Exploration/Development news briefs, May 23

ECOPETROL � Seven Seas Petroleum � Sipetrol � MTV Investments ... Saudi Aramco � Esenjay Exploration

Colombian national oil company Empresa Colombiana de Petr�leos (ECOPETROL) declared the Guaduas field project commercial but decided not to participate, said Seven Seas Petroleum Inc., Houston. Previously Ecopetrol had been expected to take a 50% interest in the project (OGJ, Jan. 17, 2000, p. 27). Seven Seas and its partners�MTV Investments Ltd. of Oklahoma and Sipetrol, the international arm of Chilean national oil firm Empresa Nacional del Petr�leo�will develop the field on a sole-risk basis. Together, the three firms will hold 100% interest in the project, less a 20% national oil royalty, until the project has recouped 200% of field development costs. Then ECOPETROL will take a 50% interest in the project. Guaduas field is in the Magdalena basin. Development plans include the construction of a pipeline and production facilities with 25,000 b/d of oil production capacity.

Saudi Aramco has made a gas discovery, says Saudi Press Agency. Al Manjora-1 was spudded in January about 30 km west of Ghawar field and 55 km northeast of Al Wudaihi gas field. On test, Al Majora-1 flowed 7 MMcfd of sweet gas and 200 b/d of condensate. Saudi Aramco plans to evaluate the well further to determine field reserves.

Esenjay Exploration Inc. has production-tested its Holzheauser-Dincans Gas Unit-1 well, and the well is flowing, unstimulated, at 5 MMcfd of gas and 170 b/d of condensate with flowing tubing pressure of 5,295 psi through a 14/64-in. choke. The company anticipates bringing the well into production by June 1. The 8,900 ft exploratory well was drilled to test the Yegua sands in a geopressured fault block within the bounds of the company's Inez 3D seismic project in Victoria County, Tex. Prospective gas pay was also encountered in shallower Frio sands during drilling; Esenjay is preparing to drill Holzheauser-Dincans-2 Gas Unit to produce these sands. Esenjay is the operator and owns a 42% working interest in each well before payout. After well payout, the company will own a 28% working interest.

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