Shipbreaking NGOs Attack FPSO North Sea Producer
16 August of last year the FPSO North Sea Producer was beached in Chittagong, Bangladesh. The ship was allowed to leave the UK based on the false promise that it would be further operationally used in the Tin Can port in Nigeria. One year on, the battle to hold the owners and cash buyers accountable for the illegal export of the FPSO is not over. The North Sea Producer (ex Dagmar Maersk) was deployed in the McCulloch field in the North Sea, transporting and extracting oil from the UK continental shelf for 17 years…
Wreck of WWI German U-boat Sub Found off Belgium
The well-preserved wreck of a World War One German submarine, possibly still containing the bodies of its 23 crew members, has been found off the Belgian coast. The use of submarines, often referred to as U-boats, in World War One to disrupt British trade routes in the English Channel and the North Sea was a key part of German tactics. The 93 German U-boats stationed in Belgian ports downed more than 2,500 ships but were also a target themselves, with 70 of them lost at sea, killing 1,200 sailors.
In Sign of Oil Rebalancing, North Sea Floating Storage Shrinks
The volume of global price benchmark North Sea crude being held in floating storage has declined sharply since mid-August, according to shipping data and trade sources, a sign that a long-awaited market rebalancing is gaining momentum. Two supertankers being used to store North Sea crudes offshore the UK, Desimi and Gener8 Neptune, contain about 4 million barrels of oil, trade sources said. Three weeks ago, the total was closer to 10 million barrels. The clearing of the crude to destinations including China and South Korea has been encouraged by a rise in the price of Brent crude for delivery soon relative to later supplies, trade sources said, a feature known as backwardation. "The whole market is tightening up," said a North Sea trade source.
Sentinel Marine’s New Rescue Vessel Christened
Sentinel Marine’s latest new-build emergency response and rescue vessel (ERRV) has been deployed to service in the North Sea after being christened at Aberdeen Harbor. The new vessel, Mariner Sentinel, is operating on behalf of Statoil at its Mariner field to the east of Shetland – the sixth of nine vessels to join the firm’s fleet since 2015. Statoil’s Aberdeen-based offshore logistics and services supervisor, Line Kaldestad, officially named Mariner Sentinel in her role as the ship’s godmother.
Bibby Offshore Wraps up North Sea Work
Perenco appointed Bibby Offshore to perform subsea integrity inspections and maintenance works on the Inde Joint pipeline, which runs to the Bacton Gas Terminal in the Southern North Sea. Completed in early July, the 15-day workscope saw Bibby Offshore install a total of 94 concrete mattresses over the pipeline to assist in preserving the remaining rock dump mounds. The second workscope, completed in late July, saw Endeavour Energy UK contract Bibby Offshore to carry out subsea tree inspections in the Renee and Rubie fields located in blocks 15/27 and 15/28 of the Central North Sea.
ROG Ship Repair Completes FPSO Moonpool Project
Holland’s ROG Ship Repair said it has come to the aid of a Floating Production & Storage Offshore (FPSO) vessel ran into problematic weather conditions while being towed from Europe to the Middle East. Having recently been assigned a new contract, the 89,184 dwt, 248.1 m long FPSO Aoka Mizu (Japanese for Bluewater), owned and operated by Holland’s Bluewater Energy Services, will be utilized for the early production system (EPS) phase of the development on Hurricane’s offshore field in the North Sea.
North Sea Atlantic Joins the Technip fleet
On Saturday July 26, 2014, a ceremony was held in Bergen to officially name the latest new subsea construction vessel to join the Technip fleet, the North Sea Atlantic. More than 200 guests from shipowner North Sea Shipping, ship charterer Technip and supply chain partners, gathered to attend the ceremony held at the NorYards BMV AS shipyard (previously Bergen Group) in Laksevåg, Bergen, Norway. The event was hosted by North Sea Shipping CEO, Hallvard Klepsvik, and his wife, Sigrid Anne Våge, acted as the vessel godmother. Technip announced in 2012 that it had signed a long term charter agreement with North Sea Shipping for an advanced new build construction vessel.
Dundee Wants to be a Major Oil and Gas Decommissioning Hub
Forth Ports Limited and AF Offshore Decom UK announced the signing of a Heads of Agreement with the intent to establish a new joint venture, AF Dundee, which will lay the foundations of creating a North Sea oil and gas decommissioning hub in the city of Dundee, with its nucleus at the port. AF Offshore Decom UK, a subsidiary of AF Gruppen, is one of the North Sea’s most respected and prominent decommissioning contractors and operates AF VATS Environmental Base in Norway, the North Sea’s most advanced facility for decommissioning offshore installations.
