Peter Tang Singapore MOG's Chunxiao #1 is south of the Pinghu Field in the Xihu

Peter Tang

China Confirms record wells in several areas

In the East China Sea, the Chinese Ministry of Geology's wildcat Chunxiao #1 has tested 56.55MMcf/d gas and 1,258 b/d of liquids from an undisclosed section, after drilling to a TD of 3,818 meters (12,527 ft). The well, completed in late June, is located to the south of the Pinghu Field in the Xihu Trough, approximately 20 km southwest of the MOG's Tianwaitian #1 oil discovery. Chunxiao #1's flow rate is the second highest recorded in the East China Sea, following the 11,906 b/d of liquids plus 2.5MMcf/d gas measured by the Pinghu #4 appraisal well in 1989-90.

A record flow rate for an offshore China well has been reported for CONHW's WZ 12-1 #3D appraisal, located in the Wei Xi Nan Sag area of the Beibu Gulf. WZ 12-1 #3D was drilled to a TD of 3,381 meters before a five DST program recorded a cumulative flow of 35,079 b/d oil and 21.6mmcf/d gas over the section from 3,300-3,043 meters. CNOOC places recoverable reserves in the WZ 12-1 structure at around 3.5 million tons (26MM bbl oil) and suggests that these are commercially recoverable. Operations at the well site were completed on 14 July.

Arco is maintaining its high level of activity in the offshore Hainan area. In addition to its two ongoing wells YC 35-1 #2 in PSCA 63/28 and YC 26-1 #1 in PSCA 63/20, a 3D seismic survey has recently been started over PSCA 63/20. Using the Orient Pearl seismic vessel, 6,000 line-km are set to be recorded.

Chevron has signed a two-year geophysical survey agreement for Block 50/20 in the Yinggehai Basin, following several months of negotiations. The new block, signed on 26 July, is reduced in size (to 3,300 sq km) from the 3,925 sq km Block 50/19 originally offered by CNOOC in 1994's "New Acreage Promotion". Seismic acquisition is scheduled to commence on the block in early 1996, and according to a Chevron spokesman, "in the event that the results of the geophysical studies are positive, Chevron has the option to then negotiate for a full PSC."

Kerr McGee's first operated well in China has turned out to be a disappointment. Wildcat CFD 8-2 #1 was plugged and abandoned (with oil shows) on 16 July after reaching a TD of 1,924 meters. The well, located on the on the Shaleitian Uplift in the south-central sector of PSCA 04/36, targeted Neogene Guantao and Minghuazhen Formation sands in a drape structure over a basement high.

BHP's Timor Gap Undan Field proving impressive

In the Zone of Cooperation ZOCA 91-12 between Indonesia and Australia in the Timor Sea, BHP's Undan-1 has flowed at an impressive cumulative rate of 64mmcf/d and 3,925 b/d condensate. It is located 10 km northwest of Phillips's Buyu-1 gas/condensate discovery of March in ZOCA 91-13. There is speculation that the two discoveries could be in communication and a joint development plan is being discussed.

Shell Brunei's Selangkir discovery significant

In Offshore Agreement 1, in the Baram Delta Basin, Shell Brunei has announced that its Selangkir-1 wildcat is a significant gas discovery. Selangkir-1 is located some five km north of the Iron Duke Field and about 12 km west of the prolific Champion Field. It was drilled in 49 meters of water and reached a total depth of 4,667 meters. Early logging runs indicated the existence of new gas reserves and in the deeper part of the well, further pay zones were encountered. The successful result of Selangkir-1 has upgraded a number of other prospects in the vicinity that Shell plans to evaluate.

Discovery by Malaysia's Carigali near Indonesia

Petronas Carigali, the Malaysian state oil company, has announced that its Bertam-1 well in PM-12 in the Malay Basin is an oil discovery. The well reached a total depth of 1,968 meters and one zone flowed at a rate of 838 b/d oil (34 API). It is located close to the boundary with Indonesia and some 30 km northwest of Conoco's Belida Field. The discovery is the most southerly made in the Malay Basin and Carigali has indicated that it may acquire 3D data across the structure.

Myanmar's Block M-9 goes to Arco

On 26 July, Arco Andaman was awarded Block M-9 in the Martaban Basin offshore Myanmar. The 11,750 sq km block has been awarded for an initial three year exploration period during which seismic is required in the first year. Arco is expected to begin drilling in the block in the third year following evaluation of the seismic. The block lies directly south of Total's Yedana Field.

Vietnam activity at record high, three discoveries announced

Activity in Vietnam remains at record levels with three new discoveries being announced. BP's OS-2-NT-1X in Block 05-2 has been suspended as an "important" gas discovery, while Petronas's 01-B-2X in Block 01 flowed around 700 b/d oil from two zones in the Oligocene.

Meanwhile, JVPC's 15-2-PD-1X in Block 15-2 has tested 1,100 b/d oil and 8mmcf/d gas. Disappointments in recent weeks include AEDC's 05-3-TT-1RX in Block 05-3, which was not tested, and Occidental's 04-3-BC-1X in Block 04-3.

In early August, ongoing wells include Petronas's 01-P-1X in Block 01, AEDC's 05-3-MT-1RX in Block 05-3, Lasmo's 04-2-HT-1X in Block 04-2, BP's 118-CVX-1X in Block 118, JVPC's 15-2-RD-2X in Block 15-2, MJC's 05-1B-TL-2X in Block 05-1(B), and Petronas's 01-B-3X in Block 01, spudded immediately after 01-B-2X.

Companies are now in Hanoi viewing data over Blocks 09 and 16 in the Mekong Basin. The cost to view is US$400,000 per block, and companies may only take 10% of the data in paper form for further evaluation. The data rooms have been booked for several months, and PetroVietnam has not yet disclosed what the sub-blocks will look like nor when a bid round will be opened.

PetroVietnam will be expected to encourage as many companies as possible to visit Hanoi in an attempt to raise cash for its forthcoming drilling in the Malaysia-Vietnam Joint Development Area, where it will shortly join International Petroleum Company and Petronas Carigali as a partner with a working interest.

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