People, Companies & Products

Weatherford awarded 2 ½-year Sakhalin contract

Weatherford International has been awarded a 2 ½-year contract with Sakhalin Energy Investment Company for tubular running services on its Piltun-Astokhskoye-B (PA-B) processing and production platform off the northeastern coast of Sakhalin Island, Russia. The contract includes Weatherford’s new OverDrive casing running and drilling equipment and services for up to 13 wells on the PA-B platform — part of Sakhalin II, one of the world’s largest integrated oil and gas development projects.

Weatherford began providing conventional tubular running services for Sakhalin Energy on the Sakhalin II project in 2004 on the Molikpaq platform and mechanized tubular running services on the Lunskoye-A platform in 2006. To date, the company continues to work on these projects.

Additionally, Weatherford has completed its acquisition of V-Tech AS, strengthening its portfolio by adding key proprietary pipe handling products to its growing tubular running services portfolio. V-Tech AS is a Norwegian startup company providing tubular running equipment and related services.

Intermoor names engineering, business development managers

InterMoor, an Acteon company, has promoted Joao Carlos Ruiz de Oliveira to engineering manager for InterMoor do Brasil. He was previously senior engineer, special projects.

Based in Rio de Janeiro, Mr Ruiz will oversee project execution and organize engineering and administrative activities. Before joining InterMoor in May 2007, he worked as a subsea engineer for Petrobras.

Additionally, Harry Urech has been named business development manager for InterMoor. As a member of its sales and marketing team, Mr Urech will be responsible for developing and implementing business plans for current and new lines of business.

He has previously served as offshore sales manager of Samson Ropes and as vice president of sales and marketing for Franklin Offshore Americas.

Varel expands France facility due to Eastern Hemisphere growth

Varel International’s Varel Europe subsidiary, the base of the company’s Eastern Hemisphere operations, has announced the expansion of its PDC drill bit manufacturing facility in Tarbes, France, and the addition of applications engineering personnel to regional offices.

The Tarbes facility’s square meterage has been doubled, enabling the implementation of “lean manufacturing” flow lines to reduce the average time required to deliver a PDC bit. Sales in the East have especially fueled Varel’s growth in the last years — more than half of the company’s total revenue now comes from Eastern Hemisphere sales.

“Our growth has come from both the West and the East, but we are noticing that the East is growing faster,” said Bernard Pontneau, vice president, Eastern Hemisphere operations. “We attribute this to the drilling activity of the national oil companies operating in the Eastern Hemisphere.”

With the additional recruiting of personnel, Varel aims to serve markets in Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom and West Africa. “By expanding our number of regional engineering resources, we can provide better regional service to our customers,” Mr Pontneau said.

Additionally, Varel has entered into an agreement to begin PDC drill bit assembly in Indonesia. Bit assembly is slated to begin by summer 2008.

Murchison Drilling Schools hires instructor for new courses

Murchison Drilling Schools (MDS) has hired Sam Sirman as an instructor in its new five-day Advanced Well Control course and 10-day Operational Drilling Technology and Advanced Well Control course, both WellCAP-certified. Mr Sirman has 27 years of experience supervising subsea and surface drilling operations. Prior to joining MDS, he worked as a rotating drilling superintendent with Pride International.

Pioneer Drilling agrees to acquire WEDGE companies

Pioneer Drilling Company has entered a definitive purchase agreement to acquire WEDGE Well Services, WEDGE Wireline and WEDGE Fishing and Rental Services. The WEDGE companies provide oil and gas well workover, wireline, and fishing and rental services for energy producers in the United States.

Wm. Stacy Locke, Pioneer president and CEO, stated, “This transaction further transforms Pioneer from a pure-play US land driller into a multi-national energy services provider.”

NOV to enter joint venture with UAE-based Fabtech

National Oilwell Varco has signed a definitive agreement with Fabtech International, an UAE-based fabrication business, to enter into a joint venture for the provision of rig-up and structural refurbishment services for the Middle East and North African land rig markets. Terms of the joint venture were not disclosed.

CAODC elects board of directors

The Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors (CAODC) member companies have elected representatives to serve on its board of directors. Lyle Whitmarsh of Trinidad Drilling will serve as chairman, Bruce Jones of Stoneham Drilling will serve as vice chairman, and Terry Rosentreter of Pantera Drilling is past chairman of the board.

