Africa (Sub-Sahara)

  • Eco Atlantic Oil & Gas announced the receipt of a final Environmental Clearance Certificate for the proposed exploration well on the Cooper Block offshore Namibia. This poises the company and its partners (Tullow Oil, Azinam, and state-owned NAMCOR) to begin drilling of the potential 882-million-bbl Osprey target. Work continues to pin down a precise drilling location. The actual drill program is anticipated in the third quarter of 2019 or the first quarter of 2020. Eco, meanwhile, cited nearby activity in the Walvis Basin to indicate the potential of the region, including Tullow’s plugged and abandoned Cormorant well and the upcoming drilling scheduled to take place within Chariot Oil & Gas acreage. The country’s geological formations, which have similarities with Brazil’s presalt fields, have attracted other majors to the region.

  • Chariot Oil & Gas has dispatched the deepwater drillship Ocean Rig Poseidon to drill Prospect S on the Central Blocks offshore Namibia. Operations should last approximately 40 days.  Prospect S could hold 459 million bbl. It is one of five dip‑closed structural traps, with combined prospective resources of 1.758 million bbl, identified across the license in the Upper Cretaceous turbidite clastic play fairway. Pending a successful result, two higher risk-reward stratigraphic traps (885 million bbl combined) could be derisked through calibration of the 6100 sq km of proprietary 3D seismic data over the blocks. The Central Blocks license involves 65% interest from Chariot, Azinam (20%), NAMCOR (10%), and Ignitus Oil & Gas (5%).

  • Asia Pacific

  • ConocoPhillips agreed to sell its 30% interest in the Greater Sunrise Fields to the government of Timor-Leste for $360 million. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019. The sale gives the government interest in the Woodside-operated Greater Sunrise liquefied natural gas (LNG) project that stalled because of the maritime border dispute between Timor-Leste and Australia. The project received a major boost in March this year when the two governments signed a treaty establishing permanent maritime boundaries as well as a framework to jointly develop the Greater Sunrise gas fields. The fields were discovered in 1974 and hold gross contingent resources of 5.13 Tcf of gas and 225.9 million bbl of condensate, according to Woodside. Partners in the Sunrise LNG project will include the operator Woodside (33.44%), the Timor-Leste government (30%), Shell (26.56%), and Osaka Gas (10%).

  • INPEX has completed the first shipment of condensate from its LNG project offshore northwest Australia. The Ichthys field’s subsea wells are at a water depth of 260 m. The cargo departed from the floating production, storage, and offloading vessel Ichthys Venturer and is destined for the Asian market. Later this year, shipment of cargo will begin from Bladin Point near Darwin in northern Australia, with LNG and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) exports to follow. At peak levels, INPEX expects offshore facilities to produce up to 8.9 million metric tons per annum (mtpa) of LNG and up to 1.65 million mtpa of LPG, and up to 100,000 B/D of condensate. INPEX’s partners in the project are Total, CPC Corp. Taiwan, Tokyo Gas, Osaka Gas, Kansai Electric Power, JERA, and Toho Gas.

  • Latin America-Caribbean

  • ExxonMobil has won the Titã exploration block with coventurer Qatar Petroleum during Brazil’s fifth presalt bid round. The block adds more than 71,500 net acres to the ExxonMobil portfolio, expanding the company’s total position in the country to approximately 2.3 million net acres. Equity interest in the block will be 64% for ExxonMobil and 36% for Qatar Petroleum. ExxonMobil will be the operator. Through the remainder of 2018 and into 2019, ExxonMobil will continue to obtain 3D seismic coverage and will continue to advance work on regulatory requirements for exploration drilling by 2020. ExxonMobil subsidiary ExxonMobil Exploração Brasil has interests in a total of 26 blocks offshore Brazil and is operator of 66% of its net acreage.

  • Mexico

  • Talos Energy announced that the Mexican oil and gas regulator, the National Hydrocarbons Commission (CNH) has approved the appraisal plan for the Zama discovery. The discovery is located in Block 7 of the Sureste Basin offshore Mexico at a water depth of approximately 165 m. CNH is currently reviewing the application for drilling permits, which are required to begin drilling operations. Talos estimates that it will spud the first appraisal well, the Zama-2, in Q4 2018 and that the appraisal program will be completed by mid-2019. In addition, the Block 7 Consortium, which includes Talos as the operator in partnership with Sierra Oil & Gas and Premier Oil, has entered into a firm contract with a subsidiary of Ensco to use the Ensco 8503 semisubmersible rig for the appraisal plan.

  • Middle East-North Africa

  • A full production startup of the ADNOC‑operated Umm Lulu and Satah Al Razboot (SARB) fields offshore Abu Dhabi shows an initial capacity of 50,000 B/D, according to partner OMV. This should increase to 129,000 B/D by the end of the year and 215,000 B/D by 2023. In April, OMV was assigned a 20% stake in the offshore concession Abu Dhabi–SARB (including the satellite fields Bin Nasher and Al Bateel) and associated infrastructure, after agreeing to pay a participation fee of $1.5 billion. The duration of the contract is 40 years. SARB and Umm Lulu, respectively 120 km (74 mi) and 30 km (18.6 mi) offshore Abu Dhabi, are both in shallow waters. Early production from Umm Lulu started in 4Q 2016.

  • Northern Europe

  • Equinor has awarded Transocean a contract for drilling six wells on the Norwegian continental shelf (NCS) with the Transocean Norge mobile rig. Drilling startup is scheduled for the summer of 2019. The rig has also been awarded a contract option for drilling four additional wells and is intended for subsequent continuing options. Transocean has previously signed a framework agreement with Equinor. The contract value for the six wells is estimated at approximately $89 million. The services covered by the contract include drilling services such as slop treatment, cuttings handling, and part of the mobilization fee. The six wells will be drilled for the Tordis/Vigdis, Visund, Bauge, and Snorre licences. The rig is owned by Hayfin Capital Management and Transocean.