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February 2012 Issue

Drilling Activity Down by One-Third on the UKCS in 2011
The U.K. Continental Shelf (UKCS) experienced a 34 percent decrease in drilling activity in 2011, with 49 wells spudded compared to 74 wells spudded in 2010, according to a report released in January by Deloitte. This is the lowest level since 2003, representing a 37 percent drop on the average number of wells spudded each year for the past decade.

The report shows that offshore drilling activity across Northwest Europe fell 12 percent in 2011 with 122 exploration and appraisal wells drilled across the region, compared to 139 in 2010, Deloitte said.

The trend in the U.K. is very different from the rest of Northwest Europe, with the Netherlands, Denmark and Greenland experiencing levels either above or equal to the previous year. Norway saw the largest increase with a 12 percent rise from 2010.

This decrease in activity on the UKCS is somewhat unexpected, given that average monthly oil prices have remained above $100 per barrel, Deloitte said.

"It is more likely that a delayed reaction to the 2008 recession, current economic and market factors, delays affecting rig availability and the maturity of the UKCS are the key contributing factors," said Graham Sadler, managing director of Deloitte's Petroleum Services Group.

Despite this, the report showed there has been a continued appetite for investment in the U.K., with a larger number of significant development projects granted approval during 2011, as companies try to get the best return on their investment while oil prices remain relatively high.

"Moving into 2012, it is unclear whether levels of exploration and appraisal drilling will return to pre-2011 levels as the current factors driving decision making may continue to have an influence, along with the limited number of outstanding well commitments still to be met from the U.K.'s 25th and 26th licensing rounds, which may see levels continue to remain low in the next few years," Sadler said. For more information, visit www.deloitte.com.

Claxton to Supply Advanced Norwegian Drilling Riser
Claxton Engineering Services Ltd. (Norfolk, England) is supplying a Norwegian client with a complete subsea drilling riser package, the company announced in January.

The 7,000-pound-per-square-inch, 24-inch riser will be used to drill one well and two completion wells in 135 meters of water, the deepest waters in the Norwegian North Sea attempted to date, Claxton said.

The system comprises riser joints, custom flange connectors, vortex-induced-vibration suppression fairings, a bespoke tension system and a Claxton NT2 handling tool.

Subsea Riser Products (Woking, England) will supply the custom flanges for the riser. These have a smaller diameter than standard API flanges and offer improved make-up times and fatigue characteristics, Claxton said. Pulse Structural Monitoring (Woking) will provide a complete riser monitoring system that will give the client real-time fatigue, bending and stress monitoring data to help determine how the riser is performing.

The new riser will be used for 240 days and is due to be run for the first time in early 2012. For more information, visit www.claxtonengineering.com.

Fairmount Sherpa Delivers Rig Noble Paul Romano in Egypt
Fairmount Marine's (Rotterdam, Netherlands) tug Fairmount Sherpa in December safely towed Noble Corp.'s (Sugar Land, Texas) semisubmersible drilling rig, Noble Paul Romano, from the Gulf of Mexico to Egypt, a distance of close to 8,000 miles, Fairmount Marine said.

Fairmount Sherpa was previously working on the installation of BP's Skarv FPSO in the Norwegian Sea when it was mobilized in Rotterdam before sailing to Jamaica to rendezvous with Noble Paul Romano. The convoy then picked up bunkers in San Juan, Puerto Rico, before crossing the Atlantic.

The final destination was the mooring position in the North Hap'y oilfield in the Greater Nile basin, Fairmount said. For more information, visit www.fairmount.nl.

Hyundai Heavy Develops Concept for FLNG
Hyundai Heavy Industries (Ulsan, Korea) announced in January that the company completed developing its own floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) plant model with Linde AG (Munich, Germany).

The concept FLNG has an annual production capacity of 2.5 million tons of liquefied natural gas and can store about 193,800 cubic meters of liquefied natural gas, Hyundai said.

The FLNG is designed to be 355 meters in length, 70 meters in width and 35 meters in height. It has received DNV approval and is projected to take 25 percent less building time compared to the onshore liquefaction and storage plant.

Hyundai Heavy Industries said it was selected as a core institute for the development of FLNG system engineering by the Korean-government-owned Korean Gas Corp.'s (Seongnam, South Korea) LNG Plant Research and Development center. The goal of the project is to develop the FLNG by 2016, Hyundai said. For more information, visit www.english.hhi.co.kr.

Report: Latin America to Pass Africa in Deepwater Spending
Deepwater development will increase in Latin America to exceed deepwater expenditures in Africa between 2012 to 2016, according to a report published in January by Douglas-Westwood. Growth in Latin America will be driven by Petrobas' (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) development of its Campos and Santos presalt fields off Brazil, according to the report.

"Regionally, the focus for development activity will largely remain in the deepwater 'golden triangle' with Africa and Americas representing 72 percent of forecast spend," report author, Lucy Miller, wrote.

The report's findings predict a 90 percent growth in expenditure compared to the previous five-year period from 2007 to 2011, with $232 billion to be spent from 2012 to 2016. For more information, visit www.douglas-westwood.com.


2013:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC
2012:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC

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