From Seatrium’s delivery of the Whale production semisubmersible to new contract awards, below is a compilation of the latest headlines in the E&P space. 

Activity headlines

Goliat Steps Closer to Gas Export Solution

Vår Energi ASA approved the concept selection for gas export from the Goliat Field in the Barents Sea to the Snøhvit pipeline, with an expectation of a final investment decision (FID) in the second half of 2024, Vår said on Oct. 25.

Since Goliat went on stream in 2016, gas has been reinjected into the reservoir, and evacuating gas from the reservoir will be necessary to extend the field’s lifetime and ensure optimal oil production, Vår said.

Vår called the Goliat gas project, which will export gas from Goliat to the Snøhvit pipeline for further transport to Hammerfest LNG, an important step in finding a wider area solution for increased gas export capacity from the Barents Sea, which Gassco is evaluating. Additional gas infrastructure with the capacity to develop and create value from existing and future discoveries will be key to further develop the Barents Sea. The project will position Goliat as an area hub for production from nearby discoveries and prospects.

Vår operates Goliat with 65% on behalf of partner Equinor with 35%.

Whale of a Delivery

Seatrium Whale
The Whale production semi is headed for the Gulf of Mexico for Shell. (Source: Seatrium)

Seatrium delivered the Whale floating production unit, comprising a topside module and a semi-submersible hull, the company announced on Oct. 19. 

The Whale floating production unit is a semi-submersible destined for the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Shell ordered the unit in November 2019. Whale, discovered in 2017, is in Alaminos Canyon Block 773 in 8,600 ft water depth and slated to go onstream in 2024.

Seatrium integrated the Whale’s topside and hull in one single lift using Goliath twin cranes with a combined 30,000-tonne lifting capacity and a 100-m hook height.

Shenzi North Subsea Kit Delivered 

Trendsetter HIPPS
High integrity pressure protection systems (HIPPS) for Woodside Energy’s Shenzi North Field in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. (Source: Trendsetter Engineering)

Trendsetter Engineering Inc. delivered two subsea manifolds, two high integrity pressure protection systems (HIPPS) and TCS clamp connectors to Woodside Energy for use in the Shenzi North Field in the Gulf of Mexico, Trendsetter announced Oct. 25.

Delivery and subsequent start‐up of the two well‐based HIPPS modules represent the first fully

sanctioned and operational subsea HIPPS units in the region. Trendsetter had previously delivered a subsea HIPPS unit to another operator for use in the Gulf of Mexico.

By using HIPPS modules, existing flowlines, risers and topside facilities can be used to tie‐in the Shenzi North discovery from 2017 to the existing Shenzi TLP. Shenzi North is in Green Canyon Blocks 608 and 609 in about 4,200 ft water depth.

Trendsetter partnered with Proserv for the HIPPS control system and ATV for provision of the HIPPS shutdown valves.

Contracts and company news

Trion Flexible Pipe Work Goes to TechnipFMC

TechnipFMC announced Oct. 24 it had won a contract to manufacture flexible pipe for Woodside Energy's Trion project offshore Mexico.

Under the contract, TechnipFMC will supply infield flowlines and jumpers. Jonathan Landes, president for subsea at TechnipFMC, said the contract is the company’s largest flexible pipe award in the Gulf of Mexico to date.

TGS Wins OBN Project in GoM

TGS announced Oct. 26 it won a three-month proprietary Ocean Bottom Node (OBN) data acquisition contract in the Gulf of Mexico for a repeat customer. Acquisition will start in the fourth quarter of this year.

SLB to Report on Emissions for Eni

SLB announced Oct. 30 that Eni had picked SLB’s End-to-end Emissions Solutions business (SEES) for fugitive methane emissions measurement and reporting plans for Eni’s global operating facilities.

The project, which is already in progress, aligns with the reporting standards of the Oil & Gas Methane Partnership 2.0 (OGMP 2.0). Working across sites located in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, SEES will perform source-level measurements and simulations of Eni’s emissions in accordance with OGMP 2.0 reporting requirements. SLB will assemble and analyze the data and assist Eni with reporting its source-level emissions to the OGMP.

In advance of this project, SLB evaluated optimal measurement technologies for identifying and quantifying methane emissions to propose the best-aligned solutions for the needs of each facility and local requirements.

Coretrax Wins Middle East Contract

Coretrax Restore
Coretrax's ReStore expandable straddle patch has been introduced to restore well integrity. (Source: Coretrax)

Coretrax announced Oct. 26 it won a multi-year contract from a major Middle East operator to deliver production enhancement across a multi-well campaign. Coretrax will deploy its ReLineMNS and ReLineHYD expandable casing patches to isolate trouble zones and increase recovery on the operator’s existing wells.

The contract will also coincide with the introduction of Restore Patch, which can be run across coiled tubing and drill pipe to restore well integrity and deliver an effective and convenient solution to common issues such as water production, completion leaks and sand ingress.

