Oct. 11, 1999
National Petroleum Refiners (Pty.) Ltd. (NATREF) is not a state refining company, as incorrectly reported in the first paragraph of an article about its planned Sasolburg refinery upgrade (OGJ, Aug. 30, 1999, p. 48). NATREF shareholders are Sasol Ltd. and Total South Africa (Pty.) Ltd., as stated in the article's fifth paragraph.


South Africa's
National Petroleum Refiners (Pty.) Ltd. (NATREF) is not a state refining company, as incorrectly reported in the first paragraph of an article about its planned Sasolburg refinery upgrade (OGJ, Aug. 30, 1999, p. 48). NATREF shareholders are Sasol Ltd. and Total South Africa (Pty.) Ltd., as stated in the article's fifth paragraph.


let contract to Foster Wheeler South Africa (Pty.) Ltd. to undertake basic engineering for the expansion of its Sasolburg refinery, 60 miles from Johannesburg. NATREF aims to boost products output to 105,000 b/d from 86,000 b/d. The expansion is expected to cost $120 million and will involve upgrading 14 process units. Basic engineering is slated for completion by March 2000 with a view to project completion by May 2002.


Apache Canada Ltd.,
a unit of Apache Corp., Houston, acquired producing properties and other assets in Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan from Shell Canada Ltd. for $770 million (Can.). The assets, which hold 87.5 million boe of proved reserves, includes 294,294 net acres of undeveloped leases, whole ownership interest in a 160 MMcfd gas processing plant, 52,700 miles of 2D seismic, and 884 sq miles of 3D seismic.

Talisman Energy Inc.,
Calgary, agreed to acquire equity interests in several North Sea oil fields from Elf Aquitaine SA for an undisclosed sum. The sale would include Elf's interests in Piper, Claymore, Saltire, Scapa, and Chanter fields, which have been in production since the late 1970s. The deal also would give Talisman an interest in related pipeline facilities and the Flotta oil terminal. The agreement must be approved by Elf's joint venture partners Texaco Inc., Lasmo PLC, ARCO, and Intrepid Energy. Talisman said it will provide details later on an agreement in principle involving assets and cash.

Talisman Energy
tendered about 55 million shares in response to its offer to acquire all of the common shares of Rigel Energy Corp. (OGJ, Aug. 30, 1999, p. 36). The amount represents more than 95% of Rigel's shares on a fully diluted basis.

Enron North America Corp.,
Houston, and Peoples Energy Corp., Chicago, entered into three agreements to serve Chicago's energy market. The firms will form a joint venture based in Chicago that is expected to begin operations in early 2000; the JV will provide physical and financial products and services for 10-20 bcf/year of natural gas storage and transportation. Enron will provide gas supply for Peoples Energy utilities Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas for 5 years beginning Oct. 1. And Enron will provide wholesale electric supply and risk management services to Peoples retail division Peoples Energy Services Corp.

India's Oil & Natural Gas Corp.
will work over wells in the offshore Bombay High field in a bid to boost production. ONGC appointed Gaffney, Cline & Associates to develop a plan to reverse the field's production decline. The work is expected to take 2 years. ONGC is collecting seismic data and well logs in support of the project. Bombay High production was 10.5 million tonnes of oil in fiscal year 1998-99.


International Petroleum Exchange,
London, extended the contract periods of its gas oil and natural gas futures trading mechanisms, bringing them in line with Brent crude oil futures contracts. Gas oil and natural gas futures now can be traded up to 3 years ahead, an increase from 18 months and 15 months, respectively. Trevor Christmas, IPE's senior vice-president of business development, said, "The extraordinary price volatility experienced over the last 2 years has clearly demonstrated the benefits of hedging. Although it is likely that the prompt months will still be the most actively traded, the extra contract months will offer flexibility and new opportunitiesellipse."


Anadarko Algeria Corp.,
a unit of Anadarko Petroleum Corp., Houston, and Algerian state oil firm Sonatrach let a $331 million contract to Brown & Root-Condor (BRC), a joint venture of Halliburton Co. unit Brown & Root and Condor Engineering SPA, for engineering, procurement, and construction services for expansion of the oil production module at Hassi Berkine North South. The site is 1,100 km southeast of Algiers near the Libya-Tunisia border. The project involves installation of a 75,000 b/d gas-oil separation train, gas injection facilities, flowlines, wellheads, trunklines, and field gathering stations. BRC completed the first-stage facilities last year, with first oil in May 1998 (OGJ, May 11, 1998, p. 46). The lump-sum contract covers a 26-month project that began Aug. 1, 1999.

