From a Caspian Sea installation contract to the chartering of a newbuild unmanned surface vessel for subsea inspection, maintenance and repair and survey work, here is a compilation of the latest headlines in the E&P space. 

Activity headlines

Spirit Energy Completes Decommissioning Work

Spirit Energy DP3-DP4
Allseas’ Pioneering Spirit lifts the DP3 DP4 jacket in the East Irish Sea. (Source: Spirit Energy)

Spirit Energy announced on Aug. 3 it has completed the final phase of a campaign to remove the DP3 and DP4 installations in the Morecambe Bay development in the East Irish Sea. 

Allseas’ Pioneering Spirit removed a total of 9,000-tonnes of jacket structures in tandem using the jacket lift system on the vessel and loaded directly onto the Iron Lady barge to be transferred to Fife for recycling.

Well-Safe Solutions’ Well-Safe Defender vessel is carrying out a 14-well P&A program in the Central North Sea spanning the Chestnut, Birch, Larch and Sycamore fields. Chestnut’s well decommissioning has been completed, bringing to an end the 15-year story of the Chestnut Field.

Heerema Marine Contractors removed three topsides and three jackets with the SSCV Thialf crane vessel in the Southern North Sea. DeepOcean is set to recover subsea infrastructure from six assets later this year. Thompsons of Prudhoe in the Port of Blyth will handle recycling of all structures, making Spirit Energy the first users of the decommissioning alliance between the two companies.

Contracts and company news

TechnipFMC, Aker Solutions Pick Up Ndungu Work

TechnipFMC will supply flexible pipe and Aker Solutions will provide the umbilicals for Azule Energy’s Ndungu project offshore Angola.

The Ndungu project will tie into Block 15/06 West Hub.

Aker Solutions said on Aug. 3 the contract includes delivery of eight infield umbilicals including spares totaling more than 25 km in length. Project execution, engineering and manufacturing will take place at the Aker Solutions facility in Norway, with work beginning immediately. Delivery is planned for fourth-quarter 2024.

Both companies recently won contracts for Azule’s Agogo development in Block 15/06.

Saipem Announces Pair of Contracts

Saipem has been awarded $1.9 billion in contracts for offshore projects in Romania and Germany, the company announced on Aug. 3.

OMV Petrom awarded Saipem an engineering, procurement, construction and installation contract for the Neptun Deep gas development project located in the Black Sea offshore Romania. Scope includes a gas processing platform for 100 m water depth, three subsea developments in waters ranging from 100 m to 1,000 m in the Domino and Pelican fields, a 30-in. gas pipeline about 160 km long and associated fiber optic cable from the shallow water platform to the Romanian coast. Saipem will fabricate the gas processing platform at its yards in Italy and Indonesia. The Saipem 7000 and JSD 6000 vessels will carry out offshore operations. Technological tests and analyses for the materials used in the project will be carried out in Romania, through the local entity of Saipem in Ploiesti.

GASCADE Gastransport GmbH awarded Saipem a pipelay contract for Ostsee Anbindungsleitung in the Pomeranian Bay in northeastern Germany. Saipem will transport and install a 48-in. gas line of about 50 km from the Lubmin site—in northern Germany on the Baltic Sea—to the Mukran port, along the east coast of the Rügen island. Pipelay barge Castoro 10 will handle the installation for the line, which is scheduled to be commissioned in early 2024.

GoM’s New Surface Dispersant Monitoring Program 

HWCG LLC, a consortium of deepwater operators in the Gulf of Mexico, is leading the development of a surface dispersant monitoring (SDM) program to enhance monitoring capabilities and comply with new regulations, the group announced on Aug. 7.

HWCG collaborated with CSA Ocean Sciences Inc. (CSA) in the development of the SDM equipment program. CSA is a marine environmental consulting firm and key response provider for HWCG’s deepwater containment organization. The SDM is expected to be available in December 2023.

CSA’s scientists and operations specialists selected equipment for the SDM program to meet regulatory requirements for the use of dispersants when responding to oil discharges. When proposing the use of surface dispersants for more than 96 hours—or in response to a discharge of more than 100,000 gallons in 24 hours—regulations require collection of water samples and data near the ocean surface.

