Offshore SeisNews ©
••• 29.12.07 Oil companies line up for drilling outside Greenland.
Several oil companies, among them the US. ExxonMobil and Chevron, are ready to start oil and gas exploration off the coast of Greenland. Geologists say that the far northern icy waters of Greenland might conceal major amounts of hydrocarbons.
ExxonMobil, the world’s largest oil company, and Chevron of the US, Husky and Encana of Canada, Dong of Denmark and the UK’s Cairn Energy are among those that have either already won or applied for exploration licences from Greenland’s Bureau of Minerals and Petroleum for acreage, The Times reports.
"We’re 10-15 years from realising the area’s potential but it looks like an excellent offshore opportunity", - Graham White, a spokesman for Husky Energy, said to the newspaper. The company this summer started prospecting for oil on two large blocks more than 100 km offshore of Disko Bay, off the northwest coast near Greenland’s tiny capital of Nuuk.
••• 27.12.07 Pemex Contracts EMGS to Determine Hydrocarbon Content.
Mexican oil company Pemex has awarded EMGS a U.S. $10 million contract to determine the hydrocarbon content of deepwater drilling locations in the Gulf of Mexico. With pre-acquisition services expected to be completed in 2007, the electromagnetic imaging (EI) survey is expected to start in the first quarter of 2008.
"EMGS considers this as an important acceptance of our seabed logging technology," said EMGS CEO Terje Eidesmo. "PEMEX recognizes that our patent position in Mexico gives us a unique advantage in that market."
EMGS is a leader in seabed logging using deepwater electromagnetic imaging.
••• 21.12.07 Seismic Data Reveals "Most Profitable Project" in North Sea.
Fox Petroleum announced an update on the seismic data analysis of the Anglesey Prospect located in the Central North Sea License P.1211 Blocks 14/9a and 14/14b, off the east coast of the United Kingdom. The data which is being analyzed comes from the Fox Petroleum commissioned offshore seismic survey, and has provided a clearer portrait of the opportunity that is presented in the Anglesey Prospect.
The data was collected by Fugro, one of the world leaders in seismic surveys and data acquisition. Using advanced technology, it will provide more detailed information so that the company can move forward with a drilling program for the coming drilling season in 2008. Having spent more then $2 million on seismic data in the North Sea, Fox Petroleum has an opportunity to move ahead with more confidence that hydrocarbons may be present in a commercial volume.
The Claymore field, which is operated by Talisman Energy, has estimated reserves of more then 630 million barrels of oil and is located approximately 12 miles south of the Anglesey Prospect. The seismic interpretation suggests that the Claymore hydrocarbons are in a migration route and will be a source of a deposit located within the Anglesey prospect. The seismic data that has been collected has been extensively processed by Fugro, one of the world's leading geophysical consulting companies in the oil and gas sector. The results produced by Fugro have defined the prospect's structures, in which TRACS International Ltd stated the potential reserves could reach 213 MMBL or more, earlier this year.
The results of the analysis provide a better understanding of the geological structures contained in the prospect. The seismic data gives a more concise outline of the fault blocks and will help define a target area for drilling. Based on the seismic data, the southern and central sections of the block will be considered the most likely areas for an initial well. These sections of the prospect are considered to be of the lowest risk for primary exploration of the project.
Now the data interpretation is underway, Fox will be moving forwards aggressively for the 2008 drilling season, and have already begun negotiating drilling slots for the up coming year. The Anglesey Prospect will be of high priority for Fox Petroleum in the coming months, and will be running in parallel to other significant projects including the Catcher's Mitt Prospect in Alaska’s Cook Inlet and the Bourbon Prospect also located in the North Sea.
Commenting on the developments, Richard Moore Fox Petroleum CEO states "The seismic data was a solid investment for Fox, and will allow us to move forward with great confidence. This information has highlighted our initial beliefs; the Anglesey Prospect could have an immense amount of hydrocarbons, and has the potential to be one of the most profitable projects in the North Sea at the current time."
Source: Fox Petroleum
••• 21.12.07 Scan Awarded Additional 2D Work Offshore Pakistan by BP/GEMS.
SCAN Geophysical ASA acquired an additional 1250 kilometers of 2D work offshore Pakistan from BP/GEMS, increasing the total work program for the contract to about 11,250 kilometers.
"We recently re-commenced acquiring the original 9,500 kilometers 2D program and, with this additional work, our vessel, the M/V Geo Searcher, will be engaged for the next four months or so," said Kjell Karlsson, vice president of sales and marketing for SCAN.
Source: SCAN Geophysical
••• 20.12.07 PGS - Update on vessel utilization and METI transaction.
PGS announced that, compared to the guidance given in the Company's interim financial report for Q3, the expected Q4 productive time and related revenues and margins in the marine contract segment have been reduced. This is primarily due to longer than scheduled yardstays and steaming for two Ramform vessels and a delay in obtaining operational permits for one Ramform vessel.
The Company's expectations for a strong full year 2008 has been further strengthened through several significant contract awards, at terms well above 2007 level bringing the Company's order backlog up to a total of approximately $950 million for the marine and onshore segment combined, the highest ever.' The Company also announced that it has been invited to deliver additional services relating to Ramform Victory after the sale to the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry ("METI"), including the maritime operation of the vessel, and that delivery of the vessel is now expected shortly after year-end.
After relocating Ramform Explorer from the North Sea to India during November to start a multi season acquisition contract, the Company has experienced permitting delays caused by the high activity level in the area, leading to approximately 20 days of unpaid standby in December.
Ramform Challenger and Ramform Valiant, as previously disclosed, have been completing yard stays and 10-year classing in Q4. In total the number of yard days, and related steaming, has increased compared to PGS' earlier estimates.
Steaming, which is seasonally higher in Q4, is mostly considered in contract pricing, but revenue recognition is made over the active acquisition period causing the financial benefit to be realized subsequent to the steaming period. The relocations done in Q4 are expected to benefit utilization and the number of planned active production days in the first part of 2008.
In relation to the agreement with METI to sell Ramform Victory and provide ongoing technology and operational services, PGS has been asked to provide certain additional services, including the maritime operation of the vessel. If the parties agree on this increased scope, this will provide substantial benefits for both parties, allowing for increased crew continuity as well as the ability to leverage PGS' broader resource base to secure efficient and uninterrupted operations. The delivery of the vessel is likely to occur in January 2008, consequently PGS expects the gain relating to sale of the vessel to be recognized in Q1 2008 and not in Q4 2007 as earlier disclosed. The payment of the 50% advance on the sales price is still expected to be received before year-end. Since PGS plans for its Norwegian vessel owning company to enter the new tonnage tax rules in Norway, PGS expects the gain on sale to be tax free.
••• 19.12.07 The construction of an LNG plant at the Shtokman gas field in the Barents Sea will be launched in the second quarter of 2008, the operator head said on Friday.
The ambitious project to develop the Arctic gas field, with estimated gas reserves of 3.7 trillion cubic meters, is intended to supply the Nord Stream pipeline from Russia to Germany, being built under the Baltic Sea. The Shtokman project has been estimated at $30 billion.
"We have selected a construction site in the village of Teriberk," said Yury Komarov, general director at Sevmorneftegaz, a joint venture established by Russian gas monopoly Gazprom and state-owned oil company Rosneft to develop the Shtokman gas project.
The official said the companies involved in the Shtokman development were currently drafting documents for the construction of a plant.
"We should produce the first natural gas at Shtokman by July 2013, and everything should be prepared for the launch of LNG supplies by January 2014," Komarov said adding that work was currently progressing on schedule.
Yury Yevdokimov, governor of the Murmansk Region by the Barents Sea, said the new plant would have "serious social infrastructure," including 28 four-story apartment blocks, two kindergartens, three schools, a swimming pool and a clinic to be built alongside and "even at a faster pace."
Gazprom has a 51% stake in the project, while France's Total and Norway's Statoil Hydro have 25% and 24%, respectively.
Statoil Hydro was selected as a partner on October 25. Last year Gazprom rejected five foreign bidders for the Shtokman project.
Source: RIA Novosti
••• 19.12.07 Rockhopper to Perform Second Seismic Survey in Falklands.
Rockhopper Exploration, the North Falkland Basin oil and gas exploration company, recently completed the Ernest site survey. Existing surveys have unveiled a substantial amount of recoverable oil.
Wavefield Inseis is to acquire additional 2D seismic analysis over the Weddell prospect and other targets, focusing in the southeast of license PL024. The Weddell prospect, which is located near the islands in less than 150 meters of water, has been mapped on existing 2D, revealing an unrisked 254 million barrels of recoverable oil. This survey will allow Rockhopper to refine the mapping and to begin to prepare the target for possible drilling.
"Ongoing work on the existing seismic data has identified a number of very interesting structures in the south east of license PL024," said Rockhopper Exploration Managing Director Sam Moody. "We are taking the opportunity while there is a vessel is in the area to acquire further 2D seismic data which will enable us to take a closer look at Weddell as well as other structures in the area."
••• 18.12.07 Norway considers visa freedom in border areas.
A working group on Norwegian ministerial level considers to open up for the introduction of a visa free regime in the Norwegian-Russian border areas. The new system is meant to facilitate cross-border contacts and movement of work force with the neighbouring Russian Pechenga region.
The working group, which is headed by Mr. Magnar Aukrust from the Ministry of Justice and the Police, will prepare a first study on the issue in the course of January 2008, newspaper Sor-Varanger Avis reports.
The working group was established after another official working group proposed a number of measures on how to facilitate cross-border travel with Russia.
Mr. Aukrust says to Sor-Varanger Avis that the proposed visa-free system might include a border citizen document, which secures free travel to the local population on both sides of the border.
At the same time, the Norwegian officials underlines that the ideas have not yet been presented in negotiations with Russian authorities.
The need for better travel conditions across the Norwegian-Russian border has become evident as new economic and industrial projects are planned in the area. Only last week, the Tschudi Shipping Company announced that it will resume mining in the Syd-Varanger mines close to the border to Russia.
-The need for work force is an important issue. The border citizen document will most probably be for special groups with special needs, Mr. Aukrust says to Sor-Varanger Avis.
The conclusions in the working group study will serve as the basis for further discussions with involved parties, among them the Sor-Varanger municipality.
The working group includes members from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Justice and Police and Labour and Social Inclusion, as well as the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration and the Police Directorate.
••• 18.12.07 Fugro acquires HGN Hydrogeologie GmbH.
Fugro has acquired HGN Hydrogeologie GmbH (HGN), a leading hydro geological and hydrological consultancy in Germany with headquarters in Nordhausen, near Leipzig.
Established in 1990, HGN operates from a number of offices throughout Germany and an office in Lithuania. HGN has an annual turnover in excess of EUR 7.5 million and employs a staff of 121.
HGN specializes in the fields of water management, flood control concepts, dike investigations and hydraulic modeling for federal and state authorities. With the acquisition of HGN, Fugro will become one of the leading suppliers of geotechnical and water management services in Germany and will also extend its global capabilities in the field of water management.
HGN will operate within Fugro’s onshore geotechnical division. Managing Director will be Volker Ermisch, one of HGN’s founders.
••• 16.12.07 Odim awarded contracts worth NOK 40 million.
Odim has been awarded contracts for the delivery of automated handling systems for the seismic industry, worth a total of approximately NOK 40 million.
About NOK 30 million of the contracts is related to deliveries for Wavefield Inseis. This is additional equipment for the Wavefield Inseis vessel, originally ordered from Amur Shipyard, Russia, and is to convert the currently equipped 6-8 streamer-vessel into a 12 streamer vessel.
"There is still a high activity in the seismic industry, and ODIM expects the market to remain strong at least through 2009," says Idar Hatloy, Vice President - Seismic at ODIM.
••• 14.12.07 Seven South Atlantic prospects positive.
South Atlantic explorer Falklands Oil and Gas has declared results from controlled source electromagnetic surveys over its prospects with "positive" anomalies indicating trapped hydrocarbons in seven targets with individual prospects having the potential to hold up to 3.5 Bn bbl.
Each of the seven prospects with have been identified also have seismically derived direct hydrocarbon indications, FOGL said. "The most encouraging CSEM anomalies have been identified over the following 7 prospects: Loligo, Garrodia, Nimrod, Caird, Toroa, Lutra and Undine." the company declared today.
Tim Bushell, FOGL chief executive stated: “We have now identified a number of prospects that are seismically well defined and also have positive CSEM evidence for the presence of trapped hydrocarbons. Furthermore, all of these prospects have substantial reserve potential. The results of the CSEM and 2D seismic infill surveys have reduced exploration risk and have considerably improved the chances of finding commercial quantities of oil and gas within our licences.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 12.12.07 An emergency spill response plan is being put into operation after as much as 25,000 barrels of oil leaked into the sea from the Statfjord A platform in the Norwegian North Sea.
The spillage happened during oil offloading from the Statfjord A and about 4,000 standard cubic metres of crude oil was spilled into the sea this morning, StatoilHydro said.
The spill occurred when the tanker Navion Britannica was loading oil from a loading buoy.
StatoilHydro said in a statement: “NOFO (the Norwegian Clean Seas Association for Operating Companies) has been notified about the spill and is preparing emergency actions.
"An aircraft from the Norwegian Coastal Administration and a helicopter have been deployed to determine the extent of the discharge."
The wind speed at Statfjord is currently around 45 knots in northern direction and the wave height is up to 7 metres.
The Statfjord field is located around 2,000 kilometres west of Bergen, close to the border of the UK continental shelf.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 11.12.07 Thalassa hooks up with WGP.
Thalassa Energy and WGP Projects have linked up to provide a new Life of Field Seismic (LoFS) service to the offshore international oil and gas industry Building upon its experience managing the installation and operation of LoFS reservoir monitoring air gun shooting systems for BP and for Bolt Technology, WGP will now manage the commercial development of the same concept for Thalassa.
WGP has designed a Portable Modular Shooting System (PMSS) which will be assembled and delivered to Thalassa during the third quarter of 2008.
The PMSS will be based on modular components that are based on ISO container sizes which can be easily mobilised around the world and installed on any typical oil field service vessel.
John Duncan, Managing Director of WGP stated, "PMSS offers clients both financial and operating benefits for their regular reservoir monitoring activities. The availability of exactly the same equipment and personnel for each shoot guarantees essential repeatability of operations. The fact that the equipment is installed on a vessel already on station and familiar with the oilfield reduces costs and has excellent HSE benefits when working in close proximity to oil field structures".
••• 11.12.07 Geowave Endeavour due for launch in April 2008.
Wavefield Inseis says its purpose-built seismic vessel Geowave Endeavour will be one of the most powerful and high-capacity vessels in the world when it is delivered next year.
"With 16-streamer capacity and eight gun strings, Geowave Endeavour is perfectly suited to meet the growing demand for high-density 4-D seismic data and the need for wide-azimuth and multi-azimuth data acquisition," said the company in a statement.
Currently being built in Norway this 106m long vessel has a breadth of 26.6m and is designed to accommodate the latest advances in seismic technology and to utilise techniques such as under-/over streamers and source configurations.
"Geowave Endeavour will be the company flag ship when it is launched in April 2008," said the company.
Source: Offshore Shipping Online
••• 11.12.07 Shtokman LNG site selected.
Gazprom appears to have made a decision on the site for the onshore gas receiving facilities for the Shtokman field development.
Construction of the Shtokman onshore plant is to take place at the village of Teriberka, on the eastern shore of the Kola Peninsula, beginning next March, reports have suggested.
The location has been preferred over several alternatives including the Russian town of Vidyaevo, located further west on the peninsula, and with production from Shtokman scheduled to start in 2013, the Teriberka LNG plant is due to become operational by 2014.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 10.12.07 Fugro signs contract for two new vessels.
Fugro has signed a contract with BMV (Bergen Yards) in Norway for building two new vessels.
The contract consists of building one seismic vessel and one ROV offshore construction support vessel with a combined value of around EUR 150 million.
The first ship is a seismic vessel and the vessel will be outfitted at BMV (Bergen Yards) in Bergen, Norway. The vessel will have a length of 108 m and a maximum breadth of 28 m and will be equipped with 16 tow points and the latest and most advanced seismic technology. The vessel will be delivered to Fugro in August 2010 and will operate world wide.
The second vessel is a DP II ROV/offshore construction support vessel. This vessel will also be outfitted at BMV (Bergen Yards) and will have a length of 111 m and a breadth of 24 m. This vessel will contain all necessary equipment needed to perform a wide range of subsea activities and will be delivered to Fugro in December 2010.
The contract also includes an option for a third vessel for delivery in 2011.
The vessels are of the same design as the recently launched Geo Celtic (seismic) and the two vessels presently under construction for Fugro at the Bergen Yards, Fugro Saltire (ROV support) and Geo Caribbean (seismic).
The new vessels will secure increased capacity for Fugro and ensure a solid contribution to the longer term fleet renewal program already in progress.
••• 08.12.07 TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company ASA announced a Cooperation Agreement with WesternGeco involving the previously announced mcWAZ multi-client wide-azimuth 3D survey in the Mississippi Canyon and Atwater Valley areas of the Gulf of Mexico.
TGS and WesternGeco will equally share revenues and costs associated with the project. The first phase of mcWAZ will cover approximately 650 OCS blocks (~15,000 square kilometers).
WesternGeco will perform the data acquisition and processing utilizing its advanced Q technology and TGS will be responsible for sales of the program. Acquisition is scheduled to commence in February 2008.
••• 07.12.07 Eastern Echo Holding Plc has signed the shipbuilding contracts with Dubai Drydocks and the design and equipment contracts with Ulstein Design AS for two seismic vessels each capable of towing up to 12 streamers.
The shipbuilding contracts conclude and replace the original letter of intent (LOI) announced on the 20 September 2007.
"We are pleased to announce the signing of these contracts today with Dubai Drydocks and Ulstein Design AS. The two new seismic vessels covered under this agreement will ensure the placement of the Eastern Echo fleet at the top end of the premium 3D seismic segment", - comments CEO Rolf Ronningen in Eastern Echo.
The two seismic vessels are both of the same innovative Ulstein SX 124 (X-Bow) design as the previously announced shipbuilding contracts in Spain for four new builds. All six vessels will set a new environmental standard for marine seismic vessels operations and will operate worldwide in the premium 3D/4D seismic market.
Source: Eastern Echo
••• 06.12.07 Offshore site surveys over three licence blocks off the Falkland Islands have been completed which will take operator Desire Petroleum closer to drill-ready status for its prospects.
Only environmental impact statements remain to be completed before Desire is ready to drill in the south Atlantic – subject to sourcing a suitable drilling rig, the company has indicated.
Outstanding seismic survey lines over Tranche C off the Falklands have been completed by Norway’s Wavefield Inseis within a six-day timescale, with no weather downtime, Desire Petroleum said today, along with further site surveys over four other prospects in Trances I and L.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 06.12.07 Sakhalin Energy provides results of the ninth production season.
Sakhalin Energy produced above 1.68 million tonnes (approximately 12.4 million barrels) of oil from the Molikpaq platform in 2007. This exceeded the 2006 production by 100,000 tonnes (some 800,000 barrels).
In the 2007 production season a total of 19 cargoes of Vityaz crude were delivered to Japan, Korea and USA.
The cumulative amount for the subsoil assets usage (royalties) secured the inflow of more than US$250 million into the budgets of the Russian Federation.
