Tap Oil Limited has provided the following update on planned exploration drilling at the Manora Oil Field in the Northern Gulf of Thailand(Tap 30% interest).
The Manora-8 exploration well is located in the G1/48 concession within the Manora Production Area approximately 2.2km southwest of the Manora platform. The well was drilled by the ENSCO 115 rig. The primary objective of the well was to explore for hydrocarbons in the 600 series sands, that are the primary producing sands in Manora. The well targeted a 3- way dip closure of the Manora Footwall A prospect, in the upthrown (footwall) side west of the Manora Central block. Secondary objectives included shallower reservoirs also productive in Manora and deeper objectives where oil shows were encountered in the MNA-17 well.
On 25 May 2018 at 00:30 hours WST, the Manora-8 exploration well reached final total depth of 2,518 metres MDRT. Less than 3 metres oil pay is interpreted from logs in the deeper target at a level similar to where oil shows were found in the MNA-17 well. Formation wireline testing recovered oil samples from the sand. Further analysis is needed to understand the relevance of this finding.
A cement plug is being set to abandon the open hole section and sidetrack the well (Manora8ST) to appraise the 300-500 series reservoirs above and below the productive MNA-18, 490- 60 oil pool. The sidetrack will also provide a pilot for ongoing development of the 490-60 oil pool.
Following completion of the Manora-8 STI, the rig will move to the platform to commence the two well development drilling programme. The development wells are required to mitigate production decline during 2018.
MNA-20 Development Well – drilled from the Manora platform to produce proven undeveloped attic and bypassed oil in the 490-60 reservoir in the eastern fault block to the south of MNA-18. The well proposal, contingent on Manora-8ST1 success, has additional objectives dependent on the results of the Manora-8ST1 well. The well will be brought onto production using an ESP pump on the Manora Platform.
MNA-21 Development Well – drilled from the Manora platform to produce potential bypassed and attic oil from the 490-60 reservoir in the eastern fault block to the north of MNA-18. The well will be brought onto production using an ESP pump on the Manora Platform.
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Headline crude prices for the week beginning 11 February 2019 – Brent: US$61/b; WTI: US$52/b
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Midstream & Downstream
Global liquid fuels
Electricity, coal, renewables, and emissions
2018 was a year that started with crude prices at US$62/b and ended at US$46/b. In between those two points, prices had gently risen up to peak of US$80/b as the oil world worried about the impact of new American sanctions on Iran in September before crashing down in the last two months on a rising tide of American production. What did that mean for the financial health of the industry over the last quarter and last year?
Nothing negative, it appears. With the last of the financial results from supermajors released, the world’s largest oil firms reported strong profits for Q418 and blockbuster profits for the full year 2018. Despite the blip in prices, the efforts of the supermajors – along with the rest of the industry – to keep costs in check after being burnt by the 2015 crash has paid off.
ExxonMobil, for example, may have missed analyst expectations for 4Q18 revenue at US$71.9 billion, but reported a better-than-expected net profit of US$6 billion. The latter was down 28% y-o-y, but the Q417 figure included a one-off benefit related to then-implemented US tax reform. Full year net profit was even better – up 5.7% to US$20.8 billion as upstream production rose to 4.01 mmboe/d – allowing ExxonMobil to come close to reclaiming its title of the world’s most profitable oil company.
But for now, that title is still held by Shell, which managed to eclipse ExxonMobil with full year net profits of US$21.4 billion. That’s the best annual results for the Anglo-Dutch firm since 2014; product of the deep and painful cost-cutting measures implemented after. Shell’s gamble in purchasing the BG Group for US$53 billion – which sparked a spat of asset sales to pare down debt – has paid off, with contributions from LNG trading named as a strong contributor to financial performance. Shell’s upstream output for 2018 came in at 3.78 mmb/d and the company is also looking to follow in the footsteps of ExxonMobil, Chevron and BP in the Permian, where it admits its footprint is currently ‘a bit small’.
Shell’s fellow British firm BP also reported its highest profits since 2014, doubling its net profits for the full year 2018 on a 65% jump in 4Q18 profits. It completes a long recovery for the firm, which has struggled since the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010, allowing it to focus on the future – specifically US shale through the recent US$10.5 billion purchase of BHP’s Permian assets. Chevron, too, is focusing on onshore shale, as surging Permian output drove full year net profit up by 60.8% and 4Q18 net profit up by 19.9%. Chevron is also increasingly focusing on vertical integration again – to capture the full value of surging Texas crude by expanding its refining facilities in Texas, just as ExxonMobil is doing in Beaumont. French major Total’s figures may have been less impressive in percentage terms – but that it is coming from a higher 2017 base, when it outperformed its bigger supermajor cousins.
So, despite the year ending with crude prices in the doldrums, 2018 seems to be proof of Big Oil’s ability to better weather price downturns after years of discipline. Some of the control is loosening – major upstream investments have either been sanctioned or planned since 2018 – but there is still enough restraint left over to keep the oil industry in the black when trends turn sour.
Supermajor Net Profits for 4Q18 and 2018
- 4Q18 – Net profit US$6 billion (-28%);
- 2018 – Net profit US$20.8 (+5.7%)
- 4Q18 – Net profit US$5.69 billion (+32.3%);
- 2018 – Net profit US$21.4 billion (+36%)
- 4Q18 – Net profit US$3.73 billion (+19.9%);
- 2018 – Net profit US$14.8 billion (+60.8%)
- 4Q18 – Net profit US$3.48 billion (+65%);
- 2018 - Net profit US$12.7 billion (+105%)
- 4Q18 – Net profit US$3.88 billion (+16%);
- 2018 - Net profit US$13.6 billion (+28%)