PDC Energy eyes Ohio exploration play

July 26, 2010
PDC Energy, Denver, formerly Petroleum Development Corp., will explore for gas and oil in Late Cambrian Rose Run sand and Early Ordovician Beekmantown carbonate remnants encased in shale in central Ohio.

PDC Energy, Denver, formerly Petroleum Development Corp., will explore for gas and oil in Late Cambrian Rose Run sand and Early Ordovician Beekmantown carbonate remnants encased in shale in central Ohio.

The first two wells are to spud in August 2010, with PDC Energy having 75% working interest and an undisclosed but experienced partner 25%. The pay zones are at 3,500-4,500 ft.

The partner, which has been involved in the play since the 1990s, provided 40,000 acres of the pair's current 50,000-acre holding, mainly in Fairfield, Hocking, western Perry, and southern Licking counties (see map, OGJ, Jan. 23, 1995, p. 61).

The seismic-dependent play has produced 375 bcf of natural gas equivalent, most of it since 1993, and the US Geological Survey estimated that 750 bcfe is undiscovered and recoverable, PDC Energy said. Recovery is expected to be 60-70% gas and 30-40% oil. PDC Energy expects to drill six proof-of-concept wells in this year's second half and finalize a leasing program of as many as 50,000 more acres. The partners own 75 line-miles of seismic data and will firm up plans in the rest of 2010 for their first 3D seismic survey.


Colombia awarded Alange Energy Corp., Toronto, three more exploratory blocks that total 217,418 ha in the Magdalena basin.

The VNM 35 block covers 7,704 ha in Middle Magdalena near Nare and Las Quinchas oil fields. The block's main reservoirs are Tertiary sandstones sourced by the La Luna formation in potential structures with oil higher than 15° gravity. The 36-month first exploration phase calls for seismic and one exploratory well.

The VSM 12 block covers 56,730 ha near San Francisco, largest oil field in Upper Magdalena. The block's main reservoirs are Caballos sandstones sourced by the Villeta formation, with 25° gravity oil or lighter. The 36-month initial phase calls for seismic and drilling one exploratory well.

The VSM 13 block, also in Upper Magdalena near Tello, Rio Ceibas, Pijao, Dina, and Tenay oil fields, covers 58,693 ha. It has potential for oil of 25° gravity or lighter in Caballos and Monserrat sandstones sourced by Villeta. The first 36-month period requires seismic and drilling one exploratory well.

Alange Energy in June was awarded the LLA 41 and COR 33 blocks in the Llanos and Cordillera basins, respectively.


Ophir Energy PLC will acquire from Wilton Petroleum Ltd. an 80% interest and operatorship of Marovoay Block 2102 in the Majunga basin onshore northwestern Madagascar.

The block, covering more than 12,000 sq km onshore from two offshore blocks held by ExxonMobil Corp., was awarded to Wilton following a competitive license round in 2006.

Ophir Energy said, "Wilton has undertaken an initial prospectivity assessment of the block that has included reprocessing of legacy seismic data, extensive field studies and sample analysis. A revised geological model has been developed following this work which has potentially significant implications for the prospectivity of the basin."

Ophir Energy plans to test the geological concepts by collecting 3,600 sq km of high-resolution gravity gradiometry and aeromagnetic data under a contract with UK potential field specialists ARKeX Ltd.

Ophir Energy will fund the new surveys, reimburse Wilton certain back costs, and, if it elects to drill, carry Wilton through the first two exploration wells subject to a financial cap on the extent of the carry.


A group led by ADX Energy Ltd., Perth, has spudded the Lambouka-1 exploratory well on the Kerkouane license in the Sicily Channel off Tunisia.

Lambouka, which straddles Kerkouane and the Pantelleria license off Italy, is a 70-sq km tilted horst block 160 km northeast of Tunis that contains three potentially hydrocarbon-bearing reservoirs. It is one of the largest undrilled prospects in the Mediterranean. Projected TD is 3,000 m.

ADX, through its subsidiary Alpine Oil & Gas Pty. Ltd., is operator with 30% interest, Gulfsands Petroleum PLC has 30%, Carnavale Resources Ltd. 20%, Bombora Energy Ltd. 10%, and PharmAust Ltd. 10%.


BP Exploration and Nexen Inc., Calgary, lead a group that plans to drill the North Uist prospect on the West of Shetlands P1192 license 110 km northwest of Sullom Voe later this year.

BP has 45% interest in the license, and Nexen has 35%. Nexen said the prospect has a target size much larger than typical North Sea targets. A previous license holder estimated the potential at 1 billion bbl of oil.

Faroe Petroleum, Aberdeen, which has 6.25% interest, calls the prospect Cardhu. Other interest holders are Idemitsu E&P Ltd. and CIECO Exploration and Production (UK) Ltd.


Gulf Coast

Clayton Williams Energy Inc., Midland, Tex., said its second Eagle Ford shale well, Smalley-Robinson Unit-1 in Burleson County, Tex., flowed 492 b/d of oil initially and 175 b/d most recently from a 5,500-ft lateral in Eagle Ford at 7,020 ft true vertical depth after a 13-stage frac.

The well is 111⁄2 miles from the first well, Broesche Unit-1, which flowed 234 b/d initially and is on pump at 46 b/d. The company will drill a third well to evaluate acreage in the western part of its Austin chalk acreage block and may drill other wells to determine whether an Eagle Ford shale drilling program is economically viable.

The company owns 100% working interest in both wells.

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