Activity headlines

Lease Sale 261 Postponed Pending Further Direction from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals

Due to the order issued by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is postponing Lease Sale 261, the organization announced Nov. 2.

The sale, which was originally scheduled for Sept. 27, 2023, and later scheduled for Nov. 8, 2023 will now be held at a later, to be determined date.

Until the court rules, BOEM cannot be certain of which areas or stipulations may be included in the sale notice, the agency said.

BW Energy Makes Substantial Discovery in the Hibiscus South prospect

The DHBSM-1 appraisal well has encountered commercial volumes of oil in the Hibiscus South prospect, BW Energy said in a press release Nov. 6. BW plans to return to the well to complete it as a production well in early 2024.

The DHBSM-1 well, located in the Dussafu license, was drilled from the MaBoMo production platform to a total depth of 6,002 m. Logging data, sample examination and formation pressure measurements confirmed there are approximately 20 m of pay in an overall hydrocarbon column of 26.5 m in the Gamba formation.

The well data confirms the Hibiscus South structure is a separate accumulation with a deeper oil-water contact than the nearby Hibiscus Field. This will enable the company to book additional reserves not currently included in its annual statement of reserves and provide the opportunity to drill one or more additional production wells from the MaBoMo facility.

“The successful appraisal of the Hibiscus South satellite structure represents a low-cost and low-risk expansion of the Dussafu production and reserve base. We look forward to rapidly bringing these high-value barrels into production,” said Carl K. Arnet, CEO of BW Energy. “The result also confirms the significant potential of the Dussafu license where we have multiple additional future prospects.”

Estimates of recoverable volumes at Hibiscus South range from 6 MMbbl to 7 MMbbl of oil—in  line with pre-drill expectations of 16 MMbbl of oil in place and 7 MMbbl of recoverables.

BW Energy holds a 73.5% ownership interest in the Dussafu license. Panoro Energy has a 17.5% interest, while Gabon Oil Co. holds the remaining 9% ownership interest.

Production Begins from BP-operated Seagull Field in North Sea

Seagull is the first tieback to the ETAP hub in 2 years. (Source: BP)

BP successfully started production from the Seagull oil and gas field in the U.K. North Sea, the company announced on Nov. 6. The additional volumes boost energy supplies in the Eastern Trough Area Project (ETAP), which has been operating for 25 years.    

Seagull has been developed by Neptune Energy as a subsea tieback to the central processing facility of the BP-operated ETAP in the central North Sea, around 140 miles east of Aberdeen. It is the first tieback to the ETAP hub in 20 years.

“BP has been safely operating in the North Sea for nearly 60 years,” Doris Reiter, senior vice president of BP North Sea, said in a press release. “We plan to keep doing this by investing in our existing oil and gas infrastructure, like at ETAP, which has been a cornerstone of our North Sea portfolio for a quarter of a century. The start-up of Seagull is a fantastic milestone that demonstrates how BP is investing in today’s energy system and at the same time, investing in the energy transition.”

The Seagull Field is located 10 miles south of the ETAP central processing facility and is a four-well development. Production is delivered via a three-mile subsea pipeline connected to an existing pipeline system. A new 10-mile umbilical has been installed, linking the ETAP facility to the Seagull field—providing control, power and communications services between surface and seafloor.  

The new field is expected to produce around 50,000 boe/d at peak production.

BP, with a 50% stake in Seagull, operates the production phase of the development. Neptune Energy holds a 35% stake in Seagull and operated the field through the development phase, drilling wells and installing subsea equipment. JAPEX holds the remaining 15% interest.  

Equinor Makes Oil and Gas Discovery in the North Sea

Equinor Discoveries
The two discoveries were located in exploration well 30/6-C-2 A, also called Well Lambda (Source: NPD)

Equinor made two discoveries in exploration well 30/6-C-2 A (“Lambda”) located in Production License 053, 4 km west of the Oseberg Field in the North Sea, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate announced Nov. 3.

