Total: Ekofisk South comes online
Total has announced that the Ekofisk South project in the Norwegian North Sea has begun oil production. The Ekofisk South platform has a production capacity of 70,000 boepd. Overall, the project will include the drilling of 35 new production wells and eight injection wells. Ekofisk, discovered in 1969 and situated some 300 km offshore, first came onstream in 1971 and remains one of the largest oilfields in Norway. The Ekofisk South project is designed to extend the field's life by 40 years.
Oilfield Technology, vol. 6, issue 11, Nov. 2013. p.6.
Iceland: a hub for Arctic oil and gas exploration
Following the decision to scrap talks about joining the EU, Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Iceland's Foreign Minister, has stated that the country's focus lies in turning itself into a hub for business in the Arctic. Iceland is also seeking to strike more trade accounts on its own. The country is seeking deeper cooperation within the Arctic Council and aims to provide a foundation in the region to help support trade with China, Singapore and South Korea. Iceland is also considering opening a shipping port at Finnafjordur on the island's northeast coast. The facility would be able to service companies using the Northern Sea Route as well as oil explorers.
Oilfield Technology, vol. 6, issue 11, Nov. 2013. p.8.
Technip: awarded major Ghana contracts
A Technip-led consortium with Subsea7 has been awarded two contracts for the ultra deepwater TEN project offshore Ghana. The total value of the contracts comes to $1.23bn, with Technip's share being $730M. The scope of the work awarded to Technip, which is scheduled for completion by H2, 2016, will include: the engineering, fabrication and design of nine flexible risers, three flexible flowlines, 12 flexible spools, 33km of water and gas injection flowlines, 10 well rigid jumpers (with six further prefabricated rigid jumpers to be delivered) and the installation of 63km of static and dynamic umbilicals. The TEN field is located 60 km offshore Ghana and approximately 30 km west of Tullow's Jubilee field.
Oilfield Technology, vol. 6, issue 11, Nov. 2013. p.8.
Recent developments in hybrid bit technology have transformed the hybrid drill bit into a proven solution to drilling in lithology intervals characterised by high compressive strength high abrasivity and low drillability. By fusing ReedHycalog premium polycrystalline diamond compact and diamond impregnated cutting structures, the designers of National Oil well Varco's FuseTek hybrid drill bit have improved the designs so that the placement of the cutting element is optimised, therefore extending bit durability. Bit life in hard and abrasive lithologies is also increased thanks to the strategic placement of engineered diamond impregnated material in critical wear-prone areas of the hybrid drill bit. These design changes maximise drilling efficiency by utilising a progressive combination of shearing and grinding rock failure mechanisms.
Oilfield Technology, vol. 6, issue 11, Nov. 2013. pp.34-38
What goes up, must come down
With many UK Continental Shelf assets reaching end of life and the latest estimates putting a forecast spend on decommissioning of £35bn by 2040, it is an increasingly important sector for the supply chain. Approximately £31.5bn of this will be to decommission existing installations and £3.5bn to decommission new developments. Decommissioning industry forum Decom North Sea has worked with Scottish Enterprise and Accenture to produce what is the most current state of the sector. The research looked at key aspects of decommissioning activity in the coming years and made what is believed to be the first independent assessment of current industry capability. Areas where capability is likely to be extremely tight include management and engineering staff, drilling rigs for wells P&A and vessels (including heavy lift).
Oilfield Technology, vol. 6, issue 11, Nov. 2013. pp.62-65.
Quickly, correctly or both? Speed-control technology optimising ILI velocity
Achieving both speed and accuracy on work in the oil industry is an ideal situation. Unfortunately, speed can sometimes get in the way of collecting comprehensive and reliable in-line inspection data. This is particularly true when assessing high-flow natural gas pipelines using metal-loss detection technologies, such as magnetic-flux leakage. However, recent advances in speed control technology by T. D. Williamson have allowed inspection tools to self-regulate, mitigating the volatile flow speeds of a high-flow natural gas pipeline.
