Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Ardyne strengthens management with appointment of new COO - 28/09/2016

Ardyne strengthens management with appointment of new COO

Ardyne, provider of specialised plug and abandonment, workover, re-entry / slot recovery technology within downhole Bottom Hole Assemblies (BHAs) to the global energy industry, has strengthened its senior management team with the appointment of industry-heavyweight Jochem Scherpenisse as chief operating officer.

Mr Scherpenisse has a wealth of international experience in the oil and gas industry, coming to Ardyne from Baker Hughes, where he spent the past 18 years, exposed to all levels and areas of operation, with particular experience on intervention. Latterly, he served as vice president and managing director for continental Europe and previously covered Europe, Africa, Russia and the Caspian region in roles including operations support director and managing director.

In his new position, based primarily at the company headquarters in Aberdeen, he will be responsible for maintaining operational oversight of the business and working as part of the senior management team on a variety of elements including technology and business development.

Mr Scherpenisse commented: “I was attracted to the role at Ardyne as, for a young company, it has a solid technology roadmap and a strong strategy for taking its differentiated offering to the market. I am keen to work with the experienced management team and support them in continuing to grow internationally. It’s an exciting venture to be part of in a very interesting segment of the market.”

The addition of Jochem Scherpenisse comes as Wellbore AS is rebranded as part of Ardyne, following its acquisition in January this year (2016).  

Ardyne chief executive officer, Alan Fairweather, said:  “We have an ambitious growth plan

already in motion and Jochem’s appointment, combined with the Wellbore rebranding, solidifies Ardyne as a company that is bringing new technology, combined with robust thinking, to market. These developments enhance our position as both dynamic and fast growing. We have an exciting future ahead.

“This is a new chapter and one that will build on the strength already demonstrated in the success Wellbore has had. The teams have a natural synergy and coming together will allow us to provide a more rounded, full-service to our customers.”

The Wellbore AS rebrand is expected to be completed by 17th October. 

Add Energy and Trendsetter boosts well kill injection rates - 28/09/2016

Add Energy and Trendsetter boosts well kill injection rates

Add Energy and Trendsetter Engineering Inc. have combined their expertise in well control engineering and equipment design to develop the Relief Well Injection Spool (RWIS).  The RWIS is designed to enable pumping of up to 200 barrels per minute of kill mud through a single relief well utilizing multiple vessels as opposed to the conventional method of multiple relief wells.  

In regions such as Norway, where the governing regulatory agency only grants permit to drill wells that can be killed with a single relief well, the RWIS will provide a strategic solution that will enable drilling of both shallow and deep prolific reservoirs. In some cases, the RWIS may provide a tangible cost reduction in the range of 2 million USD by omitting a casing string to reduce dynamic kill requirements in the event of a blowout. 

The RWIS is designed to be installed on a relief well prior to intersecting the blowout well and would be positioned between the wellhead and the blowout preventer (BOP), effectively becoming a subsea injection manifold providing additional inlets for pumping kill mud. Each of these inlets is equipped with dual fail-safe barrier valves to provide the necessary means of pressure containment in the relief well.  During the well kill operation, one or more high-pressure pumping vessels located near the relief well rig will be connected to the RWIS inlets using high pressure flexible flowlines to provide the additional mud fluid.  The RWIS can be rapidly deployed by air, ground and marine freight to any region of the world.

As a result of the projected solution provided to drilling operations, the RWIS has already been requested for specific wells in Norway and U.S.A, and will be available to the market by the end of 2016.  

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Running like a clock on the seabed - 27/09/2016

Running like a clock on the seabed 

The world’s first subsea gas compression system has now been in operation for one year on the Åsgard field. The system has been running like a Swiss clock with practically no stops or interruptions.

It was in September 2015 Statoil and its partners started up the world’s first subsea gas compression system on the Åsgard field in the Norwegian Sea.

“Quality in all sections of the project and also during operation has contributed to maintain a system regularity of close to 100% through its first year of operation,” says Halvor Engebretsen, vice president for Åsgard operations.

“Before start-up we carried out extensive testing, commissioning and verification of the technology, and thereby we could remove errors and weaknesses before the installation was placed on the seabed. We have already benefitted from this effort by stable and good operation,” he continues.

Increased recovery worth billions

With this new and ground-breaking technology, the recovery from the Mikkel and Midgard reservoirs has been increased by as much as 306 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe), corresponding to a medium-sized field on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) and extending the fields’ life to 2032.

“During the first year of operation we have raised production by an excess of 16 million boe. Based on today’s prices the value added amounts to more than NOK 5 billion,” says Engebretsen.

The recovery rate from the Midgard and Mikkel reservoirs on Åsgard has been raised from 67% to 87% and from 59% to 84% respectively.

“Åsgard subsea gas compression is one of Statoil’s most radical innovation projects. The technology represents a quantum leap that may contribute to considerable improvements in both recovery rate and lifetime for a number of gas fields.

Reduced carbon footprint

The technology that has been in operation for a year was matured through many years by strong in-house expertise. In close collaboration with suppliers such as Aker Solutions, MAN and Technip, Statoil has qualified more than 40 new technologies.

“We have built test facilities at K-lab, storage and maintenance capacity at Vestbase, and we have access to ships that are capable of handling installation of large subsea modules. By reusing this technology, we have great opportunities for simplification and efficiency improvements, and for reducing carbon footprints of future gas compression systems,” explains Engebretsen.

The technology also represents a significant reduction in energy consumption and carbon emissions in a lifecycle perspective on Åsgard, compared to a compression platform. This technology represents a potential for further carbon reductions through use in future subsea solutions.

ACE Winches delivers subsea infrastructure project - 27/09/2016

ACE Winches delivers subsea infrastructure project

Leading global deck machinery specialist ACE Winches has completed a scope of work for Technip as part of a subsea infrastructure project in the Loyal field, west of the Shetland Islands.  Quad204 is the redevelopment of the Schiehallion and Loyal fields, located 175 km west of Shetland and 15 km north of the Foinaven field.

The complete project will see an existing floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel replaced with a larger, purpose-built FPSO to accommodate new field tie-ins. The development of additional wells and the installation of new subsea infrastructures in neighbouring fields are also planned.

