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    OGX to Abandon Tubarao Azul Field (Monday, 26 September 2016)

    26 Sep 2016, 11:00 pm

    Brazil’s OGpar, formerly known as OGX, an oil company formed by a former billionaire Eike Batista, will not be resuming production from its Tubarao Azul oil field in the Campos Basin, offshore Brazil.

    The company, under bankruptcy protection since 2013, said this week that after one year of suspension of production on Tubarão Azul Field, OGX has requested the license relinquishment to Agência Nacional de Petróleo, Gás Natural e Biocombustíveis (“ANP”), the Brazilian regulatory agency.

    The oil firm explained it did not find a feasible alternative to resume activities on Tubarão Azul Field and, as the field operator, OGX will begin the deactivation and abandonment processes in the aforementioned field.


    Furthermore, it added it was negotiating and preparing to hire suppliers that will take part in the process.

    “It is worth emphasizing that a share of the resources destined to the deactivation and abandonment processes was transferred to an escrow account pledged in favor of ANP, in compliance with the agreement with the agency,” OGpar said.

    Worth noting, the FPSO OSX-1, previously used for the production of oil at the field, has already been decommissioned.

    The FPSO OSX-1, built in Korea and customized in Singapore, was, according to InterMoor’s statement in August, the first FPSO to be decommissioned in Brazil waters. The decommissioning operation took place in a water depth of 127m (417 ft).


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    Massive Fire Engulfs Oil Tanker in Gulf of Mexico - Video (Monday, 26 September 2016)

    26 Sep 2016, 11:00 pm

    A massive fire that erupted on an oil tanker in the Gulf of Mexico forced 31 crew members to evacuate the state owned Pemex vessel, with emergency services continuing with efforts to extinguish the blaze.

    The fire broke out on the Burgos tanker on Saturday as a result of an explosion, the cause of which is unknown, and engulfed the vessel, sending dark clouds of smoke into the air.

    The tanker was carrying 80,000 barrels of diesel, 71,000 of gasoline and 16,000 barrels of desulfurized gasoline, according to Mexico’s communications and transport ministry. It has a capacity to carry 270,000 barrels.


    Burgos was about eight miles off the coast of Boca del Rio in Veracruz, where it remains, according to Marine Traffic.

    Pemex tweeted the crew had all made it back to shore on Saturday and maintains that there is no safety risk to the local population.

    Mexican navy ships arrived at the scene and barriers were placed around the vessel in case an oil spill occurred.

    According to reports, some fuel spilled into the sea but there is no risk of contamination “because they are light fuels.”

    “It’s not crude, it’s not going to the bottom of the sea, it stays on the surface,”said Juan Ignacio Fernandez Carvajal of the Veracruz Port Authority.

    Fernandez Caravajal said they were working to control the fire on Saturday night, and the tanker could still sink. “But it’s what we’re trying to avoid. We’re attacking that risk,” he said.

    According to Informador, control operations to quash such fires can take up to 48 hours and will determine whether the ship can be towed.

    The company has suffered bad luck recently, with budget cuts and losses affecting revenue. In April, more than 30 died in a blast at a petrochemical plant owned by Pemex and another company in Veracruz.

    In 2013, 37 died in a blast at the company’s Mexico City headquarters.


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    Sunoco, Behind Protested Dakota Pipeline, Tops U.S. Crude Spill Charts (Monday, 26 September 2016)

    26 Sep 2016, 10:00 pm

    Sunoco Logistics (SXL.N), the future operator of the oil pipeline delayed this month after Native American protests in North Dakota, spills crude more often than any of its competitors with more than 200 leaks since 2010, according to a Reuters analysis of government data.

    The lands of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe sit a half mile south of the proposed route of the Dakota Access pipeline. The tribe fears the line could destroy sacred sites during construction and that a future oil spill might pollute its drinking water.

