Texaco Inc. reports that its Agbami Field, in 4,800 feet of water in blocks 216 and 217 offshore Nigeria, potentially contains recoverable oil of a billion barrels equivalent. If so, the find ranks as one of the single largest discoveries in the prolific West Africa play. The giant structure, encompassing 45,000 acres in the central Niger Delta, was first tested with the Agbami-1 well in January 1999. The initial well encountered 420 feet of pay in multiple oil zones from 8,200 feet to 12,400 feet, total depth. The Agbami-2 confirmation well was then drilled about a mile southeast of the discovery to a total depth of 15,683 feet. The well cut 534 feet of oil-bearing pay in five separate Miocene zones, and tested 45-degree-gravity oil at the rate of 10,000 barrels per day from a single zone. The company indicates that rate was constrained by the capacity of the surface equipment. Famfa Oil Ltd., an independent Nigerian oil company, operates the 617,000-acre OPL Block 216 and holds a 60% interest; Texaco holds a 32% interest; and Brazilian firm Petrobras holds 8%. The contractor interests in neighboring Block 217, underneath which the field extends, are owned by Texaco and Statoil. Texaco also owns interests in blocks 213, 215 and 218. -Peggy Williams 1 Canada Exxon Mobil Corp. has begun selling gas from its Sable Island project offshore Nova Scotia. The $2-billion project consists of three offshore platforms, a 125-mile subsea pipeline, processing and fractionation plants, and a 650-mile gas sales pipeline to New England. The initial production rate was 100 million cu. ft. per day; Exxon Mobil expects rates to reach 500 million per day within a year. Exxon Mobil owns a 50.8% interest in the project; Shell Canada Ltd. holds 31.3%; Imperial Oil Ltd., 9%; Nova Scotia Resources Ltd., 8.4%; and Mosbacher Operating Ltd., 0.5% interest. 2 Venezuela Oil began flowing from Cerro Negro Field in the Orinoco Belt at an initial rate of 60,000 bbl. per day, says operator Exxon Mobil Corp. The diluted extra-heavy crude oil is moving through a 180-mile pipeline that runs to Jose on Venezuela's eastern coast. Production from the field is expected to double to 120,000 bbl. per day in 2001; ultimate recovery is expected to be 1.5 billion bbl. during 35 years. PDVSA and Veba Oil are also partners in the heavy-oil project. 3 Brazil Houston-based The Coastal Corp. has agreed to explore onshore exploration block BPAR-10. The 6,520-square-kilometer block lies in the state of Parana, about 250 kilometers northeast of the city of Curitiba. Coastal will operate and have a 75% share in the block, and Petrobras will hold the remaining 25%. 4 U.K. North Sea BP Amoco reports that it is proceeding with the development of Lomond and South Everest fields in the Central North Sea. Lomond is on Block 23/21 and South Everest lies on blocks 22/9 and 22/10b. The $115-million project, which includes the drilling of new wells, is expected to begin producing by the third quarter this year. Partners in the fields include BG, Amerada Hess, Phillips Petroleum, TotalFina and Agip. 5 Dutch North Sea Canadian firms TransCanada PipeLines Ltd. and Gulf Canada Resources Ltd. have discovered gas in the Dutch sector of the North Sea. The G17-4 exploration well tested at the rate of 40 million cu. ft. of gas per day. TransCanada operates the well; it and its partner Gulf Canada each hold a 50% interest. First production is slated for early 2002. 6 Algeria Houston-based Burlington Resources Inc. and Calgary-based Talisman Energy Inc. report that they have tested the MLSE-3 appraisal well on the Menzel Lejmat Block 405a in the Berkine Basin at a combined rate of 21,857 bbl. of oil and 26.2 million cu. ft. of gas per day. A total of 131 ft. of reservoir from three intervals in the Triassic TAG-I was perforated and tested. Gas was also encountered in a deeper formation, but that interval was not flow-tested. Burlington operates the MLSE-3 well and owns a 65% working interest; Talisman holds the remaining 35% interest. Sonatrach, the national oil company, has an option to participate in any commercial discoveries. 