Selected highlights from international exploration activity in 2015:
Chevron Corp. made another Lower Tertiary discovery in the deepwater U.S. Gulf of Mexico with its Green Canyon Block 807 Well No. 2, about 140 miles offshore Louisiana. Drilled to 33,749 feet, the well intersected oil pay in multiple Wilcox sands, Chevron said.
China National Offshore Oil Corp. (CNOOC) reported a South China Sea gas discovery at the Lingshui 25-1 deepwater well in Qiongdongnan Basin. The well tested at about 35.6 million cubic feet of gas a day (MMcfd) and 395 barrels of oil per day (Bopd) from 239 feet of pay. Total depth was 13,123 feet.
Petrobras discovered more light crude in the Sergipe Basin off the country’s northeast coast. Drilling on the Farfan Prospect found a new 28-meter column of oil plus gas in the BM-SEAL-11 Block, where a Brazil-India joint venture is a partner.
Caribbean Rex Ltd., a Rex International Holding subsidiary, said it found oil-bearing sands in two wells on the South Erin Block in Trinidad & Tobago. Its CH6 well went to 4,113 feet targeting Lower Forest A and B sands, and its CG8 well was drilled to 5,900 feet evaluating Lower Forest A2, B2 and Cruse.
Eni SpA announced an oil and gas find in the Melehia license in Egypt’s Western Desert. The Melehia West Deep 1X discovery flowed 2,100 Bopd in initial production, with light oil in the Lower Cretaceous Alam El Bueib formation.
Petrobras discovered new Campos Basin post-salt heavy oil in concession BM-C-35 about 89 miles from Armacao dos Buzios in Brazil. Reported reservoir depths in the Basilisco well, drilled in 7,264 feet of water, were at 10,466 feet and 11,552 feet. BP holds 35 percent.
Drillsearch Energy Ltd. said logs indicated more than 30 feet of combined wet gas pay in the Ralgnal-1 well in PRL 130, South Australia, with 21.6 feet in the Patchawarra formation and 9.8 feet in the Tirrawarra formation. Gas flowed to surface at 5.88 Mmcfd. Drillsearch and Beach Energy each hold 50 percent.
Lundin Petroleum’s 26/10-1 wildcat made a small gas discovery northeast of the Johan Sverdrup field in the North Sea. The well cut a 79-foot column in the Miocene Utsira formation.
Statoil found oil near the Ekofisk field in the North Sea with well 2/4-22S. It reported an 89-foot oil column in the Permian Rotliegend group, a 151-foot column in the Middle Jurassic Byrne formation and a 161-foot column in combined Byrne and Ula formations. Projected recovery is up to 12.6 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe).
Senex Energy Ltd. encountered oil shows in Numar sands and the Birkhead formation on the western flank of Australia’s Cooper Basin. Its Martlet North-1 well evaluated potential less than a mile from the original Martlet-1 discovery.
San Leon announced a commercial gas discovery on the Rawicz prospect in southwest Poland. Its Rawicz-12 well flowed up to 4.1 Mmcfd. Palomar Natural Resources is operator with 65 percent.
Foxtrot International LDC, a RAK Petroleum subsidiary, found oil and gas offshore Côte d’Ivoire on Block CI-27. The Marlin North-1 well flowed 25 Mmcfd and 150 barrels of condensate a day from a 72-foot Turonian section, and 1,525 Bopd from a 30-foot oil column in the Lower Senonian.
BP Egypt scored another gas discovery offshore Egypt where its deepwater Atoll-1 well cut 50 meters of gas pay in high-quality Oligocene sandstones in the North Damietta Offshore Concession of the East Nile Delta. BP estimates the concession contains more than 5 Tcf.
Beach Energy reported strong oil shows from the Birkhead formation with its Stanleys-1 discovery in the Cooper Basin, South Australia. Logs indicated a 22.9-foot gross reservoir interval in the PRL 171 well.
Real Energy Corporation Ltd. said it tested Cooper Basin gas zones in its Tamarama-1 and Queenscliff-1 wells in Queensland, Australia. Queenscliff-1 was completed over the lower Toolachee and upper Patchawarra formations. Tamarama-1 was completed and perfed in a Toolachee section.
JX Nippon Oil and Gas Exploration Corp. discovered new oil in the UK Central North Sea. The 22/16-6, P1799 License well on the Dalziel structure flowed more than 8,000 boe per day. GDF Suez E&P UK Ltd. is operator with 30 percent interest; JX Nippon, RWE Dea UK and Total E&P UK hold interests.
