December 2007

Exploration discoveries

Total made a new oil discovery in the Mer Tres Profonde Sud Block, offshore Republic of Congo in 6,955 ft of water.

Vol. 228 No.12

Africa. Total made a new oil discovery in the Mer Tres Profonde Sud Block, offshore Republic of Congo in 6,955 ft of water. The Persee Nord Est Marine-1 well found six oil-bearing pay zones in the Miocene and was drilled to a TD of 13,485 ft. The well was Total’s fifth oil discovery in the Block.

Noble Energy found pay on Block “I” offshore Equatorial Guinea with its I-3 Yolanda exploration well. The well flowed 36 MMcfgd and 371 bcd. Pay is from 47 ft of net Miocene reservoir. The well was drilled to a TD of 9,482 ft in 2,940 ft water depth about 30 mi east of Bioko Island.

Asia. Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDC) discovered a new gas field in the southern part of Sindh Province, Pakistan, with its Moolan-1 exploration well. The well tested 10.46 MMcfgd and 229 bopd from Cretaceous reservoirs, and was drilled to a 7,943-ft TD.

BP made a major new gas-condensate discovery in a deeper pool at the Shah Deniz Field in the Azerbaijan sector of the Caspian Sea. The SDX-04 well tested a deeper structure below currently producing pools on the southwestern flank of Shah Deniz. The well was drilled to a 23,951-ft TD, about 43 mi southeast of Baku.

Shell Petroleum reported a significant gas discovery with its Bubut exploration well, 4 mi offshore Brunei. The well found a deep, high-pressure sandstone reservoir, but no test information was provided.

Rosneft discovered a new oil field in the offshore Sea of Azov portion of the Russian Black Sea. The well was tested at rates ranging between 852 and 1,420 bopd.

Reliance Industries discovered gas in the Krishna-Godavari Basin, offshore eastern India. The KG-III 5-P1 well found 105 ft of Miocene and 13 ft of Pliocene pay. The well was drilled in 495 ft of water and reached a TD of 11,484 ft.

Matra Petroleum made an oil discovery with its Arkhangelovskoye-12 exploration well drilled near the Russian/Kazakhstan border, about 775 mi southeast of Moscow. The discovery well flowed 960 bopd from the Devonian Aphonenski Formation between 12,136-12,182 ft.

Toreador Resources discovered gas in its Bati Eskikale-1 well drilled in the offshore Black Sea region of Turkey. The well tested 8.8 MMcfgd from 33 net ft of pay.

PetroChina made a major gas discovery with its Dabei-3 exploration well in the Kuche Fold and Thrust Belt of the Tarim Basin, northwestern China. The well flowed 10.1 MMcfd and has in-place reserves estimated of 4.6 Tcfg. The well was drilled to a 21,326-ft TD. This is the third major gas field discovery in the region, following the discovery of the Dina-2 and other fields, whose combined reserves are 12-16 Tcfg.

Total made two new gas discoveries in offshore Kalimantan, Indonesia. The East Mandu-1 and West Stupa-1 wells found 538 and 236 ft of pay, respectively, in about 200 ft of water.

Europe. Lundin Petroleum discovered oil with its 16/1-8 well in the Norway sector of the North Sea, 17.5 mi east of Gudrun field. Pay was encountered in a Jurassic sandstone reservoir. The well reached a TD of 7,136 ft in 354 ft of water.

Forest Oil discovered Bomba Field in Central Italy. The Monte Pallano-1 well tested 22 MMcfd equivalent, and the Monte Pallano-2 tested 8 MMcfd equivalent, both without fracture stimulation.

North America. Oilsands Quest discovered tar-sand oil in its Axe Lake discovery in northwest Saskatchewan, Canada. In-place bitumen reserves are estimated to be 1.3-1.5 Bbbl.

Pemex found gas pay in its Lalail well, drilled in 2,600 ft of water in the southeastern offshore region of Veracruz State, Mexico. The discovery is expected to produce about 18 Bcfgd. No details about the pay interval, test rates or potential resource size were mentioned.

Pioneer Natural Resources made two Edwards’ field discoveries in South Texas. The wells each found 150-200 ft of gas pay. Per-well reserves are estimated by the company to be about 4.5-5 Bcfg after fracture stimulation.

Devon Energy discovered gas in its Paktoa C-60 well, drilled off the Mackenzie River Delta in the Canadian sector of the Beaufort Sea. The company estimates recoverable oil reserves of 240 MMbbl, but said that it is unlikely to be developed for more than a decade because of the lack of a pipeline. The Paktoa well was drilled to a 7,900-ft TD in 43 ft of water in Beluga Bay Block EL411.

South America. Petrobras confirmed that its Tupi 1-RJS-628A well discovered a giant field in the Santos Basin, offshore Brazil in Block BM-S-11, with recoverable reserves of 5-8 Bboe. The well was drilled in 2006 to a TD of 19,686 ft beneath a salt structure in 6,975 ft of water.

Solana Resources discovered oil in its Tres Curvas-1 exploration well in the Catatumbo Basin of northeastern Colombia. The well tested 180 bopd from two reservoir zones in the Catatumbo Formation, and was drilled to a TD of 3,550 ft.


Arthur Berman is a geological consultant specializing in petroleum geology, seismic interpretation and database design and management. He has over 20 years working for major oil companies and was editor of the Houston Geological Society’s Bulletin. He earned an MS in geology from the Colorado School of Mines.


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