May 1, 1998
Chevron Nigeria has brought the Opolo Field , offshore Nigeria, onstream. Opolo is located in 145 ft of water in OML 95 off the Niger River Delta. Opolo is producing from four wells and is expected to boost Chevron's output by 11%. Environmental Remediation Holding Corp. has been granted approval from the government of Sao Tome and Principe
Marshall DeLuca


Chevron Nigeria has brought the Opolo Field, offshore Nigeria, onstream. Opolo is located in 145 ft of water in OML 95 off the Niger River Delta. Opolo is producing from four wells and is expected to boost Chevron's output by 11%.

Environmental Remediation Holding Corp. has been granted approval from the government of Sao Tome and Principeto prepare and hold leases sales of oil concession rights in the Gulf of Guinea, offshore Sao Tome. Under the agreement, ERHC will receive a 5% override on all production generated from the development of the leases as well as a percentage of the lease sale revenue.


Shell Exploration and Production has announced plans to develop three oil and gas discoveries that will add over 300 million bbl of oil equivalent to the Gulf of Mexico's deepwater inventory. Shell will develop the Angus, Europa, and Macaroni fields using subsea systems tied-back to existing platforms. The Angus development is located in Green Canyon 113 in 2,000 ft of water and is expected to tie a four-well subsea system to the Bullwinkle fixed platform with production beginning in the second quarter of 1999. Europa is located in Mississippi Canyon 934, 935, 890, and 891 in 3,900 ft of water, and will be developed via four susbsea wells tied back to the Mars platform with production slated for early 2000. Macaroni, located in 3,700 ft in Garden Banks 602, will begin production in mid-1999 using three subsea wells tied to the Auger TLP. The total development will cost nearly $1 billion and increases Shell's deepwater developments to 14.

Exxon is constructing a project to develop the Hoover and Diana fields in the Gulf of Mexico that will set a new world water depth record for a drilling and production platform with an associated subsea development. The company will use a deep draft caisson vessel (spar) located over Hoover in 4,800 ft of water and utilize surface production trees. Installation is planned for 1999 with production beginning the following year.

The US Interior Department has deleted acreage off the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge from an August offshore oil lease sale in the Beaufort Sea off Alaska. The acreage was taken off the sale to further assess the possible cumulative effects on the refuge. The deletion of the acreage includes 122 blocks (618,617 acres), shrinking the sale to 241 blocks and 1.08 acres.

ADTI, the turnkey subsidiary of Global Marine, is touting that it has drilled more wells than any other drilling team in the Gulf of Mexico, and was responsible for about 10% of all the wells drilled in the Gulf for 1997, and 75% of the Gulf of Mexico turnkey projects. ADTI drilled 103 turnkey wells, as compared to Chevron's 96 wells, Shell's 82, Vastar's 52, and Texaco's 42. ADTI's turnkey competitors only drilled 34 wells combined.


Apache has announced an agreement with Texacounder which Apache will acquire 50% contractor-interest in and operatorship of Block 09/18 and Block 11/19 in Bohai Bay off the People's Republic of China. The blocks cover approximately 1.5 million acres. Initial drilling is anticipated for 1999.

Unocal Indonesia has drilled two successful wells in the deepwater Merah Besar area offshore Indonesia. The well Merah Besar #9 encountered shallow gas and deeper oil pay in the Miocene formation. The well Hitam Besar #1 also encountered shallow gas, but well problems prevented evaluation of the Miocene sands. These wells further delineate a recent discovery in the area. Reserves are estimated at 75 to 300 million bbl of oil equivalent. A development plan will be submitted in the fourth quarter of this year.

Kerr-McGee has signed a concession agreement with the Ministry of Industry of Thailand for Block W-7/38 in the Andaman Sea. The 4.8 million acre concession is located in water ranging from 600 ft to 9,500 ft. Seismic is planned for later this year and initial drilling in 1999. Kerr-McGee holds a 42.5% interest and operatorship, with partners Amerada Hess and PTTEP International.

Central Asia:

The newly created Offshore Kazakhstan International Operating Company (OKIOC) consortium has released plans to begin development of Kazakhstan's offshore Caspian oil and gas reserves. OKIOC is a consortium between Kazakh Oil, the state oil company, and Agip, British Gas, BP, Statoil, Mobil, Shell, Total, and KazakhstanCaspishelf. The group plans to begin drilling by September or October and achieve production by 2004. The first wells will be drilled in the shallow northern waters of the region.

Rosneft of Russia is planning to finalize two separate production sharing agreements with an alliance of Mobil and Texaco, and Exxon for the development of oil and gas fields in the Sakhalin Island sector off the eastern Russian coast. The project, known as Sakhalin-3, involves three blocks - two belonging to Exxon, the Ayashiskiy and East Odoptinsky, and the third, known as Kirinskii, belonging to Mobil and Texaco. Exxon's blocks are located in 330 ft of water and cover 2.2 million acres. The Kirinskii Block is located in 150 meters of water. Mobil plans to begin drilling on the Kirinskii this summer.


Amerada Hess and Maersk have reached an agreement on the joint development of the Mjolner/Gert Field, now renamed Freja, located on Norwegian Block 2/12 straddling the median between the Norwegian and Danish Continental Shelves. The area will be developed using a platform tied back to either the Norwegian Teeside infrastructure via Valhall/Ekofisk, the Danish sector Frederica infrastructure via the Harald Field, or to the South Arne infrastructure. Initial production is expected by 2000 with a decision on the development plan due by June of this year. Amerada Hess is the operator of the field with a 32.5% interest with partners Statoil holding 32.5%, Shell with 16.1%, AP Moller with 13.65%, and Texaco with 5.25%. Reserves are estimated at 20 million bbl of recoverable oil.


Oman is offering output sharing terms for oil and gas to new upstream entrants and is providing assurances of state offtake to encourage foreign firms to explore and develop gas reserves. This offering is an attempt to bolster the country's production to reach a target of 850,000 b/d. Oman expected 850,000 b/d output in 1997, but only averaged 842,000 b/d. Negotiations are currently in advanced stages with a number of foreign firms on the country's Block 27, and Amoco and Royal Dutch Shell have expressed interest in a number of blocks.

Apache has announced successful test results for the Alamenin West #1 new field discovery on the company's 3 million-acre West Mediterranean concessions off Egypt. Three zones tested a combined 8,277 b/d of oil and 4 MMcf/d of gas. Log results indicated a high-porosity, fractured Alamein dolomite structure 300 ft thick. Reserves are estimated at 230 million bbl of oil.

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