The bespoke solution from ACE Winches includes a hydraulic drum winch, overboard system and spooling gear, designed and manufactured at the company’s facilities in Aberdeenshire and developed in collaboration with the end client, in line with its requirements for riser installation on board the FPSO. The system was designed by ACE Winches’ skilled engineering division, which has previous experience of working on large-scale subsea projects.

Challenged by limited deck space, the company developed a package that houses the hydraulic drum winch, with a safe working load of 150te across all layers, an overboard system and spooling gear into the winch base frame. The winch package includes closed loop hydraulic power units, located nearby.

A custom-made compact winch was designed to accommodate the limited space and meet the required performance characteristics for riser installation, while the overboard system provides access to the tower, with ladders and walkways included.

All the equipment was fully tested at ACE Winches’ test bed facility, with testing simulating full operational mode at full performance and brake load holds. All tests were carried out to DNV specifications for lifting appliances. The equipment will shortly be mobilised to the client.

Richard Wilson, Chief Operations Officer, ACE Winches said: “The limited deck space presented us with a challenge, but we overcame it with an innovative design which delivers a high quality solution that obtains maximum use and efficiency from the area available. “

Monday, 26 September 2016

HB Rentals invests six-figure sum into new product lines - 26/09/2016

HB Rentals invests six-figure sum into new product lines

Offshore accommodation and workspace solutions specialist, HB Rentals, has invested in excess of £750,000 into new product lines in response to customer demand.

The company has added hazardous area workshop containers to its rental fleet which are multi-functional with the combination of standard features and fit-out options. This offers a wide range of applications ranging from mechanical workshops, electrical workshops, rigging lofts and storage containers.

The new DNV 2.7-1 certified workshops come with ATEX Zone 1 electrics, lighting, heating and air conditioning, allowing them to operate in a hazardous area. Standard features also include workbenches, vice and caged shelving with the option of an extendable lifting beam and hoist.

In addition to the workshop containers, HB Rentals has invested in refrigeration / freezer containers, which are also DNV 2.7-1 certified. The containers feature stainless steel hygienic surfaces for easy cleaning and wash down, dual temperature settings for refrigeration or freezing and automatic sensor lighting.

Featuring Carrier’s marine refrigeration plant, the containers can operate in environments ranging between -30°C to +50°C and also have a removable floor grid for easy cleaning.

Norman Porter, managing director HB Rentals Limited, commented: “We are thrilled to be adding these two new product lines to our portfolio of rental equipment. So far we have received a healthy level of enquiries and already have success with a number on contract in the North Sea.

“We are continuing to diversify our business to meet the changing customer requirements and our investment in this new equipment is a testament to our on-going commitment to the industry.” 

TENDEKA STRENGTHENS MANAGEMENT TEAM WITH NEW APPOINTMENT - 26/09/2016

TENDEKA STRENGTHENS MANAGEMENT TEAM WITH NEW APPOINTMENT

Tendeka, the provider of completions systems and services to the upstream oil and gas industry, has strengthened its management team with the appointment of Peter Soroka to the role of advanced completions commercialisation manager.

Peter brings more than 35 years’ experience in the oil and gas industry to Tendeka, having joined the company from OMV UK where his last post was as head of increased oil recovery/enhanced oil recovery technology. Other companies he has worked for include Statoil, Total and Schlumberger.

Peter’s career includes technological development for a wide range of oil and gas projects worldwide, incorporating subsea reservoirs and wells, and greenfield, brownfield and satellite projects in locations such as West of Shetland, Ireland, Angola, Russia, Europe and the Middle East. 

He will join Tendeka’s newly formed enhanced production and client services group, which will deliver innovative and cost-effective solutions to enhance oil and gas recovery and engage with clients accordingly. Based in the UK, he will also be responsible for expanding Tendeka’s client base.

Tendeka chief executive officer Gary Smart said: “We created the enhanced production and client services group because we recognise future opportunities rely more on cost-effective technologies with long term benefits to compete in the current market.

“This strategy necessitates interaction with a varied group of technical disciplines covering the reservoir and well construction. Peter’s record in delivering technical excellence in a range of sectors made him the ideal candidate to lead this group. His numerous strengths will be a significant asset for our company.”

Bureau Veritas reaffirms commitment to the North Sea with appointment of CEO and increasing its team - 26/09/2016

Bureau Veritas reaffirms commitment to the North Sea with appointment of CEO and increasing its team

Bureau Veritas, a global leader in testing, inspection and certification (TIC) services, has appointed Paul Shrieve as chief executive officer (CEO) of North Sea Offshore Operations, Marine and Offshore.

Paul, is based at the company’s Aberdeen office, and has more than 15 years experience in senior management in the oil and gas industry, including roles at Senior Vice President at other TIC organisations and as Managing Director at ATL Consulting Services, which was acquired by Bureau Veritas in 1999. The appointment marks a return to the company for Paul, who was Vice President of North Sea Oil and Gas from 1999 until 2006.

Paul rejoining Bureau Veritas earlier this year reaffirms the company’s long term commitment to the North Sea, and the business has been recently restructured to provide an enhanced, more streamlined service for customers. Five new Client Technical Services Manager roles have been created that will allow customers to have a single point of contact who can provide leadership in all areas of planning, financial control, technical, operations management and communication.

The company’s Aberdeen office has also welcomed 10 new members of staff this year with further hiring plans for 2017.

Paul commented: “I am thrilled to be back with Bureau Veritas at such an exciting time. The new restructure will allow us to develop deeper and broader client relationships as well as allow continued development opportunities for our staff.”

“As part of the company’s growth plan, we hope to bring a wider range of compliance services across the whole project life cycle from concept to decommissioning. Despite current market conditions, it is essential we continue to invest in our industry and that is exactly what Bureau Veritas plans to do.”

Bureau Veritas employs around 66,500 people globally, with 3,000 in the Marine and Offshore (M&O) division and 75 in M&O North Sea Offshore Operations, which are based in the UK and Norway. Despite the challenging conditions facing the oil and gas industry, Bureau Veritas, which sponsored the Innovation in Safety category at this year’s Offshore Safety Awards, sees the North Sea as a key area for business growth.

