Mist rig; Source: Borr Drilling

Valeura racks up a trifecta of oil & gas discoveries offshore Thailand

Canada-based oil and gas company Valeura Energy has pulled off a hat trick in the Gulf of Thailand by making three new offshore oil discoveries during its drilling campaign.

Mist rig; Source: Borr Drilling

As a result of a recent expansion of its drilling program, Valeura disclosed plans to continue drilling on the Wassana field to a total of five wells, after which Borr Drilling’s Mist rig would mobilize to the Nong Yao field to begin Nong Yao C development drilling. At the end of December 2023, the company disclosed that the rig would return to Nong Yao in 1Q 2024.

According to the Canadian firm, two wells have been drilled north of the Wassana oil field in the G10/48 concession to identify sufficient oil volumes in this northern area of the block with the aim of justifying a future development project.

The Niramai-4  exploration/appraisal well which is located approximately 1 kilometer northeast of the Niramai-1 oil discovery from 2009 was drilled to 7,312 feet measured depth (MD) or 5,581 feet true vertical depth (TVD) and discovered over 90 feet of new oil pay across two key reservoirs.

With evaluation out of the way, the well was sidetracked with a high-angle well known as Niramai-4 ST1 to test the Wassana North prospect, a separate fault block immediately north of the Wassana field. This well, drilled to 12,388 feet MD or 5,782 feet TVD, uncovered around 40 feet of new oil pay

Valeura puts an emphasis on the deepest oil-bearing zone, as the wellbore intersected the reservoir significantly downdip of the crest, thus, oil is interpreted to be present at the base of the reservoir, with no oil-water contact identified in the well. Based on the firm’s interpretation, this indicates further potential.

The company underlines that total recoverable volumes are believed to exceed management’s requirements to support an additional future development on the G10/48 block when combined with the pre-existing Niramai volumes, even though reservoir properties and volumetric estimates are still being calculated for both wells. 

While such a development expansion is beyond the scope of the Wassana field re-development project currently being evaluated, Valeura elaborates that it has the potential to extend not just production but also the life of the concession beyond its current economic limit in 2032.

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In addition, the Nong Yao-13 well in the G11/48 concession – drilled to 5,399 feet MD or 3,342 feet TVD – discovered just over 30 feet of new oil pay across several intervals. The company sees this result as a confirmation that oil has migrated into this area of the block, a factor that was seen to be a risk in the Nong Yao D area. 

Furthermore, Valeura explains that the particular intervals comprising the discovery are relatively shallow new zones that have not been put into production mode elsewhere on the concession. However, these reservoirs are believed to be recurring across the Nong Yao D area, thus, the firm is adamant that further analysis of the seismic data is warranted.  

The Canadian player emphasizes that further seismic analysis will seek out potential locations for follow-up exploration and appraisal drilling in the vicinity, with the ultimate objective of amassing sufficient volumes to justify a future development.

Sean Guest, Valeura’s President and CEO, commented: “I am pleased to announce that our exploration drilling campaign has resulted in three new oil discoveries, one in the Nong Yao D area, and two in the north-east portion of the Wassana concession. 

“As we continue to pursue adding value through growth, near-field exploration forms an important part of sizing up the organic potential of our assets. With successful results like these, the opportunity set before us is continuing to expand.”  

Further drilling ops coming up soon

Valeura confirms that the contracted drilling rig has been mobilized to the Nong Yao field, where it will soon begin drilling two infill development wells on the Nong Yao A platform, intended to add to production rates in the near term. 

Once commissioning work is complete on the Nong Yao C mobile offshore production unit (MOPU), the rig will begin development drilling on the Nong Yao C accumulation. The first oil from Nong Yao C is targeted in early 3Q 2024.

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“Following this exploration drilling campaign we are returning to both infill drilling and development work, which is intended to increase production rates over the coming months to support cash flow generation, particularly as we see benchmark oil prices rise to new highs for this year. We are also planning for further exploration drilling elsewhere in our portfolio later in the year,” added Guest.