From projects reaching FID to a divestment of assets in the North Sea, below is a compilation of the latest headlines in the E&P space.

Activity headlines

Westwood study shows decline in global drilling activity

Despite high-impact exploration costs rising, studies have found that the average discovery size has been declining, Westwood announced in a June 6 press release.

Fewer giant discoveries have resulted in a year-on-year decline in the average discovery size, down from nearly 500 MMboe in 2019 to approximately 220 MMboe in 2023, the consultancy firm said. Despite favorable oil prices in 2022, high impact exploration drilling in 2023 experienced a 21% downturn due to energy transition strategies, industry consolidation, rising well costs and reduced activity in former hotspots.

Westwood also found a decrease in the number of companies participating in high impact drilling (down from 99 companies in 2019 to 68 in 2023). Supermajors and national oil companies account for the majority of high-impact well equity and are leading the way in terms of discovered resource and commercial success rates.

“The relationship between exploration drilling and the previous year's oil price has broken. High oil prices previously led to high levels of exploration drilling,” Graeme Bagley, head of global exploration and appraisal at Westwood, said in a press release. “The appetite for exploration is still there, but energy transition strategies are having a significant impact on the way … companies choose to replenish their reserves base.”

TotalEnergies progresses toward FID in Block 58 offshore Suriname

Final investment decision (FID) on Block 58 offshore Suriname is expected to be made in the fourth quarter of 2024, TotalEnergies announced in a June 5 press release.

TotalEnergies is the operator of Block 58 with a 50% interest, with APA Corp. holding the remaining 50%. Staatsolie has the option to enter the development project with up to 20% interest upon FID.

Some key milestones have been recently reached in the path towards FID. An agreement was concluded between Staatsolie and TotalEnergies on the field development area, maximizing the value for Suriname and the Block 58 co-venturers over the 25-year production period.

FEED studies are progressing for the development of the Sapakara and Krabdagu fields in Block 58, with a combined 77 MMboe of recoverable resources. In addition, SBM Offshore will provide the hull for a 200,000 bbl/d FPSO for the project. An ocean bottom node campaign covering 900 sq km will be carried out in the second half of 2024 in order to identify resource upsides and assist in the placement of the development wells.

Tethys Block 56
Block 56 covers an area of 5,808 sq. km in the south-eastern part of Oman. (Source: Tethys Oil)

Production on the field is expected to begin in 2028.

Tethys Oil submits field development plan for Block 56 in Oman

Tethys Oil announced on June 4 the submission of its field development plan (FDP) for Block 56, Mudawrat Concession, to the Omani Ministry of Energy and Minerals (MEM) for review and approval.

The FDP details developing and appraising resources in the Al Jumd, Menna and Sarha fields. The development will include the drilling of several horizontal development wells. The surface development concept will initially use a fast-track option with export via neighboring operators.

Tethys acts as the operator of Block 56, holding a 65% share in the block. Biyaq Oilfield Services holds a 25% share and Medco Arabia Ltd. and Intaj LLC each hold a 5% share.

BP GTA LNG project FPSO has arrived on location

The FPSO for Phase 1 of the Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) LNG development, has arrived on location offshore on the maritime border of Mauritania and Senegal, BP said in a June 4 press release.

Completed at the COSCO Qidong Shipyard in China, the FPSO is currently moored at the site 25 miles offshore in 400 ft of water. The vessel will be operated by BP, on behalf of the project’s partners: Kosmos Energy, Petrosen and Société Mauritanienne des Hydrocarbures.

The FPSO is expected to process over 500 MMcf/d of gas, removing water, condensate and impurities from the gas before transferring it via pipeline to the FLNG at the Hub Terminal. At the FLNG vessel, the gas will be cooled, liquefied and stored before being transferred to LNG carriers for export.

The first gas development in this new basin offshore Mauritania and Senegal, GTA Phase 1, is expected to produce around 2.3 million tonnes per annum of LNG for more than 20 years.

The FPSO is expected to process over 500 MMcf/d of gas before transferring gas to LNG carriers for export. (Source: BP)

Contracts and company news

Equinor exits Gina Krog

Gina Krog Field
The Gina Krogg Field in the North Sea. (Source: Equinor)        

Norway’s Equinor is selling its 19.5% interests in two production licenses in the Gina Krog Field to PGNiG Upstream Norway for an undisclosed amount, the company announced June 4.

The Norwegian oil and gas company is selling its stake in production license PL 048E in the Eirin field and PL 1201, south of Eirin. With the divestment, the ownership between Equinor and PGNiG in these licenses will be balanced in the Gina Krog field, which is located in the North Sea.

"Balanced partnerships will make it easier to coordinate decisions in the licenses to optimize production and enhance value creation from the area,” Camilla Salthe, Equinor's senior vice president for late-life fields said in the release.

In January, the plan for development and operation for Eirin was approved. Under the plan, the field will be developed as a subsea facility tied back to the Gina Krog platform. The subsea template is under construction in Egersund, Norway, and is scheduled for installation in the summer of 2024, according to Equinor.

PL 1201 was awarded during this year's awards in predefined areas.

“Any discoveries in this license could make use of Eirin's infrastructure and be tied back to the Gina Krog platform. The economic effective date for the transfers is Jan. 1. Closing of the transaction is conditional upon ministry approval,” Equinor said in the release.

TotalEnergies signs two LNG contracts in Asia

TotalEnergies is increasing its LNG deliveries to Asia with two new medium- and long-term contracts signed with Indian Oil Corp. (IOCL) and Korea South-East Power, the company said in a June 4 news release.

TotalEnergies signed a sale and purchase agreement with Indian Oil for the delivery of 800,000 tons per year of LNG for 10 years to India beginning in 2026. The company also agreed to deliver 500,000 tons per year of LNG for five years to Korea beginning in 2027 under a heads of agreement with Korea South-East Power.

With these contracts, the company is securing its global LNG supply portfolio in the medium term.

“We are delighted to have been selected by IOCL and Korea South-East Power to supply LNG to India and Korea,” said Gregory Joffroy, senior vice president of LNG at TotalEnergies. “These contracts enable us to contribute to the energy security and transition of these countries, to which we have an enduring commitment.”

Weatherford to deliver drilling services to Bapco Upstream in Bahrain

Bapco Upstream awarded Weatherford International Plc a 5-year contract for directional drilling and logging services while drilling in Bahrain on June 6.

Weatherford will use its full suite of drilling technologies alongside its Centro well construction optimization platform to deliver reservoir-characterization data and maximize Bapco Energies’ efficiencies cost effectively.

The contract replaces Weatherford’s old drilling services contract it was awarded in 2015.

Vallourec to provide tubing to Campos Basin

Vallourec secured a contract to supply Petrobras with 1,800 tonnes of premium carbon steel tubes with the associated corrosion resistant alloy accessories.

Announced in a June 6 press release, these products will be used in various offshore development wells in the Campos presalt basin. The agreement between Vallourec and Petrobras also includes a wide range of services including stock management, rig preparation and transportation, as well as comprehensive integrated field services such as receiving, inspecting and supervising pipe string installation.

This contract is in addition to the 3-year long-term agreement with Petrobras for the supply of OCTG tubes announced in January 2023.