• Oilfield News

    Blaze erupts at Russian oilfield after well blowout

    Accident dashes hopes of regional oilfield service provider to become oil producer in challenging operating environment

    Accident dashes hopes of regional oilfield service provider to become oil producer in challenging operating environmentRussian authorities are battling a blaze following a blowout at an exploration well in the Orenburg region, where a regional oilfield services provider has just started making forays into becoming an oil producer.

    Gain valuable insight into the global oil and gas industry's energy transition from Accelerate, the new weekly newsletter from Upstream and Recharge. Sign up here.

    The blowout occurred on the Tallinsky block in the Grachyovsky district in early hours of Wednesday, according to a regional department of the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry in Orenburg.

    Additional firefighting crew and protective equipment are being mobilised to the site in an attempt to extinguish the blaze, which has reached an estimated 25 metres in height, according to the department.

    The fire involves a mixture of oil and gas.

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    Locals injured in protest after fire-hit India well finally abandoned

    Oil India Limited needs to perform biodiversity impact assessment ahead of extended-reach drilling in environmentally sensitive area

    Oil India Limited needs to perform biodiversity impact assessment ahead of extended-reach drilling in environmentally sensitive areaSeveral people, including a magistrate, have reportedly been injured in the latest protest against Oil India Limited (OIL)’s Assam oilfield blowout days after the state-owned operator finally capped and abandoned the ill-fated well.

    OIL on 3 December abandoned the Baghjan-5 well in Tinsukia district but locals are still protesting, demanding compensation for damage caused by the blowout and subsequent explosion and fire.

    Several people were injured during a protest on Saturday after police used tear gas and wielded batons to disperse demonstrators, the Press Trust of India reported.

    Eighteen protestors were arrested in connection with the incident.

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    Santa Paula Man Dies After Fall From Oil Platform Off Ventura Coast

    A Santa Paula man has died following an industrial accident on an oil platform off the Ventura County coastline on Wednesday afternoon.

    Vessels from the U.S. Coast Guard, TowBoatUS Ventura and the Ventura Harbor Patrol responded to an industrial accident at Platform Gilda Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020 off the Ventura County Coast.Miguel Aguilera, 44, was one of three workers who fell from Platform Gilda, an oil platform several miles off the coast, on Wednesday, according to the Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office.

    His cause of death is still being investigated.

    Vessels from Coast Guard Station Channel Islands in Oxnard, the Ventura Harbor Patrol and a local tow boat TowBoatUS responded to a call of a man overboard from Platform Gilda at approximately 12:07 p.m. on Wednesday.

    “There was an industrial accident on the platform,” Ventura Harbormaster John Higgins said. “We provided medical aid and transport for two patients.”

    Three workers had fallen from the platform from a height of between 30 to 50 feet. At least one had jumped to render aid to those who had fallen, according to Lt. Ben McIntrye, a Coast Guard public affairs officer  

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    Saskatchewan driller hits 'gusher' with ground-breaking geothermal well that offers hope for oil workers

    A first for Canada and the world, the well can produce enough electricity to power 3,000 homes

    DEEP Earth Energy Production Corp.' site is the deepest horizontal well in Saskatchewan’s history and the first 90° horizontal fluid production for geothermal power generation in the world. PHOTO BY DEEP EARTH ENERGY PRODUCTION CORP.A small, Saskatoon-based company has drilled and fracked the world’s first 90-degree horizontal well for geothermal power in a potentially landmark move that signals the arrival of a new energy source in Canada and provides fresh opportunities for oil and gas workers to apply their skills in renewable power.

    No company in Canada has produced electricity from geothermal heat, but Deep Earth Energy Production Corp. chief executive officer Kirsten Marcia told the Financial Post that there’s a “big, big future for geothermal power in Western Canada,” as demonstrated by the results of the first ever horizontal geothermal well, which is also the deepest horizontal well ever drilled in Saskatchewan.

    “We were looking for a way to explain to people that we drilled a gusher,” said Marcia, a geologist who worked in the mining and petroleum industries before pioneering a geothermal business in Saskatchewan. In the oil and gas world, a “gusher” is an extremely productive well that pumps substantial volumes of oil and gas.

