Welcome to the March MapStand Monthly Mashup.

I wanted to start by saying a big thank you to everyone who attended our webinar, ‘The evolving North Sea - from Super-Basin to renewables HotSpot’. We featured some great presentations from Graham Barton (Xodus) and Bill Senior (BluEnergy) alongside a presentation from myself and we had some great questions from those in attendance. For those unable to attend, we will be making the recording available soon.

We hope this will be the start of a regular webinar series so if you have a topic you would like to see discussed or would like to feature please get in touch.

In March, we also announced our collaboration with Elsevier, integrating MapStand's news and datasets into Elsevier's Geofacets platform.

The collaboration provides Geofacets users with interactive map overlays, giving geoscientists a clearer understanding of the subsurface to facilitate confident decision-making and mitigate risk. MapStand's news ticker has also been integrated into Geofacets, to keep users continually updated with upcoming lease rounds, bids and commercial updates that are spatially tagged and linked to the scientific content for the respective locations.

Elsevier and MapStand also intend to investigate ways to cooperate further in the development of relevant solutions for companies tackling the rapidly changing energy environment.

Click here to read the full press release.

Anyway, onto another action packed roundup of news from across the energy industry...

Francis Cram


Europa provides Wressle update

Europa Oil & Gas announced the commencement of oil flow at the Wressle Oil Field in North Lincolnshire. This follows the successful completion of operations to re-complete the Wressle-1 well and reperforate the Ashover Grit reservoir interval. Wressle is located across licences PEDL180 & PEDL182 in which Europa holds a 30% working interest alongside Egdon Resources (30% and operator), and Union Jack Oil (40%).


Enquest acquires stake in Golden Eagle

EnQuest announced that it has signed an agreement with Suncor Energy UK Limited to purchase Suncor’s entire 26.69% non-operated equity interest in the Golden Eagle area, comprising the producing Golden Eagle, Peregrine and Solitaire fields for an initial consideration of US$325 million.

Golden Eagle was discovered in 2007 and is operated by CNOOC International (36.54%) alongside partners Neo Energy Production UK (31.56%) and ONE-Dyas UK Limited (5.21%)


Ireland cancels all future oil and gas exploration

Following swiftly in Denmark's footsteps, The Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Eamon Ryan announced in early February that he had obtained cabinet approval to introduce legislation to ban licences for new oil and natural gas exploration. The legislation will be included in the Climate Action and Low Carbon Amendment Bill

The decision will ensure legislative effect is given to the commitment in the Programme for Government to end the issuing of new licences for the exploration and extraction of gas, on the same basis as the 2019 decision in relation to oil exploration and extraction. The Minister gave effect to this commitment immediately, the Department no longer accepts new applications for exploration licences for natural gas or oil, nor will there be any future licensing rounds.

The legislative amendments will not affect existing authorisations, with applications for authorisations and activities remaining subject to technical, financial and environmental assessments as appropriate.


Equinor makes first Norwegian discovery in 2021

Equinor, alongside partners DNO Norge AS, Petoro and Wellesley Petroleum have made their first discovery of the year in the Norwegian North Sea.

The Rover North discovery, in PL 923 was announced following the completion of exploration well 31/1-2 S and appraisal well 31/1-2 A. Equinor have estimated recoverable resources at Rover North to be between 44 and 69 Mmboe. Rover North adds to a number of discoveries in the Troll area in recent years. Including the Swisher discovery, made in 2020.

The wells have been plugged and abandoned and the West Hercules is now drilling an exploration well 31/2-22 S on the Blasto Prospect in PL090 where Equinor will be hoping for similar success.

PL923 is operated by Equinor who holds a 40% working interest in the licence alongside partner Petoro AS (20%), Wellesley Petroleum AS (20%) and DNO Norge AS (20%).

31/1-2 S

Dry well at Mandal High in the southern North Sea – 2/9-6 S

MOL Norge AS has concluded the drilling of wildcat well 2/9-6 S to the west side of the Mandal High.

The well was targeting petroleum in the Upper Jurassic Mandal Formation but despite encountering approximately 140 metres of reservoir, only races of petroleum were noted in the upper part and the well was classified as dry.

Well 2/9-6 S was drilled by the Maersk Integrator in 70 meters water depth and to a TD of 4,274 metres. Ther well terminated in the Upper Jurassic Farsund Formation

MOL Norge is operator of PL617 (40%) alongside partner Pandion Energy AS (15%), Wintershall DEA Norge AS (15%) and OMV Norge AS (30%).