    A tribal protest over the $3.7 billion project drew broad support from other Native American tribes, domestic and international environmental groups and Hollywood celebrities.


    In response to the tribe's objections, the U.S. government earlier this month called for a temporary halt to construction along a section of the 1,100 mile line in North Dakota near the Missouri River.

    While environmental concerns are at the heart of the Standing Rock Sioux protest, there is no reference to the frequency of leaks by Sunoco or its parent Energy Transfer Partners (ETP.N) in a legal complaint filed by the tribe, nor has Sunoco's spill record informed the public debate on the line.

    Standing Rock Sioux Chairman Dave Archambault II told Reuters the tribe was aware of the safety record of Energy Transfer, but declined to elaborate.

    Sunoco Logistics is one of the largest pipeline operators in the United States. Energy Transfer is constructing the Dakota Access pipeline to pump crude produced at North Dakota's Bakken shale fields to the U.S. Gulf Coast. Once completed, it will hand over the pipeline's operation to Sunoco.

    Sunoco acknowledged the data and told Reuters it had taken measures to reduce its spill rate.

    "Since the current leadership team took over in 2012, Sunoco Pipeline has enhanced and improved our integrity management program," Sunoco spokesman Jeffrey Shields told Reuters by email.

    This significantly cut the amount of barrels lost during incidents, he said.

    The U.S. Department of Justice did not make any reference to the company's spill rate when it decided to stall the project. It highlighted the need for reform in the way companies building infrastructure consult with Native American tribes.

    Spokespeople for the Departments of Justice and the Interior, and the Army Corps declined to comment to Reuters on whether they were aware of Energy Transfer's leak statistics when they jointly decided to halt construction of the line.

    Signs left by protesters demonstrating against the Energy Transfer Partners Dakota Access oil pipeline sit at the gate of a construction access road where construction has been stopped for several weeks due to the protests near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in Cannon Ball, North Dakota, U.S. September 6, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Cullen


    Reuters analyzed data that companies are obliged to disclose to the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) when they suffer spills and found that Sunoco leaked crude from onshore pipelines at least 203 times over the last six years.

    PHMSA data became more detailed in 2010. In its examination, Reuters tallied leaks in the past six years along dedicated onshore crude oil lines and excluded systems that carry natural gas and refined products. The Sunoco data include two of its pipeline units, the West Texas Gulf and Mid-Valley Pipeline.

    That made it the operator with the highest number of crude leak incidents, ahead of at least 190 recorded by Enterprise Products Partners (EPD.N) and 167 by Plains All American Pipeline (PAA.N), according to the spill data reported to PHMSA, which is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

    Enterprise said it has comprehensive safety and integrity programs in place and that many spills happened at its terminals.

    Sunoco and Enterprise both said most leaks take place within company facilities and are therefore contained.

    Plains All American did not respond to a request for comment.

    Sunoco's spill rate shows protestors may have reason to be concerned about potential leaks.

    The main option that was considered for routing the line away from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation was previously discarded because it would involve crossing more water-sensitive areas north of the capital Bismarck, according to the project's environmental assessment.

    To be sure, most pipeline spills are small and pipelines are widely seen as a safer way to move fuel than alternatives such as rail.

    Sunoco and its units leaked a total of 3,406 net barrels of crude in all the leaks over the last six years, only a fraction of the more than 3 million barrels lost in the largest spill in U.S. history, BP Plc's (BP.L) Macondo well disaster in 2010.

    Sunoco said it found that crude lines not in constant use were a significant source of leaks, so it had shut or repaired some of those arteries.

    In 2015, 71 percent of pipeline incidents were contained within the operator's facility, according to a report by the Association of Oil Pipe Lines, a trade group.

    While total pipeline incidents have increased by 31 percent in the last five years, large spills of 500 barrels or more are down by 32 percent over the same time, the report said.

    Sunoco accounted for about 8 percent of the more than 2,600 reported liquids pipeline leaks in the past six years in the United States.


