Empyrean Preparing To Drill Second Well Offshore China In 2023

Empyrean Preparing To Drill Second Well Offshore China In 2023
Empyrean Energy has informed that it will proceed with plans to drill the Topaz exploration well, offshore China, subject to financing.

Oil and gas firm Empyrean Energy has informed that it will proceed with plans to drill the Topaz exploration well, offshore China, subject to financing.

Empyrean’s decision comes after the disappointment of Jade, the company’s maiden well in China, which failed to deliver a successful discovery despite encouraging early reports. Topaz is described by the company as a ‘much larger’ prospect than the pre-drill estimate of Jade.

Empyrean additionally said that technical data gathered through the Jade programed has helped provide confidence in the reservoir, trap, and seal for the Topaz prospect.

The company is now approaching the second exploration period for the license, which starts in June 2022 and requires a drilling commitment by June 2024.

According to the company, funding options for Topaz are being considered and Empyrean is preparing a work program that could see the well drilled within the next drilling weather window – which would be in the first half of 2023. In the meantime, analysis of the Jade well continues alongside planning for Topaz.

"Whilst we are extremely disappointed with the results of the Jade well, we have made a significant investment of resources and time in systematically maturing the prospectivity of this large block,” chief executive Tom Kelly said.

“Empyrean's early assessment is that the much larger Topaz prospect remains a world-class conventional light oil target that, based on existing understanding of available data, will be drilled,” he added.

The company added that as it looks at funding options it will investigate potential risk share alternatives and farm out possibilities.

Empyrean, meanwhile, noted that China – the world’s largest importer of oil – is seeing momentum gathering for domestic exploration with China National Offshore Oil Company, CNOOC for short, drilling many new wells.

CNOOC has the right to take up a controlling stake in Topaz if the well is successful and the project advances to the development and production phase. Empyrean added that CNOOC has been very cooperative in sharing its regional data.

“Over the past six years, Empyrean has built a deep and strong relationship with CNOOC and has found an experienced team in CNOOC EnerTech that, together, has proven to be able to execute a safe drilling campaign in an offshore environment,” Kelly added.

“The COSL team has been extremely professional and effective in managing various aspects of the drilling operations including a Covid-safe campaign. I would like to thank our partner and consultant teams for their support, and we now look forward to their ongoing assistance with the proposed drilling of the Topaz prospect," he concluded.

To contact the author, email bojan.lepic@rigzone.com


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