Oryx Petroleum Corporation Limited announced that the E-1 exploration well targeting the Elephant (formerly Xiang) prospect in the Haute Mer A license area in Congo (Brazzaville) discovered natural gas and crude oil. The Elephant discovery will be tested in early 2014 as part of the multi-well drilling and testing program in the Haute Mer A license area. Oryx Petroleum has a 20% participating and working interest in the Haute Mer A license area.
Commenting, Henry Legarre, Oryx Petroleum's Chief Operating Officer, stated:
"We are very pleased with the Elephant discovery as it represents an important milestone in the building of our West African business. Overall the results are consistent with expectations. Reservoir quality, crude quality and viscosity appear to be better than originally anticipated while the areal extent of the reservoir appears to be slightly smaller than expected. We look forward to working with our partners to test and potentially appraise the Elephant discovery. Although subject to testing, the discovery gives us confidence that there is further upside potential and opportunity to expand the prospect inventory in the license area."
On August 3, E-1 reached a total depth of 2,497 metres using the Jasper Explorer Drillship in 550 metres of water 80 kilometres offshore Congo (Brazzaville). Following the completion of drilling operations preliminary logging operations were conducted and data collected from the logging operations and throughout drilling were analysed. E-1 was targeting a deeper turbiditic Tertiary play similar to the play being exploited in fields adjacent to the Haute Mer A license area, such as the Total operated Moho Bilondo producing field and the Chevron operated Block 14 in Angola. Primary targets for the E-1 well were the N5 and the N3 reservoir intervals in the Miocene Tertiary.
The E-1 well was drilled approximately 4.5 kilometres south-east of the Libonolo Marine-1 (LIBM-1) well drilled in 1997 by Elf Congo. The LIBM-1 well resulted in a discovery in the N5 interval of the Tertiary Miocene. Excellent reservoir quality was encountered with heavy oil 14° API gravity present. Based on the preliminary data from the E-1 well, 30 metres of gross interval (20.3 metres net) of crude oil and 102 metres of gross interval (58.8 metres net) of natural gas were encountered in the N5 interval and 16 metres of gross interval (9.2 metres net) of crude oil were encountered in the N3 interval. Water was encountered in other secondary targeted intervals. Reservoir quality appears to be very good with porosity ranging from 24% to 36% in the N5 interval and 27% to 33% in the N3 interval.
Preliminary analysis of oil samples recovered from the crude oil bearing sands indicates that the crude oil is approximately 18° API gravity. Reservoir quality, crude quality and viscosity are better than pre-drill expectations while the areal extent of the structure appears to be slightly smaller than expected. Reservoir size and immoveable oil with high viscosity and low recoverability are the principal geologic risks associated with the prospect. If preliminary analysis is confirmed during testing, the E-1 well will be considered a successful commercial discovery consistent overall with pre-drill estimates.
Spudding of H-1 Well Targeting the Horse Prospect
The Jasper Explorer Drillship, under contract for a two plus one drilling campaign, has now moved off the Elephant discovery and has spudded the H-1 well targeting the Horse prospect (formerly Ma). H-1 will be drilled to a total depth of 5,462 metres in 1,038 metres of water 80 kilometres offshore Congo (Brazzaville) in the western portion of the license area. Primary targets are the Tertiary N3 reservoir, a turbiditic play, and the deeper Cretaceous reservoir, an Albian age carbonate play. Other wells drilled in adjacent license areas targeting the Albian age cretaceous carbonate play have yielded discoveries by Total at N`Kossa, N`Soko, Moho Bilondo and Moho North and Chevron on Block 0 in Angola. Oil quality is anticipated to be light in the Cretaceous and heavier in the Tertiary. Oryx Petroleum expects the well will reach total depth in late 2013.
Testing Program and Appraisal Plans
If the H-1 well is successful, the Jasper Explorer will first test the H-1 well prior to testing the Elephant discovery. Details of the testing program for the Elephant discovery are currently being finalized together with the operator. Subject to a successful test of the Elephant discovery, the operator intends to drill the first appraisal well in the license area on the Elephant discovery. The appraisal well will likely test the potential outer extension of the discovered N5 sands while also probing similar channel sands in the N5 interval.
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