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Africa (Sub-Sahara) An 816-mile 2D seismic acquisition program was completed on the Ampasindava block, located in the Majunga deepwater basin offshore northwest Madagascar. The data will provide improved subsurface imaging of the large Sifaka prospect and will potentially mature additional prospects in the Ampasindava block to drill-ready status. Sterling Energy (UK) holds a 30% interest in the Ampasindava production sharing contract, which is operated by ExxonMobil Exploration and Production (Northern Madagascar) (70%). Asia Pacific Production began on the Liuhua 19-5 gas field in the Pearl River Mouth basin in the South China Sea. The field is expected to hit peak production of 29 MMcf/D this year. China National Offshore Oil Corporation (100%) is the operator. Drilling began on the YNG 3264 and the CHK 1177 development wells onshore in Myanmar.
Africa (Sub-Sahara) Mazarine Energy has started a two-well drilling campaign in the Zaafrane permit in central Tunisia. The first well, Cat-1, has been spudded and is targeting the Ordovician interval at a planned total depth of 3900 m. Mazarine (45%) is the operator with partners ETAP (50%) and MEDEX (5%). Asia Pacific China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) has made a natural gas discovery at its deepwater Lingshui 25-1 well, northeast of Ledong sag in the South China Sea's Qiongdongnan basin, where the average water depth is 980 m. The well was drilled to a depth of 4000 m and encountered 73 m of oil and gas pay. During a test, the well produced approximately 35 MMcf/D of natural gas and 395 BOPD. CNOOC holds full operated interest in the license.
Africa (Sub-Sahara) Bowleven began drilling operations at its Zingana exploration well on the Bomono permit in Cameroon. Located 20 km northwest of Douala, Cameroon's largest city, the well will target a Paleocene (Tertiary) aged, three-way dip closed fault block. The company plans to drill the well to a depth of 2000 m and will then spud a second well in Moambe, 2 km east of Zingana. Bowleven is the operator and holds 100% interest in the license. Asia Pacific China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) has brought its Dongfang 1-1 gas field Phase I adjustment project on line ahead of schedule. The field is located in the Yinggehai basin of the Beibu Gulf in the South China Sea and has an average water depth of 70 m. The field is currently producing 53 MMcf/D of gas and is expected to reach its peak production of 54 MMcf/D before the end of the year.
Africa (Sub-Sahara) Eni discovered gas and condensate in the Nkala Marine prospect offshore Congo. The discovery could hold from 250 MMBOE to 350 million MMBOE in place, the company said. In a production test, the Nkala Marine 1 discovery well in the Marine XII block yielded more than 10 MMcf/D of gas and condensate. Eni is the operator with a 65% interest in the block. The remaining shares are held by New Age (25%) and Societé Nationale des Pétroles du Congo (SNPC) (10%). Sonangol and Total will break ground on a deepwater oil pumping project that will increase Angola's production by more than 30,000 B/D. Four multiphase, high-pressure subsea pumps will be installed at the Rosa field in Angola Block 17 that will enable the recovery of an additional 42 million bbl, Sonangol said.
Case studies can be instructive in the evaluation of other coalbed methane (CBM) development opportunities. The San Juan basin, located in New Mexico and Colorado in the southwestern U.S. (Figure 1), is the most prolific CBM basin in the world. It produces more than 2.5 Bscf/D from coals of the Cretaceous Fruitland formation, which is estimated to contain 43 to 49 Tscf of CBM in place. For a long time, the Fruitland formation coals were recognized only as a source of gas for adjacent sandstones. In the 1970s, after years of encountering gas kicks in these coals, operators recognized that the coal seams themselves were capable of commercial gas rates. CBM development benefited greatly from drilling and log data compiled from previous wells targeting the deeper sandstones and an extensive pipeline infrastructure that was built to transport conventional gas. These components, along with a U.S. federal tax credit and the development of new technologies such as openhole-cavity completions, fueled a drilling boom that resulted in more than 3,000 producing CBM wells by the end of 1992. The thickest Fruitland coals occur in a northwest/southeast trending belt located in the northeastern third of the basin. Total coal thickness in this belt locally exceeds 100 ft and individual coal seams can be more than 30 ft thick. The coals originated in peat swamps located landward (southwest) of northwest/southeast trending shoreline sandstones of the underlying Pictured Cliffs formation. The location of the thickest coals (Figure 1) coincides with the occurrence of overpressuring, high gas content, high coal rank, and high permeabilities in the San Juan fairway ("fairway"). The overpressuring is artesian in origin and is caused by water recharge of the coals through outcrops along the northern margin of the basin. This generates high vertical pressure gradients, ranging from 0.44 to 0.63 psi/ft, which allow a large amount of gas to be sorbed to the coal. Coal gas in the San Juan basin can contain up to 9.4% CO2 and 13.5% C2 . Chemical analyses suggest that thermogenic gases have been augmented by migrated thermogenic and secondary biogenic gas sources, resulting in gas contents ranging up to 700 ft 3 /ton. Coal rank in the fairway ranges from medium- to low-volatile bituminous and roughly coincides with those portions of the basin that were most deeply buried. Coals in the fairway typically have low ash and high vitrinite contents, resulting in large gas storage capacities and excellent permeabilities of 10 md from well-developed cleat systems. Southwest of the fairway, Fruitland coals are typically 20 to 40 ft thick and are considerably underpressured with vertical pressure gradients in some areas of less than 0.20 psi/ft.
