Offshore SeisNews ©
••• 20.10.05 Philippines Seeks To Become Russia's Asian Oil Hub.
MANILA - The Philippines is hopeful it will become the regional oil distribution hub for Russia, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo said Wednesday.
"We are very hopeful that we would get...a memorandum of understanding on energy cooperation," said Romulo, who was speaking with reporters to discuss details of his recent trip to Russia aimed at finding other sources of oil for the Philippines.
"We are asking them to consider the Philippines as a market for oil... and not only that, (but also that this country) should be used as a distribution center for natural gas and oil in this area," he said.
Romulo said aside from diversifying the source of oil products for the Philippines, such an arrangement would bring in investments for the country. He noted the Philippines is a strategic location for Russia, whose major oil and natural gas resources are found in its Far Eastern regions.
Romulo said the government has invited Russian energy experts to visit the Philippines. They are expected to arrive either in November or December.
Source: Dow Jones Newswires
••• 19.10.05 Veritas DGC extends charter on "Veritas Viking".
Veritas DGC's subsidiary Viking Maritime has exercised an option to extend the charter for the seismic research vessel "Veritas Viking".
The extension is for a fixed period of five years beginning June 2006. Viking Maritime has additional options to further extend the charter for up to 12 years beginning in 2011. Veritas Viking was delivered in May of 1998.
Veritas also has under charter the two sister vessel, Veritas Viking II and Veritas Vantage, delivered in 1999 and 2002 respectively.
The vessels are owned by Eidesvik Shipping AS, a wholly owned subsidiary of Eidesvik Offshore ASA, and operate on a worldwide basis for seismic acquisition research.
The vessel will be upgraded with new compressors and advanced seismic handling systems at the beginning of the extension period, to ensure continuous improvements to our high operating standards.
••• 18.10.05 Statoil Celebrates Heidrun's 10th Anniversary.
Oil and gas production began from Heidrun 10 years ago today, October 18th. This field was the first to be operated by Statoil in the Norwegian Sea. Its development also led to the creation of one of Norway's most important industrial centres at Tjeldbergodden in the middle of the country.
The Heidrun field on the Halten Bank has yielded some 660 million barrels of oil since it came on stream, and is currently flowing about 150,000 barrels per day. Annual gas output totals roughly 1.3 billion cubic meters.
Crude is transported by shuttle tanker to Statoil's terminal at Mongstad near Bergen, and a total of 815 consignments have so far been delivered from the field.
Roughly two million cubic meters of gas flow every day through the Haltenpipe line to the Tjeldbergodden complex, and to European customers in the Еsgard Transport system via the Kеrsto processing plant north of Stavanger.
Heidrun created an industrial adventure because of the Haltenpipe solution and the associated development on land, notes Jon Bakken, operations vice president for the field.
In addition to the pipeline receiving terminal, Tjeldbergodden facilities include a methanol plant, an air separation unit and a gas liquefaction plant.
The methanol plant ranks as one of the world's largest, with an annual capacity of 900,000 tonnes or 25 per cent of the European total for this chemical.
Heidrun has enjoyed very high regularity, and ranks as one of the two-three best Norwegian fields in that respect.
Purposeful efforts to improve oil recovery have helped to boost estimated oil reserves in the field to about 1,130 million barrels.
Statoil is working on plans to raise this figure by a further 10 per cent, and has ambitions to achieve an even bigger increase.
"Establishing the Heidrun operations organisation at Stjordal near Trondheim laid the basis for a big team of production and reservoir development specialists, and for Statoil's establishment and commitment in mid-Norway," observes Mr. Bakken.
••• 17.10.05 Fugro strengthens position in seismic market. Read more...
••• 17.10.05 The acqusition of InSeis MC2D seismic survey offshore Colombia has started.
