From Algeria to Suriname to Texas, below is a compilation of the latest headlines in the E&P space within the past week.

Activity headlines

Eni starts up new Algerian field

Eni announced its onshore Algeria HDLE/HDLS oil field in the Zemlet el Arbi concession of the Berkine North Basin has begun production. The fast-track project went online six months after its discovery. 

The field is producing 10,000 bbl/d, and Eni expects production to ramp up following an accelerated development plan that includes drilling new wells in 2023.

Eni attributed the project’s “record time to market” to strong collaboration with Algerian oil company Sonatrach and the active support from local authorities.

Suriname launches bid round

Suriname bid round
Suriname BidRound: Areas available in Suriname’s Demerara Bid Round. (Source: Envoi)

Suriname launched its Demerara Bid Round (DBR) in early November, making available six blocks in the sparsely explored Demerara High in the offshore Suriname-Guyana Basin.

There are four pre-existing wells in the total available acreage, which covers nearly 44,000 sq km. According to Envoi, which petroleum company Staatsolie commissioned as an advisor for the bid round, new geophysical studies define “large undrilled stacked prospectivity in both proven and untested play potential.”

Envoi said the studies indicate all four of the existing wells drilled in the DBR acreage encountered reservoir and/or shows in the proven Upper and potential Lower Cretaceous plays, with deeper undrilled Jurassic potential also now prognosed. 

Envoi believes the Demerara plateau preserves the critical mid-lower Cretaceous and potential Jurassic petroleum geology play elements that are proven in its equivalent conjugate margins off the Gulf of Mexico, Cuba and West Africa.

The blocks are being offered based on a range of biddable evaluation work programs, including 3D data acquisition and other evaluation surveys in the initial exploration phase needed to unlock the plays and ahead of decisions to commit to additional evaluation and/or drilling in subsequent exploration phases.

Virtual data rooms open Nov. 28, and bids are due by May 31, 2023.

Contracts and company news

ADNOC awards $4 billion in framework agreements

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) announced it had awarded three framework agreements valued at $4 billion for integrated drilling fluids services to ADNOC Drilling Company P.J.S.C (ADNOC Drilling), Schlumberger Middle East S.A. (SLB) and Halliburton Worldwide Limited Abu Dhabi (Halliburton).

According to ADNOC, the deals are the largest of their kind in the industry. They cover ADNOC’s onshore and offshore fields and will run for five years with an option for a further two years.

The framework agreements will enable investment in local manufacturing of equipment and facilities, including liquid mud plants and a waste management facility, as well as key commodity chemicals. 

ADNOC Drilling’s scope of the framework agreements is valued at up to $1.6 billion and reflects the company’s transformation and expansion of its service profile into a fully integrated drilling services company, following the development of its oilfield services division in partnership with Baker Hughes.

Diamond wins work for Ocean Courage

Diamond Offshore announced Petrobras had awarded the company a four-year contract for a new drilling program in Brazil. The estimated value of the four-year contract for Ocean Courage is around $429 million, and there is an unpriced option for an additional four years. Diamond said the new contract was expected to be signed imminently and begin late in the fourth quarter of 2023 after conclusion of the rig’s current contract and new contract preparations.  

Angola rig becoming an artificial reef

EQS Falcon launch Angola rig
EQS Monitor AngolaRig: EQS team viewing video images from the Saab Seaeye Falcon of the marine growth and marine animal activity at the platform. (Source: Saab Seaeye) 

Saab Seaeye’s Falcon technology is carrying out survey and mapping as an oil platform is turned into an artificial reef offshore Angola. EQS is running the project.

The Falcon will check the wellhead, pipelines and the surrounding maritime environment. Baseline environmental conditions are determined by taking water and sediment samples at several stations and at different depths, focusing on biological matter, namely zooplankton, phytoplankton and benthos.

Significant marine growth already exists throughout the structure with abundant marine life already in the area for populating the rig when toppled on its side to become an artificial reef.

Once decommissioning is complete, a series of surveys will be scheduled to monitor the evolution of marine growth on the newly created reef.

Shell extends Gato do Mato notice

BW Offshore announced that Shell Brasil Petróleo Ltda and its partners have extended a  limited notice to proceed period with BW Offshore and Saipem S.p.A through mid-February 2023 related to the supply of an FPSO for the Gato do Mato oil and gas field offshore Brazil.

Upon completion of the extension period, BW Offshore and Saipem have the option to be awarded the lease and operate contract, contingent on financing and the project reaching final investment decision (FID).

If the project reaches FID and moves forward, the FPSO lease and operate contract will have a firm period of 18 years with seven years of options.

Shelf renaming jackups, reports new contracts

Shelf Drilling reported it is renaming the five premium jackups it purchased from Noble Corp. subsidiaries. 

The Noble Hans Deul will become the Shelf Drilling Perseverance, the Noble Sam Hartley will become Shelf Drilling Fortress, the Noble Sam Turner will become Shelf Drilling Winner, Noble Houston Colbert will become Shelf Drilling Odyssey and Noble Lloyd Noble will become Shelf Drilling Barsk. Shelf said Noble will continue to perform the current drilling program for the Noble Lloyd Noble / Shelf Drilling Barsk under a bareboat charter arrangement with Shelf Drilling until the end of its current drilling contract. 

