Exploration/Development news briefs, Aug. 1

Petroleum Geo-Services � EEX � ExxonMobil � PanCanadian Petroleum � Enterprise Oil � Murphy Oil � PanCanadian Petroleum


Brunei has awarded a 10,000 sq km multiclient 3D seismic survey contract for its deepwater economic zone to Petroleum Geo-Services ASA, Houston and Oslo. The Ramform Challenger vessel will begin the survey in early August 2000. The vessel will tow ten 6,000-m streamers, which PGS claims is the biggest streamer spread ever deployed in the Asia-Pacific region. Final data will be ready 9 months after first shot point. The survey is part of a deepwater licensing round to be announced Oct. 9. A Brunei spokesman said, "The Petroleum Unit is convinced of the value prelicensing 3D will have in attracting international oil companies to invest in deepwater Brunei."

EEX Corp. revealed the results of its most recent appraisal well in the Llano discovery on Garden Banks 386 in the US Gulf of Mexico. Llano No. 3 was drilled to 25,500 ft and encountered 340 ft of net pay. No. 3 is located 1 mile northwest of the discovery well, which cut 200 ft of net pay. "We believe that the increased net pay and other data collected in this and the prior two Llano wells confirm a significant discovery," said Tom Hamilton, EEX chairman, president, and CEO. "Based upon the information obtained from the three Llano wells, we believe that the field should be commercial, with reserves estimated to be in the range of 200-250 million boe.'' Llano No. 3 will be abandoned temporarily so that it can be completed later as a producer. EEX is operator of Llano with a 30% working interest. Partners are an affiliate of ExxonMobil Corp. (20%), PanCanadian Petroleum Ltd. (20%), and Enterprise Oil PLC (30%).

Murphy Oil Corp. has agreed to acquire Murphy Oil Corp.'s 40% working interest in the Mason prospect. In exchange, it will provide EEX a carried 18% working interest in the initial exploration well on the prospect. The Mason prospect on Garden Banks Block 562 in the Gulf of Mexico is about 10 miles south of the Llano area. The well will be operated by Murphy and will target potential hydrocarbon accumulations in Lower Pliocene and Miocene sands. Drilling is expected to commence by the end of the third quarter. Other partners in the well are PanCanadian Petroleum Ltd. and Enterprise Oil PLC. Murphy calls Mason prospect the Locomotion prospect.

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