HOUSTON, July 15 (UPI) -- More than $300 million in contracts for the upstream side of the energy sector goes toward developing offshore Australia, a division of Schlumberger said.
Schlumberger subsidiary OneSubsea secured an engineering contract from Australian company Woodside to help develop the Greater Enfield project off the northwest coast of the country.
Woodside said breakthroughs in technology slated for Greater Enfield made investing nearly $2 billion during the weak market for oil justifiable. The Australian energy company is targeting a basin that holds up to 69 million barrels of oil equivalent, which will be developed using an offshore floating production, storage and offloading vessel.
The investment plan for Enfield came in at the low end of its expectations, which gave the company an opportunity to develop "previously stranded resources."
Crude oil prices in the upper $40 range leaves energy companies with far less capital to invest in new developments than they had in 2014, when oil prices peaked above $100 per barrel. Nevertheless, the market is holding relatively stable after dropping below $30 per barrel earlier this year.
Schlumberger, the world's largest oil field services company, has been in the process of acquiring niche players in the industry during the market downturn. In April, the company closed on a $1.24 billion deal to acquire counterpart Cameron International Corp. and in June acquired Omron Oilfield and Marine Inc., part of a Japanese company.
With crude oil prices down still well below 2014 peaks, Schlumberger, which has a division in Houston, said industry performance can only be improved by adopting a new approach based on collaboration and commercial alignment.
Woodside expects first oil from Enfield by the middle of 2019.