From Sapiem winning Baleine work to a milestone in Petrofac’s decommissioning of the Northern Endeavour FPSO, below is a compilation of the latest headlines in the E&P space within the past week. 

Activity headlines

Reconfigured Etame Field nears first oil

VAALCO Energy Inc. announced its North Tchibala 2H-ST well in the Etame Field offshore Gabon exceeded expectations after encountering nearly 100 m of gross Dentale pay sands.

The well was drilled from the Southeast Etame North Tchibala platform.

As of late September, VAALCO was preparing to complete the North Tchibala 2H-ST well using a fracture stimulation vessel to support multiple stimulation and frac-pack operations. Following clean up and stabilization of flow rate, VAALCO expects a stable flow rate by the end of October.

VAALCO also reported the Teli FSO has been permanently moored in position. Production risers were being connected to the FSO as of late September. The company also reported it had disconnected and rerouted all except two production lines to the Petroleo Nautipa FPSO to prepare for the planned decommissioning, demobilization and retirement of service of the FPSO. According to George Maxwell, VAALCO CEO, the FSO has 50% more capacity for storage than the FPSO held.

So far, more than 90% of the 5,100 m of new subsea, flexible pipe have been installed for the reconfiguration of the Etame Field. Additionally, new structural deck extensions and equipment packages required for first oil at the Etame platform have been installed.

This will allow Etame platform to serve as the central processing hub for the Etame Field once reconfiguration is complete. 

VAALCO expects completion of all FSO and first oil field reconfiguration activities in the first week of October.

“Once on production, we expect to add new reserves from the 2H-ST well, some of which were not previously in our 2P reserve base,” Maxwell said. “The positive results from this well gives us increasing confidence in targeting the Dentale sand for production at Etame in addition to the Gamba—thereby further increasing the production runway from this high-quality field.”

Contracts and company news

Saipem wins major Baleine contracts

Saipem announced the Eni Cote d’Ivoire-Petroci consortium awarded the company two new offshore contracts, valued at around 1 billion euros, for work on the Baleine Phase 1 Project in 1,200 m water depth.

One contract is for engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) activities for subsea umbilicals, risers and flowlines (SURF) and of an onshore gas pipeline for the connection to the distribution grid.

Saipem flagship vessel FDS2 will carry out laying of flexible lines, risers and umbilicals, and the development of the project will be on a fast-track basis. The start of operations is planned for fourth-quarter 2022.

The second contract—also developed with a fast-track schedule—is for engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning activities related to the refurbishment of the Firenze FPSO, plus 10 years of operations and maintenance services of the vessel.

PGS announces West Africa survey

PGS announced it has secured solid industry pre-funding for a multiclient survey in West Africa. The Ramform Atlas is scheduled to mobilize for the survey in late October, and acquisition is expected to complete early January.

PGS President and CEO Rune Olav Pedersen said it was the company’s first multiclient project in West Africa since early 2021. 

Petrobras orders P-83 for Búzios

Petrobras said it signed a contract with Keppel Shipyard Ltd. for the construction of the P-83 platform for the Búzios Field development project in the Santos Basin.

The P-83 will be able to produce up to 225,000 bbl/d, process up to 12 MMcm/d of gas and store more than 1.6 million barrels for the presalt project when it goes online in 2027. It will contribute to increasing the field's installed capacity from the current 600,000 bbl/d to 2 million bbl/d.

The project calls for interconnection of eight oil production wells and seven injection wells. The platform will be the eleventh unit to be installed in Búzios. Petrobras operates Búzios with a 92.6% stake, on behalf of partners CNOOC and CNODC, with 3.7% each.

The P-83 will be built by shipyards in Singapore, China, and Brazil

The P-83 is part of the company's new generation of platforms, with high production capacity and technologies to reduce carbon emissions. The platform will use the closed flare technology, which increases the use of gas and prevents it from being burned into the atmosphere. The platform will also be equipped with carbon capture, utilization and sequestration (CCUS) technology. 

Petrofac takes over Northern Endeavour FPSO

Petrofac has officially taken over operatorship of the Northern Endeavour FPSO on behalf of the Australian government. It marks a milestone in the decommissioning of the FPSO.

