Photo: Stena IceMax drillship; Source: Stena Drilling

FAR finds no moveable oil in Gambian well

Australia’s FAR Limited is encouraged by oil shows and potential reservoirs encountered in the Bambo-1 exploration well offshore The Gambia despite no live oil columns being present.

The well is located in Block A2 where FAR is the operator with a 50 per cent interest while its joint venture partner, PC Gambia – a subsidiary of Petronas – holds the remaining 50 per cent interest. The well fulfils the minimum work obligation of drilling one exploration well for the Initial Exploration Periods for both the A2 and A5 Licences.

The Bambo-1 exploration well was spud in mid-November 2021, using the Stena IceMax drillship with expectations for the drilling to take about 30 days.

However, FAR in early December temporarily stopped drilling the well after experiencing significant fluid losses, which would result in additional time and cost to complete than previously expected. The company then decided to plug and side-track the well to continue drilling to the planned total depth.

Related Article

Bambo-1 was initially drilled to a depth of 3216m MDBRT and wireline logging data was obtained. The Bambo-1 well was then plugged and the Bambo-1ST1 (side-track) well drilled to a depth of 3317m MDBRT after which, wireline loggings were conducted.

FAR informed on Thursday that the drilling and logging data obtained on the main well and the side-track well indicates that several target intervals in the well had oil shows, confirming a prolific oil source is present in the area. Samples were recovered from several levels. The presence or otherwise of any oil will be confirmed by laboratory analysis.

The side-track well was planned to be drilled to the final total depth through all target reservoirs and also to intersect zones of interest from the main well in a different location which will provide additional data and to sample potential oil. Interpretation of the cuttings and wireline logging information indicates that these zones have been charged with oil in rather poor-quality reservoirs and in traps that might have been breached, leaving behind some residual oils in the reservoirs.

The side-track well also intersected oil shows in the Soloo Deep units not previously encountered by the original well or other wells in the area. The oil shows encountered were persistent over several hundred metres, confirming access to the prolific oil-generative kitchen is present which may open additional material exploration opportunities and running room in both the A2 and A5 Blocks.

According to FAR, the well and side-track are being plugged and abandoned consistent with the planned well abandonment program for this type of exploration well.

Cath Norman, FAR Managing Director, said: “Although no moveable oil was interpreted, FAR is encouraged to have encountered good oil shows and potential reservoirs in the Bambo-1 well and Bambo-1ST1 side-track. The project has provided significant geological information, including new play types, that reaffirms the potential of further hydrocarbon prospects in the A2 and A5 blocks in the Gambia.

“Bambo-1 and the side-track have confirmed that all of the requisite petroleum system elements are present in the area and the technical team is already busy integrating the new data and high-grading future prospects.”

Norman also noted that the well and the side-track were completed within the amended budget despite technical challenges, adding that FAR will be working on the next steps in realising the exploration potential in the country.