Exploration/Development Briefs

Dec. 20, 2010

Apco Oil & Gas International Inc., Tulsa, Okla., has found oil and gas on the 100,000-acre Coiron Amargo block in Argentina's east-central Neuquen basin and later will explore the Vaca Muerta shale on the block.

The first two wells, which have earned Apco a 22.5% interest in the block from Madalena Ventures Inc., Calgary, and Roch SA, Buenos Aires, are discoveries in the Sierras Blancas (Tordillo) formation.

One flowed 100 b/d of oil with associated gas. The other tested at 660-1,620 b/d and 1.17-1.35 MMcfd and is on line at 233 b/d plus gas.

Apco exercised an option to drill two more wells by mid-2011 to hike its interest to 45%.

Geologic data indicate that conditions required to potentially produce from the Vaca Muerta shale may exist on the block, Apco said. Williams Cos., Tulsa, owns 69% of Apco.


Bounty Oil & Gas NL, Sydney, said the Ocean Patriot semisubmersible is under tow from the Gippsland basin to drill an exploratory well in the Sydney basin off Australia

A Dec. 14 spud is expected for New Seachem-1, the first well to be drilled off New South Wales, in PEP 11.

Drilling targets are the Cainozoic age Great White and Marlin sandstone stratigraphic prospects 55 km east of Newcastle. Prospective gas resource is 7 tcf.


TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Co. is starting a multiclient 3D seismic survey on blocks 5 and 6 in the Gulf of Guinea off Benin.

Shooting will start in January 2011 on 4,000 sq km in deep water and end in the year's second quarter.

This project is the second in a series along the African Transform Margin, following the Gambia project announced Oct. 5.

Specialized data processing will be done at the TGS Houston imaging center.


OGX Petroleo e Gas Participacoes SA, Rio de Janeiro, reported the presence of hydrocarbons in the 1-OGX-25-RJS well in the Campos basin off Brazil.

The well encountered a 125-m hydrocarbon column with 116 m of net pay in Albian-Cenomanian carbonate reservoirs.

The well, on the Waikiki prospect in 105 m of water 94 km off Rio de Janeiro State, is the first on the BM-C-39 block north of other recent OGX discoveries. Drilling continued toward an estimated 3,000 m total depth.


Murphy Oil Corp., El Dorado, Ark., signed a production sharing agreement with Brunei National Petroleum Co. Sdn. Bhd. for a 30% working interest in Block CA-2 off Brunei.

Murphy Oil said it looks forward to an active exploration program.

Murphy already holds a 5% working interest in Total SA-operated Block CA-1, in which BHP Billiton, Hess Corp., and Malaysia's Petronas also participate.

The blocks, formerly called L and M, were awarded by Malaysia before it determined that they overlapped Brunei territory (OGJ Online, June 9, 2010).


Colombia's state Ecopetrol said Draco-1, second stratigraphic test on the Cano Sur block in the Llanos basin, has detected an oil reservoir.

The well went to 3,284 ft. Preliminary evaluation indicates the presence of crude oil in Eocene Carbonera with 9 ft net reservoir thickness and 30% average porosity. The Mago-1 stratigraphic test previously found oil on the block.

Ecopetrol is block operator with 50% interest, and Shell Exploration & Production Cano Sur GMBH has the other 50%.


Africa Oil Corp., Vancouver, BC, signed a definitive 18-month agreement with the Ethiopian government to jointly study the large Rift Valley Block.

The 42,519 sq km block is north of the company's South Omo Block and encompasses the remainder of the Tertiary age East Africa Rift Trend in Ethiopia.

Africa Oil committed to carry out an airborne geophysical survey in 2011 and will work closely with seconded members of the Ethiopian Ministry of Mines to support local capacity building.

Africa Oil also closed the Ethiopian portion of the previously announced five-block farmout to Tullow Oil PLC. Interests become Tullow 50%, Africa Oil 30%, and Agriterra Ltd. 20%.

Closing of the Tullow transactions on Kenya blocks 10A, 10BB, 12A, and 13T remains subject to conclusion of the Interstate Petroleum Ltd. court proceedings. A decision is expected on Dec. 16.


CAMAC Energy Inc., Hartsdale, NY, signed a definitive agreement to buy Allied Energy PLC's interest in a production sharing contract on OML 120 and 121 off Nigeria.

Closing requires consent by Allied's partner under the PSC, Nigerian Agip Exploration Ltd., which CAMAC Energy expects to receive shortly.

The acquisition gives CAMAC the means to plan block development holistically and to structure wells that effectively drain the existing Oyo field producing horizons and test deeper horizons in imaged Miocene reservoirs that underlie Oyo's currently producing reservoir.

OML 120 lies east of OML 133, which contains 500 million bbl Erha field, and north of OML 121, where in the southeast corner of the block Allied has detected signs of potential gas resources in preliminary drilling results.

OML 120 covers 916.6 sq km in 150-1,000 m of water and contains Oyo field. OML 121 covers 887 sq km in 150-1,000 m of water south of OML 120.

Allied has identified nine prospects.


Gran Tierra Energy Inc., Calgary, took a farm-out from Global Energy Development PLC to earn an interest in Block 95 in the Maranon basin in Peru.

Gran Tierra will become block operator and fund an exploratory well and pay past costs to earn a 60% interest in the 1.3 million acre block. It would spud a well by the end of 2011.

Block 95 is due south of Gran Terra's existing acreage in the basin. The contract area contains the 1974 Bretana-1 well that tested 18° gravity oil at 800 b/d, natural.

Gran Tierra will assume the cost of drilling an exploratory well up to $15 million, along with its share of past costs incurred in respect of the well.

It will pay its pro rata share of costs above $15 million.


Salamander Energy PLC said a rig is expected to be under contract later this month to spud the first of back-to-back appraisal wells in January 2011 near the 1993 Dao Ruang discovery in West Khorat, Thailand.

A Texaco Inc. unit discovered Dao Ruang on the L15/50 block. The discovery has a potential gross mean resource of 500 bcf of gas.

The appraisal wells target the fracture network in the Permian carbonate reservoir as mapped on recently acquired high-resolution 3D seismic.

Trinidad and Tobago

Parex Resources Inc., Calgary, and partner Primera Energy Resources Ltd. will deepen the Firecrown-1 well in southern onshore Trinidad to 10,500 ft from 8,701 ft measured depth in the first quarter of 2011 to fully penetrate the entire section indicated as prospective.

Meanwhile, a multizone test program is under way at the Snowcap-1 well, drilled to 8,600 ft measured depth.

Snowcap encountered potential hydrocarbon bearing sandstones and limestones at 7,940-8,035 ft, 8,090-8,135 ft, and 8,340-8,445 ft in several secondary Miocene Lower Herrera and Eocene zones.

It found several hydrocarbon bearing sandstones in the primary Herrera zone at 4,580-4,610 ft, 4,650-60 ft, and 4,680-4,700 ft.

Firecrown-1 encountered hydrocarbon bearing sandstones with oil shows in the secondary Herrera at 6,600-7,220 ft and in the primary Herrera zone at 8,150-8,275 ft.

The C1 to C5 gas detector readings at both wells are indicative of gas wetness in both Herrera and Eocene zones, Primera Energy said. An estimate of net pay is still to be published.


Junex, Quebec City, Que., encountered numerous gas-saturated intervals in Ordovician Utica shale in the Villeroy-1 exploration well, first well on the 108,360-acre Lyster block of permits in the St. Lawrence Lowlands of Quebec.

The company will analyze 16.4 m of core recovered from five intervals between 840 m and 1,264 m to estimate gas in place in the Utica.

Drilling has reached 1,708 m and will continue to 2,000 m to reach a seismically defined conventional target in the Ordovician Trenton-Black River and Beekmantown formations.

Villeroy-1 is 15 km south of the St-Edouard-1H horizontal well in a structural extension of St-Flavien field that produced gas from Beekmantown dolomites. No fracturing operations are foreseen in the short term for the Villeroy-1 well, Junex said.

Junex holds 100% interest in the Lyster block.


Team Resources Inc., private Ventura, Calif., operator, has moved a rig on the first of eight planned wells on a 4,200-acre development in Cowley County, Kan.

The company has drilled 14 wells the past 2 years on 30,000 acres of leases proved but not developed by Texaco Inc. and Conoco Inc. in the 1950s.

Team Resources has a 5-year plan to drill as many as 100 wells. The company owns and operates more than 300 miles of gas pipelines in the area to take the gas produced with the crude oil.


Stone Energy Corp., Lafayette, La., said it expects to finish drilling the first of two exploratory wells to the Pennsylvanian Cane Creek formation by the end of 2010.

A second well is to be drilled in the first quarter of 2011. The company holds 30,000 net acres and has formed two drilling units to look for oil.

Stone Energy is operator with 75% working interest. The wells are in the Paradox basin.

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