Category Archives: French Guiana
French Guiana (French: Guyane française, French pronunciation: [ɡɥijan fʁɑ̃sɛz]; officially just Guyane) is an overseas region of France, consisting of a single overseas department located on the northern Atlantic coast of South America. It has borders with two nations, Brazil to the east and south, and Suriname to the west. Its 83,534 km² have a very low population density of less than three inhabitants per km², with almost half of its 229,000 people in 2009 living in the urban area of Cayenne, its capital.
By Jim Garamone
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
WASHINGTON, Oct. 8, 2014 – The potential spread of Ebola into Central and Southern America is a real possibility, the commander of U.S. Southern Command told an audience at the National Defense University here yesterday.
“By the end of the year, there’s supposed to be 1.4 million people infected with Ebola and 62 percent of them dying, according to the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention],” Marine Corps Gen. John F. Kelly said. “That’s horrific. And there is no way we can keep Ebola [contained] in West Africa.”
If it comes to the Western Hemisphere, many countries have little ability to deal with an outbreak of the disease, the general said.
“So, much like West Africa, it will rage for a period of time,” Kelly said.
This is a particularly possible scenario if the disease gets to Haiti or Central America, he said. If the disease gets to countries like Guatemala, Honduras or El Salvador, it will cause a panic and people will flee the region, the general said.
“If it breaks out, it’s literally, ‘Katie bar the door,’ and there will be mass migration into the United States,” Kelly said. “They will run away from Ebola, or if they suspect they are infected, they will try to get to the United States for treatment.”
Also, transnational criminal networks smuggle people and those people can be carrying Ebola, the general said. Kelly spoke of visiting the border of Costa Rica and Nicaragua with U.S. embassy personnel. At that time, a group of men “were waiting in line to pass into Nicaragua and then on their way north,” he recalled.
“The embassy person walked over and asked who they were and they told him they were from Liberia and they had been on the road about a week,” Kelly continued. “They met up with the network in Trinidad and now they were on their way to the United States — illegally, of course.”
Those men, he said, “could have made it to New York City and still be within the incubation period for Ebola.”
Kelly said his command is in close contact with U.S. Africa Command to see what works and what does not as it prepares for a possible outbreak in the area of operations.
Shell has started drilling at Cebus prospect (GM-ES-4), the third well of the current four well exploration programme in the Guyane Maritime Permit (French Guiana), Northern Petroleum, which holds a stake in the permit, has announced.
The drilling operations are being conducted with the Stena Ice Max drillship.
Northern through holding 50 per cent of Northpet Investments Limited, owns a net 1.25 per cent interest in the offshore exploration licence ‘Guyane Maritime’. Northern is in partnership with Shell (Operator, holding 45 per cent), Total (25 per cent), Tullow Oil (27.5 per cent) and Wessex Exploration (also holding 1.25 per cent through owning the remaining 50 per cent interest in Northpet Investment Limited).
Keith Bush, Chief Operating Officer of Northern stated:
“This is a new, exciting opportunity for the joint venture to further establish the oil production potential in French Guiana. We look forward to the results of this well with great interest.”
Northern Petroleum Plc announces the joint venture decision to extend current drilling operations on the Guyane Maritime permit in French Guiana.
The GM-ES-3 exploration well is the second well of a four well exploration drilling campaign that commenced in 2012 to follow up the oil discovery at GM-ES-1 in 2011.
The GM-ES-2 well had exploration objectives in the major Cingulata fan system within which the original oil discovery was made in two ages of formation. GM-ES-3 has been planned to deliver exploration information in the subsidiary Priodontes fan system to the north west of the Zaedyus oil discovery.
The GM-ES-3 well intersected a 50 metres gross section of oil stained sands in the lower part of the Bradypus fan which was not a target formation at this location although it is also within the main Cingulata fan system. A 325 metres gross interval of sandstones was encountered in the targeted Priodontes fan, but these were logged with no significant hydrocarbon shows.
It has been decided by the Shell, Total, Tullow Oil and Northpet Investments Limited joint venture that this well provides a suitable location to drill deeper in a plan to penetrate the full post Atlantic rift sequence. The duration of this additional drilling will depend upon results from the formations encountered.
“This information may prove crucial to a fuller understanding of the exploration potential of this very large licensed area. Although this extension may cause a small delay to the further wells in this exploration programme, the earlier the deeper formations are examined, the better the advantages to be gained from its use in the second part of the drilling programme and aid efforts towards discovering more oil,” said NorthernPetroleum in a press release.
The well is now targeted to reach a final depth of 6438 meters subject to operational factors.
Derek Musgrove, Managing Director of Northern stated: “Following the oil discoveries of GM-ES-1 in 2011, the task before us was to explore the licence to ascertain its wider potential. Whilst the sand package in the primary target proved not to have significant hydrocarbons at this location, the oil staining encountered in the Bradypus fan is encouraging of the broader active hydrocarbon systems and potential.
