Marine Link
Monday, January 22, 2018

Offshore Exploration News

Norway Awards 75 Oil Exploration Licenses

© Marius Dobilas / Adobe Stock

Norway's energy ministry has awarded 75 offshore exploration blocks to oil companies in a so-called predefined areas (APA) licensing round, handing out acreage to 34 firms, of which 19 got at least one operatorship, it said on Tuesday.   A total of 39 firms had applied for the offered acreage, up from 33 companies that applied in the previous round a year ago, when the ministry awarded 56 exploration licenses. (Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis and Joachim Dagenborg, editing by Terje Solsvik)

G E Shipping Sells Supramax

Photo: The Great Eastern Shipping Co. Ltd.

India’s largest private sector shipping company  Great Eastern Shipping Company Limited (G E Shipping) has contracted to sell its 2003 built Supramax Dry Bulk Carrier Jag Rahul of about 52,364 dwt. G E Shipping said that the vessel will be delivered to the new buyer in Q4 FY 2017-18. The Company’s current fleet (including Jag Rahul) stands at 48 vessels, comprising 32 tankers (12crude carriers, 17 product tankers, 3 LPG carrier) and 16 dry bulk carriers (1 Capesize, 8 Kamsarmax, 7 Supramax) with an average age of 10.24 years aggregating 3.93 mn dwt.

Houston Exploration and El Paso Announce Joint Offshore Exploration Drilling Program

The Houston Exploration Company and El Paso Production Company, a subsidiary of El Paso Corporation, announced that they have executed a letter of intent to conduct an exploration drilling joint venture in the Gulf of Mexico. Under the terms of the agreement, El Paso will contribute up to $50 million for land, seismic and drilling expenditures and pay 100 percent of the dry hole costs to earn 50 percent of Houston Exploration's working interest in up to six specified exploration wells to be drilled during the remainder of 2002 and early 2003. The wells to be drilled by the joint venture are comprised of exploration prospects developed by Houston Exploration on its leases located in the Central and Western Gulf of Mexico and in Texas state waters.

Eni, PetroVietnam Ink Offshore Exploration Contract

Eni said on Thursday it had signed a new offshore exploration contract with PetroVietnam as the Italian oil and gas group moves to strengthen its presence in Vietnam. Eni said it had signed a Product Sharing Contract with state-owned PetroVietnam for exploration in the Phu Khanh Basin which will last 7 years. Asia represents a new frontier area for Eni which currently produces more than half its oil and gas output in Africa. (Reporting by Stephen Jewkes)

Mercator Lines to Explore Oil Offshore

Mercator Lines, is planning to expand its business portfolio by foraying into the offshore oil exploration sector. The company is looking for global partners to form a consortium to bid for Indian offshore blocks under the forthcoming round of NELP bids, apart from overseas blocks, including some of the South East Asian and Arabian Gulf blocks. It is in talks with a few European companies, sources said. Mercator Lines, which has forayed into offshore support services and is in the process of acquiring a $180m drilling rig, is aiming at forward integration by getting into the exploration business, which would also give it a captive market for its fleet of rigs and other offshore assets.

Italy Eni Buys Exploration Licences in Ghana

According to a Sept 28 report from Reuters, Italy's oil and gas major Eni (ENI.MI) has bought majority stakes in two offshore exploration licenses in Ghana, making a return to potentially oil-rich African country, Eni said in a statement. (Source: Reuters)  

Petrobras Areas Bought in 2010 May Hold Double the Oil Expected

Reuters - Brazil's Petroleo Brasileiro SA may find as much as 10 billion barrels of oil in a group of offshore exploration blocks bought from the government in an oil-for-stock swap, an official of the country's petroleum regulator said on Wednesday. Under the swap, Petrobras bought the rights to 5 billion barrels of oil and natural gas in the areas located in the Santos Basin directly from the government in a non-competitive bidding process. (Reporting by Jeb Blount; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

Shell Signs New Deals with CNOOC, CNPC

Shell signed two offshore oil and gas Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) with CNOOC, and a PSC amendment with CNPC for a new development phase for the Changbei gas field in China. Shell has also entered an agreement with CNOOC for its participation in two Shell exploration blocks offshore Gabon, West Africa. The two offshore oil and gas PSCs with CNOOC are for blocks 62/02 and 62/17 in the Yinggehai Basin. Shell, as operator, will apply advanced seismic acquisition and processing technologies to conduct 3D seismic data surveys in the Yinggehai blocks. Shell will cover the costs for the acquisition of seismic data and will use advanced drilling technologies to drill exploration wells during the exploration phase.

