Thursday, 25 February 2016



Leading international oilfield services company, Expro, has secured a new framework agreement with Statoil Petroleum AS in the Norwegian Continental Shelf (NCS).

The agreement, for three years with options to extend for three, two-year periods will see Expro provide subsea services and well control systems delivering its large bore landing string assemblies for completion, workover and intervention projects from both semi-submersibles and jack-up rigs.

Neil Sims, Vice President - Europe CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States), comments:
“This agreement reaffirms the long-standing relationship between Expro and Statoil, established through the provision of well testing and clean-up services over the last 8+ years. We are proud to now be providing subsea landing strings and supporting services for Statoil’s key projects in the NCS.

“Expro are well positioned to support Statoil in Norway with recent investments in a new base and technology – including our $10m facility in Tananger.”

Last year, Expro secured key contracts with Statoil in Canada and Norway for the provision of surface well testing, subsea safety systems, drill stem testing tools, tubing conveyed perforation, downhole sampling and on-site chemistry services.

Minor gas discovery near the Oseberg field in the North Sea – 25/02/2016

Minor gas discovery near the Oseberg field in the North Sea – 30/9-28 S

Statoil Petroleum AS, operator of production licence 104, has completed drilling of wildcat well 30/9-28 S.
The well was drilled about 5.5 kilometres west of the Oseberg South field in the central part of the North Sea and 140 kilometres west of Bergen.

The primary exploration target was to prove petroleum in Lower and Middle Jurassic reservoir rocks (the Tarbert formation and upper part of the Statfjord group). The secondary exploration target was to prove petroleum in Lower Jurassic reservoir rocks (lower part of the Statfjord group).

The well encountered an approx. 20-metre gas column, of which 10 metres were in sandstone with good reservoir quality in the Tarbert formation. The gas/water contact in the Tarbert formation has been estimated at 2870 metres based on pressure data. In the Statfjord group, the well encountered a 12-metre gas column in sandstone with moderate reservoir quality. The gas/water contact was proven at 3506 metres. The secondary exploration target in the lower part of the Statfjord group is aquiferous.

Preliminary estimation of the size of the discovery is between one and two million standard cubic metres (Sm3) of recoverable oil equivalents. The discovery will be considered for development as part of the “Oseberg Future Phase 2” project.

The well was not formation-tested, but data acquisition and sampling were carried out.

This is the 24th exploration well drilled in production licence 104.

The well was drilled to a measured and vertical depth of 4083 and 3928 metres below the sea surface, respectively, and was terminated in the Statfjord group in the Lower Jurassic. Water depth is 99 metres. The well is now being permanently plugged and abandoned.

Well 30/9-28 S was drilled by the Songa Delta drilling facility, which will now proceed to drill a shallow gas pilot, 30/6-U-27 in production licence 053, where Statoil Petroleum AS is the operator.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016



UK flowmeter specialist Litre Meter ( has long recognised the need for bespoke solutions for specific flow application requirements. Fluids differ in viscosities and in their chemical and physical properties. Flow rates and materials also vary. In order to deliver solutions, it has been necessary to design and customise flowmeters for each application – until now.

In order to respond quickly to requests for flowmeter solutions Litre Meter now keeps in stock design drawings for 115,000 different VFF flowmeter configurations. The sheer range of choice has effectively designed-out the need for customisation. Using pre-existing drawings means that meters are built and delivered more quickly with increased efficiencies for the customer.

Lead times are greatly reduced and customers can bring their projects to fruition and get them commissioned and online quickly to minimise delay and maximise production – and therefore profits.

Litre Meter has created a dedicated program that enables Litre Meter distributors and application engineers to select and configure flowmeter solutions using all the options available to them.

“Customisation has become more complex than ever as technologies have been developed to provide more sophisticated communications, a wider range of connections and accurate measurements at higher pressures and over wider flow ranges – down to very low flow rates,” said Litre Meter CEO Charles Wemyss.

“However, we recognise that although customisation takes time it results in cost savings in a variety of applications. We have therefore collated all our available customisation options into a one-stop-shop for flowmeter applications to speed up the design and manufacturing processes. Our customers no longer need to ‘make do’ with a standard instrument that does not fully meet the needs of the application.”

