Industry News

This page will be regularly updated to keep you abreast of the latest news and events taking place in the offshore industry. 

Click on the blue text to open the full article.

Have your say on what is happening in the industry by visiting our forums which are now accessed via the main menu. would like to pay respect to the 167 offshore workers who lost their lives on 6th July 1988 and send my thoughts and prayers to the families and survivors left behind.

I have posted the video on the left so that we always remember.

After successful spinal surgeries last year I am now fit, able and willing to get back to regularly updating the site, the first news update will be posted soon!

Det Norske Oljeselskap ASA has announced that the gas discovery in PL 535 on the Norvarg prospect in the Barents Sea could hold an estimated 10 to 50 billion cubic metres of recoverable gas. This corresponds to an oil equivalent of between 63 and 315 million barrels. Det norske has a 20 percent interest in the discovery.

Det norske CEO, Erik Haugane, said: "This is promising results. Total has done an excellent job on Norvarg. The operator is also a major player in the Barents Sea with interests in the Snøhvit gas and condensate field, on the Melkøya LNG facility, as well as in the Shtokman discovery on the Russian side of the borderline. Total's experience and competence from the Barents Sea, as well as from similar gas fields internationally, will be of great benefit to Det norske in mapping the size of the discovery and in the evaluation of a possible development of the discovery."
Clcik the headline to visit Oil Voice for more details

Valhal Unlikely To Re-Start Production Before September

BP have announced that production at the Valhall oil platform in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, is unlikely to resume before the end of August due to the damage sustained during the fire in July.  The return to production is two weeks later than originally scheduled.

The fire at the platform shut down around 60,000 barrels a day of Ekofisk crude output that feeds into global benchmark Brent. Oil production at the Valhall facility itself before the shutdown stood at 42,000 barrels a day.

Statoil and partners have made an oil discovery on the Aldous Major South prospect in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea.

Drilled by the Transocean Leader, the well found a 65 meter oil column in Jurassic sandstones. Statoil stated that the acquired data has confirmed  a reservoir of excellent quality. Preliminary volumes are estimated at between 200 and 400 million barrels of oil equivalent for this part of the structure, and the operator expects additional upside in the license both North and South of the discovery.  Click the headline to visit Rig View for the full article 

Statoil's second quarter 2011 net operating income was NOK 61.0 billion, a 129% increase compared to NOK 26.6 billion in the second quarter of 2010
The quarterly result mainly affected by a 32% increase in the average prices for liquids measured in NOK, a 28% increase in average gas prices, a NOK 8.8 billion gain related to the 40% Peregrino divestment and an 18% decrease in lifted volumes.
Click the headline to visit Oil Voice for the full article

Statoil Receive Consent To Use Mearsk Gallant

Statoil has received consent to use Maersk Gallant for exploration drilling of well 2/4-21 as well as an option on sidetrack 2/4-21 A, according to Petroleum Safety Authority, Norway.
The well will be drilled in production licence 146/333 and is located in the North Sea about 13 kilometres north of Ekofisk. The closest distance to land (Lista) is 260 kilometres.
The planned start-up date is early August 2011. The operation has an expected duration of 166 days with a potential option of 51 days.

Apache Corporation has announced the results of two development wells completed in June at the company's Forties field in the UK sector of the North Sea.
Charlie 4-3 commenced production at a rate of 12,567 barrels of oil per day (b/d). This well's initial production (IP) rate is the highest in the Forties since 1990 and follows the previously disclosed Charlie 2-2, which was completed in March with an IP rate of 11,876 b/d.
Delta 3-5 commenced production at 8,781 b/d.
For the full article visit Apache Corporation by clicking the headline.

Breagh Gas Field Development Plans Agreed

RWE Dea UK announced that the field development plan for its operated Breagh gas field has received the unconditional approval of the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) of the UK Government.

The FDP approval is a hugely significant achievement for our Breagh gas field development. It is an essential element for the realization of our strategic target to boost RWE Dea's annual gas and oil production to more than 70 million barrel of oil equivalents by 2016," said Ralf to Baben, Chief Operating Officer of RWE Dea AG. Click the headline to visit Oil Voice for the full story

DONG Energy & Noreco Agreement On Siri Field

DONG Energy, the Operator of the Siri field in the Danish sector of the North Sea, and its licence partner Noreco have settled on an agreement for DONG Energy to acquire Noreco's 50 per cent interest in the Siri field with an acquisition cost of approximately 70 DKK million (13 million USD) with effect from July 1st 2011. DONG Energy will be sole owner of the Siri field. The agreement is subject to customary regulatory approvals, and all conditions of the agreement are expected to be finally resolved before the year-end.  Click the headline to visit RIGZONE for the full story

The number of offshore oil and gas leaks that could potentially lead to a major incident has fallen, according to new safety statistics released today (19th July).
Figures from the HSE show that there were 73 major or significant hydrocarbon releases associated with offshore installations in 2010 / 2011, compared to 85 the previous year.  There were 61 recorded in 2008 / 2009 - the lowest since the HSE began regulating the industry Overall, there continues to be a downward trend in the total of all reported hydrocarbon releases offshore.

For the fourth year running, no workers were killed during offshore activities regulated by HSE and 2010/11 also saw a fall in the number of major injuries. There were 42 reported compared with 50 the previous year, bringing the total in line with the average of the previous five years.

