June 1, 1996
Peter Tang Singapore Map
Peter Tang

China has mixed results in latest drilling programs

Texaco's latest well in its East China Sea drilling program, WZ 26-1-1 in PSCA 33/19, was plugged and abandoned (with gas shows) on 23 April 1996. The well had been drilled to a TD of 4,099 meters and had encountered the gas shows in a tight sandstone formation. This was the latest in a long line of disappointing results for the foreign operators in the East China Sea which may soon signal several departures from the basin. Indeed Phillips has already decided against pursuing its "seismic option" tracts 25/05 and 26/05 any further, relinquishing them fully on 31 March, this year.

French multinational Elf Aquitaine has returned to the Chinese offshore sector after an absence of over 11 years. On 3 April, it was awarded a nine-month Joint Study Agreement for western Pearl River Mouth Basin tract 28/22, in the 113th contract signed between CNOOC and foreign oil companies. The block covers 19,600 sq km in the deepwater area of the west part of the basin and will be the subject of desk studies only.

In the Bohai Gulf, Kerr McGee spudded its second wildcat in PSCA 04/36 on 29 March, using the Bohai-4 jackup. CFD 2-1-1 is located in the northeast sector of the block, some 20 km northeast of COOBC's producing CFD 1-6 Field. It has a prognosed TD of 3,600 meters and is currently drilling ahead.

Bangladesh gasfield discovery in Block 16

Cairn Energy of the UK has announced that Sangu-2, located in Block 16 in the offshore Bengal Basin, successfully encountered gas in the main zone tested at Sangu-1 in February and penetrated a deeper gas zone. Sangu-2 was suspended without testing in April because the rig had to move off location due to the onset of the wet season. The well will be re-entered later in the year and new seismic will be acquired across the structure.

Cairn believes that the field is commercial and is looking to develop it using a central production platform. The gas will be transported via a 45 km pipeline to Chittagong for connection to the domestic grid. First gas is planned in 1998. The project will be Bangladesh's first offshore production.

Following the important discovery made by Cairn, much industry interest has been shown toward the nearby open blocks, particularly Blocks 17 and 18.

Fletcher takes percent of Elf's Brunei Block B

Fletcher Challenge Petroleum has taken a 35% share in Elf-operated Block B in the Baram Delta Basin. FCP will fund a large part of the forthcoming Maharaja Lela-3 appraisal well, located near the boundary with Malaysia (Sabah). FCP acquired all of Elf's interest in Block A in November 1994.

Premier may be able to develop Songkhla fields

On 28 April, Premier Oil of the UK spudded Benjarong-1 in B11/27 in the Songkhla Basin. It has a planned total depth of around 3,300 meters and its objectives are Miocene and Oligocene sandstones. It is located about 12 km south of Premier's Bua Ban-1 oil discovery and 20 km southwest of the Songkhla-1 oil discovery. Premier's two previous oil discoveries are not thought to be large, but a success at Benjarong-1 may mean that the three fields could be developed together and thus be commercial.

Ahead of the spudding of Benjarong-1, Amerada Hess farmed-in to the concession, taking a 50% equity.

Vietnam wildcats extending prospects

In late April, two important wildcats were spudded in he South Con Son Basin. Canadian Petroleum, formerly Canadian Occidental, spudded 12W-HA-1X in Block 12 (West) with a PTD of 4,500 meters. It is the first well drilled in the block. CanPet had originally planned to drill another prospect, but, following the farm-in of Showa Shell, Teikuko, and Nippon, decided on a new location.

Meanwhile, Pedco has spudded 11-2-RN-1X in Block 11-2. Since award of the block in May 1992, Pedco has had a 100% record with three out of three discoveries. Ahead of Pedco's two-well program, Mobil farmed-in taking a 45% stake.

Elsewhere, in the Mekong Basin, JVPC has successfully completed 15-2-RD-3X, an appraisal well on the Rong Dong Field, as an oil well, and has now spudded 15-2-RD-4X in Block 15-2.

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