Paul added: “We have a renewed energy and focus on service delivery towards our clients, challenging our existing activities to ensure we are supporting our clients to face the current operating environment.” 

“We have increased the level of client engagement, both current and prospective, looking for opportunities to develop more of a partnership relationship rather than a client/supplier relationship.”

“Internally, we have been investing in training despite the challenging market conditions to make sure our staff are well equipped to support client needs and equally, respond to market demand for a wider range of services being delivered by Bureau Veritas at a local level.”

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Claxton launches new latest evolution conductor recovery tower and SABRE™ cutting system to improve performance - 21/09/2016

Claxton launches new latest evolution conductor recovery tower and SABRE™ cutting system to improve performance

Claxton, an Acteon company, has successfully introduced the latest modular versions of its conductor recovery tower and SABRE™ abrasive cutting system to increase efficiency and flexibility in decommissioning and late life projects.

First developed in 1999, SABRE™ has proven to be an invaluable industry tool and has been successfully used in some of the world’s most significant abandonment campaigns. Its abrasive jet exits the tool at transonic speeds – making light work of even composite materials such as cemented casings.

Using a jet of naturally occurring cutting components (garnet, water and air), SABRE™ has a low environmental impact. The system can be deployed from various vessel types or platforms, allowing the simultaneous abrasive cutting of multiple well casings without impacting adjacent infrastructure.

The latest version is fully NORSOK Z-015 compliant, has a reduced system footprint and is modular in design, making it be adaptable to a wider range of applications and deck layouts and thus minimising complexity. Its cutting manipulators suit all standard casing sizes down to 6-5/8”; it can operate at pressures of up to 20,000 psi and includes a packer system to improve cutting performance.

The modular approach and philosophy for SABRE™ also influenced new developments for the Claxton conductor recovery tower. The tower can handle and recover tubulars from production tubing to 30” casing during well abandonment. Designed for operational speed and reduced rig-up complexity, the system increases efficiency offshore. By having a small, lightweight yet powerful system, Claxton can also extend the operational window of the unit and move from well to well quickly and effectively.

Matt Marcantonio, R&D Manager, Claxton, said: “The concept for both the new SABRE™ deck spread and conductor recovery tower was to improve efficiency and flexibility.

“The systems are now fully modular and can be adapted to a wide variety of deck layouts and locations. The latest version of SABRE™ was first used in July on an 8m x 8m weather deck footprint on the Horne and Wren Platform in the Southern North Sea - where the abrasive cutting system successfully severed two multi-string wells.

“The developments are the result of a great deal of work and innovation across the organisation. We are extremely proud to have raised the bar including making the SABRE™ system fully NORSOK compliant to Z-015. This enables us to use SABRE™ on installations on the Norwegian Continental Shelf. It is also already booked out for a number of campaigns through 2016 and 2017.”  

Claxton has grown significantly over the years in order to respond to clients’ operating needs. The company’s integration strategy means it can offer comprehensive decommissioning packages for the following applications: platform wells (rigless, rig-based or combined simultaneous operations), subsea wells, and casing recovery (drilling support operations).

Still significant interest in exploration in mature areas - 21/09/2016

Still significant interest in exploration in mature areas – APA 2016

When the application deadline for awards in pre-defined areas (APA) 2016 expired on 6 September, the authorities had received applications from 33 companies.
“It is very positive that so many companies still believe that more oil and gas can be discovered on the most mature parts of the shelf. We have received many exciting applications,” says Sissel Eriksen, exploration director in the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate.

The companies have applied for acreage on the whole shelf. The companies are most interested in the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea.

“The APA scheme is important for maintaining the activity level and realising the values on the shelf. The application volume has remained consistently high in recent years, and this demonstrates that the companies also prioritise exploration in mature areas during times with challenging cost and price regimes.”

Now the work on the technical evaluation of the applications begins. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate is also evaluating the applicants’ geological concepts and strategy for exploring the areas.

At the application deadline of 6 September 2016, companies could apply for a total of 139 942 square kilometres, while the available area in APA 2015 was 127 608 square kilometres. The number of applicants for APA 2016 is somewhat lower than for APA 2015.

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Expro awarded $30m production contract in India - 20/09/2016

Expro awarded $30m production contract in India

International oilfield services company, Expro, has been awarded a contract worth over $30m with the Hindustan Oil Exploration Company (HOEC) for the Dirok gas field in India.

The project will see Expro provide the design, engineering, construction, transportation, installation and commissioning of a Modular Gas Processing Plant (MGPP) which will fulfil the requirement of a fast-track Early Production System (EPS) as well as long-term operational goals. The facility is designed to process up to 35 mmscf gas per day with associated liquid condensates.

Keith Palmer, President for Expro Production and Asia commented: “This project is a significant milestone for Expro as it marks our first ever contract in India for the provision of a fast-track modular gas processing plant on a lease, operate and maintain basis.

“I’m delighted that HOEC have chosen to partner with Expro and are confident in our production solutions and technical expertise. The plant itself will be fully operated and maintained by local Expro personnel.”

Expro will also supply personnel to operate and maintain the MGPP to assist HOEC in maximising gas and condensate production from the field over the long-term.

P.R Krishna, HOEC Asset Manager said: “HOEC is pleased to select Expro as its partner for this project.

“Expro was selected in an international competitive bidding process based on their superior technical knowledge and experience in the design and operation of modular gas processing plants. Once the plant is commissioned, it will be the first such plant in India specifically suited to the eco-sensitive and logistically challenging north eastern region.”

The Dirok field, located in the Assam-Arakan basin, covers a development area of 110sq km in north-eastern India close to the town of Digboi.

Monday, 19 September 2016

ADD ENERGY WINS SIX-FIGURE MAINTENANCE OPTIMISATION CONTRACT IN OMAN - 19/09/2016

ADD ENERGY WINS SIX-FIGURE MAINTENANCE OPTIMISATION CONTRACT IN OMAN

Add Energy, the international energy consultancy provider, has been awarded a contract worth £120,000 with a leading upstream gas operator in Oman.

