Carnarvon Energy announced drilling has commenced at the Buffalo-10 well in the Timor Sea as the Australian oil and gas company aims to confirm sufficient hydrocarbons to support an economic development at the shut in Buffalo field north of Australia.
The company said on Friday that the Valaris JU-107 jack-up rig has drilled the top hole section down to around 120 meters following a slight delay caused by a tropical weather system. The current operation involves the installation and cementing of the conductor.
Once the surface casing has been cemented in place, the rig will drill 17 ½” hole to a planned section depth of approximately 800 meters measured depth (MD), followed by setting the 13 ⅜” casing. Following this, the well is planned to drill the 12 ¼” hole section to approximately 2,800 meters MD before setting the 9 ⅝” casing.
No hydrocarbons are anticipated to be intersected in these drilling sections, Carnarvon said.
The Buffalo oil field resides in 30 meters of water with a reservoir depth between 3,200 and 3,300 meters below the seabed. The previous field proved the existence of a very high deliverability reservoir containing high quality light oil that Carnarvon expects would sell at a premium to Brent in today’s market.
The Buffalo-10 well will penetrate the existing oil column (because the field was still producing when it was shut-in in 2004) to assess the extent of the revised mapped attic oil column as illustrated in the schematic diagram below:
Carnarvon’s mid case recoverable volume estimate is 31 million barrels (gross, 2C contingent resource). With the minimum economic field size estimated to be significantly lower than the mid case estimate, there is a strong likelihood the Buffalo-10 well will confirm an economic project. Accordingly, Carnarvon’s drilling plans provide for the Buffalo-10 well to be retained as the first production well in the redevelopment program.
Carnarvon said it is working with project partner Advance Energy on plans to compress the timeline to first production once the Buffalo-10 well confirms a commercial oil resource. These plans include engaging with local industry for the supply and installation of suitable equipment to produce the oil.
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