Oil and natural gas exploration is occurring all over the world, and new discoveries are being made in bodies of water like the Gulf of Mexico, the North Sea and the Bohai Bay, and in countries such as Australia, Colombia, and Namibia. If you want to catch up on the latest oil and natural gas exploration developments, check out the briefs below.
Several things are going on in Australia right now in terms of oil and natural gas exploration. Santos Ltd. is testing its wildcat well Mt Kitty-1 in the Amadeus Basin of Australia’s central region. The well was air-drilled to a depth of 2,295 meters, and it encountered a formation thickness in the reservoir of 109 meters. On a recent flow test at 2,144 meters, the well produced at a rate of 500 Mcfd of natural gas per day and then declined to 70 Mcfd after 10 minutes. On the second test at 2,156 meters, the well produced at a rate of 530 Mcfd and decreased to 420 Mcfd. The company reports that it is still too early to speculate on the commercial significance of the new gas find, but that it will continue to conduct tests and analysis until it can be determined.
Beach Energy Ltd. recently made a discovery with its Stunsail-1 wildcat located in the Cooper-Eromanga Basin. The discovery marks the company’s northernmost find in the country thus far. It uncovered oil in two zones within the McKinlay-Namur section of Jurassic (Eromanga basin) age. The first was a 10-meter section at a depth of 1, 367 meters subsurface, and the second was at a depth of 1,403 meters within the mid-Namur section. Additional oil shows were located in the Birkhead formation. The first recovered 46 bbl of oil and 3 bbl of filtrate to surface during the test, and the second is still in progress.
The North Sea region has two ongoing exploration efforts in the area, both of which involve Statoil ASA. The company recently made an oil and natural gas discovery in the Valemon North prospect, which is located in the North Sea. The primary discovery well, known as the 34/10-54 S, located a 164-meter gas condensate and oil column in a Middle Jurassic Brent Group, and its sidetrack, the 34/10-54 A, located a 100-meter gas-condensate column in the Brent Group and in sand of unspecified Jurassic age. The sidetrack also found a 140 meter gas-condensate column in the area’s Statfjord Group and the Middle Jurassic Cook formation. According to estimates by Statoil, total volumes for the discoveries in the Valemon North will be between 20 and 75 million bbl of recoverable oil.
Statoil ASA also made a recent natural gas discovery in the northeast area of the Visund Field, located in the northern part of the North Sea. The discovery was made by a 34/8-17 S wildcat well, which reached a vertical depth of 3,187 meters. The well encountered a 31-meter gross gas column in three formations: the Tarbert, Ness and Etive, all three of which are located in the Middle Jurassic. The well also discovered a 21-meter column of petroleum in the Rannoch formation with poor reservoir quality.
Gulf of Mexico
The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is planning to sell off 3,992 blocks across 21.4 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico between nine and 25 miles off the shore of Texas. The blocks are expected to hold between 116 and 200 million bbl of oil, as well as 538 to 938 bcf of natural gas. The sale of these blocks will mark the sixth offshore sale under the Obama Administration’s Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Gas Leasing Program. The previous five sales offered more than 60 millions acres and netted nearly $2.3 billion.
GeoPark Ltd. has successfully drilled and tested its Aruco 1 exploration well, located in the central Llanos Basin in Colombia. During testing, an electrical submersible pump reached a depth of 10,075 feet, resulting in a gross production rate of 1,154 b/d of 16.8 gravity oil. The discovery marks GeoPark’s sixth find in its Llanos Block 34, which it acquired in 2012. The block has produced 15,000 b/d gross, and more than 6,700 b/d net to date.
CNOOC Ltd. has made a “mid-sized” natural gas discovery in the Bozhong 22-1 well that is located in the south-central part of the Bohai Bay. The well was drilled into 25 meters of water and reached a depth of 4,611 meters. It encountered a gas reservoir 92 meters thick and tested 14.2 MMcfd of natural gas. CNOOC believes the discovery, coupled with the company’s two local finds in the last year, indicates good prospects in the area.
Pancontinental Oil & Gas NL, Perth, reported that it recently completed a 3,000 sq-km 3D seismic survey in the Walvis Basin, located just off the shore of Namibia. The three-dimensional survey was conducted in areas where two-dimensional surveys had previously identified leads, as well as in areas where recent discoveries were made. Pancontinental plans to implement exploratory wells in the area in the near future.
OAO Lukoil has launched a two-dimensional seismic survey on Block 10, which is located in the southern part of Iraq in the Dhi Qar and Mutanna provinces. The survey is expected to span more than 2,000 kilometers over the next 16 months. Lukoil owns a 60 percent share of the block, and Inpex Corp. owns 40 percent. After the seismic survey is complete, one exploratory well will be drilled in the area.
Lundin Petroleum AB has completed drilling on its 7222/11-2 well located in the Langlitinden prospect in PL659 in the Barents Sea. The well reached a depth of 2,528 feet in 340 meters of water. According to Lundin, the well will now be permanently plugged and abandoned.
If you want more oil and natural gas exploration updates, check out our other articles or contact MAH Energy Law today.
Sources: “BOEM proposes Lease Sale 238 in western Gulf of Mexico.” Oil & Gas Journal. 15 Apr. 2014. Web. 17 Apr. 2014. “CNOOC makes natural gas discovery in Bohai Bay.” Oil & Gas Journal. 24 Mar. 2014. Web. 17 Apr. 2014. “GeoPark makes oil discovery in Colombia.” Oil & Gas Journal. 9 Apr. 2014. Web. 17 Apr. 2014.