Pipelines International, issue 18, Dec. 2013. pp.16-18.
Identification of pipeline coating
As part of the ongoing development and implementation of electromagnetic acoustic transducer technology, TransCanada Pipelines asked Rosen in 2012 to investigate the feasibility of EMAT in-line inspection data toward identification and assessment of tape coating at girth-welds. Rosen investigated the capabilities of EMAT ILI technology to successfully distinguish between different field-joint coatings. This resulted in an implementation of the technology to replace direct examination of girth-welds suspected to be coated with tape. This implementation substantially reduced the maintenance requirements and costs of the project. Pipe replacement or direct examination of 271 weld locations was reduced to 30 investigations and repair locations and 100% success in field validation of the tool performance.
Pipelines International, issue 18, Dec. 2013. p.19.
Connecting the grid: Yorkshire and Humber CCS project
The UK's National Grid Carbon has now released plans to construct a 165 km long CO2 pipeline to transport onshore gas to geological storage under the North Sea. The Yorkshire and Humber Carbon Capture Transportation and Storage Cross-County Pipeline project involves capturing CO2 produced by major power stations in the region and transporting it by a buried pipeline to a point south of Bridlington, and then out to the North Sea via a subsea pipeline, where the CO2 will be permanently stored within natural porous rock formations beneath the seabed. Early indications are that the site is viable for CO2 storage and will be able to hold around 200 MMt permanently.
Pipelines International, issue 18, Dec. 2013. pp.32-33.
Extending France's pipeline grid: the Haute de France II
GRTgaz has contracted Max Streicher to complete the second section of 51.7 km of 48-inch DN 1,200 gas pipeline between Corbie and Cuvilly in Picardy. GRTgaz is building Haute de France II as a parallel pipeline to the existing Haute de France I. A total length of 370 m is being laid using micro tunnelling techniques. This extension of France's gas transmission network presents new challenges in pipeline construction and calls for new pipe laying techniques. Work on the project is carried out using the CRC-Evans welding method. This involves welding the root weld from the inside with four torches simultaneously. Automatic welding machines with double-burner systems are used for the filler layers as they allow welding from two places at a distance of 100 mm simultaneously. This allows for higher deposition rates than with other methods and a significantly higher production rate.
Pipelines International, issue 18, Dec. 2013. pp.41-42.
BP to buy stake in Azeri gas pipeline project TANAP
Sources have said that BP has agreed to partner Azeri state energy firm SOCAR and Turkey in the Trans-Anatolian natural gas pipeline project (TANAP). SOCAR, which currently has an 80% interest, will sell a 12% stake in TANAP, which is estimated to cost around $8bn to $10bn and will be built from the Turkish-Georgian border to Turkey's border with Europe. Turkey owns the remaining 20%. TANAP is due to start carrying 16bn cubic metres of gas a year from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz II field in the Caspian Sea, one of the world's largest gas fields, from 2019 onwards. Sources added that BP was even eyeing a further boost to its stake on top of the 12% it has agreed. SOCAR had proposed selling a 29% interest in TANAP to Statoil, Total and BP, which all take part in the Shah Deniz II consortium. BP and Statoil were each offered 12%, while Total was expected to buy 5%. But the sources say Statoil and Total could opt to buy smaller stakes or could completely withdraw from being partners.
DownstreamToday, 6 Dec. 2013. http://tinyurl.com/cdsnhpn
Kvaerner offloads North America unit
Norwegian contractor Kvaerner has sold its North American onshore construction business to Matrix Service Company in an $80.3M deal. Kvaerner said that the divestment would enable it to focus on its core upstream oil and gas construction business as it streamlines its operation to become more cost-efficient in the face of competition from low-cost foreign rivals. Matrix will acquire US and Canadian assets of Kvaerner North American Construction, which generated revenue of $280M last year, although the business will continue to be led by the existing management and operational teams. Kvaerner said it will also retain the assets and liabilities related to a dispute contract with Longview Power, while also absorbing the financial impact of an ongoing arbitration. Kvaerner is refocusing its efforts on the fabrication markets off Norway and Russia, targeting prospective construction work on future Arctic projects as well as a forthcoming round of Norwegian field development awards.
