Sahara Energy has spud Oki-BA appraisal/development well in Nigeria’s Oil Prospecting Lease (OPL) 274, with the Chinese land rig HCN 187. It’s the first time that the company, which has held some of the best prospects in the Niger Delta basin for upwards of seven years, will be moving on to a drilling location. Oki-BA, spud in early September 2013, is drilling to a depth of about 11,000ft (3353metres).
The well is the first of three planned by the company, with a combined budget of $80Million. Oki-CA (also appraisal/development) will be drilled back to back with Oki-BA while the third well, Scotta 1, an exploratory probe, will be drilled months after.
Questions about Sahara’s choice of a Chinese rig were brushed aside by officials of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), the Nigerian industry regulator. “Addax has used the well, so has Network and Oando, both of them also indigenous companies and there were no major problems”, said one DPR official. The only issue that came up was not related to the rig performance”. He declined to say what those issues were.
Sahara has been promising it was going to get active on location. Last February, the company completed acquisition of 500sq km of three dimensional ( 3D) seismic on OPL 274. The Oki structure straddles the NPDC operated Oziengbe south, a producing field which lies on adjacent acreage, the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 111 operated by the state hydrocarbon company NPDC. Unitisation discussions have been finalized but an agreement has not been signed.
Information from Africa Oil & Gas Report was used in this report.