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Regional Update


  • Eni reported a natural gas discovery in Mamba North, offshore Area 4, at a water depth of 1690 m about 45 km off Cape Delgado, Mozambique, 23 km north of the Mamba South find of 2011. This adds approximately 212.5 billion m3 of gas in place, bringing total resources in the Mamba complex to about 850 billion m3. Eni holds 70% of offshore Area 4, with Portugal’s Galp Energia SGPS, Korea Gas Corp., and Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos de Mocambique each holding 10%.
  • Hyperdynamics completed drilling the Sabu-1 exploration well on its concession offshore Conakry, Guinea. It was drilled to a depth of 11,844 ft in a water depth of 2,329 ft. Results of real-time hydrocarbon chromatograph measurements and Schlumberger petrophysical wireline analysis warranted collection of downhole fluid samples, which, together with sidewall cores, will be analyzed. Hyperdynamics (77%) operates the Guinea concession, with Dana Petroleum (23%).


  • Jubilant’s appraisal well DDE-A-2 was spudded early February. The third appraisal well in the Deen Dayal East (DDE) area of the KG-OSN-2001/3 Block, located in the Krishna-Godavari Basin offshore the east coast of the state of Andhra Pradesh in southeastern India, DDE-A-2 is being drilled in a water depth of 99 m. The well’s target depth is 5300 m true vertical depth with the objective of appraising the lower Cretaceous Early Rift fill sands that were shown to be hydrocarbon bearing by the KG-16 discovery well. Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation Limited (80%) is operator, with Jubilant’s subsidiary, Jubilant Offshore Drilling Private Limited in India (10%).
  • Santos started gas production from its Wortel project in the Sampang production sharing contract (PSC) offshore East Java, Indonesia. The Wortel development, sanctioned in November 2010, consists of two gas wells, an unmanned wellhead platform, and a 10-km pipeline to the existing Santos-operated Oyong facilities. Gas will then be exported through the existing pipeline to the Grati processing plant to be sold for domestic power generation. Gross gas production from both Wortel and Oyong is expected to be about 90 TJ/d. Other partners in the Sampang PSC are PetroChina subsidiary SPC (Singapore Petroleum Company) (40%) and Cue Energy Resources (15%).


  • Searcher Seismic is in the midst of two nonexclusive seismic surveys offshore Australia. The newest of the two, Duvalia, will cover 3700 km of long-offset 2D seismic data in the Carnarvon Basin over Proposed Areas 8 and 9 scheduled to be in the May 2012 Australian Federal Acreage Release. Duvalia plans to run a 5°—10-km grid in water depths of less than 3000 m. The second survey, Mariner, will cover 3100 km of longoffset 2D seismic and 9700 km of super-tie reprocessing in the Browse Basin of the proposed 02 and 03 blocks.


  • Drilling of appraisal well 16/2-11 on the Johan Sverdrup PL501 discovery located in the North Sea sector of the Norwegian continental shelf has begun. Planned depth is about 2175 m below mean sea level, and the well will be drilled using the semisubmersible drilling rig Bredford Dolphin. The objective of the well is to determine the thickness and quality of an oil-bearing Jurassic sequence at the appraisal well location. The well is located 2.2 km southeast of the Johan Sverdrup PL265 discovery well 16/2-8. Lundin Petroleum (40%) is operator, with Statoil Petroleum (40%) and Mærsk Oil Norway (20%).
  • A potentially significant gas discovery was made in the Neptun Block located in the Black Sea 106 miles offshore Romania in water about 3,281 ft deep. The Domino-1 exploration well encountered 232 ft of net gas pay, resulting in a preliminary estimate for the accumulation ranging from 1.5 to 3 Tcf. Drilling operations started at yearend 2011, with total depth of the well expected to be more than 9,843 ft below sea level. Exxon Exploration and Production Romania (50%) is operator, with OMV Petrom (50%). Domino-1 marks Romania’s first deepwater well.

Middle East

  • Beach Energy announced its third discovery at the Al Jahraa-1 exploration well in the Egyptian Abu Sennan concession. Al Jahraa-1, located about 15 km west of the Al Ahmadi-1 and ZZ-4 discoveries, was the third well drilled as part of a six-well exploration program. The well reached total depth in the Kharita formation at 3700 m, with initial testing flowing oil at a rate of 835 B/D from the Abu Roash “E” target zone. Kuwait Energy (50%) is operator of Abu Sennan, with Beach’s wholly owned subsidiary Beach Petroleum (Egypt) Limited (22%) and Dover Investments Limited (28%).
  • Natural gas was discovered at the Tanin prospect in 5,100 ft of water offshore Israel in the Alon A license, approximately 13 miles northwest of the Tamar field. Drilled to a depth of 18,212 ft, the well encountered around 130 ft of gross natural gas pay in high-quality lower Miocene sands. Including Tanin, with estimated gross mean resources of 1.2 Tcf, total discovered gross mean resources in the Levant Basin are now estimated at about 35 Tcf. Noble Energy (47.06%) is operator, with Avner Oil (26.47%) and Delek Drilling (26.47%).

North America

  • An appraisal well was drilled in approximately 7,257 ft of water in Mississippi Canyon Block 348, US Gulf of Mexico, to a total depth of 25,851 ft. The well encountered approximately 150 ft of oil pay. Shell (80%) is operator, with Nexen (20%).

South America

  • The Cotorra-1X exploration well, drilled on the Guama Block in the Lower Magdalena Basin onshore Colombia, discovered natural gas and condensate. Pacific Rubiales Energy has 100% working interest in the block and is the operator. Cotorra-1X was drilled as an exploratory well after an earlier exploration success on the block, the Pedernalito-1X well, drilled in 2010.
  • The Jaguar-1 well, located 172 km offshore Guyana in the Georgetown Petroleum Prospecting License, was spudded. The well aims to reach the Turonian geologic zone at a depth of 6500 m. CGX Energy has a 25% stake in the license, with partners Tullow (30%), YPF Guyana Ltd. (30%), and Repsol (15%).