10 August 2012, Sweetcrude – Panoro Energy ASA announced that the operator Harvest Natural Resources has secured the use of a semisubmersible drilling unit, to drill the Tortue prospect on the Dussafu Marin Permit, offshore Gabon. The drilling unit, the Scarabeo 3 (mid-water semisub), is owned and operated by Saipem S.p.A and the well is expected to spud in fourth quarter 2012.
The Tortue Marin well will be located about 31 miles (50 kilometers) offshore Gabon and 9 miles (15 kilometers) southeast of the 2011 Ruche discovery in 380 feet (116 meters) water depth. The well targets pre-salt Gamba and mid-Dentale reservoirs and a secondary post-salt Madiela reservoir. When combining these reservoirs the Tortue prospect has, according to the operator, consolidated mean prospective resources of 28 MMbbls with 56 percent geological chance of success.
“We are pleased that the operator has entered into a rig contract and we look forward to drilling Panoro’s second exploration well offshore Gabon. We believe that any discovery above 10 MMbbl on Tortue combined with the 2011 Ruche discovery will provide the basis for a commercial development,” CEO of Panoro Kjetil Solbraekke commented.
The Dussafu partners and the Republic of Gabon, represented by the Ministry of Mines, Energy, Petroleum and Hydraulic Resources, has entered into the third exploration phase of the Dussafu Production Sharing Contract with an effective date of May 28, 2012. It has been agreed that the third exploration phase will be for a period of four years ending May 27, 2016.