From subsea contracts to ROV orders and new drilling simulators, below is a compilation of the latest headlines in the E&P space. 

Activity headlines

Dorado gets the nod

Western Australia’s National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) has approved the Dorado offshore project proposal, project partners Santos and Carnarvon Energy announced on Feb. 14. 

Partner Carnarvon said the proposed Dorado Phase 1 liquids development includes reinjection of gas to enhance resource recovery, along with the potential to tie back future resources, such as the recently discovered Pavo Field, within the project area to the Dorado FPSO vessel.

The production license was granted in April 2022. With NOPSEMA’s approval, Dorado has the primary regulatory approvals required to support development.

“Our focus now is to finalize the concept for an integrated liquids and gas development and obtain the remaining approvals required to support a final investment decision,” Santos Managing Director and CEO Kevin Gallagher said in a press release.

The Dorado and neighboring Pavo Field hold estimated 2C contingent resources of 189 MMbbl of liquids and 401 petajoules of gas.

Santos has 80% interest in Dorado in Production License WA-64-L and 70% interest in Pavo in Exploration Permit WA-438-P and operates both fields, while Carnarvon holds the remaining interests.

Contracts and company news

EG signs PSCs for three offshore blocks

Equatorial Guinea’s Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons has awarded production-sharing contracts (PSCs) to Panoro Energy and Africa Oil Corp., the ministry said on Feb. 20.

Mines and Hydrocarbons Minister Antonio Oburu Ondo awarded Panoro Energy a 56% participating interest and operatorship in Block EG-01, while Kosmos Energy has 24% interest and GEPetrol has 20% interest in the block. Africa Oil Corp. has PSCs for offshore Blocks EG-18 and EG-31.

TechnipFMC wins work offshore Angola, Norway

TotalEnergies and Equinor separately awarded TechnipFMC significant contracts for projects offshore Angola and Norway. Both contracts are valued between $75 million and $250 million.

On Feb. 20, TechnipFMC said it won the contract to engineer, procure and supply the flowlines and connectors for the Girassol life extension project offshore Angola. According to TechnipFMC, the flexible pipes will extend the life of the TotalEnergies-operated Girassol Field by bypassing the rigid pipe bundles installed before production began in 2001. 

On Feb. 16 TechnipFMC said it won a contract to supply the subsea production system for Equinor’s Verdande project on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. 

The contract, which was awarded under TechnipFMC’s framework agreement with Equinor,
covers the complete subsea production system including subsea trees and structures,
control systems, connections, tooling and installation support.

Valaris updates fleet status

Valaris reported a handful of new contracts and extensions in its February fleet status report. 

Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Co. exercised a 330-day option for drillship VALARIS DS-10 for operations offshore Nigeria at a day rate of $231,000. The option keeps the rig under contract through March 2024. 

An undisclosed operator offshore Trinidad has signed a one-year contract for heavy duty ultra-harsh environment jackup VALARIS 249, expected to begin late in the second quarter or early in the third quarter of 2023 at a day rate of $125,000. The operator will pay a mobilization fee of $8.5 million, plus a daily rate of $64,000 while the rig is in transit from New Zealand to Trinidad.

Eni exercised a one-well option offshore Australia for heavy duty modern jackup VALARIS 107, beginning in February 2023 in direct continuation of the existing contract at a day rate of $126,500. 

ARO Drilling signed a five-year contract offshore Saudi Arabia for standard duty modern jackup VALARIS 76 as a bareboat charter. The contract is expected to commence in first-quarter 2024. 

ARO Drilling also signed a three-year contract offshore Saudi Arabia for heavy duty modern jackup VALARIS 108 as a bareboat charter. The contract is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2023.

DOF Subsea orders more ROVs from FET 

FET - 200HP XLX Evo II
Forum Energy Technologies will deliver two 200HP XLX Evo II units in the second quarter of 2023 to DOF Subsea. (Source: FET)

DOF Subsea ordered advanced work-class ROVs from Forum Energy Technologies (FET), the company announced on Feb. 21. 

FET delivered two 200 hp XLX-C units in late 2022, and FET will deliver two 200 hp XLX Evo II units in the second quarter of 2023. FET is manufacturing the ROVs at its U.K. facility at Kirkbymoorside, North Yorkshire. 

“The four new ROVs, which now share so many common systems and components with one another, will bring a mix of smaller footprint benefits via the XLX-C as well as larger platform payload and stability advantages via the XLX Evo II, depending on the task at hand,” Mark Ainsworth, FET’s DOF account manager, said in a press release.  

Training rooms getting new drilling simulators 

Wild Well Endeavor Simulator
Wild Well Control has said it will convert all U.S. training locations converted to the new simulator environment by the close of 2023. (Source: Wild Well Control)

Wild Well Control announced Feb. 21 it would partner with Endeavor Technologies Corp. to provide drilling simulators for well control training simulator rooms across the U.S.

Kenny Smith, vice president for training at Wild Well Control, said the upgraded simulator technology augments the training environment, “adding a high level of authenticity to the simulations, mirroring concepts to the real-life environment.”

The initial launch site for the new simulator environment will be in Houston, with Wild Well Control committing to have all U.S. locations converted to house the new simulator environment by the close of 2023.