Latin America-Caribbean

  • Petrobras and CNPC have signed a memorandum of understanding in Beijing to begin negotiations on a strategic partnership, Petrobras has reported. The companies agreed in the document to jointly evaluate opportunities in Brazil and abroad in key areas of mutual interest. Petrobras, the Brazilian national oil company, said in a news release on its website that partnerships will represent an important strategy in its 2017–2021 business plan because of the potential benefits of risk sharing, increasing investment capacity, technological exchange, and strengthening corporate governance.

  • YPF, Total, Wintershall, and BP have announced a USD 1.15-billion joint investment to increase shale gas production in Argentina. The provincial government in Neuquén, where the resource-rich Vaca Muerta Shale is located, has agreed to split the Aguada Pichana area into two parts and combine it with the Aguada de Castro area. Total, with a 41% stake, will operate the eastern Aguada Pichana section, where 48 horizontal wells are planned through 2021. BP’s Pan American Energy unit, with a 45% stake, will operate the western section and the Aguada de Castro area, where 24 horizontal wells are planned. The investments are expected to more than double natural gas production in the area to 4.5 million m3/d.

  • Mexico

  • Talos Energy has made a historic, major oil discovery offshore Mexico. The Zama-1 well discovered an estimated 1.4 billion bbl to 2 billion bbl of light oil in place, according to published reports. As the country’s first wildcat discovery by a private company in almost 80 years, the find is a milestone for Mexico’s recently reformed oil and gas sector. While Eni made a discovery earlier this year, it was in waters that had been previously explored by Pemex. The Talos discovery was in unexplored waters. The Zama well lies in 546 ft of water on Block 7 of the Sureste Basin 37 miles offshore Dos Bocas in the state of Tabasco. Talos, with a 35% interest, is the operator and leader of the project joint venture, which includes Sierra Oil and Gas (40%) and Premier Oil (25%).

  • Middle East-North Africa

  • Sound Energy reported successful operations at the Koba-1 well at Sidi Moktar onshore Morocco. The company said it had successfully re-entered, completed, perforated, and flared gas at surface from the Argovian reservoir, which has been the main producing reservoir in the Kechoula discovery. After perforating a 16-ft interval at a measured depth of 4,612 ft, where the static pressure was measured at 98 bar, Sound Energy confirmed a producible gas accumulation. The company has temporarily suspended the well to prepare for a rigless extended well test. Drilled at the crest of the Kechoula discovery, the Koba well is close to infrastructure and will have good access to Morocco’s gas market.

  • Total and the National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC) have signed a contract for the development and production of phase 11 of South Pars (SP11), the world’s largest gas field. The project will have a production capacity of 2 Bcf/D, or 400,000 BOE/D including condensate. The produced gas will supply Iran’s domestic market starting in 2021. The SP11 project will consist of a first phase in which 30 wells and two wellhead platforms will be developed and connected to existing onshore treatment facilities by subsea pipelines, and a second phase in which offshore compression facilities will be built. Operator Total has a 50.1% stake in SP11, with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and NIOC holding 30% and 19.9% interests, respectively.

  • Northern Europe

  • Repsol Sinopec Resources UK said that first gas has been delivered on schedule from the Cayley field, the third and final discovery to be brought on-stream during the major Montrose Area Redevelopment (MAR) project in the United Kingdom Central North Sea. Gross incremental production from Cayley and the Godwin and Shaw fields, previously started up, is estimated to peak at 40,000 BOE/D. The new production is expected to extend the life of the Montrose facilities, which were installed in 1976, to beyond 2030. Repsol Sinopec is the MAR project operator with a 58.97% interest. Marubeni Oil & Gas holds the remaining stake. Repsol Sinopec is a joint venture of Repsol and Addax Petroleum UK, a subsidiary of Sinopec.

  • Russia-Caspian-Central Asia

  • Repsol and Gazprom Neft have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to increase collaboration between both companies in West Siberia. The MOU commits the companies to seek new opportunities in collaboration to increase regional exploration activity. Either company will be able to pursue opportunities individually after the partner exercises a right of first refusal. During 2014, Repsol announced two hydrocarbon discoveries in the area at Karabashsky blocks 1 and 2, for which the recoverable resources are estimated at 240 million BOE by the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment.