Offshore SeisNews ©

••• 10.03.06  Swire Pacific Offshore to take two more PSVs.
Pan United shipyard in Singapore has reportedly secured a contract from Swire Pacific Offshore to build two UT755L PSVs at a cost of around US$15.5 million each. The vessels are for delivery in the first and third quarters of 2008.
Ocean Mainport Offshore Limited has placed an order for a multipurpose vessel.
The vessel to be named Ocean Europe, is being built against along term contract with Shell, and is for delivery May 2007. In a statement, Ocean Mainport said the Ocean Mainport Offshore Ltd (OMOL, c/o Sartor ShippingA/S) had ordered the ship from Solstrand shipyard in Tomrefjord Norway. OMOL is owned by a parnership of Sartor Shipping A/S and Irish Mainport.
The vessel will be 64m in length and designed for a crew of 18. It will work as a combined support/rescue/oil recovery vessel and will also be equipped for tanker assistance.
The ship will also be one of the first that will be approved for operation in the Norwegian/UK/Dutch/Danish sectors. Source: Offshore Shipbrokers Ltd (OSL)

••• 10.03.06  TGS-NOPEC has signed a charter agreement with Fugro-Geoteam AS to utilize the newbuild 3D seismic vessel.
TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company ASA(TGS) announced today that it has signed a charter agreement with Fugro-Geoteam AS to utilize the newbuild Geo Barents 3D seismic vessel. The charter begins on November 1st, 2006 and lasts for a minimum period of 18 months with two options for TGS to extend the charter by six-month periods under the same commercial terms.
TGS plans to employ the Geo Barents initially on its "Stanley" 3D project in the Gulf of Mexico, replacing the Polar Search when its charter expires.
Hank Hamilton, Chief Executive Officer, said "Securing a modern, efficient 3D vessel represents an important step towards achieving our growth plan."

••• 10.03.06  Mediterranean offshore blocks offer millions of barrels says broker.
An analyst’s reported has pointed to the huge potential of an exploration play in the Mediterranean Sea held by a London-listed exploration company.
Mediterranean Oil and Gas (MOG) could reap huge rewards if the four offshore blocks it holds lying south of Malta - which are said to lie on treed with huge Libyan oil fields - are successfully explored.
“The real blue sky exploration holding is the 100% interest in four blocks south of Malta. These are adjacent to Libyan waters and have barely been explored. On one block, three large structures have bee identified by 3D seismic. The company is currently seeking farm-in partners to bear the cost of drilling wells. The oil in place potential of these structures is several hundreds of millions of barrels,” says the report, by WH Ireland stockbrokers.
MOG’s holding encompasses blocks 4,5 6 and 7 south of Malta, covering 5,000 sq. km of acreage on the Mediterranean Pelagian Shelf, and a data room has already been opened to encourage farm-in partners.
According to the brokers, the best prospects are in block 7. One prospect called Tarxien, is the large with a best estimate of 124 m bbl of oil from 322 m bbl in place. Another, Hagar Qim, is estimated to contain 71m bbl recoverable from 246 m bbl in place, and Skorba cold be 23 m bbl from 81 m bbl in place - totalling 218 m bbl recoverable from 648 m bbl in place, while higher estimates put the potential reserves at 430 m bbl and adding to 1,178 m bbl.
Although wells are classed as high risk with a 10% chance of success, and drilling likely to cost US $35 million per well, geological understanding of the region is improving and a new seismic campaign is due to start shortly, focussing on the three previously identified prospects.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 08.03.06  Operator Eni, Statoil, and DNO reported finding oil on the Goliat appraisal well in the Barents Sea.
The discovery, expected to be significant, is the first find in the Barents Sea after 64 wells have been drilled.
Oil and gas were encountered in two intervals on Goliat Well 7122/7-3. The Goliat discovery is located 85 km northwest of Hammerfest and 50 km southeast of the Snoehvit field.
Source: Society of Petroleum Engineers

••• 07.03.06  SeaBird Exploration Group signs cooperation agreement with Ocean Bottom Seismic company.
SeaBird Exploration Limited announced that it has entered into a world-wide none-exclusive cooperation agreement with SeaBed Geophysical AS. The parties have agreed to jointly explore business opportunities utilizing SeaBird's operational experience and QHSE systems and SeaBed's nodal 4C technology to capture market share in the growing 4 component seismic market.
SeaBed Geophysical AS "SeaBed" is a service company that specializes in seabed seismic. Main concept is to deploy geophone sensor nodes into the seabed and acquire high quality multi-component data. SeaBed can provide all aspects of seabed seismic; feasibility studies and pre-survey planning, data acquisition, on site QC, minor data processing and interpretation.
SeaBird Exploration Limited (BVI) "SeaBird" is a global provider of 2D and 3D seismic data and associated products and services to the oil and gas industry. SeaBird specializes in high quality operations within the high end of the source vessel and 2D market, as well as in the shallow water 2D/3D market. SeaBird operates a seismic fleet of 4 vessels with two additional vessels under conversion with expected completion during the first half of 2006.
Source: SeaBird Exploration

••• 05.03.06  TPAO to Tender 2 Black Sea Offshore Blocks for 3D seismic survey.
Turkish State Oil Company TPAO calls for service tender by 14 March, 2006. It is the service purchase through hiring 3D Seismic Vessel for acquiring three dimensional (3D) seismic data in a total of 4500 km2 of which 2500 km2 is in Western Black Sea and 2000 km2 is in Central Black Sea under the Oil and Natural Gas exploration activities.
The work shall be completed on 31 December 2006 from the effective date of the signed contract.
Partial bids may be submitted in this service tender. The bidders may submit partial bids for three dimensional (3D) seismic data acquisition work in 2500 km2 West Black Sea,
or three dimensional (3D) seismic data acquisition work in 2000 km2 Central Black Sea,
or for the work covering both of the fields at the total of 4500 km2.
Interested companies can find any detail information from following link...

Source: Turkish State Oil Company TPAO

••• 04.03.06  Three important Annual Oil and Cas Conferences will be held in Moscow in 2006.
May 24th, 2006 - Equipment for the Russian Offshore Field Development.
October 20th, 2006 - Oil and Gas Services in Russia.
November 14th, 2006 - Supplies in the Russian Oil and Gas Industry.

The main goal of the conferences to be held is to discuss and finalize recommendations to the governmental authorities to expand Russian companies’ involvement in technical upgrade and modernization of oil and gas industry.
The conferences will be attended by members of the Russian Government and Deputies of the State Duma, officials from the Ministry of Industry and Energy of the Russian Federation, Federal Agency of Industry, Federal Agency of Energy, representatives of Gasprom, Transneft, Rosneft and other companies.
The conferences will be housed in the comfortable hotel of Radisson Slavyanskaya in Moscow.
For any details please contact Conference Coordinator by phone:
+7 (495) 514-5856, 514-4468, fax: +7 (495) 545-6536 or
by e-mail:

Source: Russian Association of Oil and Gas Equipment Producers

••• 03.03.06  Fifteen Companies to Bid on Prikerchensky Block in the Black Sea.
As many as 15 companies will bid for the right to sign a production-sharing agreement (PSA) covering the Prikerchensky oil and gas section on the Black Sea shelf, Ukrainian Prime Minister Yury Yekhanurov told a March 1 Cabinet meeting.
The companies include Tupras, Hunt Overseas Oil Company, ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron and Petrobras, Yekhanurov said.
Ukraine could increase gas production to 30 billion cubic meters (bcm) annually if the project comes off, he said.
The Swiss-registered RosUkrEnergo has also expressed an interest in the tender.
The state-owned Chornomornaftogaz will make a joint bid with U.S. company Hunt Overseas Oil Company. Bids for the tender will be accepted until March 24, 2006 inclusive. The fee for participation in the tender is $10,000.
The Ukrainian government approved the Prikerchensky PSA tender conditions on December 22, 2005. The field is 12,960 square kilometers in size and the depth of the sea in the area ranges from 70 to 2,000 meters.
Source: © Interfax Information Services, B.V.

