Welcome to the February edition of the MapStand Monthly Mashup as we again bring you a roundup of key news and events from across the E&P, energy transition and renewables sectors.

It has been a busy January with many companies providing updates on their exploration plans for 2021. There are set to be some exciting exploration wells drilled this year as the industry, supported by a rising oil price, looks to catch-up on many of the delayed projects from 2020. West Africa, Mexico, Guyana, Suriname and Brazil continue to remain hot areas alongside more frontier areas in Montenegro, Cyprus and Lebanon. If you want to find out more about upcoming activities, check out our planned wells layer at

We are also awaiting news from a number of exploration wells which have been spud in the last few months. Pantheon Resources Talitha A# well heads up the action in North America whilst Latin America is a hive of activity with high impact wells currently being drilled in Mexico, Suriname and Brazil with results expected in the coming weeks. All of these are covered in more detail below.

In the renewables sector, Equinor was awarded contracts to develop Empire Wind 2 and Beacon Wind 1 offshore New York. Shortly after the award, Equinor announced the completion of its strategic US offshore win partnership with bp.

Here at MapStand we are continuing to advance our datasets to meet our clients needs across the energy sector. Alongside this we are launching our first Lunch & Learn webinar ‘The evolving North Sea - from Super-Basin to renewables HotSpot’. This will be held on 3rd March and will feature talks from Graham Barton (Xodus Group), Bill Senior (BluEnergy) and myself as we discuss the evolving landscape in the North Sea and take a look at the potential of Green Hydrogen and Carbon Capture Storage in supporting the drive to net-zero.
Click here to register.

Francis Cram


Wintershall produces first gas from Sillimanite South

Wintershall Noordzee has announced the start up of production at the Sillimanite South field. The field was discovered last year following the completion of the second Sillimanite development well (D12-08) which was taken into production in June last year.

Gas from the Sillimanite South field will be transported to the D12-B production satellite platform and subsequently be transported via the Neptune Energy operated D15-A production platform, through the NGT (Noordgastransport) gas transportation system to shore.

The Sillimanite South field is located within licence D12a, operated by Wintershall Noordzee B.V. alongside partners EBN B.V. (50%) and Neptune Energy (10.5%).

Sillimanite South

Spirit Energy plans development of Grove North East

Spirit Energy has contracted the Maersk Resolve jack-up to drill a development well on the Grove North East discovery in the Southern North Sea. The contract is expected to start in March 2021.

The well is planned to target the un-appraised north-eastern limb of the Grove field and has the potential to deliver 4.2 mmboe net additional reserves. If successful, the life of the Grove field could be extended by five years to 2028.

Grove NE

Norway APA 2020 Awards Announced

The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate has offered licence ownership interests to 30 companies totalling 61 production licences in the Norwegian Shelf.

The 61 production licenses are located in the North Sea (34), the Norwegian Sea (24) and the Barents Sea (3). 18 companies will be offered one or more operatorships. The licenses are awarded with work-programme commitments or as additional areas to such licenses.

To learn how to view global licensing rounds and awards see our tutorial.

Norway APA

Bask prospect is dry

Lundin Energy Norway AS announced that exploration well 7219/11-1, targeting the Bask prospect in PL533B was dry.

The well intersected the target formation which contained poorly developed reservoir, and although traces of hydrocarbons were found, it is not considered commercial and the well is classed as dry.

The Bask well was drilled 35 km northwest of the Alta discovery by the West Bollsta semi-submersible drilling rig. Lundin Energy is the operator of PL533B with a 40% working interest. The partners are AkerBP ASA with 35% and Wintershall DEA Norge AS with 25%.


Energean completes acquisition of stake in Block 2, offshore Greece

Energean announced that it has completed the acquisition of Total’s entire 50% working interest share and operatorship position in Block 2, offshore Western Greece.

Combined with the 25% working interest that was acquired through the acquisition of Edison E&P, Energean now holds 75% working interest alongside partner Hellenic Petroleum (25%).

Work on the licence to date has identified that it contains part of a large four-way dip closure that is covered by 2D seismic and represents a potential future drilling prospect.

