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West Africa area report OSVs in demand in Nigeria


Rising demand for oilfield support work has led to a stream of OSV charters and contracts in Nigeria, while in Angola, survey work is underway to enhance reserve recovery in a deepwater block


by Martyn Wingrove I


ncreasing investment in the Gulf of Guinea has buoyed demand for OSVs in the region. Brokers reported multiple vessel charters for


platform supply vessels (PSVs), anchor handlers and subsea construction support vessels in the region, particularly offshore Nigeria. Shell and National Nigerian Petroleum Co (NNPC) were leading the way in providing work for OSVs in the region. Brokers said ships are heading from Asia to West Africa to meet the growing demand. For example, NNPC is thought to be behind the charter of recently delivered 5,200 dwt PSV Lewek Andes from May. NNPC also fixed an anchor handler from Egypt-based shipowner Maridive for two years support work, which started in April, according to Fearnley Offshore. Two 2010-built Jaya Holdings anchor handlers were chartered for long-term rig tow and platform supply work in Nigeria. Two 8,000 bhp vessels – Jaya Continental 1 and Jaya Conqueror – went on eight-year bareboat charter from April at reported rates of US$9,000 per day for each vessel. Nigerian investment company Vigeo Holdings has acquired a vessel from Siem Offshore for platform supply work in the Gulf of Guinea. Siem Offshore confirmed broker reports that Vigeo had purchased VS 470 MkII design, 2006-built, 3,600 dwt PSV Siem Danis for US$34 million. The vessel has been renamed Vigeo Adebola and started working offshore Nigeria in May. Vigeo Adebola went on a one-year charter to Shell to support the


Skandi Aker was chartered for up to six months for Nigerian work


oil company’s shallow and deepwater operations. Two offshore construction support vessels went on long-term charter in Nigeria. Subsea 7 chartered DP2 diving support vessel Gulmar Condor (2002-built and upgraded in 2007) from Gulmar Offshore for 50 days and 2010-built Skandi Aker went on a six- month contract in May, brokers reported. In Angola, French oil company Total is eager to ensure it maximises the recovery of oil in its deepwater Block 17. In the block, Total has numerous oilfields either in production, or under development using subsea systems tied back to floating production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessels. Total has decided to continue shooting seismic surveys over these oilfields over the next five years to gain more information on how oil is flowing through the reservoirs. For this, Total has contracted French company CGGVeritas to undertake 3D seismic surveys over that period. The time element means these surveys can be compared with earlier surveys, a process known as 4D seismic.


Activities delayed by border dispute


A Gulf of Guinea border dispute is preventing oil companies from exploring in a deepwater licence.


London-based oil and gas explorer Sterling


Resources said a dispute between Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon was preventing exploration activities including seismic surveys and drilling.


The dispute is over the Ntem deepwater licence where Sterling has a 50 per cent non- operating interest. US company, Murphy Oil,


www.osjonline.com


is the operator of the licence, which covers potential seafloor resources in water depths from 400m to 2,000m. Sterling Resources said:


“Currently the


Ntem block remains in force majeure, which is likely to remain until the resolution of a border dispute between Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea. The company believes progress continues towards a resolution of the border dispute between the governments, but no specific timetable can be forecast.”


This will provide Total’s reservoir management teams with the information required, and sufficient time, for evaluating results to meet their field development requirements. The contract involves more than 6,000km2 of seismic surveys over the Girassol, Jasmim, Rosa, Dalia, and Camelia oilfields and all the fields linked to the Pazflor and CLOV projects in Block 17. Total will be working in partnership with Statoil, BP and ExxonMobil. The contract also includes the annual and biennial monitoring and imaging of survey data at CGGVeritas’ processing centre in Luanda and Total’s facilities in Pau, France.


Commenting on the contract award,


CGGVeritas’ chief executive, Jean-Georges Malcor, said: “We are pleased to have been awarded this significant contract which recognises our 4D processing excellence and proven track record of developing pioneering 4D technologies. It also recognises our long- standing relationship with Sonangol and Total Angola and our strong local commitment to Angola. We look forward to extending our partnership with Sonangol and Total Angola to further contribute to improving hydrocarbon recovery via 4D seismic.” CGGVeritas and Total have worked together in Angola for 10 years. Total has been producing oil from the Girassol FPSO for around 15 years and Dalia FPSO for nearly a decade. The Pazflor FPSO has started producing from four oilfields and the CLOV FPSO is due to come on stream in 2014. Elsewhere, in


Namibia, London-listed


explorer Chariot Oil & Gas has chartered 4,800 dwt multipurpose PSV Olympic Commander for an undisclosed period at a day rate of US$45,000 to prepare for exploration drilling. OSJ


Offshore Support Journal I June 2012 I 31


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