From Seatrium and Shell teaming up to standardize floating production units to contract awards for Rosebank, Marsa LNG, Sunrise and Neptun Deep, below is a compilation of the latest headlines in the E&P space. 

Seatrium, Shell Standardizing Production Units

Seatrium Ltd. inked a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Shell Global Solutions International BV to explore and strengthen collaboration opportunities in floating production systems by leveraging both parties’ engineering capabilities and technologies, Seatrium said on April 15.

The MoU, which focuses on driving project standardization and replication, seeks to promote best practices in the design and construction of floating production systems, using experience from previous projects such as the Sparta, Vito and Whale production units in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico (GoM) to mature and realize further benefits of replication.

Shearwater, Mondaic FWI Collaboration

Marine seismic acquisition company Shearwater Geoservices Holding and Mondaic AG, which provides software and services for high-resolution 3D imaging, have entered a strategic collaboration to develop and use full waveform inversion (FWI) solutions to enhance high-resolution subsurface imaging and optimize seismic acquisition surveys, Shearwater said on April 17.

As part of the agreement, Shearwater has acquired exclusive and perpetual rights for the use and further development of subsurface applications for Mondaic’s wavefield simulation and inversion codes, as well as acquiring an equity stake in Mondaic. 

FWI seismic data processing technology improves visualization of subsurface structures, enhances reservoir understanding and helps planning and execution of more efficient surveys.

The technology is also expected to play a role in characterizing and monitoring subsurface carbon storage sites and in site surveys for wind farms.

SLB Introduces Two Artificial Lift Systems

SLB introduced two advanced artificial lift systems on April 21 intended to deliver enhanced reliability and efficiency.

The Reda Agile is a compact wide-range electric submersible pump (ESP) system, and the rodless Reda PowerEdge is an electric submersible progressing cavity pump (ESPCP) system. Connected to digital services for continuous live surveillance and real-time optimization, SLB said these technologies improve operational stability, enabling faster installation and production, with lower power consumption, operating costs and CO2 emissions.

The capabilities of the two systems enable continuous operation over a broader range of production conditions than any artificial lift system currently on the market, Ernesto Cuadros, artificial lift business line director at SLB, said in a press release.

The PowerEdge ESPCP system provides a more energy-efficient rodless alternative for low-flow production rates in mature conventional and unconventional wells, SLB said, adding that using a single PowerEdge ESPCP system for the remaining life of the well, as an alternative to rod lift installation in unconventional wells, reduces workovers and production deferments.

The Agile ESP system provides operational flexibility, improving economics and efficiency while reducing cost of operation, SLB said. The company added that the ESP system, with the widest operating range in the industry, eliminates the usual need for frequent ESP changes as production varies.

Pertamina deployed an Agile ESP system to produce a 6,000-ft well offshore Indonesia in which three conventional ESPs had failed, resulting in $600,000 in production deferments and workover costs. The Agile ESP system navigated the well, accessed the target depth and operated continuously for more than 300 days, avoiding abandonment of the previously unproducible well, SLB said.

Balmoral Tapped for Rosebank Buoyancy Modules

Balmoral Comtec said on April 17 it will engineer, design and manufacture more than 600 buoyancy modules for Equinor’s Rosebank project offshore the U.K.

Equinor aims for Rosebank to be one of the first offshore U.K. fields powered by renewable electricity.

Balmoral Comtec will provide engineering, design and manufacture of buoyancy modules from its base in Aberdeen, and the modules will be installed on flexible risers and umbilicals. 

TechnipFMC won the integrated engineering, procurement, construction and installation contract for the Rosebank project in 2023.

Petrobras Selling Mothballed Fields to Perenco

Petrobras has approved selling its entire stake in the shallow water Cherne and Bagre fields in the Campos Basin to Perenco Petróleo e Gás do Brasil Ltda (Perenco) for $10 million, the Brazilian operator said on April 17.

Production from the two fields was interrupted in March 2020 and the respective platforms have been mothballed ever since, Petrobras said.

The transfer of these fields to Perenco offers the prospect of a resumption in production by the new operator, so Petrobras would not need to decommission the facilities and relinquish the concessions to ANP, known as the Brazilian National Agency for Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels. 

