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Worldwide Field Development News May 4 – May 10, 2013

This week the SubseaIQ team added 7 new projects and updated 29 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.

S. America – Brazil

BP to Sell Polvo Interest to HRT

May 9, 2013 – BP announced its intention to sell its 60% operated interest in the Polvo field to HRT Oil & Gas for $135 million in cash. Polvo is located in the southern part of the Campos Basin in block BM-C-8. Oil from the field is produced through a fixed drilling and production platform tied to an FPSO. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals, but BP expects the deal to close in the second half of 2013. If approved, HRT will make the transition from a pure exploration company to a small oil producer. Currently, the field is producing at a rate of 13,000 bopd.

Project Details: Polvo

Petronas Gains Brazilian Interests Through OGX Agreement

May 8, 2013 – Brazilian exploration and production company OGX reached an agreement to sell 40% of its interest in Campos Basin blocks BM-C-39 and BM-C-40 to Petronas for a reported $850 million with an effective date of May 1. Based on the agreement, Petronas will acquire an interest in the Tubarao Martelo oil field with its 285 million barrels of recoverable resources along with the Inga and Pero prospects which are all located within the two blocks. Production from Tubarao Martelo is expected to begin by the end of the year. The transaction is subject to approval by Brazil’s National Petroleum, Natural Gas and Biofuels Agency and the Brazilian Council for Economic Defense.

Project Details: Tubarao Martelo (Waikiki)

Karoon Discovers Oil in Bilby Prospect

May 7, 2013 – Karoon announced its second oil discovery of the current 3-well exploration program in the Santos Basin. The company announced a 656-foot gross oil pay made up of interbedded sand and shale intervals encountered while drilling the Bilby-1 well in block S-M-1166. Wireline testing of the pay zone is currently underway. Once complete, drilling will continue to the planned depth of 15,003 feet where Karoon hopes to find hydrocarbon-bearing Santonian aged reserovoirs. Completion of the Bilby well will mark the end of the exploration program.

Project Details: Bilby

Asia – SouthEast

Nido and PNOC Prepare for Baragatan Wildcat

May 8, 2013 – Nido Petroleum and its partner, Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC), have approved a work plan and budget to spud a wildcat on the Baragatan prospect in SC 63 offshore Palawan Island. Nido will serve as technical operator while drilling operations are underway. The well will be drilled when a suitable jackup becomes available and all regulatory approvals are secured. Bragatan is estimated to hold mean risked recoverable oil volumes of 115 million barrels with an upside of 166 million barrels.

Project Details: Baragatan

Ensco Jackup to Drill Cua Lo Prospect off Vietnam

May 7, 2013 – The Ensco 107 (400′ ILC) is expected to drill an exploration well targeting the Cua Lo prospect in Block 105 off Vietnam in June 2013. Participants in the block include Eni (50%) serving as operator, Neon Energy (25%) and KrisEnergy (25%). Interpretation of 3D seismic over the area is ongoing and the joint venture is attempting to finalize the drilling location to maximize the exposure of multiple potential pay zones. A Prospective Resource Assessment of the block has confirmed best estimate gross unrisked prospective recoverable resources of 3.9 Tcf.

Project Details: Cua Lo

Bentara Appraisal Continues in Balai Cluster

May 6, 2013 – ROC Oil advised that drilling of the Bentara-3 well in the Balai Cluster RSC has commenced. The well is the fifth and final well in the Balia Cluster pre-development/appraisal drilling program. Once the well is complete the joint venture partners will review the data and determine the economic viability of the fields. If the decision is made to move forward, a formal field development plan will be submitted.

Project Details: Balai Cluster

N. America – US GOM

W&T Continues Main Pass 108 Development

May 10, 2013 – Total depth has been reached in the B-1 well in Main Pass 108 block in the US Gulf of Mexico. The well, drilled by the Hercules 202 (200′ MC), was designed to target a potential 1.8 MMboe in the Tex W-6 Sand. It is possible that B-1 will be completed and on production by July. At that point, the Hercules 202 will skid over and spud the B-2 well which is targeting similar reserves. If successful, the B-2 well could be on line by 4Q 2013.

