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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

North Sea News

Atlantic Offshore Scotland Secures Charter with Maersk Oil UK

Atlantic Offshore’s Ocean Troll  (Photo: Atlantic Offshore Scotland)

Emergency Response and Rescue Vessel (ERRV) operator Atlantic Offshore Scotland Ltd, has secured a two-year firm charter with Maersk Oil UK. The company’s ERRV Ocean Troll, will provide Emergency Response and Rescue services for Maersk Oil’s Culzean project in the central North Sea. The Charter is the first Fire Fighting Class II (Fi-Fi II) ERRV to have operated in the UK sector. The charter commenced in July 2017 and will last for a firm period of two years, with two, one-year options thereafter.

DNV GL, Chrysaor Pact for North Sea Operations

Photo: DNV GL

DNV GL has secured a combined engineering services agreement with Chrysaor Holdings Ltd. to deliver a unique range of services to the company in support of its North Sea Operations. Chrysaor recently completed the acquisition of a package of assets in the UK North Sea from Shell for a price of $3.0 billion. The transaction sees Chrysaor become the leading independent E&P company in the UK. It currently has more than 400 staff working in the UKCS. Hari Vamadevan, Regional Manager UK & West Africa…

North Sea Atlantic Joins the Technip fleet

On Saturday July 26, 2014, a ceremony was held in Bergen to officially name the latest new subsea construction vessel to join the Technip fleet, the North Sea Atlantic. More than 200 guests from shipowner North Sea Shipping, ship charterer Technip and supply chain partners, gathered to attend the ceremony held at the NorYards BMV AS shipyard (previously Bergen Group) in Laksevåg, Bergen, Norway. The event was hosted by North Sea Shipping CEO, Hallvard Klepsvik, and his wife, Sigrid Anne Våge, acted as the vessel godmother. Technip announced in 2012 that it had signed a long term charter agreement with North Sea Shipping for an advanced new build construction vessel.

NSC Connects North Sea Networks

North Sea Communications (NSC), an Oslo, Norway-based independent telecom operator, has made interconnection agreements with both TampNett AS and Central North Sea Fiber Telecommunications Company Ltd. (CNSFTC), to link the companies' fiber-optic networks in the North Sea, says a recent Lightwave report. Telecom traffic is already flowing from TampNett via NSC and CNSFTC to Aberdeen. According to the report, NSC connects the networks through its nodes at Draupner and Ula; the interconnection agreements with the other optical cable owners enables traffic flow among all nodes in the networks. The arrangement allows for direct, low-latency communications among offshore facilities and on-shore offices and operation centers, independent of country.

Wärtsilä Supplies Propulsion for Fishing Vessel

Photo: Wärtsilä

Lunar Fishing Company Ltd, based in Scotland, is replacing its existing Lunar Bow purse seiner trawler with a new ship having the same name. The primary considerations were to achieve both economic and environmental benefits through selecting the market’s most efficient propulsion machinery. The vessel is being built at the Karstensens Skibsvaerft shipyard in Denmark and will feature a fully integrated propulsion solution from Wärtsilä. The main engine chosen is the Wärtsilä 31, listed by Guinness World Records as being the world’s most efficient four-stroke diesel engine.

Subsea North Sea Pipelay Alliance Agreed

Ocean Installer & leading offshore engineering & construction company McDermott establish alliance to meet rigid pipelay needs in the North Sea subsea market. The alliance marks McDermott’s re-entry into the North Sea and establishes Ocean Installer as a tier one North Sea contractor by adding rigid pipelay to the company’s capabilities. McDermott continues to expand its subsea resources including a growing fleet of rigid-pipelay vessels such as the highly advanced Lay Vessel North Ocean 105, its sister ship Lay Vessel 108 (expected to be available mid-2014), and recently announced new-build deepwater combination S-Lay vessel with a 2000-ton crane DLV 2000, (expected to be available in 2015).

CIMC Raffles Starts Norway's Semisub Construction

CIMC Raffles starts Norway semisub

Chinese semi-submersible rig specialist CIMC Raffles has kicked off construction of a deep-water unit destined for operation in Norway’s North Sea and other challenging regions such as the Arctic and Barents Sea.Construction started yesterday. Beacon Atlantic, built for Norway’s rig player North Sea Rigs to the GM4-D design, will be capable of operating in water depths of 500 metres with drilling depth up to 8000 metres. Classed classification society DNV GL, the rig with DP3 system and a drilling package provided by NOV will be built to the Norsok standards…

BP Orders 4 PSVs from HHI for North Sea

The vessels will be deployed to support its West of Shetland (WoS) and Norwegian operations and are be delivered between the winter of 2013 and summer of 2014. The purpose built and highly specified vessels have been designed to provide long term support to BP’s North Sea business and will provide the capabilities BP requires to deliver its strategy more efficiently and safely. The vessels will have oil spill response capability and special tanks to transport fluids required for planned enhanced oil recovery (EOR) schemes. The arrangement is structured such that BP Shipping has contracted Hyundai to build the vessels and then hire them to BP Exploration Operating Company on a 15 year bareboat term charter.

