[Editor's note: A version of this story appears in the June 2020 edition of E&P. Subscribe to the magazine here.]
An oil discovery was reported at the Monument exploration prospect by Equinor (operator) and its partners Progress Resources USA Ltd. and Repsol. The OCS G35081 encountered about 200 ft of net oil pay with good reservoir characteristics in Paleogene-aged sandstone. The well was drilled to 33,348 ft and is in Walker Ridge Block 316 (OCS G36084). Walker Ridge Block 271 (OCS G35080) is also part of the Monument project.
A significant offshore Suriname oil discovery was reported by Apache Corp. at the Sapakara-1 West well in Block 58. It was drilled to 6,300 m. Preliminary fluid samples and test results indicate at least 79 m of net oil and gas condensate pay in two intervals. The shallower Campanian interval contains 13 m of net gas condensate and 30 m of net oil pay (35-40°API). The deeper Santonian interval contains a 36-m, net oil-bearing reservoir. Block 58 comprises 1.4 million acres and offers potential beyond the discoveries at Sapakara West and Maka Central. Apache has identified at least seven distinct play types and more than 50 prospects within the thermally mature play fairway. Two other wells are planned at Kwaskwasi-1 and Keskesi-1, and both will test oil-prone upper Cretaceous targets in Campanian and Santonian intervals in reservoirs that appear to be independent of Maka-1 and Sapakara-1 discoveries.
Petrobras found oil in the pioneer well of the Uirapuru Block offshore Brazil’s presalt Santos Basin. The Uirapuru-1 well is in 1,995 m of water. Oil was found in porous reservoirs in the exploratory prospect known informally as Araucária. The well data will be analyzed to better target the exploratory activities in the area and assess the potential of the discovery.
Petro-Victory Energy has announced an oil discovery at exploration well 1-VID-1-ES (Vida) in Block ES-T- 487 in the Espírito Santo Basin in Brazil. It was drilled to 1,890 m in the onshore portion of the basin. Evaluation of logging, pressure and fluid data confirms that Vida comprises high-quality, oil-bearing Cretaceous sandstone reservoirs. The well encountered 49 m of net oil pay. Oil was recovered to surface during fluid sampling from a sandstone reservoir at 1,600 m, and preliminary testing of oil samples indicate similar qualities (24°API) to a nearby oil field. Most of the reported oil pay was found 1,560 m to 1,660 m. Additional testing is planned.
UK Oil & Gas has filed a planning application with the U.K. Isle of Wight Council for exploration drilling and flow testing of the Arreton oil discovery. A deviated borehole test is planned for the Arreton-3 well plus a possible horizontal sidetrack off the main borehole at Arreton-3Z. The Arreton conventional oil discovery is similar to the company’s Horse Hill oil field. It contains three stacked Jurassic oil pools with a calculated, aggregate gross P50 oil in place of 127 MMbbl. If short-term flow testing of Arreton-3 indicates commercial viability, flow testing could also be conducted in the planned horizontal sidetrack wells, including an extended well test to assess longer-term flow performance.
In offshore Norway PL836 S, Wintershall completed wildcat well 6406/3- 10. The primary target for the well was to prove petroleum in reservoir rocks from Early and Middle Jurassic (Ile and Tilje). The secondary exploration target was to prove petroleum in reservoir rocks from Middle Jurassic Age (Garn). In the primary exploration target, the venture encountered a 35-m, hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone layers in Ile with poor reservoir quality. The well also found a 120-m oil column in Tilje, with sandstone layers totaling about 75 m with poor-to-good reservoir quality. In the secondary exploration target, a 60-m oil zone was encountered in Garn, with poor-to-moderate sandstone reservoir quality. Preliminary estimates indicate 4 MMcm to 15 MMcm of recoverable oil equivalent. The well was drilled to 4,566 m. This is the first exploration well in the license area.
Aker BP completed wildcat well 6506/5-1 S in PL1008, the first well in the license. The objective of the Skarv Field well was to prove petroleum in Upper Cretaceous reservoir rocks (Lysing). The wildcat encountered a gas column of about 15 m in Lysing, of which 10 m of sandstones had very good reservoir quality. Deeper in the Lysing Formation, about 25 m of net water-bearing reservoir rocks were encountered with moderate reservoir quality. It was drilled to 3,225 m and terminated in Lange in the Lower Cretaceous. Preliminary estimates indicate the discovery is between 1 Bcm to 2.4 Bcm of recoverable gas.
Neptune Energy announced an oil discovery in Germany’s Rhine Valley at exploration well Schwegenheim-1. According to the company, two layers of the Bunter Sandstone reservoir were found to be oil-bearing. The venture was drilled to 2,600 m. It has been cased and suspended for further testing. The Bunter Sandstone reservoir is an equivalent to the nearby Romerberg structure. During production testing, the well produced 1,500 bbl of oil during an unspecified period.
SDX Energy announced an oil discovery at 12X-SD-12X in the South Disouq Exploration Permit in Egypt’s Nile Delta region. It was drilled to 7,245 ft and hit 108 net ft of high-quality gas-bearing sands with an average porosity of 20% in Kafr El Sheikh. Current estimates by the company indicate about 24 Bcfe of recoverable gas and condensate resources. Additional testing is planned.
10. Saudi Arabia
Lukoil plans to drill two deep unconventional gas exploration wells in Saudi Arabia’s Rub al-Khali region. Both wells will be drilled to about 5,800 m in the Mushaib Field, a tight gas play. Aramco wants gas to help it cover subsidized domestic power demand so it can save oil for more lucrative exports. Aramco is willing to spend up to $3 billion on shale gas development in the Kingdom, but it has given no details on the investment. Adequate supply of water for fracturing will be a major issue. Aramco is developing new hydraulic fracturing technologies to increase recovery rates and improve cost efficiency, including a CO2- based fracturing fluid. Aramco has a plan to produce 200 MMcf/d of unconventional gas to supply a new phosphate project and power plant in the Eastern Province.
Santos Ltd. has submitted a development plan for the Narrabri Gas Project in New South Wales, Australia. The project will develop a coal seam gas field with as many as 850 gas wells on up to 425 well pads over 20 years. Gas processing and water treatment facilities also are planned. According to the company, the project can potentially supply enough gas to meet 50% of the demand for New South Wales, and it has committed 100% of Narrabri gas production to that market, which will be supplied through the existing Moomba-to-Sydney pipeline.
For additional information on these projects and other global developments, visit the activity highlights database at HartEnergy.com.
Private equity’s interest in oilfield services is expanding the definition of what is investable in the OFS space.
The NorTex Midstream deal follows the acquisition of Tall Oak II and III by Tailwater Capital last month in Oklahoma’s Arkoma STACK.
Most Pioneer Natural Resources production in the Permian Basin is back online and storm damage repairs are “minor in the grand scheme of things,” CFO Neal Shah said.