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Regional Update


  • Hess filed a notice of discovery with the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) for the Pecan-1 exploration well located in the Deepwater Tano/Cape Three Points license offshore Ghana. The well has encountered 245 net ft of oil pay in two separate Turonian intervals. Hess (90%) is the operator, with GNPC (10%).
  • Eni discovered new gas resources amounting to an additional 6 Tcf of gas offshore Mozambique. The company said the discoveries were made in the Mamba South 2 and Coral 2 delineation wells. Eni (70%) is the operator of Area 4, with Galp Energia (10%), Kogas (10%), and ENH (10%).
  • PTT Exploration and Production (PTTEP) discovered a new oil field based on the sixth exploration well, Mouia Aissa‑1 (MAS-1), drilled on the Hassi Bir Rekaiz Permits, a 5378-km2 area in eastern Algeria. The well was drilled to a total depth of 3844 m, yielding a petroleum discovery in the Triassic Argilo Greseux Inférieur reservoir. PTTEP (24.5%) is the operator, with Sonatrach (the Algerian national oil and gas company) (51%) and China National Offshore Oil Corporation (24.5%).


  • The first Dunga Phase II well, located north of Aktau, Kazakhstan, near the shore of the Caspian Sea, delivered first oil in late 2012. In the next 3 years, it is anticipated that four drilling rigs at Dunga will complete new wells every 3 weeks. The Dunga field is currently producing 7,000 BOPD, with 2015 production targeted at 30,000 BOPD. Maersk Oil (60%) operates the field, with Partex (20%) and Oman Oil Company (20%).
  • First oil production from the Bualuang Bravo platform was established in late 2012 in the Gulf of Thailand. Construction of the platform was completed in November and the first development well, the BB-04H, was spudded by the Atwood Mako jackup rig soon after. The well was recently brought on line and will flow at a rate of 1,500 BOPD after the cleanup phase. Salamander (100%) operates the Bualuang field.


  • Chevron Australia made two new natural gas discoveries in the Carnarvon Basin, off Western Australia. The Pinhoe-1 exploration discovery well found around 197 ft of net gas pay at Barrow and Mungaroo sands, in the Exmouth Plateau area. Meanwhile, the Arnhem-1 exploration discovery well confirmed about 149 ft of net gas pay in the Upper Mungaroo sands. Chevron Australia (50%) is the operator of the two permit areas, with Shell (50%).
  • Beach Energy stated that flowback of the Moonta-1 vertical well has commenced. The well is part of Beach’s Cooper Basin Nappamerri Trough unconventional gas exploration program in northeastern South Australia, targeting the Permian section of PEL 218, operated by Beach (100%). The well reached total depth at 12,500 ft after which a 10-stage fracture stimulation program was completed, with nine stages in the deeper Patchawarra formation and one in the shallower Murteree shale.


  • Sweden’s Lundin Petroleum completed drilling appraisal well 16/2-16 on the Johan Sverdrup discovery in production license (PL) 501 in the Norwegian North Sea. The well, drilled on the northeastern flank of the discovery around 2 miles from the discovery well (16/2-6), met its main objectives. The top of the reservoir was located at 6,312 ft below mean sea level and the oil/water contact at 6,315 ft below mean sea level. A total of 49 ft of sand was found in a 197-ft Jurassic sequence. Lundin Norway (40%) is the operator of PL501, with Statoil (40%) and Maersk Oil Norway (20%).
  • The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate granted Statoil a drilling permit for well 6610/10-1. The wildcat well, in production license 386—which includes parts of blocks 6609/12, 6610/7, and 6610/10—will be drilled from the West Alpha drilling facility at position 66° 14′ 09.52″ north and 10° 02′ 46.89″ east. Statoil (100%) is the operator.

Middle East

  • Dana Gas made two new onshore gas discoveries in the Nile Delta Basin of Egypt. Appraisal drilling will be conducted on both discoveries, located on the West El Manzala concession and operated by Dana Gas (100%). The estimated reserves for Balsam-1 are between 76 and 436 Bcf of gas with between 2.5 and 9.4 million bbl of condensate. The estimated reserves for the Alyam-1 discovery are between 8 and 66 Bcf of gas and between 0.2 and 1.3 million bbl of condensate.

North America

  • Helix Energy Solutions discovered oil at the Wang exploration well in the Phoenix field in Green Canyon Block 237, about 93 miles offshore Louisiana. The Noble Jim Day ultradeepwater semisubmersible drilled the well to a total depth of roughly 18,300 ft in 2,400 ft of water. Testing confirmed more than 100 net ft of high-quality pay. The well will be completed subsea and tied back to the Helix Producer I floating production unit. First oil is anticipated in second-quarter 2013. Helix’s wholly owned subsidiary, Energy Resource Technology GOM (70%), is the operator, with Sojitz Energy Venture (30%).
  • TGS commenced a 3D multiclient survey covering 2,703 sq miles in the central Gulf of Mexico (GOM). The survey, Amerigo 3D, is located in the eastern side of the central GOM through the Lloyd Ridge, Desoto Canyon, and Atwater Valley areas. The seismic data are being acquired by a Fugro C-class vessel and will be complete in second-quarter 2013. Data processing will integrate the new Amerigo data with TGS’ adjacent 3D data and apply TGS’ broadband processing technology. Preliminary data will be available to clients in third-quarter 2013.

South America

  • Petrobras discovered a new accumulation of light hydrocarbons in the ultradeep waters of the Sergipe-Alagoas Basin, in concession area BM-SEAL-11, located in Block SEAL-M-349. The discovery occurred during drilling well 1-BRSA-1104-SES (1-SES-166, known as Cumbe), located 105 km from Aracaju, off the coast of Sergipe State, at a water depth of 2328 m. It was Petrobras’ fifth hydrocarbon discovery in 2012. Petrobras (60%) operates SEAL-M-349, with JBV do Brasil (40%).