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1. The Faeroese government is planning a second offshore licensing round by offering new deepwater acreage for which applications open on Aug. 17, 2004. The Faeroes Petroleum Administration said the second round aims to "create a basis for continued exploration" on the Faeroe shelf. Applications must be submitted by Nov. 17 and second round awards are anticipated in January 2005. Blocks in 10 quadrants are being offered, principally south and southeast of the Faeroes, adjacent to the median line with the UK continental shelf.
2. Major offshore operations and maintenance contracts have been shared out between KBR and Wood Group covering all of BP's offshore installations in the UK sector of the North Sea, including 10 major fields plus southern North Sea assets over 9 years, worth more than US $1 billion. Wood Group and KBR are contracted for 3 years each, but have options for up to 9 years covering engineering, modifications and maintenance. "The contracts cover most aspects of BP's UK offshore assets and Sullom Voe terminal," BP said. Included are the Clair and Schiehallion and Foinaven assets, Magnus, Bruce, Harding, Miller, Andrew, Everest, Lomond, ETAP and various Southern North Sea fields.
3. BP plans to redevelop its West of Shetland Schiehallion field with at least three new drilling centers to optimize recovery from the field which first started producing in 1998 in Block 204/20a. An extensive field redevelopment scheme involving a doubling of the number of production wells from 40 to nearly 80 is planned by the operator, as well as changes to the process topsides on the Schiehallion floating production, storage and offloading vessel.
4. The 11,000-tonne Clair field platform sailed away from Amec's Wallsend fabrication facility in the northeast United Kingdom for a two-day journey to the field location in Block 206/8, 46 miles (75 km) off the west coast of Scotland. Clair Phase 1, operated by BP and costing US $1.16 billion, is estimated to contain 3.07 billion bbl of oil. Production later in 2004 is expected to peak at 70,000 b/d, and 60,000 b/d of oil at plateau.
5. ChevronTexaco's West of Shetland exploration well in Block 213/27a targeting the Lochnagar and Rosebank prospects was due to begin drilling early July in the P1026 license area in a water depth of 3,674 ft (1,120 m). ChevronTexaco has a 40% interest in the well, and partners are Statoil (30%), OMV (20%) and DONG (10%). The well is due to be drilled with the West Navigator once it has been released by Amerada Hess.
6. Total's appraisal of the Laggan gas and condensate prospect was still drilling early July operating with tight status. The well was spudded March 16 with the Jack Bates semisubmersible rig operating in Block 206/1a in a water depth of 1,738 ft (530 m) in the Faeroe-Shetland Channel 15.6 miles (25 km) northwest of the Clair development. Laggan is estimated to contain 691 Bcf of gas and the well was due to take up to 100 days to drill, completing in early July.
7. A pre-bid agreement (PBA) has been set between a group of companies aiming to decommission platforms from Total's Frigg field facilities in the North Sea in UK Block 9/5a in the UK sector and in Norway. SBS Logistics, Onyx UK, the Shetland Decommissioning Company and Aker Kværner have agreed to develop a base at Greenhead, in the Shetland Islands, as a decommissioning center. Aker Kværner Offshore Partner is to convert the base to a demolition and disposal site for North Sea platforms similar to its existing site at Eldøyane, Stord on Norway's west coast where Exxon Mobil's Odin platform was decommissioned, and the 110,000-tonne Maureen gravity base structure for Phillips Petroleum.
8. ConocoPhillips placed a US $29 million accommodation contract for its BritSats Phase 1 development to tap the Brodgar and Callanish fields in the Central North Sea near the Britannia field. Prosafe has been contracted to deploy the Safe Britannia accommodation unit during hookup of a new wellhead platform, for 18 weeks in 2005, and 16 weeks 2006.
9. Venture Production launched plans to tap the Southern Gas Basin Annabel gas field - formerly Saturn - in Block 48/10a. It awarded a US $25 million contract to Subsea 7 for installation of a 10-in., 11.25-mile (18-km) gas pipeline that will connect a single production well from Annabel via a two-slot well manifold to the Audrey A production platform. Also Subsea 7 was to install an 8.1-mile (13-km) control umbilical from Audrey A to Annabel.
10. Shell spudded a new Norwegian Sea exploration well in PL 255 covering Norwegian Block 6406/9-1 in mid June, drilling with the Transocean Leader semisubmersible operating in a water depth of 1,010 ft (308 m). The license area, covering three blocks, 6406/5, 6 and 9 near the Lavrans discovery, was awarded in 2000 with Shell as operator and partners Petoro, Statoil and Total.
