Offshore SeisNews ©
••• 30.12.05 GEO acquires vessels.
GEO ASA has agreed to buy two cable laying vessels from Japan.
GEO's new vessels, acquired under a $50 million deal, are scheduled for delivery ultimo January 2006. They were built in 1998 and 2000, have a total length of respectively 98 m and 117m, and will be used in the offshore/seismic market.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 30.12.05 Stolt Offshore to Charter New Build IMR and Survey Ship.
Stolt Offshore has entered into an agreement with Eidesvik Shipping AS to charter a new build ship for the Inspection, Maintenance, Repair (IMR) and Survey market for a firm period of 8 years, plus options for a further 12 years. The charter commences on delivery of the ship in mid 2007.
The ship, which will be built at the Norwegian shipyard Flekkefjord Slipp & Maskinfabrikk AS, will be 95 meters long, with a moonpool, a high specification ROV system and survey suite, and will meet the latest environmental criteria.
Oyvind Mikaelsen, Vice President - Northern Europe and Canada Region, said: "This new addition to the Stolt Offshore fleet confirms our strong commitment to the IMR and Survey market in the North Sea where we currently operate the Seaway Petrel and the Normand Mermaid. This new ship will provide our recently formed Survey Business Unit with a market-leading asset to further develop our presence in this segment and offer our customers the latest technology in pipeline inspection, seabed mapping and construction support."
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 30.12.05 Eidesvik Shipping Sells Platform Supply Vessels to NorSea Group AS.
Eidesvik Offshore's subsidiary, Supplyinvest KS, has sold both its Platform Supply Vessels M/V Viking Dynamic and M/V Stril Myster to NorSea Group AS. The total price for both vessel is NOK 418.4 million. Eidesvik AS will continue as manager for MV Viking Dynamic.
Eidesvik Shipping AS owns 17.7% of the shares in the limited partnership, Supplyinvest KS and in addition 5% through its 50% ownership in the general partner, Suppyinvest AS.
Eidesvik AS has since delivery of Viking Dynamic in 2002 been operating the vessel as manager. The sale will not constitute any changes to the operation and manning of the vessel. Mokster Shipping AS is the manager for the sister-vessel M/V Stril Myster.
Source: Eidesvik Shipping
••• 29.12.05 Sakhalin-2 operator Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Ltd. (Sakhalin Energy) has announced that the Vityaz complex offshore Sakhalin had successfully completed its seventh production season.
The company said in a press release that the cumulative oil production for the 2005 season was 12.1 million barrels. The overall field production is 73.3 million barrels since the start of operations in 1999.
The 2005 production season closed on the 16 December, the latest production since operations commenced at the complex. A total of 21 cargoes of Vityaz crude were delivered during the year to existing markets in Japan, Korea and to Thailand. Regular deliveries of Vityaz crude were also started to power companies in Japan, the statement said.
The Vityaz complex consists of the Molikpaq production platform, a single anchor leg mooring buoy (SALM) and the Okha floating storage and offloading (FSO) unit. On 25th December, following disconnection from the Okha FSO, the SALM was laid down on the sea bottom thus completing preparations for the winter season, the statement said.
The Molikpaq is the first offshore oil production platform in the Russian Federation. It is located on the Astokh feature of the Piltun-Astokhskoye (PA) reservoir offshore Sakhalin. Sakhalin Energy has been successfully producing oil from the Vityaz complex since July 1999.
••• 28.12.05 Statoil: Active seismic season.
More than 3,000 square kilometres of exploration seismic have been shot by Statoil on the Norwegian continental shelf during the 2005 season. -This high level of seismic surveying activity in the North, Norwegian and Barents Seas is set to continue in the coming year, Statoil says.
“Exploration work on the NCS is expanding,” observes Knut Christian Grindstad, exploration manager for the Norwegian Sea.
“We believe seismic activity will stay high for a number of years to come, and we’ve secured capacity in the form of two survey vessels for 2006. Even more lines will be shot than in 2005.”
In connection with the 2005 awards in predefined areas (APA), Statoil is due to gather more than 2,500 square kilometres of seismic data from the North Sea and the Halten/Nordland area of the Norwegian Sea.
Seismic shooting on the Hassi Mouina block operated by Statoil in Algeria is also well under way, with some 300 square kilometres of two-dimensional data gathered so far.
The survey programme on this Saharan acreage is expected to last for two years.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 23.12.05 WGP reports that the 4,000km Libyan offshore 2D survey for Amerada-Hess located in Block 054 in the Gulf of Sirte is due to be completed by the seismic vessel "G.D.Nalivkin" at the end of January 2006 whereupon the vessel will move to Block 055 to commence the follow on 7,700km survey for Repsol.
••• 21.12.05 Two Vessels to Start Large Offshore Seismic Program.
Over 10,000 km of offshore seismic data is being acquired this summer in one of the biggest multi-company petroleum exploration programs seen in New Zealand.
2D vessel, Pacific Titan, arrived in New Zealand in mid-December to begin shooting about 10,000 km of seismic for 10 operators over four offshore basins. The ship is operated by Norwegian-based company Multiwave.
A second vessel, the 3D Orient Explorer, will also arrive this month to begin acquiring 750 sq km of data for operator OMV in PEP 38485 in offshore Taranaki. The ship will also shoot 150 sq km of 3D seismic for Swift Energy in its recently acquired offshore South Taranaki permit PEP 38495. The Orient Explorer is operated by another Norwegian-based company, Petroleum Geo-Services (PGS).
The Pacific Titan is to begin its work in the Taranaki Basin, acquiring data for, Todd, Contact Energy, and OMV.
The ship will then head to the East Coast Basin where it will be working for Tap Oil off the Wairarapa coast and for Discovery Geo in Cook Strait.
The Pacific Titan will also acquire data in the Canterbury Basin for Green Gate in Pegasus Bay north of Christchurch, for Austral Pacific in the Canterbury Bight north of Timaru, and for Origin Energy in its permit, which runs from Banks Peninsula to south of Dunedin.
In the north eastern section of the Great South Basin, the Pacific Titan will acquire 3,300 km of data for the Crown Minerals survey: DUN06. This survey is an integral component of the Government's exploration incentives, which aim to stimulate and accelerate exploration in areas outside of the Taranaki Basin. It is part of the Government strategy to identify alternative sources of gas to replace production from the mature Maui gas field.
