Dec. 1, 1997
Premier's newly acquired blocks. [47,423 bytes] Esso's acquired Mobil Sarawak acreage. [10,167 bytes] Canadian Petroleum's new Block 12(E) off Vietnam. [22,203 bytes] The most recent wells drilled in the Timor Sea ZOCA have been disappointing. Testing is still underway on Mobil's Kelp Deep-1 wildcat, spudded on l, April using Diamond Offshore's Ocean Epoch semisubmersible and located in ZOCA 95-18. The well has been declared "tight hole" by the operator.
Peter Tang

Disappointment in the Timor Sea

The most recent wells drilled in the Timor Sea ZOCA have been disappointing. Testing is still underway on Mobil's Kelp Deep-1 wildcat, spudded on l, April using Diamond Offshore's Ocean Epoch semisubmersible and located in ZOCA 95-18. The well has been declared "tight hole" by the operator.

Petroz' Schilling-1, spudded an 23 August using the Ocean Bounty semisub in WA-74-P, has been plugged and abandoned with minor oil shows. The well was a test of a four way, fault independent structure with Late Jurassic to Early Cretaceoues Sandpiper Sandstone and Intra Flamingo Sandstone objectives.

Meanwhile, Shell has spudded Sunset-1 in ZOCA 95-1 using the Ocean Bounty after it had drilled Schilling-1. It was spudded on September 22 and is targeting the mid-Jurassic Plover Formation.

Cairn suspends future producer

On 23 September, Cairn announced that appraisal well Sangu-3 had tested at 45 MMcf/d of gas over a 16-ft section of a 131-ft unspecified shallow gas bearing sandstone through a 80/64 choke at a wellhead pressure of 300 psig. The well was suspended as a future producer after reaching a final total depth of 12,631 ft.

In mid-September, Cairn suspended Sangu-4 as a future gas producer after attaining a TD of approximately 12,467 ft. No testing was conducted but results of logging and other analysis indicate that the well had encountered commercial quantities of gas and the objective sandstone proved to be thicker than anticipated. Appraisal of the estimated 850 bcf field continues.

Premier acquires Texaco interests

In a press release dated September 22, UK independent Premier Oil announced that it had simultaneously accepted a preemption offer from Texaco to acquire Texaco's interests in Burma (Myanmar) and entered into agreements with Malaysia's Petronas Carigali to immediately sell on a proportion of these interests to Petronas for a total of US$220.2 million.

Also subject to approval, Premier will assume operatorship of the blocks involved (M-10, M-12, M-13 and M-14) from Texaco, and also acquire an additional interest for US$39.8 million. The sale is due to close in early December 1997 and comes after pressure applied to Texaco as a result of US imposed sanctions on the current Burmese regime. In the meantime, Texaco will continue to operate the interests under contract for a further six months.

Against this background, Texaco spudded Aung Lar Ba-1 on 24 July using the Stena Clyde semisubmersible, the first of a two-well program in the deepwater part of block M-12. The well was designed to test the hydrocarbon potential of Mio-Pliocene sandstones. The well is located some 23 km south southwest of Esso's 1976 M-124-1 (plugged and abandoned dry) and 70 km northwest of the Yetagun Field. Aung Lar Ba-1 lies on trend with both Arco's 1997 Shwe Pyi Htay-1 gas discovery and the Yetagun Field. The well was plugged and abandoned with gas shows on 2 September 1997 after reaching a TD of 12,650 ft. The rig was then relocated to spud Aung Zay Ya-1 on September 6.

Apache successful in China's Bohai

Apache's Zhao Dong PSCA exploration well ZD C-4 in the Bohai Bay successfully tested oil from eight zones in Mesozoic and Tertiary sections. The well flowed at a combined rate of 8,321 b/d of oil from five zones in the lower half of a 1,800 ft gross pay interval. Further testing yielded a combined rate of 15,359 b/d of oil and 6.1 MMcf/d of gas from eight separate oil zones, together with an additional non-associated gas zone which produced 4.6 MMcf/d of gas.

New discovery in East China Sea

Primeline has made a gas discovery with its East China Sea well Lishui 36-1-1 (Vicky-1) The well, located in the northern part of Primeline'e PSCA 32/32, reached a TD of 10,827ft on September 22 and subsequently tested 10 MMcf/d of gas, believed to be from a depth of approximately 9,187 ft. Reserves for the accumulation have been estimated to be on the order of 200 bcf of gas.

Pearl River Basin discovery

CONHW has announced a significant oil discovery in WH 13-1-1 in the Pearl River Basin. The well was abandoned at the end of August after having tested oil at a maximum rate of 4,088 b/d of oil.

