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Ocean Star survives Ike but needs industry assistance for repairs


Only the shell of the Ocean Star gift shop was left after Hurricane Ike passed through Galveston in early September.

The Offshore Energy Center (OEC) has reported that the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig & Museum in Galveston, Texas, survived Hurricane Ike’s powerful winds and storm surges in September. A helicopter on a rooftop exhibit was damaged, and there were damaged windows and some flooding – minor compared with what could’ve been, said OEC executive director Sandra Mourton.

However, the museum gift shop that was housed in a portable building on the pier didn’t survive the storm, and the OEC hopes that the industry can offer its assistance in finding a replacement. “Size-wise we’d have to get something similar because of our lease on the pier,” Ms Mourton said. The original building was 20 ft by 34 ft and housed not just souvenirs but also the manager’s office, restroom and storage facilities, and communications wiring for the entire museum, including telephone, computers, etc.

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BP makes deepwater discoveries offshore Angola, Gulf of Mexico

Sonangol and BP announced the Dione oil discovery in ultra-deepwater Block 31, offshore Angola. This is the sixteenth discovery made by BP in Block 31 and is located in the southern portion of the block, about 9 km southwest of the Juno-1 discovery. Dione was drilled in a water depth of 1,696 m, some 390 km northwest of Luanda and reached a total depth of 3,272 m below sea level. Well test results confirmed the capacity of the reservoir to flow in excess of 5,000 bbl/day.

Separately, BP America announced an oil discovery at its Freedom Prospect in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The well, located in Mississippi Canyon Block 948, approximately 70 miles southeast of the Louisiana Coast, is in about 6,100 ft (1,860 m) of water. The Freedom well was drilled to a total depth of approximately 29,280 ft (8,927 m) and encountered greater than 550 net ft of hydrocarbon-bearing sands in Middle and Lower Miocene reservoirs. Appraisal will be required to determine the size and commerciality of the discovery.

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West Hercules delivered; West Polaris begins operations offshore Brazil

 This illustration shows Seadrill’s West Hercules drillship, whose first assignment will be offshore China for Husky Oil China.

Seadrill has taken delivery of the deepwater rig West Hercules from the DSME shipyard in South Korea, and the West Polaris drillship has begun operations for ExxonMobil in Brazil.

West Hercules has a three-year contract with Husky Oil China for operations offshore China. The unit will proceed for mobilization, and commencement of operations is expected by early November.

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StatoilHydro makes gas discovery in Norwegian Sea

 Total resource potential of the Luva, Snefrid South and Haklang finds could be 40-60 billion cu m of recoverable gas, according to StatoilHydro.

StatoilHydro has concluded the drilling of exploration well 6707/10-2S in the Norwegian Sea. Gas was confirmed in a reservoir with good production qualities.

The well was drilled in production licence 218, which is located southeast of the Luva gas find and 280 km west of Sandnessjøen in mid-Norway.

The purpose of the well was to confirm gas in reservoir rocks from the Late Cretaceous age in a prospect called Haklang. A 127-m long gas column was proven in a reservoir with good production qualities. Core drilling in the sandstone was carried out, and fluid and pressure samples were taken.

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Rowan jackup gets 2-year commitment in Gulf of Mexico

Rowan Companies has signed a contract with Devon Energy for the Gorilla class jackup Gorilla II in the Gulf of Mexico. The two-year commitment should begin in January 2009 and is expected to provide approximately $137 million of drilling revenues. The rig will be performing drilling services as well as assisting Devon with various construction projects.

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Survey for eNews from DrillingContractor.org

The United States is nearing the end of a long presidential election cycle, with the final decision set for 4 November. DC is interested in its readers' opinions on which candidate will better serve the industry, the US and the world. We would also like to correlate the results geographically, so we have made this a two-part survey. Thanks for taking the time!


Thanks for your input. Results will be available soon.

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IADC to hold Completions, Advanced Rig Technology conferences in 2009

IADC logoIADC is kicking off new conferences in 2009 highlighting two critical industry topics – advanced rig technology and completions.

Rig mechanization has steadily improved over the past decades, with such tools as top drives and rotating control heads proving to be true successes. Others, however, have not been quite as successful. The IADC Advanced Rig Technology Conference will look at key elements defining the state of the art in rig technology. This event will focus primarily on rig floor equipment, emphasizing mechanized systems. Topics will include:

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IADC holds first conference focused on Africa

 Corporate citizenship and engaging the community is a critical aspect of operating in Africa. Public consultation on ExxonMobil’s Chad-Cameroon Project involved more than 21,000 meetings with more than 300,000 people.

The Tiara Park Atlantic Hotel in Lisbon, Portugal, was the site of the first IADC Drilling Africa Conference and Exhibition, which took place on 8-9 October. About 160 industry professionals attended the event.

Christian Girard, regional vice president for Europe and Africa for Pride International, provided formal opening remarks, which noted that community development is the key to any project in Africa. He also introduced the event’s keynote speaker, André Madec, public affairs manager of ExxonMobil France, who discussed the topic of corporate citizenship.

“When we talk about corporate citizenship, the first thing we need to do is to engage in the interests of communities and NGOs, governments, employees, shareholders, customers and suppliers,” Mr Madec said.

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Rowan details challenges of entering Angolan offshore market

Mike Dubose, RowanRowan’s biggest challenge to entering the offshore Angolan market was securing entry permits and work visas for personnel, said Mike DuBose, Rowan VP operations.

The challenges facing a new entrant to the offshore drilling market in West Africa were explained at the IADC Drilling Africa Conference & Exhibition by Mike DuBose, vice president of operations for Rowan Drilling Company.

Rowan’s vision included expanding its presence in the Middle East and North Sea and entering additional global markets to invest in long-term growth at higher rates of return. Mr DuBose’s presentation at the Lisbon conference focused on the company's entry into the market offshore Angola and its first rig there, the Rowan Gorilla VII.

He said Rowan’s biggest challenge entering the area was securing entry permits and work visas for its personnel, a process complicated by conflicting information the company received from various sources. The company finally secured a visa agency in Houston who was able to secure solid information and communicated visa requirements in an easily understandable format for each nationality involved. The visa process took over 1,500 manhours to obtain 70 work permits.

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Greater Plutonio Project delivering world-class wells in deepwater Angola

Transocean's Sedco ExpressTransocean’s Sedco Express underwent major upgrades before beginning work on BP’s Greater Plutonio project offshore Angola.

BP’s Greater Plutonio Drilling and Completions project offshore Angola is a success story demonstrating the type of performance that can be delivered by an innovative team using new and optimized technology.

Charlie Gilbertson, wells team leader for the Greater Plutonio Development Project for BP, detailed its bottom-line results: Since Transocean’s Sedco Express rig was delivered from Brazil following a major upgrade, it has worked for three years and over 2.5 million manhours without a lost-time incident.  During that time, the rig has drilled and completed 25 wells.

In describing these achievements at the IADC Drilling Africa Conference and Exhibition in Lisbon, Mr Gilbertson identified the five key drivers for the project’s success: a focus on HSSE; involvement with people – both offshore and onshore; detailed planning; emphasis on continuous improvement; and the capabilities of the rig itself.

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