From new contracts to new products, below is a compilation of the latest headlines in the E&P space. 

Activity headlines

First gas from offshore Egypt project

Energean Plc announced on March 9 it had achieved first gas from the North El Amriya and North Idku project offshore Egypt.

The NEA#6 shallow water well has begun production, and three more wells are expected to go online later this year, tied back to Energean's North Abu Qir PIII platform. Energean said the development holds an estimated 39 MMboe of proven and probable reserves, of which 88% is gas. 

Energean sanctioned the project in January 2021.

Contracts and company news

FEED launched for Papua LNG project

TotalEnergies launched the fully integrated Front-End Engineering and Design (FEED) for the Papua LNG project on March 7.

The Papua LNG project concept includes four electrical LNG trains (e-trains) with a total capacity of 4 million tonnes per annum (mtpa). These trains will be built within the existing liquefaction plant of Exxon Mobil-operated PNG LNG in Caution Bay. Papua LNG has also secured the use of 2 mtpa of additional liquefaction capacity in the existing trains of PNG LNG. Construction and operation of the electrical liquefaction trains will be delegated to Exxon Mobil.

Final investment decision (FID) is expected around the end of 2023 or early 2024. Production start-up is scheduled for four years later.

TotalEnergies operates Papua LNG with 40.1% interest on behalf of partners Exxon Mobil with 37.1% and Santos with 22.8%. The state of Papua New Guinea may exercise a back-in right of up to 22.5% interest when FID is made.

Anchois FEED wraps up

Chariot Ltd. announced on March 8 it had wrapped up FEED on the key components of the Anchois gas development project offshore Morocco. 

The FEED for the project in the Lixus offshore license area started in June 2022 and conducted primarily by Subsea Integration Alliance. The project includes three initial subsea producer wells, including the Anchois-2 well drilled by Chariot in 2022, with multi zone completions to enable gas recovery across multiple stacked sands. The wells will tie back to an onshore central processing facility that will have an initial capacity of 105 MMcf/d. Chariot is seeking engineering, procurement and construction proposals for the project.

Additionally, Chariot is planning development drilling to further evaluate the potential of additional prospective gas resources.

Chariot operates the Lixus license with 75% interest on behalf of ONHYM, which holds 25% interest. 

SABER drills through granite in field trial

Enteq Technologies announced on March 7 it had used the steer-at-bit enteq rotary tool (SABER) to drill through 100 m of granite during field trials to qualify the tool.

Shell created the concept and Enteq developed the SABER tool. Rather than using pads or plates for steering, the SABER tool uses an internally directed pressure differential system across the bit face. By removing these external contact points, the tool reduces wear and improves reliability, while also achieving true at-bit steering for the first time. The sleek, plain collar design also allows for a smoother borehole, further improving reliability, uptime and cost efficiency.  

During testing, Enteq’s engineering team identified minor enhancements for the control system and ensured the tool is suitable for use in extreme conditions and non-traditional applications, like geothermal drilling. The company said SABER can reduce operating costs for oil and gas operators. 

The next test for SABER is to drill a softer formation in the U.S. that more closely mirrors expected operational conditions.

 Wintershall Dea invests in Wellstarter

Wintershall Dea announced on March 9 that it has acquired a 24% interest in smart well flow diagnostics provider Wellstarter. 

Wellstarter’s Heatwave Inflow Profile log technology offers affordable, low risk and emission-free tracing of steady-state flow with real time information. It does so based on heat pulses released into the well stream. The heat pulse is picked up by sensors and can be analyzed in real-time, either on site or remotely.

W&T sets 2023 capex

In its March 7 earnings report, W&T Offshore said it had set its 2023 capex budget at between $90 million and $110 million. 

The funds will cover planned expenditures related to long-lead items, FEED and other work for one deepwater well and three shelf wells that may be drilled later this year. The guidance also covers capital costs for facilities, leasehold, seismic and recompletions, the company said. W&T said it has flexibility to adjust its spending because it has no long-term rig commitments or near-term drilling obligations.

The company is also expecting to spend between $25 million to $35 million for plugging and abandonment in 2023. 

MiQ certifies BPX onshore operations

BPX Energy, BP’s U.S. upstream onshore business, is expanding the certification of all of its onshore upstream operations. MiQ announced on March 6 that it had independently audited and certified BP as the first energy major in the U.S. to verify the methane intensity of its entire U.S. onshore portfolio of natural gas. 

The certification, completed in March 2023, gives BPX a more granular understanding of its methane intensity and source emissions, which enables ongoing and additional methane emissions reduction, according to MiQ. 

BPX earned certification for its South Haynesville facility in late 2021, and the certification now includes natural gas facilities in the Permian Basin and Eagle Ford and Haynesville shales.

BP to use Baker Hughes’ Cordant in GoM

Baker Hughes announced on March 6 that it will collaborate with BP to further define and develop Baker Hughes’ Cordant suite of solutions for asset performance management and process optimization. 

Cordant enables the standardization of asset health and strategy by integrating operational data within a probabilistic model. As part of the collaboration, BP will deploy OnePM, a Cordant asset strategy solution in select locations across its Gulf of Mexico (GoM) production assets, where Baker Hughes currently has a large installed base of rotating equipment, controls and associated digital services. 

Baker Hughes initially announced Cordant as an offering earlier this year.