CWind Awarded TP Gate Contract
Offshore wind industry services provider CWind said it has been awarded a contract by DONG Energy, to install new and retrofit existing gates on the transition pieces (TPs) at the Gode Wind and Borkum Riffgrund offshore wind farms, located in the North Sea off the coast of Northern Germany. CWind, which is part of the Global Marine Group and delivers the company’s power capabilities, will use its crew transfer vessels, assets and engineering expertise to help complete the project.
NSC Connects North Sea Networks
North Sea Communications (NSC), an Oslo, Norway-based independent telecom operator, has made interconnection agreements with both TampNett AS and Central North Sea Fiber Telecommunications Company Ltd. (CNSFTC), to link the companies' fiber-optic networks in the North Sea, says a recent Lightwave report. Telecom traffic is already flowing from TampNett via NSC and CNSFTC to Aberdeen. According to the report, NSC connects the networks through its nodes at Draupner and Ula; the interconnection agreements with the other optical cable owners enables traffic flow among all nodes in the networks. The arrangement allows for direct, low-latency communications among offshore facilities and on-shore offices and operation centers, independent of country.
Subsea North Sea Pipelay Alliance Agreed
Ocean Installer & leading offshore engineering & construction company McDermott establish alliance to meet rigid pipelay needs in the North Sea subsea market. The alliance marks McDermott’s re-entry into the North Sea and establishes Ocean Installer as a tier one North Sea contractor by adding rigid pipelay to the company’s capabilities. McDermott continues to expand its subsea resources including a growing fleet of rigid-pipelay vessels such as the highly advanced Lay Vessel North Ocean 105, its sister ship Lay Vessel 108 (expected to be available mid-2014), and recently announced new-build deepwater combination S-Lay vessel with a 2000-ton crane DLV 2000, (expected to be available in 2015).
CIMC Raffles Starts Norway's Semisub Construction
Chinese semi-submersible rig specialist CIMC Raffles has kicked off construction of a deep-water unit destined for operation in Norway’s North Sea and other challenging regions such as the Arctic and Barents Sea.Construction started yesterday. Beacon Atlantic, built for Norway’s rig player North Sea Rigs to the GM4-D design, will be capable of operating in water depths of 500 metres with drilling depth up to 8000 metres. Classed classification society DNV GL, the rig with DP3 system and a drilling package provided by NOV will be built to the Norsok standards…
BP Orders 4 PSVs from HHI for North Sea
The vessels will be deployed to support its West of Shetland (WoS) and Norwegian operations and are be delivered between the winter of 2013 and summer of 2014. The purpose built and highly specified vessels have been designed to provide long term support to BP’s North Sea business and will provide the capabilities BP requires to deliver its strategy more efficiently and safely. The vessels will have oil spill response capability and special tanks to transport fluids required for planned enhanced oil recovery (EOR) schemes. The arrangement is structured such that BP Shipping has contracted Hyundai to build the vessels and then hire them to BP Exploration Operating Company on a 15 year bareboat term charter.
New Oil Field Found in British North Sea
GDF SUEZ E&P UK Ltd and BP today announced a new exploration discovery in the UK Central North Sea. The discovery, which spans GDF SUEZ operated block 30/1f (licence P1588) and BP operated block 30/1c (licence P363) was flow tested at a maximum rate of 5,350 barrels of oil equivalent per day. The discovery, referred to as ‘Marconi’ by GDF SUEZ and ‘Vorlich’ by BP, is located in the Central North Sea. Ruud Zoon, Managing Director of GDF SUEZ E&P UK Ltd said: “This is an encouraging…
Rowan Wins North Sea Contract
Rowan Companies won a term drilling contract for use of the Rowan Gorilla VII in the North Sea commencing in August 2005. The contract provides for a one-year term with a minimum work commitment of nine months, and includes an option for a second year. Rowan estimates that contract revenues, based on a one-year term, will be approximately $65 million. As previously reported, Gorilla VII is currently carrying out decommissioning activities on the Ardmore Field in the North Sea which the Company expects to conclude during July.
Tidewater Sells North Sea Boats
Tidewater Inc. will sell its North Sea safety-standby boats to BUE Marine Limited of Edinburgh, Scotland. The $40 million all-cash deal is expected to close by late June. The 28 safety-standby boats were obtained by Tidewater as part of earlier acquisitions. This type of rescue vessel is required for oil and gas entities operating in the North Sea.
