Wednesday, 14 December 2016

ODE joins Southern North Sea working group on life extension - 14/12/2016

ODE joins Southern North Sea working group on life extension

International engineering and operations support services contractor ODE, an integral part of the DORIS Group, was recently named as a key contributor to a new industry working group.

Director – New Ventures, Jeff Barnes will be representing ODE on the newly formed SNS Rejuvenation Special Interest Group (SIG). The initiative launched by the OGA, Oil & Gas UK and the East of England Energy Group (EEEGR) has a wide remit – seeking to maximize economic recovery (MER) of gas reserves for at least another 20 years by identifying new opportunities, including examining the potential for carboniferous gas reserves.

Jeff, who until 2015 was ConocoPhillips’s Capital Project Manager for the company’s SNS developments said. “When ODE was approached to be part of this working group, it was clear that this was something that I personally had to be a part of. I enjoyed my time building much of the SNS infrastructure, but the challenge we now face, to extend the life of this infrastructure, is equally exciting.”

Jeff continued, “During my time at ConocoPhillips I’d worked closely with the team at ODE on a variety of projects, but it wasn’t until I joined them in 2015, that it became clear to me just how important companies such as ODE will come to the survival of the SNS.  ODE is possibly unique in what it does. It’s well known for designing very effective, low maintenance not normally manned facilities, but also cost effectively maintaining these types of assets. Over the last fifteen years ODE has built up an impressive track record of operating southern sector gas installations. Add to this ODE’s experience in offshore renewables, the potential to merge working practises between these energy sectors and you really start to understand how all these things can be interconnected.”

The Special Interest Group will seek to nurture collaboration and co-operation between existing operators, and with offshore wind developers, as well as examining how equipment and processes might be standardized to drive costs down.

Companies selected for the steering group represent regional, national and international interests and were chosen to reflect the spread of the industry knowledge and expertise in the region.

Members are: Shell, Oranje-Nassau Energie (ONE), Premier Oil, ENGIE E&P UK, Centrica, ODE, Aker Solutions, James Fisher & Sons, DNVGL, Sembmarine SLP, Baker Hughes, Lloyds Register, Fraser Well Management, Acteon, SSE, and Statoil.

The SIG was launched by Eric Marston, OGA Southern North Sea and Morecambe Bay manager, at EEEGR’s House of Commons reception in October. Its first meeting will take place in December 2016.

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Fluenta single biggest supplier for Petronas RAPID project - 08/12/2016

Fluenta single biggest supplier for Petronas RAPID project

    Fluenta supplies 24 flare gas monitoring systems to Petronas
    Fluenta products sold directly through Krohne Spain, China and Korea
    Sale marks Fluenta as single biggest supplier for the new RAPID complex

Fluenta, the global leader in ultrasonic measurement and management technology, today announces the sale of 24 ultrasonic flare gas monitoring systems to Malaysian state-run oil and gas company Petronas.  

Fluenta’s flare gas monitoring systems will be installed at the Petronas refinery and petrochemical integrated development (RAPID) complex in Southeastern Johon, Malaysia.

The sale makes Fluenta the single biggest supplier for the Petronas RAPID project.  Fluenta’s flare gas meters were sold directly through Krohne (representatives of Fluenta), to Tecnicas Reunidas engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) group.

Construction of the RAPID complex is due to be completed in 2019 and will address the growing need for petroleum and petrochemical products in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region.  When completed the $28 billion complex will have the capacity to produce 7.7 million tonnes per year of standard petrochemicals and speciality chemicals products. 

Sigurd Aase, CEO of Fluenta, comments: “Being the single biggest supplier to the RAPID project supports Fluenta’s continued expansion into the APAC energy market.  When Fluenta products are installed and calibrated by specialist engineers, the new complex will have the most accurate and reliable flow measurement devices available.”

Macquarie wins UK gas supply business despite previous failings in water supply, says UNISON - 08/12/2016

Macquarie wins UK gas supply business despite previous failings in water supply, says UNISON

Australian company Macquarie's successful bid for the National Grid's distribution business has been greeted with dismay today (Thursday) by public services union UNISON.

The union - which has thousands of members working in the utilities sector - says when Macquarie ran Thames Water, the end result was poorer customer service, higher bills, massive debts, complex tax structures and profits siphoned off to its parent company in Australia. UNISON fears a similar fate lies in store for the UK's network of gas pipelines and the country's consumers more generally.

When Macquarie owned Thames Water - from 2006-2016 - the water company made massive profits but organised its financial affairs to limit paying corporation taxes. In one year alone in 2013, despite achieving a turnover of £1.8 billion and profits of £550 million it paid no corporation tax at all. The likelihood of a repeat performance is high, believes UNISON.

UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis said: “The experience of Thames Water customers when Macquarie was running the show should have been a red flag to ministers and regulators as how unsuitable this company is to be in charge of the UK’s gas supply.

“Macquarie has poor form already - in building up huge company debt, repatriating massive dividends to the southern hemisphere and charging customers more for a much poorer service.

“The company has already proved it can’t be trusted with the nation’s water supply, but now it is to be in charge of gas pipes to millions of homes and businesses"

"The government has said it wants to invest in UK infrastructure, yet these are not terribly encouraging first steps. It suggests ministers have not given much thought to an industrial strategy, not do they seem to have much desire to retain key parts of the nation's infrastructure in UK hands."

The gas distribution business is a regulated private monopoly and has fixed returns, meaning the company running it cannot help but make money, says UNISON.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

CGG Achieves Near Real-Time Imaging for Offshore Morocco Survey - 06/12/2016

CGG Achieves Near Real-Time Imaging for Offshore Morocco Survey

CGG announced today the delivery of near real-time imaging results for a 4,200 sq km BroadSeis 3D marine seismic survey acquired offshore Morocco. CGG delivered the very-fast-track (VFT) RTM PSDM volume to the client only 4 days after the last shot. 

This technical feat crowned an excellent operational performance by the crew of the CGG Geo Caspian who worked in a safe, collaborative and effective partnership with the client to complete the program ahead of schedule. 

Jean-Georges Malcor, CEO, CGG, said: “This exceptional achievement surpasses our record last year when we delivered 1,700 sq km of fast-track depth imaging data just 9 days after acquisition for another survey offshore Morocco for the same client. It reflects the dedication of our offshore and onshore experts to go the extra mile to deliver results that continue to exceed our clients’ expectations.”

Monday, 5 December 2016

Atkins opens office in Baku, Azerbaijan - 05/12/2016

Atkins opens office in Baku, Azerbaijan

Atkins, one of the world’s leading design, engineering and project management consultancies, is to open a new office in Baku, expanding into Azerbaijan for the first time.

The office will initially support the activities of key oil and gas operators in the Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey (AGT) region with a particular focus on assets in and around the Caspian Sea. Atkins has been working with Azerbaijan since the 1990s albeit remotely from the UK, providing engineering and design consultancy services. The move into the AGT market is part of the commitment to provide closer support to our key clients in the region.

James Todd manages Atkins’ Baku team and said: “Baku is the gateway to the Caspian Sea and as such, a presence here has the potential to open a lot of doors for Atkins in the future both in Azerbaijan and the wider central Asia region. We’re committed to helping our clients reduce costs, maximise production, minimise downtime and improve safety and environmental performance, in the face of ever-changing infrastructure and economic uncertainty.

“Azerbaijan is looking to reduce reliance on oil and gas in both its economy and energy consumption. Our 5-10 year plan is to use our experience in all parts of the energy sector, including areas like offshore wind, as well as bringing in expertise from the wider Atkins Group in infrastructure, architecture and mass transit services, as we move forward in this region.”

Atkins’ global Energy business provides services to our clients by making sure that we are where they are, and that we can offer what they need, wherever and whenever they need it. 

