(Asia-Pacific) - Singapore-listed Pearl Energy Ltd. has signed up PT Transocean Indonesia's jackup rig,Shelf Explorer, for a 75-day drilling program to assess gas in an Indonesian field in the Sebuku production sharing contract (PSC) in the Makassar Straits, to the east of Indonesia's hydrocarbon-rich province of Kalimantan.
The rig is scheduled to drill one appraisal well and two exploration wells, beginning late December 2005 or early January, says Pearl in a filing to the Singapore Exchange on November 25.
"This drilling program is a critical step on the route to both commercializing our contingent gas resources in the Makassar Straits gas field and to assessing the potential of two other exploration prospects in the block," said Chris Gibson-Robinson, the chief technical officer at Pearl.
"Given the tight availability of rigs for the time being, we are delighted to have secured theShelf Explorer and to be able to press ahead with our plans for Sebuku, which is a key asset in our portfolio".
Pearl says the three-well drilling cost, maximum of $12 million, would be carried by Fuel-X Sebuku Ltd.
Pearl had farmed out the 50% working interest in the 8,773-sq km Sebuku PSC to Fuel-X in September this year, retaining 50% of the stake and the block operatorship.
Pearl had signed the jackup in alliance with Chevron Indonesia Co. and would be releasing PT Transocean Indonesia's rig on completing its program to Chevron, which is one of the largest operators of oil and gas fields in Indonesia.