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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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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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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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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Oil majors’ West of Shetland assets to overtake North Sea as major producing basin in UK

Over the last four years oil and gas production in the West of Shetlands has risen and with that, a growing relevance for the biggest players still active in the UK continental shelf (UKCS), says GlobalData, a data and analytics company.

Clair Ridge platforms; Source: BP

The company’s latest research reveals that the West of Shetland (WoS) area retains the attention of major Exploration and Production (E&P) players in the region; however infrastructure restraints could hinder future growth potential in the basin.

Despite the US-based E&P majors, such as Chevron and ConocoPhillips largely divesting out of the UK’s E&P sector of late, their European peers have not followed suit, according to GlobalData.

Of the highly successful 30th UK Offshore Licensing Round held in 2017, approximately 75% of the licensed WoS blocks had European major participation. Moreover, European majors have stakes in 80% of the planned and announced projects in the area compared to approximately 40% in the North Sea.

Daniel Rogers, Upstream Oil and Gas Analyst at GlobalData, commented: “In 2018, Royal Dutch Shell (Shell) and BP Plc (BP)’s hydrocarbon production combined accounted for over half of the WoS total volume. Over recent years both companies have seen North Sea production volumes lose dominance in relation to their UK portfolios. As a result, the WoS is set to overtake the North Sea as Shell’s major producing basin in the UK by 2020, whereas this occurred for BP in 2018”.

The majority of upcoming field developments in the area are oil focused as oil processing capacity at the Sullom Voe terminal is currently around half utilized with expected excess capacity available over the near term. However, the Shetland Gas Plant (SGP), where the areas gas is collected, processed and exported, is currently running at less than 25% spare capacity and newly discovered gas volumes in the basin could push the infrastructure to its limits.

Rogers continued: “Total’s recently discovered Glendronach gas-condensate field is expected to add over 200 million cubic feet per day (mmcfd) of gas supply to the SGP at its peak and could commence production as early as 2021. This, in addition to gas volumes coming from the Cambo and Rosebank oil field developments could further strain the existing infrastructure.

“Operators looking to develop new gas fields in the WoS through the mid-2020s could be challenged by the areas capacity restraints. The investments required for facility expansions may impact project returns and force operators away from marginal gas developments.”


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CNOOC drills duster offshore UK

CNOOC Petroleum Europe Limited has drilled a dry well located West of Shetland.

Island Innovator rig
Island Innovator; Source: Island Drilling

CNOOC Petroleum Europe Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CNOOC Limited, confirmed to Offshore Energy Today on Thursday it had drilled and completed its Howick exploration well, 206/21-1, located West of Shetland.

The well was safely plugged and abandoned with dry hole status, the company added.

According to information on Bassoe Offshore, the Howick well was drilled using the Island Innovator semi-submersible drilling rig with a dayrate of $160,000. The rig’s contract with CNOOC is set to expire in November 2019.

Elsewhere in the UK, the CNOOC Petroleum Europe Limited-operated Buzzard field remains shut in more than a week after its second shutdown this month. The field is located about 96 kilometers northeast of Aberdeen, in approximately 96 meters of water.

In related news, CNOOC Limited on Thursday reported it had achieved a total net production of 124.8 million barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) for the third quarter of 2019, representing an increase of 9.7% year over year.

Production from offshore China increased 8.9% YoY to 80.2 million BOE, mainly attributable to production growth from the start-up of new projects. Overseas production increased 11.2% YoY to 44.6 million BOE, mainly due to the contribution from the new projects of Egina and Appomattox.

During the period, the company made three new discoveries and drilled 19 successful appraisal wells. In offshore China, Kenli 6-1 in Bohai was successfully appraised and is expected to be a mid-sized oil and gas structure. In Guyana, the new discovery of Tripletail was made in the Stabroek block, which is the fourteenth oil discovery achieved in the block and will support the future development of the Turbot area.

On development and production, three out of six new projects planned for this year have commenced production. Bozhong 34-9 oil field, Caofeidian 11-1/11-6 comprehensive adjustment project and Wenchang 13-2 comprehensive adjustment project are undergoing offshore commissioning.

Offshore Energy Today Staff


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i3 Energy reaches total depth at Liberator well

UK oil and gas company i3 Energy has reached total depth at its operated Liberator well 13/23c-9 located in the UK North Sea. i3 is now preparing to obtain a vertical seismic profile in the well and to run a shear wave sonic log. 

Borgland Dolphin rig / Image by Stig Silden/Wikimedia – shared under CC BY-SA 3.0 license

i3 Energy hired the Borgland Dolphin rig last April for its undeveloped Liberator oil field and Serenity prospects in the North Sea. The rig completed its acceptance testing ahead of drilling operations in the UK North Sea in mid-August.

i3 Energy announced on Tuesday that the 13/23c-9 pilot well drilled by the Borgland Dolphin on its 100% owned Liberator field had reached total depth at 5818 ft True Vertical Depth subsea (TVDSS) in the Valhall formation.

The objectives of this pilot well are to enable a future development well to be positioned at an optimal location in the upper Captain sands channel in the south-eastern area of the Liberator field.

According to the company, preliminary petrophysical information obtained from the Measurement While Drilling (MWD) tools indicate that the targeted upper Captain sand has not been penetrated and is pinched out at the 13/23c-9 location.

The company said that the lower Captain sand is present in the well and is below the estimated oil water contact as expected.

On initial tie to the seismic data, the well appears to be located proximal to the main upper Captain channel fairway and further well data is required in order to interpret and locate the key reservoir upper Captain channel edge. As such, preparations are being made to obtain a vertical seismic profile (VSP) in the well and to also run a shear wave sonic log, after which 13/23c-9 will be plugged and abandoned as planned.

These data will be used to re-calibrate and update the existing seismic model such that options and plans for further operations at this location to meet the objective of locating a future development well in the south-east area of the field can be made.


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Drill stem test on Hurricane’s UK well produces oil

A drill stem test on the Hurricane Energy-operated Lincoln Crestal well, which is located in the Greater Warwick Area offshore the UK, has produced oil to surface, resulting in a flare. 

Transocean Leader / Photo: Harald Pettersen /Equinor

Lincoln Crestal – or the 205/26b-14 well – is the second well in a three-well program on Lincoln and Warwick (the Greater Warwick Area) being drilled in partnership with Spirit Energy following its farm-in to 50% of the Greater Warwick Area in September 2018.

The Lincoln Crestal was spud in mid-July, using the Transocean Leader semi-submersible drilling rig. By the beginning of September, Hurricane was on track to conduct the drill stem test at the well.

Noting speculations regarding the flare on the Transocean Leader drilling rig, Hurricane confirmed in an update on Monday that a drill stem test on the Lincoln Crestal well had produced oil to surface, resulting in a flare.

At 13:10 on Sunday, September 8, 2019, the well was shut-in to enable a planned pressure build-up test.

“The company will update the market on initial results of the well, including flow rates and oil type, following completion of the ongoing testing phase,” Hurricane concluded.


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