Chinese activity grows in Bohai, East China Sea
On 7 December, Phillips was granted PSCA 11-05 in the Bohai Gulf. The approximately 9,000 sq km block was offered for tender to the industry in mid-1994, and several companies are understood to have submitted bids. Phillips was subsequently awarded the tract, having submitted the highest work program.
In the East China Sea, Texaco spudded wildcat WZ33-1-1 in PSCA 33/31 on 31 December, using the semisubmersible Nanhai V. The well is the first to be spudded by a foreign operator in acreage awarded in the Fourth Offshore Licensing Round, held during 1992-93.
WZ33-1-1 is located in around 90 meters of water and has a prospect total depth of 2,200 meters. Texaco has a multi-well program in the area where it also operates PSCA 33/05 and 33/19.
Thailand-Vietnam claim talks progress
On 13 January, after four days of talks, Thailand and Vietnam agreed to try to demarcate the Gulf of Thailand to settle their overlapping claims.
The countries will firstly attempt to define the sea boundary but if this fails, it is likely that a Joint Development Area will be set up. JDAs already exist in the area between Malaysia and Thailand, and between Malaysia and Vietnam.
The overlapping area covers some 6,000 sq km of highly prospective acreage in the North Malay Basin adjacent to Total's prolific Bongkot gas and condensate field.
Typhoon Theresa damages drilling rig off Vietnam
Occidental has been forced to suspend its 04-3-UT-1X wildcat in offshore Vietnam Block 04-3. After numerous mechanical problems, the well reached a total depth of 3,642 meters in Lower Miocene sediments in December. However, damage to the rig inflicted during Typhoon Theresa meant that logging operations could not be conducted. The Energy Searcher drillship has returned to Singapore for repairs and is scheduled to return to the drillsite to complete the well when work is completed.
Meanwhile, during January drilling operations, were continuing on MJC's 05-1B-TL-1X, Total's 11-1-CC-1X, BP's 05-2-KCT-1X, and PEDCO's 11-2-RD-1X exploration wells. Before the end of the month, PEDCO was hoping to spud a second well in Block 11-2 using the Doa Sung semisubmersible.
Seismic off Bangladesh first in more than 20 years
In early January, Scotland's Cairn Energy began a 700 km seismic survey in Block 16 in Bangladesh. Digicon's Ross Seal seismic vessel is contracted to record the data.
The survey is the first to be acquired offshore Bangladesh since the mid-1970s.
Cairn has a well planned in the block during 1995. It is expected to be located close to Union Oil's 1977 Kutubdia-1 gas discovery, which flowed around 18 million cf/d gas from Pliocene sandstones. Reserves in Kutubdia are estimated to be in the order of 0.7 tcf.
Bunga Kekwa-1 a major Malay discovery
International Petroleum Company of Dubai has completed Bunga Kekwa-1 as a significant oil and gas discovery in Block PM-3 off peninsular Malaysia.
IPC spudded the wildcat in the Malaysia-Vietnam JDA on 22 October. It was suspended on 26 November after reaching a total depth of 2,590 meters. Six DSTs flowed at a prolific rate of 10,212 b/d (38(API) oil and 179.4 million cf/d gas.
In Block SB-6 off Sabah, the Western Mining Company fulfilled its two well commitment on 27 October in its PSC when Kuda Terbang-1 was abandoned with oil and gas shows only.
The well reached a total depth of 1,615 meters and no DSTs were conducted.
Oxy abandons Bantac off Filipine Palawan
In early December, Occidental abandoned Bantac-1 in GSEC 65 off Northwest Palawan as a sub-commercial oil discovery. Oxy spudded the well in 1,280 meters of water (a record for Asia) using the semisubmersible Sedco 709 on 10 November.
An approximate 10-meter oil column was bisected at the top of the Miocene Nido limestone objective before a total depth of 2,304 meters was reached. Oxy decided not to conduct any DSTs.
Cambodian Round draws major interest
At least 15 companies have registered interest in participating in the Third Cambodian Licensing round. three offshore blocks are on offer. Block 5 is the most prospective and contains a portion of the Khmer Basin in its western sector. Blocks 6 and 7 have little Tertiary cover and their potential is considered limited.
The 15 companies include a number of majors. Although these blocks on offer are not considered highly prospective, companies may see participation as an opportunity to establish a presence in the area ahead of a bid round for the Thai-Cambodian overlapping area.
Deadline to register for the Round was in December. Meetings with the short list of bidders will be held early this year, with awards following shortly thereafter.
Meanwhile, Enterprise completed a 35,500 meter 3D survey over Blocks 1 and 2 in the Khmer Basin on 2 December using Western Geophysical's Atlas vessel.
Premier also has a 3D survey planned in the second quarter of the year, depending on vessel availability. the data will be shot over its September 1994 Kaoh Tang-1 oil and gas discovery in Block 4.
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