The Pacific Titan will also be shooting seismic in the Solander Basin west of Stewart Island, in L&M Petroleum's permit.
Source: New Zealand Crown Minerals
••• 21.12.05 Shtokman meeting.
ConocoPhillips' CEO and Chairman Jim Mulva has met with Gazprom boss Alexei Miller over the Shtokman development.
According to a news release from Gazprom, the two discussed the Shtokman development and liquefied natural gas (LNG) supplies to markets in North America, with special focus on the first phase of the development.
The Shtokman natural gas field, located Russia's Barents Sea, holds estimated reserves of estimated 3.2 Tcm of natural gas and 31 million tons of condensate.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 20.12.05 South China Sea find for Eni group.
Italy’s ENI reported a new oil discovery in the South China Sea which produced 5,000 b/d during a production test.
The block 16/19 find in the Pearl Mouth Basin 180 km (112 miles) southeast of Hong Kong was drilled by the CACT consortium including ENI, Chevron, and CNOOC. The discovery well was drilled to a depth of 3,900 metres (12,792 ft) in a water depth of 102 meters (335 ft).
Eni said the find’s location allows use of existing surface facilities to reduce the cost of bringing the discovery onstream.
••• 18.12.05 GGS reports that a major international oil company has placed an order for all GGS seismic data in East Timor and JPDA with related products. The gross value of the order exceeds USD 1.5 million.
These data sets have been collected by GGS in co-operation with BGP. The East Timor project is a result of a contract signed with the Government in East Timor in September 2004.
Seismic data collection was completed by the seismic vessel Zephyr-1 in February 2005. The data collection for the 4,000 km JPDA survey has just been completed by the seismic vessel Polar Duke and processing is on-going. JPDA is on of two projects cariied out through the new formed joint venture company Geo Bridge owned by GGS and BGP with 50 % each.
••• 17.12.05 Fugro wins 3D seismic contract in Norway.
Fugro-Geoteam AS has been awarded a contract by the Norwegian company Pertra AS for 3D seismic surveys in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. The data will be acquired by Fugro’s 3D vessel Polar Princess. The seismic data acquisition is scheduled to start mid March and to be completed in early May.
Fugro-Geoteam AS is a Norwegian operating company of Fugro which performs 2D, 3D and 4D marine seismic acquisition surveys world wide, as well as processing of the data. The company operates a modern fleet of seismic 2D and 3D vessels.
Source: Fugro N.V.
••• 17.12.05 BowLeven Begins Seismic Program Offshore Cameroon.
BowLeven reports the details of its 2006 seismic program which together with the seismic data acquired in 2005 over Block MLHP-7 of its Etinde Permit will provide 3D coverage over the vast majority of its Etinde Permit area, offshore Cameroon.
The 2006 seismic program will consist of two separate surveys as a result of the different water depths involved. The survey of the shallow water of Blocks MLHP-5 and MLHP-6, covering some 700km2, will be undertaken by Veritas. The survey of the deeper water to the west of this area, covering some 350km2, will be undertaken by WesternGeco.
Seismic operations are currently expected to commence in February 2006 and to last for some 150 days.
BowLeven CEO, Philip Rhind said 'We are pleased to have assembled a first-class team to shoot 3D Seismic over our blocks in the highly prospective Douala Basin in early 2006, particularly given the demand for such resources in the region. We remain confident of the prospectivity of the Etinde Permit area and believe that the work program for 2006 will generate drillable prospects for the drilling campaign which is planned to commence in late 2006."
Source: BowLeven Plc
••• 16.12.05 India will acquire a state-of-the-art research vessel for ocean research and deepsea mining.
The vessel, expected to be acquired by September 2007, will be used for various technology demonstration programs like deep sea mining, demonstration of remotely operated vehicle, autonomous underwater vehicle and oceanographic surveys. Sources said the government has been successfully implementing Polymetallic Nodules Program for exploration and development of relevant technologies in the Pioneer area allotted to India in Central Indian Ocean Basin for potential exploitation of polymetallic nodules from deep sea.
As a part of development of technologies for deepsea mining under this programme, a crawler based shallow bed sand mining system had been developed and demonstrated for sand mining at a water depth of 410 m off Tuticorin coast. The government has also set up a semi-continuous pilot plant with a capacity of processing 500 kg polymetallic nodules per day for extracting metals such as copper, nickel and cobalt at Hindustan Zinc Ltd, Udaipur.
Source: New Wave Media Int'l Corporation
••• 16.12.05 Trondheim, Pertra Enters Into Seismic Agreement with Fugro-Geoteam.
Pertra AS has today signed a Letter of Intent regarding 3D seismic data acquisition in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.
In the announcement of new licenses published today, Pertra AS was awarded the operatorship of a license in Quadrant 25, situated centrally in the North Sea. The license, Pertra’s top priority, encompasses the closed-down Froy Field, where Elf produced oil in the 1995-2001 period. The work program includes Pertra shooting 100 km2 of new 3D seismic. Pertra has already secured a vessel by entering into contract with Fugro-Geoteam. The seismic data acquisition will be carried out by the R/V “Polar Princess” and is scheduled to start in the middle of March 2006 and be completed in early May.
“In a market characterized by a shortage of seismic data acquisition capacity, we are very pleased with having achieved a start-up early in the season, thus ensuring progress in the project and compliance with our exploration obligations”, comments the Exploration Manager in Pertra, Tom Bugge.
••• 15.12.05 Russia sweetens Shtokman deal.
The Shtokman honeypot got sweeter for foreign investors yesterday, as Russia's inter-ministerial commission on protectionist measure has decided to cancel export duties on liquefied natural gas (LNG).
The news was presented by Russia's economic development and trade minister, German Gref, who told journalists:
- The decision to cancel the duties will create particularly attractive terms for investment in liquefied natural gas plants. Today's export duty stands at 40 euros per ton, which almost equals the cost value of 50 euros per ton, Gref said. He added that the aim was to have export duties cancelled from January 1, 2006.
Second LNG plant in Barents area.
It was also revealed that the Shtokman plant is not the only LNG plant planned in the Barents area.
