Bayfield Energy announced that it expects on Friday to spud the first well in its exploration and appraisal program on the offshore Galeota license area in Trinidad.
The firm – which is also active in South Africa and Russia, and whose stock is traded in London – said that Rowan Gorilla III (450' ILC) is on location and jacked-up in preparation for the drilling of the well, designated EG8. The well is in 135 feet of water and will be drilled to a total depth of approximately 8,700 feet.
EG8 is a deviated exploration well intended to appraise the Lower Pliocene-to-Upper Miocene stacked, shallow marine sandstone reservoirs that were encountered in previous offset wells. Both of these earlier wells – EG2 and EG5, which were drilled in 1978 and 1985 respectively – encountered and tested gas at various levels and EG2 tested oil as a rate of 1,000 barrels of oil per day.
In EG8, the firm said, several primary exploration targets have been identified by direct hydrocarbon indicators through reprocessing of 3D seismic data acquired by Bayfield in 2010. Following completion of this well, Bayfield plans to relocate the rig approximately 2.5 miles south west of EG8 to drill the second well in its program: EG7.
As well as drilling EG7 and EG8, Bayfield also plans to drill at least one additional well in Trinidad to the north east of the producing Trintes field.
Oil analysts at investment bank Seymour Pierce, which acts as broker to Bayfield, commented: "We feel the timely spudding of EG8 is a positive development for the company given that the market was expecting an update in relation to the well by the end of January. In our view, successful drilling at this relatively low-risk site will continue to unlock existing resources, allowing the company to potentially increase their reserve base."
Bayfield also provided an update Friday on its production figures as well as its activities in South Africa and Russia.
Gross production from the Trintes field in 2011 averaged 1,197 bopd with net production top Bayfield amounted to 778 bopd. However, weather-related downtime meant production here was well short of the 2,500 bopd that the company had been hoping for.
Bayfield said that the contribution from two new wells drilled in the fourth quarter of 2011 has allowed gross production at Trintes to increase to 1,700 bopd (1,105 bopd net to Bayfield).
In South Africa, Bayfield said that, after receiving an acceptance letter from the country's Petroleum Agency, its focus this year will be to reprocess existing 2D seismic data over the Pletmos inshore block.
In Russia, the firm reported that interpretation of the reprocessed 2D seismic data acquired over the Karalatsky license area during 1Q 2011 has not identified any prospects that would justify further investment in an exploration well. Accordingly, Bayfield is taking steps to prepare for the surrender of the Karalatsky license.
"Bayfield's first operations update since its listing [on London's Alternative Investment Market] in July 2011 contained some minor disappointments in terms of production from the Trintes field and a write-down associated with its Russian operations," said the oil and gas team at investment bank Westhouse Securities. "However, given the track record of its board and management team, which includes Ex-Burren CEO, Finian O'Sullivan, and former Dana Petroleum CFO, David MacFarlane, Bayfield Energy could be a company which looks to expand its portfolio beyond Trinidad and South Africa."
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