Thursday, January 17, 2008

News you probably haven't heard

What happens when oil and gas (natural, not gasoline) prices go up? Why, the awl bidness (oil business) gets busy:

Offshore Rig Utilization
Drill Barge 90.9% (10/11)
Drillship 86.1% (31/36)
Inland Barge 100.0% (4/4)
Jackup 89.6% (328/366)
Semisub 84.0% (131/156)
Submersible 33.3% (2/6)
Tender 76.0% (19/25)
Total 86.9% (525/604)

Worldwide Offshore Rig Utilization
Below are the overall rig utilization statistics for the entire competitive rig fleet. Utilization numbers are based on a snapshot rig count. Only competitive rigs are included. Last updated 1/11/2008
Current Month Ago 6 Months Ago 1 Year Ago
Rigs Working 519 511 517 498
Total Rigs 602 601 591 583
Utilization 86.2% 85.0% 87.5% 85.4%

(source) That's the submersible rig Richmond over there, owned by Atwood Oceanics, Inc.. Currently in the shipyard, but when she comes out, you can operate her for somewhere around $36,000/$41,000. Per day.

Of course, you might have also not heard about this:
McMoRan Exploration Co. (NYSE: MMR) today announced its
second successful well at the Flatrock field located on OCS 310 at South Marsh Island Block 212 in ten feet of water.
The Flatrock No. 2 (“B” location) delineation well, which commenced drilling on October 7,
2007, is located approximately one mile northwest of the Flatrock discovery well. The well has been drilled to 15,400 feet and log-while-drilling tools have indicated three resistive zones in the Rob-L section approximating 198 net feet over a combined approximate 315 foot gross interval. These zones will be evaluated with wireline logs. The well will be deepened to a proposed total depth of 18,100 feet to evaluate additional targets in the Rob-L and Operc sections.
McMoRan also today updated the status of the Flatrock No. 3 (“D” location) delineation
well. The No. 3 well commenced drilling on November 5, 2007 and has been drilled to 14,800 feet. The well has a proposed total depth of 18,800 feet and is targeting Rob-L and Operc sands
approximately 3,000 feet south of the discovery well.
As previously reported, the Flatrock No. 1 (“A” location) discovery well was drilled to a
total depth of 18,400 feet in August 2007. Wireline and log-while-drilling porosity logs confirmed that the well encountered eight zones totaling 260 net feet of hydrocarbon bearing sands over a combined 637 foot gross interval, including five zones in the Rob-L section and three zones in the Operc section. A production test was performed in October 2007 in the Operc section and indicated a gross flow rate of approximately 71 million cubic feet of natural gas per day (MMcf/d) and 739 barrels of condensate, approximately 14 MMcfe/d net to McMoRan. First production from the discovery well is expected to commence in the first quarter of 2008 using the Tiger Shoal facilities in the immediate area.

McMoRan is also involved with a way cool LNG concept, the Main Pass Energy Hub, as set out here:

We believe that a natural gas terminal at Main Pass has numerous potential advantages over other LNG sites including:

  • Existing facilities that provide timing, construction and operating cost advantages over undeveloped locations.
  • Cavern storage capacity of 28 Bcf of natural gas within the two-mile diameter salt dome at the location.
  • Close proximity to shipping channels.
  • Access to an existing pipeline system and potential to develop other pipeline interconnects that would facilitate the receipt and distribution of natural gas to U.S. gas markets.
  • Possible security and safety advantages because of its offshore location in relatively deep water.
  • The potential ability to handle a fleet of new LNG supertankers, which may have limited access to existing U.S. ports.
Very good video explaining the concept here.

And all so you won't be freezing in the dark while you wait for those nuclear power plants to be approved by every NIMBY in the U.S. (good luck with that).

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