Nova Scotia Petroleum Directorate reports high offshore activity

Jan. 8, 2002
The Nova Scotia Petroleum Directorate said exploration off Nova Scotia is at a high level. Three holes are being drilled this month and at least five other wildcats are expected this year.

By the OGJ Online Staff

HOUSTON, Jan. 8 -- The Nova Scotia Petroleum Directorate said exploration off Nova Scotia is at a high level, with three explorers being drilled and at least five other wildcats expected this year.

Shell Canada Ltd. is evaluating its 1969 Onondaga gas discovery, targeting underlying structures. The Galaxy II jack up began drilling Onondaga B-84, south of Sable Island near the Sable Offshore Energy Project facilities, in November.

PanCanadian Energy Corp. spudded the Queensland M-88 southwest of Sable Island in mid-December, using the Rowan Gorilla V jack up. The rig has a three-well contract with PanCanadian. Later, the company will use the Erik Raude, now being completed by the Irving Shipbuilding Inc.-owned shipyard in Halifax.

Marathon Canada Ltd. spudded the deepwater Annapolis B-24 well Dec. 26 using the West Navion drillship. The well is in 1,702 m of water south of Sable Island.

The NSPD noted that last fall the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board accepted bids for nine exploration licenses, with a total expenditure commitment of $527 million (Can.) (OGJ Online, Nov. 9, 2001).

Commitments off Nova Scotia in 59 exploration licenses total $1.56 billion. If all the blocks under license are retained for the full 9-year exploration period, 53 wildcats would have to be drilled within 5 years, said NSPD.

Kerr-McGee Offshore Canada Ltd. plans to drill two deepwater wells off southwestern Nova Scotia in the second half of 2002 or early 2003.

Chevron Canada Resources Ltd. awaits company and regulatory approvals to begin deepwater drilling this year, said NSPD, while Imperial Oil Ltd. and ExxonMobil Canada Ltd. still have "significant" commitments remaining, in deep water and shallow water respectively.

Other companies with exploration commitments within the next 5 years include BEPCo Canada, BP Canada Energy Co., Corridor Resources Inc., Hunt Oil Co. of Canada Inc., Marico Oil & Gas Corp., and Richland Minerals Inc.

The directorate predicts more rigs may have to be brought to the area.

PanCanadian Energy expects to file the Deep Panuke development plan in the first quarter, and expects to begin production of 400 MMcfd in the first quarter of 2005 (OGJ Online, July 12, 2001).

NSPD also said production from the Sable Offshore Energy Project reacted 560 MMcfd in October. Work on the second phase of development is "well underway."