Africa (Sub-Sahara)

  • ExxonMobil will drill its first exploratory well offshore Liberia this month, the company announced on 18 October. A deepwater well is planned on the Liberia-13 Block, which is about 50 miles off the coast of the West African country. Liberia has no oil production at present.

  • Solo Oil plans to spud the Ntorya-2 appraisal well in Tanzania next month. The drilling pad is a mile southwest of the 2012 Ntorya-1 discovery well, which was tested at rates of 20.1 MMcf/D of gas and 139 B/D of condensate. An independent report estimated the discovery to hold 153 Bcf of gas in place, of which 70 Bcf is considered a gross best-estimate contingent resource. A gross best estimate of more than 1 Tcf of gas in place has been made for the Ntorya prospect as a whole, in which the company has a 25% interest.

  • Asia Pacific

  • BP has decided to abandon drilling plans in the Great Australian Bight offshore southern Australia, an area in which prospective drilling has long been contested by environmentalists. The decision “is an outcome of our strategy and the relative competitiveness of this project in our portfolio,” said Claire Fitzpatrick, managing director for Australian exploration and production at BP. The regulatory process was not a factor in the decision, and the company’s view of the region’s potential has not changed, she said. Wood Mackenzie has reported that the Bight could hold 1.9 billion BOE of resources, and the spending level of BP’s drilling program there had been estimated at AUD 600 million. BP said that Statoil, its minority partner in four Bight exploration licenses, has accepted the decision.

  • Latin America-Caribbean

  • Total said the northwest section of the supergiant Libra prospect offshore Brazil holds 3 to 4 billion bbl of oil, according to an investor presentation on its website. The company said that wells drilled in the vicinity of the Libra pioneer well, which is close to the northwest section, also show “excellent” productivity. Total has a 20% interest in the prospect, which is operated by Petrobras (40%), while China National Offshore Operating Company (20%) and CNPC (20%) hold the remaining interests.

  • CNPC likely has 3 to 4 Tcf of proven natural gas reserves in an energy block it operates in southern Peru, Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski said on 18 October. The company bought the rights to explore Block 58 in Peru’s southern Amazon region from Petrobras in 2014. At the time, the block had proven reserves of about 2 Tcf.

  • Middle East-North Africa

  • Kuwait Energy has started production from the Faihaa-2 well in the Block 9 concession of the Basra Governorate in southern Iraq. The well was spudded on 3 January, and production testing began on 23 September at an initial rate of 9,583 B/D of oil per day from the Yamama-A formation. Commercial production began on 1 October at a stabilized rate of 5,600 B/D. The company is the operator with a 60% revenue interest in the concession. Partners Dragon Oil (30%) and Egyptian General Petroleum (10%) hold the remaining interests.

  • DNO has completed three new production wells at the Tawke field in Iraq’s Kurdistan region. The Tawke-31 well was to be brought on line following acid stimulation. The Tawke-33 and Tawke-34 wells were also being prepared for startup. A fourth well, Tawke-37, was spudded in mid-October. The four wells are expected to increase field capacity by 10%. Third-quarter field output averaged 109,159 B/D. DNO is the operator with a 55% stake in the field. Genel Energy (25%) and the Kurdistan Regional Government (20%) hold the other stakes.

  • Northern Europe

  • Faroe Petroleum has made discoveries at the Njord North Flank in the Norwegian Sea at water depths of approximately 1,060 ft. The exploration well NF-2 6407/7‑9S encountered a gross oil-bearing reservoir of 334 ft and a gross gas condensate-bearing column of 515 ft. The sidetrack well NF-3 6407/7-9A encountered separate gas-bearing columns of 639 ft and 459 ft. Preliminary estimates indicate a collective discovery of 1.9 million BOE to 28.3 million BOE. The company has a 7.5% interest in the wells, which are operated by Statoil (20%). Engie (40%), DEA (30%), and VNG (2.5%) hold the other interests.

  • Total’s 30/4-3 S wildcat well has made a discovery on production license 043 in the northeast section of the Martin Linge field offshore Norway. The well found gas and condensate in three formations, and the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate reported good reservoir quality. A maximum gas flow rate of 2.4 MMscm/D through a 48/64-in. nozzle was attained in a production test. Preliminary estimates indicate a discovery of 2 MMscm to 11 MMscm of recoverable oil equivalents. Total (51%) operates the field with additional stakes held by Statoil (19%) and Petoro (30%).

  • Russia-Caspian-Central Asia

  • North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC) made its first two oil shipments from the giant Kashagan field offshore Kazakhstan on 14 October, the country’s energy ministry announced. Gas shipments have also begun. After field startup in 2013, production was quickly suspended until recently because of pipeline technical problems. October oil production was estimated at 75,000 B/D and November/December output is expected to rise to between 150,000 B/D and 180,000 B/D. The NCOC consortium that developed and operates Kashagan under a production sharing agreement (PSA) includes Eni, Shell, Total, ExxonMobil, and KazMunay Gas, each of which holds a 16.81% interest in the PSA; China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) (8.4%); and Inpex (7.56%).

  • USA

  • BHP Billiton reported finding oil in multiple horizons at the Caicos exploration well on Green Canyon Block 564, about 100 miles offshore Louisiana in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The company is the block’s sole interest owner. A further move to appraise the area is planned this month, with drilling to begin on the adjacent Wilding prospect. In March, BHP Billiton encountered hydrocarbons at the Shenzi North-ST3 well in the Green Canyon area, although results were not disclosed. “We continue to be optimistic around the opportunity for a commercial development in the area,” said Steve Pastor, BHP’s president of petroleum operations, at a London investor briefing.