Australia: Stag now onstreamApache has brought its Stag platform offshore Northwest Australia onstream. The project is located in 150 ft water depths, 37 miles off Dampier, Western Australia. Output is expected to reach 25,000 b/d of oil by mid-month from five horizontal wells. Apache is the operator of the $150 million project with a 33.3% interest (Gobex Far East - 12.5%; Santos - 54.2%). Apache officials have reported that Stag will double Apache's oil production in Australia with a net of 8,300 b/d.
Indonesia: Discoveries continueGulf Resources has suspended its Jangkar-1(ST) wildcat as an oil and gas well. It is located in the West Natuna Sea Kakap PSC and is 5km southwest of the KH Field. The well was spudded using the Sedco 600 semi in 88 meters of water and was sidetracked three times before reaching a TD of 3,139 meters. Although the well was not tested, logging and RFT analysis indicated the presence of a 108-meter hydrocarbon column. The operator is now considering development options.
Unocal's Merah Besar-9 wildcat in its Kutei Basin East Kalimantan PSC has been plugged and abandoned as an oil and gas well. The well, located 1.5 km northwest of the Merah Besar-1 discovery well, was spudded earlier this year using the Sedco 602 semi in water depths of around 510 meters. TD was reached at 4,012 meters. The well was not tested and was abandoned as a discovery on the basis of logging results. Unocal has estimated reserves at Merah Besar to range between 70-300 million BOE, and intends to submit a plan of development to commence work in late 1998 with first production to begin in 2001.
In South Natuna Sea Block B PSC, located in the West Natuna Basin, Conoco has plugged and abandoned its Tembang-3 appraisal well as a gas discovery. It was spudded in February and drilled by the Galaxy Driller semi in 82 meters of water. No test results have been released. The Tembang accumulation will be incorporated into the West Natuna Gas Gathering Project to supply power facilities in Singapore.
Another two successful delineations of the Vorwata discovery have recently been completed. Arco's Vorwata-7 in the Berau PSC has been abandoned as a gas well, but as the well had been declared a tight hole, test results were made available. In April, in the extension of the field into British Gas-operated Muturi PSC, Vorwata-10 was also abandoned as a gas well, again with no test results issued. Two more wells are still ongoing, Vorwata-8 and Vorwata-11 (both British Gas).
Philippines: GSEC awards Two GSECs have been awarded for offshore areas in the Philippines. GSEC 95, covering 12,805 sq km offshore Southwest Palawan was granted to Australian company Socdet, and GSEC 96, an area of 12,849 sq km in the Northeast Palawan/Cuyo Basin was granted to operator Murphy (80%) and partner South China Petroleum & Exploration (20%). Both GSECs have been granted for initial one year exploration terms.
Malaysia: IPC begins drilling campaignIPC Malaysia, a subsidiary of Lundin Oil, has spudded the first well of its 1998 drilling campaign with the Bunga Manggar-1 well in Block PM-3 in the Commercial Arrangement Area between Malaysia and Vietnam. The well is targeting the Late Miocene "H Group" channel sand originally discovered last year in the Bunga Seroja-1A and Northwest Bunga Raya-1 wells. These previous wells tested gas at rates of 50 MMcf/d. Bungar Manggar-1 will be drilled to a TD of 7,600 ft using the Sedco Trident 15. Under its 1998 drilling campaign, the company intends to drill four wells with the possibility of a 5th before year-end.
Thailand: 17th Licensing RoundThailand's 17th Thailand Licensing Round opened following approval by the Industry Minister. The round is composed of all acreage which remained open onshore and in the Gulf of Thailand following the 15th Round. Bids were received last month and data packages have been prepared.
The 10 Gulf of Thailand blocks included in the new round total approximately 73,650 sq km. The individual blocks and block sizes in sq km are as follows: B1/38 - 5,640; B2/38 - 5,880; B3/38 - 9,580; B4/38 - 5,830; B5/38 - 12,850; B6/38 - 6,420; B7/38 - 9,240; B9/38 - 8,540; B10/38 - 9,240; and B12/38 -420.
Thailand: Kerr-McGee awardA Kerr-McGee led group has been awarded W7/38 in the Mergui Basin. This 17,712 sq km block was awarded to Kerr-McGee (42.5%), Amerada Hess (42.5%) and PTTEP (15%). It is located in water depths ranging from 183 meters to 2,896 meters. The block was made available for bid in the 16th Thai Licensing Round, which closed in September 1997. The concession has been awarded for a six-year exploration term composed of two three-year phases. During the first three years, requirements include 5,000 km of new seismic and one well.
Indonesia-Australia: Bayu-Undan delayedLNG production from the Bayu-Undan gas field in Indonesian-Australian ZOCA area of the Timor Sea has been delayed at least two years. Phillips Petroleum, the largest stakeholder in the project (25%), said the project has been delayed due to the weak market conditions caused by the Asian crisis and disagreements with its major partner BHP.
The Phillips/BHP consortium have planned an LNG plant with a 3 million ton per year capacity for processing the fields estimated 3.1 tcf of gas reserves and 400 million bbl of hydrocarbon liquids. However, the companies are currently in a disagreement over whether to build the proposed LNG plant in the Northern Australian city of Darwin with a 500-km pipeline to the field as Phillips has proposed, or offshore near the field which BHP is supporting. BHP has also offered its 23.5 interest in the field for sale, but has not accepted any offers as of yet.
Phillips did comment that the first development phase of the project is on schedule to start production in 2002 as planned, but the LNG development will not begin until at least 2005 or 2006.
New Zealand: Outlook for exploration looks brightA seismic rig completed three acquisition projects off New Zealand recently. It worked off South Island for Pacrim, off Tarabaki for New Zealand Oil & Gas, and off North Island for a Conoco-led joint venture. The outlook for offshore exploration looks brighter for later this year, with the expected mobilization of a semisubmersible rig to drill Maari-1 for Shell-Todd and Cultus. This may lead to some additional wells, especially for the Maui partners. NZOG has several prospects close to drillable status in PEP 38460, west of the Maui oil and gas field offshore Taranaki.
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