Exploration/Development Briefs

Aug. 13, 2012


Gran Tierra Energy Inc., Calgary, will test and place on production in this year’s third quarter two appraisal wells near its Tie field discovery on Block REC-T-155 in the Reconcavo basin in Brazil.

The 3-GTE-03D-BA and 3-GTE-4DPA-BA appraisal wells are 1.2 km north and 0.7 km south, respectively, of the 1-ALV-2-BA oil discovery well. The company submitted a declaration of commerciality to Brazil’s ANP on July 27.

Spudding of the first horizontal sidetrack well, from the 1-GTE-01-BA pilot hole on Block REC-T-142, is expected in the third quarter of 2012. This will be the first of two horizontal sidetracks that the company expects to drill in 2012 to test the productivity of light oil sandstone reservoir targets in the Reconcavo basin. Gran Tierra deferred a third horizontal well into early 2013.


Fortune Oil PLC and Dart Energy Ltd., Brisbane, have completed a compressed natural gas facility at Liulin, China, that will compress pilot gas production from Liulin coalbed methane field in Shanxi Province.

Meanwhile, the companies received Ministry of Commerce approval to extend the exploration period of the Liulin production sharing contract 2 years to Mar. 29, 2014.

The extension will allow time for pilot gas appraisal and commercialization ahead of overall development plan approval and for the companies to assess all coal seams and the remaining areas of the block. The companies said the block’s horizontal wells are producing at commercial rates (OGJ Online, June 14, 2012).


Naftna Industrija Srbije JSC, the Serbian oil and gas company owned 56% by JSC Gazprom Neft, will drill three exploratory wells in the shallow Algyo play in Hungary’s Mako trough on lands held by Falcon Oil & Gas Ltd., Toronto.

Falcon to be fully carried on the drilling and testing costs. The first well is to be spudded in the last quarter of 2012. NIS will earn 50% of the production revenues from shallow production if successful. Falcon will retain 100% interest in deeper zones in the Deep Mako trough.

A number of Falcon wells have been drilled through the Algyo, at 2,300-3,500 m, in recent years but none has tested the play concept because all of the wells targeted intervals as deep as 6,000 m. Multiple Algyo prospects have subsequently been identified through extensive AVO analysis. NIS will target the three top ranked prospects.

The transaction remains subject to a favorable ruling of the negotiated tax and accounting treatment by the Hungarian Ministry of Finance.

Falcon noted that a gas processing plant at giant Algyo oil and gas field 5-23 km away would benefit project economics and the timeline for monetizing any find in the Algyo play.


A Marathon Oil Corp. unit has closed farmouts under which Total SA acquired 35% working interests in the Harir and Safen blocks northeast of Erbil in Iraq’s Kurdistan Region.

Harir covers 174,000 acres and Safen covers 105,000 acres. Marathon remains operator with 45% working interest in each block. A Total subsidiary will become operator of any development on Safen. The Kurdistan Regional Government continues to have a 20% carried interest in each block.

Marathon is shooting 2D seismic on both blocks. The surveys are to be complete by the end of the third quarter.

Marathon spudded the first exploratory well on Harir on July 30 and will be exploring Mesozoic fractured carbonates with main reservoir objectives in the Cretaceous, Jurassic, and Triassic formations. The first exploratory well on Safen is planned for the first half of 2013.


Northern Petroleum PLC spudded the La Tosca-1 exploratory well on a 3D seismic prospect on the Longastrino permit near Alfonsine gas field in Italy’s eastern Po Valley basin.

Orca Exploration Group Inc., Tortola, British Virgin Islands, is paying 100% of the well cost to as much as €4.3 million and 70% thereafter for the drilling phase plus back-in costs of €600,000 to earn a 70% interest in the block. Drilling time is expected to be 40 days.

If the well is tested and completed, Orca will earn a further 5% interest by paying 100% of testing costs up to €1.3 million and 75% thereafter.


