Anadarko Petroleum Corporation today announced the Golfinho exploration well discovered a new, major natural gas accumulation nearly 20 miles (32 kilometers) northwest of its Prosperidade complex within the Offshore Area 1 of the Rovuma Basin.
The Golfinho discovery well encountered more than 193 net feet (59 net meters) of natural gas pay in two high-quality Oligocene fan systems that are age-equivalent to, but geologically distinct from, the previous discoveries in the Prosperidade complex.
“The success of the Golfinho well significantly expands the tremendous resource potential of the Offshore Area 1 in the deep-water Rovuma Basin, with additional opportunities yet to test,” Anadarko Sr. Vice President, Worldwide Exploration, Bob Daniels said. “The Golfinho discovery, which is entirely contained within the Offshore Area 1 block, adds an estimated 7 to 20-plus Tcf (trillion cubic feet) of incremental recoverable resources over a significant areal extent. This new discovery is only 10 miles offshore, providing potential cost advantages for future development options.
“We are very excited about this new discovery and the value these additional resources represent for the people of Mozambique and our partnership. We look forward to continuing an active exploration program in the highly prospective northern and southern portions of the Offshore Area 1, as well as delineating this new discovery.”
The Golfinho exploration well was drilled to a total depth of approximately 14,885 feet (4,537 meters), in water depths of approximately 3,370 feet (1,027 meters). Once operations are complete at Golfinho, the partnership plans to mobilize the Belford Dolphin drillship to drill the Atum-1 exploration well.
Additionally, at the Barquentine-1 well location in the Prosperidade complex, the partnership successfully tested the upper Oligocene zone, which flowed at a facility-constrained rate of approximately 100 million cubic feet of natural gas per day. This is the third successful drill-stem test flowing at this facility-constrained rate.
Anadarko is the operator in the Offshore Area 1 with a 36.5-percent working interest. Co-owners include Mitsui E&P Mozambique Area 1, Limited (20 percent), BPRL Ventures Mozambique B.V. (10 percent), Videocon Mozambique Rovuma 1 Limited (10 percent) and Cove Energy Mozambique Rovuma Offshore, Ltd. (8.5 percent). Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos, ep’s 15-percent interest is carried through the exploration phase.
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EIA estimates of annual dry natural gas production indicate that the United States surpassed Russia as the world’s leading producer of dry natural gas beginning in 2009 when Russian production dropped in conjunction with the economic downturn and reduced demand.
Both countries produced more than 20 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of dry natural gas in 2010. Definitive comparisons of natural gas production trends in the two countries are imprecise due to differences in terminology and reporting methodologies.
Dry natural gas production in the United States rose 18% between 2005 and 2010—mainly due to growth in shale gas production. Increased use of horizontal drilling in conjunction with hydraulic fracturing spurred natural gas supply gains.
Other factors contributed to gains in natural gas production: improved site planning and field optimization, multi-well drilling from a single pad, rising associated natural gas production from oil plays, and improved drill-bit technology. According to Lippman Consulting, annual shale natural gas production in key shale plays grew from 1.6 Tcf to 7.2 Tcf between 2007 and 2011.
Since 1996, Russia’s dry natural gas production record has been mixed. It was relatively unchanged between 1996 and 2001, grew to almost 22 Tcf in 2006, and then remained relatively stable before declining in 2009.
Two factors leading to this decline were a slow-down in domestic natural gas consumption in Russia and Russian suppliers’ cutbacks to match reduced gas needs in Europe. Russian dry natural gas production rebounded somewhat in 2010, although the best available data indicate it remained about 2% lower than U.S. production of natural gas that year.
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Shell’s Arctic-class drill ship, the Kulluk, is shown as it is towed near Alaska. Shell is moving the Kulluk drilling unit from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, to a Seattle shipyard for ongoing maintenance and planned, technical upgrades. (Photo courtesy of Shell Oil Co.)
Alaska’s North Slope shales may hold as much as 80 trillion cubic feet of gas, or more than half the highest estimate for the Marcellus formation, and as much as 2 billion barrels of oil, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
President Barack Obama’s administration and the state of Alaska are offering more access to oil and natural gas resources on land and in the Arctic waters to help lower dependence on imported fuel and push more crude through a major oil pipeline crossing the state. Royal Dutch Shell Plc plans to start drilling this year in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas, which are off the coast of the North Slope.
“Alaska’s energy resources hold great promise and economic opportunity for the American people,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said today in an e-mailed statement.
The geological service, part of the Interior Department, said in a statement that North Slope shale hasn’t been developed because of economic and infrastructure considerations.
The assessment, the first made of North Slope shale resources, is based on success in extracting oil and gas from similar formations, such as the Marcellus Shale in the U.S. East. The agency last year estimated Marcellus may hold as much as 144 trillion cubic feet of gas.
Shale gas and shale oil, produced by horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing by injecting water and chemicals underground, led to record natural gas output in the U.S. last year and 33 percent decline in prices in the past 12 months.
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This new discovery, in addition to the Mamba South discovery from October 2011, further increases the potential of the Mamba complex in the Area 4. It is estimated that the total volume of gas in place reaches now about 850 billion cubic meters (30 tcf).
The Mamba North 1 discovery, located in water depths of 1,690 meters, reaches a total depth of 5,330 meters and is located approximately 23 Km north of Mamba South 1 discovery and 45 Km off the Capo Delgado coast. The discovery well encountered a total of 186 meters of gas pay in multiple high-quality Oligocene and Paleocene sands.
During the production test, the first performed at offshore Rovuma, the well produced high quality gas with flow rates, constrained by surface facilities, of about 1 million cubic meters a day and minor volumes of condensates. In a final production completion configuration, estimated gas production per well is expected to reach over 4 million cubic meters a day.
During 2012, Eni plans to drill at least other five wells in nearby structures to assess the upside potential of Mamba Compex.
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