Production dip halted at Chinguetti offshore Mauritania

Offshore staff

LONDON – Oil production from the declining Chinguetti field offshore Mauritania fell to 106 b/d during 1Q, compared to 382 b/d for the equivalent quarter in 2015.

According to partner Sterling Energy, this was due mainly to temporary flow assurance issues (a combination of hydrates blockages in a production well and in the Banda gas line).

However, production has since returned to normal levels. Produced oil is stored on the Berge Helene FPSO.

In Mauritania’s offshore exploration block C-10, operator Tullow Oil has matured a drill-ready, Lower Cretaceous, Neocomian age carbonate prospect, Lamina, in a water depth of around 100 m (328 ft).

Sterling, which joined as a partner in mid-2015, estimates the cost of an exploration well to test this prospect in 2017 at $50 million. The company also sees prospectivity elsewhere on the block, particularly within Cenomanian and Miocene clastic plays.

Offshore northwest Madagascar, the company is in a joint venture with Pura Vida for the 17,650-sq km (6,815-sq mi) Ambilobe block in the Ambilobe basin, where water depths extend from nearshore out to 3,000 m (9,842 ft).

The PSC is in the second phase of the exploration period: all work commitments have been fulfilled.

Last June CGG completed a 1,175-sq km (453-sq mi) 3D seismic survey to improve the technical description of the high graded lead area prior to a drill-or-drop decision by mid-2016. ION Geophysical Co. processed this data, which is currently undergoing interpretation.

The focus is on high-grading and quantifying the lead inventory, to assess drillable opportunities prior to determining whether to progress to Phase 3, which carries a one-well commitment.

The partners are seeking an extension of Phase 2 beyond the July deadline to complete their subsurface technical evaluation.


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