Exploration/Development Briefs

April 16, 2012


Bengal Energy Ltd., Calgary, has purchased a 3,000-m capacity rotary rig and expects it to be mobilized to Brisbane from Dubai by July 2012 for the company's drilling program on 100% owned ATP 732 in the southwestern Cooper/Eromanga basin.

The company has identified six potential drilling locations in four key play types at 1,000-1,800 m that include light oil in Jurassic, Cretaceous, and fractured basement and gas in Permian Toolachee sandstones.


Perenco SA has completed the purchase of a 100% equity interest in the EOV permit offshore Gabon from Bowleven PLC for $38.6 million including a working capital adjustment.

Bowleven said the sale will provide additional working capital to progress its dual objectives of converting resources to reserves and further exploring the Douala basin in Cameroon. Including proceeds, net cash balance is $160 million.


An Oil India Ltd.-led group has signed the production sharing contract governing the AA-ONN-2010/2 block in northeastern India's Assam-Arakan basin.

The group will shoot 3D seismic over the entire 395 sq km block and drill two wells at an estimated cost of $2.8 million. The 3D data will be used to high-grade structural leads identified on 2D seismic. The acreage is considered oil-prone.

The basin has more than 100 discovered fields and produces an estimated 95,000 b/d of oil equivalent.

Block interests besides OIL are Oil & Natural Gas Corp. 30%, Gas Authority of India Ltd. 20%, and East West Petroleum Corp., Vancouver, BC, 10%.


Niko Resources Ltd., Calgary, has begun a multibasin exploratory drilling campaign in Indonesia as the company gained participation in its 21st block in Indonesia.

Drilling is to start in April at the first of two shallow water wells, Candralila-1 and Ratnadewi-1, on the 5,908 sq km Lhokseumawe PSC offshore north Sumatra adjacent to giant Arun gas-condensate field and LNG plant. Niko and Zaratex NV shot a 3,865 sq km 3D seismic survey on the block and identified a number of high-impact prospects.

Niko's Diamond Ocean Monarch deepwater rig is to arrive on Lhokseumawe in September 2012 to drill Jayarani-1, the first well in Niko's planned program of more than 25 deepwater wells off Indonesia.

Meanwhile, Eni SPA will drill the Lebah-1 well in the second half of 2012 to test an extension of the Jangkrik and Jangkrik-NE discoveries that total more than 400 million bbl of oil equivalent reserves to date in the North Ganal PSC off East Kalimantan in which Niko is a participant. Jangkrik production is to start in 2015.


Emanuelle Energy Ltd., a subsidiary of The Israel Land Development-Energy Ltd., has chosen to exercise its 7.128% participating option interest in the 388/Samuel license offshore Israel, said GeoGlobal Resources Inc., Calgary.

This option became available following GeoGlobal's completion and filing with the Israel Ministry of National Infrastructure on Mar. 29, 2012, of the interpretation summary report of the recently processed and interpreted 3D ocean bottom cable seismic.

The option allows members of the Myra and Sara consortium to exercise up to a 12.5% participating interest in the Samuel license by paying their proportionate share of all past costs and future costs in the Samuel joint venture. This option remains open to the other members of the Myra and Sara consortium until May 24, 2012.

GeoGlobal expressed encouragement that it took Emanuelle Energy so little time after reviewing the report in exercising the option to participate in the back costs as well as the future drilling cost of the first well in Samuel which is expected to be drilled by the end of 2012.

The Noble Homer Ferrington semisubmersible is expected to be available by early May to spud the Myra-1 exploratory well in the Mediterranean offshore Israel, said GeoGlobal Resources Inc., Calgary.

The Myra and Sara licenses are south and southwest of the block on which the Noble Energy Inc. group made the Dalit gas discovery. A second well will be drilled after Myra-1 is completed. GeoGlobal is operator with 5% participating interest in Myra, 52 miles offshore in 1,450 m of water.

Meanwhile, a 43 sq km ocean bottom cable 3D seismic survey has been completed on the 89,205-acre Samuel license, where a well could be spudded in late 2012. Samuel lies along the coast in 140 m of water or less.

Adira GeoGlobal operates Samuel. Adira Energy Ltd., Toronto has 41.25% working interest, GeoGlobal has 42%, Pinetree Capital has 10%, and Brownstone Energy Ltd. has 6.75%.


Kosmos Energy Ltd., Dallas, has signed production sharing contracts covering the C8, C12, and C13 blocks in the Mauritania salt basin in the Atlantic offshore Mauritania.

The contiguous blocks total 6.7 million acres in 5,250-9,800 ft of water. Kosmos Energy said the blocks include the outboard fairway of the underexplored Upper Cretaceous stratigraphic play concept, the company's core exploration theme. Kosmos plans to shoot seismic in late 2012 or early 2013 and could drill as soon as 2014.

