A number of operators are chasing Ladyfern look-alikes in the Buick Creek area of northeastern British Columbia, says Calgary consulting firm Canadian Discovery Ltd. The activity has been spurred by Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.'s successful Devonian Slave Point test at Buick c-18-H/94-A-14.Drilled in 2002, it recently tied in at a restricted rate of 30 million cu. ft. per day, but is capable of 100 million per day, says the company. About a half-mile south, Samson Canada and partner Nu-Sky Energy recently drilled a 10,457-foot Devonian test at Buick d-8-H/94-A-14. The partners say they have encountered significant gas flowand will proceed with completions and testing soon. A second offset has already been licensed to 10,457 feet, at Buick Creek d-8-H. Additionally, Calpine Canada and its partners Purcell Energy and Aspect Energy are drilling the b-55-J/94-A-14, a Devonian test projected to 10,660 feet, at Buick Creek North. Murphy Oil and Dominion Exploration have also teamed up to drill two Devonian tests there, licensing both wells last September. The a-27-K/94-A-14 and c-18-K/94-A-14 closely offset one another and have projected depths of more tha n 11,000 feet. Prior to the CNRL discovery, production at Buick Creek, Buick Creek West and Buick Creek North fields was derived solely from Triassic and Cretaceous zones. -Peggy Williams 1 Canada Junior explorer Bison Resources has been having success in the Midale area of southeastern Saskatchewan, says Calgary consulting firm Canadian Discovery Ltd. Bison has drilled a Devonian discovery in Midale Field, which is noted for its oil production from the Mississippian Midale. The 2-13T-7-11W2 well, drilled to a total depth of 8,948 ft. in the Precambrian basement, is producing 300 bbl. of sweet 39-gravity oil per day from an unnamed Devonian carbonate reservoir. The company has spudded an offset well at 9-13T-7-11W2 in hopes of extending the new pool discovery to the northeast. The 9-13T well is licensed to a depth of 8,856 ft. in the Precambrian. Like the 2-13T discovery, this deep test will also target oil potential in the Ordovician and Silurian sections. 2 Canada Husky Energy is well positioned in the current drilling spree under way in the lightly explored Lacadena-Abbey region of southwestern Saskatchewan. Husky expected to complete a 170-well development program covering 85 sections by year-end 2002. The wells are targeting shallow gas reservoirs of the Upper Cretaceous Milk River Formation at a depth of approximately 985 ft. The Milk River Formation is a major producer at the nearby giant Milk River Field in southeastern Alberta. Husky expects to add some 250 billion cu. ft. of proven reserves during the next three years from this new play, and has already booked 75 billion cu. ft. of proven reserves for 2002. It has acquired 400 sections of leases totaling 300,000 acres in the area, and has recently completed two gathering and compression systems that will collectively handle 30 million cu. ft. of gas per day. 3 Ecuador Success continues for Occidental Petroleum in its drilling program in Block 15 of the Napo Basin. The company's most recent wildcat, the Yanaqincha Este 1-A, was drilled to a total measured depth of 3,194 meters in the Chapiza Formation and encountered 41 meters of net pay in four zones. The well is currently being tested, and an appraisal well is already planned. Also in Block 15, Oxy is testing its Dumbique 1, which encountered 32 meters of oil pay in five zones. One zone has tested 3,300 bbl. of oil per day. Through 2005, the company says that it will shoot 2,000 sq. kilometers of 3-D seismic and drill 20 exploration wells. 4 Venezuela A major new oil field has been discovered in the Tomoporo sector of Lake Maracaibo, says Petróleos de Venezuela. The field, not yet named, contains more than 500 million bbl. of medium-gravity oil. It lies in Block VIII in the west-central sector of the lake. 5 United Kingdom BG Group has discovered a gas field in its South West Seymour prospect on Block 22/5b in the central North Sea. The 22/5b-A12 well encountered a 150-ft. hydrocarbon column in the Fulmar sands, and another oil column in the underlying Pentland sands. The find, drilled from the Armada platform, is east of the Armada Complex fields of Fleming, Drake, Seymour and Hawkins. First production is expected in the second quarter of this year. BG operates the block and owns a 57% interest, TotalFinaElf owns a 25% interest and Centrica owns 18%. 