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.

Specialist Services’ excellent results in accommodation modules rental - 24/10/2016

Specialist Services’ excellent results in accommodation modules rental

Specialist Services Group achieves excellent results with their accommodation modules rental, now increasing their rental fleet with the new FLEX 33 modules 

In the currently challenging oil & gas market, Specialist Services Group continue to keep ahead of the economic downturn thanks in large part to the quality and reliability of their products and services as well as their innovative engineering and manufacturing capabilities. Even in the current industry situation, the Group is experiencing a strong demand for modular buildings for rental, with one of the world’s largest temporary living quarters orders received during the last year. 

Based on this growth in demand for modular buildings for rental, Specialist Services Group is now increasing their rental fleet with the new cutting edge accommodation module – FLEX 33. This unique accommodation solution is designed to maximise safety while providing a comfortable living environment. 

FLEX 33 has been engineered and built to provide comfort, safety and reliability, meeting the highest global specifications and standards for offshore applications. Compliant with the stringent ABS code, it can be installed on all ABS-classed vessels worldwide. The module is also DNV 2.7-1 / EN 12079 certified, fully compliant with the latest MODU and A60 FTP requirements, and is IMO and SOLAS compliant for international use.

FLEX 33 modules provide flexible bed space from 2 to 12 man. Each module consists of a central corridor and two staterooms, accommodating 1 to 6 persons. Each stateroom provides distinctive floorplan flexibility including bunks, lockers and desk removal or addition to meet project specific requirements for maximised space efficiency. The units are also available as utility modules, such as kitchen, mess, pantry, tea room, recreation room and more. Modules can be also stacked up to 4 modules high to create TLQ complexes. Modular walkway and stairwell solutions developed by Specialist Services are also available to complement all installations.

This new generation of flexible and reliable modules keeps personnel safe in all global locations. FLEX 33 modules are available for both sales and hire and the floorplan flexibility enables modifications of internal elements in order to suit clients’ specific needs. Specialist Services’ ability to provide an overall solution for accommodation modules on a sale and/or hire basis provides a unique solutions that ensures optimum commercial and operational outcome based on clients’ specific project requirements.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

ACE Winches announces NEW 500te Linear Winch at Offshore Energy 2016 - 20/10/2016

ACE Winches announces NEW 500te Linear Winch at Offshore Energy 2016

At this year’s Offshore Energy exhibition, a leading global deck machinery specialist, ACE Winches, is pleased to announce a new 500te Linear Winch to its range of specialised deck equipment.  The company will be showcasing its extensive range of products and services supplied to European clients operating within Marine, Renewables and Oil & Gas sectors.  

In recent months ACE Winches has delivered equipment and services for a number of key projects for European based companies, worth over £1.4m. These projects have varied in type, including deck machinery maintenance and inspection, spooling and re-spooling operations, installing and managing a 4-point mooring system and the manufacture of a bespoke twin chain winch package.

The new 500te Linear Winch has been designed, engineered and manufactured at ACE Winches facilities in Aberdeenshire, UK.  The new product is now in its final stages of FAT testing, with mobilisation scheduled for mid-December 2016 for its first contract.  The contract will conclude in early spring 2017 when the unit will be available for hire.

With more than 25 years of experience, ACE Winches routinely demonstrates its breadth and range of products and services available for hire or purchase. One recent project involved the maintenance and inspection of wire rope which required an ACE spooling winch, associated auxiliary equipment and four ACE Service personnel to undertake the full inspection, cleaning and re-spooling of wire rope prior to it being used for an offshore project.  The rope, which had been in service, was inspected for damage, cleaned and re-greased before being re-spooled back onto a drum without torsion in the wire.  An in-line NDE inspector was used during the spooling process to assess the wire rope’s usability for the project.  A team of operational technicians and engineers from ACE Winches managed the operations whilst witnessed and approved by the client. 

Another recent contract was the supply of a 4-point mooring system to a Belgian company, the deck equipment was deployed on a vessel working in the Kashagan field, located in the Kazakhstan’s zone of the Caspian Sea.  The equipment supplied included ACE 30te hydraulic winches, a 35te hydraulic drum winch and Safe Area diesel HPUs. (Hydraulic Power Units).