The combined fatal and major injury rate fell to 151.8 per 100,000 workers in 2010/11, compared with 192 in 2009/10. There was also a continued fall in the number of minor injuries that led to three or more days off work, with 106 - down from last year's 110 - which represents a new low in the over three-day injury rate.

There were 432 dangerous occurrences reported in 2010/11, 11 fewer than the previous year. More than a third were hydrocarbon releases (38.9%) and just over a quarter (25.9%) related to equipment failures

Please view the recent update to the HSE page

E.ON Ruhrgas has drilled a duster in wildcat well 31/8-1 in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. The well reached a vertical depth of 8,524 feet (2,598 meters) and terminated in the Brent group, in the Middle Jurassic age.

The primary target of the well was to determine petroleum in Upper Jurassic reservoir rocks in the Sognefjord formation with the secondary target to prove petroleum in Middle to Lower Jurassic reservoir rocks in the Fensfjord, Krossfjord and Johansen formations and the Brent group.

E.ON stated reservoir rocks with expected reservoir quality were encountered in the Sognefjord formation, but the well was dry. Petroleum was not proven in the secondary exploration targets either. The operator acquired data and will now permanently plug and abandon the well. The Borgland Dolphin semisub drilled well 31/8-1 in a water depth of 997 feet (304 meters). 

Click the headline to visit Rig Zone for the full story.

Rocksource Drills A Duster

Rocksource ASA announced today that the drilling rig Borgland Dolphin is in the process of completing drilling operations on the "Breiflabb" prospect, in licence PL 416 in the Norwegian part of the North Sea. The well did not encounter hydrocarbons. The well will be further reviewed in the upcoming quarterly presentation on August 17th.

The PL 416 partnership consists of E.ON Ruhrgas (Operator and 50 per cent working interest), Det norske oljeselskap (15 per cent) and Rocksource (35 per cent).

50% Drop in Exploration Projects

In comparison to 2010 exploration projects in the North Sea have decreased by as much as 50%.  The downturn can be attributed in main to the increased taxation faced by the industry operators which equates to circa two billion pounds increase each year!
Naturally this has a major impact on every single person working in the industry including you and me, I am inviting you to sign up to our Forums so that you can voice your thought and concerns on this matter.  If we raise enough interest I would create a petition for submission to Downing Street.

It has been announced that a consortium made up of BP, Shell, Hess, Statoil, OMV and Murphy will redevelop the Schiehallion and Loyal oil fields as it is estimated that both fields have combined 450 MMbbl of resources still available.
The project will see the existing Schiehallion FPSO replaced, the new vessel measuring 270m in length and 52m beam has the capability of processing & exporting up to 130,000 barrels per day, and has storage capacity of around 1 million barrels.
The project will include the upgrade and replacement of subsea facilities to enable maximum possible development of the available resources.  The project schedule targets production commencement in 2016
The consortium divide is made up of BP and Shell each holding 36.3%, Hess holding 12.9%, and Statoil, OMV and Murphy holding  4.84% each.
Click the headline to read a full article posted on Rigzone

Valhal Platform Evacuated Due To Fire

BP evacuated personnel from its Valhall oil platform in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea on Wednesday 13th July after a fire erupted.  Thankfully everyone has been accounted for and no injuries have been reported. An investigation will be carried out prior to recommencing normal operation, it is reported that the fire started in a compressor room.

The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) oil output is expected to remain lower in June than before the conflict in Libya largely shut down its oil industry, despite extra supply from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf members, a Reuters survey found. Supply from all 12 members of Opec is expected to average 29.45 million barrels per day (mbpd) this month, up from a revised 29.1 mbpd in May, the survey found. 
Click the headline to visit Oil & Gas News Online for the full article.

Marathon Oil Extends Petrofac Contract

Petrofac have today (12th July) announced that its Offshore Engineering & Operations (OE&O) division has been awarded a contract renewal from Marathon Oil. Petrofac have been working on Marathon's Brae assets since 2005. The contract renewal will see the relationship continue for the next four years.
"The renewal of this important contract with Marathon is recognition of the strength of the working relationship our respective teams have developed in the past six years. As a group we are committed to the North Sea and this long-term contract extension, which enables us to continue to deploy our extensive services capability, is key to our continued growth and development in the region.”

Statoil Mariner Field FEED Study

Aker Solutions has been awarded a Statoil contract to conduct the topside front-end engineering and design study on the Mariner field located in the UK sector of the North Sea.  
The engineering and design work will be carried out from Aker Solutions' engineering hub in Oslo, together with engineers from the drilling technologies business in Kristiansand, Norway.  The study is scheduled for delivery in the summer of next year.

The government has offered a concession to the oil and gas industry by raising one tax allowance that applies to North Sea fields. The Ring Fence Expenditure Supplement will rise to 10%, from 6% thus allowing companies to offset a greater amount of their expenses against their taxes. 

Oil and Gas UK, the industry group, said: "Whilst the change to the allowance will not redress the damage caused by the recent tax increase, it will help new investors to the UKCS who are otherwise disadvantaged compared to more established players."

Subsea Well Response Project

Nine of the major oil and gas companies (BG Group, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, Petrobras, Shell, Statoil, and Total) have signed an interim joint development agreement to establish the "Subsea Well Response Project" 

In order to enhance industry capability to respond to subsea well control issues the project intends to execute the following objectives - 

• Design a capping toolbox with a range of equipment to allow wells to be shut in

• Design additional hardware for the subsea injection of dispersant

• Further assess the need for and feasibility of a containment system for shared use.