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Apache lead the way with digital inspection service on Beryl Alpha Platform

North Sea operator, Apache, is leading the way in deploying innovative digital inspection technology developed by engineering consultancy firm Arup, and EnerMech subsidiary MInteg, to improve safety and reduce asset inspection costs on offshore platforms.

Apache’s adoption of the Arup Inspect MInteg (AIM™) inspection service on the Beryl Alpha platform has significantly reduced offshore inspection hours of the topside structure whilst enhancing the quality and availability of inspection data.

The innovative digital service replaces high-risk offshore working-at-height inspection methods with the application of remote visual inspection tools. It also enables operators and asset owners to access their interactive inspection data 24/7 and make informed decisions about asset repair, replacements or improvements.

Beryl Alpha platform Beryl Alpha platform

Gaming technology was used to create a baseline geometric digital twin of the Beryl Alpha platform to sufficiently capture inspection data, without the need for rope access work.

More than 60,000 images, including 360° panoramic views, captured ultra-high-resolution inspection data. These enhanced records have contributed to improved reporting reliability and the 3D model-based tablet application will help Apache on its journey to adopting a digital approach for the platform. 

Jim Saunderson, Integrity Manager for Apache’s North Sea operations, said: “Deploying the Arup and MInteg inspection solution achieved the requirements of our inspection plans while significantly reducing the risk profile of the activity. The enhanced data capture and storage within the 3D model has aided our post-inspection review by removing any ambiguity and enabling users to challenge information beyond what is captured in reports. We can see opportunities of this data enhancing the quality and efficiency of our inspection plan going forward and is already aiding day to day communications.”

Simon Evans, Digital Energy Leader at Arup, said: “This successful use of the AIM tool to inspect the Beryl Alpha, which is one of the largest functioning offshore platforms in the United Kingdom and one of the oldest concrete gravity base structures, marks a significant turning point for the oil and gas industry. It’s a best in class example of how digitalisation and automation techniques can deliver revolutionary benefits, including valuable reductions in costs, time, resource and risk.”

Patrick Gallagher, Head of Integrity at MInteg, added: “Apache’s adoption of digital inspection on the Beryl Alpha platform has resulted in a significant risk reduction to personnel by minimising or completely negating the reliance on rope-access.  They are also benefitting from a marked increase in the asset condition knowledge, leading to a far greater understanding of potential future risks.”

Arup and MInteg will continue to work with Apache on digitalising and streamlining future asset inspections.

About Arup

Arup is the creative force at the heart of many of the world’s most prominent projects in the built environment and across industry. Working in more than 140 countries, the firm’s designers, engineers, architects, planners, consultants and technical specialists work with our clients on innovative projects of the highest quality and impact.

www.arup.com

EnerMech provides a broad range of asset support services to the international energy and infrastructure sectors, from pre-commissioning through operations and maintenance and late-life support/decommissioning. The business is focused on offering a safer, more customer-focused, responsive service at lower cost, while delivering a much greater level of engineering and technical support than competitors can offer.

EnerMech specialises in providing integrated supply, operations, maintenance and engineering solutions in its core services of Cranes and Lifting, Electrical and Instrumentation, Equipment Rental, Hydraulic products and services, Industrial Services, Process, Pipeline and Umbilicals (PPU), Maintenance and Integrity Services, Training and Valve supply and services.

The group is headquartered in Aberdeen with bases in Great Yarmouth, Bristol (UK); Stavanger (Norway); Houston, Pasadena, Sulphur, Casper, Williston (USA), Trinidad, Mexico, Abu Dhabi, Iraq, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Singapore; Perth, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin, Gladstone, Chinchilla (Australia); Malaysia, China, South Korea, India, Guyana, Ghana, Nigeria, Angola and South Africa. 

Website: www.enermech.com

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Cortec® Presents Detailed Guidelines for Layup of Offshore Drilling Rigs in Uncertain Times

With uncertainty and mounting challenges on the horizon for the oil industry, many rig owners are already or will soon be facing the question of whether or not it is time to stack their offshore drilling rigs. Concerned about cutting losses and reducing capital output, they need cost-effective solutions for preserving the value of millions of dollars’ worth of assets in harsh conditions until they can either be put back into service or sold. This requires a serious look at corrosion preventative measures that are both effective and require minimal effort in order to bring the equipment back online. To help owners and operators navigate this major undertaking, Cortec® Corporation has published a new guide to the layup of offshore drilling rigs.

