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Regional Update


Eni discovered gas and condensate in the Nkala Marine prospect offshore Congo. The discovery could hold from 250 MMBOE to 350 million MMBOE in place, the company said. In a production test, the Nkala Marine 1 discovery well in the Marine XII block yielded more than 10 MMcf/D of gas and condensate. Delineation drilling is planned. Eni is the operator with a 65% interest in the block. The remaining shares are held by New Age (25%) and Societé Nationale des Pétroles du Congo (SNPC) (10%).

Sonangol and Total will break ground on a deepwater oil pumping project that will increase Angola’s production by more than 30,000 B/D. Four multiphase, high-pressure subsea pumps will be installed at the Rosa field in Angola Block 17 that will enable the recovery of an additional 42 million bbl, Sonangol said. Total is the operator of the block with a 40% interest, with other interests held by Statoil (23.33%), ExxonMobil (20%), and BP (16.67%). Sonangol is the concessionaire.

Chevron has begun oil and gas production from the Lianzi Field, a subsea project in 3,000 ft of water that is expected to achieve production of 40,000 BOPD. Situated in a unitized zone between Congo and Angola, Lianzi is the first cross-border offshore oil development in Central Africa. A 27-mile electrically heated subsea production flowline is the industry’s first at this depth. Chevron is the operator with a 31.25% interest. The field partners include Total (26.75%), Angola Block 14 BV (10%), Eni (10%), Sonangol (10%), SNPC (7.5%), and GALP (4.5%).

Shell said that its Leopard Marin discovery offshore Gabon may be a commercial gas field. “Leopard is the first potentially commercial multi-Tcf [trillion cubic ft] find in a new gas play, and I think that is very exciting for us and for the government of Gabon,” said Alastair Milne, Shell vice president of exploration for Sub-Saharan Africa, on 29 October at a conference in Cape Town, South Africa.


Polish oil and gas company PGNiG announced the planned December 2015 startup of gas production at its concession in Pakistan. The project represents the development of a “tight” gas discovery earlier in the year with estimated reserves of 159 Bcf. PGNiG plans further exploration in the concession.


InterOil said that logs from the Antelope-4 sidetrack-1 well in Papua New Guinea’s Petroleum Retention License 15 (PRL 15) confirm a southern extension of the gas-bearing dolomite in the Elk-Antelope field. The wireline logs intersected the top of the reservoir at a point 118 ft higher than the initial Antelope-4 well’s penetration, and new well data interpretation suggests a deeper gas/water contact for the field than previously thought, the company said. Total is the operator for the PRL 15 joint venture with a 40.1% interest. InterOil (36.5%), Oil Search (22.8%), and minority shareholders (0.5%) are the other participants.


Production has started at Lundin’s Edvard Grieg field in the Utsira High area of the Norwegian North Sea about 110 miles west of Stavanger. The field holds estimated proved and probable reserves of 187 million BOE with a possible increase resulting from a recent appraisal well, pending year-end company reserves certification. Production flows from a steel-jacket platform in 350 ft of water. Lundin has a 50% interest in the field license with other interests held by OMV (20%), Statoil (15%), and Wintershall (15%).

Palomar Natural Resources and San Leon Energy have spudded the Rawicz-15 development well in the Rawicz field of Poland’s southern Permian basin. Operated by Palomar, the well will be drilled to a planned total depth of 5,250 ft and undergo a full testing program. In May 2015, San Leon reported the estimated gross field reserves to be more than 50 Bcf of gas.

Middle East

BP has signed an agreement with the Egyptian government to accelerate development of the offshore Atoll gas field, discovered in the East Nile Delta’s North Damietta offshore concession area in 2015. The project’s initial phase will include two development wells that will be tied back to existing infrastructure, with production to start in 2018. Completion of the first phase is expected to spur investment in additional production wells. Atoll holds an estimated 1.5 Tcf of gas resources and 31 million bbl of condensate. The field will be operated by Pharaonic Petroleum Company, a joint venture of BP, the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company, and Eni.

The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company is moving ahead with development projects that will increase United Arab Emirates oil production over the next 2 to 3 years to 3.5 million B/D from a current level of 2.9 million B/D, company Director General Abdullah Nasser al-Suwaidi said recently. The projects represent about USD 35 billion of planned total investment and will target offshore development, a shift from the company’s historical onshore focus. Al-Suwaidi said that the UAE could not afford to lose global market share by curtailing supply.

North America

Magnolia Petroleum is participating in a 10-well drilling program operated by Continental Resources in the Woodford formation of south-central Oklahoma. Drilling began in November and is expected to conclude in March. Magnolia is hopeful that the drilling program will help to balance the company’s product mix of 56% oil and 44% gas more evenly.

South America

Petrobras has discovered oil at the Pitu North 1 extension well in the Potiguar Basin offshore Brazil. Situated 37 miles off the coast of Rio Grande do Norte state in 6,050 ft of water, the well was drilled to a final depth of 13,780 ft and is the first extension of a 2013 discovery in the Pitu area. Profile analyses and fluid samples were used to prove the latest discovery, which will now undergo laboratory analysis. Petrobras, the operator, holds a 40% interest in the concession (BM-POT-17). BP (40%) and Petrogal (20%) hold the remaining interest.

Production from the Vaca Muerta shale of Argentina is expected to double by 2018, according to a study by Wood Mackenzie. Yearly production is expected to increase by 10% in 2016 and grow at a markedly higher rate by 2020 as YPF and its joint-venture (JV) partners decrease drilling and completion costs, the study said. YPF will likely need to make more JV deals to develop its 6.3-million-acre position in the shale play, Wood Mackenzie concluded.