[Editor's note: A version of this story appears in the August 2020 edition of E&P. Subscribe to the magazine here.]  

1. U.S.

88 Energy reported that it hit more than 280 ft of net pay in Seabee, Torok and Kuparuk at an Alaska wildcat on the North Slope. The Charlie-1 well is in Section 21-4n-9e in Umiat Meridian. The Project Icewine discovery was directionally drilled to 11,112 ft (11,109 ft true vertical) in Kuparuk. Additional laboratory work is planned to confirm rock properties and saturation. The well is 1 mile north of BP’s Malguk 1, an 11,375-ft venture abandoned in 1991 despite shows of oil in Seabee. The Charlie prospect is on state lease ADL 393380, 30 miles west of the Franklin Bluffs pad.

2. Mexico

At the Saasken Exploration Prospect in offshore Mexico’s Block 10, Eni announced a discovery in Cuenca Salina in the Sureste Basin. According to preliminary estimates, the discovery may contain between 200 MMbbl and 300 MMbbl of oil in place. The Saasken-1 NFW discovery well is the sixth consecutive successful well drilled by Eni in the Sureste Basin. Area water depth is 340 m. The 3,830-m well encountered 80 m of net pay of good quality oil in Lower Pliocene and Upper Miocene sequences with excellent petrophysical properties in the reservoir. Current data indicate that the production capacity of the well is more than 10,000 bbl/d. 

3. Canada

Equinor announced a discovery in the Cappahayden K-47 exploration well in the Bay du Nord region offshore Canada’s Flemish Pass. According to the company, it is a potentially large oil reservoir. It was drilled in 974 m of water and is about 450 km east of St John’s, Newfoundland, in the EL1156 Block. The well is close enough to the Bay du Nord Field to be connected to a proposed FPSO vessel that Equinor hopes to build for the project. If additional drilling indicates a sizeable reservoir, it will improve the economics of the project, which are currently estimated at 300 MMbbl of oil.

4. Norway

Neptune Energy has received a drilling permit for wildcat wells 34/4-15 S and 34/4-15 A in offshore Norway’s PL 882. Both ventures will be drilled from the Yantai platform. PL 882 was awarded in 2017—these are the first and second exploration wells to be drilled in the license area, which consists of parts of blocks 33/6 and 34/4 and are about 10 km northwest of the Snorre Field.

5. South Africa

Africa Energy is planning a multiwell exploration campaign in 2020 in South Africa following its 2019 Brulpadda discovery on Block 11B/12B. After the discovery, Block 11B/12B joint venture partners began two phases of 3D seismic over the Paddavissie Fairway and an extended 2D seismic survey across the remainder of the block. The first planned well will be Luiperd-1 and will target several de-risked submarine fan prospects with substantial prospective resources. Seismic data processing has identified significant prospectivity with encouraging seismic indicators across the new Kloofpadda lead to the east. The scope of the PGS 3D seismic survey has been increased to cover a newly identified northern extension to the Luiperd Prospect.

6. Egypt

Kuwait Energy announced an oil discovery in the Abu Sennan concession in Egypt’s El Salmiyah Field. The El Salmiyah-5 well initially flowed 4,100 bbl of oil with 18 MMcf of gas per day. The venture encountered hydrocarbons in all of the targeted intervals, totaling more than 120 m. The well was targeting previously undrained reservoirs in the field, with the primary focus on Kharita and secondary objectives in Abu Roash C and Abu Roash E. According to the company, testing in Kharita indicated a larger than expected, undrained area updip from the existing wells in the field.

7. Belarus

Belorusneft has discovered two new oil fields, Izbynskoye and North Omelkoviche, in the Khoiniki District of the Gomel region in Belarus. The initial reserves estimate is 17.7 MMbbl, and the discovery increases the prospects and resource potential of the central structural zone of the Pripyat Trough. According to laboratory studies, oil from the fields is light, sweet and has low viscosity. The company will study the commercial potential of the central structural zone of the Pripyat Trough with seven exploration wells between 2020 and 2023. 

8. Lebanon

Total is planning to drill a second exploratory well offshore Lebanon in Block 9 territorial waters. The first test on nearby Block 4 at the Byblios 16/1 well did not find hydrocarbons. Block 9 also has a possible reserve in its carbonate limestone formations, similar in geology to offshore Egypt’s Zohr Field and Cyprus’s Calypso prospect. The Block 9 test is set to start by year-end 2020.

9. China

PetroChina reported the discovery of a large gas belt with an estimated reserve of more than 35.3 Tcf in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. The gas belt discovery is in the Tianbao Township, Daying County. It flowed 43.08 MMcf/d of gas. According to PetroChina, the discovery will increase the province’s production capacity, which is currently 529.72 Bcf/year of gas. 

For additional information on these projects and other global developments, visit Hart Energy’s drilling activity database.