Exploration/Development news briefs, Oct. 3

Oct. 3, 2001
Novus Petroleum ... BlackRock Ventures ... First Calgary Petroleums ... Sonatrach ... Nexen ... TotalFinaElf ... Statoil

Novus Petroleum Ltd., Sydney, has signed an exploration and production-sharing agreement for Blocks 15 and 47 in Oman. Novus will undertake a 3-year work program that includes 2D seismic reprocessing and acquisition. The blocks cover 9,928 sq km. Novus is producing gas and condensate from the Bukha offshore gas field in Oman Block 8, in the Strait of Hormuz and is exploring in Block 17.

First Calgary Petroleums Ltd., Calgary, and Algerian national oil company Sonatrach will jointly explore Block 405b in the Berkine basin of Algeria. The block covers 1,108 sq km. It contains two already-drilled wells, one of which is a cased gas well drilled in 1995 that tested 42 MMcfd of gas from three zones and 1,200 b/d of condensate. FCP agreed to explore Block 406a in June 2000.

Nexen Inc. has agreed to acquire interests in four leases in Vermilion Block 76 field for $39.7 million from an unnamed seller. Nexen will have a 100% interest in the leases and will be the operator. The field is in 35 ft of water 70 miles southwest of Lafayette, La. President and CEO Charlie Fischer said the field producing from four of 24 productive horizons. He said the company plans to add reserves and production through a program of added compression, new wells, and recompletions of existing wells.

Algeria has awarded TotalFinaElf SA a permit in the Berkine Basin east of Hassi Messaoud comprising three blocks (432, 444 South, and 403 North) covering 3,080 sq km. The work commitment includes a 500-km 2D seismic survey and the drilling of two wells.

Statoil AS drilled a dry hole with an exploration well in the Skuld field on Block 16/2-2 in Norwegian North Sea production license 265. Statoil is committed to drilling another exploratory well on the block. Statoil has 30% of the Skuld prospect, the Norwegian state 30%, ExxonMobil Corp. 25%, and Enterprise Oil PLC 15%.