Angola: two more strikes for ChevronJust as Chevron formalized its commitment to develop the Kuito field in deep offshore Angola, the company announced its fourth discovery in Block 14. This is Chevron's only acreage in this prolific part of the West African seaway. Chevron announced, early in October, the awarding of contracts totaling approximately $400 million for the initial phase of the Kuito field development in Block 14, a 1,560-sq mile concession located adjacent to the 2,100-sq mile Block 0 concession off Angola's Cabinda Province.
The newly signed contracts provide equipment to enable Chevron to begin crude oil production by the second half of 1999, only two years after Kuito's discovery in 1997.
A floating production and storage vessel, an export buoy, subsea wellheads, and piping, will be provided by a consortium of firms, headed by Single Buoy Mooring Production and including Asea Brown Boveri and Coflexip Stena Offshore, in the first phase of development. This early production system will be capable of handling 100,000 b/d of oil and will include facilities for water and gas injection.
Initial production from Kuito during Phase One is expected to be 75,000 b/d and will reach peak production of 100,000 b/d by 2002. Chevron says that Kuito will be Angola's first deepwater, zero-flare field. Kuito gas, produced in association with the oil, will be re-injected into the reservoir. Chevron's Nemba and Lomba fields, located in shallower water nearby Block 0, which are also zero-flare.
Chevron also announced a significant oil discovery in deepwater Block 14. This is Chevron's fourth commercial well discovery in Block 14 since 1997. Well 14-10X was drilled in 1,000 ft of water and is located about 50 miles offshore. Initial tests demonstrated a flow rate of more than 10,000 b/d of 37.5° API gravity oil. The new field has been named Belize and follows its three predecessors - Kuito, Landana, and Benguela.
Mark Puckett, Managing Director of Chevron's Southern Africa Business Unit, headquartered in Angola's capital of Luanda said, "Preliminary results from well 14-10X indicate the possibility of a significant oil accumulation in close proximity to the Kuito and Benguela fields."
Block 14 is operated by Chevron, which holds a 31% interest. The remaining interest is held by Sociedade Nacional de Combustiveis de Angola (SONANGOL), the Angolan national oil company (20%); Agip Angola (20%); Total Angola (20%); and Petrogal (9%).
Exploration and drilling in Block 14 began in 1996, and the Kuito Field was discovered in April 1997. Earlier this week, Chevron announced plans for the development of Kuito and anticipates first production by the second half of 1999.
Ranger lifts Angolan oilRanger has commenced lifting oil from the Kiame field in Block 4, offshore Angola. Production has been on since late June at 7,000 b/d of oil. The company lifted 600,000 bbl on the 24th of September, the day of first lift-off. Kiame field is located in 465 ft water depth with an estimated recoverable reserve of 8 million bbl.
Saibos reviewing Girassol vessel bidsSaibos CML, a 50-50 joint venture of Bouygues Offshore and Saipem, said it is now reviewing bids from six shipyards for the construction of its Girassol field development ship (FDS). Based on these bids, the companies confirmed that the total cost of the ship will not exceed $150 million. The order should be placed by the end of the month, with the ship to be completed by mid-2000. The FDS, which is based on an original design, will be used for the second phase of the development of the deepwater Girassol field, which is located off the coast of Angola.
South Africa: Pioneer, Soekor sign agreementPioneer and Soekor have formally signed the previously announced petroleum exploration and production agreement for the 10 million acre Block 7/10-14B off South Africa. The license consists of all of former Blocks 7 and 10 and the shallower water portions of former Blocks 11, 12, 13, and 14. Water depths in the area are less than 650 ft. Pioneer will operate the block with 100%, but Soekor has the right to acquire up to 10% working interest in a field that will be developed, and 10% working interest may be made available to South African private investors.
Congo: Agip, Elf spreading a carpetAgip and Elf have announced a joint 7,500 sq km 3D seismic acquisition over the ultra-deepwater leases Mer Tres Profunde Nord and Mer Tres Profunde Sud in the Congo. The shoot will blanket over half of the total 12,320 sq km acreage made up by the two leases. Agip is the operator of Mes Tres Profunde Sud, spanning 7,250 sq km, with 40% interest,(while Elf and Exxon hold 30% each). Elf is the operator of Mes Tres Profunde Nord, spanning 5,070 sq km, with 40% interest (while Agip and Exxon hold 30% each). Geco is the acquisition company.
Nigeria: Zafiro CALM mooring contract letBridon International has won a contract to supply mooring cable for a catenary anchor leg mooring (CALM) buoy off the coast of Equatorial Guinea. The $500,000 contract is for IMODCO and comprises six lengths of 90 mm spiral strand cable, with a breaking load of 800 tons, and was scheduled to be delivered at the end of October. The CALM buoy is to be located on Mobil's Zafiro oilfield in 136 meters of water.
Mozambique: Zarara, Leopardushave find Zarara Petroleum Resources and Leopardus Resources report the successful testing of the Arco-operated Temane-3 exploration well in Mozambique. The well tested gas at up to 25 MMcf/d plus condensate from the Cretaceous Grudja G-9 zone confirming a potentially significant natural gas accumulation, first discovered by Gulf Oil in 1956 and 1967.
The rig has been moved 11 km to the southwest to drill the first of five appraisal wells. A further $50 million has been budgeted for drilling, seismic, and engineering activities on the prospect over the next 18 months. Discussions are underway to sell the gas to Sasol in South Africa and to ICI in Mozambique.
South Africa: Soekor cooperation agreementsSoekor said that it has entered into technical cooperation agreements, for the comprehensive study and report of certain blocks offshore South Africa, under which a holder has the exclusive right to negotiate the terms of a sublease over the relevant area. Energy Africa Bredasdorp entered into an agreement for Block 3B/4B. Application for a sublease may occur in the last quarter of 1998 or the first quarter of 1999. Also, as previously announced, Ranger Oil in partnership with PanCanadian has begun a one-year technical study of Blocks 12B/11B. Negotiations for a sublease may begin this quarter with a sublease application to be expected by first or second quarter 1999.
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