Africa (Sub-Sahara)

  • BP and Kosmos Energy have made a major deepwater natural gas discovery offshore Senegal. The Yakaar-1 well on the Cayar Offshore Profond Block encountered a gross hydrocarbon column of 394 ft and net pay of 148 ft. The well tested the basin floor fan system outlying Kosmos’ 2015 Tortue discovery in Senegal and Mauritania, which is estimated to hold more than 15 Tcf of gas resources and is slated to begin production and liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports in 2021. The reserves at Yakaar-1 and the 2016 Teranga-1 discovery could support a second LNG hub, the companies said. BP is buying out a minority interest holder in Cayar Offshore Profond and another block. When the deal is completed, BP will hold an approximately 60% interest in the Senegal blocks, with Kosmos and Petrosen holding approximately 30% and 10% stakes, respectively.

  • Tullow’s Emekuya-1 well in Block 13T of northern Kenya has hit oil. The well encountered approximately 245 ft of net pay in two zones, the company said. Situated 1.5 miles north of the successful Etom-2 well, Emekuya-1 drilled a fault block on the flank of the Greater Etom structure and reached a total measured depth of 4,448 ft. The well penetrated reservoir-quality Miocene sandstones that correlate to those in Etom‑2, Tullow said. The company operates and holds a 50% interest in Blocks 13T and 10BB, with Africa Oil and Maersk Oil each holding 25% stakes.

  • Asia Pacific

  • Eni has started gas production from the deepwater Jangkrik Development Project offshore Indonesia ahead of schedule, the company said on 15 May. Production from 10 subsea wells, connected to the newly built floating production unit (FPU) Jangkrik, will gradually reach 450 MMscf/D (83,000 BOE/D). Gas will be processed on the FPU, flow through a dedicated 49-mile pipeline to a company onshore receiving facility, and be sent through the East Kalimantan Transportation System to the Bontang gas liquefaction plant.

  • ExxonMobil reported positive results on the Muruk-1 sidetrack well in the Papua New Guinea (PNG) North Highlands, 13 miles northwest of the Hides gas field. Drilled to a depth of 13,550 ft, the recent well lies southwest of the late-2016 Muruk-1 natural gas discovery. The sidetrack well success “confirms the extent of the Muruk area and further establishes Muruk as a potentially significant new discovery with the same high-quality sandstone reservoirs as the Hides field,” said Steve Greenlee, president of ExxonMobil Exploration Company. Hides is one of three fields that supplies the company-operated PNG LNG development. Oil Search is the operator of the Muruk wells with a 37.5% interest, with ExxonMobil (42.5%) and Santos (20%) the other participants.

  • Europe

  • Chris Nussbaum, SPE, died 5 May. He was the chairman of the SPE Aberdeen Section from 2009 to 2011. Nussbaum was interpretation development advisor at Archer UK, where he provided expert technical support in log processing and interpretation services for the global wireline division. He joined Archer in 2011 as data services manager. Nussbaum was the chief executive of TecWel from 2008 to 2010, when the company became part of Seawell UK. At Seawell, he was the wireline operations manager for the UK/Africa regions.

    Nussbaum had more than 30 years of experience in the oil industry. After graduation, he started his career as a wireline logging engineer at Dresser Europe. As a logging engineer for Geoservices he worked on projects in Africa and the Middle East, on rotation from the UK. He joined Read Well Services in 1993 and was seconded to Elf Enterprise Caledonia until 1995 to manage a dedicated in-house wireline intervention team on three offshore fields. He was then seconded to work at BP as part of an integrated well services team for the Magnus Platform. He later became the sales and marketing manager for Read Well Services, responsible for developing the company’s global business in cased-hole technology.

