Northern Petroleum Plc announces the joint venture decision to extend current drilling operations on the Guyane Maritime permit in French Guiana.
The GM-ES-3 exploration well is the second well of a four well exploration drilling campaign that commenced in 2012 to follow up the oil discovery at GM-ES-1 in 2011.
The GM-ES-2 well had exploration objectives in the major Cingulata fan system within which the original oil discovery was made in two ages of formation. GM-ES-3 has been planned to deliver exploration information in the subsidiary Priodontes fan system to the north west of the Zaedyus oil discovery.
The GM-ES-3 well intersected a 50 metres gross section of oil stained sands in the lower part of the Bradypus fan which was not a target formation at this location although it is also within the main Cingulata fan system. A 325 metres gross interval of sandstones was encountered in the targeted Priodontes fan, but these were logged with no significant hydrocarbon shows.
It has been decided by the Shell, Total, Tullow Oil and Northpet Investments Limited joint venture that this well provides a suitable location to drill deeper in a plan to penetrate the full post Atlantic rift sequence. The duration of this additional drilling will depend upon results from the formations encountered.
“This information may prove crucial to a fuller understanding of the exploration potential of this very large licensed area. Although this extension may cause a small delay to the further wells in this exploration programme, the earlier the deeper formations are examined, the better the advantages to be gained from its use in the second part of the drilling programme and aid efforts towards discovering more oil,” said NorthernPetroleum in a press release.
The well is now targeted to reach a final depth of 6438 meters subject to operational factors.
Derek Musgrove, Managing Director of Northern stated: “Following the oil discoveries of GM-ES-1 in 2011, the task before us was to explore the licence to ascertain its wider potential. Whilst the sand package in the primary target proved not to have significant hydrocarbons at this location, the oil staining encountered in the Bradypus fan is encouraging of the broader active hydrocarbon systems and potential.
“Northern supports this fuller exploration approach to this well. It is likely to provide Partners with further geological data imperative to gaining further understanding of the complex geology in this area”
To read more on the Joint Venture’s operations in French Guiana click here.
Northern announces that earlier today, Tullow Oil Plc (“Tullow”) in their Interim Management Statement provided the following update on well GM-ES-1, in the Guyane Maritime Permit, in which Northern has a 1.25% interest:
“In French Guiana, the Zaedyus exploration well discovered 72 metres of net oil pay in two turbidite fans. This is the first well in Tullow’s extensive Guyana Basin acreage and successfully proved that the Jubilee play is mirrored across the Atlantic from West Africa. Currently, a sidetrack is being drilled to recover reservoir cores with operations expected to complete in mid-November. The partners are working on the 2012 programme and anticipate it to include 3D seismic and the drilling of two wells which is expected to commence in mid-2012 once all the necessary approvals have been obtained.
Shell is expected to take over Operatorship of the block in early 2012, subject to Government and Joint Venture approval.”
The partner interests in the Guyane Maritime licence offshore French Guiana are:
Shell France 45%
Northpet Investments 2.5% (Northern owns a 50% equity interest in Northpet)
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Tullow Oil plc (Tullow) announces that the Zaedyus exploration well (GM-ES-1), offshore French Guiana, has made an oil discovery having encountered 72 metres of net oil pay in two turbidite fans. Results of drilling, wireline logs and samples of reservoir fluids show that the well has encountered good quality reservoir sands on prognosis.
The objective of the Zaedyus well was to test whether the Jubilee-play, successfully established in West Africa, was mirrored on the other side of the Atlantic. This discovery therefore opens a new hydrocarbon basin within which several neighbouring prospects have been mapped. This result also reduces the exploration risk associated with Tullow’s prospect inventory offshore French Guiana, Suriname and Guyana. An appraisal programme and extensive follow-up exploration activities will now be considered.
The Zaedyus well is being drilled in the Guyane Maritime licence using the ENSCO 8503 deepwater semi submersible. The well was drilled in water depths of 2,048 metres and has been drilled to a depth of 5,711 metres. Drilling operations will now continue and the well will be deepened to over 6,000 metres to calibrate the deeper geology. The well will then likely be sidetracked to enable cores to be obtained over the reservoir sections.
Tullow (27.5%) operates the Guyane Maritime license and is partnered by Shell (45%), Total (25%) and Northpet (2.5%), a company owned 50% by Northern Petroleum plc and 50% by Wessex Exploration plc.
Angus McCoss, Tullow’s Exploration Director, commented today:
“The discovery at Zaedyus has proved the extension of the Jubilee-play across the Atlantic and made an important new discovery in French Guiana. Tullow has built a commanding and unique acreage position in South America and this result marks the start of a significant and potentially transformational long-term exploration and appraisal campaign in the region.”
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