The contract has secured jobs at the company’s Aberdeen office and enabled sustainability of its Oman office and in country partnership.

The scope of work will see Add Energy provide the plant with equipment specific maintenance strategies and procedures, which will enable maintenance execution and planning to be optimised. The project will be carried out with an aim of reducing equipment downtime, by mitigating failures due to maintenance which is inadequate or without full coverage.

Peter Adam, Add Energy managing director, commented: “We are thrilled to be have been awarded this contract from a world class upstream gas operator in Oman. Having completed previous contracts in the region, the Middle East has always been a focus for Add Energy and we look forward to working closely with our client in the coming months.

“This contract signifies that while cost cutting continues, operators still need to invest in initiatives that are driven towards efficiency and streamlining operations.”

The project will be carried out by Add Energy’s asset and integrity management division in both Aberdeen, UK and Muscat, Oman. Work is due to start in September 2016.

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Minor oil discovery near the Vega field in the North Sea - 15/09/2016

Minor oil discovery near the Vega field in the North Sea

Minor oil discovery near the Vega field in the North Sea – 35/11-19 S, 35/11-20 S, 35/11-20 A and 35/11-20 B

Wintershall Norge AS, operator of production licence 248 F, is in the process of completing the drilling of four wells in the North Sea.
The wells are wildcat well 35/11-20 S, appraisal well 35/11-20 A and wildcat well 35/11-20 B. Due to technical issues, well 35/11-19 S had to be abandoned, and well 35/11-20 S was drilled about 50 metres southwest of 35/11-19 S.

Well 35/11-20 A was classified as a wildcat well, but will now be reclassified as an appraisal well.

The wells were drilled about five kilometres southeast of the Vega field in the North Sea and 100 kilometres southwest of Florø.

The primary and secondary exploration targets for well 35/11-20 S were to prove petroleum in Late Jurassic reservoir rocks (intra Heather formation sandstone).

The well did not encounter reservoir rocks in the primary exploration target. The well encountered an 8-metre oil column in the secondary exploration target at the top of an intra Heather formation sandstone with poor reservoir quality and a total thickness of about 70 metres.

The objective of well 35/11-20 A was to delineate the oil discovery in intra Heather formation sandstone, and to prove petroleum in Middle Jurassic (Brent group) and Early Jurassic (Cook formation) reservoir rocks.

The well encountered a total oil column of 33 metres in intra Heather formation sandstone, of which 19 metres were of good reservoir quality. Due to technical issues, it was not possible to reach the Brent group and Cook formation.

Well 35/11-20 B was drilled to further delineate the oil discovery in intra Heather formation sandstone. The secondary target was to prove petroleum in Middle Jurassic (Brent group) and Early Jurassic (Cook formation) reservoir rocks.

The well encountered a total oil column of 46 metres in intra Heather formation sandstone, of which 29 metres were of moderate reservoir quality. A total oil column of 19 metres was encountered in the Tarbert formation in the Brent group, of which 10 metres were of moderate reservoir quality. The Cook formation was encountered with a total thickness of about 170 metres with predominantly poor reservoir quality and only traces of petroleum.

Preliminary estimates place the size of the discovery between 1.5 and 4.5 million standard cubic metres (Sm3) of recoverable oil equivalents. The licensees will evaluate the discovery along with other nearby discoveries with a view toward a potential development.

The wells have not been formation-tested, but extensive data and samples were collected. The wells are the second, third, fourth and fifth exploration wells in production licence 248 F.

Wells 35/11-20 S and 35/11-20 A were drilled to respective measured depths of 3553 and 3943 metres below the sea surface and respective vertical depths of 3437 and 3293 metres below the sea surface. Both wells were terminated in the Heather formation in the Middle Jurassic.

Well 35/11-20 B was drilled to measured and vertical depths of 5083 metres and 4055 metres below the sea surface, respectively, and was terminated in the Statfjord group in the Early Jurassic.

Water depth at the site is 373 metres. The wells will now be permanently plugged and abandoned.

Wells 35/11-19 S, 35/11-20 S, 35/11-20 A and 35/11-20 B were drilled by the Borgland Dolphin drilling facility.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

MORE PEOPLE NEEDED TO SKILL UP IN SMART METERS - 14/09/2016

MORE PEOPLE NEEDED TO SKILL UP IN SMART METERS

The government risks missing its ambitious target to roll out smart meters in 30 million homes and businesses because of a lack of investment in training engineers, a leading trade skills course provider warns.

ECTA Training states there is still a significant shortfall in the number of qualified smart meter engineers required to fit the millions of smart meters needed for the nationwide rollout.

The government has pledged to install around 53 million meters into around 30 million homes and business premises over the next four years, in one of the most significant infrastructure projects in decades.

However, ECTA Training estimates that up to 6,500 new smart meter engineers are still required to help meet the requirements.

Smart meters are being installed across the country to enable customers to more accurately monitor their energy consumption, including which appliances use the most. This is expected to drive down consumption with associated financial and environmental benefits.

Dave Berry, director at ECTA Training, said: “The delivery of the smart meter rollout has called for the creation of a new breed of meter engineer, someone who can combine the practical ability of meter removal, installation and testing with the customer service skills that industry regulator Ofgem has placed at the centre of the project.

“While this provides opportunities for tradespeople to skill up in this area, we also need to encourage new entrants to consider this career path in order to meet the demand. Prospective installers do not need to have previous industry experience to undertake the training needed to qualify so it may be an ideal opportunity for the recently redundant or those just wanting a career change, especially as the job offers generous benefits and could open up doors to other roles within the energy industry further down the line.”

Interview with Jari Airola, Senior Vice President, Building Insulation, Paroc Group - 14/09/2016

Interview with Jari Airola, Senior Vice President, Building Insulation, Paroc Group

Over the course of his professional career, Jari Airola gained extensive experience in business management, international sales management and business development on various senior management positions in global industrial companies. Mr. Airola joined Paroc from Huntsman Pigments and Additives where he served as Global Business Unit Director. Earlier, he held different leadership positions in chemical industry companies such as Sachtleben Chemie and Kemira Pigments. – Jari brings to Paroc his considerable experience in management of international sales and value creation experience in sales work – says Kari Lehtinen, Paroc Group CEO.