BP, Conoco Cutting North Sea Jobs
Oil majors BP and ConocoPhillips will cut over 500 jobs in the North Sea following similar moves by rivals to reduce costs in one of the world's most expensive exploration areas as oil prices tumble. Although the cuts are relatively small for companies with dozens of thousands of employees, they come at a politically sensitive time in Britain as the Scottish independence debate continues and a May parliamentary election looms. BP said the cuts of 200 onshore staff and 100 contractors were part of a previously announced $1 billion reorganisation aimed at simplifying the company's structure after it sold billions of dollars of assets.
OSV Ship of the Year 'North Sea Giant'
The North Sea Giant is considered to be the largest offshore vessel of this type ever built, with an overall length of 156m, beam of 30m and installed power of more than 22MW. The vessel was given the prize for her innovative features, which include advanced dynamic positioning (DP) capability for DP operations based on a high redundancy level and high propulsion power. North Sea Giant has a capacity for 120 people and its structure is highlighted by its heliport on the bow and a bridge placed up on the sixth deck of the vessel. The vessel boasts a working deck area of close to 3000 sqm .
BP Selects Offshore Automation Contractor of Choice
Emerson will be BP’s preferred supplier of integrated control and safety systems for five offshore fields in the U.K. continental shelf, including the new Clair Ridge platforms and the Quad 204 floating production, storage and offloading vessel. Emerson’s selection as contractor of choice builds on an earlier agreement in which the company was named a Main Automation Contractor for BP projects globally. By standardizing on a single contractor for its North Sea region, BP expects to gain significant benefits including efficient project execution, training, maintenance and support. Emerson will provide a wide range of services for control and safety systems, from front-end engineering and design to installation, testing and support.
Production Cost of North Sea Oil and Gas Doubles
A chronic shortage of rigs and workers has doubled the cost of producing oil and gas in the North Sea, threatening to make the UK’s domestic oil industry uncompetitive, warned UKOOA, the association of North Sea offshore operators, according to Times Online. Signs that costs are crimping investment emerge in the association’s survey of North Sea activity. Further evidence of the dramatic worldwide oil industry cost escalation emerged in a new index showing a 53 per cent increase in project costs over just two years. The Upstream Capital Costs Index, launched by IHC and Cambridge Energy Research Associates (Cera), climbed 13 per cent in the six months to the end of October because of soaring inflation in hiring rigs, shipyard fabrication and labour.
North Sea Open for Business
More licenses than ever before are being offered to companies to extract oil and gas from the North Sea, UK’s Energy Minister Mike O'Brien announced on Nov. 12, 2008. The announcement will help the UK to make the most of its own home grown supplies of energy. As part of the Department of Energy and Climate Change' s 25th offshore oil and gas licensing round, 171 new licences are being offered to 100 companies covering 257 blocks of the North Sea. "We are now seeing record interest from companies wishing to exploit the UK's considerable oil and gas resources in the North Sea. Whilst there's not an endless supply of North Sea oil and gas, with up to 20 billion barrels, or more, left under the sea we can't overlook its contribution to our security of energy supply as well as to our economy.
Kvaerner Sells Fabrication Yard, Changes North Sea Strategy
Kvaerner is selling its U.K. Teesside fabrication yard and reducing its reliance on North Sea offshore business, a company official said. The decision to sell the 36-acre facility was a result of the company's shifting strategy, as U.K. and European construction yards faced bleak prospects from dwindling North Sea orders, the official said. A handful of workers remain at the yard, which once employed 3,000, to help in the clear-up operations. The sale is expected to take at least three months. Kvaerner, which was badly burned last year after posting a record pre-tax loss, will be looking at subsea technology activities while expanding its business in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Africa.
Tax Doubles for North Sea Energy Companies
The British government, struggling to erase its deficit, is doubling the surtax for North Sea oil and gas companies, a move that surprised an industry expecting an increase half that size, according to a Globe and Mail report. The proposed increase in the supplementary tax for North Sea energy companies is for 20 percent of income from the current 10 percent, with the change expected to cost the industry the equivalent of $13-billion over the next three years. The move affects several Canadian energy companies with North Sea assets, including Canadian Natural Resources Ltd., Nexen Inc., Petro-Canada and Talisman Energy Inc. According to the report…