following is a listing of some of the industry developments in 2003,
as reported by IHS Energys Global E&P Reporting Service:
the Woolybut oil field in Carnarvon Basin permit WA-234-P in April,
some six years after discovery. The field has been performing above
expectations and is flowing 41,000 bod.
Shell brought onstream its $US 650 million Bijupira Salema project
in the Campos Basin at 20,000 bod and exported its first tanker
load soon after becoming the first foreign operator to do so.
Unocal announced the commencement of development drilling on Phase
One of its Makassar Strait West Seno oil and gas field, Indonesia's
first deepwater development. First production from five wells was
achieved in August at 12,000-15,000 bod, and this was expected to
reach up to 40,000 bod by the end of 2003.
Qatar Petroleum and ExxonMobil announced the launch of phase one
of the Al Khaleej Gas (AKG-1) project. This will produce gas from
the giant North Field, recover associated condensate and natural
gas liquids and market 1.75 Bcf/d of gas for both domestic and export
Amromco started gas production from the rehabilitated Finta-Gheboaia
Field marking the first commercial hydrocarbon production in Romania
by a foreign company since World War II. More than 100 wells on
several gas fields in southern Romania are due to be rehabilitated
by Amromco under the program. Wintershall is to be the second to
start production as the company is due to bring its Sighisoara three
gas wells into production by the end of 2003.
Sakhalin Energy awarded contracts for the $US 3.2 billion second
phase of the offshore Sakhalin 2 development project, which will
see the construction of Russias first LNG plant. This phase
will require the building of two 800-kilometer pipelines that will
connect production facilities of the offshore Sakhalin 2 project
with an oil terminal on the ice-free southern coast of the island
where an LNG plant will be built near the Prigorodnoye settlement.
trial production started from the Haradh gas plant with the last
of the four trains starting up two months later. In addition to
the development of the Haradh sector gas, the project also involves
the development of a series of nearby non-associated sweet gas and
Total advised that production from the Balal oil field had reached
40,000 bod, and that operatorship had been handed over to NIOC.
started development drilling on the Angostura Field in the East
Coast Marine Area Block 2(c). It is viewed as significant not only
for its location in a previously unproductive part of the Columbus
Sub-basin but also for its Oligocene age reservoirs.
baseball parlance, 2003 was a year where singles and doubles added
up to make a winner -- even though the fans were wanting to see
towering home runs.
"did not produce much in the way of large and exciting new finds
that were not anticipated," said IHS senior editor Ken White, but
it was nevertheless a good year for the industry with success rates
averaging over 40 percent.
levels are down, White said the success rate indicates operators
are being more selective in the prospects they drill, and that greater
resources, particularly 3D seismic, continue to be employed.
feature that appears to be encouraging, White continued, is discoveries
in established areas.
he said, "the finds in Poland and the Cooper Basin in Australia,
-- the latter, although small by world standards, represents a major
company making success for the minnows involved."
feature of 2003, according to White, appears to have been deals
-- or, in some cases, the lack of them.
one hand we had the $US 6.75 billion deal between BP and Tyumen
Oil, and Sidanco and Devon acquiring Ocean Energy for $US 5.3 billion,"
he said. "The failed deals included the much publicized $US 13 billion
tie up between Yukos and Sibneft and, of course, the $US 25 billion
Saudi Gas Initiative that comprised three projects and which had
been under discussion since 1998."
Global E&P Reporting Service, whose editors cover E&P activity
in more than 200 countries, provided information on major discoveries
of 2003. That list includes:
deepwater discoveries were made off Angola in 2003. One of the more
important is the Total-operated Gindingo 1, the company's first
strike in ultra-deepwater Block 32. The well tested 7,400 b/d and
5,700 b/d of light oil from two separate zones. It is located in
1,445 meters of water and the structure could straddle the limit
between Block 32 and Block 16 operated by CNR.
the Nsiko 1 wildcat in deepwater block OPL 249, operated by ChevronTexaco,
was confirmed as an oil discovery. It reportedly encountered a substantial
amount of net hydrocarbon pay in multiple zones, one of which was
tested and flowed 6,500 b/d of high quality crude. Pre-drill reserve
estimates were in excess of 300 mmbo.
operated three Carnarvon Basin oil strikes in 2003, having combined
recoverable reserves in excess of 120 mmb. These were:
Crosby 1 in permit WA-12-R, which encountered a gross oil column
of 34.7 meters with 29.4 meters of net pay and in place reserves
of 100 mmb.
In WA-155-P Ravensworth 1 established 43.5 meters of net pay in
the Lower Barrow Group, to which recoverable reserves of 50 mmb
have been assigned.
The smallest of the three, Skiddaw in WA-255-P, has recoverable
reserves of 35.5 mmb and already has been appraised by one well.
had a banner year, making a 14.8 tcf discovery in the BS-400 Block
in the Santos Basin. The 4-SPS-035 discovery and 1-SPS-37A could
conceivably change Brazil's natural gas strategy. The company also
appears to have discovered long-sought-after crude oil both in the
Sergipe/Alagoas Basin and Espirito Santo Basin. In the former, the
1-SES-147 discovery on SEAL 100 Block reportedly found 150 mmb of
42 degree oil. In the BES-100 Block in the Espirito Santo, the 1-ESS-123
reportedly found 450 mmbo of 40 degree oil.
also has found another 2.95 billion barrels of heavy in the Campos
Basin, including 950 million barrels in the Jubarte and Cachalote
fields and 150 million barrels in the Marlim Leste Field.
Brazil has not proved very friendly to outsiders, El Paso did make
a gas discovery close to infrastructure in the Santos Basin that
caused the company to reconsider pulling out of Brazil: the 1-ELPS-14B-SPS
in BS-001 Block.
it was confirmed that the BHP-Billiton-operated Howler 1 wildcat
was a gas and condensate discovery. It is an important Upper Cretaceous
find, as this reservoir unit has not been a significant producer
in Trinidad & Tobago. Local sources indicate BHP-Billiton tested
18 mmcfg/d and 137 bc/d from the Upper Cretaceous Naparima Hill
PDVSA completed the Tacata 2X wildcat in the Maturin sub-basin as
an oil and gas discovery after conducting extensive tests on the
Capaya and Carapita formations. Venezuelan vice minister of hydrocarbon
and PDVSA's director Luis Vierma, stated that the Tacata 2X well
is a major oil and gas discovery, and is estimated to contain 236
mmb of light and medium oil and up to 3 tcf of gas
had a particularly good year, reporting nearly 40 potentially commercial
discoveries in a number of basins both onshore and off. Three of
the more recent completions have resulted in significant reserve
additions. Huo 10, with 700 mmb oil in place, is described as a
major breakthrough in the foreland belt along the southern margin
of the onshore Junggar Basin. Maoba 1 in the onshore Sichuan Basin
is deemed to have established reserves of 1.1 tcf of gas, and appraisal
wells 2 and 3 are believed under way. Also in the onshore Sichuan
Basin is Puguang 1, a deep test that was spudded in 2001. Drilled
to a total depth of 5,700 meters, the well has tapped a structure
with reserves possibly in excess of 3 tcf of gas.
wells are mooted, one of which is believed to have spudded.
significant well was the Dhirubhai (D6-D 1) discovery in April,
which followed on from the previous Dhirubhai discoveries (1 to
4) in 2002. This further extended the Dhirubhai structures, and
confirmed them as the biggest gas discovery in India for almost
three decades. Latest revised figures suggest gross in-place reserves
of 8.6 tcf. The eighth well drilled on the Reliance Industry KG-DWN-98/3
block, D6-D 1 is believed to have encountered in excess of 100 meters
of net gas pay.
Unocal abandoned its Ranggas Selatan 1 wildcat in the Makassar Strait
Rapak PSC as an oil and gas discovery. In June Unocal abandoned
its Gehem 1 wildcat in the Makassar Strait Ganal PSC as an oil and
gas discovery. It encountered 188 meters net gas and condensate
pay and five meters net oil pay. Gehem 1 is located about midway
between the Ranggas oil and gas discovery 10 kilometers to the northwest
in the adjacent Rapak PSC and the Gada gas discovery 10 kilometers
to the southeast.
extend Unocal's deepwater success there.
the Agip KCO consortium tested 1,550 bo/d at Aktote 1 (AK 1) wildcat
and also confirmed that exploration well Kashagan SW 1 (KSW 1) tested
2,100 bo/d on a 32/64-inch choke from a Carboniferous interval.
Both wells will impact on the reserves base offshore Kazakhstan,
where the Agip KCO is developing the nine-billion-barrel Kashagan
vast majority of drilling remains onshore, Russia made two important
offshore discoveries. In the Caspian Sea, Lukoil recorded its fourth
consecutive strike in the Severniy license with the Sarmatskaya
1 wildcat, which tested oil and gas from three Jurassic intervals.
Pre-drill reserve estimates were 879 mmboe. Forming part of Gazprom's
drive to increase gas reserves off the Yamal Peninsula, its Gasflot
subsidiary tested 13.7 mmcfg/d from Cenomanian reservoirs in the
Obskaya 1 well. Reserves are estimated at 1.7 tcf.
announced in April that it had discovered a 47-meter gross oil column
in the Heimdal Formation 25/4-7 (Kneler) exploration well. The well
was the first of three designed to evaluate the West Heimdal area.
prove to be a landmark year for PGNG, as in its Gorzow Wielkopolski-Miedzychod
69/98/p license it confirmed two further discoveries in an accumulation
that has estimated in-place reserves of 730-1,100 mmb with 20-50
percent recoverable. The two new finds were Grotow 1 and Lubiatow
1 -- the latter establishing an oil column of 53 meters, approximately
the entire thickness of the dolomite section.