Chinguetti Drilling Program to Commence Early September

Hardman Resources says that the Mauritania PSC Area B joint venture (which includes the Chinguetti Oil Field) has agreed to enter into a contract with GlobalSantaFe for the drillship Jack Ryan to drill and test the Chinguetti Appraisal-Early Development Well (AEDW).

As a result, the Chinguetti 4-5 AEDW is now expected to spud on or about September 2, 2003. As previously advised Woodside, as Operator of the PSC Area B joint venture, had signed a contract with Smedvig Offshore AS for the drillship West Navigator to drill up to four wells in offshore Mauritania during 2003. The drillship is currently working in the North Sea, and has possibly been delayed from completing its work contract, thereby delaying its arrival in Mauritania. To avoid any delay to the drilling schedule and in particular the development timetable to achieve first oil production from the Chinguetti Field, it was decided to contract another drillship for the first well in the program. A decision will be made at a later date on whether to use the Jack Ryan drillship for the three planned exploration wells or accept the West Navigator drillship for this work when it becomes available.

Chinguetti 4-5 AEDW will be drilled on the southwestern part of the field approximately 900 meters northwest from Chinguetti-1 discovery well. It will be drilled within the current mapped oil reserve area and is not expected to significantly change the oil-in-place reserve estimates for the field. The well will be suitably completed for long term production with measures in place to control sand inflow. An extended production test (1-2 week production period) is also planned. The well would thereafter be suspended pending commissioning of the production facilities of the field in late 2005. The information gained from this early development well is expected to provide confirmation of the development scheme and has the potential to provide significant cost savings in the drilling and completion of further development wells. The three exploration wells that are planned to follow the drilling of Chinguetti 4-5 AEDW are:

  • Tiof Prospect (PSC Area B): Targeting Miocene channel sandstones within structural closure, adjacent to a salt dome, approximately 25 kilometres north of the Chinguetti Field. The prospect is in 1,130 metres water depth and has estimated potential of 153 million barrels (Mean Recoverable Volume).

  • Second exploration well in PSC Area B: A number of prospects are under consideration including: Tevèt, a Miocene channel sandstone prospect situated between the Chinguetti and Banda Fields, and Poune, an Upper Cretaceous prospect. A decision on whether to drill and the preferred prospect will be made on completion of further studies and after drilling the Chinguetti well.

  • Pelican Prospect (PSC Block 7): A large structural closure with multiple reservoir targets in water depth of approximately 1,700 meters. The Block 7 joint venture (operated by Dana Petroleum plc) has agreed to drill this well as part of the Woodside drilling program.

  • Hardman Resources Ltd holds 21.6% and 18.0% equity in PSC Area B and PSC Block 7 respectively.