••• 02.03.06  Rockhopper Exploration has completed its pre-drill surveys over two of its licences in the South Atlantic Falkland Islands.
A 920 km (575 mile) 2D survey completed by GSI of Canada, covered PL1023 and PL1024 and will be followed up by data processing and integration in the UK alongside 1,832 km (1,145 miles) of 2D data previously acquired covering the two licences areas.
This work is expected to take up to four months and will be matched with controlled source electromagnetic survey data over the licences undertaken by Offshore Hydrocarbon Mapping.
Rockhopper said it hopes the new data will help map the J1 prospect which has previously been identified, and “change the status of a number of the leads identified into prospects.”
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 01.03.06  ODIM ASA has the last few days signed new contracts within the seismic segment. The total value of the contracts is NOK 55 million. All deliveries will take place in 2006.
- Our unique position as a world leading supplier of cable handling solutions to the seismic companies means that ODIM is invited to compete for complete systems. Some of the orders are time critical components which constitutes a part of larger orders. This is why we cannot reveal any customer names, comments CEO Jogeir Romestrand in ODIM.
ODIM is the world-leading supplier of cable handling solutions to the seismic companies and the company has a dominating market position on specific products within this business segment. The customers include all the larger seismic companies.
Diminishing oil reserves and increased exploration activity are expected to lead to increased seismic activity in 2006. Upgrading or reactivation of existing seismic vessel or demand for new seismic vessels are the single most important demand drivers for ODIM, and the seismic business constitutes the most important part of the business area offshore supply vessels.
Source: ODIM

••• 28.02.06  TGS Announces Major New Gulf of Mexico Deepwater 3D Survey.
TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company (TGS) announced today that it will acquire a new multi-client 3D seismic survey in the areas of Garden Banks, Keathley Canyon, Green Canyon and Walker Ridge located offshore Louisiana and Texas in the Gulf of Mexico.
Covering approximately 600 deepwater OCS blocks (14000 square kilometers), the new program, named "Stanley", focuses on an area of expected high lease turnover over the next several years. Forty percent (40%) of the current leases are scheduled to expire over the next 3 years with 22% of existing leases expiring in 2007. Currently, 24% of the OCS blocks are available for leasing.
The MV Polar Search will commence data acquisition in early April 2006. An area covering approximately two hundred (200) OCS blocks will be recorded, processed and delivered in advance of the 2007 Central Gulf of Mexico OCS Lease Sale. Acquisition of the entire 600-block project is expected to last approximately thirteen months.
"The complex geology in the Stanley area has historically been extremely challenging to properly image. TGS will incorporate 9000-meter streamer offsets and a host of advanced pre-stack imaging techniques to generate multiple output volumes, including both wave equation and Kirchhoff pre-stack depth products. Utilization of advanced technology in concert with the turnover of leases in the area will provide TGS and its clients a commercially significant project for advancing exploration in this difficult area for quite some time." said Kim Abdallah, Vice President of NSA New Ventures.
Confirming the demand for new data in this region, Stanley is supported by substantial customer underwriting.
Source: TGS

••• 28.02.06  Norsk Hydro Gets Green Light to Use Deepsea Trym on Troll.
Norsk Hydro has secured consent to use the Deepsea Trym to carry out production drilling on the Troll Oil field.
In January 2005, Norsk Hydro received consent for exploration drilling with the Deepsea Trym, as well as use of this facility for production drilling.
The consent included three production wells on Troll. In December 2005, Norsk Hydro applied for an extension of this consent to cover a total of six production wells on Troll.
Consent has been granted in accordance with the contents of the application on February 13, 2006.
Source: Norwegian Petroleum Directorate

••• 27.02.06  Int'l Consortium to Begin Seismic Work in Aral Sea in May.
An international consortium of investors is to start seismic exploration work for oil and gas in the Uzbek sector of the Aral Sea from May 15th, Uzbekneftegaz Chief Engineer Shavkat Mazhitov said at a presentation of the project on Wednesday.
Russia's Lukoil, Uzbekistan's Uzbekneftegz, China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), Korean National Oil Corporation (KNOC) and Malaysia's Petronas formed a consortium in September 2005 to develop the Uzbek sector of the Aral Sea. The project will be implemented under a production sharing agreement.
"We plan to complete the negotiation process by April 5 and to sign a PSA agreement, and then within a month hold all the tenders for sub-contract work," Mazhitov said.
He said that the members of the consortium have prepared a draft PSA and agreed it among themselves and have submitted to an Uzbek special state commission.
Mazhitov said that the Aral Sea has seismic seasons and that seismic work can be carried out from April to November. "We need to do everything not to miss this season," he said.
The project will be implanted in three stages. The first, costing a tentative $80 million, will involve seismic exploration work over 3,000 linear meters and will take from two to three years.
During the second stage, costing not less than $20 million, drilling of wells will start at structures that have been discovered. The third stage will include preparations for development and the subsequent development of fields. According to Uzbekneftegaz, in the Aral Sea (area 12,500 square meters) there are possibly more than 30 anomalies indicating oil and gas prospects.
Uzbekneftegaz is the monopoly in the Uzbek oil and gas complex. It was formed in 1998 and includes four companies.
Source: Interfax Information Services, B.V.

••• 27.02.06  Eight New Exploration Permits Released Offshore Western Australia.
Australian Resources Minister Ian Macfarlane has released eight new offshore petroleum exploration permits in Western Australia, following a lively first round of bidding in the 2005 Offshore Acreage Release.
Mr. Macfarlane said the new permits open the way for around $413 million in new investment in offshore petroleum exploration in Australia over the next six years.
"There was intense bidding interest in the Browse Basin near major gas discoveries and there was strong investor interest in release areas across the country.
"The interest shown in the latest bidding round is testament to Australia's record of successful development of major offshore gas projects and our reputation as a reliable supplier of Liquefied Natural Gas to export markets," he said.
The new permits awarded are as follows:
One in the Browse Basin, a proven major hydrocarbon province, to Shell Development (Australia) who propose 12 exploration wells;
Five in the Carnarvon Basin to Woodside Energy, Total E&P Australia and Japan Australia LNG; Chevron Australia, Shell Development (Australia) and Mobil Australia; and Holloman Corporation, some in deep water, close to giant gas discoveries, others in shallow water, close to production infrastructure and Two in the Bonaparte Basin, adjacent to significant hydrocarbon discoveries, to Goldsborough Energy Pty Ltd, which plans significant 3D seismic work.
"These releases are part of the Australian Government's commitment to encouraging more investment in offshore petroleum exploration and development," Mr Macfarlane said.
"This program provides a steady supply of new offshore exploration areas for bidding and is supported by funding for pre-competitive petroleum geoscience work by Geoscience Australia.
"The government has also recently introduced tax incentives to promote further development of frontier areas, which are largely unexplored," Mr. Macfarlane said.
Under the work program bidding system for the award of exploration permits in Australia's offshore areas, applicants are required to nominate a guaranteed minimum 'dry hole' exploration program for each of the first three years of the permit term and a secondary program for the remaining three years. Each component of the program must be completed in the designated year or earlier. Permits are granted for an initial term of six years.
Permit WA-371-P (released as W05-3) in the Browse Basin has been awarded to Shell Development (Australia) Proprietary Limited. The company proposed a guaranteed work program of studies, seismic data reprocessing and 12 exploration wells with an estimated cost of $148 million. The secondary work program consists of studies and one exploration well, at an estimated cost of $11 million. There were 7 other bids for the area.
Permit WA-369-P (released as W05-14) in the Central Exmouth Plateau, Carnarvon Basin has been awarded to Woodside Energy Ltd, Total E&P Australia and Japan Australia LNG (MIMI) Pty Ltd. The companies proposed a minimum guaranteed work program of studies, an electromagnetic survey and the purchase of 3D seismic data, at an estimated cost of $2.6 million. The secondary work program consists of studies, seismic data reprocessing and one exploration well, at an estimated cost of $16.3 million. There was one other bid for the area.
Permit WA-370-P (released as W05-15) in the Central Exmouth Plateau, Carnarvon Basin, has been awarded to Woodside Energy Ltd, Total E&P Australia and Japan Australia LNG (MIMI) Pty Ltd. The companies offered a minimum guaranteed work program of studies, 324 km2 of 3D seismic surveying and 3 exploration wells, with an estimated cost of $46.6 million. The secondary work program consists of studies, seismic data reprocessing and one exploration well, at an estimated cost of $16.3 million. There was one other bid for the area.
Permit WA-374-P (released as W05-16) in the Central Exmouth Plateau, Carnarvon Basin, has been awarded to Chevron Australia Pty Ltd, Shell Development (Australia) Pty Ltd and Mobil Australia Resources Company Pty Ltd.
The companies proposed a minimum guaranteed work program of studies, 1800 km2 of 3D seismic, 2350 km of 2D seismic surveying and two wells, with an estimated cost of $54.78 million. The secondary work program consists of studies and 3D seismic data reprocessing, at an estimated cost of $0.3 million. There were 5 other bids for the area.
Permit WA-372-P (released as W05-17) in the Barrow Sub-basin, Carnarvon Basin, has been awarded to Holloman Corporation. The company offered a minimum guaranteed work program of seismic data purchase, 58 km2 of 3D seismic surveying and 2 wells, with an estimated cost of $21.2 million. The secondary work program consists of studies and two exploration wells, at an estimated cost of $20.2 million. There was one other bid for the area.
Permit WA-373-P (released as W05-18) in the Barrow Sub-basin, Carnarvon Basin, has been awarded to Holloman Corporation. The company offered a minimum guaranteed work program of seismic data purchase, 58 km2 of 3D seismic surveying and 2 wells with an estimated cost of $21.2 million. The secondary work program consists of studies and two exploration wells, at an estimated cost of $20.2 million. There was one other bid for the area.
Permit WA-376-P (released as W05-1) in the Bonaparte Basin has been granted to Goldsborough Energy Pty Ltd. The company offered a minimum guaranteed work program of studies and 800 km2 of 3D seismic surveying with an estimated cost of $1.75 million. The secondary work program consists of studies and one exploration well, at an estimated cost of $15.6 million. There were no other bids for the area.
Permit WA-375-P (released as W05-2) in the Bonaparte Basin has been granted to Goldsborough Energy Pty Ltd. The company offered a minimum guaranteed work program of studies and 800 km2 of 3D seismic surveying with an estimated cost of $1.75 million. The secondary work program consists of studies and one exploration well, at an estimated cost of $15.6 million. There were no other bids for the area.
Source: Australian Energy Ministry

••• 24.02.06  CGG announced its fourth consecutive season of work in India with the award of a major 3D seismic offshore acquisition contract, worth over $100 million.
This deepwater seismic program to be performed between October 2006 and March 2007 covers a surface area of 8600 sq km off the eastern coast.
Full onboard processing will be performed onboard the three 3D seismic vessels using CGG’s proprietary software, Geocluster.
"This contract constitutes a clear measure of the quality of our relations with ONGC", - stated Christophe Pettenati-Auziere, CGG’s President, Geophysical Services. "It marks our commitment to our continued strategy of maintaining a strong presence in India, where the CGG Group regularly conducts deepwater and land acquisition surveys as well as data processing activities with the center we opened in Mumbai last year."
Source: CGG

••• 23.02.06  Offshore supplier centre opens for business in Russia’s north.
Norsk Hydro has strengthened its position for the Shtokman development by opening a new supplier centre in Arkangel, in northwest Russia.
Benedikt Hendriksen, leader of Hydro’s supplier programme said the centre, called Intershelf, aims to build relations between Norwegian and Russian companies in readiness for new petroleum projects.
“We want to assist the Russian supplier industry to become more competitive and to prepare suppliers for upcoming petroleum activities in the Barents Sea,” he said at the Intershelf opening ceremony.
Tomorrow Hydro is due to host a seminar at the centre, addressing problems faced by Russian companies seeking to offer equipment and supplies to offshore projects.
Opening of the centre builds on a supplier development programme established after meetings between Russian President Vladimir Putin and former Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik in 2002.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 23.02.06  Petrobras Wins Deepwater Exploration Blocks in the Black Sea.
Petrobras says that the Turkish state-owned oil company, Turkyye Petrollery Anonym Ortaklidi, (TPAO) has announced that Petrobras presented the winning bid for two out of three blocks offered in a tendering process for deepwater exploration and production in the Black Sea.
Petrobras and TPAO will soon start negotiations on all relevant contractual documents thus ensuring the Brazilian participation in a 50-50 partnership with the Turkish company for the exploration and production of blocks 3920 (Kirklarelli) and 3922 (Sinop).
The two blocks acquired by Petrobras, according to the company's technical evaluation, are the ones presenting the best geological perspectives. The Kirklarelli block, located in the west part of the Turkish sector of the Black Sea, has an average water depth of 1,200 meters. The Sinop block, located in the eastern part, has an average water depth of 2,200 meters.
The Turkish region of the Black Sea is still largely unexplored, presenting high risk but equally high potential return. Turkey is a country surrounded by important oil producing basins and crossed by major pipelines to supplying Europe.
Petrobras entrance in Turkey is in line with the company's Strategic Plan to work as an integrated energy company with selective expansion of international activities.
Source: RigZone

••• 22.02.06  Fugro to Conduct Large 3D Seismic Survey in Asia-Pacific Region.
Fugro-Geoteam AS has been awarded a large 3D marine seismic contract in the Asia-Pacific region. The survey will cover deepwater areas of approximately 5,000 square kilometers.
The work will be carried out by Fugro's new vessel "Geo Atlantic" during the period October 2006 – May 2007, directly upon completion of the vessels' earlier announced work for Statoil in Norway, which is scheduled to start in May/June 2006.
Fugro-Geoteam AS is a Norwegian based operating company of the Fugro Group. The company operates a modern fleet of seismic vessels and is active in 2D, 3D and 4D marine seismic data acquisition and processing.
Source: Fugro

••• 22.02.06  Genesis Petroleum Enters Seismic Data Acquisition Deal.
Genesis Petroleum has entered into an agreement with one of the world's leading offshore seismic data providers to access modern offshore 3D seismic data from a data library of approximately 150,000 square kilometers covering proven hydrocarbon basins offshore Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Germany and the UK.
Seismic data is the primary tool used by oil and gas companies in the search for hydrocarbons. 3D seismic data can be interpreted to generate a three-dimensional model of the earth's sub-surface which is then used to determine the likelihood of oil and gas deposits and the optimum drilling location for their exploitation. The Company believes that access to the data on the terms agreed and review by Genesis technical staff will give it a significant advantage exploring for oil and gas in the region. Genesis believes that its technical review of data over specific areas, at minimal initial cost, will enable it to be technically more objective and focused in its selection of, and application for, offshore acreage in the region. The Company also believes the agreement will allow it to have better informed discussions with other oil companies about potential joint ventures and farm-in arrangements, without the usual expense of acquiring seismic data.
Speaking for Genesis, Gerry Harrison (CEO) said:
"This Agreement complements our existing agreement with another seismic data provider which covers 50,000 square kilometers of mainly internationally located seismic data and provides Genesis with access to a total data base of 200,000 square kilometers of 3D seismic. The data provides the Company with a fantastic regional perspective which allows us to be very selective about taking acreage positions and developing farm-in opportunities. We intend to apply for offshore acreage only where we already have an informed view of its prospectivity based on the latest 3D technology. This reduces the exploration risk.
In addition, this agreement gives us the dual advantage of both reduced cost as we only incur significant fees when we win acreage as well as a reduced time to drilling since a significant amount of the technical work will have already been done. We have already demonstrated the benefits of this type of agreement by winning five Blocks in the North Sea and forming partnerships with Lundin Petroleum and ConocoPhillips. This latest agreement allows us further opportunity to selectively win good acreage and form strong partnerships."
Source: Genesis Petroleum

••• 21.02.06  GGS Receives Order for East Timor Seismic Data Set.
GGS has received an order for its East Timor seismic data set. The order is a result of a new company joining one of the existing clients in a bidding group.
Morten Andersen, Chairman of the Board of GGS states: 'The bidding deadline for the first East Timor licensing round set to March 17, 2006 is not far away. The sale of this survey, which was carried out in partnership with BGP of China, is already a commercial success. Given that, we are still expecting additional sales to potential partners of the companies bidding or being awarded licenses.
Source: GGS

