In early December, Statoil spudded the first wildcat in the North Cape Basin of the Barents Sea off northern Norway in production license 202, which includes blocks 7227/11-12 and 7228/7-10 about 240 km northeast of Hammerfest.


In early December, Statoil spudded the first wildcat in the North Cape Basin of the Barents Sea off northern Norway in production license 202, which includes blocks 7227/11-12 and 7228/7-10 about 240 km northeast of Hammerfest. The target structure for this well represents a new play in a new exploration area. The Transocean Arctic is due to drill to a depth of 2,800 meters in 288 meters water depth. The Transocean Arctic drilled four wells in the eastern Barents Sea in 2000, the first four wells drilled in the Barents Sea for six years. Statoil has 25% interest, Amerada Hess has 25%, Norsk Hydro has 20%, and the State's Direct Financial Interest is 30%.

TGS-Nopec Geophysical announced a planned survey (9,000 km) of 2D data acquisition covering some of the deep trenches in Sicily Channel as well as most of Malta's continental shelf. The operation, a new combined non-exclusive/contract 2D program offshore Malta, will also comprise a 1,000-km contract survey covering Hardman Resources' License Area 3, Blocks 4 and 5. The first data from this new survey will be available first quarter 2001.


Shell New Zealand Ltd. plans to begin developing the Pohokura gas field, possibly the second largest in New Zealand, as well as the Maari oil field in the coming year. Thijs Koeling, Shell E&P Director, said the Pohokura field will secure the long-term future of gas supply in New Zealand and will likely remain onstream for several decades. Appraisal wells will be drilled this year in the Maari prospect in PEP 38413, and plans are in place for exploration to begin in PEP 38737, which includes the Kaheru prospect. Development estimates are more than $200 million for Maari and $300 million for Pohokura. The Pohokura gas-con-densate development will be the largest single energy project in New Zealand for the next four years.

A $44 million turnkey contract was awarded to Bouygues Offshore through its wholly-owned subsidiaries Sofresid and Bouy-gues Offshore Indonesia to supply equipment and services for a gas compression platform in the Tunu 8 gas field in East Kalimantan. The platform will compress 24,000,000 cm/d for the Bontang liquid gas plant and will export 30,000 b/d of condensates toward the Handil field installations. The contract period is 20 months from the time the contract comes into force.

Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas), the National Oil Company of Malaysia, recently awarded Lundin Oil a new proven oil block offshore Malaysia (Malaysia Block PM305) through its wholly owned subsidiary, Lundin Malaysia. Lundin Oil will operate Block PM305 with a 60% interest, while Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd, the operating arm of Petronas, will earn a 40% interest in the Block, which is 2,200 sq km and is situated in the central Malay Basin. Lundin plans to acquire 3D seismic over the existing discovery and drill at least three exploration wells over the next three years.

Central Asia

A shareholder deal signed by Statoil and Turkey's KOC Holding in late November 2000 lays the groundwork for a new jointly owned Turkish gas company. The venture will become operative as soon as Turkey's gas market is deregulated. Establishing this joint venture will help Statoil achieve profitable sales for the Shah Deniz gas reserves in Azerbaijan's sector of the Caspian Sea.

Middle East

The United Nations oil overseers recommended approval of Iraq's oil price proposal, ending a week-long crude export disruption early in December. Iraq's State Oil Marketing Organization submitted revised prices that met with UN approval, allowing Iraq to resume export of 2.3 million b/d (about 5% of the world's exports). A quick resolution of the oil stoppage headed off shortages and a resultant increase in cost per barrel. Major producing and importing countries moved quickly to cover supplies.


The Sendje Berge FPSO arrived in the Gulf of Guinea for work in Triton's Ceiba field in November. Triton's goal is to have 10 producing wells and four water-injection wells in operation by the end of this year. Operator Triton has 85% working interest, and Energy Africa Ltd. of South Africa has 15% working interest in block G.

BP made its fourth operated discovery in Block 18 offshore Angola with the Paladio well, drilled with drillship Pride Angola in 1,233 meters water depth. Preliminary results indicate the possibility of a significant oil accumulation. Sonangol, the state oil company, awarded Block 18 and its operatorship to Amoco Angola (now a wholly owned subsidiary of BP) 50% and Shell 50%.

ExxonMobil saw its ninth oil discovery in the 10th exploration well drilled in Block 15 off Angola, where Statoil has a 13.33% interest. On the central trend in Block 15, this discovery is the third on the acreage this year. A successful appraisal well has also been drilled on the Kissanje field in the same area.

This significant activity in West Africa could be the front end of what forecasters Douglas-Westwood and offshore data specialists Infield Systems say will be a huge escalation in offshore oil and gas field investment that could result in annual expenditures up to $10 billion by 2005.


Hunt Oil Company announced the closing of the upstream and downstream segments deal for the Camisea Project in Peru. Hunt is a significant shareholder in the newly created Transportadora de Gas del Peru, which has signed contracts with the government of Peru officially awarding the transportation segment of the Camisea Project to the company. The upstream consortium (in which Hunt is a 36% participant) also signed contracts with the government finalizing the award of the upstream segment of the Camisea Project. Pluspetrol, the upstream operating partner, will begin construction of the upstream facilities and the pipelines to carry gas and gas liquids from the Camisea fields to the coast near Lima. The total cost of the project is estimated at more than $1 billion.

Petroleo Brasileiro S/A (Petrobras) aw-arded Flexibras (a Brazilian entity of Coflexip Stena Offshore) and Coflexip the Campos Basin Roncador EPCI contract (locally called "Bidao"). The contract covers the design, procurement, installation, and commissioning of approximately 566 km of flexible risers, flowlines and umbilicals, to tie-back 21 satellite subsea wells of the field to the P-36 platform. With depths ranging from 4,600 ft to 6,200 ft water depth, this is the deepest development in the world. Contract completion of the first phase of the project should take place 30 months from contract award, with installation in three different campaigns concluding at the end of the first quarter of 2003. The scope for the remaining phases will be confirmed in the middle of this year and early 2002. The scope will reflect the requirements of the field's phased development and ongoing reservoir appraisal

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