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November 2014
The Secret Is Out

Having lunch with a geoscientist who's been a great client of ours over the years, we were a bit surprised to hear him say that he regrets the fact that more and more companies around the world are turning to StratoChem when they need top-notch geochemical data at unbelievable turnaround times.  Our surprise turned to amusement when he added:

"You guys used to be my secret!"

The secret is slowly spreading, but whether you've been working with StratoChem for years or just sent your first batch of samples, you can always expect fast, friendly, scientifically useful, and personalized service from us, no matter how many people are in on the secret.

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Oil & Gas Prices
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Industry News
Egypt: Eni Awarded 3 Exploration Licenses
September 26th, 2014

Egypt Flag Flat
(REUTERS) Italian oil major Eni said on Thursday it had been awarded three new exploration licenses in Egypt as it grows its footprint in Africa.


State-controlled Eni said in a statement it had been the successful bidder for the licenses, adding they would be formally awarded soon.


The major said it had been awarded a 100 percent interest and operatorship of the onshore block South-West Melehia in Egypt's Western desert.


It will also become operator in Blocks 9 and 8 near the boundary with Cypriot waters.


"I am very pleased with the acquisition of these new exploration permits which further strengthens our presence in Egypt, a historically and strategically important country for Eni," CEO Claudio Descalzi said in the statement.


Eni is focusing greater attention on its upstream business of looking for oil and gas and Africa is a core area.


Eni, the biggest foreign oil and gas group in Africa in terms of volume, has been present in Egypt since 1954 and has a hydrocarbon equity production of about 220,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.
Tanzanian Flag BG, Ophir Discover More Deepwater Gas Offshore Tanzania
October 2nd, 2014

LONDON - The block 4 partners offshore Tanzania have scored two more deepwater gas discoveries.


According to Ophir Energy, the Kamba-1 well, drilled by the Deepsea Metro I drillship in 1,379 m (4,524 ft) of water, found a total of 1.03 tcf (29 bcm) of gas in the Kamba and Fulusi prospects.


The well was drilled to a TD of 3,969 m (13,021 ft). It encountered an 18-m (59-ft) gross gas column in Fulusi, a northern extension of the earlier Pweza discovery.

After side tracking to test the Cretaceous Kamba prospect, the Kamba-1ST well established another gas column of 140 m (459 ft) with better quality reservoir sands than prognosed.

Kamba-1 was the joint venture's 16th consecutive discovery well in blocks 1, 3 and 4, lifting overall recoverable resources to 17.1 tcf (480 bcm). The result also means a third LNG train could be feasible for supplies from blocks 1 and 4, Ophir claimed.


Deepsea Metro I drillship will next drill two operated wells for Ophir off Tanzania in the East Pande and block 7 production-sharing contracts (PSC).


East Pande is between the coast and the gas discoveries in blocks 1 and 2. The Tende-1 well will be drilled to a planned TD of 4,200 m (13,779 ft) on trend with the recent Taachui-1 discovery in block 1 in a water depth of 680 m (2,231 ft). It will target gas in a lower Cretaceous sandstone reservoir with prospective resources of 2.38 tcf (67 bcm). Drilling is expected to last around 35 days.


After completing Tende-1, Deepsea Metro I will move north to drill the Mkuki-1 well in the western, inboard portion of block 7, in a water depth of 1,655 m (5,430 ft) and with a planned TD of 3,200 m (10,498 ft).


It will target gas in a Tertiary clastic reservoir with possible resources of 2.19 tcf (62 bcm). This well is expected to take 20 days to drill.


BG has decided to withdraw from block 3, although Ophir and partner Pavilion Energy have committed to the next exploration phase.


Ophir has applied to enter the next PSC term and formally re-assume operatorship from this month, holding an 80% interest, with Pavilion retaining 20%; the application is subject to approval from Tanzania's government.


The sole well drilled on the block to date resulted in the 2012 Papa-1 gas discovery.

Thailand to Offer First Oil, Gas Exploration Licenses in 7 Years
October 16th, 2014


Thailand plans to offer new licences to explore for oil and gas next week for the first time in seven years, as the net oil importer seeks to offset declining supplies from fields in the Gulf of Thailand. 


Securing new supplies is important for energy security because existing reserves in the gulf may last for only seven years, Energy Minister Narongchai Akrasanee said in an interview yesterday. A list of potential investors may be complete by the end of the year, he said.

Thailand's natural gas resources are declining as an expansion of Southeast Asia's second-biggest economy increases demand and state energy subsidies encourage consumption. The country's proven natural gas reserves plunged 43% over the past decade to 8.41 trillion cubic feet, from 14.75 trillion in 2003, data from the Department of Mineral Fuels shows.


"Because of the very distorted prices, we have been dependent too much on natural gas to the point where we have to start importing more and more," Mr Narongchai said in his office in Bangkok. "So we would want to produce or secure more supply from local sources by means of allowing a new round of exploration and production permits."


The government will offer concessions for 29 exploration areas offshore and in the central and northeast provinces, according to the Department of Mineral Fuels. Most will be onshore blocks in the northeast, close to Thailand's border with Laos, where recovery levels may be higher, Mr Narongchai said.