New Oil Field Found in British North Sea

Oil find

GDF SUEZ E&P UK Ltd and BP today announced a new exploration discovery in the UK Central North Sea. The discovery, which spans GDF SUEZ operated block 30/1f (licence P1588) and BP operated block 30/1c (licence P363) was flow tested at a maximum rate of 5,350 barrels of oil equivalent per day. The discovery, referred to as ‘Marconi’ by GDF SUEZ and ‘Vorlich’ by BP, is located in the Central North Sea. Ruud Zoon, Managing Director of GDF SUEZ E&P UK Ltd said: “This is an encouraging…

Tidewater Sells North Sea Boats

Tidewater Inc. will sell its North Sea safety-standby boats to BUE Marine Limited of Edinburgh, Scotland. The $40 million all-cash deal is expected to close by late June. The 28 safety-standby boats were obtained by Tidewater as part of earlier acquisitions. This type of rescue vessel is required for oil and gas entities operating in the North Sea.

Rowan Wins North Sea Contract

Rowan Companies won a term drilling contract for use of the Rowan Gorilla VII in the North Sea commencing in August 2005. The contract provides for a one-year term with a minimum work commitment of nine months, and includes an option for a second year. Rowan estimates that contract revenues, based on a one-year term, will be approximately $65 million. As previously reported, Gorilla VII is currently carrying out decommissioning activities on the Ardmore Field in the North Sea which the Company expects to conclude during July.

BP, Conoco Cutting North Sea Jobs

Oil majors BP and ConocoPhillips will cut over 500 jobs in the North Sea following similar moves by rivals to reduce costs in one of the world's most expensive exploration areas as oil prices tumble. Although the cuts are relatively small for companies with dozens of thousands of employees, they come at a politically sensitive time in Britain as the Scottish independence debate continues and a May parliamentary election looms. BP said the cuts of 200 onshore staff and 100 contractors were part of a previously announced $1 billion reorganisation aimed at simplifying the company's structure after it sold billions of dollars of assets.

Production Cost of North Sea Oil and Gas Doubles

A chronic shortage of rigs and workers has doubled the cost of producing oil and gas in the North Sea, threatening to make the UK’s domestic oil industry uncompetitive, warned UKOOA, the association of North Sea offshore operators, according to Times Online. Signs that costs are crimping investment emerge in the association’s survey of North Sea activity. Further evidence of the dramatic worldwide oil industry cost escalation emerged in a new index showing a 53 per cent increase in project costs over just two years. The Upstream Capital Costs Index, launched by IHC and Cambridge Energy Research Associates (Cera), climbed 13 per cent in the six months to the end of October because of soaring inflation in hiring rigs, shipyard fabrication and labour.

OSV Ship of the Year 'North Sea Giant'

'North Sea Giant' Photo credit North Sea Shipping

The North Sea Giant is considered to be the largest offshore vessel of this type ever built, with an overall length of 156m, beam of 30m and installed power of more than 22MW. The vessel was given the prize for her innovative features, which include advanced dynamic positioning (DP) capability for DP operations based on a high redundancy level and high propulsion power. North Sea Giant has a capacity for 120 people and its structure is highlighted by its heliport on the bow and a bridge placed up on the sixth deck of the vessel. The vessel boasts a working deck area of close to 3000 sqm .

BP Selects Offshore Automation Contractor of Choice

Emerson will be BP’s preferred supplier of integrated control and safety systems for five offshore fields in the U.K. continental shelf, including the new Clair Ridge platforms and the Quad 204 floating production, storage and offloading vessel. Emerson’s selection as contractor of choice builds on an earlier agreement in which the company was named a Main Automation Contractor for BP projects globally. By standardizing on a single contractor for its North Sea region, BP expects to gain significant benefits including efficient project execution, training, maintenance and support. Emerson will provide a wide range of services for control and safety systems, from front-end engineering and design to installation, testing and support.

