OPERATIONS

Woodside plans new Chinguetti production wells

CHINGUETTI operator Woodside Petroleum plans to combat production drops at the offshore Mauritania oil development by drilling three additional production wells in the southern sector of the field.

Woodside plans new Chinguetti production wells

Joint venture partner Hardman Resources told the ASX yesterday that subject to materials and equipment availability, this operation would take priority over the exploration program.

Each new well is expected to increase production by at least 10,000 barrels of oil per day until natural field decline starts.

“It is anticipated that the drilling of these new Chinguetti wells will start around October and options to accelerate this timing are being explored, including batch drilling of the new wells in advance of availability of completion equipment,” Hardman CEO Simon Potter said.

He said Woodside expects to finalise the well plans by early July.

Last month, Hardman advised that production at the field had dropped 40% since first start-up to 45,000 barrels per day in the first ten days of May. This rate continued decreasing, so that the average production for last month was 41,000 barrels per day.

But Hardman reiterated that these production declines had not affected estimates of oil in-place or ultimate recoverable reserves of 123 million bbl of oil.

In addition, the JV plans to allow gas lift from the existing production wells to begin, once the two undamaged gas compressors are recommissioned this week.

“Operation of two out of the three compressors will allow gas lift of the production wells to begin and partial gas reinjection into the Banda reservoir to recommence,” Potter said.

“The damaged compressor is unlikely to be available before August. Until that time gas handling capacity remains constrained and gas flaring will continue.

“Additional options for de-bottlenecking the gas system to increase throughput are being examined.”

Further in-fill drilling, including resuming the remainder of the Chinguetti phase 2 drilling (part of the original development plan), will be undertaken in 2007.

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