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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Gulf Of Mexico News

Fieldwood Hungry for US Offshore Output

© eaumstocker / Adobe Stock

The Chief Executive of offshore oil and gas driller Fieldwood Energy LLC, Matt McCarroll, says he is not scared of the hurricanes, geological risks and costs that keep some oil companies out of the Gulf of Mexico. Instead, he is doubling down. The private equity-backed company - already the largest operator on the U.S. outer continental shelf - announced on Thursday it is closing a $480 million acquisition of Noble Energy’s assets in the Gulf of Mexico that will add 25,000 barrels per day (bpd) to its current net production of 72,000 bpd of oil equivalent.

US Interior Secretary Sees Little Demand for New Offshore Drilling

© Mike Mareen / Adobe Stock

U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said on Friday that he sees little demand from oil and gas companies for new offshore drilling leases, which could pose problems for his plan to ramp up output from federal waters.The comments come just three months after Zinke had proposed opening nearly all U.S. ocean coastlines to drilling, in a bid to raise domestic oil and gas production. The plan sparked immediate protests from coastal states, environmentalists and the tourism industry.Zinke said a record-sized U.S.

NOIA Optimism on Gulf of Mexico Oilfield Sales

Overall, compared to the last two years, we are seeing a positive trend for the offshore industry in the Gulf of Mexico, and we are looking forward to Wednesday’s lease sale with cautious optimism. “Not only is this the first Central Gulf of Mexico sale in two years and the last lease sale in the current five year OCS leasing plan, but the 2012-2017 plan is not yet out, so it is unclear when the next Central Gulf sale will occur. These factors likely point to pent-up demand and interest in leases. If you consider a few big discoveries in the Central Gulf over the past few years, such as Chevron’s Hadrian discovery and BP’s Tibor and Kaskida discoveries in deepwater and McMoran’s Davey Jones discovery in shallow water, there may be heavy interest in both deepwater and shallow water blocks.

Major Offshore Tracts to be Opened

Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne announced a major federal initiative to boost oil and natural gas production on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf in the Gulf of Mexico and off Alaska. The program could produce 10 billion barrels of oil and 45 trillion cubic feet of natural gas over 40 years, generating almost $170 billion. “The Outer Continental Shelf is a vital source of domestic oil and natural gas for America, especially in light of sharply rising energy prices and increasing demand for these resources,” Kempthorne said. Interior’s Minerals Management Service developed the initiative, known as the Five Year Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program, to guide domestic energy leasing on the OCS from 2007 to 2012. The program proposes 21 lease sales in 8 planning areas.

Deep Down Operations in Gulf of Mexico

Deep Down, Inc. is an oilfield services company specializing in complex deepwater and ultra-deepwater oil production distribution system support services. In response to recent investor inquires, the company commented that the recently announced 180-day moratorium on exploration drilling in water depths in excess of 500 ft in the Gulf of Mexico has had no material negative impact on our current operations. However, we have seen an increase in activity in our operations related to cleanup and subsea monitoring in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, we do not envision that the Drilling Moratorium will have a material impact on the operations of Cuming Corporation. On May 3, 2010, we announced that we had entered into a conditional purchase agreement to acquire Cuming Corporation.

BP's Commitment to GofM Confirmed: New Oil Discovered

Rig/Map Image CCL license

BP says it has made a significant oil discovery at its Gila prospect (which it co-owns with ConocoPhillips) in the deepwater US Gulf of Mexico. This is BP’s third discovery in recent years in the emerging Paleogene trend in the Gulf of Mexico and reflects the company’s ongoing commitment to the US offshore region. The Gila discovery was made by an exploration well on Keathley Canyon Block 93, about 300 miles southwest of New Orleans, in approximately 4,900 feet of water. The well, which penetrated multiple Paleogene-aged reservoir sands, was drilled to a total depth of 29,221 feet.

BOEM Completes Final Supplemental Review

BOEM Completes Final Supplemental Review for Central Planning Area in the Gulf of Mexico. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management today released a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for proposed oil and gas Lease Sale 216/222. The SEIS updates several previously published environmental reviews covering the Gulf of Mexico, including incorporating the latest available information for the Central Gulf of Mexico Planning Area following the Deepwater Horizon event. The bureau will continue to conduct and assess additional scientific research and studies, and use this information to inform future offshore leasing and energy development decisions. A Federal Register notice announcing the availability of the Final SEIS will be published on January 20, 2012.

Long-term Study May Reveal Deepwater Horizon Impacts

Dr. Wes Tunnell

The Harte Research Institute (HRI) for Gulf of Mexico Studies at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi will receive approximately $1.25 million over the next three years to work with Mexican colleagues in the southern Gulf of Mexico to look for residual impacts from the Ixtoc I oil spill of 1979-1980 on coastal areas, fisheries, and the deep sea. This long-term study will reveal what impacts may be in store 30 years after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill. Dr. Wes Tunnell, Associate Director of HRI, is leading the project. He is joined in this research effort by HRI endowed chairs: Drs.

