Sonoro Energy Wins Selat Panjang PSC Tender in the Central Sumatran Basin

Sonoro Energy Ltd (TSXV: SNV) with it local partner PT Menara Global Energi has won the Selat Panjang PSC in the 2019 Conventional Bid Round in Indonesia.

Selat Panjang PSC Block in the Central Sumatran Basin

Deputy Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Arcandra Tahar announced the winner of 2019 Phase I Oil and Gas Working Area Offers with Regular Auction mechanism at EMR Ministry Building in Jakarta, on Tuesday (05/07). Photo by TheInsiderStories.

Deputy Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Arcandra Tahar announced the winner of 2019 Phase I Oil and Gas Working Area Offers with Regular Auction mechanism at EMR Ministry Building in Jakarta, on Tuesday (05/07). Photo by TheInsiderStories.

Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (MEMR) announced on 7th May 2019 that the Sonoro Energy Ltd-PT Menara Global Energi consortium was the winner of the 2019 Phase I Oil and Gas Working Area Offer on the Selat Panjang PSC area in the Central Sumatra Basin.  The total commitment value and signature bonus was US$ 116.7 million.  The PSC tender process is important to the Government of Indonesia as during the last two years 14 blocks were successfully tendered which resulted in signature bonuses totaling US$865 million and Definitive Work Commitments totaling US$2.13 billion.

It is unlikely that the PSC will be formalized and executed before the end of Ramadan on June 5th, 2019.

  • Sonoro has a 25% interest in the project with an option for up to an additional 24%.
  • Menara Global Energi has an initial 75% interest and shall be responsible for the signature bonus and for funding the first year G&G program.  Sonoro interest to be repaid on terms to be agreed.
Tender Bid
  • Signature Bonus: US$5 million
  • G&G Study
  • 2D: 500 line km
  • 3D: 200 km2
  • 6 wells

The 923 km2 Selat Panjang PSC is situated in Riau province, Central Sumatra and is approximately 925 km from Jakarta and 110 km from Pekanbaru (capital city of Riau Province).

In 2015 the Indonesian Ministry of Energy awarded  the Selat Panjang PSC, then totalling 1,316 km2 to Petroselat NC Ltd. part owned by Petrochina International.  The agreed work program included a G&G Study and data compilation, 2D seismic and 1 exploration well.  The PSC was terminated by the Ministry in 2018 and the development program proposed by the previous operator was not implemented.

The previous operator reported that the PSC had produced since 1994 with average annual production of 100,000 barrels with remaining 2P reserves of 7 MMBO.  Petroselat identified 7 leads and prospects on the PSC with reported potential for 320 MMBO and 1.5 Tcf.

The Central Sumatran Basin
North and Central Sumatra Basins and fields. These basins formed in a back-arc environment.

The Central Sumatra Basin along with the North and Southern Sumatra Basins formed as a result of back-arc extension resulting from the subduction of the Indian oceanic plate beneath western Indonesian portion of the Sundaland Plate.  During the Eocene to Early-Oligocene, extension resulted in rifting which generated a series of half-grabens.  These grabens filled with syn-rift nonmarine facies, including fluvial, del­taic, marginal lacustrine sandstones, and shallow to deep-water lacustrine shales.  With the cessation of rifting, thermal relaxation resulted in a sag phase which increased accommodation and saw further deposition and increased thermal maturity of the lacustrine source rocks.  Renewed subduction or more likely a change in subduction rate saw compression in the back-arc environment from the middle Miocene to the Holocence producing many structural traps for conventional hydrocarbon accumulations.

Stratigraphic sections of southern and western Indonesian basins. Doust and Noble, 2008 Petroleum Systems of indonesia
The four petroleum systems typical of SE Asian Tertiary basins and their relationship to basin stages Doust & Noble 2008

Reservoirs formed in upper Pematang Group (Palaeogene) non-marine sandstones however the principal reservoirs in this system formed in the Early Miocene Sihapas Group marine sandstones.  The Pematang Group was deposited in a series of small en-echelon grabens which have a Lower Red Bed fluvial-alluvial unit, overlain by the Brown Shale lacustrine unit and capped by the Upper Red Bed unit.

The basal transgressive unit of the Sihapas Group, the Menggala Formation consists of well-sorted quartzose to sub-arkosic sandstones which typically constitute more than 50% of the formation.  The Menggala Formation has an average porosity of >20% and an average permeability of 1500 mD.