••• 18.02.06  Hydro to explore offshore Mozambique.
Norsk Hydro is to try its luck exploring offshore Mozambique under a new exploration contract with the former Marxist country.
Hydro said today it has signed an exploration deal with Mozambique’s government covering two exploration and production concession areas 2, and 5, in the Rovuma Basin offshore Mozambique in a deal with the country’s national oil company Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH).
The two areas cover 14,500 square kilometres, Hydro said, and water depths range from shallow water to 2,000m. (6,500 ft).
After an initial environmental impact study, Hydro said it would commence preliminary seismic studies.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 17.02.06  Norsk Hydro in Talks for Russian Oil, Gas Projects.
Norsk Hydro ASA is in talks with several Russian oil and gas companies over potential exploration and development projects in the country besides its bid for a stake in Gazprom OAO's giant Shtokman gas project, a top Hydro executive said Wednesday.
"We're looking at a number of opportunities, talking to several companies, and there are various possibilities under negotiation," Vice President of Russian Operations Petter Nore told Dow Jones Newswires. He wouldn't elaborate on which projects or where in Russia, but he said, "On the Arctic offshore, there are more than enough things to sink our teeth into."
This is the first time Hydro has said publically that it's negotiating for specific projects in Russia.
Industry insiders say Hydro, like its Norwegian rival Statoil ASA (STO), is focusing on a number of oil and gas blocks recently offered to the market. Under a new law, Russian companies most own controlling stakes, but foreign companies can partner as minority holders.
Russia's Gazprom, Rosneft Oil Co. (RNT.YY) and Surgutneftegaz JSC (SNGS.RS) are seeking foreign investment, exploration and production expertise while the Norwegian companies are looking to replace the diminishing reserves on their home turf.
Among the offshore blocks offered in the latest round, several are in the arctic Gulf of Ob in the Kara Sea. Included in those blocks are Severo-Obsky with estimated reserves of 1.1 billion barrels of oil and 350 billion cubic meters of natural gas, the Tambei-Obsksy and Sabetta-Obsky blocks, estimated to hold up to 1.2 billion boe each, and three other potentially large resource blocks.
Officials from both Statoil and Norsk Hydro have previously told Dow Jones Newswires the companies were also interested in the giant Trebs and Titova blocks, with estimated reserves of up to 1.26 billion barrels of oil equivalent.
Norre was in Murmansk for the opening of Hydro's new office and a supplier center, which will be the base for its technical service provider drilling operations on appraisal Well #7 on Gazprom's 3.6 billion cubic meter Shtokman gas field.
Hydro VP for the Shtokman bid, Bengt Lie Hansen, said Hydro had help to establish a number of qualified Russian companies that would be able to act as local service suppliers.
Hydro is competing with four others to win a stake in the project. A decision is expected in March or April.
Source: Dow Jones Newswires

••• 16.02.06  Halliburton Awarded Multi-Million Dollar Russian Contract.
Halliburton International Inc., Russia has been awarded a multi-million dollar contract by Salym Petroleum Development N.V. (SPD) for exploration and production services in Moscow, Russia. Under the contract, Halliburton will carry out directional drilling support and performance optimization as well as provide drilling fluids engineering, cementing and pumping services. The three-year contract calls for new wells to be drilled from five drilling rigs and will include 300 S-shaped wells, as well as directional and extended reach wells. The average true vertical depth (TVD) of the wells will be 2,600 meters.
Rick Tompkins, vice president, Halliburton International Inc., Russia, said: "Halliburton has been delivering services to SPD for two years and in so doing, has demonstrated service quality that corresponds to the highest Health/Safety/Environment standards. SPD's drilling the limit (DTL) approach challenges us to continuously improve our performance."
The SPD oilfields are located in Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug, 120 kilometers southwest of Surgut. The oilfields include West Salym, Upper Salym and the Vadelyp fields. The estimated project implementation period is approximately 30 years. In terms of total investment - US$1.25 billion - the SPD project is one of the largest investment projects involving foreign capital in the Russian energy sector.
Halliburton, founded in 1919, is one of the world's largest providers of products and services to the petroleum and energy industries. The company serves its customers with a broad range of products and services through its Energy Services Group and KBR.
Source: RigZone

••• 15.02.06  Exxon dives into Dunquin exploration offshore Ireland.
ExxonMobil has agreed to return to the hunt for oil and gas in Ireland’s Porcupine Basin in a licence deal with Providence Natural Resources and partner Sosina Exploration to target what could be prove to be one of Europe‘s biggest deposits.
Exxon has farmed into a stake in the Dunquin prospect operated by Providence with 80% and Sosina with 20%.
Pre-drill estimates suggest that Dunquin contains up to 25 trillion cubic feet of gas and 4 Bn bbl of oil - 25 times the size of the Kinsale field, Ireland’s primary indigenous gas resource. If proven, the field could become a major resource not just for Ireland but also for the rest of Europe.
The Dunquin licence area is 200 km (125) miles off the west coast of Ireland in deep water and covers 700 square kilometre (270 square miles).
Exxon Mobil’s agreement is to pay 100% of exploration costs for an 80% stake in the prospect - leaving Providence with 16% and Sosina with just 4% - by investing US $50 million (?28.67 million) on exploration, Seismic studies will be carried out prior to drilling.
Exxon said it would carry out an extensive exploration programme, initially involving 2D seismic studies and fund up to two exploration wells.
Providence acquired the Dunquin licence in November 2004 and has been reworking data on the prospect since.
Noel Dempsey, Ireland’s Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources welcome the farm-in, said: “The Porcupine area is one of the most potentially promising areas off Ireland’s coast and I am pleased that this agreement will lead to its further exploration. The re-entry into the Irish market of the world's largest oil and gas company, ExxonMobil is particularly welcome as neither Exxon nor Mobil have had any exploration involvement in Irish waters for a very long time.”
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 14.02.06  Two research vessels for India.
The Italian shipyard Fincantieri has now been awarded the shipbuilding contract for the research vessel VS7105 TDV designed for the National Institute of Ocean Technology, India.
The tender process for the other VS designed research vessel, VS785 ORV, for Indian client, the National Institute of Oceanography, will now also start.
Source: Vik-Sandvik Group

••• 14.02.06  Designs detailed for new North Sea installations planned by BP.
Outline designs for new North Sea platforms have been unveiled by BP as part of its spending plans for four major projects costing US $5 Bn in the next five years.
Tapping the Skarv field in the Norwegian North Sea sector could include a platform with 16,500 tonnes (t) topsides supported by a 35,000 t hull, plus another 9,000 t turret and mooring system if a floating production solution is pursued.
Topsides processing capacity would cover 185,000 b/d of oil and 670 Mmcf/d of gas. Also a 70 km (43 miles) flow line is indicated to export production.
Redevelopment of Valhall will involve the replacement of three existing platforms with one new facility equipped with 11,200 t topsides and a 6,000 t jacket. This new installation would require process capacity of 150,000 b/d of oil and 775 Mmcf/d of gas handling capacity, plus a 290 km (181 mile) power cable from shore to avoid offshore power generation.
In the UK sector, the Harding Area Gas project entails a new platform with 5,000 t topsides to handle up to 40 Mmcf/d of gas, supported by a 4,000 t jacket, plus a 12 km (7.5 mile) export flow line. Harding is also scheduled to take production from BP’s forthcoming Devenick development, and the new facility would be bridge-linked back to the existing Harding TGP platform.
Clair phase two will be a “clone” of the phase one platform which came onstream in February last year.
This second Clair platform, with 60,0000 b/d oil processing capacity and 25 Mmcf/d of gas handling, would be based on 14,000 t topsides and a 10,000 t jacket.
Mustang Engineering owned by Aberdeen-based Wood Group designed the first Clair platform, which was built to a radical new fit for purpose design based on Gulf of Mexico platform construction conventions.
Details on the new platforms were outlined in a new North Sea strategy presented by Terry Hughes, formerly project manager for Clair, and now director of major projects for BP’s North Sea Strategic Performance Unit.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 13.02.06  US firm continues Russian oilfield service company buyouts.
A US based company set up to consolidate Russian oilfield service operations has bought a controlling stake in another service company.
Integra Group has paid us $30 million to acquire 75.01% pf geophysical survey and seismic Joint Stock Company Tyumenneftegeophysica (TNGF).
Integra, which was formed in 2004, said TNGF already has substantial orders for the rest of this year.
TNGF operates in both Russia and Kazakhstan, and its customers include Surneftegas, TNK-BP and Lukoil, and it is predicted to report SU $38 million of revenue for 2005 and earnings of $5.7 million.
“With more of the Russian oil majors outsourcing their oilfield services, the demand for independent companies’ services is increasing. The addition of TNGF allows Integra to cover the full spectrum of oilfield services used by large oil producers operating in Russia,” said Integra CEO Felix Lyubashevskiy.
His company has previously completed buyouts of eight other Russian oilfield service operations.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 12.02.06  Investment in Sakhalin 1 & 2 Approximately $4.662 Billion in 2005.
Investment in Sakhalin-1 and Sakhalin-2 offshore projects being implemented under production sharing agreements, amounted to $4.662 billion in 2005, a source in the region administration's economics committee told Interfax.
In particular, investment in the Sakhalin-1 project amounted to $1.719 billion, and in the Sakhalin-2 project - $2.943 billion.
The source said that the Orlan platform was launched at the Sakhalin-1 project in July 2005, from which drilling of oil and gas production wells began. Oil and gas production has been underway since October 1, with output being supplied to the domestic market. A temporary technological complex has been set up at the onshore complex of the Chayvo field.
The seventh Sakhalin-2 production season at the Vityaz complex ended in December. Oil production this season amounted to 1.64 million tonnes, up 1% from 2004, the source said.
Concrete substructures were installed at offshore rigs, construction of the first liquefied natural gas plant in the country was 75% completed and a project was started for trunk pipelines to cross rivers.
"Sakhalin is becoming a real center of oil and gas production in the Far East, successful drilling and seismic work is being carried out for Sakhalin-3 (Veninsky block), Sakhalin-4, Sakhalin-5 and Sakhalin-6. Oil and gas companies working in the Sakhalin oil and gas sector are studying other sections off the Far East coast - off Kamchatka and Magadan," the source said.
He said that as part of a study into the potential for building gas chemical companies in Sakhalin in 2005 a project developed by a consortium of Japanese companies was discussed. Three sites for the possible construction of a plant to produce methanol and ammonia have been chosen.
Source: Interfax Information Services, B.V.

