Activity in the North Sea is picking up nicely. Calgary-based Talisman Energy Inc. reports an oil discovery near Clyde Field. Talisman's 30/17b-A32 well, an extended reach wildcat, was drilled from the Clyde platform. The North Leven well flowed at a maximum rate of 12,080 barrels per day of 39-degree oil from good quality Upper Jurassic Fulmar sands, and is currently producing 10,000 barrels per day through the Clyde field facilities. Talisman holds an 81.5% interest and Exxon Mobil Corp. holds the remaining 18.5%. In the Dutch sector, Gulf Canada Resources Ltd., also of Calgary, tested 11 million cubic feet of gas per day from a 10-meter interval in a discovery in Block P-9. Gulf has a 56.4% stake in the well; its partners include Dyas BV, Holland Sea Search BV and Erdol-Erdgas Gommen Netherlands BV. Kerr-McGee Corp. says it will develop Leadon Field, in blocks 9/14a and 9/14b in the U.K. sector. The Oklahoma City-based company will also bring onstream two satellite fields-Birse and Glassel-that lie about five miles from Leadon. Peak production of 50,000 barrels per day is expected by the close of 2002; development costs are estimated at around $700 million. Recoverable reserves are in the range of 120- to 170 million barrels of oil equivalent. Kerr-McGee operates and owns a 100% interest in the two blocks. -Peggy Williams 1 Cuba Brazilian firm Petrobras is set to spud its first exploratory well offshore northern Cuba. The Felipe 1X will be drilled on 3,000-square-kilometer Block L, where the company secured exploratory rights nearly two years ago. Petrobras says that the well will be directionally drilled from a surface location on the small island of Felipe El Grande to a total depth of about 10,000 ft. Costs are expected to range between $13- and $15 million. Canadian firm Sherrit International is a partner. 2 Mexico Pemex plans to drill five deepwater wildcats in the Gulf of Mexico, during the next seven to 10 years. To date, only 20 wells have been drilled in water depths greater than 100 meters in the Mexican waters of the Gulf. The current recordholder is the Chuktah-1, drilled in 1999 in 384 meters of water as part of the Campeche-Poniente project. Pemex has already identified three exploratory prospects that it plans to drill in 2004-05 in more than 300 meters of water. 3 Colombia Calgary-based Canadian Occidental Petroleum Ltd. has been awarded a 50% interest in the 180,000-acre El Descanso exploration block in the Upper Magdalena Basin. Petrobras operates the block and holds the remaining 50% interest. The new block is immediately north of the Boqueron block where CanOxy recently announced its Guando discovery. The Guando-1 and -2 wells both encountered very thick oil columns at shallow depths and are currently producing more than 1,000 bbl. of oil per day. With the addition of El Descanso, CanOxy has interests in four exploratory blocks along the Guando trend, totaling almost 1 million undeveloped acres. 4 Ecuador Ardmore, Okla.-based Noble Affiliates Inc. encountered 341 ft. of gas pay in its first offshore well in its Amistad Field development program in the Gulf of Guayaquil. The test was drilled in 130 ft. of water to a total depth of 10,900 ft. Amistad was discovered in the early 1970s but was never produced; Noble now owns a 100% working interest in the 864,000-acre Block 3 concession. The company intends to drill three additional tests from its recently installed production platform. 5 Brazil Royal Dutch/Shell has spudded its first Brazilian exploratory well in offshore Block BC-10. Water depth is 1,400 to 2,300 meters on the Campos Basin concession, which is on the continental shelf approximately 100 kilometers off the state of Rio de Janeiro. Shell holds a 35% interest in Block BC-10; Petrobras, 35%; and Exxon Mobil Corp., 30%. 6 Palestine BG International reports that is has discovered commercial quantities of natural gas at its Marine-1 well, in 603 meters of water about 36 kilometers west of Gaza City on the Gaza coast. The well tested at a rate 37 million cu. ft. of gas per day. The Palestinian National Authority awarded the license to BG and partner Consolidated Contractors Co. last year. A second well will be drilled shortly. 7 Egypt In another find, BG International reports that it has tested 35 million cu. ft. of gas and 1,100 bbl. of condensate per day at a discovery in the West Delta Deep Marine Concession. The flow rate on the Sapphire-1 well, 40 miles northeast of Alexandria, was constrained by the testing equipment. Although four prior wells in the concession drilled earlier in this year tested large volumes of gas, the Sapphire-1 is the first well to have encountered significant volumes of condensate. BG owns a half-interest in the West Delta concession, and Edison International owns the remaining 50%. 8 Nigeria Agip has agreed to develop Oil Prospecting License 91, owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. Two oil fields-Okpono and Okono-were discovered on the license in the late 1970s and 1980s. Both were in 100 meters of water. Also in Nigeria, Exxon Mobil Corp. says that it has confirmed reserves of at least 600 million bbl. of crude in deepwater block OPL 209. Two wells, Era 1 and Era 2, have been drilled on the block. 9 Angola Exxon Mobil Corp. reports another discovery on Block 17, operated by a subsidiary of TotalFinaElf. The Perpetua 1 was drilled in 2,600 ft. of water and flowed at a maximum test rate of approximately 8,700 bbl. per day. The find joins prior Block 17 discoveries of Girassol, Dalia, Rosa, Lirio, Tulipa, Orquidea, Cravo, Camelia and Jasmine. TotalFinaElf owns a 40% interest in Block 17; Exxon Mobil, 20%; BP Exploration, 16.67%; Statoil, 13.33%; and Norsk Hydro, 10%. 10 Oman State firm Petroleum Development Oman has discovered oil and gas in two fields in south Oman and one in central Oman. In the south, Sakhia Field is capable of producing at rates of 6,200 bbl. of oil a day; Ghafeer Field can produce 6,000 bbl. of oil and 17 million cu. ft. of gas per day. In central Oman, gas was discovered in Makarim Field, which has an expected daily production rate of 46 million cu. ft. 11 Azerbaijan Moncrief Oil Co., Turkish firm Petoil and Socar have agreed to jointly develop Kalameddin and Mishovdag fields. The project, in the Shirvan steppe about 120 kilometers from Baku, will require a $178-million investment during the first three years. The partners will explore, rehabilitate, develop and produce the fields, which could hold as much as 370 million bbl. of recoverable oil. Moncrief will hold a 49.3% interest in the project; Petoil, 35.7%; and Socar, 15%. 12 Vietnam Conoco has made a discovery at its first well in offshore Block 15-1. The well, drilled in 154 ft. of water, flowed 5,600 bbl. of oil per day. The 1.15-million-acre block is in the Cuu Long Basin, approximately 120 miles southeast of Ho Chi Minh City. Conoco holds a 23.25% interest in Block 15-1; PetroVietnam, 50%; Korean National Oil Co., 14.25%; SK Corp., 9%; and Geopetrol, 3.5%. Conoco, the largest acreage holder of any foreign company in Vietnam, also owns interests in blocks 15-2, 16-2, 133 and 134. 13 Australia Santos Ltd. says that it has made a discovery in Queensland. The Roti West-1 wildcat, in the Cooper/Eromanga basins in South West Queensland, flowed 4.6 million cu. ft. of gas and 345 bbl. of condensate per day. The flows were from reservoir sands in the Permian Epsilon Formation over an interval from 2,295 to 2,310 meters. Only one of several gas-bearing reservoirs in the well was tested, says Santos. The new discovery lies about 30 kilometers east of the Ballera Gas Center.