i3 opens data room to entice farm-in partners for UK offshore assets

UK independent i3 Energy has opened its data room to potential partner companies looking to farm into its UK North Sea assets ahead of an upcoming appraisal drilling program.

Borgland Dolphin, rig which drilled the Liberator and Serenity prospects; Source: Dolphin Drilling CEO Bjørnar Iversen

i3 Energy said on Thursday that the farm-out would fund a 2020 appraisal drilling program on its assets in 13/23c Block in the UK North Sea.

According to the company, the data room is now open and companies are actively evaluating the opportunity.

i3’s 13/23c Block holds the Serenity and Liberator oil finds drilled during the 2019 drilling campaign.

The company successfully completed the drilling of the Serenity 13/23c-10 well in late October 2019. Preliminary well results were consistent with i3 Energy’s pre-drill estimate of 197 mmbbls STOIIP for the entire Serenity closure within the company’s license area.

After plugging and abandonment of the Serenity well, the Borgland Dolphin semi-submersible rig mobilized to the Liberator field to drill the final well in the 2019 drilling program. i3 Energy hit oil on the Liberator 13/23c-11 well in late November of the same year.

The company also said on Thursday it was planning to list its shares on a secondary exchange.

i3 added that it was doing it for administrative reasons related to the company’s Loan Notes issued May 31, 2019, and explained that this was not being done in preparation for imminent equity placing as indicated by market rumors.

Offshore Energy Today Staff


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Creditors vote in favor of Premier’s North Sea deal despite objections

UK oil and gas company Premier Oil has gained approval from the majority of its creditors for the schemes of arrangement required for the acquisition of North Sea assets from BP and Dana. The schemes still remain subject to a court approval.

BP’s Andrew platform included in the deal with Premier; Image source: BP

Premier Oil received a court approval to go ahead with a plan to have its creditors vote to extend debt maturities and buy UK North Sea fields from BP and Dana in mid-January and convened the creditor meeting for February 12 despite objections by its largest creditor ARCM.

Premier announced on Wednesday that the scheme meetings of the super senior scheme creditors and senior scheme creditors of Premier and Premier Oil UK Limited were held earlier today.

The scheme meetings were held for the purpose of proposing resolutions to the scheme creditors to approve the schemes of arrangement required to implement the announced UK North Sea acquisitions, related funding arrangements, and extension of Premier’s credit facilities.

According to Premier, the resolutions at each of the scheme meetings were approved by the relevant majorities of the scheme creditors in each class being a majority in number representing at least 75% in value of those present and voting (in person or by proxy).

Namely, of the super senior scheme creditors, 86.81% in value of those voting approved the schemes with 99.30% in value voting, and of the senior scheme creditors, 83.86% of those voting approved the schemes with 96.51% in value voting.

ARCM: Court hearing not a ‘rubber-stamping’ exercise

The schemes remain subject to approval by the Scottish Court of Session with the sanction hearing currently scheduled to start on March 17, 2020.

Earlier on Wednesday, before the vote, Premier’s largest creditor, which has been opposing the acquisition since the start, said it would vote against the scheme proposal “as it believes the proposed acquisitions expose the company and its stakeholders to significant incremental risks.”

ARCM, the creditor, also said that regardless of the result of the vote, the March court hearing “is not a ‘rubber-stamping’ exercise and the Court will consider issues beyond the outcome of the vote at the creditors’ meetings in determining whether or not to sanction the schemes.”

At the sanction hearing, creditors who object to the schemes may raise their opposition, ARCM said.

“Above all, the Court must be satisfied that the statutory requirements have been met, the vote is fairly representative of the creditors concerned, there is no ‘blot’ on the Schemes, and that the Schemes are fair,” ARCM stated.

ARCM reiterated it would vigorously oppose the schemes and would take all necessary steps to do so, including opposing the sanctioning of the schemes.

Offshore Energy Today Staff


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Premier files decommissioning plan for Huntington field FPSO

Oil and gas company Premier Oil has filed its decommissioning program for the float-off of the Huntington field FPSO, located in the UK North Sea, to the UK authorities.

Voyageur Spirit FPSO; Source: Teekay

The Premier-operated Huntington field is located in block 22/14b of the Central North Sea, approximately 230km from Aberdeen, 28km from the UK/NOR median line, in a water depth of approximately 89m. Production started in 2013. Produced oil is stored in cargo oil tanks and exported using shuttle tankers. Dehydrated gas is also exported to shore via the Central Area Transmission System.

The Huntington field is currently producing via Teekay’s Voyageur Spirit FPSO, and the operation will be continued until relevant notices are made to cease production.

Premier said it had investigated various alternative production strategies to further extend the life of the Huntington field, but no viable alternative to decommissioning has been identified.

