Libya oil strike for IndianOil and Oil India

Vol 16, PW 15 (21 Feb 13) Exploration & Production

IndianOil and Oil India are rightly excited about a major oil and gas discovery in Libya - still recovering from the 2011 uprising that deposed dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

Earlier this month (February) IOC, Oil India and Algerian partner and operator Sonatrach struck oil at their first exploration well at 6934-sq km Area 95/96 in the Ghadames basin southwest of Tripoli. PETROWATCH learns 45-degree API low-sulphur crude oil flowed at 2188 b/d, accompanied by 1.2m cf/d (33,980 cm/d) of sweet gas.

Sonatrach drilled the first well to 6171-ft (1880 metres), targeting the Tahara and Devonian reservoirs. "The discovery has been tested,” confirms an Oil India source.

“At least seven more exploration wells will be drilled in this block. We plan to complete the drilling programme by end-2014.

” Sonatrach will spud the second well end-February using a rig hired from its subsidiary Entreprise Nationale des Travaux aux Puits (ENTP). Sonatrach will take about two months to complete the second well to 10,000-ft (3048 metres) at a location around 10 to 15-km away from the first well.

Consortium partners might use the production facilities of the Mellitah Oil & Gas operated Al-Wafa field, approximately 75-km from Area 95/96. “If we use Al-Wafa we will lay a pipeline to the field,” adds our source.

Al-Wafa has facilities for gas treatment and compression and a 220,000 barrel oil storage facility. Sonatrach was forced to stop exploration work at Area 95/96 in April 2011 following the Libyan uprising, when IOC and Oil India also evacuated their employees.

Drilling resumed at the 6934 sq. km block, near the Algerian border and about 700-km from Tripoli, last October (2012).