Norway's Statoil ASA, which has extensive drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico, has joined the Marine Well Containment Co. (MWCC), which was formed after the Macondo well blowout to improve capabilities to contain future underwater well control incidents. "Our membership underpins Statoil's continued and strong commitment to the Gulf of Mexico," said Statoil's Bill Maloney, executive vice president, North America development and production. "The equipment and capabilities developed by MWCC are important to build confidence and ensure safe deepwater operations as we resume drilling in the area. Statoil plans to actively contribute..." The MWCC's interim well containment system now is capable of operating in water depths of up to 8,000 feet and processing up to 60,000 b/d of fluid. Work is under way to expand the system for delivery in 2012 to operate in water depths of up to 10,000 feet and process up to 100,000 b/d of fluid. MWCC members include U.S. offshore units of ExxonMobil Corp., Chevron Corp., ConocoPhillips, Royal Dutch Shell plc, BP plc, Apache Corp., Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and Australia's BHP Billiton.
A production test at the Laphroaig No. 2 well in St. Mary Parish, LA, indicated an initial gross rate of about 54 MMcf/d, McMoRan Exploration Co. said. The well initially was producing with zero barrels of water on a 30/64-inch choke with flowing tubing pressure of 9,989 psi. The New Orleans-based producer, which has a 37.3% working interest in the well and a 29.5% net revenue interest in the Laphroaig field, said it would use the results of the production test to determine the optimal flow rate. The well is expected to ramp up before the end of June using facilities in the area. Energy XXI Ltd. holds an 18.6% working interest in the well. McMoRan is scheduled to issue its 1Q2011 earnings report on Monday (April 18).
As another indication that its restructuring is in full flight, Dynegy Inc. said it has retained major legal and financial services to advise its newly constituted board on its previously announced debt restructuring activities. The announcement follows the naming of a new interim CEO, E. Hunter Harrison, a current independent Dynegy director. The law firm of White & Case LLP and financial advisory firm of Lazard Freres & Co. LLC were both retained to advise the board's Finance and Restructuring Committee, which is chaired by Vincent Intrieri, and composed of Harrison, Thomas Elward and Samuel Merksamer. The committee is charged with undertaking what company officials are calling "a comprehensive review of various restructuring alternatives, including, without limitation if appropriate, reviewing and evaluating (1) possible changes to the capital structure of Dynegy, including the issuance, repurchase and/or prepayment of indebtedness or equity securities and (2) possible sale of Dynegy's assets."
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will suspend its rebate program for homeowners and small businesses deciding to put in solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. LADWP is facing a record demand for distributed generation solar systems and cannot afford to pay all the potential rebates. The utility stopped accepting applications at midnight last Friday. As of April 1 LADWP had confirmed $112 million in solar rebates, but it has only about $30 million budgeted to complete the deals. The 2006 state legislation that created the rooftop solar incentive program calls for suspension of the efforts when the amount to be paid in confirmed rebates exceeds funds available. While all the rebate applications now pending will be honored, LADWP said it wants to use the moratorium to increase outreach and education efforts, streamline the processing, review incentive levels and assess options for utility financing of the rebates.
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