Chrysaor spuds Jerv Exploration well

On the 18th February, Okea ASA announced that exploration well 15/12-25 had been spud. The well is targeting the Jerv prospect, close to the UK border. Jerv is a Paleocene prospect, with the well targeting the Tye Formation. The prospect has a net unrisked resource of 10 - 26 mmboe and geological chance of success 57%.

The well is being drilled by the COSLInnovator rig as part of a two-well programme in the region which will include the Ilder well 15/12-26.

PL973 is operated by Chrysaor Norge AS (50%) alongside partners Okea ASA (30%) and Petoro AS (20%).


Seven companies bid for licences in Norways 25th Round

Applications for the 25th licensing round on the Norwegian Continental Shelf have now closed.

These rounds supplement the APA rounds with potential leases located in lesser-explored open areas. The companies that have applied for production licenses are A/S Norske Shell, Equinor Energy AS, Idemitsu Petroleum Norge AS, INEOS E&P Norge AS. Lundin Norway AS, OMV (Norge) AS, Vår Energi AS.

The awards are set to be announced during the first part of this year.


Middle East

ADNOC Awards Cosmo Offshore Exploration Block in Abu Dhabi’s Second Competitive Block Bid Round

As part of Abu Dhabi's second competitive bid round, Cosmo has been awarded Offshore Block 4. This award follows the recent exploration block awards to Occidental, as well as a consortium led by Italy’s Eni and Thailand’s PTTEP.

Under the terms of the agreement, Cosmo will hold a 100% stake in the exploration phase, investing up to $145 million towards exploration and appraisal drilling, including a participation fee, to explore for and appraise oil and gas opportunities in the block that covers an offshore area of 4,865 sq km northwest of Abu Dhabi city.

ADNOC stated “This concession award builds on our long-standing relationship with Cosmo and reinforces the deep-rooted and successful strategic relationship between the UAE and Japan, ADNOC’s largest importer of oil and gas products.”


Masirahs Yumna-3 comes on-stream as Zakhera-1 is spud

Masirah Oil has announced that it has commenced production from Yumna-3, the third development well drilled in the Yumna field, in Block 50, offshore Oman.

Yumna-3 encountered hydrocarbons in 10.4 metres of Lower Aruma sandstone with a very good porosity of 23.4 per cent, proving that the good quality reservoir sand is extensive to the South East of Yumna-1, with exceptional permeability of about 2,000 md.

Following completion of operations as Yumna, Masirah Oil spudded the Zakhera-1 well, also in Block 50 and about 12 km to the south of the Yumna field. The well is being drilled by the Shelf Drilling Tenacious jack-up rig.



Egypt announces oil and gas bid round for 24 blocks

Egypt has launched its 2021 international E&P Bid Round through the new Egypt Upstream Gateway portal, a digital subsurface platform that will act as an up-to-date repository of the country’s subsurface data.

The bid round was launched by the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation and Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company with 24 areas offered for exploration in the Gulf of Suez, the Western Desert, and the Mediterranean Sea.

The round will be open until Sunday 1st August 2021.


Maersk Drilling selected for a long-term drilling campaign by Tullow Oil

Maersk Drilling has received a conditional letter of award from Tullow Ghana Ltd. for the ultra-deepwater drillship Maersk Venturer for a development drilling campaign at the TEN and Jubilee fields offshore Ghana.

The duration of the final contract is around four years with expected commencement in Q2 2021.


Tullow agrees US$180 million sale of assets in West Africa to Panoro

Tullow Oil PLC has announced that it has signed two separate sale and purchase agreements with Panoro Energy ASA for all of Tullow’s assets in Equatorial Guinea (Ceiba and Okume Complex) and the Dussafu asset in Gabon.

Following the announcement Panoro announced its exploration plans at Dussafu will include the drilling of the DHIBM-2 Hibiscus exploration well and possible sidetracks in Q2 2021, Tortue development well DTM-7H to be drilled and production startup in conjunction with DTM-6H in Q3 2021.


Lukoil makes a bid for FAR

Lukoil has continued in its attempt to obtain a stake in the Sangomar development, offshore Senegal with a non-binding indicative offer to acquire 100% of the shares of FAR Limited, valuing FAR at A$220 million. Lukoil has previously attempted to enter the RSSD Project with an agreement to acquire Cairn Energy’s interest.