Walsh Offshore hires new safety divison manager

Chuck Praznik has joined Walsh Offshore as safety division manager. Mr Praznik has more than 12 years of experience as a primary safety manager, working for Livingston Oilwell in the 1970s and Salen Offshore Drilling in the ’80s. He has served as chairman of the IADC Accident Prevention Subcommittee.

VetcoGray marine riser system selected for Pride drillship

Pride International has selected the MR-6 marine riser system from VetcoGray, a GE Oil & Gas business, for use on a deepwater drillship to be completed in 2010. The system provides fully automated connection capabilities, as hydraulic units on the spider engage a cam ring on the box to actuate six dogs into the profile of the pin. This creates a full pre-loaded connection with an efficient and effective load path.

New operations manager named at Ward Petroleum

Ward Petroleum, an Oklahoma-based independent oil and gas company, has named Mark Jopling as operations manager. Mr Jopling has worked at Halliburton as a field and district engineer, designing and implementing cement work, fracture stimulations and drillstem testing. He joined Ward Petroleum in April 1981.

Retired IADC director I.J. Flowers dies

Former IADC director I.J. Flowers passed away on 29 January 2008 in Houston, Texas, at 81. His retired as an executive with Santa Fe International.

Sondex hires business development manager

Sondex Oilfield Technology, the latest addition to GE Energy, has named Goran Kolaric as business development manager for the Europe and Africa regions. Mr Kolaric has field experience with PathFinder Energy Services and Schlumberger.

HMC contracted for removal of Ekofisk platforms

Heerema Marine Contractors (HMC) has been awarded a contract by ConocoPhillips for the engineering, offshore preparation, removal and onshore recycling of nine platforms in the Ekofisk area in the North Sea. The Ekofisk topsides and jackets will be taken to a yard in Vats, Norway, for recycling and disposal. Offshore removal is expected to be completed by the end of 2013.


New VetcoGray wellhead targets deepwater applications
Offering increased casing load and higher pressure capacities, VetcoGray, a GE Oil & Gas business, has introduced the MS-800 Fullbore Subsea Wellhead System for deepwater applications. With the capacity to withstand 8 million lbs of load on the wellhead, the MS-800 is designed to help drillers reach deepwater targets in regions such as the US Gulf of Mexico and offshore Brazil. The new system increases the casing load capacity to 2 million lbs for the first position casing hanger and the 16-in. casing hanger, while also increasing the pressure capacity for the 16-in. hanger from 6,500 psi to 10,000 psi.

The load ring configuration, on all three casing hangers, also improves actuation.

A 15 ksi version of the system will be available for commercial applications in the second quarter of 2008, and a 20 ksi version is scheduled for release later in the year.

Weatherford Transformer wellhead system reduces NPT

Weatherford International has commercialized its Transformer wellhead system, which can significantly decrease nonproductive time over the well, completion and production mobilization time, while ensuring safer operations. The system allows for working access within the wellhead rather than underneath a suspended BOP, a much riskier operation. It facilitates quicker installation of the BOP to limit the amount of time personnel spend in the cellar. Installation time comparisons show a substantial decrease over a conventional wellhead.

EWECO mud pumps lengthen life of load components

Ellis Williams Engineering Company (EWECO) has introduced the Quintuplex 2200, the newest in its line of mud pumps. The Quintuplex 2200 features five cylinders instead of the typical three, which reduces piston rod load by more than 40% and therefore lengthens the life of all load components. Its reduced pressure variation of more than 70% (undampened) reduces mud noise on the drill string, which allows for more efficient MWD and LWD. It is the only mud pump in the industry that has a balanced eccentric crankshaft supported by four main (continuous anti-friction) roller bearings. Also, its double (redundant) fail-safe internal lube systems reduce wear on system components.

Reflex Marine, SEACOR Marine create personnel transfer solution

Reflex Marine and SEACOR Marine have joined forces to create a new marine personnel transfer solution. SEACOR’s CHEETAH CrewZer high-speed Class DP2 catamaran will be the fastest crew supply vessel in the Gulf of Mexico. Capable of carrying 150 passengers at up to 42 knots, the 165-ft vessel will offer a fast and reliable mode of personnel transportation to and from installations. Reflex Marine has developed a high-capacity personnel transfer safety system for this vessel. The 9-passenger Frog capsule transfers personnel from the CrewZer to the rig in a protected and safe environment. The CrewZer seats are like business-class seats on an airplane – reclining, spacious, and comfortable, with wireless Internet, satellite TV and cinema.

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