"We're studying the possibility of joining the bid and the potential of petroleum fields in the new round," Tevin Vongvanich, chief executive officer of PTT Exploration & Production Pcl, said in a mobile phone text message. The company is Thailand's largest publicly traded explorer and a unit of state-owned PTT Pcl.

The new concessions will be based on royalties rather than production-sharing, "because we don't know what we have," Mr Narongchai said. "If you set conditions on production sharing somebody may not have any product for you to share."


Thailand, which relies on gas for most of its electricity generation, will also continue to secure more supplies from neighbouring Myanmar, Mr Narongchai said. Natural gas from Myanmar accounts for 20% of total consumption, according to the Department of Mineral Fuels.

Cambodia talks


Chevron Corp., which has explored petroleum fields in Thailand since 1962, supplies about half of Thailand's gas demand, according to the company's website.


Thailand's government resumed talks two weeks ago with neighbouring Cambodia on overlapping claims in the Gulf of Thailand, Narongchai said.


Development of the 26,000 sq-kilometre area, more than twice the size of Qatar, has been stalled for more than three decades. Pichai Naripthaphan, a former Thai energy minister, said the disputed zone may contain enough gas to secure Thailand's supply for 50 years.

U.S.: Rose Petroleum Acquires  Additional Acreage in Eastern Utah
November 3rd, 2014

AIM-listed Rose Petroleum has announced that its wholly owned subsidiary Rose Petroleum (Utah) LLC. has acquired an additional 4,004.83 gross acres from the State of Utah and private  

owners within its Mancos development area as well as 657.83 gross acres in its Gunnison Valley Unit in the Paradox development area, Eastern Utah.  Total cost paid for the leases was $188,024.09 representing an average cost per acre of $40.33.


Rose's independent consultant, Ryder Scott Company (RSC), is currently in the process of updating the resource estimates for the Mancos following Rose's recent Cisco acquisition and this additional acreage will now be included as part of that.  Rose will announce the details of this update once it has been completed.


In May 2014, RSC stated that the Unrisked Prospective (Recoverable) Hydrocarbon Resources on a Best Case (P50 equivalent) basis for the collective total Mancos Shale and Paradox Formation combined was 1,452.86 MMBO (million barrels of oil) and 4,791.85 BCFG (billion cubic feet gas).


Group CEO Matthew Idiens commented: 'We are pleased to be able to consolidate our land position further in the Unita basin ahead of spudding our first Mancos well, which I am happy to report remains on track for ahead of year end. The initial well location has been selected and permitting is well underway.'

Oil Rebounds as Saudi Arabia Raises December Asia Prices
November 3rd, 2014
(bloomberg.com by Mark Shenk)

Saudi Arabian Flag

Brent oil climbed after Saudi Arabia raised differentials used in determining its official selling prices to Asia and Europe.


Futures rebounded after the announcement that the desert kingdom would increase December prices for Asia and Europe, while cutting those for U.S. customers. Oil tumbled last month after Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and Kuwait cut prices, leading to concern that OPEC members were fighting for market share. OPEC output rose to a 14-month high in October, according to Bloomberg estimates.


"This is a sign that there isn't going to be a market share war after all," Bill O'Grady, chief market strategist at Confluence Investment Management in St. Louis, which oversees $2.4 billion, said by phone. "A major reason prices have dropped so far was the prospect of a battle of market share."

Brent for December settlement advanced 28 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $86.14 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange at 1:32 p.m. in New York. Futures dropped 9.3 percent in October. The volume of all futures traded was 14 percent below the 100-day average for the time of day.


WTI for December delivery fell 9 cents to $80.45 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Futures were down as much as 1.1 percent before the announcement. Prices lost 12 percent last month, the most since May 2012, and are down 18 percent this year. Volume was 13 percent lower than the 100-day average. The U.S. benchmark crude traded at a $5.69 discount to Brent, compared with $5.32 on Oct. 31.


Bear Market


Oil has collapsed into a bear market as leading members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries resisted calls to cut production even amid signs of slowing global demand. Members of the group, which pumps about 40 percent of the world's crude, are engaged in an internal "price war" as they seek to defend their share of an oversupplied market, Iraqi Oil Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said last week.


OPEC pumped 30.974 million barrels a day last month, according to a Bloomberg survey of oil companies, producers and analysts.


Money managers reduced net-long positions in WTI by 2.3 percent in the week ended Oct. 28, data from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed. Long positions, or bets on rising prices, retreated to the lowest level in 17 months. Net-long positions rose for Brent rose 3.8 percent to 54,715 contracts in the same period, according to data from ICE Futures Europe's Commitments of Traders report.

US Crude Oil Futures Decline
November 3rd, 2014
(bloomberg.com by Stephen Cunningham)

U.S. crude oil futures dropped as much as 1.7 percent in New York trading, while Brent retreated 0.8 percent.


West Texas Intermediate slid as much as $1.40 to $79.13, the lowest intraday price since June 2012, as of 2:26 p.m. in New York. Brent crude futures fell 71 cents to $85.15.


Earlier, Saudi Arabian Oil Co., the world's largest crude exporter, increased the cost of oil sales to Asia and Europe and reduced them for the U.S.

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