The In Salah Gas joint venture
of BP Amoco PLC and Sonatrach let three contracts for development of the In Salah gas fields in Algeria's Sahara desert. The fields are being developed under a $3.5 billion program to produce and deliver 9-11 billion cu m/year of gas to southern Europe starting in 2003 (OGJ, Dec. 25, 1995, p. 26). The JV announced two design and construction awards: provision of all field facilities, to a consortium of JGC Corp., Yokahama, and Kellogg Brown & Root, Houston; and in-field and export pipelines, to Bechtel Corp., Houston. A drilling contract was let to the DECO consortium of local firm ENTP and Deutag AG, Bad Bentheim, Germany.

Petroleo Brasileiro SA
let a 2-year contract to R&B Falcon Corp. unit R&B Falcon Drilling (International & Deepwater) Inc. for use of the drillship Deepwater Frontier off Brazil in 8,900 ft of water. Deepwater Frontier is owned by R&B Falcon, 60%, and Conoco Inc., 40%. Petrobras intends to start operations in November.

TotalFina SA
announced first oil from two new horizons in Khariaga field in Russia's Timan-Pechora basin. TotalFina said Khariaga Horizons 2 and 3 comprise the first onshore field to come on stream in Russia within the framework of a production-sharing agreement. The operator has brought one well into production and aims to work over two more wells in the next 2 months; it expects combined output to reach 10,000 b/d of oil. License interests are: operator TotalFina, 50%; Norsk Hydro AS, 40%; and Nenets Oil Co., 10%.

BP Amoco
and partners completed a well that appraised the Skarv discovery on Block 6507/5 in the Norwegian Sea. Well 6507/5-2 was drilled in 347 m of water with the West Alpha semisubmersible to 3,877 m true vertical depth, terminating in an Early Jurassic horizon. The well cut gas pay and confirmed the extent of hydrocarbons in the drilled section of the Skarv structure. The well was not tested because enough data were collected through coring and openhole logging, said Enterprise Oil Norge Ltd. Interests are: operator BP Amoco, 30%; Statoil AS, 30%; Enterprise, 25%; and Mobil Development Norway AS, 15%.


Chevron Corp.
and China's Daqing Petrochemical Works started up a 200,000 tonne/year base oil unit in Daqing, China, Oct. 1. The unit was completed late last year, but sluggish demand for base oil products delayed the start-up of operations. The 800 million yuan unit incorporates Chevron's Isodewaxing technology and is designed to produce high and very-high viscosity index base oils.


Pinnacle West Capital Corp.,
Phoenix, will develop a 2,120-Mw, combined-cycle, natural gas-fired electric power plant about 50 miles west of Phoenix near the Palo Verde nuclear generating station switchyard. The plant, to be operated by Pinnacle West Energy, will supply power to deregulated energy markets in Arizona, California, and other western US states. The plant will come on line in 530-Mw increments starting in 2003, with full capacity reached in 2007. Work on the $1 billion project is expected to begin in late 2000.

Habibullah Coastal Power Pte. Co.,
an affiliate of Coastal Power Co. (CPC), Houston, started commercial operations of its 140-Mw natural gas-fired power plant near Quetta in western Pakistan (OGJ, Apr. 24, 1995, p. 35). Subsidiaries of CPC will hold about 90% interest in the plant, with Habibullah Energy Ltd. and HEI Ltd. owning the remainder. Electric power from the plant is being sold to Pakistan Water & Power Development Authority under a long-term power purchase agreement. Plant operations and maintenance are contracted out to a unit of General Electric Co. Natural gas is supplied under a long-term fuel supply agreement with Sui Southern Gas Co. Ltd., which is owned by the Pakistani government.


Alberta Energy and Utilities Board
approved the development plan for the $3.8 billion (Can.), 280-mile Corridor pipeline that would link Shell Canada Ltd.'s Muskeg River oilsands mine to its upgrader near Edmonton and to Shell's Scotford refinery. Shell will make a final decision on the project's timing by yearend. The project would produce 150,000 b/d of synthetic crude by 2002 and would be the third largest oilsands producer, after Syncrude Canada Ltd. and Suncor Inc. Interests in the Muskeg mine are Shell, 60%, and Chevron Canada Ltd. and Western Oil Sands Inc., 20% each. Trans Mountain Pipe Line Inc. will build and operate the $500 million pipeline.


