Gulfsands Petroleum secures rig contract for Moroccan campaign

drill rig-dave melancon flickrThe estimated cost of each of these wells, depending on the depth, is between US$2.25mn and US$2.5mn. (Image source: Dave Melancon/Flickr)UK-listed Gulfsands Petroleum has announced that it has secured a drilling rig for its upcoming oil and gas exploration campaign in the Rharb Basin onshore Morocco

COFOR SAS, an international drilling contractor and subsidiary of France’s Vinci group of companies, will provide an onshore drilling unit suitable for the drilling of a minimum of nine exploration and development wells in the area.

According to the oil and gas company, the drilling firm will shortly be mobilising a rig to Morocco to commence drilling in early September 2013 of the first well in an initial five-well campaign. This initial drilling campaign is expected to take around four months to complete.

The 2014 campaign, consisting of at least another four wells to be drilled in the Rharb permit area, is scheduled to commence in the Q2 next year. It is noted that the four wells will be of similar depths to those in this first drilling campaign.

The Rharb drilling programme is likely to focus on a series of shallow gas anomalies identified in Miocence fans and channels sands at depths of 1,000 to 1,650 metres in a similar geologic setting to discoveries on adjacent permit areas and which are currently in commercial production using the substantial gas capture and distribution infrastructure in the area.

Drilling and completion of successful exploration wells on the Rharb permit areas is anticipated to take nearly 25 days for each well with another seven days for rig movement between successive wells.

The estimated cost of each of these wells, depending on the depth, is likely to be from US$2.25mn to US$2.5mn, if successful.

In case of a dry hole, cost of each is estimated to be between US$1.75mn to US$1.9mn.

Mahdi Sajjad, CEO of Gulfsands Petroleum, said, “We are pleased that the company has been able to begin its operations in Morocco soon after the acquisition of these assets, which was completed in mid-January 2013. We are now very focussed on making our Rharb drilling programme a success and we are targeting early commercialisation of the gas resources.”

Last month, the company had contracted Romania’s Prospectiuni to undertake seismic programmes on each of the Rharb and Fes permit areas.

Sajjad added that the firm was planning to drill one and possibly a second well on the Fes permit area during 2014 using the data captured the 2D seismic survey, which would be available by the end of this year.

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