Iran to export gas to Iraq next year
Ali Reza Kameli, a senior Iranian energy official, has said that Iran expects to begin exporting gas to Iraq by July next year, with initial volumes at 7M cubic metres per day (cmd). Under the contract, which has a duration of 10 years, Iranian gas exports to Iraq will rise to 25M cmd by 2015 and ultimately 40 MMcmd. Kameli said the two countries were also preparing to finalise a contract in the coming weeks for Iran to export another 50 MMcmd of gas to Iraq's southern city of Basra. The plans will depend in part on Iran's multi-phased development of the vast South Pars gas field, which has been set back by a withdrawal of international energy companies and technology suppliers due to Western trade sanctions.
ConocoPhillips plans $16.7bn 2014 spend
CococoPhillips plans to raise capital spending by 6% to $16.7bn in 2014 as it increases development in prolific US shale plays and prepares for the start-up of the Australia Pacific and Surmont phase 2 liquefied natural gas projects. The company also plans greater involvement in Alaska and increased exploration and appraisal work in US shales including the Permian, Niobrara and Duvernay. Spending in both the 2012 and 2013 fiscal years was essentially flat at $15.8bn. The company also expects to meet its production targets of 1.6M barrels of oil equivalent per day, including 50,000 boepd from Libya. Production from major project start-ups as well as from the US Eagle Ford, Bakken and Permian shales is also poised to add to output.
GE selects Oklahoma City site for new global hub of oil & gas technology innovation
GE has announced the selection of a site in downtown Oklahoma City for its first-ever Global Research Center dedicated to oil and gas technology. GE’s new Center will create 130 high-tech jobs and is expected to have a direct and indirect economic impact of $13M on the state and local economies. The Center will focus on accelerating mid- to later-stage oil and gas technologies developed in GE’s Global Research labs, including production systems, well construction, water use optimisation, CO2 solutions, and energy systems. Intended to be a collaboration hub for both domestic and global customers, the Center will attract oil and gas industry influencers from all around the globe. It will also serve as a focal point for building new working relationships with State’s university network, including the University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University and University of Tulsa.
AMEC awarded five-year £158 million Project Engineering and Management Services contract by KNPC, Kuwait
AMEC has been awarded a contract with Kuwait National Petroleum Company to provide Project Engineering and Management Services for the Mina Al Ahmadi, Mina Abdullah and Shuaiba oil refineries in Kuwait. The five-year call-off contract, which has an optional one-year extension, is worth up to 72M Kuwaiti Dinars (approximately £158M). It was won in competitive tender and follows AMEC’s successful delivery of the previous contract held since 2007. AMEC will be responsible for a range of engineering and management services including feasibility studies, front end engineering design, Project Management Consultancy services and training of Kuwaiti engineers. The contract also involves providing studies and FEEDs to KNPC’s local marketing and projects department on a call-off basis for its in-country petroleum storage and transportation facilities.
New DNV GL JIP to deal with risks in sour gas fields
In the operation and development of a sour gas field, a major challenge is ensuring the process safety and integrity of the asset and the safety of the personnel working with high concentrations of hydrogen sulphide. To help the industry manage the risks throughout the project’s lifecycle, DNV GL has now initiated a Joint Industry Project. Operators are invited to join the JIP to obtain synergies through the development of guidelines on design, construction, operations and training. As a driver for this JIP, DNV GL analysed all the available standards, procedures and current practices. Gaps were identified and revealed that the available standards were not adequate to effectively manage the H2S hazards. The JIP will run for six months and include contributions from major international and national oil companies working with sour gas.
