Exploration/Development news briefs, July 28

Bligh Oil & Minerals � Swift Energy New Zealand � Marabella Enterprises � Antrim International � Fletcher Challenge Energy � Origin Energy Resources NZ � Triton Energy � BHP � Sasol � China National Offshore Oil Corp. � Texaco � Arco � Petronas Carigali � Ramco

Bligh Oil & Minerals NL said the Rimu B-1 appraisal well has been spudded. The well is 2.4 km south-southeast of the Rimu A-1 discovery well in the Taranaki basin, New Zealand. Rimu A-1 tested 1,600 b/d of oil and 5 MMcfd of gas from perforations in the Tariki formation, Bligh said. Rimu B-1 will likely be drilled to about 3,750 m. Next, the Rimu B-2 will be drilled directionally from the Rimu B site. Production from the field is expected in early 2001. Swift Energy New Zealand Ltd. operates the B-1 well with 90% interest, Bligh subsidiary Marabella Enterprises Ltd. holds 5%, and Antrim International Inc. holds 5%.

Fletcher Challenge Energy Ltd.(FCE) and Origin Energy Resources NZ Ltd. agreed to farm into Bligh Oil & Minerals NL's exploration permit, PEP 38728, in the Taranaki basin, New Zealand. PEP 38728 covers 198.5 sq km, and straddles the north-south structural trend of the Tarata thrust system, which defines the eastern limits of the Taranaki basin. The permit lies directly north of the Rimu discovery on PEP 38719. Under the terms of the farmout agreement, FCE and Origin will jointly fund 100% of the cost of a seismic program on the permit. Under the agreement, Bligh subsidiary Marabella Enterprises Ltd. will hold 40% of the permit; FCE, 30%; and Origin, 30%.

Triton Energy Ltd. has acquired a 38% interest in the Tolo and Otiti blocks offshore Gabon, subject to approval by the Gabon government. Triton did not disclose terms of the agreement. Several prospects have been defined and evaluated using 3D seismic, Triton said. The company and its partners in the two blocks, operator Broken Hill Proprietary Co. Ltd., and Sasol, a South African company, plan to drill their first well in 5,400 ft of water on the Tolo block in 2001. The two blocks cover about 1.7 million acres south of Triton's Ceiba discovery offshore Equatorial Guinea and north of the Ogooue Delta region offshore Gabon. Water depths on the acreage are 650-6,500 ft.

China National Offshore Oil Corp. said it drilled a deviated horizontal well in Qinhuangdao (QHD) 32-6 oil field in Bohai Bay to 3,715 m TD (1,492 m true vertical depth). CNOOC said A26H oil well's ratio of horizontal displacement to total vertical depth was 2:1, a new record for Bohai offshore operation. The Chinese national company said QHD 32-6 field has 170 million tonnes of proved reserves, making it the third largest oilfield off China. CNOOC operates the field with partners Texaco Inc. and Arco.

Malaysian state oil firm Petronas said its subsidiary Petronas Carigali Sdn. Bhd. has made an oil find with the Alab-1 wildcat well, drilled in the Samarang-Asam Paya production sharing contract (PSC) off Sabah. Alab-1 was spudded May 22 and drilled to 3,724 m TD. It found five oil-bearing sand layers. A production test from one of these zones flowed at 4,700 b/d of oil. Further exploration activities, including more appraisal drilling and seismic data acquisition, are planned. Petronas said the new field is close to the production facilities of the Samarang fields, and may be put on track for early development. Petronas Carigali holds 100% of the PSC.

Ramco PLC reported it plans to drill its first well on its Kaheti Block X license onshore Georgia in the fourth quarter of the year. The well will be drilled to test a new play concept in the foothills of the greater Caucasus Mountains in eastern Georgia. The location, near the village of Ziari, is approximately 70 km east of Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia. The Ziari-1 well is planned to spud in early October and reach the planned 2,000 m TD in about 30 days. Ramco said its manages the block license through its local operating company, Kaheti Oil Ltd., which holds 100% of the foreign investor interest.

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