••• 12.02.06  Repsol in Talks for LNG Joint Venture in Russia.
Spanish-Argentine oil and energy company Repsol YPF SA said it is in talks to form a joint venture for liquefied natural gas projects in Yamal peninsula, Russia.
Repsol said in a press release that the talks are being conducted with the Russian companies Tambeyneftgaz and Anadarko.
The company added that it plans to open a representative office in Moscow, looking to increase its footprint in the country. Earlier this week, Repsol entered the Russian energy market by acquiring 10% of Sweden's West Siberian Resources Ltd.
Source: Repsol YPF SA

••• 10.02.06  Seismic group TGS-NOPEC reported revenue up 53% at US $89.3 million for the fourth quarter last year.
Operating profit for the fourth quarter of 2005 was also up to $41.7 million, a rise of 86% on the 2004 fourth quarter figure of $22.5 million.
Net sales from its multi-client seismic data library rose 46% in the three months to December last year, compared with $72.8 million the year before.
Full year results saw TGS-NOPEC take net revenue up 48% to $254.4 million, while operating profit rose 89% to $108.5 million for 2005 (2004: $57.2 million).
Upbeat chief executive Hank Hamilton said there was a broad based market response to TGS-NOPEC seismic survey projects in all geographical locations during the fourth quarter last year which contributed to record net revenues. “The late sales from our library in the eastern hemisphere nearly doubled from Q4 last year, and sales in the Gulf of Mexico, traditionally our strongest market, continued to outpace our expectations,” Hamilton commented.
“Demand for our newest projects as well as those currently in progress, is particularly strong, giving us confidence in our growth and investment plan going forward.”

••• 10.02.06  Geo ASA acquires Japanese cable vessels for conversion.
Geo ASA in Norway has purchased two cable laying vessels from Japan, reports broker Seabrokers in the latest issue of its monthly newsletter Seabreeze.
The vessels, built in 1998 and 2000 and with a length overall of 98m and 117m respectively, will be converted for use in the offshore and seismic markets.
The total investment will amount to approximately US$ 50 million, said Seabrokers.
Geo ASA subsequently announced that it had signed a contract for the 98m cable laying vessel (which it said had been renamed Geo Maru).
The company said the contract commences March 1st 2006 and has duration of seven years, but did not specify the nature of the work.
Geo ASA said the cost of the rebuilding work required for Geo Maru amounted to US$30 million.
Source: Offshore Shipping Online

••• 09.02.06  Statoil Snohvit Drilling Completed.
The Transcoean Polar Pioneer has completed drilling of the 10 Snohvit wells in the Barents Sea on February 7th. The drilling operations have been performed without any harmful discharges to the sea.
"The drilling campaign has on the whole been a success, and the wells have been drilled with great precision in terms of reservoir drainage," says Thor Bensvik, drilling and well manager for the Snohvit project.
"We have drilled a total of 10 wells without any harmful discharges to the sea and within the original budget and schedule," he continues.
The Transocean Polar Pioneer started drilling on Snohvit in December 2004. Prior to the operation, the rig was modified to meet the environmental requirements of the discharge permit for drilling in the Barents Sea.
Compliance with the environmental requirements has been important to Statoil. The group has promoted the use and further development of new technology for this type of operation.
"We have achieved the good operational and environmental results through thorough planning of the work tasks beforehand and great commitment by the entire Snohvit team during the execution," explains Mr. Bensvik.
The Transocean Polar Pioneer is now finishing the completion work on the wells. The rig will then clean and prepare nine of the wells for production and one well for carbon dioxide injection. This work is expected to be finished before the summer.
The first phase of the Snohvit project covers the Snohvit and Albatross fields, which lie about 140 kilometers northwest of Hammerfest in northern Norway. The wells will come on stream when the Hammerfest LNG plant at Melkoya is completed in 2007. Statoil is operator for the development and operation of the Snohvit project.
Source: Statoil

••• 08.02.06  Vietnam Now 3rd Largest Crude Oil Exporter in SE Asia.
Revenues of the Vietnam Oil and Gas Corporation (PetroVietnam) have reached a total of VND 400 trillion (US$25 billion) over the past five years, said general director Tran Ngoc Canh.
This helped Vietnam overtake Brunei as the third-largest crude oil exporter in the Southeast Asia region.
In 2005, the corporation exported about 18 million tonnes of crude oil and earned nearly US$7.4 billion, for robust growth of 30 percent.
PetroVietnam plans increased exploitation of Malaysian, Indonesian and Mongolian oil fields under co-operative agreements, as well as promoting new discoveries in Vietnam, said Do Van Hau, director of the PetroVietnam Investment and Development Company, an affiliate of the corporation.
Source: Asia Pulse Pte Ltd

••• 08.02.06  Russia Eyes Oil Exploration Around Japanese-Claimed Islands.
In a move that would bring about a major diplomatic challenge for Japan, the Russian government is planning to launch oil and natural gas exploration around the Kuril islands, which include four small islands long claimed by Japan.
The plan is included in a grand design report the government recently released for comprehensive social and economic development of the Kuril islands through the year 2015.
The report said that promising oil and gas deposits have been confirmed on the continental shelf of the Kuril islands as a result of a survey conducted in 2003 and that plans are being studied to launch oil and gas exploration in the northern and southern parts of the Kuril islands before long.
The 13-page report noted that the Kuril islands have high potentials for natural resources and economic power and are the richest in the world in fishery resources.
According to energy experts of the Russian government, several oil and gas fields may exist in waters around the four Japanese- claimed islands and their total reserves could amount to 360 million tons in terms of oil, or equivalent to about one year's consumption in Japan.
Under the 2007-2010 first-phase development program, transportation systems, energy and social infrastructure would be developed, followed by the 2011-2015 second phase for the development of fisheries industry and tourism, the report said.
The Russian government said an action plan for the 25.5-billion- ruble development project, based on the grand design, will be mapped out this spring.
Source: RigZone/Jiji Press English News Service

••• 07.02.06  Rockhopper Exploration reports that a survey ship GSI Pacific is now on location in the Falklands Island to commence a new 2D seismic survey over its licences there.
The GSI Pacific has commenced acquisition of 900 km of 2D seismic data over Rockhopper’s PL023 and Pl024 license areas, and the data will add to the existing 1,832 km 2D library over the same two licenses where prospects and leads have already been identified, Rockhopper said.
Further exploration work has already been completed by Offshore Hydrocarbon Mapping which conducted a controlled source electromagnetic survey over Rockhopper’s J1 prospect in PL024, with the MV Aurelia, which since moved to a second survey location.
Processing and interpretation of the 2D and CSEM surveys is expected to take between three and four months, and will "contribute significantly" to understanding the exploration potential of the Falkland Island licences said Rockhopper chairman Pierre Jungels.
Source: Rockhopper Exploration