The VFF flowmeter is suitable for measuring liquids with flow rates from 0.0004 l/m (0.5 litres per day) to over 270 l/min, at pressure ratings up to 4,000 bar (60,000 psi). It is of intrinsically safe design and manufactured to operate reliably at temperatures ranging from -40 to 100°C.

Research led to the development of highly customised versions of standard rotary piston meters, which are now part of the standard range. The low flow capability of Litre Meter VFF meters was improved by providing the pressure balance chamber and titanium rotor with a physical vapour deposition (PVD) coating designed to lower the friction properties of the meter to provide extended flow ability. The additional hardness provided by the PVD coating also improved wear resistance.

Litre Meter’s VFF LF05 was, until recently, the ultimate current positive displacement flow meter and is capable of measuring down to 0.03 litres/hour at viscosities of 2 cSt and just 0.02 litres/hour when the viscosity is 10 cSt. It has a flow range of zero to 30 litres/hour, a viscosity range of 0.8 to 2000 cSt or greater, an accuracy of ±0.5 per cent of reading and repeatability of ±0.25 per cent.

Litre Meter then introduced the VFF LF03, which takes the capability of the range down to lower flows than ever before – for example, on a fluid with a viscosity of 5 cP the LF03 will measure down to 0.015 litres/hour rather than 0.024 litres/hour for the LF05 and 0.065 litres/hour for the LF15.

Standard meters are available with a 316 stainless steel, titanium, duplex and super duplex steel bodies, with a variety of connections. Flowmeters are also available with the state-of-the-art direct space-saving FlowPod instruments. These provide local display indication in an enclosure that is only 85 mm in diameter and is back-lit with large rate and totalizer digits providing local display of flow rate and total flow. They have HART 7 protocols on a two-wire system mounted in an ATEX Exd stainless steel housing.

As a low flow specialist working with suppliers to major companies such as BP, Chevron, Anadarko, Shell UK and Tyco, Litre Meter has supplied meters for chemical injection in the oil and gas industry for projects around the world for over 20 years. This experience in chemical injection applications onshore and offshore has confirmed the instrument’s capability to reliably measure fluids to help maintain flow assurance under extreme conditions of both temperature and pressure.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Virtus Oil and Gas Signs Letter of Intent to Purchase Oil and Gas Field in San Juan County, Utah - 23/02/2016

Virtus Oil and Gas Signs Letter of Intent to Purchase Oil and Gas Field in San Juan County, Utah

Virtus Oil and Gas Corporation (OTCBB: VOIL) ("Virtus" or "the Company") today announced it has signed a letter of intent with a US subsidiary of an international Oil and Gas Company, to acquire its U.S. operated, producing Oil and Gas Fields in San Juan County, Utah. 

Under the terms of the letter, VOIL has 30 days to conduct and complete its due diligence on the title, compliance, and facility review and finalize the pending offer subject to the third party Reserve Report. VOIL is currently compliant with State of Utah and the Bureau of Land Management to Operate and produce in the state of Utah and will be using previous bond in place to do this.

More details to follow.
Rupert Ireland, Rupert Ireland, CEO of Virtus, said: "This is the beginning of a few acquisitions we hope to announce to the market. My team has been thoroughly evaluating potential prospects for acquisition since our oil traces discovery in the Parowan. Our overhead and expenses make us unique in that we are trimmed so low that acquiring production makes us very attractive during the market downtime. Eventually when oil prices recover these assets will be impressive in our company's portfolio while providing cash-flow now."

Bret Murray, COO of Virtus, said: "Our focus during this downtime has been acquiring production that is cash-flow positive at these times. The experience I have in the Paradox made sense for our team to identify and acquire existing production to get revenues for VOIL. These wells have 123, 727bo cumulative since inception and near 500MCF of natural gas and all gathering lines in place to market. We have engaged the services of a Professional Engineering firm to produce a Reserve Report to gauge futures and proven reserves."

Innovation generates Norwegian growth for Churchill Drilling Tools - 23/02/2016

Innovation generates Norwegian growth for Churchill Drilling Tools

Churchill Drilling Tools, the specialist oilfield service company, is enjoying significant growth in the Norwegian market. The company that is known throughout the industry as the dart-activation specialists has been experiencing significant export growth for some time, with the most recent success coming from Norway.

