Oil Search: Stronger prospects this year

Business, Normal

The National, Thursday 23rd August, 2012

OIL Search’s strong underlying oil field performance recorded in the first-half of this year is expected to continue in the second-half, with continued good contributions from last year’s development wells and from recent successful workovers, managing director Peter Botten said.
“Partly offsetting this, production will be impacted by the recent shut-in to allow an inspection of the Kumul loading system, as well as a planned two-week shutdown of the Gobe oil fields in the fourth quarter to allow tie-in work for the PNG LNG project to be completed (the last of the scheduled shutdowns),” he said in the company’s half-yearly report.
“Following the observation of a very small quantity of oil droplets on the water surface during an oil tanker loading in July, loading was suspended as a precautionary measure, pending an inspection of the Kumul loading line.
“The company carried out a comprehensive testing programme which included an inspection and analysis of line integrity with pressure testing at twice the normal operating levels.
“No source of any leak in the oil export system has been found and oil loading and production is due to recommence imminently.
“Due to the shut-in of production, approximately 0.3 mmbbl (million barrels) has been deferred.
“The company took the opportunity provided by the shutdown to undertake some maintenance work on the fields and facilities, originally planned for later in the year.
“As a result of the GPF (Global Petroleum Forum) shutdown and the Kumul incident, second-half production is expected to be slightly lower than in the first half. 
“Nonetheless, production for the 2012 full year is still expected to be within the previous guidance range of between 6.2mmboe to 6.7mmboe.”
Botten said development activities planned for the second-half included drilling the Moran MA well, targeting the Toro C and Digimu sands downdip of Moran 6 and 14, and the Agogo ADT A well, a further appraisal of the Toro hanging wall reservoir.
 There will also be ongoing work-over activity in the Kutubu, Usano, Agogo and Moran fields.
In exploration activity, the Trapia well in the Highlands of PNG and the Taza well in Kurdistan are both currently drilling ahead and expected to reach target depth late in the third quarter/early fourth quarter.
“Success in either well would have a meaningful impact on Oil Search,” Botten said.
“The company’s largest ever exploration drilling programme will continue in the fourth quarter of this year, with the Semda 1 well in the Tajerouine PSC in Tunisia, and into early 2013 with the commencement of the offshore drilling programme in the Gulf of Papua and the spudding of Mananda 6, a follow-up well to the Mananda 5 oil discovery.
“In addition, a seismic survey over a number of leads adjacent to, and on trend with, the Angore gas field is now underway.”
“The results will assist in maturing further gas prospects in this region of the PNG Highlands.
“The 2012-13 drilling programme is targeting multi-tcf (trillion cubic feet) of potential gas resources and several hundred million barrels of oil potential.”