ACE Winches has also designed, manufactured and delivered in the last 12 months a chain winch package to support operations on the Ichthys LNG project.  The chain winch package will be used to pull the heaviest chains ever installed by the client, with a diameter of 178mm.  Additionally, ACE Winches manufactured two 50 Tonne WLL twin Chainlifter Hydraulic winches along with a 576kW Containerised Safe Area Electric Hydraulic Power Unit (HPU) and two 76kW Containerised Safe Area Electric HPU’s for the project.

Alfie Cheyne, CEO, ACE Winches said: “We have invested substantially in both our products and services. In challenging times this is extremely important and these projects are testament to the hard work put in from the team.

“For a high quality and cost effective solution for your offshore projects, the team will be on the hand throughout Offshore Energy to meet with companies that have a requirement for engineered deck machinery solutions encompassing electrical and electronic control systems.”

ACE Winches will be exhibiting on stand 5.106 at Offshore Energy, Amsterdam from 24 to 26 October 2016. 

Anisotropic Inversion for Better Well Placement - 20/10/2016

Anisotropic Inversion for Better Well Placement

by CGG
Generating the clearest possible models is essential in understanding reservoir complexity and placing wells in the most profitable locations.  At the SEG 2016 convention in Dallas, CGG will highlight how the latest releases of its reservoir characterization solutions address these challenges in complex, unconventional reservoirs. 

In shales and fractured carbonates, a proper understanding of local anisotropy is critical in designing any well program. Engineers must ensure that horizontal wells are drilled along the direction of minimum local stress to obtain the best fracturing results. The outcomes of fracturing are better predicted when there is an understanding of local rock brittleness and fracture density. In heavy oil applications, reservoir cap rock integrity, which can be inferred from azimuthal anisotropy, is important in order to avoid catastrophic effects of escaping steam during steam-assisted enhanced oil recovery.  Anisotropy-corrected density estimates from inversions are also required to define the lateral and vertical extents of bitumen-laden sandstones.

By revealing essential reservoir facies and rock property information, a new Anisotropic Inversion capability within GeoSoftware’s Jason solution improves characterization of reservoirs with significant anisotropy and realizes the full value of azimuthal seismic data. The power of azimuth-based AVO inversion is used to make direct measurements of reservoir anisotropy. A dedicated analysis application provides information on critical parameters: anisotropy magnitude and direction, fracture density and rock weaknesses, all calibrated to well control.

Insufficient understanding of reservoir anisotropy can cause a number of problems. Failure to understand azimuthal variations in physical or mechanical properties derived from seismic data can lead to poor well orientation, water breakthrough along natural or induced faults, incorrect prediction of the most fractured or fracturable zones, and ultimately sub-optimum production.

Reaping the full value from anisotropic analysis methods requires proper acquisition and processing of seismic data.  Wide- and full-azimuth surveys must be carefully designed and properly executed to improve coverage at all azimuths and offsets. Such surveys allow oil companies to engage in more direct azimuthal analysis compared to traditional narrow-azimuth surveys. Once the data is acquired, dedicated processing workflows preserve amplitudes and azimuths, improve the signal-to-noise ratio, and provide NMO-corrected gathers. The result is seismic data that is properly conditioned for azimuthal analysis and anisotropic inversion. With azimuthally-processed, wide-azimuth survey results, interpreters can use both vertical and horizontal transverse isotropy (VTI and HTI, respectively) models to characterize reservoirs.  VTI corrections offer improved density models in regions of shale anisotropy, whereas HTI modeling can characterize azimuthal anisotropy from fractures and stress.

CGG GeoSoftware’s patented Jason Anisotropic Inversion product and workflow technology fully utilize wide-azimuth seismic data to better describe reservoirs with anisotropy. By extending the Jason VTI patent to HTI, this layer-based approach describes AVO and azimuthal effects directly on inverted reservoir properties and transforms those inverted properties to anisotropic properties that are important to engineers.