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    ConocoPhillips says it will resume drilling in December on Alaska’s North Slope

    ConocoPhillips Alaska on Wednesday said it will resume Alaska drilling projects using four rigs starting in mid-December, bringing back several hundred jobs amid reductions that began as the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to a drop in oil prices this spring.

    A drill rig at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska on Thursday, May 21, 2015. (Loren Holmes / ADN)The company said the North Slope projects include:

    • A new extended-reach drilling rig working in the Alpine oil field. It’s nicknamed “The Beast.”

    • Two rigs working in the Kuparuk River Unit.

    • A rig working in the Greater Mooses Tooth 2 Unit.

    ConocoPhillips announced in early April that it would demobilize its North Slope drilling-rig fleet to help protect workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. It temporarily cut North Slope production in June, citing low oil prices. It reported losing $1.5 billion worldwide through June this year, including $60 million in Alaska.

    The Alaska oil and gas industry this year has shed about 3,100 jobs, close to one-third of the workforce in January.

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

  • Blaze erupts at Russian oilfield after well blowout

    Accident dashes hopes of regional oilfield service provider to become oil producer in challenging operating environment

    Accident dashes hopes of regional oilfield service provider to become oil producer in challenging operating environmentRussian authorities are battling a blaze following a blowout at an exploration well in the Orenburg region, where a regional oilfield services provider has just started making forays into becoming an oil producer.

    Gain valuable insight into the global oil and gas industry's energy transition from Accelerate, the new weekly newsletter from Upstream and Recharge. Sign up here.

    The blowout occurred on the Tallinsky block in the Grachyovsky district in early hours of Wednesday, according to a regional department of the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry in Orenburg.

    Additional firefighting crew and protective equipment are being mobilised to the site in an attempt to extinguish the blaze, which has reached an estimated 25 metres in height, according to the department.

    The fire involves a mixture of oil and gas.

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    Locals injured in protest after fire-hit India well finally abandoned

    Oil India Limited needs to perform biodiversity impact assessment ahead of extended-reach drilling in environmentally sensitive area

    Oil India Limited needs to perform biodiversity impact assessment ahead of extended-reach drilling in environmentally sensitive areaSeveral people, including a magistrate, have reportedly been injured in the latest protest against Oil India Limited (OIL)’s Assam oilfield blowout days after the state-owned operator finally capped and abandoned the ill-fated well.

    OIL on 3 December abandoned the Baghjan-5 well in Tinsukia district but locals are still protesting, demanding compensation for damage caused by the blowout and subsequent explosion and fire.

    Several people were injured during a protest on Saturday after police used tear gas and wielded batons to disperse demonstrators, the Press Trust of India reported.

    Eighteen protestors were arrested in connection with the incident.

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    Santa Paula Man Dies After Fall From Oil Platform Off Ventura Coast

    A Santa Paula man has died following an industrial accident on an oil platform off the Ventura County coastline on Wednesday afternoon.

    Vessels from the U.S. Coast Guard, TowBoatUS Ventura and the Ventura Harbor Patrol responded to an industrial accident at Platform Gilda Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020 off the Ventura County Coast.Miguel Aguilera, 44, was one of three workers who fell from Platform Gilda, an oil platform several miles off the coast, on Wednesday, according to the Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office.

    His cause of death is still being investigated.

    Vessels from Coast Guard Station Channel Islands in Oxnard, the Ventura Harbor Patrol and a local tow boat TowBoatUS responded to a call of a man overboard from Platform Gilda at approximately 12:07 p.m. on Wednesday.

    “There was an industrial accident on the platform,” Ventura Harbormaster John Higgins said. “We provided medical aid and transport for two patients.”

    Three workers had fallen from the platform from a height of between 30 to 50 feet. At least one had jumped to render aid to those who had fallen, according to Lt. Ben McIntrye, a Coast Guard public affairs officer  

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    Saskatchewan driller hits 'gusher' with ground-breaking geothermal well that offers hope for oil workers

    A first for Canada and the world, the well can produce enough electricity to power 3,000 homes

    DEEP Earth Energy Production Corp.' site is the deepest horizontal well in Saskatchewan’s history and the first 90° horizontal fluid production for geothermal power generation in the world. PHOTO BY DEEP EARTH ENERGY PRODUCTION CORP.A small, Saskatoon-based company has drilled and fracked the world’s first 90-degree horizontal well for geothermal power in a potentially landmark move that signals the arrival of a new energy source in Canada and provides fresh opportunities for oil and gas workers to apply their skills in renewable power.