Therefore, Premier field a document, which contains the decommissioning program for the departure of the Voyageur Spirit FPSO and the removal of the associated riser system in the Huntington field.

Removal of the Voyageur Spirit FPSO is part of the overall Huntington field decommissioning project, the scope of which is split up into three phases, proposed to be executed over a seven-year period.

The FPSO will be removed in phase 1. The remaining subsea infrastructure, pipelines, structures and stabilisation features, will be decommissioned during phase 2. The wells plugging and abandoned (including drill template removal), environmental surveys, debris clearance (and verification) will be carried out in phase 3.

The Voyageur Spirit will be utilized for the initial decommissioning activities, namely the flushing/de-oiling of the subsea infrastructure i.e. manifolds, risers, subsea pipelines and umbilical, and to support with the implementation of positive isolations. The FPSO is then not required to perform any further decommissioning and it is proposed that the vessel is removed thereafter from its current location.

Activities associated with subsequent decommissioning stages of the subsea pipelines, umbilical, risers and other subsea infrastructure will require the services provided by other specialist vessels.

The FPSO is on the Huntington field under a lease and operate contract between Premier Oil and Teekay. As Teekay’s business model includes the deployment and re-deployment of floating production facilities, leading up to CoP and/or post Phase 1 decommissioning, Teekay will pursue and/or secure alternative arrangements for redeployment of the floating production facility.

Huntington field layout – pre-sailaway

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Greenpeace blocks BP’s headquarters on Looney’s first day as new boss

Greenpeace activists have delivered hundreds of solar panels and blocked an entrance to BP’s headquarters in London on Bernard Looney’s first day in the office as the company’s new CEO. 

Source: Greenpeace

Greenpeace said on Wednesday that, at 3am this morning, 100 of its activists delivered 500 solar panels with a total area of over 800 square meters to BP’s London headquarters in St James’ Square, London.

According to Greenpeace, all six office doors around the building have been blocked with activists locked to dirty oil barrels to prevent staff from entering.

Police prevented the activists from installing the panels on the pavements and roads surrounding the offices but there are currently 50 activists blocking the road outside the HQ, the organization added.

Source: Greenpeace

It is worth reminding that BP’s Bob Dudley decided to retire from the CEO role and was replaced by Bernard Looney, previously BP’s chief executive, Upstream. Dudley stepped down from the role following delivery of BP’s 2019 full-year results on February 4, 2020, and will retire on March 31, 2020.

Greenpeace said that BP’s new CEO, Bernard Looney, is expected to commission a report on BP’s future direction in a warming world, to be published in the summer.

“But despite the warm words, BP are still intending to spend $71 billion developing new oil and gas fields this decade – £32 for every £1 they invest in renewables – and they are a world leader in lobbying to block legislation which could speed up the decarbonisation of our economy. The Trump administration has given a significant boost to their efforts in recent years, abandoning or weakening environmental regulations at BP’s request,” Greenpeace stated.

Richard George, climate campaigner for greenpeace and one of the activists at BP’s headquarters, said: “This morning police managed to block our solar installation, but BP are trying to block the transition to clean energy on a global scale. Their lobbyists have the ear of governments around the world, they spend millions blocking action to fix the climate emergency and billions on drilling for more oil and gas to make it worse. Floods, droughts, forest fires and hurricanes all over the globe start right here with the plans made in BP’s headquarters.

“Their new CEO needs to accept that if BP wants to keep trading in the twenty-first century, they need to switch to 100% renewable energy. We’re not going to settle for a green-themed rebrand, solar panels on their petrol stations or wind turbines on their oil rigs. The only realistic response to the climate emergency is to cut emissions. BP need to stop wasting billions drilling for more oil and gas that we simply can’t burn, and produce a plan to get out of the oil business entirely.”

The activists will be keeping the offices closed to ensure that Looney’s mind is focussed on the most important part of his new job, how to stop causing the climate crisis, Greenpeace concluded.

In a statement responding to Greenpeace’s protest, BP said that its new CEO Bernard Looney is visiting employees in Germany today, but he understands the frustration and anger of protestors in London.

“He shares their deep concern about climate change and will set out his low carbon ambition for the company next week. He hopes that what he has to say then will give people a sense that we get it and are very serious about working to address the problem,” BP said.

It is also worth mentioning that a UK court on Tuesday granted permission to Greenpeace to challenge the legality of a BP’s North Sea drilling permit.

Greenpeace argued that the government was wrong to award BP a permit to drill in the Vorlich oil field, north of Inverness, because it failed to properly consult the public on its decision.

At a hearing in the High Court, Justice Lang granted Greenpeace permission to proceed with a judicial review case against the government’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. BP was named as an interested party in the case.

