Global E&P Briefs

Elf has added number eight to its list of discoveries on Block 17 offshore Angola. The Camelia 1 discovery was drilled in 4,250 ft water depths and flowed 9,000 b/d of oil.

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Elf has added number eight to its list of discoveries on Block 17 offshore Angola. The Camelia 1 discovery was drilled in 4,250 ft water depths and flowed 9,000 b/d of oil. Including Camelia, Elf has estimated recoverable reserves for all of Block 17, which includes Girassol's reserves, in excess of 3.5 billion boe. Sonangol is the concessionaire of the block, while Elf holds 35% and operatorship. Other partners include Esso (20%), BP Amoco (16.67%), Statoil (13.3%), Norsk Hydro (10%), and TotalFina (5%).

The Ministry of Mines and Energy of Equatorial Guinea has approved Triton's plan of development for the Ceiba Field. The plan calls for an initial phase of production with 52,000 b/d of oil using a floating producer. The company said that it plans to finalize all major development costs in the near term and begin production by the end of the year, just 15 months from the discovery. The initial phase calls for the field to produce from four subsea wells connected to an FPSO. The discovery well and appraisal well, Ceiba-1 and Ceiba-2, will be completed this year and the remaining four wells are planned during the year.

Tuskar's Obe No. 4 well in OML 110 offshore Nigeria has exceeded expectations. The company successfully re-entered and completed the well late last year and is producing in excess of management expectations - 4,000 b/d of oil. Production is being handled using the Crystal Sea FPSO. First crude sales began late last month under a contract for total production to Glencore International.


W&T Offshore has acquired an interest in eight producing leases in the Gulf of Mexico from Vastar. Vastar sold the company's entire interests in leases located in High Island, South Timbalier, and Main Pass, which produce about 24 MMcf/d of gas and 700 B/d of oil.

Petrobras has inked two more deals with foreign firms for exploration off Brazil.

  • The company signed an agreement with Texaco (20%) and Shell (operator, 40%) for the 2.7 million-acre Block BS-4 in the Santos Basin. Petrobras holds the remaining 40%. The work program call for seismic evaluation and additional exploratory wells.
  • Petrobras signed an agreement with BP Amoco (operator, 35%), Exxon (20%), and Elf (15%) for the 25,000 sq km Block BFZ-2 in the Amazon Basin. Water depths range from 100 to 2,000 meters. Petrobras holds the remaining 30% interest.

Elf has brought the Virgo Field in the Gulf of Mexico onstream only two and a half years following the discovery. The field covers four blocks in the Viosca Knoll area and is located in 345 meters water depth. The field is producing to a fixed platform from one well as others are connected. Production is expected to reach 23,000 boe by the beginning of 2001.

Vastar has completed the appraisal drilling on the Horn Mountain Field in Mississippi Canyon Blocks 126 and 127 in the Gulf of Mexico. The appraisal well confirmed the extent of the field to be 5,000 acres with a vertical oil column of about 1,500 ft in two stacked Miocene-age reservoirs. The company estimates recoverable reserves of 125 million bbl.


Kerr-McGee has announced a discovery on Block 04/36 in China's Bohai Bay. The company is testing five zones and has logged over 280 ft of oil pay. The discovery well was drilled to 4,789 ft in 80 ft water depth on a large four-way dip structure with more than 5,000 acres of closure. Kerr-McGee operates with 81.8% interest. Pendaries Petroleum holds the remaining 18.2%.

Shell began drilling the first of an initial five production wells last month on the Malampaya Field offshore Philippines. The wells are expected to be finished in time for first commercial delivery of gas to the Philippines by October of 2001. Each of the five wells will have an initial flow rate of up to 200 MMcf/d of gas. Four additional wells are planned for the area starting in 2009.

Central Asia

Conoco and Inpex of Japan have applied for the remaining 20% stake in an ExxonMobil-led project to develop two field offshore Azerbaijan. Exxon signed the contract with state-owned Socar last April for a 30% interest to develop the 648 sq km deepwater Zafar and Mashal fields. Reserves for the field are estimated to be 100-150 million tons of oil. The development plan is expected to cost between $2.5 billion and $5 billion.

A decision on the award is expected soon.


Statoil postponed two planned wells on the north flank of Statfjord in the North Sea.The company said the portion of the reservoir where the wells were to be drilled failed to meet expectations. Reserves in the area were at 75 million bbl of oil, but are being reviewed, based on data from two wells on production in the area.

Britain has issued an exploration license for further work at BP Amoco's Wytch Farm Field off southern England. The award for Production License for Block 98/11 was granted to a consortium including BP Amoco, Kerr-McGee, Premier, and Talisman. Wytch Farm straddles onshore and offshore areas in Poole Harbor and has been drilled using record-breaking extended-reach drilling from onshore.

Saga has made a discovery on the Halten Banks off mid-Norway. The discovery, named Erlend, lies in a separate structure west of the company's Kristin Field in Block 6406/2. Results from the well have not yet been released. Due to Norsk Hydro's takeover of Saga, Statoil has assumed operatorship of the production license covering the acreage.

Middle East

ExxonMobil has acquired a 25% interest in the Northeast Mediterranean Block offshore Egypt from Shell. The block covers about 10 million acres and is located in water depths ranging from 2,600 ft to 9,800 ft. The block covers most of the deepwater Nile Delta area of the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Shell retains a 75% interest in the block.

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Intec and Bechtel have been awarded the contract for the Scarab/Saffron gas field development offshore Egypt.
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Intec Engineering and Bechtel have been awarded the contract for the Burullus Gas(a joint venture between state-owned EGPC, BG, and Edison) Scarab/Saffron project offshore Egypt. The company will be responsible for managing the engineering, procurement, construction, and installation and commissioning of all production facilities for the development. This will include an eight-well subsea production system and a 52-mile tieback to shore, in addition to the onshore gas processing plant and local tie-in. Intec will handle all the offshore systems, while Bechtel will be responsible for onshore.

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