Global E&P Briefs

Santa Fe Snyder has signed a production sharing contract with the government of Gabon for the Agali Block off the north coast.

Africa

Santa Fe Snyder has signed a production sharing contract with the government of Gabon for the Agali Block off the north coast. Agali covers about 4,100 sq km in water depths between 200 meters and 2,500 meters. Under the contract, Santa Fe Snyder has committed to an initial exploratory term of five years, which will include seismic acquisition and the drilling of one well. The company holds 100% interest in the block.

ExxonMobil has confirmed the Erha-1 discovery in deepwater off Nigeria with an appraisal well. Erha-2, in 3,680 ft water depth, was drilled to 12,287 ft well depth and tested at a flow rate of 2,800 b/d. The company drilled the discovery well, Erha-1, between December 1998 and February 1999. ExxonMobil operates with a 56.25% interest. Shell holds the remaining 43.75%.

Americas

Australian firm Woodside reached agreement with Marathon for the acquisition of interests in a number of deepwater exploration blocks in the Gulf of Mexico. The deal gives Woodside interests ranging from 12.5% to 33% in 43 deepwater blocks, which include several ready-to-drill leads. Total cost of the acquisition for Woodside was $25.6 million.

Chevron was awarded a 50% stake in two deepwater blocks off Brazil from Petrobras. The award covers the 2,061 sq km Block BC-20 in water depths between 130 and 2,000 meters and the 4,238 sq km Block BCUM-100 in water depths between 100 meters and 2,150 meters. Block BC-20 is located in the Campos Basin, while BCUM-100 is in the Cumuruxatiba Basin. Petrobras retains the remaining 50% and will serve as operator.

BHP will proceed with the development of the Typhoon deepwater discovery in the Green Canyon area of the Gulf of Mexico. Production is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2001 at a rate of 40,000 b/d of oil and 60 MMcf/d of gas. The field lies in 600 meters water depth and is expected to have a commercial life between five and eight years. This is BHP's first commercial development in the deepwater.

Asia/Pacific

Lundin Oil has completed a new pro duction well on the Bunga Kekwa Field in Block PM-3 in the commercial agreement area between Malaysia and Vietnam. The well, A7, was drilled directionally from the Kekwa Alpha platform and targeted the western flank of the field. A-7 is flowing 4,812 b/d of oil and increases total block production by 15% to 15,000 b/d.

Phillips has drilled a fourth successful appraisal well on the PL 19-3 oil field on Block 11/05 in the western flank of Bohai Bay off China. The PL 19-3-5 appraisal well was drilled to 6,904 ft and encountered a gross pay interval of 850 ft. The well was drilled in a previously untested fault block two miles from the PL 19-3-1 discovery well. The company plans to drill three additional appraisal wells on the field to delineate the productive area and follow with four new exploration wells on the block.

Unocal and partners Mitsui Oil Explor ation and PTT of Thailand have confirmed a gas and condensate discovery in the Gulf of Thailand. The company discovered 41 MMcf/d of gas and 1,657 b/d of condensate on Block 15A. Unocal holds 16% in the project while Mitsui holds 4% and PTT holds the remaining 80%.

Canadian Occidental acquired a 50% working interest in Block AC/RL3 in the Bonaparte Basin off Northwest Australia from BHP. CanadianOxy said AC/RL3 holds three small discoveries awaiting infrastructure in addition to several identified exploration prospects to be tested. An exploration well is planned on the block the first quarter. BHP retains the remaining 50% interest and is the operator of the block.

Santa Fe Snyder is planning the development of a recent discovery in China. The company has planned a joint development study for this year with China National Offshore Oil. The study will analyze development options for the discovery made last year in Block 26/35 in the Pearl River Basin. The field is estimated to hold proven reserves of 300 million bbl.

Central Asia

SOCAR said early results from the second well on the BP Amoco operated Shah Deniz prospect in the Caspian Sea off Azerbaijan were "fantastic." The well was drilled to 6,000 meters and encountered larger gas reserves than expected. The first well indicated gas reserves of 700 bcm, while SOCAR had only pegged reserves at 400 bcm of gas and 200 million tons of condensate.

International consortium, OKIOC, will have to suspend drilling plans for a while, due to severe winter conditions. The group was drilling the first well on Kashagan structure in the Caspian Sea off Kazakhstan. The well was expected to be completed by year-end 1999, but was delayed due to problems with the rig. Drilling will resume this coming summer.

Europe

Kerr-McGee announced a discovery and two successful appraisal wells on the Leadon prospect on Blocks /14a and 9/14b in the UK sector of the North Sea. The discovery well was drilled to 5,642 ft and encountered 145 ft of net pay. The subsequent appraisal wells encountered 130 ft of net pay and 150 ft of net pay, respectively. Reserve estimates for the field are 70-100 million boe.

Production from Statoil's Norne Field in the Norwegian Sea is now producing 210,000 b/d of oil to the Norne production vessel. The vessel was originally designed for 173,000 b/d, but has since been upgraded to 220,000 b/d. Statoil is trying to establish peak production for the field. The field is now producing from 11 wells. A total of 11 more production wells and six gas/water injection wells are due for completion by the end of the first quarter.

Statoil recently completed an appraisal well on the Mikkel gas field in the Norwegian North Sea. The results of the well indicated that the field could be developed and operated profitably. Statoil is considering producing the field to either using a subsea facility with three wells and wellstream transfer to the Asgard B platform via Midgard or using subsea production and transferring the gas to Shell's Draugen Field. A gas sales contract for 2002 has been submitted for the project.

BP Amoco is planning to acquire the pipeline linking the Ula and Gyda fields in the Norwegian North Sea from Statoil. Statoil had been in dispute with licensees of the fields for tariffs for the line, but says this is a good commercial solution. The line has a capacity of 250,000 b/d. Statoil will remain operator of the line until the agreement has been concluded.

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