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Chevron Acquires Offshore Suriname Acreage

Chevron Corporation announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Chevron Global Energy Inc. (Chevron) will be assigned a 50 percent working interest in Blocks 42 and 45 offshore Suriname through an agreement with Kosmos Energy.

Under the agreement, Kosmos will have a 50 percent working interest and remain operator of both blocks until the end of the exploration phase. Chevron will assume the remaining 50 percent working interest and will be the operator following any commercial discoveries.

“This agreement enables us to explore for new resources in this frontier basin,” said George Kirkland, vice chairman, Chevron Corporation. “These blocks are on trend with new deepwater Cretaceous discoveries in the region.”

Blocks 42 and 45 are located approximately 155 miles (250 kilometers) from Paramaribo and cover a combined area of approximately 2.8 million gross acres, at water depths ranging between 650 and 8,500 feet (200-2600 meters).

“We are very pleased to participate in Suriname’s emerging energy sector,” said Ali Moshiri, president of Chevron Africa and Latin America Exploration and Production Company. “These blocks will expand our exploration portfolio in Latin America.”

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Hyperdynamics Halts Drilling Offshore Guinea

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Hyperdynamics Corporation today announced the Sabu-1 exploration well offshore Republic of Guinea was drilled to a total subsea depth of 2,224 meters, putting the well near the top of Cretaceous age sediments, and that the next string of 13-3/8 inch casing was successfully set.

Following retesting of the blowout preventer, the well was drilled to a depth of 2,304 meters. Drilling equipment problems were encountered, and drilling has been suspended while repairs are made. The delay is estimated to be approximately one week.

The Houston based company expects to test prospective upper Cretaceous sandstone reservoirs while it drills the Sabu-1 well to a total subsea depth of about 3,600 meters.

Ocean Endeavor completes seismic survey

Hyperdynamics also announced that the CGGVeritas Ocean Endeavor has completed acquisition of the 4,000-square-kilometer 3D seismic program in the deeper water portion of its concession offshore Guinea. Processing of the 3D data set is in progress, with the first preliminary time section results expected in March 2012.

Hyperdynamics operates the Guinea concession with a 77 percent participating interest, with the remaining 23 percent held by Aberdeen-based Dana Petroleum, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Korean National Oil Company. The well is operated through AGR, a well management company.

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Ophir Begins with Drilling Operations Offshore Tanzania

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Ophir announces the start of its 2012 drilling programme in Tanzania with the drillship Odfjell Metro-1. The first three wells in the programme will be Jodari-1, Mzia-1 (previously named 1W) and Papa-1 (previously named 3A).

The Metro-1 is a state-of-the-art drillship capable of drilling in water depths of up to 3,000m. The rig has a dual derrick with a main work centre and an auxiliary work centre to facilitate a number of simultaneous operations. Both work  centres are equipped for drilling. The Metro-1 was built at the Hyundai Heavy Industries yard in Ulsan, South Korea and a detailed series of acceptance tests have been performed ahead of mobilisation to Tanzania.

The Jodari-1 and Mzia-1 wells are both located in Block 1. For efficiency reasons the Mzia-1 top hole section will be drilled first, as part of a batch drilling programme, then the rig will move to drill Jodari-1 in its entirety, before returning to Mzia-1 to complete the bottom portion of the well.

The Mzia-1 well spudded in 1,500m of water on 1 January 2012 and drilling of the top hole section is expected to take 7 to 10 days. Thereafter the Jodari-1 well will spud in a water depth of 1,155m and drill to total depth of c 4,600m subsea in an estimated 40 days. The Jodari prospect contains multiple stacked targets in both the Tertiary and Cretaceous sections with the former having seismic flat spot and amplitude fit to structure. Jodari is modelled by Ophir to contain mean resources of 2.2Tcf in the stacked targets.

Ophir holds 40% of Blocks 1, 3 and 4 and has now fully handed over operatorship to 60% partner BG International, who will manage the programme with the Metro-1.

Ophir CEO, Nick Cooper said: “2012 has the potential to be transformational for Ophir. We are pleased to start the year by kicking off our Tanzanian drilling programme and also to see drilling and seismic operations gearing up across our other key assets. Ophir plans to drill at least 9 wells across our portfolio in 2012.”

