Area Drilling

April 26, 1999
CGG Marine launched what it termed the world's largest seismic vessel, the 11,500 ton CGG Aliz?. The 25,000 hp diesel electric vessel can deploy 100 km of streamers from 16 winches. It has full onboard 3D processing and satellite link capability. The energy ministry granted Gustavson Associates Inc., Boulder, Colo., an exploration license on a 350,000 acre North Sea block along the Farsund basin's southern rim.


CGG Marine launched what it termed the world's largest seismic vessel, the 11,500 ton CGG Aliz?.

The 25,000 hp diesel electric vessel can deploy 100 km of streamers from 16 winches. It has full onboard 3D processing and satellite link capability.


The energy ministry granted Gustavson Associates Inc., Boulder, Colo., an exploration license on a 350,000 acre North Sea block along the Farsund basin's southern rim.

Gustavson visualizes generation of hydrocarbons in the Farsund depression with migration possible into Jurassic Haldager and Gassum sandstones. Juxtaposition to an adequate source rock "kitchen" has not been demonstrated.

Primarily in consulting, Gustavson intends to take initial exploration risks, identify possible traps, and turn the block to clients or others. The area, directly south of southernmost Norway, consists of blocks 5707/19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 30, and 31.


Wavetech Geophysical Inc., Denver, proposed a nonexclusive regional seismic survey in the Mediterranean over the Nile Delta off Egypt.

The survey is intended to provide a better understanding of the structure and development of the Nile Delta and Egyptian shelf from a regional point of view. The regional layout extends over the entire extent of the Egyptian offshore, including deepwater areas. The proposed program includes a total of 2,925 km of high fold, long offset data. Acquisition is planned for late summer 1999.

Meanwhile, Egypt launched a licensing round to close Oct. 31, 1999, and consisting of a total of 15 blocks in all of the country's major basins.

Equatorial Guinea

The ministry extended to Aug. 2, 1999, the bid deadline for the current deepwater licensing round. Bidders are free to define royalty increments between the minimum 10% and maximum 16% set by the November 1998 hydrocarbons law.


Exploration is likely to be concentrated the next few years off West Greenland south of 71° N. Lat., in the Disko-Nuussuaq areas onshore West Greenland, and in Jameson Land, East Greenland, says Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland.

The government set a closing date of Oct. 1, 2001, for license applications in the West Greenland offshore. License terms are to be made public after the first well is drilled in the Fylla license area. That well, to be drilled in 2000, would be the country's first offshore exploratory well in more than 20 years.

The open door licensing policy remains in effect for areas off West Greenland between 60-63° N. Lat. and 68-71° N. Lat.


Oil India Ltd. found commercial oil in Eocene sandstone reservoirs on its concession in the central Upper Assam basin. The discovery, at 4,672 m in Moran field, is thought to hold reserves of 5-6 million metric tons of oil plus some gas based on one well drilled.

Also, ONGC said it has a commercial gas find at 2,660 m on the B-105 prospect in the Bombay offshore basin. The well cut 27 m of Eocene pay and 6 m of Miocene pay. The well flowed 340,000 cu m/day. ONGC has probed four prospects in the area, 35 km northwest of Bombay High field, and estimates total reserves at 5-6 billion cu m.


Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Co. has prepared location and plans to spud its Kolmani wildcat in Bauchi state, northeastern Nigeria.

Projected depth and formation were not available for the Gongola basin exploratory test.


The government granted two exploration licenses to a joint venture of Oil & Gas Development Co. Ltd. and Government Holdings.

These cover the 1,107 sq km Kharar Block 3070-5 in Barghan and DG Khan districts and the 520 sq km Sohawa Block 32 in Rawalpindi, Jhelum, and Chakwal districts. The companies plan to spend $11.4 million during three years gathering 300 line km of seismic and drilling two exploration wells.


More land drilling is likely in western Newfoundland this year.

Pan Ocean Explorations Inc., Vancouver, B.C., reached agreement with Mobil Oil Canada Ltd. covering two onshore blocks in the York Harbour project. Pan Ocean will drill an 8,000 ft, continuously cored, slim hole exploratory well this spring or summer to earn a 60% working interest in 93,736 acre Exploration Permit 96-113 on the south side of the Bay of Islands (see map, OGJ, Oct. 27, 1997, p. 79).

The company has the options to later acquire 50 km of seismic to earn a 10% interest and later drill a well to similar depth to earn a 60% stake in 92,620 acre Permit 96-116 to the north.

The areas are about 50 km northeast of the PanCanadian Shoal Point K-39 well being drilled now (OGJ, Feb. 15, 1999, p. 69).

Nova Scotia

Hunt Oil Co., Dallas, has received tentative exploration rights to about 720,000 acres in central Nova Scotia.

Final approval would require Hunt to file a working plan and post a bond, the Nova Scotia Petroleum Directorate said. The lands involved extend southward from Truro, N.S. The provincial department of natural resources reported a natural gas flow on the lands in the area in 1987 when it was drilling core holes for potash and salt.

Gulf of Mexico

Santa Fe Energy Resources Inc. completed two wells on South Timbalier Block 186.

The C-1 well flowed 20.2 MMcfd of gas with more than 1,779 b/d of condensate on a 21/64 in. choke with 6,350 psi FTP from 13,390-470 ft.

The C-2 well flowed 12.6 MMcfd and 411 b/d of condensate on a 26/64 in. choke with 6,600 psi FTP from 15,234-257 ft.