“Northern supports this fuller exploration approach to this well. It is likely to provide Partners with further geological data imperative to gaining further understanding of the complex geology in this area”
To read more on the Joint Venture’s operations in French Guiana click here.
Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) announces that the Zaedyus-2 appraisal well (GM-ES-2), offshore French Guiana, has completed drilling. The well, drilled 5km up-dip from the Zaedyus-1 well, encountered a total of 85 metres of reservoir quality sands with oil shows in several objectives but did not encounter commercial hydrocarbons at this location.
Results of drilling, logging and sampling to date have shown that the reservoirs at this location are not in communication with Zaedyus-1. Integration of information obtained from the two wells with the 3D seismic data suggests the reservoirs are geologically separated from Zaedyus-1.
As Zaedyus-2 is up-dip and disconnected from Zaedyus-1, this result has no bearing on the bulk of the undrilled prospectivity which is located downdip of Zaedyus-1. Future drilling on the Zaedyus fan system should therefore target the significant upside in the Zaedyus down-dip prospects and the down-dip elements of Zaedyus Deep.
The Zaedyus-2 well was drilled in the Guyane Maritime licence using the Stena DrillMax Dynamically Positioned Drillship. The well was drilled in water depths of 1,894 metres and has been drilled to a depth of 6,200 metres and logging operations are ongoing. The second well in this four-well programme is Priodontes-1, targeting an adjacent prospect within the same Cingulata fan system, and is expected to commence drilling in early December.
Tullow has a 27.5% stake in the Guyane Maritime licence and is partnered by Shell, who are operator and hold a 45% stake, Total (25%) and Northpet (2.5%), a company owned 50% by Northern Petroleum plc and 50% by Wessex Exploration plc.
Angus McCoss, Exploration Director, commented today: “While the Zaedyus-2 well has not proved an up-dip extension of the Zaedyus discovery towards the apex of the fan, the well has provided very valuable data for the exploration and appraisal strategy of the Cingulata fan system going forward. The French Guiana block remains highly prospective, particularly down-dip and still offer excellent potential for multiple exploration successes. These early lessons learned by the joint venture are being incorporated into our ongoing well campaign.”
Northern announces that as anticipated by Shell France on June 23rd, The Stena Drillmax ICE drillship commenced operations on the GM-ES-2, the second well on the Guyane Maritime permit on Friday 6th July. GM-ES-2 follows up on the Zaedyus oil discovery in late 2011, which encountered 72 metres of net oil pay in two turbidite sand systems successfully proving that the Jubilee play is mirrored across the Atlantic from West Africa.
The potential of this well was indicated by the Chief Executive of Shell France, Patrick Romeo who stated that, “drilling should last three months and Shell hopes to discover a reserve of at least 300 million barrels of oil” as reported by Dow Jones Newswires. Also, Tullow’s Exploration Director, Angus McCoss was quoted in the New York Times as having said the field could be larger than Jubilee, with 1 billion barrels or more of recoverable oil.
The partner interests in offshore Guyane are:
Shell 45.0% and operator
Northpet Investment 2.5% (Northern owns a 50% equity interest in Northpet Investments)
Derek Musgrove, Managing Director of Northern stated:
“We are pleased to be following up on the highly successful Zaedyus discovery so quickly. Through this project shareholders may benefit from this potentially very high impact event without any great cost exposures. I look forward to updating shareholders on progress.”
In accordance with the AIM Rules – Guidance for Mining and Oil & Gas Companies, the information contained in this announcement has been reviewed and signed off by the Exploration and Technical Director of Northern, Mr. Graham Heard CGeol.
FGS, who has over 35 years experience as a petroleum geologist. He has compiled, read and approved the technical disclosure in this regulatory announcement. The technical disclosure in this announcement complies with the SPE/WPC standard.
Northern Petroleum announces plans to commence drilling in mid 2012 on the Guyane permit offshore French Guiana, to follow up on the Zaedyus oil discovery in late 2011 that demonstrated the prospectivity of this licence area off South America. This is a relatively low cost investment for Northern with high upside potential.
In the Zaedyus exploration well, 72 metres of net oil pay was discovered in two turbidite sand systems in the first phase of drilling – successfully proving that the Jubilee play is mirrored across the Atlantic from West Africa.
The second phase of drilling is planned to involve the spudding of a de-lineation well on the discovery, likely to be followed by an exploration well on one of the neighbouring prospects within the area captured by 3D seismic survey. Additional 3D seismic is also planned to be acquired from midyear to further delineate leads on trend and similar to the Zaedyus discovery mapped on 2D seismic along the length of the deepwater margin.
