March's Top Stories: MUA signs deal with Inpex, North Sea asset tax review

The Maritime Union of Australia signed deal with Japan-based Inpex for Ichthys LNG project, and the UK Budget proposed a review of taxation of North Sea assets. Offshore-technology.com wraps-up the key headlines from March 2017.


Maritime Union of Australia signs works deal with Japan-based Inpex

Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) signed new works contracts with Japanese energy company Inpex for the $34bn Ichthys LNG project off the north-west coast of Australia.

This move will support 2,000 Australian jobs. Called 'Enhanced Dispute Settlement Process, Development & Production Arrangement (EDSPDPA)', the agreement will be valid until 2030.

The arrangement sets out the terms for training and development of maritime personnel, implementation of a diversity programme and promotion of Australian crews on certain project support vessels.

UK Budget proposes review of taxation of North Sea assets

The UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond announced plans to review the taxation of North Sea assets.

In his first budget to the House of Commons, Hammond announced he would set-up an expert panel to examine how tax can assist sales of oil and gas fields and extend productive life.

A discussion paper on how to help the industry will also be published, reported BBC.

Subsea 7 wins Mad Dog contract in Gulf of Mexico

Subsea 7 secured a contract from BP as a part of the deepwater Mad Dog 2 development nearly 190 miles from New Orleans in the Gulf of Mexico. 

The contract is understood to be worth between $300m and $500m.

Under the contract, Subsea 7 will be responsible for the engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) of the subsea umbilicals along with associated subsea infrastructure including risers and flowlines (SURF).

Wood Group agrees to buy Amec Foster for $2.7bn

Oilfield services company Wood Group signed a $2.7bn contract to acquire Amec Foster Wheeler.

When complete, the agreement will combine two of the UK's leading energy services companies.

Following the deal, the acquisition will create a company with a combined value of around £5bn, reported BBC.

Aker Solutions to purchase oil services provider Reinertsen

Aker Solutions agreed to acquire oil-services provider Reinertsen to strengthen its position as a maintenance and modifications supplier offshore Norway for Nkr212.5m ($24.92m).

The purchase agreement is expected to close in the second quarter of this year that will give Aker Solutions ownership over Reinertsen's Norwegian oil and gas services business.

The agreement excludes Reinertsen's liabilities as of 19 December 2016, when the company went into debt negotiation proceedings.

GE and Noble Corporation team-up to provide Digital Rig solution

GE and Noble Corporation announced a partnership to collaborate on the Digital Rig solution intended to improve data-driven operations by using analytics to reduce running costs by 20%.  

Under the agreement, GE will equip four Noble’s drilling rigs with its latest marine asset performance management (APM) system initially.  

Noble Corporation chairman, president and chief executive officer David W Williams said: “With shifting market dynamics, the offshore industry is on the cusp of change. Drilling contractors must seize the moment to enhance their competitive-edge.

Statoil contracts Kværner for upgrade of Njord A platform in Norwegian Sea

Statoil awarded an engineering, procurement, construction (EPC) contract, worth Nkr5bn ($0.59bn), to Kværnerfor the upgrade of the Njord A platform, which is located in the Norwegian Sea.

The EPC contract is call-off under a framework agreement executed on 1 April 2016.

Previous call-offs under the contract were related to the pre-engineering and preparatory work, including platform assistance at the quay, towing into the dry dock and inspection.

Eni gains majority stakes in two new blocks in offshore Ivory Coast

Eni secured majority stakes in two new exploration blocks located approximately 50km from the coastline of the Ivory Coast.

The two offshore blocks, named CI-101 and CI-205, are situated in the Tano basin and includes an area of approximately 2,850km².

Following the transaction, Eni holds 90% interest in both the blocks along with the operatorship. The remaining 10% stake is owned by Petroci, the state-owned company in Ivory Coast.

Borr Drilling to buy Transocean's 15 jack-up rigs for $1.35bn

Borr Drilling signed a letter of intent with Transocean to acquire 15 high-specification jack-up rigs for approximately $1.35bn.

This acquisition includes Transocean’s full jack-up fleet comprising ten rigs, with the remaining five under construction at Keppel Fels Limited.

The total consideration of $1.35bn includes remaining contract backlog and pending yard instalments to Keppel Fels for the five new-builds.

OGA awards 25 offshore licences to 17 companies in UKCS

The Oil and Gas Authority (OGA) awarded 25 licences for 111 blocks or part blocks to 17 companies in the 29th Offshore Licensing Round, enabling further exploration and production across frontier areas of the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS).

The 29th Licensing Round was the first round in two decades to focus on under-explored areas of the Rockall Basin, Mid-North Sea High, and part of the East Shetland Platform.

The round saw applications from 24 companies for 113 blocks when it closed in October 2016.