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    Aberdeen still the thriving Oil Capital (Friday, 28 November 2014)

    1 Jan 1970, 12:00 am
    Much debate has been had about the future of the oil and gas industry within the UK and to the outside observer it would be easy to believe the industry is in rapid decline with the falling oil price only contributing to the problem.Anyone who believes this view needs to take a drive around Aberdeen and witness firsthand the rapid transformation the city has gone through in the last few years. At present there are so many construction projects in the city that construction workers are being sought from all over the UK to keep up with demand.New developments seem to be coming to completion almost daily as anyone arriving at Aberdeen’s recently upgraded International Airport in Dyce will well know. Aker Solutions will soon move all their staff to brand new purpose built offices a stone’s throw from the airport, ASCO are looking to occupy their new office space in the D2 Business Park as soon as it is available and US Company Emerson have invested £20 million into their purpose built offices in the same location. Expro won’t be far behind in moving into their new offices within Kirkhill Commercial Park. Overview of Kingwells Business Park DevelopmentWest of the City, Aberdeen’s Westhill has seen some of the largest construction projects in the country with Subsea 7, Technip, Bibby, TAQA and Kongsberg all occupying substantial office space in the new business parks. Office space for over 10,000 workers is currently under construction as part of the Prime 4 development at Kingwell’s that has seen huge improvements to the infrastructure and roads network in the area. Statoil, Transocean, Nexen, Apache, OneSubsea and Premier Oil are all moving their headquarters to the new development and the De Vere Group will soon open a showcase Urban Resort within the office complex offering hotel and leisure facilities to accommodate transient staff looking for accommodation closer to their offices.Overview of the Prime Four DevelopmentHeading South out of the city, further developments have sprung up in recent years with Moss Road Gateway Business Park boasting Hydrasuns new offices and some smaller award winning local companies such as Coretrax, an up and coming company within the global market.With all this development on the outskirts of the city, it is easy to forget that Aberdeen’s old fish packing district along the Banks of the Dee has also been completely redeveloped. The once bustling warehouses and ice factories have been replaced with towering office blocks with Petrofac, Enquest, GDF Suez, Aker and Centrica all fighting to occupy office space closer to the city centre. Even the city’s famous Union Street has not escaped transformation, with work underway to create a £60 million office development at the site of the former Bells Lounge between 445 and 461 Union Street. The 132,000sq ft development will host thousands of oil industry workers in the heart of the city. The famous granite face of Aberdeen is slowly changing into a modern thriving metropolis, countless new hotels have sprung up recently to accommodate and service the constant flow of oil and gas workers commuting to and passing through the city with at least three more planned to be built over the next few years.Short term it is easy to think the oil industry is in decline but the price of oil is still higher now that it was during almost all of the 1980’s and 1990’s and history has proven that companies that continue to invest and ride out the fluctuating oil price do better long term. Kevin Forbes, Managing Director of www.oilandgaspeople.com said: “The development underway in Aberdeen suggests the industry is indeed making long-term plans and with this years licensing round seeing a record number of new exploration licenses awarded, including the first exploration licenses awarded west of Scotland there will certainly be companies looking to exploit falling rig prices to press ahead with current and future projects” 

    Technip wins Gullfaks GRD contract (Friday, 28 November 2014)

    1 Jan 1970, 12:00 am
    Technip has won a lumpsum contract with Statoil for the Gullfaks Rimfaksdalen (GRD) marine operations pipelay and subsea installation project.The project is an option to the Snøhvit CO2 Solution project awarded in 2013. The GRD project scope consists of a subsea tie-back to a new Wye piece on an existing pipeline close to the Gullfaks A platform. The GRD template will be 190km Northwest of Bergen, Norway.This contract covers the fabrication and installation of two sections of pipe-in-pipe, total length ~9.5km, with a 13% chrome stainless steel production flowline, installation and tie-ins of three spools and an 8.5km umbilical, installation of a ~280-ton template and a 110-ton manifold.Technip’s operating center in Oslo, Norway, will execute the project. Vessels from the Group fleet will install the template in 2015. The flowline will be welded at Technip’s spoolbase in Orkanger, Norway, while the installation will be performed by the Apache II, in the first half of 2016.The installation of the associated manifold, spools, umbilical and other subsea equipment will be performed by other vessels from Technip’s fleet. First gas is planned for the second half of 2016.Odd Strømsnes, Managing Director of Technip in Norway, stated: “We are very proud of this award, which builds on our unique track record in pipe-in-pipe.”Source: www.oedigital.comPlease leave comments and feedback below

    Petrobras finds oil at Libra appraisal well (Brazil) (Friday, 28 November 2014)

