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Investing in Deepwater Fields

....more to come or is the game over?
Oswald Clint
» Senior Analyst
» Bernstein Research
Chris Walker
» Chief Geophysicist
» Fairfield Nodal

Full Agenda

Wednesday, September 24, 2014
The Geological Society

For the last 15 years - or longer if you include the Gulf of Mexico and Brazil - Deepwater prospects have been the target of much exploration spend and resulting discoveries the beneficiaries of even more development Capex, and as a result production from them now represents a significant slice of global non-Opec production.

Over this period we have learned a great deal about the optimal exploration for, development of, and production from such fields.

Might this knowledge guide what we do in the future, with a lot more production to come, or is this 'game' now over?

Have new Deep Water prospects become too difficult to find, way too expensive to drill, and to difficult to develop - in short, has this theme now run out of economic 'legs'?

For this half-day Forum, we invite insightful presentations on this topic.

Please contact me if you would like to share your knowledge.

David Bamford


9:00 Arrivals and Registration. Tea & Coffee
9:30 David Bamford - Director
Finding Petroleum

Welcome & Introduction

David Bamford is well known around the oil & gas industry both as an explorer and a geophysicist. He holds a Physics degree from the University of Bristol and a Ph.D in Geological Sciences from the University of Birmingham.

Since 2004, he has been a non-executive director at Tullow Oil plc, being recruited for this position especially for his exploration knowledge. He serves on the Nominations and Remuneration Committees, and was chairman of the latter, and Senior Independent Director, for 3 years prior to his retire from the board at the end of April 2014.

He was on the board of Premier Oil from May 2014 to May 2016.

He retired from BP plc in 2003, his last four positions being Chief Geophysicist (1990-1995), Business Unit Leader (General Manager) for first West Africa and then Norway (1995-1999), and finally Head of Exploration until 2003.

He has served on the boards of Paras Ltd, a small exploration and IS/IT consulting company in which he held 22% equity, until its sale to RPS Energy in 2008 and Welltec a/s, a Danish well engineering company, as the nominee of the private equity investor Riverside.

From 2012 to 201 he was on the board of ASX-quoted Australia Oriental Energy as a non-executive director.

He was a founder of Richmond Energy Partners, a small oil & gas research house, and several media companies that focus on the oil & gas sector, and has served as an advisor to Alliance Bernstein, Opus Executive, the Parkmead Group plc, and Kimmeridge Energy LLP. Since retiring from BP, he has undertaken asset and company valuation projects for investment banks, hedge funds and small oil companies.

Finding Petroleum
Finding Petroleum was established to help the oil and gas industry network, and stay up to date on t
9:40 Oswald Clint - Senior Analyst
Bernstein Research

Deep Water Production - propping up non-Opec supply

Dr Clint joined Sanford C. Bernstein in 2004 and was part of the Energy Team with Neil McMahon covering the Global Integrated Oil sector.

Currently he is the Senior Research Analyst covering the European E&P and Russian Oil & Gas sectors. The Bernstein Energy franchise has become well known due to both the provocative commentary on the commodities and oil stocks, as well as the innovative research that forms the core of their frequent publications. Previously, he worked as an accountant and consultant for KPMG covering energy, gas, and chemical sectors. Dr Clint received his PhD in Geophysics from University College London where he specialised in sub-surface rock physics and is also a Chartered Accountant.

Bernstein Research
Sanford C. Bernstein is widely recognized as Wall Street's premier sell-side research firm. Their re
10:15 Ronald Doherty - Manager Field Developments

Lessons learned from implementing Deep Water developments

Talk Description
This presentation will provide general details of the field development experience we have together with our view on what worked well and also what (in hindsight) could be changed to improve the overall outcome.
Ron Doherty - A Chartered Engineer with over thirty years of experience gained in the offshore oil and gas industry in the UK and overseas. Currently holds the position of Manager Field Developments within INTECSEA UK. Career experience encompasses offshore and subsea operations and includes a range of activities such as the economic evaluation of field development concepts, field development studies, FEED design, detail design, prototype design/development, equipment procurement, integration testing, offshore installation and commissioning of equipment from FPSO’s, DSV’s and fixed platforms and the support of operating facilities.