    No company in Canada has produced electricity from geothermal heat, but Deep Earth Energy Production Corp. chief executive officer Kirsten Marcia told the Financial Post that there’s a “big, big future for geothermal power in Western Canada,” as demonstrated by the results of the first ever horizontal geothermal well, which is also the deepest horizontal well ever drilled in Saskatchewan.

    “We were looking for a way to explain to people that we drilled a gusher,” said Marcia, a geologist who worked in the mining and petroleum industries before pioneering a geothermal business in Saskatchewan. In the oil and gas world, a “gusher” is an extremely productive well that pumps substantial volumes of oil and gas.

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    ConocoPhillips says it will resume drilling in December on Alaska’s North Slope

    ConocoPhillips Alaska on Wednesday said it will resume Alaska drilling projects using four rigs starting in mid-December, bringing back several hundred jobs amid reductions that began as the COVID-19 pandemic contributed to a drop in oil prices this spring.

    A drill rig at Prudhoe Bay, Alaska on Thursday, May 21, 2015. (Loren Holmes / ADN)The company said the North Slope projects include:

    • A new extended-reach drilling rig working in the Alpine oil field. It’s nicknamed “The Beast.”

    • Two rigs working in the Kuparuk River Unit.

    • A rig working in the Greater Mooses Tooth 2 Unit.

    ConocoPhillips announced in early April that it would demobilize its North Slope drilling-rig fleet to help protect workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. It temporarily cut North Slope production in June, citing low oil prices. It reported losing $1.5 billion worldwide through June this year, including $60 million in Alaska.

    The Alaska oil and gas industry this year has shed about 3,100 jobs, close to one-third of the workforce in January.

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    U.S. drillers add oil and gas rigs for fourth month -Baker Hughes

    U.S. energy firms added oil and natural gas rigs this week, boosting the oil count for the fourth month in a row as producers return to the wellpad with crude prices mostly trading over $40 a barrel since mid June.

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    New natural gas well lights up the bench

    Shining in the night from the western edge of Polecat Bench, Capstar Drilling rig #311 could be seen from downtown Powell this week — drilling the first well on the bench in roughly a decade.

    Capstar Drilling rig 311 is lit up Tuesday night as the company drills a natural gas well for Qualmay Development LLC, a subsidiary of First City Oil and Gas. It is the first well drilled on Polecat Bench in more than a decade.The well, located within the Bearcat Field on private land, is being developed by Qualmay Development LLC, a subsidiary of First City Oil and Gas, of St. Augustine, Florida. They’re drilling down about 3,700-feet for natural gas and it’s one of the few wells — if not the only well — currently being drilled in Wyoming, said Bruce Tadewald, president of First City.

    “We wanted to develop natural gas up here. Oil prices have been down, but gas prices are going up. We think it’s time to start,” Tadewald said while in Powell meeting investors.

    The well was originally approved in late 2018, but no action was taken at the time. At the company’s request, the application for permit to drill (APD) was renewed by the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission earlier this month and it was spudded on Saturday, according to commission data.

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    Petrofac To Furlough 200 North-East Workers

    Oilfield services firm Petrofac will put about 200 north-east staff members on furlough as part of its response to the Covid-19 outbreak.

    Petrofac newsLondon-listed Petrofac hopes to benefit from government schemes created to provide support with salary payments during the lockdown.

    Salaries for Petrofac’s board members, senior management and “most employees” will be pruned by 10-15%, while “non-staff overhead costs” will be slashed by up to a quarter.

    Capital expenditure will be cut by 40%, with overhead and project support costs to be lowered by at least £81.5 million this year and up to £163m in 2021.

    The company is reducing costs in anticipation of a decline in activity levels, sparked by the recent slump in oil prices, caused in turn by the Covid-19 pandemic’s impact on demand and the collapse of a production pact between Saudi Arabia and Russia.

    Petrofac said today it would lower its global headcount by about a fifth and furlough staff members.

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    An Open Letter To Canadians From Oil And Gas Workers

    The oil and gas industry has created hundreds of billions of dollars in revenues for Canada. Now, we’re asking for a very small amount back

    ince 2014, well over 200,000 hard-working men and women have lost good jobs.Scott Robert Collins/The Gazette filesDear fellow Canadians,

    Canada’s oil and gas workers need your help. The perfect storm has turned into the perfect tsunami for the Canadian oil and gas industry.