Eni said it made a substantial discovery offshore Libya in the Bahr Essalam South exploration prospect of Area D, in 490 feet water depth. The B1-16/4 well hit pay in the Eocene Matlaoui formation. Eni projected the well could make more than 50 Mmcfd plus 1,000 barrels condensate per day in production configuration.
Drillsearch placed another gas discovery in Patchawarra and Tirrawarra sands at PEL 513 on the Western Cooper Wet Gas Fairway of the Cooper Basin, Australia. The Kyanite-1 well produced from several zones. Santos holds 60 percent and is operator.
More oil was discovered in Pakistan, where Oil and Gas Development Company’s Palli Deep-1 discovery well produced 1,095 Bopd on choke. The well was drilled to 13,287 feet targeting the Lower Goru sands formation.
Santos Ltd. announced a “significant” oil discovery with its Bestari-1 deepwater well in Block R off Sabah in east Malaysia. The company reported 67 meters of high-quality pay between 1,860-2,702 meters, with evaluation drilling planned.
Statoil hit gas again in Block 2 offshore Tanzania, bringing total discovered volumes in the block to 22 Tcf. The company said it will pause drilling for evaluation, and may build an LNG facility with BG Group.
Premier Oil found net pay of 136 feet with its Zebedee well offshore the Falkland Islands. Drilled on the PL004b license, the well reached targets in Cretaceous F2 and F3 formations (Sebedee and Hector sands).
Woodside Petroleum Ltd. hit 61 feet of Jurassic sands gas pay in Production Licence WA-34-L, in Western Australia’s offshore Dampier Sub-Basin. The Pyxis-1 exploration well reached total depth of 10,981 feet.
Statoil announced a subsalt Miocene oil discovery at its Yeti prospect in Walker Ridge Block 160 in the Gulf of Mexico. The Yeti well is about 220 miles south of New Orleans and less than 10 miles south of the Big Foot field.
Total’s 25/6-5S Skirne East exploration well on the PL 627 license in the Norwegian North Sea found a 33-foot gas column in the Middle Jurassic Hugin formation. Estimated recoverable boe was 3 million-10 millon barrels. Centrica Resources Norge, Faroe and Det Norske Oljeselskap each hold 20 percent.
Karoon Gas Australia Ltd. said its Echidna-1 well in Santos Basin Block S-M-1102 offshore Brazil found a hydrocarbon-bearing section across Paleocene and Maastrichtian reservoir intervals. The company later put Echidna’s contingent oil resources at 75 million barrels. Pacific Exploration & Production has 35 percent.
According to agency reports, Kuwait Oil Co. found the country’s first high-grade, light-oil production with its Umm Ruaiss North 1 discovery and established three other new oil fields in north and west Kuwait.
Petrobras made a new discovery in the Amazon Basin’s Block AM-T-84 in Brazil. Its Jusante do Aneba well found light oil and gas in arenaceous reservoirs from 4,429-6,233 feet. The company also announced an onshore Espirito Santo Basin oil find with the Guayacan wildcat, about 75 miles from Vitoria.
Chevron Australia said its offshore Isosceles-1 discovery well cut about 440 feet of net gas pay in Triassic Mungaroo sands, in the Greater Gorgon Area of Western Australia’s Carnarvon Basin. The well is in the WA-392-P permit area 60 miles northwest of Barrow Island.
Drillsearch Energy Ltd. announced a near-field wet gas find in Cooper Basin, Australia. Its Emery-1 well in PEL 513 went to 10,702 feet and found “excellent” gas shows in Patchawarra Formation stacked reservoirs from 8,665-10,415 feet, plus about 25 feet of net pay in Tirrawarra sands. Santos is operator with 60 percent.
The MOL Group Mardan Khel-1 well in Pakistan’s TAL Block tested high volumes of gas and condensate from four formations. It was MOL’s seventh discovery on the TAL Block.
ExxonMobil Corp. made a major oil discovery with its Liza-1 well on Stabroek Block, about 120 miles offshore Guyana. The well was drilled to 17,825 feet and hit 295 feet of high-quality sandstone pay. Operator Esso E&P Guyana Ltd. holds 45 percent, Hess Guyana Exploration 30 percent and CNOOC Nexen Petroleum Guyana 25 percent.
China National Petroleum Corp. (CNPC) has discovered tight-oil reserves of more than 700 million barrels in its Changqing field, in the western Chinese province of Shaanxi. In first quarter 2015 the Ordos Basin field produced 487,600 Bopd, CNPC said.
