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Apache, Total make discovery offshore Suriname

The discovery at Keskesi East-1 follows three other discoveries on Block 58 announced in 2020: Maka Central-1, Sapakara West-1 and Kwaskwasi-1.

APA Corp (the parent company of Apache) and Total announced an oil discovery at the Keskesi East-1 exploration well in Block 58 offshore Suriname.

The well, drilled by the Noble Sam Croft drillship, encountered targets in the upper Cretaceous-aged Campanian and Santonian intervals. 

Drilling then continued toward deeper Neocomian-aged targets, but the well soon encountered substantial pressure increases. 

The companies determined the pressure could ultimately exceed the capabilities of the wellbore design and pressure control equipment and, consequently, decided to conclude drilling operations at Keskesi. 

Information gathered in the Keskesi East-1 well will be used to design a wellbore and drilling program that will ensure a safe test of the deep Neocomian targets in future operations.

Neptune Energy commences Dugong appraisal drilling

Neptune Energy and its partners announced on 1 March that drilling has commenced on the Dugong appraisal well, located in the Norwegian sector of the North Sea. The well is being drilled by the Deepsea Yantai, a semisubmersible owned by CIMC and operated by Odfjell Drilling.

The Neptune-operated Dugong discovery, in Production License 882, was one of the largest discoveries on the Norwegian Continental Shelf in 2020. Neptune estimates recoverable resources to be between 40 million to 120 million BOE.

The announcement of the Dugong campaign comes on the heels of another campaign start for Neptune, on the Seagull project in the UK Central North Sea, announced on 28 January. Valaris‘ Gorilla VI (JU-248) jackup rig will drill four wells over the course of the campaign, which is expected to last 18 months.

Seagull is a high-pressure, high-temperature development on UK license P1622 Block 22/29C, 17 km south of the BP-operated ETAP Central Processing Facility. Proved and probable gross reserves are estimated at 50 million BOE.

Separately, Neptune also received six new licenses in the Awards in Predefined Areas 2020, the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy announced on 19 January. The award covers four licenses in the Norwegian North Sea and two licenses in the Norwegian Sea.

Equinor makes oil discovery near troll field in north sea

Courtesy Ole Jørgen Bratland – Equinor
Seadrill’s West Hercules semisubmersible drilled two wells for Equinor near the Troll field in the operator’s first discovery of the year.

Equinor has struck gas and oil in production license 923. Recoverable resources are estimated at 44 million to 69 million BOE. 

The discovery, Equinor’s first this year, was made in one of the most mature areas of the Norwegian Continental Shelf. Exploration well 31/1-2 S and appraisal well 31/1-2 A were drilled some 10 km northwest of the Troll field, 18 km southwest of the Fram field.

In other news, Equinor and YPF entered into an agreement with Shell to jointly farm-down 30% non-operated interests in the CAN 100 block, located in the North Argentinian Basin offshore Argentina. Equinor had previously farmed in to the block in October 2019, agreeing to take over the operatorship.

Equinor and YPF currently each hold 50% equity in the license. After the transaction, they will hold 35% each, with Shell holding the remaining 30% in the block.

Maersk Drilling announces several new rig contracts

Since the beginning of 2021, Maersk Drilling has secured contract awards for a number of its rigs.

On 13 January, the company announced a new contract with Spirit Energy for the Maersk Resolve, a harsh-environment jackup, to drill one development well at Grove North East in the UK North Sea. The contract is expected to commence in March 2021, with an estimated duration of 131 days.

On 5 February, Maersk announced it had secured a two-well contract for the low-emissions rig Maersk Integrator with Aker BP. In direct continuation of the rig’s previously announced work scope with a different operator, the rig will return to Aker BP’s Ivar Aasen field for a two-well campaign, expected to commence in Q3 2021. The contract has an estimated duration of 73 days.

On 8 February, the company announced a contract from Korea National Oil Corp for the drillship Maersk Viking. It will drill one exploration well in Block 6-1 offshore South Korea. The contract is expected to start in June 2021, with an estimated duration of 45 days.

On 8 March, Maersk Drilling announced a one-well contract by Petrogas E&P Netherlands for the Maersk Resolute. The harsh-environment jackup will perform well maintenance and drill a sidetrack of the A9 well at the P9 Horizon field in the Dutch North Sea. The contract is expected to commence in April 2021, with an estimated duration of 45 days. Prior to commencement of the contract, the rig will be equipped with a high-efficiency Selective Catalytic Reduction system that uses ammonia injection to convert NOx into water and nitrogen; this is expected to reduce the rig’s NOx emissions by up to 98%. 

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