Mexico

Events

OTC 2015: Getting uber-tough on well control

As if to spice debate at this year’s OTC (Offshore Technology Conference), the US Department of the Interior has told the oil companies and their supply chain that it’s about to get tough on well control. The decision wasn’t unexpected, but the timing is neat, especially given the Mexican offshore tragedy on April Fool’s day in which four workers perished and more than 40 were injured as a result of a platform, part of the Abkatun-Pol-Chuc offshore field complex, blowing up. While the cause is not yet clear, it would appear that it is not well-related as operator Pemex restored production in large part from the field within days, recovering some 80% of output shortly thereafter. Nonetheless, the very fact that there has been another dangerous offshore incident within the Gulf of Mexico region, moreover one originating from a company with a poor safety track record, suggests that the US will now be ultra-twitchy about the HSE record of any oil & gas installation or its operator in waters adjacent to its own patch.

Events

OTC 2015: Mexico tragedy – a stark reminder to offshore industry

The devastating images of the aftermath of the terrible incident in the Gulf of Mexico last month have served as a stark reminder to the global oil & gas industry that we can never, ever, become complacent when it comes to the safety of our people who work offshore. While we don’t yet know the cause of this latest incident, we do know that risk is part and parcel of working in hazardous environments and it is the duty of every man and woman engaged in our sector – both offshore and onshore – to reduce the potential for accidents and injuries every step of the way. Knowledge is power and being able to properly understand the changing nature of risk, identify potential old and new hazards and react in the right way when something does go wrong is a fundamental part of keeping people safe. Five years after it was first introduced to the North Sea, Minimum Industry Safety Training (MIST) has been significantly restructured and re-launched last month to take account of the changed requirements in the UK sector.

Oil & Gas

Statoil makes oil discovery in Gulf of Mexico

Statoil has made an oil discovery in its Miocene Yeti Prospect in the Gulf of Mexico. The Norwegian company said the Yeti discovery was made in Walker Ridge block 160, which is located around 15 kilometre south of the Big Foot field and 11 kilometres from the Cascade field. Jez Averty, Statoil's senior vice president for exploration in the North Sea, said: “The Yeti discovery expands the proven sub-salt Miocene play further south and west of the Big Foot field.

Health, Safety & Environment

Search continues for missing Pemex workers after platform fire

A search for three missing workers following a fire on a Pemex oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico is still underway. The incident, which happened last Wednesday, killed four people and left dozens of other workers injured. The state-owned company said repairs have begun to resume production at the facility while the search for the missing workers continues. Pemex said it expects it will meet its output target of 646,000 barrels per day (bpd) for the region despite it being shut down on the platform following the fire.

Americas

Three workers missing after Pemex oil rig fire

Three workers are missing following the huge blaze on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico that killed four workers and burned for hours. Petroleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, said it became aware of the missing workers when it recounted personnel after Wednesday’s fire on the Abkatun-A Permanente shallow-water platform in the Campeche Sound. One of the missing workers was from Pemex and the other two were employed by contractor Cotemar, the company said.

Opinion

Opinion: Is Pemex ready to play on the world stage?

Flames once again ripped through the darkened skies over the Gulf of Mexico. Workers, fearing for their lives, jumped into the black waters. Four died in the blast. Forty-five others were injured, including 16 who were hospitalized. The chilling video of fire engulfing an oil processing platform early Wednesday off the Mexican coast summons the ghosts of another disaster that happened in the same body of water five years ago. The Deepwater Horizon disaster was more deadly, killing 11 workers and seriously injuring 17 more.

Other News

Gallery: This week’s top stories

A fire on a platform in the Gulf of Mexico, leaving four workers dead, was the most read story on Energy Voice this week. The incident happened on Wednesday, as 302 workers were evacuated and dozens were taken to hospital to be treated. Mexican state-owned Pemex said the fire on the Abkatun Permanente platform in the Bay of Campeche had since been put out. One of the workers killed was from Pemex, while another was a contractor working for services firm Cotemar. Two others killed in the fire have yet to be identified.

Americas

Pemex denies images of collapsed Gulf of Mexico platform

Pemex has denied reports one of its platforms had collapsed following a fire which killed four people. The state-owned Mexican company published an image taken of the Abkatun Permanente platform in the Bay of Campeche less than 24 hours after the incident which showed the extent of the damge caused. It comes after photos appeared on social media reporting to show the platform had collapsed following the blaze.

Opinion

Opinion: Pemex’s disaster … another unacceptable blot in Big Oil’s copybook

The most recent press statement carried on the Pemex website about its Gulf of Mexico disaster in which four workers were killed and many more injured was issued yesterday morning and apparently last modified at 15.39 in the afternoon. There has been nothing posted since that I can see. The April Fool’s Day statement reads: “Early this morning (now yesterday morning) the dehydration and pumping area caught fire in the Permanent Abkatun platform in the Bay of Campeche. “Pemex’s Emergency Response Plan was immediately put in action and approximately 300 workers were evacuated and transferred to other platforms in the area. “It is with deep regret that we inform the death of a worker from the company Cotemar. “At least 16 workers from PEMEX and other companies have been reported to be injured, two of them in serious condition.” Etcetera, not that there was much more.

Americas

Pemex Gulf of Mexico oil fire: one dead and 16 injured

An oil worker has died and more than a dozen others have been injured after a fire broke out on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico. The incident happened on the Pemex operated Abkatun Alpha platform in the Bay of Campeche earlier today. A spokeswoman for Pemex confirmed one person had been killed while 16 others had also been hurt. Two of the workers are believed to be in a serious condition.

