Jack-up rig drills to depths of 30,000ft

Paul Boughton

Field services contracts can run into hundreds of millions of dollars as oil and gas companies strive to improve the efficiency and reliability of their operations. Sean Ottewell reports.

Keppel Offshore & Marine subsidiary Keppel AmFELS has won a contract from Central Panuco to build a KFELS B class jack-up rig worth US$240 million (EUR177 million). Scheduled for delivery in the fourth quarter of 2015, the jack-up rig is intended for operations offshore Mexico.

The thirteenth KFELS B class jack-up rig ordered for the Mexican market since 2010, this one will be able to operate in water depths of up to 400ft, drill to depths of 30,000ft, and accommodate 126 people.

To date, Keppel AmFELS has completed Tonala, an ultra premium KFELS B class jack-up rig for Perforadora Central in 2004, followed by Tuxpan, a LeTourneau S116E rig in 2010. The Papaloapan jack-up, which was ordered by Perforadora Central in March 2011, was successfully delivered in April this year. Currently under construction is the Coatzacoalcos jack-up which is on track for completion in the first quarter of 2014.

A spokesperson from Central Panuco parent company Perforadora Central said: "There is strong demand from Pemex for high quality rigs and the KFELS B class is a top class jack-up with a proven track record operating in Mexico. Our current KFELS B class jack-up in operation, the Tonala, has been performing outstandingly for Pemex and we are confident that this next jack-up will be just as successful. It is an important addition to our portfolio of premium rigs as we expand our presence to be a leading provider of drilling solutions in Mexico."

Meanwhile another Keppel Offshore & Marine subsidiary, Keppel FELS, has secured a contract from an affiliate of Clearwater to build a pair of premium KFELS B class jack-up rigs. The total cost of this project is about US$440 million (EUR325 million), which also includes owner furnished equipment and project management fees. The rigs are scheduled to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016.

Yao Chye Chiang, Singapore-based coo of Clearwater, said: "We continue to see strong demand for new high specification jack-up rigs as the industry continues its rig replacement trend. Even with the number of new jack-ups entering the market this year, more than half the existing rigs will be older than 30years by 2015. The KFELS B class is a proven design which has been the rig of choice for leading oil companies in the industry. This is an opportune time for us to scale up with two rigs of this design and we are confident in getting a good return on our investment."

High performance steel wires

On a smaller scale, ArcelorMittal and Technip have signed a five-year contract for the supply of high-performance steel wires for the oil and gas industry.

The former's site in Bourg-en-Bresse, France, will fabricate highly-resistant, semi-manufactured rolled products to be used on flexible sheaths for the development of ever deeper oil and gas fields worldwide. The site supplies Technip's manufacturing plants located in France, Brazil and Malaysia.

Production at Bourg-en-Bresse already has been boosted by a EUR6 million investment over the last three years in the face of growing offshore demand.

The contract also comes with a research and innovation clause which envisages the development of new wire solutions to meet Technip's needs.

In another Technip-related development, the company has won a contract from Statoil to fabricate and supply flexible risers for several fields on the Norwegian continental shelf. The contract also includes options for further risers and flowlines, including fabrication of 10 flexible risers, supply of flexible riser ancillaries, options for the supply of an additional 15 risers, and options for flexible jumpers and flowlines. These flexible pipes will be used to renew the flexible pipe based infrastructure on Statoil's operated fields.

Technip's operating centre in Oslo, Norway, will execute this contract which is scheduled to be completed in 2017. Flexi France, the Group's facility located in Le Trait, France, will manufacture the flexible risers.

In other news Jacobs Engineering has won a contract from BP Exploration to support its intervention project at the Sullom Voe terminal, Shetland Island, Scotland. BP officials estimate the total installed cost for the project to be up to US$200 million (EUR148 million) over four years (Fig.1).

Under the terms of the contract, Jacobs is providing project management, engineering and construction for extensive fabric maintenance works, tankage and process unit turnarounds; plus additional projects focused on improving the condition and reliability of the terminal in anticipation of increased production demand that is expected to result from field development in the West of Shetland area.

One of the largest oil and gas terminals in Europe, Sullom Voe is entirely self-sufficient and handles oil and gas from more than 30 surrounding fields.

The terminal's dedicated processing, storage and loading facilities handle oil from mature and continually emerging offshore fields from both the East and, more recently, West of Shetland (Fig.1).

In a separate development, BP has announced that itself and partners have now awarded over £1billion in contracts to UK-based companies to provide services and equipment for the major re-development of the Schiehallion and Loyal oil fields to the west of Shetland.

The project to redevelop the fields, which are operated by BP on behalf of its partners, involves two main elements: a brand new floating production, storage and offloading vessel and a major upgrade of the subsea infrastructure that will lie on the seabed.

The latest in a series of contracts has been awarded to OneSubsea, a £65 million deal to manufacture 11 subsea trees at the company's facility in Leeds. The trees will be used on the Schiehallion re-development to monitor and control production and also to manage fluid and gas injection.

Finally, FMC Technologies has received an order from Tullow Ghana to supply subsea systems for its Tweneboa-Enyenra-Ntomme (TEN) development offshore Ghana. The order has an estimated value of US$340 million (EUR250 million).

FMC Technologies' scope of supply includes subsea trees, manifolds, tooling, associated subsea control systems and systems integration. The company has been operating in Ghana since 2008 and has recently completed the assembly and testing of the first Ghanaian-built subsea trees at its support base in Takoradi.

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