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Offshore Oil & Ocean Engineering


September 2014 Issue

Western Gulf Lease Sale 238 to Offer Acres Offshore Texas
BOEM offered in August more than 21 million acres offshore Texas for oil and gas exploration and development in Western Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 238, the sixth offshore sale under the Barack Obama Administration’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2012 to 2017.

Sale 238 offered 4,026 blocks, covering 21.6 million acres, located nine to 250 miles offshore, at depths of 16 to 10,975 feet.

BOEM estimates the 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.

BOEM offered blocks located, or partially located, within the 3 statute mile U.S.-Mexico Boundary Area, as well as blocks within the former Western Gap that lie within 1.4 nautical miles north of the Continental Shelf Boundary between the U.S. and Mexico.

The terms of this sale include stipulations to protect biologically sensitive resources, mitigate potential adverse effects on protected species, and avoid potential conflicts associated with oil and gas development in the region.

As of July, BOEM has administered more than 6,100 active oil and gas leases covering nearly 34 million OCS acres.

IWCF Looking for Volunteers for Well Control Task Forces
The International Well Control Forum (IWCF) is establishing technical task forces involving industry specialists to help drive up the quality of well control training, ensuring it remains current and relevant. The nonprofit sets international training standards for well control and is making the move as part of a raft of new measures in response to the International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (OGP) guidelines following the Macondo incident in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

IWCF seeks industry volunteers to take up roles on eight new task forces on drilling, well intervention and completion, quality of training, level five, crew resource management, enhanced certificate renewal, strategy group, and high pressure high temperature. The taskforces will comprise IWCF board members, member center representatives and independent industry specialists.

Those interested in joining a taskforce should email taskforces@iwcf.org.

New Headquarters for Paradigm Flow Services
Paradigm Flow Services has invested £4.25 million in a new headquarters and test center as it advances its global ambitions. The company is taking a 15-year lease on Paradigm House in Drumoak, Scotland, that will provide capacity for up to 80 people as it ramps up its international operations. This comes as the firm has delivered more than £7.5 million worth of contracts in the first half of this year.

The new building will comprise an 18,000-square-foot office and workshop and a 51,000-square-foot yard housing an advanced test center, providing scope for Paradigm Flow Services to fully develop and refurbish equipment under one roof. These facilities for firewater deluge, subsea systems, specialist industrial cleaning, and pressure testing will also be available for oil and gas companies to utilize for trials and training purposes.

New Offshore Helicopter Training Course
With 2.3 million passengers travelling to work on offshore installations by helicopter in the Gulf of Mexico every year, OPITO, the oil and gas industry’s training standards body, is making sure every worker has the necessary training to get to work and return home safely every trip.

OPITO has set new, higher standards for Tropical Helicopter Underwater Escape Training (THUET).

The training has increased from four hours to a one-day course that must be repeated every four years. It covers how to get out of a helicopter in the event of a ditching or controlled landing on sea, as well as rig abandonment and sea survival.

The training takes an individual through many scenarios to get them comfortable with a safe evacuation of the helicopter, whether upright or submerged and upside down.

“To date, survival training in the Gulf of Mexico has been sporadic with no common standard and no common quality control,” said Albert Skiba, OPITO’s vice president Gulf of Mexico, explaining the need for new standards.

OPITO has developed this common training standard in partnership with industry.

OPITO’s Tropical Basic Offshore Safety Induction Emergency Training standard, which includes THUET, is not mandatory in the Gulf of Mexico, but the organization is hopeful that it will eventually become a statutory requirement in this region.

Total is First to use FROG-XT4 in Nigerian Field
Total E&P (Calgary, Canada) is the first to use Reflex Marine’s (Aberdeen, Scotland) newly developed FROG-XT4 on the Odudu field in Nigeria.

The French operator purchased the crew transfer device primarily for carrying out inter-field transfers. They have already found the device to be an invaluable backup method for when adverse weather conditions result in helicopters being unable to fly.

Feedback from Total highlights the advancements on Reflex Marine’s original FROG-3. The FROG-XT4 provides greater comfort and safety to passengers, wider operating parameters and higher capacity transfers. Lifting points are now at eye level, making them easier to access and inspect, and a new stretcher mounting system enables rapid deployment in a medical evacuation. Reflex Marine is now looking to launch a higher capacity version of the product, the FROG-XT10, to the market in the coming months.

Petroecuador Buys More Elastec Oil Spill Response Equipment
Petroecuador (Quito, Ecuador) has acquired two Elastec/American Marine (Carmi, Illinois) TDS136G grooved drum skimmers, two Elastec SeaSkater weir skimmers, a PACS1000-770, two Elastec BoomVane units, 60 sections of oil containment boom and 10 QuickTanks. The oil spill response equipment will be used at Petroecuador’s Esmeraldas facility, the country’s largest refinery. Elastec skimmers have been in service there for more than six years.


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