Transco pipeline expansion approved
Williams Partners has received US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval to expand Transco, the largest natural gas pipeline system in the US, to provide service to a new gas-fired power-generation plant in Virginia. A unit of Dominion Resources plans to construct the 1,358 MW facility in Brunswick County, Virginia, to replace generating capacity from retiring coal-fired plants. The approximately $300M Transco Virginia Southside Expansion is designed to provide 270,000 dekatherms per day of incremental transportation capacity in Virginia and North Carolina by September 2015. Of the total expanded capacity, more than 90% will serve Dominion Virginia Power's new power plant; the remainder will serve Piedmont Natural Gas Company's local-distribution business in North Carolina.
EIA report predicts boost in pipeline transportation of natural gas
The US Energy Information Administration has released its International Energy Outlook 2013 report, which predicts that natural gas trade by pipeline is set to increase. According to the report, LNG accounts for a growing share of world natural gas trade, more than doubling from about 10 Tcf in 2010 to around 20 Tcf in 2040. Most of the increase in liquefaction capacity is in Australia and North America (the US and Canada), where a multitude of new liquefaction projects are expected to be developed, many of which will become operational within the next decade. The report also suggests existing facilities in North Africa and South East Asia have been under utilised or are shutting down as a result of production declines at older fields associated with the liquefaction facilities, and because domestic natural gas consumption is more highly valued than exports.
Indian PM inaugurates $US722 million gas pipeline
The Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh has inaugurated a $722M, 1,000 km gas pipeline that connects Dabhol in the western state of Maharashtra to Bangalore in the southern state of Karnataka. The project has been developed by the state-run Gas Authority of India Ltd (GAIL), and has a design capacity of 16 MMcf/d of natural gas that can produce 3,000MW of clean energy. The pipeline traverses 18 national highways, 382 other road crossings, 20 railway crossings, 83 cased crossings, 11 major river crossings, and 276 water body crossings. Construction operations, which continued round-the-clock for 19 months, involved pipe laying in some of the world’s steepest slopes of 60 to 70 degrees, and sharp elevations of up to 700m in a 3.5 km stretch.
Hess sells Indonesian assets
PTTEP and Pertamina signed a 50:50 joint venture to buy Hess' assets off Indonesia for $1.3bn. The companies will gain 75% stake in Pangkah field and 23% in the Natuna Sea A field. The Pangkah transaction will be finalised in Q1 2014, and the Natuna Sea A transaction will close by year-end 2013. The acquisition of Pangkah and Natuna Sea A sets the stage for PTTEP’s plans for continued growth by acquiring more assets, including Pailin and Sinphuhorm fields, Hess’s Thai assets. The company has already expanded its investments to 45 projects in 12 countries, including last year’s acquisition of Cove Energy’s oil and gas assets in Mozambique for $1.6bn. The two fields produced about 15,000 boe/d in the first three quarters of 2013. Hess plans to use the proceeds from the transaction to continue repurchasing shares under its existing $4bn authorisation. According to the company’s CEO, John Hess, the firm raised $6.5bn in 2013 from asset sales. (Item contains no further information.)
Offshore Engineer, 2 Dec. 2013. http://tinyurl.com/o8cvczb
Saudi Aramco opens research center in Boston
Saudi Aramco has opened a research centre in Cambridge (Boston), Massachusetts, the first of three new US research facilities the company will set up by the end of 2014. The new centre is adjacent to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and will support computational reservoir modelling, nanotechnology and advanced gas membrane system research. The company says the new US centres (also Houston and Detroit) will be part of a global network of RCs to leverage scientific expertise and strengthen collaboration in providing solutions to Saudi Aramco research and technology challenges. The centres closely align their goals with those of Saudi Aramco’s EXPEC Advanced Research Center and its Research and Development Center.