This regional growth has been generated through an expansion of the company’s technical capabilities including a recent upgrade of its circulation tool and additional investment in support staff.

The new features in the 2016 version of the DAV MX™ circulation sub are providing Norwegian operators access to significant performance and productivity gains. In addition, multiple wells in the area are now also insured against sticking with Churchill’s HyPR HoleSaver™, a valuable protection against the cost overruns associated with stuck pipe. These enhanced product capabilities are providing a significant regional boost for Churchill with a number of successful new technology applications.

One application highlight is the Ultra Series Dart (USD), which has enabled Norwegian operators to activate faster while pushing the standard differential pressure operating envelope by up to 50%. The addition of the Emergency Shut-Off Dart (ESD) in the upgrade has also provided operators with a unique way to mitigate risk when they find themselves pushed outside the operating envelope due to challenging well conditions. The USD and the ESD have enabled operators to go beyond what is conventional in the knowledge that they can recover the situation quickly and without any extra trips.

Another highlight is the company’s delivery of its first sequential DAV MX™ configuration for both multi-position and multi-cycle hole cleaning and displacement bypass in a single string. In addition to the sequential complexity and compatibility, the valve systems also sustained activation angles of up to 82 degrees in sections of over 4,000 feet.

Director, Mike Churchill, said: “We are pleased with our recent success in Norway. It is apparent that Norwegian operators are keen to improve performance by using new technology to overcome technical and cost challenges. We are glad we are able to make a contribution. The recent application successes in Norway is a testament to the performance and reliability of the new technologies Churchill will be continuing to roll out globally in 2016.” 

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Statoil agrees farm-in with OMV in New Zealand - 17/02/2016

Statoil agrees farm-in with OMV in New Zealand 

Statoil has agreed with OMV to acquire a 30% working interest in Petroleum Exploration Permit (PEP) 57073. This will further strengthen Statoil’s position in New Zealand.

The permit covers an area of 9,800 square kilometres in the East Coast Basin, and sits in water depths of 1,000-2,000 metres. OMV will remain the operator with 70% working interest. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval.

“This is an underexplored area with the potential for multiple plays, offering a considerable exploration upside,” says Nicholas Alan Maden, senior vice president for Exploration.

The permit is adjacent to permits 57083, 57085 and 57087 which were awarded to Chevron and Statoil in 2014.

“We now hold a working interest in more than 46,000 square kilometres of exploration acreage in New Zealand, and all of these permits have staged exploration programmes. This is in line with our exploration strategy of accessing at scale,” says Maden.

OMV and Statoil will work together on the exploration programme in PEP 57073. This includes geological and geophysical studies, as well as seismic acquisition over the coming years. The work will provide information necessary to decide, in 2021, if a well commitment should be made in the permit.

In addition to the partnerships with Chevron and OMV in the East Coast and Pegasus basins, Statoil also operates two exploration permits in the Reinga basin.

Statoil cancels contract with sub-leased rig - 17/02/2016

Statoil cancels contract with sub-leased rig 

Statoil has decided to cancel the contract with Maersk Gallant.

The Maersk rig has been on contract with Statoil for two years, since 21 August 2014, and since 9 October it has been sub-chartered to ConocoPhillips.

Between 14 February and 21 August 2016 the Maersk Gallant is on a new contract with Total, who will pay cancellation fee according to the former contract.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Mike Jardon, Chief Operating Officer, to succeed Charles Woodburn, Chief Executive Officer - 15/02/2016

Mike Jardon, Chief Operating Officer, to succeed Charles Woodburn, Chief Executive Officer

Expro is delighted to announce the appointment of Mike Jardon as Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Charles Woodburn, in this key leadership role.

Mr Jardon joined Expro in 2011 as Chief Operating Officer, after holding senior roles within Schlumberger’s wireline, completions, well testing and subsea businesses, and at Vallourec & Mannesmann, where he led the organisation’s commercial activities across North America.

As a natural successor to Mr Woodburn, over the past five years Mr Jardon has provided a relentless focus on operational excellence, alongside the company’s industry-leading safety performance.  Commenting on this appointment, Expro’s Chairman, Sir George Buckley, said:

“Mike has been instrumental in delivering the exceptional results we have seen from Expro in recent years.  His experience, leadership skills and passion for the business will ensure a seamless transition for the company. The Board and Executive Management Team are delighted to see him succeed as CEO, as we focus on driving forward the business safely and efficiently.

“I would also like to thank Charles for his significant contribution and unwavering commitment to the business.  His talent, honesty and integrity will be missed by everyone in Expro, and we wish him all the very best in his new role.”

Mr Woodburn is leaving the company in April to join BAE Systems plc.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

OGAF Showcase for Oil & Gas Sector In South Africa - 09/02/2016

OGAF Showcase for Oil & Gas Sector In South Africa

The South African Government’s planned investment of R9.2 billion to develop Saldanha Bay into a world-class hub for southern African offshore oil and gas drilling will create substantial opportunities for companies operating in the sector. The Oil & Gas Africa (OGAF) 2016 expo forms an effective services showcase and business networking platform for this rapidly expanding industry.

OGAF is one of five exhibitions that comprise the Cape Industries Showcase (CIS), an industrial expo which attracts many operators, stakeholders, suppliers and service providers exploring new opportunities. OGAF takes place at CIS from 13 to 15 July 2016 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

The Saldanha Bay Industrial Development Zone (SBIDZ) is the first major step in the Government’s Operation Phakisa initiative to expand and develop South Africa’s ocean economy potential. This is South Africa’s first dedicated facility aimed at providing support services for upstream Exploration and Production (E&P) developments in South, West and East African coastal oil and gas fields.

“It’s main functions will focus on ship and rig repairs and maintenance, exploration, production and logistics support, and marine/sub-sea engineering and fabrication,” says OGAF organiser John Thomson. “The SBIDZ is creating a rapidly growing number of business opportunities for the broad marine and maritime sectors as South Africa accelerates its own offshore oil and gas exploration. In the past four years, almost all offshore exploration blocks are under licence or under application for exploration by independent companies.”

Global Heavyweights Onboard At OGAF
Making its début at OGAF 2016, Mammoet, is one of many companies that have already signed up to exhibit at the show. Mammoet is the world’s largest provider of engineered heavy lifting and transport services.

“We provide solutions for lifting, transporting, installing and decommissioning large and heavy structures,” explains Marketing and Business Development Manager, Ryan Amos. “We are currently running a project in Saldanha Bay for the off-loading, transportation and installation of gas bullets for the storage of liquid natural gas.”

The Cape Industries Showcase (CIS) combines the Maritime & Offshore Marine Africa Expo, the Oil & Gas Africa Expo, the Cape Logistics expo, the Temperature Controlled Storage and Distribution Expo and the Empowertec Cape SME Expo in one co-located event at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, from 13 to 15 July 2016.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Statoil 2015 fourth quarter results - 04/02/2016

2015 fourth quarter results 

Statoil (OSE:STL NYSE:STO) delivered adjusted earnings of NOK 15.2 billion and adjusted earnings after tax of NOK 1.6 billion in the fourth quarter 2015.

For the full year 2015, adjusted earnings were NOK 77.0 billion and adjusted earnings after tax were NOK 19.5 billion. Statoil's net income in accordance with IFRS for the fourth quarter 2015 was negative NOK 9.2 billion, and for the full year 2015 it ended at negative NOK 37.3 billion, mainly as a result of lower short term price assumptions leading to impairment charges and provisions. 

Today, Statoil presents its update to the capital markets, announcing a step-up in its improvement programme by 50% to USD 2.5 billion per year in 2016. One year ahead of plan, Statoil delivers annual cost improvements of USD 1.9 billion, compared to its 2016 target of USD 1.7 billion. Statoil is reducing organic capital expenditure from USD 14.7 billion in 2015 to around USD 13 billion in 2016, and has substantially improved its portfolio of non-sanctioned projects, with planned start-up by 2022, reducing the average break-even oil price from USD 70 per boe in 2013 to USD 41 per boe in 2016.

"The result in the fourth quarter is highly impacted by the weak commodity price. However, we continue to make strong progress on costs and efficiency. We are now further stepping up our improvement programme, and tightening our capital and exploration expenditures. These are key elements in navigating the business during a period of low oil prices", says president and CEO of Statoil ASA, Eldar Sætre.