AMETEK LAND MAKES LANCOM 4 PORTABLE GAS ANALYSER MORE AFFORDABLE - 05/12/2016

AMETEK LAND MAKES LANCOM 4 PORTABLE GAS ANALYSER MORE AFFORDABLE

AMETEK Land, a leading industrial combustion efficiency and environmental pollution emissions monitoring specialist, has made its Lancom 4 Portable Gas Analyser even more affordable with a Euro price reduction following Britain’s vote to exit the European Union.

Lancom 4 is renowned as the world’s most versatile and accurate portable flue gas analyser whether for testing a boiler system or checking a process for a pollutant. The analyser is able to monitor up to nine different gases and a total of 17 measurement parameters using a single instrument. And, it has the ability to data log up to 250,000 records.

“We are delighted to make this popular product even more affordable by passing on savings post Brexit for customers purchasing in Euros through our offices in Germany, France, Spain and Italy.  We are continually innovating within our ranges to ensure that we deliver the most advanced features and software to remain at the forefront of the market, whilst keeping prices competitive.  Our aim is to provide even greater access to the most accurate information to make gas analysis as comprehensive as possible,” notes Derek Stuart, Global CE Product Manager for AMETEK Land.

Widely used across industries, including gas CHP (combined heat and power) plants, utilities, cement kilns, glass, paper mills, pipelines and refineries, the Lancom 4 analyser is renowned for its convenience and ease of use. A user simply switches on the analyser, allowing it to complete an automatic zero calibration, and it is ready for use.

Lancom 4 offers built-in data capture and storage of measurement data, plus a USB connection to download the data to a laptop or a PC. In addition, the product recently was updated with free Insight data acquisition software, a powerful tool that allows users to interface their analyser with a PC for remote control and data logging. Insight offers graphing and analysis tools for data visualisation and reporting purposes, providing even easier access to data. 

The Lancom 4 features Wake and Sleep functions, which allow measurements and data logs to be recorded over an extended period. It also is supplied with a rugged carry case as standard, ensuring that the instrument is protected at all times when in use.

In addition, upgrading to Lancom 4 has been made much easier. Hardware items, such as external printers or analogue output modules, can simply be plugged in, with no firmware configuration needed. This means that these items can be fitted in the field, avoiding the need to return the instrument to the factory.

Extremely compact and portable, the Lancom 4 weighs only 6 kg / 13 lb and can easily be carried around a plant, even allowing trouble-free access to remote locations via ladders or gantry work. It is also highly robust and ideal for daily use in harsh industrial environments.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Arup joins with Australasia LNG to help meet rising power demand in Indonesia - 01/12/2016

Arup joins with Australasia LNG to help meet rising power demand in Indonesia

Global engineering and consulting firm, Arup, has been commissioned by PT Australasia LNG Indonesia (AALNG) to support the development of a new 2.4 million tonne per annum MTPA liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, bringing greater energy security to East Java. 

Arup will deliver Pre-Front End Engineering Design (FEED) for the marine infrastructure and vessel conversion for the Probolinggo LNG terminal. Providing geotechnical, civil, naval architecture, and mechanical engineering support, Arup will advise on the conversion of a LNG carrier into a Floating Storage Unit (FSU) which will be permanently moored offshore for the design life, without the need of dry-docking. Arup is also advising on the 2.5 kilometre jetty, unloading platform and associated berthing infrastructure, required to bring the LNG onshore to be regasified.

With a strong track record in undertaking LNG projects across the world and particularly in the East Asia Region, Arup has deployed an integrated project team from Hong Kong to undertake the maritime work stream as well as a specialist team in London to undertake the complex FSU conversion study.

Peter Thompson, Director and East Asia Energy Business Leader at Arup said, “We are seeing the rise of LNG globally, as it is increasingly recognised as a transitional fuel helping provide energy security with a lower carbon impact than other fossil fuels. LNG has the potential to help play an important part in Indonesia’s energy mix – bringing greater stability and security to the grid. We are proud to be working with PT Australasia LNG Indonesia to bring more capacity to the country. For Arup, it is a great opportunity for us to utilise the full breadth of our skills, having multi-disciplinary teams available in different time zones which allows us to work around the clock to deliver projects to tight schedules.” 

The project is expected to shortly progress to FEED and final investment decision stages, with potential to carry out tank testing in the next stage of the commission to address LNG sloshing. 

World’s largest LNG market welcomes foremost gas event - 01/12/2016

World’s largest LNG market welcomes foremost gas event

Global leaders to gather in Japan for 2017’s leading gas and LNG event

Japan will remain the largest LNG buyer in the world through to 2025[1] according to the latest research from BMI Research. The country’s dependency on imported energy has resulted in a number of initiatives that are designed to increase efficient operation, whilst connecting and engaging players within the sector. In April 2017, senior business leaders and policy makers will gather in Tokyo to attend Gastech, the world’s leading gas and LNG event.

The Japan Gastech Consortium will host the 29th edition of the Gastech Conference & Exhibition. The consortium consists of ten of the country’s leading energy sector businesses, companies that specialise in the delivery and consumption of Natural Gas and LNG. Members include JERA, Mitsubishi Corporation, Mitsui & Co and Tokyo Gas.

Collectively, the consortium plays a significant role in determining energy security, supply and establishing policy to secure Japan’s long-term economic future. It is chaired by Nobuo Tanaka, a pioneer in energy economics, who is the former Executive Director of the International Energy Agency and a specialist on energy safety post Fukushima.

Nobuo Tanaka, Chairman of the Japan Gastech Consortium comments: “Gastech’s broad, diverse programme is shaped by energy professionals to deliver outstanding insight, create exceptional networking and new business opportunities, whilst ensuring a robust return-on-investment.”

The Gastech conference welcomes many of the world’s leading energy industry leaders, including Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman & CEO of Total; Ryan Lance, Chairman & CEO of ConocoPhillips; Maarten Wetselaar, Integrated Gas & New Energies Director at Royal Dutch Shell; and Sheikh Khalid Al-Thani, CEO of Qatargas, among more than 200 other influential figures that shape future global energy strategy. Leadership representing the largest gas & LNG customers in the world include Tokyo Gas, KOGAS, CPC Taiwan, GAIL India, Uniper, and more.

A 54,000 square metre exhibition will showcase 600 regional and international exhibitors, and more than 750 hosted meetings are predicted to take place. Gastech is supported by leading brands including sponsors Shell, Qatargas, Rasgas, Chevron, KPMG, Uniper, GE Oil & Gas and ENGIE.

Maarten Wetselaar, Shell Integrated Gas & New Energies Director comments on the exclusive VIP programme: “The Gastech VIP Programme is a really good opportunity for decision makers from the gas industry to come together in a more intimate setting, to exchange views about the future of the industry. But it’s also a really good opportunity for people to network”.

The event will enable over 25,000 commercial experts and technical innovators from the up, mid and downstream sectors of the supply chain to discover business-changing insights, explore innovative solutions and build profitable business connections. Global leaders and academics in the sector are expected to debate critical issues on the future of the gas industry such as the new dawn of tighter economics and lower carbon emissions, and contracting, pricing and trading of Gas & LNG.

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Nakilat transitions LNG Umm Slal to in-house management - 23/11/2016

Nakilat transitions LNG Umm Slal to in-house management

Nakilat has assumed full ship management and operations of Q-Max LNG carrier Umm Slal from STASCo (Shell Trading and Shipping Company Ltd.) with effect from 23 November 2016, as part of the planned and phased transition announced on 19th October 2016.  

With a cargo carrying capacity of 265,978 cubic meters, Umm Slal is wholly-owned by Nakilat and chartered by Qatargas. The vessel built in South Korea by Samsung Heavy Industries was delivered in November 2008 and has been in service ever since. 

Umm Slal is the third Q-Max vessel that will come under the management of Nakilat Shipping Qatar Ltd. (NSQL) this year, bringing the total number of vessels managed by NSQL to 11, comprising of 7 LNG and 4 LPG carriers. 

