Exploration highlights for 2013

Discoveries Made It a Year to Remember

A skyward view from the well at Eni’s Agulha discovery in Area 4, offshore Mozambique. Photo courtesy of Eni
A skyward view from the well at Eni’s Agulha discovery in Area 4, offshore Mozambique. Photo courtesy of Eni

Some highlights from international activity in 2013:

January

Petroamerica Oil Corp., Calgary, tested the No. 6 oil well in Las Maracas field in the Llanos Basin of Colombia at 600 barrels/day from the Une formation. The well found 100 feet measured depth of pay in the Mirador, Middle Gacheta, Lower Gacheta and Une.

Petroleo Brasileiro SA opened a deepwater postsalt oil reservoir in Marlim Sul field in the Campos Basin offshore Brazil with the 4-MLS-105D-RJS well, also called Mandarim. The Petrobras well cut a 100-foot oil column in Eocene arenaceous reservoirs at 2,965 feet.

Wintershall Norge AS, operator of production license 475 in the Norwegian Sea, made a gas/liquids discovery with wildcat 6407/1-6S. Exploration targets were in Middle Jurassic Garn and Ile formations and Cretaceous Lange formation.

Pan Orient Energy Corp., Calgary, said the L53-DC1 appraisal well on a fault block in L53 D East field in Thailand found 55 meters true vertical thickness of net oil pay in six sandstone reservoir intervals in the A4, A3, A2 and A1 zones.

February

Salamander Energy identified 131 feet of net oil and gas pay in stacked Pliocene channel sandstones with its South Kecapi-1 exploration well in the North Kutei Basin offshore Indonesia. On testing, the well flowed 6,000 barrels of light oil/day and eight million cubic feet/day (MMcfd).

Key Petroleum said it found oil shows in a 141-foot interval in the lower Grant and Goldwyer formations from 3,002-3,143 feet at its Cyrene-1 exploration well in the onshore Canning Basin, Western Australia. The well also targeted the deeper, conventional Willara formation.

ENI reported an oil discovery at its Rosa North 1X well in the Meleiha concession in Egypt’s Western Desert. It said the well encountered about 250 feet of pay in multiple sandstones of the Bahariya, Alam El Bueib, Khatatba and Ras Qattara reservoirs.

Chevron Corp.’s Kentish Knock South-1 exploration discovery well encountered about 75 meters of net gas pay in the upper Mungaroo Sands offshore Western Australia.

Harvest Natural Resources, Houston, announced an oil discovery in the pre-salt layer offshore Gabon, West Africa. The Dussafu Tortue Marin-1 was drilled in 380 feet of water to a vertical depth of 11,260 feet. A sidetrack found 65 feet of oil pay in the primary Dentale reservoir.

Gran Tierra Energy Inc. said initial drilling results from the Bretaña Norte 95-2-1XD exploration well in Peru indicated oil-saturated reservoir with a gross oil column of 99 feet.

Tullow Oil plc and Africa Oil Corp. tested a cumulative 2,351 barrels/day of oil from two shallow sands at the Twiga South-1 discovery well in northwestern Kenya. The well produced from two sands in the Auwerwer formation.

Abu Dhabi National Energy Co. hit oil at the new Darwin field offshore Scotland. Two oil columns were discovered next to the TAQA-operated Cormorant South, North Cormorant and Pelican fields in the northern North Sea.

Senex reported an unconventional gas find with the Paning-2 exploration well in onshore permit PEL 90 in the northern Cooper Basin, Australia. Senex said the well was drilled into a 13-square-mile structure estimated to contain 2.1 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of potential gas in place. It intersected 154 feet of net gas pay in Permian tight sands and 230 feet in Patchawarra Trough deep coals.

Pacific Rubiales Energy Corp. discovered gas and condensate with the Manamo-1X exploration well in the Guama Block in the Lower Magdalena Basin, onshore northern Colombia. Maximum flow was 4.9 MMcfd and 296 barrels of liquids/day. The well targeted low-permeability, Miocene Porquero Medio C and D sands and silts and found a new reservoir in the Medio D.

Bowleven plc said the IM-5 well offshore Cameroon encountered liquids-rich pay in both the Middle Isongo and Intra Isongo reservoir objectives. Additional sands were found below water contact. The well was drilled to 3,430 meters measured depth.

GeoPark Holdings Ltd. announced the discovery of the new Palos Quemados gas field on the Tranquilo Block in Chile. A test in the El Salto formation at about 2,641 feet yielded production of four Mmcfd.

