The Ensco 67 will play a key role in the development of the Cliff Head Oil Field. During the next 4 months the rig will drill and complete 6 production wells and 2 water injection wells and also install the production jacket and topside facilities. After the Ensco 67's work at Cliff Head has been completed the rig will drill 3 to 5 exploration wells in the area around the Cliff Head Oil Field.
Importantly, the rig contract is structured so that ROC has an option to extend it for a second 4 month tranche beyond the initial 4 month firm contract period. Therefore, as the Ensco 67 completes its presently designated work program at Cliff Head, ROC will have the right, but not the obligation, to use the rig on other ROC-operated wells offshore Western Australia, including any farmin opportunities which may arise.
Between mid-November 2005 to March 2006 Roc plans up to 7 exploration and appraisal wells.
Wells tentatively scheduled for deep water Equatorial Guinea and onshore New Zealand will not be drilled prior to April 2006 because of the lack of suitable rigs due to the tight rig market.
Cliff Head Oil Field: Pipeline activities completed
In contrast to the traditional approach to such projects, which would normally involve the appointment of a single, over-arching pipeline contractor, all components of the pipeline operation were directly contracted by ROC, as Operator of the Cliff Head Joint Venture. In order to expedite this contract strategy ROC structured a special purpose third party pipeline management company staffed with a team of highly experienced individuals, recruited from the pipeline industry, headed by Mr. Peter Cox, reporting directly to ROC's Cliff Head Project Manager, M.r Duncan Mitchell.
As a consequence of this arrangement, ROC was responsible for all phases of pipeline construction and installation, including the direct purchase of materials, the leasing and manning contract services of the pipelay barge spread and accommodation vessel, and the management and supervision of the onshore-offshore pipeline installation, including the under-beach horizontal drilling which was designed to minimize the environmental impact of the project. The pipeline project was completed a few weeks later than originally scheduled, mainly due to weather downtime with the pipelay vessel. Fortunately, this delay, which has not affected the overall Cliff Head project schedule, still allowed the pipeline phase of the project to be completed just as the crayfishing season started offshore Dongara.
Angola: 2D and 3D seismic surveys completed
Preliminary results of the seismic processing confirm that data quality is generally good to excellent and there is an abundance of structuring, although it is too early to tell how many of the structures represent valid closures worthy of drilling.
The Cabinda South Joint Venture plans to undertake another substantial seismic survey next year ahead of a multi-well exploration drilling program. This drilling program is currently targeted to start in late 2006, subject to onset of the year-end rainy season, rig availability and the results of the seismic interpretation which has just begun.
While ROC's future drilling program will – like every other drilling program in the industry – remain sensitive to the tight rig market which currently prevails, the signing of a 4 month plus 4 month optional drilling contract with more rig capacity than is presently required, strengthens ROC's strategic position with regard to drilling opportunities offshore Western Australia."
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