Peter Tang Singapore Disappointed drilling in East China Sea. Shell's new Sebawang Block II PSC.

Peter Tang

Bangladesh has awarded Bengal Basin

On 12 June, Cairn Energy of Scotland was awarded the 7,052 sq km on/offshore Bengal Basin PSC, after having been in negotiations for the tract since mid-1994. The PSC has been awarded for a seven-year exploration term consisting of an initial two years with two extensions of three and two years respectively. Under the terms of the PSC, Cairn is required to drill one exploration well and conduct a seismic program within the first two years. The total investment for the seven-year exploration period is US$28 million. Cairn hopes to begin seismic acquisition before the end of the year and drill one well in 1996.

Texaco disappointed by Myanmar program

In the last of a disappointing three-well program, Texaco has plugged and abandoned wildcat Kinmon #1 on the Tenasserim Platform in the Gulf of Martaban. the well was spudded on 27 May and reached a total depth of 1,913 meters. No testing was reported. The well was plugged and abandoned on or around 19 June, and the Deepsea Ice drillship was released.

First drillings in East China Sea dry holes

In the East China Sea, the total number of dry holes in the current drilling campaign has now reached eight, following the latest disappointments for Texaco and JTOOC. In PSCA42/03, JTOOC's FZ 10-1 #1 wildcat was plugged and abandoned on 28 May after reaching a total depth of 3,523 meters without encountering any significant oil shows. This was soon followed by Texaco's TB 13-1 #1 well in PSCA 33/05, which was similarly abandoned without testing on 1 June at a total depth of 3,585 meters. No further drilling is now expected until the fourth quarter of this year.

But China drilling is up considerably

Elsewhere in the offshore China sector, there have been disappointments for Marathon and CITIC subsidiary Oriental Petroleum. Marathon's Pearl River Mouth Basin wildcat KP 6-1 #1, located in PSCA 27/35, was plugged and abandoned on 3 June at a TD of 2,756 meters after only minor oil shows were encountered. Meanwhile, Oriental Petroleum's LF 15-2 #1 well in the former Oxy and Ampolex-operated PSCA 17/15 was abandoned dry on 20 June after reaching a total depth of 2,623 meters.

Kerr McGee has begun drilling its first operated well in China in PSCA 04/36 in the Bohai Gulf. Wildcat CFD 8-2 #1 was spudded on 30 June using the Bohai 4 jackup and will test a basement high prospect at a PTD of 1,930 meters.

In the Beibu Gulf, CONHW has achieved success with its appraisal well WZ 12-1 #3D. A maximum flow of 6,450 b/d oil and 6.25 Mmcf/d gas (through a one-inch choke) has been recorded from the 3166-3186 meter section in an ongoing testing program. The prospect was originally drilled by Sun in 1990, when the WZ 12-1 #1 wildcat intersected oil-bearing sands that were considered too thin to test.

Arco has two ongoing HP/HT wells in the offshore Hainan area, as it attempts to identify additional satellite discoveries to tie into the YC 13-1 Field pipeline. In PSCA 63/20, wildcat YC 26-1 #1 was spudded on 18 May and in late June was reported as drilling ahead at 3,745 meters, toward the PTD of 5,181 meters. Meanwhile, the YC 35-1 #2 well in PSCA 63/28 continues to drill toward its PTD of 5,486 meters, tartetting Middle Miocene sandstones.

The ACT operators group has recently commenced production from the HZ 32-2 and HZ 32-3 Fields, located in PSCA 16/08 in the Pearl River Mouth Basin of the South China Sea. This first production from the field is five months ahead of schedule at a cost 10% below budget. The two fields are initially expected to flow at a combined rate of 50,000 b/d oil, which combined with existing production from the nearby HZ 26-1 and 21-1 Fields, will make ACT the largest offshore producer in China at over 100,000 b/d. Proven reserves are believed to be in the region of 62MM bbl oil and 77MM bbl oil respectively, held in Miocene sandstones. According to partner Texaco, recoverable reserves estimates have been increased 50% on the original development plan due to the use of advanced exploration and drilling techniques.

Indonesia grants Shell Sebawang Block II

On 15 June, in Jakarta, Shell was awarded the Sebawang Block II PSC in the offshore Northeast Kalimantan area. Shell will be joined in the 5,009 sq km tract by equal interest partner Pecten. The firm three-year work program expenditure is $22 million, which will involve the acquisition of 1,500 km of 2D seismic and the drilling of two deepwater wildcats. The Segawang Block II PSC was offered to industry on 18 July 1994 with the closing date for bids being 25 November 1994.

Philippines' Manila Bay wildcat spudded

Cophil's much-awaited Manila Bay #1 wildcat in GSEC 72 in the Central Luzon Basin was spudded on 17 June in 23 meters of water. Prior to the spudding of the well, a pilot hole was drilled to 570 meters between 14 and 16 June to test for the presence of shallow gas. Manila Bay #1 is programmed to 3,353 meters to test a Lower Miocene reef play of estimated 30 sq km areal closure.

Vietnam re-drill a disappointment

AEDC has plugged and abandoned 05-3-TT #1RX (Tho Tinh) in Block 05-3 in the South Con Son Basin. It reached a total depth of 3,925 meters and after six months on location, the well can be considered a major disappointment. The well was a re-drill of 1993's 05-3-TT #1X, which did not reach its objectives due to mechanical problems. Other operators with ongoing wells in Vietnam include Petronas (01-B #2X), JVPC (15-2-PD #1X), BP (05-2HT #1X), and Oxy (04-3-BC #1).

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