E&P Notes: January 2024

Updates about global exploration and production activities and developments.

Noble Corp.’s Discoverer.
Noble Corp.’s Discoverer.
Source: Noble Corp.

Kosmos Sets Sights on Offshore LNG

Kosmos Energy announced that it increased its working interest to 90%, after BP’s exit, and assumed operatorship of the Yakaar-Teranga gas discoveries offshore Senegal. Yakaar-Teranga is one of the world’s largest gas discoveries in recent years and holds around 25 Tcf of advantaged gas in place, according to the company.

Kosmos has partnered with Petrosen and the Government of Senegal on the development of a concept that prioritizes cost-competitive gas to the domestic market, as well as the development of an offshore LNG facility targeting exports into international markets. The planned LNG facility would allow approximately 550 MMcf/D of domestic natural gas transported via pipeline to shore and export volumes liquified on a floating LNG vessel.

Discoverer Makes Discovery in Guyana

Offshore Guyana is home to one of the latest oil discoveries of 35 m of net pay at the Wei-1 well on the Corentyne block. The discovery is thanks to the partnership of CGX Energy Inc. and Frontera Energy Corp., with the joint venture believing that the rock quality discovered in the Maastrichtian horizon in the Wei-1 well is similar to that reported in the Liza Discovery on Stabroek Block. Results further demonstrate the potential for a standalone shallow-oil resource development across the Corentyne block, according to the companies.

The Wei-1 well was safely drilled by the Noble Corp.’s Discoverer semisubmersible mobile drilling unit in water depth of approximately 583 m to a total depth of 6233 m, according to the companies. A total net pay of 104 m has been discovered on the Corentyne block to date.

Confirmed Spud in Namibia

Sintana Energy Inc.’s PEL 83 license in Namibia’s Orange Basin has been spud. The Mopane X1 exploration well is the first of two wells which are scheduled to be drilled by the semisubmersible rig Hercules under a contract that provides for the two wells and optional testing, according to the company. PEL 83 is located north of PEL 39, home to Shell’s basin opening, Upper Cretaceous discoveries at Graff-1, La Rona-1, and Jonker-1.

Sinata also confirmed public filing of an application by an affiliate of Chevron Corp. with the Ministry of Environment, Forestry, and Tourism for the Republic of Namibia for an environmental clearance certificate which would provide for the drilling of up to five exploration and five appraisal wells beginning in Q4 2024 on block 2813B which is governed by PEL 90.

Discoveries throughout Namibia include Sintana’s recent success at the Mopane X1 exploration well.
Discoveries throughout Namibia include Sintana’s recent success at the Mopane X1 exploration well.
Source: Sintana Energy Inc.

Angola Approves Afrenta Acquisition

Afentra PLC received approval from Angola for the acquisition of stakes including a 14% nonoperating interest in Block 3/05 and a 40% nonoperating interest in Block 23 from the country’s national oil company Sonangol. Completion of the acquisition is anticipated to occur in Q4 2023.

The company is also in the process of purchasing nonoperated interests in Block 3/05 (12%) and Block 3/05A (16%), from Azule Energy Angola Production BV.

Oil fields located in Afentra’s newly acquired Block 3/05 in Angola.
Oil fields located in Afentra’s newly acquired Block 3/05 in Angola.
Source: Afentra PLC.

Prosperity in Guyana Development

Production has begun on the Payara development on the Stabroek Block offshore Guyana by Hess Corporation. FPSO Prosperity is expected to reach its initial production of 220,000 gross BOPD over the first half of 2024 as new wells are brought online, with production capacity of the Stabroek Block approximately 620,000 gross BOPD. Prosperity arrived in Guyana in April and is moored in water depths of approximately 1920 m.

ExxonMobil Guyana Ltd. is operator and holds a 45% interest with Hess Guyana Exploration Ltd. (30%), and CNOOC Petroleum Guyana Ltd. (25%).

Saudi Aramco Announces Two New Gas Fields

Saudi Aramco announced the discovery of two new natural gas fields. Located in the Empty Quarter region, the Al-Hiran gas field was confirmed after gas flowed at a rate of 30 MMscf/D from Hanifa reservoir in the Al-Hiran-1 well, and condensates flowed at 1,600 BCPD. In the same field, gas flowed from the Al-’Arab-C reservoir at a rate of 3.1 MMscf/D. The Al‑Mahakik natural gas field was confirmed after gas flowed from the Al-Mahakik–2 well, at a rate of 0.85 MMscf/D.

Shell Makes Significant Discovery in Egypt

Shell Egypt announced a significant natural gas discovery in the North East El-Amriya block of the Mediterranean Sea. Drilling took place at the Mina West-1X exploratory well in approximately 250 m of water in the Nile Delta by Stena Drilling’s Stena Forth mobile offshore drilling unit. Mina West-1x is the first of three wells planned for the Mina West exploration project.

Partnership in Gabon Strikes Big

A commercial discovery was recently made in offshore Gabon on the Dussafu Marin Permit by BW Energy Gabon, Panoro Energy ASA, and Gabon Oil Company. The company announced its Hibiscus South well, DHBSM-1, with preliminary estimates of 6 to 7 million bbl of recoverable oil. DHBSM-1 is located 5 km southwest of the BW Mabomo production platform with a Borr Norve jackup rig drilling to a depth of 6002 m.

BW Energy is the operator and holds a 73.5% interest, with Panoro (17.5%), and Gabon Oil Company (9%).

Drilling projects in the partnership’s Dussafu Marin Permit.
Drilling projects in the partnership’s Dussafu Marin Permit.
Source: BW Energy.

New Partnership in Pakistan

Pakistan Petroleum Ltd. made a gas and condensate discovery at exploration well Jhim East X-1 in District Sujawal, Sindh, making this the second discovery in Shah Bandar Block. Jhim East X-1 was spud in October and drilled to a depth of 2545 m.

Pakistan Petroleum Ltd. is the operator and holds a 63% interest, with Mari Petroleum Company Ltd. (32%), Sindh Energy Holding Company Ltd. (2.5%), and Government Holdings (2.5%).

Capex Opts Out After Failed Discovery

Argentina-based Capex SA opted not to continue with a second exploratory period at Parva Negra Oeste area in Neuquén province following 5 years without the discovery of commercially exploitable hydrocarbons. The company drilled two wells in the 143-km2 block as part of a minimum investment of $19 million to carry out both drillings and build infrastructure for completion. Without success, the area will be returned to Neuquén state-owned Gas y Petróleo del Neuquén for rebid.