Will SOCO’s Third Change The Tide?

SOCO International is making a third attempt at getting a discovery in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The company came up dry in the two earlier wells. The third, Bayingu-1, located on the same onshore Nganzi Block as the earlier two, will be the deepest test, to be drilled to approximately 2,520 meters and is expected to take 25 days to reach the target depth.

The first well, Nganga 1 was drilled to 2,175 metres Measured- Depth, reaching the basement as prognosed and encountering “approximately 500 metres of source rock with significant hydrocarbon shows and approximately 245 metres of good quality porous sand with an average porosity of ca. 17.5% in the primary target”. Petrophysical interpretations of the logs dismissed the reservoirs as water wet, but SOCO looked at the bright side: “The predicted lateral seal for the reservoir horizon was not present because of the change in the basin margin adjacent to the well location which can now be seen to have provided a local sediment entry point for sands”. The company decided that the next well, in a different part of the basin with a different margin geometry, was to be located further away from this localised sand and is not expected to be impacted by it. In spite of this prognosis, however the Kinganga Nyanya 1, drilled to 1,164 metres Measured Depth was also a commercial disappointment, Still, SOCO had an explanation for its second back to back dry hole: “The well drilled good source rock shales in the middle and Lower Bucomazi, interbedded with Lower Bucomazi sands.  It also encountered the target Lucula formation sands although these were not hydrocarbon bearing’ SOCO says. “There were oil shows in the Lower Bucomazi and the Chela formations. Log analysis indicated oil pay in the secondary target Chela formation sands. Although the well bore was not ideally situated to encounter the thickest part of the Chela sands, an abbreviated test was carried out to determine the reservoir characteristic. On test the sands were found to be tight”.

SOCO claims that in spite of the lack of commercial discoveries of the earlier two “they confirmed the presence of oil and provide valuable data that will be used in further evaluation of the area”.


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