Offshore Oil & Ocean Engineering

MARCH | MAY | JULY | SEPT | NOV

 

NOVEMBER


Jack-Up for German
North Sea Wind Farm

Attollo Offshore has mobilized a jack-up accommodation unit to Ørsted’s Borkum Riffgrund 2 offshore wind farm.

Borkum Riffgrund 2 comprises the largest wind turbines in the German North Sea and is expected to produce electricity to power nearly half a million homes per annum.

Attollo will provide accommodation and construction support for the hookup and commissioning of the 450-MW substation.

 

GOM Jack-Up Market
Doing Well

At first glance, it would be difficult to view a region with just 27 jack-ups and only 12 of those contracted as warranting special attention. However, a deeper dive into the numbers shows that the U.S. Gulf of Mexico (GOM) jack-up market has quietly become one of the best in the world, according to Westwood. Utilization of the 12-rig marketed fleet is 100 percent and contract backlog is increasing. Day rates have risen, and evidence suggests that further increases for some segments of the fleet are not far off.

However, this market is nowhere near what it once was. Supply reached 157 in March 2001, while the peak number of working rigs hit 144 a month later. But by the end of 2001, the number of contracted units was under 100 and demand was well on its way to the historic low levels it ultimately reached. Supply was initially slower to react, but continued mobilization out of the region and retirements ultimately brought that number down, too.

The end-result has been an 83 percent supply decrease and a 92 percent fall in demand between June 2000 and August 2018.

However, also notable is the sharp upward spike in the utilization line in 2018. Since January, fleet supply decreased by 10 while demand rose by four, resulting in utilization more than doubling from 21 to 44 percent in August.

 

Kongsberg Power, Control Solution for Awilco Drilling Rig

Kongsberg Maritime has been selected by Keppel Offshore & Marine to provide an extensive and integrated technology delivery for a new semi-submersible drilling rig ordered by U.K.-based drilling contractor Awilco Drilling PLC.

Awilco Drilling’s new rig will be equipped and certified for drilling on the Norwegian Continental Shelf, including the Barents Sea, in water depths up to 5,000 ft. The improved drilling efficiency and reliability will result in lower OPEX with per day cost savings compared to existing semi-submersible rigs. This is aided by a complete Kongsberg electro package, including a hybrid power system with advanced battery technology, MV switchboards, thruster and drilling drives and energy management systems, contributing significantly to reducing fuel oil consumption and minimizing CO2 and NOx emissions.

 

Digital Compliance
Framework for Industry

LR has developed the first ever data-driven compliance framework for the marine and offshore industry: “Digital Compliance.” The increasing use and advancement of digital twins presents a significant opportunity to marine and offshore operators to improve operational performance and maintenance regimes, as well as allowing for greater transparency and repeatability in demonstrating compliance with internal and external requirements.

LR has developed this framework in collaboration with leading industry partners and to respond to growing industry interest. The framework is applied through a series of defined levels with the system provider and the operator. This builds confidence in a digital twin that is used within a digital health management (DHM) system. LR will assess and give recognition to the capabilities of a system provider to create an asset-specific twin.

LR will build the confidence level in the DHM system from the commissioning stage to awarding of the descriptive note “Digital Twin LIVE,” which will grant credit for survey activity through demonstrated functioning of the twin over time.

 

Fugro E&P Contracts
In Trinidad and Tobago

Fugro has won three contracts with BHP Petroleum (Deepwater) Inc. to deliver specialist services to support exploration and production (E&P) operations in Trinidad and Tobago and the Gulf of Mexico.

Within Trinidad’s Block 3(a), Fugro is providing geophysical and geotechnical services from dedicated vessels to support the development of the Ruby field.

Fugro will conduct 3DHR seismic surveys, seabed clearance and shallow hazards surveys, a flowline corridor survey and a shallow geotechnical survey.

 

Tiger Acquisition
In Middle East

Tiger Offshore Rentals has acquired Rigzone Mechanical Equipment LLC, including its manufacturing facility and fleet of DNV-certified offshore cargo carrying units in the United Arab Emirates.

The acquisition expands Tiger’s position as a provider of offshore rental equipment in the Middle East region.

 

England Offshore Services Base

DeepOcean has opened a new offshore services base at Blyth in England, which will be of strategic importance to DeepOcean’s increasing presence in global cable lay and trenching markets. This facility supports the planning, preparation, mobilization and maintenance of DeepOcean’s subsea trenching assets and vessel fleet. It has year-round access for large vessels.