Block 2 Greece

Middle East

Lebanon work programme - Blocks 4 and 9

The Minister of Energy and Water, Lebanon has confirmed that the consortium of companies consisting of Total, ENI and Novatek will continue exploration across blocks 4 and 9 after the initial exploration period was extended in each of blocks until 13th August 2022. As part of the extension, the consortium has presented their intended 2021 work programme across the two blocks which include studies and data analysis to complete the activities in Block 4 in which the Byblos-1 exploration well was drilled last year alongside the drilling of the first exploration well in Block 9, which the consortium shall drill before the end of the first exploration period.

Block 9-1

PTTEP farms into Block 61 - Oman

PTTEP, through its subsidiary PTTEP MENA Limited has signed an agreement with BP Exploration (Epsilon) Limited for a 20% participating interest in Oman’s Block 61 which contains the giant Khazzan-Makarem field.

After the acquisition is completed, BP will continue as operator (40%) alongside the Oman National Oil Company (30%), PC Oman Ventures Limited* (*Petronas subsidiary) (10%) and PTTEP MENA (20%)

The deal has increased PTTEPs exposure in Oman where it has invested in upstream and midstream businesses including Block 6 (2%) which contains the largest onshore oil field in Oman; Mukhaizna - Block 53 (1%); Block 12 (20%) and Oman LNG.


Masirah brings Yumna-2 online

Masirah Oil has announced that production has commenced from its second development well, drilled in the Yumna Field. Yumna-2 encountered 10 metres of Lower Aruma sandstone with a porosity of 21% and permeability of ~2000md, proving that the good quality reservoir sand is extensive to the north of Yumna.

Masirah are currently drilling Yumna 3, which spud on 20th January 2021, targeting a crestal location in the field to the east and up-dip from the discovery well GAS-1. Yumna-3 is being drilled using the Shelf Drilling Tenacious Jack-up rig.

On completion of Yumna 3, the Shelf Drilling Tenacious will relocate to drill the Zakhera prospect which is located about 12km to the south of the Yumna Field.

Yumna -3


FAR plans to drill Bambo-1 in H2 2021

As part of their Q4 2020 update, FAR Limited announced that they plan to drill the Bambo-1 well, offshore Gambia in H2 2021. Originally planned for 2020 but delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the well will target the Bambo prospect which has an estimated resource (P50) of 539 mmbbls.

Bambo forms one of a number of prospects identified by FAR across its A2 and A5 acreage offshore Gambia where FAR is operator (50%) alongside partner Petronas (50%).


Kudu Farm-in Namibia

BW Energys wholly owned subsidiary BW Kudu has increased its working interest in the Kudu license offshore Namibia from 56% to 95% after reaching a farm-in agreement with NAMCOR. NAMCOR will retain the remaining 5% working interest whilst the agreement also gives NAMCOR the opportunity to acquire an additional 5% working interest one the Kudu discovery comes on-stream. BW Kudu will pay $4 million at completion of the transaction and carry NAMCOR’s share of development costs until first gas.

The Kudu gas field is located about 130 km offshore the southern parts of Namibia. It contains an estimated 1.3 TCF of gas (P50) and was discovered in 1974.


North America

88 Energy Update

Merlin-1 Approval - The Alaska Bureau of Land Management has approved the Merlin-1 exploration well, located in the NPR-A region of the North Slope of Alaska. Spud of Merlin-1 is now expected in late February / early March 2021.

Umiat Oil Field Purchase - 88 Energy, via its wholly owned subsidiary Emerald House LLC, has entered into an SPA with Malamute Energy, Inc and Renaissance Umiat LLC to acquire the Umiat Oil Field. Umiat was discovered in the mid-1940s with 11 appraisal wells drilled by 1953, several of which were tested. Umiat-5 flowed 268 barrels per day on a 3 month test and Umiat-8 had a peak flow rate of 5.9mmcf/d of natural gas during a 4 day test. In 2013/2014 Linc Energy drilled two wells, Umiat-18 and Umiat-23H. Umiat-23H was tested with a maximum flow rate of 800 barrels per day and sustained flow of 200 barrels per day.

Tract 29 Award - 88 Energy, via its wholly owned subsidiary Regenerate Alaska Inc has been awarded Lease AA095899 (associated with Tract 29). The lease is considered highly prospective for oil and gas as several prospects on the Central North Slope side of the boundary are interpreted to extend into this area.


Pantheon Spuds Talitha A#

The Talitha #A appraisal well was spud ahead of schedule on 13th January 2021, with drilling planned to a TVD of approximately 10,000 feet. The well will target the shallowest Shelf Margin Deltaic horizon as the primary objective and will also drill through a number of secondary objectives including: (i) the 'Slope Fan System', (ii) the 'Basin Floor Fan', and (iii) the 'Kuparuk' horizons.

