Weatherford Plans Chapter 11 Restructuring

Weatherford International is headed to bankruptcy court to try to slash its crushing debt load.

The services company said it planned to file under Chapter 11, and announced that its senior creditors are expected to facilitate financing that will sustain operations during bankruptcy and afterward.

The company’s statement on the planned filing said its operations are continuing and the bankruptcy process will have “no expected impact on customer, vendors, partners, or employees.” A company spokesman said the move was a “balance sheet restructuring to address the company’s debt burden,” and was not a restructuring of operations or a declaration of bankruptcy.


Venezuela Oil Output Sinks to Lowest Level Since Early 2003

Crude oil production in Venezuela declined to its lowest level in more than 16 years in April, and the recent freefall could accelerate further as US sanctions-related deadlines pass.

The politically and economically beleaguered country’s crude output averaged just 830,000 B/D in April, its lowest mark since January 2003, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA). The rate of decline shot up during the first quarter to 135,000 B/D/month, much higher than the 33,000 B/D/month drop observed during 2018.

EIA forecasts Venezuela crude output to continue falling through at least year-end 2020.


Eni Tallies Fifth Oil Discovery in Angola Deepwater Exploration Campaign 

Italian multinational firm Eni has made its fifth light-oil discovery on Block 15/06 in the deep waters off Angola through an exploration program it launched just last year.

The Agidigbo-1 NFW well proved a single hydrocarbon column consisting of a 60-m gas cap and 100 m of light oil in Lower Miocene sandstones with good petrophysical properties, Eni said. Drilled by Seadrill’s West Gemini sixth-generation ultradeepwater drillship, the well reached TD of 3800 m in 275 m of water.

Analysis of the results indicate between 300–400 million bbl of light oil in place, the operator said.


ExxonMobil Moves Forward With Second Guyana Development

ExxonMobil has made a final investment decision (FID) for the second development phase of the Liza field on the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana. Expected to start up in mid-2022, Liza Phase 2 will produce up to 220,000 B/D of oil.

The major is proceeding with the project after receiving government and regulatory approvals. As with Liza Phase 1, the second phase will utilize a floating production, storage, and offloading (FPSO) vessel, which will be named Liza Unity.

Six drill centers are planned with a total of 30 wells, including 15 production wells, nine water injection wells, and six gas injection wells. The project is expected to cost $6 billion, including $1.6 billion for the FPSO, and will develop 600 million bbl of oil.


UK Continental Shelf: Two Big Discoveries and More to Come

The fortunes of the upstream industry on the UK Continental Shelf (UKCS) may be turning. Two big discoveries have been reported over the past 8 months and a gradual upturn in drilling is expected in the near term.

First, Total in September announced its Glendronach find west of Shetland. The French operator encountered 42 m of net gas pay in a high-quality Lower Cretaceous reservoir. Recoverable resources are estimated at 175 million BOE.

Then, in January, CNOOC said it made the play-opening Glengorm discovery, intersecting about 38 m of net gas and condensate pay in the Central North Sea. Recoverable resources there are estimated at 250 million BOE, which is the largest discovery on the UKCS in a decade. Total is also a partner in Glengorm.


Shell Partners with Startup to Get a Better Taste of the Reservoir

Wireline formation tests represent an oil and gas company’s first real taste of the reservoir’s prize, but they have a history of capturing nonrepresentative samples. For a solution, Shell is turning to a new software developer called Senslytics to see if it can make wireline formation testing more accurate and predictable.

These tests involve sending a probe downhole to contact the exposed rock along the wellbore, then pumping reservoir fluids into the device to analyze their chemical composition. “The problem with this process is that when you’re engaged at such distance down below, you don’t know how long to sit there,” said Rabi Chakraborty, president of Senslytics.

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