North Sea Open for Business

More licenses than ever before are being offered to companies to extract oil and gas from the North Sea, UK’s Energy Minister Mike O'Brien announced on Nov. 12, 2008. The announcement will help the UK to make the most of its own home grown supplies of energy. As part of the Department of Energy and Climate Change' s 25th offshore oil and gas licensing round, 171 new licences are being offered to 100 companies covering 257 blocks of the North Sea. "We are now seeing record interest from companies wishing to exploit the UK's considerable oil and gas resources in the North Sea. Whilst there's not an endless supply of North Sea oil and gas, with up to 20 billion barrels, or more, left under the sea we can't overlook its contribution to our security of energy supply as well as to our economy.

Kvaerner Sells Fabrication Yard, Changes North Sea Strategy

Kvaerner is selling its U.K. Teesside fabrication yard and reducing its reliance on North Sea offshore business, a company official said. The decision to sell the 36-acre facility was a result of the company's shifting strategy, as U.K. and European construction yards faced bleak prospects from dwindling North Sea orders, the official said. A handful of workers remain at the yard, which once employed 3,000, to help in the clear-up operations. The sale is expected to take at least three months. Kvaerner, which was badly burned last year after posting a record pre-tax loss, will be looking at subsea technology activities while expanding its business in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Africa.

Tax Doubles for North Sea Energy Companies

The British government, struggling to erase its deficit, is doubling the surtax for North Sea oil and gas companies, a move that surprised an industry expecting an increase half that size, according to a Globe and Mail report. The proposed increase in the supplementary tax for North Sea energy companies is for 20 percent of income from the current 10 percent, with the change expected to cost the industry the equivalent of $13-billion over the next three years. The move affects several Canadian energy companies with North Sea assets, including Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Nexen Inc., Petro-Canada and Talisman Energy Inc. According to the report…

Dundee Wants to be a Major Oil and Gas Decommissioning Hub

Photo: Forth Ports Limited

Forth Ports Limited and AF Offshore Decom UK announced the signing of a Heads of Agreement with the intent to establish a new joint venture, AF Dundee, which will lay the foundations of creating a North Sea oil and gas decommissioning hub in the city of Dundee, with its nucleus at the port. AF Offshore Decom UK, a subsidiary of AF Gruppen, is one of the North Sea’s most respected and prominent decommissioning contractors and operates AF VATS Environmental Base in Norway, the North Sea’s most advanced facility for decommissioning offshore installations.

Total Overtakes Shell in North Sea Production

File Image: a typical offshore North Sea installation (Credit: Craig International)

Majors still control three quarter of output; even after $10 bln of deals, private equity still plays only modest role. French oil major Total has overtaken rival Royal Dutch Shell to become the second-largest producer in the North Sea with its acquisition of Maersk's Norwegian and UK producing assets. The $7.45 billion deal by Total was welcomed by the market, with analysts saying it helped the French company rebalance its portfolio by adding assets in developed countries after going for projects in riskier places such as Iran and Russia.

Britain to Review Tax to Speed up North Sea O&G Deals

Britain will look at ways of making it easier to sell North Sea oil and gas fields by changing tax rules in order to keep them producing for longer, the finance ministry said. The move, which is due to be announced in finance minister Philip Hammond's budget on Wednesday, follows a call by the industry's oil lobby group for a change to decommissioning tax rules that have prevented deals in the North Sea. Owners of oil and gas assets get tax relief on the future costs of dismantling them, but as assets are sold the relief cannot be passed on to new owners. "The UK government will publish a discussion paper and establish a panel of industry experts to consider how tax can assist sales of oil and gas fields, helping to keep them productive for longer," the ministry said in a statement.

Sharp Rise Seen in North Sea Decommissioning

Decom North Sea (DNS), the organization which represents the North Sea’s oil and gas decommissioning industry, has welcomed changes in the budget which will boost the sector, leading to new jobs and investment in new equipment. With annual decommissioning expenditure in the North Sea forecast to top £1billion within a few years and a total of about £35billion due to be spent over the next 20 to 30 years, DNS had called for the budget to provide long-term certainty. The forum has around 200 members, drawn from across the full spectrum of the industry, including operators and contractors. The Government announced it will introduce a package of oil and gas measures to secure billions of pounds of additional investment in the UK Continental Shelf…

Spudding of Exploration Well on Darwin

Fairfield Energy COO Ian Sharp on board Dunlin platform which recently had investment of £70 million to help increase and sustain production.

Fairfield Energy, a North Sea-focused independent oil and gas company,  announced that the first well of a three well campaign in the Darwin area spudded on 23 October. The well is being drilled from the Ocean Nomad and is operated by Fairfield. The Darwin area includes the southern end of Block 211/27a (previously known as the NW Hutton field) together with an extension into Block 211/27e and lies approximately 130 km northeast of the Shetland Islands in the Northern North Sea.

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