    The company has made previous efforts to improve safety, a former Sunoco employee who declined to be identified said. It overhauled safety culture after a spill in 2000, and did so again another in 2005 that dumped some 6,000 barrels of crude into the Kentucky River from its Mid-Valley Pipeline.

    Sunoco acknowledged that some of its pipeline equipment dates back to the 1950s.

    A 2014 corrective measure regulators issued for Sunoco's Mid-Valley Pipeline cited "some history of internal corrosion failures" as a potential factor in a leak that sent crude into a Louisiana bayou near an area used for drinking water.

    Crude spills on Sunoco's lines in 2009 and 2011 drew a rebuke from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in a settlement announced this year.

    The EPA said the settlement aimed to "improve the safety of Sunoco's practices and to enhance its oil spill preparedness and response."

    In September, Sunoco received another corrective measure for its newly constructed Permian Express II line in Texas, which leaked 800 barrels of oil earlier this month. The company is already contesting a proposed $1.3 million fine from regulators for violations related to welding on that line.


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    Petrofac Completes Well Decommissioning for Tullow (Monday, 26 September 2016)

    26 Sep 2016, 9:00 pm

    Well engineering and well project management services were deployed within the six-month contract for the Horne & Wren asset in support of Petrofac’s established position as Duty Holder.

    As a part of Tullow Oil’s Thames Area Complex decommissioning project, Petrofac delivered the conceptual design, detailed planning, procurement, subcontractor management and the full execution of the plug and abandonment operations.


    Alex Macdonald, managing director – well engineering, Petrofac Engineering & Production Services, said: “This was a challenging but highly rewarding project. In addition to providing a highly cost-effective solution, we also saved time on the project by proposing optimizations solutions to allow the preparatory works to be integrated as simultaneous operations.

    “This highlights our ability to provide effective outsourced plug and abandonment project management, seamlessly integrated into the overall decommissioning project and driving value through differentiation.”

    Ian Manners, project manager at Tullow Oil, said: “Petrofac went above and beyond our expectations, with a high level of engagement achieved by collaborating with us as a single team. The UKCS operation is amongst the very best, if not the best in the world.”

    Source: Subsea World News


    Petrofac Takes Over Lewek Emas FPSO (Monday, 26 September 2016)

    26 Sep 2016, 8:00 pm

    UK’s offshore services provider Petrofac has reportedly completed the takeover of the Lewek Emas FPSO.

    The sale of the FPSO was previously agreed in principle, between Emas Offshore and PetroFirst.

    PetroFirst is a joint venture between First Reserve, a global, private equity and infrastructure investment firm focused exclusively on energy, and Petrofac, an international service provider to the oil & gas production and processing industry quoted on the London Stock Exchange.


    The news of the completion of the transaction comes from the specialized website Vessels Value.

    According to the website, the transaction for the 1978-built FPSO was completed on Thursday, September 22, 2016.

    Under the deal, the seller will retain around 20 percent stake in the FPSO, with the buyer paying for 80 percent. The FPSO Lewek EMAS is chartered to Premier Oil as operator of the Chim Sao field, offshore southern Vietnam.

    Offshore Energy Today has reached out to Petrofac, seeking confirmation. We will update the article if we get a response.

    Announcing the intention to sell, Emas said it would use the net proceeds arising from the transaction or debt repayment, working capital and general corporate requirements.

    Also, Emas is looking to move away from the ownership of FPSO assets and instead to leverage on the experience in FPSO conversion. The transaction will enable Emas to refocus the company’s business in the offshore support sector during the current challenging times in the oil and gas sector, Ezra, Emas’ parent company previously said.


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    Foxtrot Finishes $850M Field Development Off Ivory Coast (Monday, 26 September 2016)

    26 Sep 2016, 7:00 pm

    According to RAK Petroleum’s statement on Monday, an oil and gas investment company who has a one-third ownership of Foxtrot through Mondoil Enterprises, two new gas fields, Marlin and Manta have been brought on stream.