Pantheon also announced that it has reached agreement with Otto Energy Alaska, a 100% subsidiary of Otto Energy Ltd, to acquire its 100% ownership of Borealis Alaska LLC.

Borealis Alaska LLC owns a 10.8% working interest in each of the 16 leases in the 44,463 acre Talitha Unit. Upon completion of the acquisition, Pantheon will own a 100% working interest in the Talitha Unit. By way of an earlier transaction, Otto will retain a 0.5% overriding royalty interest in any future production from the Talitha Unit.


Kosmos GOM discovery

Kosmos Energy announced an oil discovery in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico at the Winterfell infrastructure-led exploration well.

Winterfell is located in approximately 1,600 m of water and was drilled to a total depth of approximately 7,000 m. The well was designed to test a sub-salt Upper Miocene prospect located in Green Canyon Block 944 and encountered approximately 26 meters of net oil pay in two intervals.

Kosmos will now work with partners on an appraisal and development plan. The discovery is located within tie back distance to several existing and planned host facilities.

Beacon Offshore Energy LLC is operator of the Winterfell well alongside a number of partners including Red Willow Offshore LLC, Ridgewood Monarch North LLC, CSL Exploration, LP, CL&F Offshore LLC, Houston Energy, L.P., Beacon Offshore Energy Exploration LLC, and Beacon Asset Holdings LLC.

Kosmos plans to drill the Zora ILX well in the Gulf of Mexico later in the year.


Latin America

Xochicalco spuds

Shell, alongside partner Qatar Petroleum is set to kick off its 2021 drilling campaign offshore Mexico with the Xochicalco-1 well in Block 7.

The La Muralla IV drilling rig is now on location, ready to drill the Xochicalco prospect. The well will target a Lower Eocene - Paleocene reservoir with an estimated 562 Mmboe prospective resource and 22% chance of success. Shell

is the operator of Block 7 (60%) alongside Qatar Petroleum (40%).

With drilling currently underway in Block 1 where CNOOC International are drilling the Ameyali-1 well and a number of high profile exploration wells planned, will we see a flurry of discoveries or some costly failures offshore Mexico through 2021.


CNOOC spuds Xakpun-1

It is interpreted that CNOOC International has begun the drilling of the Xakpun-1 exploration well in Block 4, Offshore Mexico.

The Valaris DS-15 has been on location for a number of days now, following the completion of the Ameyali-1 well which was drilled on behalf of CNOOC International in Block 1, offshore Mexico. Results from Ameyali-1 are yet to be released.

Xakpun-1 is targeting a Wilcox formation reservoir with a reported prospective resource of 993Mmboe and a geological success rate of 42%.

In November 2020, Shell farmed-in to Block 4 with a 30% working interest with CNOOC International retaining 40% and operatorship alongside partner PC Carigali Mexico (Petronas 30%).


Success at Keskesi East-1

On 14 January 2021 Total and its partner Apache Corporation announced a new oil and gas discovery at the Keskesi East-1 well, in Block 58 offshore Suriname.

The well, drilled in water depths of ~725 meters, encountered a total of 63m net pay of hydrocarbons: 58 meters of oil, volatile oil, and gas pay in good quality Campano-Maastrichtian reservoirs; and 5 meters of net volatile oil pay in Santonian reservoirs.

The Noble Sam Croft drillship, owned by Noble Drilling, is being used to drill the well, which is still drilling to test deeper Neocomian targets.

Keskesi East-1 is the fourth discovery in Block 58, following previous discoveries in the Block at Maka Central, Sapakara West, and Kwaskwasi prospects which tested successfully the Cretaceous, Campanian, and Santonian intervals. Such intervals bear great uncertainty on reservoir presence and properties, due to sedimentary overburden, which seems now to have been overcome, together with the proof of a working petroleum system in the area for such prospects.

Interest in Block 58 is split between Total (Operator 50%) and Apache Corporation (50%).

Keskesi - East

TGS Espirito Santo Multi-Client 3D survey offshore Espirito Santo

TGS announced on 13 January 2021 the commencement of the Espirito Santo Multi-Client 3D seismic survey offshore Espirito Santo basin in Brazil.

