Area Drilling

Aug. 6, 2007


Manas Petroleum Ltd., Baar, Switzerland, said it is in advanced stages of finalizing a production sharing agreement covering four exploration blocks in Albania.

Previous block holders Shell and Coparex International estimated that the blocks hold a large, deep underthrust structure with potential to hold more than 800 million boe of light oil and natural gas. Numerous oil seeps are observed where the reservoir rock outcrops along a significant part of the eastern side of Manas’s blocks.

Further refinement of the Shell/Coparex data set by Manas Petroleum has outlined a series of large prospects on the blocks.


White Nile Ltd., London, reported that exploratory data over southern Ethiopia indicates the existence of deep basins that may contain a sedimentary section similar to that of the petroliferous Muglad and Melut basins of southern Sudan.

The company has completed ground geophysical surveys, including magnetotellurics and gravity, in the Omo River area north of Lake Turkana and is using the data “to determine basin disposition and depth in this critical area of interference between three proven petroliferous basin trends known as the Turkana Depression,” White Nile said.

After interpreting the data, it will select areas it wishes to explore under a production-sharing agreement.

White Nile plans to design a reconnaissance 2D seismic program to identify drill targets in southern Ethiopia. The company has a joint study agreement with Ethiopia’s petroleum operations division over the prospective East African Rift system in the southwest.


Husky Energy Inc., Calgary, was awarded frontier exploration licenses on Block 5 (2007-22) and Block 7 (2007-24) in the Davis Strait off western Greenland in the West Disko 2006 licensing round.

The blocks total 21,067 sq km in less than 500 m of water 120 km off Disko Island (see map, OGJ, Mar. 26, 2007, p. 38). Husky is operator with 87.5% interest, and Greenland’s state Nunaoil AS has 12.5%.

Husky, which plans to start an aeromagnetic and gravity survey on the blocks this summer, cited its experience operating in the North Atlantic off Newfoundland and Labrador in taking on the new exploration acreage.

TGS-NOPEC Geophysical Co. ASA began shooting 62,000 km of aeromagnetic surveys in early July covering the entire Greenland side of Baffin Bay. Data are to be available in the fourth quarter of 2007.

To follow that is a 60 by 60 km grid of 2D seismic surveys totaling 8,800 km that will include open lines into the Canadian side of the bay. Data are to be available in the first quarter of 2008.

Later in summer, TGS will begin the first phase of a new aeromagnetic acquisition project off northeast Greenland. When completed, the survey will extend from the coast to the oceanic crust as presently interpreted. It will be used to develop a new geophysical atlas of the area to further seismic and aeromagnetic planning.


OAO Gazprom completed a successful coalbed methane pilot production project in the Taldinskaya area of the Kuzbass basin and plans to begin supplying gas to customers in the second half of 2009.

Gazprom and the Kemerovo Oblast Administration signed an agreement for the pilot in May 2003. The participants plan to address the lack of a regulatory framework for CBM production in 2007-08. The Kuzbass basin, in southern Siberia north of western Mongolia, is the site of numerous coal mines and large industrial centers (see map, OGJ, Nov. 2, 1992, p. 81).

Geologopromyslovaya Co. Kuznetsk (GPK Kuznetsk) holds the license for CBM prospecting, exploration, and production in the Yuzhno-Kuzbasskaya Group of coal fields that have 6.1 trillion cu m recoverable. Gazprom holds a control stake in GPK Kuznetsk.

Gazprom subsidiary Promgaz estimated Russia’s recoverable CBM at 49 trillion cu m, almost as large as the country’s conventional gas reserves, including 13 trillion cu m in the Kuzbass basin.


V.F. Neuhaus, private San Antonio operator, was to have spud a wildcat in late July in Huntington Valley in northeastern Nevada.

The Straight Flush 17-1 drillsite is in 17-28n-56e, Elko County, 120 miles north of oil fields in Railroad Valley, Nye County.

The well is projected to TD 7,000 ft to a Paleozoic target that has some similarities to Grant Canyon oil field.

Double Eagle Petroleum Co., Casper, Wyo., holds 70% working interest after a tank battery is set and expects to sell a 20% working interest.

Federal and state drilling permits have been issued for an exploratory well in SW SE 31-26n-55e, northwestern White Pine County, Nev., said Eden Energy Corp., Vancouver, BC.

Spud date is uncertain due to the need for construction of the road and location. The site is about 18 miles southeast of Blackburn oil field.

Earlier this year, Eden Energy said an undisclosed private Midland, Tex., company took a farmout to drill the Noah prospect to 7,000-9,000 ft (OGJ Online, Apr. 17, 2007).