1. As Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroya dedicated the Malampaya gas complex off the northwest coast of Palawan, Shell Philippines began a delayed project to produce the field's oil rim by re-entering the Malampaya-10 appraisal well in 2,600-ft (793-m) waters.
The US $75 million well will test the feasibility of using horizontal wells in the field. If successful, it will launch a $700 million project to recover up to 400 million bbl of oil.
2. Alcorn Production Philippines, an affiliate of Vaalco, is testing Matinloc and Nido field wells offshore Palawan in the Philippines to see if it can double production to 2,000 b/d. With remaining reserves of about 240,000 bbl of oil, Vaalco predicts the fields will become uneconomical in 2 years without some kind of remedial action.
3. Conoco Indonesia Inc. tested 2,580 b/d of oil from 130 ft (40 m) of net pay in multiple zones at its Kerisi field in the South Natuna Sea's Block B. The Kerisi-3 well affirmed the company's theory that oil existed downdip from two successful gas wells already drilled. With the new well, the field has estimated reserves of 42 million bbl of oil and 90 Bcf of gas. Conoco plans to produce the field into its Belanak system, the central hub for six Block B fields.
4. The sultanate of Brunei will announce winners early this year in its first competitive licensing round. Reportedly, 26 international companies were interested in submitting bids. Prime properties in the bidding were deepwater blocks J and K in waters ranging from 3,281 ft to 9,023 ft (1,000 m to 2,750 m) deep and onshore Block L.
5. BP Muriah Ltd. and Pertamina will develop Kepodang field on Muriah Block some 103 miles (180 km) northeast of Semarang, central Java. The offshore field contains an estimated 500 Bcf in gas reserves. The companies plan to produce first gas in 2004.
6. Indonesia state oil company Pertamina has proposed to increase its share of the giant Cepu oil field discovered by ExxonMobil onshore central Java to 17.5%. Pertamina has said if it doesn't get a bigger share by 2003, it will consider refusing to extend ExxonMobil's contract, due for expiration in 2010. Under contract terms, the Indonesian government already owns 65% of the field. ExxonMobil has 25%, and Pertamina has 10%. The increase would give it an equal share with ExxonMobil. The block has an estimated 250 million bbl of oil in reserves.
7. PT Medco Internasional TBK discovered oil at its Sebaya-1 well at its onshore Madura block on east Java. Oil shows were in three sand and limestone zones above 4,415 ft (1,346 m). The company plans to continue drilling to 6,000 ft (1,829 m) to test additional zones. It estimates reserves in the Sebaya area at 50 million bbl of oil.
8. PT Patrindo Persada Maju is reawakening 50 existing wells in Bintuni, Manikwari, Irian Jaya. Nederland New Guinea Petroleum Matschappij abandoned the wells more than 45 years ago during a conflict with Indonesia and the Netherlands over stewardship of Irian Jaya. The company has raised production to 500 b/d of oil and plans to increase output to 4,000 b/d
9. Mitsubishi sold a portion of its share of the Berau oil and gas block in Indonesia to Inpex, another Japanese firm for US $212.3 million. Under the deal, Inpex got 10% of the project and Mitsubishi kept 12.8%. The two companies set up a joint venture to develop gas in which Mitsubishi holds 56%. That arrangement apparently extends to the giant Tangguh project that includes Weriagar, Beray and Muturi fields on Irian Jaya with some 14.4 Tcf of gas reserves.
10. Origin Energy Ltd. and Arc Energy registered a discovery with their Hovea-1 onshore well in the Perth Basin. The new-field discovery flowed 950 b/d of 41.6° gravity oil and 100 Mcf/d of gas through a 1/2-in. choke.
11. Australia closed bidding applications on re-released areas that attracted no bids in the 2000 acreage sale and on 13 areas opened earlier this year in the Australian 2001 acreage program. Much of the re-released property is in shallow water, including permits T00-1 in the Gippsland Basin; W00-2, W00-4 through W00-12, W00-14 through W00-19, W00-21 to W00-23, W00-25 and W00-29 in the Bonaparte Basin; and W00-51 and W00-52 in the Carnarvon Basin. It also included shallow- and deepwater leases in W00-58 to W00-61 in the Perth Basin.
12. OMV of Austria wants to buy Shell Australia's 45% share in Sole field offshore in the Gippsland Basin of southern Australia as it tries to integrate the Shell property into its US $60 million Patricia Baleen gas field development nearby. The Sole acquisitions could double or triple the size of the development. OMV still has to get the approval of ExxonMobil and Santos, the other stakeholders in Sole.
13. Swift Energy tested three wells in the Taranaki Basin of New Zealand. The Kauri-1 flowed 500 boe/d from the Upper Tariki sand, and Swift will test the Kauri sand. It plans to install artificial lift on the Kauri-A2 well, and it is sidetracking its Rimu-B3 well to reach the Upper Tariki sand.
14. Shell is running seismic off the west coast of New Zealand's South Island, its first attempt at exploration outside the Taranaki Basin off the west coast of the North Island in several years.
Shell is working with prospect generator Thomasson International Ventures Inc. of Denver, Colo., to earn 100% of the project. Shell is using Multiwave Geophysical Co. of Norway's Polar Duke seismic vessel. Shell also plans two appraisal wells in the Pohokura gas and condensate field offshore in the Taranaki Basin. Shell wants first gas from the US $210 million to $294 million Pohokura development in 2005, according to Ogilvie's E&P Daily.