According to Gref, three LNG plants are already planned in Russia - one on Sakhalin, one on Shtokman "and one in the Barents Sea." He also said Gazprom was looking to export the first Shtokman -LNG in 2011-2012, which is one year later than earlier announced.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 14.12.05 Seismic Work Completed in Carnarvon Basin.
Strike Oil announces that the M/V Pacific Sword completed seismic operations on December 9th. There were no loss of time for weather or for environmental and safety incidents.
The data will be processed and interpreted over the next few months with the aim of defining a number of locations primarily for oil exploration drilling in the latter half of 2006 and into 2007. All the prospects and leads are in water depths of less than 50 meters and can be drilled by a jackup rig The Rivoli survey will provide the additional information required to make a more accurate assessment of the Rivoli gas field and a deeper, underlying prospect.
Commenting on the seismic surveys, Strike's Managing Director, Mr Simon Ashton said, "The completion of these surveys safely and without environmental incidence in areas of very shallow water and close to environmentally sensitive areas, adds to Strike's growing capability and reputation as a competent offshore operator.
Source: Strike Oil
••• 13.12.05 Schroeder - headed pipeline for Shtokman gas.
Gazprom has confirmed that Shtokman gas will be routed to Europe through the North European Gas Pipeline (NEGP).
The NEGP will be operated by the NEGP company, a company formed for the purpose and which this weekend appointed former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder head of its shareholders' committee.
Industry obsevers have for years expected that natural gas from the giant Shtokman field on a Barents Sea shelf in Russia's north will be delivered to Europe via various routes, including through the 745-mile Baltic Sea natural gas pipeline. And this weekend, Gazprom-boss Alexei Miller confirmed this:
- The pipeline will be built in the second phase of the Shtokman field development and natural gas will be pumped, including by the NEGP Miller said, RIA Novosti reports.
Shtokman, with estimated reserves of 3.2 trillion cu m of gas and 31 million metric tons of gas condensate, will be connected to the NEGP at Vyborg via two legs from teh deposit. According to plans, production at Shtokman will begin in 2010 and achieve its full capacity in 2011-2012 and liquefied natural gas, 25 percent of the output, will be delivered to the United States and Europe. The project is estimated at $10 billion.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 12.12.05 GGS buys UK company.
Norway's Global Geo Services (GGS) has bought Spectrum Energy and Information Technology Ltd (Spectrum) for NOK 137.5 million. According to GGS Spectrum's operating profit is expected to become about NOK 18 million in 2005, and has seismic libraries about the same size as GGS'.
The Head Office of Spectrum is located in Woking, near London. The company also has large offices in Houston and Cairo, while smaller offices are located in Tripoli, New Delhi, Buenos Aires and Trinidad. The total number of employees is approximately 115.
Morten Andersen, Chairman of the Board of GGS states: "I am very pleased to see our negotiations with the owners of Spectrum being successfully concluded. We have a strategy to build a strong geophysical company with presence in all the key markets and with a steady stream of revenues to support its growth. The Spectrum acquisition is a milestone on this way. It will mark the start of a new period to the benefit of the company, its shareholders, clients and the human resources that it is all resting upon - the highly skilled and motivated staff of the two companies."
••• 10.12.05 Standby vessel market remains "extremely tight".
Broker Seascope Offshore says the ERRV/standby market in the North Sea remains "extremely tight" with all owners effectively reporting no availability until the end of the year at least, although availability may ease marginally in the first quarter of 2006 as up to four ‘older’ vessels could enter the market after conversion.
"The current availability of UK compliant vessels means that rate levels for short/medium term requirements are continuing to strengthen although there is very little tendering activity as the majority of deals are being concluded ‘off market’ or via call off agreements," Seascope explained in its newly published October-November report on the market.
For a recent ConocoPhillips tender to support a one well (circa 75 days) programme in the South North Sea with Ensco 92 from end December / early January there were only 1-2 bidders and consequently rates levels for UK compliant vessels are reportedly in the ?7,000-9,000 range.
Seascope noted that Nomis have purchased two vessels from Tidewater – namely Cole Tide and Needham Tide – which will be modified for work in the UK sector. They will be renamed Dea Siren and Dea Ocean respectively and as a consequence their standby fleet will increase to 18 units.
••• 09.12.05 Statoil Begins Seismic Program in Algeria.
Seismic surveying is now under way on the Statoil-operated Hassi Mouina block in Algeria, where plans call for the first wildcat to be spudded during 2006.
About 250 kilometers of two-dimensional data have so far been gathered in the two-year seismic program, and some 36,500 kilometers of aeromagnetic information will also be collected.
Hassi Mouina lies north-west of the In Salah gas field where Statoil has a 31.85 percent interest.
Algerian oil and gas company Sonatrach has earlier drilled one well on the block, which identified hydrocarbons.
"We're confident that we can make commercial discoveries here," says David Poole, exploration manager for north Africa in the International Exploration & Production business area.
"The lessons we're learning will also be invaluable for future projects in similar areas. Extensive use of technology which is new to us is exciting, and broadens our expertise."
Statoil has carried out an environmental impact assessment to ensure that no plant or animal life is threatened, and that no archaeological sites will be damaged.
"Hassi Mouina is our first independent Algerian operation, and can thereby be regarded as a trial run for our land-based activities here," says Terje Halmш, country manager for Algeria.
"We've been very well received by the national and local authorities as well as by our partners and the people of Timimoun, which will eventually become our base in the Sahara."
Statoil has a 75 percent interest in the acreage, with Sonatrach holding the remaining 25 percent.
••• 09.12.05 Long term contracts dominate strong rig market.
Only three of the 75 mobile drilling units marketed for Europe, are idle. The bulk of the remainder are contracted to 2007 or longer.
According to Norway's leading news service for the oil industry, Offshore.no, and its Rig Locator, 48 of 72 rigs in operation are contracted into 2007. In addition, 11 are rigs contracted to 2008, while six of those are contracted to 2009.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 07.12.05 Further East Timor sales for GGS.
Norway's GGS has received an order for a partial sale of its East Timor seismic data set.
In a news release to the Oslo Stock Exchange, the company says The East Timor seismic survey has been collected and is being marketed in co-operation with the Chinese geophysical contractor BGP.
