Brazil partially suspends operating injunction against Transocean

[story updated, adding Chevron statement 8th paragraph]

The Brazilian Superior Court partially suspended a preliminary injunction order that required drilling contractor Transocean to stop operating in Brazil within 30 days. Consequently, Transocean can continue operations except at Frade oil field, which was the site of an oil seep in November 2011. Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) is a partner with operator Chevron Corp. in Frade field.

Previously, Transocean and Chevron each separately received 30-day notices to halt operations in Brazil stemming from an injunction handed down in July (OGJ Online, Sept. 28, 2012).

Brazil’s National Agency of Petroleum (ANP) appealed the injunction, saying a ban against Transocean from operating its drilling rigs would damage Brazil’s revenues. In response to the 30-day notice, Petrobras filed a writ of mandamus seeking immediate suspension of the injunction.

On Sept. 28, Brazilian Superior Court of Justice President Minister Felix Fischer partially suspended the injunction.

As a result of the partial suspension, Transocean is allowed to continue operating its rigs offshore Brazil except in Frade field. Transocean currently has 10 rigs under contract in Brazil of which 9 are working in other fields.

Transocean said it experienced no interruption of contract revenue from its operations in Brazil which, for the 6 months ended June 30, comprised 11% of its consolidated operating revenues.

The drilling contractor “continues to vigorously pursue all legal avenues to ensure complete resolution of litigation against it in Brazil,” including Frade restrictions, a Transocean spokesman said.

A Chevron spokesman said there was nothing to justify an injunction, which the company will seek to overturn and demonstrate Chevron acted diligently and appropriately at all times.

"Chevron Brasil’s response to the incident was implemented according to the law, industry standards, and in a timely manner," the company said. "Continuous monitoring of the incident area shows no discernible environmental impact to marine life or human health.  No oil has reached Brazil’s coast. We have received no information that anyone was harmed as a result of the incident.”

 The injunction concerns oil seeps from an appraisal well at Frade field in 3,800 ft of water 370 km northeast of Rio de Janeiro. Upon receiving approval from ANP on Nov. 13, 2011, Chevron Brazil immediately began plugging and abandonment activities.

Chevron reported well-control operations significantly reduced oil seeps (OGJ, Nov. 21, 2011, Newsletter).

The operator with 51.74% interest, Chevron started production at Frade field in 2009 (OGJ Online, June 23, 2009). Partners in the field are Petrobras 30%, and Frade Japao Petroleo Ltda., a joint venture of Inpex Corp., Sojitz Corp., and Japan Oil, Gas & Metals Corp. 18.26%.

Seeps reported in 2012

Chevron identified new, small seeps in Frade during March, prompting a comprehensive technical study to better understand the area’s geology. The 2012 seeps were in a separate part of the field from the November 2011 seeps, said a Frade-related page on the company web site.

The sites are 3 km apart on opposite sides of the field and the main Frade fault, Chevron said.

The first incident was related to a pressure kick experienced during the drilling of a development well. The second incident, with a sheen totaling less than 1 bbl, occurred when no drilling was being done.

Oil samples collected from the second seeps and analyzed by the IPEX lab in Brazil and reviewed by Chevron indicate that the oil is not from the Frade production reservoir.

Oil from the March incident had different chemical properties than samples collected from either the November 2011 incident or from other producing wells within Frade field. Further, it does not contain drilling mud that would have indicated it was from the drilling process, Chevron said.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

Related Articles

Central starts gas sales from Palm Valley field

02/09/2015 Central Petroleum Ltd., Brisbane, is to start sale of early natural gas from Palm Valley field to Northern Territory Power & Water Corp. under ...

Statoil group chooses unmanned wellhead platform for Oseberg

02/09/2015 A group led by Statoil ASA has chosen an unmanned wellhead platform as the concept for the first phase of the Oseberg development project in the No...

Hess cuts capital budget by 16% to $4.7 billion

02/09/2015 Hess Corp. has set a capital budget of $4.7 billion for 2015, down 16% from $5.6 billion spent last year. The company at the beginning of 2014 repo...

OGJ's top tweets of 2014

02/09/2015 One of the most important concepts for any decent writer to master is this: Know your audience. Luckily for those reporting on news and technology ...

Statoil reduces capital budget by $2 billion following 4Q losses

02/06/2015 Statoil ASA has reduced its organic capital expenditure to $18 billion in 2015 from $20 billion in 2014. The move comes on the heels of a fourth qu...

BHI: US rig count down 87 units in 10th straight week of losses

02/06/2015 The US drilling rig count plunged 87 units, a decline that was again spurred mostly by oil rigs, to settle at 1,456 rigs working during the week en...

Oil-price collapse may aggravate producing nations’ other problems

02/05/2015 The recent global crude-oil price plunge could be aggravating underlying problems in Mexico, Colombia, and other Western Hemisphere producing natio...

North Reggane gas project development drilling starts in Algeria

02/05/2015

The North Reggane consortium has started development drilling at its gas project in the Algerian Sahara.

Oil production begins at Nasr Phase-1 offshore Abu Dhabi

02/05/2015 The first phase of Nasr oil field offshore Abu Dhabi will be producing 22,000 b/d by yearend, according to United Arab Emirates news agency WAM.
White Papers

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by

The impact of aging infrastructure in process manufacturing industries

Process manufacturing companies in the oil and gas, utilities, chemicals and natural resource industri...
Sponsored by

What is System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis?

This paper will explain some of the fundamentals of System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis and demonstrate...
Available Webcasts


Cognitive Solutions for Upstream Oil and Gas

When Fri, Jun 12, 2015

The oil & gas sector is under pressure on all sides. Reserves are limited and it’s becoming increasingly expensive to find and extract new resources. Margins are already being squeezed in an industry where one wrong decision can cost millions. Analyzing data used in energy exploration can save millions of dollars as we develop ways to predict where and how to extract the world’s massive energy reserves.

This session with IBM Subject Matter Experts will discuss how IBM Cognitive Solutions contribute to the oil and gas industry using predictive analytics and cognitive computing, as well as real time streaming for exploration and drilling.

register:WEBCAST


The Alternative Fuel Movement: Four Need-to-Know Excise Tax Complexities

When Thu, Jun 4, 2015

Discussion on how to approach, and ultimately embrace, the alternative fuel market by pulling back the veil on excise tax complexities. Taxes may be an aggravating part of daily operations, but their accuracy is crucial in your path towards business success.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Prevention, Detection and Mitigation of pipeline leaks in the modern world

Thu, Apr 30, 2015

Preventing, detecting and mitigating leaks or commodity releases from pipelines are a top priority for all pipeline companies. This presentation will look at various aspects related to preventing, detecting and mitigating pipeline commodity releases from a generic and conceptual point of view, while at the same time look at the variety of offerings available from Schneider Electric to meet some of the requirements associated with pipeline integrity management. 

register:WEBCAST


Global LNG: Adjusting to New Realities

Fri, Mar 20, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s March 20, 2015, webcast will look at how global LNG trade will be affected over the next 12-24 months by falling crude oil prices and changing patterns and pressures of demand. Will US LNG production play a role in balancing markets? Or will it add to a growing global oversupply of LNG for markets remote from easier natural gas supply? Will new buyers with marginal credit, smaller requirements, or great need for flexibility begin to look attractive to suppliers? How will high-cost, mega-projects in Australia respond to new construction cost trends?

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected