Chevron halts production at $54bn Gorgon project in Australia over mechanical problems

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Chevron halted production at its $54bn Gorgon liquefied natural gas (LNG) project offshore Australia due to mechanical issues.

Production was expected to restart within 30 to 60 days, the company said.

The news follows Chevron’s announcement in March that the first shipment of LNG from the Gorgon project departed Barrow Island. The first cargo is expected to be delivered to Chubu Electric Power in Japan.

US judge finalises BP’s $20bn settlement over 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill

A federal US judge in Louisiana finalised BP‘s $20bn civil settlement over the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil disaster.

Judge Carl Barbier completed the deal between BP, the Justice Department, and five states of the Gulf Coast, allow the company to deduct a majority of the costs as an ordinary business expense.

BP originally reached an agreement with the US Department of Justice and the Gulf Coast states in July 2015 to pay up to $18.7bn in penalties.

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Shell to close BG Group offices in UK by year-end

Shell announced plans to close offices of its acquired BG Group in the UK by the end of this year as part of its voluntary redundancy programme.

In February 2016, Shell completed its deal to acquire BG Group in a transaction valued at $70bn and owns its entire share capital now.

The acquisition was initially announced in April 2015.

Topsides fabrication for Maersk Oil’s $4.5bn Culzean project in North Sea begins


Maersk Oil announced the start of topsides fabrication for the $4.5bn Culzean project in the UK North Sea.

Located about 145 miles east of Aberdeen, the Culzean field is expected to produce between 60,000boepd-90,000boepd at plateau production for a period of at least 13 years.

The company’s coventurers in the Culzean project are JX Nippon Exploration & Production (UK) (34.01%) and BP (Britoil) (16%).

Production begins at Exxon Mobil’s $4bn Julia oil field in US Gulf of Mexico

Exxon Mobil started oil production at the $4bn Julia oil field in the deepwater US Gulf of Mexico, with the first well already online.

The second well is expected to start production soon. The initial development phase of Julia is located 265 miles south-west of New Orleans in water depths of more than 7,000ft.

This phase has a design capacity of 34,000bpd of oil and uses subsea tie-backs to the Jack/St Malo production facility operated by Chevron.

Eelume, Kongsberg and Statoil develop swimming robots for subsea inspection


Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) company Eelume partnered with Kongsberg Maritime and Statoil to develop swimming robots that perform subsea inspection.

The robot technology is expected to cut costs for subsea inspection, maintenance and repair operations.

Eelume’s new swimming robot performs inspection and light intervention jobs on the seabed and reduce the use of large and expensive vessels.

BSEE and University of Alaska in US complete offshore research study

Sea ice

The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) completed a study that examined the ability of existing offshore structural designs to survive sea ice demands under extreme Arctic conditions, in collaboration with the University of Alaska.

Entitled ‘Reliability-Based Sea Ice Parameters for Design of Offshore Structures’, the study was aimed at producing additional sea ice information to supplement ISO 19906 standard, which covers Arctic offshore oil and gas structures, and other current standards and recommendations.

BSEE said that the study identified critical keel depth and provided an assessment of suitability of the ISO 19906 recommendations. Its objective was also to provide additional sea ice information for the Chukchi and Beaufort seas.

Aker Solutions and ABB to team-up on subsea oil and gas solutions

Norway-based Aker Solutions and Swiss company ABB are set to collaborate to help improve industrial efficiency in subsea oil and gas production worldwide.

The companies will combine their strengths in subsea, power, and automation technologies to help the energy industry cut costs.

As part of the cooperation, Aker Solutions’ subsea capabilities will be integrated with ABB’s subsea power and automation system experience to bring customers flexible oil and gas production solutions.

Eco Atlantic receives approvals for three licences offshore Namibia

Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas received approvals from the Namibia Ministry of Mines and Energy relating to the Cooper (PEL 030), Guy (PEL 034) and Sharon (PEL 033) licences in offshore Namibia.

The ministry extended the Cooper block licence into the first renewal phase until 14 March 2018, and second renewal phase until March 2020.

It also waived relinquishment requirements in further recognition of the advances the exploration progress made on the block, including more than 1,000km² of 3D survey.

University of Western Australia launches offshore oil and gas training hubs

The University of Western Australia (UWA) launched two new $20m hubs for international research and training in offshore oil and gas.

The new ARC Training Centre for LNG Futures and the ARC Research Hub for Offshore Floating Facilities are part of the Australian Research Council’s (ARC) industrial transformation research programme.

Over the next few years, the university will work with industry partners from Korea, China, and the US to make the plant in Western Australia, which would be used for training and research.