    The fields were brought on stream following the installation of a four-legged, manned platform and related processing and pipeline facilities and the drilling of one exploration and seven production wells.


    Gas production from Block CI-27 has climbed to an average of 170 million cubic feet per day in August 2016, constituting more than three-quarters of Ivory Coast’s total. Production of oil and condensates from the block averaged 3,000 barrels per day. In 2015, gas production from the block averaged 145 million cubic feet per day, while liquids production averaged 1,140 barrels per day. Gas is sold at a current price of $6 per million btu and liquids are sold at international market prices.

    RAK said that the new platform, installed in 110 meters of water depth, doubles Block CI-27’s gas and liquids handling capacity and increases the reliability of gas deliveries to the Ivorian electrical sector.

    The first platform on the block has been in operation since 1999 and processes gas and liquids from the previously developed Foxtrot and Mahi gas fields. Capital expenditures on Block CI-27 have topped $1 billion since 2010, including drilling of one exploration and two production wells between 2010 and 2012.

    Foxtrot operates Block CI-27 with a 24 percent direct stake. Other partners on the block are the state oil company, PETROCI SA (40 percent), SECI SA (24 percent) and ENERCI SA (12 percent). Foxtrot International also has a 27.27 percent interest in ENERCI, bringing Mondoil Enterprises’ overall stake in Block CI-27 to 9.1 percent.

    The company has identified significant additions to the gas reserves and contingent resources on Block CI-27 across the four producing fields, including in previously untapped lower and upper Turonian compartments in the Marlin field.

    RAK reported that a reserves certification study by an independent petroleum engineering firm is expected to be completed shortly.

    Source: Offshore Energy Today


    Petrobras to Seek Builders for Six New Platforms as of Next Year (Monday, 26 September 2016)

    26 Sep 2016, 6:00 pm

    Petroleo Brasileiro SA, Brazil's state-run oil company, as of 2017 will begin seeking offers for the construction of six new offshore oil platforms envisioned in current investment plans, according to a newspaper interview published Sunday.

    In an interview with O Globo, the biggest daily in the company's home base of Rio de Janeiro, Petrobras' director of exploration and production said the six new platforms, together likely to cost as much as $6 billion, are among eight rigs planned to enter service by 2021, with bidding for the other two contracts already under way.

    The new platforms, Solange Guedes said, will come on the heels of another 11 platforms already under construction and expected to enter service through 2019.


    Petrobras is seeking to ramp up production as part of a five-year, $74.1 billion capital spending plan announced last week. It slashed investments from a prior plan by 25 percent, seeking to refocus on core operations after years in which the company was battered by a corruption scandal and government interference that, along with low oil prices, led to big losses.

    Guedes echoed recent comments by Chief Executive Pedro Parente, who took over earlier this year, that the company may use more foreign builders if domestic companies are too expensive or too slow. In recent years, Brazil's government obliged Petrobras to rely increasingly on Brazilian suppliers.

    "It must be competitive local content that is viable for our projects in terms of prices and timelines," she told O Globo. "If not, our projects don't start producing."

    A Petrobras spokeswoman on Sunday confirmed the Guedes interview with O Globo, but had no further details.


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    Topaz Nets Contract for Kazakhstan’s Tengiz Development (Monday, 26 September 2016)

    26 Sep 2016, 5:00 pm

    Under the terms of the agreement, Topaz will act as the technical manager for three newly designed module carrying vessels. The vessels will commence work in the second quarter of 2018 for a minimum contract period of a little over two years. The vessels will be transporting oil and gas modules to Tengiz oil field from transshipment bases in Kazakhstan.


    Tengiz oil field is operated by Tengizchevroil—a partnership between Chevron (50%), KazMunaiGas (20%), Exxon Mobil Kazakhstan Ventures (25%) and LukArco (5%).


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