.
Anadarko confirms Windjammer’s 1st offshore gas find
Anadarko announced the Windjammer exploration well in the frontier Rovuma Basin offshore Mozambique has reached an intermediate casing point. The Windjammer encountered 480 net ft of natural gas pay in high-quality reservoir sands, with a gross column of more than 1,200 ft. The well has tested one of the seven identified play types in Anadarko’s operated acreage offshore Mozambique.
The Windjammer well was drilled to approximately 14,000 ft about 30 miles off the Mozambique coastline.
Pride dedicates new Deepwater Ascension drillship in South Korea
Pride International has dedicated the first of its four new deepwater drillships under construction by Samsung Heavy Industries in South Korea, the Deep Ocean Ascension. The company is expected to take delivery of the rig in late February 2010, followed by the mobilization of the rig to the US Gulf of Mexico, where it is expected to commence operations in the third quarter of the year under a five-year contract with BP.