Energy firms take fresh punt on New Zealand deepwater

Nigeria-deepwater126 October 2013, Wellington – New Zealand is hoping the first deepwater wells to be drille

d in the country in nearly 15 years will reignite interest in its offshore oil and gas basins, mostly ignored since some early discoveries in the 1970s.

New Zealand’s remoteness, rough seas, and limited domestic demand for gas given its small population have curbed interest in the region by global exploration companies.

But the development of floating LNG facilities, spearheaded by Royal Dutch Shell PLC, means gas could be processed for shipping without having to build an expensive onshore plant, making any finds more commercially attractive.

Houston-based Anadarko Petroleum Corp, whose exploration success in Mozambique established the African country as a potential gas exporter, plans to drill two deepwater wildcat wells in a joint venture with Australia’s Origin Energy Ltd.

The programme snaps a decades-old lull in deep-water drilling since U.S.-based Hunt Petroleum halted exploration in the Great South Basin off the country’s southern tip in the early 1980s, due to harsh conditions and political red tape.

“The formations we’re looking at are large, they look like they they have the potential to meet our criteria for multiple trillions of cubic feet of gas,” said Alan Seay, a spokesman at Anadarko in New Zealand.

“We’re seeing similar-sized formations to what we’ve seen in places like Mozambique,” he added, pointing to the results of seismic and other research.
– Reuters

Petrobras September oil, gas output rises as platforms reopen
26 October 2013, Sao Paulo – Production of oil and natural gas at Brazilian state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA rose 4.2 percent in September from a year ago as platforms reopened after maintenance work, the company has said.

Petrobras, as the company is known, produced an average of 2.577 million barrels of oil and natural gas equivalent per day (boepd) in Brazil and abroad during the month, compared with 2.472 million boepd a year earlier, the Rio de Janeiro-based company said in a statement.

It was Petrobras’ first annual production increase since June. Closure of platforms for maintenance and the trailing off of production from ageing fields have led to declining oil output in Brazil for more than a year. Petrobras produces about 90 percent of the nation’s oil.

September output was 3 percent higher than the 2.499 million boepd produced in August as two platforms in the Marlim field, one platform in Marlim South and one in the Urucu field started operating again.

Petrobras also began operations at floating oil production, storage and offloading vessels, or FPSOs, in the Santos Basin, Campos Basin and the Sergipe Basin in September.

Despite the moderate output increase in September, Petrobras CEO Maria das Graças Foster has said major production increases should not be expected until at least 2015. On Thursday she said output from Brazil’s biggest oil discovery, the offshore Libra area, will not begin until 2020. Petrobras has a 40 percent stake in Libra.

– Reuters

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