Ensco orders sixth Samsung DP3 drillship for Q3 2014 delivery
Ensco has ordered an advanced-capability, ultra-deepwater drillship to be built by Samsung Heavy Industries in Geoje, South Korea.
The vessel, ENSCO DS-8, will be the sixth Samsung DP3 drillship in the Ensco fleet. It is scheduled for delivery in Q3 2014. The contract also includes options for two additional drillships of the same design.
Consistent with the previous five Samsung ultra-deepwater drillships ordered since 2007, the new unit will have advanced capabilities to meet the demands of ultra-deepwater drilling in water depths up to 12,000 ft and a total vertical drilling depth of 40,000 ft.
New features include retractable thrusters, enhanced safety and environmental features, improved dynamic positioning capabilities and advanced drilling and completion functionality, including below-main-deck riser storage, triple fluid systems, offline conditioning capability and enhanced client and third-party facilities.
Petrobras confirms Tupi Northeast discovery, expands exploration with BP in four blocks
Petrobras has confirmed the discovery of oil in the Tupi Northeast, in the Santos Basin pre-salt. The well, 1-BRSA-976-RJS, is northeast of the Lula field, at a water depth of 2,131 meters and 255 km off the coast of Rio de Janeiro.
The discovery was confirmed by 26° API oil samples, collected from 4,960 meters. An oil column with more than 290 meters in thickness has been identified in the pre-salt carbonate reservoirs.
Petrobras also has a floating, production, storage and offloading vessel, BW Cidade de São Vicente, in the Iracema area (Block BM-S-11) of the Santos Basin. The platform was connected to well RJS-647 at a water depth of 2,212 meters.
The platform will operate for about six months to gather data on the behavior of the reservoirs and the oil flow in the subsea lines. The information will support the development of the final production system, expected to start operations at the end of 2014.
In exploration, BP has been approved to explore four blocks with Petrobras: BM-BAR-3 and BM-BAR-5 in the Barreirinhas basin and BM-CE-1 and BM-CE-2 in the Ceará Basin.
ONRR bills $4 million for BSEE rig inspections
The US Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) has billed a total of $4,091,100 for the inspection of drilling rigs in Q1 of fiscal year (FY) 2012, specifically billing $1,397,100 in October 2011, $1,447,200 in November and $1,246,800 in December. An estimated 111 oil and gas operating companies were retroactively billed by ONRR in January 2012 after the agency received the authority to do so from Congress.
According to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) NTL 2012-N02, lessees and operators have been informed that ONRR will be collecting inspection fees on behalf of BSEE, covering all bottom-founded structures, floating production facilities and drilling rigs. The NTL took effect as of
1 October 2011.
BSEE’s statistics show that 3,964 rigs on the US Outer Continental Shelf were inspected in Q1 FY12. The average weekly number of rigs and non-rig units conducting well operations was 81 in the Gulf of Mexico and 18 in the Pacific region. The Alaska region currently has one federal/state production operation and no drilling activities.
All rigs are inspected on a monthly basis.
Latshaw unveils 1,700-hp diesel-electric/SCR rig
Latshaw Drilling Co recently added Rig 18 to its fleet. The rig is a 1,700-hp diesel-electric/SCR rig with a 500-ton AC top drive unit and is skiddable for multiwell pad drilling. The rig recently moved to its first location in New Mexico and will be drilling multiple wells from the same pad, with laterals up to 10,000 ft long. The company is now building Rig 19, a 1,500-hp SCR top drive, skiddable rig with 1,600-hp mud pumps that are rated to 7,500 psi.
Ocean Rig receives Letter of Award for deepwater ship
Ocean Rig UDW received a Letter of Award in April for its ultra-deepwater drillship Ocean Rig Olympia from a major oil company. The Letter of Award is for a three-year contract for drilling offshore West Africa.
The contract is expected to commence in continuation of the Ocean Rig Olympia’s existing contract in West Africa. With this contract, Ocean Rig does not have any rigs available in 2012.
Eni starts production offshore Norway, makes discovery in Mozambique
Eni started production in April from the Marulk field in the Norwegian offshore, about 80 km from the coast. The Marulk field is the first that Eni has directly operated in Norway and is part of the PL122 license held by Eni (20%) with Statoil (50%) and DONG Energy (30%).
Marulk is a gas and condensate field, with estimated reserves of 74.7 million bbls of oil equivalent and produces 20,000 boed.
Separately, Eni recently discovered natural gas in Area 4, offshore Mozambique, at the Mamba North East 1 exploration prospect. The results of this well, drilled in the Eastern part of Area 4, increases the resource base of Area 4 by at least 10 trillion cu ft (Tcf).
The discovery improves the potential of the Mamba complex in Area 4 offshore Mozambique, now estimated to have at least 40 Tcf of gas in place.
Eni plans to drill at least four more wells this year in nearby structures to fully assess the upside potential of the Mamba Complex.
Tullow exploratory, appraisal wells strike oil in Kenya
Tullow Oil has encountered in excess of 20 meters of net oil pay in its Ngamia-1 exploration well in Kenya.
The well, in the Turkana County of Kenya Block 10BB, was drilled to an intermediate depth of 1,041 meters and has been successfully logged and sampled. Movable oil with an API rating of more than 30° has been recovered.
The Ngamia structure is the first prospect to be tested as part of a multi-well drilling campaign in Kenya and Ethiopia.
In March, Tullow’s Enyenra-4A appraisal well in the Deepwater Tano licence offshore Ghana encountered oil in sandstone reservoirs. The Owo-1 discovery wells and the Enyenra appraisal well confirm the extent of the Enyenra light oil field.
