Exploration/Development news briefs, Jan. 18

Jan. 18, 2002
Mustang Oil .. Celtic Petroleum ... GDF Britain ... Pacific Tiger Energy ... Carnarvon Petroleum ... Royal Dutch/Shell ... China National Offshore Oil Corp. ... West Oil ... Swift Energy New Zealand ... Antrim Energy ... and more

Mustang Oil Ltd. and Celtic Petroleum Ltd. have farmed out an interest in UK southern North Sea blocks 49/1c, 49/2b, and 49/2c to GDF Britain Ltd. GDF will operate the blocks with 50% while Mustag will have 45% and Celtic 5%.

Pacific Tiger Energy Inc. has spudded the WB-N3 at Wichian Buri oil field in Central Thailand. The hole will test the productive F-sand downdip from the first wells. Pacific Tiger is operator with 60% and Carnarvon Petroleum NL has 40%. Carnarvon said reserves are 10 million bbl and output will exceed 1,500 b/d by yearend.

Royal Dutch/Shell Group has signed a production sharing contract with China National Offshore Oil Corp. for exploration of the Bonan area of Bohai Bay. It will drill two wildcats in the first 2 years, with options for two more in the following 4 years. Work will be on the 3,190 sq km Block 11/26 in 25 m of water in the southern part of the bay.

West Oil NL plans to spud Sleeper-1 well on AC/P27 in the Timor Sea by Jan. 20. It will use the Ocean General semisubmersible. West Oil has an option over 5% of the Sleeper Prospect and the AC/P27 Permit.

Swift Energy New Zealand Ltd. will buy all of Calgary-based Antrim Energy Ltd.'s New Zealand assets, which include a 5% interest in Rimu-Kauri permit PEP 38719 and a 7.5% interest in Huinga permit PEP 38716. The sale involves 220,000 shares of Swift Energy Co. stock and up to $960,000 in cash. Closing is expected in the first quarter.

Greenland Bureau of Minerals and Petroleum said Statoil ASA has relinquished the offshore Fylla license, 03/97, and Phillips Petroleum Co. has surrendered the offshore Sisimiut-West license, 09/98.

The government of Sao Tome & Principe has awarded Environmental Remediation Holding Corp., Lafayette, La., interests in licenses off Sao Tome, said the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries' news agency. ERHC can acquire up to 15% paid working interest in up to two blocks in the joint development zone of Sao Tome and Nigeria and 100% interest in up to two blocks in Sao Tome's exclusive economic zone without paying signature bonuses.

Petroleum Geo-Services ASA, Oslo, has secured seismic acquisition contracts worth $58 million in the US, Ecuador, India, and Bangladesh.

The US Department of the Interior has issued a final rule regarding applying for deepwater royalty relief. It will allow some lease operators to apply for additional discretionary relief for marginal fields in the Gulf of Mexico.