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Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Sea Exploration News

China Adopts Deep Sea Exploration Law

China on Friday adopted a new law on deep sea exploration, state media said, the country's latest move to cement its status as a seagoing power. President Xi Jinping is reforming the military and investing in submarines and aircraft carriers, as China's navy becomes more assertive in its territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas. The new law will "protect the rightful interests of Chinese citizens and organisations in their search for resources and in deep sea surveys," the official Xinhua news agency said after China's top legislature passed the measure. "Exploration and development should be peaceful and cooperative, in addition to protecting the maritime environment and safeguarding the common interests of mankind," it added.

ConocoPhillips Put Arctic Drilling Plans on Hold

Regulatory uncertainty leads ConocoPhillips to call a halt to its 2014 Chukchi Sea exploration drilling plans. ConocoPhillips say it will put its 2014 Alaska Chukchi Sea exploration drilling plans on hold given the uncertainties of evolving federal regulatory requirements and operational permitting standards. The company has determined it would not be prudent at this time to make the significant monetary commitments needed to preserve the option to drill in 2014. “While we are confident in our own expertise and ability to safely conduct offshore Arctic operations, we believe that more time is needed to ensure that all regulatory stakeholders are aligned,” said Trond-Erik Johansen, President, ConocoPhillips Alaska.

NOIA Welcomes BOEM Shell's Plan Conditional Approval

NOIA President  Randall Luthi

The BOEM's (Bureau of Ocean Energy Management) decision to conditionally allow Shell to proceed with the carefully planned and coordinated drilling effort in Alaska is good news. The potential for energy development in the Chukchi Sea would allow Alaskans to benefit from well-paying jobs and resources to safeguard the environment, protect native traditional activities, and improve communities. The Trans-Alaska Pipeline may also benefit from the flow of resulting production. For the rest of the U.S.

China Unveils 15-year Plan

China announced its 15-year plan to invest in technologies ranging from genetics to energy-efficient cars in an effort to spur economic growth and improve environmental protection. The plan issued by the Cabinet calls for China to raise spending on research to two percent of economic output by 2010 and 2.5 percent by 2020, although it didn't give the current spending level. It promises to encourage private research spending by offering tax breaks and improving patent and copyright protections. The new plan calls for development in 11 key areas, including the environment, agriculture, manufacturing, power generation and defense. It includes a call for pioneering work in genetic engineering, superconductors, deep-sea exploration, lasers and other technologies.

Norway: We Must Prepare for Arctic Oil Race with Russia

© ggw / Adobe Stock

Norway must identify potential offshore oil and gas reserves near its northern maritime border with Russia to better protect its economic interest in the remote Arctic region, energy minister Terje Soeviknes said on Wednesday. The two countries agreed in 2010 to split previously disputed areas of the Barents Sea between them, allowing each to exploit resources hidden beneath the seabed. An increase in drilling activity on the Russian side of the border should lead Norway to push its own agenda, the minister said. "We need to start the discussion about what to do in the far north.

Salvors to Show Treasure in NY Times Square

Manipulating recovery of a gold bar: Image courtesy of Odyssey Marine Exploration

At Discovery Times Square, New York, Odyssey Marine Exploration will show silver recovered from the 'SS Gairsoppa' shipwreck. The company's multi-media traveling exhibit, 'Shipwreck' opens at Discovery Times Square in New York City on May 24, 2013 for the first public unveilling of silver bullion recovered from the World War II-era SS Gairsoppa shipwreck. Silver which lay approximately three miles deep, will be on display in the first public showing of some of the 1,218 silver bars (approximately 48 tons) of silver recovered to date from the Gairsoppa…

Exxon, BP Defer Canadian Arctic Drilling

Beaufort Sea. Photo: NOAA

As Imperial Oil, as senior partner in the northern venture with ExxonMobil and BP, told Canada’s National Energy Board (NEB) that the exploration program has been deferred, the plan to revive arctic gas and oil drilling in deep Canadian waters of the Beaufort Sea ground to a halt. The slow pace of regulatory review has left too little time to finish the approval process and does the work before the group's drilling leases expire, Imperial said in a filing at the board. The partners – Calgary-based Imperial…

BOEM Seeks Comment on Chukchi Sea Exploration

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has deemed submitted Shell Gulf of Mexico, Inc.’s revised multi-year Exploration Plan (EP) and invites the public to review and comment on it. The revised EP describes Shell’s proposal to conduct exploration drilling in the shallow waters of the Chukchi Sea Outer Continental Shelf, off the northwest coast of Alaska. It is available for review at: www.boem.gov/shell-chukchi/. An EP describes all exploration activities planned by the operator for a specific lease or leases, including the timing of these activities, information concerning drilling vessels, the location of each planned well, and actions to be taken to meet important safety and environmental standards and to protect access to subsistence resources.

Statoil: Barents Sea Exploration Completed

the Barents sea map. (Photo: courtesy Statoil)

Statoil has completed the extensive 2013-2014 exploration programme in the Barents Sea. This represents an all-time high exploration activity and 10% of all exploration wells drilled in the Barents Sea since its opening in 1980. “This is a unique exploration programme. A commitment of this size and complexity requires geological, technological and organisational muscle, and the data collected are important for the future understanding of the oil and gas potential in the Barents Sea,” says Irene Rummelhoff, senior vice president for exploration on the Norwegian continental shelf.

Statoil Cancels Maersk Rig Contract

Image: Statoil

Norwegian firm Statoil ASA is ending its rig contract for the Maersk Gallant six months early. The jack up rig has been on contract with Statoil for two years, since 21 August 2014, and since 9 October it has been sub-chartered to ConocoPhillips. "Between 14 February and 21 August 2016 the Maersk Gallant is on a new contract with Total E&P Norge AS, who will pay cancellation fee according to the former contract," says a press statement from Statoil. In January, Total received consent from the Petroleum Safety Authority (PSA) of Norway…

Oil Drop Won't Stop China in South China Sea

 South China Sea (Map by Council on Foreign Relations)

South China Sea spats are a territorial fight and not about the oil, points out a report appeared in Bloomberg. "When it comes to territorial tensions in the South China Sea, it’s more about what goes through it than what lies beneath it," says the report. The collapse in oil prices prompted oil majors from Royal Dutch Shell Plc to Norway’s Statoil ASA to shelve the projects of deep-sea exploration. But in the South China Sea political and security considerations will keep territorial tensions simmering, fueling military spending by countries that border the area.

USS Taylor Bunkering in Batumi, Georgia

USS Taylor, photo courtesy fo U.S. Navy

Marine Fuels supplier arranged Bunker delivery to US navy ship USS Taylor in Batumi port, Georgia. "Generally, physical bunker supply by tankers is not available in Georgian ports since beginning of 2013. Vessels arriving to Georgian ports are supplied with MGO (Marine Gasoil) by tank trucks, while IFO (Fuel oil) delivery still does not exist", Says Marine Supply & Services specialist in Georgia - Jaba Tarimanashvili. There are about 2500 port calls annually in Georgia. Batumi and Poti are two main ports, and two oil terminals: Supsa and Kulevi.

First Deep Sea Exploration of the Perth Canyon Begins Today

      The RV Falkor (Photo courtesy of the Schmidt Ocean Institute)

The first deep-sea exploration of the Perth Canyon, Australia's largest undersea valley, will launch today, Phys.org is reporting. The 12-day expedition is backed by Google billionaire Eric Schmidt and will study the conditions and marine life inside the canyon, which researchers hope will provide new information about the effects of climate change. A team of researchers from the University of Western Australia led by Professor Malcolm McCulloch will collaborate with researchers from the Western Australia Museum…

High-Tech Survey of Rare Deep Coral Reefs

The Waitt Institute for Discovery and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have joined forces to launch the Catalyst Program, making available for the first time a versatile and highly portable deep-sea tool kit and operations team, which can be rapidly deployed anywhere in the world. This unprecedented collaboration features the Waitt Institute's two newly built Hydroid REMUS 6000 Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), which can explore depths of up to 6000 meters, or 3.7 miles, below the ocean's surface. These innovative multi-sensor platforms are equipped with high-tech survey instruments capable of recording critical oceanographic data, photo-imaging deep-sea features, and producing detailed sonar maps of the ocean floor.

