July 2, 2012

Black & Veatch Holding Co.,

Overland Park, Kan., was selected by Harbin Electric Co. Ltd. to help deliver three combined cycle power plants to Zhejiang Province, Guangdong Province, and the Beijing region in China to produce 3,000 Mw of low emissions gas-fired electricity and alleviate industrial power and steam supply shortages. Black & Veatch will design the turbine island balance-of-plant systems and turbine pedestals, prepare the auxiliary equipment's technical specifications and installation drawings, and provide overall turbine package interface engineering support. Black & Veatch has partnered with Harbin Electric since 2002. It has operated in mainland China since 1995.

INOVA Geophysical Equipment Ltd.,

Houston, a leading provider of land geophysical technology, selected John Bell as senior vice-president for business development and global sales. Prior to joining INOVA, Bell was a director of the oil and gas vertical business unit at EMC Corp., an IT service company, focused on Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Earlier in his career, he was a senior vice-president at Aspen Technology. Bell earned his economics degree from Oxford University, Oxford, England, and has lived and worked extensively in the US, Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Polar Star Consultants LLC,

Houston-based engineering and marketing consulting firm, was named the firm of choice for oil field marketing services by VeruTEK Technologies Inc., a chemical company that formulates high performing products for oil, gas, and environmental industries. VeruTEK has years of experience applying plant-based chemicals to extract heavy oils, tars, and creosotes for the environmental field and is now applying its expertise to wellbore and near-field damage removal and advanced stimulation through jetting and fracturing. It works with oil producers to improve oil recovery by mobilizing heavy oils, removing formation blockages, and increasing secondary porosity.

Polar Star Consultants was founded in 2010 as a group of marketing and engineering professionals to provide business strategy consultation, engineering, and technical services; product and services marketing; brand management; and sales promotion for small and medium size oil field manufacturer, supply, service, and production companies.

Tiger Infrastructure Partners LP,

New York, and Kiewit Corp. created a joint venture, TKT [Tiger Kiewit Turnkey] Midstream partners, to invest up to $500 million in midstream energy sector companies and assets. TKT will design, build, own, and operate midstream assets and networks on behalf of North American exploration and production companies to bring hydrocarbons to market. TKT aims to capture demand by E&P companies for infrastructure operators who have the resources and experience to provide certainty of timely, world-class execution for infrastructure build-out—such as gathering systems, pipelines, and processing plants—allowing them to focus on their core business of exploration and production. Kiewit is one of North America's largest construction, mining, and engineering organizations. Tiger Infrastructure Partners LP is the primary investment arm of Henry Tiger LLC, a partnership between Emil W. Henry Jr. and sophisticated global financial investors, including Tiger management and members of the Ziff family in New York. It has a particular focus on infrastructure assets and businesses that provide growth and expansion opportunities.

Schlumberger Ltd.,

Paris, launched its trademarked IsoMetrix marine isometric seismic technology and family of products. The company described it as "breakthrough" technology that "outputs isometrically sampled point-receiver data in both crossline and inline directions, capturing the returning wavefield in three dimensions and providing the most accurate images of the subsurface ever recorded." The system uses calibrated, multisensor technology that forms part of the new WesternGeco Nessie-6 point-receiver seismic streamer. The sensors measure acoustic pressure as well as vertical and crossline acceleration throughout the frequency range. "Through an extensive 10-year research and engineering program, we have developed a new category of seismic that not only includes the acquisition technology, but also the algorithms and workflows needed to manage such an unprecedented amount of data," said Carel Hooykaas, president, WesternGeco. "The step change in imaging is as profound as was the move from X-rays to full 3D scans in the world of medicine." The technology is compatible with other WesternGeco acquisition techniques. A new range of applications is now being developed based on IsoMetrix technology to address currently intractable exploration and development challenges while simultaneously improving productivity.

Schlumberger also introduced its trademarked SPARK stimulation technology delivery platform that merges the firm's stimulation technology, chemistry, and exclusive techniques. It leverages high-pressure pumping equipment provided by third-party services—"whether vertically integrated customers or service contractors"—to offer new options for stimulation applications, said Dominique Malard, president, Schlumberger Well Services.

At the end of May, Schlumberger completed the sale of its Wilson distribution business to National Oilwell Varco Inc.

Liquid Robotics Inc.,

Sunnyvale, Calif., and Schlumberger formed a 50:50 joint venture, Liquid Robotics Oil & Gas in Houston, to develop oil and gas industry services for Liquid Robotics' Wave Gliders, the world's first wave-powered, autonomous marine vehicles. The joint venture also will be exclusive oil field distributor of Wave Glider products and services worldwide. Company officials said Wave Gliders "offer a game-changing capability" to operate offshore for up to a year without requiring a crew, fuel, or a dedicated support vessel. Fleets of Wave Gliders have crossed hundreds of thousands of miles of the earth's oceans to help scientific, defense, and industrial customers gain valuable insights into the marine environment, they said. "By teaming with Schlumberger, we can greatly accelerate the availability and worldwide deployment of innovative oil and gas solutions. Together we are changing the economic and risk profile of worldwide ocean measurement," said Bill Vass, chief executive officer, Liquid Robotics Inc.

