December 2018
News & Resources

World of oil and gas

World of oil and gas
Emily Querubin / World Oil


PetroTal increases production at Peru’s Bretaña field

PetroTal Corp., a Calgary-based company with oil assets in Peru, announced that it successfully increased oil production from the Bretaña Norte discovery well at Bretaña field, in Peru’s Block 95. Output from the discovery well increased to over 2,000 bopd, with over 100,000 bbl of crude oil produced, to date. “The discovery well is producing over 2,000 bopd. Commissioning of the water re-injection facilities was seamless, and now we are engineering the next phase that will be installed in fourth-quarter 2019, allowing us to accelerate the production ramp up,” PetroTal President and CEO Manolo Zuniga said in a release. “Additionally, we sent a crude oil sample to Bureau Veritas for evaluation, and we are pleased with the resulting lighter crude quality and lower viscosity. This is important for two reasons: first, it should allow data when updating our reserves without third-party reserve engineers. We are currently mobilizing a rig to drill Bretaña’s second oil well, expected to spud in February and be placed on production in late March 2019.” Bretaña is a material, high-quality, low-risk development asset with 39.8 MMbbl of 2P contingent reserves. According to PetroTal, its production is estimated to exceed 10,000 bopd by 2020.

Clair Ridge project starts production offshore UK

BP—alongside partners Shell, Chevron and ConocoPhillips—has reported first oil at its giant Clair Ridge project, situated about 47 mi West of Shetland, offshore the UK. It was the major’s first-ever discovery in the West of Shetland area. Clair Ridge, the second-phase development of Clair field, is targeting 640 MMbbl of recoverable resources and peak production of 120,000 bopd. Clair field reportedly is the largest oilfield on the UK Continental Shelf. Overall, the field holds an estimated 7 Bbbl of hydrocarbons. Although the field was first discovered in 1977, the project partners did not get approval for a development plan for the first phase of development until 2001. According to BP, this was due primarily to challenging reservoir characteristics and technological limitations of the time. Bernard Looney, BP’s upstream chief executive, said that the start-up is “a culmination of decades of persistence.” Clair Ridge also features an advanced drilling rig, which will carry out a ten-year drilling program. It has 36 well slots, two of which reportedly are being used for the tie-back of pre-drilled wells. The first phase of the development—which was the first fixed offshore facility to ever be installed in the West of Shetland area—started producing in 2005, targeting about 300 MMbbl of recoverable reserves. 

Chevron reports first oil at Big Foot project, in deepwater GOM

Chevron Corp. has announced the start of production at its Big Foot deepwater project, about 225 mi offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. Big Foot, which is in a water depth of about 5,200 ft, uses a 15-slot drilling and production TLP. The platform is designed for a capacity of 75,000 bopd and 25 MMcfd. Big Foot field is producing from total estimated recoverable resources of more than 200 MMboe, and it has a projected production life of 35 years. Chevron operates the project with a 60% working interest. The company’s partners include Equinor Gulf of Mexico (27.5%) and Marubeni Oil & Gas (12.5%). 


Faroe Petroleum reports exploration success on the UKCS

Faroe Petroleum has reported successful results at its Agar/Plantain exploration and appraisal well. The well is situated in License P1763, on the UKCS. According to the company, the initial wellbore of exploration well 09/14a/17B targeted the Plantain prospect. It was drilled to a depth of 7,395 ft, MD, encountering a thin oil column in a high-quality sandstone reservoir. Based on the results, Faroe and its partners made the decision to drill a sidetrack 09/14a-17BZ up-dip to appraise the 2014 Agar oil discovery. The sidetrack subsequently encountered the Upper Frigg formation at 5,784 ft, MD, penetrating a gross reservoir zone of more than 65 ft. Faroe reported that the well, which was drilled by the Transocean Leader semisubmersible, will be plugged and abandoned as planned. Graham Steward, chief executive of Faroe Petroleum, said that “the company’s exploration program will continue over the remainder of the year, with two further committed exploration wells in Norway: the Brasse East and Cassidy wells.” It was reported on Nov. 21 that drilling of Brasse East had already commenced. The exploration well offers upside potential for the field development and it could unlock additional exploration upside to the northeast of Brasse field.

