Statoil Spuds First Onshore Exploration Well
Statoil has spudded its first exploration well on land in the middle of the Sahara Desert. The drilling is taking place in the Hassi Mouina block in Algeria.
"This represents a milestone," says David Poole, vice president for exploration in Algeria.
The Hassi Mounia license was awarded in June 2004 and comprises four blocks within an area of 23,000 square kilometers in the Gourara basin. Lying in the western Algerian desert, northwest of the In Salah gas field, its size is about half that of Denmark.
Seismic data collection started in September 2005. The work program comprises the drilling of a minimum of two wells.
Sonatrach, Algeria's national oil and gas company, has earlier proven hydrocarbons in the first reservoir layer of well HTJ-1, of Upper Devonian (Strunian) age.
"The objective of drilling well HTJ-2 is to appraise the find, but also to prove hydrocarbons in deeper sandstone layers of the Lower Devonian and Ordovician," says Mr. Poole. "The well will be drilled to a total depth of around 3,200 meters."
The well is being drilled by Nabor Drilling's Rig 284.
"This is very exciting," says Mr. Poole. "Through this drilling program we will gain a good assessment of the resource-potential in the area. In addition we will attain invaluable experience for future projects in similar areas. The use of what is for us, new technology, is exciting and gives us expertise in new areas."
Statoil's working interest in Hassi Mouina is 75%. Sonatrach has 25%. Statoil has completed an environmental impact assessment to ensure that flora and fauna or archeological discoveries will not be damaged.
- Big Oil Reuses Platforms in Latest Cost-Cutting Trick (Nov 15)
- Tight Oil, Shale to Drive Majors' Output to New Highs (Oct 16)
- Shell, Equinor Commit to Tanzania LNG as They Await Host Accord (Oct 16)
Company: Sonatrach more info
- Algeria In Talks With Oil Firms To Set Up Trading Venture (Jul 24)
- Total Signs Deal to Extend TFT Gas Field License in Algeria (Jun 11)
- Trained Engineer Takes On Algeria's Energy Monolith (Mar 29)