SEPTEMBER


Decom North Sea
Award Winners

The winners of the 2018 Decom North Sea Awards have been announced.

Sponsored by The Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC), the Outstanding Innovation category was won by BiSN for its Wel-Lok M2M well sealant technology.

The Excellence in Collaboration award, sponsored by Port of Cromarty Firth, was presented to Shell U.K. Ltd. – Boskalis – Veolia-Peterson for demonstrating how collaborative working and sharing best practices can maximize recycling of assets and drive sustainability in the industry.

Mark Bayman, who recently retired from the position of decommissioning manager (technical) at OPRED, was presented with the Contribution to the Decommissioning Sector accolade.

Decom North Sea also announced the new Decommissioning Leadership Group, whose members will drive strategic direction and the delivery of the organization’s objectives, relating across the scope of decommissioning activity.

 

Shell Deepwater Discovery
In Gulf of Mexico

Shell has made a large, deepwater exploration discovery in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico with its Dover well (100 percent Shell). The Dover discovery is Shell’s sixth in the Norphlet play and has encountered more than 800 net ft. of pay (244 m). The discovery is located approximately 13 mi. from the Appomattox host and is considered an attractive potential tieback.

Shell’s Appomattox host has now arrived on location in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and is expected to start production before the end of 2019.

 

Offshore Trials for
Subsea Cementing System

DeltaTek Global has achieved two successful onshore field trials of its SeaCure system, resulting in subsequent offshore trials with two North Sea operators this summer as part of a project backed by the Oil & Gas Technology Centre.

SeaCure is a subsea cementing system delivering stabbed in inner string cementing for subsea wells.

The three offshore trials will be in live North Sea wells operated by Chevron and Siccar Point Energy, down to a water depth of 5,000 ft. The trials are expected to lead to a full product launch in September.

 

Offshore Vessels
For Maritime Security

Sovereign Global has developed a maritime security solution providing governments, NGOs and multinational corporations with an owned or chartered fleet of highly versatile, hybrid-fuel and cost-efficient offshore patrol and COMINT vessels, complete with crew and maintenance teams to cover the whole spectrum of offshore patrol tasks and intelligence gathering.

The OPV55 series is equipped with next-generation recognized maritime picture (NG-RMP); fast-response interdiction vessels; subsea security sonars; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) devices; live satellite imagery; unmanned airborne systems (UAS); and MARPOL oil spill response equipment. Flexible mission modules and modular manning quarters make customized mission configurations possible. For COMINT operations, an extended mast is added to carry the payloads for Iridium SATCOM interception monitoring and radar systems.

 

SMD Plough Works
In Baltic Sea Project

Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd.’s (SMD) multimode pre-lay plough delivered to Greek offshore contractors Assodivers Ltd. earlier this year has successfully completed its first offshore job in the Baltic Sea.

The multimode pre-lay plough is the newest addition to SMD’s power cable installation and protection product range. This plough has configurations for boulder clearing, trenching and backfill. The boulder clearance pass clears a 13.0-m-wide route, including surface and submerged boulders.

The trenching pass creates an engineered Y trench profile with a secure power cable pocket for subsequent lay process. The backfill pass moves the cut spoil excluding boulders back over the product for maximum cover.

All three modes have responsive and controlled steering and a fully integrated sensor suite for as-built survey of performance.

 

SMD Plough Works
In Baltic Sea Project

Soil Machine Dynamics Ltd.’s (SMD) multimode pre-lay plough delivered to Greek offshore contractors Assodivers Ltd. earlier this year has successfully completed its first offshore job in the Baltic Sea.

The multimode pre-lay plough is the newest addition to SMD’s power cable installation and protection product range. This plough has configurations for boulder clearing, trenching and backfill. The boulder clearance pass clears a 13.0-m-wide route, including surface and submerged boulders.

The trenching pass creates an engineered Y trench profile with a secure power cable pocket for subsequent lay process. The backfill pass moves the cut spoil excluding boulders back over the product for maximum cover.

All three modes have responsive and controlled steering and a fully integrated sensor suite for as-built survey of performance.

 

Mapping the Jobs
Of the Future

A project to develop a new U.K. oil and gas skills strategy has been launched following widespread industry and government support for the findings in OPITO’s UKCS Workforce Dynamics Review.

OPITO has appointed Robert Gordon University’s (RGU) Oil and Gas Institute to support the development of the strategy over the next several months.

