Global E&P Briefs

Triton announced a significant oil discovery on its La Ceiba Field offshore Equatorial Guinea.

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Triton announced a significant oil discovery on its La Ceiba Field offshore Equatorial Guinea. The Mbini-1 well flowed under a constrained rate of 12,401 b/d of oil from one zone over an interval of 160 ft. Wireline logs and core data analysis of the well indicate a gross oil column of 742 ft with net oil-bearing pay of 314 ft in four zones. The well was drilled to 9,700 ft in 2,200 ft water depth and is located in Block G. Triton said the discovery proves the existence of a working hydrocarbon system in the previously unexplored Rio Muni Basin. The company is planning to delineate the well and is evaluating options for early production.

Undeterred by the recent, lackluster results of oil exploration on its leases, Côte d'Ivoire has opened another offshore bidding round. Involving seven blocks, bidding opened on 1 November 1999 and will close on 3 March 2000. The stakes are on deepwater leases CI-100, 205, and 206, as well as shelf blocks CI-107, 108, 110, and 111. Bid documents are available from the state oil company Petroci (Fax: 00-225-21-6824; Attention: General Manager Gilbert Yougoubare). Seismic data on shelf can be obtained from the same address. For deeper water, seismic data can be obtained from Western Geophysical in the UK (Fax: 0044-181-585-4746).

Gabon is reportedly preparing the country's 9th licensing round set for the second quarter of next year. Twenty licenses are expected to be on offer including onshore, shallow, and deepwater concessions. The country is still reeling from it's last licensing round where offered 13 blocks were offered, but only three received bids.

Shell has decided to develop its EA Field offshore Nigeria with a $1 billion development plan - with no investment by the government. The plan is the second part of the company's proposed five-year $8.5 billion investment into Nigeria. Shell and its joint venture partners (Elf and Agip) in the field will finance 100% of the development cost of the field. EA is set to come onstream in 2002 and produce about 120,000 b/d of oil.


Amerada Hess has confirmed its 1998 Garden Banks 200 discovery in the Gulf of Mexico with the No. 3 well. The well was drilled in 1,750 ft water depth to a TD of 14,500 ft to evaluate early Pleistocene CRIS S reservoir sands and encountered 121 ft of net gas pay in three sands. Amerada Hess is the operator with a 50% share, while partners Kerr-McGee and Petrobras hold 25% each.

British-Borneo's deepwater Gulf of Mexico Allegheny Field is onstream.The field is producing about 14,700 b/d of oil and 22 MMcf/d of gas. Full production is expected by the end of 1999. The company also announced that it participated in a deepwater discovery on Murphy Oil's Medusa prospect in the Mississippi Canyon Block 582 in the Gulf of Mexico. The Medusa exploration well, drilled in 2,100 ft of water, encountered 120 ft of net pay in two zones. Murphy holds 60%, with British-Borneo (25%), and Callon Petroleum (15%).

Mariner Energy announced a gas discovery on its Apia prospect in Garden Banks Block 73 of the Gulf of Mexico. The well was drilled to 4,500 ft in 700 ft water depth and encountered 102 net ft of gas pay in a single productive interval. Production is expected to commence in the second quarter of next year from a single subsea tieback to a host platform.

Burlington Resources entered into a production sharing agreement with Staatsolie Maatschappij Suriname, the state oil company of Suriname, for exploration in the country's deepwater area. The agreement calls for an initial exploration phase in which Burlington and partners (Shell - 35%, TotalFina - 15%, Korea National Oil - 15%) will acquire several thousand km of seismic. The concession covers approximately 18,500 sq miles. Burlington will operate the block with 35% interest.

Brown & Root Energy Services and Halliburton Energy Services have been selected by Barracuda and Caratinga Development as the preferred bidder for the development of both the Barracuda and Caratinga fields offshore Brazil. The work for the development will be on a full engineering, procurement, installation, and construction (EPIC) basis and will include the construction of the well, fabrication and installation of flowlines and risers, construction and installation of two FPSOs, and commissioning and startup operations of both fields. This is the largest single EPIC contract in recent years and will close this month.