Oil & Gas

Helix Energy Solutions and Shell sign multi-year Gulf of Mexico contract

Helix Energy Solutions Group and oil major Shell have signed a multi-year contract to provide well intervention services in the Gulf of Mexico. The agreement will utilise Helix's deepwater well intervention semi-submersible, the 04000. It has already been performing work for Shell since 2011 under a Master Service Agreement.

Americas

Paradigm Drilling Services establish subsidiary in Mexico as Mexican president visits Aberdeen

Drilling technology business Paradigm Drilling Services this week finalised the establishment of a new Mexican subsidiary, Paradigm Drilling Services Mexico. The firm finalised the establishment of their new Mexican subsidiary in Veracruz on the Gulf of Mexico, and is currently seeking premises to house a large manufacturing and service facility in the city to support its operations, creating around 150 jobs by the end of the year.

Oil & Gas

Mexico aims to tap into North Sea oil success

The President of Mexico said his country was keen to learn from the expertise of the North Sea oil and gas industry on a trip to Aberdeen yesterday. A heavy police presence, a civic reception and some of the country’s top politicians greeted Enrique Pena Nieto in what was his only commitment outwith London during his stay in the UK. In the grand surroundings of the Town and County Room in the town house, President Nieto signed memorandums of understanding with the UK Government to forge closer links on energy and climate change. Lord Provost George Adam and Secretary of State for Scotland Alistair Carmichael welcomed the Mexican delegation to the north-east, while UK energy minister Matt Hancock described it as the dawn of “an era of closer collaboration”. President Nieto said his country had “enormous” reserves of oil and gas, but was “not capable of exploiting them”.

Americas

Mexican president visits Aberdeen to discuss energy and climate change

The President of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto arrived in Aberdeen today during a UK state visit to mark closer ties on energy issues and climate change. President Nieto was greeted in Aberdeen by Alistair Carmichael, the Secretary of State for Scotland, and escorted to the Aberdeen Town House. He was joined by energy minister Matthew Hancock and introduced to senior UK oil and gas representatives, including Shell and BP.

Oil & Gas

PM and Mexico leader discuss energy

David Cameron and the President of Mexico have discussed the prospects for co-operation on energy as part of Europe’s efforts to diversify the sources of its fuel supplies away from Russia during the ongoing stand-off over Ukraine. The discussion came as the Prime Minister hosted Enrique Pena Nieto for lunch at 10 Downing Street on the second day of his state visit to the UK. The Mexican leader will visit Aberdeen for talks with senior representatives of the UK oil and gas sector tomorrow, when he is expected to sign a memorandum of understanding on future collaboration. Mr Cameron’s official spokesman told reporters the two men had “talked about how the EU and Mexico can continue to co-operate on energy matters, including as part of the EU’s strategy to increase diversification away from Russian energy sources”.

Oil & Gas

Oil bargains for Asia stretch to Mexico as ships set sail

Ships carrying oil from Mexico are sailing to South Korea for the first time in more than two decades as the US shale boom brings bargains from around the globe. The voyage is evidence of the competition OPEC producers face as the Us pumps the most oil in more than three decades, exacerbating a global glut in supplies while demand slows in Asia. Refiners in South Korea and Japan ordered at least eight cargoes from the Latin American nation this year, including the most heavily discounted Mexican oil in two decades, according to company officials and shipping data compiled. The fight for market share among global producers is playing out in Asia as increased output from American shale fields reduces the need for imports in the world’s biggest oil-consuming nation. Mexico’s sales to the Us, its largest buyer, dropped 6.5 percent in the first eleven months of last year. “Middle East and Mexican crude grades have similar specifications, which means Korean refiners don’t have to change much when they process Mexican oil,” Kim Jae Kyung, a research fellow at Korea Energy Economics Institute, said by phone Thursday. “Middle East producers will have to fight for market share.”

Oil & Gas

Mexican President to sign energy collaboration agreement on visit to UK

The Mexican president will visit Aberdeen next week to sign an energy collaboration agreement, it has been confirmed. Enrique Pena Nieto will formally announce the memoranda of understanding at a meeting with North Sea leaders in the Town House on Thursday. He will be hosted by Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael and Energy Minister Matt Hancock. In the afternoon, he will visit Robert Gordon University to meet academics and view a presentation on the energy sector, before viewing a demonstration of the Drilling and Advanced Rig Training Simulator.

Oil & Gas

BP claims Gulf spill payment should reflect oil price drop

BP has claimed any gulf spill compensation payments by it should be less to reflect the oil price plunge. The oil giant is currently in a legal wrangle over what civil penalties it should make following the Deepwater Horizon rig disaster in 2010. The company said in legal filings before the final round of the case next month that penalties – which could beup to $18billion – would have a “very significant economic impact” on BP and its exploration and production business. BP claims any future ruling should take into account the fall in the oil price, the company’s clean-up efforts and the environmental improvement in the Gulf of Mexico.

Americas

Mexico approves offshore bid guidelines in oil opening

Mexico authorized preliminary bidding rules for new offshore blocks as the country prepares for an investment deluge in its recently opened oil industry. Oil regulator CNH approved rules today for 14 shallow-water exploratory blocks that will be auctioned to private companies by the end of July, according to a live feed of the meeting. In a separate vote, the agency also approved production-sharing contracts for the winners.

Oil & Gas

Seabird scoops third contract win

SeaBird Exploration has received a Letter of Award (LOA) from TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Company to acquire up to 300,000km of 2D seismic data in Mexico and the US Atlantic. The company said the LOA will provide TGS access to up to six seismic vessels from SeaBird over a period of 36 months.