At 16:52 hrs (Colombian local time) on October 15th, 2005, M/V "Polar Venturer" acquired the first shot-point for our Colombian Cayos Basin survey. The vessel mobilized at the Colombian island San Andres and commenced the acquisition of a 11,000 km long-offset 2D seismic multi client survey campaign, covering areas in the Cayos Basin offshore the Caribbean coast of Colombia and areas offshore the Pacific coast.
InSeis is a Norwegian geophysical company providing non-exclusive seismic data services and associated business opportunities to the global oil and gas industry, including Multi Client 2D, 3D, 4C and electromagnetic Sea Bed Logging surveys.
Source: InSeis AS
••• 15.10.05 Providence Commences Major Irish Offshore Seismic Survey.
Providence Resources has commenced a major new Irish offshore seismic survey using a new 'long offset' technique, which can vastly improve imaging and hydrocarbon detection. The survey, which is being used for the first time in the Celtic Sea, will focus on a number of the Company's existing oil and gas field assets and will be carried out by Fugro Data Services AG and TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company ASA. The survey is being partially underwritten by Providence.
This first phase of the survey is expected to target specific structures including Ardmore, Hook Head and Blackrock. In addition, the survey will provide increased definition on the Pegasus, Dionysus and Apollo prospects in the St George's Channel Basin, where Providence holds a dominant acreage position adjacent to the Marathon-operated Dragon gas field.
A second survey phase is envisaged for 2006, which will involve a further 2,500 km of 2D seismic data collection, including some of Providence's large prospects in the Porcupine Basin off the west coast of Ireland.
Commenting on the survey, Chief Executive, Tony O'Reilly said:
"This new survey technique has already resulted in a noticeable increase in exploration success in the North Sea and we are delighted to be pioneering its use offshore Ireland. This is an exciting and important step in progressing towards drilling and development of Providence's many assets."
The "Northern Explorer" vessel mobilized from Den Helder, Holland on October 12, 2005 and is expected to acquire approximately 1,500 km of 2D seismic data in the North Celtic Sea and St. George's Channel Basins during 2005.
The new survey involves the use of a new 'Long Offset' technique where an 8 kilometer long receiver streamer is towed behind the seismic surveying vessel. This new technique, which has not previously been deployed offshore Ireland, vastly improves imaging and direct hydrocarbon detection, and presently is creating a renaissance in North Sea exploration.
Source: Providence Resources
••• 14.10.05 Norway politics produces Barents opening.
Norway's newly victorious, left-leaning government-in-waiting will prohibit drilling around the pretty, fish-rich Lofoten Islands area, but will open the arctic to hydrocarbon exploration.
Norway-based media reported Friday that in the new government's budget and platform, the Socialists will provide a finance minister and an environment minister.
Labour has forced an opening of the Barents to drilling, although the Socialists secured a demand to ensure carbon-dioxide scrubbing for any new gas-fired plants in Norway. The Centre pary will chose the next oil minister.
Russia, Norway to talk again about Grey Zone.
Norway and Russia will resume talks next month to decide who owns the rights to exploration in a disputed Barents Sea strip, wire service Dow Jones reported this week. Read more...
The area is dubbed the Grey Zone because it’s been a no-go area shaded in grey tones on both sides’ maps.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 13.10.05 India to Receive Oil from Russia's Far East.
India will get 100,000 barrels of oil per day beginning 2007 from Sakhalin-I oil and gas fields in Far East Russia and will recover its 2.7bn dollar investment in less than three years time. The Sakhalin-I fields, where India's Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Videsh Ltd [OVL] has 20 per cent stake, began producing oil and gas earlier this month.
Russian Energy Minister Viktor Borisovich Khristenko when the valves were opened, said OVL had given loans to Rosneft to fund the Russian company's 20 per cent stake in the project, as well as paying for its own 20 per cent share of development costs.
"Our share of 20 per cent entitles us for 50,000 barrels per day [bpd] of crude oil from peak output of 250,000 bpd. But since we have also financed Rosneft's share, we would get their share of oil as well till the loan is repaid back," he said on 1 October on Sakhalin Island.
