EXPLORATION

Woodside drilling ahead on last deepwater Mauritanian well

THE last well in the current Woodside-led offshore Mauritania drilling program has spudded in the PSC Area B permit.

Woodside drilling ahead on last deepwater Mauritanian well

The ‘Stena Tay’ drilled the Doré-1 exploration well to a depth of 1,993 metres, Woodside reported yesterday.

At midnight on January 23, preparations were underway to case the hole before drilling ahead to a planned total depth of roughly 2,388 metres.

The Doré prospect, in about 390 metres of water, is about 20 kilometres east of the Tiof field, and 30 kilometres north of the Chinguetti field.

With a planned total depth of 2,350 metres, Doré-1 will target Oligocene aged submarine channel/turbidite sands, as well as encountering the updip extension of the Tiof Miocene canyon system.

Doré-1 marks the end of the current deepwater drilling program. The next phase of drilling, due to start in the second quarter of this year, will target prospects in the shallower, eastern part of PSC A and B.

After completing Dore-1, the Stena Tay drilling rig will be released by the PSC A and B Joint Ventures, Hardman managing director Simon Potter said earlier this month.

“A rig capable of drilling in shallower water depths than the targets of the 2004 and 2005 programs was required," Potter said.

"The 'Atwood Hunter', which is capable of drilling from approximately 100 to 1500 metres, has been contracted to conduct the PSC A and B 2006 and 2007 drilling campaigns and is due to arrive in Mauritania in the second quarter of 2006 after completing its current commitments."

Potter said the initial exploration wells – to be drilled in PSC A – were likely to include the Colin/Colin Deep, Kibaro and Awatt prospects.

"The Atwood Hunter provides the joint ventures with significant operational flexibility as it is able to carry out work on any of the Chinguetti development wells, if ever required, as well as conducting appraisal on existing discoveries," Potter said.

Participating interests in PSC B are: Woodside group companies (Operator) 53.846%; Hardman group companies 21.6%; BG group companies 11.63%; Premier group companies 9.231%; and Roc Oil group companies 3.693%.

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