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Offshore Oil & Ocean Engineering


June 2014 Issue

North Sea Activity to Slow Down in Next Year
The North Sea will experience lower levels of activity over the next year, according to a new report from Deloitte. Drilling and deal activity on the U.K. Continental Shelf (UKCS) will remain at a steady low for at least the next year.

Poor weather and high costs have already had an impact on the amount of exploration and appraisal (E&A) work conducted by operators in the region during the first quarter.

The report found that 12 E&A wells were drilled on the UKCS. Although that represents an increase of five wells compared with the fourth quarter of 2013, it is a decrease of one well compared to the same period last year.

There were also fewer deals completed compared with the same period last year, with 10 reported this quarter compared with 19 a year ago. This is also eight deals fewer than in the final quarter of 2013. Farm-ins, where one company takes a stake in another company's field, remained the most prevalent type of deal, making up 50 percent of the total for offshore U.K.

The drop in deals could be due to a gap in price expectations between vendors and buyers, and significant challenges remain in the region.

When profitable extraction is more challenging for operators, farm-ins are the most popular type of deal. Bringing another company in helps to spread risks and costs within the time frames required. Operators are definitely showing more caution, indicating that incentives from government may be the only way to make the economics more viable. This caution is underlined by the fact that only two gas fields started producing this quarter and one condensate field was approved for development. All of these received the small field allowance.

The tax to bareboat chartering has caused some real concerns. While it doesn't affect operators directly, many expect that the cost will be passed on to them and could discourage drilling.

McDermott Installs Pipe-in-Pipe Flowline Offshore Malaysia
A subsidiary of McDermott International, Inc. (Houston, Texas) has become the first to install rigid reel-lay pipe-in-pipe in Asia-Pacific for the Siakap North-Petai development project offshore Malaysia. At more than 3,900 feet (1,190 meters), the SNP development is one of the industry's most challenging deepwater projects.

McDermott was awarded the full turnkey contract in December 2011 for the project's subsea infrastructure. This includes the design, procurement, fabrication and installation of two complex rigid insulated pipe-in-pipe production flowlines, one rigid water injection and one main umbilical system connecting eight new manifolds and subsea distribution units to existing riser slots.

LNG Bunkering Safety Training Prior to Coast Guard Regs
The Maritime Simulation Institute in Middletown, Rhode Island, is developing an LNG bunkering safety training course. The first session, which is expected to begin in June, will be for New Orleans, Louisiana-based Harvey Gulf International Marine.

The 45-hour bunkering course for Harvey's LNG bunkering persons-in-charge (PIC) will be offered ahead of any U.S. Coast Guard regulations governing LNG bunkering.

The first course likely will include Harvey Gulf masters, mates and engineers. Courses will be offered at MSI facilities at Texas A&M University outside Houston, Texas, and at the Massachusetts Firefighting Academy in Stow, Massachusetts

Harvey's decision to hire MSI comes as it launches its first dual-fuel offshore supply vessel, which will run primarily on LNG and is the first U.S. flag vessel designed to operate on natural gas. Harvey Energy is the first of at least six such Wärtsilä (Helsinki, Finland) 34DF-powered ships.

Trelleborg Gets License to Manufacture in Brazil
Trelleborg's (Trelleborg, Sweden) offshore operation has been awarded its Licença Municipal de Operação (LMO) certification; a municipal license which permits the company to manufacture in Brazil. As a result, Trelleborg has received and delivered its first order for its Vikotherm PT thermal insulation tape, manufactured at its Brazil facility.

Vikotherm thermal insulation is part of the growing suite of subsea ancillary products, which Trelleborg is now able to manufacture locally in Macaé. Other solutions within the company's portfolio include bend protection, Uraduct abrasion protection, vortex induced vibration suppression and thermal insulation (coating and shells).

Trelleborg has several manufacturing facilities in Brazil, in Macaé, São Paulo and São José dos Campos, employing approximately 400 people across five sites, as well as several sales offices to cultivate the local market.

InterMoor Enters Joint Venture With Century Energy in Nigeria
InterMoor (Houston, Texas) is finalizing a joint venture agreement with Century Energy Services Ltd. (Lagos, Nigeria) in Nigeria.

Nigeria is the largest oil producer in Africa.

InterMoor has been working in West Africa for 10 years with bases in Luanda and Malongo in Angola. The company also has experience with rig moves and mooring campaigns in Angola and Equatorial Guinea.

Derrick Douglas, InterMoor's new business development manager in Nigeria, and Osas Uwaifo, Century's managing director for the joint venture, will manage the InterMoor offices in Lagos. Douglas brings 10 years of experience with Shell Nigeria to the job and holds an MBA from Cranfield School of Management in the U.K. Uwaifo is a petroleum engineer with more than 13 years of experience in business development and contract management in the oil and gas industry. She is in charge of business development and commercial activities for Century Group and has a B.Eng. degree in petroleum engineering.

InterMoor has three permanent staff based in Lagos, including a local operations and a local commercial manager.

It also offers shore-based support through its partner at Kidney Island and through the planned yard at the Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Base.


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