The market rate for as full sale is in the order of $1 million.
••• 06.12.05 Fugro confirms expansion of seismic fleet.
Fugro has confirmed that it has signed a long term charter agreement with Norwegian shipowner E Forland for a new-build 3-D seismic vessel, to be called Geo Celtic, that will be ready for work by mid 2007.
The deck design of the vessel has been developed to meet Fugro’s specification to accommodate newly ordered new seismic equipment which is also suitable for 4-D work.
All of the seismic equipment on Geo Celtic will be Fugro-owned.
"Together with the long-term charter for Geo Atlantic (e- Polar King), which will be available as of May 2006 after it has been converted, this is an important further step for Fugro to achieve the modernisation of the fleet and to reach the intended capacity of approximately eight vessels for marine seismic work," said the company in a statement.
At present, Fugro has nine seismic vessels in operation, of which three are a in joint venture with Exploration Resources and six owned or on charter.
••• 06.12.05 TGS Acquires Exclusive Sales Rights to Reprocessed Seismic Data.
TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company ASA ("TGS") announced today that it has concluded an agreement with Tokking Surveys AS for the exclusive sales rights to approximately 131,000 kilometers of reprocessed 2D seismic in the Norwegian Sea and Barents Sea, offshore Norway.
The surveys consist of reprocessed data vintages ranging from 1997 to 2005, and are complementary to TGS's existing data library in Norway.
These data, including a detailed interpretation, offers a cost effective and quick start to exploration of the Norwegian and the Barents Sea for newcomers in particular. TGS paid NOK 11,0 million for the rights. As TGS and Tokking Surveys have collaborated on a number of reprocessing projects since 2000, TGS already had an approximate 45% interest in 70,000 kilometers of the Tokking marketed surveys prior to this transaction.
••• 05.12.05 New orders for GGS-survey.
Norwegian seismic company Global Geo Services (GGS) has received new orders for a full sale of its JPDA seismic survey and a partial sale of its East Java Super Tie seismic survey.
According to GGS, the JPDA and East Java projects are undertaken in cooperation with the Chinese geophysical contractor BGP. The JPDA survey, being collected by seismic vessel Polar Duke, is now 92 percent complete. AT the same time, the East Java Super Tie, being acquired by seismic vessel Veritas Searcher, is now 38 percent complete.
••• 05.12.05 Tight hole in Russia’s Barents.
Russian oil company Arktikshefneftegaz finished drilling of exploration well #4 at Medinskaya-more-2 structure in the Barents Sea at the company’s Medinsko-Varandeyskom license area, but remains tightlipped about the result.
By: Alex Khrol, Murmansk/St. Petersburg
The drilling operations were undertaken by the Murmanskaya jack-up rig, owned by Arktikmorneftegazrazvedka, one of the shareholders of Arktikshefneftegaz.
So far the company has not released any information on how much oil or gas was found. All major exploration programs at Medinsko-Varandeyskom license area, where waterdepths do not exceed 10-19 meters, should be fulfilled by the end of 2006, says Arktikshefneftegaz in its special announcement.
Today the company is working on a production plan within its license area and want to start oil production in 2010-2011.
During the period of 2002 – 2005 Arktikshefneftegaz had invested about $50 million in exploration of the Arctic shelf in Russia. This company has licenses for Medinsko-Varandeyskiy block of fields in the Barents Sea and Kolokolmorsky and Pomorsky blocks in southern part of the Pechora Sea, where depths do not exceed 40 meters. These blocks include 7 big and medium structures: Medinskaya-more 1 and 2, Varandeyskaya-more 1, 2, 3, Pomorskaya, Kolokolmorskaya and 17 small structures. According to present estimates, the licensed areas of this company have 300 million tons of oil in reserves.
During the exploration season in 2005, Arktikshefneftegaz also financed 3D seismic works to specify geological structures of its license area in the Pechora Sea.
Arktikshefneftegaz is owned by federal unitary enterprise Arktikmorneftegazrazvedka and opened joint stock company Industrial investments. Arktikshefneftegaz is also associated with Russian Sintez group.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 04.12.05 Shell to Start Seismic Operations in Libya.
Shell EP Libya GmbH, with its partner the National Oil Corporation of the Great Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya (NOC), recently began seismic operations in the onshore Sirte Basin. The work follows a successful tender process and will result in one of the largest seismic programs for the Shell Group in 2006.
Contracts have been awarded for the deployment of four seismic crews with a phased start up between November 2005 and March 2006. Seismic acquisition will be supplemented with a large aeromagnetic campaign.
The first seismic crew, operated by BGP International Libya Inc, has established its base camp and started operations in the field. The second crew from PGS Exploration Ltd is due to start soon, followed by crews from WesternGeco Overseas Inc in December and Veritas DGC Ltd in February 2006. The large aeromagnetic surveying campaign, awarded to Worley Parsons Geo-Physical Exploration and local partner, the National Bureau for Research and Development, was slated to start operations from the Marsa El Brega airport in late November.
Source: Marine Technology Reporter
••• 02.12.05 Norwegian oil company Statoil and Russia's Surgutneftgaz are discussing a potential link-up to jointly prospect for oil on the Russian continental shelf, the Russian company said today.
In a further development, Surgutneftgaz said the two companies have also reached an agreement on increasing the volumes of oil Surgutneftgaz delivers to Statoil via the Primorsk port in north-west Russia, it added.
Surgutneftgaz president Vladimir Bogdanov said in November that his company's deliveries to Statoil are expected to double from 100,000 tonnes per month to 200,000, Interfax news agency reported.
••• 02.12.05 Skipsteknisk AS to design the World's largest Seismic Research Ship.
Skipsteknisk AS of Aalesund, Norway has won the design and engineering contract for a new ship that will be the largest seismic research vessel in the world. The ship is ordered by Owner E. Forland Shipowners AS in Bergen, Norway. It is to be built by Bergen Yards and the delivery time is set to July 2007.
The ship, designated ST-327 has a length over all of 100,8 m and a beam of 24 m. The accommodation will be arranged for 71 people and will be highly focused on high degree of comfort for the crew. There will be cinema, swimming pool, fitness area as well as internet cafe onboard. All crew members will have their own cabin.