The guide begins with an index of 74 offshore rig systems to be preserved, with critical items in bold. Before addressing each system in alphabetical order, the guide notes several basic instructions for general layup, such as removing existing rust with VpCI®-423, cleaning with VpCI®-415, and coating external equipment surfaces with VpCI®-391. It also identifies which corrosion inhibitor additives to use with different types of lubrication oils and hydraulic fluids and specifies which VpCI® Emitters to employ for varying sizes of void space.

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The handbook then goes step by step through the many important aspects of offshore layup, from prepping worker accommodations to preserving alarms—from flushing ballast systems with corrosion-inhibitor treated seawater to taking measures to carefully shut down a blowout preventer (BOP) control system. It even includes options for treating and deodorizing toilets and holding tanks with biologicals from Cortec® subsidiary, Bionetix® International. Several common preservation materials resurface again and again:

  • MilCorr® VpCI® Shrink Film serves a critical role in preserving offshore equipment on-deck. It has an outstanding track record of protecting offshore equipment even in hurricane weather, and it is easy to remove for speedy startup of equipment.
  • ElectriCorr® VpCI®-239 and VpCI® Emitters (VpCI®-101 Device, VpCI® -105, VpCI®-111, and VpCI®-308 Pouch) are convenient and effective for protecting electronics and electricals.
  • CorrLube VpCI® Lithium EP Grease can be used for layup on many components where lubrication is needed. It has the advantage of being viable both during storage and intermittent use.
  • VpCI®-369 is another important product to have in good supply for rust prevention of many internal components on an offshore platform.

In addition to their excellent protective qualities, VpCI® Technologies are typically easy to apply and remove, if needed. These are important factors for completing a successful rig-stacking program with the intention of a smooth return to service when demand makes drilling profitable again. Compared to the hundreds of millions of dollars of value that could otherwise be lost by equipment corrosion, investing in a cost-effective layup program is a small price to pay for the astronomical value preserved. Cortec’s layup guide helps ensure that it is done well.

Click here to learn more about the layup guide and contact Cortec® for access:

https://www.cortecvci.com/layup-of-offshore-drilling-rigs/

Cortec® Corporation is the global leader in innovative, environmentally responsible VpCI® and MCI® corrosion control technologies for Packaging, Metalworking, Construction, Electronics, Water Treatment, Oil & Gas, and other industries.  Our relentless dedication to sustainability, quality, service, and support is unmatched in the industry. Headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, Cortec® manufactures over 400 products distributed worldwide.  ISO 9001, ISO 14001:2004, & ISO 17025 Certified. Cortec Website: http://www.cortecvci.com  Phone: 1-800-426-7832

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Depressed demand and falling oil and gas prices challenges global LNG sector, says GlobalData

The global liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector has been hit by supply overhang followed by COVID-19-induced economic slowdown and lower demand worldwide.

Haseeb Ahmed, Oil and Gas analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Due to the sharp fall in oil prices, spread between oil-indexed long-term LNG contracts and spot contracts have considerably reduced. This can make it challenging for LNG producers to meet their revenue targets. In addition, a rapid decline in gas demand is affecting financing of capital-intensive new liquefaction projects, leading to inordinate delays and capex reductions.” 

2017 04 20 114457To keep a check on spends, several operators are delaying their upcoming LNG projects. Operators are reducing their expenditures for 2020 as a measure to counter the impacts of COVID-19. Woodside Energy and Exxon Mobil have resorted to downsizing their capex by 60% and 30%, respectively, for 2020. In the meanwhile, British Petroleum has pushed the timeline for its Tortue FLNG project from 2020 to 2023 in response to the COVID-19 impact. Similarly, Qatar Petroleum has also postponed the project timelines of its Ras Laffan North Field LNG terminal development by a year to 2025.

Ahmed concludes: “A silver lining amid all the chaos induced by the pandemic outbreak is increased opportunities for new entrants to the LNG sector. Global LNG oversupply, as well as low LNG prices, might encourage new countries and companies to start importing LNG, contributing to LNG industry growth. Sustained low LNG prices will encourage several gas-importing countries to switch from coal and oil to cleaner natural gas.”

  • Comments provided by Sujith Singh – Oil & Gas Analyst at GlobalData
  • ­This report was built using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research, and in-house analysis conducted by GlobalData’s team of industry experts.

About GlobalData

4,000 of the world’s largest companies, including over 70% of FTSE 100 and 60% of Fortune 100 companies, make more timely and better business decisions thanks to GlobalData’s unique data, expert analysis and innovative solutions, all in one platform. GlobalData’s mission is to help our clients decode the future to be more successful and innovative across a range of industries, including the healthcare, consumer, retail, technology, energy, financial and professional services sectors.

