July’s top stories: Shell’s $1.23bn deal, Statoil’s Gina Krog field began production

Shell signed an agreement to sell stake in Shell E&P Ireland for $1.23bn, Statoil’s Gina Krog field in the North Sea began production, GE Marine and Maersk Drilling extended digital partnership. Offshore-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from July.

Shell signed agreement to sell stake in Shell E&P Ireland for up to $1.23bn

Royal Dutch Shell signed an agreement via its affiliate Shell Overseas Holdings with Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) subsidiary CPP Investment Board Europe SARL to sell its shares in Shell E&P Ireland for a potential sum of $1.23bn (€1.08bn).

Shell E&P Ireland currently holds 45% stake in the Corrib gas venture, located off the north-west coast of Ireland.

The deal comprises an initial consideration of $947m (€830m) and additional payments of up to $285m (€250m) between 2018 and 2025, subject to gas prices and production.

Statoil-operated Gina Krog field in North Sea began production

Statoil-operated field Gina Krog in the North Sea recently started production.

The recoverable reserves in the field total at 16.8 million of oil, 11.8 billion standard cubic metres of gas, and 3.2 million tonnes of NGL.

The field has a production facility on the seabed and an oil storage ship at a water depth of 110m-120m.

Researchers investigated solution to eliminate harmful bacteria from oil reservoirs

Small changes with regard to oilfield practice could enable the offshore industry to gain a more sustainable solution to environmental and commercial threats posed by harmful bacteria in subsea oil deposits, according to new research.

Research led by Newcastle University and funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is exploring ways to address the problems associated with a kind of bacteria that reduces sulphate in offshore oil deposits.

Thriving in oxygen-free, watery environments, the sulphate-reducing bacteria can lie dormant for long periods but when they get activated, they breathe sulphates and exhale toxic, corrosive hydrogen sulphide (H2S).

Sparrows and SPIE won crane contract for Total's Congo project

Sparrows Group and SPIE Oil & Gas Services secured a joint crane maintenance contract from Total E&P Congo for the Moho Nord development off the coast of Central Africa.

The contract represents the first joint delivery project for the two companies, covering maintenance, inspection and testing services on five pedestal cranes on the project’s Likouf floating production unit (FPU) and tension leg platform (TLP) for three years.

SPIE will be responsible for managing the project in Congo, while Sparrows Group will provide expert specialist technical personnel. The contract is scheduled to begin this quarter.

Griffon Hoverwork agreed to conduct oil spill study in Caspian Sea

UK firm Griffon Hoverwork signed an agreement with Kazakh state oil company KazMunayGas subsidiary KMGSS to clear oil spills and support offshore rigs in the Caspian Sea using hovercraft.

Signing of the agreement took place as International Trade Minister Greg Hands visited the UK Pavilion at the Astana Expo.

Supported by the UK Department for International Trade (DIT), the agreement will introduce Griffon Hoverwork to new markets.

Sofec secured contract to supply turret mooring system for Mozambique’s offshore gas project

Modec Group company Sofec secured a contract from the TechnipFMC and JGC joint venture (JV) to supply the Turret Mooring System for Coral South Project in offshore Mozambique.

Under the contract, Sofec will carry out the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) of an internal turret mooring system for the Coral South floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) site.

The FLNG facility will be capable of producing 3.4 million tonnes per annum of liquefied natural gas after completion and will be moored at water depths of 2,000m in Area 4.

GE and Maersk Drilling extended partnership to cut well costs

GE Marine and Maersk Drilling agreed to extend their digital partnership following a successful pilot project to reduce well expenditure.

The collaboration is expected to result in efficiencies for the offshore market and improve drilling productivity.

Under the extended partnership, the companies will expand the 2016 pilot project to nine subsequent vessels that will target 110 key equipment assets where the pilot project involved one vessel and one asset.

Billion barrel oil discovery in Gulf of Mexico could encourage more investments for Mexico

An international consortium led by Mexico found a significant oil discovery in the Gulf of Mexico, which is expected to draw investments from major oil firms.

This discovery is conservatively estimated to contain at least one billion barrels of oil reserves, however it may contain up to two billion and it is likely to extend into the surrounding block.

This is the first discovery since the country began allowing international firms to explore two years ago, following the energy reforms brought in by President Enrique Peña Nieto in 2013 to offset the country’s declining production.

OGA awarded 12 offshore licences to ten companies

The UK Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) awarded 12 licences to a total of ten companies in the 2016 supplementary offshore licensing round.

This supplementary round was launched in December last year and closed applications in March. In this, OGA originally awarded 14 blocks in response to industry nominations of areas outside of those covered by frontier 29th licensing round last year.

Locations varied across the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS), from the southern North Sea to east of Shetland. 

Exxon Mobil signed PSC for Block 59 in offshore Suriname

ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Suriname signed a production sharing contract (PSC) with Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname to acquire Block 59, off the South American country's coast. 

Following the signing of the PSC, Exxon Mobil’s co-venturers Hess and Statoil are preparing to begin exploration activities, including the acquisition and analysis of seismic data.

The deepwater block located 305km offshore Suriname is set to add significant acreage to ExxonMobil’s operated portfolio in the Guyana-Suriname Basin.