Onshore United States
Our story as an independent oil and gas producer begins in Texas in 1951 when Gene Van Dyke began to put together drilling programs in counties surrounding Wichita Falls. The plays were mature and the reserves were relatively low, but the determination to accumulate sizeable activity was undeterred. In 1958, Van Dyke moved his company to Houston, the hub of what would become the international energy industry. After exploring the Texas Gulf Coast under the partnership Van Dyke and Mejlaender (1958-1962), Van Dyke formed Van Dyke Oil Company, and concentrated activity in Southern Louisiana for the next 11 years. His company scored major discoveries, one of which was the West Lake Arthur Field (1968), with more than 2 TCF.
As offshore drilling capabilities developed in the early 1970’s to discover large reserves in frontier areas, Van Dyke entered the emerging market of the Dutch North Sea. One of the early independents there, his company formed a group, purchased Tenneco Netherlands, and eventually controlled up to 1.6 million acres offshore Holland. During the next 23 years, his company participated in over 30 wells. In 1974, Van Dyke Energy Company participated in the Dutch North Sea’s first carboniferous discovery, K/4, producing 20 MMcfgd. Between 1982-1983 there would be three discoveries: P/2 (1982), producing 20 MMcfgd, P/9 Horizon oil field (Unocal operator, 20 MMbo) and P/15 Rijn oil field (Amoco, 50 MMbo). The Horizon field became the North Sea’s first field to employ horizontal drilling and completion. Both the Rijn field and the Horizon field represent two of The Netherlands’ larger oil discoveries.
In the mid-1990’s, Van Dyke took an option from NAM on Q/13a and was awarded a license on Q/13c in Holland’s Eighth Round. The Q/13-8 well, located within six miles of shore, made a discovery at 3,400 BOPD.
In 1996, Van Dyke moved most of his company’s activity to explore Africa’s deepwater potential. Production Sharing Agreements with Gabon on two deepwater licenses, Anton Marin and Astrid Marin, would lead to similar agreements with Senegal (Dakar Offshore Profond), Morocco (Safi Haute Mer and Ras Tafelney), Côte d’Ivoire (CI-112, CI-401, CI-101), Ghana (Cape Three Points Deep Water), Equatorial Guinea (Block K Corisco), Namibia (License Area 1711) and Madagascar (Majunga Profond). Van Dyke Energy Company became known as Vanco Energy Company with seismic acquisition offshore each of the eight countries and drilling programs offshore five countries. In 12 years (1998-2010), the company, operating as an independent among the majors, conducted 20 seismic programs that led to operating or participating in 10 drilling programs offshore deepwater Africa. Companies participating in Vanco’s activity included Total, Unocal, Kerr-McGee, ExxonMobil, Shell, Petroci, Petronas, Repsol, Sinopec, Oil India Limited as well as government-participating companies of the respective countries.
By 2008, Vanco had expanded its deepwater exploration to Ukraine and Brazil. In Ukraine, Vanco was one of the first companies to be awarded a deepwater license in Ukraine’s portion of the Black Sea.
Return to Offshore Netherlands
After Lukoil’s 2011 purchase of the company’s activity in Africa, Van Dyke Energy Company resumed its focus on the Dutch sector of the North Sea.