Well Lambda encountered about 23 m of oil and gas-filled sandstone with good reservoir quality in the Eiriksson Formation in the Statfjord Group. In the Cook Formation, the well encountered about 15 m of oil and gas-filled sandstone with moderate-to-good reservoir quality. Water depth at the site is 109 m.

Discoveries were made in two different formations. Preliminary estimates place the size of the discovery in the Eiriksson Formation between 200,000 scm recoverable oil equivalent and 400,000 scm recoverable oil equivalent. The estimated size of the Cook Formation discovery is between 200,000 MMscm of recoverable oil equivalent and 1 MM standard cu. m of recoverable oil equivalent.

Equinor is the operator of  PL 053, where the other licensees are Petoro, TotalEnergies and ConocoPhillips.

Petronas discovers oil offshore Suriname

Petronas Suriname E&P announced the discovery of oil offshore Suriname in a Nov. 2 press release.

The discovery was made at the Roystonea-1 exploration well in Block 52. The exploration block is part of the Suriname-Guyana basin and is north of the coast of Paramaribo, the capital of Suriname. The well, which is 185 km off the coast, is located at a water depth of 904 m.

“The success of Roystonea-1 is expected to drive further exploration for commercially viable hydrocarbon resources in the surrounding areas,” Mohd Redhani Abdul Rahman, Petronas’ vice president of exploration, said in a press release. “Petronas will continue to work closely with the host authority, Staatsolie, and partners to unlock Suriname’s hydrocarbon potential.”

With a 50% participating interest, Petronas Suriname E&P is the operator of Block 52, which has an area of 4,749 sq km.

Construction of Munin Platform Begins

Munin Monk
Thai monks blessed the steel in a formal ceremony, before construction of the unmanned production platform went underway. (Source: Aker BP)

On Nov. 2, Aker BP and Aibel celebrated the first steel cut for the Munin platform in Thailand. The platform will be used at the Yggdrasil Field off the coast of the North Sea. Yggdrasil consists of the Hugin, Fulla and Munin license groups. The area is located between Alvheim and Oseberg in the North Sea.

This installation is the first of its kind on the Norwegian shelf, as Munin will be unmanned and remotely operated. The platform will be “without a helicopter deck, living quarters and lifeboats,” and access will be accomplished through “support vessels,” Erling Landsværk, project manager for Aibel, said in a press release.

The Munin topsides weigh in at more than 8,000 tonnes, with a height of 35 m. The contract is valued at NOK 7 billion for Aibel and will provide work for around 2,000 people distributed between Asker, Haugesund and Thailand.

The Munin concept was developed by Equinor. Aibel will deliver engineering, procurement, construction, assembly and commissioning, while Aker BP is the operator for construction and operation.

The yard in Thailand will deliver the utility module, stair tower, flare boom and deck sections for the process module. Assembly and outfitting will take place in Haugesund. The first dispatch will set sail for Norway in less than a year. 

C-NLOPB Announces Results of Calls for Bids in Newfoundland

The C-NLOPB advises that no bids were received for NL23-CFB01, Eastern Newfoundland Region which offered 28 parcels or NL23-CFB02, South Eastern Newfoundland Region which offered 19 parcels. The bids totaled 7,222,551 hectares and 4,982,275 hectares, respectively. The call for bids closed on Nov. 1.

Contracts and company news

Light Structures Awarded Two FPSO Contracts from Petrobras

Petrobras FPSO
Light Structures will deliver structural monitoring technology for two new Petrobras FPSOs. (Source: Light Structures AS)

Light Structures AS, supplier of fiber optic condition monitoring systems, was awarded two contracts with YANTAI CIMC Raffles Offshore, the company announced Nov. 3. The contracts are for the delivery of their SENSFIB hull stress monitoring systems for two Petrobras-commissioned FPSO units.

The contracts for Petrobras’ FPSOs—P-80 and P-83—were secured following another order of SENSFIB systems for eight LNG carriers. With a production capacity of 225,000 bbl/d of oil, the FPSO units will be among the largest in the world when completed and deployed at the Búzios oil field offshore Brazil.

