November news and analysis.

Keppel Shipyard recently delivered the Golar Spirit, the world’s first methane vessel to be converted to perform onboard LNG re-gasification processes. (Image courtesy of Keppel Shipyard)

Exploration

Shell carries out industry first

Nigeria’s first 4-D seismic acquisition in deepwater oil and gas operations has been achieved at SNEPCo-operated Bonga field, 73 miles (120 km) southwest of the Niger Delta. The 4-D seismic survey was gathered over a 76-day period, during which images of the subsurface were captured with the aid of state-of-the art equipment operating from one marine seismic acquisition vessel and three support vessels stationed in the field. The acquisiton was carried out by a company based in Lagos, and the results will enable better well placements, resulting in maximization of Bonga field life-cycle production.

Tierra completes SEAM tests

Tierra Geophysical has passed rigorous quality tests for finite difference (FD) modeling algorithms required by SEAM (SEG Advanced Modeling) for its upcoming 3-D subsalt imaging project.
FD modeling generates synthetic seismic data that can be used to optimize acquisition, processing, interpretation, and reservoir characterization before performing the same steps on real data. Optimizing these steps is crucial to achieving accurate information from
the data.
CGGVeritas extends Oman contract

CGGVeritas has been awarded a multiyear contract extension by Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) to undertake a high-productivity high-density onshore seismic acquisition project in Oman. In addition to increasing the number of active vibrator fleets, the extension doubles crew capacity to 25,000 channels, making it the largest high-resolution seismic operation in the country.

Wavefield Inseis gets ONGC award

Wavefield Inseis has been awarded a long-term contract for 3-D seismic services by ONGC. Commencing during the fourth quarter this year, the contract is for a program of 3-D surveys offshore India to be acquired each season through to 2011. The total contract value is in excess of US $170 million.

SCAN launches newbuild

SCAN Geophysical ASA’s first newbuild, M/V SCAN Empress, was launched 18 days ahead of plan. The vessel is now alongside the outfitting jetty where on-loading and erection of the seismic hangar will continue, after which it will be moved back to the dry dock for a few more weeks.
SCAN also announced the recent successful completion of a towed streamer seismic acquisition 3-D program for Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PdVSA) in the Mariscal Sucre area, a challenging area for marine operations.

Chariot appoints seismic partners

Chariot Oil & Gas Ltd., an independent oil and gas exploration group, has completed its offshore Namibia seismic tendering process and has appointed Seabird Geophysical AS and Wavefield Inseis ASA as external seismic data providers.

Spectrum, Fugro announce India acquisition

Spectrum and Fugro have announced a joint proposal to undertake a new multiclient, long offset 2-D seismic survey off the west coast of India. The proposed survey, which will be completed prior to the onset of the 2009 monsoon season, will comprise approximately 7,300 miles (12,000 km) of seismic data in this under-explored area.

Drilling

Roc Oil announces oilfield offshore China onstream

Roc Oil (Bohai) Co. announced that work in relation to construction, installation, and commissioning of the new conductor pod, pipeline terminal and pipeline connections is complete. The work was approved under the Unit Development Plan for the C4 oil field and the extended reach area of the C and D oil fields in the Zhao Dong Block, Bohai Bay, offshore China. Oil production from the new facilities has begun, and wells are being progressively brought online. Commissioning work is ongoing.

Oil and gas finds still prominent in North Sea

StatoilHydro has proven the presence of oil and gas in the Pan/Pandora prospect south of the Visund field in the North Sea. This discovery represents the group’s 20th find on the Norwegian continental shelf this year. The purpose of the well was to confirm petroleum in mid-Jurassic rocks. StatoilHydro operates both production licences.
The well, drilled to a vertical depth of 10,095 ft (3,077 m) below sea level and completed in the lower Jurassic Drake formation, confirmed oil and gas in the Brent group. A sidetrack well 34/8-14 A will now be drilled to the Pandora segment to delineate the find to the north and to improve the evaluation of the resource potential.
The well is the 13th exploration well in production licence 120, which was awarded in the ninth licensing round in 1985.

