Energean Secures Rig for Multiwell Program off Israel

Energean has signed a contract with Stena Drilling for an up to five-well drilling program offshore Israel, which is expected to target the derisking of unrisked prospective recoverable resources of more than 1 billion BOE. The contract is for the drilling of three firm wells and two optional wells using drillship Stena Icemax. The first firm well is expected to spud in early 2022. The firm wells are all expected to be drilled during 2022.

“Our five-well growth program off-shore Israel, commencing in the first quarter of 2022, has the potential to double Energean reserve base with resource volumes that can be quickly, economically, and safely monetized,” said Mathios Rigas, chief executive of Energean. “Combined with first gas from our flagship Karish gas development project in mid-2022, the next 12 months are set to be truly transformational for Energean.”

One of the firm wells is the Karish North development well. The scope includes re-entry, sidetracking, and completion of the previously drilled Karish North well and completion as a producer. The Karish North development will commercialize 1.2 Tcf of natural gas plus 31 million bbl of liquids and is expected to deliver first gas during the first half of 2023.

The program also includes the Karish Main-04 appraisal well and the Athena exploration well, located in Block 12, directly between the Karish and Tanin leases. Athena is estimated to contain unrisked recoverable prospective resource volumes of 0.7 Tcf of gas plus 4 million bbl of liquids.

Exxon Hits, Misses off Guyana

ExxonMobil made another new discovery in the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana but came away empty with a well on the Canje block. The Longtail-3 well on the Stabroek block struck 230 ft of net pay, including newly identified reservoirs below those intervals found in the Longtail-1 probe.

“Longtail-3, combined with our recent discovery at Uaru-2, has the potential to increase our resource estimate within the Stabroek block, demonstrating further growth of this world-class resource and our high-potential development opportunities offshore Guyana,” said Mike Cousins, senior vice president of exploration and new ventures at ExxonMobil.

Exxon operates the 6.6-million-acre Stabroek Block as part of a consortium that includes Hess and China’s CNOOC. The new well was drilled 2 miles south of Longtail-1, which was drilled in 2018 and encountered 256 ft of oil-bearing sandstone.

The Uaru-2 well in the Stabroek Block was announced in April. That well struck 120 ft of pay.

While Stabroek drilling success continues, the operator suffered a set-back on the nearby Canje block and its Jabillo-1 well. The Stena Carron drillship reached a planned target depth of 6475 m; however the well failed to encounter commercial hydrocarbons. According to partner Eco Oil and Gas, the well was drilled to test Upper Cretaceous reservoirs in a stratigraphic trap.

Drillship Stena Drillmax will next mobilize to drill the Sapote-1 prospect located in the south-eastern section of Canje, in a separate and distinct target from Jabillo. Sapote-1 lies approximately 100 km southeast of Jabillo and approximately 50 km north of the Haimara discovery in the Stabroek Block, which encountered 207 ft of gas-condensate-bearing sandstone reservoir.

Erdogan Touts Turkish Black Sea Natural Gas Discoveries

Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the discovery of new natural gas deposits in the Black Sea, where the country plans to start production in 2023.

State energy company Tpao found 135 Bcm of gas at the Amasra-1 off-shore well, bringing the total amount of deposits discovered over the past year to 540 Bcm, according to Erdogan.

Turkey has ramped up offshore exploration for hydrocarbons over the past few years. Last year, explorers found 405 Bcm of gas at the Tuna-1 well in Sakarya field. Turkey currently imports nearly all the 50 Bcm of gas it consumes annually.

Equinor Hits Oil Near Visund

Equinor struck oil in Production License 554 with a pair of wells at its Garantiana West prospect. Exploration wells 34/6-5 S and 34/6-5 ST2 were drilled some 10 km north-east of the Visund field, with the former encountering a total oil column of 86 m in the Cook formation. The latter well encountered sandstones in the Nansen formation, but did not encounter commercial hydro-carbons. Recoverable resources are esti-mated at between 8 and 23 million BOE.

“This is the first Equinor-operated well in the production license, and the fifth discovery on the Norwegian continental shelf this year,” said Rune Nedregaard, senior vice president, exploration and production south. “The discovery is in line with our roadmap of exploring near existing infrastructure in order to increase the commerciality.”

Well 34/6-5 S was drilled using Seadrill semisubmersible rig West Hercules. Equinor operates the discovery; partners include Var Energi and Aker BP.

ExxonMobil Eyes Flemish Pass Well

ExxonMobil is looking to secure a semi-submersible to complete the drilling of a deepwater wildcat in the Flemish Pass offshore eastern Canada. The operator began drilling the Hampden K-41 probe in the spring of last year using Seadrill semisubmersible rig West Aquarius, but the unit was pulled off the well soon thereafter for reasons unknown.

ExxonMobil is currently prequalifying companies to supply a mobile offshore drilling unit to continue the well at Hampden in Exploration License (EL) 1165A.

The operator is targeting a mid-year 2022 start to the probe to be drilled in around 1175 m of water, some 454 km from St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Meanwhile, China’s CNOCC has wrapped up drilling on its Pelles prospect, its first exploration well offshore Newfoundland. The prospect, in about 1163 m of water, is located within license EL 1144. The wildcat was originally set to spud in early 2020 but was delayed due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company confirmed that drilling operations onboard drillship Stena Forth were complete and the rig plugged and abandoned the well. The results of the well were not released.

Equinor To Drop Mexican Offshore Leases

Equinor will exit two Mexican deepwater blocks as part its upstream investment strategy to focus on assets offering rapid and strong returns. The two blocks located in the Salina Sureste basin were acquired in Mexico’s 1.4 bid round in an equal equity split with BP and TotalEnergies.

Block 3, where Equinor holds a 33% operating interest, has water depths ranging from 900 to 2500 m. Block 1, where BP is the operator, has water depths ranging from 200 to 3100 m.

Exploration commitments include a single well on each block, not yet drilled.

The announcement to exit Mexico was made by Executive Vice President for E&P International Al Cook during the company’s Capital Markets Day event held in June. The company also unveiled plans to leave Nicaragua and Australia, as part of its upstream investment plans.

Cook added that Equinor will only operate offshore assets moving forward and will no longer operate onshore, unconventional projects. The company will instead opt to partner with others on those projects.

Equinor will also look to offload its exploration assets in the Austin Chalk play in the US and Terra Nova in Canada, he said.

Var Energi Strikes North Sea Oil

Var Energi has confirmed a discovery at its King and Prince exploration wells in the Balder area in the Southern North Sea. Success at the combined King and Prince exploration wells lifts preliminary estimates of recoverable oil equivalents between 60 and 135 million bbl. King/Prince was drilled in PL 027 by semisubmersible rig Scarabeo 8. The Prince well encountered an oil column of about 35 m in the Triassic Skagerrak formation within good to moderate reservoir sandstones, while the King well discovered a gas column of about 30 m and a light oil column of about 55 m with some thick Paleogene sandstone.

An additional King appraisal side-track further confirmed a 40-m gas column and an oil column of about 55 m of which about 35 m are formed by thick and massive oil-bearing sandstone with excellent reservoir quality.

The licensees consider the discoveries to be commercial and will assess tie-in to the existing infrastructure in the Balder area. The wells are located about 6 km north of the Balder field and 3 km west of the Ringhorne platform.

Var Energi operates and holds a 90% stake of the license. Mime Petroleum holds the remaining 10%.

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