••• 02.02.06  HAM Energy to Begin Seismic Survey in Southern North Sea.
WHAM Energy has appointed Monarch to contract a seismic vessel to undertake a geological survey on a further prospect that it has recently acquired in the Southern North Sea. WHAM currently has interests in nineteen blocks or part blocks on the UK Continental Shelf.
The survey is the first stage in a two-year exploration program designed to identify prospects at the Permian and Carboniferous levels. The survey will commence in June 2006 and it is anticipated that the block will be fully mapped by October 2006.
The prospect area, Block 47/12, lies off the coast adjacent to the Humber estuary between the onshore Saltfleetby gas field and the offshore Amethyst gas field. The block was identified by WHAM in the 21st license round held in 2003 as being prospective. WHAM Energy acquired a 90% equity interest in block 47/12 in October 2005 from GTO with a commitment to undertake a 2D seismic survey and drill one well in the event of identifying a prospective target.
Tom Windle Chief Executive Office said, "This is excellent news for WHAM. Since our public listing in September 2005, WHAM has made encouraging progress in pursuing our strategy to acquire and explore a number of drillable prospects in the North Sea.
"With the macro-current backdrop of uncertainty in the long-term supply of UK gas supplies and given the team's experience, we remain focused on delivering the potential from our prospects in the North Sea. To date, we have acquired four part blocks of which three were awarded to WHAM at 100% equity interest in the 23rd License Round.
"Looking forward, the prospects for the Company are encouraging. We have recently achieved the status of offshore operatorship, which is a very significant milestone in our growth. WHAM is also currently in the process of finalising maps on high graded areas in our portfolio and, as anticipated has identified several attractive drillable prospects and a number of very interesting additional leads. With our exciting list of prospects and our team's proven track record and experience, we remain confident that we will deliver significant shareholder value for our investors."
Source: WHAM Energy

••• 30.01.06  CGG reports record backlog close to one billion Dollars.
Seismic services company CGG has announced a group order backlog of US$970 million as of January 1st 2006, up 28 per cent compared to November 1st 2005 and up 110 per cent compared to January 1st 2005.
Backlog for the CGG Services division as of January 1, 2006 was US$758 million, up 112 per cent year on year. This strong increase comes mainly from the Offshore business unit and reflects the good market conditions prevailing in this sector.
Sercel’s external backlog as of January 1st 2006 was US$212 million, up 93 per cent year on year.
Backlog for both Sercel and Services extends into 2007, thereby providing good visibility.
Source: CGG

••• 28.01.06  Seismic equipment supplier Odim has landed a NOK 30 million (US $4.5 million) deal with Fugro Geoteam to provide parts of a handling system for a newbuild seismic ship.
Fugro’s new Geo Celtic vessel will be equipped with an all-electric seismic line handling system - which is a first for a seismic boat - according to Odim.
Odim is the world-leading supplier of cable handling solutions to the seismic companies and the company has a strong market position on specific products within this business segment. The customers include all the larger seismic companies.
Source: Odim ASA

••• 27.01.06  Electromagnetic Geoservices AS (emgs) today announced the award of a contract with Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), India, for the provision of marine electromagnetic surveys to locate hydrocarbon reservoirs before drilling.
Work will commence in January with a survey on a recently discovered and relatively small reservoir. ONGC will then embark on an extensive programme of surveys to assess several prospects off India’s east coast. This programme will take an estimated six months to complete.
ONGC will be the first emgs customer to benefit from the capabilities of the newly commissioned survey vessel MV Sasha (the third vessel in the emgs fleet), which was mobilised to Indian waters directly after being fitted out.
An emgs project office in Mumbai will coordinate operations with support from geologists and geophysicists at the company’s regional office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and its head office in Trondheim, Norway.
Source: Electromagnetic Geoservices AS (emgs)

••• 27.01.06  Banks listed as Shtokman advisers.
Three banks - HSBC Holdings, BNP Paribas and Calyon - have reportedly been short-listed as financial advisers for Russia’s Shtokman gas project.
According to The Barents Observer, citing Project Finance International as its source, the three banks have been chosen as possible advisors for the deep offshore gas project, for which Statoil and Norsk Hydro have already been selected as technical partners to Russian giant Gazprom, the main developer of the field.
The Observer said Gazprom will finalise its project partners for Shtokman this spring.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 25.01.06  GGS Wins Sri Lanka Seismic Tender.
GGS reports that it has been informed that it has been awarded a major seismic contract offshore Sri Lanka after a competitive tender process. The estimated value of the contract is NOK 25 million. GGS has chartered state of the art seismic vessel Mezen from JSC Large of Russia to carry out the work.
Under the contract the plan is to collect 6- 8,000 km of seismic with the purpose of defining the extent of the Sri Lankan continental shelf under the United Nations program for defining continental margins. The project is financed by the Sri Lankan Government with assistance from NORAD and with a mixed credit facility from GIEK. The project is of strategic importance for Sri Lanka in providing the key documentation for Sri Lanka`s claims for extent of its continental margin. Morten Andersen, Chairman of the Board of GGS states: "I am satisfied that GGS has been awarded this important contract. Our daughter company in Singapore has been responsible for the tendering and negotiations. The successful outcome is building substance to our strategy which includes expansion into the Asia-Pacific market thus creating a broader variety of projects to build our cash flow."
Source: GGS

••• 24.01.06  Veritas DGC to Open Data Library for Caspian Sea Open Acreage.
Veritas DGC Limited, via its joint venture company Veritas Caspian LLP, has concluded an exclusive agreement with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources of Kazakhstan for the acquisition of non-exclusive seismic data over the entire open acreage of the Kazakh sector of the Caspian Sea. Acquisition will commence in 2006 and will be coordinated with a series of forthcoming licensing rounds.
The Kazakhstan data library project, officially named the "State Geophysical Survey of the Republic of Kazakhstan," will be the core focus of Veritas Caspian in this key oil and gas industry growth area. Veritas Caspian has the infrastructure, financial resources and support facilities to meet the challenges of this extensive operation. Veritas Caspian is a joint venture company formed between Veritas DGC and Kazmorgeophysica CJSC, which is a subsidiary of the established offshore support company Caspian Services, Inc. based in Almaty.
Elwyn Jones, Vice-President of Veritas DGC, said "Veritas Caspian is delighted to have been selected by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources to join with it in this strategically important initiative to help accelerate the realization of the hydrocarbon potential of the Kazakh sector of the Caspian Sea".
Kerry Doyle, President of Veritas Caspian stated "The non-exclusive data library concept has proven to be a powerful tool for government bodies to attract investment within their respective oil and gas sectors. It is highly cost effective and, when coupled with a well organized and robust licensing regime, is enormously attractive to the international oil and gas industry".
Source: Veritas DGC Limited

••• 24.01.06  Lukoil Spuds Second Well on Egyptian Shelf.
Lukoil has started drilling its second exploration well at North-East Geisum offshore block in the Gulf of Suez in the Red Sea. The well is being drilled by GlobalSantaFe's jackup, GSF Rig 124. The well will take approximately 45 days to be drilled. The target well depth is 1574 meters.
Lukoil Overseas was granted the right to operate on North-East Geisum, as well as on the neighboring West Geisum block in January 2003, based on the open tender arranged by the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC). A concession agreement between Lukoil Overseas and the Egyptian Ministry of Oil was signed in June 2003. The first exploration well in North-East Geisum was drilled at the end of 2004, having shown the presence of hydrocarbons in the cross-section.
The total in-place reserves of both blocks are estimated at 261 million barrels of oil (on average). Two oil and gas prospects have been identified within the blocks. The total area of the blocks is 132 square kilometers.
The exploration program for both blocks covers a period of four years and particularly includes drilling of four exploration wells in the second work stage. The initial minimal exploration investment program is planned at US $27.8 million.
Source: Lukoil Overseas

••• 24.01.06  Gazprom Says Shtokman Gas Reserves Upgraded.
On January 18th the RF Nature Ministry's State Commission for Mineral Reserves approved a Shtokman gas condensate field reserves upgrade. The reserves were upgraded based on the data obtained through 3D seismic survey.
The reserves upgrade is another indication of the Shtokman's high production and economic potential.
The Shtokman gas condensate field is located in the central part of the Russian sector of the Barents Sea offshore, 650 km from the city of Murmansk.
As of January 1, 1995, Shtokman's C1+C2 reserves approved by the RF Nature Ministry's State Commission for Mineral Reserves (Protocol No. 79 from May 17, 1995) accounted for 3.2 tcm and 31 mln t of gas and condensate, respectively.
One of the world's largest gas condensate fields, Shtokman is being prepared for development and further marketing of liquefied natural gas to the USA and other countries Source: Gazprom

