SYDNEY --- Gross oil production from the Zhao Dong oilfields in China’s Bohai Bay averaged 12,499 b/d during Q1 2010, according to Australian operator ROC. This represented a drop of 15% on the previous quarter.
ROC attributes the decline to sea-ice build up around the offshore facilities in January and February during the worst winter weather conditions off northern China for more than 40 years, which led to around 35 days of lost production. Although the sea ice restricted tanker loading capabilities, the use of specialist ice breaking vessels did allow limited operations and crude oil shipments to continue.
Output in March recovered to averaged 18,858 b/d, more than double the figure for January and February. ROC adds that the start of the 2010 Zhao Dong development drilling program is contributing to production from both the C & D and C4 fields, which have produced at unconstrained rates above 24,000 b/d during April. Four of this year’s planned 24 wells have been drilled under budget and ahead of schedule in the C4 and ERA areas.
During February, the partners also finalized a gas sales agreement with PetroChina. All equipment and pipeline material for this program has been procured and gas exports should start in late 2010, eliminating the need to flare gas during normal operations.
In the Beibu Gulf, ROC says that nine of the 11 commercial terms have been agreed relating to the development plan for the Wei 6-12 and Wei 12-8 West oil fields, with remaining issues likely to be resolved this month. Now the partners await formal approvals from the Chinese government and a Final Investment Decision for the project. ROC anticipates first oil during the first half of 2012.
In the Perth Basin offshore Western Australia, the Joint Venture partners have agreed on a WA-286-P permit renewal program (ROC 37.5% as operator), with a 50% block relinquishment pattern devised to preserve the best leads and prospects in the renewed permit. The renewal application should be submitted during the second half of this year.
About 150 sq km (57.9 sq mi) of the Diana 3D seismic survey in WA-286-P is being processed to better image structures close to the Frankland gas discovery that could potentially be matured into drillable prospects. In WA-31-L (also operated by ROC), 220 km (137 mi) of reprocessed 2D seismic data is being interpreted in conjunction with the Cliff Head field 3D survey to review near-field exploration potential.
Finally, in the Carnarvon basin permit WA-351-P (ROC 20%), the partners have identified potential resources of 2-3 tcf of gas, with over 10 leads defined on the Aragon 3D seismic survey. Again, these are being matured ahead of a potential drilling campaign in 2011. The partners submitted a permit renewal early this month, which included a 50% relinquishment and best leads preservation proposal.