E&P Notes

Offshore Discoveries Continue Even as Shale Slows

Stephen Rassenfoss, JPT Emerging Technology Editor

Four recent offshore discoveries served as a reminder that exploration is migrating offshore in the Western Hemisphere.

The discoveries off Brazil, Suriname, and the US, all in deep water, offered a stark contrast to the fast-contracting US shale business. To be fair, all the wells were spudded before the oil price crash which as forced deep cuts in offshore drilling.

Apache, which has shut down drilling in the Permian Basin, made a second discovery in its 1.4-million-acre block off-shore Suriname, identifying what it said is a geologically distinct area.


Russian Government Buys Venezuelan Assets From Its Own Oil Company

Trent Jacobs, Digital Editor

Rosneft, Russia’s leading oil producer, said it has transferred all its holdings in Venezuela to entities controlled by the Russian state.

The move involves several joint ventures, service companies, producing assets, and key trading units responsible for export operations. Rosneft said in a statement made on 28 March that the nationalization of these assets was warranted to protect its investors.

Upon the announcement, various media reports say that three VLCCs, or very large crude carriers, contracted by Rosneft turned around before reaching Venezuelan export facilities. It is estimated that the vessels would have been loaded with nearly 5.7 million bbl of heavy crude. Venezuela is using oil exports to pay down debts with Russia.


Chevron Hits the Brakes on Permian, Cuts $8 Billion Across Company

As the year began, Chevron said it was on track to produce 1 million BOE/D in the Permian Basin by 2024. Instead, the international major is joining a chorus of other oil producers that are drawing down their growth plans in response to the major market disruptions caused by a Russia-Saudi Arabia price war and an unfolding global pandemic.

Chevron announced on 24 March that it reduced its capital outlay from $20 billion to $16 billion. About $2 billion of the cuts will come from the company’s unconventional programs in Argentina and the US. But a company release said the reductions will “primarily” affect the Permian where it holds about 2.2 million acres.

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