Snyder Oil Corp., Fort Worth, planned to abandon a Jurassic Cotton Valley pinnacle reef wildcat in Winn Parish. Logs, cores, and shows provided encouragement regarding the 1 Bozeman, in 6-12n-3w, drilled to 16,230 ft in a sidetrack. However, test results were disappointing, and the company said it does not have a sufficient understanding of the reefs.

Quest Exploration LLC, Lafayette, La., gauged a well in Egan field, Acadia Parish.

The 1 Regan, in 8-10s-1w, flowed 3.3 MMcfd of gas and 36 b/d of condensate on a 14/64 in. choke with 3,250 psi FTP from an undisclosed zone, said Combined Resources Group, San Antonio, a participant.


The state supervisor of wells issued an order allowing operators of Devonian Antrim shale wells to drill multiple laterals from existing wells in 22 counties, reports Michigan Oil & Gas News.

The order allows such activity without obtaining additional permits or filing directional surveys. The operator is required to obtain an exemption to the drilling or rework permit and certify that laterals lie within the footage tolerance.

Directional surveys are not possible with at least one lateral drilling technique. Most Antrim gas wells are on 80 acre units.

The counties: Alcona, Alpena, Antrim, Arenac, Bay, Benzie, Charle- voix, Crawford, Grand Traverse, Iosco, Kalkaska, Lake, Leelanau, Mason, Manistee, Missaukee, Montmorency, Ogemaw, Oscoda, Otsego, Roscommon, and Wexford.


Encore Acquisition Partners Inc., Fort Worth, plans to acquire by June 1 Shell Western E&P Inc.'s interests in the Cedar Creek anticline area of eastern Montana/western North Dakota.

The properties cover 120,000 gross contiguous acres. They produce 14,000 b/d (7,000 b/d net), including nearly 500 wells, some 450 of which Shell operates. Encore, formed a year ago, will study the asset for 6-12 months before starting a drilling program.


South Weber Energy Corp., Dallas, plans to spud the 2 Nordia Grande, in First Shot field, Gonzales County, this month.

Its 1 Nordia Grande flowed 1,040 b/d of 47° gravity oil with 1 MMcfd of gas on a 14/64 in. choke with 2,700 psi FTP from Cretaceous Lower Austin chalk. Horizontal displacement is 4,106 ft at 10,416 ft TVD. Production averaged 714 b/d, 800 Mcfd, and 10 b/d of water through Mar. 31.

Helmerich & Payne Inc., Tulsa, said initial flow from a Jurassic Cotton Valley pinnacle reef at its 1 Willingham well in Leon County indicated "reserve values significantly below its carrying cost."

The well will remain on production. It encountered about 300 ft of reef, and log indications were positive. TD is 16,110 ft in a sidetrack. H&P applied an acid breakdown and later a frac job, resulting in a flow of 1.1 MMcfd of gas with 950 psi FTP.

Corda Corp., Dallas, plans to drill five more wells in the Hardeman basin in 1999.

Its 1X Minshew Unit, in the city limits of Quanah, Tex., Hardeman County, flowed 107 b/d of 41° gravity oil with 14 Mcfd of gas on a 5/64 in. choke with 820 psi FTP from Mississippian Chappel perforations at 8,250-56 ft. Corda assumed operations from Trio Operating Co.

Gulf Coast

HS Resources Inc., Denver, plans to start production by end-April from a well in M Half Circle field, discovered in 1981.

The 1 M Half Circle Ranch, in Jefferson County, flowed 8.6 MMcfd of gas on a 14/64 in. choke with 534 b/d of oil with 8,960 psi FTP from Oligocene.

The well is on the South Jefferson County 3D seismic project, which covers 9,800 acres of leases on which more prospects have been identified and are to be drilled this year, said Esenjay Exploration Inc., Houston, 25% working interest owner.

West Virginia

Fox Oil & Gas Inc., Washington, Pa., staked two wildcats to Devonian Oriskany on the Eastern Overthrust Belt. The 1 TG&C Coal, in Piedmont district, Westernport quad, Mineral County, is projected to 10,117 ft. The 2 Broadwater, in New Creek district, Westernport quad, is projected to 9,148 ft. The sites are 2 miles northeast of Keyser gas field, IHS Energy Group reported. Fox has also staked an Oriskany test in Allegany County, Md. (OGJ, Apr. 19, 1999, p. 99).


Gas reserves and production are dominating oil figures in the state.

The state's gas reserves are estimated at 14.32 tcf, fourth highest in the U.S., said Don Likwartz, supervisor, Wyoming Oil & Gas Conservation Commission.

Total gas production grew to 3.28 bcfd in 1997 from 2.46 bcfd in 1990. The 1997 production was up almost 2% on the year, and 14% of the gas was carbon dioxide. Gas output was flat in 1998.

The state had 5,166 gas wells at yearend 1998. It has approved 3,300 permits for coalbed methane wells on state and private lands, including 1,735 that have been spudded and 1,363 that have been completed. About 64% of the 1997 gas output came from Lincoln, Sublette, Sweetwater, and Uinta counties in Southwestern Wyoming. Most of the rest came from the Powder River basin, where some 573 coalbed methane wells were producing.

Oil production averaged 178,000 b/d in 1998, down 7.8% on the year. The state had 9,121 oil wells at yearend, and drilling permits averaged 8-15/month from November 1998 through February 1999.

The number of seismic miles permitted rose 19% to 1,966 miles in 1998, 76% of which were 3D surveys.

Copyright 1999 Oil & Gas Journal. All Rights Reserved.