    1 Jan 1970, 12:00 am
    Brazilian national oil company Petrobras has completed the drilling of the first appraisal well in the Libra Consortium area, the 3-BRSA-1255 (3-RJS-731), known as NW1, offshore Brazil.Located in the Northwest portion of the Libra block, in the pre-salt layer of the Santos Basin, the well is approximately 4 km southeast of the discovery well, the 2-ANP-2A-RJS.The well has reached a final depth of 5,734 meters and is located 185 km off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, at a water depth of 1,963 meters.The drilling results have confirmed an oil column of approximately 290 meters and a reservoir that shows good porosity and permeability. Samples collected from the well have confirmed that the oil of 27 degrees API is the same as the one found in the well 2-ANP-2A-RJS. A formation test is expected in the oil-bearing zone to verify its characteristics and the reservoir productivity.The Libra Consortium – which is composed by Petrobras (operator, with 40%), Shell (20%), Total (20%), CNPC (10%), CNOOC Limited (10%) and the state company Pré-Sal Petróleo S.A. (PPSA) – will proceed with the activities set forth in the Exploratory Plan approved by Brazil’s National Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels Agency (ANP).At this moment, the second well being drilled by the Libra Consortium -3-RJS- 735 – known as L2C1, has reached the base of salt and the operator forecasts that the drilling of the reservoir layers will happen in a few days.Source: www.offshoreenergytoday.comPlease leave comments and feedback below

    DOF inks five new PSV contracts (Friday, 28 November 2014)

    1 Jan 1970, 12:00 am
    DOF ASA has been awarded five new platform supply vessel (PSV) contracts. Two of those are inked with Total UK, one with Chevron North Sea, one with CNR International and finally one with BP Egypt.The company signed a 3 year firm contract plus up to 2 years options with Total UK for Skandi Barra. The contract will start in February 2015, as a direct continuation of the existing contract with Total UK.DOF also signed a 3 years firm contract plus up to 2 years options with Total UK for Skandi Buchan. The contract will start in September 2015, as a direct continuation of the existing contract with the same client.Furthermore, DOF inked a 1 year firm contract with Chevron North Sea Limited on behalf of TEAM Marine for the Skandi Sotra. The contract includes 4 x 6 month extension options and will start in December 2014. Team Marine is a marine logistics pooling arrangement among Chevron North Sea Limited, Conocophillips UK Limited, Dana Petroleum (E&P) Limited and Hess Limited.DOF adds that the company signed a 10 months firm contract plus up to 9 months options with CNR International (UK) Limited for Skandi Marstein. The contract will start in December 2014, as a direct continuation of the existing contract with CNR International (UK).Finally, the company penned a firm contract with BP Egypt for Skandi Texel. The contract will start in December 2014 and last until August 2016 plus 1 year option.Source: www.offshoreenergytoday.comPlease leave comments and feedback below

    Maersk drills duster in Danish North Sea (Friday, 28 November 2014)

    1 Jan 1970, 12:00 am
    As operator for Dansk Undergrunds Consortium (DUC), Maersk Oil has drilled the exploration well Siah NE-1X (5505/7-17) in the western part of the Danish North Sea. The well is dry.Siah NE-1X was drilled as a vertical well. The primary target was deep water deposits in the Upper Jurassic. No producible sandstone reservoir was found.The well penetrated the hydrocarbon bearing Lower Cretaceous chalk layers in the Boje accumulation and added information on the potential Boje field limits. Furthermore, a comprehensive data and sample acquisition programme was carried out for further characterization of deeper geological formations.The well terminated in Upper Jurassic clay stone at a depth of 3387 metres below mean sea level.Siah NE-1X was spudded on September 3, 2014 with the jack-up rig Noble Sam Turner in the water depth of 40.5 metres.The well is now being plugged and abandoned. Subsequently Noble Sam Turner will be moved to licence 9/95 for the drilling of the Xana-1X HPHT exploration well.The following companies participate in DUC: Shell (36.8%); A.P. Møller – Mærsk A/S and Mærsk Olie og Gas A/S (31.2%); Nordsøfonden (20%); Chevron (12%).Source: www.offshoreenergytoday.comPlease leave comments and feedback below

    Weak market, 3D vessels pull SeaBird down (Friday, 28 November 2014)

    1 Jan 1970, 12:00 am
    SeaBird Exploration, a seismic survey company, has recorded a net loss of $20.2 million in the third quarter of 2014, compared to a net income of $4.0 million in the same period in 2013.The revenues were $22.7 million versus $50.9 million in the third quarter of 2013. Seabird said that the revenues dropped primarily due to lower fleet utilization during the quarter.In its explanation for the drop in the results, SeaBird has blamed weak demand in the global seismic market, as oil companies are cutting spending due to the plunging oil prices.SeaBird, which operates a fleet of mainly 2D seismic vessels, was also pressured by the large amount of 3D seismic vessels operating in the 2D markets.The company said that it expected that the weak market would hit its earnings and vessel utilization for the rest of the year.“Given the challenging market situation, the company is actively looking at savings initiatives to reduce the company’s cost level. As a part of this effort, we are also reviewing the lay-up of vessels until market demand recovers.”“Longer-term, we expect that the scheduled exit of a number of 3D vessels currently operating in our markets will benefit the company,” SeaBird said.Source: www.offshoreenergytoday.comPlease leave comments and feedback below