••• 24.01.06  Statoil said it will drill between 30 and 40 wells during 2006 with at least 15 to 20 of them due to take place on the Norwegian Continental shelf.
Half of the NCS wells will be Statoil-operated, and Tim Dodson, Statoil’s senior vice president for NCS exploration said: “We have secured rig capacity so that we can increase drilling activity.”
Dodson continued: “This year we will benefit from having secured long term contracts for exploration rigs at an early stage. We have a good basis for increased exploration, but we still need constant access to new exploration acreage to maintain a high level of activity over time.”
During 2005 Statoil reported drilling 13 wells and discoveries were made in nine of them - seven in the North Sea and two in the Norwegian Sea.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 23.01.06  New sale of East Timor Seismic Data.
GGS reports that it has received another order for a complete data package for East Timor.
The East Timor data, which has been collected in partnership with the Chinese geophysical contractor BGP, is a mandatory data set for the first East Timor licensing round which will close in March.
Morten Andersen, Chairman of the Board of GGS states: "I am happy to see that full orders for the East Timor data are still coming in. The fact that new sales are made so close to the tendering dead line, further underlines the interest international oil companies take in this prospective exploration region. We are looking forward to a successful licensing round and hopefully in the next years to come also successful drilling."
Source: GGS

••• 23.01.06  Veritas DGC secures wide-azimuth award in Gulf of Mexico.
Veritas DGC has announced that one of its subsidiaries has entered into an agreement with BP America Production Company, Houston to perform wide-azimuth seismic surveys in deep water in the Gulf of Mexico.
The six-month programme, which has a minimum value of more than US$50 million, is expected to commence in the summer of 2006.
"New seismic acquisition techniques such as wide-azimuth can provide higher resolution imaging and greater detail of the subsurface, compared with standard methods," said Timothy L Wells, President and Chief Operating Officer, Veritas. "In challenging environments with complex geology such as in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, enhanced illumination from this breakthrough technique can provide our customers with information that is vital to successful exploration, reservoir delineation, and development. Veritas is the only company to date that has performed a towed-streamer wide-azimuth acquisition survey in the Gulf of Mexico".
The programme consists of a series of towed-streamer 3-D wide-azimuth surveys as well as a high-resolution 4-D survey, all of which will be conducted in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
Wide-azimuth towed-streamer seismic acquisition is a technique where multiple seismic sources from multiple vessels are combined through precise inter-vessel navigation and synchronized communications to provide acoustic illumination of the Earth's interior from multiple directions relative to the seismic receivers in the towed-streamers. This enhanced illumination allows for a deeper and richer view of subsurface geology through the use of state-of-the-art computer imaging techniques.
Source: Veritas DGC

••• 21.01.06  Large contract for Fugro in Brazil.
The in 2005 established joint venture FUGRO OceansatPEG SA (in which Fugro has an interest of 62%) has been awarded a contract with a total value of USD 25.4 million by the Brazilian oil company Petrobras.
Fugro will equip a chartered vessel with two Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) systems, of which one will be a new purchase. The project comprises a variety of inspection and construction support services in Brazilian waters over a period of two years. The contract includes an option for a two year extension. The work will start in June 2006.
Furthermore Fugro will develop eight new "work class" ROV systems in the next two years. These systems (fitted with remote controlled underwater cameras and manipulators) will be used for inspection and maintenance, drilling support, as well as construction support activities such as underwater pipe-laying. A number of these new ROVs are designed to operate in water depths up to 3,000 meter.
Fugro also announces that its US operating company Fugro West, based in Ventura, California, has acquired Espana Geotechnical Consulting (EGC), a 20-person firm based in the Sacramento Valley city of Roseville, California. EGC has been in business for 16 years, specializing in geotechnical, geological and earthquake engineering and construction material testing. EGC’s annual turnover amounts to USD 3 million.
Source: Fugro N.V.

••• 20.01.06  Ramform Valiant Shatters World 3D Production Record in Offshore Brazil.
The Ramform Valiant acquired 4,656 sail kilometers during the month of December while working in the Camamu Almada Basin, offshore Brazil.
Towing a streamer configuration of 10 x 6,000 meter long streamers at 100 meter streamer separation, this translates to 2,328 square kilometers in a single month! This is believed to be a new world record for any seismic vessel.
PGS operates six Ramform vessels, each capable of routinely towing 12+ streamers - the only such vessels operating in the world today. All known streamer handling and towing records are held by Ramform vessels. The combination of unrivalled streamer deployment, handing and towing capabilities, along with very dense streamer configurations, make the Ramform vessels the premier platform for any high-end 3D survey challenge, including 4D.
Source: PGS

••• 20.01.06  Extension of West Florida Escarpment Survey.
GGS announces that Phase 1(10,000km) of the Multi Client Survey, "Big Wave" , offshore West Florida, is going to be directly followed by the collection of Phase 2 (7,500km).
The reason for the extension, is that the interest for the data all along the Florida Escarpment, which is the focus of the survey, has been increasing.
The surging interest reflects the fact that the oil companies find the petroleum potential to be very interesting, combined with the increasing belief that the area may be opened up in the near future. The two data sets will be available to the industry in May/June and September/October respectively, a timing which may prove very good with regard to the possible opening for exploration in 2006/2007. The data show numerous textbook examples of very large petroleum traps, confirming possible existence of the large oil and gas reserve estimates previously made by MMS (Minerals Management Service) for the area.
Source: GGS

••• 18.01.06  Extension to Fugro’s seismic fleet.
Fugro has signed a three year charter agreement with the Norwegian shipping company Uksnoy & Co A/S for the vessel Geo Barents.
This new-build 77 meter long vessel will be equipped for 3D seismic acquisition and will be able to tow six streamers. The ship will be ready for deployment in November 2006 and Fugro will obtain ownership in November 2009.
With the above mentioned charter further modernization of the fleet will be realised and Fugro will have six seismic vessels (of which five are 3D) at its disposal. To retain flexibility two or three additional vessels will be chartered on a project basis and/or shorter term to be able to operate in the seismic market with the desired fleet capacity of approximately eight vessels.
Fugro-Geoteam AS has recently been awarded two contracts by the Norwegian oil company Norsk Hydro for two seismic surveys in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.
One survey is a 3D exploration survey covering approximately 300 km2. The second contract is a 4D survey of the Oseberg field. The total contract value is approximately USD 8 million. Both surveys will be performed by Fugro’s high capacity 3D/4D vessel Geo Pacific. The work is scheduled to start in March 2006, directly following completion of another ongoing survey for Norsk Hydro.
Source: Fugro N.V.

••• 14.01.06  PGS starts first-ever customized 4-D survey offshore Australia.
PGS has commenced the first-ever customized baseline time-lapse 4-D survey for BHP Billiton Petroleum on the North West Shelf of Australia.
The 4-D survey will use the high-end HD3D-4D acquisition strategy pioneered by PGS. Ramform Victory will use the following configuration:
- 12 x 3,600m streamers at a close 50m separation.
- shooting on the linear pre-plot line trajectories, with sail line separation equivalent to an "8 streamer pre-plot", that is, the use of streamer overlap shooting. This is the best platform for shot point and source-receiver azimuth repetition in future 4-D monitor surveys.
The survey geometry will provide the optimal baseline survey for future generations of 4-D monitor surveys, allowing the understanding of small changes in reservoir state during the production of the Pyrenees oil and gas field.
Consequently, the recovery of hydrocarbons from the reservoir should be maximized over the production lifetime.
Each of the six PGS Ramform vessels are capable of routinely towing 12+ streamers - the only such vessels operating in the world today.
Ramform Victory is the world record holder for streamer towing, having towed 16 streamers.
The survey represents the third high technology survey in the 2005-2006 Australian campaign.
Source: PGS

••• 11.01.06  PGS Gullfaks 4C Survey Completed.
Ocean Explorer, Bergen Surveyor and Falcon Explorer completed the Gullfaks 4C survey for Statoil on the 1st January 2006.
“We want to commend the 4C crew for a very well performed survey. The fact that it is the last one with the use of the FOURcE® technology is a source of some strange feelings around.
Maybe particularly for the guys offshore, who have worked closely together for several years. The crew have shown a very high degree of professionalism in the last phase of the survey”, says Rune Eng, President Marine Geophysical in a comment.
The people from the crew will continue to work for PGS.
As announced in September 2005 the Ocean Explorer and the Falcon Explorer will now be converted to 6 streamer 3D vessel and a 2D vessel. Both vessels have already secured streamer seismic contracts for the period after the conversion.
Source: PGS