Offshore Energy Today Staff


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Eni takes Vroon’s platform supplier for work offshore UK

Italian oil major Eni has awarded a contract to one of Vroon Offshore’s platform supply vessels (PSVs).

VOS Prelude; Image: Vroon

Vroon said on Monday that the charter was awarded to the VOS Prelude PSV by Eni’s subsidiary – Eni UK Limited.

Operating out of the port of Great Yarmouth, the vessel will support a “substantial” plug and abandonment/decommissioning campaign in the southern sector of the North Sea, Vroon added.

According to the company, the VOS Prelude is fixed for 31 months firm, with further options, if required.

Vroon added that the vessel recently completed a separate charter with Eni UK, supporting a drilling campaign in the fourth quarter of 2019.

As for the vessel, the VOS Prelude is a 2010-built UT-755 LN DP2 PSV, managed and operated by VOS Den Helder.


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Creditor calls for ‘transparent responses’ over ‘unclear details’ of Premier’s North Sea deal

Premier Oil’s largest creditor, ARCM, has raised new concerns regarding Premier’s proposed acquisition of North Sea assets from BP and Dana Petroleum and called upon Premier to provide full and transparent responses. 

BP’s Andrew platform included in the deal with Premier; Image source: BP

Premier in early January proposed to buy the assets through a scheme that would allow it to extend debt maturities. Despite ARCM’s objections, Premier last week got an approval from the court to go ahead with the plan to have its creditors vote to extend debt maturities and buy the North Sea assets.

Upon receiving approval from the court, Premier said it would convene the creditor meetings for the schemes, to be held on February 12, 2020, with the schemes sanction hearing expected to take place in March.

ARCM, Premier’s largest creditor, holding more than 15% across the company’s debt instruments with blocking positions in two of them, on Friday noted Premier Oil’s announcement on the convening of scheme meetings to once again extend debt maturity and to approve the making of acquisitions.

ARCM reiterated that the proposed acquisitions would expose the company and its business to significant incremental risks.

ARCM’s opposition to these proposed acquisitions has to be considered within the context that ARCM has not previously opposed any of the company’s consent requests involving investments since it became a lender to the company in 2016, the creditor said.

Upon a review of Premier’s January 7 presentation, ARCM noted that there were “a number of important details which are unclear yet are critical to enable stakeholders to meaningfully assess the merits of the acquisitions.”

ARCM also said that, over the next few weeks, it would pose a series of questions to the company relating to the acquisitions and called upon Premier to provide full and transparent responses to its stakeholders.

Offshore Energy Today Staff


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Seven activists arrested after rig protest in Scotland

Seven people have reportedly been arrested after taking part in a protest against the oil and gas industry by climbing on a Valaris-owned and Shell-chartered jack-up rig destined for the North Sea. 

Source: Extinction Rebellion

As reported on Monday, activists from the environmental organization Extinction Rebellion occupied the Valaris JU-122 jack-up rig located in Dundee harbor. The rig is currently contracted by Shell for operations in the North Sea.

The activists scaled the rig with an intention to stay up there for as long as possible to stop the rig leaving the harbor, and to halt the rig’s operations in the North Sea.

However, the environmental group said later on Monday that the activists had left the rig due to deteriorating weather conditions.

According to BBC, the three female protesters that climbed the rig on Monday came down five hours later. The news agency also said that a total of seven people had been arrested.

BBC also reported that seven people had been charged in connection with an “occupation” at a drilling rig at the Port of Dundee. Three women, aged 25, 27, and 35, and four men aged 21, 23, 24, and 31 are expected to appear at Dundee Sheriff Court later, BBC said.

Despite the quick closure of the rig protest and the subsequent arrests, Extinction Rebellion said that this was just the beginning.

Offshore Energy Today Staff


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Heimdal incident: Condition of one worker ‘serious but not life-threatening’

The condition of one of the employees who were injured in yesterday’s work-related incident on the Heimdal platform in the North Sea is serious, but not life-threatening, Equinor informed on Friday afternoon. 

The Heimdal platform
The Heimdal platform; Credit: Øyvind Hagen/Equinor

As reported early on Friday, two Equinor employees were injured in a serious work-related incident onboard the Heimdal platform in the North Sea on Thursday, November 28. Following the incident, Norway’s offshore safety authority has launched an investigation with the purpose of finding direct and underlying causes of the incident.

In a follow-up statement on Friday afternoon, Equinor said that the other employee had suffered physical injuries that were not as serious as the colleague’s injuries. Both employees are receiving medical treatment in the hospital.

