Hercules rig; Source: SFL Corp.

After striking light oil, Odfjell Drilling-managed rig moving to another well off Namibia

Portuguese oil and gas company Galp has confirmed that an Odfjell Drilling-managed semi-submersible rig, which made an oil discovery at a recently drilled well, will be relocating to another well situated within license PEL 83 offshore Namibia, close to discoveries made by European oil majors.

Hercules rig; Source: SFL Corp.

Galp, as the operator of PEL 83 in the heart of Namibia’s Orange Basin, obtained an extension for the license last year. The firm holds an 80% interest in the asset while its partners, National Petroleum Company of Namibia (Namcor) and Custos Investments, each hold a 10% stake. Sintana has a 49% indirect interest in Custos.

The company put the wheels in motion to drill a well in license PEL 83 after entering into a 115-day contract with SFL Corporation for the Odfjell Drilling-managed Hercules rig in May 2023. The Mopane-1X prospect, which was spudded on November 17, 2023, is the first of two wells that are expected to be drilled by the rig.

A few days after revealing that the Mopane-1X well had shown preliminary signs of hydrocarbon presence, the Portuguese firm announced the discovery of “a significant column” of light oil in reservoir-bearing sands of high quality. 

According to Galp, the Hercules rig is now expected to be relocated to the Mopane-2X well location to evaluate the extent of the Mopane discoveries, after which a drill stem test (DST) is going to be performed in Mopane-1X. The firm plans to continue to analyze the acquired data during the coming weeks to assess the commerciality of the discoveries.

The PEL83 license is located immediately north of Shell’s PEL 39 where the basin opening discoveries at Graff-1, La Rona-1 and Jonker-1 were drilled, and close to TotalEnergies’ multi-billion-barrel Venus-1 oil discovery on PEL 56.

The 2008-built Hercules sixth-generation deepwater and harsh environment semi-submersible rig, which is of GVA 7500 design, was constructed by DSME in South Korea and can accommodate 180 people. The rig can operate in water depths of 10,000 ft and its maximum drilling depth is 35,000 ft.

Aside from this rig, two more Odfjell Drilling-managed semi-submersible rigs are currently working in Namibia, off the southwestern coast of Africa, for Shell and TotalEnergies.

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