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

HB Rentals awarded multiple contracts in excess of £1,000,000 - 22/11/2016

HB Rentals awarded multiple contracts in excess of £1,000,000

Offshore accommodation and workspace solutions specialist HB Rentals has secured contracts in excess of £1,000,000 for the manufacture of workshops, local equipment rooms and pressurised offshore service modules for multiple clients.

The company was commissioned by Prosafe to design, manufacture and supply two DNV 2.7-1 and 2.7-2, Safe Area certified welding workshops for the Safe Zephyrus semi-submersible accommodation vessel, operating offshore Norway.

HB Rentals was also commissioned to design, manufacture and supply a local equipment room by OneSubsea GmbH for subsea operations in the Taurus Libra field, offshore Egypt. The module was required to be DNV 2.7-1 and 2.7-2, A60 and Safe Area certified.

And HB Rentals was commissioned by Semco Maritime to design, manufacture and supply a DNV 2.7-1, A60, Zone II rated pressurised offshore service module for subsea services in the UK sector of the North Sea.

All of the modules were designed and manufactured at HB Rentals’ service facilities in Sauchen, Aberdeenshire. The premises include almost 3,000m sq. of workshops and stores, incorporating a fully equipped 450m sq. fabrication shop and a 2,000m sq. outfitting shop.

HB Rentals is a Superior Energy Services company that specialises in the design, manufacture, sale and rental of DNV & ABS certified temporary offshore accommodation solutions, Zone I/Zone II hazardous area service modules, and workshop and refrigeration containers. The global organisation has been based in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire for more than 25 years.

HB Rentals managing director Norman Porter said: “At a time when the industry is experiencing significant challenges, these multiple contracts in our expanding build for sale division represent good news not only for us but for the sector in the North-east of Scotland as a whole.

“The personnel and facilities we have in our workshop and service premises have once again enabled us to design and create a range of modules to the very highest standards, which we hope will provide an environment to assist our clients in achieving their targets.”

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Investec strengthens oil and gas team - 17/11/2016

Investec strengthens oil and gas team

Appointment of Jonathan Wolf further adds to M&A and Acquisition & Disposal (“A&D”) capability

Investec Investment Banking is pleased to announce that it has appointed Jonathan Wolf as a director in its Oil & Gas team.

With over 25 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, Jonathan joins from Scotiabank, where he was a key figure in the oil and gas team for twelve years. At Scotiabank, he specialised in originating, negotiating and executing primarily upstream acquisition and disposal mandates around the world. Prior to joining Scotiabank, Jonathan worked at Gaffney Cline & Associates as a senior consultant providing technical geoscience, commercial and project management services to oil and gas companies, national oil companies (NOC), Investment Banks and Governmental agencies.  He is a graduate of the Royal School of Mines, Imperial College, London.

Commenting, Chris Sim, head of the Oil & Gas team said: “Jonathan is well known in the industry and we are pleased to be adding both his technical knowledge and M&A and A&D track record to the team’s existing capabilities. Despite the challenges faced by the industry over the past two years,  this remains a prime area of focus for Investec and we are confident that Jonathan’s appointment will significantly support our growth ambitions in this sector. ”

Integrated Geoscience Unlocks Potential in Northern Viking Graben - 17/11/2016

Integrated Geoscience Unlocks Potential in Northern Viking Graben 

Combining geology with broadband seismic provides new insight into petroleum plays and prospectivity  

The Northern North Sea is host to many large discoveries, such as Troll, Statfjord and Brage, but recent finds such as Brasse imply that more potential fields are waiting to be discovered. The key to understanding these mature petroleum areas is to consider all the geoscience data available to reduce uncertainty and risk. This is why CGG offers integrated studies combining broadband seismic data with geology, well data and reservoir characterization to increase the understanding of petroleum plays and identify new prospects. The Northern Viking Graben study is the largest and most complete of these integrated studies that CGG has been developing in many areas of the world.

The Northern Viking Graben multi-client broadband seismic survey was acquired using CGG’s full-bandwidth BroadSeis™-BroadSource™ solution, combining a multi-layer broadband source and curved variable-depth streamer profiles with advanced imaging technology to deliver ghost-free data. The high-resolution seismic data set covers approximately 36,000 km2, straddling the border between the Norwegian and UK sectors of the North Sea. Integration of gravity data acquired with the seismic is being used to help define the basement depth. The broadband seismic data are a key component of an integrated study which will incorporate regional well correlation, prospectivity reviews, seep studies from geochemistry and satellite imagery, sedimentological and petrophysical analyses, gravity data and seismic reservoir characterization, to deliver a comprehensive geoscience package.

CGG’s Northern Viking Graben Well Study complements the seismic data and comprises 50 wells, all of which have been re-evaluated, tied and calibrated to the seismic. These well data have come from many different sources and consist of edited petrophysical logs, well-to-seismic calibrations, sedimentary descriptions of core, electrofacies analyses and re-interpretation of biostratigraphy samples. Extensive quality control is performed on all these data before correlation and interpretation with the seismic to provide a fully integrated and calibrated product for use in prospect evaluation.

Well-to-seismic calibration was carried out with careful assessment of wavelet character at the location of the well, the quality of the wireline used for the synthetics, and also the general well condition. This eliminates discrepancies seen within original checkshot information available from the NPD (Norwegian Petroleum Directorate), especially in the shallow section. Calibration of the geological samples with the core description enables improved petrophysical analysis. By assigning facies to the core, it is possible to extrapolate these petrophysical characteristics away from the cored sections and improve electrofacies interpretation. These results were applied to the re-analysis of biostratigraphic data from many different sources, such as data collected during drilling, cuttings from core and data available through literature and reports. This re-evaluation was then used to review the lithostratigraphy and improve the accuracy and consistency of formation tops. These well results were then tied to the broadband seismic data and mapped across the entire survey.

The seismic data benefit from close interaction between the different CGG geoscience teams and are being processed through a comprehensive reservoir-oriented QC workflow, which ensures the final delivered data require minimal pre-conditioning before elastic inversion and reservoir characterization studies. In this workflow the data are migrated at various key stages to check the evolution of well ties, wavelet stability and AVO compliance. Information from several pre-selected wells is integrated and maps of relevant QC products, following horizons, are checked for conformity with known geological information.

3D AVO attribute generation and 3D deterministic acoustic inversion have been completed for two projects totalling approximately 3,200 km2 over the Ryggstein Ridge and the Måløy Slope where the final data are available. Quantitative seismic interpretation is a critical addition to the exploration toolbox and the acoustic inversion route was chosen as it can be driven by the seismic data. On account of the low frequencies inherent in BroadSeis, acoustic inversion based on scaled seismic velocities provides reliable inverted Vp and acoustic impedance results. The CGG logs created as part of the Well Study, were used to define the local Gardner relationships, and also as blind tests for the inversion. Results over the Skarfjell discovery, see figure, demonstrate a very good match between the inverted attributes in blue and the well log in black. 

These reservoir characterization projects and integrated studies will be extended to cover the entire Northern Viking Graben survey and will provide a comprehensive understanding of petroleum systems in the Northern North Sea to help develop new play models and identify prospects. The studies completed so far are just the beginning of the targeted integration of geology with broadband seismic to help reduce the uncertainty experienced when attempting to understand petroleum systems.  Visit CGG on booth # E24 to find out more about integrated geoscience solutions.

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Imaging Gabon South Basin, A Step Into The Unknown - 16/11/2016

Imaging Gabon South Basin – A Step Into The Unknown

CGG deploys a cutting-edge technology toolbox to tackle this complex frontier

Building an accurate and robust velocity model can be a complex task at the best of times. The largest seismic surveys push the boundaries of both hardware and software capacity and throughput. Furthermore, such large surveys can encompass a wide variety of geological features and water depths. Working in an underexplored area adds further difficulty, due to the lack of previous experience and absence of well data.

Many tools exist for velocity model building, each better at some tasks and less suited to others. Delivering the best overall velocity model relies on a successful combination of these tools, each being used to its strength on a different aspect of a project, in an iterative manner and guided by the geological and geographical variations.