An abnormally high thermal gradient has resulted in a shallow oil window with the Oligocene Brown Shale of the Pematang Group being the principal petroleum source rock.  The Brown Shale Formation (lacustrine) of the Pematang Group with the Sihapas Group sandstones is one of the most important lacustrine oil systems in SE Asia.  Source Rock summary

  • Principle source rock is the Pematang lacustrine brown shale;
  • Type 1 source rock average TOC 2-23%  with an average of 4%(Williams et al 1985, Yarmanto et al 1995 & Katz abd Dawson 1997).  HI 200-950;
  • Derived oil gravity API 20° to 47°; <2% S; Pour Point 4 to 46º and paraffinic

The Pematang reservoirs are generally small and occur with the rift basin.  The giant fields of Minas and Duri with Sihapas reservoirs occur principally along the eastern margins of the rift basins.  Most of the oil-fields are located in drape structures of basement highs along the eastern flanks of the half-grabens up-dip of the Pematang formation source rocks while others are related closure generated by basin bounding faults.  The lack of gas within the fields of the Central Sumatra Basin is notable reflecting the maturity of the Pematang-Sihapas system and the dominance of lacustrine source rock.

With an excellent source rock package and an anomalously high thermal gradient the Central Sumatra Basin is a prolific producer from shallow depths and has the highest petroleum endowment of the major basins in Asia-Pacific.  25 billion barrels STOIIP has been identified within the Central Sumatra Basin of which 4 billion and 8 billion barrels are in the Duri and Minas fields respectively, making them amongst the largest in SE Asia.

With an excellent source rock package and an anomalously high thermal gradient the Central Sumatra Basin is a prolific producer from shallow depths and has the highest petroleum endowment of the major basins in Asia-Pacific

What if Green Energy Isn’t the Future

Oil field rig with casing ready for well completion ahead of perforation and testing program. Copyright Cmi Capital 2012

What’s Warren Buffett doing with a $10 billion bet on the future of oil and gas, helping old-school Occidental Petroleum buy Anadarko, a U.S. shale leader? For pundits promoting the all-green future, this looks like betting on horse farms circa 1919.

  • Warren Buffet finances Occidental acquisition of Anadarko – US$10 billion;
  • Market sentiment is broadly bearish on hydrocarbons. The oil and gas share of the S&P 500 Energy index is now US$225 billion, less than 1% of the index and the lowest in more than 40 years;
  • What happens if investments in renewables stutters, subsidies evaporate, or renewable delivery fails?
  • Mills states that the prevailing wisdom has renewables adding 250% more energy to the world in the next 20 years, more than shale has added in the past 15 years;
  • Oil and gas demand continue to rise and is forecast to continue this trend albeit at a more muted rate;
  • All the growth predictions assume that 75% of the renewable growth will come from the least wealthy countries, the emerging economies. Mills concludes this is unlikely unless radical cost reductions evolve.  Note that none of the wealthy countries met their green targets but that energy production was driven by increases in fossil fuel production.  70% of the growth was increased fossil fuel production;
  • “The reason? Using wind, solar and batteries as the primary sources of the nation’s energy supply remains far too expensive.”  Any mention of subsidy reduction exposes the full fury of the green lobby … who receive ample funding from the renewables industry!
  • Already countries are reducing or removing renewable subsidies usually the result of unstable energy supplies, for example Sweden and Australia;
  • In the USA utilities have been adding massive fossil fuel burning diesel generators as backup to unreliable wind and solar, with little fanfare or comment;
  • Will electric cars solve the energy gap? Even a 100-fold increase in electric vehicles would only replace 5% of global oil demand of two decades. 

‘Green advocates can hope to persuade governments – and thus taxpayers – to deploy a huge tax on hydrocarbons to ensure more green construction.  But there is no chance that wealthy nations will agree to subsidize expensive green tech for the rest of the world.  And we know where the Oracle of Omaha has placed his bet.”  Full Article

Fertility Indicators of Magmatic and Hydrothermal Systems

Hydrothermal magnetitie derived from different PCD alteration domains can readily be discriminated potentially providing a vector to the metal shells of commercial interest. (Sievwright 2017)

Fertility Indicators of Magmatic
and Hydrothermal Systems

8:30am – 1:00pm, Monday 27th of May 2019
Australian Resources Research Centre (ARRC)
26 Dick Perry Avenue, Kensington, WA 6151

Discovery of new deposits is costly and challenging, particularly when exploration is now moving under cover and being more predictive can be the immediate key to discovery. Chemical fingerprinting and fertility assessment of rocks and minerals related to potential exploration targets at different scales have gained a lot of momentum in the last decade. In this workshop leading geoscientists from industry, government and academia share the latest advances in fertility indicators of magmatic and hydrothermal systems, which have the potential to lead to Tier 1 discovery in the future..