Magnum Hunter Expands Gulf of Mexico Drilling Program

Magnum Hunter Resources, Inc. has significantly expanded its drilling program in the Gulf of Mexico through several recent acquisitions and the commitment of new capital. Magnum Hunter acquired a 25 percent working interest in four Gulf of Mexico offshore prospects from Remington Oil and Gas Corporation. The first well in this new drilling program is scheduled to commence during the first week of January on East Cameron Block 364. The company also acquired a 100 percent working interest in Main Pass Block 178 from Union Pacific Resources Group, Inc.Two recently drilled wells on this block have indicated pay and are currently suspended. The company is reviewing development plans for this project in the first half of 2000 after the recent acquisition of 3-D seismic.

Schlumberger, Statoil Execute Multiclient WAZ Survey in Campeche Basin

Schlumberger announced today that Statoil Gulf of Mexico LLC has signed an agreement to license a large part of the WesternGeco Campeche wide-azimuth (WAZ) deepwater multiclient seismic survey in the southern Gulf of Mexico. The license also includes collaboration with WesternGeco in the seismic processing phase. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to collaborate with Statoil in this breakthrough project, which is the first WAZ multiclient broadband survey in Mexican waters of the Gulf of Mexico,” said Maurice Nessim, president, WesternGeco. A fleet of eight vessels is conducting the survey in the Bay of Campeche for the three-year project. The project follows the Mexican government opening licensing rounds to non-government companies for the first time.

Shell Makes Big Deepwater Oil Discovery in Gulf of Mexico

Oil major Royal Dutch Shell said its U.S. unit had made one of its biggest oil discoveries in the past decade in the Whale deepwater well in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The Whale is operated by Shell and co-owned by U.S. oil giant Chevron Corp. "Evaluation of the discovery was ongoing, and appraisal drilling is underway to further delineate the discovery and define development options," Shell Offshore Inc said in a statement without giving figures. Shell has three Gulf of Mexico deepwater projects under construction -- Appomattox, Kaikias and Coulomb Phase 2. It has added more than one billion barrels of oil equivalent (boe) resources in the last decade in the Gulf of Mexico.

Ultra-deepwater Drillship 'Maersk Valiant' Delivered

'Maersk Valiant': Photo Maersk Drilling

Maersk Drilling advises that its second new drillship, 'Maersk Valiant', has been delivered from the Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) shipyard in Geoje-Si, South-Korea. Maersk Valiant has begun its voyage towards the US Gulf of Mexico via Singapore to commence a two year contract with ConocoPhillips and Marathon Oil Corporation. Maersk Valiant is the second in a series of four ultra deepwater drillships to enter Maersk Drilling’s fleet. The four drillships represent a total investment of US$2.6-bn and will be delivered from the SHI shipyard in 2014.

LTE Deployment Launched in the Gulf of Mexico

Industrial LTE wireless broadband services provider Infrastructure Networks, Inc. (INET) is deploying a pilot LTE system in the Gulf of Mexico. INET said its pilot deployment will be used to demonstrate the capabilities of industrial LTE wireless broadband service and coverage when coupled with 700 MHz spectrum that INET has leased from Verizon Wireless under the LTE in Rural America program. The pilot will be open to certain companies operating in the Gulf of Mexico that have expressed an interest in using the network for testing and planning larger LTE rollouts. Tarig Anani , CEO of Infrastructure Networks, said, "The pilot deployment phase of our LTE rollout will give customers an opportunity to test and preplan their own LTE deployments in lockstep with Infrastructure Networks.

BOEMRE Completes Final Supplemental EIS for Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) released a Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) for proposed oil and gas Lease Sale 218 in the Western Planning Area in the Gulf of Mexico. The SEIS updates the findings in several previously published environmental reviews covering the Gulf of Mexico. It also incorporates the latest available information pertaining to the Western Gulf of Mexico Planning Area following the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill. “The analysis contained in this Final SEIS incorporates new research and reflects broad public input on the environmental effects of oil and gas operations in the Gulf of Mexico,” said BOEMRE Director Michael R. Bromwich.

Salazar Announces Western Gulf Lease Sale

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced that the next federal oil and gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico will occur in New Orleans on August 18, 2010. The Secretary made the Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 215 announcement during a tour of Superior Energy Services. The available blocks in Sale 215 are located from 9 to about 250 miles offshore in water depths of 16 to more than 10,975 feet (5 to 3,346 meters). The Department of the Interior’s Minerals Management Service (MMS) estimates the proposed lease sale could result in the production of 242 to 423 million barrels of oil and 1.64 to 2.64 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

ENSCO 3Q Earnings Hit By Gulf Downturn

ENSCO International Incorporated expects that its third quarter earnings per share will be in the range of $.38 to $.42, and that its fourth quarter earnings per share is expected to be in the range of $.25 to $.30. This trend in results is due primarily to a decline in Gulf of Mexico drilling activity. The company also announced that one of its subsidiaries has received notice of Chevron's intent to effect early termination of the ENSCO I, a barge drilling rig under long-term contract with Chevron in Venezuela. Not included in the third quarter earnings estimate given above is approximately $15 million of revenue resulting in a gain of approximately $10 million after tax, or $.07 per fully diluted share, from the early termination of this contract, if finally consummated.

