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OGP Aviation Subcommittee chairman calls for better helicopter safety

 The current level of aviation safety in OGP operations is unacceptable, said Exxon Neftegas aviation advisor Robert Williams during his keynote address on 10 September at the IADC Drilling HSE Europe Conference & Exhibition in Amsterdam.

Mr Williams, who also serves as chairman of the OGP Aviation Subcommittee (ASC), called for the industry to improve its aviation safety performance and detailed ongoing OGP initiatives aimed at achieving that improvement.

A significant amount of helicopter activities goes on in the oil and gas industry. According to OGP data, there were nearly 1,400 helicopters operating for the industry worldwide in 2006. They carried more than 9 million passengers by flying more than 1 million hours and about 2.7 million flights.

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Petrobras starts first oil production in pre-salt layer

 Petrobras has kicked off production in Brazil’s new oil province, the pre-salt layer, in the Jubarte field in the Campos Basin, off the southern coast of Espírito Santo. The company hopes to obtain knowledge from this production that will help development of pre-salt reserves in Espírito Santo and other places off the Brazilian coast.

To adjust to the light pre-salt oil (30° API), changes had to be made to the platform’s processing plant that, with the completion of well 1-ESS-103A and its interconnection to FPSO JK (P-34), involved investments of around R$50 million.

Production begins with a long-duration test (LDT) to observe how pre-salt oil behaves, both in the reservoir and in the platform’s process plant. The LDT is expected to last six months to a year.

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StatoilHydro prepares for floating electrification

 The Gjøa field in the North Sea is expected to come on stream in 2010.

StatoilHydro announced that the Gjøa platform will be the first floating platform in the North Sea to get its electricity from the mainland. A cable running from the new power plant at Mongstad, north of Bergen, will supply the platform with electricity. Compared with the traditional solution of having gas turbines on the platform to produce power, this new alternative, will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 250,000 tonnes a year.

“The cable has to be able to tolerate a lot of movement, and together with contractor ABB, a new high voltage power cable is being laid,” said Kjetel Digre, project director for the Gjøa field development.

“This gives high energy efficiency and reduced emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds (VOC) as compared with the alternative solution,” he explained.

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Regional leaders converge at Jakarta conference to share ideas for the future

The sound of a traditional Indonesian gong welcomed delegates to the 2008 IADC/SPE Asia Pacific Drilling Technology Conference & Exhibition in Jakarta’s Shangri-La Hotel. Conference chairman Dr Bagus Sudaryanto, senior vice president of operations for PT PERTIMINA EP, presided over the opening session, which included welcoming remarks by Fauzi Imron, SPE director for the Southern Asia Pacific region, and Ken Fischer, IADC regional vice president for the Middle East and Asia.

The ceremony featured a speech by H.E. Purnomo Yusgiantoro, Indonesia’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources. Also in attendance were H.E. Evita H. Legowo, Director General of Oil and Gas, as well as numerous prominent leaders of Indonesia’s energy industry, not to mention more than 400 drilling professionals representing 27 countries.

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Challenges remain for Indonesian oil industry, but so do opportunities

Indonesia’s Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources H.E. Purnomo Yusgiantoro opened the 2008 IADC/SPE Asia Pacific Drilling Technology Conference & Exhibition on 25 August in Jakarta. In his remarks during the opening session, the Minister reminded the audience of more than 400 delegates that, despite the country’s 130-year history of oil production, many challenges remain.  

“Technology is the key to unlocking our energy reserves,” he remarked, noting that most of the country’s oil production comes from aging fields with declining production. The government’s strategy is aimed at extending the life of existing fields while exploring new frontiers in deepwater areas.

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For Saudi Aramco, drilling technology is the way forward

 Speaking during the keynote session at the IADC/SPE Asia Pacific Drilling Conference and Exhibition on 25 August 2008 in Jakarta, Indonesia, Saudi Aramco’s Zuhair Al-Hussain discussed the ways his company is deploying new technologies to help boost production, as well as future technologies that will be needed to meet global oil demand.

Increases in world population and economic growth are projected to push the world’s energy demand up by 50% over the next 22 years, and fossil fuels still remain the major energy source for the foreseeable future. This puts tremendous responsibility on the upstream sector to respond to the call, said Mr Al-Hussain, executive director drilling & workover for Saudi Aramco. The key will be in both building up resources and harnessing technology to improve efficiency and enhance productivity, he said.

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Pride to build fourth ultra-deepwater drillship for late 2011 delivery

 Pride International announced it has placed an order for the construction of a fourth advanced-capability, ultra-deepwater drillship. The latest drillship, like the company’s three previously announced projects, will be constructed at the Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) shipyard in Geoje, South Korea, on a fixed-price basis and is expected to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2011, following construction, commissioning and system-integrated testing.

The yet-to-be-named new drillship is based on an SHI proprietary hull design measuring 750 ft long and 140 ft wide and offering a pay load in excess of 20,000 metric tons. The unit is designed for drilling in water depths of up to 12,000 ft but initially equipped for 10,000 ft, with a total vertical drilling depth of 40,000 ft. It will have off-line tubular stand building capabilities and feature dynamic positioning in compliance with DPS-3 certification.

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StatoilHydro aims to add 600,000 bbl/day by 2015

 “New field projects and actions to increase oil and gas production are expected to add 600,000 barrels per day to StatoilHydro’s production from the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) by 2015,” said Hege Marie Norheim, the company’s head of reserves and business development on the NCS, during a presentation at ONS 2008, being held this week in Stavanger, Norway.

“Standardised project solutions with a short lead time from discovery to first oil or gas are the key to future success on the NCS,” she said.

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Western Gulf of Mexico lease sale attracts more than $487 million in high bids

The Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 207, held 20 August 2008 by the US Interior Department, attracted more than $487 million in high bids, with ExxonMobil being the top bidder – 130 high bids at $127.33 million. A total of 53 companies submitted 423 bids comprising over 1.8 million acres offshore Texas. The sum of all bids received was more than $607 million.

Approximately 17% of the tracts receiving bids are in ultra-deep water (more than 1,600 m). The deepest tract bid on is Alaminos Canyon, Block 783, in 2,977 m of water. The highest bid received on a tract was $61 million, submitted by Statoil Gulf of Mexico for Alaminos Canyon, Block 380. The company submitted a total of $87.35 million for five bids.

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