BC Hydro,
Vancouver, BC, and Williams Gas Pipeline, a unit of Williams, Tulsa, formed a partnership to lay a $120 million, 137-km natural gas pipeline linking Northwest Pipeline at Sumas, Wash., across Georgia Strait to the existing Centra Gas system, just south of Duncan, BC, on Vancouver Island. The 40-cm Georgia Strait Crossing project would initially transport 85 MMcfd of gas to industrial and residential customers on the island and in northwestern Washington. The partners expect to place the line in operation by 2002. Project interests have not been determined, although BC Hydro would be the largest customer for the project.

Two secondary pipelines
for the Sable Offshore Energy Project (SOEP) failed structural integrity tests in mid-September. SOEP partners said difficulties are to be expected during commissioning, and defective joints have been sent to a lab in Alberta for analysis. Two 8-in. lines, a lateral gas line, and an NGL line, all failed a structural integrity test when high-pressure water was pumped through them. The lines are scheduled to be in operation by the end of November, and SOEP said it expects to meet that deadline. SOEP is a $3 billion (Can.) project to produce and ship natural gas from the Sable Island area off Nova Scotia to markets in Atlantic Canada and the US Northeast (OGJ, Aug. 23, 1999, p. 33).

Joint venture partners
in the Atlantic Alliance natural gas pipeline project extended its open season to Nov. 30 from the original date of Sept. 30. Potential shippers requested the extension because of increased uncertainty regarding certificate proceedings for the related Millennium and Independence-MarketLink gas pipeline projects. The Atlantic Alliance project is proposed to transport up to 7.4 MMcfd from Chicago and the Niagara, NY, import point to the US Northeast. Project partners are El Paso Energy Corp. unit Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. and Consolidated Natural Gas Co. unit CNG Transmission Corp.

Canada's National Energy Board
will hold an Oct. 28 conference in Calgary to discuss issues related to the transportation of NGL on Enbridge Pipelines Inc.'s system. The objective is to provide a forum for the exchange of views on a regulatory mechanism, tolling, and access issues.


Murphy Oil Corp.
and its partners made a natural gas discovery on the Medusa prospect on Mississippi Canyon Block 582 in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The well, which was drilled in 2,100 ft of water, cut two intervals with more than 120 ft of total pay after reaching 16,241 ft measured depth. Medusa prospect interest-holders are: operator Murphy, 60%; Callon Petroleum Co., 15%; and British-Borneo Petroleum Inc., 25%.

Conoco Inc.
and Unocal Corp.'s US Lower 48 unit Spirit Energy 76, Sugar Land, Tex., discovered what they called a high-quality hydrocarbon reservoir in the deepwater K2 prospect on Green Canyon Block 562 in the Gulf of Mexico, about 180 miles south of New Orleans. The well, drilled in 3,900 ft of water, will be suspended temporarily so that appraisal plans can be made and deeper objectives explored. Operator Conoco and Spirit Energy, each with 50% interest, say that drilling will resume in spring 2000.

Products marketing

Venezuela began marketing
unleaded gasoline Oct. 1 at 695 of the country's 1,600 service stations, including 234 belonging to state firm Petroleos de Venezuela SA. The move is part of a plan to improve Venezuela's air quality. PDVSA reportedly said the unleaded fuel would take some time to catch on in the country, due to its 46% premium price over regular leaded fuel. Also, most of the country's autos run on leaded fuel. PDVSA intends to phase out leaded gasoline over the next 10 years, gradually aligning the prices of the two fuels.


Abu Dhabi Gas Liquefaction Co.
(Adgas) is conducting a feasibility study on debottlenecking the third liquefaction train at its Das Island LNG plant. Although Adgas did not announce how much capacity would increase through the process, industry officials say debottlenecking often results in a 25-50% throughput increase. The capacity of Adgas's third train is more than 1.5 million tonnes/year. The complex, which also processes LPG and sulfur, produces more than 4.5 million tonnes/year of LNG. Adgas has expressed interest in other revamps to the three-train LNG plant, such as stepping up its sulfur recovery and installing a gas compressor.