Daily Archives: April 3, 2012

Coastal Energy Encounters Net Pay Offshore Thailand

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Coastal Energy, an international oil and gas exploration and production company with assets in Thailand announces the successful Miocene discovery in the Bua Ban South A-04 well.

The Bua Ban South A-04 well was drilled to a depth of 3,250 feet TVD on the eastern flank fault block at Bua Ban South, approximately 1.5 miles south of the Bua Ban Main A-11 well. The A-04 well encountered 42 feet of net pay in the Lower Miocene M75 and M100 sands with 29.5% average porosity. The M75 is a newly discovered pay sand in the Lower Miocene. Initial results indicate that this is an extension of the Miocene reservoir which was encountered in the Bua Ban Main A-11. The A-11 well has been producing since September 2010 and is currently producing over 500 bopd. The minimum areal extent of the closure is approximately 550 acres.

Randy Bartley, President & Chief Executive Officer, commented:

“We are greatly encouraged by the successful Miocene results in the A-04 well. We have now discovered oil in three different Miocene intervals between Bua Ban Main and Bua Ban South. This new discovery is very positive for the Miocene remaining potential across the entire basin as well as supporting the potential of recent Oligocene discoveries in the Bua Ban South area. The Bua Ban South A-03ST#1 well has been spudded and will test the Eocene objective. We are currently evaluating locations for Miocene appraisal wells and will begin drilling those following the A-03ST#1.”

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Niko’s Drilling Program in Indonesia Kicks Off

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Niko Resources Ltd. has announced start of its exploration drilling program in Indonesia and participation in the company’s twenty-first block in the country.

Niko will partner with Zaratex N.V. in the 5908km2 Lhokseumawe PSC in western Indonesia. The block is located directly adjacent to the giant Arun field (>3.1BBOE) and associated LNG plant. A 3865km2 3D program was acquired on the block and a number of high impact prospects were subsequently identified. Drilling is to commence in the shallow water portion of the block in April with two wells. The Candralila-1 and Ratnadewi-1 prospects will be drilled back to back and if successful will be monetized relatively quickly by accessing the existing extensive local infrastructure.

Niko’s deep water rig, the Diamond Ocean Monarch, is scheduled to arrive in Lhokseumawe in September to drill the Jayarani-1 well. This will be the first well in Niko’s planned program of more than 25 deep water wells in Indonesia. In addition, in the North Ganal PSC in which Niko is a participant, operator Eni will be using the Transocean Seven Seas to drill the Lebah-1 well in the second half of 2012. The Lebah prospect will test the extension of the Jangkrik and Jangkrik-NE discovery trend (>400MMBOE of reserves to date). Eni has already filed a POD for the development of these discoveries and first production is expected in 2015.

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Insiders: SAS banker quits after market abuse fine

A JP Morgan senior banker has quit his job after being fined for abuse of insider information about Heritage Oil.

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by Michelle McGagh on Apr 03, 2012 at 10:35

A JP Morgan chairman has quit after being find £450,000 by the City regulator over abuse of insider information relating to a new oil find by Heritage Oil and an offer for the company.

Ian Hannam, chairman of capital markets at JP Morgan Cazenove, has been fined by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) after it discovered he had disclosed inside information in two emails sent in September and October 2008 to a prospective client.

Hannam will appeal the FSA’s decision but has resigned because it would be ‘an unfair distraction to my clients and colleagues’, according to the Guardian.

The information related to Heritage Oil (HOX.L), which was an existing JP Morgan client for which Hannam was the lead adviser.

In the September email, Hannam said of a potential acquisition: ‘I thought I would update you on discussions that have been going on with a potential acquirer of [Heritage Oil chief executive] Tony Buckingham’s business.

‘Tony, advised by myself, has deferred engaging with the client until Thursday of next weeks although we know they are very excited about the recent drilling results of Heritage Oil…I believe that the offer will come in in the current difficult market conditions at £3.50-£4.00 per share. I am not trying to force your hand, just wanted to make sure you aware of what is happening.’

In the second email, Hannam discloses information about a potential oil find, he said: ‘PS – Tony has just found oil and it’s looking good.’

A Fortune article last year described Hannam as a working-class South Londoner, the son of a council worker. He joined the Territorial Special Air Service (SAS) at 17 – one of the youngest men to pass the selection process. Hannam went on to gain a civil engineering degree at Imperial College before going into construction where his first assignment was building roads in Oman.

Hannam then went to business school and embarked on a training programme at Saloman Brothers in New York and worked his way up the corporate ladder – getting caught in the Robert Maxwell fiasco along the way.

The Fortune article said: ‘From Congo to Columbia, from Iraq to Sierra Leone, Hannam and his small team of soldiers-turned-bankers and advisers did business with oligarchs, gem deals, and former mercenaries.’

The FSA said it accepted that Hannam did not deliberately set out to commit market abuse. Hannam has referred the decision to the Upper Tribunal where he and the regulator will state their cases. The Tribunal will determine whether to uphold, vary or cancel the FSA ruling.

Tracey McDermott, acting FSA director of enforcement and financial crime, said: ‘Inside information is extremely valuable and must be handled with care to ensure that it is properly controlled and that appropriate safeguards are observed.