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China may buck trend of Covid-19 related delays in Asian oil & gas industry, says GlobalData

With coronavirus (Covid-19) being declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the oil price war resulting from the OPEC+ disagreement, the oil and gas industry in Asia is facing an unprecedented uncertainty. Companies are being forced to rethink the ongoing project timelines and ‘projects in the pipeline’ for 2020. Projects expected to take final investment decision (FID) this year are at elevated risk of deferral, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

However, China is now in the recovery phase and its major national oil companies (NOCs) are set to focus on their domestic output growth goals.

Cao Chai, Oil and Gas Analyst at GlobalData, says: “Field developments in India have already been disrupted and more are likely to be at risk as the country is currently enduring a 21-day lockdown. The latest news that India reduced its domestic natural gas price to a record low of US$2.39 per mmBtu will further impact the country’s top gas producer ONGC.

“Elsewhere in the region, the construction at the Merakes field in Indonesia is disrupted due to a shortage of workers and challenge of logistic supply, operator ENI has declared force majeure on the project as a result of Covid-19.”

The projects in Asia targeting FID this year will inevitably face delays, as countries continue to struggle through the uncertainties. Large scale capital intensive projects, which are facing financial constraints or with existing uncertainties will be difficult to draw investment. Smaller-scale operators will require capital discipline to maintain ongoing operations and growth, therefore projects awaiting FID would likely be postponed too.

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But China could be an exception. The country, which was the center of the Covid-19 outbreak earlier this year, will see the planned projects progress as the country recovers from the worst of the coronavirus, though minor delays may still occur. Domestic developments will be prioritized over international investment for China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), after its recent capex review to trim the annual budget by 10-15%.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec) marginally cut its capex by 2.5%, which will come predominantly from its refining business and sales sector. To date, there are no confirmed budget cuts from China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC); however, it has announced an adjustment of 2020 production and operational plans in accordance to market trends.

Chai Concludes: “While Chinese NOCs are focusing on raising domestic output and cutting overseas operations, elsewhere in Asia delays and disruptions are seen across the upstream sector in 2020. The projects under development are at risk of slowdowns and operational disruptions as countries have taken stricter measures to control the spread of Covid-19, a multi-year low in upstream project FIDs is also expected in the region.”

  • Comments provided by Cao Chai, Oil and Gas Analyst at GlobalData
  • This report was built using data and information sourced from proprietary databases, primary and secondary research, and in-house analysis conducted by GlobalData’s team of industry experts 

About GlobalData 

4,000 of the world’s largest companies, including over 70% of FTSE 100 and 60% of Fortune 100 companies, make more timely and better business decisions thanks to GlobalData’s unique data, expert analysis and innovative solutions, all in one platform. GlobalData’s mission is to help our clients decode the future to be more successful and innovative across a range of industries, including the healthcare, consumer, retail, technology, energy, financial and professional services sectors.

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Russian oil and gas operators emerge on top despite the plummeting oil prices, says GlobalData

Following the news that global oil prices plummeted to an 18-year low on March 18 as a result of the coronavirus-fueled demand shock and the supply shock led by Saudi Arabia cutting oil prices and boosting exports;

Anna Belova, Senior Oil & Gas Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers her view:

“As US and Saudi companies slash spending in response to plummeting oil prices, Russian oil and gas operators show no signs of slowing down.

“Shielded by devaluing currency and progressive taxes that automatically adjust to oil price, producers in Russia remain above the breakeven level even at crude prices below US$24 per barrel. This price represents a 66% drop from the year high on January 6; however, in Russia, the state absorbed the majority of losses with Mineral Extraction Tax (MET) and export duty decreasing by US$36 for every barrel of crude produced in the country.

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“Russian operators further benefit from the rapid devaluation of the Ruble as oil prices decline. The country’s currency closely follows global oil prices. The current exchange rate to the US dollar also represents an 18-year low and this allows for costs in Russia to be significantly reduced when expressed in dollar terms.

“Since all oil services, contracts and labor costs are paid in Russian Rubles, the devaluation effectively represents a reduction in costs by 24% from the year peak. This enables Russian operators to bring combined capital and operating costs to well below US$10 per barrel, keeping them competitive throughout the Saudi-initiated price war and the coronavirus-induced global demand decline.”

About GlobalData

4,000 of the world’s largest companies, including over 70% of FTSE 100 and 60% of Fortune 100 companies, make timelier and better business decisions thanks to GlobalData’s unique data, expert analysis and innovative solutions, all in one platform. GlobalData’s mission is to help our clients decode the future to be more successful and innovative across a range of industries, including the healthcare, consumer, retail, financial, technology and professional services sectors.