D&C News

Angola Block 31 developments get green light

Sonangol E.P. has authorized BP and its co-venturers to develop a series of deepwater oil discoveries in offshore Angola’s Block 31. The program is based on a standardized development concept intended to reduce cycle time, optimize capital and maximize operating efficiency through standardized design, fabrication and commissioning.

The first project in the program will comprise the Plutão, Saturno, Vênus and Marte (PSVM) fields, which lie in the northeast sector of Block 31, in a water depth of approximately 2,000 m, some 400 km northwest of Luanda. Construction work is expected to start during 2008, with first oil planned in 2011 and building to a plateau of about 150,000 bbl/day by 2012.

BP and its co-venturers have announced 15 discoveries in Block 31 to date. Full development will comprise multiple hubs similar to the PSVM development. The second development will be in the southeast area of Block 31 and is in the planning phase.

Maersk Resolute jackup delivered 3 days early

Keppel FELS has delivered the Maersk Resolute jackup to Maersk Contractors three days ahead of schedule. It is the second in a series of four high-efficiency jackups being built for Maersk. The rig has been contracted to Dong Energy for operations in the Danish part of the North Sea for three years.

The rigs have a maximum operating depth of 350 ft and are suitable for drilling deep, high-temperature, high-pressure wells up to 30,000 ft. They are also highly automated for safe operations.

Deliveries of these rigs are scheduled at half-yearly intervals. The first rig, Maersk Resilient, was delivered in February 2008 and has commenced operations for Dubai Petroleum.

Production starts from Nigeria’s large Agbami Field

Chevron’s Nigerian affiliate Star Deep Water Petroleum has commenced crude oil production from the Agbami Field offshore Nigeria. First oil from the Agbami Field was achieved on 29 July 2008 from a FPSO. Initial production is expected to be more than 100,000 bbl/day and is projected to increase to 250,000 bbl/day by the end of 2009.

The Agbami Field, discovered in 1998, is the largest deepwater discovery in Nigeria and is estimated to hold potentially recoverable volumes of 900 million bbl.

“Chevron and our partners have reached an exciting milestone for a major project 10 years in the making. Production from Agbami will now bring new energy supplies to the world market and help provide long-term, sustainable returns to our shareholders,” said Ali Moshiri, president of Chevron Africa and Latin America Exploration and Production.

“Agbami is a world-class project, and I’m particularly proud that Agbami represents the industry’s largest-ever support of Nigerian content.” The Agbami project set a new benchmark for Nigerian local content, including the largest module ever fabricated in Nigeria.

Chevron is the operator and has a 68.2% interest. Its partners include the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp, Famfa Oil, Petrobras and Statoil.

Samsung sets sights on hot Latin American shipbuilding market

Samsung Heavy Industries (SHI) has announced in that it is “out to dominate the Latin American marine market.” It is buying a stake in EAS (Estaleiro Atlantico Sul), a Brazilian shipyard that SHI has been providing technology support for since 2006. According to SHI, EAS is the largest shipyard to be built in the Latin American region.

SHI is making a US$12.8 million acquisition for 10% of EAS Shipyard. The company believes the deal will enable SHI “to hold a dominant position in terms of receiving orders for the total of USD 30 billion worth of drillships and semisubmersible drilling rigs that Brazil intends to demand.”

Construction of the EAS Shipyard began in April 2007 at the Suape complex in Eastern Brazil, and the yard has a size of 1.65 million sq m. Camargo, Queiroz and PJMR, all from Brazil, invested a total of US$220 million into this shipyard. SHI’s acquisition will allow Camargo and Queiroz each to hold a 40% stake, while SHI and PJMR will hold a 10% stake each. The shipyard will boast a dock that is 400 m long and 73 m wide. Upon completion in September 2009, it will have a ship production capacity of 160,000 tons.

Petrobras to operate 63 offshore rigs by 2017

Petrobras CFO Almir Barbassa announced that the company intends to put new offshore drilling rigs into operation and to close 2017 with 63 units in use in deepwater and ultra-deepwater. This is nearly double the amount of drilling rigs currently in operation. Mr Barbassa said Petrobras is encouraging foreign companies to install activities in Brazil, particularly in partnership with Brazilian companies, on driving the entrance of new companies and boosting productive capacity in highly competitive sectors.

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