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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.

Source

Repsol, Partners Abandon Jaguar-1 Well (Guyana)| Offshore Energy Today

Repsol, Partners Abandon Jaguar-1 Well (Guyana)| Offshore Energy Today

CGX Energy Inc. last week announced, along with its partners on the Jaguar-1 well located on the Company’s 25% owned Georgetown Petroleum Prospecting License (“PPL”), that drilling operations at the Jaguar-1 well on the Georgetown PPL, Guyana ended and the well would be plugged at a depth of 4,876 metres without reaching the primary objective in the Late Cretaceous geologic zone.

The decision to stop drilling at this point was unanimously agreed by all partners based on safety criteria and was taken after reaching a point in the well where the pressure design limits for safe operations prevented further drilling to the main objective.

Jaguar-1 was a high pressure, high temperature (HPHT) well which was spudded in February 2012 using the Atwood Beacon jack-up rig. Whilst the primary Late Cretaceous objective was not reached, samples of light oil were successfully recovered from two Late Cretaceous turbidite sands. The partners to the Georgetown PPL are Repsol Exploración S.A (15%), as operator, along with YPF Guyana Limited (30%), Tullow Oil plc (30%) and CGX Resources Inc. (25%).

Kerry Sully, President and CEO stated, “Based on hydrocarbons recovered during the drilling of Jaguar-1, CGX is confident that a new well targeting the same prospect would hold significant promise and is therefore committed to seek a re-drill utilizing a new well design.”

Commenting on the Company’s plans in the Guyana Suriname basin, Suresh Narine, Chairman, reiterated CGX’s near-term goals stating, “In addition to our commitment well on the Corentyne Block, we are planning a 3D seismic program later this fall with our ultimate goal being to commit to a rig for a three to five well program. Added to this would be the re-drill of the Late Cretaceous target addressed by the Jaguar-1 well.”

Repsol, Partners Abandon Jaguar-1 Well (Guyana)| 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.

Source

Tullow Oil Abandons Jaguar-1 Well Offshore Guyana

Drilling operations at the Jaguar-1 well in the Georgetown Block, Guyana, have ended and the well will be plugged and abandoned at a depth of 4,876 metres, without reaching the primary objective.

The decision to stop drilling at this point was unanimously agreed by all partners based on safety criteria and was taken after reaching a point in the well where the pressure design limits for safe operations prevented further drilling to the main objective.

Jaguar-1 was a high pressure, high temperature well which was spudded in February 2012 using the Atwood Beacon rig. Whilst the primary Late Cretaceous objective was not reached, samples of light oil were successfully recovered from two Late Cretaceous turbidite sands above the primary objective.

Source

Seadrill Expects Stronger Second Quarter after Robust 1Q 2012

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by  Jon Mainwaring
Press Release
Monday, May 14, 2012

Norwegian deepwater drilling company Seadrill said Monday that it expects earnings for the second quarter of 2012 to be favorably affected by the starting up of operations in April and June of its ultra-deepwater semi-submersible rigs West Leo (UDW semisub) and West Capricorn (UDW semisub).

Reporting its first quarter results, the firm said that it also expects to receive a full quarter of earnings from its harsh environment jack-up West Elara (490′ ILC) – which began operations for Statoil in March.

West Leo began its contract with Tullow Oil offshore Ghana in April, while West Capricorn is due to begin operations for BP in the US next month.

For 1Q 2012 Seadrill reported operating profits of $456 million, compared with $430 million for 1Q 2011. However, net income was lower than for 1Q 2011, at $480 million compared with $934 million, on account of a one-off $477 million gain last year in connection to the deconsolidation of Seadrill’s subsidiary Well Services.

Total revenues for the three month period to March 31 were broadly in line with last year at $1,050 million (1Q 2011: $1,100 million).

“We are pleased to report another solid quarter for Seadrill reflecting a strong underlying operational performance,” said Seadrill Chief Executive Officer Alf Thorkildsen.