Project Details: Main Pass 108

ExxonMobil and Statoil to Proceed with Julia Deepwater Development

May 8, 2013 – ExxonMobil and its partner, Statoil, have agreed to proceed with development of the Julia oil field in the US Gulf of Mexico. Julia was discovered in 2007 and is estimated to hold almost 6 BBbbls of oil. The $4 billion project is expected to start producing in 2016. Phase 1 of the development will be designed to produce 34,000 bopd from 6 subsea wells tied back to the Jack/St. Malo production facility. A development drilling program is planned to be kicked-off in 2014 in waters ranging from 4,000 to 8,700 feet. ExxonMobil, the field operator, and Statoil each hold a 50% stake in the field.

Project Details: Jack/St. Malo

Shell Makes Stones Investment Decision

May 8, 2013 – Royal Dutch Shell made its final investment decision on the Stones ultra-deepwater oil and gas development project in the US Gulf of Mexico. At 9,500 feet deep, Stones is expected to host the world’s deepest production facility. Announcement of the decision sets in motion the construction of a floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel along with all of the associated subsea infrastructure. Initially, two developments well will be tied back to the FPSO with six additional wells to follow at a later date. Peak production for the first phase is expected to peak at 50,000 boed. The Stones reservoir is estimated to hold more than 2 BBboe.

Project Details: Stones

Marathon Development Continues off Louisiana Coast

May 6, 2013 – A fifth development well has been spud on the Apache-operated Marathon gas and condensate field in the Atchafalaya Bay off the coast of Louisiana. Marathon-4 is being drilled by the Parker 76-B (inland barge) in 8 feet of water and is targeting the Marathon formation at roughly 18,700 feet total depth. It is estimated to take 4-months to drill, complete and tie-in the well to existing production facilities. The Marathon field is operated by Apache who maintains a 48.75% interest. Petsec Energy holds 8% while private investors make up the remaining 43.25%.

N. America – Canadian Atlantic

Tecnhip Wins South White Rose Extension Contracts

May 8, 2013 – Husky Energy, operator of the White Rose field in Canada’s Jeanne d’Arc Basin, awarded a pair of development contracts associated with the South White Rose Extension project to Technip. The first contract is set to be carried out in 2013 and includes the supply and installation of gas injection flowlines, umbilicals and various subsea structures. Execution of the second contract will commence in 2014 and will involve the supply and installation of flowlines and subsea structures to support oil production and water injection. Husky has started a development drilling program and anticipates production start-up in 2014.

Project Details: White Rose

Europe – North Sea

Cairn Farms Into Spanish Point and Burren

May 8, 2013 – Cairn Energy announced it will farm-in to licenses FEL 2/04, FEL 4/08 and six adjacent licensing option blocks in the Porcupine Basin west of Ireland. Included in FEL 2/04 are the Spanish Point gas condensate discovery and the Burren oil discovery. The farm-in is subject to regulatory and partner approval. If approved, Cairn becomes the operator and acquires a 38% working interest by paying a pro-rated share of back costs for a consideration of $4.1 million and 63.33% of exploration and appraisal costs up to two wells, subject to a cap. An appraisal of Spanish Point is expected to be drilled in 2Q 2014.

Project Details: Spanish Point

Additional Production Well to be Drilled at Ettrick

May 7, 2013 – The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) approved an addendum to the Ettrick Field Development Plan (FPD) that was submitted in November 2012. Partners in the field include operator Nexen Petroleum (79.73%), Dana Petroleum (12%) and Atlantic Petroleum (8.27%). Ettrick was discovered in 1981 and began producing in 2009. Approval of the addendum will allow an infill production well to be drilled near the crest of the field. The well should be tied into the Aoka Mizu FPSO near the end of 3Q 2013.

Project Details: Ettrick

Johan Sverdrup Appraisals Continue

May 7, 2013 – Appraisal well 16/2-21 has been spud by the Bredford Dolphin (mid-water semisub) in the Johan Sverdrup discovery on the Norwegian continental shelf. The central part of the discovery is being tested in an effort to establish the depth, quality and thickness of the Jurassic reservoir sequences. Information obtained from this well will aid in developing a drainage and development strategy which is expected to be announced at the end of the year. Well 16/2-21 is the first in a three-well appraisal campaign that will be carried out through 2013.

Project Details: Johan Sverdrup

Luno II Tests at 2K BOPD

May 7, 2013 – Lundin Petroleum reports the previously announced production test of the Luno II discovery well is complete. Well 16/4-6S was drilled by the Bredford Dolphin (mid-water semisub) and encountered 131 gross feet of oil pay. A flow rate of more than 2,000 bopd was achieved through a 48/64 inch choke with a gas to oil ration of 1,100 scf/bbl. Lundin estimates the Luno II structure to contain gross contingent resources of 25 to 120 MMboe along with 10 to 40 MMboe of prospective resources for he Luno II North segment.

