Drilling has begun at the Abu Sennan concession, in Egypt, Rockhopper Exploration said on April 26. The company has a 22% working interest in the block, which is operated by Kuwait Energy.
In a statement on April 26, Rockhopper said the Al Jahraa SE-2X exploration well had been spudded on April 25. This is the first of a two-well campaign. The well is targeting the Cretaceous Abu Roash-C reservoir, in a fault block immediately south of the Al Jahraa South East discovery. Success would provide more than 20 million barrels of stock tank oil initially in place (STOIIP), Rockhopper said.
Work should take around 40 days, for drilling and evaluation of the well. If successful, it would be brought into production immediately, the company said.
Following this exploration well, the rig will move to the Al Jahraa-9 site for a development well. This will target the AR-C reservoir at a deeper location than oil has been found at Al Jahraa-4. The development well is intended to demonstrate a connection between the Al Jahraa and Al Jahraa South East fields.
Kuwait Energy has also proposed that two workovers should be carried out in the second quarter.
“We are pleased to start this drilling campaign on our Egyptian acreage and hope it will enable us to build further on our local production and resource base. We look forward to updating the market on progress in due course,” said Rockhopper’s CEO, Sam Moody.
Kuwait Energy farmed out a 25% stake in Abu Sennan in January to Global Connect, keeping a 25% stake in the concession for itself. Talk has surfaced recently of Kuwait Energy seeking a listing on the London Stock Exchange.
Rockhopper is also working on an exploration project in the North Falklands Basin. The Sea Lion development is expected to reach a peak of 75,000 bpd, with output running for 15-20 years. Front-end engineering and design (FEED) work was launched on Sea Lion in January 2016, with plans to approve the plan in mid-2018 and reach first oil in 2021.
Times continue to be tough for companies focused solely on exploration so, in August 2016, Rockhopper bought into two blocks in Egypt, under a deal with Beach Petroleum.