This will involve an industry survey and workshops to help develop a blueprint to support skills diversification and digital transformation.

The Workforce Dynamics Review found that if the sector achieves ambitions around the energy transition, oil and gas production and exports, around 40,000 people will need to be recruited into the sector over the next 20 years, and 10,000 of those will be in roles that don’t currently exist.

RGU’s Oil and Gas Institute will engage with industry and stakeholders to gather data to assess existing and new skills required for job families and to create skills demand maps. A survey will investigate the industry’s demand for future skills and capability requirements. Workshops will involve industry specialists, young professionals and apprentices.

 

JULY


OTC Spotlight on
New Technology

Teledyne Marine was recognized by the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) with a 2018 Spotlight on New Technology Award for the FlameGuard P5-200, a flame-proof ceramic electrical penetrator for use as part of the fire-resistant envelope of an offshore surface wellhead and Christmas tree system.

The penetrator is a key technology element in a 5-kV electrical feed-through system that provides three-phase power to downhole electrical submersible pumps (ESPs) in offshore dry trees.

The ceramic material was developed by the New Product Development team at the Teledyne Oil & Gas Technology Development Center, in partnership with the advanced materials scientists at Teledyne Scientific, in response to customer demand for a fire-resistant, downhole electrical penetrator.

Expro was also awarded a Spotlight on New Technology award at OTC for its Next Generation Landing String (NGLS), comprising a five-phase program of work to deliver a complete landing string package, including a range of new functionality across its 7 3/8 valves.

It incorporates a highly debris-tolerant ball mechanism and hydraulic latch mechanism, dual seal protection for both environment and control systems, increased cutting capability, and a fail “as is” retainer valve with the ability to close after a blowout preventer shear scenario.

The system can save millions of dollars per well, compared to traditional methods.

 

First CSP Offshore
Trinidad and Tobago

Aquaterra Energy has completed the delivery of a Sea Swift conductor supported platform (CSP) for DeNovo Energy in the Gulf of Paria, offshore Trinidad and Tobago. This is the first platform of its kind to be installed in the country and was completed in just 10 months.

Located in the Iguana field, the Sea Swift was installed from a jack-up rig in 27-m water depth, accommodating up to four wells and including local power generation, manifolds and a control system.

Drilling of the first of a three-well development campaign has commenced, using the Well Services Rig 110.

 

Fugro Seeks Hydrocarbon
Seeps Off Brazil

Working for the multiclient geoscience data company TGS, Fugro continues the hunt for hydrocarbon seeps, this time offshore Brazil.

Two modern, purpose-built vessels—Fugro Brasilis and Fugro Searcher—have been deployed to acquire high-resolution multibeam echosounder and sub-bottom profiler data in the Campos and Santos Basins.

The survey is designed to mirror TGS’s successful 2016 to 2017 Gigante and Otos projects in the Gulf of Mexico.

Covering an area of approximately 200,000 sq. km, Fugro will use the data to identify and recommend the most prospective locations to target for geochemical sampling.

Fugro has reported increased confidence in identifying seabed expressions of hydrocarbon seeps and this has led to continued vigorous demand for its combined multibeam mapping and surface geochemistry sampling services.

 

Artificial Intelligence
For Structural Monitoring

WFS Technologies, University of Aberdeen and OGIC announced a joint technology project to design and build the world’s first ExtremeEdge OLM (On-line Monitoring) system for offshore subsea and platform structures. At present, asset integrity and fatigue monitoring of North Sea offshore subsea structures is largely carried out manually by divers or ROVs. This is not only hazardous and expensive, but information on the integrity of the structure is not available in real time and the quantity and quality of the data are insufficient to drive performance-enhancing big data analytic techniques. This can impact on production levels, or even lead to failure, due to suboptimal predictive model correction and latency.

The project builds on WFS’s Seatooth through-water wireless communications, subsea Internet of Things (SIoT) and real-time wireless fatigue monitoring technologies.

The project, jointly funded by WFS and OGIC, will focus on advancing technology to monitor subsea structures using specially designed SIoT smart sensor devices incorporating edge AI (artificial intelligence).

The completely autonomous SIoT devices will be attached to the structure with the capability to operate for more than 10 years due to the use of intelligent algorithms that will optimize battery usage.

