ASIA/PACIFIC

Chevron adds Acme West to Australia gas bonanza

Chevron’s Acme West-1 and Acme West-2 wells in the Carnarvon Basin offshore Western Australia encountered approximately 115 m (377 ft) and 56 m (184 ft) of net gas pay, respectively. The two wells were drilled in 925 m (3,035 ft) water depth in the WA-205-permit area, with Acme West-1 reaching TD of 4,742 m (15,558 ft) and Acme West-2 reaching 4,447 m (14,590 ft). According to Chevron, the discoveries will help underpin potential expansion opportunities at the Wheatstone LNG hub, which moved to the construction phase in September 2011.

Platong II lifts Thailand gas production

Chevron has begun gas production from the shallow-water Platong II project in the Gulf of Thailand, one of Southeast Asia’s largest offshore structures. The US $3.1 billion project is expected to ramp up production to 330 MMcf/d, increasing the country’s domestic production by more than 10%. Platong II also is expected to produce 18,000 b/d of NGLs.

Niko inks record deepwater Indonesia contract

Niko Resources has signed the largest deepwater exploration contract in the history of Indonesia with drilling contractor Diamond Offshore. The company has contracted the Ocean Monarch semisubmersible rig for a four-year term with an additional one-year option for more than US $700 million. The contract will begin by Aug., 15, 2012.

SOUTH AMERICA

Gas find in Esp?rito Santo

Petrobras has discovered a gas accumulation in the deepwater block BM-ES-21 (Block ES-M-414) in the Esp?rito Santo basin. The post-salt discovery likely will be tied back to the operator’s Pero? field. The find is 13 km (8 miles) southeast of that field in 980 m (3,215ft) water depth. The discovery was made by well 1-BRSA-983-ESS, informally known as Malombe, and was confirmed from the response of the gas detector and logging conducted in reservoirs at a depth of approximately 2,600 m (8,531 ft).

Itaipu appraisal delineates deepwater discovery

BP has given notice of a hydrocarbon discovery at the Itaipu-2 presalt appraisal well in the BM-C-32 block. The well, approximately 130 km (81 miles) offshore Brazil in the deepwater sector of the Campos basin, was drilled 4,877 m (16,000 ft) TD in 1,420 m (4,660 ft) water depth. Well logging indicates a fluid contact within the target Upper Sag reservoir comprising a 19-m (62-ft) gross petroleum-bearing interval overlying good-quality porous water-bearing carbonates. Itaipu-2 delineates the Itaipu-1 discovery made in 2009-10.

NORTH AMERICA/GULF OF MEXICO

Pemex pencils in Perdido

The Mexican oil company plans to spend up to US $1 billion during 2012 on an exploration program covering the deepwater Perdido fold belt in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). According to Pemex PEP CEO Carlos Morales, the company will drill three deepwater wells in the area, which contains an estimated 3 Bboe of prospective hydrocarbons resources. Pemex had hoped to begin its Perdido drilling program this year, but the delayed arrival of the Bicentenario semisubmersible rig and concerns prompted by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon incident pushed back the start date. Five-year leasing program targets GoM, Alaska

The US Interior Department has scheduled 15 potential lease sales on the Outer Continental Shelf for the 2012-17 period – 12 in the GoM and three in the Beaufort and Chukchi seas offshore Alaska. The five-year proposal, which includes six offshore areas with active leases and exploration, bypasses areas offshore Virginia and the West Coast.

In June 2007, Industrial Perforadora de Campeche signed a five-year contract with Pemex to charter a semisubmersible drilling rig for operations to 3,000 m (10,000 ft) water depth. The contract took effect at the end of 2010, and the Bicentenario arrived in Mexico in May 2011. (Image courtesy of Grupo R)

BSEE green lights 98% of deepwater lease extensions

The US Interior Department’s Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) has extended terms for 1,381 deepwater offshore leases out of 1,413 requests in the GoM by at least one year. The extensions were offered only on leases expiring before Dec. 13, 2015 that were in more than 152 m (500 ft) water depth and on leases that were not producing oil and gas prior to May 15, according to BSEE.

Statoil lines up Logan

Statoil and partners Petrobras (35%) and Ecopetrol (20%) have confirmed an oil discovery in the Lower Tertiary formation in the Walker Ridge area of the GoM. A wildcat well targeting the Logan prospect in Walker Ridge Block 969 hit hydrocarbons drilling in 2,364 m (7,750 ft) water depth. Further evaluation is under way.