••• 11.01.06  Full year profit should be in the region of US $254 million for 2005 Norway’s TGS Nopec said.
Forecasting its full year results, the seismic group also said its net revenue for the fourth quarter of 2005 should be about $89 million.
Full year results are due to be issued by TGS next month but Hank Hamilton, CEO, said: “Our record net revenues in the fourth quarter resulted from a very robust and broad-based market response to TGS projects in all geographic locations.
We expect demand for high quality seismic and well log products to remain strong throughout 2006 with the renewed oil industry focus on exploration."
Year on year growth for TGS is put at 48% compared with 2005, and the rise is well above the compnay's predicted growth of 30%.
Source: TGS Nopec

••• 07.01.06  Forty years ago this Saturday, Belfast was the centre of a momentous historical event that determined the United Kingdom's future, and steered the world into an important new industrial era. On January 7, 1966 the oilrig Sea Quest slid majestically into the Musgrave channel after a breathtaking pause that threatened to confirm the pessimists' theory that the launch was impossible. Read more...
Source: (C) 2006 Belfast News Letter

••• 06.01.06  Norway’s Eidesvik Shipping has agreed a deal with Veritas DGC for an eight year charter of its latest newbuild seismic ship.
The new seismic boat - 11,500 tonnes and 105 metres (344 ft) long and capable of deploying up to 12 long streamers - is due for delivery by February 2007 from Norway’s West Contractors yard in Olensvag.
Veritas has agreed a fixed eight year charter for the new ship through its Veritas Viking Maritime subsidiary, and has options to use the new ship for a further 10 years.
Vessel construction costs are put at NOK 366 million (US $55.78 million) excluding seismic equipment.
Eidesvik has already delivered three previous Viking class seismic survey ships to Veritas, delivered in 1998, 1999, and 2002.

Source: Eidesvik Shipping AS

••• 06.01.06  Statoil Says Barents Sea Could Have Global Significance.
Developing the Barents Sea as a new oil and gas province will be of global importance says chief executive Helge Lund, who is attending the annual conference of the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise (NHO) in Oslo, on January 4th.
The main theme of the conference is industrial and commercial development in the far north.
"According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) world energy demand will rise by about 50 per cent before 2030," says Mr. Lund.
"More than 80 per cent of this increase will have to be met by fossil fuels. At the same time, there will be a growing dependency on imports in key markets.
"The oil and gas resources in the Barents Sea could play an important role in securing the USA's and Europe's energy supplies for a long time to come."
"I believe that it is also of great national importance that we participate actively in developing the Barents Sea's oil and gas resources, in both Norwegian and Russian sectors.
"We would be able to set technological as well as environmental standards. We need to use solutions which ensure coexistence between the fishing industry and the petroleum business."
Mr. Lund stressed that the Statoil-operated Snohvit development is creating much activity and optimism in Hammerfest and western Finnmark county. Roughly 13,000 people have so far been involved in work at the Hammerfest LNG plant for gas liquefaction at Melkoya. Of these, 3,500 people hail from the three most northerly Norwegian counties.
"Statoil has been a pioneer in the Barents Sea and we want to play a central role in the further development of the far north and the northerly parts of the Norwegian Sea," says Mr. Lund. "We hope that the government will arrange for a high level of activity in the time ahead."
"Norway and Russia share an interest in developing new markets for their resources.
"Being neighbors in the north is one of several prime motives for finding industrial collaborative solutions in the far north and realizing common goals to open up the Barents Sea as a new European oil and gas province."
Snohvit is the first field development in the Barents Sea and will be the world's most northerly facility for gas liquefaction when deliveries start in 2007.
Source: RigZone

••• 05.01.06  "Professor Kurentsov" due to arrive in India.
The MAGE survey vessel "Professor Kurentsov" will arrive in India early in January to commence acquisition of 2D seismic data for ONGC.
The British WGP Group of companies has assisted this project by providing various items of seismic equipment that have been installed with the help of WGP project managers.
Full Mag/Grav compliment of personnel and equipment is onboard the "Professor Kurentsov" for MAGE's offshore India survey on behalf of ONGC, due to start in early January.
Source: WGP

••• 04.01.06  TGS Announces New Gulf of Mexico Multi-Client 3D Survey - Eastern Delta.
TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company announced today that it will acquire a new multi-client 3D seismic survey in the Main Pass and Viosca Knoll areas of the Gulf of Mexico. The company has contracted Reservoir Exploration Technology AS (RXT) to perform the acquisition of the 1800 square kilometer survey utilizing a Vector-Seis Ocean Bottom Cable recording system. TGS Imaging will process the data with both pre-stack time and pre-stack depth migration algorithms.
The Main Pass/ Viosca Knoll area is a very mature hydrocarbon producing region and the TGS Eastern Delta program will be the first modern vintage, long offset (9000 meter) 3D data recorded in the area. Water depths in the survey area range from 10 to 400 meters.
"TGS is pleased to be expanding its multi-client data inventory into this region of the Gulf of Mexico. The area has needed new data for some time now and the utilization of the RXT crew will allow us to span the gap between the shallow shelf production and the deepwater Mississippi Canyon area" said Kim Abdallah, Vice President of New Ventures in North and South America.
The Eastern Delta program will commence in January 2006 and is supported by pre-funding from multiple oil companies. Survey acquisition is expected to last approximately eight months.

••• 04.01.06  Vessel for Lukoil.
Keppel Offshore and Marine has landed a deal to build a new Anchor Handling and Tug supply vessel for Lukoil in a clutch of new year contracts for six ships worth a total of US $72.52 million.
The 60-tonne ice-class AHTS unit for Lukoil follows a similar order placed by the Russian oil group in the second quarter of last year.
Another four AHTS are to be built by Keppel Nantong Shipyard in Shanghai for Hadi Offshore of Saudi Arabia, due for delivery between third quarter 2007 and mid 2008, in addition to a100-tonne AHTS is to be built for Seaways International, based in the Middle East.
Source: Offshore Media Group

••• 03.01.06  PGS Signs MC2D Agreement for Mega Regional Survey in Russia.
Petroleum Geo-Services ASA has signed an agreement with Russian partner RostNefteGas Geo for an onshore Mega Regional MC2D in the Republic of Kalmykia and District of Rostov.
Historically, the southwestern part of the Pre-Caspian Depression has been seen as the most prospective area in the Volga-Don Region. This was due to the discovery of the giant Astrakhan gas condensate field in the Middle Carbonifereous carbonates (1976). It is 3600 square km in area and inplace reserves are approximately 4 trillion cubic meter of gas and 900 million tonnes of condensate.
Subsequent discoveries of other giant subsalt fields in the Pre-Caspian (Karachaganak in 1978, Tengiz in 1979, Kashagan in 2000, etc.) confirms the significanse of the entire Pre-Caspian oil and gas province.
The lack of seismic data in part of the Karpinsky Ridge area and the poor quality of the few acquired lines was one of the reasons why the Paleozoic section of the Karpinsky Ridge for a long time was regarded non-prospective.
Drilling results, reprocessed old seismic and newly acquired regional data indicates that the old interpretation could be wrong and that the Paleozoic section could be very prospective.
The new interpretation shows that the Paleozoic section contains a number of reef type structures similar to the reefs found in the margin of the north Caspian salt basin; Astakhan, Tengiz, Kashagan, etc.
In addition the area has a Mesozoic potential. The seismic data over the producing fields show gas leakage and velocity pulldowns. Several of these anomalies are undrilled and often found directly above undrilled reef structures.
PGS is now proposing to acquire approximately 5000 km new seismic data in the area and is asking for commitment to phase 1 (approx. 2000 km) of the program.
The companies committing to the project will receive the processed seismic data and a regional interpretation.
Acquisition will start in the first quarter of 2006. Phase 1 is expected to be acquired within one year and the data will be submitted to the EPs quarterly as the lines are processed.
RostNefteGas Geo has received a permit to acquire the data from the Russian Federal Agency of Subsoil Usage of the Ministry of Natural Resources.
The survey will be financed by EPs, License holders and by PGS, and will start when sufficient prefinancing is obtained. Read more...

Source: PGS

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