MRC Global Inc.,

Houston, signed a 5-year global enterprise framework agreement with Royal Dutch Shell PLC be the single-source provider of global distribution of valves and automation services. The agreement covers Shell's upstream, midstream, and downstream projects plus maintenance, repair, and operations requirements in North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, the Middle East, and Africa. It also covers carbon steel, stainless, and alloy pipe, fittings, and flanges in the US along with stainless steel and alloy pipe, fittings, and flanges in Canada. MRC will be central distributor for other products to Shell's business units in the specified areas. MRC has served as Shell's primary distributor of valves for the past 15 years. The EFA includes an option for a 5-year extension.

Drilling Structures International Inc.,

Houston, unveiled its self-erecting land rig (SELRig), which company officials described as "unprecedented and revolutionary drilling technology" that exceeds expectations in fast rig moves and stringent trucking requirements. "The DSII SELRig is the lightest, most powerful, compact, and nimble drilling rig ever manufactured," they said, built with no Chinese steel or equipment. Its substructure transports in three compact loads with no removable flooring or diagonal braces, "proving it the fastest rig up with the least amount of handling." With addition of the center steel elevator, it rigs up and down without an onsite crane. Once loaded, the elevator is designed to raise the center steel and bottom section of the mast to the substructure top boxes so it can be winched into place. Since rig sites are never perfect, SELRig has a remote control leveling system. A walking system designed to move the fully erect rig across a level, stabilized location from one completed well to the next drilling site without having to rig down can be added without modifications to stairways, substructure, etc.

Gaffney, Cline & Associates,

Houston, announced Scott Reeves joined the firm as global head of consulting for unconventional resources. Reeves has more than 27 years of technical and business leadership experience in unconventional resources, enhanced recovery, and carbon sequestration in the production, consulting, and R&D sectors. He previously was vice-president of unconventional resources for BG Group PLC where he provided strategic direction and oversight to BG's worldwide unconventional resource activities. He was a distinguished lecturer on enhanced coalbed methane recovery for the Society of Petroleum Engineers and recipient of the SPE Gulf Coast Section Reservoir Engineering Award. He holds an undergraduate degree in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M University and an MBA degree from Duke University.

Aker Solutions ASA,

Oslo, is building a $100 million multi-purpose service site for its drilling equipment business in Brazil, expanding its capacity to serve the country's fast-growing drilling market. The facility will include substantial production, assembly, and testing capacity to provide local content and support the country's large program to build drilling rigs. The 335,000 sq m facility in Macaé on Brazil's east coast is to be eight times bigger than Aker Solutions' current facility in nearby Rio das Ostras and will provide full drilling, riser, production, and maintenance services. This includes 20,000 sq m of indoor mechanical workshop space for riser and topside equipment, with full crane and testing capabilities. The site will have capacity for some 700 employees. It also will include a state-of-the-art training center with capacity for up to four of Aker Solutions' drilling simulators. The company has two state-of-the-art dome training simulators in operation, offering customers training support to improve the safety and efficiency of drilling operations. Preparation of the land has already started, and the site is scheduled to be fully operational in early 2014. It will be Aker Solutions' fourth facility in Brazil, in addition to sites in Rio das Ostras, Curitiba, and Rio de Janeiro. The Rio das Ostras site, which currently hosts Aker Solutions drilling riser production and drilling lifecycle services and subsea lifecycle services, will be developed into a full service subsea product base.

Meanwhile, Aker Solutions continues its investments in Asia Pacific by opening a new lifecycle services and refurbishment workshop in Songkhla on the Gulf of Thailand to support the firm's wellheads and subsea tree businesses. The new workshop with a total area of 3,255 sq m replaces two other service bases in Thailand and consolidates Aker Solutions' lifecycle services in Thailand under one roof. Recently the company announced several investments in Malaysia including a new umbilical and a subsea service base, in addition to new equipment for its high-tech subsea manufacturing center in Port Klang.

In other news, Aker Well Service AS was awarded two 5-year contracts from Island Offshore Management AS in Ulsteinvik, Norway, to provide well intervention services for Statoil ASA in the North Sea. Scope of work is to deliver downhole well intervention services from Island Offshore's two riserless well-intervention vessels, Island Frontier and Island Wellserver. These operations include running mechanical wireline, electrical wireline, and wireline tractor services. The new contracts will begin in 2015 when current contracts expire and include two optional 2-year extensions. Aker Solutions has provided downhole services from Island Frontier since 2006 and Island Wellserver since 2009. Aker Solutions estimates the two contracts in total will generate revenues of 400-500 million NOK in the 5-year period.