Project Details: Luno II

S. America – Other & Carib.

Shell Spuds Third Well off French Guiana

May 8, 2013 – Shell’s exploration campaign off the coast of French Guiana continues with the recent spudding of well GM-ES-4 on the Cebus prospect in the Guyane Maritime Permit. Cebus is the third well in the four-well program. The well will test the hydrocarbon potential of a different fan system than that of the two previous wells that failed to find pay.

Rosneft Buys Exxon’s GoM Blocks (USA)

Neftegaz America Shelf LP (Neftegaz), an indirect independent subsidiary of Russia’s state-run oil company Rosneft, has acquired 30 percent interest in 20 deepwater exploration blocks in the Gulf of Mexico held by ExxonMobil, under an agreement signed by the two companies.

The 20 blocks have a total area of approximately 111,600 acres (450 square kilometers) in water depths ranging between 2,100 and 6,800 feet (640 and 2,070 meters). Seventeen are located in the Western Gulf of Mexico and three are in the Central Gulf of Mexico.

ExxonMobil retains 70 percent interest in the blocks and remains operator. Analysis of seismic data is under way. There is currently no production on the blocks.

Rosneft and ExxonMobil continue to implement the Strategic Cooperation Agreement signed in 2011, under which the companies and their subsidiaries plan to undertake joint exploration and development of hydrocarbon resources in Russia and other countries and to share technology and expertise. Under subsequent agreements between Neftegaz and ExxonMobil, Rosneft’s subsidiary gained the option to acquire interest in 20 blocks of its choosing from among ExxonMobil’s Gulf of Mexico exploration portfolio. The latest agreement represents the exercise of that option.

The agreement was signed by Igor I. Sechin, president of Rosneft, and Stephen M. Greenlee, president of ExxonMobil Exploration Company.

“ExxonMobil has a long history of safe oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico using state-of-the-art safety and environmental protection systems,” said Greenlee. “We look forward to working with Rosneft and its affiliates to explore these blocks using our leading-edge exploration and development technology and deepwater execution expertise.”

Sechin said, “This agreement provides Rosneft and its affiliates with access to one of the world’s most prolific basins. We believe joint efforts of our companies will ensure the most efficient development of these blocks, with application of the latest technologies and adhering to high environmental standards. Moreover, experience and knowledge acquired in the process may potentially be used when developing deepwater blocks in Russia, including in the Tuapse Trough in the Black Sea as envisaged under the Strategic Cooperation Agreement.”

ExxonMobil and Rosneft continue to implement a program of staff exchanges for technical and management employees to help strengthen the working relationships between the companies and provide valuable career development opportunities for employees of both companies.

The 20 blocks are:

Western Gulf of Mexico – Alaminos Canyon 569, 612, 613, 655, 656, 657, 698, 699, 700 and 701; East Breaks 429, 471, 472, 473 and 515; Keathley Canyon 529 and 573.

Central Gulf of Mexico – Walker Ridge 629, 673 and 717.

Rosneft Buys Exxon’s GoM Blocks (USA)| Offshore Energy Today.

Total: Significant Oil Find in U.S. Gulf of Mexico

Total announces a significant oil discovery at its North Platte prospect on Garden Banks Block 959 in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The discovery well encountered several hundred feet of net oil pay in Lower Tertiary sands which included several high-quality intervals.

Total estimates this discovery can have a potential of several hundred million barrels of oil. Further appraisal will be needed to confirm its size and commerciality.

“The North Platte discovery represents another example of Total’s bold exploration strategy targeting large exploration opportunities. It also demonstrates the efficiency of our alliance with Cobalt signed in 2009,” said Marc Blaizot, Total’s Senior Vice President Exploration.

Total is in a strategic alliance with Cobalt International Energy to explore for oil in the Deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The North Platte discovery is the first Lower Tertiary Wilcox formation well drilled by the Alliance. The results of the well confirm the northern extension of the Wilcox formation and the presence of liquid hydrocarbons. Therefore, this validates the major potential of this new exploration area of the Gulf of Mexico in which Total holds a substantial acreage position with several follow-on prospects.