In addition to managing the normal oil production Sakhalin Energy undertook a significant amount of additional commissioning during the 2007 season. This centered around new equipment on the Molikpaq platform to allow the hook up of a new offshore pipeline system, which will allow year-round oil production next year.
During the production season up to 164 persons were on board the Molikpaq platform to conduct all these activities.
This year’s production achievement was accompanied by strong HSE performance with effectively zero continuous associated gas flaring and on 20th October the Vityaz Complex team clocked up 2.2 million man-hours without a lost time injury.
The decision to suspend the production season a little earlier than usual was taken on 25th November when damage to the Single Anchor Leg Mooring buoy (SALM) was detected after a temporary suspension due to bad weather.
The Okha floating storage facility has left the Vityaz Complex to perform other oil deliveries.
••• 05.12.07 Six vessel seismic deal.
Six seismic survey ships have been hired by StatoilHydro under letters of intent to provide the Norwegian oil group with offshore survey capacity under a deal worth up to NOK 1.8 Bn (US $333).
Three PGS vessels, the Ramform Challenger, Ramform Sovereign and Atlantic Explorer have been booked, alongside with Fugro’ s Geo Celtic, plus the Geowave Commander operated by Wavefield Inseis, and Western Geco’s Geco Triton.
During 2008 StatoilHydro plans to acquire up to 6,000 sq. km of 3D seismic data and carry out another 2,500 sq. km of 4D surveys.
Bjarte Ydstebo, Statoil’s vice president for drilling and well acquisition said the move will secure capacity for mapping large areas, and provide a better foundation for pinpointing drilling targets.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 05.12.07 Ulstein Design named Norway’s fastest growing company.
Norway’s leading business daily Dagens Naringsliv and international research giant Dun & Bradstreet have named Ulstein Design the fastest-growing company in Norway.
Dagens Naringsliv announced that Ulstein Design had won its annual 'Gazelle Award' at a gala event in Oslo’s SAS Plaza Hotel on Thursday, 29th November.
Ulstein Design’s managing director, Rolf Inge Roth, and three of his colleagues were on hand to accept the prize from Dagens Naringsliv’s editor-in-chief Amund Djuve.
Source: Offshore Shipping Online
••• 05.12.07 StatoilHydro Gets Green Light for Barents Sea Exploration.
StatoilHydro has received consent to drill exploration well 7222/6-1 with the semisub Polar Pioneer.
We have given consent on the basis of, inter alia, documentation submitted in connection with the application and documentation related to the Acknowledgement of Compliance (AoC) for Polar Pioneer, issued April 6, 2004, with the assumptions and obligations the Acknowledgement of Compliance represents for the shipowner and operator.
Well 7222/6-1 is located in production license 228 and the water depth at the site is 364 meters. Estimated drilling time is approximately 50 days.
Source: Petroleum Safety Authority Norway
••• 04.12.07 Tap Oil Announces Start of 3D Seismic Acquisition in Bass Basin, Australia.
Tap Oil Limited, the operator of T/47P, has confirmed that the acquisition of the Labatt 3D marine seismic survey commenced on the 1st December 2007. A total of approximately 517 sqkm of full fold data will be acquired by the PGS vessel the M/V Pacific Explorer in the survey that is estimated to take approximately 30 days to complete.
The primary aim of the Labatt 3D Seismic Survey is to mature the prospectivity of the western side of T/47P where the existing 2D seismic data has shown a number of potential structures in the vicinity of the Cormorant-1 well, which encountered oil in 1970.
Final seismic volumes from the survey will be available for interpretation in the second quarter of 2008 and a rig has already been secured for two wells to be drilled early in 2009. Tap is very pleased to be rapidly progressing the work programme of T/47P, which was only awarded in March 2007.
The T/47P joint venture participants are Tap (Shelfal) Pty Ltd (operator) 40%, SPC Production Company 35% and Jubilant Energy Ltd 25%.
Source: Tap Oil
••• 04.12.07 Oceanographic research vessel for Turkey.
Ulstein Es-Cad has entered into a contract with the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) for the design of a new oceanographic research vessel.
The new vessel will serve as a versatile platform for oceanographic research, including hydrography and biological-, geological- and geophysical research. According to the requirements of TUBITAK, Ulstein Es-Cad has developed the vessel with an overall length of 41.2 metres, a beam of 9.6 metres and a design speed of 16 knots.
Considering its compact size, the vessel will be equipped for sustained operations, with a cruising range of 2.700 nautical miles at 14 knots and accommodation for 14 scientific personnel in addition to a permanent crew of 12.
The vessel is arranged with four laboratories, meeting facilities and a working deck of 100 m2. The working deck is equipped with full crane coverage, twin winches and an aft A-frame, as well as being arranged for ROV operations. "The Turkish Government is giving emphasis to enhancing the capabilities for oceanographic and geological research, both from an environmental- and resource management perspective, as well as in consideration of large population centres being located in seismologically active areas. We believe the current contract would serve to position Ulstein as a relevant partner also for larger projects that are planned," says Engin Sezen, general manager of Ulstein Es-Cad.
To this end, Cem Aktare, technical manager of Ulstein Es-Cad, underlines the competitive business concept offered by the Ulstein Group; "Ulstein Design holds important experience from development of specialized offshore- and seismic vessels. With our joint capabilities, we are able to propose future concepts based on proven platforms, yet largely local content, thus enhancing the feasibility and competitiveness."
"On the other hand, Ulstein Es-Cad and Ulstein Design have already successfully realised joint projects, and the competitive advantages secured by such cooperation are certainly not limited to the Turkish market," says Aktare. TUBITAK is the leading agency for managing, funding and conducting research in Turkey, with more than 1,500 researchers engaged in basic research and applied research, independently and in public-private partnership. The agency reports to the Prime Minister and is a principal advisor to the Turkish Government on science and research issues.
Source: Marine Norway
••• 03.12.07 Petroleum Geo-Services - Mandatory Offer and Notification of Compulsory Acquisition of all remaining Shares in Arrow Seismic.
Reference is made to Petroleum Geo-Services ASA`s press-release dated 12 November 2007. As previously announced, PGS holds 21,359,070 shares in Arrrow Seismic ASA (`Arrow`) corresponding to approximately 91% of all the issued and outstanding shares in Arrow.
PGS announced today that on 2 December 2007, the Board in PGS decided to make a mandatory offer for and to exercise its right to conduct a compulsory acquisition of all remaining shares in Arrow pursuant to the Norwegian Public Limited Companies Act section 4-25. PGS expects to send a Mandatory Offer Document and Notification of Compulsory Acquisition to all Arrow shareholders tomorrow 4 December 2007 and thereby formally initiating the offer period. The decision to compulsory acquire will become effective as of the first day of the offer period in the mandatory offer. The Board in PGS will offer a redemption price of NOK 96 per share in Arrow, equal to the offer price in the mandatory offer. This notification will also be published on the Norwegian Register of Business Enterprises electronic information system and in a Norwegian newspaper which is generally read in Arrow Seismic`s place of business. The notification in the Norwegian Register of Business Enterprises electronic information system is expected to take place on 4 December 2007 and the last day to object or reject the offered redemption price is therefore assumed to be 4 February 2008.
As a consequence of the compulsory acquisition, all Arrow shares not already owned by PGS is expected to be blocked for trading in the VPS with effect after trading hours on 4 December 2007, and thereafter is expected transferred to PGS VPS account on or about 12 December 2006.
Subsequent to the compulsory acquisition, the general meeting of Arrow is expected to apply to Oslo Bors for a delisting of its shares. It is expected that such an application will be filed as soon as practically possible.
Source: Petroleum Geo-Services ASA
••• 03.12.07 Arrow Seismic ASA statement from the Board of Directors of Arrow on mandatory offer from PGS.
On 12th of November 2007 Petroleum Geo-Services ASA, a company domiciled in Norway and being a leading supplier of geophysical products and services, announced that it had acquired approximately 91 % of the issued share capital of Arrow.
In the notices to the Oslo Stock Exchange on the 12th and 15th of November, PGS announced that it would present a mandatory cash offer together with a compulsory acquisition for the remainder of shares of Arrow at NOK 96,- per share.
The Board of Directors of Arrow is obliged under section 4-16 of the Securities Trading Act to issue a statement to its shareholders in respect of the offer. When considering such statement, the Board of Directors has received and relied upon the above notices to OSE as well as the draft `Mandatory Offer document and Notification of Compulsory Acquisition` sent to the Oslo Stock Exchange for approval and a `fairness opinion` issued by Handelsbanken Capital Markets, which has been retained by Arrow as financial advisors. The Board notes that the price for shares represents a premium of 50 % compared to the closing price for the share 9th of November 2007 and a premium of approximately 61.5 % to the average trading price over the last month.
Arrow has one employee. She has been informed of the offer, and the Board of Arrow has not been made aware of any objections from her.
In view of the premises outlined above, the Board has concluded that the offered price of NOK 96,- is fair. The Chairman of Arrow, Sven Rong and the Board Members Arne Birkeland, Jan Krokeide and Anne Marit Steen, all of whom have held shares in the company, directly, through close associates or through companies controlled by them, have either sold or confirmed they will sell all their shares to PGS at the offered price NOK 96,- per share.
Source: The Board of Directors of Arrow Seismic ASA
••• 30.11.07 PGS has announced that its next generation streamer, a revolutionary dual sensor seismic streamer, is to be named GeoStreamer.
The company says GeoStreamer "marks a significant step in the development of marine seismic recording, being the first ever towed streamer to successfully house both pressure and velocity sensors, thereby delivering enhanced resolution and deeper penetration to provide a higher quality, deghosted seismic image."
Sverre Strandenes, PGS Group President, Data Processing and Technology, outlined the plans for deployment and further development of the GeoStreamer in a recent presentation.
"We are very pleased with the technology so far and manufacturing has already started to equip a further two 2-D vessels with the GeoStreamer in Q2 2008. Data from operations during the summer were shown to great interest at the SEG annual meeting and we have since acquired further data in the North Sea."
Rune Eng, PGS Group President, Marine, said: "After a successful campaign in the North Sea acquiring comparison datasets, the GeoStreamer is now in the process of being deployed in the Asia Pacific region to acquire multi-client and proprietary 2-D surveys. Our plans to deploy the GeoStreamer for 3-D operations are on track for the fourth quarter of 2008."
GeoStreamer technology allows the recording of both pressure and velocity fields during marine seismic acquisition and in the quieter and operationally more efficient environment of a deeper tow than conventional.
PGS patented processing of these wavefields then allows the separation of upgoing and downgoing signals and removal of the receiver ghost. The result is broadband seismic data capable of imaging deeper and more complex structures, and significantly reducing the uncertainty in exploration and development decisions.
••• 30.11.07 Rig Contract Finalized for Beibu Gulf Exploration.
The Block 22/12 Joint Venture has finalized a rig contract for Premium Drilling's Murmanskaya jackup. The rig will drill four exploration/appraisal wells starting in mid-December in the Beibu Gulf located offshore China. The first two wells will test the Wei 6-12 West and Wei 6-12 East structural-stratigraphic prospects, 2.5 kilometers and 1.7 kilometers, respectively, from the 2006 Wei 6-12-South oil discovery.
The Block is in an area of known oil fields. The nearest producing field is Wei 12-1 (production from Weizhou Formation), 1,800 meters from the block boundary. The Wei 12-1 field includes a well which yielded one of the highest oil flows encountered anywhere in China: 34,000 bopd. There are six undeveloped oil accumulations in the Block: Wei 12-8 East, Wei 12-8 West, Wei 12-2, Wei 12-3, Wei 6-12 and Wei 6-12 South.
Participants in the joint venture are Roc Oil as operator with 40%; Horizon Oil with 30%; Petsec Petroleum with 25% and Oil Australia Pty ltd. with the remaining 5%. The Chinese Government has a back-in entitlement of up to 51% equity in field development.
••• 29.11.07 EMGS Revenues Grow 28% for Q3 2007.
EMGS, the pioneer in seabed logging technology, experienced further improvements in operations from the previous quarter. Revenues increased by 28% from previous quarter and were U.S. $48.4 million for the third quarter. The EBITDA increased to $8.8 million. The corresponding figures for the first three quarters were $112.1 million and $1.3 million.
EMGS increased the fleet by adding one more vessel in September. Due to a more favorable fleet allocation and improved operational performance, EMGS managed to increase the utilization to 71%, compared with 63% in the previous quarter.
Highlights from the third quarter of 2007 include record quarterly revenues, improved operational efficiency and margins, a seabed logging contract worth $10 million, increased capacity and secured growth opportunities. Additionally, EMGS experienced a significant expansion in data processing capacity in the existing computer cluster, acquired a new high-efficiency vessel in service since September, hired a number of new high-quality specialists, and developed interest in a new scanning product.
EMGS is the market leader in deep electromagnetic imaging. The company spawned the EM imaging industry in 2002 with the commercialization of seabed logging, a proven exploration method that uses EM energy to find offshore hydrocarbons without drilling wells. This proprietary and patented technology has been developed over the past 10 years, and its ability to indicate hydrocarbons directly is enabling EMGS` customers to dramatically improve their exploration performance in frontier and mature provinces. EMGS employs more than 250 people from three main offices in Trondheim, Norway; Houston, USA; and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The company operates the world`s largest seabed-logging vessel fleet, and has, since its incorporation in 2002, conducted more than 300 surveys for many of the world`s leading energy companies. Source: EMGS
••• 29.11.07 Rockhopper Commissions North Falkland Survey.
Rockhopper Exploration plc said that it has commissioned Wavefield Inseis to conduct a site survey over its Ernest prospect in license PL024 in the North Falkland Basin. The site survey is a necessary part of preparatory work ahead of drilling. Rockhopper is already conducting an Environmental Impact Assesment over licenses PL023 and PL024 in readiness for drilling.
The Ernest prospect is a relatively low-risk independent 4-way dip closed structure in 160m of water approximately 100km offshore the Falkland Islands. The robust 4-way closure has an areal extent of some 2880 acres, within a total area of over 6,000 acres.
Sam Moody, Managing Director commented:
"We are very pleased that Wavefield are able to perform this site survey over Ernest, which is currently the lowest risk prospect in our portfolio. The 3D seismic in our licenses PL032 and PL033 means that we should not require additional site surveys in that area to prepare for drilling."
Rockhopper Exploration plc is a North Falkland Basin oil and gas exploration company.
Source: Rockhopper Exploration plc
••• 28.11.07 Petroleum Geo-Services ASA announced at its annual Capital Markets Day in Oslo, that the Company expects a further strengthening of the market for seismic services in 2008.
PGS continues to experience improved pricing and expects marine contract revenues to increase by around 40 percent in 2008 compared to 2007. The Company will increase its spending on technology in 2008 in response to customers` demands. Despite higher technology spending and the continued impact from industry wide inflation, the Company expects its marine contract margins to further improve to around 55 percent in 2008.
For the marine segment, PGS guided that 2008 3D fleet mix is planned at approximately 25 percent multi-client and 75 percent contract seismic. Both multi-client late sales and multi-client investments are expected to be higher than in 2007.
Multi-client prefunding is expected around 100 percent of cost, lower than in 2007, and influenced by increased reprocessing, 2D investments and lower targeted prefunding for the Crystal 2 survey in the Gulf of Mexico.
For the onshore segment PGS guided that revenues and operating profit are expected to be approximately in line with 2007. In addition, planned multi client and capex are also expected to be in line.
The increased technology investments are mainly related to further commercialization of PGS Electromagnetics, fiber optic permanent field monitoring and the next generation streamer technology, now branded to GeoStreamer ®. Increased training and education of staff is high on the agenda to meet the increasing need for highly skilled employees.
PGS President and CEO, Svein Rennemo stated the following:
"We expect 2008 to be another strong year for PGS, reflecting continued buoyancy in global seismic markets and growing impact from our increased spending on technology. Our acquisitions this year within electromagnetics, data processing and high-end fleet capacity through Arrow Seismic, will further enhance our efficiency and technology lead going forward." Source: PGS
••• 28.11.07 Schlumberger Closes Offer for Eastern Echo.
Schlumberger BV announced that its offer dated November 16, 2007 ("the Offer") to acquire all shares and convertible bonds in Eastern Echo Holdings Plc ("Eastern"), as detailed in the Offer document dated November 16, 2007, expired at 16H30 Oslo time on November 23, 2007 and is no longer open for acceptance by Eastern shareholders and bondholders. (All expressions herein with capital letters shall have the meaning as defined in the Offer document unless otherwise stated.)
This Offer has been well received by investors and Schlumberger has secured a total of 233 million Eastern Shares by way of shares owned and shares tendered under the Offer. This represents 95% of the currently issued shares. Schlumberger has also secured USD 36 million in Eastern Bonds. Additionally, all Eastern warrant rights have been waived as per the Offer conditions. Provided that the Offer is completed, and that the Eastern Bonds are converted into Eastern Shares, Schlumberger will control 94% of all Eastern shares on a Fully Diluted Basis.
Since launching the Offer, Schlumberger and Eastern have agreed the scope and procedures for the due diligence review, which forms a condition on which the Offer is based. Schlumberger has already met the Eastern management team in Dubai to commence this process, which is expected to be completed in line with the Offer document.
••• 27.11.07 Wavefield Inseis ASA has been issued a Letter of Intent (LOI) by BG Group plc (BG) to award a 3D seismic contract for Block 6302/6, located in BG`s Tulipan West licence (PL 388) in the Norwegian Sea.
The survey will be the first time the two companies have worked together and it will utilize the Geowave Master, one of Wavefield`s two new large multi-streamer vessels launched earlier this year. The survey will take place during 2008 and is expected to take between 2 and 3 months to acquire.
"We are extremely pleased to be selected by BG and look forward to working with them on this project." commented Rick Donoghue, Wavefield Inseis` vice president sales and marketing.
This contract is one out of several awards that Wavefield Inseis has received during the last few weeks and brings the backlog as of 27th November up to its highest ever value and means that 60% of the existing capacity is already sold for 2008.
Source: Wavefield Inseis
••• 27.11.07 Indian data deal.
High level data processing expertise is to be deployed by GGS Spectrum to handle data derived offshore India as part of a five-month contract with Seabird Exploration and ONGC for sub-basalt imaging.
GGS has been awarded the deal to provide advanced seismic processing service over the five months by SeaBird along with India’s ONGC involving on-board processing of data obtained along India’s West Coast as part of a 2D long-offset survey programme.
Pre-processing of up to 13,500 km (8,400 miles) of 2D data will be carried on board the Munin Explorer seismic survey ship.
Back in July GGS-Spectrum clinched a deal to provide data-processing for India’s Directorate General of Hydrocarbons, in advance of India’s NELP VII licensing round.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 27.11.07 PGS Completes North Sea EM Campaign.
Petroleum Geo-Services ASA announced that its Multi-Transient EM division has completed a series of surveys in the UK and Norwegian sectors of the North Sea in a project designed to raise awareness of the capabilities of its technology in a marine environment.
The self funded project has identified five prospects in the North Sea upon which to prove the effectiveness of direct hydrocarbon detection as a potent offshore exploration tool. PGS mobilized a dual vessel operation comprising CS Sovereign and Esvagt Connector to acquire data across prospective areas for a number of major operators.
Leon Walker, president of the Multi-Transient EM business unit, said: "We know the technology will help pinpoint the next round of oil and gas discoveries in the North Sea, and the results we have delivered back up this viewpoint."
