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Just as there are shortcomings of deterministic models that can be avoided with probabilistic models, the latter have their associated pitfalls as well. Adding uncertainty, by replacing single estimate inputs with probability distributions, requires the user to exercise caution on several fronts. Without going into exhaustive detail we offer a couple of illustrations. First, the probabilistic model is more complicated. It demands more documentation and more attention to logical structure.
Equinor, along with partners ExxonMobil, Petrogal Brasil, and Pré-Sal Petróleo SA, will move forward with a planned $8-billion Phase 1 development of the Bacalhau field in the Brazilian pre-salt Santos area. The Bacalhau field is situated across two licenses, BM-S-8 and Norte de Carcará. The target resource is a high-quality carbonate reservoir containing light oil. The development will consist of 19 subsea wells tied back to a floating production, storage, and offloading unit (FPSO) located at the field. The vessel will be one of the largest FPSOs in Brazil with a production capacity of 220,000 B/D of oil and 2 million bbl of storage capacity.
Equinor recently offered another possible future for engineers in oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) during the transition. By the end of the decade, the Norwegian energy company plans to be producing about as much oil as it did in 2020 but with a lot smaller global footprint. That is part of its plan to maximize its cash flow to support the growth of carbon-emission-lowering ventures, such as offshore wind power and long-term carbon storage. "Early on, oil and gas will mostly contribute to that return. As we move to 2030, it will be more and more renewables," Anders Opedal, Equinor's chief executive officer, said during the company's recent Capital Market Day with investor analysts.
BP has begun production from its two-well Manuel subsea development in the Mississippi Canyon area of the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The wells, located in Block 520, are tied back to the Na Kika floating production system to the west. The wells are expected to boost gross platform production by an estimated 20,100 B/D of oil equivalent. "Our disciplined investment in Manuel is part of our target to add 900,000 B/D of production from new projects by the end of 2021," said Ewan Drummond, BP's senior vice president of projects, production, and operations. "The safe production of resilient hydrocarbons in the basins we know best is core to advancing our strategy to transform into an integrated energy company."
Tropical storms severely affect oil and gas production in the Gulf of Mexico, especially during the storm season from June to December. Offshore well managers often need to shut down operations and evacuate the facility because of storm alerts. Furthermore, if the storms have a more-severe effect, facilities may need to be repaired before production restarts. The purpose of this paper is to determine the effect of storms on production by quantifying metrics such as downtime days and downtime percentage after the storm has passed and whether a facility's platform type affected these metrics. Oil and gas production at offshore facilities (Figure 1) are severely affected, especially in the Gulf of Mexico, by frequent storms.
ExxonMobil and Hess Corp. announced today their latest discovery offshore Guyana with the Longtail-3 well that is in the massive Stabroek Block. A net pay of 230 ft (70 m) was reported within hydrocarbon bearing reservoirs that are below the first intervals discovered by the Longtail-1 well drilled in 2018 about 2 miles to the south. The new discovery was drilled in a water depth of about 6,100 ft. Texas-based ExxonMobil said it added two drillships to its Guyana operations, bringing the total to six. The newly arrived assets are the Stena DrillMAX and the Noble Sam Croft which are now part of a 15-well drilling program in the Stabroek Block.
Petrobras has postponed first oil from its Mero 1 field via the FPSO Guanabara in the Santos Basin offshore Brazil due to delays with the production system. Startup at Mero 1 was originally expected in the fourth quarter of this year and is now expected to begin flowing during the first quarter of 2022 due to COVID-19 pandemic-related delays with the buildout of the production system in China. The FPSO will be installed in the Mero field, which belongs to the Libra Block, in the Santos Basin pre-salt area, with a processing capacity of 180,000 OPD. The field is operated by Petrobras (40%) in partnership with Shell Brasil Petróleo (20%), Total E&P (20%), CNODC Brasil Petróleo e Gás (10%), CNOOC Petroleum Brasil (10%), and Pré-Sal Petróleo, which is the contract manager.
A large number of floating production, supply, and offloading units (FPSO) leases are set to expire in 2022 according to new analysis from energy market research and consultancy firm Westwood Global Energy Group. The average yearly expiring FPSO contract since 2015 has been around three; however by the end of next year, a potential of 30 units could become available. Westwood's Global Floating Production Systems Market Report report notes under a scenario where no contract extensions are taken on current leased FPSOs, 14 additional units would become available in 2022. Alternatively, if all available extension options were taken, nine units would come off contract, adding to the 16 units currently awaiting upgrade or redeployment. Of those coming off contract in 2022, 36% are 40 years old and are potential candidates for scrapping.
BHP, in partnership with Pemex, has selected McDermott International to provide front-end engineering design (FEED) of a semisubmersible floating production unit (FPU) for the Trion project in the Gulf of Mexico. The FPU will be designed for a water depth of approximately 8,200 ft and is destined for the Trion field, 19 miles south of the US/Mexico maritime border and about 112 miles off the Mexican coastline. The design contract was awarded following a 14-month design competition, which was preceded by a competitive tender process. Building upon the pre-FEED work previously completed by McDermott, the FEED study work will focus on the development of an FPU design with a nameplate capacity of 100,000 B/D of oil. The scope of the FEED contract includes engineering tasks related to the configuration, sizing, and analysis of the FPU, including topsides, hull, risers, and mooring.
Suncor Energy is preparing for all contingencies when in comes to the fate of the Terra Nova FPSO. The operator recently issued Expressions of Interest (EOI) related to the FPSO, including two that prepare for decommissioning of the vessel and the field, while another provides an update to a previous EOI preparing for remediation of the FPSO to support the asset life-extension project. The move has the Newfoundland and Labrador Oil & Gas Industries Association (NOIA) concerned about the future of the vessel and the field. "NOIA members and our Board of Directors are deeply concerned for the future of the Terra Nova Project and the far-reaching impacts decommissioning and abandonment would have upon our industry, the people who work in it, and our province," said Charlene Johnson, chief executive of NOIA. "I understand the deadline to reach a deal on the Terra Nova Project was extended to April 30--which has now passed--and NOIA is encouraging all parties to reach an agreement as quickly as possible."