North Platte is located in a water depth of approximately 4,400 feet (1,340 m) and was drilled to a total depth of approximately 34,500 feet (10,520 m).  Total holds a 40% interest in the North Platte discovery along with Cobalt (60%, operator).

Total: Significant Oil Find in U.S. Gulf of Mexico| Offshore Energy Today.

Oil and gas exploration opens off North coast

Mike Dinsdale
Friday, November 9, 2012 9:27

The sea off Northland‘s entire west coast has been opened up for oil and gas exploration, something the Government says could pour up to $2 billion a year into the economy and create thousands of jobs in the region.

Energy and Resources Minister and Whangarei MP Phil Heatley yesterday welcomed the Government’s starting the process for awarding oil and gas exploration permits in seven onshore and three offshore blocks around the country. The offshore areas include the Northland/Reinga Basins, which stretch from the entrance to the Manukau Harbour, up Northland’s west coast to above Cape Reinga in the Tasman Sea.

A survey by Crown Research Institute GNS Science found the Reinga Basin could hold the most promising oil and gas fields in New Zealand.

Mr Heatley said the potential benefits could be game changers for Northland: “Down in Taranaki oil and gas industry provides over 5000 jobs and puts $2billion a year into the economy. Taranaki provides a great model of how safe and responsible oil and gas exploration can happily work side by side with primary industry and tourism.

“Oil and gas finds in Northland could be worth even more, and provide just as many jobs as those in the Taranaki because the Reinga Basin has been tagged as one of the most promising fields in New Zealand. But Northlanders will never know for sure until experienced companies are allowed to explore. If they find something, locals can then have an informed debate about whether we allow them to go after it.”

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment had started consulting iwi and councils, and he encouraged iwi and councils to participate. “Their feedback ensures that areas of sensitivity are carefully considered before the areas to be tendered are finalised,” Mr Heatley said. No schedule-four conservation or World Heritage sites would be included in the areas for exploration.

But Te Runanga o Te Rarawa chairman Haami Piripi said his iwi was not happy with the proposal and felt any consultation would be a “facade”.

“There’s nothing from the exploration regime that will benefit iwi, other than possibly some jobs in the extraction process. The Government is going ahead without first dealing with the big issue, the customary interest iwi have in this resource,” he said.

“We have a legal opinion saying iwi do have a customary interests in oil and petroleum resources. The Waitangi Tribunal issued a report that recognised that Taranaki iwi have an interest in their petroleum resource, but that has been rejected by the Government.

“So we say we legally have a customary interest there, but the Government is trampling on those interests by ignoring them. It will be a facade consultation.”

He said regardless of what iwi thought, the Government would ignore their concerns if they interfered with its plans. “But we will raise our objections.”

Northland Chamber of Commerce head Tony Collins welcomed the move, saying the region needed the jobs and opportunities exploration could provide. “If you look at Taranaki it’s been a positive thing there and it should be positive for Northland.

“There’s always a balance between risk and reward, but if they use best practice for extraction the chances of anything going wrong are very, very minor,” Mr Collins said.

“This could actually create a lot of opportunities for iwi. They could become involved and use it to help lift the aspirations of their people.”

Zarubezhneft Getting Ready for Drilling Offshore Cuba

Russia’s Zarubezhneft is getting ready to begin its oil and gas exploration campaign offshore Cuba.

Songa Mecur, the semi-submersible rig to be used for the campaign, is expected to arrive to Trinidad next week, where it will undergo preparations work before setting sail to Cuban waters.

The drilling program is expected to start in November.

Zarubezhneft in 2009 signed production sharing contracts with the communist country’s oil company Cubapetroleo for two offshore blocks located in the Cuban sector of the Gulf of Mexico. In the upcoming exploration campaign the company hopes to unlock hydrocarbons hidden in Cuba’s offshore Block L.

Cuba estimates that its offshore fields hold approximately 20 billion barrels of oil, which could, once unlocked provide a major boost to its economy.

In May this year, the Spanish oil company, Repsol, after a failed attempt to discover oil in a well offshore Cuba, decided to abandon any further offshore drilling plans in the Caribbean nation’s waters.

Earlier this week,  Cubapetróleo (Cupet) informed the local media that Catoche 1X well drilling offshore Cuba was unsuccessful. The well was drilled by a consortium established by Malaysia’s Petronas and Russia’s Gazprom. The consortium then released the Scarabeo 9 rig to Venezuela’s PDVSA which will try it’s luck at the Cabo de San Antonio 1x offshore well.


