Australian well comes up empty of commercial hydrocarbons

SapuraOMV’s Australian well comes up dry

SapuraOMV, a partnership between Malaysia’s Sapura Energy and Austria’s OMV, has found no commercial hydrocarbons after drilling an exploration well located offshore Western Australia.

Ocean Apex rig; Source: Diamond Offshore

Back in December 2018, Finder farmed out part of its interest to SapuraOMV for a promoted carry in the drilling of Kanga-1. If the drilling of the well uncovered a commercial volume of hydrocarbons, rapid development would be possible through an FPSO vessel tied back to subsea wells, based on Finder’s records.

After securing all regulatory approvals for the drilling of the Kanga-1 exploration well, SapuraOMV was set to start drilling operations in May 2022, using Diamond Offshore’s Ocean Apex semi-submersible drilling rig.

Located in WA-412-P in the Northern Carnarvon Basin, offshore Western Australia, the permit for the Kanga-1 well is operated by SapuraOMV with a 70 per cent interest while Fugro Exploration and Finder Energy have a 15 per cent interest each.

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In an update on 27 May, SapuraOMV’s partner, Finder Energy with a capped well contribution of $0.94 million, informed that the Diamond Offshore’s Ocean Apex rig had set the 9 5/8” casing and drilled the 8 1/2” hole to a total depth of 3,400 mRT1. The firm explained that no commercial hydrocarbons were intersected, thus, the well would be plugged and abandoned as planned.

Damon Neaves, Finder CEO, remarked: “Whilst this is a disappointing result, Finder has a high quality and valuable portfolio of drill-ready prospects in both the North West Shelf and the North Sea, and we remain confident that our portfolio will deliver a material discovery. Our farm-out strategy ensured that Finder had minimal financial exposure in Kanga-1.”

According to Finder, the Kanga-1 well, which was previously estimated to contain gross Best Case Prospective Resources of 170 mmbbl, fulfils the WA-412-P exploration permit work programme obligations.

“Finder remains in a strong financial position and is fully funded to execute our work programmes and deliver on our strategy over the next few years. Our focus now turns to farm-outs across our broad portfolio to fund future wells with industry partners, ensuring our existing shareholders are highly leveraged to drilling success,” concluded Neaves.

Currently, Finder Energy holds five seaward production licences in the UK out of which four are in the Central North Sea – P2317, P2524, P2528 and P2530 – and one is in the Northern North Sea -P2502.

On the other hand, the company has an interest in five exploration permits on Australia’s North West Shelf, which are located in the Dampier and Beagle sub-basins and the Vulcan Sub-basin of the Bonaparte Basin.