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Thursday, 24 August 2017 08:38

Statoil in minor find near Heidrun

Statoil has struck a minor gas find at a wildcat well near the Heidrun field in the Norwegian Sea where it could become a possible tieback, according to the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate (NPD).

Map of 6507/8-9, from the NPD.

The NPD says that operator Statoil is about to complete the drilling of wildcat well 6507/8-9, where the Norwegian giant encountered a gas column of a total of about 80m in the Åre formation, and in the Båt Group, of which 35m were in sandstone with good reservoir quality.

The well was drilled with the Deepsea Bergen about 9km northeast of the Heidrun field in the Norwegian Sea and about 270km southwest of Sandnessjøen, in production license (PL) 124.

Well 6507/8-9, at 358m water depth, was drilled to a vertical depth of 2352m below the sea surface, and was terminated in the Åre formation in the Lower Jurassic. The well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned.

The primary exploration target for the well was to prove petroleum in Middle and/or Lower Jurassic reservoir rocks (the Fangst and/or Båt Group). The secondary exploration target was to prove petroleum in Lower Jurassic reservoir rocks (the Båt Group).

The gas/water contact was proven 2185m below the sea surface. In the secondary exploration target, the well encountered several water-filled sandstone layers with good reservoir quality in lower parts of the Åre formation in the Båt Group.

The preliminary estimation of the size of the discovery is between 0.7-1.2 Bcm of recoverable gas.

The NPD says the partners in PL 124 will consider a tie-in of the discovery to existing infrastructure on the Heidrun field.

The well was not formation tested, but extensive data acquisition and sampling have been carried out.

The wildcat marks the eighth exploration well in PL 124, which was awarded in the 10th licensing round in 1986.

Statoil is the operator of PL 124 with a 35% stake. Partners include ConocoPhillips (27.9%), Petoro (27.1%) and Eni (10%).

The Deepsea Bergen drilling facility will now proceed to drill Wellesley Petroleum’s wildcat well 33/9-22 S, targeting the Goanna prospect in PL 881 in the North Sea.

Read more:

Statoil to drill in PL 124 with Deepsea Bergen

Wellesley to drill Goanna with Deepsea Bergen

Oil and gas operators are preparing for the approach of Tropical Storm Harvey in the Gulf of Mexico, as the US National Hurricane Center warns Harvey could form into a hurricane by Friday. 

Coastal watches/warnings and forecast cone for storm center. Map from NOAA.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) Hurricane Response Team has been activated and is monitoring the operators’ activities. 

Based on data from offshore operator reports submitted to BSEE as of 11:30 CST today (24 August), personnel have been evacuated from a total of 39 production platforms, 5.29% of the 737 manned platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Personnel have been evacuated from one rig (non-dynamically positioned (DP) rig), equivalent to 10% of the 10 rigs of this type currently operating in the GoM.

As part of the evacuation process, BSEE says personnel activate the applicable shut-in procedure, which can frequently be accomplished from a remote location. This involves closing the sub-surface safety valves located below the surface of the ocean floor to prevent the release of oil or gas. During previous hurricane seasons, the shut-in valves functioned 100% of the time, efficiently shutting in production from wells on the Outer Continental Shelf and protecting the marine and coastal environments. Shutting-in oil and gas production is a standard procedure conducted by industry for safety and environmental reasons.

From operator reports obtained by BSEE, it is estimated that approximately 9.56% of the current oil production in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in, which equates to 167,231 b/d. It is also estimated that approximately 14.66% of the natural gas production, or 472 MMcf/d in the Gulf of Mexico has been shut-in. 

As of 23 August 5 p.m. Houston time, Anadarko evacuated all personnel and has temporarily shut in production from four of its facilities in the Gulf of Mexico, as Tropical Storm Harvey approaches.

The company said that given the potential path of Harvey, it safely removed all personnel and temporarily shut in production at its operated Boomvang, Gunnison, Lucius and Nansen facilities.

"These facilities will remain shut in until the weather has cleared, and it is safe to return our people to these offshore locations. We will continue to track Harvey and are prepared to remove additional personnel and shut in other operated facilities in the Gulf if necessary," Anadarko said.

As of yesterday (23 August) Shell was in the process of evacuating all personnel from its Perdido platform as a precaution, and Exxon was also reducing production at its Hoover facility in the Gulf of Mexico, according to news reports.

The US National Hurricane Center is projecting Harvey to approach the southern Texas coast on Friday. Additional strenghtening is forecast during the next 48 hours, as of today at 7 a.m. CST, and Harvey is expected to become a hurricane by Friday.

On 22 August, Anadarko began removing non-essential personnel working in the Gulf of Mexico.

“We are prepared to shut in our facilities and evacuate remaining personnel if necessary to ensure safety and protect the environment,” the company said on 22 August.

KrisEnergy and the Cambodian government have signed fiscal and technical agreements for Cambodia’s first oil field development at Cambodia Block A in the Gulf of Thailand.

Cambodia Block A. Map from KrisEnergy.

The Singapore-based company plans to develop the Apsara area in the northeastern section of the concession, which is one of seven geological trends in the license where there is potential for oil and/or gas to be trapped.

Cambodia Block A covers 3083sq km over the Khmer Basin in the Gulf of Thailand where water depths range between 50-80m.

Under the terms of the agreements, KrisEnergy has 60 days to declare a final investment decision, thereby signaling the formal launch of the Apsara project, which is expected to take up to 24 months to produce first oil.

