Offshore

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

What About Cuba?

Political allegiance notwithstanding, continuing unrest and war in the energy critical Middle East continues to wreak havoc with world oil prices, with consumers around the world struggling to keep up with fast escalating gasoline prices. While (at press time) the benchmark prices for a barrel of crude have settled just under $40, the situation has spurred new exploration and production ventures, one such speculation in the Gulf of Mexico off of Cuba.

According to a recent report in The Economist (June 5, 2004 edition, page 48), Spain's Repsol has moved into position a Deep Water drilling rig off of the country's northwest coast with the intention of drilling two wildcat wells in what could amount to a successful attempt to energize a failing economy. Should success be met — which, depending on many different sources is far from certain - it will interesting to watch big oil's potential pressure on Washington to eliminate the trade embargo on the country. While the prospect is interesting for commercial and political reasons, the immediate future may not be so immediately known, as - depending on the quality and quantity of product found among the country's 59 offshore blocks - development and delivery could take up to five years and $1.5 billion.

Atlantic Drydock Provides Roehrig Fix

Atlantic Dry Dock Corp. (Atlantic), in Jacksonville, Fla., completed a six-week overhaul on the Francis E. Roehrig, a 85 x 24 ft. (25.9 x 7.3m) tugboat owned and operated by Roehrig Maritime, Port of New York. Comprehensive refit and repairs included changing out the two Caterpillar D-398 engines with new 3512 Caterpillar engines, a new steering system, overhauling or replacement of shafts, propellers and rudders, installation of Fernstrum keelcoolers, and other general life extension repairs. To complete the life extension of the tug, the underwater hull and topside was blasted and painted. The Francis E. Roehrig was delivered on-time and on-budget.

"I picked Atlantic because of their competitive pricing, reputation for quality workmanship and fast, on-time delivery," Chris Roehrig, President of Roehrig Maritime said. "I am very pleased with the project outcome, it met all of my expectations and I would use Atlantic for any of my future work."

FPSO Conversion Begins in Brazil

In working on what is claimed to be the largest and most complex offshore conversion project undertaken to date in Brazil, the conversion of the FPSO P-48 (formerly the VLCC Stena Concordia), FELS Setal SA, the Brazilian subsidiary of Singapore's Keppel Offshore & Marine, has achieved five million work hours without a Lost time Incident. U.S.-based Kellogg Brown & Root's subsidiary Halliburton Produtos Ltda awarded FELS Setal the contract for the marine conversion of the FPSO in February 2001. When completed P-48 will have an oil processing capacity of 150,000 bbl per day, and will be deployed with Petrobras in the Caratinga filed in the Campos Basin, offshore Brazil.

Delmar, Shell E&P Set World Record

Delmar Systems and Shell Exploration & Production established a new world-record depth for moored vessels using suction anchor technology in the Gulf of Mexico. The Transocean fifth generation semi-submersible rig, Deepwater Nautilus, was moored in 8,951 ft. of water in Lloyd Ridge Block 399 with the deepest anchor at 9,205 ft. The ultra-deepwater mooring project was accomplished using high-strength synthetic mooring rope connected to suction anchors. The suction anchors were pre-installed using only one anchor-handling vessel, the Laney Chouest, owned by Edison Chouest Offshore. The eight mooring legs were then connected to the rig later using lighter weight polyester rope and the patented Delmar Subsea Connector. The reduced weight of the polyester rope increases the rig's variable deck load, permitting the rig to anchor in deeper waters.

Dreyfus Buys Lowery Brothers Rigging Center

Dreyfus-Cortney, Inc. (Dreyfus) signed a definitive agreement to purchase the operations of Lowery Brothers Rigging Center, Inc. For over 50 years, Lowery and Dreyfus have each been leaders in their respective fields, supplying a variety of lifting, mooring and related products to domestic and international customers in the marine, construction, industrial and oil and gas industries. Dreyfus expects to close the transaction, subject to the satisfaction of several conditions and contingencies, as soon as possible. The Lowery operation will be integrated with the Dreyfus business at its existing facility at 2121 Poland Avenue in New Orleans.

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