Africa (Sub-Sahara)

  • Hyperdynamics said that drilling of its Fatala-1 exploration well offshore the Republic of Guinea has proceeded successfully, with completion of the initial portion of the well anticipated soon. Company officials said a 36-in. conductor casing was set into the seabed at a water depth of 2897 m. As of the last week of August, the hole for the surface casing had been drilled 723 m to a water depth of 3620 m. The goal is to set a 20-in. casing once drilling to a depth of 3814 m has been accomplished. The company holds a 50% interest in the Fatala-1 venture with South Atlantic Petroleum, a privately-held exploration and production company focused on African assets.

  • Cairn Energy announced successful results for its SNE North-1 exploration well 90 km offshore Senegal, located in the Sangomar Deep Offshore block in 900 m of water. At a total depth of 2837 m, oil and gas was found in the primary objective, as well as oil in the deeper secondary objective, in a separate accumulation to Cairn’s existing development in SNE field. The preliminary analysis projects resources including approximately 24 m of gross hydrocarbon column spanning three intervals, and a net of 11 m oil in a good-quality reservoir in the secondary objective of the play. Cairn’s Senegalese offshore operations involve a joint venture with a 40% interest for Cairn, 35% for Woodside, 15% for FAR Limited, and 10% for Petrosen, the national oil company of Senegal

  • Asia Pacific

  • Oil Search has identified four major exploration projects for natural gas on the heel of its recent Muruk Field discovery in Papua New Guinea. Two liquefied natural gas pools in the play are believed to contain reserves of 1 to 3 Tcf. Gas in the geologically complex region was found in both a hanging wall and a footwall reservoir. The Muruk-1 well is to be joined by several other wells throughout the next 2 years, depending on the findings of seismic interpretation analyses. Muruk-1 is operated by Oil Search, which holds a 37.5% stake in the project; ExxonMobil represents 42.5% and Santos the remaining 20% of the investment total.

  • Latin America-Caribbean

  • Petrobras has announced the first commercial discovery of oil accumulation in the Campos Basin’s presalt layer in the area of the Marlim Sul field during drilling of Well 6-MLS-233-RJS (Petrobras), informally known as Poraquê Alto. At a final depth of 4568 m, the well is located 115 km off the coast of Rio de Janeiro State at a water depth of 1107 m. Profile data, gas detection, formation testing by cable, and fluid samples verified the discovery. Current data indicate carbonate reservoirs of good porosity and permeability at a depth of 4420 m and a 45-m oil-presence thickness.

  • Middle East-North Africa

  • Saudi Aramco has announced new efforts to explore the Empty Quarter, the world’s largest contiguous sand desert, with the use of new seismic technology. The technology generates a 3D picture of the rock structure for several kilometers, but it also reveals physical characteristics of the rock, such as fluid saturation and density. A large team is exploring an area of more than 15,000 km2 around Turayqa, a region already explored after its 2013 discovery. Previous joint-venture efforts to explore the area of the Empty Quarter were unsuccessful.

  • Northern Europe

  • Statoil and several partners announced the discovery of a noncommercial gas deposit in the southeast Barents Sea. The Korpfjell well is the first exploration well drilled in the Norwegian portion of a region once disputed between Norway and the Russian Federation. While the discovery, estimated at containing between 40 and 75 million bbl of recoverable oil equivalent, does not hold commercial potential, it indicates future potential for additional exploration and drilling. Korpfjell is the fourth well in Statoil’s 2017 efforts in the Barents, where July saw the discovery of the Kayak and Blåmann deposits, and the Gemini deposit in August. Partners include operator Statoil, with a share of 30%; Chevron with 20%; Petoro with 20%; Lundin Norway with 15%; and ConocoPhillips with 15%.

  • Russia-Caspian-Central Asia

  • Frontera Resources has mobilized a workover rig to its Ud-2 well onshore Block 12 in Georgia. The rig will carry out operations to clean the well, retrieve the packer, and set the bridge plug, thereby making three intervals accessible for perforation and extended testing. The well is located in the Mtsare Khevi Gas Complex, a 950-km2 area. Two of the area’s reservoirs, the Miocene-aged Gareji and the Oligocene-aged Maykop, are estimated to hold 8.3 Tcf of gas in place, with over 6 Tcf believed to be recoverable. Frontera plans to connect the Ud-2 well with the Mtsare Khevi gas-processing facility, which is located 18 km from the well itself. The facility is directly linked with the Georgian gas-distribution infrastructure.

  • USA

  • Sacgasco Limited, a natural gas developer and producer focused upon California’s Sacramento Basin, advised that drilling of the company’s over-1-Tcf Dempsey 1-15 well is proceeding according to schedule. The 13⅜-in. surface casing was set and cemented to a depth of 552 m. The rig is presently developing tools to drill in 12¼-in. hole. Company officials said reservoir sands will be drilled through at field-production levels in the next stage of the well, which is planned to be drilled in three sections to depths of approximately 600, 2000, and 3200 m, respectively. Sacgasco has identified seven target reservoir levels. Individual prospective resources of recoverable gas for the primary targets range from 116 to 352 Bcf. If the stacked reservoirs prove to be full of gas, the prospect’s cumulative unrisked recoverable prospective resources could be greater than 1 Tcf.