OGJ Newsletter

Jan. 23, 2012

Displaying 3/6 Page1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6Next>
View Article as Single page


New Zealand East Coast basin shale pursuit resumes

Exploratory drilling has resumed in New Zealand’s nonproducing East Coast basin after a long hiatus.

New Zealand Energy Corp., Vancouver, BC, will deepen the Ranui-1 well drilled to a total depth of 1,134 m by a previous operator on the 100% owned Ranui permit.

Initial drilling encountered 224 m of prospective Whangai shale, but the well did not reach the base of the shale. Upon reentry, NZEC will core as many as four Whangai shale intervals and drill through the base of Whangai into conventional reservoir sands to a planned 1,500 m. The company will run a full suite of open hole logs.

The company is analyzing core from two other test holes drilled in late 2011 on its 100% owned Castlepoint permit. The Orui core hole, TD 125 m, and Te Mai core hole, TD 195 m, cored and tested the Waipawa and Whangai shales. The two shales source more than 300 oil and gas seeps in the basin.

A review of the geochemical and physical properties of the two shale packages will help focus NZEC’s exploration strategy for the shales. The company’s technical team will reprocess existing seismic and plans to shoot 50 line-km of 2D seismic in 2012.

NZEC has two granted permits and one pending permit in the basin that combined cover more than 1.8 million acres.

Mozambique appraisal well cuts 777 ft of gas pay

A well that appraised the Anadarko Petroleum Corp. group’s Lagosta and Camarao discoveries has logged the largest pay count of any well in the complex offshore Mozambique to date.

Lagosta-2, 4.4 miles north of the Lagosta discovery and 5.3 miles south of the Camarao well, encountered 777 total net ft of natural gas pay in multiple zones.

Anadarko said the results “support our recoverable resource estimates of 15 to 30+ tcf of natural gas in the discovery area on our block, as well as provide additional information that will be incorporated into our models to help determine the optimal subsea development plans for the complex.”

Meanwhile, a second deepwater drillship, the Deepwater Millennium, arrived in Mozambique to begin an accelerated test program that will include installing observation gauges and conducting several drillstem tests. Final investment decision for the project is expected in 2013.

Lagosta-2 went to 14,223 ft in 4,813 ft of water in Offshore Area 1 in the Rovuma basin. The partnership will preserve Lagosta-2 for future use during the planned drillstem test program in the Windjammer, Barquentine, and Lagosta complex. Once operations are complete, the Belford Dolphin deepwater drillship will drill the Lagosta-3 appraisal well.

Anadarko is operator of 2.6-million-acre Offshore Area 1 with a 36.5% working interest. Co-owners are Mitsui E&P Mozambique Area 1 Ltd. 20%, BPRL Ventures Mozambique BV 10%, Videocon Mozambique Rovuma 1 Ltd. 10%, and Cove Energy Mozambique Rovuma Offshore Ltd. 8.5%. Mozambique’s Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos EP’s 15% interest is carried through the exploration phase.

Oregon enhanced geothermal well project nears

A field test of a technology known as enhanced geothermal systems could take place in mid-2012 at the inactive Newberry volcanic site in Deschutes County, Ore., 20 miles south of Bend.

Project operator AltaRock Energy Inc., Seattle, would intermittently inject 24 million gal of cold water into an already drilled 10,600-ft well at Newberry.

The water is expected to create fractures, starting about 6,000 ft deep, in a microseismicity process called hydroshear, similar to hydraulic fracturing, after which biodegradable plastic particles are dropped to seal the fractures temporarily.

Then more cold water is dumped, ostensibly creating successive fracture systems as deep as the bottom of the well and as far as 3,000 ft in diameter. After the plastic disintegrates, water could be circulated to create steam to generate electricity at the surface.

How large a fracture system could be created and how much steam it would return at what temperature are unknown. The technology’s likelihood of inducing earthquakes is also a concern.

The US Department of Energy is funding about half of the project’s $43 million cost. The other contributors include AltaRock, Davenport Newberry Holdings LLC, Stamford, Conn., and Google. The US Bureau of Land Management is accepting public comments on the project.

Developing a commercial project is considered to be at least a decade away. A few generating projects exist worldwide in known geothermal resource areas, but AltaRock maintains that if the fractures can be created artificially projects could be sited almost anywhere hot rocks exist near the surface for conventional rigs to drill multiple production wells.

CNPC gets three Afghanistan Amu Darya blocks

China National Petroleum Corp. has been awarded three Amu Darya basin exploratory blocks in Afghanistan’s 2011 license round.

The blocks are understood to be Kashkari, Bazarkhami, and Zamarudsay, which surround and lie east of the city of Faizabad in northwestern Afghanistan (see map, OGJ, May 4, 2009, p. 52).

Press reports said the Afghan cabinet approved the 25-year deal, which is to be signed in late January 2012, and that field work will likely begin in late 2012.

The Amu Darya basin contains giant gas-condensate fields across the border in Turkmenistan. Each of CNPC’s blocks contains one or more oil fields discovered in earlier years. The Kashkari block, which covers 425,753 acres, includes Angot, discovered in 1967 and understood to be Afghanistan’s only oil field to have been on sustained production.

Angot is 12 km south of the town of Sari Pol, site of Afghanistan’s only refinery.

Five companies had initially qualified to bid in the round: Buccaneer Energy of Australia, CNPC International Ltd., the Petroleum Exploration (Pvt.) Ltd. subsidiary of the Shahzad Group of Pakistan, Schlumberger Ltd. of France, and Tethys Petroleum of the UK (OGJ Online, Apr. 18, 2011).

Displaying 3/6 Page1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6Next>
View Article as Single page