DESPITE the abandonment of the first well drilled on the ocean floor off the coast of Namibia in search for oil, optimism in finding it is high as giant drill ship, Ocean Rig Poseidon, is set to start drilling a second exploration well in exploration areas in Namibian territory.
Azinam Limited, the Seacrest Capital-backed South West African oil exploration company, said in a statement it is pleased to announce that the drill ship has been mobilised to drill the Prospect S Well in Petroleum Exploration Licence 71, offshore Namibia.
The Ocean Rig Poseidon, a sixth generation deep water drillship, is already on location. The partners in PEL 71: Chariot Oil & Gas (Operator and 65% shareholder), Azinam (20% shareholder), NAMCOR (10% shareholder) and Ignitus Oil & Gas (5% shareholder) estimate that drilling of the next well will take approximately 40 days.
The company said that in addition to Prospect S, there is considerable follow-on potential within the PEL 71 area in several analogous adjacent structural closures all of which are clearly defined on 6 100 square kilometres of high quality broadband three dimensional seismic data.
Drilling of the new well follows after Pancontinental Oil and Gas announced recently that the well they sunk in the Cormorant-1 exploration area in which the company has a 20%, reached 3.8 km into the seabed off southern Namibia with no accumulated hydrocarbons found.
Pancontinental does not belong to the same conglomerate of exploration companies as Azinam and the two exploration licence areas are not the same.
The dry well came two weeks after Pancontinental announced that the PEL87 block, north of PEL37, in which it has a 75% interest, had potential recoverable resources of more than one billion barrels of oil.
Pancontinental along with Tullow Oil abandoned the well and said in a statement that the well was being “plugged and abandoned”.
The Cormorant-1 exploration well in Namibia had been drilled to a total depth of 3,855m, the company said. Sandstones were encountered in the well but they proved to be water-bearing. Indications of oil were also encountered.
The explorers returned to Namibia with the rally in crude oil prices over the past few months, hoping to revive prospects in the southern African nation that went quiet after at least 14 wells failed to find commercial oil deposits.
Exxon Mobil bought stakes in Namibian fields in August, while Chariot Oil and Gas Ltd has contracted the Ocean Rig Poseidon – the same rig used by Tullow – to drill a well this year.
“The Cormorant-1 frontier exploration well was a bold attempt to open a new oil play,”
Tullow’s exploration director Angus McCoss said in a statement.
“Gas readings while drilling continue to support the concept that there is a working oil system in the area. As a result, following the conclusion of operations, we will analyse the data gathered before deciding on any future activity. While this is not the outcome that we had hoped for, the efficiency of our drilling and our risk-management processes resulted in low financial exposure to this well.”