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Offshore Oil & Ocean Engineering

2015:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL
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April 2015 Issue

Haliade 150 Turbines For Deepwater Wind Farm
Alstom (Levallois-Perret, France) has received formal notice to proceed (NTP) from developers of the Deepwater Wind project, which is poised to become America’s first commercial offshore wind farm. It will feature five Alstom Haliade 150 6-megawatt offshore wind turbines.

The turbines, capable of producing approximately 125,000 megawatt-hours of electricity annually, will provide about 90 percent of Block Island’s power needs.

Located about 3 miles off the coast of Block Island, Rhode Island, the Block Island Wind Farm is scheduled for commercial service in the fourth quarter of 2016.


Prime Safety Work Complete For Aibel on FPSO
Lloyd’s Register Consulting (London, England) has completed prime safety work packages for Aibel (Stavanger, Norway) on the Vette front-end engineering and design contract for a cylindrical FPSO.

The safety contracts provided by Lloyd’s Register Consulting for Aibel cover quantitative risk assessments, human factors, layers of protection analysis, functional safety, emergency preparedness, additional computational fluid dynamic studies, and flare studies using simulators to assess the flow dynamics of oil, gas and water in pipes and process equipment.

Vette is an oil field located 55 kilometers northwest of the Yme field in the North Sea. Production start up is estimated for 2019.


Funding Competition For Better Fuels
Innovate UK’s funding competition for cleaner, more efficient conventional fuels is now open. A total of £6 million is available to support new technologies that improve efficiency, reduce cost and minimize the environmental impact of coal, natural gas and oil.

Of this fund, £4 million will be set aside for business-led, collaborative R&D projects ranging in size from £250,000 to £1.5 million. One million pounds will be available for smaller-scale feasibility studies. An additional £1 million is available through the National Environment Research Council (NERC) for the academic element of projects that fall within NERC-remit and support and focus on translation of existing research outcomes to meet industry issues and challenges.

The deadline for expressions of interest for collaborative R&D is noon on April 15. The deadline for feasibility studies is noon on June 10.

NERC is also planning a separate five-year £5 million Oil and Gas Innovation Program, with decommissioning as one of the key themes.


EC Study on Perceived LNG Risks, Opportunities
The European Commission (EC) has presented the preliminary results of a study on the perception of the risks and opportunities of LNG as a shipping fuel. The results show that stakeholders recognize the environmental advantages of LNG, but are still uncertain whether they offer a clear business case.

The study takes into account the overall EU policy aimed at reductions of emissions from shipping and the search for alternative energy sources in view of growing constraints on the use of heavy fuels.

The study shows that the major motivation for stakeholders to use LNG is to comply with Emission Controlled Area (ECA) zone requirements and the related positive environmental effects. The study also shows the most critical issues for further deployment are the financing and the pricing of LNG. For many companies, LNG does not offer a profitable business model yet. The lack of existing bunkering infrastructure for LNG is another important barrier, the study shows.

Final results of the study will become available in June/July 2015.


BOEM Offshore Lease Sale For Western Gulf of Mexico
BOEM will offer more than 21 million acres offshore Texas for oil and gas exploration and development in a lease sale that will include all available unleased areas in the Western Gulf of Mexico Planning Area. Proposed Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 246, scheduled in New Orleans in August, will be the eighth offshore sale under the Barack Obama Administration’s Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012 to 2017.

Sale 246 will include approximately 4,000 blocks, covering roughly 21.8 million acres, located from 9 to 250 miles offshore, in water depths ranging from 16 to more than 10,975 feet. BOEM estimates the proposed lease sale could result in the production of 116 to 200 million barrels of oil and 538 to 938 billion cubic feet of natural gas.


BSEE, BOEM Propose Regulations For Safe Arctic OCS Drilling
The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) and BOEM released proposed regulations to ensure that future exploratory drilling activities on the U.S. Arctic Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) are done safely and responsibly.

The proposed Arctic-specific regulations focus solely on offshore exploration drilling within the Beaufort Sea and Chukchi Sea Planning Areas. They codify and further develop current Arctic-specific operational standards that seek to ensure that operators take the necessary steps to plan through all phases of offshore exploration in the Arctic, including mobilization, drilling, maritime transport and emergency response, and conduct safe drilling operations while in theater.

The proposed regulations codify requirements that all Arctic offshore operators and their contractors are appropriately prepared for Arctic conditions and that operators have developed an integrated operations plan that details all phases of the exploration program for advance planning and risk assessment.

The proposed rule would require operators to submit region-specific oil spill response plans, have prompt access to source control and containment equipment, and have available a separate relief rig to timely drill a relief well in the event of a loss of well control.

The proposed rule continues to allow for technological innovation, provided that the level of safety and environmental performance satisfies the standards set forth.


2015:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL
2014:  JAN | FEB | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUG | SEPT | OCT | NOV | DEC

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