World of Oil & Gas
TAG Oil reports positive drilling results in New Zealand’s Taranaki basin
TAG Oil Ltd. (70%), operator of the Puka permit (PEP 51135) in New Zealand’s Taranaki basin, said the Pukatea-1 exploration well was drilled to 10,170 ft, MD, encountering variable hydrocarbon shows. Potential pay reportedly was encountered in the well’s secondary target, the shallower Mt. Messenger formation. The company says it will now focus on monetizing the Mt. Messenger oil zone, completing the well after wireline logging, and ultimately carrying out a production test. TAG Oil CEO Toby Pierce said, “We are encouraged by approximately 160 m of intermittent hydrocarbon shows below the Mt. Messenger section. A similar interval is present in several of the offsetting wells to Pukatea-1, specifically Hu Road-1 and Waihapa-6, and wireline logs will give us more information and clarity around this interval and whether it is worth investigating further.”
ExxonMobil reports seventh oil find offshore Guyana
After drilling the Pacora-1 exploration well to a depth of 18,363 ft in 6,781 ft of water, ExxonMobil (operator, 45%) reported a discovery offshore Guyana. The well, which is situated about 4 mi west of the Payara-1 well, encountered approximately 65 ft of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoir. The discovery follows a long line of finds on the Stabroek Block, including Payara, Liza, Liza Deep, Snoek, Turbot and Ranger. “This latest discovery further increases our confidence in developing this key area of the Stabroek Block,” Steve Greenlee, president of ExxonMobil Exploration Company, said in a news release. “Pacora will be developed in conjunction with the giant Payara field, and along with other phases, will help bring Guyana production to more than 500,000 bpd.” The company says that the Stena Carron drillship will now move to Liza field, where it is scheduled to drill the Liza-5 well and complete a well test. Additional exploration and appraisal drilling will be carried out after Liza-5 is drilled. Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd. (30%) and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana Limited (25%) hold interests in the block, as well.
Eni announces “Zohr-like” discovery offshore Cyprus
Eni reported a lean gas discovery in Block 6 offshore Cyprus. The Calypso 1 NFW well was drilled in nearly 6,805 ft of water, reaching a TD of nearly 12,556 ft. It reportedly encountered an extended gas column in Miocene- and Cretaceous-age rocks, with excellent reservoir characteristics. According to the operator, the discovery confirms the extension of the “Zohr-like” play in the Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). In addition to extensive data collection, including fluids and rock samples, the company says an assessment of the gas volumes in-place will be carried out to further define subsequent exploration and appraisal operations. Eni is the operator of Block 6, with a 50% participating interest. Total holds the remaining 50%.
Zion Oil & Gas strikes oil onshore Israel
During open-hole wireline logging and subsequent reaming operations, Zion Oil & Gas says free-flowing hydrocarbons were encountered at its Megiddo-Jezreel #1 drill site, onshore Israel. “We were cautiously optimistic, given the amount of gas that accumulated in the well after returning from Shabbat, after calling total depth at 5,026 m. After making our first of three open-hole logging runs, we decided to ream to bottom, to clean the hole out in anticipation of our second logging run. After circulating the well, we experienced a continued and significant increase in gas, followed by clear evidence of oil in our circulated mud from the bottom of the well,” Dustin Guinn, Zion president and chief operations officer, said in a release. According to the company, commerciality or the ability to successfully produce from the well has not yet been determined, and updates will be released following a well testing program and further log evaluation.
Aker BP announces Frosk discovery in the North Sea
Aker BP’s preliminary analysis of the Frosk exploration well 24/9-12, near Alvheim (FPSO pictured), reportedly indicates a 30-to-60-MMboe discovery. The well is in PL340, which also contains Bøyla field, and is positively impacting the assessment of further exploration potential in the area, the company says. The size of the discovery has exceeded expectations significantly, as pre-drill estimates stood at 3 MMboe to 21 MMboe. “The Frisk discovery adds significant volume and value to our resource base, and provides an ideal basis for another profitable expansion project, which will secure optimal utilization of the infrastructure in the Alvheim area for many years,” Gro G. Haatvedt, senior V.P. of exploration at Aker BP, said in a release. “The discovery has given us valuable new information about the geological conditions in the area, and has further increased the attractiveness of other possible exploration targets.” Aker BP is operator of PL340 with a 65% working interest. Its partners include Point Resources (20%) and Lundin Petroleum (15%). Photo: Aker BP.