KCA Deutag Completes 1st Rig for PDO

International oil and gas services company KCA Deutag unveiled the first locally made rig in Oman on Oct. 29 for state-owned E&P Petroleum Development Oman (PDO). 

The rig is the first of four highly automated rigs designed and constructed by KCA Deutag’s Kenera business for a 10-year drilling operations contract for PDO that KCA secured in January 2022.

Automation of key equipment is enabled via the rig’s central operating system, cyber drilling chair (Synapse) and bespoke software that enhances remote operations capability, improving safety and performance. The equipment includes the in-house manufactured Bentec Top Drive, designed to PDO’s requirements, a remote operated Iron Roughneck and further automated components. The equipment package is enhanced by a mobile and trailer mounted system enabling high speed and safe rig moves between drilling locations.

McDermott, AVEVA, Aras to Collaborate

McDermott announced Oct. 30 it signed a lighthouse agreement with industrial software specialists AVEVA and Aras, a product lifecycle management platform provider, to develop its asset lifecycle management capabilities.

This collaboration focuses on improving user experience for data-centric asset lifecycle management from planning to disposal. The goal is to reduce costs and risk over the project lifecycle, improve decision-making, achieve better compliance and traceability and enhance performance across the industrial ecosystem.

35 North Sea Companies Supporting Mental Health

A total of 35 companies working in the U.K. Continental Shelf pledged to protect and improve conditions for workers by introducing a mental health and well-being charter.

Darren Sutherland, chairman of the North Sea Chapter of the International Association of Drilling Contractors, the group leading the Mental Health in Energy taskforce, said in an Oct. 25 press release that the backing of the industry was critical to the charter being successful.

“We are challenging the status quo in the industry and providing support to companies that will help them improve their approach to mental health and change the lives of colleagues,” he said.

Sub-groups have been established within the steering group to determine how to achieve the strongest impact, including charter activation and peer review and academia, which will look at understanding member needs and connecting with academic institutions to ensure wider penetration.

Drilling company Valaris donated 10,000 pounds ($12,164.70) to the cause.

The development of the 10-point charter follows the publication of a report from the IADC—Changing Minds: Saving Lives—which urged a new approach to mental health in the North Sea.

Regulatory updates

Alaska Lands Up for Lease

Bids can be submitted between Nov. 20 and Dec. 7 for the Alaska Peninsula Areawide 2023, the Beaufort Sea Areawide 2023W, the Cook Inlet Areawide 2023, North Slope Areawide 2023W and the North Slope Foothills Areawide 2023 Competitive Oil and Gas Lease Sales. 

The Alaska Peninsula Areawide includes approximately 5 million acres of state-owned land in 1,004 tracts, ranging in size from 1,280 acres to 5,760 acres. The Cook Inlet Areawide includes approximately 3.3 million acres of state-owned land in 832 tracts, ranging in size from 640 acres to 5,760 acres. The Beaufort Sea Areawide includes approximately 1.7 million acres of state-owned land in 570 tracts ranging in size from 530 acresto 5,760 acres. 

The North Slope Areawide includes approximately 5 million acres of state-owned land in 3,121 tracts, ranging in size from 160 acres to 5,760 acres. The North Slope Foothills Areawide includes approximately 4.3 million acres of state-owned land in 818 tracts, ranging in size from 240 acres to 5,760 acres.

The Alaska Department of Natural Resources announced the sale of state lands on Oct. 13. 

BSEE Issues Offshore Decommissioning Guidance

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said on Oct. 26 it published the final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) for Oil and Gas Decommissioning Activities on the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). 

The proposed action is intended to ensure no oil and gas infrastructure remains on the Pacific OCS seafloor that could interfere with navigation, commercial fisheries, future oil and gas operations and other current or future ocean users.

All installed between the late 1960s and 1990, 23 California oil and gas platforms are subject to decommissioning. The alternative chosen as the proposed action would involve the complete removal of the platforms; topside; conductors; the platform jacket to at least 15 ft below the mud line; pipelines, power cables and other subsea infrastructure; and clearance of the seabed.

BSEE said it expects to post its record of decision in approximately 30 days at

BSEE, NOAA Sign MOU for OCS Collaboration

The BSEE and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate on areas of mutual interest with respect to the OCS’ energy activities and environmental stewardship, BSEE announced Oct. 26. 

The MOU sets forth the general terms and conditions to support the interagency partnership on federal actions and initiatives. Specifically, the agreement calls for BSEE and NOAA to share data, support interagency training and develop additional agreements that outline cooperation on individual programs, projects or activities.

Areas of mutual interest and possible collaboration include, but are not limited to:

  • Environmental planning, preparedness, forecasting, monitoring and response
  • Maritime policy coordination (safe marine transportation)
  • Ocean data and observations
  • Climate adaptation and mitigation
  • Science and research
  • Rulemaking
  • Environmental justice
  • Sustainability
  • Compliance and enforcement (offshore wind energy activities on the OCS)
  • Outreach and engagement