India, which imported 76 per cent of its crude oil requirement last year, is seeking stakes in overseas fields such as Sakhalin to feed the nation's 7 per cent annual economic growth. OVL managing director R.S. Butola said the field would initially produce 23,000 barrels per day of oil and about 58-59m standard cu. ft of gas per day.
Oil production would rise to 50,000 barrels per day by April 2006 and hit the peak level of 250,000 barrels per day by 2006 end. Gas production will rise to 200m standard cu. ft per day by next year, he said.
Total spending on Sakhalin-1 has so far exceeded 4 bn US dollars, Stephen Terni, president of Exxon Neftegas Ltd, the project's operator, said. OVL, the overseas arm of Oil and Natural Gas Corp, purchased a 20 per cent stake in Sakhalin-I project for 1.7bn dollars in 2001. In November 2003, India had approved 1.1bn dollar of additional investment in Sakhalin-I.
ONGC Videsh plans to ship around 7,00,000 barrels of oil from Sakhalin-I fields to India every 70 days from April 2006. This would be India's first shipment of equity crude oil from the Russian fields, officials said.
The Sakhalin-I consortium, comprising Exxon Neftegas Ltd (the operator) - 30 per cent, Japanese Sodeco - 30 per cent, Russian RN- Astra LLC - 8.5 per cent and Russian Sakhalinmorneftegaz-Shelf - 11.5 per cent, has already hired five ice class tankers on long- term charter. Tankers would be delivered next year and OVL would hire one of them for transporting its share of output of around 50,000 bpd (April-November 2006) to India. The Sakhalin-I field is expected to produce about 12.5m tonnes of oil and 10bn cu.m. of gas annually at its peak production level, of which OVL's share would be 20 per cent, in proportion to its equity.
The total production of Sakhalin-I in its 40-year life cycle is estimated at 307m tonnes of oil and 485bn cu.m. of gas. The Sakhalin- I project includes the Chayvo, Odoptu and Arkutun-Dagi fields. Over the 40-year life of the project, plans call for producing 2.3bn barrels of oil and 17 trillion cu. ft of gas.
••• 12.10.05 Concorde Oil and Gas Appoints ex-USSR Minister of Geology as Non-Executive Director.
Concorde Oil and Gas announces the appointment of Professor Grigoriy Arkadievich Gabrielyants as a non-executive director.
Professor Gabrielyants is one of the leading figures in the Russian oil and gas industry having been the Minister of Geology of the USSR from July 1989 to January 1992. A Professor and Doctor of Geology, he began his career at the exploration group Kurakum before going on to hold a number of positions in the Russian oil and gas industry.
Concorde Oil and Gas is a newly incorporated company aiming to invest in or acquire operational oil and gas assets in the Russian Federation. The Company is seeking admission to Ofex this month. The funds raised will be used to evaluate a number of oil and gas opportunities in the Russian Federation.
The Directors of Concorde have extensive experience in the oil and gas industry and of working in the former Soviet Union (FSU), from their time at the oil major, Texaco. The company has identified a number of 50 – 250 million barrel opportunities that are in production or are discoveries with early production potential. These are assets where capital and technical expertise could add significant value and where early cash flow is achievable. All are prolific oil and gas basins with established infrastructure.
The next step is to prioritise these opportunities and complete the local partnership agreements necessary to acquire the top priority opportunity. Peter Hughes, Chief Executive of Concorde, said:
“Using our experience of and contacts in the Russian Federation, we have been able to identify a number of exciting opportunities where a company of our size can add significant value. Our task now is to prioritise these opportunities and acquire one of the best.”
••• 07.10.05 Rosneft-BP Joint Venture Makes Second Discovery Off Sakhalin.
CJSC "Elvary Neftegas" (Rosneft-BP joint venture) successfully completed drilling and testing its second exploratory well in the Kaigansky - Vasuykansky exploration license.
