Nuenco said operator Orchard no longer has control of the well, due to water inflow and trip gas occurring while it was running electric logs to evaluate the oil and gas shows seen in the deepened section of the well.
“Nuenco believes the well is currently in an unsafe position,” the company said.
“And with the adverse commercial ramifications of totally losing well control by continuing to try and control this lower open hole section, [Nuenco] has concluded the risk is unacceptable and [agrees] with the recommendation to plug and abandon the well in the lower open hole section.”
Nuenco said the result was disappointing, as the joint venture would be unable to test the shows encountered when the well was deepened at a depth of about 7500ft (2286m).
Spudded in January, the Citurs-7 well was originally designed to appraise a shallow gas find made by operator Orchard on the adjacent Southeast Lost Hills acreage.
Although gas shows were present in the shallower Pliocene sands, the review of the wireline logs showed they were water-wet.
On deepening the well, Orchard found the quality of the hydrocarbon shows and reservoir quality improved.
But the JV had to wait until last month before a suitable rig could be found to investigate further.