Drilling/Production news briefs, Aug. 14

Mallon Resources � Jicarilla Apache Tribe � Tidewater � Seven Seas Petroleum � Perez Companc � OSCA ... ExxonMobil ... Baker Hughes

Mallon Resources Corp., Denver, said it has drilled the first 18 wells in the development program at its East Blanco gas field in New Mexico's San Juan basin. Eleven of the new wells have been completed and are on production, six are awaiting completion, and one well was a dry hole. The 11 completions include 8 wells in which production from multiple formations has been commingled. Many of these wells were drilled early in the year, but their completion was delayed pending approval of commingling by the Jicarilla Apache Tribe, which owns most of the land on which Mallon operates in the field. That approval was granted in April.

Tidewater Inc. has entered agreements to purchase two 220-ft platform supply vessels. The agreements are subject to completion of normal due-diligence matters. The aggregate purchase price for the two vessels is $26.4 million. The vessels are currently under construction by shipyards in Norway and have scheduled delivery dates in December 2000 and May 2001.

Seven Seas Petroleum Inc., Houston, began trucking crude oil production from the Guaduas oil field in Colombia Aug. 9. Seven Seas expects to achieve a production rate of 4,000-6,000 b/d.

Perez Companc, an Argentine exploration and production firm operating in Venezuela, has awarded OSCA Inc., Lafayette, La., a 1-year contract to provide sand control services and production tools to be used at the Leona and Oritupano fields. OSCA says the well completion schedule calls for at least five zones per month.

ExxonMobil Corp. will return to its Wandoo oil field off Western Australia in September to carry out an infill drilling program that is expected to extend the field's life. The jack up rig Ron Tappmeyer will drill one well from the Wandoo B main platform from an existing conductor and two wells from the nearby Wandoo A monopod as sidetracks from two existing wells that will be plugged and abandoned as part of the program. Computer modeling of field production since 1997 has identified ways to optimize oil recovery and capture additional reserves. Wandoo crude oil is heavier and more viscous than most Australian crudes and does not drain as easily between the wells; hence, the infill program is expected to increase recovery.

The number of rigs actively exploring for oil and gas in the US fell to 976 last week vs. 981 the previous week and 627 a year ago, according Baker Hughes Inc.'s latest rig count statistics. Of these rigs, 765 were exploring for gas, 209 were looking for oil, and 2 were listed as miscellaneous.

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