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)

Shell, CNPC cooperating in deep-sea exploration, shale gas

Royal Dutch Shell and the China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) have signed a deal to boost cooperation in sectors like deep sea exploration as well as liquefied natural gas (LNG) and unconventional gas sources like shale, CNPC said on Wednesday. The two companies had agreed to join forces in the development of both upstream and downstream energy businesses, CNPC said on its website. Ben van Beurden, in his first overseas visit since becoming Shell's chief executive, told CNPC Chairman Zhou Jiping that both sides have set up deep and wide-ranging ties and have huge room for further cooperation. The Anglo-Dutch firm is already one of the biggest overseas investors in China's energy sector…

Arctic Wreck Found after 169 Years

Photo: Parks Canada

After more than 169 years, Canadian researchers discovered one of the two ships from the doomed Arctic expedition of Sir John Franklin, cracking one of the largest mysteries in sea exploration. The wreck was found some 11 meters below the surface using a ROV recently acquired by Parks Canada. It is unknown whether the ship is HMS Erebus or HMS Terror, though researches expect to determine its identity within several days. "Franklin's ships are an important part of Canadian history given that his expedition…

OilCareers.com Joins Forces With Air Energi To Announce Latest Oil & Gas Workforce Survey

March 14, 2011: Salaries in the global oil and gas industry are to increase throughout 2011 according to a joint report from OilCareers.com, the international job board for the oil and gas industry, in association with partner Air Energi, a global provider of manpower solutions to the energy sector. Focusing on employment and salary trends in the energy sector throughout 2011 the report, entitled ‘The Global Oil & Gas Workforce Survey: Expectations for hires and pay rates in the oil and gas industry H1 2011’…

Deep-Sea Robot Lost at Sea

Photo courtesy Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

A deep-sea exploration robot — one of the first successful submersible vehicles that was both unmanned and untethered to surface ships — was lost at sea Friday, March 5, on a research expedition off the coast of Chile. The 15-year-old Autonomous Benthic Explorer, affectionately nicknamed ABE, was launched late on the night of Thursday, March 4, and had reached the seafloor to begin its 222nd research dive when, in the early hours of Friday morning, all contact with the surface vessel abruptly ceased. All efforts to reestablish contact failed.

Mitsubishi Minatomirai Museum to Open "Ocean" Zone

Ocean zone - Technology challenging the deep sea Courtesy MHI

On March 1 (Sun) the Mitsubishi Minatomirai Industrial Museum will launch its newly renovated "Ocean" zone, an area dedicated to introducing advanced technologies relating to the earth's oceans. In its new configuration the zone will display items in a way that enables visitors to experience what it's like to undertake deep-sea exploration using, for example, a simulator of a next-generation submersible research vessel. The centerpiece of the zone will be a disassembled full-scale mockup of the Shinkai 6500 manned submersible research vessel.

UH Professor to Lead $10M Drilling Expedition

UH Professor Jonathan Snow will embark on a two-month journey aboard the JOIDES Resolution research vessel. Pictured here, the ship is shown departing Honolulu in 2009 for a prior expedition. (Credit: William Crawford, IODP/TAMU)

From finding the first deep-water hydrocarbons in the Gulf of Mexico to locating the meteorite impact that doomed the dinosaurs, scientific ocean drilling has unlocked some major mysteries. A University of Houston (UH) geologist hopes to uncover more such secrets as co-chief scientist on a major international expedition to recover the first-ever drill core from the lower crust of the Pacific Ocean. Jonathan E. Snow, an associate professor in the department of Earth and atmospheric sciences…

Wood Review Aims to End Squabbles in UK's North Sea

By John Kemp. The opinions expressed here are those of the author, a columnist for Reuters. Britain's North Sea exploration and production business is set to be transformed, with cooperation replacing competition and proactive, intrusive regulation replacing a light touch. On Monday, ministers promised to back fully the recommendations contained in Ian Wood's review on maximising oil and gas recovery from the UK Continental Shelf (www.woodreview.co.uk). A powerful new regulator will be spun out of Britain's Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), staffed by industry experts with salaries to match, to end the squabbling among offshore operators and promote a strategy based on shared infrastructure and regional development plans.

ExxonMobil Announces Oil Discovery Offshore Guyana

(Photo: ExxonMobil)

Exxon Mobil Corporation announced its sixth oil discovery offshore Guyana since 2015, following positive results from its Ranger-1 exploration well. The Ranger-1 well discovery adds to previous discoveries at Liza, Payara, Snoek, Liza Deep and Turbot, which are estimated to total more than 3.2 billion recoverable oil-equivalent barrels. ExxonMobil affiliate Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Ltd. began drilling the Ranger-1 well on November 5, 2017 and encountered approximately 70 meters of high-quality, oil-bearing carbonate reservoir.

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

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