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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Gazprom, Lundin “transform” Russian Caspian

Lundin starts drilling in Morskaya-1 well in Caspian sea areaOct 8, 2008 - Scan Oil&Gas - Swedish oil company Lundin Petroleum has estimated its oil discovery in its Russian Lagansky block contains up to 450 million barrels of recoverable resources, “a major discovery,” company chief exec Ashley Heppenstall said Wednesday. The Morskaya structure in the Lagansky block north of the Caspian Sea was pierced by the Morskaya-1 exploration well in July 2008. Lundin said its mid-case estimate for the find is 230 MM bbls. “Approximately 50 percent of the Morskaya structure is in the Lagansky block and therefore the mid-case estimate of the size of the discovery is close to half a billion barrels of oil,” a Lundin statement explained. Morskaya is “a large four-way dip closure and the areal extent of the discovery is approximately 130 square kilometres”, the company continued. “Further appraisal drilling will be needed to assess the full extent of the hydrocarbon reservoirs across such a large structure,” and a first appraisal is due in 2009. A 3D survey has already started. The Block contains yet more prospectivity and the Marine Drilling Complex is drilling the Laganskaya-1 well southwest of Morskaya. A Petrovskaya-1 exploration well will be drilled in 2009. Lundin holds 70 percent of Lagansky, although Gazprom has “a call option” to acquire a 50 percent plus one share. Lundin, for its part, can can ask minority shareholders for an extra 30 percent share. The excercising of both options will give Lundin Petroleum 50 percent minus one share Gazprom 50 percent plus one share in the new discoveries. “We are continuing to explore the Lagansky block with two exploration wells in the next 12 months targeting two accumulations containing 400 million barrels of resource potential,” Heppenstall said, adding, “The Russian sector of the Northern Caspian Sea will become a significant hydrocarbon producing region over the next few years and Lundin Petroleum, through its strategic alliance with Gazprom is strongly placed to take full advantage.”

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