Gambia’s first offshore well in 40 years turns out to be duster

Australia-based FAR Limited has failed to reach main targets at the first well to be drilled offshore The Gambia in 40 years, thus deeming the well unsuccessful. 

FAR started drilling the Samo-1 exploration well in block A2 offshore The Gambia in October, using the Stena Drillmax drillship.

FAR awarded a drilling rig contract to Stena Drilling for the provision of the Stena DrillMAX drillship back in April 2018. The company selected its final well location for the Samo-1 well in August.

On Friday, November 9, FAR said that the Samo-1 well has been drilled to a total depth of 3240m, and wireline logging is nearing completion.

According to the company, interpretation of the wireline logs so far indicates that the main target horizons are water-bearing. Oil shows were encountered at several levels indicating that the area has access to an active hydrocarbon charge system. The well also encountered excellent reservoir and seal facies, indicating that all the key components for a successful trap are present.

As the first offshore well in forty years and the first modern well, the data that has been collected at Samo-1 and the ongoing interpretation will be critical to unlocking the hydrocarbon potential in the area, FAR said. The well will be plugged and abandoned, consistent with the plan for this exploration well.

FAR noted that the government of The Gambia confirmed a six-month extension to the current license to end June 2019 to allow for evaluation of the Samo-1 well results.

Cath Norman, FAR managing director, said: “The result in the Samo-1 well is not in line with our pre-drill expectations, however, it is providing an abundance of new subsurface information that will help us understand the geological play along the shelf edge – an area which remains grossly underexplored.

“The FAR team has identified a portfolio of prospects and leads in the A2 and A5 permits and the data from Samo-1 will be used to further mature and de-risk these for future drilling. Drilling the first well offshore Gambia for 40 years has drawn attention to this well, and the result is a reminder of the risks we face in our business.

“We are pleased to receive a six-month extension to the license, which will allow the JV to formulate and move on with plans to drill next year, after integrating the results from Samo-1 into the regional geological model.”