Aspect has successful operations across the globe, with current focus on the United States and Central Europe; specifically Gulf Coast, Hungary and Italy.
Aspect, through several subsidiaries including Aspect Energy and Aspect Resources, developed experience and expertise in a wide variety of plays in the United States.
Aspect concluded 3D seismic technology would be best utilized in basins where reservoir quality and geological conditions were sufficiently complex for 3D seismic to provide a meaningful advantage, laying the foundation for the company’s business strategy. Today, Aspect holds one of the largest contiguous onshore 3D seismic databases in North America, with over 12,000 square miles of 3D seismic data covering this prolific resource base. From 1998-2010, Aspect and its partners spent ≈$940 million to drill over 525 wells. Together they recognized a success rate of 59% finding 703 Bcfe in reserves worth ≈$1.89 billion (PV10). As Exploration Operator, Aspect managed ≈$540 million in investments (cumulative with partners) to drill 347 of these wells from 1998-2015, with a success rate of 61% and 452 Bcfe in reserves worth over ≈$1.25 billion (PV10). Aspect has re-focused exploration effort back to the Gulf Coast in 2015 and is expecting an renewed exploration program in the coming years.
Aspect also participated in non-conventional resource plays in the Barnett Shale, Fayetteville Shale, Utica Shale, and Mississippi Cotton Valley sand plays. In 2008, Aspect sold a majority of the shale play acreage in two major transactions with leading companies in the shale exploration and development industry.
Aspect's affiliate has been active in Latin America for almost 20 years and continue to search in Belize and Guatemala. The 15 million barrel Spanish Lookout Field was discovered by CHx Belize and Belize Natural Energy in 2002. The 300 million barrel Block 67 Fields were delineated by a consortium including Aspect before being sold to Perenco in 2008. CHx participated in the drilling of 2 wildcats in 2015 in Belize and Guatemala which established the presence of an important large petroleum system and probable new oil discovery to be tested in 2016.
Central Europe has been underexplored by both the current/former state-owned companies who have historically controlled the most prospective acreage and undercapitalized independents. There has been limited investment in modern exploration technologies and techniques within the countries where Aspect is focused as evidenced by the primary exploration targets over the last 60 years being anticline structures identified utilizing 2-D seismic data. Numerous important play types remain underexplored including stratigraphic plays, smaller structural features, resource plays (conventional and unconventional), and shallow biogenic gas. The application and investment in 3D seismic and other modern exploration techniques has been limited, even by western independents. New resource plays are also developing driven by advances in technology, a moderating operating cost environment, and favorable geology and gas markets.
Aspect’s has drilled or participated in over 70 wells with a success rate of 50% and was the second largest producer of natural gas in Hungary. Aspect remains active in Hungary and was recently awarded an exploration license in the western part of the country. Aspect has also reviewed opportunities in Poland, Croatia, Romania, Albania, Slovenia, and Italy.
Kurdistan Region of Iraq
Kurdistan lies within the northern extension of the Zagros Folded Belt in northern Iraq and is one of the world’s most significant oil and gas exploration plays. In November 2007, the Kurdistan Regional Government of Iraq awarded an 80% participating interest in the Atrush License Block (approximately 269 km2) in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq to an Aspect investment vehicle, General Exploration Partners, Inc., subject to the Kurdistan Regional Government’s 25% carried option. In August 2010, ShaMaran Ventures BV, a wholly-owned subsidiary of ShaMaran Petroleum Corp. (TSX.V:SNM) (OMX:SNM), acquired a 33.5% equity interest in General Exploration Partners, Inc. In October 2010, Marathon Oil KDV B.V., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Marathon Oil Corporation (NYSE:MRO), acquired a 20% interest in the block from the Kurdistan Regional Government.
Operationally, an extensive exploration and appraisal work program was conducted, including the acquisition and interpretation of 2D and 3D seismic surveys, and the drilling, testing and completion of two successful exploration and appraisal wells. These efforts resulted in two major oil discoveries with gross contingent resource estimates ranging between 1.5 (1C) to 3.7 (3C) billion barrels. A Commercial Discovery was declared in November 2012, with the initial field development plan due in May 2013.
In December 2012, Aspect closed the sale of its interest in the Atrush Block to TAQA Atrush B.V., a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (also known as Taqa).