Myanmar's Mann field awaits search, investment

March 20, 2000
A large onshore oil field in Myanmar has responded to initial production enhancement work and is in line for a large waterflood project later this year.

A large onshore oil field in Myanmar has responded to initial production enhancement work and is in line for a large waterflood project later this year.

Mann field also seems ripe for subthrust, flank, and deeper pool exploration, the new operator said. Myanmar Petroleum Resources Ltd., Yangon, Myanmar, with 100% working interest, purchased a workstation and is interpreting reprocessed data from a 31,000-acre 3D seismic survey conducted in 1997.

Mann field, discovered in 1960, produces about 3,000 b/d of 37-40° gravity oil, including about 740 b/d of incremental production from remedial work.

An agreement signed several years ago to redevelop the field fell apart after the other parties withdrew one by one, said U. Moe Myint, chief executive officer. MPRL, with field revenues of $6 million/year including positive cash flow of around $4 million/year from the incremental production, is pressing ahead by itself and is also open to outside investment in the project, Myint said.

MPRL operates the field under a production compensation contract (PCC) with state Myanma Oil & Gas Enterprise.

Mann field rundown

Mann field covers about 4,000 acres on a 20,000-acre contract area in the central basin about 350 miles north of Yangon.

About 200 of the field's 648 original wells are producing. Oil reservoirs are in 26 stacked sandstones at 2,200-7,000 ft. Producing formations are Miocene Kyaukkok and Pyawbwe, Oligocene Okhmintaung, and Upper Eocene Padaung.

Mann field production peaked at 24,000 b/d in 1979. Crude oil is shipped by pipeline to the Thanbayagan refinery 15 km to the south, one of three refineries in the country. The refinery has capacity to run as much as 10,000 b/d of Mann crude and could take up to 25,000 b/d with refurbishment, MPRL said.

A small volume of produced gas is burned in a turbine near the field to supply power for central Myanmar. Gas demand exceeds supply. MOGE buys all hydrocarbons at the wellhead.

Modern activities

MPRL was one of five parties that signed a PCC in October 1996 to enhance production from and further explore the field.

Other parties that were to have funded field operations to be conducted by Baker Hughes Inc. under another agreement withdrew with recession in Southeast Asia and low oil prices, leaving MPRL as sole remaining participant, subject to government approval. MPRL has cost-recovery rights to $52 million of past expenditures.

MPRL has gone ahead with operations on its own since Oct. 1, 1999, retaining all staff and assuming full responsibility for costs and contract liabilities and obligations.

The operator has allocated budget for a 1,000-acre pilot waterflood program to commence in mid-2000. That is to consist of three injection wells and 29 producing wells. Well rehabilitation is under way.

MPRL is seeking an investor to put up 100% of forward costs in exchange for as much as a 40% interest, including the current revenue stream, said Brian Logan, country manager.

Exploration potential

MPRL considers the contract area only lightly explored because of the limited drilling technology and resources available to MOGE.

The company considers that about $15 million would pay for a decent exploration program because infrastructure is established, materials are on hand, and costs are low.

Such a program would include 3D interpretation, reservoir modeling, continued production operations and overhead for 3 years, and drilling four to six wells.

Sand-shale sequences are believed to exist to 20,000 ft or more, and oil source rocks are thought to lie as deep as 30,000 ft. The northern part of the field is subject to surface flooding from the Ayeyarwady River and is lightly drilled.

The field's deepest well, No. 636, went to TD 12,959 ft in Padaung. It did not reach the Shwezettaw objective.

Subthrust prospects on the eastern flank range from less than 2,000 ft in the south to 10,000 ft in the northern part of the field. The eastern and western flank prospects will require wells of the same depth.

The deepest target is in the north, where the plunging nose of the anticline will require a 15,000 ft well to reach Upper Shwezettaw.

The Schwezettaw targets in the south are at 7,000-10,000 ft. Exploration targets in the south include Padaung at 10,000-12,000 ft.

MPRL identified 11 prospects before seismic reprocessing that held combined potential of 106 million bbl. Initial study of the reprocessed data indicated good quality and resolution, and drillable prospects are being assembled.