This move was subsequently blocked by Woodside who, as operator of the blocks, preempted the deal and acquired Cairns share. For FAR, it had previously agreed to sell its interest in the blocks containing the Sangomar development to India's ONGC Videsh. However, Woodside again exercised its right to pre-empt the sale with a matching bid. Crucially, the sale has yet to be approved by FAR shareholders, paving the way for Lukoil to enter with an offer. In December 2020, FAR also received a non-binding A$209.6 million all-cash takeover proposal from private investment firm Remus Horizons.

The Sangomar field holds approximately 500 Mmboe and the $4.2 billion final investment decision was taken in 2020. The field is planned to be brought online in 2023.


North America

Inpex acquires interest in Lucius and Hadrian North

INPEX announced that through its subsidiary, INPEX Americas, Inc., it has additionally acquired a portion (2.3546%) of the participating interest (23.29512%) in the Lucius and Hadrian North fields previously held by ExxonMobil. This acquisition increases INPEX’s participating interest in the fields from 7.75309% to 10.10769%.

The Lucius Field is located approximately 380 km offshore Louisiana. Production commenced in January 2015. The Hadrian North Field was unitized with the Lucius Field in 2017 and thereafter has been jointly developed with production commencing in April 2019.


Pantheon make oil discovery at Talitha #A

Pantheon Resources has announced an oil discovery with its Talitha #A well. The well successfully reached a target depth of 10,452 ft and intersected all four of the target reservoir intervals, encountering oil in each of them.

The well has been logged and sidewall cores taken, which have been sent to third party labs for assaying. The company notes that the current plan is to test the Shelf Margin Deltaic ("SMD"), Basin Floor Fan (two separate zones) and the Kuparuk zones to determine ultimate commerciality.

During testing, equipment failures and technical issues have resulted in damage to the original well, therefore a sidetrack is currently being drilled to allow for better testing.


Latin America

Exxon and Petrobras success at Urissanê

On 29 January 2021, Petrobras announced that the wildcat well 1-BRSA-1377-RJS (informally known as Urissanê) of block C-M-411 found hydrocarbons. The block is located in the pre-salt area of the Campos Basin.

The data acquired is now being analyzed to assess the well potential and define further exploratory activities in the area. 1-BRSA-1377-RJS is part of a drilling campaign that consists of up to seven exploration wells in which three are firm: Mairarê, Urissanê, MairarêOeste; and four contingent: Urissanê Oeste, Quiriri, Mairarê Pocema, and Tutoia.

The pre-salt reservoir being targeted in this campaign is found at depths greater than 6kms in this area of the basin. This campaign will de-risk prospects already defined in the area.

Interest in block C-M-411 is split between Petrobras (Operator +50%) and ExxonMobil (50%).


Bahamas completes Perseverance-1

Bahamas Petroleum has today announced that it has completed the drilling of Perseverance-1, located in Cooper License, offshore The Bahamas.

The well was drilled using the Stena IceMax to approximately 3900m and encountered hydrocarbons, therefore successfully validating the structural model and the petroleum system in the area. However, LWD data, gas chromatography and mud logs have indicated that commercial volumes of oil have not been proven at this well location and the well will be plugged and abandoned.

The well was designed to target multiple potential reservoir horizons continuously through Aptian-Albian intervals with a P50 prospective oil resources of 0.77 billion barrels and an upside of 1.44 billion barrels.

Bahamas have noted that in the near term, operational activity will now focus on the 2021 work programme in Trinidad and Tobago, which includes the Saffron-2 appraisal well alongside the Weg Naar Zee Block in Suriname and prospect maturation in Uruguay.


Total commences Kwaskwasi Appraisal

Total has commenced its Kwaskwasi appraisal campaign using the Maersk Developer deepwater drilling rig.

Appraisal plans for Maka, Sapakara, and Kwaskwasi have been filed already, with Kwaskwasi regarded as their "best well in the basin thus far" according to Apache's Q3 earnings release. The fifth exploration well, Bonboni-1, located in the northern area of the block is set to be drilled in Q2-Q3 2021.

Total announced the Kwaskwasi East-1 discovery on 14 January 2021, and has recently awarded a contract to Maersk Drilling's rigs Maersk Developer and Maersk Valiant deepwater rigs for their exploration and appraisal projects in Suriname.

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


Asia Pacific

Petronas makes Indonesian Oil discovery and Malaysian Gas discovery

Petronas announced that its subsidiary PC North Madura II Ltd. made an oil discovery at the Hidayah-1 exploration well, located within the North Madura II Production Sharing Contract, offshore East Java, Indonesia. The Hidayah-1 exploration well was spudded on 7th January 2021 and drilled to a depth of 2,739 metres. The well encountered an oil-bearing carbonate build-up with good reservoir qualities in the Ngimbang carbonate formation.

