Highlights from AJ-8 Well:
- Initial interpretations indicate a total of over 40m MD of net oil pay encountered cumulatively across three different reservoir units in a sidetrack (AJ-8ST1), after the initial hole was plugged back due to stability issues
- Preliminary results indicate over 30m of net pay in the Upper and Lower Bahariya reservoirs, significantly above pre-drill expectations
- The Abu Roash E (‘AR-E’) reservoir also appears to have encountered net pay, in line with pre-drill expectations
- The well has now been secured with liner in place, and will be completed and tested across the three pay intervals
- The successful discovery of commercial net pay in AJ-8ST1 makes it the 5th successful well in a row at Abu Sennan since United acquired its interest in the licence
Additional 2021 Exploration Well – ‘ASX-1X’
- Following the continued success and potential demonstrated at Abu Sennan, an additional, fully funded, exploration well (‘ASX-1X’) has now been added to the 2021 drilling schedule
- ASX-1X will be drilled 11km to the west of the successful ASD-1X well, which discovered 22m of net oil pay, before being put into production approximately two months after discovery
- The well will target multiple Abu Roash and Bahariya reservoirs and will also be drilled using the EDC-50 rig following completion of operations at the AJ-8 well
- Longer-term plans for unlocking additional potential in Abu Sennan licence are currently under discussion amongst the Joint Venture Partnership.
United’s Chief Executive Officer, Brian Larkin commented:
‘We are delighted to be able to announce yet another positive result from the Abu Sennan licence. This latest success from the AJ-8 development well will not only provide an uplift to our low-cost production base, but also demonstrates the deeper potential that exists within the Bahariya Formation targets. Encountering over 30m of net pay in the Bahariya Formations is significantly above our pre-drill expectations and will likely be targeted further in subsequent drilling campaigns.
‘The JV partners have discussed the upside potential on the Abu Sennan licence, both from the existing fields and the identified exploration targets, and it is great to have an additional exploration well added to the 2021 drilling schedule, funded from operating cashflow, showing the willingness of the JV partners to invest in unlocking that upside potential. Although this is expected to be the final well of the 2021 campaign, discussions are continuing with partners on the longer-term plans for accessing the unrealised value at Abu Sennan, and we look forward to updating the markets on these plans in due course.
‘Given the previously reported positive results from the ASD-1X well, we look forward to drilling this similar-looking structure, and will update the market as the drilling progresses.’
Al Jahraa-8 Well
The AJ-8 well commenced drilling on 2nd May, targeting the Abu Roash and Bahariya reservoirs in an undrained portion of the Al Jahraa field. After drilling through the Upper Bahariya and reaching 4,071m MD, inflow into the well was observed. The well was brought under control, but due to hole conditions in the highly deviated well, a decision was made to plug the well back above the ARC, and drill a sidetrack.
Preliminary interpretations indicate the sidetrack encountered net pay in the AR-E, and over 30m of net pay across the Upper Bahariya and Lower Bahariya Upper reservoirs. Due to hole conditions in the sidetrack, a decision was made to run liner at 4,314m MD and TD the well without reaching the Lower Bahariya Lower reservoir that had been a pre-drill target.
With initial interpretations suggesting over 40m net pay encountered, the Al Jahraa-8 well has further demonstrated the potential within the currently producing fields of the Abu Sennan licence. In particular, the net pay that was encountered in the Upper Bahariya is above pre-drill expectations.
The well now be completed and tested across the three hydrocarbon-bearing reservoirs, and we will update the market on these results in due course.
ASX-1X Exploration Well
After completing the AJ-8 well, the EDC-50 rig will move c.7km to the north of the Al Jahraa field to drill the ASX-1X exploration well. This is a similar structure to the nearby discovery that was recently made at ASD-1X, with targets in the Khoman, Abu Roash and Bahariya reservoirs.
The ASX prospect had always ranked highly for United among the identified exploration targets in Abu Sennan, and with the de-risking provided by the positive result at ASD-1X only 11km away, and the short timeframe in which that discovery was put into production, the ASX-1X prospect has become a prioritised target. The value of additional exploration drilling is clear, and the option to extend the rig contract for this well was favourably supported by all the JV partners.
This is expected to be the final well of the 2021 campaign, with longer-term plans for unlocking the additional potential that exists in the Abu Sennan licence currently under discussion.