"We missed the budget round for the clients in 2007, so it made perfect sense to launch a campaign to showcase exactly what this method of detecting hydrocarbons is all about."
"As well as prospecting blocks for some of the biggest players in the UK and Norwegian sectors, this operation allowed us to collect a lot of important data which we can then utilise in the future. Most importantly, we will be able to show the clients the results so we can get into their budgets for 2008."
PGS Multi-Transient EM is actively pursuing opportunities onshore and in shallow seas worldwide, and has recently signed a contract with the North American Oil Sands Corporation (NAOSC). The work will begin in January 2008 on 130 line kilometres in the Thornbury area in NAOSC’s Alberta heavy oil land holding and is expected to take around two months to complete.
The contract will see PGS deploy its technology on a large-scale survey for the first time in an oil sands province. The technique produces high-quality data which can cut the need for extensive drilling by pinpointing the likely areas of hydrocarbon deposits. It is also less intrusive than traditional imaging methods currently used in oil sands exploration.
••• 26.11.07 New-Build Fugro Survey Vessel Starts Work in Gulf of Mexico.
Fugro GeoServices Inc.’s new-build survey vessel, R/V Fugro Enterprise (LOA 52 meters/170 feet), has entered service. The Fugro Enterprise is presently mobilizing for the first of three deepwater surveys in the Gulf of Mexico. The vessel was designed from the outset to meet the requirements of both the American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) and Safety Of Life At Sea (SOLAS) compliance for international vessels over 500 tons. Commissioning included full inspections for both.
The vessel carries a suite of high-resolution geophysical survey equipment including Echo Surveyor II, a Hugin 3000 Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, as the primary system. This AUV is equipped with multibeam echosounder, side scan sonar and sub-bottom profiler sensors capable of working for up to 60 hours continuously in water depths of 3,000 metres/10,000 feet. Survey data can be processed onboard and be available from the vessel in near real-time via broadband connection to Fugro’s and/or clients’ offices.
The unique combination on the Fugro Enterprise of HSE systems, workspace, accommodation, endurance and the latest survey equipment is consistent with Fugro’s established ability to provide the most efficient and cost effective AUV survey work available.
••• 26.11.07 USGS: Arctic Russia Sea Holds 9.3B BBL, 32TCF Unfound Oil, Gas.
The Laptev Sea shelf underneath Russia's Arctic waters holds an estimated 9.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent and 32.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in undiscovered resources, the U.S. Geological Survey said Friday.
The USGS is currently reassessing its estimation of the petroleum resource base in the Arctic circle based on new data, region by region.
Based on USGS's last assessment in 2000, the entire Arctic region was previously thought to contain almost 25% of the world's undiscovered oil and natural gas, but harsh conditions have thus far prevented mass development.
Of the 9.3 billion barrels of oil equivalent estimated, the USGS believes 3.07 billion barrels could be crude. The USGS has said that knowing the potential resources of the Arctic - an area of tremendous resource potential, environmental sensitivity, technological risk and geological uncertainty - is critical to developing energy policies for future energy supplies to the U.S. and the world.
In late August, the USGS revised downward its estimate of resources off the northeastern shore of Greenland.
Source: Rigzone/Dow Jones Newswires
••• 26.11.07 CGGVeritas to Dispose of its Minority Interest in Eastern Echo.
CGGVeritas has decided to tender its 30.9 million shares of Eastern Echo Holding PLC (ECHO NO) representing 12.67 percent of Eastern Echo's issued share capital, to the new cash offer of Schlumberger, set at a price of NOK 15 per share.
••• 25.11.07 Thistle platform evacuation.
A major rescue operation was carried out on Sunday after a serious fire broke out on UK North Sea Thistle Alpha platform.
Reports said at least 90 personnel had been evacuated from the platform. But there were no reports of casualties.
BBC News said "A very serious fire" had broken out on the remote Northern North Sea oil installation operated by Lundin Petroleum, which also operates the Heather and Broom fields.
Seven helicopters were scambled to the platform to airlift personnel to other nearby installations.
Michael Mulford of RAF Kinloss told BBC News the entire platform, with 159 personnel, was to be evacuated. Norwegian helicopters had been the first to arrive and remove personnel, he told the BBC, and he described the location as "Just about as remote as it gets - about five or six miles inside the UK search and rescue region."
Thistle originally started production in May 1978 and the incident comes just days after a highly critical report from the UK’s Health and Safety Executive said not enough was being done to ensure the integrity of North Sea Installations.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 23.11.07 UK Oil and Gas Academy launch.
The UK oil and gas industry has announced the creation of a new nationwide, employer-led Oil and Gas Academy.
The academy, which will officially be known as OPITO, The Oil and Gas Academy, will be funded by the industry to provide support for the investment that oil and gas employers throughout the UK are making in workforce development.
The aim is to ensure that the UKCS remains at the forefront of offshore expertise and technology, and allow the industry to secure the skilled workforce it will need to sustain the long-term future of the UK continental shelf (UKCS).
Malcolm Wicks, the UK’s Energy Minister, says: "It is essential that a workforce with the right skills and experience is maintained so that this vital industry can continue to make a significant contribution to energy production in the UK and to the export of oilfield goods and services around the world."
The First Minister of Scotland, the Rt Hon. Alex Salmond MSP, also welcomed the announcement saying: "This is a fantastic time to be working in the oil and gas sector. Not just because the price of oil is almost $100 a barrel, although that helps. It’s because Scotland is at the heart of a truly global sector with new markets emerging, such as China and India, and rapid technological change bringing us exciting opportunities such as carbon capture".
"Altogether the North Sea has produced the equivalent of just over 36 billion barrels of oil and it could still have at least 25 billion to come. With good management we expect the North Sea to continue to produce oil and gas for another 30 to 40 years."
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 23.11.07 Russia's Yamal Gas Development to Last Over 50 Years.
The development of the oil and gas fields in Russia's Yamal Peninsula and the neighboring Kara Sea will last over 50 years and cost several hundreds billion dollars, a Dutch natural gas trading company said in a presentation.
The assessment was presented by GasTerra NV Chief Executive Gertjan Lankhorst during a visit to Moscow by a Dutch delegation, which also included Royal Dutch Shell PLC.
The delegation made a pitch to help develop Yamal's gas resources, most of which controlled by OAO Gazprom, to officials including Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko.
"Phased development and production of the Yamal Peninsula and Kara Sea fields will happen over a time span of more than half a century," the presentation sent to Dow Jones Newswires by GasTerra Thursday, said.
"Preliminary estimates of total investments for developing the gas and oil fields and supporting infrastructure are of the order of several hundred billion U.S. dollars," it said.
"The estimated undeveloped gas resource potential is over 30 trillion cubic meters, equivalent to 45 years of future gas supplies at Russia's present rate of total annual production," the GasTerra presentation said. "Rotterdam could also become a principal destination for liquids to be exported" from the Yamal and Kara Sea fields it said.
GasTerra also said Dutch experiences such as the Nederlandse Aardolie Maatschappij, or NAM, operations at the giant Groningen onshore gas field could be used in the Yamal project. NAM is jointly-owned by Shell and ExxonMobil Corp.
Dutch dredging contractors such as Van Oord NV or Royal Boskalis Westminster Group could also bring valued skills to the fields, it said.
The Dutch proposals to help the Russian projects were made under the auspices of the Russia-Netherlands Joint Business Dialogue forum. Its energy committee is co-chaired by Lankhorst and Victor Vekselberg, an executive director at BP PLC joint-venture TNK-BP Holding.
Source: Dow Jones Newswires/Rigzone
••• 21.11.07 Arrow Seismic signed contract with WesternGeco for Polar Sea.
Arrow Seismic ASA has entered into a contract with a leading seismic acquisition company for the source vessel Polar Sea. The charter is for a 7 month period, expiring 30th June 2008.
Source: Arrow Seismic
••• 21.11.07 The SeaBird Group reported consolidated revenues of US$ 20.3 million in Q3 2007, an increase of 101 % compared to Q3 2006.
••• 21.11.07 Desire Petroleum has appointed Norway’s Wavefield InSeis to carry out a new site survey on two more prospects in the North Falklands basin in the South Atlantic prior to drilling.
As well as completing a previously-awarded contract for a seismic survey over Tranche C in the North Falkland basin, Desire has also appointed Wavefield to carry out the site surveys in two other tranches, I and L, covering the Dawn and Ruth prospects which were recently identified in the area.
This new work will leave Desire with six drill-ready prospects in tranches C and D and another four prospects in tranches I and L after the completion of environmental impact assessments there.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 21.11.07 Offshore Hydrocarbon Mapping (OHM) had a "vintage" year to the end of August 2007, increasing turnover by 70% to GBP 17.7 million and despite recording a loss of GBP 1 million.
Offshore Hydrocarbon Mapping's Chairman, Dr. Pierre Jungels, said: "The year to 31 August 2007 will be seen in the future as a vintage year for the company.
"Controlled Source ElectroMagnetic imaging became a mainstream exploration tool, the Group has emerged unscathed from patent disputes with a competitor, a strategic alliance was formed with CGGVeritas, and OHM made its first significant acquisition, of Rock Solid Images. All of these advances bode well for the future."
In June 2007, the company’s first dedicated vessel, OHM Express, came into service in Northern Europe.
Jungels added: "OHM Express, specifically modified for CSEM operations has already improved our operational uptime. A second dedicated vessel the OHM Leader has now been chartered and is expected to come into service in June of 2008.
"Our researchers are now developing our thinking in terms of the wider integration of CSEM with other geophysical data such as well log data, 3 and 4D seismic giving quantitative measurement of rock and fluid properties which will have immense benefits for reservoir characterisation and management. The acquisition of Rock Solid Images will contribute significantly to this effort."
••• 20.11.07 CGGVeritas Launches Garden Banks Survey.
CGGVeritas will launch the next of its planned series of wide-azimuth data library programs in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico with its second major Multi-Client survey in late November 2007.
The new Garden Banks survey will be the largest wide-azimuth data library survey in the world, extending over 600 OCS blocks in the Garden Banks, Keathley Canyon and East Break areas of the Gulf of Mexico. The survey will be acquired coincidently with the wide-azimuth survey currently in progress in the prolific Walker Ridge area that is due for completion in early 2008. Bringing the latest in acquisition technology to the program, the two new CGGVeritas vessels, the Vanquish and the Vision, will record the Garden Banks wide-azimuth data. Each vessel is equipped with ten solid Sentinel streamers and large sources. Two source vessels will join the program producing a native 4,000 m crossline offset.
Imaging of the data will be performed with proprietary imaging technology specifically designed for wide-azimuth geometry, including 3D SRME, Tomography, Beam Migration and Reverse Time Migration.
Fast-Track Migration for the new Garden Banks survey is scheduled to be available in December 2008. "The early results of the Walker Ridge wide-azimuth survey are already showing the benefits of utilizing the CGGVeritas state-of-the-art acquisition and processing technologies. These will again be brought into play to resolve the complex geologic environment of the Garden Banks area," commented Tim Wells, President, Western Hemisphere, CGGVeritas. "The high pre-funding levels for the Garden Banks survey are a good indication of the industry’s continued growing interest in wide-azimuth technology and confirm the oil and gas potential of this area."
••• 19.11.07 SCAN Geophysical ASA (SCAN) has been informed that delivery of the company`s three newbuildings will be delayed compared with the dates previously announced.
Based on updated production schedules from the ABG Shipyard, each vessel will be delayed by three months, implying new delivery dates to be 30 June 2008, 30 September 2008 and mid February 2009.
During the third quarter the shipyard has suffered from capacity problems and increased lead time from its suppliers, a situation faced by the ship building industry in general. The yard has previously informed that the subsequent delays were planned to be caught up, however, the yard has now informed that it will not be able to, causing its building programmes to be delayed.
The delays on SCAN`s vessels in particular are influenced by scarce engineering capacity as some technical drawings yet have to be delivered. Even if most of the ships equipment for SCAN`s vessels is secured and delivered, the yard now reports late delivery of some parts. SCAN is working proactively with helping the yard to reach time efficient solutions.
The three modern high class vessels are being purpose built for seismic data acquisition.
According to the general demand from the oil and gas industry to reach deeper and deeper targets, all vessels have a capacity to operate streamers of up to 10 km each - a total capacity of 80 km streamers. All vessels can tow up to 10 streamers for high density surveys.
Source: SCAN Geophysical
••• 16.11.07 PGS to Move Forward with Mandatory Share Acquisition of Arrow Seismic.
Petroleum Geo-Services acquires 91% of Arrow Seismic for NOK 2,050 million Oslo, Norway; Petroleum Geo-Services announced an extended notification regarding the acquisition of Arrow Seismic.
PGS announced November 12th that it had acquired 21,359,070 of the shares in Arrow Seismic at a price of NOK 96 per share, corresponding to approximately 91% of all the issued and outstanding shares and votes in Arrow. PGS also announced that it in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 4 of the Norwegian Securities Trading Act expects to proceed with a mandatory offer and a compulsory acquisition for the remaining shares in Arrow, at the same price (NOK 96) as the acquired shares. The price represents a premium of 50% compared to the closing price on November 9, 2007 of NOK 64 per share and a premium of 37 % compared to the price in the IPO in May 2007 of NOK 70 per share.
An offer document, setting out the terms of the Offer and the compulsory acquisition, is expected as soon as practically possible, and no later than 10 December 2007, as required. PGS reserves the right to acquire additional shares in Arrow in the market, both before and during the offer period for the mandatory Offer.
The mandatory Offer implies a total value of the share capital of Arrow of approximately NOK 2,256 million. Arrow owns and operates two 3D vessels and has three vessels under conversion to 2D/source vessels, including one vessel with possibilities for upgrade to 6-streamer operation. Further, Arrow has four purpose-built high capacity seismic new buildings on order for delivery in 2008 and 2009. Of these nine vessels, four are currently chartered to other seismic companies, while the intention is to include the remaining five vessels in PGS' operations, including the last two high capacity newbuildings with delivery in Q2 and Q4 2009 and the three 2D/source vessels.
The acquisition of Arrow is in line with PGS' strategy of growth in the high-end segment of the seismic acquisition market. PGS will gain access to two state of the art 10-12 streamer new build vessels at cost and delivery times, which is substantially more attractive compared to alternative new build projects. PGS will also gain access to capable source/2D vessels at a reasonable cost. With the increased activity on wide azimuth, these vessels can be effectively utilized by PGS.
After considering the value of existing charter contracts and the value of the 2D/source vessels, PGS estimates the implicit price of the last two state of the art 3D new build vessels, which will be delivered already in Q2 and Q4 2009, to approx. US$ 150 million.
Settlement for the Arrow shares acquired on 12 November 2007 will take place on 15 November 2007 in the form of cash. The transaction is fully debt financed through an unsecured MUS$ 450 facility with 6 months maturity.
PGS has filed a standard notification to the Norwegian Competition Authority in relation to the acquisition.
••• 16.11.07 SeaBird Exploration has established its first Asia Pacific office in Singapore.
Designed to give the company closer access to the Asia Pacific marketplace, this expansion will enable SeaBird Exploration to enhance customer support within the region while also providing an ideal platform to support the company's continued growth.
Phil Gunn, Asia Pacific Business Development Manager, will head the Singapore office. With a dozen years experience in the marine seismic industry working in various geophysical, operational support and management capacities, Gunn joins the company after eight years based in Singapore with Veritas DGC/CGGVeritas, serving until recently as Regional Manager, Marine Sales & Marketing.
••• 16.11.07 Schlumberger Launches New Offer for Eastern Echo.
Offer based on Directors and Founders pre-acceptances; increased consideration.
Schlumberger BV announced today a new offer to acquire all outstanding shares, convertible bonds and warrants in Eastern Echo Holding PLC. The offer price is set at NOK 15.00 per share, NOK 14.94 per warrant, and the price for the bonds will reflect this value computed on the basis of the underlying convertible bond agreement.
To ensure fair treatment, those investors who tendered shares in the first offer, which closed on November 12, 2007, or sold shares in Eastern Echo to Schlumberger after close of trading on the Oslo Stock Exchange on November 5, 2007 will be offered additional consideration per share sold equal to the difference between the new offer price and the price of NOK 12 at which Schlumberger acquired such shares. A corresponding price adjustment based on the terms of the underlying convertible bond agreement will be offered to bond holders who sold their convertibles to Schlumberger after the close of trading on the Oslo Exchange on November 5, 2007, and until the close of the first offer on November 12, 2007.
Based on NOK 15.00 per share, the new offer represents a premium of 97% over the IPO price at the end of October 2007, and a premium of 92% based on the average weighted share price over the 20 trading days preceding the first offer. The new offer values the equity of Eastern Echo on a fully diluted basis at NOK 4,590 million based on NOK 15.00 per share.
Schlumberger is pleased to announce that as of today, it had received irrevocable pre-acceptances from the founders and directors of Eastern Echo, who hold an aggregate 34,595,000 shares—representing 14.2% of the issued shares—and 20,000,000 warrants. Through previous purchases in the market, and through the first offer, Schlumberger already controls a further 90,100,382 shares, representing 36.9% of the issued shares. In addition Schlumberger owns bonds which are convertible into approximately 34,284,500 shares in the event of a change of control in Eastern Echo. In total this corresponds to approximately 55.6% of all outstanding shares in Eastern Echo on a fully diluted basis.
The new offer period will last from and including November 19, 2007 to and including 16:30 (Oslo time) on November 23, 2007. Completion is subject to the terms and conditions of the first offer, except for price and acceptance level, further details of which are set out in the new offer document which is expected to be available on or about November 19, 2007.
••• 15.11.07 CGGVeritas said today that its net income had doubled to US $94 million in the third quarter this year compared to the same period in 2006.
Revenues from the services sector were up 27% to $596 million while the company’s backlog at November 1, 2007 was $1.65 billion.
CGGVeritas Chairman & CEO, Robert Brunck said: "I am pleased to report that into a very active seismic market CGGVeritas delivered its third consecutive solid quarter. The integration of the new Group continues to progress well and our unique suite of capabilities and technology in wide-azimuth both in Land and in Marine is providing a step change in imaging for our clients. I am also very pleased to see the continued growth and the strong technological and industrial performance of Sercel".
"Looking forward, we will further build on the successful creation of CGGVeritas as a result of our strategy of technology leadership in both equipment and services combined with strong regional presence across all markets.
This will enable us to best meet our client's needs in finding and producing reserves in an ever more demanding environment."
••• 15.11.07 Reservoir Exploration Technology ASA (RXT) and Electromagnetic Geoservices ASA (EMGS) have agreed to each acquire 50 percent of the EM technology company KMS Technologies.
KMS Technologies, a Houston based company, focuses on developing and improving advanced electromagnetic methods (EM) for the oil industry to improve hydrocarbon discovery and recovery rates.
EMGS said in a statement: "Their unique technology offers the potential for a wider range of applications than current EM solutions, including a new and improved way of acquiring data in shallow water without having to deal with the air wave in the way one has to do for all other methods on the market today".
"It will thus allow measurements in places and areas that until now have been a challenge and in some cases impossible. After the acquisition, KMS Technologies will be operated as a joint venture between RXT and EMGS".
Earlier this year RXT signed an agreement with KMS Technologies for exclusive rights to their cable based seafloor technology, an electromagnetic (EM) technology for cable based seafloor applications offshore.