Such were some of the challenges faced by CGG on its 25,000 km2 multi-client offshore survey in the South Gabon Basin. This survey was acquired between 2014 and 2015 using CGG’s BroadSeis™ solution with a 10-km long variable-depth streamer configuration. To put that areal size into perspective, the whole of Wales is approximately 20,000 km2.  Considering the size and location of the Gabon survey it is easy to imagine the contrasting terrain contained within.

Due to the lack of pre-existing velocity data and limited wells in the area, an initial velocity model was built purely from Dix conversion of time-domain RMS velocity data. What little well data existed was used at each stage of the model-building process as a QC. Regional knowledge of the West African margin provided simple yet realistic anisotropy values that were used initially in a horizon-dependent fashion. The anisotropy values were updated and refined throughout the velocity model building process.

From this starting point, cascaded tomography was used for the first stage of velocity model building. The input seismic gathers were frequency-filtered into three bands: low (0-15 Hz); mid (15-30 Hz); high (>30 Hz). The low band targeted regional variations, the mid band added moderate velocity detail while the high band picked out high-resolution features in the sedimentary overburden.

The next tool used was multi-layer tomography which tackled near-surface velocity anomalies associated with complex seafloor topography features such as channels and canyons that can cause severe seismic distortions beneath them.  It also targeted variations in the water layer velocity. 

The geology of the South Gabon Basin is highly complex, featuring extensive faulting along with many salt and carbonate structures in both extensional and compressional domains. The geology can be summarized into three main types: the sedimentary overburden; the salt and carbonate zone; and the deep pre-salt region. Each type benefits from different velocity model building technologies.

At this stage, all the velocity updates had been in the post-salt sedimentary region. To move to the salt and carbonate zone, the data were migrated using both controlled beam migration and reverse time migration, with a constant velocity salt flood beneath a preliminary top salt horizon. These migrated volumes were used to perform a sophisticated interpretation of the salt features and related overhangs.

The project was now at a stage suitable for the use of full-waveform inversion. This provided highly-detailed updates everywhere reached by the diving waves recorded in the data, which in practice meant down to the top of the salt and carbonate features. This fully solved the velocity complexity related to the seafloor canyons, estimated earlier. Full-waveform inversion also identified features such as gas pockets, faster sedimentary layers and buried channels which were too small to be resolved by tomography.

Alongside the full-waveform inversion, targeted updates using structurally-constrained tomography were made to correct the velocity in mini-basins between high-velocity carbonate rafts. This also improved the imaging of the deeper pre-salt region beneath.

The final tool deployed was high-definition tomography. This was used to add structurally-conformable detail within the salt and carbonate zone, where the full-waveform inversion had struggled due to a lack of diving wave penetration. Here we see the strength of one tool being used to assist a weakness of another.

In this ongoing project with further velocity model building still to come, CGG has thus far deployed a selection of tomography technologies, including cascaded, multi-layer, structurally-constrained and high-definition varieties. Full-waveform inversion, salt interpretation and anisotropy updates have also been included. Combined together, these high-end technology solutions provide a highly-detailed velocity model encompassing a huge geographic area and complex geological variations.

For more in-depth coverage of this topic, don’t miss our technical paper “Velocity model building offshore Gabon - a vast step into the unknown” at 12pm on Wednesday. Alternatively, speak to CGG on booth E24 and check our booth theatre schedule.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

EV2 – A Valuable Exploration Tool for a Competitive Advantage - 15/11/2016

EV2 – A Valuable Exploration Tool for a Competitive Advantage

Dynamic reserves modelling tool with global coverage enables exploration teams to do more with less.
by CGG

Oil and gas exploration has always had a strong element of risk, not only in terms of making a discovery but also from fluctuating oil prices, turbulent exchange rates and changing geopolitics. There are many variables that can affect the potential value of a hydrocarbon find, and evaluation of exploration acreage for investment judgements is always complicated by the limited amount of data available to make an informed decision. The potential value of a prospect is not necessarily related to its volume, especially in today’s volatile economic and political environments, so the need to understand and quantify the geological risks and the complexities of petroleum economics is imperative.

EV2 is an exploration valuation platform that has been specifically designed to assist this decision-making process.  It has been jointly developed by CGG and Wood MacKenzie to provide an independent, transparent and consistent analysis of undrilled acreage. EV2 uses the latest economic data and commercial insight from Wood MacKenzie, combined with Robertson’s unique basis of geological knowledge and expertise within CGG’s GeoConsulting group, to provide a user-friendly economic-modelling tool. Currently it contains block-level geological risk, volume and value data for 100 prospective basins and by early 2017 this will increase to over 180 basins and so provide a global assessment tool for exploration.

EV2 allows geologic assumptions to be changed to accommodate different views of play risk or lead density. Different scenarios can be tested to provide a range of possible outcomes so that budgets and resources can be planned. Play and basin metrics can be compared in a transparent and objective manner in order to evaluate corporate portfolios for petroleum economists and financial institutions.

Where additional proprietary information is available, this can be used to edit the underlying geological assumptions in EV2 to refine the baseline volumetric assessments. This enables users to create their own customized scenarios quickly, in a confidential, in-house environment and so maximize their competitive advantage. EV2 provides the means for New Ventures and Exploration teams to compare prospects in a consistent manner in order to guide license round screening and farm-in evaluation. 

Evaluation of the blocks on offer in Mexico’s licensing Round One provides a good example of where using EV2 for the fast assessment of potential volume and value of the exploration blocks on offer could provide valuable insight to inform bidding strategies. Investigation of the EV2 data for the Sabinas-Rio Grande basin identifies eight geologic plays, based on the interpretation of a number of data sources by Robertson’s regional experts. Most of the yet-to-find reserves (over 80%) are expected to be found in the Upper Oligocene, Lower Oligocene and Upper Paleocene to Lower Eocene plays. EV2 identifies the most exciting play to be the Upper Paleocene to Lower Eocene, with potential volumes of between 6 bnboe and 10 bnboe estimated.

However, value depends on more than just volume, and EV2 enables pre-tax and post-tax Net Present Value (NPV) to be assessed at various price and exchange rate scenarios so that economic attractiveness can be evaluated quickly. The assessment of the Sabinas-Rio Grande basin reveals that, as it is closer to shore and in shallower waters, the Upper Oligocene play in fact has greater potential value than the Upper Paleocene to Lower Eocene play. EV2 provides understanding of how all the plays intersect with the license blocks on offer and the mapping can guide further efforts in analysing opportunities. As more work is done on the blocks on offer and more data are acquired, extra information can be incorporated into EV2 to give additional insight to those owning the new data.

This fast but rigorous evaluation demonstrates that EV2 can be used to analyse exploration acreage and provide valuable insight to New Ventures teams. The flexibility of the EV2 platform, enabling assumptions to be changed and different scenarios to be tested, provides answers quickly for informed decision-making.

Monday, 14 November 2016

INDUSTRY ADJUSTS TO NEW PRICE NORM AS 10th IPTC OPENS IN BANGKOK - 14/11/2016

INDUSTRY ADJUSTS TO NEW PRICE NORM AS 10th IPTC OPENS IN BANGKOK

The 10th International Petroleum Technology Conference (IPTC) – the most internationally acclaimed, multi-society, multi-disciplinary oil and gas event in the Eastern hemisphere – got underway today in Bangkok. 

Taking place from November 14th to 16th at the Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld, the 10th IPTC is hosted by PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Limited (PTTEP). 

Over 2,300 registered participants from over 50 countries have registered as of today. Over the next three days, delegates will gain valuable insights from high-profile industry leaders, get the latest updates from a comprehensive technical programme, and experience a showcase of leading-edge technology and innovations at the event’s exhibition. 

