Top quality Barents Sea oil

Barents Observer 2011-04-12 Original article here
The Polar Pioneer jackup rig (photo: Harald Pettersen / Statoil)The Polar Pioneer jackup rig (photo: Harald Pettersen / Statoil)

This oil is like champagne, Statoil’s Helge Lund says about the newly discovered Skrugard field in the Barents Sea.

Talking at the Energy Conference in Bergen today, Helge Lund underlined that the oil which his company has found in the Skrugard field in the Barents Sea is of the very best quality.

-The Skrugard oil is almost like champagne, he said in his presentation, newspaper Dagens Næringsliv reports. –It is light and nice, and makes us very optimistic, he added.

Read also: Finally large Barents oil discovery

The Statoil leader does not exclude that his company now has found a key approach to understanding the geology of the Barents Sea. Over the last years, a number of wells have been drilled in the area, but only a couple of fields of significance found. Statoil already operates the Snøhvit gas field, and ENI is preparing for production at its Goliat oil field.

In his conference presentation today, Helge Lund showed a map depicting the Snøhvit, the Goliat and the Skrugard fields. –This could actually be a new industrial horizon with three building blocks, he maintained.

The Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy now intends to offer a number of new licenses to blocks in the area of the Skrugard field. The finding of Skrugard has a significance which can not be exaggerated, State Secretary Per Rune Henriksen said at the conference, reports. In the course of spring this year, new licenses will be issued as part of the 21th Norwegian license round.

Norway now also intend to start geological mapping of the newly delineated waters further east in the Barents Sea. As previously reported by BarentsObserver, Norwegian authorities have on several occasions confirmed that seismic studies of the waters will start as soon as the delimitation deal has been ratified by both Norway and Russia. Russia completed the ratification process last week.

Read also: It’s a deal!

Statoil orders control umbilicals for Fossekall-Dompap

Oil and Gas Journal – Original article here.

HOUSTON, Mar. 23 — Statoil let a 200 million kroner contract to Aker Solutions for control umbilicals for the fast-track Fossekall-Dompap subsea development that will tie back the fields to the Norne floating production, storage, and offloading vessel in 380 m of water on Block 6608/10 in the Norwegian Sea. Fossekall, discovered in 2010 with well 6608/10-14, and Dompap, discovered in 2009 with well 6608/10-12, along with Vilje South are part of Statoil’s second-wave of fast-track projects. Statoil plans to start development drilling on the fields in March 2012 with production starting in December 2012. Statoil expects to recover from Fossekall 37-63 million bbl of oil and 1-3 billion cu m of gas. The company drilled the Fossekall discovery well, in 352 m of water, to 2,749 m into the Lower Jurassic Are formation and encountered oil in the Ile, Tofte, and Are formations and gas in the Melke formation. For Dompap, Statoil’s preliminary estimate is that the field holds 25-50 million bbl of recoverable oil. It drilled the exploration well 6608/10-12 to 3,158 m into the Lower Jurassic Are formation. Statoil also drilled the 6608-12 A sidetrack to 2,931 m that terminates in the same Are formation. The well is in 334 m of water. The 26 km of umbilicals ordered from Aker Solutions will have dynamic and static sections and will provide hydraulic, electrical, and fiber optic functions for three planned four-well-slot templates on Fossekall-Dompap. The umbilicals also include a 2.5-in. monoethylene glycol line for hydrate prevention and inhibition during shutdowns. Aker Solutions plans to manage the engineering of the control umbilicals at its Oslo facility and manufacture the umbilicals at its facility in Moss, Norway. It expects to make the final deliveries in second-quarter 2012. Fossekall-Dompap are in PL 128 and operator Statoil holds a 63.95% interest in the license. Partners are Petoro AS 24.55% and Eni Norge AS 11.5%.

TNK-BP moves closer to Russian arctic

MOSCOW, March 7 (UPI) – original article here
Anglo-Russian energy venture TNK-BP could join Rosneft and Gazprom in developing the Russian arctic shelf if terms are good, the Russian prime minister said.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said TNK-BP might be able to persuade its oil and natural gas colleagues to tap into more domestic natural resources if the terms are favorable to all parties involved.