    After five years of battling anything and everything we thought humanly possible, the once-in-a-lifetime combination of an oil price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia and a global pandemic of unknown proportions has left oil and gas families with next to nothing. A barrel of Western Canadian Select now costs less than a foot-long sub. The companies that employ and support hundreds of thousands of Canadians across this country are decimated.

    Since 2014, well over 200,000 hard-working men and women have lost good jobs. In the drilling and well-servicing sector, we have lost 22 companies and nearly 600 rigs. These companies are the backbone of many Canadian rural communities. Each of their rigs provides direct and indirect employment for 175 people. The numbers are staggering and the impact is deep.

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    Oilfield Firm Halliburton Cuts More U.S. Jobs As Oil Bust Deepens

    Oilfield services firm Halliburton on Monday was cutting about 350 employees in Oklahoma, according to a filing with the state, amid a deepening oil bust from the spread of coronavirus and a price war between Russia and Saudi Arabia.

    Oil production equipment is seen in a Halliburton yard in Williston, North Dakota April 30, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew CullenStaff cuts could begin this week at its Duncan, Oklahoma facility, the filing said, and will be permanent. The facility is expected to remain open.

    Energy companies have slashed spending since oil prices this year crashed more than 60%, taking prices below $30 a barrel, less than the cost of production. Halliburton last month said it would furlough 3,500 workers in Houston to cope with lower prices.

    “This was a difficult decision, but is necessary action as we face challenging market conditions,” spokeswoman Emily Mir said in a email.

    U.S. crude futures were trading at $27.29 a barrel on Monday morning, down about 3.8% after OPEC+ members delayed a meeting on output cuts.

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    More Than 4,000 North Sea Oil Rig Jobs Cut Amid Covid-19 Crisis

    The North Sea’s workforce has fallen by 40% within two weeks as oil companies cut the size of their offshore oil rig teams to help stem the spread of the coronavirus.

    The number of workers operating the North Sea’s platforms typically stands at about 11,500. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PAMore than 4,000 rig contractors have been cut in the wake of the UK lockdown, during a difficult year for the oil industry after the collapse of global oil prices.

    The number of workers operating the North Sea’s oil and gas platforms typically stands at about 11,500, according to Oil and Gas UK, but the number of people operating the rigs has already fallen to 7,000.

    The UK oil company Cairn Energy became the latest North Sea oil producer to scale back spending plans. It told investors on Friday it planned to cut its budget for the year by almost a quarter to weather the oil price crisis.

    Cairn will shave $20m (£16m) from its North Sea spending plans to $45m, and will reduce its capital expenditure in Senegal by $70m to less than $330m. The company also plans to cut spending on exploring for new oil and gas reserves by a third, to $100m.

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    One Person Dies As Crane Boom Collapses At Jack-Up Barge Off Qatar

    Jack-up barge said to be working on sub-contract from Saipem, the key contractor for Qatargas’ Barzan pipeline replacement project

    One person is believed to have died on board the jack-up barge Seafox Deema when one of the vessel’s cranes collapsed into the water off Qatar this weekOne person is believed to have died on board the jack-up barge Seafox Deema when one of the vessel’s cranes collapsed into the water off Qatar this week.

    Seafox Deema was working on a sub-contract from Saipem, the key engineering, procurement, construction and installation contractor for Qatargas’ Barzan pipeline replacement project, several people familiar with the incident told Upstream.

    One person said the crane operator working on the vessel died when the crane collapsed into the water, while it was lifting a pipe.

    “A crane from jack-up barge Deema was lifting some pipe spools from an offshore support vessel. The crane failed and toppled into the water with the boom and cabin,” he said.

    A diving operation followed, which later confirmed the fatality, as the crane operator was unresponsive, he added.

    One unconfirmed source claimed the deceased was a 34-year old Indian national.

    A second person said work on the Seafox Deema vessel has been stalled temporarily following the incident.

    One person is believed to have died on board the jack-up barge Seafox Deema when one of the vessel’s cranes collapsed into the water off Qatar this weekHowever, no damage has been reported on the topsides and subsea assets involving the Barzan project, he added.