Speaking at the opening of the conference, Somporn Vongvuthipornchai, President and CEO, PTTEP and IPTC Executive Committee Co-Chairman said: “Many companies in the oil and gas business are continuing to focus on improving their cost structures. During the last 2 years, with the price of oil remaining volatile, PTTEP has achieved success in reducing costs and increasing efficiency excellence through the adjustment of the entire investment structure, including those related to drilling engineering, logistic systems, and purchasing systems, as well as adjusting the investment capital structure, which has enabled PTTEP to reduce operating and capital expenditures by 15 - 20% in 2016 without compromising on the company’s safety standards or on the level of production, which enables us to have competitive capabilities in the long term”. 

In the Executive Plenary Session that followed, delegates heard from Mr Vongvuthipornchai and senior executives from Mubadala Petroleum, PETRONAS, Schlumberger, Weatherford International and Woodside Energy on the industry imperative to ‘reset, refocus and renew’. As Bakheet Al Katheeri, Chief Growth Officer, Mubadala Petroleum commented: “In the good days, efficiency excellence was a ‘nice to have’ – now it is a must”. This was echoed by Peter Coleman, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Woodside Energy Ltd: “It is important to have a short-term plan when you are planning a long-term project, to ensure efficiency.”

All the companies represented in the session have addressed their cost base, but also their corporate culture as well as transparency and collaboration along the supply chain. Technology plays a critical role in this drive for efficiency excellence, as mentioned by Mario Ruscev, Executive Vice-President, President Product Lines and Chief Technology Officer, Weatherford International plc: “Now is a good time for technology”.

Enhanced oil recovery (EOR), logistics optimisation, new platform design and better mining of big data were just some of the specific examples discussed in the session, where new technology is being leveraged to good effect. The energy industry has also looked to other industrial sectors such as aviation, maritime and civil construction to learn from their best practices. 

Patrick Schorn, President, Operations, Schlumberger sounded a positive note: “There is no reason why, in this industry, that we can’t make good money…at 50 or 60 dollars [a barrel]”. 

The IPTC series is renowned for its technical quality, and the commitment to excellence continues here with a technical programme featuring world experts presenting on how technologies are being applied to address the most pressing challenges today. 

The future of the global oil and gas industry is recognised with a very strong educational strand running through IPTC. From Education Days for high-school students, through Education Week activities aimed at geoscience and engineering undergraduates, to the Emerging Leaders Workshop for young professionals, there is a comprehensive agenda for those looking to start or further their career in the oil and gas industry. 

Thursday, 10 November 2016

High-performance pressure-tolerant batteries for deep-dive underwater vehicles move a step closer - 10/11/2016

High-performance pressure-tolerant batteries for deep-dive underwater vehicles move a step closer

Completion of first phase of Steatite-led R&D project sees Li-S cells meeting challenging endurance demands at high pressure and low temperatures   

Steatite has announced the successful completion of the first phase of a 24-month project to develop a pressure-tolerant lithium sulphur (Li-S) battery pack that can improve the endurance and speed of ‘deep-dive’ autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). Having demonstrated that Li-S cells can meet the demanding challenge of operating at depths up to 6000m, the project can now move on to the battery development phase involving continued development of Steatite’s pressure-tolerant multi-chemistry Battery Management System (BMS).

The MAS (Marine Autonomous Systems) Consortium[1] is a group of UK companies and academic partners led by Steatite and funded by Innovate UK and the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl). The project, which is due for completion in October 2017, aims to exploit the potential of Li-S cell technology to surpass conventional lithium-ion (Li-ion) solutions, and will enhance the capabilities of the scientific and defence vehicles used in applications across the marine and maritime community, including subsea structures, ROVs, profilers, buoys and submersible systems.

AUVs are energy-limited, which constrains their operational envelope meaning that speeds are usually low (2-4 knots) and endurance can be limited. By significantly increasing the energy available within the vehicle, this operational envelope could be expanded, thereby raising both speed and range. At the same time, as vehicles go deeper, the pressure vessels become excessively heavy and expensive and AUVs with internal batteries become limited by the fact that these batteries have to be recharged. The Consortium aims to produce a pressure-tolerant battery pack that delivers increased energy storage and that can be hot swapped to improve operational utilisation.

The first phase of the project was completed at the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in Southampton and involved repeatedly testing Li-S cells at pressures and temperatures equivalent to undersea depths of 6,000m. The results of the testing have demonstrated that the Li-S cells now deliver (almost) the same performance as at ambient conditions and that the effective Neutral Buoyancy Energy Density (NBED) is nearly double that of the Li-ion reference cells. Several cells have been used to perform life tests, and have now reached over 60 cycles for slow discharge, and 80 cycles of faster discharges.

Paul Edwards, divisional director at Steatite Batteries, commented: “The project is progressing well and successful completion of the cell development phase represents a significant milestone. We are now entering the battery development phase involving continued development of Steatite’s pressure-tolerant multi-chemistry Battery Management System (BMS). The system will be demonstrated in a deep-dive submarine in mid 2017”.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

SHELL INDONESIA LUBES PLANT RAMPS UP PRODUCTION, NOW PRODUCING MARINE LUBRICANTS - 09/11/2016

SHELL INDONESIA LUBES PLANT RAMPS UP PRODUCTION, NOW PRODUCING MARINE LUBRICANTS

Just over one year from the start of its operations, Shell’s newest lubricant oil blending plant (LOBP), located in Marunda Centre, near Jakarta, Indonesia, has more than doubled its production slate and is now producing 99 different products. 

This includes its latest additions, Shell marine engine oils Shell Argina, Shell Gadinia, and Shell Melina.

Shell Argina and Shell Gadinia engine oils are used in marine propulsion engines for small to mid-size vessels, marine auxiliary engines and for stationary power generation.  Shell Melina is an advanced multifunctional crankcase system lubricant for low-speed marine diesel engines.  

The local production of these marine lubricants is in response to the increase in demand for marine lubricants, due to the growing domestic maritime sector in Indonesia. This came about as a result of the Indonesian government’s maritime highway programme, which involves developing the country’s maritime infrastructure by upgrading ports throughout the archipelago. To support this initiative, Shell Marine ensures continuity of supply by providing stock point centres located in major ports in Indonesia to serve domestic and international marine customers with the product they need, when and where they need them.    

The plant has also added new variants of Shell’s popular brands Shell Helix (passenger car motor oil), Shell Advance (motorcycle oil), Shell Rimula (heavy duty engine oil), Shell Spirax (transmission oil) and Shell Tellus (hydraulic oil), serving Indonesia’s growing vehicle population and rapid development in key industrial sectors like construction, power generation and mining. 

This plant has also enabled Shell to transition from almost exclusively importing its lubricants products from overseas to a vast majority of it being produced locally.  Today, almost 70% of Shell’s lubricants in Indonesia are “Made in Indonesia”. These are produced out of the fully automated facility with 3 small pack filling lines, 2 drum filling lines and 1 bulk filling line. The quality of Shell’s products is ensured by regular testing at the world-class test laboratory located on-site.

“We are pleased by the progress we have made in one year of manufacturing operations here in Indonesia. This local capability enables us to be close to our customers and nimbly react to market demand, including our marine lubricant customers. This plant also enables our business to expand its reach, and support our customers’ needs in Eastern Indonesia, particularly in Kalimantan, Sulawesi, West Nusa Tenggara, East Nusa Tenggara, Ambon and Papua,” said Alex Marpaung, Lubricants Supply Chain Operations Manager for Indonesia.

From a safety perspective, the plant is also a great example that, with the right systems and promoting a safety-conscious culture among its employees, it can achieve great safety results. From the beginning of construction in October 2012, till now, the site has achieved zero lost-time incidents (LTIs).

