-- OMV awarded New Zealand offshore exploration bid OMV New Zealand Ltd., wholly owned subsidiary of OMV AG of Austria, is the successful bidder for Block PEP 38485 (Block A) in the 2003 Taranaki basin license round. The block is 70 km off New Zealand's North Island. OMV, which will be operator, has obtained a 33.3% stake in a joint venture with Origin Energy Resources Ltd. 33.3% and Todd Petroleum Mining Co. Ltd. 33.3%.
-- Shell E&P awards Glider field flowline burial contract Shell Exploration & Production Co., a unit of Royal Dutch/Shell Group, awarded a flowline burial contract to Cal Dive International unit Canyon Offshore Inc., Houston, for further development of Sepco's Glider field on Green Canyon Block 248 in the Gulf of Mexico.
-- Vanco Energy, ENI to explore Ras Tafelney off Morocco Vanco Morocco Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Vanco Energy Co., Houston, has signed an agreement with ENI Morocco BV to begin drilling the first deepwater well in the Ras Tafelney exploration permit off Morocco.
-- Pogo awarded three offshore New Zealand license blocks Pogo Producing Co. reported Friday that the New Zealand Ministry of Economic Development has awarded the Houston-based independent an exploration license on each of the three blocks it bid on in New Zealand's September 2003 bidding round.
-- MMS seeks interest in exploring Alaska offshore frontier areas The US Minerals Management Service seeking interest among E&D companies in exploring for oil and gas in the Chukchi Sea, Hope basin, and Norton basin, all largely unexplored areas of the Alaska Outer Continental Shelf. MMS issued a Call for Information and Nominations in late January, setting an Apr. 29 deadline for responses.
-- Drilling begins on South Pars phases 6-8 Statoil ASA spudded the first well Jan. 26 on South Pars gas development project, phases 6-8, off Iran. In this phase of the project, 30 production wells will each be drilled to 4,000 m TMD.
-- Chechnya Chechen Republic, despite its precarious security situation, hiked oil production to 36,000 b/d in 2003 from 30,000 b/d in 2002 and nearly doubled gas production to 44 MMcfd.
-- PEMEX taps Jacobs-Vigen JV for KMZ platforms engineering oversight Pemex Exploration & Production, a subsidiary of Mexico's national oil corporation Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex), has awarded an engineering services contract to a joint venture of Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. unit Uhde Jacobs and Mexican engineering firm Vigen SA for the Ku-Maloob-Zaap (KMZ) fields platform project in the Bay of Campeche off Mexico.
-- IPR secures Block XXIV PSA in Syria IPR Mediterranean Exploration Ltd. (IPRMEL), a subsidiary of Dallas-based independent IPR Group of Companies, signed a 7 year production sharing agreement Jan. 15 with Syrian Ministry officials for Block XXIV in Syria.
-- Talisman's Appalachia gas well tests at 18 MMcfd Fortuna Energy Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Talisman Energy Inc., Calgary, has completed a test of its Andrews Hz#1 gas well that is in the Appalachian basin in the Corning, NY area.
-- Premier to explore Ragay Gulf off the Philippines London-based independent Premier Oil PLC has received a license from the Philippines Department of Energy to explore a 10,800 sq km area in the Ragay Gulf, off Luzon, Philippines. The initial work will consist of technical studies and a seismic survey, with which Premier will define specific drilling targets for exploration drilling.