 

Shell Invests Further
In US GOM

Shell Offshore Inc., a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc, has made a final investment decision for Vito, a deepwater development in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico (GOM) with a break-even price estimated to be less than $35 per barrel. This decision sets in motion the construction and fabrication of a new, simplified host design and subsea infrastructure. Vito is scheduled to begin producing oil in 2021. It is expected to reach peak production of about 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent (boe) per day. The development currently has an estimated, recoverable resource of 300 million boe.

“With a lower-cost developmental approach, the Vito project is a very competitive and attractive opportunity industry wide,” said Andy Brown, Shell upstream director.

 

MAY


Shell Discovery in
Gulf of Mexico

Shell Offshore Inc. announced one of its largest U.S. Gulf of Mexico exploration finds in the past decade from the Whale deepwater well. The well encountered more than 1,400 net ft. (427 m) of oil-bearing pay. Evaluation of the discovery is ongoing, and appraisal drilling is underway to further delineate the discovery and define development options.

Whale is operated by Shell (60 percent) and co-owned by Chevron U.S.A. Inc. (40 percent). It was discovered in the Alaminos Canyon Block 772.

This major discovery in a Shell heartland adds to the company’s Paleogene exploration success in the Perdido area. Through exploration, Royal Dutch Shell has added more than 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent resources in the last decade in the Gulf of Mexico. Shell currently has three Gulf of Mexico deepwater projects under construction, as well as investment options for additional subsea tiebacks and Vito, a potential new hub in the region.

 

TechnipFMC to Acquire
Island Offshore Subsea

TechnipFMC has signed an agreement with the Island Offshore group to acquire a 51 percent stake in Island Offshore’s wholly owned subsidiary, Island Offshore Subsea AS.

Island Offshore Subsea AS provides riserless light well intervention (RLWI) project management and engineering services for plug and abandonment (P&A), riserless coiled tubing and well completion operations. It employs approximately 80 staff.
In connection with the acquisition of the controlling interest, TechnipFMC and Island Offshore will enter into a strategic cooperation agreement to deliver RLWI services on a worldwide basis, which will also include TechnipFMC’s RLWI capabilities.

Island Offshore Subsea AS will be rebranded, and it will become the operating unit for TechnipFMC’s RLWI activities taking place around the world.

 

Transocean Closes
Songa Offshore Acquisition

Transocean Ltd. along with Transocean Inc. received all required regulatory approvals and has completed compulsory acquisition of all shares in Songa Offshore SE that were not already owned by Transocean.

Transocean pursued a delisting of the Songa Offshore shares from the Oslo Stock Exchange as soon as possible after the compulsory acquisition was complete.

Songa Offshore’s shares remained listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange until March 28, 2018.

 

One-Stop-Shop for
Oil Spill Response

Norwegian suppliers Framo, Maritime Partner, Norbit Aptomar and NorLense have come together to create the OSRV (Oil Spill Recovery Vessel) Group to offer a complete oil spill response solution.

The OSRV Group offers a package solution that covers everything from detection and containment to spill recovery, all conducted with reliable equipment that can handle the challenges if an accident occurs. It operates with a delivery lead time of eight weeks for the full package.

 

Total Takes Over
Maersk Oil

Total has closed acquisition of Maersk Oil, bringing to Total around 1 billion barrels of oil equivalent of 2P/2C reserves and resources, mainly in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries, and a production of about 160,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) in 2018, ramping up to more than 200,000 boe/d by the early 2020s.

The acquisition of Maersk Oil allows the group to reinforce its existing leading positions in the U.K. and in Norway, as well as to enter Denmark, making Total the second-largest operator in the North Sea with an output of 500,000 boe/d by 2020. The transaction also strengthens other growth areas of Total, particularly in Algeria and the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

 

ABS to Class First
Hybrid OSV in GOM

ABS was selected by SEACOR Marine to class the first offshore support vessel (OSV) in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM) to operate using hybrid power. SEACOR requested the BATTERY-Li notation for its Maya OSV currently operated by Mantenimiento Express Maritimo SAPI de CV (MEXMAR), SEACOR Marine’s joint venture in Mexico. The OSV is being upgraded to use lithium battery power, with modifications expected to be complete in May 2018.

The hybrid power solution has the potential to reduce fuel consumption by as much as 20 percent.

 

Merger Enhances
Offshore Install Delivery

Fara Holdco Ltd., owners of the Bibby Offshore group of companies, announced a merger with Rever Offshore AS.
Rever’s subsidiaries include CECON Contracting AS, an international subsea and offshore contractor, as well as two vessel companies that own both the Cecon Excellence and Cecon Sovereign.

