OVL hopes for oil strike in Libya exploration block

Vol 8, PW 5 (02 Jun 04) Exploration & Production

ONGC Videsh hopes to strike oil in a Libyan block that it holds in partnership with Turkish Petroleum Overseas Company.

We learn operator TPOC spud a well on 13th April on block NC-188 in the Libyan desert using a Chinese onland drilling rig. We are hopeful of striking oil here, says a source connected with the project.

This location was validated for its structural configuration and presence of a fault. The fault, says our source, is expected to have an added advantage because it can act as a conduit for vertical migration, unlike at the previous location.

Target depth for this well is 3,152 metres. By the end of May, drilling had reached about half the target depth.

TPOC expects to reach target depth by the end of June and has identified the main reservoir at about 3,000 metres depth. This is the second well drilled on the block.

The first well A1 NC-188 was spud on 2nd November last year using the same rig thats drilling the second well now. The first well was drilled to a depth of 3,425 metres, penetrating through formations covering primary and secondary objectives as scheduled.

Gas cut was encountered intermittently measuring a maximum 8.3%. Encouraged by this, TPOC carried out two open hole drill stem tests at separate intervals but both revealed only salt water.

Following interpretation of logs and drill stem test results, no zone was found worth conventional testing and the well was plugged and abandoned without lowering the final casing, helping the consortium to save money. The total cost of the first well worked out to $4.5m against the estimated cost of $5.5m.

OVLs share of the expenditure is $2.2 m. OVL has 49% stake in blocks NC-188 and NC-189.

Block NC-188 measures 6,558-sq km and lies in the Ghadames Basin while NC-189 covers an area of 2,088-sq km and is in the Sirte Basin.