Exploration/Development news briefs, Nov. 6

Argentina has approved an exploration permit for EDC Argentina Inc., said EDC parent company Noble Affiliates Inc., Houston. Permit CCyB-17/A, dubbed Mendoza Norte, covers 1.2 million acres in the Cuyo Basin of Mendoza province in western Argentina. Noble expects the government to approve an exploration permit for the adjacent 1.1 million-acre CCyB-17/B area, dubbed Mendoza Sur, next year. Noble will begin seismic tests next year.

AMG Oil Ltd. said that Ealing-1 wildcat on PEP 38256 in the Canterbury basin, New Zealand, was a dry hole. The 1,696 m test was plugged and the rig was moved to the Arcadia-1 site about 70 miles north.

PanCanadian Petroleum Ltd., Calgary, has entered a joint venture with Quicksilver Resources Inc., Fort Worth, Tex., to explore for coalbed methane in southern Alberta. The companies will share exploration and evaluation costs for the program, which will begin before year-end 2000. Quicksilver produces gas from the Antrim Shale in Michigan. (Corrected version)

Conoco Inc., Houston, said Wednesday it would acquire half of the 80% interest held by two Royal Dutch/Shell Group subsidiaries in two exploration and production blocks off Malaysia. Conoco will gain access to move than 1.5 million acres and will commit to drill at least four wells on the G and J deepwater blocks off the Malaysian state of Sabah. The two blocks are near the Baram-Champion delta of northwest Borneo. Block J lies in 650-3,200 ft of water, and Block G in 2,300-5,900 ft. Shell has two discoveries on those blocks.

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