French Guiana: Zaedyus exploratory well spuds

By OGJ editors
-- Tullow Oil PLC has spudded an exploratory well on the Guyane Maritime permit off French Guiana, one day after authorities gave the green light.

The Ensco 8503 semisubmersible is drilling the well in 1,000 m of water on a prospect Tullow views as geologically similar to its giant Jubilee oil discovery off Ghana. Drilling time is estimated at 90 days.

Tullow, which shot 3,625 sq km of 3D seismic between September 2009 and the end of February 2010, estimated that the permit 150 km off Cayenne could hold 40 million to 1 billion bbl of oil.

Tullow Oil has 27.5% interest in partnership with Shell France 45%, Total 25%, and Northpet Investments Ltd. 2.5%. Northern Petroleum PLC and Wessex Exploration PLC each own 50% equity interest in Northpet.

To environmentalists worried about harm to biodiversity, the authorities offered that Tullow Oil has extensive deepwater operating experience, that the drilling unit is of the latest generation, and that the reconnaissance well not intended to be completed for production.

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