The survey will be acquired by HAIYANGSHIYOU720 vessel owned by COGC (China Offshore Geophysical Company) and is expected to be completed in Q4 2021. It will cover an area of 2,694 Sq Km and will be processed using the Dynamic Matching Full Wave Inversion.


Shell farms in offshore Argentina

Equinor and YPF have today entered into an agreement with Shell to jointly farm-down a 30% non operated stake in the CAN 100 exploration block, offshore Argentina.

The deal, subject to government approval, will see Equinor retain operatorship (35%), alongside YPF (35%) with Shell holding the remaining 30%.


BHP hits dust in Trinidad

BHP confirmed that the Broadside-1 exploration well in the Southern Licence reached the main reservoir on 22 October 2020 and did not encounter hydrocarbons. The well was a dry hole and was plugged and abandoned on 8 November 2020. The results are under evaluation to determine next steps on the Southern Licences.

BHP holds a 65% stake in Block 3 alongside partner Shell (35%).


ExxonMobil Spuds Opal-1

On 25 January 2021, the ANP - Agência Nacional do Petróleo, Gás Natural e Biocombustíveis announced that Seadrill's West Saturn ultra-deepwater drillship, under ExxonMobil operatorship, spudded the OPAL-1 exploration well in block C-M-789, offshore Campos basin. Well target: pre-salt Barremian-Aptian carbonates.

Following these operations, the West Saturn will head towards Sergipe-Alagoas basin, further to the north, to drill at least one exploration well, probably CERES-1 which is located in block SEAL-M-351, and near to Barra, Farfan, Muriu, Moita Bonita, and Cumbe discoveries.

Interest in the block C-M-789 is split between ExxonMobil (Operator + 40%), Petrobras (30%), and Qatar Petroleum (30%). Interest in the block SEAL-M-351 is split between ExxonMobil (Operator + 50%), Enauta (30%), and Murphy Oil Corporation (20%).


Tullow Spuds GVN-1

On 25 January 2021 Ratio Petroleum announced the commencement of drilling for Goliathberg-Voltzberg North-1 (GVN-1) exploration well, operated by Tullow Oil and located in Block 47 offshore Suriname.

The well is targeting the Upper Cretaceous turbidite play, with a best estimate prospective resources of 235 million barrels of oil, and a geological chance of success of 34%.

GVN-1 exploration well will de-risk a series of follow-up prospects already defined in the western flank of the Demerara High area.

Interest in Block 47 is split between Tullow Oil (Operator +50%), Pluspetrol (30%), and Ratio Petroleum (20%).



Beach Energy receives approval for Artisan-1

Beach Energy has received approval to drill Artisan-1, in Commonwealth waters of the Otway Basin approximately 32 km off Victoria’s south‐west coast.

The drilling activity was scheduled to commence in Q1 or Q2 2020 but has been delayed. Drilling is anticipated to occur within the period from Q3 2020 to the end of 2021. The well is expected to take approximately 35 to 55 days to drill, depending on the final work program and potential operational delays.


Energy Transition

Equinor selected for largest ever US Offshore Wind award

Equinor has been selected to provide New York State with offshore wind power in one of the largest renewable energy procurements in the U.S. to date.

Under the award, Equinor and incoming strategic partner BP will provide 1,260 megawatts (MW) of renewable offshore wind power from Empire Wind , and another 1,230 MW of power from Beacon Wind 1 – adding to the existing commitment to provide New York with 816 MW of renewable power from Empire Wind 1 – totaling 3.3 gigawatts (GW) of power to the State.

On the 29th January, Equinor and bp announced that they have completed their previously announced transaction, whereby Equinor has sold a 50% interest in both the Empire Wind and Beacon Wind assets on the US east coast for a total cash consideration of around USD 1.1 bn excluding customary purchase price adjustments.


Porthos CCS Project Update

The Porthos CO2 capture and storage project continues to stay on schedule. The aim of the project is to store 2.5 million tonnes of CO2 into the highlighted empty gas fields from 2024.

We expect to see more and more of these CCS projects coming through in the coming years as it is one of the cheapest ways to meet the climate targets in the short-term.

This is since the announcement from the Dutch Climate Agreement that the industry's CO2 emissions are to be reduced by half by 2030 using CCS.

This project is being led by EBN B.V., Gasunie and Port of Rotterdam Authority with the final investment decision expected in 2022.


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