Drilling & Completion News

CIMC Raffles delivers ultra-deepwater drilling rig to drill offshore china

The Bluewhale 1, built by Yantai CIMC Raffles Offshore, is the first turnkey project for a Chinese offshore ultra-deepwater field.
The Bluewhale 1, built by Yantai CIMC Raffles Offshore, is the first turnkey project for a Chinese offshore ultra-deepwater field.

Bluewhale 1, an ultra-deepwater semisubmersible built by Yantai CIMC Raffles Offshore, has been named and delivered in Yantai, China. As the first turnkey project for a Chinese offshore ultra-deepwater field, Bluewhale 1 will be operated by China National Petroleum Offshore and Bluewhale Offshore, a subsidiary of CIMC.

The Bluewhale 1 is based on the Frigstad D90 basic design and equipped with a DP-3 system and classed by DNV. The rig has an operational depth of up to 12,000 ft (3,658 m) and drilling depth up to 50,000 ft (15,240 m). The rig is 387 ft (118 m) tall and, according to CIMC Raffles, the 42,000-ton vessel uses 10% less fuel than comparable rigs. It conducted its 25-day sea trials in September last year. The rig is the ninth deepwater semisubmersible delivered by CIMC Raffles.

The rig is currently in the Yellow Sea offshore China. Its sister rig, Bluewhale 2, is scheduled for delivery in Q3 this year. The rigs, originally named Frigstad Shekou and Frigstad Kristiansand, were ordered by Frigstad Deepwater, a company that was jointly owned by Frigstad Offshore Group and CIMC Raffles until last year. They were renamed after operational management of the rigs was taken over by Bluewhale Offshore.

Maersk Gallant jackup to drill Glengorm well for Nexen

Maersk Drilling has been awarded a contract by Nexen Petroleum UK for the Maersk Gallant, a harsh-environment jackup. The contract covers the drilling of the high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) Glengorm exploration well in the UK sector of the North Sea. The contract, for an estimated 140 days, is expected to commence in Q3 2017.

The Maersk Gallant recently drilled an ultra-HPHT well for Total in Norway. For that well, the Maersk Gallant was adapted to drill an 18,000 psi reservoir with a maximum expected wellhead pressure in excess of 16,000 psi.

The Maersk Gallant is currently on contract with Maersk Oil on a plug and abandonment project in the UK sector of the North Sea. However, this campaign will be put on hold while the drilling of the Glengorm well is ongoing for Nexen. Maersk will return to complete plug and abandonment operations in the UK in April 2018.

KCA Deutag wins contract for 2 geothermal wells

KCA Deutag has been awarded a contract to deliver two geothermal wells in The Netherlands. The wells will be drilled using a 2,000-hp EURO rig designed by Bentec, the group’s land rig and oilfield equipment manufacturer. The rig has a fully automated pipe-handling system and was one of the first of its kind to be manufactured.

This is KCA Deutag’s second contract award in the geothermal market in recent months, following an award for two firm plus four optional geothermal wells in Germany in September last year.

Statoil awards contracts for Transocean Spitsbergen

Transocean’s harsh-environment semisubmersible, the Transocean Spitsbergen, has been awarded two contracts with Statoil. The estimated firm backlog associated with these contracts is $83 million, which excludes performance incentive opportunities, integrated services and mobilization. The initial contract is expected to commence in Q3 2017.

The first contract is for three wells, with an estimated duration of 90 days in the UK sector of the North Sea. This contract includes a priced option for an additional well, with an estimated duration of 30 days. This exploration drilling program will be conducted for the Mariner, Jock Scott and Verbier licenses.

The second contract is for six production wells, with an estimated duration of one year, on the Aasta Hansteen license in the Norwegian North Sea. This contract includes priced options for an additional six wells, with an estimated total duration of 180 days.

Recoverable reserves from the initial development of Mariner are estimated at 250 million bbl of oil, excluding near field exploration potential. First oil is expected in 2018.

The Aasta Hansteen discovery was made in 1997 and comprises three discoveries – Luva, Haklang and Snefrid South – with recoverable reserves estimated at 47 billion standard cu m of gas.

Chevron ramps up production at Mafumeira Sul in Angola

Chevron’s subsidiary, Cabinda Gulf Oil Company (CABGOC), has commenced oil and gas production from the main production facility of the Mafumeira Sul project offshore Angola. Early production from the project commenced in October 2016 through a temporary production system. Ramp-up to full production is expected to continue through 2018.

Located 24 km offshore the Cabinda province in 197 ft (60 m) of water, Mafumeira Sul is the second stage of development of the Mafumeira Field in Block 0. It has a design capacity of 150,000 bbl of liquids and 350 million cu ft/day of natural gas.

CABGOC is the operator and holds a 39.2% interest in Mafumeira Sul. Chevron’s partners are Sonangol, Total and ENI.

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