“There is a law, under which we have entrusted Rosneft and Gazprom with work on the shelf,” Putin was quoted by Russia’s official RIA-Novosti news agency as saying. “If TNK-BP offers suitable terms of joint work to one of the companies it can (join the project). Why not?”

TNK-BP, a joint venture between a group of Russian billionaires and BP, is at odds with the British supermajor and Rosneft over an asset swap that included exploration deals in the Russian arctic.

BP in January agreed to pay Rosneft more than $8 billion in shares for a 9.5 percent stake in the Russian energy company in addition to a development agreement for the Kara Sea on Russian’s northern continental shelf.

Putin brushed off the historic rival between TNK-BP and its London counterpart by noting any rivalry is an internal matter for each company to address.

“These are their problems, they must solve them between themselves,” he said.

Greenland’s Inuit Premier defends oil and gas drilling

Gloria Galloway, Ottawa, The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011 – Original article here

The Inuit Premier of Greenland is passionate in defending the need to develop his country’s oil and gas potential – a stance that puts him at odds with Canadian Inuit groups, which have tried to block offshore drilling near their communities.

Kuupik Kleist was one of the speakers at a two-day summit of Inuit leaders who met this week to discuss resource development. Mr. Kleist said Wednesday that there will be oil and gas extraction in and around Greenland and the Inuit want to dictate its terms. Here is what he said in response to questions from reporters; the questions have been edited and the answers trimmed.

More related to this story

Many Inuit and environmentalists in Nunavut argue that any oil and gas exploration could damage a fragile ecosystem. How do you respond to those concerns?

We have a co-operation with the Canadian government on the issue of protection of the environment [as it relates to] the oil industry. And we have that co-operation because of the Canadian experience, which we don’t have … both within the mineral sector and within the oil industry for years. And what we’re looking at is to gain from the experiences, not only from Canada but also from Norway, for instance, which is regarded as an upscale developer of technology.

I have had a dialogue with the Minister for the Environment in Canada who was, in the outset, very concerned about the exploratory drillings off the Greenland west coast. What happened during our dialogue was that now Canadian employees are on the drilling sites off the west coast of Greenland to learn about security.

Do you feel that the oil and gas industry is safe?

You can never ensure 100 per cent that nothing will happen. You have to be honest facing the risks. … [But] companies from the outside have been exploiting natural resources in the Arctic area for centuries now. The Inuit didn’t. Now it’s our turn. It seems like now gradually the peoples of the Arctic are taking over powers then suddenly it becomes much more dangerous, risky and what else you might come up with. You see the environmental groups coming now to the Arctic area and trying to hinder activities conducted by indigenous governments in the Arctic. Why didn’t they do that, like, 100 years ago, 50 years ago, or even just 15 years ago? Now, with technology developed, it’s much safer today than it was before.

Do you think the unrest in Libya and other places in the Middle East will put even more focus on oil exploration in Greenland?

Of course. We are now a full part of the global economy. We cannot hide away or shy away from looking at what’s happening on the rest of the globe. We are a part of it and we need to face that and we have to take precautions according to what happens on the market.

The Greenland ice shelf is melting at an increasing rate. This presents challenges, but does it also hold some potential?

It’s not the fault of Greenland that the ice is melting. Nobody believes that by tomorrow the need for fossil fuels will disappear just because of the ice melting. If Greenland should stay away from exploiting its mineral resources, some other place on the Earth will do it, that’s for sure. But we are doing it under the strongest precautions, we are sticking to best practices, we are sticking to the best available technology and you cannot be sure that the rest of the world would do that.

Is there potential for confrontation between companies and Inuit groups for control of resources?

Of course. That’s not new. That’s always existed. The change that’s been going on is that now we have the insight, we have the powers, we negotiate ourselves. We don’t allow federal governments just to hand over Inuit lands to companies to exploit the mineral resources. It’s in our hands. We need to face all of the challenges that are connected with that kind of activity. The difference is that it’s now us sitting at the end of the table, and of course the confrontations, wherever they might be, we need to face them.

