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Petsec: Third Marathon Well Spudded (USA)

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Petsec Energy reports that a third well has been spud on the Marathon gas/condensate field, located in the shallow waters of the Atchafalaya Bay along the Louisiana Gulf Coast, USA. The well was spud on 4 March 2012 and will serve as a further development well for the field.

The 19,000 feet (5,900 metres) well is situated in approximately 8 feet (2.4 metres) water depth and is located less than 200 metres from the #1 well location. Drilling operations are expected to take 107 days to reach total depth, log and case. Petsec’s estimated net cost to drill, log and case is US$1.5 million. New pipeline options for the Marathon field are currently being evaluated which would allow for increased production from the existing two wells, this third well, and further development wells.

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China: Third West-East Gas Pipeline to Start Operation in 2013

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China’s third West-to-East gas pipeline, mainly carrying gas from Central Asia to southeastern Fujian province, is expected to become operational by the end of 2013 , China Daily reported on Thursday, citing a source with the country’s dominant gas supplier.

The 5,200-kilometre project, with annual shipment capacity of about 30 billion cubic metre (bcm), will include one artery, six branch lines, three gas storage facilities and a liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, the report said.

The pipeline will run from the Xinjiang region to the city of Fuzhou in Fujian province, the source was quoted as saying.

Work on the fourth and fifth pipeline will be initiated some time after 2015, with each pipeline having an annual capacity of about 30 bcm and supplying gas to the country’s industrialized coastal regions, the English newspaper reported.

Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan will be the major sources of supply for all the planned pipelines, the report said.

China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC), parent of China’s largest oil and gas producer PetroChina Co Ltd , has long planned to add more lines across the country to feed booming demand in the eastern and southern coasts.

But its plans have been modified from one time after another due to uncertainties in gas supplies.

Talks with Russia for gas imports of up to 68 bcm per annum have been on and off for years as the sides were far apart on prices.

China’s first West-to-East gas pipeline, pumping domestic gas from Xinjiang to eastern cities including Shanghai, is running at full capacity of 17 bcm per year, and the second line, sending Turkmenistan gas to the east, is scheduled to reach its capacity of 30 bcm by the end of next year.

China’s natural gas imports rose 86.5 percent from a year earlier to some 25 bcm in the first 10 months, of which 12.3 bcm was piped in from Turkmenistan and the remainder shipped in by LNG carriers, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.

The country aims to more than double the current 4 percent share of gas in its overall energy consumption by 2020.

(reuters)

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Australia: BG Still Targets Mid-2012 to Sanction Third QCLNG Train

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Queensland’s recent heavy rains and floods could delay the expansion of BG Group’s $18 billion Queensland Curtis LNG plant at Gladstone because the British gas giant has been unable to shore up gas reserves as quickly as it had hoped.

Speaking to investors in London on Tuesday night, chief executive Frank Chapman said BG was still targeting a mid-2012 sanction of a third LNG production train at Gladstone.

But to do so, BG needed to drill its coal-seam gas ground to increase the level of confidence it had in the 21 trillion cubic feet of what it called gross gas resources and turn them into reserves.

The name of the game at the moment is the maturation of that reserves and resources base within that period,” Mr Chapman said.

That has suffered some impact because of the flooding and the impact that’s had on access to drilling sites, but we’re still focused on moving some of that prospective resource into a more, higher confidence level to underpin a third train.”

Despite the rains, BG was still on track for first LNG exports from Gladstone in 2014, he said.

BG was the first of three big CSG-to-LNG proponents planning exports out of Gladstone from 2014.

Of the other two, the Santos-led Gladstone LNG project has begun construction, while the Origin Energy-ConocoPhillip joint venture is still waiting for board approval of its project.

Mr Chapman joined the chorus of voices touting stronger LNG demand because of the Japanese earthquake and subsequent Fukushima nuclear disaster.

He said the flow-on effect was likely to be long-term. “After (the) Three Mile Island (1979 nuclear accident) in the US, we saw lead times for nuclear projects going out to something like 12 or 13 years, and associated with that will be increased costs associated with more stringent regulatory safety requirements,” he said.

All of this, I think will result in medium to long-term higher gas demand for power, and as a consequence, extra demand for LNG, and this is going to cause a further tightening of a market situation which we already regarded as quite tight.”

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