    Upstream has sought responses from Seafox, Saipem and Qatargas on the incident.

    Seafox Deema is a three-legged, self-elevating jack-up unit for accommodation and offshore support services.

    It was converted to a self-elevating jack-up in 1990 by Lamprell in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates, and was subsequently upgraded there in 1998.

    The vessel has a maximum person-on-board capacity of 470 and can operate in water depths up to 190 feet (58 metres), according to the company website.

    Seafox Deema has three cranes, with a maximum lift of 200 tonnes.

    One person is believed to have died on board the jack-up barge Seafox Deema when one of the vessel’s cranes collapsed into the water off Qatar this weekUpstream in 2018 had reported that Saipem was set to win a $1 billion-plus offshore pipeline contract from Qatargas, involving its much delayed Barzan gas project in Qatar's giant North Field.

    The Italian contractor landed the key Barzan project in 2018 and has been working on the pipeline project.

    The project’s workscope included the EPCI of more than 170 kilometres of offshore pipelines, plus an additional 80 kilometres of piggyback lines.

    The $10 billion-plus Barzan gas development is being carried out by RasGas (now merged with Qatargas) and US supermajor ExxonMobil.

    State-owned player Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil signed agreements confirming the Barzan project in 2011. The scheme involves a mix of offshore as well as onshore facilities.

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    Halliburton to 'Significantly' Cut 2020 Capex Below 1.2 Dollar Billion Budget

    Oilfield services firm Halliburton is accelerating its cost-cutting and will significantly reduce spending this year below its original $1.2 billion budget, its finance chief said on Tuesday.

    Halliburton to cut capexThe Houston, Texas-based company did not disclose a new spending target, but is testing scenarios including a 60-65% reduction in some areas of the oilfield services sector, Chief Financial Officer Lance Loeffler told investors on a webcast. He pointed to a reduction to $800 million done during the last downturn that began in late 2014 as a potential target.

    Crude oil prices have more than halved since the start of the year as the spread of coronavirus slashes demand, and after Russia and Saudi Arabia launched an unanticipated price war. On Tuesday, U.S. crude futures were trading at $23.72 a barrel. 

    "The industry is facing an unprecedented dual impact on demand and supply side that none of us have witnessed over our professional lifetimes," Loeffler told investors.

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    Schlumberger cuts spending 30%, eyes rapid slowdown in oilfield activity

    Schlumberger , the world’s largest oilfield services company, on Tuesday said it would cut spending by 30% this year from last year’s levels as the oil market has been roiled by the coronavirus outbreak and Saudi-Russia price war.

    Schlumberger expects slow downThe company expects a rapid reduction in active drilling and hydraulic fracturing activity, estimating the number of rigs in operation could fall to levels last seen during the 2016 downturn.

    Oil prices have fallen by more than half this year, diving below $24 a barrel on Tuesday, as coronavirus curtails demand and top suppliers Saudi Arabia and Russia began pumping full bore to grab share in a slumping market.

    The twin supply and demand shocks have driven major oil companies to slash spending by up to 50% this year and pushed oilfield services providers for price cuts. Rival Halliburton plans to furlough about 3,500 workers in response to the producer spending cuts and coronavirus outbreak.

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

    Part of ‘The Beast,’ ConocoPhillips’ massive drilling rig, slides off Alaska North Slope road

    Update, 2:30 p.m. Friday: The rig was back on the road Thursday evening, according to Doyon.

    A file photo of Doyon Drilling Rig 26, dubbed Original story: A modular section of ConocoPhillips’ huge oil drilling rig, “The Beast,” slid partly off a main gravel road west of Prudhoe Bay on Wednesday.

    The mishap delayed the uniquely gigantic rig’s inaugural trip to the oil fields, but caused no injuries or spills.

    The module for Doyon 26, as the rig is formally known, went off a road in the oil company’s Kuparuk field, according to a statement from Natalie Lowman, a ConocoPhillips spokeswoman.

    “The module is partly off the road,” Lowman said Thursday morning. “Emergency response personnel and operations are formulating a recovery plan to safely return the drill rig module to the road.”

    Thursday evening, Lowman said the rig was expected to be back on the road that night.

    READ MORE AT ROUGHNECK CITY NEWS ⇨

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