Exploration/Development news briefs, Sept. 27

BP � Conoco � PetroVietnam � Korean National Oil Co. � SK � Geopetrol � First International Oil � Zhaikmunai � Sonatrach � International Petroleum Libya � Canadian Imperial Venture � ATCO Frontec Offshore � Devon Energy � Amerada Hess Indonesia-Jabung � Kerr-McGee Sumatra � Pertamina EP � CIECO Salawati � MOECO Salawati � COPAREX Indonesia � American Energy Ops � Reilly Interests � Centurion Energy International

BP said Tuesday it has discovered a "major" new natural gas field off Trinidad and Tobago. It said an initial well on the Red Mango prospect, 35 miles east of Galeota Point, Trinidad, indicated reserves the company estimates at 3 tcf of gas and 90 million bbl of condensate, or 630 million boe. BP claimed this is the largest gas discovery yet made in Trinidad and Tobago, and its second major find in the area this year. The supermajor intends to begin appraisal work on the field shortly.

Conoco Inc. said Tuesday it's encountered oil with the first well drilled at its Block 15-1 off Viet Nam. Block 15-1 covers 1.15 million acres; it is located near the Bach Ho, Ruby, and Rang Dong fields. The first well achieved a flow rate of 5,600 b/d, said Conoco. It is located in 154 ft of water 120 miles southeast of Ho Chi Minh City in the Cuu Long basin. Additional tests on the remaining zones will continue in the coming weeks. Conoco holds a 23.25% interest in Block 15-1. Its partners are Petrovietnam, 50%; Korean National Oil Co., 14.25%; SK Corp., 9%; and Geopetrol, 3.5%.

First International Oil Corp., Houston, said Monday that its 52%-owned subsidiary Zhaikmunai LLP has successfully reentered the Chinarovskoye No. 10 well in Kazakhsan. The well is currently producing at rates of up to 1,000 b/d of 40-degree API crude oil on a 2/5-in. choke. Zhaikmunai holds the Chinarovskoye production license, located along the northern edge of the pre-Caspian basin in western Kazakhstan near the border with Russia. The well was only partially evaluated when it was originally drilled in 1991. Current oil production is coming from three zones below 14,270 ft in the Lower Carboniferous Tournasian horizon. Not including other known, productive horizons in the Chinarovskoye No. 10, production from the well should exceed 2,500 b/d once all zones in the Tournasian are perforated.

Algerian national oil and gas company Sonatrach on Monday announced a gas discovery in the Reggane basin, in the southwest of the country. According to a company statement, the discovery well, Azse-1, produced at a flow rate of 17,083 cu m of gas per hour, at a stabilized wellhead pressure of 1,900 psi. The company pointed out that the positive results registered so far with several wells have confirmed the gas potential of the Reggane basin. This latest discovery is the second achieved this year in the basin, following the first in May. It also represents the fourth hydrocarbon find (two of gas and two of oil) achieved this year by Sonatrach.

International Petroleum Libya Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Swedish company Lundin Oil AB, has spudded the D1-NC177 exploration well in the Area NC177 concession in Libya in a joint venture with Libya�s state-owned National Oil Corp. The well is 65 km southwest of the En Naga oil field now under development. Once the well is complete, another exploration well will be drilled immediately, said Lundin.

Canadian Imperial Venture Corp. has selected ATCO Frontec Offshore Inc. to provide turnkey solutions for facilities at its Garden Hill oil field development on Port au Port Peninsula, Newf., said ATCO. The service company said the memorandum of understanding covers management, design, construction, financing, and operations.

Devon Energy Corp. said it has made recent discoveries in Sumatra and off Salwati Island, Indonesia. In Sumatra, the North Gemah-1 well on the Jabung block was drilled to total depth of 6,801 ft and tested a new geologic structure with a hydrocarbon column in excess of 700 ft. The well tested at 29 MMcfd of gas and 1,000 b/d of condensate from selected zones. Devon Energy subsidiary Santa Fe Energy Resources Jabung Ltd. operates the block with 30% interest; Amerada Hess Indonesia-Jabung Ltd. holds 30%; Kerr-McGee Sumatra Ltd., 30%; and Pertamina EP, a unit of Indonesian oil and gas company Pertamina, 10%. On the Salawati Island block off Irian Jaya, the KOI-1 wildcat was drilled to 4,523 ft. It tested at combined rates of more than 900 b/d of oil and 2.5 MMcfd of gas from two intervals. Devon Energy holds 33 1/3% participation interest in the block but has entered negotiations to sell its interests. Other block partners are: CIECO Salawati Inc.; MOECO Salawati Inc.; COPAREX Indonesia BV; American Energy Ops Inc., and Reilly Interests.

Centurion Energy International Inc., Calgary, said Monday it started a production test Sept. 16 for the recently drilled Al Manzah No. 2 development well, located on the company's Grombalia Permit in Tunisia. The evaluation process, which will last 3 weeks, involves producing the well at incrementally higher rates and shutting in the well between flow tests. As of Sept. 21, the well produced at a rate of 4,000 b/d with a gas-to-oil ratio of 300:1. Higher rates of production are expected. The second development well, Al Manzah No. 3, is expected to spud by late October. Centurion Energy is the operator of Grombalia Permit through its subsidiary Ecumed Petroleum and owns a 37.5% net working interest in the Al Manzah field.

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