The combination of Bibby and CECON Contracting AS is set to create a larger and more robust offshore installation delivery business both in the North Sea and internationally.

The combined company will continue to evaluate growth opportunities in its core diving and subsea umbilicals, risers and flowlines (SURF) markets.

 

MARCH


 

Van Aalst Expands
Offshore Offerings

The Van Aalst Group of Dordrecht, Netherlands, became a majority stakeholder in Techano AS, an offshore crane specialist from Norway. This follows the purchase of a 3D crane technology from another Norwegian company in 2016.

With the acquisition, the Van Aalst Group is now one of the very few companies in the world able to deliver a crane and a gangway as a combined package, using the 3D crane function.

The 3D crane can transfer equipment, such as tools, small generators, spare parts and containers, safely to an offshore platform, wind turbine or substation using 3D motion compensation. By eliminating vessel motions, the 3D crane ensures a safe and efficient transfer for service operation vessels and walk-to-work vessels.

With this possibility of offering a combined crane/gangway package, the Van Aalst Group anticipates the new trend for standby and support vessels.

 

McDermott, CB&I Join
Onshore-Offshore Forces

McDermott International Inc. and CB&I have agreed to combine in an all-stock transaction to create a fully vertically-integrated onshore-offshore company, with a broad engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) service offering and technology portfolio.

Upon completion of the transaction, McDermott shareholders will own approximately 53 percent of the combined company on a fully diluted basis, and CB&I shareholders will own approximately 47 percent. The estimated enterprise value of the transaction is approximately $6 billion.

This move will combine McDermott’s established presence in the Middle East and Asia with CB&I’s robust operations in the U.S., creating a balanced geographic portfolio with a strong position in high-growth developing regions.

 

France Makes Bold Move
With Oil, Gas Ban

France has passed legislation to end all oil and gas exploration and production by 2040, the UN Climate Action Programme reported. From now on, no new exploration permits will be granted within French territories.

President Emmanuel Macron’s Republic on the Move party voted in favor of the bill with help from other centrist and left-wing parties. France is not a major oil producer, but this ban is a symbolic lead for other nations to make the transition away from exploiting hydrocarbons.

The U.S. leads the world in petroleum production and has been retreating from climate change policy leadership under President Donald Trump. France seeks to lead on climate change under Macron. In July, he announced a ban of petrol and diesel cars by 2040.

 

Subsea Laser for
Internal Casing Inspection

Newton Labs and Ashtead Technology have delivered an advanced subsea laser scanning project for Subsea 7 on Chevron’s Captain field located in the U.K. North Sea using Newton’s underwater laser scanners. The scope of work included an internal casing inspection utilizing Newton’s M210UW ultrahigh-resolution short-range underwater laser scanner and a horizontal mapping survey using the longer range Newton M3200UW to capture more than 100 short- and long-range scans. This allowed Ashtead to generate a 3D model of the structure.

 

Shell to Redevelop
North Sea Penguins Field

Royal Dutch Shell plc has made a final investment decision on the redevelopment of the Penguins oil and gas field in the U.K. North Sea. The decision authorizes the construction of a floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, the first new manned installation for Shell in the northern North Sea in almost 30 years.

The Penguins field currently processes oil and gas using four existing drill centers tied back to the Brent Charlie platform. The redevelopment of the field, required when Brent Charlie ceases production, will see an additional eight wells drilled, which will be tied back to the new FPSO vessel. Natural gas will be exported through the tie-in of existing subsea facilities and additional pipeline infrastructure.

 

DSM Starts Mooring
Work on NCS

Deep Sea Mooring (DSM), a Vryhof company, has begun work on a contract to provide pre-lay mooring products and services to the Deepsea Bergen semisubmersible drilling rig on the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS). Austrian oil and gas company OMV has deployed the semisubmersible rig to support drilling activities in the region.

The pre-lay mooring equipment and services provided will include chain, fiber ropes, anchors, connectors, buoyancy and handling equipment, as well as mobilization and demobilization services.

 

Confidence Rising
In Oil, Gas Industry

Senior oil and gas sector professionals expect a step change in the industry’s capex, opex and R&D spending levels in 2018, according to a DNV GL study. Confidence in industry growth has risen globally from 32 percent in 2017 to 63 percent this year. Two-thirds of respondents say their company will maintain or increase spending in 2018. Industry leaders see the need to maintain a tight control over costs to support the leaner, smarter projects and operations that will be necessary to maintain margins.