Page 17: of Offshore Engineer Magazine (Jan/Feb 2018)

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A Transocean drillship stationed

Wells to watch in Guanabara Bay, Brazil, with the

So, where are the wells to watch for 2018? Latham says that

Sugar Loaf in the background.

Photo from iStock.

2018 has more potential than last year. His top picks are: • Guyana – ExxonMobil is drilling its latest well offshore

Guyana in the Stabroek Block: Ranger-1. It spudded 11

October 2017, using the Stena Carron drillship, and was due to take three months. • Brazil – More activity is expected offshore Brazil, including possibly Total’s Foz do Amazonas (Mouth of the Amazon) well, if it secures regulatory permits. An application to drill was denied in 2017, with the environmental regula- tor Ibama (Instituto Brasileiro do Meio Ambiente e dos

Recursos Naturais Renováveis) citing lack of information.

Environmentalists and scientists say it’s too close to the

Amazon reef.

• Brazil – Also in Brazil, Petrobras is planning wells in the Espirito Santo basin, which would prove new plays,

Latham says. • Mexico – Meanwhile, Pemex is eyeing the Yaxxtaab-1 wild cat in the shallow waters of the Campeche Basin, offshore Mexico, billed as the frst pre-salt well offshore 2018 Exploration:

Mexico, while Total is planning a wildcat in the Perdido

Fold Belt.

similar perspective on all of those, that means the level of • Aruba – Repsol is planning a wild cat well off this small competition is getting much higher. The most extreme exam-

Caribbean Island. ple of that was in the Brazilian round in October,” with higher prices paid for access to acreage, Latham says. • Namibia – Tullow Oil is aiming to start drilling on the

Brazilian regulatory agency, ANP said that the 2nd round

Smaller, leaner

Cormorant prospect in the Walvis Basin, offshore Namibia, generated approximately $1.05 billion in signature bonuses and in September. While it’s not the biggest well, a discovery in $93.4 million in planned investments. Meanwhile, the 3rd pre-

Namibia would be signifcant, Latham says. salt round generated about $876 million in signature bonuses

BP is due to drill the Requin-Tigre (Tiger Shark) • Senegal – and will bring in approximately $140 million in investments.

For 2018 licensing rounds, where big explorers see poten- well, with Kosmos, outboard of the Tortue discovery. It is tial, big bids are likely to continue, Latham says, which could estimated to have 60 Tcf resource potential. create a problem around high access to acreage costs, we • South Africa – Total has hired the Deepsea Stavanger to haven’t been seen for a couple of years now.

drill a wild cat well offshore South Africa. “Total are very

The refocus on deepwater exploration is partly due to it be- excited about it. It’s a challenging environment but, by all coming more attractive commercially. “We certainly see a lot accounts, the subsurface looks very good,” says Latham. of the best deepwater oil plays breaking even (with 10% full cycle return as a breakeven) in the $40/bbl range,” Latham FAR is planning to drill the Samo prospect late • Gambia – says. “That’s Guyana, Brazil, Senegal... That’s being enabled 2018. Samo is believed to be similar to the SNE feld proper- by low exploration and development costs. Drilling costs in ties, in neighboring Senegal. It will be the only exploration particular are much lower. It’s also enabled by companies well to be drilled offshore The Gambia since the Jammah-1 focusing on the best rocks with high-permeability, and so well drilled in 1979.

higher production rates per well.” Eni has lined up the Saipem 12,000 drillship to • Morocco –

Taking a wider look, the exploration and production land- drill in the Rabat Deep Offshore license offshore Morocco, scape offers up an interesting theme. Onshore unconventional starting Q1. is typically seen as one of the threats to the upstream offshore oil and gas business (alongside solar and other renewables in • Nova Scotia –

BP is planning to drill a single exploration the longer term). Deepwater exploration has also been seen as an well, in the Scotia Basin, offshore Nova Scotia, Canada, expensive play. starting in Spring 2018. Drilling is expected to take 120

Yet, according to analysis by Wood Mackenzie looking at days using the West Aquarius semisubmersible.

trends over the past 100 years of exploration, “A largely onshore

Statoil may go back to the Korpfjell prospect, • Norway – history [of oil production] is [now] becoming polarized between which failed to offer commercial hydrocarbons in 2017, and deepwater and unconventionals.” For many serious explorers, the drill to test another reservoir.

choice is between unconventionals or deepwater, Latham says.

January 2018 | OE 19 018_OE0118_Feat2_Andrew.indd 19 12/27/17 3:03 PM

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