Top oil and gas discoveries of 2013

Offshore Africa holds the most promise

While further appraisal is necessary, add ten more oil and gas prospects to the list of potential commercial discoveries. As compiled by  John White, independent oil and gas analyst and member, Oil & Gas Financial Journal Editorial Advisory Board, citing reserves estimates by Tudor Pickering Holt & Co., ten of the biggest discoveries of 2013 include:

  • Lontra oil and gas discovery – Angola – 900mmboe
  • Ogo oil and gas discovery – Nigeria – 775mmboe
  • Nene Marine oil and gas discovery – Congo Brazzaville -  700mmboe
  • Bay du Nord oil discovery – Canada – 450mmboe
  • Salamat gas discovery – Egypt – 500mmboe
  • B14/B17 gas discoveries – Malaysia – 850mmboe
  • Coronado oil discovery – US GoM – 550mmboe
  • Maximino oil discovery – Mexico GoM – 500mmboe
  • Agulha/Coral gas discoveries – Mozambique – 700mmboe each
  • Tangawizi gas discovery – Tanzania – 575mmboe

Africa
Six of the top ten discoveries were made in Africa. Here, a synopsis of the top three.

In December, Houston-based Cobalt International boasted higher than expected results from the testing of its Lontra #1 well offshore Angola. In a conference call following the discovery, CEO Joseph Bryant called the Lontra a “crown jewel in Cobalt’s set of world-class exploration successes,” saying the find is “truly a discovery on a global scale.”

The Lontra #1 exploratory well was drilled to 13,763 feet and penetrated nearly 250 feet of net pay in a very high-quality reservoir section. The discovery well encountered both a high liquids content gas interval and an oil interval.

Cobalt serves as operator with a 40% working interest in Lontra. BP and Sonangol P&P are also partners in the presalt discovery well, offshore Angola, each with a 30% working interest.

The Ogo discovery offshore Nigeria by Lekoil, Afren, and Optimum Petroleum Development Ltd. is another large, possibly commercial discovery. While further appraisal is necessary, stock in both companies surged following the drilling of the Ogo-1 well. Drilled to a total measured depth of 10,518 ft (10,402 ft true vertical depth subsea), the well encountered a gross hydrocarbon section of 524 ft, with 216 ft of net stacked pay. 

Commenting, Lekan Akinyanmi, Lekoil’s CEO, said, “Ogo has provided us with a flying start to our strategy to build a substantial, Africa-focused oil and gas business.”

In August, Italy’s Eni made the offshore Congo oil and gas discovery in the Nene’ Marine prospect. The discovery was made through the well Nene’ Marine 1, which was drilled in 79 feet of water to a depth of 9,945 feet.

Eni, through its owned subsidiary Eni Congo S.A., is the operator of Marine XII block with a 65% stake. Other partners are New Age with a 25% stake and state Company SNPC (Societé Nationale des Pétroles du Congo) with 10% stake.

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