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Regional Update


An 816-mile 2D seismic acquisition program was completed on the Ampasindava block, located in the Majunga deepwater basin offshore northwest Madagascar. The data will provide improved subsurface imaging of the large Sifaka prospect and will potentially mature additional prospects in the Ampasindava block to drill-ready status. Sterling Energy (UK) holds a 30% interest in the Ampasindava production sharing contract, which is operated by ExxonMobil Exploration and Production (Northern Madagascar) (70%).


Production began on the Liuhua 19-5 gas field in the Pearl River Mouth basin in the South China Sea. The field is expected to hit peak production of 29 MMcf/D this year. China National Offshore Oil Corporation (100%) is the operator.

Drilling began on the YNG 3264 and the CHK 1177 development wells onshore in Myanmar. YNG 3264, in the Yenangyaung oil field, has a target depth of 1250 m. CHK 1177, in the Chauk oil field, has a target depth of 1006 m. The primary objective of the wells is to accelerate the fields’ production. Interra has a 60% interest in the improved petroleum recovery contracts of both fields and also owns 60% of Goldpetrol, which operates both fields.


The Jolly-1 well, located in the Otway basin onshore in South Australia, was spudded in petroleum exploration license (PEL) 495. The primary objective of the well, whose planned total depth is 4000 m, is to assess the unconventional oil and gas potential of shales within the Casterton formation. Beach Energy (70%) operates PEL 495, with partner Cooper Energy (30%).


Oil was discovered at the SAGW-8 appraisal well on the Sagiz West field onshore Kazakhstan. The well reached a vertical depth of 1351 m. Electric logs indicate 23 ft of net pay over a 79-ft interval in the Triassic formation. Max Petroleum (100%) is the operator.

Drilling began on the 7222/11-2 exploration well on production license (PL) 659 in the Barents Sea. The well targets the Langlitlinden prospect, whose main objective is to prove the presence of hydrocarbons in sandstones in the Triassic layer. The total planned depth is 2896 m below mean sea level. Det norske oljeselskap (20%) is the operator, with partners Lundin Petroleum (20%), Petoro (30%), Atlantic Petroleum Norge (10%), Tullow Oil Norge (10%), Rocksource Exploration Norway (5%), and Ithaca Petroleum Norge (5%).

The 16/3-8S appraisal well was spudded in the Johan Sverdrup discovery on PL 501 in the Norwegian North Sea. The objective of the well is to establish the depth, quality, and thickness of Zechstein group carbonates of Permian age and to investigate the presence and quality of Jurassic reservoir sequences approximately 2.5 miles southeast of the 16/2-6 discovery well. The well has a planned total depth of 2025 m below mean sea level. Lundin Petroleum (40%) is the operator, with partners Statoil (40%) and Maersk Oil Norway (20%).

Oil and gas were discovered in two exploration wells in North Sea PL 272. The main wellbore, 30/11-9S, tested the Askja West prospect and proved a net gas column of 295 ft in Late and Middle Jurassic rocks. The sidetrack well, 30/11‑9A, tested the Askja East prospect and proved a net oil column of 131 ft in the same geological formations. Operator Statoil (50%) estimates total Askja East and West volumes at 19 to 44 million bbl of recoverable oil equivalent. Statoil’s PL 272 partners are Det norske oljeselskap (25%) and Svenska Petroleum Exploration (25%).

Drilling began on the Butch East exploration well 8/10-5S in PL 405/PL 405B in the Norwegian North Sea. Centrica (40%) operates, with partners Faroe (15%), Suncor Norge (30%), and Tullow Oil Norge (15%).

The A2 development well in the Stella field of the North Sea flowed at a maximum rate of 10,442 BOE/D through a 44/64-in. choke. The rate comprised 7,281 B/D of 39°API oil and 19 MMscf/D of associated gas. Ithaca Energy is the operator.

The E-301 development well in the Elizavetovskoye field in Ukraine is flowing gas to an early production facility. E-301 is producing at a stabilized rate of 7.2 MMcf/D of natural gas and 3 B/D of condensate through a 44/64-in. choke. JKX Oil & Gas is the operator.

Middle East

In an ad placed by Egypt’s Oil Ministry in state-run newspapers, Egypt’s state-owned General Petroleum Corporation and Natural Gas Holding Company announced an international auction for 22 concessions for oil and gas exploration in accordance with production sharing agreements. The concessions are for areas in the Suez Canal, Egypt’s western desert, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Nile Delta. The auctions will end 19 May.

The BD4 appraisal well, in the Badra oil field in eastern Iraq, tested at a natural flow rate of 7,000 BOPD. Gazprom Neft (30%) is the operator, with partners Iraqi Oil Exploration Company (25%), Kogas (22.5%), Petronas (15%), and TPAO (7.5%).

Masirah Oil Ltd., a joint entity owned by Petroci and Lime Petroleum, spudded the GAS#1 oil exploration well in GA-South, located offshore in the Block 50 Oman concession. Lime holds a 64% interest in Masirah, with Petroci (36%).

North America

Alaska has signed an agreement with TransCanada, ExxonMobil, BP, and ConocoPhillips, to build an 800-mile pipeline to bring natural gas from the state’s North Slope to a proposed export plant. The project, which also aims to supply the Alaskan domestic market, is projected to cost between USD 45 billion and USD 65 billion and is expected to take 10 years to build.

South America

Petrobras has started production on the P-55 platform in the Roncador field offshore Brazil. The platform, which will be linked to 11 oil-producing wells in the field in the Campos basin, is expected to process 180,000 BOPD and compress 6 MMcm/D of natural gas.