Eni found gas and condensates again offshore Libya. Its A1-1/1 well was drilled in 410 feet of water and flowed 1,340 boe per day with estimated production capacity of 3,000 boe per day.
Premier Oil hit oil in the Isobel/Elaine fan complex in the North Falkland Basin. It said the bottom 75 feet of the Isobel Deep exploration well consisted of oil-bearing sands.
A CNOOC discovery on the Liuhua 20-2 Block in the eastern South China Sea tested at about 8,000 Bopd. Well LH20-2-1 went to 9,744 feet and found pay zones with total thickness of 116 feet. The well is in the Northern Slope Belt of Baiyun Sag in the Pearl River Mouth Basin.
Petrobras upgraded the potential of the Carcara offshore discovery. The 3-SPS-105 evaluation well about 250 kilometers south of Rio de Janeiro found light oil in a 1,175-foot continuous pay column.
Mercator Petroleum Ltd. discovered oil and gas on Block CN-ONN-2005/9 in the Cambay Basin, Gujarat, India. The Jyoti-1 well was drilled to 9,632 feet with multiple oil and gas shows in a “very good quality” Miocene clastic reservoir.
Petroleos Mexicanos (Pemex) said it made its biggest discovery in five years with four new fields in shallow water in the Gulf of Mexico, with potential for combined production of at least 200,000 Bopd and 170 Mmcfd.
Lundin Norway AS encountered a 164-foot thick gas column in appraisal well 7220/11-2 in the Barents Sea, in the western part of the Alta discovery in license PL 609. A sidetrack potentially tested at 860 Bopd and 65 Mmcfd.
Wentworth Resources hit gas with the MB-4 well in Mnazi Bay Concession, southern Tanzania. The well went to 9,146 feet and cut 219 feet of net pay in Lower and Upper Mnazi Bay targets.
The Cardona No. 6 deepwater development well on Mississippi Canyon Block 29 in the Gulf of Mexico cut 288 feet of net oil pay in two intervals, according to Stone Energy Corp.
Europa Oil & Gas said an ongoing extended well test on the onshore Wressle-1 oil and gas well in east Lincolnshire, England, produced more than 180 boe per day from the Penistone Flags zone.
Bowleven Oil & Gas found hydrocarbons in Paleocene (Tertiary) reservoir intervals onshore Cameroon. Zingana, the first in a two-well exploration program, was drilled on the Bomono Permit.
GeoPark reported another discovery success on the Llanos 34 Block in Colombia with the Chachalaca 1 well, drilled to 12,270-feet. Productive pay in the Mirador formation produced 1,100 Bopd.
Turkmenistan added more natural gas reserves with exploration in the Bagley-1 area of the Karakum Desert, in the region of Mary in the southeast of the country. Production capacity was estimated at 1.5 million cubic meters a day.
Buru Energy Ltd. said logs indicated a 75-foot oil-bearing interval at the top of the Ungani Dolomite section in its Praslin 1 well in Western Australia. The well is in permit EP 391 in the onshore Canning Basin.
Eni SpA made a supergiant gas discovery at its deepwater Zohr Prospect offshore Egypt. Its Zohr 1X NFW well, in 4,757 feet of water depth on the Shorouk Block, initiated a find that could hold more than 30 Tcf of gas in place.
GeoPark Ltd. said its Jacana 1 well on Llanos 34 Block offshore Colombia flowed 1,880 Bopd. Target zones include the Guadalupe and Mirador formations. Total depth was 10,900 feet in waters southwest of the large Tigana oil field.
Mari Petroleum Company Ltd. tested hydrocarbons in three formations with the Kalabagh-1A ST1 well on the Karak Block in Punjab Province, northern Pakistan. The Lower Jurassic Datta and Middle Jurassic Samana Suk flowed a combined 1,495 boe per day with 340 barrels of condensate per day, and the Paleocene Lockhart flowed 500 Bopd. MOL Pakistan Oil & Gas Co. BV holds 40 percent.
Pakistan Petroleum Ltd. made its third area discovery with the Fazl X-1 well on Block 2568-13 in Matiari District, Sindh, Pakistan. The well flowed 20.3 Mmcfd on choke with 50 barrels per day of condensate. Logs identified hydrocarbon-bearing zones in the Lower Goru formation.