"Given the success we have had in the short time we have been working with KMS Technologies and our belief in the importance of EM technology in the future, we felt we needed to strengthen our relationship with KMS Technologies, and obtain greater control on the technology. This acquisition achieves both objectives.
Additionally, the joint acquisition with EMGS provides RXT the opportunity to work with the industry leader in EM services - EMGS. We welcome this opportunity", - says RXT CEO Michael Scott.
••• 15.11.07 Buzzard back on.
Buzzard field operator Nexen has said production has resumed after a temporary shutdown following storm damage to a power generation exhaust stack on one of the North Sea field’s three linked installations.
Repairs to the damaged unit were carried out over the weekend and the field is now ramping back up to full production, around 200,000 b/d of oil.
Nexen indicated that all the power generation turbine exhaust stacks were inspected and the turbines restarted. Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 14.11.07 Schlumberger Completes Offer for Eastern Echo.
Reference is made to the voluntary offer made by Schlumberger BV to acquire all of the shares, convertible bonds and warrants in Eastern Echo Holdings, as detailed in the offer document of November 6, 2007 and amended on November 8 and 12, 2007.
The acceptance period pursuant to the Offer expired 2200 hrs Oslo time on November 12, 2007. Schlumberger has decided to waive all of the conditions to the Offer as stated in section 3.9, and, accordingly, to acquire all shares and convertible bonds tendered under the Offer. Settlement will take place within 5 business days as per section 3.12 of the Offer.
The Offer is hence no longer open for Eastern shareholders to accept.
Upon completion of the Offer, Schlumberger will control 90,100,382 Eastern shares (representing 37% of the currently issued Eastern shares), and Eastern bonds in the total nominal amount of USD 35.9 million corresponding to 90% of the convertible bonds issued by Eastern. In the event of a change of control in Eastern, Schlumberger will have the right to convert the convertible bonds held by it into approximately 34,284,500 Eastern shares, representing approximately 15% of the issued Eastern shares as per today. Hence in the event that a change of control occurs and Schlumberger elects to convert all the convertible bonds held, Schlumberger will control 41% of the Eastern shares on a fully diluted basis.
••• 14.11.07 Norway: locals to lose out on Arctic development.
A report by Norwegian researchers suggests coastal communities in northern Norway will feel little benefit for the rich oil and gas finds offshore their communities.
The report, published in late October but publicized by newspaper Aftenposten , says most wealth will channel to the more heavily populated south. Scandoil.com has travelled extensively to the Norwegian north and can confirm Hammerfest LNG’s construction largely involved Aker Kvaerner crews from Bergen in the southwest.
"Local business in the north is simply too sparse and relatively resource-week enterprise," the paper quoted the report as saying.
The researchers of Fafo Institute for Labour and Social Research present their studies to policy makers and receive some industry funding. Among their findings, researchers say Russia’s nearby gas field, Shtokman, will only impact a few centres in Norway.
North Norway, however, could yet benefit from ENI’s Goliat field, now expected to send its production to a local island landfall. ENI has involved as many local Norwegian suppliers as is resonable and has filled regional hotels with Goliat field-development seminars.
••• 12.11.07 PGS - Mandatory offer for Arrow Seismic ASA.
PGS has today acquired 18,359,070 shares in Arrow Seismic ASA ("Arrow") at a price of NOK 96 per share. Following the transaction, PGS holds 18,359,070 shares in Arrow corresponding to approximately 78% of all issued and outstanding shares in Arrow.
In accordance with the Norwegian Securities Trading Act, PGS expects to proceed with a mandatory offer (the "Offer") for the remaining outstanding shares in Arrow, at the same price (NOK 96) as the acquired shares. This represents a premium of 50% related to the last closing price of NOK 64 and a premium of 37 % to the issue price in the IPO in May 2007 of NOK 70 per share. The mandatory Offer implies a total value of the share capital of Arrow of approximately NOK 2,256 million.
An offer document, setting out the terms and conditions of the mandatory Offer, is expected as soon as practically possible and no later than four weeks following today, as required.
PGS reserves the right to acquire additional shares in Arrow in the market, both before and during the offer period for the mandatory Offer.
Arrow owns and operates two 3D vessels and has three vessels under conversion to 2D/source vessels, including one vessel with possibilities for upgrade to 6-streamer operation. Further, Arrow has four purpose-built high capacity seismic new buildings on order for delivery in 2008 and 2009. Of these nine vessels, four are currently chartered to other seismic companies, while the intention is to include the remaining five vessels in PGS' operations, including the last two high capacity newbuildings with delivery in Q2 and Q4 2009 and the three 2D/source vessels. The acquisition is in line with PGS' strategy of growth in the high-end segment of the seismic acquisition market.
PGS will gain access to two state of the art 10-12 streamer new build vessels at cost and delivery times which is substantially more attractive compared to alternative new build projects. PGS will also gain access to capable source/2D vessels at a reasonable cost. With the increased activity on wide azimuth, these vessels can be effectively utilized by PGS.
President and CEO of PGS, Svein Rennemo, commented the following:
"The acquisition of Arrow provides an attractive high-end supplement to our state-of-the-art multi streamer fleet.
Due to early delivery, these vessels enable us to capture more effectively the short- and medium term strength in the high-end seismic market. The transaction supports our further market penetration in wide azimuth surveys and represents an important step in our fleet renewal plans for the coming years."
Carnegie ASA is acting as financial advisor to PGS in relation to this transaction.
••• 12.11.07 Black Sea storm cracks open oil tanker.
Storms in the Black Sea have broken apart a Russian oil tanker and emptied out the ship’s five million litres of fuel.
Designed mostly for the Volga River, the ship was travelling throught the Strait of Kerch between the Black Sea and Azov Sea, site of two other previous sinkings, the Associated Press reported.
"There is serious concern that the spill will continue," the AP reported Oleg Mitvol, the ubiquitous Rosprorodnadzor whisteblower, as saying on Vesti 24 TV.
••• 12.11.07 Buzzard hit by storm damage.
Production from the UK North Sea Buzzard field has been cut in a precautionary shutdown prompted by storm damage to one of the field’s three installations.
Field operator Nexen said it had decided to shut in production from the field after a routine inspection had revealed damaged to one of the exhaust stacks on a power generation turbine following North Sea storms. Some platform staff were also evacuated.
"A full inspection of the damage will take place as soon as the weather situation improves, at which time a decision will be made as to when production operations can safely resume. We do not expect production to be down for an extended period of time since we are able to operate the platform at full rates with two turbines," Nexen said in the statement issued late Friday.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 12.11.07 Production resumed after severe weather.
StatoilHydro says that production on both Visund and Oseberg South have been resumed after the temporary halt caused by the severe weather on Friday 9 November.
Both installations, which have been temporarily shut down due to the severe weather on Friday 9 November, have resumed normal production. Production on Visund was resumed during the night before Friday, and Oseberg South resumed its production on Friday afternoon.
The extreme weather has not caused any harm to personnel or property on StatoilHydro’s installations.
••• 09.11.07 StatoilHydro: Production Halted Temporarily Due to Gale.
Oil and gas production from the Grane, Visund, Oseberg South and Heimdal fields will stop production during the severe weather which is forecast for the nights of November 8th and 9th.
The basis for the decision is the ongoing analysis of G-forces relating to lifeboat use during bad weather and the gale which is forecast in the North Sea.
"The lifeboat project analyses are not yet complete," says Lars Christian Bacher, senior vice president for North Sea operations at StatoilHydro.
"But our actions are precautionary and we're implementing lifeboat seating capacity limits in some lifeboats until the investigation is completed. Production is being temporarily halted during the forecast foul weather."
In addition to the temporary production stoppage at the platforms mentioned, StatoilHydro has reduced staffing at the Veslefrikk and Huldra platforms by 114 and 11 personnel respectively. Staffing at the Troll C platform will be reduced by around 20 people during the course of today. Production from Veslefrikk, Huldra and Troll C will not be affected by reduced staffing.
The overall output from the fields to be temporarily closed amounts to roughly 320,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
••• 09.11.07 Eastern Echo Holding Plc has announced that it has rejected a bid by Schlumberger to acquire the new seismic company.
In a statement about the unsolicited offer from Schlumberger to acquire all outstanding shares, convertibles and warrants in Eastern Echo Holding Plc, Eastern Echo said:
"The stated offer price is set at a minimum of NKr 11 and a maximum of NKr 12 per share with the final price dependent on the acceptance level achieved under the offer. The offer is structured with a minimum price per share of NKr 11 given a minimum acceptance level of 67 per cent, plus an additional payment of NKr 1 per share if the acceptance level is above 90 per cent with such acceptance levels calculated on a fully diluted share basis."
"The offer price of minimum of NKr 11 and a maximum of NKr 12 per share represents a minimum premium of 38 per cent and a maximum of 51 per cent compared to the closing price of Eastern Echo shares on November 5th 2007, which was the last day before Eastern Echo informed the market that Schlumberger BV had expressed interest for the company."
"The Board has on November 6th reviewed the offer and would like to caution that the acceptance by Eastern Echo shareholders in the opinion of the Board will not represent the best alternative for the shareholders."
"Although the offer price represents a premium compared to historic prices, the Board of Eastern Echo is of the opinion that the offer price of NKr11–12 does not sufficiently reflect the value potential of Eastern Echo."
"Eastern Echo is now, together with ABG Sundal Collier Norge as its financial advisor, actively seeking alternative solutions and reviewing all options open to the company. Furthermore, several large shareholders, together holding approximately 15 per cent of the shares of Eastern Echo, have said that they consider the offer price too low.
Thus, it is uncertainty whether Schlumberger BV will achieve an acceptance ratio of 90 per cent or more based on the current offer price."
"The Board would like to generally caution that acceptance by a significant number of Eastern Echo shareholders of any potential offer may influence the extent to which alternative options may be developed."
Source: Offshore Shipping Online
••• 07.11.07 North Sea platforms "shut in" on storm fears.
ConocoPhillips will carefully move as many as 600 people from five platforms in the North Sea that stand in the path of 10-metre waves expected early Friday.
"It’s the last bit of Hurricane Noel," a ConocoPhillips spokesman told Scandoil.com Wednesday, referring to the hurricane that lashed Canadian offshore installations this week. The North Sea storm remnant was named Andrea.
"This is not a situation we feel to be dramatic," he added, suggesting the transfer of crews to "higher platforms" implied no panic. The Eldfisk Alpha, Bravo and Ekofisk Alpha, Bravo and Charlie platforms, together the work sites of some 1,400 people, will be cleared of personnel in three stages, with between 100 and 300 in each evacuee group. Production will also be shut in.
StatoilHydro too confirmed late Tuesday night that evacuations had started ahead of "Noel’s" arrival.
••• 07.11.07 Fugro wins seismic contracts in Far East.
Fugro has been awarded two contracts for 3D marine seismic surveys in Australia and Indonesia and received a letter of intent for another seismic contract in Indonesia. The total contract value is USD 68.5 million (almost EUR 50 million).
Fugro has been awarded a 1,700 square kilometres 3D seismic survey for ConocoPhilips in Australia. Fugro's seismic vessel Geo Atlantic will undertake the two month project offshore North Western Australia commencing late November 2007.
In addition, a further letter of award was agreed upon with ConocoPhilips, and a letter of intent was received from StatoilHydro, each for a 3D seismic survey in Indonesia. These contracts cover two neighbouring blocks with a total area of 3,500 square kilometres. The vessel Geo Atlantic will take on the work after the Australian survey. All the surveys will be undertaken with a 10 streamer spread.
••• 07.11.07 Schlumberger cash offer for Eastern Echo.
Schlumberger is offering to acquire all outstanding shares, convertibles and warrants in Eastern Echo Holding Plc ("Eastern Echo"), a Cyprus-registered company quoted on the Oslo Axess Market under the ticker symbol "ECHO". The offer price is set at a minimum of NOK 11 and a maximum of NOK 12 per share, with the final price dependent on the acceptance level achieved under the offer. This offer values the equity of Eastern Echo on a fully diluted basis at approximately NOK 3,672 million based on NOK 12 per share.
Schlumberger already holds an irrevocable pre-acceptance from the largest Eastern Echo shareholder holding 14.4% of the issued Eastern Echo shares, and owns a further 24.6% of the shares together with 45.8% of the total Eastern Echo convertible bonds. In total Schlumberger controls approximately 39% of the Eastern Echo share capital, which corresponds to approximately 35.1% on a fully diluted basis.
Eastern Echo, established in 2006, has a total of four high-performance 3D seismic vessels being built in Spain, two scheduled for construction in Dubai, and holds options for two further vessels. These high-capacity vessels are ideally suited for the exploration and development markets of the future.
Commenting on the offer, Andrew Gould, Schlumberger Chairman and CEO said: "The potential acquisition of Eastern Echo will further boost our plans to meet continuing substantial demand for market-leading WesternGeco Q-Marine* seismic technology services."
The offer price reflects the potential synergies the Eastern Echo vessels and management may offer when combined with Schlumberger seismic markets and technology. Further, Schlumberger, through its WesternGeco business segment, possesses the operational and marine management capabilities that secure the required organizational resources to deploy and manage the vessels upon delivery.
••• 06.11.07 New update on delivery of M/V SCAN Stigandi SCAN Geophysical ASA informs that the ship yard Irwing Shipbuilding Inc. has provided an updated production schedule with expected delivery of M/V SCAN Stigandi on February 20, 2008.
SCAN expects operations to commence during March 2008.
Neptune Offshore AS, who supervises the upgrade on behalf of the owner Neptune Seismic AS, is confident that the expected delivery date is realistic. Additional engineering capacity has been secured, and the yard has scheduled work over the weekends. Critical subcontracted work and delivery time of vessel equipment are being secured.
Source: SCAN Geophysical
••• 06.11.07 Fugro Acquires 4th Wave Imaging for U.S. $1.5 Million.
Fugro Seismic Imaging has acquired the California based 4th Wave Imaging, an advanced seismic imaging technology company, specializing in time-lapse (4D) reservoir monitoring, rock and fluid property estimation and multi-component seismic analysis. Its annual turnover is approximately US$1.5 million.
The acquisition of 4th Wave Imaging, a recognized industry leader in 4D seismic, illustrates Fugro's commitment to providing state-of-the-art technical solutions to its customers. The advanced technology and global expertise 4th wave Imaging brings are designed to complement and expand Fugro's already extensive range of offerings in the field of time-lapse reservoir services.
"4th Wave Imaging's reservoir-focused technology will be integrated with FSI's processing and imaging software. FSI will then build upon 4th Wave's proven workflows to offer clients enhanced and optimized reservoir monitoring services", stated Andy Cowlard, Fugro Seismic Imaging Managing Director. "It is also anticipated that selected 4th Wave Imaging technology will be integrated into software products from Fugro-Jason".
Source: Fugro Seismic Imaging
••• 06.11.07 ffA's New SVI Pro Reduces Seismic Costs.
ffA is dramatically reducing the cost of 3D seismic analysis with the new release of SVI Pro.
The new release includes flexible licensing options based around the highly affordable but very powerful SVI Pro Core application and a set of optional modules.
SVI Pro Core comprises a broad range of ffA's industry leading 3D seismic analysis workflows and high resolution visualisation.
Jonathan Henderson, Managing Director at ffA commented, "SVI Pro Core provides tools that have been proven to reduce subsurface risk for E&P companies worldwide and that we believe are required for optimal 3D seismic interpretation workflows. By delivering the application in this way we can provide SVI Pro Core for GBP 4,500, making it incredible value and allowing it to be accessed by all interpreters".
SVI Pro Core enables attributes analysis for rapid data screening and delineation of geological features such as faults or stratigraphic geobodies, the results of which can be easily integrated into any seismic interpretation, 3D modelling or well planning workflows.
The optional modules extend the functionality of SVI Pro Core to enable a greater range of workflows and include Volumetric Frequency Decomposition, 3D Seismic Attribute Cross Plotting and Direct Hydrocarbon Indicator and the Batch Processor.
Jonathan added, "These modules give our customers the ability to build the 3D seismic analysis application which best suits the requirements of their users".
Source: Rigzone/Foster Findlay Associates
••• 05.11.07 Drunken Ship Captain Sees Jail Time After Collision with Platform.
At a hearing at Lincoln Crown Court, Zbigniew Krakowski was imprisoned for a total of 12 months for allowing his vessel to collide with an unmanned gas platform which led to the sinking of his vessel.
The vessel, MV Jork, was a 1922 gross tonne coaster and registered in Antigua and Barbuda. On the August 3, 2007, she was en route from Germany to the Humber with a cargo of grain. At about 1800 she collided with an unmanned gas platform in the Viking field approximately 24 miles off Skegness.
At the time of the collision the Master of the Jork, Captain Zbigniew Krakowski, was on watch. The vessel began to list heavily and the crew abandoned the vessel. All of the crew were rescued and taken ashore by helicopter. Jork sank the following day.
On arrival ashore the crew were breathalysed by Officers from Norfolk Police. Krakowski failed and later, evidential, tests showed that he was approximately three times over the limits set out in the Railway & Transport Safety Act 2004.
Krakowski pleaded guilty to one charge brought under the Railway & Transport Safety Act 2004 for being over the alcohol limits and to another charge brought under the Petroleum Act 1974 for breaching the 500 metre zone around the gas platform. He was sentenced to 6 months for the former and 12 months for the latter, to run concurrently.
Subsequently two hatch covers were found floating off Holland and in the Dover Straits. Until recovery was affected these hatch covers constituted a major hazard to shipping.
In passing sentence His Honour Judge Milmo QC said: "The cause was due to not heeding the advice of the Chief Officer. You may have made changes but these were not adequate… The collision could have caused a gas cloud or explosion. The fact that there was no loss of life or injury is not mitigation."
Murray Milligan, Regional Operations Manager (SAR), stated: "It was fortunate that the platform was unmanned, that rescue vessels were close at hand to quickly rescue the crew and that the weather was excellent. I would like to thank all those involved in the rescue operation for their rapid and professional response."
Source: Maritime and Coastguard Agency
••• 05.11.07 Arrow Seismic ASA ("Arrow") reports third quarter results 2007.
Operating income was USD 5.2 million in Q3 2007, up from USD 2.4 million in Q3 2006. EBITDA was USD 2.2 million, compared with USD 0.1 million in Q3 2006.
Operating cost was higher than previous quarters, mainly due to planned maintenance. Net loss was USD 5.4 million, compared with a loss of USD 0.8 million in Q3 2006.
Irene Waage Basili took up her position as new CEO for the company on 1 October, an appointment reflecting that the company has entered a new phase as a standalone company.
"Overall, both the new building program and the conversions progress well despite high pressure in the value chain", says Basili in a comment to the third quarter report. She continues: "We experience a hot market for quality seismic vessels and we believe this will continue into 2009 and 2010. We expect to close contracts regarding Polar Sea, which is the first of three vessels in the conversion program, and for new building 534, in the fourth quarter this year."
Arrow has two vessels currently in operation – Geo Atlantic and CGG Laurentian. The high capacity vessel Geo Atlantic has since October 2006 been employed on a seven year firm time charter to Fugro Geoteam AS. The vessel has performed well operating as a 10 streamer vessel outside Norway. The six streamer vessel CGG Laurentian has since it was purchased early July 2006 been employed under a time charter with CGGVeritas which expires in September 2008 where after CGG has an option to extend the charter party for either two or three years. The vessel has been operating in South America.
