People, Companies & Products

David Williams named Noble chairman, CEO, president

Noble Corp announced that its Board of Directors has named David W Williams as chairman of the board, chief executive officer and president of Noble. William A Sears has held these offices on an interim basis since 20 September 2007.

Mr Williams joined Noble in September 2006 as senior vice president – business development of Noble Drilling Services, was named senior vice president – operations of Noble Drilling Services in January 2007, and became senior vice president and chief operating officer of Noble Corp in April 2007.

Mr Williams has 28 years of energy industry experience and previously served as executive vice president of Diamond Offshore Drilling. He holds a bachelor of business administration degree in marketing from Texas A&M University.

NOV CTES group names vice president of engineering

National Oilwell Varco’s CTES group has named Trevor Pugh as vice president of engineering. He is responsible for leading new product engineering efforts.

NOV CTES, part of the well intervention and stimulation equipment group, is a provider of leading-edge products that support the coiled tubing, wireline, and drilling segments of the industry.

Mr Pugh holds a higher national diploma in applied physics from Sheffield Polytechnic, Sheffield, UK, and brings more than 25 years of industry experience to his new position. He previously served as management director at a major oilfield service company, responsible for providing engineering and software services to the exploration and production industry.

M-I SWACO opens hurricane-ready offshore supply base in Louisiana

M-I SWACO has opened a state-of-the-art offshore supply base in Cameron, La., that replaces the long-time facility destroyed in 2005 by Hurricane Rita.
The new supply base has been relocated from the previous location it occupied since 1958 to the Calcasieu Ship Channel at the only deepwater port left in Cameron. The new plant, which is one of the largest facilities M-I SWACO operates on the Gulf Coast, has total mixing capacity for 4,000 bbl of water-base, synthetic-base and oil-base drilling fluids, and storage capacity of 39,000 bbl, including base fluids. The facility also has storage capacity for 55,000 sacks bulk barite, 4,000 sacks bulk gel and 4,000 sacks of bulk lime.

The company has taken all steps to ensure the plant and associated facilities will remain intact during another storm, including the construction of a deflection wall around the tank farm. Also, the totally electric-powered facility, which is built on the highest point in Cameron, has been upgraded to better prepare for shutdown during hurricane evacuation.

“The new Cameron facility is strategically positioned to service the needs of our customers in the expanding western Gulf of Mexico deepwater market,” said senior vice president of the North America Business Unit Joe Bacho.

NOV to acquire Grant Prideco

National Oilwell Varco and Grant Prideco have announced a definitive merger agreement, which has been unanimously approved by each company’s board of directors.

Pete Miller, chairman, president and CEO of National Oilwell Varco, remarked, “We are delighted with the way this transaction advances our strategic goal of providing more products and services to our customers. We believe Grant Prideco’s product range will add new growing market segments to National Oilwell Varco and benefit our customers’ needs worldwide. … We look forward to welcoming Grant Prideco’s employees to the National Oilwell Varco organization.”

Smith International to acquire minority interest in At Balance

At Balance and its sole shareholder, Shell Technology Ventures Fund 1 B.V., announced an agreement to sell a minority interest in At Balance to Smith International. At Balance offers automated pressure control systems that enable operators to overcome conventional drilling limitations in narrow pressure margins.

“This transaction will position Smith with a complete MPD system to control the pressure profile throughout the wellbore” said Bryan Dudman, president of Smith Services.

Varel sale to Arcapita completed

Varel International has announced the completion of its sale to Arcapita Inc, a private equity firm based in Atlanta. Varel was purchased from KRG Capital Partners, a Denver-based private equity firm, for approximately US $369 million.

InterMoor ISO-certified

InterMoor has received its ISO 9001:2000 certification for its three facilities in Amelia, La., Fourchon, La., and Houston, Texas. This certifies InterMoor to perform a scope of work including engineering, design, fabrication, installation and servicing of mooring equipment and subsea structures.