Mr. Airola considering your strong professional background in the chemical industry, you are clearly more than familiar with industry-oriented markets. What kind of experience are you bringing in and how will this experience contribute to your new position at Paroc?

There are many examples of industries, where products are considered commodities. If you look deeper in the value chain you can identify a variety of reasons why your customers choose your products over the competition. You find ways to differentiate yourself and create value to your customers. Insulation market is no different. It is important to work together with your customers, know their products, applications, production processes and finally – understand their business. With true customer focus, an innovative mindset and the right people, it is amazing what you can achieve!

Paroc has developed a strong market presence in the Nordic and Baltic regions, and has – over the years – expanded in Central and Eastern Europe as well. What are, in your opinion, the biggest strengths of the company?

Paroc enjoys a good reputation in the marketplace and is recognised as a solid and reliable partner, supported by a strong portfolio of high quality products. In Paroc I also recognize a culture of continuous improvement, which in my mind, is necessary to develop the company in the long run.

Considering its successful history, Paroc has obviously managed to build close relationships to its business partners. Who are your customers apart from the "classical dealer business" and how do you evaluate such cooperation? What is the strategy that Paroc follows in order to maintain or improve the contact?

Our dealer and distributor network is naturally very important for us. These are partners that complement our own sales organization. In addition to these partners, we work closely with construction companies, house manufacturers, element producers and a wide range of other construction market participants. Additionally, we must not forget a very important customer segment – influencers, such as architects, as well as engineering and planning companies, which play a critical role in designing and planning buildings and houses. They determine many important parameters in a building, such as fire safety and energy efficiency.

We aim to work closely with our customers. We are eager to share our knowledge and expertise in order to develop their business. There are many ways to further improve the contact, and I think digitalization, for instance, will provide new ways of working together.

What are the current goals that Paroc Building Insulation is focused on? In the past years, Paroc has extended its activities especially in Central Europe – can you already draw a positive résumé?

We are looking forward to further deepening the cooperation with our current customer base, as well as gaining new ones and to grow together.

We will continue to improve our offering and focus on our customers. Our activities, and Paroc in general, have been well received also in Central Europe. For this I would very much like to thank our customers and partners, and look forward to future collaboration.

What are the main challenges insulation companies are facing in the coming years? How do you evaluate the competitiveness of stone wool products for building insulation compared to other insulation materials?

I believe the industry needs to maintain its firm focus on sustainability and contributing to overall energy efficiency. This is a field where insulation has still a lot in store for the construction market as a whole. Stone wool will continue to serve as a very efficient and environmentally friendly option in insulations, contributing – among other things – to fire safety in buildings.

Paroc is one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of energy-efficient insulation solutions for new and renovated buildings, marine and offshore, acoustics and other industrial applications. Throughout its over 75-year history, the Finnish supplier has built a reputation for innovation, product performance, technical expertise and sustainability. Paroc aims to remain an innovative and trusted partner for a sustainable built environment.

Paroc employs around 2,020 people in its production plants in Finland, Sweden, Lithuania and Poland and Russia and in sales offices in 14 European countries.

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Considerable Johan Castberg spin-offs - 13/09/2016

Considerable Johan Castberg spin-offs

Statoil’s proposed impact assessment programme for the Johan Castberg project reveals that the project will be important to Norwegian industry and have strong ripple effects.

Statoil has today, as operator for the Johan Castberg project, distributed a proposed impact assessment programme for the largest field yet to be developed on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS).

“During our improvement work we have created new opportunities for the Johan Castberg field in the far north. We have changed the concept and found new solutions that allow us to realise the project. But we are still vulnerable to increasing costs and a continued low oil price,” says Margareth Øvrum, executive vice president for Technology, Projects and Drilling in Statoil.

The proposed impact assessment programme is an essential part of the preparations before a final development plan for Johan Castberg is submitted in 2017, according to schedule. The plan will present the development, relevant development solutions and expected impacts on other businesses and communities. The proposed programme is being sent to consultative bodies today to allow them to submit any issues for discussion during the consultation process related to the Johan Castberg impact assessment work.

“The Johan Castberg project may be a central project for further development of the NCS and in the far north. The field will provide significant tax income. The field development and operation will also create new opportunities for the industry throughout Norway and in North Norway in particular,” says Arne Sigve Nylund, executive vice president for Development and Production Norway.

Based on a spin-off report from Agenda Kaupang the Johan Castberg project, based on an investment estimate of between NOK 50 and 60 billion, will represent a significant part of NCS investments in the period 2018-2022. The first phase of the Johan Sverdrup development will be completed in this period. A continued low oil price may affect these plans.

According to Agenda Kaupang’s report the expected value creation in Norwegian supplies of goods and services to Johan Castberg amounts to NOK 29 billion, more than half of the project’s total investments. Value creation in North Norway during the development period is estimated to be NOK 1.7 billion.

“The Johan Castberg field will be producing for more than 30 years, and the major project spin-offs will be created in the long-lasting production phase. Castberg will trigger much activity for suppliers in North Norway and have ripple effects throughout Norway Norway, both in the development phase and the operating phase. In a normal year of operation the Johan Castberg field will generate 1200 man-years in Norway, of which 300 are expected to be in North Norway,” says Nylund.

Recommended power solution for Johan Castberg

Statoil has, on behalf of the licence, made an extensive analysis of possible power solutions for Johan Castberg. Aker Solutions, Aibel, ABB, Unitech, Pöyry and Thema Consulting have contributed to the power analysis. The power solutions include full and/or partial electrification based on power from land as well as gas-fired power.

Due to the long distance and technical challenges the cost of the measures related to partial/full electrification will be high, from just above NOK 5000 per tonne of CO2 to just above NOK 8000 per tonne of CO2. Investment costs for full/partial electrification will span from more than NOK 4 billion to just above NOK 12 billion. The Johan Castberg power solution effort reveals that costs related to land-based power, including technical challenges, represent a risk to both the timeline and feasibility of the project.

