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    West of Shetland project delay (Friday, 29 August 2014)

    1 Jan 1970, 12:00 am
    A partner on the Laggan-Tormore project, west of Shetland, in UK waters, has said first oil is likely to be delayed from the end of 2014 to 2015. DONG Energy’s CEO Henrik Poulsen said Total, the operator of Laggan-Tormore, was reviewing delays in the construction of a gas treatment plant in the Shetland Islands, which would take natural gas from Laggan-Tormore.“It is DONG Energy’s expectation that production start-up from the field will be postponed from end of 2014 to 2015,” he said. The Laggan-Tormore development comprises two gas condensate fields, Laggan and Tormore, about 125km north-west of the Shetland Islands, in 120-600m water depth, which are being developed via a subsea tie-back to Sullom Voe on the main Shetland Island.Laggan was discovered in 1986 and Tormore in 2007. Development approval was in 2010 and first production had been planned for 2014. Produced hydrocarbons will be transported to Sullom Voe via two 143km 18in import flowlines at a peak gas rate of 500MMscf/d. FMC Technologies is supplying the subsea production system and Subsea 7 the umbilicals, subsea tie-ins and commissioning all pipelines.Total recently announced it was moving forward with the nearby Edradour discovery. It was put on hold in 2013, due to cost increases. A cost reduction plan had put it back on the table and it will now form part of what will be a “new strategic hub” west of Shetland, Total said in early July. Read more: New West of Shetland hub emerging. Offshore Denmark, DONG Energy also said there were delays on the HPHT oil and gas Hejre development. The 6500-ton eight-legged steel jacket supporting foundation of the Danish North Sea Hejre platform has been installed on the seabed of the North Sea, and the drilling of the first production well has started, DONG added. Work was also going into establishing the infrastructure in the form of oil and gas pipelines and extending the oil terminal in Fredericia. However, work on the 11,500-ton, 70-man topsides of the Heijre platform had been challenged by delays at the supplier consortium. The topsides and living quarters were due to be installed in Q2 2015, with first oil in Q4, with full commercial operation in 2016, according to a DONG Energy information sheet. Production is now not expected to start until 2017, said DONG. In February 2012, Technip, in partnership with DSME, were awarded an engineering, procurement, fabrication, hook-up and commissioning contract for the wellhead and process platform and associated facilities on Hejre.DONG, which also has offshore wind and power projects, said it is also waiting for regulatory approval of a new solution to permanently repair the Siri platform. Read more: Permanent repair close.Poulsen added: “In E&P, the exploration results in recent years have not lived up to the Group's expectations, gas price forecasts and local hydrocarbon tax frameworks have changed, and ongoing field development projects have been delayed. These changes have led to a revision of the long-term targets for E&P.” Source:

    Oil leak forces Super Puma shut down on North Sea drilling platform (Friday, 29 August 2014)

    1 Jan 1970, 12:00 am
    An offshore helicopter was forced to shut down on a North Sea platform after an oil leak.Engineers only discovered the problem when fluid was spotted on the EC225 after it landed on Talisman’s Auk platform at 9.10am on Monday.A spokeswoman for operators Bristow said passengers on the Super Puma were not at risk.They said: “One of Bristow’s helicopters was shut down on the Auk Platform on Monday after fluid was observed on the airframe after landing.“The aircraft was undertaking a routine crew change flight to the offshore installation. Outbound passengers were not at risk from what was a minor leak.“The crew completed a 15-minute ground run to establish the leak rate and location.“It was established as being well within the manufacturer’s acceptable limits and was therefore deemed safe to fly.”The Super Puma landed safety at Aberdeen International Airport at around 1.20pm on Monday.The seal responsible for the leak was replaced by Bristow engineers before the aircraft returned to service.Source:

    Europe’s Energy Security Begins in the North Sea (Friday, 29 August 2014)

