Cat Ba exploration drilling under way offshore North Vietnam

The jackup Aquamarine Driller has begun the Salamander Energy-operated Cat Ba–1X (101-CB-1X) exploration well offshore northern Vietnam, in block 101-100/04.

Offshore staff

LONDON -- The jackup Aquamarine Driller has begun the Salamander Energy-operated Cat Ba–1X (101-CB-1X) exploration well offshore northern Vietnam, in block 101-100/04.

The well is being drilled in 49 m (161 ft) of water to a target depth of around 1,900 m (6,233 ft). Its main objective is a Palaeozoic carbonate, (buried hill) structure, with secondary targets in the overlying Tertiary clastic section.

Salamander’s mean gross pre-drill estimate of prospective recoverable resources was roughly 100 MMbbl. Drilling should take around 25 days to complete on a dry hole basis.

The company has a 30% operated interest in the block, subject to Vietnamese government approval of the farm-out of a 20% interest to JX-Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration, announced in May.

James Menzies, CEO of Salamander, said: “The Cat Ba prospect is an analogue to the neighboring Ham Rong Oil field that was declared commercial in 2010, both located in the Hai Phong sub-basin.

“We have reduced our financial exposure to the 101-CB-1X well through farm down, but remain highly leveraged to the upside in the event of success.”

08/03/2011

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