UAB Minijos Nafta of Lithuania’s Skomantai-1 well on the Gargzdai license onshore Lithuania found oil with subcommercial porosity in Cambrian sandstone and logged a thick shale section overlying the Cambrian and will be suspended for future work on the shale section.

Total depth is 2,431 m. The rig is moving to another location on the license to drill a sidetrack in the Cambrian sandstone, said Tethys Oil AB, which has a 25% indirect interest in the license through an agreement with Odin Energi AS.

Extensive data were gathered on the shale section. Electric logs were recorded and seven cores with a total combined length of 63 m were taken. The cores are being analyzed for certain properties, including natural fracture, induced fracturing potential, porosity, permeability, source rock quality, and maturity.

The Gargzdai license produces more than 600 b/d of oil. In addition to Gargzdai, Tethys holds in Lithuania interests in the nonproducing Rietavas and Raiseiniai onshore licenses.


Repsol SA has agreed subject to regulatory approvals to take a 44% working interest in and become operator of License 0010 offshore northwestern Namibia, said Tower Resources PLC.

Tower’s subsidiary, Neptune Petroleum (Namibia) Ltd., signed a farmout agreement with Arcadia Expro Namibia (Pty.) Ltd. to convert Tower’s 15% carried interest in the license to a 30% working interest, subject to approvals. Neptune is liable to reimburse Arcadia for 30% of Arcadia’s past costs on the license or $5.3 million and will assume 30% of future costs.

If the transfers are completed, license interests will be Repsol 44%, Tower 30%, and Arcadia 26%. License 0010 comprises blocks 1910A, 1911, and 2011A, which total 23,000 sq km in 200-3,000 m of water.

Repsol is studying rig options and is consulting with the Namibian government, Arcadia, and Tower. The busy exploration program offshore Namibia will likely attract a number of rigs to the area and, with the large Delta prospect being in a relatively shallow 900-1,300 m of water several rigs would be capable of drilling the well.

Papua New Guinea

Talisman Energy Inc. said its Weimang-1 exploratory well in Papua New Guinea found gas in line with predrill expectations.

The company, which has a joint venture with Mitsubishi Corp. in Papua New Guinea, said it is moving the rig to drill the Puk Puk-2 appraisal well (OGJ Online, Feb. 22, 2012).

Talisman said it is confident that its gas aggregation strategy in the Western Province remains on track (OGJ, Sept. 5, 2011, p. 20).


3Legs Resources PLC has decided to relinquish the 221,000-acre Dabie-Laski concession in Poland without drilling a well and will consider options for its Bytom-Gliwice and Glinica-Psary concessions, which also require drilling.

The company determined after reviewing 2D and 3D seismic that it has insufficient data to justify a well on Dabie-Laski within the timeframe specified in the license.

The company shot 50 sq km of 3D seismic on Bytom-Gliwice and Glinica-Psary earlier this year. Each requires a well by August 2013. Bytom-Gliwice covers 184,000 acres and Glinica-Psary 256,000 acres.

3Legs Resources holds six Baltic basin licenses that total 1.084 million gross acres on which the primary targets are organic-rich black shales of Lower Paleozoic age.


Production capacity of Marathon gas-condensate field in Atchafalaya Bay offshore Louisiana has risen to 50-60 MMcfd with completion of a new pipeline, said Petsec Energy Ltd., Sydney.

The field’s two wells, operated by private Phoenix Exploration Co. on state leases 20221 and 20369, are delilvering into the new pipeline and the previously existing facilities. Production is expected to increase further when the recently drilled third well comes online within 4-6 weeks.

With its high gas rates and condensate yield, the field operates profitably despite low gas prices, Petsec Energy said (OGJ Online, May 18, 2012).

Private firms have 43.25% working interest in the field, and Apache Corp. has 48.75%. Petsec Energy has 8% interest in the wells and pipeline.