Jack Ryan sets sail for Mauritania

The Mauritania PSC Area B joint venture, which covers the Chinguetti Oil Field, has finally been able to set a September 2nd target for spudding the Chinguetti Appraisal-Early Development Well (AEDW) after securing the services of the drillship "Jack Ryan".

Operator Woodside had previously signed a contract with Smedvig Offshore AS for the drillship West Navigator to drill up to four wells in offshore Mauritania during 2003. However, the West Navigator is working in the North Sea, and has possibly been delayed from completing its work contract, thereby delaying its arrival in Mauritania.

To avoid any further delay to the drilling schedule it was decided to contract another drillship for the first well in the program. A decision will be made at a later date on whether to use the Jack Ryan drillship for the three planned exploration wells or accept the West Navigator drillship for this work when it becomes available.

Chinguetti 4-5 AEDW will be drilled on the southwestern part of the field about 900m northwest from the Chinguetti-1 discovery well. It will be drilled within the current mapped oil reserve area and is not expected to significantly change the oil-in-place reserve estimates for the field.

The well will be completed for long-term production with measures in place to control sand inflow. An extended production test (1-2 week production period) is also planned before the well will be suspended pending commissioning of the production facilities of the field in late 2005.