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Murphy closes in on Lac Da Vang concept

US operator set to opt concept to develop oilfield project off Vietnam

US operator Murphy Oil is close to finalising the development concept for the Lac Da Vang oilfield project off south-east Vietnam.

Well-placed sources said Murphy has decided to develop the resource initially with a wellhead platform tied back to a floating storage and offloading vessel, and a subsea tie-in to an existing pipeline.

However the oilfield development plan (ODP) for Lac Da Vang has not been approved by the Vietnamese authorities which restricts Murphy’s project execution plans.

The Houston-based operator is keen to get after the project following a recent successful Lac Da Trang-1 exploration well that added an estimated 39 million barrels of oil to the project’s cache.

Murphy estimates Lac Da Vang already contains about 100 million barrels of oil equivalent, and would like to generate first production in late 2021.

The Lac Da Trang well spudded in March 2019 using the jack-up PV Drilling 1 and completed in April 2019.

Murphy chief executive Roger Jenkins was delighted with the discovery, which he said had a superior reservoir quality to the Lac Da Vang field, and increased the remaining resource potential on Block 15-1/05 to in excess of 400 million boe.

Jenkins said recently the Vietnam project will be “very similar to our Sarawak oil developments in Malaysia, very economic, one big facility if you will, in the middle of the field with several small platforms”.

Sources said Vietnamese contractors would be well positioned for the initial and subsequent wellhead platforms.

The FSO is likely to be chartered by Murphy and its partners.

“We're developing what we believe is some unique multi-lateral technology to add more well counts to well bores. This is about a fractured sand that you drill high angle wells through,” Jenkins said recently. The Lac Da Vang and Lac Da Trang discoveries are located in Block 15-1/05 in the Cuu Long basin.

Murphy has a 40% operator interest with PetroVietnam Exploration & Production on 35% and SK Energy on 25%.

The joint venture received a declaration of commerciality for Lac Da Vang earlier this year from the government.

Block 15-1/05 sits alongside the celebrated Block 15-1 owned by the Cuu Long Joint Operating Company.

Block 15-1 contains some of the largest oil and gas fields in Vietnam including Su Tu Den, Su Tu Vang, Su Tu Nau and Su Tu Trang, as well as a gas export pipeline.

80415b82c802900b0f3058d6533dd6f2 In demand: the jack-up PV Drilling 1 drilled the Lac Da Trang well Photo: AMANDA BATTERSBY
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