Exploration/Development news briefs, Dec. 18

India � KCS Energy � Devon Energy � Shell International Exploration & Production � IBM � Petro-Canada � Norsk Hydro � Husky Oil � Corridor Resources � Polaris Resources � XPRONET � Lakes Oil


India has offered 25 blocks in 13 basins in the second licensing round under its new exploration licensing policy. Eight of the blocks are in deep water�more than 400 m�off the West Coast, eight are in shallow water, and nine are onshore. Bid proposals are invited until Mar. 31. Data rooms will be opened in Delhi, London, and Houston. Presentations also will be held in 2001.

KCS Energy Inc. said Friday that the Sutton Hunter No. 1 well, in West Arcadia field in Bienville Parish, La., is producing from two Hosston sand intervals at a combined rate of 10.5 MMcfd of gas and 50 b/d of condensate. KCS holds a 31.4% working interest. Four completed wells in the field are producing 30 MMcfd.

Devon Energy Corp. began production at its discovery Hamburg 16-16-97-11 W6M. Located in the Hamburg area in the northwest corner of Alberta, the well was drilled by Devon's Canadian subsidiary, Northstar. The well was drilled to 8,600 ft TD and encountered gas in the Slave Point formation. Devon holds 100%. It was producing 11.2 MMcfd of gas and 1,200 b/d of liquids, net of royalties.

Shell International Exploration & Production BV and IBM plan to install in January the largest Linux supercomputer in the world to analyze seismic data and identify oil reservoirs. The Shell system will consist of 1,024 IBM eServer 330�s running Red Hat Linux. At greater than two teraflops of computing power, this represents the largest commercial Linux cluster for IBM. The cluster will run Shell�s specialized software applications for running the significant data computations. IBM�s Global Service will install the Linux cluster in Rijswijk, the Netherlands.

Exploration companies have submitted bids worth $88.6 million for rights on 10 parcels of land off Newfoundland. Offers included a joint bid of $55 million by Petro-Canada, Calgary, and Norsk Hydro AS for one parcel. Husky Oil Co. submitted a $25 million bid for four parcels and other bidders included Corridor Resources Inc. and Polaris Resources Ltd. The bids represent an exploration spending commitment by companies in the first 5 years of a 9-year exploration license.

Madagascar has executed two production-sharing contracts with XPRONET Inc.�a Cayman Islands corporation based in Houston�for the Mavony and Rivomena blocks off Madagascar's west coast. The blocks cover 35 million acres in 2,000-3,000 m. XPRONET will operate the blocks. The company intends to examine existing geophysical data and acquire 2D seismic data over the areas.

Lakes Oil Ltd. of Melbourne has acquired an offshore South Australian Otway Basin permit that contains the Troas gas discovery. Troas 1 was drilled by BHP Petroleum Pty Ltd in partnership with Lakes and other participants in 1992. It found a 98-m gross hydrocarbon column (mostly gas) that was not tested at the time. Troas has estimated resources of 418 bcf which Lakes believes could be developed under a third-party proposal to link Melbourne and Adelaide by pipeline. The find is about 20km offshore the town of Robe.

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