Exploration/Development news briefs, July 17

BP Amoco ... Unocal ... BHP Petroleum ... ADMA-OPCO ... Petroleum Geo-Services ... KazTransGas ... Tractebel ... Rosneft ... Shell ... Lukoil ... Gazprom ... Petrotech Peruana ... Maple Gas

Owners of Mad Dog field in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico have agreed that the field likely extends beyond the originally delineated Green Canyon 825 and 826 blocks and the southern half of Block GC 782. As a result, they have extended their partnership to include interests in adjoining blocks. The new agreement expands the Mad Dog field area to include Green Canyon 738, 739, 781, 783, 827, and the northern half of 782. BP Amoco PLC operates Mad Dog. The previous holdings in the 2� block area were BP Amoco, 63.56%; Unocal Corp., 25%; and BHP Petroleum Pty. Ltd., 11.44%. With the new agreement covering eight blocks, BP Amoco holds 60.5%; Unocal, 15.6%; and BHP, 23.9%. Additional appraisal drilling is planned, says Unocal.

ADMA-OPCO, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., let contract to Petroleum Geo-Services ASA to conduct a 3D survey of Zakum field off Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. The survey will cover 1,500 sq km and take 15 months. Work should begin this month.

New Kazakh state natural gas pipeline operator KazTransGas has won a tender to develop the Amangeldy group of gas fields in Zhambyl oblast, according to local television program Business-Khabar reported. About five domestic companies competed to win the development contract. Development costs for the Amangeldy fields are estimated at $120 million. By developing these gas fields, Kazakhstan hopes to relieve the southern regions of the republic from dependence on gas supplies from Uzbekistan. Proven reserves at Amangeldy are estimated at 25 billion cu m of gas. Demand for gas in the southern regions totals about 1.5 billion cu m/year. KazTransGas was founded in February of this year and took over management of Kazakhstan's natural gas pipeline system following the departure of Belgian firm Tractebel last month.

The Russian Duma has approved two production-sharing agreements for state-owned Rosneft in the first reading. This is expected to make Rosneft more attractive to investors when it is put up for sale. The two PSAs provide tax incentives for the development of Kharampurskoye and Komsomolskoye fields in Western Siberia, which together hold postulated reserves of 300 million tonnes of oil and 655 billion cu m of gas. The company reportedly is in talks on possible cooperation with Shell, seen as one of the main potential bidders for Rosneft (in alliance with Lukoil and Gazprom). Komsomolskoye is already in production, yielding about 2 million tonnes/year of oil. It is believed to hold 150 million tonnes of crude and 55 billion cu m of gas. Rosneft says it may need $5 billion to develop the field over the next 20 years. Kharampurskoye, meanwhile, is yielding about 2.5 million tonnes/year of oil and holds an estimated 150 million tonnes of oil and 600 billion cu m of gas. This field will require about $3.2 billion in investments.

Petrotech Peruana SA said it made an oil find with the LN-1X exploration well off Peru. On test, one zone flowed 300 b/d of 34� gravity oil, the company said. Four other productive zones in the Salina have not yet been tested, said the firm. The well was drilled on Block Z-2B in 80 ft of water. Petrotech plans to drill two more exploratory wells this year in structures identified by seismic. So far this year, Petrotech has collected 348 km of 2D seismic and 64 sq km of 3D. This is the second well drilled in Peru this year�the first was drilled onshore by Maple Gas Corp. in central jungle Block 31-D.

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