Empyrean Energy, the oil and gas development company with interests in China, Indonesia and the United States, has announced that a comprehensive oil migration study encompassing China Block 29/11, for which it holds 100% exploration rights, has now been completed and has established potential oil migration pathways into the Jade, Topaz and Pearl prospects.
The Study was supported by geoscientists from CNOOC (Shenzhen branch) who shared the comprehensive viewpoints of their previous study in this area.
The Study established the maturity profile of source rock, and confirmed that the source rock in the BSE area was at peak maturity when oil expulsion commenced. The main implications for Block 29/11 prospectivity are interpreted to be very positive with the entire source rock within BSE interpreted to have produced hydrocarbons. In addition, any potential oil accumulation in Block 29/11 prospects are expected to be light and therefore similar to the oil discoveries around Block 29/11 that range from 33-38 API.
The Study also validated the interpreted oil migration pathways from the known oil sources of the Enping Formation (Paleocene aged) within the BSE into the several oil discoveries made by CNOOC to the immediate West and South of Block 29/11 since 2010, and thus provided strong evidence of a prolific petroleum system in the area. At the same time, the Study interprets effective migration pathways from BSE towards the northern flank of the Baiyun uplift where the Jade and Topaz prospects are located.
In addition, 28km2 of 3D seismic data that was acquired outside Block 29/11 over the 2013 CNOOC oil discovery LH 23-1d-1 which is located 8km west of the Jade prospect, has helped confirm potential "fill-and-spill" pathways to the Jade structure from the oil discovery. Whilst early exploration techniques such as this are no guarantee of exploration success, the Company believes that this form of "seismic tie" to a nearby known discovery helps to reduce the risks associated with exploration and provides an improved understanding of the geology in the basin and within Block 29/11.
Comprehensive interpretation of the 2017 3D seismic data has helped map a new sub-basin called Baiyun Sag North. BSN is located between the Jade and Topaz prospects and is located entirely within Block 29/11. The Study confirms a potential effective migration pathway from BSN into the Jade and Topaz prospects.
The Study also indicates that the Pearl prospect is potentially located in a migration shadow for oil migrating from BSE or BSN. As a result, further work has been done focussing on the possibility of migration from the Huizhou Sag located NW of Block 29/11. The Liuhua 11-1 field complex that contained an estimated 1.1 billion barrels of oil is located immediately North of Block 29/11 and has been interpreted to have received oil from Huizhou Sag. Additional work completed now indicates that the Pearl prospect is located favourably for receiving oil charge from Huizhou Sag.
Empyrean CEO Tom Kelly commented: 'The findings from this oil migration study are very promising with effective potential oil migration pathways established into all three of our prospects on Block 29/11. Interpretation of the potential effective migration pathways from the established kitchen area - Baiyun Sag East - as well as from the new kitchen area - Baiyun Sag North - into Block 29/11 helps increase our overall understanding of the geology of the block and the Jade and Topaz prospects in particular. The additional work has also confirmed a potential oil migration pathway from the Liuhua 11-1 field complex to the Pearl prospect.
'We have been rigorous with the pre-drill subsurface data and exploration tools available to us and we believe that the detailed and comprehensive technical work we have completed to date significantly reduces the geological risks to a point where we have established excellent drilling targets that are of significant size with relatively low geological risk.'