Cairn Energy updated plans for drilling the Gargaa well off Morocco during its Annual General Meeting on 16 May.
Cairn has established a position in both the Jurassic carbonate shelf and the emerging deep-water Mesozoic clastic exploration plays. The region is attracting industry interest, with other operators taking licenses in the area and the industry planning to drill about 10 wells now through 2016. The Moroccan state's interest is represented by the Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines - the National Bureau of Petroleum and Mines - of Morocco (ONHYM).
Cairn drilled two wells in Morocco in 2013-2014 and is now planning a well on the Cap Boujdour Permit with its joint venture partner Kosmos Energy. The Cap Boujdour Permit, operated by Kosmos and partnered by ONHYM and Cairn (WI 20%), is located about 50km offshore and covers an area of 22,265sq km in the Aaiun basin in water depths of 1000m - 3000m. The permit is covered by a regional 2D grid and 2000sq km of 3D seismic surveys and preparations are being made for an additional 3D exploration survey.
Kosmos has identified several prospects within the existing 3D area, with the largest of these, Gargaa, targeted for drilling to commence in Q4 2014.
Anish Kapadia, Managing Director at Tudor, Pickering & Holt, said in January that the Gargaa prospect would be " one of the most exciting wells for 2014 due to its potential size and the possibility that its success will open a new area for the industry."
The two earlier wells in Morocco were both plugged and abandoned.
One of the wells, FD-1, (Cairn 50% WI, operator) confirmed an active thermogenic petroleum system. However, it did not encounter clastic reservoirs in the target interval.
The other well, JM-1, (Cairn WI 37.5%, operator) confirmed the presence in the secondary objective of heavy oil over a gross interval of 110m as originally tested in the 1968 MO-2 well, about 2km from the JM-1 well. Traces of light oil were found in the fractures in the Middle Jurassic primary objective; however, the ~200m of limestone penetrated had poor reservoir quality. Work is ongoing to assimilate the core and log data from JM-1 with the other three wells on the Cap Juby structure to evaluate the extent of movable hydrocarbons and how any further assessment should be conducted.
Cairn signs Cap Boujdour farm-out, 28 October 2013
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