Additionally, Shelf reported several new contracts and extensions in its quarterly fleet status report. 

Shelf Drilling Victory secured a five-year firm plus two-year option contract in the Arabian Gulf, expected to begin in late March 2023. The rig is undergoing a reactivation and upgrade project in the United Arab Emirates. 

Total Denmark extended the Shelf Drilling Winner for two years. 

Hans & Co. awarded Trident VIII a 180-day contract plus an option for 90 days for operations in Ghana. 

Compact Driller completed its contract with Cairn India and has begun a new contract with Masirah Oil in Oman. 

Ron Tappmeyer and F.G. McClintock completed contracts with India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corp. (ONGC) in late October 2022 and are undergoing planned OOS (out-of-service) for new three-year contracts with ONGC. 

Texas oilfield a proving ground for technology

VALYNT said it has purchased and retrofitted an oilfield near Austin, Texas, turning it into a working prototype for faster and cleaner crude oil production using the company’s proprietary chemistries and processes.

The new oilfield allows VALYNT to test production technologies and theories using products like PSI, an oil and sand separator, along with others like VX-WSD, a water soluble demulsifier. 

VALYNT president and CEO Charles Smith compared the work at the Texas oilfield to retrofitting an old car.

“Imagine taking a 1957 Bel Air [Chevrolet] and giving it a high-powered 21st century upgrade: fully loaded with automated tech, engineering and state-of-the-art computerized control. That is our new Austin field," he said.

He said the field allows the company to test new ideas and technologies and that the company has increased production there by more than ten times its previous output while reducing operating costs.

"We have automated processes that were usually managed by on-ground personnel, and we've upgraded security and surveillance. All monitored from the cloud, further reducing manpower and operating costs while eliminating human errors,” he said.

AWS launches new Clean Energy Accelerator round

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is seeking applicants for its newly launched AWS Clean Energy Accelerator 3.0, designed to facilitate partnerships with mature startups developing breakthrough clean energy technologies.

Inaugurated in 2021, the Clean Energy Accelerator was AWS’s first accelerator program focused on fostering innovation and rapid growth of clean energy technology.

The AWS Clean Energy Accelerator 3.0 is designed to spur co-innovation through energy partnerships and is centered on the needs of mature startups from across the globe. Through the program, industry and thought leaders will mentor startups on topics like energy, digital competency, investment, public policy, innovation and advanced research. Leading energy organizations will work with selected startups on addressing clean energy and decarbonization challenges, while AWS provides guidance in accelerating experimentation, expanding automation and delivering deep insights by leveraging the cloud.

The previous two Clean Energy Accelerator programs received more than 600 applications from startups representing 63 countries. Multinational energy companies like Enel, Vestas, Iberdrola, SiemensGamesa and others worked with the startups in previous cohorts, and there will be a broader set of organizations and supporting partners such as The Climate Pledge Fund, Siemens Energy, Masdar City, Eurelectric and many others that will help guide the upcoming program cohorts.

Through two previous programs taking place over the last 18 months, the Clean Energy Accelerator has influenced over $207 million in seed funding for clean energy and climate technology startups. In addition, 12 pilot projects have been initiated as a result of engagements fostered by the Clean Energy Accelerator.

The AWS Clean Energy Accelerator 3.0 will include 12 weeks of virtual and in-person programming, kicking off in Seattle in Q2 2023. The program will have an expanded reach and scope, which includes the addition of two new cohorts and international exchange sprints to foster tech innovation hubs around the world, including one in the UAE (in collaboration with Masdar City). The Clean Energy Accelerator 3.0 will culminate in an Innovation Showcase that will be held at the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference next November in Dubai.

The chosen finalists will receive technical, business and go-to-market mentorship from AWS, as well as up to $100,000 each in AWS Credit through AWS Activate to kick-start their data and operations transformation in the cloud. Additionally, the selected startups will gain access to guidance in using Amazon’s Culture of Innovation and Working Backwards mechanism to achieve solution alignment and accelerate pilots. 

Applications for the Clean Energy Accelerator 3.0 will be accepted through Jan. 1, 2023, and startups selected will be announced on March 6, 2023.

New regas concept gets approval in principle

ABS HHI regas
ABS Approval for ReGAS: ABS awarded approval in principle for a next-generation regasification system to Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering. (Source: ABS)

ABS has awarded approval in principle (AIP) for a next-generation, highly efficient concept of a regasification system, Hi-ReGAS+, for floating storage regasification units (FSRUs) and floating LNG terminals that use natural circulation.

Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering, the intermediate holding company of Hyundai Heavy Industries Group, and Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), developed the technology, which is a follow-on model to the Hi-ReGAS system from HHI Group. 

The concept system features a natural circulation system that uses the density difference of the fluid in the intermediate heat transfer system that transfers heat from seawater to LNG, creating a highly energy-efficient circulation system and reducing energy consumption to improve reliability.

The Hyundai Heavy Industries Group built a demonstration facility on a scale of 1/100 of an actual regasification system to verify the performance of the highly energy-efficient regasification system. Based on the experience accumulated through long-term operation of the demonstration facility, improvements were identified and applied to the design. After an analysis by ABS, an AIP for this ship class was obtained.