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ConocoPhillips makes oil discovery off Cameroon

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Dec 20 -- ConocoPhillips, operator of the Coco Marine No. 1 exploratory well in the Douala basin off Cameroon, reported Wednesday that the well successfully flowed 3,000 b/d of 34° gravity oil and 1.8 MMcfd of natural gas during a drill stem test of a Lower Tertiary reservoir pay interval encountered during drilling.

The test marks the first successful flow of liquid hydrocarbons from a Tertiary reservoir in the Douala basin. The well was spud Oct. 26 in 75 ft of water, under exploration permit PH 77, and was drilled to 8,620 ft TD.

Contractor interests in the 2,830 sq mile permit are held by a 50:50 joint venture of ConocoPhillips unit Phillips Petroleum Co. Cameroon and Petronas Carigali Overseas Sdn. Bhd.—a subsidiary of Petronas Carigali, the wholly owned subsidiary of Petrolium Nasional Bhd., the Malaysian national oil company.

ConocoPhillips serves as the operator for the consortium. ConocoPhillips and Petronas are currently analyzing well results, and will be working with the National Hydrocarbon Corp. of Cameroon (SNH) to develop forward plans for evaluating the Coco Marine discovery and other identified leads within the permit.

Cameroon capital spending
Last year, UK energy analyst Douglas-Westwood Ltd. said that Cameroon could expect 13% of the $7.3 billion oil companies are expected to invest before 2005 on projects in the "second tier" of West African countries, which includes Cameroon (OGJ Online, Oct. 10, 2001). These prospects are attracting both majors and independents, the analysts said.

As of October 2001, Cameroon had 18 established fields that held a total of 433 MMboe, 80% of which is gas.

"West Africa is presently the world's most exciting offshore region," said Dominic Harbinson of Douglas-Westwood at that time.

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