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With nine successful wells offshore Mozambique, Anadarko Petroleum is applying its worldwide expertise to discover and develop world-class natural gas reserves.
Since 2010 when Anadarko Petroleum Corp. made the Windjammer discovery, there have been eight more successful wells in the discovery area in Mozambique, now called “Prosperidade” (meaning prosperity), which is a small portion of its 2.6 million acres.
“We have a large acreage position. We were in very early in the play and actually opened the play with the Windjammer and Barquentine discoveries,” said Frank Patterson, Anadarko’s vice president, exploration.
“We have acquired a lot of seismic data. We have drilled more wells than anybody else in the industry in the East African basins, and we are continually learning,” he told Hart Energy E&P Online. “It’s a really spectacular basin with a very high discovery rate so far.”
The company recently completed the drilling portion of its appraisal well program with the Barquentine 4 well, which was also successful.
Anadarko has two rigs operating offshore Mozambique currently. One rig will go back to exploration work while the second rig will continue drill-stem testing (DST) for the rest of this year, explained Bill Tedesco, Anadarko’s manager, East Africa exploration.
“Right now, we have two rigs operating in Mozambique and have had them there so far in 2012. We’ve finished our Barquentine 4 well, which was the final well in the drilling portion of our appraisal program in the Prosperidade complex,” he continued.
Patterson noted that “That rig has now been mobilized to drill the Atum and Golfinho exploration prospects north of the Prosperidade complex. These are chasing the same play types we are seeing in the Windjammer and Barquentine areas.
“When that drilling program is complete, we plan to move the rig to a prospect called Orca to test the deeper Paleocene. The interesting aspect of the Paleocene is that we haven’t even estimated resources in it yet. And, we’ve encountered pay in two of our wells to date in Paleocene-aged sands.
“After that, the rig will go south and start drilling some of the southern prospects in Offshore Area 1,” he said.
|The drill-stem test by the Deepwater Millennium flowed 90 to 100 million cubic feet per day from a constrained facility. (Photo courtesy of Anadarko Petroleum)|
The Deepwater Millennium is conducting the DSTs. The drillship will likely be moved to drill a well offshore Kenya when the vessel completes the DSTs toward the latter part of the year to start the company’s Kenyan exploration program.
“We have contracted a newbuild that will be available in late 2013 that will be dedicated to the project. The rig will be basically used for development drilling. We’ll be using the two rigs we have right now until that rig shows up. Then, we’ll possibly keep one of those rigs occupied in East Africa with this new rig,” Patterson stated.
“Our goal is to keep a two-, maybe two-plus rig program going for several years,” he added.
The company is drilling in about 5,000 ft of water offshore Mozambique and in slightly deeper water in Kenya.
For its drilling operations, Anadarko has “seen significant improvements in drilling efficiencies,” Tedesco explained. “Costs are coming down, and we’ve gained a lot of expertise from our drilling program on what to expect. We plan on transferring that same learning when we move north into Kenya.
“We have maximized our efficiencies on our casing programs and every other aspect of the drilling,” he continued.
“We really minimized the downtime. Our crews are very experienced and they know their jobs as do our drillers. We understand the geology and feel very comfortable in safely drilling these wells,” he added.
|Experienced rig crews and drillers understand the geology and use standard deepwater practices, which has resulted in increased efficiencies and lower costs. (Photo courtesy of Anadarko Petroleum)|
“This is a pretty normal drilling area as far as temperature and pressure are concerned,” Patterson emphasized. “There are really no major engineering hurdles that we have to overcome for either drilling or development.
“We use pretty standard deepwater practices. With that said, we take safety and environmental protection very seriously. In Mozambique, we’re using the same protocols we use all over the world,” he noted.
And, the results of the drilling program to date have been impressive. With nine successful wells in the Prosperidade complex, the company has estimated recoverable natural gas resources of 17 to 30-plus trillion cubic feet.
One of the things that “is exciting to me from an exploration management standpoint is that we’re just getting started. There are not that many wells in the basin yet. This is a huge opportunity for ourselves, our partners and the country of Mozambique,” Patterson said.
Tedesco pointed out that the companies “have been fairly aggressive out here. Once we made our initial discoveries, we wanted to find out the scope of this project. Rather than wait around, we quickly covered the block in Mozambique with 3D to expand both our development set, our upside potential and what the exploration prospects are. That’s paying dividends for us now.”
Patterson said, “Anadarko has a large portfolio of opportunities. We continuously view our opportunity set and basically invest in the best opportunities. Right now in our portfolio, this is a great, great opportunity.”
Contact the author, Scott Weeden, at email@example.com.