Drilling/Production news briefs, Nov. 30

Statoil � Syncrude Canada � TrueNorth Energy � UTS Energy � Amerada Hess � Weir Westgarth � Weatherford International � Shell


Participants in Venezuela's Sincor heavy crude project set a world record for drilling with a 12 1/4-in. bit, claimed Norwegian company Statoil, which holds 15% of the project. The bit was used to deviate eight well paths from vertical to horizontal over a total length of 5,122 m, compared with a previous record of 3,662 m. Sincor is developing a heavy crude field in the Zuata region, about 200 km from Caracas.

The Fort Hills Joint Venture signed a licensing agreement with Syncrude Canada Ltd. to use technologies employed by Syncrude at its North Aurora oilsands mine. Fort Hills is in Alberta's Athabasca oilsands region 90 km north of Fort McMurray. Syncrude will also provide technical assistance to the venture, operated by TrueNorth Energy LP, an affiliate of Koch Petroleum Canada LP, with 78%. UTS Energy Corp. holds 22%. The first phase of the $1.1 billion (Can.) Fort Hills project is expected to produce 95,000 b/d of bitumen.

Amerada Hess Corp. awarded Weir Westgarth, a unit of Weir Group PLC, contracts worth more than �5 million to provide two sulphate removal packages to the Syd Arne field in the Danish sector of the North Sea. They remove sulphates and other divalent ions from injection water to enhance oil recovery. The first SRP will be able to process 40,000 b/d of water and will come with a chemical cleaning skid. The second is an 80,000 b/d SRP that will come with a pretreatment plant.

Weatherford International Inc. claims it completed the world's longest expandable sand screen installation for Royal Dutch/Shell Group's Brigantine development on the UK continental shelf in the North Sea. The 4,000 ft of 4-in. filter ESS was installed and expanded in the 6-in. horizontal section of the Brigantine B gas-producing well.

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