Repsol Namibia Well Comes Up Dry

Repsol's Welwitschia-1A well offshore Namibia has come up dry, its partner in the PEL0010 license Tower Resources reported Friday.

Repsol used the Rowan Renaissance (UDW drillship) to drill the Welwitschia-1A well, which was spud on May 1. The well reached its total depth of 8,051 feet but logging indicates that the Paleocene, Maastrichtian and upper Campanian section reservoirs were less well-developed than thought and no hydrocarbons were found.

Tower said that drilling has been behind schedule initially owing to late rig delivery and operational issues during drilling and logging, including the onset of winter weather conditions. The partners in the well have agreed not to drill further into the well to test deeper targets and will evaluate the information so far acquired and its implications for the license block.

Tower Head of Exploration Nigel Quinton commented in a company statement:

"Our first well in this huge frontier block has shown that the Maastrichtian and Palaeocene reservoir sands were less well-developed in this location than we had hoped for, which was always recognised as a critical risk factor. As of now, our view of the prospectivity of the deeper section including the Albian carbonates, remains unchanged. As usual in frontier areas, it will take time to fully interpret the results of the well and assess the implications for the remaining prospectivity of PEL0010."

Tower Chairman Jeremy Asher added:

"Obviously we are disappointed, but we await the more detailed analysis and will then consider our options afresh. Shareholders will recall from the CPR [competent person's report] that the chances of success in these upper targets ranged from 31 percent downwards to eight percent, with lower chances as we went deeper, and facing odds like this is the nature of our business. Knowing this, our strategy has been to diversify our asset portfolio with the recent acquisitions of assets offshore South Africa, in Zambia and onshore Kenya, and we have applications in progress in Cameroon, Ethiopia and elsewhere.

"We want to keep our options open on PEL0010, but we also want to conserve sufficient funding for the commitment work that lies ahead on our other assets, which hold great promise."

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