Emas wins Gunflint project subsea installation contract

Lewek Constellation
Lewek Constellation

Emas, the operating brand of Far East group Ezra Holdings received a letter of agreement from Noble Energy for subsea installation work on the Gunflint project in the US Gulf of Mexico.

Under the terms of the agreement Emas’s Subsea Services division, Emas AMC has been nominated to perform the offshore installation of pipelines, umbilicals and ancillary equipment in the Mississippi Canyon area where water depths are more than 2,000m.

The pipelines will be installed with Emas AMC’s flagship vessel the Lewek Constellation, which is in the final stages of fitting out in Singapore.

Emas Marine Base in Ingleside, Texas, will be used to perform the pipe stalking and fabrication of various subsea structures.

Project preparation activities have already started and offshore works are scheduled to be carried out during 2015.

Gunflint was discovered on Mississippi Canyon block 948 in October 2008 some 113km (70 miles) south-east of the Louisiana coast.

It was drilled by the ill-fated Transocean semi-submersible Deepwater Horizon to a total depth of 8,927m (29,280ft). The Freedom-2 well encountered more than 168m (over 550ft) of net hydrocarbon-bearing sands from the Middle and Lower Miocene reservoirs.

BP served as the operator of the discovery well. A previous well was drilled by the same rig on the Freedom prospect in May 2008, but it did not encounter commercial hydrocarbons.

In 2011, Noble was named operator of the Gunflint discovery after a unitisation agreement was finalised, and the company’s working interest revised to 26% at that time. A first appraisal well followed shortly after.

Then, last year, Noble announced results from the second and clincher appraisal well. That was drilled by the Ensco 8501 semi-submersible to a depth of 10,000m (32,800ft). A net pay of 33m (109ft) was encountered within the primary reservoir targets.

Logging results confirmed an estimated gross resource range of 65-90million barrels oil equivalent in the main target. An adjacent three-way structure is a candidate for future exploration.

Noble and its partners in the licence are developing the discovery as a two-well tie-back to existing infrastructure and expect it onstream in 2016.

The company operates Gunflint with a 31.14% working interest. Other current partners are Ecopetrol with 31.5%, Marathon with 18.23%, and Samson Offshore with 19.13%.

Another GoM project being developed in parallel with Gunflint is Big Bend. It is being developed as part of the Rio Grande complex and will initially be a 1-well tieback with first production estimated for late next year.

Two other drilling successes by Noble . . . Troubadour and Dantzler . . . have increased gross discovered resources of Rio Grande to 130-235million boe.

Dantzler is planned as a two-well tie-back, utilising Big Bend infrastructure, with initial start-up in 2016.

Combined, these fields are planned to double Noble’s deepwater Gulf of Mexico production over the next four to five years and characterise the bread and butter nature of this province where cluster developments are commonplace, as is the application of subsea systems.