Eni SpA confirmed the potential of the Mamba complex offshore Mozambique with the Coral 3 delineation well. Coral 3 hit 383 feet of gas pay in an Eocene reservoir and added at least four Tcf of gas in place in the country’s Area 4.

Hess Corp. drilled its seventh consecutive successful exploratory well on the deepwater Tano/Cape Three Points block offshore Ghana. The Pecan North-1 hit about 40 feet of net oil pay in a Turonian reservoir.

March

Apache Corp. completed an oil and gas/condensate discovery on the north flank of the Khalda Ridge in Egypt’s Western Desert. The Amoun NE-1X discovery tested at a combined rate of 3,186 barrels/day of oil and condensate and 11 Mmcfd from two zones in the Jurassic Upper and Lower Safa formations.

DONG Exploration & Production Norge found oil and gas with wildcat well 3/7-8S on production license 147 the southern North Sea, around 1.5 miles south of the Trym field. The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD) put preliminary estimates at 8.4 million-16.8 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe).

Lundin Petroleum announced a subsidiary discovered oil in the Ara-1 well drilled in Block PM308A offshore peninsular Malaysia. Ara-1 was drilled to13,221 feet in 246 feet water depth and encountered nine thin oil-bearing sands. The target was an extension of Paleogene intra-rift oil sands.

Qatar reported an offshore gas discovery of 2.5 Tcf at the 4-North offshore block near the large North Field. The exploration consortium includes Wintershall AG of Germany and Mitsui Gas Development Qatar.

Ecopetrol reported the presence of heavy oil at the Pastinaca 1 exploratory well within the Colombian town of Puerto Lopez, Meta Province. Initial tests yielded average production of 202 barrels of oil/day with a water cut of 80 percent.

Chevron Corp. made a deepwater oil discovery on the Coronado prospect in the Gulf of Mexico, about 190 miles off the coast of Louisiana in in 6,127 feet of water. The Walker Ridge Block 98 Well No. 1 was drilled to 31,866 feet and logged more than 400 feet of net pay.

Wintershall claimed an oil and gas discovery with the Hibonite-1 well, drilled to a total depth of 14,537 feet in water depth of 170 feet. The Hibonite structure is in the 5/06 license in the Danish sector of the North Sea.

April

Newfield Exploration Co. announced a natural gas discovery in the Block SK 310 production-sharing contract area 50 miles offshore Sarawak, Malaysia, in water depth of about 250 feet. The B-14 well encountered 1,800 feet of gross column and 1,585 feet of net gas pay in the main carbonate objective, the company said.

Petroleum Development Oman labeled its Mabrouk Deep a gas/condensate discovery, with an estimated 2.9 Tcf of gas and 115 million barrels of condensate in place in the northern part of its concession area, 25 miles west of Saih Rawl field.

Lundin Petroleum and partners notched an oil discovery on the western flank of the Utsira high about 10 miles south of Edvard Grieg field in the central North Sea offshore Norway. The 16/4-6S exploratory well on the Luno II prospect in PL359 drilled through almost 660 feet of sand and proved a gross oil column in excess of 130 feet.

Americas Petrogas Inc. of Calgary announced a vertical gas-condensate discovery on the Los Toldos I block in Argentina’s Neuquen Basin. The 2012 Aguada Los Loros x-1 well encountered 1,844 feet of Vaca Muerta shale plus other secondary targets. After hydraulic stimulation in 2013, production reached 3.2 MMcfd with 9-18 barrels/day of condensate.

Genel Energy plc hit a significant oil and gas discovery in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. It said the Chia Surkh-10 well flowed as much as 11,950 barrels/day and 15 Mmcfd of gas. Total depth was 1,696 meters in an Oligo-Miocene section. The Chia Surkh block borders Iran in the far southeastern Kurdistan Region.

An Apache Corp. Australian subsidiary discovered gas with the Olympus-1 exploratory well in the northern Carnarvon Basin offshore Western Australia. Olympus-1 penetrated gas-bearing sands in the Cretaceous Lower Barrow and Triassic Mungaroo formations.

A Tullow Oil plc-led group tested oil from the lowermost pay zone at the Ngamia-1 discovery well in the Lokichar Basin in Kenya, recovering 281 barrels/day from the Lower Lokhone on Block 10BB. Logs and sampling indicated up to 141 feet of potential pay.

