Rhone Maritime data review could prompt further seismic acquisition

Offshore staff

EDINBURGH, UK – Initial analysis of new seismic over the Rhône Maritime concession off southern France looks promising, according to Melrose Resources.

Noble Energy and Melrose acquired a block-wide, 7,500-km (4,660-mi) 2D survey; the data is currently being processed and interpreted, with the present focus on the post-salt Pliocene and the pre-salt Miocene sections that have generated gas discoveries elsewhere in the Mediterranean.

Studies to date indicate the presence of numerous significant structures. Depending on the results of the detailed interpretation, the partners may acquire 3D seismic over the most promising areas of the block, ahead of the drilling stage.

Last year, Romania’s government awarded Melrose an 80% operating interest in the Muridava (EX-27) and Est Cobalcescu (EX-28) exploration blocks in the Black Sea, under the Romanian 10th Licensing Round.

Both blocks are in shallow water, with potential in exploration plays on trend with discoveries elsewhere in Romanian waters. Melrose’s preliminary mapping of the area, based on vintage regional 2D seismic, has identified leads and prospects that could hold 1-2 tcfe of unrisked gross resources.

In March the company and its partners signed concession agreements for both blocks, and a new seismic work program should get under way next year, likely followed by a multi-well drilling campaign starting in 2013.

Farther south in Bulgarian waters, Melrose aims to develop the Kavarna East structure, discovered in 2010, around 3 km (1.8 mi) east of the Kavarna field, with recoverable reserves estimated at 10 bcf.

Melrose plans a single subsea completion tied back to the Kavarna subsea development via a short 6-in. diameter pipeline. Installation is scheduled for the second half of 2012.


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