The Jason Anisotropic Inversion product helps oil companies exploit or if required, avoid existing fracture networks, better describe the extent and connectivity of the reservoir, and ultimately optimize well placement and design. To find out how these innovative techniques can help with difficult drilling and reservoir development decisions, CGG GeoSoftware is offering daily presentations and demos on demand on SEG booth #2917.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Nakilat and Shell agree on LNG carrier management transition - 19/10/2016

Nakilat and Shell agree on LNG carrier management transition

Nakilat Shipping Qatar Limited (NSQL) a wholly owned subsidiary of Nakilat, today signed an agreement with Shell International Trading and Shipping Company Limited (Shell) to begin the planned phased transition of the management of Nakilat’s LNG fleet from Shell to NSQL.

Shell has provided a range of shipping services to Nakilat’s LNG fleet since it was established in 2006. These included the ship management of 14 Q-Max and 11 Q-Flex LNG carriers and the sharing of Shell’s Shipping & Maritime expertise. The vessels will be transitioned in three phases starting this year and shall be managed by Nakilat’s in-house ship management arm, NSQL, which currently manages four large LPG carriers and four Q-Flex LNG carriers.

Nakilat has carried out extensive studies and comprehensive preparations and planning to ensure the successful management of these essential assets to Qatar’s gas supply chain from Qatar to the world, which plays a major role in the national economic growth in alignment with the National Vision 2030
  
Nakilat Managing Director Eng. Abdullah Fadhalah Al Sulaiti said: “Today marks a milestone in Nakilat’s history as we embark on consolidating a fully-fledged ship operation for our wholly-owned vessels. It is a pivotal strategic milestone towards Nakilat’s ambition of establishing an integrated maritime industry in Qatar. We are grateful to Shell for their professional management of our vessels over the last eight years and are confident of NSQL upholding the same excellent standards for our vessels, ensuring the safety and integrity of cargo from Qatar to the rest of the world.” 

Dr Grahaeme Henderson, Vice President of Shell Shipping & Maritime, said: “We are proud to be a partner with Nakilat and to continue to support Qatar’s vision of building a world-class shipping business. This world-leading fleet includes some of the largest and most technically advanced vessels of their type and their cargo helps ensure energy security for millions of people around the world.”

This will be the world's largest transition of an LNG fleet operation. The 25 vessels have so far delivered over 320 million cubic meters of Qatar’s LNG to over 20 countries and have travelled 17 million nautical miles- the equivalent of over 780 trips around the equator’s circumference. 

CGG Congratulates Gilles Lambaré on SEG Reginald Fessenden Award - 19/10/2016

CGG Congratulates Gilles Lambaré on SEG Reginald Fessenden Award 

Gilles Lambaré, Research Director, EAME, Subsurface Imaging, CGG, has been distinguished with the Society of Exploration Geophysicists’ (SEG) Reginald Fessenden Award in recognition of his initiation of the concept of common-angle migration and demonstration of the potential of that approach to seismic imaging. 

The Reginald Fessenden Award is given to a person who has made a specific technical contribution to exploration geophysics, such as an invention or a theoretical or conceptual advancement, which, in the opinion of the Honors and Awards Committee and the Board of Directors, merits special recognition. 

Lambaré was selected to receive the Award jointly with Sheng Xu of Statoil, one of his former PhD students when he was associate professor at the Geophysical Research Center of the Paris School of Mines from 1995 to 2005. During that period, they realized that conventional offset migration suffered from artifacts in complex media and proposed to consider angle gathers as a solution. Their concept of sorting data according to a physical parameter (angle) rather than an acquisition parameter (offset) represented at that time a significant improvement in seismic imaging and the landmark paper they published on common-angle migration in Geophysics (November-December, 2001) is still widely cited today. 

Colin Murdoch, Executive Vice President, Subsurface Imaging, CGG, said: “When Gilles and Sheng Xu later worked as colleagues at CGG, they and their teams translated the concept of common-angle migration into a major breakthrough technology, known as reverse time migration (RTM) 3D gathers, which became a differentiating capability for CGG and extended our leadership position in wide-azimuth (WAZ) imaging. This achievement was one of many outstanding contributions Gilles has made during his distinguished career. He has always shown a true, inspirational passion for geophysics and its advancement, giving generously of his time to pursue many academic, research and editorial responsibilities. He fully deserves the recognition that comes with this prestigious SEG Award.”