The ship is already chartered by the seismic company Fugro-Geoteam AS for a six years period with an option for a 4 year extension.
The seismic outfitting of the vessel has a capacity of 12x10 km streamers from a 28 m wide cable deck and 10 gun arrays. The ship is designed with focus on an efficient and safe seismic operation as well as low operation cost, good sea-keeping capabilities, low outboard and inboard noise. It is further planned for taking all kinds of supplies onboard offshore including crew changes by helicopter. This enable the ship to be offshore for long periods only requiring port calls for special reasons.
For Skipsteknisk AS this is a major and comprehensive contract. With ST-327's gross tonnage of above 12 000 and a max displacement of abt. 11 600 she becomes the largest seismic research vessel in the world. The engineering work is already started and will last throughout the building period.
Source: Skipsteknisk AS
••• 01.12.05 Rieber orders seismic vessels for $182 million.
Norway's Rieber Shipping has ordered two, new seismic vessels from a yet to be named yard.
The 12-16 streamer vessels are due for delivery in 4Q 2007 band 4Q 2008, respectively. The contract value, including some of the seismic equipment, is $182 million (1.225 billion NOK). In addition, Rieber has secured itself options for another two, identical vessels, with the yard.
The vessels ST-321 are designed by Skipsteknisk AS.
Length over al 102,0m.
Breadth moulded 19,2m.
Dead weight at 6,2m draft abt. 2800 tons.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 01.12.05 Strike Oil Begins Seismic Survey of Peawah and Sherlock Prospects.
Following demobilization to Dampier on the completion of the Baha 2D seismic survey managed by Chevron, the M/V Pacific Sword has commenced operations for Strike Oil NL on behalf of the WA-340-P Joint Venture Participants on the Karratha North 2D seismic survey.
Strike Oil NL will be operating five surveys between the Dampier and Exmouth Gulf one of which is the Karratha North 2D seismic survey. The Karratha North 2D seismic survey will be conducted over known prospects (Peawah and Sherlock) with potential to 45 million barrels of oil recoverable with the view to maturing these prospects for oil exploration drilling in the latter half of 2006 or early 2007. Both prospects are in water depths of less than 50 metres and can be drilled by a jackup rig.
Source: Victoria Petroleum
••• 30.11.05 ENI Hits Oil at Goliat Barents Sea Field.
ENI SPA (E) has found oil at its Goliat appraisal well in the Barents Sea, a person at one of the partner companies said last week.
An ENI official confirmed the Italian oil company had hit the top of the structure was aiming for, but said it was too early to say the size.
The person said that an oil and associated gas discovery had been made. "They have not started logging yet, and it is to early to say for sure, but indications are that is could be around 50 million barrels."
ENI already found oil at its Goliat field several years ago - estimated by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate at around 50 million barrels - but didn't develop it because it was too small to do so profitably, the company said.
The Goliat is the first and only oil discovery in the Barents after 64 exploration wells drilled.
But if the new find - turns out to be as big as media reports say - estimated at around 50 million bbls, industry experts say it could now be opened up for development, should the volumes be produceable.
As operator, ENI owns 65%, Statoil ASA (STO) 20% and DNO (DNO.OS) with 15%.
••• 30.11.05 Statoil's Helge Lund Highlights Barents Opportunities.
The Barents Sea could become Europe’s next offshore oil and gas province and an arena for industrial cooperation for many years to come, according to Statoil chief executive Helge Lund. He was presenting the group’s perspectives on the far north at a seminar organised by the Norwegian Petroleum Society in Oslo today, 24 November. “We now face major opportunities in the Barents Sea for cooperation between nations, industries and companies,” he said.
“These open the way to continuing to build on more than 30 years of development with Norwegian oil expertise in cooperation with our Russian partners.”
He emphasised that the far north has large oil and gas resources which could influence security of energy supply in the USA and Europe for generations.
“A clear trend in today’s energy picture is growing import dependence in major markets such as the USA, Europe and parts of Asia.
“Both Washington and Brussels regard the Barents Sea area as important for supply diversification and for securing long-term energy supplies.”
Mr Lund noted that Norway and Russia have an interest, as petroleum exporters, in developing new markets for their resources.
Being neighbours in the far north is one of several forces driving the hunt for industrial collaboration solutions. This picture offers the industry good opportunities for further growth. But Mr Lund also highlighted the environmental challenges involved, and said that technology barriers need to be surmounted in the future.
“The easy projects have already been executed. We must make a big commitment to the technology and expertise needed for ever-deeper water, tougher climates and unconventional oil deposits.
“Energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are expected to be more than 50 per cent above present levels by 2030. We can help to overcome these challenges, which must not overshadow the opportunities.
“Statoil has initiated petroleum activities in the Barents Sea. We’re the first in Europe to produce liquefied natural gas, and Snшhvit will have the world’s northernmost gas liquefaction plant when deliveries begin in December 2007.”
••• 29.11.05 Expansion of Fugro’s seismic fleet.
Fugro has signed a long term charter agreement with E. Forland Shipowners for a new-build 3-D seismic vessel (Geo Celtic) that will be ready for work by mid 2007. The deck design of the vessel is developed to meet Fugro’s specification to accommodate to be ordered new seismic equipment which incorporates the latest technology (a.o. suitable for 4-D). All seismic equipment on the Geo Celtic will be Fugro owned.
Together with the earlier announced long term charter of the Geo Atlantic (ex Polar King), which vessel will be available as of May 2006 after it has been converted, this is an important further step for Fugro to achieve the modernisation of the fleet and to reach the intended capacity of approximately eight vessels for marine seismic work.
At present, Fugro has nine seismic vessels in operation, of which three in joint venture with Exploration Resources and six owned or on charter.
Source : Fugro N.V.
••• 29.11.05 Chinese contract collected by seismic cable company.
Marine equipment supplier Odim has cracked the Chinese offshore seismic survey market for the second time with another contract award. Odim, which claims a 90% share in the marine seismic cable handling market, has been awarded a deal to supply a complete back deck handling system for a 3D seismic survey vessel by Chinese exploration company BGP worth NOK 40 million (US $5.94 million).
Odim chief executive Jogeir Romestrand said the BGP deal is the second sale for its seismic cable handling equipment within in the Chinese sector.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 24.11.05 Statoil have signed a multi-area cooperation Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the administration of Arkhangelsk county.
