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Regional Update


  • Tullow Oil’s Paon-1X deepwater exploration well, the first in the CI-103 license offshore Côte d’Ivoire, has intersected good quality light oil in a Turonian fan system. The well, drilled to a final depth of 16,699 ft in water depths of 7,195 ft, encountered 102 ft of net oil pay in a gross interval of 243 ft of turbidite sands. Tullow (45%) operates the CI-103 license, with Anadarko (40%) and the Societé Nationale d’Opérations Pétrolières de Côte D’Ivoire (Petroci) (15%).
  • Beach Energy commenced 2D seismic acquisition over its Lake Tanganyika South concession in Tanzania. The 2D seismic is being undertaken by Fugro Oceansismica and is expected to take around 2 months to acquire and 7 months to process and interpret.


  • Salamander Energy spudded the Bualuang Far East-1 exploration well in Block B8/38, Gulf of Thailand. The Bualuang Far East prospect, located about 4 miles to the northeast of the Bualuang oil field, will be drilled to a total vertical depth of 4,765 ft subsea. The primary target is the T5 Miocene sandstones with secondary targets comprising an underlying Permian-age Ratburi carbonate and a T4 Miocene sandstone stratigraphic trap. Salamander (100%) is operator.
  • Jubilant Energy spudded the KPL-B well, the final of its seven-well Phase III development drilling campaign in the oil-producing onshore Kharsang field in the Arunachal Pradesh state of India. The main objective of the well, located in the southern area of the field, is to appraise the field’s S-00 reservoir sands; a secondary objective is to appraise the M-00 and T-00 sand layers. The Kharsang field is operated by GeoEnpro (10%), with GeoPetrol (25%), Jubilant Energy (Kharsang) (25%), and Oil India (40%).


  • Senex Energy struck oil at its Cuisiner-5 well on PLA 303 on the Barta block onshore Queensland. The well was drilled to 5,745 ft, and oil was discovered in the sands of the Murta formation over the interval of 5,354 to 5,397 ft, with an estimated net oil pay of 7 ft. Santos (60%) is operator in ATP 752 B, with Bengal (25%) and Senex (15%).


  • Xcite Energy’s 9/3b-7z well reached target depth of 9,646 ft (measured depth) in the Bentley field. Bentley is located on Block 9/3b in License P.1078 in the UK sector of the North Sea, situated 99 miles east of the Shetland Islands in 371 ft of water. Xcite (100%) operates the field.
  • Statoil’s Valemon development project in the Norwegian North Sea has proceeded with the delivery and installation of its 525-ft-high, 9,000-ton steel jacket. The Valemon field is located directly between the Shetland Islands and the Norwegian west coast, some 6.5 miles west of the Kvitebjørn field and 13 miles southeast of Gullfaks. Statoil (53.775%) is operator, with Petoro (30%), Centrica (13%), and Enterprise Oil Norge (3.225%).
  • Oil production has started up from the Athena field, situated on Block 14/18b in the Outer Moray Firth area in the UK sector of the North Sea. Initial peak gross oil production rates of 22,000 BOPD were reported. Ithaca Energy (22.5%) is operator, with Dyas UK (47.5%), EWE Energie (20%), and Zeus Petroleum (10%).

Middle East

  • BP began drilling the first well in its concession in the Risha natural gas field in eastern Jordan, near the border with Iraq. The drilling follows 2 years of preparation and a 5000-km2 seismic acquisition program in 2011. The well is expected to take from 3 to 4 months to complete. In 2009, BP was given up to 4 years to spend at least USD 237 million to explore and evaluate the Risha block, which covers 7000 km2.
  • China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) said the first phase of Iraq’s Halfaya oil field, located east of Amarah, has started operating at a production capacity of 100,000 BOPD. CNPC (37.5%) is operator, with Total (18.75%), Petronas (18.75%), and Iraq’s state-owned Missan Oil Company (25%).

North America

  • BP commenced production from the Galapagos development—consisting of the Isabela, Santiago, and Santa Cruz fields—located in the Gulf of Mexico. The Galapagos project includes the drilling and completion of four wells connected via a flowline to the BP-operated Na Kika host platform, situated about 140 miles south of New Orleans in 6,500 ft of water: two wells on Isabela (67% BP), one well on Santiago, and one well on Santa Cruz (both 46.5% BP). The Na Kika facility has an output capacity of 130,000 BOPD and has been modified to handle additional output from the fields. Noble Energy, Red Willow Offshore, and Houston Energy are co-owners in Galapagos. BP operates Isabela, while Noble operates Santiago and Santa Cruz.
  • Burleson Energy spudded the Truchard-2H horizontal well in the Heintschel field, Colorado County, Texas. The well is 2,575 ft from the Truchard-D1 well, one of the three producing wells on the Heintschel field discovered by Burleson and its partners in 2010. AKG (13.5%) is operator in the Truchard-2H well, with Burleson (83.5%), Omni Petroleum (1%), Dave Sylvan (1%), and Elson Oil (1%).

South America

  • Petrobras found light crude oil (27°API) at Well 1-BRSA-1045-SPS located in the southern portion of the Sapinhoa field at a water depth of 7,222 ft. Petrobras is currently drilling the well to a depth of 16,590 ft to determine the reservoir’s lower limit. After drilling is completed, the company plans to conduct a formation test to determine the productivity of the reservoir. The Sapinhoa (Guara) oil discovery is located in the Santos basin presalt offshore Brazil in Block BM-S-9. Petrobras (45%) is operator, with BG Group (30%) and Repsol (25%).
  • Americas Petrogas commenced drilling the La Hoya.x-1 (LHo.x-1) exploration well in the Totoral block. The primary drilling target is the Vaca Muerta shale. The Totoral block consists of about 293,600 acres and is located in the southern region of Argentina’s Neuquen basin. Americas Petrogas (90%) is operator, with Gas y Petroleo del Neuquen (10%).