Production

Testing of UK well completed

Stratic Energy Corp. has completed the successful testing of the East Breagh well located on Block 42/13 in the southern sector of the UK North Sea. The well was tested at controlled rates of up to 10.2 MMcf/d from two perforated intervals totaling 181 ft (55 m). The majority of the gas flow is believed to derive from an upper reservoir zone. The final rate was held for a period of twelve hours prior to shutting in for pressure build up. The final combined test rate was constrained by operational conditions and confirms flow potential consistent with expectations following the 42/13-3 well results.

Offshore

i-Tech wins Mexican contracts

Subsea 7 Inc.’s i-Tech division was awarded two significant contracts in early October. The first five-year contract, awarded by SeaDragon Offshore Ltd., is for remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and remote intervention technology services onboard the sixth generation newbuild deepwater semisubmersible Oban B.

The second five-year contract was awarded by Larsen Oil & Gas Ltd. This contract, also for the provision of an ROV and remote intervention technology services, is for the sixth generation newbuild deepwater semisubmersible Petrorig III.

Both contracts will begin in early 2010 and will see the deployment of the first Centurion QX work-class ROV systems offshore Mexico.

Aker Solutions delivers for Tupi

Aker Solutions has been awarded a contract with Modec to deliver a topside seawater treatment and sulfate removal module for the Tupi Pilot project offshore Brazil.
Aker Solutions will engineer, procure, and construct a complete topside module that will be delivered 4Q/2009. Modec International LLC will own and operate the lease vessel on behalf of Petrobras.

Anadarko hits oil

In early October, Anadarko Petroleum Corp. announced a pre-salt discovery at the Wahoo prospect in the Campos Basin offshore Brazil. The 1-APL-1-ESS well lies on Block BM-C-30 in 4,650 ft (1,417 m) of water approximately 25 miles (40 km) southeast of and syncline separated from the giant Jubarte field, a pre-salt field discovered by Petrobras in January, 2001.

Preliminary results at Wahoo, based on wireline logs, indicate at least 195 ft (59 m) of net pay, with characteristics similar to the nearby Jubarte 1-ESS-103A well, Brazil’s first producing pre-salt field.

Following operations at Wahoo, Anadarko anticipates moving the Deepwater Millennium drillship to the Serpa prospect on BM-ES-24 to re-enter the prospect where the initial well encountered pre-salt hydrocarbon-bearing zones in secondary objectives and did not reach the primary objective because of rig limitations.

Keppel Shipyard wins conversion projects

Keppel Offshore & Marine subsidiary Keppel Shipyard has won two conversion contracts. A contract from Single Buoy Moorings Inc. (SBM) includes upgrading and converting a tanker into a floating production, storage, and offloading vessels (FPSO). The 255,272 dwt MT Accord, a very large crude carrier, will become a spread-moored FPSO called the P-57. The FPSO will be capable of producing 180,000 b/d of oil and to undertake gas compression of 71 MMcf/d.
The P-57 is expected to leave Keppel Shipyard in 4Q 2009 for Brazil, where the remaining work will be completed. The vessel will be deployed for Petrobras on the deepwater Jubarte field in the Campos Basin.

Another conversion contract, awarded by Golar LNG, will see the Golar Winter, a membrane LNG carrier, become a floating storage re-gasification unit (FSRU). The scope of work includes installing a re-gasification plant system and upgrading control, electrical, and marine systems.

When completed in 2Q 2009, the FSRU Golar Winter will be capable of re-gasifying 14 MMcm/d of natural gas.

Keppel recently delivered the world’s first FSRU, the Golar Spirit to Golar LNG. Like the Golar Spirit, the Golar Winter will be operated by Petrobras.

It will be moored at a pier in the Guanabara Bay offshore Rio de Janeiro.