The MoU covers mutual cooperation in the fields of industrial development, education, environmental issues relating to fish and oil, and corporate social responsibility, Statoil reports. Under the agreement, the Norwegian operator has offered to assist Archangel county in establishing an oil industry supplier centre, building on the good experiences from the Snohvit project.
It will also assist in the establishment of a petroleum-directed Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) programme of international standard at the Pomor State University in Arkhangelsk. As part of the programme, the university will be able to run and furher develop the programme after a three to five year period.
In addition, Statoil will help establishing offshore petroleum technology subjects as part of the curriculum at the Arkhangelsk Technical University.
Norwegian universities such as the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim (NTNU) and Stavanger University will be the Norwegian partners in the programme.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 22.11.05 Indonesian survey for GGS.
GGS has kicked off its 4,500 km East Java Super Tie seismic survey offshore Indonesia.
The survey, for which GGS is using the seismic vessel Veritas Searcher, is more than 50 percent pre-funded. It is carried out in partnership with the Chinese geophysical contractor BGP.
Meanwhile, GGS reports about good progress in its other ongoing data collection projects: The JPDA survey, carried out with the vessel Polar Duke, is now 61 percent complete, while the US Open-West Florida Escarpment survey, carried out by Odin Explorer, is now 50 percent complete.
••• 21.11.05 Gazprom-boss wants Japanese companies on Shtokman.
Gazprom-boss Alexei Miller has invited Japanese companies to take part in the massive Shtokman gas field development.
During a Russian-Japanese conference in Tokyo this morning, he said, "We see the possibility for Japanese companies to participate in projects supplying liquefied natural gas (LNG) from the Shtokman deposit since they have cutting-edge technology for supplying LNG."
This came as part of an announcement, where Mr. Miller said the company has invited Japanese companies to invest in oil and gas projects in West Siberia, RIA Novosti reports. It also came as a surprise to many, as the two Japanese companies on the original, nine-company long Shtokman bidding list, Mitsui og Sumimoto Corporation, were ruled out earlier this autumn, left outside the five company shortlist.
It also means that the high-stake political game over the Shtokman ressources continues, with Gazprom suggesting Asia as a market for the Barents field gas, putting pressure on the European and American companies on the shortlist,elling them that there are options if the deals offered are not sweet enough.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 20.11.05 GGS reports that it has received an order for the full JPDA survey located in the jointly administrated area between Australia and East Timor.
The survey that will consist of 4,000 km, is being collected with the seismic vessel Polar Duke and is now 56 % complete.
Morten Andersen, Chairman of the Board of GGS states: "I am happy to see that the recent trend of strong sales for our projects is continuing. The Asia-Pacific region is a strategic area for GGS and we are looking forward to long term growth of our business in this region."
••• 18.11.05 Fugro wins US$ 40 million contract in Norway.
Furo-Geoteam AS has been awarded a large contract by the Norwegian oil company Statoil ASA for 3D seismic surveys offshore Norway. The total value is approximately US$ 40 million.
The data will be acquired by Fugro’s high capacity 3D vessels Geo Pacific and Geo Atlantic (ex Polar King). The surveys are expected to start in May/June 2006 and will take approximately four months.
Fugro-Geoteam AS is a Norwegian operating company of Fugro which performs 2D, 3D and 4D marine seismic acquisition surveys world wide, as well as processing of the data.
The company operates a modern fleet of seismic 2D and 3D vessels.
Source : Fugro N.V.
••• 18.11.05 HD3D Comes to Australia.
PGS Asia-Pacific has recently embarked on a long offset HD3D survey for ENI Australia. The Ramform Victory is deploying a 12 x 6000 m x 50 m dual-source streamer array. This survey has already established several records: The longest streamer offsets, the most streamers deployed, and the largest trace density for a HD3D survey acquired in Australia.
After the completion of the survey the Ramform Victory will acquire a campaign of several other high technology surveys, including a HD3D-4D baseline survey. This will be the first customized 4D survey ever acquired in Australia.
The PGS HD3D-4D acquisition strategy delivers outstanding repeatability. Dense streamer configurations are towed on regular pre-plot shot lines, complemented by streamer overlap to maximize source-receiver azimuth repeatability. HD3D-4D will also provide the critical spatial sampling benefits required for successful data processing and imaging in the North West Shelf of Australia.
••• 17.11.05 Hydro opens Shtokman-office in Murmansk.
In December of 2005 Hydro will open an office in Murmansk that will primarily take on the contract on drilling well #7 on Shtokmanovskoye gas and condensate field in the Barents Sea.
Also this December, Hydro will open a “Suppliers development centre” for oil and gas industry in Murmansk and later on in Arkhangelsk.
All moves were officially supported by governor of the Murmansk region at today’s meeting with Hydro’s Shtokman –boss, Bengt Lie Hansen. During this meeting, which took place in Murmansk, Hydro and the Murmansk region administration signed a memorandum of understanding.
- Hydro is expanding its business in the North-West Russia and also developing its supply network. The memorandum singed today with the Murmansk region, is part of our long prospective commitment in North-West Russia and Shtokman, said Hansen after the official meeting.
Late in September 2005, Hydro singed a contract with Murmansk State Technical University for local education of offshore engineers for to work in the Barents Sea. Cooperation with the local technical university is part of the “Supply development project” run by Hydro in North-West Russia for three years.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 14.11.05 Regal Petroleum Begins Drilling Suceava Block in Romania.
Regal Petroleum has commenced drilling operations on exploration well, RSD-1, on the Suceava Block, Romania.
The Suceava Block is one of the largest exploration blocks in Romania with an area of 4,103 square kilometers and is located in the Moldavia Platform, which contains several large commercial gas and condensate fields. The Suceava Block is located adjacent to and on the same geological trend as the largest commercial gas field in Romania, operated by Romgaz (the Romanian national gas company).
This, the second Regal operated well in Romania, is in the northwest of the Suceava Block, and has now commenced drilling. It is scheduled to be drilled to its target depth of 1100 meters by the middle of December 2005, with a budget of $1.5 million. The well has reservoir objectives within the Sarmatian sandstones. All target intervals will be logged with complete logging suites, and if appropriate, flow tested.