HWCG’s operating members can now deploy simultaneous deepwater monitoring and surface monitoring at different locations to effectively use dispersants as a response tool, to optimize response time and to comply with current regulations.

CGG, PGS, TGS Launch Tiers for Versal Ecosystem

CGG, PGS and TGS jointly announced on Aug. 1 the launch of new tiered offerings for Versal, the multi-client data ecosystem. The update gives the industry free access to multi-client data coverage in one centralized location. 

The latest updates to the Versal platform are designed to offer scalability for exploration and production, data management and procurement team members through the introduction of Versal Pro and Premium tiers. Versal users will have unlimited access to the essential data from TGS, CGG and PGS—representing the majority of the world's marine multi-client data available within a single platform. The companies said the consolidation eliminates the need to visit multiple vendor websites, streamlining workflows and saving valuable time.

With the free Versal version, users can view data coverage, download coverage shapefiles and import their map layers and shapefiles. Versal Pro users can view entitlements, access vendor contracts and download acquisition and processing documents. Versal Premium users gain access to enhanced data management capabilities such as seismic visualization and downloading entitled traces.

Chevron Wraps Up PDC Energy Acquisition

Chevron Corp. closed its acquisition of PDC Energy Inc. following approval by PDC Energy shareholders, Chevron said in an Aug. 7 news release.

Chevron acquired assets including 275,000 net acres in the Denver-Julesburg Basin adjacent to Chevron’s existing operations, which add more than 1 Bboe of proved reserves. The company also added 25,000 net acres in the Permian Basin that are HBP.

ADNOC Entering Absheron Field

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) is picking up a 30% share in the Absheron gas and condensate field in the Caspian Sea, TotalEnergies announced Aug. 4. 

TotalEnergies and State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) are each selling 15% participating interest each in the Absheron gas field to ADNOC. After completion of this transaction, which is subject to the approval by the relevant authorities, TotalEnergies will own a 35% interest in Absheron gas field, alongside SOCAR (35%) and ADNOC (30%).

The Joint Operating Company of Absheron Petroleum operates the field.

Shelf Drilling Fortress for Golden Eagle Operations

Shelf Drilling Ltd. announced on Aug. 2 a contract from CNOOC Petroleum Europe Ltd. for the Shelf Drilling Fortress jack-up rig for operations at the Golden Eagle platform in the U.K. Central North Sea. 

The firm term of the contract is two wells, approximating to a duration of four to five months. The $17 million contract includes options for additional wells with a total estimated duration of 13 months. Operations are planned to begin in September 2023. 

DeepOcean Chartering Newbuild USV for Subsea Ops

USV image
DeepOcean will charter the newbuild USV, which is expected to be delivered near the end of 2024. (Source: Solstad Offshore)

DeepOcean said Aug. 1 it has entered into a long-term charter agreement for a newbuild unmanned surface vessel (USV) for subsea inspection, maintenance and repair and survey work in the offshore renewables and oil and gas industries.

DeepOcean is chartering the vessel from USV AS—a joint venture company established by Solstad Offshore, Østensjø and DeepOcean whose main purpose is to invest and own USVs.

The USV will be equipped with a work ROV that is capable of operating at depths to 1,500 m along with a tool package for subsea operations. The USV will be capable of handling most subsea inspection and survey work and a portion of subsea intervention tasks.  

The USV will be remotely controlled from shore but will have many autonomous features to ensure safety and integrity of the spread. During operations, both the USV vessel crew and ROV operators will be co-located in the same remote operating center. The USV will be equipped with a hybrid diesel-electric propulsion system and a battery package that allows the unmanned vessel to operate offshore for up to 30 days without charging or refueling. 

The USV will be 24 m long and 7.5 m wide. USV AS has contracted Astilleros Gondán shipyard to build the USV with delivery expected by the end of 2024. Following offshore testing, the USV will be ready for operations in 2025, when it will go on charter for DeepOcean.