Oil discovered offshore French Guiana

Oil exploration company, Tullow, has discovered oil offshore French Guiana sparking heightened interest in activities in the basin, including in Guyana.

The company, in a press statement yesterday, said that its Zaedyus well offshore French Guiana has made an oil discovery having encountered 72 metres of net oil pay in two turbidite fans. Results of drilling, wireline logs and samples of reservoir fluids show that the well has encountered good quality reservoir sands on prognosis, the statement said.
“The discovery at Zaedyus has proved the extension of the Jubilee-play across the Atlantic and made an important new discovery in French Guiana. Tullow has built a commanding and unique acreage position in South America and this result marks the start of a significant and potentially transformational long-term exploration and appraisal campaign in the region,” Angus McCoss, Tullow’s Exploration Director, was quoted as saying.

The objective of the Zaedyus well was to test whether the Jubilee-play, successfully established in West Africa, was mirrored on the other side of the Atlantic. “This discovery therefore opens a new hydrocarbon basin within which several neighbouring prospects have been mapped.

This result also reduces the exploration risk associated with Tullow’s prospect inventory offshore French Guiana, Suriname and Guyana,” the statement said.

An appraisal programme and extensive follow-up exploration activities will now be considered at the well in French Guiana.

Traders in London yesterday were firmly focused on the oil and gas sector, particularly the announcement of the “major” oil discovery on the Guyane Maritime license offshore French Guiana, according to industry news reports. Following the announcement, shares in Tullow jumped.

The company is part of a consortium including Repsol and CGX Energy which plans to drill a well here later this year. Following the Tullow announcement, prices for CGX stock also rose before the Canada-based company halted trading yesterday morning. CGX said in a statement that it does not have any interest in the Zaedyus well and cautioned that the risk here remains high.

“CGX is a 25% partner with Tullow, Repsol and YPF in the Georgetown Petroleum Prospecting Licence offshore Guyana in which the partners are preparing to drill a Turonian test in the Jaguar well later this year.

Investors are cautioned that Jaguar is located over 500 km from Zaedyus and the risk remains high,” Kerry Sully, Chairman of CGX, was quoted as saying.

The Zaedyus well is being drilled in the Guyane Maritime licence using the ENSCO 8503 deepwater semi submersible. The well was drilled in water depths of 2,048 metres and has been drilled to a depth of 5,711 metres. Drilling operations will now continue and the well will be deepened to over 6,000 metres to calibrate the deeper geology, the statement said.
The well will then likely be sidetracked to enable cores to be obtained over the reservoir sections.
Tullow (27.5%) operates the Guyane Maritime licence and is partnered by Shell (45%), Total (25%) and Northpet (2.5%), a company owned 50% by Northern Petroleum plc and 50% by Wessex Exploration plc.
Following the issuing of the statement, Tullow hosted an analyst and investor call in the UK.

Tullow, according to its website, is a leading independent oil & gas, exploration and production group, quoted on the London, Irish and Ghanaian stock exchanges and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. The Group has interests in over 90 exploration and production licences across 22 countries and focuses on four core areas: Africa, Europe, South Asia and South America.

In Africa, Tullow has production in Ghana, Gabon, Côte d’Ivoire, Mauritania, Congo (Brazzaville) and Equatorial Guinea with two large appraisal and development programmes in Ghana and Uganda. Tullow also has exploration interests in Gabon, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mauritania, Senegal, Tanzania, Madagascar, Namibia, Kenya and Ethiopia.

Tullow’s European interests are focused on gas in the UK Southern North Sea where it has significant interests in the Caister-Murdoch System and the Thames area and in the Netherlands where it has offshore gas production, development and exploration opportunities.

In South Asia, Tullow has exploration and production in Bangladesh and exploration interests in Pakistan.
In South America, Tullow has exploration interests in Guyana, French Guiana and Suriname.

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