SOCO to intensify drilling on Cuu Long projects

SOCO plans a 12-month drilling campaign on its blocks in the Cuu Long basin offshore southern Vietnam.

Offshore staff

LONDON -- SOCO plans a 12-month drilling campaign on its blocks in the Cuu Long basin offshore southern Vietnam. The aim is to appraise and prove up further reserves.

Cuu Long is a shallow-water, oil-rich basin with numerous large producing fields. The dominant producer remains Bach Ho, which is adjacent to both of SOCO’s blocks.

In Block 16-1, SOCO and its partners completed re-processing late last year of a 3D seismic grid over a fairway that includes the Te Giac Trang (TGT) and Te Giac Deng (TGD) discoveries. TGT’s initial wells were drilled based on analysis of time-migrated seismic, but future well locations will be determined by the newly re-processed and pre-stack depth-migrated data.

Initial interpretation indicates that the structural crests of the TGT fault blocks are farther east than originally mapped. The seven exploration and appraisal wells drilled to date flowed on average 11,300 boe/d per well, but SOCO believes results could be further improved by drilling development wells up-dip of the existing wells.

Last May, PetroVietnam issued field development approval for the TGT field, subsequently agreeing to fund 41% of the development costs. Vietnam’s government approved the development plan in July.

The partners are targeting first-phase production for mid-2011, peaking at around 50,000 boe/d, and have already issued tenders for numerous long-lead items. They expect to conclude negotiations this month for an FPSO with the Bumi Amada-Vietsovpetro consortium.

As for TGD, early conclusions from the 3D data reprocessing work strengthen the previous interpretation of the lacustrine nature of the reservoir deposition. The results have also confirmed the general location for an appraisal well which will likely be drilled during the next few months on the TGD upper reservoir, after the winter monsoon season has passed.

The 150-sq km (58-sq mi) TGD appraisal area, which borders TGT’s southern boundary, includes the high pressure, high temperature discovery well TGD-1X-STI, on Prospect E and the analogous Prospect E South.

At the Basement Ca Ngu Vang (CNV) field in Block 9-2, production started in July 2008. The original development concept involved early water flooding in the eastern flank of the CNV structure to attain plateau production and avoid gas breakthrough.

However, because fracturing in this section appears to be less intense than on other parts of the structure, the partners now plan to drill a well to the western part of the field which will be converted to a water injector, and to sidetrack one of the current producer wells in order to increase production. Pending the start of water injection, output from CNV has been scaled back in order to maintain suitable reservoir pressure.

01/222/2010

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