D&C News

KCA DEUTAG, Bentec unveil new rig design

KCA DEUTAG and Bentec Drilling and Oilfield Services unveiled the first of a new land rig design, called the Nomad Class, developed for desert terrain conditions such as North Africa and the Middle East. A second Nomad Class rig is scheduled for completion in September 2007, with further Nomad rigs under consideration. T-211 will be mobilised in the third quarter 2007 to Algeria to work for BP/Sonatrach under a one-year contract.

The Nomad Class rig was designed in response to demand for highly mobile and more efficient drilling rigs capable of drilling wells to 15,000 ft or deeper, said Claus Chur, KCA DEUTAG director technical and procurement. “Existing rigs can take more than 10 days to move between locations whereas the Nomad Rig is designed to take 5 days to move up to 10 km between well locations over flat terrain.”

Believed to be the first rig of its kind developed in Europe, the design concept of the Nomad Class rig took four months to develop. According to Bentec, at least two more rigs of this Class are in the pipeline for other clients.

Separately, KCA DEUTAG has entered into an agreement to operate three tender barge rigs with Ferncliff TIH AS. Ferncliff is acquiring the three barges from Pride International.

Apache’s Julimar East-1 exploratory well logs 224 ft of net gas pay in 6 reservoirs on Australia’s Northwest Shelf

Apache Corp announced the Julimar East-1 exploratory/appraisal well on Australia’s Northwest Shelf logged 224 ft of net gas pay in six sandstone reservoirs of the Triassic Mungaroo formation. Julimar East-1 was drilled 3.6 miles northeast of the April 2007 Julimar-1 discovery, which encountered 132 ft of net gas in four zones. Production tests on two zones in the discovery flowed at a combined rate of 85 MMcf/day, precluding the need for further testing of the Julimar East-1. Three of the six intersected pay zones in Julimar East-1 are stratigraphically equivalent to gas-bearing reservoirs in the Julimar-1 well. The well will be suspended as a future production well.

The Sedco 703 rig used to drill the Julimar East-1 will next drill Rosella, another 1 Tcf-potential gas prospect about 3.6 miles southwest of the John Brookes Field, currently producing 250 MMcf/day of gas from three wells.

Transocean grants worldwide license to use dual-activity methods, equipment to Noble

A subsidiary of Transocean has granted Noble Corp a worldwide license to use Transocean’s patents for offshore dual-activity drilling methods and structures on the Noble Clyde Boudreaux, currently working in the US Gulf of Mexico. This agreement follows a settlement of Transocean’s February 2007 patent infringement suit against Noble. Transocean agreed to license the rig for the life of the dual-activity patents for an undisclosed royalty, but Noble may terminate the agreement after the initial two years of the rig’s contract with Shell if Noble removes the dual-activity capability from the rig. Noble also has agreed not to challenge Transocean’s dual-activity patents in the future.

Transocean developed the dual-activity design in 1996 to more efficiently construct wells in deepwater through the use of two complete drilling systems, allowing parallel drilling operations to be conducted on a single well.

Pride sells Latin America businesses units

Pride International will sell its Latin American land-based drilling and workover business and its E&P Services business to Latin America-based GP Investments. Following the close of the transaction — expected by the third quarter 2007 — Pride’s remaining land-based drilling and workover operations will consist of five land drilling and workover rigs in Chad, along with two other land rigs located in Kazakhstan and Pakistan.

Pride president and CEO Louis A Raspino called the move in keeping with the company’s strategic direction to focus on deepwater and other high-spec assets. The Latin American land business unit includes 73 land drilling rigs, 135 workover rigs and two lake drilling barges. GP Investments will pay $1 billion in cash at closing for the two business segments.

The company also will sell its fleet of three self-erecting, tender-assist rigs to Ferncliff TIH AS of Norway for $214 million in cash. The sale is expected to close by January 2008.

NDC rig safety milestone

Abu Dhabi-based National Drilling Company’s rig ND-17 recently completed 12 years of operations without a lost-time injury. In this time, the rig has worked more than 5 million manhours, and more than one million of footage has been drilled in more than 110 wells, including drilling and re-entry.