Arrow has three vessels under conversion to 2D/source vessels - Polar Sea, Polar Explorer and Polar Pearl. All vessels are open for contract. Arrow expects to close a contract for the full source vessel Polar Sea, which is to be delivered in November 2007, within Q4 2007.
Arrow has a firm contract with WesternGeco for the first state-of-the-art high capacity seismic newbuilding (no. 532) to be delivered within 1st quarter 2008. The contract comprises a charter for the vessel for a period of three years and a purchase agreement under which the ownership of the vessel will be transferred to WesternGeco upon expiry of the charter period.
In August 2007, Arrow and WesternGeco entered into a firm and binding charter for the second newbuilding (no. 533) for a fixed period of six years whereupon WesternGeco has a purchase obligation. The second newbuilding is to be delivered in 4th quarter 2008. Both the third and the fourth state-of-the-art high capacity newbuilding (no. 534 and no. 535) are open for contract. The third newbuilding is to be delivered in second quarter 2009, while the fourth newbuilding is planned to be delivered in fourth quarter 2009.
Arrow has entered into a Spanish tax lease structure for the construction and acquisition of four state-ofthe-art high capacity seismic newbuildings for delivery in Q1 2008, 4Q 2008, 2Q 2009 and 4Q 2009 (newbuildings 532, 533, 534 and 535 respectively, with total investment of about USD 395 million including insea equipment, winches and compressors. The newbuildings are designed for optimal high capacity (12-16 streamers) marine seismic operations with a strong focus on safety, fuel efficiency and a high transit speed of 19 knots. Higher transit speed will increase vessel revenues, while lower fuel consumption will reduce vessel operating cost. In combination, the vessel result is expected to be significantly better than the peer group. Steel cutting started in October 2006 for the first newbuild and in February 2007 for the second newbuild. For the first newbuilding 532 the yard now indicates a delay in delivery until May 2008 (compared with April 2008 signalled in Arrow’s second quarter 2007 report).
Arrow has purchased the 1993 built cargo vessels Polar Sea, Polar Explorer and Polar Pearl with a total investment of about USD 21 million.
The Polar Sea is converted to a full source vessel with insea source equipment. The Polar Sea will be ready for operation in November 2007 as a flexible high capacity source vessel. Total conversion cost including owners supplies (mainly winches and compressors and insea source equipment) is estimated to about USD 24 million.
Arrow has entered into a contract with Naval Shipyard Gdynia in Poland for the conversion of the Polar Explorer to a 2D/source vessel with scheduled delivery late Q1 2008. The contract is based on standard off-shore fabrication and ship repair terms. Total conversion cost including owners’ supplies (mainly winches and compressors) is estimated to about USD 30 million.
Arrow is evaluating various possibilities for the Polar Pearl and has secured availability of propulsion upgrade enabling conversion to a 3D vessel. The indicated delivery date of approximately Q1/Q2 2008 is based on conversion to 2D/source vessel.
Source: Arrow Seismic
••• 02.11.07 Wavefield Enters US$37 Million Loan Agreement with TGS.
Wavefield Inseis ASA has entered into a loan agreement in the amount of USD 37.5 million with TGS Nopec Geophysical Company ASA (TGS) as an interim financing in conjunction with purchase of the new 10 streamer 3D vessel as notified on 17 October, 2007.
Source: Wavefield Inseis
••• 02.11.07 Safety Training in the North Sea Basin Begins.
On November 1, a new agreement regarding safety and emergency preparedness training will enter into force around the North Sea Basin. The agreement will make it easier for employees in the petroleum sector to work across national shelf boundaries, while at the same time ensuring compliance with the safety training requirements in the respective countries.
The safety authorities around the North Sea Basin have been working for quite some time to find practical solutions for mutual acceptance of equivalent safety and emergency preparedness training. This work has resulted in a joint strategy on the part of the authorities, as well as an agreement between the oil companies' organizations.
To achieve this agreement, the Norwegian Oil Industry Association (OLF) has worked with its colleagues in the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Denmark to compare the safety training requirements in the respective countries. The analysis concludes that there are far fewer differences than before, due to the developments that have taken place in the various countries.
Only a few deviations have been flagged as being safety-critical, i.e. deviations from training objectives. Some examples of differences in requirements between Norway and the UK include the following: the UK does not require first aid training, uses a different type of survival suit and most of its training centers do not have escape chutes. Based on this analysis, the oil and gas industry has defined the necessary additional training when an employee moves from one shelf to another.
The result ensures efficiency, while not compromising on what Norway believes are necessary standards for courses and training.
The safety authorities will continue their work, in part to develop a comparable agreement that can be used for personnel who work on mobile facilities and who have safety and emergency preparedness training that follows IADC standards.
Source: Petroleum Safety Authority
••• 01.11.07 Bergen Oilfield Services (BOS) has been awarded a contract to acquire marine seismic 2-D and 3-D data during 2008 for the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD).
The contract covers different sites, with BOS undertaking both 2-D and 3-D acquisition using its new vessels BOS Atlantic and BOS Arctic.
Karstein Rod, BOS CEO said he looked forward to working with NPD on these projects. “We are delighted to be working with NPD and will utilise this opportunity to showcase our expertise both to NPD and the greater seismic survey industry,” he said.
The surveys are expected to be completed by October 2008.
••• 01.11.07 Exploration in the South Atlantic has been boosted further by the start of a new seismic survey over territory to the south of the Falkland Islands.
After Rockhopper Exploration announced the discovery of fan structures and closures similar in size to the North Sea Buzzard field on it’s acreage north of the islands, Borders and Southern Petroleum said today it has started the acquisition of new seismic data over its acreage.
Norway’s PGS has started the new 1,500 sq. km (579 sq. mile) 3D seismic survey operating with the Ocean Explorer vessel, which is expected to take up to four months to complete the work depending on weather conditions during the southern hemisphere’s summer season.
Also Borders and Southern said today that it has been granted a two-year extension to its existing initial exploration licences in the South Falklands Basin, covering PL018 and PL022, extending the initial period from three to five years.
However the licence extensions granted by the Falkland Islands Government carry with them a commitment to acquire a further 750 sq. km of 3D seismic data, but Borders and Southern can keep the acreage until November 2009.
“Now that 3D data acquisition has started, we are a step closer to identifying the optimum sites for drilling on the key prospects in our acreage,” said Borders and Southern chairman Howard Obee.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 01.11.07 Global Geo Services ASA (GGS) has renegotiated the bare boat charter on GGS Atlantic (2D seismic vessel) with Atlantic Seismic AS (Vessel owner).
The bare boat charter is extended by one year (4 September 2012), USDM 2 investment (mainly seismic equipment) is included and the profit split linked to the day rate in the contract market is taken out of the contract. The charter hire has increased by in average USD 2.500 a day. GGS Atlantic should, including the upgrade, be better suitable for 2D seismic contract work with the major oil companies going forward. GGS Atlantic will be available in the market by end December 2007.
••• 31.10.07 CGGVeritas Opens New Dedicated Center in Spain.
CGGVeritas announced that it has increased the number of dedicated processing and imaging centers that it operates for major oil companies with the launch of a center for Repsol YPF in Madrid.
The new center runs state-of-the-art Geocluster processing software to deliver consistently fast and reliable products and joins 11 other CGGVeritas dedicated centers in a worldwide processing network. The center will provide 2D and 3D time and depth land and marine processing and imaging services. Through this dedicated center, Repsol YPF will benefit from the advanced technology and level of R&D that the new CGGVeritas group now offers.
Ian Thornton, Senior Vice President, EAME Processing & Reservoir Services said: "The opening of this center in Madrid marks a new stage in the strong relationship between our companies. CGGVeritas has been a constant contributor to Repsol YPF’s exploration and production efforts over the past fifteen years and this further underlines our commitment to support Repsol YPF in its E&P goals."
Francisco Ortigosa, Repsol YPF’s Director of Geophysics commented: "This dedicated processing center fulfills simultaneously two important objectives: increasing data processing quality through a close interaction with exploration teams and bringing a technological edge to our exploration in North Africa and Middle East."
••• 30.10.07 Eastern Echo Holding Plc has completed a share offering with the issue of 86,000,000 new shares at NOK 7.60 per share in connection with the listing of the Company`s shares at Oslo Axess.
The shares are expected to be listed on or about 30 October 2007. The offering was more than 4 times subscribed at the offer price. In addition 12,900,000 shares were allotted under the over-allotment facility granted by the Company to ABG Sundal Collier Norge ASA as manager. Gross proceeds (before over-allotment) from the sale of new shares amounted to NOK 654 million. Eastern Echo will have the ticker code ECHO and one round lot will constitute 1,000 shares.
"The board of directors is pleased with the successful completion of the equity offering. The interest shown in our innovative new 3D seismic vessels and our business strategy for growth has been very positive. We appreciate the trust the investors have placed in us", says chairman of the board Tore Karlsson.
Eastern Echo will have a total of 231,000,000 shares (prior to the over-allotment facility) after the completion of the offering. This implies a market capitalisation of the Company of approx. NOK 1.8 billion after the offering. A wide range of international and Norwegian investors subscribed for shares in the offering and Eastern Echo will have more than 300 shareholders after the completion of the offering.
In addition, ABG Sundal Collier Norge ASA over-allotted 12,900,000 shares pursuant to an over-allotment facility. ABG Sundal Collier Norge ASA will issue a separate press release regarding this.
Notices regarding allotment will be issued on 29 October, and the transfer of shares is expected to take place on or about 2 November. The transfer of shares is dependent on the payment conditions as described in the prospectus dated 12 October 2007.
Eastern Echo Holding Plc is a geophysical company specializing in acquisition of high quality 3D seismic data. Both marine and seismic operations are managed by Eastern Echo. Eastern Echo has developed an advanced 12 streamer 3D seismic vessel based on a revolutionary ship design.
Eastern Echo has agreed to build four such vessels at Shipyard Barrereas in Spain: Two for delivery by the end of 2008 and two for delivery by the end of 2009. In addition, Eastern Echo intends to build two more vessels at Dubai Drydocks for delivery by the Q1 & Q2 2009.
Source: Eastern Echo
••• 30.10.07 Hi-tech survey for West Africa.
Airborne survey specialist ArkeX based in both the UK and the US has landed its first deal outside America for its specialised gravity exploration technology.
An unnamed West African oil and gas client has elected to use the BlueQube aerial survey technique offered by ArkeX to cover an onshore area.
"Most of the project area is covered in thick jungle and difficult to access. The beauty of BlueQube is that we can fly above the terrain, obtaining high resolution geophysical information in a cost effective and timely manner," said Kitty Hall, managing director of ArkeX, which has offices both in Cambridge in the UK and in Houston, Texas.
Work on the aero-gravity survey is scheduled to commence later this year with data delivery due in the first half of 2008.
BlueQube was developed initially from a US Department of Defense programme and uses gravity gradient measurements- variations in the earth’s natural magnetic field - to built up a picture of potential oil and gas deposits in the sub-suface, using what is claimed to be the most sensitive gradiometer in the world.
ArkeX developed as spin-off from scientific instrument maker Oxford Instruments Superconductors (OIS) in the UK, which was researching development of a space-based gradiometer for the European Space Agency, after collaboration with gravity geophysics specialist ARK. Early support for technology development came from Amerada Hess, Anadarko, and Shell and commercial surveys have been carried out since 2005.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 29.10.07 WesternGeco Completes Multiclient Acquisition Survey in the Barents Sea.
WesternGeco announced today the completion of Fruholmem, a 3D multiclient survey in the Barents Sea, Arctic Ocean. The survey acquired data over an area of 408 sq km.
"This survey fully utilizes the WesternGeco advanced acquisition and processing technologies to meet high operator interest in the area," said Rupert Hoare, Europe multiclient development manager, WesternGeco. "The Fruholmen survey covers a similar geological structure to the recent Nucula discovery, which is located only 30km away."
The processed data will be available for licensing in mid-November in advance of the Norwegian Twentieth Offshore License round.
••• 26.10.07 Norway and Russia to Work Together in Barents Sea.
StatoilHydro is now a partner in the first phase of the Shtokman development. The Norwegian company will hold 24% interest in Shtokman Development Company, while France's Total will have 25% and Russian Gazprom will keep 51%.
Offshore Russia in the Barents Sea, Shtokman field is the largest undeveloped offshore gas field in the world. Projected to contain about 3,700 billion cubic meters of natural gas, the field is expected to produce up to 23.7 billion cubic meters in the first phase, including LNG and piped gas.
"I am very pleased to see StatoilHydro as a participant in the Shtokman field," said Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg. "This will strengthen the Norwegian-Russian ties as neighbours and our strategic partnership in the energy sector in the High North. The participation also underlines our joint responsibility to ensure a sustainable management of the resources in the Barents Sea."
The Shtokman Development Company will design, fund and build any infrastructure necessary during the first phase, including offshore installations, pipeline, and onshore processing plants for LNG and piped gas. Under the agreement, the Shtokman Development Company will own any infrastructure for 25 years after the start of production.
"The agreement signed today will open a new page in our cooperation with the merged StatoilHydro," said Gazprom Chair Alexi Miller. "We have giant reserves of gas in the Barents Sea, while our partners from Norway have good experience in production and transportation of gas in harsh Arctic conditions. Our joint efforts will be the keystone of success in the Arctic." Final investment decisions on the project are due the second half of 2009. Until then, StatoilHydro is responsible only for its share of the planning and study costs.
"Leveraging our technology, industrial experience and expertise from large offshore developments can provide long-term growth opportunities in Russia," said Helge Lund, CEO of StatoilHydro. "We believe Shtokman can be a catalyst for developing and adopting technologies capable of operating efficiently and environmentally safely in the cold and harsh conditions."
••• 26.10.07 SeaBird contract award.
SeaBird Exploration Limited has received a letter of award from Oil and National Gas Corporation of India ("ONGC") for approximately 13,500 line km long offset 2D survey outside the west coast of India. The total gross contract value is estimated to around USD 20 million and is expected to take 4-5 months including mobilization, demobilization and data processing.
••• 26.10.07 TGS Announces New Project in the 181 South Area of the Gulf of Mexico.
TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company ASA and Global Geo Services ASA (GGS) have entered into a 50-50 joint venture on a 28,000 kilometer multi-client 2-D survey located in the Central Gulf of Mexico planning area known as "181 South". The project is supported by pre-funding from several oil companies.
TGS and GGS will combine acquisition resources to complete the recording of the survey in January 2008. GGS Atlantic will acquire 19,000 kilometers, and is expected to be occupied with this survey until mid December 2007. GGS Atlantic has recorded over 14,000 kilometers to date. The prestack time and depth migration processing is being performed by GGS-Spectrum and is expected to be completed in May 2008. TGS will be responsible for marketing and sales of the resulting products.
GGS will receive 3.1 million USD from TGS as part of this agreement.
The Minerals Management Service currently has a lease sale scheduled for the 181 South area in March of 2009.
••• 25.10.07 Gazprom picks StatoilHydro for Shtokman.
Russia's natural gas monopoly Gazprom has chosen Norwegian oil company StatoilHydro as its second partner for the development of the Shtokman gas field, the Kremlin's press service reported Thursday. The agreement itself will be signed in Moscow Thursday afternoon.
The deal was discussed Thursday during a telephone conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, the press service said, Russian news agency Prime-Tass reports.
The Shtokman field is located in the Barents Sea. Its C1 and C2 reserves are estimated at 3.7 trillion cubic meters of gas and 31 million tonnes of gas condensate. The field will supply the Nord Stream pipeline from Russia to Germany, being built under the Baltic.
StatoilHydro writes in a stock market announcement Thursday afternoon that the agreement gives them a 24% equity interest in Shtokman Development Company where Gazprom (51%) and Total (25%) are the two other partners.
StatoilHydro says they will come back with further information when the agreement is signed in Moscow later today.
Accoring to RIA-Novosti, Russian President Vladimir Putin in the phone coversation with Norway's PM Jens Stoltenberg expressed his hope that Russian-Norwegian cooperation through the large-scale project would provide a boost for bilateral ties in other areas.
••• 25.10.07 Pemex Accident May Claim Up to 10 Lives.
Mexican oil and gas company Pemex has confirmed the accident that occurred in the Gulf of Mexico yesterday. Due to 80-mph winds and 25-foot waves, the 200-foot MC jackup Usumacinta hit the Kab-101 platform.
The company stated that 81 workers were evacuated from the platform because of the risk of fire.
Fifty-eight people have been confirmed as rescued. Pemex's preliminary estimation is that 10 people have died because of the accident. This means 13 people are still unaccounted for.
Rescue efforts continue.
The Mexican government has called in the country's navy, as well as helicopters, to help with the rescue.
The accident caused an oil and gas spill when the rig hit the valve shaft. Pemex stated that efforts are under way to control the leak and re-establish operations.
••• 25.10.07 North Sea boosts PGS.
North Sea activity helped put Norway’s Petroleum GeoServices in the black for the third quarter this year with operating profit up 86% to US $167.4 m.
Overall revenue was up 35% to $439.1 m and its marine seismic division saw operating profit more than doubled with a 109% increase to $182.4 m from $95.3 m in the third quarter last year.
"The strength in the seismic market maintained its momentum, and aided by a very strong fleet productivity level we achieved a record contract EBIT margin of 56%, boosted by strong North Sea performance," said PGs president and chief executive Svein Rennemo.
Turning to its operational highlights over the last quarter, PGs said its campaign to acquire more offshore surveys in partnership with MTEM using electro-magnetic survey technology has been receiving strong interest from exploration companies.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 25.10.07 ODIM Awarded Contract Worth NOK 40 Million.
ODIM has been awarded a contract worth NOK 40 million by EMGS for the delivery of automated handling systems for Seabed Logging.
DIM has earlier delivered handling systems to EMGS.
"We are very satisfied that EMGS once again choose ODIM as their supplier of handling systems within Seabed Logging," said Idar Hatloy, vice president of Seismic at ODIM.
••• 24.10.07 NTSB recommends offshore helicopter changes.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) issued Safety Recommendations A-07-87 and A-07-88 after investigating several helicopter accidents over the last several years in which the aircraft crashed or ditched into the Gulf of Mexico. NTSB says in some instances, the occupants did not survive while awaiting the arrival of search and rescue teams. With better access to life rafts stored on the aircrafts and better signaling devices, NTSB believes the occupants would have had a better chance of survival.
NTSB is recommending to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) that all existing and new turbine-powered helicopters operating in the Gulf of Mexico and certified with five or more seats be required by FAA to be equipped with externally mounted life rafts large enough to accommodate all occupants (A-07-87); and that FAA require all offshore helicopter operators in the Gulf of Mexico to provide their flight crews with personal flotation devices equipped with a waterproof, GPS-enabled 406 megahertz personal locator beacon, as well as one other signaling device, such as a signaling mirror or a strobe light (A-07-88).
Source: Energy Current
••• 23.10.07 BP profit dips 45%.
BP’S third quarter results were published this morning showing a US $4.406 Bn profit for the period and $3,867 Bn on a replacement cost profit basis – a fall of 45% on the $6.975 Bn figure a year ago.
For the nine months to September, BP reported profit of $16.446 Bn, and $14.315 Bn on a replacement cost profit basis – down 22% on the same figure in 2006.
These figures included a net non-operating loss of $346 million for the third quarter, compared with a net non-operating gain of $1,225 million in the third quarter of 2006, the Anglo-American oil giant stated.
"For the nine months, the net non-operating gain was $758 million compared with a net non-operating gain of $1,214 million for the first nine months of 2006."