Unlike conventional reservoirs, coal seams are the source, trap, and reservoir for CBM. A comparison of the two reservoir types shows profound differences in reservoir properties, storage mechanisms, flow mechanisms, and production profiles. CBM reservoirs are layered and contain an orthogonal fracture set called cleats, which are perpendicular to bedding. Because the coal matrix has essentially no permeability, CBM can be produced economically only if there is sufficient fracture permeability. Relative to conventional gas reservoirs, coal seam permeabilities are generally low and may vary by three orders of magnitude in wells separated by distances of less than 500 m.
Africa (Sub-Sahara) An 816-mile 2D seismic acquisition program was completed on the Ampasindava block, located in the Majunga deepwater basin offshore northwest Madagascar. The data will provide improved subsurface imaging of the large Sifaka prospect and will potentially mature additional prospects in the Ampasindava block to drill-ready status. Sterling Energy (UK) holds a 30% interest in the Ampasindava production sharing contract, which is operated by ExxonMobil Exploration and Production (Northern Madagascar) (70%). Asia Pacific The Jolly-1 well, located in the Otway basin onshore in South Australia, was spudded in petroleum exploration license (PEL) 495. The primary objective of the well, whose planned total depth is 4000 m, is to assess the unconventional oil and gas potential of shales within the Casterton formation. Beach Energy (70%) operates PEL 495, with partner Cooper Energy (30%).
Africa (Sub-Sahara) Chevron has begun oil and gas production from the Lianzi Field, a subsea project in 3,000 ft of water that is expected to achieve production of 40,000 BOPD. Situated in a unitized zone between Congo and Angola, Lianzi is the first cross-border offshore oil development in Central Africa. A 27-mile electrically heated subsea production flowline is the industry's first at this depth. Chevron is the operator with a 31.25% The field partners include Total(26.75%), Eni discovered gas and condensate in the Nkala Marine prospect offshore Congo. The discovery could hold from 250 MMBOE to 350 million MMBOE in place, the company said.
Africa (Sub-Sahara) Mazarine Energy has started a two-well drilling campaign in the Zaafrane permit in central Tunisia. The first well, Cat-1, has been spudded and is targeting the Ordovician interval at a planned total depth of 3900 m. Mazarine (45%) is the operator with partners ETAP (50%) and MEDEX (5%). Asia Pacific Australia Pacific LNG has received its first gas from coal seam gas fields in the Surat basin. The gas is being carried to its liquefied natural gas (LNG) facility on Curtis Island, near Gladstone, Queensland, by a 530-km high-pressure gas pipeline, which was recently commissioned. With the arrival of gas, Australia Pacific can begin commissioning power generator facilities on the island. The company expects to deliver its first LNG in the middle of the year.
A new methodology for a "Level 2" Seismic Hazard Assessment has been developed for a geothermal project. Geomechanical models were created to understand the thermo-mechanical effects in the lifetime of a specific geothermal operation. Two types of geomechanical models are used, a 3-D Mohr-Coulomb model using both a deterministic and a probabilistic methodology, and a 2-D elastoplastic finite element model, simulating the lifetime and the associated mechanical changes caused by the geothermal operation. The simulated results show that, under maximum production conditions, there is a 1% likelihood of induced seismicity. Using published correlations, the movement along a fault is used to calculate the maximum magnitude of the unlikely seismicity, projected to be the order of 1.5 to 2 M w . As a mitigation method, a Traffic Light System is proposed. This allows the geothermal operation to continue while staying within the expected safety margins.