04 September 2013, News Wires – Canadian explorer Oryx Petroleum could have a commercial discovery on its hands after striking gas and oil pay with a probe drilled at its Elephant prospect off Congo-Brazzaville.
The E-1 wildcat drilled at the prospect, formerly named Xiang, encountered gross pay zones of 102 metres and 46 metres for natural gas and oil, respectively, across two intervals, N3 and N5, in the company’s Haute Mer A licence.
The well was drilled by drillship Jasper Explorer to a total depth of nearly 2500 metres in a water depth of 550 metres about 80 kilometres offshore.
It was targeting a deeper Tertiary play similar to that being tapped in fields adjacent to the licence, such as Total’s producing Moho Bilondo field and Chevron-operated Block 14 in Angola.
An earlier probe drilled by the former Elf nearby had resulted in the same N5 interval tested by the current well.
Initial analysis of well samples indicates crude of 18-degree API gravity, with reservoir and oil quality better than pre-drill expectations.
Oryx intends to test the discovery next year as part of a multi-well drilling campaign.
“If preliminary analysis is confirmed during testing, the E-1 well will be considered a successful commercial discovery consistent overall with pre-drill estimates,” the company said in a statement.
The drillship, which has been contracted for a two-plus-one well drilling effort, will now be mobilised to drill the H-1 probe at the Horse prospect in the western part of the licence, with the explorer expecting it to reach total depth of 5462 metres in late 2013.
It will target an Albion-age Cretaceous carbonate play that has yielded discoveries such as Total’s N’Kossa and Moho North off Angola.
In the event of a discovery, Oryx will first test H-1 before testing Elephant and then carry out appraisals to inspect further prospectivity in the N5 interval of the find.