Petrobras initially acquired the Cherne and Bagre fields, which are in water depths of 108 m to 150 m, through the Zero Bid Round. Until production ceased in March 2020, the Cherne and Bagre fields produced through the PCH-1 and PCH-2 platforms, which are currently inactive. In May 2022, the process for returning the Cherne and Bagre concessions was initiated by ANP, and Petrobras began planning for the decommissioning of the production facilities associated with these fields.

Wood Wins Sunrise Development Study

Woodside Energy and its partners in the Sunrise project have awarded a concept study contract to Wood Australia Pty Ltd., Wood said on April 17.

Wood will use a multi-disciplinary subcontracting team to consider the key issues for developing, processing and marketing gas with a strong focus on delivery of gas to Timor-Leste for processing and LNG sales or, in the alternative, delivery of gas to Australia.  

The study is targeted to be completed by no later than fourth-quarter 2024. 

The Greater Sunrise fields, located approximately 450 km northwest of Darwin and 150 km south of Timor Leste, comprise the Sunrise and Troubadour gas and condensate fields.  

Woodside operates the Sunrise Joint Venture with 33.44% interest on behalf of partners Timor Gap with 56.56% and Osaka Gas Australia with 10%.

PXGEO Buys Modus Subsea Services

PXGEO said it has acquired offshore life-of-field support services company Modus Subsea Services, according to an April 22 press release. 

Modus uses underwater intervention drones based on the Saab Sabertooth platform. Through the acquisition, PXGEO and Modus will leverage their respective technological expertise and enhance their subsea autonomous offerings to provide customers with increased efficiency, reduced exposure and a lower environmental footprint, PXGEO said.

Transocean Reports Rig Contracts

Transocean’s Deepwater Asgard has won a one-year contract extension in the U.S. GoM at a rate of $505,000/day, the company said on April 17. A customer also exercised a three-well option for the Deepwater Skyros for operations offshore Angola at a rate of $400,000/day.

GEPetrol Awards Petrofac Block B Work

Petrofac said it has been awarded a technical services contract to support the operation of the region’s Block B asset by Compañía Nacional de Petróleos de Guinea Ecuatorial (GEPetrol), the National Oil Co.of Equatorial Guinea.

The contract is valued at about $350 million over five years, Petrofac said on April 18.

Petrofac said that under the contract, the company will deliver technical services across onshore support bases, an FPSO and a platform on behalf of operator GEPetrol. 

ABL Wins Neptun Deep Work in Black Sea

OMV Petrom has appointed global energy and marine consultancy ABL Group to provide marine warranty survey (MWS) services for the construction of Romania’s Neptun Deep project in the Black Sea, ABL said on April 18.

The Neptun Deep project is the largest natural gas project in the Romanian Black Sea and is expected to start production in 2027.

ABL’s London operation will provide MWS services to review, survey and approve all operations relating to the transportation and installation of critical project assets for development of the Domino and Pelican South fields. The assets include a shallow water platform, subsea installation at both fields and a 160-km subsea pipeline from the platform to shore.

The shallow water platform will be fabricated at yards in Italy and Indonesia. ABL’s project management will be centralized in London, while much of the operational and on-site attendances will be delivered by ABL’s local Black Sea operations. 

Regulatory updates

NSTA Fines NEO for Breaching Venting Consent

The North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) has fined NEO Energy Production UK Ltd. approximately $125,000 for breaching its vent consent, the authority said on April 18.

NSTA said the fine reflects the company’s lack of oversight in breaching its combined vent consent for 2022 for the Donan, Lochranza and Balloch fields, which allowed for 1.035 tonnes of venting per day, equivalent to an annual limit of just under 378 tonnes. 

On Nov. 1, 2022, the company acknowledged that the venting consent had been exceeded in March 2022, and that it had exceeded the maximum annual venting consent by approximately 1,200 tonnes, according to NSTA, which investigated the breach.

The NSTA found that at the outset of 2022, NEO incorrectly allocated cold flare (venting) volumes to its flare consent, an issue that remained undetected by NEO until October 2022.

NEO engaged openly with the NSTA following its identification of the issue and applied promptly for a revised consent. NEO cooperated with the investigation, NSTA said.  

In reaching a decision on the breach and the appropriate level of fine, NSTA said it determined NEO had shown a lack of oversight in failing to detect the breach for seven months, which suggested a lack of appropriate internal oversight mechanisms.