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Shell Starts Drilling at Cebus Well, Offshore French Guiana

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.”

Source

Northern Petroleum: More Drilling to Be Conducted Offshore French Guiana

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.

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Worldwide Field Development News Dec 29 – Jan 4, 2013

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This week the SubseaIQ team added 3 new projects and updated 9 projects. You can see all the updates made over any time period via the Project Update History search. The latest offshore field develoment news and activities are listed below for your convenience.

Asia – Far East

CNOOC Bolsters South China Sea Production

Jan 3, 2013 – Production has started at CNOOC’s 100% owned Liuhua 4-1 field in the South China Sea. Liuhua 4-1 is a subsea development consisting of one production manifold and eight production wells. They are produced through the Nanhai Tiao Zhan FPS and then pumped to the Nanhai Sheng Li FPSO. Peak production is expected to be reached later this year. In addition, the company completed an adjustment project on the Panyu 4-2 and 5-1 oilfields. The objective of the project was to achieve more efficient production from the two fields through shared facilities.

Europe – North Sea

North Sea Energy Provides Badger Update

Jan 3, 2013 – North Sea Energy’s operating committee recently held a meeting to discuss the path forward regarding the Premier Oil-operated Badger prospect in the UK North Sea. Badger is a structural/stratigraphic trap with an objective in lower Cretaceous Coracle and Punt sandstones. Further delineation is required and critical risk elements need to be mitigated before a drilling decision can be made. The company hopes to be in a position to make that decision by the end of 3Q 2013.

Det Norske Submits Ivar Aasen POD

Jan 3, 2013 – Det norske, on behalf of the partners in Production License 001B, submitted to the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy the Plan for Development and Operation of the Ivar Aasen field. If approved, first oil could be seen in 4Q 2016. Information gained during appraisal drilling indicates that the field contains 150 mmboe and will produce at a steady rate of 23,000 boepd. The development will also include the Hanz and West Cable discoveries. Hanz will be utilized by a subsea installation tied back to a production platform servicing Ivar Aasen and West Cable.

Project Details: Ivar Aasen

BP Brings Skarv Field Online

Jan 3, 2013 – BP announced the start of production systems at the Skarv field on December 31, 2012. Over its life, Skarv is expected to produce over 100 million barrels of oil and condensate and over 1.5 trillion cubic feet of rich gas. Water depth at the location is almost 1,500 feet. Development facilities include a new harsh environment FPSO, five subsea templates and a 50 mile export pipeline. Production rates will gradually increase over the year to an expected maximum daily rate of 165,000 boed.

Project Details: Skarv/Idun

S. America – Other & Carib.

Priodontes Well Spuds Off French Guiana

Jan 3, 2013 – Shell, as operator of the Guyane Maritime Permit (French Guiana), spudded an exploration well at the Priodontes prospect on December 29, 2012. The well is being drilled by the Stena Drillmax ICE (UDW drillship). Well GM-ES-3 is the second well in the current drilling program and is testing a different area of the Cingulata fan system that contains the recent Zaedyus oil discovery. Results of the Priodontes exploration will allow the license partners to gain a better understanding of the area’s geology and overall potential.

S. America – Brazil

PanAtlantic to P&A Jandaia

Jan 4, 2013 – Jandaia reached its targeted depth without encountering any indication of hydrocarbons. PanAtlantic and its partner Panoro Energy have plugged and abandoned the well. Jandaia, which is located in concession BM-S-71, was the third well in Vanco’s three-well program offshore Brazil. Sabia, the first well in the program, encountered volume at the low end of the pre-drill estimate and the second well, Canario, was dry.

Mediterranean

Noble Close to Flipping Switch at Tamar

Jan 3, 2013 – With the Inauguration of the Tamar production platform Noble Energy and the other Tamar interest holders are one step closer to the realization of first gas which is expected in April of this year. Discovery of the deepwater reservoir took place four years ago and development has progressed on schedule and within budget. The platform was installed in 800 feet of water and has the capacity to process 1.2 bcfd from its subsea wells. Once processed, the gas will flow through 93 miles of subsea pipeline to the Ashdod Terminal on Israel’s coast. Tamar is estimated to hold 8.4 tcf of gas reserves and its development will help bring the country to the verge of energy independence.

Project Details: Tamar

N. America – US GOM

FMC Awarded Delta House Contract

Jan 3, 2013 – LLOG Exploration awarded a subsea equipment contract to FMC Technologies relating to the recently approved Delta House development project in the deep waters of Mississippi Canyon in the US Gulf of Mexico. Under the contract FMC will supply nine subsea trees, four subsea manifolds, five multiphase meters with all associated topside control systems and subsea distribution systems. Delivery of the $114 million order will take place this year.

Project Details: Delta House

Tullow: No Commercial Oil at Zaedyus-2 Well (French Guiana)

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.”

Tullow: No Commercial Oil at Zaedyus-2 Well (French Guiana)| Offshore Energy Today.

Second Well Follows Guyane Oil Discovery

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

Tullow 27.5%

Total 25.0%

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.

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