The sixth-generation ultra-deepwater drillship Discoverer Americas drilled the Logan prospect in Walker Ridge Block 969. (Image courtesy of Transocean Ltd.)

EUROPE/NORTH SEA

RWE eyes northern Germany

RWE Dea has submitted applications to drill exploration wells offshore Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony in northern Germany. The company believes additional deposits exist near Germany’s biggest oil field, Mittelplate, and along the coast of Lower Saxony off Cuxhaven.

RWE and partners Wintershall and Gas de France Suez plan to drill four exploration wells in the Wadden Sea tidelands to confirm the existence of potential reserves of approximately 23 MMcm of crude oil.

Valhall expected to produce until 2050

A life-of-field seismic survey was completed on the Valhall field on schedule and without incident using a portable source system for BP Norge AS, according to the WGP Group. This was the third operational survey for Valhall conducted by WGP.

Located in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea, the Valhall complex consists of six separate steel platforms and an additional two unmanned flank platforms with a total of 45 production wells. The field has an estimated production life until 2050.

Aker Solutions wins Brynhild EPC

Lundin has chosen Aker Solutions to provide the engineering, procurement, and construction of a subsea production system for the Brynhild project on the Norwegian Continental Shelf for approximately US $122.6 million. Brynhild, which lies in 80 m (264 ft) water depth, will be developed as a fast-track subsea tieback to the Pierce FPSO.

AFRICA

Total tests oil find offshore Nigeria

Total’s Etisong North 1-well has tested 8,500 b/d of 40°API oil. The well was drilled to 2,387 m (7,877 ft) in 80 m (264 ft) water depth and is the second discovery on Oil Mining Lease Block 102 offshore Nigeria. This find increases the feasibility of a new development hub in the area.

Offshore Liberia well unlocks hydrocarbon system

The Montserrado-1 exploration well operated by Anadarko offshore Liberia has found noncommercial quantities of oil in Late Cretaceous reservoir sands. According to the company’s partner, Tullow Oil, this results in an important exploration breakthrough in the area because it establishes a working hydrocarbon system in the Liberian basin. The well was drilled in block LB-15 to 5,400 m (17,720 ft) TD and encountered good-quality, water-bearing sands in the main objective. In a deeper secondary objective, approximately 8 m (27 ft) of net hydrocarbon pay was intersected, and a sample of light oil was recovered. The well was being plugged and abandoned at press time. 

Eni eyes Mamba options

Eni has begun conceptual development studies for a giant deepwater gas discovery offshore Mozambique. While deepening the Mamba South-1 discovery well, the operator hit a new separated pool that could contain up to 7.5 Tcf of gas in clean sands from the Eocene age. The new section contains 90 m (295 ft) of gross gas pay. With front-end activities under way, Eni believes the discovery could hold up to 22.5 Tcf, up from its initial reserves estimate of 15 Tcf. The operator will drill the well to a TD of about 5,000 m (16,404 ft) in 1,600 m (5,249 ft) water depth.

MIDDLE EAST/NORTH AFRICA

Salmon leaps for BP

BP Egypt has confirmed a gas discovery on its 50%-held Salmon prospect in the North El Burg Offshore Concession in the Nile Delta. Salmon is the third gas discovery BP has made in the concession following the Satis-1 and Satis-3 Oligocene discoveries. According to the operator, wireline logs and pressure readings have confirmed the presence of gas in two shallow Pleistocene intervals. The well was drilled by the Scarabeo 4 semisubmersible rig in 87 m (285 ft) water depth and reached of 1,600 m (5,250 ft) TD.

Algerian appraisal expands Ain Tisla field

Petroceltic International has fraced the AT-7 well in the Ain Tsila field on the Isarene permit (Blocks 228 & 229a) in southeastern Algeria, boosting well flows to 4.9 MMcf/d the company said. The AT-7 well was drilled about 12 km (7 miles) south of the AT-3 well and 15 km (9 miles) west of the AT-6 well to appraise the southwestern extension of the field. The company also is drilling the AT-9 well, which is a horizontal appraisal well near the center of the Ain Tsila field. Its main objective is to assess the productivity associated with a structural feature of a different style from those already tested at AT-5 and AT-8 in an area between two known productive wells (AT-1 and AT-2). It is the sixth and final well in the current appraisal program.