Gulf of Mexico: Helix Energy Makes New Discovery

Helix Energy Solutions Group announced an oil discovery at the Danny II exploration well at the Bushwood Field located in Garden Banks Block 506, approximately 145 miles offshore from Galveston, Texas. The Danny II exploration well encountered more than 70 feet of high quality net pay.

Johnny Edwards, President of Energy Resource Technology GOM (ERT), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Helix, stated, “Preliminary data from down-hole test tools confirmed oil in the Danny II well with over 9,500 psi of bottom-hole pressure. Additional testing to determine the composition of the reservoir fluids is on-going. We will provide an update on Danny II after completion.”

The Danny II exploration well was drilled to a total depth of approximately 14,750 feet, in water depths of approximately 2,800 feet. The well is currently being completed and most likely will be developed via a subsea tie back system to the 70% owned and operated East Cameron Block 381 platform located approximately 31 miles to the north in 370 feet of water. First production from Danny II is expected in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Helix holds a 50% working interest in the exploration well jointly with Deep Gulf Energy LP (Operator) and Deep Gulf Energy II, LLC (both First Reserve Corporation and Quintana Capital backed entities), who own the other 50% working interest.

Helix Energy Solutions Group, headquartered in Houston, Texas, is an international offshore energy company that provides key life of field services to the energy market as well as to its own oil and gas business unit.


Six New Leases for EPL in Central GoM Lease Sale (USA)

Energy Partners, Ltd., a U.S. based oil and gas exploration and production company announced was the high bidder on six leases at the Central Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale 216/222 held yesterday in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The six high bid lease blocks cover a total of 27,148 acres on a net and gross basis and are all located in the shallow Gulf of Mexico Shelf within the Company’s core area of operations. EPL’s share of the high bids totals $7.0 million.

Gary C. Hanna, EPL’s President and Chief Executive Officer commented, “This lease sale was a long awaited one, and we are pleased that we were successful with high bids within our core areas and targeted region. Consistent with our acquisition and organic growth strategy, the leases contain oily prospects that enhance our existing portfolio and were identified with the aid of our regional study that kicked off earlier this year. The six leases include three leases within the Main Pass area, two within the West Delta area, and one adjacent to our South Timbalier 41 field.”

The Central Gulf of Mexico oil and gas lease sale attracted $1,704,500,995 in high bids for tracts on the U.S. outer continental shelf offshore Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Yesterday’s highest bid on a tract was $157,111,000 submitted by Statoil Gulf of Mexico LLC for Mississippi Canyon, Block 718.

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said that the sale, was good news for American jobs, good news for the Gulf economy, and would bring additional domestic resources to market.


USA: Statoil Secures 26 New Leases in Gulf of Mexico

Statoil was the high bidder on 26 leases in the first lease sale in the Central Gulf of Mexico since March of 2010.

With the addition, Statoil will control more than 350 leases in the Gulf of Mexico, further securing its significant leaseholder position

“We are very pleased with today’s outcome,” says Erik Finnstrom, senior vice president of Exploration for Statoil in North America.

“This addition of leases allows us to further build upon our broad-based strategy for exploration in the Gulf of Mexico and further upgrades our core position in this prolific and proven basin.”

As the world’s largest offshore operator and a leader in subsea technology, Statoil has been a partner in several major discoveries, including Jack, St. Malo, Julia, Vito and Logan.

“The lease additions underscore our commitment to increased investment in North America, which we see as a core region for long-term growth. Our strategy involves acquiring prospects across a full range of plays – from those at the frontier level to very mature, drill-ready plays,” Finnstrom says. “Statoil’s growth in North America has been methodical, based on best practices and technological innovation honed from operating for 40 years in some of the world’s harshest offshore regions.”

Statoil has six producing fields and has eight fields under development. At the moment the company is drilling the Bioko prospect in the central Gulf of Mexico region and plans to drill two to three more wells within the next 12 months offshore Gulf of Mexico, while also participating in an additional two to three wells drilled by its partners.

Statoil is the operator of three of 2011’s 10 largest oil and gas discoveries globally and has a strong safety and environmental record. The company has been active in North America for 25 years and, over the six years since it began operations, has acquired a broad portfolio with offshore and onshore assets in Canada and the U.S.

The lease sale on June 20 was conducted by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

Statoil’s winning bids are subject to review and final approval by the BOEM. This may take up to 90 days.


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