joint venture with BP PLC, includes subsea wells at West Boreas
and South Deimos fields, export pipelines, and a shallow-water
platform near the Louisiana coast. Using the Olympus platform
and a floating drill rig, the company claims it will ramp up to
a peak of 100,000 boe/d by 2016. The field produced about
60,000 boe/d in 2013.
Olympus is Shell’s seventh deepwater platform in the gulf
and the first deepwater project +in the gulf to expand an existing oil and gas field with new infrastructure, according to the
VAALCO gets IFC loan for work off Gabon
VAALCO Energy Inc., Houston, has received a $65-million
reserve-based loan facility from IFC, part of the World Bank
Group, to support further oil and gas development on the
Etame Marin Block offshore Gabon.
Subsidiary VAALCO Gabon, operator with a 28.1% working
interest in the block, plans to install two platforms this year.
One, a 4-pile, 8-slot unit, will be installed in the second half
of the year in 85 m of water on the southern edge of Etame field.
The cost will be $175 million gross. The operator plans to drill
three wells from the platform initially at $25 million/well gross
to develop 10 million boe of reserves.
Also in the second half VAALCO Gabon plans to install a
similarly configured platform, also in 85 m of water, in what
it calls the South East Etame/North Tchibala (SEENT) project
(OGJ Online, June 16, 2010). Three initial wells will cost $25
million each. The project is to develop 7 million bbl of oil reserves. Gross investment in the SEENT platform will be $150
Current production from the Etame Marin block recently
was 18,000 b/d gross. Flow is from wells completed subsea
in Etame field and tied back to a floating production, storage,
and offloading vessel and from wells drilled from platforms on
Avouma-South Tchibala and Ebouri fields, all tied back to the
VAALCO’s partners in the Etame Marin permit are Addax,
Sasol, Tullow, Sojitz, and PetroEnergy.
Eland starts production from Opuama field
Eland Oil & Gas PLC has started oil production from Opuama
field on the OML 40 license onshore Nigeria.
Eland said production has restarted through the successful
recommissioning of existing systems and the reopening of two
existing wells. Gross output from the two wells is expected to
stabilize in aggregate at 2,500 b/d of oil. The crude oil produced
will be delivered to the Shell Forcados export terminal through
Eland’s recently recommissioned flow station and export pipeline, with a capacity to export as much as 30,000 b/d.
Opuama is operated by Nigerian Petroleum Development
Corp. The field, which has gross recoverable 2P reserves of 54.2
million bbl, was in production during 1975-2006 before Shell
Petroleum Development Co. undertook a controlled shutdown
of the facilities.
NPDC holds 55% interest in OML 40, with the remaining
45% interest belonging to Elcrest Exploration & Production Nigeria Ltd., Eland’s joint venture company.
PROCESSING QUICK TAKES
EPA rule requires new reporting from refiners
The US Environmental Protection Agency has finalized a rule
under existing statutory law that establishes reporting requirements for petroleum and petrochemical processors that use or
plan to use five chemical substances identified generically as
“complex strontium aluminate, rare earth doped” (CSA-RED).
The “significant new use” (SNU) rule, which falls under the
Toxic Substances Control Act, will require chemical manufacturing and petroleum refineries that intend to import, manufacture, or process any of these substances for an activity that
is designated as a SNU to notify EPA at least 90 days before
beginning such activity, according to a notice from EPA in the
Feb. 4 Federal Register.
The five chemical substances identified generically as
CSA-RED, which were the subject of premanufacture notices
(PMN), include P- 12-22, P- 12-23, P- 12-24, P- 12-25, and P-12-
26, all of which EPA predicts, at certain exposure levels, are
agents of potential lung overload and toxicity to workers inhaling the substances. According to PMN, the five substances
are intended to be used as dye in the making of imaging and
SNU’s rule also requires any chemical manufacturer or refiner that began commercial manufacturing, importing, or
processing the designated CSA-RED substances after June 22,
2012, to stop before the final rule takes effect on Apr. 7.
Flint Hills plans Alaska refinery closure
Flint Hills Resources Alaska LLC (FHRA), a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries Inc., Wichita, Kan., plans to cease
crude oil processing at its 85,000-b/d North Pole refinery near
Fairbanks, Alas., by June.
The refinery’s extraction unit will be shut down on May 1,
ending gasoline production, while crude unit No. 2 will be shuttered no later than June 1, ending production of jet fuel and all
other refined products, the company said.
The refinery’s closure stems from the enormous amount of
money and resources FHRA has had to spend addressing soil and
groundwater contamination that was caused when the plant and
the land beneath it was under previous ownership by Williams
Cos. Inc., Tulsa, and the state of Alaska, respectively, according
to Mike Brose, FHRA vice-president and refinery manager.
“So far, neither Williams nor the state of Alaska have accepted
any responsibility for the cleanup,” Brose said. “With the already
extremely difficult refining market conditions, the added burden
of excessive costs and uncertainties over future cleanup respon-
sibilities make continued refining operations impossible.”
Despite the refinery’s shutdown, FHRA will continue to
meet its regulatory commitments to operate the groundwater