2010DC MicrositesJanuary/February

D&C News


EDC’s two new jackups, the Sneferu and the Setty, are aimed specifically at deep-gas drilling.

Noble Energy to boost Wattenberg drilling

Noble Energy is moving to acquire substantially all of the Rockies upstream assets of Petro-Canada Resources and Suncor Energy America for $494 million. Included in the purchase is 340,000 total net acres, nearly 200,000 of which are in the Greater DJ Basin. Noble has identified several thousand projects associated with these assets, including over 2,000 Codell/Niobrara drilling locations in Wattenberg. The company plans to add two rigs to its Wattenberg program in 2010 as a result of the transaction, increasing its operated activity in the field to eight rigs.

Apache’s Egypt discovery tests successfully

Apache Corp’s WKAL-A-2X discovery has tested 5,085 barrels of oil and 130,000 cu ft of gas per day, the fourth successful exploration test in West Kalabsha Concession and the company’s sixth discovery in the Faghur Basin play in Egypt. The company has identified additional prospects and is acquiring more 3D seismic in the Faghur Basin. Apache plans to drill seven additional exploration wells in the Faghur Basin play in 2010.

KCA DEUTAG wins CNR platforms contract

KCA DEUTAG has been awarded a contract to carry out platform drilling and completion services for CNR International in the North Sea. The contract, which is for three years (plus two one-year options), commenced in mid-December and covers the Ninian North, South and Central platforms, and the Murchison and Tiffany platforms.

Devon’s GOM projects going to Maersk

Devon Energy agreed to sell its interests in three Gulf of Mexico Lower Tertiary projects to Maersk Oil for $1.3 billion. The agreement covers Devon’s 50% working interest in the Cascade project and its 25% interests in the Jack and St Malo projects. This move is part of Devon’s plan to divest all Gulf of Mexico and international assets and reposition itself as a North American onshore company.

Hess, Shell agree to asset swap

Hess Corp has reached agreement with Shell for a strategic asset trade that will double Hess’ interest in a pair of Norwegian offshore fields, Valhall and Hod, to 56.18% and 50%, respectively. In return, Shell will assume Hess’ 9.29% interest in the Clair field (UK North Sea) and all of Hess’ interests in Gabon, including production fields Rabi Kounga (Hess 10%), Atora (Hess 40%) and Toucan (Hess 50%) and the Ozigo exploration permit.

Egyptian Drilling jackups named at PPL shipyard

Two Egyptian Drilling Company (EDL) jackups were named in Singapore at the PPL shipyard in December – Sneferu and Setty. Sneferu is known as the founder of the fourth dynasty of Egypt and the entrepreneur of the first pyramids, whereas Setty is known as a great warrior and forefather to the 19th Egyptian dynasty. Both rigs are Baker Marine Pacific class, capable of drilling to depths of 30,000 ft in water depths up to 375 ft. The rigs are marketed throughout the Middle East and – with HPHT capabilities, high variable load and their other general specs – are aimed specifically at deep-gas drilling. The Sneferu is under commissioning for delivery in January 2010, and the Setty is set to be delivered by mid-year.

Itaipu, Lucius mark further exploration successes for Anadarko

Anadarko Petroleum has announced its second pre-salt discovery in Brazil at the Itaipu prospect, as well as a discovery at the Lucius exploration well in Keathley Canyon Block 875 in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Itaipu well, in block BM-C-32 in the Campos Basin, encountered more than 90 net ft of oil. It had been drilled to around 16,300 ft in 4,400 ft of water.

The Lucius well encountered more than 200 ft of net pay in subsalt Pliocene and Miocene sands. It was drilled to a total depth of about 20,000 ft in approximately 7,100 ft of water using the ENSCO 8500 semisubmersible. Plans were to drill an up-dip sidetrack appraisal well to delineate the reservoir’s extent. It will be drilled on the same block, approximately 3,200 ft due south of the discovery.

Anadarko believes that the proximity and availability of its Red Hawk cell spar enhances potential development options and could accelerate its production.

Construction lead time for the ENSCO 8502 was improved by 1.1 million manhours compared with the first rig in the series, according to Keppel.
Construction lead time for the ENSCO 8502 was improved by 1.1 million manhours compared with the first rig in the series, according to Keppel.