“We have developed a highly energy-efficient solution involving use of gas turbines for power generation on Johan Castberg. By use of heat recovery we achieve a turbine power efficiency of 64%, which is an outstanding result from use of gas turbines on offshore platforms. The licence partners consider gas-fired power to be the most suitable and socio-economic solution for the development,” says Øvrum.

Johan Castberg will be prepared for future electrification by use of alternating current technology in case this becomes an efficient and feasible solution in the future.

Emissions from Johan Castberg by use of gas turbines will be 0.27 million tonnes of CO2 per year, or 2% of current annual emissions from the NCS.

The proposed impact assessment programme covers only the offshore field development, not a possible terminal at Veidnes, which is a separate project with a separate timeline. Statoil is cooperating with the other licences on Wisting, Goliat and Alta/Gotha to secure sufficient volume and a profitable basis for a terminal.

Aker Solutions, Det norske and Subsea 7 Form Development Alliance in Norway - 13/09/2016

Aker Solutions, Det norske and Subsea 7 Form Development Alliance in Norway

Aker Solutions, Det norske oljeselskap and Subsea 7 agreed on a "one for all, all for one" collaboration model that marks a major shift in how an operator and its suppliers can work together on oil and gas developments offshore Norway.

The alliance combines Det norske's exploration and production know-how with Aker Solutions' expertise in front end engineering, brownfield modifications and subsea systems and Subsea 7's capabilities in the engineering, procurement, installation and commissioning of subsea umbilicals, risers and flowlines (SURF).

It will enable the operator and suppliers to work as one integrated team to find the most cost-effective solutions for developing Det norske's Norwegian subsea field portfolio. Before now, field developments have typically been managed on a project-by-project basis that curtails reuse of technology and solutions.

"Our industry needs to find new, more sustainable ways of working on oil and gas developments," said Karl Johnny Hersvik, chief executive officer of Det norske. "This alliance enables a holistic approach to our subsea developments that will promote an effective reuse of solutions and best practices across the portfolio to significantly save time and reduce costs."

The companies will form an integrated project management team with experts from each. This will enable continuity from one field development to another and facilitate a reuse of solutions and technology that will lower costs, reduce development time and promote safe and more efficient work methods amid a focus on continuous improvement. All parties share both risks and rewards.

"We see this as a new and exciting way of working together as operator and suppliers with many potential benefits, not only for us individually as companies but also for the entire industry as we find more effective collaboration methods," said Luis Araujo, chief executive officer of Aker Solutions.

"This is an innovative way of collaborating with an operator and another supplier," said Chief Executive Officer Jean Cahuzac of Subsea 7. "Working together as one integrated team across developments will promote greater sharing of knowledge and best practices."

The alliance accord comes after Det norske in June announced a four-year framework agreement with Aker Solutions to provide subsea production systems and services for the operator's oil and gas developments in Norway and with Subsea 7 for SURF services. The scope of these framework contracts has a total potential value of about NOK 2.8 billion, of which approximately NOK 800 million is Aker Solutions' share and NOK 2 billion is Subsea 7's portion. These values may change depending on how much work the operator calls for under the contracts. Aker Solutions will book individual orders under the contract as they come in.

Overall management of the alliance will be through a steering committee comprised of senior management from each company. The project management team will be led by a manager from Det norske. The alliance has set out key principles, foremost being a "one for all, all for one" mindset that rests on mutual transparency and trust.

"This is collaboration through integration," said Hersvik. "We don't want just an integrated team or a shadow organization, but one project management organization with the 'best' personnel from each company to extract the greatest synergies."

Monday, 12 September 2016

Aberdeen Drilling Consultants set new standards for quality management with latest ISO accreditation - 12/09/2016

Aberdeen Drilling Consultants set new standards for quality management with latest ISO accreditation

Aberdeen Drilling Consultants (ADC), a rig inspection consultancy based in Scotland serving a global client base, has announced it is the first and only rig inspection company in the world to be awarded the latest International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) accreditation for its quality management systems.

The ISO 9001:2015 standard certifies that ADC operates a formalised management system able to provide rig inspection and development of training services at a consistent high level of quality to its customers worldwide.

This is achieved by regularly reviewing current operational systems to guarantee they cover all process stages, along with check or test points to confirm that their operational ability is able to consistently supply a product or service that fully meets customer requirements.

The scope of the certification, which is awarded by independent and respected organisation ISO; includes areas such as QAMS manual control, context of the organisation, leadership, planning, support, operations, performance evaluation and improvement.

Austin Hay, director, Aberdeen Drilling Consultants, said: “This accreditation provides demonstrable assurance of the high standards we adhere to as a company and constitutes a milestone within our sector. When trading becomes challenging, companies seek to add weight to competing tenders, and in particular from the ISO.

“The combination of our process driven approach and risk-based thinking means clients can be confident that ADC is able to perform at the highest level possible throughout the complete chain of our operations, no matter where in the world we are working. This is something we have consistently sought to achieve over the last 31 years, now endorsed by the ISO.” 

Process industry – what’s the energy and emission savings potential? - 12/09/2016

Process industry – what’s the energy and emission savings potential?

The process industry has a lot in common with the construction sector in terms of ways of reducing energy consumption and CO2 emission. In both cases a key to sustainability lies in viable solutions that lower the operating costs by minimising heat transfer and therefore – the final energy demand. How much can a single factory save with proper insulation?

According to Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) regulations, organisations that qualify as large undertakings must choose one or more routes to compliance that cover all areas of significant energy consumption and are bound to carry out ESOS assessments every 4 years. These assessments are audits of the energy used by their buildings, industrial processes and transport to identify cost-effective energy saving measures. Unfortunately, the savings potential is not always recognised.  

– The level of insulation applied may be based on a minimum investment decision following requirements regarding the maximum surface temperature to avoid personal injuries, minimum process needs or based on generic maximum heat loss rates only – says Craig Treanor, Technical Support Manager at Paroc Ltd and certified TIPCHECK engineer. – There is a recognised gap between current and cost-effective insulation levels – he adds.  