Statoil turns to compression for Norway hubs Jan 1, 2011 Jeremy Beckman • London
Orginal article here

Statoil has committed to compression for three of its main gas production centers on the Norwegian shelf. It aims to prolong output from existing fields under development, and to prepare the facilities for new roles as regional hubs.

The largest project in monetary terms is a subsea compression system for the Åsgard field complex on the Haltenbanken in the Norwegian Sea, where water depths range from 240-310 m (787-1,017 ft). Aker Solutions has the $552-million equipment contract, which includes a subsea compressor manifold station and template, three compressor trains, electrical control systems, HV power distribution, and topside tie-ins.

In the same region, Statoil has put a tag of $368 million on its plan to install a new compressor module on the Kristin platform, designed to introduce lower pressure production. This, the company says, will lift reserves recovery from the Kristin and Tyrihans fields by up to 115 MMboe, and will extend life from these fields and others in the area through 2029-2034. The new equipment should be installed during summer 2013, entering service the following spring.

Finally, in the North Sea, Bergen Group Rosenberg will build and install a compressor module on the Kvitebjorn platform. Statoil describes this as a “pre-compression” project, allowing for production with reduced wellhead pressure. Fabrication is under way on the gas turbine-driven compressor, which should be installed between 2012-2014. Gas from Kvitebjorn is piped to Kollsnes in western Norway. Bergen Group’s $161-$242-million contract includes an option for tie in of a condensate pipeline to the Valemon platform, also currently under construction.

UK majors add platforms

Major operators in the UK central North Sea have embarked on incremental developments. Total plans to install a new platform on the West Franklin field in blocks 29/5b and 29/4d in the high-pressure/high-temperature gas-condensate region. The aim is to produce 85 MMboe of fresh reserves via a new platform and initially three wells, which will be linked to the existing Elgin/Franklin production facilities. Total estimates the cost at $1 billion, and expects to deliver 40,000 boe/d when the platform starts up in 2013.

Apache Corp. has ordered a new satellite oil production platform for mid-2012 for the Forties field, which will be bridge linked to the Forties Alpha platform. OGN Group’s Hadrian Yard close to Newcastle in northeast England, will build the facility under a $242-million contract. It will provide Apache with 18 new slots for drilling development wells, along with HP gas compression for artificial lift and dehydration. Apache estimates Forties has a further 173 MMboe of remaining proved reserves, and is looking to maintain daily oil output at around 60,000 b/d through 2013 and beyond. AMEC, which used to run Hadrian, will manage modifications to Forties Alpha.

Hess extends South Arne

In the Danish North Sea, Hess and its partners DONG Energy, Noreco, and Danoil have approved a Phase III development of the South Arne field in license 07/89. The proposed scheme, designed to extract a further 15 MMboe, involves drilling and stimulation of 11 new wells, and adding two new wellhead platforms to the north and alongside the existing South Arne facility. One of the first contracts to be awarded was a pipeline bundle, which Subsea 7 will fabricate and install in 2012, linking the two new platforms. The field is in a water depth of 60 m (197 ft).

DONG recently made a new oil discovery in the Solsort prospect in license 4/98, drilled by the Maersk Resolute. Three side tracks also were drilled to define the limits of the find, all with positive outcomes.

Apollo shines for Lundin

Lundin Petroleum says its recent oil discovery well on the Apollo prospect in the Norwegian North Sea could be in the range of 15-65 MMboe. Well 16/1-4 was drilled by the Transocean Winner on license PL338 to target an extension of the Jurassic reservoir associated with Det norske oljeselskap’s Draupne find. But results suggest only a limited part of Draupne extends into the license.

At the Palaeocene (Heimdal formation) and Cretaceous levels, two oil columns were encountered. The well also penetrated 60 m (197 ft) of good-quality Cretaceous sands below the oil-water contact, suggesting potential up-dip of the discovery. It is not clear, however, whether Apollo could feature in Lundin’s plan for the Greater Luno Area development, which is expected to go forward later this year.

