West Africa

With the full conversion of the FPSO for Triton's Le Ceiba field expected to be completed in September, the Dallas based independent is closer than ever to getting the first oil out of the field by Christmas. If the deadline is met, Triton would have earned the record of putting a field from discovery to onstream inside of 15 months. James Musselman, Triton President and CEO, calls it an "extraordinary" timetable, aided by the availability of the vessel.

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Triton FPSO tops off huge field expansion

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Le Ceiba field now has six wells. Triton expects first production from four wells by year-end 2000.
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With the full conversion of the FPSO for Triton's Le Ceiba field expected to be completed in September, the Dallas based independent is closer than ever to getting the first oil out of the field by Christmas. If the deadline is met, Triton would have earned the record of putting a field from discovery to onstream inside of 15 months. James Musselman, Triton President and CEO, calls it an "extraordinary" timetable, aided by the availability of the vessel.

The Sendje Berge, a 275,000 dwt turbine tanker, which was originally a very large crude carrier was converted at the Jurong Shipyard in Singapore. It will sail for Equatorial Guinea immediately.

Bergesen of Oslo, Norway is leasing the vessel to Triton under a multi-year contract. ABB Offshore Systems fabricated the initial oil and gas processing facility. It will provide onboard processing capacity of 60,000 b/d. The conversion provides for field addition of production modules up to a combined capacity of 240,000 b/d, should future field appraisal warrant, and, if needed, the addition of water and gas injection facilities.

Subsea systems and equipment in the Ceiba Field, including wellheads, subsea production trees, pipeline end manifolds, and subsea and surface-installed production control systems for four wells is being provided by Cameron. The christmas tree system will be utilized for 5 1/2-in. tubing completions.

Triton has had a run of success on Le Ceiba. Between early June and late July, the company encountered pay zones in two wells on the field not previously encountered. The original (discovery ) reservoir keeps getting better. On June 5, Triton announced a new, deeper reservoir in Ceiba-3. The company reported 256 ft net pay in the Ceiba-3, and claimed that the oil-water contact for the new sand was 60 ft deeper than expected. Ceiba-4 turned out to encounter the best and thickest high-quality reservoirs in the field to date.

The Ceiba-5 well was spudded in June, 2.8 km northwest of Ceiba-3, to appraise the downdip limits of the two major pay zones in the field. Instead, it encountered a deeper pool with an additional high-quality reservoir not seen on the previous four Ceiba wells. Ceiba-5 penetrated 74 meters of oil pay in three zones and has an oil-water contact 100 meters below that of the primary Ceiba pool. Ceiba-5 reached TD 2,800 meters in 799 meters of water before being temporarily suspended.

The Ceiba-6 well was recently spudded with the Glomar Robert F. Bauer drillship as the Ceiba-2 and Ceiba-4 wells were being completed. Triton expects production from the first four wells to commence by year-end 2000. The Ceiba-6 is a significant stepout, about 2.5 miles south of Ceiba-4. Triton plans as many as six additional exploration wells following the Ceiba-6.

Venture to explore shared neutral zone

The West African states of Sao Tome and Principe formed a joint venture with Nigeria to explore in offshore areas where they have not fixed international boundaries. The joint exploration zone will be coordinated by a joint exploration commission. The joint venture will allow exploration to proceed while the countries seek to reach a definitive maritime boundary agreement.

TotalFinaElf going for third Apko well

Nigerian indigenous oil company South Atlantic and TotalFinaElf, its technical partner in the deepwater OPL 246 block off Nigeria, are preparing for a third well on the Akpo structure in the east central corner of the lease. The second well, Akpo-2, which is being tested, confirmed the estimate of more than 500 million bbl of reserves, which ranks the field among the five largest in Nigeria's deepwater. The Akpo structure was recorded as having very high gas-to-oil ratio, with an associated gas volume of about 4 tcf. Akpo-3 will determine the western extent of the four-way structure, and is scheduled to be completed in October.

Esso Exploration Angola has two Angola strikes

Esso Exploration Angola (Block 15) Limited announced its eighth discovery in Angola Block 15 with the Saxi-1 well drilled in 2,200 ft of water. The well, drilled to 10,800 ft, tested at a rate of 5,400 b/d of oil. Block 15 has recoverable reserves potential in excess of 3 billion boe. Development planning and concept selection are progressing, according to the company.

The company also participated in the 10th deepwater discovery in Angola Block 17 with the Perpetua 1 well drilled in 2,600 ft of water. The well flowed a maximum test rate of approximately 8,700 b/d of oil. Three deepwater discoveries in the block were announced last year and one deepwater discovery was announced earlier this year.

Exploration up offshore Congo

Agip has extended the first period of exploration activity in the 395 sq km Block Marine X through mid-February 2001 off the Congo Republic. The company is committed to drill two wells on the lease, one of which must reach the pre-salt depths. Sasol is selling an 18% stake in the lease. HydroCongo is the third partner on the lease.

Meanwhile, US independent Devon Energy applied for a three-year extension on the deepwater Marine IX. A well is planned for late 2000 or early 2001. The well is targeted for 9,842 ft in 1,968 ft of water. Devon would like to reduce its interest in the lease from 75% to 50%.

Also, a joint venture between Isramco and Naptha concluded a 10-year production sharing contract with the government on the offshore/ onshore Talipa lease. The terms call for an additional five-year extension. One of the wells is planned for September 2000, and the companies have an exploitation right to develop the Talapia field.

Kenya signs PSCs

Star Petroleum signed three production sharing contracts with the Kenyan government for offshore areas. The PSCs cover 60% of the country's offshore waters. Star has a 100% stake in Blocks L5 and L7 in the north, stretching up to the Somalian boundary and extending out to the 3,000 meter water depth contour. Block L10 is in the south extending to the Tanzanian boundary and out to the 2,000 meter water depth contour. Star is seeking partners for an exploration program.

600 million bbl in Esso's OPL 209 block

Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Ltd. said results from two wells drilled in the deepwater OPL 209 license area confirmed reserves of at least 600 million bbl. The company said additional drilling could result in reserves totaling 1 billion bbl. The Era 1 and Era 2 wells were drilled last year. Esso is now conducting a 3D seismic survey of the opposite end of the field prior to additional drilling. The field is close to Shell's Bonga field. Esso applied to convert the prospecting license to a mining lease in reparation for beginning production from the field.

Gabon 3D survey

CGG completed a 500 sq km 3D seismic acquisition for Elf Gabon in the deepwater Akori exploration permit, south of the BHP-operated Otiti Marin permit. The 3,840 sq km block lies in water depths ranging from 100-2,000 meters in the North Gabon sub-basin. ;

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