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. and partners identified a new natural gas accumulation near the center of Offshore Area 1 in the Rovuma basin offshore Mozambique. The Orca-1 well encountered 190 net feet of gas pay in a Paleocene fan system in a single large column, Anadarko said.

Statoil established new-pool potential in the Gullfaks oil and gas field in the Tampen area of the North Sea offshore Norway with the 34/10-A-8 production well. It cited new resources in the Lower Paleocene Lista formation of the Upper Cretaceous-Paleocene Shetland group.

P1 Energy Corp., Calgary, and partners made a Mirador oil discovery on the Llanos 32 block in Colombia’s Llanos basin. The Bandola-1 tested at an average 3,094 barrels/day. Total depth was 11,594 feet. The well went on production in April 2013 making 2,600 barrels/day, P1 Energy said.

May

Noble Energy Inc. said its Carla South exploratory well on Block I offshore Equatorial Guinea encountered oil in good-quality sandstones. A sidetrack found additional pay zones.

Eni Pakistan Ltd. said its Lundali-1 new field wildcat was a gas discovery on the Sukhpur block in the Kirthar fold belt, about 168 miles north of Karachi, Pakistan. The well struck Paleocene-sequence gas and flowed at 33 Mmcfd.

Statoil Petroleum AS and its partners in the offshore Grane unit attributed 18-33 million barrels of recoverable oil to a discovery well on North Sea license 169 B2. Exploration well 25/11-27 well proved an oil column of 66 feet in the Heimdal Formation in waters about 90 miles west of Stavanger, Norway.

Noble Energy and partners announced gross resources of about 1.8 Tcf in the Karish discovery well offshore Israel, plus derisked resources in an adjacent fault block. The discovery went to 15,783 feet total depth in 5,700 feet of water and encountered 184 feet of gas pay in Lower Miocene sands.

June

Idemitsu Oil & Gas Co. and two Japanese company partners announced a gas/condensate discovery in almost 400 feet of water on Vietnam offshore blocks 05-1b and 05-1c, about 190 miles southeast of Ho Chi Minh City. The discovery well was drilled to total depth early in 2013.

GeoPark Holdings Ltd. and partners put the Tarotaro-1 discovery well on oil production on the Llanos 34 block in Colombia. The well produced 2,239 barrels/day from the Guadalupe formation at 29,965 feet. GeoPark said it has identified several more prospects on the block.

Senex Energy, Brisbane, identified a gas resource of up to 2.9 Tcf in the Mettika embayment of the southern Cooper basin in South Australia. The Kingston Rule-1 and Hornet-1 wells flowed at stabilized rates up to 2.2 MMcfd from a conventional Early Permian tight stratigraphic reservoir.

Statoil claimed a second discovery of light oil in the Flemish Pass basin offshore Newfoundland with partner Husky Energy. Drilling was on the Harpoon prospect in 3,610 feet of water on EL1112, about 310 miles northeast of St. John’s, Newfoundland.

July

Pakistan Petroleum Ltd. said its Adam X-1 discovery well flowed 14.3 MMcfd gas and 125 barrels/day of liquids from the Lower Basal sands of the Cretaceous Lower Goru formation in the Sanghar District of Sindh Province, Pakistan, 145 miles northeast of Karachi.

Apache Energy’s Bianchi-1 wildcat found gas in retention lease WA-49-R, in 240 meters of water offshore Western Australia. Logs and pressure testing confirmed 112 meters of net gas pay in the Triassic-age Mungaroo formation.

W&T Offshore Inc., Houston, made a subsalt discovery with the Ship Shoal 359 A-14 well in the Mahogany field on the Gulf of Mexico shelf, logging more than 370 feet of net oil pay. Production was 3,030 barrels oil/day and 5.6 Mmcfd gas below 17,200 feet. The company said the subsalt T sands are the deepest sands discovered at Mahogany.

In China, CNOOC Ltd. found oil and gas at its Bozhong 8-4 well and oil at the Kenli 10-4 discovery well in Bohai Gulf. Kenli 10-4 was drilled to 7,860 feet in 50 feet of water on the south slope of the Laizhou Bay sag. Production during testing was around 2,800 barrels/day.

Serinus Energy said it recovered oil and gas from Visean-age formations at the Makeevskoye-3 exploratory well on the North Makeevskoye license in Ukraine. The NM-3 well reached 7,960 feet measured depth after penetrating metamorphic basement.

