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Regional Update


  • Vanco Côte d’Ivoire’s Independance-1X exploration well drilled on Block CI-401 penetrated 8 m of hydrocarbon pay in good-quality Turonian-aged sand, with fluid samples indicating 40 °API gravity oil. Independance-1X was drilled in a water depth of 1689 m, approximately 93 km south-southeast of Abidjan. Vanco (28.34%) is operator, with Lukoil (56.66%) and national oil company Petroci (5% plus 10% carried interest).
  • With the Barquentine-3 appraisal well encountering more than 662 net ft of natural gas pay in two high-quality Oligocene-aged fan systems, the estimated recoverable resource range in Mozambique’s Rovuma Basin Offshore Area 1 has risen from the former estimate of at least 10 Tcf to a range of 15 Tcf to 30+ Tcf of natural gas. Anadarko (36.5%) operates the 2.6-million-acre Offshore Area 1, with Mitsui E&P Mozambique Area 1 (20%), BPRL Ventures Mozambique (10%), Videocon Mozambique Rovuma 1 (10%), and Cove Energy Mozambique Rovuma Offshore (8.5 %). Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos’ 15% interest is carried through the exploration phase.


  • Coastal Energy’s Bua Ban North B-09 appraisal well was drilled to a true vertical depth of 5,200 ft and encountered five Miocene pay zones. Total aggregate net pay in the well is 175 ft with average porosity of 27%. Pay was encountered in the M75 zone for the first time, which represents a new productive zone for the field. Coastal (100%) is operator of the Bua Ban field, in Block G5/43, Gulf of Thailand.


  • A new five-year term for the Vic/P41 exploration permit was granted to Bass Strait Oil. Vic/P41 is located in the offshore Gippsland Basin, 40 km from the Australian coast and southeast of Orbost, Victoria, with water depths ranging from 80 m to 250 m. Bass Strait Oil (45%) is operator, with Moby Oil and Gas (25%), Strategic Energy Resources (25%), and Oil Basins Limited (5%).


  • San Leon Energy spudded the Rogity-1 well on its Braniewo S Concession in the Baltic Basin, Poland. The well, operated by Talisman Energy Poland, is targeting shale gas in the Lower Silurian, Ordovician, and Upper Cambrian sections. Rogity-1 will be the easternmost penetration of the Paleozoic section in the Baltic Basin. While the area is believed to be less thermally mature and considered to carry more risk than the Baltic Basin’s western part, the company believes it has the potential for a more liquids-rich production.
  • Ithaca’s Crathes exploration well, 21/13a-5, encountered a 52-ft light oil column in excellent quality reservoir sands. Ithaca’s recent corporate acquisition of Challenger Minerals (North Sea) included a dual target exploration opportunity in UK Continental Shelf Block 21/13a alongside the Scolty and Torphins undeveloped discoveries. The primary exploration target is the Crathes prospect, which lies within the Palaeocene section. The secondary target is the Moon prospect within the deeper Upper Jurassic section. Enquest (40%) is operator, with Wintershall (E&P) (50%) and Ithaca (10%).
  • ConocoPhillips Skandinavia, operator of production license 301 CS, completed drilling wildcat wells 7/11-12 S and 7/11-12 A—both to vertical depths exceeding 5200 m below the sea surface. The wells were drilled in 72 m of water in the southern North Sea, about 19 km southwest of the Ula field. Well 7/11-12 S encountered a 40-m gross gas column and the 7/11-12 A sidetrack encountered a 34-m gross gas column—both in Jurassic Age (Ula formation) reservoir rocks, with reservoir quality in Triassic rocks poorer than expected.

Middle East

  • Noble Energy’s Leviathan #3 appraisal well in the Amit license offshore Israel, located more than 3 miles east of the original Leviathan discovery, encountered approximately 290 net ft of natural gas pay in multiple intervals. The well was drilled to a total depth of 17,146 ft in about 5,480 ft of water. The greater-than-anticipated reservoir thickness and quality led to an increase (from 16 Tcf) in the estimated gross mean resource to 17 Tcf, with a range of 14 Tcf to 20 Tcf. Noble (39.66%) operates Leviathan, with Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration (22.67% each) and Ratio Oil Exploration (15%).

North America

  • Enegi Oil received formal approval from the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Natural Resources, Canada, to proceed with the next stage of its work at the Garden Hill South (GHS) project. Enegi has been in contact with Schlumberger and Dragon Lance Management Corporation regarding scheduling of activities. GHS is an onshore oil discovery 100% owned and operated by PDI Production, Enegi’s 100%-owned Canadian operating subsidiary.
  • The US Army Corps of Engineers issued ConocoPhillips a key federal permit (under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act) to begin work on the first commercial oil well in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. The permit includes 22 conditions intended to minimize environmental impact within the Arctic Coastal Plain. In addition, ConocoPhillips agreed to pay mitigation fees to the nonprofit Conservation Fund to compensate for unavoidable losses to aquatic resources.
  • Development of the Lucius project in the Keathley Canyon area of the deepwater US Gulf of Mexico will proceed. Lucius, located approximately 200 miles southeast of Houston in waters about 7,000 ft deep, will be developed using a truss spar floating production facility with a daily production capacity of 80,000 bbl of oil and 450 MMcf of natural gas. Anadarko Petroleum (35%) operates Lucius, with Plains Exploration & Production (23.3%), ExxonMobil (15%), Apache Deepwater (11.7%), Petrobras (9.6%), and Eni Petroleum (5.4%).

South America

  • Rockhopper Exploration, drilling on its operated license PL004b, stated that exploration well 14/15-4, located in the North Falkland Basin, offshore Falkland Islands, discovered total net pay of 57 m in the Beverley, Casper South, Casper, and Sea Lion Main Complex. Rockhopper earned a 60% interest through the drilling of the well.