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April 2011 Issue

Oil, Gas Industry Compensation Begins to Rebound, Rigzone Says
Driven by higher oil prices and rig counts, oil and gas industry compensation is starting to make a comeback, according to Rigzone (Houston, Texas).

In the first two months of 2011, average worldwide industry compensation rose nearly seven percent to $103,000 from $97,000 in 2010, according to data collected last year and in the first two months of 2011. The data was taken from thousands of oil and gas professionals in an ongoing Rigzone industry salary survey.

Rigzone said this is the first substantive, positive gain since average annual industry compensation was shaved by approximately $10,000 from its peak in the first half of 2008.

Despite a contraction in the Gulf of Mexico, the U.S. land rig count is increasing rapidly. That increase in activity means North American oil and gas professionals are once again taking home six figures, with average salaries of $103,000, in the first two months of 2011. That is up seven percent from an average of $96,000 in 2010.

To put that in perspective, the Asia-Pacific region is leading the way with gains of 14 percent in average salaries, ranging from $103,000 in southern and central Asia to $131,000 in Aus?tralia/Oceania. Likewise, the number of rigs contracted in the region in?creased 10 percent in the first quarter.

Information collected last year shows that when oil prices improved and the market stabilized, oil and gas compensation levels halted their decline and inched up slightly. For 2010, worldwide oil and gas industry compensation averaged just more than $97,000, marking a small recovery.

Rigzone's survey data shows that worldwide compensation peaked in late 2007 and the first half of 2008, pushing the worldwide average for yearly compensation above $109,000. However, as the worldwide financial crisis set in during late 2008 and oil prices dropped rapidly through the first quarter of 2009, oil and gas industry compensation levels began retracting. Worldwide average oil and gas industry compensation dropped to $96,700, down more than 11 percent from its earlier peak. For more information, visit www.rigzone.com.

InterMoor Completes Subsea Tree Installation for LLOG
InterMoor (Houston, Texas) has completed the installation of two subsea trees for LLOG Exploration Co. (Metairie, Louisiana) in the Gulf of Mexico, the company announced in March.

The subsea trees, weighing 90 kips each, were installed at the Mississippi Canyon Block 199 in a water depth of 2,460 feet on two existing well locations. InterMoor used Shell's (Houston, Texas) heave-compensated landing system for the installation. The anchor handling vessel used for the installation was the Joshua Chouest.

The vessel's aft mounted A-frame allowed for the subsea trees to be overboarded and transferred to the pendant wire via a dry handoff technique, independent of a rig crane. The subsea trees were dock tested at InterMoor's shore base in Fourchon, Louisiana. Both were then loaded onto the Joshua Chouest to be batch set at the open water location. For more information, visit www.intermoor.com.

X Drilling Tools Launches Multiple Activation Sub
Gillman, Australia-based X Drilling Tools (XDT) announced in March the launch of the TAZ Multiple Activation Circulating Sub, the first "infinite activation" sub that provides an unlimited number of activations downhole.

With wells becoming increasingly complex, the company said it is likely that pumping large volumes of drilling fluid or lost circulation material will be required at some point during the drilling process, making it necessary to run a circulation sub in the bottom hole assembly. XDT said these tools have had a limited number of activations, but the TAZ tool does not because it uses a degradable-material "magic ball" to influence the flow port.

The tool remains dormant in the bottom hole assembly area until opened by pumping down a "magic ball." The resulting pressure drop allows the mechanism to engage, opening three ports to the annulus.

"The central feature of the TAZ system is that the 'magic ball,' which is made of naturally degradable material, 'disappears' upon activation, ensuring that a two-inch clearance is maintained through the tool at all times," said Malcolm Greener, managing director of XDT. "Closing the ports is achieved by pumping down an identical ball, which also 'disappears' upon deactivation, leaving the tool dormant and ready to be activated again in a truly endless cycle."

For more information, visit www.xdrillingtools.com.

Deep Casing Tools Unveils Rapid Drill-Through Reaming System
Deep Casing Tools (Aberdeen, Scotland) has launched the first drill-through tool that ensures casing to target depth, allowing wells to be drilled as planned and enhancing integrity.

Turbocaser Express delivers a step change in the drilling industry process, the company said. After reaming casing to target depth, the Turbocaser Express has a unique, patented internal design that can be drilled through in minutes with standard drill bits after normal cementing, in one cost-effective operation.

Drillers face an ever-increasing demand to run casings to greater depths and at higher angles. The company said tools that enable drilling teams to land downhole assemblies at target depth the first time can decrease drilling costs and have economic attractions. Often, conventional methods are also not practical or prudent—for example, the size or length of the casing can make it impossible to rotate on smaller rigs, and the well path may prevent rotation in any event.

Manufactured as a single body from high-strength steel, the Turbocaser Express is a rugged and reliable downhole tool that can ream casings through obstructions, is high-pressure and high-temperature compliant, and works with any drilling fluid without deterioration in power output, reliability or performance, the company said. Orders for the tool have already been placed by two global major operators and a Middle East independent company, Deep Casing Tools said.

For more information, visit www.deepcasingtools.com.


2012:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC
2011:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC

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