BP moves closer to FID for West Africa’s Tortue/Ahmeyim gas project
BP has reached an agreement with the governments of Mauritania and Senegal, moving the Tortue/Ahmeyim gas project closer toward a final investment decision (FID). The gas field, which is said to hold an estimated 15 Tcf of gas, is situated on the border between Mauritania and Senegal. The Inter-Government Cooperation Agreement (ICA) will allow development with a 50-50 split of resources and revenues, BP confirmed. Bernard Looney, BP’s upstream chief executive, said, “This is an important milestone for this innovative gas project, which reflected the strong, cooperative partnership between Mauritania and Senegal. We look forward to continuing to work with both countries and our partners, Kosmos Energy, Petrosen and SMHPM, towards final investment decision.”
Interior announces details for U.S. lease sale
Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt announced that the department’s region-wide lease sale, offering 77.3 million acres offshore Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, will be held March 21, 2018. Additionally, it will include all available unleased areas in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Lease Sale 250, the second offshore sale under the National Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Program for 2017-2022, will include approximately 14,776 unleased blocks in the Gulf’s western, central and eastern planning areas. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) said that the OCS is believed to hold about 90 Bbbl of undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and 327 Tcf of undiscovered, technically recoverable gas. According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, all proceeds from the OCS leases will be directed to the U.S. Treasury, Gulf Coast states, the Land and Water Conservation Fund and Historic Preservation Fund. “The Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf has not been surveyed in more than 30 years, and with rapid advancements in safety and assessment technologies in the past decade, we can safely and accurately determine what energy potential exists off our coasts,” Florida Petroleum Council Executive Director David Mica said. “Gathering data on our long-term energy resources is a critical step in strengthening our national security and making America energy self-sufficient in the long term.”
Production paused by reported earthquake damage in Papua New Guinea
ExxonMobil closed its facilities—including production platforms and the Hides gas conditioning plant—in the Papua New Guinea highlands after a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck in late February. Although there was no reported damage to the connecting pipeline or the LNG plant, the PNG LNG liquefaction plant (pictured) in Port Moresby was shut down, as well. The quake, which reportedly caused several landslides and aftershocks, prompted the Pacific nation to declare a state of emergency in a number of affected areas. Bloomberg reported damage to administrative buildings, living quarters and a mess hall at Hides gas field, in Hela Province. In addition to the plant, damage to roads and other infrastructure could inhibit operations further. “We are deeply saddened by the loss of life, injury and damage this natural event has caused in our project area communities and to people in the broader Highlands region,” Andrew Barry, ExxonMobil PNG managing director, said in a release. “We are using our resources to support relief agencies to assess the priority needs of the affected communities.” The earthquake is expected to cause a significant break in PNG LNG output, which hit record levels last year. It sources gas from not only Hides field, but also from Angore and Juha fields, as well as associated gas from Kutubu, Agogo, Moran and Gobe Main fields.
BP begins producing from Egypt’s Atoll gas field
BP has announced the start of gas production from its Atoll Phase One project, in the North Damietta concession of Egypt’s East Nile Delta region. The project reportedly began producing about seven months ahead of schedule and 33% below the initial cost estimate. “The longstanding partnerships we have in Egypt allowed us to fast-track Atoll’s development and deliver first gas only 33 months after discovery,” BP CEO Bob Dudley said. “This is a further demonstration of our commitment to help realize Egypt’s oil and gas potential, and meet the increasing demand from its growing population.” Atoll’s main reservoir is said to hold gas estimates of 1.5 Tcf and 31 MMbbl of condensate. Presently, the project is producing 350 MMscfd and 10,000 bpd of condensate.
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