“Global is extremely pleased to have secured a firm drilling plan and proposed date for the commencement of exploration drilling in this underexplored province,” Global chairman Dr John Armstrong said today.
The JV has scheduled up to two wells to be drilled in Blocks L-5 and L-7 in offshore Kenya in the last quarter of 2006. The actual start of drilling operations will depend on the delivery date of the rig to Kenya, currently scheduled for October, and further studies of met-ocean conditions, according to Armstrong.
The JV has the option to drill a second well immediately following the first well or subsequently when the results of the first well are assessed.
The costs associated with Global’s 20% equity in L-5 and L-7 are carried for all activities, including the drilling of the first well in each permit. Woodside only earns its equity when these two wells are drilled.
Interests are Woodside Energy (Kenya) earning 50%, operator Dana Petroleum (30%) and Global (20%).
Armstrong said that the Kenya acreage had the potential to become a significant oil region: “Woodside currently regards Kenya as having ‘multiple large structural prospects’.
“Woodside’s mapping and seismic surveys have identified more than 30 prospects and leads, a number of which are each capable of holding several hundred million to a billion barrels of recoverable oil.”
The first prospect to be drilled is likely to be Pomboo in L-5 and the second possibly Sokwe in L-7. Both prospects have reservoir objectives in rocks of Cretaceous and Tertiary age, which elsewhere in the world contain a large proportion of the world’s known oil and gas reserves, according to Armstrong.
Drilling will be undertaken using the deepwater drilling vessel “Chikyu”, which has been contracted by Woodside Energy through the Norwegian international drilling contractor, Smedvig on behalf of the Japanese Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC).
The rig contract is subject to JAMSTEC board approval, anticipated in late April, and its assignment to Woodside Energy (Kenya) is subject to the relevant JV and Kenyan Government approvals.
Armstrong said obtaining a rig had proved particularly difficult, with very high rig usage and long-term rig contracts arising from the strong oil price over the past two years.