From subsea tieback plans to a conversion that will turn a drilling semi into a floating production unit, below is a compilation of the latest headlines in the E&P space. 

Activity headlines

FID Expected in 2024 for Brasse Tieback to Brage

Partners in the Brasse discovery on the Norwegian Continental Shelf said on Aug. 9 they have agreed on a fast-track development concept that would tie the field back to the nearby Brage field, with final investment decision (FID) expected in early 2024.

Last year, OKEA took over operatorship of PL740, which contains the Brasse discovery. OKEA operates Brage, which is 13 km away from Brasse.

"Together with DNO, we have in a short time worked out a project alternative for Brasse with a simplified tieback to Brage. We have now decided to continue to mature a development solution with less extensive topside modifications and a simplification of the design of the production wells compared to previous project assessments. We believe that this will result in a better and less costly project," Knut Gjertsen, OKEA’s senior vice president for projects and technology, said in a press release.

The Brasse discovery was made in 2016 and four appraisal wells were drilled from 2017 to 2019. Brasse holds an estimated 30 MMboe, of which two-thirds is oil and the rest is gas and NGL, OKEA said.

Enauta Completes Atlanta Field Well

Enauta Participações S.A. announced Aug. 7 that it has completed production well six on the deepwater Atlanta Field offshore Brazil on schedule and within budget. 

The company expects production well seven, which is the last of the production wells planned for Atlanta’s Phase 1, to be complete by the end of third-quarter 2023. The Atlanta Field is in the Santos Basin in water depths of about 1,550 m.

The wells are slated to begin production to the FPSO Atlanta in mid-2024 at rates of about 50,000 bbl/d. In July, Enauta announced that Yinson Bouvardia Holdings Pte. Ltd. would acquire the FPSO Atlanta.

Enauta operates the Atlanta Field with 100% interest. 

Contracts and company news

Saipem Converting Scarabeo 5 for Congo LNG Project

On Aug. 10, Saipem announced winning separate contracts from Eni Congo and BP that are jointly valued at $700 million.

For Eni, Saipem will convert the Scarabeo 5 semisubmersible drilling rig into a floating production unit (FPU) that will separate gas from liquids and boost it to feed a nearby floating LNG (FLNG) vessel. Saipem previously signed an agreement with with Eni for preliminary engineering and procurement activities for Eni’s Congo LNG project. The FPU will be installed in 35 m water depth off the coast of the Republic of Congo. Commissioning and start-up of the FPU are expected by fourth-quarter 2025.

For BP, the Saipem Constellation will carry out marine activities related to the Argos FPU in the Green Canyon area of the Gulf of Mexico. 

SABER Completes Directional Drilling Testing

SABER Tool Testing
Trials on Enteq Technologies’ SABER tool were done at the Catoosa Drill Test Facility in Oklahoma. (Source: Enteq)

Enteq Technologies said on Aug. 9 that its Steer-At-Bit Enteq Rotary (SABER) tool had successfully completed downhole drilling testing.

The tool, an alternative to traditional rotary steerable systems (RSS) successfully generated steering forces to change the trajectory of a well, resulting in a dogleg, in typical reservoir rock conditions during trials at the Catoosa Drill Test Facility in Oklahoma, following initial testing in Norway earlier this year. 

“Since acquiring the technology from Shell, we believed SABER could change the future of drilling. The goal has been to optimize and verify that the technology can outperform the solutions available today,” Enteq CEO Andrew Law said in a press release, adding the company has achieved that goal.

Fugro Runs Remotely Operated Subsea Inspection

Fugro Pegasus
Fugro Pegasus Blue Essence USV in Abu Dhabi. (Source: Fugro)

Fugro said on Aug. 14 it had completed the Middle East’s first remotely operated subsea inspection using an uncrewed surface vessel (USV). 

The site survey and inspection of an offshore gas platform in waters off the United Arab Emirates was executed entirely from an onshore remote operations center using Fugro’s Blue Essence technology without sending personnel offshore.

Fugro commissioned the government licensed USV in early 2023 and successfully completed its first USV operation for a client in the Middle East. The Fugro Pegasus USV, which is part of the Blue Essence fleet and built by SEA-KIT International, was mobilized for Chinese operator Atlantis in early June to perform a subsea survey and inspection of the UAQ3 platform within the Umm Al Quwain gas field.

The data collected was streamed to the remote operations center, allowing Atlantis to review the data in real time during the operation. This enabled the team to quickly identify and investigate areas of further interest to develop a comprehensive risk assessment for the client’s upcoming decommissioning program, Fugro said.

