BG Dares Where Others Have Failed

BG is drilling in a bad address in Kenya.

The British gas company is looking for hydrocarbon in the very basin which has witnessed a string of disappointing wells off the East African coast.

With the Deepsea Metro 1 drillship, the Sunbird-1 well is currently drilling ahead on Block L10A in the Lamu basin, where Apache plugged and abandoned Mbawa South -1 in September 2012. That well, with 52 metres net gas sand, was the first discovery offshore Kenya, but Apache wasn’t excited about its commerciality.

Earlier adventurers were far from this lucky. Poombo-1, the 2007 wildcat drilled by Woodside Petroleum, in 200metres water depth, turned out dry. Simba- 1, a 1978 probe by the French major TOTAL, was plugged and abandoned in 920 metres of water. Its total depth was 3,604metres, with oil and gas shows. These campaigns were all in the Lamu basin offshore.

What BG has riding for it is that it has had spectacular success elsewhere in the East African offshore; specifically Tanzania.

The Sunbird-1 well is planned to take 50 to 60 days to drill to 3,000 meters below sea level, with an option to extend to 3,700 meters. Sunbird-1 is regarded as a ‘tight hole’ exploration well and results will be announced after completion of the drilling and assessment and integration of the gathered data.

Extensive wireline logging and both pressure and fluid sampling are planned. The Joint Venture intends to plug and abandon the well accordance with normal good oilfield practice regardless of the drilling outcome. It is planned to leave the well in a condition that would allow re-entry at a later date. Water depth is 721 meters.

Sunbird-1 is the first-ever test of a Miocene Pinnacle Reef offshore East Africa.


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