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USA: Saratoga, McMoRan in Vermilion 16 Field JV Talks

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Saratoga Resources and McMoRan Oil and Gas LLC (McMoRan) are in advanced talks regarding a potential joint venture on Saratoga’s Long John Silver Prospect at Vermilion 16 field.

While specific terms of the proposed joint venture are still being discussed and subject to confidentiality obligations, Saratoga anticipates contributing its deep rights (approximately 20,000 feet and below) to approximately 4,000 acres and access to Saratoga’s production and pipeline facilities in Vermilion 16 with McMoRan expected to contribute approximately 6,000 acres to the joint venture. The joint venture objective is expected to target ultradeep shelf Lower Tertiary (Wilcox) and Cretaceous objectives at depths of 23,000-30,000 feet subsea. All of the subject acreage is in Louisiana state waters in Vermilion Parish with water depths ranging from 5-10 feet.

The Long John Silver Prospect is situated in one of the main Lower Wilcox depositional fairways that fed McMoRan’s Davey Jones discovery on the Gulf of Mexico Shelf and the Walker Ridge Wilcox discoveries in Gulf of Mexico Deepwater.

Saratoga will retain its existing rights to all shallower objectives in the subject acreage, including all proved, probable and possible reserves, consisting of 8.7 million barrels of oil equivalent (MMBOE) of proved reserves and 18.6 MMBOE of total reserves at January 1, 2011. Additionally, Saratoga will retain the right to process its production from such shallower objectives at Saratoga’s production and pipeline facilities. Saratoga owns and operates a central production facility in Vermilion Block 16 with production capacity of 100 million cubic feet per day and a two mile pipeline to shore. Saratoga intends to continue its current development plans with respect to its shallower reserves in Vermilion 16, including drilling of development wells commencing in the first quarter of 2012.

Saratoga President, Mr. Andy Clifford, said “We are excited at the prospect of partnering with McMoRan in our ultradeep shelf play. McMoRan’s management team, under the visionary leadership of James Moffett, has established its position as a pioneer and the preeminent player in the ultradeep shelf play. We have gained valuable insights into the ultradeep Wilcox play through our involvement in the University of Texas Deep Shelf Consortium and through my years at BHP Billiton, a participant in the original Blackbeard well and a participant in the Cascade and Chinook Wilcox discoveries in Walker Ridge. We believe our Long John Silver Prospect has similar characteristics to recent high profile Wilcox successes, including McMoRan’s highly acclaimed Davey Jones well. Our 3D mapped deep shelf plays in Vermilion 16 and Grand Bay add exciting potential to our ongoing developmental drilling program.”

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Norway: Total Hits O&G

Total Hits O&G, Offshore Norway

Total E&P Norge AS, operator of production licence 127, has completed drilling wildcat well 6607/12-2 S. The well proved gas and oil.

Well 6607/12-2 S was drilled about eight kilometres west of the Norne field. The primary exploration target for the well was to prove petroleum in Middle and Lower Jurassic reservoir rocks (Fangst and Båt group). The secondary exploration target was to prove petroleum in Cretaceous reservoir rocks (Cromer Knoll group).

The well proved gas and oil in both the primary and secondary exploration targets with reservoir properties as expected.

Preliminary estimates of the size of the discovery are between 3 and 16 million Sm3 recoverable oil equivalents. Development of the discovery will be considered in conjunction with other fields in the area.

The well was not formation tested, but extensive data acquisition and sampling have been carried out.

Songa Delta

This is the second exploration well in production licence 127. The licence was awarded in licensing round 10 B in 1986.

The well was drilled to a vertical depth of 4245 metres below the sea surface and terminated in early Jurassic rocks (Åre formation). The water depth is 369 metres. The well will now be temporarily plugged and abandoned.

Well 6607/12-2 S was drilled by the Songa Delta drilling facility, which will now proceed to a shipyard for its 30-year certification, before proceeding to the North Sea to drill wildcat well 25/6-4 S. Det norske oljeselskap ASA is the operator there.

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