SLB offers cement-free well construction system

SLB introduced its EcoShield geopolymer cement-free system to minimize the CO2 footprint of a well’s construction on March 6. SLB said the technology eliminates up to 85% of embodied CO2 emissions compared with conventional well cementing systems, which include portland cement. The EcoShield system has the potential to avoid up to 5 million metric tons of CO2 emissions annually, the service company said.

“The cement-free EcoShield system is a breakthrough that delivers industry-standard zonal isolation capabilities while significantly minimizing impact from upstream oil and gas production,” Jesus Lamas, SLB’s president of well construction, said in a press release.

The EcoShield system uses locally sourced natural materials and industrial waste streams in its composition. The cement-free system can be deployed throughout various phases of the well life cycle, including abandonment. It can also be deployed across a range of field applications, including corrosive environments.

Pioneer Natural Resources used EcoShield on an 18-well field testing campaign in the Permian Basin. SLB said field trials validated the ability of the technology to fit within standard oilfield cementing workflows without major changes to the design process, onsite execution or post-job evaluation.

Valaris reports 3 new contracts

Valaris Ltd. announced new contracts for two drillships and a jackup on March 6. 

Petrobras contracted for the VALARIS DS-8. The contract, valued at $500 million, includes a $30 million mobilization fee. Valaris is reactivating the drillship for the contract.

A TotalEnergies affiliate signed a 100-day contract for drillship VALARIS DS-12. The contract is expected to start in the second quarter of 2023.

Beach Energy signed a $26 million, 70-day contract for heavy duty modern jackup VALARIS 107 for operations offshore New Zealand with work starting in the third quarter of 2023. 

Shelf Drilling Scepter wins work off Nigeria

Shelf Drilling announced on March 9 that its shelf drilling scepter has won a two-year contract for operations offshore Nigeria. The contract value for the firm period, including mobilization revenue, is $118 million. The contract includes a one-year option. Operations are planned to start in May 2023.

BW Offshore selling Opportunity FPSO

BW Offshore announced on March 10 that it signed an agreement to sell the FPSO BW Opportunity to an undisclosed third party for $125 million. The sale is subject to conditions and is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2023.

Shearwater wins KNOC survey

Shearwater GeoServices announced on March 8 that the firm won a 3D streamer survey contract offshore South Korea from Korea National Oil Corporation (KNOC). The survey will cover 1,200 sq km.

LLOG extends West Neptune

Seadrill Ltd. announced on March 7 that LLOG Exploration Offshore has extended its contract for the West Neptune by about six months for operations in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The extensions will keep the rig busy until the third quarter of 2024 and is valued at $79 million.

OMV, Cognite extend DataOps agreement

Cognite announced on March 7 that OMV had extended their long-term frame agreement to use Cognite's DataOps platform. OMV will use Cognite Data Fusion to expand its digital transformation program, DigitUP. It also includes an asset performance management (APM) solution.

Cognite Data Fusion powers OMV's surface data hub and enables rapid scaling of digital solutions across assets in Austria, New Zealand and Romania, Cognite said. The OMV and Cognite collaboration thus far has resulted in the deployment of solutions within both production and maintenance optimization leading to a reduction of time needed to plan the inspections by 50%, as well as a 6% deferment savings on production.

In the next phase of this long-term agreement, OMV will expand its APM capabilities to include integrity management, as well as integration with computerized maintenance management systems for integrated activity planning across different operations disciplines. The expansion of DigitUP will empower users in maintenance, inspection, operations and sustainability roles with a robust suite of digital solutions to support their decision-making, reduce costs and maximize asset performance.

Aker BP picks Envana for emissions management 

Envana Software Solutions, a joint venture between Halliburton and Siguler Guff, announced on March 8 that Aker BP has contracted with Envana for its new Envana Catalyst emissions management software. Envana's product will help Aker BP forecast emissions related to well construction and production operations and track progress to reduce emissions.

BSEE makes safety measures related to 2020 fatality

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) found a lack of training and failure to initiate stop work authority contributed to an Aug. 23, 2020 GoM fatality.

On March 8, BSEE released the panel investigation report into the incident on the Pacific Khamsin Drillship, which was conducting well operations in Garden Banks Block 1003 for Total E&P USA.

The investigation sought to determine the cause and contributing factors that led to the fatality of a rig floor crewmember operating a hydraulic torque wrench while attempting to extract bolts from a telescopic joint flange.

BSEE found that contributing factors included a lack of training with hydraulic torque wrenches, a lack of understanding of the risks associated with the riser and a failure to initiate a stop work authority.       

Based on its findings, BSEE has issued a safety alert to the industry which recommended that operators and contractors ensure the job safety analysis captures the limitations of the hydraulic torque wrench when in use, verifies all employees understand the job safety analysis and have been formally trained on operating the hydraulic torque wrench. BSEE also suggested expanding drill floor observer responsibilities to monitor all aspects of jobs occurring on the rig floor and explore options for employing a load indicator.

AGR launches P1ANS application

AGR Software announced on March 13 it had launched its P1ANS application to help drilling professionals better understand time, cost and risk when planning wells. 

P1ANS, which builds on AGR Software’s P1 application, uses Monte Carlo probabilistic simulation techniques to analyze thousands of data points before predicting a range of possible outcomes. Designed for drilling and well engineers and managers, digitalization leads and cost controllers, P1ANS helps ensure time and cost for single wells and drilling campaigns are thoroughly planned and consider all risks, AGR said.