  • 08:00 – 08:30 Registrations
  • 08:30 – 08:40 Introduction
  • 08:40 – 09:20 Steve Rowins (CET) An apatite for exploration: the use of detrital minerals and soil geochemistry in the search for buried mineralisation
  • 09:20 – 10:00 Yongjun Lu (GSWA) Zircon fingerprinting of magmatic-hydrothermal systems in Archean Craton and Phanerozoic terranes
  • 10:00 – 10:40 Matt Loader (Natural History Museum, UK) Zircon and apatite as indicators of porphyry Cu deposit fertility
  • 10:40 – 11:10 Morning Tea
  • 11:10 – 11:50 Louise Schoneveld (CSIRO) Indicator minerals for magmatic Ni-Cu sulphide mineralisation
  • 11:50 – 12:30 Paul Agnew (Rio Tinto) Porphyry Fertility – An industry perspective
  • 12:30 – 01:00 Panel Discussion

please register online 

Bualuang North Field Development – Gulf of Thailand

Western Gulf of Thailand showing, depth to basement, oil and gas field, wells and pipelines.

Solstad Offshore ASA has been awarded a contract by Ophir Thailand (Bualuang) Limited to perform the offshore installation of the Bualuang Charlie wellhead platform structure as part of the Bualuang Phase 4B Development Project.  The Charlie platform will have 12 slots at full production will increase field production to 11,000 BOPD.

Derrick Lay Barge “Norce Endeavour”

The project is located in the Gulf of Thailand and comprises the installation of a bridged-linked wellhead platform structure along with the retrofitting of extension structures to existing in-field platforms. Offshore activities are planned to commence in July 2019 and will be performed using the Derrick Lay Barge “Norce Endeavour”. Solstad Offshore will perform all project management, engineering and installation activities from its offices in Singapore.

Bualuang Oil Field

The Bualuang oil field in the Gulf of Thailand has been on-stream since 2008. The field was initially thought to contain 15 mmbo of 2P reserves and have a productive life of approximately five years. However, the field has undergone numerous reserve upgrades and year-end 2018 it had produced over 35 million barrels of oil, with a further 27 mmbo of 2P reserves and 10.3 mmbo of 2C resource.

Bualuang North Platform

  • The Bualuang field has been on-stream since 2008
  • Stable production with over 99% uptime in 2018.  7,800 BOPD during 2018, to be increased to 11,000 BOPD
  • OPEX US$13/BOPD increase to US$16 BOPD in 2018.
  • A facilities debottlenecking project in 2016 increased water handling capacity, and therefore allowed for increased rates of oil production
  • A three well infill drilling campaign in 2017 saw two wells in the deeper T2 reservoir and and infill well under the platform guided by data from the Ocean Bottom Node seismic survey completed in 2015.
  • Phase 4 commenced in 2018 with drilling of three new wells and four workovers.
Phase 4B Development

Charlie Platform and modifications in color, with existing Bauluang North production infrastructure shown in grey.

  • A third platform with 12 slots allowing expansion of water disposal to 100k BPD;
  • 10 slots to be used for increased production with conversion of some wells on the Bravo platform to water disposal.
  • CAPEX: US$138 million
  • Development drilling from July 2019 with first oil from Charlie in October 2019
Medeco to Acquire Ophir Energy

On 30 January 2019, the boards of Medco, Medco Global and Ophir announced that they had reached agreement on the terms of a recommended acquisition pursuant to which Medco Global will acquire the entire issued and to be issued ordinary share capital of Ophir for GBP 0.55 per share (later revised upwards to GBP 0.575).  This all cash bid valued the company at US$ 550 million.

A number of activist institutional investors were unhappy with the bid and on 8 March 2019, the Ophir Board received an unsolicited and highly preliminary indication of interest from Coro Energy PLC regarding a possible offer for the entire issued and to be issued share capital of Ophir.  Coro proposed that Ophir Shareholders would receive 40 pence in cash, and, in addition, shares in Coro for each Ophir Share, resulting in an ownership by Ophir Shareholders of between 85 per cent. and 95 per cent. of the enlarged company.  The cash component would be funded with debt.

Following a modest increase in the offer price by Modeco, Coro withdrew its offer after discussions with their financiers, Sand Grove Capital Management.

Note: Cmi Capital holds shares in Ophir Energy.

At the Moment of Creation there was the Fluid

An event from the first Xenon-Xenon collision at the Large Hadron Collider at the top energy of the Large Hadron Collider (5.44 TeV ) registered by ALICE [credit: ALICE]. Every colored track (The blue lines) corresponds to the trajectory of a charged particle produced in a single collision; [right] formation of anisotropic flow in relativistic heavy-ion collisions due to the geometry of the hot and dense overlap zone (shown in red color).
Scientists from the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, and their colleagues from the international ALICE collaboration recently collided Xenon nuclei, in order to gain new insights into the properties of the Quark-Gluon Plasma (the QGP) – the matter that the universe consisted of up to a microsecond after the Big Bang.

