Aban VII Jack-Up Hired for Drilling Offshore Oman
Hibiscus Petroleum Berhad (Hibiscus Petroleum) today announced that its jointly-controlled entity, Lime Petroleum Plc (Lime), through its subsidiary Masirah Oil Limited (Masirah), has awarded a drilling rig contract to Aban 7 Pte Ltd (Aban) for the execution of its drilling programme in the company’s Block 50 Oman concession.
The contract will be effective for a minimum period of 50 working days which is anticipated to commence between mid-October and mid-November this year. Under the contract, Masirah will procure the services of the Aban VII drilling rig, an independent leg cantilever jack-up rig to spud and drill a minimum of two exploration wells.
After an international tender exercise and careful evaluation of available rigs in the region, the Aban VII was chosen for several reasons including certainty of the rig’s delivery schedule, strong past operating performance, crew competence and good health, safety and environment record alongside good regional support. Aban 7 Pte Ltd is an international drilling contractor that owns and operates a fleet of 18 drilling rigs.
Commenting on the award, Dr Kenneth Pereira, Managing Director of Hibiscus Petroleum said, “After months of meticulous planning and effort, we are excited to get our drilling program underway. From our days as Malaysia’s first SPAC and being the country’s first and only listed independent exploration & production company, the awarding of this contract represents a significant milestone for us. Through the use of Rex Virtual Drilling, we believe we stand a good chance of success and hope to reward our loyal shareholders.”
The prospects of Masirah North North #1 and Masirah North East #1 have been selected for drilling after in-depth technical evaluation and verification using the proprietary Rex Virtual Drilling technology, in addition to the confirmations provided via conventional methodologies. These prospects are internally estimated to have prospective resources of about 160 million barrels.
Hibiscus Petroleum acquired a 35% stake in Lime for USD 55 million as its Qualifying Acquisition in April 2012. Lime has a 64% participating interest in the Oman Block 50 concession, whilst Petroci Holding, the national oil company of Ivory Coast, has a 36% participating interest. If the wells yield successful discoveries, production can potentially be expected to begin by the first half of 2014 through utilisation of an early production system.