••• 12.11.05 GGS reports that today in Singapore it has signed a contract to use the M/V "Veritas Searcher" for its East Java Super Tie seismic program.
The "Veritas Searcher" is a state-of-the-art 2D vessel capable of meeting the challenging targets of the East Java Sea well tie program, which range from deep water long offset techniques to shallower targets requiring higher frequency data. The more than 50 % pre-funded program is scheduled to commence later this month.
The "Polar Duke", which is on GGS charter from Fugro, has completed about 40% of its 4,000 km JPDA program in the Timor Sea.
And in spite of the effects of hurricanes, the "Odin Explorer" has already completed 4,500 km of the US Open - West Florida Escarpment project.
Morten Andersen, Chairman of the Board of GGS states: "I am satisfied that we have been able to sign a third vessel to be shooting for GGS this season. In a hot seismic market it is important to see that we are able to charter capacity from three different players in the spot market at rates that are providing satisfactory margins in our project budgets. In parallel with this GGS is pursuing its strategy to secure base capacity for an optimized access to vessels over the next years".
••• 12.11.05 "Kurentsov" ready for India November 2005.
WGP has been contracted by Marine Arctic Geological Expedition (MAGE) to assist in the preparation of the MAGE survey vessel "Professor Kurentsov" for a challenging contract working for ONGC in India. The ship is currently in Bremerhaven where WGP and MAGE are installing a variety of newly purchased and rented seismic equipment.
This is the first time that the Russian XZone Bottomfish ™ marine seismic data acquisition system and streamer has been used outside of Russia. This means that a variety of interfacing problems have to be solved in order to make it work with the new equipment.
Kurentsov will leave for India at the end of the second week in November.
Source: WGP Seismic Limited
••• 12.11.05 Scottish survey technology ready for roll out.
Scottish university spin-out MTEM has completed a successful test of its new hydrocarbon survey technology in the North Sea and plans to roll it out worldwide.
Mutli-Transient Electro Magnetic – which originated at Edinburgh University - tried out its new system in the Firth of Forth near Edinburgh, deploying 2 km (1.25 miles) of cabling to emit a low power source, allowing data to be collected over a known hydrocarbon reservoir another 2km below the seabed, in water depths between 12 and 20m (39 – 65 ft).
Reservoir data was successfully recorded at an offset up to 8 km (5 miles) from the electro-magnetic power source. Electromagnetic surveys can be used to detect changes in subsurface resistivity, allowing more accurate identification of hydrocarbon-bearing reservoirs prior to exploration drilling. MTEM’s chief executive Leon Walker said the success of the test will allow the company to deploy a marine crew and start using the system in the North Sea by June 2006, and other basins where shallow water has until now prohibited the use of electro-magnetic survey techniques.
Bruce Dingwall, MTEM chairman added: “Having recently carried out successful testing on land, this breakthrough now enables us to commercialise its application in shallow waters up to 300m (1,000 ft) deep in major offshore oil and gas provinces throughout the world.”
MTEM previously received Ј7.4 million of support from venture capitalists including Stavanger-based Energy Ventures and Hitec Vision, plus Glasgow-based Scottish Equity partners. Support for the offshore test was provided by SeaBed Geophysical in Norway, and Westland GeoProjects in Cornwall in the UK.
The company has already tested its technology onshore with Houston-based Natural Gas Systems which commissioned MTEM for an electro-magnetic survey of its Delhi field, in Louisiana, first discovered in the 1940s and bought by NGS in 2003.
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 11.11.05 Survey vessel "Geolog Dimitri Nalivkin" off to Libya – again!
WGP’s 2D survey vessel "Geolog Dimitri Nalivkin" is en route to Malta ready to begin work for Amerada Hess in Libya. Following the completion of this first contract, the ship will move straight on to work for Repsol.
WGP is working in Libya with a local commercial partner - GSI/PRC who is providing the essential Libyan registrations and permission to facilitate these two contracts. "Nalivkin" has worked in Libya before, as part of the extremely large multi-client data acquisition programme run by CGG earlier this year.
Source: WGP Seismic Limited
••• 08.11.05 Trawler sinks after collision with PSV "Strilmoy".
A Scottish trawler "Harvest" is reported to have sunk following a collision with the PSV "Strilmoy" in the North Sea on Friday morning. The incident happened east of the Shetland Islands at about 07.00 on Friday.
The crew of the trawler was rescued aboard another ship before sinking. "Harvest" was carrying six crew from the British and was en route to Peterhead. No injuries were sustained on either vessel, and "Strilmoy" incurred only mionor damage.
"Strilmoy" is owned by Simon Mokster Rederi and operated by Simon Mokster Shipping.
Source: Norwegian newspaper "Aftenposten"
••• 06.11.05 PSS for tanker offloading unit installed offshore Sakhalin.
On 3 November Sakhalin Energy announced another milestone in the development of the Sakhalin II project by completing the installation of the Piled Substructure (PSS) for the Tanker Loading Unit (TLU) in Aniva Bay, offshore Sakhalin Island.
The TLU is an integral element of the Sakhalin II Phase 2 Oil Export Terminal (OET), which is currently under construction in Prigorodnoye on the southern end of Sakhalin Island. Once operational, this facility will enable year-round exportation of oil produced at Sakhalin Energy's offshore production platforms in the north of the Island. Sakhalin Energy has been operating Russia's first offshore oil production platform - the Molikpaq - since 1999. Oil is currently produced during the ice-free summer season when it can be transferred from the platform to shuttle tankers for onward transportation to customers.
During the Sakhalin II Phase 2 Project, the Molikpaq, along with two new offshore platforms that are currently under construction, will be connected to a pipeline network that will transfer hydrocarbons down the length of the Island to export facilities in Aniva Bay. Aniva Bay remains largely ice-free throughout the year, which will enable Sakhalin Energy to produce and export oil and gas from the Sakhalin Shelf throughout the year.
While the actual installation of the PSS on the seabed took nearly ten hours, the complete PSS installation process involved nearly two months of preparatory work - before the 1060 ton PSS was finally lowered into place in a water depth of approximately 30 metres. The PSS will ultimately support a Rotating Head to which export tankers will be connected to receive oil for export to customers around the world.
