From an FSRU FEED contract to a study on Chinese shale, below is a compilation of the latest headlines in the E&P space within the past week. 

Activity headlines

Amethyst A2D being decommissioned

Petrodec has begun decommissioning the Amethyst A2D platform in the Amethyst gas field in the U.K. Southern North Sea.

Amethyst A2D was installed in 1989. Following plugging and abandonment and topside preparations, the work program consists of skidding the topside off the jacket, sea fastening and a rig move for final dismantling in Vlissingen harbor in the Netherlands.

Petrodec is using its ERDA, a modified jackup, rather than the traditional practice of using a drilling rig and heavy lift vessel.

Works on Amethyst A2D follows the successful decommissioning of Amethyst B1D, which was completed in December 2021.

Bechtel wins Idku FEED

Shell Egypt, EGAS and Petronas awarded a FEED contract to a Bechtel-led coalition to study a proposed unified power system between the onshore gas processing plant of the West Delta Deep Marine (WDDM) gas fields in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Egypt, and the Egyptian LNG export terminal (ELNG) in Idku, east of Alexandria.

The FEED for the Idku Energy Hub project will explore the One Power Hub concept, integrating the electrical power systems at the WDDM and ELNG, as opposed to having two separate systems. It seeks to increase the power saving and greenhouse-gas (GHG) abatement benefits of unifying the electrical power systems of the onshore plants. 

The Bechtel-led coalition includes Enppi and Petrojet, and they will fast-track the FEED, aiming to complete it by year’s end.

RINA, Asprofos win Alexandroupolis FSRU work

RINA and Asprofos won a contract to provide project management consultancy services for the Alexandroupolis Independent Natural Gas System (INGS), owned and developed by the Greek company Gastrade SA.

The fast-track project will consist of a permanently moored floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) and 28 km of pipelines connecting the floating unit to the Greek National Natural Gas Transmission System. The FSRU, to be stationed in the Aegean Sea, will have a storage capacity of 153,500 cubic meters, a nominal gas send out rate of 530 MMcf/d and a peak rate of up to 800 MMcf/d.

The Alexandroupolis FSRU is scheduled to be online by the end of 2023.

Hart Energy September 2022 - E-P Briefs - Gastrade Alexandroupolis FSRU award - Source RINA
Gastrade awarded RINA and Asprofos the consultancy contract for the Alexandroupolis FSRU. (Source: RINA)

Other news

GoM OBN survey to begin in December

TGS said it will begin an industry-funded survey in the US Gulf of Mexico (GoM) in December. The acquisition is its amendment phase II project, which is a continuation of its ultra-long offset ocean-bottom node (OBN) survey. The first phase of the survey was acquired to the east in 2018.
The latest phase will acquire OBN data over 151 blocks, with work expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2023. 

This project will uplift TGS’s full-waveform inversion (FWI) velocity model building for the area. The results from this data following processing are expected in the fourth quarter of 2023. On completion of this project, TGS will have built a library of over 550 OCS blocks of ultra-long off-set data in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico over the past four years.

Magseis Fairfield will conduct the data acquisition as a contractor to TGS. 

Petrobras holding onto Albacora Field

Petrobras and PetroRio (PRIO) failed to close a deal on Petrobras’ Albacora concession, so Petrobras announced it will proceed with a revitalization project for Albacora.

Albacora, in the deepwater Campos Basin, includes the development of production from the Forno reservoir, located in the Albacora presalt.

Petrobras expects to contract a new FPSO-type platform for the field to replace the P-25 and P-31 production units that currently serve Albacora.

Petrobras said the decision not to sell Albacora to PRIO does not affect the divestment of the Albacora East (Albacora Leste) Field to PRIO. That deal was signed off on in April, and Petrobras said it remains committed to closing that transaction. According to PRIO, ANP is still evaluating the deal but approval is expected in the coming months.

Study seeks insights into Chinese shale

A new study on the Gulong-Qingshankou shale formation in China found the shale deposits self-generated and self-stored the shale oil.

