ASIA / PACIFIC PEDCO becoming major Vietnam player, Block 15-1 award narrowed to four

Peter Tang Singapore Coastal areas along the North American continent are rated by risk of sustaining a hurricane strike during 1995. PetroVietnam has chosen four companies or groups to submit second bids for the much sought after Block 15-1 in the eastern Mekong Basin. Initially up to seven bids were received. The four chosen are: Conoco/PEDCO/Yukong, Mobil, Geopetrol, and BP/Exxon/Mitsubishi/Statoil. No timetable for the award of the block has been revealed. Following award of this tract,

Peter Tang
Singapore

PetroVietnam has chosen four companies or groups to submit second bids for the much sought after Block 15-1 in the eastern Mekong Basin. Initially up to seven bids were received. The four chosen are: Conoco/PEDCO/Yukong, Mobil, Geopetrol, and BP/Exxon/Mitsubishi/Statoil. No timetable for the award of the block has been revealed. Following award of this tract, PetroVietnam is then expected to open for bid Blocks 09 and 16 in the western Mekong Basin.

In the South Con Son Basin, PEDCO, the South Korean state oil company, has announced two gas/condensate discoveries in Block 11-2. Wildcat 11-2-RD-1X tested at a cumulative rate of 30 million cf/d gas and 1,000 b/d condensate from three zones, while 11-2-RVD-1X flowed at around 20 millon cf/d gas with some condensate. Both wells were plugged and abandoned in April. Since signature of the PSC, PEDCO has drilled three successful wells - it completed 11-2-RB-1X as an oil and gas discocvery in 1994. The size of the accumulations are unknown, however, and PEDCO has until November of this year to decide whether it will enter the second exploration permit of the PSC. the positive results of PEDCO's program has created much industry interest in the recently relinquished Block 12 (East) immediately to the south.

In April, first gas was brought ashore from Viesovpetro's Bach Ho Field in the Mekong Basin. The 124 km pipeline is supplying the Ba Ria power plant, located about 100 km southeast of Ho Chi Minh City, with about 30 million cf/d gas The field still flares off around 60 million cf/d gas, but plans are underway to speed the flow of gas more quickly through the pipeline. Feasibility studies are also underway for a second, long pipeline to take gas from the South Con Son Basin fields.

Malaysia's Carigali makes major strike off Sarawak

Petronas Carigali, the Malaysian state oil company, has announced an important discovery in Block SK-15 in the Baram Delta Basin, off Sarawak. Wildcat Tanjung Baram-1, located 5 km north of the West Lutong oil field flowed at the rate of 4,250 b/d and 9.7 million cf/d gas from four zones. The well was completed in late April. Located near producing fields, early development is anticipated. Carigali holds a 100% stake in the license.

Meanwhile, Mobil's lack of success in the deepwater areas of Asia continues. In mid-April, it abandoned Bako-1 in SK-C, in the North Luconia Basin off Sarawak, as a dry hole. No hydrocarbons were encountered and no DSTs were conducted. The well, located in 1,085 meters of water, was Mobil's second of a two-well program in the deepwater Sarawak area. In March, it abandoned Mulu-1 with gas shows only in adjacent block SK-A. This well is understood to have penetrated good reservoir rocks, however. Over the past 12 months, Mobil has also had little success in its deepwater drilling campaigns in Indonesia and Vietnam.

Indonesia's Natuna Sea activity growing steadily

On 22 March, Amoseas, a Chevron-Texaco partnership, spudded the important Babar-1 wildcat in Natuna Sea Block A. The well, located in 91 meters of water, is only five km south of Marathon's KRA Field, which was due to come onstream in May or June. The well has a planned total depth of 2,600 meters and is designed to test Lower Oligocene Benua/Lama Formation sands which, until the KRA-1X discovery in 1991, was a previously ignored horizon. Amoseas will be hoping that Babar-1 will extend the KRA Field southeastwards into its acreage. The well should have reached total depth in mid-May. On completion of Babar-1, Amoseas plans a well on a second prospect near the boundary with Lasmo's Cumi Cumi Block.

The West Natuna Basin will see further activity in the second half of 1995 with Marathon planning up to three wells in the Kakap Block, Lasmo one well in its Cumi Cumi Block, and Conoco one well (East Torani-1) in the South Natuna Sea Block B. Enterprise is also planning a 1,000 km 2D program this month, ahead of a drilling program set for next year.

In the East Natuna Basin, Esso is planning an extensive 3D program over its giant D-Alpha Field in the Natuna D-Alpha Block.

East China Sea wells coming up dry so far

In April, three wells were plugged and abandoned in the East China Sea, Chevron's WZ10-2-1 in 33/08, JTOOC's FZ13-2-1 in 41/17, and Shell's ZJ25-1-1 in 26/19 were all unsuccessful. The Chinese badly need a success in this area, which was thought to be a province with high potential when offered to the industry for bid in 1992-93. Further drilling is planned shortly by Texaco in 33/05 and JTOOC in 42/03.

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