Photo: Stena IceMAX drillship; Source: Stena Drilling

FAR uncovers further exploration opportunities in Gambian blocks

Following the Bambo drilling campaign in late 2021, Australia’s FAR Limited and its partner Malaysia’s Petronas have completed a review of the prospectivity of the A2 and A5 blocks offshore The Gambia, opening additional, material exploration opportunities.

The JV has now fulfiled the minimum work obligation for both blocks, gaining the right to enter the First Exploration Period.

Updated Block A2 and A5 prospects map - FAR
Updated Block A2 and A5 prospects map; Source: FAR

During the quarter ending 31 December 2021, FAR concluded the drilling and formation evaluation operations for the Bambo-1 well and Bambo-1ST1 sidetrack well in Block A2. The well and side-track have subsequently been plugged and abandoned. FAR used the Stena IceMax drillship for drilling operations.

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The well fulfils the minimum work obligation of drilling one exploration well for the Initial Exploration Periods for both the A2 and A5 Licences and hence FAR and its co-venturer have the right to enter the next period (First Exploration Period) for each of the licenses on expiry on 30 September 2022.

FAR high graded three prospects for potential drilling

The drilling and logging data obtained on the main well (Bambo-1) and the side-track well (Bambo-ST1) confirmed both the presence of a prolific oil source in the area and that oil shows encountered whilst drilling were persistent over several hundred metres, confirming key reservoirs had access to this oil generative kitchen.

The Soloo prospect S440 and S410 objectives in the Bambo drilling campaign were found to have indications of hydrocarbons, but no significant oil volumes have been interpreted in the southern extension of the Sangomar Field in the A2 Block.

However, oil shows in the Bambo prospect S390 and S400 reservoirs, encountered in the Bambo1 and Bambo-ST1 wells have highlighted updip potential at both those levels in the A2 Block. These prospective target intervals form the new Panthera prospect.

Further mapping of the potential oil-bearing reservoirs has opened additional, material exploration opportunities and FAR has high graded three of the four mapped prospects for potential drilling: Panthera, Jatto, and Malo. These three high-graded prospects each house multiple potential oil-bearing reservoir targets, according to FAR.

FAR Limited - Gambia Blocks A2 & A5
Gambia Block A2 and A5 Prospective Resource volumes (unrisked, recoverable resources, 100% equity basis); Source: FAR

Evaluation of samples taken from the drilling programme remains under laboratory analysis and further work on mapping the deeper oil-bearing reservoirs is ongoing.

In the meantime, FAR will begin a farm-down of its interest in blocks A2 and A5 and, in doing so, seek a carry on the cost of a well for drilling in late 2023 and a contribution to FAR’s past costs.

Budget for The Gambia project

Following the drilling of the Bambo wells, FAR, as the operator of the joint venture, is revising the work to be undertaken in 2022 and, accordingly, the budget for the works. The current, joint venture approved 2022 budget is $9.56 million (50 per cent to the account of FAR and 50 per cent to co-venturer, Petronas) and FAR expects to reduce this by approximately 40 per cent to $5.7 million for the 2022 year.

However, this will require review and voting for the amended work programme and budget by the JV, which is scheduled for March. FAR noted that Petronas is supportive of reducing the 2022 budgeted expenditure.