Petronas also announced a gas discovery from Dokong-1 wildcat exploration well in SK417, located approximately 90 kilometres off the coast of Sarawak, offshore Malaysia. The Dokong-1 wildcat exploration well was drilled to a total depth of 3,810 metres in mid-January 2021 and recorded a gas discovery with a gas column measuring more than 80 metres in the Middle to Late Miocene Cycle VI-VII reservoirs. PTTEP HK Offshore Limited is the operator of SK417 (80%) alongside partner PETRONAS Carigali Sdn Bhd (20%)


ConocoPhillips East Malaysia Limited awarded Block SB405

PETRONAS has awarded Block SB405, off the coast of Sabah, offshore Malaysia, to ConocoPhillips East Malaysia Limited (COPEM) a subsidiary of ConocoPhillips and PETRONAS Carigali Sdn. Bhd. (PCSB). The award of this exploration block is expected to bolster exploration activities off the coast of Sabah following the opening of more block investment opportunities in the country.


PETRONAS offers 13 blocks in the Malaysia Bid Round 2021

Petronas has launched the Malaysia Bid Round 2021 which will feature 13 offshore exploration blocks which include 6 discoveries (Enggor, Nuang, Bidara, Timbalai Deep West and Epidot). The bid round launched on the 26th February and the data room opened on the 1st March. The deadline for bids is the 6th August 2021 (5pm Malaysia time) with the winners expected to be announced in Q4 2021.


NZOG and Beach Energy Relinquish New Zealand Licence

New Zealand Oil & Gas and partner Beach Energy have applied to relinquish Exploration Permit 52717 (Clipper), which contains the Barque prospect.

New Zealand Oil & Gas CEO Andrew Jefferies states that a combination of events including adverse regulatory settings for offshore exploration; the dry hole at OMV’s Tawhaki permit; the recent announcement terminating Wherry-1 drilling; and the effects of COVID on drill rig costs and availability have formed a perfect storm, making the task of finding suitable partners in the required timeline impossible.

New Zealand

Energy Transition

UK OGA receives CCS Licence Application

On 2nd February, the OGA announced that it had received an application for a Carbon Dioxide Appraisal and Storage Licence in the Southern North Sea off the United Kingdom Continental Shelf.

No further information about the application has been disclosed to date.


Vineyard Environmental Review Resumes

Following President Bidens Executive Order on 27th January 2021, that called for the Interior Department to identify steps to accelerate responsible development of renewable energy on public lands and waters, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has announced that it intends to resume the environmental review of Vineyard Wind’s proposed offshore wind project.

The proposed project would be located approximately 12 miles offshore within the northern portion of the lease area and proximal to Equinors recently awarded Beacon Wind 1 area.


Award of the first US Wave Energy Licence

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has announced the issue of the first wave energy research project in federal waters off the U.S. West Coast. The research lease was offered to Oregon State University for the PacWave South project, a proposed open ocean wave energy test center. The project will consist of four test berths with up to 20 wave energy converter devices and aim to demonstrate the viability of wave energy.

This award, alongside recent news from the BOEM that includes the resumption of the environmental review of Vineyard Wind's proposed offshore wind project, the rescinding of the Record of Decision for the Gulf of Mexico Oil & Gas Lease Sale 257 and the cancellation of the public comment period on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Cook Inlet OCS Oil & Gas Lease Sale 258 represents the intent of the Biden administration in addressing climate change and promoting offshore renewable energy production.

This comes as winter storms swept across large parts of the central and southern US, leaving millions without power. U.S. Oil production has plunged by a third with production from the Permian Basin is estimated to have dropped by up to 65%.


UK Crown Estate announces Round 4 lease winners

The UK's green economy and net-zero ambitions have continued to grow after The Crown Estate announced six proposed new offshore wind projects as part of the Round 4 leasing round for UK offshore wind.

Combined, the projects represent almost 8GW of potential new offshore wind capacity to deliver electricity to over 7 million homes and create employment opportunities across the UK.

Those winning bids for the wind development area licenses (in red) are Total (soon to be renamed Total Energies) with JV partner Green Investment Group, RWE Renewables, bp with JV partner EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG and Grupo Cobra with JV partner Flotation Energy Plc.

Round 4 projects will now progress to the Plan-Level HRA stage. This process will assess the potential environmental impacts of Round 4. The HRA process is expected to conclude in Spring 2022. Subject to the outcome, developers would then be granted an Agreement for Lease by The Crown Estate.

UK crown estate