October's top stories: BP ends Great Australian Bight drilling, Petrobras-Total MoU

BP cancelled its ultra-deepwater exploration drilling programme at Great Australian Bight in South Australia, while Petrobras and Total signed a strategic alliance deal for activities in Brazil and globally. Offshore-technology.com wraps up the key headlines from October 2016.


BP cancels drilling programme at Great Australian Bight

BP cancelled its ultra-deepwater exploration drilling programme in the Ceduna sub-basin of the Great Australian Bight (GAB), offshore South Australia.

The move comes after completion of a review of the company’s upstream strategy earlier this year, which included focusing exploration on opportunities that may create value in the near to medium term.

BP said that the GAB project will be unable to compete for capital investment with other upstream opportunities in its global portfolio in the long run.

Edvard Grieg oil platform offshore Norway fitted with noise enclosures

Compressors on the Edvard Grieg oil platform 160km from the Norwegian coast were fitted with noise enclosures.

These enclosures were designed and manufactured by Dutch company Merford Noise Control. The whole operation took a year to complete.

Aker Solutions in Norway commissioned Siemens in the Netherlands to develop the compressor skids for Edvard Grieg oil platform.

Aker Solutions unveils new semisubmersible platform for oil and gas producers

Norway-based Aker Solutions introduced a new semisubmersible platform for oil and gas producers to help them unlock more marginal fields in harsh environments.

The new Lean Semi weighs less and is quicker to deliver, having been designed to help bring on stream fields holding as much as 300 million barrels of oil equivalents at water depths ranging from 100m to 400m.

The platform’s topside weighs around 6,000t and has been designed for use of standardised equipment. This enables positioning of equipment skids and small modules on the deck.

Oceaneering acquires Blue Ocean Technologies for $30m

Oceaneering International completed the $30m asset purchase of Blue Ocean Technologies, a privately held provider of riserless light well intervention (RLWI) services.

Included in the purchase are three RLWI systems, with two presently under construction and expected to be fully operational by mid-2017.

Oceaneering expects to invest around $10m to complete construction of the two RLWI systems.

Subsea well intervention services are intended to maximise production and boost the recovery rate from offshore oil and gas reservoirs, as well as prepare wells to be plugged and abandoned.

Aker Solutions and MAN Diesel & Turbo to cut size of subsea compression technology

Aker Solutions and MAN Diesel & Turbo announced plans to reduce the size and weight of subsea compression systems by at least 50%, just after one year the system went operational at the Statoil’s Åsgard field.

In the first year, the Åsgard system operated without any malfunction or interruption. It helped to recover additional 306m barrels of oil equivalents safely with a smaller environmental footprint than traditional methods. It was also found to be more cost-effective than other platforms.

Aker Solutions delivered this system in October 2015 in close collaboration with MAN and operator Statoil.

Suncor Energy acquires 30% stake in UK North Sea Rosebank project from OMV

Canada-based Suncor Energy completed the acquisition of a 30% participating interest in Rosebank project in the North Sea from OMV UK in a $50m deal.

Suncor said all necessary regulatory approvals are in place to complete the acquisition and Rosebank will be complementary to the company’s existing UK portfolio.

The company is expected to pay an additional consideration of up to $165m to OMV UK in case the co-venturers approve the Rosebank project final investment decision and Suncor elects to participate.

Maersk Oil starts drilling of first well on Culzean field in North Sea

Maersk Oil started drilling of the first production well on Culzean field in the UK North Sea.

Drilled by Maersk Highlander through a wellhead platform (WHP) jacket, the well is the first of six production wells to be drilled on the high-pressure / high-temperature field.

The company is planning continuous drilling activity over the next five years and first gas from Culzean is expected to be produced in 2019.

Acquired by Maersk Drilling earlier this year, the Highlander rig is a newbuild and has a five-year contract valued at about $420m.

Oil prices decline as non-OPEC producers make no commitment to output deal

Oil prices went down after non-Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) oil producers did not make any commitment to join the cartel to freeze output levels.

London Brent crude for December delivery LCOc1 declined 29 cents at $49.42 a barrel, while the NYMEX crude also slipped 29 cents at $48.41 a barrel, Reuters reported.

Officials from OPEC countries and non-OPEC producers including Azerbaijan, Brazil, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Oman and Russia met on 29 October at OPEC headquarters in Vienna.

Petrobras and Total partner for worldwide upstream and downstream projects

Petrobras and Total signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for a strategic alliance covering upstream and downstream activities in Brazil and worldwide.

The strategic alliance covers upstream and downstream activities in Brazil, as well as international potential opportunities.

The MoU was signed by Petrobras CEO Pedro Parente and Total chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanné in Rio de Janeiro.

According to the agreement, both companies will collaborate in some key areas of mutual interest and evaluate opportunities in Brazil, as well as abroad to jointly benefit from their respective experience in all segments of the oil and gas value chain.

Faroe Petroleum announces discovery at Njord North Flank in Norwegian Sea

Faroe Petroleum reported an oil and gas discovery at the Njord North Flank in the Norwegian Sea.

The well and side-track (NF-2 and NF-3) are located approximately 6km to the north of the Njord production facility.

The NF-2 exploration well 6407/7-9 S was drilled to a total depth of 4,105m below sea level.

This well encountered 102m of gross oil-bearing reservoir in Middle and Lower Jurassic sandstones of the Ile and 157m of a gross gas condensate-bearing column in Lower Jurassic sandstones in the Tilje formation.