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Regional Update

Africa

  • The Ntomme-2A appraisal well, located in the Deepwater Tano Block offshore Ghana, encountered 148 ft of high-quality stacked reservoir sandstones, including 128 ft of 35 °API gravity net oil pay. The well is located more than 2.7 miles south of the Tweneboa-3 sidetrack that discovered the Ntomme field. Drilled to an interim depth of 12,812 ft in water of 5,675 ft, it is being deepened to a total depth of 13,156 ft. Partners in the block include operator Tullow Oil (49.95%), Kosmos Energy (18%), Anadarko (18%), Sabre Oil & Gas (4.05%), and the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (10% carried interest).
  • Block concessionaire, Sociedade Nacional de Combustíveis de Angola Empresa Pública (Sonangol, EP), along with operator Maersk Oil (50%), Svenska (30%), and Sonangol P & P (20%), declared the Azul-1 deepwater exploration well, located in Block 23 in the Kwanza Basin, a discovery well. The well—the first to penetrate pre-salt objectives in Angolan deepwater—was drilled in water depths of 923 m, reaching final depth of 5334 m. Preliminary interpretation of the data indicated a potential flow capacity greater than 3,000 BOPD.

Asia

  • India’s oil ministry approved a proposal from Cairn India to start production at the Bhagyam Field in the northwestern state of Rajasthan. Initial production will be about 25,000 BOPD. Cairn is producing 125,000 BOPD from the Mangala Field in the Rajasthan Block. Rajasthan Basin potential is estimated at 240,000 BOPD. Cairn holds 70% and state-run Oil & Natural Gas Corp. holds 30% in
  • the block.
  • Roxi was advised by the Ministry of Oil & Gas of the Republic of Kazakhstan that its operating company, Galaz and Company, received approval for gas flaring for the period 2012–14. This is the final regulatory consent needed before pilot production can begin on its NW Konys Field. Roxi expects Well NK 4 and NK 6 will be put into pilot production in first-quarter 2012.

Australia

  • Chevron announced a natural gas discovery by its Australian subsidiary in the Exmouth Plateau area of the Carnarvon Basin, offshore Western Australia. The Satyr-3 well encountered approximately 243 ft of net gas pay. The well is located 113 miles north of Exmouth in the WA-374-P permit area, and was drilled in 3,688 ft of water to a depth of 13,369 ft. Chevron’s Australian subsidiary (50%) is operator, with ExxonMobil (25%) and Shell (25%).

Europe

  • Lundin Petroleum Norway completed the appraisal well, 16/5-2S, located in PL501 approximately 8.5 km south of the Avaldsnes discovery well 16/2-6, and 4 km south of appraisal well 16/2-7. The well’s objective was to delineate the southern flank of the Avaldsnes discovery. Well 16/5‑2S, which encountered a 15-m Jurassic sequence whose upper 8 m has excellent reservoir quality, is the first of an extensive Avaldsnes appraisal program comprising at least four wells in PL501 during 2012. Lundin Norway (40%) operates PL501, with Statoil (40%) and Maersk Oil Norway (20%).
  • Statoil said it found a new oil field in the Barents Sea that contains up to 300 million bbl of recoverable oil. The well, drilled in the Havis prospect, falls under the same license as the Skrugard field discovered in April 2011 that is estimated to contain between 150 million and 250 million bbl of recoverable oil. The production license for the two oil fields is shared by Statoil (50%), Eni Norge (30%), and Petoro (20%).
  • In a special resolution, the Bulgarian parliament “banned the use of the method of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas and oil exploration on Bulgarian territory and its Black Sea waters,” bowing to strong public pressure. Violators risk fines of up to USD 65 million and confiscation of all equipment. The government revoked a 5-year test drilling permit granted last year to Chevron. A resolution is not the same as a law, however, and observers have noted that “A quickly adopted resolution can be canceled just as quickly.”

Middle East

  • Cyprus President Demetris Christofias announced that Block 12 in the Levant Basin offshore south of Cyprus contained an estimated 5 Tcf to 8 Tcf of natural gas. The well was drilled 19,229 ft into the seabed at a water depth of 5,541 ft—with net natural gas pay of about 310 ft. The specific field of hydrocarbons is estimated to extend throughout a 103.6-km2 area. Noble Energy (70%) is operator. Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration will each have 15%, subject to final approval by the government of Cyprus.

North America

  • Breitling’s Breitling-Turner #3 well in Hardeman County, Texas, was spudded. The prospect was delineated using geological and geophysical techniques and data gained from the drilling of the Breitling-Turner #1 and the Breitling-Turner #2 wells. The wells are located within a 640-acre closure mapped at the Holmes Sand and the Mississippian Chappel dolomite formations above an estimated total vertical depth of 7,600 ft. The Holmes is a high-quality sand reservoir encased in hydrocarbon-rich Barnett shale, similar to the Bakken shale in North Dakota.
  • McMoRan announced that operations have commenced at the Lineham Creek exploration prospect, located onshore in Cameron Parish, Louisiana, and targeting Eocene and Paleocene objectives below the salt weld. The initial exploratory well has a proposed total depth of 29,000 ft. Chevron USA (50%) is operator, with McMoRan (36%), EXXI (9%), and W.A. “Tex” Moncrief Jr. (5%).

South America

  • OGX found hydrocarbons in well 1-OGX-63-SPS in the BM-S-57 Block in the Santos Basin situated about 102 km off the coast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, at a water depth of about 155 m. The well identified a hydrocarbon column of about 1000 m with net pay of about 110 m in the Albian section. The well was drilled to a depth of 6135 m, and has thus far discovered a hydrocarbon column of about 150 m in the Aptian section. OGX holds a 100% working interest in the block.