Aker Engineering has been contracted by North Atlantic Pipeline Partners for a development study examining the possibility of installing a concrete platform on the White Rose Field in the Grand Banks offshore Newfoundland. The platform would be used for production and storage of the field, as well as a gas production hub, for the Jeanne d'Arc Basin.


WAPET made its second deepwater discovery offshore Western Australia in recent months. The latest discovery well, Orthrus No. 1 was spudded in 1,200 meters of water in Exploration Permit WA-267-P. The well was drilled to a TD of 3,570 meters and initial results indicate hydrocarbon has pay in a high quality reservoir zone with a total net gas pay of 53 meters over a 91-meter gross interval. The discovery is located 28 meters southwest of the earlier discovery Geryon No. 1 and was drilled with the same rig - the Marine 500.

Woodside announced that it achieved first oil to the Northern Endeavour FPSO on the Laminaria and Corallina oil fields offshore Australia. The vessel is located on production license AC/L5 west-northwest of Darwin. The partners in the project plan to steadily increase production as commissioning is progressively completed.

Apache announced that the North Gipsy-1 discovery off Northwest Australia tested 5,940 b/d of oil from a 63-ft interval between 7,336 ft and 7,399 ft in the late Triassic-age Brigadier sandstone.The well also encountered a gas-condensate column in the shallower North Rankin sandstone interval. Apache said the discovery increases the chances of early development of the Gipsy/Rose/Lee complex located in the TL/1 Production License Area. The company plans to drill on four other prospects east of the discovery to test the same geologic concept.

Conoco has made a discovery in Block B of the South Natuna Sea offshore Indonesia. The North Belut No. 3 well tested oil and gas from three zones at a combined rate of 38 MMcf/d of gas and 2,480 b/d of oil. The well was drilled to a TD of 9,082 ft and encountered approximately 200 ft of oil and gas pay and proved up a hydrocarbon column over 1,500 ft. This is the company's fifth well in a 10-well 1999 drilling program scheduled for Block B.

Central Asia

The partners in the Shah Deniz Field offshore Azerbaijan are seeking an extension to the current three-year exploration period by an additional year. The license expired in mid-October, but the partners want to drill a third exploration well and complete a second well spudded in May. BP Amoco operates the field with a 25.5% interest. Partners include Statoil, Socar, Elf, LukAgip, Iranian OIEC, and Turkish TPAQ.

Conoco pulled out of Azerbaijan, due to a lack of progress in discussions with Socar, the state oil company of the country, on a project to improve oil and gas recovery from the Guneshli Field. The company said that after numerous discussions and significant technical work, it was apparent that it would not be possible to reach an agreement containing the commercial terms necessary to invest in the project.


Statoil sold a 20% interest in the Trym gas and condensate field in the North Sea to Dansk Olie-og Naturgas.The field is located in production license 147. Following the sale, Statoil was removed from the license. Trym contains 3 bcm of gas and 4 million bbl of condensate. Dansk Olie-og Naturgas will join partners Shell (operator - 50%) and the Norwegian state's direct financial interest (30%) in the license.

Ramco Energy has been granted a licensing option for the Seven Heads Field in the North Celtic Sea Basin offshore Ireland. The option includes the southern halves of blocks 48/23 and 48/24, and the northern halves of blocks 48/28 and 48/29. The option is for a period of 18 months and will include the evaluation of four well previously drilled by Esso and Marathon. Ramco holds a 37.5% interest.

Middle East

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The Dolphin gas project aims to create a gas grid throughout the region.
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The Dolphin gas venture offshore has been granted approval by the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. The Emirate agreed to carry gas from the pipeline through its state-owned Abu Dhabi National Oil pipeline network and supply power and desalination plants within Abu Dhabi and distribute the gas to neighboring Dubai until the Dolphin network is completed. The Dolphin project is aimed at creating a gas grid between Qatar, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Oman, and Pakistan.

Occidental has purchased the Idd el Shargi South Dome enhanced oil recovery project offshore Qatar onstream. The project is producing from the first of seven appraisal wells at an initial rate of 2,500 b/d of oil. Development is expected to be complete by the end of 2000.

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