Carnarvon spuds Buffalo well with hopes for economic success to support re-development

A Valaris-owned jack-up drilling rig has started operations at the Buffalo-10 well located in the Timor Sea for Carnarvon Energy, aiming to confirm sufficient hydrocarbons to support the re-development of the field.

Valaris JU-107 drilling rig - Carnarvon
Valaris JU-107 drilling rig; Source: Carnarvon Energy

The Valaris JU-107 jack-up rig has now finally started drilling the Buffalo-10 well following delays due to the rig’s prior engagements.

Namely, the contract with Valaris was formalised last September and Carnarvon waited for the rig to arrive at the well location for months. Drilling operations were initially expected to start in October but were delayed due to the rig’s previous engagements.

Earlier in December, Carnarvon expected the rig handover to be in late December, emphasising that the delays were not related to the performance of the rig or preparation by the company. The rig then mobilised to the Buffalo-10 location last week with expectations to start the drilling operations within a week, which has now happened.

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Since arriving at the Buffalo-10 well location, the rig has concluded preparations for drilling and has drilled the top hole section following a slight delay caused by a tropical weather system. The current operation involves the installation and cementing of the Conductor which provides the structural foundation for the well.

According to Carnarvon’s update from Friday, the top hole section has been drilled down to around 120 metres and current operations involve running and cementing the conductor prior to drilling the 17 ½” hole.

Once the surface casing has been cemented in place, the rig will drill the 17 ½” hole to a planned section depth of approximately 800 metres Measured Depth (MD), followed by setting the 13 ⅜” casing. Following this, the well is planned to drill the 12 ¼” hole section to approximately 2,800 metres MD before setting the 9 ⅝” casing.

No hydrocarbons are anticipated to be intersected in these drilling sections, Carnarvon said.

The Buffalo-10 well is being drilled offshore Timor-Leste within the TL- SO T19-14 Production Sharing Contract in a water depth of approximately 30 metres with a target depth of approximately 3,500 metres. Carnarvon is the operator of the licence and Advance Energy is its partner.

The well is being drilled to test for the presence of commercial quantities of high-quality light oil that is expected to lead to the early re-development of the Buffalo field. The estimated time to drill and complete the well is around 35 days.

Leslie Peterkin, CEO of Advance Energy, commented: “The joint venture is working hard to conclude the drilling program in the coming weeks and remains confident that the Buffalo-10 well will be a geological and economic success.”