KrisEnergy says the agreements also trigger the second relinquishment phase of the concession, whereby 1626 sq km, or approximately 25% of the Cambodia Block A area, is returned to the authorities leaving 3083sq km under the operatorship of KrisEnergy.

Phase 1A of the Apsara development consists of a single unmanned minimum facility 24-slot wellhead platform producing to a moored production barge capable of processing up to 30,000 b/d of fluid with gas, oil and water separation facilities on the vessel.

The oil will be sent via a 1.5km pipeline for storage to a permanently moored floating, storage and offloading vessel.

According to KrisEnergy, the individual oil accumulations in Cambodia Block A are small in size and spread over a large geographic area, requiring significant funds and time to fully develop. Additionally, reservoir production performance in the Khmer Basin has yet to be proven.

“For these reasons, among others, there is some uncertainty regarding long-term production rates, reserves and commercial viability and therefore a phased development approach has been prudently adopted,” says KrisEnergy.

Once the initial Phase 1A platform is on stream, the company says there will be a period to monitor reservoir performance before beginning Phase 1B, which will include up to three additional platforms producing to the Phase 1A facilities.

A Phase 1C will potentially add up to six additional platforms for the full 10-platform Apsara development.

“Producing Cambodia’s first oil in its offshore waters will be a major step along our steady road to economic development and national prosperity and is aligned to the government’s key development goals,” says Secretary of State for the Ministry of Mines and Energy and Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Block A H.E. Meng Saktheara.

“There has been great interest in this project from many stakeholders and related parties and we are delighted to have reached this stage,” says Kelvin Tang, KrisEnergy COO and president of the company’s Cambodian activities. “Our technical and project teams have a successful track record of bringing greenfield oil developments in the Gulf of Thailand into production on time and to budget. Apsara marks only the first phase of the development of Cambodia Block A, there remains further potential in other geological trends within the contract area for future investigation.”

KrisEnergy (Aspara) is the operator of Cambodia Block A with 71.25% interest. KrisEnergy (Cambodia) holds 23.75% stake, and the government of Cambodia holds the remaining 5%.

Jean-Baptiste Berchoteau, research analyst, Asia upstream, Wood Mackenzie says that KrisEnergy will benefit from more attractive fiscal terms than the default Cambodian terms notably in terms of income tax, tax holidays and export duty.

“These revised fiscal terms are on par with other SE Asian countries, and it is still premature to say whether or not this agreement could attract more upstream investment into Cambodia.

“KrisEnergy is expected to make a final investment decision (FID) in the next two months and aims to deliver first oil two years after FID. Given the relatively small size of the field, executing the project on time and on budget will be crucial to achieving a positive return on the investment.

“In order to generate much-needed cash flow and reduce capital expenditure, it has announced its intention to farm-out up to half of its stake in the block. With the fiscal terms for the block now clarified, we expect interest in the project from both local and international players,” says Berchoteau.

Read more:

KrisEnergy moves to develop Aspara off Cambodia

Wednesday, 23 August 2017 08:36

Tortue tests as "world-class" resource

Partners Kosmos Energy and BP have confirmed the Tortue field offshore Mauritania to be a “world-class” resource, following a successful drill stem test (DST) of the Tortue-1 well with the Atwood Achiever drillship, which has now been mobilized to the Hippocampe prospect.

Atwood Achiever. Image from Atwood Oceanics.

Kosmos says the JV is moving to begin the front-end engineering and design (FEED) process later this year. A final investment decision for Tortue is set for next year, with first gas expected in 2021.

Through the DST, Kosmos says the company has confirmed key development parameters including well deliverability, reservoir connectivity, and fluid composition.

The Tortue-1 well, at 2700m water depth, flowed at a sustained, equipment-constrained rate of approximately 60 MMcf/d during the main, extended flow period, with minimal pressure drawdown, providing confidence in well designs that are each capable of producing approximately 200 MMcf/d.

The DST results were able to confirm a connected volume per well consistent with the current development scheme, which together with the high well rate is expected to result in a low number of development wells compared to equivalent schemes, says Kosmos.

Initial analysis of fluid samples collected during the test indicate Tortue gas is well suited for liquefaction given low levels of liquids and minimal impurities. Kosmos will use the data acquired from the DST to further optimize field development and to refine process design parameters critical to FEED process anticipated to begin later this year.

"The positive results from the DST confirm that the Tortue field is a world-class resource and validates the assumptions that underpin our development concept," says Andrew G. Inglis, Kosmos chairman and CEO.  "The combination of high well rates, large connected volume per well together with a gas well-suited for liquefaction is why we believe Tortue is one of the lowest cost pre-FID greenfield LNG projects. The Kosmos BP partnership remains aligned on delivering a final investment decision for the project in 2018 and first gas in 2021."

Earlier this month, KBR confirmed that the company was awarded the pre-FEEDand project support services contracts for the development of the Tortue / Ahmeyim field. In OE’s July 2017 edition, the EIC said sources believe that the company is also preparing to carry out FEED studies.

The Atwood Achiever, mobilized to the Hippocampe prospect in Block C-8 offshore Mauritania, will soon begin exploration drilling operations.

Kosmos is exploration operator of Block C-8 with a 28% participating interest. BP is named operator with a 62% participating interest, and Societe Mauritanienne des Hydrocarbures et de Patrimoine Minier (SMHPM) has a 10% participating interest.

Read more:

KBR bags Tortue pre-FEED

The last frontier

Kosmos to accelerate off West Africa

Kosmos to spud Hippocampe off Mauritania