Sept. 3, 2012

Schlumberger Ltd.,

Paris, granted a multi-year software license valued at $23 million to the Mining and Geological Engineering Department at the University of Arizona. The industry standard software is used throughout the oil and gas exploration and production industries, but its application in the mining industry is less common. The specific software packages covered under the license are Petrel workflow management software for mineral exploration and development; Eclipse oil and gas reservoir simulation program; and Techlog, a set of petrophysics analytical tools for oil and gas drilling.

Baker Hughes Inc.,

Houston, introduced its trademarked Latidrill water-based drilling fluid system to help operators enhance wellbore quality and increase drilling efficiency in extended lateral sections in unconventional shale plays. Company officials claim the system is more environmentally favorable than oil-based fluid systems and offers the hole stability and superior drilling speed and performance normally associated with invert emulsion systems. It uses a proprietary wellbore stabilizer that mechanically maintains wellbore integrity and reduces nonproductive time associated with hole stability issues. By delivering a more stable wellbore in long horizontal sections, the system reduces pore pressure transmission, minimizing or even eliminating mud losses, officials said. Special purpose lubricants coat metal surfaces, drill cuttings, and formation walls to reduce torque and drag, particularly in high-pressure, high-temperature applications. The lubricants also allow delivery of greater amounts of hydraulic horsepower to the drill bit and result in faster rates of penetration. Because the fluid is water-based, disposal of oily cuttings is unnecessary, and clean-up time on the rig can be reduced by as much as 2 days , the company reported.

Baker Hughes has added drilling and completion fluids, production chemicals, and additives used in cementing and stimulation operations to its trademarked SmartCare family of environmentally responsible solutions, becoming the first oil field services company to apply a comprehensive standardized environmental assessment process to products beyond those used in hydraulic fracturing. The expansion gives operators greater confidence that the chemicals they deploy have been thoroughly qualified to meet existing and anticipated regulations without sacrificing performance, company officials said.

Halliburton Co.,

Houston, through its Landmark Software and Services business line acquired PetrisTechnology Inc., a Houston-based supplier of energy industry data-management and integration solutions, for an undisclosed price. The acquisition comprises all of Petris' integrated solutions, including the PetrisWINDS products, such as Recall Applications, Recall Data Management, DataVera, Enterprise, DrillNET, and the operations management suite, which will be available to Halliburton's clients as a part of its trademarked DecisionSpace portfolio designed to drive collaboration and efficient decision-making through readily accessible multiple sources of highly technical data across the full range of upstream operations.

Petris Technology separately announced OMV AG and OMV Solutions GmbH with OMV Petrom SA selected its borehole data management solution (BHDM) for their well log management system project. BHDM provides comprehensive data management solutions for all types of borehole data, including digital well log, petrophysical, core, and geomechanical data. The solution includes strategic consulting to define and develop automated workflows for quality control, data verification, allowing integration, and data distribution with OMV's various upstream applications. Technology employed by OMV leverages both PetrisWINDS Recall and PetrisWINDS Enterprise (PWE). Recall provides the broadest range of support for digital well logs, including an automated data quality verification and data publishing workflow, the company said. PWE provides a "light interface" web access to wellbore data, as well as an interface for geographic searches and integration of data from several internal and third-party applications within existing corporate workflows at OMV.

Bridon International Ltd.,

Doncaster, England, installed the world's biggest machine for manufacture of steel wire ropes at its Neptune Quay site. The £10 million machine can produce the world's largest and most complex ropes in package weights up to 650 tonnes specifically engineered for deepwater deployment under tough environmental conditions, officials said. The offshore industry is increasingly demanding lifting systems that can deploy weights in excess of historical maximum specifications of 300 tonnes, up to 600 tonnes at water depths of 4,000 m. This requires multistrand ropes that boast massive breaking loads, optimized bend fatigue performance, effective lubrication, and minimal rotation under load, the company said. To ease the load out of 650 tonne rope reels onto vessels moored at the factory's deepwater quayside, Bridon commissioned Newcastle-based engineering firm Pipe Coil Technology to deliver an innovative take-up stand to move new ropes on the final reels from the machine to the quay side without any assistance. This enables a variety of methods to get reels of all sizes onto vessels moored alongside the plant.

