Exploration/Development Briefs

Aug. 27, 2012


Colombia’s National Hydrocarbons Agency let a contract to Ingrain Inc., Houston, to digitize and characterize several thousand meters of whole core from wells in Colombia’s sedimentary basins.

Using latest-generation technologies, expertise in reservoir rock analysis, and state-of-the-art equipment from Carl Zeiss, Ingrain will characterize the core stored at Litoteca Nacional de Colombia, ANH’s national core repository, and create a digital data base to preserve the information.

Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp., Toronto, will operate and acquire a 40% participating interest in the Portofino heavy oil exploration block in the Caguan-Putumayo basin of southern Colombia.

The 1,047 sq km block is in the northeastern part of the basin on trend with giant Rubiales-Quifa and Castilla-Chichemene fields and the developing Capella field. The block has one prospect with a midrange resource potential of 140 million bbl and as many as four other leads with 160 million bbl.

Pacific Rubiales will pay $23.5 million to Petrolera Monterrico SA for the 40% interest plus a $2.2 million carry of Petromont’s obligations related to an approved exploratory work program. A further $45 million carry obligation to finance certain production facilities and other activities required for development is to be recovered out of production proceeds.

Pacific Rubiales will pay Canacol Energy Ltd., Calgary, $3.7 million to assume operatorship of the block. Operatorship is to be transferred after the drilling of the next four wells.


Total SA has acquired a 20% participating interest in the Taza PSC in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq from ShaMaran Petroleum Corp., Vancouver, BC.

Consideration is $48 million (US) plus reimbursement for costs incurred on joint operations from Apr. 1, 2012, until closing.

Oil Search (Iraq) Ltd., operator of the Taza block with 60% participating interest, is drilling the Taza-1 exploratory well 80 km southwest of Sulaimaniya. Projected total depth is 3,250 m. Oil Search and ShaMaran carried the KRG for the remaining 20% interest in the block.


Modiin Energy LP has signed a detailed drilling contract with Noble International Ltd. under which the Homer Ferrington semisubmersible will spud an exploratory well on the Gabriella license offshore Israel before June 30, 2013.

Adira Energy Ltd., Toronto, operates the license, and Brownstone Energy Inc. has an interest in Gabriella. The license covers 392 sq km in 100-425 m of water in the Mediterranean 10 km northwest of Tel Aviv.

Consulting engineers determined a best estimate of 110.1 million bbl of contingent oil on the license.

Adira has three exploration licenses offshore Israel, Gabriella, Yitzhak, and Samuel. The licenses are respectively 10 km offshore between Netanya and Ashdod, 9 km offshore between Hadera and Netanya, and adjacent to the coast between Ashkelon and Bat-Yam.


Tullow Oil PLC has spudded the Twiga South-1 exploratory well on Block 13T onshore Kenya.

Planned total depth is 3,114 m. The well targets the same structural trend and reservoirs as Tullow’s recent Ngamia-1 oil discovery 23 km to the south. Block 13% is in northwestern Kenya along the border with Uganda.

Tullow has a 50% working interest in Twiga South, and Africa Oil Corp., Vancouver, BC, has 50%.

Africa Oil said the Paipai-1 well on Block 10A in northern Kenya is on track to spud in early September using a rig being mobilized from Mombassa. And in Ethiopia, Tullow’s rig contract negotiations are nearing conclusion for an exploratory drilling campaign that will start with the Sabisa-1 well on the South Omo block by the end of 2012.


Spectrum ASA is shooting as much as 3,000 sq km of multiclient 3D seismic surveys in the southwestern part of Lebanon’s Exclusive Economic Zone in the eastern Mediterranean.

The Levantine basin survey is carried out in cooperation with Dolphin Geophysical using the Polar Duke vessel that will gather at least 1,500 sq km of data using 12 streamers and dual source. Shooting is to be finished by the end of September.

It is the first phase of a project that will incorporate up to 3,000 sq km when completed. Final processed data will be available in early 2013 in advance of a license round.


Energia Ltd. and Oando Energy Resources Inc., Calgary, tested 49° gravity oil at the rate of 2,400 b/d on a 28/64-in. choke from a second zone at the EB-4 well in Ebendo marginal field on OML 56 in the central onshore Niger Delta in Nigeria.

The second zone tested, Level XIX, was the well’s primary target and is also the zone producing 2,100 b/d in the EB-1 well.

EB-4 is being dually completed with Level XIX being produced from the short string and Level XXa producing from the long string. Level XXa tested up to 950 b/d of oil. Both strings are to be tied into the existing Ebendo Production Facility and will be put on stream as soon as the rig is skidded to the EB-5 well location.

EB-5 is intended to appraise the intermediate hydrocarbon bearing sands, Levels XV to XVIII, encountered while drilling the EB-4 well.

EB-4 well was spudded on Mar. 24 and drilled to 12,120 ft measured depth. Intended to appraise the updip part of the structure, it encountered eight new hydrocarbon bearing sands over an interval from 9,667 ft to 11,182 ft, each with reservoir thicknesses of 21-110 ft. The eight zones were in addition to Level XIX, the producing sand target.

Energia is block operator with 57.25% interest, and Oando has 42.75%.


Exoma Energy Ltd. has completed the Sancho-1 exploratory well on ATP 999P in central Queensland, Australia, after an operating delay due to wet weather.

Sancho-1 went to 1,266 m and chip sampled a 26-m section of Cretaceous Toolebuc shale. The shale samples will be subject to geochemical analysis. Data from the well forms part of the Galilee Joint Venture’s assessment of the extent of maturity of the Toolebuc shale as an oil and gas resource.

The well was deepened to test for the presence of the Jurassic Hutton and Adori as a potential oil play, but these sandstones were not present at this location.

The well has been plugged and abandoned as planned. The rig has been released to move to drill Katherine West-1, just west of Longreach, a conventional oil test in ATP 999P adjacent to the Katherine-1 discovery well drilled by Exoma in 2011.

Exoma has a 50% beneficial interest in both ATP 999P and the Sancho-1 well. CNOOC Galilee Gas Co. Pty. Ltd. is earning its participating interest under farmout by providing the first $50 million of joint venture expenditures on Exoma’s five Galilee basin ATPs.


RWE Dea has collected a land and transition zone 3D and 2D seismic survey on Block 23 in the Caspian Sea off southern Turkmenistan, the first survey of its kind in the country.

The company shot about 400 sq km in less than 4 months with 400 persons using special vessels and vehicles. Geologists and geophysicists are interpreting the data. RWE was awarded the block in 2009.

Cables with receivers were laid seamlessly from the mainland as far at 10 km into shallow water. Airgun arrays were deployed in the water, and Vibroseis was used on land.

With this seismic survey, RWE Dea explored geological structures of Miocene and Pliocene age at depths of 3,000-6,500 m.

An extensive environmental study preceded the survey.