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Regional Update


  • The IM-5 well offshore Cameroon struck 25 m of net pay in the Middle Isongo objective of the Etinde permit. Another 20 m of quality sands were encountered at the hydrocarbon-water contact point (3360 m), and the well reached total depth of 3430 m. Bowleven Oil and Gas (75%) is the operator in partnership with Vitol E&P (25%).
  • The Pecan North 1 well offshore Ghana struck 40 ft of net oil pay in the Turonian-aged reservoir of the deepwater Tano/Cape Three Points block. Water depth in the area ranges from 5,623 to 8,245 ft. Hess (90%) is the operator of the block in partnership with Ghana National Petroleum (10%).


  • The Ara-1 exploration well offshore Malaysia confirmed the extension of the Paleogene intrarift oil sands formation across a large structural complex in the PM308A license. The well was drilled to 4030 m at a water depth of 75 m, encountering nine thin oil-bearing sands in a high-pressure section over a vertical interval of 800 m. Lundin Malaysia (35%) is the license operator, in partnership with JX Nippon Oil and Gas Exploration (40%) and Petronas Carigali (25%).
  • China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) announced a tender for drilling exploration in the Minbulak oil field of the Namangan province, Uzbekistan, and has budgeted USD 212 million for geological exploration in 2014. The field has estimated recoverable reserves of 2 million tons. In 2011, CNPC and Uzbekneftegaz agreed on joint development of the field and formed the operating Chinese-Uzbek joint venture Minbulakneft.


  • The Turkey’s Nest 1 well was spudded in the Bowen Basin of Queensland, Australia. Total target depth of the well is 420 m, in the offshore ATP 337P Mahalo license, 5 km southwest of the Mahalo field pilot wells. Comet Ridge (35%) is the operator, in partnership with Australia Pacific LNG (30%), Santos QNT (30%), and Stanwell (5%).
  • The Puka-2 well struck oil in a sand reservoir in the Taranaki Basin onshore New Zealand in the PEP 51153 license. The sand column is 15 ft deep and 11 ft wide, in the lower Mount Messenger formation, near 5,575 ft of measured depth. Kea Petroleum is the operator (40%) in partnership with Hardie Energy NZ (30%) and Rawson Taranaki (30%).


  • The SV-59 well was spudded in the Mekhediviska-Golotvshinska and Svyrydivske gas and condensate fields of Ukraine. The well has a target depth of 5470 m, targeting Visean reservoirs. The nearby SV-53 well was brought on production with a compression system and is producing 19,000 m3/D of gas and 140 BOED of condensate. Regal Petroleum (100%) is the operator of the fields.
  • The Jimbolia-100 appraisal well is targeting the Jimbolia Veche oil discovery in Romania at 2590 m. The discovery has two pay-bearing intervals and a current mean contingent resource estimate of 1.7 million bbl of oil. The operator is Gazprom Neft’s NIS Petrol (51%), in partnership with Zeta Petroleum (39%) and Armax Gaz (10%).
  • Exploration is under way at the PL 338 license of the Jorvik prospect offshore Norway. Well 16/1-17 was spudded with the primary target of sandstones and conglomerates in a basin directly east of the Edvard Grieg field, with a target depth of 6,807 ft. Lundin Petroleum (50%) is the license operator in partnership with Wintershall (30%) and OMV (20%).

Latin America

  • On a 20-day test after a three-stage fracture, the LHo.x-1 well in the Vaca Muerta shale of the Neuquen Basin, Argentina, produced a total liquid rate of 300 to 600 BOED, including 30 to 60 B/D of light sweet 33 °API oil. The well was drilled to 1900 m total depth in the Picun Leufu sub-basin, intersecting the shale formation with thickness of 203 m. The operator is American Petrogas (90%) in partnership with Gas y Petroleo del Neuquen (10%).
  • The Calacho 1 well was spudded in the Llanos 21 block of Colombia’s Llanos Basin. The well has a planned total depth of 7,000 ft, targeting the C7 and Une formations. The operator is Omega Energy Colombia (65%) in partnership with Brownstone Energy’s Santa Maria Petroleum (35%).

Middle East

  • An exploration well on the Rosa North prospect of the Meleiha concession in the Western Desert, Egypt, struck 80 m of gross hydrocarbon pay. The zone yields light oil, located in multiple sandstone reservoirs below 2200 m. Eni owns 56% through operator International Egyptian Oil Company (56%), in partnership with Lukoil Overseas (24%), and Mitsui (20%).
  • The ZMA-A20 well in the Zhana Makat field of Kazakhstan’s Block E encountered hydrocarbons in the Necomian and Jurassic sandstone reservoirs. The well reached a total depth of 924 m. Max Petroleum has a 100% interest in the field.
  • The first exploration well in 4 years was spudded on the RJ-ON-90/1 development block in the Barmer Basin in Rajasthan, India. The block contains the Mangala, Aishwariya, Raageshwari, and Saraswati fields, and is operated by Cairn India (70%) and Oil and Natural Gas (30%).

North America

  • Restricted oil production tests at the St. Malo PS003 well in the Gulf of Mexico’s Lower Tertiary trend exceeded 13,000 B/D. The target sands are in the Walker Ridge Block 678, 6096 m below the sea floor. St. Malo is being jointly developed with the nearby Jack field. The St. Malo operator is Chevron (51%), in partnership with Petrobras (25%), Statoil (21.5%), ExxonMobil (1.25%), and Eni (1.25%).
  • Seismic data gathering is under way on 20 exploration blocks held by operator ExxonMobil (70%) in the Gulf of Mexico. There is currently no production on the blocks, which comprise 450 km2 in water depths from 640 to 2070 m. Rosneft’s Neftegaz America Shelf recently took 30% ownership of these 20 blocks. Seventeen of them are in the Alaminos Canyon, East Breaks, and Keathley Canyon areas of the western Gulf, and three are in the central Gulf’s Walker Ridge area.