6 Austria Three exploratory wells, drilled in the Lower Austria Block in the Vienna Basin, are all discoveries, says operator and 100%-interest-owner OMV. The Grub-1 was drilled to a total depth of 6,194 ft. to test a closure in the Pannonian and Badenian formations. The Wutzelburg-3 wildcat, in an outpost location on the block, was drilled to 8,202 ft. The well tested a four-way closure in the Upper and Middle Miocene Sarmatian formation. The third wildcat, the Hohenruppersdorf-42, was also drilled into the Sarmatian formation. It reached a total depth of 6,890 feet, discovering both oil and gas in a fault-bounded three-way dip closure. 7 Qatar Calgary-based Talisman Energy has signed an exploration and production-sharing agreement for offshore Block 10. The license covers 784,000 acres in shallow waters, some 100 kilometers northeast of Doha. Al Khalij Field lies to the east, and Al Shaheen Field and giant North Field-containing 900 trillion cu. ft. of gas-lie to the west. Talisman says it believes its acreage could potentially yield discoveries in the 100- to 300-million-bbl. range. During the first five-year exploration term, the company will reprocess existing 2-D seismic data, acquire new 2-D and 3-D seismic data, and drill three wildcat wells. 8 Kazakhstan ChevronTexaco has suspended both the sour gas injection projects and the second phase of development of the giant Tengiz Field. The partners in Tengizchevroil, the ChevronTexaco-led operator of the Tengiz Field projects, have not agreed on a funding plan that is acceptable to all participants. Presently, Tengiz is producing 240,000 bbl. of oil per day. The delayed projects had the potential to raise production to 600,000 bbl. per day. ChevronTexaco owns a 50% interest in Tengizchevroil; ExxonMobil, 25%; Kazmunaigaz, 20%; and LukArco, a joint venture of LukOil and BP, 5%. 9 India Reliance Industries says it has made a huge deepwater gas find in the KG-DWN-98/3 (Krishna-Godavari Offshore) Block, off the Andhra Pradesh coast. Five successful wells have been drilled to date in water depths of 900 meters. Two wells have been tested, flowing 40 million and 29 million cu. ft. of gas per day, with those rates constrained by equipment. Seismic data indicate the structure, which lies at depths of 1,850- to 2,000 meters, covers some 177 sq. kilometers and contains a hydrocarbon column of 342 meters. Recoverable reserves are estimated at 5 trillion cu. ft. Canadian firm Niko Resources owns a 10% interest in the block. 10 Vietnam Soco Vietnam and its partners in the Hoang Long Joint Operating Co. have made another discovery in a four-well offshore exploration program on two blocks in the offshore Cuu Long Basin. The 16-1-Voi Trang-1X, drilled in Block 16-1, tested at the rate of 3,500 bbl. of 42-gravity oil per day from a section of Oligocene and basement intervals between 6,844-8,170 ft. The first well in the program was also drilled on Block 16-1 and tested 250 bbl. of oil per day from basement. On Block 9-2, the second well tested at a maximum sustained rate of approximately 4,625 bbl. of oil equivalent per day from two intervals. The last well in the program will be drilled on Block 9-2. Soco Vietnam owns a 28.5% interest in Block 16-1 and a 25% interest in Block 9-2. Its partners in the joint venture are PetroVietnam, PTTEP, Amerada Hess and Opeco. 11 Vietnam BP has made a large gas discovery offshore Vietnam, this one in the Nam Con Son Basin. The Hai Thach-3X was drilled in approximately 440 ft. of water on the border between blocks 5-2 and 5-3. The discovery, which lies near Lan Tay and Lan Do fields, is estimated to contain reserves of 2.1 trillion cu. ft. of gas. The company is considering development plans for the new field. 12 Australia Mutineer Field has been established as a significant discovery on the North West Shelf, says Santos. The Mutineer-3 appraisal well, drilled in 525 ft. of water on Block WA-191-P, flowed at the rate of 6,600 bbl. of oil per day on a 40/64-in. choke from 10 ft. of perforations in the Angel Formation. A total of 26 ft. of pay was encountered. Recoverable reserves for the field are now estimated at approximately 80 million barrels of oil. Santos operates and holds a 33.4% interest in Mutineer-3; Kufpec Australia, 33.4%; Nippon Oil Exploration, 25%; and Woodside Petroleum, 8.2%. Next, Santos plans to drill the Exeter-3, an appraisal well in nearby Exeter Field. That accumulation contains 25- to 50 million barrels of recoverable oil.