INTECSEA is one of the world's leading and most experienced deepwater engineering companies, special
10:50 Coffee & Tea
11:15 Chris Walker - Chief Geophysicist
Fairfield Nodal

Deepwater Seismic Nodes - Where Are We Now?

Talk Description
The viability of deep-water autonomous 4C marine ocean bottom nodes OBN has been robustly established as the seismic solution of choice for obtaining high quality full azimuth images for producing fields in areas with complex overburdens (Smit et al, SEG 2008, Chou et al, SEG, 2010). Since its first use for the baseline 4D survey for the Atlantis field in the GoM in 1995/6 more than 35 surveys have been acquired in the Gulf of Mexico, North Sea and West Africa. Impressive 4D results – 6% NRMS – have been reported by Shell (Stopin et al, EAGE, 2011) and recently the technology has been used to monitor the performance of water injection wells, an application which may well have widespread further demand.

New clock technology has improved the operating lifetime of the nodes and this, coupled with the ability to control the nodes remotely, can provide a semi-permanent reservoir surveillance capability that is inherently more flexible and has lower costs than cable based permanent seismic reservoir monitoring systems.
Chris holds as BSC(Hons) First Class in Physics from the New University of Ulster and a PhD in Marine Geophysics from Durham University.

Chris's current role is with Fairfield Nodal, where he works as the Chief Geophysicist for Data Acquisition.

In addition to his company and industry responsibilities, Chris has authored numerous technical publications and presentations.

His technical interests cover a wide range of topics but his prime focus is on marine acquisition with particular emphasis on source design, survey planning and onboard geophysical QC, with a view to improving operational efficiency by bringing together acquisition and processing.

Fairfield Nodal
Tight spaces. Sensitive environments. Harsh conditions. Elusive hydrocarbons. We know what you're up
12:00 Petromall - Panel Discussion -
Future Energy Partners Ltd
The End of the End of the Beginning?

Talk Description
Our Panel will be:

  • Bala Nagarajan: Head of Commercial Negotitions team, BDM, Statoil
  • David Russell: until recently Technical Director for the OBO Projects Group in BP's Global Projects Organisation
  • Martyn Millwood Hargrave: CEO, Ikon Science

Our 3 distinguished contributors will bring their own insights to considering the following:

The discovery of Deep Water Fields has been the target o
f much exploration spend and even more development Capex, and as a result production from them now represents a significant slice of global non-Opec production.

But today it’s possible to take a gloomy view:

  1. Discoveries appear to be drying up, with several high profile dry holes in the South Atlantic for example: perhaps we have simply run out of prime geology?
  2. The cost of deep water exploration and appraisal wells has exponentiated: let’s face it, economics goes out of the window if an individual well costs north of $200m!!
  3. Development projects are oftentimes way over budget, or late, or don’t deliver the promised production, sometimes all three; under-appraisal of more complex reservoirs seems to be a significant contributor, perhaps connected with 2. above?
  4. FPSO-based deep water developments have almost no plateau; they rise strongly and then begin to decline almost as rapidly. Furthermore, most planning assumptions seem to hover around 30-35% Recovery Factors for Deep Water Fields, disappointingly low.

On the other hand, you could take a positive outlook:

  1. Exploration has so far simply plucked the “low hanging fruit”. In new provinces and old, more subtle traps await us and the subsurface technology to find them.
  2. Better sub-surface imaging will mean we need to drill less wells –fewer exploration dry holes and less appraisal wells.
  3. Extending the producing life of individual wells is simply a matter of ‘smarter’ intervention.
  4. Fields with more or less the same geology can achieve 60%+ recovery, for example Forties and Magnus Fields in the north Sea, when operating from fixed platforms. We can get there in Deep Water!
  5. Much better reservoir monitoring is a key to both 4. and 5. all driven by the 20+ years of experience we now have in Deep Water.

Hence, the question: Is the “Deep Water” era about to End, or are we simply entering into a new Phase?

Future Energy Partners (FEP) is a unique oil and gas advisory service which prides itself on technic
13:00 Raffle prize draw, followed by Lunch with refreshments

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