Recognising the potential

How much could we save? The answer to that question can be found in the European Industrial Insulation Foundation report "Climate Protection with rapid payback – Energy and CO2 savings potential of industrial insulation in EU-27”. According to the non-profit organisation, the share of equipment without insulation or with damaged insulation in EU is conservatively estimated to be 10%, 6% and 2% for low- middle- and high temperature surfaces respectively. There is a significant energy saving and CO2 mitigation potential related to improved thermal insulation in industry. This potential is currently untapped, despite being cost-effective to implement.

The report covers several case studies where TIPCHECK energy audits were performed. In a chemical plant in France, 30 valves and 35 storage tanks rooftops were uninsulated, generating a total of 12.600 Mwh of unnecessary heat loss per year. – An investment of €100,000 which covered audit, insulation instalment and material costs, allowed to achieve approximately €405,000 of energy cost savings in the first year and €505,000 in the following years. Payback? Merely two and a half months – explains Craig Treanor from Paroc Ltd.

Benefits for European industry

The study goes the extra mile to describe the potential of energy and emission savings for all European Trading System members, including the UK. EIIF estimates that if the plant managers in EU-27 would consider economically viable solutions such as insulating bare surfaces to cost-effective levels and repairing damaged insulation in industry, we could save approximately 620 PJ of energy and cut the emission of CO2 by 49 Mt yearly. This energy savings potential is equivalent to the energy consumption of all Dutch industry, while the annual CO2 reductions potential is equivalent to 18 million medium-sized cars each running 12,500 kilometres per year.

In order to tap into this potential, the assessors at EIIF estimate a one-time investment of €900 million is required. At current prices, it would help reduce industry production costs Europe-wide by €3.5 billion every year and diminish the gas import from Russia by up to 12.5% The average payback period of industrial insulation improvements is 1-2 years and it is easy to achieve compared to other Best Available Techniques. It can be even shorter depending on energy prices, energy losses and insulation costs. The complete study can be found on European Industrial Insulation Foundation’s website. 

TIPCHECK yourself!

TIPCHECK (Technical Insulation Performance Check) is laid out in conformance with article 8, Annex 6 of the Energy Efficiency Directive, and with EN 16247 and ISO 50001/50002, as a contributing industrial process energy survey – and supports the requirement for auditing every 4 years, working to reduce energy consumption to reach the -20% target in 2020.

The aim of the TIPCHECK Programme established by the European Industrial Insulation Foundation is to provide industry with a standardized, high quality thermal energy audit tool focusing on the thermal performance of technical insulation systems. TIPCHECKs quantify the amount of energy and money an industrial facility is losing with its current insulation system (including uninsulated parts). Payback on insulation investments can be clearly demonstrated by industrial site temperature and heat flow measurements, calculations and thermal imaging.  

Paroc has trained a number of TIPCHECK Engineers in order to serve the industrial insulation sector and lead assessors with better energy saving advice. For more information contact Paroc’s Product and Technical support at www.paroc.co.uk.

Paroc is one of Europe’s leading manufacturers of energy-efficient insulation solutions for new and renovated buildings, marine and offshore, acoustics and other industrial applications. Throughout its over 75-year history, the Finnish supplier has built a reputation for innovation, product performance, technical expertise and sustainability. Paroc aims to remain an innovative and trusted partner for a sustainable built environment.

Paroc employs around 2,020 people in its production plants in Finland, Sweden, Lithuania and Poland and Russia and in sales offices in 14 European countries.

Statoil and Icelandic partners drill the world’s hottest geothermal well - 12/09/2016

Statoil and Icelandic partners drill the world’s hottest geothermal well 

Statoil and partners in The Iceland Deep Drilling Project has just started to drill a geothermal research well on Iceland. The goal is to explore if high temperature water can be extracted from deep reservoirs for power production.

In a long term perspective geothermal energy could be a renewable energy source with potential, thus Statoil has research ongoing to test the technological and economic viability of this resource. The geothermal research well on Iceland is an important part of this work.

«Research and technology is crucial for Statoil in a short and long term perspective, and having the high-beams on means looking many years ahead and beyond current business. Geothermal energy is a renewable resource where we see a potential for leveraging on several of our core competencies from oil and gas such as subsurface, drilling and well and HSE”, says Elisabeth B. Kvalheim, Statoil’s Chief Technology Officer.

The concept of the research well at Reykjanes is to explore the opportunity to extract renewable energy by drilling wells into reservoirs with high-temperature water heated by the earth’s magma.

The well will be the world’s hottest geothermal production well. The drilling involves deepening of an existing geothermal well down to 5 km depth at the Reykjanes site operated by HS Orka. At this depth superheated steam can be brought to the surface at 400-500°C and used for efficient electricity production in steam turbines.

Head of Renewable research technology in Statoil, Hanne Wigum, explains; “Put it more simply you can compare it to the Earth’s radiator system, and geothermal energy is a global resource.

Iceland is a world leader in electricity production from geothermal energy and working close together with our partners is of great value to Statoil. Further research will be determined after this project”.

The drilling operation is expected to be completed by the end of 2016 at which point the project will enter into a two and a half year test period, where the objective is to confirm reservoir performance, well integrity and power production potential.

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Aker Solutions Secures Work for Tie-In of Utgard Field to Sleipner Area - 08/09/2016

Aker Solutions Secures Work for Tie-In of Utgard Field to Sleipner Area

Aker Solutions will provide engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning (EPCIC) services to enable a tie-in of the Utgard gas and condensate field to the Statoil-operated Sleipner facilities in the North Sea.

The work, valued at about NOK 500 million, is for platform modifications at Sleipner to tie in the Utgard subsea field. Aker Solutions in April won a contract for preliminary engineering work to enable the tie-in. The contract included an option for EPCIC work which Statoil has now chosen to exercise.

"We've worked closely with Statoil to find the most cost-efficient solution for this project, which builds on our capabilities in complex modifications," said Knut Sandvik, head of Aker Solutions' maintenance, modifications and operations business. "We're very pleased to continue working with the customer to help secure important resources from this development."

The Utgard field will have a subsea template that will be connected by pipeline to the Sleipner T processing and CO2 removal platform and by umbilical to the Sleipner A processing, drilling and living quarters platform.

Work on the contract has started and will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2019. The project will be managed and executed by Aker Solutions in Stavanger. Prefabrication will be executed at Aker Solutions' yard in Egersund.

