Australian oil and gas exploration company, FAR, will expand the scope of its Bambo-1 exploratory well in Block A2, offshore The Gambia, following indications of oil traces in rock cuttings and hydrocarbons found across several intervals. FAR commenced drilling operations of the Bambo-1 well in mid-November using the Stena IceMax drillship, provided by independent contractor Stena Drilling.
Following a temporary suspension of operations due to significant fluid losses – which have since been stabilized in accordance with standard offshore operating procedures – the company stated that it is now planning to plug and side-track the well to continue drilling to a planned total depth of 3,450m. To date, the Stena IceMax has been drilled to 3,126m below the rotary table.
Cath Norman, Managing Director for FAR, stated, “FAR is pleased with the experienced drilling team and contractors who have acted to quickly manage and adjust the Bambo-1 drilling program to suit the geological setting and best meet the objectives of the drilling program. FAR is well placed to achieve these operations through the side-tracked well and in particular drilling through the as yet undrilled Soloo Deep prospect. We are encouraged by the presence of oil in potential reservoirs and look forward to completing the well in the coming weeks.”
Located approximately 85km offshore The Gambia, and in water depths of 930m, oil indications within the well were detected through LWD (logging whilst drilling) data, with FAR having stated that further wireline logging will be required to confirm these findings.
FAR serves as the operator in the A2 and A5 blocks with a 50% working interest, while its joint venture partner, PC Gambia, a subsidiary of the global energy group, Petronas, holds the remaining 50%.
Costs for the well are likely to increase to $61.27 million, up from $51.4 million, with FAR forecasting a cash balance of $37 million inclusive due to the addition of the side-track program having extended operations. Drilling is now expected to conclude by the end of December, with operations having previously been expected to take approximately 30 days.
According to FAR, if successful, the discovery well has the potential to result in a standalone development and would become The Gambia’s first oil production.