7 Equatorial Guinea Triton Energy Ltd. says that it is beginning a two-rig drilling program in the Ceiba Field in offshore Block G in the Rio Muni Basin. The company outlined a 10-well drilling program that includes two production wells in the field proper, two exploration wells, and six optional tests, which could be development, appraisal or exploration wells. Triton is also acquiring a 4,200-square-kilomter 3-D seismic survey covering all of its licenses in the country. The Dallas independent operates blocks G and F; its partner in the concession is South African firm Energy Africa Ltd. 8 Angola Kuito Field, located on Block 14, has established Angola's first offshore production. The field, which began flowing oil at the rate of 50,000 bbl. per day, is expected to reach a peak rate of 100,000 bbl. per day later this year. Chevron owns a 31% interest in the development; its partners ENI SpA, TotalFina, and Sonangol each own 20% shares; Petrogal holds 9%. 9 Poland Independents Apache Corp. and FX Energy tested their Wilga exploration well, a conventional gas discovery, at a combined rate of 16.9 million cu. ft. of gas and 570 bbl. of condensate per day. The well, on Block 255 of the Vistula Concession, was tested in three Carboniferous-age zones between 7,732 ft. and 8,550 ft. Apache operates the well and holds a 45% working interest; FX Energy also holds 45%, and the Polish Oil & Gas Co., 10%. Apache is based in Houston; FX Energy, in Salt Lake City. 10 China Kerr-McGee Corp.., Oklahoma City, flowed oil at the combined rate of 2,483 bbl. per day on its CFD 11-1-1 well in Block 04/36 in Bohai Bay. The company logged more than 280 ft. of oil pay and tested four of five productive zones, including reservoirs in the Guantao and Lower Ming formations. Kerr-McGee says that the well, in approximately 80 ft. of water, tested a large four-way dip structure with more than 5,000 acres of closure. 11 Indonesia Calgary junior Equatorial Energy Inc. says that the first well in a 10-well infill development program at its Sembakung project has flowed at a stable rate of 2,400 bbl. of oil per day. The SBK-15 well was tested from 16 ft. of pay between 3,222-62 ft. Approximately 225 ft. of potential pay has been identified in the wellbore, says Equatorial. The SBK-15 is the first well drilled at Sembakung, located onshore northeastern Kalimantan, in 19 years. Equatorial owns a 100% interest in the Sembakung development; after payout, the company's interest reverts to 80%. 12 Australia Partners BHP Petroleum and Canadian Occidental Petroleum have begun production from Buffalo Field on Block WA-260-P offshore Western Australia. Production from Buffalo, which lies in about 98 ft. of water, is expected to peak at around 40,000 bbl. of oil per day. The field's reserves are approximately 22 million bbl. of oil. 13 New Zealand New Zealand firm Fletcher Challenge Energy reports that it has successfully completed the Toetoe-6B sidetrack well as a gas producer in McKee Field in Petroleum Mining License 38086. The well was drilled to a depth of 6,713 ft. before being cemented back to the base of the McKee reservoir and completed as a gas producer. The company notes that it is considering linking the find to nearby Mangahewa Field. Also in the Taranaki Basin, Canadian firm Antrim Oil & Gas Ltd. reports that it plans to reenter an existing well in Petroleum Exploration Permit 38464. The Republic-4 was drilled in 1975 and flowed small amounts of oil before being plugged and abandoned. Antrim and its partners, GeoSphere Exploration Ltd., Resource Exploration Ltd. and the Ngati Te Whiti Hapu Society, plan to reperforate the well and test at least one zone in the shallow Matemateaonga formation, found at depths of 5,250 ft. The group is hoping to revitalize Moturoa Field, which produced about 250,000 bbl. of oil over a 60-year period.
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