Year's Quality Outshines Quantity

Discoveries on a Short List

When it comes to oil and gas discoveries, 2002 will go in the books of "quality" rather than "quantity."

"The (discoveries) list is shorter this year," said Ken White, senior editor of the IHS Energy International Oil Letter. "But it is a list of some very high quality discoveries."

One of the top finds of the year, according to White, was the Reliance Petroleum's D-6-1 wildcat in the Krisha-Godavari deepwater block offshore India's Andhra Pradesh coast.

White noted the importance of the find because:

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When it comes to oil and gas discoveries, 2002 will go in the books of "quality" rather than "quantity."

"The (discoveries) list is shorter this year," said Ken White, senior editor of the IHS Energy International Oil Letter. "But it is a list of some very high quality discoveries."

One of the top finds of the year, according to White, was the Reliance Petroleum's D-6-1 wildcat in the Krisha-Godavari deepwater block offshore India's Andhra Pradesh coast.

White noted the importance of the find because:

  • In-place reserves are estimated at 5 TCf recoverable.
  • It is the first ever discovery by an Indian private sector company in deep water.
  • The company claims the find is the biggest gas discovery for almost three decades — and is one of the largest gas discoveries in the world this year.

Reliance, a part of India's Reliance Group, the country's largest private-sector company, formed its E&P company three years ago and was one of the most active bidders in India's first three licensing rounds.

Comments by IHS Energy letter regional editors noted other significant discoveries from the 2002 list:

In Angola, IHS reported that BP's Plutao 1A was strategically very important, as the well revived interest in the ultra-deepwater following the drilling of three dry holes.

The poor results forced a re-evaluation, and instead of looking for seismically large prospects operators shifted toward a deliberate focus on direct hydrocarbon indicators — and in particular "flat spots."

It is believed that Plutao 1A was the first well using the new approach.

Sometimes, discoveries are important, even though the testing is incomplete.

In Ireland, although untested, 12/2-1 (Dooish), off western Ireland demonstrates the presence of a working hydrocarbon system in the Rockall Trough in one of the largest prospects on the Atlantic margin.

The well penetrated a substantial column of hydrocarbons in a tilted fault block — but more work is required to understand the full implications of the results of this well.

12/2-1 also had the second deepest water depth of any oil or gas well drilled to date in Irish waters.

For offshore Mexico, the Lankahuasa #1 gas discovery in April generated much excitement in Pemex E&P's Región Norte, as the discovery opened up an entirely new trend for the company.

The well is the first in a series of dozens of natural gas prospects that are slated for drilling in the shallow water area offshore Veracruz and Tamaulipas states. The area is a vast, relatively unexplored portion of the continental shelf stretching some 500 kilometers from the maritime boundary with the United States to the southwestern-most Bay of Campeche.

In Norway, in terms of anticipated reserves, the most significant discovery announced this year was made in the Norwegian Sector of the North Sea — 33/12-8A (Ole) is estimated to contain around 17.7 MMb oil and 21 Bcf gas, and probably will be developed in conjunction with the Dole and Dolly discoveries.

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