EnVen Energy spuds King Crab well, in the Gulf of Mexico

EnVen Energy Corp. has begun drilling its King Crab well at Lobster field, on Ewing Bank Block 873 in the Gulf of Mexico. The well reportedly is targeting an oil-focused reservoir about 14,000 ft, subsea, with seismic amplitudes consistent with existing Lobster producing zones (Bul 1 and Cris S) that have produced approximately 150 MMbbl, to date. The King Crab well is being drilled from the Lobster platform, which will enable initial production to begin within just days following completion operations, if successful. The company says it expects well results during first-quarter 2019. Additionally, EnVen expects to mobilize the Transocean Pontus drillship to Green Canyon Block 248, in preparation for its GL-5 sidetrack project at Glider field. Results from the sidetrack are anticipated in first-quarter 2019, as well. “King Crab and GL-5 represent two material near-term catalysts for EnVen’s continued growth and success. After months of careful planning and work by the EnVen team, we are excited that initial operations are underway and look forward to the results,” Steve Weyel, EnVen’s chairmand and CEO, said in a release.


Construction begins on Johan Castberg topside

Equinor reported that construction has begun on the topside of the Johan Castberg vessel in Kværner’s yard at Stord. According to Equinor, more than 2 million working hours will be included in the construction of the topside, and it is expected to generate about 4,800 jobs. “Johan Castberg is the next major development on the Norwegian Continental Shelf and will open a new area in the Barents Sea for Equinor. Johan Castberg’s development will have ripple effects equivalent to 47,000 man-years in Norway during the development phase. The value of Norwegian goods and services will amount to around $2.9 billion,” said Anders Opedal, Equinor’s executive V.P. for technology, projects and drilling, in a release. The topside eventually will be installed on a 200-m long FPSO vessel that will be producing on the Johan-Castberg field for 30 years from the start of production, which is anticipated for 2022. Its proven volumes are estimated between 400 MMbbl and 650 MMbbl of oil. Equinor holds a 50% interest in the project. Its partners include Eni (30%) and Petoro (20%).

Shell exits Ireland’s upstream sector

Through its affiliate, Shell Overseas Holdings Limited, Royal Dutch Shell plc has announced the sale of its shares in Shell E&P Ireland Limited. The business includes a 45% interest in Corrib gas field, situated nearly 52 mi off Ireland’s northwest coast, in water depths of almost 1,150 ft. When first gas was announced in December 2015, it was reported that the project’s peak annual production was expected to reach approximately 260 MMscfd. The field has been developed as a subsea-to-shore tieback solution with a pipeline that leads gas from the field’s subsea wellheads to a landfall near the village of Glengad, and subsequently through an onshore pipeline leading to a gas processing terminal, situated nearly 6 mi inland. Other project partners include Equinor (36.5%) and Vermilion Energy Ireland Limited (18.5%). The project has the potential to meet up to 60% of Ireland’s gas needs, according to Equinor. Shell reportedly sold its 45% interest to Nephin Energy Holding Limited, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, for $1.30 billion in November. According to the company, the sale will contribute to its $30-billion divestment target for 2016-2018. 

Imperial Oil reaches FID on Aspen project

Nearly 28 mi northeast of Fort McMurray, Alberta, Imperial Oil has made a final investment decision to develop the Aspen project, According to the company, the project will include the first major commercial application of next-generation oil sands recovery technology, designed to lower greenhouse gas emissions intensity and water use while improving development economics. The new technology is estimated to reduce this by up to 25%. The project is expected to produce about 75,000 bbl of bitumen per day. It has a cost estimate of C$2.6 billion, and more than C$4 billion in direct federal and provincial tax revenues are expected to be generated over its 30-year lifespan. It also is expected to deliver more than C$10 billion in royalty revenues to the Alberta government, according to the company.

BP names major GOM platform

BP has given a name to its new floating production unit for the Mad Dog 2 project in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico. The platform will be called Argos, which reportedly is a reference to Odysseus’ loyal dog from “The Odyssey,” as well as a nod to the Mad Dog spar. According to the company, it is the first new BP-operated production facility in the GOM since 2008, when Thunder Horse went onstream. It will be BP’s fifth operated platform in the GOM, extending the life of the giant Mad Dog field beyond 2050. “Selecting Argos as the name of our newest platform is an important milestone for the Mad Dog 2 project, which remains on track and on budget,” Starlee Sykes, BP’s regional president for the GOM and Canada, said in a release. “This project is key to delivering high-margin production from one of the largest fields in the Gulf of Mexico, and it will strengthen our position in the basin for years to come.” 

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Emily Querubin
World Oil
Emily Querubin
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