Global E&P Briefs

Texaco has acquired additional interest from Statoil in some of its deepwater holdings offshore Nigeria.

Africa

Texaco has acquired additional interest from Statoil in some of its deepwater holdings offshore Nigeria. The company increased its interest in OPL 213 from 30% to 100%, and has increased its stake in OPL 217 and 218 from 30% to 45.15%, which contains the Nnwa-1 discovery reported in March.

Triton has confirmed the potential of its Ceiba Field offshore Equatorial Guinea with the Ceiba-2 appraisal well. The second well was drilled one-mile southwest and 342 ft down-dip of the initial discovery well and encountered net oil-bearing pay of 300 ft in a single, continuous column proving more than the minimum economic reserves for the first phase of development. The well also confirmed the oil-water contact in the first well and demonstrated lateral reservoir continuity and connectivity. Triton plans an accelerated appraisal and development program for the field to enable early production.

Elf has inaugurated two new oil fields off the Congo. The Kombi and Likala fields were inaugurated on the 30th anniversary of the company's entry into the country. The fields began producing in September and will increase the country's oil output by two million tons.

Americas

BP Amoco began production from the Marlin TLP on Viosca Knoll Block 915 in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The field is producing from the first of five wells planned for the field. Production is expected to reach 40,000 b/d of oil and 250 MMcf/d of gas during the first quarter of this year as the remaining four well are completed and brought online. Marlin has estimated recoverable reserves of 100 million boe.

Texaco has decided against the development of two of the company's deepwater prospects, Fuji and McKinley, in the Gulf of Mexico. The company said that although several wells on the prospects have logged significant pay sections and have tested at potentially commercial rates, the size of the accumulations does not warrant future investment. Fuji is located in Green Canyon Block 506 and was discovered in 1995. Three appraisal wells were drilled, two of which encountered notable oil pay. McKinley is located in Green Canyon 416 and was discovered in 1998. The company drilled an appraisal well late last year, which turned out dry. A partner in McKinley, Spirit Energy, also announced plans to discontinue drilling on the prospect.

Delineation wells drilled on the White Rose complex in the Grand Banks off Newfoundland have encountered major accumulations. Operator Husky Oil said that the N-30 well, drilled on the North White Rose Field, tested 30 MMcf/d of gas and 1,000 bbl of gas liquids. In addition, the A-17 well on the South White Rose Field tested 5,757 b/d of oil. Based on the results, Husky estimated reserves for North White Rose to be 150 million bbl of gas liquids, and 2 tcf of gas and 250 million bbl of oil on South White Rose. These reserve figures place White Rose as the third largest field offshore Canada behind Hibernia and Terra Nova. The company said the discoveries could be brought onstream by 2003.

Kerr-McGee notched a gas discovery on Garden Banks Block 184 in the Gulf of Mexico. The well was drilled to 14,625 ft in 692 ft water depth. Reserves are estimated at 40 bcf. In addition, the company participated in a successful appraisal well on the Northwestern deepwater prospect in Garden Banks Block 200 in 1,750 ft water depth. The well was drilled to confirm the 1998 discovery well and encountered over 120 ft of net gas pay. Reserves for the field are estimated to be 125 bcf of gas. Production is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2001 using a 2-well subsea tieback to existing infrastructure. Amerada Hess operates the field with a 50% share, Kerr-McGee holds 25%, and Petrobras holds 25%.

Kerr-McGee made a gas condensate discovery on the West Boomvang prospect in East Breaks Block 642 in the Gulf of Mexico. The discovery is located in 3,500 ft water depth and encountered 66 ft of pay. The discovery is three miles east of the recent North Boomvang discovery. The company is drilling an exploratory well on the East Boomvang prospect in East Breaks 688. The company also successfully appraised the Nansen discovery in nearby East Break 602. The appraisal well encountered 100 net ft of oil and gas pay and a second appraisal well has begun drilling.

Exxon's Sacate Field offshore California began production from a world record extended-reach well. The field is producing about 2,500 b/d of oil from Sacate #1. The well was drilled to a TD of 21,720 ft with a vertical depth of 6,083 ft, and a lateral reach of 18,688 ft. This set a record for an extended-reach well in offshore US waters and a world record for an extended-reach well in water depths greater than 700 ft.

Asia/Pacific

Conoco made a gas discovery in Block B of the South Natuna Sea offshore Indonesia late last month marking five 1999 discoveries in the block. Keong No. 1 was drilled to 6,300 ft and encountered 295 ft of gas zones in multiple reservoirs. A 300-mile subsea pipeline to deliver gas from the block to Singapore also began this month, but the reserves in the new field are not part of the existing sales contract. Conoco operated with 40% interest. Partners include Indonesia Petroleum (35%) and Texaco (25%).

Santa Fe Snyder made a second discovery on Block 15/34 in the Pearl River Mouth Basin of the South China Sea. The Panyu 5-1-1 well found 400 net ft of oil-bearing sands within 20 individual reservoirs. The discovery is estimated to be larger than the other discovery in the block (Panyu 4-2 drilled in 1998) according to tests.

Apache drilled a new discovery offshore Northwest Australia. The discovery called Nasutus 1 tested at a rate of 1,595 b/d of oil and was conducted over a 13-ft interval from a depth of 2,195 ft to 2,208 ft. The discovery was made in Exploration Permit EP409 in the Barrow sub-basin of the Carnarvon Basin. Apache operates with a 50% interest with joint partner OMV.

Central Asia

Shell is negotiating for a 25% stake in the Inam Field offshore Azerbaijan. The company is in talks with Lasmo and Russian Central Fuel Caspian to farm in the interest, 12.5% from each company. If the deal is approved it will be Shell's first contract in Azerbaijan. Shell is the only major oil company without interest offshore Azerbaijan. Inam is a 77 sq mile block in the Caspian Sea with estimated reserves between 1 to 2.5 billion bbl. BP Amoco is leading an international consortium which aims at drilling two exploratory wells this year.

Europe

Production has commenced on the Troll C floating production platform in the Norwegian North Sea. The platform is producing from three wells at 35,000 b/d of oil with an additional five wells to come onstream shortly. Troll C, along with neighboring Troll B, will have the highest oil production from a single Norwegian field when production peaks at 300,000 b/d. Eighty-eight production wells are planned from the field: 38 on Troll C, 50 on Toll B. Norsk Hydro is the operator with a 7.69% interest. Partners include Statoil (11.8%), SDFI - State Direct Financial Interest (62.7%), Shell (8.29%), Saga (4.08%), Elf (2.35%), Conoco (1.66%), and Total (1.35%).

Elf started production from the new satellite platform L4PN, the first stage of the joint development of several new gas fields located on the Dutch continental shelf, north of Block L4a. The well L1-a-A is in production and has a planned peak of 800 Mcm/d of gas. Production will increase as the remaining well in the other fields are connected to the platform. This will increase production to 2.5 MMcm/d of gas by summer.

Middle East

Isramco and BG have begun drilling the Or South-1 well in the Mediterranean offshore Israel. The well is 4.5 km southwest of the Or-1 discovery made late last year. The well is being drilled in 2,400 ft water depth to a target depth of 6,560 ft and should be completed by the end of the month.

Egypt has agreed to export natural gas to Turkey marking the country's first major gas export deal. While details on the amount to be exported have not been released, Shell is proposing a gas export plan using pipeline or LNG from the company's North East Mediterranean Block off the Nile Delta. The company has committed to a $160 million spending budget on the block for this year, plans to drill the first of five wells by mid-year, and expects a gas discovery. It is unclear whether the gas from the block will be used for the Turkish supply.

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