BOEM to Open Bids for Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Gulf of Mexico Regional Director John Rodi will open the Gulf of Mexico Western Planning Area Lease Sale 238 at 9 a.m. CDT on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. The sale, which offers more than 21 million acres for oil and gas exploration and development offshore Texas, is open to the public and news media representatives are invited to attend. Following the bid reading, a news media teleconference to announce the results of the sale will be conducted by BOEM Gulf of Mexico Deputy Regional Director Michael Celata. Media wishing to participate in the teleconference only should call 1-888-469-1174 by 10 a.m. CDT and provide the passcode GULF SALE.

ENSCO 3Q Earnings Hit By Gulf Downturn

ENSCO International Incorporated expects that its third quarter earnings per share will be in the range of $.38 to $.42, and that its fourth quarter earnings per share is expected to be in the range of $.25 to $.30. This trend in results is due primarily to a decline in Gulf of Mexico drilling activity. The company also announced that one of its subsidiaries has received notice of Chevron's intent to effect early termination of the ENSCO I, a barge drilling rig under long-term contract with Chevron in Venezuela. Not included in the third quarter earnings estimate given above is approximately $15 million of revenue resulting in a gain of approximately $10 million after tax, or $.07 per fully diluted share, from the early termination of this contract, if finally consummated.

Speedcast, Tampnet Partner for GoM 4G/LTE Service

Speedcast International Limited,  provider of fully managed remote communication and IT solutions, has signed a reseller agreement with Tampnet for 4G/LTE services in the Gulf of Mexico. The agreement marks Speedcast as the first service provider to partner with Tampnet for its high capacity offshore network in the region. Tampnet announced in March that it has reached 25 percent of its planned coverage for the Gulf of Mexico. Upon completion at the end of 2018, Tampnet will have a low latency, high capacity fiber and microwave network made up of more than 60 base stations that they estimate will cover 98 percent of all manned offshore assets. Tampnet currently owns a similarly designed offshore low-latency network in the North Sea which has been in operation since 2001.

Conoco Strengthens its Gulf of Mexico Deepwater

Conoco announced an agreement with Exxon Corporation to exchange interest in 59 deepwater blocks in the Gulf of Mexico. Conoco acquired a 50-percent interest in 29 of Exxon's blocks, while Exxon acquired a 50-percent interest in 30 of Conoco's blocks. Conoco was the sole lessee of its 30 blocks and will retain a 50-percent interest in each. The acreage is in Green Canyon, Garden Banks, Walker Ridge and Keathley Canyon areas in the Gulf of Mexico. "The Gulf of Mexico continues to be one of the great growth opportunities for oil and gas in the U.S., and these newly acquired interests are perfectly aligned with our exploration strategy to focus on deepwater," said Rob McKee, Conoco executive vice-president, exploration production.

Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 174 Attracts $94.6 Million in High Bids

A Federal offshore natural gas and oil lease sale in the Western Gulf of Mexico received $94.7 million in high bids. The U.S. Department of the Interior's Minerals Management Service (MMS) received 177 bids totaling $104.2 million at the sale held in New Orleans. The 41 participating companies bid on 153 tracts in the Western Gulf of Mexico, offshore Texas and in deeper waters offshore Louisiana. "The results of the sale are about what we expected," said MMS Gulf of Mexico Regional Director Chris Oynes. "It is reflective of the large inventory of tracts already under lease. MMS officials said 86 tracts receiving bids are in water depths of 656 ft. or more. The highest bid on a tract was $11.3 million, submitted by Kerr-McGee Oil & Gas Corporation for NG15-02 Garden Banks 877.

MMS Study of Loop Current in Eastern GOM

A study released by the Minerals Management Service examines the circulation in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico (GOM) and sheds new light on the behavior of the Loop Current (LC) and Loop Current Eddies (LCEs), the relation between the upper- and lower-layer currents, and the variability of water mass characteristics in deepwater. When the LC and the LCE are present in the Gulf near oil and gas activities, operators may have to curtail or amend their operations due to the strength of the current or eddy. “The observations from this study will help MMS and other scientists better understand the Loop Current and improve our forecasting of its behavior in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Dr. Alexis Lugo-Fernandez, the MMS physical oceanographer responsible for the study.

Mexico, US Seminar on Gulf of Mexico Spill Response

Individuals from each of the agencies represented at MEXUSGULF 2014, from Mexico and the United States, gather after concluding a seminar on oil spill response in the Gulf of Mexico at the Isla Grand Beach Resort on South Padre Island, Texas, April 8, 2014. (USCG photo by Andrew Kendrick)

The U.S. Coast Guard and Mexican Navy held a seminar Tuesday in South Padre Island, to update the MEXUSGULF plan for a future coordinated response to a spill in the Gulf of Mexico that would impact both countries. MEXUSGULF is a joint contingency plan between the United States and Mexico. It provides standard operational procedures with respect to binational coordination in case of pollution incidents that may represent a threat to coastal waters or the marine environment of the border zone of both countries. uscgnews.com  

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Apr 2018 - Offshore Energy Annual

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