Exploration/Development briefs, Oct. 20

Abraxas Petroleum � Bligh Oil & Minerals � Fletcher Challenge Energy � Bow Valley Energy � Miller Exploration � Key Production � Remington Oil & Gas � Ramco Energy � Sonatrach � Magnum Hunter Resources � Vintage Petroleum � Stone Energy

Abraxas Petroleum Corp., San Antonio, Tex., said it successfully tested a second horizontal drilling well, the Sage Grouse 3H, in Wyoming's Brooks Draw field. The well produced at an initial rate of more than 400 b/d of oil and associated gas. The field's first horizontal well, the Middleton 3H, has produced more than 8,500 b/d oil and gas over the past 37 days, and is currently producing 200 b/d. The production rates of both wells are being restricted to minimize natural gas production until a natural gas sales outlet is available.

Bligh Oil & Minerals NL's wholly owned subsidiary Marabella Enterprises Ltd. has entered an agreement with Fletcher Challenge Energy Ltd. (FCE) to earn a 10% interest in petroleum exploration permit 38718 in New Zealand, said Bligh. The agreement was part of a transaction wherein FCE also agreed to earn a 30% participating agreement in Bligh's PEP 38728, which is immediately north of the Rimu oil discovery. Drilling activity is about to begin on the Tuihu prospect, located in the northern third of PEP 38718, said Bligh. In September, FCE farmed out 20% of the prospect to Origin Energy Ltd. (OGJ Online, Sept. 13, 2000).

Bow Valley Energy Ltd., Calgary, reports an appraisal well in the northeast sector of the Kyle field in the British North Sea confirms the presence of significant crude oil reserves. The company said the Kyle 29/2c-13 appraisal well flowed on test at 11,000 b/d under facilities-constrained conditions. It said technical analysis indicates the well has the potential to produce more than 20,000 b/d. Meanwhile, Bow Valley said the Kyle 29/2c 12z extended well test is continuing with production to date of more than 1.4 million bbl at an average rate of 10,000 b/d. Testing will be completed in November.

Miller Exploration Co. said it has participated in a Cotton Valley discovery with the Crosby 5-2 No. 1 well in Covington County, Miss . The well was drilled to 18,330 ft and found "potentially productive" pay zones in the Cotton Valley, Hosston, and Rodessa formations. The formation was tested and flowed at rates up to 3 MMcfd and 528 b/d of condensation a 18/64-in. choke from a perforated interval from 17,906-17,927 ft with a flowing pressure of 2,437 pounds psi. Miller has a 23% working interest in this well. Key Production owns 37.5%, and Remington Oil & Gas Corp. owns 20%. The anticipated date of first sales is December 1, 2000.

Ramco Energy PLC said it has decided to temporarily suspend the MOC-1z well in the Muradkhanli field in Azerbaijan after perforating and testing the lowermost section of the main target reservoir, the Middle Eocene I-Marl. MOC-1z is a sidetrack to MOC-1. Ramco is evaluating options to work over the well to improve productivity of the perforated zone and to test the other prospective intervals higher in the well. The Muradkhanli field, which was discovered in 1969, is 110 miles south west of Baku. The production-sharing contract area covers 565 sq km. The PSA gives Ramco a 50% interest in Muradkhanli, Jafarli and Zardab fields in the contract area, with SOCAR retaining 50%.

Algerian state oil and gas company Sonatrach announced an oil discovery in the south of the country, 150 km west of Hassi Messaoud. The find, made at a depth of 3,330 m in the Dorman well on the Seif El Arf permit, tested at an hourly rate of 8.3 cu m of oil and 592 cu m of gas. The Sonatrach discovery is the fifth in Algeria in 2000, where a greater exploration effort has been underway since the beginning of the year. According to Sonatrach sources, since January some 20 wells had been bored, of which 11 were in association with foreign partners.

Magnum Hunter Resources Inc. has earmarked $65 million, mostly for exploration and drilling spending, in the company's 2000 capital budget program. The larger budget is specifically dedicated for completion of wells and the fabrication of production platform facilities for the Gulf of Mexico, Magnum Hunter said Thursday. The increase marks the second time Magnum Hunter has allocated more funding for its capital expenditure budget during 2000. So far this year, Magnum Hunter has drilled 12 new exploration discoveries in the shallow water Gulf of Mexico.

Vintage Petroleum Inc. finished drilling the Rio Cotapino well in Ecuador's Block 19. It was drilled to 7,060 ft but was not productive in the primary target Hollin formation, and was not commercially productive in the secondary target, Napo-T formation. The Napo-T formation tested at 50 b/d of 15� crude. The well completes Vintage's drilling obligation on the block, said Vintage. The company estimates the well cost about $2.3 million.

Stone Energy Corp., Lafayette, La., said its OCS-G-2899 No. D-2 discovery well has logged pay in two sands in a previously untested fault block at Eugene Island Block 243 in the Gulf of Mexico. Logs run at 14,597 feet indicate gas pay totaling 123 net ft and 33 net ft of oil, plus an additional 135-ft gross interval of laminated, low-resisitivity sand comparable to the gas productive section in adjacent fault blocks. Stone has decided to keep a rig on site to drill a delineation well once the D-2 well has been drilled and completed. Stone will build and install a new platform in May 2001. Stone also will build a production facility to handle the anticipated increase in production on the property. Stone holds an 89.1% working interest and a 68.3% net revenue interest in the well and property. A private, undisclosed partnership that Stone jointly manages holds the balance of that interest.

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