OSV Sector Wary of Overcrowding

THE offshore support vessel (OSV) segment - touted as the bright spot where other traditional shipping markets are suffering - may entice tanker and bulk-carrier operators to jump ship, according to a recent Singapore Business Times article. However, OSV operators and owners are wary of such a crossover, and warn that if the sector gets more crowded, it may derail a recovery in charter rates that is expected to come about in two to three years' time. There are about 3,000 OSVs that support oil and gas offshore exploration - a sliver of the 70,000 merchant ships - but it is a sector that gained attention at a time when oil companies are expected to spend about US$600 billion in exploration and production activities.

Magnum Hunter Reports 2001 Drilling Results

Magnum Hunter Resources, Inc. announced year-to-date 2001 exploration and development drilling results. The company has participated in 28 new wells with a 100 percent success rate. Six of the successful new wells were exploration, three in the shallow water shelf area of the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) and three onshore. The remaining 22 new wells drilled were onshore development locations. The 22 new development wells are located in Texas, southeastern New Mexico, and southern Oklahoma. Magnum Hunter holds working interest ranging from 25 to 100 percent in these wells. Magnum Hunter chairman and executive vice president Matthew C. Lutz said…

Eni Buys out Shell's Stake in Evans Shoal Gas Field

Photo: ENI

Italy's Eni announces the purchase of a 32.5% stake in the Evans Shoal gas field in the Timor Sea, Australia. The field is located offshore in the NT/P48 exploration permit in the north Bonaparte Basin, around 300km northwest of Darwin, where there is an existing LNG plant precinct. The undeveloped Evans Shoal field, discovered in 1998, holds expected gas in place of up to 7 trillion cubic feet. In late October 2011, Eni reached an agreement with Australian based company Santos Ltd to purchase its 40% equity share.

Cairn Eyes Offshore Exploration in Bangladesh

Oil and gas firm Cairn Energy announced plans for further exploration and development drilling in Bangladesh's offshore gas field. Cairn Energy is currently operating Bangladesh's only offshore gas field at Sangu in the Bay of Bengal, off Chittagong port. In addition, Cairn is actively exploring in blocks 5 and 10, where new seismic data has been acquired, and is participating with Chevron in block 7, where a seismic campaign commenced recently. It has identified a new possible gas field at Char Jabbar under Noakhali district in block 10 with an indication of 2.8 tcf of gas reserves. Cairn also conducted seismic surveys at Meghnama and at Hatiya under the block 16. The possible gas reserve would be 3.5 tcf at Meghnama and 1.8 tcf at Hatiya, Reuters reported.

W&O Supply Secures Contracts with Industry Leaders

W&O Supply has secured contractual agreements with Transocean Offshore, Inc. and Teekay Shipping, two recognized leaders in the offshore exploration and marine shipping industries. The general service agreements designate W&O Supply as primary provider of marine valves and related products for Teekay Shipping’s fleet and Transocean’s offshore drilling rigs. W&O Supply’s reputation for distributing quality marine products quickly and efficiently were major factors in the company being awarded both contracts. Valves, pipe and fittings are critical components of ships and offshore rigs and their failure can lead to costly interruptions in operations.

FPSOs in the Gulf of Mexico?

Executives from many of the country's leading shipyards and supply organizations gathered in Washington, D.C. in January to discuss challenges facing the repair and conversion industry. While sentiments regarding near-term prospects in the ship repair and conversion market are hardly bullish, several of the speakers discussed the opportunities that would be created if and when Floating Production, Storage, and Offloading Systems (FPSO) are allowed to operate in the Gulf of Mexico. Currently, FPSOs are not allowed to be used in the GOM. But as offshore exploration and production continues to move farther offshore and into deeper waters, the use of these innovative production platforms seems a natural "next step," one which would be embraced by U.S. repair and conversion yards.

FPSOs in the Gulf of Mexico?

Executives from many of the country's leading shipyards and supply organizations gathered in Washington, D.C. in January to discuss challenges facing the repair and conversion industry. While sentiments regarding near-term prospects in the ship repair and conversion market are hardly bullish, several of the speakers discussed the opportunities that would be created if and when Floating Production, Storage, and Offloading Systems (FPSO) are allowed to operate in the Gulf of Mexico. Currently, FPSOs are not allowed to be used in the GOM. But as offshore exploration and production continues to move farther offshore and into deeper waters, the use of these innovative production platforms seems a natural "next step," one which would be embraced by U.S. repair and conversion yards.

