The Rosneft/ExxonMobil joint venture has started exploratory drilling in the Kara Sea off northern Russia. North Atlantic Drilling's semisubmersibleWest Alpha spud the first well on the Universitestakaya structure, having undergone upgrades to safeguard critical equipment against the effect of low temperatures. Water depth in the area is 81 m (266 ft).
OMV Petrom has discovered a new oil field in shallow water in the Romanian sector. The Marina 1 well was drilled in 50 m (164 ft) of water in the Istria XVII permit, 60 km (37 mi) from the shore. Early test results suggested potential flow rates per well of 1,500-2,000 boe/d. OMV Petrom is already assessing options for a development with costs likely to exceed $135 million. In the deepwater Romanian sector, the company has also been drilling an appraisal well on the potentially giant Domino gas discovery in partnership with ExxonMobil.
BG Group and its partners have submitted a plan to develop the Notus high-pressure/high-temperature and Harmatten Deep gas discoveries in the Egyptian sector of the Mediterranean Sea, in accordance with the El Burg Offshore concession agreement. BG cautions, however, that releasing funds for further Egyptian development projects, including West Delta Deep Marine Phase 9b, is contingent on an improvement in the country's investment conditions.
Consultants Netherland, Sewell & Associates have increased their range of estimates for gas resources in the deepwater Leviathan field offshore Israel, following fresh analysis of 3D seismic surveys and other studies. The low estimate has increased 11% from 14.89-16.58 tcf, and the high end by 10% from 24.14-26.52 tcf.
However, Israel's Petroleum Commissionaire has blocked a proposed development of the Tamar SW gas discovery through the existing Tamar field facilities. According to Delek Group, which has subsidiary companies working on the project with operator Noble Energy, this appears to be due to a small encroachment of the discovery into the Eran/353 license. The partners have lodged an appeal with the Israeli High Court.
ADMA-OPCO has issued a letter of award to Hyundai Heavy Industries for new facilities for the offshore Nasr oil field, 130 km (81 mi) northwest of Abu Dhabi. Under the $1.94-billion engineering, procurement, construction, installation, and commissioning contract Hyundai will build and install three new platforms, modify three existing facilities, and lay close to 200 km (124 mi) of new subsea power and infield cables. The program, due to be completed by the second half of 2019, should lift oil production capacity at the field from the present 22,000 b/d to 65,000 b/d.
Oman's Ministry of Oil & Gas has invited bids for two offshore blocks. Block 18 is in the north Sohar basin in water depths of 98.4-9,842 ft (30-3,000 m), while block 59 is off the eastern coast of central Oman in water depths of up to 11,811 ft (3,600 m).
Woodside Petroleum has agreed to farm into 70% of the mainly offshore Lake Tanganyika South block in Tanzania, which is currently held by Beach Energy. The proposed work program includes seismic studies, with an option for future drilling and operatorship.
KrisEnergy has agreed to acquire Chevron Overseas Petroleum (Cambodia) for $65 million. The package includes a 30% operated interest in offshore block A, in which Chevron discovered the Apsara oil field during the previous decade. The 4,709-sq km (1,818-sq mi) concession is over the Khmer basin in the Gulf of Thailand, in water depths of 50-80 m (164-262 ft). KrisEnergy and the remaining partners plan a development involving a platform and 24 wells with oil sent to a storage vessel prior to export.
Octanex has secured finance to develop the Ophir field offshore Malaysia via a wellhead platform and three production wells, with a leased storage/offloading tanker. The company estimates the overall project costs at $135 million.
CNOOC has started production from two more development projects offshore China. Panyu 10-2/5/8 in the Pearl River Mouth basin of the South China Sea takes in the Panyu 10-2, 10-5 and 10-8 oil fields, all connected to existing facilities at the Panyu 4-2 field complex. The company has installed one wellhead platform with four wells online and five more to follow, building to peak production of 13,000 b/d next year.
The other onstream project is the Lishui 36-1 gas field, 150 km (93 mi) from Wenzhou city Zheijiang province, which CNOOC developed in partnership with Primeline. Investments include a production platform, four production wells, and a subsea pipeline connected to an onshore processing terminal. Gas is sold to the Zheijiang Provincial Gas Grid.
ConocoPhillips has discovered gas with its Pharos-1 well in the Browse basin offshore Western Australia, according to partner Karoon Gas. The semisubTransocean Legend drilled the well that was designed to test an extension of the Proteus-1 find 5.59 mi (9 km) to the southwest, which established condensate-bearing gas in the Montara formation.