11. Hydro was continuing to drill a new wildcat well, 30/11-6 near the Tune field area, in a water depth of 341 ft (104 m) operating with the Deepsea Delta semisubmersible in PL 272 early July which was spudded early June.
12. Exxon Mobil Corp.'s Norwegian unit said exploratory drilling at its West Cable well in the Utsira High area off Norway's west coast in PL242 near Draupner discovered hydrocarbon deposits. Esso Norge AS spokesman Magne Hovda said further analysis is required before the size and quality of the find can be ascertained. License owners in the well are Esso Exploration & Production Norway AS (operator) and Statoil ASA, each with 50%.
13. New 4-D Q-Marine seismic surveys were undertaken by WesternGeco over the Heidrun and Norne fields in the Halten Terrace areas in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea under deals awarded by Statoil, using the Geco Topaz vessel. Both repeated earlier Q-Marine projects at the fields. The Norne survey repeated seismic studies in 2001 and 2003 after 22 months of oil production, and the new data are expected to inform future drilling plans. At Heidrun, WesternGeco will be repeating acquisition after a Q-marine baseline data program in 2001. "We expect that these repeat surveys will again provide the high-resolution data necessary to monitor change in these important reservoirs," Roar Bekker, WesternGeco's European manager, said.
14. Kværner Oilfield Products (KOP) will supply subsea equipment for Marathon's forthcoming Alvheim development under a recently announced frame agreement. KOP's scope of supply covers equipment for 11 wells in the PL203 development which will tap the Kameleon, Boa, Kneler and East Kameleon discoveries. The deal is worth US $36.23 million.
15. Significant production drilling contracts for the Tampen area in the North Sea and the Heidrun field were awarded to Smedvig and Odfjell drilling, worth a total of US $485 million over 4 years, covering about 30% of the total development drilling due on up to 10 platforms on the Norwegian Continental Shelf during the period. The contracts, awarded by Statoil, saw Smedvig contracted for work on the Statfjord and Gullfaks fields in the Tampen area worth $250 million over the first 4 years of the deal, which includes options for a further 6 years. Odfjell has been contracted for drilling on Snorre and Visund for $176 million and on Heidrun for another $66 million over four years initially.
16. ChevronTexaco was planning a new exploration well offshore Norway on the Sahara prospect commencing later this year in PL261 in the Norwegian Sea, covering blocks 6507/1 and 2, near the Skarv field, which is due to be drilled by the Stena Dee rig. ChevronTexaco farmed in to the license last year with 65% equity, and is now operator.
17. Statoil, headquartered in Stavanger, Norway, was issued with a US 2.94 million notice by Norway's Økokrim, the National Authority for Investigation and Prosecution of Economic and Environmental Crime, over its dealings with Horton Investment over consultancy work for business development in Iran. Statoil has been found in violation of section 276c of the Norwegian penal code for unlawful dealing in influence, for its relations with Horton Investment, which led to the resignation of Olav Fhell as chief executive of the company. A lawyer has been appointed by Statoil to defend the case.
18. Detailed design work for a second phase liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in the North Adriatic Sea was awarded to Aker Kværner Contracting. Under the US $50 million contract, the group will provide both detailed design and planning ending September 2004 for the second phase terminal after recently completing detailed design for Phase 1. The terminal will be constructed 10 miles (17 km) offshore in a water depth of 95 ft (29 m) and concrete tanks will provide storage for up to 5.725 million bbl. Aker Kværner in Oslo is finalizing the design for the gravity base structure for the terminal, while units in Houston are designing re-gasification topsides. Adriatic LNG will take gas from Qatar's North field for the European market. Project participants are ExxonMobil, Qatar Petroleum and Italy's Edison Gas.
19. Dallas, Texas-based Toreador Resources was due to commence drilling early July its Ayazli-1 exploration well in 250 ft (76 m) of water in the western Black Sea on the South Akcakoca prospect which is estimated to contain 350 Bcf of gas. Stratic Energy of Calgary, Alberta, farmed into the exploration well, funding 25% of the estimated US $4.5 million drilling costs for the Ayazli well to earn a 12.25% working interests in the eight contiguous permit areas offshore Turkey covering 962,000 acres (3,89 sq. km) owned by Toreador. Responsibility for 75% of the well costs is retained by Toreador. TPAO, Turkey's national oil company has a carried interest in Ayazli 1 and has options to farm into further wells in the permit areas. Toreador plans a second well in the area in 2005.