‘This applies to all market participants but is particularly important for senior practitioners who will regularly interact with a wide circle of contacts.’

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Obama Will Shred The Paul Ryan Budget In Today’s Big Speech

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WASHINGTON (AP) — In an election-year pitch to middle-class voters, President Barack Obama is denouncing a House Republican budget plan as a “Trojan horse,” warning that it represents “an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country” that would hurt the pocketbooks of working families.

Obama, in a speech to newspaper executives, is sharply criticizing a $3.5 trillion budget proposal pushed by Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., which passed on a near-party-line vote last week and has been embraced by GOP presidential hopefuls. The plan has faced fierce resistance from Democrats, who say it would gut Medicare, slash taxes for the wealthy and lead to deep cuts to crucial programs such as aid to college students and highway and rail projects.

“It’s a Trojan horse. Disguised as deficit reduction plan, it’s really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country,” Obama said in excerpts of his speech released Tuesday. “It’s nothing but thinly veiled social Darwinism.”

Obama’s message comes as Republican Mitt Romney looked to solidify his grip on his party’s presidential nomination in primary contests in Wisconsin, Maryland and Washington, D.C. The White House has appeared increasingly focused on Romney, with Obama’s campaign criticizing the former Massachusetts governor by name in an energy ad as the president’s team seeks to frame the election as a referendum on the economic security of middle-class voters.

White House advisers billed the speech — to be delivered during The Associated Press luncheon of editors and publishers — as an important marker for the president as he seeks re-election. Senior administration officials said the address would build upon themes the president delivered in Kansas last fall, in which he called the nation’s economic challenges a “make-or-break moment” for the middle class, and in his State of the Union address, in which he laid out his election-year agenda.

Ryan’s proposal aims to slash the deficit and the size of government while offering sharply lower tax rates in return for eliminating many popular tax breaks. GOP front-runner Mitt Romney and his Republican rivals have said they would support Ryan’s budget plan, which has little chance of passing the Democratic-controlled Senate but lays out the GOP’s fiscal priorities.

Obama was making the case that whoever wins the White House will face an economy still recovering from the “worst economic calamity since the Great Depression” and many Americans will still be looking for jobs and lacking financial security. By next year, “a debt that has grown over the last decade, primarily as a result of two wars, two massive tax cuts and an unprecedented financial crisis, will have to be paid down,” Obama says in the prepared remarks.

He argues that Ryan’s budget plan would stall the economic recovery. “By gutting the very things we need to grow an economy that’s built to last — education and training, research and development — it’s a prescription for decline,” he says.

On taxes, Obama is also expected to call for economic fairness encapsulated by the so-called “Buffett Rule,” arguing that the wealthy shouldn’t pay a smaller share of their income in federal taxes than middle-class taxpayers. Many wealthy taxpayers earn investment income, which is taxed at 15 percent, and Obama has proposed that people earning at least $1 million annually — whether in salary or investments — should pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes.

Obama planned to note that “broad-based prosperity has never trickled-down from the success of a wealthy few. It has always come from the success of a strong and growing middle class.”

The focus on tax reform has brought attention to the effective tax rate of Romney, a millionaire who is paying 15.4 percent in federal taxes for 2011 on income mostly derived from investments. The top nominal rate for taxpayers with high incomes derived from wages, not including investments, is 35 percent.

Obama was speaking at a luncheon of 900 editors and publishers following The Associated Press’ annual meeting. William Dean Singleton, outgoing chairman of the AP Board of Directors and chairman of MediaNews Group Inc., will pose questions to Obama following the president’s remarks.

Read more: BI

Namibia: Spectrum Starts Seismic Survey in Luderitz Basin

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Spectrum, in partnership with the National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia (NAMCOR), has commenced a new project in the Luderitz basin following the successful completion of an extended 2D Multi-Client seismic survey covering the deep water Orange Basin, offshore Namibia.

The Orange Basin program acquisition has been completed with additional lines now extending the program to over 8,000 km of long offset data. The vessel has now commenced a new regional program in the Luderitz Basin consisting of 4,400 km plus a potential infill of 1,200 km.

Seabird Exploration is providing the acquisition services through their Northern Explorer vessel which performed exceptionally well during January and February. Nearly 4,000 km of high quality data was acquired in February and the extended survey was completed ahead of schedule. Further prefunding has enabled Spectrum to add additional lines to the Orange Basin program and to commence the new Luderitz Basin survey.

There is considerable attention in the area at this time. The new survey is located immediately between the recently announced BP farm-in to the Serica 2513 A&B blocks and the potential in the Petrobras/BP/Chariot 2714A block. Very little seismic data is available over these blocks  and Spectrum’s survey will provide both Operators and potential Partners with a good quality regional dataset to evaluate this almost unexplored area.

The Orange Basin survey is now in processing with final deliverables expected to be available in June 2012. The Luderitz basin survey will be available in August.

Over 35,000 km of high-quality 2D multi-client data is now available through Spectrum from offshore Namibia in ten individual surveys. Each survey has been designed to target key plays within the offshore area. The data vintages range from the 1989 regional survey, through to detailed block specific surveys including the 2003 survey acquired around the Ondjou prospect in the northern Walvis Basin. There is also a comprehensive suite of surveys around the Kudu field, as well as covering the Orange and Luderitz Basins.

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