First survey done, second to go at gas field off Timor-Leste

First survey done, second to go at gas field off Timor-Leste

Despite delays mainly due to weather conditions, UK-based Baron Oil has completed a geophysical survey at the planned drilling location for the Chuditch-2 appraisal well off Timor-Leste and is currently preparing to commence the geotechnical survey.

Illustration; Source: Baron Oil

As announced by Baron Oil in February, its wholly owned subsidiary, SundaGas Banda Unipessoal, had commenced operations for a survey at the planned drilling location for the Chuditch-2 appraisal well on the TL-SO-19-16 production sharing contract (PSC) off Timor-Leste.

The geophysical survey, which took place during February and March, faced some operational delays, principally related to weather conditions, and its results have been incorporated into the geotechnical survey planning, the company reported.

The vessel in charge of the geotechnical site survey reached the Timor Sea with a delay, again owing to adverse weather conditions, and is now preparing to mobilize to the Chuditch survey area. The geotechnical work is expected to be completed next month and the results will be published once the site survey work is finalized.

The site survey work is meant to identify any potential hazards at the proposed well site, ensuring that a drilling rig can be located safely and with minimal environmental impact, so that the drilling could start in late 2024. This includes geophysical studies, consisting of remote seabed investigation, and geotechnical work, comprising physical studies of the seabed, performed by using two separate vessels.

The Chuditch PSC covers an area of approximately 3,571 km2, with water depths of 50-100 meters. Located approximately 185 kilometers south of Timor-Leste, 100 kilometers east of the producing Bayu-Undan field, and 50 kilometers south of the Greater Sunrise potential development, it contains the Chuditch-1 gas discovery drilled by Shell in 1998. 

SundaGas Banda Unipessoal is the operator and 60% interest holder of the Chuditch PSC, while the remaining 40% interest is held by a subsidiary of the Timor-Leste state oil company Timor Gap, whose interest is carried by Banda to development.

In February, SundaGas sold a partial interest in the gas field to Timor Gap Chuditch Unipessoal, its existing joint venture partner and a wholly owned subsidiary of Timor Gap. Prior to that, the two had first signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at the end of January to transfer an additional 15% working interest to Timor Gap in the Chuditch PSC, followed by signing an agreement to make the sale of the 15% non-operated interest possible.