“The sheer size of FPSOs, combined with the risks and complexity of their offshore operations, demands that structural monitoring data is available for safety and operational purposes 24/7,” said Goetz Vogelmann, sales director at Light Structures. “Our SENSFIB technology is already well proven on FPSOs worldwide, and we are confident that it will deliver the levels of data availability and accuracy that Petrobras needs to ensure its digital twins can look into the future and optimize both operational safety and efficiency.”

The first SENSFIB system is scheduled to be delivered to the yard by the end of November 2023, with the second arriving within April 2024.

Subsea 7 Awarded Riser and Flowline Contract from Petrobras

Subsea 7 ship
Offshore operations are expected to take place in 2025 and 2026. (Source: Subsea7)

Subsea 7 SA confirmed the award of a major contract amendment by Petrobras for the development of the Mero 4 field on Oct. 31. The field is located approximately 200 km off the coast of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at a water depth of 2,200 m in the pre-salt Santos basin. The award was announced in redacted form on Sept. 27 and was recorded in backlog in third-quarter 2023.

The contract amendment scope includes engineering, procurement, fabrication, installation and pre-commissioning of 76 km of rigid risers and flowlines for the steel lazy wave production system.

Project management and engineering will commence immediately at Subsea7’s Rio de Janeiro and Paris offices. Fabrication of the pipelines will take place at Subsea7’s spoolbase at Ubu in the state of Espirito Santo. Offshore operations are scheduled to be executed in 2025 and 2026.

McDermott, PTSC Consortium Receive EPCI and HUC for Vietnam field

A consortium of McDermott and Petrovietnam Technical Services Corporation (PTSC) has received a limited letter of award from Phu Quoc Petroleum Operating Co. for engineering, procurement, construction, installation (EPCI) and hook-up and commissioning services.

Under the full project scope, which was announced October 31, the consortium will provide EPCI and hook-up and commissioning services for a central production platform, living quarters platform, flare tower and bridges for the Block B gas development project off the southwest coast of Vietnam.

The full project contract is expected to be executed in early 2024 with an award value of more than $1 billion.

CGG and LightOn Collaborate to Evaluate AI

Global technology company CGG and artificial intelligence (Ai) company LightOn announced a new contract between companies to leverage CGG's industrial high-performance computing solutions.

“Our optimized [high-performance computing solutions] can help our customers successfully scale their production workloads, including generative AI, while maximizing their return on investment,” said Agnès Boudot, executive vice president of high-performance computing solutions & cloud solutions at CGG, in a Nov. 6 press release.

The partnership will enable LightOn to evaluate and test large language models to support the industrial deployment of AI. The agreement will allow LightOn to use CGG's high-performance computing & AI center to benchmark its large language models to identify solutions.

"Having access to CGG's latest [high-performance computing] technology will accelerate our evaluation and testing, and ultimately our overall business strategy,” Laurent Daudet, co-CEO of LightOn, said in a press release.

EV Downhole launches AIVA SaaS Platform

EV, the leader in downhole visual analytics, launched their AIVA cloud-based platform Oct. 16. This software-as-service (SaaS) solution reveals key information about condition, status and performance of critical energy assets and infrastructures. AIVA is a cloud-based platform allowing users to store, visualize and interact with a variety of logs and data types. It integrates, manages and safeguards data, instantly accessible from anywhere with internet access.

“One of our industry’s leading challenges today is more complex wells. AIVA meets this challenge by allowing teams to see and collaborate on the widest range of accurate log data, all in one place. AIVA helps operators make faster, more reliable decisions, increasing production and profitability,” said Fraser Louden, CEO of EV in a press release.

AIVA's log data visualization tool provides synchronized 2D and 3D data displays with real-time data statistics that reveal trends. Its video and visual analytics provide a clearer perspective with video imaging and video playback. Users can see a continuous, depth-based image for the complete circumference of the wellbore.