-- Australia funds data gathering for oil E&P The Australian government has established a $135 million (Aus.) energy incentive package designed to boost petroleum exploration activity in the country.
-- Aussie-UK JV spuds CBM well in eastern France A 75-25% joint venture of European Gas (operator) and Heritage Petroleum spud its first well on the Bleue Lorraine CBM permit in eastern France near the German border (OGJ, Mar. 6, 2006, p. 46).
-- PDVSA to drill Orinoco belt appraisal wells Venezuela President Hugo Chavez said on his weekly television broadcast that Petroleos de Venezuela SA will start drilling appraisal wells on the Ayacucho Block in the Orinoco Belt in northeastern Venezuela.
-- Total to acquire interest in block near Java Total SA has signed an agreement with Indonesia's PT Easco East Sepanjang to farm into offshore East Sepanjang Block, northeast of Java, with a 49% working interest.
-- Canadian independent eyes Piceance, Uinta Brownstone Ventures Inc., Toronto, said its US unit completed the purchase of interests in 267 oil and gas leases in the Piceance basin of Colorado and Utah and the Overthrust Belt of Utah for $6.77 million cash plus 2.6 million common shares issued to private Retamco Operating Inc., Billings, Mont.
-- Total Indonesie seeks Mahakam block extension Total E&P Indonesie is seeking an extension for its contract for the Mahakam oil and natural gas block in East Kalimantan, scheduled to end in 2017. The block holds 13 tcf of gas reserves.
-- Nexen encounters gas pay with Ringo prospect Nexen Inc., Calgary, said the Ringo prospect on Mississippi Canyon Block 546 encountered 150 ft of net gas pay. The well, in 2,500 ft of water, was drilled to 12,808 ft.
-- DFW Airport approves Chesapeake's Barnett shale lease The Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport board Aug. 3 approved a lease to Chesapeake Energy Corp., Oklahoma City, for the exploration of natural gas in the Barnett shale under the airport's 18,000 acres.
-- Ohio PetroQuest Resources Inc., Arlington, Tex., plans to recomplete and restore to production 16 gas and oil wells it has acquired in Vinton County.
-- Sonangol, Tullow to explore block off Angola Tullow Oil PLC was awarded a 50% interest in Block 1/06 off Angola, and the UK company expects to enter into a production-sharing contract in August with state-owned Sonangol.
-- Tag starts up Taranaki well, sidetrack Tag Oil Ltd., Vancouver, BC, has started production from the Cheal-4 well in Cheal oil field and begun exploratory sidetrack work in the watered-out Radnor-1 well on a separate permit in New Zealand. Both wells are in the onshore Taranaki basin.
-- Ultra gauges Tuscarora, eyes Pennsylvania Ultra Petroleum Corp., Houston, gauged a Silurian Tuscarora natural gas discovery in Tioga County, Pa., and has greatly expanded its acreage position in the area.
-- ONGC to expand Bassein East oil field off India India's Oil & Natural Gas Corp. is progressing on field development plans to install a jacket in Bassein East oil field and to install four wellhead platforms in Mumbai High and Bassein fields.
-- Texas-North Chesapeake Energy Corp., Oklahoma City, plans to be running 25 rigs by the end of 2006 in the Fort Worth basin Barnett shale gas play, up from 15 rigs at present.
-- Oklahoma Woodford play seen adding rigs The number of rotary rigs drilling in southeastern Oklahoma's Devonian Woodford shale gas play is poised for a jump in the next 2 years if positive well results continue, said one of the play's main operators.