"Statoil is well positioned to capture value from an expected upturn in the market. We have substantially improved our non-sanctioned project portfolio. More than 80% of the operated projects, with start-up by 2022, have a break-even oil price below USD 50 per boe, says Sætre.

The Board of Directors will propose to the Annual general meeting (AGM) to maintain a dividend of USD 0.2201 per share fourth quarter 2015 and the introduction of a two-year scrip dividend programme starting from the fourth quarter 2015. The scrip programme will give shareholders the option to receive quarterly dividends in cash or in newly issued shares in Statoil, at a 5% discount for the fourth quarter 2015. The Norwegian Government, as majority shareholder, supports the proposal and will seek the Norwegian Parliament’s approval to vote in favour of the proposal at the Annual general meeting. The Norwegian government will match subscription of shares by minority shareholders, and thereby maintain its ownership share at 67% throughout the programme.

"We are firmly committed to maintain a competitive capital distribution, in line with our dividend policy. The proposal is to maintain the dividend, while offering shareholders an option to reinvest their dividend in newly issued shares. We are pleased to introduce the scrip programme as an additional tool, strengthening the company’s financial flexibility to invest in high-quality projects in a timely manner", says Sætre.

Adjusted earnings in the fourth quarter of 2015 were NOK 15.2 billion, down 44% compared to NOK 26.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014. Realised average liquids prices in the quarter were down 29% measured in NOK compared to the fourth quarter last year. Adjusted earnings after tax were NOK 1.6 billion, compared to NOK 4.3 billion in the same period last year.

Statoil’s net operating income according to IFRS for the quarter was NOK 1.7 billion, compared to NOK 9.0 billion in the same period in 2014. Net impairment charges of NOK 10.1 billion related to impairment of various assets, provisions of NOK 4.8 billion and gain on sale of assets of NOK 3.2 billion impacted the IFRS results. Earnings per share in the period were negative NOK 2.89 compared to negative NOK 2.81 in the same period last year.

Statoil delivered equity production of 2,046 mboe per day in the fourth quarter, a reduction of 3% compared to the same period in 2014. Adjusting for divestments, the underlying production was at the same level as in the fourth quarter last year.

Statoil reported cash flow from operations in 2015 of NOK 165.8 billion before taxes paid and working capital items. At year-end, Statoil’s net debt to capital employed was 26.8%. Organic capital expenditure was USD 14.7 billion in 2015.

Statoil completed 39 exploration wells during 2015, with three wells on-going at year-end. Adjusted exploration expenses in the quarter were NOK 4.2 billion, down from NOK 7.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014, mainly as a result of lower drilling activity and less expensive wells being drilled.

Statoil experienced three contractor fatalities related to our activities in the fourth quarter; one on the NCS and two in our US onshore operations.

"These fatalities are clear reminders that the safety and security of our people, and the integrity of our operations, must remain our top priority", says CEO Eldar Sætre.

The Serious Incident Frequency (SIF) was 0.6 in 2015. 

Capital Markets Update 
Today, Statoil presents its strategy to the capital market, focusing on three priorities:

Today, Statoil presents its strategy to the capital market, focusing on three priorities:
Delivering faster and deeper cost reductions: Stepping up the improvement programme by 50% to USD 2.5 billion annually in 2016
Preparing to invest in the next generation portfolio: Investing in a radically improved project portfolio, with an average break-even of USD 41 per boe
Capturing the upturn in oil and gas prices: Sustaining the efficiency gains and investing in attractive projects to benefit from the expected price recovery
"Resetting costs – capturing opportunities, that’s the core of our strategy. As an early mover on cost efficiency, we are now shaping our next generation portfolio. Statoil is positioned for value creation in a low price environment, and well placed to capture the gains when the oil price recovers", says Eldar Sætre

Furthermore, Statoil announces its updated outlook for 2016-2019:

  • Statoil will invest around USD 13 billion in 2016
  • From 2014 to 2017, Statoil estimates an annual organic production growth of around 1% from a rebased equity production level. From 2017 to 2019 Statoil expects 2–4% organic annual production growth
  • The exploration spend in 2016 will be around USD 2 billion 

