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Panoro Energy ASA reported the operator has secured use of a semi-submersible drilling unit to drill the Tortue prospect on the Dussafu Marin permit offshore Gabon.
The drilling unit, the Scarabeo 3, is owned and operated by Saipem S.p.A, and the well is expected to spud in 4Q 2012.
The Tortue Marin well will be located about 50 km (31 miles) offshore Gabon and 15 km (9 miles) southeast of the 2011 Ruche discovery in 116 m (381 ft) water depth. The well targets pre-salt Gamba and mid-Dentale reservoirs and a secondary post-salt Madiela reservoir. When combining these reservoirs the Tortue prospect has, according to the operator, consolidated mean prospective resources of 28 MMbbls with 56% geological chance of success.
Kjetil Solbraekke, CEO of Panoro, said “We are pleased that the operator has entered into a rig contract and we look forward to drilling Panoro’s second exploration well offshore Gabon. We believe that any discovery above 10 MMbbl on Tortue combined with the 2011 Ruche discovery will provide the basis for a commercial development.”
The Dussafu partners and the Republic of Gabon, represented by the Ministry of Mines, Energy, Petroleum and Hydraulic Resources, has entered the third exploration phase of the Dussafu production-sharing contract with an effective date of May 28. It has been agreed that the third exploration phase will be for a period of four years ending May 27, 2016.
Dussafu Marin is operated by Harvest Dussafu B.V., an affiliate of Harvest Natural Resources, Inc. Panoro Energy has a 33.33% stake held through a subsidiary company.