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June 2012 Issue

Statoil, Rosneft Sign Agreement For Joint Exploration
Statoil (Stavanger, Norway) and Rosneft (Moscow, Russia) signed in May a cooperation agreement to jointly explore offshore frontier areas of Russia and Norway and conduct joint technical studies on two onshore Russian assets.

Under the agreement, Statoil and Rosneft will set up joint ventures, with Statoil holding 33.33 percent in each. The partners will jointly explore the Perseevsky license in the Russian part of the Central Barents Sea and three other licenses—the Kashevarovsky, Lisyansky and Magadan-1—north of Sakhalin island in the Sea of Okhotsk. The Perseevsky license covers 23,000 square kilometers in water depths of 150 to 250 meters.

The four licenses cover more than 100,000 square kilometers, equaling approximately 200 blocks on the Norwegian continental shelf. Statoil will fund the initial exploration to determine the commercial value of the licenses.

The two companies will also conduct joint technical studies on the North-Komsomolskoye field in West Siberia and the shale oil play in the Stavropol area in southwestern Russia, both of which are onshore Russian assets.

In addition, the agreement provides Rosneft an opportunity to acquire interests in selected Statoil exploration licenses and assets in the North Sea and the Norwegian sector of the Barents Sea.

The companies have agreed on a program to exchange and further develop technology and competence relevant for Arctic offshore and unconventional exploration and production.

The overall obligations for all the above licenses comprise 2D seismic and six exploration wells for the four frontier exploration blocks. Additional wells will be drilled if initial explorations are successful.


First DGD Drillship Arrives In Gulf of Mexico
Chevron Corp. (San Ramon, California) announced in May that the Pacific Santa Ana had arrived in the Gulf of Mexico to work for Chevron under a five-year contract with a subsidiary of Pacific Drilling S.A. (Luxembourg, Luxembourg). This is the first drillship designed with the capacity to perform dual gradient drilling (DGD) and is Chevron’s fifth drillship in the deepwater gulf.

Unlike conventional deepwater drilling, which uses a single drilling fluid weight in the borehole, DGD employs two weights of drilling fluid, one above the seabed and another below. This allows drillers to more closely match natural pressures and effectively eliminates water depth as a consideration in well design.

DGD also allows drillers to more quickly detect and react to downhole pressure changes, which can enhance the safety and efficiency of deepwater drilling operations.

Pacific Santa Ana is equipped with a DGD riser, a mud lift pump handling system, six mud pumps (three for drilling fluid and three for seawater), extensive fluid management system enhancements and more than 72,000 feet of DGD-related cables.

After additional equipment is installed and tested, the drillship will be used for exploratory and development drilling in the deepwater gulf.

Chevron is using GE Co.’s (Fairfield, Connecticut) MaxLift 1800 pump on the Pacific Santa Ana, according to OilPrice.com. It can deliver up to 1,800 gallons per minute at discharge pressures up to 6,600 pounds per square inch and can handle solids up to 1.5 inches in diameter.

To achieve a dual gradient, flow from a well being drilled is diverted to the MaxLift 1800, which is located above the blow out preventer and pumps the cuttings-laden mud back to the drilling vessel in an auxiliary line.

The riser is then filled with seawater-density fluid, so the reservoir “feels” as if the rig is located on the seabed because the pump prevents the hydrostatic pressure of the mud from being transmitted back to the wellbore. The result is longer casing strings and larger diameter completions, as well as better drilling efficiency and less mechanical risk and well costs, GE said.


Proserv Releases Updated Multistring Cutting Tool
Proserv (Aberdeenshire, Scotland) unveiled in May its next-generation subsea cutting tool that provides complete well severance and can reduce in-well operational time up to 50 percent.

Measuring approximately 3 meters long and 20 centimeters in diameter, the multistring cutting tool is a customizable internal multistring conductor cutter that provides complete well severance from deployment to cutting operation and recovery within 12 hours. The tool’s redesigned cutting head now includes wireless data transmission technology, which removes the need for data cables and eliminates the threat of cable damage while improving control.

MSC tool development began more than two years ago in response to client demand for a subsea cutting device that could sever fully grouted or nongrouted casing strings. To date, the MSC tool has successfully severed 42 wells, Proserv said.


GE to Build Oil and Gas Training Facility in Houston
GE Energy (Atlanta, Georgia) an­nounced in May that it is investing $10 million to develop a new oil and gas training facility in Houston, Texas, to support and advance training and development for its customers and employees, with a focus on customer, technical and leadership skills to meet the changing needs and growing global demand for drilling technologies.

The 50,000-square-foot facility will be the company’s main oil and gas training facility in the U.S., scheduled to open in the fourth quarter this year. It will create approximately 100 technical jobs in Houston to support the growth of GE’s Drilling Systems business, which is headquartered at the same location.

GE presently has nine business units employing approximately 6,000 people in 30 locations across the greater Houston area, directly and indirectly contributing $5.6 billion per year to the state’s economy, GE said.


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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