Exploration/Development Briefs

July 23, 2012


Petromanas Energy Inc., Calgary, has reentered the Shpiragu-1 well on Block 2 in the Berati thrust belt onshore southern Albania and plans to deepen it as Shpiragu-2 to 6,100 m at a cost of $31 million.

The company's partner is to pay the first $25 million cost of the deepening, which is to take 150-180 days. Costs are to be shared 50-50 after that.

Occidental Petroleum Corp. drilled Shpiragu-1 to 5,200 m in 2001 and tested light oil and sour gas to surface (OGJ Online, Aug. 23, 2011).


Petroamerica Oil Corp., Calgary, said Colombia's Cepcolsa as contract operator has begun the appraisal drilling program on the Los Ocarros block in Colombia's Llanos basin by spudding the Las Maracas-3 appraisal well.

Las Maracas-3 will appraise the Mirador discovery made at the Las Maracas-2 sidetrack, on production since Apr. 23, 2012. It will also explore the deeper Une and Gacheta reservoirs that produce in other fields in the vicinity. The Las Maracas-3 well will be drilled to a total depth of 12,784 ft.

Las Maracas-4 will be drilled immediately thereafter and will further assess the Mirador formation as well as any exploration discoveries made by the Las Maracas-3 well.

Petroamerica holds a 50% participating interest in the block. Cepcolsa has transferred its 50% working interest to Parex Resources Colombia Ltd. Sucursal. Final approval of the transfer is pending.


Zion Oil & Gas Inc., Dallas, secured a rig to reenter the suspended Elijah-3 well on the Asher-Menashe license in northern Israel. The well, initially projected to Triassic and Permian below 17,000 ft, was suspended at about 11,000 ft after encountering mechanical difficulties.

The company will reenter, partly drill out the existing plug, acquire electric logs and a vertical seismic profile, and cut sidewall cores. The purpose is to obtain more geologic and geophysical data to better understand the hydrocarbon potential of a zone at 8,000-9,000 ft through which Zion drilled in 2009-10.


Eni SPA was awarded a 100% interest in three deepwater and ultradeepwater blocks in the Lamu basin off Kenya.

Eni signed production-sharing contracts on the L-21, L-23, and L-24 blocks totaling more than 35,000 sq km. The initial phase work program calls for seismic surveys.


Manas Petroleum Corp., Baar, Switzerland, said its subsidiary Gobi Energy Partners LLC has secured a rig to drill two exploratory wells in Mongolia starting in August 2012 but the prospects require more seismic so that the company may pinpoint the best locations.

The 2011 and 2012 work programs of seismic and passive seismic allowed the delineation from scratch of 17 prospects and leads in five subbasins. Ranking resulted in selection of the Ger Chuluu and Sainshand A prospects to be drilled in the first phase. Unegt B, based on a lesser known petroleum system and therefore not suitable as first well, is to be third.

Due to the polyphasic tectonic environment—extension followed by large-scale strike-slip and inversion—Ger Chuluu and Sainshand A need more seismic to mitigate structural risk before drilling. No major changes in closure or area are expected, but trap compartmentalization has to be assessed as this could influence the location.

Furthermore, both prospects have multiple targets, and therefore reservoir dipping has to be checked by additional seismic to ensure overlaying in the drilling location.

Manas signed a contract in March 2012 with Sinopec for 335 line-km of additional seismic on blocks XIII and XIV that is to start in mid-July. The drilling contract is with Sinopec's Shengli Petroleum affiliate, and the rig has been mobilized and inspected and awaits the seismic outcome. Drilling depth at Ger Chuluu 1 will be 1,200 m.

The blocks are in the East Gobi basin about 800 km northwest of Beijing.


Norwegian Energy Co. has acquired from Lundin Petroleum and Det Norske a 20% interest in the PL492 license in the Barents Sea offshore Norway, subject to regulatory approval.

PL492 is in the western Barents Sea at the southwestern corner of the Loppa high. The license is on trend with several proven discoveries, including Skrugard 65 km north and the smaller Skalle discovery adjacent to the south.

Primary targets in PL492 are sandstone reservoirs of Triassic age. Potential has also been identified in the deeper Permian sequences. An exploratory well is planned for 2013-14.


San Leon Energy PLC will drill two exploratory wells to test the conventional oil potential of the Main Dolomite in Poland's southern Permian basin on San Leon's 100% held Nowa Sol concession.

Diament Oil Exploration Ltd., Zielona Gora, Poland, will spud Lelechow-SL-1 in mid to late July followed by Czaslaw-1. The wells, which are on separate structures, are being drilled based on San Leon's 2010 Nowa Sol 3D seismic survey, which has redefined the potential of the area being the first 3D shot on the concession. San Leon said the greatly improved imaging provided greater insight into the area's complex structural fabric.

San Leon will also acquire a 50% working interest from Celtique Energy Poland Sp z o.o. in the 236,480-acre Block 243 concession and the 60,047-acre Laski concession.

San Leon will acquire the interest in return for a committed work program including shooting two 3D surveys totaling 280 sq km on the concessions plus committing to drill a well on Block 243 targeting the Permian Main dolomite. San Leon will become the operating partner on Block 243.

On the Laski concession following acquisition of the 3D seismic survey, San Leon has the option to participate in a 50% share of the proposed well costs to retain its interest in that concession. Otherwise San Leon will relinquish its interest in Laski. The proposed joint venture is conditional on receiving regulatory approval and signature of definitive agreements with Celtique.


Portugal's Petrogal (Galp) has taken a farmout from a unit of Porto Energy Corp., The Woodlands, Tex., to earn a 50% interest in the Aljubarrota concession in Portugal's Lusitanian basin for $7.8 million. Under terms of the definitive agreement, Galp will drill the Alcobaca-1 presalt well on a feature assigned an unrisked prospective resource of 100 million bbl of oil equivalent. Target depth is 3,000 m. The well is to spud in late August.

Galp will acquire a 50% participating interest in exchange for payment of 50% of Porto's sunk costs in the concession totaling $4.3 million and payment of Galp's participating interest share (50%) of costs from and after the effective date of the agreement.

After drilling and testing Alcobaca-1, Galp has the option to acquire a 25% working interest in each of the company's other concessions in exchange for payments totaling no more than 25% of Porto's sunk costs in each concession (OGJ, Dec. 8, 1997, p. 67). Porto will remain the operator through the drilling of Alcobaca-1, after which Galp will have the option to become concession operator.

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