“Furthermore, the outlook and fundamentals for the oil and gas industry remain strong. Encouraging exploration successes in established as well as frontier basins are leading to an increasing backlog of appraisal and development drilling projects. These strong fundamentals support the expectation of continued strength in all sectors of the contract drilling industry for the foreseeable future. As a consequence we have ordered six newbuilds in the last three months and the Company now has 18 drilling units under construction.”

A former engineer, Jon Mainwaring is an experienced journalist who has written about the technology, engineering and energy industries. Email Jon at jmainwaring@rigzone.com.

Source

Apache Hires Drillship for Ops Offshore Kenya

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Pancontinental Oil & Gas NL reports that the Kenya L8 licence operator Apache Kenya Limited (Apache) has secured the use of the deepwater drilling ship Deepsea Metro 1 to drill the giant Mbawa Prospect.

Apache is anticipating a spud date within Q3 2012, with the actual date depending on when the drilling rig is finished with its current operations.

The well is expected to take some 45 to 60 days to complete to a planned total depth of 3,250m subsea in water depth of 860m, easily within the range of modern equipment.

Pancontinental has a 15% interest “free-carried” through Mbawa drilling by Tullow Oil plc up to a “cap” of US$ 9 million (as may be reduced by other exploration expenditure). Pancontinental now expects to have contribute more to the well cost due to increased well cost estimates.

Pancontinental estimates that Mbawa has maximum potential to contain 4.9 Billion Barrels of oil in place at the main Tertiary / Cretaceous level with significant additional potential also to be tested by the well at the deeper Upper Jurassic level and shallower Tertiary levels. Only drilling is capable of verifying the oil and gas volumetric potential (if any) of the Mbawa Prospect.

Pancontinental has four projects offshore Kenya covering more than 18,000 square kilometres in licence areas L6, L8, L10A and L10B, with the L8 / Mbawa project being the most advanced and Mbawa being the first prospect to be drilled.

Pancontinental’s CEO Barry Rushworth commented;

“Pancontinental is in the unique position of having sizeable interests in a number of Kenyan and Namibian offshore licences and having substantial leverage to any Mbawa drilling success.  We are very pleased that a drilling rig contract has now been signed by our operator Apache for the L8 Mbawa Prospect. We are pursuing what we see as a major oil play rather than a gas play offshore Kenya and we are doing the same offshore Namibia.  The economics of oil developments are often far better than those for gas, with potential for much earlier cash flow and much lower development costs compared to LNG, for example. Apache is now leading the L8 venture in an aggressive exploration programme and in our other Kenyan blocks L10A and L10B we also have fast-moving activity led by BG Group”.

Source

French Guiana: Shell to Begin Guyane Drilling in Mid 2012

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Northern Petroleum announces plans to commence drilling in mid 2012 on the Guyane permit offshore French Guiana, to follow up on the Zaedyus oil discovery in late 2011 that demonstrated the prospectivity of this licence area off South America. This is a relatively low cost investment for Northern with high upside potential.

In the Zaedyus exploration well, 72 metres of net oil pay was discovered in two turbidite sand systems in the first phase of drilling – successfully proving that the Jubilee play is mirrored across the Atlantic from West Africa.

The second phase of drilling is planned to involve the spudding of a de-lineation well on the discovery, likely to be followed by an exploration well on one of the neighbouring prospects within the area captured by 3D seismic survey. Additional 3D seismic is also planned to be acquired from midyear to further delineate leads on trend and similar to the Zaedyus discovery mapped on 2D seismic along the length of the deepwater margin.

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To undertake these operations Shell, who took over as Operator from Tullow Oil on 1 February 2012, has contracted the Stena DrillMax ICE drillship, which is expected to commence operations midyear subject to government consents.

The partner interests in offshore Guyane are: Shell 45%, Tullow 27.5%,  Total 25%,  Northpet Investments 2.5% (Northern owns a 50% equity interest in Northpet)

Derek Musgrove, Managing Director of Northern stated:

”Northern is pleased that the successful Zaedyus oil discovery is to be quickly followed by a new drilling campaign. This will not only further delineate the discovery structure, but will also move forward to drill some of the similar prospects defined by 3D seismic in order to confirm the wider significant potential of this permit area covering the entire length of the prospective continental shelf edge of Guyane, a distance of about 200 kilometres.”

Source

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