Unocal Experiences Minor Problems with West Seno Startup

Unocal's CEO, Charles R. Williamson, said that slower than anticipated ramp-up in West Seno production is related mainly to the facilities and start-up operations. These delays caused production in for the third quarter to be about 3 to 5 percent below the previously expected range of between 460,000 and 470,000 barrels of oil equivalent (BOE) per day.

"The reservoir is performing as we predicted. We are encouraged by what we see in terms of oil pay thickness and initial well performance, which bodes well for the long-term success of the field. We are confident that we can achieve the previously stated peak gross production rates of 35,000 to 45,000 BOE per day from Phase 1, rising to 55,000 to 65,000 BOE per day when Phase 2 is completed."

The company experienced a series of facility-related processing issues that have been corrected. A chemical treatment to minimize oil/water emulsions during surface processing has proven to be effective and is now being utilized, allowing existing wells to come up to full production levels.

Unocal has completed six wells, which are currently producing 17,000 BOE per day, including 15,000 barrels of oil. Estimated actual gross production for the third quarter from West Seno averaged 5,000 BOE per day. Unocal earlier said it expected average production of nearly 20,000 BOE per day from West Seno in the third quarter.

Unocal's share of West Seno production will be approximately 85 percent of gross production during the early cost recovery period. Thw West Seno Field is located offshore Indonesia.

"We will now bring on additional development wells, which will ramp up gross production from the field to 30,000 to 35,000 BOE per day by year-end," Williamson said.