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KCA DEUTAG contract extended on StatoilHydro

StatoilHydro's Kvitebjorn platformKCA DEUTAG Drilling Norge’s contract with StatoilHydro for the provision of drilling services on the Kvitebjorn platform has been renewed for a further two years until March 2010. This is the third of three options exercised by StatoilHydro and means that KCA DEUTAG now has drilling contracts on seven StatoilHydro installations until 2010. The other six are on the Oseberg, Brage and Njord fields and are valid until July 2010.

KCA DEUTAG has drilled on Kvitebjorn since the platform was installed in summer 2003 and has cooperated closely with StatoilHydro in the development and use of managed pressure drilling (MPD) in this field.

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MMS calls for further improvements in lifting safety

Speaking at the IADC Lifting & Mechanical Handling Conference & Exhibition in Houston on 15 July, MMS senior engineer Joe Levine delivered some surprising statistics regarding lifting incidents on the OCS. What was not surprising, however, was that the numbers showed the industry still has plenty of room for improvement.

Since 2004, the Minerals Management Service (MMS) has issued seven safety alerts and five panel reports related to lifting activities. There is no other OCS operation on which the MMS has issued more safety alerts or panel reports, Mr Levine said. To both regulators and the industry, this should be a red flag.

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IADC Australasia Chapter submits comments to NOPSA review

NOPSAThe IADC Australasia Chapter recently made a submission to Australia’s Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (DRET) as part of a government-mandated independent review of the National Offshore Petroleum Safety Authority (NOPSA). NOPSA began operations in January 2005 and has since made significant changes to the requirements that drilling contractors face in the management of health and safety in Australian waters.

Additionally, a new levy system intended to cover NOPSA’s operational costs was set up that includes drilling contractors as “operators.” Rig owners have continued to protest this levy.

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Interior Department initiates new five-year oil/gas leasing program for OCS

MMSSaying the nation’s energy situation has dramatically changed in the past year, Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne has jumpstarted the development of a new oil and natural gas leasing program for the US Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). The action could give the next administration a two-year head start in expanding energy production from federal offshore jurisdictions, including some areas where a congressional ban had prevented oil and gas development.

“When our current five-year program for Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas leasing was launched in July 2007, oil was selling for $64 a barrel,” Mr Kempthorne said. “Today a barrel of oil costs more than $120, almost double the price a year ago. Clearly, today’s escalating energy prices and the widening gap between US energy consumption and supply have changed the fundamental assumptions on which many of our decisions were based.”

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ExxonMobil announces $1.1 billion Turrum Field development

ExxonMobilExxonMobil has announced the Gippsland Basin Joint Venture, which includes its subsidiary, Esso Australia, will invest $1.1 billion to develop more than 270 million oil-equivalent bbl from the Turrum field in the Bass Strait, offshore southeast Australia.

The development follows the recent announcement of $1 billion in funding to develop natural gas from the Kipper field, also in the Bass Strait.

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Transocean to participate in Corporate Eco Forum

TransoceanTransocean recently became a member of the Corporate Eco Forum, an invitation-only group of companies who have “demonstrated a seriousness of purpose around the environment as a business strategy,” underscoring the company’s commitment to corporate responsibility.

“The invitation to participate in the Corporate Eco Forum is a great testament to our ongoing commitment to environmental stewardship and the company’s leadership position in this arena compared to our peers,” said Adrian Rose, Transocean’s VP of QHSE.

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IADC forms European Operations Forum

As part of its continuing effort to promote HSE commitment and advances in drilling technology, IADC is forming the European Operations Forum (EOF). The EOF will build on the achievements of the European Working Group and develop a stronger IADC regional body focusing on policies that effectively meet drilling contractors’ 21st-century needs.

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Halliburton introduces WellLife III cementing solution

Halliburton Cement Assurance Tool

Halliburton Cement Assurance Tool

Halliburton has announced the delivery of WellLife III cementing service, a comprehensive solution designed to increase the economic life of wells. The solution incorporates three synergistic components: diagnostics tools, engineered cement systems and zonal isolation assurance tool.

The service aims to evolve the cementing operation beyond the conventional cement-design method that predominantly focuses on well-construction activities. This service is an interventionless react-and-respond solution designed to help address the industrywide challenge of the loss of zonal isolation due to changes in the wellbore that can stress the cement sheath and lead to destabilization at any point during the life of the well.

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DOE, drilling contractors meet to discuss geothermal drilling

DOERepresentatives from the US Department of Energy (DOE) met with drilling contractors in a meeting at IADC’s Houston headquarters in early June to discuss geothermal drilling and the new drilling opportunities it can offer rig owners.

The DOE is renewing its push for geothermal E&P through increased funding for research & development – on 18 June, the group announced it’s making $90 million available over the next four years for new technology projects. The goal is to enable commercialization of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS), which the DOE believes has the potential to make geothermal energy a true alternative to oil and natural gas.

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Norwegian Petroleum Museum hosts meeting of IADC International Forum of Energy Centres and Museums

IFECM

From left: Kathy Shannon, the Petroleum Museum; Jason McFarland, IADC; Dianne Allen, Canadian Petroleum Interpretive Center; Sandra Mourton, Offshore Energy Center; Paul Bernhard, Houston Museum of Natural Science; Finn Krogh, Norwegian Petroleum Museum; Gulnara Agayeva, Caspian Energy Centre; Seth Green, International Petroleum Museum & Exposition; and Martin Salesch, Deutsches Erdölmuseum Wietze.

Stavanger, a critical operations base for Norway’s buzzing drilling industry, was the host city for the third gathering of IADC’s International Forum of Energy Centres and Museums (IFECM) on 16-17 June. Delegates from eight energy centers representing five countries – Azerbaijan, Canada, Germany, Norway and the United States – convened at the Norwegian Petroleum Museum to share ideas on improving public perception of the drilling industry.

Participants discussed ongoing projects, as well as possible future collaborative efforts such as the digitization/preservation of historical oilfield documents. However, the central theme of the forum remained public outreach, and the group shared ideas such as brown-bag lunches, career days, discovery days, “pre-visit packs” and family activity days.

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