Earlier this month BP chief executive Tony Hayward outlined plans for extensive global restructuring of the company with the creation of two main business units, one for Exploration and Production, and a second for Refining and Marketing in a move designed to close the performance gap with its rivals.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 23.10.07 The Arctic will become increasingly important, not least because of oil and gas, believes Norwegian foreign minister Johan Gahr Store. A 25 per cent participating interest in the first development stage of Russia’s Shtokman gas discovery in the Barents Sea was recently awarded to France’s Total. Asked how Norway might participate in this field, Mr Store notes that discussions on this issue are still under way between StatoilHydro and operator Gazprom.
Read more - NPD
••• 23.10.07 Chile to Lay Claim to Piece of Antarctica.
Chile's foreign minister said Monday that his country will ask the U.N. Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf to recognize Santiago's claim of sovereignty over a chunk of Antarctica.
Alejandro Foxley told reporters the move is in response to Britain's announced intention to assert rights over oil and gas resources in a portion of the Antarctic seabed that overlaps Chile's claim.
"No one can encumber Chile's rights in regard to Antarctic territory," the minister said, pointing out that the deadline for filing a motion with the U.N. Commission is May 2009.
He said Chile would argue that that Antarctic seabed "is a projection or prolongation of the continential shelf."
"We believe there is a space there in which Chile should reclaim its projection in accord with the applicable treaties," Foxley said.
Chile's rights, he said, "are guaranteed under the Antarctic Treaty. This additional presentation that's being done is for the possibility that in the future there would be some political accord among the countries to debate the additional issue of projection of the continental shelf into the sea."
Signed by Chile and six other nations, the 1959 Antarctic Treaty bans the extraction of hydrocarbons or minerals from the seabed around the South Pole.
••• 22.10.07 First LNG shipment from Snohvit.
The first tanker with a cargo of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Snohvit field left port at Melkoya near Hammerfest, northern Norway on 20 October.
The purpose-built Arctic Princess has 145,000 cubic metres of LNG on board and is now on her way to customers in southern Europe.
"This is a historic milestone for the Snohvit project and StatoilHydro's LNG focus," says chief executive Helge Lund.
"For the first time, we are supplying gas from the Norwegian continental shelf in a cooled state by ship. This gives us increased flexibility in marketing gas globally. Our plant at Melkoya is the first LNG production facility in Europe and will be a key component in StatoilHydro's focus on LNG, which constitutes the fastest growing gas market in the world."
Production of LNG from the Barents Sea's Snohvit field began on 13 September. Even though the first shipment is on its way to market, the Hammerfest LNG plant is still in its initial phase. Stable production is expected in December.
Until then, LNG deliveries from Melkoya will vary from week to week since the initial phase will necessitate periodic shutdowns.
The LNG plant separates the wellstream comprising natural gas, condensate and water that arrives from subsea installations in the Barents Sea. The gas is cooled to minus 163 degrees centigrade where it becomes liquid (LNG) and is temporarily held in two large storage tanks.
At full production, tankers will leave port at Melkoya every five to six days. Each ship will transport nearly 150,000 cubic metres of LNG to customers worldwide.
Plans call for the official inauguration of the Snohvit field and the Hammerfest LNG plant to be held in May 2008.
Snohvit licensees: StatoilHydro, operator, (33.53%), Petoro (30.00%), Total E&P Norge (18.40%), Gaz de France (12.00%), Hess Norge (3.26%), RWE Dea (2.81%).
••• 22.10.07 Vanco Signs Ukraine's First Deepwater Black Sea Agreement.
The Government of Ukraine signed the Prykerchenska Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) with Vanco International Ltd., a subsidiary of Houston-based independent Vanco Energy Company. The agreement represents the culmination of the tender process through which in April 2006 Vanco was granted the right to negotiate the first license to explore the deepwater part of Ukraine's Black Sea. The signing of the landmark Production Sharing Agreement gives Vanco the opportunity to explore and develop the highly prospective Prykerchenska Block. Work will begin immediately on a detailed exploration program which will include an extensive 3D seismic survey in 2008 followed by deep water drilling.
Located to the southeast of the Crimean Peninsula, the Prykerchenska block covers nearly 13 thousand square kilometers or about one-third of Ukraine's deepwater area with water depths ranging from 500 meters to over 2,000 meters. Exploration will concentrate on the Tetyaev High, in water depths greater than 2,000 meters where Vanco has identified a series of large structures, and on the shallower Sudak Folded Belt where Vanco has identified numerous attractive prospects.
The approval for Vanco comes as Ukraine seeks to boost oil and gas output by a third within the next several years. If exploration efforts are successful, the development of the project will require investments of more than $20 billion. "With the Prykerchenska Production Sharing Agreement now in place," says Vanco's Chairman and President Gene Van Dyke, "we can proceed with plans to explore fully this frontier area of Ukraine's deep Black Sea."
Dedicated to international deepwater exploration since 1996, Vanco has successfully operated drilling programs offshore Morocco and Cote d'Ivoire in the last three years. In addition to Ukraine, the Houston independent has deepwater exploration programs offshore Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire.
Source: Vanco Energy
••• 22.10.07 EMGS Secures US$6 Million Contract from Super Major.
Electromagnetic Geoservices ASA (EMGS) has secured another contract with one of the world's leading energy companies to determine the hydrocarbon content of potential reservoir structures offshore Libya using seabed-logging technology.
This frontier exploration program is expected to start before the year-end. The contract is worth about USD 6 million and includes extension options of up to an additional USD 10 million, if exercised.
Terje Eidesmo, EMGS president and chief executive officer, said: "Offshore Libya is re-emerging as an important frontier for international oil and gas companies, and this contract is the first of its kind in this area. Our client is highly respected in the industry, and we are pleased that EMGS has been chosen once again as a key enabler in the forefront of their strategic exploration activity. These factors reinforce our position as the market leader in the rapidly growing electromagnetics sector and confirm the role of seabed logging is an important exploration technology in the global search for hydrocarbons."
••• 19.10.07 Fugro Contracted to Define Best Pipeline Route from Algeria to Italy.
Fugro has been awarded a contract to perform a detailed marine survey in the Mediterranean Sea to select the best route for the GALSI gas pipeline from Algeria to Southern Sardinia, and then from Northern Sardinia to the mainland of Italy. The contract value is approximately EUR 18 million. The project will start immediately and is expected to last till April 2008 for the fulfillment of the marine survey and to conclude by the end of July 2008 with the release of the Final Report.
Fugro will manage the whole detailed marine survey project, which will involve geophysical and hydrographical survey with its vessel "Geo Prospector" and the use of an AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle), as well as offshore seabed geotechnical investigations by two vessels, including Fugro's vessel "Bucentaur". The project also involves near shore survey for the four landfalls. The length of the route is 529 kilometers of pipeline in water depths down to 2,850 meters.
Client is Galsi S.p.A., a joint venture consisting of the companies Sonatrach, Edison, Enel, Wintershall, Hera and the Sardinian company Sfirs.
Due to the broad scope of the project nine of Fugro's specialized operating companies will be involved.
••• 19.10.07 SCAN Recommencing 2D Project Offshore Pakistan.
SCAN Geophysical ASA is re-mobilizing its seismic vessel, M/V Geo Searcher, to recommence a previously suspended 2D project offshore Pakistan for BP. The original 9,500-kilometer 2D program was suspended in July 2007 due to effects of an oncoming monsoon.
"Both BP and GEMS requested suspension of the program after acquisition of only 1,500 kilometers of data in order to preserve and maintain previously-set quality standards for the seismic data that otherwise would have been negatively affected by the poor sea and wind conditions expected by the onset of the traditional monsoon season," said Kjell Karlsson, vice president marketing and sales for SCAN.
"However, we were quickly able to turn this challenging situation into an opportunity by a swift diversion of the vessel crew onto another 2D project together with GEMS offshore nearby Sri Lanka, which has since been successfully completed," he added.
The BP/GEMS Pakistan 2D program will occupy M/V Geo Searcher into the first quarter of 2008. The vessel is also scheduled for three to four weeks of maritime docking for standard classing inspection and general maintenance work during this period.
Source: SCAN Geophysical
••• 19.10.07 Professor Martin Landro, age 48, has been awarded StatoilHydro's 2007 researcher prize for his work in four-dimensional seismology, popularly called 4-D seismic.
The prizewinner is a professor in applied geophysics at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim.
"Prof. Landro is one of the pioneers in the development and use of 4-D seismic for monitoring oil and gas production from our reservoirs," said Lasse Amundsen, chief researcher in geophysics at StatoilHydro. "For the past 10 years, he has provided important theoretical and practical contributions toward enhancing this technology."
The 4-D seismic method compares data from three-dimensional surveys performed in the same field at different points of time.
The fourth dimension, time, gives information about how oil and water have flowed in the reservoir and where remaining oil can be found. By adding the fourth dimension to the interpretation of seismic data, it improves the fields' recovery factor considerably.
Prof Landro was a key player in the first trials of 4-D seismic on the Gullfaks field. The qualifying and further development of the technology has led to improved recovery and an increase in value of NOK 6 billion per year from Gullfaks alone.
The prizewinner's work is internationally acknowledged. He has supervised 50 students pursuing a master's degree in geophysics, many of whom are now employees of StatoilHydro.
The prize of NOK 200,000 and an artwork by Steinar Hansen were presented by Morten Loktu, senior vice president for research and development in StatoilHydro, during the Technoport awards in Trondheim on October 17.
StatoilHydro’s researcher award is a recognition of research work at a high international level. It is awarded annually to an external researcher or institution in Norway that has carried out work of significant importance to the group.
••• 19.10.07 Norway’s EMGS - Electro-Magnetic Logging Services - has welcomed the decision of Brazil’s offshore licensing authority ANP to include seabed logging as part of the minimum work programme for acreage in a forthcoming exploration round.
With Brazil’s ninth bidding round coming up next month, EMGS has been boosted by the decision to include seabed electro-magnetic surveying which it says will further promote the use of the technology.
"ANP is now the second government petroleum agency to officially adopt seabed logging as a valid exploration technology in work commitment programmes," said Terje Eidesmo, president and chief executive of Trondheim-based EMGS.
Norway’s Petroleum Directorate included seabed logging as part of the required work programme for some of the licences offered in its 2005 licensing round, the EMGS boss noted.
"With more than 250 seabed-logging surveys completed for most of the world’s leading energy companies, we welcome this development with ANP, as it provides further evidence that seabed logging is becoming a mainstream exploration technology," added Eidesmo.
••• 18.10.07 Lundin Petroleum will start drilling its Morskaya #1 well in the Lagansky Block in the northern Caspian offshore Russia in 2008.
The well had been due to spud this year, but Lundin said it had decided to delay operations until 2008 because of the approaching winter. At least one further exploration well will be drilled on the Lagansky Block in 2008.
Lundin President and CEO, Ashley Heppenstall, said: "As a result of the working relationship with Gazprom, we have achieved good progress in relation to the licence amendments and permitting issues associated with the Lagansky Block. I am confident that these issues will be successfully completed. We have made major efforts to mobilise our drilling operation in 2007 but with the onset of winter it is prudent to reschedule the exploration drilling to 2008."
Lundin said that it has been working closely with JSC Gazprom since the signing of an option agreement whereby Gazprom can acquire an effective 50% plus one share interest in the Lagansky Block exploration licence.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 18.10.07 Wavefield Inseis announced that it has secured additional high-end 3D streamer capacity.
With continued very strong long term demand for marine seismic 3D services, the new 10 streamer vessel, which will be completed at an Asian yard, is due to be operational in early Q3 2008.
This will be in time to meet the company's near term requirement for high capacity vessels as it continues the expansion of it's modern fleet to meet long term future market trends. The steelwork on the 95 meter long hull is already 100% completed and all of the major machinery is already installed, including main engines, compressors, thrusters, winches and other handling equipment. The total capex for the vessel, together with all the seismic equipment including solid streamers, is an estimated $140 million.
The vessel was originally ordered by another contractor, which was unable to take delivery, thus it is part of the already planned world wide fleet expansion.
CEO Atle Jacobsen said of the new acquisition: "Our time to market with this top of the range high capacity vessel will mean we will further improve our ability to operate in the very profitable high-end market segments of 4D, multi-azimuth and wide-azimuth acquisition."
Source: Wavefield Inseis
••• 18.10.07 Rosneft, Lukoil JV Makes Find in Sea of Azov.
Rosneft and Lukoil said a joint venture they operate has found hydrocarbons in the first well drilled in the Sea of Azov shelf, Interfax reported.
Based on test data from the well, the Priazovneft joint venture anticipates the field contains confirmed reserves of about 5 mln tonnes of oil equivalent.
Source: AFX News Limited/Rigzone
••• 18.10.07 Update on delivery of M/V SCAN Stigandi.
SCAN Geophysical ASA (SCAN) has been informed that delivery of M/V SCAN Stigandi will be delayed compared with the date announced in the stock exchange notice of August 20, 2007.
The upgrade is taking place at Irving Shipbuilding Inc., in Halifax, Canada. Neptune Offshore AS, who supervises the upgrade on behalf of the owner Neptune Seismic AS, is in discussions with the shipyard to agree on a new delivery date.
According to Neptune Offshore AS the delay is caused by limited engineering capacity and late deliveries of equipment from some of the yard’s subcontractors. Additional engineering capacity is now being secured in order to accelerate the production.
Based on this information, SCAN has estimated a delayed start up of operations until early 2008, compared to previously announced late November 2007. SCAN will provide a more accurate date as and when received.
Source: SCAN Geophysical
••• 17.10.07 Fugro launches new global geoconsultancy business line.
Fugro has just launched the first of several developments designed to enhance the consultancy side of its offshore geotechnical and marine survey services.
The initiative is designed to effectively harness Fugro’s global expertise in the fields of engineering geophysics, engineering geology, geohazards, and geotechnics to create engineering solutions that help clients limit risks to wells and optimise the design, siting, and installation of (oil/gas) field development facilities.
The Global GeoConsulting Service will be established in three major geographical areas: Europe, United States and Asia/Pacific, with the collective objective of building a specialized consulting business in each region. It will operate across Fugro’s Geotechnical and Survey Divisions, utilising the existing offices, infrastructure, and resources available in each region supplemented by strategic alliances, acquisitions, and increased recruitment. The full range of engineering geoscience, geohazard, and geotechnical consulting services will be offered through one operating company in each region.
For Europe, a dedicated consultancy unit is being set up in Great Yarmouth, UK as part of Fugro Limited which is based in Wallingford, Oxfordshire. The Wallingford office already performs extensive consultancy work in the fields of engineering geology, geohazards, and geotechnical engineering. Furthermore it operates one of the world’s most advanced soil testing laboratories. The expanded company will be renamed Fugro GeoConsulting Limited to reflect its new emphasis.
A new geoconsultancy company is also being formed in Houston, Texas, USA, where the specialist engineering geology and geohazard consulting group within Fugro GeoServices Inc. will merge with elements of the geotechnical engineering consultancy group of Fugro McClelland Marine Geosciences Inc. to form Fugro GeoConsulting Inc.
A third geoconsultancy operating company is planned in the near future to cover the Asia/Pacific region.
Source : Fugro
••• 17.10.07 Russian State Duma adopted law on sea ports.
The lower house of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, has passed a law regulating the functions of maritime ports. The law bans foreigners' acquisition of port areas. At the same time, the members of parliament adopted the proposed Law on special economic zones in port areas.
According to Rbc.ru, the port law stipulates three types of port ownership - private, state and municipal. Foreigners will be prohobited to buy Russian ports.
••• 16.10.07 US $10 Bn for Shtokman from Total.
Total’s chief executive Christophe de Margerie has indicated the possibility of putting US $10 Billion in to Russia’s Shtokman project.
With hopes for oil and gas production growth of between 1.5 and 2%, de Margerie has told journalists that he could see investment of $10 Bn in Shtokman as part of that production growth plan.
The Total executive said he could see a decision being made on the Shtokman investment in 2009, Reuters reported.
He was speaking at the inauguration of a Total airship which has been built to explore the Antarctic and which will gather data on climate change.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 16.10.07 StatoilHydro Starts Production in GOM.
StatoilHydro started production on Q, a well located in the Gulf of Mexico's Mississippi Canyon Block 961. This is the first well in deep GOM waters for which the company serves as operator.
With 50% interest in the Q field, StatoilHydro's gas production is expected to increase by 40% for the region.
"StatoilHydro is a major player in deepwater Gulf o Mexico, and I am pleased that we now have the first StatoilHydro-operated deepwater field producting in the Gulf of Mexico," said Pete Stracke, the company's asset manager for Independence Hub.
With subsea infrastructure tying Q back to Independence Hub, the well is the 10th to tie into the world's largest offshore natural gas processing facility. (Independence Hub is expected to reach capacity of 1 bcf/d by the end of the year.)
Despite never having served as operator for GOM fields, StatoilHydro has a history of being very active in the GOM oil and gas market. It is the second largest leaseholder in the United States' GOM deepwaters, with interest in Tahiti, Jack and Knotty Head.
The company also holds 18.33% interest Spiderman and 26.7% interest in San Jacinto. Similar to Q, both of these fields are tied back to the Independence Hub.
••• 15.10.07 2D Seismic Operations Commenced on Aral Project.
2D-seismic operations have started in the Uzbekistan sector of the Aral Sea within the framework of implementation of the Aral project PSA.
The PSA was signed in Tashkent on August 30, 2006 by the Government of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the consortium of investors comprising National holding company Uzbekneftegaz, CNPC International (China), Korea National Oil Corporation (Korea), LUKOIL Overseas (Russia) and Petronas Carigali Overseas (Malaysia). In accordance with the commitments of the investors 2,300 line kilometers of 2D-seismic will be acquired in 2007-2008. PetroAlliance was selected as the contractor after the tender held by Aral Sea Operating Company, established by the investors and registered in Uzbekistan.
Seismic operations will cover the aquatic area of Uzbekistan sector of the Aral Sea, the transit and the terrestrial zones. Base camps for marine and onshore seismic crews have been set up; the seismic equipment has been mobilized, tested and tuned.
To date the specialized inspection under the State Committee for Nature of Uzbekistan has completed the environmental audit of the contract area. Seismic quality control contractor (Russian company IrtyshGeophysics) has been selected on a tender basis. Tenders are being held to select contractors to carry out environmental monitoring of seismic operations and design and survey work to build a motor road to the Vozrozhdenya Peninsula.
Besides the seismic, the first stage of the exploration works under the Aral project includes the drilling of two exploration wells. Minimal financial commitment of this stage is approximately $100 million; the duration of the stage is three years. A feasibility study based on the obtained results will be drafted and approved with the subsequent adjustment of the commercial terms of the PSA. The exploration operations of the second stage will be carried out after that.
Source: Lukoil Overseas Holdings
••• 15.10.07 New West of Shetlands survey.
A new seismic survey covering areas in the UK and Faroes sectors of the West of Shetlands region has been launched in a bid to acquire more data to mature existing prospects and to fulfil existing license obligations.
Norway’s Wavefield Inseis kicked off the new 700 km (440 mile) 2D programme on 1 October, operating with the Malene Ostervold survey ship across the Faroes-Shetland Basin area.
The survey work is being undertaken on behalf of Chevron’s Faroese subsidiary Chevron Foroyar, and Chevron North Sea.
