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Regional Update


Oil was discovered at the Ekales-1 wildcat well located in Block 13T in northern Kenya. The well has a potential net pay of between 197 and 322 ft in the Auwerwer and Upper Lokone sandstone formations. Tullow (50%) operates 13T with partner Africa Oil (50%).

The Mzia-3 appraisal well in Block 1 off Tanzania encountered a combined total of 183 ft of net pay in the Lower and Middle sands and confirmed reservoir quality in line with that seen in the Mzia-1 and Mzia-2 wells. BG Group (60%) operates Block 1 with partner Ophir (40%).


The Luba-1 offshore well on Brunei Block L was spudded. The well will evaluate the hydrocarbon potential of the Triple Junction structure. Serinus has a 90% interest in Block L, through indirect wholly owned subsidiaries Kulczyk Oil Brunei (40%) and AED SEA (operator, 50%). A private Brunei company owns the remaining 10% interest.

Drilling began on the Malida-1 exploration well in Block G1/48 in the northern part of the Gulf of Thailand. The well will test for the development of the main Miocene-age interval of the Manora oil-bearing sands in an independent fault-dependent structure, east of the Manora field. The well will be drilled to a measured depth of approximately 2670 m. Mubadala Petroleum (60%) operates, with partners Tap Oil (30%) and Northern Gulf Petroleum (10%).

Heavy oil was discovered at the Luda 5-2 North discovery wells in the Liaodong Bay area of China’s Bohai Gulf. The two wells, Luda 5-2N-2 and LD 5-2N-4, were both drilled to a depth of approximately 1140 m and encountered oil pay zones with total thickness of 394 and 279 ft, respectively. China National Offshore Oil Corporation (100%) is the operator.


OMV completed its Manaia-2/2A appraisal well within Petroleum Mining Permit (PMP) 38160 in the Maari field located 50 miles off the coast of South Taranaki District, New Zealand. The well, drilled to a measured depth of 2891 m, reached its target in the North Cape formation and intersected oil-bearing sands in the Moki and Mangahewa formations. OMV New Zealand (69%) operates PMP 38160 with partners Todd Maari (16%), Horizon Oil International (10%), and Cue Taranaki (5%).

Drilling began on the Matuku-1 well in New Zealand’s Petroleum Exploration Permit (PEP) 51906 in the offshore Taranaki basin. The vertical well will be drilled to a potential total depth of 4750 m. OMV New Zealand (65%) operates PEP 51906 with partners Octanex NZ (22.5%) and New Zealand Oil & Gas (12.5%).


Oil was discovered at the 6407/8‑6 exploration well and the 6407/8-6A sidetrack well in the Snilehorn prospect in the Norwegian Sea northeast of the Njord field. Estimated volume of the discovery ranges between 55 and 100 million bbl of recoverable oil. Statoil (35%) is the operator, with partners GDF Suez E&P Norge (20%), E.On E&P Norge (17.5%), Core Energy (17.5%), Faroe Petroleum Norge (7.5%), and VNG Norge (2.5%).

Drilling began on the 16/5-5 appraisal well on Norwegian production license (PL) 410. The well will target the Luno II South structure. The reservoir is expected to be of Jurassic/Triassic age. Planned total depth is 2374 m below mean sea level. Lundin Norway (70%) operates PL 410 with partner Statoil (30%).

Hydrocarbons were confirmed at Statoil’s North Sea Askja West prospect exploration Well 31/11-9S in Norwegian PL 272. Statoil (50%) operates PL 272 with partners Det norske (25%) and Svenska Petroleum (25%).

Middle East

Oil was discovered at the Mirawa-1 exploratory well in the Harir Block in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The well, drilled to a total depth of 4267 m, found oil and natural gas shows over an extensive gross interval of both Jurassic and Triassic reservoirs. Flow rates from multiple Jurassic zones totaled more than 11,000 BOPD. Multiple nonassociated gas zones in the Triassic flowed at rates totaling around 72 MMcf/D, together with associated condensate from one zone at a rate of 1,700 BOEPD. Marathon Oil (45%) operates, with partners Total (35%) and the Kurdistan Regional Government (20%).

The Salsala-1 exploration well in Block 32 onshore Yemen flowed naturally at an initial rate of 5,900 B/D of 36°API crude oil. The well, directionally drilled to a total depth of 4147 m, encountered oil shows in the Shuqra formation. DNO International (38.95%) operates Block 32 with partners Ansan Wikfs (42.93%), TransGlobe Energy (13.12%), and Yemen Oil & Gas (5%).

North America

The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold Gulf of Mexico Central Planning Area (CPA) oil and gas lease sale 231 in New Orleans on 19 March 2014. The sale is the second CPA lease sale and the fourth overall sale under the 2012–2017 Outer Continental Shelf Oil and Natural Gas Leasing Program. The auction will offer 39 million acres offshore Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama, and include all available unleased areas in the CPA.

South America

Production began at the Papa Terra heavy-oil field development within Block BC-20 of the southern Campos basin, using platform P-63, which is connected to the PPT-12 well. The floating production, storage, and offloading platform is anchored at a water depth of 1200 m and has the capacity to process 140,000 BOPD, compress 1 MMcf/D of gas, and inject 340,000 B/D of water. Petróleo Brasileiro (62.5%) operates Papa Terra with partner Chevron (37.5%).

A third 3D seismic survey began on Falkland Oil and Gas’s license areas to the south and east of the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas) in the south Atlantic. It is the final survey prior to commencement of drilling operations in late 2014. Interpretation results from the survey, operated by Noble Energy, should be available by the end of the first quarter 2014.

A 396-m column of 28°API oil was confirmed at Petrobras’ 3-BRSA-1184-RJS (3-RJS-723) well, informally known as Franco Leste, in the Santos basin presalt Franco area 124 miles southeast of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Total depth of the well was 5900 m in water depth of 2011 m. Petrobras (100%) is the operator.