This year’s call for bids off eastern Canada drew eight successful
applications, according to the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador
Offshore Petroleum Board (C-NLOPB). Four of the parcels awarded
were in the undrilled but prospective West Orphan basin, with the
other four split between the Flemish Pass and Jeanne d’Arc basins.
Newcomers awarded participating interests included Hess, Noble
Energy, and Israel’s Delek Group. Total value of the various work
commitments is around $758 million.
Mexico has awarded its first set of deepwater blocks to go out to
international tender. PEMEX is a partner in two of the leases – one is
for blocks AE-0092 and AE-0093, containing the company’s 485-MMboe
Trion discovery, which BHP Billiton Petroleum will operate. This
carries a minimum work commitment of $570 million.
In block 3 in the Perdido Fold Belt area, close to Trion and various
producing deepwater fields in the US sector, PEMEX will partner with
INPEX and operator Chevron.
Elsewhere in the Perdido basin, Total will operate ultra-deepwater
block 2, where water depths range from 2,300-3,600 m ( 7,546-11,811
ft) in a 50-50 partnership with ExxonMobil. Total and BP are also
partners in blocks 1 and 3 in the Saline basin, with Statoil operating
in both cases.
Mexico’s oil regulator has reportedly approved Eni’s scaled-back
work program for three shallow offshore blocks awarded last year.
The overall cost is down by $68 million to $177 million, partly because
one of this year’s planned wells will likely be quicker to drill than
Centrica is selling its gas interests offshore Trinidad and Tobago
to Shell Exploration and Production. These include a stake in the
producing NCMA- 1 block and operated interests in the undeveloped
blocks 22 and NCMA- 4. Centrica entered the sector in 2010, but now
plans to refocus its offshore E&P activity on northwest Europe.
ExxonMobil has informed Guyana’s government of its intention
to fasttrack development of the deepwater Liza oil discovery in the
Stabroek block. The drillship Stena Carron was due to drill a third
well on the structure to help firm up recoverable resources, currently
estimated at 800 MMboe- 1. 4 Bboe recoverable.
Tullow is evaluating results from a drop core survey over block 54
offshore Suriname, which the company operates in partnership with
Statoil and Noble Energy. The partners plan to drill the potentially
high-impact Araku prospect later this year.
Statoil has completed acquisition of a 66% operated interest from
Petrobras in the BM-S- 8 offshore license in the presalt Santos basin
off Brazil. This contains a large part of the Carcará oil discovery.
Statoil has paid Petrobras $1.25 billion, with a similar sum due on
completion of various milestones, including unitization of Carcará.
The Cairn Energy-led partners in the deepwater SNE oil field discover y offshore Senegal have contracted the drillship Stena DrillMAX
for two appraisal wells in order to optimize planning for the development. The program is due to start in the current quarter with the
SNE- 5 well, which could involve an extended drillstem test, followed
immediately afterwards by spudding of SNE- 6. There are options in
the contract for two more wells.
Seadrill’s drillship West Saturn was due to spud ExxonMobil’s first
deepwater well offshore Liberia late last year. The Mesurado- 1 well
in 2,500 m ( 8,202 ft) of water in block LB- 13 is targeting oil in late
Liberia’s government has rejected African Petroleum’s requests to
extend its production-sharing contracts for offshore blocks LB-08 and
LB-09, both of which expired last June. The company had drilled three
exploratory wells including the non-commercial Narina- 1 discovery,
but had been unable to find a partner to help co-finance further activity.
Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas is exiting Ghana after agreeing to sell
its interest in the Three Point West Deep Water offshore block to
PetroGulf. The company plans to focus exploration exclusively on
its concessions offshore Namibia and Guyana.
Sirius Petroleum has contracted COSL Drilling Pan-Pacific to provide
a jackup for a multi-well, shallow-water campaign on the Ororo field.
The agreement could be expanded to include other offshore assets.
Harvest Natural Resources is considering offers for its interests
offshore Gabon, despite having issued tenders for an FPSO for the
Dussafu project. The current plan is to start production from the Dussafu
PSC, which contains four discovered fields, by July 2018, initially by
developing the area surrounding the Ruche well, followed by develop-
ment of the other fields and drilling of further prospects in the area.
Italy’s Ministry of Economic Development has awarded Australian
independent Po Valley Energy a preliminary production concession in
the northern Adriatic Sea. This covers the 47-bcf Teodorico gas field
that Eni discovered and appraised through five wells in the AR94PY
concession. Water depth is 25 m (82 ft), but outside the country’s
12-nautical mile exclusion zone. Assuming approval for its planned
environmental impact assessment, Po Valley plans to install a platform
exporting gas to Eni’s Naomi Pandora offshore processing facility.
Greece’s Ministry of Energy has authorized conversion of Ener-
gean Oil & Gas’ exploration license for the 10-MMbbl offshore West
Location of Mexico’s first deepwater bid round. (Map courtesy Statoil)