1. Canadian independent First Calgary Petroleums revealed that its LES-1 exploration well on its 100% held Ledjmet Block 405b in Algeria has hit 197 ft (60 m) of pay dirt. Wireline logging of the well indicates hydrocarbon pay over multiple geological intervals. LES-1, drilled to 14,144 ft (4,311 m), is located 9.3 miles (15 km) southwest of the MLE field on a separate geological structure. The company is also currently production testing its LEC-1 well 3.2 m (5.1 km) west of the MLE field, which hit 138 ft (42 m) of net hydrocarbon pay.
2. Egypt launched a new licensing round including nine blocks in the Mediterranean Sea and in the North Sinai. The round is being controlled by the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company with a closing date for bids of Dec. 1. The seven blocks in the Mediterranean Sea are Boughas, North Boughas, Deep North Temsah, Deep North Sinai, Deep North Sidi Kereer, North Amreya and North Rass Al-Hekma.
The two onshore blocks in the North Sinai are West Maghara and Romana.
3. The BG Group has stepped in to buy out Shell's interest in the Rosetta concession offshore Egypt for US $235 million, thwarting a preliminary agreement between Shell and Kuwait Foreign Petroleum Exploration Co. for Shell to sell the stake to the latter.
4. Eni will spud the first in a two-well campaign in its Ashrafy offshore concession in the southwest of the Gulf of Suez. The work is to be done by IEOC, a joint venture with state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corp.
5. IPR Transoil has successfully drilled and completed back-to-back infill development in the Western Desert in Egypt. The Alamein-31 infill well, producing from a new reservoir horizon (Middle Bahariya), was drilled on the northeast flank of the Alamein field to a total depth of 6,815 ft (2,078 m), and encountered oil pay in four Cretaceous reservoir horizons totaling 61 ft (19 m) of net pay. The well was dually completed in the Middle Bahariya and Razzak sands. The Abu Roash G Dolomite and Lower Bahariya reservoirs will be left for future testing and production. The Alamein-33 infill development well was drilled to a total depth of 6,805 ft (2,076 m) in the western portion of the Alamein field. Oil pay was also encountered in four Cretaceous reservoir horizons totaling 98 ft (30 m) of net pay.
6. Canada's TG World Energy and China's CNPC have agreed to jointly explore a block in Niger. Under a new agreement CNPC will be operator of the Tenere block with 80%. CNPC will carry 100% of costs through the reprocessing and interpretation of existing seismic data as well as the acquisition, processing and interpretation of at least 932 miles (1,500 km) of new 2-D seismic data; the drilling of three exploration wells; and the acquisition, processing and interpretation of any additional seismic prior to the drilling of the second exploration well. The initial estimated budget for this work program, excluding any additional seismic, is approximately US $55 million.
7. A light oil discovery has been made off Gabon, which looks set to end up a relatively simple tieback to existing infrastructure. Shell Gabon and co-venturer Pan-Ocean Energy said the find was made with the Awokou-1 wildcat, located on the Koula prospect in the Awoun Permit, which lies 5 miles (8 km) to the north of the Total/Shell producing Avocette field and 3.1 miles (5km) to the northwest of PanOcean's producing Obangue field onshore Gabon. The exploration well was drilled to a total depth of 6,319 ft (1,926 m). It is the first well drilled as part of a two-well exploration campaign in the permit and is currently being suspended at the 95/8-in. casing, according to Dow Jones. A second exploration well (Awodam-1) will be drilled some 1.9 miles (3 km) to the southwest.
8. France's Maurel & Prom has had further successful appraisal of its M'Boundi field in Congo. The company drilled the 802 well in the southeast part of the field and discovered a Vandji B reservoir which was more than 165 ft (50 m) thick with no gas. Current drilling activities will accelerate the delineation of the deposit eastward (M'Boundi 702), southward (M'Boundi 106) and westward (M'Boundi 901).
9. Ocean Rig has signed a Letter of Intent with BP for two wells and two optional wells in continuation to be drilled on Block 31 offshore Angola. The estimated duration of the two firm wells is 150 days with a net contract value of approximately US $32 million. The estimated duration of the two optional wells is 130 days with a corresponding net contract value of approximately $27 million.
10. Namibia will be hoping for better results from its newly opened fourth licensing round than previous attempts. The last round received no bids, and Vanco is the only firm left exploring offshore the country. The round covers around half a dozen Orange Basin blocks and two in the Walvis Basin.
11. Vanco has started a 3-D seismic shoot on its acreage offshore Madagascar - the first ever 3-D shoot offshore East Africa. The company holds the rights to the Majunga Offshore Profond block and is conducting a 3-D seismic acquisition program covering 1,412 sq miles (3,657 sq km) of the deepwater portion of the block. Majunga Offshore Profond is situated offshore northwestern Madagascar and encompasses approximately 4.4 million acres.
12. Exploration off East Africa has suffered another setback as DNO's second well off Mozambique was plugged and abandoned. The second exploration well in the Inhaminga block was completed with only minor indications of hydrocarbons.