Kosmos will operate the blocks with 90% interest, and Mauritania's Ste. Mauritanienne des Hydrocarbures has 10% carried interest.


Tunisia's hydrocarbons consultative committee has approved Dragon Oil PLC to take a farmout on the Bargou permit and become a member of the Bargou joint venture in Tunisia.

The joint venture plans to spud the Hammamet West-3 horizontal development well in the fourth quarter of 2012. Interests in the JV are Cooper Energy Ltd. operator with 30%, Dragon Oil 55%, and Jacka Resources Ltd. 15%.

A fracture study for the Hammamet West-3 well is being undertaken to determine the optimum horizontal drilling path for the well. The fracture study will be a key input to the well basis of design, said Cooper Energy.


Hawkley Oil & Gas Ltd., Perth, has been awarded a 20-year production license on its 100% owned Sorochynska block in Ukraine's Dnieper-Donets basin.

Hawkley has been producing from the license for more than a year through third-party gas processing facilities 20 km away. Award of the license allows the firm to construct of a scalable gas plant on the license. Recent 3D seismic acquisition and further geological and petrophysical analysis will provide the basis of a full-field development plan.

Hawkley began production Feb. 17, 2011, from the B18b reservoir at the Sorochynska-201 well in a fault-bounded trap in the eastern part of the license. Present rate is 6 MMcfd of gas and 196 b/d of condensate. The company spudded the Sorochynska-202 development well on Feb. 15, 2012, and is drilling toward 4,250 m expected total depth.

Well-202 is designed to provide a second drainage point for the B18 reservoir some 400 m from and updip of Well-201. It will also appraise incremental gas in the B19 reservoir that tested gas in the Sorochynska-469 well 2.5 km northwest.


Lukoil Overseas has agreed with a bank consortium to take a limited recourse loan of as much as $500 million for continued development of the Kandym-Khauzak-Shady-Kungrad project in Uzbekistan.

The funds are to be used to finance development of the Kandym group of fields and for a production increase in the Khauzak-Shady area. Lukoil Overseas said this is the first large-scale loan to a private company operating in the Uzbek fuel and energy industry.

Lukoil Overseas signed the Kandym-Khauzak-Shady-Kungrad PSA in June 2004, and it took effect in November 2004. The Khauzak-Shady group of gas fields went on production in 2007. Start-up of Kuvachi-Alat field in the Kandym group is set for 2014.

Lukoil Overseas, Uzbekistan's largest foreign investor, estimates that 11.6 tcf of gas is recoverable. Expected production rate is 388 bcf/year.


Private companies have set casing to 8,700 ft total depth at a shale oil well in an undisclosed area of Alberta, said Petsec Energy Ltd., Sydney.

The well was extensively logged, and cores taken for use in detailed petrophysical and geochemical evaluations expected to last 3-4 months.

Petsec paid 35% or about $700,000 of the cost of the initial well and has the right to elect to participate in the drilling of as many as three optional wells to earn a 24.5% working interest in 17,280 acres of leases.


Buccaneer Energy Ltd., Sydney, will acquire a 25% working interest in and become operator of the Cosmopolitan project in southern Cook Inlet off Alaska.

BlueCrest Energy II LP, Fort Worth, is acquiring a 75% working interest in Cosmopolitan. The seller, Pioneer Natural Resources Alaska Inc., agreed to extend closing until June 28.

Cosmopolitan is an undeveloped oil and gas field in 50 ft of water just off Anchor Point on the Kenai Peninsula. Buccaneer noted that Apache Corp. acquired leases surrounding and adjoining Cosmopolitan in the June 2011 state lease sale.

Cosmopolitan has independently estimated proved and probable reserves at 44 million bbl of oil and 90 bcf of natural gas.

Field development involves a gas zone at 3,000-4,000 ft to be drilled with a jack up and an oil zone at 6,000-8,000 ft to be tapped by wells drilled directionally from shore. Water for pressure maintenance in the oil zone would be injected through offshore wells.

An offshore well is planned for late 2012 will further quantify both zones. Development will continue through 2014. Offshore gas wells will be drilled and tied back to the existing onshore site, which will be connected to ENSTAR's recently completed gas pipeline.


Triomphe Energy LLC, St. George, Utah, has staked a wildcat in eastern Arizona's Holbrook basin.

The well, in 27-20n-21e, Navajo County, 15 miles north of Holbrook, is permitted to 3,000 ft. The site is just south of two wells drilled in the early 1960s and is understood to be primarily an oil and gas test.

Earlier wells nearby have had oil and gas shows in the Fort Apache member of Permian Supai, and the location is 25 miles west of the state's helium fields that produced from the Permian Coconino sandstone (OGJ, May 5, 1997, p. 127).

Helium, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and other gases have been found in the basin.

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