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Regional Update


Oil samples have been recovered in the FAN-1 exploration well, being drilled offshore Senegal. Elevated gas and fluorescence were encountered in a shallow secondary target, and the presence of oil was confirmed by an intermediate logging program. Oil samples from thin sand were collected by a wireline formation tester for further analysis. The well will be deepened to a planned total depth of approximately 5000 m. Cairn is the operator (40%), with partners ConocoPhillips (35%), FAR (15%), and Senegalese national oil company Petrosen (10%).

A drillstem test of BG Group’s Mzia-3 well—located in Block 1, offshore southern Tanzania, at a water depth of around 1800 m—reached a maximum sustained flow rate of 101 MMscf/D of natural gas. The Mzia prospect is a multilayered field of Upper Cretaceous age with a gross gas column estimated at more than 300 m. The Mzia and Jodari discoveries in Block 1 are estimated to hold a combined total of 9 Tcf gross recoverable resources. BG Group (60%) is operator, with partners Pavilion Energy (20%) and Ophir Energy (20%).

Circle Oil discovered oil at its El Mediouni-1 exploration well in the Mahdia permit, 120 km east of the port of Sousse, Tunisia, at a water depth of 240 m. The gross oil zone interval in the Lower Birsa carbonate is 77 m, while the Upper Ketatna carbonate has a minimum interval of 48 m, subject to confirmation by logs. Circle is the operator with a 100% working interest in the Mahdia permit.

Eni’s Ochigufu 1 NFW well, located on Block 15/06, 150 km offshore Angola, encountered 47 m of net oil pay. The pay, located in the Lower Miocene and Oligocene sandstones, contained 34°API crude. The well, drilled by the Ocean Rig Poseidon in a water depth of 1337 m, reached a total depth of 4470 m. Eni (35%) is the operator, with partners Sonangol (35%), SSI Fifteen Limited (25%), and Falcon Oil Holding Angola (5%).


Shell’s Marjoram-1 well has encountered natural gas shows in Block Sk318, in 800 m of water 180 km offshore Malaysia. In April 2014, Shell discovered gas in the same block with the Rosmari-1 well. Shell (85%) operates Block SK318, with partner Petronas (15%).

Drilling commenced on WZ12-10-1—the first of two exploration wells planned for Beibu Gulf Block 22/12, located in the South China Sea. The well will be drilled to a total vertical depth of 1539 m, in approximately 35 m of water. WZ12-10-1 is targeting the T42 and Weizhou West formations and is adjacent to the WZ12-8 East field of the WZ12-8 development area. Production and development participating interests are China National Offshore Oil Corporation (51%), Horizon Oil (Beibu) and Petsec Petroleum (26.95%), Roc Oil (China) (19.6%), and Oil Australia (2.45%).


Senex Energy spudded the Hathi-1 vertical exploration well in the northwest area of PEL 514, in the South Australia section of the Cooper basin. Hathi-1 will be drilled to a total depth of 2530 m and will test the oil potential of the Tinchoo formation, with the Poolowanna and Birkhead formations and the Hutton sandstone as secondary targets. Senex Energy (80%) is the operator, with partner Planet Gas (20%).


Lundin Norway started drilling at its Vollgrav South prospect, located in North Sea license PL631. The well is 150 km west of Florø, on the Norwegian west coast, and between the Gullfaks and Statfjord fields. The planned total depth is 3050 m below mean sea level, and the well will be drilled by semisubmersible Bredford Dolphin. Drilling is expected to take 55 days. The well will test the potential of the Upper Jurassic sandstones. Lundin estimates that the Vollgrav South prospect contains unrisked, gross prospective resources of up to 57 million BOE. Lundin (60%) is the operator, with partners Bayerngas Norge (30%) and Fortis Petroleum Norway (10%).

Centrica Energy discovered natural gas at its 43/13b-7 well at the Pegasus West prospect, in the UK’s southern North Sea, nearby the already-producing Cavendish, Trent, and Esmond fields. The presence of gas was indicated by logging-while-drilling equipment and wireline logging; stem testing will follow. Centrica Energy (55%) is the operator, with partners Third Energy Offshore (35%) and Atlantic Petroleum (10%).


Kuwait Energy discovered oil pay at a total depth of 2700 m, at the Faihaa-1 exploration well, on Block 9 in Northern Basra, Iraq. The well flowed 20°API oil from the Mishrif formation at a rate of 2,000 B/D, through a 32/64-in. choke. Kuwait Energy (70%) is the operator, with partner Dragon Oil (30%).


Shell started production from the Cardamom field, located in Garden Banks blocks 427 and 471, 225 miles southwest of New Orleans, in the Gulf of Mexico. The oil is being piped through Shell’s Auger tension-leg platform and is expected to reach 50,000 BOEPD when at full capacity. Shell holds 100% operated interest.

The 7-33-39-28W3 step-out vertical well intended for water disposal—drilled by Tuscany Energy at its Macklin property, around 250 km west of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan—encountered 9 m of Dina oil pay. The well, drilled to 1011 m, found oil in 33% porous sand whose log characteristics were identical to those of surrounding wells already in production. Tuscany (100%) is the operator.


Canacol Energy’s Palmer 1 exploration well encountered 87 ft of gas pay within the primary target of the Cienaga de Oro sandstone reservoir. Located in the Esperanza Exploration and Production Contract in Colombia’s lower Magdalena basin, Palmer 1 was drilled to a total depth of 9,317 ft. The well flowed at a rate of 15.5 MMscf/D of dry gas during the course of a 36-hour, isochronal flow test. Canacol (100%) is the operator.