    Statoil to operate giant Johan Sverdrup field (Friday, 28 November 2014)

    1 Jan 1970, 12:00 am
    Statoil will become operator for all phases of the massive Johan Sverdrup field in the North Sea, offshore Norway. The decision has been made by the partners in the field, Statoil has announced.Statoil said that the decision will be added in the Unit Operating Agreement (UOA), which is planned to be submitted to the authorities in February 2015 together with the Plan for Development and Operation (PDO).“Statoil will cooperate closely with its partners in order to secure the best possible utilization of the resources on Johan Sverdrup. The goal is to achieve a recovery factor of at least 70% from the field,” the company said in a press release.The field development plan includes a field center that will carry out the most important functions while also allowing for the subsequent connection of various installations during the development’s different phases. This integrated solution will ensure efficient field development and operation.“Statoil’s plan is to establish a production organisation for the field in Stavanger, while at the same time drawing upon the considerable expertise of its partners and the supplier industry. Johan Sverdrup will represent a powerhouse of value creation and employment in Norway for many decades to come,” Statoil added.Johan Sverdrup is one of the largest oil discoveries ever made in the history of the Norwegian continental shelf, probably among the top five oil fields. Partners in the field, which encompasses three production licences are Statoil, Lundin Petroleum, Maersk Oil, Petoro and Det norske oljeselskap.The resource estimate for the entire field is between 1.8 and 2.9 billion barrels of oil equivalent. On plateau Johan Sverdrup will account for 25% of the total oil production in Norway. Production start is scheduled for the end of 2019.Source: www.offshoreenergytoday.comPlease leave comments and feedback below

    Easy oil is gone - North Sea industry needs to adapt (Thursday, 27 November 2014)

    1 Jan 1970, 12:00 am
    Companies operating in the North Sea require a cultural shift to make the most of its potential, according to a new report from Deloitte, the business advisory firm.The report, which gauges the oil and gas industry’s reaction to Sir Ian Wood’s Maximising Recovery Review, calls on the new regulator – the Oil and Gas Authority (OGA), the Government and companies operating in the North Sea to adapt to a new reality in the basin.Overall, the research found respondents:– Supported a strong new regulator which can demonstrate focus and influence;– Wanted HM Treasury to outline a stable, simple and internationally competitive fiscal regime which reflects the diverse profile of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS);– Thought closer collaboration between companies would help drive efficiency and cut costs related to extraction, while tax incentives and possibly different ownership models could encourage the sharing of infrastructure.Derek Henderson, senior partner in Deloitte’s Aberdeen office, said: “The UK’s oil and gas industry is going through a serious period of transition; its three major stakeholder groups need to change significantly and adapt quickly. There must be more collaboration both between and within the groups, with companies working together to make extraction more economically viable and increased coordination between departments at Whitehall.”The report also found that drilling activity on the UKCS needs to double to more than 90 wells per year over the next two decades to make the most of the estimated $1.3 trillion worth of oil and gas which potentially remains.Henderson commented: “Only about a third of the known recoverable resources in the UKCS are left. The ‘easy oil’ days are gone and we need a fiscal regime that is more reflective of the current state of the basin. Companies are looking for a tax system which is simple to navigate, stable over the longer-term, incentivises investment and is competitive by international standards. Making the right changes could mean billions of pounds of difference to the UKCS, and simultaneously increase the taxable income as more oil and gas is recovered.”Regulator “with teeth”According to Deloitte, crucial to the changes will be the new regulator “with teeth”; the OGA, announced following the Wood Review. Businesses emphasised the need for the regulator to have the ability to encourage, incentivise, or enforce new ways of working.Geoff Gibbons, oil and gas consulting partner at Deloitte, said: “The industry is very supportive of the new regulator and the Wood Review as a whole. However, those leading the OGA must have the powers required to lead companies and the UK Government in the right direction and make sure the utmost is done to maximise the resources left in the North Sea.“Nevertheless, industry cannot afford to sit and wait for the regulator to drive change. Respondents were quick to point out that many of the measures required have been known for some time and there is strong scepticism that real change will be delivered.“If the industry can achieve all of the steps outlined by the Wood Review in time, this shift could help make the most of the remaining resource on the UKCS through maximising volumes, economic extraction and eventually effective decommissioning.”Source: www.offshoreenergytoday.comImage: Stuart DaviePlease leave comments and feedback below

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