Silixa Ltd.,

London, plans to begin global commercialization of its fiber optic sensing technology after an equity investment of $8 million from Statoil Technology Invest and Chevron Technology Ventures (CTV), building on earlier investments by CTV and Lime Rock Partners that brought the company from a garage start-up into a specialist service company in 5 years. Silixa's trademarked intelligent distributed acoustic sensor (iDAS) system can record true acoustic signal in real time, at every meter along tens of kilometers of standard optical fibers with precise amplitude and phase measurements, a wide dynamic range, and no "cross-talk." The technology can be combined with Silixa's trademarked distributed temperature sensor to provide a continuum of benefits throughout the life of a well from exploration into production and abandonment stages, said company officials. Applications include: seismic appraisal at the borehole, cement evaluation, monitoring fracturing and fracture analysis, flow profiling, monitoring casing leaks, gas lift, and electric submersible pump optimization. Silixa has demonstrated its distributed fiber optic sensing system on preinstalled optical fiber cables in the North Sea in collaboration with Statoil R&D. Its micro-coil tubing fiber optic sensor was successfully deployed for logging high temperature Chevron gas wells to 18,000 ft.

UTEC Survey,

Houston, appointed Daniel Boone as operations manager at the company's office in Lafayette, La. In his new position, he will handle project logistics and manage operations in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. Boone spent the previous 12 years working in the survey industry in the Gulf of Mexico in numerous positions from offshore surveyor to product-line manager for dive support and construction.

Douglas-Westwood Ltd.,

Canterbury, England, opened a new office in Houston and appointed R. Michael Haney as director to head the group's advisory and research business throughout the US Gulf Coast and across Latin America. Haney has more than a dozen years' experience consulting for energy clients with Accenture, Arthur D. Little, and Booz Allen Hamilton. He has completed consulting projects for most of the major international oil companies, many of the world's national oil companies, and several oilfield service clients. He also worked in industry and investment banking, and he co-founded and later sold a software technology startup. A native Texan, Haney has worked on projects around the world, including Saudi Arabia, Peru, Colombia, Algeria, and South Korea. He holds degrees in mechanical engineering and managerial studies from Rice University in Houston, as well as a graduate degree in business administration from The University of Texas at Austin.

Steptoe & Johnson PLLC,

Pittsburgh, announced Philip D. Vasquez and G. Kurt Dettinger joined the firm's energy law team. Vasquez is to head Steptoe & Johnson's international oil and gas practice, working out of the Houston and Southpointe, Penn., offices. Dettinger, former general counsel to West Virginia Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, is in the company's Charleston, W. Va., office.

During his time in the governor's office, Dettinger chaired a West Virginia Marcellus task force and was integrally involved in shaping energy initiatives undertaken and supported by Gov. Tomblin, who credited Dettinger as the driving force behind the recently enacted Marcellus shale bill that he guided through the legislature. Dettinger is a Charleston native. He earned his undergraduate degree from Marshall University and his law degree from the West Virginia University College of Law. He was an intern to Judge Robert B. King in the fourth circuit of the US Court of Appeals.

Vasquez spent the last 4 years as an independent International legal consultant advising US energy interests seeking development opportunities in Latin America, Central Asia, and the Middle East. He recently acted as legal advisor to Afghanistan's Ministry of Mines on oil and gas issues. He also has substantial experience with energy development transactions in Mexico and South America. Prior to pursuing his legal career, Vasquez was senior petroleum land manager for a Fortune 500 oil company overseeing acquisition of millions of acres of land in the Appalachian Basin. After transitioning to law, he participated in the examination of oil and gas titles necessary for the exploration and development of Barnett shale gas adjacent to the Dallas-Ft. Worth airport. In 1998, he served as deputy assistant secretary of the Department of Energy's office of natural gas and petroleum technology. Following his work with the DOE, Vasquez was appointed to advise the Secretary of Defense on energy issues in Latin America as a whole and South America in particular. Vasquez is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, the University of Houston Law Center, and the Sorenson Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia. He is a member of the Association of International Petroleum Negotiators, the Energy and Mineral Law Foundation, the Institute for Energy Law and the American Association of Professional Landmen.

Hercules Offshore Inc.,

Houston, closed its previously announced sale of Platform Rig 3, along with its wholly owned subsidiaries, TODCO Mexico Inc. and Servicios TODCO S. de R.L. de C.V., to Integradora de Servicios Petroleros Oro Negro, S.A.P.I. de C.V. in a transaction valued at $36 million. This includes a base purchase price of $28 million adjusted for net working capital at closing, With the sale, Hercules Offshore exited its non-core Mexico market and raised capital for likely redeployment to its core businesses.

TWMA Ltd.,

Aberdeen, a leader in integrated drilling waste management, named Andy Porter director of human resources. Executives said several senior appointments are planned following the firm's expansion of services in Europe, North America, the Middle East, and North Africa. Porter has more than 30 years' experience in operational and strategic HR management.