Key events since third quarter 2015:

  • The plan for development and operation (PDO) of the North Sea Oseberg Vestflanken 2 was submitted to the authorities
  • Gas production started from the Corrib field off the northwest coast of Ireland
  • To optimise its exploration portfolio Statoil decided to exit Alaska following recent exploration results in neighbouring leases
  • Statoil was awarded interest in 24 licences on the NCS in the 2015 APA round
  • Statoil entered into a transaction on the UK shelf, where Statoil acquired First Oil’s 24% share in the UK licence for the Alfa Sentral field
  • The 20% interest in Trans Adriatic Pipeline AG was divested to the Italian gas infrastructure company Snam SpA for a total consideration of EUR 208 million
  • Statoil and Repsol entered into transactions that saw Statoil farming down a 15% interest in the Gudrun field on the NCS to Repsol, in return for a 13% interest and operatorship in Eagle Ford and operatorship of the BM-C-33 licence in Brazil
  • In November, Statoil made the final investment decision to build Hywind pilot park in Scotland, the world’s first floating wind farm
  • In January Statoil acquired 11.93% of Lundin Petroleum, increasing the company’s exposure to core field development projects and growth assets on NCS, including Johan Sverdrup and Edvard Grieg

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

CGG Awarded Survey Extension Offshore Colombia - 03/02/2016

CGG Awarded Survey Extension Offshore Colombia

CGG announced today that it has been awarded an extension to a major 3D seismic survey it successfully completed on the Caribbean coast offshore Colombia in late 2015.

The new survey follows on from the original over 16,000-km2 survey CGG conducted over portions of the Col-1 and Col-2 blocks, which was the largest survey ever recorded offshore Colombia. This major extension is expected to start in February 2016. The additional data will also be processed in CGG’s Houston subsurface imaging center.

Jean-Georges Malcor, CEO, CGG, said: “This survey extension is the latest in a series of projects we have conducted for this key client offshore Colombia since 2013 and indicates the continuing satisfaction with CGG’s seismic technology and operational performance. We look forward to continuing to support high-impact exploration opportunities with our high-end geosciences services and solutions.”

Statoil awarding contracts for Oseberg Vestflanken 2, Johan Sverdrup and Gina Krog - 03/02/2016

Statoil awarding contracts for Oseberg Vestflanken 2, Johan Sverdrup and Gina Krog 

The contracts awarded on behalf of the licence partners include marine operations, marine construction, engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of an unmanned wellhead platform as well as modifications at the Oseberg Field Centre.

“We are very pleased to be able to award these contracts now to suppliers that all have a good track record for Statoil,” says Torger Rød, senior vice president for project development in Statoil.

Statoil submitted the plan for development and operation (PDO) of Oseberg Vestflanken 2 just before Christmas, and the contract awards are subject to government approval of the PDO.

The field development will provide 110 million barrels of oil equivalent and will be profitable even in a low oil price scenario.

Technip Norway A/S has been awarded contracts for pipe laying at Johan Sverdrup and Oseberg Vestflanken 2.  The combined contract value is approximately NOK 400 million.

Ocean Installer has been awarded contracts for marine construction and installation at Oseberg Vestflanken 2, Johan Sverdrup and Gina Krog. The combined contract value is approximately NOK 200 million.

Hereema Fabrication Group has been awarded the contract for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the unmanned wellhead platform at Oseberg Vestflanken 2. Hereema Marine Construction will be responsible for transport and installation of the platform. The combined contract value is approximately NOK 800 million.

Aibel has been awarded the contract for engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) on the Oseberg Field Centre, to prepare the platform for receiving the well stream from Oseberg Vestflanken 2. This contract has a value of approximately NOK 200 million.

Late last year FMC was awarded a contract for delivering two subsea trees for the existing subsea template to be included at Oseberg Vestflanken 2. This contract value is approximately NOK 120 million plus options.

The Oseberg Vestflanken 2 development will consist of an unmanned wellhead platform with 10 well slots. Two existing subsea wells will also be reused. The well stream will be routed to the Oseberg Field Centre via a new pipeline, and the wells will be remote-controlled from the Field Centre.

