2011DC MicrositesSeptember/October

Drilling & Completion News

Noble to build 2 additional jackups, announces rig contracts

Noble Corp has exercised options with Jurong Shipyardfor the construction of two additional high-specification heavy-duty, harsh-environment JU3000N jackups. This brings to six the total number of new jackup rigs the company has under construction with Jurong. Deliveries are expected during Q3 and Q4 2014.

The Friede & Goldman JU3000N design is an enhanced evolution of the JU2000E design, and the rigs will be able to operate in water depths up to 400 ft and drill to 30,000 ft. The rigs will each have a 75-ft cantilever, 2.5 million lbs of hookload capacity, a high-capacity mud circulating system, and a 15,000-psi blowout preventer system.

In addition, Noble has seven ultra-deepwater drillships under construction, three of which are scheduled to be delivered later this year.

Separately, Noble was recently awarded a contract for the Noble Paul Romano semi and received a contract extension for the Noble Max Smith semi, both located in the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, the company was awarded a contract for the Noble George Sauvageau jackup, operating in the Southern sector of the North Sea.

The Noble Paul Romano was awarded a six-well, approximately 180-day contract by Gujarat State Petroleum Corp for operations offshore Egypt. The rig, which has been idle in the US Gulf of Mexico since June 2010, is expected to commence the new contract in October 2011. The contract could be extended for up to four optional wells.

The Noble Max Smith, operating offshore Mexico for PEMEX, has received a five-month extension of its current contract. The extension commenced in August 2011.

The Noble George Sauvageau was awarded a one-year contract by Wintershall for operations in the Southern sector of the North Sea. The rig is now firmly committed through 2012.

Anadarko strikes light oil on Akasa-1 offshore Ghana

Anadarko Petroleum recently made a light oil discovery at the Akasa-1 exploration well on the West Cape Three Points Block offshore the Republic of Ghana. The well encountered 108 net ft of primarily high-quality, oil-bearing pay from four main Turonian-aged sand packages, similar to those found in the Jubilee and Mahogany East areas. Samples indicate oil of approximately 38° API gravity.

The well was drilled to a total depth of approximately 12,850 ft in approximately 3,800 ft of water. The partnership plans to preserve the Akasa-1 for future use and plans further delineation in the area with appraisal activity at both Akasa and Teak.

Union Drilling to add 2 new rigs to fleet for Fayetteville

Union Drilling is purchasing two new drilling rigs based on three-year contracts. The 1,500-hp AC electric drilling rigs, designed for pad drilling and efficient rig moves, are expected to be completed in Q1 2012. They will be deployed to Arkansas for the Fayetteville Shale. Since January 2011, the company has added two 1,000-hp rigs to its fleet, and two more 1,000-hp rigs are expected to be completed for operations in the Marcellus Shale by the end of 2011.

Chikyu to drill offshore Japan for methane hydrate test

Japan Drilling Co and Japan Petroleum Exploration Co have signed a deal for the Chikyu deep-sea vessel to drill three observation wells and a test well offshore western Japan in preparation for a methane hydrate test production program. Drilling will commence in January/February 2012.

Maersk invests in advanced drilling simulator

Maersk Drilling and Maersk Training have invested in a DrillSIM-6000 drilling simulator from UK-based Drilling Systems to be housed in a purpose-built complex in Svendborg, Denmark. The system will be able to simulate various well control scenarios, including Maersk-generated deepwater training, and will enable crews to practice advanced drilling operations, including stuck pipe, jarring, MPD, BOP landing and LMRP disconnects. The simulator will incorporate custom rig packages for three Maersk newbuilds, including the CJ70 jackup, plus an ultra-deepwater semi and an ultra-deepwater drillship. The drilling simulator also will include three generic rig packages. The drilling simulator is expected to be fully operational by mid-2012.

SEMS toolkit available on IADC website

Lessee companies operating on the US outer continental shelf have been required to develop and implement a safety and environmental management systems (SEMS) plan by 15 November 2011. Because contractor companies will play a vital role in helping ensure lessees achieve SEMS compliance, the Offshore Operations Committee’s (OOC) SEMS Task Force, led by Jeff Ostmeyer, Anadarko Petroleum, has developed a collection of tools to help contractor companies prepare for the SEMS implementation. IADC and the Center for Offshore Safety contributed to this work.

The toolkit includes:

• Audit checklist;
• Matrices of regulatory mandated training for drilling/marine/production;
• Knowledge and skills documentation worksheet;
• Operator-contractor agreement letter templates;
• Terms/definitions – clarification document; and
• Compliance readiness worksheet.

These tools present the collective views of professionals in the industry who have reviewed the SEMS rule and identified where the regulation points to the contractor as needing to take specific actions and supply documents or records of those actions to the lessee in support of the lessee’s SEMS plan. The tools can also be used by lessees who do not have SEMS plans in place.

The tools are available here

H&P to step up FlexRig construction pace due to demand increase 

Helmerich & Payne in late July announced agreements to build and operate 20 additional FlexRigs, bringing to 58 the total number of new FlexRigs the company has announced commitments to construct during this fiscal year. Including these 20 units, H&P currently has 42 FlexRigs under construction. By October 2011, the company expects to be completing four new units per month, up from the current rate of three new rigs per month, due to a significant increase in demand. 

The 20 new rigs announced in late July will be built under multi-year term contracts with four exploration and production companies and are scheduled to be completed during fiscal 2012. The names of the customers and other terms were not disclosed. 

Pacific Mistral wins 3-year contract from Petrobras

Petrobras has awarded Pacific Drilling’s Pacific Mistral ultra-deepwater drillship a three-year contract for operations in Brazil, expected to commence in Q4 2011. The drillship, delivered by Samsung Heavy Industries in June 2011, is equipped to operate in water depths up to 12,000 ft and drilling wells 37,500 ft deep.

CROSCO’s Zagreb 1 in shipyard for overhaul

CROSCO Integrated Drilling & Well Services’ semisubmersible Zagreb 1 recently entered the shipyard to undergo maintenance and service that includes an overhaul of all drilling equipment, the blowout preventer overhead crane and anchor winches. The program is expected to be completed by October this year.

Additionally, Lloyd’s Register is performing the five-year rig survey on Zagreb 1. “Upon completion, Zagreb 1 will be fully certified and refurbished,” CROSCO president Igor Vrban said.

The upgrade work involves NDT class inspection of the hull and class inspection of the anchor winches and wires, as well as the ballast tanks and anchors. New high-pressure mud, cement, choke and kill lines will be installed.

BOEMRE to hold 1st lease sale since Macondo

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) will hold the first oil and natural gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico since Macondo, Western GOM Lease Sale 218, in New Orleans on 14 December. It will include all available unleased areas in the Western Gulf Planning Areas offshore Texas, encompassing about 3,900 unleased blocks covering approximately 20.6 million acres. It’s estimated the sale could result in the production of 222 million to 423 million bbl of oil and 1.49 trillion to 2.65 trillion cu ft of natural gas.

Ocean Rig Poseidon heading to Tanzania for Petrobras

Ocean Rig took delivery of the Ocean Rig Poseidon on 28 July. The next day the ship began mobilization to Tanzania, where it will drill for Petrobras International. The naming ceremony for the Ocean Rig Poseidon and Ocean Rig Mykonos took place at the Samsung Heavy Industries shipyard in South Korea on 8 July.

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