By: Trevor Crone, Rigzone Analyst
Happy New Year! Unless you’re the oil and gas industry. WTI recently fell below the $50.00 mark and Brent is threatening to follow. We all know that the price of oil will bottom out eventually but it’s difficult to determine where that bottom is and how much further it’s going to have to fall to find it.
2014 arrived on the scene boasting high oil prices, high production rates and high expectations. It seems that 2015 is going to be the polar opposite and will wind up being remembered as that one idiot we all know who has a knack for turning every encounter into an awkward situation.
In spite of all the doom and gloom running rampant there are reasons for us to back away from the edge and be optimistic. The population of the world isn’t getting any smaller, developing countries are continuing to develop and several new projects are going to come online to supplement aging oil and gas fields that are struggling to keep up with demand. Here’s a quick look at a few industry high points that should give us cause for optimism in 2015.
Goliat – Originally scheduled for a 2014 startup, Eni S.p.A.’s $5.1 billion Goliat development will be the first operational oil field in the Norwegian sector of the Barents Sea when it begins producing mid-2015. Operating that far north brings about special concerns in regards to regulatory stipulations and harsh weather. To ease these concerns, Eni and its partner, Statoil, elected to employ the Sevan 1000 hull design for the Goliat FPSO. The cylindrical vessel is able to handle severe sea conditions and is outfitted to meet the strict environmental regulations that are necessary in the Barents Sea. Recoverable oil reserves are estimated at 174 million barrels, and the field is expected to produce at a commercial rate for at least 15 years. After startup, production is expected to plateau at 100,000 bopd. Development approved: May 2009. Personnel capacity: 120
Western Isles – Located east of the Shetland Islands, the $1.6 billion Western Isles project is designed to develop the Dana Petroleum-operated Barra and Harris fields with the goal of supplying oil to the UK market at a rate of 40,000 barrels per day. At least 9 subsea wells comprising 2 drill centers will be tied back to a newly constructed FPSO based on the Sevan Marine “teacup” design moored in 500 feet of water. Dana estimates that 70% of the project budget is being spent with UK-based companies. Production startup is planned for late 2015. Development approved: December 2012. Personnel capacity: 70
Edvard Grieg – Originally known as Luno, Lundin Petroleum’s Edvard Grieg development is expected to come on stream at the end of 2015. Its discovery in 2007 greatly improved the geologic understanding of Norway’s Utsira High area. Gross 2P reserves are estimated at 186 MMboe and production is expected to peak at 100,000 boed with a commercial life of at least 30 years. The $3.2 billion project involves the installation of a fixed platform in 350 feet of water. Once operational, the platform will be capable of supporting other discoveries in the area. Hydrocarbons will flow from 11 development wells and 4 water injection wells will provide pressure support. Development approved: November 2012. Personnel capacity: 120
Delta House – Located in the Mississippi Canyon area of the U.S. Gulf of Mexico is the $2 billion LLOG-operated Delta House development. The project consists of the development of the Bluto, Marmalard and Son of Bluto 2 (SOB2) discoveries using a semisubmersible floating production system (FPS) moored in 6,400 feet of water. With a designed capacity of 100,000 bopd, 240 MMscfd and the ability to tie in up to 16 wells, the Delta House FPS will be able to handle well stream from nearby exploration prospects in the future. Development approved: December 2012. Personnel capacity: 50
Sources: SubseaIQ, Chevron, Dana Petroleum, Eni, LLOG, Lundin