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Friday, 18 July 2014 15:29

Tullow farms into Cooper block

London-based independent Tullow Oil agreed to acquire up to 40% interest in the Cooper block, block 2012A, in the Walvis basin offshore Namibia, Eco (Atlantic) Oil & Gas announced on 17 July 2014.

The terms of the farm-in includes Eco Atlantic giving Tullow a 25% working interest for carrying the cost to execute and process 3D seismic program as well as reimbursement of 25% of Eco Atlantic’s past costs.  

If Tullow decides to participate in an exploratory drilling program, Tullow will be transferred an additional 15% working interest in the block, in return for a full carry of Eco Atlantic’s share of costs to drill an exploration well on the block and the reimbursement of an additional 15% of the past costs.

This farm-in, in conjunction with a prior farm-out to Azimuth (a subsidiary of AziNam) for 20%, nets Eco Atlantic a 100% carry of all costs on an expanded 1000sq km 3D seismic survey and interpretation. The seismic program is expected to begin 4Q 2014.

“Attracting Tullow is exciting for us,” said Colin Kinley, COO and director of Eco Atlantic. “We have a highly credible team of upstream industry experts already within our own members and partners in AziNam and Namcor, and now we are bringing fresh eyes into the block who have the unique interpretation strength to find oil, drill wells and bring it on line quickly and economically.”

Partner AziNam also issued a statement on the Tullow farm-in.

“We believe that the Namibian offshore region offers an exciting opportunity to generate world-class prospects leading to high impact oil and gas discoveries,” said AziNam Managing Director, David Sturt. “These targets have only been recently identified following both the application of modern exploration techniques offshore Namibia and increased knowledge from exploration success in analogous parts of the South Atlantic margin.”

Eco Atlantic operates the Cooper block with 70% interest. Its partners include AziNam (20%), the National Petroleum Corp. of Namibia (Namcor) (10%). Following the first transfer, Eco Atlantic will hold a 45% interest; Tullow 25% interest; and AziNam and Namcor will retain their respective working interests.

In Namibia, Tullow operates production licenses 003 and 0037. In production license 003, which covers 4567sq km, Tullow (31%) is focused on evaluating development options for the Kudo gas field, located 170km offshore the southwest coast of Namibia.  In September 2013, Tullow farmed-in to production license 0037 (65%), which covers 17,295sq km in the Walvis basin offshore northern Namibia.

Other companies that are exploring off Namibia includes Repsol, which recently drilled the deepwater Welwitschia-1A well in Walvis Bay, using the Rowan Renaissance drillship.  The Welwitschia-1 prospect is targeting net risked recoverable resources of 496MMboe with a total estimate of about 1.6billion boe.

Image: Eco Atlantic

Thursday, 17 July 2014 16:49

Benin exploration drilling planned

Dallas-based Hunt Oil is planning to drill at least one offshore Benin, Africa.

Well services firm AGR has been awarded a contract to provide the well project management services for the drilling, with one firm well and an option for a second. 

The plans for exploration drilling offshore Benin, which sits between Togo and Nigeria, come shortly after the country's only oil producing oil field was re-launched. 

The Sèmè field, in the Gulf of Guinea, offshore Benin, was shut-in after 14 years of production, during which time more than 21MMbbl were produced. 

Benin started producing oil in the 1970s, with international help, but output remained low and stopped by the end of the 1990s, when the price of oil became uneconomical, the field was delivering several times more water than it was producing oil, and funds for operations dried up. South Atlantic Petroleum (SAPETRO) took over the block in 2004.

Read more about Sèmè: Technologies allow Benin field to produce after more than a decade  and  Benin's minimal facilities

AGR's contract with Hunt Oil, awarded to AGR’s Aberdeen-based team, includes provision of full well management, including rig sourcing, drilling engineering, planning, procurement, regulatory requirements and operational support. 
AGR’s Perth, Australia team has recently completed the drilling for Hunt Oil of one exploration well located offshore north Western Australia.

“AGR is pleased to continue its working relationship with Hunt Oil and is looking forward to planning and executing the wells in Benin,” said Ian Burdis, AGR executive vice president. “This is an important award and in conjunction with other recent contract wins, strengthens AGR’s position as the premier provider of well management and associated services in North and West Africa.”


Thursday, 17 July 2014 12:24

ConocoPhillips hits gas at Pharos-1

ConocoPhillips encountered a hydrocarbon pay in the Browse basin, off Western Australia, according to partner Karoon Gas.

Karoon said the Pharos-1 well, in permit WA-398-P, showed a 53m gross interval, with a 34m net pay interpreted in the gas charged Montara formation sandstone reservoir.

“There is a presence of movable hydrocarbons that is supported by petrophysical log interpretation, formation pressure gradients and downhole gas sampling. Preparations for a production test will begin on the completion of the wireline logging program,” the Australian company said yesterday.

Pharos‐1, the sixth and final well in the Browse basin phase 2 exploration drilling campaign, was drilled by the mid-water semisubmersible Transocean Legend. Pharos-1 is about 5.59m (9km) northeast of the Proteus‐1 well and will serve as a further test of the ProteusCrown trend. The well istargeting an extension of the discovery made at Proteus‐1, which established excellent reservoir quality and condensate bearing gas in August 2013 in the Montara formation.

Since the last update, the 6.5½-in. hole section was drilled from 4949m from the rotary table (RT) to a total depth of 5220m RT. Final total depth was reached on 10 July. Wireline logging operations began 12 July and are ongoing, Karoon said.

ConocoPhillips operates the WA‐398‐P Browse basin permit; Karoon Gas Australia holds the remaining 40%.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014 09:50

Shell hits Norphlet pay

Shell confirmed a third discovery at the Norphlet play in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, the supermajor announced on 15 July 2015.

The explorer hit more than 400ft (122m) of net oil pay at its Rydberg well, located 75mi (120km) off the Gulf Coast in Mississippi Canyon Block 525, where water depth is 7479ft (2280m). The well was drilled by Noble’s Noble Globetrotter drillship to a total depth of 26,371ft (8038m).

Shell said the discovery is located within 10mi (16km) of the planned Appomattox development and the 2013 Vicksburg discovery (Shell, operator, 75% and Nexen, 25%).

Shell is completing the full evaluation of the well results but expects the resource base to be approximately 100MMboe. Together with the Appomattox and Vicksburg discoveries, this brings the total potential Norphlet discoveries to over 700MMboe, Shell said.

This is the first discovery for the partnership, which includes Shell (operator, interest 57.2%), Ecopetrol America Inc. (28.5%) and Nexen (14.3%), a wholly-owned affiliate of CNOOC Limited.

Appomattox, which Shell operates with interest 80% along with partner Nexen (20%) is currently in the define phase of development and is moving forward with engineering design for the floating production system, subsea infrastructure and wells.

Shell and Nexen are following up the Rydberg discovery with an exploratory well at Gettysburg, with the drillship Noble Globetrotter I, located in Desoto Canyon Block 398 which is also within 10mi (16km) of the Appomattox development.

The Jurassic-period Norphlet play is a geological formation that extends from onshore to the deepwaters of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and is characterized by high pressures and well temperatures, where good quality oil can be found in high quality sandstone reservoirs, Shell says.