Seven mysteries in Norwegian geology - 08/09/2016

Seven mysteries in Norwegian geology

Science develops as long as there are mysteries that keep some researchers engaged. Fridtjof Riis, senior geologist at the NPD, describes seven of these mysteries.

Sometimes, our observations may seem not to have a good explanation, or perhaps they are in stark contrast to prevailing hypotheses. You and your colleagues might be in profound disagreement regarding an interpretation or an explanation.

Sometimes it is tempting to think that it might not be so important to find explanations for everything. For example, there is no assurance that we can bring in more revenue for the State if we have a better understanding of why there are mountains in Norway.

But there is no way back for one who has adopted this mystery as their very own: They may well call you a nerd, but it is engrained in your very nature that you have to contribute to finding explanations before you can achieve peace of mind.

Throughout my career as a professional geologist, I have had the privilege of working up-close on a number of geological mysteries – some of them classical, others from more recent ages. This series of articles provides an introduction to seven of my favourites.

In this first article about mountain plants, I have benefited from the botanical expertise of Kristine Bakke Westergaard.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Industrial Ethernet switches for reliable communication in harsh environments - 07/09/2016

Industrial Ethernet switches for reliable communication in harsh environments

•   Scalance XP-200 in low-profile design with high IP65/67 degree of protection
•   Extended temperature range from -40 °C to +70 °C
•   Gigabit-capability and Power-over-Ethernet with a total power of 120 W
•   Particularly suitable for the oil and gas industry, rail and road vehicles

With its new Scalance XP-200 product line, Siemens offers compact Industrial Ethernet switches for the setup of electrical line, star and ring structures. The devices feature a low-profile, robust metal enclosure with a high degree of protection (IP65/67) and a wide operating temperature range from ‑40 °C to +70 °C. This provides flexibility to be deployed outside the control cabinet, both indoors and outside. In addition, the layer 2 switches offer a choice of industry-specific certifications. For example, they are approved for hazardous locations in zone 2 (ATEX, IECEx, cULus HazLoc) and therefore suitable for the oil and gas industry. Furthermore, particularly rugged versions are available for use in rail or road vehicles.

There are two versions available with different numbers of ports: Scalance XP208 has eight ports while Scalance XP216 has 16. In addition to Fast Ethernet ports using the M12 connection system (D‑coded), Scalance XP216 also offers up to four Gigabit ports in M12 connection technology (X‑coded).

Both versions are available as particularly robust EEC versions (EEC = Extended Environmental Conditions). The devices are certified in accordance with the EN 50155 and EN 45545 railway standards and are suitable for use both trainside and trackside. They are also approved for use in road vehicles with e1/E1 requirements. To supply end devices with energy, Scalance XP208PoE EEC and Scalance XP216PoE EEC offer a total output of 120 watts in accordance with the Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) standard IEEE 802.3at Type 2.

All of the switches in this product line feature a redundant power supply which enables reliable operation even if one power supply system fails.
As in the case of all managed layer 2 switches of the Scalance X series, users can transfer configurations from one switch to another when replacing a device by simply plugging in the C-plug. This minimizes downtimes. The device status can be quickly and easily determined on site by means of the clear LED indicators, without the need for additional devices such as PGs.

A five-year warranty applies to the new Scalance XP-200 devices, as for all Scalance products.

DSM’s Lyness Vision For Major Decommissioning Facility - 07/09/2016

DSM’s Lyness Vision For Major Decommissioning Facility

DSM Demolition, one of the UK’s leading demolition and decommissioning companies, has unveiled plans to create a major development site on Orkney to take advantage of the expected boom in North Sea oil and gas decommissioning work.

The proposed facility at Lyness, on the east coast of Hoy, has the potential for a significant local jobs boost with further economic benefits to the area to come through the use of local suppliers and businesses.

DSM – headquartered in Birmingham - has extensive experience in the decommissioning of steel structures in sensitive locations across the UK and, with the Lyness site, it intends to position itself as the leading onshore decommissioning company in Scotland.

With a growing number of North Sea oil and gas fields heading towards the end of their production lives, combined with the falling oil prices, decommissioning has presented a major economic opportunity for Scotland.

Industry analysts estimate that 144 rigs will be decommissioned between 2019 and 2026, accounting for a spend of between $44 and $51 Billion – and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has already said that ‘Scotland can play a leading role in the development of the decommissioning market’.

DSM’s Graham Crowe said: “Our vision is for the Lyness site to become the exemplar decommissioning facility for the North Sea.

“The project has potential to create a significant number of local jobs and that local companies will secure further spin-off benefits from supplying support services.

“The substantial, long-term opportunity provided by decommissioning offers an economic driver to provide employment and community benefits to Hoy and the rest of Orkney for many years.

“For DSM, with over 25-years experience in decommissioning work, we see the North Sea market – with its massive potential - becoming a major business stream for the company for years to come.”

After exploring a number of sites along the east and west coasts of Scotland, DSM identified Lyness as an ideal location because of its existing harbour and safe, deep water anchorage, combined with access to the oil and gas fields through Scapa Flow.

The design of the facility will be undertaken following extensive consultation with potential business clients in particular, oil field operators.

DSM aims to work closely with Orkney Island Council, local businesses and the Hoy and wider Orkney community to develop the concept.

All deconstruction works will be undertaken in a safe and environmentally friendly manner that protects local natural and built heritage sites – and DSM is committed to ensuring all procedures follow best practice standards.

It is anticipated that a formal planning application will be made at the end of this year with the facility scheduled to open in 2018.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Gazprom and Edison discuss southern route of Russian natural gas supplies to Europe - 01/09/2016

Gazprom and Edison discuss southern route of Russian natural gas supplies to Europe

A working meeting between Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee, and Marc Benayoun, Executive Vice President of EDF and Chief Executive Officer of Edison, took place today in Milan.

The meeting was focused on arranging the southern route of Russian gas supplies to Europe using the capacities of the ITGI Poseidon project within the framework of the Memorandum of Understanding and in the light of reviving the TurkStream project. The parties also discussed gas supplies to Edison.