Oct. 1, 2000
Amerada Hess signed a new production sharing contract (PSC) with Malaysian state oil company Petronas for the deepwater Block F off the northern coast of Sarawak.

Amerada Hess signs deepwater Malaysia PSC

Amerada Hess signed a new production sharing contract (PSC) with Malaysian state oil company Petronas for the deepwater Block F off the northern coast of Sarawak. The water depth of the 8,000-sq-km block ranges from 200 meters to 1,200 meters. The block is largely unexplored, with only limited 2D seismic data acquired previously. The company will reprocess 1,000 km of 2D data and an additional 4,000 km of 2D data will be acquired during 2001 before drilling a well.

Australia awards eight offshore permits

Australia awarded eight exploration permits off Western Australia to four operator groups. Two permits were awarded to Royal Dutch/Shell company; two to BHP Petroleum and Kerr-McGee; three to BHP Petroleum, Texaco and Kerr-McGee; and one to a group comprised of Antrim Energy and Rawson Resources. The companies committed to spend $167 million on exploration during the next six years, including 20,150 line km of 2D seismic, 1,730 sq km of 3D seismic and drilling 10 wells.

Woodside has promising results from well

Woodside Petroleum said it received promising results from the Brecknock South-1 exploration well offshore Western Australia. The well encountered 167 ft gross hydrocarbon column over a single interval.

Second development set for joint venture

The Harriet Joint Venture led by Apache Corp. agreed to proceed with its second development project offshore Western Australia this year. Following the recent announcement to develop the Gypsy and Gypsy North fields, the joint venture will now develop the Simpson field on a fast track. The field, previously known as the Tanam-4 discovery well, was discovered last June.

The Tanam-4 well's original purpose was to extend the Tanami field, but a larger separate structure was discovered. While a final production scheme has yet to be announced, it is thought that the field would be developed subsea and tied back to onshore production facilities on Varanus Island.

Kerr-McGee has successful appraisal

The CFD 12-1 #2 well was drilled northwest of the recent CFD 12-1 #1 discovery well on Block 05/36 in China's Bohai Bay. The appraisal well tested more than 2,700 b/d of oil while the discovery well flowed 2,562 b/d of oil. The wells are in about 90 ft of water 10 miles east of another recent discovery known as CFD 11-1 which is also operated by Kerr-McGee. An 810 sq km 3D seismic program over the CFD 11-1 and CFD 12-1 fields will help determine the areal extent of the reservoirs and to locate additional appraisal wells necessary to establish commerciality of the 12-1 field.

First wildcat in western S. China Sea

CNOOC spudded the Baaodao 19-2-1 well in the western portion of the South China Sea with the Nanhai 6 semisubmersible, the first well in the area. The well is in 191 meters water depth and is designed to be drilled to 2,673 meters, targeting the Meishaan formation sandstone body in Upper Tertiary system. The well is about 85 km east of Lingshui County, Hainan Province.

Kerr-McGee awarded blocks off Australia

Kerr-McGee was awarded five deepwater permits in the Outer Browse Basin in water depths ranging from 1,500 ft to over 8,000 ft. The permit areas cover about 6.4 million acres. The company also has interests in seven other permits off Western Australia, including the Bayu-Undan development in the Zone of Cooperation between Australia and East Timor.

Companies acquire block shares off Vietnam

PTT Exploration & Production, the upstream arm of the Petroleum Authority of Thailand, has taken a 10% share in three blocks off Vietnam in exchange for a 20% interest in the Arthit gas project in the Gulf of Thailand that was awarded to Unocal Thailand and Mitsui Oil Exploration in 1998. The blocks are 52/97, formerly part of an overlapping area claimed by Thailand and Vietnam; and Block B and Block 48/95.

Japan National Oil Company (JNOC) also finalized its purchase of a 20% stake in an oil development project in Block 52/97. The acquisition will be concluded through Moeco South West Vietnam Petroleum, which is 49% owned by JNOC. Mitsui owns the remaining 51% equity in Moeco. Unocal and Petrovietnam also will participate in the project with production anticipated to commence in the fourth quarter.

New legislation on horizon for Indonesia

Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid announced a new 26-member Indonesian cabinet with Purnomo Yusbiantoro as the new minister for energy and mineral resources. Yusbiantoro was a senior advisor to the Ministry of Mines and Energy under former President Suharto. He is known to support reform in the energy sector and is anxious to curtail the administrative power of Pertamina, particularly over production sharing contracts.

Political problems in the country had delayed the introduction of a new draft of oil and gas law to the National Assembly. The draft, now expected by the end of October, is essentially a new version of the bill put forward last year and rejected after eight months of debate. The new draft law makes two significant alterations in the offshore exploration sector. It strips Pertamina of management control of PSCs, and permits other forms of exploration and production arrangements, including royalty contracts.

FMC receives contract for subsea systems

Woodside Energy Limited awarded a contract to FMC Southeast Asia Pte. Ltd for supply of subsea production systems for the Echo/ Yodel development project offshore the Northwest Shelf. Two subsea wells will be completed in 140 meters of water with natural gas production tied back to Woodside's Goodwyn A platform. FMC will design, fabricate and supply the production systems at its facility in Singapore, including two 5,000 psi subsea trees, subsea drilling systems, and associated equipment.

Oceaneering, Global exchange Asia assets

Oceaneering International and Global Industries signed a letter of intent to exchange assets and share facilities in Asia and Australia. In the proposed transaction, Oceaneering would transfer its diving assets and related equipment in Asia, Australia, China and the Middle East, including its dive support vessel Ocean Winsertor, to Global Industries in exchange for Global's remotely operated vehicles and related equipment in Asia and Australia, as well as its Triton XL-11 ROV and related equipment in the Gulf of Mexico. The transaction is expected to close by the end of September.

Premier holds onto Yetagun in Myanmar

Despite criticism and poor field performance so far, Premier Exploration has decided to hold onto its 27% holding in the Yetagun gas field off Myanmar (Burma). The field is producing 40 MMcfd, a distant figure from its target flow of 200 MMcfd. Prospects for flow improvement are good, but additional work may be necessary. Last year, Amerada Hess and Petronas took a 25% stake in the field for a 136 million pound cash infusion.

Thai licensing round

Thailand is offering 18 offshore blocks in its 18th licensing round. The blocks include four in the Andaman Sea and eight in the Gulf of Thailand. Applications are due within three years from July 11, 2000.