August

Eni Congo SA said two discovery wells offshore Congo proved a resource of 600 million barrels of oil and 700 billion cubic feet (Bcf) of gas in place. The Nene’ Marine-1 well was drilled to 9,886 feet in 80 feet of water, on Marine XII block 11 miles offshore. It found wet gas/light oil in a presaline, clastic, Lower Cretaceous sequence. Nene’ Marine-2 confirmed the find.

Total Gabon called its Diaman-1B exploratory well the first deepwater discovery drilled in the presalt play offshore Gabon. Partner Marathon Oil said the well cut 160-180 net feet of hydrocarbon pay. The well went to total depth of 18,323 feet in 5,673 feet of water on the Diaba license G4-223.

Statoil and partners made a gas-condensate discovery in the Smorbukk North prospect at Haltenbanken in the Norwegian Sea. Exploration well 6506/9-3 proved a 130-foot gas/condensate column in the mid-Jurassic Garn formation plus a thinner Ile formation section. Statoil put preliminary recoverable reserves at 25-47 million barrels of oil equivalent.

Canacol Energy Ltd., Calgary, made a conventional-oil discovery in Colombia’s Middle Magdalena Valley. The Oso Pardo-1 well in the Santa Isabel contract found 60 feet of oil pay in the Tertiary Lisama sandstone and 28 feet of oil pay in two Umir sandstones. Technical problems prevented the well from being deepened to the Cretaceous La Luna and Simiti unconventional formations.

Orca Energy Ltd. announced an oil discovery in southern Cooper Basin permit PEL 115 with the Burruna-2 oil exploration well, South Australia, which flowed at more than 750 barrels oil/day with no associated water. Logs confirmed a net pay interval in the mid Namur formation of 17.4 feet. The well was drilled to 6,286 feet by operator Senex Energy Ltd.

Beach Energy Ltd. and the Egyptian General Petroleum Corp. reported that the El Salmiya-2 well flowed oil at 3,530 barrels/day and gas at 4.7 MMcfd in the Abu Sennan concession in Egypt’s Western Desert. Perforation was between 13,468-13,517 feet, with an oil column in the Kharita sands of 161 feet true vertical depth.

Austria’s OMV reported a gas/condensate discovery in the Mehar block onshore Pakistan. The Sofiya-2 exploration well flowed a total of 18 MMcfd with an additional 1,550 barrels of condensate/day in Pakistan’s Sindh Province.

September

Eni and partners made a gas discovery on the Agulha structure offshore Mozambique, with initial estimates of five-seven Tcf of gas in place. The discovery well was drilled to total depth of 20,350 feet in 8,180 feet of water 50 miles off Cape Delgado, finding 525 feet of wet gas pay in Paleocene and Cretaceous reservoirs.

CNOOC Ltd. made an oil find the Haute Mer A license offshore Congo. The E-1 exploratory well targeting the Elephant prospect was drilled in about 1,800 feet of water 50 miles offshore. Primary targets were the Tertiary Miocene N5 and N3 reservoir intervals.

OMV (Norge) AS said its 7324/8-1 Wisting Central wildcat oil discovery on PL 537 opened a new play on the previously undrilled Hoop high offshore Norway. The company estimated 60-160 million barrels of recoverable oil and 10-40 Bcf of recoverable gas in middle to lower Jurassic reservoir, calling it the Barents Sea’s northernmost oil discovery.

BP Egypt reported a gas discovery with its deepwater Salamat well in the North Damietta Offshore concession in the East Nile Delta. BP hit 98 net feet of Oligocene sands pay and said the well, at 22,970 feet, was the deepest drilled to date in the Nile Delta.

Noble Energy and partners found gas on the Troubadour prospect on Mississippi Canyon Block 699 in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. Logs identified 50 feet of net pay in a Miocene reservoir. Noble said discovered gross resources were estimated at 50-100 million boe.

A Statoil-led group made a gas discovery at the Iskrystall prospect on PL 608 in the Barents Sea offshore Norway with well 7219/8-2. The well proved a 656-foot gas column in the Sto and Nordmela formations with estimated volumes of 6-25 million boe. A Statoil executive said the goal was crude oil “but unfortunately it did not materialize.”

Lundin Petroleum AB tested its Gohta discovery on the Norwegian Continental Shelf in the Barents Sea at 4,300 barrels/day of oil. The 7120/1-3 well in PL492 cut a 82-foot gas column above a 246-foot gross oil column in karstified and dolomitic limestone. The target Triassic sandstone was water bearing.
October

BG Group said its Pweza-3 deepwater gas discovery flowed at an equipment-constrained 57 MMcfd from a Tertiary reservoir. The well is in 4,590 feet of water on Block 4 about 44 miles offshore southern Tanzania.