    1 Jan 1970, 12:00 am
    Stavanger - Supply security in Europe has traditionally always begun on the continent’s own doorstep. Martin Bachmann, Member of the Board of Executive Directors of Wintershall responsible for Exploration and Production, firmly believes that this will remain so in future too. Speaking at the international exhibition Offshore Northern Seas (ONS) in Stavanger, he said, “The North Sea – and particularly Norway – will be extremely important for Europe’s supply of oil and gas in future too. Norway has the resources, is politically stable and has very good infrastructure.” Wintershall plans to continue expanding its activities on the Norwegian Continental Shelf considerably.Norway is Germany’s most important energy supplier after Russia. Last year, for example, almost 30 percent, in other words nearly one in three cubic meters of natural gas imports came from the Scandinavian country. The German population also recognizes this, as a recent survey conducted by the public opinion research institute forsa and commissioned by Wintershall shows: 78 percent of Germans would favor Norway as a reliable partner to make up for declining natural gas production in the European Union. 62 percent named Canada, followed by the USA (45 percent) and Russia and the Middle East (with 38 percent each).Wintershall continues investments in the Norwegian Continental ShelfNorway is a growth region with special importance for Germany’s largest internationally active oil and gas producer. According to the business and investment magazine “Kapital”, out of the 500 largest companies in the whole of Norway, last year Wintershall Norge was the company that grew the fastest. Wintershall developed into one of the largest producers of oil and gas on the Continental Shelf during this time. An important milestone in this development was the partnership it entered with Statoil in 2012. With the asset swap of oil and gas fields, Wintershall not only took over the operatorship of a producing platform – Brage – in Norway for the first time in 2013, it also increased its daily production in Norway thirteenfold to 40,000 barrels of oil equivalent.“We will continue resolutely on our growth course in Norway and already have our sights set on the next target of 50,000 barrels per day by 2015,” Bernd Schrimpf, Managing Director of Wintershall Norge, says. The company plans to achieve this production target with the fields Knarr and Edvard Grieg, amongst others, which are currently being developed, and in which Wintershall holds working interests.“We are paying particular attention to the Wintershall-operated fields. We already launched an investment program for the exploration and development of our discoveries in Norway by 2015 worth up to € 2 billion,” says Schrimpf. “And we are sticking to it.” The Wintershall-operated Maria discovery, with its estimated production volume of around 130 million barrels of crude oil, in addition to just over two billion standard cubic meters of natural gas, is set to begin production in 2018.Natural gas – energy with a futureAt the ONS Bachmann highlights the importance of the long-term supply security of natural resources while discussing the “Energiewende”, or energy transition, in Germany, an undertaking that is being closely monitored by the international energy sector. Bachmann underlines the potential of natural gas in particular: “When it comes to making national economies more environmentally friendly and at the same time more competitive, then there is no alternative to natural gas. There is no other technology that can implement climate protection so effectively,” says Bachmann.The USA, for example, saved 740 million tons of CO2 between 2007 and 2012 by using more natural gas. Furthermore, America is enjoying a robust re-industrialization. “We find a different situation in Germany, where the energy transition was adopted. Here coal is increasingly being used as a fuel and natural gas is having to take a back seat – with grave consequences,” Bachmann explains. Although the Germans are paying over € 23 billion for renewable energies subsidies in 2014 alone, CO2 emissions there are on the rise again.This trend could be reversed cost-effectively by using natural gas more, as a new study by the Institute of Energy Economics at the University of Cologne shows. Germany could save around 40 percent of its CO2 emissions in the power segment alone compared to 1990 levels if it replaced coal with natural gas. “The energy transition in Germany shows that focusing energy policy solely on renewable energies is akin to leading the country up a blind alley. Idealism alone is not enough. Pragmatism is just as important. That would enable us to turn our attention back to natural gas as a driving force and cornerstone of positive change in the energy system,” Bachmann concludes.Fore more information, please visit:

    PSA issues order to Statoil for oil leak at Statfjord C (Thursday, 28 August 2014)