Results of Indonesia license awards

Five new offshore contracts were awarded in a signing ceremony held in Jakarta on 22 September. These comprised the following: North Sokang PSC in the East Natuna Sea, awarded to Total; the Northwest Natuna Sea Block I PSC to Premier and Seafield Resources; the Manna PSC, onshore and offshore southwest Sumatra, to Canadian Petroleum; the Sesulu PSC, offshore Kutei Basin, East Kalimantan to Unocal; and the Sebuku PSC, in the Makassar Strait off Southwest Sulawesi, to Gulf Resources.

Esso picks up Mobil blocks

In a move to scale down its operations in Malaysia by closing its Kuala Lumpur office by the end of 1997, Mobil has farmed out 45% of its interests in its four deepwater blocks offshore Sarawak, SK-A, SK-B, SK-C and SK-D. This portion of its interests has been sold to Esso and Mitsubishi with Esso assuming operatorship of the four PSCs. The acreage is Esso's first operated acreage in Sarawak Plans are underway for seismic acquisition in late l997/early 1998.

Consortium awarded Palawan acreage

In September, a Trans-Asia led consortium was awarded GSEC 91 in the Southwest Palawan Basin. This 12,600 sq km tract located offshore southwest Palawan in the South China Sea was awarded for a one-year period with a financial commitment of US$300,000 to conduct G&G studies in preparation for a possible two well exploration program. After many rumors, Shell has farmed-in to the area for 70% and assumed operatorship soon after the award.

The acreage lies on trend with the Camago-Malampaya reefal reservoirs to the northeast and contains Phillips' 1981 Abo Abo-lX gas discovery (50 MMcf/d of gas) and at least two of the largest undrilled prospects in the Filipino sector of the South China Sea, including the giant Cliffhead prospect.

Moragat onstream plans intact after P&A

Unocal's Moragot-4 delineation well in B12/27, drilled using Sedco's Trident XV jackup in 62 meters of water, was plugged and abandoned after reaching TD at 12,204 ft in mid-September and flowing at the rate of 12.8 MMcf/d of gas and 420 b/d of condensate from two DSTs between 7,126-10,266 ft. Unocal has announced that based on available data, Moragot could contain 250-300 bcf of recoverable gas, with an upside of 500 bcf of gas. It is expected that Moragot will be brought on stream following the start up of Pailin in late 1998.

CTOC spuds wildcat well

In the prolific MTJDA Block A-18 in the Malay Basin, CTOC's Samudra-1 was spudded in late June of this year using Atwood's Falcon semisubmersible. Samudra-1 is located in a separate sub-basin in the southwestern part of the block, 20.7 km south of and on trend with CTOC's April 1997 Senja-1 oil, gas and condensate discovery, and some 50 km southwest of the Cakerawala Field. The wildcat was targeting Miocene and Oligocene sandstone. At the end of July the well reached TD at 10,621 ft and was tested from five intervals between 6,515-11,168 ft. It flowed at a stabilized combined rate of 49 MMcf/d of gas and 858 b/d of condensate. The well encountered 560 ft of net hydrocarbon pay and confirmed the existence of a new play fairway on the western part of the block.

Canadian awarded Vietnam block

Block 12(E) in the South Con Son Basin was awarded to Canadian Petroleum Vietnam, a wholly owned subsidiary of Canadian Occidental, on September 19. Canadian Petroleum's equal partner is Opeco International, a small US-based company. The block has presumably been awarded for a five year exploration term comprising two phases of three and two years. The block is located adjacent to Canadian Petroleum-operated Block 12(W) which shares at least one structure. It remains to be seen if the partners in 12(W) join the 12(E) consortium. The operator plans to acquire 1,300 km of seismic in early 1998 and drill an exploration well in late 1998. The prominent east-west Dua High bisects Block 12(E) and this was the target of previous drilling.

South Con Son gas discovery

Pedco's 11-2-RD-2 (Rong Doi-2) in Block 11-2 in the South Con Son Basin has been classed as a gas discovery. This delineation well was spudded in early July 1997 using Pedco's own Doo Sung semisubmersible. At the end of August, the well reached an undisclosed TD and two tests were subsequently conducted. DST-1 flowed at the rate of 26.6 MMcf/d of gas and 960 b/d of condensate, but DST-2 flowed water only. The well confirmed the extent of the gas bearing Miocene sand encountered in the discovery well. The well was the first appraisal of Pedco's 11-2-RD-1X(ST) gas/condensate discovery made in April 1995.

Copyright 1997 Oil & Gas Journal. All Rights Reserved.