Under the contract, Petrofac is responsible for decommissioning and disconnecting the FPSO from its subsea equipment, and temporarily suspending the wells.

The FPSO is moored between the Laminaria and Corallina oil fields about 550 km northwest of Darwin in the Timor Sea.

Petrofac has also awarded Akastor ASA subsidiary DDW Offshore AS a firm one-year contract for the anchor handling tug supply (AHTS) vessel Skandi Atlantic. The AHTS will support the disconnection of the FPSO Northern Endeavour together with towing and well isolations work in the Laminaria Corallina oil fields in the West Timor Sea. The contract began in late September.

Shearwater for Petrobras OBN survey

Shearwater GeoServices announced Petrobas awarded it a contract for a large deepwater ocean-bottom node (OBN) survey over the Petrobras-operated Grand Iara Project in the Santos Basin. The OBN survey covers the Berbigão, Sururu, and shared reservoir of Atapu offshore Brazil. 

The project is scheduled to start in the first quarter of 2023 and to last about six months. The node deployment area covers a total of 1,309 sq km, using nodes deployed by ROV, and Shearwater’s 3x2 six-string omni-directional triple source.

Hart Energy October 2022 - Exploration and Production Headlines - Shearwater ROV OBN
Shearwater ROV OBN: An ROV will deploy the nodes over 1,309 sq km in the Santos Basin offshore Brazil. (Source: Shearwater)

Chevron delivers first offset-paired LNG cargo

Chevron announced it has delivered its first shipment of offset-paired LNG cargo from the Gorgon project offshore Western Australia.

According to Chevron, the greenhouse-gas emissions for the cargo, will be fully offset via the retirement of high-quality nature-based and energy efficiency offsets in Cambodia, Indonesia and Nepal.

For this cargo, Chevron’s Scope 1 and 2 emissions (emissions from upstream production, transportation, liquefaction and shipping) were calculated based on methodology jointly developed by Chevron, Pavilion Energy Trading & Supply Pte. Ltd. and QatarEnergy in 2021, with Scope 3 emissions calculated based on PACE Global report1 for regas and distribution and IPCC 2006 emission factor2 for combustion.

The emissions will be fully offset via the surrender of Verra3 certified offsets, namely the Katingan Peatland Restoration and Conservation Project in Indonesia, the Southern Cardamom REDD+ Project in Cambodia and the Energy Efficient Cooking Solution in Nepal.

Kumul offers to acquire 5% of PNG LNG

Santos announced Kumul Petroleum Holdings Ltd. has offered to buy 5% interest in the Exxon Mobil-operated PNG LNG project for asset value of $1.4 billion.

Kumul is Papua New Guinea’s national oil and gas company and an existing partner in the PNG LNG project. Other partners include TotalEnergies and Santos.

The offer is conditional on Kumul obtaining the waivers of certain pre-emptive rights by the other PNG LNG project participants.

The proposed transaction will have an effective date of Dec. 31 with Santos to retain all 2022 cash flows. Completion will be subject to customary conditions including necessary regulatory approvals and Kumul securing financing.

Petrofac wins Tinrhert EPC2 contract

Petrofac announced it has signed an engineering, procurement and construction contract with Sonatrach for the Tinrhert EPC2 development project in Algiers. The contract, valued at $300 million, goes to a Petrofac-led consortium with Genie Civil et Batiment (GCB).

The project will provide a new central processing facility (CPF) with inlet separation and decarbonisation units. The scope of work also includes tie ins to the existing Alrar separation and boosting facilities, along with commissioning, start-up and performance testing. When completed, the development will boost natural gas production and remove CO₂ from the field’s gas reserves.

Petrofac and Sonatrach’s Algerian Petroleum Institute (IAP) also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to help build local capability.

Subsea 7 charters GoM vessels

Subsea7 has entered into four long-term vessel charter agreements with Otto Candies LLC and Bordelon Marine LLC for offshore construction, inspection, maintenance and repair (IRM), ROV survey, and pipe/umbilical laying support operations in the Gulf of Mexico.

Grant Candies, Wyatt Candies and Ross Candies are IRM, survey, and light construction vessels under charter with Otto Candies LLC. The Connor Bordelon is a multipurpose supply vessel under charter with Bordelon Marine LLC.