From a restart of production offshore Thailand to a research project in the Permian Basin, below is a compilation of the latest headlines in the E&P space.

Activity headlines

Valeura Restarts Production Offshore Thailand

Wassana Field
The Wassana Field. (Source: Valeura)

Valeura Energy Inc. announced on Dec. 11 that production at the Wassana field, offshore the Gulf of Thailand, safely resumed on Dec. 8.

Valeura intends to mobilize its contracted drilling rig to the field, and once in position, further wells will be brought online to ramp up production volumes. Valeura will conduct an infill drilling program consisting of three production-oriented horizontal development wells targeting deeper reservoir intervals within the field. This will increase production capacity to over 4,000 bbl/d, according to Valuera.

“Our team is also working toward a potential longer term re-development of the Wassana field, to commercialize the two appraisal discoveries we made in [third quarter] 2023 by adding reserves and expanding the overall capacity of the field,” Sean Guest, president and CEO of Valeura, said in a press release.

The Wassana field’s oil storage and offloading vessel, the MT Jaka Tarub, is owned by the Buana Lintas Lautan Group and is chartered by Valeura to store crude oil produced from the field. Independent energy service company Three60 Energy Group has been appointed to operate the MT Jaka Tarub vessel for the remaining duration of its charter.

Contracts and company news

MODEC Awards Seatrium Fabrication Contract

BrasFELS Shipyard (BrasFELS), a member of the Seatrium Group, announced it secured a topside modules fabrication contract from Offshore Frontier Solutions Pte. Ltd, a MODEC Group company, on Dec. 4. Seatrium’s BrasFELS shipyard in Angra dos Reis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, will carry out the project, with work expected to begin in the first quarter of 2024.

BrasFELS’ scope of work comprises the fabrication of three modules on the FPSO Raia in Brazil. The modules include vapor recovery unit/flare knockout, oil separation and stabilization and the flowline circulation and metering and utility systems.

When completed, FPSO Raia will have the capacity to process 126,000 bbl/d and 16 MMcf/d of gas and store 2 MMbbl of crude oil. The FPSO will be deployed in the pre-salt area of the Campos Basin.

Equinor operates the Raia project on behalf of its partners.

Weatherford Snags Intervention Services Contract

Petrobras awarded Weatherford International Plc a five-year contract for drill pipe riser ultra deepwater offshore intervention systems and services, Weatherford announced Dec. 6.

The contract begins March 2025 and replaces a contract from November 2020.

Weatherford's Intervention Workover Control Systems (IWOCS) provide solutions for tasks such as tubing-hanger installation, well testing and both vertical and horizontal Christmas tree installation. Additionally, these systems cater to wellhead-tree cap installation, well-intervention operations and early well testing. Weatherford will also use its Centro well construction optimization platform to help with this contract.

Prysmian Wins $107MM Contract from Petrobras

Prysmian Group S.p.A. won a contract worth over $107 million (€100 million) from Petrobras, Prysmian announced Dec. 7. Prysmian will provide 170 km of deepwater electro-hydraulic umbilicals, along with related specialized offshore and logistic services.

The deepwater steel tube and thermoplastic umbilicals will be engineered, produced, tested and delivered by Prysmian’s Offshore Specialties center of excellence for dynamic technologies in Vila Velha, Brazil, between 2024-2027.

Court Rules in Favor of Welltec Patents

The Borgarting Court of Appeal in Norway sided with Welltec and ordered Altus Intervention to pay remuneration and court costs above $1 million, Welltec announced in a Dec. 7 press release. The court ruled that Altus Intervention infringed on and misused a patent covering well intervention technologies belonging to Welltec. The patent was registered in 2015 and outlines innovation concerning downhole milling services used in well interventions.

The court ruled that the patent violation resulted in Welltec losing contracts that it would most likely have won had Altus Intervention not infringed the patent in developing its solutions. All of the features of Welltec’s technology covered under the patent are also present in Altus Interventions' solution.

Ping Buying Pilot Interest from Orcadian

Orcadian Energy executed a conditional Sale and Purchase Agreement with Ping Petroleum for interest in the Pilot development project in license P2244 in the Central North Sea, the company announced in a Dec. 7 press release.

Subject to satisfaction of outstanding conditions, Ping will acquire an 81.25% interest in license P2244 for a total consideration of $3.1 million, and will become operator of the Pilot license and development project while Orcadian will retain an 18.75% carried interest in the Pilot development.

Once the deal is complete, Ping and Orcadian will work to deliver a field development plan to the North Sea Transition Authority (NSTA) for a polymer flood development of the Pilot Field.

