May 1, 1996
Peter Tang Singapore Total's BDM #1 near the Yadana Field.
Peter Tang

Second Myanmar discovery

After spudding on 21 February using the Parameswara jackup in 50 meters of water, Total's Badamyar-1 well in M-5 has recorded a second straight discovery in the current drilling program. After reaching a TD of 1131 meters, a combined flow of 32 million cf/d gas was recorded from the Upper Miocene Badamyar sands overlying the main Yadana reservoir section. The well is located on the Bright Spot Field which was drilled in 1974; prior to drilling, Total had estimated recoverable reserves to be in the order of 170 bcf gas. After operations at the wellsite were concluded in mid-March, the rig was moved to the M-6-A-1 location.

Cambodia's Block 1 drilled

In Block 1 over the Khmer Trough, Enterprise spudded wildcat Da-1 in late March, using Canadian Marine's Canmar Explorer III drillship in 74 meters of water. It represents the first drilling in Block 1 and is the first of a two-well program planned by Enterprise. The well is located in the north-central part of the tract and has a PTD of 3,520 meters, with primary objectives of Oligocene and Miocene sandstones. Blocks 1 and 2 were originally awarded to Enterprise in October 1991.


On 18 March, Dallas-based Triton Energy signed a standard seven-year, three-phase PSC for Block 16/03 in the Pearl River Mouth Basin. The 8,900 sq km tract is comprised of Triton's former JSA 16/01, combined with much of the area which was until December 1995, covered by BHP's PSCA 04/32. No details of work commitments were released, but these are believed to include both seismic and drilling. This is Triton's second PSC in the Pearl River Mouth Basin, the other being Block 16/22, which is located directly to the south of 16/03. That tract is expected to be the location of a single wildcat program in mid-May.

CACT's Nanhai Light oilfield (comprising the Huizhou 26-1, 21-1, and 32-3 Fields) in PSCA 16/08, was shut down on 16 March after the discovery of a leak in one of its subsea pipelines. CNOOC subsequently declared force majeure on liftings from the field, although they are now reported to be continuing at a rate of approximately 25,000 b/d oil, compared to the norm of around 110,000 b/d. The shutdown is expected to have lasted until mid-April.

In the Yinggehai Basin, CONHW's wildcat Ledong (LD 22-1 -1, which was spudded on 16 January using the Nanhai 6 semisubmersible, has reportedly tested approximately 43.08 million cf/d gas from an undisclosed interval. Testing is presumed to be ongoing at the wellsite, which is located in the central mud diapir belt of the basin.

Malaysia's Bunga Kekwa

In PM-3 in the Malay Basin, IPC spudded horizontal delineation well Bunga Kekwa-1 on or around 16 March, using Atwood's Hunter semisubmersible. It is located approximately two km southwest of the Bunga Kekwa-1 discovery well, which tested 8,271 b/d oil, 1,941 b/d condensates, and 179.4 million cf/d gas in October 1994. The current well is the first of a five well development program and will be suspended as a future producer if successful; it is testing Upper Oligocene-Middle Miocene sandstones.

British Gas surrendered its 7,900 sq km offshore Sabah SB-2 tract on 24 March at the end of the exploration phase. The block was originally awarded to Tenneco and Occidental (50/50) in March 1988 for a five year period, during which time five wildcats were drilled but with little success. After farming-in, British Gas was granted a three-year extension to the exploration period, but once Oxy withdrew from the tract and it failed to attrct new partners, the decision was made to relinquish.

Taiwan signs Conoco

Despite recent tensions in the area, on 18 March, CPC announced that it had signed contracts with Conoco for a joint exploration program covering three areas in the north, center, and south of the Taiwan Strait. According to CPC chairman Chang Tzu-yuan, Conoco will drill at least 13 wells in an approximate fivei-year program at an estimated cost of US$65 million. Conoco will have a 75% interest in the licenses, although it will effectively have a 100% working interest, as CPC will be carried through the four-phase exploration stage. In reference to the awards, Conoco president and CEO Archie Dunham stated that "I can't think of a better way for Conoco to return to Taiwan in a renewed alliance with CPC after a 20-year absence, or a better example of our commitment for continued expansion of our upstream oil and gas business in the Asia-Pacific region.

Thailand's Pakarong mixed

At a location approximately 1.6 km southeast of the Pakakrong-1 discovery, in early March, Maersk spudded appraisal well Pakakrong-2 using the Sedco 601 semisubmersible. In mid-March, it was then announced that DSTs over three intervals had met with mixed results. Using a 32/64 inch choke, 1,636 b/d oil were tested from the section 1,279-1,285 meter, while two further tests over separate intervals measured gas flows of 10 million cf/d and 6 million cf/d gas but with up to 80% CO2. The rig has now been sublet to Pogo for two wells in the Tantawan license area.

Vietnam deepwater first

In Block k04-1 in the South Con Son Basin, British Gas plugged and abandoned wildcat 04-1 SDN-1 (RX) in mid-March. The well was originally spudded on 14 January but had to be re-spudded on 1 February after mechanical problems were encountered. The final TD is not yet known, but the well was projected to 3,500 meters to test Middle Miocene sandstones. Located in 818 meters of water in the eastern part of the block, it was considered to be Vietnam's first deepwater well.

Meanwhile, in Block 46 in the Malay Basin, Fina's 46-NC-1X was suspended (without testing) as an oil and gas discovery in late March. The well had been spudded on 3 March using Diamond Offshore's Ocean General semisubmersible and had a PTD of around 1,981 meters. It was the first of two commitment wells required in second exploration sub-period.

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