H&P signs FlexRig deals

Helmerich & Payne IDC has signed two three-year term contracts with an E&P company to operate two new FlexRigs. The name of the customer and terms were not disclosed. This brings to 77 the total number of new FlexRig commitments with at least three-year term contracts announced since March 2005. To date, 64 of the newbuilds have been completed, with the remaining 13 scheduled for completion by the second quarter of fiscal 2008.

Anadarko makes discovery at Mahogany-1 well in deepwater Ghana

Anadarko Petroleum Corp announced an oil discovery at the Mahogany-1 exploration well on the deepwater West Cape Three Points Block offshore the Republic of Ghana. The well, is located in a water depth of 4,330 ft, has encountered a gross hydrocarbon column of approximately 885 ft, with
312 ft of net stakced pay in a Cretaceous sandstone reservoir. As of mid-June, the well had been drilled to a depth of about 12,083 ft and was planned to
reach a total depth of 13,780 ft. The well was drilled using the Belford Dolphin drillship. Once work on the Mahogany-1 is complete, the rig will be moved to drill the Sota-1 well in Block 4 offshore Benin.

Petrobras finds deeper reservoirs in Pirambu Field

Petrobras announced that well 4-ESS-175-ES, drilled in Pirambu Field, has found deeper reservoirs saturated with light oil positioned on the pre-salt section, with a total thickness of 60 m, which presented a production of about 1,250 bbls/day in the drill stem test performed in cased vertical hole, in a water depth of 1,270 m and a final of 4,751 m. This result confirms the potential of this producer interval.

The well is located in the old block BC-60, on the shore of the state of Espirito Santo, at nearly 125 km south of the city of Vitoria, and integrates the Pirambu field, which had already discovered oil in Tertiary reservoirs and is located in the northern portion of the Campos Basin.

Click It! campaign promotes lifting safety

A new safety campaign called “Click It!” to encourage all users of boom type platforms to wear a full-body harness with a short lanyard attached to a suitable anchor point has been launched by Aerial Work Platform Training (AWPT) in North America. The initiative came from companies wanting to prevent people are dying in boom type lifts because they are not wearing a harness that would keep them from being thrown or catapulted from the platform. To remind and encourage people to wear a harness, AWPT printed the advice on stickers that can be placed on the boom lift where they can be seen by all occupants in the platform.

Called “Clunk Click!” in the UK where it was introduced, the campaign is being promoted worldwide. Thousands of stickers have been printed and distributed. More information is available online at www.awpt.org.

Chevron, partners make significant discovery offshore Angola with Malange-1 well

Chevron’s subsidiary Cabinda Gulf Oil Co. and its partners have made a significant oil discovery in Block 14 offshore Angola. The discovery well, Malange-1, was drilled in December 2006 in 873 ft (266 m) of water to a total vertical depth of 15,562 ft (4,743 m). The well encountered 212 net ft (64.6 net m) of oil in the Cretaceous-age Pinda reservoir. The well was tested in March 2007 and flowed high-quality crude at a rate of 7,669 bbls of oil/day. Malange-1 is the first Pinda discovery in Block 14 and the 11th exploration discovery made in Block 14 since 1997.

Additionally, Chevron announced the successful conclusion of a production test of the Rosebank appraisal well 205/1-1, West of Shetland. The discovery is in about 3,700 ft of water about 100 miles northwest of the Shetland Islands. During the production test, the well flowed at choked rates of 6,000 bbls/day. 205/1-2 is the second appraisal well drilled in Rosebank as part of a three-well program conducted for Chevron and its partners by the Transocean Rather. The deviated well located at the southern end of the Rosebank structure encountered more than 80 ft of vertical oil pay in sands at a depth of about 9,000 ft TVDSS. The rig is moving to the third appraisal well location in the northern part of the structure to drill well 213/27-A2. The program is expected to be completed by November 2007.

Separately, Chevron announced that its $3.5 billion Tahiti project in the Gulf of Mexico will face delays because of metallurgical problems discovered in the facility’s mooring shackles. Additional testing of the shackles was ordered after Chevron’s contractor discovered a metallurgical problem with shackles on a similar installation for another company. Steel shackles are used to connect various components of a mooring line together. The Tahiti project is located in deepwater Gulf of Mexico about 190 miles south of New Orleans. It was scheduled for completion in mid-2008.

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