1. Toreador Resources found gas as it drilled its Ayazli-1 exploratory well on the South Akcakoca prospect southwest of Istanbul in the Black Sea. It reached gas in the Miocene Kusuri zone, which also produced gas in the nearby Akcakoca-1 well, drilled in 1975 by Turkey's TPAO. The company is drilling ahead to test Mesozoic sand potential. The well is in 250 ft (76 m) of water and will drill to 6,600 ft (2,013 m). Toreador subsidiary Madison Oil Turkey is putting up 75% of the cost of the drilling effort to earn a 36.75% working interest. Stratic Energy is putting up the other 25% of costs to earn a 12.25% working interest. TPAO is carried on the well and can back in for 51%.

2. CanArgo Energy has brought to spud the first well to be drilled in Samgori field in the Republic of Georgia for several years. It is drilling the development well to 8,202 ft (2,500 m). If it completes the well, it will go back into the hole and recomplete the well using Weatherford's underbalanced coiled tubing drilling system to drill one or more horizontal arms. The well is in the central part of the field near the village of Sartichala east of Tbilisi.

3. The State Oil Co. of the Azerbaijani Republic (SOCAR), through its upstream Azneft subsidiary, will expand production from N11 platform on the shallowwater western side of its Gunashli field in the Caspian Sea next year. The company plans to drill an additional eight gas wells on an onshore block to add another 106 MMcf/d (300 Mcm/d) of gas. It produces 6,744 b/d of oil from the platform now.

4. Kazakhoil Aktobe, a 50% affiliate of Nelson Resources, reached a cumulative production figure of 7.55 million bbl with combined production from its Alibekmola and Kozhasai oil fields remaining at a steady 20,000 b/d after peaking at 23,000 b/d. The company runs four drilling rigs in Alibekmola field and another in Kozhasai.

5. BMB Munai Inc. has put its Kazakh subsidiary Emir Oil LLP to work drilling the Dolinnoe-2 well in Dolinnoe field on the ADE block near the city of Aktau, Kazakhstan, on the Caspian Sea. It plans to drill the well to 13,124 ft (4,000 m) based on information from a 3-D seismic survey. The company is selling oil from the Dolinnoe-1 well to the local market.

6. Dragon Oil reports success on the fourth and fifth wells in its workover program, the LAM63/85 and the LAM63/64, in Lam field in the Cheleken production sharing agreement area offshore Turkmenistan in the Caspian Sea. The wells tested at 918 b/d of oil and 348 b/d of oil, respectively, with less than 1% water in the first well and a 12.4% water cut in the second well.

7. Russian gas giant Gazprom started gas production from its Shakhpakhty field in the Ustyurt region of western Uzbekistan, according to Interfax Information Services. The company anticipates ramping up production to a peak capacity of some 17.7 Bcf (500 MMcm) a year. The gas will be exported north to an existing trunk line. Gazprom estimates the cost of the project at about US $12 million this year and an overall investment of $15 million through 2007. The field had produced in the 1970s, but it was shut in during the 1970s when the compression equipment wore out.

8. Russia's Natural Resources Ministry has approved a list of 16 properties in the southern Tyumen region for development as early as 2005. The area contains estimated resources of 2.56 billion bbl of oil. The list must still face regulatory approval by several more Russian ministries, according to Interfax Information Services. Licenses for surveys could be approved for the Ingairsky, Yelovkinsky and Achimovsky parcels. Surveys with exploration and development rights could be available for Zapadno-Mikhailovsky, Vostochno-Mikhailovsky, Vostochno-Gerasimovsky, Katyssky, Zapadno-Vagaisky, Vagaisky, Baikalovsky, Vostochno-Baikalovsky, Zapadno-Gerasimovsky, Gerasimovsky, Severo-Baikalovsky, Karachinovsky and Tobolsky properties.

9. China's CNOOC has discovered oil at its JZ 21-1S-1 wildcat on the JX21-1 south structure on the Liaozong Sag in the northern arm of Bohai Bay, China. The company drilled the well in 66 ft (20 m) of water to a depth of 7,874 ft (2,400 m). It tested oil at rates of 700 b/d and 500 b/d on two drillstem tests.

10. CNOOC's Panyu 34-1-2 appraisal well 155 miles (250 km) southeast of Hong Kong on the Baiyun Sag tested at 18.4 MMcf/d
of gas. The well is about 6.2 miles (10 km) southwest of the PY 30-1 discovery well.

11. Canada's Husky Oil China Ltd has signed an exploration contract with CNOOC for a second deepwater block in the Pearl River Mouth Basin in the eastern South China Sea. The 29/26 block is some 186 miles (300 km) southeast of Hong Kong.

12. Pakistan planned to open bidding on production sharing contracts on five new offshore exploration blocks covering a total area of 4,826 sq miles (12,500 sq km). The government awarded two blocks to a Total consortium and one block to a Shell joint venture last year.

13. Cairn Energy has government approval to explore five blocks in Nepal along that country's border with India. The licenses apply to Block 1 (Dhangari), Block 2 (Karnali), Block 4 (Lumbini), Block 6 (Birganj) and Block 7 (Malangawa). All the blocks are on the Terai plains.

14. Gujarat State Petroleum Corp. claimed a 50-million-bbl oil discovery on its CB-ONN-2000/2 onshore Ahmedabad property. The company's PK-2 well tested at 1,000 b/d of oil, and the company estimates 5 million bbl of recoverable oil. The company drilled five previous wells on the block, but this well is on a separate structure.

15. If the economics work out right for Daewoo's gas discovery on the
A-1 block offshore Myanmar, the company is prepared to build an LNG plant. Otherwise, the gas will be transported by pipeline to India. The decision point apparently is 8 Tcf of gas reserves with an investment cost of US $3 billion. The company's Shwe discovery found between 4 Tcf and 6 Tcf of reserves.