Desire opts to re-drill Rachel

Desire Petroleum has updated status of its stalled 14/15-1Z sidetrack well on the Rachel prospect in the North Falklands basin.

Offshore staff

PORT STANLEY, Falkland Islands -- Desire Petroleum has updated status of its stalled 14/15-1Z sidetrack well on the Rachel prospect in the North Falklands basin. Due to mechanical failure of the wellbore, clean-out of the sidetrack has not been achieved, which means it will not be possible to obtain wireline logging data from the well.

Information acquired during drilling operations (from logging while drilling tools and geological data from cuttings) suggest the well encountered around 25 m (82 ft) of sand with oil shows. However, without wireline logging data is not feasible to fully assess these results or to confirm reservoir properties and hydrocarbon saturations associated with the sands.

The semisubmersible drilling rig Ocean Guardian, therefore, will P&A the current well and transfer to a new location on the Rachel prospect.

Desire says data compiled from the Rachel main bore and sidetrack will help optimize the location of the new vertical well. This will be designed to further evaluate the potential of the Rachel prospect and to perform a comprehensive logging program.

Logging in a vertical well should circumvent the geomechanical issues encountered in the sidetrack, which arose from drilling a deviated wellbore in an area where regional stress data are scarce.

This proposed move to another location is pending regulatory and partner approvals. If these do not materialize, the rig instead will move to drill the Dawn/Jacinta prospect, returning to Rachel later.

Stephen Phipps, chairman of Desire, said: "It is disappointing that we have been unable to collect all the data that would have enabled us to fully evaluate the Rachel sidetrack well. However, the data that we have been able to gather has given us sufficient encouragement to drill another well on the Rachel prospect.

“Following the Sea Lion oil discovery by Rockhopper Exploration, this is the second well to indicate the presence of hydrocarbons in what is now termed the east flank play fairway, and gives us encouragement that further oil fields will be discovered in this area."

11/02/2010

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