Studies re-assess Irish fields

Providence Resources has become operator of the Barryroe oil discovery in the North Celtic Sea off southern Ireland. The company says the partners will commission a new 3D seismic survey early in 2011, the results of which will help preparations for an appraisal/pre-development well. Discussions are under way with other consortia on the Irish shelf concerning a rig slot.

Independent analysts have estimated the field’s recoverable contingent resources at 59-144 MMbbl. Barryroe’s crude is waxy, and its reservoir architecture is complex, but Providence says this could be addressed via horizontal, artificially lifted well completions.

Providence also operates the 1981 Spanish Point discovery in 400 m (1,312 ft) water depth, 170 km (105 mi) off western Ireland in the Porcupine basin. Newly interpreted 3D seismic and wide-ranging modeling studies suggest 100-200 MMboe could be recoverable. Field development could involve drilling six to 14 fracture-stimulated wells, with potential plateau production of 30,000 b/d of oil and 250 MMcf/d of gas.

In the St. George’s Channel basin separating Ireland from Wales, the company has signed an optional agreement whereby Star Energy would farm into 50% of Standard Exploration License SEL 1/07. The permit is in 90 m (295 ft) water depth, and contains the mapped extension of Marathon’s 1994 Dragon gas discovery offshore west Wales, and the deeper-lying Orpheus and Pegasus prospects. Star would earn the farm-in right by conducting subsurface studies on Dragon, then participating in an appraisal well.

Russia to draft program for Arctic shelf exploration by 2012

Russia is first in the world in natural gas reserves (24 percent of the total) and 7th in oil reserves (6 percent), but these resources are not renewable

02:44 14/01/2011© RIA Novosti. Vladimir Baranov

Original article here

The Russian government will develop by 2012 a state program for prospecting and extracting mineral resources on Russia’s Arctic shelf, Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev said.
“The Security Council discussed this issue during a recent meeting and instructed the government to finish drafting and adopt by the end of 2011 a long-term state program for prospecting and extracting mineral resources on Russia’s Arctic shelf, Patrushev said in an interview with the Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily published on Friday.
Russia is first in the world in natural gas reserves (24 percent of the total) and 7th in oil reserves (6 percent), but these resources are not renewable.
According to Russia’s Natural Resources Ministry, the country is already exploring 75 percent of its oil and gas deposits on the continent. Many of these deposits register 50-percent depletion and low extraction coefficient (30 percent).
“In these circumstances, Russia’s continental sea shelf becomes a major source of energy supplies, and its exploration assumes an enormous strategic and economic significance,” Patrushev said.
Russian experts estimate recoverable oil and gas resources on the continental shelf at 100 billion tons of reference fuel.
The new program will help focus the efforts of the state and the leading Russian energy companies on efficient exploration of deposits on the continental shelf, Patrushev said.

MOSCOW, January 14 (RIA Novosti)

Inuit call for ‘time-out’ on Arctic oil drilling

Photo of the Inuit children in the Kotlik Village in Alaska, USA bundled up during the winter while playing outdoors.

News Services May 27, 2010 -Canada’s northern peoples called for a moratorium on offshore oil and gas drilling in the Arctic until safeguards are in place to avoid a spill like the one in the Gulf of Mexico.

“Against the backdrop of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Inuit are seeking an immediate pause on drilling in the Beaufort Sea in order to take stock,” Inuit leader Mary Simon told the Economic Club of Canada, a leading business forum.

Simon pressed for a “time-out” on drilling in the Beaufort Sea until strict environmental safeguards are in place.

Original article here

Shell: We’re ready to drill in Arctic Ocean

By William Mccall | The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Oregon – Shell Oil is ready to drill in the Arctic Ocean this summer and asked a federal appeals court Thursday to rule quickly on a challenge by environmentalists concerned about the risk of a major spill after the Gulf of Mexico disaster.