Results of drilling, wireline logs, samples of reservoir fluids and pressure data show that Enyenra-4A has intersected 32 meters of net oil pay. Pressure data from the oil leg indicates a continuous oil column of approximately 600 meters.
Talisman Energy finds light oil in Kurdamir-2 well
Talisman Energy confirmed the presence of light oil at the Kurdamir-2 well in the Kurdistan Region of northern Iraq in March.
The well flowed at unstimulated rates of 7.3 mmcf/d of natural gas and 950 bbls/day of oil and condensate, with no indications of water and no observed decline.
The Kurdamir-2 well is a re-drill of the Kurdamir-1 gas/condensate discovery well, 2 km away, which was drilled in 2009 but not completed.
Keppel wins contract to build jackup based on LeTourneau design for Perforadora Central
Keppel AmFELS has won a contract from Mexico’s Perforadora Central to build a repeat jackup rig.
Slated for delivery in Q1 2014, the latest high-specification unit will be based on the LeTourneau Super 116E design with leg lengths of 511 ft and the capability to drill wells up to 30,000 ft in a water depth of up to 375 ft.
Keppel AmFELS completed Tonala, an ultra-premium KFELS B Class jackup rig for Perforadora Central in 2004, followed by Tuxpan, a LeTourneau S116E rig in 2010.
Perforadora Central ordered the Papaloapan jackup in March 2011, and it is under construction and on track for delivery in Q1 2013.
“We have endured the post-Macondo challenges well,” Tan Geok Seng, president of Keppel AmFELS, said. “Having recently secured the Ocean Onyx semisubmersible major upgrade and a series of repairs, this newbuild jackup adds to a healthy workload through Q1 2014.”
Apache expands production in Faghur Basin, Egypt
Apache Corp recently received approval of seven new development leases in the Faghur Basin, which enables the company to add 5,200 bbl/day of production in Egypt’s Western Desert.
Neilos-2, Apache’s latest Faghur Basin well, test-flowed 6,301 bbls of oil and 4.2 MMcf of gas per day. The well, 0.8 km north from the Neilos-1X discovery, was drilled to appraise the north flank of the Neilos Field and logged 33 ft of net pay in the Jurassic Safa reservoir.
BRS begins to drill its first well in Italy’s Po Valley
BRS Resources announced in March that drilling has commenced on its first well. Located in Italy’s Po Valley, it is a development well in a partially depleted field where 3D seismic technology was used to identify remaining natural gas reserves.
“Using conventional drilling techniques, it will be drilled to a total depth of approximately 6,500 ft (2,000 meters),” Steve Moore, president and CEO of BRS, said. “We have employed state-of-the-art technology to target the reserves and have minimal impact.”
US Interior Department initiates system to accelerate permits, leases
US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar recently unveiled initiatives to expedite the development of domestic energy resources on US public lands and Indian trust lands in the Dakotas, Montana and other states.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will implement new automated tracking systems that aim to reduce the review period for drilling permits by two-thirds and to expedite the sale and process of federal oil and gas leases. The system will track permit applications through the review process and flag missing or incomplete information to reduce the back-and-forth between BLM and industry applicants currently needed to amend paper applications.
BLM expects to process 5,500 applications for permits to drill in fiscal year 2012.
Helix completes West African intervention campaign
Helix Well Ops UK has completed a three-month campaign for West Africa’s first well intervention work and subsea well operations conducted from a mono-hull intervention vessel.
Operating the 132-meter (433-ft) long Well Enhancer, Helix performed a subsea tree change-out, well suspensions, well maintenance and production enhancement on seven wells in water depths up to 471 meters (1,545 ft). The project represents the deepest operation conducted from Well Enhancer since it joined the fleet in 2009.
Well Enhancer marks the emergence of mono-hull-based well intervention services in the region. Intervention programs delivered from mono-hull vessels can provide operational and cost benefits to operators.
“Because Well Enhancer deploys more quickly than a rig and is designed specifically for well intervention work, she reduces down time and helps operators return as quickly as possible to their business of oil and gas production,” Steve Nairn, Helix Well Ops regional vice president of Europe and Africa, said.
North Atlantic confirms order of harsh-environment semi
North Atlantic Drilling has entered a turnkey construction contract with Jurong Shipyard in Singapore for the construction of a new harsh-environment semisubmersible drilling rig.
The rig will be of a Moss CS60 design, N-Class compliant and be fully winterized.
BG Group begins first production from the Gaupe
BG Group has begun production from the Gaupe field in the Norwegian North Sea. With estimated gross recoverable reserves of approximately 30 million bbls of oil equivalent, production from Gaupe is expected to reach a plateau production rate of around 15,000 boed in Q3 this year.
Anadarko encounters natural gas in Mozambique
Anadarko Petroleum’s Barquentine-4 appraisal well proved successful offshore Mozambique, the company said in April. The well in Offshore Area 1 of the Rovuma Basin encountered approximately 525 net ft (160 meters) of natural gas pay and became the Anadarko partnership’s ninth successful well in the complex.
In March, the company achieved oil production at the Caesar/Tonga development in the Green Canyon area of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Production from Caesar/Tonga, with an estimated resource base of 200 million to 400 million bbls of oil equivalent, is expected to ramp up to approximately 45,000 boed from the first three subsea wells.
Atwood awarded contract for newbuild jackup
Atwood Oceanics has been awarded a contract by Salamander Energy (Bualuang) for the newbuild jackup Atwood Mako. The award is for a firm duration of 12 months for work offshore Thailand. The rig is under construction with PPL Shipyard in Singapore.