Rosneft and Zarubezhneft, Russian operators, are undertaking a $150 million exploratory drilling program off Cuba's north central coast not far from where Total drilled two dry holes. Cupet, the state oil company, is seeking farm-ins for the Russian venture and other international participation in its offshore.
Alaska's Beaufort Sea sale is nearing reality. The OCS Sale 144 from MMS is now at the environmental impact study stage. The proposed sale offers 1,879 blocks from three to 140 miles off Alaska in waters seven to 10,000 ft deep. Currently there are only nine producible leases, another 21 being held under unitization for evaluation. Some 28 wells have been drilled in the area.
Florida's Destin Dome Block 57 is the site of Chevron's wildcat well to test Norphlet sands for gas. The well, 26.4 miles off Pensacola, Florida, is being drilled under strict environmental control and even has an oil spill response boat on site.
Norway's Haltenbanken Norne Field, in the Norwegian Sea, is expected to be into production some nine months ahead of schedule. Due now only in March 1997, the field is expected to produce 160,000 b/d oil.
Russia's Prirazlomnoye Field, in the arctic Pechora Sea, is to be developed by a joint venture of Gazprom, Europe's largest gas exporter, Rosshelf, the country's offshore operator, and BHP. Located 60 km offshore in shallow water, that is frozen seven months of the year, development will be costly and difficult, but production, set for 1998, will reach about 124,000 b/d oil.
Three Danish fields now in development - Harald, Roar, and Svend - and four scheduled for development - Adda, Alma, Elly, and Igor - are expected to provide a steady growth in Danish gas production by the year 2000. Three others offering oil and gas could also be developed, Gert, Lulita, and South Arne.
Egypt has approved Pennzoil's farm-in at 87.5% interest, in Forum Exploration's Southwest Gebel al-Zeit concession in the Gulf of Suez just north of the mouth of the Red Sea. The acquisition consolidates Pennzoil's holdings around the Shoab Ali Field, which the company acquired last year with Repsol. It has reserves of more than 750 million bbl.
Iran has discovered another Arabian/Persian Gulf elephant. The field, Darkoven, lies southeast of Abadan and has oil reserves of over 3 billion bbl. National Iranian Oil Corp. has set initial production for next year at 60,000 b/d, with ultimate production of 200,000 b/d.
Qatar's Al-Khaleej Field is being fast-tracked by Elf in an effort to get the field onstream in early 1997. The field has recoverable oil reserves of 1.2 billion bbl and is expected to have an initial output of around 30,000 b/d. and 500,000 b/d at full production in 2000. This would effectively double Qatar's current production.
Azerbaijan's massive Shaik Deniz prospect has been granted to BP/Statoil and TPAO (Turkey) in an agreement with Socar, the state oil company. Located some 70 km offshore in 150-600 meters water depth, the prospect is believed to have reserves of more than 5 billion bbl oil.
Nigeria's Amenam and Kpono Fields are likely to be unitized. Located in the southeast sector of the Niger Delta Basin, the fields are actually one structure straddling the leases of Elf and Mobil. (Elf's Amenam, with 650 million bbl reserves, is offshore Nigeria's major discovery. It flows at 9,000 b/d oil. Kpono, drilled earlier this year, flowed at 17,000 b/d oil.)
The Qua Iboe Channel in Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria is being surveyed by Mobil via a 1,100 sq km 3D seismic study, following the success of the company's Zafiro Field discovery, whose reservoir sands are in the Qua Iboe.
Eritrea has awarded the Zula Block in its Red Sea aquatory to Anadarko. The 6.7-million acre concession is a subsalt play in water 75-200 ft deep. Only two wells have ever been drilled on the block, eight in the entire aquatory. Anadarko plans magnetic-gravity surveying and the taking of 3D seismic, with drilling more than a year off. Use of exploration technology similar to those on Gulf of Mexico subsalt plays is planned.
Up to 4 tcf gas reserves have been discovered in ZOCA 91-12 of the Timor Gap Zone of Cooperation between Australia and Indonesia by the exploration and production company Petroz. The discovery well, Undan-1, was originally to test Phillips' Bayu discovery in ZOCA 91-13 six miles away. Unitization is possible for the Undan-Bayu.
New Zealand has granted Occidental Petroleum its first frontier five-year permit to explore off the Southland-Otago coast in a deepwater block covering 26,000 sq km of the Great South Basin, believed to be highly prospective. Oxy has 18 months to decide whether to commit to a drilling program.
Vietnam's Dai Hung disappointment is growing. BHP, its operator with 43.75%, is actually considering abandoning the project entirely and is having discussions at this time with PetroVietnam as to what to do. The field, at first thought to hold 800 million bbl oil, is now thought to have less than 100 million bbl. BHP has said the field's operating costs will exceed its income.
The Thai-Malay Joint Development Area Block A-18 has produced a major discovery for Carigali-Triton, the jointly owned operator, the Cakerawala-1A, which tested at 58 million cf/d gas and 945 b/d oil and condensate. It is the first of five wells to be drilled in the block.
China is sitting on new sites that CNOOC wants to open up for foreign joint exploration and development: the Bohai Bay's Liaodong Bay area, with its huge Suizhong 36-1 Field, and the West Lake Depression area of the East China Sea. Suizhong 36-1 currently produces 24,000 b/d oil from its reserves of more than 1.4 billion bbl.
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