In PL 104 in the northern North Sea, Statoil’s 30/9-27 S wildcat found a 111-foot oil column in sandstone with moderate to good reservoir quality. Preliminary well estimates ranged between 35 million-70 million cubic feet.
LGO Energy said its GY-678 well encountered 480 feet of net hydrocarbon pay at the Goudron field in Trinidad. The well went to 4,219 feet with pay in the C-sands main target.
San Leon Energy discovered gas with the Laayoune-4 well on the Tarfaya conventional license in the Sahara region onshore Morocco. Reported gross reservoir thickness was 23 meters of sands and conglomerate.
OMG AV added another gas discovery in Pakistan’s Sindh Province. Its Latif South-1 well flowed 2,500 boe per day from Lower Goru Intra C sands. OMV said more appraisal was needed to determine recoverables. Pakistan Petroleum Ltd. and Eni Pakistan Ltd. each hold 33.3 percent.
Mystery well: Afek Oil and Gas reportedly drilled into a 1,150-foot thick oil column at its Ness 5 site on the Golan Heights, Israel. The company later reported finding a “significant” amount of oil but did not release results.
LUKOIL Overseas Atash BV found a deepwater gas field offshore Romania with its Lira 1X, drilled to 8,858 feet. Field reserves in EX-30 Block could exceed 1 Tcf.
CNOOC made a shallow-water oil discovery with the Caofeidian 6-4-1 well on the Shijutuo Uplift in China’s western Bohai exploration area. The well made 5,750 Bopd of light crude from a 180-meter pay zone. CNOOC said that was record Bohai-area test production from Paleogene clastics.
Pan Orient Energy Corp. had an oil and gas discovery in the Batu Gajah production sharing contract onshore Sumatra, Indonesia. The Akeh-1 well produced from four zones in the target Lower Talang Akar sands.
Lundin Malaysia BV found gas offshore Malaysia with the Mengkuang-1 exploration well in license PM307. It reached about 30 feet of gas pay in Miocene channel sands 46 miles northwest of the Bertam field. Total depth was 4,130 feet below sea level.
Circle Oil plc announced a gas discovery at the Caid El Gaddari-13 well on the Sebou Permit, onshore Morocco. The well hit about 20 feet of net pay and flowed at 4.45 Mmcfd on choke. Target depth was 2,857 feet.
A sidetrack to the Chevron Corp. Anchor-2 discovery on Green Canyon Block 807 offshore Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico found an additional 694 feet of oil pay. Chevron said its combined Anchor Prospect hydrocarbon column was at least 1,800 feet in Lower Tertiary Wilcox reservoirs. The original well went to 33,750 feet.
Apache Corp. made two major discoveries in the North Sea Beryl area with its K and Corona wells. The 9/18a-39A Corona exploration well found 225 feet of net pay in reservoir-quality sands in a Tertiary prospect. Its Seagull appraisal on Block 22/29c cut 672 feet of net pay and tested at 8,700 Bopd and 16 MMcfd from Triassic sands.
Eni reported a gas-condensates discovery in the Nkala Marine prospect offshore Congo, in Marine XII Block. It said the Nkala Marine 1 well produced more than 10 Mmcfd of gas with associated condensates, and could contain 250 million-350 million boe in place.
Kosmos Energy reported a play-extending confirmation well in northern Block C-8 offshore Mauritania. The Marsouin-1, in about 7,874 feet of water, cut 230 feet of net pay in upper and lower Cenomanian intervals.
Petrobras announced the first extension well in the Pitu Discovery Evaluation Plan 37 miles offshore Rio Grande do Norte state in Potiguar Basin deepwater. Its Pitu North 1 oil well reached total depth of 13,780 feet in 6,050 feet of water.
A sidetrack to the Antelope-4 ST-1 well drilled in PRL 15 onshore Papua New Guinea encountered a 597-foot column of gas-bearing dolomite with a vertical gas column of 1,112 feet, according to a Total-led joint venture. The Elk-Antelope Prospect is estimated to hold 7-9 Tcf of gas.
A group led by Cairn Energy said the SNE-2 appraisal well on the Sangomar Deep Block offshore Senegal reached total depth of 9,268 feet, and preliminary results confirmed the 2014 SNE-1 oil discovery.
Wintershall Norge AS said its 35/11-18 wildcat in North Sea production license 259 found 902 feet of light oil reservoir in the Middle Jurassic Brent group. Targets were the Tarbert and Oseberg formations.
An appraisal well hit total oil and gas pay of 186 feet in two Upper Jurassic sands.