Matthew V. Veazey – Australia-based junior explorer Timor Resources is one step closer to making history in the young country of Timor-Leste, which became a sovereign state only 18 years ago.
Timor Resources advised Rigzone that it has secured a finance facility of up to US$30 million from investment group Lakehouse to explore its onshore acreage in Timor-Leste, adding that the last wells drilled onshore in the then-Portuguese colony were completed in 1972.
"We have charge, source, reservoir and an active petroleum system – now we just need some luck," Suellen Osborne, Timor Resources' CEO, commented in a written statement. "In this era of peace and cooperation, it is the right time for Timor-Leste to have international investment onshore, in pursuit of a bright future for the country."
Timor stated Wednesday that it plans to drill five exploration wells on Timor-Leste's south coast this year, with another five slated for early 2021.
The 426-day campaign will begin in May, and the rig is en route from the United States and should reach the Southeast Asian country next month, the firm added. The company operates two onshore production sharing contracts in Timor-Leste, and it noted that two historical oil discoveries on the permit area – completed before any seismic was performed – were left undeveloped for geopolitical reasons.
"We completed 340 kilometers of 2D seismic in 2018 and early 2019," continued Osborne. "This led to an independent third-party valuation of P50 342 million barrels prospective reserve estimation for total recoverable un-risked reserves, indicating 20 million barrels of oil equivalent (boe) in the permit a strong possibility."
The firm stated that, upon discovery, it plans to install an early production system so that efficient small-scale production could begin.
It noted the five wells slated for drilling this year include Karau, Kumbilli, Laisaipi, Lafaek and Raiketin and are located in Permit A. Pending any discoveries, additional appraisal drilling would occur. An Eastern Drilling 1000 Loadcraft rig will drill the onshore wells and Weatherford is providing the wireline and explosives, along with other subcontractors from Indonesia, Timor Resources also stated.
"There is great expectation that the drilling campaign will lead to a major onshore discovery," remarked Osborne.
In fact, Timor Resources expressed confidence that it could announce a discovery exceeding 10 million boe before the fourth quarter of this year.
"Solid working partnerships are the key to success in our industry and, in this instance, will allow us to focus on maximizing the efficacy of our current drilling campaign to enable field production but also to position us strongly to compete for other onshore permits in a further bidding round which is currently underway," Osborne stated.
"We are very proud of what we have achieved in Timor-Leste and delighted to have the support of Lakehouse Group who have recognized the steady progress we have made at a project level but especially in establishing a strong relationship with the Timor-Leste government and the communities were are working in, where we have created several hundred jobs."