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Vol. 9, No. 27 Week of July 04, 2004
Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry

News in brief

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Pan Andean’s drilling successful

Gary Park, Kristen Nelson and Ray Tyson

London-based Pan Andean said in late June that the Vrazel No. 2 well in the Danbury Dome area onshore Texas is capable of producing commercial quantities of natural gas. Pan Andean has a 21 percent interest in the well, which is expected to produce 1.9 million cubic feet of gas per day.

“Drilling confirmed the presence of a number of gas zones. Technical problems greatly delayed the completion process, but now all is in place for commercial production,” Pan Andean Chairman John Teeling said.

The Vrazel and nearby Zachry-Korenek No. 1 discovery “bode well for the forthcoming drilling program on our 100 percent owned properties in the Danbury Dome area,” he said. Pan Andean expects to make an announcement about the Danbury Dome venture in “coming weeks.”

In the next few days Pan Andean will begin drilling offshore in the Gulf of Mexico at its 50 percent owned Hi Island A-68 Block, Teeling said.

Rivals team up on production information

Four of Canada’s biggest energy companies have shifted from competition to cooperation by launching a new computer system for measuring oil and gas production. EnCana, Husky Energy, Talisman Energy and Devon Canada announced June 28 that they will share a single system that is designed to increase the efficiency and improve the quality of information on production. CGI Group will build and maintain the system over the next 10 to 20 years.

Parker Drilling delays rig sales

Parker Drilling said the anticipated sale of its Gulf of Mexico jack-up and platform rigs has been postponed due to a delay in the timing of financing for the purchase.

The sale, which excludes jack-up rig 25J, was originally scheduled to close June 30, but is now expected to close during the third quarter of this year, the company said.

If financing of the sale is delayed beyond Aug. 1, Parker still would have enough liquidity to pay off a $64.4 million note by drawing on its remaining term loan and using existing cash on hand, the company said.

Canadian drillers post strong first half

Canada reached the midpoint of 2004 with its second highest active rig count on record, but a soggy June trimmed drilling by 10 percent over last year. For the six months, an average 411 rigs were employed by operators, compared with 388 a year earlier. The peak year was 2001 with 434 rigs at work. Utilization of the fleet averaged 59 percent of the 693 available rigs, well behind 1997’s 77 percent of 485 available rigs.

To the end of June, Alberta logged 296 active rigs, up 6 percent from 2003 and British Columbia surged 19 percent to 80 rigs.

Seismic plans in motion for Laurentian sub-basin

ConocoPhillips Canada is wasting no time embarking on seismic exploration of the Laurentian sub-basin between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia. So long as it receives regulatory approvals, the company, in partnership with Murphy Oil, will shoot about 3,600 miles of two-dimensional seismic this summer, during the tight exploration season.

But drilling of the basin, which could hold 10 trillion cubic feet of gas and 1 billion barrels of oil, is unlikely before 2007. Two months ago, federal offshore permits issued in the 1970s were converted to modern-day licenses to spur activity.



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