Shelf Drilling Awarded Vietnam Contract

Shelf drilling
The Shelf Drilling Perseverance jack-up rig. (Source: Shelf Drilling)

Shelf Drilling Ltd. announced Dec. 8 PetroVietnam Domestic Exploration Production Operating Co. Ltd. (PVEP POC) has contracted for the Shelf Drilling Perseverance jack-up rig.

The rig will mobilize to Southeast Asia, and planned start-up of operations with PVEP POC in Vietnam are set for the third quarter of 2024. The value of the contract is estimated at $73 million over the firm term of 16 months.

KLX Unveils VISION Suite for Downhole Solutions

KLX Energy Services on Dec. 6 introduced its VISION Suite of downhole completions tools.

VISION reimagines downhole completion tool technology, ensuring optimal performance, reliability and operational efficiency. The VISION Suite includes OraclE-Smart Reach Tool (SRT), SpectrA PDC and PhantM Dissolvables, according to KLX.

SpectrA PDC, KLX’s downhole tubing motor system, is designed to eliminate non-productive time on long lateral runs. SpectrA is a mud lube bearing pack allowing operators to pump at increasing rates.

OraclE-SRT, KLX’s downhole thru tubing extended reach tool, uses a vibration tool to negotiate long laterals by minimizing the amount of wellbore friction encountered during milling.

PhantM, KLX’s dissolvable frac plugs, are designed to minimize the need for interventions.

Permian Well Pad Restoration Research Underway

Apache Corp. announced a partnership on Dec. 11 with the Borderlands Research Institute (BRI) at Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas, to launch a well pad restoration research project.

Typically, at the end of a well’s service life, the well is plugged, equipment is removed and the pad is reseeded and allowed to gradually return to a natural condition. The project aims to accelerate the return to nature by considering alternative soil preparation techniques.

Through this multi-year partnership, researchers at BRI and Texas Native Seeds, a project of the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at Texas A&M Kingsville, will investigate methods to improve habitat restoration efforts in the Permian Basin with the goal of publishing a best practices document to operators.

The BRI project will inform oil and gas operators in the Permian about how changes in the industry’s approach to restoring end-of-service well pads, including alternative soil preparation techniques, can have broader benefits to local biodiversity. The Apache-funded project will assess differences in vegetation, soil humidity, carbon retention, insect diversity and the economics of different restoration methods.

This project also measures increases in soil carbon to passively sequester CO2 in healthy desert soils and will support Sul Ross State University student research through BRI.

ABB to Supply Equipment for LNG Terminal

Swiss engineering group ABB signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Texas LNG, a subsidiary of Glenfarne Energy Transition, to provide core automation and electrical equipment for its proposed LNG export terminal, Texas LNG said in a Dec. 8 press release.

As part of the MoU, the two companies have agreed on a framework for ABB’s investment in the project, which will be located in the Port of Brownsville, Texas, and have a capacity of around 4 million tons per annum of LNG.

Texas LNG plans to start project construction shortly after closing financing in 2024, with the LNG terminal project due to start exports in late 2027 or early 2028.

In November, Baker Hughes was selected to supply gas compression technology equipment for the Texas LNG export terminal. Baker Hughes also has a framework agreement to make a pre-final investment decision in the late-stage development of the project.

GATE Energy to Commission Trion FPU

Trion Map
The project will take place offshore Mexico (Source: BHP)

GATE Energy won the commissioning contract for Woodside Energy’s Trion floating production unit (FPU) project in the ultradeep waters offshore Mexico, the company announced Dec. 7.

The contract was awarded by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), which is serving as construction contractor for the 44,000-tonne offshore platform.

Under the contract, GATE will handle pre-commissioning, planning and execution of the offshore platform at HHI’s fabrication yard in Ulsan, South Korea.

The production semisumbersible, with a capacity to produce 100,000 bbl/d and 4.1 MMcm/d, will be deployed in the Mexican sector of the Gulf of Mexico. Production is scheduled to begin in 2028.

Snam Acquires BW FSRU I

Snam Singapore
FSRU I Ltd. has a regasification capacity of around 5 Bcm/year. (Source: Snam)

On Dec. 4, Snam finalized their deal with BW LNG for the acquisition of the BW Singapore FSRU I Ltd., a floating, storage and regasification unit capable of operating both as LNG carrier and as an FSRU. The total consideration of the deal, which was initially signed in July 2022, was around $400 million.

FSRU I Ltd. has a regasification capacity of around 5 Bcm/year and an LNG storage capacity of around 170,000 cubic meters. The FSRU is set to be located off the coast of Ravenna, Italy, to maximize its regasification capacity.

The operation of the BW Singapore FSRU is expected in 2025 following completion of related regulatory process as well as works needed for its mooring and connection to the gas transport network.