Northern Petroleum (LON:NOP) reported this morning that drilling had got under way on the Zaedyus prospect, offshore Guyane. Northern and its partner Wessex Exploration (Plus:WX.P) both hold 1.25% beneficial interests in the Guyane Maritime Permit, which is operated by Tullow Oil (LON:TLW) and boasts Shell Eamp;P and Total Eamp;P as substantial stakeholders.
Tullow has previously said that the forthcoming well, GM-ES-1, has the potential to open up a major new oil province in Guyane with a significant number of further prospects and leads already identified. Tullow has stated that the Zaedyus prospect has an estimated P10 prospective resource of 700 million barrels and is geologically analogous to its Jubilee field, located off the coast of Ghana.
The GM-ES-1 well is located offshore Guyane some 50km from the boundary with Brazil. The ENSCO 8503 rig will drill the well to a total depth of approximately 6,500 metres subsea, with the well targeting one of several prospects in major undrilled Late Cretaceous deep water channel fan systems identified from extensive 3D seismic survey acquired in 2009-10.
Graham Heard, Northern’s Exploration amp; Technical Director, said: “At Northern we are very excited that drilling operations have commenced on this first exploration well on the Guyane Maritime Permit. This is an unusual opportunity for us as a company to participate alongside a successful explorer such as Tullow and two major oil companies, Shell and Total, in the first well targeting a new exploration area of importance. This basin has significant exploration potential and we keenly anticipate the results from the Zaedyus prospect which will determine future exploration activity in the area.”
Tullow holds a 27.5% stake in the Guyane Maritime Permit, with Shell Eamp;P holding 45% and Total Eamp;P holding 25%. The Northern Petroleum share price closed last night at 135.5p.