Monday, 17 October 2016

UTEC Starnet’s iSite solution awarded Industry Innovation Prize - 17/10/2016

UTEC Starnet’s iSite solution awarded Industry Innovation Prize

UTEC Starnet, an Acteon company and subsidiary of UTEC Survey, has picked up a top accolade for industry innovation.

UTEC Starnet were winners of the prestigious Press & Journal Gold Award for Innovation for its iSite solution at a gala event in Aberdeen. 

Roy Greig, sales manager, UTEC Starnet, said: “It is fantastic to achieve recognition for what we are doing, and despite the tough market we all continue to believe in and work on innovative solutions.

“One of the hardest things to achieve in this industry is changing the way operations have always been done. We are asking the industry to change and consider doing something different to ensure future success for us all.”

As the current economic climate leads to the need to balance costs, reduce safety risk and drive operational efficiencies, UTEC Starnet is continually developing solutions to achieve these goals.

iSite enables the management of large assets such as platforms, onshore facilities such as refineries and offshore vessels remotely from a desktop, anywhere in the world. Traveling to offshore assets for maintenance or management can be hindered by a shortage of flights, bed space, HSE issues or weather. The iSite solution reduces this need for travel.

It is also a useful training tool in an induction process as it can provide HD walkthrough imagery giving employees the opportunity to virtually explore their place of work before their first day. 

Clients can also plan and manage their inspection and maintenance schedules remotely as iSite can link into their existing systems through asset tagging and incorporation of real-time data.

As well as this, the UTEC Starnet service also allows clients the opportunity to view and take measurements from laser scans and HDR photography via a web portal, giving multiple users access to the data at a significantly reduced cost in comparison to each user requiring a high-end CAD system.

All of these points led to UTEC Starnet picking up the accolade. The Press & Journal Gold Awards, sponsored by Aberdeen Asset Management, are only in their second year but are already regarded as an important event based on the respect for the level of expertise in the panel and the philosophy behind the awards, which is to recognise remarkable contributions to the UK offshore oil and gas industry.

UTEC Starnet’s newly appointed managing director, Nadir Rahmatullah added, “We would like to thank our clients who have supported us in the development of iSite, and I know for sure they will be as delighted as we are, that we have won.”

Paroc customers to benefit from investment in Trzemeszno (Poland) factory - 17/10/2016

Paroc customers to benefit from investment in Trzemeszno (Poland) factory

The latest expansion results in new products, shorter lead time and optimised transport.

Paroc Group, one of Europe’s leading manufacturers in the field of energy-efficient stone wool insulations, has invested over 13 million euro in its factory in Trzemeszno, Poland, further expanding the current operational capabilities. Through upgrade of the production technology, the company offers new advantages for its customers.

The recent investment made by Paroc Group involves a wide array of production line improvements to support its customers in Hvac, process industry, marine/offshore and OEM business. The upgrades pertain to several stages of stone wool insulations production and the investment will extend operational and manufacturing capabilities, as well as increasing capacity at the Trzemeszno plant.

The extension of the production facilities secures a number of new advantages for Paroc’s European customers – contractors, dealers and planners. Most of all, the new investment will allow shorter lead times and more economic transport, meaning more efficient business operations for all parties of the investment processes. – Up till now, some of the Paroc’s technical insulation solutions had been produced only in Finland – says Joakim Westerlund, Chief Operating Officer at Paroc. – Shipping from Poland, combined with the fact that more products can now be transported on one truck thanks to new technology, not only will save time and resources of our customers, but also fits in our sustainability and energy efficiency policy – he adds.

The investment marks a continuation of Paroc’s long-term development strategy in the Baltic & Central Europe area. Since 1998, when the Polish Paroc production plant was set-up, the company has invested over 140 million euro in the Trzemeszno factory.

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.

Thursday, 13 October 2016

Specialist Services achieves 6 million man-hours without Lost Time Injuries - 13/10/2016

Specialist Services achieves 6 million man-hours without Lost Time Injuries

Specialist Services Group announced their latest achievement: an outstanding 6 million man-hours of work in their UAE facilities without Lost Time Injuries 

Specialist Services Group achieved another outstanding result in health and safety: 6 million man-hours of work in their facilities in Dubai and Abu Dhabi without any Lost Time Injury (LTI). This significant and remarkable milestone has been reached in the period between February 2015 and July 2016, during which there have been no recordable cases of LTI in their yards and offices. 

