ASIA/PACIFIC

Conoco's South Natuna Block "B" discovery [10,990 bytes]. Unocal's West Seno-2 in the Makassar Strait [20,938 bytes]. As part of Arco's withdrawal from Myanmar (Burma), the PSC for Gulf of Martaban Block M-7 has been relinquished at the end if its initial two year exploration phase. The withdrawal has also meant the relinquishment of M-9 on expiration (26 October). The decision was made in the light of new regional investment priorities as a result of Arco's recent acquisition

Nov 1st, 1998

Peter Tang
Singapore

Myanmar: Arco pulling out

As part of Arco's withdrawal from Myanmar (Burma), the PSC for Gulf of Martaban Block M-7 has been relinquished at the end if its initial two year exploration phase. The withdrawal has also meant the relinquishment of M-9 on expiration (26 October). The decision was made in the light of new regional investment priorities as a result of Arco's recent acquisition of Union Texas and its purchase of 50% of Triton's stake in the MTJDA Block A-18.

Despite the discovery of gas in M-9, the scope of the play did not warrant further participation in the two blocks held by Arco. The company has strenuously denied that political pressures bore any part in the decision to withdraw from Myanmar, in which Arco said it had spent US$50 million on exploration activities. Arco had been attempting to farm out a stake in both blocks for some time. Block M-9 contains the Shwe Pyi Htay-1 gas discovery made in early 1997, where estimated recoverable reserves have been quoted at 1.2 tcf.

China: CONHW testing Zhu III

CONHW has been carrying out testing of its Zhu III Depression wildcat WC 14-3-1 (Pearl River Mouth Basin). Drill stem test (DST) 1, testing the 2,378-2,417 meters gross interval, produced 6.5 MMcf/d of gas and 256 b/d of oil on a 10 mm choke. The gas composition was 48.1% carbon dioxide. DST 5, in the 1,785-1,792 meters interval, tested 3,795 b/d of oil and 0.6 MMcf/d of gas on a 10mm choke. Gas composition was 8.9% carbon dioxide. Oil gravity was 51.3° API. Test results are unconfirmed.

XCL awarded Zhang Dong

XCL has signed a new contract with CNODC for the Zhang Dong PSCA, located in the shallow water zone of the Bohai Gulf. Acreage covered by the contract is located immediately to the north and west of the Zhao Dong PSCA, operated by Apache and in which XCL is a partner.

CNPC subsidiary the Dagang Oilfield Co, which will act as XCL's partner in the Zhang Dong contract, has already carried out appraisal drilling on the acreage. XCL is to carry out further appraisal drilling with a view to increasing recoverable reserves through improved drilling and completion technology.

Indonesia: Two exploration successes

Two offshore exploration wells have been successfully completed in Indonesian contract areas.

  • In Conoco's South Natuna Block 'B' PSC Extension in the West Natuna Sea, the Belut-3 delineation well was suspended as an oil and gas well. The step-out was spudded earlier and is located some 10 km southwest of the Belut-1 gas discovery. Water depth at the location is 96 meters and the well was drilled using PT Patra Drilling's Galaxy Driller semisub. Conoco has reported that the well flowed at an aggregate rate of 5,600 b/d of oil from two separate zones at depths of 1,615 meters and 2,530 meters. A shallow gas zone was not tested. The well was planned as part of the ongoing program to prove-up feedstock to supply the West Natuna Gas Project which will deliver 325 MMcf/d of gas to private consumers in Singapore.
  • Unocal's West Seno-2 wildcat in Makassar Strait Block 'A' PSC Extension in the Kutei Basin of East Kalimantan was plugged and abandoned as a significant oil discovery. The well was spudded in July and is located some 33 km east-southeast of the Kerindingan oil field Seno West #2 in 833 meters of water and was drilled using PT Hightech Drilling's Sedco-601 semisub. The well had been designed as a deviated slimhole to drill to a total depth of 2,819 meters true vertical depth. The primary targets of the well were Pliocene channel sandstones and Upper Miocene deepwater sandstones.

The well was the subject of several press releases from Unocal's headquarters in late August, following the completion of a testing program. The well encountered 52 meters of vertical oil pay in two separate zones over the 2,225-2,621 meters gross interval. A first DST over the 2,522-2,559 meters interval flowed 2,900 b/d of oil (37° API) plus 3.1 MMcf/d of gas on a 28/64-inch choke.

The flow was constrained by mechanical conditions that prevented a higher rate test to establish the full potential of the well. A second DST was then conducted over the 2,440-2,458 meters interval, flowing at the rate of 10,069 b/d of oil (32° API) plus 9.5 MMcf/d of gas on a 1.25-inch choke. The operator will now drill West Seno-1 out of sequence as a sidetracked appraisal from West Seno-2.

Malaysia: Discovery on Baram Delta

Carigali's Baronia Barat-1 wildcat, located immediately to the west of the Baronia oil and gas field in SK-307 in the Baram Delta Basin, was abandoned as an oil and gas discovery after encountering oil and gas while drilling. The well was not tested to minimize costs. After being spudded earlier using Ensco's Ensco-52 jackup in 79 meters of water, Baronia Barat-1 was drilled to a total depth of 3,340 meters. The hydrocarbons will be developed by horizontally drilling from one of the Baronia Field platforms to the east.

Thailand: PTTEP farms out acreage

PTTEP has farmed-out stakes in all three of its Pattani/North Malay Basin Blocks B14, B15, and B16 to Unocal (16%) and Moeco (4%). PTTEP will retain operatorship and an 80% stake in the three areas across which a 4,000-sq km 3D survey was recently acquired. This followed the release of the blocks from force majeure in January when an agreement was reached between Thailand and Vietnam regarding their overlapping territorial claims in the Gulf of Thailand.

Vietnam: Rang Dong now onstream

JVPC brought its Rang Dong Field in Mekong Basin Block 15-2 onstream, just prior to Vietnam's National Day in September. Field startup had been delayed from the original scheduled date in June due to the late delivery of the 800,000-bbl-capacity FPSO from Singapore. JVPC will produce the field at the initial rate of 20,000 bbl of 38° API oil per day, rising to 45,000 b/d of oil. This rate will increase to 90,000 b/d of oil within two years. JVPC has also indicated that it plans to produce the gas from the field. The field was declared commercial in June and a discovery area of 294 sq km has been declared. JVPC has split the field into seven areas - A to G - and initial production will come from Area A. Reserves for the field are reportedly 300 million bbl of oil.

Copyright 1998 Oil & Gas Journal. All Rights Reserved.

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