EnerMech Snags Maintenance Work in Congo

Nkossa conventional oil field in Congo
(Source: EnerMech)

EnerMech announced on Aug. 9 it had won a five-year, $15.2 million contract from TotalEnergies EP Congo for crane and lifting maintenance at a new facility to be built at Pointe-Noire, Congo. The work scope will include maintenance of crane and lifting equipment, and onshore and offshore parts supply for three offshore sectors which include Likouf and Nkossa. The agreement also covers riser pulling systems, mooring and tensioning systems.

Tullow Exiting Operated Block Offshore Guyana

Tullow Oil Plc is selling its total interest in Tullow Guyana BV (TGBV), including the Tullow-operated Orinduik license to Eco Guyana Oil and Gas (Barbados) Ltd, the companies said on Aug. 10.

The deal is a combination of $700,000 cash payment along with $4 million in the event of a commercial discovery — and $10 million upon receiving a production license and royalty payments on future production. Eco already held 15% interest on the block, so it will become operator and hold a 75% stake in the block once the transaction is complete. TOQAP Guyana BV will continue to hold 25% interest in the block.

Tullow said its decision to exit the Orinduik license is in line with its strategy to focus on high-return projects in Africa as well as infrastructure-led exploration around existing hubs. Two exploration wells on the Orinduik license in 2019 yielded uncommercial oil discoveries, Tullow said.

Eco Atlantic President and CEO Gil Holzman said in a press release the deal will allow the company to start unlocking the block’s potential.

“Since 2014, we have believed in the potential of this block, with our initial two wells in 2019 proving two different oil plays,” he said. “We will proactively engage in a farm out process for this highly prospective license and begin preparations to drill a well testing the cretaceous, where all light oil discoveries have been made in the adjacent Stabroek Block."

Saipem Revamping Bouri Field Facilities

Saipem said on Aug. 9 it had won a contract worth about $1 billion from Mellitah Oil & Gas B.V. Libyan Branch, a consortium of National Oil Corporation of Libya and Eni North Africa, related to the development of the Bouri Gas Utilisation Project (BGUP).

For the project, Saipem will revamp the platforms and facilities in the Bouri Field, which is in 145 m to 183 m water depth offshore Libya. 

The engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning contract includes an approximately 5,000-ton gas recovery module on the existing DP4 offshore facility, together with laying 28 km of pipelines connecting the DP3, DP4 and Sabratha platforms.

The semisubmersible crane vessel Saipem 7000 will handle the main lifting operations.

Hercules Snags Canada Drilling Contract

SFL Corp. Ltd. announced on Aug. 14 it has signed a contract valued at $100 million with an Equinor ASA subsidiary for the harsh environment semi-submersible rig Hercules to drill offshore Canada. 

The contract is for one well plus one optional well and is expected to start in the second quarter of 2024. The duration for the firm contract period is approximately 200 days including transit to and from Canada. Odfjell Drilling will manage the rig on behalf of SFL under the contract.

Hercules is drilling for Exxon Mobil in Canada now and will transit to Namibia for Galp Energia under a contract expected to start in fourth-quarter 2023.

TGS Reports Funding For Southeast Asia Projects

TGS announced Aug. 14 that it has secured funding for a series of multi-client projects in Southeast Asia. The projects are expected to begin late in fourth-quarter 2023.

The program covers six months of new 2D and 3D seismic data acquisition over 6,600 km of legacy 2D seismic data reprocessing and 300,000 sq km of 2D-cubed processing, tied together by a Facies Map Browser product that enables fast-track exploration of a regional hotspot. 

Balmoral Offers In-Line Mooring Buoyancy System

Balmoral In Line Mooring Buoys
Balmoral’s in-line mooring system features a dynamic connection interface that allows different sections of the mooring lines to be tethered securely without adversely loading the buoyancy structure. (Source: Balmoral)

Balmoral’s new in-line mooring buoyancy system mitigates against the chief vulnerability of traditional mooring system with pendulum fixtures, the company said Aug. 10

The new system is designed to secure floating wind turbines and other structures to a seabed anchor while providing uplift to the mooring line. It can also act as a connection point between the bottom and top sections of the line while allowing trajectory and tension to be controlled within the water column.

The in-line system features a dynamic connection interface that allows the different sections of the mooring lines to be tethered securely and responsively without adversely loading the buoyancy structure.

TWMA Tagged for BP Project in Egypt

TWMA announced on Aug. 14 that it has won a contract worth up to $15 million to support a large-scale oil and gas project for BP in Egypt. 

The company will use its RotoMill drill cuttings processing technology to process all drilling waste generated from BP’s WND & END exploration and development project in the Mediterranean Sea. Work, expected to last up to five years, will begin in October.