Taiwan evacuates China missile test zone
On 6 February, China Petroleum Co. (CPC) spudded offshore wildcat CPC-15 using theHakuryu III, as the last firm well in its three firm plus one option program. The well is located on the F-structure of the Tainan Basin and has a predicted TD of 3,420 meters, presumably targeting a Miocene section. After reaching a depth of 2,820 meters in late February, the rig was recalled to Kaohsiung as its location was considered by CPC to be in a danger zone because of China's upcoming missile tests. A CPC spokesman stated that "the evacuation will be temporary as the rig will return to work once the missile tests are over". Presumably the CPC #15 well was suspended prior to evacuation.
Total has another Myanmar gas find
Total's M5A-1 wildcat in Block KM5 has been announced as a gas discovery. The well was spudded on 17 January using Santa Fe Drilling'sParameswarajackup and was drilled to a TD of 1,477 meters, prior to flowing 14.4 MMcf/d gas from the Upper Burman Limestone followed by 17.8 MMcf/d from the Lower Burman Limestone. In total, 55 meters of gas-bearing pay was intersected. The discovery has since been named Sein/Diamond by the partners. The well, which lies approximately eight km south of the Yadana Field in 50 meters of water, was completed in mid-February and the rig moved to the BDM-1 location. In early March, BDM-1 is reported as testing, having reached a TD of approximately 1,204 meters.
ACT acquires, BHP retires, China spudding wildcats
In the Pearl River Mouth Basin, the ACT Operators Group has signed an 18-month geophysical survey agreement for Block 16/19. Equity in the license is split equally between the partners Agip, Chevron, and Texaco. The tract, which abuts the western boundary of PSCA 16/08 (in which lie the producing Huizhou Fields), is set to be the location of a 200 sq km 3D seismic survey this month. It will be conducted in conjunction with the 900 sq km 3D survey that recently began in PSCA 16/08.
BHP has effectively ended its short-term involvement with oil exploration in China, with the full relinquishment in December 1995 of PSCA 04/32 in the Pearl River Mouth Basin. BHP drilled only a single well on the tract, converted from JSA status in August 1994, namely LF 9-1-1, which was plugged and abandoned dry at a TD of 2,722 meters on 18 March 1995.
In the Yinggehai Basin, CONHW spudded wildcat Ledong (LD) 21-1-1 on 16 January, using the Nanhai 6 semisubmersible. The well is located in the central mud diapir belt of the basin and is believed to be targeting a Pliocene reservoir. Meanwhile, in the Bohai Gulf, COOBC spudded wildcat Qinnhuangdao (QHD) 34-2-1 on 20 January using theBohai 5 jackup in 26 meters of water. The well is currently drilling ahead at an undisclosed depth.
Third gas find in Malay-Thai JDA
The Carigali-Triton Operating Company (CTOC) has made its third consecutive gas discovery in Block A-18 in the Malay-Thai JDA of the Gulf of Thailand. The Cakerwala East -1 well, located on a separate fault block to the Cakerawala -1 wildcat, was drilled to a TD of 3,599 meters before testing began. Some 22 MMcf/d gas and 131 b/d condensate were recorded from two normally pressured sandy intervals in the range 1,182-1270 meters. Attempts were then made to test a deeper, overpressured multiple reservoir section, but this was unsuccessful due to operational difficulties. CTOC now plans to drill four appraisal wells in Block A-18 this year, and to evaluate the newly discovered deeper zones. Meanwhile, Petronas and PTT have signed a memorandum of intent defining principles for joint natural gas exploration and production, two years on from 1994's JDA agreement. The new memorandum provides guidelines for gas purchases from the JDA and calls for strategic energy alliances throughout Southeast Asia.
Cophil redrilling Manila Bay 2
On or around 4 March, Cophil spudded Manila Bay -2 in GSBC 72 in Manila Bay, using thePioneer Drilling semisubmersible. The well is a re-drill of Manila Bay -1A (ST) and has a prognosed TD of 3,505 meters. Manila Bay -1A (ST) failed to reach its primary target after the bottom hole assembly became stuck, but good gas shows were encountered in an Upper Miocene-Lower Pliocene section. Cophil plugged and abandoned the well at a TD of 2,265 meters. British Gas has an option to become operator of the block, depending on the results of the re-drill.
Thailand opens 15th Round; Maersk continues gas finds
On 1 March, Thailand's Department of Mineral Resources offered 101 new blocks covering 463,000 sq km to the industry for bidding in its 15th Thai Licensing Round. The bid deadline is 90 days after the opening, which makes it 30 May. The recent 14th Round was a major disappointment, attracting only one bid for two blocks in the Andaman Sea.
Maersk's Ben-chamas-4 exploration well in B8/32 in the Pattani Basin of the Gulf of Thailand has been completed as a gas discovery. Three DSTs were conducted on some of the numerous Miocene sands intersected in the well, flowing at a cumulative rate of 25 MMcf/d gas and 5,012 b/d oil/condensates. This was the fourth well drilled on the Benchamas structure since May 1995, three of which have flowed hydrocarbons. The rig was immediately relocated to the Pakakrong structure following completion of Benchamas-4.
Maersk's Pakakrong-1 was spudded in early February using theSedco 601 semisubmersible to the southwest of the Benchamas structure. DST #1 flowed 13.6 MMcf/d gas and 230 b/d oil/condensate from the section 1,90-1497 meters, while DST #2 recorded a flow rate of 11.9 MMcf/d gas and 508 b/d oil/condensate over the 1,338-1,350 meter interval. Both sections are of Miocene age. The partners now plan to immediately spud an appraisal of the discovery at a location approximately 1.6 km southeast of Pakakkrong-1.
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