Key Energy closes Moncla buy

Key Energy Services has closed the $145.8 million acquisition of Moncla Companies. Based in Lafayette, La., Moncla operates 53 workover rigs and 8 barge rigs. It also owns rig-up, swab, hot oil and anchor trucks, tubing testing units and rental equipment.

Bentec names VP marketing, sales

Bentec Drilling and Oilfield Systems has appointed Wilfried Buchholz as vice president marketing & sales. He replaces Bernd Albrecht, who left Bentec in the last quarter of 2006. Mr Buchholz has more than 30 years of experience in the utilities and oil and gas sectors, including 17 years with Weatherford.

Weatherford completes rotary Laboratories transaction

Weatherford International has acquired Rotary Laboratories, a player in the industry’s full diameter and sponge core analysis sector. This acquisition augments several important components of Weatherford’s core evaluation services, including the ability to perform full diameter analysis.

GE Energy acquires Sondex

GE Energy has completed the acquisition of Sondex, which specializes in the engineering and manufacture of directional drilling and formation evaluation systems and wireline tools for the production of oil and gas. GE provides equipment to enable oilfield service companies to navigate drill strings and to identify underground oil and gas reserves.

Obit: Henry Lamond, Cameron

Henry Lamond, Cameron vice president sales and marketing for drilling systems covering Europe, Africa, Middle East and Far East, passed away on 3 January 2008 in a vehicle accident. Mr Lamond has been associated with the IADC North Sea Chapter (NSC) for more than 10 years and served as treasurer until December 2007. NSC chairman Steve Rae of Noble Drilling said, “Henry was truly an ambassador of all things good from both his chapter and Cameron involvement. He will leave a lasting memory with us.”


New-concept offshore personnel transfer method successfully tested by Dutch university

The Delft University of Technology has successfully tested its new offshore access system, the Ampelmann, at the Shell-owned Offshore Wind Farm at Egmond aan Zee (OWEZ).  This new method of marine personnel transfer consists of a six-legged hydraulic motion compensation platform with a telescoping access bridge mounted on top, providing safe and easy access to any offshore installation. Responding to large numbers of inquiries regarding potential applications and availability, the university’s Ampelmann project team has launched Ampelmann Company.

The Ampelmann platform enables safe transfer at open sea from a vessel to any offshore structure, such as an oil and gas platform. Since the transfer platform is kept motionless by actively controlling the hydraulic cylinders, the Ampelmann can be used in rough sea states. The technology of this platform is based on a configuration used for flight simulators. Instead of creating airplane motions, however, its design is used to cancel out the ship motions of a vessel, using a dedicated motion sensor to constantly measure ship motions. From the motionless transfer deck, personnel can safely access any offshore structure through a telescopic access bridge. This alternative does not require any adaptation to offshore structures and can be installed plug and play on even small (non-DP) vessels.

3M offers portable gas detectors

3M has introduced a line of portable gas detectors, including the 3M Multi-Gas Detector 950 Series and the 3M Multi-Gas Detector 740 Series. The 950 Series detector can identify up to five gases simultaneously and features reporting capacity through the 3M Know Your Air software. The 740 Series is designed for durability, convenience and low operating costs, and is ideal for use in scenarios where potentially hazardous levels of CO, H2S, O2 or combustible gases may be found.

BJ introduces top drive casing running tool

BJ Tubular Services has announced the introduction of the Casing Running Tool 500 (CRT 500), a top drive casing running tool. A key advantage of the CRT 500 is its ability to rotate and reciprocate the casing string while simultaneously filling and circulating mud through the tool within the safety parameters of its 500-ton weight capability, which is essential for handling heavier string weights. The remotely operated system also makes it possible to run casing by drawing upon power supplied by the top drive.

Wescorp launches RFID-driven system

Wescorp Energy has launched the Intelligent Field Resource Management (IFRM), a radio-frequency identification (RFID)-driven solution for industrial and oilfield equipment. IFRM will tell engineers in the field important things about their equipment, such as “exactly where that piece of equipment is, what kind of shape it’s in, whether it’s even functioning at any precise moment, if it needs to go back for a rebuild,” said Wescorp COO Scott Shemwell.

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