April 1, 2000
Chevron has successfully installed an 8,000-ton integrated deck for the Kungulo water injection platform (KWIP) in Area A of the shallow offshore Angola Block 0 concession.

Statoil pulling out of Gulf of Mexico

Statoil is abandoning its largest foreign investment by putting its Gulf of Mexico assets up for sale. At a closed conference in Sanderst len, Norway, Statoil President Olav Fjell said the company will rid itself of these assets within the year. "The Mexican Gulf is a very interesting area," said Statoil spokesman Hans Aasmund Frisak, "but we aim at concentrating our foreign investments in a few locations. The US is not among these locations." Frisak declined to comment on the price that Statoil expects to get for the assets.

Subsea tieback study awarded

DeepStar awarded an engineering contract to Mentor Subsea Technology Services to address problems associated with a 60-mile subsea tieback in 10,000 ft of water. The study will take four months to complete.

Cantarell $12 billion project half complete

Pemex officials said the $12 billion Cantarell field drilling/nitrogen injection project offshore Mexico, begun in October 1997, is 50% complete. The onshore nitrogen generation plant is scheduled to come on line this month. The project, which should raise production at the huge field by some 4.5 billion bbl over 15 years, is located off the coast of Campeche state.

Petrobras: two more Cuban wells to go

Petrobras is nearing TD of the operator's first well offshore Cuba, and plans two more. The well was drilled directionally from the small island of Felipe El Grande. Block L, which Petrobras operates, is located in 5,400 meters water depth north of Cuba.

Mad Dog well finds other similar zones

Unocal Spirit Energy 76's appraisal well on the Mad Dog prospect found 250 ft of oil pay in zones, confirming the discovery well. Mad Dog is located in 5,000-7,000 ft water depths in Green Canyon 825, 826, and 782. The appraisal well was drilled to 20,268 ft MD, about two miles north of the discovery well. A sidetrack was drilled to 21,560 ft. Results are under evaluation. The block partners plan to drill more appraisals, followed by a development plan.

MMS study triggered by 70% increase in deepwater work

The US Minerals Management Service (MMS) is studying the environmental impacts of deepwater oil and gas exploration and production in the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf of Mexico Comprehensive Synthetic Based Fluids Monitoring Program is needed because the MMS expects that deepwater exploration activities will continue to grow. The agency says a 70% increase in the number of deepwater exploratory wells took place in just two years (72 in 1996 to 122 in 1998). In water depths greater than 1,000 ft, production increased from 6% to 36% between 1985 and 1998.

The Northern Gulf of Mexico Continental Slope Habitats and Benthic Ecology Study, is being conducted on a number of 1,000-meter-plus sites by Texas A&M University. Study sites will be divided into two types: some will be investigated before and after exploratory activities; others will make a one-time assessment after fully completed development activities.

Long jackups operating at near 100% levels

"The true strength of the US Gulf of Mexico market has been the high-end, long-legged jackups, which have been operating at nearly 100% utilization for several months. In January 2000, dayrates for the high-end (fourth generation) semisubmersibles began to strengthen as well." These were the comments of Global Marine's Chairman and CEO Bob Rose, in the wake of the monthly SCORE report.

E & P Briefs. . .

  • Spinnaker's Brazos 336 No. 1 well was drilled to 10,111 ft to test Miocene-aged Margulina sands and found several gas-saturated sands. Casing was cemented to total depth and testing operations are ongoing.
  • BP Amoco exercised right of first refusal to purchase Southern Natural Gas's one third interest in the Destin Pipeline, which is a 255-mile offshore and onshore gathering and distribution system that serves natural gas producers in the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
  • Bellwether Exploration committed $55 million for 2000 capital expenditures, up 76% from 1999. The plan includes $29.1 million for development activity onshore and offshore.
  • St. Mary Land & Exploration acquired King Ranch Energy's interests in three offshore prospects in the Gulf of Mexico, the Gulf Coast, and in Texas for $60 million in December. Prospects included areas in Vermillion 273, Matagorda Island 701, and West El Gordo offshore Louisiana.
  • Operator Marathon said that despite a delineation well on the prospect, it did not know whether its Camden Hills gas discovery was commercial. There is no infrastructure in the area, and a range of possibilities will have to be evaluated to determine commerciality.
  • Spinnaker's High Island 202 No. 2 well was drilled to 15,100 ft (13,926 ft TVD) and found 149 ft of gas pay in four productive sand intervals, including one not found by High Island 202 No. 1 well, which in December found 122 net ft of pay in three sands. No. 2 will have a dual completion. Both wells will be completed for production via a small four-pile platform.
  • Basin Exploration's West Delta 58 No. D-5 was drilled to subsea TVD of 11,300 ft. It logged more than 150 net ft of oil and gas/condensate pay in multiple Miocene-aged sands. The well will be suspended pending completion and installation of facilities later in the year.
  • Vastar's West Delta 122 No. A-3 found more than 200 net ft of oil and gas pay in several Upper Pliocene-aged sands after reaching TVD 14,525 ft.
  • Mariner Energy's well on Devils Tower prospect in 5,610 ft water depth on Mississippi Canyon 773 was drilled to TD of 15,625 ft and found multiple hydrocarbon-bearing zones. Casing was run and the well was temporarily suspended. An appraisal well on Devils Tower is planned for the second quarter.
  • Comstock Resources said it plans to participate in 23 wells in the shallow offshore Louisiana area this year. Recently, Comstock and operator Bois d'Arc Offshore drilled Eugene Island 57 No. 14 well to 12,862 ft and completed it from both the BB1 and BB5 reservoirs. The well is flowing 8.9 MMcfe/d from 14/64-in. choke with flowing tubing pressure of 3,916 psi. Comstock and Bois d'Arc will drill a second well in the area later this year. The companies are now drilling South Pelto 5 No. 6 well.