Yesterday morning, operator Hardman said the Eagle Drill-1 rig had drilled the Nzizi-1 well, in Exploration Area 2, to a depth of 358m, where it was preparing to set the blow-out preventer. After this, drilling was planned to continue to a total depth of 1030m.
Nzizi-1 will test a structure up-dip of the recent Mputa oil discovery. The well is located about 5.5km southwest of the Mputa-2 appraisal well.
In late September, London-listed Tullow Oil bid $1.47 billion for Hardman, in a move that would see the Perth-based company quit the Australian Stock Exchange.
The two companies are equal partners in Exploration Area 2, where the Nzizi-1 well is located.
Last Thursday, Tullow bought 3.8 million of Hardman’s shares at $2.02 each, lifting its stake in the company to 4.25%.
In Hardman’s most recent quarterly report, chief executive Simon Potter said his company was “very pleased with the positive response from shareholders” in regard to the proposed takeover.
At the time, Potter said the company looked forward to completing the deal at the end of the year.
Hardman’s share price has taken a hiding ever since the company announced in May that output at Chinguetti, its only producing asset, was falling unexpectedly.
Before the bid, HDR had been the worst performer on the S&P/ASX 200 Energy Index over the six months prior.
Current production at the offshore Mauritanian field is less than half the 70,000 barrels of oil per day it came online at in February.