Salamander Energy begins drilling Bang Nouan-1 exploration well

Salamander Energy announced the spudding of the Bang Nouan-1 exploration well in the Savannakhet PSC, Lao PDR.

The Bang Nouan-1 well is targeting gas in the Permian limestones of the Pha Nok Khao formation. The mean gross pre-drill estimate of prospective recoverable gas resource is approximately 1.1 Trillion cubic feet. The well will be drilled by the MB Century 26 rig and is planned to be drilled to approximately 3,700 meters true vertical depth subsea. It is forecast to take approximately 75 days to complete on a dry-hole basis.

James Menzies, Chief Executive of Salamander, said: "The Bang Nouan-1 well is the first operated well in our 2010 exploration and appraisal drilling program. It is a high risk, high reward well located in the under-explored Eastern Khorat basin that has multi-Tcf of follow on potential in the surrounding, Salamander operated, acreage." 

Savannakhet, Lao PDR 

The Savannakhet PSC is thought to be an extension of the Khorat play beyond the Mekong river. The PSC area is 19,520 square kilometres and the basin is relatively unexplored.It is part of acreage previously held by Enterprise Oil plc from 1990 to 1998. Enterprise completed an extensive 2D seismic survey and identified several significant structural leads. 

Key play areas are covered by a comprehensive 2D seismic survey.There are oil seeps in the block and the Mukdahan-1 well in the adjacent Thai acreage was a gas discovery. Several large structures have been identified from the seismic data in the block, including the large Bang Nouan and Non Chan gas structures and the Bang Hiang oil prospect. In 2008, Salamander acquired some new seismic data over these prospects ahead of a drilling programme in 2010. 

Salamander holds an operated 30 percent interest in the Savannakhet PSC. Salamander farmed out a 30 percent stake in the Savannakhet PSC to Origin Energy in December 2009. Other partners on the Savannakhet PSC include PetroVietnam with 25 percent, IFC with 10 percent, and NCD/LIBC with 5 percent.

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