Matthew V. Veazey – The first onshore drilling campaign in the Southeast Asian country of Timor-Leste in nearly 50 years is slated to begin in January 2020, according to operator Timor Resources.
Following a competitive tender process, Timor Resources has commissioned Eastern Drilling Limited to mobilize a rig to Timor-Leste, the privately owned Australia-based oil and gas firm reported in a written statement emailed to Rigzone. The start of the five-well campaign will mark the first onshore drilling in Timor-Leste since 1972, when the country was under Portuguese rule, the company added.
Timor Resources, which in 2017 won the rights to explore and develop approximately 772 square miles (2,000 square kilometers of onshore acreage on Timor-Leste's south coast, holds two production sharing contracts via a joint venture with national oil company TIMORGAP.
Karau, the first well in the campaign, will boast a 3,543-foot (1,080-meter) depth and target the Viqueque formation, Timor Resources stated. The company added that its general manager, Jan Hulse, anticipates approximately 1,411 feet (430 meters) of gross reservoir interval – known to be oil-bearing in the near surface from evidence of surface oil seeps.
"This play type is proven in the Bula field on the Isle of Seram where 20 million barrels of oil have been recovered," stated Hulse. "The Timor Resources drilling campaign targets four different play types, maximizing the chance of commercial discovery. Our deepest well in this campaign is 2,740 meters (8,989.5 feet) and targets the Triassic Jurassic Formation."
Eastern Drilling, owned by Hong Kong-based Lake House Corp., noted that it expects a largely complication-free drilling campaign. Roger Boyko, a remote drilling specialist who leads Eastern, pointed out the unit will be the only onshore rig in Timor-Leste.
"The rig we are bringing is an 1100 HP Loadcraft and is currently being commissioned in the USA before making the journey to Timor to spud the first well in Jan. 2020," noted Boyko. "Our drilling campaign will adopt international best practices and there is some excitement in the local community as this will create much-needed additional employment and skills-transfer."