    1 Jan 1970, 12:00 am
    The investigation identified serious breaches of the regulations.The hydrocarbon leak occurred in connection with the transfer of stabilised oil from Statfjord A to Statfjord C. While the transfer was taking place, a mud pump in the Statfjord C shaft was being readied for maintenance. An isolation valve for this mud pump leaked and the pump housing filled with oil. This oil was drained into a sump tank at the bottom of the shaft via an open drain valve.Once the level in the sump tank rose to 70%, the pump started so as to transfer the fluid in the sump tank to the oily water tank under the cellar deck. The valve for regulating the level in the oily water tank did not open and oil leaked through water locks on the cellar deck.Based on the findings made during the investigation, the PSA issued Statoil with a notification of order.In conformity with the notification, Statoil is now issued with the order under which it has to review its system for follow-up and identify the causes of the failure to detect the technical, operational and organisational weaknesses, failings and omissions that have been demonstrated and to implement necessary measures.The deadline for complying with the order is set at October 1, 2014.“We are to be notified when the order has been carried out,” the Norwegian offshore petroleum watchdog PSA said.Explanation of the terms “order” and “notification of order”An order is an administrative decision made pursuant to the regulations. Before PSA issues an order, a “notification of order” is generally sent to the affected companies.A notification of order is neither an instrument nor a notice of sanctions, but a step in the PSA’s case processing in which PSA requests the party to assess the factual basis. The notification is only the first step before an administrative decision is made.An order is a strongly preventive instrument which is legally binding on the recipient. Source:

    Improved helideck monitoring and forecasting system launched (Thursday, 28 August 2014)

    1 Jan 1970, 12:00 am
    Amarcon, a part of the ABB group and Observator Instruments, a developer of sensors and services for meteorological and hydrological monitoring, have announced that the companies will jointly develop a helideck monitoring and forecasting system.Amarcon stated that the helideck monitoring and forecasting system will improve the flight and passenger safety during helicopter landings and take offs.The new system, which will fully integrate with Amarcon’s vessel advisory system OCTOPUS, monitors weather conditions and advises a vessel’s crew whether to proceed with an intended helicopter operation (go/no-go) or wait. The system’s analysis and recommendation is based in weather data from the past 20 minutes.The advisory system allows the vessel crew to have insight in a safe time window for the heli-operation based on the OCTOPUS motion forecast. In this window the most optimal heading and maximum allowable motions can be selected to ensure a safe heli operation. This forecast is derived from the industry accepted and proven OCTOPUS technology which is installed on more than 300 vessels, and is based on forecasted weather predictions and the hydrodynamic properties of the vessel.Amarcon says that with the OCTOPUS forecasting functionality, the onboard crew will have a far more precise understanding of available weather windows for heli-operations for the coming hours and days. Therefore crew changes can be planned in a more safe and accurate way, because next to the actual and past weather conditions, the forecasted weather and vessel motions are also taken into account.The system will be officially released for the maritime and offshore industry during the international maritime trade fair SMM in Hamburg from 9-12 September, at the Observator Instruments booth 609 in Hall B6. ABB booth 202 will be located in Hall A3.Source:

    $9.2 billion Norwegian Aasta Hansteen and Polarled pipeline underway (Wednesday, 27 August 2014)

    1 Jan 1970, 12:00 am
    The Aasta Hansteen project, one of biggest and most complex industrial projects in Europe, is on schedule to begin production in 3Q 2017, says Statoil.Statoil added that with the Polarled pipeline, the company is taking the Norwegian gas infrastructure northward across the Arctic Circle for the first time.Read OE's coverage on the Polarled pipeline project here."We are building the largest SPAR platform in the world, and we are setting a new depth record of 1300m for a field development and pipeline on the NCS," says Torolf Christensen, Statoil’s head of Aasta Hansteen.The investments in Aasta Hansteen and the Polarled pipeline total US$9.2 billion (NOK57 billion).The plan for development and operation was approved in 2013 with first offshore work beginning in summer 2014 that involved laying of a fiber-optic cable on the seabed and installation of rocks on the seabed for the pipeline. Today the project is under development in several parts of the world.Statoil reports that the hull and the topside are being constructed in South Korea, while the equipment packages and subsea facility and pipeline equipment are delivered globally."Aasta Hansteen is a pioneering project with regard to local ripple effects. The development has so far realized more than $64.7 million (NOK400 million) in spinoff effects in northern Norway, and more than 200 people are involved in the construction of Aasta Hansteen and Polarled on the Helgeland coast," says Christensen.Christensen added that Statoil expects considerable spinoffs in the installation work to be carried out offshore and during production drilling on the field. The main Aasta Hansteen spinoffs will occur in the field’s operating phase.Statoil is reporting that suppliers with a Norwegian billing address are delivering more than half of the equipment packages for the Aasta Hansteen topside. The company added that in subsea equipment, 93% is being provided by suppliers with a Norwegian billing address.In June, Subsea 7 selected BMT Scientific Marine Services, a subsidiary of BMT Group, to supply the riser monitoring system for the Aasta Hansteen Spar, about 300km off the coast of Norway. The Aasta Hansteen Spar will be the world’s largest spar platform and the first of its kind on the NCS. Furthermore, the spar will be the first ever deepwater floating production platform (+1000m) installed in the harsh environment north of the Arctic Circle utilizing steel catenary risers. Source: www.oedigital.comRead more:Gudrun officially launchedSubsea 7 selects BMT for Aasta HansteenTaking nodes to a new levelKvaerner wins Aasta Hansteen hook-upLankhorst ropes for Aasta Hansteen

