From rig contracts to planned P&A work, below is a compilation of the latest headlines in the E&P space.

Equinor extends Transocean rigs

Equinor has awarded contracts for the use of Transocean Encourage, mainly in the Norwegian Sea, and Transocean Enabler, for the Johan Castberg Field, the operator announced on March 28.

The rigs have been on eight-year contracts with Equinor that expire on Dec. 1, 2023, and April 1, 2024. The drilling program in the Norwegian Sea consists of nine wells to be drilled on the Tyrihans, Verdande, Andvare and Vigdis fields located in the Tampen area of the North Sea.

Verdande and Andvare will be tied in to the Norne Field. The drilling program also includes exploration wells, and may be further extended, adding six wells. The estimated total value of the nine wells is about $191 million, and the drilling campaign is expected to start on Dec. 1, 2023.

In the Johan Castberg Field, Transocean Enabler will have a fixed drilling program of 19 wells and options on another eight wells. The total contract value is estimated at $415 million, with  fixed drilling accounting for $295 million.

Transocean said that as part of the Enabler and Encourage contracts, each rig will receive customer-paid upgrades to digital management systems, robotics and operational automation. These upgrades are expected to further reduce emissions from the rig and enhance personnel safety.

Equinor and Transocean have also signed a strategic collaboration agreement to drive improvements in technology and innovation related to safety, efficiency and greenhouse-gas emissions.

Neptune plans P&A work

Neptune Energy expects to spend $112 million on decommissioning activities across its global portfolio in 2023.

The operator announced on March 28 that part of that — $23 million — will be for a targeted decommissioning program in Germany this year, plugging and abandoning (P&A) wells that have ceased production and removing associated infrastructure.

Operations are complete on the P&A of a well in the Bentheim gas field in western Lower-Saxony, with a second well on the field due to be decommissioned later in 2023.

It follows the recent P&A of two wells in the Itterbeck-Halle Field.

Last year, Neptune spent $12 million on abandonment and renaturation activities in the country. Plans are also being developed for decommissioning operations in the Fronhofen gas field, the Reitbrook West oil field and the Victorbur mud pit.

QatarEnergy enters offshore Canada licenses

QatarEnergy said on March 28 it has agreed to participate in two of Exxon Mobil’s exploration licenses offshore the province of Newfoundland and Labrador in Canada.

Under the farm-ins deal, QatarEnergy gains a 28% working interest in license EL 1167, where the Gale exploration well and associated activities are planned. Exxon Mobil Canada operates the license and holds 50% while partner Cenovus Energy holds 22%. QatarEnergy also gains a 40% working interest in license EL 1162, which Exxon Mobil Canada operates with 60% interest.

Located offshore Eastern Canada, EL 1167 in and EL 1162 lie in water depths ranging from 100 m to 1,200 m. EL 1167 covers approximately 1,420 sq km and EL 1162 covers 2,400 sq km. The transaction has completed all necessary formalities with the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB).

Eni boosts pipeline technology

Eni has created the Enivibes venture to promote its proprietary e-vpms (Eni vibroacoustic pipeline monitoring system) technology, the Italian company announced on March 30. The e-vpms technology monitors the transport of hydrocarbon or water in pipelines and is aimed at protecting their integrity.

The technology performs real-time analysis and monitoring activities on new or existing pipelines using a vibroacoustic wave system that detects external interference, such as break-in attempts or accidental pipeline impacts, and flow variations, maximizing the efficiency of transportation systems. This solution uses high-sensitivity acquisition stations to enable rapid and localized interventions.

Eni owns 76% of Enivibes, Aresys owns 16% and Solgeo owns 8%. It is the first venture established as part of the activities of Eniverse, Eni's Corporate Venture Builder.

Equinor awards Bay Du Nord FPSO LOI

Equinor awards Bay Du Nord FPSO LOI
Illustration of the floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) unit. (Source: Equinor)

Equinor Canada has given KBR Industrial Canada Co. a Letter of Intent (LOI) for the FEED of the topside facilities of the new Bay Du Nord FPSO to be located in deep waters offshore Newfoundland, Canada, KBR announced on April 3.

The agreement includes an option to continue detailed design and procurement management services through to final completion of the FPSO. The FEED scope comes on the back of the pre-FEED engineering carried out by KBR in 2022 and will further mature the engineering and execution planning, working towards a final investment decision with first production expected to be in the late 2020s, the company said. KBR will execute the work scope jointly with Canadian sub-contractor Hatch Ltd.

Odjfell signs LOIs for Deepsea Atlantic

Odfjell Drilling Ltd. announced on March 31 it had signed two letters of intent [LOI] with a client for the Deepsea Atlantic to conduct operations in the North Sea region. The agreements have a combined firm duration of 23 months and are valued at $290 million excluding integrated services, upgrades/modifications or mobilization fees.

Transocean reports rig contracts

Transocean Ltd. announced on March 29 contracts valued at $113 million for two harsh environment semisubmersibles. An unnamed operator awarded a multi-well P&A contract in Australia for the Transocean Endurance. The estimated 240-day contract is expected to begin in January 2024 and includes a series of options, potentially keeping the rig in Australia through fourth-quarter 2025.

In Norway, Wintershall DEA exercised a one-well option on Transocean Norge. The well is expected to begin in May 2023 ahead of the existing firm term for 60 days.

Petrobras picks Halliburton subsurface platform

Halliburton Co. announced on March 29 that Petrobras will use the Landmark iEnergy digital platform to address subsurface challenges. The companies executed a contract that gives Petrobras access to the entire Halliburton Landmark DecisionSpace 365 Geoscience Suite.

The iEnergy digital platform powers DecisionSpace 365 cloud applications. The hybrid cloud platform is designed to deploy, integrate and manage sophisticated cloud applications for geology, geophysics and engineering in a public cloud, along with high-performance processing and machine learning.

EV launches ClearVision

EV launches ClearVision
Simultaneous capture of Array Video (left) & Phased Array Ultrasound (right) for a single cluster, with perfs 4 & 5 missed by ultrasound. (Source: EV)

EV introduced its new ClearVision integrated array video and phased array ultrasound scanning tool technology on March 29.

ClearVision combines 360-degree video and phased array ultrasound technologies to offer advanced 4D evaluation system for wellbore applications, enabling operators to see and measure 100% of perforations – including small dimension perforations and those plugged with sand. The information about perforation erosion and proppant placement trends makes it possible for engineers to improve frac designs, the company said.

It was deployed in the Permian Basin and delivered an additional $1.4 million in production revenue per well in one year alone, and operational cost savings of over $350,000 per well, EV said.