Exploration/Development Briefs

July 26, 2013


Park Place Energy Corp., Calgary, has signed an agreement that ends litigation over the 2010 grant to the company of the Vranino 1-11 block in the Dobroudja basin north of Varna, Bulgaria.

As part of the agreement, the company purchased certain data and studies that relate to the 98,000-acre block that will assist it in exploration and development planning. The next step is to finalize the form of the license agreement with Bulgarian regulators.

Park Place expects to start work in early 2014 to explore for what it believes are substantial natural gas resources. The company noted that the basin is host to as many as 60 individual coal seams.

Previous work on the block includes extensive 2D seismic and more than 200 Soviet-era wells.


BPZ Energy Inc., Houston, has spudded the first development well on the Corvina field CX-15 platform on Block Z-1 offshore Peru.

Drilling and completion is expected to take as long as 12 weeks. Conventional core samples of the Zorritos formation reservoir rocks will be cut during drilling operations, and an extra casing string will be used as a precaution to manage any potential shallow gas. Targeted depth is 7,400 ft subsea.

Subsequent wells are expected to be drilled and completed in less time, BPZ Energy said.

Sea and swell conditions along large areas of the Peruvian and Chilean coasts in early July caused predrilling operations at CX-15 to be stopped for safety reasons. As a result, operations that were supporting installation of the top drive were suspended, one of the final steps required before drilling could begin.


Italy's Eni SPA and Russia's Rosneft have begun shooting seismic surveys on the Fedynsky and Central Barents license areas in the ice-free part of the Barents Sea offshore Russia.

The companies will collect 9,950 line-km of 2D data on the two license areas. Eni and Rosneft formed joint venture companies to operate each of the Russian offshore projects, with Rosneft holding a 66.67% stake and Eni 33.33%.

The project is part of the wider cooperation between Eni and Rosneft sanctioned under the strategic cooperation agreement dated Apr. 25, 2012.


Berry Petroleum Corp., Denver, let a contract for the installation of a buried seismic array at its North Midway-Sunset heavy oil field in Kern County.

MicroSeismic Inc., Houston, will install the buried array to establish a permanent network of near-surface, multicomponent geophones that will continuously monitor cyclic steam stimulation operations in the field.


Earthstone Energy Inc., Denver, and its partners agreed to run casing in an exploratory well in Cheyenne County, Neb., 15 miles northeast of Sidney.

Earthstone is operator with 45% working interest in the Schmale 34-20, in 20-15n-47w, bottomed at 6,550 ft. The company will production-test the Pennsylvanian Virgil formation and said it was unable to carry out all planned tests during the drilling phase.

The company, which holds 30,000 acres of leasehold and has shot 70 sq miles of 3D seismic, mainly in Cheyenne County, plans to drill one or two more wells in the next 18 months.