Leiv Eiriksson arrives for Black Sea deepwater well

Ocean Rig’s Leiv Eiriksson semi arrived in Sinop, Turkey, in early January from Norway’s Westcon Shipyard, where it was preparing for operations in the Black Sea for Petrobras. The main element of the project has been to dismantle the upper part of the drilling derrick so the rig could pass under two suspension bridges while crossing the Bosporus straits. The derrick was split by using a skid and jacking system consisting of a jacking tower erected on the aft riser deck. Once jacked down on riser deck, the derrick was sea-fastened for the journey to the Black Sea. In Sinop, the derrick will be reassembled and the rig will undergo acceptance testing. The first well it will drill, Sinop 1, is planned to be in 2,240 m of water.

Chesapeake, Total to join in Barnett Shale venture

Chesapeake Energy Corp announced the execution of an agreement for a $2.25 billion joint venture with Total E&P USA where Total will acquire a 25% interest in Chesapeake’s upstream Barnett Shale assets. Total will pay $800 million in cash at closing and an additional $1.45 billion by funding 60% of Chesapeake’s share of drilling and completion expenditures until the $1.45 billion obligation has been funded, which Chesapeake expects to occur by year-end 2012. Closing is anticipated by the end of January 2010.

The assets of the joint venture include approximately 270,000 net acres of leasehold in the Core and Tier 1 areas of the Barnett, approximately 700 million cu ft of natural gas equivalent per day of current net production.

Newfield, Anadarko gain Maverick Basin acreage

Newfield Exploration and Anadarko Petroleum announced a joint transaction to acquire TXCO Resources’ assets in the Maverick Basin of Southwest Texas for up to $310 million. Closing is expected in mid-February 2010. Anadarko would acquire more than 80,000 net acres in this basin and increase its operated working interest in these properties to 75%. Newfield would acquire substantially all of TXCO’s remaining assets in the basin, which include more than 350,000 gross acres. Current net production of the assets to be acquired by Newfield is 1,500 bbl of oil equivalent per day, of which two-thirds is oil. The acreage has multiple geologic targets, primarily in the Eagleford and Pearsall formations.

Seadrill rig delivery makes for a total 13 for Keppel in 2009

Keppel FELS recently delivered the semisubmersible West Vencedor to Seadrill, closing 2009 with a total of 13 rig deliveries from the busy shipyard. All were delivered on time and within budget, according to Keppel.

The West Vencedor is expected to commence development drilling operations offshore Angola under a five-year contract with Cabinda Gulf Oil Company, a Chevron subsidiary, in Q1 2010.

Keppel also expects to deliver the ENSCO 8502, the third of seven ENSCO 8500 series rigs that Keppel is building for the contractor, in early 2010. The rig is expected to begin operations in the US Gulf of Mexico under a two-year contract with Nexen Petroleum in Q2 2010.

Separately, Keppel announced it has won a contract with Noble Corp to upgrade and repair a Brazil-based drillship. This follows on the heels of two other contracts secured in November 2009 to upgrade two other Noble drillships. The work will include fabrication, repair and replacement of components, including the stern section, accommodation blocks, sponsons and heliport.

Crosco extends Ocean King charter

CROSCO Integrated Drilling & Well Services has secured a 219-day extension, with options, of the bareboat charter contract with Diamond Offshore for the use of the Ocean King jackup. The extension is a direct continuation of the two-year bareboat charter that expired in November 2009. CROSCO will continue to provide services with the rig to clients in the Adriatic Sea.

Northern Offshore secures contracts

Northern Offshore UK announced two contracts, one with Caspian Drilling Co for support services for drilling operations in the Caspian Sea, and another is an extension of drilling services with Maersk Oil & Gas for the Energy Endeavour jackup.

The Caspian contract is two years and consists of technical and operational support in management of the Dada Gorgud semi in acreage operated by BP.

The Maersk extension is for work on an additional well, plus an optional workover well. It is expected to keep the Energy Endeavour under contract in Denmark until late January or mid-February 2010, if the option is exercised. Northern Offshore will then take the rig to Esbjerg for upgrades of rig accommodations.

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