• Accident News For Roughnecks

    After 5 Decades, Noble Energy Exits Gulf For Inlands Shale Fields

    Noble Energy has become the latest in a string of oil and gas companies to exit the Gulf of Mexico.

    The Thunderhawk platform produces oil from Noble Energy’s Big Bend field in the Gulf of Mexico about 150 miles southeast of Port FourchonThe exploration and production company says it will sell its Gulf assets to Fieldwood Energy, also based in Houston, for about $710 million.

    Noble officials say they will use money from the sale to repurchase company stock, raising its value to shareholders.

    The company, which has worked in the Gulf about 50 years, including more than 20 in deepwater areas, says it will focus its efforts on inland shale fields, where break-even costs are lower.

    “The sale of our Gulf of Mexico business represents the last major step in our portfolio transformation,” David Stover, Noble president and CEO, said in a news release Thursday. “This has been done to focus our go-forward efforts on those assets that will rapidly grow our cash flows and margins, primarily the U.S. onshore business and the Eastern Mediterranean.

    “I appreciate the efforts of the many employees who have contributed to our strong legacy of exploration discovery and successful resource development in the Gulf of Mexico. Going forward, we are concentrating the company’s exploration capabilities on higher-impact opportunities that can drive substantial long-term value creation.”


    Noble is part of a trend that started three-and-a half-years ago after a global crude glut caused oil prices to plummet from a high of about $115 a barrel to as low as $26.

    Since then, some companies, including ConnocoPhillips and Marathon, have left the deepwater Gulf for inland shale oilfields, while others have reduced their offshore assets and investment significantly.

    As a result, Houma-Thibodaux’s offshore oil based economy has lost about 16,000 jobs.

    Oil has traded between $60 and $65 in recent weeks, but analysts and economists say it will take months of prices consistently at or above that to encourage more drilling in the Gulf. In comparison, break-even costs in shale fields run as low as $30 a barrel, resulting in a boom in places such as Texas, New Mexico and the Dakotas.


    In contrast, the Gulf rig count, a key barometer for the local economy, stands at 18, up two for the week and one compared to a year ago, according to a count released Friday by services company Baker Hughes. That’s down from 56 in August 2104, a decline of 68 percent.

    Louisiana economist Loren Scott puts the cost differences another way in his economic report for 2018-19.

    “Costs to drill a well in the onshore shale plays are now under $8 million a well, and there is a 96 percent chance of hitting a profitable rock,” the report says. “Costs to drill a well in the deepwater GOM can be in the $130-$230 million range, and the probability of hitting profitable sand is more in the 70-80 percent range at best.”

    Scott predicts Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes will lose another 1,800 jobs this year before gaining 700 in 2019.


    The deal between Noble and Fieldwood is part of the latter company’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy plans, which it filed with a federal court last week.

    Included in the transaction is Noble’s interest in six producing fields and several undeveloped leases. Noble estimates production in those areas to average slightly more than 20,000 barrels of oil a day for this year. Noble’s proven reserves in the fields include about 23 million barrels of oil.

    Fieldwood’s reorganization plan aims to reduce its debt by half with money from a private equity investor, Riverstone. It expects to emerge from bankruptcy this spring to begin developing its oil assets in the Gulf, including those purchased from Noble. Fieldwood, a privately owned company, operates almost exclusively in the Gulf.

    “We fully expect that our operations will continue in the normal course and that we will continue to be able to meet all of our business obligations to third parties as well as the government throughout this process,” Fieldwood CEO Matt McCarroll said in a news release.

    Source: Houma Today


    5 Killed, 10 Injured In Blast On ONGC Drill Ship At Cochin Shipyard

    The bodies recovered have been identified as that of two firemen, two contract labourers and a supervisor. At least three people are reported to be trapped inside the ship and efforts are on to evacuate them.

    Cochin Shipyard in Kerala is engaged in shipbuilding and repairs the largest vessels in IndiaAt least five people died and seven others were injured after a blast on board an under-repair drilling ship at the Cochin Shipyard in Kerala on Tuesday.

    The explosion occurred in the water-tank of the ship Sagar Bhushan, owned by the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), and was triggered by a gas leak, said Madhu Nair, chairman and managing director of the shipyard. He also ruled out any foul play. The state-owned ONGC put the time of the blast at 9.15am.

    “Ship repair is one of the most dangerous jobs and we do take enough safety procedures. Despite strong measures it is sad such a tragedy took place. It seems to be a freak accident and we don’t see sabotage angle in the mishap,” the CMD said. The cause of the explosion is being ascertained, ONGC added in a statement.


    Special Report: Dangers In The Oilfield

    The oil and gas industry impacts nearly every person on the planet and the Permian Basin is at the center of it all.

    Dangers of the oilfieldIn West Texas, the lucrative industry brings a lot to the Basin, but there are also potential dangers of life in the oilfield.

    "In West Texas, it's all about the oilfield," Midland resident Jazmin Reyes said.

    Pump jacks for days, rigs towering over the Permian Basin, trucks carrying loads of oilfield equipment - just another day in West Texas.

    For those who live in the Permian Basin, it's their backyard and for many, their bread and butter.

    "The number one money maker out here is the oil," Reyes said.

    Midland County reigns supreme in oil production. A 2017 report by the Texas Railroad Commission shows the county produced nearly seven million barrels of oil in May.


    Patterson-UTI Reports Profit As Oklahoma Rig Explosion Investigation Continues

    Houston driller and fracker Patterson-UTI Energy reported quarterly profits Thursday, while expressing concerns for the loss of five lives from a January explosion at one of its rigs in Oklahoma.

    PattersonUTI APEXXK 1500 oil rig drill. Tuesday May 9 2017 near College Station.Patterson-UTI posted a $195 million quarterly profit versus a $78 million loss during the final three months of 2016. That new profit is buoyed almost entirely by more than $200 million in benefits from the revaluation of deferred taxes from the new U.S. tax law.

    The company's quarterly revenues of $787 million more than tripled from $247 million a year prior. Patterson-UTI is now bringing in more revenues from pressure pumping, which includes the hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, of wells, than from its historic strengths in drilling. The company is continuing to add new fracking crews to keep up with demand.

    But much of the focus remains on the investigation into the January explosion. Three of those killed were Patterson-UTI employees, while the other two worked for small Oklahoma contractors.


    Worker Killed As Drilling Rig Moved At Northern Alberta Oilsands Site

    A Cenovus worker is dead after an incident involving a hauling truck Tuesday night at a northeastern Alberta oilsands site.

    Cenovuss Christina Lake project in northern AlbertaThe worker was killed at the Christina Lake site, about 150 kilometres southeast of Fort McMurray, Cenovus said in a statement on Wednesday.

    The worker was fatally injured around 10:30 p.m. while a drilling rig was being moved on site, Cenovus said.

    The identity of the worker has not been released. The deceased was employed by one of Cenovus's third-party contracting companies.

    Calgary-based Cenovus said it has notified the appropriate authorities and is conducting a full investigation into the incident.

    No further details were provided by the company. 

    "We extend our deepest sympathies to the worker's family, friends and co-workers," reads a statement from Cenovus.

    Brett Harris, a Cenovus spokesman, says the drill rig site has been shut down for an investigation.

    Christina Lake, about 350 kilometres northeast of Edmonton, is a steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAG-D) operation which first began production in 2002.



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