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Regional Update


Tullow’s Cheptuket-1 well in Block 12A of northern Kenya has encountered good oil shows over an almost 2,300‑ft interval, the company reported. The first well to test the Kerio Valley Basin, Cheptuket-1 was drilled to a final depth of 10,114 ft. The results indicate the presence of an active petroleum system with significant oil generation, the company said. Post-well analysis now under way will affect future basin exploration decisions. Tullow is the block operator with a 40% interest. Delonex Energy (40%) and Africa Oil (20%) are the other participants.


Rosneft has spudded the PLDD‑1X exploration well in Block 06.1 of Vietnam’s Nam Con Son Basin, the first Rosneft-operated international offshore drilling project. Lying in 532 ft of water, the well has a design depth of 4,528 ft. The company said the PLDD geological structure is expected to hold recoverable reserves of 444.9 Bcf (12.6 Bcm) of natural gas and 0.6 million metric tons (5.4 million bbl) of gas condensate, which can be developed by subsea completion and tied back to the Rosneft-operated Lan Tay platform. The company has a 35% stake in the block with Petrovietnam (20%) and ONGC (45%) holding the remainder.


Mosman Oil and Gas said that its Amadeus Basin project in Australia’s Northern Territory holds trillions of cubic feet of recoverable natural gas. A report by SRK Consulting on the basin’s resource prospects within permit EP 145, in which Mosman holds the sole interest, highlights the potential for conventional gas in proven reservoirs of the West Walker Anticline and unconventional gas in the Horn Valley Siltstone. According to the report, there are unrisked prospective recoverable resources of 12.44 Bcf of conventional gas and 1.4 Tcf of unconventional gas within both plays.

Chevron began liquefied natural gas (LNG) and condensate production and LNG exports from the Gorgon Project on Barrow Island offshore Western Australia. The USD 54-billion project produces gas from the Gorgon and Jansz-Io fields off Australia’s northwest coast. Gorgon’s major facilities include a Barrow Island LNG plant with 15.6 million metric tons of annual capacity, a CO2 injection project, and a domestic gas plant. Chevron, the field operator, holds a 47.3 % interest in Gorgon. Other participants are Exxon Mobil (25%), Shell (25%), Osaka Gas (1.25%), Tokyo Gas (1%), and Chubu Electric Power (0.417%). Gorgon is Australia’s largest single resource development ever. With production from Gorgon and other projects, Australia will surpass Qatar as the world’s largest LNG exporter in 2018, the Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association said.


Eni has started production from the Goliat field on Production License 229 in the Barents Sea offshore Norway. The first oil field to produce from the Barents Sea, Goliat was developed through the use of the world’s largest floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) system with a storage capacity of 1 million bbl. Field output will reach 100,000 B/D from 22 subsea wells, of which 17 are now completed. Goliat’s reserves are estimated at 180 million bbl. Eni is the operator with a 65% interest in the license, with Statoil holding the remainder.

UK Oil & Gas Investments (UKOG) said that the Horse Hill-1 onshore discovery well in Petroleum Exploration and Development License (PEDL) 137 in southern England has shown “North Sea-like” oil flows. Located in the Weald Basin near Gatwick Airport, the well flowed at a stable rate of 323 B/D of oil in its latest production test. With the inclusion of earlier results, the well has achieved a total aggregate stable dry oil flow rate of 1,688 B/D from three tested zones. In an independent study, Schlumberger has reported that a mean of almost 11 billion bbl of oil in place is embedded within the PEDL 137 and PEDL 246 Horse Hill licenses. UKOG and Solo Oil hold 20.163% and 6.5% stakes in PEDL 137, respectively. Horse Hill Development, the operator, holds the remaining stake.

Middle East

Eni’s Zohr 2X well in the Zohr field of the Shorouk Block offshore Egypt has delivered up to 44 MMscf/D of natural gas during production tests. The well, which was constrained by surface facilities, has an estimated production capacity of 250 MMscf/D (46,000 BOE/D), the company said. Eni, the sole interest holder of the block license, plans to drill three additional wells in the field this year.

North America

Northcote Energy said that the Lutcher Moore (LM) No. 21 well at the Shoats Creek field in southwestern Louisiana will be spudded May 16 as part a fully funded work program. Following completion operations, the LM No. 22 well will be drilled. Preparations are under way to drill the LM No. 23 well in the third quarter. Potentially five Shoats Creek wells will be producing by year-end, the company said. Northcote is also doing geophysical and engineering work in preparation for high-grading drilling prospects in the deeper Cockfield formation in the same vicinity.

South America

Petrobras reported that its early production system in the Sepia area (formerly the Nordeste de Tupi area) has begun operations in the Santos Basin pre-salt layer offshore Brazil. The FPSO vessel Cidade de Sao Vicente is set to produce about 20,000 B/D of oil during the test period. Deployed in 7,218 ft (2200 m) of water, the FPSO system is connected to the 1-RJS-691 well and will remain at its current location for 180 days.

Shell plans to launch a new exploration phase of the BC-10 project in the Campos Basin offshore Brazil, where the company operates the deepwater Parque das Conchas oil and gas development. Despite market uncertainties, Shell wants to keep investing in Brazil because of its viable oil reserves, said Andre Araujo, the chief executive officer of Shell Brazil in a recent presentation. The company has invested more than USD 1 billion in the BC-10 Block.