The offshore license block, Covering over 6,000 square kilometers, lies in the south of the Sakhalin-5 acreage, northeast of Sakhalin Island. The Udachnaya well was drilled to a total depth of 2,705 meters and encountered hydrocarbons in three zones. A restricted test program was conducted on a single zone which flowed at a rate of 1,900 barrels of oil per day through a 28/64-inch choke.
This second discovery in the block was made by the "Transocean Legend" semisub on the Udachnaya structure located about 40 kilometers offshore, in water depths of some 100 meters.
The first well in the Kaigansky-Vasuykansky exploration license was drilled in 2004 on the Pela Lache structure some 15 kilometers to the east. It encountered significant volumes of oil and gas in a number of high-quality sandstone reservoirs. Elvary Neftegas plans to continue exploratory drilling in 2006.
••• 06.10.05 Seismic surveys in the Barents Sea.
Fugro Multi Client Services announces seismic surveys in the Barents Sea.
The duration will be from around 6 october 2005, with the activity to be concluded around 1 november 2005.
Name of vessel: S/V "Geolog Dmitriy Nalivkin", 1 streamer, 8100 meters long.
••• 05.10.05 New sale US OPEN - WEST FLORIDA.
GGS reports that another sale for the West of Florida Multi Client survey was concluded in Houston. This is in addition to the sales announced yesterday.
The US Open West Florida is a more than 10.000 km Multi Client project currently being collected by the vessel "Odin Explorer". The 10,000 km project is now more than 50% pre-funded.
The hurricanes Katrina and Rita have caused some delays in the performance of the US Open - West Florida project, but production is now on track with about 20% of the project completed. The operations of major oil companies with headquarters in Texas have also been affected by the recent events. Many companies are just now evaluating participation in the GGS programme after having prioritized their efforts on emergency matters during most of September.
••• 05.10.05 Gazprom Gets Approval for Offshore Exploration Through 2030.
Gazprom's Management Committee has approved major provisions of Gazprom's Program on the Russian Federation offshore hydrocarbon resources exploitation up to 2030. Read more...
••• 04.10.05 TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company has announced the start of a new seismic survey in the Morondava Basin, offshore west Madagascar.
TGS' program consists of approximately 10,300 kilometers of multi-client 2D seismic data covering the Morondava Basin and French waters of the Mozambique Channel and is designed to expand the Company's 2,158-kilometer 2001 vintage 2D survey into deeper basins across the entire region. According to TGS, the survey is well funded, and will be available early in the 2nd quarter 2006.
Madagascar is known to have oil and gas reserves, but these are inadequately mapped and there is no major production.
A bid round is planned in the Madagascar portion of the survey area for next year.
Details of the bid round will be announced from The Office des Mines Nationales et des Industries Strategiques in Madagascar (OMNIS) and closing of the bid round is expected in the 3rd quarter 2006.
Independent analysts agree that the great Indian Ocean island and its offshore regions are under-explored and promising. The existence of smaller oil and gas reserves has already been confirmed, but systematic mapping still is necessary before large-scale production can possibly start.
At present, no oil is produced in Madagascar. The large island only has a minor production of gas. This is despite of rather significant oil discoveries onshore.
••• 04.10.05 "Geo Mariner" - Songo Songo project.
The SeaBird Exploration specialist shallow water vessel, "GeoMariner" carried out scheduled crew change in Mombassa Kenya, 01 October 2005. The vessel is currently under contract to Pan African Tanzania Limited and will be acquiring shallow water 2D data offshore Songo Songo Island, Tanzania.
The vessel is currently generating interest with many prospective clients with regard to further operations in the region.
Additional work for the vessel is in the region likely to be confirmed in the near future.
Source: SeaBird Exploration
••• 03.10.05 ExxonMobil Begins Producing Oil at Sakhalin-1 in Russia.
NEW YORK - Exxon Mobil Corp. has begun to produce oil and natural gas at its Sakhalin-1 project off the coast of eastern Russia, one of the country's largest foreign investments and an important new source of oil not controlled by OPEC.