    How Norway has avoided the +apos;curse of oil+apos; (Wednesday, 27 August 2014)

    1 Jan 1970, 12:00 am
    Hugged by mountains and perched on a stunning coastline of fjords, Bergen, Norway's second-largest city, has picture-postcard views.As one of the centres of Norway's booming oil and gas industries, it is also a very wealthy place.Yet there are few displays of ostentatious spending - there are no supercars with tinted windows, no designer handbag shops, and no queues of people outside exclusive nightclubs.For while other countries have struck oil and then binged on the revenues, by contrast Norway is continuing to invest its oil and gas money in a giant sovereign wealth fund.The fund, worth about $800bn (£483bn), owns 1% of the entire world's stocks, and is big enough to make every citizen a millionaire in the country's currency, the kroner. In effect, it is a giant savings account.And most Norwegians are seemingly very content with this - according to a 2012 study by New York's Columbia University Norway is one of the world's happiest countries."We had to invest a lot of money before we could spend anything," says Prof Alexander Cappelen, from the NHH Norwegian School of Economics, explaining why the country has apparently avoided the pitfalls of vast wealth."In other countries the oil is much easier to extract, so they got the money straight away."We were put in the right mindset by knowing it was a long-term plan." Full story:

    GE invests $5million in Norway technology solutions center (Wednesday, 27 August 2014)

    1 Jan 1970, 12:00 am
    GE Oil & Gas (NYSE:GE) formally unveiled its new Technology Solutions Center (TSC) in Stavanger, Norway, yesterday. The result of a $5m investment, the center offers a stunning visual showcase of GE’s technologies across the oil and gas industry, and has been designed to help operators achieve optimal efficiency, environmental performance and safety, both now and in the future.“Technology development is pivotal to the enduring success of our industry and, with the incredible pace at which the sector continues its transformation, research, development and collaboration can have a strong impact on its success, something acknowledged through the significant investment we have made in this facility.”Led by GE Oil & Gas President and CEO, Lorenzo Simonelli, the grand opening was attended by key industry figures and regional government dignitaries, including Margareth Øvrum, Executive Vice President Technology, Projects and Drilling at Statoil, and the Mayor of Stavanger, Christine Sagen Helgø.Located opposite GE’s existing Subsea Systems facility in the port of Dusavik, the center features a combination of interactive digital displays, live demonstrations and scale models, including GE PII’s Intelligent Pigs, responsible for the delivery of accurate diagnostics and insightful pipeline integrity reports, the Safire 2.0 multiphase flow meter and the newly launched Deepwater Vertical Xmas Tree (DVXT). State-of-the-art training facilities and meeting rooms are also located on-site.The grand opening is being held in conjunction with the Offshore Northern Seas (ONS) 2014 conference and underpins GE’s commitment to the continued creation of integrated solutions on behalf of its customers. It also highlights the organization’s contribution to enhanced efficiency and improved recovery in the North Sea region and beyond.Mr Simonelli said: “Technology development is pivotal to the enduring success of our industry and, with the incredible pace at which the sector continues its transformation, research, development and collaboration can have a strong impact on its success, something acknowledged through the significant investment we have made in this facility.“Norway and the wider North Sea region have been incentivized to become leading-edge thinkers—largely the result of stringent regulation and governing standards—and although a maturing province, significant greenfield developments in recent years have put the area firmly back on the map. While the TSC is located in Norway, it will undoubtedly play a fundamental role in helping GE, our customers and the wider industry to fuel the future of oil and gas developments worldwide for many years to come.”For more information, please visit: Business Wire Source:

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