Kirankumar Nagare, QHSE Manager at Specialist Services said: “We have invested in numerous initiatives to protect people and ensure that they understand the importance of working safely and in an environmentally friendly manner. Leaders at all levels within the organisation have shown great commitment in developing and enhancing a positive HSE culture, which was essential to achieving this important result”.

This achievement is a result of a constant focus on HSE improvements at Specialist Services over the past six years, including the introduction of the company’s HSE management system complying with OHSAS 18001 and ISO 14001. 

 “This achievement in safety amongst our workers is a result of many efforts, including educational awareness and training programmes, seeking feedback, promoting best practice, and yes, on occasion, disciplining non-conformance,” said Ian Rogers, Chief Executive Officer at Specialist Services.

With one of the Specialist Services core values being to pursue quality and safety in all aspects of their work, this achievement represents a further confirmation of the exceptional working environment.

“It is truly about having the right attitude, commitment, and our employees’ care for themselves and for others, for their tools, the environment, and the work they produce,” concluded Ian Rogers.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Amarinth secures a further €500K order for the Al Dabb’iya Facilities Development Phase III project - 11/10/2016

Amarinth secures a further €500K order for the Al Dabb’iya Facilities Development Phase III project

Amarinth, a leading company specialising in the design, application and manufacture of centrifugal pumps and associated equipment to the Oil & Gas, petrochemical, chemical, industrial and power markets, has secured a further order in excess of €500K for the Al Dabb’iya Facilities Development Phase III project from Fjords Processing in France for eight API 610 OH2 desalting system recycling pumps on an aggressive 24 week delivery schedule.

Following a similar size order of API 610 OH2 pumps for a gas dehydration and glycol regeneration package for the Al Dabb’iya Facilities Development Phase III project, Abu Dhabi, Amarinth has drawn on its familiarity with this project’s compliance, specifications and contract requirements to secure a further order which consists of eight API 610 OH2 recycling pumps worth in excess of €500K for the critical and highly corrosive duties of the crude oil desalting system being installed by the French operation of Fjords Processing. 

The alloy 625 pumps with bespoke Plan 53B seal support systems are required on an incredibly aggressive 24 week delivery schedule which ran over the summer holiday period when the foundries were shut down for two weeks. In addition to the tight deadlines, the key components of the casings, shafts and impellers all require 3.2 Certification with full Positive Material Identification.

The Abu Dhabi National Company for Onshore Oil Operation (ADCO) Al Dabb’iya Facilities Development Phase III project involves increasing production by an additional 73,000 barrels of oil per day to achieve a total production of 145,000 barrels of oil per day 2018 which will be achieved by drilling 114 wells in new on shore and off shore clusters, extending existing clusters and adding new process trains to the existing central processing plant.

Amarinth has a deep knowledge of ADCO specifications and requirements having successfully delivered a number of previous projects of bespoke pumps on tight deadlines and will be using its renowned agility, business management acumen and strong supply chain to ensure the demands of this new project are met.

Oliver Brigginshaw, Managing Director of Amarinth, commented: “We are delighted to be working with the French operation of Fjords Processing on this demanding and prestigious ADCO project. We have seen a significant upturn over the past year in clients requiring short lead-times of well under 30 weeks for high specification API 610 pumps. Amarinth has made significant investments in leading-edge technologies and we have further streamlined our business processes, including throughout our supply chain, enabling us to deliver successfully on what is fast becoming the norm for lead-times and we are confident that we can continue to deliver as deadlines will no doubt become even more challenging as the oil and gas industry evolves.”

Monday, 10 October 2016

What you need to know about the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) - 10/10/2016

What you need to know about the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD)

The NPD is inviting oil companies to a course. Mark your calendars for Tuesday, 13 December.

The target group for the course includes members of the licence committees for exploration and fields, other specialists and regulatory liaisons in the oil companies.

The goal of the course is to refresh knowledge about the NPD’s roles and tasks in relation to the industry.

A programme for the day with registration info will be published on npd.no in early November.

The course is in Norwegian, but an English course will be scheduled in the spring.