Report: Floating rigs led the way, drilling majority of recent offshore discoveries

July 2022 Discoveries

Offshore staff

(OM) For the month of July, oil and gas discoveries were announced across five offshore regions: the Far East, Middle East, North Sea/Barents, South America, and the US Gulf of Mexico, Esgian reported Aug.2.

These regions accounted for seven discoveries. The analyst firm said floating rigs led the way, drilling five of the discoveries, while one was drilled by a jackup. For the seventh discovery, offshore China, neither the rig nor the water depth have been disclosed.

South America

According to the new Well Results query from Esgian’s Rig Analytics database, the region with the most discoveries announced was South America, with three. Two of the South America finds were offshore Guyana, while the third was made in Colombian waters.

The two Guyana discoveries were both made by Exxon Mobil in the Stabroek Block. Seabob-1 was drilled by drillship Stena Carron in a water depth of 4,660 ft (1,421 m). The well site is about 12 miles (19 km) southeast of the Yellowtail Field. The well encountered approximately 131 ft (40 m) of high-quality, oil-bearing sandstone reservoirs. Meanwhile, the Kiru-Kiru-1 well continues to be drilled by drillship Stena DrillMAX in 5,760 ft (1,756 m) of water. Kiru-Kiru is located about 3 miles (5 km) southeast of the Cataback-1 discovery. The well has encountered approximately 98 ft (30 m) of high-quality, hydrocarbon-bearing sandstone reservoirs. 

Offshore Colombia, Petrobras confirmed a gas discovery with the Uchuva-1 well in the Tayrona Block. This well was drilled by Transocean semisubmersible Development Driller III in about 2,723 ft (830 m) of water. The operator stated that activities will continue with a goal of assessing the dimensions of the gas accumulation.

US Gulf of Mexico

Hess, which is a partner in the two Guyana finds mentioned above, announced “encouraging” results from its Huron prospect in Green Canyon Block 69 in the US Gulf. The well was drilled by Transocean drillship Deepwater Asgard in 2,050 ft (625 m) of water and encountered high-quality, oil-bearing Miocene-aged reservoirs and established the existence of a working petroleum system. The results are still being evaluated, and the operator is planning an appraisal sidetrack. 

Norwegian Sea

Aker BP found gas in several geologic formations with the Storjo well in PL 261 near the Skarv Field in the Norwegian Sea. A preliminary estimate of recoverable gas volume is between 25 MMboe and 80 MMboe. Further delineation is planned for next year. Storjo (6507/2-6) was drilled by Odfjell semisubmersible Deepsea Nordkapp in 336 m (1,102 ft) of water.

Middle East

In the Middle East, Eni has added to its resources in Block 2 offshore Abu Dhabi, UAE. In February the operator informed the market that its interim well results indicated a range of 1.5 Tcf to 2 Tcf of raw gas in place in multiple good quality reservoirs of the Jurassic exploration targets. Then, in late July, Eni announced a find of another 1 Tcf to 1.5 Tcf of raw gas in place in a deeper zone in the same well. Fast-track development options are underway. The well was drilled by Northern Offshore jackup Energy Emerger.

South China Sea

In late July, Chinese media reported that state oil company CNOOC made a commercial find with the Weiye-1 well in the Beibu Gulf Basin in the South China Sea. This is reportedly the first successfully drilled offshore shale well. Like Hess, CNOOC is also a partner in the two Exxon Mobil-operated Guyana discoveries reported in July.

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