Area Drilling

Dec. 17, 2007


An exploration well appears to have established continuity between the north and central lobes of Puesto Morales Norte field in the Nuequen basin, said Petrolifera Petroleum Ltd., Calgary.

The PMN 1038 well tested light oil at a rate of 1,500 b/d from the Jurassic Sierras Blancas formation and is expected to go on production at 500-1,000 b/d.

The company said it commissioned a pipeline capable of 35 MMcfd with compression from the field to Medanito that is likely to ship 10 MMcfd initially. The flow will include associated gas and some nonassociated gas from the Cretaceous Loma Montosa and Sierras Blancas formations.

The PMOx-1001 well recently tested 2.3 MMcfd of gas and 20 b/d of condensate on a 14-mm choke near the western boundary of the Puesto Morales concession. The 1007 well in Puesto Morales Sur field, to be dually completed, tested more than 1 MMcfd from a basal Loma Montosa zone and oil from Loma Montosa Zone 10.


The Colombian unit of Cia. Espanola de Petroleos SA (Cepsa) plans to take a farmout of a 50% interest in the Garibay block in the Llanos basin from Solana Resources Ltd., Calgary.

Cepsa Colombia SA will fund 100% of the costs associated with the block’s third phase exploration well, which must be drilled by October 2008, subject to an E&P contract with Colombia’s ANH. Solana shot extensive 3D seismic in early 2007.

Solana said the farmout furthers its exploration strategy to concentrate on the five contiguous blocks it operates in the eastern Llanos—Guachiria, Guachiria Norte, Guachiria Sur, Colona, and San Pablo—and the operated Catguas block in the Catatumbo basin.


Schlumberger will ship equipment needed for a hydraulic acid-frac of the Manavi-12 well to former Soviet Georgia from four countries by mid-January 2008, said CanArgo Energy Corp., Guernsey, Channel Islands, UK.

M12 was drilled to appraise the Manavi Cretaceous carbonate oil discovery. The M-11 discovery well cut more than 490 ft of hydrocarbon-bearing limestone reservoir and found 34.4° gravity oil (OGJ Online, Mar. 1, 2005).

New Zealand

Grande Energy, Fort Worth, was awarded PEP 38527 covering 11,800 sq km mostly off the west coast of New Zealand’s south island.

The acreage lies between Haast and Franz Josef Glacier and includes a narrow strip of land between them.

The work program calls for shooting 525 line-km of 2D seismic data in the first 2 years and shooting 3D seismic and drilling an exploration well by the fourth year.


Pantera Petroleum Inc., Austin, said it signed an exclusive share purchase agreement to acquire up to 85% of two companies that have 100% ownership rights in five concessions that cover 16,000 sq km in the Chaco basin in nonproducing Paraguay. Pantera did not identify the companies.

Four concessions are in the Curupayty subbasin and one is in the Carandayty subbasin. Only 27 wells have been drilled in the two subbasins in Paraguay.

Pantera said it is seeking to acquire all available data on the concessions. It is in discussion with seismic firms to reprocess 900 km of 2D seismic data and later plans to shoot about 1,000 line-km of new 2D data on the acreage.


The president of Syria signed parliament’s ratification of the exploration, development, and production contract that governs Block 9, said Loon Energy Inc., Calgary.

The block covering more than 10,000 sq km is on the northern edge of the Homs basin, which contains the large Palmyra, Cherrife Da, and Ash Shaer fields.

Loon has committed to shoot 600 line-km of 2D seismic and drill two exploration wells in the 4-year first exploration phase. The phase can be extended for up to 9 years in phases by performing further work.

Loon has 100% interest in Block 9, and Ansco Inc. has the right to acquire a 5% working interest subject to approval of the ministry and Syrian Petroleum Co.

British Columbia

Nexen Inc. said it has secured 123,000 acres of land with 100% working interest in an emerging Devonian shale gas play in Northeast British Columbia.

The area has the potential to be one of the most significant shale gas plays in Canada, the company said.

Nexen in 2008 plans to complete and test two vertical wells it drilled last winter and drill and complete three horizontal wells. It will also drill two vertical wells on a second lease to acquire reservoir information.


Fox Petroleum Inc., London, signed an agreement to acquire 100% working interest in 9,000 acres west of and adjacent to the BP-operated Badami Unit on the North Slope from D. Donkel and S. Cade.

Fox plans to run a technical appraisal of the acreage with hopes of defining at least one well location for drilling in the 2008-09 season.

The 9,000 acres is also north of the Anadarko Petroleum Corp.-operated Jacobs Ladder Unit, formed in October 2005 over an oil prospect in the Wahoo formation of the Pennsylvanian-Mississippian Lisburne Group and the overlying Permian Sadlerochit (Ivishak formation).


Enhanced Oil Resources Inc., Houston, let a contract to Forster Drilling Corp. to drill 10 wells in St. Johns helium/carbon dioxide field in Apache County, Ariz., and Catron County, NM.

The rig is to begin work in mid-December 2007. The wells are designed to finalize reserves estimates and production characteristics (OGJ, May 28, 2007, p. 41).

Texas — Southwest

Consulting engineers listed a best estimate of 7.24 billion bbl of contingent resources potentially recoverable from the Cretaceous San Miguel tar sands in discovered accumulations in the Maverick basin, said TXCO Resources Inc., San Antonio.

The best estimate of the potentially recoverable volume attributable to TXCO’s working interest is 635 million bbl, the company added. TXCO operates two pilot projects with 50% working interest.

These resources are neither currently nor may ever become economic and cannot be considered as proved reserves, the company cautioned. Their recovery could depend on the development of new technology.

TXCO, which has raised the bottomhole temperature at one pilot project to 365° F. after three steam cycles and is starting a fourth cycle. More steam generation equipment for an expansion of the pilot using horizontal wells is to be delivered by mid-January 2008.