Anadarko maps Liberian basin exploration plan

May 2, 2011
Anadarko Petroleum Corp. has finalized plans for its previously announced 2011 drilling campaign in the Liberian basin off West Africa.

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. has finalized plans for its previously announced 2011 drilling campaign in the Liberian basin off West Africa.

The program consists of two wells off eastern Sierra Leone and one off western Liberia.

Anadarko will mobilize the Discoverer Spirit drillship from the Gulf of Mexico to West Africa after it finishes completion on the third Caesar/Tonga well. Subject to the finalization of a contract amendment with the rig owner, the Discoverer Spirit is expected to begin drilling in West Africa during the third quarter of 2011.

The company will drill the first Mercury appraisal well 7 miles west of the Mercury discovery well off Sierra Leone in Block SL-07B-10. It will drill the Jupiter exploratory prospect on the same block later in the year. Anadarko operates Block SL-07B-10 with a 65% working interest.

Anadarko will drill the Montserrado exploratory well on Block 15 off Liberia. Anadarko operates the block with a 57.5% working interest. Farther east, on Block 10, Anadarko has completed acquisition of a 2,400 sq km 3D seismic survey that gives it 3D coverage of nearly all of its Liberian basin acreage. Processing is expected to take 6-9 months.

Anadarko said it has identified more than 30 Jubilee-like prospects on its acreage off West Africa. It plans to keep the Ensco 8500 rig in the Gulf of Mexico for an extended well test at Lucius and, once it receives drilling permits, will use that rig and contract a deepwater rig of opportunity to resume its development and exploration programs in the gulf.

Elsewhere in the Gulf of Guinea, operators declared force majeure in early April in connection with unrest in Ivory Coast.

OAO LUKOIL of Russia declared force majeure under the terms of its production sharing agreement on the CI-205 offshore geological prospecting project. Vanco Energy Co., Houston, declared force majeure with respect to the CI-101 and CI-401 blocks.

Both operators said they were determined to resume active work on the blocks as soon as the situation stabilized.

Meanwhile, Hyperdynamics Corp., Houston, said AGR Peak Well Management Ltd. signed a letter of intent on behalf of Hyperdynamics with Jasper Drilling Pte. Ltd. of Singapore to contract the Jasper Explorer drillship for exploratory drilling in Hyperdynamics' concession off Guinea.

The Jasper Explorer is a modern Pelican Class self-propelled drillship capable of operating in as much as 5,000 ft of water. A contract between AGR and Jasper Drilling was to be signed by early May 2011.

AGR, which conducted the tender for the vessel on behalf of Hyperdynamics, will provide management services during the drilling phase, which is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Hyperdynamics said it has great flexibility in chosing the initial drilling locations because the Jasper Explorer is capable of operating in a wide range of water depths.

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