Statoil reported an oil discovery in the Miocene Yeti prospect at approximately 220 miles from New Orleans. Drilling was conducted with the semi-submersible Maersk Developer drilling rig. Yeti is operated by Statoil (50%) and its partners are Anadarko (37.5%) and Samson (12.5%).
On March 30, BP decided to terminate contracts for two deepwater floating platforms in the GoM, Seadrill Partner’s semi-submersible West Sirius and Ensco’s DS-4 drill ship. But the weakening market for exploration and completion vessels is being offset by the greater availability of lower cost ships for decommissioning work.
The oil and gas industry is facing a shortage of trained engineers as the cohort that joined the industry in the 1970s retire. This is particularly severe in the flow assurance field, which, according to Multi-Chem, a subsidiary of Halliburton, is something that oil companies need to focus on due to the threat of hydrate formation caused by the increased exploitation of deepwater fields.
Exxon Mobil Corporation has announced that production has begun at the Hadrian South field in the deepwater US GoM, while FMC Technologies and Techinp signed an agreement to launch Forsys Subsea. The GoM oil and gas Lease Sale 235 was in line with expectations, attracting $538,780,056 in high bids for tracts offshore Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi.
Digital solutions are increasingly helping oil companies to optimize production. Large operators such as Chevron, ConocoPhilips and Marathon are leading the way, but smaller independent oil companies like Rosetta Resources are also making the most out of new technologies.
Service companies, operators and universities are co-operating to bringing futuristic technology to market. Schlumberger and Halliburton are leading the way, at the behest of BP, ExxonMobil, Chevron and Eni.
The fall in exploration work frees resources to increase efficiency, especially for well optimization - but it can strain relations between operators and suppliers. For example, Helix Energy Solutions and Island Offshore Subsea (light well-intervention vessels serving small operators) are holding their breaths as current rates may only last 6 more months.
With a R&D investment by operators such as Statoil, Shell, Total, ExxonMobil, ENI, Chevron, and ConocoPhillips of more than US $ 300 million over the last 35 years, the simulation software OLGA is today an indispensable reference tool in the flow assurance field.