The Qingshankou Formation in the Songliao Basin consists of about 15.1 billion tons of pure shale oil in the shale deposits formed at the bottom of an ancient lake.

A new study published in Earth Science Frontiers and spearheaded by Dr. He Wenyuan from Daqing Oilfield Co. Ltd. focused on the petrological characteristics of the shale to uncover more details about a reservoir's formation, spatial and physical properties, oil content, and development value.

“Nanopores in shale are considered significant spaces for shale oil accumulation. Since the shale oil in the Gulong Sag is known to have a 90% source-reservoir ratio, exploring the nanopores in this reservoir might help uncover valuable information,” Wenyuan said in a press release.

Hart Energy September 2022 - E-P Briefs - Gulong Shale Nanopores - Source Earth Science Frontiers
Nanopores and nanofissures in the clay layers of Gulong shale. (Source: Earth Science Frontiers)

Using electron microscopy, energy spectrum analysis, and thermal simulation, He found that the Gulong shale is predominantly made of clay, with well-developed nanopores and nanofissures—about 10-50 nm in diameter/width.

Over the years, organic matter such as degraded algal debris and kerogen was deposited into these nanopores to form organic clay aggregates. The organic content of this clay was as high as 91.5% but 53% on average. The organic clay became the main source material for producing hydrocarbons, primarily liquid bitumen and shale oil.

The study found that almost 87% of the original organic matter was consumed during hydrocarbon generation and that the vacant nanopores left behind by the organic matter were occupied by liquid hydrocarbons. Given the closed shape of the nanopores and high capillary resistance, the hydrocarbons remained inside the rocks and solidified into solid bitumen/asphalt. The study concluded the Gulong shale deposits self-generated and self-stored the shale oil, explaining the region's high source-reservoir ratio.

He said future research should focus on verifying his findings.

Deepwater Asgard wins GoM work

Transocean Ltd. announced that ultradeepwater drillship Deepwater Asgard has received two contract awards in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico for about 14 months of work. The contracts add $181 million in firm backlog.

The first contract is for one well for Murphy Oil Corp. at $395,000/day, expected to begin late this fall after the rig completes its current contract and a planned out-of-service period. The contract includes an option for a second well at the same day rate. 

Another operator awarded Transocean a one-year contract at $440,000/day plus up to $40,000/day for additional products and services. This contract is expected to begin in the first half of 2023. This contract also includes three, one-year option periods.

Patterson reports rig activity

Patterson-UTI Energy reported that in August, the company had an average of 128 drilling rigs operating in the U.S. In July and August, the company had an average of 127 drilling rigs operating in the U.S.

Total Frac starts rentals business

Total Frac Solutions has launched a surface rentals business focused around frac stacks and zipper manifolds that comprise a full bore 15K system. These systems support zipper frac and simulfrac operations in the target basins. TFS provides Magnum SP frac valve technology from Worldwide Oilfield Machine (WOM). 

Sercel completes ION software acquisition

Sercel, CGG’s sensing and monitoring division, has completed the acquisition of ION Geophysical Corp.’s software business. That acquisition includes Orca, a navigation system dedicated to streamers; Gator, a navigation system dedicated to ocean bottom nodes; Mesa, a set of tools for optimizing land and marine seismic crews; and Marlin, a software for managing simultaneous marine operations, used for marine seismic crews, as well as for various other offshore operations and harbors.

Sercel intends to operate the newly acquired technology as a business unit for the near
future and will keep the product portfolio as it is.

Dacian picks HiberHilo for remote well monitoring

Romanian oil and gas company Dacian Petroleum is using Hiber’s HiberHilo satellite-powered remote well-monitoring solution.

In November 2021, Dacian acquired 40 aging fields onshore Romania from OMV Petrom. Some of the wells required remote well monitoring to identify potential wellhead problems and avoid shut-downs. After testing HiberHilo, Dacian signed a deal to deploy HiberHilo to monitor the tubing pressure of several onshore gas wells. HiberHilo digitizes well monitoring using low-cost, low-power satellite IoT connectivity to gather and deliver well performance and safety data.