    An active member of SPE, Nussbaum was a past chairman of the SPE Aberdeen Section. “During his chairmanship, the section grew to promote itself to the wider Aberdeen and Scottish communities, embraced the emerging world of social media, and rebuilt our website to ensure that we could more effectively communicate our achievements and events. Under his enthusiastic leadership the SPE Aberdeen Section began its run of seven SPE President’s Awards for Section Excellence [starting in 2010],” said Ian Phillips, current Aberdeen Section chairman. Nussbaum was a mentor to many in the section, including several recent section chairs. He authored technical papers, attended SPE events, and was a member of several SPE committees. He was recognized with the Past Chairman Award by the section in 2014 and the SPE Regional Service Award for North Sea region in 2012. Nussbaum held a BS degree in physics from the University of York.

  • Latin America-Caribbean

  • Total said it will spend USD 500 million over 3 to 4 years to develop a shale-gas prospect in Argentina as the country’s government has promised to set a minimum price to attract investors. The company is proceeding with the first-phase development of the Aguada Pichana Este license in the Vaca Muerta formation. Total plans to increase its interest in the license, co-owned by YPF, Wintershall, and Pan America Energy, to 41% from about 27%, pending local regulatory approval.

  • Mexico

  • Talos Energy spudded the Zama-1 exploration well in the Sureste Basin offshore the state of Tabasco in Mexico on 23 May. The prospect is estimated to hold from 100 million to 500 million bbl of oil, according to project partner Premier Oil. The drilling effort marks the first well to be spudded on a block awarded in Mexico’s first acreage tender in July 2015, following the country’s historic energy reform that opened oil and gas projects to foreign investors. An offshore well operated by Eni—which resulted in a discovery announced on 23 March—was drilled before Zama-1 on acreage awarded in the second tender in September 2015. Talos, the operator, holds a 35% interest in the Zama well, with the remaining stakes held by Sierra Oil & Gas (40%) and Premier (25%).


  • Middle East-North Africa

  • Iraq has begun the third and final-phase expansion at its southern Halfaya oil field with the goal of doubling production capacity to 400,000 B/D in 2018. The expansion will include additional oil/gas separation facilities, said Adnan Noshi, director general of Maysan Oil Company, recently. The company oversees oil fields in Maysan province. Halfaya, operated by PetroChina, is Maysan Oil’s largest field, which produces 200,000 B/D of a total output of 380,000 B/D. The expansion should raise Maysan’s overall production to almost 600,000 B/D in 2018, Noshi said. Iraq plans to increase production capacity to 5 million B/D by year-end from a recently reported level of approximately 4.7 million B/D.

  • Northern Europe

  • BP has produced first oil from the redeveloped Schiehallion area, following the completion of the Quad 204 project in the west of Shetland region offshore the United Kingdom. Schiehallion and the adjacent Loyal field have produced almost 400 million bbl of oil since startup in 1998. Redevelopment through Quad 204 is expected to unlock a further 450 million bbl of resources and extend the fields’ lives beyond 2035. Oil production will ramp up during 2017 to a plateau level of 130,000 B/D. BP has a 36% interest in the Glen Lyon harsh-water floating production, storage, and offloading vessel, which was installed in the project to produce from the fields. Shell (54%) and Siccar Point Energy (10%) hold the remaining vessel interests. Field interest holders at Schiehallion are Shell (55%), BP (33%), and Siccar Point (12%), and at Loyal field are BP (50%) and Shell (50%).

  • Repsol Sinopec Resources UK said that first oil has flowed from the Shaw field, which is part of the company-operated Montrose Area Redevelopment (MAR) project in the United Kingdom Central North Sea. The Shaw, Cayley, and Godwin fields are being brought on line as new fields in the project, which is also extending the lives of six existing fields. First output from Cayley was expected at the end of the second quarter, with gross incremental production estimated to peak at up to 40,000 BOE/D. The MAR project is intended to unlock up to 100 million BOE of additional reserves. The project interest holders are Repsol Sinopec (58.97%) and Marubeni Oil & Gas (41.03%). Repsol Sinopec is a joint venture of Repsol and Addax Petroleum UK, a subsidiary of Sinopec.