The QGP, as the name suggests, is a special state consisting of the fundamental particles, the quarks, and the particles that bind the quarks together, the gluons. The result was obtained using the ALICE experiment at the 27 km long superconducting Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. The result is now published in Physics Letters 

With collisions approaching the speed of light and enormous energy (5.44 TeV) a fireball lasting a mere 10-22 seconds was generated at temperatures of several thousand billion degrees.

Under these conditions a plasma of hadron components is created consisting of quarks and gluons.  the density of the plasma is very high and forms a special state of matter known as the strongly interacting QGP.

The experiments suggest that the primordial matter, the instant before atoms formed, behaves like a liquid that can be described in terms of hydrodynamics.

The experiments involved  studying the spatial distribution of the many thousands of particles that emerge from the collisions when the quarks and gluons have been trapped into the particles that the Universe consists of today. This reflects not only the initial geometry of the collision, but is sensitive to the properties of the QGP.

The Alice Detector at the Large Hadron Collider

Source: Neils Bohr Institute

Anisotropic flow in Xe–Xe collisions at 5.44  TeV


The first measurements of anisotropic flow coefficients vn for mid-rapidity charged particles in Xe–Xe collisions at sNN=5.44 TeV are presented. Comparing these measurements to those from Pb–Pb collisions at sNN=5.02 TeV, v2 is found to be suppressed for mid-central collisions at the same centrality, and enhanced for central collisions. The values of v3are generally larger in Xe–Xe than in Pb–Pb at a given centrality. These observations are consistent with expectations from hydrodynamic predictions. When both v2 and v3 are divided by their corresponding eccentricities for a variety of initial state models, they generally scale with transverse density when comparing Xe–Xe and Pb–Pb, with some deviations observed in central Xe–Xe and Pb–Pb collisions. These results assist in placing strong constraints on both the initial state geometry and medium response for relativistic heavy-ion collisions.

Full Text

This could be the most advanced entity in the universe

A riveting video from David Kipping at Astronomy Columbia.  Is there life out there?  We simply have no idea as it’s not possible to extrapolate from a  single data point –  Earth.  It could well be that the creation of life is very difficult and we are the only example of life in our galaxy or indeed in the entire observable universe.  We simply have no data to suggest otherwise.  It would explain the absence of evidence of life in the radio spectrum and we have been looking for 50 years.  The prospect that we are the only sentient beings within the observable universe (~30 billion light years across is both wonderful and rather terrifying.

That said it is interesting to contemplate that we and our animal relatives are likely the most complex entities on this planet and in this solar system.  Given that we have seen no evidence of other sentient beings in the radio spectrum in the last 50 years or so it might also be reasonable to suggest that we are likely the most complex entities with hundreds of light years of Earth.  It would however be nice if life were present in profusion elsewhere –  but we simply do not know.

It might well be that it is us who are the “Aliens” and that over the next few hundred million years we will populate a vast region of this corner of our galaxy.  I find this somehow very satisfying.

A Big 5 analysis of Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was and remains a most enigmatic individual, driven by product excellence, focused  to an obsessive degree but with little empathy for those around him.  Below is a is an interesting paper on Jobs, by Bert McBrayer, within the framework of the Big 5 Personality traits.  Bert concludes that history will likely paint Jobs as an innovator but likely not include him in the pantheon of leaders of people.


My take on Steve Jobs

Openness:  Above average aspect Intellect but off the scale aspect Openness.  Likely out of 100 people he would be more open to experience than the 99 other people in the room.

Conscientiousness: Off the scale aspect Industriousness but low in aspect Organization.  What make Jobs unusual is the focus of his Industriousness.

Extraversion:  Off the scale for both aspects Enthusiasm and Assertiveness

Agreeableness:  Very low aspect Empathy and Politeness but could modify both if this furthered his product goals

Neuroticism:  A reliable indicator of suitability for management is a low-level of Neuroticism or reaction and response to negative events.  Jobs was legendary for his volatility but appears to have had low levels of withdrawal.

What appears to have made Jobs unique was his remarkable Industriousness and focus, combined with the creativity commensurate with above average intellect and exceedingly high openness.  He used with pleasure his high Aspect Volatility in combination with his low Trait Agreeableness bound into a laser like product focus to stimulate his team.  Steve was product and not people focused and may have retreated from the “scar tissue” of his rejection as an infant into the infinite detail of product design and artistic endeavour.