Fatala failure off Guinea

12 September 2017, Week 36, Issue 706

The Fatala-1 well off Guinea has failed to find hydrocarbons. The failure was announced on September 8 by the US operator, Hyperdynamics. This news marks the end of the company’s hopes in Guinea, with its licence expiring later this month. 


The statement said the well had reached a total depth of 5,117 metres below sea level, in 2,897 metres of water. It found a 75-metre Cenomanian sedimentary channel sequence, but this contained siltstone and clays, with no shows. The well will now be plugged and abandoned. Hyperdynamics has a 50% stake in the block, while the remainder is held by Nigeria’s South Atlantic Petroleum (Sapetro). 

“We are very disappointed at the results of Fatala-1, considering the extremely promising geophysical data on the prospect,” said Hyperdynamics’ president and CEO, Ray Leonard. “Hyperdynamics and our 50% partner in the well, Sapetro, currently hold rights to the Guinea concession through September 21, 2017. In the very near future, we will be studying the results of the well and evaluating any future options we may have for further activity in Guinea.”

Leonard went on to say the Fatala-1 was drilled in the deepest water ever attempted off Africa and that the work had been done safely and within budget. Had the well been successful, the company said it would have followed it up with work on the Bamboo prospect. Success would have given it a two-year appraisal period to pursue further prospects. 

A 2016 report from Netherland Sewell put the mid-case prospective recoverable resource of Fatala at 647 million barrels. 

The Guinea concession covers 5,000 square km. Hyperdynamics had previously worked with Dana Petroleum and Tullow Oil on the block, but fell out with its partners in 2016 and ended up with them in court. 

Hyperdynamics and Dana drilled the Sabu-1 well, announcing in 2012 that it had found oil shows in the Upper Cretaceous. Analysis showed this to be non-commercial and the problem seems to have been a lack of seal. The Sabu-1 was drilled in 730 metres of water and reached a total depth of 3,600 metres. 


Edited by

Ed Reed


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