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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Gulf Of Mexico News

BSEE, USCG Investigating GoM Rig Fatality

(Image: BSEE)

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) are investigating the fatality of a worker on board the Petrobras 10,000 drillship in the Gulf of Mexico. Petrobras America Inc. reported the fatality on board the Transocean Ltd. owned drillship at about 4:45 a.m., December 2, 2017. The rig was in an area of the Gulf known as Walker Ridge 469, about 172 miles south of Port Fourchon, La. The deceased worked for Spencer Ogden Ltd. and was participating in pipe handling operations at the time of his injury.

Metal Shark's Next-Generation Damen Fast Crew Supplier

 The all-aluminum monohull FCS 7011 (image: Metal Shark)

As an extension of its existing relationship with Netherlands-based Damen Shipyards, Louisiana-based shipbuilder Metal Shark has announced the availability of the new Damen FCS 7011 for the U.S. market. Developed by Damen in response to feedback from leaders in the offshore oil and gas sector, the FCS 7011 has been designed to reduce logistical cost and increase efficiencies in an era of low oil prices. The all-aluminum monohull FCS 7011 is a fast and comfortable crew supply solution for offshore production facilities.

Talos, Stone Energy Plan $2.5 Bln Merger

Talos Energy LLC and Stone Energy Corp, two U.S. exploration and production companies focused on the Gulf of Mexico, announced on Tuesday plans to merge and create a new company valued around $2.5 billion including debt, sending Stone's shares down nearly 13 percent. "The idea of a reverse merger works very well for us, as we get a lot of talented people into the company and also use a structure which gets us to the public equity markets", said Timothy Duncan, chief executive of Talos, who will retain the title under the combined company, to be named Talos Energy Inc. Stone shares will be exchanged for Talos stock on a one-for-one basis, while Talos' existing stockholders will be issued 34.2 million shares to give them 63 percent of the combined company, according to a statement.

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.

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.

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 WednesdayÂ’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 ChevronÂ’s Hadrian discovery and BPÂ’s Tibor and Kaskida discoveries in deepwater and McMoranÂ’s Davey Jones discovery in shallow water, there may be heavy interest in both deepwater and shallow water blocks.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

GoM Rigs Evacuated ahead of Storm Cindy

Image: NOAA National Hurricane Center

Facing incoming Tropical Storm Cindy, offshore oil and gas operators in the Gulf of Mexico have begun evacuating platforms and rigs as the storm moves north-westward toward the U.S. Gulf Coast. Data from offshore operator reports submitted to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) as of 11:30 CDT today indicate that personnel have been evacuated from a total of 40 production platforms, or 5.43 percent of the 737 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Personnel have been evacuated from one rig non-dynamically positioned (DP) rig…

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.

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.

Conoco Forms GOM Shuttle Tanker Alliance

Conoco has taken another step toward safe movement of newly discovered crude oil reserves from the deepwater Gulf of Mexico to U.S. refineries by shuttle tankers built in the United States. Conoco's wholly owned affiliate, Seahorse Shuttling and Technology LLC (Seahorse), has formalized an alliance with the Alabama Shipyard of Mobile, Ala., and Samsung Heavy Industries of Korea to develop a design and construction plan that could have American-built shuttle tankers ready for service in 2004. Seahorse was formed by Conoco to provide crude oil storage and tanker shuttling services for new oil discoveries made by Conoco and other companies in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.

BOEM Seeks Comments on Environmental Review

Public Hearings Scheduled to provide opportunities for public input. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has completed a draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS), providing updated environmental and socioeconomic analysis to support two proposed lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico. Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 233 is tentatively scheduled for 2013 in the Western Planning Area (WPA), offshore Texas; and Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 231 is scheduled for 2014 in the Central Planning Area (CPA), offshore the states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. BOEM will hold public hearings to provide an opportunity for interested citizens and organizations to comment on the environmental impact statement. Comments will be used to prepare the final SEIS.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

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