“This is a serious work-related incident that has strongly affected all of us. Our main priority now is to keep following up and supporting our injured personnel and their next-of-kin. Their colleagues on Heimdal, where the incident occurred, are also being taken care of and we have sent extra personnel offshore to support them,” said Arne Sigve Nylund, executive vice president for Development and Production Norway.

The two injured employees, a man (22) and a woman (19), were taken care of by health personnel onboard Heimdal and were transported to Haukeland University Hospital and Stavanger University Hospital.

The incident occurred as a result of an explosion of a portable nitrogen gas container onboard the platform and was reported to Equinor’s emergency response center at 18.06 on November 28. There were 70 people on board the platform when the incident occurred.

Equinor noted it was too early to say something about the cause of the incident. The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway and the police have traveled to the platform to start their investigations.

“We have also initiated an internal investigation and we are helping the police and other relevant authorities carry out their investigations in the best possible way,” said Nylund.

He added that a controlled production shutdown on Heimdal was planned to ensure proper follow-up of personnel onboard the platform.


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Corallian preparing for IPO and farm-out of two North Sea prospects

UK private oil and gas operator Corallian Energy has revealed plans for an initial public offering (IPO) next year and a farm-out process for two North Sea prospects.

Location of license P2478

Reabold Resources, a 35 percent owner of Corallian, said on Friday that the oil and gas firm was targeting a public flotation in the second half of next year after fundraising £300,000 (around $385,000).

The raised finances will also be used to finalize well locations on the Unst and Dunrobin prospects, with a farm-out process to be launched in December at the PROSPEX industry event in London.

Unst, in the Viking Graben region, is 100% owned by Corallian and has prospective resources of 68 billion cubic feet of gas, while Dunrobin in the Inner Moray Firth has prospective estimated resources of 187 million barrels of oil equivalent. Corallian holds a 45 percent stake in the prospect.

It is worth reminding that Dunrobin is located in Licence P2478, awarded to the company in late September.

Reabold added on Friday that “progress was being made in discussions on the farm-out of further interest in the planned Curlew-A well in license P2396.”

Corallian owns 90 percent of Curlew-A after selling a ten percent stake to Australia-based Talon Petroleum in October last year. Curlew-A has unrisked contingent resources of 39 million barrels of oil equivalent.

The company also believes that there are additional unrisked prospective resources of 30 million barrels in separate rock formations.

It is also worth noting that Corallian submitted applications to the Oil and Gas Authority’s 32nd Seaward Licensing Round.


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i3 Energy spuds new pilot well on Liberator field

UK independent i3 Energy has started drilling a new pilot well at its Liberator field in the outer Moray Firth, offshore UK.

Borgland Dolphin under mobilization to the current drilling operations for i3 Energy in August 2019. Source: Dolphin Drilling CEO Bjørnar Iversen

i3 said on Friday that this was the third and final well in a three-well campaign the company was carrying out with the Borgland Dolphin rig.

According to the company, the Liberator A2 pilot well will help i3 choose where to drill the future LP-02 production well.

The drilling of the final well follows the successful drilling, plugging, and abandonment of the Serenity well. The well struck oil in late October, confirming the strong commercial potential of the Serenity area.

Preliminary well results were consistent with i3 Energy’s pre-drill estimate of 197 MMbbls STOIIP for the entire Serenity closure within the company’s license area.

At the time, i3 has also agreed a rig contract extension and payment deferral with Dolphin Drilling. Namely, due to an unexpected on the Liberator field, and standby time incurred before drilling ops at Serenity, the company secured a right of first refusal on the Borgland Dolphin semi-submersible rig to January 31, 2020, so that the company can continue drilling operations at Serenity and Liberator.

Associated with this contract extension, Dolphin agreed to defer certain payments for drilling costs beyond September 30, 2019, which will be due to settle between January and August 2020.

i3 and Dolphin also entered into a strategic operational alliance for the use of Dolphin drilling rigs for i3 operations to August 2023, which would cover potential future appraisal and development drilling on Liberator and Serenity.

The company added in its statement on Friday that it agreed to issue £5 million of equity to the funders of its May 2019 junior loan notes at a price of 35p per share via private placement to provide flexibility to extend the drilling program.

The deadline by which i3 must enter a reserve-based lending facility or find alternative development financing has been extended from December 6 to April 30, 2020.

Majid Shafiq, CEO of i3 Energy, said: “We are excited to be drilling again at Liberator on the back of our success at Serenity.

“The A2 location has been selected as a low-risk target in close proximity to Liberator’s two well penetrations, giving us a high-level of confidence when tied into the recently reprocessed seismic that was used to select the Serenity discovery well location.

“The company is also very pleased with the additional funding we’ve received from our loan noteholders. Their continued material support shows a great level of confidence in i3’s assets and management team.”


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