The Borgny Dolphin semi has begun drilling off the disputed Falklands. Samedan's Block 3 concession which includes the Amistad Field. [31,386 bytes] Delivery route of Statoil's entitlement oil from the Azeri-Chirag Field off Baku. [73,210 bytes]


Marshall DeLuca
The Borgny Dolphin semi has begun drilling off the disputed Falklands.


Ranger Oil has begun plans for the redevelopment of the Espoir Field off Cote d'Ivoire with the award of a front-end engineering design study to Oceaneering. The study will examine all principle components of Ranger's base-case technical solution for the field and will refine the Espoir design basis. Oceaneering will also optimize the design for the base-case production facilities for the field, and develop a cost estimate and project schedule. Espoir began production in 1982, but was abandoned in 1988.


The Borgny Dolphin semisubmersible has begun drilling in one of the world's last unexplored sedimentary basins off the disputed Falkland Islands. Operator Amerada Hess has contracted the rig for three years on behalf of the Falklands Offshore Sharing Agreement (FOSA) which includes Royal Dutch/Shell, Lasmo, and Lundin Oil. FOSA has planned a five well program to be completed by spring 1999 with the option for more wells depending upon success. Seven areas have been licensed, with FOSA to drill five of them. The areas cover 12,800 sq km and are located 100-250 km north of the Falklands. Amerada Hess has begun drilling on one of the northernmost areas.

Desire Petroleum is also a partner with Lasmo in two areas and operator with 100% interest in two other blocks. If Desire decides to develop the areas it may join the FOSA agreement.

Petrobras has announced that it is in the final negotiation stages of its partnership program, which will allow foreign investment into Brazil's energy sector for the first time. The company is currently finalizing negotiations for participation in 42 projects in exploration and production development with 24 companies as potential operators and 11 companies as non-operators. They are also negotiating with 24 companies on 31 projects in oil field rejuvenation. Petrobras estimates that within the next three years, the partnerships will result in new investments of more than $1 billion for exploration projects and more than $3.5 billion for the development of production.

Samedan has completed an 87-sq-mile 3D seismic program and a 145-sq-mile 2D seismic program on the Amistad gas field off Ecuador. The field, which was discovered in 1970 but never developed, lies in the company's 864,126-acre concession in the Gulf of Guayaquil. The company is currently developing a gas market for the field that would utilize it to supply fuel to electric power plants in Guayaquil.

Snyder Oil has made a natural gas and condensate discovery on Main Pass 260 in the Gulf of Mexico. Main Pass 260 #1 was drilled to a TD of 12,400 ft in 314 ft of water and logged 31 net ft of pay in a lower Miocene sand. The well tested at 2,745 b/d of condensate and 25.8 MMcf/d of gas. Further drilling is planned before scheduled production begins in 1999. Main Pass 260 is located between two producing fields - Pabst (Main Pass 259) and SOCO's Ingrid Field (Main pass 261).

CXY Energy Offshore has discovered natural gas on West Cameron 170 in the Gulf of Mexico. The Sidetrack #2 well was drilled to a TD of 15,812 ft and analysis has indicated over 150 ft of natural gas pay in eight sands. A cassion-supported deck will be installed to hold a production separator with a flowline connected to an existing production platform on Block 170. Production is expected to commence in the third quarter. CXY holds 56% of the block with partners Remington Oil and Gas (42%) and Mako Offshore (2%).

Minex Minerals and Manti Resources have reached an agreement to develop the Pampa Salamanca oil and gas concessions in the Gulf of San Jorge offshore Argentina. The 315 sq km concession is located in the northeast sector of the basin. Previous drilling in the area has confirmed reserves of over 4 billion bbl of oil equivalent for the basin. Under the agreement, Manti must complete economic and technical assessment of the concession and prepare a comprehensive exploration program.

The government of France has given Gulf Canada Resources a three-year permit to explore off the Canadian east coast in the region of the French islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon. The permit covers an 800,000-acre block that has been under an exploration moratorium since the 1960s. Gulf has acquired considerable seismic data over the area, but plans to shoot up to 4,000 miles of new 2D seismic in the next few months with drilling to begin by 2000.


Two zones of Apache's Caribou 1 discovery in the Dampier Sub-basin of the Carnarvon Basin off Northwest Australia tested at a combined rate of 51.9 MMcf/d of gas and 850 b/d of condensate. The upper zone of the discovery confirms and extends the field which was discovered last year with the Reindeer 1 well. Reindeer 1 was drilled two miles north of Caribou 1 and encountered a 279-ft gas column in the same upper zone. The lower zone is also expected to contain significant reserves.

Westech-Enerco joint venture encountered gas in the first well of their Hawke Bay drilling program. Kauhauroa-1 (PEP 38329) drilled to a TD of 1,220 meters, was suspended awaiting test equipment. Indo Pacific has embarked on a program of vibroseis seismic acquisition, including 75 km in each of PEP 38328 and 38332 and 50 km in PEP 38330.

