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December 2012 Issue

Shell Arctic Drilling Season Cut Short With Delays
Royal Dutch Shell plc (The Hague, Netherlands) completed its drilling season off the Arctic coast of Alaska at the end of October, having drilled the top portions of the Burger-A well in the Chukchi Sea and the Sivulliq well in the Beaufort Sea but not attempting to penetrate deeper reservoirs, The Washington Post reported.

The initial goal was to drill six exploration wells, but the company considers the season a success.

Drilling was conducted to a depth of 1,400 feet. The two top holes will be the foundation for a pair of exploratory wells. Next year, drillships will uncap the holes and drill to oil-bearing rock.

Alaska’s open-water season lasts about four months, but ice lasted longer than anticipated in the area where Shell was planning to drill in the Chukchi. Soon after drilling began in September in that area, Shell moved its drillship to avoid an ice floe. Delays in retrofitting a spill containment barge for U.S. Coast Guard inspection and damage to Shell’s oil spill containment dome during sea trials also cut the season short.

When time ran out to complete an exploration well before the end of the open-water season, the U.S. Interior Department gave Shell permission to drill the tops of its wells and to set in place blowout preventers.

Shell used two drillships and about 20 support vessels in the Arctic to conduct seafloor drilling for the first time in more than two decades, Associated Press reported. The company has an Arctic offshore investment of about $4.5 billion, including $2.1 billion for Chukchi leases.


Floating LNG Market To Total $47.4 Billion in 2013 to 2019
The emergence of floating liquefaction will drive a significant increase in total global capital expenditure (capex) over the 2013 to 2019 period, Douglas-Westwood Ltd. (Canterbury, England) said in November.

Douglas-Westwood forecast that expenditure is set to total $47.4 billion over the 2013-2019 period, with more than $28 billion spent on floating LNG (FLNG) liquefaction and $19.1 billion on import terminals.

While expenditure is expected to increase in the existing regasification market, the liquefaction sector is forecast to overshadow this, as capex associated with a floating liquefaction terminal is more than triple that of a typical floating import terminal.

Economic growth is driving electricity demand in the developing world, and Asia will be a focus region for both liquefaction and regasification terminals, accounting for 35 percent of global capex. Australasia will account for 22 percent of the market, largely due to a number of liquefaction projects. Latin America will represent 17 percent of global FLNG expenditure, with projects involving both offshore liquefaction and regasification vessels.

Declining onshore hydrocarbon production, high oil prices and a move away from coal and nuclear energy is driving increasing offshore gas exploration. The emergence of vast offshore conventional gas resources will offer a more predictable long-term supply source.

The challenge of how to access the substantial volumes of conventional offshore natural gas reserves is bringing new technology to the fore. For instance, FLNG is the favored option for export from Israel’s Tamar project and follows commitments by Royal Dutch Shell plc (The Hague, Netherlands) and Petronas (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) to proceed with construction of FLNG vessels.

Shell has begun construction of its first FLNG unit.


Cameron and Schlumberger Form Subsea Joint Venture
Cameron (Houston, Texas) and Schlumberger Ltd. (Houston) announced in November the creation of OneSubsea, a joint venture to manufacture and develop products, systems and services for the subsea oil and gas market.

OneSubsea will focus on research and engineering investment, including complementary projects with the parent companies, towards the integration of the complete subsea production system from pore space to the export point in order to unlock reservoir potential.

Cameron and Schlumberger have 60-40 ownership of the joint venture, respectively, and the transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Cameron will manage the new company.

Cameron will contribute its existing subsea division and receive $600 million from Schlumberger. Schlumberger will contribute its Framo, Surveillance, Flow Assurance and Power and Controls businesses.


GE Opens Australia Training Center for LNG Sector
GE (Fairfield, Connecticut) opened in November its skills development center in Jandakot, Australia, which is part of GE’s technology and learning facility, to support the growth of the country’s resources industry, including the LNG production sector.

Australia is expected to be one of the largest LNG exporters in the world by 2020, but the country faces a critical shortage of trained, skilled workers in the resources sector to meet this demand. The government has forecast that around 70,000 skilled jobs need to be created in Western Australia alone, where the center is located, to meet the demands of that sector.

GE is committed to training more than 300 people a year at the center, which will also provide oil and gas sector training.

The center is the result of collaboration among industry associations, government and leading businesses.

C&C Technologies Opens New Brazil Office for C-Nav DGNSS
C & C Technologies, Inc. (Lafayette, Louisiana) opened an office for its C-Nav division in October in Macaé, Brazil. The office will handle sales and support for C-Nav, a differential global navigation satellite system (DGNSS) with precise point positioning that offers globally corrected DGNSS and real-time integrity monitoring.

The Macaé office expands C&C’s business in South America, based primarily in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.


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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