Wellhead platforms with no facilities, helicopter deck or lifeboats represent a new solution in Norway, but it has been thoroughly tested in other areas, such as the Danish and Dutch continental shelves.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Joining forces in Stavanger - 02/02/2016

Joining forces in Stavanger

The Force forum aims to strengthen cooperation in research and development projects (R&D) at a two-day seminar hosted by the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate. The Joining Forces seminar starts today.

Sixty-seven researchers and representatives from the authorities and companies are joining forces in the hope of finding solutions for improved oil recovery and more efficient exploration. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate participates in Force as a member, secretariat and accountant.

Hans-Oddvar Augedal, chief geologist in Lundin and chair of Force’s steering committee, says that Force has achieved “an open sharing of expertise and knowledge between the companies within exploration, production and improved recovery, benefitting the industry as well as development of the shelf.”

GE and Statoil announce winners of open innovation challenge - 02/02/2016

GE and Statoil announce winners of open innovation challenge 

GE and Statoil today announced the four winners of their Open Innovation Challenge, designed to utilize crowd sourcing to find solutions that reduce fresh water in shale oil and gas production.

GE and Statoil recognize that managing water, as a precious natural resource, represents one of the greatest challenges facing the onshore oil and gas industry. Within the industry, water management costs vary between 10-30%. Reducing the amount of water can prove cost-effective by lowering transport and energy costs but is equally beneficial for the environment and local communities.

“A focus on technology helped to unlock the shale revolution. Its intense innovation now shared across industries and between companies will ensure shale development continues in the most sustainable, responsible way possible,” said Lorenzo Simonelli, CEO of GE Oil & Gas.

“The diversity of solutions and sheer volume of submissions we received show the immense talent and creativity gained.”

“We need to continue to invent new, commercial technologies and models to increase margins, and at the same time reduce our carbon footprint. We know that we cannot do this alone – that is why our partnership with GE is also about triggering broader collaboration within and beyond our industry”, Elisabeth Birkeland Kvalheim, Chief Technology Officer at Statoil said.

“The water challenge is a great example of how Statoil and GE, together with the winners, can fast track promising solutions to the market and take an active role in transforming the future of the oil and gas industry.”

Businesses, institutions, and individuals were invited to submit proposals for new solutions to both reduce fresh water usage as well as treat and reuse water from shale production activities – while improving operational productivity.

The Challenge received over 100 submissions from across the globe, with 23 countries represented. Of these, four winners were selected based on the degree of innovation, technically feasibility and commercial viability of their proposals. Each winner will be awarded an initial cash prize of $25,000 USD.

Going forward, a discretionary funding pool of $375,000 USD is earmarked for co-development activities to be decided based on a more in-depth evaluation of winning proposals.

One of the winners, Anthony Duong, Ph.D., a research scientist at Columbus’ Battelle Memorial Institute, commented: “Open innovation strengthens relationships and bolsters entire industries. We saw a great benefit from applying our expertise in material science to the oil and gas industry, helping to offset the challenging economic realities producers are now facing.”

Brief summaries of each winner are listed below:
Ahilan Raman, Clean Energy and Water Technologies, Australia
Solution: An integrated technology that first removes total organic compounds and then separates remaining compounds by creating ice crystals through “Eutectic freeze crystallization (EFC).”

Anthony Duong, Battelle Memorial Institute, USA
Solution: A nano-sponge – a gel formed of nanoscale particles is injected into hydraulically fracturing wells to soak up the halite ions (the main actors in forming salt deposits). As a result, salt is never allowed to crystalize, ensuring salt deposits cannot damage the equipment.

Karen Sorber, Micronic Technologies, USA
Solution: A low-pressure, low-temperature, mechanical evaporation technology – called MicroDesalTM – that purifies waste water from any source.

Chunlei Guo, University of Rochester, USA
Solution: A technique using high powered lasers to alter the surface of the inner walls of downhole production pipes, making a metal surface super water repellent.

The companies’ joint initiative – termed Powering Collaboration – exists to accelerate the development of more environmentally and economically sustainable energy solutions. This joint technology-focused program aims to drive an industrial response to some of the greatest challenges facing global energy production, including CO2 and methane emissions, and water usage, while also optimizing business operations.