Kathleen Sullivan, an attorney for Shell, said the company has spent at least $3.5 billion on Alaska operations in the past few years as it prepares for exploratory drilling set for July in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas.

“Shell has waited years to recover its investment,” Sullivan told a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Portland. “We’re ready to go.”

“I’m sure Shell would like to win,” replied Chief Judge Alex Kozinski.

But a coalition of environmentalists and Native Alaska groups who are challenging the drilling plans told the court the federal Minerals Management Service failed to consider the potential threat to wildlife and the risk for disaster before it approved the Shell project.

Christopher Winter, an attorney for the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, said the Interior Department agency “simply ignored key aspects” about the possible effects of drilling operations on bowhead whales, including interruption of feeding patterns.

David Shilton, a Justice Department lawyer representing the minerals service, responded by saying studies have shown noise from drilling has only a “temporary and minor” effect on the whales, whose population is healthy and has been increasing.

Deirdre McDonnell, the attorney for the Native Village of Point Hope in Alaska, the lead petitioners in the case, argued that Shell had not made adequate plans to deal with an emergency, such as a major spill.

The Shell plan, for example, “doesn’t say what happens if the drill ship is disabled or has sunk,” McDonnell told the judges.

She also said government did not consider the cumulative impact of drilling in the Arctic Ocean.

Sullivan argued, however, the government must consider the facts at hand rather than “speculative” future impact and Shell has made extensive plans that include dealing with “the remote and infinitesimal likelihood of a spill.”

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced last December the Minerals Management Service had conditionally approved plans by Shell to drill three exploratory wells in the Chukchi Sea, saying environmentally responsible exploration is a key component of reducing dependence on foreign oil.

Conditional approval for exploration in the Beaufort Sea came last October, as part of the development of oil leases sold under the Bush administration and upheld by the Obama administration in March.

Although the appeals court hearing had been scheduled before the Gulf Oil spill and arguments did not involve it, the environmental coalition has been making comparisons in public statements about the case.

Original article here

Greenland proceeds with plans for offshore drilling in Arctic waters

(Darrell Delamaide for via OilGuy/, 9 May 2010) — While the oil spill from a sunken drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico threatens to become an environmental disaster, plans are proceeding for opening up new drilling territories in the iceberg-infested waters off Greenland. The island, an autonomous territory under Danish sovereignty, this week conducted an auction for 14 blocks in Baffin Bay, off the northwest coast of Greenland near Canadian territorial waters. Results will be announced in August. In the meantime, Cairn Energy will this summer begin drilling off DiskoIsland in Baffin Bay on the basis of leases awarded in earlier auctions. Exxon Mobil and Chevron also hold existing leases, while Royal Dutch Shell and Norway’s Statoil were among the bidders in this week’s auctions. The U.S. Geological Survey has estimated that some 50 billion barrels of oil may be found offshore Greenland, where ice covers four-fifths of the surface territory for a good part of the year. Some in Greenland, which has a population of only 57,000, hope that oil will be the ticket to independence from Denmark, which has controlled the island since the 18th century. The portion of the Labrador Current flowing through Davis Strait off western Greenland is known as “iceberg alley” because huge chunks of ice that calve from the northern glaciers make their way into the northern Atlantic along this route. Ironically, global warming, which has melted some of the Arctic glaciers, has made offshore drilling in these waters more feasible. However, the Gulf oil spill is raising concerns in Canada about the risks posed in drilling so near the Canadian coastline. Cairn Energy’s only offshore drilling experience has been in the much warmer Indian Ocean, and no one has had to cope with an oil spill in Arctic waters. Officials from eight Arctic countries, including Canada, are to meet in Greenland next month to discuss possible environmental risks of oil exploration and production in the region. Last fall, seven companies with drilling licenses, including Cairn, formed the Greenland Oil Industry Association to exchange expertise and liaise with the government on environmental and other issues. Analysts estimate that an oil price of at least $50 a barrel is necessary to make Arctic offshore drilling worthwhile. Prices have hovered around $80 a barrel in recent months.

Original article here