Companies in the news
|Vol. 232 No. 6
VAM USA has opened a fully integrated R&D facility in north Houston, Texas. The facility, which consists of 50,000 sq ft of offices and lab space, is a world-class premium thread-testing plant. It supports the collaborative effort between Vallourec in France, VAM USA in the US and Sumitomo in Japan, and complements VAM testing capabilities worldwide. This also represents the final step in the merger of VAM USA and V&M Atlas Bradford, consolidating into one new facility what was previously treated in separate testing sites.
Marathon Oil Corp’s. board of directors has approved the spin-off of its downstream business through the distribution of shares of Marathon Petroleum Corp. (MPC) to holders of Marathon Oil common stock. Marathon Oil shareholders will receive one share of MPC common stock for every two shares of Marathon Oil common stock, following which MPC will be an independent, publicly traded company, and Marathon Oil will retain no ownership interest.
Chief Oil & Gas and Tug Hill have entered into an asset purchase and sale agreement to sell certain natural gas properties in the Marcellus shale to Chevron. The sale assets include about 228,000 net acres located primarily in the southwestern part of the shale play. Following the sale, Chief and Tug Hill will have retained some 125,000 acres of Marcellus leasehold, focused in Bradford, Susquehanna, Tioga, Sullivan and Wyoming Counties of northeastern Pennsylvania. Since 2007, Chief Oil & Gas has drilled 131 wells in the Marcellus shale.
FMC Technologies will supply two subsea separation and boosting systems at Congro and Corvina fields for Petrobras. The fields are located offshore Brazil in the Campos basin. The deal has a value of about $130 million in revenue to FMC. In addition to a subsea gas/liquid separation and boosting system for each field, FMC will supply two subsea manifolds that will each perform production and gas lift injection for 10 wells. Other equipment includes two subsea boosting module stations, pipeline tie-in equipment and subsea control systems. The control system incorporates a subsea robotics technology, designed by Schilling Robotics, which will operate the manifold and separation station valves. The equipment will be engineered and manufactured at FMC’s facilities in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The Congro and Corvina project is FMC’s fourth implementation of subsea processing technologies in Brazil, following Phases I and II of Shell’s Parque das Conchas (BC-10) field and the heavy oil separation and water re-injection system for Petrobras’ Marlim field.
The Legend Natural Gas partnerships, along with equity sponsor Riverstone Holdings, announced several transactions that will significantly increase their reserves and production. Legend closed on its previously announced purchase of a subsidiary of Range Resources’ Barnett shale assets in the Fort Worth basin for $900 million. The Barnett assets acquired from Range include 390 producing wells and about 52,000 net acres, 80% of which are located in the prolific core area of the Barnett trend. Daily net production from the properties was 113 MMcfed (86% gas) as of February. The acquisition marks Legend’s entry into the horizontal Barnett shale resource play, making it the fifth largest producer in the play. Legend is the operator of the newly acquired properties.
Wood Group’s Alliance Engineering will provide detailed engineering and design services for the Tamar platform project offshore Israel, including topsides facilities and deck structure. The Tamar natural gas field will be operated by Noble Energy and is located in the Levantine basin of the eastern Mediterranean Sea. The Tamar platform will be located in about 800 ft of water and will be designed to process 1.2 Bcfd of gas. Tamar field is estimated to contain 8.4 Tcf of gas and will be produced through several subsea wells connected to the platform by 150-km-long flowlines. The planned single-lift topsides facility will have four deck levels and will weigh nearly 10,000 tons when completed.
Cummins has announced the opening of its new Cummins Oil and Gas Center of Excellence, a business launched to serve the needs of its oil and gas customer base. The Houston land-based center is located in a primary hub of engineering and technology for the oil and gas industry, and represents a significant investment by Cummins Inc. Like the Cummins Offshore Oil and Gas Center of Excellence in Singapore, the new facilities will deliver a wide range of customized and integrated power packages, and will utilize Cummins’ standard work processes and procedures to perform design and validation testing of integrated equipment. The Houston center will deliver customized packages, starting with workover rigs capable of operating anywhere in the world, certified to the stringent environmental regulations in California and other non-attainment regions. The center will also have the ability to integrate the new QTR Series Transmissions with the QSK50 or QSK60 engines, delivering a more integrated approach.
FX Energy announced the signing of an agreement with American Eagle Energy and Big Sky Operating to jointly explore some 75,000 acres in the Alberta Bakken in northwest Montana. FX Energy’s 10,000-acre field in the Southwest Cut Bank sand unit will be included in the JV program, and the company will own a one-third interest in the overall project. The companies plan to drill a minimum of three vertical wells to evaluate the potential of the acreage over the next several months. If the tests confirm the potential that the companies believe exists in the project area, the wells will be drilled horizontally and fraced.
Subsea services group Acteon has acquired Aberdeen-based NCS Survey. The acquisition adds to Acteon’s capability in the rig-positioning market and provides an additional suite of survey services to clients that operate rigs and vessels. NCS Survey provides high-precision rig-positioning, construction-support and subsea-visualization services to the global offshore market, including upstream oil and gas. NCS Survey has performed more than 600 projects in 35 countries since it was founded in 2005. The company will retain its existing personnel and management team, headed up by current managing director Andy Gray.
Alpine Ocean Seismic Survey, a provider of marine surveying and data collection services, announced the launch of the multipurpose research vessel Shearwater. The shallow-draft (6.5-ft) 110 × 40-ft aluminum twin-hull vessel has numerous advantages for offshore work. Its superior positioning and line-keeping performance provides the components for both research work and transfer and supply services to development sites and working installations. The hydraulic propulsion system features high fuel efficiency and good maneuverability while reducing vessel noise. The Shearwater also features two equipment moonpools, a crane, a hydraulic stern A-frame, a fixed starboard A-frame, dedicated equipment winches, and laboratory and office space with onboard data processing capabilities. It can accommodate up to 20 people
on a 24-hour basis.