CEPSA, ERHC Commence Drilling At Tarach-1 Prospect in Kenya’s Block 11A

The SMP drilling rig has spud at the wildcat Tarach-1 drilling prospect (situated in the central part of the Tarach basin) with the well expected to take 60 days to complete.

The drilling which started at 6pm on Thursday in the north western most block in Kenya targets to drill from a 20-inch surface casing through intermediate casings down to 2,442 meters and set a seven-inch liner down to total depth (TD) of 3,000 meters with the Tarach-1 prospect’s mean estimate of oil prospective unrisked resources is 66 million barrels.

The drilling comes in the back of a number of delays in arrival of equipment owned by Baker Hughes and Halliburton as OilNews Kenya has learnt due to complexities in receiving transfer of exemption documents as the apparatus had earlier been in use at Tullow’s Cheptuket well.

The equipment which were loaded towards the end of last week arrived at Tarach-1 on Sunday leaving room for just 4 days to set up for drilling.

As we had earlier reported by mid-February the drilling rig for the Tarach 1 well in Block 11A had being mobilized to the drill site with concreting work and installation of conductors having already been completed. Civil works toward the drilling of the well began in November 2015.

OilNews Kenya has further learnt from a source that the planned second exploratory well , the Egole-1 a four-way rollover closure onto a Northwest – Southeast trending fault plain with mean prospective resources of 101 million barrels of oil has been postponed indefinitely. Egole-1 had earlier been planned to follow shortly thereafter.

The full tensor gravity gradiometry (FTG) survey conducted earlier on the Block identified two separate basins, Anam and Tarach, which cover 1,600 square kilometers to the west of Block 11A and 2,500 square kilometers to east, respectively.

Earlier Bell Geospace had acquired over 12,000 square kilometers of FTG data in the Block, on behalf of the contracting parties, during the fourth quarter of 2013. The FTG results enabled the optimization of the 2D seismic program layout, designed to image the subsurface structural features within the two basins

ERHC is obligated, under existing agreements, to pay 25 percent of its proportionate share of the costs of well and is carried for the remaining 75 percent of its proportionate share.

To date the partners have spent over $30 million as part of their PSC requirements that require acquisition and interpretation of 1,000 square kilometers of gravity and magnetic data (FTG data acquired by January 2014 at an estimated total cost of $2,700,000) and acquisition and interpretation 1,000 kilometers of 2D seismic data (concluded by August 2014 at an estimated total cost of $28,300,000).

Under the Work Program Phase 3 (2 years – September 2016 to September 2018) the JV is expected to drill one well to a minimum depth of 3,000m.

CEPSA (operator) holds 65 percent interest while its JV partner ERHC holds the remaining 35 percent interest in Block 11A. The Government of Kenya has a 10% carried participating interest up to the declaration of commerciality and may thereafter acquire an additional 10% interest in the PSC in which case the total Government participation would rise to 20%.

Circle Oil (which acted as a finder for ERHC) is also entitled to receive a 5% payment on the value of the acquisition accruing to ERHC from the application. Circle has opted to receive this fee in the form of a carried 5% of ERHC’s total interest in Block 11A.

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