Archive for April 7, 2010

Sonardyne Showcases New 6G Technology

Sonardyne International introduced its new 6G® (Sixth Generation) hardware platform at the Oceanology International exhibition in London. The ultra-wide bandwidth signal architecture built into the new 6G systems provides exceptional subsea navigation, communications and inertial positioning performance, making Sonardyne acoustic systems faster, easier to set up and operate, and more robust even in the most challenging subsea operating environments.

“Even though we only launched 6G at the beginning of March, the equipment has already proven itself offshore and showed outstanding performance during the live in-water demonstrations we held in the dock during Oceanology,” said Regional Sales Manager Barry Cairns. “The data we’ve been able to show customers clearly demonstrates how the features built into 6G will improve the efficiency of their field development projects, reduce vessel time and generate cost savings.”

During the next few weeks, Sonardyne is taking its 6G demonstration roadshow to Europe, the Gulf of Mexico and Southeast Asia.


April 7, 2010 at 9:54 pm Leave a comment

FMC Deploys Next-Generation RFID Technology

FMC Technologies is developing next-generation RFID technologies for tracking its products from the wellsite to the service center with the help of the Oil & Gas RFID Solution Group (OGR). The RFID tags attached to the physical assets provide a means of automating the identification process and dramatically decreases the time it takes to process equipment into and out of the field. They replace an old identification methodology of engraved serial numbers on metal bands that required reorientation of heavy objects and careful inspection of the band to identify the part ID.

Adam Berg, Engineering Service Manager at FMC Technologies, and his team are focused on addressing specific pain points of the industry with RFID technology, which include redundant inspections, job delays due to out-of-compliance parts, and job cancellations.

“The intent is to increase safety and efficiency, while also realizing cost savings for our customers,” Berg said.

FMC has developed a comprehensive business case behind the technology and its use within the hydraulic fracturing industry. The company estimates $60 million in savings per year for RFID use industry-wide.

“RFID technology provides our customers with substantial improvements in their ability to address and improve some common industry pains around part inspections and identification. The ability of RFID to alleviate or eliminate these issues is key to our business case,” said Berg.

OGR, the international advisory council for RFID in oil and gas, has supported FMC in both tag design and data standards for the industry.

“Information is increasingly valuable, yet progressively more difficult to retrieve in rural and remote areas that many of these well stimulation activities are performed in. Empowering the field operative with data, where wireless communication is limited or non-existent, opens the door to unseen and remarkable operational possibilities,” commented Konrad Konarski, Co-Founder of the Oil & Gas RFID Solution Group.

As part of OGR’s work with FMC and other oilfield service companies, the organization is endorsing specific RFID equipment, such as RFID tags designed for the challenging oilfield environment. The group’s intent is to support the growth of equipment and data standards to accelerate use of the technology.

“We will be making several key announcements around tag designs, data standards, and success stories at our upcoming preconference, in partnership with RFID Journal, in Orlando, Florida, on April 15th, that we feel will have a game-changing impact on the entire industry,” said Konarski.

Other members of the Oil & Gas RFID Solution Group include BP, ExxonMobil, Weir SPM, Dow Chemical and several key consumers and subject-matter experts in the fields of oil, gas and RFID.

April 7, 2010 at 9:53 pm Leave a comment

Nigerian Tendering Process Now Digital

Nigeria’s bid tendering process for the oilfield services and drilling markets includes a pre-qualification stage, a technical evaluation stage, and a commercial stage. In January 2010, the pre-qualification stage was modified to require online pre-registration for all suppliers prior to bid submission.

Since 1995, when NNPC created an online electronic center to streamline the contracting process, the Nigerian Petroleum Exchange (NipeX), a virtual community that links buyers and suppliers, has increasingly played a role in the tendering process and is now the hub of Nigerian tendering.

Starting on January 1, 2010, all tenders within the National Petroleum Investment and Management Services (NAPIMS) must be processed through the NipeX portal. Manual submissions of contracting documents for approval will no longer be accepted nor will manual submissions of suppliers’ bids. All contracting documents must go through the NipeX portal, and all suppliers of goods and services in the Nigerian oil and gas industry must register online to be eligible to participate in new opportunities. Only registered and pre-qualified companies can submit rigs or services for a job. The registration fee is $200, and a brief application (.pdf) must be completed.

Through NipeX, suppliers will see lower processing costs and have access to more opportunities. Likewise, NNPC will also see a lower processing cost, be able to accelerate first oil, facilitate the Nigerian content program, and benefit from an efficient purchasing process and increased transparency.

To become a pre-qualified supplier, the NipeX Joint Qualification System (NJQS) team must first audit the company – in part to ensure Nigerian content – by making a mandatory visit to the supplier’s site or facility. If the audit is successful, the company is qualified for up to two years. Suppliers cannot register and become qualified after the tender starts, thus it is important to register early to avoid missing out on future requirements.

So far, only a handful of international drilling contractors are currently registered.

New entrants have to establish a local presence before registering and pre-qualifying to bid. Noble and Transocean have established themselves in Nigeria through the creation of local subsidiaries. Noble has even put the ownership of one of their rigs against a local subsidiary.

Another approach is to partner with a local company. For example, Seadrill has an agreement in place with Petrolog, a Nigerian company. Petrolog is Seadrill’s official representative in Nigeria, and all Nigerian contracts are assigned to Petrolog. In exchange for this service, Petrolog takes a percentage of the dayrate generated by Seadrill’s Nigerian rig contracts.

April 7, 2010 at 9:50 pm Leave a comment

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