Shell is also a good neighbour. Shell Marunda LOBP works together with local NGO Pusdakota (Center for Urban Empowerment) of University of Surabaya to run Desa BERSEMI (Clean, Healthy and Self-sufficient village) programme in nearby villages – Segaramakmur and Pantaimakmur. The program aims to increase community awareness and initiative in building a clean, healthy, environmentally friendly and productive neighbourhood. The programme trains people in the two villages in initiating and developing projects such as: a community compost area, a “waste bank” where residents can sell their waste; a small-scale urban farm for medicinal plants and common vegetables; and small handicraft businesses using non-recyclable waste. To date, the programme has trained 60 focal points in the two villages, doubling the number from its initial phase in December 2015. 

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Nakilat showcases maritime strength at ‘Made in Qatar’ exhibition - 08/11/2016

Nakilat showcases maritime strength at ‘Made in Qatar’ exhibition

Nakilat is showcasing its maritime expertise at the ‘Made in Qatar’ exhibition in Riyadh between 6th-9th November 2016. This is the first time the Qatari shipping company is participating in the event, as an exhibitor and one of the key event sponsors. “Made in Qatar” aims to enhance development of the local industry sector by promoting bilateral trade between Qatar and regional markets.

Now in its fifth cycle, the exhibition organised by Qatar Chamber of Commerce features various companies from across industries in Qatar, with a focus on promoting Qatari-manufactured goods to the extensive Saudi market. 

Nakilat Managing Director Eng. Abdullah Fadhalah Al-Sulaiti said, “Nakilat is proud to be part of the first international edition of this event as it presents us with an excellent platform to promote our spectrum of services to the wider regional market. We look forward to developing stronger relations in the region and further our vision to be a global leader and provider of choice for energy transportation and maritime services, in line with the aims of National Vision 2030.”

Via its joint-ventures, Nakilat-Keppel Offshore & Marine (N-KOM) and Nakilat Damen Shipyards Qatar (NDSQ), Nakilat offers a comprehensive range of ship repair and construction services for a variety of marine and offshore vessels at the world-class Erhama Bin Jaber Al Jalahma Shipyard in Ras Laffan Industrial City, strategically situated at the heart of the Arabian Gulf. 

Monday, 7 November 2016

Nakilat transitions LNG Mekaines to in-house management - 07/11/2016

Nakilat transitions LNG Mekaines to in-house management

Nakilat has assumed full ship management and operations of Q-Max LNG carrier Mekaines from STASCo (Shell Trading and Shipping Company Ltd.) with effect from 7 November 2016, as part of the planned and phased transition announced on 19th October 2016. 

With a cargo carrying capacity of 266,476 cubic meters, Mekaines is wholly-owned by Nakilat and chartered by Qatargas. The vessel built in South Korea by Samsung Heavy Industries was delivered in March 2009 and has been in service ever since. 

Mekaines is the second Q-Max vessel that will come under the management of Nakilat Shipping Qatar Ltd. (NSQL) this year, bringing the total number of vessels managed by NSQL to 10, comprising of 6 LNG and 4 LPG carriers. 

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Tank Storage Germany on 16-17 November in Hamburg - 02/11/2016

Tank Storage Germany on 16-17 November in Hamburg

Actemium presents full service portfolio for tank storage facilities


Actemium, a corporate brand of VINCI Energies, is exhibiting a comprehensive portfolio of products and services for automation and control technology, pipelines, tank storage, refueling systems and tank inspection at stand E17 / Live demos of tank robot and 3D models

Frankfurt (Germany), 2nd November 2016 – For everything from transport, interim storage and distribution to refueling and maintenance, Actemium’s comprehensive portfolio for tank storage facilities is on display at stand E17 during the Tank Storage Germany trade fair on 16-17 November in Hamburg (Germany). Among other things, visitors can learn first-hand how Actemium’s innovative diving robot performs real-time wall thickness inspections in filled storage tanks. A 3D miniature model gives visitors graphical insights into innovative refueling systems.

As a full service provider for tank storage, Actemium shows the full spectrum of current capabilities for automation and control technology, loading stations, refueling systems and maintenance at the leading event for the German bulk liquid storage industry. For everything from stand-alone solutions to full package systems, as a leading system integrator for automation and process control technology, Actemium always aims to simplify processes for customers, enhance safety and protect the environment in their consulting and implementation activities. Their solutions are visualised at the trade fair stand by presentations, 3D models and live demos.

Interested professional visitors can learn more about the following solutions, among others:

Control systems for pipelines and facilities
Viewstar™ is an end-to-end solution encompassing facility engineering, operation and optimisation. Scalable from stand-alone solutions to networked, redundant high-end systems, it fulfills the specific requirements of the oil and gas industry. Viewstar™ Pipeline Cockpit supports the complete life cycle of pipelines and provides a seamless link between hydraulic engineering, control systems and realistic simulations.

Loading stations and tank storage facilities
To enable fast and reliable control and supervision of transfer facilities, including suitable access control, Actemium offers the Viewstar™ ICS Terminal Automation System (TAS), which is platform independent and works with standardised interfaces.

Refueling systems
Military and civil aircraft refueling systems are subject to very strict safety and mobility requirements. As a system integrator with many years of experience, Actemium offers a variety of integrated refueling solutions, including the Modular Airport Refueling System (MODAR), on display at the trade fair in the form of a 3D model.

Tank inspection
Operating downtime and hazards to people and the environment can be avoided with Actemium’s SIU4Tanks™ system, which facilitates the inspection of flat-bottom tanks using video and advanced ultrasonic test equipment with patented positioning. The innovative tank robot can be deployed in filled tanks, eliminating the need to empty and clean the tank and significantly optimizing inspection operations.

IEC Telecom announces its new Maritime Solution with a speed up to 30 Mbps - 02/11/2016

IEC Telecom announces its new Maritime Solution with a speed up to 30 Mbps

At ADIPEC, IEC Telecom will enhance its leadership in the regional satellite market with the release of its next-generation Maritime solution. 

At ADIPEC 2016 IEC Telecom announces its new portfolio of Maritime Solutions designed to empower Maritime and Oil & Gas companies in real-world environments: from basic services for data connectivity to full digital platform, including welfare connectivity for the crew and multiple subscriptions over one single satellite antenna. IEC Telecom will be showcasing solutions with a clear differentiation between different business needs: corporate, welfare and subcontractor’s traffic of satellite Internet. All in one single solution and at the same time. IEC Telecom will show its new portfolio at the booth #410, Hall 4 of ADNEC, November 7-10.

‘With the current situation in the Oil & Gas industry, companies are looking for cost optimization without compromising the quality. At IEC Telecom we understand the challenges the industry is now facing, thus we work closely with the oil and gas companies to help them conserve resources by doing more with less contribution. We believe that going digital is a great cost saving for operations and we work on a solution that can enable the digital Platform concept, where everything goes digital and operation can be managed faster and more effective. With the Ka Band based solution we can reach speeds that can accommodate the traffic generated from a digital rig; with our reliable L Band back up we can give much more reliability to the solution,’ said Nabil Ben Soussia, Managing Director of IEC Telecom Middle East and Kazakhstan. 

‘We are also very excited to announce the official launch of our IEC TELECOM corporate magazine, which will be spread over ADIPEC. The much-awaited magazine is developed to offer rich and relevant content that reflects situation on Maritime and Oil and Gas markets. Readers will find special sections that include such rubrics as: IN FOCUS, INTERVIEW, PROJECT, NEWS with the exclusive content from our clients ADMA-OPCO, Lukoil, Gazprom, Van OORD, Total, Caspian Services Group, CASPIY AK JHELKEN and others,’ said Nabil Ben Soussia, Managing Director of IEC Telecom Middle East and Kazakhstan.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Tank terminals – an attractive investment opportunity - 26/10/2016

Tank terminals – an attractive investment opportunity

Tank terminals have made consistently strong returns over the last few years. Throughout the financial crisis, and huge range of oil prices, the oil storage companies have performed well compared to other sectors. Still today there are plenty of trading and marketing companies looking for storage capacity. Whilst a part of this demand is supported by the present contango market structure (where the higher future value of oil allows traders to buy now and sell later for profit), the majority of demand is driven by the ever increasing demand for oil and the supply chain bottlenecks that require more storage. 

