Africa (Sub-Sahara)

  • Eni has begun production from the Vandumbu field and made a new oil discovery in the Afoxé exploration prospect in Block 15/06 offshore Angola. First oil from the Vandumbu field, through the N’Goma floating production, storage, and offloading vessel, was achieved in late November, 3 months ahead of schedule. Vandumbu is approximately 350 km northwest of Luanda and 130 km west of Soyo. This, along with the startup of a subsea multiphase boosting system in early December, boosts oil production from Block 15/06 by 20,000 B/D. The rampup of Vandumbu is expected to be completed in 1Q 2019. Block 15/06 is being developed by a joint venture formed by Eni (36.84%, operator), Sonangol (36.84%), and SSI Fifteen (26.32%).

  • Asia Pacific

  • Ophir Energy’s Paus Biru-1 exploration well in the Sampang production-sharing contract (PSC) offshore Indonesia has resulted in a gas discovery. The well was drilled to a total measured depth of 710 m (2,340 ft) and encountered 29 m of estimated net pay within the target Mundu formation carbonate reservoir. The Paus Biru discovery is approximately 27 km east of the producing Oyong gas field, which is also in the Sampang PSC. The approved budget for Paus Biru-1 well was $15 million. Ophir, through its affiliate company, has 45% participating interest and is the operator of the Sampang PSC.

  • Latin America-Caribbean

  • Spectrum has started a 10700-sq‑km 3D seismic survey in the Potiguar Basin offshore the Equatorial Margins of Brazil. This survey covers blocks that were recently awarded in the 15th license round and open acreage blocks scheduled for the 17th round in 2020. The survey is being acquired with a 12-cable long offset configuration in continuous recording mode. The Potiguar survey is supported by industry funding. Spectrum is the sole operator of the project. First products are expected to be available in the third quarter of 2019.

  • Mexico

  • The semisubmersible Ensco 8503 has spudded the Zama-2 appraisal well in Block 7 offshore Mexico, according to operator Talos Energy. The spudding of the well marks the start of the Zama appraisal program, which will consist of three reservoir penetrations, including two wells and one sidetrack. The first well, Zama‑2, will be drilled to the north of the discovery well and will collect information to better understand the reservoir’s aquifer support. The appraisal program is expected to be completed by mid-2019. The rig is contracted and will be used for the entirety of the appraisal program. Talos is the operator of Block 7, which includes Zama, with a 35% participating interest. Its partners in Block 7 are Premier Oil (25%) and Sierra Oil & Gas (40%).

  • Middle East-North Africa

  • The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) announced that a 4% stake in its onshore concession previously held by CEFC China Energy Company (CEFC China) has been acquired by North Petroleum International Company, a subsidiary of China ZhenHua Oil Company. The ownership change is in line with the UAE’s directives to grant access to Abu Dhabi’s oil and gas concessions to partners who offer technology, operational experience, capital, or market access. China ZhenHua Oil joins BP (10%), Total (10%), China National Petroleum Corporation (8%), Inpex Corporation (5%), and GS Energy (3%) as participants in the onshore concession and shareholders of ADNOC Onshore. ADNOC retains a majority 60% share in the ADNOC Onshore-operated concession.

  • Shearwater GeoServices expects its Polar Empress seismic vessel to start a seismic survey soon over Block 52 in the Arabian Sea offshore Oman. Clients are Eni and Oman Oil Company Exploration and Production. The program comprises 2500 sq km (965 sq mi) of 3D data and 800 km (497 mi) of 2D acquisition and data processing. Shearwater has also secured a 3D broadband marine seismic-acquisition contract for India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, with the surveys expected to take 5 months to complete. They will cover a total area in the Asia Pacific region of approximately 2000 sq km (772 sq mi), with the main streamer vessel mobilizing later this year.

  • Eni and its partners have decided to allow their Rabat Deep license offshore Morocco to lapse. This follows the unsuccessful Rabat Deep 1 well earlier this year. According to Chariot Oil and Gas, the primary Jurassic carbonate interval was tight, and that result led to downgrading of other prospects and leads at this level. However, geochemical analysis of hydrocarbons extracted from sidewall cores indicates potential for hydrocarbon migration from a Cretaceous or younger source rock, which would still represent a new petroleum system offshore Morocco. In addition, Chariot noted the well encountered good-quality Upper Jurassic sandstone reservoirs and an effective seal which appears to de-risk clastic prospects and leads identified in the company’s nearby offshore Mohammedia and Kenitra licenses.

  • Northern Europe

  • Norway’s Ministry of Petroleum and Energy has approved the plan for development and operation of the Equinor-operated Troll Phase 3 development, which covers development of gas in the western part of the Troll field, 60 km west of Sognefjorden in 330 m of water. The subsea concept includes the construction and installation of two subsea templates, drilling of eight production wells, laying of a 36-in. pipeline, and installation of a new processing module on the Troll A platform. The facilities will be powered from shore. Capital expenditure of $919 million will help extend the productive life of the Troll field beyond 2050, Equinor said. Startup is targeted for the first half of 2021. Troll partners are Equinor (30.58%, operator), Petoro (56%), Norske Shell (8.10%), Total E&P Norge (3.69%), and ConocoPhillips Skandinavia (1.62%).

  • South Asia-Indian Subcontinent

  • Megha Engineering and Infrastructure (MEIL) has acquired rights to develop two offshore mega oil fields in Gujarat and Assam. Under the award agreement, MEIL will develop, maintain, and commercialize operations. Khambel Oil Field is in Khambe Basin, located off the west coast of Gujarat, and Lakshmi Zen Field is in the northeastern Arcan Basin in Assam. The plan is to complete drilling of wells by end of 2018 and start the commercial operations by 2020. MEIL will invest approximately $100 million, to be raised from internal accruals, in the coming 2 years. Apart from drilling wells for crude-oil exploration, MEIL is also planning to establish required treatment and effluent plants for purifying oil and gas in these two oil fields. It would transport and sell this purified oil and gas to public-sector companies and other related industries.