Meanwhile Chevron is continuing with the second of three planned appraisal wells on the Rosebank and Lochnagar discoveries in the west of Shetlands with the 213/27-2 well, which is still operating after spudding on 26 July this year.
This latest drilling programme follows on from the initial discoveries in August 2004 made with the 213/27-1 and 1z wells.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 11.10.07 Shell Says Russia's Offshore Reserves Need Foreign Energy Majors.
Royal Dutch Shell said Russia needs foreign expertise and investment if it is to profit fully from offshore oil and gas reserves estimated to be seven times larger than those in the North Sea. "If Russia is to develop its extraordinary resource base it will need cooperation," Chris Finlayson, Russia director for the British-Dutch energy giant, told investors at a conference in Moscow.
"There is room here for foreign oil players as well as Russian oil companies, while meeting the models of cooperation and control which the Russian government wishes to use," Finlayson said.
"We estimate that the productive areas of the Russian shelf are the equivalent of seven North Seas. That is the scale of the challenge that is out there. That is why we believe there is opportunity for all," Finlayson said.
Since being pressured by the Russian government last year to selling a major stake in the Sakhalin-2 project, Shell has emphasised that it will not only stay in Russia but also expand its business there.
Source: Rigzone/AFX News Limited
••• 10.10.07 Karoon Contracts Fugro-Geoteam to Browse Basin 3D Seismic Survey.
Karoon Gas says that Fugro-Geoteam has been contracted to acquire approximately 1900 sq kms of 3D seismic in and around WA-398-P. The seismic acquisition is expected to commence late in the fourth quarter of 2007.
3D seismic data acquired during this survey will better define the prospectivity of the structures within the WA-398-P block and aid in the positioning of the wells for the drilling program later in 2008.
This 3D seismic acquisition follows previous 2D and 3D surveys over WA-314-P & WA-315-P completed in 2006. These surveys covered an area of 1100 sq kms of 3D seismic and 850 kms of 2D seismic.
WA-398-P was acquired by Karoon Gas and ConocoPhillips in May of this year and adds to Karoon’s highly prospective WA-314-P and WA-315-P acreage currently also jointly held with ConocoPhillips.
The current ownership structure of the Browse Basin Permits is as follows: WA-398-P - Karoon Gas 40%, ConocoPhillips 60%; WA-314-P & WA-315-P - Karoon Gas 49%, ConocoPhillips 51%.
Source: Karoon Gas
••• 09.10.07 Schlumberger Acquires Minority Stake in PetroMarker.
Schlumberger announced the acquisition of a minority interest in PetroMarker, a Norwegian-based company that specializes in the development of marine electromagnetics technologies. Schlumberger provides electromagnetics services through its WesternGeco Electromagnetics business.
"We look forward to this relationship with PetroMarker," said Dalton Boutte, president of WesternGeco. "Their technology is complementary to our current initiatives in electromagnetics and we are optimistic about the possibilities going forward. We continue to believe that the integration of seismic and electromagnetics has enormous potential to provide a step change in reservoir definition."
"We have developed a unique method of electromagnetics measurement and interpretation," said Jan M. Wennesland, Chairman of PetroMarker. "We see this investment by Schlumberger as a positive verification of the high-quality solutions developed by our dedicated team."
Electromagnetics is a subsurface measurement used by the oil and gas industry for enhanced reservoir description and is one of the fastest-growing new technologies in the oilfield.
••• 08.10.07 Norway to build new Polar research vessel.
The Norwegian government has allocated funding for the construction of a new ice-protected research vessel. The vessel could help Norwegian researchers become world leading within research on ice.
Head of the Norwegian Polar Institute, Jan Gunnar Winther, says to NRK that the vessel will be the first ice-protected Norwegian research vessel in hundred years. Norway has reportedly not had any ice-protected research vessels since the "Maud" of 1916.
In its 2008 budget draft, the government allocates 5 million NOK to the research vessel, to be spent on the projecting phase. However, Mr. Winter is confident that the government will soon follow up also with construction money. The vessel is projected to cost about 500 million NOK.
The research vessel will be in operation in four years at earliest. It is to be used for educative and research activities, NRK reports.
Source: NRK/Barents Observer
••• 06.10.07 Norway to Allocate NOK 140 Million to Barents Sea Seismic Work in 2008.
The Norwegian Government has allocated NOK 70 million in 2007 to seismic surveys in the Nordland VII and Troms II areas, outside Lofoten and Vesteralen. A further 140 million will be allocated to this work. The surveys are carried out by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD).
These surveys will provide valuable information before the revision of the management plan in 2010. This is part of the Norwegian Government’s High North strategy, says Mrs. Aslaug Haga, Minister of Petroleum and Energy. This summer, the NPD has gathered 2D seismic in the area, focusing on covering areas not covered in earlier surveys. The plans for next summer comprise further 2D surveys, as well as 3D surveys in certain areas.
Norway as a polar nation Further, money are granted in the 2008-budget to mapping of the Norwegian continental shelf in the Antarctic in 2008. The United Nations Convention on Law of the Sea requires Norway to present documentation on the Norwegian continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles within 2009. More data is required to determine the boundary between the continental shelf and the international sea bed outside the Norwegian part of the Antarctic.
This mapping will provide us with new information on these areas, securing Norwegian interests in the Antarctic in line with the Antarctic Treaty, says Minister Haga.
Source: Ministry of Petroleum and Energy
••• 06.10.07 Veripos signs deal with Septentrio Satellite Navigation.
Aberdeen-based Veripos, the precise satellite positioning specialist serving the offshore oil and gas industries, has awarded a contract to Septentrio Satellite Navigation of Belgium for supply of its latest dual-frequency GPS-GLONASS receivers and matching L-band modules to provide the UK company’s global range of augmentation services.
Under the contract, the two companies will also collaborate on joint development of other advanced solutions to further enhance accuracy, reliability and integrity of precise navigation and positioning technology on behalf of users worldwide.
Equipment being provided by Septentrio, one of Europe’s foremost suppliers of high-end dual-frequency GNSS receivers and an active participant in major EU and ESA-funded development projects, includes its new compact low-power AsteRx2 receivers and associated L-band modules.
They will collectively enable Veripos to deliver its full portfolio of augmentation services ranging from its single-frequency Standard service to its high accuracy PPP service, Ultra.
••• 05.10.07 SCAN Completes GEMS/DEOCOM 2D Survey Offshore Sri Lanka.
SCAN Geophysical ASA announced that the company successfully completed a specialized 2D seismic acquisition program for GEMS International N.V. (GEMS) offshore Sri Lanka. The survey was carried out on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka (DEOCOM) and is part of its outer continental shelf delimiting studies for EEZ (exclusive economic zone) purposes.
SCAN’s M/V Geo Searcher using a 6,000m streamer and a 4,200 cu. ins. source array acquired the approximately two-month-long survey.
"Both GEMS and DEOCOM were satisfied with our performance and results and actually provided SCAN with one extra week’s worth of extension work" said Kjell Karlsson, vice president marketing and sales for SCAN. "We are looking forward to similar specialized seismic projects in the near-future as our vessel is well suited for this kind of work," he added.
Source: SCAN Geophysical
••• 05.10.07 Working group on seismics and fisheries holds its first meeting on Friday 5 October.
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate and the Directorate of Fisheries have formed a working group which will review issues concerning the relationship between seismic data acquisition and fishing interests.
This is a continuation of the dialogue the two directorates have maintained for several years in connection with seismic activities on the Norwegian Continental Shelf.
The working group will deal with questions concerning regulations and experience related to the planning and implementation of seismic data acquisition on the Norwegian continental shelf. Questions related to the consultation process, announcements and other information will be discussed in the working group. Other issues for closer study in the working group will be follow-up of permits, notification procedures in the event of conflicts and sanctions in connection with breaches of the regulations. In addition, the arrangement with a fishery expert will be discussed.
The working group will submit its closing report with proposed measures during the first quarter of 2008.
••• 04.10.07 Gazprom wants Murmansk port.
Russia’s Gazprom could be in the hunt for a logistics base for the Shtokman field development and appears to have settled on Murmansk to provide the necessary offshore support base.
Andrey Krainy, leader of the Russian Fishery Agency was holding a press conference in Murmansk where he indicated that he was going to hold talks with Gazprom about the port’s future, which has seen a decline in landings of fish in recent years, and "inefficient port procedures" the Barents Observer reported.
Krainy was reported to have suggested that that the state-owned port – which employs 1,200 people, - will have to take "urgent measures" and "cut drastically" its staff if it wants to survive, otherwise it will cease to exist by next year.
The Russian fishing boss indicated a dispute over an oil terminal in Murmansk would have to end, and warned the port would be privatised with a sale in 2008. And he also confirmed Gazprom wants to buy the facilities there, during a pres conference.
Gazprom’s Shtokman field lies 550 km (340 miles) offshore from the port of Murmansk in the Barents Sea.
Source: Offshore Media Group/Barents Observer
••• 03.10.07 Total firms StatoilHydro Shtokman bid.
Expectation that StatoilHydro could be given an Shtokman field stake was boosted this morning by an executive of Total in Norway.
Total Norway managing director P. de Vivies speaking on Norway’s NRK radio this morning was said to have voiced confidence that both Hydro and Statoil will be invited to participate in Gazprom’s gas project.
According to the Barents Observer, the French executive also talked about Total’s involvement in the Barents Sea Snohvit project, where it holds 18.4% equity, and his company’s 40-years of experience operating offshore Norway.
Source: Offshore Media Group/Barents Observer
••• 03.10.07 SAS is returning Dash8/Q400 aircraft to traffic.
Following an extensive inspection program and parts replacement, SAS is now returning Dash8/Q400 aircraft to traffic. Flights will begin on Thursday and more aircraft will successively return to traffic after testing and parts replacement have been completed.
••• 02.10.07 PGS announced today that its seismic 3D vessel fleet used approximately 89% of its total time to acquire marine contract and multi-client seismic in the third quarter of 2007.
This compares to 88% in the second quarter of 2007 and 83% in the third quarterof 2006.
In fourth quarter both Ramform Challenger and Ramform Valiant will be at yard for 10-year classing and upgrades. The yard stays will last approximately 1 and 1.5 months, respectively (including steaming).
As previously announced the Company has entered into an agreement to sell Ramform Victory to the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (`METI`) for approximately $213 million, including start up fees, along with an agreement to provide technical and operating services with commercial terms agreed for an initial period of 4 years. Ramform Victory will end operations early October to complete a yard stay before the subsequent delivery to METI.
••• 02.10.07 L-3 Valmarine to supply IAS and DP system for Korean Scientific Research Vessel.
Hanjin Heavy Industries & Construction Co., Ltd. of Korea has placed an order to L-3 Valmarine for the supply of IAS and DP system to the Korean Ocean Research & Development Institute’s (KORDI) new Scientific Research Vessel.
This highly advanced vessel, which will be KORDI’s 3rd research vessel, is designed with ice breaking capability and is intended for scientific research in artic regions. With a gross tonnage of 6.950 tons, the vessel will be KORDI’s largest.
The IAS is fully redundant and covers control and monitoring of all the major machinery components and systems.
The DP system is in accordance with IMO Class II dynamic positioning system, and includes a triple redundant controller, full voting on I/O signals, two operator stations and an independent Joystick.
This contract further establishes L-3 Valmarine’s position as a supplier of equipment to advanced vessels constructed for artic use.
••• 01.10.07 Eastern Echo is to build two SX 121 seismic ships in Dubai.
Eastern Echo has negotiated a Letter of Intent to build two more X BOW seismic vessels for delivery in the first quarter and second quarter of 2009. The vessels will be built in the Middle East at Dubai Drydocks.
The company has also decided to upgrade vessels 1-4 in the series from 10 to 12 streamer capacity in order to increase operational efficiency.
In addition, the board of directors has resolved to file an application for listing on the Oslo Axess.
"‘Eastern Echo is pleased to announce that the company has negotiated a LOI for vessels five and six. The delivery date will be as early as 17 months from signing the LOI. This is more than 1.5 years earlier than the original shipbuilding options and will have a significant financial impact. The accelerated delivery time is expected to generate some US$120 million in profit for the period," said the company's CEO, Rolf Ronningen.
"We are quite excited to be able to build the vessels at Dubai Drydocks. Firstly, being a company with a main office in Dubai the management is given easy access to follow the building process closely. Secondly, we get a good exposure to the Eastern hemisphere," Ronningen said.
The estimated project cost for the newbuilds is US$130 million per vessel including 12 streamer capacity, compared with US$117 million dollars per upgraded vessel 1-4.
Options for long lead time items had previously been secured by the company. The project cost for vessels five and six will be financed through a sale leaseback financing with a callable 10 year bareboat agreement and an equity injection of US$10 million. The bareboat rate is set to a competitive rate.
All of Eastern Echo's newbuilds are based on the SX 124 X-BOW design from Ulstein Design in Norway.
Source: Offshore Shipping Online
••• 01.10.07 StatoilHydro trading to start.
Share trading in the newly merged Norwegian giant StatoilHydro will start on the Oslo stock exchange from Monday, 1 October, marking the completion of the NOK 575 Bn (Us $100 Bn) merger of Statoil with Hydro’s oil and gas business.
••• 28.09.07 Nido Begins Palawan Seismic Survey (Philippines).
Nido Petroleum's next major seismic acquisition campaign is scheduled to commence on September 30, 2007 across the NW Palawan exploration portfolio.
The program will be the largest ever undertaken in the history of the company with a combined total in excess of 5,000 line km of 2D and 846 sq km of 3D seismic data, and follows on from the Abukay 3D in Service Contract (‘SC’) 54 and Talusi 2D in SC 58, both completed at the end of 2006.
The combined program will involve two seismic vessels the MV Pacific Titan and MV Pacific Sword, both contracted from CGGVeritas for the 100-120 day operation.
Source: Nido Petroleum
••• 28.09.07 Bergen Yards completes conversion of Malene Ostervold.
Bergen Yards in Norway has completed the conversion of Malene Ostervold into a seismic vessel on behalf of Wavefield Inseis, and the vessel has started operations in the North Sea.
The vessel, which had already been converted several times, has a history as a trawler, seismic vessel and coastguard vessel.
The vessel was dry-docked at Halsnoy in May 2007. During the conversion, 300 tons of new steel were fabricated and fitted, mainly for hull sponsons and seismic hangar.
Most of the auxiliary ship and pipe systems have been renewed and upgraded.
New machinery and main switchboard rooms have been arranged below main deck accommodating new generators, HP air compressors, main switchboard and transformers.
The vessel is specifically designed for long offset 2-D or small 3-D acquisition.
Source: Offshore Shipping Online
••• 28.09.07 CGGVeritas Marine Fleet: Upgrade and Renewal. Read more...
••• 27.09.07 Expectation is mounting that the merged Statoil and Hydro could have a role in the Russian Shtokman development after comments by Eivind Reiten following talks in Russia.
Reiten, chairman designate of the merged StatoilHydro, addressed a briefing for journalists after talks in Moscow with Gazprom.
"We are having dialogue with them [Gazprom]," Reiten said on Tuesday, quoted by Reuters. "I am optimistic but we are not there yet."
Both Reiten and Statoil’s chief executive Helge Lund were in Moscow for the talks.
Now that both the deepwater Ormen Lange gas field and the Barents Sea Snohvit developments are onstream – operated by Hydro and Statoil – their case for involvement could be seen by the Russian to be even stronger. "To work with such a giant resource in waters that we know a lot about, that requires technology we know ... that is the opportunity for us," Reiten told reporters.
With the remote gas field operations gained by Hydro on Ormen Lange, and experience of Barents Sea operations gained by Statoil, the deepwater and subsea technology deployed on the two projects is of high interest to Shtokman operator Gazprom, through its subsidiary Sevmorneftegaz, since the giant Russian field is 600 km (375 miles) north of the Kola peninsula, 600 km (375 miles) north-east of Murmansk, with water depths between 320 and 340 m (1,050 – 1,115 ft) in the Barents Sea.
Shtokman field reserves have been estimated at between 3.2 and 3.7 Trillion cubic meters of gas and more than 31 million tons of condensate – twice the entire gas reserves of Canada and sufficient to supply Europe for seven years.
Initial development will involve annual production of 22.5 Bcm of natural gas and 205,000 tonnes of gas condensate, later increasing to 70 Bcm – equalling Norway’s annual gas production to Europe - and 0.6 m tonnes of condensate, at a project cost of between US $15 and $20 Bn.
Although it was originally though Shtokman gas would be exported to the US as LNG, Gazprom has indicated it would seek to use the Nord Stream pipeline to export Shtokman gas to Europe, but also using LNG.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 27.09.07 ION Geophysical Corporation, formerly known as I/O, has completed open water testing of its DigiFIN™ streamer control system on PGS’s seismic vessels Atlantic Explorer and Pacific Explorer.
DigiFIN is a steerable streamer system for marine seismic acquisition vessels that provides lateral streamer control, a feature which improves the efficiency of acquisition operations and allows more streamers to be towed closer together to enhance the quality of the acquired seismic data.
Dave Moffat, Senior Vice President of Marine Imaging Systems at ION, commented, "ION has developed DigiFIN to help contractors improve the productivity of their marine seismic operations and deliver higher resolution subsurface images to their oil & gas company customers. It is a 'drop-in' system designed to be compatible with most existing in-water streamers. We are delighted that PGS – widely recognized as a seismic acquisition leader in the industry – experienced first-hand the additional value that DigiFIN can bring to marine seismic operations."
DigiFIN maintains tighter, more uniform streamer separation along the entire length of the streamer cable, which allows for finer sampling of seismic data and improved subsurface images. DigiFIN also enables faster line changes and minimizes the requirements for in-fill, which together improve the productivity of towed streamer operations.
Rune Eng, Group President Marine, commented, "PGS is committed to being the technology leader in marine seismic acquisition. We are actively involved in maturing this technology through the ION-PGS Launch Partner Agreement, which enables first adoption of the technology by PGS. We are pleased with the results of the tests on the Atlantic Explorer and Pacific Explorer and expect DigiFIN to further improve our ability to deliver the tight streamer spacing that is often required on the most technically advanced marine programs, including 4D and HD3D surveys."
••• 26.09.07 New multibeam sonar for Acergy Viking.
Acergy has returned to Kongsberg Maritime AS to acquire a second 0.5 by 1 degree high resolution EM 710 multibeam echo sounder for use in the North Sea.
The EM 710 system will be fitted to the new build vessel Acergy Viking. The system has been delivered and the transducers will be fitted into the hull end September/ start October 2007.
The first EM 710 system was installed in July 2007 on vessel Acergy Petrel and has already completed survey jobs in the North Sea.
Source: Offshore Shipping Online
••• 26.09.07 An order worth some NOK 160 million for automated handling solutions on vessels conducting three-dimensional seismic surveys has been awarded to ODIM by Eastern Echo.
This contract covers complete aft deck systems with the capacity to handle up to 12 streamers apiece for delivery in 2008 to two newbuildings - conditional on the availability of construction finance.
In addition, the assignment embraces upgrading the handling capacity of four other vessels from 10 to 12 streamers each.
Eastern Echo placed its first orders with ODIM this March and, with the latest contract, has purchased the company`s automated handling equipment to a value of almost NOK 400 million in 2007.
••• 26.09.07 Keel of first X BOW vessel to be built in Spain is laid.
The keel laying ceremony for the first ULSTEIN X-BOW vessel to be built outside Ulstein Verft in Norway was laid on September 3rd at the Barreras shipyard near Vigo, Spain.
Eastern Echo has ordered four seismic vessels of the ULSTEIN SX124 design, all four of which will be built at Barreras.
The first of the new seismic vessels is due to be delivered in October 2008.
Source: Offshore Shipping Online
••• 25.09.07 Maersk Oil Qatar and PGS Complete Industry's Largest Ever Ultra-High Resolution 3D Seismic Survey.
Maersk Oil Qatar has in cooperation with Qatar Petroleum recently completed the world's largest ultra-high resolution 3D seismic survey over the Al Shaheen field offshore Qatar. Acquisition started in October 2006 using the PGS vessel Pacific Explorer in an 8 streamer configuration with only 25 meters streamer separation and a single high resolution source.
The seismic survey has been designed specifically for high resolution imaging of relatively shallow targets - the narrow streamer separation allows for high lateral resolution of structural and stratigraphic features, while shallow streamer and source depths of 4.5m and 4m, respectively, offer a high bandwidth signal for vertical resolution of thin beds in the subsurface. A total of 1834 sq. km have been acquired with this configuration. Additionally, 912 sq. km have been acquired with double streamer separation as part of the same survey.
The seismic survey is part of a development plan that will increase the Al Shaheen Field production to a plateau level of 525,000 barrels/day from late 2009.
••• 25.09.07 SeaBird contract award.
SeaBird Exploration Limited has received a letter of award from Oil and National Gas Corporation of India for approximately 13,500 line km long offset 2D survey outside the west coast of India.
The total gross contract value is estimated to around USD 20 million and is expected to take 4-5 months including mobilization, demobilization and data processing.
Source: SeaBird Exploration
••• 24.09.07 Falkland Basin 3D Contract.
PGS announced that it has signed a Seismic contract with Borders & Southern Petroleum PLC to conduct a 3D survey within its South Falklands Basin Production Licences. The contract is on attractive terms and represents the most extensive seismic 3D study ever conducted in this area. The study will be conducted by Ocean Explorer.
The 3D survey area will be located over some of the Border & Southern’s high-graded leads that were identified on the earlier 2D seismic data. The 3D will provide detailed information on the reservoir distribution and structural integrity of the leads and to assess some of the amplitude anomalies associated with the structures. Ultimately the 3D will allow the Borders and Southern to rank its prospects and define drilling locations.
••• 24.09.07 Input/Output Changes Name to ION.
Input/Output has changed its company name to ION Geophysical Corporation. The name change, which is effective immediately, will be accompanied by a rebranding initiative that reflects the company's evolution from its legacy as a seismic equipment manufacturer to its present position as a broad-based provider of cutting-edge imaging technologies, services, and solutions for the global oil & gas industry.
Source: Input/Output, Inc
••• 21.09.07 Merger approved by the Extraordinary General Meetings of TGS NOPEC-Geophysical Company ASA and Wavefield Inseis ASA.
On 20 September 2007 the Extraordinary General Meetings of TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company ASA and Wavefield Inseis ASA approved the merger plan dated 20 August 2007 in order to merge the two companies.
In accordance with the merger plan, the Extraordinary General Meeting of TGS has elected Anders Farestveit as an observer on the Board of Directors until completion of the merger.
In accordance with the merger plan, the Extraordinary General Meeting of TGS also elected a new board of directors and resolved various amendments to the company`s articles of association, both resolutions to take effect from the date of completion of the merger.
The resolution to merge the two companies will be registered in the Norwegian Register of Business Enterprises as soon as possible. Such registration will trigger a two month creditor notice period which is expected to expire on 21 November 2007.
Completion of the merger will take place after the end of the creditor notice period and as soon as the relations to any objecting creditors have been clarified.
Source: TGS NOPEC-Geophysical Company ASA and Wavefield Inseis ASA
••• 20.09.07 New Russian E&P head.
Total has put a new head of E&P in place in Russia who could be left with controlling the company’s 25% stake in the Shtokman project.
Pierre Nerguararian was appointed on 17 September, replacing Jean-Pierre Dolla, who has returned to Paris, Reuters reported.
Total said the move was nothing more than a "classical rotation of management."
The French oil major was awarded a 25% stake in the Shtokman project by Gazprom in July and there have been predictions that a third partner, thought likely to be either StatoilHydro or ConocoPhillips could be included in the development.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 19.09.07 SCAN Completes PDVSA Caribbean 2D Marine Programs on Schedule.
SCAN Geophysical ASA announced that the company successfully completed its 2D seismic acquisition program for Petroleos de Venezuela SA in the Caribbean region on time and as scheduled.
The M/V SCAN Resolution acquired close to 4,200 Km of 2D seismic during the last six weeks using 8,000m streamers and a 4,000 cu. ins. source.
"Our vessel, its crews and our operational support team all performed well", commented Kjell Karlsson, Vice President Marketing and Sales for SCAN in Oslo, Norway. "That high level of performance, plus an excellent working relationship with our client, PDVSA, resulted in a smooth operation from beginning to end."
After short port call for re-supply, SCAN Resolution will transit to Venezuela to continue working for PDVSA on other seismic projects.
Source: SCAN Geophysical
••• 18.09.07 Texas American Resources Begins Panyu 3D Survey.
Texas American Resources-Asia has started a 3D seismic survey over the Panyu prospect area of PSC 28/20 covering 850 square kilometers in the Pearl River Mouth Basin of the South China Sea, China.
China Offshore Services is the contractor, using the MV Dongfangmingzhu seismic vessel. Production shooting began August 1, 2007 and is expected to be completed by November 1, 2007.
Headquartered in Beijing, Texas American Resources-Asia (TARA), Ltd's principal assets consist of two blocks in the Pearl River Area of the South China Sea, making TARA the first privately-held company to have assets in the South China Sea. In total, TARA's offshore blocks encompass approximately 4.5 million acres.
••• 17.09.07 First Large 3D Contract with BP.
Wavefield Inseis ASA has been contracted by BP to carry out a seismic survey to the west of the Shetland Islands. The project, due to commence in May 2008, is expected to take 35-45 days and will involve a 4D marine survey within block 204 of the UK Continental Shelf.
Located over the Schiehallion, Loyal and Foinaven fields, approximately 190km west of the Shetland Islands, the survey will be acquired by one of Wavefield Inseis’ large capacity 3D vessels and a source vessel for undershooting.
After a rigorous tender process, BP selected Wavefield Inseis for the project ahead of a number of other operators. The first time the companies have worked together, the 4D survey will rely on Wavefield Inseis’ leading edge acquisition technology and experience of 4D marine projects.
"The agreement with BP represents another significant step forward for Wavefield Inseis," commented Rick Donoghue, Wavefield Inseis’ vice president sales and marketing. He continued, "We are delighted to be awarded this 4D survey and look forward to working with BP on many other projects."
Source: Wavefield Inseis
••• 14.09.07 Shtokman: Tender for 20 LNG tankers.
Tenders for up to 20 LNG tankers could be issued by Gazprom to support its Shtokman development, a report has indicated.
Reuters has reported from St Petersburg – where a Russian arctic oil industry conference and exhibition is currently taking place – that Gazprom may issue a tender for up to 20 LNG tankers to transport gas from the giant Barents Sea liquefied gas development.
According to Andrei Fomichyov, the head of St Petersburg’s North Shipyard Company, Gazprom has already told construction companies of its requirements for up to 20 LNG tankers with tonnages of between 80,000 and 100,000 tonnes, Reuters reported.
LNG deliveries from Shtokman are expected to start in 2013, and Fomichyov indicated his shipyard could only help to fulfil any Shtokman order after expanding construction capacity.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 12.09.07 ODIM has resolved to establish a facility in Vietnam.
The board of ODIM has resolved to establish a facility in Vung Tau, Vietnam for assembly and testing of automated handling solutions, as a follow up of the detailed analyses of the group’s capacity requirements. The investment is estimated to be about NOK 85 million.
The investment decision is in line with ODIM’s existing strategy of technological leadership with automated handling solutions in those parts of the value chain which contribute most to value creation in the group. At the same time, this decision represents a good, long- term and flexible solution to ODIM’s capacity challenges, on competitive terms. The investment decision will depend on the award of the necessary licence from the Vietnamese authorities.
An assembly and testing facility in Vung Tau, Vietnam will supplement the group’s existing plants and outsourcing network. It will thereby allow ODIM to get seriously to grips with its next growth phase from 2009.
Vung Tau is the 12th largest city in Vietnam, and the country’s center of offshore oil/gas- activities.
ODIM will provide more detailed information about the investment later. In parallel with the efforts being devoted to a major capacity increase, ODIM has been working actively for a long time to expand its outsourcing network in China and Singapore. That includes plans to boost capacity in Singapore this autumn.
••• 12.09.07 TGS-NOPEC - Clearance from Norwegian Competition Authorities for merger obtained.
On 20 August 2007, TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company ASA and Wavefield Inseis ASA jointly announced that the boards of directors of both companies had entered into a Merger Plan to merge and create TGS Wavefield.
TGS and Wavefield Inseis announced that Norwegian Competition Authorities clearance for the proposed merger of TGS and Wavefield Inseis has been obtained. The merger of TGS and Wavefield Inseis does not require any additional clearances from any competition authorities.
••• 12.09.07 Gazprom opens the door for additional Shtokman partner.
Valery Golubev, Gazprom deputy chairman, said at an ongoing petroleum conference in St.Petersburg that the state-owned natural gas giant expects to announce by October that it has found a second partner for the development of its Shtokman gas field.
••• 12.09.07 This year could be warmest on record in eastern Arctic.
This year could be the warmest on record since climate monitoring in the Arctic Ocean began, a meteorological official said Tuesday.
"This year, the water is unusually warm in the Arctic Ocean and the summer ice has significantly declined, and is further to the north than usual with only one-year ice present. The ice, due to the influence of warm air and water, has been greatly reduced," Sergei Balyasnikov, the press secretary of the Russian hydrometeorological service's Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, said.
Balyasnikov said that the trends seen in recent years are continuing with the late 1990s seeing the start of warming in the Arctic. "But presently, the institute's scientists believe we are at the peak of warming," he said.
The press secretary said Russia had started monitoring the Arctic climate in 1937, when the Arctic was also relatively warm, but "compared to then, the warming is continuing in a far more noticeable and severe way."
Source: RIA Novosti
••• 10.09.07 SeaBird Exploration Limited says it has completed the conversion of Harrier Explorer to a 2D/Source vessel.
Harrier Explorer has successfully completed her sea-trials in Delfzjil, Netherlands.
She has commenced a four year charter with Petroleum Geo-Services.
Source: SeaBird Exploration
••• 10.09.07 Fugro takes delivery of largest purpose-built seismic vessel in the world.
A new Fugro 3-D vessel was named in Bergen, Norway on August 18th, the vessel being Geo Celtic, the largest purpose-built seismic vessel in the world, which is capable of deploying 12 solid streamers of up to 8km in length.
The vessel has an overall length of 100.80m, breadth (max) of 28m, and can accommodate 69 people onboard.
The vessel was completed at Bergen Yards BMV.
"We are proud to deliver the largest purpose-built seismic vessel in the world," said Magnus Stangeland, CEO of Bergen Yards AS. "Geo Celtic is the most advanced vessel ever built by Bergen Yards. What is more, she is the first in a series of six similar vessels to be built in Bergen. The yard is fully booked till 2010."
"The project went well from the beginning, all partners had long experience and confidence in each other," said Klaas S Wester, President and Chief Executive Officer, Fugro NV. "I am proud that Fugro possesses state-of-the-art vessels and technology."
The vessel will be operated by Ellen Forland Rederi, and Fugro will charter her and is responsible for all seismic equipment onboard.
Source: Offshore Shipping Online
••• 10.09.07 BHP Billiton Ready to Begin Offshore Seismic Program.
Anglo-Australian resources group BHP Billiton's oil division has new acreage in Colombia and is ready to begin a 3D seismic program in the country, BHP Billiton Petroleum CEO J Michael Yeager said at the Lehman Brothers energy conference in New York.
"The seismic vessel is offshore right now," Yeager said. "We have others trying to come to us who want to partner with us on this."
BHP Billiton acquired E&P rights in the Fuerte Norte and Fuerte Sur offshore blocks in Colombia in April 2006.
The blocks measure nearly 500,000ha each. BHP Billiton holds a 75% interest in each block and is the designated operator.
Colombian state oil company Ecopetrol holds the remaining 25% in the blocks.
••• 07.09.07 No oil for Snohvit.
Despite 73 dollars a barrel, operator Statoil will probably decide on not producing oil from the Snohvit-field in the Barentsea and thereby rejecting NOK 36.5 billion in potential revenues. Early estimates of the Snohvit-field concluded with 50 million barrels oil.
– Now it looks like it’s not quite 50 million barrels, but somewhat less. Due to time pressure of extracting the oil before too much gas is removed, this simply isn’t profitable enough, says an anonymous source to the newspaper Nordlys.
NPD calculated in 2004 that oil prices had to be above 15 dollars a barrel to get production and costs in balance.
Statoil wishes not to comment on the matter directly.
– We are working with this and expect to have an answer to this question by end of September, says information manager Sverre Kojedal.
••• 07.09.07 Murphy Aims to Shoot 3D Seismic in 1Q08.
Arkansas-based Murphy Oil aims to shoot 3D seismic for block 37 in Suriname in the first quarter of next year, Murphy E&P president David Wood said in a webcast.
Suriname's state oil company Staatsolie and Murphy earlier this year signed a production-sharing contract for the offshore block.
The seismic work will depend on boat availability, said Wood, adding exploration drilling could begin by late 2008.
••• 06.09.07 GGS-Spectrum Completes Phase 1 of "Big Wave".
GGS-Spectrum says it has completed Phase 1 of its Big Wave Multi-Client seismic survey in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. The acquisition of Phase 3 of Big Wave is ahead of schedule with more than 11,000 km of data now being processed.
Big Wave is being acquired in advance of the lease sales in the region scheduled for late 2008 and early 2009. Both Phase 1 and Phase 3 of the survey have attracted substantial oil company interest and pre-funding which is expected to increase as the lease sales get closer.
The 30,000 km 2D seismic survey includes:
10,000 kms of seismic data for Phase 1 was acquired offshore West Florida and was completed in August 2007, with processing to finish in September 2007.
11,000 kms of seismic data for Phase 3 has been acquired and is currently being processed.
9,000 kms of remaining Phase 3 data will be acquired by the end of 2007.
GGS-Spectrum acquired the Big Wave data with a 10 km streamer and to a record length of 14 secs. Processing is being undertaken at GGS-Spectrum's seismic processing centre in Houston, Texas with pre-stack time (PSTM) and pre-stack depth migration (PSDM) sequences. The GGS-Atlantic is being used to acquire the seismic data.
••• 06.09.07 Shetland’s Lerwick Port deepens.
Lerwick Port Authority is looking for a contractor to undertake a major dredging project to improve vessel access as development activity West of Shetland heats up.
Four contractors from the UK and Europe have been invited to bid for the work which will involve removing around 700,000 cubic metres of seabed, including good quality rock. It will be the largest single dredging project yet at the port. Depending on dredging plant availability, the authority hopes to have the dredging completed in 2008.
The announcement comes on the day that Total unveiled a new discovery on its Tomore prospect in the region, boosting hopes of a hub development.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 05.09.07 New Wavefield Inseis office opens in Singapore.
Wavefield Inseis has opened its second office in the Asia Pacific region. Located in Singapore, at the heart of the Marina Square business district, it is the company's operations base for the region and is staffed with vessel and operations management, logistics and administrative personnel. Singapore was chosen due to its central location in the region and the office will be the company's key hub in the Far East.
"This new facility compliments our marketing and sales office in Perth, Western Australia," explains CEO Atle Jacobsen, "and will very shortly begin operations in the region with one of our latest 3D vessels, the Geowave Champion."
Source: Wavefield Inseis
••• 04.09.07 GEMS Awards SCAN Geophysical a 2D Survey Offshore Sri Lanka.
SCAN Geophysical ASA has been awarded a contract from GEMS International N.V. (GEMS) for a 2D survey offshore Sri Lanka.
GEMS, a Belgian and UK-based company specializing in EEZ (exclusive economic zone) and UNCLOS (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) studies is conducting the survey on behalf of the government of Sri Lanka (DEOCOM) as part of its outer continental shelf delimiting study.
SCAN's M/V Geo Searcher using a 6,000m streamer and a 4,200 cu. ins. source array is acquiring the approximate two month survey scheduled to complete in September 2007.
"We are pleased to continue our work with GEMS in this region," said Stephane Touche, vice president and COO of SCAN. "Having done UNCLOS work of this special nature in the past year, we expect to achieve good quality and productivity," he emphasized.
Source: SCAN Geophysical
••• 31.08.07 Total to share Shtokman risks.
Russian media is saying that France’s Total will share the risks of developing the Shtokman field and will be allowed to book up to 300 Bcm of reserves from the project through its participation including exercising broad management powers.
All of these issues are spelled out in a contract between the two companies governing the Shtokman development, Russia’s Kommersant daily says.
"The conditions offered to Total differ significantly from the terms previously offered to other potential participants in the project. I am referring to economic, not political terms," an unnamed Gazprom manger was quoted as saying by the Russian news outlet.
Total will book 1.22 Trillion cubic meters of gas to be produced from the first stage of the development, Kommersant said.
One analyst has suggested that Total will be paying US $800 m for its Shtokman share, although project uncertainties may mean this payment could be $300 m more or less.
Kommersant said those calculations were roughly correct – citing a Gazprom source.
Other potential project partners including ConocoPhillips, Norsk Hydro, and Statoil won’t be offered the same privileges of equal project control alongside Total and Gazprom, if they are offered an opportunity to participate in the project.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 30.08.07 SeaBird agrees sale of Raven Explorer.
SeaBird Exploration Limited has agreed to sell Raven Explorer for a price of US$17 million with delivery within the first half of September.
The vessel was intended converted to a shallow water 2-D/3-D vessel, but modeling could not positively conclude the vessels suitability as a state of the art seismic vessel.
Source: SeaBird Exploration
••• 30.08.07 ODIM in Norway says it maintained its pace of growth as a result of record activity in the offshore sector during the second quarter.
ODIM experienced strong and profitable growth, and revenues and quarterly earnings once again reached record levels.
Revenues for the second quarter came to NKr 322.4 million, up 48.9 per cent from the corresponding period last year. EBITDA was NKr 53.5 million, an increase of 116.6 per cent from the second quarter of 2006. The EBITDA margin reached 16.6 per cent, which was 5.2 percentage points higher than in the corresponding period last year.
ODIM had an order intake of NKr 378 million in the second quarter, which brought the backlog to approximately NKr 1.7 billion at 30 June 2007, which constitutes the highest backlog in ODIM’s history.
In addition, ODIM received new orders in July and so far in August 2007 added up to approximately NKr 60 million.
"‘During the second quarter ODIM has been working systematically and consistently on preparing the next growth phase. At the same time we have had a strong focus on project execution and follow-up of suppliers and sub contractors. In light of this I’m very pleased to present another record-breaking quarter with revenues, margin and backlog at all time high. I’m very confident with ODIM’s positioning in the deepwater market, and I see a number of growth opportunities going forward. Consequently, ODIM has strong growth ambitions for the next couple of years," said CEO Jogeir Romestrand.