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Offshore Oil & Ocean Engineering


May 2016 Issue

200-kN Seabed CPT
For Vattenfall Investigation

Horizon Geosciences’ 200-kN Seabed CPT system was used recently with great success on a complex geotechnical site investigation for Vattenfall, offshore Denmark. Horizon’s scope of work centered on turbine locations in the North Sea wind farm, as well as infield cable routes. The program of work included downhole sampling and CPT testing, seismic CPT testing, pressure meter testing, P-S Logging, vibrocoring and seabed CPTs.

Real-Time Downhole
Data for Deepwater Install

XACT Downhole Telemetry Inc. delivered an industry first by providing real-time downhole data during a deepwater completion installation with BP in the Gulf of Mexico.

BP successfully accessed real-time downhole data throughout the well’s completion using XACT’s acoustic telemetry network.

Six downhole measurement nodes from XACT spanned the 22,700-ft. well, enabling BP to monitor critical parameters, including downhole weight on the crossover tool, and pressures and temperatures during the well’s completion.

State of Big Data
In Oil and Gas

Only one in five oil and gas companies see themselves as highly digitalized today, but 45 percent of senior oil and gas professionals already see solid or high potential for big data and analytics to transform the operating efficiency of the industry in 2016, according to research by DNV GL.

The research among more than 900 senior oil and gas professionals reveals that despite its potential, only 36 percent plan significant or moderate investment in big data and analytics in 2016. The IT-related technology expected by most respondents to have significant or high investment is cybersecurity attack/prevention (44 percent), followed by automation/remote operation (43 percent).

Early adopters are emerging, but many in the industry are still at early stages of maturity in data analytics and data-based decision making. Collaboration could prove essential to bridge this digital gap and ensure experience transfer in the conservation of data, efficiency drivers and ways to ultimately leverage the opportunities big data represent for the industry.

BSEE, NASA Partner
On Risk Management

The U.S. Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and NASA have announced a five-year agreement allowing BSEE to capitalize on the best risk management approaches from the aeronautics industry to inform stakeholders and further strengthen worker and environmental safety protections on the Outer Continental Shelf.

NASA will assist BSEE in achieving three primary objectives: further development of BSEE’s risk management capability through the use of NASA’s probabilistic risk assessment technique; evaluation, design and testing of technologies and hardware, including emerging technologies and best available and safest technologies; and assessment of failures and near-miss occurrences using the resources and expertise of NASA.

“Whether the task takes one to deep space, or into the deep ocean, the analysis of the environment, training of personnel and risk mitigation factors are similar,” said Jack James, technology transfer strategist at the NASA Johnson Space Center.

Regulation Update for
Offshore Air Quality

Updated air quality regulations have bene proposed that will more accurately account for emissions from offshore oil and gas activity, effectively ensuring that those activities do not significantly harm air quality. The proposal updates 36-year-old regulations and incorporates BOEM’s recent Arctic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) jurisdiction over air quality. The proposed changes will reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), nitrogen oxide (NOx), sulfur oxide (SOx), carbon monoxide (CO), and particulate matter (PM).

These changes will also give the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement better tools to assess air quality compliance for OCS operations.

Third Phase Progresses
For Parque das Conchas

Shell and its joint venture announced the start of oil production from the third phase of the deep-water Parque das Conchas (BC-10) development in Brazil’s Campos Basin. Production for this final phase is expected to add up to 20,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day (boe/d) at peak production, from fields that have already produced more than 100 million barrels since 2009.

These barrels, like other subsea tieback opportunities across Shell’s deepwater portfolio, have development cost advantages and will contribute to the strong production growth Shell expects from offshore Brazil.

Shell has a strong development pipeline following the completion of the BG combination, across offshore Brazil, the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, Nigeria and Malaysia. Parque das Conchas Phase Three comprises five producing wells in two Campos Basin fields (Massa and O-South) and two water-injection wells.The subsea wells sit in water depths greater than 5,900 ft. and connect to an FPSO vessel located more than 90 mi. offshore Brazil.

This is the latest major deepwater project for Shell. Shell’s deepwater projects in development include Stones and Appomattox in the Gulf of Mexico.

Malaysia’s First MultiClient
Seismic Program

As a result of a new initiative by PETRONAS to stimulate offshore E&P investment activity, PETRONAS, through Malaysia Petroleum Management (MPM), has decided to open an area of Malaysian offshore waters to the MultiClient model for the first time.

A consortium comprising PGS, TGS and Schlumberger WesternGeco, the industry’s three largest MultiClient companies, has successfully won the tender for the rights to undertake a MultiClient seismic program offshore Sabah.

The consortium is planning to apply a combination of the industry’s most advanced technology solutions, including multisensor acquisition using PGS’s GeoStreamer and WesternGeco IsoMetrix marine isometric seismic technology, PGS’s Towed Streamer EM technology and advanced broadband 2D acquisition and processing techniques.


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Sea Technology is read worldwide in more than 110 countries by management, engineers, scientists and technical personnel working in industry, government and educational research institutions. Readers are involved with oceanographic research, fisheries management, offshore oil and gas exploration and production, undersea defense including antisubmarine warfare, ocean mining and commercial diving.