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BHP shelves T&T deepwater plans for rest of 2017

Published: 
Thursday, September 7, 2017

BHP Billiton will not be drilling an exploration well this quarter in the deepwater offshore Trinidad as it was originally carded to do, this according to highly placed sources at the company.

The Business Guardian has been reliably informed that the company is now aiming for early next year to spud the next exploration well.

BHP Billiton is the operator of all the deep water blocks awarded so far and has drilled two wells.

Burrokeet was an exploration failure and Le Clerc is said to have made a natural gas discovery.

However unlike the kind of success Exxon has been having in Guyana, Le Clerc was not the billion barrel field the company was hoping for.

The company had said that the results at Le Clerc and Burrokeet would be integrated into analysis for phase two, which was expected to start in the second half of 2017.

This could make it more difficult for the government to attract bids for its upcoming deep water, shallow water and on land bid rounds especially when it will now have to compete with the success in the Guyana/Suriname Basin.

In fact, British independent Tullow Oil recently said that the billion barrel Liza 1 discovery offshore Guyana has significantly de-risked its entire acreage offshore neighbouring Suriname and in particular its prospect Araku-1.

In an email response to questions from the Business Guardian, Tullow Oil said it intended to drill next quarter the Araku-1 well in 1000 metres of water and believes it could discover as much as 500 million barrels of oil in place.

The company said it was preparing to drill what it refers to as a “high impact” well that is estimated to cost US$47 million with Tullow’s contribution being US $14 million or 30 per cent of the overall cost.

Tullow executive vice president for New Ventures, Ian Cloke, recently said, “We are looking for low-cost, light oil in geologies and geographies that we know well in Africa and South America. The Araku-1 wildcat in Suriname is on track to commence in the Q4 and, by the end of 2017, we will have completed six seismic surveys at low cost,”

He added, “We are therefore in an excellent position as we decide what and where to drill in 2018 and beyond, with substantial prospects in Guyana, Suriname, Mauritania and Namibia all under evaluation.”