Santa Fe has encountered 300-400 ft of oil-bearing sand with its first exploration well on the Ursa prospect Block 15/34 in the Pearl River Mouth Basin of the South China Sea. Drilling reached a total depth of 9,843 ft on well PY4-2-1 and encountered the hydrocarbons in 25 different zones. Tests flowed 3,100 b/d of oil from one interval and 3,300 b/d of oil from a separate interval. Testing will continue with 3D seismic to be shot in the near future.

Woodside's Dockrell-2 appraisal well in permit WA-6-L in Australia's Dampier Sub basin of the Northwest Shelf encountered a 77-meter hydrocarbon column. The column was found at 2,930-3,007 meter depths, consisting of 67 meters of gas and 10 meters of oil. Dockrell-2 is located eight km northeast of Woodside's 1973 Dockrell-1 discovery. The company is in the process of logging operations.

Lundin Oil will begin its eight-well drilling program this month. The company will begin the program with a five-well exploration/appraisal drilling campaign on it's 41.44% interest Block PM-3 CAA offshore Malaysia/Vietnam. Lundin will then drill a two-well appraisal program onshore Libya and a frontier exploration well offshore the Falkland Islands on Tranche "F" at the end of the year.

Rutherford-Moran and its partners have approved plans to construct and install a fifth platform in the Tantawan Field of its Block B8/32 concession in the Gulf of Thailand. The platform Tantawan "E" will be a 4-pile, 6-slot development platform located near the surface location of the Tantawan #17. Development drilling will begin in January with initial production to begin in April.

Central Asia:

Kazakhstan has suspended further foreign investment to its energy sector for decades. President Nursultan Nazarbayev said, "For this generation and the next, we have completed all contracts." This follows an announcement in February in which the government said it was suspending oil and gas assets sales for a period of assessment. The country has sold stakes in its largest energy projects like the Tengiz and Karachaganak fields, but still has a lot of undeveloped areas in the Caspian Sea. Kazakhstan has estimated reserves at 96 billion bbl of oil and proven reserves of 34 billion bbl of oil.

Statoil's first cargo of entitlement oil from the Azeri-Chirag Field in the Caspian Sea off Baku, has been loaded on a tanker at the Novorossiyk pipeline terminal on the Black Sea. A total of 164,250 bbl was piped from the field to the Russian port through the "northern route" line via Chechenia and loaded on the tanker for distribution. Production from the field, in which Statoil holds an 8.56% interest, began in November.

ARCO and Saknavtobi, the Georgian state oil company, have postponed the signing of a $2 billion agreement for the joint development Black Sea oil fields. The signing was put off until more detailed discussion of the agreement between the company's was finalized. It is speculated that the recent resignation of David Zubitashvili, the Georgian Fuel and Energy Minister, was another factor in the postponement. Officials believe that the agreement will not be signed until the appointment of a new minister. The agreement would cover 9,000 sq km of deepwater acreage off the Georgian regions of Batumi and Poti expected to contain reserves of about 200 million tons of oil.


Amoco has made a large discovery thought to be about half the size of the Norne Field in the Haltenbank area of the Norwegian Sea. The discovery is on production license 212 located between the 480 million b/d Norne Field and the Heidrun Field. The find is expected to add about 100,000 b/d of oil to Norway's total crude output. Amoco is the operator of the field with partners Net Norske Oljeselskap, Enterprise Oil, and Mobil.

The Solitaire laybarge has begun laying the first stretch of the 637-km Europipe II gas trunkline from Norway to Germany in the Danish North Sea for Statoil. The first section will be 284 km from the Danish sector to Dornum in northern Germany and linked to the second section which will be run from Vestre Bokn north of Stavanger. The final short stage, expected to be completed in the third quarter, will run from Karsto to Austre Bokn.

Petrom, the Romanian national oil company, and Elf Aquitaine have signed an agreement giving Elf an interest in the Neptun exploration block in the Black Sea. Neptun covers about 10,000 sq km with water depths ranging from less than 100 meters to 1,600 meters. A concession contract will be established as quickly as possible which will name Petrom operator and 70% stakeholder in the western portion of the block and grant Elf operatorship and 70% interest in the eastern portion. Plans will include 2D and 3D seismic and the drilling of two exploration wells.

Seventeen oil and gas companies have secured licenses in Denmark's fifth North Sea licensing round. 12,564 sq km were on offer with 6,341 sq km licensed during the round. The concessions are located in the Central Graben and adjacent zones in the western part of the Danish North Sea. The concessions are due to be allocated this month.

The Aquila Field in the Adriatic Sea offshore Italy has begun production. Agip Petroleum is using a subsea tie-back to an FPSO. Reserves for the field are estimated at 22 million bbl of oil, with peak production estimated at 17,000 b/d of oil.

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