Empyrean Energy 'Extremely Disappointed' as No Oil Found at 'World-class' Jade Offshore Prospect in China

Oil and gas company Empyrean Energy said Wednesday that its Jade offshore well in China, for which the company had high hopes, had reached total depth without encountering hydrocarbons.

After years of preparations, the company started drilling at what it said was a "world-class“ Jade prospect earlier this month, using COSL's NH-9 semi-submersible drilling rig.

Empyrean had said that the Jade Prospect had a GCA audited mean in place potential of 225 MMbbl and a P10 in place upside of 395 MMbbl.

However, the company on Wednesday said the well had reached a final total depth of 2849 meters measured depth at 6:00 am Wednesday morning local time, with no oil pay encountered in the target reservoir.

"Current operations are the running of wireline logs. The wireline logs are not expected to change the initial interpretation of no oil pay seen on LWD. Current operations Wireline logging tools will now be run following a wiper trip before commencing demobilization operations of the NH 9 rig,“ Empyrean said.

NH9 (Nanhai 9) is a semi-submersible drilling rig that entered service in 1988. It is capable of drilling in a water depth of up to 5300 feet (1615 meters).

Empyrean CEO, Tom Kelly, said: “We are extremely disappointed with the results of the well, particularly after conducting a systematic and comprehensive technical analysis followed by running a safe drilling operation. We would like to thank CNOOC for all their support, CNOOC EnerTech for managing a successful operation, and COSL for conducting a safe drilling operation. We plan to conduct a thorough analysis of well log data before deciding the next step in Block 29/11."

Empyrean is the operator of Block 29/11 in which the well was drilling, with a 100% stake. China's CNOOC had an option to assume a 51% participating interest in the development and production phase in case of a hydrocarbon discovery in the block.

Empyrean had said previously that, after any potential success at the Jade prospect, it would like to drill the larger Topaz prospect. The Topaz prospect has GCA audited mean in place potential of 434 MMbbl and a P10 in place upside of 891 MMbbl. It is not clear if this is still the plan, given that Jade failed to encounter any oil.

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