Second Bangladesh licensing round beginsOn 15 March, the Second Licensing Round offshore Bangladesh was officially opened following final approval of the new model PSC by the Bangladesh government. The blocks on offer comprise the 15 remaining open blocks in the country including three offshore blocks: 19, 20 and 21. The closing date for the round is 15 July 1997.
Fletcher awarded Brunei blockFletcher Challenge Petroleum was awarded offshore block CD off Brunei on 3 March 1997. This fragmented area in the Baram Delta Basin comprises segments of blocks A and B which were relinquished by Elf in 1990 and 1993 respectively and subsequently held by Elf!s partner in the blocks, the Bruneian company Jasra.
Arco tests first of four wells off MyanmarIn block M-9 in the Gulf of Martaban off Myanmar, Arco has tested gas at the rate of around 25 MMcf/d from one DST conducted at the Shwe Pyi Htay-1 wildcat. The well was drilled to an undisclosed TD (prognosed TD was 3,200m) after spudding on 11 February 1997 using JSL's Energy Searcher drillship. This was the first in a four well program and was designed to test the hydrocarbon potential of an Upper Miocene sandstone play.
Conflict erupts between Vietnam and ChinaA diplomatic row has erupted between Vietnam and China over the Chinese drilling of the LD 28-1-2 delineation well in the offshore Hainan area. Following Vietnamese protests the Chinese rejected the claims, stating that the location is within the continental shelf and exclusive economic zone of China and that their operations are beyond reproach.
Drilling continues in Natuna SeaClyde Petroleum's Nelayan-1, located in the Kekap PSC in the West Natuna Sea, has reached a depth of 3,124 meters, and is drilling ahead. This deviated well has a prognosed TD of 3,340 meters, and is designed to test the Oligo-Miocene Gabus and Arang Formation sandstones. The well is being drilled using PT Hitek Nusantara's Sedco Trident-17 jackup in 87.5 meters water depth.
Arco coring Irian Jaya well at 3,828 metersArco's Vorwata-2, the first delineation well on the January 1997 Vorwata-1 gas discovery, is currently coring at a depth of 3,828m. The well is located in the Berau PSC, in the Biutuni Basin of western Irian Jaya and was spudded on 14 February at a location approximately 17 km southeast of the Vorwata-1 gas discovery. the primary objectives are Upper Palaeocene, Cretaceous, Upper and Middle Jurassic sandstones. The well has a PTD of 4,284 meters.
Unocal abandons Pailin wellUnocal's Pailin-26 delineation well was plugged and abandoned as a gas well in mid-March 1997 at a TD of 2,764 meters. This well was designed to evaluate Oligocene and Miocene sandstones at the northern extremity of the Pailin structure. Unocal has announced that the North Pailin Field is commercial and it was preparing an application to declare it a separate production area. The Pailin Field is due to come on stream in the final quarter of 1998 at the rate of 164 MMcf/d. The recent North Pailin delineation drilling will result in a boost to Phase II production to 330 MMcf/d in 2001.
Tantawan well appraisal continuesPogo Producing continued its appraisal of the Tantawan Field with the successful completion of Tantawan-17 as a gas well in early February 1997. It was spudded on 30 January and drilled using the Sedco 601 semisubmersible. The well was designed to evaluate Miocene sandstones but few other details are available. The Tantawan Field was brought on stream by Pogo on 1 February 1997.
Total exits VietnamTotal has relinquished block 11-1 in the South Con Son Basin. The block was surrendered on 31 March 1997, ahead of its actual expiration date of 9 July 1997. Total drilled three commitment wells on the block, with one oil, gas and condensate discovery, 11-1-CC-1X, made in February 1996. Total had been seeking to tie-in the southern part of the adjacent block 10 to the block 11-1 contract but following the disappointing results of the third commitment well 11-1-CT-1X, it was decided to surrender the acreage.
Third Malay well suspendedIn block 46 in the Malay Basin, Fina suspended its third well in a four well program, 46-PT-1X (Phu Tan-1), as an oil and gas discovery on 27 March 1997 at a TD of 2323m. The well was spudded on 24 February 1997 using KDC's Doo Sung semisubmersible in water depth of 50 meters and tested a combined rate of 2553 b/d of oil, 32.3 MMcf/d of gas, and 100 b/d of condensate from three undisclosed intervals in Upper Oligocene and Lower Miocene stacked fluvio-deltaic sandstones.
Esso returns to Malaysian upstreamNo new contracts have been awarded off Malaysia since 19 March, when Esso Production Malaysia (EPMI) signed two PSCs for SB-302 and deepwater SB-H, offshore Sabah. These awards represent Esso's first deepwater contract in Malaysia and mark the company!s return to upstream activities in Sabah after an absence of 11 years.
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