••• 03.11.05 Shtokman may be based on PSA.
The Russian Industry and Energy Ministry has said the Shtokman gas and condensate deposit project in the Barents Sea could be implemented through a production sharing agreement (PSA).
According to Russian media reports Thursday, deputy department director Olga Rybak has said the project's operator, Russian state-owned natural gas monopoly Gazprom, "had expressed an interest in such an arrangement."
Source: Offshore Media Group
••• 01.11.05 CGG’s Norwegian purchase signals hot market for marine seismic
Source: "First Break"
••• 28.10.05 Norway bank move good for Russian tech imports.
Norwegian bank DnB Nor is buying Monchebank of Murmansk for NOK136 million in a move that could help the Russian supply chain, or else serve to finance Norwegian exports.
Russians buying capital-heavy Norwegian offshore technology now have a reliable partner.
"With the purchase of Monchebank we get a good position in an area that stands at the forefront of an exciting development when oil and gas deposits in the Barents Sea are extracted," said DnB Nor chief executive, Svein Aaser.
••• 27.10.05 Karoon Gas Contracts PGS for 3D Survey Offshore Western Australia.
Karoon Gas has signed a contract with PGS Exploration Ltd to utilize their seismic vessel "Ramform Victory" for an 840 sq. km. 3D Seismic Survey over Western Australian permits WA-314-P and WA-315-P. The securing of the "Ramform Victory" is a major step forward toward the proposed two well drilling program for 2006. The "Ramform Victory" is expected to commence in late November 2005 with the acquisition taking Related Products approximately five weeks.
In addition, Karoon Gas has scheduled an additional 2D /3D seismic vessel to complete the required work over the next three months in both WA-314-P and WA-315-P.
Results of the most recent geological, 2D seismic and aeromagnetic data interpretation continue to confirm the presence of large structures with the potential to contain large reserves of gas and condensate. The interpretation confirms the geologic similarity to the Scott Reef and Brecknock gas and condensate fields immediately to the south.
Work on the 2D seismic survey has now begun in the Gippsland Basin over permits PEP162 and EL4537. This survey comprises 250km of 2D seismic and is expected to be completed in late November 2005.
Karoon Gas holds a 100% working interest in both these permits.
••• 25.10.05 Russia Wants Chevron, ConocoPhillips in Barents Sea Gas Project.
Russian Industry and Energy Minister Viktor Khristenko said Monday he would like to see both U.S. energy majors Chevron Corp. (CVX) and ConocoPhillips (COP) in the consortium to develop a huge offshore natural gas field in the Barents Sea.
Both companies - along with Norway's Norsk Hydro ASA (NHY), Norway's Statoil ASA (STO) and France's Total SA (TOT) - are on a shortlist to develop OAO Gazprom's (GSPBEX.RS) Shtokman field.
"We are hoping that the further completion of the competition will result in these two companies being represented in the final list," Khristenko told a press briefing kicking off his first official visit to the U.S. Khristenko is heading a delegation of Russian energy executives that will travel throughout the U.S. this week.
When Gazprom, Russia's state gas monopoly, announced the shortlist in September, Gazprom Chief Executive Alexei Miller said two or three companies would make the final cut and the decision will be announced in the first quarter of 2006.
Source: FWN Financial News
••• 24.10.05 Rockhopper Exploration plc (Rockhopper) is pleased to announce it has entered into a contract with Geophysical Service Incorporated (GSI) to perform a 2D seismic survey in the North Falkland Basin which should be completed by the end of Q1 2006.
The survey will consist of approximately 900 km of acquisition. Read more...
••• 21.10.05 TGS-NOPEC Announces New 2D Seismic Survey in Celtic Sea Offshore Ireland.
Naersnes, Norway and Houston, Texas (October 20, 2005) - TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company (TGS) has commenced acquisition of a new multi-client 2D survey offshore Ireland. The 1,500 kilometer survey is located in the Saint George’s Channel Basin and is designed to better resolve the Pegasus and Dragon structural trends in the area.
Acquisition is being conducted in partnership with Fugro-Geoteam utilizing the M/V "Northern Explorer" with a streamer length of 8,000 meters. The well prefunded survey is being processed by TGS Imaging and is scheduled to be available during the first quarter of 2006.
Source: TGS-NOPEC Newsroom
••• 21.10.05 Rieber Shipping has decided to rebuild "Polar King".
Rieber Shipping has decided to rebuild the cable layer "Polar King" into a multi streamer state-of-the-art 3D seismic vessel. Rieber Shipping has entered a into a time charter agreement for the vessel with Fugro Geoteam AS.
The vessel was built in 2000, and it was designed by Multi Maritime AS.
Rieber Shipping has also chosen Multi Maritime AS for the design and engineering for the rebuilding project.
The rebuilding is estimated to be finalised in the second quarter of 2006, and it has an estimated cost of NOK 175 million.
Multi Maritime AS is a privately owned company, established in 1983. Both the company and its founders grew up in an active shipbuilding environment in Forde, western Norway. From first beginnings working on chemical tankers, Multi Maritime has grown into a multi-skilled consultancy, employing a staff of highly qualified technicians and engineers and with a worldwide client portfolio.
Beginning with specialist chemical tankers and the offshore support vessels needed for Norway's growing oil and gas industry, Multi Maritime has spent more than twenty years developing an ever widening portfolio of projects for specialised vessels, including specialised cargo vessels, vehicle and passenger vessels, offshore support vessels, high-speed vessels, icebreakers and submersible heavy lift barges.
Our horizons have expanded from western Norway, throughout Scandinavia, to work with owners and shipbuilders as far afield as Poland, Russia and China.
Multi Maritime is a consultancy for the third millennium - with its roots in practical ship building.
Source: Multi Maritime AS
••• 20.10.05 Barents Sea Russia.
The Russian geophysical company New Geoprojects has completed the acquisition of a regional multi-client 2D seismic survey in the Eastern Barents Sea (Russia), BSR05. The acquisition was performed by the vessel "Akademik Karpinsky" deploying a 6000 m streamer.
Final, processed data are expected to be avialable early 2006. TGS has entered into an agreement with New Geoprojects on this survey, and is responsible for marketing and licensing the new data to the international oil and gas companies.
Source: TGS-NOPEC Newsroom