This resilient and consistent performance across the financial and commodity market cycles is attracting financial investors looking for alternative sources of yield,

Changing investor landscape
Tank terminal investments were, until recently, the territory of industry players or private equity. Increasingly, they face fierce competition from pension and infrastructure funds. 

Behind this development is their quest for yield. There is no way a pension fund or insurance company can meet its return mandates by buying German bonds (as the yield are close to zero). They will shift more of their capital allocations out of, for example sovereign debt, and seek higher yielding (and hence riskier) investment opportunities in infrastructure. Typical core infrastructure investments like (air)ports, gas pipelines or toll roads are very competitive, resulting in lower yields for the investors. Now many identify European tank terminals as a sound alternative.

In the larger transactions for dividend yielding storage assets, I have not seen any traditional industry players and hardly any private equity firms among the final bidders. Infrastructure funds, and especially pension funds, have lower return expectations, which are driving up valuations. 

Private equity firms have become more creative to meet their return requirements. Some have hired management teams from the storage industry to acquire and develop storage terminals for them, taking over the role of storage operators in this respect. Examples of this include, Zenith (backed by Walburg Pincus), GPS (backed by Blue Water Energy) and HES (backed by Carlyle/Riverstone). There are several other financial investors considering the same. 

Where does this leave the traditional storage operators? Vopak, for example, has been focusing on divesting some of its smaller assets in Scandinavia (Vopak Sweden sold to Inter Terminals) and the UK (sold to Greenergy/Macquarie). Oiltanking sold its US business to Enterprise and has cash to spend. It recently acquired Vopak Finland and Antwerp Gas Terminal for undisclosed numbers. At what point will these operators cash in their future earnings now?

Future trend
Overall I foresee this trend to continue: pension funds and infrastructure funds shall focus on the larger mature assets, while private equity perhaps has to take more risk by focusing on growing smaller assets, greenfield projects or opportunities in emerging markets.

Obviously, the real world is not that black and white, and future will tell what will happen. It is however fair to say the M&A activity in the sector will continue for some years. 

Concentration in the sector is generally low with the top 10 storage companies owning only 16% of the total (non-US) storage capacity. 

What is the Opportunity for existing storage companies?
So how can you as an owner of one of more tank terminals benefit from these developments? How can you compete with these big investors if you like to grow your business by acquiring additional terminal capacity? Even for the smaller acquisitions you will face fierce competition.

Especially if you are limited in bank financing, it is worth considering a dialogue with some of these investors. You could consider an outside investor as a shareholder in your project, acquisition target or even at holding level of your company. The partnership of investment muscle and operational experience will be the route to mutual value creation
How to position your storage company.

What is important is how to position as a company. Do you have a clear idea of how you perform as a business in the eye of an investor? What are they key levers that you can use to increase your attractiveness and value? And most importantly, how do you select the correct partner that provides most value to your company and your targeted acquisition or project? The answer to that question starts with a thorough assessment of your business that will help you to understand better what your terminal’s key value drivers are and how to position your company. That may sound straightforward, but financial investors look at the world through a different set of eyes.

How much an investor will pay for your shares and how much control they will want over your company depends heavily on the size of the business, the growth opportunities and the historical performance of your company. And last but not least your own wishes in this respect. 

In-Energy has experience in oil terminal management and has worked with numerous financial investors. We understand what these investors are looking for, and more importantly, we know what you need to do to achieve best value for your company whether you want to exit fully or are looking for a partner to support growth. If you are interested to learn more, please contact me personally at +31611361442.

Frank Schreurs is one of 16 world-leading experts speaking at Tank Storage Germany, which takes place on 16 & 17 November at The Hamburg Messe. 

Aimed at senior level storage professionals and investors, the conference will cover a wide range of topics relating to the German storage market. These include market outlook and analysis, local regulations, terminal cost and efficiency methods, finance and investments and terminal development projects. The Tank Storage Germany conference programme is now available to view at www.tankstoragegermany.com. Visit the website to see the line-up of industry expert speakers and topics and to book your place. 

Downstream Markets – Refined product surpluses will remain - 26/10/2016

Downstream Markets – Refined product surpluses will remain

The steep decline in crude prices over late 2014, and the lack of a sustained recovery since, continue to bring to the forefront discussions about the massive inventory builds as well as available storage capacity. Market balances for both crude and products are very long, and our analysis suggests this will remain the case. Thus, we continue to see big challenges ahead for crude and refined product markets. The question now is how a further implied surplus will manifest itself?

Our modelling of demand and supply, as well as upstream and downstream trends, indicates that most of this excess will translate into additional crude stocks (see chart). While crude inventory capacity is more ‘maxed out’ than refined products, at over 90% utilisation according to our estimates, we nonetheless see more flexibility and more new crude storage capacity coming online than for refined products.

Even so, the overhang in current product inventories is already huge, in particular for middle distillates, which we assess to be 11% (or 120 million barrels) above the average of the past five years, at 1.2 billion barrels (total light distillate stocks meanwhile are a ‘mere’ 40 million barrels or 5% higher than average). Moreover, going forward, we expect gasoline/light ends balances, where persistent demand strength is likely to stay, to be tighter than middle distillate balances. 

But importantly, oversupply does not necessarily mean lower prices. For us the issue is whether buyers can be found that are willing to take and store excess material. For this, two conditions must be met – there must be sufficient storage capacity and price incentives must be in place. That said, China accounts for virtually all of the observable global stockbuild in the past 2 quarters, suggesting that it is willing and able to absorb much of the global surplus. 

Broadly speaking, while price incentives to store more barrels are currently not in place, our outlook indicates that pressure on near-term futures contracts may be in the offing, as the growing surplus our models suggest becomes more and more apparent. Besides onshore storage capacities, we also see the potential for storing significant volumes of oil at sea over the next 6 months, not least given currently-low freight rates and ample tanker availability. 

Looking ahead, our balances imply continued stockbuilds throughout 2017 and 2018 of around 600,000 b/d on average. Thus in our base case, we only expect a ‘rebalancing’ of oil markets, in the sense of supply and demand being more aligned, to take place by 2019/2020. Until then, crude and product surpluses will persist and will require creative solutions to store. 

For anybody interested in finding out more about JBC Energy’s oil markets research, seeing some sample market reports, or requesting a complimentary trial subscription, you can visit JBC Energy at www.jbcenergy.com. 

Expanded Floorplan Makes Room for New Exhibitors at Tank Storage Germany 2016 - 26/10/2016

Expanded Floorplan Makes Room for New Exhibitors at Tank Storage Germany 2016

With 5 weeks to go until Tank Storage Germany, the leading bulk liquid storage event for the region has announced that it has expanded its showfloor, making room for new exhibitors looking to showcase their latest products and services to the market. 

In 2015 the show grew by more than 20 per cent in exhibitors, and this year is set to continue to bring together more exhibitors than ever, including major industry suppliers from across Germany and around the world. 

Tank Storage Germany returns to The Hamburg Messe on 16 & 17 November 2016, bringing together over 80 suppliers and a dedicated audience of senior buyers, from across the region, all looking to source the latest bulk liquid technologies, solutions and ideas for their business.

Preservv, HLP Group, Loadtec Engineered Systems, Emerson, Börger GmbH, Ivens NV, Siemens GmbH, Mueller-Behaelterbau and M+F Technologies are just some of the major names signed up for Tank Storage Germany. Many of these will use the show to launch new products and services to the tank storage market.

ENDEGs will be presenting its Vapour Combustion Units, which eliminate over 99.99 per cent of all harmful gasses, vapours and mixtures, emitted from land tanks, ships, barges, road and railway tankers and vapour recovery and processing units. The vapour combustion units can also be used to make a tank gas free, to load products that generate vapours which do not comply with the VRU, or simply to avoid surplus vapours being vented in the environment.

