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Empyrean Energy Reveals Expected Spud Date for 'World-class' Jade Prospect Offshore China

March 25, 2022

NH9 drilling rig Credit: Merkushev Aleksandr/MarineTraffic.com
NH9 drilling rig Credit: Merkushev Aleksandr/MarineTraffic.com

Oil and gas company Empyrean Energy said Friday it would take over the China Oilfield Services Limited ("COSL") owned NH9 semi-submersible drilling rig for the drilling of the Jade well, within the next few days for safety checks. Empyrean has described the Jade prospect  as "one of the most exciting wells to be drilled globally in 2022."

Empyrean is the operator of Block 29/11 in China and has 100% working interest during the exploration phase. In the event of a commercial discovery at the Jade prospect, Empyrean's partner, China National Offshore Oil Company ("CNOOC"), may assume a 51% participating interest in the development and production phase.

"Following discussions with COSL and CNOOC to establish rig availability, the recent completion of the well site survey and receipt of all required permits, following the final well site survey report, Empyrean advises that the mobilization of the NH9 rig to the Jade well location is expected to occur on or around 27 March. NH9 had been used to drill a well for CNOOC immediately preceding mobilization to Jade.

COSL now estimates that the spud date for the Jade well will be on or around April 2, 2022, depending on prevailing weather conditions to ensure the safe anchorage of the NH9 rig at the Jade location.

The COSL owned NH9 rig and its drilling team are 'drill fit' and the NH9 rig will be mobilized straight to the Jade well location from its current position without the need to go back to port, Empyrean said.

From the spud date, the Jade well is anticipated to take approximately 26 days to drill to Total Depth on a trouble-free basis. There are no overly challenging drilling zones anticipated with the Jade well design and program. If the Jade well intercepts a hydrocarbon zone, as anticipated, then testing is planned to take approximately a further 2 weeks, Empyrean said.

Empyrean CEO, Tom Kelly, stated: "We are delighted that we are now days away from being ready to spud one of the highest impact and exciting wells of 2022. Things are getting very real for our team and we look forward to providing shareholders and investors with further updates."

The drilling campaign is targeting what Empyrean says is a world-class conventional oil target in the Jade Prospect, to which Gaffney Cline & Associates ("GCA") assigned a Geological Chance of Success ("GCoS") of 32%. 

Subsequent to this independent assessment, the company completed a gas cloud study and post-stack seismic inversion study that it believes further mitigates risk and increases the GCoS to 41%.

The Jade prospect has a GCA audited mean in place potential of 225 MMbbl and a P10 in place upside of 395 MMbbl. Four recent nearby discoveries by CNOOC immediately to the West of the Jade Prospect are filled to their P10 potential or better. 



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