Statoil - Offshore Canada Licenses

StatoilHydro was awarded an interest in two licenses off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, in a land sale award announced 17 November 2008. The company will operate one of the licenses. "We are pleased with the results of this license round. It shows our commitment to the region and our ambition to explore the offshore areas of the east coast of Canada," said Svein Ivar Leivestad, head of offshore exploration in StatoilHydro Canada. The first license is in the Flemish Pass Basin, close to StatoilHydro's Mizzen well that will be drilled this winter. StatoilHydro is the operator with a 65% working interest, with Husky as the partner with 35%. The second license is in the Jeanne d’Arc Basin, with a 50% StatoilHydro interest. Petro-Canada is the operator.

StatoilHydro Exploring the Bahamas

StatoilHydro has reached agreement with BPC Limited to become the operator of three offshore exploration licenses, Zapata, Islamorada and Falcones in the Cay Sal area of the south-western Bahamas. Approval and award of the licenses by the Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas is still pending. “There is no drilling commitment during the first phase of the license. At the end of the initial 3-year license term the license holders will have the option to commit to drilling a well in the second phase,” said Global Exploration vice president Erik Finnstrom. Limited historic 2D seismic and satellite data indicate the presence of several large structures in the license areas. New seismic may prove the presence and shape of the structures.

Global Firms Compete for Awali Oilfield Contract

Eleven international oil firms have expressed an interest in efforts to boost production at Bahrain's onshore Awali field, the Oil and Gas Affairs Minister revealed recently. Dr. Abdulhussain Mirza’s statement followed the announcement that US firm Occidental and Thailand's PTT Exploration and Production have been awarded the right to explore for oil and gas off the shores of the country. Some reports have suggested that new technologies could double the amount of oil produced at the field from its current level of 35,000 barrels per day. Bids are expected by the end of the month. The latest round of bidding comes on the heels of the recently concluded tender process for four offshore exploration blocks comprising Bahrain's entire explorable acreage.

Offshore Platform/ROV Support Vessel Delivered

Singapore's Greatship Global Offshore Services Pte. Ltd. takes delivery of the vessel from Colombo Dockyard, Sri Lnaka. Greatship Global Offshore Services Pte. Ltd. (GGOS), a Singapore incorporated subsidiary of Greatship (India) Limited (GIL), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Great Eastern Shipping Company Limited has taken delivery of a Platform/ROV  Support Vessel, Greatship Ragini. Greatship Ragini is a DP2 vessel, capable of supporting offshore exploration and production and has been built complying with the SPS Code 2008. With the delivery of this vessel, GIL and its subsidiaries currently own and operate four PSVs, nine AHTSVs, two MPSSVs, six ROVSVs, two jack up rigs and have one 350 feet jack up rig under construction in UAE.


New Wave Piercing Design for Offshore

In at Norshipping 2009 Roll-Royce debuted an innovative wave piercing design for the offshore market, the new UT 790 CD vessel design. “With the UT 790 CD, we can support offshore exploration and production further and deeper while at the same time improving safety and minimizing the impact on the environment,” said Svein Kleven, Rolls-Royce Chief Design Manager – Offshore. The unique hull piercing design is designed to allow the vessel to run continuously at service speeds regardless of the sea state reducing fuel consumption and improving crew comfort.

Abu Dhabi to Invest $25 Billion Offshore to 2020

Image: Aeron AS

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) plans to invest around US$25bn over the next five years in a bid to boost oil production from offshore fields. The investment is part of the UAE's strategy to increase its crude oil output potential from its current production of 2.8 million barrels per day (bpd) to 3.5 million bpd by 2017-18, Reuters reported. ADNOC’s offshore exploration and production directorate manager Qasem al-Kayoumi said that ADNOC plans to drill 160 wells per year over the next couple of years.

Greatship Sells AHTS Vessel

Greatship Akhila. Image by Greatship (India) Limited

Indian shipping company Great Eastern Shipping has announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, Greatship, has sold and delivered anchor handling tug supply (AHTS) vessel Greatship Akhila (7,080 bhp, built 2009) to unnamed buyers. "Greatship (India) Ltd (GIL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Great Eastern Shipping Company Ltd, has sold and delivered the 2009-built 80T Anchor Handling Tug cum supply vessel 'Greatship Akhila', to the buyers," the company said in a filing to BSE. However, it did not specify the buyers.

ABS Establishes China Offshore Technology Center

(Houston, TX---) ABS, the leading provider of classification services to the global offshore industry, announces the establishment of the ABS China Offshore Technology Center (COTC) in partnership with Shanghai’s Jiaotong University (SJTU). The focus of the center will be on new technology research for offshore facilities. While the research efforts will support development activities in the Greater China region, applied research will also be conducted on a wide range of oil and gas development issues.

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

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

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