Anyone looking to know more about fire and rescue solutions should head to the Falck Fire Services stand. The company will be detailing its tailored and cost-effective services, which includes the responsibility for the management of the fire brigade including people, vehicles, equipment, facilities, systems, operational procedures and the ambulance service. Its intervention capabilities also comprise hazmat, and all rescue related activities such as confined space, rescue at heights and extrication.   

Concrete Canvas will showcase its flexible concrete impregnated geotextile, which hardens on hydration, to form a thin, durable, fibre reinforced concrete layer. It is low mass and low carbon technology, which uses up to 95 per cent less material than conventional concrete. It is predominately used for above ground drainage applications. It can also be used for hard armour capping of earth bunds around oil refinery tank farms, munitions depots and flood defences.

Elaflex-Gummi Ehlers will be using Tank Storage Germany to present its loading and unloading equipment for hazardous material, plus its FWS composite hoses. 

Leading international exhibitor, Emerson, will be showcasing a number of products, including its Rosemount Tank Gauging System. This produces precise net volume calculations allowing organisations to handle the ever-increasing demands for efficiency, safety and accuracy. Also on show will be its Smart Wireless Tank Gauging system and its Emerson LNG Tank Gauging System.

Taiwan based company, FullMost, will be showcasing its suite of patented products and technologies, including its Brick Style Honeycomb Type with Full Contact Liquid Surface Internal Floating Roofs and its Magnet Adjustable Coupling.

Branium International will be presenting QINO, its latest tank terminal IT solution, which helps liquid bulk storage and trading businesses become more organised, by integrating operations, maintenance, customs, commerce and logistics. The system provides more transparency and control, enabling quick decision making and optimal business performance.

Actemium will show Viewstar PipelineCockpit, its unique technology package, for engineering, operation and optimisation of oil and gas pipelines. This combines the functionality of hydraulic engineering and SCADA, including leak detection, simulation and future forecasting. The technology covers the entire life cycle of a pipeline and can be adapted to meet specific requirements.

Nick Powell, Event Director of the Easyfairs’ StocExpo and Tank Storage events portfolio, comments: “We have so much innovation on our showfloor this year, with some of the biggest names within the tank storage sector using Tank Storage Germany as the prime opportunity to show their latest developments and thinking to the region’s buying community. We are set for a fantastic event. Just make sure you have enough time see to see everything.”

More than just an exhibition, Tank Storage Germany 2016 will host a conference programme, featuring over 16 global keynotes from the bulk liquid storage sector. Experts from companies such as JP Morgan, Oiltanking, Channoil Consulting, Arcadis, Vopak and Deloitte will be exploring the industry’s growth opportunities, market analysis, port and terminal developments, regulations and best practice. 

Visitor registration is now open, anyone wishing to attend the event should now register online at www.tankstoragegermany.com to receive their visitor badge and ensure free entry to the show.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

ODE appointed engineering representative to major US offshore wind project - 25/10/2016

ODE appointed engineering representative to major US offshore wind project

The Lake Erie Energy Development Corporation (LEEDCo) in Cleveland, Ohio has appointed international engineering and operations support services contractor Offshore Design Engineering Limited (ODE), part of the DORIS Group located in the U.K., as the engineering representative for Icebreaker Wind, a 20.7 megawatt offshore wind project in Lake Erie, and the first freshwater offshore wind project in North America.

The appointment is the latest development in a three-year relationship between ODE and LEEDCo, the regional non-profit corporation that has proposed this six turbine wind demonstration project located 8-10 miles off the shore of Cleveland in Lake Erie.  LEEDCo,, is partnering with Fred.Olsen Renewables USA, and has received over $10 million from the U.S. Department of Energy, with an additional $40 million in federal funding contingent on meeting future milestones.

Icebreaker Wind will provide the electricity needs for 7,000 homes. It is the first freshwater project of its kind in North America, the first to withstand significant foundation icing conditions (surface ice and keel ice loads on the structure) and the first to acquire a submerged lands lease option in the Great Lakes.

ODE brings a strong record in providing support and innovative solutions to a number of the international offshore wind developments. The Ormonde Offshore Wind Farm in UK waters, for which ODE worked between 2004 and 2012, is the first major UK development utilizing large turbines on jacket foundations and is recognized as one of the most innovative operational offshore wind farms in the world.

ODE has supported LEEDCo with technical expertise, knowledge of offshore wind projects internationally and relevant information needed to support the demonstration project, which is part of the US Department of Energy (DOE) program to promote the installation of innovative offshore wind systems in the USA.

The latest phase of work will involve ODE facilitating the certified verification agent (CVA) process for the project. This includes the completion of the basis of design, design methodology, independent loads analysis and support in other aspects of the project’s development by providing appropriate technical and commercial expertise.

ODE managing director Peter Godfrey said: “We regard the Icebreaker project as a critical component in the development of the US offshore wind industry. We are pleased to have supported LEEDCo from the very early conceptual stages through to this latest level and beyond. Our vast experience in the offshore wind industry means that we are well placed to partner with LEEDCo all the way to project delivery and completion. This is an important project for the offshore wind industry and we are excited to be a part of it.”

LEEDCo president Dr. Lorry Wagner stated “We are very excited to have a partner with the vast experience in the design, installation, commissioning and operations and maintenance of offshore wind farms of ODE. Bringing this expertise to the U.S. is critical to advancing the offshore wind industry here.” 

Daniel Woodman, ODE business development manager, North America – offshore wind energy said: “Although we are known for our support to this sector internationally, our work with LEEDCo really enhances our visibility and presence in North America, which is a key focus for us. We look forward to assisting LEEDCo bring the Icebreaker project to fruition.”

Monday, 24 October 2016

LORDS TO INVESTIGATE ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY AFTER BREXIT - 24/10/2016

LORDS TO INVESTIGATE ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY AFTER BREXIT

The EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee has launched a short inquiry on environment and climate change policy after Brexit. The first evidence session will take place on Wednesday 26 October and will hear evidence from leading academics and NGOs.

The UK has previously pursued an ambitious climate change policy through its EU membership and the majority of environmental standards stem from EU law. The purpose of this inquiry is to examine what the United Kingdom's key interests are in shaping a new environment and climate change policy in advance of Brexit negotiations and the level of co-operation needed with the EU to achieve these aims.

The Committee will explore other issues such as what international obligations and commitments will be relevant for a future policy as well as to what extent the UK will continue to have an interest in aligning policy to the EU.

The EU Energy and Environment Sub-Committee will begin this work with two evidence sessions in Committee Room 2 of the House of Lords. 

The first session will examine what the UK’s legislative position will be with regard to the environment and climate change after Brexit and how environmental protection can be enforced when the UK leaves the EU.

The second session will focus on the priorities for environmental policy after Brexit and whether there is a rationale for developing environmental policy in line with the EU.

At 10:30am the Committee will speak to:

    Professor Andy Jordan, University of East Anglia
    Professor Maria Lee, University College London
    Richard MacRory, University College London

The Committee is likely to ask:

    What are the opportunities and challenges for the UK’s approach to environment and climate change arising from the UK exiting the EU? 
    Will the Great Repeal Bill have any particular complexities in relation to environmental legislation?
    What are the available models for enforcing environmental legislation effectively and ensuring Government's accountability after the UK’s exit from the EU? 

At 11:45am the Committee will speak to:

    Leah Davis, Acting Director, Green Alliance
    Abi Bunker, Head of Policy and Advocacy, RSPB
    Trevor Hutchings, Director of UK and EU Advocacy, WWF

The Committee is likely to ask:

    What are the most critical environment and climate policy regulations that the UK should preserve after Brexit?
    What action should the Government take to ensure adequate protection of the natural environment post-Brexit, both in the short and long term? 
    Will the environmental and climate change aspirations of the UK and the EU be similar following Brexit?

The evidence sessions will start at 10:30am on Wednesday 26 October. They will be held in Committee Room 2 of the House of Lords.