Africa (Sub-Sahara)

  • FAR said that an independent study of two of its blocks offshore Gambia found a potential for 1.1 billion bbl of oil. The company said a net 926 million bbl could be obtained in the A2 and A5 blocks in the Mauritania-Senegal-Guinea-Bissau Basin, in which it has an 80% interest. Preparatory operations are underway for drilling in late 2018. FAR signed a farm-in deal with Erin Energy for the blocks, under which it will fund up to $8 million of that company’s share of exploration costs. FAR itself is expected to spend $25 million to $30 million for exploration.

  • Asia Pacific

  • China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) confirmed that the Weizhou 12-2 oil field phase II project in the Beibu Gulf of the South China Sea has begun production. The project is expected to reach its designed peak output of approximately 11,800 B/D of crude in 2018. Currently, seven wells are producing approximately 6,400 B/D. The phase II project fully used the existing facilities of the Weizhou 12-2 oil field, in addition to building an extra wellhead platform.

  • China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC), through its PetroChina subsidiary, discovered a new oil field with about 3.8 billion bbl of crude reserves in place. The discovery sits in the Juggar Basin of the Xinjiang region in western China. PetroChina also said that it had increased production capacity at its Xinjiang oil field by about 27,000 B/D.

  • Canada

  • ExxonMobil has produced first oil from the Hebron project offshore eastern Canada. At its peak the project will produce up to 150,000 B/D of oil, the company said. The platform is 200 miles off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador in 300 ft of water. Discovered in 1980, Hebron is estimated to hold more than 700 million bbl of recoverable resources. The platform has living quarters, drilling and production facilities, and storage capacity for 1.2 million bbl of oil. ExxonMobil is the operator with a 35.5% interest in the project. Partners in the Hebron joint venture include Chevron (29.6%), Suncor Energy (21%), Statoil (9%), and Nalcor Energy (4.9%).

  • Latin America-Caribbean

  • Petrobras has produced first oil from the giant Libra field offshore Brazil. A statement by partner Total said that field production had begun to flow from the floating production, storage, and offloading vessel Pioneiro de Libra, which has an output capacity of 50,000 B/D. The field partners, Total said, continue to collect data that could support decisions on subsequent development phases. Petrobras is the field operator with a 40% interest. The other project participants are Total (20%), Shell (20%), CNOOC (10%), and CNPC (10%).

  • Mexico

  • Pemex has made its largest onshore oil discovery in 15 years with a find at the Ixachi well in the municipality of Cosamaloapan in the eastern state of Veracruz. The discovery represents an estimated 350 million bbl of proven, probable, and possible field reserves. However, a company statement following the discovery announcement indicated that the discovery could eventually double in size.

  • Middle East-North Africa

  • DNO reported that oil production from the Peshkabir field in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq’s Tawke license has tripled to 15,000 B/D, following completion of the Peshkabir-3 well testing, stimulation, and cleanup program. Eleven zones in a 3,937‑ft horizontal section of Cretaceous and Jurassic reservoir were individually tested and flowed successfully, of which 10 were oil zones and one was a gas zone. The oil zones tested at an average of 5,340 B/D on a 64/64-in. choke, with the highest test rate achieving 7,200 B/D. A multizone combined test attained a 12,500 B/D rate on a 128/64-in. choke from five zones. DNO is the license operator with a 75% interest. Genel Energy holds the remaining stake.

  • Genel Energy said that one of its wells drilled to appraise the northern end of the Taq Taq oil field in the Kurdistan region of Iraq encountered oil-bearing reservoirs. The main objective of the well, which had been drilled since February, was to reduce uncertainty about the free water level in the field’s north flank. Further development of the Cretaceous reservoir had been deferred pending the test program results. The company said the well, which was drilled to a measured depth of 10,171 ft, encountered good quality Cretaceous Shiranish and Kometan reservoirs but that it was too early to estimate the impact of the results on reserves, production, or future investment. The field now produces a gross 15,100 B/D of oil.

  • Sonatrach has begun $2 billion of new investments into the Hassi Rmel gas field to keep production stable at the country’s biggest gas field. The objective is to maintain production at the 6.7 Bcf/D level for the next 10 years, according to Chief Executive Abdelmoumene Ould Kaddour. Hassi Rmel represents 60% of Algeria’s total gas output, producing from 6.7 Bcf/D to 7.4 Bcf/D. Investment in the field’s compression facilities is necessary to maintain output, Kaddour said. The Japanese firm JGC has been put in charge of the project.

  • Northern Europe

  • Statoil and its partners in the Fram license have agreed to invest in a new project to increase production from the Fram field in the United Kingdom North Sea. The decision, which was taken in agreement with partners in the Troll license, means that $122 million be spent on a new gas module at the Troll C platform in Norwegian waters. This will help to increase Fram’s oil production and gas exports and provide conditions for further area development. Statoil said the planned investment is enabled by standardized solutions and equipment, close interaction between operations and suppliers, and a focus on keeping a lean project.