DNO International said its horizontal Tawke 23 well produced 32,500 barrels of oil/day in the Tawke oil field in the Kurdish region of Iraq, confirming and surpassing Tawke 20. Genel Energy and the Kurdistan Regional Government are partners.

A Repsol consortium made a light oil discovery onshore Libya. The discovery well went to 6,020 feet on Block NC115 in the Murzuq Basin about 500 miles south of Tripoli. Reported initial flow was 513 barrels/day. Repsol holds a 40 percent interest in the block; OMV and Total have 30 percent each.

Gas2Grid Limited, Sydney, perforated and flow-tested two oil-bearing sandstones in its Malolos-1 well at depths of 7,280-7,308 feet and 7,152-7,207 feet. Indicated production rate was 100-200 barrels/day. Productive zones are on the eastern limb of the Malolos anticline in SC44 onshore Cebu, Philippines.

Horizon Oil Ltd., Sydney, reported log data and pressure measurements confirmed a significant gas/condensate discovery in the Elevala Sandstone with its Tingu-1 exploration well in Petroleum Retention License 21, Western Province, Papua New Guinea (PNG).

Orey Petroleum Co., Calgary, made a potentially commercial Jurassic crude/sour-gas discovery at Ain Al Safra, Iraq, its second oil discovery on the Hawler license. Drillstem tests of the Alan and Mus formations yielded up to 850 barrels/day.

A Marathon Oil Corp. subsidiary hit a discovery in the company-operated Harir Block in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The Mirawa-1 found stacked Jurassic and Triassic reservoirs from 5,800 feet to well total depth of 14,000 feet. Flow rates totaled more than 11,000 barrels/day.

DNO International’s Salsala-1 exploration well on Block 32 onshore Yemen flow tested 5,900 barrels/day. The well encountered oil shows in the Shuqra formation after being drilled to a total depth of 13,600 feet.

November

Statoil said its exploration well 6407/8-6 and sidetrack 6407/8-6A showed several oil columns in formations dating from the Jurassic at the Snilehorn prospect in the Norwegian Sea. Estimated volume was 55-100 million barrels of recoverable oil.

Allied Energy plc confirmed the presence of oil in the Miocene with the Oyo-7 well on Nigeria’s OML 120, said partner CAMAC Energy Inc., Houston. Drilling of a horizontal section and completion were set for first quarter 2014. The Oyo field is 75 miles off southern Nigeria.

Petrobras said a test well had confirmed a 1,300-foot oil column in the Franco field in the South Atlantic, about 125 miles southeast of Rio de Janeiro. Petrobras expects to start production at Franco in 2016.

Tullow Oil reported its Agete-1 exploration well on Block 13T, onshore Kenya, discovered an estimated 330 feet of net oil pay in sandstone reservoirs. Agete-1 was drilled to a total depth of 6,330 feet.

Senex Energy Ltd. of Australia made an oil discovery with its Worrior-8 well at the Worrior field in the Cooper Basin, South Australia. The well flowed 700,000 cubic feet of gas and 670 barrels of oil per day during production testing, after intersecting 59 feet of net pay across the McKinlay member, Namur sandstone and Patchawarra f˙˙ormation.

Dana Petroleum made an oil discovery in a Lower Cretaceous captain sandstone reservoir in the Moray Firth. Dana drilled the 13/23d-8 well on the Liberator prospect in license P1987.

December

Noble Energy Inc. found oil in the Gulf of Mexico on Mississippi Canyon Block 782 with its Dantzler exploration well, drilled to 19,234 feet in 6,580 feet of water. Noble said Dantzler encountered over 120 net feet of oil pay in two Miocene reservoirs. The company plans at least two more deepwater Miocene attempts in 2014.

Statoil and ExxonMobil made their fifth gas discovery natural on Block 2 offshore Tanzania with the Mronge-1 well, adding two-three Tcf to block resources. Statoil raised estimates of total Block 2 in-place volumes to 17-20 Tcf.

Statoil reported an oil discovery of 20 million to 50 million recoverable barrels at the Skavl prospect in Norwegian production license 532 in the Barents Sea. Well 7220/7-2S proved a 72-foot gas column and a 76-foot oil column in the Jurassic Tubåen formation, and a 436-foot oil column in the Triassic Fruholmen formation.

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