Global E&P Briefs

Oct. 1, 2000
Iran's Continental Shelf Oil Company said continental shelf output will reach 700,000 b/d of oil by March 2001 and 1.1 million b/d by 2003.

Middle East

Iran's Continental Shelf Oil Company said continental shelf output will reach 700,000 b/d of oil by March 2001 and 1.1 million b/d by 2003. The company's average continental shelf production increased to 620,000 b/d during the March-August 2000 period, up from 520,000 b/d average in February and March. Much of the increased production resulted from 14 development projects the company implemented during the past 14 years at a value of about $300 million.

Isramco said its Nir-1 well in the Med Ashdod licensearea hit a total gross gas column 300 meters thick, larger than anticipated prior to drilling the well. A 53-meter interval was tested and produced at rates up to 15 MMcf/d of gas. Isramco said certain operating conditions and the thickness of the formations opened to test limited the production rates. Preliminary analysis of the results suggest that the total production potential of the well is 30 MMcf/d of gas.

The deputy head of the National Iranian Oil Company(NIOC) Mehdi Mir-Moezzi, said preliminary seismic studies indicate that Iran's 20% of the Caspian Sea contains 10 billion barrels of oil with 2.5 billion barrels recoverable. No exploration has taken place but Mir-Moezzi said Iran will tender for a semisubmersible to drill in this portin of the Caspian. Royal Dutch Shell and Lasmo conducted seismic survey's in the area last year.

El Paso Energy and Turkish state oil company TPAO will explore for natural gas in the Iskenderun and Mersin Bays in southern Turkey under an agreement calling for El Paso to make an exploration investment of $20-$30 million. The agreement will continue if natural gas is discovered. El Paso will collect geophysical data to be processed at the company's headquarters after seismic studies are completed by year-end.


Irish oil company, Providence Resources, said testing of its Helvick appraisal well 49/9a-6a confirmed the presence of high quality oil with flow rates of 5,200 b/d, indicating production rates of 9,000 b/d could be attained. The last well drilled in the block was BP's 49/9-5 in 1989, which was a dry hole. Providence has been considering development options for Helvick and the Ardmore gas field to the south and has asked various contractors to offer economic solutions.

TotalFinaElf is drilling appraisal well Rosa 3 in the prolific deepwater block 17, after acquiring 700 sq km of 3D seismic data in the Rosa/Lirio area. The well was spudded Aug. 14 with semirig Jim Cunningham in water depth of 4,474 ft. Rosa 3 is not based on new 3D data, which is just being processed and has yet to be interpreted.


The Tanzanian government held road shows in London and Houston in September to launch the country's first offshore licensing round. Six license areas will be offered in the Pemba Basin. Western Geophysical shot 7,000 km of seismic in 1999 and a second survey of 4,300 km. Agip discovered the Songo Songo gas field in 1982 with reserves of 1 tcf. PanAfrican Energy of Canada, the field oper-ator, said the project is expected to begin production in early 2003.

Lone Star Energy, a Moroccan subsidiary of US-based Skidmore, said hydrocarbon reserves in its concessions could hold 10-15 billion boe, based upon sedimentary residual magnetics (SRM) and magnetic bright spot (MBS) survey analysis. The company is one of 16 western firms to be granted exploration concessions in the country. Lone Star said it will acquire an additional 9,550 sq km to increase its holding to 37,000 sq km. Plans for the remainder of 2000 and 2001 include additional SRM and MBS surveys plus 2D seismic reprocessing and acquisition and a drilling program calling for two offshore and five onshore wells. The offshore wells will be off the country's Atlantic coastline.

Latin America

A joint venture of El Paso Energy Inter-national and Unocal signed with Petrobras for an interest in the Pescada-Arabaiana oil and gas pipeline and production project in northeast Brazil. The companies will acquire 22 million bbl of oil or condensate and 345 bcf of gas. The agreement also includes six offshore concessions located in 65 ft of water offshore Rio Grande do Norte for exploration and development. El Paso and Unocal will own 79% of the project, with Petrobras holding the remaining 21%.

North America

PanCanadian Petroleum's second appraisal well, H-08, flowed at an average rate of 50 MMcf/d of natural gas, the maximum capacity of the test equipment. The well encountered net pay of 325 ft. Drilling to date has proven a gas column in the pool of at least 450 ft. The reservoir is estimated currently at 6-8 km in length. The H-08 well is about two km southwest of the discovery well PP-3C, which indicated net pay of 225 ft. The first appraisal well, PI-1B, indicated net pay of 110 ft. The first two wells flowed at a maximum rate of 50 MMcf/d of gas, the maximum capacity of the test equipment. PanCanadian is currently drilling a third appraisal well, the M-79, with results expected to be available in September. At that time, the company will evaluate the reserve size, commercial potential and development options. Production from could commence by late 2003. The company will begin drilling another exploratory well in a separate structure on the Panuke license this year.

Shell E&P said it will develop its Oregano and Serrano discoveries in 3,400 ft water depth in the Gulf of Mexico via a subsea production system tied back to Shell's Auger tension leg platform (TLP).


ONGC moved its only deepwater rig, the Sagar Vijay, into the Kerala-Konkan basin after upgrading the rig to operate in water depths up to 900 meters. The company will drill four exploratory wells in the basin during the next several months. ONGC will also explore in the Krishna-Godavari basin. ONGC said prospects for oil in the Krishna-Godavari basin are bright. Oil has already been discovered there and ONGC is conducting tests to assess reserves in the basin.

The China National Offshore Oil Corp. awarded Kerr-McGee China Petroleum block 09/18 in China's Bohai Bay. This block includes more than 55,000 acres and is located south of Kerr-McGee-operated blocks 04/36 and 05/36. Block 09/18 is in about 65 ft water depth and is to be operated by Kerr-McGee with a 100% foreign contractor's interest. ;