Statoil also awarded Aker Solutions early phase studies for all their recent major discoveries on the Norwegian Continental Shelf; the Skrugard and Havis fields in the Barents Sea and the Johan Sverdrup discovery in the North Sea. Contract values are undisclosed. Aker Solutions will perform a concept study for the Skrugard and Havis fields, as one of several vendors. The two fields, located only 7 km apart, will be developed as a joint solution. The work on the Johan Sverdrup field development is a feasibility and screening study. The concept study for the Skrugard and Havis development will be executed by Aker Solutions in Oslo, with participation from its new engineering office in Tromsø. As a part of that study, , Aker Solutions on behalf of Statoil will screen local suppliers.

Deep Casing Tools,

Aberdeen-based casing and completion technology specialist, secured a $1.5 million order in Saudi Arabia following introduction of its innovative high-speed drillable reaming system, the Turbocaser Express. The order stipulates delivery in the second and third quarters.

Successful runs in the kingdom's eastern province resulted in landing casing and liners on depth with both 7 in. and 95⁄8 in Turbocaser Express tools. As a result, officials said a "major national oil company" has committed to apply the technology in some of its more difficult well environments. They described Turbocaser Express as an enabling technology for all wells to ensure casing is set at the planned depth, a fundamental building block of improved well integrity. The Turbocaser Express has particular application where hole conditions can deteriorate with time and where wiper trips can be eliminated. After normal cementation, the unique internal assembly can be drilled through in minutes in one cost effective operation.

The Underwater Centre,

Fort William, Scotland, secured its biggest ever contract—valued at $1.3 million—to train 17 saturation divers employed by the Russian pipe-lay company Mezhregiontruboprovodstroy (MRTS), Moscow, one of Russia's largest construction contractors. The divers spent 9 weeks at The Underwater Centre's Beauty Point facility in Tasmania, where they undertook a variety of courses, all taught in Russian. The training is part of the investment MRTS is making to help its divers reach the level of safety and competency that is expected from international diving operations. The men, already experienced air divers, were trained on saturation procedures and techniques and will receive the Advanced Diver Assistance Systems closed bell certification on completion of training. They also completed an air course prior to the saturation diver training allowing them to complete the ADAS surface supplied diving examinations and gain their ADAS certification, an internationally-recognized qualification. MRTS Managing Director Alexander Kolikov said, "Oil and gas firms in Russia are currently facing a skills shortage due to the rapidly increasing amount of exploration work underway. By investing in the training of our divers in saturation diving, we are addressing this need for experts in maintenance and repair activities vital to maintaining Russia's subsea infrastructure." The Underwater Centre in Tasmania was originally set up to address the need for well-trained commercial divers in the South-east Asia-Pacific region in the early 1990s.

Enterprise Products Partners LP,

Houston, the largest publicly-traded energy partnership and a leading North American provider of midstream energy services, plans to build one of the world's largest propane dehydrogenation (PDH) units on the Texas Gulf Coast, with the capacity to consume up to 35,000 b/d of propane to produce up to 1.65 billion lb/year (750,000 tonnes annually) of polymer grade propylene (PGP). The facility would integrate with Enterprise's existing NGL and propylene facilities. Supported by long-term, fee-based contracts executed with companies that have investment grade debt ratings, the PDH facility is expected to begin commercial operations in the third quarter of 2015.

The PDH unit would be supported by Enterprise's NGL fractionation and storage system on the Texas Gulf Coast. By 2015, with completion of expansions already announced, Enterprise would have 708,000 b/d of NGL fractionation capacity, which would provide up to 177,000 b/d of propane supply. In addition, the facility would be supported by the partnership's 100 million bbl NGL and petrochemical storage facilities in the Texas Gulf Coast region. In 2015, the PDH unit would also be complemented by Enterprise's 5.3 billion lb/year (2.4 million tonnes) of propylene fractionation capacity, which fractionates refinery grade propylene to produce PGP. The integration of the PDH unit with Enterprise's propylene fractionation facilities would provide operational reliability and flexibility for both processes. Enterprise also has PGP storage facilities and a 102-mile pipeline system, capable of delivering PGP to 18 downstream customers and to international markets through the partnership's propylene export terminal in Seabrook, Tex.

Analysts in the Houston office of Raymond James & Associates Inc. estimated total cost of the facility at $1 billion. "With NGL production continuing to grow at a robust rate, the PDH facility will utilize the growing supply of propane and help alleviate the periodic shortage of propylene inventories, thus improving margins for polypropylene producers," they said.

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