Dev George Houston Major Chinese offshore provinces lie north and south of Taiwan. Shell's whole Enchilada. Angola's Block 17. Vietnam's Blocks 01 and 15-2. Prince Abdullah (right), now the power behind King Fahd.


World oil supply and demand were effectively balanced last year at 70 million b/d, according to the International Energy Agency. That represented a 1.4 million b/d increase in demand and a 1.6 million b/d increase in supply over 1994. Non-OPEC producers filled the gap with an increase of 1.1 million b/d. OPEC produced 25.76 million b/d last year, while non-OPEC producers output was 44.1 million b/d.


Shell will develop the whole Enchilada, a cluster of subsalt oil and gas discoveries in Garden Banks area of the US Gulf of Mexico. The company plans development costs for the five-block integrated project at $240 million. More than 100 million bbl oil are anticipated recoverable from the prospect. Continuing speculation, Hunt Oil and partner PanCanadian are set to test a structure six km SW of Newfoundland's Cape St George with an evaluation well offshore in the high-interest region near Port au Port Peninsula, before July.


Italy's Aquila Field in the deepwater southern sector of the Adriatic Sea, will be developed by Agip utilizing an FPSO jointly operated by SBM and Saipem. The field lies in 2,650 ft water depths.

Russia's Gazprom and Rosshelf, likely realizing their incapability of going it alone, have renewed their link with Norsk Hydro, Neste, and Conoco, rejected three years ago, and added Total, in a new scheme to jointly develop the massive Schtockmanovskoye gasfield in the Barents Sea.

Norway's Block 30/8-2 wildcat exploratory well drilled by Norsk Hydro has been plugged and abandoned, having shown little potential. It was drilled to a TD of 2,383 meters by the semisubmersible West Vanguard.

Ireland's Blocks 18/20 and 27/5 are the sites of Enterprise's deepwater drilling program for this spring. The target Avonmore prospect lies in 207 meters water in 27/5, while the Corrib North prospect lies in 18/20 nearby in 345 meters water.


Egypt has awarded a prime Gulf of Suez block to partners Apache and Global Natural Resources for exploration. The 460,000-acre Daraq Block will be equally owned by the partners under a production sharing agreement with Egyptian General Petroleum Corp. Three wells and seismic are the minimum requirement within three years. The partnership's Qarun discovery lies just 102 miles east of Daraq.


Elf will be undertaking a deepwater drilling program in Angola's Block 17. The semisubmersible Jim Cunningham is being upgraded for operations in waters of 1,100 meters depth before beginning operations late this year.

A deepwater Congo discovery was made by Elf with its Moho Marine 1 well, 75 km offshore in the Haute-Mer aquatory. Tests showed 3,200 and 2,200 b/d oil production. The well was drilled in 800 meters water. Partners in the production-sharing contract are Elf, Chevron, Hydro Congo, and Engen.


China has signed an exploration agreement with Cairn Energy for Block 23/10 in the Beibu Gulf between the Leizhou Peninsula and Vietnam. The 2,945 sq km block ranges in depth from 10-20 meters. This is Cairn's first Chinese venture.

Malaysia's F23 and F11 Fields in the South China Sea offshore Sarawak are to see a major exploratory drilling program by Shell beginning in September. The work will be a part of Shell's program of development drilling scheduled for its concessions in the area.

Irian Jaya, Indonesia is proving to be another gas producer. Most recently, Arco has tested its Berau Field to a level of 100 MMcf/d gas. Feasibility studies for further development are underway. Arco operates the field with 48% ownership.

The Philippines' Manila Bay gas prospect, expected to be exceptionally large, will be tested with a well to be drilled by operator Cophil. The Pioneer Driller semisubmersible will drill the test well some 500 meters from last year's attempted well, which had an underground blowout and was abandoned.

Vietnam's Block 15-2 has had another discovery by the Mitsubishi-JNOC joint venture, Japan Vietnam Petroleum. The Rang Dong-2 flowed at 7,159 b/d oil. Another well is scheduled to further evaluate the reserves. If successful, commercial development will begin. The field is 150 km south of Vung Tau near the Bach Ho Field.

Vietnam's Emerald discovery in Block 01 by Petronas Carigali is being tested. Drilled to 4,165 meters, it flowed at 2,741 b/d oil and condensate and produced 16.8 MMcf/d gas. Further studies are underway by Petronas to determine whether it can be developed in conjunction with nearby Ruby Field.

New Zealand's Cheal discovery by NZ Oil & Gas in PPL38707, is said to hold potential reserves of up to two million bbl oil. Cheal-2 is testing the field at this time as the first of a four or five well appraisal program.

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