To undertake these operations Shell, who took over as Operator from Tullow Oil on 1 February 2012, has contracted the Stena DrillMax ICE drillship, which is expected to commence operations midyear subject to government consents.
The partner interests in offshore Guyane are: Shell 45%, Tullow 27.5%, Total 25%, Northpet Investments 2.5% (Northern owns a 50% equity interest in Northpet)
Derek Musgrove, Managing Director of Northern stated:
”Northern is pleased that the successful Zaedyus oil discovery is to be quickly followed by a new drilling campaign. This will not only further delineate the discovery structure, but will also move forward to drill some of the similar prospects defined by 3D seismic in order to confirm the wider significant potential of this permit area covering the entire length of the prospective continental shelf edge of Guyane, a distance of about 200 kilometres.”
- Tullow makes Kenya’s first oil discovery (independent.co.uk)
- Africa Seen Mirroring Brazil in Atlantic Coast Drilling:Energy (businessweek.com)
Cobalt International Energy, Inc. announced today that the Ensco 8503 drilling rig, contracted to Cobalt, has returned to the U.S. Gulf of Mexico following a sublet of the rig to drill a well in French Guiana. Cobalt received the required U.S. Coast Guard Certificate of Compliance and has subsequently received APD approval from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) for the Ligurian #2 exploratory well.
The company expects to spud Ligurian #2 by year end. Ligurian is located in the Southern Green Canyon Area immediately adjacent to the 2009 Heidelberg discovery in which Cobalt is a part owner. After drilling Ligurian #2, Cobalt plans to move the rig to the North Platte #1 well location in the Garden Banks Area to drill that prospect. Cobalt anticipates that each of the Ligurian #2 and North Platte #1 exploratory wells will take approximately six months to drill.
“Obtaining the approved APD for Ligurian #2 represents another significant milestone for Cobalt”, said Van P. Whitfield, Cobalt’s Chief Operating Officer. “Ligurian #2 will be our first company-operated well drilled in the Gulf of Mexico since the deepwater drilling moratorium was enforced in May 2010. We are definitely excited about our return to drilling and are confident in our ability to drill this well safely. Additionally, we look forward to obtaining the additional permits required to drill and evaluate the multiple other significant world class prospects we have in our Gulf of Mexico portfolio.”
Cobalt is the operator of the Ligurian #2 well located in Green Canyon Block 814, with a 45% working interest. Other working interest owners include TOTAL E&P USA, INC. with a 30% working interest and Sonangol Exploration & Production International, Ltd. with a 25% working interest.
2012 Cash Expenditure Forecast
Cobalt also announced that its 2012 cash expenditures will be $500-$550 million. This range is consistent with previous guidance for 2011-13 cash expenditures of $1.3-$1.4 billion and compares with $170-$190 million recently estimated for 2011. The increased cash expenditures for 2012 relative to 2011 anticipates increased U.S. Gulf of Mexico and offshore Angola drilling activity and the payment of the first social bonus contribution associated with Angola Block 20. Cobalt’s net expenditures for 2012 exploration and appraisal drilling are forecasted at $250-$300 million. Each range of cash expenditures excludes changes to restricted cash items such as escrow agreements and collateralized letters of credit.
- Cobalt up after Goldman upgrade, Angola find (marketwatch.com)
- Gulf drilling, economies remain sluggish (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Bully I Makes Debut in GOM (mb50.wordpress.com)
- USA: Busy December Ahead of Pacific Drilling’s Drillships (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Fairmount Marine Brings Ocean Yorktown Rig in U.S. Gulf of Mexico (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Lucius: Deepwater Gulf of Mexico (mb50.wordpress.com)
Northern announces that earlier today, Tullow Oil Plc (“Tullow”) in their Interim Management Statement provided the following update on well GM-ES-1, in the Guyane Maritime Permit, in which Northern has a 1.25% interest:
“In French Guiana, the Zaedyus exploration well discovered 72 metres of net oil pay in two turbidite fans. This is the first well in Tullow’s extensive Guyana Basin acreage and successfully proved that the Jubilee play is mirrored across the Atlantic from West Africa. Currently, a sidetrack is being drilled to recover reservoir cores with operations expected to complete in mid-November. The partners are working on the 2012 programme and anticipate it to include 3D seismic and the drilling of two wells which is expected to commence in mid-2012 once all the necessary approvals have been obtained.
Shell is expected to take over Operatorship of the block in early 2012, subject to Government and Joint Venture approval.”
The partner interests in the Guyane Maritime licence offshore French Guiana are:
Shell France 45%
Northpet Investments 2.5% (Northern owns a 50% equity interest in Northpet)
- Tullow Discovers Oil Offshore French Guiana (mb50.wordpress.com)
- Tullow Becomes Operator of New PSC Offshore Mauritania (mb50.wordpress.com)