Shell starts Prelude drilling
Royal Dutch Shell PLC has started drilling the first of its seven
development wells in Prelude natural gas field in the Browse
basin offshore Western Australia. It is using the Noble Clyde
Boudreaux drilling vessel.
The drilling campaign is expected to last 2 years with the
vessel serviced out of Broome on the Kimberley coast.
The Prelude project is expected to be the world’s first floating LNG (FLNG) facility. It will tap into an initial reserve base
of 3 tcf of gas and condensate contained in the Prelude and
nearby Concerto fields.
Shell laid the keel for the FLNG vessel in May. The hull will
be assembled in dry dock before the turret and topsides are fitted
at Samsung Heavy Industries’ Geoje shipyard in South Korea.
PDC Energy halts production amid Colorado flooding
Widespread flooding and numerous road closures in Weld
County, Colo., has forced PDC Energy Inc. to suspend gas production operations Sept. 13 from a limited number of wells in
Wattenberg field. The company expects to return the majority
of suspended wells to production this week.
“As our first concern was for the safety of our employees in
the field and to minimize any impact to the environment, we
elected to shut-in production sites before they became inacces-
sible due to road closures and flood conditions,” PDC Energy
said. “Beginning today we are assessing impacts to individual
well sites and expect a full assessment as the flood waters re-
cede this week. We plan to access the well sites using alternate
routes around impacted roads and bridges and anticipate the
majority of the impacts to operations will be short-term.”
PDC operates 2,300 vertical and 80 horizontal wells in Wat-
tenberg field. Its holdings in Wattenberg field include the hori-
zontal Niobrara and Codell plays (OGJ Online, Feb. 6, 2013).
Magellan signs gas supply deal for Dingo field
Magellan Petroleum Corp. has signed a deal with Northern Territory Power & Water Corp. for long-term supply of gas from
Dingo field in the Amadeus basin in central Australia.
The 20-year contract ensures the supply of as much as 30
bcf of gas to NTPWC on a take-or-pay basis.
Gas will begin to flow in early 2015 at a fixed but undisclosed price, which will escalate with the Australian consumer
Magellan will soon begin design, construction, and commissioning of the surface facilities at Dingo as well as a tie-in
pipeline to the main central Australian trunk line from Alice
Springs to Darwin. Currently the work is in front-end engineering and design stage.
Dingo was discovered in 1981 about 60 km south of Al-
ice Springs and southeast of the larger Palm Valley gas field.
Reserves were fixed during a four-well exploration-appraisal
program during the 1980s and 1990s, but with no customer
demand till now the field has lain dormant.
Magellan will produce gas from three of the four wells.
PROCESSING QUICK TAKES
EPP starts up seventh Mont Belvieu fractionator
Enterprise Products Partners LP (EPP) has started operations
at its seventh NGL fractionator at Mont Belvieu, Tex., east of
Houston. This seventh unit and an eighth at the site are being
developed as part of a joint venture with Western Gas Partners
LP, an affiliate of Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Houston. EPP will
operate the new units and own 75%, while Western Gas holds
25% in each of the two fractionators.
The new unit, which can fractionate up to 85,000 b/d of
NGL, increases total fractionation capacity at EPP’s Mont Bel-
vieu site to 570,000 b/d (OGJ Online, Nov. 1, 2012). The com-
pany said the new fractionator will “facilitate increasing NGL
production from domestic shale plays, including the Eagle Ford
in South Texas, and other basins in the Rocky Mountain and
EPP Chief Executive Officer Michael A. Creel said work on
an eighth fractionator is ahead of schedule and should be in
service by the middle of this year’s fourth quarter. Fractionators
Nos. 7 and 8 will increase total capacity at Mont Belvieu to
655,000 b/d, compared with 400,000 b/d 3 years ago.
System-wide, said Creel, EPP’s fractionation capacity will
expand to more than 1 million b/d with the addition of the two
new NGL fractionators.
Lukoil resumes operations at Ukrainian plant
A unit of OAO Lukoil has resumed operations at a petrochemical plant in Kalush, Ukraine, after a year of suspension.
Karpatneftekhim has the capacity to produce 300,000
tonnes/year of polyvinyl chloride, 200,000 tpy of caustic soda,
180,000 tpy of chlorine, 250,000 tpy of ethylene, and 100,000
tpy of polyethylene.
Operations were suspended in September 2012 “due to unfavorable conditions in the petrochemical market,” the company said. In April, Ukraine’s cabinet of ministers and Lukoil
signed a memorandum “to bring the plant to a cost-effective
production level.” A large-scale upgrade of the plant occurred
Khabarovsk refinery upgrade under way
Alliance Oil Co., Moscow, is upgrading its 90,000 b/d
Khabarovsk refinery in Russia’s Far East in a project that will
push capacity to 100,000 b/d this year.
It has let a contract to Foster Wheeler AG’s Global Engineering
& Construction Group covering construction management services for a segment of the work it calls the hydroprocessing project.
The complex covered by the contract includes a hydro-cracker, hydrotreater, hydrogen unit, amine regeneration unit,
sour water stripper, sulfur recovery unit, vapor recovery unit,
waste water treatment unit, ground flare, tank farm, and pump