Offshore Engineer, 5 Dec. 2013. http://tinyurl.com/qhzwbxc
Japan shippers plan to order 90 new LNG tankers worth $17.6 billion by 2020
Japan's top shippers plan to order around 90 new liquefied natural gas tankers worth about ¥1.8 trillion by 2020 as they gear up to transport rising volumes of the super chilled fuel from North America and Australia. The expansion plans reflect rising LNG demand in nuclear-free Japan to generate electricity and also in other Asian countries such as China and South Korea. Global LNG trading volume is expected to grow to 400M tonnes in 2020 from 250M tonnes in 2012, according to industry data. Mitsui O.S.K. Lines, Japan's second-largest shipping company, plans to increase the number of its LNG carriers to 110 by 2020 from about 70 at present, a spokesman said. Nippon Yusen KK, the No.1 shipper in the country, plans to raise its LNG tanker strength to 100 by 2020 from about 70 now while third-biggest shipper Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha aims to order about 20 new LNG tankers before the end of the decade.
Students get crash course in shale industry
Reports on Penn College of Technology's course on drill-rig components. The training that Penn College offers at its Energy Technology Education Center, south of Williamsport, is one component of a broad range of credit and noncredit programmes that the college devised in response to the shale boom. The college, which has 6,000 students at its campus, offers one-year certificates, two-year associate degrees, and four-year bachelor's degrees in a range of technical skills useful in the oil and gas industry. It recently added an associate degree in mechatronics, a relatively new discipline that is a combination of mechanics and electronics. The school's welding programme is in particularly high demand to prepare workers for the 'midstream' operations that treat and deliver natural gas by pipeline, as well as workers to build five gas-fired power stations slated for the region.
Philadelphia Inquirer, 8 Dec. 2013. http://tinyurl.com/ndeh89w
Novel hull concepts address ultradeep Gulf of Mexico production
Notes that a strong upswing in deepwater Gulf of Mexico oil exploration is likely and that traditional platforms and towers used in shallower waters rapidly become uneconomical as depth increases. Ultra deep and remote locations are distant from existing pipeline infrastructure and operators are looking towards local oil storage, offloaded via shuttle tankers. Different concepts for ultra deepwater gulf production and storage have been assessed. Non-ship-shaped, round floating production, storage, and offloading hulls currently appear to be the most appropriate production solution for the ultra deep gulf, capable of complying with physical criteria, safety regulations and operators' requirements. Three concepts - ship-shaped, non-ship-shaped round hull and semi-submersible - are discussed with their advantages and possible shortcomings,
Oil & Gas Journal, vol.111.11, 4 Nov. 2013. pp.74-82.
Transient analysis helps IM for crater-type corrosion defects
Says that transient analysis for pipeline integrity management is strongly recommended when crater-type corrosion defects are present and when threshold criteria are more rigorous than usual. Applying transient analysis to gas pipeline integrity management does not significantly increase the number of repairs, only the manner in which they are planned for, and therefore does not result in prohibitive additional costs. Transient analysis, however, is not justified in integrity management of gas pipelines when all corrosion points are of the pin hole type.
Oil & Gas Journal, vol.111.11, 4 Nov. 2013. pp.94-102.
Copper-nickel sheets against corrosion attacks
Life expectancy for offshore oil and gas platforms as well as for offshore wind turbine installations is more than 20 years. Cathodic protection has been very effective in zones of structures that are permanently immersed in water, but it is largely ineffective in transition and splash zones as the metal is not continuously in contact with seawater. Another method of corrosion protection involves sheathing the steel supports with alloys containing nickel and copper. Regular inspections have found no indication of corrosion on the steel or on the 90/10 copper-nickel cladding. Thanks to the absence of the need for a corrosion coating on the steel columns in the transition and splash zones, and the lack of repairs or maintenance of any kind required in this area, the cladding of offshore load-bearing structures with 90/10 copper-nickel plate has been demonstrated to be a more durable and economic alternative than conventional protection methods.
www.materialsviews.com. 27 Nov. 2013. http://tinyurl.com/qjrc84k
Bill introduced to facilitate cross-border energy projects
A bill to update the approval process for energy infrastructure projects that cross borders, e.g. USA-Canada, has been introduced to the US Senate. The aim is to consolidate and standardise existing legislation covering oil and natural gas pipelines, and electricity transmission lines, and to require agencies to make a decision on cross-border applications within 120 days.
Welding Journal, vol.92, no.12. Dec.2013. p.6.