ExxonMobil said in a press release late Saturday that it will produce 50,000 barrels a day of oil by the end of the year and 250,000 barrels a day by the end of 2006.
The oil will initially be sold into Russia's domestic market. Completion of an oil terminal on Russia's mainland will allow oil to be sold into international markets beginning in the middle of next year.
Production of gas, which will be sold initially into Russia's domestic market, will begin at 60 million cubic feet a day and ramp up to 250 million cubic feet a day by the end of the decade, when the gas will also supply Japan.
ExxonMobil said the project started up on schedule and within 10% of expected costs. Capital investment over the life of the project could reach as much as $12 billion, the U.S. Energy Department said in September.
Sakhalin Island, which lies off Russia's east coast, is thought to be energy rich, with oil reserves around 14 billion barrels and natural gas reserves of approximately 96 trillion cubic feet, the Energy Department estimates.
ExxonMobil operates Sakhalin-1 and has a 30% ownership stake. Other owners include the Japanese company Sakhalin Oil & Gas Development Co. Ltd., at 30%; Rosneft affiliates RN-Astra, at 8.5%, and Sakhalinmorneftegas-Shelf, at 11.5%; and the Indian state-owned oil company ONGC Videsh Ltd., at 20%.
Sakhalin-1 involves a land-based drilling rig that can reach reserves 6 miles offshore, an offshore platform that provides drilling capacity for up to 20 wells, an onshore oil and gas processing facility, a 140-mile crude oil pipeline, and a marine export terminal at DeKastri.
Source: Dow Jones Newswires.
••• 30.09.05 Gazprom Eyeing Turkmenistan Offshore Fields.
Gazprom is preparing to bid for rights to offshore fields in Turkmenistan's sector of the Caspian Sea, Alexander Ryazanov, the Russian gas giant's deputy CEO, told Gazprom's corporate magazine.
"We've already identified several prospects that are of interest to us. Gazprom is acquiring the paperwork on the field, which is in London (because a British company has been exploring on Turkmenistan's shelf). Once our specialists have studied these documents we will decide whether to bid at tenders for the right to explore with a view to developing any fields discovered. The tenders could take place as early as the middle of next year," Ryazanov said.
Regarding the lack of information about an international audit of Turkmenistan's onshore gas reserves available, Ryazanov said this would not jeopardize a gas sector cooperation agreement between the two states. "Maximum supply volumes are written down and are confirmed by real contracts. If Turkmenistan is unable to produce more gas we will lower the volumes (of gas procurements from Turkmenistan) in our contracts," he said.
"Expanding transport capability is more complicated. For the time being we hope to increase our capability to accept Turkmen gas to 55 billion cubic meters (bcm) annually by renovating Uzbekistan's section of the Central Asia - Center Pipeline. We can only build a new pipeline if the data from the international audit shows that Turkmenistan has the resources to increase gas production," Ryazanov said.
Ryazanov has said that Turkmenistan has completed the onshore reserves audit but has not made its results available to Gazprom.
It is thought the Turkmen sector of the Caspian holds 16.5 billion tonnes of hydrocarbons.
Source: Interfax Information Services, B.V.
••• 29.09.05 Fugro has been awarded large contract in Morocco.
Fugro-Geoteam AS, a Norwegian operating company of Fugro, has been awarded a contract to begin a 3D marine acquisition survey at the coast of Morocco, northwest of Safi, for oil company Hydro Morocco a.s.
The survey comprises approximately 2200 sq. km for which Fugro’s flagship vessel, the R/V "Geo Pacific", is being used. The work is expected to begin in November 2005. The contract value is approximately US$ 13 million (NOK 84,2 million).
Through innovative new towing technology developed by Fugro, the R/V Geo Pacific will tow a wide spread of 6 streamers, each 6000 meters long, at 150 meters streamer separation, allowing efficient acquisition of this 3D exploration survey.
Source: FUGRO N.V.