Ocean Rig drillship mobilized to Tullow’s well off Namibia

An Ocean Rig-owned drillship has been mobilized to Namibia in preparation for the drilling of Tullow Oil’s Cormorant-1 well planned for September.

Ocean Rig Poseidon; Image source: Pancontinental Oil & Gas

The Cormorant-1 well is located in the PEL 37 where Tullow Oil is the operator with a 35% interest. Tullow’s joint venture partners are Pancontinental Namibia with a 30%, ONGC Videsh Limited also with 30%, and Paragon Oil & Gas with the remaining 5% interest.

Pancontinental said on Wednesday that the PEL 37 Joint Venture is on schedule for the upcoming drilling of the highly anticipated Cormorant-1 well planned for September 2018 with preparations for the start well underway.

The well will be drilled by the Ocean Rig Poseidon drillship in a water depth of 545m and is expected to take 34 days to reach total depth. The contract for the drillship was announced by its owner last February.

Pancontinental noted that almost 70% of critical well service contracts have been let with a number of local Namibian companies successfully securing contracts during the tendering process being managed by Tullow.

Pancontinental farmed out to Tullow in 2013 and will now be fully carried through the cost of drilling the well. The company’s 20% interest is held in a 66.7% owned subsidiary Pancontinental Namibia Pty Ltd that has a 30% interest in PEL 37, where Africa Energy Corp holds the other 33.3% interest.

Pancontinental will also boost its cash reserves by AU$7.3 million (equivalent to US$5.5 million) with the second stage payment due from Africa Energy Corp. at the spud of Cormorant-1.

In addition to the entry into the project of Africa Energy in September last year, Indian oil and gas Company ONGC Videsh Limited also farmed in. Earlier this year, oil major ExxonMobil announced its farmin to PEL 82, which is adjacent to Pancontinental’s PEL 37, for a 40% interest.

Commenting on the upcoming drilling of Cormorant-1, Pancontinental CEO, John Begg, said: “We are on track for the drilling of Cormorant-1 in September. According to Wood Mackenzie, the global energy research and consultancy group that reports on all aspects of the upstream oil and gas industry, this will be one of the most –watched offshore wells anywhere in the world this year. It has been highly anticipated for a number of years by the company and our shareholders.

“We are obviously keen for the well to commence as the first test of the giant– scale oil potential within the Block. No doubt ExxonMobil, who recently farmed into the immediately adjacent acreage, will be watching closely for the outcome.”

Ocean Rig Poseidon is the 6th generation deepwater drillship of a Saipem 10000 design. It was built in 2011 by the Samsung Heavy Industries Shipyard in South Korea.

The drillship was also recently hired by Chariot to drill one firm and one optional well offshore Namibia.

PEL 37; Source: Pancontinental